The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke - Your Family History Show

By Lisa Louise Cooke

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The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke. The #1 family history show.

Episode Date
Episode 218 - It's All About You
01:02:32
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #218 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode, Lisa answers your questions and shares your comments. Hot topics on your minds that are covered in this episode: discovering new records online, working with other people’s online trees, hard-to-locate military records; and getting lost in Pennsylvania research   NEWS: GOOGLE EARTH STORIES COMING “Google Earth to let users post stories, photos in coming years” at DNAIndia.com Lisa’s FREE Google Earth video class: How to Use Google Earth for Genealogy The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd edition and Google Earth for Genealogy Video Series Try Google Earth for Chrome (you must use the Chrome browser to access) Download the free Google Earth Pro software.      NEWS: FAMILYSEARCH REACHES 2 BILLION IMAGES Why you should have a free FamilySearch account—and use it! How to use the FamilySearch Catalog (it’s free! Everyone should use it!) Best strategies for accessing content at FamilySearch.org (special podcast episode on the end of microfilm lending)   GEMS NEWS: LISA’S NEW COLUMN IN FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE Purchase the May/June issue in print or digital download format Subscribe to Family Tree Magazine: print format, digital download format or get a great price for both! StoryWorth for Father’s Day: Invite your dad to share stories with loved ones every week, and then get them all bound in a beautiful hardcover book at the end of the year. Go to http://www.storyworth.com/lisa for $20 off when you subscribe. This Father’s Day is actually a gift for you, too!   BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, don’t forget to check out your bonus content for this episode! The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.   MAILBOX: SARA’S FRIDAY RECORD POST DISCOVERY Click here to subscribe to the free Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive the weekly Friday records update by email. Click here to view several recent Friday records posts—see what new records have appeared online lately! Tell Lisa Louise Cooke about your “Friday records post” discoveries—or anything else—at genealogygemspodcast @ gmail.com or call her voicemail at 925-272-4021.   MAILBOX: ONLINE FAMILY TREE MATCHES Reviewing tree hints at Ancestry.com   MAILBOX: BACK TO RESEARCH AFTER 10 YEARS! Lisa’s recommendations to a new Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning member for getting back into the swing of research: Subscribe to the free Genealogy Gems newsletter. Watch the Premium video, “Take Control of Your Family Tree” (Premium eLearning membership required) Listen to the Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke. It's a great series for learning the research ropes and well as refreshing your skills.  Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.   MAILBOX: MILITARY DRAFT REGISTRATIONS Click here to read about finding military draft registrations   INTERVIEW: JIM BEIDLER ON PENNSYLVANIA RESEARCH QUESTION James M. Beidler is the author of The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide and Trace Your German Roots Online. Learn more Pennsylvania research techniques in his on-demand webinar download, Best Pennsylvania Genealogy Research Strategies. Click here to read a summary of some of Jim’s tips AND find a collection of links we curated to help you find more Pennsylvania birth records online. MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.     PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Hannah Fullerton, Audio Editor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting this free podcast and blog!  FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.  
Jun 14, 2018
Episode 217 - The Golden State Killer and Your Genealogy and DNA
50:43
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #217 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this special episode, host and producer Lisa Louise Cooke takes a look at the Golden State killer, one of the most notorious crime sprees in recent memory. She’ll talk about the role that DNA testing played in an ultimate arrest, and the impact that these events are having on genealogists and the use of DNA in genealogy. The Golden State Killer “Golden State Killer: It’s Not Over” docuseries (As an Amazon Associate, Genealogy Gems earns from qualifying purchases) “The Golden State Killer,” 48 Hours episode on CBSNews.com (44-minute episode) Between 1974 and 1986, activities attributed to the Golden State Killer include at least 12 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 through 1986. The criminal’s methods led some investigators to believe that these differently-labeled criminals were very likely one in the same. In 2001, DNA definitively linked several rapes in Contra Costa County believed to have been part of the East Area Rapist series, a series of murders in Southern California. In 2011, DNA evidence proved that the Domingo–Sanchez murders were committed by the same man, known as the Golden State Killer. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, don’t forget to check out your bonus content for this episode! The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started. StoryWorth makes it easy and fun for Mom to share stories with loved ones every week. At the end of the year, she’ll get them all bound in a beautiful hardcover book. Strengthen your bond as you get to know her in a whole new way! Go to http://www.storyworth.com/lisa for $20 off when you subscribe. Give a gift for Mother’s Day that is actually a gift for you, too! Help solve DNA mysteries with these resources: “A DNA Match with No Tree? No Problem!” and “Take Control of Your Family Tree,” Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning video classes The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox by Lisa Louise Cooke Breaking Down Brick Walls with DNA by Diahan Southard Gedmatch: A Next Step for Your Autosomal DNA Testing by Diahan Southard Caution: In this episode, Lisa shares her personal opinions on the use of technology for crime fighting and the implications for DNA testing for genealogy. She encourages everyone to do their own homework and make informed decisions in line with their own values, opinions and objectives.  Reality check: “The only way to ensure privacy is to never put anything of any kind online. Just like the only way to ensure you will never be in a car accident is to never—under any circumstances—get in a car.” Read more about DNA testing company partnerships: “Another personal genetics company is sharing client data,” Wired.com article by Katie M. Palmer, published 21 July 2015, on Ancestry.com’s partnership with Google-owned Calico biotech firm “23andMe teams with Big Pharma to find treatments hidden in our DNA,” Wired.com article by Davey Alba, published 12 January 2015, on 23andMe’s partnership with Pfizer Several ways we already use DNA matches Genealogists use to build family trees Adoptees use to identify birth parents (or other biological relatives) Orphans trying to find long lost siblings and relatives Anyone looking for estranged family members Researchers identifying unidentified human remains, including POW/MIAs Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. More information on DNA testing How to download, transfer and upload your DNA with various testing companies by Diahan Southard “How DIY genetic testing kits can be used against you,” News.com.au article by Gavin Fernando, published 3 May, 2018. “When you test, you are also making a decision on behalf of your parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, and future descendants. Regardless of good intentions or stated ethics codes in the genealogy community, it isn’t possible to write and get the express permission of everyone who could be affected by you having your DNA tested.” –Lisa Louise Cooke How Genealogy Gems can help you—whether you test or not! Keep listening to the Genealogy Gems Podcast for genealogy news, tips, inspiration and strategies (DNA is one of many tools talked about!) Read free online articles at GenealogyGems.com. Click here to read dozens of articles on DNA. Click here to view our complete line of DNA quick reference guides Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member, to get access to all the Premium video classes and the entire Premium Podcast: new monthly episodes plus the full archive of more than 150 previous ones. PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, DNA Content Contributor Hannah Fullerton, Audio Editor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Disclosure: This document contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting this free podcast and blog!
May 09, 2018
Episode 216
01:01:10
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #216 with Lisa Louise Cooke   In this episode: Lisa introduces you to a couple of fantastic genealogists she met on her recent trip Down Under—the organizers of the 15the Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry, which she keynoted recently; Enjoy Lisa’s exclusive RootsTech 2018 interview with Findmypast CEO Tamsin Todd; Military Minutes contributor Michael Strauss shines a spotlight on women who have served in the U.S. military; Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard introduces the MyHeritage chromosome browser; and Genealogy Gems Premium membership gets its biggest boost ever. LISA AND BILL IN AUSTRALIA Wally the Humpback Wrasse and Bill at the Great Barrier Reef Soaring above the rains forest treetops of Queensland, Australia   NEWS: ROOTSTECH 2018 RECAP Click here to watch the short RootsTech 2018 official recap video—and watch for Jim Beidler at the Genealogy Gems booth right at the beginning! NEWS: GENEALOGY GEMS PREMIUM eLEARNING Genealogy Gems Premium membership is now Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning! More than 20 DNA video tutorials have been added—but it’s still all available for one low annual price. And now you can really make the most of 50+ Premium Videos and 150+ Premium Podcast episodes with the new Premium eLearning Companion Guide book. It’s the ultimate ongoing genealogy education! Click here to read the full announcement.   Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users: Beginning German Genealogy: Defining "German" If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is some get-started-now tips from Legacy Tree Genealogists on tracing your German ancestors. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users. To learn more about Legacy Tree services and its research team, visit www.legacytree.com. Exclusive Offer for Genealogy Gems readers: Receive $100 off a 20-hour research project using code GGP100. (Offer may expire without notice.) MILITARY MINUTES WITH MICHAEL STRAUSS: CELEBRATING WOMEN IN U.S. MILITARY HISTORY Click here to see the full article (and plenty of images!) on the Genealogy Gems website. INTERVIEW: TAMSIN TODD AND BEN BENNETT, FINDMYPAST.COM Findmypast.com is the Genealogy Giant best known for its deep, unparalleled historical record content for England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Tamsin Todd is the Chief Executive Officer of Findmypast.com. She “has worked in the travel, retail and technology sectors, and brings with her a track record of leading successful growth businesses. She spent the early part of her career at Amazon and then Microsoft, where she led the introduction of ecommerce and search products into the UK and Europe. This was followed by stints as Head of Ecommerce at Betfair, and Managing Director of TUI-owned Crystal Ski Holidays. She joins Findmypast from Addison Lee, where she was Chief Customer Officer of Europe's largest car service company. Tamsin lives in London with her family, and is Digital Trustee of the Imperial War Museums.” Ben Bennett is Executive Vice President, North America and International at Findmypast.com, “focused on helping families stay connected in the United States and other markets across the globe.” EPISODE SPONSOR: CASPER MATTRESSES  The original Casper mattress combines multiple, supportive memory foams for a quality sleep surface with the right amounts of both sink and bounce. Breathable design helps you sleep cool and regulates your body temperature throughout the night Delivered right to your door in a small, ‘how do they do that?!’ sized box! Free shipping and returns in the US and Canada. Exclusive Genealogy Gems offer! Get $50 toward select mattresses by visiting Casper.com/gems and using gems at checkout. (Terms and conditions apply.)   YOUR DNA GUIDE DIAHAN SOUTHARD: MYHERITAGE CHROMOSOME BROWSER Just last year, if you had asked me if I thought anyone could catch AncestryDNA in their race to own the genetic genealogy market, I would have been skeptical. However, it is clear that MyHeritage intends to be a contender, and they are quickly ramping up their efforts to gain market share–and your confidence. MyHeritage began 2018 by making a much needed change to their DNA matching algorithm, which had some errors in it. They were able to adjust it, and now it is humming right along, telling our second cousins from our fourth. Another development, launched in February, is the addition of a Chromosome Browser. THE NEW MYHERITAGE DNA CHROMSOME BROWSER  Much like you would browse the library shelves for the perfect book, or browse through the sale rack for a great bargain, you can use a Chromosome Browser to look through your chromosomes for the pieces of DNA you share with your genetic cousins. Chromosome Browsers can be everything from a fun way to review your genetic genealogy results, to a tool to assist in determining how you are related to someone else. Let’s go over three tips to help you make use of this new tool. NAVIGATING TO THE CHROMOSOME BROWSER There are actually two different kinds of Chromosome Browsers in MyHeritage: one to view only the segments you share with one match (the One-to-One Browser), and a browser where you can see the segments shared with multiple matches (the One-to-Many Browser). To get to the One-to-One Browser, head over to your match page and find a cousin for whom you would like to see your shared DNA segments. Click on Review DNA Match, then scroll down past all the individual match information, past the Shared Matches and Shared Ethnicities until you see the Chromosome Browser. USING THE ONE-TO-MANY CHROMOSOME BROWSER To find the One-to-Many Chromosome Browser, you can use the main DNA navigation menu at the top of the MyHeritage homepage. Click on DNA, then on Chromosome Browser, as shown below. In the One-to-Many Chromosome Browser you can compare yourself, or any account you manage, to anyone else in your match page. To choose a match to evaluate, just click on their name and they will be added to the queue at the top, as shown here. Clicking on Compare will then allow you to see the actual segments you share with each person: In this One-To-Many view, each individual match gets their own line for each chromosome. Since we have added 7 people to the Chromosome Browser, there are seven lines next to each chromosome number. Each match not only gets their own line, but also their own color. So you can easily match up the lines on the chromosome to the match that shares that piece of DNA with you. For the majority of people the majority of the time, these Chromosome Browsers are just another fun way to visualize the connection you have with your DNA match. In the end, it doesn’t matter where you are sharing on the chromosome, just how much DNA you are sharing. You can obtain that information from your main match page and never look at this Chromosome Browser image, and still make fantastic genetic genealogy discoveries. THE TRIANGULATION TOOL Another feature of the Chromosome Browser on MyHeritage is the Triangulation tool. To understand how this works, you first need to understand that you actually have two copies of each chromosome. Two copies of chromosome 1, two copies of chromosome 2, etc. One copy is from mom, and the other from dad. However, in the Chromosome Browser image, you see only one line for yourself (in grey). Therefore, when you see someone matching you on chromosome 14, for example, you don’t know if that person is matching you on the chromosome 14 you got from your mom, or the chromosome 14 you got from your dad. Likewise, if you see two people whose shared piece with you looks to be in the same location on the same chromosome, you can’t tell if they are both sharing on the same copy of that chromosome, or if one match is related to your dad’s family, and the other match is related to your mom’s family. However, this is what the Triangulation tool does for us. It tells us if two (or three or four, etc.) matches are sharing on the same copy of the same chromosome. Be careful when you use this tool, though. Many erroneously assume that when they see a segment shared between multiple people, that indicates the presence of a recent common ancestor for all of those people. However, that is not always the case. MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started. Ready to start exploring what the MyHeritage DNA chromosome browser may tell you about your family history? You have two options. Click here to upload your autosomal DNA test results from another company to MyHeritage for FREE. Or click here to order a MyHeritage DNA test kit. Either way, you can start using all the great tools at MyHeritage DNA! PROFILE AMERICA: FORD LAUNCHES ASSEMBLY LINE PRODUCTION CREDITS: Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Michael Strauss, Military Minutes Content Contributor Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting this free podcast and blog!   FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.    
Apr 11, 2018
Episode 215
01:03:54
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #215 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this “Blast from the Past” episode, Lisa gives voice to the era of silent films, in a unique approach to understanding her great-grandmother’s life. Her passion for this mostly-forgotten film genre comes through in her conversation with film archivist Sam Gill of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont, California. Don’t miss these fun segments, too: A listener writes in after discovering a birth mom’s story in passport records (see what lengths he goes to in order to access the records!). Just after RootsTech 2018, Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard reports on the latest DNA news you’ll want to know. NEWS: ROOTSTECH 2018 DNA NEWS ROUNDUP FROM YOUR DNA GUIDE DIAHAN SOUTHARD           First up was MyHeritage, showing their support for the 7 million adopted individuals in the United States with their new DNA Quest campaign. MyHeritage will provide 15,000 DNA test kits to eligible participants free of charge, in order to help these adoptees use DNA to reunite them with their biological families. With this initiative they “hope to make this project a shining light for corporate philanthropy and an example to be followed by other commercial companies in their own lines of expertise to make the world a better place.” MyHeritage has assembled an advisory board of genetic genealogists and genetic counselors to help drive this project and ensure it meets the needs of the community. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, you can head on over to the DNA Quest website (www.dnaquest.com) to fill out an application. But you better hurry, the application deadline is April 30, 2018.  Next, addressing the biggest problem in genetic genealogy, namely the looming What Next? question facing millions of newly swabbed participants, MyHeritage announced the Big Tree – a giant network of genetic and genealogy results that will automate much of the match comparison and tree searching to replace your head-scratching with light-bulb moments. They have already made significant headway on this project, as reported in the journal Science, which MyHeritage’s own chief scientific officer Yaniv Erlich collaborated on. The journal reports that the team of scientists successfully extracted public family trees from Geni.com (a MyHeritage daughter company), and then used a computer program to clean up and link the trees together. It sounds like MyHeritage will be adding genetic data to this kind of tree data in their Big Tree project. MyHeritage isn’t the only company out to improve the DNA matching experience. UK based LivingDNA announced that they plan to add DNA matching to their popular origins test by third quarter 2018. When they launched in October of 2016, LivingDNA was not offering cousin matching, but opted instead to focus all of their resources on providing very detailed origins reports, including breaking down the UK in to 46 categories. In the months since their launch, they have been working on a genetic matching system, called Family Networks, that will appeal to a wide range of users and will “reduce the risk of human error and take away the tedious task of figuring out how each person on a user’s list are related to one another.” They are promising an experience that provides “a level of relationship prediction and specificity beyond anything currently on the market.”  So it sounds like if you are currently struggling with turning your DNA matches into genealogical discoveries, our testing companies want you to know you are not alone, and they are working hard to provide solutions to these problems. Time will only tell if they can succeed. Diahan also provides answers to questions asked about this blog post announcing updates to MyHeritage DNA matching technology and its new chromosome browser. MAILBOX: TOM’S PASSPORT SEARCH SUCCESS Kathleen Head’s passport applications U.S. passport applications on Ancestry and FamilySearch through 1925 National Archives article on passport applications U.S. State Department passport application (since 1925) copy requests Frequently asked Questions about the Freedom of Information Act   BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users                 If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is a marvelous soundtrack of silent film music, played live (you’ll hear audience laughter occasionally in the background) and supplied by Sam Gill at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.               Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com.             Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. GEM: INTRODUCTION TO SILENT FILMS (Image above: a page from Lisa's grandmother's journal) Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #2 about transcribing family journals and letters was remastered in Episode #134. Episode #8 Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto, CA (shows silent films) Internet Movie Database (IMDB) Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum: the website for this museum is packed with resources: links to Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations; the International Buster Keaton Society; Classic Images Magazine; a timeline and early history of film and more. Films mentioned in this episode: Diary of a Lost Girl starring Louise Brooks (watch trailer) Safety Last starring Harold Lloyd (watch here) The Mender of Nets with Mary Pickford (watch here) The Blot directed by Lois Weber (watch here) Don’t Park There with Will Rogers (watch here) Flivvering by Victor Moore Wife and Auto Trouble directed by Bill Henderson (watch here) A Trip Down Market Street (watch here) Wings (watch here) All Quiet on the Western Front (watch here) Destruction of San Francisco by Blackhawk Films (watch part here) Four Sons (watch trailer) INTERVIEW: SAM GILL, FILM HISTORIAN AND ARCHIVIST               Shown above: Sam Gill and Lisa Cooke at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum on the day of this interview. Throughout their conversation, you hear the sounds of excited theater patrons filling the auditorium before a screening. Sam Gill’s interest in silent film dates to 1966, when as a college student he traveled to Hollywood to interview his aging heroes from the silent screen comedy era. For more than 20 years, he was Archivist of the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, where he established the Academy’s Special Collections and helped it grow to its current status as the preeminent repository for the study of American cinema. He is currently a Board Member of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. Over the years, he has consulted on or otherwise contributed his expertise to numerous film festivals, museum film programs and film history books. Sam recently sent us these delightful photos (below) of himself over the years: (Image 1) 1966: His first trip to Hollywood (Image 2) 1974: A news article about a research trip to Florida (Image 3) 2017: A birthday party for Diana Serra Cary (Baby Peggy), the last surviving star of the silent screen, held at the Edison Theater of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum; also shown is Rena Kiehn, the museum's publicity director and store manager San Francisco Silent Film Festival How to identify old cars in photographs (a technique that adapts well to film!) National Film Preservation Foundation (click here to see where to find films they have helped preserve, including Japanese internment camp footage) Old Town Music Hall             Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.             MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started. GEM: HOW TO FIND SILENT FILMS If you’re looking for a specific movie, start with a Google search with the name in quotations (and, if you like, anything else you know about it, such as an actor or director’s name or the year). You may find lots of results, including a Wikipedia page and film history write-ups, but if you want to WATCH it, limit your search results to Video. You can also turn to free curated collections online, such as: 101 free silent films: the great classics (links to free film footage on YouTube, Internet Archive, etc.) YouTube playlist of silent movies Internet Archive Silent Films collection: feature and short silent films uploaded by Internet Archive users Silentmovies.info: watch several classic silent films Netflix.com: Netflix subscribers can access the service’s little-known collection of silent films by entering the Netflix link for browsing its film categories and then the category specific to silent films, 53310: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/ 53310 (Click here to read an article about this tip, along with Netflix’ full list of specific film categories.) YouTube: watch for free, rent or buy, as shown here: More places to explore for silent films: Turner Classic Movies (TCM.com): under TCMDb, click Database Home and search for a title you want to watch Amazon.com: Search for titles in the Video section; or search the Classic Silent films category Your local public library (search catalog: try searching for an actor’s name as author) Ebay: May be the right place to purchase a hard-to-find title. Click here to view current results for a search on silent films, filtered to include only movie/film items.   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Disclosure: This document contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting this free podcast and blog! 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Mar 20, 2018
Episode 214
01:00:20
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #214 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode, Irish expert Donna Moughty joins host and producer Lisa Louise Cooke to talk about Irish genealogy—to help you get a jump on yours before everyone starts talking about their Irish roots on St. Patrick’s Day next month! Also in this episode: Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard has DNA news and an answer to a listener who called in with a question about YDNA. Other listeners write in with inspiring successes Michael Strauss musters in with tips on finding your ancestors in the five branches of the U.S. military. NEWS: MYHERITAGE DNA MATCHING UPDATE The MyHeritageDNA test matching algorithm has gotten better—AND they’ve added a chromosome browser. Time to test with MyHeritage DNA or upload your results from another company for free? Click here to read all about it! MAILBOX: LISTENERS ON FAMILY HISTORY VIDEOS Muffy in Seattle sent this link to her family history video. Great job! Melissa asked about finding copyright-free music to add to family history videos. Lisa’s tips: Unfortunately, free royalty-free music sites are few and far between. You're smart to be cautious because if you were to put your video on YouTube they have the technology to identify any song that is used that is a violation of copyright. YouTube does make free music available: Sign into YouTube with your Google account Click on your picture in the upper right corner and go to your Creator Studio. Upload your video (you can keep it private if you wish) and then on the video page click "Audio" (above the video title). Choose among the many music tracks there. Once you've added a track and saved it, you should be able to download the video with the music included. The other source of music I use is music that comes with the programs I use (Animoto and Camtasia). GENEALOGY BUSINESS ALLIANCE GBA Buzz game for RootsTech 2018; Play the game. See websites for complete rules. Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. INTERVIEW: DONNA MOUGHTY ON IRISH RESEARCH Preparing for Success in Irish Records by Donna M Moughty The following review appeared in the January 2018 newsletter of the Midwest Genealogy Center, Mid-Continent Public Library:  “If you want a quick guide on how to get started on Irish research, this short, four-page guide is an excellent resource. This guide will help you start your research in the United States, so you can figure out where in Ireland your ancestor came from. It is organized into 12 steps with helpful websites added. This guide is the first in the Irish Research Series by Donna M Moughty.” Donna Moughty, shown left with Lisa Louise Cooke, is a professional genealogist and former Regional Manager for Apple Computers. She has been conducting family research for over 20 years. She teaches classes for beginners and lectures on a variety of subjects including Internet, Irish research, and computer topics. In addition, she provides consultations, research assistance, and training. She is a member of Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Websites mentioned in their conversation: irishgenealogy.ie National Library of Ireland rootsireland.ie moughty.com Donna’s Irish guide series Get the value-priced bundle of three or purchase them individually through the links below: Preparing for Success in Irish Records Research - Guide #1 (reviewed above): Without the right preparation, researching in Ireland can be frustrating! Before you jump the pond, start your research at home to determine a place in Ireland, as well as details to help differentiate your person from someone of the same name. This research guide will walk you through the process of identifying records in the US to set you up for success in your Irish research. Irish Civil Registration and Church Records - Guide #2. Civil Registration for all of Ireland began in 1864, with Protestant marriages dating back to 1845. Even if your ancestors left before that date, they likely had relatives that remained in Ireland. Prior to Civil Registration, the only records of births (baptisms), marriages or deaths (burials) are in church records. This Reference Guide will explain how to use the new online Civil Registration records as well as how to identify the surviving church records for your ancestors in Ireland.  Land, Tax, and Estate Records - Guide #3 (NEW!). Had the Irish census records for the 19th century survived, Griffith’s Valuation, a tax list, would not be one of the most important resources for Irish researchers. Without any context, however, it can just seem like a list that includes lots of people of the same name. This Guide explains how and why Griffith’s Valuation was done, and how to use it to glean the most information about your family. Once you know your ancestor’s locality in Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation can place them on a specific piece of land between 1846 and 1864. After Griffith’s Valuation, the Revision Books allow you to follow the land and in some cases, to the 1970s, possibly identifying cousins still living on the land. Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com. http://www.myheritage.com/?utm_source=ppc_lisa_cooke&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=site_052015&tr_ad_group=website MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started. MILITARY MINUTES: 5 BRANCHES OF THE MILITARY Each of the military branches is listed below, detailing information about when each was organized and resources available to genealogists on your ancestors who served in any of these branches. United States Army. The largest of the five military branches dates back to June 14, 1775, during the early days of the Revolutionary War. Prior to the formation of the Army, each colony had companies and battalions of Associators and local militia. With the war, the need for a professional standing army to fight the British saw the formation of the Continental Army. With the end of the Revolutionary War, the Army disbanded in 1783 after the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Later in 1796, two legions formed under the command of General Anthony Wayne would later become the nucleus of the United States Army. The Encyclopedia Britannica published this nice article on the history of the Army from its inception to the present. A number of excellent genealogical resources are available to search for ancestors who served in the United States Army since the beginning. These databases are found on Ancestry, Fold3, and Family Search.  One of the largest collections of records covers the United States Regular Army enlistments from 1798 to 1914 (available by subscription at Ancestry.com). Searching the card catalogs of Ancestry.com, Fold3 and FamilySearch will yield many databases that contain information about soldiers who served, and sacrificed their lives with the Army over the last two centuries. United States Navy. The United States Navy dates from October 13, 1775 when it was officially established by an Act passed by the Continental Congress.  At the end of the Revolutionary War it was disbanded, and again reestablished under the Naval Act of 1794 which created the Navy as a permanent branch of the military. The history of the Navy and technology can be divided into two major eras. The earlier period, called the "Old Navy," was the age of wooden sailing ships, and still later came the birth of the ironclads during the Civil War. The later period called the "New Navy" occurred with further innovations in late nineteenth century as the United States transformed into a global power recognized the throughout the world. The United States Navy website has a nice background history of the service.   Numerous databases and searches for records of the Navy covering multiple war period detailing pensions, continental sailors, muster rolls, ships logs, and cruise books are located on Ancestry.com, Fold3 and FamilySearch.  Consult each database individually for records of interest. Another organization related to the Navy is the United States Merchant Marines. Although not officially a branch of the military, the Merchant Marines sacrificed and lost lives since the days of the Revolutionary War, carrying out their missions of supply and logistics during times of war. Here’s an excellent website on the history of the Merchant Marines.   United States Air Force. The modern day Air Force dates from September 18, 1947, when it was formed as part of the Security Act of 1947. The Air Force and aviation history began under the authority of the United States Army, starting on August 1, 1907 when it was organized under the name of the Aeronautical Division of the Signal Corps.  Over the next 30 years the service changed names several times: Aviation Section of the Signal Corps (1914-1918); Division of Military Aeronautics (1918); Air Service of the United States Army (1918-1926); United States Army Air Corps (1926-1941); United States Army Air Forces (1941-1947). In that final year, it was separated as its own organization as it is known today. Click here for a complete history of the Air Force from 1907 to the present. Two excellent online sources covering the early history of the Air Force from World War I and World War II are located on Fold3: Gorrell's history when part of the AEF in 1917-1918  and Missing air crew reports during the World War II United States Marines. This elite branch of the military began with the organization of the Continental Marines on November 19, 1775. The mission of the Marines initially comprised ship-to-ship fighting, security onboard naval vessels, and assistance in landing force operations. This mission would continue to evolve over the years. At the end of the Revolutionary War, the Marines were disbanded on October 4, 1783. Along with the Navy, under the Naval Act of 1794, the United States Marines were again re-established and would serve faithfully in every major war period and in peacetime between conflicts. The Marines will forever remain true to their motto of "Semper Fidelis" or Always Faithful as they continue to live up to their long-running tradition of honor and service. Click here to watch an interesting and accurate history of the Marine Corps is viewable online on You Tube. Ancestry.com has an excellent online genealogical resource for discovering Marine Corps ancestors: fully searchable Marine Corps muster rolls from 1798 to 1958 for enlistees. Coast Guard. The history of this seagoing service dates back to August 4, 1790.  Established as the Revenue Cutter Marines under the direction of Alexander Hamilton, the name was changed in 1894 to the Revenue Cutter Service until 1915. That year, an Act of Congress was passed and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson called the "Act to Create Coast Guard." The United States Live Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service came together. Later, in 1939, the United States Light House Service was added to form the modern day United States Coast Guard.  The complete history of the United States Coast Guard from 1790 is on the Historians Office. It includes information about each of the separate organizations that came together to form the Coast Guard at. Ancestry.com has a collection of casualties of the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Very few additional online sources are available online for this branch of the service. Researchers must access these documents and records onsite at the National Archives in Washington, DC.  Military Minutes Case Study By Michael Strauss Subject: Russell Strauss Died: December 27, 1981-Jonestown, PA Son of Harry B. Strauss & Agnes S. (Gerhart) Strauss Over the last 30 plus years doing genealogy research, I’ve discovered that nearly all of my family members who served in the military were in the United States Army. But I have been occasionally surprised to find relatives who served in other branches of the military. On the paternal family several years ago one of my cousins gave me a box of photographs. One of the images was marked Russell G. Strauss. He wore the uniform of the United States Navy during World War II. I recognized his name and knew that he was my grandfather’s first cousin. I was 16 years old when he died and didn't know him very well. His uniform indicated that he was a third class petty officer in the Navy during the war. I looked further at his uniform and noticed a diamond shaped "S" as part of the insignia. This military occupation indicated that he was a specialist that would require further research. I spoke with a couple of my older family members who knew Russell. All of my family interviewed said that he in the military police (M.P.) during the war. With additional research, I discovered that his insignia was that of the Shore Patrol. When I compared what my family said to me and his uniform told me the information matched very closely.  I found on Ancestry his application for compensation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1950 when he served in the Shore Patrol in Norfolk, Virginia as part of his military duty (inserted below). Putting information from his photograph together with what my family members shared with me helped answer questions I had regarding of my relatives.         PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting this free podcast and blog!  
Feb 13, 2018
Episode 213
01:03:08
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #213 with Lisa Louise Cooke NEWS: HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR TO KEYNOTE ROOTSTECH Click here to read about all RootsTech keynote speakers Click here to read about the Genealogy Gems experience at RootsTech 2018 Click here to hear Lisa Louise Cooke’s conversation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in the Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 133 GEMS NEWS: UPDATED PREMIUM VIDEO Genealogy Gems Premium subscribers can now enjoy an updated version of Lisa’s Premium video, “Making Evernote Effortless.” You’ll learn how to use Evernote’s: Quick Keys: Help you get things done faster Search Operators: Digging deeper and faster into your notes Shortcuts: Learn how to set them up to accomplish repetitive tasks faster Reminders: Help you track and meet deadlines Note Sharing: Collaboration just got easier Source Citation: Merging notes to include sources; Source Citation with “Info” feature Web Clipper Bookmarklet: a hack for adding it to your mobile tablet’s browser   Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. Keep your family history research safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. Animoto.com.   BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is a lightning-quick tech tip from Lisa Louise Cooke on how to undo that last browser you just closed and didn’t mean to! The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users MILITARY MINUTES: REGULAR, VOLUNTEER OR MILITIA? To gain a better understanding of what life in the military was like for your ancestors, it is essential to know in what capacity someone may have served. Did your ancestor serve in the regulars, or was he a volunteer soldier, or did he have service with the local militia? These terms are generally associated with the records of the United States Army. The other branches enlisted men using different terminology. Free download: Military Service Records at the National Archives by Trevor K. Plante (Reference Information Paper 109) Click here for National Archives reference materials for military acronyms, abbreviations, and dictionaries that will aid genealogists when researching how exactly their ancestors served Journal of the American Revolution: Explaining Pennsylvania’s militia: One of the best examples of how colonial militias operated (laws, rules, and regulations, and parent organizations). Pennsylvania followed very closely the doings of other colonies during the same period. Samuel Howard in the Civil War Because of his age he wasn’t able to enlist until 1865 when he turned 18. He was a volunteer soldier who served as a substitute for another man who was drafted. After his discharge, he again enlisted in the Regular Army in 1866. He was assigned to the 13th U.S. Infantry, where he served one month before deserting at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Samuel was married in 1867 (this may have some relevance to his decision to leave the military). He lived in Pennsylvania from the end of the war until his death in 1913. Shown here in 1876, Lebanon, PA. Both his Regular and Volunteer Army enlistment forms are included here, along with the above photograph of Samuel with his wife circa 1876 from an early tintype. The forms look very similar, as each contains common information asked of a typical recruit. However they are decidedly different as the one covers his Civil War service and the other his post war service when he joined the regular Army after the men who served during the war would have been discharged.   GEM: AN INSPIRING FAMILY HISTORY VIDEO   Watch this inspiring Where I’m From video based on poem by Tom Boyer How to create your own family history videos Learn more about the Where I’m From poetry project and hear a conversation with the original author, Kentucky poet laureate George Ella Lyon in the free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 185. Hannah’s Animoto Advice: You’ll find when using the video templates, timing the photos to the narration can pose some challenges. Originally, when she put the photos in place and “previewed” the video, the narration didn’t line up at all with the images. Hannah explains: “When I was in “creator” mode, I selected a picture that I wanted to appear on the screen for a longer duration then I clicked the “spotlight” button that is on the left-hand side in the editor column. Or If you double click the image, it will open into a larger single view and you can select the “star” button which will do the same thing. I applied this spotlight option to several photos within my gallery. I knew which photos to do this to by previewing the video several times to make sure I liked the timing of it all. Now if your problem is not with just a few photos but the overall timing, then try editing the pace of your photos.  In the top right-hand corner, click the “edit song/trim and pacing” button. Here you can trim you uploaded mp3 audio as well as the pace to which your photos appear. My photos appeared too fast on the screen in comparison to the narration I had, so I moved the pace button to left by one notch and previewed the video. This did the trick and the result was a heart-warming poem, turned into a visually beautiful story.” Do you have a darn good reason to take action right now to get your family history in front of your family? Perhaps: a video of the loving couples in your family tree for Valentine’s Day a video of your family’s traditional Easter Egg hunt through the years a tribute to the mom’s young and old in your family on Mother’s Day your child’s or grandchild’s graduation a video to promote your upcoming family reunion to get folks really visualizing the fun they are going to have Or perhaps it’s the story of a genealogy journey you’ve been on where you finally busted a brick wall and retrieved an ancestor’s memory from being lost forever. 5 Steps to Jump-Starting Your Video Project Pick one family history topic Write the topic in one brief sentence – the title of your video Select 12 photos that represent that topic. On a piece of paper, number it 1 – 12 and write one brief sentence about each photo that convey your message. You don’t have to have one for every photo, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Scan the photos if they aren’t already and save them to one folder on your hard drive. And now you are in great shape to take the next step and get your video made in a way that suits your interest, skill, and time. 4 Easy Methods for Creating Video Got an iPhone? iOS 10 now has “Memories” a feature of your Photos app that can instantly create a video of a group of related photos. There’s the free Adobe Spark Video app which can you can add photos, video clips and text to, pick a theme and a music track from their collection, and whip up something pretty impressive in a very short time. Visit your device’s app store or https://spark.adobe.com/about/video There’s Animoto which does everything that Spark does, but gives you even more control over the content, and most importantly the ability to download your video in HD quality. You can even add a button to the end that the viewer can tap and it will take them to a website, like your genealogy society website, a Facebook group for your family reunion or even a document on FamilySearch. And finally, if you have the idea, and pull together the photos, you can book Hannah at Genealogy Gems to create a video with your content. Go to GenealogyGems.com and scroll to the Contact form at the bottom of the home page to request ordering information. The most important thing is that your family history can be treasured and shared so that it brings joy to your life today, and also, to future generations. The thing is, if your kids and grandkids can see the value of your genealogy research, they will be more motivated to preserve and protect it.   PREMIUM INTERVIEW: SYLVIA BROWN In Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode #155, publishing later this month, Sylvia Brown (of the family connected to Brown University) will join Lisa Louise Cooke to talk about researching her new book, Grappling with Legacy, which traces her family’s involvement in philanthropy, Rhode Island history and the institution of slavery hundreds of years. A Kirkus review of this book calls it “an often riveting history of a family that left an indelible impact on the nation.”       PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Disclosure: These show notes contain affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting this free podcast and blog!   FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.    
