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Thursday, July 11, 2013
Using Evernote to Organize My Genealogy Research
Posted by Diane
My former method of genealogy research organization was to email myself notes
and records, or use notekeeping gadgets on my
But with the emails getting buried in my in-box and the impending retirement of iGoogle, I wasn't very organized.
Then I started hearing more about the Evernote
web clipper and note-taker, and we began planning an Evernote
for genealogists webinar with Lisa Louise Cooke (it's July
25—more details below).
So I gradually started using it, like this:
- I set up a Genealogy notebook "stack", and within that,
notebooks for branches I'm researching.
- When I need to put a record to request on my genealogy to-do
list, I make a note in the appropriate notebook (usually I just
copy and paste a catalog record and URL from a repository
website) and tag it with the last name, the repository or
website, and other relevant tag.
- Next time I plan to visit some repository, or if I want to
focus on a particular family, I can pull up all my notes with
the right tags, and there's my to-do list.
Here's a peek at what it looks like. Everything in one place, and
viewable from anywhere:
- If I'm away from home, I can add a note using the Evernote app
on my phone. I can snap a picture of a record or photo and
attach the image to my note.
I'm feeling a lot less scattered, genealogy-wise, these days. I also
use Evernote to keep my grocery list and save business cards, and it
helped me get organized for our vacation last month. It's free,
unless you need a LOT of storage.
I'm sure there's a lot more I could be using it for—sounds like you
can share notes with other researchers and relatives, perform
text-recognition of images to make them searchable, annotate images
using something called Skitch, set up tables, and more.
So I'm looking forward to the webinar with Lisa. It's called Organize
Your Research With Evernote, and it's on Thursday, July 25 at
7 p.m. ET (that's 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. PT).
And you can save
$10 if you register now (this early registration offer expires
Genealogy Apps | Research Tips | Webinars
Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:25:32 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, March 08, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, March 4-8
Posted by Diane
- WikiTree, a free
worldwide family tree website, has launched a new feature called
Surname Following that lets you get updates when other
WikiTree users post content related to names you're interested
in. Log in to WikiTree and follow surnames to receive an email alert
when related content is added to the WikiTree database or a
related question, answer or comment is added to the WikiTree G2G (“Genealogist
to Genealogist”) Q&A forum.
- FamilySearch has
added 10.5 million indexed records and images to its free historical records
search over the last two weeks, including 8,613,673
document images added to the New York Probate Records collection
(1629 to 1971). Other notable collection updates are Brazil, Rio
de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965, and Peru, Lima, Civil
Registration, 1874-1996, collection.
Collections for Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, and the
US states of Minnesota and Ohio also have been updated. See more details
and click through to the updated collections here.
- If you're up against a brick wall with some part of your
genealogy research and you'll be in the Washington DC area on
Saturday, March 16, the National Archives is holding a “Help!
I'm Stuck” Genealogy Clinic. You can visit the Research Center
main desk that day to sign up for a free, 20 minute consultation
with an archivist between noon and 4 p.m. For details on this
and other programs at teh archives, see the Archives.gov calendar.
FamilySearch | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA
Friday, March 08, 2013 12:13:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Time-Saving Tips for Busy Genealogists
Posted by Diane
The Time-saving Tips for Genealogists chat at last month's Family Tree University Virtual
Genealogy Conference was especially interesting to me, considering my recently expanded family.
I didn't have the half-hour to attend the chat, but Virtual
Conference participants get transcripts of all the chats, so I'm
still able to benefit from other researchers' wisdom and share some
time-saving tips with you:
- Everyone agreed that organization, staying on-task and
information overload are time drains when it comes to genealogy
research. Social media also distracts us, and catching up after
being away from research steals time, too.
- Organization was a theme. Be organized from the start—using a
research log to keep track of your to-do list for each family
line and place you're searching really helps. At least one
participant uses Evernote
to keep her research log. Trello also was recommended
(especially for those who think visually).
