Genealogy Blog

31 December 2008

GeneaNet: Backup Your Data

For anyone who uses a computer on a regular basis, data backup is very important. Your GeneaNet data is backed up on solid state backup servers in our secure data center, but what if you accidentally remove individuals from your family tree?

To export your family tree, select My GeneaNet : Online Family Tree : Save.

GeneaNet - Sauvegarder ses données
Export your complete family tree:

Available file formats are:

GW: GeneWeb File Format. Only if GeneWeb has been installed on your computer or if you only need a data backup.

GED: GEDCOM File Format. If you want to share you data or import it in a genealogy software.

ZIP: Zipped GEDCOM File Format.

Export a family line:

GeneaNet - Sauvegarder ses données
You can export the ancestors or the descendants of any individual.

Type in the name and first name as they appear on your online family tree or the GeneWeb number of the individual.

To find out the GeneWeb number, log in to your online family tree as Wizard, then click on the "Update Individual" link. Full name and GeneWeb number will be shown at the top of the individual page.

GeneaNet - Sauvegarder ses données
GeneaNet - Sauvegarder ses données
GeneaNet - Sauvegarder ses données

30 December 2008

DNA Tracks Descendants Of Alaska Mariner Who Lived 10,000 Years Ago

An ancient mariner who lived and died 10,000 years ago on an island west of Ketchikan probably doesn't have any close relatives left in Alaska.

But some of them migrated south and their descendants can be found today in coastal Native American populations in California, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina.

That's some of what scientists learned this summer by examining the DNA of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians in Southeast Alaska.

Working with elders at a cultural festival in Juneau, they interviewed more than 200 Native Alaskans who allowed them to swab tiny amounts of saliva from their cheeks to capture their mitochondrial DNA, the genetic material that's passed from mothers to children.

Bones of the ancient Alaskan were first discovered in 1996 by Alaska paleontologist Tim Heaton during an archaeological survey on the northern tip of Prince of Wales, the nation's third largest island.

They are among the oldest human remains ever found in North America - a 13,000-year-old woman's partial skeleton was discovered 50 years ago in an island cave off the south coast of California - and the oldest ever discovered in Alaska.


MyBlood 1.0 alpha 2

Full Featured - Windows, Mac - Purchase

MyBlood 1.0 alpha 2 has been released.


• Encoding for allmost every language for GEDCOM import and export.
• Reports for Person and Family Group.
• Export web pages (to extend in a later Alpha).
• Better UI refresh for Mac users.
• Improved Calendar.
• Next to these new features, there are a number of bug fixes.

MacFamilyTree 5.3.7

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.3.7 has been released.


• Full English user guide added.
• Fixes and many performance enhancements in the Virtual Tree.
• Minor bug fixes and other minor improvements.

LongFamilyHistory 2.3.0

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

LongFamilyHistory 2.3.0 has been released.


• Print preview function.
• Date formatting.

Legacy Family Tree

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Book Reports - Enabled the inclusion of the address for individuals. (Previously only the address for the birth, chr, death, and burial were available.)


• Book Reports - When the Other Spouses option is turned off, meaning you only want one spouse shown for each person, we now include the Preferred Spouse instead of the first spouse.


• Book Reports - Fixed a problem where the title page would overprint the first page of the report.
• Descendant Narrative Report - Fixed a picture overlapping issue.
• GEDCOM Export - Fixed an error 3163 situation.

FamilyInsight 2008.12.27.0

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2009.12.27.0 has been released.


• Fixed problem with duplicate spouses showing in some circumstances when searching on
• Fixed a crash when opening a file containing a person with no name.

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.6

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.6 has been released.


• (fixed) When adding a witness to an event, if you have the option set to add a note to the witness, it was putting the BK code number of the person twice in the note.
• (changed) When doing a backup, if a picture was attached to a source, and the picture is not found, it will give a more detailed description of the error now.
• (changed) If the option is set that generally the wife keeps her maiden name, then the Individual Timeline and the Witness list will check the alternate names to see if she has a current or married name to print.

22 December 2008

Out-of-Africa Migration May Have Involved More Men Than Women

Men may have outnumbered women during the human migration out of Africa, according to a new paper appearing in yesterday’s advance online version of Nature Genetics.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School, the Broad Institute, and the National Human Genome Research Institute assessed more than 130,000 SNPs and a billion bases of sequence data representing individuals of West African, European, and East Asian descent. Together, the X chromosome and autosomal chromosome data suggest that the effective female population size was unexpectedly low when humans migrated from Africa to other parts of the world some 60,000 years ago.


The Modern Software Experience's GeneAwards 2008

Tamura Jones has announced his GeneAwards 2008.

The GeneAwards highlight the best, the worst and special achievements of the year. There are also quite a few honourable and dishonourable mentions.

Some highlights:

RootsMagic 4 too late to qualify
Legacy Charting wins Best New Genealogy Product of 2008
Google Earth wins Best Genealogy Product of 2008
The Master Genealogist 7 is declared Worst Genealogy Product of 2008, FTM 2009 gets a dishonourable mention is Worst Genealogy Organisation of 2008
FamilySearch gets a dishonourable mention for continued neglect of the GEDCOM specification
MyHeritage Family Tree Builder 2.0 and DynasTree Home Edition both get a dishonourable mention for being a danger to your data
• Steven Morse get an honourable mention for his One Step Web Pages

Quick GeneAwards 2008 overview:

Best of 2008
• Best Genealogy Product of 2008: Google Earth
• Best New Genealogy Product of 2008: Legacy Charting
• Best Genealogy Organisation of 2008: Privacy International

Worst of 2008
• Worst Genealogy Product of 2008: The Master Genealogist 7
• Worst New Genealogy Product of 2008: Map My Ancestors 1.0
• Worst Genealogy Organisation of 2008:

Special Award
• Most Innovative Product of 2008: Relatives 1.0

See also the GeneaBlog Awards

Norwegian TV Producers Seek Norwegian-Americans

A television production company wants to give Norwegian-Americans in the Midwest a chance to go to their ancestor's homeland.

Producers of Norway's version of "American Idol" and other shows say they're looking for outgoing Americans with Norwegian ancestry to go to Norway and compete for a $50,000 prize in "The Great Norway Adventure."

Participants must be 18 to 60 years old and can't have traveled to Norway before, apparently so the producers can film their initial reactions to all things Norwegian.

The deadline to submit an application to audition for the series is Jan. 25.


21 December 2008

The GeneaNet Genealogy Blog Has Won A GeneaBlog Award!

The GeneaNet Genealogy Blog has been awarded the Best Genealogy Software News Blog by the Modern Software Experience's GeneaBlog Awards!

"No other blog has so many announcements about genealogy software. Jean-Yves Baxter provides news on both major and minor software updates for all genealogy software, from well-known big names to obscure little ones.

This is the blog for staying up to date on updates."

Many thanks to Tamura Jones for the appreciation and to all of the GeneaNet Genealogy Blog readers!

Happy Holidays!

19 December 2008

Ex-Archivist At Mariners' Museum Gets 4 Years In Prison

The former archivist at The Mariners' Museum who stole thousands of museum documents and sold them on the Internet was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison.

Lester F. Weber, of Newport News, sold at least 3,500 documents — from collections he was supposed to oversee — on eBay under his wife's name. The items included everything from brochures and boarding passes for old ships to a lawsuit against the company that owned the Titanic.

Weber made $172,357 on the fraudulent sales between 2002 and 2006, according to court filings. But the museum estimates the worth of the stolen items at more than $500,000.


Map My Ancestors 1.8.0

Map My Ancestors 1.8.0 has been released.


• Now includes a facility to export all your Family Tree places to your favourite GPS and Sat Nav formats. Tom Tom (OV2), Garmin (GPX), Navman (CSV) and Navigon (CSV) POI (Points Of Interest) files are supported. Get your Sat Nav to alert you when you are driving near significant places from your Family Tree!

Famviewer 1.0.4

Famviewer 1.0.4 has been released.


