Genealogy Blog

28 November 2008

Fall 2008 Issue Of The Journal Of Genetic Genealogy Released

The Fall 2008 issue of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy (JoGG) has been released and is available for free at the JoGG website.

There is an interesting article on the genetic diversity in Flemish Y-DNA and a comprehensive analysis of mtDNA Haplogroup J. Plus an interview with John Butler and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) members.


FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• At extreme big family files the integrity check sporadically failed. The bug has been corrected. The correction of this serious bug causes the publication of version only two weeks after version
• The export of a card index caused a program crash if the name of the PDF file did already exist and if the file was shown currently in the PDF reader. The bug has been corrected.
• While exporting a card index, in the line of death data the word deceased was missing if the output of death data in person boxes has been deactivated. The bug has been corrected.
• On file cards the birth/baptism and death/burial data of relatives were output in the FamilyTreeFactory date saving format, not in the date format of person boxes selected in the Treeview Options. The bug has been corrected.
• In person boxes multiple numbers (ancestor ore descendant number, record number, ID code) can be output in one single line now; hereby space can be saved. The option can be found in the Treeview Options, Box Content tab, Output Personal Data list, Special Format Options.
• On file cards now the reached age can optionally be output behind the data of death if it could be calculated from the personal data. An activated protection of data privacy will be taken into account. The option can be found in the Export Card Index As PDF File dialog.
• On file cards the marriage ages of the married couple can optionally be output behind the marriage data if they could be calculated from the personal data. An activated protection of data privacy will be taken into account. The option can be found in the Export Card Index As PDF File dialog.
• Arbitrary other files can be attached to PDF files now. The attached files are embedded in the PDF file and can be saved with a suitable PDF reader out of the opened PDF file. So comprehensive archive PDF files can be created by exporting graphics with integrated card index and attached family files and/or GEDCOM files.
• The manual now includes the sections FAQ - Frequently asked questions and General tips which were available only in the forum till now.
• Some small improvements and corrections.

FamilyInsight 2008.11.26.1

FamilyInsight 2008.11.26.1 has been released.


• Fixed some crashes.
• Corrected a typographic error in the help.
• Added the ability to open GEDCOM files that use the Macintosh character set.

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.4

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.4 has been released.


• If you pick Lists, and pick one of the Display options, then if you decide to print that list, there is an option to give a printed heading for the report.
• Individual Timeline, option to show birth and marriage of grandparents.
• When you are on Edit and show a Source or Event Note, it shows the BK code number of the person after the name.
• Fixed problem on the Tree chart, if you entered 1 for number of generations, the program stopped.

26 November 2008

Family Historian 4 Due For Release In February 2009

Calico Pie today released details of version 4 of Family Historian, the UK’s leading genealogy software program. The new version is due for release in February 2009, but thanks to a Christmas promotion, anyone who buys Family Historian 3 now from a named stockist, while stocks last, can get a free upgrade to version 4 when it becomes available (see press release for details).

New features in version 4 include:

• A new hub component window called the “Focus Window”, with views for spouses & children, parents & siblings, ancestors and descendants. It is designed to make adding relatives and moving around a family tree, completely intuitive and easy.
• The main ‘Property Box’ (for data entry) has been reworked so that it too is now easier than ever to use. Users can configure its appearance, customize it, move it, resize it, or ‘dock’ it to the side of the application window.
• Project management capability has been added. The program automatically looks after all your project files for you (including picture files and other multimedia, saved charts and more) in a dedicated folder on your hard disk.
• Multi-level undo/redo lets you make changes in confidence, knowing that if you make a mistake you can easily undo it (this is the most voted-for feature on users’ wish lists).
• Full support for same sex relationships has been added.
• Support for multimedia, and especially pictures, has been significantly enhanced. Thumbnail views have been added to make browsing pictures easy. You can now link pictures to events and attributes. Adding pictures and multimedia is easier than ever, as is browsing all the pictures in your project - thanks to extensive filtering options, including keyword filtering, in the Multimedia Window. Support for pictures has been improved in reports, and there is an all-new multimedia report.
• Charts, reports and queries can all now be saved in PDF format. With charts, you also have the option of saving the entire chart as a one-page PDF file.
• Extensive power-user features have been added, giving power-users much greater scope to extend and customize the program than ever before. Ordinary users can also benefit through the ability to download program extensions written by power users, from Family Historian user websites (e.g.
• Enhancements to charts and diagrams.
• Improved support for website generation and for family tree CD creation.

