Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Download Family Tree Legends

Download Family Tree Legends

Family Tree Legends is now 100% FREE!
Download the software from here. When you are asked to enter a serial number, enter the following: 1A752-42184-B74A3-AD752

Hacking Genealogy Data on Windows 7

OK, most people who know me know that on top of being a genealogist I am also what's called a "grey hat hacker". This means I am ethical and that I do not hack to cause any harm nor do I hack for profit or personal gain; it's purely for educational and out of curiosity.

WITH THAT SAID, I have created a challenge for myself: I have a bunch of genealogy software databases which I have purchased over the years (YES, I ACTUALLY BUY SOFTWARE!) and the program that opens the databases (Broderbund's Family Tree Maker) it is now long since passe (even though I still own and still use the many versions which I have purchased). 

There is one other viewer for these databases called Family Archive Viewer, which is still totally unacceptable, because even this viewer requires you to have the database CD in the drive, and does not allow you to point it at the directory where you have copied the files onto your computer. This means that you would still need to have the CDs in the drive or with you on the go, and run the risk of scratching or breaking the CDs, having them become warped from being in the car and heat, etc.


I need to find a program which I can use to open and view these files on my hard drive.

Let me break it down:

1. Yes, I own a copy of the software which the database "requires" to be used for opening it, but I want to use something different for software; something which will allow me to open the contents of the CDs without the need for a CD to be in my CD ROM, but just for the contents of the CD to be copied to the hard drive of my computer.

2. The capacity of a regular CD is 700 megabytes of data -- 703 megabytes if you are in over-burn mode. Some of the Family Archive CDs which I have purchased are only 52 megabytes in size; quite the far cry from the 700 meg limit of the CD! 

3. Now imagine that you have 50 of these CDs; you need access to them for their information, even on the go...what is the most efficient way to carry that data? Please choose from the options below....

Is it...

     A) Carry all the CDs with you, and should they fall and drop or break, it's no big deal, they were old and you can always purchase these out of print items again, right?!

     B) Transfer all the data onto your hard disk, so you can access the data locally and then put the CDs back in their cases, and keep them safe from sun, warping, scratching, etc.?

     C) Borrow someone else's disks while on the go; hey, they're not your disks, so no worry about scratching them up or anything, right?!


Well folks, if you guessed "B", YOU ARE CORRECT!!!

And for the record, I keep all my genealogy files on my computer and now have tons of backups in multiple locations, that way I can work with the data so much faster and easier and I do not have to go searching through CD cases and spindles to find disks or worry about scratching them up. I also have random backups on data CDs and data DVDs and portable hard drives for redundancy.

I lost 10 years worth of research -- over 3,000 people with tons of details and photos -- back in 2008, and I do not plan on allowing that to happen again!

Anyways, the challenge that I have created for myself is to extract the genealogical data from the files on the CD for use on my hard drive. One file is called DATA.INX and the other is called DATA.TRT

The .INX file opens -- at least partially -- with Microsoft Word (as long as you have a few plugins installed), but the files do not open entirely. I am going to list some of the software "handlers" for the above file types, partially for my own information and partially for anyone else who may have any questions. 

SIDE NOTE 1: I am currently on Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, so all the software listed below is for Windows, unless otherwise noted.

SIDE NOTE 2: I have not tried to access the .INX or .TRT files on Linux yet. Once I am done exploring all possibilities on Windows I will try some of my Linux distributions to see how they fare and see if there is native support there for these file types.
I will present the results of my findings on Linux 
in a separate post after I have tested my theories.

Anyway, here are the results of the testing and research I had done on Windows...

The .INX and .TRT File Extension, Part 1 of 2: INX Files – By Vince

There are currently a number of programs on record that use the .INX file extension; a brief introduction for these programs is provided below...

Program #1 – Adobe InDesign (Windows and MAC)

The file extension .INX is associated with Adobe InDesign, which is a DTP (Desktop Publishing) application from Adobe Systems. Files with the .INX extension are Adobe InDesign Interchange documents. The format .INX is an export format from Adobe InDesign and is used for compatibility with previous versions of Adobe InDesign.

A .INX file also describes an .INDD (InDesign) file, including pages and content, guides, text frames, information on which colors are used, guides, margins, and so on.

The .INX file technically falls in the Graphic Files (picture) category but their Mime type is application/octet-stream, which means that the data was compiled into a program some how.


Program #2 – InstallShield Compiled Rules Files

The .INX file is part of the installation packages created by InstallShield software and is used on compiled scripts belonging to InstallShield software installation systems. These files store instruction for the installation of software packages.

The contents of the .INX (InstallShield Compiled Rules) files are not readable; the .INX files are executable files and are not meant to be opened directly by the average user (but it does not mean that it cannot be done). 

I think with the use of Resource Editor, I may be able to extract the data. Will try more on this when I have more time to devote to code breaking.


Program #3 – ACL for Windows Index File

The .INX file extension is also recorded to be associated with Access Control Lists (ACL) for Windows.

An access control list (ACL) is a list of access control entries (ACE). Each ACE in an ACL identifies a trustee and specifies the access rights allowed, denied, or audited for that trustee. The security descriptor for a securable object can contain two types of ACLs: a DACL and a SACL.

A discretionary access control list (DACL) identifies the trustees that are allowed or denied access to a securable object. When a process tries to access a securable object, the system checks the ACEs in the object's DACL to determine whether to grant access to it.

If the object does not have a DACL, the system grants full access to everyone. If the object's DACL has no ACEs, the system denies all attempts to access the object because the DACL does not allow any access rights.

