Category Archives: Genealogy Technology

Using Your Smartphone Camera for Genealogy

Vicki’s note – very helpful article from Family Tree Magazine:

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Using Your Smartphone Camera for Genealogy

Caught on Camera: Smartphone Camera Tips
6/13/2017
Learn to use your smartphone to capture high-quality photos of genealogy records, relatives, gravestones and family homes.

When was the last time you used an actual, dedicated digital camera to take photos? If you’re like most of us, your smartphone has replaced your old point-and-shoot digital camera. If you got your phone within the past few years, it likely offers a high-resolution camera with sophisticated algorithms to compensate for the small sensor and lens size. That small size makes your smartphone easy to keep in a pocket or purse and capture friends, family and genealogy resources at any time. And if you have a data plan, it’s also easy to instantly sync these photos to the cloud.

Your smartphone is the ideal tool to “photocopy” microfilm records and library books, preserve images of ancestors’ gravestones, take snapshots of all 45 people at your next family reunion, and record the homes and other buildings that form the backdrop for your family’s story. Most of us rarely get opportunities to capture these important genealogy images, so you want to make sure you do it right the first time. Follow these tips to get the perfect shot when taking five types of family history photos.

Microfilmed record

A few inexpensive accessories can turn your smartphone camera into a portable microfilm scanning machine, and make your library research time more efficient. No more waiting for a turn at the scanner-equipped film reader or taking laborious handwritten notes. Not all libraries permit cameras, so check with the librarian before you go. Here’s how to do it:

  • For best results, use a small flexible tripod or a clamp with a smartphone mount. I like the Joby GripTight Mount and GorillaPod tripod, which securely holds my cell phone and has bendable legs I can attach to the upper hood of the microfilm reader desk.
  • A remote shutter release like the CamKix prevents “camera shake” when you press the shutter.
  • Position the camera to aim straight down over the reader projection surface. Eliminate glare or reflection by placing a large sheet of plain white paper onto the projection surface. Adjust the microfilm reader lens to sharpen the projected image.
  • Turn off your camera flash and close apps you aren’t using to help conserve power. Take a few test shots before you get started on your project. Make sure the image is sharp and clear, and includes the entire page. If necessary, brighten or darken the film reader lamp to minimize glare.
  • When you start a new roll of film or a new section of records on the same roll, take a photo of the film box and file number or of the source information on the title page. You can use the photo to create a source citation in your research log.

Books, documents and photos

Smartphone cameras are often a better solution than flatbed scanners or photocopiers for digitizing fragile or bound books at the library, and you don’t have to worry about running out of change. When you’re surprised with a photo find at a relative’s house, your smartphone may be all you have to reproduce it. Multiple documents, maps, and other papers can be digitized quickly and with excellent results using a smartphone camera. Remember to ask permission before photographing library materials. Turn off your flash if required (it often causes glare, anyway).

  • Make sure your lens is clean. Apple recommends using only a soft, lint-free cloth, such as a camera lens cloth, to carefully clean dust and fingerprints from the iPhone camera lens. Avoid moisture, compressed air or cleaning agents of any kind, particularly anything abrasive. See your cell phone dealer for more extensive cleaning or repair.
  • To avoid shutter shake and save your arms when photographing many pages, use a remote shutter release. A copy stand, such as the Fopydo Smartstand, also is useful. You’ll also want a bookrest or bean bag to support a book’s covers when open (the library may have these available—ask when you call ahead).
  • If possible, find a flat surface with plenty of light.
  • Support your smartphone on the copy stand, if you’re using one. Place a document or photograph flat on the table and position your camera directly over it so the lens has an unobstructed view of the entire page. Avoid shooting at an angle, which distorts the shape of the paper or photo.
  • If you’re shooting a book, place it on a bookrest so it stays open. You may need to use one hand or a bean bag to gently flatten the page. Position the camera over the page, tilted at the same angle as the page.
  • Take test shots with (if permitted) and without flash to see which produces the best photos in the available light.
  • Speed your scanning workflow by using a scanning app, such as CamScanner (iOS, Android, Windows), Genius Scan (iOS, Android) and TurboScan (iOS, Android), instead of the phone’s built-in camera. These apps crop and straighten pages as you scan, create files with multiple pages, and offer enhanced lighting. You also can name pages as you “scan” them, add a date stamp and choose whether to create a PDF or JPEG file.
  • Save scanned images to your Camera Roll or email account, or export them to your cloud storage service.

Gravestones

Capturing a good image of a gravestone lets you extract all possible information and edit it to improve readability. Some cemeteries have regulations regarding the type of equipment you can use or they require photographers to get permission from the office, so call ahead before you go. And of course, respect the solemnity of the surroundings.

  • Bring a soft brush to remove loose dirt from the stone and a spray bottle with plain water to help bring out the inscription. Don’t apply any other substances, such as shaving cream or flour, to the stone. If the cemetery isn’t maintained, bring garden shears to trim weeds that cover the inscription. Don’t forget water for yourself, sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Use the built-in viewfinder grid to keep the gravestone straight and level.
  • To illuminate a hard-to-read inscription, try to photograph the stone when sunlight hits the face at about a 30-degree angle (morning for an east-facing stone, midday for west-facing stones). Using a reflector or a large white board can help you aim light at the stone. If the sunlight is too strong, shade the stone with a dark cloth. You’ll want to have a helper to handle this paraphernalia while you shoot, as well as for safety reasons.
  • Photos of hard-to-read gravestones can easily lose their identifying information. Your phone’s photo app probably lets you add text on an image, or you can use an app that places a caption below the image on a frame. Instants Photo Edition by Soreha (iOS) adds a Polaroid-style frame to photos captured “in-app” with the camera, or already in your camera roll, with an optional space for a caption. MOLDIV photo editor (iOS and Android) lets you add captions on the photo or within a simple frame around the image.
  • Record and upload GPS and inscription data to the web with a cemetery app such as Find A Grave or Billion Graves (both available for iOS and Android).

Houses and other buildings

Your ever-present smartphone is a handy tool for photographing family homes and the buildings where your ancestors worshipped, worked or attended school. A few tricks will help you best capture the entire facade and, for public structures, move inside to photograph interior rooms. If you’re photographing a private home from a public sidewalk or street, it’s not required—but it is good manners—to first let the owner know the purpose for your pictures. Don’t enter any yards unless the property owner gives you the go-ahead. Be aware that some public buildings have photo and media restrictions for security reasons.

  • Morning or afternoon light, or overcast skies, will give you the most pleasing light with fewer harsh shadows. On sunny days, plan to photograph buildings when the sunlight falls on the front of the structure, rather than directly overhead or facing the camera.
  • Position yourself at a comfortable distance, where you’re safe from passing traffic or other hazards. If you plan to take several photos, a tripod and smartphone camera mount may be helpful.
  • Use the camera’s built-in viewfinder grid to keep the horizon or roofline level. Or use the Camera Plus App (Android and iOS), which offers the traditional “rule of thirds grid” (which helps you compose a pleasing image) and a horizon level. The iPhone’s built-in Camera App includes a grid you can enable in Settings>Photos & Camera>Camera>Grid.
  • To include the tall dome of City Hall or sprawling wings of a ranch-style home with the built-in camera app, you’ll need to step back far enough to see the entire structure in your camera viewfinder or use a wide-angle lens on your camera. Sometimes that’s hard to do. A clip-on wide-angle or fisheye lens (which is curvilinear and will cause straight lines in your photo to appear curved) is especially useful in tight city streets, where it can be virtually impossible to back up far enough to photograph large buildings. The lens also lets you capture interior views of home living rooms, kitchens, and other spaces.
  • Experiment with taking portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) images. The panorama mode available on newer smartphone cameras is another option for including wide structures. See the techniques for Family Group Photos for ideas on using this feature.
  • Turn on your phone’s geotagging, or location, option to help you remember the exact location of the building.
  • Before snapping your photo, check the corners and edges of the frame for power lines, poles, bus benches, parked cars and unsightly trash bins. Try to minimize them if you can. A few of these “props” can help set the date and place, but too much confusion in a photo can overwhelm your main subject.

Relatives

Frame-worthy group photos rarely just happen. It’s hard to get a gaggle of people assembled in one place, all smiling and looking at the camera at the same time. Use these pro photography tips to make the pictures from your next family reunion the best in decades.

  • Smartphones typically boast two lenses. The front-facing lens, best for selfies, is usually relatively low resolution. For example, the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL both offer a 12 megapixel rear-facing camera and 7 or 8 megapixel front-facing camera. Use the main, rear-facing camera for the best photos.
  • Plan ahead for group shots, if possible, by encouraging relatives to wear solid-color tops. That puts the focus on faces in your pictures. But don’t be overly strict: Uncle Harry’s signature bright plaid button-down deserves a place in history.
  • Turn off the flash to avoid red-eye and harsh shadows. Shoot outside in the early morning or late afternoon, or under an overcast sky. In bright sun, go for open shade, like under a large tree. Avoid patchy shadows.
  • Select a spot with an uncluttered background that’s free from distractions such as trash cans, telephone poles and cars. A park, garden or beach location works well.
  • Gather props like stools, benches, lawn chairs and even ladders to achieve different levels. Pose the kids on laps and on the grass in front.
  • Wide panorama pictures are great for large groups or playful smaller groups (such as everyone holding hands in a chain). Take advantage of your smartphone panorama mode by slowly panning the group in the direction of the arrow on your phone camera app (practice this ahead of time—you don’t want to have a large group posed and waiting on you to figure out your phone).
  • To include yourself in the picture, use a tripod and the self-timer or a remote shutter release. Set up your camera and compose the picture. On the iPhone, access the self-timer by tapping the timer dial at the top of the photo screen, then select 3 or 10 seconds. Check the user guide for other phone models.
  • Take a bunch of photos. You’re certain to get some pictures with closed eyes, runny noses, fussy kids and awkward body language. More photos gives you a better selection. You can take multiple shots in quick succession with the burst mode feature found on most Android and iOS smartphones. Simply hold down the shutter button and the camera will take 10 frames per second. This can result in lots of images, though, so be aware you’ll need to choose the best and toss the rest.

Tip: When shooting a photo, steady your camera by standing with your legs slightly apart and arms held at an easy height, or use a tripod with swivel head.

Smartphone Smarts

You don’t have to use the latest model phone to capture great digital photographs. Most devices released in the last two or three years feature high-resolution cameras and compatibility with popular photo and editing apps. Each device and model will be slightly different, so take time to learn the basic features of your phone’s built-in camera app, including:

  • turning the flash on and off
  • locking focus on the subject (usually by touching the screen)
  • adjusting exposure
  • using the self timer
  • selecting the mode (such as video, photo or panorama)
  • setting resolution
  • performing basic editing (use photo-editing apps for advanced edits)
  • sharing photos

More Resources

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Denise May Levenick is the author of How to Archive Family Photos (Family Tree Books).
A version of this article originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

CAGGNI Internet Special Interest Group Event

Vicki’s note – notice of an event from (CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois:

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(CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois- Internet Special Interest Group Event:

Upcoming event information:
Internet Special Interest Group Schaumburg Public Library
Date: 10 Jun 2017 12:45 PM CDT

Welcome to the CAGGNI INTERNET SIG!

Internet Genealogical Services include Ancestry, Family Search, My Heritage, Find My Past, WikiTree and many others.  The Internet Special Interest Group intends to review questions about these services and have a dialog on the advantages and features of the services used by members.  This complements the features available from computer programs such as Family Tree Maker or RootsMagic that exploit the on-line databases available from the internet services.

Facilitator:  Alan Wilson
For more information: Internet Special Interest Group

Best regards,
CAGGNI

Numbering Systems for Genealogy Family Trees

Numbering Systems for Genealogy Family Trees

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

(SGS) Stateline Genealogy Sorter

May 31, 2017

Numbering systems were used more in the past for keeping track of generations in family trees.  This was the only way to keep generations of families straight on hand-written forms, family pedigree charts, and for recording in books.   Once software tracking became possible, most of the numbering, sorting, and tracking of people became more automated.

People new to genealogy have not had to know how to do any of the various numbering methods.  There are times that using a numbering system might help.

I do not know much about these methods, and had to look a long time to find any information about how to use them.

I do know that on Legacy software, the RIN numbers, automatically assigned to each person, can change.  They are not important for organizing except for the computer to keep track of individuals.

Some of the most popular numbering systems are: Ahnentafel (Sosa-Stradonitz Method), and the Register, NGSQ, Henry, d’Aboville, Meurgey de Tupigny, and de Villiers/Pama Systems.

I have used the Ahnentafel numbering system while filling out pedigree family charts.  It is very handy, and makes an easy tracking system, once you understand it.  I have even gotten to a second page of the 5 or 6 generation family pedigree charts.

Ahnentafel, also known as the Eytzinger Method, Sosa Method, and Sosa-Stradonitz Method is the numbering of ancestors beginning with a descendant. This system allows one to know an ancestor’s number without looking at the list and allows one to know an ancestor’s relationship based on their number.

The number of a person’s father is the double of their own number, and the number of a person’s mother is the double of their own, plus one. For instance, if the number of Sam White is 10, his father is 20, and his mother is 21.

See more about how to do that and other numbering systems:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogical_numbering_systems

Genealogy Numbering Systems (National Institute) – https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Genealogy_Numbering_Systems_(National_Institute)

http://www.saintclair.org/numbers/

 

 

DNA Testing – Hummmmm

Vicki’s Note – this is a post b

The following post gives me pause, but it sounds like the Ancestry.com “contract” has been “corrected”.  When I got my DNA tested at Ancestry.com, I did see the option to share my results (statistically only) with scientific research.  I decided not to do that at this time.  Giving Ancestry.com too much power?

Anyway, us genealogists are suckers for anything that make our searches easier.  DNA testing has been worth it for many people to help break down walls. 

I have a wonderful new relationship with a third cousin mutually discovered by DNA test results.  He is from the original “home” state Pennsylvania, and has been invaluable to help to me and my sisters sleuth out family history clues on-site.  We have traded old family photos as well.

I still think DNA testing is worth it, and Ancestry.com is the powerhouse tester.  Four million tests generates a lot of good results.

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25 May 2017

Ancestry.com denies exploiting users’ DNA

25 May 2017

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40045942

A leading genealogy service, Ancestry.com, has denied exploiting users’ DNA following criticism of its terms and conditions.

The US company’s DNA testing service has included a right to grant Ancestry a “perpetual” licence to use customers’ genetic material.

A New York data protection lawyer spotted the clause and published a blog warning about privacy implications.

Ancestry told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours its terms were being changed.

Headquartered in Utah, Ancestry is among the world’s largest for-profit genealogy firms, with a DNA testing service available in more than 30 countries.

‘Perpetual’

The company, which uses customers’ saliva samples to predict their genetic ethnicity and find new family connections, claims to have more than 4 million DNA profiles in its database.

Ancestry also stores the profiles forever, unless users ask for them to be destroyed.

BBC

The company’s terms and conditions have stated that users grant the company a “perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable, transferable license” to their DNA data, for purposes including “personalised products and services”.

In a statement to You and Yours, an Ancestry spokesperson said the company “never takes ownership of a customer’s data” and would “remove the perpetuity clause”.

It added: “We will honour our commitment to delete user data or destroy their DNA sample if they request it. The user is in control.”

‘Unaware’

Joel Winston, a consumer rights lawyer and former New Jersey State deputy attorney-general, was one of the first to spot the legal wording and to warn of the possible implications.

“Ancestry.com takes ownership of your DNA forever; your ownership of your DNA, on the other hand, is limited in years,” he said.

