Posts Tagged ‘genealogy’
In November this year, I took a trip down an English genealogy lane. I flew to England to visit my mother, Eve Tozer, who is nearly 102-years-old.
Eve suffered several mini-strokes late October, and was confined to bed after some 37,105 days of mobility. I expected brief conversation and lack of concentration. Imagine my surprise when I brought out my iPad to show Mum a short video made for her 100th birthday, and she began tapping the screen like a pro! I suspect she’d have been a genealogy techie if born in a later era. Although her legs no longer work, Eve’s mind is all there.
What began as a farewell visit soon became a journey into family history.
Some days, my sister Susan came with me to see Eve. Other days, I was on my own. Both situations opened up the past in unique ways. One visit, our combined memories had Mum singing, laughing, and even trying to whistle. She used to whistle tunes in her youth, in a day when it was an un-ladylike thing to do. She still recalls her father telling her an old phrase, “A whistling woman and a crowing hen, are neither fit for God nor men.” It didn’t stop her. She continued to whistle throughout her life.
Another day, Mum suddenly began talking to me about giving birth to triplets, not twins, when my siblings Susan and Malcolm were born. She said the third child died within hours of birth and wasn’t given a name. Susan and I are now investigating that snippet of valuable information. The births took place during World War II in a remote village hospital with no modern medical resources. My mother and the twins nearly died. For whatever reason, my parents never mentioned this extra boy to me or my brother and sister as we grew up. If Eve had died years ago, this new fact would have remained unknown.
As we showed Mum old photographs of ancestors, she recognized each one and named most without hesitation. At one point, she told us all the names of her 12 siblings from memory, in the right order, and fast. Impressive! She is the last remaining member of her family and is excited to join them all when her life on earth ends.
In between visits to my mother, my husband and I explored other local places from our own and our children’s past, such as towns and parks (see below). When we told Mum about these places, the memories multiplied.
Yay for my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner!
While at my sister’s house, I had access to a treasure trove of old family photographs, certificates, records, news clippings, and more. Because I had my little Flip-Pal mobile scanner with me, I was able to quickly scan everything, and return to the USA with excellent copies of documents I hadn’t seen before, which are now digitally preserved for future generations. I even scanned larger documents with no problem, using Flip-Pal’s stitch feature. A few of these are included below.
A final bonus occurred the night before we flew home from Manchester airport. After a week of strong family feelings, my husband, who hadn’t seen one of his brothers for 16 years, knocked on his brother’s door in Manchester. We spent a great evening catching up and reminiscing.
There’s something about extended family ties that is hard to ignore. Venturing down genealogy lane gave me back a unity and sense of belonging I’ve missed after living away from England all these years.
I shall forever carry a mental picture of the last goodbye wave from my sweet mum. I stood in the open doorway waving back at her and said, “Remember, when you’re in heaven and you want to get my attention, just whistle and I’ll know it’s you.” She smiled and nodded, looking peaceful and wise. We blew kisses and I shut the door. Thank you and God bless you, Eve Tozer, for being my dear mother.
If you think seeing genealogy displayed in colorful charts is fascinating, then this review of Progeny Genealogy Charting Companion™ is for you.
Progeny Charting Companion Tells Your Story
I recently began using Progeny Charting Companion™ and was immediately blown away by the beautiful charts created from my genealogy progam (RootsMagic).
Charting Companion is for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, and is compatible with all genealogy programs, including:
- Ancestral Quest
- Family Historian
- Family Tree Maker (2007 and earlier, 2010–2014; other versions use GEDCOM)
- GEDCOM (all programs)
- Legacy Family Tree
- Roots Magic (ver. 4 and later)
I first chose the full circle fan shape from the 14 charts offered, and began with eight generations as that fits nicely on an 8” x 11” page for printing. The poster version lets me print up to 16 generations and that’s next on my to-do list.
Progeny Ancestor Fan Chart
The Ancestor Fan Chart can be colored according to gender, generation or lineage, and can be traditional semicircle, a quarter circle, or a full circle. You don’t need to mess with making things fit, as the Ancestor Fan Chart does it all for you. It automatically scales to fit whatever size paper you have selected. Pretty smart software!
Another nifty thing that I really like is the program’s ability to alert you if you try to print more generations than can fit on your chosen paper size. If you get the warning, simply choose fewer generations.