Jan 10, 2018
Episode 212
01:07:19
The Genealogy Gems PodcastEpisode #212with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode, Lisa Louise Cooke speaks with Contributing Editor Sunny Morton about turning our fleeting scraps of recollections into meaningful memories. Also: Genealogist Margaret Linford tells us how she got started in family history. Like many of our best stories, it’s not just about her, but someone who inspired her. 2017 could be called “the year of DNA.” Diahan Southard looks back with a special DNA news digest. Finding missing ancestors: tips and success stories from Genealogy Gems fans NEWS: WIKITREE HONOR CODE WikiTree.com WikiTree Press Release on 100,000 signatures Learn more about using individual v. global/community family trees on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com in Sunny Morton’s quick reference guide, Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites. NEWS: FAMICITY ADDS GEDCOM UPLOAD Famicity.com NEWS: DNA YEAR IN REVIEW WITH DIAHAN SOUTHARD As evidence of its now proven usefulness in genealogy research, the genetic genealogy industry is growing at a fast pace. Ancestry.com has amassed the largest database, now boasting over 6 million people tested, and is growing at breakneck speeds, having doubled the size of its database in 2017. As the databases grow larger and our genealogy finds become more frequent, we can’t ignore that this kind of data, the correlated genetic and genealogical data, amassed by these companies, has great value. In November, MyHeritage announced an effort by their scientific team to “study the relationship between genetics and behavior, personal characteristics, and culture.” These studies are not new, as 23andMe is in open hot pursuit of the connections between genetics and our health, and always has been. All of our genetic genealogy companies are involved in research on one level or another and every person who swabs or spits has the opportunity to participate in other research projects (click here to read up on the consent policies at each company). At the time of testing, you have the option to opt in or out of this research, and the ability to alter that decision at any time after you test, by accessing your settings. According to an article in Fast Company, it seems we as a community are very interested in helping with research: 23andMe reports an over 80% opt-in-to-research rate among their customers. And I’ve got some breaking news for you: Family Tree DNA just started a consumer awareness campaign to reinforce the message that they will never sell your genetic data. That’s another important topic worth talking about in a future episode, so stay tuned! All our genetic genealogy companies realize that you might want to do more with your data than just look for your ancestors. This year Family Tree DNA has partnered with Vitagene in an effort to provide insight into your health via your genetic genealogy test results. Of course 23andMe is the leader in health testing when we look at our top genetic genealogy companies. This year 23andMe finally succeeded in passing several of their health tests through the FDA, a huge leap forward in their efforts to provide health testing directly to consumers. While health testing has certainly seen an explosion of interest this year, it is not the only way that our companies are using the data they have amassed. AncestryDNA took the DNA and pedigree charts of two million customers who consented to research and, using some really fancy science, were able to provide amazing insight into our recent ancestral past with the creation of their genetic communities. These genetic communities enhance our understanding of our heritage by showing us where our ancestors may have been between 1750 and 1850, the genealogical “sweet spot” that most of us are trying to fill in. Living DNA, a relative newcomer to the genetic genealogy arena, announced in October of 2017 their intention to use their database to help create a One World Family Tree. To do so, they are collecting DNA samples from all over the world, specifically those who four grandparents lived in close proximity to each other. Along with this announcement, Living DNA is allowing individuals who have results from other companies and want to help with this project, to transfer into their database. So it seems that with growing databases come growing options, whether to opt-in to research, to pursue health information from your DNA test results, or to help build global databases for health or genealogy purposes. Recognizing the growing appeal to non-genealogists as well, AncestryDNA added to their list of options the ability to opt-out of the match page, and there are rumors that Living DNA will soon be adding the option to opt-in to matching (they do not currently have a cousin-matching feature as part of their offering). It can be tricky to keep up with all that goes on, but be sure we at Genealogy Gems are doing our best to keep you up-to-date with any news that might help you make better decisions about your genealogy, and ultimately better equipped to find your ancestors. GENEALOGY GEMS NEWS Premium Podcast Episode 154 (publishing later this month) NEW Premium Video: “Your Guide to Cloud Backup” This video answers the questions: What is cloud backup? Why should I use cloud backup? How does cloud backup work? Is cloud backup safe? What should I look for when selecting a cloud backup service? My personal cloud backup choice Click here to subscribe to Genealogy Gems Premium membership   Donna Moughty’s Irish Guide series has proven so popular, we’ve added a third one: Irish Guide #3, Land, Tax and Estate Records in Ireland. This Guide explains how and why Griffith’s Valuation was done, and how to use it to glean the most information about your family. After Griffith’s Valuation, the Revision Books allow you to follow the land and in some cases, to the 1970s, possibly identifying cousins still living on the land. This quick reference guide includes: Explanation of the columns in Griffith’s Valuation Rules under which Griffith’s Valuation was done. Tips for using Griffith’s to find your family Using the Revision Books to identify life events The Tithe Applotment, an earlier tax list Landed Estate Courts Estate Records Pre-ordering is open for the print version: shipping starts around Dec. 11, 2017. The digital download version will be available for purchase around the same time. Get the bundle of all 3 Irish guides and SAVE! The bundle includes:  Guide #1: Preparing for Success in Irish Records Research Guide #2: Irish Civil Registration and Church Records Guide #3: Land, Tax and Estate Records in Ireland BONUS CONTENT in the Genealogy Gems App If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode a reading of an excerpt of The Book of Christmas: Descriptive of the Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions by Thomas Kibble Hervey (The chapter Signs of the Season) published in 1845 – available for free in Google Books. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users MAILBOX Genealogy Gems blog post on finding missing ancestors Learn more about using Google Books and Google Patents in Lisa Louise Cooke’s book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox   Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.   Lovepop Cards Unlock special pricing for 5 or more cards AND get free shipping on any order by going to https://www.lovepopcards.com/gems   GEM: MARGARET LINFORD’S GENEALOGICAL ORIGINS Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #208 Click here to read Margaret’s memories and see her pictures of Grandma Overbay Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.   INTERVIEW: TURN MEMORY FRAGMENTS INTO MEANINGFUL STORIES Sunny Morton is a Contributing Editor at Genealogy Gems and presenter of the new Premium Video, “Share Your Own Life Stories More Meaningfully” (click here to watch a quick preview). She is also author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy (use coupon code GEMS17 for an extra 10% off by December 31, 2017). Strategies for turning memory fragments into meaningful stories (learn more about all of these in the Premium Video, “Share Your Own Life Stories More Meaningfully”): Gather together even the smallest fragments of your memories together by writing them down. Think about what missing details you could research by finding pictures, books, chronologies, maps and other resources (both online and offline). Look for common patterns or recurring themes in groups of memory fragments. (For example, Sunny shared memories of swimming in this episode.) What kind of story do these memories tell over time about your personality, circumstances, relationships or other aspects of your life?   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Hannah Fullerton, Audio Editor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting this free podcast and blog!   FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.    
Dec 06, 2017
Episode 211
01:02:24
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #211 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode, host and producer Lisa Louise Cooke talks with Barry Moreno, Historian at Ellis Island. Hear about the life cycle of this busy U.S. immigration station (1892-1954) and Barry’s research into thousands of Ellis Island employees—men and women—who worked there. HelloFresh: Visit hellofresh.com and use promo code gems30 to save $30 off your first week of deliveries. More episode highlights: Archive Lady Melissa Barker tells us about the National Archives Citizen Archivist program—and Lisa profiles a volunteer effort coordinated by the British Library to geo-tag thousands of old maps that are already online. A giant genealogy lost-and-found! Two listeners write in about rescuing old artifacts and returning them to those who might be interested. Military Minutes contributor Michael Strauss talks about Official Military Personnel Files for 20th-century US servicemen and women—files that were unfortunately partially destroyed. Hear what he learned about his grandfather. NEWS National Archives Citizen Archivist Project, reported by The Archive Lady, Melissa Barker The British Library Georeferencing Project Flickr Commons collection of digitized maps from the British Library Collections—mostly 19th century maps from books published in Europe. Use Google Earth for genealogy! Check out these resources: FREE Google Earth for Genealogy video The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd edition by Lisa Louise Cooke. This book has 7 full chapters on Google Earth! Available in print and e-book form. Google Earth for Genealogy Video Training by Lisa Louise Cooke. Available now as a digital download.     NEW FOR GENEALOGY GEMS PREMIUM MEMBERS “Share Your Life Stories More Meaningfully” Premium Video Every life is fascinating when it’s well shared! Learn from the author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy what stories you have that are worth telling--and several inspiring reasons to write them. Review different kinds of memories, why some memories are more vivid that others, and how to flesh them out. Learn tips for researching gaps in your memories, how to turn a memory into a good story, what to leave out and several ways to share your stories.   BONUS CONTENT FOR GENEALOGY GEMS APP USERS If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is a preview of the new Premium video class, “Share Your Own Life Stories More Meaningfully” by Contributing Editor Sunny Morton. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users   MAILBOX: ROLAND’S HEIRLOOM RESCUE MAILBOX: NEW LISTENER PHOTO RESCUE PROJECT What can you do with a collection of unidentified photos? Return them to a loving home. In this case, it was a local historical society. Linda wisely kept the collection together because often there’s power in what some of the photos may tell you about others. Get them digitized and online so those who want them can find them. The historical society put images on Find A Grave memorials and Iowa GenWeb. They even plan to display them for locals to look at personally and try to identify! Historical and genealogical societies can also share mystery photos on their websites (or their local library’s website if they don’t have their own) or on their blogs, Facebook pages or even in their regular newsletters. These are great conversation pieces, especially when you can later report that you have solved the mystery! (Click here for more tips aimed at supporting genealogy societies.) Photo mystery SOLVED: Savvy tips to identify old photos Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. RootsMagic is now fully integrated with Ancestry.com: you can sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.   Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. MILITARY MINUTES: OFFICIAL MILITARY PERSONNEL FILES The military service files for your ancestors who served during the twentieth century or later are located at the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis, MO as part of the National Archives. The files are called the Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) and are available for each of the military branches; namely; Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. Researchers should be keenly aware of the devastating fire that occurred on July 12, 1973 at the research facility that destroyed or damaged between 16-18 million service files from the United States Army and the Air Force. Remember that the Air Force wasn’t officially organized until September 14, 1947. Before this date Air Force records were part of the United States Army Air Corps, then part of the U.S. Army.  National Archives at St. Louis. Overview of the holdings, media articles and PowerPoint presentations (download as PDFs) The 1973 Fire at the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis, MO Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) Non-Archival Holdings Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) Archival Holdings Archival Research Room at the National Personnel Record Center (Request an Appointment, Availability of Records, Copy Fees, Hours of Operation, Hiring a Researcher) Request Military Service Records (Online request for Veterans, Standard Form 180, or For Burials and Emergency Requests) Mail Order Request for Record from the National Personnel Record Center (SF 180)   Zerbe H. Howard Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.   Watch the video below for an example of a family history video made with Animoto:             MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.   INTERVIEW: BARRY MORENO, ELLIS ISLAND HISTORIAN Barry Moreno is a leading authority on the history of Ellis Island, the famous receiving station for millions of immigrants to the United States from 1892-1954. He has worked in the Museum Services Division at Ellis Island for more than a decade. He is the author of several books, including Children of Ellis Island, Ellis Island’s Famous Immigrants (including Bob Hope, Bela Lugosi, and Max Factor) and Encyclopedia of Ellis Island (which includes information on displaced persons).        Ellis Island: Historical highlights Prior to 1890, immigration was handled by the states (primarily New York, as most passed through the Port of New York). 1920-1921: New regulations cut down immigration dramatically. Each country had quotas that could not be exceeded. New regulations were passed requiring immigrants to have a passport from their home country have medical examinations pay a tax to the American Consulate in their home country.  During the last 30 years, Ellis Island mostly handled immigrants who were "in trouble." Starting in the 1930s some immigrants arrived by air (Colonial Airways from Canada). After WWII, Air France started service, and German and Italian airlines came in the 1950s.  Ellis Island was closed in 1954 by President Eisenhower. Immigrants who were still detained when it closed were sent to jails. After 1954, Ellis Island was still used by the Coast Guard for training and by the Public Health Services department.  Barry’s research on workers at Ellis Island: Most employees were men. Interestingly, blue collar men tended to die before age 60, and better educated ones lived much longer.  Female employees were typically widows, unmarried or had husbands who did not support them. "Char woman" was a common role held by Irish, Swedish and German women. Char means "chores" (cleaning women). They worked often for about $400/ year with no pension, and lived to old ages. A nursery was opened at Ellis Island; many Christian missionaries worked there. Ludmila Foxlee (1885-1971) was one of them, a social worker with the YWCA. Click here to read more immigrant aid workers at Ellis Island. Three more great resources for discovering the stories of your immigrant ancestors: What was it like to land on Ellis Island? Read this article and watch (for free) an award-winning, official documentary) If your search at the Ellis Island website doesn’t retrieve your ancestors, head on over to Stephen P. Morse’s One Step Pages. There you will find dozens of links to search resources, including the Ellis Island Gold Form for arrivals between 1892 and 1924.  Even the folks at Ellis Island refer researchers to Morse’s site. Listen to Lisa’s interview with Stephen Morse in Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #153. In Lias's free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast (episodes 29-31), genealogist Steve Danko covers immigration and naturalization records in depth and even offers up some little-known tips about deciphering some of the cryptic notes researchers often find on passenger lists.   PROFILE AMERICA: FIRST COMMERCIAL RADIO BROADCAST   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Contributor: Your DNA Guide Melissa Barker, Contributor: The Archive Lady Michael Strauss, Contributor: Military Minutes Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting this free podcast and blog! Sign up for our FREE newsletter: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.  
Nov 08, 2017
Episode 210
57:08
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #210 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode: You’ve heard of “burned counties,” a phrase used to describe places where courthouse fires or other disasters have destroyed key genealogy records? In this episode, a listener presents the problem of her burned city—Chicago. Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard shares some of the latest buzz about DNA health reports you can get with your DNA tests for family history—and some opinions about them News from the Genealogy Gems Book Club Get-started Swedish genealogy tips from Legacy Tree Genealogist Paul Woodbury The Archive Lady Melissa Barker shines the spotlight on archival collections that haven’t even been processed yet (and suggestions for getting to them) Five years away from the release of the 1950 US census, Lisa has tips on researching your family in the 1940s and preparing for its release MAILBOX: GEMS FOR YOU AND YOUR SOCIETY Gail mentioned the free step-by-step Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast Great news! Your genealogy society or group may reprint articles from Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems blog! Click here to learn more. MAILBOX: GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB Shannon by Frank Delaney (Thank you for supporting the free podcast by using our links to get your copies of these books.) Ireland by Frank Delaney   Book Club Guru Sunny Morton recommends the novels of Frank Delaney, beginning with Shannon (and now she’s reading Ireland). Frank is a master storyteller, and family history themes wind throughout his stories. Tip: he narrates his audiobooks himself. They are well worth listening to! But they’re so beautifully written Sunny is buying them in print, too. MAILBOX: THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE Resource: Newspaper.com “Burned county” research tips Sam Fink’s list (an index of Cook County marriages and deaths) Recommended: Family History Podcast episode #37: “I discussed a book specifically on Chicago research: Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: A Beginners Guide To Family History In The City Of Chicago by Grace DuMelle. As I recall, it was a very comprehensive book and could give you good leads on where to look.” How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers by Lisa Louise Cooke Premium Podcast Episode 143: Johnstown Flood story Premium Podcast episode 145: Eastland disaster story and tips on researching disasters in your family history Fire, Flood or Earthquake? 5 Tips for Researching Disasters in Your Family History (includes mention of GenDisasters)   Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. RootsMagic is now fully integrated with Ancestry.com: you can sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.     Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. ARCHIVE LADY: UNPROCESSED RECORDS As an archivist, working in an archive every day, I get very excited when someone walks through the door with a records donation in hand. Many of our archives would not have the genealogical and historical records they have without the generosity of others that make records donations. Archives receive donations of documents, photographs, ephemera and artifacts almost on a daily basis. Many archives have back rooms full of unprocessed and uncatalogued records collections. Sometimes they are even sitting in the original boxes they were donated. These records collections have not been microfilmed, they are not online anywhere but they exist and the genealogist needs to seek them out. Images courtesy of Melissa Barker and Houston County, TN Archives. One tip that I like to share with genealogists is to ask the staff at the archives about these unprocessed and uncatalogued record collections. Many times these record collections haven't even been processed yet but the archivist might let you look through a specific collection. Be prepared, sometimes the archivist doesn't allow patrons to view unprocessed collections. But like I always say "It doesn't hurt to ask!" The archivist should know what they have in those collections and should be able to help you decide if a particular collection will be of help to you and your genealogy research. Many of our archives and archivists are very busy processing records, helping patrons, answer email and much more. Maybe the archive is short staffed and can’t get to the unprocessed records as quickly as they would like. This is why there are record collections sitting on shelves in back rooms waiting to be processed. If you have made a research trip to an archive, it wouldn't hurt to ask about any new record donations or collections. There could very well be records in those boxes about your ancestors. If you are emailing or talking to the archives by phone, be sure and ask about any new records collections that have been processed or that have recently been donated and are waiting to be processed. Most likely you will have to travel to the facility to see the records but you can get an idea of what is available.  Archivists love to share the records in their care and usually know what is contained in those boxes that haven’t been processed yet. The answer to your genealogical question could be sitting in a box of unprocessed records. I like to always encourage genealogists to put “unprocessed records” on their to-do list. As genealogists, we should leave no stone or box of records, unturned. DNA WITH DIAHAN: MORE DNA HEALTH REPORTS Recently, Family Tree DNA offered its customers a new $49 add-on product: a wellness report that promises to “empower you to make more informed decisions about your nutrition, exercise, and supplementation.” The report comes via a partnership with Vitagene, a nutrigenomics company. How does it work? When you order the report, Family Tree DNA shares the results of your Family Finder test with Vitagene and gives you a lifestyle questionnaire. According to the site, “this information, along with your DNA raw data results, will be analyzed using the latest research available in the areas of nutrition, exercise, and genomics. You can expect your results to be available on your dashboard within one week of purchase.” At this point, the test is only available to those who have taken the Family Tree DNA Family Finder DNA test (we called to check with them specifically about those who transfer their DNA to Family Tree DNA, but the Wellness Report isn’t available to them, either). Those who qualify will see a Wellness Report upgrade option on their Family Tree DNA dashboard: There are several components to the Family Tree DNA and Vitagene Wellness Report. The site describes them as follows: Nutrition Report. “Personalized, actionable recommendations designed to help you reach your weight goals. Learn how your DNA affects traits such as obesity risk, emotional eating, weight regain after dieting, and more. Included Reports:  Obesity Risk, Alcohol Metabolism, Cholesterol Levels, Triglyceride Levels, Lactose Sensitivity, Gluten Sensitivity, Emotional Eating, Weight Regain After Dieting, Fat Intake, Sodium Intake.” Exercise Report. “Outlines the optimal physical activities for your body to start seeing better results, faster. Included Reports: Power and Endurance Exercise, Muscle Strength, Muscle Cramps, Exercise Behavior, Blood Pressure Response to Exercise, Weight Response to Exercise.” Supplementation Report. “Reveals which deficiencies you are more inclined to suffer from and recommends a supplement regimen that will help keep you healthy and feeling 100%. Included Reports: Full Supplementation Regimen, Vitamin D Intake, Vitamin A Intake, Folate Intake, Vitamin B12 Intake, Iron Intake.” And what about your privacy? According to Family Tree DNA’s Q&A, “Your data is 100% secure and protected by industry standard security practices. We will not share your information without your explicit consent.” This is just one of many services that are cropping up or will crop up in the future to offer additional interpretations of our DNA test results. (23andMe was the first major company in the genealogy space to offer these–click here to read about their health reports, and click here and here to read about the company’s long road to FDA approval.) Essentially, each DNA test you do for family history looks at a certain number of your SNPs, or little pieces of DNA (not your entire genome, which is costly and isn’t necessary for genetic genealogy purposes). A nutrigenomic profile compares your SNPs with SNPs known to be associated with various conditions or ailments. (These genetic markers have been identified by researchers, many in academia, and deposited in ClinVar, a large, publicly-accessible database that itself is part of an even larger genetic database, SNPedia.) In this case of Vitagene, they are likely mining ClinVar for specific places in your DNA that pertain to nutrition, and were also evaluated as part of the Family Finder test. Of course, many factors affect your health, nutrition, exercise capacity, and other wellness indicators, not just your genes. The purpose of reports like these is to give you just one more piece of information to weigh personally or with your health care provider. When considering whether to purchase a nutrigenomics report such as this, I’d look carefully at what’s promised in the report, as well as the company providing it and the cost. Vitagene does also sell vitamin supplements, so they have a clear motivation to tell you about what supplements to take. And, for your information, Vitagene also offers this $49 health report for AncestryDNA and 23andMe customers. Of course, if it is health advice you want, for only $5 you can turn to Promethease.com and receive a health report–based on any testing company’s autosomal DNA report–that includes some nutritional factors. (I’ve blogged recently about Promethease and another inexpensive recommendation for DNA health reports. Click here to read it!) Or, I will just tell you right now, for free, without even looking at your DNA: Exercise more and eat more green vegetables and less ice cream. There. I just saved you some money. You’re welcome. GEM: COUNTDOWN TO THE 1950 CENSUS: 5 TIPS Get a copy of a census record for yourself or a relative (1950-2010) This costs $65 per person, per census year. In addition to genealogy uses, census records are legally-recognized documents to prove your identity, citizenship or age if you’re applying for a passport and you’ve lost your birth certificate or other situations like that. Order it through the “Age Search Service” offered through the US Census Bureau. Video tutorial: How to obtain a copy of your census record Find your family in all possible records before and during WWII City directories, WWII draft registrations, military yearbooks, the US Public Records Index, military enlistments, and even alien registrations or internment camp records for foreign-born residents during WWII. WWII-era newspapers: Searching for coverage Finding family history in WWII-era newspapers: Narrowing the results 5 places to find city directories: “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995” at Ancestry.com (subscription required) City Directories of the United States Library of Congress WorldCat.org to see holdings at different libraries (may require copy service request, since originals may not circulate through interlibrary loan) Local public libraries/societies Find your family in all possible records AFTER the war City directories, yearbooks, deeds, divorce records (the divorce rate went up after WWII) Post-WWII draft registrations: Click here to order copies of draft registration records for men born 1897-1957. Requires full name of applicant, address at time of registration (tip: get it from a city directory).  Help create location tools for the 1950 US Census Steve Morse’s “Project 1950” Google your family’s history during the 1940s and 1950s Google Earth for Genealogy (FREE) Premium video: Ultimate Google Search Strategies for the Family Historian The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox 2nd ed, by Lisa Louise Cooke (there’s an entire chapter on YouTube) Follow-up your discoveries with Google and YouTube search questions. Example: You find your grandmother working as a telephone operator in the 1940s in a city directory. What would her job have been like? Search YouTube: YouTube videos on 1940s telephone operators It appears from these videos that operators essentially served as emergency dispatchers. When did 9-1-1 service begin? Search Google: LEGACY TREE TIP: START YOUR SWEDISH GENEALOGY Click here to read Paul Woodbury’s tips on the Genealogy Gems website. Receive $100 off a 20-hour+ research project from Legacy Tree Genealogists with code GEM S100. Expires Oct. 31st, 2017. PROFILE AMERICA: THE OPEN ROAD “The busiest spot on the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” Library of Congress photograph; image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Click here to see full citation. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is a lightning-quick tech tip from Lisa Louise Cooke on how to undo that last browser you just closed and didn’t mean to! The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Hannah Fullerton, Audio Editor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.    
