Version 6 of Charting Companion adds Fractal Trees and a Dandelion Chart

Progeny Genealogy is well-known for software that produces some of the most advanced and visually pleasing genealogy charts. The company’s Charting Companion allows anyone to produce charts for personal use or to share your research with friends & relatives. Now the company has released Version 6 with two great new charts.

Quoting from the Progeny Genealogy web site at

The Fractal Tree

The Fractal Tree is an entirely new way to display your Ancestors. The Fractal Tree is more compact than other charts. A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. A fractal is a self-similar geometric shape; each part of the shape is the same as the whole.

Heredis 2015 is Now Available for Windows and Macintosh

Almost two weeks ago, I published an article at entitled Heredis 2015 to be Available Later this Month. Today, the prediction came true. Heredis 2015, a powerful genealogy program for Windows and for Macintosh, was released today.

Heredis 2015 is a major upgrade. The program now includes a search module for online archives. With the 2015 release, everything needed for online genealogy research is now included in Heredis. The producers of Heredis say there now is no need for additional software to be installed or paid for to have all the tools necessary for your genealogy.

In addition, Heredis 2015 adds:

GEDitCOM II for Macintosh and for Mobile Devices

GEDitCOM II is an easy-to-use genealogy application for Macintosh OS X. It will store, display, and edit genealogy files. It will import any GEDCOM file created with a different genealogy program and then allow the user to edit the file and add more information, source citations, add multimedia (pictures, movies, audio files, maps), and more. The program will also create numerous charts and reports, including: Ancestor and descendant family tree charts, many types of text reports, charts with portraits in them, and a number of charts suitable for printing. It also will “read” your information about your data out loud, a nice feature for anyone with vision issues.

As if that is not enough, GEDitCOM II will also print complete genealogy book by using LaTeX, a publishing application that is popular amongst Macintosh users and will even create a complete web site as a collection of HTML files, suitable for uploading to a web hosting service of your choice. It will also email reports to any email address.

How to Safely and Securely Store Your Private Data Online with SpiderOak

File storage services in the cloud are very popular these days — and for good reasons. Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SpiderOak, iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon S3, Box, and numerous others offer free or very low cost file storage space that can be used for any of a number of reasons. Cloud storage serves as an added layer of data protection for your precious and irreplaceable files. Backups are kept in a secure location that is physically removed from the originals, and these cloud-based services provide such a location.

You can store backup copies of your important personal files to provide insurance against hard drive crashes, viruses, ransomware (see my earlier article at, and other computer problems. With many of these services, you can also share files, such as old family photographs, with family and friends.

Another reason to use any of these cloud-based file storage services is to share files amongst your own computing devices. Saving your pictures and documents in the cloud provides an easy way of copying those files and photos to your own tablet computer or cell phone.

Of course, the biggest concern of most users who are not familiar with cloud storage is, “Is it safe?”

Do You Use LastPass to Protect Your Accounts? You May Want to Change Your Password

If you use LastPass as your master password manager, you need to read the article at Now.

This points up a weakness in all password managers: they provide a single point of failure. If a hacker manages to access your password manager software, he or she gains access to EVERYTHING.

MacFamilyTree 7.5 for Macintosh is Now Available

Synium Software GmbH has just launched version 7.5 of their popular Macintosh genealogy application. Best of all, the program is being offered at half price for the next ten days.

Quoting from the new version’s announcement:

With MacFamilyTree version 7.5, you can create, share and print family books. Family books include all important data contained in your family tree and supplements it with impressive charts, statistics, and reports. Numerous templates and styles are available to help you create family books in a flash – they also make great birthday or wedding gifts.

Heredis 2015 to be Available Later this Month

I have written a number of times about Heredis, a great genealogy program that is available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. A companion app is also available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch operating systems. Heredis is available in many different languages and has thousands of users around the world. You can read my earlier articles about Heredis by starting at

The producers of the program have now released a “teaser” announcement of an update to be called Heredis 2015, to be available very soon for both Windows and Macintosh. A YouTube video about the new release is available at although it gives no details at all about the new features to be included in Heredis 2015. However, I do hope to write about the new features in Heredis 2015 whenever it becomes available.

