On This Page

Version 1.82



  • Newspapers.com: Updated the two predefined Search Targets for Newspapers.com in response to changes by Newspapers.com
  • Fold3: Updated the service in response to HTML changes by Fold3 that disabled the OraPanel on image pages
  • OraSettings: Added HTML parameters to the page in hopes of avoiding Microsoft CoPilot suggestions for text fields

    This is a behavioral change only. There are no visible changes.

  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • GenealogyBank.com: Fixed a bug where the OraPanel did not appear on newspaper image pages under some circumstances

Version 1.81


  • Find a Grave: Changed image extraction in response to changes by Find A Grave (example)
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • English Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org): Added a tweak that extracts Fields from Wikipedia "infoboxes" that often appear in the upper-right of a page (see example)
    • BC Archive at Royal BC Museum (search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Genealogy): Updated to fix an issue with links lost due to the way the tweak manipulates the page contents to be compatible with the Generic Service (see example)



Version 1.80




Version 1.79


  • Findmypast: Added downloadable templates for Family Historian users who use Ancestral Sources to add records to Family Historian from Findmypast census records; see Library Templates: AncestralSources
  • Ancestry: Added per-person Fields when a record includes references to other people, such as other household members in a census collection
  • Dates: ORA now recognizes dates when their date parts are separated by non-breaking spaces anywhere it required spaces before (NBSP)
  • OraSettings: The page header now includes both the OraExtension and OraHost version numbers


  • FamilySearch: Updated the service to handle Field values where there is a pull-down menu to show the "edit history" (Event Place example)
  • Findmypast: When a record page includes multiple records, such as a census page, when you switch to another person, ORA now resets edited Field values to prevent an edited value for person "A" being used for person "B"


  • GRO UK: Fixed a bug where ORA did not extract the volume number correctly for certain item formats

Version 1.78


  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • U.S. General Land Office Records (glorecords.blm.gov), updated tweak for latest HTML (see example)
    • BC Archive at Royal BC Museum (search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Genealogy), new tweak (see example)


  • Dates: Fixed an issue where some ambiguous dates were interpreted using the wrong locale (example where dates were incorrect in v1.77)

Version 1.77


  • Dates: Fixed an issue where a page with an invalid date according to the page's locale generated a month with the value "undefined"

    For example, on a page with the locale "en-AU", and a date "09/28/1939", ORA would interpret that as a date in d-m-y sequence (due to "en-AU") and the result was "09 undefined 1939". Now, ORA will detect that the date parts are in m-d-y sequence and produce "28 SEP 1939". Ambiguous dates, like "04/01/1939" will not be interpreted properly due to the locale/date format mismatch. The repository and/or author should format dates according to the specified locale or use an unambiguous date format.


Version 1.76


  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (gmct.apps.vertigisstudio.com), new tweak forces locale to "en-AU" to assume d-m-y date part sequence (see example, OraPanel refresh required after page finally loads)


  • OraHost v1.72: Updated to support Template Library Export to File and Import from File options


  • Ancestry: Fixed a bug which hid OraPanel on some Ancestry Family Tree pages

Version 1.75



  • Transforms: Fixed a bug where ORA ignored the last parameter of a transform if the parameter was empty

    This fix may reveal small errors in your templates. If you mistakenly added a trailing ":" to a Field reference with one or more transforms, the final transform will now process the final parameter whereas in prior versions of ORA it would not. If you see any error messages after this update, that is the first thing you should check.


Version 1.74


  • OraSettings and OraPanel: Added the Parent Collections feature
    • Fixed a bug where a collection with a parent but without templates of its own was not included in the Collection Report
    • Added parent collection information to the Collection Report including a "Parent Collections" section and parent and child information in the collection details
    • Fixed a bug where the "Existing Parents" pull-down menu included the wrong service name
    • Changed how the parent collection was recorded inside the ORA database; this change effectively deletes all parent collection assignments made in v1.73.01 so you'll have to use the [Choose Parent...] button again
    • Added the "Existing Parents" pull-down menu to make it easier to choose a collection you have already used as a parent for some other collection
    • Collections that have a parent assigned are now omitted from the Collections pull-down menu on the Choose Parent Collection panel


  • Newspapers.com: Fixed a bug where the Collection ID field was not set properly for some Newspapers.com pages
  • Templates: Fixed a bug where persistent variables whose names begin with "var." were included in the OraPanel despite the Change Log entry in v1.48

Version 1.73


  • Dates: The date transform will now ignore "?" in a value that is otherwise recognizable as a date

    This means, for example, if a Field named "Birth Date" has the value "? Mar 1780", the result of [Birth Date:date:yyyy-mm-dd] will be "1780-03-00". However, "1 ? 1780" will not be recognized as a date after the "?" is removed, and neither will "1 MAR ?". Effectively, ORA will recognize dates where the "?" represents an unknown day number, and will recognize some dates where the day and month are unknown, such as "? 1780" or "? ? 1780".

  • Dates: Added quarter date formatting codes d, dd, sm, smm, cm, cmm, em, and emm
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • TruePeopleSearch.com: Updated to handle current HTML on the detail pages of this site
    • Irish Genealogy (churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie and civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie), added PDF link detection where ORA adds two fields for each PDF link on the page (see example and help page)

Version 1.72


  • OraHost v1.70: Updated to fix window size issue
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Irish Genealogy (churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie and civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie), improved field labels from tables with embedded headings like "Mother" and "Father" (example)
    • Public Records Office Victoria (prov.vic.gov.au), modified tweak to extract more fields (grant dates example)

Version 1.71


  • Place Transforms: Adjusted the place parser to improve results when parsing US city values that include the word "beat" which is (or might be) used to indicate a voting precinct or other division of a city
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Connecticut Genealogy, new tweak (site)
  • OraHost v1.69: Updated to use .NET Desktop Runtime 7.0.nn, replacing .NET Desktop Runtime 3.1.nn

    If you install v1.69 of OraHost, you may need to install the .NET Desktop Runtime 7.0.nn package first. Your version of MS Windows may or may not include .NET Desktop Runtime 7.0.nn already.

    If you download and install v1.69 of OraHost, you must run the OraRegister program even though your registration data has not changed. OraRegister updates information used by your browser and by OraHost and if that update is not performed, your browser will not be able to start OraHost.

    Beta testers: If you get any strange errors when installing OraHost, or in your browser after installing OraHost such as little or no contents on the OraSettings page, stop there.

    Errors on the OraSettings page probably indicate that OraHost is not running, and further, that probably means that there is an issue with the new .NET 7.0 runtime prerequisite or some changes related to using the new version of OraHost; there were lots of little changes required due to the new runtime package. If you get any error like this, do not try to fix it yourself and please do not download/install any .NET runtime packages despite what it says above. Report the error/issue and I will probably ask you some questions; I need to understand what .NET runtime packages are already present in MS Windows.

    I will update the installation help page once I have some confirmation that the new version is operating as expected.

    If you get mostly normal results where the OraPanel is visible or the OraSettings page looks correct, any other unexpected results are probably not related to the OraHost change.


Version 1.70


  • Find a Grave: Handle names where there is an icon following the name (example)
  • Findmypast: Handle pages where the residence address is in an H2 element

    This corrects an issue where OraExtension was not extracting the collection properly. (example)


Version 1.69



  • Place Transforms: Adjusted the place parser to improve results when parsing places in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Version 1.68


  • Ancestry: Updated Search Targets to include country names
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • US Social Security "Numerical Identification Files", new tweak (example)
    • US Veterans Affairs Gravesite Locator, new tweak (search form)

Version 1.67


  • Ancestry: Added some logic to observe changes to the Tree Owner value to catch changes to the value after the page is loaded
  • Newspapers.com: Added support for a new clipping format/URL where the URL includes "/article/" rather than "/clipping/"
  • American Ancestors: Improved extraction of location values
  • OraHost: Updated to supply "MyHeritage" collection name in Collection Report


  • Ancestry: Fixed a bug on DNA Match pages where ORA was extracting the Group values for multiple tests rather than only the matched test

Version 1.66

Special thanks to all the ORA users who contributed to offset the cost of a MyHeritage subscription!


