September 17, 2014

A Wish List for Genealogists

A Wish List for Genealogists

As a genealogist, what kind of things would you most like to have? Do you know someone who is just beginning to research their family tree and you’d like to give them a gift? Here are some ideas:

  • When I began doing genealogy, one of the first books I bought was The Handy Book for Genealogists. It lists all the states, and all the counties in the states, and when they were created. Did one census say that grandpa was born in Kentucky, but another said it was Virginia? Both answers could be correct if the county line moved instead of grandpa.
  • One of my favorite genealogical magazines is Family Tree Magazine because every issue is packed full of handy tips and thought-provoking stories and ideas. Every issue I have received has had at least one (usually many) idea that prompts me to jump on the computer to see what I can find. Check out these free forms that you can download from their site too.
  • Magnifying glass Census takers are notorious for having poor penmanship. If you are going to be examining any printed paper census images, having a good lighted magnifying glass would bring into focus the scribbling handwriting you will need to see in order to determine if that name is “Martin” or “Mankin”.
  • You can’t expect to get much accomplished in genealogy if you aren’t organized. I don’t think there are too many genealogists who do not have notebooks and/or filing cabinets. Putting documents in page protectors is a good idea too. A gift of a couple notebooks, some index pages and a box of sheet protectors shouldn’t set you back too far monetarily, and I bet the recipient would be thrilled to have them. Make sure you get archival sheet/page protectors though!
  • How about a GPS for that intrepid researcher who likes to visit cemeteries and find old homesteads? Maybe you could throw in a prepaid gas card too! While you are at it, a nice gift card for an eating establishment would be very thoughtful also.

Charles Darwin

  • If you have a scanner, why not offer to scan some photos for that budding genealogist?
  • If you have been doing genealogy online for some time now, maybe you could make a list of your favorite free sites and send it to them in an email so all they have to do is click on the links. Send them to Rootsweb, UsGenWeb and Cyndi’s List, and they will be happy for at least a week!

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. Do you have any suggestions for gifts, or perhaps there are tools you use for research that you would recommend? We would like to hear from you!

*some (not all) links are referrals

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