Genealogy Blog

31 December 2007

Happy New Year 2008!

We wish you all a Happy New Year 2008!

Send postcards to your family and your friends!

You can find a large selection of sites on the web that offer you to send postcards for greetings, birthday, love, etc. Most of them are free but not so interesting.

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30 December 2007

The Master Genealogist 7.00

The Master Genealogist 7.00 has been released.

The newest version of The Master Genealogist includes more than 50 new features, most of which were suggested by users.

• Easier to Use.
• More Research/Analysis Tools.
• Multimedia Enhancements.
• New Narrative Controls.
• New Reporting Tools.
• Even More Customization Options.
• TMG v7 is native to Windows Vista. It will also run on Windows XP and Windows 2000. (Windows 98 and NT are no longer supported).

FotoTagger 2.7

FotoTagger 2.7 has been released.

Changes :

• Choose multiple images in the Organize mode.
• Export only selected images to Flickr.
• Create a Web Gallery of annotated images by choosing images to be included in addition to the ability to export a whole folder.
• Send multiple annotated images by email.
• Rotate a group of images at once.
• Copy, move, and delete several images at once.

New website helps Russians trace war dead

Nineteen million documents stored in the archives of Russia’s Defence Ministry have been digitalised. The aim of the project was to help people find relatives killed or never found during World War II.

Now, the website (in Russian ; via Google Translate) allows people looking for their lost friends and relatives to carry out their own investigations into what happened.

Records include not only the name, date and place of birth and death, but also scans of original documents.

Archives of Thailand going digital

Thailand will soon have a huge set of digital archives which will include all Thai-based data in every field and allow people at all levels to get access to an enormous amount of knowledge any time.

That’s a mission for the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), which plans to transform all physical data scattered around the nation into digital form.

The centre has initiated a new project called Digitised Thailand to develop the national digital content, which can be used to improve knowledge, preserve culture or even make new business developments.

Nectec’s director Pansak Siriruchatapong said Digitised Thailand would be the centre’s flagship project to integrate a variety of technology-development projects at Nectec to build the country’s largest digital archive collection for practical use.

The project is part of the centre’s plan to utilise information and communications technology to lay down the country’s intellectual infrastructure to improve literacy and develop Thailand towards a knowledge-based society.

A team at Nectec is working to develop the Digitised Thailand framework as a guideline for the country and all parts of society when they collect data in digital format.

Virach Sornlertlamvanich, information and mobile application programme manager at Nectec, who is also the project leader, said the project, which would run for three years, would start by collecting all Thai data available on the Internet into an archive. Meanwhile, the team would begin to select useful content and convert the physical data into digital form.

“Now we have started the data-collection process and we chose to digitise content about Thai herbs first,” he said.

As there is a large amount of information scattered around the country, in the first stage the team has to convert selective data into practical information.

To digitise Thailand, Virach added that it was necessary to encourage all parts of society to collect content in digital form.

Nectec also plans to develop a framework for digital data collection so it can all be stored using the same standard and this would facilitate information exchange across the network.

“After we begin to digitise data about Thai herbs, we will encourage people and organisations, especially libraries, to turn their physical data into digital form. Once everyone can make their own digital content and put it on the Internet, we will have an enormous database which can be developed into sustainable knowledge,” he said.

For Virach, digitised information can be anything from academic knowledge, history, cultural information, travel, technology through to entertainment, so as the large digital archive offers useful knowledge and real information, technologies to help its management are required.

He said that since the project was related to collecting a large amount of data and managing a huge database, the team had to integrate various kinds of technology to build the national digital archive.

Human language technology including a Web crawler to collect data, and a smart search engine, will bring information scattered in many places to users as required. Knowledge-engineering technology also plays an important part in building and maintaining knowledge-based systems.

Large database management systems are another important part of managing the overall database.

Virach said that other technologies used in the project included networking, security and information and mobile applications. All would facilitate access, search and delivery of useful information to users.

