Thursday, December 31, 2020

Join the RootsMagic 8 Community Preview!

Join the RootsMagic 8 Community Preview!

With a new year comes a new release. We are excited to present the RootsMagic 8 Community Preview!

Now, you may be asking yourself- “What is a community preview?”

Basically, it is pre-release software. RootsMagic 8 has already been through extensive development and testing, but there is still some “spit n’ polish” before we are ready to officially release it. The Community Preview is a chance for us to get feedback from a larger group of testers and a chance for you to get acquainted with the software early.

As we are expecting a lot of feedback as we open the floodgates, we respectfully ask that you please do not contact our technical support regarding the preview. Our technicians are still becoming acquainted with the software themselves and are unable to offer any help with it until it is officially released.

In the meantime, we’ve set up a new special Facebook group just for users to discuss the preview with others. We’ve also made a special feedback form to send in any errors, bugs, or suggestions.

Do you still have questions? Check out our Frequently-asked questions for important answers to common questions.

Are you ready to take RootsMagic 8 for an early spin? Get the RootsMagic 8 Community Preview today!

(Copy and paste this URL into your browser.)


Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

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Thursday, December 24, 2020

MyHeritage Announces Release of Genetic Groups Feature

MyHeritage announces enounce the release of Genetic Groups, our long-awaited feature that accurately identifies ancestral origins with an incredibly high resolution of 2100+ geographic regions, more than any other DNA test on the market.

Genetic Groups provide greater granularity than standard ethnicity breakdowns by segmenting larger ethnic groups into smaller ones that share a common historical background. For example, beyond learning that they have Scandinavian origins, a user can now find out that they are Danish, and they may now learn where exactly in Denmark their ancestors came from.

Please find much more detail and information in the full press release here and blog post here.

The outstanding resolution of Genetic Groups and the innovative technology that powers this feature mean that MyHeritage is now able to identify many populations that have never before been detected by any consumer DNA test. For example, descendants of the ancient Jewish communities of Aleppo in Syria, or Tripoli in Libya, can now trace their origins among 55 different Jewish groups supported by MyHeritage. Another population with fascinating history is the Volga Germans — this group is composed of descendants of German settlers who migrated to the Volga River region of Russia and whose descendants later moved to Ellis County in Kansas and other locations. MyHeritage can identify 9 distinct Genetic Groups of Volga Germans. More examples of groups that are unique to MyHeritage include Norwegians from Kvam and Bergen and their descendants in Minnesota, Italians from Potenza and Basilicata and their descendants in the United States, and hundreds more.


Genetic Groups include detailed genealogical insights about each group. Users can view a group's migration patterns and drill down to view its precise whereabouts during different time periods from the 17th century until today. For each Genetic Group, users can view common ancestral surnames and common given names, the most prevalent ethnicities among the group's members, a list of other groups that have high affinity to the current one, and more.


This special animation we prepared for a specific Genetic Group of Mormons tells the story of Mormon settlement in the USA over 400 years, providing enlightening information about the group’s migration history
Genetic Groups are available for free to anyone who has already taken a MyHeritage DNA test, as an enhancement to the ethnicity estimate. Users who have previously uploaded DNA results to MyHeritage from another service and have access to advanced DNA features (including those who uploaded before December 16, 2018 and have been grandfathered in), or who have an active subscription, will likewise be able to access Genetic Groups at no added cost. Users who have uploaded DNA results from another service and do not currently have access to advanced DNA features may pay a one-time unlock fee of $29 per kit to view their Genetic Groups and much more. Users who have taken a DNA test with another service are welcome to upload their results to MyHeritage and unlock access to their Genetic Groups, which will be calculated for them overnight.


This is a gift to all MyHeritage users for the holidays!

We hope you enjoy exploring your Genetic Groups and gaining meaningful new insights about your family history.


Happy Holidays!

Daniel Horowitz

Genealogy Expert

Monday, December 21, 2020

Remember that Genealogy Guys Learn is on Sale throgh December 31st! Regularly $99 for a year's subscription, nwe subscribers can now subscribe for a year for $69!

What a perfect gift for a genealogy friend or family member! Take advantage of this great price by going to the website at, click the red Enroll Now box at the bottom of the screen, fill in the information requested, and enter the code Holiday2020 for your discount.

Order now or on Christmas Eve for a gift, and remember that the sale continues through midnight on December 31, 2020.

Friday, December 18, 2020

RootsMagic 7 Now Runs on macOS11 (Big Sur)

 RootsMagic 7 Now Available for macOS 11 (Big Sur)

We are pleased to announce that RootsMagic 7 is now available for Apple computers running macOS 11 Big Sur. When Big Sur was released last month, it made some changes that broke the wrapper that allowed RootsMagic to run on macOS. While users with previous version of macOS could still use RootsMagic, users who had upgraded to Big Sur found that RootsMagic (and many other software applications) stopped working.

After much work and testing, the wrapper for RootsMagic 7 has been updated to run on Big Sur, as well as prior versions of macOS.

Users who installed a previous version of RootsMagic 7 on their Mac should uninstall RootsMagic before installing the new wrapper. Full instructions are found here.

Those users that are installing RootsMagic 7 on their Mac for the first time may download it here.

