Day #2 of the annual conference of the U.S. National Genealogical Society unfolded as expected. The skies are still overcast in Nashville with occasional showers. However, all was sunny and dry inside the Nashville Convention center.
I managed to roam around the Exhibitors' Hall a bit today and the following items interested me:
Personal Ancestral File is one of the most popular a genealogy programs available for Windows. Version 5.2 is now available, and the commercial version of the program on CD-ROM now includes version 5.2 of the Personal Ancestral File Companion. The biggest single change is the addition of color charts now available in Personal Ancestral File Companion 5.2. I plan to write a review of this combination within a few weeks. In the meantime, you can read more at http://www.familysearch.org.
Another new release from the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) is the availability of Volume 4 of the Pedigree Resource File; Disks 76-100. This "volume" is a good-sized box containing 25 CD disks of lineage-linked pedigrees that have been submitted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a total of more than 100 million names. Again, I plan to write a review of this combination within a few weeks. In the meantime, you can read more at http://www.familysearch.org.
Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library has collaborated with other institutions to provide the Family History Archive: a digital repository where families can keep their own stories alive. The Harold B. Lee Library and its partners have already collected more than 100,000 family histories that are currently being digitized and posted to the library's web site. These histories and future additions will be available online to the general public at no charge. More information can be found at http://www.familyhistoryarchive.byu.edu
Alpha to Omega Genealogy offers a Windows program designed to allow you to print a memorable book of ancestors and descendants that you can display or share with family members. I felt that it was one of the better such products when I reviewed it on February 22, 2005. However, I felt it had one shortcoming and follow-up comments from newsletter readers apparently were useful to the developer. Ray Brandt of Alpha to Omega Genealogy is now displaying the latest version of the program at this year's NGS conference. He wishes to thank this newsletter's readers for their comments and suggestions. The version he is showing now incorporates many of those suggestions. You can read my original review and the follow-up comments from newsletter readers here. For more information about Alpha to Omega - The Genealogy Bookmaker, go to http://www.alphatoomega.us. Newsletter readers who offered suggestions should be pleased with the latest version.
Heritage Creations has announced the imminent release of a new book: "New York State Censuses and Substitutes" by Bill Dollarhide. Heritage Creations had a "galley proof" of the book on display and is now accepting orders. The printed version will be available within a very few weeks. I only had a chance to look at the book briefly but it certainly looks like the definitive guide to New York state census records. More information will be available soon at http://www.heritagecreations.com
"Magna Carta Ancestry" may qualify as the thickest and heaviest new genealogy book published this year. It has 1,136 pages (yes, more than one thousand pages) of carefully researched and fully documented information about the 25 barons who signed the Magna Carta and their descendants, with special emphasis on later descendants who emigrated to North America. Author Douglas Richardson had to use two hands to hold this book when he posed for the picture you see here. This new publication is hot off the press and includes a lot of introductory material that explains the Magna Carta and its effect on history, along with an extensive bibliography that includes citations to specific articles. It also contains an index to the battles and even shows the coats of arms of the 25 barons. When I asked Douglas Richardson how many hours he spent writing this massive tome, he rolled his eyes and simply said, "thousands." This huge, high-quality resource sells for $100.00 (U.S. funds). More information may be found at http://www.royalancestry.net.
I was delighted to see RootsMap at the NGS conference in Nashville. I first saw the products from this English company a few weeks ago, when I was at the Society of Genealogists' Family History Fair in London. The company owners are in Nashville this week, mixing their delightful British accents with the locals' Tennessee drawl. RootsMap specializes in providing Surname Distribution Maps for the U.K. and Ireland in order to help search for a particular surname. If your English surname is in their database, they can plot the birthplaces of people with that surname from U.K. census records. Such an aid can be invaluable when you don't know where to look in the U.K. You can instantly purchase these maps online on the company's web site. More information may be found at http://www.rootsmap.com.
Solid Memories offers a product unlike anything I have seen before. It is a three-dimensional sculpture made from your photograph. The products are available as sculpture that stand in a frame, as memento lockers as "treasure chests." They look very authentic. This is a tough concept to describe in words but you will instantly know what the products are if you look at http://www.solidmemories.com
Numerous companies offer printed wall charts created from your genealogy database. The newest such product that I have seen is both very attractive and also modestly priced. Generation Maps offers "the big picture" with wall-sized pedigree charts and other large printouts available on a wide variety of paper. The most impressive product I saw in their booth was the so-called "New Generation map" that shows children and grandchildren of each ancestor. All printouts are highly modifiable, even allowing names and family tree "segments" to be color-coded to match your filing system. Prices start at $16.95, a very low price in my opinion. Again, this is a tough concept to describe in words but you will instantly know what the products are if you look at http://www.generationmaps.com.
That's it for Day #2. I will return tomorrow and will look for more new genealogy products and services.