Computer Users’ Group

March 20, 2013


Are there any questions about creating a Family History Picture Album? Here are a couple of ways to add content. One is to select a group of pictures that cover a given subject, time period, person or group of persons that you would like to present. Choose whatever program you may be familiar with to create a slide show. Picasa is one program that will create a slide show movie very easily. You can get it here: . Picasa will search your computer for any images and links to them so it makes an index to every image on your computer. Select the images that you want to use, click on Create at the top of the page, then on Movie and then on Selection and you will create a slide show movie. Save it and move tt to the appropriate folder in your CD folder and create a link to it where you want it to show up. If you have any family videos, you can add them and link to them as appropriate. 

We’ll take a look at a program called PAF Companion that is a charting program that creates charts for Personal Ancestral Fife (PAF), the free program from the Mormon Church. You can download a trial version that only covers 3 generations by going to and scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking on Products. Click on Windows at the top of the page and then scroll down and click on PAF Companion. Download the file and install it after you accept the agreement. Note the box that opens when you run it. If you decide to upgrade to the full version for $6.75, you will have to come back here and click on Unlock and enter you key that you are provided. You can’t order on-line; it has to be by phone.

There is a version available from Progeny Genealogy for Family Tree Maker and other programs but they cost $34.95. If you have the PAF Companion, you can create a GEDCOM file in your other program and import it to PAF and create all the charts that you want.

Let’s see what charts are available and create a few. Descendant charts are useful in that they can lead you to cousins that may be doing research and to get a fuller appreciation of how the family grew. However, they take up considereble space either vertically or horizontally. Don’t get confused by the names; the vertical chart (Top Down) is horizontal and the horizontal chart (Left to Right) is vertical. These charts would seem to be useful only if you need to wallpaper a room! Also, for exaample, 10 generations back you had 1024 ancestors but since half of them married the other half, you’d only need 512 charts. I suggest that the most useful would be the 8 charts of your and your spouse’s great grandparents.

A more practical approach would be the outline descendant chart. Instead of the large number of pages used by the horizontal or vertical charts, this takes only a few pages depending on how many descendants there are..

To do it all on one page, Companion has a descendant chart called Fan Descendant Chart and it is very useful if not too many generations are included. Having an Office Store print a poster size version could be useful for a large number of generations. Familytreemaker 2010 has only the vertical (top down) chart and the outline chart.

PAF companion has both a Pedigree Chart and an Ancestor Chart; FTM has only the Ped Chart. Lets look at the difference. The Pedigree charts starts with the person you select and shows that person’s ancestors for the number of generation you choose. The number of generations per page up to 6 is selectable as is the information to be displayed. The Ancestor Chart puts information in colored boxes Similar to the descendant charts, there’s an ancestor Fan Chart as well.

The Hourglass chart shows both the ancestors and descendants of the selected person while the Bowtie chart shows the selected person’s father’s ancestors to the left and the mother’s ancestors to the right. The Ahnentafel chartnumbers each ancestor, males being even and girls, odd.

If you want to read about the latest news and information about computers and get tips and information about how to better understand more about computers and their software, here are a couple of places that you can go. Windows Secrets has 2 versions; the free and the paid. The paid version can be had for any amount of donation but the free version is the place to start’ Go to and subscribe and you’ll get a newsletter with the latest information. There is a message board that they call the Lounge that can answer many of your questions and there is an archive where you can see past issues.

Another free site is PC Pit Stop that you can get here: There you can sign up for the monthly newsletter, click on Internet Speed to run a totally free speed test that measures both download and upload speeds. There is also a link to Neptune’s free system test. It requires downloading a plug-in for your browser first and then downloading the program. It’s very complicated and much harder than the free test they used to have. Once you get the newsletter you can look through it for many interesting articles. Click on some of the buttons at the top of the page to see the Forums, Libraries and other links that are are available. A very good source of information to keep you up to date. One page asks whether it’s time to cut the cable, pointing out that all major networks stream most of their content on the web so you can watch for free while another page covers taking the pain out of Windows 8. There are several programs that you can download to test your ccmputer. Each offers a free scan but requires payment to fix anything.

A Wiki is a posting that allows others to edit the content as in the Wikipedia. There is a similar one for genealogy started by Dick Eastman that you can get here:

Here’s a new Irish site that is just one year old but has enlisted 2000 volunteers but not yet one in every parish. Until a volunteer is found for each parish, you can use the main message board to see if anyone knows the answer. When you find the parish that you want, sign up and use the message board there. Unless you know the parish that you want, you may have to search elsewhere to find the parish if you only know the city or town. Try entering the city or townland name into Google. We’ll take a look at what I posted and see the response and then see a little bit of the site .

Windows 8. Getting around can be frustrating but there are some keyboard shortcuts that help relieve some of the pin. There’s a full page of them in the handout that will also be available in the Special Collections Room at the library.