These colorful charts are excellent for sharing genealogy discoveries with family and friends. They are easy to attach to emails, and post on blogs and social media sites. We live in a marvelous age where we can explore our family history electronically, and connect generations as never before. I’m grateful for products such as these that help spread the wonder that is genealogy.
More Charts from Genealogy Charting Companion™
More Products from Progeny Genealogy
I can’t wait to review more exciting Progeny Genealogy products as outlined below:
- Progeny 3D Family Tree™ ~ the only program that displays your family tree in 3 dimensions.
- Genelines™ ~ unique timeline charts that show your lineage against a backdrop of historical, world or family events.
- Map My Family Tree™ ~ a unique genealogy product that shows your ancestor’s geographical distribution and the migration patterns that shaped your family’s history.
Where to Buy Progeny Genealogy Charting Companion™
- Companion 5 with Charting Companion™ (download) costs $29.95 from progenygenealogy.com
- The CD costs $34.95 + shipping.
- There is also a free trial option at progenygenealogy.com
Our contest for a Flip-Pal mobile scanner has ended and we have a winner!
Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Winner!
Time for the Flip-Pal mobile scanner contest/giveaway! We have a superb prize for one fortunate winner, thanks to the makers of Flip-Pal, the mobile scanner mentioned in my review this week. The prize is a brand new, unopened Flip-Pal.
A Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Prize
Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter the Flip-Pal mobile scanner giveaway via Rafflecopter, or use the widget below.
Flip-Pal Contest Times
8:00 a.m. Nov. 15 to 8:00 p.m. Nov. 23, 2013. Result: Monday Nov. 25
Please share the good news. Enjoy the contest!
To learn more about the Flip- Pal, visit their website or feel free to ask questions in the comments below.
Liability Disclosures and Policy Statement
Please read my Liability Disclosures and Policy Statement before entering giveaways hosted here. Updated 11/15/2013. This giveaway is open to USA and Canadian residents age 18 or older. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and announced Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 according to their rules. All entrants agree to release of liability of the sponsor, Anne Bradshaw, “True Miracles with Genealogy.” No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Begins 08:00 a.m. PST on 11/15/13 and ends 08:00 p.m. PST on 11/23/13. Result: Monday Nov. 25.
The day a Facebook genealogy friend posted her review of the Flip-Pal mobile scanner, I mentally yelled, “It’s a genealogy dream machine. I need one!”
My Flip-Pal Review
Little did I know how much I would come to love my Flip-Pal. I was visiting my nearly 102-year-old mother in England for the last time, and knew my sister had countless old photos and certificates that needed copying and preserving for future generations. Flip-Pal was an answer to my prayers. This review explains why.
Flip-Pal’s Company Values
I explored Flip-Pal’s website at flip-pal.com and was immediately attracted by the company values—especially the one labeled “Courage and Integrity.” After using their product extensively, I can say from personal experience that Flip-Pal is every bit as good as they claim.
Although genealogy-related photographs and keepsakes are the main focus for my Flip-Pal, I must mention that scrapbookers, quilters, and preservationists also rave about it. The patented flip-and-scan technology allows scanning without disturbance or damage while the picture is still in an album or frame—an obvious plus for old, fragile items.
A really cool feature is the EasyStitch software, which automatically reassembles multiple scans into their larger original. For anything larger than 4×6 inches, I used EasyStitch (more about that in a minute). The Flip-Pal mobile scanner has high resolution and an inbuilt color LCD that shows normal size scans immediately. A computer is not required to scan (making the scanner truly mobile), but is used later when working with the scanned material.
Flip-Pal and the Eye-Fi Mobi 8GB Wi-Fi SDHC Card
The Flip-Pal does come with its own SD card, but because I was going to England and wouldn’t have access to a computer to check if my scans for stitching turned out okay, I replaced the SD card with an Eye-Fi Mobi 8GB Wi-Fi SDHC card.
Since I had already downloaded the Eye-Fi app to my Kindle Fire, this connected wirelessly with my Eye-Fi Mobi card and enabled me to zoom in and out of imported images and immediately check for possible errors. If I hadn’t left enough overlap margins for good stitching, I had time to rescan before leaving the country.
Here’s an example of a large, slightly fuzzy photograph from the 1850s, taken outside Brightlingsea Post Office, which my great great grandparents William and Rhoda Minter managed. I scanned the image in four sections, then used the stitch software, followed by the color correction feature to sharpen things up a bit. The picture is too old to improve further, but does give a good idea of what is possible.
