As Thanksgiving approaches, we are all counting our blessings, especially in the field of genealogy. Technological advances have made genealogy work faster and easier than it has ever been before. It's great to be a twenty-first century genealogist. In honor of the season, here are a few things to be grateful for:
- Digitization of records. From Ancestry to GoogleBooks, more and more genealogical sources are being scanned and even indexed to be viewed online.
- Digital photography. You can take a photo of a gravestone and post it on your blog or e-mail the .jpg to your cousins and they'll receive it in only a few seconds. High-resolution cameras mean that you can also photograph documents and share high-quality copies with family members. If you want to, you can even stand right at your microfilm reader and take a photo of an image instead of carrying your microfilm over to the copy machine.
- Social networking. Even if Facebook isn't your thing, there are sites like MyFamily.com, FamilyLink, and MyHeritage.com where you can have family discussion boards, swap photos, share genealogical information, and even keep track of birthdays.
- Free online tutorials. Who needs to take a genealogy class when there are so many great, professional resources out there to help you learn the tricks of the trade? From script.byu.edu to wiki.familysearch.org, you can find all the instruction you need online.
- Online storage. Who hasn't experienced the agony of a computer crash or the panic of losing one's flash drive? OneGreatFamily stores all your genealogy information so you will never lose your family tree data.
It's an exciting time to be doing genealogy. As technology marches forward, the work gets easier, more convenient, and more fun.