Posts Tagged ‘flip-pal’

Down an English Genealogy Lane

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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. 

Genealogy Techie

Ever working the iPad

Ever working the iPad

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. 

Genealogy Journey

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.  




Old Hollow Tree, Rectory Park, Sutton Coldfield

Old Hollow Tree, Rectory Park, Sutton Coldfield









Yay for my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner! 

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

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. 


Gt. Grandpa William Pattison, Old Brightlingsea Newspaper Clipping

Gt. Grandpa William Pattison, Old Brightlingsea Newspaper Clipping


Grandmother's Death Certificate

Grandmother’s Death Certificate

Mum marrying Fred Tozer, 1937

Mum marrying Fred Tozer, 1937



Mum and me, 1944

Mum and me, 1944

Fred Tozer (2nd seated)  Mayfair Football Team, 1932
Fred Tozer (2nd seated) Mayfair Football Team, 1932

 A Bonus

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.

Last Goodbye

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.

Eve trying to whistle

Eve trying to whistle


Our Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Winner!

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Our contest for a Flip-Pal mobile scanner has ended and we have a winner!   

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Winner!

Congratulations go to Susan Goff Hilliard from Ohio who was selected as the winner of a Flip-Pal mobile scanner in our giveaway at  Watch the mail, Susan, your scanner is on its way.
Thank you so much to the creators of the Flip-Pal mobile scanner for offering this valuable prize. And thanks to everyone who entered the contest. To show appreciation to you all, we are offering a special coupon for you to use at the Flip-Pal website to get your own Flip-Pal mobile scanner and accessories: Use the coupon code: ten64 to take 10% off your entire order of $170 or more! This coupon expires on 12/15/2013, and can’t be used in conjunction with any other offer (including sale items).  Click on this link and shop today!

Genealogy Contest: Flip-Pal Scanner

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Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

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. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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.


Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Review

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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

Flip-Pal with lid open

Flip-Pal with lid open

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 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.

Flip-Pal Facts

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.


Eye-Fi Mobi Wi-Fi

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.

Section 1 Brightlingsea Post Office  Section 2 Brightlingsea Post Office

Section 3 Brightlingsea Post Office Section 4 Brightlingsea Post Office

1850-Brightlingsea Post Office

1850-Brightlingsea Post Office

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 (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.

Stitched photo from 4 scans below.

Stitched from scans of pieces below (3 pieces of original missing)















 Section 2 Section 1

Section 3   Section 4

Photo after cleanup with Corel Paintshop

Photo after cleanup with Corel Paintshop. Two gaps filled in but need touch up. Can’t fill 3rd gap as piece missing.


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.

Fred Tozer with Overland Car  Fred Tozer with Overland Car - no inscription

Flip-Pal Recognition and Awards

Flip-Pal was recently featured as Editor’s Choice in PC magazine at,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

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.

Flip-Pal Open Scanning

Flip-Pal flipped with lid off, scanning an album


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