• Improved parsing and display of Sources and Addresses.
• Can now easily delete the Kennedy sample file.
• Improved compatibility with GEDCOM files generated by
• Improved compatibility with some custom tags used by Reunion (HEAL, HIST).

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.5

Brother’s Keeper 6.3.5 has been released.


• (fixed) Reasonableness report. If father died before child was born, it was usually allowing 9 months extra time, however it sometimes did not allow 9 months if the death date of the father had a single digit day that did not have a space before it.
• (changed) Reasonableness report. There is a new option to have it ignore certain people. Press F1 for information while on that report.
• (new) New utility under File, Utilities, Global Event Sort. It can sort events by date or type of event. This is useful if you do a Gedcom Import and the events were not in the correct order.
• (fixed) The Picture Summary was not printing the heading for family pictures.

Geves 1.3.20

Geves 1.3.20 has been released.


• Inbound passenger list Source Document, and downloading from Ancestry.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 81218

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 81218 has been released.


• Improvements to TCGR 2009 Beta, including multiple HTML image pages capability for faster browser loading.

18 December 2008

GeneaNet Wish You A Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year's Eve!

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year's Eve!

Many thanks to all of you for supporting GeneaNet!

Now, it's time to set some genealogy goals for the upcoming year and we hope that 2009 will bring you many new ancestors and lost relatives!

Half Of Brits Have Immigrant Ancestors

A total of 30 million Brits have foreign ancestors, with 23 per cent originating from Ireland.

One in five Brits is of French or German descent with more than half able to trace their roots to outside the UK, according to new research.

Britain's foreign descendents originate from the following countries (in percentage): 1. Ireland 23%, 2. France 10%, 3. Germany 9%, 4. Scandinavia 6.5%, 5. Canada 5%.


Voice From The Past: Listen To A Family Christmas Recording Hidden Since The Great War

Ghostly voices from a family celebrating Christmas together during the First World War have been heard for the first time in nearly a century.

Eight phonograph cyclinders, made of beeswax and soap, feature the Smith family from Salisbury in Wiltshire singing carols and sicussing 'daddy being away at war.'

'Even more astonishing is the realisation that the older people could have been born as far back as 1850.'

Click Here to listen to the incredible 95-year-old recordings

17 December 2008

Cities Of The World Then And Now

The Telegraph features a picture gallery of Cities Of The World, comparing late 16th and early 17th-century maps and engravings with current satellite images.

GeneaNet: Personalize Your Online Family Tree

You may want to enhance the appearance of your online family tree, to personalize it or make it easier to use. Below are a few quick suggestions to do so.

How to personalize your online family tree:

Login to your GeneaNet account.

From the home page, click the "Online Family Tree" menu, and select the "Personalize" option.

Home Page

Welcome Message
This message will be displayed in your family tree home page.

Search Form
You can select the search form that will be used by your family tree visitors:

- Basic: Surname, First Name, Alphabetical List
- Advanced: Surname, First Name, Place, Alphabetical List
- Titles: Surname, First Name, Title

Visitor Counter
Display or hide your visitor counter.

Personal Message

Family Tree Title
Enter a new title for your online family tree. If none, default title will be your full name.

Welcome Message
Enter a header and a footer to be displayed on every page of your online family tree.


Online Family Tree Theme
Fly over the thumbnails to see a preview of the available family tree themes, then click to select.Home Page Picture (GeneaNet Club Privilege Members Only)
Fly over the thumbnails to see a preview of the available home page pictures, then click to select.Banner (GeneaNet Club Privilege Members Only)
You can upload your own banner. Image Format: JPG, Max. Size: 250 KB, Height: Min. 100 px/Max. 120 px.
Banner image will repeat. Think about large screens.

Presentation & Browsing

Individuals Theme
Fly over the thumbnails to see a preview of the available themes, then click to select.

The most comprehensive theme displays:

- Birth Place & Date
- Marriage Place & Date
- Death Place & Date
- Occupation
- Name of Parents
- Name of Children and their Spouses
- Name of Grand-Children and their Spouses
- Name of Spouses
- Name of Siblings and their Spouses
- Name of Half-Siblings and their Spouses
- Notes
- Attached Documents
- Four Generation Family Tree Chart with Sosa-Stradonitz Numbering System.

