Computer & Genetic Genealogy Interest Group Notes

We hold a Computer Genealogy Interest Group Meetings every even numbered month. Below are a set of casual notes taken during these meetings. They are provided to give you an idea of what is discussed and also potential tips for finding your ancestors and new software. These links have not been checked for safety, accuracy or kept up to date.

If you find a link that is not working please notify our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of the name of the link and the date of the meeting.

2017 Computer & Genetic Genealogy Notes

April 1, 2017

The New Windows Creators Update is being released April 11. It will be rolled out over the next few months and you cannot avoid getting it. See More

Windows Vista has reached end of life: No more updates.

What Is HTTPS, and Why Should I Care? HTTPS, the lock icon in the address bar, an encrypted website connection—it’s known as many things. While it was once reserved primarily for passwords and other sensitive data, the entire web is gradually leaving HTTP behind and switching to HTTPS. 

DNA Frequently Asked Questions: Legacy Tree Genealogist have done two interviews on FAQs for DNA.
One was done at RootsTech  
Another was on the Extreme Genes Podcast starts at 10:30 into the video and lasts about 12 minutes.

Family Tree Maker Announces Upgrade and FamilySync
FTM 2017 FAQs  
FamilySync FAQs 
Make a backup of our current files before upgrading!

A Sneak Peek from the RoorsMagic Underground Labs
Questions about upcoming RootsMagic Ancestry Features

Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. OneDrive: Which Cloud Storage Is Best for You? There are dozens of available cloud-based file storage services to choose from but Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive seem to be the three most popular, if not necessarily the best.

AncestryDNA’s Genetic Communities are Finally Here!
A short video is available when you log into your DNA on
Also see article by Blaine Bettinger and a comprehensive webinar Exploring AncestryDNA’s New Genetic Communities available free on Legacy Family Tree Webinars until April 6 and after that with a subscription.

March 4, 2017

Keyboard Shortcuts - There are many handy keyboard shortcuts for use in Windows. For a complete list see Most of these also work in Windows programs and apps. Some of the ones you will use the most are:

Press these keys together To do this
 Ctrl + X  Cut the selected item so it can be moved
 trl + C (or Ctrl + Insert)  Copy the selected item
 Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert)  Paste the selected item
 Ctrl + Z  Undo an action
 Alt + Tab  Switch between open apps or windows
 Ctrl + Right arrow  Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word
 Ctrl + Left arrow  Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word
 Ctrl + A  Select all items in a document or window
 Ctrl + Enter  Opens the Property Box






You can open the Control Panel and other Utilities qucikly in Windows by right-clicking the Start Menu "flag" in the lower left hand corner of the screen and choosing what you wish to open.

We also covered a recent AncestryDNA match for Walter's mother-in-law. Her match was shown as a 1st or 2nd cousin andhave been adopted. Walter was able to identify the father through DNA, genealogy research and having a full family tree with many cousins. While going over this example we briefly covered downloading your raw DNA file from, uploading it to GEDMatch and Family Tree DNA and then showing an exampling of a match in GEDMatch.

February 4, 2017

The mobile version of RootsMagic can be used to take you genealogy database with you on a smartphone or tablet regardless of which genealogy program you use on your PC. It is free and available for both Android and Apple devices. There are a number of nice features but you cannot add to or edit you data while using it.

Changing font size in browsers with a keystroke. This work in all PC browsers.

• CRTL-and + will increase the font size
• CTRL and – will decrease the font size
• CTRL and 0 will restore it to default

How to update Firefox and Chrome Both of these browsers are frequently updated. To update in Firefox go to the Help Menu and click About and if there is an update it will begin automatically. In Chrome, click on the Ellipsis (three vertical dots) in the upper right which will open the Menu. Next Click on Help and About Google Chrome. In both Firefox and Chrome, you must restart the browser to apply the update.

How to Opt Out of the Most Popular People Search Sites

The Flexera (formally Secunia) Personal Software Inspector is a free program for PCs and Android (not sure about Apple products) that scans the software on your system and identifies programs in need of security updates to safeguard your PC against cybercriminals. It then supplies your computer with the necessary software security updates to keep it safe. Using a scanner like Secunia PSI 3.0 is complementary to antivirus software, and as a free computer security program, is essential for every home computer. 

I am not a robot Google Captcha. The new reCAPTCHA is here. A significant number of your users can now attest they are human without having to solve a CAPTCHA. Instead with just a single click they'll confirm they are not a robot. We're calling it the No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA experience. See blog for more details

Most Windows install program are "signed" with a certificate to verify who the author is and that they are "trusted." If they are not signed, when you try to install them Windows 10 may display a popup saying Windows protected your PC with a Don't Run button. If you know the program is OK, you can click on More info in small type to run it anyway.

