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Genealogy Blog

31 January 2011

Man Finds Brother's WWII Bracelet on Website

There wasn't a day that passed when a young Archie Payer didn't send a letter to his older brother, a World War II serviceman stationed thousands of miles from their McAdoo home. Stephen A. Payer was 19 when he died, shot down in a B-17 bomber as it flew outside of Berlin, Germany.

The Payers never received complete details about what happened to Stephen, who enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force after graduating from McAdoo High School in 1943. But because they were so close, Archie never stopped wanting to find out more.

Source & Full Story

Taiwan Teen Bone Collector Carries on Family Craft

Like many Taiwanese teenage girls, Lee You-fang likes to sing pop songs and play with her pet dog, but she has an unusual job: working with the bones of the dead.

For five years, 19-year-old Lee has honed her craft as a "bone collector," assisting her father in an ancient funerary rite that involves collecting, cleaning and arranging human skeletons for reburial. She began working full-time after graduating from high school last year, following in the footsteps of her great-grandfather who started the family business eight decades ago.

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110130 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110130 has been released.

Changes:

• Fixed: Potential for program hanging (looping) when formatting a Descendants chart containing extremely long names.
• Improved: Descendants chart font size will reduce to accommodate long names without word-wrap, thus preserving the connections layout.
• Improved: Narration of weekdays in French reports.

GedStar Pro 4.1.4 Update Released

Other Tools - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedStar Pro 4.1.4 has been released.

Changes:

• Data from GEDCOM files and other programs using ANSI character encoding are now correctly converted for Android (UTF-8), regardless of nationality. In addition to Western European characters, this has been tested with the Cyryllic alphabet.
• Photo searches for Legacy Family Tree databases has been improved.

GedStar Pro for Android 1.6.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 1.6.1 has been released.

Changes:

• Add settable limit on the number of generations to go back during a relationship search. This may help prevent out-of-memory errors.
• Add support for network distribution of product information and alert bulletins.
• Fix minor bugs from previous releases.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Brother's Keeper 6.4.17 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.4.17 has been released.

Changes:

• (fixed) Notice to Dutch users of the DUTCH.BKW language file. This update fixes a problem with Van and Vander names that was caused by the previous two versions. Download this update and install it, then run File, Quality Check to reindex the names.
• (changed) Changes were made to the 'All Relatives' report to try to fix the error 75 that some Windows 7 users were getting with more than 4 generations.
• (fixed) Fixed a problem on Group Sheets where there was sometimes not a space after the name of the spouse of a child.
• (new) Users of the Baltic character set will get the correct characters exported as UTF-8 characters on Gedcom Export.

The GeneaNet Search Preferences

The Search Preferences allows users to save some settings that will be applied to all future searches.

You can enter some GeneaNet Account usernames to exclude from your search results list or you can select a Group of Contacts from your "All Relatives" Address Book.

You can restrain your search to some places and to the most popular places in your Family Tree.

Continue reading...

30 January 2011

Digitisation in Europe – The New Renaissance

The European Union’s Comite’ des Sages recently published The New Renaissance, a proud call-to-arms for the digitisation of Europe’s cultural heritage.

There are plenty of questions it raises and some of the recommendations will be very difficult to put into practice. But as a lofty statement of intent it’s a powerful document and very welcome, focussing hearts and minds on the task of digitisation. Some of its broad aims overlap with the recent Inspiring Research, Inspiring Scholarship document published by JISC.

Source & Full Story

29 January 2011

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 8.1.1 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 8.1.1 has been released.

Changes:

• Ahnentafel/Register: Some strings including special characters were being displayed incorrectly under UTF• 8 (fixed).
• Albums: When adding media to an album, the image thumbnail was displayed with a fixed, smaller size (fixed).
• Albums: If more than one page of albums existed under Admin/Albums, subsequent pages were unreachable (fixed).
• Citations: New citations could not be added on systems running the latest version of MySQL (fixed).
• Diagnostics: The templateconfig.php file was in the list of files when the permissions were set incorrectly (fixed).
• Help: The Help pages did not use the custom style sheet (fixed).

Continue reading...

28 January 2011

Woman Buried in Wrong Grave for Seven Years

A council is to exhume the body of a woman buried in the wrong grave for seven years. Irene Cheevers said she was "gobsmacked" when she was visited by Cookstown District Council (England) officials on the anniversary of her aunt's death and was told she had been interred in the wrong plot.

Ina Cheevers died, aged 83, on January 17, 2003 and for seven years her niece and next-of-kin, Irene, had been tending the grave in the council-run cemetery on Westland Road. She had erected a small plaque with her aunt's name engraved on it as a memorial to her.

Source & Full Story

161-Year-Old Graveyard to be Bulldozed to Make Way for New Runway at Chicago's O'Hare Airport

A 161-year-old graveyard could be bulldozed to make way for a new runway at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. A court ruling upheld an earlier decision which said Chicago had legally condemned St Johannes Cemetery and could begin removing around 1,000 graves.

Thirty graves have already been voluntarily relocated and families have received permits for another 345 to be moved. But church officials have criticised the ruling for not considering the religious protection arguments.

Source & Full Story

Transcript 2.3.3 build 81 beta Update Released

Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Freeware

Transcript 2.3.3 build 81 beta has been released.