Display Options
Select the number of generations to be displayed in an ascending tree/a descending list, the maximum number of displayed relatives, the number of individuals to be shown in the "statistics", etc.

[ Personalize Your Online Family Tree ]

16 December 2008

Modern Software Experience: Genealogy Software Reviews

In his website called Modern Software Experience, Tamura Jones posts the most comprehensive and accurate reviews of genealogy software ever.

So far, he has reviewed Family Tree Maker 2008, 2008 SP3 and 2009, Family Historian, Long Family History, It’s Our Tree, FamilyTreeFactory, MyBlood, Legacy, and Heredis.

via Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog

Genome-Wide Association Studies Must Account For Ancestry

A new study published in Human Molecular Genetics suggests that scientists using the latest tools to scan the human genome must pay attention to ancestry when analyzing and interpreting their results.

Chao Tian and Michael F. Seldin, MD, PhD, of University of California Davis, and Peter K. Gregersen, MD, of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, have identified allele frequency differences among ethnic groups and subgroups that can result in statistical errors in genetic studies and alter the outcome of the study.

Dr. Gregersen, head of the Feinstein’s Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics, said that about half of the Caucasian people in the US who were asked where in Europe their ancestors came from did not have a clue. Dr. Gregersen collaborated with Dr. Seldin to identify a few thousand genetic markers that are powerful enough to point to the region where an individual’s ancestors once resided, a tool that is much more reliable than asking a person about his or her ancestry.



MyBlood is a new software that runs on Mac OS X 10.5 for Intel and PowerPC as well as Windows XP and Vista.

The The Alpha version of MyBlood is available for free but you need to register to get a free License Key.

12 December 2008

Atlas Of True Names

The Atlas of True Names reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings, of the familiar terms on today's maps of the World and Europe.

For instance, where you would normally expect to see the Sahara indicated, the Atlas gives you "Sea of Sand", derived from Arab. es-sahra "desert, sea of sand".

The 'True Names' of 1500 cities, countries, rivers, oceans and mountain ranges are displayed on these two fascinating maps, each of which includes a comprehensive index of derivations.

Once the names have been taken back to their roots and translated into English, it is immediately apparent that our world has an extraordinary affinity with Middle Earth, the mythical continent where the events of Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ are played out.

German National Archive Posting Millions Of Photos To Wikipedia

The German National Archive announced on Thursday that some 100,000 digitalized historical photos were available for the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia in a dual project that will eventually make about 11 million photos available for public use.

The archive decided which photos to release first based on their experience of the most popular requests and also worked with the Federal Press Office on the project. Images include documentation of the Holocaust, Weimar Republic era, public demonstrations and other important events in contemporary history.

The digital photos will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, where users will then be able to attach them to corresponding entries on Wikipedia.

Source (via Genealogy Reviews Online)

MacFamilyTree 5.3.6

MacFamilyTree 5.3.6 has been released.


• Alignment in the Virtual Tree vastly improved.
• Generation and rendering performance of the Virtual Tree improved.
• Virtual Globe marks events out of the date range.
• MobileFamilyTree sync improved.
• Toolbar in the main window is configureable now.
• GEDCOM importer improved.
• Various other minor fixes and improvements.

11 December 2008

Butch Cassidy Had Brit Ancestry

American outlaw Butch Cassidy had Geordie roots, it has emerged. His mum was born in Newcastle and lived there for decades before moving to the United States.

Butch's Geordie link was discovered by fan Mike Bell, who saw the movie as a teenager - in Newcastle, reports the Sun.

Mike, now 52, said: "I've been from Utah to Argentina looking for information on Butch. All the time the house where his mum lived was around the corner."

Butch, christened Robert Leroy Parker, was born in Utah in 1866.

But according to census records, mum Ann Gillies - whose parents were Scottish - lived for years in Brandling Village at Jesmond, Newcastle, before emigrating to start a new life in New York.

She later moved to Utah and wed Butch's dad Maximilian Parker in 1865.


