Tuesday’s Tip

3 Dec 2013

Dashlane Is My New Must-Have App – Tuesday’s Tip

Dashlane Genealogy Sassy Jane

Dashlane is my new must-have app, the one I want forever in my Genealogy Productivity folder on my iPad and iPhone or my desktop for that matter. It’s billed as a password manager, but it’s so much more than that.

Yes, it keeps track of your passwords, automatically logs you in to any website on any of your devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone on any platform), and never loses passwords. In fact, with your permission, Dashlane can burrow into your browsers and mine them for user names and passwords you might have forgotten.

It’s also autofills forms seamlessly in any browser on any device and eWallet app, all using military-grade encryption. Remember one master password and Dashlane keeps track of the others.

Readers might remember my search for the ideal password manager in the past. If you want to take Dashlane for a spin, use this link to download and get the first six months of Premium free courtesy of Sassy Jane’s Premium subscription.

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29 Oct 2013

Genealogy and Inflation Calculators – Tuesday’s Tip

Genealogy and inflation calculators is Tuesday’s Tip. I was looking at some 1905 divorce records the other day and noticed that my great-grandfather owed $2.50 per week in child support. Since he worked as a day laborer and timekeeper, I suspect that the $2.50 represented a significant amount for him.

To find a more precise answer to questions like this, I used to use NASA’s inflation calculator, but recently I found a set of calculators that I think are very impressive.

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22 Oct 2013

Mapping 1890 German Ancestry is Tuesday’s Tip

mapping german ancestry 1890 census sassy jane genealogy

Natives of the Germanic Nations from the 1890 Census

Today’s post is about mapping 1890 German ancestry in the U.S. There are more Americans of German extraction living in this country today than any other ethnicity. At least seven million German natives emigrated to the United States between 1800 and the present. Most arrived between 1840 and 1914, with peak immigration to America in the early 1880s, as was the case with my German ancestors. Driven by limited opportunities in German-speaking countries of Europe, many emigrants settled in the Midwest, large cities in the East, the state of Washington, and parts of Texas and California.

Using data from the now-lost 1890 census, the map above shows relative population density of “natives of Germanic nations” across the U.S. Twenty individuals or more […]

15 Oct 2013

Preserving Home Movies is Tuesday’s Tip

Preserving Home Movies

Courtesy Center for Home Movies

Other posts in the Sassy Jane Preserving series are here.

Preserving Home Movies

October 19 is International Home Movie Day 2013. The celebration began in 2002 by film archivists concerned about preserving home movies shot on film during the 20th century. Boxes full of family memories are sometimes not seen for lack of a projector, or out of fear that the films were too fragile to be viewed.

So haul out those home movies and have a family film festival. And after that pause for a moment and think about how you are saving home movies. Is the format outmoded? Is the film brittle? Are transfers on CDs unplayable? Are they still in shoeboxes in your attic? If you’re like me, you probably have some you hope never see the light of day. But I promise your family will find you adorable even in that awkward stage in junior high.

International Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films where family historians can meet with local film archivists, find out about the archival advantages of film over video and digital media, and—most importantly—get to watch those old family films! Because they are local events, Home Movie Day screenings can focus on family and community histories in a meaningful way. They also present education and outreach opportunities for local archivists, who can share information about the proper storage and care of personal films, and how to plan for their future.

Click on Home Movie Day events to find programs near you on 19 October. Most are free and offer expert evaluation of films brought in by participants. The Center for Home Movies is the organizing institution behind International Home Movie Day 2013. Their site says, ”If you have home movies on film that you’ve never seen, or haven’t watched since you inherited them from your grandparents–don’t let your films decay! Take them to Home Movie Day!”

Transferring home movies to DVDs is fine, but don’t expect that new digital copy  to last forever. Original films (and the equipment required to view them) can long outlast any version on VHS tape, DVDs, or other optical media. Not only that, but contrary to the stereotype of the faded, scratched, and shaky home movie image, the original films are often carefully shot in beautiful, vibrant color—which may not be captured in a lower-resolution video transfer.

What can you do if you don’t live near a Home Movie Day event? Frequent readers of this blog know that I always urge genealogists to take special care of their priceless family records. No-cost steps for saving home movies include:

• Store in a stable environment. No attics, no basements, no garages where the temperature and humidity cycle constantly.

• Steer clear of environments with exhaust, paints, or other chemical fumes

• Keep magnets (including the ones in cell phones and stereo speakers) away from films with magnetic soundtracks.

• Avoid storing near heating vents or on shelves that get direct sunlight.

• Retain original film even after you transfer it to another format

The Center for Home Movies also provides this list of resources: