23 July 2014

LibraryThing for local and family history societies

I've been saying for a while now that I think LibraryThing is ideal for allowing small societies and libraries to maintain and display their library catalogues. Not only is the software practically free (US$25 one-off fee for unlimited books) but it is online, allowing members and potential members the ability to search their catalogues for free. The Lake Macquarie and District Historical Society has been using LibraryThing to show off its catalogue since 2009. I admit that I didn't know … [Read more...]

First look at Google+

Google+ is Google's new experiment in the world of social networks. I say 'experiment' because it is only in limited release; you have to wait for someone to be able to invite you, and then you have to accept the invitation during one of the brief, unpredictable periods when new members are being accepted. I also call it an 'experiment' because Google have tried something similar before. It was called Google Wave and it didn't catch on. Google Wave was removed from circulation. It is … [Read more...]

What time zone is that?

I have finally solved my inability to calculate international time zones. We are increasingly becoming more global. Social media allows us to communicate and collaborate with people from all over the world, in real time. This means that we can chat with people and take part in live video-conferences and video-streams from around the world when they actually happen. An essential requirement is knowing what time something is going to happen. It is no good deciding to watch a video telecast … [Read more...]

Sharing documents on the web

I've been playing with a couple of sites that allow you to share documents. Initially I had to find a way to share Powerpoint slides on a blog, and my solution was to use Slideshare, a free website that allows you to share Powerpoint slides. Slideshare is simple to use and works well. You can upload presentations quickly and easily, and make them public or restricted access, by being given a URL that you then share with those you wish to have access to the presentation. Viewers can leave … [Read more...]

Top 10 Social Media Sites for Family Historians

I think that social media was made for family historians. We are different from other people - we actually enjoy finding distant relatives and keeping in touch with them! Social media helps us to find relatives and old friends in ways that were not possible in the days of mailing lists and message boards. Here are 10 social media sites that are not directly related to family history (except one) but are nevertheless important for communicating, sharing and collaborating with other family … [Read more...]

Find-a-Grave

Have you tried searching Find-a-Grave? I thought it was an American site, with only American graves, but I was wrong. I had a look around to see for myself. I searched the FAQ for 'international' to see if it covered countries other than USA, as I couldn't easily find this information on the homepage, and found that some fixes had been done to clean up the list of countries, including Australia. Woohoo! So I did a search for my usual test surname - Eason - and restricted the country to … [Read more...]

Find the book you need on WorldCat

This post was originally posted as part of the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge in 2010. WorldCat is a catalogue of many, many libraries in the world. I've used it before and usually it has told me that the book I am looking for is in the State Library of NSW or the National Library of Australia, which is where I would have looked anyway. Unfortunately my genealogy society isn't part of WorldCat, but one day that will change. For the sake of this exercise I decided not to look for a … [Read more...]

Web-based family trees

I've recently been contacted by the people responsible for a new family tree website called It's Our Tree. It's free and just requires you to enter your name and email address. I've just registered and now it wants me to enter my parents and grandparent and so on, and to invite my relatives to join as well. There are more and more of these sites around; some are free and some are not. Ancestry lets you create your family tree for free and let's you know whether it has any "hints" for these … [Read more...]

Genealogy on Wikipedia

Elizabeth Shown Mills, author of Evidence! : citation & analysis for the family historian and Evidence explained : citing history sources from artifacts to cyberspace has rewritten the definition of "Genealogy" on Wikipedia, or at least the first two paragraphs. Her text, as she informed* the mailing list of the Association of Professional Genealogists, was as follows: "Genealogy (from Greek: ?e?ea, genea, "family"; and ?????, logos, "knowledge"; often misspelled "geneology."[1]) is the … [Read more...]

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