modern techniques help those researching on the go!
August 10, 2014
When you are going on a research trip, whether it is to an archive, a library or cemetery, we want to be prepared. Even the seasoned researchers at home and those of us fortunate enough to travel want to know what to expect at the location. It is common to forget something. Sometimes, that forgotten item is something so common we just cannot believe we forgot it. I have done this, have you?
In the past, we had paper copies of needed items and books to answer any question in a large suitcase. At one time, those going to research at the Family History Library rolled huge suitcases filled with the books we needed to complete our research.
The laptop made it much easier for us for we could access Microsoft Excel for a listing of research items, or tips for searching reference books and histories of the surnames we are researching.
Nothing made it better, easier and more lightweight, than the smart phone! For those of us with back problems, it is necessary item. It became our camera, scanner, internet access and quick contact for help through email and texting. Reference books such as The Source and Redbook are available through the internet if not quickly available where you are.
The laminated sheets by many publishers are ideal. These are four pages of valuable information and links and laminated to keep it clean and user friendly. Now genealogists can download many of these as PDF versions to read on their phones.
Genealogical Publishing Company, www.genealogical.com, says ‘the main purpose of these is to assist you with strategies for researching in any of the major collections, strategies that you will find not only helpful but indispensable.’ All you have to do is check from home what is immediately available online for help. For instance, you can check the Genealogy at a Glance laminated sheet on FamilySearch.org Research, and immediately get to its 2.4 million microfilms at any of the 4,500 FamilySearch Centers located in over 100 countries. It reminds you that for some microfilm access at the Family History Library in Salt Lake, you must preorder some microfilm titles to insure they will be waiting at the library for you when you arrive.
There is a laminated sheet for English, Scottish and French-Canadian genealogy research, immigration research, federal census, Revolutionary and Civil War research, how to site those important sources, how to cite the databases and images found on Ancestry.com, and even a strategic plan for genealogical problem analysis. Some of these are available on PDF, but these little four-page gems take up negligible space in a purse or briefcase.
These publications take a significant subject and show the essential elements of the necessary research on the subject as well as the most helpful websites, publications and tips to boast your research quickly and efficiently. All you need on these trips are recommendations for dining and accommodations. Oh, wait! Some have that, too.
The four-page laminated wonders and the wonderful smart phone certainly make trips easier and simpler. The old days of lugging all those suitcases full of three-ring notebooks and other necessary items were not ‘good old days.’ Modern techniques make the best and most successful research trips!
THE MASTER GENEALOGIST DISCONTINUED: Wholly Genes announced last week that the decision has been made to discontinue The Master Genealogist ("TMG"). The genealogy software program boasted a progressive feature now says their advanced features have proved to be insufficient to support the infrastructure that is necessary to support it and continue development. Owner Bob Velke says, “A variety of my own health issues have also contributed to this decision as I have fewer opportunities to focus on the things that would be necessary to develop and market the program.” Support for the program will be discontinued at the end of this year.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.