Windows 10 Mail - Windows 10 comes with an email program called, wait for it, Mail. Mail allows you to setup multiple email accounts and see when you have mail at a glance even when the program is minimized and how many unread message in each of them without having to exit and reenter the program. It also allows you to setup custom signatures. Setting up new accounts is simple and easy. It can be used for Gmail, Outlook/Hotmail, Exchange, Office 365 and other email programs.

Google Keep is a powerful alternative to the Evernote, OneNote, Apple Notes (Apple only) or Zoho Notebook (mobile only). Best of all, it is also available FREE of charge. Google Keep is especially appealing for anyone who uses the many other Google products, such as Chrome, Calendar, Gmail, Photos, Drive, Docs, Google Now, Google Assistant and Google Home.

Use Google to search the Kindle Store for free family history books using a terms like: "Free in Kindle Store" family history edgefield sc See full article at

Family Chartmasters prints family tree charts in a large variety of type and sizes.

January 7, 2017

The Shaky Leaf Hints do not always do what you think. See articles by Amy Johnson Crow and Ancestry Support on Hints.

CNET has an article on Windows 10 Tweaks directed at new computers but will work for anyone. Please ignore hint # 9 as this is not safe. Disabling this will prevent you from being warned when a malicious web page or email message tries to install something without your knowledge or permission.

Family Tree Maker has a new Dec. 2016 update recommended for everyone.

Learning Family Search Videos can be found in the LDS Media Library.

Check out the schedule for 2017 free webinars from Family Tree Webinars to advance your genealogy knowledge.

How to Fetch Any File on a Remote Computer with OneDrive.

Setup unattended remote access to your home computer using Teamviewer

To change Default programs in Windows 10 open Settings, click on System and then Default apps. This will open a form where you can select which program will open apps like email, photos, music, etc. If you want to choose a Default app for a specific file type, in the Default app windows scroll down to Choose default apps by file type or Choose default apps by protocol.

If you want to click on an email address and have your AOL open a new message, you first have to setup AOL to work with an email app like Windows 10 Mail.

A question was raised about adding Google Play apps to an Amazon Kindle device. The solution can be found here on Lifehacker.


2016 Computer Genealogy Notes

December 3, 2016

Macurium Reflect Home Edition can be used to backup your PC and recover files, partition and entire disk images. There is a free 30-day trial and the cost for a single home PC license is $70.

LastPass, the password protection and storage program, is now free for general use. It can be used on multiple devices and save unlimited logins for multiple sites. A Premium version is available for an annual fee of $12 that allows for family sharing, priority support and contains other powerful features..

There are many Black Friday and CyberMonday sales for genealogy products still going on. Check out our Facebook Group page to see some of the deals. If you are not a member of our group, please feel free to join by clicking the Join button. is a Dropbox competitor that offers 10 GB of free online storage with the option of going to 20 GB if a user makes some bonus steps. The also offer annual plans of 500 GB for $47.88 or 2 TB for $95.88.

Speaking of Dropbox, for a limited time Dell is offering an annual Dropbox Pro subscription of $59.99 for 1 TB of online storage for one year. This is a savings of $39 off the regular price. You may also get a bonus $25 Dell gift card that shows up in your cart.

Six Things You Need to Do IMMEDIATELY After Plugging In Your New Router

Free Office 2016 Quick Start Guides from Microsoft

John Cardinal has released GedSite, a program to build web sites from GEDCOM files. You can customize the site with different styles and features and also add custom pages. You can publish it on the web, or distribute it via a DVD or flash drive. GedSite also supports RootsMagic, Family Historian, and Legacy sentences. I have been using Second Site for many years and I hope to have a demonstration of a site created using GedSite in January.

John also offers genealogy-friendly web hosting with plans starting at $70 a year at

Chronicling America  is the Library of Congress' online portal for digitized newspapers. Here you can search nearly 11.4 million pages of historical U.S. newspapers for free. There's more good news: the site has added four new states (Alaska, Colorado, Maine and New Jersey) to its list of contributors. and now allows partners to contribute much older–and newer–content.

November 4, 2016

We watched webinars from the Florida Genealogical Society on Technology for Societies. These are available from with a membership.

October 1, 2016

No notes taken.

September 3, 2016

Find My Past now offers a starter edition for $34.95 that also works with RootsMagic. It is not clear exactly what is different from their $240 Premium service but there is a difference.

Family Tree Magazine has published their 101 Best Websites for 2016.

The International Society of Genetic Genealogy has a Wiki with a ton of information for using DNA to research your family history. Their resources include links to videos, beginners guides, blogs, testing companies and an explanation of the various DNA tests.

LastPass will create and save your login information and also allow you to use multiple logins for the same site where you need different user names. It is free for up to 12 logins and $12 annually for Premium with unlimited saved logins. has a blog that you can subscribe to. Click on the email icon under Notifications on the right side of the page and provide you email address.