  • MyHeritage: Fixed a bug that caused incorrect URLs in OraPanel's "Record Page" Link
  • Rebuilt the installer and incremented the version number in an attempt to fix issues that appear to be related to a bad installer for v1.65.04
  • MyHeritage: Added new custom service (myheritage.com)
    • DNA: Fix: If the ORA user navigates from the current match to another while staying on the DNA Match page, ORA will now refresh the OraPanel
    • DNA: Fix: If DNA Match records are marked pending or questionable, links in the Pending and Questionable lists will now work as expected
    • DNA: Now extracts the Match Note Field if the Notes value is visible when the OraPanel is refreshed
    • DNA: Now extracts the Managed By Field
    • DNA: Change: "Labels" for DNA Matches are now extracted to the "Groups" Field for consistency with Ancestry DNA matches
    • DNA: Now supports DNA Match pages
    • Encode HTML in values, i.e., for "<private>"
    • Now adds Fields extracted from the second and subsequent data sections (example 1, example 2)

      "Household members" sections are not extracted. Too many issues.

    • Fix: ORA now removes periods from Field names (example)
    • Fix: Record Lookup now enabled on OraSettings page
    • Fix: Quarter dates now handled properly; this beta-only issue may have affected other services (example)
    • Fix: Some compound values (where text, a date, and a place are combined in a single MH Field) were missing the initial text, such as "Spouse: name" (See: Marriage in example)
    • Fix: Family members (parents, spouses, children, etc.) now parsed properly / more usefully in some tree-type pages (example)
    • Deleted Source.Collection Field; use [Collection Name] instead
  • Ancestry: Now extracts the Groups assigned to a matching DNA test, if any
  • Transforms: Modified the extract and extractIndex transforms to return an empty string if (A) there is a capture group defined in the pattern but (B) the resulting capture group is empty; prior to this change, extract and extractIndex would return the entire matched substring if the capture group was empty

Version 1.65

You must install version 1.66 of OraHost to enable two of the changes listed below:

  • A time stamp on the Collection and Template library reports
  • A new Open Log File command on the OraSettings page


  • Newspapers.com: Added two new Fields:
    • Newspaper Page — This is a Link value in the OraPanel which opens the newspaper page image associated with the current page. On image pages, it is a short version of the current page's URL. On clipping pages, it is a short version of the URL for the page from which the current item was clipped. It is provided mostly so you can use the clipboard icon to copy a short version of the page's URL.
    • Newspaper Page URL — This is a hidden Field: it does not appear in the OraPanel. Its value is the short URL used with the Newspaper Page link described above. You may find the Newspaper Page URL useful in templates.
  • OraSettings: The Collection Report and Template Library Report now include date and time stamps to indicate when the reports were created
  • OraSettings: Added the Open Log File command in the new OraHost section
  • Templates: If a template refers to a Library Template that does not exist, ORA will stop evaluating the template and issue a warning message

    In prior versions, ORA would insert an error message into the value.

  • Templates: Indirect References are now supported in Assigments and Value Tests
  • OraPanel: Fixed an issue where Text Templates were sometimes added to the OraPanel out of sequence
  • Transforms: Modified the dateYear transform to return the year part of a quarter date, such as "1904" from "Q1 1904"
  • Dates: Fixed an issue introduced by the change below, "Changed the quarter date detection logic..." where Field names would sometimes change due to ORA not remembering which Field contained the quarter value
  • Dates: Changed the quarter date detection logic to allow more Field names to match the "quarterly month" filter

    For example, ORA v1.65 will detect a quarter date in this Ancestry record where as v1.64 and prior did not.

  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Google Books (books.google.com, www.google.com/books), adjusted tweak to avoid a display issue with old (books.google.com) version of the site

Version 1.64

Special thanks to ORA user Carl Nelson for helping troubleshoot issues with Auto Type.


  • OraHost/Auto Type: Adjusted the method OraHost uses to bring the target application to the front; this is intended to solve an issue in Windows 11 where the first Auto Type in a browser session failed, but subsequent attempts in the same browser session succeeded

    You must install version 1.65 of OraHost to get the benefit of the change described above.

  • Ancestry: Updated the service to handle an HTML variation for "other people mentioned in record" based on which URL is used to access the record (compare the table for this version to this version)
  • Templates: Added a new Option Value, o.Template Name
  • Templates: Added Indirect References

Version 1.63


  • OraHost/Auto Type: OraHost now delays for a tenth of a second after switching to the target application and verifies that the target window is in the foreground
  • OraHost/Auto Type: Changed the method OraHost uses to bring the target application to the front
  • Transforms: Added the queryValue transform
  • Templates: Added several Option Values you may reference from any template

Version 1.62


  • Findmypast: When an FMP collection is from the United States, ORA now sets its locale to "en_us"; this should improve date parsing in US-based collections with dd/mm/yyyy dates
  • OraPanel: Added a class to tell Google Translate not to translate the OraPanel


  • OraHost/Auto Type: Modified ALT key handling to address an issue where ORA was not creating the keyboard events exactly the same as if the user typed the keys

    You must install OraHost or this change will not apply. Please see the OraHost Update Instructions. You do not have to wait for OraExtension v1.62 to be available for your browser before installing OraHost v1.62. OraHost v1.62 is compatible with OraExtension v1.61 and prior.


Version 1.61



  • Record Status: Fixed a bug where ORA was not responding to clicks on Record Status icons because ORA was using a non-standard/deprecated API that has been removed from Google Chrome

Version 1.60

This version is dedicated to Janice.



  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug where HTML for the Record Status menu was added to, and visible on, pages for blocked hostnames

Version 1.59


  • New York City Historical Vital Records: Added new custom service (a860-historicalvitalrecords.nyc.gov)

    The Generic Service tweak for a860-historicalvitalrecords.nyc.gov has been removed in favor of the new custom service that supports Record Status icons and multiple collections. If you added templates for the a860-historicalvitalrecords.nyc.gov host under the Generic Service, you must copy them to the new custom service. Templates will probably require modification due to some new Fields and modified Field names.

  • Find a Grave: Now extracts cemetery name and address when viewing cemetery pages (example)
  • Find a Grave: Updated the service to respond to a change to the HTML for the memorial's geocoordinates
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Public Records Office Victoria (prov.vic.gov.au), new tweak


  • Find a Grave: Fixed an issue where the name included the suffix "Famous memorial" when extracting from memorials for famous people

Version 1.58

Please update OraHost to version 1.58 or greater.


  • OraPanel: Changed the name of the Control Panel to "OraPanel"
  • OraPanel: Made appearance and behavior changes
    • When collapsed, the Refresh icon is removed, the Service name is removed, the panel width is reduced, and the Expand/Collapse icon has been rotated 180°
      Collapsed OraPanel, v01.57 and Prior (old)
      Collapsed OraPanel, v01.58 (new)
    • On Generic sites where ORA renders the Add/Block version of the panel, the initial state is collapsed; the user must expand to Add or Block

    The primary goal of the changes above is to reduce the visual impact of ORA when the OraPanel is collapsed. A secondary goal is to make it easier to ignore the Add/Block version of the OraPanel.

    • The Expand/Collapse icon tooltip is now customized to the current state
      • Old tooltip, expanded or collapsed: "Expand/collapse panel"
      • New tooltip, expanded: "Collapse panel"
      • New tooltip, collapsed: "Expand panel"
    • Changed the default cell border width from 1px to 0.5px to avoid an issue in Chrome where a 1px border will sometimes render twice as thick for certain cells
    • Added a 1px white border to the OraPanel to show its edge more clearly on pages with a dark background; with enclosed elements, panel now has an outer 1px white border and an inner 1px dark border
  • OraPanel: Fixed an issue where the Firefox version of the collapsed OraPanel included the Refresh icon and Service name
  • OraPanel: Fixed an issue when using Generic Service on ora-extension.com
  • Printing: Adjust CSS to prevent ORA from interfering with print layout when printing repository pages
  • OraSettings: Added Evidentia 3 to the Target Applications list
  • Ancestry: Updated the service to handle new URLs and other changes related to the new parent options for reviewing DNA matches
  • Ancestry: Added support for record data pages where the URL includes "/collections/ccc/records/rrrrr" where "ccc" is a collection ID and "rrrrr" is a record number
  • FamilySearch: Updated the service to handle changes to the source citation HTML
  • Feature Usage: The "usage.csv" file will now retain usage data for features used within the most recent 28 days rather than 7 as in prior versions
  • Feature Usage: The "usage.csv" file will now capture results even when multiple browser instances are used at the same time, such as using ORA in Firefox at the same time as using ORA in Chrome

Version 1.57


  • TheGenealogist: Updated to handle recent HTML changes
  • Templates: Updated the "US city to county" table for Portland, Oregon
  • Templates: Updated the build process to account for changes to the ORA Tables project where the "US city to county" items are now split into separate JSON files, one per state/possession
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Google Books (books.google.com), new tweak
    • Google Books (books.google.com), adjusted the tweak to handle international TLDs like ".co.uk".

