Sunday, 18 December 2011

Discontinuation of Scottish GENES

Hi folks,

In September of this year I launched a sister blog to Scottish GENES entitled British GENES, located at My initial intention was to maintain both blogs, one for those with only Scottish interest, and one for those who may have interests further afoot in the British Isles, Scotland included. British GENES was created because I was receiving more press releases than I could make available on a purely Scottish platform, and I did not want them to go to waste. The new blog incorporates all the posts I make from Scottish GENES, however, pressures on time are now forcing me to make a change which may not be popular for some, in that I have decided to discontinue producing the same content on two different blogs. As such, this will be my last post on the Scottish GENES blog.

Please note though that I will NOT be discontinuing Scottish news! I will simply now be using British GENES as the main portal for all news from the British Isles, and have absolutely no intentions of reducing the amount of Scottish content featured - not least of which because I live and work as a genealogist in Scotland! As such, I would ask that if you have bookmarked the Scottish GENES blog, that you perhaps now consider switching to the British GENES blog instead (which incorporates all the blog posts on Scottish GENES).

As with Scottish GENES you can subscribe for a British GENES daily news feed using links found on the left hand side of the page at If you have also followed Scottish GENES as a Google user, please do consider doing the same with British GENES - it's always nice to see who some of the readers are!

Whilst I know that some will be disappointed by this, it is worth pointing out that I have been covering lots of UK news on Scottish GENES in any event for quite some time, so the change will not be quite as drastic as may at first be perceived. My own ancestry is Irish and Scottish, and so these will be more than fairly catered for on British GENES, trust me! :)

For those who may not wish to follow through to British GENES, a sincere thank you for sticking with Scottish GENES since it was created at the end of 2007 - the blog itself will remain online as an archive of news from the last four years. Don't forget that you can continue to follow Scottish only news in my bi-monthly news column within Discover my Past Scotland magazine (, and my new History Scotland magazine genealogy column starts off in the January 2012 edition! (The Scottish GENES Facebook page will continue for the foreseeable future until I create a new British GENES page to take its place.)

For those who are happy to follow though to British GENES - onwards and upwards, as I have lots of ideas in hand for the coming months for features and other developments...!!! See you there!


Saturday, 17 December 2011

Tree View gets new features

With thanks to Mark Bayley of The Genealogist ( for the following:

TreeView Gets Radical New Features 
The highly respected TreeView, a favorite of reviewers has today launched unique new features and “views”. TreeView is free to all. You can access it at and

Five Brand New Views

Custom Tree
For the first time ever online, TreeView has made it possible to draw your own custom family tree. The custom family tree option lets you pick between pedigree, hourglass or full tree view, you can pick the number of generations you want and then the fun begins. Drag and drop anyone you wish around the tree, remove people from the tree by simply clicking the X on them. If you make a mistake, no problem, just click “undo”. You can also upload a picture to include as a background to your tree. This quickly and easily gives you a fully custom layout of your family tree. When you’re happy with the result, you can save your design for later or print it out. (You can select a person within custom tree and easily move them around the chart)

Relationship Tree
Using the Relationship Tree you can select any two members from your tree and generate a chart to show the relationship links between those two ancestors. The chart will appear on screen and from here you can choose to a print a copy.

Ancestor Chart
The ancestor chart shows you the direct line ancestors of a selected individual, with the option to display as many generations as you wish.

Descendant Chart 
Alternatively, the descendant chart shows you the direct descendants of an individual.

Hourglass Tree
An alternative design for your tree is an Hourglass Tree. This chart is a combination of ancestor and descendant charts, including both direct ancestors and descendants of a person for as many generations as you wish.

Brand New Features 

Printing Trees
You can now print any tree. When clicking on the Print icon you will be asked to select one of the following print options;

All in One: This option emails you a PDF of the entire tree on one page, enabling you to send the PDF to your local printer, so you can have your family tree printed on one large sheet of paper.
Several Pages: This option will divide your tree over several A4 sheets of paper allowing you to print from a standard printer at home. The A4 sheets are discreetly numbered and come with a guide, making it easier for you to piece them together once they have printed.

Tree Backgrounds
Now all trees come with the option to customise your background, from a variety of different colours, patterns or even use one of your own images.

Backup/Restore - Routinely save your tree and restore from previous backups or imported GEDCOM files. So now you can tweak your tree without the worry of making a mistake.

Relationship Calculator - You can calculate the relationship between any two ancestors in your tree. Type the name of the two individuals into the calculator and the relationship between them will be shown in the results box. If you are looking at your Full Tree or Pedigree view, click any individual and their relationship to the default person will be displayed in the dialog box.

Friends New Features 
The ability to invite friends and family to view your tree is now free to everyone.

Friends Options - In addition to the access level you can now set a Role for your friends.

Select either ‘Guest’ or ‘Proposer’. A ‘Guest’ can view a limited or an extended view of your family tree. A ‘Proposer’ makes proposals for changes or additions to your tree without changing the data. This provides a safe way for your friends and family to help you fill in the blanks to your tree.


