Genealogy Blog

30 August 2008

MobileFamilyTree 1.2

MobileFamilyTree 1.2 has been released.

New Features:

• Brand-new Search to quickly access specific entries in your database.
• Family Chart: The iPhone version of our much-acclaimed Family Assistant.
• Lists are now sorted by headers, for easier browsing and better visibility.

PublicProfiler Worldnames: Global surname website launched

People interested in their family history can now find where their relatives have spread around the world by using a public website which maps surnames: PublicProfiler Worldnames

A team of geographers from University College, London, have used data from electoral rolls and telephone directories to map the distribution of 10.8 million different last names.

The information, which covers a billion people in 26 countries, shows amateur researchers just where different names originated and where families have scattered around the world through migration.

The online maps also have information on which of 6.5 million forenames are most closely associated with different surnames and lists the top regions and cities for the presence of each last name.

The study, presented at the Royal Geographical Society's annual conference, was based on research on the distribution of 25,000 Anglo-Saxon surnames in the UK.

Source: The Press Association

29 August 2008

Personal Ancestry Writer II v82

Personal Ancestry Writer II v82 has been released.


• Level 0 FAM tags which have neither subordinate HUSB nor WIFE tags now create a husband with a ? for a surname and an unknown wife, and the family will include any children specified in subordinate CHIL tags.
• Level 1 RIN tags are ignored on import. The GEDCOM standard defines the RIN tag as "Automated Record Id (size 1 to 12). A unique record identification number assigned to the record by the source system. This number is intended to serve as a more sure means of identification of a record between two interfacing systems."
• Level 1 RFN (allowed for individuals only) tags are ignored on import. The GEDCOM standard defines the RFN tag as "Permanent Record File Number (size 1 to 90). The record number that uniquely identifies this record within a registered network resource. The number will be usable as a cross-reference pointer. The use of the colon (:) is reserved to indicate the separation of the 'registered resource identifier' (which precedes the colon) and the unique 'record identifier' within that resource (which follows the colon).
• Level 1 RESN tags (allowed for individuals only) are ignored on import. The GEDCOM standard defines the RESN tag as "Restriction Notice (size 6 to 7) [locked | privacy]. The restriction notice is defined for Ancestral File usage. Ancestral File download GEDCOM files may contain this data. Where locked = Some records in Ancestral File have been satisfactorily proven by evidence, but because of source conflicts or incorrect traditions, there are repeated attempts to change this record. By arrangement, the Ancestral File Custodian can lock a record so that it cannot be changed without an agreement from the person assigned as the steward of such a record. The assigned steward is either the submitter listed for the record or Family History Support when no submitter is listed. privacy = Information concerning this record is not present due to rights of or an approved request for privacy."
• Any subordinate tags for the above-mentioned tags are ignored, as are any for level 1 HUSB, WIFE and CHIL tags. • Date modifiers (ABT, BEF, AFT and BET-AND) are capitalized on export. (Other date modfiers have always resulted in a warning message.)
• Place qualifiers (possibly, probably and near) are spelled out in lower-case on export, rather than using the short forms ?, * and ~.
• Consecutive question marks as well as consecutive underscores entered or imported into a name field are reduced to a single question mark or a single underscore.
• Imported level 1 NOTE tags within the HEAD tag may now contain pointers to note records rather than text. This is non-standard.
• Imported SOUR tags with a pointer to a source record may now have subordinate TEXT lines. This is non-standard.
• A few other non-standard structures exported by Reunion are now imported and a couple of errors are corrected.
• General notes are now exported when the ANSEL or UTF-8 character set is chosen.
• The Reference guide appendix "GEDCOM" has been updated and now includes a grammatical description of the structure of exported GEDCOMs.

Message to Family Tree Maker 2008 Owners

Message from the Family Tree Maker Team to Family Tree Maker 2008 owners:

As we announced in an email to you earlier, we’re giving our loyal Family Tree Maker 2008 customers a free upgrade to 2009. Last year around this time we released Family Tree Maker 2008. There was some initial customer dissatisfaction with the functionality in that release. We heard from customers who felt they didn’t receive what they were expecting. Over the past year, we’ve listened carefully to their feedback and have added many new features in the form of free patches which have been enthusiastically received. Family Tree Maker 2009 has even more features and functions that were not in previous patches.

In the next few weeks, Family Tree Maker 2008 registrants will receive an email with a one-time-use coupon that can be redeemed for a free version of Family Tree Maker 2009. We want you to be completely satisfied and delighted with the product you have purchased. The family history work you do is important, and we want to support you the best we can.


The Family Tree Maker Team

Family Tree Maker 2009 has been released

Family Tree Maker 2009 has been released.

What's new:

• Register and Ahnentafel simplified reports.
• Data Errors report.
• Hourglass Chart.
• Horizontal Hourglass Chart.
• Bow Tie Chart.
• 180-Degree Fan Chart.
• Ability to show siblings within charts.
• Single-page PDF export from charts.
• Ability to add boxes in charts to a “Marked Box” category and modify box settings for these boxes.
• Streamlined data entry from any workspace using a full-featured edit person window.
• Ability to set spouse order (Person menu).
• Ability to order media items for an individual.
• Find Individual tool (Edit menu).
• Find Duplicate Individuals tool (Edit menu).
• Ability to update multiple facts at one time (From Manage Facts or Fact options): change fact types, move description to place or place to description, mark as private.
• Option to delete existing facts in individual and Web merge.
• Import: OLE objects (PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, RTF) from previous FTM versions.
• Track and print your ancestors’ migration paths on interactive maps.
• Places toolbar that allows for researching place names not currently in the file and pinpointing places such as libraries, churches, and courthouses.

28 August 2008


Family Tree Magazine has just launched their new web site a few minutes ago!

Read more at Genealogy Insider.

GedWise 7.2

GedWise 7.2 has been released

There are no release notes.

GedHTree 2.70

GedHTree 2.70 has been released.

Changes :

• Added feature on photo option window allowing entry of photo to display as ghtindex index page thumbnail icon.
• Added feature which recovers all your settings possible from prior GedHTree installation if GedHTree is installed in the same directory, overwriting the prior GedHTree installation. It is not possible to recover your registration code. It will have to be re-entered after you install or re-install GedHTree.
• Corrected problem which in certain instances prevented children belonging to two different family groups from being displayed.
• Corrected minor problem which displayed wrong tree icon on family group page when direct ancestor trees style is selected. The links were correct - just the tree icon number was incorrect.

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.80

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.80 has been released.


• The internal sort used for alphabetical lists can sort 160,000 names now.
• Changed the width of columns on the grids on Edit for some wide screen monitors (to avoid scroll bar at bottom).
• On Edit screen when rearranging order of spouses, it shows the Civil or Religious marriage date also.
• Changed the way the Sources grid shows on some wide screen monitors (to avoid scroll bar at bottom).
• Ahnentafel Book report, the option to 'Show which spouse produced which children' was not showing when printing children of ancestors.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2008.1 build 80821

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2008.1 build 80821 has been released.


• Minor changes to the Dutch, French and Spanish translations.


• Report size estimator now works correctly.
• Separate Family Tree volumes now start page numbering from page 1 (recent versions started at page 2).

MacFamilyTree 5.2.5

MacFamilyTree 5.2.5 has been released.


• Fixes for MobileFamilyTree export (Mobile genealogy for your iPhone or iPod touch).
• Fixes for the Virtual Tree.
• PDF Export improved.
• Generate kekule numbers directly from the ancestor or descendant chart.
• Improved chart editing.
• Many other minor fixes and improvements.

Genea 1.4.2

Genea 1.4.2 has been released.


• Internationalized input of dates.
• Set HelpRequest-handlers for built-in dialogs.
• Use all name-parts.
• Implement Log-Rotation.
• Accept Settings Filename from Commandline.
• Move Genea's Files away from My Documents.
• Update MDAC Check for Windows Vista.
• Genea crashes when reading adoptions from GEDCOM files: fixed.


FamilyTreeFactory has been released.

Changes :

• Person indexes show the birth and death data beside the names to ensure the identification of the persons.
• Creating a very large relatives tree including 50 generations could cause an error. The bug has been corrected.
• Now the program has an automatic update function.
• In the Search for Common Ancestors of Two Persons and Search for Common Descendanst of Two Persons dialogs now the selection of persons is kept while closing the dialogs.
• In the Treeview Options dialog, Graphic Content tab, below the list Excluded Persons there are buttons Add... and Remove.
• The handling of Placeholder records has been renewed from scratch.
• The file of the symbol font 'Genealog-Symbols' has been renamed: FamilyTreeFactory.ttf -> GnlgSmbl.ttf.
• The application data directory has been changed. All settings (Program, Gedcom and Treeview Options, perhaps changed output language files and context sorting files) are saved for each user separately now.
• For perhaps changed output language files a synchronization to new output language files from installations ore updates has been realized.
• For the creation of Date of Birth Lists in the Personal data menu two checkboxes to control the content of the lists has been added: Add reached or current age in parentheses and Only preferred given names.

27 August 2008

Dead Sea Scrolls to be displayed on Internet

Scientists using American space technology have started a huge project to digitally photograph the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known version of the Hebrew Bible, and post it on the Internet for all to see, Israeli authorities said Wednesday.

High-tech cameras using infrared photography are being used to uncover sections of the 2,000-year-old scrolls that have faded over the centuries and become indecipherable, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said.

The project is expected to take about five years and the goal is to make the scrolls accessible to scientists and the general public, Antiquities Authority official Pnina Shor said.

A pilot project started Wednesday and when it is finished, it will be possible to determine how long it will take to digitize the thousands of fragments from about 900 separate documents, Shor said, estimating five years.

The American space connection came through Greg Bearman, who recently retired as principal scientist for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He offered the space-age imaging equipment.

Infrared technology was used to photograph all the findings in 1950, the Antiquities Authority said, but technology has advanced considerably since then.

The first scrolls were discovered by accident in 1947 by a young Bedouin shepherd who was chasing a runaway sheep. They were buried in a cave in Qumran, just above the Dead Sea — one of the most barren areas in the world.

Source: The Associated Press

25 August 2008

Slave labor documents in Nazi archive digitized

A major archive of World War II-era documents in Germany says it has completed digitizing some 6.7 million documents on the Nazis' slave labor program.

The International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen says digitization will help preserve the documents. Copies of the data were transferred Monday to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Memorial, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Institute of National Remembrance in Poland.

Head archivist Udo Jost says the documents attest to the "monstrous dimension" of the slave labor program. They include employment records, patient files, insurance documents and registry cards.

Experts estimate that 12 million people were forced to work for the Nazis or industries that supported Hitler's Third Reich.

Source: International Herald Tribune

22 August 2008

U.S., Canada assist Israeli, Palestinian archivists

U.S. and Canadian archivists launched a project to help Israel and the Palestinians preserve their archives.

Allen Weinstein, the archivist of the United States, and Ian Wilson, his Canadian counterpart, traveled to Israel and the West Bank earlier this year to meet with officials of the Israel State Archives and the Palestine National Archives.

"The purpose of these meetings was to discuss projects that would assist in the digitization of paper records of both Israel and Palestine that would ultimately document the joint heritage of people in the region," said a statement released Thursday. "They are also working with both institutions to develop archival training programs for their staff, and have received enthusiastic support from" U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "and the State Department for these projects."

Source: JTA

21 August 2008

GeneaNet: Upload Your Records

Did you know that you can upload your census documents, parish registers, land ownership and much more on GeneaNet?


Go to the "Archives > Records" page and send a detailed email to GeneaNet to subscribe for free.

When your subscription is validated, go to "My GeneaNet > My Records" to upload and manage your records.


Select the "Upload Records" option and just fill in the form.

If you have a lot of documents to upload

You can mail us a CD-Rom/DVD-Rom at GeneaNet - 44 rue Liancourt - 75014 Paris - FRANCE.

