I've been surfing around to a ton of sites lately and I wanted to share some videos/webinars that I have come across. Enjoy checking out some great content that's been published on the Internet for genealogists.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
We all know how important organization is to a genealogist's work. We also know how difficult it is to organize our documents, thoughts, and life in general. Personally, I have a very hard time staying organized. Managing documents in the digital age is getting more complicated. Finding a way to "put down on paper," in some orderly fashion, all the thoughts in my head is no small task. Lastly, we have to keep our life organized. Family responsibilities, kids, work, etc. all need our attention. Prioritizing that laundry list of tasks seems impossible some days.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
It's official. I have my new iPad, and it is amazing. It's not much different physically than my iPad 1, but it is much faster, has a built-in camera, and has the retina display. I notice the speed especially when I'm rapidly switching from app to app, which I've been known to do. The camera is a decent 5 megapixels and does the job for most things. The retina display really makes a difference. Things on the screen look so much clearer now. I could go on and on about the iPad, but I'm here to talk about something more important: the apps.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I'm always looking for ways to become more mobile, whether it is for research or blogging. I've finally decided to ditch my laptop as well as upgrade my iPad 1 to a new iPad. Welcome to the future! I've decided to chronicle my adventures in a new series called "Genealogy in a Post-PC World." Tablet devices are becoming more prevalent in our society and have become part of the daily routine for many people. I've had my iPad for over a year now and I absolutely love it. I find myself using my laptop less as the days go by. There are so many software as well as hardware options available today that I can do almost everything on my iPad that I could do on my laptop. I will use future installments to talk about some of the iPad software apps and hardware I am using and compare them to their laptop equivalents.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Many people are helping to index the 1940 U.S. Census. This group effort is helping to provide valuable information to many people all across the United States and the world. What happens after the whole census is indexed? What to do next? One suggestion: join BillionGraves.com.
BillionGraves is a fascinating site. It seeks to build a database of headstone images from across the world that genealogists can access and use as part of their research. There are two ways to contribute to the BillionGraves project, capturing images and transcribing images.
BillionGraves has created a free app for both iPhones and Android phones. Using the app on your device, simply take photos of headstones in cemeteries. The GPS location of the phone is attached to the photo. When the photos are uploaded to the BillionGraves site they are pinpointed on a map so they can be easily found by others.
Once all of these images are uploaded from the phone to BillionGraves.com they need to be transcribed. This is where the skills developed indexing the census come in to play. It's very easy to enter the information for each headstone. You start by entering basic information, Given Names, Family Names, Birth, and Death. You can also enter an Epitaph as well as other information regarding the headstone. Once you save the information you can simply click Next and receive another headstone image to transcribe.
You can upgrade the basic account with either the "Notifications Package" or the "BillionGraves Plus Account." The notifications package gives you the ability to set "record watches" where you can receive email notifications based on certain search criteria you set. The Plus account gives you more record watches, virtual walkthroughs of cemeteries, and the ability to search records on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
If you are the competitive type you can try to get on the top 25 leaderboard. There are two leaderboards, one for top image uploaders and one for top transcribers. Get to work. You'll need at least 500 uploads or transcriptions to get onto the board.
If you've finished indexing the census or just want to take a break and do something else, head over to BillionGraves.com and help transcribe some headstones. Now that the weather is turning nice, grab your iPhone or Android phone, take a walk through your local cemetery and snap some photos and upload them to the site.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Powered by LogMeIn, Cubby is the latest entry in the cloud data service market. LogMeIn has been around since 2003 and provides "solutions for remote control, file sharing, systems management, data backup, business collaboration and on-demand customer support of PCs, servers, Macintosh computers, smartphones and other connected devices." Cubby is built to allow you to simply and securely share your information between PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.
"When it comes to sharing data in the cloud today, most solutions on the market are ultra simple but inflexible, or highly flexible but inherently complex. We see Cubby as an opportunity to deliver an ideal balance of simplicity and flexibility," said Marton Anka, LogMeIn's CTO. "It is designed to adapt to the way people naturally interact with their information -- to deliver the benefits of the cloud without forcing people to change their behavior."
Cubby is very similar to Dropbox and other storage solutions available today:
- Free online storage space (5GB free compared to Dropbox's 2GB)
- Access to your data on multiple computers and mobile devices
- Share files and folders with others
- iOS and Android apps to access documents away from your home computer
There are also differences between Cubby and the other competitors:
- You can make any folder a cubby - it does not have to be located inside the Cubby folder
- Unlimited peer-to-peer syncing - files can be synced between computers without affecting your Cubby cloud storage limit
- Restore deleted files - all deleted files are kept in an archive (part of Dropbox's paid service)
- Recover older versions - each revision is saved in the file's archive (part of Dropbox's paid service)
Thursday, April 12, 2012
|ggg grandfather Jonas Cleland's Farm (1877)|
Family Tree Magazine's Genealogy Insider e-newsletter has a great tip of the week. I really should call it "tips of the week" because it contains 5 tips on breaking through the walls you've run into on your genealogical search. Sometimes taking a step back to look at all the information you have gathered helps you gain a new perspective on old material. I find it good to go searching after another branch of my family tree if I've been banging my head against the brick wall searching for a particular ancestor. After a while of searching the other branches I come back to the brick wall. I find that I come back to it with a new set of eyes. I think of things that hadn't occurred to me earlier. This is how I found a land map from 1877 that showed the farms of both my gg grandfather Anton Wagner and ggg grandfather Jonas Cleland. The biggest surprise of all, there was an actual drawing of my ggg grandfather Jonas Cleland's farm in Indiana!
The tip of the week is part of a Power Course from Family Tree Magazine's Family Tree University called "Tear Down That Wall! Tips and Tricks for Breaking Through Your Genealogy Brick Walls". The course is only $59.99, and space is limited. Power Courses provide the equivalent of a 2-hour lecture over a week's time. Family Tree University provides all sorts of courses, from very basic courses to more advanced topics.
Don't forget! Use discount code FTU0412 to save 20 percent off tuition!