Another blog we discussed was DNA Explained by Roberta Estes. In this blog she explains how to use the various DNA test and also provides case studies on how DNA testing has helped break through brick walls.

Family Tree Webinars provides free webinars almost weekly on many genealogy subject and presented by known speakers. To watch them you have to register ahead of time and you can either watch them live or for a week afterwards or both. Once they have expired, you need either a monthly ($9.95) or annual ($49.95) subscription to view them. They have  over 400 recorded webinars available for viewing with a subscription and you can also purchase and download individual webinars. One particular series that we discussed was a 5 part series on Foundations in DNA by Blaine Bettinger that is available with a subscription. Hint: If you watch one of their recent free webinars near the end they provide a discount code that can be used towards a subscription. You can find out about upcoming webinars by reading their blog.

August 6, 2016

CFGS Members Can Browse Other Society's Newsletters and Journals. You must be logged in to view these.

Windows 10 has a PDF printer that can be used to print any document or photo into PDF format. Learn more

You can share any file or folder from you DropBox account so others can download or view it. You do not need a Pro or Business account to do this. Learn more. has a public World Family Tree that you and others can edit. You can even correct errors that others have made so long as you document you proof and reasons for doing so. Learn More here. also has way to setup a custom home page for logged in users. Once you log in on this page from then on will open your personal page after you log on here once.

We discussed how to work with the shaky-leaf hints in and Family Tree Maker software. Learn more. Also, shaky-leaf hints are coming to RootsMagic before the end of 2016.  can now use Family Tree DNA test results to confirm or refute existing connections in the family tree, as well as identify individuals who must be related even though we may not have yet discovered how.  

Google’s Chrome web browser now has an extension called AncestryDNA Helper that allows you to download a file of all your AncestryDNA matches and their ancestors into a csv file, which can be used in Excel or any program that can read text files. The search function allows you to search for matches by user name and see if they match multiple tests.  You can also compare 2 or 3 tests to see common matches.  And, more....

Microsoft has released a one-year update to Windows 10 called the Anniversary Update. It will automatically be installed on your computer through Windows Update soon.

July 2, 2016

Paul demonstrated how to analyze your PC using Belarc Advisor.

We visited several popular DNA genealogy sites and compared services.

  • only offers autosomal DNA testing. You can link your test results to a tree you build in and share this informatoin with matches to other Ancestry DNA users.
  • Family Tree DNA has Family Finder (autosomal), Y-DNA and mt-DNA testing available. They will put you in contact with your closest genetic matches. When you take a test they will store your DNA should you want to add additional tests. They will also accept Ancestry's autosomal tests into their database for a fee. You can built a tree on FamilyTreeDNA or provide a GEDCOM file. You can also transfer National Geographic Genographic Project results to Family Tree DNA for FREE to find your relatives and get additional insight on your ancestral origins.
  • 23 and Me's testing is much more expensive than the family finder tests in Ancestry and FamilyTreeDan. In addition to ancestry composition results, they includematernal and paternal lineage, Neanderthal and many health and personal traits in their reports. 23andMe is collaborates with the family history site MyHeritage to provide an enhanced Family Tree experience for 23andMe members to provide an enhanced Family Tree experience for its members.

There was also a discussion on The Genealogy Collection resources available at the Orange County Library.

We discussed and looked at RootsMagic genealogy software. RootsMagic has a free versions you can download and try out and also a number of excellent videos on how to use RootsMagic.

June 4, 2016

From Family Tree Magazine - 50 Free Genealogy Databases (on Subscription Websites): Try these 50 useful databases (including two different US Census) that are on paid websites for free!

From Eastman's' Online Genealogy Newsletter:

A Genealogy Intro – How to Get Started in Genealogy
Genealogy Apps for Android and Chromebooks – What genealogy apps are available for use in Google's Android and Chromebooks.
Why Use a Chromebook? – What is a Chromebook and why would you want one! 

Legacy Family Tree Webinars are a great source of free webinars, about one each week on many genealogy subjects. 

The Southern California Genealogical Society is presenting live webinars this weekend but they will be recorded and available streamed for about a month.  Other paid webinars include a day worth of DNA lectures are also available through.

Any browser can zoom in or out by using the following key combination. CTRL + (plus key) to everything larger, CTRL - (minus key) to make everything smaller or CTRL 0 to return to normal (100%) size. This works with all webpages so you can read the text or be able to see more of what is displayed (zoom into our out of a photograph). This zoom function can also be found in the browser's menu.

You can customize the layout of your Homepage by clicking "Customize your homepage" next to the gear icon in the upper left. Individual sections of the page can be moved around and content may be added or removed from these sections.

