New Index Page

I changed the family tree maker tutorial index page. Will you look at it for me and give me your feedback? Even if you’re not using that software, I want to know what you think so that I know whether to invest the time it will take to change the index pages for Reunion, RootsMagic, and Family Tree Maker for Mac.

I modeled the index pages after the index in a book. Does this make it easier to find what you’re looking for? Can you think of anything I could do to make it even easier? What else might you want to know on that page?

Please leave me your feedback in a comment on this post or in a quick email.

Adding Death Dates to the Reunion 9 Index

Index window including death dates in genealogy software Reunion 9 for Mac.The index feature in Reunion 9 for Mac software presents a list of person records in your family file. It is useful for navigating your genealogy tree, linking people, marking people for operations like reporting and deletion, and is an initial step for creating an index of individuals report.

All of these functions are enhanced by the ability to modify the columns displayed in the index. In particular, finding an intended individual is easier when sufficient information is present to differentiate similar records.

Reunion enables you to add, remove, and change the order of columns. You can add a column then tell the software what to display in it.

By default the index displays names, birth date, and birth place. These are usually sufficient to distinguish one individual from another. It’s also helpful to see the death date as well.
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Source Citation Find and Replace in Reunion for Mac

People with Found Detail Window from Reunion for Mac Genealogy SoftwareFinding and replacing text in your family file is irregularly needed, but can save you time when you can use it. Turning over this tedious task to Reunion makes more family history research time available to you. That is, provided you carefully define your search criteria and backup your Reunion family file first!

Reunion has search and replace well covered everywhere except source citation details. The fields within the source record are all available to the Find -> Replace feature on the menu-bar–no problem there.

The trouble is that source detail isn’t a field in the source record and it isn’t a field in the event or fact. It’s a link between a source record and an event or fact. This is as it should be; it allows you to cite a single source for multiple events and facts and on different person records.
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How to Backup A Reunion Family File

Are you regularly backing up your Reunion family files? Making a backup is important for more than protecting your precious research in the event of hard drive failures and catastrophes. Be sure to make a copy of your family file before making significant changes to your family file. Reunion for Mac’s creator, Leister Productions, even recommends making a backup before you make any changes. Whether you’re that cautious or not, you’ll eventually want to make a backup. There are basically two ways to make a backup copy of a family file.

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Comparison of Mac Genealogy Software Features

Comparing features helps when you’re choosing a new genealogy application. Seeing which ones support the features essential to your genealogy workflow and practice is also helpful.

I just compiled a set of tables I hope you’ll find helpful in comparing features of Mac genealogy software. I published it on the Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 buyer’s guide page.

I was able to complete this much more quickly than the one for PC genealogy software feature comparison because I had already been maintaining similar tables. I updated the tables where appropriate and made the criteria match those for PC genealogy applications. This way you can compare features not only between Mac genealogy software, but also PC counterparts–it’s a sad tale across the board.

Reunion 9 for Mac Perspective Events Updated

Today I updated the North American Perspective Events file that I’ve previously modified and shared with you. This brings the Reunion 9 for Mac perspective event set up-to-date with historical events affecting the region since 1968. Specifically, I added these events:

1973 Arab Oil Embargo
1989 Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement
1994 North American Free Trade Agreement
2001 Canada and U.S. assist in military intervention in Afghanistan
2007 Financial crisis in U.S. triggers world-wide recession

This wasn’t as easy as it once was because in the current release of Mac OS X (version 10.7, aka Lion), Apple hid the Library folder from view in the Finder. Perhaps some background is in order.
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Reunion for Mac CDs Discontinued Soon

I got the news yesterday from the company that handles order fulfillment for MacGenealogist CDs is discontinuing CDs on July 30th. These are the CDs containing higher resolution versions of most of the Reunion for Mac videos I published on

I’ve done some research and haven’t found any alternatives that would enable me maintain the low price. I want to keep these videos available because people have been helped greatly by having them handy, regardless of whether they have a fast Internet connection or not.

I’ve been racking my brain thinking of alternatives. Then it hit me! What I really need is to know how you want the hours of videos available if not on CD or DVD. Right now I’m leaning toward making them available for download as another benefit for Premium Members. That may be a fine idea, but I really want your opinion.

Also, this serves as your warning that if you want MacGenealogist CDs, buy them now.

P.S. Leave a comment with your ideas for how you would like these high quality videos delivered or available to you.

Preserving Muster Events in Reunion for Mac

Just in time for memorial day, has made available new military records. The two new databases, “U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949″ and “U.S. Navy Cruise Books Index, 1918-2009″ offer a glimpse into the lives of our military ancestors. If you have ancestors in these online genealogy databases you will want to enter the records in your genealogy software. If you use Reunion for Mac, I’ll show you how its done in the accompanying video.

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Creating a Database Online Source Type in Reunion for Mac

The amount of genealogy information available online is increasing. So is the importance of a good, basic citation format for online genealogy databases. As usual, I’ve been implementing GEDCOM safe versions of the citation formats genealogy expert Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends. The source type for databases online is based on one of her basic formats. Following the suggested full reference format for online databases, helps you and other genealogists find the cited database in the future, indicates the quality of your work, and can be used as a basis for more specific source types.
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