Wednesday 12 October 2011

Websites of Interest


Whilst having another (proper) look at the Lost Cousins newsletter which I mentioned yesterday, I had a chance to scour the quite excellent Gresham College website. I recommend that you all have a look at the same, if for no other reason than to have a browse of its superb collection of online lectures. Not only that, but you can also trot along to the talks, too, of course - which are free to all.  Especially useful for London residents - but the website features make the material handily available to us all. Marvellous.

Another excellent online resource has been flagged by blogger John Reid, namely, the Home Children Database for Canada, 1869-1930. Many of you will know about the many, many thousands of children who were despatched to Canada during the period in question with the intention of giving them a 'better life' - and this recently updated website provides a useful way into the records. Read John's blog entry, here, where you will find the link in question.

Followers of the Europeana project will be interested to learn of the website's new look - see the official announcement.


The National Archives have published their October newsletter. Contained therein is a reminder about their special one-day Titanic 2012 Conference on 14th April next year (discounted booking rates available until the end of October).

OK, I know I only mentioned it yesterday, but with the 'Back to Our Past' 'do' in Dublin looming, I thought you might like to know that the Irish Genealogy News blog can get you a discount on the entrance fee - see here. Well done, Claire!


There's a piece about the history of the English version of the Bible to be found on the HistoryToday website. Not connected with family history, I hear you say - but, no, this was a BIG part of our ancestors' lives, and the availability of successive English translations (culminating with the King James edition in 1611) was really quite a big deal (ask religious reformer William Tyndale, who died for the cause).


I have been asked by Steve Kent to give the following appeal a public airing. I can't personally endorse the idea (as I haven't tried it), but it does sound like a rather neat idea...

View Family Tree Pedigrees and Wall Charts on your TV set

For the past few months I've been developing a computer program that enables me to produce interactive DVD discs from GEDCOM files.

What is different about the DVDs I produce is that they can be played on a standard DVD player/ standard TV set. i.e. No computer is required. The main advantage is that copies of the DVD can be passed on to family members that do not have a computer, but do have a standard DVD player and TV set. Photographs, videos, slideshows and scans of documents can also be included on the DVD.
Navigation through the pedigrees/wall charts is by means of the up, down, left, right arrow keys on the DVD player's remote control keypad. I've successfully produced sample DVDs containing pedigrees/wall charts containing well over 2000 people.

I'm looking for a few volunteers to take part in a free trial of the service that I hope to offer to genealogists. There is absolutely no cost to anyone that takes part in the trial and they will each receive a free copy of their DVD. In return, I will ask trialists to provide feedback on their experience and any suggestions they may have for improvements. The system uses a GEDCOM file that most genealogy applications are able to export.

Initially, trialists will need to tell me:
1.  The name of the genealogy application that they use (Family Tree Maker, Rootsmagic, PAF etc);
2.  The approximate number of individuals in their family tree database;
3.  The number of photographs, videos, slideshows and document scans (if any) that are linked to their family tree database.

Those people accepted for the trial will then need to provide me with a copy of a GEDCOM file produced by their application.

Please note that it is not the software that I am offering for trial. It is the DVD produced by my software that is on offer.
All information supplied to me will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not be made available to anyone else. Anyone interested in taking part in the trial should email:

Thanks, Steve Kent.


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