GeneaNet 'All Relatives': Manage Your Address Book

Stay in touch with family, friends and relatives whith your GeneaNet address book named 'All Relatives'.

'All Relatives' allows you to organise your address book, see if you have been added in a GeneaNet user address book and manage your authorizations, see your family and friends on Google Maps, manage your contact groups and use the color tool to spot them, write private notes.

You can access you address book from the "My GeneaNet" and "Community" menu items.

Enter the first letters of a surname to search for different spellings or enter a GeneaNet username to find out someone.

When adding someone in your address book, an automatic email will be send to them for confirmation.

GeneaNet - Tous Cousins
Address Book

Organize your address book by category (contact, relative, family), see if confirmation is pending.

By clicking on the "View" icon you can see the complete personal information of your contact and enter private notes in your notepad.

GeneaNet - Tous Cousins

See if you have been added in a GeneaNet user address book and manage your authorizations.

GeneaNet - Tous Cousins

See your family and friends on Google Maps.

Your contacts are shown on the map if they gave you the authorization. Note that addresses must strictly fit to the Google Maps address database.

GeneaNet - Tous Cousins

Manage and organize your contact groups: add, modify and remove a group, and select a color to identify a group.

GeneaNet - Tous Cousins

25 November 2008

Obama Could Boost Genealogy Craze In Switzerland

The United States was a magnet for Swiss immigrants - as it was for many Europeans – from the 17th up to the first half of the 20th century.

Many places in the US saw such a large influx of Swiss that they were named after the town or village the immigrants left behind in Switzerland.

In Obama's case, the US president-elect may be able to trace part of his European roots back to a man by the name of Christian Gutknecht, who emigrated from the village of Bischwiller in what is today the French region of Alsace, but at the time was a Bavarian duchy.

A local archivist in Bischwiller claimed in September that Gutknecht's parents probably came from canton Bern at the beginning of the 18th century.

Gutknecht, who was born in 1722, changed his name to Goodnight in America.

While it seems both Germany and Switzerland want to claim Obama as a native son - six generations removed – the story illustrates the growing interest in immigration among historians and the public.


iScrapbook 2.0

iScrapbook 2.0 has been released.


• iScrapKit browser manages your artwork and makes it searchable.
• VIew pages side-by-side to see exactly how they appear in books.
• Two-page spreads for creating dramatic layouts.
• Share your memories with a full-screen animated slideshow.
• Dramatic speed improvements to loading pages, printing, and exporting.
• Export albums in TIFF, JPEG, PNG, and PDF formats.
• Trim To Page hides objects outside the page for a quick preview.
• Six shapes are ideal for cropping photos for use with photo corners.
• Hold down the space bar and drag the mouse to scroll the canvas.
• Multiple objects can be resized together without grouping.
• Paste and Match Style feature matches the style of text nearby.
• Added Duplicate Page, Duplicate Album, Delete Page and Delete Album menu commands.
• Added page selector popup control that shows the number of pages in an album and can instantly jump to a specific page number.
• Added minus buttons above page and album tables.

MacFamilyTree 5.3.4

MacFamilyTree 5.3.4 has been released.


• Improved Timeline including a new look and automatic date range adjustment.
• Improved Statistics with new modes (age when marrying, age of mother and father at birth etc).
• Better Web Export showing families and persons grouped by last name.
• GEDCOM Importer and Exporter improved.
• Many minor fixes and improvements.

FamViewer 1.0.2

Famviewer 1.0.2 has been released.


• Large GEDCOM file import has been improved.

21 November 2008

Two-Century Hunt For Tomb Of Astrologer Copernicus Is Over

DNA studies on two strands of hair and a tooth have ended a centuries old hunt for the tomb Nicolas Copernicus, the 16th century astronomer who shocked the world by declaring that the Earth was not the centre of the Universe, experts said.

The tests confirmed that remains found in Frombork Cathedral in northern Poland in 2005 are those of the man considered the father of modern astronomy, Polish archaeologist Jerzy Gassowski said.

Born in Torun, northern Poland, in 1473 the mathematician and clergyman is celebrated for his heliocentric theory of the universe which puts the Sun, rather than the Earth, at its centre.

Scientists compared genetic material from two strands of hair found in Calendarium Romanum Magnum, a book by Johannes Stoeffler published in 1518 and owned by Copernicus for many years, to a tooth from the skull found in Frombork.