Changes:

• Updated the jvcl and jcl code libraries to their latest releases which made code changes necessary in several places, also made it necessary to change to the language loader because jvcl removed the used one.
• More code changes to improve maintainability.
• Updated links to jcl and jvcl in About, also update the lng files (lng files not included in the beta, will have to wait until a stable release).
• Refactored code for System and Transcript info in About and exception dialogs to remove duplication and improved the Info given there.
• Fixed first time loading position with dual monitor setup.
• Known problem old Plugins not compatible with this version of Transcript and no new plugin versions available as of yet.

Legacy Family Tree 7.5.0.47 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree 7.5.0.47 has been released.

Changes:

• Digitally Signed - The setup program is now digitally signed. Some virus protection programs were not allowing users to install Legacy.
• FamilySearch - Several fixes and improvements have been made to the FamilySearch integration tool.

Family Trees 1.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Family Trees 1.1 has been released.

Changes:

• Export to image functionality.
• Sending by EMail members biographies.
• Displaying the events-associated locations on the world map.
• Ability to search members trough a family tree.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Unmarked Graves Found at Veteran Cemetery in Mississippi

Authorities said Thursday they fear dozens of veterans could lie in unmarked graves at a Mississippi military cemetery after they found two unidentified coffins and used radar to detect other possible plots.

The two coffins and other potential graves were found in sections of Vicksburg National Military Cemetery that were opened in the 1940s for World War I, World War II and Korean War veterans, National Park Service officials said at a news conference.

Source & Full Story

27 January 2011

Save Hungary's Archive

A proposed law may lead to the destruction of Hungarian secret police documents preserved by the Historical Archives of Hungarian State Security. In what serves as a very disturbing development for anyone with an interest in Hungary’s Cold War history, the Hungarian government is preparing to enact a new law which may lead to the blatant, politically-motivated sanitization of the country’s communist past. Allegedly out of a concern for privacy rights, citizens who were spied upon or observed by the previous regime’s state security officers may now not only ask to view their files at the Archives of Hungarian State Security in Budapest, but may also remove these preserved archival documents from the reading room, take them home and have them destroyed.

Source & Full Story

Holocaust Memorial Day: Google Launches Holocaust Archive to Help Keep Memories of Tragedy Alive

Google has partnered with Israel’s Yad Vashem museum, to help digitise the largest collection of Holocaust photos and documents in the world, to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The search giant is working with the Jerusalem-based archive to properly index and store in Google’s cloud 130,000 photographs, some of which are currently available on Yad Vashem’s website, but until now have been difficult to locate and discover online.

Source & Full Story

26 January 2011

WinGeno 1.12 Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows, Mac, Linux - Freeware

WinGeno 1.12 has been released.

Changes:

• Some minor bug fixes.
• Automatic update support.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110125 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110125 has been released.

Changes:

• Includes the ability to include dates of birth and death on the front page.

Pajek - Program for Large Network Analysis 2.03 Update Released

GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware

Pajek - Program for Large Network Analysis 2.03 has been released.

Changes:

• Problem when changing screen resolution in Windows7 (e.g. selecting Windows XP style DPI scaling) to make text and other items larger or smaller solved.
• Export to SVG modified to fit better to Windows 7.
• Bug when selecting new network, while Edit/Partition or Edit/Vector window is active, fixed.
• Bounding box fits now better when exporting matrices to EPS.
• Minor bug fixed when resizing Blockmodeling window.
• Minor bug fixed when writing log files while editing Partition or Vector.

MacFamilyTree 6.0.12 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.0.12 has been released.

Changes:

• Several stability improvements.
• Localization fixes.

French Railway Formally Apologizes to Holocaust Victims

The head of France’s national railway company, known as the S.N.C.F., on Tuesday made the company’s first formal public apology directly to Holocaust victims. The regrets came just a few months after American lawmakers, survivors and their descendants moved to block the company from winning contracts in the United States if it did not acknowledge its role in the shipping of thousands of Jews to Nazi death camps and make amends.

“In the name of the S.N.C.F., I bow down before the victims, the survivors, the children of those deported, and before the suffering that still lives,” said Guillaume Pepy, the company’s chairman.

Source & Full Story

GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.5 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.5 has been released.

Changes:

• Built-in interface to recover a lost account (registration key) and/or update email address.
• Fixed bug where entering a long password would display 'invalid password'.
• Fixed bug where GenoPro would display 'invalid file format' when opening old .gno files created with the 'Fast Save' option.
• Updated report template 'Narrative Report' and also fixed the erroneous message about invalid coordinates for the household object.
• Removed the drawing of a tiny square as the gender when drawing males in anthropological kinship diagrams.
• Fixed bug where the description text for the automatic/default colors were missing.
• Improved the interface to download and upgrade GenoPro.

Brother's Keeper 6.4.16 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.4.16 has been released.

Changes:

• (changed) On the Word Search screen, you can put a space before or after a word you are searching for and it will then not match words that do not have the space. For example you can search for Rock followed by a space and it will not match Rockford.
• (fixed) If you had the Select Person screen set to show matching names in birth year order, it was not showing the birth year before the Alternate Names (if you were also searching alternate names.)
• (changed) When you go to File, Options, RTF and click Word, it finds it in the Office14 folder also now.
• (fixed) Ahnentafel Book. The 'other family events' were not printing if you asked for the information 'at the end of the spouse information.'