Oct 24, 2017
Episode 209
54:08
The Genealogy Gems PodcastEpisode 209with Lisa Louise Cooke In today’s episode: David Ouimette of FamilySearch is known to his colleagues as “the Indiana Jones of genealogy” because of his globe-trotting adventures in curating record treasures. He joins us to talk about the millions of records being digitized around the world right now. Lots of excited emails from you! Compiled military service records from Military Minutes expert Michael Strauss GENEALOGY GEMS EVENTS Thanks for a great seminar, Texas Czech Genealogical Society! (shown right: the beautiful items you see in the foreground are Czech crystal and other traditional items) Jake’s Texas Tea House, Waco, TX Bill at Jake's Magnolia Market at the Silos See Lisa Louise Cooke in October: Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado Seminar October 15, 2017 Denver, CO Wilson-Cobb History and Genealogy Research Library October 21, 2017 Roswell, NM NEWS: ROOTSMAGIC UPDATE Free update for RootsMagic 7 users: version 7.5.4.0 (update primarily fixes bugs). Click on the "Update Available" indicator in the lower right corner of your RootsMagic 7 program screen. If you don't already have RootsMagic 7, click here to see what’s new Or click here to order the upgrade. RootsMagic’s new TreeShare for Ancestry   MAILBOX Gray recommends Lisa’s free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast   MAILBOX: FREE WEBINAR RESPONSES “Reveal Your Unique Story through DNA & Family History” RootsTech 2018: A First Look RootsTech Q&A  Click the image above to watch the video Click the red SUBSCRIBE button on the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel.   NEW GENEALOGY GEMS PREMIUM VIDEO Develop your search superpowers to uncover information about your family history on the web with Google at lightning speed! Explore tools like Image search, facial recognition, finding specific types of files, how to find the answers you need, and more. Click here to watch a class preview; click here to become a Genealogy Gems Premium member. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is an easy-to-access version of the new Genealogy Gems Premium video, “Google Search Secrets.” The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.   INTERVIEW: DAVID OUIMETTE OF FAMILYSEARCH: “THE INDIANA JONES OF GENEALOGY” David Ouimette, CG, manages Content Strategy at FamilySearch. He has conducted research and analyzed archival materials in dozens of countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. David lectures regularly and has written for genealogists, including Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide. Genealogy Gems Contributing Editor Sunny Morton is the author of “Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites.” Use this jammed-packed cheat sheet to quickly and easily compare the most important features of the four biggest international genealogy records membership websites: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Consult it every time your research budget, needs or goals change! Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.   MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.   MILITARY MINUTES: COMPILED MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS If a clue found in your ancestor’s US draft registration records listed military service you will want next to search for his Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR).  The Compiled Military Service Records (often abbreviated at CMSR or CSR) record the name, unit, and period of service of the veteran along with information related to military service from the Revolutionary War to the end of the hostilities of the Philippine Insurrection after the turn of the 20th century. The information varies greatly from each of the war periods that recorded this information. Besides the identifying features listed above, they typically contain muster in/out information, rank in/out details and further highlight the soldier career by recording promotions, prisoner of war memorandums, casualties, and a number of personnel papers which may include enlistment papers and other related documents. Several of the war periods also provide physical descriptions of the soldiers including; name, age, nativity, occupation, height, hair, eyes, and complexion information. This set of records represents the volunteer Army and doesn’t include regular Army enlistments. Except for limited records of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 for the Navy, the other branches of the military (including Navy, Marines, and Revenue Cutter Service) all have their equivalent set of records. Your ancestor may have multiple entries in the CMSR. This could occur if a soldier served in more than one unit, or in the case of John LeMaster, who enlisted in two different armies. The Civil War divided our nation, testing the loyalty of all persons who lived during this time. Lemaster chose the Confederacy (as least initially) when in 1861 in Charlestown, VA he enlisted with the 2nd VA Infantry fighting alongside of his Brigade commander Thomas J. Jackson who later would be known as “Stonewall Jackson.” (Photos: John H. Lemaster and his family in Martinsburg, WV. Photos courtesy of Michael Strauss.) After the Confederate loss at the battle of Gettysburg he deserted and lived in Martinsburg in what was now West Virginia where on his Draft Registration he was listed as a deserter from the Rebel Army.  In 1864 he enlisted in the United States Army with the 3rd WV Cavalry, serving out the duration of the war until 1865. After the war he was granted a federal pension, with no mention of his former service in the Confederacy. Shown on following pages: his military service records for both the Confederate and Union armies.     Access various CMSR indexes and images online at the following: At fold3: Revolutionary War. Compiled Military Service Record images are online for CT, DE, GA, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA, and Continental Troops. Genealogists should also search the local state where their ancestors were from as some Militia isn’t included in these records.    During the Revolutionary War additional Compiled Service Records were completed for the Navy, which was broken down to include Naval Personnel, Quartermaster General, and Commissary General Departments.  One additional set of CMSR images covered Revolutionary War service along with Imprisonment Cards. Click here Old Wars (1784-1811). After the Revolutionary War, the newly formed United States government sought to maintain a regular Army. However, volunteer soldiers who served from 1784-1811 were recorded. (One of the reasons for volunteers to be called up would have included the Whiskey Rebellion of 1793.)  Their Compiled Military Service Record full images are available online here. War of 1812. Compiled Military Service Records Indexes are online for CT, DE, DC, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA and also the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Shawanoe Indians along with United States Volunteers. Full copies of CMSR are online for the Chickasaw and Creek Indians, along with the men from Lake Erie and Mississippi.  Indian Wars. Compiled Military Service Records Indexes are online for the various Indians wars from 1815-1858.  Mexican War. Compiled Military Service Record indexes are online for AL, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, DC, MA, MI, MS, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, and the Mormon Battalion and the United States Volunteers. Full copies of the CMSR are online for AR, MS, PA, TN, TX, and the Mormon Battalion. Civil War. Click here to search:  Union: Indexes are online for AZ, CA, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, ME, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WA, WI, United States Veteran Volunteers, and Veteran Reserve Corps. Full copies of CMSR for AL, AR, CA, CO, Dakota Territory, DE, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MA, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, OR, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WV, United States Colored Troops, United States Volunteers, and 1st NY Engineers. Confederate: indexes are online for AL, and VA. Full copies of CMSR are online for AL, AZ, AK, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, Miscellaneous, Volunteers, Indians, and Officers. Spanish American War. Compiled Military Service Record Indexes are online for AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, Dakota Territory, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, and United States Volunteers.  Full copies of CMSR are online for FL. At Ancestry.com: Revolutionary War. Full copies of the Compiled Military Service Records for CT, DE, GA, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA, and Continental Troops.  This database often doesn’t list the local militia as most of the men listed were part of the continental line. Researchers can access this group of records and search by keyword or location. Search here Old Wars. This database is an index and full images of the Compiled Military Service Records of those men who served after the Revolutionary War and before the War of 1812, covering the years of 1784-1811. War of 1812. Abstracted lists of names, state, and military units from the Compiled Service Records (no images).Search here Indian Wars: Database with images for Florida: includes the Florida Wars, Second Creek War, and the Third Seminole War from 1835-1858 Mexican War. Full copies of the CMSR are online for MS, PA, TN, TX, and the Mormon Battalion. Search here Civil War: Union:Compiled Military Service Records are searchable, with a link to the collection on Fold3 here Confederate: Compiled Military Service Records are searchable, with a link to Fold3 to view original images here. An additional set of Service Records comes from units that were raised by the Confederate Government and not from any of the states that comprised the Confederacy. The CMSR are available online to view the images and searchable by military unit here. Spanish American War. Compiled Military Service Record Indexes are online that cover the same geographical areas as on Fold3 here. Full copies of CMSR are online on Ancestry for Florida here. Free at FamilySearch.org: Family Search has fewer Compiled Military Service Records available online that include images. One of the major collections includes the Revolutionary War CMSR’s that when searched here, the images provide a direct link to Fold3. Most of the other major war periods are microfilmed and available through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. With online access through both Fold3 and Ancestry provided on the computers in the library, accessing the film is less desirable.   GEM: USNEWSMAP UsNewsMap.com Free video helps you visualize where historic newspapers are located in the US Suzanne’s comment: “Did you realize that this site from the Georgia Tech Research Institute is actually a wonderful search engine for Chronicling America.loc.gov. website? I have used the LOC site often, but found it cumbersome sometimes. This is a real time saver. Thanks for the Genealogy Gem.” Lisa’s tip: In the timeline you can specify a date, like 1860 (date and month too!), then press play and it will play back and reveal the locations on mentions of your search query coming forward in time. It would be really interesting to take a word or phrase and see when it first occurred. This is a very feature-rich website! PROFILE AMERICA: HOME MAKING A short YouTube video documentary on Leavittown: it’s a great example of the do-it-yourself video narratives you can make to tell your own family’s stories! KEEP UP WITH GENEALOGY GEMS Listen to the Genealogy Gems Podcast twice a month! Check in on or after October 26, 2017 for Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 210. What’s coming? Paul Woodbury of Legacy Tree Genealogists will share some great tips for beginning Swedish genealogy—and much more! Follow Genealogy Gems on Instagram Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant Lacey Cooke, Service Manager    
Oct 10, 2017
Episode 208
55:52
The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode: A free webinar! Great comments from you: An inspiring Google Books success story, how one listener gets her shy husband talking about his life story, and a listener’s own version of the poem, “Where I’m From” The Archive Lady talks to us about historical scrapbooks at archives that may be packed with genealogy gems for us A genealogy hero who saved a life story Your first look at RootsTech 2018 NEWS: FREE WEBINAR “Reveal Your Unique Story through DNA & Family History” Handouts: Googling and Making Videos with Lisa Louise Cooke Newspaper Research Worksheet from Lisa Louise Cooke Genetic Genealogy: Here’s What You Need to Know from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard NEWS: FIRST LOOK AT ROOTSTECH 2018 Click here for more on RootsTech 2018 Going to RootsTech for the first time? Read this RootsTech Q&A. MAILBOX: PAT INTERVIEWS HER SHY HUSBAND “Remembering Dad” video Pat’s tip: When someone is shy about sharing life stories, interview them informally while traveling. Pat uses her iPad to transcribe his responses, then polishes it up when she gets home and transfers it to her own computer. “Eventually we will have enough to write the story of his life, with lots of pictures. And it's completely painless.” MAILBOX: GOOGLE BOOKS SUCCESS STORY FROM KIM Link image to:  Click here for another inspiring genealogy discovery using Google Books—with how-to tips and a free video preview of Lisa Louise Cooke’s Premium video tutorial, “Google Books: The Tool You Need Every Day” MAILBOX: “WHERE I’M FROM” POEM SUBMISSION Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 185: Learn more about the “Where I’m From” poetry project and hear a conversation with the original author, Kentucky poet laureate George Ella Lyon. THE ARCHIVE LADY: HISTORICAL SCRAPBOOKS Scrapbooks are one of my favorite record sources to do genealogy research in and to also process in the archives. There are all kinds of scrapbooks; each and every one is unique and one-of-a-kind. They were put together with love and the hope that what was saved and pasted onto those pages will be remembered. The origins of scrapbooking is said to go back to the 15th century in England and it is still a hobby enjoyed by many today. Most archives, libraries, historical and genealogical societies have scrapbooks in their collections. They will most likely be found in the Manuscript Collection as part of a specifically named collection. Scrapbooks contain all kinds of wonderful genealogical records, photographs and ephemera. There is even a scrapbook in the Houston County, Tennessee Archives that has candy bar wrappers pasted in it. This particular scrapbook is one of my absolute favorites. It was compiled and owned by Evelyn Ellis and dates to the 1930’s and 1940’s. Among the normal newspaper clippings and event programs are interesting pieces such as a Baby Ruth candy bar wrapper with a handwritten note by Evelyn that reads "Always remember June 11, 1938 at Beach Grove at the Ice Cream Supper." There is also an original ticket pasted into the scrapbook from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee where Evelyn Ellis visited and recorded her comments on April 1, 1939. There are scrapbooks for just about any subject. Aside from personal scrapbooks, you can find war scrapbooks, obituary clipping scrapbooks and scrapbooks that collected and recorded local or national events. The obituaries found in scrapbooks could be a real find because sometimes they are the only pieces of the newspaper that survive and can be a treasure trove for any genealogist. Many scrapbooks contain one-of-a-kind documents, photographs and ephemera. To find scrapbooks in an archive, ask the archivist if they have any scrapbooks in their records collections. Many times scrapbooks are housed with a particular manuscript collection and will be listed in the finding aid. Some archives have a collection of just scrapbooks that have been donated to them and can be easily accessed. Most scrapbooks will not be on research shelves and will be stored in back rooms at the archives and will have to be requested. You should also check the archives online catalog for any listings of scrapbooks before you jump in the car and drive to the archives. I encourage all genealogists to check with the archive in the area where your ancestors were from and see if they have any scrapbooks in their archived records collections. Scrapbooks are like time capsules: you don’t know what will be found in them until you open them up. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is a PDF with tips for what to do if your own scrapbook gets wet. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users. This episode is sponsored by: Use coupon code STORY17 to save 30% through 10/15/17! Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.   MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started. GEM: SAVING A LIFE STORY Original story on SWVA Today: “String of Pearls: Marion’s Bob White Shares Family History Collection” by Margaret Linford, Columnist Smyth County Public Library Local History webpage Genealogy Gems how-to resources to help you: Video record a loved one telling their life stories How to video record a fantastic family history interview How to create a family history video with Animoto Digitize and share your research and your own life story: Interview with Larsen Digital in Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 183 How to Start Blogging series in the free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast (episodes 38-42) and this article: 3 Ways to Improve Your Genealogy Blog RootsMagic family history software has publishing tools (for print and online publishing):   This episode is sponsored by: Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. RootsMagic is now fully integrated with Ancestry.com: you can sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.   A BRILLIANT WAY TO “MEET” YOUR ANCESTOR Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard shared this story from Christine: “Friday night I brought out large cut out of my Grandmother, Christine Doering, sitting in an easy chair so it looks like she is talking with you, and I played a recording done in 1970's of her talking and giggling about coming to America in 1896 at the age of 9.  For some they had never heard her voice before.”   Learn more about Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast: Explore our website at www.genealogygems.com, Subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter (from the home page on the website) Subscribe to the free Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant Lacey Cooke, Service Manager FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.  
Sep 27, 2017
Episode 207
01:05:02
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 207 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode, Lisa welcomes Mary Tedesco, a co-host of PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow. Mary shares stories and tips about tracing Italian and Italian-American roots. Also: FamilySearch updates since the end of microfilm lending (and how YOU helped make the last days of lending more effective); A listener uses Google to find her mysterious great-grandmother, with a success story she calls a “game-changer” for her genealogy research. GET THE APP If you haven’t downloaded the Genealogy Gems app for easier listening on your mobile device, consider doing so now. If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is…. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.   NEWS: FAMILYSEARCH RECORDS ACCESS UPDATE ALL of the microfilmed records that have been rented in the past 5 years have now been digitized, over 1.5 million films. From now on, if you need a film that hasn’t been digitized yet, you can call FamilySearch Support toll-free (866-406-1830) and request it for the priority digitization list. They continue to digitally scan about 1000 films per day. (That sounds like a lot, but at this rate it will still take them until 2020 to be done.) New digital images are being put in the FamilySearch Catalog as soon as possible. This is not the main digital record search area! It will take collections a while to appear here. Instead, under the Search tab, select Catalog, and then search by place and record type or other categories. This is a master catalog of all the Family History Library’s collections, online and offline, and when you click on an item’s individual description, you’ll be able to see a link to its digitized version if it’s available. If you or anyone else had any films on loan in family history centers and FamilySearch affiliate libraries when the lending program ended, those automatically have extended loan status, which means they can stay there indefinitely unless the management decides to send them back. If all else fails, you can still go to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT and order microfilmed records to view, or you can hire someone to do it for you. FamilySearch Affiliate libraries now have access to nearly all of the restricted image collections as family history centers. Click here to read or listen to Lisa’s special interview with Diane Loosle of FamilySearch. It goes into much more detail about accessing records on the site, at affiliate libraries and more. Click here to read the August 30, 2017 update from FamilySearch. To save 30% off a Care.com Premium membership, visit care.com/gems when you subscribe.   I had so much fun opening the box. They even sent me an apron! Visit hellofresh.com and use promo code gems30 to save $30 off your first week of deliveries.   NEWS: FREE WEBINAR 9/23 LIVE FROM NYC Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems presents: Reveal Your Unique Story through DNA & Family History Sponsored by Animoto Saturday, September 23, 2017 11:00 AM EST Register now Turn DNA results into your family history Turn your family history into a compelling story Turn your compelling story into a video! Learn from Lisa Louise Cooke, Diahan Southard and Animoto’s Beth Forester: - Your DNA testing options (there are more than you think), and possible outcomes - The best free resources for going beyond DNA, back several generations in your family (quickly!) - Creative ideas for filling in the story gaps - How to expand your story in ways you never expected by finding DNA connections - Share the story you’ve uncovered with the world through riveting video Can’t attend live? Register anyway to receive the slides and the video recording afterward. Lisa chat with Hannah about Hurricane Harvey Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.   MAILBOX: KRISTIN’S SUCCESS STORY “Among the handful of mystery photographs of my grandmother as a child and the strangers who sat beside her, was a brief article from a newspaper. It was a lesson in manners, titled ‘Silence is Golden’ and it was written by Merton Markert, a student of the Modern Classics. A photo of a young woman with a disheveled Gibson hairdo was attached.” The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd Edition by Lisa Louise Cooke teaches the search strategies you need to do searches like these. Try Ebay! Lisa found a listing for a commencement program from 1902, old post cards of the school, and other yearbooks from Lancaster High School. Sign up for a free Ebay account, run a search, and then click to Follow the search. You will then be alerted to future auctions that match your criteria. Click here for tips on finding yearbooks and other school records. Genealogy Gems Premium member perk: Premium Podcast episode 16 has great tips for using Ebay to find family history treasures. Click here to learn more about Premium membership.     INTERVIEW: MARY TEDESCO MARY M. Tedesco is a professional genealogist, speaker, and author. She is a host and genealogist on PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow” and Founder of ORIGINS ITALY. Mary speaks fluent Italian and travels often to Italy to conduct client genealogical research and visit family. She is co-author of Tracing Your Italian Ancestors.             Click here to watch a free interview with Mary Tedesco with more tips on doing Italian genealogy research.   GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB Murder in Matera by Helene Stapinski tells the story of the author’s journey to Italy to learn the truth behind the family stories about her Italian ancestors. Tune in to Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 208 later this month to hear an excerpt from a conversation with Helene Stapinski. (The entire interview will play in Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 151.)    MILITARY MINUTES: DRAFT REGISTRATIONS INTRODUCING MICHAEL STRAUSS Michael Strauss, AG is the principal owner of Genealogy Research Network and an Accredited Genealogist since 1995. He is a native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah and has been an avid genealogist for more than 30 years. Strauss holds a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran. BONUS handout to celebrate this new segment: Click here for a 4-page handout on U.S. draft registration records by Michael L. Strauss. FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.    
Sep 13, 2017
Special Episode: The End of FamilySearch Microfilm Lending Program
27:46
Change is something we can always count on, but that doesn't make it any easier, does it? Understanding why the change is happening, how it affects you personally, and what you can do to adapt, does. So, when FamilySearch announced the end of their long-standing microfilm lending program, I immediately sought out the key expert who can answer these questions for you.  FamilySearch's Goal for Microfilm and the Family History Library It seems like only yesterday I was interviewing Don R. Anderson, Director of the Family History Library about the future of the library and FamilySearch. Back then, in 2009, he made the startling statement that their goal was to digitize all of the microfilms in FamilySearch's granite vault. (Click here to listen to that interview in my Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast episode 16.) Fast forward to today, and we see that in less than ten years that end goal is within sight. We are also seeing the ending of a service nearly every genealogist has tapped into at some point: the microfilm lending program. Family historians have been able to place orders for microfilm to be shipped to their local Family History Center where they could then scroll through the images in search of ancestors. On August 31, 2017, this service comes to an end. Fear of the Unknown It's sort of scary to see this come to an end before every last roll of microfilm has been digitized and put online (just head to social media to read some of the concerns). It's definitely been comforting to know that the records you need are just an order form and two weeks away. I have always found that being armed with information helps alleviate fear, and so upon hearing the news, I reached out to FamilySearch to arrange a special interview with Diane Loosle, Director of Patron Services at FamilySearch. In this special Genealogy Gems Podcast interview, we take the time to really comb through what the end of the microfilm lending program means for you, and what your options are for records access going forward. I've been anxious to get this information into your ears and hands, and have spent the entire weekend producing this episode and transcribing it for you.  The Interview: The End of the FamilySearch Microfilm Lending Program Lisa: One of the constant challenges for genealogists is gaining access to genealogical records that they need for their particular family history research. I imagine that you've had that challenge yourself. Thankfully, since 1938 the FamilySearch organization has been microfilming records around the world. They've been making these records available through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and through a tremendous lending program with their Family History Centers located worldwide. And that may be where you've gotten your hands on a couple of microfilms and records over the years. But of course, as the Internet has been more accessible over the last two decades, this is changing the landscape of record access. So more and more we are gaining access to digitized records online, and this has led to a really big change in the long-standing microfilm lending program. I've invited Diane Loosle, the Director of Patron Services Division at FamilySearch, to talk about the change that's occurred, what it means for you, and what your record access options are going to be going forward. Diane, thanks so much for joining me today. Diane: I'm so happy I could come, and thank you for inviting me. The Reasons Microfilm Lending is Coming to an End Lisa: I imagine that you've been very busy with the changes. I know that the last day of the microfilm ordering was August 31, 2017. And you know FamilySearch has been digitizing records for years, so we are going to be shifting from microfilm to digitization. Why is right now the time that the change is happening, where you're actually discontinuing the physical microfilm lending? Diane: This is such an exciting time Lisa. We've been looking forward to this day for many, many years because when you think about the fact that you can get access to these images immediately in your home, for the most part - there are some that you have to access through a center or library, but the majority are in your home - that's pretty wonderful. And so we are moving to a place where all of our fulfillment for your needs for your records is going to be digital and that's what this change is all about. So the reason that it's happening now is that, a couple of different reasons. First, we have moved through a lot of the microfilm and have had those digitized and they are up online. So it was a good point with that. We've also seen a huge drop in the orders of microfilms. So there's not very many being ordered now, so that kind of lined up. And then also our supplier. We have a single supplier for vesicular microfilm, and I think that's important to understand that we're talking about a certain type of microfilm because we use that type to make the copies and send them out to you. We have a single supplier, and that supplier has been kind of raising prices and giving us the indication that they would rather not be in that business. And so with all those things together, and the fact that we would like to take the resources that we are currently using to duplicate films, and send them out, and ship them and all of that, we'd like to take those resources and move them towards bringing you more records digitally. It seemed like the right time to make this decision to finally finish it. Now we do have some of the collection that has not been completed of course, and I think that's what's causing most people concern is, "What happens? Can I get access to that during this time that you are still finishing it off?" Lisa: Exactly, and you know I have visited the distribution center for your lending program, and it was massive and it looked really complicated. And then when you add on the idea that the access to the actual film itself is changing. I just got a camera from my uncle, and it's got 25-year-old film in it. It took me all day to find a local store that could develop it for me! So, it's like a perfect storm of a lot of technological changes, which is exciting, because as you said we can access things from home. Digitization and Publishing Limitations I know that when it comes to the microfilm that you guys have, the goal has been to digitize all of it. But explain to folks what the limitations are in terms of, do you have the rights to lend it, do you have the rights to digitize and put up online everything that you have microfilmed? Diane: Right. So we are always limited by the rights associated with the collections because the record custodians stipulate those when we do the agreements. And in microfilm, we've been circulating things. Our intention is to circulate digitally everything possible legally for us to do. And that's the majority of the collection. Now in the process of doing this, what's happened over the years is that laws have changed around Data Privacy, particularly in Europe and some other locations around the world. And as we're going through and reviewing all of these, you can imagine these thousands of contracts for this process, we're discovering that there are some that because of the changes in the Data Privacy laws, they really should not have been continuing to circulate because of those changes. So those would then in the future be restricted because of the Data Privacy issues. And those are usually very modern records, those that have living people in them. So there will be a set of records that maybe you could have gotten on microfilm previously that you would not now be able to get digitally. But that's because they shouldn't have been in circulation anyway because of the data privacy changes. But for the most part, what we're circulating microfilm-wise you will have access to digitally. Now, about 20% of the collection you have to access through the Family History Library, or through a Family History Center or affiliate library because of the contracts we have. And that was also true with the microfilm of course, and now it's true with the digital images as well, based on the contracts, so there will be a certain set that is in that category. Family History Center Affiliates Lisa: Help us understand what affiliate centers are. Diane: Affiliates don’t have to return the film they have. Affiliates are usually public libraries or Family History Centers in an LDS chapel. Local leadership will decide. So if they keep them, you can still access them. And the Family History Library in Salt Lake City will maintain a large microfilm collection as well. Go to familysearch.org and in the right corner, you’ll find the Get Help link (and click Contact Us). Search by zip code for affiliates near you. They will appear on a map. Libraries have extended hours compared to Family History Centers. The best way to find out where the films are still located, both physical and digital, is the FamilySearch Card Catalog. Many people aren’t that familiar with the card catalog. Look for the Camera icon, then click to go to the document image. Lisa: Let's dig into that a little bit. So we're talking about, you mentioned the term "affiliate centers" and I know that there are some locations which aren't technically affiliates. Can you help define that for us? How do we figure out, before we make the jaunt over to the local family history center if that's one that actually can still have some of the microfilm. Help us sort that out. Diane: So if you go to any center or affiliate library out there, and I'll tell you how to find those in just a minutes, they can keep whatever film they already have on hand. There's nothing that's saying that they need to send it back. Now that is dependent on decisions made at the local level. So, you know, the leadership of either the affiliate library, which is normally in a public library, or a family history center which is often in an LDS chapel, the local leadership there will make a decision about, you know, the film and what happens to them in the future, but we're not asking them to send them back. So you'll still be able to access them. And the library here in Salt Lake will maintain a large microfilm collection as well. So, it will still be available that way. Now the way that you find these locations is if you go into FamilySearch, up in the right-hand corner there's a Get Help link, and the Get Help link lets you get in touch with us. And then you can search actually using your zip code to find which centers and affiliate libraries are near you, and both will appear on the map that appears. So, uhm, you can find out which ones are near your location. The affiliates are, as I said, often public libraries, so they may have extended hours beyond what the family history center might have because the family history center is often as I said in a chapel and manned by volunteers. And so they may not have as many hours as your affiliate libraries may have. How to Identify Where the Films are Located Lisa: So whatever they may have had on hand when the lending program came to an end, they had the option to decide if they were going to hang onto it, or if they were going to send stuff back. There's going to be some just at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Do we go into the card catalog to identify where the existing films are still located? Diane: Yes, so the best way to find out what's available both digitally and where the films might be physically located is through the FamilySearch Catalog on familysearch.org. So if you go to Search on FamilySearch, and then Catalog, you can look up your location, look up the records your interested in, and it will tell you where those can be found. Now, if it's available digitally, and actually most people I've talked to where they would have this concern about "oh goodness, I'm not going to have access to my films!", when I've talked with them, and we've looked them up, their records were already available digitally, they just didn't know it. So, if you go in the catalog and look it up where it lists the microfilm, there will be a little camera icon out to the right-hand side, and if you see that little camera icon, you can click on that and that takes you straight in to the digital images for that record. Now we publish those, we do about digitize about 1,500 microfilms a day at the vault. And we publish those pretty immediately up on to the website through the catalog. You will not find those through the Historical Records part of FamilySearch under Search Records. They're just through the catalog, so there's a much larger collection available through the catalog than what you see in the Historical Records section. How Films are Prioritized for Digitization Lisa: When we get notifications, I know I get your press releases and such on the new records that are coming out, does that include those? Because we do publish every Friday kind of a run down for all of our listeners out there, what the newest records are that are coming online. Diane: It does not currently. That publication only includes things that are published online in the  Historical Records section of the website. However, with this change, we’re looking to change that so it will include those being published to the catalog. Now the challenge with that is the volume! Because 1,500 films a day is a lot. And these films, because the way that we did this initially, we prioritized all of the films that had been ordered in the last five years to make sure that those were available digitally, so it's been kind of piecemeal a little bit. So, you might have two or three films in a full collection that have been digitized and the rest maybe not, at this point, and so trying to help you understand what is and is not available through that publication. We're still working through the details. But the intention is, as we go forward, will be to prioritize filling in those collections where maybe one or two films have been digitized and the rest have not yet. We will go through and make sure the whole collection has been digitized. And then we are going to introduce a process where you will be able to let us know if there is a film that you absolutely need. You can let us know, and we will work that into our prioritization and try to get that to you as quickly as we can. You know if you think about how long it took to get a microfilm to be delivered to you once you ordered it, you can think about it's kind of the same time frame when it might then be available to you digitally. How to  Request that a Microfilm be Digitized Lisa: How could they be contacting you to make that kind of request? Diane: We are working on that process right now, trying to finalize it. So there's kind of two options we're looking at at the moment: One, you would contact us through our support line, the Help Line. The other is that we would just have a form up that you would fill out. Now the form is going to take more time to get established and up. So we may go out of the gate with not as ideal of a process, but we want to make sure that we can let us know, so we'll be clear about what that is as we get closer to September 1st. Lisa: When we get into the catalog, have you already flagged which ones are going to have restrictions, they are just not going to be able to be digitized? Because I think some people might be thinking "Maybe I should just hold on and wait, over the next couple months maybe they'll get to this one, I'll put in a request." But I imagine that's going to be a big job if you have to go in and try to flag every single one that you know you're not going to have the rights to digitize. Tell us how you're going to deal with that. Diane: Well, that has not occurred and would be pretty impossible to do at this stage, just because of the volume of what we're dealing with trying to go through. We're doing it as we go to digitize the films. And so, we discover it as we go, as opposed to knowing it ahead of time. Lisa: So if they put in a request, you pull it out, go 'OK well let's look at doing this,' and then realize, no, this one's not going to be able to do it. Then at least they would get that information? Diane: Yes, they would. Well, what would happen is we're working on a way so that in the catalog you would be able to identify that. So for example, a request actually came from the community out there that we be able to distinguish if a record can be viewed in my home, or if I have to be at the facility to view it, or if there is some other restriction on it. And so, because of that feedback, we thought "So let's see if we can figure out a way to help people understand that." Now, these things probably won't be ready right out of the gate. But we're looking for ways to make it simpler for you to understand what the challenges are with the record that you're trying to access. Gaining Access to Microfilm and Some Restricted Digitized Records in Person Lisa: Sure. So, if we're looking online and we see a record, and it's not been digitized yet, would we at this point, until you get more formalized processes going, would you still encourage people to get in touch with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City? What other options are they going to have to gain access? Diane: So first what I would do is I would look, because we'll maintain the film inventory, so we know where the films are located, so I would first look and see, is this film available somewhere near me? Or if I have an opportunity to come to the Family History Library, and the film is there, great. But, so first look and see if you can locate it, then you can let us know through the channels that we'll have available to you what the film is, and then we'll put it into the list to be prioritized to be digitized. But I would always encourage folks to look and see if they are located near where that film already is because that would be much quicker for them to get access to that. Lisa: If Salt Lake City is the only place, then, of course, this really whittles down to the big fear of everybody, is "Oh that one film I'm going to need, it's only going to be in Salt Lake City and I can't get there." What other kinds of options might a person like that have? Diane: Well, so I think that there are some options available to them because we have a large group of professional researchers who come to the library every day, and those folks could probably be useful to you in looking up those records and getting copies of whatever is needed. So that's one option that people could take to do that. The majority of what we'll have, I don't think the case would be that the only place you can get it is the Family History Library. If we do have a fair number of collections that are in that category as we finish this process off, then we'll look at ways to provide some access where we can. But that access would probably be in a digital way as well. So that would be my suggestion, that they reach out to those who are here every day and could take a look at that. And I think you know there are other websites where you can get access to professionals as well, or just good samaritans, you know, that want to help you out. Lisa: Absolutely, and there are lots of those. Finally, are there any records that the people listening are going to completely lose access to? Diane: The only ones that would be in that category is because of data privacy. So, if there was an issue with, you know, a law changed, that made it so that we could no longer provide access to those. But that would have been true in the microfilm world as well. Lisa: Exactly. So really, it really doesn't change in that respect. We're not losing records, we're changing up how we access them. And I think you've helped shed a lot of light on kind of what the process will be and it sounds like you have a big job ahead of you. "We're not losing records, we're changing up how we access them." Lisa Louise Cooke Shifting Resources to Meet the Goal Lisa: How quickly do you think it's going to help once the lending process is let go of, that the resources start going to all of this other work now that you have to do on the digital side? Diane: I think it will move pretty quickly for us to, you know, start to do more with the resources we have. For example, we're collecting around three million images with three hundred camera crews out there, about a week. So, that's a lot! And we want to shift a lot of resources. Another place we'd like to capture more is with Africa and the oral genealogies project that we have, and gain more access there. So, we'll be shifting to those. And then, of course, the vault is moving at a pretty good clip already, with about 1,500 films a day, so I think we'll be able to keep up pretty well with the demand that's coming at us from people. But, we'll evaluate that as we go, and determine if we need to boost up more there or not, to be able to move more quickly for folks. Empowering Genealogists to Learn More Lisa: Any other questions that I didn't think about that you've been hearing online, in social media, that you'd love to give us some input on? Diane: Well, we have had some questions from some of the affiliate libraries about how do they get the access? So that's been happening online a little bit. And so we just want them to know that we'll be reaching out to them via calling all of them actually, and helping them through this process of setting up the things that they need to technically to be able to get access to the images digitally. So that's definitely something they should know. The other thing is that we have a lot of people who don't actually know how to use the catalog [laughs] because you know they've grown up in a search world, or looking at the historical records the browsable images, and a lot of people don't understand that there's a lot of different ways to access the records on FamilySearch. So you have Search, which is a very small percentage of the collection actually, compared to the whole, and then you have the Historical Records that are only browsable, and that you can go in and look at the images browsing, and then you have everything that's been published through the catalog. So there's kind of three places that they need to look. So I think that's the biggest piece I've seen: people just don't know. They're not aware of where to find those things. And you know eventually, it will be nice, maybe when those things come together. But at this point in time, they're separate. And that's because we wanted to ensure that you would maintain access. If we could just publish them quickly and maintain access for you, that's the best in our minds. Lisa: Absolutely! Well, I know that Sunny Morton here at Genealogy Gems is going to be joining us in future episodes talking more about just those different areas. And I love the way that you kind of laid it out for us because I think a lot of people weren't that familiar with the differences. And she's going to be helping us get a little savvier in that ongoing research. Diane, thank you so much for taking time to visit with me, and to answer some of the questions. I know that you know that the emotions that run high are only because people are so passionate about family history, and they are so appreciative of what FamilySearch has done. It's been an amazing resource that you guys provide to the public for free, which is just absolutely invaluable. And I know that I have a lot of confidence in where you guys are going because you always are out there looking forward. How far out into the future you guys look and you plan for is just phenomenal! It's not just about us accessing records, it's going to be for generations to come, and I love the fact that you guys are really laying the groundwork for that. Diane: Well, thank you, Lisa! We are all about getting you access to records so that you can find your ancestors, and we will always be about that. I'm glad that I could come and help people to understand what's happening and hopefully be a little less concerned about the change. I know it's difficult, but it's a wonderful change too. Lisa: Thanks again Diane! Diana: Thank you, Lisa!
