Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free Genealogy Software - PAF 5

I currently use PAF 5 as one of my primary Ancestral Files. This software will allow you to build your family tree, create pedigrees, family group sheets, Modified Registries, Ancestry and Descendants list, Individual Summaries,  and so much more. The Family Search website offers this software for free. There are no gimmicks, or trial periods, just free.    Click here to Download PAF 5 >>    Above is my 5 generation Family Tree using Personal Ancestral File (PAF 5). Click image to enlarge.

About PAF 5:   Genealogical data can be imported into your favorite family history software using GEDCOM files. Another popular file format is PAF 4 or 5 format. Personal Ancestral File 5.2 is a Windows® based version of one of the most widely-used genealogical management programs for home computers. The software program can be downloaded free of charge via the Internet. PAF 5.2 does not provide genealogical data. Instead, its program helps users organize their family history records. It can produce, in automated or manual form, records for personal family histories or charts and logs to help users in their search for missing ancestors.

Update: (March 10, 2014) PAF 5 is no longer available for download. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to Write a Bio - William Aaron Burnes 1967-2006

5 Tips for writing a Bio:

  1. Keep it short! Half page, 1 page max.
  2. Write in 3rd person.
  3. Stick to the Highlights.
  4. Show the person's personality.
  5. Don't be boring!
Here's an example of a Bio that I wrote for my brother:

William: 'wil' (will, desire) and 'helm' (helmet, protection).

William, a man with a STRONG WILL, fought a courageous battle against cancer, but lost the fight on March 13, 2006.  However, as many can attest, he lives on beyond the veil where the human eye cannot see.

William Aaron Burnes was born in Napa, California on May 29, 1967 to Ronald Eugene Burnes & Linda Ann Johnson Burnes.  He was the Grandson of William & Ruth Burnes, and Aaron & Gloria Johnson, and was given the name William Aaron in honor of his two grandfathers.

He lived life to the fullest and succeeded in all that he did.  “Work hard, play hard with a dose of humor” was his motto.  As a marine in the 3rd Recon Battalion for 5 years, he attended the Maritime Fire Academy.  He was passionate about the work he did as a Commercial Fisherman and Chief Engineer Contractor.  He was well known for his creative talent and ability to build anything to which he set his mind. Classic cars brought him a great deal of pleasure, starting with his beloved 1978 yellow Camaro.  His travels took him to countries like Korea, Norway, Germany, Greece, Paris, England, and Japan, and enjoyed scuba diving in some of these remote waters. He loved to read positive books by authors such as C.S. Lewis and Lance Armstrong. He admired influential people like; Ronald Regan, WWII Soldiers and tough wild west Cowboys.

The oldest of 11 children, Will provided an example to his siblings and extended family.  He had the desire to assist those less fortunate and was instrumental in helping many get a fresh start in life.  A strong passion for life, and his faith in God inspired by his Christian beliefs, empowered him to love deeper, give more, and fly higher than most could ever dream.
Before his passing, he felt a great connection with his ancestors and began learning more about them.  It was not long before they began calling him home. The pain was gone and he was welcomed into heaven by loved ones excited to see him again.

“Think of him still as the same, I say, He is not dead, he is just away”.  - James Whitcomb

William Aaron Burnes: May 29, 1967 – March 13, 2006

Written By: "lil sis" - Sarah Burnes Heiner

William Burnes Pictures >>

William Aaron Burnes Online Memorial >>


  1. Keep it short! Half page, 1 page max.
  2. Write in 3rd person.
  3. Stick to the Highlights.
  4. Show their personality.
  5. Don't be boring!
Bio = Short, Biography = long.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting Started with Genealogy

Top 5 Getting Started Tips by Teach Me Genealogy 

Start Organized, Start Talking, Start Documenting, Start Researching, Start Sharing

  1. Start Organized: The best way to keep your Genealogy all in one place is to start organized with these simple materials & programs:
    • Mead Large 5 Star Notebook: Contains 200 pages and 8 pockets. Use this for taking notes while you research or interview relatives, and use the pockets for holding your historical documents and family records.
    • Software: To grow your family tree. Here's one of the FREE software programs I use; PAF 5 from the Family Search Website. Download PAF 5 here: www.familysearch.org/products
    • A Storage Box: For holding all your acquired Family History.
  2. Start Talking: Call or email; mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends to get you started. I found that men are better at remembering stories from events and women are better at remembering names, dates & places. So use both to get a full detailed record of your family history. As you are talking, make sure you are documenting all these details in your notebook or software program.
  3. Start Documenting:  Use your notebook and PAF 5 or other genealogy software to document the details of your ancestors while you are accumulating priceless information.
  4. Start Researching:  Unless you have a family Bible with generations of records, you'll need the Internet to launch you into the next step; research. Here’s our top 10 websites that we use and highly recommend to all: (click on the link to visit the site).
  5. Start Sharing:  Once you’ve recorded your family history, print it out and share it with all your family members, including distant relatives. It's not only a priceless gift, but you are educating your family on your heritage. Knowledge is everything!
*Requires a membership fee that can be payed on monthly or yearly basis, but a Free trial before you decide.

Click here to print this pdf document >>

Monday, January 16, 2012

Think Google Images

Start using Google Images!! Google has made searching very easy.
  • Go to www.google.com/images
  • type what you're searching for in the search box, and hit "enter" on your keyboard.
  • Now only images will come up from your search and you won't have to filter through all the sites.
You'll be amazed at what pictures you find out there on world wide web :) Try it and have fun!!