6 Jun 2015

iPad and Mac Diacritical Marks

Today's topic is iPad and Mac diacritical marks. If you're using your iPad (or Mac) for genealogy, you probably need to add diacritical marks to names and places. If you’re a native English speaker like me, getting your keyboard to produce these characters may be an unfamiliar process. A diacritical mark is a glyph (mark) added to a letter that changes how words are pronounced. These marks may appear above, below, within a letter, or in some cases between two letters. Ø, ü, è, ñ, ß, ÿ, ī, å are all examples of diacritical marks added to letters. There are several ways to add diacriticals to individual letters on your iPhone, iPad, and/or Mac. Press lightly and hold the keys any vowel or C, L, N, S, Y and Z, then select the accented versions from the menu. (Shortcuts to legal and financial symbols appear by pressing and holding characters on the [...]

13 May 2014

German Card for Genealogy Research

The German Card is the best $5 I’ve ever spent, certainly in research terms. The SGGS German Card is a four-panel card, hinged and laminated, that folds up to the size of a credit card. Around the outside edges of the panels are Kurrentschrift or Alte Deutsche Schrift (“old German script”) and Fraktur alphabets, showing both upper and lower case, arranged so that you can hold each letter directly under the German word you are trying to decipher. It is designed to be carried in one’s wallet or purse for use in the library or at the archives. I have one in my wallet and one by my desktop computer. This pocket research aid is exclusively available from the Sacramento German Genealogy Society. The German Card includes: Old German alphabets – upper case and lower case, for both the old German handwriting and the printed Gothic font Basic German vocabulary words as [...]

30 Mar 2014

Some Thoughts on Reading German Parish Microfilm

This is what your brain looks like on microfilm. Warning: genealogy whining ahead. I have some thoughts on reading German parish microfilm – a LOT of German parish microfilm that looked just like the screenshot on the right. I was lucky to be at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, with every roll of microfilm available. So I did due diligence, reading German parish microfilm for five days for every village in my search area – but with no results. Why did I pick genealogy? Why not something easier, like taking up home dentistry, a backyard moon launch, or counting grains of sand on the beach? So after all those hours and rolls of German records, I have to say there are two people I dislike, however pointlessly retroactive. The pastor: Let’s leave handwriting and spelling out of it. Not fair to pick on the guy when [...]

21 Jan 2014

Translator Apps – Tuesday’s Tip

Translator apps is the topic for this Tuesday's Tip. I may have been a whiz at history in school, but languages defeated me. That makes tech help imperative for me and for lots of other genealogists working with records in languages other than English. Here are some translator apps that can help your family history research: 1. Chat in Another Language – Universal Translator $2.99 Found a cousin in a distant land? Universal Translator makes it possible for each person to type in their own language; the app then automatically translates for the other user in the chat. Both parties must have a Google Chat account. 2. Translate Offline – Languages $2.99 Eager to avoid data charges, especially when you're traveling internationally? Languages app offers an offline translation dictionary for English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish, without using an Internet connection or your data plan. 3. Multi-Language Translator – iTranslate free/$4.99 premium iTranslate, one [...]