MacFamilyTree 7 and MobileFamilyTree 7 are On Sale at 50% Off Until June 21

MacFamilyTree is one of the leading genealogy programs for Macintosh. It also has a great companion product called MobileFamilyTree for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices. The powerful MacFamilyTree is on sale at half price: $24.99 US instead of the normal price of $49.99. MobileFamilyTree is also offered at almost half price as well: now $7.99 US instead of the normal $14.99. Both offers will end on June 21, 2015.

Both products are excellent genealogy apps and use the Macintosh and iOS interfaces to produce easy-to-use products with excellent graphics. Information entered on either the Mac version or the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch program can automatically be copied to the other devices. If you are unhappy with your present, old-fashioned genealogy software, you probably want to check out these products. Free demo versions are available online.

Quoting from the producer’s web site:

Discount on Genealone WP (Genealogy Plugin for WordPress)

I have written before about Genealone, a product that allows you to quickly and easily build your own genealogy web site. See to find my earlier articles. The following message was written by David Nebesky of

You can get 50% discount on genealogy plugin for WordPress from Genealone now. With Genealone WP you can publish your family tree on your blog or WordPress site easily. The plugin imports GEDCOM files, displays charts and maps, finds relationship etc. For more information and for online demo please visit

Introducing the Redesigned MyHeritage Mobile App

MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) has updated both the company’s Android and iOS mobile app with a new look to improve your family history experience. The enhanced app enables families around the world to build their family tree, instantly discover ancestors and relatives, and preserve and share their legacy, all with a better looking and more intuitive interface.

More than 4 million people have previously downloaded the MyHeritage app, and its usage is growing worldwide. Within the last 3 months, the app was selected by Google as a featured Android app in more than 100 countries, making MyHeritage the first company in the family history industry to receive such a recognition.

Someday You Will be Able to Use Virtual Reality to Bring Your Loved Ones Back from the Dead

I am not sure if this is a good idea or not but the software developers seem serious about it. Project Elysium plans to use virtual reality to offer chats with a computer-generated representation of a deceased relative. The project’s web site explains:

“A place that offers you alleviation while dealing with the Goodbye. A place of remembrance and reconcile.

“The Elysium Project is a custom made virtual reality where people have the opportunity to spend time with their deceased loved ones.

“It’s intended to be a therapeutic experience aimed to help the people left behind deal with and work through their grief.”

Would you want to live forever in a computer simulation?

I would like to ask great-great-grandfather some questions, however.

Reunion 11 for Macintosh and ReunionTouch for Apple iOS Devices Now Available

A major update for Reunion is now available. Leister Productions has released Reunion version 11 for Macintosh and also ReunionTouch for iPad/iPhone. Reunion 11 includes the following changes:

  • Syncing with mobile devices has been completely revamped in Reunion 11. No more need to manually sync changes. Working via Dropbox, everything synchs immediately.
  • New Islands Sidebar lets you locate “islands” in your family file. Islands are groups of people linked to each other, but not linked to people in other islands.
  • Visual clue for family notes, pictures and events appears in the marriage fields in the family view.
  • Relationships are now identified “on-the-fly.” As you add, delete, link, or unlink people in your family file, their relationship to the current source person appears instantly. No need to re-calculate relationships for the same source person.
  • Thumbnails window for browsing images linked to people, families, and sources. Makes it easy to see all pictures in one place.
  • Book creator automatically generate a PDF book, complete with page-number indexes of people and places. Includes source documentation, a multimedia browser, surnames, table of contents, multiple column content with text wrapping around images, custom headers and footers, cover pages, graphics, and more.

And much more. The full list of changes may be found at

Updated Clooz Software Now Interfaces with Legacy Family Tree

The following announcement was written by the folks at Ancestral Systems LLC, producers of Clooz:

Exciting Improvement for the Clooz Data Interface with Legacy

Ancestral Systems LLC is releasing another in our continuing series of updates to improve the data exchange capabilities of Clooz. In addition to the existing transfer of images and links into Legacy, now non-picture media files (PDF, document, sound, video) and URLs attached to Clooz documents can be exported. People in Clooz being exported to Legacy can be inserted directly into the existing Legacy family structure. These files will display in the Media Gallery screens of Legacy, for the individual or event, as well as source details.

