Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scotlands People Interactive Experience

Hello All -

Just thought I would mention about the neat feature found on Scotlandspeople website - their interactive experience for beginning researchers in Scottish genealogy. This can be found at the following link http://www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk/Interactive/interactive-experience.html

I had a wee shot at it to see what it was like. It is quite a good little tool to help people get started in their research of their ancestors in Scotland. The website will give easy to follow instructions on what to do at each page. It is a step by step process that the site walks you through. It starts at the very beginning of ones research with yourself and working backwards. It also is a good way to learn what the records are in Scotland and what information they have. It is quite a fun thing to do. I think budding family history researchers will get the bug when they play with this interactive tool.

Even if you are a well seasoned genealogists and you know the research process, I think it is worth trying the site out just to see what it is like. I think it would be definitely worthwhile to play around with it for the beginner just about to start their research. It will give a bit more confidence in the actual nitty-gritty aspects of doing the searching in the Centre in Edinburgh.

A good idea that the Centre has this on their site.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Importance of Backing Up Your Computer Files

Hello All -

Well, I have had a time of it with my computer - one day working fine, the next totally malfunctioning. To cut a long story short, my computer wouldn't work no matter how hard I tried to fix it, so had to buy a new cpu. And unfortunately, the new cpu has Windows Vista on it (it actually isn't all that bad, but some of my software was not compatible with it). Because of Vista I had to buy a new printer with software that was compatible. On the bright side though is that my genealogy software programs worked fine and no trouble installing.

One of the main and biggest things to worry about when this sort of thing happens is to have your info saved and BACKED UP. I don't know how to stress this enough. It isn't really enough to have your family history info saved on your computer. Invest in a backup system such as a removeable stick that fits into your USB port. They are really getting cheaper now adays. You can buy a 2 mb one for less than £15.00. Also, you can back up your info on a cd disk.

I was a bit fortunate that we have an older computer as a back up just in case we need it - we were able to get back our information off of our old hard drive by extracting it and putting it onto a USB stick and put the info onto the new cpu. I don't really recommend this way of doing things. I was a bit lazy in backing things up regularly. It is a valuable lesson learned the hard way.

In a nut shell - everyone make sure to back up, back up, back up..... Computers are a mechanical object and can break down on you at anytime when you don't expect it (can be through a virus attack or mechanical malfunction, etc.).

Sunday, April 05, 2009

2009 Genealogy Software Review

Hello All -

I thought I would make a mention regarding the new genealogy software review for the 10 most popular software programs on the market at the moment. If you are looking to buy a software program for your family history, it is best to look around and find one that suits your needs and wants. Also, if you are a beginner with computers, it is also best to find a program that is not too hard to work. In this case I would probably stay away from The Master Genealogist, in my opinion. This program has a steep learning curve, and is not suitable for the beginner. For the budding genealogy software user, I would probably go for Rootsmagic or Family Tree Maker. They are both easy to use and are not too involved. Plus they offer a great number of features to do most anything you would like to do with your family history research.

Please note that these are just my opinions, and it is best to find the right program for you - my opinions are founded in my experience in working with these programs myself. Here is a website that is very good at giving a good overview of the 10 most popular genealogy software.

I would also look at the actual websites for these software programs to see more about what they offer. Also, look around for other reviews for these software programs. I would keep an open mind when looking at the reviews on the actual software programs websites themselves as they are trying to sell you their product - definitely look at objective reviews without any agenda behind it (such as the link above).

I would recommend for any family historian/genealogist to definitely get a genealogy software program. It is so worth the money, and an essential tool in your research (as well as keeping things organized, etc.).

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Taking The New Scottish Death/Burials Index for A Spin

Hello All -

Well, I have just given the new Scotlandpeople's new death and burial index for a test drive. I must warn everyone that these indexes do not have much information on them. The index itself even says it in a warning link for those who are about to use it.

It works the same as the rest of the indexes. It even has the downloadable image file as well, which is great. Not too much else to say really. It just works like the rest of the database. It is another good addition to search, even though there is not much info to obtain from it. Many people did not register the burial/death. Likewise many parishes didn't bother either. Hence, don't be disappointed if you don't find much. These records are what they are, and they are very sparce.

Just thought I would let everyone know what it is like working with it. Even though it doesn't have much in the way of genealogical information, it is still a good resource that can be used.