Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Other End Of My Family Tree

Dr. D and wife Denise are on a month long road trip so posts may be slow for a while. We are visiting all our kids, grandkids and other relatives. Since Denise does not fly and all our descendants now live east of the Mississippi River, once we drive from California, we try to visit as many friends and family as possible. We are now in Hammond, IN, in the Chicago area, visiting the family of Denise's older son--Lee.

We have already visited my Aunt Zelma in Wichita. She and my Aunt Margaret in California are the only ones on my dad's side of the family who are keeping me from becoming part of the older generation. On my mother's side of the family, I have been part of the old older generation for a dozen years. We also visited Zelma's daughter Diane--my cousin. Then we had a delightful visit with cousin Mary Scott and husband Bob in Gladstone, MO.

Tomorrow we drive to the Cleveland area to visit Denise's Uncle Tom and cousin Noreen. Then on to Virginia Beach to visit of the new home of Denise's younger son Jason. Then on to a lunch meeting with cousin Rex Haynes in North Carolina enroute to Atlanta to visit my daughter. Then on to Nashville to for Thanksgiving with my son Jon and his extended family. We will be back in California early in December.

During this trip I am interacting with living family members instead of on digging up dead ones. So far I only fell off the wagon once and stopped at a courthouse to get a copy of a probate package from the 1870s.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Los Angeles Family History Center

Those of you who research in Southern California now have renewed access to a very good and enhanced resource. After being closed for renovation for about two years, it is reopened:

Los Angeles Family History Library (LAFHL)
10741 Santa Monica Blvd
West Los Angeles, CA 90025

According to the new website the following is now available there:

The LAFHL offers patrons:
  • 78 networked computer workstations
  • 18 film reader machines
  • 1 microfiche reader machine
  • 56,000 rolls of film
  • 40,000 microfiche
  • 6,058 books
  • Seasoned volunteers
  • Regional experts
  • Rare book collection
  • Calif. death records 1905+
  • Spanish Families of So. Calif (old pedigree charts) not available in SLC
  • Large map collection including Ordinance Survey & Land ranger maps of England & Wales and

  • Happy researching!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Family Tree Maker for Mac is Here

Need another gift suggestion for yourself or others? today announced the availability of Family Tree Maker for Mac. This is not a terribly exciting event for me as I am a PC kind of person. I'm not even a big fan of the PC version of Family Tree Maker which has been around for two decades. I did use it as my primary genealogy software for a while back in the 1990s. However, Family Tree Maker has always been more widely available in the retail marketplace than most of its competitors.

Family Tree Maker of Mac continues that exposure. If you are a family history researcher of the Mac persuasion, this could be a game changer. If for no other reason, it will offer stiff competition for Reunion which has long had most of the Mac market to itself. At the very least it should benefit consumers by causing Reunion to be more competitive on price. Still at an introductory price of $69.99, FTM for Mac is still more that twice what comparably featured PC based genealogy programs like RootsMagic and Legacy go for. It's three times the holiday sale price for RootsMagic that I blogged about yesterday.

If you have already invested your money and time in a Mac learning curve, FTM is available for purchase online from Ancestry and it is also available in select retail stores, including Apple Stores, Amazon, Office Depot, and Office Max. 
Ancestry claims the Mac version is functionally similar to the PC version Family Tree Maker 2010. Interesting, Family Tree Maker 2011 is already being sold for $39.99. Is the Mac version already a version behind or was that a typo?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Holiday Offfer from RootsMagic

Have you been thinking about getting a computer program to organize your genealogical data? RootsMagic has just announced a bundled deal that is a good bargain. If you have been wondering what such software is like, you can download a basic version of it free from the site and give it a test drive. If you decide you want to use a different program later, you can export all of the data you put into RootsMagic and import it into another program thereby saving your work. RootsMagic's free version was recently ranked by Dick Eastman with Legacy as the best two free genealogy programs for PCs (see my blog post for October 6th). What is offered below is the full featured program. In my opinion the software is so easy to use that you don't really need to have the book. However, if you are a manual reader, here is a chance to get the full program AND the book for less than the program itself usually costs.

Here is what Bruce Busbee, President of RootsMagic has to say about his offer:
"With the holidays coming up, we often get requests from our users about buying copies of RootsMagic to give as gifts to their family or friends.  In what has become an annual tradition, RootsMagic owners can buy discounted copies of our software to give as gifts.

Our Best Special Holiday Offer Ever!
During this special holiday sale, you can order gift copies of RootsMagic 4 PLUS the book "Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic" for $20 (plus shipping).  That's right, both the full program (on CD) and the book for just $20.

There is no limit on the number of discounted gift copies you can buy during this limited time offer which will expire December 22, 2010. You will receive the full program for each copy you order.
To take advantage of this offer, just visit:

or order by phone at 1-800-ROOTSMAGIC (1-800-766-8762)."