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What's in Your Genealogy Tote Bag?
I have a nice black tote bag that is ready and waiting at a moment’s notice. Much like a mother with her bags packed anticipating the birth of her baby; I have a tote bag ready for just such an occasion. However, my tote bag is ready and waiting for my next genealogy adventure. If I get up in the morning and decide, I’m heading off on an excursion then I grab my genealogy tote bag. Regardless of whether you are headed out to do a family interview, visit a library or an archive, maybe off to prowl a cemetery or just looking to find a quiet place to do some research, a well-stocked tote bag can save the day. Surely, I am not the only one with a genealogy tote bag.
A look into my bag will reveal plenty of pens and pencils. A highlighter, a notebook, a camera with back up batteries, extra SD cards and an audio recorder and copies of pedigree charts. Other items include an umbrella and a clipboard,
This bag really developed out of necessity. When I first started researching my family history, I often found myself in places unprepared. In a cemetery taking pictures, I have had my battery die or my SD card say it is full. I have driven sometimes 100 miles or more to a particular cemetery, what you do mean I can’t take any more pictures. I have been in libraries and stumbled across a family name but have been unsure if it was my family. I wish I had my pedigree charts with me for a quick reference.
I keep an umbrella handy, because inevitably it rains on me when I get to a cemetery. Plenty of pens , because I have a deep-seated fear if I only carry one it will run out, and plenty of pencils because many archives will not allow pens near their documents. The audio recorder I have used for family interviews but it also comes in handy to record my thoughts or ideas that come to mind while I am driving. My mind usually starts racing after I have visited a cemetery or a library, usually about avenues I need to investigate. The audio recorder allows me to make a note to myself for follow up when I get home, while still keeping two hands on the wheel.
So tell me my genealogy friends, what is in your genealogy tote bag? Leave a comment or send me a tweet. I will include your suggestions in a future post giving everyone credit for his or her input.