Version 1.56


  • OraSettings: Added the User Field Styles section to control the appearance of OraPanel cells where the Field value has been specified by the user
  • OraSettings: Fixed an issue where Firefox did not apply the User Field Styles
  • OraSettings: Added a collapsible template legend
  • OraPanel: Added CSS styles to omit the OraPanel from the parent page when it is printed
  • FindAGrave: Updated the service to handle another change to the relatives HTML
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Numérique (numerique.banq.qc.ca), new tweak for PDF viewer pages

      You may have to wait for the PDF viewer to appear and then refresh the OraPanel to see the document meta data that ORA extracts from the information pane.


Version 1.55

Happy Anniversary, Casey and Nick!


  • Ancestry: Updated the service to handle new HTML in the image page side panel where ORA extracts Fields from the Source Citation text
  • Made several internal changes that should not be visible to end users.
  • Ancestry: Fixed a bug where some breadcrumb items were not extracted into Source.PathN Fields
  • BillionGraves.com: Fixed timing-related bugs where the OraPanel did not appear under some circumstances
  • BillionGraves.com: Adjusted the styles for the new grave page to provide space on the left for OraPanel
  • BillionGraves.com: Updated to handle recent changes to the HTML; see the repository help page for details

Version 1.54

Happy Halloween!

Yes, you're old, and you scare little children, but today you can get away with it.



Version 1.53


  • OraExtension: Updated Chromium-based browsers (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera) to use the "Manifest v3" API

    After this update, browsers will now take a little longer to start the ORA extension. The OraPanel may not appear when you first open a page, or you may see a message that "ORA is not available" on the OraSettings page. In either case, please use F5 to refresh the page and force the browser to load ORA.

    For more details, please see Tech Note: Manifest v3.

  • American Ancestors: Added new custom service
  • Transforms: Added the isLowerCase, isMixedCase, and isUpperCase transforms
  • Transforms: Added the queryInner transform
  • Transforms: Modified the capitalize transform to change ordinal suffixes (1st, 2nd, etc.) to lowercase
  • Ancestry: Adjusted the service to capture the "breadcrumb path" at the top of image pages into "Source.Path1", "Source.Path2", etc., Fields
  • FindAGrave: Updated the service to handle a change to the HTML that prevented the extraction of the names of relatives and other issues

Version 1.52


  • Find a Grave: Now captures names of family members in Fields named by the relationship ("Parents", "Spouses", etc.)
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Historic Graves (historicgraves.com), new tweak


  • OraPanel: Fixed a bug where the OraPanel would not appear when the page's Canonical URL was relative or invalid

Version 1.51



Version 1.50


  • Ancestry: Adjusted the service to capture Source.Year Field for 1850 U.S. Federal Census
  • Find a Grave: Now captures ID and name of primary photograph submitter
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au), new tweak
    • FreeBMD (freebmd.org.uk), now handles two-character month abbreviations
    • Irish Genealogy (churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie and civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie), new tweak
    • Manitoba Vital Statistics (vitalstats.gov.mb.ca), add Record Type Field
    • U.S. General Land Office Records (glorecords.blm.gov), new tweak

Version 1.49



Version 1.48


  • Templates: Persistent variables whose names begin with "var." are now omitted from the OraPanel in the same manner as Text Templates whose names begin with "var."
  • Fields: Added [Page.Visible URL] to the Page Field Group
  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Digital Archives (digitalarkivet.no), new tweak
    • Digital Archives (digitalarkivet.no), minor adjustments to tweak
    • Internet Archive (archive.org), ignore site-supplied meta URL in favor of full URL from address bar


  • Findmypast: Fixed a bug where URLs were incorrect in several Fields when viewing newspaper images

Version 1.47


  • FamilySearch: Fixed an issue where ORA did not update its OraPanel after the user clicked the [View Record] button in a slide-out panel
  • Dates: Fixed a bug where ORA mistakenly treated many values as possible dates
  • FamilySearch: Added three possible Fields for image-only collections where the Information pane includes a single Catalog Record entry: Source.Catalog Record, Source.Item Number, and Source.Film Note
  • FamilySearch: Film collections now use the suffix "(Film #nnn)" in place of "(film)"

    The Collection pull-down menu on the OraSettings page will show the old names until you visit a record in the collection.

  • Generic Service: Added support for the file:/// protocol

    This enables ORA to operate on HTML files on your PC that you open in your browser. This required a change to the permissions defined in the extension's manifest file and may trigger a prompt for the user to accept the expanded scope.

    ORA assigns the hostname "localhost" to HMTL pages loaded via the file:/// protocol.

  • Generic Service: Added or modified tweaks for:
    • Western Australian Online Index (wa.gov.au), OraPanel should refresh more reliably than in prior versions
    • WieWasWie.nl, added Source.URL Field
  • Dates: Added "Sept" and "Febr" as valid month abbreviations


  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug introduced in the last version where ORA no longer recognized tables on pages made with GedSite

Version 1.46

This version is dedicated to Maureen.


  • Generic Service: Extended JSON-LD metadata handling to include multiple-person/current-person metadata produced by the next release of GedSite, v4.07

    This capability will be explained further when v4.07 of GedSite is released.


  • Ancestry: Added logic to the image page extractor to capture the census year for US Federal Census collections
  • Ancestry: Fixed a bug introduced in a recent version where ORA was no longer treating ancestrylibrary.com and similar URLs as part of Ancestry
  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug where ORA was not showing an OraPanel for TruePeopleSearch.com

Version 1.45


  • Search Targets: Added three predefined Search Targets for using geocoordinates to open maps
    • Map - Bing
    • Map - Google
    • Map - OpenStreetMap

    These new Search Targets use geocoordinates found in a record to open a map on the indicated service centered on the given location.

    Here are two links to records that include geocoordinates:

  • Ancestry: Fixed a bug where ORA did not recognize some URLs used by the UK version of the site and that bug suppressed the OraPanel on those URLs
  • Feature Usage: ORA now writes "usage.csv" to the Documents\ORA folder to track usage of some features/code paths
    • Fixed a bug where OraHost crashed and disabled ORA when there was no existing "usage.csv" file
  • Record Status: Reimplemented the Record Status facility to reduce boilerplate code in the ORA services
  • Newspapers.com: ORA now searches the OCR text of a clipping for birth, death, and burial information
  • Generic Service: Added or changed tweaks for:
    • CemSearch (cemsearch.ca), now extracts more Fields
    • Manitoba Vital Statistics (vitalstats.gov.mb.ca), new tweak
    • National Archives of Australia (recordsearch.naa.gov.au), fixed a bug introduced in v1.44 which suppressed the OraPanel
    • Western Australian Online Index (wa.gov.au), new tweak required by URL and HTML change from bdm.justice.wa.gov.au; may require OraPanel refresh after search results loaded


  • FamilySearch: Fixed a bug where Auto Type templates did not work properly on image pages

Version 1.44


  • FamilySearch: Added an option to show the OraPanel on image pages
    Beta testers take note: The Ancestry and FamilySearch OraPanels have very different capabilities. The FamilySearch CP is quite limited because there is no "information panel" from which ORA could extract Field data. The FamilySearch CP is mostly provided for people who use it with browse-only image collections, i.e., collections that have not been transcribed and/or indexed.
    • Now uses "(film)" collection versus collection associated with record detail page
    • Now active on more image pages
    • Adds Source.FHL Film when ORA can extract it
  • Ancestry: Added an option to show the OraPanel on image pages
    • Now detects collection ID and person ID from the URL as well as two other locations
    • OraPanel no longer uses 100% of the height of the content area so there is room to move it around to avoid overlaying the bottom of the page index

    While ORA now supports OraPanels on image pages for Ancestry and FamilySearch, usage is quite different due to differences in the content provided by the repositories. Please see the repository help pages for details.

  • Ancestry: Added a Record Details Link feature for Ancestry's image pages
    • Changed the link label to agree with help page
    • Now tracks images changes (by changing page number, or using arrows)
  • Search Targets: Added a new predefined Search Target, "Family History (film)"

    See the article, Using the Family History (film) Search Target.

  • OraSettings: Added Template Options section:
  • OraSettings: Added the [Go to Record] button which opens the last record viewed in the current collection using either the Record ID or Page.URL Fields
    • Changed the implementation to avoid popup warnings in Firefox
  • Findmypast: The OraPanel now appears on article (newspaper image) pages
  • Generic Service: Added or changed tweaks for:
    • 1950 Census, Archives.gov (1950census.archives.gov), improved the placement of the summary table
    • Canadian Great War Project (cgwp.uvic.ca), new tweak
    • DeceasedOnline (deceasedonline.com), new tweak
    • Historical Vital Records of NYC (a860-historicalvitalrecords.nyc.gov), use shorter URL
    • Wreck Site (wrecksite.eu), new tweak


  • Ancestry: Changed the "Record Page" Field to use the newest Ancestry URL format for accessing a record by APID: https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/record-id:collection-id
  • Versioning: OraExtension and OraHost will no longer share the same version number

    OraExtension is updated by your browser and changes frequently. OraHost is updated by downloading an install program and running it. OraHost changes infrequently. Keeping the version numbers synchronized meant that OraHost was updated to change the version number when there were no other changes.

