Here are some great gift ideas for the genealogists in your life.
These are primarily US sites. If you have a genealogy business, product, or service you’d like to see included in future posts, please reach out to me at [email protected] to be added to our listings!
- Family Tree Charts
- Family Tree Art
- Family History Books
- Write a family story or stories to share*
- Digitize family photos and give them on an external hard drive*
- Gift any heirlooms you’re ready to part with, but first, write a story about its meaning
- Photo books created through Mixbook*, Chatbooks, Blurb*, etc
- Personalized DNA books ordered through 23andMe* (top menu select Ancestry, then Order Your DNA book) or LivingDNA (on menu select Store, then Merchandise, then Personalized Ancestry Book) Your family member will need to have tested at the site and you’ll need to know their login and password to access their account and order the book.
- Personalized playing cards – OurCards.com
- Coins for headstones
Books and Guides
- Your DNA Guide* by Diahan Southard – this guide addresses, chapter by chapter, a DNA question & how to solve it
- Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger
- Genealogist’s Google Toolbox* by Lisa Louise Cooke
- Thomas MacEntee’s books
- Lisa Lisson’s books
- see selection at Genealogical.com
- see selection at LegacyFamilyTree
- YourDNAGuide Quick Reference Guides
- Legacy Family Tree Webinars*, price $50/year, this gives you unlimited access to amazing recorded webinars, handouts, chat logs, etc
- Ancestry.com* – worldwide records
- MyHeritage.com* – worldwide records
- FindMyPast.com* – best UK records
- AmericanAncestors.com* – specializes in early colonial, entire US records
- Genealogical Societies and Historical Societies where ancestors lived
- Newspapers.com – newspapers
- GenealogyBank.com – newspapers
- Newspaperarchive.com – newspapers
- Fold3.com – military records, mainly US
- YourDNAGuide Mentoring service packages
- Genealogy Gems premium podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke
- DNA Central* video tutorials by subscription
- DNA Painter* – a chromosome mapping tool
- Pay for professional research or a consultation to help them break through a brick wall. Here are a few I know personally:
- Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook – ($40 +) Digital notebook, comes in various sizes, take notes, send digital copy to Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. or use their app to photograph/OCR text
- Lined notebooks or pens for research*
- Archival Supplies or a gift certificate (such as Gaylord Archival, University Products, Archival Methods, etc)
- Document Scanners – a rental package or buy a permanent scanner
- Photo Scanner, E-Z Photo Scan – I’ve used a fast photo scanner for free at a Family History Center & also at a Library, but with Covid-19 closures, renting one for 3 days for $100 is a great option–just prep your project
- Slide and Large Photo Scanner, E-Z Photo Scan – also check out the slide and flatbed scanners you can rent ($300-$500)
- other scanners and digitizing services seen at RootsTech
- DNA tests for genealogy, some with optional Health tests (watch for Holiday sales)
- Genealogy/Family Tree software
- Photo Software
*These are products, services, subscriptions I own or have used.
For Family History/Genealogy books, MyCanvas is my favorite. It imports your tree from an Ancestry account (even a free one) and looks very professional.
I’ve also used Mixbooks and Blurb for family photo books and those are well-received gifts.
I LOVE my Legacy Family Tree Webinars subscription and I renew it every year. They have at least weekly webinars, usually multiple webinars per week and free handouts to subscribers.
High quality scanners are very expensive (can cost thousands of dollars) so I’ve used high quality scanners provided for free at libraries and family history centers. With Covid-19 closures, renting one for a few days is a great option. Purchasing a nice scanner is a great idea if it’s not cost-prohibitive.
DNA tests are fun. I’ve tested with all the major companies. The best sites for matches are Ancestry and MyHeritage. MyHeritage has more unique matches outside of the US. Ancestry has more overall matches for Americans (because Americans have primarily tested here). Both have fun DNA tools. FTDNA is more scientific and has Y DNA and mtDNA tests. 23andMe is fun, not as much bang for the buck for genealogy and they also have Y-DNA and mtDNA results. LivingDNA is based in the UK and has a much smaller database but if you have UK ancestry, they can provide nearly a county by county breakdown of your DNA and they also have some Y-DNA and mtDNA results. I’m a little ho-hum about DNA because it’s just verified what I already knew through passed down genealogical records. But if you don’t know your genetic background-get tested and then buy Diahan Southard’s Your DNA Guide book–it’s a GREAT step by step DNA problem solver-the best I’ve seen (pricey, but worth it).
I’ve recently tried Sequencing.com. If you’ve already DNA-tested you can upload your DNA for free and pay for different apps/genetic reports. You can also test with Sequencing.com, including whole-genome sequencing. I haven’t tested here, but I did enjoy comparing my Ethnicity report ($10) from their site with all the other sites where I’ve tested. Check out their apps and see if this is a good gift for that hard-to-buy-for family member.
If you have questions about any of the products/services I’ve used, please ask in the comments. I hope these products and services spark some ideas because it’s never too early to prepare for the holidays!