The British Colonist 1858-1910

On December 11th, 1858, in the midst of a gold rush, a man with the improbable name Amor de Cosmos inked up an old hand press and launched a newspaper -- the British Colonist -- into the world. Published in Victoria, it became the leading paper in the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, and was the paper for the province of British Columbia until the emergence of Vancouver and competitors in the 1890s.

The British Colonist website contains all the issues of the British Colonist (also called The Daily British Colonist, the Daily Colonist, and other variants) from its first issue in 1858 to June of 1910.

10 December 2008

English Reports 1220-1873 Available Free Online

The English Reports from 1220 to 1873 are available online for free on CommonLII.

The English Reports is the oldest collection of the most authoritative, comprehensive law reports in publication. Over 100,000 of the most important cases reported between 1220 and 1873 compiled into one collection.

These reports are available as printable PDFs that replicate the pagination and appearance of the hard copies exactly.

The database is based on data provided by Justis.

GeneaNet 'All Relatives' Improved

The new version of GeneaNet 'All Relatives' has launched a few days ago! It provides a more attractive graphical user interface, improved handling of your address book, and numerous other improvements.

GeneaNet 'All Relatives' is an easy way to share with your family members and relatives.

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


Search Form

Enter a surname, a GeneaNet username or an email address to find out someone.

You can sort the search results list by alphabetical order or by date of last connection.

Search Filters

In the search results list, you can click the first letter of the name of interest or the contact group of interest.

Contact Information

Available contact information:

- Picture/Avatar
- Name & GeneaNet username
- Place (can be hidden by the user)
- Email Address
- Number of contacts (click the link to view the contact list)
- Group

You can also add notes, change the group and remove the contact from your address book.

Your notes are private and can't be read by anyone but you.

Your contact can be shown in a list, in a picture gallery and in Google Maps.


Available preferences are:

- Allow contacts to view your postal address
- Allow contacts to view your address book
- Activate the GeneaNet 'All Relatives' Splash Screen


Four default groups have been created (Family, Relative, Contact and Misc) but you can add as many new group as needed!

Available features:

- Sort user-defined groups by clicking the arrows
- Modify the name of a group
- Select a color to spot your groups

We are actually working on the GeneaNet 'All Relatives' next features: adding of the common ancestors and improved messaging (privacy and topics).

[ All Relatives ]

9 December 2008

Shipwreck May Hold Key To Turks And Caicos' Lineage

The U.S.-funded archeologists said Monday they are confident the oaken timbers submerged under 9 feet of water off East Caicos island are the remains of the Spanish slave ship Trouvadore, which sank in the Atlantic archipelago south of the Bahamas in 1841.

The Trouvadore carried 193 African captives and was headed to Cuba where they were to be enslaved in the sugar cane fields, historical documents indicated. It went down after hitting a reef and those aboard managed to wade ashore.

Like their neighbors in the Bahamas and many Caribbean islands, most of the 30,000 modern residents of the Turks and Caicos are thought to be descended from African slaves. But the research suggests many could be descended from the Trouvadore passengers, who were spared enslavement by the shipwreck.

"The people of the Turks and Caicos have a direct line to this dramatic, historic event. It's how so many of them ended up being there," said Keith, who worked in the Turks and Caicos for 30 years.

Source (Thanks Ann!)

PathWiz! 8.1

PathWiz! 8.1 has been released.

New Features:

• Rename project files ( tables etc) where a very long filename has been accepted in a TMG process for a new or restored project ( often the folder name is given and used for the files).
• Exhibit Conversion - Convert Internal Image and Text file to external in folder of choice.
• Exhibit Conversion - Convert all internal /external Exhibits to OLE ( Linked or Embedded).
• Exhibit Conversion - Convert all OLE to external Exhibits either in TMG file classifications or as 'other' to OLE path.
• Exhibit Conversion - Convert all OLE to external Exhibits either in TMG file classifications or as 'other' to new selected path.
• File Finder - as used in the [View/Modify] browse grids when clicking on Fname2 and selecting Search for Candidates.


