A Cell Phone App Stops You from Accidentally Dating your Long-Lost Cousin

This app only works in Iceland. I was in the country last year and learned about it from several local residents.

With a population of only 320,000 people, Icelanders all know that everyone on the island is related to everyone else. In some cases, they might be closely related, such as second cousins. This presents a quandary when dating: is your date a candiate for marriage or perhaps could such a marriage lead to an incestuous relationship?

MacFamilyTree 8.3 is On Sale at 50% Off

Synium Software has an offer that will appeal to many Macintosh owners. MacFamilyTree is a highly-rated Macintosh genealogy program with an outstanding user graphic user interface. While it has many available options, perhaps the most notable feature in MacFamilyTree 8.3 is the new “CloudTree – Sync & Share“ added in version 8.

CloudTree is a FREE service that allows the user to (optionally) store genealogy information in the cloud and share it with relatives. All new updates to the CloudTree instantly become available to others, who may view it on their Macs, iPhones, or iPads. The other users who have access to the family tree may be able to add new information or, if you prefer, you can make your family tree available as a read-only version instead. Although all entries are synced via CloudTree, all your information is still available locally on your Mac, iPhone or iPad, allowing you to continue your genealogical research when your device is offline. CloudTree will automatically sync any changes once you reconnect to the internet.

MacFamilyTree also works with MobileFamilyTree 8, a full-featured genealogy app for iPhone and iPads that is also produced by Synium Software.

Announcing The Imbueapp – Turn Every Item Into A Time Capsule

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Imbue Digital Corporation:

Save family memories with the Imbueapp. A free iOS app delivering trusted long-term storage for cherished family memories.
Imbue uses machine learning to identify photos, antiques, heirlooms, etc.
and turns them into time capsules for future generations.

VICTORIA, BC, Canada– February 10, 2018 – Innovator, Keith Wells, also the Founder of digital sports highlight distribution leader, SendtoNews Video Inc., is ready to unveil his latest project, the Imbueapp.


Using a smartphone camera image, Imbueapp captures your precious items and remembers them using machine learning from Google Cloud Vision API; you then add audio or video to the items, explaining where they came from, who they belonged to, and why they are special. Using cloud storage and the Google recognition software, the Imbueapp connects the two permanently so that future generations can identify your family treasures and the stories associated with them.

“Capturing the voices of parents and grandparents makes sense, because voices go silent unexpectedly.” said founder Keith Wells.

Using LibreOffice as a PDF Editor

I have written often about LibreOffice, my favorite word processing software. It also is a full suite of programs, offering spreadsheets (competing with Excel), presentations (competing with PowerPoint), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing). Best of all is the price tag: FREE. You can find my past articles about LibreOffice by starting at:

Writing in the web site, Martin Brinkmann points out that LibreOffice also is a great program for creating, editing, and saving PDF documents. Amongst its capabilities, LibreOffice will allow you to open PDF files obtained from some other source and then you can add, edit or delete text, and even use advanced features such as inserting images, changing the formatting or adding tables. Once you are done editing the document you need to select “export as PDF” from the File menu.

rootstrust now Supports Ultra-High Resolution Displays

I have written before about rootstrust, a genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. (See for my past articles about rootstrust.) Now the producers of rootstrust have announced a major new addition to the program’s capabilities. The following announcement was written by the folks at Atavus, the procers of the rootstrust software:

Atavus, Inc. announces that the current version of its multiplatform genealogy program, rootstrust, automatically resizes its window to accommodate ultra-high resolution video displays like Apple’s Retina Display and the 4K displays currently offered by so many other computer manufacturers.

Reunion version 12 is Now Available for the Macintosh

Reunion 12 has just been released. According to the program’s web site at, the new features include:

  • New Duplicate Check feature. When adding a person, a new window appears showing possible duplicates to the person you’re adding. You can make it as sensitive as you want. Potential duplicates can be reviewed, to help decide whether to link an existing person or continue adding a new person. No need to look for duplicates after the fact.
  • Sort events for everybody, marked people, or the current couple. An “Event Template” lets you determine the best order for events that have no dates. For example, always keeping burial after death, even when the burial date is unknown.

Cyberduck for Windows and Macintosh

NOTE: This isn’t a genealogy-related article although it is about some software that is used by a lot of genealogists. This article is an expanded version of a suggestion I posted in the comments section of the web site in response to a reader’s mention of frustration with a certain FTP file transfer program.

Once you have created web pages in your favorite genealogy program, how do you transfer those pages to the web site you use to display that information? In fact, there are probably a dozen or more methods of doing that, depending upon the requirements of the web site you use. However, the most common method is to perform an FTP file transfer.

NOTE: FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol.” For a complete, although somewhat technical, explanation of FTP, see the Wikipedia article at:

To use FTP, you need to install an FTP program in your computer. There are dozens of FTP programs available for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Chromebooks, UNIX, Android, Apple iPhones and iPads, and other computer systems. Some of them are very easy to use while others seem to be overly cryptic, full of buzzwords left over from UNIX systems of the 1970s when FTP was first invented. If you are using a cryptic FTP program or if you are looking for your first FTP program, I have a suggestion for you: Cyberduck.

