Technology. Always a favorite topic of mine! Much of it mystifies me, at least the nuts and bolts of the inner workings which make the magic of it all possible. But I’m definitely a happy “end-user.” Technology plays a huge part in creating the abundance of genealogically rich information I’ve been able to use in my research this last decade. I use it every day in my research, especially for records in England.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a website that provides statistics on surname concentrations by county in England in the 1880s. To test the waters, I typed in Denchfield, and was surprised to learn that toward the end of the 19th century there were more Denchfields living in Oxfordshire than in Buckinghamshire. I had no idea. But it provided a new avenue for research that hadn’t occurred to me before. Perhaps some of my mysteriously (…more)
I recently began experimenting with Microsoft OneNote and wrote about my first impressions here. Since then, I’ve uploaded some of the templates I’m using for research and they are available here: OneNote Research Templates.
One of my favorite uses for OneNote is laying out a chronology. When faced with a genealogical puzzle, I’ve found the best way for me to see what I know and where the holes are is to organize my facts into a chronological list. Once that’s done, I fill in gaps, connect relevant facts, and chip away until I find a solution, or at least see a path for further research. I’m partial to highlighters in different colors, and my favorite research pen is the kind that has four different colored inks built into it.
Sometimes the problem carries on over months, or even years. When that happens, (…more)
I was born in the 1960s, and just about everything I knew of technology came from watching Star Trek. The coolest thing for me had nothing to do with transporters and warp speed. For me it was all about the little communicators Kirk and the others wore on their shirts. Keep in mind those were the days before cordless phones. I’m not even sure we’d discovered touch tones yet.
In college, there were a couple kids with enormous clunky computers set up in their dorm rooms. We thought they were freaks. Around that same time my family got an Atari game console, which we plugged into our television and played Asteroids on for hours. My first experience with computers, not counting the FORTRAN class I took my senior year (why I did that is beyond me now) was the DOS computer I used at my first job. It (…more)