He added: “How many people really read those contracts before clicking to agree? How many relatives of Ancestry.com customers are also reading?”

saliva

Mr Winston also warns that many consumers are unaware of the additional uses of the data.

In its terms and conditions Ancestry makes reference to “commercial products that may be developed by AncestryDNA using your genetic information”.

One customer, Richard Peace, used AncestryDNA to learn more about his family history.

‘Not happy’

He told You and Yours he “knew nothing” about the commercial use when he signed up for the test.

“I’m not happy about it and today I will be emailing them to ask them not to use the information,” he said.

Ancestry told the BBC: “We do not share user data for research unless the user has voluntarily opted-in to that sharing.”

The company added: “We always de-identify data before it’s shared with researchers, meaning the data is stripped of any information that could tie it back to its owner.”

The ambitious scale of Ancestry’s plans does have support among some academics.

Debbie Kennett, a genetics researcher at University College London, welcomed the aim of building a large, global DNA database.

“For genealogy purposes we really want, and rely on, the power of these large data sets,” she told You and Yours. “A DNA test on its own doesn’t tell you anything at all.”

You and Yours is on BBC Radio 4 weekdays 12:15-13:00 GMT. Listen online or download the programme podcast.

 

Ancestry.com “Saves” are not Permanent Until You Save the Records to Your Computer

Ancestry.com “Saves” are not Permanent Until You Save the Records to Your Computer

Vicki’s note – a 5-26-2017 posting on Facebook from the FamilyHistoryDaily.com https://www.facebook.com/familyhistorydaily/  BLOG.

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Stop ‘Saving’ Records to Your Ancestry Tree Until You Read This

It’s no secret that we love free genealogy sites here at Family History Daily. But, we have to admit, we also like Ancestry.com. Next to FamilySearch.org, you’re not going to find a larger, more diverse genealogy website — and many of us are willing to pay their subscription fees for that reason alone.

But we also like Ancestry for the convenient free family tree they offer. It’s easy to get started with, maintain and share (or keep private). Plus, they’ve made it extremely convenient to add records from Ancestry’s databases. A couple of clicks and you can easily attach any number of sources, or names, to your tree (although we could tell you why that’s generally a bad idea).

But it’s this very convenience that poses a serious problem for many family historians. Most people who keep their trees on Ancestry.com probably regularly attach records to individuals using the ‘Save This Record’ function …..”

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Read the rest of the article here to find out how to save Ancestry.com records to your computer, not just to your Ancestry (online subscription) Family Tree.  Good hints on backing up your data, and updated information on the status of the replacements for Ancestry Family Tree Maker Software – TreeSync; and FamilySync from MacKiev.:

http://familyhistorydaily.com/genealogy-help-and-how-to/stop-saving-records-to-your-ancestry-tree-until-you-read-this/

EXCLUSIVE from Thomas MacEntee: Save 15% on NEW Legacy 9.0 Family History Software

Vicki’s Note – Well it finally is here – the new Version 9 update of Legacy genealogy software to keep track of your family history searches.  There is a free version available also. 

I bought Version 8, and like it, when I have time to do my own family genealogy.  And Thomas MacEntee has come up with a special discount, if you want to buy the enhanced version of Legacy 9.   Thanks Thomas.  I also suggest buying the CD as well as the download.  

Try the free version (see link below).  I found the enhancements worth paying for the paid version of Legacy 8.  I think that the new “hinting” feature (super leafs!) itself is going to be worth getting the upgrade of Legacy 9,

I cannot wait to try the other features.  They are amazing, and just upped the competition for other software providers.  Be sure to click on the link below to see details on the new enhancements.  I knew that they were working on this, but I am one joyous genealogist to see what fun is in store for me with all of the unexpected wonderful new features!

