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September 2010

Pocket Genealogist v4 now available - access Legacy on Windows Mobile devices

Pg Got a Windows Mobile based device? With the new Pocket Genealogist 4.0 you can easily transfer your Legacy Family Tree files, including pictures, from your PC to your PocketPC 2003 or Windows Mobile 5/6 device.

And while you are at the cemetery or the library, you can add or edit information and when you get home, Pocket Genealogist will sync with and update your Legacy files on your PC - no GEDCOM needed.

Pocket PC Magazine Winner

Pocket Genealogist, developed by Northern Hills Software, has been the Pocket PC Magazine winner for genealogy software for 5 years in a row now. With the brand new release of version 4 it continues to lead the industry in mobile genealogy software.


Some of Pocket Genealogist's features include:

  • 3-generation view
  • Ancestor and Descendant Tree views
  • Databases and program can be stored in memory or on a storage card
  • Relationship calculator
  • GPS support
  • Multimedia support (images/photos/pdf)
  • and much more...

What's new in version 4

Version 4 offers great new features, including enhanced overall performance for newer Windows Mobile devices. Some of the new features include:

  • support for capacitive touch devices (devices that use your finger instead of a stylus)
  • support for PDF files
  • 3-generation view that displays image thumbnails
  • a "Changes Report" that displays changes made on the device or use in transferring the information to Legacy for those not comfortable with the more automated methods
  • many features previously only available with "Advanced" are now included in the "Basic" version, including the relationship calculator, GPS support, 255 generations with tree views, storage card formatting, device resetting, database backup and restore, and multimedia support.

Kevin Phillips, Northern Hills Software President wrote, "Updates to Version 4 will be free to all Version 4 registered users. If you have a request for a specific feature, please let us know."

How to purchase

Pocket Genealogist 4.0 is available in the Legacy Family Tree online store for $35. For more information, including lots of screenshots, click here.

How to upgrade

Special upgrade pricing is available for customers who have previously purchased Pocket Genealogist. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Technology Tip: Windows 7 taskbar shortcuts

This quick technology tip will help you use your mouse a lot less.

In Windows 7, the long bar at the very bottom of your screen is called the taskbar. It is made up of three parts:

  1. the "Start" button (which no longer says "start" like previous versions of Windows) which opens the Start menu
  2. the middle section, which shows you which programs and files you have open and allows you to quickly switch between them
  3. the notification area, which includes a clock and other icons

Below is what I see on my monitor. The red arrow is pointing to the middle section of the taskbar. Here I have several buttons, that when clicked, launch a specific program. For example, the first button opens Internet Explorer. The second opens Legacy 7. The third opens my photo editing/management software. And so on. Having these "shortcuts" easily accessible to me saves me the "hassle" of going to Start > All Programs and selecting my program from a long list.


It is easy to add a new program to this taskbar. To practice, why don't you open your very favorite program - Legacy Family Tree. Once it is open, you will notice that the Legacy icon/button appears in the taskbar. Now, right-click its button in the taskbar and select "Pin this program to taskbar". Now, when you close the program its shortcut will remain in the taskbar. To open the program in the future, all you have to do is click once on it.

Next taskbar tip

In the image above, you can see that I have ten different shortcuts in the middle section of the taskbar. Instead of clicking on the Legacy icon, which is in position 2, press <Windows> plus the number 2. To open my favorite screen capture software, Snagit, which is in position 9, press the Windows button on your keyboard <Windows> plus the number 9.

Last taskbar tip

You can adjust the size of the buttons and even the location of the taskbar by right-clicking in an open space on the taskbar and selecting "Properties".


Got a technology tip to share? Send me an email.

How to create a 'super password'

Most of my passwords are around 8 characters in length. According to a recent report published by the Georgia Institute of Technology these "wimpy eight-letter passwords" can be cracked in less than two hours. On the other hand, using the same password-cracking technology, a 12 character password takes 17,134 years to crack. Not having thoroughly researched the subject, I don't know what is possible, but I've seen TV shows break passwords in no time at all.

In his article at, John D. Sutter wrote that "passwords have gotten longer over time, and security experts are already recommending that people use full sentences as passwords." So for example, instead of my normal passwords, I could use:

"Asa Clark Brown is my favorite ancestor."

Most websites, however, do not yet allow passwords of this length, so we must be creative in how we come up with a secure password. A couple of months ago I asked our readers "how do you remember all of your passwords?" You came up with lots of great suggestions. Some of the software you suggested will come up with passwords for you. They will even store your passwords in a "secure" place so you can have access to them from any Internet-connected computer.

