Tools to Highlight Your Great Genealogy Finds

Snagit and Skitch can help you highlight screenshots and other digital images you capture for genealogy. Here’s how!

snagit skitch great genealogy finds

genealogy gems podcast mailboxRecently Diane from Alberta, CA sent in this question:

“I am trying to find how to highlight a portion of a document such as a birth certificate. The document has three people listed for the county and prior to adding it to my tree on Ancestry, I would like to highlight my ancestor so he will stand out. Can you offer any suggestions. I tried Evernote without success, also my family tree program.  What am I missing?”

I suggested Diane use Snagit 2019, compatible with Windows and Mac software to highlight her documents. In fact, I use it constantly for a variety of genealogical projects. The full-blown software has loads of cool features!

You can also download the free Snagit Chrome extension here. After you install Snagit, you’ll see it show up on your browser page. Here’s what it looks like on Google Chrome (the blue “s” button):
Snagit icon on browser page

 

 

Snagit Sample Thomas Hall census When you see something on your screen you want to capture, just click on the blue “S” icon. You’ll be asked at the outset to give Snagit access to various cloud storage options so it can store the image for you. Once you allow it access, then you’ll be able to name your file and add your own shapes, arrows and text. Use these to call attention to part of a record; annotate what you learned from it or even mark your ancestor’s face in a group photo.

As far as doing something similar in Evernote: Evernote only allows you to highlight typed text, not portions of an image. However, you can download Skitch and drag and drop the document from Evernote into Skitch. Then you can highlight an image to your hearts content. When you’re done you can Save to Evernote in the menu (SKITCH > SAVE TO EVERNOTE).

Share BoldThanks to Diane for a great question! I hope you’ll all share this post: Snagit is free and makes it so easy to take notes on your digital images, for your own use or to share with others!

Resources

How to Add Text to a Web Clipping in Evernote

Should Evernote Be My Digital Archive?

Annotating and Transcribing Documents in Evernote (What Evernote Can and Can’t Do for Family History)

Family History Episode 38 – How to Start a Genealogy Blog, Part 1

Family History: Genealogy Made Easy
with Lisa Louise Cooke
Republished July 1, 2014

family history genealogy made easy podcast

with Lisa Louise Cooke

https://lisalouisecooke.com/familyhistorypodcast/audio/fh38.mp3

Download the Show Notes for this Episode Welcome to this step-by-step series for beginning genealogists—and more experienced ones who want to brush up or learn something new. I first ran this series in 2008-09. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.

Episode 38: How to Start a Genealogy Blog, Part 1

Have you ever thought about starting your own genealogy blog? Or, if you have, have you wished you could get some expert tips on making it better? In these next few episodes, we’re going to talk about sharing your research and/or your thoughts on the research process by blogging. But even if you don’t plan on starting a blog anytime soon, I know you will enjoy the seasoned genealogy blogger I’ve invited to start us off. The Footnote Maven’s passion for genealogy is contagious, and you’ll enjoy her sense of humor, and words of wisdom.

I caught up with the Footnote Maven at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. She has been blogging for quite some time now and has much to share on the subject. Her two very popular blogs, FootnoteMaven and Shades of the Departed, are widely read by genealogists everywhere.

In this episode, she shares:

  1. specific tips for getting started, how she prepares her blog posts
  2. what she would have done differently if she could start all over again
  3. 9 tips for getting readers to leave comments.

But first, a Mailbox Moment:

A reader writes in to comment on Episode #36 and questions regarding Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com. He sends this link, which shows how to use both websites to search for a female who has married. As you suggested, entering the Birth Name in the database, but how to locate that person using Family Tree Maker’s Web Search feature at Ancestry.com. This specific example is for a census record, but other records can also be found using this same technique.

Family History Blogging with the Footnote Maven

According to her website, a “footnote maven” is someone who is dazzlingly skilled at inserting a citation denoting a source, a note of reference, or a comment at the foot of a scholarly writing.

Footnote Maven’s thoughts on getting started with your own genealogy blog: Go look at several genealogy blogs. What do you like? What do not like? Design wise and content wise. Ask yourself what kind of blog you want to write. Who is your audience? What will you offer them?