When viewing the a Person page in, there are three columns: Facts, Sources and Family. When viewing this page using a tablet or smartphone, these will change to only the Facts column and the Sources and Family columns become menus above the Facts so you can switch back and forth. With all three columns in the same window you can click once on either a Fact or a Source and you will see the relationship between the two columns. If you have a Fact not connected to a Source, you need to consider documenting that Fact with a Source.

May 7, 2016

No notes available at this time.

April 2, 2016 – The largest commercial genealogy research source.

JSTOR is a shared digital library for Librarians, Publishers, and Individuals with more than 2,000 academic journals, dating back to the first volume ever published.

MyHeritage - Build a family tree, add names, dates, photos and stories and share with your family.

Genealogy lectures on TED Talks - TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks.

GEDmatch - Tools for DNA and Genealogy Research. GEDmatch allows you to share your DNA results from, Family Tree DNA and 23 and Me.

EasyBib - Generates citations to use in your genealogy program or family history in the MLA, APA & Chicago formats for your bibliography:

Long Lost Family – American version of a long running British genealogy series on TLC network. – Learn a new business, creative and technology skills online, on your time. Note that the Orange Co. Library allows free home access to with your library card. Other libraries may also allow this. is a web search engine that categorizes results.

Fulton History – Search over 34,000,000 Historical Newspaper Pages from the USA & Canada including images of some older newspapers, mainly from smaller communities. This site requires Flash to be installed. Once the site opens, click on Enter.

March 5, 2016

Cyndi's List is now 20 years old and has hundreds of thousands of links of interest to genealogist.

Family Tree Maker has been updated to add new merge options and minor bug fixes. To purchase FTM or for more information.

The RootsTech 2016 videos are now available for viewing.

The Family History Library Announces Free Classes and Webinars

The In Depth Genealogist's offers a regular Chit Chat that is streamed live and recorded. Their broadcast for Feb 15, 2016 featured DNA expert CeCe Moore discussing the recent Finding Your Roots program featuring L L Cool J. This episode covered the field of genetic genealogy and how it related to the FYR TV show. All past episodes of Finding Your Roots can be viewed here.

If you need to convert a printed page or scanned file to readable text you need Optical Character Recognition or OCR. OCR software typically comes with some All-in-One printers but it can be purchased seperately. If you do not already have it, see the article 4 Free Online OCR Tools Put to the Ultimate Test for alternatives.

If you do not already subscribed to the free Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter you need to. EOGN is the Gold Standard for genealogy news. You should also consider paying $15 for an annual subscription to his Plus Edition which includes additional and more in depth articles.

The Ancestry Blog publishes on a regular basis article of general interest to help you use You do not have to be a member of in order to use the blog. The blog can be subscribed to via email or RSS feed by clicking on the link in the Notifications box found on any of the blog's page. You can also simplly brows or search the blog. A subset of the blog are their Artlcles About Collections and these refer to specific record sets on

CloudConvert converts almost any file from one format to almost any other format. It recognizes files in more than 200 different formats, and connects with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. It is useful for converting PNG images into JPG format. It also can turn a PDF file into a DOCX file, which you may open in Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, or Google Docs. It also can convert Macintosh Keynote presentation files into PowerPoint PPTX files. In fact, CloudConvert can convert about 200 different file formats into other file formats. (From

Post your DNA results to GEDMatch to find cousins.

MalwareBytes will check for viruses and other malware. There ia a free version or a Pro version for $24.95.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars offers many free webinars and also offers a paid monthly or annual subscription. In their library they also have 7 webinars on DNA.

Giveawayoftheday is a site that emails you a link to a different free program each day.

Fulton History has many old newspapers. This site requires Flash to be installed and after it opens click on Enter. allows you to manulipate PDF files.


February 6, 2016

"Cleaning the Dust Bunnies Out of Your Computer" This presentation is located in our Members Blog (registration and login required)

Microsoft's Feb. 9th "Recommended Update" could install Windows 10 on your computer - See WinSuperSite and

The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Windows 10 Troubleshooting an extensive and comprehensive guide to troubleshooting and solving common problems in Windows 10.

Websites mentioned in RootsTech 2016

  • A place for people to share photos and stories, telling the histories of their local communities.
  • An online history project that provides a platform where anyone can easily upload a photo taken in a specific location and share something about the photo.
  • An educational website and mobile application that guides the public to thousands of historical and cultural sites throughout the United States.
  • Field Trip (app only ) is used when you are in a location and want to find out more about it using your smartphone.

Announcement from this week

  • Family Tree Maker software has been sold and is still alive.
  • RootsMagic will be integrated with

Watch final day of presentations live today. These presentation will be available online at a later date.

We spent quite a bit of time discussing the Family Tree feature on Note: you should be logged in to FamilySearch with a free account to use this feature.

2015 Computer Genealogy Notes

December 5, 2015

We had a discussion on How Google Search Works. This article contains tips and links to aid you in searching Google. - Find historical newspapers from across the United States and beyond. Try the trial first before subscribing to see it they have what you need.
Chronicalling America -  Library of Congress project to digitize old newspapers. Excellent site for searchable historic newspapers. and can contain more than just tombstone photos so don't overlook them. 
IriScan Mouse Scanner which lists for $59 can now be found used for under $30 on eBay. See our article from Dec. 2014 below
EPOCH - A free site promoted by the Orange Co. Library where you can preserve or create an obituaries as a cultural heritage.
Lisa Louise Cooke's new book The Genealogist's Google Toolbox Second Edition $24.95. Note that the first edition is out of date for some of the information.

November 14, 2015

We held a combined meeting with the Family Tree Maker Group due to a conference held on our regular date. We discussed Using a Genealogy Program. The write up and presentation can be found here.

October 3, 2015

  • Cyndi’s List is a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online.
  • is a paid website that contains more information than almost any other website.
  • is a free website that has a ton of information that covers the world. They also will store a family tree and link to Legacy and Roots Magic.
  • Family Tree Maker is a paid genealogy program that you can store your family history data in. It syncs with
  • Search YouTube on using your genealogy software or even for finding your ancestors
  • Roots Magic and Legacy Family Tree software is similar to FTM
  • Legacy Family Tree also provide frees webinars on various genealogy topics. These are presented by professionals and are available live and for the first week.
  • GEDCOM file allow you to share a genealogy database but the standard is out of date.
  • If you are just getting started in genealogy see our Genealogy 101 Section for help.

September 5, 2015

We had a discussion ane slide show on several issues including the opening of our CFGS Forums to the public, using a VPN and several Google tips. Read or download the presentation. Links are inlcuded in this PDF file.

August 1, 2015

CFGS Windows 10 Presentation

You can also watch two presentations from YouTube on Windows 10 given at the Central Florida Computer Society meetings. Part One given at the June meeting can be found here and Part Two in the July meeting here. You can also find a Complete Guide to Windows 10 by Windows expert Paul Thurrott that is being updated on a regular basis.

The Council of State Archivists

Library of Virginia


June 6, 2015

This website, CFGS.ORG, now has a Tips & How Tos page available from the Main Menu. We encourage you to check it out frequently. Recent articles posted there include:

The DAR has made available indexed family history records through their new Genealogical Research System.This includes an index of over 40,000 digitized family Bible records, and each day more records are digitized and added to the Index.

See Microsoft's new Windows 10 is being released July 29. See our article at for more.

Google has released a new program called Google Photos. It is available for your desktop and mobile devices and it organizes your photos and adds additional very useful features. See or to find out more.

We again discussed Microsoft's Office Lens, a free program available for Android, Apple and Windows mobile devices. With Office Lens you can take a photo of almost anything with text on it from any view and it will correct the angle and recognize the text. The result can then be saved in various formats including Word, PowerPoint, PDF, One Note and other. The resulting file can also be saved to your hard drive, OneDrive or emailed. It is free from Google Play or the Apple Store. This program will be great for taking shot of records, book pages, etc., converting them to readable text and then storing them in the cloud. 

We briefly discussed various ways to dictate to a document. Some of the programs mentioned were Dragon Naturally Speaking, Transcript and Dictate (a feature found in MS Word). has changed the look and feel of their website. They are also for sale (if anyone has any pocket change laying around - lol) and no, they are not in financial trouble. Think of this more like banks buying and selling mortgages.

Several genealogy blogs were mentioned: and

There was a question asked concerning if the police could look at your DNA test See for more information.

April 4, 2015

 Random Acts of Kindness Photo Restoration Group is a Facebook group where members volunteer to restore photos for you, Your mileage may vary as some get better results than others.

Office 365 has a number of options to use Microsoft Office online. All versions that run the office programs in a web browser but the paid versions also install the full Office 2013 Professional on your hard drive. This is a subscription program that can be paid by the month or by the years.

Microsoft has released a scanner program for Apple and Android devices called Office Lens. You can read more on our website at

Our website now has a “Tips & How Tos menu” and if you have tips that you think would be helpful to the society please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

February 7, 2015

We spent some time going over the CFGS website and new features that have been added in the last month.

Natural Reader is a software program that reads text from your computer screen. This is a free download, but there are pop up ads unless you pay for the program. There is a video describing it at

While we did not cover this in the session, there is also a built-in way for Windows to read text from a document. See for more information. This apparently works in Windows 7 and later.

List of “Genealogy on Facebook”

Family or friends can create memorial pages on Facebook to commemorate the passing of a loved one. You can search for these using the surname or other keyword.

