Ancestry iOS App Version 4.0

Dynamic Family TreeVersion 4.0 of the Ancestry.com companion genealogy app for iOS is available as a free update in the App Store.

The change log states the following:

  • Dynamic family tree that shows more family members.
  • See grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews & cousins in your family tree.
  • Ability to change your tree to display direct ancestors only.
  • Purchase monthly memberships via In App Purchase.
  • An updated look and feel that’s both beautiful and functional.

That seems like a good list for a 4.0 version! The dynamic family tree is pictured to the left. Handy buttons at the top enable you to switch on or off the direct ancestors only feature.

Your Source and Citation Information Is In Danger

Today I finished methodically testing which source and citation information reliably survives GEDCOM import and export. It’s not a pretty picture! A mere five of fourteen key GEDCOM tags are safe across the nine leading genealogy software packages I tested.[1] Fortunately, the ones I previously identified as essential to source citations are among them.

Why You Should Care

The ability to move your family history data from one application to another is important. Even if you have no intention of changing software or sharing your research you ought to be concerned. It’s entirely possible that the person or people that inherit your research will choose a different package. They may load your data and probably won’t even know they lost anything in the transfer. Well, that fate needn’t be yours if you know where you can safely store information.

What You Can Do

This research is part of the work I’ve been doing to create the very first GenealogyTools ebook and video course: Practical Citation. After completing the course, you will be able to safely and confidently record sources, citations, and quality in your genealogy software without having to consult a book or quick sheet. Say “goodbye” to uncertainty about citation templates and formats.

Notes

[1] I tested Family Historian 5, Family Tree Maker 2012, Family Tree Maker for Mac 2, GEDitCOM II, Legacy 7.5, MacFamilyTree 6, Reunion 10, RootsMagic 5, and The Master Genealogist 7.

Video Guide to Using PC Genealogy Software on Mac

You can run PC genealogy applications (like Family Tree Maker 2012 and RootsMagic) on your Mac, even if it’s just as a supplement to your primary Mac genealogy software.

There are features in the best Windows genealogy software that aren’t in Mac offerings. Family Tree Maker 2012’s ability to synchronize with Ancestry.com and RootsMagic’s full-featured narrative reports spring to mind.

There are essentially three approaches to running PC software:

  • Run Windows on your Mac in a “virtual PC”
  • Make your Mac boot into either OS X or Windows using BootCamp
  • Use a piece of software to do for your genealogy software what Windows would (Windows emulation)

[Read more...]

What Genealogy Software Do We Recommend?

When I tell people I don’t recommend Family Tree Maker for Mac 2, they often ask what I do recommend, which is understandable. But I really can’t recommend a genealogy program for other people without knowing what their requirements are. You must first decide what your priorities are. Then you can check on the web to see which programs meet your requirements. You can use Ben’s Feature Comparison Table or FindtheBest.com to find the features you need (but take the Smart Ratings on the latter with a grain of salt). GenSoftReviews.com lists lots of genealogy programs, although not all of them have reviews. But see Tamura Jones’ article, The Most Important Genealogy Software Feature. [Read more...]

Ancestry iOS App 3.1 Update: New Feature Review

Ancestry iOS Update IconThe new update to Ancestry’s app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch is now available in the app store.

The app can now notify you when Ancestry.com finds  information it thinks relevant to your ancestors. Enabling this optional feature will cause the little red number badge to appear on the Ancestry app icon when Ancestry.com finds new information. If you’d like to use this feature, be sure to allow push notifications when prompted after launching the updated app for the first time. [Read more...]

Ancestry iOS App 3.0.1 Update

Fire up the App Store! An update to version 3.0.1 of the Ancestry app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch is available.

Here are the changes listed in the version notes:

  • Shaky leaves
  • Simple merge tool
  • In app purchase of records
  • Information automatically added to photos
  • Changeable privacy settings
  • Integrated feedback and support

The note also promises more stability and faster performance.

That all seems pretty straight forward except the part about automatically adding information to photos. If you figure out what that means please leave a comment.

Firefox 4 for Mac Genealogists

The new Firefox 4 browser is out. It has a couple of features that can help you stay organized when researching your genealogy on the web. Firstly, related tabs can be organized in groups called, you guessed it, group tabs. With group tabs, only the tabs in the currently selected group appear on the tab bar. Secondly, app tabs narrow the tab and make it appear in the tab bar for all groups. It sounds more complicated than it is which is why I make these videos.

In this video I show you how to create a genealogy tab group and app tabs for commonly used web applications like Gmail.
[Read more...]

New Source for Free Obituaries Online

There’s a new service for free obituaries online called Free Obituaries Found at FreeObituariesFound.org. I created this archive to preserve and grow the commons of original, transcribed, and abstracted obituaries. I’ve transcribed or abstracted fifteen obituaries so far and I need your help.
Please contribute obituaries that you have and give me feedback in comments here to help me improve this service. Here’s a video to show you how:

[Read more...]

Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac Version 19.2.1.241 Released

Launch your copy of Family Tree Maker for Mac to get the latest update. It’s apparently loaded with undisclosed bug fixes and enhancements. Here’s what the upgrade dialog lists:

  • Numerous stability fixes were made
  • Child sort order is shown correctly in reports
  • Added support for GEDCOM 5.5.1
  • Numerous other fixes and enhancements

It’s unfortunate when professional software developers can’t or won’t provide detailed lists of fixes and enhancements. Ancestry is not alone in this and there are some companies who do this well (like RootsMagic). While it’s good to know that GEDCOM 5.5.1 is supported and that the child sort order is fixed in reports, it’s of virtually no help at all to know that “numerous” stability fixes and enhancements are in a release. Come on! You know what they are and if you don’t you shouldn’t be publishing software. Please list them so that we can see if the problem fixes or features we desire are present in updates to our genealogy software.