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EXCLUSIVE from Thomas MacEntee: Save 15% on NEW Legacy 9.0 Family History Software

by Thomas MacEntee

April 18, 2017

Legacy Family Tree has just released Version 9.0 of its amazing genealogy software – you can save 15% via Genealogybargains.com
http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/WhatsNew9.asp
 Legacy 9

Legacy 9.0 software for genealogy and family history research has just been released with amazing new features. Check out the new features you’ll find in the highly-anticipated new version of Legacy Family Tree Software:

  • Hinting: Legacy 9 sifts through billions of records from the key websites –  FindMyPast, FamilySearch, GenealogyBank, and MyHeritage – for new information, pictures, and stories of your ancestors. As you add to your tree, Legacy 9 begins the search – automatically!
  • Reports and Charts: See trends in your ancestors’ medical history with the new Cause of Death charts. Expand your genetic genealogy tools with the new X‐DNA color schemes. Get everyone involved at your next reunion or family gathering with Family Tree BINGO – play with cards of your ancestors, descendants, or a mixture. You can also now see your tree at a glance in the Family Dictionary.
  • FindAGrave.com Searching: One‐click access to your ancestor’s Find A Grave memorial. Create a list of people in your tree with or without Find A Grave IDs.
  • Online Backup: You’ll never worry about losing your data again. In addition to backing up to your hard drive, a thumb drive, or a DVD, you can now backup your Legacy to the Legacy Cloud. It also makes transferring to a new computer a breeze.
  • Stories: Preserve the stories of your ancestors or stories of your own. The new Stories tool lets you  record, organize and print multiple stories for any of your ancestors.
  • Hashtags: Create unlimited hashtags to describe your ancestors. Then search for or print a report of everyone who shares that hashtag. You’re no longer limited to 9 tags. Call them anything you want – #civilwar  #DNAtested  #farmer  #ProvenAncestor  #BrownHair
  • Compare 2 People: Researching two same‐named individuals? Having difficulty differentiating two John Smiths in the same place? The new Chronology Comparison report puts them side‐by‐side, color codes their similarities and differences, and helps you determine if they could be the same person.
  • Color Coding: Legacy’s popular color‐coding system has been expanded. Now enjoy the ancestor color coding in both the Index View and Name List, making it simple to know what part of your tree you are looking at.
  • And dozens of other enhancements: Digital pictures are now auto‐sorted by date. View all 9 tags in the Name List. Two additional  custom toolbar buttons, and much more . . . .

The upgrade price, if you currently have Legacy Deluxe, is $26.95. For first time buyers, the price is $34.95 for the download version of Legacy 9.0 Deluxe. Click here and use promo code thomas15leg at checkout and save 15%! To take Legacy 9.0 Standard for a test with a FREE DOWNLOAD, click here.

Click here for more information and to upgrade your current copy of Legacy or get the new version – via Legacy Family Tree

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

CAGGNI Event Announcement: RM + TMG Special Interest Group, 08 Apr 2017

Vicki’s note – Upcoming event information from (CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois:

RM + TMG Special Interest Group Schaumburg Public Library
Date: 08 Apr 2017 10:30 AM CDT

RM+TMG Special Interest Group

The RM + TMG SIG is for members interested in the operation and features of the computer programs for genealogy databases RootsMagic and The Master Genealogist.

This CAGGNI Group meets to discuss and share knowledge and experience in using computer programs to research, record, display and share genealogical data.  Also helping each other gain a better understanding of the programs and other useful related computer software.  Users of all levels are welcome to join this group.

Facilitator: Larry Olson

Family Tree Maker is Not Dead Yet!