ACLs also provide access control to Microsoft Active Directory directory service objects. Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) include routines to create and modify the contents of these ACLs. For more information, see Controlling Access to Active Directory Objects.

This data seems to coincide with the information from Program #2 – InstallShield Compiled Rules Files. I will be looking into these two more later, after I have explored all the available possibilities... 


Program #4 - Genealogy Research System (GRS)

The GRS system was built to work on DOS, before the introduction of Windows, and was the number one piece of genealogical research software for reading the contents of the INX and TRT files.

I'm curious...since GRS was DOS based, and DOS was based on UNIX (as is Terminal and Konsole in Linux), will Terminal or Konsole read the data from the CDs without the need for the software? 

If not, is there something like the GRS system for Linux? I know there is a Terminal/Konsole program called LifeLines, but I do not know if the software will be able to read the INX or the TRT file. I guess that will be on my to-do list when I install my next Linux partition.  


Program #5 - Microsoft FoxBase Index File

Best for last, right?

OK, so once upon a time, Microsoft used DOS, and I don't mean just the shell that they employ with Windows Vista and Windows 7, I mean they used it as the core of their operating system, and indeed, it was the very back bone of the Windows operating system. So, if you could write software for DOS, you could write the software for use Windows, no big deal: you just needed a graphical environment with which to interpret the data from DOS.

These days, Microsoft has been moving away from DOS with what appears to be utmost urgency, and they are no longer supporting what is commonly called "Legacy Software".  Bad business mistake in my opinion...legacy software will always be around, and there will be users who will always prefer the legacy software over that which is manufactured and today.

But I digress...Microsoft FoxBase...this was the precursor to Microsoft FoxPro, and later VISUAL FoxPro...Fox Base created database tables in DOS, and the information was only accessible there. An .INX  file was a Foxbase Index file...after the conversion from Fox Base to Fox Pro, the databases that were created were still accessible, but they needed to be converted from their native INX file format to a different database format, such as those used by dBASE III, so they changed them into VFP files.

still own copies Fox Pro 3 and Visual Fox Pro 9 from my MCSE days, but VFP9 does not open legacy file types. I will have to install and try FP3 later, as well as dBASE III (gotta love legacy software that you keep around for no real reason other than because it would be a shame to get rid of it). 

Just another piece of software to add to the list of software I need to install and try out on both Windows Vista and Windows 7....

DISCLAIMER: The above is not my photo, just one I found online at http://www.foxbase.nl/image/fpvista.jpg 

Now here's the trick...FoxBase was abandoned as software, and is now called "Abandon-ware". Try to find it though, that is the tricky part....


Another function of the INX file type is for it to act like a driver, so it seems as if it is associated with the DLL file type insofar as the primary function of the INX file is concerned. It is a helper file for the program it is associated with (or in this case the database which it is associated with), and it instructs the database (in this case, the database is the TRT file) how to behave.

So to edit and extract the data contained within the INX and TRT files, it looks like I will need to utilize all my programming and research and investigative skills...

OPTION 1: Enter "makefile"...

A makefile is a set parameter that defines custom software builds and compilation actions, which includes the conversion of the .INX files into .INF files. In theory, the data could then be extracted from the INF file by way of Notepad or MS Word, and would be able to be saved into a human readable format.

During the last 30 days, I have also learned that .INX files are associated with executable/*.EXE setup files by way of Install Shield Package (Program #2). There is another program called "Unshield", which is an Open Source software that is used for decompiling, available for free from SourceForge.net.

You can use programs like Sexy Install Shield Decompiler -- this is the best one out there currently -- to decompile .INS or .INX files. Available from http://www.pediy.com/tools/Decompilers.htm

Once you open the INS or INX file, you'll see a lot of code. The only changes you can make are after you find the appropriate line of code. Right click on the line of code you want to see the options for and the software will show you what changes you are able to make to the coding.

The only changes that can be made are logical arguments, which means you can only change "a = b" to "a != b"  or "a > b", and things like that.

OPTION 2: Enter "Resource Editors and Resource Hackers"...

Resource Editors and Resource Hackers are great tools, which you can you use edit EXE and DLL files, as well as many other file types. In my case, I will want to use them these tools to edit the data and meta data of the INX and TRT files mentioned above.

Here is a quick list of some resource editors...






Using these tools, I think I can edit the INX and TRT files to human readable format...I will have to experiment more...

It's worth noting that sometimes .INX files are encrypted; if it is, you have to decrypt the before you start decompiling it. Mine was not encrypted, it was only compiled. I was able to extract some information from the INX, using Microsoft Word; I have printed the results below...


; Directory Names.
; If running on a network use UNC names: \\machine\drive\directory
; Panel locks are only effective if all users share the same
; locks directory and if [PANEL] Histories=on

COBOLFormat 7-TO-72=ON

; Setting language order before adding multilingual support
; prevents language sequence errors.