To make the information access support any kind of device, Nectec also plans to develop a standard application program interface (API) to allow users to access all digital content from all kinds of terminals.

“We foresee that the implementation of the national digital archive will be a showcase to turn research and development work done at Nectec into practical use. This will be our flagship to make Thai-developed technologies come out commercially,” he said.

Virach hopes that the project will benefit the business sector. Since a huge amount of digital data is provided for free, he said businesses could use this digital content to make further development for future information services.

As part of Digitised Thailand’s plan, Nectec is now working with the Science and Technology Knowledge Centre at the Science Ministry to develop an electronic forum as a centre to publicise local research work.

The forum will be a centre where researchers can publicise their work and propose their development projects while research-funding organisations could see projects with potential to provide support.

Since the electronic forum will gather research and development and profiles from local researchers, it can be used as the country’s research database for further development.

Virach said the government could use this research database to develop policy and set a direction for the country’s R&D.

in The Nation

27 December 2007

The Genetic Genealogy Timeline

The DNA Genealogy Timeline is a free public resource maintained by Georgia K. Bopp and hosted by

The timeline attempts to track the significant developments associated with genetic genealogy. It begins with “Before 1980″ and was updated most recently as of October 2007.

via The Genetic Genealogist

GEDitCOM II 1.0a3

GEDitCOM II 1.0a3 has been released.

GEDitCOM II is a rewritten version of GEDitCOM using Apple’s Cocoa environment.


• It is a Universal Binary application.
• All text editing allows Unicode for any language’s characters.
• Greatly improved index window.
• Create albums of records.
• Improved handling of multimedia objects.
• Lots of drag and drop options.
• Infinite undo.
• More interface options (such as scroll wheel support).
• Multiple files open at the same time.
• New features for fixing corrupt records.
• Simplified help information.
• Improved template language for those writing templates to format data. Template editing is now down in a separate application called GEDitCOM Editor.

Some things yet to be implemented are:

• Searching a file.
• Exporting a file to a new format (such as a web site).
• Printing features (some simple ones are in place).
• Marking of records (but using albums can replace marking of records with more options).

Agelong Tree 3.1.1

Agelong Tree 3.1.1 has been released.


• Improved Windows Vista support.
• New, more intuitive way to assign photo to a person and an event.
• Context menus in the person, event and document editing windows have been added.
• Slovak interface language has been added.
• Some minor bugs have been fixed.

18 December 2007

Sotheby’s to auction Magna Carta

It’s freedom’s birth certificate.

And, if you have a spare $30 million, you could have the Magna Carta hanging from your kitchen wall.

The only surviving edition in private ownership is going under the hammer Dec. 18 in New York as the most important document Sotheby’s has ever sold.

“Absolutely, it is,” said David Redden, the auctionhouse’s vice chairman. “This is the beginning of liberty, democracy and freedom. If you went back in time to find out where it all began, this is it.”

The 2,500 Latin words, handwritten in 1297, long before the Boston Tea Party, are the closest thing Britain has to a written constitution.

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17 December 2007

GedStar Pro 3.2

GedStar Pro 3.2 has been released.

Changes :

• Changes for compatibility with Windows Vista™. Database (“.pdb”) and log files are now created in a GedStar Pro folder under the user’s My Documents folder. This should make them easier to find, and is a requirement for Vista compatibility.
• Source citation exhibits/photos should now work for the non-standard “linked file” GEDCOM construction used by Family Historian.
• Support non-standard CHAR tag for GEDCOM files generated by the Tribal Pages online genealogy site.
• Removed citation exhibit support for TMG, FTM, and PAF. The citation exhibit feature is not currently supported by GenBridge, so we will have to wait for a fix from Wholly Genes. This feature should continue to work for Legacy and GEDCOM users.
• On the handheld, research tasks (to-do items) for individual persons, etc. can now be filtered to show or not show completed tasks. Previously this filtering only worked on the master Research Log screen; now it works when accessing the tasks from an individual’s screen or any other item that can have a task assigned to it. (This is a TMG and Legacy feature only).