Branches 1.1.2.4 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Branches 1.1.2.4 has been released.

Changes:

• Improved GEDCOM import of old style source and repository records.
• Improved rollover highlighting while showing concentrations of names.

National Archives of India: Rare Documents, Pictures from Archives Made Public

Rare documents and photographs of national importance that were under the control of the National Archives of India have now been made available to the public. This has been made possible by an amendment to the law that governs confidentiality of national archives.

The record centre of the National Archives of India in Puducherry is hosting a week-long exhibition of documents and photographs titled Independence to Republic' to commemorate the 62nd Republic Day celebrations on its premises from January 25.

Source & Full Stpry

25 January 2011

US National Archives: Historian Altered Lincoln Pardon to Enhance its Historical Significance

The National Archives says a longtime Abraham Lincoln researcher has confessed to tampering with a presidential pardon of a Civil War military deserter so he could claim credit for finding a document of historical significance.

The Archives said Monday that historian Thomas P. Lowry, 78, has acknowledged that he used a fountain pen with special ink to change the date on a presidential pardon issued by Lincoln to a military deserter, making it appear that Lowry had uncovered a document of historical significance.

Source & Full Story

24 January 2011

GeneaNet: Print and Export Family Tree Charts and Lists

GeneaNet offers family tree printing and exporting on a number of genealogy charts and lists.

- Ascending/Descending chart and list in PDF file format
- Family book in PDF file format
- Elegant family tree in PDF and PNG file format

Continue reading...

23 January 2011

Woman Locates Grave of Brother Killed in WWII

January 16, 1945, was a day that changed Maggie Morrell’s life. On that day, Morrell learned that her older brother, Sgt. Gregory Boehm of the Armed Infantry Batallion, was officially missing in action while serving overseas during WWII.

The news was devastating to the Boehm family. The last time they had seen Boehm had been in March 1943, when he returned home to Mandan on a short leave. Four months after receiving the initial letter, the family received another; this time informing them that Sgt. Boehm had been killed while serving his country.

Source & Full Story

Deserted Village of Imber, England, Remembered

A Wiltshire village that was deserted after being taken over by troops for training during the Second World War is being remembered at a special event. People living in Imber, on Salisbury Plain, were evacuated in December 1943 and have never been allowed to return.

Fifty years ago, thousands of people marched into the village to protest at its continued use by the Army. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the village still plays a vital role in training troops for operations.

Source & Full Story

MacFamilyTree 6.0.11 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.0.11 has been released.

Changes:

• Problems uploading to MacFamilyTree.com fixed.
• General Web Export fixes.
• Localization updates.

22 January 2011

What's in a Surname?

A new view of the United States based on the distribution of common last names shows centuries of history and echoes some of America's great immigration sagas. To compile this data, geographers at University College London used phone directories to find the predominant surnames in each state. Software then identified the probable provenances of the 181 names that emerged.

Source & Full Story

21 January 2011

Second Site 3.4 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase

Second Site 3.4 has been released.

Enhancements:

• Added the Indented Descendant Chart and Indented Pedigree Chart
• Added support for Web Fonts which expands the set of font families you may use on your web pages
• Reimplemented the Descendant Chart; this corrects some long-standing limitations like missing spouses in the last generation of the chart and counter-intuitive box placement when optimizing the chart; the Optimize Space property now supports three levels of optimization
• Added the Include Marriage Date property to the Descendant and Indented Descendant charts
• Added the Generation Number property to all Descendant and Pedigree charts

Continue reading...

20 January 2011

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110118 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110118 has been released.

Changes:

• Includes German and Catalan translation of new GUI texts.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110118 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110118 has been released.

Changes:

• Includes German and Catalan translation of new GUI texts.
• Minor fixes to merge logic.
• Improvements to support consistent handling of alternative decimal marks (comma/period) in coordinate pasting and arithmetical calculations.

LTools 1.3.7 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.7 has been released.

Changes:

• Support for Legacy Family Tree 7.5.

FamilyInsight 2011.1.18.0 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2011.1.18.0 has been released.

Changes:

• Problem with Not a Match and the Merge Needed.
• Fixed a crash.

Family Bee 1.21 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Family Bee 1.21 has been released.

Changes:

• Email attachments were failing on some phone models -- should now be fixed.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

19 January 2011

Twelve Skeletons Found in Bicester Car Park (Oxfordshire, England)

Twelve skeletons have been found under the car park at a Bicester church. The bones were found by builders who are midway through constructing the John Paul II Centre in the grounds of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in the Causeway.

Archaeologists have exhumed the remains and believe the skeletons date from late Anglo-Saxon times, between 700 and 950 AD. The car park is believed to cover part of a Saxon church site, dating from between 410 and 1066AD.

Source & Full Story

Rare Signature by American Declaration of Independence Co-Signer Worth £500k

A signature scrawled in black ink on a scrap of old paper is potentially one of the most expensive autographs in history - with an estimated value of more than £500,000.

The rare scribbled name of Button Gwinnett, a co-signer of the American Declaration of Independence, is one of the most sought after signatures in the world rivalling the likes of William Shakespeare.

