Gifts for Genealogists

Do you have a genealogist on your gift list, or need ideas for your own? Here are suggestions for a few, mostly reasonably-priced gifts, from as low as $10.

Gifts for Travelling Techies

Portable Scanners


Gena Philibert-Ortega likes the Zcan Scanner Mouse. Used just like a hand-held computer mouse, it works as a scanner that by simply swiping the mouse over items, will scan text, tables, documents, or photographs with a resolution up to 400 dpi, and send the OCR text directly into editable Word or Excel documents. The OCR will support 199 languages total (three at a time). You may also immediately share your scans on Facebook, Twitter or email.

The wired Zcan+ Scanner Mouse,  at about $79 is nearly half the cost of the wireless version, the Zcan Scanner Mouse ($159 US on, $179 Canadian on See a product review on the wired version on SimonBlog.

Portable Research

Kindle Fire $49 at

Tablets are a great gift for any age, and come in all sizes and prices from high end iPads, to the very affordable 7” Kindle Fire at only $49 !

Take photos, type notes, read genealogy books, update your family tree with tablet-specific apps, send and receive emails, and connect via WiFi to the Internet and all your favorite genealogy websites. Even if you don’t plan on travelling, a tablet allows you to stay connected to your research in your favorite comfy chair, or even take outside and enjoy nature!

Lisa Louise Cooke, of The Genealogy Gems podcast often gives presentations on using tablets in genealogy research, and in fact has several items to help you understand WHY you should be using a tablet, from articles on her website; her excellent book, Turn your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse; to a free PDF handout on her website.


Cocoon Grid-It Fire case

<  Cocoon Grid-It Cases Cocoon Innovations GRID-IT! Cases come in a variety of sizes, and hold both the tablet and a myriad of electronics and cords, from full-size iPad tablet cases for around $20, to the 7” Kindle Fire-sized case  for around $14.

Mygreen Portable Electronic Accessories Travel Organizer3-piece Case Set

>  Not sure what electronics your giftee already has? Buy an all-purpose electronics accessories travel organizer case! I like this Mygreen 3-piece set for $41.99 on

universal double layer

And on the lower price end, for $17.27, this really handy Universal Double Layer Travel Gear Organizer  has lots of places to secure cords, chargers, and even various size tablets.

Road tripping? I have this GOOLOO Compact Jump Starter, that not only can jump start a dead car battery, but can also recharge my portable electronics – laptops, phones, tablets – AND fits into my purse! Check the different sizes depending on what make of automobile you drive to be sure to get enough power.

Portable Information

Western Digital’s My Passport 1 Terrabyte ultra portable external hardrive is only $59 on, which should easily be enough storage to take almost, if not ALL of your genealogy files and photos with you wherever you go. They also serve as one more backup device for things that you can’t imagine losing if your computer crashes.

Decorative Gifts


Trees by Rie

Looking for something a bit more personal? Trees by Rie offers custom tree sculptures and jewelry featuring crystals in the colors of your choosing, to represent either family lines, or birth months. Not only are the gifts beautiful heirlooms, but the creator is a really lovely person, with a great story too.

Picture frames are always great ways to display your family tree. I like this one found on You can buy extra little frames to add as many photos as you can fit on it, too!



Or, have your family tree printed up in any number of wall charts from Family ChartMasters. They’re able to print “Any Style from Any Kind of File”, and “can design anything you can dream up”.  See their gallery to get some ideas!

Cloud programs

Who wouldn’t appreciate a year’s subscription to Dropbox? A 1-year, 1 Terrabyte subscriptions is $99, and if you use the link I’ve provided, you’ll get an additional 500 mb of storage (As if a terrabyte isn’t enough!)

Another backup cloud storage option is Backblaze Backup every internal and external drive on your computer, for just $5 a month (unlimited amount of storage). Who wouldn’t love this?


Easily save, sort, and search web clips, notes, emails and more in Evernote

I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love a year’s Premium subscription to EvernoteEvernote works on just about any device (computer, tablet, smartphone) and isn’t just for genealogy, and can be used in a million ways, for every aspect of your day to day life. My favorite use in fact is to collect and store all of my family recipes, and easily share my recipe file with family members. With premium, Evernote will automatically index all notes, including PDFs and JPGs, making everything you tuck away easily searchable. Premium is the best you can get, and it’s only $49 for a year.

And there’s always books, books books! But that will be another post. I’ve got a whole list of great gift book ideas for genealogists.



Here’s a Win-Win tip for you!

If you can’t think of anything else, consider giving an Amazon Prime gift membership! There is even one specially for college students.  Join Amazon Student FREE Two-Day Shipping for College Students

AND if you aren’t already an Amazon Prime member yourself, sign up for a 30-Day Free trial, and get FREE 2-day Shipping on all your purchases through  Personally, I wouldn’t be without my Prime membership, not just for the free shipping, but also for the free streaming music and movies, as well as the access to many Kindle books for free also!  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial


If you haven’t gotten the free Kindle reading app, you can download it here: – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

** full disclosure: I never recommend any product or service that I don’t fully believe in, and that goes for this gift list as well. As an Amazon affiliate, your purchase using any of these links will add a few pennies (quite literally, a few pennies) to support this website, and I sincerely thank you 🙂

1 Response

  1. Michael Stills says:

    I just picked up the Kindle Fire last night for $35. As I was looking for the price just now to share, it just now went $35 back to $50. Keep an eye out, maybe it will change back?

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