Computing Genealogist Update

May 1997 Issue - by John Cardiff

PAF 3.0 released

Personal Ancestral File version 3.0 was demonstrated earlier this month at the U.S. National Genealogy Society's annual convention, and is now shipping.

The best news: it costs less. While previous versions have sold for $35 (U.S.), version 3.0 lists for $15 (U.S.)

The good news: version 3.0 includes a wish list of enhancements, so users now get more for less. New in this version: a sources database, longer place name acceptance, support for European character sets, larger database support.

Now users can document their genealogy properly, record full place names (no more abbreviating "Charlotteville Township"), put the accents on French spellings, and not worry about running out of room for the last descendant located.

Although the report we saw didn't specify it, we assume version 3.0 also supports a newer release of the gedcom file format standard, simplifying the import and export of other genealogists' databases.

The bad news: PAF 3.0 is still a DOS program, not a Windows application. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only DOS program unleashed on the public in over a year. No word on when the next (rumored to be Windows-based) version is due.

Palladium acquires CommSoft

CommSoft is history. The publisher of Roots V for Windows and Roots IV (for DOS) has been acquired by Palladium, publisher of Family Gathering.

Palladium is dropping Roots IV and plans to re-package the other two. Family Gathering (which some users have described as 'Roots V Lite') will be re-issued as The Ultimate Family Tree - Entry Level and sell for $19.95 (U.S.)

Roots V for Windows will be enhanced, then re-packaged as The Ultimate Family Tree. With a manual, that CD-ROM will sell for $49.95, starting this summer.

The enhanced Roots V will also be available packaged with databases and a multimedia teaching tool as The Ultimate Family Tree - Deluxe Edition. That will list for $69.95 (U.S.)

CommSoft's existing Roots V customers will be given the chance to buy either the middle or top end version of The Ultimate Family Tree program for $19.95 (U.S.) or $39.95(U.S.)

The Master Genealogist 3.0 is shipping

The Master Genealogist for Windows version 3.0 was also released at the U.S. National Genealogy Convention this month. It comes on a CD-ROM that includes numerous databases, and comes with a printed manual (something fewer and fewer genealogy software vendors are distributing these days.) The vendor lists this program at $29.95 (U.S.), but dealers are already selling it "briskly" at $79.95 (U.S.)

Family Tree Maker 4.0 announced

Broderbund has announced the planned June 10th availability of version 4.0 of Deluxe Edition III of the popular genealogy program Family Tree Maker.

Finally, Family Tree Maker too gets a sources database. Roots and Family Origins have included a sources database for several versions now, and it is good to see PAF, Family Tree Maker and others finally catching up. If you are not using a genealogy program that includes a sources database, you are either working too hard, or doomed to end up producing a second rate genealogy.

Norfolklore looms

Norfolklore 97 will soon be upon us. If you haven't already, mark your calendar. Ontario's leading genealogy fair will be held Saturday, September 27, 2023 at the Armories in Simcoe, Ontario, corner of Robinson and Talbot Streets.

Genealogy newsletter by email

Want a free online weekly newsletter delivered via email? Richard Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter is a weekly summary of events and topics of interest to all computing genealogists. To subscribe, just email a blank message (Subject: Subscribe) to Richard Eastman at [email protected]

Sites, sites, everywhere a site

Norfolk County genealogy sites have gone from nothing to quite a bit in the last year. Here is a list of some you may want to check out:

The Norfolk Historical Society site lists upcoming events, publications for sale, hours of operation, and more. It is at:

The Ontario Genealogy Society/Norfolk Branch site provides information about its activities, including a list of publications for sale. It is at

The NHS' Genealogy Computer Interest Group (GenCIG) includes a wide variety of links to other genealogy sites and other goodies. It is at

John Cardiff, Robert Mutrie and William Yeager have combined forces to create another site that reflects their common interests. Called 'Norfolk Genealogy,' it is at

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