Saturday, January 14, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Paid Genealogy Tools

Digital Art by Moomsabuy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


This week I am answering our Abundant Genealogy question at each of my blogs (Keough Corner and  Scandia Musings & More) because they focus on completely different sides of my genealogy ~ Ireland & Newfoundland in the case of Keough Corner and Norway, Slovenia & Sweden in the case of Scandia Musings & More.  Both sides do meet up when they get to America but that's another story!

And now ~ for this week's question
Week 2 - Paid Genealogy Tools:  Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most?  What special features put it at the top of your list?  How can it help others with their genealogy research?

I know that most folks will say that Ancestry.com is their go to paid genealogy tool because of the wealth of data sets it hosts and the cost value of the website (your yearly subscription price divided by 365 equals a lot of education and entertainment bang for your buck).  For the most part I agree with that assessment and I have an annual subscription.  However, in regard to Swedish genealogy which makes up one-third of my family interests here at Scandia Musings, my choice for top genealogy tool goes to the following two subscription websites:

I know that Genline was purchased by Ancestry.com last year and that the images are online over at Ancestry but the FamilyFinder software which is part of Genline's subscription service is an excellent tool for doing the actual research.  It makes a focused monthly or quarterly subscription a MUST HAVE  for this genealogist.  I especially like their research file system (Ancestry could take a lesson from Genline's file folder system and apply it to their Shoebox), and the ease of use for searches is amazing.

DISBYT was a little nugget I mined while attending an Introduction to Swedish Research taught by Dee and Ray Kleinow, members of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, Swedish Branch and held at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Many Swedes put their genealogies online and cite their sources (yea!).  They join DISBYT (a computer and genealogy group) to share their information.  Anyone can search their database to see if someone in the group shares an ancestor.  Once you join you can easily contact members to share information and ask questions.  I have had excellent luck with this site and several "new to me relations" have generously shared their trees and cites to additional documents so I can add some flesh to my various Swedish ancestors' bones.  A big plus is that most Swedes I have corresponded with speak and write excellent English (color me embarrassed but grateful) and they have also been a huge help with reading old handwriting, translating document entries, and helping me locate small towns and villages in the Swedish countryside.  

If you have Swedish Roots, these paid genealogy website tools should top your list.  Also check out my page here titled Favorite Websites.  I have lots of websites (free and subscription) for additional Swedish and Norwegian research.   

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