• allexhib.csv upgraded to include the contents of ALL Exhibit Log fields - filenames - etc.
• Optional processor priority Control - Low to Realtime.
• File Finder - via a range of criteria.
• Dynamic logging - visible on screen option.

Map My Ancestors 1.7.3

Map My Ancestors 1.7.3 has been released.


• Fixed issue with sorting by Baptism date that could cause an unhandled exception.

MacFamilyTree 5.3.5

MacFamilyTree 5.3.5 has been released.


• Database Maintenance improved: Names can be now reformatted into different styles.
• Virtual Tree can be saved as a high resolution PNG now.
• The user interface can now be configured to show Partner 1/Partner 2 instead of Husband/Wife.
• Improved automatic date range calculation for the Timeline pane.
• Improved Statistics pane.
• Other minor fixes and improvements.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 81209

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 81209 has been released.


• Fixes and improvements to TCGR 2009 Beta, primarily for large GEDCOM files.

7 December 2008

Pocket Genealogist 3.31

Pocket Genealogist 3.31 has been released.


• Device/Desktop: Support for Legacy Version You must re-import/sync your Legacy databases.
• Desktop: Support for Family Tree Maker 2009.
• Desktop: Better support for image imports with GEDCOM's created with DISGEN 8.
• Device/Desktop: Update to Norwegian and Swedish language translations.

GRAMPS 3.0.4

GRAMPS 3.0.4 has been released.


• Translation updates for ca, de, fr, it, lt, nb, nl, nn, pl, ru, sv.


• Sorting issues with non-English languages.
• Filter string match with non-ASCII characters.
• DbError handling.
• Drag-and-drop workaround.
• Bug fix dealing with importing notes from CSV.
• Import open error.
• Various fixes for shortcut key confusion.
• Change in bdb attributes and methods.
• Python 2.6 support.
• Cannot create new family tree.
• Unhandled exception when pasting invalid string.
• Change to use of md5 module.
• Bug fix to .desktop file.

6 December 2008

Unusual Christmas Gifts For The Genealogists

I have searched the web for unusual christmas gifts for the genealogists.

Here's my top 5 list:

Carbon Copies

Pencils made from the carbon of human cremains. 240 pencils can be made from an average body of ash - a lifetime supply of pencils for those left behind.

Each pencil is foil stamped with the name of the person. Only one pencil can be removed at a time, it is then sharpened back into the box causing the sharpenings to occupy the space of the used pencils. Over time the pencil box fills with sharpenings - a new ash, transforming it into an urn. The window acts as a timeline, showing you the amount of pencils left as time goes by. Carbon Copies


Gene-Portrait creates unique digital DNA-art portraits from a sample of your own DNA. This exclusive and personalized DNA art represents a sampling of your unique DNA profile and holds no medical or legal value.

Up to 50 subjects (people and/or pets) can be included on a single DNA-art portrait, making it the perfect gift to share with your loved ones (family, friends, couple, pet dog, pet cat, pet horse). GenePortrait


CreativeCoffins provide a green solution for those who want a distinctive and practical funeral.

Environmentally sympathetic and certified non-toxic these coffins are suitable for both burial and cremation.

They have a large range of pre-designed and they are able to create almost any design from the dignified and beautiful to the quirky and humorous. CreativeCoffins

Headless Historicals

Headless Historicals are reworked dolls that were inspired by people throughout history who died in rather horrible ways.

Each doll is dressed according to how they might have appeared during the peak of their success, while their bodies display the manner in which they died.

These dolls are for display purposes only and are not intended as playthings for children. Headless Historicals

Huggable Urns

Especially made for your loved one or beloved pet, the Huggable Urns are very soft to the touch.

All of the Huggable Urns have a zippered compartment and comes with a tightly sealed pouch that holds your loved one's ashes or a special keepsake. Huggable Urns are made of extremely plush material and the pouches are made out of velvet with plastic lining to keep the ashes contained. Huggable Urns

5 December 2008

Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

Historians hope a new Web database will help bring millions of blacks closer to their African ancestors who were forced onto slave ships, connecting them to their heritage in a way that has long been possible for white Europeans.

Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database launched today in conjunction with a conference at Emory University marking the bicentennial of the official end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1808. Emory spearheaded the two-year interactive project, which is free to the public.

"Voyages" documents the slave trade from Africa to the New World that took place over three centuries — between the 1500s and 1800s — and includes searchable information on nearly 35,000 trips and the names of 70,000 human cargo. The voluminous work includes data on more than 95 percent of all voyages that left ports from England — the country with the second-largest slave trade — and documents two-thirds of all slave trade voyages between 1514 and 1866.

Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• LDS Ordinance markers - The {BEPSC} indicator is now also put on the Husb and Wife names on the Family View (if this option is turned one).
• Picture Center - When you attach pictures with embedded comments, you are now asked if you would like to put them in the Description field (consistent with what happens in the Picture Gallery).
• Potential Problems Window - Now has an option to globally look for multiple names so that they can be put into the Alternate Names list.
• RTF Source Citations - Add an option to use the old unlinked citation endnotes. This is because the new "real" linked footnotes and endnotes end up having lots of duplicates because there is no way to combine them in RTF output.
• SourceWriter - 230 new templates.


• Default Marriage Wording - Added four new phrases to cover unknown spouse sentence wording.
• Family Picture Trees - The fourth generation now includes the names and life ranges (in a smaller font).
• GEDCOM Export - GEDCOM export to anything destination other than Legacy, will now convert the Q dates (Mar Q 1888) to a range like Jan 1888 - Mar 1888.
• Help File - Various help topic updates.
• SourceWriter - Added 45 new templates to cover all media for the Canadian census records, including the 1940 National Registration.
• US County Verification - A few updates to the county verification database were made. Age Calculator - Fixed a leap year problem.


Continue reading...

Hillary Clinton And The King's Daughters

Hillary Clinton descends from three of the King's Daughters, a group of Frenchwomen who immigrated to New France (now part of present-day Canada) between 1663 and 1673 under the monetary sponsorship of Louis XIV, to marry and start families in an attempt to further populate New France.

The article says:

Hillary descends from Catharine Paulo (m. Etienne Campeau), Madeleine Plouard/Polet/Plouart (m. Jacques Viau) and Madeleine Niel (m. Etienne Charles.)

Genealogists know the most about Madeleine Niel. Etienne, her husband, came to Quebec in 1665 with the famed Carignan Regiment. Its mission was to repel Iroquois Indians who raided settlements and killed inhabitants.

This couple settled at Boucherville near Montreal and raised 12 children. They survived devastating Indian raids on their village and lived into their 80s. Etienne and Madeleine left 111 grandchildren.

Hillary descends from the Viau couple’s daughter Marguerite, who married Jaques Pilet (1703-1765), settler at Detroit, then in Canada and now in the United States.


4 December 2008

Shrubs 1.4

Shrubs 1.4 has been released.


• Improved GEDCOM parsing code.
• Various user interface improvements (localized sorting, confirmation prompts, etc.).
• A default start-up individual can now be specified.
• File size limit increased to 4 Mb.
• Further performance increases during import and application start-up.
• Significantly reduced memory footprint.
• Added French language support throughout the application.

3 December 2008

US National Archives To Launch Interactive WWII Collection To Commemorate Pearl Harbor Day

A press conference commemorating Pearl Harbor Day to launch a new interactive online collection of World War II records from the holdings of the National Archives including the first-ever interactive version of the USS Arizona Memorial, WWII Hero Pages, and millions of WWII photos and documents previously unavailable on the Internet.

When: 10 a.m., Friday, December 5, 2008

Where: Archivist’s Reception Room - National Archives - 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.


Release Of Tape Recordings And Textual Material From The Nixon Presidency

The Nixon Presidential Library announces the release of tape recordings and textual material.

Approximately 198 hours of tape recordings from the Nixon White House recorded between November and December 1972 and consisting of approximately 1,398 conversations. The conversations cover topics such as the 1972 Presidential and Congressional elections, reorganization of the executive branch, creation of a “New Majority” for a reinvigorated Republican Party or new conservative third party, the late stages of the peace negotiations to end the Vietnam War, and the decision to bomb the Hanoi and Haiphong areas in North Vietnam.

