Monday, April 6, 2009

How has technology helped in my genealogical research?

USB drives
USB drives, thumb drives or as I like to call them my Urim and Thumb Drives are my favorite. I backup all my genealogy on USB drives and keep one in my safe. I also always carry another in my pocket wherever I go. When I’m at the Family History library, I can always plug it in and access my database. I have a GEDCOM file and also an aq (Ancestral Quest) file. Luckily, the Family History Library in SLC has Ancestral Quest installed on their computers among other genealogy programs.

Spreadsheet applications
Where would I be without Excel? Putting extracted data in nice neat rows and columns, then arranging then in proper order, makes it easier to see family connections. I have been using spreadsheets since ├że old Enable program (<===notice the letter thorn).

Digital Cameras
Now I don’t have to scan all those multitude of pictures into my computer. Taking a shot of a headstone is great, because now if the picture wasn’t quite right you just take another and delete the grave picture (pun intended). Digital cameras have increased the volume of pictures taken immensely, now if we can just make sure that they are all labeled adequately.

Internet
The internet has some very useful information, if you know where to look and are lucky enough to find it. Of course there is a lot of bogus genealogy out there too. Always check your facts.

Computers
Notice how all the previously mentioned technologies relate to the computer. The computer was invented for genealogy. However, I do remember entering all my genealogy by hand, only 3500 at the time and then having the old PAF auto-merge great grandparents to great great grandchildren. Every once in a while, I still see the old merge problem in genealogy data bases today.

DNA
Although my Y chromosome is Swedish which uses patronymic names, I have seen some interesting connections with other families. If I can only talk my Scottish cousins into getting their DNA results?

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