Default TYPE=1,+000000300x+000000240,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00
FULL-SCREEN Default=+276824064,+000000520,+000000000x+000000000, ,A,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,+000000000
POPUP-WINDOW Default=+281018368,+000000265,+000000000x+000000000, ,A,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,+000000000
MDI-SCREEN Default=+282001408,+000131392,+000000000x+000000000, ,N,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,+000000000
EMBEDED-WINDOW Default=+268435456,+000000008,+000000000x+000000000, ,N,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,+000000000
PROPERTY-SHEET Default=+033555968,+000000000,+000000000x+000000000, ,A,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,+000000000
MAIN Default=+282003457,+000000000,+000000640x+000000480, ,N,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,+000000000
MAIN-MDI Default=+282003457,+000001024,+000000640x+000000480, ,N,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,000,00,+000000000




; Causes the insertion of menu elements on all newly created panels.
; Intended for system-wide menu elements.
; NOTE: list must be in tree structured order
; Line consists of SEQUENCE (01-20), level(1-9), event 88-name,text label
;                   optional elements are:
;                            bmp # when checed   (no bmp used if zero)
;                            bmp # when UNcheced (no bmp used if zero)
;                            TOOL BAR SEQUENCE (not on toolbar if zero)
;                            Note: above not yet implimented.



OK, SO! Now I know the file is COBOL...or is it?!

A quick web search tells me this is actually a COBOL formatted PERL module.

OK, now I have two more languages added here....I am going to need a COBOL and an PERL interpreter!


I downloaded the Eclipse programming environment as well as Strawberry Perl (both freely available software environments from their respective authors) a few nights ago. I still need to install Eclipse, but no big deal, I will check that out later tonight, when my boys have settled down.


By checking some of the other files, I had found some others were able to be opened with Notepad, such as the DATA.DIR file....

Here is the output from that file....some of it is clear text, other parts are encrypted text... 

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      Ú     ´ c  c  ñ     µ d  y       ¶ z  š       · ›  ›  6     ¸ œ    M     ¹ ž    d     º ¡  ©  {     » ª  «  ’     ¼ ¬  ®  ©     ½ ¯  ¯  À     ¾ °  ¿  ×     ¿ À  ë  î     À ì  õ       Á ö  ö        ÷    3     à    J     Ä  !  a     Å "  K  x     Æ L  c       Ç d  p  ¦     È q  ~  ½     É   ˆ  Ô     Ê ‰  ˜  ë     Ë ™  Ÿ       Ì    ®       Í ¯  Ñ  0     Î Ò  Ó  G     Ï Ô    ^     Ð    u     Ñ
   Œ     Ò    £     Ó  9  º     Ô :  :  Ñ     Õ ;  ;  è     Ö <  O  ÿ     × P  u       Ø v  z  -     Ù {  š  D     Ú ›  Ÿ  [     Û    ·  r     Ü ¸  ¼  ‰     Ý ½  Ü       Þ Ý  &  ·     ß '  *  Î     à +  k  å     á l  w  ü     â x  z       ã {  €  *     ä     A     å ‘  ‘  X     z     f     {     l     |     s                  À     ?     Ë     @
      X     s     f     t     l     u     ‹         ¦         Á  
    #   á     $   -   û     .   7    
 8   B   2     C   C   a     D   D        E   E   ¿     F   F   î     G   G       H   H   L     I   I   {     J   J   ª     K   K   Ù     L   L   ÿ     M   M   (     N   R   F     S   V   b     W   _   „     `   m   ¬     n   ‹   Î     Œ   •   î     –   ™         š   ž   5     ! Ÿ   ¢   Q     " £   ¯   y     # °   ¹   ˜     $ º   Ì   º     % Í   Ú   Û     & Û   ð       ' ñ    1     (    T     )    w     *    š     +    Ä     ,    î     -         .  w  6     / x  ƒ  S     0 „  Š  {     1 ‹  “  ¥     2 ”  ž  Ð     3 Ÿ  ¥  ø     4 ¦  ±       5 ²  ä  F     6 å  é  n     7 ê    ™     8  '  Ä     9 (  V  í     : W  s       ; t  š  E     < ›  A  e     = B  P  ’     > Q  b  Ú     A c  c  ñ     B d  y       C z  š       D ›  ›  6     E œ    M     F ž    d     G ¡  ©  {     H ª  «  ’     I ¬  ®  ©     J ¯  ¯  À     K °  ¿  ×     L À  ë  î     M ì  õ       N ö  ö       O ÷    3     P    J     Q  !  a     R "  K  x     S L  c       T d  p  ¦     U q  ~  ½     V   ˆ  Ô     W ‰  ˜  ë     X ™  Ÿ       Y    ®       Z ¯  Ñ  0     [ Ò  Ó  G     \ Ô    ^     ]    u     ^
   Œ     _    £     `  9  º     a :  :  Ñ     b ;  ;  è     c <  O  ÿ     d P  u       e v  z  -     f {  š  D     g ›  Ÿ  [     h    ·  r     i ¸  ¼  ‰     j ½  Ü       k Ý  &  ·     l '  *  Î     m +  k  å     n l  w  ü     o x  z       p {  €  *     q     A     r ‘  ‘   TITLES   CATEGORY  Books By CATEGORY Contents of CD# Records By STATE Autobiography Biography CD 000 Introductory CD-ROM CD 001 Louisiana Marriages CD 002 IL,IN,KY,OH,TN Marriages CD 003 AL,GA,SC Marriages CD 004 MD,NC,VA Marriages CD 005 AR,MS,MO,TX Marriages CD 006 Social Security Death Ben. A-B Surnames CD 007 Social Security Death Ben. C-D Surnames CD 008 Social Security Death Ben. E-G Surnames CD 009 Social Security Death Ben. H-J Surnames CD 010 Social Security Death Ben. K-L Surnames CD 011 Social Security Death Ben. M-N Surnames CD 012 Social Security Death Ben. O-R Surnames CD 013 Social Security Death Ben. S   Surnames CD 014 Social Security Death Ben. T-Z Surnames CD 015 Everton Publishers Family File CD 016 Social Security Death Ben. Update CD 020 Ohio 1880 Census Index CD 021 NY 1860 Census Index CD 022 PA,NJ,DE 1860 Census Index CD 024 VA,WV,NC,MD,DC 1860 Census Index CD 026 Southern 1860 Census Index CD 027 IL, IN 1860 Census Index CD 040 New England 1850 Census Index CD 041 PA,DE,NJ 1850 Census Index CD 042 NY 1850 Census Index CD 043 VA,WV,NC,MD,DC 1850 Census Index CD 044 KY,TN 1850 Census Index CD 045 Southern 1850 Census Index CD 046 IN,OH 1850-1 Census Index CD 047 IL,IO,MI,MN,MO,WI 1850 Census Index CD 049 TX 1860,1870,1880,1890 Census Index CD 100 Lineage Linked Pedigrees #1 CD 101 Lineage Linked Pedigrees #2 CD 102 Lineage Linked Pedigrees #3 CD 111 S.S.D.B. A-L Surnames 1992 Edition CD 112 S.S.D.B. M-Z Surnames 1992 Edition CD 113 Family History Series #1 CD 136 Colonial Americal Census Indexes CD 137 U.S 1790 Census Index CD 138 New England,NY 1800 Census Index CD 139 NorthEastern U.S.1820 Census Index CD 140 NorthEastern U.S.1830 Census Index  CD 141 New England,NY 1850 Census Index CD 142 Mid-Atlantic 1840 Census Index CD 148 Mid-Atlantic,South,Mid-West 1830 CD 149 New England,NY 1810 Census Index CD 150 Mid-Atl.,S.,Mid-W 1810 Census Index CD 151 Mid-Atl.,S.,Mid-W 1800 Census Index CD 152 Southern States 1840 Census Index CD 153 Gr.Lakes,Mid-West 1840 Census Index CD 154 Gr.Lakes,S.,Mid-Atl 1820 Census Index CD 164 U.S. Mortality 1850-1880 CD 227 Marriages-West of Miss. Early to 1850 CD 229 Marriages VA,WV,TN,KY,NC Early to 1850 Compendium Family History Indexed Records for AK Indexed Records for AL Indexed Records for AR Indexed Records for AZ Indexed Records for CA Indexed Records for CO Indexed Records for CT Indexed Records for DC Indexed Records for DE Indexed Records for DT Indexed Records for FL Indexed Records for GA Indexed Records for IA Indexed Records for ID Indexed Records for IL Indexed Records for In Indexed Records for KS Indexed Records for KY Indexed Records for LA Indexed Records for MA Indexed Records for MD Indexed Records for ME Indexed Records for MI Indexed Records for MN Indexed Records for MO Indexed Records for MS Indexed Records for MT Indexed Records for NC Indexed Records for ND Indexed Records for NE Indexed Records for NH Indexed Records for NJ Indexed Records for NM Indexed Records for NV Indexed Records for NY Indexed Records for OH Indexed Records for OR Indexed Records for PA Indexed Records for RI Indexed Records for SC Indexed Records for SD Indexed Records for TN Indexed Records for TX Indexed Records for UT Indexed Records for VA Indexed Records for VT Indexed Records for WA Indexed Records for WI Indexed Records for WV Indexed Records for WY Local History Misc. Native American


