Genealogy Blog

31 January 2010

Egypt Set To Unveil Tutankhamun DNA Results

One of the great remaining mysteries of ancient Egypt, the lineage of the boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun, may soon be solved, the country's antiquities supremo hinted on Sunday.

Zahi Hawass told AFP he has scheduled a news conference for February 17 in the Cairo Museum to unveil the findings from DNA samples taken from the world's most famous pharaoh.

In August 2008, Egypt's antiquities authorities said they had taken DNA samples from Tutankhamun's mummy and from two foetuses found in his tomb to determine whether the still-born children had been fathered by the boy king.

Hawass said then the DNA tests also would determine Tutankhamun's lineage, and whether the foetuses were the offspring of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenpamon, the daughter of Nefertiti who is renowned as one of history's great beauties.

Source & Full Story

Legacy Family Tree

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Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Version 7.4 includes a special "pre-release" edition of our New FamilySearch integration tools which lets users:
- Match their Legacy individuals with FamilySearch individuals
- Combine potential duplicates that exist at FamilySearch
- View the real-time ordinance status of individuals
• After installing the update, you will be asked if you want to turn on the FamilySearch integration tools. At this time only LDS members should say yes (FamilySearch accounts are currently restricted to members of the LDS church while they conclude their testing).
• The FamilySearch tools have been officially certified by FamilySearch, but the tools are still in "pre-release mode". This means that 1) not all of the features that we want to implement are available, but we want you to get started (the rest of the features will be released in version 7.5) and 2) there are still a few minor (non-critical) bugs to resolve.


• LDS Screen - Fixed an error 5 problem.
• Descendant Book Reports - Fixed a problem where duplicate lines were referring the reader to the wrong page number.
• Descendant Book Reports - The "Show line back to starting ancestor" option was not printing for reports where source footnotes were used. Fixed.
• Family Picture Tree - Name placement improved on fourth generation. Privacy option added.
• Marriage Screen Phrases - Changed some of the rules for when "married someone" is used.
• Merge - Fixed an error 9 in Find Duplicates.
• Report Indexes - Names with [[Private]] portions were showing in the index. Fixed.
• Source Template Screen - Fixed the icons and tooltips on the Spell Check, Wordwrap, and Strip HTML buttons.

New Software: Ancestral Sources (Beta Testers Required)

Nick Walker has been developing Ancestral Sources, a replacement for the very popular GedCom Census. He is now looking for Beta Testers for his new program.

"For the last 14 months in my limited spare time I've been creating a new application to replace Gedcom Census. It is called Ancestral Sources and will ultimately handle births, marriages, deaths, burials, baptisms, etc. as well as census records. The first version to be released just deals with census records but there is hardly a line of programming code in common with Gedcom Census and it does do some things quite differently."

Some of the features which are new to Ancestral Sources:

• All census columns are supported and tailored to each census, e.g. the grid for the 1841 UK census has 4 columns, the 1901 has 9 columns.
• Individuals can be added directly without having to go back into Family Historian
• A census template editor is included so users can create their own census templates or edit existing ones. For example, a user could create templates for French census records. These could then be shared with other users (e.g. via this website) and possibly incorporated into future versions of Ancestral Sources if they’re happy for me to do so.
• Full support for Family Historian version 4 features such as projects, relative multimedia file paths and same-sex partnerships
• Faster file save/load
• More usable ‘All Individuals’ and ‘Immediate Family’ lists.
• More intelligent census date check and flag check facilities.
• Numerous other usability improvements

If you are interested please see the following GedCom Census Forum post.

29 January 2010

Barack Obama, Massachusetts Senator-Elected Scott Brown Related

Genealogists said Friday that the Democratic president and the newly elected senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, are 10th cousins.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society said Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and Brown's mother, Judith Ann Rugg, both descend from Richard Singletary of Haverhill, Mass.

He died in 1687 at the unheard-of, for the time, age of 102.

In 2008, the society discovered that Obama is related to seven prior presidents, including George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry S. Truman and James Madison. They also learned he was related to actor Brad Pitt.

Source & Full Story

30,000 Books Attacked By Fungus In The National Library Of Luxembourg

The National Library of Luxembourg has been bursting at the seems for a long time and books had been temporarily stocked in the basement but humidity rose unexpectedly and damaged over 30,000 books.

The 30,000 books that represent a kilometre long shelf have been brought to a specialised workshop in Germany to be restored for a total cost of 200,000 euros.

The basement stock was supposed to be temporary but the sandstone proved to be much more porous than originally assumed so air conditioning was put in place to avoid moisture and fungus. The humidity level and temperature in the basement rose unexpectedly in 2009 and caused the development of fungus that damaged 30,000 books.

Source & Full Story

Million Books Stored For Manchester Library Revamp

One of Manchester's iconic buildings is to close and more than a million books put into storage to allow for essential refurbishment work.

As part of plans to transform the Manchester Town Hall Complex, Central Library will be closed in stages from 25 February.

A temporary library will be set up at Elliot House, Deansgate, in June.

When Central Library reopens in 2013 it will boast a number of improved services, including an archive centre.

Some of the books will be stored in salt caverns in Cheshire. The library has about 44,000 volumes published before 1850 and more than 30 works dating back to the 15th Century.

Source & Full Story

Fromelles Scots Soldiers To Be Reburied

The remains of 250 World War I soldiers, including several Scots, who were killed in the 1916 Battle of Fromelles have now been recovered.

They will be reburied with full military honours at a new cemetery close to the site in northern France.

Work to recover the British and Australian soldiers buried there by German forces, began in 2008.

The battle, on 19 July 1916, was the first major one on the Western Front involving British and Australian troops.

Source & Full Story

Putting Names To The Lost Soldiers Of Fromelles

The first of the remains of 250 World War I soldiers found in France are being reburied with military honours after painstaking efforts to identify them. How do you put the right name on a headstone after so long?

When the first chipped and battle-scarred bones were excavated from a muddy field in northern France last May, the story of the forgotten battle of Fromelles began to emerge.

The remains of 250 British and Australian soldiers had lain undiscovered for 93 years since falling on the Western Front.

Source & Full Story

Aberdeen Blitz Bombing Images From 1943 Unveiled

Dramatic photos taken in the wake of a devastating World War II bombing raid on Aberdeen are being exhibited for the first time.

The images, from the Grampian Police archive, are believed to have been taken by officers.

They show the effects of a Luftwaffe raid in 1943 in which 125 people died.

The shots will be exhibited at the Deemouth Business Centre, South Esplanade East, from Saturday until Sunday 14 February.

Source & Full Story

New iPhone & iPod Touch App: Florida Divorce Record Search

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Florida Divorce Record Search 1.0 has been released.

The Florida Divorce Record Search is the first of its kind in divorce vital records for the State of Florida. Florida Divorce Record Search gives users the ability to quickly search millions of Florida divorce records and instantly display the results on their mobile device. The records include the husband's name, wife's name, and date of divorce.

GEDitCOM II 1.3 build 2

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GEDitCOM II 1.3 build 2 has been released.


• After a "View→Relationship..." search, select any relationship that was found and click the new "Show Chart" button see a chart/report about the two individual's common ancestor including full pedigree lines from each individual to that common ancestor.
• While viewing notes, sources, multimedia objects, or research logs, two new commands in the "Attach" submenu let you select individual or family records and have them cite the record you are viewing. Previously you had to go to the individual or family record to attach the link.
• Similarly, you can drag and drop individual and family records on to notes, sources, multimedia objects, or research logs and those records will link to the drop-target record
• New menu commands in the "Go" submenu let you step through records in the current album being displayed in the index window.
• The display of multimedia objects in the "Default Format" and the "Pedigree Format" now uses several panes and one will zoom in on the current image. Additionally images can be scaled for preferred display size and other formats updated to look for the scale setting.
• Marriage Events now also show in the "Events" pane of family records in the "Default Format."
• Added support for research log records in the "Book Format" and the "Basic Format."
• Fixed a bug that could cause the data in the current browser record to become disconnected (and therefore seemingly unresponsive to editing, although no data was harmed) if you saved the file while editing.
• Fixed a bug that could cause a "child" window (e.g., a window with details on an event) to become disconnected from the data in certain rare sequences of actions.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.38

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Brother's Keeper 6.3.38 has been released.