• Sources associated directly with an individual in a GEDCOM file, as opposed to sources associated with an event, are now recognized and handled by creating a “General sources” event and attaching them to that.
• Exhibits, including photos, are now supported for source citations as well as for the source records themselves. This currently works only for Legacy and GEDCOM imports.
• The GedStar Pro PC program now automatically opens the most recently saved configuration file when it is launched. If you only have one database that you’re working with – by far the most common case – then you should no longer have to click on the File menu item to reload your conversion settings.
• New version of GenBridge library (changes of internal interest only).

iScrapbook 1.5.2

iScrapbook 1.5.2 has been released.

New Features :

• Added circular text boxes. Circular text boxes have dedicated inspector tools for choosing whether the text is drawn inside or outside of the circle and at what angle.

Fixes :

• When a drop shadow was added to a text box that was cropping an image, the entire text box would appear black.
• When a frame was added to a page by double-clicking the frame in the Element drawer, the frame wouldn’t be inserted correctly.
• Fixed a problem where images with effects applied would appear garbled at small sizes. This only happened under Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).
• Fixed a problem where page thumbnails appeared distorted or with black lines around them. This is due to a bug in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).
• Fixed problem that sometimes caused iPhoto albums and photos to not appear.

Cognatio 1.3.1

Cognatio 1.3.1 has been released.

Fixes :

• Some of the new reports were missing in version 1.3.0.
• Some errors in the family timeline and ancestor timeline reports.

Vidstone Serenity Panel: The electronic tombstone

No one would set a scrapbook filled with pictures and memories on the tombstone of a loved one. But what about a high-tech, weatherproof version, with digital images powered by a solar cell?

The Vidstone Serenity Panel is groundbreaking. Utilizing specially patent-pending technology, this solar-powered panel provides families with the option of viewing a custom-created multimedia tribute at a loved one’s place of rest. This 7″ LCD Panel attaches to most upright or slanted gravesite monuments, including gravestones, mausoleums and columbariums. At the mere touch of a button, a 5 to 8 minute video plays on the screen, recounting the most precious and poignant memories of a loved one.

14 December 2007

DoggieDNAPrint: your dog’s ancestry!

DoggieDNAPrint‘ site is devoted to providing you information and kits for uncovering your dog’s ancestry and breed.

The public availability of the dog genome has provided the basis for the development of cutting-edge tools and techniques for understanding canine genealogy. DoggieDNAPrint can assess your dog’s ancestry population (it’s relationship to four ancient ancestral breeds) and display it’s characteristics in comparison to a database of existing reference-breed dogs.

The Doggie DNAPrint® 1.0 Kit is a DNA-based test that looks at 204 unique canine Ancestry Informative Markers (CanAIMs) on the dog genome.

12 December 2007


Placeography is a wiki where you can share the history of and stories about a house, building, farmstead, public land, neighborhood or any place to which you have a personal connection.

GendorBendor to work with PhpGedView

GendorBendor and PhpGedView have agreed to a collaborative effort.

We at GendorBendor believe that PhpGedView represents the finest open source, web-based, non-java ged tool on the market. In conjunction with PhpGedView’s administrator John Finlay, David Bendory has worked out an architecture that will allow GendorBendor to provide drop-in privacy customization for PhpGedView. More details to come as we develop.

GendorBendor worked with PhpGedView to allow users to only access information on their own blood relatives.

11 December 2007

England and Wales: Nonconformist birth, marriage and death records online

The National Archives’ collection of nonconformist birth, marriage and death records from 1567 goes online for the first time.

A new partnership project between The National Archives and S&N Genealogy Supplies means that you can now access images of these records online. BMD Registers provides access to the non-parochial and nonconformist registers 1567-1840 held in RG 4 and RG 5.

The National Archives holds 5,000 registers of a huge variety of nonconformist congregations, including Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Protestant Dissenters (known as “Dr Williams Library”) and Independents. There are also registers from a small number of Roman Catholic communities.

