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From the Green Valley News, Wednesday November 9 2005, page B5

Genealogy Today, by Betty Malesky

Christmas Gift Suggestion for the Genealogist

Christmas is just a few weeks away so perhaps some gift suggestions are in order to help you shop for your family genealogist or historian. The following gifts come in all sizes and prices.

For a gift that lasts all year, give a subscription to one of the popular genealogy magazines such as Family Chronicle, Heritage Quest, Ancestry, Evertonís Genealogical Helper, or Family Tree Magazine. Most annual subscriptions are less than $30.

A subscription to a genealogy database would surely please your Internet-savvy researcher. The Godfrey Library is only $35 yearly for access to millions of records. Ancestry.comís census database is $99.95, the U.S. records collection is $49.95 and other add-ons are priced similarly.

A gift of membership in a national genealogy society comes with subscriptions to their quarterly scholarly journals, quarterly magazines, membersí only Website access, and discounts on conferences and society store purchases. The New England Historic Genealogical Societyís annual membership is $75.00 with unlimited access to the databases. The National Genealogical Societyís member dues are $60 per year for an individual.

Genealogy software simplifies record keeping, but your researcher should be consulted about his/her preference before ordering software. To compile data, consider Windows programs such as The Master Genealogist, RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, and Legacy or Reunion for Mac users. Many companion programs are available, including The Next Generation for Website creation, GenSmarts to analyze data and suggest research tips, Geneweaver to track family health history, Personal Historian to help write a life story, and Animap to facilitate locating and mapping ancestors within the U.S. Most genealogy software is priced between $30 and $80.

Perhaps your family historian has run into a brick wall problem that might be solved with the help of a professional genealogist. Dependant on location and degree of difficulty, fees range from $25 to $50 per hour. Even if resolution is impossible due to missing or incomplete records, the satisfaction of knowing that would be worth the cost.

A Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), either Pocket PC or Palm OS, priced from $300 to $600 would be a great gift. The genealogist can transfer information from a desktop program to a PDA and have all pertinent family data at his/her fingertips for quick reference on a research trip.

Delight your family researcher with a week of quality research time in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. Many downtown hotels offer a special weekly genealogy rate. Including airfare and meals the total trip cost should be under $1000.

Finally, a once in a lifetime gift thatís sure to please is a trip to wherever in the world the immigrant ancestor(s) lived before coming to the U.S. Depending on location and length of stay, the skyís the limit on the cost of this one, and of course youíll want to accompany him/her.

The gift suggestions above may all be accomplished without leaving home via a Google search on the Internet. While some wonít exactly fit under the Christmas tree, a gift card, check or computer-produced certificate will convey your intent and be just as much appreciated.

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