Software

Family History Hosting Announces Free Software Offer

I always like FREE offers but this one is especially attractive. Family History Hosting’s CEO, John Cardinal, is offering a free license for either of the company’s two major products: GedSite or Second Site. The offer can be used when you purchase a any hosting plan from Family History Hosting between now and March 31, 2017. This is an excellent way of placing your genealogy (or your family surname society’s genealogy) on the World Wide Web. Note that this is a limited time offer, as described in this announcement from Family History Hosting:

Limited-time offer: Free web site creation software with purchase of any FHH hosting plan

North Andover, MA – March 21, 2017 – Family History Hosting, LLC  [at] http://www.familyhistoryhosting.com/ is pleased to announce a free software offer: purchase any hosting plan from Family History Hosting between now and March 31, 2017, and receive a free license for either GedSite or Second Site!

“Family History Hosting is a great choice for genealogists who want to publish on the web,” said John Cardinal, CEO and Founder of Family History Hosting. “We provide comprehensive support to eliminate any technical barriers, and combined with GedSite or Second Site, publishing a genealogy project online has never been easier.”

Software MacKiev introduces FamilySync™ for Family Tree Maker Software

If you use Family Tree Maker software, you need to be aware of the following announcement written by Ancestry.com and Software MacKiev:

Last year, we announced the purchase of Family Tree Maker desktop software by Software MacKiev and because we wanted to make the transition to a new owner as smooth as possible, we committed at least a year of customer and product support. The goal has always been to maintain the capability to share your family tree data between files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees. We’ve been hard at work co-developing a new Ancestry gateway with Software MacKiev to use in their Family Tree Maker 2017, which will be available soon. We believe Software MacKiev continues to deliver the best value to users of Family Tree Maker with their focus and expertise in software solutions.

What you should know:

Twile Adds New Features for St. Patrick’s Day

The following announcement was written by the folks at Twile:

Doncaster: 14th March 2017

Family history timeline Twile have today released two brand new features to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Twile’s infographic, designed to help family historians share their research and engage younger generations, can now be created in the national colours of Ireland. The personalised family infographic is free and available to everyone – whether currently using Twile or not – at https://twile.com/numbers/irish. Visitors can simply import their FamilySearch tree or upload a GEDCOM file to automatically generate their infographic.

Designed for sharing online and with family, Twile’s infographic includes statistics such as the average number of children per family, the most common surnames, the ratio of men to women and the average age of marriage.

PaperPort Professional 14

If you are drowning in paper, having a difficult time managing all the documents you have amassed in your genealogy research, you might want to look at PaperPort Professional 14. It is useful for genealogy work as well as for dozens of other uses as well. I have written in the past about document management with Evernote and with OneNote. However, Nuance PaperPort Professional 14 could be described as the “industrial strength replacement” for either Evernote or OneNote. Even better, the price of PaperPort Professional 14 recently dropped from $200 to $59.99. Amazon has an even lower price: $44.99.

PaperPort provides a single way to scan paper, create PDF files, and access, view, edit, and convert your files on your PC. (It is only available for Microsoft Windows; there is no Macintosh version.)

PaperPort has long had the distinction of being a leading product for document management. It allows the user to sort, file, and organize even tens of thousands of documents and to retrieve any of them within seconds. The latest version 14 has now added some capabilities to smoothly work with the cloud, allowing the user to quickly retrieve or even to share document with users of Windows personal computers, netbooks, tablets, and smart phones.

Mylestone lets you Access Your Personal Memories through Alexa

amazon_echoDo you own an Amazon Echo, the electronic personal assistant often referred to as “Alexa?” I do and I love it. I am finding new uses for it almost daily. However, I never knew of a genealogy use for Alexa until now. Our photographs and social media updates can now turned into memories that we – or our children – could later access just by asking a virtual assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa. Mylestone transforms your memories into stories to be heard on virtual assistants.

Mylestone is a new startup that is experimenting with turning our digital footprints into narratives that help us recall highlights from our lives, as well as those of our family members and other loved ones. Mylestone’s mission is to ensure life’s most precious memories are accessible upon command. Utilizing memory artifacts, and a combination of artificial intelligence and external data, the company generates narratives that are available via virtual assistants, such as Alexa.

New Free App to Help Visitors in Dublin Trace Their Irish Ancestors

I wish this had been available when I was in Dublin a few months ago! The following announcement was written by Ancestor Network and announced this morning at RootsTech:

Dublin, Ireland, and Salt Lake City, Utah; Wednesday, 8 February 2017

ancestor_networkAncestor Network, Ireland’s leading provider of professional genealogy and probate research, has just released at RootsTech 2017 a free, new and interactive Irish Genealogy Research App; Your Dublin Map Guide to Irish Genealogy and History Sources. This ‘Ancestor Network’ App displays a list of the leading Dublin-based libraries, archives, research centres, historic sites and museums. These are linked to a detailed interactive map of Dublin containing supplemental information such as physical and web address location, contact details, and opening hours.

This App functions as your historical and genealogical guide in navigating through the streets of Dublin and to make the most of your time visiting or researching in Ireland.

A No-Cost or Low-Cost Replacement for Microsoft PowerPoint

If you make presentations to genealogy audiences or to anyone else, you are probably familiar with Microsoft PowerPoint, available for both Windows and Macintosh. It has been the leading slide show presentation program for many years. However, PowerPoint hasn’t had a significant update in years, and the price is not what we expect of modern software: it is far too expensive!

Actually, Microsoft usually sells PowerPoint in a bundle that includes Word, Excel, and perhaps some other programs as well. The prices of the various bundles range from about $120 for a single-user version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2016 to $360 or more for “Professional” versions that include OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher. Those prices seem excessive when compared to the competition. For instance, LibreOffice does almost all the same functions and is FREE. However, LibreOffice’s presentation program is not as powerful as PowerPoint.

Microsoft has recently added a new, free offering called Office.com, also known as Office Online. It is a cloud-based offering that works well although the feature set is limited. Office Online does not have all the features of Office 365 and does not include OneNote, Outlook, Access, or Publisher. Its online version of PowerPoint is also stripped down. However, the basics of document editing, spreadsheet formulas, and presentation options are all covered. You can check out Office Online at no cost at https://www.office.com.

A New Option Called Slides

slides-screenshot1

I have been experimenting with Slides, a new cloud-based program that lets you create, present, and share slide show presentations in a web browser. Unlike traditional presentation software like PowerPoint, there’s no need to download anything. All of your work is stored securely on slide.com’s servers, accessible wherever you are. You can create your presentation and display it to an audience with most any device that has a web browser: Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android, iPad, iPhone, and most “smart” cell phones.

Heredis 2017 for Windows and for Macintosh is Now Available

Heredis is a powerful genealogy program for both Windows and Macintosh that is very popular in Europe and in a number of other countries as well. You can see my earlier articles about Heredis by starting at: https://goo.gl/Xe7jPJ.

heredis-2017

Now the team that produces Heredis has announced a new update to the program is available today. The new version includes a number of improvements. Perhaps the most notable is the new “Dashboard.” Today’s announcement says (in part):

With the Dashboard, at a glance, genealogists know where they are: what they have already found and what they still have to do.

Like a real on board computer, genealogists conduct their genealogical activities very easily. They note their progression: the genealogical and demographic statistics give them valuable indications. Detailed information enables them to analyze their file in depth and to measure the progress of their work, to check the completeness of their sources, to identify what remains to be done and to identify goals. Also, genealogists can customize this workspace by following only the indicators or widgets they have chosen.

HOW WAS THIS IDEA BORN?

Dropbox Paper Challenges Evernote, Google Keep, Zoho Notebook, OneNote and Other Cloud-Connected Note-Taking Products

This is an article I published last August. At the time, the program was still in beta. I have been using it occasionally and find it is a simple word processor but also one that works well. Today, Dropbox took the program out of beta test status and is now supporting it fully. Therefore, I decided to republish the article. If you are looking for a FREE word processor, you might want to use the one you already have: Dropbox Paper.

Evernote has long been one of the best note-taking apps for use by genealogists and by millions of others. I have been a big Evernote fan for years and still am. However, Evernote recently increased the prices of its Plus and Premium versions. Evernote Basic remains available free of charge but is now limited to two devices per account, like a computer and a phone, two computers, or a phone and a tablet. Bummer! (See my earlier article at https://goo.gl/n0v4qa for the details.)

Many Evernote users were disappointed by the news and have since looked for replacement programs. See my article about one possible replacement at https://goo.gl/EwKVFN while others are switching to Microsoft’s OneNote (see https://goo.gl/deGfCZ). Now a new candidate from a well-known vendor is entering the marketplace.

Dropbox has long been a very popular cloud-based file storage service. Most Dropbox users find it is an excellent service for making backup copies of files as well as copying (or “replicating”) those files amongst multiple computers, such as keeping the same files at all times on both your your desktop and laptop computers. The same files also can be retrieved on an iPad, iPhone, Android device, Windows Phone, or even on a Kindle Fire. Now Dropbox is adding a new trick that appears to be aimed at enticing Evernote users to switch to Dropbox’s new service.

Sherwood Electronics Releases Upgrades to Branches for iPad, Branches FREE for iPad, Branches Pro for Mac and introduces Branches GAME for iPad

The following announcement was written by the folks at Sherwood Electronics:

Sherwood Electronics Laboratories, Inc. announces the release of upgrades to the Branches product line. Branches for iPad now includes FamilySearch™ Memories. Branches FREE for iPad has been upgraded with new features. Branches Pro for Mac now includes access to FamilySearch™ for downloading family tree information. Also released is Branches GAME for iPad, a FREE family tree matching game.

Branches for iPad now includes access to FamilySearch™ Memories. Photos, documents, and stories can be downloaded for offline viewing for any non-living person in FamilySearch.™ In addition, albums of memories can be downloaded for the currently signed on user. Memories can be enlarged for detailed viewing. Memories for unrelated non-living persons can also be downloaded. Many memories include documents which are helpful in researching pedigree lines.

Branches FREE for iPad now has the same look and feel as Branches for iPad, with new features now accessible for no charge. Upgrading to the Pro version of Branches for iPad can be done inside of the Branches FREE app.

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 1.3 is Released

A few weeks ago I wrote, “I predict GedSite will be a winner; very popular within the genealogy community.” Indeed, this is one prediction that seems to be coming true. The program has only been available a few weeks but already has generated a lot of interest.

If you are not yet familiar with GedSite, I will point out the program is a Windows program that reads GEDCOM files and then creates HTML pages that create gorgeous web sites to upload to the Internet or to share with relatives privately via flash drives, CD disks, or other removable media or via cloud-based file storage. (All modern genealogy programs can create GEDCOM files.) If you do not have your own web site available, John’s company, Family History Hosting, LLC, will even add your HTML pages in two mouseclicks to the company’s web severs for a modest fee.

John Cardinal also seems to be busy adding new features, most of them suggested by his new customers. The following announcement was written by John:

Short development cycles and frequent releases deliver innovation to customers

North Andover, MA – January 25, 2017 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce GedSite version 1.3, the most recent release of this must-have tool for any genealogist creating web sites from GEDCOM files. This release features a powerful record-filtering capability so users can restrict the people included in their sites to a subset of the GEDCOM file contents. In the coming weeks, the filter capability will be applied to other areas of the program, including a new “list of people” feature for creating custom lists and indexes.

HSTRY Changes its Name to Sutori and Adds New Capabilities

logo-sutoriIn the December 29, 2014 newsletter (at https://goo.gl/WXiqDa), I wrote about HSTRY, a FREE multimedia timeline creation tool that will work on your laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or tablet. I stated that “It is designed for classroom use by teachers and students. However, I think it is also a great tool for use in history and genealogy.”

The company has not stood still since my article was published. The company has expanded its services and also changed its name to Sutori. The multimedia timeline creation tool is now available at: http://www.sutori.com.

You might also want to look at the following pages:

Family Tree Survey for Heredis

heredis_graphicHeredis is a powerful genealogy program for both Windows and Macintosh that is very popular in Europe and in a number of other countries as well. You can see my earlier articles about Heredis by starting at: https://goo.gl/Xe7jPJ.

Now the team that produces Heredis is asking customers and non-customers alike to answer some survey questions. The introduction to the survey says, “That’s why today we would like to get more insights on American genealogists so we can offer them the best family tree program.”

Here is your chance to help a company improve its product. The survey may be found at: https://goo.gl/DgbCnU.

A Free Update to Family Tree Maker is Now Available

The following announcement was received from Jack Minsky, President of Software MacKiev:

ftm_image_1xDrum roll, please. For those of you who have been waiting patiently (or impatiently) for an update we thought every user of FTM 2014 and Mac 3 should install, well it’s here, and here’s why you should install it. (Even if you’ve already updated to a previous edition of FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1).