- Keep track of negative search results,
too (i.e., you didn't find the record you were looking for) so
you don't repeat the same search. Track your online
searches of growing databases, so you can go back to look for new
- Schedule your genealogical research
time on your calendar, just like any other appointment you
- When visiting a repository, plan ahead, use online tools (such as a
library catalog and visitor information) to prepare, and call
to verify hours, what you can bring in, etc. This gives you
more research time.
- To-do list apps chatters use include Remember the Milk, Any.do and Wunderlist.
- Sometimes getting away from home to research is better, because you face fewer
- Set a research goal for the week (or a period of time that
works for you).
We'll host another Virtual Genealogy Conference this Fall, so
stay tuned! In the mean time, check out our Organize
Your Genealogy One-Week Workshop, taking place March 15-22.
Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Research Tips
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 3:55:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Friday, January 18, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Jan. 14-18
Posted by Beth
- Saving Memories Forever has launched its new free Android app designed to make interviewing and preserving stories through audio recordings even easier. The technology allows users to build story archives they can share and manage through the company's website.
- FamilySearch has added 7 million new indexed records and images to its collection. Notable additions include the 1.7 million+ indexed records and images in the Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books collection from 1592-1910; 1 million+ records added to the United States Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, from 1820-1874; and the 1.3 million+ records from the United States General Index to Pension Files collection from 1861-1934.
- The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the creation of a new society to promote the preservation of records in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): The Society of Preservation Patriots. This new group recognizes donors who have contributed $250 or more to the Stern-NARA Gift Fund or the current Preserve the Pensions initiative, a project to digitally capture the 7.2 million images from the 180,000 pensions of those who served in the War of 1812.
Donors will receive a society pin and be listed on the FGS website. For more information, see the Preserve the Pensions initiative or the Stern-NARA Gift Fund.
Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, January 18, 2013 9:17:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Friday, January 11, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Jan. 7-11
Posted by Beth
- Ancestry.com has updated its 1850 US census collections (correcting some Indiana birth places that were keyed incorrectly) and its City Directories. In addition, Ancestry continues with its indexing of information for the 1940 US census to make it more complete.
- Genealogy search engine service Mocavo and Family History Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) announced that Mocavo has finalized its plans to become a founding member of the organization. FHISO is a standards-developing organization bring the international family history and genealogical community in a self-governing forum to develop information standards to solve today's interoperability issues.
Mocavo will participate with other FHISO members from the global genealogical community in the development of standards for the digital representation and sharing of family history and genealogical information.
- MyHeritage has released a new version of its free MyHeritage app (v2.0) that now lets users do their genealogy on the go—create and edit their family tree, add relatives and photos, and edit profiles, info and events. The app is available for iPad, iPhone, and Android smartphones and tablets, in 32 languages. If you have an older version of the app, the new app will upgrade seamlessly. Click here to download the app.
Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, January 11, 2013 9:16:27 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Friday, December 21, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Dec. 17-21
Posted by Beth
- Findmypast.com, a UK-based website specializing in British genealogical records, recently added 31 million new records spanning 38 US, UK, Irish and Australian collections. Included are British Army service and pension records spanning 1760-1902 from two British hospitals, as well the War Office; US military records, including Korean War POWs and casualties, and Vietnam War casualties; Irish Catholic Church directory records from 1836-1837; and Australian "Northern Territory" records from 1884-1968.
- Genealogy software company RootsMagic, Inc. has released a free RootsMagic app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app, available at the Apple App Store, is a companion to RootsMagic desktop family tree software and the free RootsMagic Essentials software. Features include access to your personal RootsMagic files via iTunes or Dropbox; family tree search and explore capabilities; pictures, notes and sources; lists; and tools and calculators. For more information, click here.
Users of genealogy software such as PAF, Family Tree Maker and Legacy Family Tree can convert their files into viewable RootsMagic files with RootMagic's free desktop software.
Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, December 21, 2012 7:34:55 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Genealogy Gems Reaches 1 Million Download Milestone
Posted by Beth
Genealogy Gems Podcast, a free 30-minute monthly podcast of genealogy resources, tips and fun hosted by our friend and colleague Lisa Louise Cooke, received its 1 millionth episode download this past weekend.
In early 2007, when Cooke published the first episode, podcasting was in its infancy. "It was like being part of a new Wild West of technology," says Cooke, a genealogist since the age of about 10. She has now published 146 free episodes, available through Apple's iTunes Store and the Genealogy Gems website. What started out as a single podcast episode has turned into a multimedia offering of audio, video, articles, books, DVDs, live classes and online webinars. The Genealogy Gems mobile app (available in the iTunes App Store, and an Android version through Amazon.com) gives genealogists the flexibility to hit the road and take it all with them.
"My goal has always been to spend my time sifting through all of that information and chiseling out the gems—the items that are really worthwhile—so that my listeners can have faster and greater success," Cooke says. "Ultimately, the genealogy gems I provide on the show lead to my listeners' genealogy gems: their precious ancestors."
Cooke is also the host of the free Family Tree Magazine Podcast, our monthly online radio show that takes you behind the scenes to learn more about the topics covered in the magazine. Each episode features interviews with genealogy experts and Family Tree Magazine editors on using genealogy web sites, records and resources. Plus, publisher/editorial director Allison Dolan gives you sneak previews on upcoming issues; managing editor Diane Haddad delivers the scoop on the latest genealogy news.
To subscribe to the free Family Tree Magazine Podcast, click here. To listen to an audio podcast via iTunes, click here.
Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Podcasts
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:46:58 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Friday, October 26, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 22-26
Posted by Diane
- The Chronicling
America free, searchable database of historic US
newspapers, has posted its 5 millionth newspaper page. Launched
by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the
Humanities in 2007 as part of the National Digital Newspaper
Program, the site digitizes newspapers published between 1836
and 1922. It now has more than 800 newspapers from 25 states.
- Old Weather, a
joint project from the National Archives and National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, will have citizen
scientists transcribing historic Arctic and worldwide weather
data from digitized Navy, Coast Guard, and Revenue Cutter ship
deck logs. Digital images of the logbooks will be available on
the project's website and on Archives.gov. The
records offer access to weather data and climate patterns from
your ancestor's day, as well as details on US maritime history,
military operations and scientific exploration. Learn more about the project
and participate at OldWeather.org.
- A new volunteer genealogy lookup site called Gen Gathering has
announced it's looking for volunteers to do simple lookups for
others in their home libraries or nearby repositories or
cemeteries. You also can use the site to find volunteers who
might be able to do lookups for you. Learn more on the Gen
Got Iowa ancestors? Our Iowa
Genealogy Crash Course webinar, happening Tuesday evening,
Oct. 30, will help you find their vital records, US and state
censuses, land records and more. Learn
more about the Iowa Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com.
Genealogy Apps | Genealogy societies | NARA | Newspapers | Social History
Friday, October 26, 2012 11:30:38 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, October 12, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 8-12
Posted by Diane
- Ancestry.com has released a new Ancestry Facebook app that
helps you use Facebook to add to your Ancestry.com family tree. The
app lets you use your Facebook credentials to log into Ancestry.com,
get hints about Facebook members who may be family, add family
members on Facebook to your Ancestry tree and send copies of your tree to those relatives (which they can use to
start their own trees on Ancestry.com). Watch a
video of how the app works and get the app on Ancestry.com.
Note that when you add information from Facebook to your
Ancestry.com tree, you grant Ancestry.com permission to use the
information according to its Terms and Conditions and Privacy
- Our Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor's book The Last Muster:
Images of the Revolutionary War Generation, will soon
become a historical film! Visit LastMusterFilm.com to
learn more about the project and how you can help the stories of the
book's subjects come to life through a donation to the Center for
- FamilySearch is holding a Genealogists Say "Thanks!" video
contest. Submit a video sharing an ancestral find in
FamilySearch indexes and thanking FamilySearch volunteer indexers
for their work. Five winners will each receive a $25 Visa gift
card and have their videos published on teh FamilySearch indexing
Facebook page. The submission deadline is November 5; see
the FamilySearch blog for contest rules and other details.
- British genealogy website Genes Reunited has added a Keepsafe
feature where the site's members can store digital copies of
their family records, photos and memories. Keepsafes can be public,
private or shared with select others. Also new are Relation
Profiles, where members can view and edit details about people in
their Genes Reunited family trees. Check out the recently
revamped Genes Reunited here.
Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots | FamilySearch | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Web Sites | Photos | Social Networking | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 12, 2012 11:04:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Genealogy Apps for Your Tablet
Posted by Diane
Last weekend's Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference
was a great chance to learn from professional genealogy experts and
from other researchers like me via video classes, message boards and
Mark your calendar now for our Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference, Feb. 22-24.
I'll bring you a few of my favorite conference tips and tidbits over the next
few weeks, starting with great apps from our Best Genealogy Tablet
Apps chat. Interestingly, they're not all expressly for doing
genealogy. These are some of the apps chat host Kerry Scott
and other participants use to track their trees, manage time,
digitize documents, search websites and more:
classes from the Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference will be
available soon in ShopFamilyTree.com (and you can check
out classes from past Virtual Conferences now).
- 30/30 for time management—you work for 30 minutes or
another set length of time, then take a break (iPad)
- Ancestry for displaying your Ancestry member tree and doing quick record lookups, though the
search capabilities are limited compared to the full version
of the site (Android and iPad)
- AroundMe for finding gas stations and food in
- CamScanner for digitizing documents and turning them
into PDFs (iPad and Android)
- Civil War Today for newspaper
accounts, diaries, letters and more from this day 150 years
- CousinCalc for figuring out exactly how you're related
- DropBox for sharing and accessing files across devices
(iPad and Android)
- Evernote for taking notes and making them searchable
and accessible across devices—you can get
Kerry's video class on using Evernote for $10 off in
ShopFamilyTree.com (iPad and Android)
- Find A Grave for searching the cemetery
transcriptions and info on Find A Grave (Android)
- Focus Time for time management; you
work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break, with a longer
break after four cycles (iPad)
- GoodReader for reading PDF files (iPad)
- Google Translate (iPhone and Android)
- LastPass for keeping and generating passwords (IPad and Android)
- MyHeritage for displaying your
MyHeritage family tree and searching the site (iPad and
- PrinterPro for printing wirelessly from iPad to printer
- Reeder for managing blog RSS feeds (iPad)
- RestingSpot for adding
your ancestor's burial location GPS coordinates to the
RestingSpot database (iPhone and Android)
- Scanner Pro for digitizing documents and turning them
into PDFs (iPad)
- Symbaloo.com as an iGoogle replacement (iPad and
- Wikipanion (iPad) or Wapedia
(Android) for using Wikipedia
- Wolfram Genealogy & History Research Assistant for
a variety of tools including historical weather to an inflation
- Zite for finding news stories and blog posts about your
pet topics, such as genealogy (iPad and Android)
And if you're hungry for more ways to use your iPad for genealogy,
you'll find them in the new book Turn
Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse by Lisa Louise Cooke—click
here to learn more.
Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Research Tips | Tech Advice
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 12:34:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, September 07, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 3-7
Posted by Diane
Congratulations to all the ISFHWE competition winners—you
can see their names here!
Family Heirlooms | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Friday, September 07, 2012 4:14:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Monday, August 20, 2012
Genealogy on the Go and More in the Newest (Free) Family Tree Magazine Podcast
Posted by Diane
The newest episode of the free Family Tree Magazine Podcast, hosted
by Lisa Louise Cooke of
Genealogy Gems, is all about doing genealogy on the go. This
month, we're talking about:
- mobile genealogy apps and tools with yours truly
- tips and tricks for family history travel from Family Curator
blogger Denise Levenick
- the best mobile genealogy websites from our list of 101 Best
Genealogy websites with Family Tree Magazine
contributing editor David A. Fryxell
You can listen to the Free FamilyTreeMagazine Podcast in iTunes
here to see the show notes.
Podcasts | Research Tips | Tech Advice | Genealogy Apps
Monday, August 20, 2012 4:37:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)