5 “Free” Genealogy Tools
Who knew there were so many powerful free genealogy tools available on the web? Many people believe that, by definition, there is no such
thing as free unless the thing in question is without value. Technically, this is correct since nothing of
value is truly free. The person who
created the thing spent their time, energy, effort and knowledge in the
creative process, time that could have been spent doing something else.
For various reasons, tool creators will make their creations
available to the Internet community for use without charge. Maybe they want to make it available out the
goodness of their hearts or maybe it is not of commercial quality and they want
to gauge its popularity. Regardless of
the reason, there are quite a few good ones available.
Where to Find these Tools
This article will focus on the cream of the crop of genealogy
tools designed to help you perform free genealogy searches which fit this “free” description.
Just because there is no charge does not mean you can’t find powerful
tools to help move your genealogy research forward. After scouring the dark corners of the Internet,
I have come up with this eclectic collection of five tools available and are free
WorldCat is a global catalog of library collections. It is a great resource for researching
just about anything. The tool uses
text searches of its massive collection of books, DVDs, CDs and
articles. As an added bonus, you
can use this website to create source citations in the format you
choose. Just look up the resource
you are interested in and click on the “Cite/Export” link. The perfectly formatted source citation
can be cut and pasted into your work.
- Bing Foreign Language Translator
If you have foreign language text
documents in need of a translation, this tool can help. My experience with translators of this type
are that they can only do a very rough translation and can’t really replace a
human translator. If you just want a
quick and dirty translation, then this tool provides an easy way of getting the
basic translation you need.
- Inflation Calculator
This tool aids in figuring out the
effect inflation plays on money over time. It bases its calculations using the
U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI). For
example, if your grandfather purchased a Ford Model T for $600 back in 1914,
what would that sum be in today’s dollars?
According to the tool, $600 in 1914 translates into $13,974.76 in 2014
- Date and Calendar Tools
These tools allow you to figure a
variety of date and calendar calculations as well as many other useful
If you need to work with foreign languages that contain odd characters and
symbols not represented on standard keyboards, this tool is for you. It displays symbol keyboards onscreen that
you can use to create the characters in a text window. Transfer the characters
from the window via copy-and-paste it into your document.
This set of tools, which are available without charge, challenges the notion that nothing
worthwhile is free. There are some
powerful tools available, if you know where to look. Feel free to use them
yourself to improve your genealogy research and share them with your like-minded friends.
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