google-site-verification: google65e716d80989ba07.html The 2012 Christmas Gift Guide for Your Favourite Genealogist | The Armchair Genealogist

The 2012 Christmas Gift Guide for Your Favourite Genealogist

When it comes to finding a gift for the genealogist on your list, I've got your back. This year’s Christmas gift guide reflects both high-tech toys and old-school standbys. As genealogists we are quite comfortable on both sides; the tech and the non-tech world.

You’ll find a little something on for the beginner through to the intermediate genealogist on your list.

If you’re the spouse, child or grandchild of a family historian and you’re at a loss as to what to get the genealogist on your list, you’ve come to the right place. Listed below, in my opinion, are the latest and hottest toys you could get your family genealogist this holiday season.

If you’re a genealogist and want to drop a few hints to your family, feel free to copy this list or pin it to your Pinterest board. ( Stalking your families Pinterest boards are great places to find Christmas ideas.)

The 2012 Gift Guide

Software programs to help organize research is always a great place to start especially for the beginner genealogist. Consider Family Tree Maker or the newest edition of RootsMagic. Even if your genealogist is at an intermediate level, there’s always an updated version of their current program waiting in the wings.  

Scanners are a must have for every level of genealogist.  The Flip-pal mobile scanner is great for taking with you to family history interviews, family reunions and archives(where allowed).  However a flatbed scanner  for your home office can do the heavy lifting of all your family history research.

Record those family history interviews with a designated voice recorder . Yes, you can use your smartphone, but I still prefer a designated device.

Of course smartphones, laptops, tablets are all necessary for today’s online genealogy. Don’t want to have a laptop, a desktop and a tablet, consider a hybrid like the Microsoft Windows Surface both a laptop and tablet combined. We’ll see many more of these hybrides in 2013.

A Headset – why would a genealogist need a headset? Well if you’re family historian likes to listen to webinars, headsets are a fantastic investment. My preference is the Logitech Wireless Headset . The wireless option  allows me to move around the house and multi-task while still listening to a webinar playing on my computer. If your genealogist is considering recording videos or recording their own webinars then a good headset will do double duty.

 These days with all our gadgets and keeping them all charged and available can become a challenge, consider a portable charging station with battery pack. Your family member can explore a cemetery, spend hours in an archive or attend a genealogy conference, knowing they won't run out of juice.

By far the best product ever created for the writer well aside from the pen and paper is the Scrivener software program. Scrivener allows you to brainstorm, organize and write any of your writing projects whether your writing your family history stories, a Progen project, an ebook, or a newsletter for your genealogical society.

Consider a premium account with Evernote – a great organizational tool for genealogists, give it to them in  all it's glory by purchasing the Premium edition.

Now add to that the The Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine – this handy journal allows genealogists to take hand written notes out in the field then take a picture of them with their iphone and load them into Evernote. Once in Evernote they are completely searchable.

Make the experience complete and add a copy of Evernote For Dummies so they can make the most this brilliant software.

Mindmapping software is a fantastic tool for organizing your research,  your family history writing or your blog posts. It's also a great tool for presentations for genealogy presenters and speakers.  My personal favourite program is iMindMap 6 along with the app iMindMap Freedom. You can view iMindmap 6 in action here.

Consider giving a Blurb book to your favourite family historian. That book can take the form of a custom notebook , a 2012 planner, or create your own photo book. It could be a blog book, a cookbook, or a photobook of their family history journey. Blurb creates beautiful books in a very easy to use program.

Does your resident family historian work from the kitchen table, consider the perfect office; a nice writing desk, a comfy chair, bookshelves and filing cabinets.

We also love our coffee for those late nights researching and early mornings writing, consider a coffee station for the kitchen or office, a Keurig Brewing System or Tassimo Single-Serve Coffee Brewer might do the trick.

Need more ideas – Give the Gift of Learning

Pick-up anyone of a number of recorded webinars from Legacy Family Tree or Family Tree University.

Consider a gift certificate from ProGenealogists. By enlisting the help of this research firm,  you can give your family member a little help with a record search, research help or a consultation. You can also find professional genealogists at The Association of Professional Genealogists or seek out a genealogist online who can help your family historian seek out records in states or countries they cannot access.

If you want to go really big…. impress your favourite genealogist with a genealogy trip to an ancestral home town.

And give the gift of your DNA! You heard me! Consider Ancestry's DNA service or Family Tree DNA and add your DNA to the pool and see what it reveals. Your favourite family historian will be thrilled.
We haven’t even touch on the numerous books….next week, we’ll take look at the hottest books for the family historian this Christmas season.

Need Stocking Stuffer Ideas 

Load up your genealogist's stocking with  picture frames, photo boxes, albums, SD cards and USB flash drives. iTunes gift cards are great gifts to help pay for all those apps were crazy for. We also so love office supplies, legal pads, pens, mechanical pencils (great for archives where pens aren’t allowed and no sharpening required).

Did I miss something? What's on your Christmas list?

You can find many of these items and more in The Corner Store or through the links above.
When buying through this store you support The Armchair Genealogist blog. Some of the items listed above are affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase them through this blog, I will make a small commission on these items. Affiliate links are products I personally use and therefore endorse and recommend.


Cyn said...

Good ideas! I've been stumped what to get my mom, but I have a couple of ideas now :)

Angie Rodesky said...

Yes a few more items to add to my wish list.

Yvette Hoitink said...

Where are the books? Evidence Explained, Professional Genealogy, BCG Standards manual, the Family Tree Problem Solver? Those should be in any genealogists' library so if they're not they deserve to be on a wishlist! I only had the last one on my wishlist as I already own the others. But unfortunately I did not get it so I guess I'll find an excuse sometime this year to buy it for myself!

[Note: I'm from the Netherlands. Many people in the Netherlands exchange gifts for St. Nicholas / December 5th instead of at Christmas]

Lynn Palermo said...

Cyn and Angie, glad I could help!

Lynn Palermo said...

Yvette, stay tuned, I noted in the post I'll be putting together a book list for next week's post. And yes some if not all of the books you mentioned will be on the list.

Cathy von Hassel-Davies said...

A great thing abou the Moleskin Smart Notebook is you get 3 months free of Evernote Premium. Buy another book in 3 months and get the deal again.

One you missed is the Livescribe Echo or Sky pens. I talk about it on my blog at


Michelle Taggart said...

I love these ideas and you have quite a few I had not thought of. I love the idea of the headset as I listen to a lot of webinars.

One year my kids gave me a particularly awesome bag that was perfect for a genealogist with space for a laptop, files and all the other things we like to drag along to the library. They managed to find the perfect bag for me.

Another year my husband sent off for my ancestor's War of 1812 complete file from the National Archives. It had been on my never ending list of things to get for awhile, so it was fun to have a copy of the actual document.

Great post!

Mariann Regan said...

These are great suggestions! I can testify that Family Tree Maker, the Flip-Pal mobile scanner, and Evernote for Dummies -- which I purchased this last year -- have all made a big difference in my genealogical life. I've used them all a lot with great results! Going to do some more scanning on Flip-Pal today>

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Fantastic ideas here Lynn, thank you. I'm thinking the wireless headset might be my priority. Have a happy Christmas and thank you for all you do for the online genealogy community.