OK, so...I have done a lot of research on the INX files, what about the TRT files, right? Well, let's check those out too! 


The .INX and .TRT File Extension, Part 2 of 2: TRT Files – By Vince

Program # 1 - VT Transaction Template

From the company's website:

A .TRT file is a DLocalizer Translations File (by Cybercom Group)

"Tags: TRTRecovery, TRT data recovery, Corrupted TRT files, "DLocalizer Translations File cannot open TRT file", "Unrecognized TRT format", TRT Tech Support, Help with file extension TRT, File Type TRT, open .TRT file

DLocalizer Translations File data corruption usually occurs when the software application or the operating system crashes while the .TRT data file is open in memory.

In most cases, headers or parts of the data file are not saved to disk causing the data corruption or the application to fail. Other causes of corruption are physical problems with the storage media, hardware malfunctions, natural causes, viruses, software errors, and human errors. In some cases of extreme corruption, data recovery of TRT files may not be possible because data recovery tools for DLocalizer Translations Files are not available.

If you cannot open TRT files, the software application itself may be missing or corrupted on the system. In such cases, using a TRT Viewer may give you an indication if the DLocalizer Translations File file is corrupt or if the application is corrupted.

It may be possible to open the TRT file extension without DLocalizer Translations File by using a viewer. If the DLocalizer Translations File application is corrupted, reinstalling the application will fix the issue."

As I look at the above, I cannot help but think "WHAT?" This does not seem like the program that I am in need of, nor does it appear that this is the correct TRT file type which I am looking to extract the data from. 


Program #2 - TFMail 

TFMail is a program/perl script that can open TRT files. It is used to submit secure form mail from web pages to the specific address it is coded to send mail to.

This seems like a logical choice for the form-data that is received and interpreted from the CDs to the Family Archive Viewer (FAV) and Family Tree Maker (FTM) programs, since the database opens up from within the program at in a predefined area, which in turn sends pop ups with bits of individual data after you click.

This normally would not be so bad, however the data is unable to be copied/pasted, even within the software itself; it must be manually typed into applications such as NOTEPAD and STICKIES or KWRITE or MSWORD, etc., and then copied from there for use for within it's own software!