    For beta testers only, you will still use the ORA beta version installer. It will include the latest version of OraHost, but that will usually be several versions behind the beta version of OraExtension. If OraHost has not changed, the beta installer will install the new version of OraExtension and re-install the unchanged OraHost.


  • OraPanel: Fixed a bug where certain Field names—see below—were not always standardized

    This is a breaking change for Fields named "FHL Microfilm" and similar variations like "FHL Microfilm Number".

    When ORA detects a Field name that indicates an FHL film number value, it assigns the Field name "FHL Film". This standardization was not applied consistently due to a bug. It should work all the time now. However, if you have Templates that refer to [FHL Microfilm], you should change those entries to use [FHL Film].

    To find templates that you need to change, use the Collection Report button and then use your browser's "Find on page" ([CTRL+F]) feature to find the text "FHL Microfilm".

  • Ancestry: Fixed an issue where the OraPanel did not always appear when opening a record details page in a new tab window

Version 1.43



Version 1.42


  • OraSettings: ORA uses a different icon to open the OraSettings page when the system-wide color in Windows is set to "Dark"

    The "dark mode" icon is more visible against a dark background than the icon used when the system-wide color in Windows is set to "Light".

  • Generic Service: Updated the Generic Sites help page which lists a few of the sites supported by the Generic Service
  • Generic Service: Added or changed tweaks for:
    • 1950 Census, Archives.gov (1950census.archives.gov), new tweak
    • Australia, Dept. of Veterans Affairs (nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au), several improvements
    • Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria (my.rio.bdm.vic.gov.au), improved page layout
    • Commonwealth War Graves (cwgc.org.js), improved page layout
    • Forest Lawn (sgo.forestlawn.com), results table now sortable
    • National Archives of Australia (recordsearch.naa.gov.au), several improvements
    • Obituaries Australia (oa.anu.edu.au), added support
    • Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand (paperspast.natlib.govt.nz), new tweak
  • OraSettings: The [Show Current Targets] result now includes browser windows to help users specify the {target=...} value in Auto Type Templates targetting a browser window

    ORA attempts to filter out the current browser window, i.e., the window that includes the tab where you clicked the [Show Current Targets] button. Yuo can't target the current browser window.

    See the Auto Type to Browser Window Technical Note for advice about targeting a browser window.

  • Video series: Added a video that demonstrates how to use the Search Targets facility

Version 1.41



  • Ancestry: ORA now hides the OraPanel and Status Icons when the Ancestry image viewer is open as a panel on a record details page
  • Ancestry: ORA omits record status icons for search result links that Ancestry now adds that are part of the page HTML but not visible

    I think the invisible links are due to a bug where Ancestry is adding a link for an icon that is supposed to open an image page even when there is no image associated with the record.

  • FamilySearch: Adjusted for changes to the HTML FamilySearch uses for other people mentioned in a record; see the help page for details
  • OraSettings: Adjusted styles so that pull-down menu entries are visible when using Auto Dark Mode in Chrome
  • Generic Service: Added tweaks for:
    • Historical Vital Records of NYC (a860-historicalvitalrecords.nyc.gov)
    • Forest Lawn (sgo.forestlawn.com)


  • JewishGen: Fixed an issue where Field values were doubled when extracted from some table types

Version 1.40




  • OraPanel: Fixed a bug introduced in the last release where clicking the clipboard icon for a "Record Page" value did not copy the URL to the clipboard

Version 1.39


  • FamilySearch: Changed the method used to detect the HTML tables that hold record and source Fields
  • OraPanel: Changed several icons to render them with the HTML BUTTON element rather than the HTML A (anchor) element to improve keyboard support
  • Generic Service: Added tweak for GedMatch (app.gedmatch.com, classic.gedmatch.com) to capture DNA test details from some pages


  • Ancestry: Fixed an issue where some DNA Fields were not extracted from DNA Match pages
  • Findmypast: Fixed an issue where collections with a "Household members" table triggered an error message

Version 1.38


  • Find a Grave: Fixed a bug where the OraPanel was not appearing on some memorial pages

Version 1.37


  • OraPanel: If the OraPanel's top, left pixel is not visible in the browser window when the page is loaded, ORA now moves the OraPanel to the top, left of the window

    Beta testers: Please let me know if you see the OraPanel move to the top, left when that change is not expected/wanted.

  • OraPanel: Added new predefined Search Targets, "Chronicling America", "GenealogyBank", and "Newspapers.com (quoted name)"


  • Find a Grave: Fixed a bug where ORA was not saving the collection on the first visit to a memorials page
  • Ancestry: Fixed a bug where the URL was incorrect in the links for Pending and Questionable records

Version 1.36


  • OraPanel: Added Search Targets facility
    • Changed the method ORA uses to update predefined Search Targets
    • Adjusted Query Fields criteria to match more potential Fields
    • Moved the [Delete This Search Target] button to its own row
    • Added the trace option to the Search Target properties
    • Added two hostname Query Fields to enable writing Search Targets that link to the proper host for Ancestry and Findmypast customers
    • Fixed "&SurnanmeName" bug in two FamilySearch Search Targets
    • Added several predefined Search Targets (BillionGraves, Findmypast, Newspapers.com, Nova Scotia Genealogy)
    • Added ":urlParameter" to Ancestry Spouse Surname reference
    • Browser's console window now shows summary of Query Fields
    • Search Target links now include the Search Target title as the tooltip
  • Templates: Added Multiple Value Test references
  • Transforms: Added a new transform, length
  • Help Pages: Added a Technical Notes section
  • Generic Service: Added tweaks for:
    • FastPeopleSearch.com
    • TruePeopleSearch.com
    • WieWasWie.nl
  • Transforms: Added a new transform, query

    I am not planning to announce the addition of the query transform. It's intended for power users or people to whom I recommend it based on a request to get access to some piece of data that ORA doesn't extract.


  • FamilySearch: Updated the service in response to an HTML change; this fixes an issue where ORA did not extract Field values where FamilySearch now uses a pull-down menu to show user-submitted corrections
  • Findmypast: Updated the service to show Fields in a more logical sequence when Findmaypast shows them in two columns

Version 1.35

This version is dedicated to Casey.


  • OraPanel: Added tooltips for new icons (Auto Type Legend arrow, Add Field icon)
  • Templates: Added persistent variables to Assignment references
    • ORA now refreshes the OraPanel if an Auto Type template updates a persistent variable
    • Fixed several other issues
  • OraPanel: Added the Show Auto Type Legend arrow
  • OraPanel: Added the Add Field button
  • OraSettings: Added the Delete Collection... button

    Use this new capability to delete templates that no longer exist at the repository.

  • Auto Type: Added a special target value, {TARGET=none}
  • OraSettings: Added new options in the Quarter Date Format pull-down menu
    • SSS Q yyyy
    • Sss Q yyyy
    • SSS yyyy
    • Sss yyyy
    • EEE yyyy
    • Eee yyyy
  • Generic Service: Added tweaks for:
    • Centennial Park (centennialpark.org; parse dates as dd/mm/yyyy)
    • Funeral Notices (funeral-notices.co.uk)
    • South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society (genealogysa.org.au)


All services were updated as of to fix issues with persistent variables and the new Auto Type Legend. I reviewed records in all services and I didn't see any issues, but I would appreciate all beta testers reviewing as many services as possible. Thanks.

  • Fold3: Adjusted service to use collection numbers that Fold3 now includes in HTML rather than text keys made from the collection names

    Fold3 has changed several of their collection names and this broke the connection to template settings for those collections. The ORA change to use collection numbers will insulate your collection settings from future name changes by Fold3. Unfortunately, this means that your existing collections will have to be copied from the old name-based key to the new number-based key. Even if ORA didn't change to using the number, you would have had to do this as Fold3 updates its collection names.

  • Updated help pages and included new entries in the Table of Contents
  • FamilySearch: Updated the service in response to an HTML change; this fixes the issue where ORA did not detect the proper collection
    • Fixed an issue with centering the Auto Type numbers in the OraPanel


  • Record Status: Fixed an issue where choosing a record status icon in the menu caused the page to scroll to the top
  • FamilySearch: Adjusted OraPanel font and text issues
  • OraPanel: Fixed a bug where the expand/collapse icon was not visible under some circumstances

Version 1.34

So long, 2021, and good riddance.


  • Ancestry: Added OraPanel to Ancestry Family Tree person pages
  • TheGenealogist: Updated to handle recent HTML and URL changes
  • Find a Grave: Adjusted CSS to avoid issue when the window is not wide enough to reserve width for the OraPanel
  • Generic Service: Added tweaks for:
    • National Archives of Australia (recordsearch.naa.gov.au)
    • Western Australian Births, Deaths and Marriages Indexes (bdm.justice.wa.gov.au)
    • Libraries Tasmania (librariestas.ent.sirsidynix.net.au)

Version 1.33

In memory of my father, Russell Cardinal, who passed away on this day in 1977.
Still remembered, still missed.


  • Fold3: Adjusted service to handle HTML changes by Fold3

    Collection names may change as a result of the Fold3 HTML changes. You may have to copy templates from the old collection to the new.


  • Ancestry: Fixed a bug where centiMorgan values were not extracted properly if the value was above 999
  • Trove: Fixed a bug where Record Status icons were not added to search results

Version 1.32

This version is dedicated to my brother Russell. Happy birthday!


  • Ancestry: Added OraPanel to DNA Match pages
  • Ancestry: Reduced the delay before refreshiing the OraPanel on a DNA Match comparison page

    This only affects the delay when the user clicks the refresh icon in the upper-left of the OraPanel. Page refresh (via the browser's refresh features) is not affected by this change. Initial rendering of the OraPanel will still wait until enough page content is present to warrant drawing the OraPanel.

  • Ancestry: Added standard Fields that were not defined for DNA Match pages such as [Page.URL] and [URL]
  • Ancestry: Extract Field from "map link" button
  • Place-related templates: now work properly on the Template Demonstration page


  • Ancestry: Fixed a bug where Text Templates and AutoType Templates did not work properly on DNA Match pages

Version 1.31


  • TheGenealogist: ORA now handles more (all?) census detail pages/panels
  • TheGenealogist: ORA now detects some nested tables in record details and will display the Field values for the currently selected row
  • TheGenealogist: Added new customer service (thegenealogist.co.uk)

    Please see ORA's help page for TheGenealogist for important usage notes.

  • Transforms: Added quotes around the parameter value in the "unrecognized transform" error message


  • TheGenealogist: Modified the panel handling so that the OraPanel appears for multi-step navigation (open a panel from search, open a panel from that panel, etc.)

Version 1.30


  • OraSettings: Added RootsMagic 8 to the Target Applications list
  • Generic Service: Added tweaks for:
    • Auckland Museum Online Cenotaph (aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph)
    • Queensland BDM (familyhistory.bdm.qld.gov.au)
    • Victoria BDM (my.rio.bdm.vic.gov.au)

      You will often have to refresh the OraPanel to get the correct Field values when using this site with ORA.


  • FindMyPast: Fixed an issue where when following a related-record link to another detail page, ORA did not always reset the collection name

Version 1.29

This version is dedicated to my brother Kevin (1964 - 2021).


  • FindMyPast: Changed the extraction logic to avoid issues with detecting the current collection
  • Transforms: Modified the extract and extractIndex transforms such that when there is no capture group in the pattern, the transform extracts the text matching the entire pattern
  • Ancestry: Added Source.Citation Field when that information is detected on a detail page
  • Generic Service: Added tweaks for:
    • Commonwealth War Graves Commission site (cwgc.org)
    • CemSearch (cemsearch.ca)
  • Transforms: ORA now issues an error message if a template uses an unrecognized Transform name


  • Transforms: Fixed a bug in the plural transform that led to "invalid transform name" errors
  • Templates: Fixed an error with a value test where using a Field reference to a non-existent Field as a comparand would cause an error message

Version 1.28

This version is dedicated to Maureen and Tom.


  • FamilySearch:Fixed a bug introduced in v1.27.02 where most FamilySearch record detail pages did not get a OraPanel
  • FamilySearch: Added support for latest version of record detail page HTML

    This change has been difficult to test because FamilySearch is not using the same HTML for all users and I am not seeing the version of the HTML that the prior version of ORA did not recognize.

  • Generic Service: Added tweaks for:
    • census.nationalarchives.ie
    • michigangenealogy.org
  • Transforms: Changed the dateAdd and dateSubtract transforms to work on partial dates; see the help entries for details
  • OraSettings: Added Custodian 4 to the Target Applications list

Version 1.27


  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug where the row selection radio buttons were not selecting the correct table row for tables using a specific combination of HTML
  • Templates: Updated the "US city to county" table to correct the entry for O'Fallon, Missouri

Version 1.26

This version is dedicated to my brother Paul (1948 - 2021).


  • FindMyPast: Adjusted the extraction logic for census transcription pages to avoid tables that contain census meta data not census record data

Version 1.25


  • FindMyPast: Added support for yet another variation of FindMyPast record data HTML

Version 1.24



  • FindMyPast: Fixed an error where ORA was processing some tables twice resulting in doubled values in the OraPanel
  • Templates: Improve detection of Australian locale when parsing places

Version 1.23

This version is dedicated to Maureen, for tomorrows.


  • Generic Service: For GenealogyBank, now uses a short URL for a subset of record
  • Generic Service: For GenealogyBank, added the CITE THIS RECORD data as the "Citation" Field when it is present
  • Generic Service: For GenealogyBank, added query terms to Fields when extracting from newspaper images (not obits)
  • Generic Service: Added custom logic for several collections on GenealogyBank.com


  • Ancestry: Now handles a new URL format that solves an issue where ORA was unable to determine the collection name and number
  • FamilySearch: When a Field has multiple values due to a user-submitted correction, ORA extracts the first value only

Version 1.22


  • Findmypast: Now handles recent record detail transcriptions changes
  • Generic Service: Update for new SaltWire domain for Chronicle-Herald (Nova Scotia)

Version 1.21


  • FamilySearch: Now handles updated HTML on census pages that list other household members and does not set the focus person to one of the other household members
  • Findmypast: Now handles updated HTML used in some record detail transcriptions
  • Ancestry: Now handles updated HTML used in Source Citation for some collections
  • Ancestry: Now recognizes image viewer links on record detail pages where the image is provided by another site such as FamilySearch
  • Generic Service: Improved the results for tributes.com


  • Newspapers.com: Fixed a bug where ORA extracted a partial paper name if the name included a hyphen
  • OraSettings: Fixed a bug where links to Pending and Questionable records did not work for many repositories
  • GRO UK: Fixed a bug where ORA did not extract volume, etc., when a search result entry did not include a page value

Version 1.20

This version is dedicated to Brian.


  • Ancestry: Updated service to handle record detail Fields where there are user-submitted values only
  • FamilySearch: Added support for record detail pages that use a different format (and HTML) than prior version

    The new format features a banner near the top of the detail page with the person's name and the collection name in white text on a gray background. Some FamilySearch users see the old version, some see the new. I expect that FamilySearch will roll-out the new version to all users in the near future, but they have not announced anything as far as I can see.

  • FamilySearch: Modified the "old version" of the service to handle a new (to ORA) variation of the HTML used by data imported from GenealogyBank by FamilySearch
  • FamilySearch: Modified the "gray banner" version of the service in an attempt to insulate the HTML handling from minor changes by FamilySearch
  • Newspapers.com: The OraPanel now includes OCR text when viewing a clipping; refresh the OraPanel after clicking the Newspapers.com "Show article text (OCR)" link
  • Nova Scotia Genealogy: Updated service to handle new version of site at archives.novascotia.ca
  • Nova Scotia Genealogy: Updated service to support Record Status icons


  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug where the [Add] button in the OraPanel did not work properly if the site was the first collection defined by ORA
  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug where Field values modified via Alt-Click on the OraPanel did not persist through a panel refresh under certain conditions
  • Newspapers.com: Fixed a bug where ORA did not parse the newspaper title properly when the page title included multiple hyphens before the newspaper title
  • Nova Scotia Genealogy: Fixed a bug where ORA did not parse the name, date, and place information properly for all events
  • FamilySearch: Fixed a bug introduced in v1.19.03 where source details with a link as the value were not being extracted
  • FamilySearch: Fixed a bug where Fields with linked names would disappear on OraPanel refresh

Version 1.19

This version is dedicated to my nephew James (1994 - 2021).


  • OraPanel: Added ability to edit Field values by clicking on the value while pressing Alt

    The OraPanel will refresh after changing a Field value. Any values you enter will persist until you refresh the page. You may refresh the OraPanel without losing your changes.

