Thursday, July 31, 2014

Long Time TMG User is Feeling the Blues

Today in my email I read the latest Wholly Genes Newsletter.   As a long time user of The Master Genealogist, I was saddened when I read the following:

I am sad to report that the decision has been made to discontinue The Master Genealogist ("TMG").

While thousands of TMG users appreciate the program's many powerful features that are unmatched in other software, the market for those advanced features has proved to be insufficient to support the infrastructure that is necessary to support it and continue development. A variety of my own health issues have also contributed to this decision as I have fewer opportunities to focus on the things that would be necessary to develop and market the program.

There is every reason to believe that TMG will continue to work for existing users for the foreseeable future but official support will end at the end of 2014, although we may release some more bug fixes (but no new features) before that.  In the interest of those who may want to communicate their data to family members or upgrade to the latest release, we will continue to sell the full product and updates through September with the understanding that product development has been discontinued.

After the end of the year, I expect to maintain the support forum which would be available for user-to-user support. Other online support forums, including the TMG-L mailing list, are also available to users.

For 25 years, TMG has repeatedly pushed the boundaries of genealogical software and promoted the highest principles of scholarship in record-keeping and reporting.  It has encouraged users to expect more from their family tree software, especially in the area of source citations, and the industry has responded by setting new and higher standards in its suite of "standard features." To lesser degrees, programs have begun to emulate some of TMG's other innovative features, including its powerful filtering/searching functions, flags, customizable screen layouts, shared events (i.e., witnesses), and narrative output options.

As genealogical data has become more sophisticated, researchers have been increasingly confronted with the many limitations of GEDCOM in transferring that data. For more than two decades, our GenBridge technology has demonstrated that much more complete and accurate transfers can be achieved through direct imports. Other family tree programs have implemented the GenBridge technology or developed similar direct-import strategies, resulting in the preservation of precious data for countless researchers.

I am proud of the leadership role that TMG has played in the evolution of genealogical software and I encourage TMG users to continue to press developers to raise their standards and implement features that allow researchers to do the same.

In the interest of preserving users' data, I have released a document that details TMG's internal file structure and I will make GenBridge available for free to developers who wish to produce a direct import from TMG insofar as their programs support the same features.

It goes without saying that this has been a painful decision and is a significant milestone for me. TMG has been a major part of my life for more than 25 years and it is not easy to let it go. I recognize too and regret the degree to which it may leave researchers uneasy about the future of their data and the prospects for their research tools. I am taking a necessary step back from the genealogical community but with the hope that my contribution to it has left researchers better equipped to accomplish their research goals.

Bob Velke
Wholly Genes, Inc. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: John Herbert Dillinger (1903 -1934)

On this Date in History: Jul. 22, 1934
John Dillinger, gangster and bank robber during the Great Depression, was shot dead at Biograph Theater in Chicago, Illinois.

(source: findagrave)
John Herbert Dillinger
June 22, 1903 – July 22, 1934
Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Wanted Poster of John Dillinger, 06/25/1934
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Friday, July 4, 2014

Celebrating July 4th

 (Source: Library of Congress)
1923 Fourth of July parade at Takoma Park, MD

Have a Safe & Happy Fourth of July!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Researching Ancestors in the County of Kent, England

Recently, I spent an evening seeing what general records I could find available online relating to County of Kent, England.
On my 'go to' list of websites are the Online Parish Clerk sites. So that was where I started.
Through the Kent Online Parish Clerks website  (, I was able to find a link to Maidstone Paypers 1834 which provides a list of some of the people receiving parish relief from Maidstone during that year.
According to the OPC, the original Maidstone Parish Chest list contained names of other people for which there was no extra family information so were not included in the extract.
From here I was led into the Rootsweb hosted Kent Genealogy webpage which contains a treasure trove of very useful links for researching ancestors in the County of Kent, England
Now I have plenty of records to peruse through for our ancestors!
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