Find My Ancestor Blog

Jamboree – Day 1 – Part 1

Friday morning at Jamboree I hosted a roundtable discussion on using Mac computers to do your genealogy. Since it was a roundtable discussion I didn't really plan anything specific as to what I was going to talk about. I wanted the people involved to ask me questions so they would get the most out of the discussion. After all, I could probably talk all day about different applications, tools, tips and tricks, and so many other things about how you can use your Mac computer to do your genealogy. I figured most questions people had were going to be something like "What programs are there on a Mac and which one should I use?" That question is the one I get asked most by people who have Macs and who are also thinking about switching to a Mac but aren't sure what applications there are out there. For those of you who were not able to attend, I will briefly go over the applications I talked about and why I recommend them. I have had my Mac for over two years and ever since day one I used Reunion. At the time Reunion the most well-known and popular application for the Mac. However, for a number of reasons I have now switched to using Family Tree Maker for Mac.

Family Tree Maker for Mac

This is a fairly new application, released last fall by It is built based on the popular Windows version that has been around for many years. There are many features I like about FTM for Mac but one of the most enticing things about it for me is the layout of the application. It is very simple and straight-forward, but also with many great features. When I work on my genealogy I like to see a lot of information all at once without having to click on a bunch of buttons to navigate through different information. This helps me see the big picture to be able to see where people and events fit in together. Below is a screenshot of what I am talking about.


Like I said earlier, Reunion is a great software and has been the leading Mac genealogy database software for years. I have used it for over two years and have really enjoyed it. One of the features I have really enjoyed is how much you can customize the application to what works best for you. You can customize anything from event fields, source citation templates and even the colors that appear in the application. I have also enjoyed the ability to create reports and charts and open them in other applications such as Pages and Microsoft Word. One of my biggest complaints about Reunion is the fact that their software is quite outdated compared to other genealogy database programs, both on Windows and Mac. Many of the other programs have web-search integration, access to the, maps and a few more features I find to very helpful while doing my research.

Mac Family Tree

I talked briefly about Mac Family Tree. The main features I like about Mac Family Tree is how the charts and reports look. When I create charts and reports I like them to be fun and interesting looking. I really enjoy graphic design and I think these charts add a fun flare to the research.


Thank You Genealogy Vendors and GeneaBloggers

Last year when I attended the Jamboree I was given a GeneaBloggers Welcome Bag full of great stuff. This year, all the bloggers were welcomed again with more amazing gifts. First of all, thank you to all the vendors and individuals who provided us with these fun things. The donors this year include: A big thanks also goes to the Jamboree Welcome Bag Team which helped put the bags together and contact the vendors for their donations: I am excited to use these products and take advantage of the other great things offered in these bags. Thank you again to everyone who made the welcome bag and this weekend such a great success!  


SCGS2011 – First Evening

Well I got into LAX about 4:30 yesterday afternoon and by the time I got on the shuttle and to the Marriott in Burbank it was about 7:00. Even though it took 2 1/2 hours to get from the airport to the conference on the shuttle, the cheaper flight and extra time in the car were well worth it! The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is such an amazing conference and great opportunity to network with other genealogists. Last year was my first time coming to Jamboree and by the time I left last year I said that I would definitely be coming back for this year. Upon arriving the first two Geneabloggers I saw were Daniel Horowitz from My Heritage and Schelly Talalay Dardashti from Tracing the Tribe. I immediately went to the blogging area where everyone hung out last year and saw Gini from Ginisology, along with her husband Steve and granddaughter Emma. They were sitting with Sheryl from Heritage Happens and Angela from Leaves of Heritage. I had not met Angela before, like I said earlier, this is  a perfect opportunity to meet new genealogists and fellow bloggers. We visited in the lobby for a while and saw other bloggers come and go. Elyse from Elyse's Genealogy Blog came along, Kathryn Doyle from the California Genealogical Society, footnoteMaven, and I saw Leland Meitzler from Genealogy Blog and the Genealogy Guys pass by as well. I look forward to today meeting all the other Geneabloggers and attending some great classes. This morning I am also hosting a round table discussion on Mac Genealogy. If any of you are going to be here at Jamboree and have a Mac, or would like to learn more about Mac computers and how there are amazing applications available to help you do your genealogy, come on out to the tent and join us!


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