"The two strands of hair found in the book have the same genome sequence as the tooth from the skull and a bone from Frombork," scientist Marie Allen from Uppsala University in Sweden told journalists.

The Calendarium Romanum Magnum and other books that once belonged to Copernicus were taken to Sweden during the 17th Century Polish-Swedish wars and are now held by Uppsala University.


Ancestral Quest 12.1

Ancestral Quest 12.1 has been released.


• Added a suite of features that allow a user to synchronize and compare local data with the Family Tree of (Learn more about these features.).

Second Site 2.2 build 6

Second Site 2.2 build 6 has been released.


• Added the Show Label property to the Map User Item.
• Added the Show Label property to the Calendar User Item.
• Fixed a bug where latitude/longitude parameters were not created properly in Maps and Map Links for users in locales where a comma is used as the decimal point.
• Fixed a bug where the Place Format property of the Map User Item was not working properly • Fixed a problem where new CSS settings triggered a bug in IE6 and IE7 that disrupted the formatting of the Header section in certain Themes including nonzero - red and nonzero - brown; the same setting also caused difficulties with menubar formatting in certain Themes.
• Fixed a bug where setting the Name Option to "Full Name" in the Calendar User Item produced the same output as the "Name (Middle Initials)" setting.
• Fixed a bug in the Calendar User Item where "month events" (partial dates with a month but no day) did not appear in certain months.
• Fixed a bug where the Names.Ignore SortSurname and SortGiven property was not implemented for names in the Place Index.
• Fixed a bug where Second Site issued an error message when attempting to open an existing SDF file if the TMG project specified in the SDF file was invalid; now, the SDF file will open but with the Database not set.
• Fixed a bug where two ALT= parameters were being added to certain IMG tags; the duplication caused HTML validation errors though the images appear properly anyway.
• Changed the Puzzle Piece Theme to force the color of links in calendars to be the same color as the other text; this avoids a problem caused by the dark background of the calendar.
• Fixed a bug where SubPage descriptions would be set to the description of the last Custom Page, if any, that the SubPage contained.

Transcript 2.3.2 build 74

Transcript 2.3.2 build 74 has been released.


• Added Danish translation.

Shrubs 1.3

Shrubs 1.3 has been released.


• Improved GEDCOM parsing code.
• UNICODE and UTF-8 character sets now supported.
• File size limit increased to 1 Mb.
• Marked performance increases during import and application start-up.

FamilyInsight 2008.11.20.0

FamilyInsight 2008.11.20.0 has been released.


• Fixed a crash.
• Added the Unlink command to unlink a local individual from their equivalent on

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.3

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.3 has been released.


• Fixed a problem when making Group sheets HTML files with details excluded for living people, it would sometimes put a wrong source footnote number after a person.
• When running non-English version of BK, the Help, Technical Support screen will show separate buttons to email for English help or foreign help. The help button there links to help topic 56.

20 November 2008

En Garde! Historian Claims To Have Found d'Artagnan

A five-year quest to locate the tomb of d'Artagnan – the inspiration for Alexandre Dumas’s novel The Three Musketeers – has led to a small Dutch church where new research suggests the swashbuckling hero is buried.

Charles de Batz de Castelmore d’Artagnan died during the Siege of Maastricht on June 25, 1673, and, according to a leading French historian, was laid to rest only few kilometres away at Saint Peter and Paul Church in Wolder. "The trail is very precise," said Odile Bordaz, the author of several works on the musketeer.

Ms Bordaz discounted theories that d'Artagnan's body was brought back to France, and is pressing the Dutch authorities and the Catholic Church to approve an archaeological dig of the site. "I would rate the chance of success at 50/50," she said. "But it would be wonderful to find him. It's like a police inquiry."

During the siege the bodies of French officers were buried in the nearest Catholic church and recently discovered documents revealed that d'Artagnan's camp was close to Wolder. This almost certainly meant that he was buried in Saint Peter and Paul Church, Ms Bordaz said.


19 November 2008

Obama Not First U.S. President Of African Ancestry

Research shows at least five U.S. presidents had black ancestors and Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president, was considered the first black president, according to historian Leroy Vaughn, author of Black People and Their Place in World History.

Vaughn's research shows Jefferson was not the only former black U.S. president. Who were the others? Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. But why was this unknown? How were they elected president? All five of these presidents never acknowledged their black ancestry.

Jefferson, who served two terms between 1801 and 1809, was described as the "son of a half-breed Indian squaw and a Virginia mulatto father," as stated in Vaughn's findings. Jefferson also was said to have destroyed all documentation attached to his mother, even going to extremes to seize letters written by his mother to other people.

President Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, was in office between 1829 and 1837. Vaughn cites an article written in The Virginia Magazine of History that Jackson was the son of an Irish woman who married a black man. The magazine also stated that Jackson's oldest brother had been sold as a slave.

Lincoln, the nation's 16th president, served between 1861 and 1865. Lincoln was said to have been the illegitimate son of an African man, according to Leroy's findings. Lincoln had very dark skin and coarse hair and his mother allegedly came from an Ethiopian tribe. His heritage fueled so much controversy that Lincoln was nicknamed "Abraham Africanus the First" by his opponents.

President Warren Harding, the 29th president, in office between 1921 and 1923, apparently never denied his ancestry. According to Vaughn, William Chancellor, a professor of economics and politics at Wooster College in Ohio, wrote a book on the Harding family genealogy. Evidently, Harding had black ancestors between both sets of parents. Chancellor also said that Harding attended Iberia College, a school founded to educate fugitive slaves.

Coolidge, the nation's 30th president, served between 1923 and 1929 and supposedly was proud of his heritage. He claimed his mother was dark because of mixed Indian ancestry. Coolidge's mother's maiden name was "Moor" and in Europe the name "Moor" was given to all blacks just as "Negro" was used in America. It later was concluded that Coolidge was part black.


GeneaNet: 'Friend' And 'Wizard' Access Rights

'Wizard' access rights allow to edit a GeneaNet online family tree (only in expert mode, i.e. GeneWeb). 'Friend' access rights allow to view private data in a GeneaNet online family tree.

When registering on GeneaNet, your password is automatically assigned to your 'Friend' and 'Wizard' accounts but they can be changed later.

Every GeneaNet user can create as many 'Wizard' and 'Friend' accounts as they want.


You can log in as 'Wizard' or 'Friend' from your online family tree sidebar...
...and from any individual page of your online family tree.

GeneaNet - les accès ami et magicienThen, you can log out by clicking the link on the top right of your online family tree homepage. You will not being logged out from your GeneaNet account!
GeneaNet - les accès ami et magicien CREATE 'WIZARD' AND 'FRIEND' ACCESS RIGHTS

'Friend' And 'Wizard' access rights can be created/modified/deleted only by the family tree owner.

GeneaNet - les accès ami et magicien
Select the 'Online Family Tree > Manage > Access Rights" option.

GeneaNet - les accès ami et magicien
You can create as many access rights as you want.

Access rights are very useful for free collaborative family tree and private network for families to share.

GeneaNet - les accès ami et magicien

18 November 2008

Copy Of Famed Lincoln Letter Found In Dallas

A Texas museum hopes a document found in its archives turns out to be an authentic government copy of Abraham Lincoln's eloquent letter consoling a mother thought to have lost five sons in the Civil War.

The famed Bixby Letter, which the Dallas Historical Society is getting appraised as it prays for a potential windfall, has a fascinating history.

The original has never been found. Historians debate whether Lincoln wrote it. Its recipient, Lydia Bixby, was no fan of the president. And not all her sons died in the war.

The letter, written with "the best of intentions" 144 years ago next week, is "considered one of the finest pieces of American presidential prose," said Alan Olson, curator for the Dallas group. "It's still a great piece of writing, regardless of the truth in the back story."


Oldest Nuclear Family 'Murdered'

The oldest genetically identifiable nuclear family met a violent death, according to analysis of remains from 4,600-year-old burials in Germany.

Writing in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), researchers say the broken bones of these stone age people show they were killed in a struggle.

Comparisons of DNA from one grave confirm it contained a mother, father, and their two children.

The son and daughter were buried in the arms of their parents.

Dr Wolfgang Haak, from The Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, in Adelaide, conducted the DNA analysis. He says the scientific evidence supports the idea that they were indeed a family.

"We're really sure, based on hard biological facts not just supposing or assuming."


Heritage Collector Suite 5.1

Heritage Collector Suite 5.1 has been released.


• Create and share PDFs. Select from several image and information options.
• Use the duplicate search tool to find and remove duplicate images to save hard drive space.
• Batch convert and enhance old negative images to positives.
• Share images and collections via e-mail.
• Enlarge or zoom in on an image using the mouse wheel.
• Drag and drop photos and images into collections.
• Use the e-mail request system to receive files from others using Heritage Collector.
• Batch assign information to a group of photos or records.
• New photo enhancement tools.
• Add frames and borders to photos.
• More image conversion options and tools.
• Crop and export to print option.
• Batch resize image size and format.
• Expanded and simplified search options.
• Enhanced advanced slide show options – music, narration, special effects.
• More options to create personalized jewel case inserts for CD/DVD cases.
• Capture image / frame from DVDs and movies.
• Capture slideshows and create TV/DVDs with included software.
• Audacity sound editing software included. Capture sound from old cassettes.
• International date format options.
• Create additional family or individual databases.
• Revised 200 page Digital Family History Guidebook in PDF.
• New “How To” tutorial movies make it easy to learn and use the software.
• Revised and expanded full color manual with screen captures. No computer jargon.
• Updated and expanded Help resources.

Shrubs 1.2

Shrubs 1.2 has been released.


• Improved GEDCOM parsing code.
• Fixed an issue when dealing with single parent (or parent-less) family records.
• ASCII character set is now properly recognized.
• Minor user interface improvements.

MacFamilyTree 5.3.3

MacFamilyTree 5.3.3 has been released.


• Improved Timeline Chart including a new time bar.
• More Generations supported in the Ancestor Chart.
• Improved GEDCOM Importer.
• Bug fixes in the Date Parser.
• Search function improved.
• Localization fixes.
• Many smaller improvements.

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.2

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.2 has been released.


• Two more changes for the Individual Timeline report. The name of the file for editing has been changed from TIME4.DTA to BKTIME4.TXT so that your editor knows it is a text file. (See 6.3.1 below for more information.) Also a new item on the File menu that will let you edit the file directly using Notepad.

17 November 2008

Your Family Tree Awards 2008

The awards, which were announced in Your Family Tree 71(out now), highlighted the best products released in the genealogy world this year, from software and data CDs, to books and services.

Among the winners, Your Old Books & Maps, The Genealogist  and David Waddellhave shown their delight at winning General Data CD, Census and BMD Website, and Fiction Book of the Year respectively, by announcing their victories on their websites.

PhpGedView 4.1.6

PhpGedView 4.1.6 has been released.


• Autocomplete on name/place/record entry.
• Handling of international names.
• Tree-navigator view.
• Installation/configuration wizard.
• Multimedia support.
• Better theme customisation.
• Translation into more languages (Romanian, Portuguese).
• Broswer/server compatibility improvements.

Second Site 2.2

Second Site 2.2 has been released.


• Added the Map User Item for adding maps to a site, including support for the Google Maps, MapQuest, Virtual Earth, and Yahoo! Maps mapping services.
• Added Map Link options to the Place Index User Item.
• Added the Calendar User Item.
• Added the [...] button to the Edit Picture window that opens a file dialog to select an image file, and changed the Picture User Item to allow Pictures to be stored in SubFolders of the Input (-i) folder.
• Added support for image maps to pictures added via the Picture User Item; add a ".map" file (as created by TMG Utility) to the same folder that holds the image file.
• Added the Use Frame Script property to the Default Layout section.
• Added the "Standard Centered" option to the Style.Menu choices.

Continue reading...

14 November 2008

Family Historian 3 Is Now Available In The United States And Canada

Family Historian 3, the highest rated family tree software in the U.K. is now available in the United States and Canada. This top rated software is initially being distributed in the nearly 1,500 Target stores nation-wide.

"Enteractive is thrilled to be bringing what is simply the best genealogy software product in the world to the U.S. and Canadian consumer," Howard Luxenberg, president of Enteractive, stated.

Due to its easy to use features and product quality, Family Historian 3 has won major awards and recognition from the top reviewers including Windows XP Magazine, Family Tree Magazine, Which? Computing, Univadis and others.

Read More

Hiroshima: The Lost Photographs

One rainy night eight years ago, in Watertown, Massachusetts, a man was taking his dog for a walk. On the curb, in front of a neighbor’s house, he spotted a pile of trash: old mattresses, cardboard boxes, a few broken lamps. Amidst the garbage he caught sight of a battered suitcase. He bent down, turned the case on its side and popped the clasps.

He was surprised to discover that the suitcase was full of black-and-white photographs. He was even more astonished by their subject matter: devastated buildings, twisted girders, broken bridges — snapshots from an annihilated city. He quickly closed the case and made his way back home.

At the kitchen table, he looked through the photographs again and confirmed what he had suspected. He was looking at something he had never seen before: the effects of the first use of the Atomic bomb. The man was looking at Hiroshima.