Source & Full Story

Civil War Gun Returned: Firearm Stolen from Richmond Museum in 1975

A Sevier County woman found the revolver, a .36-caliber Spiller and Burr carried by a Confederate officer, among her father's possessions after he died last year. Now the gun's on its way home to its rightful owner in the former Confederate capital - 35 years after someone stole it from a display case and just in time for the war's 150th anniversary.

The gun had been a legend around the museum since December 1975, when it disappeared from the collection. The six-shot revolver is one of only about 1,400 made between 1862 and 1864 by Spiller and Burr, one of the Confederacy's few gunmakers.

Source & Full Story

18 January 2011

Legacy Family Tree 7.5 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree 7.5 has been released.

Changes:

• Legacy 7.5 now has full support for integration and syncing with FamilySearch.
• If you see Grey arrows on the Family View these are indicators of linking with FamilySearch. If you are not using the FamilySearch feature at this time you can turn these off by clicking Options, Customize, General tab and uncheck the Integrate with FamilySearch checkbox and click Save.
• Over 50 items fixed.

17 January 2011

Local Historian Discovers Revolutionary War Veteran Buried in Plymouth, Michigan

Thanks to an accidental meeting at the Plymouth Historical Museum last August, three men — volunteer historical archivist Garry Packard, Vietnam War veteran John Pappas and amateur genealogist Mike Roberts — have come together to give recognition to the man they believe is the only Revolutionary War veteran buried in Plymouth.

According to research done by Packard, who has spent years studying cemeteries and burials in Plymouth, the remains of Revolutionary War veteran Titus Vespatian Hoisington are still buried on the property of the First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, which was once the site of Plymouth's Old Presbyterian Cemetery.

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110114 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110114 has been released.

Changes:

• New preference to include event TYPE data in the report.

GedStar Pro for Android 1.6.0 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 1.6.0 has been released.

Changes:

• Relationship calculator (accessed from the menu).
• Lookups accessed from the Search key.
• Displays character formatting and some HTML features in memos, notes, etc.
• New preference settings for various display options.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Ancestral Quest 12.1.28 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Quest 12.1.28 has been released.

Changes:

• Internet Searches: In the past, you could set up customized Internet searches using the First names and Last name of any person in your file. With this build, AQ also lets you now use the birth date and place and death date and place with customized Internet searches.
• Access to Hundreds of Millions of Free Records: FamilySearch has just released hundreds of millions of indexed records, many of which have images. AQ now has built-in searches for these records to aid in your research.
• Access to Holocaust Records: Yad Vashem in Jerusalem has indexed records on roughly half of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust available for public searching. AQ now has a built-in search to access these records.
• Non-English Language Selection: A dropdown selection box of several non-English languages has been added to the main Pedigree and Family Views.
• Expanded Screens: Some of the more crowded screens, such as the Individual entry screen and the Individual Search screen were widened to provide more room and feel less crowded.

Ancestral Author 2.9a Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Author 2.9a has been released.

Changes:

• Maximum number of hyperlinks has been increased from 150,000 to 1.5 million; and the page limit has been increased from 12,000 to 24,000.
• File names in AA scripts can now be stored in relative format, so all files can be moved to another folder, another drive, or another computer without having to change file names in the script. Press OPTIONS, then select the FILE PATHS tab.
• Fixed a bug related to generation header numbering in Descendant Reports.
• Fixed a bug related to Table of Contents and Descendant report generation headers.
• Fixed a bug in the Ancestor Report numbering. The numbers became nonsensical for ancestor reports exceeding 14 generations.
• Minor bug fixes related to drag and drop and relative file names.

Backup and Restore your GeneaNet Online Family Tree

The GeneaNet Club Privilege members can have their own FTP folder to backup and restore their Online Family Tree. This FTP folder can also be used to upload and import a GEDCOM file bigger than 10 MB.

Of course, every GeneaNet user can always directly download a backup of their Online Family Tree for free to save it to their computer.

Continue reading...

16 January 2011

Old Wooden Fort Discovered in St. Augustine, Florida, Could Be From 1500s

Every morning for the past week, St. Augustine city archaeologist Carl Halbirt and a handful of volunteers worked in the cold to uncover what may be a very big part of St. Augustine's colonial history.

The building may be one of three wooden forts that were built in the 16th century before the Castillo de San Marcos. But the structure could also be the remnants of a large warehouse, boat house or even a labor camp used while the Castillo was being built, he said.

Source & Full Story

WWII Archive of Free French Airman Uncovered by Yorkshire Air Museum Heads Back to France

Researchers working for the National Allied Air Forces Memorial at Yorkshire Air Museum have uncovered an extraordinary archive detailing the experiences and wartime love affair of a WWII French airman.

The remarkable haul of more than 2,000 letters, diaries, artefacts and photographs relates to Francis Uzay, an educated and eloquent writer from a village near Marseille who served as a “Free French” airman in Britain with Bomber Command.

Source & Full Story

15 January 2011

Montana State Library Adopts the Internet Archive As Its Institutional Repository

The Montana State Library (MSL) has just completed moving 3,070 born-digital state publications from OCLC’s CONTENTdm to the Internet Archive. This is a key piece of the Montana State Library’s institutional repository for state publications now hosted by the Internet Archive (IA).

IA is hosting, as part of its free library, a growing number of Montana state publications newly digitized by IA under contract to MSL. This digitization project will take several years to complete given staffing limits. Nine thousand state publications and nearly one million pages have now been digitized.

Source & Full Story

Mediaeval Scots Document Sources now Available Online

The most comprehensive database ever compiled of any European kingdom’s inhabitants in the central Middle Ages has now been published online thanks to a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The multi-faceted database contains information on every person mentioned in more than 6,000 documents from Scotland between 1093 and 1286.

It shows not only who they were, but gives an insight into how they related to each other as individuals, as different parts of society, and as Gaels and non-Gaels. The database – located at www.poms.ac.uk – has been produced by the Glasgow-led AHRC-funded project, ‘The Paradox of Medieval Scotland, 1093-1286’ which also includes researchers from Edinburgh and King’s College, London.

Source & Full Story

14 January 2011

Skeletons could be Londonderry siege grave

Skeletons discovered underneath a Londonderry church could be evidence of a siege grave, according to archaeologists. Thousands of people died in the siege sparked when a group of apprentice boys closed the gates of the city against the approaching army of King James II in 1689.

Two complete skeletons and an individual skull have been uncovered beneath First Derry Presybterian Church on the city walls. Cormac McSparron from the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork at Queen's University in Belfast, who is leading the excavation, said there was a "strong possibility" the remains dated from the siege period.

Source & Full Story

Man arrested in theft from Holocaust archives in San Antonio

A volunteer at one of the world's largest privately held Holocaust archives was arrested here Wednesday, accused of pilfering thousands of priceless documents to sell online. Authorities said Mansal Denton, 20, began volunteering at The Mazal Holocaust Library in Hill Country Village, an enclave of San Antonio, in June 2009.

After his home was searched Wednesday by district attorney's office investigators, the Texas Rangers and Hill Country Village police, Denton was charged with second-degree felony theft between $100,000 and $200,000.

Source & Full Story

New App for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad: Family Trees

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Family Trees 1.0 has been released.

Build, research and browse your family tree without any registrations and necessity of being online.

With Family Trees you can:

• Create as many families as you want.
• Build genealogy charts.
• Compose biographies simply by adding facts and events.
• Add member photos.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

MobileTree Lite 1.4 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileTree Lite 1.4 has been released.

Changes:

• Updated login method to match new.familysearch.org
• iOS 4.2 compatibility issues fixed

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

GeneoTree 3.34 Update Released

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

GeneoTree 3.34 has been released.

New features:

• Upload gedcom files with local installation.
• Better display of media and sources : new picto sources in the list of actes, the list of sources can naviguate by pages, better titles in Excel exports.
• Descendancy tree : better performances and better Excel export (marriages array are integrated in main array).
• Generic : better navigability (all clics are memorized).

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.11.6 Update Released

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.11.6 has been released.

Changes:

• Works with the upcoming v3 release of Timeline license keys, so both versions can be installed simultaneously (Note that the new v3 release is nearing completion. This will be a paid upgrade so we will not automatically update your existing software. Please visit http://blog.beedocs.com for more details.)

13 January 2011

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110108 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110108 has been released.

Changes:

• Completion of the Google Maps capability, with the addition of "Coordinate Finder".

GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.4 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.4 has been released.

Changes:

• Smarter interface to recover lost registration key.
• More descriptive error messages evaluation key expires.
• Fixed printing bug where some pictures would not print on the printer.
• Fixed crashing bug in the Find Files dialog.
• Written code for translating following dialogs: Find Files, Open Inbox and Online Backups and Login.
• Updated the following language packs: Czesh, Estonian, Italian, Russian and Indenosian.
• Updated the report skin Narrative Report to support more geocoding of longitude and latitude formats

FamilyInsight 2011.1.12.0 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2011.1.12.0 has been released.

Changes:

• Now Works with RootsMagic files and backups
• Mouseover file in recent files list shows the location of the file on your computer.
• Added work around for Large Record Warning records so they can be retrieved
• Added new needs permission dialog to match new process on new FamilySearch
• Fixed some crashes
• Fixed Needs Ordinance filter for Family Tree Maker files
• Corrected a message when separating when the user does not have permission.
• Fixed problem for records that are missing gender field
• Fixed red merge needed warning before synchronizing

Family Bee 1.20 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Family Bee 1.20 has been released.

Changes:

• Added support for showing native characters when the ANSI charset is declared in the GED file. See documentation/FAQ for details.
• Added ability to add desktop shortcuts to specific files or individuals. Long click on entries in DB list or person name list to create shortcuts.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

12 January 2011

Last Known Lusitania Survivor, 95, Dies

The last known survivor from the Lusitania ocean liner that was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915 has died. Audrey Lawson-Johnston from Melchbourne in Bedfordshire died in the early hours of Tuesday aged 95.

She was three months old when the liner bound for Liverpool from New York sank off the Irish coast on 7 May. Mrs Lawson-Johnston's family had been emigrating to England when the boat was hit in an attack that killed hundreds, including her sisters.

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11 January 2011

Missouri State Historical Society Creates Online Database

Issues from the first 14 years of the Missourian, which was founded in 1908 as the University Missourian, along with thousands of other Missouri-related resources, are now easily available online.

The State Historical Society of Missouri has digitized thousands of editorial cartoons, articles, photographs and artworks that previously were available only by visiting the society at MU's Ellis Library.

Source & Full Story

The Canada Gazette is Now Available Online

The Canada Gazette, known as the official newspaper of the Canadian government, has been an important source for Canadian research for more than 160 years. However, bound volumes of the Canada Gazette were mainly available only in major Canadian libraries.

During the past few years, the Canada Gazette has been digitized, and as of August 2010 the project is 95% complete, including the years 1841 to 1998. Digital images of the Gazette are available online at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/canada-gazette/index-e.html.

Source & Full Story

10 January 2011

1800s-Era Skeletons Discovered as Crews Build Los Angeles Heritage Center

Construction of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes near Olvera Street has unearthed skeletons of early Los Angeles settlers in a cemetery thought to have been emptied in 1844. The excavation is stirring up controversy.

Since late October, the fragile bones of dozens of Los Angeles settlers have been discovered under what will be the outdoor space of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes downtown near Olvera Street. According to archaeologists and the chief executive of La Plaza, they appear to be remains from the Campo Santo, or cemetery, connected to the historic Catholic church Our Lady Queen of Angels, commonly called La Placita.

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Dick Winters, of 'Band of Brothers' Fame, Dies

Dick Winters, the former World War II commander whose war story was told in the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died. Dick Winters led a quiet life on his Fredericksburg farm and in his Hershey home until the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” threw him into the international spotlight.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Winters and his troops from Easy Company, 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, parachuted behind enemy lines to take on a German artillery nest on Utah Beach. His company fought through the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of a death camp at Dachau and to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden.

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GeneaNet: What Happened in 2010

GeneaNet has released many new features and improvements in 2010: new Online Family Tree Software, Individual Search, Individual Match, Privacy Options, Favorite Searches, Favorites Places, Backup & Restore, Online Family Tree Statistics, Popularity of Your First Name, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter Account, GeneaExchange, and some Menu reorganization and improvements.

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7 January 2011

UK: Changes to the 30 Year Transfer Rule for Government Records

As part of a number of changes to the Freedom of Information and Public Records Acts announced today, government departments will begin transferring records to The National Archives in a phased approach reducing the 30 year rule to 20 years. This will result in much earlier access to large numbers of government records.

From 2013, the current aim is to transfer two years' worth of government records to The National Archives per year over a ten year period.

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Documents Show Nazi Diplomats Furious Over Dog's Mocking Salute

Newly discovered WWII documents show that Germany's Nazi government was so furious over a dog trained to imitate the"Heil Hitler!" salute that it mounted a campaign against the mutt's Finnish owner and even tried to destroy his company.

Klaus Hillenbrand, an expert on the era, writes about the bizarre diplomatic row in the newspaper Die Tageszeitung based on documents recently found by a historian, the Associated Press reports from Berlin.

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LTools 1.3.6 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.6 has been released.

Changes:

• Sort Events - changed the name of Sort Events by Date to Sort Events. Added the ability to sort events by Event Type in addition to Event Date. Removed the Untag Sorted Events button.

GedStar Pro 4.1.3 Update Released

Other Tools - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedStar Pro 4.1.3 has been released.

Changes:

• Convert text formatting codes used by Legacy and Master Genealogist (bold, italics, etc.). Requires V1.5.5 of the Android app for proper viewing (to be released mid-January).

Nephew Traced in WWI Postcard Mystery

The nephew of a World War I soldier who lost a postcard while being treated in a military hospital nearly 100 years ago has been traced. Workers repairing the village hall in Shepreth found the card which had slipped inside a wooden panel.

The card was sent to Private Edward Wolstencroft of the Royal Fusiliers by a woman called Nellie in April 1915. Villagers will now meet his nephew, Paul Wolstencroft, from Hertfordshire, to decide what to do with the card.

Source & Full Story

GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.2 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.2 has been released.

GenoPro 2011 is officially available. This version has many years of work. GenoPro 2007 is not supported anymore and they seem to give everyone a free upgrade.

Some of the Changes:

• New menu items to quickly create legends.
• New Legend Wizard which analyzes the genogram and create a legend of all unique symbols.
• New toolbar buttons for addictions and medical condition
• Code improvements to draw family relationship symbols.
• Updated report skin English Narrative Report.
• Integrated automatic downloader when opening a GenoPro file made by a future version of GenoPro.

6 January 2011

Drew University archive thief admits stealing historical documents from United Methodist Archives Center

A former Drew University student pleaded guilty this week to stealing valuable historical documents from the university's United Methodist Archives Center while working there as a paid student assistant.

William Scott, of Longmeadow, Mass., admitted Tuesday in U.S. District Court to stealing a number of items from the archives, including letters from presidents of the United States and a 1766 letter written by one of the founders of Methodism, which is worth about $5,000.

Source & Full Story

Build a BetterGEDCOM or learn GEDCOMBetter?

From Louis Kessler (Behold Genealogy): "A month ago, I blogged about the BetterGEDCOM endeavor. In the ensuing month, I’ve gotten involved and added my two cents worth. I find I’m mostly a lone wolf in the woods.

Up until a few days ago, I didn’t know why my ideas were so different from everyone else. Almost all of them are of the opinion that GEDCOM standard has major shortcomings and needs to be replaced. I differed in my view, and as I said a month ago, think it needs to be brought up-to-date (via XML and Unicode), and maybe could use a few improvements. I’m talking about tweaking - not a major overhaul, An evolution and not a rewrite."

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5 January 2011

DNA Test Urged to See if Lincoln's Assassin Escaped Death

Descendants of Abraham Lincoln's assassin are pushing for a DNA test finally to resolve whether John Wilkes Booth escaped his well-recorded shooting death and lived for 40 years in Texas and Oklahoma.

Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathiser, shot the 16th President of the United States in the back of the head during a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington DC.

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The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 8.1.0 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 8.1.0 has been released.

Changes:

• Albums: Users who were assigned to a tree could not edit an album even if they had appropriate rights (fixed).
• Events: Users with Editor rights were not able to delete custom events in some cases (fixed).
• Export: Note lines that consist only of an ID (eg, "@NI123@") will no longer be escaped with double at signs.
• Export: The PHON, EMAIL and WWW values were being exported with the CTRY tag by mistake (fixed).
• Export: Exported files will now end with a line ending character (after the TRLR marker).
• General: The inclusion of the standard style sheets has been moved out of the meta and custom meta files.

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State Library of Queensland, Australia, Donates 50,000 Photos to Wikimedia Commons

Australian history is now a little easier to explore on the web thanks to a donation of tens of thousands of photos to a free online archive. The State Library of Queensland has donated 50,000 pictures to Wikimedia Commons, a free repository of image and sound files available to be used anywhere on the web.

It is the biggest contribution from Australia and the fourth largest in the world to Wikimedia Commons, which is run by the same body as Wikipedia. The photos date back to the mid-19th century and show events including the Brisbane floods of 1893 and 1940 and the construction of the Story Bridge in 1938.

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The National Archives (US): Today’s Document Goes Mobile

The National Archives (US) has released their first mobile application called “Today’s Document,” based on the popular feature on Archives.gov.

This new mobile app is an interactive gallery that allows you to explore the holdings of the US National Archives through a collection of 365 fascinating documents and photographs from throughout history. Learn what significant event happened on your birthday, search the documents by keyword, or browse the collection at your leisure.

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Edmonton Man Digitizes Six Generations Worth of Photos

If the going rate on a picture still amounts to a thousand words, Mark McIlveen’s collection of family images would produce a six-million-word tome that would make War and Peace look like a pocket novel. When he finally completed the arduous task of digitizing 6,000 photographs from six generations and stood back to examine the results, it was a head-shaking moment.

“It was certainly a strange visual,” says McIlveen, “to have had all these boxes of albums and then spent more than a hundred hours digitizing them to wind up with a tiny little shoebox thingy of about 40 discs.”

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4 January 2011

Jason and the Argot: Land where Greek's Ancient Language Survives

An isolated community near the Black Sea coast in a remote part of north-eastern Turkey has been found to speak a Greek dialect that is remarkably close to the extinct language of ancient Greece.

As few as 5,000 people speak the dialect but linguists believe that it is the closest, living language to ancient Greek and could provide an unprecedented insight into the language of Socrates and Plato and how it evolved.

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Archivist in a Race Against Time. So Far, He has Funding to Save only 25 of 600 Historic Film Reels

Six years ago, University of Houston archivist Dick Dickerson noted the pungent odor of vinegar as he bustled among the shelved rarities in his library. The scent, emanating from stacks of acetate motion picture film, telegraphed disaster. It was the smell of history rotting.

The nearly 600 reels — some more than 50 years old — were the legacy of the university's television station, KUHT-TV. The station, the nation's first non-commercial educational TV broadcaster, hit the air in summer 1953, and the films, dealing with topics such as juvenile delinquency, low-cost housing and big-city nightlife, architecture and arts, chronicled Houston at a unique stage of its development.

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Civil War Historian's Papers Accessible at University of Wyoming

Papers and correspondence of one of the most popular U.S. Civil War historians is now accessible through the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center. The Bruce Catton collection is open to the public with no access restrictions for research purposes.

Catton was a newspaper reporter in Cleveland and Boston before working for the War Production Board and the U.S. Department of Commerce during World War II. The first of his 15 Civil War histories was published in 1951. His "A Stillness at Appomattox" won both the Pulitzer Prize for history and the National Book Award in 1954.

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University of Mississippi Puts Civil War Archive of 762 Items Online Through Williams Library

The University of Mississippi is making its Civil War archive available online just in time for the sesquicentennial. Organizers say historians and the merely curious anywhere in the world can browse letters, diaries and other documents from those who saw the war up close.

The archive, handled by the university's Special Collections Digital Initiative and the J.D. Williams Library, consists of 762 items. The collection includes the Gage Family Papers. Jeremiah Gage was a member of the University Greys, a unit composed of Ole Miss students, which met its defeat at Gettysburg.

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Remember your Ancestors and you'll Get that New Job

It seems an unlikely route to the top. But researchers have discovered that spending a few minutes thinking about your ancestors before an exam or job interview can significantly boost your chances of success.

The so-called 'ancestor effect' appears to work by acting as a reminder to the brain that seemingly impossible hurdles can be overcome.

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Norway Reality Show Seeks Americans of Norwegian Descent

The producers of Norway's version of "Dancing With The Stars" and "American Idol" are coming back to the U.S. to find fun, outgoing Americans with Norwegian ancestry to participate in Season Two of their exciting and enormously successful reality television series "The Great Norway Adventure," according to a press release sent to the Norsk Museum in Norway, Ill.

O'Connor Casting Company is conducting a nationwide search for adventurous Americans with Norwegian ancestry (even a little bit counts) who are interested in auditioning.

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Librarians Without Borders 2010 Annual Report

The 2010 Annual Report for Librarians Without Borders is now available. Click to view/download the file (24 pages; PDF).

Librarians Without Borders was born in February 2005 by a group of socially-minded librarians who wanted to address the vast information resource inequity existing between different regions of the world. Our vision is to build sustainable libraries and support their custodians and advocates — librarians.

Librarians Without Borders website

GenSoftReviews Big Update

An announcement from Louis Kessler: "Most of today I spent updating my GenSoftReviews site. Over the past two years, I have noticed a few things and also got a few good suggestions from people about the site. A couple of months ago, I solved my big spam problem and it is running quite cleanly now. But it was finally time for a number of improvements.

First things first - how to encourage more reviewers. An average of one a day isn’t bad, but there are on average 150 unique people visiting a day. So I streamlined the “Add Your Review” form. It no longer requires an email address - just your name is fine."
[...]

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Legacy 7.5 receives FamilySearch certifications - To be released January 17, 2011

Legacy Family Tree 7.5 has now received official FamilySearch certification in four new categories and will be available as a free update for both Standard and Deluxe edition users on Monday, January 17, 2011.

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The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110101 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110101 has been released.

Changes:

• New "AUTOMAP:" for Places descriptions files, plus improvements and some error corrections.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110101 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110101 has been released.

Changes:

• Enhancements to Google Maps capabilities, plus improvements and some error corrections.

MobileTree 1.4 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileTree 1.4 has been released.

Changes:

• Updated login method to match new.familysearch.org.
• iOS 4.2 compatibility issues fixed.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

GedStar Pro for Android 1.5.4 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 1.5.4 has been released.

Changes:

• Individual IDs and reference numbers can be enabled or disabled via Settings options.
• Display locations on map (success depends on place name format and mapping application).
• Fix bugs causing Force Close errors.
• Restore support for QVGA (240x320) screens.
• Remove support for older database format entirely to improve reliability.


See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

GedStar Pro 4.1.2 Update Released

Other Tools - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedStar Pro 4.1.2 has been released.

Changes:

• Fix problem creating the database file and/or converting photos when converting an ANSI-formatted GEDCOM file and there are accented characters in the file path.

3 January 2011

Behold 0.99.17 beta Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Behold 0.99.17 beta has been released.

New:

• Read and display Family Tree for Windows GEDCOM dialect (FTW TEXT).
• Add date and place information into Event references.

Improved:

• Display the line only once in the log file if it has multiple errors.
• Remove additional indentation on the extra part of continuation lines that overflow to the next line.
• Limit log file by default to 100 messages instead of 3 of each type of message.
• Display invalid GEDCOM tags in the Organize->Tags page with a bold font.

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The Museum of the City of New York's Collections Portal

The Museum of the City of New York's Collections Portal is a first step in digitization project that will eventually enable visitors to discover large portions of the Museum of the City of New York's collections.

The portal starts with more than 50,000 photographs of New York, thousands of which have never been available for public viewing.

The Museum of the City of New York's Collections Portal

Vatican Digitizing more than 7 Million Photo Negatives

For years, the Vatican newspaper has been capturing snapshots from public and private moments of popes.

The priest Giuseppe Colombara is director of photographic services for L'Osservatore Romano. Being aware of the heritage that the Vatican newspaper has on hand, he decided to make the jump into new technologies and digitize its more than seven million negatives so that the images can be preserved for future generations.

Source & Full Story

Find your Irish Ancestors in New Online Collection

Those with Irish ancestors and relatives will be delighted to see that the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland is making photographic collections available through flickr, a free photo-sharing website. Visit www.proni.gov.uk/pronionflickr to view the photographs.

The Irish record office also recently indexed and digitized wills dated 1858 through 1900 from three district probate registries of Armagh, Belfast, and Londerry. These records are available at no charge on this page.

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Chris de Burgh's Mum was a Superspy

It was a key discovery Rosanna Davison made while tracing her family history for a popular RTÉ show: that her grandparents had been involved in Cold War espionage.

The revelation astonished the 26-year-old model who had visited her quiet grandmother Maeve - mother of singer Chris de Burgh - in her home at Wexford's Bargy Castle to gently admonish her, 'You never told me!'

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet Wish You a Happy New Year!

We wish you a Happy New Year!

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 2011 will bring you many new ancestors and lost relatives!

GeneaNet: Upload and Share Indexes

Sharing information is second nature to most genealogists and GeneaNet lets you easily upload and share your birth/baptism, marriage and death/burial indexes to help other genealogists in their research.

The uploaded indexes are your property and you can remove them at any time.

Of course, you can also read the indexes uploaded by GeneaNet users...

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