There is now a free family tree at where you can add your family members. Anyone can add or change information for a person. You can also put a watch on a specific person(s) so if someone makes changes to the information for the watched person, you can see what has been changed or added. Anyone can change what you enter and you can also make changes back and provide information as to why the change. We also covered how to use and search; from the menus, select Family Tree click on Find to search for names in the tree. It was  noted that some forms only worked correctly when you were using the Chrome Browser.

We discussed the 1940 US Census form and how the person who provide the information to the census taker for each family is shown with an X in a circle. Also, two people on each page were selected for a special interview. These were determined by two specific lines on the form that were pre-marked and the person entered on those lines were required to have additional information ion them added at the bottom of that page.

2014 Computer Genealogy Notes

December 6, 2014

Heritage Quest and Gale Genealogy Connect are available from your home for free IF you have an Orange County Library card. To access them go to Library's website and click on Databases in the menu on the left side of the page. This will take you to the Online Databases page where you click on Genealogy. Once you select which database you want to use you will be required to enter your card and pin number.

We also discussed the possibility of holding meetings at the new Melrose Center at the Orange County Library Downtown Branch. There are many technology and educational classes offered there.

The list of Facebook genealogy sites we discussed in August had been greatly expanded. These sites were Scribid and Social Media Genealogy.

There are a number of Facebook groups that provide genealogy help for adoptees.

An old favorite, Internet Genealogy Magazine, was discussed again.

To determine a medical condition your ancestor may have had, use the Glossary of Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death.

Another old favorite is Elephind where you can search historical newspapers.

The IRIScan Mouse Scanner was demonstrated. It is a wired mouse that contains a scanner that will scan documents and color photos. It is available at Amazon and other outlets for $60 and up. The Flip-Pal photo scanner and the Magic Wand portable scanner were also mentioned to scan documents and photos when you are away from a dedicated scanner. The Flip-Pal sells for $150 on Amazon. There are several versions of the Magic Wand starting at $40-$50. Again, these are available at various outlets selling these online. Keep an eye out for sales as I bought my Magic Wand III at a deep discount. We had a class on scanning and photos earlier this year and those notes are here.

A "selfie stick" was discussed that is used to mount your smartphone on to extend the reach of the camera. It has a Bluetooth switch in the handle to control the shutter. It is available at Amazon and other outlets for $20 and up.

Cloud storage sites and apps like Dropbox, OneDrive, Office 365 and others were discussed. Attendees were referred to the recent articles on cloud storage in the Member’s Forums and Treasure Chest News. Note that these areas on our website are only available to registered members.

I almost forgot the best one, and one that parallels our computer genealogy group. The Facebook Technology for Genealogy Group is a discussion of technology used for genealogy purposes. Includes: software, apps, tablets, computers, gadgets, news, web sites. Topics must be related to technology and have applicability as a genealogy tool. You must request to join the group but most are accepted.

October 4, 2014

There was no projector available for this meeting and no notes were taken.

August 2, 2014

Scribid had indexed many genealogy-related pages & groups for Facebook.
Another list of Facebook genealogy sites
On Facebook the German Genealogy group is very helpful
Linkpendium has many catorgized links to genealogy sites.
Greenshot lets you capture, edit, annotate, and save screens (or parts of screens)."It's donationware, and you'll find it at Greenshot. It's also available on its SourceForge
At you can search on family name to display available records but you need a paid subscription to view records.
At the National Archives you can not only search for records but they have many How To articles for genealogists. has a mobile app for for both Apple iOS 7+ and Android 2.3+ devices that has hints and links to documents. They also have an iPhone and iPad app for FindAGrave. No Android app for FindAGrave is available as of this writing. now has a mobile app available both Apple iOS 7+ and Android 2.3+ devices. You can read more about this at the Ancestry Insider
The Ancestry Insider recently published an article on uploading and protecting your family tree at Family Search. You can also sign up for their free newsletter. allows you to create a page to list names you are researching and photos for free but may require a paid subscription to search their databases. It was mentioned that they may have some European records that others don't have. My Heritage also has a mobile app for Apple and Android.
World Vital Records has free searches.
FamilySearch has arranged for several premium online research services to be available at Family History Centers.

