Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Genealogy Happenings - 2009

Genealogy Happenings

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Several times in past years I've written a year-end Genealogy Happenings and sent it to my genealogy correspondents. This year I decided to write one and post it to my genealogy "news" blog.

Thanks to those friends and relatives interested in genealogy who kept in touch during the year.

Here's a report about my genealogy projects in 2009 and a few comments about what I might do in 2010.

Computer Disaster

During the year I had another computer disaster. This time my Dell laptop computer failed. As usual I wasn't prepared. Luckily I did have some of the information I didn't want to lose saved on a thumb drive.

I went back to using my old Gateway desktop computer. I connected to our new Verizon FIOS high speed Internet connection. The Gateway computer allowed me to continue to communicate via Email and to began some genealogy recovery projects.

Currently I don't have a printer connected to the working computer. I'm not certain that the printer will work if I do hook it up. Finding out is on my "to do" list, but not near the top.


For many years I used the LDS genealogy program Personal Ancestral File (PAF) version 2.3.1. I still have a working copy of this program on my desktop computer. When the laptop failed I'd begun the process of converting my genealogy files to RootsMagic. RootsMagic evolved from the program Family Origins that I'd used for several years to load any GEDCOM files shared by other researchers. Since the computer incident I've loaded a copy of RootsMagic on the desktop computer. RootsMagic has the capability to produce very nice PDF files and pages for a website. If you'd like to try out a free version of this program you can download RootsMagic Essentials.


Personal Ancestral File 5.2

I also have a copy of the free LDS Windows genealogy program, Personal Ancestral File (PAF) version 5.2 installed on the desktop computer. I've only used this program enough to get an idea of how it works and what it can do.

Personal Ancestral File:


In my opinion everyone should make GEDCOM copies of their genealogy files as part of their backup plan. GEDCOMs can be shared between researchers. And, they allow us to easily import our data into other genealogy programs. I have worked with the GEDCOM format long enough to understand it fairly well. Since my latest computer disaster I have been making edits to some of my GEDCOM files in order to improve the quality of data. After the edits are complete I can load the data into my genealogy program or share the GEDCOM with others or use it to produce genealogy reports with the Ancestral Author program.

GEDCOM Explained by Dick Eastman:

Ancestral Author

I owned a copy of the Ancestral Author program and lost it when the laptop stopped working. I was able to download another copy of the program and install it on the desktop computer. This program reads GEDCOM files to produce genealogy reports in the PDF format which is perfect for sharing with others. In the last couple of months I learned more about how to use the program. In 2010 I plan to share these documents with some of the folks I know who are doing genealogy.

Ancestral Author:

GenViewer Lite

I have a copy of the GenViewer Lite program installed on my computer. This is a free version of a program that can also read GEDCOM files. The program is very handy when you want to review the contents of a GEDCOM file without loading the data into your genealogy program. I'm thinking about buying the program because some of the capabilities are turned off in the free version.

GenViewer Lite:

Google Blogs

I have two genealogy blogs on Google. One is for "News" and other information. The other is for "Obituaries." I post to them whenever I have something ready. There are sidebar links from these two blogs to other things I post on the Internet.

Henthorn Genealogy News:

Henthorn Genealogy Obits:

Google Group

I maintain a "private" Google genealogy group. You must register with Google and then request that I grant access. There hasn't been much interest in the "group" so my posting there has been infrequent.

Henthorn Google Group:

Google Site

In early December I announced the creation of a Google genealogy "site." This is also a "private" area. You must register with Google and then request that I grant access. There has been almost no interest shown in this so far. There are about fifty genealogy reports in PDF format available to anyone who gains access. In December I had a PDF Week on my "news" blog where I posted information about the available files. If I know you, and your area of genealogy interest, it's possible to request a particular file directly if you don't want to gain access to the "site." I can attach the file you want to an Email message.

Henthorn Google Site:


I have posted the URLs to many of my favorite websites on the social bookmarking website, Delicious. People interested in genealogy or visiting Washington, DC might find visiting this area useful.


Society Membership

I continue to maintain a membership in the Monroe County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society; P.O. Box 641,Woodsfield, OH. 43793. I enjoy reading their very nice newsletter, The Navigator.

Their website URL is: http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohmccogs/

Plans for 2010

Currently I am no longer actively seeking to add information to my genealogy files. My interest for some time has been in sharing and publishing what I have collected and keyed over the years.

In 2010, as interest and health permit, I hope to share more of my genealogy information on the Internet and via Email attachments.

I'm going to investigate whether I can send PDF files to FedEx (Kinko's) for printing. This might be a good way to make paper copies for donation to some of the genealogy libraries.

I'll continue to share new information on my genealogy areas on the Internet. Little by little I have returned some of the information that used to be available on my AOL website to the Internet. I hope to continue this project.

Being able to produce and share genealogy reports in the PDF format is something genealogists have needed for years. In the new year I plan to make use of this capability to create and share more of the information that I gathered and keyed into my genealogy program over the years when I was working on genealogy. If we have been out of touch for a while I hope you will "touch base" so you can benefit in the sharing if I produce a report for a family in which you are interested.

Email Addresses

I now have two Email addresses. You can still reach me on AOL, but I prefer that you use my new Gmail address. I look at Gmail every day and skip signing on to AOL sometimes.

Preferred Gmail Address: dick.henthorn@gmail.com

Richard E. (Edson) "Dick" Henthorn

Phone: (301) 459-0535

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