You can also upload your files on our FTP server:

- Using a web browser, enter "", press return/enter to send the browser to the address you just entered, and drag&drop your zip files in the "incoming" directory.

- Using a FTP Client, enter "", enter the word "anonymous" as the user identifier and as the password, select the "incoming" directory, and drag&drop your zip files.

Then, send an email to with your username, the file name and the records description (date, places, type, etc).


You can authorize (or not) GeneaNet Club Privilege Members to download your records from the "My GeneaNet > My Records > Downloading Options" page.

 You can select access rights to your records from the "My GeneaNet > My Records > Transcript Options" page.

20 August 2008

JGen (Joomla Genealogy Database) 0.9.76

JGen (Joomla Genealogy Database) 0.9.76 has been released.


• Added option to click directly from family tree to data of an individual.

Family Tree Maker 2009 will soon be released

Read on the Ancestry Store:

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting on your family tree, Family Tree Maker 2009 can help you create a family tree faster, easier, and better than ever before. The end result is a family history that you and your family will treasure for years to come.

What’s New?

• Create essential genealogy reports (Register and Ahnentafel).
• Share your family tree with several new charting options: hourglass, bow tie, and fan. You can also use custom templates or design your own.
• Streamline your data entry with one-click editing of individuals from any workspace in the software.
• Simplify sourcing with “cut and paste” source citations.
• Track—and print—your ancestors’ migration paths on interactive maps.
• Enjoy faster startup times and improved file performance.
• Find your ancestors more easily with the improved Web Search. You can even choose to ignore irrelevant results.

Diane Haddad says the 2009 version of Family Tree Maker is scheduled for release Sept. 3.

19 August 2008

Legacy Family Tree Now Available in German and Swedish

Legacy Family Tree is now available in two new languages: Deutsch (German) and Svenska (Swedish).

Legacy is also currently available in the following languages:

• Dansk (Danish)
• English (Australia)
• English (Canada)
• English (United Kingdom)
• English (USA)
• Nederlands (Dutch)
• Norsk - Bokmål (Norwegian)
• Norsk - Nynorsk (Norwegian)

Translation is in progress for the following languages: Afrikaans, Chinese, Eesti (Estonian), Español (Spanish), Français (French), Italiano (Italian), Português (Brasil), Português (Portugal), and Suomi (Finnish).

18 August 2008

Mummified remains from 1948 plane crash identified

Nine years of sleuthing, advanced DNA science and cutting-edge forensic techniques have finally put a name to a mummified hand and arm found in an Alaska glacier.

The remains belong to Francis Joseph Van Zandt, a 36-year-old merchant marine from Roanoke, Va., who was on a plane rumored to contain a cargo of gold when it smashed into the side of a mountain 60 years ago. Thirty people died in the crash.

"This is the oldest identification of fingerprints by post-mortem remains," said latent fingerprint expert Mike Grimm Sr., during a teleconference Friday, during which the two pilots who found the remains, genetic scientists and genealogists talked about the discovery.

Twenty-four merchant marines and six crewmen were flying from China to New York City on March 12, 1948, when the DC-4 slammed into Mount Sanford, perhaps because the pilots were blinded by an unusually intense aurora borealis that night. The wreckage disappeared into the glacier within a few days.

The DC-4 was thought to be carrying gold because the merchant marines had just delivered an oil tanker to Shanghai. Though no gold was found, the two commercial airline pilots who discovered the wreckage found themselves on a scientific adventure filled with high-tech sleuthing.

The pilots, Kevin McGregor and Marc Millican, discovered the mummified remains in 1999 while recovering artifacts to identify the wreckage they had found two years earlier.

An Alaska State Trooper flew to the glacier to take possession of the remains, which were flown to Anchorage where the state medical examiner tried to obtain fingerprints. The remains then were embalmed.

Source: Associated Press

Map My Ancestors: View your Family Tree on Google Earth

Map My Ancestors transforms your Family Tree into an interactive map that your friends and relations can view using the powerful mapping capabilities of Google Earth and Google Maps.