30 cubic feet of textual materials from the White House Central Files - Staff Member and Office Files of J. Fred Buzhardt, President Nixon’s attorney during the Watergate scandal, and Bryce Harlow, senior adviser and counselor to President Nixon.

This collection is available on the web at

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 81203

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 81203 has been released.


• Availability of first beta release of version 2009. Previously issued registration codes are, and will remain, valid for version 2009.
• Version 2009 provides a more attractive graphical user interface, PDF reports in any TrueType font, support of non-ANSI character sets, improved image resolution control, support of more GEDCOM standard tags, optional reporting of sensitive and private text sections, and numerous other improvements. See the updated help file for details.

If you encounter a problem with Version 2009, please report it and then revert to the Version 2008 release. You do not need to uninstall Version 2009 in order to reinstall Version 2008.

GEDitCOM II 1.0b3

GEDitCOM II 1.0b3 has been released.


• No release notes.

GeneaNet: Relationship Calculator

Calculating the relationship between two people is often a confusing issue. The GeneaNet Relationship Calculator makes this process easier!

Select the person who will be the subject of the relationship and click on the "Calculate relationship" link at the bottom of its individual page.

The relationship calculator form will open as below:

GeneaNet - les calculs de parentéJust type in the name of the relative. If needed, just type in the surname and the list of persons with that surname will open to select the individual.

Options are:

- Ancestors/By marriage: find out the closest common ancestor for both the subject and the relative
- Shortest parth: calculate relationship between two persons whatever their lines are

- Long display: display individual names, dates and places
- Include spouses: display individual spouses
- Images: display pictures
- Border: display frames

Relationship calculation:
GeneaNet - les calculs de parenté
GeneaNet - les calculs de parentéShortest path between two persons:
GeneaNet - les calculs de parentéNote: Please check your data if a loop is detected. The relationship calculator can't work if any person of your family tree is its own ancestor!

2 December 2008

US National Archives Creates Awards For Excellence In Genealogy

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the National Archives announces two awards to recognize significant achievements in genealogy research, based on records from the National Archives.

The awards are $1,000 for first place; $500 for second place. Winning articles may be published in Prologue, the quarterly magazine of the National Archives, and/or on the National Archives web site.

To be eligible, an applicant must be either an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning; have completed at least one semester; and have not yet advanced to candidacy, if in a Ph.D. program. An applicant does not have to be an American citizen, but must be attending an American college or university. Permanent National Archives employees are not eligible.

Awards will be announced at the National Archives annual Genealogy Fair on April 22, 2009.

Additional information

1 December 2008

Michelle Obama's Family Tree Has Roots In A Carolina Slave Plantation

Tiny wooden cabins line the dirt road once known as Slave Street as it winds its way through Friendfield Plantation.

More than 200 slaves lived in the whitewashed shacks in the early 1800s, and some of their descendants remained here for more than a century after the Civil War. The last tenants abandoned the hovels about three decades ago, and even they would have struggled to imagine a distant daughter of the plantation one day calling the White House home.

But a historical line can be drawn from these Low Country cabins to Michelle Obama, charting an American family's improbable journey through slavery, segregation, the civil rights movement and a historic presidential election.

Their documented passage begins with Jim Robinson, Obama's great-great-grandfather, who was born around 1850 and lived as a slave, at least until the Civil War, on the sprawling rice plantation. Records show he remained on the estate after the war, working as a sharecropper and living in the old slave quarters with his wife, Louiser, and their children. He could neither read nor write, according to the 1880 census.


Sad News: Keith Wilson, The Creator Of iFamily For Leopard Has Passed Away

I just read this post from Ben Sayer sharing that "The Mac genealogy community has suffered a significant loss. Keith Wilson, the creator of iFamily for Leopard (and Tiger before that), passed away unexpectedly on November 2nd. I’ve called him a maverick and meant it with great respect. His ingenious contributions will be missed."

Map My Ancestors 1.7.1

Map My Ancestors 1.7.1 has been released.


• Can now be used in countries where a decimal place is represented by symbols other than a full-stop/period.