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How to Use Evernote for Genealogy by Kerry ScottI have been trying to understand the difference between Dropbox and Evernote for awhile now. I finally figured out the bare bones basics. You can upload your files, photos, etc. into Dropbox, but you can’t change or update a record while it’s in there. To update a booklist or class handout, you’d have to download it back into your original program, fix it, then upload it back into Dropbox. In Evernote you can make notes directly into the program, but Evernote has it’s own program for doing this, which sounded pretty restrictive. And to make matters more complicated, I wanted to use the software specifically for genealogy.

I’m no different than anyone else when we get inundated with all this new technology.  Evernote and Dropbox originally sounded interesting, so I signed up for the free versions of both. After a brief flurry of activity they just sat there unused. Exploring Google for enlightenment was pretty hit or miss. Mostly miss. I always got stuck when trying to follow instructions that I found there. Either a step or a critical screenshot always seemed to be left out. (I need screenshots.) So I went back to working with what I already knew…

…Until I discovered that Kerry Scott had written a book about using Evernote. I was already familiar with her writing style from her blog Clue Wagon. I enjoy reading her postings. She has a good sense of humor and explains things well. Usually I look at book reviews before I either buy a book or request that the library purchase it. With Kerry I took a leap of faith and just bought the book myself.

From hard copy to Evernote?

From hard copy to Evernote?

I need to learn things consecutively. When it comes to computer software, jumping into the deep end of the pool doesn’t work for me. I drown. I’ve read through several chapters and this book is perfect. Kerry takes you by the hand (or laptop or iPad or smartphone) and walks you through Evernote one step at a time. I’ve also learned that there is a lot more to Evernote than I thought. So I’m giving it a shot.

Right now I’m working on syncing for the first time, making sure I can get my PCs and iPad to share my Evernote information. I’ve downloaded the program on the two PCs that I use. Then I tried getting the app for my iPad.  And I hit my first glitch. I haven’t used my iPad for awhile. I have to upgrade, update, and agree to new terms of service before I can claim my app. Nothing to do with Evernote. This is going to take a little more time than I thought. (How often have we said that to ourselves while working out the glitches in this brave new computer world of constant change.) Besides getting my mitts on all of the neat stuff that Evernote can do, I am also very interested in seeing for myself that PCs talk to Apple devices and vice versa. So the journey continues. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Quick tips: Even if you are not interested in Evernote, you might want to take a look at the Clue Wagon blog: http://www.cluewagon.com. I highly recommend the post “BREAKING: Clue Wagon is Now a Dating Sight.” It is very funny.

If you are interested in Evernote, you might like to know that Thomas MacEntee started a Facebook site in 2014 for genealogists who use Evernote. I found it and joined several days ago at https://www.facebook.com/groups/evernotegenealogists

Facebook and Twitter are great for following groups like this.  Back in the days (post Civil War) when I was in library school, I had a professor who said that if “it” exists, no matter what “it” is, there is an association for it somewhere. The same can now be said for social media. If you are curious about something, go hunting for a group of like minded people on Facebook and/or Twitter. The great thing about genealogists is that we get to find a whole lot of great people.  Enjoy.

vea/19 February 2016
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

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Imagine having family and local history articles available online, at your finger tips.

Imagine having family and local history articles available online, at your finger tips.

I spotted this on several of my genealogy feeds. It’s a perfect way to spend a snowbound weekend (or to celebrate NOT getting snowed in). I’d like to share some thoughts about FindMyPast.  Although FindMyPast is a British company that has been emphasizing British genealogy, it is now going aggressively into the U.S. market, looking to acquire materials that will attract Americans.  It has established it’s American headquarters right next door to Newton in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

One of their impressive projects is connecting the PERSI Index to the actual articles cited and making it available online. PERSI stands for Periodicals Source Index and is considered to be the largest genealogy and local history periodicals index in the world. It covers a large number of American periodicals. The Allen County Public Library in Indiana has been doing this indexing project since 1986. The index covers articles published as far back as 1847.  Note that I said index. If you wanted an article, you could contact ACPL and pay to have the article copied for you. You could also use your own local library’s Inter Library Loan Service to obtain a copy of an article of interest. FindMyPast is attempting to connect the index to the actual articles online. This is a copyright nightmare.  They have to track down the owners of the copyright and then get permission to put it online — for every single article. This process becomes even more complicated when the periodical has gone out of business. How far have they gotten? You can find out for yourself free by checking it out over this free weekend.

So even if you don’t have British ancestry, you still  want to check out this site and not just for the PERSI information cited above.  I emailed FindMyPast last night to clarify some points and they answered by this morning.  At this point in time they make available over 2 billion records globally. 850 million of those are U.S. records. Sounds like enough to keep us all busy over a snowy weekend!  And the price is certainly right.

I am including additional material provided by FindMyPast below. It gives you a more detailed description of the range and types of records they offer.

From FindMyPast:

We’re delighted to announce that from 7am this Friday 22nd until 7am on Monday 25th (EST), our world records* will be available for anyone to view, completely free of charge.

You’ll be able to explore…

… As well as millions of other records that will give everyone the opportunity to explore their family history, and bring their past to life.

We’re here to help you every step of the way. If you’re just getting going, make sure to take a look at our failsafe interview to mine your relatives for clues. You’ll be able to begin populating your tree, and start your hunt for more names to add to it.

If you’re new to exploring our collections you might find our guide to Birth, Marriage and Death records a useful starting point, as well as our new video guides, which offer useful tips on getting started with records, building a family tree, getting started with hints, and much more!

If you’re looking for a little inspiration, or are curious to see what other explorers have discovered in their past, take a look at our discoveries for some ….

Tracing your family history with Findmypast offers you the chance to discover things about the past which shaped who you are today. Start this weekend, and see where your tree takes you.

*Please note that access to the 1939 Register has not been included and pay as you go credits will be required in order to unlock household records. Terms and conditions apply.

vea/20 January 2016/updated 22 January 2016
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

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A Genealogist In The Archives

FINDING ANSWERS AT THE NEWTON FREE LIBRARY http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net Newton, Massachusetts

Boston 1775

FINDING ANSWERS AT THE NEWTON FREE LIBRARY http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net Newton, Massachusetts

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Legal Genealogist

FINDING ANSWERS AT THE NEWTON FREE LIBRARY http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net Newton, Massachusetts

Nutfield Genealogy

FINDING ANSWERS AT THE NEWTON FREE LIBRARY http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net Newton, Massachusetts

One Rhode Island Family

My Genealogical Adventures through 400 Years of Family History