The Best History Apps

Kate Wiles has posted an article on the HistoryToday web site that probably will interest many genealogists and historians. It is “Our pick of the finest history-related apps for your smartphone or tablet.”

Apps described include Digital Libraries, Tools and Learning, and Interactive. She also provides links to other articles about history apps for smartphones and tablets.

See for Kate Wiles’ list.

Update: A $129 Chromebook

Since I published the article of A $129 Chromebook at yesterday, several newsletter readers have written to ask if their favorite application(s) will run on a Chromebook. I am always willing to look those up for you but there is a faster and probably easier way to do it yourself: go to the Chrome Web Store at and enter the name of your desired application into the box labeled “Search the store” and then press Enter.

Microsoft Releases a Document Scanner App for iPhones and Android

Scanner apps have been available for some time for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android. These apps allow users to take photos of a document and turn it into a editable file, including OCR conversion to text, such as a .DOC file that works in most any word processor. These apps are great for genealogists who often need copies of old documents or pages from a book.

Microsoft released Office Lens for the Windows Phone a while ago, an app that takes images with a cell phone camera and converts them into editable .DOC files. However, few people could use Office Lens because Windows Phone commands only about 3% of the smartphone market. All that is changing now. This week, Microsoft released Office Lens for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The app is available today free of charge.

MyHeritage Selected by Google as Featured Android App on Google Play

Every week, Google selects a handful of the best new or updated Android applications and features them on Google Play. The MyHeritage mobile app for Android was chosen to be featured among the best apps in more than 30 countries this month.

Note: MyHeritage is the sponsor of this newsletter.

The announcement on the MyHeritage Blog states:

ENI Software Inc. Announces the Release of ENIndexer 1.0

The following announcement was written by the folks at ENI Software :

Brunswick, Maine, April 1, 2015 – ENI Software Inc. is pleased to announce the release of our flagship product, ENIndexer (pronounced as “Any Indexer”) for the use of genealogists and historians to create Every Name Indexes for local history and genealogy related books. The software is now available for download from our web site,

Using ENIndexer, authors of history texts can easily create professional looking Every Name Indexes for their works at a fraction of the cost of current professional indexing software or hiring a professional indexer to do the work for them. It is an affordable option for individuals and small societies looking to bolster sales of their next publication by including an Every Name Index in their publications. ENIndexer runs on Windows and Mac platforms.

Announcing LibreOffice Online

I ditched Microsoft Word several years ago and started experimenting with different word processors. I eventually settled on LibreOffice, a FREE suite of programs that includes a word processor (replacing Microsoft Word), a spreadsheet program (replacing Microsoft Excel), a presentation program (replacing Microsoft PowerPoint), a drawing program, a database creation and management program, and a formula editor that can be invoked in your text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings, to enable you to insert mathematical and scientific formulas. LibreOffice is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

NOTE: The LibreOffice programs are similar to, but different from, Microsoft Office. It is not 100% compatible. For instance, macros in LibreOffice’s spreadsheet program are different from those in Microsoft Excel. Even so, the LibreOffice suite of programs meets the needs of hundreds of thousands of computer users, corporations, and non-profits around the world.

Best of all is the price tag: FREE. LibreOffice never asks for payments although the sponsoring organization will accept donations. Most of the articles published in this newsletter, including the article you are reading at this moment, were created with LibreOffice.

Branches for iPad adds Several New Features

The following announcement was written by Sherwood Electronics, the producers of Branches for iPad:

Sherwood Electronics releases an update to BRANCHES FOR iPAD that provides access to LDS FamilySearch™ data and ordinances, plus support for DropBox and email GEDCOM downloads.

Sherwood Electronics Laboratories, Inc. announces an update to Branches for iPad that allows users to access the vast FamilySearch™ database and download family tree information onto their iPad. Downloading of GEDCOM files using DropBox and email has also been added. GEDCOMs can be created, and emailed, from downloaded data.

The new and expanded features of Branches for iPad make Branches even easier to use, and more powerful. Email and DropBox transfer of GEDCOM files has been added and is easy and fast.

The FamilySearch™ features support downloading of pedigree trees directly from FamilySearch™, which is a free service to everyone. Explore relationships and search back into your family tree.


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