• Improved GEDCOM import from gedcom files with referenced links to pictures, like those created by phpGedView.
• GEDCOM import can import pictures attached to sources.
• GEDCOM export has a new button to set options for maximum data output. (It changes the options back in case you have limited output for some fields.)


• On book reports, below "print alternate names" is a new option to "select which alternate names" and you can pick either a name type or a 'print where' value and only those will print.
• On book reports, on 'fields to include' tab there is a new option to have divorce, or other family events print at the end of spouse information.


• Backup routine was not backing up external notes that were attached to pictures (It was backing up the more common internal notes attached to pictures.)
• On the Collapsed ancestor chart if the BK code number was over 1 million it was dropping the last digit and showing the wrong person.

28 January 2010

British Library Launches New Virtual History Timeline

New interactive history timeline developed by British Library allows students and teachers to explore collection items chronologically for the first time:

Developed by the Library's Learning team with historians and writers, the timeline includes some of the Library's key collection items from medieval times to the present day such as records of political events, glimpses of everyday life and writings and speeches from some our best known historical and literary figures. Scanning through centuries of images, audio-visual and printed material, users will be able to explore various themed timelines: ‘everyday life', ‘music and literature' and ‘politics, power and rebellion' on one screen.

Source & Full Story

Largest Book In The World Goes On Show For The First Time

It takes six people to lift it and has been recorded as the largest book in the world, yet the splendid Klencke Atlas, presented to Charles II on his restoration and now 350 years old, has never been publicly displayed with its pages open. That glaring omission is to be rectified, it was announced by the British Library today, when it will be displayed as one of the stars of its big summer exhibition about maps.

The exhibition aims to challenge people's assumptions about maps and celebrate their magnificence, as demonstrated by the 37 maps in the Klencke Atlas, which was intended as an encyclopaedic summary of the world.

It is almost absurdly huge – 1.75 metres (5ft) tall and 1.9 metres (6ft) wide – and was given to the king by Dutch merchants and placed in his cabinet of curiosities.

Source & Full Story

New Website For Luxembourg's National Library

The National Library and the Minister for Culture, Octavie Modert present the Luxembourg's National Library new website and the Minister insisted on the importance of online services for the library since it holds a huge number of very diverse works. She added that the interest large companies were taking in the library should prove to everyone its priceless value.

The aims of the new website is to increase the visibility of its collections and services, offer more information on these collections and services, offer a more flexible website in oreder to present information in a more structured way.

Source & Full Story

27 January 2010

World’s Largest Repository Of Correlated Genetic Genealogical Information Under Creation In Mali

The Utah Arts Council today announced it has selected Faces of Mali, an exhibit of photographs of village life in western Africa, for its 2010 traveling art program. The show, sponsored by Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) and Mali Rising—two Utah-based non-profit organizations—and the Embassy of Mali, opens a window for viewers into a region with a 600-year history as a center for scholarship and trade. The first traveling exhibit is scheduled for Canyon Community Center in Springdale beginning Feb. 4.

“The people of rural Mali have a culture that is rich in tradition and history and it is delightful that people all over Utah will be able to enjoy this photo essay,” said Samake, Malian honorary consul in Utah. “Many Utahns already have a positive connection with Malians by helping us explore and record our ancestry, build schools and better educate our children.” For five years SMGF has been collecting DNA and family history information from Malians in the process of creating the world’s largest repository of correlated genetic genealogical information. Sandy-based Mali Rising Foundation helps Mali villages develop clean water sources, improve sanitation and build schools.

Source & Full Story

Auschwitz Victims Mourned On 65th Anniversary

Auschwitz survivors, Soviet veterans and leaders including Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu gather on Wednesday for emotionally-charged ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the notorious Nazi death camp's liberation.

Ahead of a commemoration at the site of the World War II camp in German-occupied Poland, 700 participants started assembling in the southern city of Krakow for a morning memorial event organised by the European Jewish Congress (EJC).

"The Holocaust is the tragedy which unites Europe," European Jewish Congress leader Moshe Kantor said on the eve of the Krakow ceremony, which US President Barack Obama was due to address by video.

Source & Full Story

26 January 2010

Minogue Convict Heritage Revealed

With a fortune of £35million, Kylie Minogue would find the fare for even the most luxurious round-the-world trip a mere drop in the ocean.

But when the singer's Welsh-born mother first made the long journey to Australia, it was in more humble style - as a '£10 Pom'.

The family secrets of Kylie and her X Factor star sister Dannii have been unearthed in passenger lists from the 1950s emigration scheme.

The stars' mother was born Carol Jones in the small town of Maesteg, South Wales, where her family ran the local post office.

She was just 12 when she emigrated to Australia with her mother Millie and father Dennis on the SS New Australia on April 20, 1955.

The Jones family were among the estimated 710,000 Britons seeking a new life in Australia who were lured by the £10 ticket.

Source & Full Story

25 January 2010

US National Archives To Ban Photography In Exhibit

Tourists will soon be banned from taking photographs or video at the National Archives main exhibit hall to help protect the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

A rule posted in Monday's Federal Register will take effect Feb. 24.

About a million visitors pass through the exhibit each year. While there's already a ban on flash photography, archives officials say visitors still shoot about 50,000 flashes of light at the historic documents each year.

Source & Full Story

Behold 0.99.6 beta

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Behold 0.99.6 beta has been released.


• Add the speed improvement for incrementing the number of tags.
• Reduce the number of internal passes the autoorganize routine uses.
• Change the internal storage to be GEDCOM records instead of GEDCOM lines that I tested but was previously unable continue using.
• These improvements reduced loading time by 27% and reduced memory usage by 7%.
• Allow recent files to properly handle pathnames longer than 100 characters and conveniently abbreviate them.
• Correct the tag counts that were double counted and move the count for PLAC tags back from the pointer group into the data group. This bug was introduced in 0.99.1.
• Correct problems in buffering the view area of the Everything Report that sometimes made it jump positions when scrolling up or down with the arrow keys or mouse wheel.
• Do not give a blank line message for blank lines following the TRLR line.
• Prevent an on-idle exception from happening at program startup. If you were getting this, it was a really bad bug that prevented you from continuing or exiting.
• Eliminate an on-idle bug when determining who is under the cursor for Instant Organize purposes, and also put the space back in between the first and last names when the names of those people are displayed.

GeneaNet: New GEDCOM Import Option

A new option has been added to the GeneaNet GEDCOM Import.

If the date of death of some individuals in your family tree is unknown, you can now prevent import if they were born within a range of year in order to respect their privacy.

Available ranges of year are: 80-100, 90-100, 80-120, 90-120, 100-120.

23 January 2010

Cultural Riches Turn to Rubble in Haiti Quake

Long before its ground started heaving, Haiti was already a byword for a damaged place. Its leaders were considered kleptocrats; its people were jaw-droppingly poor. But there was still a pride that burst forth from the people here, linked both to the country’s heroic struggle to break the bonds of slavery and to the vibrant cultural life that united them and enabled them to endure.

Now many of the symbols of that proud history lie in ruins. The National Palace, the National Cathedral, the Supreme Court — all are in various states of collapse. Also devastated is the Episcopal Church’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, known for its murals of Bible stories with all black figures.

The earthquake has caused untold suffering and taken tens of thousands of lives — more than 111,000 bodies have been registered, the government said Saturday. The pain of the cultural loss cannot compare. But in stealing symbols that gave Haitians their hope and grandeur and a reminder of a common purpose, the earthquake also cast a different kind of cloud over their future.

Source & Full Story

The Most Amazing Libraries In The World

Times are changing for libraries everywhere. But even as many libraries build their digital collections and amp up their technological offerings, we thought we'd take a step back and show our appreciation for the beauty of many of these vast collections of books.

See some of the most amazingly beautiful libraries from around the world

Source & Full Story

Catforth, Lancashire, England, 1926

A typical Lancashire village scene. Sadly these children would be orphaned the following year; the girl sent to a distant relative and the boys to an orhpanage, they would never see each other again.

