Prompt #14 asks us to talk about what different types of technology we use in our genealogy research and how it is working for us. At this point, I have never replied to a weekly prompt, I figured this would be a good one to start with. Thanks to Thomas at Genea Bloggers for keeping us updated with each weekly prompt. Also thanks to Amy at We Tree for her many ideas to blog about this week.
When it comes to technology, that is where the majority of my research is done. I use many different websites. Ancestry.com, Geni.com, familysearch.org, and Newspaper Archives.com. Ancestry has helped me connect with many distant cousins, find many census and other records I was looking for. The only issue I have with this site is that the search function could be more efficient. There are a few things that I have had to have someone else look up, give me specifics about where the records is, so then I can search on Ancestry for it by State and County.I have finally uploaded two family trees, after a few years of membership. With this I have been able to take one line of my tree back even further. Though, the main line I have been working on is still at its brickwall. Ancestry seems to be making changes to their site all the time from adding new sources to now adding the help of professional genealogists in the near future (though it is unclear about how this is going to work at the moment). Geni is a great site for your family to come together and work on the tree collectively. Though, some of us are protective of the work that we have done, you wonder about what is being placed. For our family, the Geni site has brought forward our next generation Genealogist. We have also had luck with relatives that I have never met, logging on and sharing things that I did not know. Overall, it is successful for sharing and networking with your family. The Family Search site is not used as often as the other sites for myself. Not to put others off, but I have not had much success finding things on this site. Newspaper Archives however, has added so much to my family tree this year. Through searching old obituaries, I have been able to find relatives back in NY that I did not know where there. I have made contact with them and hope to be able to meet them this summer.
Of course, I am on a few of the social networks as well. I started out on Facebook looking for friend that I lost contact with. After I found her and before I could delete the profile, many friends over the years have popped up. So I continued with this site. Which now I use more to network with others that love Genealogy as much as I do. I am also on Twitter, which I am not 100% with. But, I am there and will continue for now.
I started my blog Climbing the O’Connell Family Tree on Blogger and recently moved it to WordPress. As stated in my last post, WordPress has a crisp, more elegant look, which is why I moved the blog. I started the blog to help track my research, now I use the blog and many of the sites listed to network with others. I feel that through this I have made friends and people I can trust to help me along when needed.
The one other site that I truly have utilized in my search is the USGenWeb project. With the obituaries I found, this project has helped me find the final resting place for many of my ancestors. I am grateful to all those invested in these volunteer projects that help the rest of us with our research.
To keep everything organized, I have used a few different programs. I started with Family Tree Maker in 1999, which I loved, it searched the internet for me, helped create a web site, and had the ability to put together books. Was there anything not to like for someone just starting in their research. Currently, I am running on a MAC, so Family Tree Maker is no longer an option. I currently use Reunion, which organizes my information and has the ability to input the sources as well. It is user-friendly, I have had no real problems or learning curve with it. Also, I love that the company stands behind their product and is great with the support they give their users.
The only thing that I would like to see is more products for the MAC, most genealogy based products are for the PC. Any correspondence I have had with multiple companies advises that it is not in the near future due to economic conditions. As always, we are putting everything on the economy!