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Archive for November, 2008

Family Historian 4 due out soon – free upgrade offer now

Wednesday, 26th November, 2008

Calico Pie today released details of version 4 of Family Historian, the UK’s leading genealogy software program. The new version is due for release in February 2009, but thanks to a Christmas promotion, anyone who buys Family Historian 3 now from a named stockist, while stocks last, can get a free upgrade to version 4 when it becomes available (see Christmas Offer below for details).

The new release is designed to make Family Historian as easy to pick up and learn, and as easy and fun to use, as we could make it”, says Simon Orde, managing director of Calico Pie. “We’ve got a completely new component window called the Focus Window which is the new hub of the program. It’s a big step forward in user interface terms. At the same time we’ve completely rewritten the Property Box – the main data entry window – to make it much easier and nicer to use too. There are also a lot of new features relating to pictures and multimedia which is another big focus of the new version. And there are loads of other great new features. Family Historian has always been a very innovative program, and there’s a lot of innovation in version 4

New features in version 4 include:

  • A new hub component window called the “Focus Window”, with views for spouses & children, parents & siblings, ancestors and descendants. It is designed to make addingrelatives and moving around a family tree, completely intuitive and easy.
  • The main ‘Property Box’ (for data entry) has been reworked so that it too is now easier than ever to use. Users can configure its appearance, customize it, move it, resize it, or‘dock’ it to the side of the application window.
  • Project management capability has been added. The program automatically looks after all your project files for you (including picture files and other multimedia, saved charts and more) in a dedicated folder on your hard disk.
  • Multi-level undo/redo lets you make changes in confidence, knowing that if you make a mistake you can easily undo it (this is the most voted-for feature on users’ wish lists).
  • Full support for same sex relationships has been added.
  • Support for multimedia, and especially pictures, has been significantly enhanced.
  • Thumbnail views have been added to make browsing pictures easy. You can now link pictures to events and attributes. Adding pictures and multimedia is easier than ever, as is browsing all the pictures in your project – thanks to extensive filtering options, including keyword filtering, in the Multimedia Window. Support for pictures has been improved in reports, and there is an all-new multimedia report.
  • Charts, reports and queries can all now be saved in PDF format. With charts, you also have the option of saving the entire chart as a one-page PDF file.
  • Extensive power-user features have been added, giving power-users much greater scope to extend and customize the program than ever before. Ordinary users can also benefit through the ability to download program extensions written by power users, from Family Historian user websites (e.g.
  • Enhancements to charts and diagrams.
  • Improved support for website generation and for family tree CD creation…. and much more.

Christmas Offer

While stocks last, customers who buy Family Historian 3 now (full version) from participating stockists, will be sent a free CD upgrade to version 4 when it becomes available. The CD upgrade is expected to have a recommended retail price of £23.95.

The participating stockists are:

Anyone who buys the download version of Family Historian 3 now (full version) will get a free
downloadable upgrade to version 4 when available (see

Awards for Version 3:

Your Family Tree magazine gave Family Historian 3.1 its Family History Software of the Year award for 2008 (Dec 2008).

Which? Computing gave Family Historian 3.1 their Best Buy award and their highest overall score in a group test of eight top genealogy programs (July 2008).

Windows XP: The Official Magazine gave Family Historian 3.1 their Editor’s Choice award and highest score in a group test of four top genealogy programs (Dec 2007).

Computeractive magazine gave Family Historian 3 their Buy It! award – the second time it has won this award (July 2006)

Personal Computer World magazine gave Family Historian 3 their Personal Computer World Recommended award (May 2006).

Other reviewers said of version 3: “The best genealogy package just got better” (Family Tree magazine), “The best just got better” (Norfolk Roots), “Brilliant and dead easy to use” (Univadis), “The diagrams are superb” (National Genealogical Society News magazine), “One of the best, if not the very best, in its class” (Australian Family Tree Connnections), “Superb picture handling and the best set of charts around” (Your Family Tree), “Without the slightest hesitation, I am happy to label this the best piece of genealogical software I have ever used” (The Banyan Tree).

500 Years of London history to launch online

Monday, 24th November, 2008

From the City of London website:

London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section are delighted to announce a new partnership with Ancestry™ to digitise genealogical sources.

The first records will launch on in early 2009, with the following prioritised for launch in the coming year:

  • Parish records – records from more than 10,000 Greater London parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials dating from the 1530s to the 20th Century
  • Poor Law documents – relating to the administration of poor relief, including workhouse registers from 1834 onwards
  • London school admissions – records from 843 individual London schools dating from the early Victorian times through to 1911, providing admission and personal details for millions of London students

It is anticipated that the full digitisation and indexing program will include:

  • Parish baptisms, marriages and burials
  • Bishops transcripts
  • Parish poor law records
  • Boards of Guardians records
  • Diocesan marriage bonds and allegations
  • Non-conformist baptisms, marriages and burials
  • School admission and discharge registers
  • Electoral registers, overseers returns and poll books
  • Land tax records
  • Wills
  • City of London Freedoms
  • Middlesex Sessions – Transportation Contracts
  • Consistory Court of London Matrimonial and Testamentary Papers

We will provide free access to view the indexes and images through on the computer terminals in our public rooms.  The program will start shortly and we will release further information about the project over the coming months.

Canadian Census index online for free

Saturday, 22nd November, 2008

If you have any Canadian ancestors, then you might interested to know that and FamilySearch are teaming up to provide online access to a comprehensive collection of Canadian censuses.