• SECURITY. New in this build is the ability to add password-protection to the tree files you export. And if you’re sending them outside your computer, that’s a very good idea — so your family history doesn’t ever fall into the wrong hands. You’ll find it as a new option in the export window.

GenSoftReviews Announces its Users Choice Awards for 2016

The following announcement was written by Louis Kessler who compiles the Users Choice Awards:

gensoftreviewsThe 8th annual Users Choice Awards have been announced at the GenSoftReviews website based on 750 reviews submitted by users during 2016.

44 programs were eligible having a minimum of 10 reviews and at least one review in 2016. Of those, 27 programs achieved a user-assigned average score of at least 4.00 out of 5, and each win a 2016 GenSoftReviews Top Rated Genealogy Software award.

The Winners include:

Gramps 4.2.5 Released

Gramps is a FREE genealogy program available for Linux and UNIX-like operating systems as well as for Windows and Macintosh. It is an impressive program, both intuitive for hobbyists and feature-complete for professional genealogists. Not bad for a free program! Gramps is a community project, created, developed and governed by genealogists.

gramps

Gramps version 4.2.5 has just been released. It is a maintenance release, meaning it has numerous bug fixes but no major new functionality added. It is available now for Linux and the versions for other operating systems probably will be added soon. You can learn more about Gramps at https://gramps-project.org/ while the list of changes in version 4.2.5 may be found at https://gramps-project.org/2016/12/gramps-4-2-5-released/. The users manual may be found in an online wiki at https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_page.

Incline Software Releases Ancestral Quest 15

The following announcement was written by the folks at Incline Software. Notice the major new features: the ability for AQ to receive hints from MyHeritage, FamilySearch and Findmypast; and to sync scrapbook items with FS Memories:

Salt Lake City, Utah (December 15, 2016) – Incline Software, LC, producer of Ancestral Quest™, premier family tree software for Windows and Mac, announced today the release of version 15. This new release provides exciting, easy to use new features, including the new TreeTips™ research assistant and Memories Manager, along with improvements to core screens that take better advantage of newer, higher resolution monitors.

Major New Features

TreeTips is a new technology built into Ancestral Quest that will search the world’s major databases of genealogical records and let users know if there are any records for them to examine. TreeTips combines the hinting capabilities of MyHeritage (based in Israel, with over 6 billion searchable records), FamilySearch (based in Utah, with over 5 billion searchable records) and Findmypast (based in England, with nearly 3 billion searchable records). With TreeTips, many users will feel like Ancestral Quest practically does their family history research for them. Users simply enter what they know about their family into Ancestral Quest and let TreeTips examine over 14 billion records, suggesting where to look next, as they expand their tree and discover and document more depth into their family’s heritage.

Updates to the AncestorSearch & Historical U.S. County Maps Research Tools

Randy Majors has created a research tool for genealogists called AncestorSearch, which creates a Google search optimized for genealogy searches. You can now filter on Marriages, Births and Deaths (or all three!) by checking the corresponding boxes at www.randymajors.com/p/ancestorsearch.html.

You can now filter on Marriages, Births and Deaths (or all three!) by checking the corresponding boxes.

ancestorsearchscreenshotsample

Announcing the Release of TreeView version 2

The following announcement was written by S&N Genealogy Supplies:

Leading family history publisher S&N Genealogy Supplies have just released TreeView 2, the next version of their popular family history software package specially designed for family historians.

TreeView stores your family tree on your PC or Mac with the option to easily sync your tree with TreeView.co.uk and its free iOS and Android app, allowing you to keep your family history at your fingertips. Privacy options for your online tree allow you to retain complete control over your research.

Click on the image above to view a larger version

TreeView has many powerful features including:

Update to Google Duo Video Chat App

I wrote about the Google video chat app called Duo in the August 17, 2016 newsletter at https://goo.gl/PJm3ET. Duo is a two-way video chat application for both Android and iPhone/iPad devices. I consider it to be a great competitor to FaceTime which is limited to only iPhone/iPad devices. I have been using Duo on my Android smartphone to chat with iPhone users. I have been generally pleased with it but have noticed that the video is not as good as that of FaceTime, which I used when I had an iPhone.

Now Google has announced a new version, called Google Duo 5.0. The new version reportedly includes some “major video quality improvements” among its additions. Also, the new version fixes a bug that was causing sound to not play for some users.