Read this amazing story (plus some photographs)!


FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• If text was entered in the Occupation, Note and Sources data fields in the Personal Data of a Group dialog, every word was in a new line. The bug has been corrected.
• In the Create Relatives Tree dialog the max. number of generations for searching for ancestors of the primary person could be adjusted only to 50. However, the program can process up to 60 generations. The bug has been corrected.
• While creating a Free Geo Object Background in ancestor trees with siblings these siblings have not been included in the background contour. The bug has been corrected.
• On file cards, which contain only the records of the currently shown treeview, the protection of data privacy was not taken into account correctly under certain conditions. The bug has been corrected.
• In person boxes and on file cards the marriage data were output at person-based protection of data privacy if the protection of data privacy of the person in question permitted this. The protection of data privacy of the spouse was not taken into account although the same marriage data also applied to her or him. The bug has been corrected.

Continue reading...

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.1

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.1 has been released.


• Three changes so far for the Individual Timeline report. Duplicate events are removed.(caused by relationships such as having step-parents.) The lines can be longer now. (needed if also printing location names.) Note: for very long lines, you may need to print Landscape. And the user can make changes to the report before printing. To do that, first Preview the report. Then use WordPad to edit the TIME4.DTA file in your data folder. Then return to the Individual Timeline screen and pick File, and pick an option to preview or print the TIME4.DTA file with the changes. More improvements for the Individual Timeline are still being worked on.

FamilyInsight 2008.11.14.0

FamilyInsight 2008.11.14.0 has been released.


• First Release of FamilyInsight.

GEDitCOM II 1.0b2

GEDitCOM II 1.0b2 has been released.


• No release notes.

LongFamilyHistory 2.1.0

LongFamilyHistory 2.1.0 has been released.


• New Family Group Sheet.
• Some bugs fixed in the Story Editor.

12 November 2008

Legacy Charting 7.0.120

Legacy Charting 7.0.120 has been released.


• Short location names can now be used (one of the most-requested features).
• Removing leading commas in locations is now available.
• New link added on the Background Options screen to give you easier access to the new background pictures that you can download.
• Scanning your hard drive and other drives is now easier.

GeneaNet: Link To Us

Do you like GeneaNet? Then link to us and help spread the word about our site!

GeneaNet Logo

Choose a GeneaNet logo and copy and paste the code into your personal website.

GeneaNet Search Engine

To place our search engine on your website, just copy and paste the code where you want it to appear. You can allow your visitors to search our database or your GeneaNet online family tree!

RSS Feeds

You can subscribe to all the GeneaNet Genealogy Blog RSS feeds by clicking on the links from the "Link To Us" page.

[ Link To Us ]

11 November 2008

The Bodies Of Australian And British Soldiers Buried In A Mass Grave In Northern France During World War I Are To Be DNA Tested

The remains of up to 400 Australian and British First World War soldiers, which were discovered in a group burial at Fromelles, France in May 2008, are to be recovered and re-interred in individual graves.  These soldiers lost their lives in the Battle of Fromelleswhich was the First Australia Imperial Forces first major offensive on the Western Front; taking place between 19 and 21 July 1916.

The Army has dedicated a team to manage the Australian aspects of this project, which includes the allocation of resources, coordination of memorial ceremonies, and identification of potential relatives.

This website will endeavour to keep the Australian public informed throughout the span of the project.

If you think your relative may be buried at Fromelles, you can register by entering your details online.

Volunteers Bring To Life The World Of The Victorian Poor

Volunteers around England and Wales are embarking on an exciting project to unearth the often sad and gruesome world of the Victorian poor.

Led by The National Archives, the 'Living the Poor Life' project will involve more than 200 local and family historians in cataloguing memos, letters and reports held within the records of 22 Poor Law Unions.

Over the next 18 months the volunteers will catalogue more than 100,000 pages of documents dating from the mid-1830s to around 1850.

From the running of the workhouses, to tales of family breakdown, greed and corruption, these records provide a detailed snapshot of a key period in Britain´s history.

The scanned records will be eventually be made available on The National Archives' website. Local and family historians will be able to search by name, place, date and event, providing a level of detail not found in any other records from this period.

'While the 19th century saw a huge growth in Britain's economy and industrial capacity, not everyone shared the material benefits,' says Dr Paul Carter, Principal Modern Records Specialist at The National Archives.