Basic searching is free of charge, but there is a fee for advanced searching and to download images.

UncleGED 9.00

UncleGED 9.00 has been released.

Changes :

• The user interface has been changed to correct problems in the previous release where in some cases there were buttons missing from the user interface as noted below in Fixes.
• There is now the option of “Page Styles”. The classic Family Pages is still supported, but there is now the option to create Person Pages.
• Titles and Labels that appear on the pages are now configurable which allows for the pages to be translated into language other than English. There is also a Tag-To-Text file (tagtotext.txt) which allows for translating the labels used for each GEDCOM tag found in the GEDCOM file.

Fixes :

• In UncleGED 8.xx the user interface was in some cases missing the “Help”, “Back”, “Next” and “Cancel” buttons. This occured if the Windows Display (DPI) settings are set to “large fonts” (greater than 96 DPI). This is no longer an issue in release 9.xx as the user interface has been changed.
• The user’s guide is not 100% current for this new release and is in the process of being updated.

Your Family Tree : Issue 59 on sale now

Issue 59 of Your Family Tree is on sale now.

Computer :

• Family History on your PC – Our experts explain hints and tips on how to make better use of your computer to help with your research.
• Genie Backup Manager Professional 8 – YFT’s guide on how to backup all your family history research with this program free on your CD.

GeneoTree 3.20

GeneoTree 3.20 has been released.

New features :

• New ancestor lanscape PDF report.
• Added a Windows installer for Windows 2000 or higher.

Fixes :

• Ancestor PDF report: spouse name of first individual was wrong.
• Descendant PDF report: multiple marriages were badly displayed.
• Individual index: SQL warning was displayed when there was no event for an individual.
• Graph: SQL warning was displayed when there were no places in the database.

Mass Digitization - Changing copyright law and policy

Georgia Harper has completed a blogging experiment entitled Mass digitization - Changing copyright law and policy.

Table of Contents:

• The effect of mass digitization projects on copyright law and policy.
• All quiet on the legislative front, while business is rockin’.
• Will Google Book Search change anything?
• Ok, Ok — DRM and long terms were a big mistake; now what?
• Search engines make sense of our massively digitized world, and make good law in the process.
• Rescuing orphans from obscurity.

Be sure to check out the Project Resources page!

10 December 2007

phpmyfamily 1.4.2

phpmyfamily 1.4.2 has been released.

New feature :

• Czech translation added.

Fixes :

• CRLF Injection vulnerability patched.
• XSS vulnerability patched.
• Character encoding changed to UTF-8.

Cognatio 1.3.0

Cognatio 1.3.0 has been released.

Changes :

• Two new calendar reports.
• New ancestor report.
• New surname report.
• Date calculator added.
• Some interface improvements.
• Breakpoints supported in the report type editor.
• Several minor improvements.
• Some fixes.


GenSmarts has been released.

Fixes :

• Bug fixes to red/green available online… hopefully this is the last fix needed.

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.68

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.68 has been released.

New features :

• GEDCOM export of pictures attached to sources.
• GEDCOM export: if you pick “Selected source fields” then new option to create a Title field for sources that do not already have one.

Fixes :

• Ctrl shortcut keys were not working for Event Notes.
• Edit screen was not showing the full BK code number if larger than 1 million.

6 December 2007

Sell My DNA offers to help you sell a sample of your DNA to a research company, New Line Genetics, who will then obtain a patent for it. They pay $5000! does not condone the patenting of other’s DNA without their permission. However, what better way to surprise your loved ones for a birthday or holiday event than giving the gift of $5,000 and the knowledge that their genetic material is helping to enhance scientific research!

However is not a real company, as you can find out if you dig deep enough into it’s site and come across the disclaimer: “these sites are a satirical “what if” pertaining to something that, for all intents and purposes, could be a reality in the not-so-distant future.”

Cumberland Family Tree 3.20

Cumberland Family Tree 3.20 has been released.

Fix :

• Fixed a problem with Vista.

