Question of the Week: What genealogy item is on your Christmas wishlist this year?

+26 votes
It's 76 days till Christmas!!

What genealogy-related gifts are you asking Santa for this year??
in The Tree House by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (304k points)
edited by Julie Ricketts
I want a new uncluttered brain.
For Christmas, I would like everyone in my family who has not yet had a DNA test to do one!
Dear Santa-Hubby,

I want a membership in every paid site that has ancestral information stored there.

I want an automatic search engine to research every new name, date, marriage, divorce, birth, death, christening, or census I happen to find.

I want something that will automatically enter every tantalizing bit of info I find.... Into every site I'm working on. In the right place please!

I want a whole wall in my living room filled with a very full tree of all the nuts and fruits I'm related to and how and through whom....with space for hundreds more. Ok I'll stop a little short of the entire population of earth, past and present. But I know I'll follow every trail and lead I find.  :)

And Santa, I know I've been good. I'm so busy following dead relatives I don't have time to get into trouble or be bad.

Yes, my house could be cleaner. Yes, the laundry could be done before the hamper is full and the under ware drawer empty. But I'm hot on the trail of another dead relative.

Thanks Santa. I'd stop and chat but I have a hot date with a dead relative on Wikitree. Gotta run.
Perfect, Mary! :-)

That is just awesome!! The only thing wrong with it is that I can't choose it as the best answer!! ;-)

I hope Santa gets you everything on your list!
Perfect response!
I love this!
Mary just outlined what we all want, I do believe!!!!  Mary is my new favorite hero!  Very, very cool!
I love Mary, as that is just what i would like too, as well as someone to come in  and do the cleaning as well

Thank you Mary it is brilliant
I would like the right pick axe to knock down the brick wall i have hit with researching my Irish ancestry

18 Answers

+20 votes
Best answer
Time!!!!  Not that I will get it soon.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (478k points)
selected by Amy W
If you figure out how to package up time and give it as a gift, will you be sure to let us know?
As soon as I get the first package myself!
I'll take two units of free time please. If you copyright the process you'll be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.

Consider,every time a one person helps another,they give not only the aid,but also the time it took to assist.One of the greatest gift one can give is their time.Made greater because we have no idea of how much we have left and no way to replace what we spend.

+21 votes
Neat question, Julie! My wish for Christmas is a subscription to Once I've taken the first step of adding sources for BMD, census, land and probate, etc., I like to discover more details about their life by finding any articles that were published about them or their family. ;-)
by Alison Andrus G2G6 Mach 4 (45.6k points)
I love that idea, Alison!

(I asked this one so I could get ideas for my own list. ;-) )
Not QUITE the same as your own subscription, but many academic and public libraries have subscriptions to resources like  Often, students and faculty will have "free" local and distant access, but even non-students can SOMETIMES get free access by walking in.  If you are close to a campus, you have nothing to lose by asking about these.  (Recommendation #1:  Look at the library's web page first, then inquire if they permit walk-in access...)  (Recommendation #2:  Ask the reference librarian--in a FRIENDLY way--what is available to you.   And... say "Thank you" every once in a whilel.).

For what it's worth...
+17 votes
A computer where the power cord does not fall off if you look at it funny and a better working keyboard.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Ha!! Great ideas, Dale!! :-)

If you have a Mac they have created this great little gadget that fixes that. It's called a Snuglet. I have one (2 in the pack) it's expensive for what it is, except it works!  I got it for myself last Xmas.

Susan Thank You for the information, it might help someone else but I do not own and never plan on owning any products from Apple. I just do not like that company or their products.
+17 votes
Oh wow.. I added a bunch of genelaogy related books on my Amazon wishlist but I always want money to do DNA tests on relatives. :) Ends up being birthday presents, too! :D

I also would love a subscription... I could only go through certain years on the Smithsonian newspaper database.
by Charlotte Shockey G2G6 Pilot (938k points)
+15 votes
Not that I'm going to get it, but some West Virginia birth records, prior to 1853.   I'd settle for that, but sadly, it's only a pipe dream.
by Craig Albrechtson G2G6 Mach 7 (78.7k points)
Craig ... I think you might need a time machine instead. :-)
Craig, You need to look in Virginia for those dates. West Virginia did not exist until just prior to the Civil War when they split from Virginia to form a "Free" State.
+16 votes
An instantaneous ability to transcribe and translate ancient French, German and Danish records, and oh some better eyesight to see what's really there in the first place. :)
by Mary Jensen G2G6 Mach 8 (82.5k points)
Subscription to Rosetta Stone ... check

Ophthalmological magic ... check

You're all set, Mary Ann!! ;-)
I had my first cataract surgery on 12-14 and the second on 12-28, so I am getting my better eyesight for Christmas!  Thanks SANTA!
+16 votes
Another subscription to GenealogyBank... just long enough to pull off some exclusive newspaper content.

Membership dues for the local genealogical society

Some dedicated research hours in New York City - like, someone to go 'round to the various cemeteries and take photos and burial records!  That would be nice.