Program # 3 - Team Sports Scheduling System Report Template 

OK, ya got me...I really do not know much about this software, other than the fact that this piece of software appears to use the standard genealogy 4 to 6 generational graph as it's cover template.

Maybe I will get to know this software after all.....let me see how much it costs first....

OOOHHHH!!!! SHAREWARE, one of my favorites....love it for it's trial period, leave it when you're done using and monopolizing it....sounds like my last marriage! Hahahahaaha!!!!

Seriously though, this program is up to revision and is about 3.5 megabytes in size, so it's small enough that it's not going to bog down my bandwidth and since it is shareware, I can try it out and see if this program will extract the data that I am looking to interpret...

I am on a fast connection so I click, download, blinked, and it's done...

Installing the software now; done!

I just tried the program....it does not open the file in a human readable format. It kinda reminds me of that crash course in cryptography that I took, actually....I think I am going to go back to the resource editor option and see how I fare there.


I am just looking over all this writing and all the software testing I have done, and I have to say that this really is the oddest compilation of software that I have ever come in contact with, not to mention the most obscure list I have ever seen anyone put together! LOL! 

I should really try these file types on Linux...Linux would probably be able to handle these files types with ease...I just do not know if I wanna break down and use my Linux power toys yet...I want to explore all the Windows software possibilities before I break out the hard core OS, I guess...

I do know that I want to try FoxBase and Visual FoxPro 3, so I think I am going to install VFP3 and see if I can purchase a used copy of FoxBase online....

OK, installing VFP3 now...this has to officially be the oldest piece of software I have ever installed on this computer.....heck, I might need to make it feel better and not so alone by installing Office 97 or something on here as well! LOL!!!

Wow, ok, so after installing the minimum for the system requirements, it tells me I do not have enough memory to run the program...really?! 4 gigs of RAM is not enough for ya?! LMHO!


31-JULY-2012   EDIT: 

OK, I did not mean to post this yet, I hit publish by accident instead of save...I have been working on this now for about a month, and did not plan on publishing this until I was done, which would have been another 60 to 90 days, but it's out early, so here it is. I am still working on this, so I will still be editing this afterwards. 

~ Vince ~ 

HuMo-gen genealogy software | Free software downloads at SourceForge.net

HuMo-gen genealogy software | Free software downloads at SourceForge.net


For anyone who is interested in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), then this might be right up your alley!

As many of you know, I am a big fan of Open Source software, mainly because it means that you can see how something is written, and because you can copy the code and/or modify it, just so long as you include a copy of your code as well with any programs you create using that source code.

Read on and view the screen shots of the software...looks good!


Family Tree Software By Progeny Genealogy

Family Tree Software By Progeny Genealogy

Hadn't heard of this company before, but the charts from their Charting Companion look amazing.

Check them out! =)

Childhood Memories -- recording them before I forget again!

OK, so I have had these childhood memories for a long time, but since I have not been home in many years, many of the details have escaped me. To prevent this from happening further, I wanted to write it all down, somewhere that I can share these memories with time and posterity and some day with my children...

When I was growing up as a kid, my parents and I used to go vacationing in Sebago Maine, at a place called Anderson's Cottages. It was a great little place, and we would stay there for a full week, sometimes two, during the summer.

Anderson's Cottages was located right right next to a little church, who later purchased the property from the owner, tore down the cottages and turned the property into a parking lot.

I took a scree shot of the church, which you can see above. I wish that Google Maps would allow me to read the sign, but such is not the case. We used to walk from here to Nason Beach, which was a small beach with access to Sebago Lake. 

Across the street from here was another cottage rental place called Sebago Lake Cottages (http://www.sebagolakecottages.net/). They were not as nice as the Anderson Cottages, but I would still love to go stay there again. 

We used to take a ride up the road from there and play miniature golf at a place called Steamboat Landing (http://www.steamboatlandingminigolf.com/) two or three times in the week that we stayed there, mostly in the evenings, after dinner or after we got done riding on the Songo River Queen II in Naples Maine (http://www.songoriverqueen.net/about.htm), which we also did quite a few times. 

Going through the channel locks on the extended cruise was just so relaxing and awesome...I remember they had these red hot dogs that were absolutely THE BEST EVER!  

After riding the Songo River Queen, we would invariably take a ride a few towns over, I don't remember where it was or what the name of the place was, but we would take about a 30 minute drive left (when facing the river) and we would wind up at this little penny candy place...we would fill a white paper bag with candy for a dollar! We would get all sorts of bubble gum, candy cigarettes (bubble gum with like flour around it, wrapped with paper; you would blow into it and the "smoke" would puff out, and then you would peel away the paper and then you would eat the bubble gum!), hard white candy sticks, sugar sticks, honey treats, etc...man, that place was great! Then, one year on a rainy day, we took the ride up to the candy store, but it had been sold off and changed into an ice cream parlor! 

What a shame that was...

I showed my two boys these pictures earlier (mind you my two boys are five and six years old as of this writing) and they both had said "We wish we could go with you there", me too guys, me too...

The memories that I had of a great childhood, memories that I would love to share and recreate with my children...something that cannot happen any time soon...*sigh*....

Someday we will move back home and hopefully it will not be when they are too old to appreciate the beauty and simple enjoyment that these places exudes to me....   

My dad probably was thinking the same thing...hehehehe....

