Rick Broida, author of the Cheapskate Blog, has an article today that will interest many genealogists. He describes using software that will turn your “smartphone” into the equivalent of a desktop scanner. It works well for digitizing one side of one piece of paper at a time. It isn’t so convenient when digitizing both sides of multi-page documents although that can still be accomplished by using additional software to merge the pages together after scanning.

After a five-year wait, a second major update to the online catalogue of the Chief Secretary of Ireland's Office Registered Papers (CSORP) has been launched today by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The newly-available catalogue entries cover 1823-1830, and join those for 1818-1822 (online since 2012 - see blogpost).

This important resource is one of the most valuable 19th-century collections.

The Downriver Genealogical Society in south-eastern Wayne County, Michigan, has been working on a great project to preserve old newspapers that were about to be tossed out by The News-Herald, due to lack of storage space. Had the society not taken them, the newspapers since 1943 probably would have been thrown away.

The Downriver Genealogical Society also does not have storage space to keep the old newspapers for a long time but decided to take on a worthwhile volunteer project: digitize the old newspapers, make them available online, and then toss the originals away.

Microsoft Office has been the leading word processing/spreadsheet/presentation program for a couple of decades, maybe longer. It is powerful, feature-rich, and able to create files that are universally compatible with all sorts of other programs. There is only one major drawback: Microsoft Office is very expensive.

Prices for Microsoft Office vary from about $80 to around $350, depending upon the version selected. The more expensive versions typically are bundled with additional Microsoft programs, useful primarily in corporations or other environments where groups of people work together on shared projects.

Want to listen to the music of your parents or grandparents? You can now do so, thanks to the Internet Archive. The Great 78 Project is a new project by the Internet Archive to preserve 78 rpm records that has released about 26,000 records as of today. One new digitized 78 rpm record is being added to the online collection every 10 minutes. More than 200,000 records are expected to be available online when the project is completed.

For centuries, immigrants have come to the U.S. to escape war, oppression, and poverty, or to pursue employment opportunities and success. Most Americans can trace their roots to immigrant ancestors. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed census data to find the 50 most common last names in the U.S.

Today, the vast majority of the most common surnames in the U.S. can be traced back to England and other European origins.

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