RootsMagic 8

In addition to the updated wrapper for RootsMagic 7, we are hard at work finishing up RootsMagic 8.  Version 8 is a fully-native, 64-bit macOS application and runs great on macOS Big Sur. Keep watching for more news about RootsMagic 8.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Slavery Ancestor Project Expands


American abolitionist Harriet Tubman stands with a group of formerly enslaved people she helped lead to freedom. Photo: Bettmann/Getty

A database that gathers records about the lives of enslaved Africans and their descendants is undergoing a massive, crowdsourcing-powered expansion to unlock Black Americans' genealogical histories, organizers tell Axios.

Why it matters: The initiative to be unveiled today by is the latest to reconstruct lost or incomplete timelines and records from the 1600s-1800s, as the U.S. and other nations reckon with systemic racism.

How it works: The general public and outside researchers can submit family histories, runaway slave ads, or documents of purchase to

• Project manager Catherine Foley tells Axios that two levels of review will then determine if the material can be included.

• Users can search their names and town histories and connect the experiences of enslaved people, from voyages to the changing of names, Foley said: "The records will tell the story."

• Technological improvements have helped researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Maryland grow into one of the most comprehensive sites on slavery by organizing millions of data points from multiple university collections.

The big picture: The expansion comes as Americans show heightened interest in their family histories; as U.S. universities, cities and corporations confront legacies of how they benefited from slavery; and as public school districts face pressure to teach more clear-eyed accounts of slavery.

 • Websites like have made old primary documents like birth certificates and baptism records more accessible with a click. Interest also skyrocketed in recent years thanks to Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and his PBS shows on ancestry.

• The University of Virginia organized a consortium of more than 40 colleges and universities to share resources as they confront the role of slavery and racism in their histories.

• Two big British companies — insurer Lloyd's of London and brewer Greene King — promised last year to make certain amends for their historic role in slavery.

• The New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project generated school curriculum changes but a backlash from conservatives who saw a refocusing on slavery as anti-American.

President Trump has pushed back on some efforts to educate about systemic racism and is threatening to veto defense spending to keep Confederate leaders' names on some military bases.

Flashback: "Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together. It will destroy our country," Trump said in September 2020.

• Trump called new scholarship and the reexamining of slavery in the U.S. a "twisted web of lies" and said it was "a form of child abuse" if taught in schools.

What they’re saying: Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor, founder of the National Black Cultural Information Trust, said African Americans have long sought to reclaim their past amidst hostility.

• "Even after the Civil War, former enslaved people put ads in newspapers looking for lost family members," she said. "This website is a continuation of that tradition as we look for our past and family but this time in a digital space."

Source: -

Genealogy Guys Learn Just Published a New Video

Genealogy Guys Learn just published a new video, "Analyze Your Findings" It discusses important ways to collect and analyze evidence in multiple ways, develop hypotheses, and document your conclusions.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Call For Society Grants Program and New Unsung Heroes Program Nominees

Genealogy Guys Podcast, the world’s longest running genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of the acclaimed RESTORE photo and document image improvement software, announce a call for the Unsung Heroes Society Grant Program and a call for nominations for Unsung Heroes Awards.

The partners created the Unsung Heroes Awards in 2019 to encourage, acknowledge and celebrate members of the genealogy community who lead the way in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photos and documents, for use by researchers around the globe. They added a new Unsung Heroes Societies Grant Program in 2020 for societies to apply to receive a scanner and high-quality software to make digitization projects a reality. 

Unsung Heroes Societies Grant Program

This program awards grants to two societies each year to facilitate their digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photographs and documents. The winning grantees each will receive a high-quality scanner, a backup and online storage software package, and two copies of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software to improve the legibility of documents, the color/contrast of photographs, and to add image tags and other important information to the image metadata. The grant package is valued at $500.

Applications must describe the intended use of the grant. Multiple applications may be submitted by a single society/chapter but grantees are limited to one grant per society. The grant application form is available at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at The due date for this grant is by midnight EDT on January 1, 2021 and should be sent to Successful grantees will be announced separately at different times of the year by The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix via press release, social media, and the partners’ websites. 

The first grant recipient society was announced during the 2020 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference. The next recipient will be announced during the RootsTech Connect Virtua Conference February, February 25-27, 2021.

Unsung Heroes Awards Program

The Unsung Heroes Awards Program continues to recognize individuals, societies, and libraries for their work in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photographs and documents and making that work accessible to the genealogical community. All nominations are to be submitted using the nomination form at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. The due date for the next set of nominations is midnight EDT on January 1, 2021, and should be sent to

Award winners will receive a commemorative certificate, a customized mug that can include an image of their choice, and a copy of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. Individual winners will also receive a one-year subscription to Genealogy Guys Learn, the online subscription education program. Winners will be announced by The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix via media release, social media, and on the partners’ websites. Winners for the next round of category nominations will be announced during the RootsTech Connect Virtua Conference February, February 25-27, 2021. Nominations received from non-winners will be retained for consideration for future awards. 

Instructions for Submissions

Full details of the programs are available at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at The grant application form and the award nomination form are available there in PDF format for download. If you have any questions, please email or