When I was a kid, my dad used to take us driving all over creation just to see the covered bridges of Maine...it wasn't my thing as a kid, but I always remembered that I wanted to cross them and to go hiking and that I wanted to see what was on the other side...my dad couldn't do it, since he had heart problems, but it was something that I always remembered wanting to do...maybe some day I could do that with my children, who knows....

I really home and all the magic and wonder it holds from my childhood memories...

Someday, someday....

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I have been thinking about taking a trip back home to Massachusetts for quite some time now, but the need and desire to take that trip is growing exponentially with each passing day.  

I have recently began to wonder what it is I would need to bring with me, because I know when I go back that I am going to maximize my time with research and by visiting family. 

I know that there are many supplies which I will need to bring, but that I forget to include; so, I thought I would make a list for my reference (and for anyone else's), so that when the time comes I will have an adequate checklist to go by. 

I began thinking of what I would use for all my research, but then realized that the tools and equipment I would need for my outside research is not the same as that which I would need for my inside research. Well, not entirely anyway. So, I broke it down for myself into two simple groups: one for outdoor use and the other for indoor use. 

I thought that if I were to share this list, maybe others would have suggestions and or feedback as to what they bring with them or use while they were both out in the field and/or inside court houses and other indoor places of research. 

This is not a comprehensive list by far, but it is what I was thinking I would need while on the go, and thought if I placed it online, on this blog, then I would be able to reference it anytime I have access to the internet -- be it through my smart phone or through a tablet or through my laptop, and I would also be able to edit it from anywhere as well, so should I think of something while I am at a store shopping, or when I am at an LDS Family History Library (FHL), I could make adjustments to it. 

Please let me know what you would or do bring with you as well, I would love to compare notes! 


First, and most importantly, make sure you always know the rules of the places you are going! If possible, make an appointment to meet with the caretaker or the custodian of any where you will be going to find out what their policies are at their location.   

Second, ALWAYS be mindful of the local and county and state laws regarding the use of a camera or other digital recording and record keeping equipment.  Some venues do not allow the use of such material, even cell phones are disallowed in some areas. Venture forward with caution. 

R     List of names, places and exact locations you wish to visit on this trip; plan ahead and write a statement for yourself on what you wish to accomplish on this excursion

R     Backpack or Rucksack for keeping everything in and for making traveling in rough areas easier
R     Cell phone / Smart phone and GPS or GPS app on smart phone, to pin point exact coordinates of where you are (latitude / longitude) for recording exact locations of everything you find

R     Digital Camera (at least 5 Mega Pixel) and camera bag, plenty of memory sticks, extra batteries
R     Large & Small notebooks, for keeping records of everything you do, every where you go, and for everything you learn. Also helps for drawing maps to where you are going and where you have been
R     Multi-colored pens (red, blue, green, black) and mechanical pencils
R     plenty of water for drinking and water for cleaning off dusty grave stones
R     wash rags, for scrubbing gravestones clean  and heavy duty gallon sized zip-lock-style bags, for keeping wet wash rags in 

R     hand tools, such as hand trowels, hand shears, hikers shovel, military entrenching tool, and dust brush, for cleaning around grave stones and removing over growth

R     Pocket knife / utility knife / survival knife (you never know when it will come in handy)
R     A Tape Measure – I know this might sound like an odd piece of equipment to bring with you, but if you are measuring distances between stones and size of stones or inscriptions, these come in handy!



First, and most importantly, make sure you always know the rules of the places you are going! If possible, make an appointment to meet with the caretaker or the custodian where you will be going, being mindful of the policies they have at each location.

Second, DRESS APPROPRIATELY!  I cannot emphasize this enough… All too often, when going out to research your genealogy in public places, far too many people do not think that their appearance matters. When entering court houses and public offices, you should NOT be dressed in jeans and a t-shirt! If you are male, perform one simple task: shave. You do not need to be clean shaven, but you cannot be scraggly and appearing unkempt. Male or Female, You should always dress comfortably, yet professionally. How you look and how you present yourself to those you are interacting with will be a direct correlation as to their first impression of you and your seriousness. As the old saying goes, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression”. That first impression will be the basis of how you are perceived and how you are treated. It may not be what is said, it may not be right, but on a subconscious level, everyone does it.  

Third, ALWAYS be mindful of the local, county and state laws regarding the use of a camera and digital record keeping equipment.  Some venues do not allow the use of such material; regrettably, even cell phones are disallowed in some areas. Venture forward with caution by calling ahead and asking what the venue’s policy on laptops, scanners, digital cameras and recording devices are.

When calling, ask to speak to the person in charge of records and archives; ask them what their policies are with regards to the equipment you will be bringing with you, and if they could cite the policy and rules and tell you the places where these can be located if you need to reference them again; are they publicly available online or in the town hall’s offices? If they are publicly available, where can you obtain copies or print outs? Whether or not any equipment is allowed inside is irrelevant at this point; what matters is that you have the documentation that is or is not allowed. Armed with this information, as well as the contact names and numbers of the people you will be meeting with and the places you will be going, you will have a much easier time getting through some of the more strict security checkpoints.  

R     Laptop or tablet computer loaded with genealogy software and image renderers; make sure to include all the power cords and external devices you need to work with quickly and efficiently (such as a small power strip, a mouse and mouse pad, etc.)

