Time for Christmas or Hanukkah shopping is with us and trying to come up with the perfect gift can be difficult. If you have a friend or relative who does the family research there are many cool selections to aid any researcher - novice or advanced. This includes you, if you do the research - here are some ideas to add to your ‘want list.’
With so many things done in a digital format now, adding anything digital is wonderful for the researcher. There can be given a digital camera, especially one that is small and compact for taking photos of cemetery headstones, artifacts from a museum visit, hometown streets or houses or on visits to a relative’s house to copy family heirlooms. If the researcher has a computer all the images can be download right to the computer. If no computer, then they can be printed on paper at a photo shop, either as ‘thumbnail’ images or full prints.
Another suggestion would be a scanner, especially if the researcher does have a computer. All types of items can be scanned and should be scanned to have a digital record of the documents, photos, vital records, diaries, certificates, awards, military medals, recipes, letters, journals, newspaper clippings, handwritten signatures of ancestors, licenses, deeds, etc.
To demonstrate how important it is to scan some of these items, I did a scan of a World War I Certificate of Honor award of a relative’s father which was starting to fall apart. I reproduced several hard copies of the award on good card stock and photo paper. Within a year the original award had just about crumbed to pieces, but a digital scanned image and the hard copies were doing great.
If you or the family researcher does not have the most up-to-date family history software for keeping and organizing the massive collection of data on ancestors, this becomes is a terrific gift idea. The selection includes (to name a few): Family Tree Maker 2012 version by Ancestry.com, Family Tree Legends, Legacy, RootsMagic, Ancestral Quest, Family Historian or the Master Genealogist. Plus most have PC or Mac versions.
Another idea would be a six month or one year subscription to any number of different databases available online. One of the largest is Ancestry.com with gift memberships so a researcher (or you) can explore millions of records from the convenience of their own home. There is Archives.com with immigration, marriage, military and passenger records as well as many others. World Vital Records has ship manifests, yearbooks, cemetery records, land and military records in addition to countless others. If you are looking to add just a database of newspapers there is NewspaperArchive.com with a gigantic collection of newspapers from the 19th and 20th century from across the United States and other countries.
So here is a good starting point of gift ideas for the genealogist in the family, a gift that gives long-lasting results.