In the intricate world of genealogy, where every record tells a story and every detail matters, technology has become an indispensable ally. Tools such as Genius Scan are now an essential part of the genealogy process. We had the privilege of exchanging with Dayna Jacobs, a seasoned genealogist, and writer of the terrific blog OnGrannysTrail, to delve into her experience with Genius Scan and how our app has helped her in her research journey.
Dayna has been using Genius Scan for 5 years but has over 30 years of experience as a genealogy researcher, presenter, and writer. Her most recent professional activity has been as an investigative genetic genealogist. She served as a Commissioner on the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists and on the Board of Directors for the Utah Genealogical Association. There was no better person to chat with about the evolution - and revolution! - of the genealogy field.
How scanning technology made genealogy work easier
Like Dayna, many genealogists visit libraries and archives to uncover old or rare documents. Instead of copying pages manually, they scan them using their smartphone to save hours of transcribing.
“I have been able to digitize much of my research files so they are available wherever I go. As a researcher, I need to be able to access my files in various repositories. It also makes it easier to research in a library or archive because I can collect records on my phone and file them immediately in research folders in Evernote or OneDrive. I don’t have to make paper copies, which takes time, so my research goes much faster. Also, I can digitally enhance a scan to make a document more readable.” Dayna says.
Genealogy work has always been about thorough research, hours of transcription, and extensive collecting. But what was once time-consuming and cumbersome became easier and faster with the portable scanning innovation. Another innovation that came along portable scanning and changed the genealogy game is OCR (Optical Character Recognition). With its Text Recognition feature, Genius Scan extracts the text that appears in scanned documents to export them as searchable PDFs or copyable texts without needing to type everything manually. This, particularly, saves researchers hours of transcribing.
Why decide to use Genius Scan
Dayna says she needed a scanner in her pocket. One she could take wherever she goes. But scanning isn’t the only feature she was interested in while searching for the perfect scanning app.
“It is convenient, it allows me to scan without a scanner. I like that Genius Scan squares the corners of documents so they look professional. I have tried various phone scanners, and I like the user interface with Genius Scan, as well as all of the options for saving, exporting, editing, and adding file names.”
More than its many features, what sets Genius Scan apart for Dayna is its user-friendly interface and the professional look Genius Scan brings to her documents. In such a meticulous environment, professionalism extends also to the appearance of records.
What kind of documents are scanned
Genealogists scan a wide variety of documents to gather information about family histories. Dayna’s scanning repertoire covers a vast spectrum of documents. “Vital records such as birth, marriage, and death records. Deed, probate, tax, and church records. There is a great variety of records I scan and these are just a small sample. I also scan pages from books, which is much faster than using a traditional copier. I can scan groups of documents as a single PDF, which helps me with my organization,” she mentions.
These documents collectively provide her - and genealogists as a whole - with a rich tapestry of information, helping piece together family trees, understand relationships, and uncover the stories of those who are no longer here to tell them.
How these documents are used once they’re scanned
The journey doesn’t end with scanning; you have to put these digitized documents to some use. Thus, the ability to export to various cloud services has become a pivotal feature for Dayna. “I export my files to Evernote and OneDrive. I then use them in reports and PowerPoint presentations,” she emphasizes. It’s not just about archiving; it’s about seamlessly incorporating these scans into her broader genealogy ecosystem.
Every document tells a story. Scanning apps like Genius Scan are the bridge that connects our ancestors’ narratives with the digital age. Using these apps, genealogists preserve their family’s history, collaborate with fellow researchers, and make their discoveries accessible to family members and historians worldwide. So, if you’re delving into your family’s past, remember to download Genius Scan and use it along the journey. Your ancestors’ stories are waiting to be unearthed, one scan at a time.