The Eye-Fi card also lets me share scanned photos wirelessly with family and friends across the world. The app can also be added to phones and other electronic readers.
I couldn’t help thinking all this would have seemed like impossible magic to my ancestors when having their original photograph taken. They could never have guessed that one day their images would be seen and treasured by descendants, and thousands of others.
Adding Toolbox with EasyStitch to Eye-Fi Mobi Wi-Fi Card
I was confused at first by the Toolbox program containing the EasyStitch software that is on the Flip-Pal SD card. I thought I had to download it to my PC, but after chatting with a helpful Flip-Pal specialist, I found it’s so much better than that. I’m sure all techies out there have no problem with this. I mention it because I know there are also thousands of non-techies who will fall in love with Flip-Pal and may need more information.
Here’s what Flip-Pal said, “The stitching software, EasyStitch, is on the Flip-Pal SD card in the Toolbox program. We want the user to use the software from the SD card without downloading to the PC or Mac so they can always be mobile; meaning anyone can stitch anywhere from any computer. Downloading software to the computer is not required. However, the Toolbox software (with EasyStitch) can be downloaded to the Mobi (Wi-Fi) card from our website at flip-pal.com (click on “Support” then “Downloads”). When the toolbox is in the SD card you are using to scan, you have everything you need.”
A side note: I found that I had to first download to my PC, then double click on the file and choose to open it in my MOBI (Wi-Fi) card, which was inserted in my computer. After downloading the Toolbox software to my PC, it was important to double click on the file, as a single click gave me an error notice.
With the software safely installed on the Eye-Fi card, I became a scanner-pro. It’s all amazingly simple, and results are way better than I expected.
Flip-Pal Sketch Kit
I used the Sketch Kit many times in England as it let me write relevant information on the see-through surface, which I then inserted between the photo and the scanner plate. I usually made two copies—one with the note and one without. It can be hard to recall details later when doing multiple scans.
Flip-Pal Recognition and Awards
Flip-Pal was recently featured as Editor’s Choice in PC magazine at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420707,00.asp and has collected several awards as outlined below:
July 2010—won Overall Best Innovation Award at Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Trade Show.
August 9, 2010—won Innovation Honor at the Coloradoan Show.
November 2009—received Consumer Product of the Year award from the Colorado Inventor Showcase in recognition of exceptional ingenuity, creative genius, and product development skills. The winners were chosen by a panel of over sixty celebrity judges representing the media, venture capital, high profile business, and academia. Entries were evaluated based on their innovation, novelty, and value to society.
In addition, since November 2012, Flip-Pal has supported the Superstorm Sandy photo reclaiming efforts by scanning and recovering over 20,000 pictures collected from devastated homes, local beaches, and wetlands. As members of the Memories Preservation Coalition, they also helped communities in Colorado wash, dry, and scan photos rescued from severe flooding there in September 2013. The Flip Pal company, Couragent, Inc., is located in Ft. Collins, Colorado.
Where to Buy Flip-Pal
The Flip-Pal mobile scanner is $149.99 at flip-pal.com.
Included is a 4GB SD memory card, a USB to SD adapter (for those without an SD card reader on their computer), photo-stitching and color correction software, and batteries.
In addition to the free batteries, I decided to purchase rechargeable batteries because I knew I’d be scanning for hours and didn’t want to run out.
There are several bundle options for saving money—and some nice extras for fun Christmas gifts for the family genealogist who owns a Flip-Pal. I particularly like the padded carry case with pocket that comes in some cheerful colors ($29.99). And, of course, the Flip-Pal mobile scanner Sketch Kit ($13.99).
Flip-Pal Scanner Highly Recommended for Genealogy
Would I recommend the Flip-Pal scanner for genealogy? Yes, a thousand times, yes. It really is a dream machine that unites generations by restoring memories, and bringing family history to life. Thank you, Gordon Nuttall and the team at Couragent, Inc., for inventing Flip Pal®. It’s hard to stop scanning!
Contest/Giveaway Coming Soon!
There’s a new contest/giveaway on the horizon, and guess what the exciting prize is this time? Yes, a brand new, unopened Flip-Pal! Watch for more details on Facebook or visit this website.