    As of v1.18.04, if you cancel the prompt, ORA will not change the current value. In v1.18.03, canceling the prompt changed the value to empty.

  • Templates: Templates can now use Field references of the form [fieldName] or [FieldName:transform:parameter...] as parameters to Transforms and as the comparand in Value Tests


    • You can now append one Field to another Field as follows:
    • You can compare one Field value to another as follows:
  • Ancestry: Updated Ancestry service to handle new URL format for some Ancestry collections
  • Generic Service: ORA will recognize obituary text from more generic sites, and will extract birth and death dates
  • Templates: Updated the "uk_census_year_to_date" table to include the 1921 Census and the 1939 Register
  • Templates: Updated the "se_region_name" and "se_region_location" tables to add an addition entry to each
  • Templates: Changed Library Template parameter handling so that you can assign an empty default value by specifying the colon after the parameter number: {1:}


  • OraPanel: Avoid issue where record Fields with reserved names get qualifier that increment on each refresh
  • OraPanel: Fixed errors editing Field values in the OraPanel for Generic Service sites
  • OraPanel: Fixed a bug introduced in v1.18.03 where refreshing the panel would break event handlers such that various buttons in the OraPanel didn't work after the refresh

    OraPanel refreshes are triggered by clicking the refresh icon in the title bar of the OraPanel. They are also triggered automatically in response to other changes such as the user editing a Field value in the OraPanel, content changes triggered by repository scripts such as search results becoming available, etc.

  • Templates: Fixed a bug where comparisons against Field values were being done partly-case-insensitive and partly-case-sensitive and failing whenever the values had capital letters
  • OraPanel: Restore repository name in title bar accidently removed in v1.17
  • Newspapers.com: Fixed a bug where using a Tab.Title template interfered with the proper operation of the Refresh button in the OraPanel title bar
  • OraPanel: Avoid allowing the OraPanel to move above the top of the visible page
  • Templates: Avoid removing trailing numbers in place parts in place transforms

Version 1.18


  • OraPanel: Will now detect date values that include periods after the month in dates such as "Jan. 27, 1972"
  • Templates: Added several transforms:

    append and prepend added in v1.17.02.

    • dateModifier returns the modifier word from a date, such as "bef", "circa", etc.
    • dateDay returns the day part of a date, a number from 1 to 31
    • dateMonth returns the month part of a date, a number from 1 to 12
    • dateMonthAbbr returns the month part of a date converted to an abbreviated name, "Jan", "Feb", etc.
    • dateMonthName returns the month part of a date converted to a name, "January", "February", etc.
    • dateYear returns the year part of a date with an optional argument to add or substract years
    • append returns the input value with append's parameter concatenated as a suffix
    • prepend returns the input value with prepend's parameter concatenated as a prefix
    • urlParameter returns the input value encoded for use in a URL


  • Templates: Fixed a bug in dateModifier where it would fail if there was no modifier value
  • OraPanel: Fixed a bug introduced in v1.17 where ORA's CSS styles were not applied to pages when using Firefox due an error in the build script

Version 1.17

This version is dedicated to my brother Walter (1949 - 2021).


  • Templates: Split the Transforms help page into multiple pages where the Transform page has a list of the available transforms with a summary description and each transform is described in detail on a page that includes transforms in the same category
  • Templates: Added several transforms for manipulating and inspecting places:
    • placeDetail returns the detail (street address, etc.) from a place value
    • placeCity returns the city, town, or village from a place value
    • placeCounty returns the county or district (smaller than state) from a place value
    • placeState returns the state or province from a place value
    • placeCountry returns the country from a place value
    • placeHasDetail returns true if the given place has a detail component
    • placeHasCity returns true if the given place has a city component
    • placeHasCounty returns true if the given place has a county component
    • placeHasState returns true if the given place has a state component
    • placeHasCountry returns true if the given place has a country component
    • placeLocale returns the locale used by ORA when parsing a place
  • Generic Service: Fields from secondary tables will now appear in the OraPanel when viewing a page with multiple tables
  • Generic Service: For several generic hosts, including Legacy.com, ORA will now attempt to extract birth and death dates from death notice text

    In addition, ORA will include a Birth Date Field with "circa year" if the text includes an obvious age value and ORA can determine the date of the death notice.

  • OraPanel: When processing quarterly dates split into multiple Fields, ORA will now ignore Fields with names that include "estimated"
  • OraPanel: Improved the redraw/refresh method for the OraPanel to reduce flickering
  • Templates: Modified the plural transform so that it always returns "true" even if the text it appends is empty
  • Templates: Added the "se_region_name" and "se_region_location" lookup tables for Swedish regional archive names and locations
  • Templates: Changed the operation of the abbr and full transforms

    This is a breaking change.

    In prior versions, abbr would return an abbreviation given a full value. For example, it would return "MA" if the input value was "Massachusetts". However, if the input value was already an abbreviation, it would not return that value, i.e., it would not return "MA" if the input value was "MA". This made it inconvenient to get the abbreviation for a place Field that sometimes contained the full value and sometimes contained an abbreviation.

    As of this version, abbr will return an abbreviation given either the full value or an abbreviation. For example, it will return "MA" given either "Massachusetts" or "MA".

    In prior versions, full operated similarly to abbr in that it would return "Massachusetts" given "MA" but would not return "Massachusetts" given "Massachusetts". This was inconvenient when used with place Fields that sometimes contain the full value and sometimes contain an abbreviation.

    As of this version, full will return the full value given either the full value or an abbreviation. For example, it will return "Massachusetts" given either "Massachusetts" or "MA".

  • Fields: The new [Page.ServiceName] Field returns the name of the service ("Ancestry", "Find a Grave", etc.)

    The Field is not visible in the OraPanel but is available for use in Templates.

  • OraSettings: The Insert Field panel now includes an option to insert a Field name only (without the brackets) which is intended for use with library templates
  • OraSettings: The tooltips of the numbered "choose template" buttons are now set to the Heading (Text Templates) or Reminder (Auto Type Templates)
  • Ancestry: Updated Ancestry service to handle record pages where there are multiple source titles
  • Ancestry: Updated Ancestry service to add a Field for the image URL when a record page includes a link to the image page

    Note that this is not the URL of the image itself. That is not available on the record page.

  • Newspapers.com: On Image pages, ORA will now parse information from clipping-related popup panels

    After clicking an article in the image which triggers a clipping panel pop-up, click the refresh icon in the OraPanel title bar.


  • OraPanel: Fixed a bug where some Fields were included in clipboard copy operations that should not have been included
  • Auto Type: Fixed an issue with using a title keyword in a target control sequence (ex: "{target=appName:titleKeyword}") where ORA would force the title keyword to lowercase and fail to find the target window because the comparison was case-sensitive; the comparison is now case-insensitive

    You must install v1.17 of OraHost to apply the fix for this issue.


Version 1.16

This version is dedicated to Kelly.


  • Record Status: Added a new state, "Skipped":
  • Templates: Templates may now contain comment lines using lines that begin with the hash symbol "#"

    When starting ORA for the first time after upgrading to this version, ORA will modify any existing templates where a "#" character is the first character in a line. It will change "#" to "\#" to avoid interpreting the line as a comment.


Version 1.15


  • OraSettings: Fixed a bug where the [Import Settings...] command was not working properly
  • OraSettings: Changed the implementation of several modal panels to provide a better user experience:
    • These changes apply to the following panels: "Edit Blocked Hostnames", "Edit Name Prefixes", "Edit Name PreSurnames", "Edit Name Suffixes", "Export Collection", "Import Collection", and "Edit Library Templates"
    • On opening the panel, the panel will set the focus to the first button on the panel. This makes it more convenient to use the keyboard to manipulate the items in the panel.
    • The panels will not let you set the focus to an item that is not on the panel: when you press the tab button, it will cycle through the controls in the panel only. Unfortunately, several other panels will allow you to tab past the [Close] button and set the focus on a control that is part of the background under the modal panel. I've implemented a new modal panel infrastructure to avoid this issue, but I haven't converted all the other panels to use it yet.
    • These panels now require users to click the [Close] button or some other button that closes the panel whereas before you could click somewhere on the gray background to close the panel. I can restore the "click anywhere outside the panel to close" behavior on a panel-by-panel basis, but I think an explicit close is usually better.
  • Template Library: Added the Template Library feature
    • Library templates now support conditional sections
    • Library templates can now refer to other library templates
    • Library templates will now be merged during Import Settings rather than replaced as they were for prior beta versions
    • Fixed a bug where edits to the first library template would not be saved unless you also used controls in the Edit Library Templates panel
    • The Edit Library Templates panel now remembers which template you viewed last and selects that template when you re-open the panel
    • Added a [Rename Template...] button
    • After adding a new template with the [Add Template...] button, ORA positions the text cursor in the template textbox
  • Findmypast: Improved record status indicator handling
  • Generic Service: Improved the results for several generic sites
  • JewishGen: Improved data extraction for tables with cells that span rows