Priceless World War II Films Discovered

An amazing collection of artifacts from World War II was discovered by the grandsons of a veteran from that War. Their grandfather was a photographer for the war effort documenting the preparation for and aftermath of D-Day. The film canisters found in his garage contain a wide array of footage ranging from aerial dog fights to personal footage of the veteran's own wedding.

Video of the story and film footage after the jump (from MSNBC):

Continue reading...

10 November 2008

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.0

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.0 has been released.


• Individual Timeline report under Other on the report menu.

FamilyInsight 2008.11.8.2 beta

FamilyInsight 2008.11.8.2 beta has been released.


• Fixed a crash when loading data for a Separate operation.
• Fixed some crashes when searching FamilySearch.
• Fixed problem with no abbreviation for Christening event in PAF.

7 November 2008

UK National Archives Puts Naval WWI Service Records Online

The service records of 40,000 members of the World War One Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) are now accessible online via the The National Archives.

Previously only available to those visiting The National Archives in Kew, family historians can now trace their WWI naval ancestors through this fantastic new online resource.

Records are held for ratings (seamen who did not hold a commission) who joined between 1903 and 1919, and officers who signed up between 1914 and 1922.

The digitised documents (found in ADM 337) provide a range of information on each individual, including name, division, date of birth, former occupation, ships and units served in, and period of service. Other fascinating details for family historians are given, such as height, hair colour and eye colour, along with remarks about character and ability. In some cases a record may also reveal the person´s place of birth. The officers´ records include details of promotions, honours and awards from World War One.


Secret Diaries Of British Hangman Henry Pierrepoint Revealed

British Hangman Henry Pierrepoint kept meticulous notes of the 105 prisoners he killed over his nine-year career as state hangman, grading them on the thickness of their neck.

The macabre notebook contains details about each, including their height and weight - always adding a macabre description of the strength of their neck ranging from "very strong" to "feeble".

But the neat handwriting in the journal, which is due to be sold at Frank Marshall auctioneers in Knutsford, Cheshire, next week, became increasingly illegible by the end of his foreshortened career, with pages often littered with ink smudges.

The father of Albert Pierrepoint, Britain's most prolific executioner, and brother of fellow hangman Thomas Pierrepoint, Henry Pierrepoint carried worked as a hangman from 1901 to 1910 when he "retired" abruptly at the age of 32.

His sudden departure from the job remained a mystery for over 90 years and Albert Pierrepoint never spoke about it.

It was finally resolved seven years ago when documents released by the Public Record Office showed that he had been struck off the official Home Office list after turning up for an execution at Chelmsford Prison in July 1910 "considerably the worse for drink".

Now his pocket book provides the first evidence that this may not have been an isolated incident.


6 November 2008

LongFamilyHistory 2.0.0

LongFamilyHistory 2.0.0 has been released.


• New: Use bookmarks for navigating on the charts.
• Improved: Join pictures to a person, not only to an event.
• Fix: Some bugs fixed in the URL-encoding and in the export function.

Simple Family Tree 1.31

Simple Family Tree 1.31 has been released.


• Shows correct age of an individual within his birth-month.

The British Cartoon Archive

The British Cartoon Archive is located in Canterbury at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library. It has a library, archive, gallery, and is a registered museum dedicated to the history of British cartooning over the last two hundred years.

It holds more than 130,000 original editorial, socio-political, and pocket cartoons, supported by large collections of comic strips, newspaper cuttings, books and magazines. The collection of original artwork dates back to 1904 and includes work by W.K.Hasleden, Will Dyson, Strube, David Low,Vicky, Emmwood, Michael Cummings, Ralph Steadman, Mel Calman, Nicholas Garland, Chris Riddell, Carl Giles, Martin Rowson, and Steve Bell, amongst many others.

Available online at

GeneaNet Transcriptions: New Features And Guidelines

More than 380,000 certificates have been uploaded in the GeneaNet Family Trees and about 30,000 have been transcripted.

Most of them are French. But everyone can upload and share their own certificates!

GeneaNet is the only genealogy website where you can add certificates to individuals in your family tree. Feel free to take advantage of this powerful feature!


Line feeds must be respected. Lines are automatically numbered while entering the transcription.

The capitalization used in the original certificate should be preserved in the names and places.

In some cases the transcriber will not be able to make out what is written in the certificate. A dash (-) can be used to indicate an unreadable character.

Abbreviated given names and initialsshould be transcribed as they appear in the original certificate.


See the Transcription Help Requests if you want to collaborate and help genealogists to transcribe their certificates.

