10 Gift Ideas for the Historian or Genealogist in Your Life

03 Dec 2021


If you have a historian in the family or a genealogist on your list for the 2021 holiday gift-giving season, you’re probably already well aware that shopping for such skilled and knowledgeable folks can be a little intimidating!

How do you surprise or impress someone who already knows so much about so many things?

Hopefully, the following guide will give you some inspiration and help you pick out the perfect present that they’ll surely love.

1.  Subscriptions! Subscriptions! Subscriptions!

Online databases are extremely useful when researching family history but maintaining their monthly subscriptions can be a real drag for historians and genealogists.

Brighten your favorite researcher’s holiday season this year by giving them the gift of access to one of the top three genealogical sites.


Ancestry is often regarded as the best overall value in genealogical research sites.

They host more than 27 billion historical records and offer subscription packages that range from $16.99 to $49.99 per month.

While the cost of their services is at the higher end of the scale, the quality and comprehensiveness of their offerings is way up there, too.

My Heritage

MyHeritage doesn’t offer as huge a database as Ancestry, but you’ll still find a lot of value on this more fun-focused site.

The service features very user-friendly navigation and neat tools like black and white photo colorization and animation.

Only yearly subscriptions are available, but their more affordable packages range from only $129 to $299 per year.

Find My Past

FindMyPast is even more limited because it is a service dedicated solely to Irish and British records.But the narrowed focus makes it a veritable treasure trove for researchers tracing their ancestry to that specific region of the world.

Their continuously expanding database also offers some of the oldest records that exist online.

Yearly subscription plans start at $129.

2.  Legacy Box Media Preservation

Your family’s historian has assuredly amassed a collection of old photos and assorted media. This year, give them the gift of preservation!

Legacy Box is a company that digitizes or “future proofs” your old family photos, film reels, VHS tapes, and even audio cassettes.

For many of us, the various players and projectors we once used to enjoy our home movies and recordings are now “dead tech.”

Unfortunately, there are a lot of memories out there locked up in unwatchable formats.

Legacy Box can bring them back to the present in digital form on thumb drives, DVDs, and as shareable downloads so they can be enjoyed once again.

Digitization packages start as low as $21.

3.  A Really Cool Magnifying Glass

If the historian on your list spends a lot of time pouring over small print in dimly lit spaces, The Wide View Lighted Magnifier from Hammacher Schlemmer might be just the thing for a holiday that’s both merry and bright.

After all, who doesn't want to look like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes?!?

This oversized 5-inch illuminated lens sells for $29.95 and makes for a great stocking stuffer.

4.  A Digital Recording Device

Genealogists and historians alike take lots of notes and conduct a lot of interviews. Their to-do lists are always expanding. A digital recording device is a great way to manage the chaos.

The EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder  is a highly rated budget option that will get the job done for only $39.99 on Amazon.

This handheld recording device offers crystal clear audio recording, voice activation, and MP3 or WAV formats for easy transfer to a computer via the supplied Micro USB cable.

It also offers seamless file management with a time stamp feature that makes it easy to find out exactly when you recorded.

And, as an added bonus, batteries are also included!

The Tascam DR-40X, priced at $199, is a higher end option that can record 192 hours of studio quality sound direct to an SD card. The internal battery can record non-stop for 18 hours on a full charge.

It has multi-track functionality, a reverb effect, and built-in, adjustable stereo microphones.

The capabilities of the DR-40X are simply amazing; it would make an excellent gift for any researcher, documentarian, or podcaster.

5.  Paper and Ink

Ink and paper are ancient technologies that work so well together that they’re still quite useful to this day—and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Smartphones and tablets have undoubtedly brought more than a few convenience miracles to the table, but they’ll never beat the feel and familiarity of a quality notebook and a solid writing implement when it comes to making lists, jotting down notes, or making a quick sketch.

While Montblanc is known for fountain pens that sell for nearly $40,000, the Montblanc Meisterstück Platinum-Coated Rollerball, may be the best high-end pen on the market.

