Friday, June 16, 2006

Portable genealogical file

From: robert.graham2
I really enjoy your PODCASTs and hope you will be able to continue them for a long time. I am a genealogical hobbyist and have been doing my own research for many years, but I learn something each time I listen.

I recently listened to one of your PODCASTs on my IPOD while at work. I was very interested in your idea of taking your (working) file with you, while you visited libraries and genealogical sites, in a GEDCOM format that could be used by software provided at the library. I like this idea but I use a different method of keeping my file with me while I peruse these sites. I carry a PDA and by using a program such as GENWISE or GENSTAR. I currently use GENSTAR, I can put my entire file on this little handheld computer that is only a little bigger that a deck of cards (and weighs less). These software titles, and many others, are available from,, and for under $20.

While this doesn't sound like much of a difference in the final outcome other than it costs a little more for a PDA and the software than it does for a Memory Stick with your GEDCOM file, it does offer the added bonus of having a notepad, calendar, address book, etc. built right in - if you have one with you, you have them all. The best thing is for those times when you can't set up a computer and download a file, such as visiting a cemetery. The PDA makes it easy to check names, dates, other memorial stones you find, etc. I actually carry less with me, but feel I have more capability.

Thank you,
Bob Graham

PS - My address and phone so you know I'm a serious listener and fan.
[withheld from publication]

Thanks for the email about PDA viewing of a genealogical database, which is an excellent alternative to using a laptop, particularly since Ol' Myrt prefers NOT to do data entry at a research facility. We have discussed PDAs in the past, its just that the topic of flash drives came up more recently, kiddo. Paperwork is just "out" especially for those of us with many thousands of names and notes in our genealogy databases.

As to the DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR podcasts, I've already started recording some more interviews, and expect to have things going again strong starting 4 July 2006. In the meantime, did you notice that Dick Eastman has started a podcast? This audio technology, like mailing lists and blogs is becoming a main-stream method for getting the genealogical "word out."

My first priority is to see that all the book orders submitted to my print-on-demand publisher have been shipped.

On a personal note, Ol' Myrt's readers will recall that after six months in SLC taking care of my youngest daughter's family while she recuperated from a car accident, I am now up in Medina, Washington taking care of my 2 elderly parents. Some days are spent in the hospital on emergency runs, and such. I expect top be here until they pass away. I am now assured of having the weekends for my DearMYRTLE work and out-of town seminars. I've trained 7 additional caregivers, for 24-hour in-home care. I've also found two family members who are willing to spell me off on the weekends.

Ol' Myrt expects to be in Florida 23-20th of June to pack up, and move most of my household to Salt Lake, where I will eventually settle. I guess this is my year for being flexible?!

My new snail mail address is now:
224 Bellevue Way NE #544
Bellevue, WA 98004

As usual, I am employing the use of a UPS Store instead of having snail mail come to the actual residence. I recommend all readers do the same if they plan to exchange snail mail with genealogy contacts they meet on the internet. Its a matter of security.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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