Monday, May 27, 2013

Kodak SCANMATE i940 Comes to Mac

Having received an "Excellent" rating, as well as an Editor's Choice, from PC Magazine, Kodak has now tweaked there SCANMATE i940 for Mac users. Although somewhat large, the SCANMATE can be used as a portable scanner, powered off of a USB connection. Read the full press release after the break.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Who's Your Number Two? is the 800-pound genealogy gorilla in the room. They've been picking up other genealogy properties such as and Ancestry seems to be the go-to place for building your family tree. But what is your second favorite genealogy site to visit?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Great Videos for Genealogists

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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Genealogy in a Post-PC World, Part 3: Productivity

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

Genealogy in a Post-PC World, Part 2: First Apps

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

Genealogy in a Post-PC World: Part 1

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

BillionGraves Brings Cemeteries to You

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 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. 

Capturing 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.

Transcribing Images
Once all of these images are uploaded from the phone to 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 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.