This extract comes from Claude Friese-Greene's 'The Open Road' - originally filmed in 1925/6 and now re-edited and digitally restored by the BFI National Archive.

See much more films at

Ireland: Discover Your National Library

The National Library's new exhibition, Discover Your National Library , invites visitors to come behind the scenes and explore the Library's rich and varied collections and to meet the staff who care for them. Using the exhibition's innovative technology, visitors can view highlights from the Library's collections and examine individual items in extremely close detail.

Among the artefacts currently on view (exhibition items will change three times a year) are rare manuscripts such as the fourteenth-century Book of Magauran; a 1588 deed signed by Sir Walter Raleigh; a lottery ticket from 1795, and a letter from Éamonn Ceannt to his wife Áine O'Brennan, written just a few hours before his execution in 1916. Thousands of other digital items await discovery by visitors on the exhibition's cutting-edge 'Discovery' touch tables.

Launch the Online Discover Exhibition (this will open a new window)

Source & Full Story

22 January 2010

The Plague of Eyam, England: The Village That Died to Save Its Neighbors

Early in September 1665 George Viccars, a tailor, opened a consignment of cloth in his cottage in Eyam, a village near Sheffield, England, damp and hung it in front of his fire to dry.

With that innocent act, Viccars unleashed upon his community the most feared disease of the age. The package had come from London, where bubonic plague had been raging for months, and the cloth harbored fleas that carried the disease…By the end of September, five more people in the neighborhood had died, and in the first there days of October there were four more deaths. At the end of the month the toll had reached 23. The plague had come to the remote village of Eyam.

Source & Full Story

21 January 2010

500-Year-Old Nostradamus Prophecies Become First French Book To Be Archived On Google

A sixteenth century edition of predictions by Nostradamus has become the first book from France's vast archive of literature to be digitally preserved by Google.

The collection of prophecies is from a vault containing 500,000 classic French books stored at the Municipal Library of Lyon.

Nostradamus is best known for The Prophecies, the first edition of which appeared in 1555 and has rarely been out of print since his death.

A new digital books deal between the Lyon library and US internet giant Google could signal the start of seeing the fiercely protective nation's works become fully accessible to the international public.

Source & Full Story

New iPhone App: LDS News & Audio

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LDS News & Audio gives news feeds from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as well as other church resource sites. There are 22 news sites all together.

News Feeds Included are: Daily Gems, Family Gems, News Around the Church, LDS Newsroom, Home Page, Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Young Single Adult Gems, Youth Gems, Church History Gems, LDS Newsroom,, LDSTech Site Feed, BYU News releases.

News Feeds with Audio: BYU Recent Talks, Gospel Teaching/Learning, Discussions of The Book of Mormon, Discussions of The Doctrine and Covenants, Discussions of The Pearl of Great Price, Discussions of The Old Testament, Our Savior in the Gospel, Insights Into Isaiah, Acts to Revelation.

Download LDS News & Audio

New iPhone App: Genealogy Dictionary

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Genealogy Dictionary for iPhone and iPod Touch is a dictionary of all things having to do with Genealogy, including abbreviations, definitions, a glossary of terms, and many more Genealogy terms.

Download Genealogy Dictionary

New iPhone App: Vital Records

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Quickly find information you need to obtain Vital Records from any state.

Vital Records provides comprehensive information for every state in the USA. This pocket guide will give you everything you need to get Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Marriage Certificates and Divorce Decrees.

Download Vital Records

New iPhone App: Texas Birth Record Search

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The Texas Birth Record Search is the first of its kind in birth vital records for the State of Texas.

Texas Birth Record Search givens users the ability to quickly search millions of Texas birth records and instantly display the results on their mobile device. The records include birth name, date of birth, gender, and county of birth.

Download Texas Birth Record Search

New iPhone App: California Birth Record Search

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The California Birth Record Search is the first of its kind in birth vital records for the State of California.

California Birth Record Search givens users the ability to quickly search millions of California birth records and instantly display the results on their mobile device. The records include birth name, date of birth, gender, county of birth and the mother's maiden name.

Download California Birth Record Search

108-Year-Old Woman Emerges As Britain's Oldest First World War Veteran

Florence Green served with the Women’s RAF (WRAF) in 1918 and although she did not see front-line action, the charity Veteran’s Aid said she qualifies as a veteran of the war.

Mrs Green, who turns 109 next month and is a great-grandmother-of-seven, worked as a waitress in the officers' mess during the war at RAF Marham and Narborough Airfield, both in Norfolk.

Her story came to light after Andrew Holmes, a British correspondent for the United States-based Gerontology Research Group, traced her name using the National Archive.

He was amazed to locate a service record on the National Archive for Florence Beatrice Patterson, Mrs Green’s maiden name.

Source & Full Story

France Joins Race To Digitize World's Books

Amid the flat, wide fields of central France, a team of re-trained secretaries and IT experts is packaging Europe's literary heritage for the digital era.

The company they work for, Safig, is one of the few European firms to digitize books, using automatic and human page-turners. That places them right at the center of France's plan for a massive online library, and its attempts to negotiate a digital books deal with U.S. internet giant Google.

Skeptics point out that Google's 10 million digitized books dwarf any French effort so far, such as Safig's three-year contract to scan 300,000 books for the Bibliotheque Nationale.

One possible outcome is a compromise with Google that would accelerate mass digitization.

Source & Full Story

MacFamilyTree 5.6.8

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MacFamilyTree 5.6.8 has been released.


• Completely new User Guide localized in English, French and German
• Date Picker works correctly now in all localizations
• Bug fixes for MobileFamilyTree 2 Sync
• Several other bug fixes

HuMo-gen 4.1

Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware

HuMo-gen 4.1 has been released.


• When you edit a person, a source or an address you will see an example of the display.
• In the administration menu a "Data Check" has been added.
• The multiple icons next to names (i.e. in lists, ancestor and descendant reports) were replaced by a pop-up menu.


• A prefix with capital letter (i.e. "Van Dam") is now processed correctly.
• IE erroneously placed an empty line under the mother in a family.
• No error messages are displayed with unsuccessful login.
• With PDF export, master sources are now added as an appendix (by Yossi Beck).
• The index file has been totally reviewed.
• Also with loose persons text can be added at the bottom of the page.
• The deprecated "ereg_replace" code was replaced with "str_replace".
• Editing: Master addresses and master sources can be deleted.
• Editing: Parents can now be attached to a person.
• Gedcom export: divorce data are now exported as well.
• Name filtering was improved.


Continue reading...

20 January 2010

Early Queen's Skeleton 'Found In German Cathedral'

Remains of one of the earliest members of the English royal family may have been unearthed in a German cathedral, a Bristol University research team says.

They believe a near-complete female skeleton, aged 30 to 40, found wrapped in silk in a lead coffin in Magdeburg Cathedral is that of Queen Eadgyth.

The granddaughter of Alfred the Great, she married Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, in 929. She died 17 years later, at 36.

The team aims to prove her identity by tracing isotopes in her bones.

Source & Full Story

19 January 2010

Most Modern European Males Descend From Farmers Who Migrated From The Near East

A new study from the University of Leicester has found that most men in Europe descend from the first farmers who migrated from the Near East 10,000 years ago. The findings are published January 19 in the open-access journal PLoS Biology.

The invention of farming is perhaps the most important cultural change in the history of modern humans. Increased food production led to the development of societies that stayed put, rather than wandering in search of food. The resulting population growth culminated in the seven billion people who now live on the planet. In Europe, farming spread from the 'Fertile Crescent', a region extending from the eastern Mediterranean coast to the Persian Gulf and including the Tigris and Euphrates valleys.

Source & Full Story

Newton's Apple Story Goes Online

The original version of the story of Sir Isaac Newton and the falling apple has been made available online.

Newton recounted the story that inspired his theory of gravitation to scholar William Stukeley.

It then appeared in Stukeley's 1752 biography, Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's Life.

The UK's Royal Society converted the fragile manuscript into an electronic book, which anybody with internet access will now be able to read.

In the story, Newton claimed to have been inspired by a falling apple in his garden to investigate the theory of gravitation.

Source & Full Story

3566 Monumental Books Registered In Azerbaijan

After Azerbaijani President decreed to confirm “The rules for official registration of the movables, their composition”, Culture and Tourism Ministry began to find out unique, rare books, publications of special importance and manuscripts in the republic. Press service of Culture and Tourism Ministry told APA that the ministry prepared the Statute on monumental books. The ministry has registered 3566 monumental books up to now. 1320 of them are in the system of Culture and Tourism Ministry, 2002 in the libraries of other ministries, offices and organizations and museums, 244 in the personal collections.

Source & Full Story

18 January 2010

World's Oldest Lightbulb Still Burning Bright After 109 Years

The world's oldest light bulb has been burning for 109 years - so little wonder it has a fan club with thousands of members and its own website.

It holds pride of place in Fire Station 6, in Livermore, northern California.

The longest time the Guinness World Record-holding bulb has ever been turned off for is just a week.

The bulb was designed by Adolphe Chailet, who competed with the likes of the world famous Thomas Edison to make the best bulb.

Source & Full Story

The Battle Over Hawaii's History

Amateur historian Rick Rogers just knows Europeans visited the islands two centuries before Captain Cook landed in 1778. Trying to prove it and convince professionals, that's another story.

[...] Finding evidence of a shipwreck beneath the ocean would finally prove a theory that Rogers, an amateur historian, has been promoting for decades. He thinks a handful of Spanish and Dutch ships visited Hawaii in the centuries before Captain Cook landed there in 1778. Some Europeans came ashore after shipwrecks, like the characters in "The Swiss Family Robinson," he claims, and eventually integrated into the local society. That early European influence in the 16th and 17th centuries forever changed Hawaiian culture, Rogers says.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet: Share Family Pictures and Postcards on Facebook and Twitter

Your can now share family pictures and postcards on Facebook and Twitter, or by email.
Click the 'Family Pictures' link in the left sidebar of the web site or simply go to, then search and select a picture.

When clicking on the Facebook icon, you will be send to a new Facebook page. Just click 'Share' to post the picture on your wall.

When clicking on the Twitter icon, you will be send to a new Twiiter page. Just click 'Update' to twit the picture.

Click the star to send the picture by email.

To share a postcard, click the 'Postcards' link in the left sidebar of the web site or simply go to

17 January 2010

Van Morrison Reportedly Facing Paternity Test

Van Morrison is facing a possible paternity test. Samantha Branch, a 42-year-old U.K. woman, is reportedly demanding a test to prove whether the singer is her father.

According to U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail, Branch's mother, Dee, was Morrison's road manager and allegedly lived with the singer in the mid-1960s. She died in 1967, four months after Samantha was born. No father was named on the birth certificate.

Late last year, there were reports that Van Morrison was the father of a new baby. However, Morrison denied that this was true, saying that the rumor was based on a hacking attack on his website.

Source & Full Story

News From The Digital Library Of The Caribbean

Message from the Digital Library of the Caribbean Director Francoise Thybulle:

The building of the National library is safe,the shelves and holdings have shifted...we will prevail ... our building is the only one standing in the whole area... I have not yet been able to locate all the personel,1/2 of them are safe we keep on checking we will keep you posted...

Source & Full Story

Spanish Capital Plans Time Capsule for Quixote

Workers stumbled a month ago across a metal box filled with 200-year-old books, documents and mementos while digging beneath a Madrid statue of ''Don Quixote'' author Miguel de Cervantes. Now the Spanish capital wants to plant a new time capsule from today.

The new capsule will contain objects associated with present-day Madrid or with Cervantes, who penned his two-volume masterpiece in the early 17th century.

The tightly sealed, lead box contained five copies of ''Don Quixote de la Mancha'' published in 1819, a newspaper from 1834 wrapped around a calendar, travel guides and a manuscript covered in cloth.

Source & Full Story

Mysterious Jamestown Tablet an American Rosetta Stone?

With the help of enhanced imagery and an expert in Elizabethan script, archaeologists are beginning to unravel the meaning of mysterious text and images etched into a rare 400-year-old slate tablet discovered this past summer at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America.

Digitally enhanced images of the slate are helping to isolate inscriptions and illuminate fine details on the slate—the first with extensive inscriptions discovered at any early American colonial site, said William Kelso, director of research and interpretation at the 17th-century Historic Jamestowne site (Jamestown map).

The enhancements have helped researchers identify a 16th-century writing style used on the slate and discern new symbols, researchers announced last week. The characters may be from an obscure Algonquian Indian alphabet created by an English scientist to help explorers pronounce the language spoken by the Virginia Indians.

Source & Full Story

Digitization Project Aiming To Preserve Louisiana's History

Most everyone has some old family photos or documents stuffed in shoe boxes up in their attic somewhere. Maybe you have a photo of great-grandma Pearl walking down DeSiard Street in the 1920s. What about that letter written by an ancestor talking about the flood of 1874 in Morehouse Parish? How about that 1800s store ledger from a mercantile in St. Joseph?

These are priceless historical documents that need to be preserved for future generations. The University of Louisiana at Monroe, along with libraries all over northeastern Louisiana have partnered together to do just that.

So far, the Louisiana Digital Library, where these photos reside, has more than 84,000 digital materials about Louisiana's history, people and places. Anyone can take a look at the items by visiting the LDL at

Source & Full Story

North Dakota: Grant Provided For Digitization Project

The State Historical Society of North Dakota and the State Historical Records Advisory Board has been awarded a $20,000 grant for a continuation of a statewide digitization project.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant project, which will run through June 2011, is designed to provide Internet access to up to 100 images from each of 10 historical organizations throughout the state.

Source & Full Story

16 January 2010

Faces of America

Faces of America premieres in the U.S. Wednesdays, February 10 - March 3, 2010 from 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS.

What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of the new PBS series Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The series turn to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 renowned Americans.

Eva Longoria, Meryl Streep, Mario Batali, Stephen Colbert, Malcolm Gladwell, Yo-Yo Ma, Mike Nichols, Kristi Yamaguchi, Elizabeth Alexander, Queen Noor, Louise Erdrich and Dr Mehmet Oz have all submitted DNA for the series.

Workers Discover Four Coffins As They Build Supermarket In Scotland

Construction workers uncovered a long-lost family burial vault as they built a supermarket.

Work came to a halt after the team found four coffins dating from around 1850 at the Tesco site in Linwood, Renfrewshire.

The vault was found buried under layers of concrete.

Tesco chiefs then hired a genealogist to trace the family's descendants. The stunned family, who left Linwood generations ago, will now decide upon a new burial site for their relatives.

It is understood the coffins were found on the site of a former church which was demolished and built over sometime in the 1970s.

Source & Full Story

Behold 0.99.5 beta

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Behold 0.99.5 beta has been released.


• Allow modification of the concatenate method used for CONC tags, as either 0 spaces, 1 space or let Behold pick one based on the source program. This is done on the GEDCOMs Organize page and can be set for each GEDCOM independently.
• Added a default tag name for HEAD.DATA.
• Make minor adjustments to the recently used file menu and toolbar items.
• Repaired the incorrect flipping of two characters when certain special characters were encountered in the ANSEL character set.
• Eliminate the insertion of " CONB " when only a space should have been inserted in concatenated lines. This bug was introduced in 0.99.1 beta.
• Eliminate the error when scrolling the current selection out of the loaded view.
• Ensure the opened files are correctly added to the recent file list.
• Eliminate the error when registering using a name of 5 or fewer characters. This bug was introduced in 0.99.1 beta. It looks like 7 people may have been affected before it was finally reported to me.

