Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Genealogist's Christmas List

A Genealogist's Christmas List
Or "Rednecks, Gifts and Desires"

It's that time of year again, their is a chill in the air. People are smiling and humming Christmas songs and VISA cards are melting all over the place. Folks are sitting at tables all across America and making out Christmas lists. If you will allow me to be a bit on the presumptious side, let me make some suggestions for that genealogist on your list.

First, let's discuss the high dollar gifts that any genealogist would love to get:
A new computer - a faster computer with more ram and a bigger hard drive would bring a smile to the grumpiest genealogist. More space turns into more precious family documents and photos stored. 2) A cable modem or DSL connection, prepaid for a year - just sit back and imagine the look of pure joy on your genealogists face, as those gedcoms and BLM documents download in seconds, instead of hours. Who knows, they might even end up with enough spare time to organize their desk and get those census forms off the Kitchen table.

A Genealogical trip - if you have some "serious" money to spare. Set up a trip for your genealogist to the "Promised Land". It don't matter if it's back to Fayette County, Alabama, to run the court houses and talk to distant cousins or back to the old country, your genealogist would flip. If you plan it right and get lucky, they won't even notice that you wandered off to play golf or visit the casinos.

A CD Burner - a tool that is quickly becoming a "must have" for the amatuer genealogist. The ability to save scanned images of documents and photos to a CD, rather than eating up hard drive space, makes this one of the best gifts you can give.

A Digital Camera - we both know, that genealogist of yours is gonna spend a minor fortune on photos taken of cemeteries and distant relatives. This gift would not only allow them to transfer their photos to genealogical databases a lot easier, it may, in the long run, save you money.

A Scanner - Genealogists crave photos and documents, the same way that rednecks crave beer and beef jerky. The ability to scan a copy of those precious items, would delight your genealogist to no end.

Now a few gift suggestions for those of us with slimmer wallets.
A subscription to or one of the other online genealogy services. There isn't a computer genealogist alive that wouldn't like to browse through one of these paid databases.
The latest version of their favorite genealogical software. I dont know a single genealogist, that wouldn't love to upgrade their program.

A Genealogical book - Now before you say you dont know which one they would want, let me tell you that we all love the latest source books or how to books. I would also like to suggest "Uncle Hiram's Adventures in Genealogy Vol. 2: Running with the Redneck", if nothing else it's good for a laugh. (

Now a few FREE gift ideals
Give your genealogist a little understanding. This hobby is more addictive than Monday night football. Be Patient with your genealogist. We aren't really ignoring yall.
I hope I have given you a few ideals to work with. (Feel free to print this column and casually leave it where your spouse will find it.) (GRIN)
-Adios and Keep Smiling!

NOTE FROM 2007: This column was written 7 years ago. I would suggest a DVD Burner now instead of a CD Burner. I would also suggest one of the "BOOK" hard drives I saw last week in Best Buy. They are external hard drives -- the largest one I saw was a Terrabyte. Amazing how much progress computers have made in the last 10 years. Both of my books are no longer in print but I do still have a few copys laying about the house if you would like to buy one.

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