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Nowhere is technology more important and prevalent than in the current surge of family history and genealogy research. Here are a few ways technology makes your search easier… Comments welcome!


 Spreadsheet Programs

Spread sheet programs like Microsoft Excel are perfect for tracking family timelines and tasks. Add dates, places, and names to separate columns and then filter and sort by subject. Tasks can be tracked and marked as completed easily.

 Mobile Tech

Using mobile technology has never been easier. You can recording family history with your mobile tech either by documenting an oral history on video or by recording living history in an audio format.

 Tablets and Smart Phones

Family Tree Software can now be loaded onto smart phones and tablets and taken with you wherever you go. This makes remote research easier than it’s ever been before. Your family tree travels with you! Another advantage to this technology is that you can use the photography app on your tablet or smart phone to instantly record photographs  or video of  tombstones, records, documents, or newspapers.

 Mapping Software and GPS

Mapping software  can be tweaked to help you track your family migration patterns and follow individuals and families as they moved east to west in the early days of U.S. expansion. GPS systems can help find the property your ancestor once owned or to locate a lost town or cemetery.


The Internet is a treasure trove of information but… it is a place to start only. It should never be the end-all to your research. However, the Internet can be used to search Historical Societies websites, on-line databases, genealogy sites, Military records, local city directories, and newspapers, as well as many other records and documents and are all readily available to search on the Internet.

 DNA Testing

DNA testing can be used to help locate find otherwise unknown genetic match or to discover one’s ethnicity of Haplogroup.

 Social Media

Social Media can be used to search for living family members who may already have valuable information to help you in your search. As always, be respectful when using Social Media.

 Online genealogy courses and web seminars

Some universities and colleges now offer a number of beginning genealogical and family history courses for free. Family history webinars for almost every family history subject are also available.

 Search Engines

Search Engines make it very easy to search your ancestors. Try different spellings of your surname. Think outside the box… Search maiden names and nicknames if you don’t find what you’re looking for.

 E-mail and Text Messaging

Use e-mail and text messaging to contact family members. Ask what they know about your ancestors. Find the oldest living relative. Interview them.

 News apps

Many news apps can be filtered to include genaeloy and family history. Use the personalization feature to filter articles you might find interesting or helpful to your search.

 Blogs and Websites

Follow pertinent blogs and websites that contain genealogical content or, better yet, create your own family history blog and then join a blogger group.

 Digitized Records

More information is available today than ever before. Use a search engine to locate the records you may find important to your search.

 Family History Websites

Genealogy sites such as MyHeritage.com, Ancestry.com, and FamilySearch.org can be an incredible source of information.

And finally….

One of the most unique uses of technology in family history work is from a Salt Lake City company called Stories in Stone. For a fee, you receive a QR-coded piece of porcelain, aluminum, glass, or vinyl that can be attached to a headstone at the cemetery. With a mobile device and scanning software, you can visit a grave and scan the QR code to look at an obituary, video, music, photo, or story about the deceased. In an instant family history is available in a new and interactive way.

Remember, always cite your sources!!!!

Genealogy and Technology

Family Research Services