Vicki’s Note – article from CAGGNI Newsletter February 2017:

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Family Tree Maker is Not Dead Yet!

by Nancy R. Thomas
Last year, Ancestry.com announced that they
would no longer support their popular Family
Tree Maker software after December 31, 2016.
The Software MacKiev Company bought the
rights to sell FTM, but the lag between
Ancestry’s announcement and MacKiev’s
purchase had many users looking for another
software product for their genealogy.
MacKievpromised to have a free update by the
beginning of 2017 for customers with an FTM
2014 version, and that this new version would
continue to sync to their trees on Ancestry.com.
MacKiev kept its promise. The new version 2014.1 is out
and syncs toAncestry.com trees.
In the meantime, here is a link that may be of
help in answering some of your questions:
.
Also, a caution: backup several copies of your
current FTM tree before converting to the
MacKiev 2014.1 version. When you go to link
your tree be sure to uncheck the box at the
bottom of the dialog screen or your tree will
NOT sync. The default setting has a check mark in the box.
ftm

Selected from CAGGNI’s Facebook group postings in February 2017

Vicki’s note – helpful links in the February 2017 newsletter from (CAGGNI)  Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois:

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From the Blogosphere

– Selected from CAGGNI’s Facebook group postings in January 2017

Looking for Chicago ancestors?

Incredible New Photos Show Evolution of Far North Side from Earliest Days

–ROGERS PARK—
A new historic photo-based art project in Rogers Park has
brought to light 100 archival photos
of how life in the Far North Side neighborhoods has
evolved over the last century.

Just listened to an excellent FamilyTree webinar called

“Strategies to find the most challenging ancestors with DNA data.”

Speaker was James M Baker (his voice sounds like Jimmy Stewart)

This first of a series on using Google to

assist in your genealogy search has some good

blog. Family HistoryBinder–Part 1–Intro

Great blog for social history for genealogy…
101 free writing prompts for writing the stories
of your ancestors at The Social Historian blog

articlescovering the social history behind world events.

Trello for Genealogy

Vicki’s Note – article from Oct 8 2016 CAGGNI newsletter

https://caggni.wildapricot.org/resources/Documents/Newsletters/2016/CAGGNI_2016_10_Newsletter.pdf:

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caggni

Trello for Genealogy

by Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson has been working on the genealogy of his family for eight years. He has used various software tools and databases, including Family Tree Maker, Ancestry, The Master Genealogist, Webtrees, WikiTree, Gramps and RootsMagic. Alan became interested in DNA for genealogy in 2008. Since then he has tested with Family Tree DNA and Ancestry and he has used DNA comparisons on Family Tree DNA, DNAGedCom, GedMatch, Y-Search, Y-Base and Ancestry.
While I attended the FGS meetings in Springfield, IL, the week of September 2, one of the presentations was about Trello software as an organization tool for genealogy. The presentation was by Lisa Alzo, the Accidental Genealogist (http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com) I found the subject interesting enough that I downloaded the software and tried it out. I also watched Steve Dotto’s video on his evaluation of Trello on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOti Qdfywzk ).

Trello is similar in some ways to Evernote and Microsoft OneNote. I have used both of them. Unlike the note taking apps, Trello uses an index card metaphor. So “notes” are written on cards, the cards are inserted into lists and the lists are on boards. This metaphor also works with Evernote and OneNote, but in Trello, it is a fixed structure while the note apps are flexible enough to permit other metaphors. If you are mostly interested in elaborate notes, then Trello might not be the best tool. In my case, I have found brief notes of a few sentences, or a checklist, to be most useful, and in those cases, Trello is probably a better choice. I can then construct more elaborate “notes” by grouping cards together in a list.
Trello also differs from the note apps in that it does not really exist as a program in Windows or a laptop environment. Instead, it is small enough that it is a web page app that works in a browser, such as Safari or Chrome. There is also an app for a tablet or smart phone, either Droid or Apple. The tablet or phone app is well suited for the small index card style of notes. One other benefit of existing as a web app is that it can avoid the frequent software updates forced by changes to Microsoft Windows or Apple OSX.
The figure shows a very small Trello list on a board called “Family Tree Entropy.” The list has 3 cards that I constructed for the illustration. Each card has some information that can be easily retrieved by clicking on the card.
Trello naturally supports collaboration or sharing lists and cards for others that may be working on a family tree. Cards can have checklists, due dates, color coded labels, photos, images, as well as ordinary text. It is also integrated with Google Gmail, IFTTT (If This Then That) and other useful apps, so it fits in very well in the mobile environment that is the work environment for many of us.