Now What? Picture Programs

Now What? Picture Programs

Expert answers for the beginner, the befuddled and anyone facing a brick wall. In this issue: photo-organizing software, tartans and family tree wall charts.

Q. I have several hundred family photographs that I want to scan and preserve on CD. Is there a good index or database program that will help me organize them, and let me easily access the photos at some later date?

A. You have several software options, but price, computer requirements and usability are the keys to determining your final choice. In selecting a product to use with photographs, also consider what you are looking for in a final product and how you want to share these images.

If you want only to scan select images and intend to link them to genealogical information, you should consider purchasing a genealogy program. (See our comparison of nine popular programs in the June 2000 Family Tree Magazine.) Most allow you to enter multiple images and captions in an album page linked to a family group sheet.

Scrapbooking programs, such as American Greetings Scrap-books & More ($19.95, 800-395-0277, <www.shopmattel. com>) and Fiskars Scrapware ($28, free trial at <www. fiskars.com/memories/computer_ software/>), help you organize images as well as create scrap-book pages to print out or post online. Check out the scrap-booking magazines Making Memories and Creating Keepsakes for more information.

Another option is to construct your own interrelated database using a program such as Microsoft Access. You can customize fields and reports linked to specific images. Or look for a general photo-organizing program, such as Picture It! from Microsoft (<pictureit.msn.com/PI/default.asp>).

Before purchasing any software, try to find a demo version online or review of the product to make sure it has the capabilities you need for your project.
—Maureen A. Taylor

From the February 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine

Mad for Plaid

Q. I’ve traced my ancestry to Scotland. How can I find out if I have a tartan?

A. All Scots can claim a tartan — your task is figuring out which one best fits you. Start by visiting the Scottish Tartan Society’s Web site <www.tartans. Scotland.net>, where you can search its “Register of All Publicly Known Tartans” totaling more than 2,500 patterns. You can search for tartans by name or keyword. If that produces no matches, try a “sept search.” Instead of looking for tartans, this search finds families your surname might be associated with, perhaps because of a historic allegiance, migration or distortion of the name over time. You can then use the sept results for a new tartan search.

But don’t be surprised if a surname search yields no results. “Only about 20 percent of Scottish surnames have a clan/family connection,” says society researcher Keith Lumsden. Though people often associate tartans with clans, there are actually nine other types (all of which are included in the register): district, t regimental, royal, chief, hunting, dress, trade, mourning and corporate.
 

So if you can’t claim a clan tartan, you can wear the district tartan for the area where your ancestor was born, married or did business — pretty much any connection will do. Or you can don the regimental “Black Watch,” the official government plaid that’s considered universal. Other tartan types are variations of these categories — for example, “hunting” tartans use more subdued shades for camouflage and “dress” tartans contain brighter hues — so it’s possible that a family or district could have multiple tartans.

If you still haven’t settled on a plaid to represent your pedigree, you can send your genealogical information to the society and it will create a “tartan report” for you for between 10 and 20 pounds (about $14 to $28). The society also designs new “family” tartans that can be added to its register. Write to: Register of All Publicly Known Tartans, Port-na-Craig Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5ND, Scotland.

– Allison Stacy

From the February 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine
 

Perplexing Poster

Q. My sister-in-law has been searching for the “family tree” poster-sized form to fill out and frame as a Christmas present. We have searched and searched for over three years! I have one that was purchased about five years ago from a craft store that no longer carries them. Please, if you have any information on where we can get the “family tree” poster-sized form, it would be greatly appreciated!

A. If you can’t locate the company that made your chart, try looking for similar charts at local craft stores and on the Web. Some genealogy bookstores also carry supplies and novelty items, and their online catalogs often include product images. A good starting point is <www.cyndislist. com/supplies.htm#Vendors>, where you’ll find links to more than two dozen vendors that sell genealogy supplies, charts and forms. Among those with fill-in charts are Everton Publishers <www.everton.com>, Ye Olde Genealogy Shoppe <www.yogs.com> and Genealogical Research Libraries <www.grl.com/grl/supplies.shtml>.

– Allison Stacy
 
From the February 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine 

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