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Research Notes 2019-8-26

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Are you looking for an easy and affordable way to share the stories, photos and ephemera that your research discovers? If so, a good place to start is Tumblr. This amazing app is part blog and part social network. Even better, it’s free.


The example on the right shows one of my Tumblr sites. Creekside Tales is our family newscenter. We use it to share family news, photos and the family stories my research discovers. What makes Tumblr different from other blogs? It’s easy to use and it costs you nothing. Yes, there are some “premium” features that have a cost, but that’s up to you to decide if you need them or not.

The easiest way to get started is to download the free Tumblr app (for iOS and Android devices). Once you’ve set up your account, you can create a Tumblr blog and start posting. You can also access Tumblr via your web browser at

Tap the pencil icon on your screen and Tumblr will display a screen similar to the one seen here. Tap the appropriate icon to create the type of post you want to create. Tumblr supports text, photos, videos and even audio posts. You can also include chats, links and GIFs in your posts. Once your post is ready, you have the option to publish it now, queue it up to publish at a later time or keep it as a draft. You can use the queue feature to set up your post for publishing at a particular date and time.

You will find there is an impressive number of genealogists posting on Tumblr. You can follow them or anyone else who has an interesting Tumblr site and each new post they publish will appear in your timeline. The National Archives and Florida Memory are on Tumblr and also quite interesting. If at any time you are tired of following a particular Tumblr site, you can easily remove it from your timeline.

Since Tumblr users cover a broad range of interests, you will find many blogs focused on topics you don’t find interesting. No problem. “Follow” the blogs you find interesting and they will be the blogs that show up in your timeline.

Getting started with Tumblr is easy. Point your web browser to and click the Get Started button on the home screen. On the next screen you will be asked to enter an email address, password and username then click the Sign up button. Tumblr will take you to your dashboard where you can choose your settings, create a blog and start posting. There’s plenty of online support available at Tumblr and you will find even more support at the Storytellers Studio group on


The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) kicked off their annual conference with the announcement that they were merging with the National Genealogical Society (NGS). They expect it will take a year or more to complete the merger. I hope that small societies like ours will see more up-to-date support to help improve society operations.


Denise Levenick has been a long-time Family Tree author and instructor. According to her, both the magazine and book divisions of F+W Media “have found new homes with publishers committed to history and heritage”. Family Tree Magazine has been acquired by New Hampshire based Yankee Publishing Inc. (YPI) and Family Tree Books is now part of the Penguin Random House Publishing Group.


Can you imagine having a huge library that doesn’t take up any room in your home and goes with you wherever you go? You can with Scribd. This online subscription service makes books, audio books, magazines and even newspaper articles available any time and any place. The books, magazines, etc. are delivered to your mobile device via the free Scribd reader app or to your desktop (via web browser).


To learn more visit Scribd at and take a look around.


FamilySearch users . . . have you taken advantage of the Messages feature? You’ll find it in the upper right corner of the FamilySearch screen. I have a number of cousins also using FamilySearch and Messages makes it even easier to work together on our research.


Here you see the header on most of the FamilySearch screens. When someone sends you a message, a red “light” appears to the right of Messages. That red light includes a number telling you how many messages are waiting for you. It is a simple system which makes it even more useful.

Final Notes

Each new post published at SAGS Support is automatically emailed to member subscribers and/or delivered to their newsreader. Research Notes is published every Monday morning and other articles are posted during the week. Subscribers have the option to control how often these updates are delivered. Look down at the bottom of this message and you will find a Manage Subscriptions link in the fine print as you see in this example. Click it and you will be taken to the Subscription Management page. Use the Delivery Frequency column to change your delivery options from “Immediate” to either “Daily” or “Weekly”.

Sample of the “fine print” at the bottom of each post.

Also down at the bottom of each delivered post is a Comment button. If you would like to comment on something discussed in a post or ask a question, just click the Comment button and you will be taken online to the comment section of the post where you can share your thoughts and read what others have shared.

To learn more, download a copy of the SAGS Support Guide.

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