GenDetective Video Series Releases!

The GenDetective Video Series has released 4 new videos, updated for GenDetective 3.0!

GenDetective Video Series

The new videos are:

  1. Getting Started With GenDetective v3
  2. My Video Library
  3. My Research Progress
  4. My Maps View

These videos are available for viewing on YouTube now and will be viewable from inside GenDetective 3.0 when it is released in November 2017!

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GenDetective v3: Enhanced Trip Planning Packet!

GenDetective v3 has introduced several enhancements to the Research Trip Packet.  Each county trip packet contains:

  • List of relatives you are researching who lived in the county
  • List of people whose birth certificates/baptisms
  • List of people whose death certificates/obituaries
  • List of people whose marriage certificates/licenses/church records
  • List of people whose estate records
  • List of people for deeds and mortgages
  • A research worksheet for each person

The first enhancement is related to identifying the geography for your trip.  You can now select from 3 options:

  1. One county trip packet (same as in v2 today)
  2. Multi-county trip packet: Identify the counties in a state you plan to visit and the resulting trip packet will generate the research lists by county and include a packet of detailed information for the people.
  3. State trip packet: Identify the state you are traveling to, and GenDetective will identify the counties were your relatives were located, and the resulting trip packet will contain the research lists by county and include a packet of detailed information for the people.

The second enhancement is that you can now pick which research worksheet to include in your research packet.  You can choose from the following:

Research Progress Worksheet

Source Timeline Report

Research Worksheet

Detailed Worksheet

Ahnentafel Report
































We hope you are as thrilled with these Research Trip Packet enhancements as we are!

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GenDetective v3: Who Wants to be a BETA Tester?

My Research Progress

When developing software, one of the last “phases” before releasing a new version is real world testing.  In the labs our software testing is done in a controlled, relatively pristine environment.  What I mean is that the machines have minimal software installed beyond the operating system and its applicable updates.  There is very little software beyond “our product” installed on the machine.

An ideal BETA tester is one who is willing to take a few hours of their time to:

  • Install the software
  • Explore the features “kick the tires”
  • Report any issues
  • And a BETA tester understands the software will not be perfect.  There may be installation issues, or if you click on something it may not work.  The truth is: if the software is perfect a BETA testing period would not be needed
  • BETA testers do not have to be current GenDetective customers.
  • Restriction: All BETA testers must agree not to blog, video, Snapchat, Tweet, discuss or share information about the BETA testing, how it is going, and software features during the BETA.

My Tree View

We have made many enhancements to the software, but the major issues we wished to address are:

  1. Installation issues/conflicts
  2. Better screen layout and management on screens ranging from todays tiny high-resolution 10″ laptops to the huge 27″ monitors!
  3. Faster reporting

Our blog has been detailing the changes:

My Research Progress showing right panel

Configuration of My Research Goals

Configuration of My Research Goals

GenDetective v3 installs and runs on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, with all of the latest software updates installed.  While we have hopes, hopes, that GenDetective v3 will run on a Mac without having to install Windows, we have not begun any testing to see what works and what does not.

If you are interested in being a BETA tester of GenDetective v3, please send us an email at:


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GenDetective v3: My Tree View

Many GenDetective users have asked for a view of their family that is similar to the their desktop software or an online family tree.  My Tree view is new to GenDetective version 3, and is the requested enhancement.

My Tree view uses the familiar “block” view of your family, with lines connecting each person to their parents, and mixes in a GenDetective perspective of your family.  As a reminder GenDetective does not provide a way to edit your family tree; instead GenDetective uses different perspectives or ways of viewing your family to help trigger research ideas and ferret out additional research opportunities.

My Tree View

There are 4 sections to the My Tree view:

  1. The main panel: this area contains 4 generations of your family at a single time.  Depending on your screen size/resolution, there is a scroll bar on the right side to display any people not on the screen.  Each person displays: their name, birth date, death date and a foot print.  The footprint shows your research progress for this person.
  2. Timeline panel: this area is immediately below the main panel and contains the timeline for the selected person.  To see a timeline for someone else, click on that person.
  3. Family panel: this area is to the right of the main panel and contains a list of the people immediately related to the selected person.  Click on any person in this list to display the “tree” for the person.  The Home Person will always be listed at the top of the list so that you can return to the start of your tree.
  4. Research Progress panel: this area is found on the right side of the timeline and displays the details of your research progress for the current person.  Click on any research area to get additional details on your research progress.