15 January 2010

Digitisation of Post-War Era Documents Now Complete

The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen has now finished digitising its documents from the post-war era concerning displaced persons and emigration after the end of World War II. “This part of the ITS archives has hardly been explored so far,” said Udo Jost, Head of the Archive Division. “It offers excellent insights into life after survival, as well as the wave of migration which resulted from the war.” This week, ITS forwarded copies of the documents to its partner organisations in Israel, the US, Poland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

The documents provide information on the fate of those who were rescued from concentration camps, forced labour and, in some cases, war captivity. This inventory specifically comprises documents from German, Austrian, Italian and British camps for displaced persons, as well as emigration lists, files and dossiers from refugee organisations such as the UNHCR, and lists of Holocaust survivors compiled by Jewish organisations.

Source & Full Story

Historic Ohio Newspapers Now Online at Library of Congress

Ever spent hours while doing research wading through reels and reels of microfilm looking for information from old Ohio newspapers? Thanks to the Ohio Historical Society those days are numbered now that the Akron Daily Democrat and Marietta Daily Leader are among the first 13 historic Ohio newspapers to be digitized and uploaded to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America Web site at

The Ohio Newspaper Digitization Project, a part of the National Digital Newspaper Program developed by National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, will enable the Ohio Historical Society to digitize 100,000 Ohio newspaper pages from 1880-1920. This is welcome news to blurry-eyed researchers and genealogists who scour microfilm of old newspapers for historic facts and clues to family histories.

Source & Full Story

Digital Launch Celebrates 80th Anniversary of University of North Carolina’s Southern Historical Collection

Eighty years after its founding in January 1930, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Wilson Special Collections Library is inaugurating a program to digitize large segments of the collections.

The Digital Southern Historical Collection debuted Jan. 8 with thirty-five collections digitized in their entirety, plus two more that have been partially digitized.

The 8,627 scans reproduce diaries, letters, business records, and photographs that provide a window into the lives of Americans in the South from the 18th through mid-20th centuries.

Source & Full Story

Ancestry Magazine Discontinues Publication

ancestry-magazine.pngAnnouncement from Ancestry Magazine:

For 25 years, Ancestry magazine has been a valuable, timely resource for family history professionals, hobbyists, and novices alike. For a variety of reasons, the time has come for us to discontinue publication. Over the last few years, we have found that with the expanded accessibility of terrific family history content published online at we can reach a larger and broader audience than the limited distribution of a print publication.

The March/April 2010 issue will be the final issue of Ancestry magazine.

With Ancestry magazine we have loved the opportunity we’ve had to write about the best of what we found in the world of family history. We thank our readers and contributors for sharing our enthusiasm for all things genealogy.

The Ancestry Magazine Staff

Source & Full Story

A Grave Mistake: Ukrainian Caught Using Tombstones To Build A House

A man in Ukraine has found an unconventional way to save money on the construction of his house, deciding a cemetery was a perfect source for cost-free building materials.

The enterprising vandal was caught red-handed when police found 38 gravestones on his land in Crimea’s largest city of Simferopol.

The search for the missing marble headstones was launched in 2009 after law enforcement officers received a number of complaints concerning thefts from a local burial ground.

It is still being determined how many gravestones were stolen from the cemetery.

Source & Full Story

Fromelles Soldiers Ready For Reburial

The massive task of reburying 250 Australian and British World War I soldiers found in a mass grave in northern France will begin in late January.

The soldiers' bodies were unearthed from the series of unmarked pits on the outskirts of the village of Fromelles by a team of archaeologists in late 2009.

Their remains laid undiscovered until an amateur historian from Melbourne tracked down their mystery resting place, paving the way for their bodies to be recovered.

While DNA tests are being carried out to try and determine the identities of as many of the soldiers as possible, their remains will start being reinterred at a new military cemetery being built in Fromelles on January 30.

Source & Full Story

The New Series "Who Do You Think You Are?" Will Premiere Friday, March 5

"Who Do You Think You Are?" premieres Friday, March 5 (8-9 p.m. ET) and gives viewers an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities. Among the celebrities featured are Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Emmitt Smith. is NBC's official partner on the series. From executive producer Kudrow ("Friends," "The Comeback") - in conjunction with her production company Is or Isn't Entertainment and the U.K.'s Wall to Wall productions - "Who Do You Think You Are?" is an adaptation of the hit BBC television documentary series created and executive-produced by Alex Graham.

Source & Full Story

GedView 2.6.1

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 2.6.1 has been released.


• Fixes bug with gender changes not being saved when no other changes have been made.
• Fixes display bug when adding family members.

GEDitCOM II 1.3 build 1

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

GEDitCOM II 1.3 build 1 has been released.


• A major improvement is to that all family trees and ancestor or descendant reports now watch out for duplicates in the trees. When large trees include the same individual be different branches, the tree can quickly grow to astronomical size. Now when a duplicate is encountered, the tree stops and is cross-referenced back to the original appearance. With this change, you can generate trees for much larger files without losing any information (doubling clicking a duplicate will show the original appearance of that individual to continue tracing ancestors or descendants).
• The Date Calculator application is now included with GEDitCOM II. Just start the Date Calculator and enter your GEDitCOM II user name and unlocking code.
• A new "Read To Me" menu command will describe the currently selected record using speech generation. You can add an icon for this command to most tool bars.
• A large number of improvements were made to the AppleScripting feature of GEDitCOM II. These features were used to provide many new scripts as well:
- Many new commands and properties make it easier to access genealogy data in records. Consult GEDitCOM II's dictionary using Apple's ScriptEditor and revised GEDitCOM II help on scripting to see them all.
- The AppleScripting help in GEDitCOM II was greatly expanded making it easier to learn how to write scripts for GEDitCOM II.

Continue reading...

13 January 2010

Robert I of Scotland Statue In Place After 130-year Delay

A statue of Robert I of Scotland, usually known as Robert the Bruce, has taken its place at a Scottish town hall following a 130-year delay.

A plinth was erected above the main entrance when the prominent building was constructed on Annan's High Street in the 19th Century.

However, because of financial problems, the statue was never commissioned.

A local committee started fundraising two years ago and a bronze image of Bruce, Lord of Annandale, has finally been put in place in the town.

Source & Full Story

Sheffield's WWII Women Of Steel To Be Thanked

The work of hundreds of women who toiled in the steel factories of South Yorkshire, England, during World War II is to be formally recognised by the Government.

The workers, who became known as the Women of Steel, produced metal which was essential for the war effort.

Ruby Gascoigne, 87, Dorothy Slingsby, 88, and Kathleen Roberts and Kit Sollitt, both 90, will travel to London to be thanked by the veterans minister.

They are to go from Sheffield on a train named the Women of Steel Express.

Source & Full Story

English Man, 91, Awaits 106th Grandchild

A Lincolnshire (England) great-great grandfather is awaiting the arrival of his 106th grandchild.

Ted Leeson, 91, from Grantham, has eight living children, 33 grandchildren, 61 great grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren.

Most of the family still live in the county, with the youngest being three-month old Cotie.

His great grandson Toby Fairbrother, 36, and his wife Zoe, 36, are now expecting their fifth child this week.

Source & Full Story

MemoryMiner 2.0.5

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

MemoryMiner 2.0.5 has been released.


• Files with two-byte file names (e.g. Japanese) no longer crash on import.
• Dragging more than one file on to the MemoryMiner app icon in the dock no longer crashes the app.
• Changing the owner of a library could sometimes crash the app. This has been fixed.
• Some Canon RAW photo images have EXIF dates that include milisecond data, which is different from the published standard. MemoryMiner now properly converts this data to proper dates in the database.
• A problem with scrolling/adjusting the time slider, particularly when displaying months/days has been fixed. The symptom was "stuttering", and when reaching the beginning or end points of a date range.
• When using the Export function (as opposed to Collection Publishing), the sort order is respected. For those users who wish to create a web export for a collection that they which to view locally, this is particularly helpful.
• Right- (or ctrl-) clicking on the Contact Sheet brings up a context menu which lets you re-generate the thumbnails for the currently selected photo(s). This has now been made much more memory-efficient process that can be cancelled. After choosing this menu, a modal panel appears showing each photo being processed, along with a progress bar and Cancel button.

12 January 2010

Egyptian Library Merges Modern Technology With Ancient Relics

As a man whose vision of paradise is "some sort of library," Ismail Serageldin must sometimes feel like he works amid the Garden of Eden.