Priced at a measly $505 for the Classique model, it is arguably the snazziest writing instrument that someone might actually carry around with them during the day.

Its classic chrome and black styling pairs well with any ensemble, briefcase, or backpack.

And the rollerball tip reliably produces the finest handwriting.

If value over exclusivity is what you’re looking for in a gift, uni-ball Vision Rollerball Pens offer the same smooth flow of waterproof ink at a more down-to-earth price.

For just $12.65 you get not just one great pen, but an entire pack of 12!

That way, your recipient will always have an extra pen on hand when needing to jot down their fascinating discoveries.

When it comes to paper, the Apica Premium A6 CD Notebook is often cited as the very best on the market.

Imported from Japan, these notebooks retail for $12.75 each and feature baroque styling and acid-free paper that works perfectly well with either ink or pencil.

The three available color choices indicate the type of paper bound inside: Black is plain paper, red is graph paper, and blue is standard ruled paper.

For a more modern look, the LEUCHTTURM1917 – Medium A5 Ruled Hardcover Notebook is another great choice at a slightly higher price point. 

These notebooks feature multiple bookmarks and an elastic closure band.

They are also thread-bound to open flat, which helps make reading and writing much easier.

They are available in a wide array of different colors and can be lined with plain, ruled, squared, or dotted pages.

6.  A Family Tree Chart

Genealogists spend their days mapping out ancestors and filling in pedigree charts, but many of them have never put their skills to work on their own family tree.

Perhaps your favorite genealogist would appreciate a blank slate to showcase their own heritage for once!

Etsy offers all types of customizable, display-worthy pieces.

This one is a particularly handsome specimen and a steal for only $17.05!

7. A Time Capsule Kit

Is there anything more exciting for a history lover than opening up a time capsule?

The next best thing would have to be creating and sealing away a capsule of their own creation.

Just imagine how excited your family historian would be to have the opportunity to fill a time capsule with the family treasures they have collected over the years.

This Stainless Steel Time Capsule will keep your chosen artifacts safe and sound for ages for only $59.99!

And this 100 Piece Time Capsule Preservation Kit is the perfect add-on for ensuring that whatever documents you choose to include will stand up against the test of time.


8.  DNA Kits

DNA testing is central to a lot of genealogical research and can open up a world of fascinating self-discovery.

This year, why not give the gift of scientific knowledge?

The following test kits are comparatively priced and consistently rank among the best on the market for gaining deeper insight into your origins:

If the historian or genealogist in your life is also a dog owner, they might get a real kick out of discovering more about their furry friend, too!

Embark Dog DNA Tests can reveal a dog’s complete genetic makeup and potential health risks.

It can even connect you with their siblings and relatives via Embark’s extensive social network!

9.  A My Heritage Family Discovery Kit

A My Heritage Family Discovery Kit combines DNA testing, ancestry research, and scrapbooking in an attractive giftset for only $79.99!

https://cm.myheritage.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/[email protected]

10.  A Mini Museum

Finally, we’ve saved the best for last.

If you’ve been pulling your hair out trying to come up with a gift for the history buff on your list, a Mini Museum is THE THING that you’ve been looking for.

Mini museums might not look like much from a distance but encased within these unassuming little blocks of Lucite are actual, physical pieces of mind-blowing history.

Mini Museum offers editions from many different categories, like the age of dinosaurs, natural history, air and space, and world history. They also offer editions that bring multiple categories together.

How cool would it be to give a history lover a plesiosaur bone, a medieval knight’s sword, a brick from The White House, and a piece of the space shuttle all in one package?

Well, now you can thanks to the offerings at MiniMuseum.com!

While the site sells many gifts for under $20, you can also purchase certified fossils, rare gems, and meteorite jewelry, or, if you’re feeling really generous, you can even pick up a shield window from the Manhattan Project for a cool $3.4 million!

Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels

Hopefully, this list has given you some ideas for how to surprise the historian or genealogist in your life with a gift that they’ll truly cherish.

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays from all of us at The Writers for Hire!

Peter Albrecht 

Related Content

  • 0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *