Ruth's Genealogy

“I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” -Abraham Lincoln

The Challenge: use my iPad alone (no other computer) to do my genealogical research for 1 week!

So, I’ve been using my iPad, and only my iPad, for my genealogical research for 2 days now. How’s it going?

Better, but I am still maddeningly slow with my iPad 2, as compared to my desktop PC. Or so it seems…

I’m sure I’m actually doing better than I think. When yesterday dawned, I had actually very little experience is even simple iPad tasks, such as reading my email or checking CNN. But as that day wore on, I became more and more comfortable with it. I did run into a couple of problems, both of which have been pretty much resolved:

  1. Big fingers- I get my hand size from my Dad! Talk about family history… Anyway, yesterday I bought a stylus and that helps immensely with copy/paste tasks, clicking on links, etc.
  2. Zooming in on an image using the iOs finger gestures made the image in general larger, but did not make it any clearer. We all know how notoriously bad a census enumerator’s handwriting can be. Zooming in on the census sheet can sometimes make it easier to read, but that doesn’t seem to work very well with the iOs 2-finger zoom technique. However, this morning I noticed something about Windows Photo Viewer, which is the program I use to view images: zoom

I never realized that little zoom thingy was there before! Technology is a wonderful thing! Piece o’ cake!

This morning I updated one ancestor’s file, just a couple of minor changes, no big deal…

The next name on the list was that of my 4th great-grandfather, Isaac Turney. Prior to today, all I had for him was his name. No census, BMD, cemetery, land, military… nothing but a name. The perfect project to really test my iPad’s research capabilities!

Step 1 was to look at the data I had for Isaac’s daughter, my 3GGM Elizabeth Turney. I’m pretty sure she was born in Tennessee about 1805, so that’s where my iPad and I started looking for Isaac. I’m guessing he was born ca 1750-1775 (ballpark!), so to begin my research, I looked for cemetery, census, Bureau of Land Management and War of 1812 records for Isaac Turney.

So for the next 2 hours, we (my iPad & me) visited,, Find A Grave, the Bureau of Land Management site and USGenWeb for Tennessee. Lots of search boxes to be filled in, lots of links to click. Even a few images to zoom in on and try to read and analyze.

I must say, we did a pretty good job, for just having a couple of hours to search for Isaac. We found several clues.. a good start!

Still seems to take too long…

One added benefit I have noticed about my iPad: I can leave my eyeglasses on all the time when using it, as opposed to playing “musical chairs” with my glasses with the PC. The iPad’s font seems to be just the perfect size for my 54-year-old eyes… 🙂

Also in this series:

  1. The iPad Challenge!
  2. The iPad Challenge: Day 1
  3. The iPad Challenge: Day 1 (cont)
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