As part of the agreement, FamilySearch will digitize and index Canadian census records that has acquired. These digitized and indexed records will then be made available to members on the company’s website, and in time the indexes will also be available to the public at The images will be free to qualified FamilySearch members and all FamilySearch family history centers.

FamilySearch will deliver images and indexes to for censuses from 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1916 Censuses to launch online in 2009. In return, will provide images and indexes to FamilySearch for the 1851, 1891, 1901 and 1906 Censuses.

Getting Involved

Interested volunteers can begin helping immediately by registering online at, downloading the free indexing software, and selecting the 1916 Canada Census project. A digital image of a census page will appear. Volunteers simply type in the data highlighted on the computer screen and save it online. It takes about 30 minutes to complete one census page, and volunteers have a week to complete it if need be. Volunteers only need to be able to read, type, and have Internet access to participate.

Interview with Cyndi Howells

Friday, 21st November, 2008

Dick Eastman interviews Cyndi Howells who runs the largest genealogy directory on the web.

Family Tree Maker Webinar

Thursday, 20th November, 2008

Ancestry had a webinar (web seminar) last night featuring a Family Tree Maker 2009 tour.

The webinar offered a demonstration of new features, and shared tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Family Tree Maker 2009. Additionally, there was a sneak peek of some of the features that will be available in future enhancements to Family Tree Maker 2009.

If you missed it then the webinar will be put online in a few days at There are already some previous webinars available to watch at that site.

Family Tree Maker Deluxe Edition

Family Historian available in the US

Wednesday, 19th November, 2008

Family Historian is my favourite genealogy software.  I tried out a few when I first began my family tree and this was, and still is, the best out there in my opinion.  The makers of “Who Do You Think You Are” must also thinks so too, because it is what they use when researching celebrity family trees and Your Family Tree magazine awarded it family tree software of the year 2008.

It is now being sold in the US, available at Target and new website has been set up to accompany the launch:

The Family Historian User Group is also a well established website community for users of Family Historian.

Family Historian v3

FamViewer, Genealogy Software for iPhone and iPod Touch

Tuesday, 18th November, 2008

The following announcement was written by Aster Software:

LEXINTON, KY, October 28, 2008 — Aster Software announced today the release of its new genealogy application, FamViewer, that allows genealogists to carry their genealogy databases with them on their iPhone and iPod Touch.

FamViewer imports standard GEDCOM files and displays them on the iPhone. GEDCOM files can be uploaded to FamViewer with a web browser on a desktop computer or downloaded to FamViewer from any web site or web server via WiFi. FamViewer will import the GEDCOM file and display its contents.  Once a GEDCOM file is downloaded and imported you can view individuals, families, notes and sources. Navigate the family tree with a touch. You can carry your genealogy database with you wherever you bring your iPhone or iPod Touch.

An index by surname allows the user to find anyone in the database. A family view, resembling a family group sheet, displays three generations of a family: parents, children, and grandparents. Touch the parent’s names to view the details of their life events and personal attributes.  Each event and attribute can have sources and notes, which are visible in another view.

All the FamViewer views work in portrait or landscape orientation so long names, places, dates or other data can be easily viewed.

FamViewer isn’t tied to any desktop genealogy software. Active genealogy researchers already own genealogy software that they run on their desktop, or laptop, computers. All modern genealogy software can export their genealogy databases in GEDCOM format. FamViewer will import GEDCOM files exported by today’s popular genealogy applications.

FamViewer can be purchased at the Apple appstore and is priced at US$14.99.  To find out more about FamViewer visit the appstore with iTunes.  FamViewer is listed under Productivity Applications and Genealogy.  More information is also available at

About Aster Software.

Aster Software is a small company specializing in products for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Macintosh.  The company website is

Military records

Monday, 17th November, 2008

Looking for military records?  Ancestry might be able to help… it’s free to search during November.

Their collections include:

RSS News feeds

Monday, 17th November, 2008

One of the features of this site, about which you may not be aware, is the use of RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds are news feeds which allow you to see when web sites have added new content. You can get the latest content, as soon as it is published, without having to visit the website you have taken the feed from.

We have two rss feeds on this site which allow you to stay up to date with the latest news from this site and the genealogy world, as well as alerts of the latest documents to be added to our database.

To subscribe to a particular feed, you will need a News Reader or other similar device (see below).  Subscription is free.

What are our feeds?

How do I get a news reader?

There are a range of different news readers available to download from the Internet.

Different news readers work on different operating systems, so you will need to choose one that will work with your computer.

Common news readers are:

See the people in your tree on a map

Saturday, 15th November, 2008

An exciting announcement from now helps you visualize where important events occurred in the lives of your ancestors by placing their events on a map.

We’ve updated the family tree so that just about anywhere we show a place, you can click on that place and see the link on the map.  When we display the map we’ll also show all the events for the person.  It’s been fun for me to start visualizing these places in my tree that I’ve been staring at for so many years.  The map let you see the streets and roads, or select an aerial view to get satellite images.

We’ve worked hard to make this easy to use, but for any who want a fun tutorial, we’ve created a pretty great tutorial that walks you through all the map’s features. Just click the question mark in the green circle at the top right hand corner of the screen.

In addition to viewing the important places in your family members’ lives, you can also find places to help you in your research efforts.  We have links to show local cemeteries and courthouses, and “Other Places” link displays a list of additional display options where you can find historical information—churches, historical sites, libraries and archives, and government buildings.

If the locations in your tree aren’t found by our mapping tool, we’ll help suggest possible matching locations to display. If you have no location entered for some of your events, the map feature allows you to enter in location information which will then be stored to your tree.

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