Happy Mother’s Day Weekend! Tomorrow is the big day and if you are short of time or your favorite store is short on everything then here’s two ideas that might help:
1. Genealogical.com has a 3 month special offering all of their 750 books for purchase to be viewed online. It’s a nice idea while libraries were closed and it allows you to see if it is a book you’d like to purchase in the future. I know many in person sites will be opening soon but if you’re like me – have read everything you have at home AND are not wild about the idea of going out yet, this might be the ideal gift.
I’ve been using it for the past 2 weeks and I have found some interesting info as I’ve been researching Barbados which is not a well represented topic in my local libraries. Have I found anything earth shattering? Not yet but I’ve obtained some clues to go forward with.
There are some glitches with the site so I want to share that info to avoid frustration. First, the log in is quirky. I’ve tried Chrome, Firefox and good ole Internet Explorer thinking that might be the issue but it isn’t. It never can recognize my password unless I sign in through my Google account. I’m telling you this because I’ve been locked out and when you’re paying for something for a limited time that’s frustrating.
I know I’m not alone as someone else had commented that once you’re in, you often get sent to a page to purchase books. Here’s how to get around that – Click Home and Click on Book Bonanza at the top. You’ll be in the right area to read at that point.
Next issue is it always takes you back to page 1 of the books listed. What would have been nice would have been a long page listing all the book titles/authors (I don’t care what the cover looks like!) with a link directly to the book. After a few days of use I decided I would approach this as I do when I’m just surfing a shelf in a brick and mortar library – I looked at all the offerings on the site page by page and wrote down the titles of interest. Now, when I’m back on page 1 (you get logged off if you step away for a bit so when you log back on you automatically return to page 1) I just type the title I’m interested in the search button.
Here’s another hint – the list of books I created I checked WorldCat and Ancestry and 18 were there so I will be using those sites for those books. That way, I don’t have to feel pressure to get through all the other ones that I can’t access anywhere else.
You can’t download the books – just read them – so remember where you left off. It’s not like Kindle so you have to make a number of clicks to go back where you were. The other issue is that the page numbers don’t appear so using the Index is difficult. For example, in Barbados Records in Marriages 1643-1800 Vol. 1, I checked out the index for my Alexanders and derivations of Hollingshead and I find a few I didn’t know existed. There’s no page number or book section listed so the only way to find them is to scan every page in the book (which is a list of marriage records, duh, so it’s all names) arranged in chronological order by parish to find them. That is time intensive and yes, I have 3 months, but there are other books I also want to check out. I used a back door to get more info on the possible relatives listed – looked them up on genealogy sites online to get a better understanding of relationships, years they were in that country (my peeps were gone by 1720 so if the others were there in 1800 I don’t need to check further), and where they originated from in England.
Going back from a page to another part of the book is also a pain. You can use the back arrow but if, for example, you’re looking at H’s in the index, you’ve clicked numerous times to get through the A’s-G’s so it’s a lengthy process to return. It also loads pages slowly, maybe that’s just on my end, but it makes me crazy so now I just click the top arrow to go back to good ole page 1 of all the offerings, retype in the name of the book and then use the index to go where I want.
So now you’re thinking – why in the world, Lori, would you recommend this as a Mother’s Day gift?! Well, there’s not a lot out there to purchase and your dear mom isn’t gonna get the ‘rona using this. Just show her this blog and she can hit the ground running. I’m not making any money off this – just trying to be helpful.
2. Next option is to sign up for a National Genealogical Society conference package. This is what my family got me for my birthday and I’m really excited. I’ve attended past in-person conferences and loved them! I was unable to go out to Salt Lake this year due to my other job’s schedule so this gift is really making me happy. On May 20th, the “live” online offerings are available from 11 AM to 7 PM. In July, based on the package purchased, you can view up to 85 other lectures that would have been available if the conference was held in person and those are available through May 2021! That’s more genealogical courses then you could have ever attended in person so I think this is an awesome opportunity. Sure – you don’t get the camaraderie of being around other genealogists, the immediate answer to your question or the excitement of travel but in these times, I’m good with what is being offered.