Genealogy SIG Newsletter: November 2013

Something slightly different this month. With the festive season quickly approaching I thought I would draw up a Christmas Wish List!

Subscriptions to genealogy magazines:

There are a number of offers around at this time of year – prices start from about £35 upwards.

Subscriptions (websites)

It's very difficult to carry out any genealogy research without having access to one of the major subscription websites. Subscription charges vary depending and there are generally some offers to be found, so have a look round before committing yourself!

Subscriptions (others)

Newspapers are a great source of information so take a look at The British Newspaper Archive which you can subscribe to for amything between a 2 day to 1 year period.
Don't forget to check out Local Family History Societies - many of whom send out quarterly magazines as well as offer publications/transcribed records at a discounted price to members. You will find a useful listing of these societies on the Federation of Family History Societies website.


I think the majority of JCC members are Family Tree Maker Users. The new version, Family Tree Maker 2014, has just been released which I am "test driving" at the moment! Another popular program for the Windows OS is Family Historian, a trial version of which is available so you can test before buying.

Programs available for Apple computers include Family Tree Maker for Mac, MacFamily Tree and Reunion.

When purchasing any software it’s worth looking around at different websites to compare prices and packages on offer. Amazon frequently have good offers for Family Tree Maker, and if you are an Ancestry subscriber then it is generally worth purchasing the “platinum package” which comes with a six month free Ancestry sub.

Print your family tree

Have you considered a professional print of your family tree? There are a number of companies who will do this for you, using a GEDCOM file which is easily exported from whichever program you use. I have seen examples produced by Genealogy Printers and have been very impressed by them.

Book publishing - turn your family history into an unforgettable gift.

Record keeping / archive storage

Finding the best way to store documents is important – a few suggestions from three major suppliers in the UK, S & N Genealogy Supplies, My History and Family Tree Folk.

A good selection of choice from these companies - very colours available so you can even colour coordinate the different family lines! I have a couple of springback binders which I use for my “family tree” printouts/write up. New pages are easily inserted and it avoids having to punch holes in the paper which over time tends to tear. I love the look of the A4 leather binders from MyHistory!


The National Archives bookshop has a wide range of family history books –certainly worth keeping an eye on the “sales” they have from time to time. Have picked up quite a few bargains in the past! Postage rates are very reasonable.

They also have a section on their website for Christmas gift ideas - worth taking a look to see what is available.

An interesting and useful series of books is the "My Ancestor was …" collection. Published by the Society of Genealogists they are not only reasonably priced but also very informative!


Everyone loves a new gadget!

The FlipPal mobile scanner seems to be the “gadget of the year” according to a number of genealogy blogs/sites I have looked at! Cordless, battery powered mobile scanner – stores scans on SD memory card. Scan album photos in place – ideal when visiting relatives who don’t want to let their precious photos out of their sight. Versatile – scan small to large originals, photos, drawings, bound books – even small objects like coins, medals, jewellery. Large originals can be scanned in situ, the stitch software is then used to combine the multiple scans into a perfect copy. Produces high quality digital images.

Can be purchased from:

A handheld scanner is slightly less sophisticated in comparison to the FlipPal scanner above. Portable cordless handheld scanner for scanning documents as well as pictures - take it with you everywhere.

When you're visiting relatives, meeting up with the family, out and about in the local graveyard and wanting to make notes – a digitial recorder in your pocket is the thing to have! Wide range on offer on sites such as Amazon – prices from about £20 upwards.

Other useful gadgets:


Gift vouchers are always a useful fallback!

Hope you can find something to add to your Wish List, I know I've added plenty to mine!



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