R     Portable / External USB Powered Hard Drive with your genealogy research files backed up and saved on there, in case you are not able to edit or use the family tree on your computer; also useful if you need to copy data to and from other computers or to and from other patrons

R     Digital Camera (at least 5 Mega Pixel) and camera bag, plenty of memory sticks, extra batteries 
R     Portable Hand / Page Scanner (great for scanning books and old photographs)
R     Multi-colored pens (red, blue, green, black) and mechanical pencils and a ruler  
R     Large & Small notebooks, for keeping records of everything you do, who you have spoken with (including their title, if possible) and for everything you learn. Also helps for making notations about the condition of the documents and film you are working with for future reference; also good for keeping track of special call numbers and book titles in libraries. If an ISBN is available for a book, make sure to write that down as well. Perhaps there are copies on the internet which are within your price range or perhaps you may find an electronic copy of the same book and/or reference material.  Also used for jotting down sources or other book titles and authors while you are reading and researching.

R     Plenty of Blank research documents, such as family group sheets, pedigree charts, check lists of available documents (if known), as well as plenty of change and single bills for use of copiers and printers; don’t forget to bring a few empty document holders, such as manila folders or large manila envelopes, to store your printed documents and photos in.

R     Gloves; thin white cloth as well as non-acid and non-latex based plastic and rubber ones; food handlers disposable gloves are ideal, since they are thin enough for you know how much pressure and force you are using in your hands while handling a document, but also thin enough to protect the documents and/or film from the natural oils of your skin, which are highly corrosive to old documents. REMEMBER: If you are allowed to handle original documents, handle them with reverence.


Once again, Please let me know what you would or do bring with you as well! 

I would love to compare notes!

~ Vince ~ 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Saw this and had to share...it's not mine, it just moved me...

We Are The Chosen

We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our story!" So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us." How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say. It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying, "I can't let this happen." The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth. Without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do. With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers. That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those whom we had never known before.

-Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Genealogy Software and Family Archive CDs

In an effort to stop purchasing the same CDs, or to quit buying boxed sets, I have made this comprehensive list of all the Family Tree Maker - Family Archive CDs and software that I currently own. So now, when I am shopping on the go, I can just glance at this list and make sure not to duplicate my purchases again! 


Family Tree Maker version 5 Install file (Install disks are missing; if memory serves, this came as 12 floppy disks -- or maybe that was version 3, which I owned long ago also, but never really used; maybe I should go look in my old floppy disk collection for it)
Family Tree Maker version 5 Family Finder Index, Volume/CD 2: L-Z   (CD 1 of 2 is missing)
Family Tree Maker version 7 (3 CD set; includes install CD and two Family Finder Index CDs)
Family Tree Maker version 9 (5 CD set; includes install CD and four Family Finder Index CDs)
Family Tree Maker version 10 (5 CD set; includes red install CD and four Family Finder Index CDs; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2002)
Family Tree Maker version 10 (5 CD set; includes purple install CD and four Family Finder Index CDs; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2002)

Family Archives Starter Bundle II (4 CD set; includes CD# 113, CD# 115, and two CDs for ProCD's homePhone set)
World Family Tree Volume 7, pre-1600 to present (copyright date is 1996)
World Family Tree Volume 16, pre-1600 to present (copyright date is 1998)
World Family Tree: European Origins, Volume E1 (from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 & 2002)
World Family Tree Volume L1 (from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 & 2002)
World Family Tree Volume 30A (from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 & 2002)
World Family Tree Volume 30B (from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 & 2002)

Marriage Index: Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, 1720-1926 (CD# 2) 

Birth Records: United States/Europe 900-1880 (CD# 17)

Social Security Death Index: United States, 1937-1997 (CD# 110; 2 CD set; at least two copies)
Social Security Death Index: United States, 1937-1998 (CD# 110; 2 CD set; at least two copies)
Social Security Death Index: United States, 1937-1999 (CD# 110; 2 CD set; at least two copies; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 and 2002)

217 Genealogy Books (CD# 113)

The Genealogists All In One Address Book (CD# 115)

Military Records: US Soldiers, 1784-1811 (CD# 146, at least two copies)
Military Records: US Soldiers, 1784-1811 (CD# 146A, at least two copies; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001)
Military Records: US Soldiers, 1784-1811 (CD# 146B, at least two copies; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2002)

Family History: Mid-Atlantic Genealogies, 1340-1940 (CD# 156)
Family History: Mid-Atlantic Genealogies, 1340-1940 (CD# 156A; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001)
Family History: Mid-Atlantic Genealogies, 1340-1940 (CD# 156B, at least two copies; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2002)

Marriage Index: New York City, 1600s-1800s (CD# 239)

Passenger and Immigration Lists Index 1538-1940 (CD# 354, from Gale Research, Inc)

Selected US/International Marriage Records, 1340-1980 (CD# 403, from Yates Publishing)
US/International Marriage Records 1560-1900 (CD# 403A, from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001)
US/International Marriage Records 1560-1900 (CD# 403B, from Genealogy.com; copyright 2002)

Local and Family Histories: New England, 1600s-1900s (CD# 449, at least two copies)
Local and Family Histories: New England, 1600s-1900s (CD# 449A, at least two copies; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001)
Local and Family Histories: New England, 1600s-1900s (CD# 449B, at least two copies; from Genealogy.com; copyright 2002)

Family History: Southern Biogaphies and Genealogies, 1500s to 1940s (CD# 500)
Southern Biogaphies and Genealogies, 1500 to 1940s (CD# 500A, from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001)
Family History: Southern Biogaphies and Genealogies, 1500s to 1940s (CD# 500B, from Genealogy.com; copyright 2002)


I also have the following externaly un-numbered CDs: 

Canadian Genealogy Index 1600s-1900s (from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 & 2002)

Passenger and Immigration Lists: New York, 1820-1850 (from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 & 2002)

Military Records: Massachusetts Civil War Soldiers & Sailors, 1861-1865 (from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 & 2002)

Naturalization Records: Philadelphia, 1789-1880 (from Genealogy.com; copyright 2001 & 2002)


I also have the following un-numbered CDs that came with other versions of FTM: 

Family Album Creator by Creative Wonders (copyright 1996) 

GenealogyLibrary.com Free 2 Months Free Subscription Access CD (Mint Condition; not usable anymore even though I never used it due to it's age)

Broderbund The Print Shop Photo Workshop version 12 (by ExpressIt.com; copyright 2001)


I will continue to update this list as I procure more and more of these archaic gems...

