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Technology has given genealogists many new ways to connect with others and to find information. Genealogy friendly social networking sites have tools for keeping families and genealogists connected.|
Be warned, however, that not everything on the internet is true -- and that some of the "experts" out there might not know as much as you do. Beyond that, some of the information you need will only be found the old-fashioned way: Slogging through paper files, winding through microfilms, or chatting with relatives.
Here are a dozen technological tools that are just perfect for genealogy:
1. Genealogy blogs (just a taste; there are thousands of them)
These can be a great source of news about new resources, or about new discoveries, or just opinions about family history research. Browse at your leisure, or subscribe, or search many at one time using Google Reader.
Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs
Genealogy Blog Finder
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter -- Dick Eastman
Genealogy Canada -- Elizabeth Lapointe
Brenda Dougall Merriman
CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt' -- M. Diane Rogers
Olive Tree Genealogy Blog -- Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Anglo-Celtic Connections -- John D. Reid
Ancestral Notes -- EJ Bradt
Janet the Researcher -- Janet Iles
Community Heritage and Family History -- Calgary Public Library
The AncestrySearch Insider -- Dealing with Ancestry and FamilySearch
Genealogy blog -- Leland Meitzler
Think Genealogy -- Mark Tucker
Steve's Genealogy Blog -- Stephen Danko
Dear Myrtle -- Pat Richley-Erickson
GeneaBloggers -- Thomas MacEntee
Librarians Helping Canadian Genealogists Climb Family Trees -- Elise C. Cole
Ancestry.com blog -- Hosted by Ancestry
Kimberly's genealogy blog -- Kimberly Powell
Genetic Genealogist -- Blaine Bettinger
Shades of the Departed -- online genealogy magazine
A tool: Google Reader -- Aggregator helps you read all of your blogs of interest in one spot
Another tool: FeedReader -- Another way to read blogs in one spot
2. Genealogy in the news
Often, neat discoveries, new resources, conferences and the like will make the news, at least somewhere. These pages are based on an handy Google News aggregator.
Newspaper reports from Canada
Newspaper reports from the United Kingdom
Newspaper reports from the United States
3. Social networking
Find cousins, find people working on your areas, share gossip, find out that some relative you don't really care about enjoys her morning java.
Facebook -- The most important social networking site
LinkedIn -- Great place for making connections
Twitter -- All the news that fits (in 140 characters or less)
Genealogy Wise -- Similar to Facebook, but devoted to genealogy
Story of My Life -- Free space to preserve the family story
More about social networking sites
Social networking on Cyndi's List
Social media and genealogy
Facebook page about social media and genealogy
4. Networking with a genealogical twist
Several sites will help you share information and ideas with others. Check to see if other family members have posted something you can use.
Ancestry.ca -- Along with thousands of resources, you can create a family tree
Geni.com -- Create a family tree and invite others to get involved
Family Link -- Part of World Vital Records; share your material with others
MyHeritage -- With many powerful family-building features
WeRelate -- Free public service genealogy Wiki, with collaboration by all
Famiva -- Collaborative family tree
GeneTree -- Sharing with a focus on DNA
5. Apps for mobile devices
Watch for genealogy apps such as Ancestry and Find My Past. But don't be afraid to consider less obvious apps, such as Evernote (for taking notes) and even the ones that help you find where you parked your car.
Specific platforms on Mobile Genealogy:
iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad ¦ Google Android ¦ Windows Mobile
Palm/PalmOS/Palm webOS ¦ Podcasts ¦ Kindle ¦ Other Platforms
Mentioned in Dave's presentation:
Ancestry, Fibndmypast, Gedview, Genealogy Gems, Skype, Weather Network, Google Maps, Germany atlas, Car Parked Where?, Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.
Search the app store for these
6. Genealogy and geography
You can't do proper research without knowing where places are. And you might need to go to some of these places as well.
Google Maps -- Look for places, plot routes
Top five navigation systems -- From CNET
Via Michelin -- Maps, route planner, route finder and more
7. Tools for genealogy
There are a variety of sources, but there is one site that you should alwasy check first.
Google -- Use it for translations, for finding old books, for discovering about local areas, and much more
Skype -- For cheap communication around the world
8. Genealogy in the cloud
Strictly speaking, cloud computing is designed to help businesses by providing offsite computing power and storage space -- but genealogists can take advantage of the theory as well. "The cloud" can make it easy to share your work with others, and also to back up your research.
Google -- It's much more than just a search engine! Use it for mail, for sharing documents, for sharing photographs, for storage and so on
Skydrive -- Windows Live Skydrive
Dropbox -- For easy backups and transfers
9. Searchin', searchin', gotta keep searchin'
Google is the most popular search engine, but there are others.
Ask (Teoma) ¦ Bing ¦ Gigablast ¦ Lycos ¦ Mocavo ¦ Snap ¦ Yahoo!
10. Genealogy podcasts
Listen on your iPod, your MP3 player or your computer.
Genealogy Guys -- Drew Smith and George Morgan
Genealogy Gems -- Lisa Louse Cooke
Family Tree Magazine -- monthly podcasts
List of Podcasts -- on Cyndi's List
List of Podcasts -- on About.com
11. Genealogy television
Watch. Listen. Learn.
YouTube -- Look for relatives, ancestral areas
YouTube FamilySearch channel -- From FamilySearch, naturally
Video highlights from Rootstech -- The major tech conference in Salt Lake City in February
Who Do You Think You Are? -- Episodes from the NBC series
Roots Television -- A variety of videos about genealogy
Ancestry Learning Center -- videos, articles and more
Legacy Family Tree video training -- Make better use of the software
Legacy Family Tree webinars -- Check back often; many of these are live for only a short time
12. Gone, but not forgotten
Ever wish you could find a site you used years ago?
Internet Archive Wayback Machine -- To recover files from old sites
And as an added bonus, some humour
The Onion reveals the truth about Facebook!
Updates? Corrections? Better examples? Send an e-mail to Dave
Updated May 7, 2011