Version 1.14


  • Templates: The Value Test expression has been enhanced to handle comparisons where the Field value and the comparand are both dates
    • Templates: The date comparison uses the number of parts (y, m, d) in the comparand to determine how to compare the dates; see the help page
    • Templates: The date comparison now assumes the 12th month and 31st day for the ">" and "<=" operators
  • OraPanel: When processing dates in the form nn/nn/yyyy, ORA now makes an educated guess about whether the month number or the day number comes first


  • FreeReg: Fixed a bug where ORA was using "Baptism entry" as the collection name rather than "Baptism", "Marriage entry" rather than "Marriage", etc.
  • FamilySearch: Fixed a spacing issue for the Auto Type buttons by reducing the font-size so the button is wide enough for two digits
  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug where the OraPanel would not appear on some sites where the metadata included a reference to twitter:image
  • FamilySearch: Fixed a bug where some heading values in the OraPanel used a text color that was nearly the same as the background color

Version 1.13



  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug where the OraPanel was refreshed multiple times in some instances when it was not necessary
  • Generic Service: Fixed a bug where clicking a radio butto to select a row would sometimes load the wrong row into the OraPanel
  • OraSettings: Fixed a bug where the current template button was not highlighted

Version 1.12


  • Generic Service: Replaced the Generic Service with a more powerful and flexible version
    • Allows you to block sites by hostname so that ORA doesn't intrude on sites where you don't want it.
    • Loads Field data from HTML tables on generic pages to dramatically increase the sites where ORA is useful.
    • Supports Templates for generic sites so you can automate data entry from those sites as you can with sites supported by custom services.
    • Loads more types of metadata.
  • Generic Service: Removed the [Access Date] Field in favor of the [Page.Access Date] Field which was also present in the last version; using [Page.Access Date] makes the Generic Service consistent with all the custom services with regard to this data

    The [Page.Access Date] Field is not visible in the OraPanel but you can use it in templates. It's not visible because you don't need ORA to tell you what day it is.

  • Ancestry: Updated Ancestry service to handle changes in some collections where "Household Members" are listed in a special subtable of the record details table
  • OraSettings: Updated the Transforms help page on the production site so that links to transform help will work from the beta version


  • Fixed a bug introduced in this beta cycle where the Record Status menu icons were missing
  • OraSettings: Fixed a bug introduced in this beta cycle where the [Most Recent] button did not work for collections with a single-character collection ID
  • OraSettings: Fixed a bug where some Transform links in the Template Tester panel opened the Transforms help page but did not scroll to the Transform's help entry
  • OraSettings: Fixed a bug in the Template Test panel where ORA was adding links to transform help pages to words that were not transforms
  • OraPanel: Added a hack to get around a limitation where ORA could not copy to the clipboard when used on http (versus https) pages
  • Generic Service: Fixes during the beta cycle unrelated to the prior version
    • Fixed more style issues for the OraPanel where the CSS for a generic site was interfering with the appearance of the OraPanel
    • Fixed a bug where the radio button handler for result lists was not active immediately after using the Add button on the current page
  • OraPanel: Fixed a bug introduced in v1.11 where some CSS styles were not applied to the OraPanel resulting in multiple display issues

Version 1.11


  • JewishGen: Added new custom service
  • JewishGen: improved the handling of duplicate labels where differences due to spaces and upper/lower casing are now ignored (see Rabbi Ber Boruchoff Marriage Database, for example, where "# of marriage" and "# ofmarriage" are detected as duplicate labels in a header cell)
  • Generic Service: Minor changes in anticipation of major changes in the next version
    • Added support for more @type values in LD+JSON metadata
    • Removed the Access Date Field which was a duplicate of the Page.Access Date Field; the former was visible but non-standard, the latter is standard and while not visible, it can be used in any template
  • Templates: Added the "it_provinces" and "it_regions" lookup tables for Italian provinces and regions
  • OraSettings: Added link icons to the OraSettings page that open a help page that is relevant to the section of the OraSettings page where the icon appears
  • OraSettings: Transforms that appear in the Template display in the Template Tester panel are now links to the help page entry for the given transform
  • Templates: Text Templates that are assigned a Heading value that begins with "var." are now considered Variable Templates that create a value that can be used by other templates but do not appear in the OraPanel
  • Ancestry: Updated ORA's Ancestry service to handle a recent change by Ancestry where some "Suggested Records" lists were no longer handled properly by ORA


  • Newspapers.com: The Search Field value, which comes from the search= parameter in the URL, will now have all "+" characters converted to spaces rather than just the first "+" character
  • Trove: Changed the parsing rules for the publish location and publish date range Fields to avoid issues with publications that had multiple locations and multiple date ranges
  • Fields: The [Page.Title] Field will now return the original document title even if a collection has a Tab.Title template that changes the document title and the OraPanel is refreshed

Version 1.10


  • Transforms: Added the dateAdd and dateSubtract transforms
  • Transforms: Changed the dateAdd transform to accept multiple numbers ("75y 1m 3d", "75y 6d", etc.) and added the dateSubtract transform which accepts the same parameter but subtracts positive numbers and adds negative numbers
  • Transforms: Added the dayOfWeek transform
  • Transforms: Added "number" or "n" as a variation of the version parameter for the dayOfWeek transform; "number" or "n" returns the day of the week number as a digit where Sunday is "0" (zero), Monday is "1" (one), etc.
  • Transforms: Added the dateJtoG transform
  • Transforms: Added the dateGtoJ transform
  • Help: Added the Date Converter help page
  • Transforms: Added the dateJNYD transform
  • OraSettings: Added the Julian New Year's Day preferences
  • Ancestry: Updated Ancestry service to handle some recent changes by Ancestry.com
  • Find a Grave: Updated to parse name parts using the Name Part Transforms introduced in version 1.09
  • Transforms: Modified the nameSuffix transform to recognize common suffix values even if they do not follow a comma in the input name Field
  • Transforms: Changed the lookup transform: for tables that return a date value, the dates are now formatted according to the user's Date Format preference


  • Transforms: Fixed a bug where the optional name part characters were sometimes included in the result ("[.]", etc.)
  • Transforms: Fixed a bug where the conversions to/from the Julian calendar were using March 3 as the default value when the documented default value is March 25
  • Trove: Fixed a bug where publications with multiple publication date ranges such as "Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 - 1918; 1925)" were not displayed properly in the OraPanel

    As part of this fix, the Publication.Start Field and the Publication.End Field have been replaced by a single Field, Publication.Dates.

  • Transforms: Fixed a bug where uppercase characters in the flags parameter of the replace transform were ignored

Version 1.09


  • Transforms: Added the Name Part Transforms including namePrefix, nameGiven, namePreSurname, and nameSuffix
  • Transforms: Added the nameToGivenFirst transform
  • Templates: Value tests that use a Regular Expression may now include a space character after the trailing / to force case-sensitive comparisons for alphabetic characters
  • Templates: (Possible Breaking Change) When Text Templates are added to the collection Fields, ORA now trims any leading or trailing spaces

    If you have Text Templates that require leading or trailing spaces (unlikely, but possible), this change will remove those spaces. You will have to add spaces in a subsequent template that uses the Text Template value, or add the space(s) some other way.


  • Transforms: Fixed a bug where the name parser was not stripping trailing spaces before splitting the parts to find the given name and surname
  • Templates: Fixed a bug where a value test with a Regular Expression did not honor the trailing space to force "case sensitive" processing
  • Fold3: Fixed a bug where Auto Type templates did not work
  • Templates: Fixed the spelling of Caernarvonshire in the Chapman codes table

Version 1.08


  • Fold3: Added new custom service
  • Trove: Added new custom service
  • Templates: Added support for a special Text Template, "Tab.Title"
  • Templates: Changed the template parser to allow periods in the Field names used with the Assignment reference
  • OraPanel: Improved the messages for template syntax errors when the error occurs during the rendering of the OraPanel or the execution of an Auto Type button; the messages now include the starting position and ending position of the text being parsed when the error is detected
    Syntax Error Dialog Panel
  • OraSettings: Improved the output for template syntax errors when the error occurs when testing a template; the messages now include the starting position and ending position of the text being parsed when the error is detected and the text is highlighted
    Syntax Error During Template Test

Version 1.07


  • OraPanel and OraSettings: Added new options in the Quarter Date Format pull-down menu
  • Templates: Added the extractIndex transform
  • Record Status: Added tooltips to the Record Status menu icon choices
  • Ancestry: Added AncestryLibraryEdition as an alias domain for Ancestry

    Unfortunately, this domain alias was not tested because the beta testers and I did not have access to the domain.


