MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree Receive Updates

Synium Software has announced updates to both MacFamilyTree for Macintosh and MobileFamilyTree for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch systems.

MacFamilyTree version 7.3 is optimized for Apple’s new operating system and adapts Yosemite’s sleek styling. MacFamilyTree 7.3 matches OS X Yosemite’s new look and will speak to you with a clear visual language and enhanced navigability, making your genealogical research yet more convenient and fun.

MobileFamilyTree 7.3 has been updated to match the capabilities within MacFamilyTree version 7.3. According to Synium Software’s announcement, “If you wish to use your iPhone to continue a project you started on your Mac or vice versa, go right ahead! Edit any one person in MobileFamilyTree on your iPhone or iPad, and the same view will open in MacFamilyTree. MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree are in perfect sync! Handoff requires a recent iPhone or iPad with iOS 8 installed, and a recent Mac running OS X Yosemite.”

Heredis for $10.99

Heredis is a popular genealogy program available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The producing company has just announced a 3-day sale. Each program is available for just $10.99, instead of the normal price of US $59.99 for the Macintosh version or $39.99 for Windows.

Windows 10 Kills the Start Screen, Runs on a Wide Variety of Devices

This isn’t genealogy-related but I suspect a lot of people will be interested in the new announcement from Microsoft.

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

Microsoft has announced the company’s plans to replace Windows 8 with the next version of the operating system. It will be called Windows 10.

Wait a minute… 6… 7… 8… 10… Isn’t there something missing in those numbers?

RootsMagic Adds Direct TMG Import

The Master Genealogist (TMG) has long been a popular genealogy program for Windows. Unfortunately, on July 29th 2014, Wholly Genes Software announced that they would be discontinuing “The Master Genealogist”. See my earlier article at for details.)

TMG will not stop working without the company’s support. However, no new features will ever be added and, in case of a technical difficulty, the company will no longer be able to offer support. Sooner or later, some new version of Windows probably will break the software in The Master Genealogist. The prudent TMG user should start planning now to migrate to another product. There is no need to rush into the migration but I would suggest having a plan NOW to migrate whenever the need does arise.

One option is to convert from TMG to RootsMagic, a popular and powerful competitor to TMG. While data can be transferred to RootsMagic via GEDCOM, TMG loses many details as it exports to GEDCOM including witnesses, roles, source templates, and more. However, a better capability has just been announced.

How I Organize Evernote: A Peek Inside My Personal System

A few weeks ago, I wrote a Plus Edition article entitled (+) My Method of Filing Digital Images and Documents. It is still available at In the article, I described the system I use for organizing digital photographs and all sorts of other documents on my computer’s hard drive and in online backups.

I was planning to write a similar article about organizing all sorts of information within Evernote, one of the handiest programs available for genealogists and for millions of other computer users as well. However, when researching the article on the World Wide Web, I found that Michael Hyatt had already written an article about that and his methods are similar to my own. He doesn’t write about genealogy uses of Evernote but most of what he writes applies to genealogy as well as to thousands of other topics.

Chromebooks vs. Windows Laptops: What Should You Buy?

I have written often about the advantages of Chromebooks when compared to Windows systems. (See my past Chromebook articles by starting at Now Laptop Magazine has published a side-by-side comparison by Anna Attkisson of Chromebooks versus Windows. If you are considering the purchase of either a Windows or Chromebook laptop, you will want to read the article.

Attkisson compares the following:

Genealogy Software Review: MacBridge for RootsMagic

I wrote a rather long software review a few weeks ago about RootsMagic, a very popular genealogy program for Windows. You can find my earlier review at Yesterday the producers of RootsMagic announced a new addition: MacBridge for RootsMagic 6, a software product that allows RootsMagic to run on a Macintosh without installing Windows. Today, I will review MacBridge for RootsMagic.

NOTE: This article will focus primarily on the new MacBridge for RootsMagic and how well it functions. I will not describe RootsMagic in detail as I already did that only a few weeks ago at If you would like to know more about RootsMagic, please refer to my earlier article at

RootsMagic has many devoted customers who love the product and have no interest in switching to any other genealogy program. However, more than a few of those customers have replaced or would like to replace their Windows computer with a Macintosh system in order to gain better performance, better reliability, no issues with viruses, and easier operation. However, installing RootsMagic on a Macintosh system has always required software that creates a virtual computer inside the Mac (VirtualBox, Parallels, or VMware Fusion) or the dual-boot capability called BootCamp. Using any of the virtual computer products also results in a slower running system. Use of BootCamp is quite speedy but means the loss of using Macintosh programs simultaneously while using Windows programs. The dual boot option called BootCamp requires running either the Macintosh operating system or the Windows operating system, but not both at the same time.

With any of these solutions, a copy of Microsoft Windows has always been required, adding expense and complexity while introducing virus issues again.

The new MacBridge for RootsMagic is advertised as being much simpler to install and operate, and it does not require a copy of Microsoft Windows. Quoting from the announcement:

MacBridge for RootsMagic 6: Run RootsMagic on Your Mac without Windows

The RootsMagic team has announced a major product announcement that will interest many Macintosh owners: A new, low-cost piece of software will allow Macintosh owners to run RootsMagic without installing a copy of Microsoft Windows. The following is a copy-and-paste from the RootsMagic Blog:

One of the most common questions we are asked is, “When will RootsMagic run on a Mac?” With today’s release of MacBridge for RootsMagic 6, the answer is “right now”. MacBridge for RootsMagic 6 allows you easily install and run RootsMagic on your Mac in mere minutes with almost no additional setup or configuration.

Ancestry App Launches With New Features

The following announcement was written by the folks at

Click on the above image to view a larger version

We just re-launched the Ancestry App on version 6.0 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. This isn’t just a re-launch on a new system, we’ve worked hard to add some solid new features that we think you’ll enjoy.

Prioritized Hints View
We’ve added a new section to the application which allows you to view all the hints for a given tree from a single place. We’ve added a prioritized sort order to the hints in this section so that your very best hints automatically bubble up into view. In addition to a priority sort, we’ve made it possible to view hints based on recency, with the newest hints at the top of the list. Near the top of the new hints view you will find sort order controls titled “best” and “latest” which allow you to toggle between these two sort orders to meet your needs. We’ve also included some filtering capabilities for the hints in this section which will allow you to filter hints by the last name of the person the hint is for, or to filter hints by type (photo, story or record). When you see a hint that you’d like to learn more about, simply tap; the details of the hint will come into view and you will be able to accept or ignore the hint from right there.

Genealogy Software Review: Legacy Family Tree

I have decided to write software reviews of all of the leading genealogy programs available today for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android, and Apple iOS, as well as cloud-based genealogy programs. This is the second article in the series: Legacy Family Tree, one of the more popular genealogy programs for Windows. I will later review genealogy programs for other operating systems as well.

I have also created a Windows Genealogy Software Comparison Chart showing the major features of each program reviewed so far. The Chart may be found at

Legacy Family Tree is one of the more popular genealogy programs available for the Windows operating system. Its popularity is caused by three major factors: it is powerful, it is easy to use, and it contains most all the features that serious genealogists demand. However, it also works well for genealogy newcomers. If you are looking for an easy-to-use genealogy program for a Windows PC, Legacy Family Tree absolutely should be on your list of programs to consider.

(+) A Comparison Chart of Genealogy Software for Windows

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.

Genealogy Software for Windows Comparison

A side-by-side comparison of all programs reviewed to date: RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree

Changes for Family Tree Maker Support When Used with Windows XP

Anyone using Family Tree Maker as their genealogy program probably has already seen this warning that now pops up when you launch the program:

We’re making updates that may impact your Family Tree Maker experience. Starting in October 2014, Ancestry Web Search within Family Tree Maker software will have reduced functionality or may not be supported by Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista or Internet Explorer 8 or 9. Moving forward, Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will be required for Ancestry Web Search functionality to work properly.

That can be jarring to anyone who uses Windows XP, Vista, or Internet Explorer version 8 or 9. However, I cannot blame, the producers of Family Tree Maker. I think it is a wise move. I suspect many users of Family Tree Maker will disagree with me, however.

Windows XP was released in August, 2001. That’s 13 years ago. Windows XP has now been replaced three times (Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8), not counting the minor updates along the way. Windows XP is now three major releases out of date. In other words, it is ancient.

In fact, Windows XP was supported longer than any other operating system ever produced by Microsoft. Now the end is here.

Coming Up: Reviews of Genealogy Software

I am planning to write and publish reviews of all the more popular genealogy programs. That will include current genealogy programs for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android, and Apple iOS (used on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices) as well as cloud-based genealogy programs that are available on the World Wide Web. The reviews will be published roughly once a week or so, depending upon my travel schedule and the time available. If you are thinking of upgrading to a new program, you may be interested in these reviews.

The first review has been published today: RootsMagic, a very popular genealogy program for Windows. You can read that review at

Genealogy Software Review: RootsMagic

I have decided to write software reviews of all of the leading genealogy programs available today for Windows, Macintosh, Android, Apple iOS, and cloud-based genealogy programs. I will start with RootsMagic, one of the more popular genealogy programs for Windows. I will later review genealogy programs for other operating systems as well.

RootsMagic also offers optional useful apps for both Android and Apple iOS (iPad and iPhone). I will write about the Windows version now and about the Android and Apple iOS apps separately when I start reviewing genealogy apps for mobile computers.

RootsMagic is best known as a genealogy program for Windows that features a user-friendly interface. If you are looking for an easy-to-use genealogy program for a Windows PC, RootsMagic absolutely should be on your list of programs to consider. Despite the simple user interface, the program also offers most all the features demanded by experienced genealogists: a good system of recording source citations; unlimited people in the database, facts/events, notes, sources, and more; many different types of printed reports; support for international character sets through Unicode integration (allowing for use of umlauts, accents, and other characters found in European alphabets); automatically checks for duplicates as you add people, alternate names to make it easy to find a person by their maiden or nick names; the ability to add links pointing to websites that contain information about the people, sources, places, etc. in your database; multiple relationships, such as adoptions, foster parents, etc.; DNA information; ability to add history, latitude and longitude for each place; user-defined fact types; private events that you can suppress from printing or exporting; save reports to PDF format; save reports to your favorite word processor in RTF format; print color coding in pedigree charts, group sheets, box charts, narrative reports, wall charts, ahnentafel, descendant list, and timelines; a built-in help system; a date calculator, a relationship calculator, a Soundex calculator, and much more.

Genealone 1.3 Has Been Released

The following announcement was written by David Nebesky, the producer of Genealone, a product that allows you to build your own genealogy website:

I am pleased to announce that Genealone ( has been updated to version 1.3.

New features:

  • Sources and citations including list of sources for repetitive use
  • New page with event details including citations from sources
  • Editing and merging sources in Administration interface
  • New built-it event types: residence, occupation, confirmation, immigration, emigration, naturalization
  • Unmarried partners have been added, same sex partners are allowed
  • New religion field in person edit form

The Future of Second Site, a Program for Publishing Genealogy Data

Yesterday’s announcement that Wholly Genes Software would discontinue development and support of The Master Genealogist (TMG) has created all sorts of questions. Some of the questions concern the future of Second Site, a popular program used to publish genealogy data on the World Wide Web. Until now, Second Site has been a program that extracts data from TMG and then builds gorgeous-looking personal web sites that show a person’s or family’s family tree. Now that TMG is going to slowly go away, what should users of Second Site plan on using for their web publishing efforts?

John Cardinal, the software developer of Second Site, answered that question today with a brief statement. Essentially, he said that Second Site would continue as a viable product; he will keep the present capability to import data from TMG but will also add the capability of importing data from a GEDCOM file. You can read his statement in the comments section following the TMG announcement at

I see this as great news.

The Master Genealogist to be Discontinued

Sad news! The following announcement was made today by Bob Velke, the owner of Wholly Genes, Inc.:

I am sad to report that the decision has been made to discontinue The Master Genealogist (“TMG”).

While thousands of TMG users appreciate the program’s many powerful features that are unmatched in other software, the market for those advanced features has proved to be insufficient to support the infrastructure that is necessary to support it and continue development. A variety of my own health issues have also contributed to this decision as I have fewer opportunities to focus on the things that would be necessary to develop and market the program.

There is every reason to believe that TMG will continue to work for existing users for the foreseeable future but official support will end at the end of 2014, although we may release some more bug fixes (but no new features) before that. In the interest of those who may want to communicate their data to family members or upgrade to the latest release, we will continue to sell the full product and updates through September with the understanding that product development has been discontinued.

Uploading Your Content To Wikimedia Commons Just Got Easier

Does your genealogy society, historical society, or local museum want to share their holdings with the public? Wikimedia Commons has been available for some time for that purpose. Best of all, Wikimedia Commons is a free service for all: free to the organization that uploads information and free to anyone who visits. However, uploading holdings to Wikimedia Commons has been a somewhat complex task in the past, requiring a significant amount of technical expertise. That has now changed. Minimal technical expertise is now required, thanks to some new software tools available.

Remove Text Formatting When Copying-and-Pasting

Have you ever copied some text from a web page or a document and then wanted to paste it as simple text into another application without getting all the formatting from the original source? It can be a problem. Simple copying-and-pasting of formatted text often inserts extra “garbage characters” into the output. In fact, there is a simple solution. Simple, that is, if you know about it.

The problem arises when copying and pasting formatted text from one application to another. It doesn’t always work as you’d expect. For instance, you might copy a few lines from a web page and then want to paste it to Facebook. Surprise! All sorts of “unwanted characters” may appear. The same might happen if you are copying text from a word processing document or from a PDF file and you wish to paste it into an email message.

The unwanted characters typically are formatting commands built into the originating program. The problem is that not all programs use the same formatting commands. For example, what might be a command to “use bold text” in one program could insert curly braces {} into the receiving program.

One-Click Publishing of an eBook Directly from Google Drive

Genealogists, engineers, teachers, and thousands of others have an interest in publishing books. Traditional publishing methods have made it difficult to publish your own book, but modern technology is changing the process dramatically. Publishing a book is becoming easier and easier almost daily. A new service called Liberio provides simple ebook creation and publishing straight from Google Drive. Best of all, Liberio is available free of charge.

Publishing your own books is now only a push of a button away. The ebook you produce can be read on almost any computer, tablet, Kindle, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, or any similar device used as an ebook reader.


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