Every generation, every family has at least one relative who gathers, collects and preserves the family history. They may have just started or been at the task for years. Each one of them does have a wish list of supplies, sources and databases they wish they had to assist in the research. So do you have one or two such individuals that you could provide a holiday gift to make they research work a bit easier? Here are some ideas for gifts.
Several notebooks, the spiral type along with a good handful of pencils and pens are always needed. Whether they are in a library, museum, interviewing a relative, etc. they need these office supplies.
To help with the notebooks, another supply would be self-sticking divider tabs. These help divide up interviews from library notes, etc. Or divide between different family branches.
Something that is very useful, especially for an older researcher, is the magnifying glass with a light (LED) for reading some of the small print on documents.
A big assistance is having a good, reliable and small digital camera. There are many brands and price points to select from, but do get a good well-known brand. Small is good so it can just slip into one’s pocket or purse. You might add a small tripod stand so the camera is steady.
If the researcher already has a good camera, find out which batteries the camera uses and especially the which digital SD memory card it uses. That memory card is very important. Also even rechargeable batteries lose their ability to hold a charge after a few years.
Another valuable purchase would be a scanner. There are many types, but one that is always useful are the portable hand-held wand scanners, where you move the scanner wand over the photo or book page to scan. Those with a dock with it, so photos or documents can be fed to them, is even better.
Archival storage boxes and archival sheets are excellent for storage of vital records, photos, documents, etc. This preserves them and helps the researcher be organized.
Flash drives used in USB ports in the computer in sizes of 16 GB are excellent gifts. The research never seems to have enough of these. Even better would be to gift the large, the 1 TB external hard drive. This is for major backup of all photos, more costly but well worth it.
Give the researcher a year or two membership in their local genealogical society. If they already are a paid member, find out about the family ancestral hometown or county and give the researcher, membership in that genealogical society.
A subscription to a database the research does not have yet is always welcomed. There is Ancestry.com; Footnote.com (military records) and GenealogyBank.com (had newspapers and obituaries along with other records).
Unique and different is to get the Ancestry DNA test kit so the researcher’s family DNA can be tested and they see their earliest roots. Another kit is done by Family Tree DNA Family Finder Kit. Both of these can be easily ordered online.
Photos: LED magnifying glass; portable scanner with a dock; 1 TB external hard drive and family tree necklace with birthstones.
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