Summer is prime time for research trips, cemetery visits, and family reunions. For family historians, these trips used to take extra planning. Along with the sunscreen, bug spray, and potato salad, family reunions required choosing which books, papers, and photos to bring along for research or sharing—and the inevitability of forgetting something important. With the Ancestry.com App and an Android, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch mobile device, you don’t have to leave anything behind. Your research is always with you and as current as your online tree.
Here are five ways you can take advantage of the Ancestry.com App this summer.
1. Cemetery visits.
Use your mobile device to take photographs of ancestral gravesites and tombstones. To add the photo to your tree, select a person, click Gallery at the bottom of the panel, select Add Photo at the top, and then choose the photo from your photo albums. You can also edit that person’s information and add any new details you found on the spot.
2. Family reunions.
Not only can you show off all of the records and stories you’ve uncovered, you can also update the details for your living family right there on the spot. That story Uncle Fred’s sharing with you? Type it in the notes as he’s telling it. No more trying to remember the details after the fact.
3. Taking pictures of family heirlooms.
Even if Aunt Edna won’t give you her grandmother’s Bible, she’d probably let you take a picture of it and the pages documenting the family history. Same with the gallery of ancestral photographs that line her walls. Digital photos of them in their frames will do until you can convince her to have copies made.
4. Trips to courthouses, libraries, and archives.
When precious onsite research time is of the essence, the camera on your mobile device can save the day. Take a picture of records that you can attach to your tree right then.
5. Researching in the great outdoors.
If you’ve got Internet access, you can be researching. Take your device to a park or the beach. A nice day to sit in the yard is also a nice day to research in the yard.
If that’s not enough inspiration to load the app and start updating your online tree, how’s this? Your online tree (and Family Tree Maker 2012 as well, if you have it), will auto-sync with your mobile tree so your new details will be waiting for you at home when you get there. No more having to catch up on data entry after the trip. The Ancestry.com App lets you enjoy your family history vacation even after you get home.
About Juliana Smith
Juliana Szucs Smith has been working for Ancestry.com for more than 16 years. She began her family history journey trolling through microfilms with her mother at the age of 11. She has written many articles for online and print genealogical publications and wrote the "Computers and Technology" chapter of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Juliana holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists.