You don’t have to have all the latest gadgets to be a good genealogist, but there are some great pieces of technology and software that will make your research run smoothly. These tips, pulled from our Tech-Savvy Genealogy workshop, will help you make the most of all the tools at your disposal. Read below for some tips.
Search by Topic, Not Just Name
Here is some advice from Amy Johnson Crow in her presentation, Undiscovered Collections in Online Databases: When searching collections online, especially in the Internet Archive
, search by topic. Instead of just searching for a name of your ancestor or relative, think about what you want to find out. This will help you narrow down the results and really focus your research without getting distracted.
Make Use of Online Trees
If there’s one piece of advice you’ll hear over and over again, it’s that you shouldn’t blindly import someone else’s tree as your own. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore them completely. Information in online trees can help generate hints for your own research that you can then verify or disprove with some searching of your own. The other bonus of perusing online trees: you can connect with kin who are researching similar lines and interests.
Bait the Hook
Your online tree isn’t the only way to connect with kin — in fact, the internet is best when it helps people connect, and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to finding your family history. Why not use social media platforms to share some of your findings? This will act as “cousin bait” to find those other family researchers, as well as get other relatives interested in the topic. Set up a Facebook group or share old photos on Instagram.