Find My Ancestor Blog

Mobile Monday – New and Updated Apps

New Jamboree iPhone App

A couple days ago I received an email from the Southern California Genealogical Society announcing their new Jamboree iPhone App. This app is pretty impressive. It features just about everything you need to know for this years Jamboree held in Burbank California. Some of the features of this app include:
  • List of speakers and corresponding classes
  • Exhibitors
  • All the events of the conference
  • Blog posts
  • Twitter posts
  • Maps
  • "My Schedule" - This is where you can plan which classes you are going to attend so you can have everything all lined up even before the conference.
I think this is a great app to help me learn more about he Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree. I am hoping to see more apps like this popping up for various genealogy societies. Below are some screenshots of the new app.

Genealogy Gems Podcast Now on iPad

Last August I wrote about the Genealogy Gems Podcast App for the iPhone, and the other day when I went into the App Store on my iPad I noticed that the Genealogy Gems Podcast App is now available for download on the iPad! It has all the same great features the iPhone app has, but now those of you who have iPads can enjoy the podcast without downloading them onto your device! Below are some screenshots for the new app


Mobile Monday – More Mobile Friendly Blogs

A month or so ago I posted about making your blog "mobile friendly" for those viewing your blog on their mobile device. Those posts can be found here: Today I would like to feature some fellow bloggers who have made their blog mobile friendly for those like me who use my iPhone and iPad to read blogs quite often. If you have not yet made your blog mobile friendly, I recommend you do so. More and more people are using their mobile devices to surf the internet and read blogs. Making your blog mobile friendly will make it easier for visitors to read your content on your website.

6Apr/110 12-Month Pro Account Winner

Last week I ran a contest on the Mobile Monday Series about using your mobile phone or any other device you have used to do your genealogy on. I received blog comments, emails and Twitter comments of people telling me what their favorite apps were, what they would like to see in mobile apps and various other ways they use their devices. In exchange for them telling me and all of you how they use their mobile device, one luck winner received a free 12-month Pro Account.

I am happy to announce that Angie from Angie's Roots Are Showing blog! Although Angie does not have a smartphone with apps, she told us about another mobile device that has helped her learn more about her ancestor's place of residence. Below is what Angie had to say:
I have a pretty simple phone, and don’t really utilize apps. However, I recently received a nookcolor for my birthday, and made a fun discovery! I started doing searches for names, places, etc in my family history and found that people have put a great number of old documents in E-reader form, and many of them are free downloads. For example, I was able to find a program from the early 1900s, celebrating the Centennial of Guyandotte, WVa (the town where my ggg-grandparents settled after they married.) This gave a a great glimpse into life in the town they lived in! I’ve had a lot of fun browsing for hidden jewels!
Angie gave us a great example of implementing technology and mobile devices in our research. I have asked Angie to tell us a little more about her, how she got involved in genealogy and her great genealogy blog. If you have not yet been to Angie's blog, I highly recommend it! Thank you to everyone to contributed as well as to for the great prize!

About Angie

I consider my grandfather to be the reason I became interested in family history. He has, over the years, carefully guarded old family photos and heirlooms. He keeps them hid away in his bedroom, and occasionally, if you ask nicely, he will bring out a sampling for you to see. (Now that I’ve been at genealogy as long as I have, I’ve worn him down some, and he is more willing to bring out large numbers of photos at a time for me to scan in, but there are still things hidden in that room that I’ve yet to see!)
I think the one thing he showed me that really infected me with the genealogy bug was a newspaper clipping from an unknown West Virginia newspaper. It recounted the story of my 3rd great grandparents, and how they came to settle in the Cabell County, West Virginia area. The article was written in the last years of my ggg-grandmother’s life, and I’ve later come to find that a lot of the information in the writing was romanticized, and not entirely accurate. However, I was hooked from that moment on!
I bought a copy of Family Tree Maker in either 1998 or 1999, and started digging away on the internet. Almost all of my research has been done online, and it took me along time, and much frustration, to learn the importance of verifying sources. I started my blog last year as a place to organize and share my findings, and to hopefully connect with others who a researching the same lines as me. Next week, I am planning my first ever hands on research experience, as I am traveling to Cabell County, West Virginia to see what I can dig up!
As for what I mentioned on [Find My Ancestor], my husband bought me a nook color for my birthday in February. For starters, it is an excellent way to keep up on blogs! The nook has built-in WiFi and I can log on google reader and check out blogs I’ve subscribed to at any time. The mobile formatting suits the layout of blogs very well, and I find them more easy and enjoyable to read on the nook.
You can also download PDFs to your nook, and I have taken advantage of this feature several times. For example, I recently downloaded the entire roster and history of the 54th North Carolina Infantry to learn more about my ancestor’s service in the Civil War. It’s easy to read and portable, so I can take it with me wherever I go.
There is a “shop” feature on the nook, where you can purchase ebooks and have them downloaded directly to your device. On a whim, I started searching for surnames, towns, etc that related to my family history, and I have found several interesting titles, most of them available for free download. For example, I found a copy of Guyandotte, West Virginia’s Centennial celebration from 1915. My ancestors lived in the Guyandotte area at the time, and I was able to read about the people, places, and events that were a part of their everyday life at that time.


Mobile Monday – Giveaway

*This is an updated post. has also posted on their blog about the contest. There will be four winners, including one from Find My Ancestor. For a description of the contest and rules, see below. For almost the past year I have been writing the Mobile Monday Series, discussing mobile apps you can use for your genealogical research. Many of the apps I have reviewed and discussed have been for the iPhone and iPad, but every once in a while I have talked about a few Android apps. This week I am wanting to hear from you. I have been telling you which apps are my favorite, but I want to know what you think. You tell me which apps are your favorite and why, and in return one of you will receive a free 1-year Pro Membership to To be eligible to win, simply comment on this post or send an email via the Contact page on Find My Ancestor with your thoughts on mobile apps, which one is your favorite and why. Here are some ideas to help you narrow down why an app has been your favorite:
  • Which app has helped you break down a brick wall?
  • Which app has helped you stay organized the most?
  • Which app is the most simple to use, but yet very handy?
  • What kind of app would you like to see developed?
  • Which app is on the iPhone/iPad that you would like to see on an Android? Vice versa?
  • Which app helps you collaborate with family or other genealogists?
  • Which app has the best synchronization with your desktop computer's software program?
Again, this week is all about you. What do you like? What do you not like? Many people out there do not have a mobile device they could do their genealogy on and I'm sure there are people out there wondering what else is available and what is helpful to others. The contest begins today, March 28 and will end Friday, April 1 at 3 PM (PT). The winner will be notified by Next week with instructions on how to redeem their free 1-year Pro Membership to
Disclosure: has offered me to give one free 1-year Pro Membership to away on my blog. I have also received a 1-year Pro Membership from for feedback and to write about it on my blog. Any opinions expressed in this post or any future post about are mine.