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Research Notes 2016-08-08


Research Notes is our weekly update bringing you the latest happenings in the genealogical community. Every Monday morning news, deals and upcoming events are delivered to St. Augustine Genealogical Society members via your inbox or newsreader.

Reminder . . . there’s no meeting scheduled for August. We can still get together any time by checking in at SAGS Support. Stop by the Cafe and join or start a coversation.


News & Updates

GenealogyBank has just added over 100 historical newspapers to its collection – expanding content in all 50 states. They added over 13 million family records from 1803-1901. You’ll find details on their New Content page.

This weeks additions at FindMyPast focus on U.S./Canadian border crossings. The collection is made up of four collections from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), including both indexes and passenger manifests of entries from Canada into the United States through St Albans, Vermont, between 1895 and 1954. Currently there are over 6.6 million records in this collection.

There are a number of interesting webinars on the GeneaWebinars Calendar this week. Tuesday FamilySearch offers a Pennsylvania Research Overview and later that day Peggy Clemens Lauritzen presents Misbegotten Children: Tracing the Family Lines of the Illegitimate. There are many other topics on the schedule . . .

MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree received updates this week. Most of the updates are in preparation for the upcoming release of the MacOS and iOS operating systems. They have also improved the use of URLs in the Media section.


Tech Tip

Did you know your mobile phone is also an impressive scanner? Scanner apps for both Android and iPhones can scan documents, pages in a book and even records displayed on a microfische reader. Imagine browsing a city directory in the library and discovering your ancestor listed. Instead of spending money to get a hard-to-read copy, pull out your phone, open the scanning app and take a picture of the page. The app will automatically clean up the scan – even “flattening” the text so it’s easier to read. Since it’s costing you nothing, go to the title page and capture it too. Now you’ve also got source information!

Using your phone as a scanner is surprisingly easy. The scanner app does most of the work for you. All you do is hold your phone over the document you are scanning. The app will find the edges of the document, capture just the document and clean it up to create a very nice copy. The toughest part is choosing an app. Here are a few options . . .

Microsoft’s Office Lens app [iOS, Android & Windows Phone – free] trims, enhances and makes pictures of documents readable, then saves them to OneNote. You can use Office Lens to convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files too.

Scanner Pro [iOS – $3.99]  also trims and enhances your scans. It supports optical character recognition (OCR) which transforms “pictures” of documents into searchable and editable text. Images can be emailed, saved to Photos and exported to any of the popular cloud storage platforms as well as Evernote and OneNote.

Scannable [iOS – free] is made by Evernote and is designed to scan and import documents and other items into Evernote. It also supports OCR and can be used to save and share your scans via email or other apps.

These are just a few of the scanning apps available. Check your phone’s app store to see all the options. Since most are free (or offer free and premium options), it won’t hurt to try several apps to see which one works best for you.

Conversations Header

Do you have questions about scanning – mobile or otherwise? The Cafe at SAGS Support is the place to get answers. You’ll see a box in the right sidebar titled Conversations. It links to the latest topics. Just click on the Scanning Help topic to ask your question, answer other questions or offer tips.

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