As I was pulling together information for my upcoming April presentation, “Genealogy on the Go: Mobile Tools to Manage Your Discoveries,” I started thinking about how genealogy and technology go hand-in-hand these days – but that finding out more about the technology part, besides its application to genealogy, can sometimes be confusing for beginning users. Here are some places online I think would be helpful in finding tech information and news, as well as kin and research allies!
For general information about your computer or device and using it, About.com offers a “Computing” section at http://www.about.com/compute/, with informative articles in categories related to Hardware, Operating Systems, Software, and Internet/Online topics. (Their “Genealogy” section at http://genealogy.about.com/ is a great destination, too!) The website MakeUseOf.com offers review, how-to, and news articles on technology by topic, as well as free read-online and/or downloads of their own MakeUseOf eBooks such as “Research Your Family Tree Online” (at http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/research-your-family-tree-online) and “The Free Guide to Your iPad” (at http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/download-five-star-guide-for-your-ipad).
Stepping into the genealogy realm, sources for technology information and news come from some familiar places. Cyndi’s List is THE portal to anything and everything related to genealogy; it just turned eighteen in March 2014. Cyndi Ingle’s site provides links to websites offering information, record images, or transcriptions, as well as podcasts – to name a few resources. The “Software and Computers” category at http://cyndislist.com/software/ is a good jumping off point at Cyndi’s website to find tech information. Dick Eastman regularly posts about the latest news – and his own two cents’ worth – on technology, gadgets, services, and trends, as well as genealogy in his Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. Current postings can be read at the site or delivered to your email inbox by subscription. Archives of past articles are also available and searchable at http://blog.eogn.com.
Those who are members of Facebook may want to consider joining the Technology for Genealogy group started by genealogist Susan Petersen. Members of this group discuss technology used for genealogical purposes, and share information and opinions about computers, gadgets, software – you name it, as they say! Thomas MacEntee’s Hack Genealogy website was born out of the Technology for Genealogy group as an information source and forum for non-Facebook users, but it is so much more. He notes in the website description, “Hack Genealogy wants readers to understand how others are using technology to succeed,” and he also posts about how genealogists are creating or discovering new ways to use non-technological methods to conduct their research projects.
Informational websites discussing technology and genealogy are numerous, and these are just a few that I have found helpful, informative, and sometimes thought-provoking. So, do learn more about the technology you use! The knowledge will improve your research skills and techniques, and you’ll likely find more ancestors and kin along the way.
About Alice Kane
Alice Kane worked with NEHGS constituents until 2020, orienting and facilitating research for first-time visitors to the NEHGS headquarters. Prior to joining the staff, she was a librarian at the Boston Public Library for 19 years. Alice is an expert in Chinese and Chinese-American genealogy and also has extensive experience with French-Canadian, Irish, and German research. She earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Harvard University.View all posts by Alice Kane →