Digital cameras are perhaps the most universal technology of today. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe own and use digital cameras - not bad for a technology that barely existed fifteen... More > years ago. In fact, you do not need to be an electrical or optics engineer to produce good pictures from a digital camera. You don't even need to own a computer, although a computer will allow you to accomplish a lot more than what you can do with just the camera alone.
Most people use digital cameras like the old box cameras: point and click. Very few people spend the time to learn how to obtain the best pictures possible. Indeed, "point and click" works well; but, there is so much more that one can do.< Less
We all have read history books about the brave and noble heroes who helped shape today's world. Hearty explorers, brave immigrants, exemplary church-goers and the like did indeed create today's... More > modern world. Yet these same history books rarely describe the everyday world of those heroes and heroines. Sometimes their lives were not all fame and glory. In fact, their lives were often repulsive by today's standards. I thought I would focus for a bit on everyday life in the 1600s in Europe, in England, and in the newly-created colonies in North America.< Less
In case you have not heard the news, many genealogy libraries are struggling financially these days. For this article, I will focus solely on the larger societies that have their own buildings or... More > perhaps rent a significant amount of space in other buildings. I will also look only at societies that have libraries that are not funded by taxpayer dollars. Many of them have paid employees, although not all do.
Each of these libraries holds thousands of books of value to genealogists. Yet I believe that each of these libraries is in danger of extinction. Like so many species of creatures that saw their source of sustenance dwindling, some will evolve and others will disappear.< Less
The computer revolution, and especially the Internet revolution, has created business opportunities for thousands of everyday citizens. To create and sell goods or information, it is no longer... More > necessary to have a "bricks and mortar" store. Likewise, to launch a mail order business, it is no longer necessary to have a fleet of trucks. In fact, you do not even need to maintain specific office hours when your business is open to the public. All you need is a personal computer and a presence in cyberspace. Your business will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even if you happen to be sleeping at the moment.
Genealogists are hungry for information. Genealogy information is often available in old printed books and records, printed works that are not covered by copyright laws. Many genealogists are willing to pay reasonable fees to obtain these books and other publications.< Less
“I found it online, so it must be true!”
Of course not. If you have been involved in researching your family tree for more than a few months, you already know the truth about online... More > genealogy data. Or do you?< Less
Genealogists are experts at identifying deceased people. In fact, the same skills often work well at finding living people as well. Many genealogists find employment that involves locating missing... More > heirs, finding criminals, or what is called "skip tracing:" finding people who skipped out of town with no known forwarding address. The ultimate challenge, however, would be to find D.B. Cooper. After all, the FBI has been looking for him for more than 36 years. Nobody even knows if he is dead or alive. Can you find him?
Very little was known about D.B. Cooper. However, within the past week the FBI has released several new documents that offer just a bit more information about this mysterious hijacker. It is theoretically possible that a skilled genealogist, using today's computer databases, might be able to figure out who this man was.< Less
The year 2007 has seen three major genealogy cruises departing from North American ports. I was fortunate enough to be a participant on all three and decided to write a bit about my experiences. If... More > you are thinking about joining a future genealogy cruise, my experiences may help identify the best future cruise for you as well as for your traveling companions.< Less
If interest in genealogy is declining, why is interest in genealogy cruises soaring? Or is it simply a symptom of a different problem: the possibility that traditional national genealogy conferences... More > are no longer attracting genealogists like they used to?< Less
How much do you know about the inner workings of your genealogy society? Such organizations would include the larger societies, such as National Genealogical Society, the New England Historic... More > Genealogical Society, and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. It also includes smaller societies, such as the African-Atlantic Genealogical Society, the Charlotte County (Florida) Genealogical Society, and the Dallas (Texas) Genealogical Society.
Do you know how much money is collected each year by your society? Are the total fees collected increasing or decreasing each year? Do you know how much of that money is spent? Even more important, do you know HOW it is spent? How much of it is spent on members' services versus on the building or on salaries? In fact, just what is the salary of the executive director, CEO, or whatever the position is called? How about the salaries of the other senior executives of the society?< Less
When going through a box of old photographs or viewing the latest digital pictures on your computer, did you ever ask, “I wonder where this photograph was taken?” Now a new software tool... More > can record the exact location of every digital picture in your collection. This includes old family photographs that you have scanned as well as new pictures that you or someone else takes with a digital camera.
This product will not do the detective work for you. You must still find where the picture was taken in the traditional manner. You then scan the photograph, saving it as a JPEG image. Once the photograph is on your hard drive, you use this small Windows program to embed the longitude and latitude information into the photograph in a hidden area of the image. Once the information is recorded, you and future viewers of the image will wonder no more. Even better, with the appropriate software, you can just click on an icon to display a map that shows the exact location.< Less