Until next time, keep searching! 

~ Vince ~ 

EDIT: I think this would be a great place to also list all other the genealogy software I have installed as well. Some of these are shareware, some of them are freeware, some of them are open source and the last type is software that you can use only if you purchase it...

The genealogy software that I currently have installed on my computer as of 7/24/12 is....

Ancestry.com Family Tree Maker 
Brother's Keeper 6
Custodian 3
Family Historian
Family Insight
Family Tree Legends
Fin Family
Gaia Family Tree
Ged Pad Pro
Gen Box Family History
Genealogy J
Geno Pro
Kith and Kin Pro 3
Legacy 7.5
Legacy Charting 7
Lineage Family Tree
Long Family History
My Heritage Family Tree Builder
Roots Magic 5
Roots Magic To-Go
The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009
The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009
The Master GenealogistWin Family 2009

And lastly, my beloved Broderbund Family Tree Maker (versions 5, 7 and 9; I uninstalled version 10 by Genealogy.com on 07/22/12 when it began corrupting data files; it also had a problem running on Windows 7 and I would constantly get a nag screen saying that there were compatibility issues).

~ Vince ~

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I really do miss home

I really do miss home, and wish I could make it back, just for three or four days...Devil's Night, Halloween, All Saints, El Dia De Los Muertos...those four days would be great fun....

Devil's Night, I would eat and enjoy being home, and I would spend time by the ocean, remembering the smell and feel of the sand and the water washing over my feet while eating the best beach pizza ever...

Halloween would see me in Salem MA, after I had eaten my breakfast at the Early Bird Cafe in Plaistow NH. I would make sure that when I went down to Salem for Halloween that I had a couple of Benedetti's Subs with me for lunch and/or dinner in a cooler or something....yummm...

Then, after the ceremonies and festivities were over for the night in Salem, I would find my way back into Plaistow NH and pay homage to my grandparents, my Nanna and my Nanu, then to Haverhill once more to pay my respects to my Grumpy (mom's dad).

The next day -- November 1st -- would find me in Portsmouth NH scouring records for my Zangari line. After, I would go to Athol MA and Leominster MA to search for my mom's family. After that, I would make my way out further into Western Mass and would go to Watertown MA, to do a little more digging in the Zangari tree.

On November 2nd, I would start in Haverhill MA, and I would go visit all my family's grave sites, quickly cataloging them, making charcoal rubbings of their tombstones as well as taking some hi res photos to mark their memory in time for ever.

I would leave a flower behind on each of their sites, to let them know they are remembered and honored in my memory and family history. I would then leave Haverhill MA and head to Maine (to research some more of my mother's family origins) and far up into Vermont, to Beecher Falls, on the Canadian border, to track down my Nanna's family and roots.

I would bid good bye to the eastern seaboard by taking a flight out of Maine or Vermont, and head straight back to PHX...ahhh....that would be nice....

The only thing that could top that off is if I could bring my children along for the visit with family and friends and so they could experience the love that I have for my home...


 Many more years before that will happen, I suppose....

 ~ finis ~

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Funny how food scents and tastes trigger your memory...

So, while making dinner tonight for my children and my mom, I had a few thoughts and a few questions pop into my mind: Family Recipes...who has them, who uses them, and what are your favorites?

Are there family recipes that anyone has missed because they did not write them down or learn them before your ancestor passed away?

I know I have a few like that...my mom's step mom used to make THE BEST Peanut Butter Fudge and Candied Yams...I wish I had the recipes...sadly, she passed when I was still too young to understand that the recipes were going with her and that no one from my family would have them.

Funny how food and scents trigger such great memories!!!

I remember years ago, when I was still married and my exwife was pregnant with my oldest song, I had a craving for my father's stuffed bell peppers -- something that I could not STAND as a kid!

As I grew up, it seems my taste in food changed. I began wanting more and more of the food I remembered the smells of as a child...I also remembered how to make them from memory and from helping my dad prepare the food as a kid...

How many of you have those family recipes memorized and not written down? Are they part of your genealogy files, some how?

I would love to hear some other people's stories on this!!!!

~ V ~ 

Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc.

Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc.
msog logo

Sounds like just the kind of group I need be involved with...I am sure that my family's history is not there, but I am sure there are plenty of references and materials that I would be able to utilize so that I could find more information on my family....

Definitely something to consider for later....



Note to self, list blog on website as well as in genealogy web rings....

Further notes to self, work on the website tonight and add all the new links you have accumulated in your browser!!!

Welcome to the Massachusetts Genealogical Council

Welcome to the Massachusetts Genealogical Council

Since most of my direct family is from Massachusetts and the surrounding areas, I think it only fitting that I should post this link...some day, when I get back to Massachusetts or New Hampshire, I will be so involved in genealogy that I will not have time for family visits, unless they come with me, I am afraid....lol