Map My Ancestors has been tested with GEDCOM files produced by the following programs:

Family Tree Maker (FTW)
Rootsmagic (including custom tags for Latitude and Longitude)
Legacy (including custom tags for Latitude and Longitude)
FamilySearch PAF
Family Origins
Ancestral Quest
Genes Reunited (GRUExport)
Family Historian
• Easy Tree
• Gene

MacFamilyTree 5.2.4

MacFamilyTree 5.2.4 has been released.


• Improved MobileFamilyTree Syncing (Genealogy on your iPhone/iPod touch).
• Fixes in the Media Browser.
• Several other bug fixes and minor improvements.

14 August 2008

GeneaNet: Publish and Share Family Pictures


GeneaNet - photos et portraits

Go to "My GeneaNet : Galleries : Family Pictures".

Choosing your file format

When saving your images for the Web there are three commonly used file formats: JPEG/JPG, GIF and PNG.

Uploading your family picture

Just fill in the form and click on the "Upload" button. If you upload a picture of a person you don't know, select the "Add this picture in the Unidentified Pictures Gallery" option and GeneaNet users may help you to identify it.

To batch upload your family pictures you must send a ZIP file that contains your pictures and a CSV file that contains the required fields.

Managing your album

You can add/delete/edit any picture at any time.

GeneaNet - photos et portraits


Log in to your online family tree as "wizard" then select an individual and click on the link "Update - Individual, family, media > Send an image".

GeneaNet - envoyer une photo
Note: Pictures are not imported when uploading a GEDCOM file.

You can also attach a picture to an individual of your family tree by entering its filename on the edit form.

GeneaNet - envoyer une photo

13 August 2008

Executed Today

Executed Today is a blog of history, sociology, biography, criminology, law, and kismet — an unrepresentative but arresting view of the human condition across time and circumstance from the parlous vantage of the scaffold.

Executed Today is a daily chronicle — each day the story of an historical execution that took place on this date, and the story behind it.

Today, 13 August 1964: Gwynne Owen Evans and Peter Anthony Allen, England's last hangings.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2008.1 build 80811

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2008.1 build 80811 has been released.


• A logic error whereby individuals could be reported out-of-order and mis-positioned within unrelated groups of individuals pertaining to multiple marriages.

8 August 2008

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.79

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.79 has been released.


• This version allows you to remove some events from the drop down Events list. To do that go to File, Utilities, Limit events to show on Edit. Only remove events that you have not used and will not use.
• Fixed a problem when printing ancestor reports and the starting person had a BK code number larger than 1 million.
• On the Ancestor chart, when making RTF file, shorten names to avoid problems moving events too far right.
• On the Options screen, if you pick Word it checks the folders Office12 and Office13 now.

iFamily for Leopard 2.423

iFamily for Leopard 2.423 has been released.


• HTML Web Pages: Added an option to suppress the display and printing of iFamily For Leopard from the footer on each web page. Added Cmd-W to the Close buttons.
Ancestors and Descendants Diagrams: Added an option to suppress the display and printing of the iFamily for Leopard footer. Added Cmd-W to the Close buttons.
• Context Diagram: Added an option to to allow the user to decide if the Family Dialog should be displayed each time a parent or spouse is added to the Context Diagram. The workflow was changed in V2.419 so that the Family Dialog was always displayed when a parent or spouse was added to the Context Diagram. However, if you have the Family Pane open then displaying the Family Dialog as well is redundant. Version 2.422 now allows the user to decide if these pop-up dialogs should be displayed or not. The default is OFF, as in versions prior to V2.419. Added Cause of Death o the scroll-ball activated text in each person's box.
• Multimedia Objects: Added the following file types to those that may be dropped in the Pictures pane, onto a person in the Context Diagram or into the Picture Editor Dialog: 3g2, 3gp, 3gp2, 3gpp, aac, ac3, adts, amc, amr, asf, asx, atr, avi, bwf, caf, cdda, cel, dat, dib, dif, dv, dvd, flc, fli, gsm, jpe, kar, m15, m1a, m1s, m1v, m2a, m3u, m4b, m4v, m75, mid, midi, MOV, mov, mp2, mp4, mpa, mpeg, mpg, mpm, mpv, MQV, mqv, pls, qcp, qht, qhtm, qif, qt, QT, qtpf, qtz, rtsp, sd2, sdp, sdv, sfil, skin, smf, smi, smil, sml, swa, vfw, wax, wma, wmv, wvx . iFamily will now accept 216 different file types for images, sound, text and movies.
• Merge Two People: Added merge of Source References, confirmations of relationship merges, merge of marriage events. Improved the logic for merging parent, child and spouse relationships. Corrected an error that occasionally occurred when merging two people within the current database. The error was trapped and no harm was done.
• Sources Add/Edit - Notes: Added Cmd-W to the Close button and removed it from the Spell Check button.
• Gedcom Load: Corrected an error in Gedcom Load related to handling of movie files (refer above).

Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Two new filtering options have been added to the Master Source List.
• Switching between adding a Basic Style source and a SourceWriter style source is much easier now.
• Scotland now has its own SourceWriter census templates. These templates, which cover the years 1841-1901, have all the right fields to fill in--specific to Scotland census records.

LongFamilyHistory 1.7.1

LongFamilyHistory 1.7.1 has been released.


• New option added: you can define the number of generations that are shown on charts.
• Chart drawing function of the application has been speeded up.
• LongFamilyHistory is now localized to Russian.
• More changes on the list of settlements.
• Some bugs fixed in the import and in the multilanguage support.

MacFamilyTree 5.2.3

MacFamilyTree 5.2.3 has been released.


• MobileFamilyTree integration (Genealogy on your iPhone/iPod touch).
• Improved the Virtual Globe.
• Improved date parser handling.
• Improved export.
• Improved Tutorial.
• Bug fixes in the Kinship Report.
• Many bug fixes and smaller improvements.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2008.1 build 80803

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2008.1 build 80803 has been released.


• An occasional problem whereby a media item could be assigned to the incorrect family when the media item is subordinate to an event.

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG) 7.0.1

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG) 7.0.1 has been released.

Changes :

• The question of parental data & media on a child's individual page was addressed by adding an option in the General Settings (under Miscellaneous). If you don't change that option, it will behave the same as before, except that the standard events of Marriage & Divorce, which previously were not being displayed for parents, will now be displayed as well. Other options are 1) only display standard events, and 2) Display nothing.
• A few new messages were added to the text files. These have been added in English for all languages until proper translations are contributed.

GEDmill 1.10.4

GEDmill 1.10.4 has been released.


• Attribute alternate name sources to alternate names.
• Option to suppress sources links page.
• List causes of events not in bold and under the event, not beside.
• Fixed problem where occupations exported from FTM2008 were not displayed properly.
• Accept non-conformant dates where entire month is written JUNE not JUN.
• ANSI characters 0x91,0x92,0x93,0x94 display as ',',","

7 August 2008

New: Search Filters

The Search Filters are a useful way to narrow your search and reduce the number of search results.

Specific Filters (only for GeneaNet Club Privilege Members)

- Family Trees: Search the Online Family Trees only instead of the whole GeneaNet Index.

- Transcriptions: Search the transcription database. It will include free transcriptions (represented by a book) and commercial data (represented by a padlock).

- Records: Search the digitized documents.

- Family Pictures: Search the family pictures gallery.

- Forums: Search the surname and regional forums.

- Club Privilege: Search the Collection GeneaNet (free for GeneaNet Club Privilege Members).

GeneaNet - Les filtres de recherche

Latest Entries (for all GeneaNet users)

- Show the GeneaNet Index latest entries only.


- Refine your search: Modify search criteria for different results.

- Subscribe to the Newsletter: Receive a weekly email aggregate of the latest entries that contain the surnames and places of your choice. Read More about GeneaNet Email Alert.

GeneaNet - Les filtres de recherche

[ Search ]