I can’t believe it has been 18 years since Rhonda and I met! We were Navy Wives together in Kings Bay, Georgia. She was as cute as a bug, with her southern drawl so thick, you could cut it with a knife…or a pizza cutter. We also worked together for a national pizza chain making pizza! pizza! to help supplement our Navy Husbands’ income. Awww…the good old days!
Today, 723 miles separate Rhonda and me. She’s in Greenville, South Carolina and I’m in Broward County, Florida. If I get on I-95, I can be there in 12 hours. If I get on Yahoo! Messenger, I can be there now. So that’s what we do…every day. What could we possibly chat about every day, you ask? Why, genealogy of course! …our ancestors, our brick walls, our recent discoveries, working toward our Genealogy Certifications and of course, Genealogy Gems, our favorite podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke. http://genealogygems.tv/ Thank you, Lisa, for lighting a fire under us and encouraging us to start a blog. I guess you could call us the virtual “Thelma & Louise” of genealogy!
Here are the top 5 things to do on Genealogy Highway:
1) Get An Ancestry DNA Test
2) Learn How to Find Military Heros in Your Family
3) Learn How to Build A Family Tree
4) Listen to Genealogy Podcasts
5) Learn to Use Genealogy Software
Choose from many of our online resources to help you learn how to find your lost family members. You will find podcasts, links to order DNA test kits, and articles on how to use the most common genealogy software on the market today. We give tutorials on how to start a family tree on ancestry.com and many tips and tricks to help it grow along the way. If you have questions about a specific subject and can’t find it on the main site, try using our support forum. We have many members who are experienced in genealogy and are friendly and willing to help out.
Are you prepared for Disaster…
No one likes to think of a disaster affecting us or our loved ones. However, disasters happen every day and can occur in many forms including fire, flood, tornadoes and many more. In the past few weeks our country has been affected by devastating and deadly tornadoes, leaving many people struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives and somehow move forward. Having worked with the American Red Cross for over 12 years, I have seen firsthand the loss and devastation in the eyes of those who lost everything from fires and natural disasters. I have comforted those who did not know where they would call home after they were forced to evacuate the ruins of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. During these times it was my job to focus on their immediate needs to continue with their lives. However, today I find myself thinking of things that these families will be seeking in the future, precious memories such as photos and family keepsakes that were lost during the tornados.
Can you imagine the sadness of those who have just now realized that they have lost their only picture of their mother, father or possibly their grandparents? My realization of this loss came one night after watching the news footage of the neighborhoods that were completely destroyed in Joplin, Missouri. As I walked through my bedroom and saw a framed photo of my daughter when she was only four days old, the loss of these precious memories brought tears to my eyes. This is my only photo of my precious daughter, because she died moments after that photo was taken. As you can imagine, I would be devastated if that photo was destroyed. It was at that moment, that I realized how important it is to have my photos digitally stored in a location other than on my computer at home or even on a disk in a fire proof box.
I know that many people think that it is too hard to get all of your pictures and documents into to digital format and stored remotely, but it really is not hard at all. Here are the steps that you need to take:
- First, gather all of your photos and documents into one place and organize them using a system that makes sense to you.
- Second, scan your pictures to your computer being sure to organize them as you go.
- Third, burn copies of your photos to CDs and/or save them to an external hard-drive.
- Finally, decide on a remote service and transfer a copy of your photos and documents to their storage service.
What type of scanner you will need to do this? Personally, I have two scanners…I have the CanoScan LiDE 200 and the Flip-Pal Scanner. I highly recommend both of these scanners. I use my CanoScan for documents and it is portable and very easy to operate For my photos I use the Flip-Pal scanner. I cannot say enough about the Flip-Pal, it is portable, saves everything directly to an SD card and is battery operated. The Flip-Pal allows you to scan your photos while they are still in the album or frames and the scan time is very quick! However, if you do not have the time to scan your photos, you can find local photo services to do it for you or you could use a national service such as Kodak’s photo scanning service.
Okay, now where do you store them? I currently have my photos stored on Picasa which is a Google product. I do pay a small annual fee which can be less than a price of a meal at your favorite fast food restaurant. With Picasa you can set your own security to prevent others from seeing your photos and documents, keeping them safe and secure. However, it is important that you know that this is not the only way to store your photos and documents. There are other services such as Flickr and Photobucket that you can use. Also do not forget that if you are member of Ancestry you can definitely store them on there as well.
So, are you prepared for disaster? I hope this helps you to see that storing your photo and documents remotely can definitely help you in so many ways! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will be glad to help you out. Finally, please keep all of the families that were affected by the recent tornadoes in your thoughts and prayers as they rebuild their lives.
Have you ever been faced with the dilemma of wanting to make copies of family photos, but your family member is not willing to let them out of their sight? Not to mention that they do not want you to remove them from the frames on the wall or the photo albums. If you have been in this boat, I have found the perfect scanner for you. It is the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner.
The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner will let you scan images anytime and anyplace. It operates on four AA batteries and saves your scans to an SD Card. While the scan area is relatively small (4×6 inches max) the scanner includes software that will automatically stitch the larger photos together for you. Furthermore, the image’s quality lacks nothing to be desired, it scans in both 300 and 600 dpi resolutions. These high resolutions will help you obtain high quality of your photos and the small details of those hard to find newspaper articles.
Because the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner’s cover is removable there is no need to remove those precious heirlooms from the frames or albums. Yep, that is right, you can remove the top cover and place the scanner on top of the pictures and press the button and you will have your copy in a matter of seconds. Can you imagine being about to copy all of the photos in an album in half of the time? That is what I did, I took my scanner with me to visit my in-laws and scanned photos while sitting with the family watching television. Now I have wonderful pictures of my husband when he was a baby, as well as pictures of his grandparent who are no longer with us.
Pictures and articles are just the tip of the iceberg, can you imagine capturing a portion of your grandmother’s quilt that she crafted by hand and using it as the background for scrapbook page that you are creating with memories of her. What about scanning the treasured family recipes and creating a cookbook for your family? Do you know how precious it would be for them to have those handwritten images that may even show some imperfections from years of use. These reasons and many more are why I give the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner five stars and I think it is well it’s $150 price tag! Any one that is interested in genealogy should definitely consider purchasing this scanner.
The National Genealogical Society Home Study Course is one of the best ways to learn about the field of Genealogy and how to do the proper research when looking for information on your relatives. If you get bitten by the genealogy bug like most of us have, then this may be your next step. If this is your passion, then learn to do it right the first time and get this course, it will save you from making mistakes and avoiding all the headaches that newcomers have.
There are other courses out there, but learn from the best and go with the National Genealogical Society. After all it is written and developed by THE society in genealogy. They have plenty of experienced experts to draw from and they are there for you if you need them. Our experiences when communicating with them is that they are all friendly and helpful. So do yourself a favor and give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.