A.C. Ivory: Genealogy on the Go

Posted April 4, 2011 by Geni | No Comment

A.C. Ivory of Find My Ancestor has a lot of great insights into the world of mobile genealogy. He’s graciously agreed to write guests posts for the Geni Blog, so sit back, and enjoy:

Do you remember the days in your genealogy research when you would have to gather all your family group sheets, photo copies of documents and everything else you kept in your binders full of genealogy to go to the Family History Center or local archives and do your research? How about the excitement of being able to store your genealogy in a database on your personal computer?

Advancements in technology and specifically those in the genealogy field have brought many new online databases, software programs, tools and even a variety of mobile devices we can now do our genealogy research on.

There are hundreds of “mobile apps” you can download onto your iPhone, iPad, Android device or a number of other smartphones or tablets. These apps may be developed specifically for genealogy or they may have nothing to do with genealogy, but can still help you nonetheless.

These mobile apps can range anywhere from genealogy databases that can be synced with your desktop database software, access to online databases, apps to help you share you family photos and stories, apps to help you stay organized, social networking and even apps to help you find the local cemetery or archive.

Mobile devices make genealogy research convenient because you no longer have to be tied down to your desktop computer or have to pack all those heavy binders with you everywhere you go. You can now store your entire genealogy database in the palm of your hand with access to every individual in your database with all their events, stories, sources and even photos. On my own personal mobile device I have all four of my genealogy databases, my research logs, many of the photos and documents pertaining to individuals and even a number of genealogy reference books in case I need to refresh my memory on a research technique.

There have been many times when I am not at home, or do not have access to a computer, so I have used my mobile devices to go online and search for an individual or documents, add information to my database which can then be synced with my computer back home or catch up on reading all the genealogy blogs I follow.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many apps I use on my mobile devices that have nothing to do with genealogy but they sure can be used to help you in your research. Have you ever gotten lost on your way to a cemetery or archive? Pull out your smartphone and open up your maps to see where you are. Have you ever been in an archive and needed a photocopy of a book but you don’t have change for the copy machine? Pull out your smartphone and take a picture of it. This is also very handy when you get to the cemetery and realize you left your camera at home.

As technology continues to progress the more apps we are going to see become available for our mobile devices. Even one year ago we did not have half the amount of genealogy apps available that we do now. The possibilities with mobile devices are endless! All you have to do is use your imagination and creativity and before you know if you will be tracing your family history on the go!

Thanks so much to A.C., and don’t forget to check out his blog for more great content.

Image Credit: Jorge Quinteros