And time.  Never enough of that. :-D
by Vicky Majewski G2G6 Mach 7 (71.2k points)
The first two are easy, the third sounds fun, and I think you'll need to work with Helmut on the fourth. :-)

There are people who are already granting your third wish. I have to admit though, think before you ask, I now have over 50 cemetery residents in family plots and no way to connect them yet. Imagine them all tapping their toes, waiting for me to put them in my tree?

I should've been more specific:  I want someone to go out and find all of MY relatives among the masses buried in NYC!  :-D
+15 votes
The 2 volume set of Domesday Descendants by Katherine Keats-Rohan, with the Ancestors of Charlemagne as an filling?

Now I just have to decide whether I've been naughty or nice this year? Hmm?
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (373k points)

I wasn't not familiar w/ the Domesday books. I just went and looked them up, and they sound really fascinating! That would be a really great gift!

For anyone like me who is unfamiliar: Domesday Book

Available on Amazon, of course. ;-)


POOF! (sounds TOO simple...).  But, if you are looking for the Domesday book, did you know about "Open Domesday"???  If you're interested, look here:

+14 votes
I would like a month of and a month of Find My Past please!
by Iain Cooke G2G6 Mach 1 (10k points)
I'm definitely adding to my list, too, Iain. Love finding those old stories.
+13 votes
A copy of Jeff Carter's book The Ancestors of Jimmy and Roslyn Carter.  I may not have gotten the title correct.
by Trudy Roach G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
I'm sure Santa will know what you mean. ;-)
Hope Santa does.  But my Santa may be on deployment .  That he is not is my big Chirstmas wish.
OH!!! I wish the same, Trudy!
Thanks Julie.  It's my son .  He just 're-upped. 10 years in already.
+13 votes
To know : My Genealogy connection to Santa Claus ..

Seriously ..

Oh .. To dig Wisconsin dirt on the Baraboo Wisconsin River and find my Barbeau ancestor's Fur Trading Post where he traded with the Winnebago Nation Indians circa 1750 - 1832 ..

C'est Bon

Baraboo de Barbeau dit Boisdore
by Gerald Baraboo G2G6 Pilot (715k points)
Love this, Jerry!
+15 votes

1. For more archives and institutions to digitize their collections and make them freely available (searchable indexes would be nice too) --- but I think this is right up there with 'peace on earth'.

2. For someone to write a browser extension or even better a customized program that is part web browser, part database for genealogical notes (my suggested name for it is "Wikitree Enhanced Browser" or WEB for short) - Let's say I am using the proposed WEB program, which has two 'modes': researching and writing. In researching 'mode' I am viewing a source document on some webpage - without needing to switch windows I hit a button and it records url, accessdate, and pre-populates as much of the citation as it can from a webpages metadata - another button allows me an option to capture a 'screenshot' of the browser content which is then filed (on the local harddrive) with a meaningful name related to it's source (ideally the source could be appended to the bottom of the image). There would be a small table to note individual 'factoids' in 4 fields: 1) Item - the specific item in the source (a page, entry no, or other description); 2) subject - name of the individual the fact pertains to 3) fact type - dropdown list (name, birth, marriage, death, residence, occupation, etc) but user can enter things not in the list. 4) The fact itself. The database stores these 'factoids' on the local computer in a simple database. The 'writing' mode would allow you to select a subject from your database which would bring up all the 'factoids' related to a specific name - when you 'drag and drop' a factoid into the browser window it would drop a skeleton sentence in the form:  [persons] [fact type] was recorded as [fact]. <ref>[item] in [source]</ref> - it could even automatically capture what profile-ID a specific factoid was dropped on. Obviously the user can edit/clean-up the sentence and sourcing once it is on the profile. All your research about an individual on-screen right next to the profile you are writing/editing for ease of reference.

by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (273k points)
Rob, This isn't exactly what you're looking for as all the genealogy facts have to be stored in a text based abstract, not data fields, but have you looked at It's what I've been using for research and education tracking and my organizational and citation skills have skyrocketed.
+12 votes
I've got another year's subscription to the Legacy Family Tree Webinars ( on my list. The webinars are free for the first week but the handouts and watching the webinar later are only available to members. I've learned so much this past year.
by Debi Hoag G2G6 Pilot (244k points)
+8 votes
for this Chrisitmas I want the federation cds for Australia and some how to work out my grandfathers norweign side that I am struggling with
by Belinda Vince G2G Crew (990 points)
+9 votes

Hutchins, History and Antiquities of Dorset. The 1973 reprint will be fine.

And lifting the volumes up and down will be excellent New Year weight lifting exercise.


by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (240k points)
+4 votes
I would like DNA tests for everyone who is racist, so they can see that we are all made of the same stuff and we are all mixed up!
by Summer Orman G2G6 Mach 8 (84.4k points)
Wow Summer, that is really something!  Do you think it would change their hearts & minds?  I do have hope, so I believe it would.
+3 votes
I wish DNA cousin matches would DNA test their relatives before it is too late...nobody lives forever.
by Debbie Parsons G2G6 Pilot (130k points)
0 votes

I would LOVE to get an "Genealogical Crystal Ball". 

Please, Santa, please!

by Rosey Glow G2G Crew (480 points)

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