Friday, February 29, 2008

Technology and Genealogy

The topic for the 43rd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is "Technology." Here are some things we were asked to consider: "What technology do you most rely on for your genealogy and family history research? Select one piece of hardware (besides your computer), one piece of software (besides your internet browser), and one web site/blog (besides your own) that are indispensable to you."

It was very hard to choose a piece of hardware because I have three that I consider indispensable. But for this post, I decided on my trusty Lexmark 83 printer/scanner/copier/fax machine. I've had this for a number of years, and only had one problem (a loose carriage band) which was easily fixed with a call to tech support. I use my four-in-one daily, and of course, where would Scanfest be without it? The only feature I've never been able to figure out is the fax, and since only I do that about once a year, I just use the machine at work.

Again, I have several favorite software programs for a variety of purposes, including genealogy. Right now, I would have to choose my RootsMagic program. I absolutely love the SourceWizard that comes with it, which makes citing my sources so much easier than looking up each entry in Elizabeth Shown Mills's books!

And I have to agree with many of my fellow geneabloggers: Google is absolutely indispensable when it comes to online genealogy. I use the following features either many times a day or several times a week, mainly in relation to genealogy: Search, Images, Maps, Gmail, iGoogle, Blogger, Reader, Analytics, Calendar, Picasa, Chat, Earth, Toolbar, Web Accelerator, and Docs.


Ken Spangler said...


As always, I enjoy your posts so much. I've never thought much about Roots Magic but I may have to check it out. I'm always on the lookout for something to make my research easier.

I'm also surprised by how many have listed Google as the website of choice but I guess if I stop and think about it, I use it quite often too.

Thanks for the great article,


Miriam said...

Hi, Ken,

You can download a trial version of RootsMagic and add 50 names to it to play around with it to see whether it might suit your needs. I also love their GenSmarts program and hope to purchase their Family Atlas program as well.

The two genealogy software programs that I've noticed have the most devoted fans are RootsMagic and Legacy. Everyone else is kind of "ho-hum" about the other software that's available, it seems.

Thanks for dropping by!

Janice said...


Great article! You are the third person in the COG who has recommended that software... and so now after reading YOUR article I'm going to download the trial version and test it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

Blog: Cow Hampshire

Miriam said...

Janice, I know you won't regret it! While I realize everyone has different needs when it comes to genealogy software, I believe RootsMagic is the best there is, and I always recommend it to others who ask for a reference for great software!