Modern Software Experience

2010-06-14

Family Forest National Treasure Edition CD cover

Millisecond Publishing CD-ROM

Family Forest National Treasure Edition

CD-ROM

Family Forest National Treasure Edition is a CD-ROM published by Millisecond Publishing Company.
They published their first Family Forest CD-ROM on 1996 Aug 21; the Delaware Family Forest, a lineage-linked database of some 44.000 individuals. That CD-ROM was followed by several others, such as the Pittsburgh Family Forest, the Founders & Patriots Family Forests, and the Presidential Family Forest.

software

The first CD, the Delaware Family Forest, could be read by Brøderbund Family Tree Maker. That allowed users to read all data into their own genealogy application, but also required them to already have or buy a copy of Family Tree Maker. Starting with the Presidential Family Forest in 1998, Millisecond Publishing has been using Progeny Software Family Explorer. Progeny Family Explorer’s GEDCOM export feature has been disabled.

databases

Millisecond Publishing Company first combined several of their databases onto a single CD-ROM with the American & European Family Forest Millennium Edition in 2000. The American & European Family Forest Odyssey Edition released on 2001 Aug 21 was the first product to include all previously released databases.

These are not unconnected databases. Even before Milliseconds Publishing combined the databases onto one CD, it decided on the rule that additional individuals may only be added to Family Forest if they are connected to another individual that is already in there. That rule ensures that everyone is connected.

editions

datetitle 
1996-07Delaware Family Forest
1996-08Pittsburgh Family Forest
1996-10Founders and Patriots Family Forest
1998-08Presidential Family Forest
1999-12American & European Family Forest Millennium Edition
2001-04American & European Family Forest Odyssey Edition
2002-10Family Forest 2002 Edition
2003-07-25Family Forest World Record Edition
2004-08Family Forest Leadership Edition
2007-07Family Forest New World Edition
2009-11-12Family Forest National Treasure Edition

Since combining all databases in the American & European Family Forest Odyssey Edition, Millisecond Publishing has released new editions with names like the Family Forest Leadership Edition and the Family Forest New World Edition. The most recent release is the Family Forest National Treasure Edition.

Millisecond Publishing Company changes the product name every time they release a new version. The name changes might make you think that they released a new product, but all their releases this millennium are just new versions of the same products. Millisecond prefers to calls these different editions, but their product actually has a version number. The Family Forest National Treasure Edition is version 4.1.

statistics
Family Forest Statistics

New editions do improve the quality of the database and the software used to access it, but the main difference is simply that the database has been expanded again. The latest edition is the Family Forest National Treasure Edition, introduced on 2009 Nov 20.

The database statistics messagebox that appears after pressing Progeny Family Explorer’s undocumented Ctrl+Z keyboard combination shows that it contains well over half a million, even close to 600.000 individuals. I have a pretty large database myself, and have some idea how much work went into that.

Millisecond Publishing does not mention these statistics in their Family Forest FAQ, yet does link to an apparently hurriedly written erroneous review for an earlier edition that claims their database has family information about millions of individuals.

installation

When I reviewed at Progeny Family Explorer, I skipped installation, simply because I did not know how much it might differ from one CD-ROM product to the next.

When you buy the Family Forest National Treasure Edition CD-ROM, you can opt for an old-fashioned CD and wait for it to be delivered, but you can also opt for a digital download of an ISO file and then burn the CD yourself. I downloaded the ISO file.

The setup program for the Family Forest National Treasure Edition is a common InstallShield Wizard. It default to an installation directory in Program Files as it should, and allows you to change the directory. It creates a desktop icon without asking. Once the installation is done, it offers to start the application. If you agree, it does not not only start the Progeny Family Explorer application, but opens the help file as well.
The setup installs the Progeny Family Explorer version 5.0.10.0 application, it does not install the Family Forest data on your hard disk. The application expect to find the data on the CD.

disclaimer

Millisecond Publishing likes to stress that all data in the Family Forest is sourced, but apparently isn’t convinced about the reliability of their sources. The License Agreement that the installer wants you to choose OK for states that The data was compiled from many sources by many different groups and individuals and is intended for general information only. Neither Millisecond Publishing Company, Inc. nor Progeny Genealogy Inc. is responsible for the accuracy of the data contained on this CD..

running

The Family Forest CD is not copy protected, but the software does demands that you keep the CD-ROM in a CD drive. I initially tried simply extracting ISO file to a subdirectory and then installing the software from there. Judging by the application’s reaction, you’d think I was the first person to ever try that.

