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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)
We're on the Prowl for Hilarious Holiday Photos
Posted by Diane
You expect to see Halloween decorations everywhere this time of year,
but can you believe some stores are already stocking Christmas
We’re celebrating the joys of both holidays—as well as Valentine's
Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Earth Day, the Fourth of July,
Thanksgiving, and other special days throughout the year—with
an upcoming book called Hilarious Holiday Photos.
Want to join in the fun? Share your funny holiday photos of people
or pets, and they could appear on the book’s Facebook page and even
in the book itself.
For example, this Halloween photo, courtesy
of a coworker here at Family Tree Magazine HQ, cracked us up:
book’s Facebook page to see more funny photos and click
here to submit your pictures online.
Genealogy fun | Photos
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 10:57:48 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
New, Free Family Tree Magazine Podcast: Tips for Diagnosing Sick Genealogy Sources and More!
Posted by Diane
Our September 2012 Family Tree Magazine Podcast is available
(and free!) for your listening enjoyment!
Host Lisa Louise Cooke
(also of the Genealogy Gems Podcast) and guests including Family
Tree Magazine contributing editor Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, FamilyTreeDNA President
Bennett Greenspan and Family Tree University
instructor Charlotte Bocage share research tips on
Plus, you'll get news from the genealogy blogosphere and hear what's
coming up next from Family Tree Magazine.
- preventing "sick" sources in your family tree
- documenting genealogy sources
- using DNA testing in your genealogy research
Listen to the Family Tree Magazine Podcast in iTunes or on
FamilyTreeMagazine.com for the show notes, too.
↑ Grab this Headline Animator
Genetic Genealogy | Podcasts | Research Tips
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10:12:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, September 14, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 10-14
Posted by Diane
To celebrate the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the US
Constitution, the National Archives
is featuring a “Tweet the Preamble” contest now through Sept. 17 on Twitter (@usnatarchives). The
archives' Twitter followers can enter by summarizing the Preamble of
the Constitution in 140 characters (using #Constitution225). The
Archivist of the United States will choose the winner, who will
receive a pocket Constitution from the Foundation for the National
more contest details here.
The Kansas Historical Society
(KHS) has announced that 250,000 images from its record collections
have been uploaded uploaded to Kansas Memory, KHS’s
online archive of photographs, letters, government records,
newspapers and objects. You can search teh collections or
browse by place, date, topic, record type or any number of
other ways. You can see
the 250,000th image on the KHS blog.
Genealogy website ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk
its 10th birthday this month. Since its launch in
mid-September 2002, the site has grown to more than 90 million
digital records and more than one million registered users from
across the world,making it the biggest online resource for Scottish
census, birth, marriage and death records. British company
brightsolid, which also owns findmypast.com,
enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland.
Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 14, 2012 1:34:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Budget Cuts to Close Georgia State Archives as of Nov. 1
Posted by Diane
The Georgia state archives in Morrow, Ga., will close to the public
starting Nov. 1 due to state budget cuts, announced Secretary of
State Brian Kemp on Thursday. Staff will be cut as part of the
"To my knowledge, Georgia will be the only state in the country that
will not have a central location in which the public can visit to
research and review the historical records of their government and
state," Kemp says.
The public will be able to access the archives by appointment,
but appointments may be limited. You
can read Kemp's announcement here.
As part of a 3 percent cut ordered across the state government,
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal instructed the
secretary of state’s office to cut its budget by $732,626 during the
remainder of this fiscal year and in the fiscal year starting next
"I will fight during this legislative session to have this cut
restored so the people will have a place to meet, research, and
review the historical records of Georgia," Kemp says.
You can sign an online
petition to stop the closure on Change.org and visit the Georgians
Against Closing State Archives Facebook page here.
Libraries and Archives | Public Records
Friday, September 14, 2012 9:11:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Take the Course, Luke: Tech Tips from a Genealogy Jedi
Posted by Tyler
For our final Guest Blog in our ‘Meet the Presenter’ series, we have a piece by genealogy Jedi Thomas MacEntee. Here’s what he has to say:
Welcome to the Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference at Family Tree University. Once again, I’m pleased to be a part of this unique, on-line event that provides important educational content to the genealogy community.
What’s So Great about a Virtual Genealogy Conference?
A virtual genealogy conference is just like a conference you attend in-person but with more flexibility and just as many opportunities to network with other genealogy researchers. At the Fall Virtual Genealogy Conference you’ll find pre-recorded webinars (a total of 15!), scheduled chats where you can ask the experts various questions, a message board and even a virtual gift bag filled with genealogy goodies!
The upcoming conference is a great alternative for busy genealogists as well as those that can’t travel long distances to attend genealogy conferences.
Why Technology Should Matter To Genealogists
I’m of an age where I remember the introduction of the personal computer and its impact on not just genealogy, but life in general. I don’t consider myself a “techie” especially since my academic background is more in the arts, language and literature. However, I’ve come to realize that if I don’t keep on top of technology that I risk being left behind. So even though it can be similar to “homework” in school, I make it a point to stay informed and to try out different apps, websites and other technologies. I may not incorporate them as part of my genealogy research, but knowing is better than not knowing.
That’s why I try to ensure that several of my presentations focus on how genealogists can use specific technologies to advance their own research. My goal is to present these new sites and apps in an easy-to-learn atmosphere where you’ll feel comfortable asking questions and making your own decisions as to what technology is best for your own situation.
My Presentations and Chats
During the conference I’ll be offering three new presentations covering tips for working with search engines, how to get what you want from the FamilySearch website, and easy ways to use a research log for your genealogy. In addition, there will be a live, on-line chat session covering cloud computing and genealogy where you’ll get to “pick my brain” on various programs and which program is best for you.Power Up Your Web Searches: Feel like your Google and website searches are going nowhere? Learn to pull those elusive ancestors out from the depths of search engines and genealogy websites with this session on how to sharpen your search skills. We’ll cover Google’s Search Tools and specialty search engines including Mocavo and others. (Recorded session)
Tips for Using FamilySearch.org: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ free genealogy website offers a plethora of searchable family trees, historical records and resources—but how do you find what you’re looking for? This class will show you how to become a seasoned and savvy FamilySearch navigator. (Recorded session)
Research Logs for the Rest of Us: From Captain Cook to Christopher Columbus, numerous noteworthy explorers kept comprehensive journals to document their adventures, so why should your genealogical expedition be any different? In this class, you’ll learn why you need a research log and how it can help you make genealogical discoveries more effectively and efficiently. (Recorded session)
Choosing a Cloud Genealogy Program: Working in the “cloud” can be confusing and the concept of working with data stored on a remote server is just catching on with the genealogy community. If you are tired of keeping your genealogy research data on multiple CDs, DVDs, flash drives, hard drives and in different locations then you owe it to yourself to learn more about cloud computing. During this chat you’ll learn not only how cloud computing works, but also the latest cloud programs and how to keep your data secure and private. (Live on-line chat session)
Stay In Touch
For me, the best part of any conference is making new genealogy friends and staying in touch with them. Sometimes we meet up again in person, or we stay in touch on-line. Either way, it always helps to network with other genealogists. Feel free to keep tabs on what I’m up to by following my websites GeneaBloggers and High-Definition Genealogy , or email me at email@example.com.
The conference starts TOMORROW! But there is still time to register--click here and use the code FRIENDSOFTHOMAS at checkout to save $40.
Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Research Tips | Tech Advice
Thursday, September 13, 2012 12:53:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Spice Up Your Roots: Family History and Food Collide at the Fall Virtual Conference
Posted by Tyler
Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist, author and contributor to Family Tree Magazine. Her primary passions are history and food, which she'll blend together like cake batter at this weekend's Fall Virtual Conference. In this guest post, the author of From the Family Kitchen talks in detail about her VC sessions:
Social history and genealogy go hand in hand. As family history researchers we tend to focus solely on the dates and places of our ancestor’s life. That’s important, but it’s one thing to know the dates and places and another to fully understand what was going on during that historical time period. Social history is the story of people’s everyday lives. Social history places your ancestors in context. It will even help make your research more interesting to the non-genealogists in your family. The session itself is called "Top 10 Tools For Social History", in which we'll talk about resources you can use for any research project. These will include images, online catalogs and collections.
