Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Version of PAF Companion 5.5.1

FHCs don't have it yet, but it will be coming soon. The following posting is from Pierre Clouthier at Progenygenealogy.com  The new chart can be accessed from the Reports menu, and not from the Descendants button. It looks really nice!

NOTE: The unlock codes for PAF Companion versions 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4 will unlock this version, which is compatible with 64-bit Windows7. I have updated the download link below.


Date: 29/03/2011 04:47 AM
Subject: [PAF5-Yahoo!] Re: fan charts

This is your lucky day - we have recently added a Descendant Fan chart to PAF Companion. If you have paid for a previous version, you can download the program from here:

The Descendant Fan chart can be printed as a half, full or quarter circle. You can color by generation, lineage or gender, and save to PDF. A "smoothing threshold" option gives you control over the font size.
I'm not aware of any other program that can generate a Descendant Fan chart. Hope it's what you're looking for.

Pierre Clouthier
Progeny Genealogy

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thursday Night at the FHC

We had 11 students sharing our 6 computers. I was teaching the use of http://www.new.familysearch.org/

A patron arrived at 5 PM by appointment, to have me change her PAF databases to use AncestralQuest instead. Before I was finished with that task, two other patrons arrived. So I started helping them.
By 7 PM, when the class was to start I still had not run Mikogo on all of the computers to allow me to share my screen with them.
But aside from starting a little late, things went really well. I taught my lesson, and everyone seemed to enjoy the class.

Free Genealogy Software

Free Genealogy Software

Now that we have new.familysearch.org, why would we still want genealogy software? Good reasons include:
  1. Because of the need to protect the privacy of living people, new.familysearch.org is great for deceased relatives, but not for living relatives. Genealogy software is excellent for keeping track of the living as well as the dead.
  2. Software does a much better job of keeping track of notes and sources of information.
  3. Software allows you to create electric and printed versions of books and charts for displaying data.
  4. Software can have photos, documents, sound tracks and videos linked to individuals.
  5. Software can often generate personal websites.
  6. Software can display a list of possible data problems. (e.g. child is born to mother aged 3)
The following software versions (for Microsoft Windows) do all of these things and are free, although there is often a commercial version as well that has additional features. All of the following can open or import PAF files. AncestralQuest can replace PAF or be used to synchronize PAF data with new.familysearch.org. RootsMagic4 Essentials and Legacy Standard Edition can replace PAF and both of them can synchronize their data with new.familysearch.org.
Personal Ancestral File (PAF) is a free genealogy and family history program from FamilySearch. PAF allows you to quickly and easily collect, organize and share your family history and genealogy information. http://www.familysearch.org/eng/default.asp?page=home/welcome/simplePAFRegistration.asp

Ancestral Quest Basics
is FREE family tree software which allows users to sync with New FamilySearch, yet looks and feels like an upgrade to PAF 5. “AQ Basics provides all the essential features of Ancestral Quest, ... the perfect program with which to get started, or with which to replace PAF. AQ Basics is PAF Add-in certified, which means you can directly work with your PAF data. It includes everything you need to sync your data with and import family lines from New FamilySearch and reserve and track temple ordinances.” http://www.ancquest.com/AQBasicsFS.htm

RootsMagic4 Essentials is the free version of RootsMagic4 and contains most of the basic features. “RootsMagic Essentials includes tools which make it a snap to clean up your data. Potential problem lists, sophisticated merge techniques, date and soundex calculators are just the start. Our unique SourceWizard writes and manages sources and citations for you. Built-in templates based on Evidence Explained make citing your sources as easy as "filling in the blanks".”

Legacy Family Tree 7.5 Standard Edition (free) http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/ Includes:
“• Map Your Ancestors Around the World - Using Microsoft® Virtual Earth™, Legacy will automatically pinpoint and plot important locations in ancestors’ lives from within Legacy. See 3‐D, satellite and bird’s eye images of where your ancestors lived.
Create Beautiful Wall Charts - Create stunning graphical charts – ancestor, descendant, fan, hourglass, bow tie, and even DNA charts.
Cite Your Sources With New Templates - The new Legacy SourceWriter™ will help you prepare properly formatted sources regardless of your expertise. Simply fill in the fields and Legacy creates the footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography for you, following industry standards.
Interview Center - Legacy has the perfect questions to interview your family.”


A totally different kind of free genealogy program does none of these things, but has just one function, to download a basic family tree from new.familysearch.org as a PAF data file. It does not download temple ordinance information. Get My Ancestors http://www.ohanasoftware.com/?sec=GetMyAncestors

Friday, March 25, 2011

Free Webinar Recordings

One of the popular FamilySearch affiliate programs is RootsMagic.
There is a free version, RootsMagic Essentials. The paid version is about $30.
I found several free webinar recordings for this software at

A "Webinar" is a seminar (class or presentation) viewable on the World Wide Web if you have a high speed internet connection. Sometimes you need to register in advance for the "live" session, and sometimes there is a recording that you can watch at a later time that is convenient for you. Some webinars have a cost and others are free.

(I watched the webinar on RootsMagic 4 and new.familysearch.org and found it to be excellent!)

Past WebinarsClick on a Watch link to watch a past webinar in your web-browser (Adobe Flash required). To download a past webinar, right-click on the Download link and choose "Save link as..." to save it to your computer. All webinars are in .mp4 format and are viewable by Windows Media Player, iTunes, and most other media players.

Getting Started with RootsMagicRecorded 8 Jan 2011, 78 minutes, 53 MB

Publishing a Family History with RootsMagicRecorded 11 Jan 2011, 64 minutes, 52 MB

FamilySearch Made Easy with RootsMagicRecorded 18 Jan 2011, 102 minutes, 63 MB

RootsMagic To-Go: Running RootsMagic on a Flash DriveRecorded 24 Jan 2011, 63 minutes, 28 MB

Sources, Citations and Documentation with RootsMagicRecorded 4 Feb 2011, 85 minutes, 59 MB

Working with Files and Folders in RootsMagicRecorded 8 Feb 2011, 74 minutes, 48 MB

Cleaning Your Family Tree in RootsMagicRecorded 15 Feb 2011, 85 minutes, 65 MB

Personal Historian: Bringing Life to Your Life StoriesRecorded 23 Feb 2011, 73 minutes, 58 MB

Creating Custom Reports with RootsMagicRecorded 2 Mar 2011, 59 minutes, 49 MB

Mapping Your Family Tree with Family AtlasRecorded 8 Mar 2011, 68 minutes, 75 MB

Adding and Editing Information in RootsMagicRecorded 16 Mar 2011, 88 minutes, 62 MB

Disclaimer: I have no connection to RootsMagic other than using the free version a few times. I have a high opinion of this software. It may be easier to use than the software I am currently using to synchronize my data with new.familysearch.org.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Are Family History Centers Still Needed?

If you are in Edmonton, attending the multi-stake meeting in Bonnydoon on Saturday, March 12th you will have the opportunity to hear my presentation that attempts to answer this question.

What is a FHC worth to you in dollars and cents? I will try to answer this question too!

What is the minimum age for a good Family History Consultant?  61? 21? Other?
I may take a stab at that one too, although it is getting into dangerous territory!

An Introduction to the Family History Center

We have free access to Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.co.uk, HeritageQuest, WorldVitalRecords.com, and other commercial websites on our computers.

For your use, we have 6 computers and two printers, all connected via a secure wireless network. We also have 6 microfilm readers, a fiche reader, and a film/fiche printer. Use of our facilities is free.

My shift is Thursday evenings. I usually arrive well before my shift begins.

This coming Thursday from 7 PM-8:30 PM, I will be teaching members of Callingwood Park Ward to use http://new.familysearch.org/ There are lessons on most Thursday nights, but we are also available to help you with your own family history research.

If you are in the Edmonton area, I invite you to come in and see us.