LibreOffice 6.0 Released

I have written often about the free office suite of programs called LibreOffice. (See for a list of my past articles about LibreOffice.) I have both LibreOffice and Microsoft Word installed on the computer I am using at the moment but I find LibreOffice’s word processor to be my favorite. It is easier to use than Word and is compatible with more file formats, including: .doc, .docx, .rtf, .html, .xhtml, .epub3, .odt, and a bunch of other formats as well.

LibreOffice includes a word processor (competing with Microsoft Word), a spreadsheet program (somewhat like Excel), a presentation program (similar to PowerPoint), a drawing program, a database program, and a mathematics program. LibreOffice Writer also includes such useful features as a spellchecker, a thesaurus, AutoCorrect, and hyphenation as well as a variety of templates for almost every purpose. You can also create your own templates using the wizards.

Looking for Help in the Heredis Booth at RootsTech

Heredis is a very popular genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh, iPad, iPhone, and Android. At least, it is popular in Europe and in many other places although I don’t hear as much about it in North America. The folks who produce Heredis are working to change that. They plan to have an exhibit booth at RootsTech 2018 in Salt Lake City to demonstrate Heredis to everyone there. However, they are looking for some help in that booth. Are you interested?

Comment from Dick Eastman: I have used Heredis a lot and am very impressed with the propgram. It certainly is competitive with the other leading genealogy programs of today and I can see why it is so popular in many different countries. To see my past articles about Heredis, start at

The following announcement was written by the folks who produce Heredis:

Genealogy Software Users Choice Awards for 2017 announced by GenSoftReviews

The following announcement was written by GenSoftReviews:

The 9th annual Users Choice Awards have been tabulated and awarded at the GenSoftReviews website.

During 2017, 82 of the nearly 1,000 programs listed received 535 reviews. Along with the review, users rated the programs from 1 to 5 star, with 5 being best. Programs that received at least one review in 2017 with 10 or more all-time reviews that achieved a user rating of at least 4.00 out of 5 receive a GenSoftReviews User Choice Award for 2017. The award reflects that the program is well-liked by its users.

The 25 programs awarded a GenSoftReview Users Choice Award as a Top Rated Genealogy Software for 2017 are:

Next Generation OCR Now Available in TextGrabber 2 for only $2.99 US

Has anyone tried this? I just downloaded and installed it last night on my Android cell phone and am learning how to use it. I’d love to hear from a more experienced user.

If the advertisements are correct, TextGrabber may be a new revolution in OCR (Optical Character Recognition). I can see this having lots of uses in genealogy as well as for dozens of other purposes as well. Quoting from the ads:

“Translate recognized text into 100+ languages in a snap.”

“Today we proudly present our completely new TextGrabber Android. You’ll be amazed. Like its iOS sibling released in June, the Android version can now recognize texts on the fly thanks to our cool new technology, Real-Time Recognition!

Microsoft Office is Now Available on Chromebooks

This article has nothing to do with genealogy. However, I have written often about Chromebooks, the inexpensive laptop computers. (See for my past articles about Chromebooks.) This is a follow-up to the earlier articles.

Perhaps the most common question about Chromebooks is, “Can it run my favorite Windows (or Macintosh) programs, such as Microsoft Word?” The answer was “No.” However, that is changing.

Chromebooks are designed to be used with the cloud and run programs that are stored on servers in the cloud. There are thousands of such programs available. See for a list of the available apps that run on Chromebooks. The genealogy apps may be found at:

HOWEVER, Microsoft has now released versions of Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive) written especially for Chromebooks. The Chromebook versions have most of the functionality of the Windows and Macintosh versions, although a few features may be missing.

QromaScan v3 Introduces Natural Language Tagging

I wrote about the QromaScan device earlier. Start at to see my earlier articles. Now a major new software upgrade is available for QromaScan. Here is the announcement from Qroma LLC:

Create Industry Standard Photo Metadata from Natural Voice Descriptions.

SAN JOSE, California— November 17, 2017— Consumers frustrated by the complexity of scanning and organizing their film based images will have a new option as Silicon Valley-based Qroma LLC announces the availability of QromaScan v3.0 for iOS®. QromaScan captures and organizes photos, slides and negatives in one step using specially designed iPhone® accessories and an innovative voice recognition technology. Version 3 brings a new Natural Language Tagging engine that enables users to describe their photos in their own words and use QromaScan’s cutting edge voice recognition technology to detect and embed photo metadata tags for key details such like the date, location and people. A new Relationship Manager detects the use of common nouns used for describing family members such as ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ and automatically tags the image with their full names.

QromaScan 3 greatly simplifies what was once the tedious process of creating industry standard photo metadata. Powered by machine learning and linguistic parsing, QromaScan 3’s Natural Language Tagging engine can store up to 2,000 characters of the user’s transcribed description of a photo and then automatically generate photo metadata tags for things like dates, places, GPS coordinates, and people names. The transcribed description and detected metadata are embedded into the image where they are recognized and made searchable by any operating system or photo organization software that reads standard EXIF and IPTC metadata, such as Adobe Lightroom CC®, Google Photos or Apple Photos®.