When I tried to run the Family Explorer application, it initially produced nothing but a Progeny Family Explorer cannot read from hard disk 68messagebox, after which the app crashed with a terminator(): "C:\Progeny\sandbox\pg183.cpp" LN: 174 ErrCode: 0 messagebox. That second messagebox essentially says that there is a coding error on line 174 of source file pg183.cpp. I find the undescriptive files names interesting; it does not indicate high quality coding.

Demanding that the CD-ROM is present in a drive is a mildly prehistoric and seriously annoying practice.

CD-ROM

The setup does not install the data onto your hard disk. The software expects to find the CD-ROM in your ROM drive. Demanding that the CD-ROM is present in a drive is a mildly prehistoric and seriously annoying practice. The Progeny Software is just as prehistoric; it still uses INI files. The Progeny.INI file in the installation directory contains just one thing: the drive letter of the CD-ROM. Well, actually, it contains what Progeny’s less than smart installation program thinks is the CD-ROM drive; if you installed from some hard disk subdirectory, it contains the drive the letter of that hard-disk.

Changing the Progeny.INI file to contain the drive letter of my DVD drive helped a bit. Family Explorer did not crash anymore, but put up a messagebox asking me to insert the Family Explorer CD. Once I inserted the CD, Progeny Family Explorer worked as intended.

starting up

Family Explorer started by rattling the CD-ROM for about ten seconds, and then showed a chart. Whereas earlier editions of Family Forest opened on a list of names, the Family Forest National Treasure Edition opens with a graphical view, Family Explorer’s hourglass chart. The Family Forest National Treasure Edition does not open on a random person, but on an hourglass chart for Henrietta Maria Morse Chamberlain (1832-1925), because the INI file on the CD-ROM tells Progeny Family Explorer to do so.

Family Forest Explorer Home

Progeny Family Explorer

I started exploring the product by familiarising myself with the software. The Progeny Family Explorer menu could do without the items added after the Help menu, that start your browser, but it is otherwise a fairly normal menu. The help menu brings up a real help file. Below the menu is a button bar with fairly large buttons.

A database that took over a decade to compile deserves better software.

printing

A database that took over a decade to compile deserves better software. Progeny Family Explorer can print various types of reports. When I decided to view a preview for a two-generation ancestral report, it took a few second of disk rattling to retrieve the necessary records. When I dismissed the preview, Family Explorer did not return to the hourglass chart view, but to a person view. You can switch back to the hourglass chart, but every time you switch views, Progeny Family Explorer pops up a dialog box asking you to confirm the options for that view. If you made the mistake of selecting the Names View, before selecting hourglass chart view again, you will not even end up at the same person. It is all rather annoying and makes navigating the database an awkward experience.

The Progeny Family Software review has more remarks about the dated user interface and navigation issues. It additionally notes that the software is slow and memory-hungry, which is a real problem if you want to look at larger reports.
All I really want to convey here is that the low quality of the viewer software gets in the way of exploring the database.

e-books

Millisecond Publishing Company sells e-books that are reports created from their Family Forest database, and if you buy Family Forest you can in principle make these yourselves, but it may not be practical to do so. Millisecond Publishing told me that creation of some of these e-books took months on a powerful PC. Millisecond Publishing told me that this is so because of the many connections in the database - for example, their kinship report of Bill Clinton contains more than 40.000 people. I believe that the multitude of connections is only part of the explanation, the other and probably more significant part being the low performance of Progeny Family Explorer.

I considered contrasting the Progeny Family Explorer performance with some desktop applications, but that should be done using the same database, and Progeny’s GEDCOM export option is disabled

contents

The Family Forest database contains all databases that were initially sold separately, so that includes the Delaware database, the Pittsburgh database, the Founders and Patriots database and the Presidents database. The Family Forest has been updated. The latest USA president, Barack Obama is included.

Family Forest: Ancestors Barack Obama

The Family Forest does not just contain presidents and vice presidents, but all kinds of political leaders, such as cabinet members, ambassadors, governors, senators, and local officials. There are many people from the American Revolution, the American Civil War. The Family Forest is Americentric and includes data from several American hereditary societies that connects many people to American revolutionary soldiers, the Mayflower and the Pilgrims. These connect through immigrants from Europe, and to European royalty and nobility, which stretches back into the Middle Ages and before.
Although the Family Forest contains a lot of data, I had no trouble deciding where to start my exploration.

exploring the database

film poster National Treasure

The name of the current edition prompted me to look for Nicolas Cage, who starred in the film National Treasure. His reference number in the Family Forest is 320758. I learned that he was born as Christopher Coppola on 1964 Jan 7 in Long Beach, CA.

Like many others, I initially entered place names like that, but later put in the time and effort to update them all and use fully qualified place names.
That Millisecond Publishing abbreviates Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, United States of America to Long Beach, CA is a bit disappointing. It creates room for confusion. Users may think it refers to Long Beach in Canada.

The Wikipedia confirms that his birth place is Long Beach in California, but does not agree that his birth name is Christopher Coppola; Wikipedia claims his birth name is Nicolas Kim Coppola. The Family Forest records notes that his name is also shown as Nicholas Kim Coppola, and list the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) as the source for that information, but does not provide a deep link to his page. The sidebar on the Wikipedia page claims the USA Weekend Magazine article The Unlikeliest Hero as its source, but the link is to an Unfortunately, that page could not be found page. All that leaves me wondering what his birth name really is.
Footnotes in the body text of the Wikipedia article links to the California Birth Index (CABI), as contained in the Family Tree Legends database, and according to that database, the birth name is Nicolas K Coppola (no H in Nicolas), and the third link is to a page that claims his birth name is Nicholas Kim Coppola (with an H in Nicholas).

The Family Forest cites the IMDB. At first blush, the current IMDB page for Nicolas Cage does not seem to contain the name Christopher Coppola at all, but when you click the See More link shown after the first few words of the Mini-Biography, you find the following the statement listed under Trivia: Brother of Marc Coppola and Christopher Coppola.
So, a source that Family Forest cites for his birth information does not support their claim that Nicolas Cage was born as Christopher Coppola. It seems that his birth name is Nicolas Kim Coppola, and that Millisecond Publishing associated the name Nicolas Cage name with the wrong brother. Family Forest lists all three siblings, and according to Family Forest, two of them are named Christopher. The Wikipedia information on Nicolas Cage seems to be better.

Wikipedia wins?

The comparison between Family Forest and Wikipedia is not unfair. Both provide information compiled from third-party sources.
Well, perhaps it is a bit unfair. Although the overall reliability of Wikipedia is debatable, it is not surprising that the information on Nicolas Cage is pretty accurate. The Wikipedia page for an Oscar-winning Hollywood star is likely to be continually monitored and maintained by fans that know more trivia about the actor than the actor himself, while Millisecond Publishing compiled information on this actor and then moved on to the next record.

relations

The Family Forest database lists several facts about Nicolas Cage, including the fact that he is an Oscar winner. That is not a random note. The Family Forest contains many Oscar-winning actors, and Millisecond Publishing always includes this fact so you can search the database for Oscar-winning actors. The Family Forest does not not tell you that the Oscar was for his role in Leaving Las Vegas. All it says is Oscar-winning Hollywood actor, as that is all that is needed to enable that search.

The strength of the Family Forest isn’t in many details about each individual, but in all the relationships between the many individuals. Nicolas Cage is currently married to Alice Kim, but has been married to Patricia Arquette and to Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley, who was previously married to pop star Michael Jackson.
Upon learning that Nicolas Cage was born as Nicolas Kim Coppola, you probably wonder whether he is related to director Francis Ford Coppola. An overview of the descendants of his grandfather Carmine Coppola shows that Francis Ford Coppola is a brother of Nicolas Cage’s father August Coppola; Francis Ford Coppola is his uncle.

Family Forest: Descendants Carmine Coppola

Well, in this particular case, Wikipedia actually matches that strength for the most immediate relations; the Nicolas Cage article on Nicolas has a link to the Coppola family tree article, which provides an overview of the descendants of Carmine Coppola, and below it the remark that Amongst Carmine Coppola’s lineal descendants, there have been 23 total nominations and 9 wins in categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score..

Family Forest: Search Oscar-winning

The Family Forest database has a strong focus on Hollywood stars. This ties in with Millisecond Publishing’s Personal Genealogy Connection Service to Hollywood service, a paid service that will try to connect you to a characters and actors in Hollywood movies.
A search for Hollywood actors in Family Forest initially failed with the messagebox There is not enough free system memory to continue the current task. After ending several other tasks, I ran the search again, and after about five minutes, Progeny Family Explorer showed a dialog box with 1368 matches.

National Treasure

In National Treasure, the protagonist Benjamin Franklin Gates, played by Nicolas Cage, steals the United States Declaration of Independence. To solve one of the riddles that lead to the National Treasure, he uses the Silence Dogood Letters written by Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin, one of the signers.  All the signers of the Declaration of Independence are in the Family Forest.

your own ancestors

According to the Family Forest FAQ, some of your own ancestors are in the Family Forest. Millisecond Publishing claims that it is almost absolutely 100% sure that everyone on the planet has at least some ancestors in the Family Forest.
Carolus the Great (Charlemagne), many Roman emperors and Cleopatra are in the Family Forest, so for many Western people the claim is true - but misleading. That the Family Forest contains some of your ancient ancestors does not imply you can trace a genealogical line to them. Unless you have several generations of American ancestors or are close to European nobility, your chances of finding an actual connection to the Family Forest are not so hot.

Dutch royals

None of my known ancestors is in there, but I’ve been working on an ancestry that happens to includes some nobility.
The Family Forest does not contain many Dutch at all. There are only 109 people with an event in Amsterdam. One of these events is the marriage of Maxima Zorreguieta with crown prince Willem Alexander of Orange. I had to chuckle when I noticed the cited source: Vanity Fair. More authoritative sources are easily available. There is a family tree on the site of the Royal Family itself. Maxima’s ancestors are not in the database, not even her parents are in there, and none of their children, the first of which was born in 2003, are in the database. In fact, not even Willem Alexander’s siblings are in there, his mother’s siblings are not in there, and his grandmother’s siblings are not in there either. With so little data on the Dutch royals, it comes as no surprise that there is little Dutch nobility in there. I did not even find a last name match for the Dutch nobility that occurs in this ancestry.

Jean Crommelin

One 17th-generation ancestor is the famed Dutch thinker Hugo Grotius, who laid the foundations of International law, yet even he does not occur in the Family Forest.
After about a quarter of an hour of fruitlessly putting in names, I finally found a match. A 13th-generation ancestor, Jean Crommelin, born about 1560, occurs in the Family Forest (#438816). Family Forest’s source is the website of William Adams Reitweisner, who has many genealogy pages for European royalty and nobility. He lists Jean Crommelin as one of the ancestors of Camilla Parker Bowles, the second wife of Prince Charles, and that explains why Jean Crommelin is in the Family Forest. If they had not married, I probably would not have found any match at all, despite the presence of Dutch nobility.

Leiden

A search to find out how many people from Leiden the Family Forest contains turned up only 8 matches, all Pilgrims. Philippe de la Noye, born in Leiden in 1602 is an ancestor of more than one American president, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Among those eight matches is Alice Carpenter. Her second husband, Plymouth governor William Bradford does not show up in the search, although his first marriage was in Leiden too. To find him, you’d have to search for Leyden. A search for Leyden results in 120 English names. I tried a number of searches to locate Leiden’s most famous citizen, Rembrandt van Rijn, but this most famous of painters is not in the Family Forest - it is that Americentric.

The reliability of sources cited in the Family Forest varies widely.

sources

According to the Family Forest FAQ, Family Forest is the best digital central source for fully documented generation-by-generation ancestral pathways connecting everyday people to each other and famous people. I do believe it is fully sourced, that they’ve always added both fact and source. There are many, many citations.

A database like this is only as good as its sources, so no review would be complete without a look at these sources. A bibliography is provided on the Family Forest National Treasure Bibliography page. That is not the full list of sources, merely the list of books. As noted throughout the review, Family Forest uses many sources, including magazine and newspaper articles, sites such as the Internet Movie Databases and third-party sites. The reliability of sources cited in the Family Forest varies widely.

The reliability of the sources does not only vary because the sources vary wildly. The reliability of just the books varies widely as well. The bibliography contains serious publications from serious genealogical societies, works of doubtful value and books that are even more fantastic than christian mythology.

