Letters & Pictures and Deeds oh my!

I am heading to England next week to appraise and digitize the lifetime of genealogical research done by Ian Babb. After decades of research, Ian passed away without having published his findings on the various Babb lineages in England.

There is a longstanding gap in our body of knowledge about these Babbs. Our first Genealogist Jean A. Sargent, did most of her work on the Babb lines in the US, but only had limited research in England. Time and technology has changed the game considerably over the last decade. When I started, the Census wasn’t fully indexed yet and you had to make special trips to the National Archives just to use their crappy manual microfilm readers. You haven’t lived until you have wheeled through 400 pages of the Census only to find out the item you wanted is at the front of the next roll.

Today, all of that is available online, but there are mountains of un-scanned data, just like Ian’s. There is a phenomenal amount of history on the Island and they have books that are from before America was discovered. Well….at least by Columbus.

I’ve been talking to a few fellow genealogists about how best to digitize Ian’s collection and have stumbled across two devices that should help us immensely. They arrived at my house about a week before my departure date and I’ll be bringing them with me. The first is a high speed scanner (Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap Document Scanner (PA03656-B305) that can scan both sides of 25 pages a minute, eliminate blank pages, index them and make searchable PDFs. It is the top rated scanner on the market. One reviewer claims that he scanned 1500 pages in an hour and almost cried from sheer joy. The Automatic Document Feeder holds 50 pages at a time. Once it is digitized we can go over it at our leisure and begin to share the work with others, just like we did with Jean’s work.

The second device is another I discovered that is aimed more at Photos, than documents. It hovers over the photo album and scans images, piecing together larger images into a single file. This way you never have to remove them from the photo album. It makes digitation easy. It’s called the Flip-Pal. This one is battery operated.

Using these two devices I, along with a day off from work, I was able to digitize what turned out to be 7 years of backlogged documents (roughly 700 pages). reducing about a half foot of documents I had amassed in my days of research into several dozen tidy digital files.

I’ll be sharing those documents shortly, but for today I wanted to share the great news of this epic Genealogical Journey. Watch for my posts from the road!


2 responses to “Letters & Pictures and Deeds oh my!”

  1. Dan, have a great trip and I’m happy you’ve found a quick way to scan the documents, etc. Give me a call when you get back and let me know if any of your relatives are related to King Whitgar of the Isle of Wight.


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