Aug 22, 2017
Episode 206 The Genealogy Gems Podcast - Your Family History Show
53:12
The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke In this Blast from the Past episode: Lisa reprises a favorite research detour into vehicle forensics—to identify an old family car—and shares tips for creating short family history books like those she given as holiday gifts to loved ones. Hear letters from listeners on a special adoption discovery and a 1940 census mystery that now makes more sense. Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard weighs in with 4 reasons to take a DNA test, if you haven’t taken the plunge yet. Genealogy Gems Editor Sunny Morton spotlights the current Genealogy Gems Book Club title, Murder in Matera. The vehicle forensics and family book segments originally appeared in Genealogy Gems Podcast episodes 18 and 13, respectively, and are being republished here for web audiences. MAILBOX: RICHARD ON THE 1940 CENSUS 1940 census tip: Listen in Genealogy Gems Episode 201 or read it on the Genealogy Gems blog. Evidentia software helps genealogists organize and analyze their research discoveries. Free 14-day trial available. MAILBOX: ADOPTEE DISCOVERY Read the article here. Tips for using DNA to solve adoption mysteries, taken from a conversation between genetic genealogy experts Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard and CeCe Moore from DNA Detectives. Join our conversations on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Get the app here. If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is an audio excursion with Lisa on an old railroad track up to a silver mine in the Colorado Rockies, an excursion she originally shared in Episode 18 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, not now available online, and is being republished here exclusively for your enjoyment. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users GEM: MAKING FAMILY HISTORY BOOKS Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 2 with a segment on transcribing diaries was republished as Genealogy Gems episode 134. “A Nurse in Training, Part 1” “A Nurse in Training, Part 2” Qualities of a successful short family history book, from Lisa Louise Cooke The book conveys an overall theme. Start by reviewing all the available material you have. That will give you a good sense of what the time period was like for your ancestor. You’ll also start to understand their goals, experiences, and emotions.  Ultimately a theme should begin to surface.  In the case of A Nurse In Training, I wanted to communicate my grandmother as a young woman taking on a new adventure away from home that ultimately led to this warm, caring woman’s successful career as a nurse. I also tucked a bonus subplot in there of how she just happened to meet her husband at the same time! You don’t need every scrap of research and every photo to get this theme across. It’s your job to be a sharp editor and to pick out the critical pieces. You want the words and photographs that clearly communicate your theme to the reader. #2. The book can be read in one sitting. Like it or not, if it takes too long read, they probably won’t.  Strive to create a book that doesn’t look intimidating.  I create books that are ten to twenty double sided pages.  People will be willing to pick up a thinner book off the coffee table.  If it’s well done they’ll find that all of a sudden they’ve finished the entire book without wanting to put it down.  The final goal is that they will walk away with a real sense of having gotten to know that ancestor. #3. It contains the best of the best of what you have. This goes back to conveying the theme and being a strict editor.  My grandma had many funny stories, but there just wasn’t room for all of them.  I picked the best of the best.  Anyone who reads the book should hopefully come away with the fact that she had a sense of humor and could laugh at herself.  So keep the content of your book focused, full of graphics and photos, and including the best of the best.  If you can capture their interest in the first three pages, you’ll have them for the entire book. #4. There are lots of photos and graphics. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words.  Since the number of words in this size book will be limited, photographs will be your best friend.  If you’re lacking in family photos, many of my previous podcasts will give you countless ideas for locating associated photos.  In A Nurse In Training I included scanned images of skating rink tickets, programs and announcements from my grandma’s scrapbook, and journal pages in my grandmother’s own hand.  These types of items really add texture and interest to your book, as well as help the reader to see that you’ve really done your homework. #5. Keep it in chronological order. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get side tracked and start going back and forth in time.  Believe me, for the reader’s sake keep things in chronological order. You as the researcher know this information backwards and forwards, but this is probably your reader’s first exposure to it.  Be gentle with them and keep it straight forward and simple.  Your reader will thank you. #6. You choose only high-quality images and printing. High quality glossy pages, good image quality and a hard cover binding all shout to the reader “I’m worth your time, read me!”  For example, I found a drawing of Dameron Hospital where my grandmother worked, but it was a low quality image and didn’t translate well in the book.  As much as I wanted to include it, I ended up leaving it out. I’m glad I did; it wasn’t critical to the book and there were other ways to communicate the hospital to the reader. Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.   MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started. 4 REASONS TO RSVP YOUR DNA INVITATION with Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide I used to think that economics was just a series of numbers and calculations that helped to gauge the future growth of companies and countries. In a word: boring. But that was before I discovered that you can study the economics of people and essentially use math to describe human behavior, and therefore in some ways make that behavior more predictable. This is of course especially intriguing to my current situation as the parent of a teenager, a pre-teen, and a daughter. Teenagers especially are always talking about the things that “everyone else has,” a phenomenon that Malcom Gladwell, one of these interesting people-economists, describes as the “tipping point.” He says that the tipping point is “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” For my kids it’s everything from the point at which a party becomes fun to doing everything that is humanly possible to procure a fidget-spinner (if you don’t know what that is, ask the nearest 11 year old). In DNA testing in the United States, that tipping point is now. We have reached the point where most genealogists at least have the passing notion that genetics can be useful in genealogy. Most genealogists (I would guess 85%) who attend the lectures I give have already had at least one DNA test completed. Let’s stop for just one minute and recognize how incredible that is! Not too long ago I was still trying to convince people that this was a good idea and that you didn’t have to dig up your ancestors to do it! But now we have scores of genealogists who have not only tested themselves, but have convinced half their family to test as well! This got me thinking though, who are those people who haven’t tested? And why not? One category of people sans DNA test are those who have full pedigree charts. I have heard many of them say that they don’t see the need to do DNA testing since they have most of their lines “way back.” To those with the blessing of ancestors who kept better records than mine, I am offering four reasons why you should RSVP to your invitation to DNA test. Record. First and foremost, your DNA is a record. Just as you have obtained birth certificates and marriage licenses for your ancestors, your DNA is a unique record. It does represent you and your family in a way that no other record can. It is a document of your genetic history, and should be preserved. Further, while you may doubt the ability of your DNA to shed light on your current genealogy, don’t underestimate the contribution it might make in the future. Second Cousins. And third cousins, and fourth cousins, etc. Having your DNA tested means you can see a biological connection between you and other relatives that have had tested. For many, the idea of meeting or forming relationships with distant cousins is not appealing. But even if you have no intention of attending DNA family reunions or even in corresponding with these relatives, there is something reassuring about seeing them there on your match list. There is a certain thrill that comes with recognizing the connection between you and someone else. A connection that may not add any new names to your tree, but it helps you feel a deeper connection to your ancestor, and a greater appreciation for your biology. Verify. Which brings me to the next point. Seeing these cousins on your list can actually help verify the genealogy you have already collected and documented. It helps to reassure you that you have made the right steps along the way, and may help you gain additional resources about your relative through their descendants that you find on your match list. Resources that can help turn that ancestor from a name on a chart, to a story and a life worth preserving. Philanthropy. The last reason to go ahead and have your DNA tested is to help others. If you have been lucky enough to fill in most of the blanks on your tree, you can help others do the same by simply having your DNA tested. Your DNA provides a link to your tree that might be just what someone needs to overcome a brick wall in their family history. So, if you have been hanging out on the outskirts of DNA testing because you feel like your tree is full enough without it, remember to RSVP to your invitation to be DNA tested, and join the party! GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: A FAMILY HISTORY MURDER MYSTERY! Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy by journalist Helene Stapinski. A story of poverty and power, love, tragic decisions, and a courageous and desperate woman's leap for a new life across the ocean. Murder in Matera continues to unravel a past Helene explored in her fantastic first family history memoir, Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History. Find a whole list of fabulous family history-inspired reading at the Genealogy Gems Book Club! Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. RootsMagic is now fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you can sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.   Visit http://www.backblaze.com/lisa Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/lisa. GEM: VEHICULAR FORENSICS: Updated links, tips and resources Here's the original photo of my grandma next to her father's car:  The original zoomed in image of the license plate: The license plate with the "alternative light source" applied: Since I first published this episode, iGoogle has gone away. Websites for identifying old cars: Hubcap Café.com: Collector Car Resources Flickr group called Vintage Car Identification From ItStillRuns.com: “Veteran cars were manufactured before 1903, vintage cars were made between 1903 and 1933, and classic cars are considered to be vehicles manufactured from 1933 until fifteen years ago.” Learn more about ArchiveGrid in Premium Podcast episode 149 (Genealogy Gems Premium subscription required) and in this blog post: How to find original manuscripts and documents using ArchiveGrid. The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox by Lisa Louise Cooke for Google searches and even YouTube: Get the book here “Take a ride in a 1928 Willys Knight made in, owned in and driven in Toledo, Ohio” Forensic Files channel on YouTube More updated resources:  “The Colorful History of California License Plates” in LA Magazine WorldLicensePlates,com California DMV license plate introduction California State Archives Willys Overland Knight Registry website and Facebook page Inflation Calculator TIP: Remember that you may be able to make great discoveries IN old photos with your photo editing software (even just with whatever free software is on your computer): 1. Open up the photo editing software 2. Open the photograph in question in the program 3. Use the trim feature to zoom in on the license plate—or whatever feature you want to focus on 4. Zoom in to make it easier to see 5. Try using both the Brightness and Contrast feature of your program in combination until you achieve a favorable result 6. Apply Auto Sharpen for further detail Savvy tips to help identify old photos Photo editing apps and software for family history “Motor Trends” by Family Tree Magazine, now available as a digital download The Photo Detective by Maureen Taylor is your ultimate guide to identifying old objects in pictures to help you learn more about your family history. Get the book here   PROFILE AMERICA: FIRST TRAFFIC LIGHT   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant Lacey Cooke, Service Manager
Aug 10, 2017
Episode 205
01:04:47
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #205 with Lisa Louise Cooke This episode breaks two huge pieces of genealogy news and shares two great conversations: FamilySearch ends microfilm lending:  how you can get the records you need; RootsMagic adds Ancestry.com compatibility: sync your Ancestry.com tree to your master RootsMagic file and search Ancestry.com from within the software; Melissa Barker, the Archive Lady, talks about visiting archives to explore original manuscript record treasures; Nicole Dyer shares a fun family history activity idea to do with kids—do you have a family gathering coming up that could use this inspiration? A SURPRISE IN MY MAILBOX! NEWS Navigating the end of FamilySearch Microfilm Lending RootsMagic Adds Ancestry.com Sync and Search NEW PREMIUM VIDEO! Lisa Louise Cooke shows you how to use the free Google Earth Pro software to create your own historic map collection customized for your genealogy and family history research. By the end of this class you’ll have a permanent collection of hundreds of gorgeous historic and vintage maps from around the world, organized and ready to use for family history. Click here to watch a free preview of this full-length video class. Genealogy Gems Premium website members can watch the whole thing: click here to learn more. LISA: I thought the resolution of the jpg version wasn’t good, so I just left this ad as text. The 4th Annual Northwest Genealogy Conference This episode today is brought to you by the 4rd Annual Northwest Genealogy Conference, hosted by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, north of Seattle in Arlington, WA. Centering on the theme, “Where Does Your Story Begin?” it’s four days PACKED full of genealogy. There will be well-known and respected keynote speakers, including our friend and genetic genealogist Diahan Southard, speaking on DNA; Kenyatta Berry of Genealogy Roadshow fame, speaking on Caribbean research and using slave schedules in research; and Daniel Earl speaking on Putting History in Your Family History. Starting off with the Free Day Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Peggy Lauritzen will address beginner's issues in her Genealogy 101 presentation, which is also a good refresher for the more seasoned genealogists.  There will be such great genealogical information for all levels, AND it'll be lot of fun! Between classes take a chance to meet a distant cousin with the “Cousin Wall”. Participate in the genealogy-related scavenger hunt, the Wednesday evening meet and greet and the Friday dress-as-your-ancestor day, and much, much more! Go to www.NwGC.org for details and to register. Check it out now -- registrations are limited, so it's good to get in early. It’s August 16-19, 2017. It’ll be a great show: don’t miss it! INTERVIEW: MELISSA BARKER, THE ARCHIVE LADY Melissa Barker is a Certified Archives Records Manager, the Houston County, Tennessee Archivist and author of the popular blog A Genealogist in the Archives and bi-weekly advice column The Archive Lady. She has been researching her own family history for the past 27 years. Preserve your own family archive: Items in danger: Original items in attics, basements What to preserve first: The most precious and original items you have! Restoration tips: Clean documents and photos with archival sponges. Lay the item perfectly flat. Gently place a finger or hand to hold it steady. Work with the sponge from the center outward, in small sections. Keep two-dimensional items as flat as possible. Encase fragile items in Mylar sleeves (buy from archival supply companies). Visiting an archive: Call ahead! Don’t trust the operational hours from the website. Ask about parking – it’s often very limited. Ask ahead about access to archival items of interest. Archive etiquette: Follow the rules. Be courteous when working with staff. Museums, societies, archives, and libraries may all have collections in back rooms you can’t see—but you can ask for them. Vertical Files – in folders in cabinets Manuscript Collections – underused in genealogy! Ask for finding aid. Loose Records – the working papers of a court case, for example Unprocessed Records – not yet incorporated into the official collection Tips for using your mobile devices in archives: Ask for procedures for taking photos with your own device. There may be rules against this or a use fee. Capture the source information by photographs: cover page, page number, folder, box number, manuscript collection name, etc. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users Get the app here If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus audio content for this episode comes from Melissa Barker, the Archive Lady,  with more about finding and using original manuscript records in your genealogy research. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users. Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. RootsMagic is now fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you can sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site. Learn more about Backblaze here Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/lisa.   INTERVIEW: NICOLE DYER Nicole has been researching her ancestors and delighting in their stories for the past 15 years. Nicole volunteers at the Tucson Family History Center teaching a family history story time group for young children.    Read Nicole's blog post here Lisa suggested the free program Jing for video screen capturing: https://www.techsmith.com/jing.html (Full disclosure: this podcast blog contains affiliate links. We will be compensated if you make a purchase through our link. Isn't that an awesome way to help keep the free podcast free?!) Visit Animoto here and start a free trial Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com. MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started. GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: A FAMILY HISTORY MURDER MYSTERY! Get the book here. Journalist Helene Stapinski’s new family history memoir: Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy  A story of poverty and power, love, tragic decisions, and a courageous and desperate woman's leap for a new life across the ocean Murder in Matera continues to unravel a past Helene explored in her fantastic first family history memoir, Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History. Find a whole list of fabulous family history-inspired reading at the Genealogy Gems Book Club!   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer Lacey Cooke, Service "Happiness" Manager
Jul 11, 2017
Episode 204
01:03:12
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #204 with Lisa Louise Cooke Canadian expert Dave Obee shares the story of the Canadian home children tips on newspaper research. Also in this episode: New site features at MyHeritage, including improved DNA ethnicity analysis (it’s free—upload your DNA!); An excerpt from the Genealogy Gems Book Club interview with Fannie Flagg about The Whole Town’s Talking—and a great summer reading idea; A detailed get-started guide to British Isles research: Terminology and census/civil BMD record tips from Kate Eakman at Legacy Tree Genealogists Why so many weddings are traditionally held in June.   NEWS: DNA AND CATALOG UPDATES AT MYHERITAGE MyHeritage.com: DNA ethnicity estimate updates and new collection Catalog View an example of the new ethnicity analysis presentation here: https://vimeo.com/218348730/51174e0b49 3 top uses for the new MyHeritage catalog (with additional details and commentary) MyHeritage Quick Reference Guide (Newly-updated in 2017)   Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites. This brand new, comprehensive guide helps you answer the question, "Which genealogy websites should I use?" MAILBOX: BOOK CLUB COMMENTS Visit the book club here. Companion video recommendations: Genealogy Journey: Running Away to Home video (click here to see the book) “You Came and Saved Us” video with author Chris Cleave, Everyone Brave is Forgiven Alan Cumming on Who Do You Think You Are? Episode summary Not My Father’s Son  by Alan Cumming For more information: www.nwgc.org   Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. In the works: soon RootsMagic will be fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you’ll be able to sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site. Learn more or sign up for Backblaze here. Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/. INTERVIEW: DAVE OBEE Continuing our celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday! Dave Obee is an internationally-renowned Canadian journalist, historian and genealogist. Dave is a columnist for Internet Genealogy and Your Genealogy Today (formerly Family Chronicle). Dave has also written about family history for Canada's History and Your Family Tree in the United Kingdom. Put Dave’s books on your shelf - you can get them here. Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census Destination Canada: A Genealogical Guide to Immigration Records Making the News: A Times Columnist Look at 150 Years of History Canada research tips: Look in newspapers for ship crossings, notable people sailing, approximate numbers of passengers etc. Don’t just rely on search engines for digitized newspapers. Browse the papers where you find some hits. Canada Home Children: Watch and Learn   Forgotten, an award-winning documentary (watch the trailer here) Childhood Lost: The Story of Canada’s Home Children documentary (watch it on YouTube)   LEGACY TREE GEM: ENGLISH PARISH RECORDS Visit Legacy Tree Genealogists: http://www.legacytree.com/genealogygems Read a companion blog post on English parish records, with several image examples and links to the resources Kate Eakman recommends. Legacy Tree Genealogists provides expert genealogy research service that works with your research goals, budget and schedule. The Legacy Tree Discovery package offers 3.5 hours of preliminary analysis and research recommendations: a great choice if you’ve hit a brick wall in your research and could use some expert guidance. EXCLUSIVE OFFER for Genealogy Gems readers! Receive $100 off a 20-hour+ research project from Legacy Tree Genealogists with code GG100, valid through July 31st, 2017. GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: FANNIE FLAGG INTERVIEW The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg Genealogy Gems Premium website members may hear this entire conversation in the upcoming Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode #148. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users LINK IMAGE TO: http://lisalouisecooke.com/get-app/ If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus audio content for this episode comes from Melissa Barker, the Archive Lady, in honor of International Archives Day on June 9. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users   Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.   MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.   PROFILE AMERICA: June Weddings PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer  
Jun 15, 2017
Episode 203
01:09:13
The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke Episode #203 This episode features a special interview with renowned Canadian expert Dave Obee. He shares his favorite tips on researching the Canadian census—his insights are fascinating whether you have Canadian ancestors or not! Also in this episode: an inspiring adoption discovery, DNA testing news at 23andMe, a tip for incorporating family history into a wedding, and a brand-new resource that can finally help you solve one of genealogy’s most perplexing questions. NEWS: ATLAS OF HISTORICAL COUNTY BOUNDARIES UPDATE Atlas of Historical County Boundaries   Google Earth for Genealogy (and more on Google Earth Pro) LINK: https://lisalouisecooke.com/free-google-earth-for-genealogy-video-class-by-lisa-louise-cooke/ NEWS: 23andME DNA TEST UPDATES Click here for the full news and Diahan’s comments MORE recent DNA news: Family Tree DNA enhancements:Click here for the full story, with comments and step-by-step instructions on updated myOrigins tool Get help with DNA testing at both these sites with these quick reference guides by Diahan Southard: Understanding 23andMe Understanding Family Tree DNA       NEW! GENEALOGY GIANTS GUIDE by Genealogy Gems Editor Sunny Morton Click here to watch the presentation that inspired this guide: a popular RootsTech 2017 lecture comparing the four major genealogy records websites: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com.   LINK: https://www.shopgenealogygems.com/collections/genealogy-guides/products/genealogy-giants-quick-guide   Available in print or digital format This comprehensive quick reference guide explains: How knowing about all four websites can improve your family history research How the sites stack up when it comes to the numbers of historical records, names in trees, DNA profiles, site users, site languages and subscription costs Unique strengths of each website and cautions for using each What to keep in mind as you evaluate record content between sites Geographic record strengths: A unique table has an at-a-glance comparison for 30+ countries How to see what kinds of records are on each site without subscribing How family trees are structured differently at these websites—and why it matters Privacy, collaboration and security options at each site How DNA testing features differ at the two websites that offer it What you can do with free guest accounts at each website Subscription and free access options   MAILBOX: LIZ ON FINDING CHUCK’S BIRTH FAMILY Click here to learn more about Diahan Southard’s genetic genealogy video tutorials—and a special discount price for Genealogy Gems fans. LINK TO: https://www.yourdnaguide.com/genealogy-gems-dna-tutorial Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. In the works: soon RootsMagic will be fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you’ll be able to sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site. Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa  MAILBOX: THANKS FOR 1940 CENSUS TIPS Kate Eakman shares tips for understanding the 1940: click here to read them or click here to listen to them on Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 201 MAILBOX: WEDDING TIP Before a wedding: start an online family tree and invite each family member to add what they know!  Share family history this summer: Reunions, weddings, BBQs, etc Genealogy Gems Pinterest Page: Incorporating Family History Ideas into Your Wedding Go to: https://www.pinterest.com/lisalouisecooke/incorporating-family-history-into-your-wedding/   Our sponsor for this episode: StoryWorth Give Mom the gift of StoryWorth this Mother's Day Visit www.StoryWorth.com/Lisa to get $20 off Visit: www.StoryWorth.com/Lisa INTERVIEW: DAVE OBEE Continuing our celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday! Dave Obee is an internationally-renowned Canadian journalist, historian and genealogist. Dave is a columnist for Internet Genealogy and Your Genealogy Today (formerly Family Chronicle). Dave has also written about family history for Canada's History and Your Family Tree in the United Kingdom.   Put Dave’s books on your shelf: Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census Destination Canada: A Genealogical Guide to Immigration Records Making the News: A Times Columnist Look at 150 Years of History Canadian census tips from Dave Obee: The 1901 census is his favorite because it says for the first time where people had come from He starts his searches on Ancestry.ca but census databases are free to search on Library and Archives Canada website Marital status may not have been totally accurate. They only captured single or married or windowed. Divorced was not captured. There are two different types of enumerations: de facto and de jure, and the rules were different. This means your ancestor could be enumerated in multiple locations Lisa Louise Cooke Googled the Canadian Census Enumerator Instructions for 1901: At Library & Archives Canada Original instructions digitized at Archive.org   More on Canada genealogy research: Claire Banton in Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #199 Blog post on Canadian Censuses 1825-1921 Search Canadian Passenger Lists for Free at Library and Archives Canada Canadiana: Canadian Digital Archive and Portal to the Past Google Earth for Canada and Genealogy Our Sponsors: Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com. MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started. BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is EXTRA special! It’s an exclusive conversation between Your DNA Guide and Cece Moore of DNA Detectives on researching adoption or unknown parentage. Don’t miss it! The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users. GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB Our featured genealogy book club author this month is Miss Fannie Flagg! The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg Read more tips on discovering the historical context of your ancestor’s lives: Tell Your Ancestor’s Story: Use Social History for Genealogy Social History for Genealogy and the Colored Farmer’s Alliance PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer
May 10, 2017
Episode 202
01:03:10
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 202 Lisa Louise Cooke   Highlights of this episode include: AncestryDNA’s new Genetic Communities: An Interview with Catherine Ball, Ancestry’s Chief Scientific Officer; Meet contestant Joe Greer from Relative Race, the genealogy reality show; The new Genealogy Gems Book Club featured title: a novel from an internationally best-selling author A botched reference to the 1950 census in a Stephen King novel—and 5 tips for counting down to the 1950 census release in exactly 5 years Naming traditions tip from a listener Lisa’s Google search strategies: search operators, YouTube and more   NEWS: ANCESTRYDNA GENETIC COMMUNITIES Ancestry.com rolls out AncestryDNA Genetic Communities FREE VIDEO: Introducing AncestryDNA Genetic Communities Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 201 about new AncestryDNA study   NEWS: MYHERITAGE CONSISTENCY CHECKER Access by logging in to your MyHeritage account and find this tool under the Family Tree dropdown menu:  Thank you to our sponsor: The tool searches for different kinds of potential errors or inconsistencies in your tree:   A Similar Tool: RootsMagic Problem Search In RootsMagic, find it under the Tools menu. Select Problem Search, then Problem List to select the different kinds of problems you can have RootsMagic identify for you and to choose what age ranges you decide are out of bounds for a new father or mother. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors:   MAILBOX: NAMING TRADITIONS   Norwegian naming traditions tip from listener Irish naming conventions mentioned in this Q&A with Irish expert Kate Eakman Mexican Genealogy Guide by David A. Fryxell (Use promo code GEMS17 for 10% off this great product. Good through 12/31/17.)   2 more places to find naming traditions: Google search: for the name of the country or ethnic group, plus naming traditions FamilySearch Wiki MAILBOX: GOOGLE SEARCH OPERATOR TIP: “Oppenheim the butcher, NOT the bomb!” FREE VIDEO TUTORIAL: Speak Google’s Language: Google Search Operator Basics The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd edition by Lisa Louise Cooke MAILBOX: STEPHEN KING AND THE 1950 CENSUS To search inside books in Amazon:   INTERVIEW: JOE GREER ON RELATIVE RACE Meet Team Black: Joe and Madison Greer of Portland, OR Relative Race: “What happens when genealogy meets reality TV? Using their DNA as a guide, contestants embark on the ultimate road trip across America, completing challenges and meeting unknown relatives along the way.” Click here to watch past episodes online for free.  The last two episodes of season two, 9 & 10, will air back to back respectively at 7pm MT/9pm ET and 8pm MT/10PM ET on Sunday, April 30.  Click here to learn more about the show   BONUS CONTENT FOR GENEALOGY GEMS APP USERSFree PDF summary of 8 top genealogy TV shows from the past several years and where you can watch them online—a few of them for free, including Relative Race. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.   INTERVIEW: Catherine Ball, Chief Scientific Officer, Ancestry.com About Catherine Ball: Chief Scientific Officer at Ancestry FREE VIDEO DEMO: Introducing AncestryDNA Genetic Communities Study using AncestryDNA data identifies group migration patterns Thanks to Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard for joining us to talk about this new development in genetic genealogy. Click here to learn more about Diahan’s how-to DNA video tutorials and personal consultation services for solving your family history mysteries with DNA.    GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB New featured title: The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg   A multi-generational novel about a Swedish immigrant and the town he builds in the American Midwest by luring other Swedish settlers and a mail-order bride. As characters die, they take up residency in the local cemetery and continue to comment on the activities and people of the town. Also recommended by Fannie Flagg: The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion   New from past Book Club authors: The Missing Man by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, a novella in his popular Forensic Genealogist series Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave is now available in paperback   PROFILE AMERICA: THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer  
Apr 09, 2017
Episode 201
01:04:43
  with Lisa Louise Cooke    In this episode, I chat with Angela Walton-Raji, expert in U.S. and African-American research, about tips for interviewing relatives and taking your African-American family tree back to the era of slavery. Other highlights of this episode include: A RootsTech 2017 recap, with info on archived streaming sessions; Great news from Findmypast about its new Catholic Heritage Archive; A ground-breaking study from AncestryDNA that identifies specific migration patterns among genetically-related clusters of people; Follow-up mail from Lisa’s Episode 200 celebration; An expert Q&A on finding relatives who don’t appear in the census where you expect them to; A teaser clip from the upcoming Genealogy Gems Book Club interview with Annie Barrows, author of The Truth According to Us. ROOTSTECH 2017 RECAP Genealogy Gems booth streaming sessions are on the Genealogy Gems Podcast Facebook page. "Like" our page, and then scroll down to Videos and click See all (shown here). You’ll find: Lisa Louise Cooke: Google search methodology for genealogy, using Google Earth for genealogy and creating memorable, easy family history videos; Diahan Southard: Understanding your DNA ethnic pie chart; Amie Tennant: Digital journaling and scrapbooking; Sunny Morton: Jogging your memories and “Genealogy Jackpot” (on researching her ancestors’ survival of the Great Johnstown flood of 1889.   POPULAR ROOTSTECH STREAMING LECTURE “THE BIG 4” NOW ONLINE Watch “The Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage” by Gems Editor Sunny Morton and catch a summary of its main points Catch our future free Genealogy Gems streaming sessions on Facebook! "Like" and follow the Genealogy Gems Facebook page.   GENEALOGY GEMS APP BONUS MATERIAL If you listen through the Genealogy Gems app (FREE in Google Play) and $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users), your bonus material for this episode is a short video clip showing a time-lapse perspective on RootsTech 2017 from the exhibitor hall.   NEWS: FINDMYPAST CATHOLIC HERITAGE ARCHIVE Catholic Heritage Archive at Findmypast.com In the Boston Globe: Archdiocese of Boston and New England Historic Genealogical Society plans to bring 10 million+ parish records online MAILBOX: Robin mentioned she’s learned so much from Lisa on these topics: Evernote, Google Books for genealogy, Newspaper research, How to use an iPad for genealogy, How to organize electronic files (see the free Family History Made Easy podcast, episodes 32-33) Google Drive Scrivener software for writing family history  Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com. Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. INTERVIEW: ANGELA WALTON-RAJI Angela Walton-Raji instructs the African-American Genealogy Research Essentials webinar. Purchase it with this link and use coupon code GEMS17 for 10% off, valid through 12/31/17. Angela’s oral history questions: What to ask your elders Did they happen to know anyone who had been born a slave when they were a child? Who was the oldest person that you remember when you were a child? And did that person ever talk about anyone who may have been enslaved? What do you know about where the family was from? (Were we always from Georgia, or, were we always from Pennsylvania, or was there a time when we came from another place? (Read more about the Great Migration she mentioned.) Why did we move? Who remembers that journey? Were people involved in the Civil Rights movement, in the Garvey era, with the Freedom Riders, or other important events in their lifetime? What kinds of things did they see? Who in the family participated in the military (in World War II, I, the Spanish-American War)? African-American military units through the mid-20th century were still referred to as Buffalo soldiers. (She mentioned the Triple Nickel, a unit of all-black World War II paratroopers. MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.     Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search WebHints on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Soon RootsMagic will also be able to search records and even sync your tree with Ancestry.com, too.         EXPERT TIP ON FINDING ANCESTORS “MISSING” IN CENSUSES Read their Q&A: Kate Eakman takes on a Gems listener question from someone who has already done a lot of work trying to locate a relative in the 1940 U.S. census Legacy Tree Genealogists provides expert genealogy research service that works with your research goals, budget and schedule. The Legacy Tree Discovery package offers 3.5 hours of preliminary analysis and research recommendations: a great choice if you’ve hit a brick wall in your research and could use some expert guidance. GENEALOGY GEMS EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Go to www.legacytree.com/genealogygems and use coupon code GEMS100 to save $100 off your purchase of research services (expires 4/30/17).   YOUR DNA GUIDE DIAHAN SOUTHARD: ANCESTRYDNA STUDY BREAKTHROUGH There is no doubt that this is an exciting time to be a genealogist. Here at Genealogy Gems, we are announcing new record collections online every month, advances in genealogy databases and their ability to retrieve the information we are looking for, and of course, DNA testing. There really has been no time in history where such a wealth of information about our past has been so readily available to so many. In another ground-breaking development in the DNA world has been a recent publication in a scientific journal by the scientific team at AnccestryDNA. It is titled, “Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America.” Or, in more understandable terms, “Your DNA can tell us where you came from in America in the last 500 years.” Wow, right? So how did they do this? Well, the power really is in the numbers. In this particular paper they used 770,000 people, but now that they are approaching having testing 4 million people, you can bet the same principles will be applied to a larger data set and we will see even more as a result. But even though it takes a large data set to accomplish this, it really all still comes down to the relationship of two people. To start, Ancestry determines how just two people are genetically related. Then they find how those two are related to a third, again, looking only at pairs of people. This goes on and on and on until everyone in the group as been compared. Then we use a graph to plot those relationships, with those more closely related clustering around each other.  Then the real key, the point where we see the marriage of genetics and genealogy: they add in the family history information for each of these individuals in the cluster. What they found was astounding. They have displayed the data in Figure 3 in the paper: Distribution of ancestral birth locations in North America. Summary map from Nature Communications; click to see article with full explanation of map data. Image used with permission of Ancestry.com. It is a map of the United States with colored dots scattered across the landscape. The location of the dots corresponds to the genealogy of those tested, while the color of the dots relates to their genetic clustering. Those who clustered closest together are the same color. The result is a nearly perfect rainbow, with each color holding its respective spot on the map, with very little overlap between groups. (There are actually two maps in the paper, just to make things easier to see.) We might be tempted when looking at the maps to think, oh, well, of course there is a large population of European Jews in New York, everyone knows that, no breakthrough there. But it IS!! This isn’t their family history, or their accent or their culture that is telling us this, it is their genetics! As if that wasn’t exciting enough, further on in the paper they describe how we can trace migration patterns of different groups over just a few generations. In the paper they specifically mention French Canadians and Cajuns/Acadians, but this same principle can theoretically be applied to dozens of other groups. For example, let’s say you have an ancestor in Texas about 4 generations ago, but you aren’t sure where she came from. If technology like what is published in this paper ever reaches your testing company, your DNA could tell you that you fit into the Lower South group, meaning that your ancestor likely hails from, well, the South!  This is just a glimpse into what the advances in genetics are bringing to your genealogy toolbox. So hang on to your hats, and keep tuned in here at Genealogy Gems for all of the latest updates.   GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB   The Truth According to Us by internationally best-selling author Annie Barrows It’s the summer of 1938, and wealthy young socialite Miss Layla Beck is now on the dole as a WPA worker, assigned to write a history of the small town of Macedonia, West Virginia. As she starts asking questions about the town’s past, she is drawn into the secrets of the family she’s staying with—and drawn to a certain handsome member of that family. She and two of those family members take turns narrating the story from different points of view, exploring the theme that historical truth, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder. Annie Barrows is also the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This novel takes place after World War II in a London recovering from the Blitz and an island recovering from German occupation. At the heart of Guernsey is an unlikely love story and the inspiring tale of a community that took care of each other in their darkest days with humor, compassion and good books. Click here to see more Genealogy Gems Book Club selections and how you can listen to Lisa’s upcoming exclusive conversation with author Annie Barrows about The Truth According to Us.   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Amie Tennant, Content Contributor         Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer Hannah Fullerton: Production Assistance     FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.      
Mar 07, 2017
Episode 200
01:29:03
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 200 with Lisa Louise Cooke  Listen below: It’s finally here—the 200th episode of the free Genealogy Gems podcast, also celebrating its 10th year. In this special episode, Lisa invites Professor Mark Auslander to share his discoveries about a mother and young daughter separated by slavery. Learn how he pieced together their story from a poignant family heirloom found at a flea market. Throughout the episode, you will hear from several listeners, past podcast guests, Gems staffers and supporters in the genealogy industry with congratulations, memories, stories, and favorite Gems tips. Listen for the DNA success story of an adoptee who never gave up his search for his biological roots. Thanks to all listeners and friends who sent congratulations! Among them are: Allison Dolan, Publisher, Family Tree Magazine. She mentioned the Family Tree Magazine Podcast Bruce Buzbee, RootsMagic family history software DearMYRTLE, veteran online genealogy educator and author of the award-winning DearMYRTLE blog. She mentioned Lisa’s Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast; her all-day seminars at societies; and classes at her booth during conferences. Geoff Rasmussen, Legacy Family Tree webinars, and author of Kindred Voices: Listening for Our Ancestors Jim Shaughnessy, Findmypast.com Mary Tedesco, host and genealogist on PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow, founder of Origins Italy, co-author of Tracing Your Italian Ancestors and a guest on Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #175, talking about Italian research and her work on Genealogy Roadshow Steve Luxenberg, author of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret. Listen to Lisa’s conversation with him in The Genealogy Gems Podcast episodes 120 and 121. This book and interview planted the seed for the Genealogy Gems Book Club! Yev Pusin, Social Marketing Marketer, Backblaze online computer backup service, also celebrating its 10th anniversary   NEWS: FAMICITY KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN Famicity Kickstarter campaign: see several options for contributing, including options that come with a Famicity Premium subscription as a reward. Pledges will only be collected if they reach their Kickstarter goal, and subscriptions become active in the summer with the official launch. Tip: the Kickstarter page gives contributions in British currency. Google currency converter to see a tool for converting those amounts to your currency. ROOTSTECH 2017: IN PERSON AND STREAMING CLASSES IN PERSON: If you’re attending RootsTech on February 8-11, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah, come by the Genealogy Gems booth for exclusive 30-minute classes on the hottest topics; prizes at every class AND a Saturday Grand Prize drawing; great Gems product specials and a new and wider selection of products we love. Click here to learn more. LIVE STREAMING: Lisa will be live-streaming marked sessions (above) via the free Periscope app. Get it in Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Sign up for a free account and follow Lisa Louise Cooke to tune in. Sign up for notifications in Periscope, and your phone will “ping” whenever Lisa starts streaming! Broadcasts stay in the Periscope app for 24 hours. Like and follow the Genealogy Gems Facebook page to hear about more streaming sessions. RootsTech offers a few free live-streaming sessions; click here to see the full schedule. Gems editor Sunny Morton will be streaming on Friday, Feb 10 at 3:00 pm Mountain Time with “The Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage.” MAILBOX: LISA AND SUNNY The following were mentioned in listener emails and voicemails: Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke. This is a FREE step-by-step series for beginning genealogists—and more experienced ones who want to brush up or learn something new. One listener mentioned the series on naturalization records in episodes 29-31. The Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke. Monthly episodes—and the full archive of past episodes—are available to Genealogy Gems Premium website subscribers. This podcast takes what you love about the free Genealogy Gems podcast and goes deeper, broader and more exclusively into topics of interest for U.S. and international audiences. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.   Using Evernote to organize your family history research: free tips and great resources to help you make the most of this free app (or its Premium version) to keep all your genealogy research notes and links organized and at your fingertips. Netvibes computer dashboard tool and mobile apps for genealogy Computer backup story from Kathy: “I was robbed! They took the computer AND the backup drive!” Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. DNA WITH YOUR DNA GUIDE DIAHAN SOUTHARD Diahan’s series of how-to videos, available to Gems fans for a special price. Diahan’s series of DNA quick guides, available in print or as digital downloads   IMAGE Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search WebHints on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Soon RootsMagic will also be able to search records and even sync your tree with Ancestry.com, too.       MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.   INTERVIEW: MARK AUSLANDER Mark Auslander is an Associate Professor and Museum Director at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA and the author of The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of Race and Finding An American Family. “Slave Mother’s Love in 56 Carefully-Stitched Words” Mark’s path to the probable family of this artifact used these techniques: Look closely at all clues from the artifact: the fabric, stitching, colors, facts conveyed in the text, etc. Look at both the historical clues and the artistic or symbolic aspects of it. Create a profile for the people mentioned based on what is known. Probable age for Ruth Middleton in 1921, etc. Use contextual and social history clues to hypothesize a scenario. The inclusion of “South Carolina” hints that the seamstress didn’t live in South Carolina, so he guessed that she was part of the Great Migration of millions of African-Americans in the early 1900s who headed from the rural South to the industrial Midwest and other urban cities. Take advantage of unusual clues. Rose is a common name for an enslaved woman, but not Ashley. Look through all available records. Possible census listings for Ruth Middleton in 1920 didn’t seem likely candidates. He dug through marriage records for Northern states until he found a woman named Ruth who married a man named Middleton who fit the profile he’d created. Use specialized sources for African-American research, especially records created by and about the slaveholder that relate to the holding, sale or transfer of enslaved people. Mark says that some researchers describe the search process as “guided by some force larger than yourself that keeps you going through those endless hours in microfilm rooms or online. But it does connect us all in very profound ways to those who came before and those who come after….Through genealogical work, in a sense we can triumph over death itself and we can move back and forth in time in the most remarkable way.” Coming up next month in The Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 201: An interview with Angela Walton-Raji on finding African-American ancestors. She shares tons of resources! Even if you haven’t found any African-Americans on your family tree, the challenges and rewards of African-American genealogical research are both fascinating and moving to learn about.  Legacy Tree Genealogists provides expert genealogy research service that works with your research goals, budget and schedule. The Legacy Tree Discovery package offers 3.5 hours of preliminary analysis and research recommendations: a great choice if you’ve hit a brick wall in your research and could use some expert guidance. GENEALOGY GEMS EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Go to www.legacytree.com/genealogygems and use coupon code GEMS100 to save $100 off your purchase of research services (expires 4/30/17). CONVERSATIONS WITH MORE GEMS Amie Tennant Lacey Cooke Vienna Thomas Amie Tennant, Gems Content Contributor: see the Genealogy Gems blog Lacey Cooke, Gems Service Manager Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer and Audio Editor; she mentioned a favorite Genealogy Gems Book Club title and interview were with Chris Cleave, author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven   GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB   The Truth According to Us by internationally best-selling author Annie Barrows It’s the summer of 1938, and wealthy young socialite Miss Layla Beck is now on the dole as a WPA worker, assigned to write a history of the small town of Macedonia, West Virginia. As she starts asking questions about the town’s past, she is drawn into the secrets of the family she’s staying with—and drawn to a certain handsome member of that family. She and two of those family members take turns narrating the story from different points of view, exploring the theme that historical truth, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder. Click here to read an introduction to using WPA records for genealogy. Annie Barrows is also the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This novel takes place after World War II in a London recovering from the Blitz and an island recovering from German occupation. At the heart of Guernsey is an unlikely love story and the inspiring tale of a community that took care of each other in their darkest days with humor, compassion and good books. Click here to see more Genealogy Gems Book Club selections and how you can listen to Lisa’s upcoming exclusive conversation with author Annie Barrows about The Truth According to Us. Music from this episode is from the band Venice The song played at the opening was “We’re Still Here,” from the album Born and Raised. The song played at the closing was “The Family Tree” from the album 2 Meter Sessies; click to purchase the album or download the song as a single.   FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.  