The third item on the bibliography that list is The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy by Frederick Adam Virkus, published in 1925. In Genealogy as Pastime and profession, Donald Lines Jacobus wrote about this source:

In Chicago seven volumes were published, the first in 1925, of a work called The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy. This work belongs to the same genus as American Ancestry mentioned above. It differed from it in being more comprehensive, more condensed, and less lucid in arrangement. It presented the pedigrees of a large number of people on one or more lines from their first American ancestors. Like other publications of similar type, the Compendium was of unequal merit, depending on the source of the matter printed. Some of those who furnished their data had looked up their ancestry with care or employed genealogists to do so. Unquestionably others furnished much less trustworthy data, and where their personal knowledge was sleight, the editorial staff supplied the deficiency by using such printed sources as were available. As no references are given, users of the Compendium cannot determine how authentic any specific statement is, and because of the high proportion of known errors, conscientious genealogists do not use statements made in this work without verification. It is often a useful reference work for those who know how to employ it properly and who do not trust its statements too implicitly.

Bible

Even more dubious is the inclusion of Everyone in the Bible by William P. Barker. Inclusion of a bible (which bible?) as a source would be eyebrow-raising already, but using a derivative publication when the original is easily available is a genealogical sin. Connecting biblical figures to present-day genealogy - remember, everyone in the Family Forest is connected - is utterly ludicrous.

Citing selected third-party books to support a pseudo-historic ancestry back to Adam of christian mythology is fantastical folly. Even FamilySearch, hardly an impartial judge of christian mythology, says that such genealogies are based on questionable tradition, or at worst, plain fabrication.

Dan Brown: The DaVinci Code book cover

Da Vinci Code

The bibliography contains Bloodline of the Holy Grail, The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed by Laurence Gardner. Laurence Gardner sequel, Genesis of the Grail Kings: The Explosive Story of Genetic Cloning and the Ancient Bloodline of Jesus is not in the bibliography, but his ancient astronaut theory suggests that he has been reading Erich von Däniken.

Like the earlier book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, Bloodline claims that Jesus of Nazareth and his wife Maria Magdalena are ancestors of the Merovingian Kings and all mediaeval European nobility. This theory was popularised through Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code.

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail was largely based on Pierre Plantard’s elaborate Priory of Sion hoax, which was later dismissed by Piere Plantard itself.
None of these books is a reliable genealogical source, yet Millisecond Publishing not only used Gardner’s book as a source, but also sells a specialDa Vinci Code package of ebooks. I do not doubt that some parties are happy that they offer it, but what they themselves are highlighting is hardly the most reliable part of their database.

comparison

Family Forest isn’t the only large lineage-linked database or database on CD-ROM. The more expensive editions of Family Tree Maker Classic came with data CDs. Various historical and genealogical societies have published CD-ROMs and many still do.
Many researchers upload their data to public sites, and some of these databases contain more than a quarter million individuals.

Maximilian database

The Maximilian database contains more than 150.000 individuals. That is considerably less than the Family Forest, but it contains close to 10.000 images and 77.000 notes. It is not available on CD-ROM, but through a lifetime subscription.

Geni.com

Geni.com’s famous Borg Tree consists of more than 40 million profiles. If you are merely looking to connect to a large network, Geni.com may be the way to go. Do not expect anything to be sourced yet; Geni.com only added a sourcing feature in April of this year.

OneGreatFamily

Despite Geni’s Borg Tree, OneGreatFamily still claims to be the world’s largest online family tree. Their single global family tree contains more than 180 million individuals. Access is offered on a subscription basis.

FamilySearch Community

FamilySearch Community Trees are trees researched and created by third parties, specialists in there field, who allow FamilySearch to host the resulting database, complete with all notes. Some of these trees are pretty big.
However, in their eagerness to get their hands on third-party databases and despite earlier criticism, FamilySearch still does not bother to perform any consistency checks, but just dumps the data online. According to the current statistics page, the longest-lived individual is Eveline Alexander; she lived to be 7.071 years old!

alternatives

None of the aforementioned products is a direct competitor of Family Forest, but all are alternatives for Family Forest in some way. What they all have in common is that the data is hosted online.

conclusion

software

The Family Forest CD is in a proprietary file format only supported by Progeny Family Explorer. The memory-hungry, poor performance and low user interface quality of that software get in the way of exploring the database, and as if all that isn’t bad enough, it demands that you keep the CD-ROM in the drive.

Millisecond Publishing Company should tell Progeny to update its software and start looking for alternative database presentation software, perhaps some cross-platform product that does not limit their database to Windows users.

database

The software isn’t too hot, but Family Forest is really about the large database, and the big feature is that everything in it has been sourced. With all genealogies and genealogical databases that are online today, the Family Forest CD-ROM may seem anachronistic, but most freely available large genealogies are unsourced.

