Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

I just discovered a web-source that I thought my readers might find useful: Legacy.com. The website offers a free search engine for obituaries. I’ve been unable to determine if this website is associated with the Millenia Corporation which produces the software, Legacy Family Tree.

The search engine scans the obituaries of more than 400 newspapers published in the U.S., Canada, and U.K. Enter a name and it will return matching results. I performed a search on the surname, TANT and got back 26 results in Georgia, which included the surname, TANTON, as well. So the search engine does a “partial name” search. This can be useful for name variants.

If the obituary was published within the last 30 days, you can get the text for free (actually they send you to the newspaper’s webpage where the obituary appears.) However, for older archived obits, you stil can get a copy of the text, but for a fee. I’ve been unable to determine how much they charge for this service. However, you can probably acquire a copy directly from the newspaper. Again, it will likely involve a fee, but perhaps less than charged by Legacy.com. Follow this link to access Legacy.com’ Obituaries Search Page.


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Bygones Review

Read what I think about this software for organizing your research.

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Organizing Photos

Owning more than 4,000 photos, I wanted to digitize and organize them on my pc. At the same time I needed to think about the future of those prints. Who would get them after I am gone? How can I encourage my beneficiaries to see the value of keeping them? This article discusses how I met that challenge.

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Software Review: Personal Historian® 

Looking for something to help you organize your writing project? Read what I think about this software.

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Some of us favor digitizing all or most of our source documents. But the subject came up: how can you get a complete image of oversized documents, such as maps, plats, etc? I managed to solve that problem with Adobe Elements® (OEM version) which came installed on my computer (did I mention I love cheap or “included” software?) If you use different photo-editing software, take a look at how it may work similarly to the following solution.

To create an image of an oversized document, I place as much of it as I can on my scanner, starting with a corner. I scan that portion of the document to a JPG format then I move the document around, making sure that there is some overlap between scans. Each scan creates a JPG “puzzle piece.”

Once I have created all the puzzle pieces, I bring them into Elements® and use the “photomerge” feature to combine them into a single image. Elements® examines the edges of each smaller image to fit it together, just like a puzzle. The feature works remarkably well. Only occasionally do I have to manually manipulate the combining of images to get the unified image that I want. Once I have a single image, I convert the unified JPG to a PDF file or leave it as a JPG. I personally prefer the PDF as it is a consistent format with all my other documents. But if the image is, indeed, a photo, I leave it as a JPG.

Your photo-editing software may not use the term, “photomerge.” It may go by another term, such as “landscape” or “panorama.”

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Technology Glitches


We are learning that there are either (a) a few backward compatibility bugs in MS Office® 2007 or (b) Sharon just “doesn’t get it.” I wrote the article, “Organizing Documents…” under Word 2003, but since I had to convert it to a PDF using Word 2007, it “buried” the only footnote in the entire document, which appeared on page 2.

So here’s the text of the footnote: “A good way to read this article is to sit in front of your computer and experiment with the features described here as you are reading.” Some of you may have already done just so, but for the rest, I thought I should mention it.

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Organizing Documents with Software You Already Have can offer ideas on how to organize your genealogical documents on your pc.

(If you previously attempted to open the file and you use an older version of MS Word (I use 2007), there were some glitches. So, I uploaded the file in pdf format which should resolve the problem. However, you will need Adobe Reader. Most people have this already installed on their pcs. If you don’t, there is a link to on the right of this page, under “Blogroll.”)

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