Feb 06, 2017
Episode 199
01:13:56
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 199 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode, Lisa celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary with Clare Banton from Library and Archives Canada. You’ll also hear how Lisa will be marking another anniversary in 2017: the 10th year of this Genealogy Gems podcast. More episode highlights: An inspiring follow-up email from Gay, whose YouTube discovery Lisa shared in episode 198, and a great conference tip from Barbara just in time for RootsTech. Genealogy Gems Book Club Guru Sunny Morton announces the new Book Club title. Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard shares thoughts about DNA testing with kids. JOIN THE CELEBRATION! 10th ANNIVERSARY AND 200th EPISODE You’re invited to send in well-wishes and win a chance at a prize! Email Lisa by January 31, 2017 at genealogygemspodcast@gmail.com OR call her voicemail line at 925-272-4021. Share your first and last name, email address and where you live (your last name and email address won’t be shared on the podcast); Share a memory of listening to this podcast, such as: When did you start listening? What’s one of your favorite things you’ve learned from this show?   Lisa will randomly select one response to receive a free year of Genealogy Gems Premium membership. Thanks for helping all of us here at Genealogy Gems celebrate 10 years of doing something we love!   NEWS: ROOTSTECH 2017 RootsTech will be held on February 8-11, 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT: learn more and register. Genealogy Gems events at RootsTech Lisa will be live-streaming FREE sessions the marked session via the free Periscope app. Get it in Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Sign up for a free account and follow Lisa Louise Cooke to tune in. Sign up for notifications in Periscope, and your phone will “ping” whenever Lisa starts streaming! Broadcasts stay in the Periscope app for 24 hours. Like and follow the Genealogy Gems Facebook page to hear about more streaming sessions! NEWS: FAMICITY KICK-STARTER Famicity is a free, private website for families to share pictures, videos, memories, family activities and the family tree. The company has been very successful in France where it was launched, and the founder is working to bring the new English platform to the United States. He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to support their U.S. launch. Click here to support it.   Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search WebHints on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Soon RootsMagic will also be able to search records and even sync your tree with Ancestry.com, too.         Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.   MAILBOX: YOUTUBE DISCOVERY FOLLOW-UP Remember the YouTube success story from Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 198? Gay as a young woman attended a dedication ceremony for the saline water treatment in Freeport, Texas—and with Lisa’s tips she found video footage on YouTube.   Gay wrote back to send us more about that, including this page from her diary that day and this news clipping. Check out the news clipping to see why that plant was so important, Pres. John F. Kennedy gave the dedication speech. (See what newspapers can tell you?!) Find your own family history on YouTube. Click here to learn how or read an entire chapter on YouTube in Lisa Louise Cooke’s book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd revised edition. Click here to learn how to turn family stories and artifacts like these into videos to share with relatives. Learn to find articles such as this one that can put your family’s story in context—locally and even nationally. Read How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers by Lisa Louise Cooke. MAILBOX: BARBARA AT NGS Speaking of that book, Barbara gave a thumbs-up to Lisa’s book, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, which helped her find an obituary for someone. She was very excited! Barbara shared a great idea, too: make your own genealogy calling cards. She loves meeting new people at genealogy conferences and likes to be able to follow up with them. She trades business cards. What would YOU put on a genealogy calling card? What about your name and contact information, family surnames and locations, other special research interests and your genealogy blog or website (if you have one).   INTERVIEW: CLAIRE BANTON, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA (LAC) Claire Banton obtained her Masters of Library and Information Studies degree in 2006. She has worked in Reference Services at LAC for 10 years, where she has enjoyed learning something new every day. She is currently Chief, Orientation Services, where she works with an awesome team who help people search for information. She loves being an information detective and helping people overcome their research challenges.  Claire’s tips for genealogy research with LAC: LAC is very different from the average library. It is both a national library (search the library catalog here) and a a national archive (search the archival catalog here). You don't have to have an account to search.  Start with the LAC website (genealogy resources page) whether you are visiting in person or not. There are loads of free databases and some unindexed digitized records. The Topics page will tell you what they do and don't have.  There was no border control from the US to Canada prior to 1908, so there are no Canadian records of earlier crossings. [Tip: see border crossings to the US, 1895-1956 at FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com.] Call LAC directly for quick answers. Schedule a Skype call with a genealogy expert to get more in depth answers: provide background information ahead of time. Click here to explore (and join) Canada’s 150th birthday celebration.   GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB The Truth According to Us by internationally best-selling author Annie Barrows (co-author, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and author, Ivy and Bean, children’s book series) It’s the summer of 1938, and wealthy young socialite Miss Layla Beck is now on the dole as a WPA worker, assigned to write a history of the small town of Macedonia, West Virginia. As she starts asking questions about the town’s past, she is drawn into the secrets of the family she’s staying with—and drawn to a certain handsome member of that family. She and two of those family members take turns narrating the story from different points of view, exploring the theme that historical truth, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder. Click here to read an introduction to using WPA records for genealogy. Click here to see more Genealogy Gems Book Club selections and how you can listen to Lisa’s upcoming exclusive conversation with author Annie Barrows about The Truth According to Us.   DNA WITH DIAHAN: DNA TESTING FOR KIDS?! I was talking with a fellow mom the other day about all the demands that are placed on kids’ time today. They have school and homework, many have after school sports and clubs, religious meetings, some have jobs or at least chores at home, not to mention all the time required to text, check social media, and hang out with friends. As parents and grandparents, we want our children to spend time on things that matter, things that will prepare them for their future lives and mold them into their future selves. According to a 2010 study out of Emory University, if we want to encourage kids toward an activity that will positively impact them, we should steer them toward family history. The researchers reported that “children who know stories about relatives who came before them show higher levels of emotional well-being.” Now, I know I don’t need to convince you of this. You are already sold on genealogy. But I share this in the hope that it will push you over the edge and this will erase any hesitancy you have about sharing this love with your children and grandchildren. Now, since you know this is me, the genetic genealogist talking, you can probably guess what I’ll suggest for getting kids interested in family history. DNA testing is a great way to personally and physically involve them. First of all, there is the tangible process of taking the sample at home, and the marvel at how such a simple act can produce the amazing display of our ethnicity results. Since each of us is unique, it will be fun for them to compare with you and other relatives to see who got what bit of where. This will naturally lead to questions about which ancestor provided that bit of Italian or Irish, and wham! You’ll be right there to tell them about how their 5th great grandfather crossed the ocean with only the clothes on his back, determined to make a new start in a new land. If there are parts of the ethnicity report that you can’t explain, use that as a hook to encourage them to start digging and to find out why you have that smattering of eastern European or south east Asian. Taking them for a tour of the DNA match page you can show them how they share 50% of their DNA with their sister (whether they like it or not!) and how they share 25% with you, their grandparent! DNA test results give kids a totally unique look at their personal identity with technology that is cutting edge. Looking at their DNA test results can turn into a math lesson, a science lesson, a geography lesson, a lesson on heredity or biology, a discussion on identity—wherever you want to go with it! DNA is the perfect introduction to the wonders that genealogy can hold, especially for children who are so good at wondering. Click here to learn more about Diahan’s series of how-to videos, available to Gems fans for a special price. Or start your DNA journey with two guides that will help you get started with kids’ genetic genealogy: Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist   PROFILE AMERICA: ELLIS ISLAND Click here to watch the official, award-winning documentary shown at Ellis Island—free online at YouTube.   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Amie Tennant, Content Contributor         Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor Lacey Cooke, Service Manager Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer
Jan 11, 2017
Episode 198
01:04:15
This episode’s got a bit of holiday sparkle! Lisa Louise Cooke welcomes Genealogy Gems Book Club author and Victorian lifestyle expert Sarah Chrisman to the show to talk about Victorian holiday traditions, some of which may still live on in your own life. Following that conversation, Lisa shares a fun description of Victorian-era scrapbooking: how it’s different than today’s scrapbooking hobby but also how it reminds her of modern social media. More episode highlights: Three success stories from Genealogy Gems listeners: a Google search with great results, a brick-wall busting marriage record and yet another YouTube find for family history (people keep telling us about those!). Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard chimes in with what she likes so far about MyHeritage’s new DNA testing service. An internationally-themed German research conference and a makeover for the Scotland’s People website. NEWS: GERMAN-AMERICAN GENEALOGY PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE First-ever German-American Genealogy Partnership Conference: Minneapolis, MN, July 28-30, 2017. 70 presentations over 3 full days on the theme,  “CONNECTIONS: International. Cultural. Personal” Topics will include major German-speaking regions; social networking opportunities each day for those with common interests in specific regions For the full scoop, at www.GGSMN.org and click “2017 GAGP Conference” Trace Your German Roots Online  by Jim Beidler. Click here to purchase the book and use coupon code GENEALOGYGEMS15 to save an extra 15% through 12/31/ 16, which even works if the book is on sale. NEWS: SCOTLAND’S PEOPLE The newly-relaunched ScotlandsPeople website has several exciting new features: Mobile-friendly web design and an enhanced search function; A quick search option for searching indexed records by name and an advanced search for specific types of records; Free access to several records indexes; More than 150,000 baptism entries from Scottish Presbyterian churches (other than the Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland) have been added and more are coming, as well as marriages and burials; More types of records held by National Records of Scotland are coming, including records of kirk sessions and other church courts; Explore the site for free, including handy how-to guides for using Scottish records such as statutory records, church registers and census returns. MAILBOX: GOOGLE SEARCH SUCCESS STORY From Joan: “I used one of the handy hints from your presentation at the South Orange County California Genealogical Society’s all day seminar in Mission Viejo, CA. I entered some of my common named ancestors, used the quotes, added a time frame and included some key words, like locations. Most of what I found were my own queries and posts. That shows it works!.... One thing I was amazed at was a multi-page article I found: ‘The Lincoln Kinsman,’ written in 1938. It included a lot of information on the Bush family [which is another of her family lines]. The article even included what I think is my ancestor Hannah Bush Radley.”  (Click here or on the image above to see a copy of “The Lincoln Kinsman” at Internet Archive.) Listen to a free 2-part series on cold-calling distant relatives or others as part of your genealogy research: “Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast, episodes 14 and 15.” BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users: A handy cheat sheet with 14 tips from that series on cold-contacting distant relatives. It’s updated with brand-new suggestions, including ways to find potential relatives’ names during the research process. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users. MAILBOX: VONDA BLOGS A MARRIAGE RECORD DISCOVERY Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 197 that inspired her discovery Vonda’s blog post on her discovery: “Right Under Your Nose, or at Least, Your Fingertips! Dickey Family about 1909” MAILBOX: YOUTUBE SUCCESS STORY Gay entered “Freeport Texas history” in YouTube and found historical newsreel footage of the opening ceremony of a local water treatment plant. She and the women in her family were seated on the front row. Here’s a screenshot from that footage: maybe this is a stylish young Gay in sunglasses? (Watch the video here.) Another amazing YouTube family history find in an old newsreel: Gems Editor Sunny Morton finds an ancestor driving his fire truck—with his dog Lisa’s book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox has an entire chapter on discovering family history gems such as these on YouTube. More tips and success stories on using YouTube to find your family history in moving pictures: A woman found her dadding racing his 1959 El Camino 6 ways to use YouTube for family history Find historical documentaries about your family on YouTube   Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. By the end of 2016, RootsMagic expects to be fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you’ll be able to sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.     Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.   INTERVIEW: VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS WITH SARAH CHRISMAN Sarah Chrisman lives her life every day as if it’s the Victorian era. Her clothing, household, pastimes, chores and more all reflect the time period. Listen as Lisa and Sarah talk about the Victorian Christmas tree; gift-giving, crafts, decorating and things that might surprise us about holiday celebrations during that time. Books by Sarah Chrisman: This Victorian Life: Modern Adventures in Nineteenth-Century Culture, Cooking, Fashion and Technologies, a memoir Sarah’s everyday life. The Book Club interview in December will focus mainly on this book. Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present and Myself; True Ladies and Proper Gentlemen: Victorian Etiquette for Modern Day Mothers and Fathers, Husbands and Wives, Boys and Girls, Teachers and Students, and More; First Wheel in Town: A Victorian Cycling Club Romance. This is from her series of light-hearted historical fiction set in an era she knows well! Sarah Chrisman joins me again later this month on the Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode 142 to talk about what it’s like to live every day like it’s the late 1800s. Don’t miss it! Not a Premium member? Click here to learn more about the perks of membership!   Legacy Tree Genealogists provides expert genealogy research service that works with your research goals, budget and schedule. The Legacy Tree Discovery package offers 3.5 hours of preliminary analysis and research recommendations: a great choice if you’ve hit a brick wall in your research and could use some expert guidance. Click here to learn more. GENEALOGY GEMS EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Go to www.legacytree.com/genealogygems and use coupon code SAVE100 with your purchase of research services.     MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.         GEM: VICTORIAN SCRAPBOOKING The Victorians coined the phrase “scrapbooking:” they literally pasted paper scraps into books. As an embellishment, those who could afford to bought “relief scraps,” such as the ones shown here. These were like the precursors of modern sticker sheets or die cuts, printed just for the scrapbooking hobby. You could buy colorful images of everything from flowers or children to animals, or angels or Father Christmas. These images were raised or embossed on the paper, which is why they called them reliefs. Relief scraps could be used as embellishments around other items on scrapbook pages, but sometimes they were the only decoration on a page, arranged in pretty patterns. This Ladies Home Journal magazine from May 1891 at HathiTrust Digital Library describes quote “a Sunday Scrap-book…as a source of almost unlimited pleasure and profit to children who can read and write.” Victorian Scrapbook Gallery at the Library of Birmingham   DNA WITH DIAHAN, Your DNA Guide I don’t think there is any dispute that the four major online resources for genealogy include Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Find My Past, and My Heritage. Of those four, only Ancestry.com has attempted any real integration of DNA test results into traditional genealogy. That is, until recently. On May 19, 2016 MyHeritage announced that they will be adding a DNA matching service to their offering, and then on November 7th announced they would be conducting DNA tests themselves. Now, MyHeritage has enjoyed partnerships with 23andMe and Family Tree DNA for quite some time now, but those partnerships have been woefully underutilized and are little more than an affiliate service, where MyHeritage provides a discounted rate to test at those companies. There is no question that the launch of DNA Heritage fully into the genetic genealogy market is exciting news. In fact, it is something I have been pushing for – we absolutely need someone to challenge AncestryDNA. Competition is good.  In September they began to provide matching results for individuals who had uploaded their results. As of today, uploading your results is still free, so if you have been thinking about it, you may want to take advantage sooner rather than later. As expected, the matches are only as good as the depth of the database, and it is early in the game, so their database is small, but even now we can get an idea of what to expect from MyHeritage as they take their first steps into genetic genealogy. One of the most exciting elements of their November 7th announcement is their development of a Founder Population project where they have handpicked individuals to represent their reference population for calculating ethnicities. They plan to launch with 25 population groups, but will likely increase to 100 in a fairly short amount of time. This is a far more advanced ethnicity report than is currently offered anywhere else. After you have figured out how to download your raw data from your testing company  (see my instructions here: http://www.yourdnaguide.com/transferring), and then managed to add it to My Heritage (you have to add a family tree to MyHeritage to do this, see further instructions in their May press release), and waited the requisite time to process, you will receive a notice that you have new DNA matches. For a full review of the features and ins and outs of where to click and what to look at, please refer to the September blog post from MyHeritage. As for my favorite features, I like how they list all the possible relationships that make sense between you and your match taking into account multiple factors like your age, gender, and your genetics instead of a simple, generic range like 2nd-4th cousins. The accompanying chart that visually shows you all possible relationships is also very helpful. You can access it by clicking on the little question mark icon next to the relationship suggestions. I like that these suggestions remind us that our genetic relationships have different genealogical interpretations. Meaning that genetically, a 2nd cousin once removed, a first cousin twice removed, and a second cousin, all fall within a similar genetic range and it is impossible to determine your exact relationship based on the genetics alone. I also like that they are providing all three genetic descriptors of your relationship: total amount of shared DNA, how many segments are shared, and the size of the longest piece of shared DNA. While this more of an intermediate to advanced piece of your results, it can be important as your relationship analysis becomes more involved. One unique claim made by MyHeritage in their press release about their matching feature addresses a main concern that genetic genealogists have: the lack of pedigree information provided by their matches. MyHeritage claims that 95% of their DNA samples have pedigrees attached. That is remarkable! However, from my own quick calculation of my matches, the number with pedigrees is more like 60%. They also indicated that they will soon be doing a bit of pedigree analysis for you by providing a list of shared surnames and locations between you and your match based on the pedigrees you have both submitted. This will certainly be a welcome addition. According to the November 9th Q and A they haven’t decided yet if the ethnicity features will be available to those who only transfer, and they hint at many more features they have in the works that may only be offered to those who purchase their test. In short, the MyHeritage site is currently functioning much like the top three genetic genealogy sites (Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, and 23andMe) and like the free tool Gedmatch, offers a meeting place for those who have been tested at one company to meet those who have tested at another, with the added bonus of a promise of new features on the horizon. PROFILE AMERICA: A DICKENSENIAN TALE PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Amie Tennant, Content Contributor Vienna Thomas, Audio Editor Lacey Cooke, Additional Production Support
Dec 15, 2016
Episode 197
01:10:53
Episode 197with Lisa Louise Cooke Download these show notes This episode celebrates the most recent family history there is—our own. A chat between host and producer Lisa Louise Cooke and Gems editor Sunny Morton explores the meaning and memories behind heirlooms in Lisa’s home. They comment on the larger value, for self and others, of recording our own memories in honor of Sunny’s new book, Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy. Also in this episode: A spotlight on new marriage records online for the U.S. and around the world. Lisa walks a listener through several tips for learning more about her immigrant ancestors (a mother and daughter). Lisa shows how to use today’s technology tools to help with traditional research skills such as locating passenger lists, immigrant society records and naturalization. Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard talks about organizing your DNA matches so you can get the most out of them. Genealogy Gems Book Club featured author and Victorian lifestyle expert Sarah Chrisman describes what it’s like in her home—which doesn’t use electricity—as the days grow shorter and the darkness comes earlier.   LISA SHARES HER RECENT DISCOVERIES The original photograph of her grandmother: The writing on the backside of the photo. Can you read he second line?   NEW RECORDS ONLINE: Marriage Records New York City Marriages: a new index to more than 3 million marriage licenses for recent New York City marriages (1950-1995) Free FamilySearch marriage record collections recently added or updated include: Arkansas Church Marriages, 1860-1976  Nebraska, Box Butte County Marriages, 1887-2015 Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013  Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950  Washington, County Marriages for 1855-2008 Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013  California, County Marriages, 1850-1952  New Zealand, Civil Records Indexes, 1800-1896  Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1588-1913; Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1541-1914; Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, 1621-1914; Belgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798-1906 Nicaragua Civil Registration, 1809-2013 Russia, Tatarstan Church Books, 1721-1939 Argentina, Cordoba, Catholic Church Records, 1557-1974 Sweden, Gävleborg Church Records, 1616-1908; index 1671-1860 Learn more about marriage record research: Listen to Using Marriage Records in Family History: Episode 24 in Lisa Louise Cooke’s free step-by-step podcast, Genealogy: Family History Made Easy.   BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users: Finding Copies of Images Online with Google on Your Mobile Device If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is an exclusive step-by-step tutorial PDF that shows you how to use your mobile device and Google to locate copies of images online. Remember, the Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.   MAILBOX: Finding a Female Immigrant Ancestor Question from Jo: “I have been fortunate to find information about most of my great-grandparents.  I have hit a wall with my maternal great grandmother who immigrated from Switzerland to the US in the 1880's when she was 8 years old. I was hoping that by upgrading to International records on Ancestry that I could find the ship and where she and her mother came from. The curious thing for me is that she and her mother travelled solo to the US and went to Cincinnati, Ohio. I've been to Cincinnati and have searched there and have found directories with addresses but no profession is listed like other people. I didn't find any ship records either. Where might you suggest that I look or search to find more information?” Tips for searching passenger arrival lists: Consider what ports would have been the most logical point of arrival for an immigrant ancestor based on the time period and the U.S. location in which you find them. Cincinnati, Ohio, was reachable by rail by the 1880s from major ports, as well as by water via the Mississippi River for southern ports, so that doesn’t narrow things down much. According to an Ancestry.com article, more than 80% of immigrants arrived at the Port of New York by the 1890s, so Jo might scrutinize those New York passenger arrival lists for the 1880s again. Free New York City passenger arrival databases at Castlegarden.org Major U.S. Immigration Ports (Ancestry.com) New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Ancestry.com) New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 (FamilySearch.org; New York City, NARA M237) New York Passenger Lists & Arrivals, 1846-1890 Search multiple NYC passenger lists simultaneously at Steve Morse’s One-Step web portal For “deeper” searching at Ancestry.com or other sites with powerful, flexible search interfaces: do a “nameless search” (without any name) for girls around age 8 for arrivals in particular years. Try additional searches with various combinations of name, place of origin (Switzerland) or “Swiss” in the keyword field, which will bring up that word in the ethnicity or nationality column. That column doesn’t have its own search field in Ancestry.com but it is indexed, so use the keyword field to search it. Research Swiss immigration to Cincinnati during that time period. Who was coming, why they were coming and where they were coming from? Click here for free tips about researching historical questions such as these. The Swiss in the United States at Internet Archive Swiss-American Historical Society and Swiss Center: Genealogy Tips for researching records of immigrant societies: In the U.S., the time between an immigrant’s arrival and naturalization is often documented in records of ethnic organizations such as fraternal benefit societies, immigrant aid and colonization societies. These kinds of community groups often existed in cities and towns where specific immigrant groups had a strong presence. Germans in Hamilton County, Ohio (FamilySearch wiki) Finding aid for the Swiss Benevolent Association (Cincinnati, Ohio) records, 1871-2011 Swiss Benevolent Association, Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Library’s Genealogy and Local History Department Hamilton County Genealogical Society Become an expert Google searcher (for genealogy and everything else you want to find online) with The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd edition, by Lisa Louise Cooke. Or click here to get started with basic Google search strategies you can use now. Tips for researching naturalizations: Naturalization records from that time period won’t reliably tell you where an ancestor was from. But they’re still worth looking for, especially if census or other records indicated that the person naturalized. When looking for women’s and children’s naturalization records, remember that during this time period, they automatically became naturalized if their husband or father did, so individual records for married women and minor children won’t exist under their own names. But a woman could apply on her own, too. Click here to read a free article on women’s naturalizations. Learn more in a free, 3-episode series on immigration and naturalization records: episodes 29-31 in the free, step-by-step Genealogy: Family History Made Easy podcast. GET THE RIGHT GENEALOGY DATABASE: Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. And in the near future, RootsMagic will be fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you’ll be able to sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.   BACKUP YOUR GENEALOGY: Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.   INTERVIEW: Sunny Morton on recording your own life stories   Story of My Life  “Some people about writing their life stories like I do about going to the gym. I put off going, but once I do I remember how much I enjoy it—and how much good it does me.” -Sunny Sunny asks Lisa about this photo and her memories... Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy available as a writeable PDF ebook or as a full-sized softcover workbook   GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: Sarah Chrisman   This Victorian Life Featured Genealogy Gems Book Club author Sarah Chrisman describes what it’s like when the days get shorter and the darkness comes early—in a house without electricity.         Legacy Tree Genealogists provides expert genealogy research service that works with your research goals, budget and schedule. The Legacy Tree Discovery package offers 3.5 hours of preliminary analysis and research recommendations: a great choice if you’ve hit a brick wall in your research and could use some expert guidance. Click here to learn more. GENEALOGY GEMS EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Go to www.legacytree.com/genealogygems and use coupon code SAVE100 with your purchase of research services.   MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.     DNA WITH DIAHAN SOUTHARD Parents spend a good portion of their parenting time ferreting out the real story from their children. One time when Henry was in Kindergarten he was playing outside with another little boy. I was in and out of the house watching him and checking on other things. Hours later I noticed that his bike had been spray-painted black. When confronted, he claimed he had no idea how such a thing could have happened. Unfortunately, I jumped to conclusions and blamed the other kid (you have to give me credit, at six Henry was such a good boy and had such an angelic face with his blue blue eyes and blonde blonde hair). But as I was on the phone with my husband telling him about the issue I looked over at Henry and I saw it- that guilty look and my stomach sank, recalling the things I had said to the other boy’s mom. “I’ll have to call you back,” I told my husband. As genealogists, we spend our time trying to ferret out the real story from our ancestors, or at least from the records they left behind, because they’re not sitting in front of us with guilty looks on their faces. We are constantly checking family stories against, say, the information on a census record, then comparing it to the family will, then making sure it all agrees with what’s in the military records. And even if we have total agreement, which isn’t always, more information often comes along, like in the form of DNA testing, and we may find even more apparent discrepancies. I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about a reporter, Cameron McWhirter, who talks about finding just that kind of discrepancy between his family lore and his DNA. He even goes so far as to say, “I am descended, at least partially, from liars.” And he makes the point that “many immigrants reinvented themselves when they arrived here (the United States),” which could be a nice way of saying they had a chance to INVENT a new legacy, not just reinvent it. His assessments are certainly interesting, and worth reviewing, to help us see how DNA testing can affect the way we look at family stories and traditional research results. McWhirter may be the classic modern genealogist, never having set foot inside a courthouse or scanned through microfiche, relying instead entirely, he reports, on internet research. Now before you roll your eyes, just stop for a minute and appreciate how exciting this is. Here is a man who never gave his family history a second thought, yet because of the death of his parents started to tinker around a bit, and then due to the large volume of information online “was quickly pulled into the obsessive world of modern genealogical research.” I say, score one for the genealogy world! What he found was that while his dad was proudly and solidly a self-proclaimed Scot, the records and DNA revealed his heritage was actually from Ireland and eastern Europe. McWhirter says that his “father hated Notre Dame, but judging by my results he could have been one-quarter to one-half Irish. He spoke dismissively of people from Eastern Europe, but part of his genetic code likely came from that region.” McWhirter’s evaluation of his genetic report includes only his ethnicity results, which as you can hear, were meaningful to him in the way they flew in the face of his father’s prejudices and assertions of his own identity. But the ethnicity results fall short of the point of testing for most genealogists. He might even more powerfully transform his sense of family identity if he took a look at his match list and saw an actual living cousin, for example, a third cousin perhaps who was also descended from his German great-grandmother, who maybe never mentioned that she was also Jewish. Connecting with other cousins who also have paper trails to our ancestors serves to provide further confidence that we have put all of the pieces together and honored the right ancestor with a spot on our pedigree chart. It’s like we multiply our own research efforts by finding more people like us—literally—who are descended from the same people and interested in finding them. As long as they’re as diligent in their research as we are, of course. At a recent conference I met a 5th cousin. Even with a connection that distant it was exciting, and it made we want to look again at our connecting ancestors and pause for just a minute to marvel how my DNA verified my paper trail back to them, and that part of them was around, in me, and in my new cousin. To me, THAT’s a bigger picture I want to see—when the paper trail comes together with the DNA trail and turns into real live cousins, even if they turn out to be a little different than the stories and sense of identity that were handed to us when we were young. Maybe you’re something like Cameron McWhirter: you’ve taken a DNA test, been intrigued (or disappointed) by the ethnicity results, but haven’t yet fully explored all your matches on your list. I’m telling you, you may be seriously missing some opportunities. If that’s you, I may actually have written my new DNA quick guide just for you. It’s called “Next Steps: Working with Your Autosomal DNA Matches.” This guide will teach you how to leverage the power of known relatives who have tested. You’ll get an intro to chromosome browsers and their role in the search process, and access to a free bonus template for evaluating the genealogical relationship of a match in relationship to the predicted genetic relationship. This guide also gives you a methodology for converting UNknown relatives on your match list into known relatives, which is what we’re going for here. So check it out, either as a solo purchase or as part of my Advanced DNA bundle, which comes along with my new Gedmatch guide and a guide expressly for organizing your DNA matches.   PROFILE AMERICA: Lights Out   PRODUCTION CREDITS Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Editor Amie Tennant, Content Contributor Vienna Thomas, Audio Editor Lacey Cooke, Additional Production Support FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-book as a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.  
