Upcoming Meetings of the Computer Genealogy Group. Each meeting will be held at 1 P.M. in the Auditorium at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury in Irvington.

November 13, 2014

Sharing and preserving your research efforts – Ann Thompson


January 29, 2015 (Note – this is the last Thursday in January.)

To be confirmed – British history


March 12, 2015

Tracing America’s Great Migration using the records our ancestors left in their travels. (to be confirmed)

Ann Thompson will provide an overview of migration routes, land records, ethnic settlements, transportation developments  and the impact of historical events starting with the 18th Century.  Since this program will have many maps, you may wish to bring your laptop and a flash drive to follow along and take notes.


May 14, 2015

With enough participants we will share our printed family histories – drafts, published, scrapbooks, whatever. You don’t have to be the author. Using what you may learn at the November program, you should be able to create some form of a report or the first steps toward formatted publication for your own endeavors.


From the September Meeting:

For those of you who did not make it to the meeting last week, Mary Stewart gave a very interesting and practical presentation titled “On the Road Travel Kit” for genealogists. She started ​by unpacking her small messenger bag​, 10”x12” and ​4” thick​, lined with protective foam​. This contains everything she needs for travel. Of course she was teased about how much clothing she might take instead.

Mary began with her iPad which she syncs with her contacts and email at home. From the Apple App store she installed FamViewer which accepts GEDCOMs with ​basic information from her family history ​ including​ names, dates, notes and authorities. ​FamViewer is for reference only; it is not a genealogy program. It has a place to record text notes which can be exported later to review the   information before ​entering it in her family tree software. This she stressed is very important to avoid those inevitable errors we are all inclined to make.

Next she showed her iPhone and its many capabilities as a camera and scanner. Amongst the other items in her tiny travel kit were an Apple wireless keyboard – the width of her iPad, extra flash drives, chargers for both the car and for electric outlets, assorted cables and a microfiber cleaning cloth. Included also was a travel router, ​ a ​tiny light -​weight unit that provides a secure ​Wi-Fi hotspot at hotels. ​ Many versions are available for about $20 to $50. She uses a TP-LINK model WR702N.

​The Pièce de résistance for me is her new Flip-Pal scanner complete with an Eye-Fi SD card. I have long resisted buying one of these, but the advantages of copying photos pasted into an album were immediately made clear. Most of us have such picture albums from some ancestor and they are now in fragile condition. No harm is done to the album scanning with the Flip-Pal.

Mary finished with information on some of her favorite websites available as apps for tablets and phones.

This was a very informal meeting with all of us around a table. It went for excellent discussion amongst the attendees. Maybe we should try this set-up at a future meeting?

New Season of Who Do You Think You Are? begins July 23

Cynthia Nixon and Rachel McAdams are among those featured on the new season of Who Do You Think You Are? The 48-year-old Sex & the City actress and 35-year-old The Notebook star will have their heritage explored in the new season of the popular television show.

 The series will return to TLC for a second season next month. The upcoming episodes also feature Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), Kelsey Grammer (Cheers, Fraiser) and Rachel’s sister Kayleen McAdams. Past stars include Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Tim McGraw and Vanessa Williams.

This is a great free website for newspaper research:


The advanced search might be a bit more sophisticated in terms of adjacency, but it well worth trying. It does support wildcards.

We have covered the U.S. Census briefly earlier this year. Mocavo has merged with FindMyPast and all US Federal Censuses may be searched free. You never know when an indexer may have read the handwriting differently. This is a link to a Guide to the US Federal Census which may be downloaded or printed:


That is a pretty long address. If you can’t connect using your mouse, try holding down the control key and clicking the address.

Meetings of the Computer Genealogy Group are open to all members of the Northern Neck Computer User Group and the Genealogical Society of the Northern Neck of Virginia (which is inactive at the moment)*, as well as residents at RW-C. Guests are always welcome, but if you become a regular attendee, we ask that you consider joining one or the other group – if not both. These other groups have meetings of their own on Saturdays throughout the year. More information about the NNCUG may be found at www.nncug.net 

Regular Meetings of the Computer Genealogy Group are held in the Auditorium of Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury at 1 PM on the second Thursday in odd numbered months. If you know someone who would like to receive these announcements, please feel free to share my email address. I appreciate suggestions regarding potential speakers.

Ann Thompson

Thursday July 9, 2015

Using Maps for Your Genealogy Research

1 PM in the Auditorium at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury in Irvington

GOOGLE EARTH FOR GENEALOGY a tutorial video presented by Lisa Louise Cook

GOOGLE Earth is a free software download that contains many tools to help genealogists. At the meeting we will start with installing the software and getting acquainted with some of the many features. Then we learn how to select historical photos for places within a date range. This is a great tool for identifying a location in your historical photo collection. Distances between places your ancestors lived can be measured with a ruler. GOOGLE Earth also helps identify alternate place names. There is even a bibliography of books about different locations. We will see how to overlay an historical map onto a modern map to show how a location has changed over time. Another tool that is helpful with planning your research trips identifies churches, schools and cemeteries by address. You can even plot family history tours complete with photos to share with other relatives.

There is so much that genealogists can do with GOOGLE Earth we may want to have another program to explore these possibilities further.

SUGESTION: Bring your laptop and an extension cord with you in order to experiment with your own family history. If you have time before the meeting download the software from:

https://www.google.com/earth/ Look in the upper right corner for the download button.


The presenter, Lisa Louise Cooke, is the owner of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy and family history multi-media company. She is Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, the popular online genealogy audio show available at www.GenealogyGems.com, in iTunes, and through the Genealogy Gems app, and free toolbar. Her podcast brings genealogy news, research strategies, expert interviews and inspiration to genealogists in 75 countries around the world, and recently celebrated 1.5 million downloads!

Lisa is the author of a variety of multi-media materials and several books. In addition to Genealogy Gems, Lisa works closely with Family Tree Magazine as producer and host of the Family Tree Magazine Podcast, a regular article author for the magazine, and curriculum developer and instructor for Family Tree University. Those of you who have attended genealogy conferences have undoubtedly seen her programs listed or spoken with her in the Exhibit Hall.

Highlights from RootsTech 2015

This is the largest of the genealogy conferences. There were approximately 21,000 thousand family history enthusiasts in attendance this year, up from 13,000 last year. Included with the registration were more than 200 classes (lectures) plus computer labs. The Exhibit Hall had nearly 200 vendors selling genealogy software, books, and all kinds of relevant products. As the Conference name implies there is an emphasis on new technology for genealogists.

Come to the meeting on Thursday to hear the highlights from several of the speakers. These excerpts will focus on what is new and coming with the big online databases and new technology for genealogists.

Some of you may remember that I had planned a presentation for March on migration. This topic is so broad, please email me with those States and Colonies east of the Mississippi that you are researching. It would also be helpful to learn if your brick walls occur in the Colonial era or when ancestors started moving westward across the Appalachian mountains. Four hundred years of U.S. Migration patterns could easily become a one semester class. In January, I attended a five day seminar that only covered Colonial New England.

Mark your calendar for these 2015 dates for which meeting topics will be announced.

July 9

September 10

November 12

Any suggestions for topics and speakers are greatly appreciated.

One thought on Genealogy Sig News

  1. I am currently using Geotagging applications on my IPAD and home computer for attaching GPS tags onto some of my old scanned photos from trips taken in Europe. I am also Geotagging old family photos to grave sites and to locations of old family home sites. According to Ancestry magazine one of the latest tools in genealogy is Geotagging – “GPS enables family historians to record a very precise location of any physical location, like a grave, old homestead, etc. ….”


    I am a member of the NNCUG.

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