06 June 2016

Are you using Chrome Extensions to Help You Research?

I find “tech” a necessity in my work as I do spend hours every day at my computer doing research, writing reports, adding twigs to Family Tree Maker Files, creating complex timelines and matrices, checking FB for genealogy news, blogging, writing articles, putting material in Dropbox, downloading photos from my cellphone and camera, and much more.

That said, I am not the most tech-savvy person – I try to keep abreast enough to keep afloat and that is about all I can handle.

Let’s take Google Chrome.  This is my browser of choice.  I know that many like Internet Explorer, Firefox and other options available, and my intent is NOT to start a browser war.

And, I have been known to use a few “extensions” as Google Chrome calls them – the oldest I’ve had in use is Adblock!  I’ve also had the Grammarly one for quite a while – it does help me clean up my blog posts and other online missives!  For the blog, a couple of years ago I installed Flip It (the extension for Flipboard), since I make sure that the posts from this blog are always available via Flipboard.  How could I forget Google Hangouts – my immediate family and I use this to chat regularly, whether we are apart or spread across the house . I also have Pin It! (for Pinterest) and I just haven’t kept up with that one at all – too many social media platforms, too little time!

There are also some mystery extensions that I will need to explore further. Obviously I added them at some point and it might be time to do some housekeeping.

Enough about what I have and use, the reason I started this post was more to talk about what I was unaware of.

Did you know that there are some genealogy-specific extensions?

This was brought to my attention by The Villages Genealogical Society Facebook page.  They posted about two of these – Ancestry Family Search Extension (takes vital information from an Ancestry Family Tree profile page and make it easy to search FamilySearch.org using those details) and RootsSearch.

Of course, I needed to further explore this world of family history-related Google Chrome extensions – are there more?!?!

I also discovered DNArboretum (presents 23andME and FTDNA Family Trees in Ahnentafel Format), Hope Chest (searches your family tree on FamilySearch.org), AncestryDNA Help (downloads list of matching users and ancestor information), and DiscoverAncestryTM (configures your New Tab page to DiscoverAncestryTM to provide features) … to name a few.

It looks like I should probably spend a bit of time someday trawling around the Chrome Web Store and see what other goodies I might be overlooking.

Have you used any of these?  What do you think?

What Chrome extensions do you use that your fellow genealogists might want to investigate?  What is your #1 Chrome extension when it comes to genealogy (though it doesn’t have to be directly genealogical in nature)?

Editor’s Note:  I should not have to say it and I will -- obviously, neither I nor NGS are endorsing Google Chrome nor any of the mentioned Google Chrome extensions.  This information is brought to you as an FYI to use, or not, as you deem fit!

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