Biggest piece of advice: You don’t want to be someone else – be yourself!  Everybody else is already taken! “There is something wonderful in all of us – we just have to determine what that is and showcase it.” Pick your niche and stay there. And love doing it, because you’ll never get rich at it! She says, “It is the breath I take…It’s the reason I get up in the morning.”

What She Would Do Differently If She Could Have:

  • 25 posts in draft ready to go allowing more editing time
  • I would tinker more with the look of my blog until it was the way I wanted
  • Invite a few friends to test drive it

And she’ll tell you what was even harder for her than starting her first blog!

Now that the genealogy blogging community is established, people don’t comment as frequently. Footnote Maven shares these for getting comments on your blog:

  1. Thank people for the comments they leave on your blog
  2. Go to their blog and read it
  3. Tell the blogger the positive points in what they are doing
  4. Host a “Carnival” on your blog
  5. Post “off the wall” stuff once in a while
  6. Have good, creative titles for your posts – something that’s going to spark the interest
  7. Use a word in your title that folks haven’t heard before to catch attention
  8. Tag your posts and images
  9. Include “keywords” such as “genealogy.”

Best Genealogy Software: Which Should You Choose and Why

Just about every major genealogy website these days lets you build your family tree from scratch right on their website. But you may wonder what will happen to millions of carefully-constructed trees if the company goes out of business or the site goes down.

Before the days of internet genealogy, researchers organized family history findings on their home computers in specially-designed software. These programs generated .GED files (called GEDCOMs), a universal file type that allowed researchers using different software to share their findings. Software like this still exists. These days it can communicate your research to any genealogy sites you care to share with–by using those same GEDCOM files.

If you do choose to build your family tree online, make sure you can download your tree anytime as a GED file. Keep this file as a backup both on your computer and in a second location (like cloud storage). But my recommendation is to build your tree at home, in your own software. Then you can upload or synch your data to your favorite genealogy websites whenever you want–and you never lose control of your research.

Choosing the Right Software

There are lots of family history programs out there, and all of them will serve your basic needs. But you only need ONE. What’s the best genealogy software? It depends on how much you want to spend and how sophisticated you want your database to be. In many cases, you can order the product or purchase a digital download. I really don’t think you need the physical boxed product. All the help you need is online. All of these products offer a free demo that you can download to try it out before you buy.

FREE AND EASY: Family Tree Builder by MyHeritage helps you stay organized with streamlined screens to work in and doesn’t require a lot of startup time. Family Tree Builder offers lots of family history charts; custom reports; helps you share your data and pictures on a CD or DVD; allows you to back up your files to CD or DVD; and includes genealogy apps for mobile devices. Download the software FREE at the above link.

PC (and NOW MAC) OPTION WITH GREAT REPORTS: If you’re looking for great printed reports that you can share, and loads of free online help videos, then RootsMagic is a great choice. (and we are honored to have RootsMagic as a sponsor of The Genealogy Gems Podcast.) And they now have an iOS app.

Some of the differences you’ll find between these products is the types of reports and charts they produce. So if that’s important to you, you can try the demos and see which you like. But again, I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of these products. They are all well established and supported. (Update: There have been many updates since the post was first published, including a Mac version. Click here for a series of article by date on RootsMagic updates and their app.)

POPULAR PC AND APP PROGRAM: Legacy Family Tree is also an extremely popular program and solid choice. To give it a test run, download the free version. Then check out its strength in regards to source citations: you can now record the quality (original vs derivative, primary vs secondary, etc., direct vs indirect) of each source as you work on proving your conclusions. And they have an app called Families for your mobile device. Learn more about the app here.

AFFORDABLE MAC OPTION: iFamily for Leopard is the most affordable at $29.95.  There’s a free demo you can try before you buy.

TOP-SHELF MAC OPTION: Reunion 11 by Leister Pro is fairly pricey at $99.00. We’ve featured Reunion in the past: listen to Episode 51 of The Genealogy Gems Podcast. In that episode you can listen to a review of Reunion 9 by Ben Sayer, the MacGenealogist. And if you want to compare iFamily against Reunion to see what you’re getting for your money, you can also listen to Ben’s review of iFamily in Genealogy Gems episode 53.