You can now sort the requests by date of originial certificates. If you are a transcription expert you can select the oldest documents...


You can now view and remove your own pending transcription requests from this page.

5 November 2008

Win One Of Ten Family Tree Maker 2009 Prizes

This month’s Your Family Tree competition is giving you the chance to win one of ten Family Tree Maker 2009 packages.

To have a chance of winning one of these exclusive prizes just answer the following question.

Canada's Archives Shares 19th-Century Photos On Flickr

Canadian images and documents from the 19th century and early 20th century are getting the 21st century treatment on the online photo sharing network Flickr as part of a new project by Library and Archives Canada.

The project aims to make the heritage artifacts more accessible, the federal government agency says.

About 80 scanned photos and documents of Irish-Canadian history have been posted and tagged with geographic information for the public to comment on and tag as part of the 2008 Irish Studies Symposium. The two-day meeting of historians, students, genealogists, and researchers wrapped up Tuesday in Ottawa.

Kyle Browness, a project manager at Library and Archives Canada, said the ability to get archival documents "out there" and the interactivity of the medium are what makes the site attractive.


Representative List Of The Intangible Cultural Heritage Of Humanity Comes Into Being In Istanbul

The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was established today with the integration into this List of the 90 cultural elements that were proclaimed Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

Twenty-six of these elements are in the Asia Pacific Region, 20 in Europe, 19 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 18 are located in Africa, and seven in the Arab region. Nine of them are shared by two or more countries.

The integration ceremony took place in Istanbul during the session, from 4 to 9 November, of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the executive body in charge of the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 2003. The Convention has been ratified by 104 States to date.


4 November 2008


GenSmarts has been released.


• Support for FTM 2009 integration.
• Many more suggestions.
• Improved screen positioning on launch.
• Improved handling of poor internet connections.

GEDitCOM II 1.0b1

GEDitCOM II 1.0b1 has been released.


• No release notes.

Kith and Kin Pro 2.1.4

Kith and Kin Pro 2.1.4 has been released.


• The default Database Root Folder is now C:\KKProData to be more Vista-friendly. Existing installations are not affected.
• Lower-case surnames are now allowed for aliases.
• The GEDCOM import function did not resolve @@ back to @ when they appeared in notes.

TreeDraw 3.1.6

TreeDraw 3.1.6 has been released.


• Moved the default temporary database folder to "C:\TreeDraw_Temp" to avoid problems with long "My Documents" path names.

FamilyInsight 2008.11.3.1 beta

FamilyInsight 2008.11.3.1 beta has been released.


• Fixed some crashes when searching FamilySearch.

MacFamilyTree 5.3.2

MacFamilyTree 5.3.2 has been released.


• Greatly improved performance in mostly all areas.
• Improved GEDCOM importer including a warning dialog showing errors and not parseable dates.
• Improved GEDCOM exporter which supports date reformatting.
• Date Handling improved to support more date formats.
• Improved handling of date prefixes when using the date reformatting feature.
• Person and Family lists show entries with missing coordinates for events.
• More customizable user interface colors in the preferences.
• Many more bugfixes and minor enhancements. Launched

Ben Sayer, author of, has launched

"I was concerned that the Mac community would be confused or just not happy with my support of the PC. I decided to go ahead because my interest is helping genealogists and family historians regardless of their computer platform choice.

I remain committed to improving the state of genealogy on the Mac. I think can, ironically, help toward that end as well."

3 November 2008

PhpGedView 4.1.6 pre-released

PhpGedView 4.1.6 is scheduled for release in the week commencing 17th November 2008.

The purpose of this "pre release" version is to gain feedback from users on a wider range of server platforms (OS, Webserver, database type, database version, PHP version, etc.)

1 November 2008

Family Historian 3.1 Has Been Awarded Family Tree Software Of The Year

Family Historian 3.1 has been awarded Family Tree Software of the Year, by Your Family Tree Magazine.

Beating both Legacy and Roots Magic to the winners podium. It was praised for the ability to enter data direct from diagrams and it's flexibility in handling multi-media.


Irish Family History Archive Data Strategy

A data strategy to develop an online archive of Irish records has been launched.

The initiative is the brainchild of and is intended to assist family historians and ordinary members of the public who wish to trace their family history.

The contact data management project will involve the uploading of Irish Wills 1536-1857 and the Irish Genealogical Guide as well as Land Records Ireland among other sources.

The website's 10 million records will be online by the end of the year.