Category Archives: Technology

Navigating TNA’s Website

Our December meeting was a talk on navigating the website of the National Archives of the United Kingdom by Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D.. The handout from the talk is published here by permission of the author.

What is TNA?

TNA is The National Archives of the United Kingdom. It is the official archive and publisher for the UK government. TNA was formed in the early twentieth century by merging four entities—the Public Record Office, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, and the Office of Public Sector Information.

TNA’s website—

On the home page

Check out links to social media (Twitter, Facebook, and more), info on visiting, blogs, podcasts and videos, free e-newsletter, image library, bookshop, and featured items. There are links near the top of the page to “Explore our records” (research guides, digitized collections, Discovery catalogue) and “Education.”

Note the red button at the top labeled Menu. This button appears on every page and provides an easy way to navigate within the site.

Education resources

Access these from the Education link on the home page or from the red button menu.

While these are primarily designed for teachers and students, family historians will find lots of interesting material organized by time period, as well as Documents of the Month useful for learning about English history and providing context for English family research. Don’t miss the “Starting your research” and “Working with records” guides in the “For students” section.

Help with your research

Access this from the Explore our records link on the home page or from the red button menu.

Do not miss the “Start here” page (access from the yellow “Start here” link at the top of the page)! Explore “What we have,” “What we don’t have,” “What’s online,” “What’s not online,” “What are archives?,” and “How to use archives” for brief videos and research primers. It won’t take long to explore these, and you’ll find them very helpful.

Scroll down to find links to research guides, keep scrolling to find online exhibitions, other research tools, and links to blogs, podcasts, and webinars. Continue scrolling to find guides to reading old documents, another link to “Start here” resources, and guidance on citing sources.

TIP: Read the research guides for record groups you use or want to learn about! There are guides for records TNA does not hold–for example, birth, death, and marriage records–as well as for records in TNA collections.

TNA has many digitized collections available on its website you can search from the associated research guide.

Discovery catalogue

Access this from the blue Discovery box at the top of the home page or from the red button menu.

You can search online, digitized collections, collections not digitized, and collections in other archives. Use Discovery help to learn how to search and filter results.


Evernote and Genealogy

Courtesy of Julia Mosman, here are the handout notes from our September meeting on Evernote and Genealogy:

What is Evernote?

  • An online website that stores your information
  • It’s a note-taking and note-filing system
  • Only limited by your imagination, and your needs


  • Allows you to import & save all kinds of information
    • Create a research-workbook log and plan (start or add to it)
      • Research notes, to-do lists, photos, e-mails, timelines
      • Images from Ancestry and Family Search, state & library websites
      •  Pages from Google books, magazines, maps, receipts, business cards
  • In all sorts of formats
    • Typed or handwritten notes
    • Photographs
    • Video and/or audio recordings
    • E-mails
  • To all types of devices
    • Windows & Apple computers, tablets, iPad, iPhone, & Android smart phones
  • Which are synchronized between all your devices (if you have internet access) in the most current version (for your Operating System & browser)
  • Your files are automatically backed up to your computer and the Evernote servers
  • Includes OCR technology, which makes your notes searchable without manual indexing

Easy to obtain

  • Decide if you want a Free, Plus, or Premium Account
    • Free has smaller notes, lower monthly maximum import;Premium may not be needed
  • Go to the evernote website, EVERNOTE.COM to confirm the differences
    • Step 1 – obtain an account, and set up a password
      • Allows you to synchronize files
      • Email your account directly (you’ll be given an Evernote email address)
    • Step 2 – download Evernote
      • The system will adapt to your operating system
    • Step 3 – download Evernote Webclipper to your browser
      • Google Chrome offers the most flexibility and features, but it works with all platforms
    • Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all other devices, as needed
    • Steps 1 through 3 took 6 minutes
  • If you want, check the “help” guides and videos on the Evernote site; they’re useful
  • Over 100 apps are on the Evernote site alone; recommend wait to add them for at least a week,
    • But be aware there may be extremely good ways to accomplish something, such as webclipping for Mac and iPhone users.

Using Evernote

Home page is divided into 4 parts – top, left column, center column, and right column

  • Top has orientatation
    • Email account it’s linked to, SEARCH window
    • Action choices similar to other Word or Open Office choices
  • Left –
    • Work Chat – share immediate messages with other people you’ve invited
    • Favorites –  easy, quick access to particular Notebooks
    • Notebooks – may be individual, or grouped into subject
  • Center – all notes in the current workbook OR notes fulfilling your search conditions
  • Right – Latest note you are working on, or creating/ check Info icon for documentation
    •  Click on the note to open it fully

Note- taking 101 –                                         

  • Notes are the basis of the system – all data is stored in Note format
  • Create New note – click on File, then New Note – or use Shortcut <Cntrl + N >
    • Can create a “link” note to files in Dropbox, Google Plus, SkyDrive, etc. as an Index
  • Evernote will automatically save notes instantly, and using OCR will index them
  • You can manually “sync: notes, speeding up the system timing; valuable if you’re sharing the note with another person

Tagging –                                                       

  • Tags are one of the mechanisms by which  Evernote searches for & retrieves Notes
  • Can build them separately, or as each note is entered
  • After creating tags, simply attach the Tag[s] to each note –
  • Click on Index at the top of the note to add more tags, or remove them later
  • To use, enter one or more Tags into search – the center column will fill with all notes containing those tags

Web Clipping                                              

  • System which enables you to capture documents, quotes from books, images, etc., from the Web using any digital device, and store the data in Evernote
  • Use Evernote Webclipper or EverClip for iOS devices
    • If using Evernote Webclipper – once you’ve gone online and found something
      • Click on the small elephant symbol found on your top “address” bar (far right)
      • Make choices regarding format, if you want to share, if you want to “markup” clip
      • Clip will be sent to your “default” notebook,or added to any designated notebook
    • Evernote automatically tracks when you clipped the resource, the last date you modified the clip, and the URL from which you clipped the material
    • For iPad or iPhone users, obtain EverClip***, as it makes clipping much easier

Annotating –                                             

  • Method to emphasize or add information in a Note; can be used with images, as well as any note
  • Can Highlight, add captions, identify persons, etc.
  • Annotate before or after clipping; when creating a Note, or adding at a later time
  • Can be easily removed


for an overview; look at other videos as well at your own peril!! (there are tons)    using evernote for genealogy organization    Google group on evernote for genealogy