MyHeritage Makes 46 Million Swedish Household Records Available

MyHeritage announces that it has added over 46 million Swedish records to MyHeritage SuperSearch - from the Sweden Household Examination Books, 1880 - 1920

Now this is BIG NEWS!  MyHeritage announces the addition of over 46 million Swedish records to MyHeritage SuperSearch. The high quality parish register records, spanning 1880 to 1920, are now available, indexed and searchable online for the first time. These records include information about births, deaths, marriages, addresses and changes in household composition. They provide a unique view into the lives of Swedish people living at that time, making this collection a fantastic family history resource for anyone with Swedish heritage. Click here to take a look at the collection.

New to MyHeritage? Don’t forget to use promo code MHfrugal2015 to save 35% off a Premium Plus account and 1 year Data Subscription at MyHeritage!

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Tip: Use TinyPNG to Reduce Blog Image Size

Learn how to use the free TinyPNG website to reduce the size of blog images and speed up your blog . . . and even increase your search engine ranking!

Lately I’ve noticed many of my favorite genealogy blogs are taking a long time to load pages and images. Out of curiosity, I saved some of the images to check the file formats and sizes and I was shocked!

Size Matters: Blog Images

One recent blog post had almost 10 different images in PNG format with an average size of 663k each. This means at least 6.6MB of data downloaded just to view the blog post.

Many bloggers don’t realize that Google and other search engines rank your site on how fast your main page loads. What does this mean? The more large images, the slower the page. Use the PageSpeed Insights site from Google Developers to test your site. Once you’ve entered your blog URL, you’ll receive feedback on ways to improve your blog’s speed and load time.

Personally, I try to use JPG images when possible for all my blog posts, but I’ll admit that sometimes the images are blurry due to the nature of the JPG file format. I love the PNG format, but a simple 570x width image (the best size to ensure social media sharing) can be 600k or more in size.

TinyPNG to the Rescue!

One solution I’ve found is TinyPNG: a free website that will convert your PNG images to blog friendly images without distortion. On average, I’ve seen a 70% or more reduction in image file size, but my readers don’t see any noticeable difference between the original PNG and the reduced sized version. In fact, the image for this blog post is only 32k, reduced from its original 600k file size.

To use TinyPNG, go to and then open the folder holding one or more PNG files to be reduced in size. Select a file and “drag” it into the box in the middle of the screen. TinyPNG will quickly reduced your file size, tell you how much room you’ve saved, and offer a download link to the new file.

Download the file and then use this compressed image for your blog posts. One trick I use: I give the new PNG file a different name than the original so that I always have the full PNG to fall back on in case I need it. Simply add the word “compressed” to the end of the file name so you now which is the original and which is the TinyPNG version.

Review Your Base Blog Images

Once you get the hang of using TinyPNG, examine the file size of your blog’s header graphics. I’ve also noticed many blogs are slow to load due to header banners that are 1.2MB or more in size!  Not only does this mean a slow page load, but you are eating up bandwidth . . . this is important if you pay a monthly fee to have your site hosted and bump up against your monthly bandwidth limit!

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Review: How to Use Evernote for Genealogy

Genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee reviews How to Use Evernote for Genealogy by Kerry Scott - “A complete guide to mastering Evernote and making it work for your genealogy research!”

[Editor’s note: SAVE! Pre-order your copy of How to Use Evernote for Genealogy today via Shop Family Tree and remember to enter promo code SFTTHOMAS15 for an exclusive 15% additional discount – you’ll save over 30% total on this great book! Click here for more information!]

Are you intimidated by technology, but feel like you are “missing out” when friends and family rave about a brand new app or program? Have you heard about Evernote and always wondered how others are using it for genealogy research? In the new book How to Use Evernote for Genealogy, author Kerry Scott employs an approachable and comfortable writing style to “demystify” the Evernote product, cut through all the hype, and show you how to get up and running with the most popular note taking product currently on the market.

Scott is a skilled writer who can cover all the “getting started” basics as well as advanced features and make the reader feel confident enough to start using Evernote. I loved the various “personal observations” Scott has included in each chapter; you can tell from all of these real-life experiences that the author is a serious Evernote user who has figured out a way to leverage the program for genealogy research success.

How to Use Evernote for Genealogy is not another technical book that you will review once and then never use. Most likely, you will be consulting various chapters and sections for days and weeks as you build your Evernote skills and find new ways to use the program for genealogy.

Evernote Templates that ROCK!

Lately there has been a dearth of free Evernote e-books on the Web, but they really don’t solve problems encountered by genealogists and family historians. How to Use Evernote for Genealogy has three different appendices at the end of the book, filled with useful Evernote templates.

Not only can your review each template, there is a convenient link to a text version so you can start creating your own Evernote forms for genealogy. These include Census Extraction Templates for the US Federal Census, Genealogy Conference Planner (to plan your classes when attending a genealogy conference), and Research Worksheets and Templates, including a family group sheet.

Structured to Get Things Done!

I’m a bit of a “techie,” and perhaps this is a “guy thing,” but I usually don’t read the directions or knowledgebase when I start using a new product. Instead, I like to “kick the tires” and “poke around.” Well if this is how you learned Evernote, I recommend using the Keys to Success segment at the end of each chapter of How to Use Evernote for Genealogy. Review each item and make sure that you are familiar with each concept before you move on to the next chapter.

Also, don’t forget that there are checklists, templates and “value added” features at the end of each chapter as well.

Conclusion: A Must Have Guide for Evernote Users

You name it, author Kerry Scott has covered it when it comes to using Evernote for genealogical research. This includes the use of audio and video files from interviews, synchronizing data between multiple devices, using photos with Evernote, creating tables and more.

With How to Use Evernote for Genealogy, you can be up and running with Evernote as your personal genealogy virtual assistant. In addition, after a few hours, you will wonder how you ever got by without Evernote all these years!

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Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statements.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.