I have several tools that are essential to what I do. First and foremost is my MacBookPro. Mostly I use it at home, but I can take it with me anywhere I need when looking for information. This is my Number One essential tool.
I use a genealogy program called Legacy. (Go to http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/ for more information.) It's a PC program. Well, my Mac laptop doesn't take well to PC programs. Jim bought me Parallels and Windows 7 for Mac which allows me to run PC stuff. I like Legacy a lot. So, that's where I enter and keep my genealogy information and documentation.
|The software I use|
|This is what a family page looks like.|
A third tool is my Canon desk/portable scanner. I use it at home and have hauled it on trips to Florida when I visit family. If something turns up, I'm ready to scan in a moment. Great tool!
|Canoscan Lide 700F|
Another tool is a recent acquisition - a Flip Pal portable scanner. It can be used to scan photo albums when photos aren't easily removable. It can also be used to scan large items. I'm still learning how to use this tool.
|Flip Pal scanning a photo album|
The last major genealogy tool is my HP C7250 All-in-One printer. I use the printer and copier features the most. It's indispensable for sure.
Family members have been very helpful. Cousin Jane shared her parents' research and documents with me, especially pages from the Gilley Family Bible and a marriage certificate. Cousin Edgar is a source of good information. Newly discovered cousins, Lisa and Wendy, have sent me new information and photographs. Uncle Charlie sent my mother photocopies of their parents' birth certificates, marriage license, and a death certificate that broke my English family research wide open. Family members sharing is key to my research.
I use the internet for most of my research. I have paid subscriptions to three websites: Ancestry (USA only), Fold 3, and Genealogy Bank. Of those three I use Ancestry the most. I also like FamilySearch, which is a free website. I have found many other free resources including GenWebsites for Alabama, Free BMD website in England, Find a Grave, and more. I don't subscribe to Findmypast.co.uk in England, but when they have free access to their site, I'm there. Same with Ancestry's World Deluxe Membership when it has free access from time to time. Google Search is another good resource. I also subscribe to a print genealogy magazine, Family Tree Magazine.
Education is critical to my genealogy research. Taking classes at my local community college, Tri County Community College, has helped me tremendously. I'm taking my sixth class since I moved to Murphy. The current class is "Researching an American Genealogy." Other classes I have taken are: "Beginning/Intermediate Genealogy," "Legacy," "Advanced Genealogy," and two different "Genealogy on the Internet." These classes have had a huge impact on my genealogy life. Ancestry, Family Search, Legacy Family Tree, genealogy blogs and other sites have free tutorials that very informative.
In my next post I'll write more about my research process.