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Zenon
PolishOrigins Team Leader


Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Replies: 1468
Location: Poland

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:14 pm      Post subject: How to prepare to your genealogy research trip
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I recently found on Digital Genealogists website in The Green Genealogy Magazine article entitled: Genea-MacGyver: How a well-stocked toolkit can salvage a research trip by Thomas MacEntee. You will find there very practical hints about using temporary technological aids in your genealogy travels and archives searches.

Abstract of the article:
(...)Do not factor in equipment you expect to be at the site. Photocopy
machines break down; rules change as to what you can and cannot do
at some sites, etc. Only focus on what you can bring with you and use
at the research location. Again, here are some ideas and their uses:
A laptop or netbook: store images and clips; free up space on
devices; look up digital versions of source materials
A flash drive/external storage: store images and clips; free up space
on devices
A digital camera: take photos of materials; take photos at a
cemetery or site; record video clips
A cell phone: take photos of material; take photos at a cemetery or
site; record video clips; record audio clips; dictate notes
A video recorder: record video clips
An audio recorder: record audio clips; dictate notes
A mini power strip: site may have limited power access(...)

Full article Adobe pdf file format can be found here: http://www.digitalgenealogist.com/pubs/dgmarapr09p1618.pdf

For those traveling with me in our tours through Poland: In case you forgot something don't worry, I always have 'backup' of the most important items of the 'genealogy tour toolkit' with me Wink .


Last edited by Zenon on Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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kruse



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Replies: 6

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:18 pm      Post subject:
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Zenon

Thanks for posting this article, I found it interesting as I will be in Poland from 19 May - 28 July researching some of my family roots.
I have found quite a number of relatives and already have contact with them via email and telephone and now will be meeting them in person for the first time. My father left Poland in 1945 and did not return and never saw his family again.
Finding out information about relatives no longer with us will be more difficult I am sure but I will see how I go.
My father came from a large family 6 brothers and 4 sisters (only 2 sisters are still living). Naturally all these relatives have had children and some of these children also have children.
On my mothers side I have also found 2 living sisters. Reseaching this side of the family will be a little easier as somebody has done a lot of the work for me. They have a family tree posted on "Moi Krewni" with nearly 500 names on it.

I am really looking forward to this experience
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Zenon
PolishOrigins Team Leader


Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Replies: 1468
Location: Poland

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:51 am      Post subject:
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It seems that there is an exciting and long adventure before you Exclamation I am sure you will have lifelong memories after coming back to Australia Smile.

As I can guess, you are also planning to do some research. Have you ever been to Poland before Question
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kruse



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Replies: 6

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:15 pm      Post subject: reply
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Zenon
Yes I have been to Poland once before in 2006. At that time I was just sight seeing as it was my first visit to Poland and I was at that time unaware that I had any living relatives.
Since that time I have found 2 aunties from my fathers side of the family who are still living. I have also made contact by email and telephone with them and many of my newly discovered cousins. They all live in the area between Gydnia and Grudiancz which is handy because I will be based at Tcew.
On my mothers side of the family I also have found 2 living aunties and have contact with them and their children by email and telephone.
Researching this side of the family is a little easier as someone else has done a lot of work. On the web site Moi Krewni they have a family tree posted with nearly 500 names on it.
Most of my mothers family live in small villages in the Wroclaw area which is a little further away and will be more difficult to get to them.

Anyway I am really looking forward to the adventure and personally meeting as many people as I can
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Shellie
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Replies: 975
Location: Atlanta, GA

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:49 pm      Post subject:
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The two most important items I took on my trips to Poland were a digital camera and digital voice recorder.

The camera was, of course, vital for capturing photos of people and places. It was also how I captured images of church records. Note that this depends upon the priest - some may not allow you to look at the books at all. But if you are lucky, you will be able to snap a photo of your ancestor's record. When possible, try to photograph the entire page. Once you get a chance to examine the record, you may find that you also captured a record for a relative on the same page - BONUS!

Many of us like to visit the cemetery in our ancestral village. I tried to snap as many photos as possible, but once I returned home, I realized that I could have captured many more headstones if I had used the video setting on my camera and swept along the rows during my visit. My cousin used this method on her visit and the results were quite nice.

My other vital piece of equipment was a voice recorder. I used an RCA VR5330 2GB Digital Voice Recorder that I got from Walmart for about 35 US dollars. I love this recorder for several reasons:

1. It will record about 800 hours - that's over 30 days of non-stop recording. You will NOT run out of room on this recorder during your trip. I put my recorder in my pocket each morning, turned it on and forgot about it. You will be amazed at how much conversation you will forget once you return from your trip. It's so much fun to listen to your recordings years after your trip.

2. It has a built in USB arm. This makes it easy to download your recordings directly to your computer.

3. It is light as a feather and fits easily on a pocket. It also captured the sound with good clarity without having to be held right next to a person's mouth.

What was your most useful item from your trip to Poland?
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James
PolishOrigins Team


Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Replies: 226
Location: WEST VIRGINIA , USA

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:06 pm      Post subject:
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After my first trip, in 2006, I found that I needed to bring more USD (cash), since many business'/restaurants did not take credit cards, or personal checks , and some did not accept Travelers Checks. When I returned in 2009 I had brought more cash and had an easier time. I also found that more business' / restaurants , were accepting credit cards, in the major cities, but in the smaller cities / towns , not so much. Hopefully it is easier now to use a credit card, if you want.
My "Polish Phrase Book " was also helpful. Smile In the larger cities there were plenty of people who spoke and/or understood English, but in the smaller cities and /or towns, not so much.
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