17    Dec 20092 comments

What Makes a good Genealogy Christmas Gift?

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Genealogists aren't the easiest bunch to buy Christmas gifts for. If your friend's a film buff, a DVD collection will do nicely; if your partner likes looking good, some clothes or some jewellery might keep them happy. But what if they're a genealogist? For a group of people whose passions are the intangible wonder of tracing connections back to a distant past, it can be rather more difficult to package the perfect present in a box under the Christmas tree.

Fortunately, MyHeritage is on hand to help. We've had a quick brainstorm, and come up with a few gift ideas for the festive genealogist. Here they are:

1. Historical maps and photo books. Genealogists love looking back to their origins, but sometimes they have trouble bringing their lists of names and places to life. Historical maps and photo books can do just that. These are particularly good gifts for people who have strong roots in a specific village, town, or region. If someone's family used to live in a particular area a century or two ago, you might be able to find a reproduction map of how the place looked back then. Better still, many towns and villages have had historical photo books published about them, showing pictures of people in old shops, playing fields, school-rooms, and dance halls. Seeing how things would've looked through the eyes of your ancestors can really add depth and colour to the understanding of one's heritage.

2. A DocuPen Scanner. These tools are set to revolutionize visits to the archive; with a DocuPen in your pocket, you've got a magic wand for your research. Pen scanners are able to scan pages of books and documents in just a quick swipe. They exert no pressure on the binding of books, so they can be used perfectly safely with delicate documents that perhaps otherwise couldn't be scanned. They're also extremely portable, and work perfectly well without a laptop at the ready. Although they're still rather expensive, one of these pens could be a terrific gift for the technologically-savvy genealogist.

3. Local genealogy society membership. Tired of listening to your partner yap on about genealogy all the time? Help could be at hand. If you sign someone up to a local genealogy society, you can pass the burden of these conversations onto a hapless group of strangers. And, what's more, these strangers will actually want to talk about genealogy themselves. If your friend or partner's not a member of a local society already, membership to one could be a fantastic gift. It lets them share their interests with people in the area, find new leads for research, and often receive a regular publication from the group. Be warned, though: this gift won't look very impressive wrapped under the Christmas tree.

These are some of our ideas, but what about yours? If you've got any ideas or suggestions for genealogy Christmas presents, leave a message in the comment box below for people to read. You might make someone's day next week.

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Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Speaking as the only genealogist in my family I wish someone would give me the gift of a few stories about members of the family! Especially from the elders of the family. A story or two along with a copy of an old photo would make my Christmas!
  2. Yes Scott, you're right. And it's a very humble wish anyway.

    Why don't you drop your relatives a message? You can use the 'site members' page on your family site to get it out to everybody with one click.

    Merry Christmas and hope you'll get some nice stories!

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