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 141

In this episode we are pulling back the curtain on the Antiques Roadshow, as well as talking a bit about what to include and not include in your family tree.

I’m just back from Odessa Texas where I presented a full day seminar at the Permian Basin Genealogical Society. I got to enjoy a big dose of Texas hospitality and had an absolutely wonderful time.

Next up I’m heading to Kelowna British Columbia for the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society Harvest Your Family Tree 2012 Conference where I will be again doing four presentations as well as a Meet the Speakers panel. 

MAILBOX:

Family Tree Magazine Digital Subscriptions from Kathy:  “I subscribe to Family Tree Magazine.  Can I download my print subscription to my iPad….as you can with other subscriptions?  Or do I need to pay for each issue that I download? Family Chart Masters helped me with my Family Tree Chart.  It was beautiful and was a hit at our Family Reunion.  Janet was so helpful.  Thank you for the recommendation. Love your podcasts.”

Lisa’s Answer: The Family Tree Magazine digital subscription is separate from the print subscription, unless you have purchase their VIP Subscription. So you can either purchase individual digital issues from the Shop Family Tree Store, or you  can purchase a separate annual digital subscription. I think they keep it separate because not everyone wants both. Click here for a $10 off coupon for ShopFamilyTree and when you use that link it also supports the free Genealogy Gems Podcast.  Thank you!

Get Lisa’s Book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse

Paperback

Ebook

 

Replacement for RAOGK

From Mary in Iowa: “In Podcast #139, Ricky asked about a successor to the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness website.  There are actually three Facebook groups (not pages) carrying on the task of looking up genealogy information and other requests.  They are RAOGK, RAOGK – USA, and RAOGK – International.  You need to be a member of the Facebook group to post a message or request, but most requests for membership are granted quickly.”

Generous Genealogists

Gen Gathering

Scott from Oakland Maine:I am in need of some advice regarding an un-cooperative family member.  My father’s brother wants nothing to do with our family, and in years past once referred to himself as the “black sheep”.  He has absolutely no interest in genealogy and is not at all willing to be a part of the family story that I am putting together.  My question is, how do I reference this character in my tree.”

Lisa’s Answer: I imagine every family has a tough nut on a branch of the family tree!  I’m a firm believer in the truth, and what I would do if it were me is to include basic data (that is publicly available) on him on my private, personal family tree. On trees and other info you make available publicly, (such as an online family tree) I would list him and his immediate family only as “Living” and whether they are male or female. In the end you have to do what seems right for you.

From Glenn:Just wanted to say a quick thanks for both podcasts you produce…I’ve been interested in the Family History for some time…Recently my interest has arisen again, of course I have made classic mistake in not documenting everything, and just collecting names, dates and so forth.  So in the last 6 months I’ve been citing sources and updating the database. One of the quandaries I have is when do you stop, not so much vertically, but how wide do you go, in relation to cousins, second cousins and families? Probably the main question I have is trying to decide whether to get a subscription to Ancestry.com or not, I feel I’m at that stage where online document will help out, in filling in the leaves on my branches.”

Lisa’s Answer: Go as wide as you want and are interested in. I would recommend adding basic info for someone you find who you won’t be pursuing, so that if down the road you run in to a brick wall and you need to do some cluster research or reverse genealogy, you will have new leads to follow. RE: Ancestry – I think you will find that Ancestry membership is a very cost effective and time saving way to do your research. Mine has been invaluable. See if you can find a 7 day free trial to check it out and confirm they have the kinds of records you need.

GEM: Diane Haddad Pulls Back the Curtain on The Antiques Roadshow

Music in this segment:

The Antiques Roadshow Remix

By The Elusive MrHatchard

Available on the SoundClick.com website

GEM: Halloween History Tidbits

Halloween Mason Jar Lanterns

Vampire Hunting Kit from the 1800s

GEM: Newspaper Milestones

On September 15, 1982, USA Today began publishing

On September 18, 1851, the New York Times issued its first edition

On September 25, 1690, the first newspaper in America was published for one day in Boston before being shut down by British authorities unhappy with its content.

Check out this episode

Pin It on Pinterest

MENU