  • Templates: Fixed a bug in the extract transform where it triggered an error message when the target pattern was not found

Version 1.06


  • OraSettings: Changed the way OraSettings creates record links for the Pending and Questionable record links to reduce the code changes required for new repositories

    No new features, but please review your Pending and Questionable links.

  • OraSettings: The initial service and collection when opening the OraSettings window are set to the most-recently visited repository and collection
  • OraSettings: Added the [Most Recent] button to set the service and collection to the most-recently visited repository and collection
  • Templates: If a Text Template uses a Heading that specifies an existing Field name, the Text Template value will now replace the existing value

    In prior versions, the Text Template value would be appended to the existing value.

  • Australian Cemeteries Index: Changed the name from "Australian Cemetery Index" which was not correct


  • Templates: Fixed several edge cases where the escape character did not work properly in transform parameters
  • OraSettings: Fixed a bug where the Collection Report did not include the repository names for the Australian Cemetery Index and BillionGraves repositories

Version 1.05


  • Australian Cemeteries Index: Added new custom service
  • BillionGraves: Added new custom service
  • Find a Grave: Added record status icons to search result lists
  • Find a Grave: Added maintainer information Fields to the OraPanel
  • Auto Type: Made a small change to keyboard event creation in hopes of improving results when OraHost is running under Parallels on a Macintosh
  • OraPanel: Will now detect date values that include commas such as "27 January, 1972"
  • OraSettings: Added Excel to the Target Applications list
  • Record Status: Changed the method used to mark links that have a Record Status icon in an attempt to fix an issue where multiple Record Status icons appear for links in some Findmypast result lists
  • Templates: Choosing [Cancel] in response to a variable Assignment prompt will now cancel the formatting of the template and suppress the Auto Type operation
  • Templates: Added processing before Chapman Codes lookups such that "County" will be ignored if it is part of the place value, and variations with and without hyphens will resolve to the same value
  • Templates: Published the contents of the tables used by ORA on GitHub: https://github.com/jfcardinal/ORA-Tables


  • Templates: (Possible Breaking Change) Fixed a bug in the substring transform where a negative value in the indexEnd (2nd) parameter was not interpreted properly
  • OraPanel: (Possible Breaking Change) Adjusted the standardization of Field names such that "Born" is only changed to "Birth" when the value is a date, and similar for "Died" to "Death"
  • Find a Grave: Fixed a bug where Record Status icons did not appear in all search results when scrolling down the page caused Find a Grave to add new results dynamically
  • FreeReg: Fixed a bug that caused template and Field list issues
  • Templates: Fixed several data issues in the Chapman Codes table

Version 1.04


  • FreeReg: Added new custom service (FreeReg.org.uk)
  • Findmypast: Added support for an additional variation of the 1939 Register record detail page
  • Findmypast: Added new Fields to the OraPanel for the 1939 Register record detail pages
  • OraSettings: Added Ancestral Sources to the Target Applications list
  • OraPanel: Increased the timeout values for all ORA services that wait for the repository to load dynamic content

    This change should make ORA more reliable when there are processing delays for FamilySearch, Findmypast, and Newspapers.com.

  • Templates: Added the substring transform
  • Templates: ORA now filters special characters when they are used in an Assignment reference

    The following characters are not valid in Field names: . : / = ! < >

    Those characters will be changed to a space if you use them in the Field name in an Assignment reference.

  • OraSettings: Added the [Collection Report] button


  • Auto Type: Fixed a bug where using the escape character \ was unreliable

Version 1.03


  • Findmypast: Added support for transcription pages that use the "findmypast.com/record" URLs
  • Find a Grave: Added new name part Fields parsed from the single name Field provided by Find a Grave
  • Templates: Added the padLeft and padRight transforms
  • Templates: Text Templates are now added to the record data after they are processed which means that Text Template 2 can now refer to Text Template 1, 3 can refer to 2, etc., and Auto Type Templates can refer to any Text Template
  • OraSettings: Added Family Tree Maker to the Target Application pull-down menu
  • OraSettings: For repositories that use multiple domains, the OraSettings page now includes the most-recent domain you have visited which is the domain it will use for links in the Pending and Questionable lists


  • Templates: Fixed a bug where assigning a null value to a Field would leave the original value in place
  • Findmypast: Fixed a bug where Pending and Questionable links were not available
  • Findmypast: Fixed a bug where the OraPanel could not be moved to the left edge of the browser window

Version 1.02


  • Findmypast: Added support for the Record Status feature
  • Findmypast: Added new custom service

    It appears that FMP adjusts the HTML it creates for some collections. ORA is sensitive to the exact HTML, so ORA may not handle some FMP collections. Specifically, on a transcript page, ORA may not produce the expected OraPanel Fields.

    If you see a transcription page that is not handled properly, let me know. As always, I need a link to the record so I can see the exact page where ORA misses the mark. If you see multiple examples of the same format that ORA isn't handling, please do not send multiple reports for the same collection.

  • Templates: Added the l (ell) option to the replace transform to specify a literal transform where the first parameter is literal text, not a Regular Expression pattern
  • Templates: The Assignment special variable now accepts Field references in the value parameter

    A Field references may include transforms so you may now effectively save the result of a transform in order to use it multiple places in the template without repeating the transform expression each time.

  • OraPanel: (Possible Breaking Change) Fields named "DOB" in the repository record will now be named "Birth Date" in the OraPanel
  • OraPanel: Removed the colon that was appended to the Field name


  • Ancestry: Fixed an issue where ORA was using the wrong title for a collection ("Learn more about collection name") after following a leaf-hint to a record detail page
  • Find a Grave: Fixed a bug where ORA proposed a filename for downloading an image that included a period from the person's name and that resulted in an incorrect filename and filetype; ORA now removes periods from the proposed filename
  • GRO UK: Fixed a bug where the Auto Type feature did not work and produced an error message, "The Type Template was not found."

Version 1.01


  • Browsers: ORA is now available for Chrome, Edge, and Opera in addition to Firefox!

    With three web stores (Chrome, Edge, Firefox), there may be a lag between when the latest version of ORA is available for a particular browser.

  • Auto Type: More Control Sequences will work properly in TMG and other target applications due to a change to keyboard event creation
  • OraSettings: Links to Ancestry records in the Pending and Questionable lists now use the last-visited Ancestry domain to avoid login issues when following links in those lists
  • Ancestry: ORA now recognizes Ancestry collections that it failed to detect in v1.00
  • GRO UK: Now parses the GRO reference data properly for recent records
  • GRO UK: Now detects the "Age at Death" and "Birth Year" variations for Death index records
  • GRO UK: Record Status Icons now use a darker border to improve the contrast between the border and the background color of the index entries
  • OraSettings: If the OraSettings page is open and you visit a collection you have not visited since starting to use ORA, OraSettings will now add the collection to the Collection pull-down menu without the need to reload the page
  • Templates: Added the abbrSplit, fullSplit, and lookupSplit transforms for finding lookup table keys inside a value with multiple parts
  • Templates: Added the "chapman" lookup table
  • Ancestry: Added Source.Year for US Federal Census collections where that Field is not found in the Source Citation
  • GRO UK: Changed the processing so that the OraPanel will show the Field values for the first item immediately after a search when no item is selected
  • GRO UK: Added Record Status icons to results list

    These are a limited form of Record Status entry because you cannot navigate directly from the Pending or Questionable lists to an index entry.

  • GRO UK: Added new custom service to support the Birth and Death indexes at the UK General Register Office web site
  • OraPanel: When using the clipboard icon (), the value copied to the clipboard will now include line breaks if <br> tags are included in the value

    This change will only affect Text Template values where the user has deliberately included <br> tags.

  • OraPanel: Added value standardization where fullwidth digits are converted to halfwidth digits

    Unicode fullwidth digits ("0123456789") are often used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean computing. The graphic characters look similar to the familiar digits used in other computing environments, but they are not the same. ORA now converts the fullwidth digits to the usual halfwidth digits ("0123456789") for ease of use in ORA's Western-influenced computing environment.

  • OraPanel: Empty Text Template entries are no longer added to the OraPanel as empty cells


  • Record Status Menu: Fixed a bug where the Record Status Menu would not display the correct icon after choosing an item from the menu

    This bug was triggered by using the "Refresh" icon to refresh the OraPanel.


Version 1.00

The first release of ORA, the Online Repository Assistant!