Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
In 2010-2018 Iserved in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Presentation on Personal Ancestral File

A week ago it was suggested that FamilySearch Product Support should have a lesson on PAF. I volunteered, and yesterday I had a phone call asking whether I would be prepared to teach the lesson the next morning. I accepted, provided we could get the teleconferencing working on my computer. We then proceeded to set it up on my desktop computer. It was a total failure regardless what we did! In desperation, I switched to my laptop. In about 5 minutes we had everything working. Whew!

I arranged that I would sign in a few minutes early the next day in case there were any last-minute glitches. This morning the technology worked perfectly on the laptop. (A further testimonial of the power of prayer!)For my lesson I did a live demonstration based on the PAF Overview document on my website, and answered questions. It was well received.

The PAF Overview can be read or downloaded from

Monday, January 23, 2012

What are the Most Popular Internet Browsers?

We see a lot of opinions. There is an excellent little article on this subject by
Here is their short answer, but you may want to read the whole article.

Internet Browser Percentage of Users

Internet Explorer 39%
Firefox 30%
Chrome 18%
Safari 10%
Opera 1%
Android 1%
Other 1%
Total 100%

Monday, January 16, 2012

Free 9-Generation Fan-chart Pedigree from

Well, at least it will generate a color chart for you for free if you have an account with either or, since these are the places where it can get the data needed.

Of the 14 people I helped during my shift today, 3 wanted help with this fan chart.
I found two things interesting about this:
1. the number of people wanting it
2. it is not a FamilySearch product, but they came to us for help!

Point #2 is understandable because one of our websites can be accessed from the chart's website:
Still, even if it is not our product, I was glad to help. It is a beautiful chart, but needs to be printed on multiple sheets of paper unless you plan to use a microscope to read it.

Still if you have an account with either or I encourage you to take a look at it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites

"GenealogyInTime™ magazine has put together a global list of the Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites. This is the first time a comprehensive list has been published of the most popular genealogy websites from around the world. Other genealogy lists exist, but they tend to focus on only one country, on only certain types of genealogy websites, or the list contains personal preferences."


Some Top 100 lists leave me doubtful, but this one seems well researched, based on Alexa rankings. I see that is rated as #3, which is probably right. I want to check out some more of these sites.

A shortened version of the URL is: