Genealogy Toolbox

Free Handy Tools for Genealogists
 
  
  • Census and Genealogy Research Forms - All kinds of forms, charts, and research logs.
  • Citation Machines - Cite your genealogical sources the easy way - Cheat and use a citation machine!
  • Cloud Storage - Back up your stuff to the cloud, collaborate, share with fellow researchers, and make it available from any computer or mobile device. 2015 free cloud storage comparison and review.
    • Mega - 50 GB free.
    • Microsoft OneDrive  - 15 GB free.
    • Google Drive - 15 GB free.
    • Box - 10 GB free.
    • Apple iCloud - 5 GB free.
    • Dropbox - 2 GB free.
    • Flikr - If you need a lot of storage for just photos, Flikr now offers 1 terabyte free (photo) storage.
    • Otixo - Access all your cloud services through one application. Preview files, move files between cloud services, create a collaborative space that can access files across cloud services. 
  • Library Related - Resources and finding aids found in genealogical libraries. 
    • State Bibliographies - Allen County Public Library bibliography of genealogy books by state. Bibliography was made specifically for the ACPL, but many of these books will also be in your own local library.
    • US Counties Dewey Decimal Numbers (PDF) - Mid-Continent Public Library Midwest Genealogy Center created Dewey list for all counties in the US.
    • Library Lookup Bookmarklet - Little button that you install on your browser. When you are on an Amazon or Barnes and Noble book page, the button will tell you if that book you are looking at is at your local library. 

  • Mapping Resources - Various mapping related resources for genealogy.
    • Mapping Tools:
      • Google Earth - In addition to using Google Maps to just look up places, there are some other creative and interesting projects you can make on Google Maps related to genealogy. Make a timeline, an immigration map, show family movement, etc.
      • Earth Point Township and Range Conversion for Google Earth - I use this tool by first going to the BLM GLO site and finding ancestor land purchases. The BLM site will give you Township and Range coordinates. Copy those coordinates into Earth Point and it will fly you to Google Earth and show you exactly where your ancestor's homestead was. 
      • USGS GNIS - Use this program to find the tiniest of towns, named mountains, lakes, neighborhoods, etc. Good when a regular Google or Wikipedia search has nothing on extinct villages.
      • Family Search Place Research - Will show you the standardized and variant names of a place and give you a link to that place on a map.
    • County Formation
      • Genealogy Inc Historical Maps - A good resource for determining county formation dates and rough county boundary changes over time. The maps aren't super detailed, but they are animated and do give some good information on county formation over time. Use these maps for a quick, high-level overview.
      • Newberry Atlas of Historical County Boundaries - Very detailed historical county boundary outline files that open in Google Earth. Choose your state, click on the 'kmz' icons. This will download a winzip file. Open the winzip file and click on the inside file and it will open in Google Earth. Use the Newberry maps for special projects, multi state birds-eye views, or to see a timeline of county formation.
      • Randy Majors.com - Randy has extracted the Newberry maps above and created a very cool mashup for you. Use Randy's site when you want a quick and convenient view of the Newberry maps.    
    • Map Collections:
  • New Records Online - Do you like to learn about new genealogical record sets as soon as they are available online? 
  • PDF Related - PDF creation and manipulation tools.
    • Make a PDF:
      • Cute PDF Writer - This small program attaches itself in your printer menu, and then you can select 'Cute PDF' as your printer instead of your paper printer to make a PDF out of a document. The easiest way to make a PDF from a document.
      • PDFescape - Web based app that will allow you to create a PDF and make some basic edits including adding pictures. It also lets you add, remove, and move around pages. Of the free PDF programs, it probably has the best editing functionality and features. PDFescape will also find text within your document so you can use it to OCR a PDF you take from the web.
      • Nitro PDF Reader - is a fairly simple PDF creation program. It will however allow you to extract blocks of text and images from pages and output them into different formats like a jpg.
    • Merge or Split PDF's:
      • Split PDF and Merge PDF - Two free websites that will remove individual pages from a large PDF, or merge multiple PDF's together into one. 
      • PDFbinder - Whereas 'Merge PDF' is web app that is suitable for smaller merges, PDFbinder is a small downloadable program that allows for the merger of larger files.
    • Other PDF Tools:
      • Change PDF to Word (or Excel or Powerpoint) - This enables you edit a PDF by turning it into a Word or Excel document first.
      • Smallpdf - Compress a pdf file so you can email it, or convert a jpg file to or from a pdf.
      • Tabula - Allows you to extract data tables from a PDF into an Excel spreadsheet.
      • Web-2-PDF - Like it sounds, makes any web page into a PDF.
      • Qiqqa - Manage your entire collection of research PDF's.
      • Mendeley - Full PDF reference manager.
  • Research, Source Management, and Productivity Apps
    • Evernote - Create and save your ideas, organize and sync, collaborate.
    • Zotero - Collect it from the web, organize it, cite it, and share it.
    • Diigo - A little lighter weight tool than Zotero.   
    • VideoNot.es - Web app that allows you to take notes in videos and sync's your notes to Google Drive.
    • TypeIt - Onscreen symbol keyboards with every type of symbol. Type on the screen and then copy-and-paste to where you need the symbols placed.
    • Goo.gl - Link shortener. Or you can use Bitly, they both work equally well. To expand and decode an existing short link use GetLinkInfo.
    • FreeOCR - This site will extract typed text from images. No charge.
  • Text and Audio Transcription Tools
    • Transcript 2.5 - A simple splitscreen tool to make transcribing documents easier.
    • Genscriber - Another document transcriber. This one utilizes Excel so it's good for columned material, like censuses. 
    • oTranscribe - Audio transcribing tool.
  • Virus Protection - A must-have if you download lots of genealogy documents from the internet.
    • Jotti Scan - Run your downloaded files through Jotti's malware scan before you open it for the first time.
  • Volunteer Look-Ups
    • Gen Gathering - Very similar model to how RAOGK used to operate.
    • Books We Own - These folks will look up the information and send it to you if they have the right book.
    • Ask A Librarian - Have a question on where to find a resource? Ask a librarian in the Library of Congress Genealogy Reading Room.
    • Mocavo Karma - Volunteers provide a number of free research based activities to requestor's.
    • Family Search Book Photocopying - Now this is pretty cool. Family search will photocopy pages from any book they have in their library and email the copies to you. Free.

   

 
 
This page last updated: Friday, July 24, 2015,
All links on this page last checked: Friday, July 24, 2015