Monday, February 15, 2016

HAVE LIMITED TIME FOR RESEARCH? Here's What I Did Today in Just 60 minutes

ticking clock free image
As genealogists we all want more time.  Whether we work full time, part time or are retired.  There never seems to be enough time to work on our research or our files.  And, if you have a family with children there are even more distractions.


  • I went to and searched for memorials for one branch of the family.  I located 3, entered the memorial numbers in the User ID in Legacy.  I downloaded and saved the headstone photos to the digital folder and attached it to the burial photos in my database, for that person. 
  • I entered a To-Do task to source the photo.
  • From those finds I found out that these family members had died in Cabell County, West Virginia.  I know that the site has loads of vital records. 
  • I located all three death certificates and death registers on the wvculture website.  I downloaded and saved them to my computer.
  • I entered the information from the death records into my Legacy database for that person and created a To-Do item to source the death certificate.
  • I went into the digital folder where I had just saved the death records for this family.  This is my Frampton family.
  • I noticed that some of the death records (including the three I added today) had not been cropped and straightened, so I took care of that today.
Here’s how they looked prior to being edited.
Frampton death records

I personally, don’t enter any images into my database without first editing them.  I use the Microsoft Office Picture Manager program to perform these tasks.  It’s easy and quick.

Here’s how they look now.  I began this process at 11:29 and finished at 11:34.  
So it took me only 5 minutes and look at the difference!

Frampton death records fixed

Here is a post I wrote about using the Microsoft Office Picture Manager program to edit images. The methods here can be used with most photo editing software.

Easy Document Editing

I hope this post has given you a couple of ideas for making use of those small windows of time we may find for our research.


Family History Library - After you return home...then what?

Tuesday's Tip - Photo Repair and Restoration

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Thanks! I did it a little differently trying to use what I already had, and I straightened an image with Picasa. It's not the program I usually use to edit photos, but it worked! I need to look around & see what other programs will straighten images. Thanks!

    1. Hi Dana,
      Glad I gave you ideas. There should be quite a few choices out there for editing photos. Oh my gosh! I just realized I made a mistake in my post. It wasn't Paint that I used, but Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Gotta go and change it. Darn! Let me know what you find.
      Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Thanks Diane for reminding us of how much you can do in just an hour! It's taking those 60 minutes and making good use versus thinking that an hour is never enough time to get anything done.

  2. Some of the people on find a grave let you use their grave photos. Others want you to ask permission. You really should check this and also give credit to the photographer.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. I appreciate your input. If I do plan to use photos that I didn't take myself, I always ask permission. I also clearly state on my profile page on FindAGrave that any photo I post can be used by anyone without permission.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. When you cite the source for the death records (death certs and registers) found on WVCulture I would be interested in how you do them. I have hundreds of BMD records from the site and I haven't completely decided how I should do them. If you only have a few it seems a lot simpler than when there are as many as I have. ~ Cathy

    1. Hi Cathy,
      I use Legacy Source Writer for all my sourcing. Here is an example of the entire source citation:
      Footnote/Endnote Citation:

      West Virginia State of West Virginia, Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate 15686 (stamped) (1940), William J. King; digital image, "West Virginia Deaths," West Virginia Vital Research Records ( : accessed 6 Mar 2012). Cit. Date: 6 Mar 2012; Gives evidence for his parents names and places of birth, his wife's name and his profession.

      Subsequent Citation:
      West Virginia death certificate 15686 (stamped) (1940), William J. King. Cit. Date: 6 Mar 2012.

      West Virginia. State of West Virginia, Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics. Digital Images of Death Certificates. West Virginia Vital Research Records. : n.d.

      Legacy makes it very easy to fill in the various items I need for citing based on Evidence Explained. I hope that helps.

    2. I use AncestralQuest 14 and it doesn't have anything like Legacy's SourceWriter. I want something simple but the content of the site is so diversified: BMD certs from Dep of Health, BMD registers from county level, old marriage records including bonds, permission, license. I've been wanting to do a master source which would take care of the entire collection. Something like:

      West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at

      Three databases on FamilySearch also direct me to the site and even turn up records which cannot be accessed going thru WVC since there is a limit on the year searchable. I may end up dividing it into at least 7 categories. I think my main dilemna is not knowing when to stop lumping and where to begin splitting. Thank you Diane for sharing. ~ Cathy

  4. I use Ifranview which is FREE! My favorite word! I used to have that awesome version of Microsoft but their photo editor has changed quite a bit and it's just not the same. ~ Lisa

    1. Thank Lisa. I'm a bit afraid when I'm due for a new computer and I end up with Windows 10 or whatever, that I will lose this wonderful, easy to use program. I'll keep Ifranview in mind. I do have Adobe Photoshop Elements and could probably use it, but it wouldn't be as quick. I do use it for more complicated editing.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I have Windows 10, and the Photos app that comes with Windows 10 is good for simple editing - cropping and straightening images. It has a number of other options as well. I have found that it is easier to use than the old Picture Manager.

    1. Lois - Thanks for the info on Windows 10. I will probably making the switch in the future. Good to know they provide an easy photo editor.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I've been using to create text box-like captions that (e.g., citation information) that can be attached to photos or scanned documents with Irfanview. I'd very much like to find a desktop (offline) equivalent, if anyone knows of one.

    1. Darren - Thank you for your comment. I've not explored any of the newer products out there, simply because I'm so satisfied with what I have. You know how we are. If it works for us, why change? I use Paint to add text to any of my images. Paint can be used offline. I find it is the easiest program to use. I do have Adobe PS Elements, but it's more complicated, so I use it for the more dramatic editing I need to do, or to create collages etc.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.