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 1.10

GedSite is a great tool for creating personal genealogy web sites. The propgram has its own “roots” in a program that was used to create gorgeous web sites from the database of The Master Genealogist, a Windows program that is no longer available. The program’s creator, John Cardinal, then moved his focus to creating web sites from GEDCOM files. He named the newly-launched program GedSite.

Now John has greatly expanded the capabilities of GedSite, as explained in the announcement below:

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 1.10

Featuring enhancements for customers using Legacy®

North Andover, MA – October 27, 2017 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce GedSite version 1.10, the most recent release of this must-have tool for any genealogist creating web sites from GEDCOM files. This release features enhanced support for GEDCOM files exported from Legacy® and several optimizations related to exhibit handling.

“GedSite builds narratives using a flexible processing engine that interprets sentence templates exported from several genealogy programs, now including Legacy” said John Cardinal, CEO and Founder of Family History Hosting.

Soliciting and acting on customer feedback is an integral part of the GedSite development process, and as usual, this release delivers several features requested by users, including optimizations related to media exhibits.

New Update to the MyHeritage Mobile App

There is a new update available for the MyHeritage mobile app. The mobile app is available for Apple iOS (for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) and for Android smartphones and tablets.

It is now easier than ever to explore and share your family history on the go. Capture and share family photos and memories right from your mobile device, invite family members to contribute to your family tree and update your tree at family get-togethers.


While there are numerous new features in the update, the one that impressed me the most is the capability to find your ancestors in MyHeritage’s collection of more than 8 billion historical records. These capabilities bring the mobile app to par with the full version of the website.

Microsoft Says, “We’ll have Two-Thirds of Office Users in the Cloud by Fiscal 2019.”

I have written often about the need to keep secure and encrypted backups of your important files off-site. Actually, I believe every computer owner should do that but it is doubly important for genealogists who have often spent hundreds of hours researching and documenting their family trees. A loss of all that data caused by a hard drive crash, a hurricane, a tornado, any other natural disaster, or simple human error, can be devastating.

Most corporations are moving their corporate data to cloud-based backup systems, whether they create their own cloud computing systems or use one of the commercially-available cloud solutions (Amazon Web Services, RackSpace, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, DigitalOcean, and many others).

Now Microsoft is moving many of its customers who use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other applications) to cloud computing in an effort to improve the customers’ security and redundancy.

Heredis Genealogy Software for Windows or Macintosh is Now Available for $10.99 for a Limited Time

The following announcement was written by the folks who produce Heredis genealogy software:

For 5 days, a mega deal is available for genealogists until Sunday, October 1st, 2017 only inclusive: $10.99 for Heredis software:

– For Mac:

– For PC:

– For all users of a previous version of Heredis for Windows (upgrade):

Reasons to choose Heredis:

imbue App for iOS devices and soon, Android: Make Every Family Item a Time Capsule

A new family memory app for Apple devices that should appeal to many genealogists is being developed in a Kickstarter campaign. It will be demonstrated in a technology demonstration next year at RootsTech. The app was launched Wednesday, September 20.

The name of this new app is imbue, apparently always spelled with a lower-case “i.” The word “imbue” means “Inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality. Saturate, suffuse, drench, steep.”

If you contribute financially to the development of this new app, you can be both a beta tester and also receive a subscription to the final, released product when it is ready.

rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®

Atavus, Inc. has just announced an improvement to the company’s product, rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®. This should interest many genealogists as rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote® now works with Evernote, a very popular product amongst genealogists.

The following announcement was written by Atavus, Inc.:

Atavus, Inc. announces that its multiplatform genealogy program, rootstrust, now supports interoperability with Evernote. In the latest version of rootstrust, users can optionally use Evernote as a primary or secondary repository for imported files and website links.

Evernote is a multiplatform app for taking, organizing and archiving notes where a ‘note’ can be virtually any file or website link. To take advantage of this interoperability between rootstrust and Evernote, you must first have an Evernote account. You can start with a free account and upgrade to a Plus account or to a Premium account, as you require more storage space. Windows and Mac OS users also need to download and install the free Evernote client program for their operating system. Since there is no Evernote client available for Linux, rootstrust will soon (next release) provide its Linux users with an Evernote-like extension to rootstrust.

rootstrust Now Runs Natively on a Chromebook

I have written previously about rootstrust, a genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.  (You can see one of my earlier articles at Now the folks at Atavus have still another operating system: Chromebooks, the low-cost laptop and desktop computers.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Atavus:

Last year Atavus reported that rootstrust can run on a Chromebook via a virtual computer system that you must subscribe to for a monthly fee. Paperspace, MacInCloud and Frame are virtual systems that rootstrust is compatible with. Now Atavus is pleased to announce that rootstrust runs natively on GalliumOS, a free Linux variant developed specifically for the Chromebook. A Chromebook can be configured for dual booting which means that the user selects either ChromeOS or GalliumOS when the device is powered on.

Rootstrust executing on GalliumOS on an Acer Chromebook 14