My second presentation, "Cook up Answers About Immigrant Ancestors", is a chance to see social history in action. What does food have to do with your ancestor? Everything! Food is so integral to everything we do in our families. It’s part of celebrations, holidays and even somber events. Food and food history resources can help us learn far more about our ancestors. I can’t wait to tell you about all the available resources, such as community cookbooks.
Please join me at the Virtual Conference. What a great way to spend a weekend. Talking genealogy from the comfort of your own home!
ACT QUICKLY:Only three days until the conference! Register now for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $40 with coupon code FRIENDSOFGENA.
Family Recipes | Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Social History
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9:28:10 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Monday, September 10, 2012
Prepare to Plot Your Ancestors
Posted by Tyler
Lisa Louise Cooke is both an author and podcaster extraordinaire. She produces the Genealogy Gems podcast, as well as the official podcast of Family Tree Magazine. In this guest post, she writes an open letter to those considering coming to her sessions for Family Tree University’s Fall Virtual Conference:
In the real estate world they say it’s all about Location, Location, Location! And the same holds true in the Genealogy world. Location is a key element in understanding the context of our ancestor’s lives and obtaining coveted genealogical documents. What better way to zero in on a location than with maps? My class Best Websites for Finding Historical Maps delivers the goods in a big way!
If you have ever listened to my show The Genealogy Gems Podcast at http://www.genealogygems.com then you know that maps, and working with them in programs like Google Earth, is one of my specialties. Historical maps offer an exciting way to do your own genealogical time travel. Please join me in a map-packed half hour that will provide you the best resources for obtaining FREE downloadable historical maps that will take you back to the time, and place, of your ancestors. See you in class!
NOTE:Act quickly—the conference starts this Friday, Sept. 14! Register now for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $40 with coupon code FRIENDSOFLISACOOKE.
Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Historical maps
Monday, September 10, 2012 4:16:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Get Your Connecticut Genealogy Questions Answered!
Posted by Diane
Calling genealogists with Connecticut kin: Get help tracing your
Constitution State ancestors in our upcoming Connecticut
Genealogy Crash Course webinar.
Joshua Taylor, whom you might recall revealing roots
information to the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Rob Lowe on
NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?," will share secrets to discovering
your family tree in Connecticut.
What will you learn? Among the strategies Taylor will show you:
You'll have the chance to submit your Connecticut genealogy
questions to Taylor when you register, and again during the webinar.
to find resources such as vital records (going back as early as
1650!), church records, censuses, court records and more
- tricks for tracing Dutch,
English, Italian, Irish and other ethnic ancestors
- the best
places to search for Connecticut ancestors online
Registrants also get copies of the presentation slides plus handouts
including Family Tree Magazine's Connecticut State Guide and
New Haven City Guide, and they can to view the webinar again as many
times as they like.
Here are the Connecticut
Genealogy Crash Course basics:
here to join us for the Connecticut Genealogy Crash Course!
- Date: Thursday, Sept. 27
- Time: 7-8 p.m. ET (starts at 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT and 4 p.m.
- Price: $49.99 (register now to save $10 with our early
Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Monday, September 10, 2012 1:16:18 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, September 07, 2012
Fresh Fall Sale (Plus Friends & Family Savings) at ShopFamilyTree.com
Posted by Diane
I wanted to do a quick post to let you know we're having a a big
Fall Sale—in ShopFamilyTree.com! You can save up to 50 percent
off select genealogy how-to CDs, DVDs, Video Classes, books and
Family Tree Magazine back issues.
You could get
... and lots more. Plus I'll let you in on our Friends & Family savings, which gets you another 15 percent off when you enter code FAMILY (expires Sept. 14) at checkout.
- on-demand webinars such as Using Probate Records or our Illinois
genealogy crash course
- the Genealogist's
Census Pocket Reference to keep handy (it's full of
information and tips, and it really does fit in your pocket)
- our Family
Tree Essentials CD with how-tos on the basic genealogical
records you need to search for
- any number of Family Tree University Independent Study courses
the Fresh Fall Sale here, now through Sept. 15!
Friday, September 07, 2012 4:49:59 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)