The former World Bank vice-president is director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) -- Egypt's $220 million reimagining of the ancient world's most celebrated library, built on its historical site in the city of Alexandria.

The 66-year-old Egyptian -- who has authored more than 50 books on a variety of topics including biotechnology, rural development and sustainability -- has become the first person in over 1,600 years to be officially named "Librarian of Alexandria."

The original Library of Alexandria, founded in 288 B.C., housed hundreds of thousands of scrolls by some of the greatest thinkers and writers of the ancient world. Drawn by this center of knowledge, scientists, mathematicians and poets from all cultures gravitated to Alexandria to study and exchange ideas.

Source & Full Story

France Accepts Google Role In Book Scanning

France agreed Tuesday to work with Google to digitally scan French library books but insisted it would not surrender legal control of its cultural heritage to the US Internet giant.

Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he would approach Google to discuss their involvement while also pressing on with France's own digitisation efforts.

He approved an experts' report published Tuesday which proposed a "partnership" with Google and its online library Google Books.

"We are going to propose to Google... an exchange of documents, without exclusivity, in a transparent way and with respect for the authors," the minister was quoted as saying by Le Monde newspaper.

Source & Full Story

Anne Frank Diary Guardian Miep Gies Dies Aged 100

Miep Gies, the last surviving member of the group who helped protect Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, has died in the Netherlands aged 100.

She and other employees of Anne Frank's father Otto supplied food to the family as they hid in a secret annex above the business premises in Amsterdam.

Anne's diary of their life in hiding, which ended in betrayal, is one of the most famous records of the Holocaust.

It was rescued by Mrs Gies, who kept it safe until after the war.

Source & Full Story

9 Million Visitors Log On To Irish Census Online

A whopping 9 million people have visited Ireland's online census since it was launched in 2007, and there have been 1.39 million new visits to the site since August alone when all 32 counties were added to the database.

There were 200,000 visitors alone to the 1911 census website last November. The largest number of international visitors came from Britain (90,000) followed by the U.S. (22,000), Europe (10,500), Canada (10,000) and Australia (8,500).

The numbers point to the popularity of online access to genealogy.

Indeed, the National Archives say that that in comparison, there were only a couple of hundred visits to the physical archive when it was stored offline in Dublin.

Source & Full Story

11 January 2010

Museum Curator To Experience Life Of Civil War Soldier

Brett Kelley's plans for two weeks in the Union Army include picket duty, 10-mile marches, improving defensive position and taking care of Twitter and YouTube.

It is not the Civil War of the 1860s.

Kelley, curator of collections at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, will serve two full weeks standing guard at the museum in a fund-raising and consciousness-raising activity,

Kelley will be on duty Feb. 6 to 20 outside the museum, trying to experience life as a Civil War soldier. He will be housed in a wood-floored tent and cook meals in a cast-iron stove.

Source & Full Story

How Wales Colonised Patagonia

How the Wesh colonised Patagonia in Argentina is the subject of a talk at the National Archives of the UK in Kew, London, on Thursday this week.

In 1865 a group of Welsh emigrants left Liverpool on the tea clipper Mimosa bound for the New World to establish a Welsh speaking colony in the valley of the Chubut River in Patagonia, Argentina.

After initial hardships, including lack of vegetation and food, they successfully established their colony literally called, Y Wladfa or 'The Colony' which is still a thriving community today.

Source & Full Story

FinFamily 276

Other Tools - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

FinFamily 276 has been released.


• Ancestor report draft included.

World War II-era Quilt Found, Features Names Of Gassville, Arkansas, Servicemen

Curiosity and persistence led a woman searching for family history to a treasure likely to elicit memories of World War II for many local residents. Bonnie Heenan of Gassville tracked down a quilt last week with close ties to her own family as well as many others.

Such is the power in a quilt sewn in Mountain Home 56 years ago bearing names such as Shiras, Bodenhamer, Dunbar, Dearmore, Hackler, Hurst, Pratt, Fletcher, Anglin, Gregory, Tipton and many more.

The year was 1944. Home Demonstration clubs in the Mountain Home area joined forces to raise money to support the war effort. Each club, in charge of a quilt square or two, sold opportunities, for 10 cents each, to have the name of a serviceman embroidered on the quilt. Once pieced together, the patriotic quilt of 30 squares and 720 names was given away in a drawing. Chances to win cost 20 cents.

Source & Full Story

What happens inside the National Archives of the UK?

It is that time of year when the National Archives of the UK make the news - thanks to the annual release of 30-year-old government documents.

But the Archives, in Kew, west London, are busy all year round - partly because of a huge growth in interest in family history.

Chief executive Natalie Ceeney gave the BBC's Sanchia Berg a rare tour behind the scenes of the National Archives - including both highlights of the past and plans for the future.

Source a Full Story

GeneaNet: Learn the Popularity of Your First Name

GeneaNet has added a new feature that allows users to learn the popularity of their first name, or the one of their ancestors!

Click the 'Learn the Popularity of Your First Name' link in the left sidebar of the web site or simply go to

Enter a first name in the search form and it will show the percentage of individuals who are indexed in the GeneaNet family trees, by year.

9 January 2010

Scots Link To Native American Tribe Celebrated

An extraordinary link between Scotland and a Native American Indian tribe is set to take centre stage at an International Clan gathering.

It is believed that up to a half of the Cherokee Nation could be descendants of Ludovick Grant, who was a laird's son from Creichie in Aberdeenshire.

A delegation from the tribe are planning a visit to the Clan Grant International Meeting this summer to discover the roots of their celebrated ancestor.

Ludovick Grant was captured while fighting for the Jacobite army in the battle of Preston in 1715 and was due to be hanged.

However, he escaped death and instead was transported to South Carolina, where he was an indentured servant.

Source & Full Story

Is Google Good for History?

Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media, at George Mason University:

Is Google good for history? Of course it is. We historians are searchers and sifters of evidence. Google is probably the most powerful tool in human history for doing just that. It has constructed a deceptively simple way to scan billions of documents instantaneously, and it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars of its own money to allow us to read millions of books in our pajamas. Good? How about Great?

But then we historians, like other humanities scholars, are natural-born critics. We can find fault with virtually anything. And this disposition is unsurprisingly exacerbated when a large company, consisting mostly of better-paid graduates from the other side of campus, muscles into our turf. Had Google spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build the Widener Library at Harvard, surely we would have complained about all those steps up to the front entrance.

Source & Full Story

8 January 2010

New App for iPhone and iPod Touch: Grave Sites

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Grave Sites is said to be "the most comprehensive biography and grave site location app available for iPhone and iPod Touch users".

Grave Sites has a growing fan base that includes celebrity lovers from all genres, people who do gravestone rubbings, history buffs and the merely morbid or curious. The app provides detailed biographies of thousands of well known figures from both current times and history.

Press Release

Pajek - Program for Large Network Analysis 1.26

GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware

Pajek - Program for Large Network Analysis 1.26 has been released.


• Proportional reduction of error reported as result of partitioning signed networks.
• Several minor changes in reporting results of partitioning signed networks included.
• Possibility to use larger / smaller shapes in Export matrix to EPS added.
• Possibility to use thicker lines for dividing clusters in Export matrix to EPS added.
• Dotted lines for dividing clusters in greyscale Export matrix to EPS added.
• Procedure for symmetric-acyclic decomposition modified to enable macro execution.
• Parameter Large Network added to Options/ReadWrite. When number of vertices is larger than this value, additional questions or warnings appear during Pajek execution.
• Nets/Cross-Intersection and Nets/Intersection generalized to take line values into account (Add, Sub, Mul, Div, Min, Max, 1st, 2nd).
• Net/Transform/Remove/Triangle added (removing arcs belonging to upper or lower triangle).
• Net/Transform/Line Values/Constant added (min or max of line value and selected constant).

GENP 3.03

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GENP 3.03 has been released.


• New facility - Welcome Tasks. Seen under Help menu. Existing users will need to customize the menu to see the facility.
• On Query Manager the Help button invokes new Help file topic. Focus of dialog is now first row of Available Queries.
• About Box has link to website.
• On System Table Groups has link to video on website.
• On History has link to video on website.
• Fix to installer on Windows 7 under special conditions.
• On Attribute Detail and Source Detail the accelerator keys are disabled.

Behold 0.99.4 beta

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Behold 0.99.4 beta has been released.


• Add better quality small icons to the Behold file.
• Change the merging Tags and Custom Text dialog to be a resizeable form and space the items on the form correctly under Vista and Windows 7.
• Use a non-protected temporary file for downloading the instant update setup program so that webupdate will work in Vista and Windows 7.
• Correct four incorrect titles that appeared when the title text was customized.
• Do not import Custom Text that is no longer used by Behold.

7 January 2010

Historian Claims To Have Finally Identified Wartime 'Man Who Never Was'

A historian claims to have conclusively proved the identity of the "Man Who Never Was", whose body was used in a spectacular plot to deceive the Germans over the invasion of Sicily in the Second World War.

It was a turning point in the Second World War. As the Allies prepared to invade Sicily in 1943, they wanted to dupe the Germans into thinking that their attack would be aimed elsewhere.

To carry out the deception, a plan was concocted in which a body was dumped in the sea, to be discovered by Axis forces, carrying fake 'secret documents' suggesting the invasion would be staged in Greece, 500 miles away.

Incredibly, the trick worked and the diversion of German troops to Greece has been credited by historians with playing a major part in the success of the Sicily invasion. The episode was later immortalised in the 1956 film The Man Who Never Was.

Source & Full Story

6 January 2010

Hiroshima, Nagasaki Survivor Dies at 93

Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person officially recognized as a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings at the end of World War II, has died at age 93.

Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding company on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city.

He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki, about 300 kilometers (190 miles) to the southwest, which suffered a second U.S. atomic bomb attack three days later.

Source & Full Story

MyBlood 1.1

Full Featured - Windows, Mac - Purchase

MyBlood 1.1 has been released.


• PowerPC support.
• Redesigned the Calendar window to display the calendar with the week days and so on.
• Extended the support for privacy to people, families, notes and events.
• Import now support the (none standard) _PRIM tag which specifies the primary image of a person, so you don’t have to reselect it anymore.
• You can see which events are linked to a media and you can go the event by clicking on “Go to event”.
• Some bug fixes

Victorian Man's London Diary Put Online

The private diary of a Victorian clerk is to be serialised online more than 160 years after it was written.

The 19-year-old Londoner Nathaniel Bryceson's diary from 1846 described public hangings and his love life.

The diary was bought by Westminster council for £115 in 1974 but had only been available in manuscript at the council's archive.

Now its 260 entries have been transcribed and sections will be published online throughout the year.

Mr Bryceson, who lived in Richmond Buildings, Soho, also followed the news headlines of the day, including the wedding anniversary of Queen Victoria.

Source & Full Story

Behold 0.99.3

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Behold 0.99.3 beta has been released.


• Fixed the scroll up and scroll down keys which would cause an exception everytime they reached a horizontal line with an ID number at the right.
• Fixed some other bugs.

5 January 2010

New Digitized Image Collection From The National Library Of Scotland: First World War ‘Official Photographs’

New digitized image Collection from The National Library of Scotland: First World War ‘Official Photographs’.

Black-and-white photographs mainly of the Western Front during the First World War. Official British war photographers took many of them for propaganda purposes. Unless otherwise stated, titles are the photographs' original captions. From the papers of Field Marshal (Earl) Haig (1861-1928). The Haig Papers also contain Douglas Haig's diaries.

Legacy Family Tree 7.4 Received Official Certification From FamilySearch

Announcement from Legacy Family Tree: Legacy's FamilySearch integration features will be available in version 7.4 which we expect to release as a free update to Legacy 7.0 (Standard and Deluxe editions) in January 2010. Version 7.4 is certified in Access, Print, and Ordinance Status. This will allow you to:

• Match your Legacy individuals with FamilySearch individuals
• Combine potential duplicates that exist at FamilySearch
• View the real-time ordinance status of individuals

The FamilySearch integration tools, first to be available in version 7.4, will be a free update to both Standard and Deluxe editions of Legacy 7.0. Now that we have completed most of the software certification requirements, the software is now in final testing stages. We hope for a January 2010 release for 7.4. Version 7.5 will follow within the next month or so which is planned to be certified in Sync, Update, and Ordinance Reservation.

4 January 2010

All Teen Wanted For Christmas Was A Gravestone For His Grandma

Leo Guenette’s classmates at J.E. Benson Public School in Windsor, Ontario, had Christmas wish lists full of iPods and video games. But Leo’s had an unusual entry — a gravemarker for his beloved grandmother.

“This is what I really wanted,” the 13-year-old boy said, speaking about his grandma, Margaret, who died Nov. 9. “She was good.”

The Grade 7 student was asked by his teacher to do a writing assignment last month answering the question: “If you had only one wish for Christmas, what would it be?”

When teacher Michelle Landry saw his request, she went about making the boy’s wish come true.

Source & Full Story

Oregon State Archives: Early Oregonians Database Now Available

As a legacy to the sesquicentennial of Oregon’s statehood, the Oregon State Archives presents the Early Oregonians Database. The information that can be found in the database is from census, death, probate, and other records to help researchers find relevant information and documents about people who lived in Oregon prior to statehood.

Archives staff and volunteers began collecting information for this project from the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses for Oregon, in 2004. Volunteers and student interns reviewed the extracted information and combined entries that appeared on both censuses. As later census information became available online, staff searched for individuals who met the Early Oregonian criteria and added additional information and individuals.

Source & Full Story

Relatives Say Photos Depict Ellis Island’s First Immigrant

For more than a century, she was lost to history. Three years ago, she was rediscovered. As it turned out, the first immigrant to set foot on Ellis Island when it opened on Jan. 1, 1892, an Irish girl named Annie Moore, did not go west and die in Texas, as had long been believed, but spent her days as a poor immigrant on the Lower East Side, dying in 1924.

Now, relatives have found two photographs of the woman they believe is the real Annie Moore.

"It is of Annie, probably in a photography studio with a baby girl, maybe a year old, in her lap," said Michael Shulman, Annie’s great-nephew.

Source & Full Story

Thousands Of Historic Land Files To Be Shredded In Ireland

Hundreds of thousands of documents, some dating from the late 19th century, are to be destroyed as part of the Property Registration Authority’s move towards e- conveyancing.

In early 2007 the authority – formerly the Registrar of Deeds and Titles – announced that land certificates were to be abolished by December 31st, 2009, and replaced by an electronic system. Land certificates were introduced in 1892 when the Land Registry was established.

The authority estimates there are about 700,000-800,000 land certificates. Although some are in the possession of property owners, many are held by banks or solicitors as security.

Source & Full Story

Iowa Genealogical Society Library: Volunteers Scramble To Save Genealogy Books

Officials with the Iowa Genealogical Society Library said that the roof of the building that houses their library partially collapsed.

The collapse happened during the first major blizzard of winter, officials said. The library at 628 East Grand Avenue in Des Moines suffered extensive damage.

Officials said that in the days before Christmas, melting snow and rain on the flat roof caused the collapse. The ceiling in a storage room, office area and parts of the library itself were damaged.

Officials said volunteers worked to cover books and equipment, including protecting "endangering irreplaceable family history volumes."

Source & Full Story

Modern Software Experience "GeneAwards 2009"

Tamura Jones of Modern Software Experience announces GeneAwards 2009:

• Best Genealogy Product of 2009: RootsMagic 4
• Best New Genealogy Product of 2009: 1911 Census (honourable mention: MyBlood)
• Best Genealogy Organisation of 2009: Footnote
• Most Surprising Product of 2009: GenealogyCloud
• Most Improved Product of 2009: RootsMagic (honourable mention: Behold)
• Worst Genealogy Product of 2009: MyHeritage Family Tree Builder 4.0
• Worst Genealogy Organisation of 2009: MyHeritage (dishonourable mention:, FamilySearch, FamilyLink)
• Vapourware 2009: GenSeek

FinFamily 250

Other Tools - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

FinFamily 250 has been released.


• Source window with content sensitive menu for Hiskipage added.

MemoryMiner 2.0

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

MemoryMiner 2.0 has been released.


• Interactive Ken Burns style pan and zoom is available through a button that appears on every selection marker. Users can step inside a photo through the markers placed on photos. These markers can highlight a person or an object in the photo.
• Gorgeous new Maplines view that presents a single, chronological line overlaid on top of a Google Maps view. The line connects geographical marker points corresponding to all the distinct places where a person has been captured in a photo library. Clicking on a marker displays an overlay with a Coverflow style view that focuses on just the specific area of a photo where a person exists.
• Create ordered collections which can be published to the web via the totally revamped MemoryMiner web viewer. The data is published as a Geo/Media RSS feed. Collections can also be published as Flickr sets. In both cases, changes made on the desktop can be efficiently updated to the web viewer, or to Flickr with only what was changed. MemoryMiner RSS feeds are compatible with Cooliris.
• Read iPhoto faces info. When importing files from iPhoto that have recognized faces, the face marker is converted to a MemoryMiner selection marker, with a new Person record created as needed. Unlike in iPhoto, users can resize the markers as needed to capture more than just the square face area. There's more to a person than just their face.
• MemoryMiner directly supports Reverse Geocoding. GPS data embedded in digital photos from iPhone or other cameras can be used to automatically create MemoryMiner places.
• Optionally embed all annotation data directly in the photo files themselves using the open standard Adobe XMP/IPTC format. In addition to the usual title/caption/date/GPS location data, MemoryMiner selection markers with captions/person names are stored as well. This lets users share the results of their annotation work on individual photos with other MemoryMiner users or other XMP-savvy applications such as Lightroom, Aperture, etc.
• Directly record audio/video annotations using the built-in iSight camera or any other Quicktime compatible device.
• Full screen annotation using task-specific overlays that can be easily shown/hidden as needed, lets you focus on capturing the story.

MemoryMiner requires Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or higher. It works even better in OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) but does not work at all in OS X 10.4 (Tiger). If you are still using OS 10.4, please do not download and install this update.

PhpGedView 4.2.3

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Freeware/Open Source

PhpGedView 4.2.3 has been released.


• Hundreds of bug-fixes.
• New reporting system
• Compatibility with PHP5.3
• Fixes compatibility issues with PostgreSQL.

GenSoftReviews Presents its 2009 Users Choice Awards

After just over a year of operation, 509 reviews have been submitted to GenSoftReviews.

The site collects ratings in five categories: Whether you enjoy using it, if you use it often, if it has easy input, useful output, and an overall rating.

Based on user ratings, all the programs with a user rating of 4 or more out of 5 and at least 10 reviews are being awarded a GenSoftReviews Users Choice Award.

The 2009 winners, ordered by highest rating are: RootsMagic, Legacy, The Next Generation of Genealogy Site Building (TNG), Brother's Keeper, Personal Ancestral File, Reunion, Family Tree Builder and GRAMPS. Complete results can be found at:

A Preview of The Master Genealogist 8

A preview of the work in progress for The Master Genealogist 8 can be seen at

PAF Pal is Now Freeware

Announcement from Ohana Software: "Steve Cannon, the developer of PAF Pal, passed away a few years ago. He was a good programmer and a good friend.

PAF Pal was designed with the old TempleReady work flow in mind, although some of its functionality continues to be useful in some situations. Now that new FamilySearch is being used by so many people, we have contacted Steve's family and they have agreed to allow us to offer PAF Pal at no cost. To get your copy, go to and click on the Purchase menu. Scroll down to find the free license for PAF Pal. Once you have your license you can download PAF Pal by going to the Download menu and choosing the Freeware/Shareware link.

Merry Christmas from the Cannon family and your friends at Ohana Software."

Genota News

Announcement from Ausgen Family History Services: "During 2009 (whilst not travelling) a considerable amount of time was spent on redesigning Genota and Genota Forms. A new release of Genota Forms is scheduled to enter beta testing after the Christmas break and all going well should be released late January/February, with a new release of Genota following soon after. Could all customers still using Windows 98 or Windows ME please drop me an email at advising such so that I can assess the impact that the new releases will have on them. The latest versions of our development enviroment does not support Windows 98/ME.

For all customers moving to Vista or Windows 7 operating system, it is recommended that you install Genota and/or Genota Forms into the Public folder, as the UAC will not allow writing to files stored in the Program Files folder. This effectively prevents both application from functioning correctly as they both require access to write to ini and other user files."

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 100101

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 100101 has been released.


• Improved: Catalan translations.
• Fixed: Reporting of names of multiple marriages/partnerships when spouse/partner is not included in the report.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 100101

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 100101 has been released.


• Maintenance release incorporating changes to reporter module; see revision history for The Complete Genealogy Reporter.

Map My Ancestors 1.8.7

Mapmaking - Windows - Purchase

Map My Ancestors 1.8.7 has been released.


• Added further diagnostics to help resolve map image display problem.
• Added diagnostics to help resolve map image display problem.

GENP 3.02

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GENP 3.02 has been released.


• Add option on Gedcom Import Wizard to make the first person imported the focus person when GenBase opened.
• On GEDCOM Import Wizard add Help button and link to 'GEDCOM Import' video on website.
• On GEDCOM Import Wizard make some data entry fields flash if they have no keyed data.
• Improve GEDCOM import from PAF when using UTF-8.
• Update Help file.
• Improve feedback form.
• Fix under Windows 7 to return better operating system information.
• Changes to the installer under Windows 7 to use Windows 7 user interface enhancements.
• On New GenBase Wizard added link to the 'First Steps - Make your first database' video on website.

End of Development for GedStar Products

Announcement from Doug Gordon, GHCS Software: "Considering that it's been two years since my last newsletter, it's obvious that things are winding down around here. The platform for which GedStar was developed -- PalmOS -- is no longer installed on any currently-available product. So now is as good a time as any to officially end development of this product line."

Version 3.3 Final Release: There have been a few minor fixes for GedStar Pro developed after V3.2 was released in 2007. Mainly these involve GEDCOM compatibility with some of the later versions of Family Tree Maker (version 2008 and later) as well as Roots Magic.

For those of you using The Master Genealogist, it looks like the current versions of GedStar Pro (V3.2, V3.3) will work fine with version 8 of TMG when it is released.


Timeline - Mac - Purchase

FTLCtimelines has been released.


• Time zones (also imported with iCal .ics files) for years ≥ 10 AD.


• Zoom function for timelines,
• A few help tags,
• Simple find function in help windows,
• Slightly easier to work with axis display parameters.
• A few bug fixes and/or minor reworks.

Famtree 5

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Famtree 5 has been released.


• 'Favourites' feature - making it simple to show trees and charts for individuals accessed on a regular basis
• Much improved Print Preview facility
• Much improved user interface - new Toolbar Layout and Icons to assist ease of use
• Option to include Half-Siblings in Wide Family Group charts
• Optimised for use with all Screen resolutions from 800x600 upwards, and for viewing in maximised and non-maximised windows
• Scroll back and forth through all the charts and trees displayed this session
• 'Save Now' facility to save your file with a single click
• Improved access to the Internet from within Famtree
• Simplified installation process

Ancestral Author 2.8h

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Author 2.8h has been released.


• Page breaks can now be inserted before generation headers in ancestor reports.
• Fixes a bug whereby dates with the GEDCOM BEF and AFT qualifiers were not sorted correctly. For example, AA would not have put the following two dates in correct order: after 1936, before 1924.

GeneaNet: Send Postcards To Family And Friends

GeneaNet allows you to send a free electronic greeting to your family and friends!

You can pick from a selection of our greeting postcards...

... or click on a category area to browse through our selection of postcards.

Once you've selected your postcard your next step is to customize it.

Please be sure to fill out all boxes completely and check the recipient’s email address for accuracy.

When done click the "View Your Postcard" button to see what will be sent. If everything looks right, click the "Send" button. If you would like to make additional changes before sending, click the "Correct" button to return to the editing screen.

And remember that you can upload and share postcards!