Nov 10, 2016
Episode 196
01:04:34
The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode, expert Kate Eakman from Legacy Tree Genealogists joins us with some tips for those starting to trace their Irish ancestors into Ireland. She shares some great websites for Irish research and places to look for that elusive Irish home county;and an exclusive coupon code for anyone who could use some expert help on a tough research problem. Additional episode highlights: Gems listeners respond with strong opinions on sharing gossip about our ancestors; Genealogy Gems Book Club surprises: a past featured author has a new book out—and something different for the new Book Club pick; Mark your calendars and make some plans for big conferences in 2017; Organize your DNA test results and matches to help you get the most out of them, now and in the future. Listen now - click the player below: NEWS: 2017 Conferences RootsTech 2017 open for registration FGS 2017 hotels are open   BOOK CLUB NEWS: NEW FROM NATHAN DYLAN GOODWIN British author Nathan Dylan Goodwin, featured in the past on the Genealogy Gems Book Club with his novel The Lost Ancestor has a NEW novel out in same forensic genealogy mystery series. The Spyglass File: Hero Morton Farrier is back, and he’s on the trail of his client’s newly-discovered biological family. That trail leads to the fascinating story of a young woman who provides valuable but secret service during World War II—and who unknowingly became an entry in the mysterious Spyglass File. The connection is still so dangerous that Morton’s going to have bad guys after him again, and he may or may not be kidnapped right before he’s supposed to marry the lovely Juliette. Meanwhile, you’ll find him anguishing over the continuing mystery of his own biological roots—a story that unfolds just a little more in this new book.   MAILBOX: School Records Suggestion Responding to Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #194: “For those that have these old school records, consider donating them (even a digitized image) to the school from whence they originated. I shared class photos taken in the 1940s with my parents’ grade schools. The school was so appreciative! I hope another researcher down the road benefits from the pictures as well.” - Laura MAILBOX: Passing on the Gossip Blog post with Jennifer’s letter, my response, and several more comments Here’s a link to a post about the stamp pendant Jennifer sent me  Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. In the near future, RootsMagic will be fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you’ll be able to sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.   Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.   INTERVIEW: Kate Eakman and Getting Started in Irish Genealogy GENEALOGY GEMS EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Go to www.legacytree.com/genealogygems and use coupon code SAVE100 to save $100 on your purchase of research services. Legacy Tree Genealogist specialist Kate Eakman shares tips about getting started in Irish genealogy. Here are the highlights: Q: Where would you recommend the hobbyist start their Irish search?  A: Not a lot of Irish records are available online for free. Top sites for Irish records include: FamilySearch.org (click here for their Ireland landing page), National Archives of Ireland, Irishgenealogy.ie and Findmypast.com (click here for their Ireland page). Q: What does a researcher need to know before crossing the pond? A: Where the person was born in Ireland. The county. Find out if they were Protestant or Catholic. Click here for an interactive map of Irish counties, including those of Northern Ireland. Q: Where do you recommend they look for that info in the U.S. crossing the pond? A: Death records, marriage records, church records (keep an eye on extended family), passenger lists, naturalization papers. Keep an eye out for extended family members who may have come from the same place. Be aware of traditional Irish naming conventions and patterns. Q: At what point in the Irish research process do hobbyists usually get stuck? A: Common names regularly recycled, so it can be tough to sort out who is who. Also, a huge fire at the Public Records Office in Dublin in 1922 destroyed the bulk of government records. Click here for a description of what was lost and what surviving fragments are coming soon to Findmypast.com. Q: How does it work to work with a professional genealogist at Legacy Tree Genealogists? A: Here’s the process. A manager calls or emails the client to discuss their needs and parameters. They identify the goals and determine what the client already knows. A goal is settled on and then a researcher is assigned to the client. A written report of the research conducted is provided. GENEALOGY GEMS EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Go to www.legacytree.com/genealogygems and use coupon code SAVE100 to save $100 on your purchase of research services. The Legacy Tree Discovery package provides for 3.5 hours of preliminary analysis and research recommendations. It’s a great way to get started if you’ve hit a brick wall in your research and could use some expert guidance. Click here to learn more. This episode is sponsored by MyHeritage.com. the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.     DNA GEM with Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard: Organizing Your DNA I can tell whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher by the state of the silverware drawer. If either of the boys have done it (ages 13 and 11), the forks are haphazardly in a jumble and the spoon stack has overflowed into the knife section, and the measuring spoons are nowhere to be found. If, on the other hand, it was my daughter (age 8), everything is perfectly in order. Not only are all the forks where they belong, but the small forks and the large forks have been separated into their own piles and the measuring spoons are nestled neatly in size order. Regardless of the state of your own silverware drawer, it is clear that most of us need some sort of direction when it comes to organizing our DNA test results. Organizing your matches entails more than just lining them up into nice categories like Mom’s side vs. Dad’s side, or known connections vs. unknown connections. Organizing your results involves making a plan for their use. Good organization for your test results can help you reveal or refine your genealogical goals, and help determine your next steps. The very first step is to download your raw data from your testing company and store it somewhere on your own computer. I have instructions on my website if you need help. Once that is complete, we can get to the match list. One common situation for those of you who have several generations of ancestors in the United States, you may have some ancestors that seem to have produced a lot of descendants who have caught the DNA testing vision. This can be like your overflowing spoon stack, and it may be obscuring some valuable matches. But identifying and putting all of those known matches in their proper context can help you realize these abundant matches may lead to clues about the descendant lines of your known ancestral couple that you were not aware of. In my Organizing Your DNA Matches quick sheet I outline a process for drawing out the genetic and genealogical relationships of these known connections to better understand their relationship to each other and to you. It is then easier to verify that your genetic connection is aligned with your known genealogical paper trail and spot areas that might need more research. This same idea of plotting the relationships of your matches to each other can also be employed as you are looking to break down a brick wall in your family tree, or even in cases of adoption.  They key to identifying unknowns is determining the relationships of your matches to each other, so you can better see where you might fit in. Another helpful tool is a trick I learned from our very own Lisa Louise Cooke, and that is Google Earth. Have you ever tried to use Google Earth to help you in your genetic genealogy? Remember that the common ancestor between you and your match has three things that connect you to them: their genetics, surnames, and locations. We know the genetics is working because they are showing up on your match list. But often times you cannot see a shared surname among your matches. However, by plotting their locations in the free Google Earth, kind of like separating the big forks from the little forks, you might be able to recognize a shared location that would identify which line you should investigate for a shared connection. So, what are you waiting for? Line up those spoons and separate the big forks from the little forks, your organizing efforts may just reveal a family of measuring Spoons, all lined up and waiting to be added to your family history.   GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: Sarah A. Chrisman Author spotlight: Sarah A. Chrisman, living icon of the Victorian age. Sarah and her husband Gabriel live like it’s about 1889. They wear Victorian-style clothing and use a wood-burning stove and antique ice box. Sarah wears a corset day and night Gabriel wears 19th century glasses. No TV, no cell phones—and Sarah isn’t even a licensed driver. For this Book Club, you can take your pick of Sarah’s books! Which would you like to read? This Victorian Life: Modern Adventures in Nineteenth-Century Culture, Cooking, Fashion and Technologies, a memoir Sarah’s everyday life. The Book Club interview in December will focus mainly on this book. Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present and Myself; True Ladies and Proper Gentlemen: Victorian Etiquette for Modern Day Mothers and Fathers, Husbands and Wives, Boys and Girls, Teachers and Students, and More; First Wheel in Town: A Victorian Cycling Club Romance. This is from her series of light-hearted historical fiction set in an era she knows well! In honor of the Book Club theme, Genealogy Gems is going Victorian! From now through the end of the year, you’ll find Victorian-inspired crafts, recipes, décor, fashions and more on our Instagram and Pinterest sites, which of course we’ll link to regularly from the Genealogy Gems website, newsletter, podcast show notes and Facebook page. Nobody does sumptuous holiday traditions quite like the Victorians, and we look forward to celebrating that.   BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is a PDF with instructions on accessing the new free Guild of One-Name databases on FamilySearch.org. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.   Receive our FREE Genealogy Gems Newsletter: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.    
Oct 12, 2016
Episode 195
01:00:03
The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode, I’m celebrating the 100th episode of another podcast I host: the Family Tree Magazine podcast. So I’ll flashback to one of my favorite interviews from that show, an inspiring get-in-shape conversation for your research skills: how you can strengthen your research muscles and tone those technology skills to find and share your family history. More episode highlights: News on Chronicling America and Scotland’s People; Comments from guest expert Lisa Alzo on millions of Czech records that have recently come online; A YouTube-for-genealogy success story from a woman I met at a conference; An excerpt from the Genealogy Gems Book Club interview with Chris Cleave, author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven; Diahan Southard shares a DNA gem: the free website GEDmatch, which you might be ready for if you’ve done some DNA testing. Listen now - click the player below: NEWS: Genealogy.coach Genealogy.coach NEWS: GENEALOGY WEBSITE UPDATES Scotland’s People Findmypast.com: Scottish records Chronicling America Chronicling America: New state partners join the program Chronicling America: Expanding its current scope MyHeritage Adds DNA Matching NEW RECORDS ONLINE: FREE CZECH RECORDS AT FAMILYSEARCH.ORG Czech Republic Church Records 1552-1963 Czech Republic Land Records 1450-1889 Czech Republic School Registers 1799-1953 On browse-only records: Though not fully indexed, the new Czech browse-only records number over 4 million. Click here learn how to use browse-only collections on FamilySearch.org. Lisa Alzo, Eastern European genealogy expert and author of the new book The Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide comments on the significance of these records coming online: “These records are a real boon for Czech researchers because at one time the only to get records such as these was to write to an archive and taking a chance on getting a response or spending a lot of money to hire someone to find the records or to travel there yourself to do research in the archives.   The church records contain Images and some indexes of baptisms/births, marriages, and deaths that occurred in the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran, and Reformed Church parishes, as well as entries in those registers for Jews.  Land transactions containing significant genealogical detail for a time period that predates parish registers. The collection includes records from regional archives in Opava and Třeboň and from the district archive in Trutnov. School registers contain the full name for a child, birth date, place of birth, country, religion and father's full name, and place of residence. While researchers should keep in mind that not everything is yet online,and FamilySearch will likely add to its collection,  having these records from FS is an amazing resource for anyone whose ancestors may have come from these areas. And hopefully there are more records to come!” GENEALOGY GEMS NEWS Celebrating 2 million downloads of the Genealogy Gems podcast and GenealogyGems.com named as one of Family Tree Magazine’s 101 Best Websites for 2016 Story of My Life by Sunny Morton, life story-writing journal available as a print workbook and as a writeable pdf e-book Diahan Southard will be at the Back to Our Past conference in Dublin, Ireland, October 21 to 23, 2016   Genealogy Gems app users:  For those of you who listen to this show through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus handout is a PDF document with step-by-step instructions and helpful screenshots for Google image search on mobile devices. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users   Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. And in the near future, RootsMagic will be fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you’ll be able to sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.   Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa. Review your search results—especially those that pop up in the Images category.   MAILBOX: Robin’s YouTube Success Story YouTube video with Robyn’s father: Cleves, Ohio: Edgewater Sports Park The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd edition has an entire chapter on using YouTube to find family history in historical videos YouTube for Family History: Finding Documentaries about Your Family   MAILBOX: FEEDBACK ON THE PODCASTS Free, step-by-step podcast for beginners and a “refresher” course: Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Genealogy Gems Premium podcast   SHAPING UP WITH SUNNY MORTON Family Tree Magazine Podcast celebrates 100th episode   Sunny Morton has get-in-shape advice for us—from strengthening research skills to toning tech muscles--from the article "Shaping Up" featured in the March 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine. More resources for genealogy education: Genealogy Gems Premium membership Family Tree University National Genealogical Society Educational Courses Boston University Programs in Genealogical Research Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree annual conference GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: Everyone Brave is Forgiven, the best-selling novel by British author Chris Cleave. A love story set in World War II London and Malta. This story is intense, eye-opening and full of insights into the human experience of living and loving in a war zone—and afterward. Everyone Brave is Forgiven is inspired by love letters exchanged between the author’s grandparents during World War II. Video: Chris Cleave on the U.S troops coming to Europe in World War II Click here for more Genealogy Gems Book Club titles MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.     GEDMATCH WITH DIAHAN SOUTHARD, YOUR DNA GUIDEThe genetic genealogy community has a crush. A big one.  Everyone is talking about it. “It has such great features.” says one. “It has a chromosome browser!” exclaims another. “It’s FREE!” they all shout. What are they talking about? GEDmatch. GEDmatch is a mostly free online tool where anyone with autosomal DNA test results from 23andMe, FTDNA, and AncestryDNA can meet and share information. All you need to do is download your data from your testing company and upload it into your newly created GEDmatch account. GEDmatch is set up just like your testing company in that it provides two kinds of reports: ethnicity results, and a match list. Remember that ethnicity results, meaning those pie charts that report you are 15% Italian and 32% Irish, are based on two factors: a reference population and fancy math. GEDmatch has gathered data from multiple academic sources to provide you with several different iterations of ethnicity reports. This is like getting a second (and third and fourth, etc) opinion on a science that is still emerging. It is a fun exercise, but will likely not impact your genealogy research very much. The more important match list does allow you to see genetic cousins who have tested at other companies. Of course, only those who have downloaded their results and entered them into GEDmatch will show up on your list. This means GEDmatch has the potential to expand your pool of genetic cousins, increasing your chances of finding someone to help you track down that missing ancestor. Many also flock to GEDmatch because they were tested at AncestryDNA and thus do not have access to a chromosome browser. A chromosome browser allows you to visualize the physical locations that you share with someone else. Some find this to be a helpful tool when analyzing their DNA matches (though in my opinion it is not essential). GEDmatch also has some great genealogy features that let you analyze your pedigree against someone else’s, as well as the ability to search all the pedigree charts in their system so you can look specifically for a descendant of a particular relative. However, even with all of these great features, GEDmatch is still yet another website you have to navigate, and with that will be a learning curve, and certainly some frustration. So, is it worth it? If you are fairly comfortable with the website where you were tested, and you are feeling both curious and patient, I say go for it. It’s too much to try to tell you right this minute how to download your data from your testing site and upload it to GEDmatch. BUT you’re in luck, I’ve put step-by-step instructions for getting started in a FREE tutorial on my website at www.yourDNAguide.com/transferring. After you’ve done the upload, you may need a little bit more help to navigate the GEDmatch site because there are so many great tools on it. I recently published a GEDmatch Quick Guide, where I have condensed into four pages the most essential features of GEDmatch to get you started and help you make use of this tool for genetic genealogy. Using my guide is an inexpensive and easy way to get a lot more out of a free online resource. I will also be adding more GEDmatch tutorials to my online tutorial series later this fall, which Genealogy Gems fans get a nice discount on (click here for that discount). By the way, have you tried GEDmatch? I would love to hear about your experiences. You can email me at guide@yourDNAguide.com.   DNA QUICK GUIDE BUNDLES: NEW AND ON SALE Advanced DNA Quick Guide Bundle by Diahan Southard: GEDmatch: A Next Step for your Autosomal DNA Test Organizing Your DNA Matches: A Companion Guide Next Steps: Working with Your Autosomal DNA Matches   SUPER DNA Quick Guide Bundle by Diahan Southard with ALL 10 Guides Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist Mitochondrial DNA for the Genealogist Y Chromosome DNA for the Genealogist and Testing Companies: Understanding Ancestry: A Companion Guide to Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist Understanding Family Tree DNA: A Companion Guide to Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist Understanding 23 and Me: A Companion Guide to Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist and Advanced Tools Next Steps: Working With Your Autosomal DNA Matches Organzing Your DNA Matches GEDmatch: A Next Step for Your Autosomal DNA Test   Genealogy Gems Podcast turns 200: Tell me what you think?As we count down to the 200th episode of the free Genealogy Gems Podcast, what have been YOUR favorite things about the podcast? Any particular topics, interviews or segments of the show? What keeps you coming back? What would you like to hear more of? Email me at genealogygemspodcast@gmail.com, or leave a voicemail at (925) 272-4021, or send mail to: P.O. Box 531, Rhome, TX 76078. FREE NEWSLETTER:  
Sep 14, 2016
Episode 194
47:22
The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke Did you know you can use Google to help identify images, to find more images like them online, and even to track down images that have been moved to a different place online? Find these great Google tech tips in this episode, along with 10 tech-savvy tricks for finding an ancestor's school records. You will also hear how to create a family history photo decoupage plate: a perfect craft to give as a gift or create with children. This blast from the past episode comes from the digitally remastered Genealogy Gems Podcast episodes 11 and 12 (originally recorded in 2007). They are now interwoven with fresh narration; below you’ll find all-new show notes. Google Image searches: Updated tips Click here to watch a short new tutorial video on using Google Images to find images for your genealogy research. Conduct an initial search using the search terms you want. The Image category (along with other categories) will appear on the screen along with your search results. For images of people: enter name as search term in quotes: “Mark Twain.” If you have an unusual name or if you have extra time to scroll through results, enter the name without quotation marks. Other search terms to try: ancestral place names, tombstone, name of a building (school, church, etc.), the make and model of Grandpa’s car, etc. Click on one of the image thumbnails to get to a highlight page (shown here) where you can visit the full webpage or view the image. If you click View images, you’ll get the web address. To retrieve images that no longer appear at the expected URL: Click on View image to get the image URL. Copy the image’s URL (Ctrl+C in Windows) and paste it (Ctrl+V) into your web browser to go to that image’s page. When you click through, you’re back in Web view. The first few search results should be from the website with the image you want. Click on a link that says “cache.” A cached version is an older version of the website (hopefully a version dated before the image was moved or removed). Browse that version of the site to find the image. NEW Tip: Use Google Chrome to identify an image and find additional images showing the same subject, such as a place, person or subject. From the Google home page, click Images. In the Google search box, you’ll see a little camera icon. Click on it. If you have an image from a website, insert the URL for that image. If you have an image on your computer, click Upload an image. Choose the file you want. Google will identify the image as best it can, whether a location, person, or object, and it will show you image search results that seem comparable. Click here to watch a free video tutorial on this topic.   GEM: Decoupage a Family Photo Plate Supply List: Clear glass plate with a smooth finish (available at kitchen outlet and craft stores) Sponge craft brush Decoupage glue Fine paper-cutting scissors (Cuticle scissors work well) Small bottle of acrylic craft paint in a color you would like for the back A flat paintbrush Painter’s tape Brush-on clear acrylic varnish for a glossy finish on the back of the plate A selection of photos (including other images that complement the photos)  Assembling your plate: Lay out your design to fit the plate Add words if desired. You can draw directly on the copy or print it out and cut it to fit. Put an even coat of glue on the front of each photo. Don't worry about brush strokes, but be careful not to go over it too many times which could cause the ink to run.  Apply the photos to the back of the plate, working in reverse order (the first images placed on the plate will be in the foreground of the design). Glue the edges firmly. Turn the plate over to check the placement of images. Smooth using craft brush. Brush glue over the back of each photo. Turn the plate around so you can see the image from the front and work out the air bubbles. Continue to place the images until the entire plate is covered. Let it dry 24 hours. Use painters’ tape to tape off the edges before you apply the acrylic paint to the back of the plate. Paint the back and let dry. Apply a second coat. Let dry. Apply an acrylic varnish for a glossy finish on the back. Let dry. Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. And soon, RootsMagic will be fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you’ll be able to sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site. Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze.com/Lisa, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems.   GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB Our current book is Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. Follow the story of Mary North, a wealthy young Londoner who signs up for the war effort when the Great War reaches England. Originally assigned as a schoolteacher, she turns to other tasks after her students evacuate to the countryside, but not before beginning a relationship that leads to a love triangle and long-distance war-time romance. As her love interest dodges air raids on Malta, she dodges danger in London driving ambulances during air raids in the Blitz. This story is intense, eye-opening and full of insights into the human experience of living and loving in a war zone—and afterward. Everyone Brave is Forgiven is inspired by love letters exchanged between the author’s grandparents during World War II. Video: Chris Cleave on the U.S troops coming to Europe in World War II Click here for more Genealogy Gems Book Club titles   GEM: Top 10 Tips for finding Graduation Gems in your family history Establish a timeline. Check your genealogy database to figure out when your ancestor would have attended high school or college. Consult family papers and books. Go through old family papers & books looking for senior calling cards, high school autograph books, journals and diaries, senior portraits, fraternity or sorority memorabilia and yearbooks. Search newspapers. Look for school announcements, honor rolls, sports coverage, end-of-year activities and related articles. Updated tips and online resources: Ancestry.com has moved the bulk of its historical newspaper collection to its sister subscription website, Newpapers.com. Search your browser for the public library website in the town where your ancestor attended school. Check the online card catalogue, look for a local history or genealogy webpage, or contact them to see what newspapers they have, and whether any can be loaned (on microfilm) through interlibrary loan. Search the Library of Congress’ newspaper website, Chronicling America, for digitized newspaper content relating your ancestor’s school years. Also, search its U.S. Newspaper Directory since 1690 for the names and library holdings of local newspapers. FamilySearch.org online catalog Contact local historical and genealogical societies for newspaper holdings. Consult the websites of U.S. state archives and libraries: click here to find a directory of state libraries State historical and genealogical societies. In addition to newspapers, state historical and genealogical societies might have old yearbooks or school photograph collections. For example, the Ohio Genealogical Society library has a large (and growing) collection of Ohio school yearbooks. Local historical and genealogical societies may also have school memorabilia collections. RootsWeb, now at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Check the message board for the county and state you’re looking for. Post a message asking if anyone has access to yearbooks or other school info. TIP: Use Google site search operator to find mentions of yearbooks on the county page you’re looking at. Add site: to the front of the Rootsweb page for the locale, then the word yearbook after it. For example: Search for online yearbooks at websites such as: Old-Yearbooks.com Classmates.com Ancestry.com now has a large yearbook collection Yearbookgenealogy.com and the National Yearbook Project, mentioned in the show, no longer exist as such US GenWeb at www.usgenweb.org. Search on the county website where the school was located. Is there anyone willing to do a lookup? Is there a place to post which yearbooks you’re looking for? Call the school, if it’s still open. If they don’t have old yearbooks, they may be able to put you in touch with a local librarian or historian who does. TIP: Go to www.whowhere.com and type the school name in “Business Name.” Call around 4:00 pm local time, when the kids are gone but the school office is still open.  ebay: Do a search on the school or town you’re looking for to see if anyone out there is selling a yearbook that you need. Also search for old photographs or postcards of the school. Here’s my extra trick: From the results page, check the box to include completed listings and email potential sellers to inquire about the books you are looking for. TIP: Don’t be afraid to ask – ebay sellers want to sell!  And if all else fails, set up an ebay Favorite Search to keep a look out for you. Go to and check out Episode #3 for instructions on how to do this. MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.   FREE NEWSLETTER: Enter your email & get my Google Research e-bookas a thank you gift! Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.  
Aug 07, 2016
Episode 193
53:42
  The Genealogy Gems Podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke Episode highlights: Genealogy milestones, anniversaries, new records, upcoming conferences and new free video tutorials; Email response to The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #192: another tip on the U.S. Public Records Index, a family adoption story and his own research on the changing coastline of Sussex; More response to the “Where I’m From” poetry initiative; Announcement: the NEW Genealogy Gems Book Club title; A key principle in genetic genealogy from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard. NEWS: FOIA Turns 50What is the FOIA? The Freedom of Information Act opens federal records to the public. The FOIA applies to certain kinds of information about the federal government and certain information created by the federal government. It DOESN’T apply to documents that relate to national security, privacy and trade secrets, or to documents created by state or local governments. FOIA for genealogy research: Use the FOIA to request: SS5- applications (Social Security) and Railroad Board Retirement Post-WWII Selective Service records: draft registrations and SS-102 forms (with more draft/military information on them), through the end of 1959; Naturalization certificate files from 1906 to 1956; Alien registration forms from 1940 to 1944; Visa files from 1924 to1944; Registry files for 1929 to 1944 (these document the arrival of an immigrant whose passenger or other arrival record could not be found for whatever reason); A-files, alien case files for 1944 to 1951; Certain FBI files and certain CIA records (here’s a link to the slides from a National Archives presentation on using FBI files for family history. Click here to read an article on the 50th anniversary of the FOIA and more on FOIA for genealogy   NEWS: NEW RECORD COLLECTIONS ONLINE Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Honeymoon and Visitor Registers, 1949-2011 The Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast #133: Peggy Lauritzen on “Gretna Greens,” quickie wedding destinations (Genealogy Gems Premium website membership required to access) Announcement of Freedmen’s Bureau Project completion; In September 2016 you can access the full Freedmen’s Bureau Project at www.DiscoverFreedmen.org. New videos to help find your family history in Freedmen’s Bureau Records Where to find Freedmen’s Bureau Records online, and the Freedmen’s Bureau indexing project   NEWS: AncestryDNA Hits 2 Million Samples Ancestry.com blog post: AncestryDNA Reaches 2 Million Samples Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard talks about these AncestryDNA features in: AncestryDNA improves genetic matching technology Confused by your AncestryDNA matches? Read this article DNA Circles: When they DON’T mean genetic connections on AncestryDNA AncestryDNA Common Matches tool AncestryDNA Works Toward Genetics + Genealogy Integration NEWS: UPCOMING CONFERENCES Midwest Roots, July 15-16, 2016 The Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #178 CeCe Moore talks genetic genealogy on genealogy TV shows Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society 3rd Annual Conference, July 30, 2016 3rd Annual Northwest Genealogy Conference, Arlington, 3rd Annual Northwest Genealogy Conference Hosted by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, north of Seattle in Arlington, WA  on August 17-20, 2016 Theme: "Family Secrets Uncovered -- Lost History Found” Keynote speakers include Blaine Bettinger, Claudia Breland and Lisa Louise Cooke Free Day Wednesday afternoon: Beth Foulk will address beginner's issues -- which is also a good refresher for the more seasoned genealogists Other features: Meet a distant cousin with the “Cousin Wall;” participate in the genealogy-related scavenger hunt on Free Day Wednesday, and enjoy the free taco bar at the evening reception. Wear a costume from your ancestors’ homeland on the Friday dress-up day.           GEMS NEWS: NEW VIDEOS ONLINE How to create captivating family history videos: Animoto video tutorial series Tech Tip Tuesday tutorial videos NEW Genealogy Gems Premium Video: All About Google Drive (Genealogy Gems Premium website membership required to access) Evernote blog post about changed pricing   MAILBOX: CHRIS WITH US PUBLIC RECORDS INDEX TIP AND MORE Follow-up email regarding The Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #192 from Chris, who blogs at Leaf, Twig and Stem Chris’ post about a compelling story of an adopted child in his family Chris’ post about the changing coastline in Sussex U.S. Public Records Index MAILBOX: “WHERE I’M FROM” The Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #185: Interview with George Ella Lyon “Where I’m From” video and contest results Tips for writing your own “Where I’m From” poem Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society “Where I'm From” contest: “Anyone near and far may join our Contest. Each entry receives a gift from the. We will have a drawing from all entries of cash or a nice prize.  Deadline for entries is Aug. 31, 2016. More information on scchgs.org.”   NEW GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB SELECTION   Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave It’s a story inspired by love letters exchanged between his grandparents during World War II, when they were each in dangerous places: he on the island of Malta and she in London, both of which suffered some of the worst sustained bombing campaigns of the war. Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a fast-paced book. It begins in London in 1939 with Mary North, a wealthy young lady from a privileged family who, on finding out that war has been declared, immediately leaves her finishing school and signs on for the war effort without telling her parents. She fulfills an assignment as a school teacher long enough to make a meaningful connection with a school official and one of her students. Then her students (along with the rest of London’s children) are evacuated to the countryside, leaving her to figure out what to do next. The plot gets a lot more involved from here. There’s a love triangle, a long-distance romance, a series of scenes that take place on the heavily-bombarded island of Malta, harrowing descriptions of the London Blitz, homeless children who return from the evacuation only to find themselves parentless, homeless and in constant danger. It’s intense and eye-opening, but it’s compassionate and it’s still very readable for those who have less of a stomach for blood and guts but still want to understand some of the human experience of living and loving in a war zone, and then picking up the pieces afterward and figuring out how to keep living. Video: Chris Cleave on the U.S troops coming to Europe in World War II Click here for more Genealogy Gems Book Club titles   DNA GEM: GENETIC PEDIGREE V GENEALOGICAL PEDIGREE A key concept in genetic genealogy is that your genetic pedigree is different than your genealogical pedigree. Let me explain. Your genealogical pedigree, if you are diligent or lucky (or both!) can contain hundreds, even thousands of names and can go back countless generations. You can include as many collateral lines as you want. You can add several sources to your findings, and these days you can even add media, including pictures and copies of the actual documents. Every time someone gets married or welcomes a new baby, you can add that to your chart. In short, there is no end to the amount of information that can make up your pedigree chart. Not so for your genetic pedigree. Your genetic pedigree contains only those ancestors for whom you have received some of their DNA. You do not have DNA from all of your ancestors. Using some fancy math we can calculate that the average generation in which you start to see that you have inherited zero blocks of DNA from an ancestor is about seven. But of course, most of us aren’t trying to figure out how much of our DNA we received from great great great grandma Sarah. Most of us just have a list of DNA matches and we are trying to figure out if we are all related to 3X great grandma Sarah. So how does that work? Well, the first thing we need to recognize is that living descendants of Sarah’s would be our fourth cousins (though not always, but that is a topic for another post!). Again, bring in the fancy math and we can learn that living, documented fourth cousins who have this autosomal DNA test completed will only share DNA with each other 50% of the time. Yes, only half. Only half of the time your DNA will tell you what your paper trail might have already figured out: That you and cousin Jim are fourth cousins, related through sweet 3X great grandma Sarah.  But here’s where the numbers are in our favor. You have, on average, 940 fourth cousins. So if you are only sharing DNA with 470 of them, that’s not quite so bad, is it? And it only takes one or two of them to be tested and show up on your match list. Their presence there, and their documentation back to sweet Sarah, helps to verify the genealogy you have completed and allows you to gather others who might share this connection so you can learn even more about Sarah and her family. Plus, if you find Jim, then Jim will have 470 4th cousins as well, some of which will not be on your list, giving you access to even more of the 940. This genetic family tree not matching up exactly with your traditional family tree also manifests itself in your ethnicity results, though there are other reasons for discrepancies there as well.  In short, this DNA stuff is not perfect, or even complete, but if you combine it with your traditional resources, it can be a very powerful tool for verifying and extending your family history. Additional readings: 23andMe blog post: “How Many Relatives Do You Have?” “How Much of Your Genome Do You Inherit from a Particular Ancestor?”   PROFILE AMERICA: First hamburgers at a 4th of July picnic
Jul 12, 2016
Episode 192
01:10:23
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #192 with Lisa Louise Cooke Highlights from this episode: How to use Animoto, my favorite new tech tool for creating professional-looking slide shows and videos New Genealogy Gems team member Amie Tennant shares insights as she prepares for professional certification A listener shares a favorite genealogy database for finding recent relatives A listener uses DNA to connect adoptive and biological relatives—who were closer than she thought A segment from the Genealogy Gems Book Club interview with author Helen Simonson on The Summer Before the War News from Dropbox and a new initiative to capture the family histories of remote, indigenous populations   NEWS: Dropbox Improvement New on Dropbox: Now when you share Dropbox content with someone, shared links will stay active even if you move or rename the file or folder. Dropbox file-sharing tip: “If you ever want to unshare something you’ve already sent out (like to remove access to a sensitive document), it’s easy to disable an active link.” Just sign in to dropbox.com. “Click the link icon next to the file or folder, and click ‘remove link’ in the top right corner of the box that appears. You can also remove the link by visiting dropbox.com/links and clicking ‘x’ next to the file or folder.” How to share folders on Dropbox   NEWS: MyHeritage and Tribal Quest TribalQuest.org FamilySearch Helping Preserve and Provide Access to African Records and Family Histories Ghana Oral Genealogy Project (on FamilySearch.org)   NEWS: New Premium Video Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy: a new video available to Genealogy Gems Premium website members by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard Genealogy Gems Premium website membership: Click here to learn more Click here to watch a free video preview   MAILBOX: Russ Recommends the U.S. Public Records Index Russ blogs at https://worthy2be.wordpress.com/ Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 181: What to use while waiting for the 1950 census Russ recommends the “U.S., Public Record Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 and 2.” “Volume 1 is far more interesting with more data. A search will return a Name AND Birth date, along with more than one ADDRESS, Zip Code and sometimes phone numbers.” Ancestry’s description of its online database for Volume 1 says original data comes from public records spanning all 50 states, such as voter registration lists, public record filings, historical residential records and other household database listings. U.S. Public Records Index on Ancestry.com:  Volume 1 and Volume 2 Free partial version (1970-2009) at FamilySearch.org Another partial version (1970-2010) at MyHeritage Thoughts about using the U.S. Public Records Index (some of these points come from the FamilySearch wiki): Not everyone who lived in the U.S. appears in the index, and you’re more likely to find birth information for those born between 1900 and 1990. What you’ll find is primarily where someone lived, and often when they lived there. It’s rarely possible to positively identify a relative in this index, since there’s limited information and it spans the entire country for up to a half century, and you can’t follow up on the record it comes from because the index doesn’t say where individual records come from. As Russ says, this is a great resource to use in combination with other records. It’s a similar concept to the way you might consult uncited family trees: great hints to go on and follow up with further research into verifiable sources. When you find more recent listings, you can sometimes find telephone numbers for living distant relatives. The Family History Made Easy podcast has a 2-episode series (episodes 14 and 15) about cold-calling techniques for reaching out to distant relatives you don’t know.   MAILBOX: Katie on Cold-calling and Adoption and DNA Katie blogs her family history adventures at McKinnon Ancestry. Click here to read a blog post with her story and see more pictures that go with it.   INTERVIEW: Amie Tennant Amie Tennant is the newest member of the Genealogy Gems team. She contributes to the blog at www.genealogygems.com. She is also preparing to become a certified genealogist, which is a professional credential offered by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). What have you learned in the process of preparing for certification? “I think the biggest thing I have learned is the meaning of true exhaustive research. We talk a lot about that in our genealogy standards, but essentially, it is looking EVERYWHERE for EVERYTHING that might shed light on your research question.” Why do you want to become certified? I want a way to determine how well I am doing. A measuring stick of sorts. What is the process like? The process is the same for everyone. Once you have decided to become certified, you apply to the BCG. They send you a packet of information and you are “on the clock.” The clock is up in one year, unless you ask for an extension. The portfolio you create consists of: Signing the Code of Ethics Listing your development activities (like formal coursework or enrichment activities); Transcribe, abstract, create a genealogy research question, analyze the data, and the write the research plan for a document that is supplied to you; Do those same 5 things for a document of your choosing; A research report prepared for another person. A case study with conflicting, indirect or negative evidence; A kinship determination project (a narrative genealogy that covers at least 3 generations) There is a lot of great free content on the BCG website: articles, examples, and skill building activities.   GEM: How to Create Family History Videos Quickly and Easily Visit our page on how to create family history videos which includes video tutorials and inspirational examples. Genealogy Gems App users can watch Episode #1 of the video tutorial in the Bonus content area.    BOOK CLUB: Interview excerpt with Helen Simonson, author of  The Summer Before the War Get the hardcover Get the Kindle ebook Beatrice Nash is a bright, cosmopolitan young lady who has grown up traveling the world with her father. Now he’s gone, and she’s landed in the small village of East Sussex, England, where the locals aren’t entirely thrilled about engaging her as a female Latin instructor for their schoolchildren. She spends a summer fighting for her job, meeting a local cast of engaging eccentric characters (both gentry and gypsy) and trying not to fall for handsome Hugh. Then the Great War breaks out. This novel follows Helen’s popular debut novel, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, which became a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 21 languages. Genealogy Gems Premium website members can join us in June to hear our exclusive and fun interview with Helen Simonson.   GENEALOGY GEMS PODCAST PRODUCTION CREDITS: Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer Sunny Morton, Contributing Editor Vienna Thomas, Audio Editor Additional content by Lacey Cooke, Amie Tennant 
Jun 09, 2016
Episode 191
01:05:01
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #191 with Lisa Louise Cooke   NEWS: Upcoming Live-Streaming from FGS from Periscope Free Periscope app in App Store or Google Play Lisa’s Twitter handle: @LisaCooke   New German Records with James Beidler His new book: Trace Your German Roots Online: A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites. Jim mentioned this new website for Protestant church records: Archion.de Links to new German genealogy databases: CHURCH. An enormous collection of Lutheran baptisms, marriages and burials is now searchable on Ancestry.com. You’ll find over 24 million records from “parish registers from numerous Protestant communities in Baden, today part of the German state of Baden-Württemberg…[and] some communities to the north, such as Wiesbaden in adjacent Hessen.” Another new Ancestry.com collection contains over a million birth, marriage and death records taken from weekly church reports in Dresden, Germany for 1685-1879. CIVIL REGISTRATIONS. Nearly 300,000 indexed names have been added to a free online collection of civil registrations for Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany (1811-1814, 1833-1928). IMMIGRATION TO U.S. A new database on Ancestry.com catalogs German immigrants to the U.S., 1712-1933. MILITARY. Over 400,000 records are part of a new Ancestry.com collection of Bremen military lists (1712-1914). According to the collection description, “The core of the collection are the muster rolls created by recruiting commmissions including actual musters from 1894-1917 for men born between 1874 and 1899. These records are arranged in chronological-alphabetical order and contain detailed information about male military personnel in the city.” Get the book on sale at Shop Family Tree by clicking the link below and then save an additional 15% with our coupon code: Save 15% on Lisa Louise Cooke Products at Shop Family Tree with Offer Code GENEALOGYGEMS15. Expires 12/31/2016. Trace Your German Roots Online eBook $13.99 (Retail $21.99)   MyHeritage Book Matching Sunny's result:   Canadian Conferences Coming Up Lisa Louise Cooke at the Ontario Genealogical Society, June 3-5, 2016 at the International Plaza Hotel, Toronto The Great Canadian Genealogy Summit (CANGEN), October 21-23, 2016 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Brampton, Ontario   MAILBOX: Thom’s Google Success Story with Google Earth and Google Books Click here to read a blog post to see Thom’s full story with his map overlay and the Google Book search result he found Learn more about Google Earth for genealogy: FREE Google Earth for Genealogy video (Get started!) The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd edition, by Lisa Louise Cooke (fully revised and updated in 2015) Google Earth for Genealogy video tutorial series: available as a digital download or a 2-CD set   Donna’s Evernote Question Q: What’s the best way to move Evernote notes into notebooks? A: Sometimes getting organized can gobble up all your research time. So one approach I often recommend is just to move Evernote notes as you use them. That way you can keep researching, while getting more organized each day. As you create new notes you'll be putting them directly where they belong, and as you use existing notes, you can tidy them up as you go. If you feel more comfortable getting everything moved in one fell swoop, that's good too. One way to save time is with a simple trick: decide what you have more of (genealogy or personal) and then move ALL your notes into that notebook. Now you only have less than 1/2 of your notes that need to be moved. You can move the rest to the other notebook by selecting multiple notes at once. Here's a step-by-step breakdown: Click the Genealogy notebook in the left column.  2. In the center column are all of your notes. Click the first note in your list to be moved. 3. Hold down the Control key on your keyboard. 4. Now click to select each additional note. (Use the wheel on your mouse to scroll down as you need to. Your notes will be collecting in the right-hand window pane, and a dialog box will appear. 5. In that dialog box, click the Move to Notebook button and click to select the desired notebook from your list. 6. For good measure, click the Sync button to manually synchronize all of your notes. Click here to find more great resources for using Evernote for genealogy, including free tips, step-by-step helps, a unique Evernote cheat sheet and free and Premium videos Click here to learn more about Genealogy Gems Premium membership INTERVIEW: Amy Crow and 4 Apps for Local History (and Tips for Using Them) History Pin: “like Pinterest for history.” Especially strong for local history in England, Ireland, Scotland, but also wonderful for the U.S. A lot of organizations have added photos and curated them into collections, like Pinterest boards. Instagram. Follow libraries, archives and historical societies that are in towns where your ancestors lived. They may post historic photos from their collections. Instagram now has a feature where you can share photos with those you follow on Instagram. Use it to share a cool old picture that relates to your family history with a young relative. The Clio. This website and local history app (available through Google Play and on iTunes for iPhone/iPad) shows you historic sites around you when you turn on your location services. The resources, descriptions and bibliographic entries on this site are great to follow up with for your research. What Was There. At this site (or with the iPhone app) you can view historic photos plotted on a map near your current location. Use it to look around and ask the question, “What happened here?” if you’re on a walk or visiting somewhere. The site is integrated with Google Street View. You can also upload your own old photos if you know where they were taken and do an overlay in Google Maps, in much the same way Lisa teaches about doing in Google Earth.   GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson The Summer Before the War: A Novel From Sunny: This novel takes place in a small English town just before and then right into the events of World War I. The heroine, Beatrice Nash, is trying to find her footing as an independent, educated woman. She’s got a romance on the horizon, and she’s getting to know some fantastic characters, gypsies and gentry when—bam, here comes WWI, first as rumors and dinner conversation, then as a trickle of refugees into town and finally as a horrible pull on their local young men into combat. Lisa always asks me when we’re talking about possible titles for the Book Club, “What does this book mean to us as genealogists?” For me, The Summer Before the War does a couple of things. First, I think it can be difficult to imagine our ancestors in living color with a full range of human emotions. When we can find photos, they’re black and white (or brown and white). When we find them in print, they’re often more reserved in what they say than we like. Times were stricter then, and we may make assumptions about their passions and how they lived them out. What a novel like The Summer Before the War does for me is remind me that people at that times had just as many feelings as I do. They lived and breathed and loved and hurt and were tempted and frightened and everything else.  Yes, a novel is not a historically accurate re-creation of my ancestor’s character (or anyone else’s ancestor’s characters, for that matter), but it places the human spirit in a certain time and place, perhaps a time and place that was also inhabited by my relatives. It helps me imagine their lives from a fuller perspective. The other thing I love about this book is that it reminds me that history didn’t happen in neat intervals. Sometimes I separate out in my mind certain events in an ancestor’s timeline. During these years they went to school, or got married and started a family, or worked as a teacher. But then you dump a war on top of that timeline. You realize that for some people, the war snuck in the back door of their lives and stayed there while they were trying to get married and start a family or work as a teacher, or all of the above. Of course, for those who went to the front or to whom the fight came, the story is more dramatic, but even then, the war happened to them within the context of other things that were already happening. The Summer Before the War is really good at showing how the conflict just gradually dawned on this English village, before becoming an everyday and grim reality for many of its residents, and the final chapter for a few of them. The book is The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Helen joins us for a fantastic conversation about the book in next month’s Genealogy Gems Premium podcast (Lisa will put an excerpt from the interview into this free podcast, too). So use the link in the show notes to grab your copy of The Summer Before the War and enjoy it. It’s a fun, easy read but with plenty of meat on its bones for those who love history---and re-imagining the lives of their ancestors.   DNA WITH DIAHAN: Changes at AncestryDNA Change is afoot at AncestryDNA. Again. While stability and predictability seem like honorable qualities in a company or product, when it comes to tech tools, in the ears of tech companies, those words sound more like dated and old. Of course, we are used to this by now. I had a client tell me recently that he wanted to be in touch sooner, but his grandson “upgraded” his computer to Windows 10 and then promptly left for college the next day, leaving him fighting with a new interface and operating system. The good news is, you won’t have this problem with Ancestry’s new update. There aren’t any changes to the interface or the layout of the information. In fact, many of you will not even notice at first that your match list has changed. But in fact, there likely have been some adjustments made, as we see below: Some of your third cousins have been demoted to fourth cousins. Some of your fourth cousins have been demoted to 5th-8th cousins. Some of your Distant Cousins have disappeared off your match list You have new cousins on your Distant Cousin match list. In general, from what Ancestry has showed us, you gain more than you lose. Changes in the dregs of your match list may not seem like that big of a deal, so why am I telling you about it? Probably because I am a nerd, and I like cool science stuff, so I think you should too. You see, Ancestry has made some big changes in the way that they are calculating matches. They are getting better at it. Which means you match list is now more representative of your ancestral connections, even at the very distant level. There are two big pieces to this matching puzzle that Ancestry has tinkered with in this latest update: phasing and matching. You will remember our discussion on DNA phasing (link) and how it can impact your matching. Ancestry has developed a robust reference database of phased DNA in order to better phase our samples. Basically, they have looked through their database at parent child duos and trios and noted that certain strings of DNA values often travel together. Its like they have noticed that our DNA says “A black cat scared the mouse” instead of  “The brown cat ate the mouse” and they can then recognize that phrase in our DNA, which in turn helps our DNA tell the true story of our heritage. In addition to updating the phasing, Ancestry has revamped their matching method. In the past they viewed our DNA in small windows of information, and then stitched those windows together to try to get a better picture of what our DNA looked like. Now instead they have turned to a point by point analysis of our DNA. Again to use a sentence example, with the window analysis we may have the following sentence windows: ack and J ill went t he hill t etch a pai l of water. Of those windows you may share the “etch a pai” with another individual in the database, earning that cousin a spot on your match page. However, the truth is, that bit could say “sketch a painting” or “stretch a painful leg” or “fetch a pail.” With Ancestry’s new method, they are able to see farther on either side of the matching segment, making this clearly “fetch a pail.” That means better matching, which means more confidence in your cousin matches. The downside to this update is going to come in the reorganization of some of your relationships. Ancestry has tightened their genetic definition of your third and fourth cousins. Basically, that means that some of your true 3rd cousins are going to show up as 4th cousins, and some of your true 4th cousins are going to be shifted down into the abyss of 5th-8th cousins. What is really upsetting about this is what this does to the Shared Matches tool (link). The shared matches tool allows you to gather matches in the database that are related to you and one other person, provided you are all related at the 4th cousin level or higher. This tightening of the belt on 4th cousins means that some of them are going to drop through the cracks of that tool, really limiting its ability. Grr. Hopefully Ancestry will fix that, and expand this tool to include all of your matches. They have their fairly good reasons for this, but still… So, as the winds of change blow yet another iteration of the AncestryDNA match page, I think we can see this as an overall win for doing genealogy with our genetics at Ancestry. Resources: Get Diahan's DNA quick reference guides at the Genealogy Gems store. Let Diahan Southard be Your DNA Guide. Click here for information on her personal DNA consulting services.      PROFILE AMERICA: The First High School Here’s a link to their post
May 11, 2016
Episode 190
01:04:47
Genealogy Gems PodcastEpisode #190Lisa Louise Cooke Highlights from this episode: Extreme Genes radio show Scott Fisher talks about his role in helping to solve a 30-year old missing persons case; Lisa advises a listener on a pesky Gmail problem; A whirlwind world tour of new genealogy records online; Searching out military service details with Google Books; One RootsTech attendee's Google search success story the new Genealogy Gems Book Club title, a brand-new, much-anticipated second novel by a breakout British novelist. Click the player below to listen: NEWS: NGS Streaming Sessions National Genealogical Society: NGS 2016 is offering registration packages for the following live-streaming lecture series: Thurs, May 5, 2016: Land Records, Maps and Google Earth How to Follow and Envision Your Ancestor’s Footprints Through Time with Google Earth by Lisa Louise Cooke    NGS Live-Streaming Registration More Conference Streaming Sessions by Lisa Louise Cooke: RootsTech 2016 (these are free!) Mobile Genealogy Tips and Tricks   Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy     NEWS: New Genealogy Records Online Birth, marriage,  and death records for Western Australia on Findmypast.com; deeds and mortgages for South Jutland, Denmark on FamilySearch.org; Yorkshire, England Quarter Session Records and Probate Records  on Ancestry.com; Land tax records for Devon, Plymouth & West Devon, Englandon Findmypast.com; Brazil civil registration records on FamilySearch.org; United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records at FamilySearch.org Freedmen’s Bureau marriages at FamilySearch.org; Louisiana wills and estates updated on Ancestry.com; North Carolina civil marriage bonds and certificates at FamilySearch.org Maryland church records on FamilySearch.org; New York State church records at Findmypast  Illinois marriage records on FamilySearch.org in 3 collections: church marriages, 1805-1985 civil marriages, 1833-1889  county marriages, 1810-1934 North Dakota funeral homes (hosted by the Red River Genealogical Society) at Ancestry.com--search for free;  1945 South Dakota state census at Ancestry.com updated    NEWS: Family Tree Maker Direct Import into RootsMagic How to directly import your Family Tree Maker files into RootsMagic.   MAILBOX: Carol and the Coast Guard in Google Books Google Books Google Books search on "USCG Beale:" search results include  this PDF document Google.com search "coast guard history" 1920..1935 "Beale:” results include Cutters Historical Bibliography Newspapers.com U.S. Coast Guard museum and historian’s office United States Coast Guard Academy Library   MAIL: Gail’s Trouble with Gmail If you’re not receiving the Genealogy Gems free weekly email newsletter, consider these possibilities: Newsletters are going to Gmail spam. Click "Spam" in the left column and see if there are emails from genealogygemspodcast@gmail.com. When you find one, mark it as "not spam" and move it to your inbox. Then add our email address to your Contacts Newsletter emails may be going to "Promotions" or "Updates" tab in Gmail. By default you are viewing only emails in the Inbox tab. Click the other tabs to look for ours. Click on an email and drag it onto the Inbox tab to try and get them to go to Inbox. If you search our email address in Gmail it should bring up any emails you have received in other tabs.    Gmail is a powerful, free tool for using and archiving email. That’s why there’s an entire chapter on Gmail in The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd edition. Gmail can help you sort and even keyword-search your past email, and this book will show you how. MAILBOX: Neik from The Netherlands with Research Tips Neik’s tips on researching in The Netherlands CONVERSATION GEM: Celeste’s Google Search Success Story and Google Search Methodology Tips Google for Genealogy: Google Keyword Search Tips 7 Free Google Search Features Every Genealogist Should Use For Genealogy Gems Premium members (See all Premium videos at http://lisalouisecooke.com/premium-videos): Common Surname Search Secrets Ultimate Google Search Strategies Digging Deeper into Web Sites with Google Site Search CONVERSATION GEM: Jillian on Irish adoption law A letter from a reader on Irish adoption policy   INTERVIEW: Scott from Extreme Genes Helps Solve a 30-Year Old Missing Persons Case   Extreme Genes Radio Show Whitepages.com More “Cold Case” Inspiration: Genealogy Cold Case: Solved! Premium Video: Genealogical Cold Cases (To learn about Premium membership click here)   BOOK CLUB: The Summer Before the War: A Novel by Helen Simonson British author Helen Simonson’s debut novel, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel , became a NYT best-seller and has been translated into 21 languages. Her newest book, The Summer Before the War, is another great read: light and charming, with a dash of romance and humor. It’s so easy to read and love. It’s the early 1900s, and main character Beatrice Nash has recently lost her father. The estate settlement lost her control over her own funds and freedom. She comes to a small English town as a Latin teacher and must mind her manners and local politics to keep her job. Beatrice meets a man and the appeal appears mutual, but he’s already engaged. This isn’t just Beatrice’s story. You’ll meet an entire village full of charming and irascible and expatriate and unconventional and way-too-conventional and mysterious characters, including the local gentry and the local gypsies. They all have their own stories, which unfold as they begin to experience the first great shock of the 20th century close-up: World War I. First it’s the stunned refugees who they enter the quiet village in which the story is set, and the drama that unfolds as the village tries to rally and care for them. Eventually you’ll see the battlefront through the eyes of a few characters who enlist, not all of whom are going to make it back home. Despite the realities they face, this is somehow still an easy and charming read, one into which it’s easy to disappear. Helen Simonson will join us in June to talk about The Summer Before the War.
Apr 06, 2016
Episode 189
01:00:19
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 189 NEWS: Relative Race BYUtv’s new reality series Relative Race (http://www.relativerace.com/) premiered on February 28, 2016. The show “features four married couples as they travel across the US in search of long lost relatives, armed with only paper maps, a rental car, a $25 per diem and a flip phone.” (Interview with two contestants later in the show.)   Databases of Runaway Slave Notices New York Times on new websites that will launch databases of runaway slave notices: Runaway Slaves in Britain Freedom on the Move (U.S.) Irish Collections and Tips from Findmypast Index to Irish Parish Records for 1670-1900 at Findmypast.com (FREE FOREVER to search), with links to free digitized content at the National Library of Ireland    Click here to link to Q&A with Brian Donovan, head of Irish Data and Development at Findmypast on getting started in Irish research   MyHeritage Updates Its Search Technologies Click here to learn more about Record Detective II from the MyHeritage blog.   MAILBOX: Marquise’ new blog:  The Blakeslee Tribe Kim recommends my free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast series for beginners and those who want a “genealogy do-over.” She particularly mentions a three-part series on immigration and naturalization records in Episode 29, Episode 30 and Episode 31. Matt’s suggestion for Find A Grave: leave virtual flowers on the “tombstones” of deceased relatives so other relatives can find you: Create a free individual log-in from the home page of the website After logging in, go into an individual record, where it shows your ancestor’s tombstone information. Click on the button that says, “Leave flowers and a note.” Select among several different images of flowers. Choose whether to leave a note and your name. Others who view this tombstone profile can click on your screen name and contact you through the site.                     INTERVIEW: Janice and Patrick Wright from Relative Race Relative Race host Dan J. Debenham described how BYUtv’s original competition reality show came into being: “What could we create that would be very different from what’s currently out there and that would show people discovering family all across the country?" Four teams race from San Francisco to New York in 10 days. Their goal?  Find unknown relatives, complete challenges, and don't get eliminated. In this episode you will hear from Team Black: Patrick Wright is an executive at Alpha Media, a growing radio broadcast media company based in Portland, OR; Janice is a freelance Media Consultant. They joined the Relative Race show because they love travel and adventure.  Stream the show on the app Visit the website    BOOK CLUB: Interview excerpt with Tara Austen Weaver on Orchard House Author Tara Austen Weaver talks about gardening and family, and how tending a garden isn’t so different from nourishing family relationships.   DNA GEM: 3 Reasons to Test with Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard My youngest child, Eleanor, is nearly 8, so it was fun to have a 2 year old over the other day. She loved following Eleanor around, and Eleanor was equally thrilled to have someone to mentor in the ways of big girl play. I took special delight in listening to my daughter’s patient and surprisingly complete answers to our guest’s constant inquiries of “Why?” It got me thinking about the Whys of genealogy, and especially of genetic genealogy. I decided that there are three main reasons to have your DNA tested for genealogical purposes. It is primary information. In genealogy, primary information is given by a source with firsthand knowledge of an event, with the best primary information being created at or around the time of the event. I think we can safely say that DNA falls into that category on both counts. Therefore, it is an excellent source of genealogical information and should be obtained as part of a thorough genealogical search. It is a unique record. DNA possesses several qualities that make this record type stand out from the rest. First and foremost, it cannot be falsified in any way. No name change, no deception, no miscommunication or misspelling can tarnish this record. Even if it is not a complete record of our family history, the story that it does tell is accurate. It is a physical link to our past. So much of genealogy work, especially in today’s digital world, is intangible. We add ancestors to our pedigree charts with a click of our mouse, having no idea of their physical characteristics, never once setting foot in the same places that they did, or if they preferred bread and butter or toast and jam. But with the advent of DNA testing, I am able to see a physical connection between me and my ancestor. The first time I saw it seems unremarkable. It was just a blue line on top of a grey line, representing the location in the DNA where I had the same information as my cousin. But that line meant that we had both inherited a physical piece of DNA from our common ancestor, Lucy J. Claunch. That realization didn’t add names or dates to my pedigree chart- Lucy had been on my chart since the beginning. But it did add a sense of purpose and reality to my genealogical work. In short, it inspired me to know more about Lucy and to tell her story because I felt inextricably tied to it. Perhaps many of you don’t need a DNA test to feel similarly motivated, you already understand what I learned: Her story is my story. But because I have her DNA in me, I am able to take that idea one step further. Because she lives on in me, my story is her story. So I better make it a good one. Has your DNA motivated you to find out more about your story? Genealogy Gems readers and listeners get a special price on Diahan Southard's DNA Video Training    PROFILE AMERICA: Voter Documentation  
Mar 09, 2016
Episode 188
01:00:17
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 188 Highlights from this episode include: RootsTech news and resources for everyone; New records online for Ireland and the United States; Two inspiring emails from listeners who unravel family mysteries with determination, skill and Google sleuthing; Motivating thoughts on organizing your family history research; A Genealogy Gems Book Club update with more thoughts on the featured title Orchard House: How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow by Tara Austen Weaver and book recommendations from RootsTech attendees; A critique of a recent NPR article on genetic genealogy by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard; and A great conversation with Cindy Cochran and Sabrina Riley of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society Library at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. NEWS: Findmypast creates new partnerships During RootsTech, Findmypast.com announced new partnerships with RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, FamilySearch, Family-Historian, Puzzilla, Billion Graves and RootsCity. A press release stated that “Findmypast will make its vast record collection of more than 8 billion records available to customers via these partners. The rollout of these partnerships will begin in 2016, with exact dates to be detailed later….Customers using these various family history products will benefit from having Findmypast’s record collection embedded within the actual product in ways that each partner determines will benefit their customers most.” NEWS: More on the Family Tree Maker Roller Coaster On February 2, Ancestry.com announced an agreement with RootsMagic to connect their family history software with Ancestry.com by the end of 2016. Hooray for being able to continue to sync your online tree with your master tree at home in your own control, your own software, where Ancestry says you’ll also have access to Ancestry hints and searches. On the same day, Ancestry also announced the acquisition of Family Tree Maker software for both Mac and Windows by a company called Software MacKiev. According to Ancestry, “This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.“ Ancestry hopes to have both these solutions fully functional by the time Family Tree Maker software stops being supported at the end of this year. NEWS: New Genealogy Records Online IRELAND CENSUS RECORDS. MyHeritage.com has added to its site “over 8.7 million Irish census records from the 1901 and 1911 censuses [which record every household member]. Both collections are completely free and contain images.”   IRELAND PARISH RECORDS. Findmypast.com subscribers now have access to an exclusive index to the National Library of Ireland’s free online collection of digitized-but-not-indexed registers from 1000 parishes, with over 10 million baptisms and marriages.    (US) DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH RECORDS. Ancestry.com has added a new collection of Dutch Reformed Church records (1701-1995)  from 14 states and has updated a separate but similar collection of Dutch Reformed Records (1639-1989).   US MARRIAGES. Findmypast has just released an enormous collection of marriage records from across the United States. “Containing over 450 million names from 1650 to 2010…the US Marriages collection will, when complete, include over 100 million records, 60% of which have never been published online before.” A third of the data are already online. NEWS: MyHeritage Audio Recordings Audio Recordings feature on the MyHeritage app: Use to interview relatives right from their profile in your family tree, where you’ll now find an audio icon that looks like earphones. Tap it to create a new recording or to access recordings you’ve previously saved. Listen to the recording anytime, download it to your own computer (which you should definitely do to store as your master file) and share it with anyone who is a member of your family website on MyHeritage.com.   Audio Recordings is free and available on the latest version of the MyHeritage mobile app on the App Store and Google Play.   NEWS: RootsTech Follow-Up Live-streamed RootsTech 2016 sessions by Lisa Louise Cooke: Lisa Louise Cooke’s RootsTech 2016 lecture on Google methodology, with top tips and strategies taken from her book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. The lectures below were streamed live from the Genealogy Gems theater in the RootsTech Exhibitor Hall. Click to watch them: give the video a few seconds to adjust to the proper orientation. Google Power Strategies by Lisa Louise Cooke, a followup lecture to the one above Tablet and Smartphone Tips and Tricks: this 30-minute lecture was streamed live by Lisa from the Exhibitor Hall. Here’s the handout for that lecture.   MAILBOX: Here’s the news article Cathy sent in along with her email about learning more about her grandfather’s death. Inspired by the Genealogy Gems blog post about Googling for coroner’s records to solve mysterious deaths, she went looking for coroner’s records online, too. “Well, I still haven't found the Coroners' Records but I did find a couple of newspaper articles - & apparently the body was indeed found on 21st December - but he had been missing since June!” MAIL: Trisha finds Railroad Retirement Board Records Railroad Retirement Board’s instructions for genealogists (redirects inquiries to The National Archives, which has an entire webpage dedicated to its Railroad Retirement Board records. Additional railroad history and genealogy suggestions: National Railway Historical Society (see individual chapters) Railroad historical society index    BACKBLAZE NEWS PC World/Mac World article on Backblaze cloud-based computer backup service: “When it comes to backing up your precious data, investing in an online backup service is one of the smartest things you can do.” However, if you ever DO need to restore your hard drive, it’s not so easy to download the massive amounts of files you probably have. The solution has generally been to ship an entire hard drive to a customer, but that can cost $100 or more on top of regular backup service fees. The article gave Backblaze two thumbs-up for its new solution: the Restore Return Refund Program. It refunds the cost of those hard drives they send you when you return them within 30 days after restoring your data. It’s a $99 refund for USB flash drives and $189 for USB hard drives, so it essentially makes this a free service. Other leading cloud-based computer backup services either won’t ship hard drives at all or continue to charge large fees for it. Other online magazines--The Next Web and Verge—gave similar reports.                     INTERVIEW: Lisa talks to Cindy and Sabrina at Union College Cindy Cochran of Lincoln-Lancaster County (Nebraska) Genealogical Society and Sabrina Riley of Union College on the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society collection at Union College What’s in their collection? Originals and copies of some government records; some of these exist on microfilm but are not online Local and regional historical materials that meet their own research priorities—they can refer you to other repositories as needed Reference materials and plenty of local expertise!   BOOK CLUB: Update from Book Club Guru Sunny Morton We hope you’ve gotten to savor Orchard House: How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow by Tara Austen Weaver, the current featured book of the Genealogy Gems Book Club. You’ll love her mouthwatering descriptions of food; fascinating insights into gardening; and touching descriptions of how we nurture and harvest our family relationships in ways not so different from gardening. In the next episode of the free Genealogy Gems podcast, you’ll hear a snippet of our interview with Tara Weaver in the free Genealogy Gems podcast. Next month, Genealogy Gems Premium website members will be able to hear the entire interview with Tara on the Premium podcast. Additional books that were recently recommended at the Genealogy Gems Book Club Open House at RootsTech 2016: The Story We Carry in Our Bones: Irish History for Americans by Julienne Osborne-McKnight Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem, a memoir by Paula Williams Madison about the author’s journey into her family history, which resulted in a documentary by the same name The Forgotten Garden, a novel by the international best-selling author Kate Morton about a woman who learns a shocking secret about her own past and has to comes to terms with it—a story inspired by Kate’s own family history The Last Midwife: A Novel by Sandra Dallas, the story of a midwife in 19th-century Denver, Colorado, in the Rocky Mountain frontier   DNA GEM: Diahan Southard Comments on NPR article Recently NPR published an article entitled “DNA, Genealogy, and the Search For Who We Are.” This sounds like exactly the kind of article that I would want to read, considering that I am, after all, Your DNA Guide. However, after only the first two sentences of this article, I stopped reading. I could already tell this was one of those articles, you know, the kind meant to sensationalize and not to communicate accurate information. I closed the browser page. I just don’t have time to read information that is meant to incite, and not to inform. But then I read some comments from some friends that had read it, and then Lisa asked me to review it for you, so I read it in its entirety. It was difficult to get through, even though it wasn’t very long. There are just so many things that are wrong with the presentation of this material. Let’s take three big ones. First of all, the “facts” are taken out of context. Yes, it is true, your genetic pedigree is not the same as your genealogical pedigree. Your genetic pedigree can only contain a finite amount of information while your paper pedigree can contain limitless amounts. In general, our personal set of genetics will only connect us to half of our fourth cousins, and it is true that if we go back far enough we will have zero DNA from some of our ancestors. The author implies that this kind of incomplete information is unacceptable and should be discarded. What he is missing is that by genetically connecting me to my fourth cousin, that fourth cousin is genetically connected to another fourth cousin, who I might not share DNA with, but through the testing and the genealogical research, I can confidently identify as kin. One of the powers of DNA is that it allows you to create networks with living people who can work together to verify and expand our knowledge of our ancestors.  Secondly, this author claims that DNA testing and traditional research are mutually exclusive. He claims, “…family and family history are one thing, and DNA-based ancestry is another.” I don’t think I even need to comment on that. That is just wrong. Genetic genealogy is just one more tool in our toolbox to help us answer family history questions. Before I go on, I think we do need a little perspective about where this author is coming from. As US citizens, many of us have enjoyed the rapid growth and general acceptance of the genetic genealogy industry. The author of this article gained much of his content from sources in the UK. Unfortunately, the UK has seen a stream of less-than-reputable companies hawking genetic genealogy-like products that are frankly a scam. So, from that perspective, caution when entering a genetic genealogy experience should be exercised.   That background knowledge, provided by my colleague Debbie Kennett in the UK made me feel a little sheepish about my initial hostile reaction to the article. But then I read again where the author states, “It is family that matters — and family is relationship, not DNA,” and I am back on my soapbox. Perhaps this author did not pay attention in 7th grade biology. DNA is family. That’s how this works. I have heard so many stories from so many of you reporting how it was this very DNA stuff that led you to a discovery about your family. Just yesterday I received an email from a woman who recently reconnected with a relative she found through DNA testing. She said, “Spent a week with Carolyn and her husband out in Colorado this Fall and the time spent together is beyond words.  It is as if we had known each other our whole lives.  But then again on a different level, I am sure we have known each other.” To me, that is a story worth telling, a story that is every bit as real as one that is discovered using only paper research methods. DNA deserves a spot in your family history research. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.   PROFILE AMERICA:  “Oh Canada”
Feb 17, 2016
Episode 187
01:13:42