Welcome to the new GenDetective My Tree view.

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GenDetective v3: My Family Enhancements

The My Family View in GenDetective receives a small facelift in version 3.  Each of the 3 panels shown above can be resized for space, and the right panel can be completely collapsed to maximize screen space.

My Family View

In the top left hand area (shown below) provides a way for you to filter or limit the number of people displayed in the list.  Click on any of these links to configure your list of relatives.  Options to target your list include:

My Family View Filter

  1. Relationships
  2. Gender
  3. Were in a country
  4. Time period (years)
  5. Have or don’t have an event
  6. Have a reference to a specific source
  7. Reset All Criteria

My Family View Filters

As you configure any of these filters, the text displayed with the link will change reflecting your choices. For example, after selecting multiple options your filter may read like a sentence:

Direct relatives who are male with an event in DEU (Germany) living between 1664-1800 and have a Baptism event.

While the filter feature isn’t new to My Family View we have increased its flexibility and added one more option.  The last select you can make is labeled:  Report.  In the picture above the default report is the “Individual Research Progress” report.  In GenDetective v3 has  been expanded to permit you to choose between 7 different individual people report.

My Family View Pick Report

Clicking on the Report: link will cause the following pop-up to appear where you can pick the report that you prefer from the list of detailed individual reports.

This flexibility in your default report (you can change it any time) provides you with information in the format you prefer.  Remember that any time you click on a person, in the right family panel, in the My Family View, any persons name in My Research Progress or My Maps view, your selected report will be automatically created.  Want a more detailed view, or the information arranged differently, select a different report!

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GenDetective v3: My Research Progress Enhancements

What is the My Research Progress view?  The Research Progress view provides a unique look at your family research, focusing on basic demographic research areas and identifies which people have or have not met your personal goals.  These demographics include:

  • Birth date and location
  • First name and last (maiden) name
  • Death date and location, estate records, burial locations
  • Name of a mother and father
  • Census records each person may expect to be found in (national, state or local)
  • Military service (if applicable)
  • Immigration information (if applicable)

GenDetective v3 provides new flexibility in how you configure your research goals.  For information about these enhancements to My Research Progress see the announcement detailed in this blog post.

In addition to this flexibility, My Research Progress has undergone a several visual enhancements.  The one with the most impact is the right side panel is collapsible, providing additional flexibility for your workspace.  Change the size of each of the “sections” in My Research Progress to best fit your screen or second monitor!

My Research Progress showing right panel

GenDetective v3 offers additional functionality in the My Progress View providing multiple ways to size each area of your screen.

My Research Progress with right panel collapsed.

While examining each of these screenshots you may notice that the tabs that ran down the left side of the screen are no longer present, giving another way to squeeze more screen real estate out of todays smaller laptop screens.  Navigation between GenDetective’s different views is now controlled in three different ways:

  1. The View menu
  2. The current view drop down list
  3. Individual buttons in the toolbar

New Navigational Options in GenDetective

Each of the navigational methods are highlighted in different colors.

These navigation options are continued into each of the GenDetective views providing a consistency in use and appearance.

Coupled with the enhancements to My Research Progress that have been made in GenDetective v3, you now have greater flexibility and control over the presentation and analysis of your research!

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GenDetective v3: My Video Library Enhancements

In GenDetective v3 the My Video Library feature has undergone a major enhancement.  New to v2, My Video Library, started the process of building video content to help users get the most from GenDetective.  In v3 My Video Library has undergone been upgraded.

The GenDetective Video Library now appears as a pop-up window, and the videos when launched are played outside of GenDetective!  This change enables the playing of a video side by side with GenDetective, or if you have two monitors, provides the option to follow along with the video and step by step click as the videos demonstrate!

My Video Library

As in the prior version of GenDetective, one of the primary functions of My Video Library is to download GenDetective videos to your computer.  Downloaded videos are installed into the “My Documents\GenDetective\Videos” directory on your computer.  Once these videos have been downloaded to your computer, you can move them to your tablet (Android or Apple), phone, or any other electronic device that can play mp4 videos, providing an alternate way to view the videos!

A small change, but one that provides additional flexibility.

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