Making Connections: Software and Surnames

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Hard Facts on Software

In your December 2002 Branching Out, about Generations software, you state, “The software had been something of an orphan since its creator, SierraHome …” Wrong! SierraHome never created Generations. SierraHome purchased the Windows version code of the now Mac-only genealogy program Reunion. SierraHome did rename and package the program, and did considerable marketing. But they never created the program or changed it much from its original version by Frank Leister of LeisterPro.


John Hold

via e-mail

Surname Woes 4 U

I sympathize with Gerry Mos, who wrote about the confusion of his surname with the abbreviation for months (December 2002). I run into the problem with my surname Ring. A great many people use the phrase “does it ring a bell?” in their genealogy queries. I end up with many Rings of no relation.

Norm Ring

British Columbia, Canada

My mother’s maiden name was Headings. 1 have run into the same mess as Gerry Mos. My request for Headings brings up pages with page headings or paragraph headings.

Dennis Buerge

Indianapolis, Ind.

If you think the family name Mos is difficult, what if your family name were May? When I ask the computer to find the name May on a page, I get: “You may not have permission,” “You may have permission,” “May 1,” “May 2,” etc.

Lynne Lankford


via e-mail

For many years, I used the abbreviation MNU for “maiden name unknown” in place of a surname, when a woman’s family name was unknown. I had researched my mother-in-law’s family back to the 17th century. Several years ago, I found a classmate who had married into a branch of this family, and we shared our data. She gave the information to a writer for the county’s historical newsletter, who wrote an excellent article on the family and credited my research. At the end, the writer commented on how important that family was to the county’s history, but then opined that they certainly had an unusual amount of intermarriage with the MNU family, of which there was no history.

William Dunn

via e-mail

From the April 2003 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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