June 7, 2014

There was a review of the new features on our website that is only available to registered and logged in CFGS members. These include discussion forums, a membership list, internal email and user's profiles. There are several threads in the Member's Forums on how to use these features.
It is possible to delete a tree you have uploaded to
There are "wild-cards" that can be used to narrow down your online and genealogical searches. These are available for, Google and
Lastpass is a highly recommended password manager that will securely remember passwords, generate secure passwords and log you into sites that require your username and password. It is available for Windows, Apple, Linux and Android and also works on phones and tablets. The free version is limited to 12 stored websites but the Pro version is unlimited and is $12 annually.
We discussed storing and finding files with the built-in Windows File Explorer and Libraries. Note that these features vary depending on the version of Windows.
TWIT.TV offers a large number of weekly tech podcasts in both video and audio format. TWIT stands for This Week In Tech. The subjects range from general question and answer sessions, computers, tables, smartphones, security, photography, tech news and much more. Podcasts can be listened to using your computer's browser or with a specialized podcatcher program. Several of us have been listening to TWIT for many years and this website's origins were the Screen Savers TV program that ran from 1998-2005.
Cryptolocker is a dangerous malware program that when it infects your computer, it encrypts your data files and requires a ransom be paid to restore them.  Most current anitvirus systems will protect you, but extra protection may be gained by using specialized programs. These include the free CryptoPrevent or the paid version of the excellent Malware Bytes. Of course, if you have a current backup, you do not have to pay, mealy use Malware Bytes to remove the virus and then restore your files. You do keep a current backup of your files, don't you?
Speaking of backups, in addition to storing files on your computer, we discussed several cloud-based storage options. These included Dropbox, Onedrive, and others. Like Lastpass, these are available for many operating systems.
PogoPlug is a utility that backs up your photos and videos the second you take them so you never lose a single one. It also allows sharing of files with others. They have free mobile apps and backup software for your phone, tablet and computer. Unlimited storage is $49.95 annually. They also offer the Pogoplug Series 4 adapter was retailing at $99 but is now heavily discounted. It lets you access any hard drive, USB storage device, or SD card from anywhere online.
Another alternative to file storage is TunidoPlug, a low-power, low-cost home, small business server and NAS (network attached storage device) that allows you to access, share and sync your files, photos, music and media from anywhere.
We discussed storing and finding files using the built-in Windows File Explorer and Libraries. Note that these features are slightly different in the various versions of Windows. Windows Libraries were first in Vista and can still be found in Windows 8.1 but while they are very useful, they are no longer emphasized.
GMail now allows you to send secure (encrypt) messages.
WinUtilities from PC Magazine includes a duplicate file checker that can find duplicated photos or other files on your computer. While this utility does allow deletions to be restored, just be careful what you choose to delete.
If you have used TrueCrypt to encrypt your laptops hard drive to protect against theft, be aware that it has been discontinued. Bitlocker is a good substitute for Windows computers but only available in Professional versions of Windows.

April 26, 2014

Genealogy in Time for the Top 100 Genealogy Websites
Kindred Trails lists free genealogy stuff
People Search helps you to find relatives and locate ancestors
Access Genealogy has over 240,000 genealogy links and is also one of the largest directories of genealogy websites found online. Also provides Native American researchers an avenue for research online. has many helpful videos and other tools in their Learning Center’s Barefoot Genealogist has many videos on YouTube as well as a Blog
Search using "genealogy" and the topic you want to learn more about
Search Olive Tree Genealogy has more than 1,900 pages of free genealogy records to help you find your brick-wall ancestors and build your family tree.
Family Researcher is a free service creates the best family tree searches based on your ancestry. Get started by entering what you know about your ancestor in the form below.
Search Genealogy Today by surname or topic
Use to make contact potential cousins and other living relatives. There are also a number of genealogy pages and some foreign language pages have an built-in translator available on the page.
Genforum at has a number of free public forums where you can post question on surnames, counties, states, etc.
Use Find-a-Grave to locate gravesites for ancestors. They also now have a mobile app for your smart phone.
Puzzilla is free and part of but you need to login. The Descendants Viewer lets you see hundreds of descendants from an aerial view. This looks like a really cool tool to use to discover cousins and other closely related family members.
 GenDex makes it easy to search for ancestors on many private websites using their simple interface. Also if you have you own website, they make it easy for you to index your website for others to search. This is a free site.

 February 1, 2014

German Genealogy Research Notes from FamilySearch is a large document on German genealogy
It may be helpful to log onto the foreign versions of when researching in other countries. UK version is and the German site is but you may need to use Google Translate to read them. Another German site is and it may be helpful to use the Chrome browser as translation is made an option.
Genealogy in Time Magazine provides a link to many genealogy websitesincluding their Top 100 sites for 2014
FamilySearch Learning Centers provide a wealth of free genealogy training materialsl including videos
ScotlandsPeople is, one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. is streaming sessions from their conference this coming week
Billion Graves and Find a Grave are good sites to check for burials
Our own website has links to forms for Family Group and Pedigree sheets on the Local Resources page
Sereral search engines were mentioned:Google, (will not track you) and 
Active@ KillDisk lets you look at your deleted files and unallocated disk space on your PC to make sure your deleted files stay deleted.

2013 Computer Genealogy Notes

December 3, 2013

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is one of the largest library resources
Dick Eastman's free genealogy newsletter will probably convince you to subscribe
The National Archives continue to grow. Their free genealogy beginner's lessons help you get started:
Check out the list of useful tools including WWII information available for free at the National Archives. is one of the oldest online sources and features very good online lessons (free!)

October 5, 2013

At this meeting we had a large number of first time visitors, many of whom were not familiar with  researching their family tree online. As a result we covered a wide range of topics of specific interest to beginners; in fact too many to list individually.  Some of the websites we covered were:

American Last Names lists the most popular surnames and given names in the most recent US Census. Free!
Dropbox is a file sharing and backup site for your data that allows password-protected access to your files from any computer. They offer 2 GB of free storage with paid options to buy more.
Family Search is a free site with a ton of resources and tutorials is a commercial site with a ton of resources but it is also available in most public libraries and at the Family History Centers
Find A Grave and Billion Graves Free! Search for your ancestors' graves using our easy search. You can access their headstone records, photos of headstones, and accurate locations of all the cemeteries. You may also find some family history on some pages. (Find A Grave was recently purchased by but they have indicated the site will remain free.)
Dead Fred Free genealogy search for your family history in photos. Search by surname, state, country and more.
The popular commercial genealogy software Family Tree Maker Free! Search the world's historical newspapers
We also discussed two commercial DNA testing services: 23andme and Family Tree DNA

August 3, 2013

We took a look at new data from Ancestry.Com
A fresh look at an old reliable,
Find A Grave continues to grow:
Fold3 focuses on military records and more.
Old versions of websites can be viewed at Internet Archive
Genealogy webinars can be viewed at Family Tree Webinars
There are old and new resources listed at RootsWeb

June 1, 2013

Family Search new page
Subscription information is available for Internet Genealogy Magazine
The old reliable Heritage Quest
Revo Uninstaller for secure and complete uninstalling
Central Florida Computer Society is a great local club
An old favorite Genealogy software still survives … Brother's Keeper
"Make use of" useful guides for many tech related issues.

April 13, 2013

Ellis Island is a valuable source to track Europe-U.S travelers and immigrants for much of the twentieth Century.
U.S. Genealogy Web (USGenWeb) can point you to local records and resources.
Fold3 used to be, but now it is part of the group. The specialty is military records:
One way to gather, keep, and display your data online is by using the free version of Tribal Pages is the biggest online commercial resource and definitely worth using, especially for free at your local library.
Free inspection and retrieval of installed software, use Belarc Advisor
To find out who runs a particular web site try Who Is Lookups

February 9, 2013

We reviewed Dropbox, the most popular of online storage sites - similar to
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, probably the most read of genealogy news websites. 
Find A Grave has an incredibly large collection of cemetery photos.
Family Tree Maker is a very popular software is worth checking if you are shopping. 
The Legal Genealogist is hosted by an attorney and deals with the legal issues
Shop Family Tree Carries Ancestry & Genealogy Books and software plus Family Tree Magizine.
USGenWeb - Check any U.S. county for their local resources.

2012 Computer Genealogy Notes

December 15, 2012
No notes available


October 6, 2012
We explored the genealogy value of the search tool Yippy
Other sites we revisited Cyndi's list 
Vital records source
The RootsWeb message boards
American Ancestors page of New England Historic Genealogical Society 
Genealogical standards
according to the National Genealogical Society 
The U.S.GenWeb Project
The World GenWeb Project


August 4, 2012
We discussed the current status of the 1940 Census has completed the index 100%, totally searchable 
FamilySearch has all the states indexed but at least 20 states have yet to be released to the public pending confirmation 
Then we looked at some places we read about in the current Internet Genealogy magazine
Hathi Trust’s digital library is fascinating search engine for published works containing ancestors
The Allen County Library was explored here
Yippy is a very effective search engine for finding ancestors and relatives in unexpected places
The Library of Congress photo collection can be accessed here
The New York City phone books are connected to the 1940 Census records here


June 2, 2012
The places we explored
For computer maintenance we checked out Advanced System Care
My Heritage online tree builder and research source 
Another useful site which searches many other sites at once is Genealogy In Time 
We revisited GenSmarts which analyzes your database and helps fill the gaps
The Wayback Machine helped us find old websites no longer available


April 21, 2012
Some new sites
Pennsylvania now has a wider collection of death certificates available 1906-1961
Entire episodes of  "Who Do You Think You Are?" are available for watching online needs more volunteer indexers to create indexes to their many databases, but especially the 1940 Census

1940 Census tools
Steve Morse has a nice form for finding the Enumeration District
Ancestry also has a form 
But the records are actually here, at the National Archives


February 11, 2012
We checked out a few new places
Genealogy In Time is a remarkable search tool, try it
Here's another, The Genealogy Buff
Getting ready for the 1940 Census 
Back issues of Buried Treasures journal by CFGS are now online but recent issues are made available to members only.  
...and a few old standbys
World Vital Records

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