following article is from The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, PA,
and is copyright 2002 by the publisher. It is re-published
here with the permission of the author.
Roots & Branches
James M. Beidler - July 8, 2002
Retrospect has Specialty
about every family historian knows about the heavy hitters in the world of
CD-ROMs and online databases — the Genealogy.com’s, the Heritage
Quests, the Ancestry.com’s.
Fewer people know about Janet McFarland’s Retrospect Publishing,
which is filling a niche for specialty CDs beneath the radar of the
The spring issue of Retrospect’s quarterly online newsletter recently
arrived by e-mail and contains some interesting articles as well as
updates on what the vendor is producing.
So far, Retrospect has produced a number of CDs with
biographical histories and tax lists, including many from Pennsylvania
makes Retrospect’s CDs so valuable are the searches that can be done
with the Retrospector Viewer software.
First of all, every word can be searched, not just surnames.
Secondly, what they call the “plus” search feature (since it’s a
plus sign that is used to broaden searches beyond one specific spelling)
is a great tool.
beauty of the “plus” search is that the plus can be used at the
beginning, middle or end of a word.
For example, if you are researching for an ancestor whose name ends in
the suffix “-macher” but are unsure of how the name begins, then just
use a plus sign in front of “macher” to generate hits for names such
as Wannemacher, Nunnemacher, Rathmacher, etc.
Another good use for the “plus” search would be to put the plus
sign in for vowels in a surname in which those vowels change back and
new Web site also has maps showing the formation of Pennsylvania counties
at several crucial junctures.
The Web site also enables researchers to search the Retrospect catalog,
check all of the CDs for a particular word, or look up a city or town to
find out in which county it is located (mostly derived from DeLorme’s
Pennsylvania Atlas & Gazetteer, 6th edition)
of Retrospect’s CDs are priced at $39.95. Some CDs of tax lists are
Each CD contains the Retrospector program, which makes using the books
on CD-ROM quick and simple. It runs on IBM compatible PCs with
Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP.
To subscribe to Retrospect Publishing’s quarterly online newsletter,
readers may go to the URL, www.retrospectpublishing.com/Forms/Vote3.asp.
To communicate by mail, the address is: Retrospect Publishing, 1307
Warrington Place, Alexandria, VA 22307