Saturday, June 20, 2009

Exciting Family History Purchases

This week I have made a few purchases that are family history related that I am very excited about. Two of them are a direct result of my attending the Family History Expo last week.

I splurged and bought Legacy Family Tree 7.0 from one of the vendors at the expo. It is a pedigree software that I had heard great things about. The reviews were great online and I attended their "product plug" class at the expo and was very impressed. I was using an old version of FTM but was unhappy with the search capabilities within the program and the research reports and I had also heard that people were not satisfied with the upgrade version. One of the big selling points for Legacy was their SourceWriter which takes a lot of the guess work out of citing sources (which is very important to me). There also has the ability to copy things to multiple individuals and events as well as the ability to map out where those events took place. I've been slowly copying over my information along with my sources and so far I really like it. There is a free download version available on their website. It does not have all the features of the deluxe version (which I would recommend) but would give you a feel for the program.

The second thing I bought as a result of the Expo is a Foldable Photo Camera Tabletop Stand (I got mine from, you can also find it on amazon). I attended a class by Barry Ewell who demonstrated digital photography techniques for genealogists. He recommended the tabletop stand and demonstrated it in class. The stand is really a glorified tripod that allows you to direct your camera straight down, as well as any other angle, to take pictures of documents, books, and vintage photos on a flat surface. A tripod is necessary because you need a longer exposure time without a flash in order to get a good digital image. Barry Ewell says he even uses the tripod to take digital pictures of microfilm ON THE READER, saving him time walking down to the copy machine and messing with the film and copy card. He also said it makes it very easy to copy pages out of books and a lot faster and more convenient than using a scanner (though a scanner, when possible, is the ideal way to get the best quality image). I'm excited to get my package in the mail! I'll be sure to let you know how it works for me.

The third, and most thrilling (and expensive) purchase I made this week were airline tickets to Minnesota to visit my Grandma! I have felt like I needed to go and have been talking about going for years. But no more talking, the tickets are bought and I am leaving in less than a month. I am excited to see my Grandma, talk to her, hear all her stories (over and over), take stock of her pictures and documents, photograph heirlooms, eat Lil' Debbie cakes, and simply hug her. To be sure I will be toting along my digital camera, laptop, and table stand with me on the airplane (but I will be kid free, what will I do on a plane for 2 hours without kids?!?) in anticipation of doing some family history with the oldest living relative I have. I'm excited!


  1. Great blog! And thanks for stopping by at our Legacy booth last week. Good luck in all your genealogy pursuits.

    Geoff Rasmussen

  2. Sarah,
    I use Legacy Family Tree 7.0. I've used Legacy since 5. and I really think they have a good product.