Virus False Positives: How Can You Be Sure?

Almost every time I write an article about some web site or perhaps about a Windows program that can be downloaded and installed on your computer, I will receive at least one email message or other report from someone saying something like, “I downloaded it but my anti-virus program says it has a virus.”

My response usually is, “Well, maybe…”

In many cases, the claim of a virus is a so-called “false positive.” That is, the anti-virus program reported a virus that isn’t really there. In fact, there is no virus at all, but the anti-virus program thinks there is. All anti-virus programs will occasionally report “false positives.”

How do you determine the truth? Actually, there are several ways.

FamilySearch Introduces Two New Mobile Apps

FamilySearch has released two new mobile apps that will make it easy to take your ancestors with you. With FamilySearch Tree and FamilySearch Memories you can add memories and sources of your relatives on the go. Everything you add will sync with, so information will be accessible from any device and will be preserved for future generations. Both apps are free.

FamilySearch Tree

Paperless for Windows and Macintosh

Remember when everyone talked about how we would someday become a paperless society? Now it seems like we use paper more than ever. Let’s face it – everyone still uses paper. Getting rid of paper in your life is one of the greatest joys imaginable. Digitizing everything makes life easier as everything can be found quickly by every-word searches. Going digital saves space, cuts clutter, and also reduces frustration. It’s also easier to make backup copies of digital files than it is to make backup copies of paper.

Genealogists are especially susceptible to clutter and filing problems. We often collect photocopies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, deeds, census records, and much, much more. We soon encounter issues about how to file all this information and, even more important, how to retrieve what we want at the moment we need it.

Most of us can benefit from better organization of paper documents. However, the problem is not limited to genealogy purposes. Almost all of us end up with piles of paper – bills, receipts, financial and insurance statements, medical prescriptions, and more.

Major Update of the MyHeritage Mobile App Released

The folks at MyHeritage have released major new update of the company’s mobile app for managing photos and also for managing your family tree on-the-go. It also allows you to research historical records, wherever you are. Now you can see all the photos in your tree.

New Versions of MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree Are Now Available

Major updates for the popular genealogy applications MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree for iPhone and iPad have just been released. The new versions are available free of charge for customers of version 7. New customers can obtain a 50% discount for a limited period of time. During the promotion MacFamilyTree is just US$ 24.99 instead of the regular price of $49.99. MobileFamilyTree for iPhone and iPod sells for just US$ 6.99 instead of the normal price of $14.99.

I have both products and must say they are full-featured programs. Both are very easy to use and have perhaps the nicest user interface of any genealogy programs I have used.

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MacFamilyTree 7.2 and MobileFamilyTree 7.2 include completely overhauled reports, enhanced printing and the new Interactive Family Tree for more comprehensive and faster navigation through your family tree. The new version also features a brand new FamilySearch summary page as well as numerous other tweaks.

Office Online versus Google Apps: Facts and FUD

The computer world seems to be moving “to the cloud.” In other words, computer users today are less apt to install programs in their own computers. Instead, they often use programs that are stored on massive file servers in the Internet and require no installation. Many of these new cloud-based programs are available free of charge although some do cost money.

Word processing and spreadsheets have long been two of the the most popular uses for computers. The programs traditionally have been expensive to purchase and even more expensive to update as new versions with additional features have been released every two or three years. Today, many people, including myself, are using online word processing, spreadsheets, and other applications.

PaperLater – a Self-Made Newspaper of Questionable Value

I must admit that I wrestled with my conscience for a bit before writing this article. It is an interesting application of technology but I wouldn’t use it. It contradicts my firm beliefs about wasting paper and other natural resources. However, here is the info, just in case you might be interested.

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UK-based Newspaper Club has announced its PaperLater service. It allows users to set aside web articles of their choice to be incorporated into a print newspaper that is later delivered to their door. You can use this service to collect articles from this newsletter as well as from other web sites. The articles are combined, printed on paper, and the resultant “newspaper” is mailed to you by old-fashioned “snail mail.”

Genealone version 1.2.1 is Now Available

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 1.2.1 today.

- Several bugs have been fixed.

- GEDCOM import has been improved and most of the system related limitations have been lifted. Genealone can download GEDCOM files from the web and import huge files with tens of thusands persons, now. Most of the malformed place formats from GEDCOM file are fixed during the import, now.

- Swedish translation has been added (thanks to Jörgen Frenker)

- One new color scheme has been added

BillionGraves Releases an Updated Android App

The new BillionGraves Android application 2.3 Version 41 is now available on the Google Play store. Changes include:

  • Bug fixes
  • Application stability
  • Localization support for 24 languages
  • Localization issues for switching languages
  • Uploading images for internal storage support
  • Message Notification issues
  • Google Maps Crash issues
  • Internal and External image storage

FamilySearch Certifies More Third-party Software Products

FamilySearch has announced that ST ViewScan Premium and MagiPhoto for Windows Phone are now Tree Access Certified. Find-a-Record Research Assistance is now Tree and OrdinanceAccess Certified . “Certified” means the product is compatible with and has features that conforms to FamilySearch’s strict standards of quality.

Details may be found in the FamilySearch Blog at

Gramps 4.1.0 Released

The Gramps team has released a major new update of the popular open source (free) genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and BSD UNIX.

New features in 4.1.0 include:

GENP version 5 is now Available

GENP is a genealogy program for Windows. Author Peter Evans has now announced an update to the program:

Melbourne, Australia.

This release brings the support of Unicode characters and thus many more languages.

“As well as the existing support for English and other Western European languages the new release will support Eastern European languages such as Russian and Asian languages such as Japanese and Korean” said founder Peter Evans.

Demonstrating the ability of the program to handle Unicode characters is the release of the Japanese language support.

Peter Evans said “A demonstration database of the Japanese Tokugawa family Shogunate ships with the product”.

The Scanner in Your Pocket or Purse

Genealogists have lots of uses for scanners. We like to make digital images of information from books, court records, old maps, and even records found on microfilm. High quality portable scanners are inexpensive these days, typically $50 and up. You can occasionally find them at even lower prices if you watch the sales. However, convenience is always an issue. Do you really want to carry a portable scanner with you at all times just in case you happen to encounter something you want to digitize?

Actually, you probably already have such a scanner with you every time you leave the house.

Heredis for Windows is Available for 40% Off until Sunday

The folks who produce Heredis are offering a big discount for a few days. The “Flash Sale” is for the Windows version of this excellent genealogy software. The offer ends on Sunday, June 15, 2014. I am not sure which time zone is involved in the offer so I would suggest not waiting until Sunday evening to order it.

The latest version of Heredis for Windows is available for US $23.99 instead of the normal price US $39.99, a 40% discount. The flash offer is available only at:

Email Your Documents Directly to Evernote

Evernote is a great—and free—tool for genealogists and almost everyone else. Installed on Windows, Macintosh, Android, or Apple iOS systems, it is primarily a system for recording, storing, and retrieving notes about any topic. It shares your notes amongst all your systems—desktop, laptop, and handheld alike. I say it is PRIMARILY a system for storing notes, but it has many other uses as well. A smartphone user can even take pictures or videos with the phone and then store them directly in Evernote. Even Google Glass can store pictures and videos into Evernote. In fact, Evernote will store text notes, email messages, pictures, videos, audio, web pages, and more. I suspect every user of Evernote has different needs and methods of organizing things. I consider this to be the beauty of the program; you can configure it to work the way that YOU want.

GEDCOM Explained

I frequently mention the acronym “GEDCOM” in this newsletter. This week a reader wrote to me with an excellent question: “What is GEDCOM?” I realized that I haven’t explained this buzzword in a long, long time. So, here is a brief, non-technical explanation of the term for the newer subscribers to this publication.

GEDCOM is an abbreviation that stands for GEnealogy Data COMmunications. In short, GEDCOM is the language by which different genealogy software programs talk to one another. The purpose is to exchange data between dissimilar programs without having to manually re-enter all the data on a keyboard.

To illustrate the importance of GEDCOM, step back in time with me for a moment.

Heredis 2014 for Macintosh on Sale for 25% Off

Heredis 2014 is an easy-to-use genealogy program for Macintosh. The producers of the program are offering a 25% discount now through Sunday, May 25, 2014.

The latest version of Heredis added a new Search Assistant. This true Search wizard takes stock of your research and highlights elements missing from your genealogy. It also suggests ways to advance and offers online research tools such as Heredis Online, Geneanet, Ancestry…

Heredis 2014 for Mac is now available for 25% off: US$ 44.99 instead of US$ 59.99, and is available at or in the App Store:

CatroGenea — a Genealogy App for Android

CatroGenea is a genealogy program for Android tablets and smartphones. Developed in France, it is available in both French and English. I installed the English version recently and was able to carry basic genealogy information in my pocket or on my belt at all times. I suspect ladies will carry the Android device in their purses. Wherever it is carried, keeping your genealogy information close at hand at all times is a great convenience.

I use mobile devices to keep my information handy when visiting archives, libraries, or relatives. I wouldn’t dream of going to a genealogy meeting or conference without all my records at my fingertips. I never know who I will meet at a conference, perhaps even someone who has information about my own ancestors!

Backing Up Your Genealogy Data to Dropbox or to Google Drive

I am always suggesting that everyone should back critical files in multiple locations. For safety reasons, at least one backup copy should be stored “off site” where it will not be damaged by a disaster in your home. In fact, most of today’s genealogy programs can quickly, easily, and securely back up files to the cloud with such services as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Drive (formerly known as SkyDrive),,, or any of the many other available file copy services. Doing so is quick and easy and protects your data.

Another advantage to making backups to a cloud-based service is that you can easily copy databases between computers, such as from your desktop computer to your laptop or vice versa.

Keep in mind that you need to first create a Dropbox account or Google Drive account or an account on another service in order to use this option. Most of these online services offer free accounts that will save up to a few gigabytes of data. In most cases, the available space on a free account will be more than enough to store copies of most genealogy databases.

Family Book Creator, a Plug-in for Family Tree Maker for Windows

Do you dream of publishing a book about your family’s history? Is your genealogy information already stored in Family Tree Maker 2012 or Family Tree Maker 2014 for Windows? If so, Family Book Creator may be the tool for you.

Family Book Creator allows the creation of family books by just pressing a button. It only requires that the family data be stored inside a Family Tree Maker database. You will immediately become aware that your research results presented in book format will give you a special insight of your family data.


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