The Hemingway Editor

This is the Hemingway Editor – an online text editor and copy editor. All you have to do is copy/paste a story into the online Hemingway Editor and it will show you how to improve your work. As you make changes in the editor, watch those highlights disappear. When all is ready, just copy/paste it back to your usual writing app.

The text you see here is the default text you’ll find when you visit the site. It’s also the user guide. Yes, it really is that easy to use. If you find it useful, you can buy the desktop version (Windows or Mac) for $9.99. See details.

Day One Gets Graphic

DayOne GraphicsThere’s nothing that says you can only include photos in your Day One journal app. The samples you see here were created using several different graphics apps and saved as photos. It doesn’t stop there. The latest updates to iOS devices also gives me the ability to draw and doodle in journal entries using my finger . And it also works great with my Jot Dash stylus ($20 at Amazon).

In this example, I added three graphics images to my Day One entry. Day One stacked them above the text I had already entered (not shown here). It doesn’t show well in this screenshot, but the graphics are quite readable on my iPad. I’m experimenting with the graphics elements to see if I can create an eye-catching collection of graphic stories then use Day One’s publishing feature to create family history books. Stay tuned . . .

Take Your SIGs Virtual With MeWe

The MeWe social network is focused on protecting the privacy of its members yet it still offers an impressive range of features that today’s genealogical societies can put to good use. One of those features is groups.


At first look, a MeWe group may look like Facebook, but as you start looking around you will find a number of useful things like a files library, group discussions and events. MeWe uses tags to make it easy to find specific content in the group. A tag is a keyword that begins with a hash mark (#). Assign #tags to your group posts and MeWe collects them for you in the sidebar. Click/tap any #tag and MeWe will redraw your screen showing you every post assigned that #tag. In the example above, the #journaling tag has been selected in the tag box. On the left you see a collection of posts about journaling. It doesn’t take long for a group’s timeline to contain dozens of posts so having a quick way to find all the posts related to a specific topic is a very useful feature.

MeWe offers three types of groups – private, selective and open. A private group only has members who have been invited to join by the group administrator. Private groups do not appear in MeWe’s group directory. This is a perfect choice for society SIGS.

To join a selective group you must first request access then answer several questions on why you want to join. Once the group administrator reviews your answers and approves you, you will have access to that group. Open groups are open to all MeWe members.

MeWe groups also support discussions – chats for a larger group of participants. These can be text, voice or video discussions. The comment box attached to each post supports text and voice comments including the ability to add photos from your photo library, photos taken with your mobile device and even GIFs.

Each member has 8GB of storage for photos, videos and files. More can be purchased for a small monthly fee. To save money, your society can share videos from online sources like YouTube and Vimeo instead of saving them to your group.

It may take a bit of practice to fully take advantage of the Events component but it won’t take long to appreciate its capabilities. Share a video in a post and create an event to show the video then follow it with a Q&A session using Group Chat.

Small societies often find it difficult to schedule a place and time to hold special interest group meetings. By going virtual, you don’t need a physical meeting room and even if a member can’t attend the group meeting, they can visit the group site at any time to catch up. The files library and posts in the timeline also give your members a research resouce they have access to from anywhere at any time.

My Storytellers Studio group is a selective group serving as a resource for family historians and genealogists looking for creative ideas to share the stories our genealogy research discovers. You are welcome to join us.

The FamilySearch Digital Library

The Internet Archive has been my go-to source for public domain books for quite a while. It’s full of regimental histories, local histories, biographies and even genealogies. It’s a very impressive resource. Now, thanks to the FamilySearch Digital Library, I have even more options.

FamilySearch Digital Library

You will find the library in Once you sign in, click Search then click Books. You will see a screen similar to the one above. Before you hit the search box at the top of the screen, scan down the page and see which libraries are part of this project. They include:

  • The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library
  • Arizona State Library
  • Family History Library
  • Birmingham Public Library
  • Dallas Public Library
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania
  • Midwest Genealogical Center
  • Onondaga County Public Library
  • St. Louis County Library
  • University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries


In this example, I searched for “south carolina huguenots” and got 278,409 results. You see two of them here. Notice the Access Level item for the first one is Public (Public Domain) while the second is Protected (still under copyright). There is a Full text results button under each item and in this example, a scanned title page for each. Click on the title page to view a screen with more details about the item.


Since this is a public domain publication, I have a “View All Pages 398 pages” link to open this publication for reading.


Here’s what the reader screen looks like. Use the arrow buttons to move to the next page or previous page. Notice the icons at the bottom of the screen. They offer many options. Click the box icon with a down arrow in it to download this publication. The magnifying glass icon is used to search the publication. Other icons let you zoom in or zoom out for better viewing. Hover over any icon to view its purpose.

This impressive addition to online archives is a researcher’s delight. Unlike the Internet Archive, not everything in the FamilySearch Digital Library is public domain. You may have limited access or even no access to some of the publications, but don’t let that stop you. Use the details about the publication and to find a library near you where you can view that book. Happy hunting!