I still do not have the perfect answers, but Sutter's article is a good read. Click here to learn how to create a 'super password'.

Until now, I've never thought of using a sentence as a password. Have you? I'd enjoy hearing your comments below.

200 million more historic records now online

The following exciting press release was just issued by FamilySearch. Although they announce the 200 million new records, they don't give details on which specific collections are new or updated. If you want to know what is new, go to, click on the Record Search link, click on "Search or Browse our record collections", and click on the "Browse Collections" button. Titles with a red star are the new or updated collections.

SALT LAKE CITY—As the nation’s genealogical societies gather in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference this week to share tips and tricks for finding one’s elusive ancestors, there will certainly be some clamoring over an unexpected gift from FamilySearch, a world leader in historic records preservation and access. FamilySearch announced the addition of over 200 million new searchable historic records online representing 18 countries. The new records were added to the hundreds of millions FamilySearch published earlier this year at a similar event in Salt Lake City, Utah. The total number of records on the pilot site totals 700 million.

The latest deluge of records includes 53 new or updated collections from the United States, and over 100 million new records from Europe, Scandinavia, and Mexico. The United States collections include the 1910 U.S. Census, and states’ birth, marriage, and death records. There are 10 million new records for New Jersey and Michigan respectively, 4 million from Tennessee, an amazing 41 million from Massachusetts, and much more from other states.

“Some time ago, FamilySearch committed to creating access to the world’s genealogical records online in a big way. Today’s updates are part of an ongoing effort to make good on those commitments,” said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager. “We have only just begun,” Nauta concluded.

In the U.S., FamilySearch is focusing currently on digitizing and publishing online federal and state censuses, and state birth, marriage, and death records. When complete, the initiative will provide a definitive collection of U.S. genealogical resources for family history researchers.

In addition to the new U.S. collections, over 100 million records were added to FamilySearch’s international collections online—making it most likely the largest international genealogy collection online. The new international databases come from birth, marriage, and death records, and from municipal records. (Go to, then click Search Records, then click Records Search pilot) to see a full list of the free collections. The records will soon be available also at

“What makes today’s announcement even more impressive is that FamilySearch uses predominantly a growing corps of volunteers to accomplish the task of digitizing and indexing the records for online publication.  That’s also in large part how we can do it for free, how it can be done at no cost to the patron,” said Nauta. Currently, 350,000 volunteers worldwide log on to and use FamilySearch’s proprietary software to view digital images of historic documents of personal interest and type in the desired information. FamilySearch then creates a free, searchable index of the historic collections online for the public to use.

Legacy Genealogy Cruise 2010 - need one female

Our 7th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise is fast approaching. I can't wait to see Australia and New Zealand and, er, teach Legacy classes too. :)

I'm told that we need one more person to attend - a single female to share a cabin with one of our already-booked female Legacy users.

This actually is a great opportunity because normally a cruise is only booked based on double-occupancy. So if you are a single female and wouldn't mind sharing a cabin, we only have one more week to sign you up.

For more information about the cruise, please click here. Or you can call 1-888-505-6997 to speak with our travel agent.

Hope to you at least one more of you there!

New Legacy User Group in Kansas City

The first meeting for the newly-forming Kansas City area Legacy Family Tree user group will be held Saturday, September 4, 2010 at the Olathe Family History Center (15915 W 143rd St) in Olathe, Kansas. Contact Char Mitts for more information.

We're now up to 38 "official" Legacy User Groups throughout the world. For more information, please visit

Legacy for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

Familiesipadiphone Got an iPhone, iPod Touch, or an iPad? With the brand new Families application from TelGen Limited you can now easily transfer your Legacy Family Tree files from your PC to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, enabling them to be viewed and edited wherever you are. Any changes you make on these devices can then be synced back to your Legacy file on your PC.

Features of Families:

  • Family and Pedigree Views
  • Pictures, including the ability to add pictures from camera or photo album
  • Locations and addresses, with geolocation via Google Maps
  • Multiple family files
  • New family files can be created from scratch
  • Index, searchable by given name, surname, or RIN
  • Events
  • To Do Lists
  • Master and detail sources
  • Alternate names
  • Portrait and landscape mode on all views
  • Full screen support on the iPad
  • Legacy file version 6 and 7 are supported

Families uses a highly efficient database implementation, allowing very large family files to be supported. Users have successfully displayed and edited files containing over 300,000 individuals on an iPhone.

Families requires a companion program running on the PC to transfer family files to and from the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. This program, Families Sync, can be downloaded free of charge. Note that iTunes must be installed in order to use this program.

Families is available in the App Store for $14.95. For more information, and to view screen shots of Families, please click here.

Upcoming Legacy Seminars - Aug/Sep 2010 - California, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington

We will be coming to California, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington these next two months. For our full calendar, click here. Hope to see you all!

Click here for an updated list of our Legacy User Groups throughout the world.

August 2010

USA | Tennessee | Knoxville - August 18-21. Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2010 Conference. Click here for more information.

USA | Utah | St. George - August 18-20. St. George Regional Family History Training Center located across the street from the St. George LDS temple. This is a 3-session Legacy class of two hours each day. 10:30am-1:00pm. In addition to the demonstration of how to use Legacy, students will also have hands-on practice along with assignments and handouts to best learn the software. Registration is limited, but is open to anyone. Contact David Midgley for more information or call 435-673-4591.

USA | Utah | Sandy - August 27-28. Salt Lake Family History Expo. Held at the South Towne Exposition Center at 9575 S. State Street in Sandy. Visit us in booths 100 and 102. Beau Sharbrough will be teaching two classes on using Legacy. We will also teach a class on "Legacy and New FamilySearch". For more information, please click here.

September 2010

USA | California | Modesto - September 4. Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County will sponsor a full-day seminar featuring Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen. Held at the Trinity United Presbyterian Church in the Telle Hall at 1600 Carver Road in Modesto from 11:30-4:45pm. For more information, please contact Millie Starr.

USA | Utah | Ogden - September 11. Northern Utah Family History Conference. Sponsored by the Ogden Regional Family History Center and held at Weber State University. Visit the Legacy booth for special pricing on the latest Legacy software. Warren Bittner will teach the following two classes: "Legacy Software" and "How Legacy Syncs with New FamilySearch". Visit for more information.

USA | California | Chino Hills - September 18. Chino Valley 12th annual Family History and Genealogy Seminar. Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen will present the keynote address and teach several other classes. Held at the Chino Stake Center at 3332 Eucalyptus St. in Chino Hills from 8:30am-4:30pm. Click here for more information.

USA | Utah | Logan - September 18. Logan Regional Family History Center Fall Conference held at USU 5th Stake Center, 1230 North 600 East in Logan from 9am-5:30pm. Legacy classes will include: "Getting Started - Why Use Legacy", "New FamilySearch Made Easy with Legacy", and "Research Guidance - Automated Research Helps". Click here for more information.

USA | Washington | Chehalis - September 17-18. Washington State Genealogy Society Annual Conference. Visit with Legacy's Jim Terry and pick up Legacy products as discounted seminar pricing. Click here for more information.

USA | Utah | St. George - September 22-24. St. George Regional Family History Training Center located across the street from the St. George LDS temple. This is a 3-session Legacy class of two hours each day. 10:00-12:00. In addition to the demonstration of how to use Legacy, students will also have hands-on practice along with assignments and handouts to best learn the software. Registration is limited, but is open to anyone. Contact David Midgley for more information or call 435-673-4591.

USA | Washington | Port Orchard - September 25. Puget Sound Genealogical Society's seminar, held at the First Christian Church at 4885 SW Hovde in Port Orchard. Legacy's Jim Terry will teach a class on Legacy from 10:15-11:15am. He will also have seminar-special pricing on Legacy products. Click here for more information.

How to access your computer from anywhere

How long can you go without your computer? One day? One week? Any longer than that and I'd go nuts. Much of my life is connected to my computer - my genealogy, email, finances, pictures, and the list goes on.

This past month I vacationed and worked in my home state of Oregon. My Arizona family woke up each summer morning to temperatures comparable to our Arizona winter-time temps (50s and 60s). We visited the beach, the forests, and lakes. I spoke at genealogy seminars in Eugene and Tualatin. Vacation and genealogy - can't get much better than that!

Even though I left my computer at home, I still had 24/7 access to it. Now that I'm home, I still don't have physical access to it because I still can't get out of bed (I'm recovering from minor surgery which I had the day after I returned. Not a great way to end a vacation...).

Regardless of where I am, if I have access to an Internet-connected computer (like the laptop I'm using in bed right now), I can always have access to my personal computer thanks to technology like Gbridge (free) or GotoMyPC (fee). Software like this lets you remotely connect to your computer and use it as if you were actually there. In other words, you can connect to your home computer (as long as it is turned on and connected to the Internet) and do anything with it from the remote computer.

I've personally tried out two such services, but would love to hear from you on what works and what doesn't. Gbridge is free. Learn more about it here. GoToMyPC has a monthly fee. Learn more about it here. Windows 7 has built-in software called "Remote Desktop Connection" found at Start > Accessories.

What have you tried, what did you like/not like, and why did you use it?