Fun Holiday

All I Want for Christmas

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Written by Jayne McGarvey

All I want for Christmas is a window to the past, complete with time and date stamp in the corner, so I can find out exactly what, where and when my ancestors were up to and with whom.  Unfortunately as I don’t think Santa will oblige this particular wish there are many other tools and toys for every budget that will keep most of us in Family History Heaven.

If the budget is not an option what about a genealogy cruise.  Join Gary and Diana Smith on their 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean for a week of great fun and learning aboard Celebrity Silhouette. A Solstice Class ship, Celebrity Silhouette encompasses all the amenities and grandeur of a 5 star resort hotel while sailing to some of the most interesting destinations in the Caribbean. Indulge in five course gourmet dining, marvel at spectacular nightly entertainment, and ashore, explore the uniqueness of each port- of- call.  If these dates or locations don’t suit you, there are many more dates, ships and companies to choose from.

A subscription to your favorite or an additional research company is always a useful tool. Wherever you are searching for your ancestors there are World Wide and Country specific sites that may contain many of the records you are searching for.

Stuck on your research or know someone who is just not in the geographical location they need to be to access off-line records? Then how about a genealogy research voucher.  Many Genealogists offer a range of gift vouchers to suit most pockets, so take your pick from a vital event look up to a full multi-lineage genealogy report printed on archival paper with a family tree chart or scroll.

Of course you don’t need the luxury of a cruise to take advantage of one of the many and varied genealogy courses available.  With a wealth of options from physical and virtual classes to online tutorials, one-to-one specific advice from a genealogist, from general beginner courses, specialist advice and Certified Diploma Courses there is something for everybody at every level of experience.

A magazine subscription can be both a learning tool and a form of entertainment.  Again there is a wide variety of magazines that specialize in many aspects of Genealogy – from world-wide editions to geographically localized family history group publications there is a budget and a sphere for everyone.  Check out this list with links at http://www.cyndislist.com/magazines/print/

If you are just becoming interested in genealogy, or have friends and family who are just getting started, you can check out AncestorCloud’s sister site, Trace.com. Through Trace.com, you can buy an Origins Package, or, in other words, a family history starter package. This package is focused on bringing the history of your ancestors to life, so that you can help your children, grandchildren, or other family members learn who they are by learning about their heritage.

When it comes to DNA tests for genealogical purposes, there are three main types of DNA tests that are available: Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) tests for the direct paternal line, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tests for the direct maternal line, and autosomal DNA (atDNA) tests for finding matches on all your ancestral lines.  

If your budget is generous, the tools for the genealogist on-the-go are equally varied from laptops and electronic notebooks to programs for your electronic family tree, printers, scanners, digital recorders and cameras. If you have CDs, and floppy discs full of now inaccessible information you may like to invest in a stand-alone USB floppy disc reader, or a 35mm slide to digital picture converter. 

Never mind location, location, location my mantra is storage, storage, storage.

Genealogists can never have too much storage, whether you prefer online storage that can be accessed via the internet, a mirror image physical hard drive storage and back up or a simple and much more affordable USB memory stick.  Free versions of programs like MyCloud and Dropbox can also be upgraded to hold more data.

Need somewhere safe to keep your original certificates, paper research notes, printed family tree, all your original photographs, back up etc, fire and water proof safes come in a range of sizes and capabilities.

Looking for more inexpensive options

The range of archival supplies is staggering.  From archive quality paper, pens, poly-pockets, family history binders, brass paper clips, storage boxes and archival quality (acid free) tissue paper to fit everything from your certificates to your ephemera.  From just a few dollars upwards you can purchase anything from a small token present to a gift of sizable value.

Stationery supplies can be generic or very personal (check out my previous post on A handmade Family History Christmas) LINK – create some fun in your organisation with multi-coloured washi tape.  Family history research and family tree templates for anyone who is more comfortable working with pen and paper.

Books, electronic and in paper cover a vast array of subjects my pick – Elizabeth Shown Mills’ genealogical citation bible, Evidence Explained

Which product is best for you will depend on what you want that product to do but there is certainly no shortage of choice of presents with a family history twist.


Want help with your research? Contact helpers like Jayne or post a request to our community of experts today!

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