Monday, February 25, 2008

Carnival of Genealogy - technology?

March's Carnival of Genealogy wonders what technology we rely on most to assist with genealogy and family history research.
  • one piece of hardware (besides your computer)
  • one piece of software (besides your internet browser),
  • one web site/blog
Since I won't be able to wax poetic about my new MacBook (it is the center, after all, of my tech universe), I think the scanner would be my pick for the piece of hardware I depend on the most. It allows me to digitize borrowed family photos and to make copies of relevant printed materials such as journal articles, pages from books, newspaper clippings and correspondence. (postcard from Lake Wallenpaupack above)

Software is an even harder question to answer, but since I can pick only one, it will have to be the 9th upgrade of Reunion. I've been using this program since it's inception and every upgrade has brought something new and useful. My favorite features in the latest upgrade are "tree tops", which show from each family card, the names of the earliest ancestors and "pod cards" which export the family cards you choose to your ipod for perusal anywhere.

My web site pick on the other hand is easy - First, I was pleasantly surprised to find all the census information available there. On snowy days over this winter, I was able from home, to find, view and download census records for numerous ancestry lines. In addition, I found marriage, birth and death records and digitized copies of county and family histories that proved useful. So far I've been kept busy using US ancestry, and will be renewing for another three months. Perhaps at the end of the next three months, I will be ready to try the World version and begin learning how to read both British, Irish and German records!

I've had fun and found satisfaction doing genealogy research since I first began over 30 years ago, but I have to say that the ever increasing range and reach of technology has helped to make it ever more gratifying.


  1. Wow, researching for 30 years you have seen so many new technologies for genealogy! Just 8 years ago when I started I had to buy a scanner and printer to get things going. I did the lurking in the libraries and county clerk's offices for a good while but I do a lot on the internet now. I still go to the other places though. There's nothing quite like real-life interaction with others!

  2. Welcome to the Carnival Mac user!

    I can't live without my iMac and two G4s. Reunion -- I love it. It's so intuitive.


  3. How's the new MacBook? I've got a G5 (although Mum seems to think it's a heater or something!), although I must admit to using my laptop or PC for family history research.

  4. Welcome to the COG! You have quite the diverse collection of surnames in your tree! I look forward to reading your blog regularly.

  5. Welcome to the COG! Your list of family names you are researching is quite impressive.

    I saw your mention of Reunion and got exciting thinking that there was a new software program I hadn't tried yet. I'll have to switch to a Mac before I can try it out! lol

    Blog: Cow Hampshire

  6. Welcome to the COG! I like Ancestry very much too, but I go to the library to use it for free. The subway tokens add up, but they're cheaper than a subscription!