4 December 2007

Mass Digitization - Changing copyright law and policy

Georgia Harper has completed a blogging experiment entitled Mass digitization - Changing copyright law and policy.

Table of Contents:

• The effect of mass digitization projects on copyright law and policy.
• All quiet on the legislative front, while business is rockin’.
• Will Google Book Search change anything?
• Ok, Ok — DRM and long terms were a big mistake; now what?
• Search engines make sense of our massively digitized world, and make good law in the process.
• Rescuing orphans from obscurity.

Be sure to check out the Project Resources page!


GenSmarts has been released.

Fixes :

• Bug fix for red mouse/green mouse icon.
• Bug fix for Welcome Wizard setting of ancestry access point.

3 December 2007

3rd International Digital Curation Conference

The 3rd International Digital Curation Conference will held in Washington DC, USA, from December 11-13, 2007.

Entitled “Curating our Digital Scientific Heritage: a Global Collaborative Challenge” the conference will focus on emerging strategy, policy implementation, leading-edge research and practitioner experience, and will comprise a mix of peer-reviewed papers, invited presentations and keynote international speakers.

1 December 2007

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG) 6.1.3

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG) 6.1.3 has been released.

Changes :

• Albums: New media search results now offer pagination if there are more results than can be displayed.
• Added “min-width” style to Admin menu columns to compensate for Safari 3 bug that caused labels to extend beyond column widths.
• The zoom and placelevel fields for each new place imported will now be defaulted to “0″ (blank values prevented the table from being restored under MySQL 5).

Fixes :

• The Dates & Anniversaries page was not accounting for the server offset time.
• Double quotes in a person’s name were throwing off the layout of the “show media” page.
• Setting an image to open in a new window was causing the corresponding link on the RSS page to break.
• It was possible to open some documents linked to living individuals from the RSS page.
• The report generator would malfunction on a custom query with multiple “AS” statements in the same field selector.
• Clearing a branch was removing the wrong branches in some cases if the affected individuals had more than one branch label.
• Logging in immediately after creating a GEDCOM on the public side caused the GEDCOM to be created again.
• Users assigned to a tree were not able to switch to other trees if a login was being required.
• The statistics page was not correctly calculating the lifespan of individuals who died the day they were born.
• The descendancy box charts (standard and compact) were showing incorrect relationships in some cases if families included a blank spouse.
• The RSS page was not using the proper character set if the user had not visited another page on the site first - will now use the default character set.
• The report generator would show inactive reports for non-administrators if “&test=1″ was appended to the URL.
• The Repository page (showrepo.php) was not showing the “Edit” tab if the user was logged in with edit rights.
• Some labels on the Repository page (showrepo.php) were not showing correctly.
• The Admin/Edit Repository/Add New Event page was showing event types for sources, not repositories.
• A “1″ was being placed in the “Seal to Parents (LDS)” field after adding a child to a family.
• Importing custom event types would result in duplicates types if they were not in the same case.
• Source citations for family events were not showing on the Family Group Sheet.
• Source citation links on the Family Group Sheet were not pointing to the correct location.
• The log entry for a place search was incorrect.
• The date validation feature did not work on the “Review” pages for People and Families.
• Blank lists were being generated in the text-based descendancy chart.
• Widths of columns map section on individual page (getperson.php) were not lining up with columns in other sections.


GenSmarts has been released.

Changes :

• New US city database - improved accuracy.
• Expanded subscription site settings (Tools > Settings > Subscription).
• Added suggestion logic for GenealogyBank obituaries.
• Added suggestion logic for FootNote US Rev War Pensions.
• Added suggestion logic for WorldVitalRecords US WWII enlistments.
• Added support for Vista DEP.
• Added new data cleanup report to show possible invalid US city/county pairs.

Fixes :

• Fix for Vista “Trusted Site” update message.
• Fix for Vista “Default Location” update message.
• Fix for “FTM2008 not installed properly” message.
• Added fix allowing FTM2008 files to have a .FTW in their name.