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The Computer Log # 9 for December 31, 2009

Today I am going to talk about a paid Web site and what it does and how it works. This site is, a genealogy site, and it is part of the network based out of Provo, Utah. This site is the one that is advertised on many national TV channels. This site does have a free trial period, which I am using right now for myself. has many millions of files from census records to local historical documents. They also have many old phone books and other historical documents as well. If you are into genealogy and are interested in who you are and where you come from this is the place to go.

It also has many records from mostly the British Commonwealth and other countries, depending on local privacy laws and how well they have there historical records set up. I will say they will only show deceased members of your family to the public unless you make it private, and they will keep your personal info private. You do have a area where you can show yourself but not your living family members even if you put them into the tree. You can also invite other members of to be a Guest, Contributor or to be an Editor.

The fun thing is it will give you a leaf if a possible relative shows up in a data base some where, like a census, news articles or a death certificate. Also it may show if you are related to someone famous. Who knows you may have a queen or president in your family line.

This site is not for the beginning computer user. You have to be a bit literate in the use and how to click through. There is a fairly large learning curve. They have an 800 number for tech support and accounting, that is why they give you a free trial. The site is a bit pricey at $19.95 for a month, a bit cheaper if you get a yearly membership, but it is well worth it. Think of all the gas it cost to go to the courthouses or even get copies of information. I have managed to do in a few days what has taken weeks or months of work before. I have managed to trace my ancestry back to the 1500s on several branches, when before I had only one from genealogy my mother and grandfather did. I would recommend you talk to your older family members to get their input. My best information for myself is my mother. I also use the information that my grandfather had in his genealogy work and my grandmother’s writings she left the family. This is what I call a family endeavor in order to get all my ancestors in the right area. You will need to have paper ready to take notes about some things; the printer is not always the best way with this type of work. You can attach a branch of a tree from someone else's work to your tree. In my case I am working on two trees, one works its way back and the other one is working forward so I can fill in a hole (I hope) on one of my ancestors.

If you do use just remember it can be a fun experience to know where you came from and even who you are related to. A number of genealogy sites are available and if you put genealogy into Google, over 59 million sites are available and one is a free site called another is called and is now the free part of Also do a Google search on “minority genealogy sites.” There were over 65 thousand sites listed. also has a “Slave Narrative” section that is growing daily.

Now my free software is Opera 10 from and is a very fast browser for your computer and a good second choice as a browser. It will run on Windows, Mac and Linux as well as a number of mobile handsets except the iPhone and iPod Touch. Oh well, I guess you cannot have everything.

Franklin S Werren is a computer technician and runs Chautauqua Lake Hosting and Franks Radio in Sherman NY.And can be found on the web at and and via e-mail at

Disclaimer: Neither “Franklin S Werren” or the “Chautauqua Star” have received any money or promotional items in anything talked about in this column.

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