Category Archives: Deals

Avotaynu Black Friday Sale

Black Friday sale on Avotaynu books

[Note that this sale is now over]

It’s hard to do Jewish genealogy and not come across the books and other publications of Avotaynu, the long time publisher of books for Jewish family researchers as well as the publisher of their eponymous journal. While many printed publications have been overtaken by the Internet, many are just as useful today as when they were first printed. This is particularly true of the many books on names by Alexander Beider.

Avotaynu tries to estimate the total number of books it will sell to avoid doing re-prints, and as such they end up keeping many books in their warehouse. In order to cut down on their inventory they’re having a Black Friday sale (well, actually November 19-27, so more than a week) on many of their books. Of note, when these books sell out there are no plans to re-print them, so if you’ve been thinking about buying one of these books, this might be your last chance.

Avotaynu Black Friday Sale
Avotaynu Black Friday Sale

The books on sale are Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy, Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names, Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia, A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire: Revised Edition, Jewish Personal Names, A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames, Russian-Jewish Given Names: Their Origins and Variants, Where Once We Walked: Revised Edition, A Practical Guide to Jewish Cemeteries, Every Family Has a Story, Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Jewry: 1909–1914. Births, bar mitzvahs, marriages, deaths and other records of Canadian Jewry, Library Resources for German-Jewish Genealogy, Jewish Vital Records, Revision Lists in the Lithuanian Archives, and Eliyahu’s Branches.

See the sale page for the specific discounts which range from 40% to 74% per book.

Note that you need to clock on the Order Now links on the sale page in order to get the discount. If you go to the regular order pages for the books it will charge you full price.

Lastly, I don’t get anything from Avotaynu for promoting this sale. I just like a lot of the books they have on sale, and I want people to know about maybe not being able to get them at a later date. You’re welcome to tell them you heard about the sale on this site, but I don’t benefit from any sales they make.

Family Tree DNA sale (until Sept. 3)

logo-ftdna

Another FamilyTree DNA sale starting right now, and ending in a few days. I think this is the first time the Big Y test has gone on sale since it was originally launched. The Y67->Y111 upgrade is also on sale, something not always the case.

Standard Tests Regular Price Sale Price
Y-37 $169 $129
Y-67 $268 $199
Y-111 $367 $279
Big Y $595 $495
Upgrades Regular Price Sale Price
Y-12 -> Y-37 $99 $70
Y-12 -> Y-67 $189 $148
Y-12 -> Y-111 $339 $239
Y-25 -> Y-37 $49 $35
Y-25 -> Y-67 $148 $114
Y-25 -> Y-111 $249 $209
Y-37 -> Y-67 $99 $79
Y-37 -> Y-111 $220 $179
Y-67 -> Y-111 $129 $109

If you’re looking to get started in genetic genealogy, or were waiting for a sale to upgrade an existing test, now is a good time to order a test.

Mac genealogy software updates

Two Mac genealogy programs were recently updated. (Update: MacFamilyTree also offering a discount, at $29.99, 40% off, through October 27.)

Heredis 2014The first is Heredis, now called Heredis 2014, and available through the Mac App Store at 50% off through November 3, at the price of $29.99 (instead of the normal price of $59.99). The updates for this version are listed as:

    SEARCH WIZARD.

    • This highly innovative feature allows you to take a look at where you are in your research and highlights known or missing items from your genealogy. It suggests different ways forward and proposed various online research tools targeted to websites such as Heredis Online, Ancestry, My Heritage…

    EXTENDED FAMILY VIEW.

    • This new and more comprehensive view of your family shows its composition as a whole: siblings, remarriage, stepchildren, step- brothers and step-sisters, children from other unions of the different partners… noting or not when they belong to the direct lineage.

    FIND RELATIONSHIPS.

    • It presents all the ties that may link two people. Within seconds, this exciting tool analyzes all the connections in your genealogy file to find how two people can be linked, whether they are relatives, or they have common ancestors or they simply have other links (godmother, heir…).

    MIGRATIONS MAP.

    • Trace the movements of a whole family just a few miles away or at the other end of the world on the Migrations map. Pins are numbered to show the sequence of movements and display the list of events recorded in this place.

    HEREDIS ONLINE.

    • Share your discoveries on Heredis Online, the new service for publishing your genealogy data and research on the Internet. You will have a website dedicated to your genealogy, searchable by your family and your friends. Start your research also on Heredis Online directly from your Heredis software over hundred million of people in the online family trees. Get in touch with your cousins!

    MANAGEMENT OF BRANCHES.

    • Memorize the status of your family branches, with ancestors as well as descendants. You may filter only the branch ends, or only complete persons, or only those persons for whom further research is required. You can hide already complete persons or sort by modification date. New charts show the progress of your research.

    DESCENDANTS VIEW.

