Family History Software

Software to help collect and collate family history

Playing with MemoryMiner export

MemoryMiner and exporting. I’m figuring out how to export a library and then transfer that to my laptop, so that I can show you MemoryMiner if you’ll be at the SoCal Genealogical Jamboree (Twitter hashtag #scgs09) this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The app is available on both Mac and Windows; I’ve got the Mac version, of course/ The export process isn’t the most obvious, so I’m writing about how I will accomplish it.

How I will... notice the future tense. This is still a work in progress.

The photo library dates back some time, and individual photos reside all over the frickin’ place on my computer—some in iPhoto libraries, some in folders each of which representing different scanning session, the most recent of which was an ego-scan session to compile a set of photos of myself for a birthday party invite. The photos themselves are pretty large, if they’re PSD (photoshop) files, because I scan them at fairly high rez. Many photos are over 20MB in file size. The largest, I think, is around 60 MB.

I decided to work with an external disk drive (easy to change from my main desktop computer to my ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on June 23, 2009 in • Family History SoftwareHow-ToPersonal HistoryPhotographs
(2) CommentsPermalink

Memory Miner is now on Windows!

imageGo and get it! Just in time for Family Tech Support Holiday, I mean, Thanksgiving! wink I kid (but I have blogged Thanksgiving Tech before), but it’s true.

MemoryMiner is a photo album and then some (it won best of show when it was introduced at Macworld in January 2006)—import your photos. Identify the people in the photos, the places, and the date the photo was taken (even if your date is approximate). The more you add and work with, the more you can look at photos differently. Let me see photos of Grandma Kitchens, taken in her childhood and teens (1901-1920) before she married Grandpa and became a “Kitchens.” Click the icon for her, and move the date sliders to show 1901-1920. Voila! Your photo album just got rearranged to show only those photos.

Since early in the days of MemoryMiner (Mac), photo libraries have been sharable. So ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 19, 2007 in • Family History SoftwarePersonal HistoryPhotographs
(0) CommentsPermalink

(UPDATED) goes beta: Their Terms of Service Stopped Me Cold

The promise of is compelling. Store information about your life. Forever. They’re thinking way far ahead– they’ve established a non-profit foundation to store the stories in perpetuity. Sounds great. But I’m not going to use the site. (Well, beyond a quick signup and look see.) The Terms of Service has a big gotcha in it: You grant and its parent company, Eravita, a 6% (minimum) royalty of any money you make on the proceeds of any commercial creative endeavors of the story of your own life.

UPDATE: I heard from the site’s COO. They’ve changed the TOS and deleted the objectionable part. Continue reading the original post and, at the end, the relevant portion of email from’s COO.

The TOS was brought to my attention by my friend Cynthia, who visited the site the first day it was open.

Today’s the first day I’ve had a chance to visit, and I’m rockin’ back on my heels. I’m scared to even sign up to see what is behind it. 

Here’s the part of their TOS in the big capital letters (side note: Why oh why does the most important stuff get printed in all caps, which, when presented in paragraph form, make the most important stuff the hardest to read?)

Note: They updated their TOS, view note at end of this post for more info.


Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on July 07, 2007 in • DigitalityFamily History SoftwareLongevityPersonal History
(4) CommentsPermalink

Podcast 3: MemoryMiner and John Fox

An interview with John Fox, MemoryMiner’s developer. MemoryMiner 1.1 (MacOS) is released today, July 14, 2006, MemoryMiner for Windows is in development. I interview John Fox about the software and his inspiration for creating it. (Interview from May, 2006)

Show notes:

MemoryMiner homepage

Subscribe to the podcast feed

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on July 14, 2006 in • Family History SoftwarePersonal HistoryPhotographsPodcasts
(0) CommentsPermalink

Playing with MemoryMiner (of which more soon)

(updated) I’ve been sitting down and seriously working in MemoryMiner, MacOS software for organizing family photos based on person/place/date and interconnections. Tomorrow, I’ll attend a local Macintosh event where John Fox, MemoryMiner’s developer, will attend. I’m compiling a list of questions for him about the software, and will probably record an interview. (yes, more podcasting is in order!) My goal is to create something to show with MemoryMiner for the upcoming session on Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Vloggercon in about (gulp!) three weeks.

UPDATE: After sitting down with John Fox at the MacGathering, I’ve gotten some of my “why does this happen when I do that?” questions answered (always a good thing) and I’ve gleaned a couple of news tidbits to share about MemoryMiner. Version 1.1 will be out very soon (a matter of weeks, not months). It’s got more compatibility with other software, specifically:

Genealogy software’s GEDCOM file format. Export your work from Family Tree Maker or Reunion or others (lists of Windows and Mac genealogy applications) and import it into MemoryMiner. (Don’t repeat work you’ve done already. Yay!)

Mapping software: Use Google Earth to pinpoint a location where a photo was taken, and export ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 18, 2006 in • Family History Software
(0) CommentsPermalink

OurStory launches, first impressions (it’s Beta, and it breaks)

(updated) OurStory, a web app for sharing personal and family stories, just launched. I’m trying to check it out and got stuck at the new user registration page. The Terms of Service is two words shy of 3600 words–oof! (It’s displayed in an impossibly small box, 9 lines high. It took me over 40 clicks on the scroll bar to scroll through it all.) And that doesn’t count the privacy policy, which I think is more important– if I’m going to put stuff from my own life–words, photos, media files, onto their servers, I want to know what sort of safeguards they have about that data, and whether it’s still “mine” or does it become “theirs.”

My thoughts and expectations, before even seeing what’s inside: I expect that the site will provide a way for me to organize things. It will ask questions to spark stories. I assume that it will allow for uploading of pictures. Movie files? Audio files? Don’t know yet, but would assume so.

One concern I have at the outset is that I must register before the link called Q&A works (it leads to a register screen). Since the site has hinted about asking life questions, I don’t know whether Q&A refers is a differently-named FAQ  about the site or not. Also, the site doesn’t have a set of screenshots displaying what it’s like once you’ve signed up. The site is in beta, and no doubt the ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 17, 2006 in • DigitalityFamily History SoftwareLongevityPersonal History
(1) CommentsPermalink

Memory Miner: Family History App for Mac OS

MemoryMiner is a MacOS app that’s more than the means to annotate your collection of family photos: It provides options for identifying people and their relationships, the time and place of photo, or places a person has lived or a person’s life. Echoing the interconnectedness of person, places and events, the software builds up a in order to build up a portrait of a person and family relationships. Further, it has the ability to attach audio files to pictures. Hooray! Now my Mom, who won’t learn to type, but is the repositor of family info, can “talk about” the photo and date and time, and not be held back by the tangle of fingers and keyboards.

I watched the demo movie once—it requires QuickTime 7, it would seem. Which I used to view the movie elsewhere, but not at this machine. Anyway, it was an amazing demo movie. Here are pictures of a person. For each, you identify who the person is, what relationship the person is to you (Grandmother, Aunt, Great-Aunt, etc.), when the picture was taken—specific time or approximate. You can draw marquees around different people in the photograph to identify more than one person to a photo. View photos of one person, or this person and that person. Drop an audio file (and thereby link it) to an image. Or create a text annoation of the image. Further, you can identify places where photos ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 18, 2006 in • Do it: YourselfFamily History SoftwarePhotographs
(1) CommentsPermalink