Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Technology and the Genealogist

Is the Internet never really at your finger tips?  Maybe you will be interested in Wearable Internet.  That's right!  Wearable Internet is possible, but it is now in beginning stages. Perhaps ten years or less, it will be available.  

Earlier this year, Pattie Maes from the MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group presented a wearable system.  It is mind boggling.  Users will be able to display and interact with Internet on any surface which includes the human body.  No longer will you need to take the camera to the cemetery ... just hold up your hands in the traditional square box and you've got it.  Forgot your watch (which my sister-in-law usually does) just draw a circle on your wrist and presto you've got the time.  Make phone calls from your hand!  

This unique system is referred to as a "sixth sense."  So how would this assist genealogists in their research?  If you are a traveling genealogist, the possibilities are endless.  You could locate libraries or information on books on the fly.  Looking for a cemetery, there would be no need for a phone call to a cemetery office or WIFI location to access your laptop computer. Once you start thinking about wearing your computer, the possibilities are endless. 

The current system is rather bulky with a person wearing a webcam, 3M projector which is battery-powered, mirror, phone and colored finger caps.  In the future the system that is wearable may be something as small as a watch.  Now where did I put my watch?  

To learn more about this, read the review The Wearable Internet Will Blow Mobile Phones Away.  Be sure to watch the video presented by Pattie Maes.  It's only about eight minutes long and will blow your mind.  Then start dreaming about the possibilities for genealogists to use Wearable Internet!  

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Life of a Genealogist

It is so sweet ... being around people who speak genealogy!  That's a separate language and one that you know ... if you are a genealogist.  I am at the Family History Expo in Sheridan, WY.  We arrived late yesterday afternoon.  The You Go Genealogy Girls are bloggers of honor.  However, at this point I'm doing all of the blogging and tweeting.  

The keynote address by Barry Ewell was very inspiring.  He is funny and yet serious.  Sharing some of his insights into the research process, he firmly believes that our ancestors want to be found.  I know that because some of the time I'm lost.  My next session was to hear Arlene Eakle lecture on Scottish Marriage Records.  I did not know there were so many ways a Scot could get married.  Some of them sort of carry over to the United States also.  Her lecture makes me want to hurry home and jump right into my Scottish research.  

We'll fuel up at lunch before too long and then start in again at more lectures.  Somebody has to do this grueling stuff ... so it had best me us.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Traveling to Wyoming

Tomorrow morning I leave for western Nebraska to pick up my side-kick for the Family History Expo in Sheridan, WY.  We are the You Go Genealogy Girls and she's my sister-in-law.  You won't want to miss any of our genealogy thrills, antics and travels we report on our blog.  

We are honor bloggers at the Family History Expo.  Look for us to blog at You Go Genealogy Girls.  We will give you all the tidbits of what is going on at the expo.  We will also be on Twitter.  You can follow me on Twitter @GenGirl1.  My sister-in-law is on Twitter @GenGirl2.  

Check out the Family History Expo website to see the list of vendors, speakers and topics.  It promises to be a great function.  

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NEW -- GenealogyWise

Do you socialize on Internet?  They are more than places to chit and chat.  Genealogists love to blog, share ideas and comments.  Many of us belong to Facebook.  If you aren't to that level yet, look around and ask genealogy friends about it.  It's fun!  Some of us tweet on Twitter.  They are all different and worth exploring or joining. 

FamilyLink has launched a new site just for genealogists called GenealogyWise.  It is buzzing with activity.  I was on it almost all day yesterday.  It was amazing to see it grow by the hour and almost by the minute.  It's similar to Facebook, but devoted only to genealogy and genealogy topics.  

You join GenealogyWise (free), create your profile, find friends, set up or join groups and invite people to be your friend, to events or discussions.  Along with the discussion forum, there blog and video areas.  If you click on Genealogy Search, it takes you directly to the subscription site of World Vital Records.  In addition to all of this, there's a chat site.  

Yes ... there are genealogy groups on Facebook.  They now have some competition.  Personally I am enjoying GenealogyWise because it is so totally devoted to the genealogist.  It's easy to use and also fun.  Plus, I'm learning and connecting along the way.  Try it out!  Become a genealogy social butterfly.  

Friday, July 3, 2009

FamilySearch Wiki

The FamilySearch Wiki is a large, on-line library containing thousands of articles and how-tos about doing genealogical research.  Because it is a wiki web site, you can add to existing articles or write new articles.  

If you are new to family history research, be sure to check out Getting Started.  For more experienced researchers, be sure to check out the Research Analysis section on the Getting Started link.  

On the main page begin your search by typing in something that interests you into the query box.  This is a quick way to learn more about where and what you are researching.  For example, a query entry into the research box for "Iowa Probate Records" will explain everything from Dower Rights to Wills.  There is basic information on Iowa probate records, along with information on how to find probate records in the Family History Library and catalog, in Salt Lake City.  

There are helpful videos on using FamilySearch Wiki, particularly if you are interested in contributing articles.  Another interesting area is the FamilySearch Wiki Community Meeting which you can attend remotely.  In these meetings everything pertaining to the wiki are discussed, such as site design and technical issues.  

The FamilySearch Wiki is worth exploring.  You will undoubtedly learn something new by taking the time to look around on it.