    • Work on the Descendants View that displays the descendants of the primary person for the number of generations you will determine.

macfamilytree1The second application updated is MacFamilyTree, now at version 7.1. Also available via the Mac App Store, for $49.99 ($29.99 through October 27). The updates for this version are listed as:

    Completely new Web Site Export

    • Configureable Themes
    • Live preview
    • Direct FTP upload (secure connections supported)
    • Includes Videos, PDFs and Audio Media
    • Improved user interface
    • Free upload to our web service MacFamilyTree.com

    Statistics Map (using Apples new Maps, requires OS X 10.9 Mavericks)

    • See where your ancestors lived the longest or married earliest
    • Play slideshows of your ancestors living places across the globe
    • Detailed physical or satellite maps

    Chart Backdrops

    • Add background images for all charts
    • Includes 50+ backdrop images
    • Import your own images as backdrops

    Improved FamilySearch integration

    • Revamped FamilySearch user interface
    • FamilySearch Discussions added
    • FamilySearch change history is now available directly from MacFamilyTree
    • >Improved FamilySearch integration in the Interactive Tree

    Private Information

    • Mark Persons, Events, Families or Sources as private
    • Exclude private information from charts, reports and GEDCOM export

    User Interface

    • Refined user interface
    • Improved navigation
    • Entries count is displayed above each list in the edit mode
    • Sections added to family list
    • Sections added to places list
    • Associated To Do items are now displayed directly for each person, family, event or source.

    Other

    • Optimized for Mavericks AppNap
    • Faster database opening
    • Better To Do management including larger To Do browser
    • PDFs are included in Person Report
    • Improved Interactive Tree including changed coloring for better readability
    • Better Date Parsing and Date Reformatting
    • Improved GEDCOM Import and Export

Heredis for Mac and PC, on sale for $10.99 until July 7

I’ve mentioned Heredis before, which is a genealogy application for Mac and PC (with free companion app available for iOS) created by a company in France. I haven’t used it extensively, so I can’t write a full review, but there are aspects of the application that seem very interesting to me, such as the illustrated charts (i.e. family trees that actually look like trees) and book publishing.

Selecting a chart type in Heredis

Normally the price for Heredis for Mac or PC is $59.99, but for the next 4 days (through July 7) the price has been dropped to $10.99. That price is available if you buy it from their own online store (Mac/PC) or if you buy the Mac version through Apple’s Mac App Store. For that price, one might be convinced to buy it just to use some of the features like the charts or book publishing. If you’ve used Heredis, let other know what you like about it in the comments.

MacFamilyTree 7 Released – upgrade pricing for everyone

A Fan Chart in MacFamilyTree 7

I’ve been using the same genealogy program for about twenty years (Reunion), but that doesn’t mean I don’t look at what else is available. I’m always looking at what other genealogy programs are available for the Mac, and although I haven’t switched, I am open to it if I found a program that really fit my needs better. I’ve written in the past about genealogy programs available through the Mac App Store (and others that are not), so I’ve mentioned MacFamilyTree before.

Yesterday MacFamilyTree received a major update, to version 7, so I thought it was worth mentioning again. It’s also worth mentioning because they are offering upgrade pricing ($29.95 instead of $59.99) to everyone who buys it in the Mac App Store through July 31. It’s a strange quirk of the Mac App Store that in essence companies cannot really offer upgrade pricing to their existing users. When you buy an application from the App Store, you own it forever. To get around this problem, some software companies release a new version of their program on the App Store as a separate program, and then reduce the price for everyone for a limited time. In this case, Synium Software, the makers of MacFamilyTree, are allowing anyone to get the upgrade pricing for the first two months, which I think is quite generous (sometimes companies only offer the upgrade pricing for a week).

Research Assistant feature in MacFamilyTree 7

There are a lots of nice features of MacFamilyTree. In the past, my biggest problem in switching programs was the handling of images. Reunion has a very nice feature that allows you have one image, and cut out the faces of multiple people for use in your family tree. For example, if you have a family portrait with ten family members in it, and it is the only photo you have for all the people, you can select out the faces from the one photo for each family member. This might not seem like a major feature, but when you use it extensively to attach photos of people to their records, it’s hard to switch to a program that doesn’t offer that (and doesn’t import the cropped images I’ve already set up). I don’t know if MacFamilyTree 7 has a similar feature or not, but that’s one of the things I will be taking a look at when I look at the software.

Here’s a look at the new version of MacFamilyTree in a video that Synium released:

When I find the time to take a look in depth at MacFamilyTree 7, I will try to post a review here. If I do end up switching, I’ll try to explain how I moved everything over.

I should just add that I’m very happy that there are now several good options for genealogy software for the Mac. Besides Reunion and MacFamilyTree (Mac App Store), there’s Heredis (which is 35% off through June 9 – $38.99 instead of $59.99 – on their site and in the Mac App Store) and GEDitCOM II (software which has some very unique features that I like, but needs a major overhaul to make it competitive with these others). One of the nice features of most of these programs (not GEDitCOM II) is the availability of a companion app that runs on the iPhone and/or iPad. Reunion has separate apps for iPhone/iPod Touch ($14.99) and iPad ($14.99), MacFamilyTree offers MobileFamilyTree which can run independently of MacFamilyTree (normally $15.99 – now also 50% off through July 31 at $7.99), but can also share data with it, and Heredis offers Heredis for iOS (which is free).

Also of note is that MyHeritage, which offers their free Family Tree Builder software for Windows (a $75 Premium version is also available), has said that the next version (Version 8) will be available on the Mac. It will be interesting to see how that software compares with these other programs. I hope they will offer the app through the Mac App Store, and offer the premium features and subscriptions through in-app purchasing.

Update: Synium Software responded via Twitter that they do support cropping multiple images out of a single photo, as well as importing and exporting that information. Always happy to see companies that respond quickly and directly to customers.