10 Jul 2015

Islands in Reunion 11 Genealogy Software

Today’s post is about Islands in Reunion 11 Genealogy Software. It’s quite the best new feature of this recent version upgrade of the venerable Mac genealogy software from Leisterpro.

The new Islands sidebar, seen at right, is located in the pulldown menu on the upper right of the main screen. This new function locates “islands” in your family file — groups of people linked to each other, but not linked to people in your main tree.

Previously in Reunion, you could only search for single entries who had no links to anyone else. So the new Islands feature identifies these branches or fragments in your family tree and makes it easy to see and edit/repair/delete them.

Reunion 11 found 18 (!) of these islands in my tree, when I would have predicted three. Island 1 is my main tree with 10,425 and 27 generations. And Islands 2 and 3 were deliberately created by me while working on a brick […]

12 Sep 2014

Google Account Breach Checker

Not sure if your Google account got hacked in the latest big data breach? Dashlane has a Google Account Breach Checker available here.

Regular readers know that I trust Dashlane, the ultimate password manager. Having something like this simple app to check the status of your Gmail account is just another reason why I think Dashlane is great.

Dashlane not only keeps track of your passwords, but also automatically logs in to any website on any of your devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone on any platform), and never loses passwords. In fact, with your permission, Dashlane can burrow into your browsers and mine them for user names and passwords you might have forgotten.

So try the Google Account Breach Checker. And if you’re new to Dashlane, click here to get six months of premium service, including auto sync between all of your devices, for free.

1 May 2014

MayDay Genealogy Data

Today’s post is MayDay Genealogy Data, to mark MayDay 2014, an annual national preservation day sponsored by professionals from archives, libraries, museums, historic preservation, and historical societies. On this date each year, these professions review their emergency preparedness plans, and help individuals with emergency preparedness for personal data and papers.

So let’s take a leaf from the Society of American Archivists and take time during MayDay 2014 to think about preserving our family history data.

At home, too often our emergency planning takes second place to more pressing demands. (I’m going to assume that everyone has already ensured their personal safety so that we can focus on data. But if you need to improve your personal safety measures, visit

A starting place for your data and papers:

Are you backing up your data locally?
If you are, could you grab that hard drive and go with only a few minutes’ warning?
Have you stored your family papers in a cool, dark, dry environment or are […]

18 Mar 2014

Creating a Digital Time Capsule for Genealogy

These days, genealogists are also personal digital archivists. As that family archivist, could you create a digital time capsule of your family’s history?

I’ve opened and reburied a few physical time capsules in my time as a librarian and archivist. (The International Time Capsule Society provides tips on creating a physical capsule, if you’re interested.)

But could a digital time capsule work? Would it be usable in 10 or 20 or more years? Since we all hope that our family history research will be passed on to family members and other researchers, it’s a question worth considering.