Archives: December 2012

My Top 29: Best Christmas Gifts for the Avid Genealogist

 

Are you struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift for the beloved Genealogist in your family? Unsure where to start looking?

Here is a list of the best genealogy products from a wide range of categories and price ranges. At the very least, it should provide some inspiration.

 

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

The one gift that would be perfect for every genealist is the amazing, compact, Flip-Pal mobile scanner.
How does the Flip-Pal differ from the standalone scanners we are used to using? It provides invaluable mobility and flexibility. It is mobile in the sense that it can be used outside the home for on-site research and document reproduction, such as in libraries, archives, government offices, etc. It’s amazingly flexible in that it’s battery operated and is capable of scanning oversize documents (that would never fit on a stand-alone scanner) in multiple parts and then stitching them together to create one complete high resolution document. Flip-Pal is currently offering holiday specials for savings of $20 to $55, depending on the bundle purchased.

 

Genealogy Site Subscriptions

Several valuable websites offer subscriptions of varying terms and prices, some universal and some specializing in special areas of research such as military, by location, etc.

A few of these are:

  • Ancestry.ca (Canada)
  • Ancestry.com (US and Global)
  • Genes Reunited
  • Fold3
  • One Great Family
  • Archives.com

 

Laptops

The first large purchase I made for my genealogy research was a laptop. The portability was invaluable to me as a hockey mom and will be important as an empty nester and retiree. During weekend hockey tournaments, while Stuart and Mark were watching TV or playing games in the hotel room, I could be happily conducting research. Here are some amazing laptop buys.

  • Samsung Chromebook (Wi-Fi, 11.6-Inch)
    • I have both a Mac desktop and a Windows laptop. I much prefer using a Mac, but my preferred genealogy software (Rootsmagic) does not offer a Mac version, despite my constantly bugging them, asking for them to create a Mac version. If they ever offered a Mac version, I would never switch to anything else. At $249, this laptop is a recognized and respected brand at an unbeatable price.
  • Apple iBook Laptop 12.1″ M9164LL/A (800-MHz PowerPC G4, 256 MB RAM, 30 GB Hard Drive, DVD/CD-RW Drive)
    • Had I not been forced to purchase a Windows laptop to accommodate my software, I would have gladly paid the higher price for a Mac. It’s so worth it for the quality. The features for working with images are unparalleled.
  • Dell Inspiron i15R-1316BLU 15-Inch Laptop

 

External Hard Drive

I use a Seagate external hard drive and I love it. It’s very compact and easily fits in a laptop case with the mobile scanner, mouse (I don’t like trackpads), and cords required to work away from home. I can’t stress enough that in this case, size matters. Mine is a 1T hard drive and I would never consider purchasing anything smaller, especially since I prefer to work with high quality, high resolution images as much as possible.

  • Seagate Expansion 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STBX500100
  • Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STBU1000100 (Black)

 

Online Backup

If your loved one has a laptop and finds it easier to not carry around a hard drive, then Mozy Online Backup may be the solution. It’s easy to get up to 2GB free, and even more online storage is available for a fee.

 

Genealogy Software

  • Rootsmagic
    • This is the genealogy software I use – and have used for ten years. I have remained loyal to this software because of their frequent and consistent updates, and the flexibility to handle custom dates such as those in Quaker research (i.e. 3d 11th mo 1708) or date ranges (i.e. between about November 3, 1708 and 1710).
  • Heredis
    • This is the one software I seriously considered to replace Rootsmagic – and I actually did purchase it after trying the demo and being impressed. As soon as I started working in our Quaker lines again, it was immediately apparent that this software was unable to handle custom date formats, translating them in very weird indecipherable ways. I will say, however that I was impressed enough that I would try again if they ever change it to handle custom dates. They were very understanding about my reasons for requesting a refund and provided it readily.
  • Family Tree Maker
    • I did own Family Tree Maker and switched to Rootsmagic because it suited my particular research and goals better. It is a favorite of numerous others though, so I am including it here.

 

Genealogy Books

Here are a few books I would recommend.

  • For the novice genealogist.
    • The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy  – Use the Web to trace your roots, share your history, and create a family tree (Everything Series).
    • 101 of the Best Free Websites for Climbing Your Family Tree
    • Genealogy Online For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
  • For the advanced genealogist.
    • The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy  – Use the Web to trace your roots, share your history, and create a family tree (Everything Series).
    • Beyond the Basics: A Guide for Advanced Users of Family Tree Maker 2011
    • Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians
    • The Troubleshooter’s Guide to Do-It-Yourself Genealogy: Advanced Techniques for Overcoming Obstacles, Removing Roadblocks, and Unlocking Your Family History!

 

Fun and Helpful Genealogy Products

  • Sony ICD-SX25 Digital Voice Recorder
  • Genealogy Confusion blue Family Fitted T-Shirt by CafePress
  • Executive Family History Binder
  • Wall Chart-Genealogy Of Jesus Christ (Laminated)
  • Genealogy Binders
  • Genealogy Text Mousepad