The focus is on film stars and the historic figures they play, with Hollywood respect for historical accuracy.

content

Millisecond Publishing’s claim that your ancestors are in their Family Forest may be true, but is likely to be misunderstood. There is a difference between having some ancient ancestors in there and having an actual genealogical line connecting you to that ancestor. Because of the inclusion of many key immigrants, as well as American Revolutionary War and American Civil War ancestors and data from several lineage societies, many Americans with European roots stand a reasonable chance of finding a connection to people in this database.

Family Forest is very Americentric, even Hollywood-centric. Millisecond Publishing calls it a People-centered approach to history, I call it a Hollywood-centric approach approach to genealogy. The focus is on film stars and the historic figures they play, with Hollywood respect for historical accuracy.

There is European nobility in the database, but few Europeans will be able to connect to it, as it focuses on the kings and queens. Most nobility is not in the database.

data consistency

Progeny Family Explorer’s GEDCOM export has been disabled. Because of that, I could not check the database for consistency, nor verify that everyone is connected. I can only state that I did not notice inconsistencies and did not come across unconnected individuals.

standardisation

The place names in the Family Forest database are not standardised, and the citations are rudimentary, not detailed EE-style citations. The sources used are all third-party sources such as books, trade magazines and web sites. I did not encounter any original original source.

sources

The selection of sources Millisecond Publishing used suggests that they are more interested in appealing to a wide audience than producing a reliable genealogical resource. That is not say it isn’t a valuable resource at all, there is a lot of data from very reliable sources in there, just that you really do need to check out their sources. Millisecond Publishing’s attitude towards source selection is reminiscent of the Wikipedia policy that puts verifiability (having sources) above truth. The sources used of are of such unequal merit that citing Family Forest as your source seems as wise as citing The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy.

overall

This product would be so much better if Millisecond Publishing restricted itself to quality sources, took the trouble to standardise the place names, used EE-style citations and provided better software to navigate the database.

The deliberate inclusion of low quality sources makes it hard to recommend it as a reference source for libraries, but does not make this product entirely unsuitable for serious genealogists. After all, for many records, all citations are to highly regarded publications. Despite inclusion of some less than trustworthy sources, Family Forest remains a valuable quick reference to many sources at once - just one that needs to be approached with healthy scepticism.

GEDCOM

Although I find it hard to say just who this product is for, I do know that I would like to have the GEDCOM. This database contains more than half a million individuals, and more than a million citations for more than a million events in close to a quarter million places. That makes it a GEDCOM import challenge worthy of Confucius Cup contenders.

updates

2010-06-16: Virkus’ Compendium

Two days after publication of this review, Millisecond Publishing posted a blog entry about Virkus’ Compendium of American Genealogy. They note that no one has quantified how many errors it contains. They do not quantify it themselves.
They go on to claim that a conscientious person with Mensa-level intelligence spent 15 years digitally indexing, in lineage-linked format, the Virkus collection along with hundreds of other books and periodicals, filtering out annoying and confusing duplication, error checking each entry against everything else that had been previously entered, and connecting them to each other wherever appropriate - and that the Family Forest is the result of that.

Checking out and resolving contradictions and duplications is something you should do regardless of your sources, but when you decide to use a less than reliable source you should to check each statement. As Donald Lines Jacobus put it, conscientious genealogists do not use statements made in this work without verification.
There are records in the Family Forest for which Virkus’ Compendium is the only source cited. Perhaps Millisecond Publishing did verify each statement for errors, but the Family Forest lacks the citations that shows they did.
If Millisecond Publishing has indeed checked every fact, I suggest that they share their uniquely intimate knowledge of Virkus’ work by publishing The Annotated Compendium of American Genealogy - and then cite from that work instead.

product details

propertyvalue
productFamily Forest
versionNational Treasure Edition (4.1)
companyMillisecond Publishing Company
websiteFamily Forest
priceUS$ 89 (about € 73)
requirementWindows XP or later
noterequires CD-ROM in drive
VerdictHollywood genealogy
Ratingunciteable

When I reviewed the product, the website listed Windows Vista as a minimum requirement. That seemed odd considering how dated Progeny Family Explorer is, and when I asked about it, Millisecond Publishing confirmed that it was an error on their site, and that it runs just fine on Windows XP.

links

Family Forest

related articles

competition

Nicolas Cage

sources