More Napoleonic military records online

FindmyPast ( has added 133,000 new military records for the Napoleonic period of 1775-1817, as supplied by Barbara Chalmers. The following is the description from the company's blog at
  • Army of Reserve 1803: 26,314 records of soldiers who were part of the 1803 England and Wales Army of Reserve 
  • Regimental indexes 1806: 97,463 regimental records of Napoleonic era soldiers from 1806 
  • Foot Guards attestation papers 1775-1817: 9,309 records of soldiers' attestations to the 1st Foot Guard between 1775 and 1817
(With thanks to FindmyPast)


ScotlandsPeople records update

The following note comes form the ScotlandsPeople website ( team:

New Images Will Be Available on ScotlandsPeople From 1 January 2012 We are pleased to announce that the New Year’s statutory images containing records from the Statutory Register of Births for 1911, the Statutory Register of Marriages for 1936 and the Statutory Register of Deaths for 1961 will be released on the site on 1 January 2012.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Start Your Family Tree Week

From Genes Reunited (, news of Start Your Family Tree Week, from December 26th - January 1st:

Start Your Family Tree Week returns!

The festive season is upon us once again, a great time to gather the family and catch up on the year's events. Wouldn't it be nice to create a new story this Christmas, one that involves the whole family?

Introducing the 2nd year of Start Your Family Tree Week!

* Printable charts and question sheets for kids and adults, so the whole family can join in the fun
* Top tips so you can get the very best start towards adding names and growing your family tree
* Daily competitions and quizzes to test your knowledge.

We have some great prizes up for grabs during the week, so don't miss out! Who knows what new discoveries you'll make?


Coming soon from Deceased Online

Deceased Online ( has announced that it will shortly be adding around 1 million more burial and cremation records to the database for the following areas:

Records for the first Yorkshire city in the database
Records for the first city in the database in the North West of England
England's North East debuts with a large dataset
Two more London boroughs' records
More collections from across Scotland

All of these records are planned to go live on the website early in 2012.

(With thanks to Deceased Online)


My Heritage launches mobile tree app

Thanks to Laurence Harris at My Heritage (

MyHeritage unveils innovative mobile family tree app

World’s largest family network introduces new mobile experience for connecting families to their past and sharing special moments in the present

PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel – December 15, 2011: MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, announced today the release of version 1.0 of its new mobile app that enables families to access their family tree and share special moments on-the-go. Available for free on iPhone, iPad and Android, the MyHeritage family tree app combines advanced touch-screen features and unique social aspects to help bring memories to life for the entire family.

Take your family tree with you

As the trusted home on the web for families wishing to explore their family history and keep in touch, so far more than 21 million family trees containing 900 million profiles have been created on MyHeritage. The new MyHeritage app enables family members to access their family tree on-the-go, offering the most advanced smart phone and tablet capabilities for an intuitive user experience. For example, the Pinch Zoom feature enables easy viewing of detailed information about ancestors and relatives, and touch-screen panning can be used to visit any area of interest on the tree. The app shows up to seven generations with photos in stunning graphics, and displays a rich profile for each individual as well. One year in the making, the app was built from the ground up using the most cutting edge HTML5 technologies.

A tool for family communication

The MyHeritage app transforms the family tree into a useful tool for family communication: users can call or email relatives in just one tap and upcoming birthdays and anniversaries are highlighted within the tree. The app also enables users to capture and share family photos instantly – ensuring special moments will never be missed regardless of how far apart family members live. Using sophisticated face recognition technology, the app automatically identifies family members taken in the photo and suggests sharing the photo with them in one easy tap.

Ideal for family get-togethers

With beautiful graphics and all the latest touch-screen features, the MyHeritage mobile app is ideal for people to impress their relatives with their family tree and photos at family gatherings. The MyHeritage app automatically syncs all data, including photos taken at family reunions, weddings and other family events, to users' family sites on MyHeritage - ensuring that all special memories can be shared and preserved for the future. Families can also enjoy the app's fun celebrity look-alike feature based on MyHeritage's face recognition abilities.

“We recognize the growing importance that families place on tablets and smart phones for entertainment and keeping in touch. Our new MyHeritage app shows our commitment to creating the best possible experience for families on mobile devices”, says MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “The app is a natural extension of our consumer offering and supports our mission of enabling families to connect to their past and to each other. Version 1.0 is just the tip of the iceberg – we look forward to adding significant new features in the near future.”

The MyHeritage mobile app is available for free on the App Store and the Android Market. To get started, download the app and log in to your MyHeritage account. New users can sign up for free on, build their family tree and begin an exciting journey into their family history. Version 1.0 supports 14 languages and additional languages will be added in subsequent releases. Further development on a more advanced version, including the ability to edit the tree and sign up to MyHeritage from within the app, has already begun.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. Millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place for their families to keep in touch and to showcase their roots. MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ technology empowers users with an exciting and innovative way to find relatives and explore their family history. With all family information stored in a secure site, MyHeritage is the ideal place to share family photos and preserve special family moments. The site is available in 38 languages. So far more than 60 million people have signed up to MyHeritage. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit