August 28, 2015

7 Great Ways to Use Your iPad for Genealogy and Family History

use your ipad for genealogyYour iPad can be one of your best genealogy buddies. Its light weight design makes it a dream to tote (no more sore shoulders hauling a laptop bag around the library!) And it offers a gorgeous, vivid display, making it a true pleasure to review and share your findings.

If your tablet time has been limited to playing Angry Birds and checking your email, then it’s time to check out these 7 great family history uses for your iPad or other mobile device:

Family Trees

1. Access your online family tree (and even make changes) with apps like those from and


2. Take pictures of old family documents, photos, memorabilia and artifacts. From the iPad, you can upload and share them via Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, email, or access them from your other computing devices via cloud based storage such as Dropbox or iCloud.


3. Put old family pictures on your iPad to share with your relatives. Click here to see how.


4. When you research your genealogy in libraries, use your iPad to take digital images instead of wasting time and money on photocopies. Image pages from a county or local history or take a snapshot (and a closeup) of a historical map. You can even take digital shots of microfilmed materials! Learn more here, and always get permission at each library before you start taking pictures.


5. Keep track of all your genealogy sources with Evernote–and keep all your sources at your fingertips by using the Evernote app. My new Evernote for Genealogists Quick Research Guides, available both for Windows and Mac users, are cheat sheets that will help you start using Evernote immediately across multiple platforms.


6. Save genealogy and history e-books and pdfs to your iPad so you can read them anytime, anywhere. Click here to learn more.

Magazines & Podcasts

7. Use convenient apps to access great family history magazines and podcasts like these:

Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy PowerhosueAngry-Birds-is-a-perfect-videogameYou see, an iPad–or a tablet PC–isn’t just for Angry Birds and other games! You can use it for many of the same purposes, but iPads/tablets work differently and in very specific ways. You can learn more about using your tablet or iPad for genealogy from my book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse:

  • an in-depth look at over 65 apps;
  • 32 fabulous tricks and tips to make you a power user (and not just for genealogy!);
  • “see it for yourself” demos in recommended online videos.

Keep up to date with iPad/tablet developments other tech topics for genealogists by subscribing to my FREE e-newsletter.

Up next, read:

MyHeritage: A Genealogy App That Can Build and Edit Your Family Tree

5 Reasons You Need the New YouTube App for Family History

The 5th Generation iPad is on the Way and Will Possibly Include…

Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Research with a Partner

Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Dropbox for Genealogists

Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Evernote for Genealogists

Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Sharing Genealogy Files Online for Free



About Lisa

Lisa Louise Cooke is the Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy audio show at She is the author of the books Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies and The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, and the Google Earth for Genealogy DVD series, an international conference speaker, and writer for Family Tree Magazine.