Best Genealogy Gifts for a Genealogist or Family History Researcher
Do you have a genealogist or family researcher in your family? You know the one; she enjoys doing creepy things like talking about death and traipsing through cemeteries. She gets really excited and talks on and on about the time she found the birth date for some great-great-someone or another.
It is now time to get her a gift, and you need some gift ideas for your favorite genealogist or family researcher.
Not to worry, I have listed some great gifts that your genealogist will love to get from you, and hopefully these gifts will keep her researching and out of your hair until the next gift-giving occasion.
There are also some videos that may help explain the fascination with family history and genealogy research.
Gift Category #1: Information
Copies of stuff you have around the house
The best gift you can give your family history researcher is showing your support for her research. Researching is a lot of work, and sometimes it takes a long time to get the smallest bit of information.
A great way to show your support and provide the very best gift you can give is to share your genealogical information with her. Simply go through your photo albums, family Bible, scrapbook of old clippings, family heirlooms, box of important documents that have birth, death and marriage certificates, and anywhere else that might have some information. Make copies and give her the information you have gathered. Take photos of family heirlooms. This is an inexpensive gift for you. For just the cost of copies and photographs you will have given her the best gift ever.
A great way to show your support and provide the very best gift you can give is to share your genealogical information with her. Do not assume that she knows what you know. The information is all in your brain. You can record the information in any way you prefer.
You can buy a memory book, and this part is important, fill it out for her. She probably doesn't need a blank book, but she would love to have one that you have been completed. If you live with an elderly relative, you can even ask him the questions, and fill out the book for him. There are many different types of family history journals from which to choose.
If you don't like writing, you could record your memories on a tape or video camera for her. Use a tape recorder, video camera, or type it out in a letter. Don't worry that the book or tape will be boring. The genealogist doesn't find this type of information boring at all, and will be very excited to get such a gift. Also don't be afraid you don't know something. Sometimes a clue, such as an estimated date or time period, or a possible location, may be all the genealogist needs to find the answer.
Subscription to online site
If you don't have the time to dig through the records at your house or complete a family history book, another great gift is a subscription to a site that provides genealogy information, such as Ancestry, or Genealogy Bank.
A cute video of kids trying to define genealogy and family history
Documents are not always where you expect them to be, as courthouses move old records to repositories, and libraries consolidate and move records to historical societies. This book provides the available dates for records, and lists where they are stored.
Gift Category #2: Resources
General information that will help them trace the family tree is also helpful. The Red Book is a very useful resource since it lists what resources are available, the dates that certain documents were created, and what repository holds genealogical information in towns, counties, and states in the United States. It also includes maps that show the counties of each state.
A membership to a local genealogy society is helpful, since it provides a network of people with whom she can share her aforementioned birth date find. These people can help your researcher when she gets stuck, and provide company on research treks and genealogy conferences.
A ticket to a genealogy conference would help her learn how to conduct genealogy, find additional resources, and build additional networks.
Hand Held Scanner
A handheld scanner is portable, and useful for copying photographs at a relative's home, or documents at a library or courthouse.
Gift Category #3: Tools and Equipment
You could pay for her internet service to make searching from home easier.
A laptop, tablet or Smartphone is a great gift, because your family history researcher would be able to take her information with her. With these tools, she will have access to the information she has already gathered, and will be less likely to duplicate a search for the same information.
A genealogist needs to be able to make copies of documents and photographs. The best way is with a scanner. A hand held scanner is helpful because it is portable, and can handle old documents and books that are too big or too fragile to put through a scanner.
A genealogist also needs a camera to record current history, take photos of old landmarks and headstones, and to record genealogy interviews. Please see How to Choose the Best Camera for Genealogists and Best Uses for a Camera for Genealogy
Family Tree Maker
This software helps keep track of all the information for the many family members, and includes a free six month subscription to Ancestry.
Unless your genealogist is averse to using the computer, the best way to organize and manage all of the little pieces of information she has gathered is to record it on some family software. Family Tree Maker is the best selling software and some versions include a bonus subscription to Ancestry. FTM also includes a way to compile the information so it can be published in a book format.
Here are some stocking stuffers that would be great for a family history buff or genealogist:
- coins for photocopiers and parking meters
- change purse to hold the coins
- pencils, pens, and notebooks to record drafts of information
- magnifying glass to see things up close to decipher the old handwriting
- cash to order documents from courthouses and other repositories
- gift certificate for photocopying or publishing a genealogy book
- flashlight for traipsing through cemeteries
- snacks, chocolate and water for those long days of research
Supporting Your Family History Buff
There are many ways you can show your support your family history buff. She is doing all the work, and hopefully some day, she will be able to share all of her information with you and your descendants. You can show your support by taking the time to share your information with her, and listen to her stories about finding that elusive birth date.
There are many useful gifts you can give your favorite genealogist. You can share your important genealogy knowledge with her. You can provide her with information through access to the internet, or a subscription to an online site. You can make her searching easier with proper tools and equipment. You can help her network with other genealogists with a membership to a genealogy society or a ticket to a genealogy conference.
By making family history research efficient for her, she will be able to gather even more information about your family that she can ultimately share back with you.
Genealogists explain why they like genealogy and family history
© 2012 Shasta Matova
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