This New Year’s episode is packed with fresh energy and perspective!  We welcome the Legal Genealogist Judy Russell to the podcast. Judy takes on a Genealogy Gems listener’s fantastic question about the bounty land his War of 1812 ancestor never claimed. Also: The latest on life after Family Tree Maker software; A fresh look at why family history software is still relevant today; New strategies for using Google to answer your genealogical research questions; The new Genealogy Gems Book Club title; Why I’m so excited about RootsTech 2016, which is coming right up; New records online and up-to-the-moment emails with questions, tips and inspiring successes. NEWS: Family Tree Maker Software Discontinued Here’s the announcement and my initial comments that reached nearly 30,000 people on Facebook (at press time): What Ancestry’s Retirement of Family Tree Maker Software Means for You   NEWS: New Records Online AUSTRALIA CIVIL REGISTRATIONS. A new browse-only collection of Tasmanian civil registrations (1839-1938) is now online at FamilySearch.org. It includes district registers, counterfoils of marriage certificates and some church records. ENGLAND PARISH AND ELECTORAL. Significantly-updated indexes of Kent parish registers and registers of electors (both dating to the 1500s!) are now online at FamilySearch, as Lancashire parish records to 1538 and another collection of parish registers back to 1603 that include Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. ITALY CIVIL REGISTRATIONS: More indexed images continue to be added regularly to the free collection at FamilySearch.org! Click here for the current list. PHILIPPINES (MANILA) CIVIL REGISTRATIONS: More than 400,000 indexed records for the city of Manila have been added to an existing collection of Philippines civil registrations at FamilySearch.org. WALES ELECTORAL REGISTERS. Over 1.6 million indexed names from electoral registers for Glamorgan and West Glamorgan, Wales (1839-1935) are now searchable at FamilySearch.org. BONUS AUDIO ON THE APP: BRITISH IN INDIA. Findmypast has published new record collections relating to British overseas travelers, workers and expatriates. The first includes “British people who either lived, worked or travelled in India from as early as 1664 up to 1961 with an index of births, marriages, divorces and deaths compiled by the Society of Genealogists.” There are also new collections from the India Office: births and baptisms and wills and probates. DIGITAL BOOKS. A new FREE collection of 150,000 digitized books is searchable at MyHeritage.com. Among the titles are family, local and military histories; city and county directories; school and university yearbooks and church and congregational minutes.   GEMS NEWS: RootsTech 2016: February 3-6 in Salt Lake City, Utah RootsTech 2016: What’s Happening! Here’s the schedule for my official RootsTech lectures and those of our regular Gems contributors: Wednesday: 3:00 YDNA Testing for Every Surname in Your Pedigree, Diahan Southard Thursday: 4:30 Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy, Lisa Louise Cooke Friday: 11:00 Soothe Your Tech Tummy Ache with These 10 Tools, Lisa Louise Cooke 1:30 Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy, Lisa Louise Cooke Saturday: 11:00 Soothe Your Tech Tummy Ache with These 10 Tools, Lisa Louise Cooke 1:30 What’s Special About US Special Census Schedules? Sunny Morton If you’ve been to my booth at a major conference in the past few years, you already know about the “Outside the Box” mini-sessions I’ve presented along with some of my partners in the past. These sessions have been SO popular that people end up lining the walkways around our booth, several deep, crowding the exhibit hall aisles in to listen and sign up for the free handouts. This year, I’m planning an even richer class experience at the Genealogy Gems booth. There will be 20 sessions, some of them shorter and some longer, taught by myself and my dynamic partners at Genealogy Gems and Family Tree Magazine. I have quadrupled the size of our booth so we can invite many more of you to come in, have a seat and hear these sessions in comfort, without having to stand in the aisles. Here are the FREE classes we’re teaching at Genealogy Gems booth #1230 in the RootsTech exhibit hall: Remember, if you register for RootsTech before January 18, you’ll save a LOT on registration (you’ll pay $169 instead of $249 for the full 4-day event). Come by and say hello at our booth!   GEMS NEWS: “Where I’m From” Winners: Everyone who entered will receive a year of Genealogy Gems Premium Website Membership! In this episode you’ll hear Beverly Field’s wonderful poem, and you’ll hear from more winners in coming episodes. MAILBOX: Where I’m From Picture books by George Ella Lyon recommended by Katharine: Mama is a Miner Come a Tide Cecil’s Story    MAILBOX: Family Tree Maker Sue’s email: she decided to use RootsMagic family history software and, following my suggestion, signed up for Backblaze cloud-based backup service. Click here to read a blog post that answers Charles’ question about why not to continue using Family Tree Maker after it “expires.” Click here to read about specials for Family Tree Maker users and what I do with my master family tree. Click here to access Moving your tree from Family Tree Maker to Reunion, for Reunion 11 (for Mac) software, as recommended by Bill Click here to read which family history software I recommend and why Click here for more Family Tree Maker questions and a couple of bonus questions about keeping Ancestry.com subscriptions or transferring to MyHeritage, which does offer free desktop family history software that syncs with its online trees.   MAILBOX: GOOGLE SEARCHING CORONER’S RECORDS Click here to read a detailed answer to Lydia’s question on Google searching coroner’s records The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox is available through the store on my website at www.genealogygems.com.     INTERVIEW: Judy Russell Robert from Covington, LA wrote in with this excellent question! Here’s the full question and an accompanying image: “We have a copy of our great great grandfather's Warrant from the War of 1812. This has never been redeemed. I expect that the time for redeeming has long since expired but can't find confirmation of this anywhere. I have an affidavit from my grandmother dated 1911 stating the grant was lost or destroyed when she was a little girl being raised by her grandmother, the widow of one of the two brothers listed on the certificate. Her husband, one of those two, died before 1850 and therefore his will has no mention of the Land Grant. The certificate I have is a copy of a re-issue by the Commissioner of Pensions dated 1917. From the wording on the note the Commissioner scribbled on the copy he sent, it appears he hand copied the information on file onto a blank certificate and certified the copy.  I have attached a copy of the certificate we have (above) and a copy of what I have been able to fill in for what is not too legible (below). I have blanked out the family names and certificate number since it is not clear to me if it is or is not redeemable and I don’t have any control where this information may end up once committed to the internet. My main interest now is whether or not the certificate could still be good or if these grants have all “timed out” and none could therefore still be redeemable. I spent about a half day researching on the internet but could not find any information indicating grants were still redeemable after all this time.” Listen to the podcast to hear Judy’s advice about researching laws or statutes relating to our genealogy questions—and to hear how she answered this fantastic question. Library of Congress: A Century of Law Making for a New Nation Preserve the Pensions: War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project   Genealogy Gems Book Club: A New Book! Orchard House by Tara Austin Weaver Tara Austin Weaver's Tea & Cookies blog: www.teaandcookiesblog.com Tara’s recipe for Orchard House is one part food, one part gardening and two parts family drama, liberally seasoned with humor and introspection. The “book jacket” summary of Orchard House, from the publishers: “Peeling paint, stained floors, vine-covered windows, a neglected and wild garden—Tara can’t get the Seattle real estate listing out of her head. Any sane person would see the abandoned property for what it was: a ramshackle half-acre filled with dead grass, blackberry vines, and trouble. But Tara sees potential and promise—not only for the edible bounty the garden could yield for her family, but for the personal renewal she and her mother might reap along the way. So begins Orchard House, a story of rehabilitation and cultivation—of land and soul. Through bleak winters, springs that sputter with rain and cold, golden days of summer, and autumns full of apples, pears, and pumpkins, this evocative memoir recounts the Weavers’ trials and triumphs, what grew and what didn’t, the obstacles overcome and the lessons learned. Inexorably, as mother and daughter tend this wild patch and the fruits of their labor begin to flourish, green shoots of hope emerge from the darkness of their past. For anyone who has ever planted something they wished would survive—or tried to mend something that seemed forever broken—Orchard House is a tale of healing and growth, set in the most unlikely place.” In March, we’ll play an excerpt from an exclusive interview with Tara Austen Weaver in this podcast. Genealogy Gems Premium website members will be able to listen to the full interview in March’s Genealogy Gems Premium podcast. RootsTech Book Club Open House: Thurs, Feb 4, 10am-11am at the Genealogy Gems booth #1230 in the Exhibitor Hall. Stop by and chat about books or family history or both! Free bookmarks, display copies of featured titles a win chance to win a great Book Club prize just for suggesting a book.   PROFILE AMERICA: Ellis Island Opens
Jan 13, 2016
Episode 186
01:20:50
Genealogy Gems PodcastEpisode 186 This month’s episode celebrates upcoming holiday family time with a special segment on interviewing relatives. Diahan Southard offers her thanks for DNA connections that are helping fill holes left by adoption. And you’ll hear about: a great new resource from MyHeritage for connecting with other researchers, family history poetry from two Gems listeners, letters from the Gems mailbox and an excerpt from our new Genealogy Gems Book Club interview, which will appear in full later this month in the next Genealogy Gems Premium podcast. NEWS: MyHeritage Search Connect Genealogy companies are getting smarter, there’s no doubt about it. The latest smart-searching feature from MyHeritage.com is one great example. MyHeritage recently released Search Connect ™. This is new technology that helps you find others who have been searching for the same rare surnames that may be on your family tree. Here’s how it works. For several years, MyHeritage has kept a database of who is searching for what ancestors. I can only imagine how huge that database is!  They have now put that database to use as a social networking tool. They whittled it down, at least for now, to just those folks searching for rare surnames. Just that database has 30 million names in it! Now when you search for those rare surnames in the SuperSearch area of MyHeritage, results from the database of other searchers are included in your search results (and they even get translated if needed, thanks to MyHeritage’s Global Name Translation tool). You can click to look at their larger search history to see if this is really a match for you, then contact them through the site. You can also search on that database separately here. The database will continue to be updated weekly, so it will stay fresh. Also, you can opt-out if you DON’T want your past or current searches to be included in it. All you have to do is log in to your family site and click on your name in the upper right-hand side of the screen. Select ‘My Privacy, then on ‘My member preferences’ on the left and uncheck ‘Enable Search Connect™’.”                 GEMS NEWS: Contest Results Recently we ran a contest celebrating our milestone 1000th blog post on the Genealogy Gems website. We counted down our Top 10 posts of 2015 and many of you helped us share those posts on Facebook. Charles Meiser was one person who helped, and he won a copy of the Video course Pain-Free Family History Writing Projects by our very own Contributing Editor Sunny Morton.                     I do have a nice consolation prize for those who didn’t win: a coupon code for 25% off your own copy of Pain Free Family History Writing Projects Video Course. Her class is packed full of strategies to help you finally get your family history written. And her approach really helps you think outside the box about what really constitutes family history writing. She shares some fun and fantastic ways of passing along your family history without writing a 300-page volume.  GEMS NEWS: Write of Your Life Podcast A few months ago I was interviewed on the Write of Your Life podcast. The thrust of what I talked about was the importance of what I call “family founders,” those people we can look to in our tree for inspiration and think of as role models. Family history helps modern families grow and heal. The people we meet on our family tree—people with the same genes we have—inspire and teach and motivate us in ways they never could have imagined, and maybe we never could have, either, until we “met” them. Click here to listen to the interview. And then I’d love to hear from any of you about how family history has meaning in YOUR life.     MAILBOX: Where I’m From Poems On the show I shared two special poems that have come in on the Genealogy Gems voice mail. You may recall from last month’s episode that we have invited everyone to write their own version of poet George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem. Between now and the end of the year, I encourage you write your own poem. Just make a list about where you’re from—the places, people, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, phrases, songs and rhythms that are part of your story. Shape it into a poem. Then call in to share it with us on our voicemail at (925) 272-4021. Those who do so by December 30, 2015 will be eligible for a chance to win a one-year Genealogy Gems Premium membership or renewal. Next month, I’ll share a couple more of your entries on the podcast. Give it a try! Click here to learn more about this contest.   MAILBOX: The Case of the Missing Parents ContinuesI continue to hear feedback from our response to a reader question in which Sunny and I shared 6 ideas for places to look for an ancestor’s parents’ names. I read some of your additional suggestions on last month’s Genealogy Gems Premium podcast. Lynn wrote in with her own “missing parents” case. The key strategies I suggested are: Cluster research, in which you try to recognize little migratory groups and use other members of the group to learn more about your own ancestor of primary interest. It’s a concept that Contributing Editor Sunny Morton wrote an entire how-to class on. She gave some great tips from that class in the November 2015 Family Tree Magazine podcast, which I also host. That brick-wall-busting class is called Cluster and Collateral Research 101. DNA testing. Depending on which test she takes, her results may lead to common relatives descended from those “missing” parents. I recommended the “Getting Started” DNA guide I offer through the Genealogy Gems website. It’s an inexpensive and helpful way to start your DNA journey. As your DNA journey progresses, the entire series of DNA guides written by our resident DNA expert, Diahan Southard, can help with next steps.   SPECIAL INTERVIEW: Kathy Hawkins: Interviewing Tips for Older RelativesKathy Hawkins is a music therapist and a Master Trainer for a program that works with memory-impaired adults. I asked her questions about aging and memory and how the severity of Alzheimer’s or dementia affect the quality of someone’s memories. We talked about strategies for asking questions that will elicit better memories, understanding the possible limitations of those memories and how to how to have more meaningful conversations with someone who suffers from severe memory loss. Here are four tips she shared that I especially appreciated: Cut out the phrase, “Do you remember?” Ask instead specific questions about “who, what”….etc. I’ve seen people shut down when they feel like it’s a memory test. Don’t put that kind of pressure on them. Your tone and your approach are so important. Don’t be sing-songy or condescending: they’re not a child. Treat them like an adult. The emotional integrity of someone’s story is still often intact, even with memory-impairment. The emotion attached to a memory or a person will likely be really sincere. But their chronology or details may get confused with other similar events that were also true. From the genealogy researcher’s point of view--whenever you can, verify facts (especially dates) with other sources. Don’t make everything about what they remember (or don’t). Be interested in who they are now: their thoughts and creativity. Kathy shared information about Timeslips Creative Storytelling, which teaches caregivers how to have more meaningful, joyful interactions with memory-impaired loved ones. Click here to see a pdf with some creative storytelling and arts materials that Timeslips offers.                 BOOK CLUB: Excerpt from Citizens Creek This month, over on the Genealogy Gems Premium podcast, our Premium members will hear an exclusive interview with Lalita Tademy, author of Citizens Creek. In this episode, we also play a brief excerpt for you. If you’re enjoying these snippets of interviews and you’re not already a Premium website member, consider whether it’s finally time to take the plunge. With Genealogy Gems Premium website membership, one LOW price gets you an entire YEAR’s access to current and ALL back episodes of the monthly Genealogy Gems Premium podcast. That podcast is like this podcast—but on steroids. You get MORE meaty interviews, more fun conversations and exclusive, full-length interviews with the authors of our Book Club selections. You also have access to my most popular classes on video, which if you were to take them at conferences or purchase something like them from another web site would EACH be more expensive than the entire annual membership price. Why not try it for a year? Get as much out of it as you can—there’s definitely a year’s worth of materials to watch and listen to. At the end of the year, YOU decide whether to renew—I never auto-renew my subscribers. It’s always your choice to continue to enjoy Genealogy Gems Premium privileges.             DNA GEM: Filling Empty Seats at the Table with DNAAt this time of year when many of us are spending more time with family than we otherwise might, we often reflect on the empty seats at our table. We think of those who weren't able to travel to the family gathering, and back to those who have passed on. For some however, a long empty seat has been filled this year, thanks to the assistance of a DNA test. Earlier this year we related the story of Mary McPherson and her cousin Dolores Washington-Fleming who discovered a common connection through Peter Edward Williams. Mary is a descendant of his wife, and Dolores through his slave. Mary and Dolores welcomed this new connection and shared information about their common ancestor.  As they reunited for the first time, perhaps they talked about what life might have been like in the 1850’s in the south, and how their ancestors would’ve never guessed that the two of them would be gathered around the same table. As word spreads of the power of DNA testing to reveal the secrets of the past, many adoptees are flocking to genetic genealogy testing companies with the intention of filling the empty seats at their holiday tables.  The New York Times reported a touching story of Khrys Vaughan who felt her identity crumble when she found out she was adopted. Turning to DNA testing she was able to connect with cousins and feel a biological connection she didn’t know she had been missing. Even though she still has many open seats at her table, she felt that filling even one meant that she was no longer biologically adrift, but could now look at someone and say, “This is my family.” A similar story broke recently out of California. Just days old, Jen Chervin was found outside a hospital in Yuba City, CA. That was 40 years ago. But this year, Jen used the power of the genetic genealogy database in combination with some serious genealogy work to find her parents. While neither is in a position to openly embrace her as a daughter at this time in their lives, Jen now has a name card to place at seats of honor around her holiday table, all thanks to a simple saliva test. This has been a landmark year in my own family. In one seeming miracle after another, I have added the names of maternal grandparents and great grandparents to my family tree as DNA testing has helped my mom fill in some of the missing pieces in her life. We have had a true Texas welcome from some of her paternal second cousins, and an outpouring of kindness from a maternal second cousin. While our place cards for mother and father are only tentatively penciled in, I know as I look around our genetic holiday table, I am excited about the new faces I see and I can’t wait to learn more. If you want to get started filling seats at your table, there is no time like the present to give yourself, or someone else, the present of DNA testing! The first rule in DNA testing is to test the oldest generation. So parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles should be first on your list. If you are that oldest generation, then pat yourself on the back and get swabbing! The savvy shopper begins with the AncestryDNA test for all interested parties, and the YDNA 37 marker test from Family Tree DNA for all males. Then sit back and wait for the results to roll in! As they do, check back here at Genealogy Gems for tips on how to use that data to fill seats at your holiday table next year. And turn to Diahan Southard’s DNA quick reference guides in the Genealogy Gems store at http://shop.lisalouisecooke.com/   PROFILE AMERICAThe US Census Bureau’s Profile America website tells us that “111 years ago, Connecticut inventor Harvey Hubbell moved household electricity from “shock it to socket.” In November 1904, he received a patent for the world's first detachable electric plug: the two-, now sometimes three-prong plug familiar to us today. Remarkable as it sounds, at the time electric terminals would extend out from a wall, and any electrical device had to be hardwired to them--a time consuming process with a chance of electrocution. Hubbell was no one-hit wonder, as in the 1890s he created an electric switch and patented the pull-chain electric light socket.”  
Dec 08, 2015
Episode 185
54:34
This month all of us here at Genealogy Gems are celebrating reaching a milestone 1000 blog posts on our website. But we’re not just celebrating our own genealogy writing. We’re celebrating YOURS! Today I have a special segment that celebrates what YOU have shared with us about your adventures in family history blogging. I also have a short, fun family history writing challenge to share with everyone, not just those who blog. I’ll introduce that challenge with a surprise guest—the poet laureate of Kentucky. Genealogy Gems App Users: Check out the Bonus Content video NEWS: More U.S. Marriage Records OnlineHave you noticed on our blog that every Friday we report new genealogy records online? Well, last week was a doozy in terms of U.S. marriage records. We had heard through the grapevine that FamilySearch had set itself to the task of tracking down every possible marriage record for the U.S. and it looks like they’re having some success! At FamilySearch alone last week, they published or updated indexed  marriage records in Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington. Louisiana’s collection alone contains over a million entries, and Pennsylvania’s dates to the 1600s! But FamilySearch isn’t alone in the marriage record publishing frenzy. We noticed that Ancestry has just added  new marriage indexes for West Virginia, Maine and Jackson Co, Missouri. Of course, not every ancestor who married stayed that way: Ancestry has also updated its Idaho divorce collection and added a new collection of Oregon divorce records. A lot of these are older but you’ll be surprised at how far into the 20th century some of these new marriage record collections are. Use these to recharge your research if you’ve stalled somewhere on your U.S. family tree! NEWS: National Archives (U.S.) Doing More DigitizingThe U.S. National Archives has signed contracts to digitize more of its historical records. The partnerships are with FamilySearch and Ancestry, and the records in question will include various items with births, marriages, deaths, immigration and military service information. So the National Archives has partnered with these organizations in the past, but this time around, the contract allows them to get records online faster by uploading digitized and partially-digitized collections before they’re even indexed, like FamilySearch already does. There are new provisions to protect personally identifying information, and Ancestrywill have a shorter window of exclusivity with their content. They invest in record digitization and indexing so they will have exclusive access to the images and indexes for a period of time, after which the National Archives can put the material on its site and share it with other partners. It’s a win-win even for those who don’t subscribe to Ancestry: you’ll just have to wait longer to win! And FYI, in case you wonder why FamilySearch and Ancestry seem so favored, the U.S. National Archives does sign content partnerships with other companies. Findmypast has a contract pending, and there’s already a contract with military records site Fold3. NEWS: RootsMagic for Mac and More I recently heard two really great pieces of news about RootsMagic genealogy software--for Mac users! First, RootsMagic Essentials for Mac software is now available for FREE!  This is the get-started version of RootsMagic which introduces you to this excellent family history software. If you’re still exploring which family history software is best for you, give it a try! If you decide to upgrade to the full, paid version of the software, the transition is seamless and easy. Speaking of a full Mac version of RootsMagic, you may recall that last year they launched MacBridge for RootsMagic. This was really a great step forward, but there was an additional fee and it required extra steps to download and use. But now when you buy RootsMagic 7, you can install it on both Windows and Mac computers in your household....So your single purchase includes licenses for both. Great, right?! So if you already own RootsMagic 7 for Windows, you can head back to their website, and download RootsMagic 7 for Mac any time and use the same registration key that you got with your original purchase. And something I really love about Rootstmagic is the free and easy to access support they provide their users. There’s nothing worse than struggling to use your genealogy software when you’re hot on the trail of ancestors. Well they have just published two new free PDF RootsMagic user guides – one that’s all about installing RootsMagic for Mac, and another guide on how to create a Shareable CD. So now you have lots of new things to do when it comes to Rootsmagic.   MAILBOX  This month we are celebrating 1000 blog posts on the Genealogy Gems website. It’s hard to believe we’re up to 1000 different posts on family history news, tips, stories and more! Who knew there was so much to say? But our blog is only a drop in the genealogy-blogging bucket! I keep hearing from so many of you about your blogging successes. So here’s a taste of what I’m hearing: “I absolutely love blogging about my family,” commented Diane on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page. “Once I got serious, 2 years ago, I have really enjoyed it. I've connected with cousins and made many new friends. I write tips to help other researchers and that's also been very rewarding. It's a regular part of my life now. I would really miss it if I couldn't write.” Here’s another one. Debra wrote in to say, “I have been reading about blogging for genealogy on your website and finally decided to bite the bullet and start one. Now I am trying to figure out how to get it noticed and remembered that you asked us to send you the link if we started one, so here is the information.” Her blog: Dezi Duz it, at www.deziduzit.blogspot.com. I took a quick peek at it. It’s still a young blog, but I have to say that Debra is going about this the right way. Her blog posts are packed with family names and locations that can help other relatives find her, if they’re searching for those same names and locations online. She’s also got great stories and memories in her posts, which she’s added documents and photos to. That content will keep interested relatives reading, once they’ve discovered her, which may take some time—but it’s worth it! A new podcast listener and blogger wrote to me recently. Jolanta is a Polish immigrant to Northern Ireland and a professional translator. She says, “I only just discovered podcast as a medium and your podcast in particular. I am loving it! Love the book club, the tips and really everything about it! I drive a lot and it is recorded loud enough to comfortably listen in a car (unlike some other podcasts) and I still have quite a lot of shows to go so I will be occupied for a while!” She goes on to say, “Motivated by your show, I decided to take a plunge and start my own blog…I am not a native English speaker, but this is a way to challenge myself. I only have one post up so far and the next one nearly ready, but the more I listen to your podcasts the more ideas I have.” Since she wrote us, she’s added more to her blog at www.genealogytranslator.com. I’m so pleased that the show is inspiring Jolanta, because she’s inspiring me! What a feat, to blog in your second language! She says that as an immigrant, she feels doing her genealogy is even more important, because since she left 11 years ago, her daughter has been born. Jolanta says, “She needs to know where her roots are!” and I couldn’t agree more. Good for her! Another Debra wrote in recently with this comment: “I am fairly new to your podcast series; I enjoy listening while I work on my quilting projects. You have inspired me to start a family history blog as a starting base for writing my family history. Last week, I listened to one of your early podcasts on the subject of cold-calling. I was amazed to hear how difficult it is for many people to reach out to others for help with their research into their own family history. I took that topic and wrote a blog entry about the first cold-call that I remember. It has inspired me to write about more cold-calls in the near future. I would like to invite you to read that entry on my site, dygenerations.com. Thank you for your excitement and your inspirations.”  Well, you’re welcome, Debra, and thank you for sharing your blog post with your experience cold-contacting a distant relative: an experience that actually led to meeting that relative, who introduced her to another relative who lived in the old family home, which had a family burial plot in her back garden! What a great contact and friendship she describes! Episode 14: How to Contact Long-Lost Relatives Episode 15: More Tips for Contacting Distant Relatives Mike from Sydney, Australia wrote to say, “Congratulations on a great podcast from Down Under. I listen to every episode during my travels to and from work. I recently watched your 'how to blog your family history' series on YouTube and became motivated to finally 'get on my butt' and do something. Your recent episode 184 with Judy's blogging experience was the clincher. I have now proudly given birth to my first blog at http://familyarising.blogspot.com.au/. And it wasn't painful. It has only taken about 20 years since blogging has been around! Thank you for inspiring me and all your other listeners.” It feels so good to hear that so many people are getting into the spirit of blogging their family history! It’s never too late to start! I’ll share one last letter from Chris, who wrote in after we announced the new Irish Catholic Parish Registers online from the National Library of Ireland. Chris says, “Since you turned everyone on to this latest resource I thought I'd share the results.” She sent me a link to her blog post link about using these, where she reports: “I was very lucky. I knew enough information to make a smart guess at exactly where to look and within half an hour I had baptismal records for three people in my dad's family.” In fact, these relatives she talks about have the surname Cooke, just like my married name. Do you still need more motivation to get blogging? I came across a marketing blog post on the power of blogging for businesses. Well, we as family historians are in the business of sharing our family history stories. So I think about things from that point of view when I hear the following, taken from a post on Hubspot Blogs. First, businesses that blog attract two-thirds more potential customers than those who don’t. Likewise, family historians who share their family history online can attract interest from lots of relatives, including those they’ve never met and those they never knew were interested in family history! Second, blog posts can pull in new customers for businesses whether you wrote them yesterday or years ago. It’s worth updating older blog posts with more current information and keeping your current contact information on your blog, even if you’re not actively adding to it right now. Third, marketing experts say that by 2020, customers are expected to manage about 85% of business without even talking to a human. Wow! I think we’ll see some trending that direction in family history research, too. Increasingly, our relatives are likely looking for their family history online first—not as much by reaching out to distant relatives and relatives-of-relatives by mail or phone, though I still encourage that cold-calling approach that worked so well for Debra. Fourth, the only thing blogging costs is TIME! This speaks for itself. No expensive mailings or printing copies of books and photos, hoping your relatives will pay you back. Fifth, and finally, blogs are considered a highly trusted source for accurate online information. The personal touch of a blog, together with your responsible research and the sources you cite, can help your relatives trust what you’re telling them.   GENEALOGY GEMS FOR SOCIETIES A few months ago I heard from Richard. “I have been asked by my local genealogical Society to conduct and present at the meeting in August. My thought for the class was Internet Genealogy and providing a comprehensive overview on how members and non-members can increase their sources and find ‘hidden’ records on line. Can I include images of your website and small clips of some of your online free videos as part of the presentation? I would of course include the source information and provide credit for you. I am also planning to hype up your podcast as well since it has given me a number of new outlooks on the best hobby in the world. Thank you again for your continued information and assistance in every media format known.” Thank you, Richard! I’m so glad he wants to share Genealogy Gems with his local society. I’ve actually heard that from so many of you that I’ve created a new program to meet this need. Genealogy Gems for Societies is a premium subscription service just for genealogical societies and groups, such as libraries. This is a cost-effective way for groups to enjoy my high-quality family history video presentations their regular meetings. It includes: A year-long license to show video recordings of my most popular classes as group presentations Permission to republish articles and blog posts from our enormous online archive—remember? we’re up to 1000 blog posts now!—in your society newsletter. (Your newsletter editor will LOVE this feature!), and Discounts for your society and its members on Genealogy Gems live seminars and purchases from our online store.   INTERVIEW: Where I'm From with George Ella Lyon Today I arranged for a special segment that Contributing Editor Sunny Morton recorded with George Ella Lyon, the poet laureate of Kentucky, George Ella Lyon, whose own poem on family identity has inspired hundreds of people to write their own and has even become an official statewide initiative in Kentucky! One of those who wrote their own version of the poem was Sunny’s own 11-year old son Alex. Enjoy the conversation—and listen for that writing invitation I told you was coming! George Ella Lyon is the Poet Laureate for the state of Kentucky and the author of a very popular family history writing exercise based on her poem, “Where I’m From.” She uses her poem to encourage others to make lists about where they’re from, and shape them into their own poems. As she says on her website, “the poem as a writing prompt has traveled in amazing ways. People have used it at their family reunions, teachers have used it with kids all over the United States, in Ecuador and China; they have taken it to girls in juvenile detention, to men in prison for life, and to refugees in a camp in the Sudan.” The “Where I’m From” poem has inspired a current initiative by the Kentucky Arts Council to encourage people to reflect on and document their own heritage. Of course, we hope this conversation will inspire YOU to write about where you’re from, too! Here are some of George Ella Lyon’s tips on writing your own version of “Where I’m From:” Just list whatever comes to mind to start: food, music, landscapes, people. Be open to whatever you think of. This is a process. It may take several days to craft your list.  Later, as you organize what you write into its final shape, go back and see which lines have the most energy. Read it out loud. What order feels right? The last part of my poem is a reflection, but yours doesn’t have to be. Have fun! Don’t criticize yourself. You can do this many times over the course of time. I have! You can write “Where I’m From” from your current point of view or looking back. Tell us where you are from!We would love to have you share your version of George Ella Lyon’s poem with Genealogy Gems! l invite you to call in and read your version of the poem on my voicemail: (925) 272-4021. Be sure to leave your name, phone number, and email address (phone and email will be kept private and NOT played on the show) so that you can be entered to win 1 year of Genealogy Gems Premium Membership (new or renewal). One lucky winner will be randomly selected on 12/31/15.    DNA GEM: Ethnicity Results: Exciting or Exasperating?Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide at Genealogy Gems Facebook follower Kate Vaughan recently wrote in expressing her frustration with her ethnicity results provided by AncestryDNA. She gets right to the point when she writes, “the way they refer to the results is confusing.” Kate, you are not alone. Many genealogists have been lured into taking the autosomal DNA test at one of the three major DNA testing companies just to get this glimpse into their past. Remember that the autosomal DNA test can reveal information about both your mother’s side and your father’s side of your family tree. Many take the test hoping for confirmation of a particular ancestral heritage, others are just curious to see what the results will show. Though their purposes in initiating the testing may vary, the feeling of bewilderment and befuddlement upon receiving the results is fairly universal. Kate has some specific questions about her results that I think most will share. Let’s take a look at a couple of them. First up, Kate wants to know if our family tree data in any way influences the ethnicity results provided. The answer is an unequivocal “no.” None of the testing companies look at your family tree in any way when determining your ethnicity results. However, the results are dependent on the family trees of the reference population. The reference populations are large numbers of people whose DNA has been tested and THEIR family history has been documented for many generations in that region. The testing companies compare your DNA to theirs and that’s how they assign you to an ethnicity (and place of ancestral origin?).  Next Kate asks, “Do they mean England when they report Great Britain?” Or to put it more broadly, how do these testing companies decide to divide up the world? All of the companies handle this a little bit differently. Let’s look at Ancestry as an example. When you login to view your ethnicity results, you can click on the “show all regions” box below your results to get a list of all of the possible categories that your DNA could be placed in. These 26 categories include nine African regions, Native American, three Asian regions, eight European regions, two Pacific Island regions, two West Asian regions, and then Jewish, which is not a region, per se, but a genetically distinct group. Clicking on each individual location in the left sidebar will bring up more information on the right about that region. For example, clicking on Great Britain tells us that DNA associated with this region is primarily found in England, Scotland, and Wales, but is also found in Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. Basically, this is telling us that people with generations of ancestry in Great Britain are quite a genetic mix from many areas. The first chart here shows that if we are to test the DNA of 100 natives of one of these primary regions (England, Scotland or Wales) then 50 of them will have the great Britain “pattern” of DNA covering 60% or more of their entire genome, and 50 of them will have that pattern in less than 60% of their DNA. The fact that this half-way number is so low, only 60%, tells us that there is a lot of uncertainty in this ethnicity estimate because there is so much mixture in this region. Kate, for you that means that when you see Great Britain in your ethnicity estimate, it could mean England, or maybe it means Italy- Ancestry can’t be certain. But that uncertainty isn’t the same for every region. Pictured here is also the ethnicity chart for Ireland. You can see that half the people who are native to Ireland will have 95% or more Irish DNA.  Kate, for us this means that if you have Irish DNA in your results, you can be pretty certain it came from Ireland. From these tables you can see your membership in some regions is more robust than others, and Ancestry is using these tables to try to help us tell the difference. In the end, the ethnicity results reported by each DNA testing company are highly dependent on two factors: the reference populations they use to compare your DNA against, and the statistical algorithms they use to compute your similarities to these populations. Every company is doing both of these things just a little bit differently. Kate, if you want to get another take on your ethnicity results, you can take your data over to Family Tree DNA, or you can be tested at 23andMe. A free option is to head over to Gedmatch and try out their various ethnicity tools. If you need help downloading and transferring, you can head over to my website: http://www.yourdnaguide.com/transferring.  Most people have found after searching in multiple places that their “true” results are probably somewhere in the middle. While these ethnicity results can be interesting and useful, for most they will just be a novelty; something interesting and exciting. I have found that their most useful application is acting like a fly on a fishing line. They attract our family members into DNA testing where we can then set the hook on the real goal: family history.    PROFILE AMERICA: The Statue of Liberty had a birthday just recently! On October 28, 1886, the now-famous Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor in New York City. Every school child in the U.S. knows this was a gift from France. According to Profile America, “the statue was the first glimpse of America for more than 20 million immigrants who came through nearby Ellis Island, chiefly from Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Poland. In 1910, the year of the greatest influx, some 15 percent of the U.S. population was foreign-born.” Each of those 20 million immigrants to the U.S.—and each of our other ancestors from all over the world—has a unique story. Of migration or change, loss and love, being favored by fate--or not-so-favored. All the stories I find—and all the stories I hear and read from YOU—tell me that we have so much to learn from our ancestors’ lives, so much to be inspired by. Their stories shape us and, in so doing, become part of OUR stories. That gives us double the stories to tell! I invite you to get sharing those stories, if you aren’t already. Blog if that works for you, because the world is your audience. Or write something else and share it in another way. Put together a short biography of a fascinating ancestor. Transcribe an old diary or interview. Write about your research journey and how your findings inspired you. However you most want to share it: just DO it! Your own legacy will love on. The legacies of those who love from the past will live on. And legacies of those yet to come will benefit from that which you’ve left for them.
Nov 05, 2015
Episode 184
59:39
In this episode I’ll kick things off with two fabulous online resources I think are Gems. Two of you wrote in with your own advice, one on saving your genealogy from theft and another with another tip on digital preservation. I found a funny poem online that the author gave me permission to share. And then Sunny will join me to announce our next Genealogy Gems Book Club pick—and we may or may not digress a little to talk about other fun things on our minds. So sit back and relax—or do whatever you love to do while listening to podcasts—and let’s get started. NEWS: Ancestry Web Indexes Did you see the recent article on the Genealogy Gems website about Ancestry Web Indexes? These are FREE resources that anyone can access. You don’t need to be an Ancestry subscriber or even create a free login on the site. Here’s what they’re all about. For the past few years, Ancestry has been indexing databases from other websites on their own site. They’re not stealing data or take credit for data from other places—everything is fully cited and points to the original sites. Ancestry is extending the power of its ability to help users find their family history online wherever it may be. They’re taking advantage of the fact that it’s already a place where people are looking and their site’s powerful search tools. What I think is cool is that you may have a better search experience at Ancestry than you would at the original site. Some sites that host databases or indexes don’t offer very flexible search parameters. If you search for Elizabeth Madison, they may not recognize “Beth” or “Lizzie” as acceptable search results, or alternate spellings of her last name. But Ancestry does. A subscription to that original site may be required to see any images or other content that’s members-only. But if there’s data out there, I want to know about it. Then I can decide whether I want to get access to it. Another bonus is that a lot of their big Web Indexes are from sites that are not in English. This gives English-speakers a portal to that data, in case they are intimidated by trying to search a site in another language or by applying Google Translate, which I teach about using in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. Anyway, I think it’s just one more online tool we should all know about! Just within the past few weeks, here are a few new Ancestry Web Indexes: Danish Emigration (that’s Emigration with an E—for people moving OUT of the country), more than 300,000 records from 1868 to 1908. An Indiana Marriage Index for 1806-1861, with another 300,000 records; Montreal, Canada marriages and burials dating back to the 1760s; Alberta, Canada newspaper vital events index back to 1889; and Births, deaths and marriages for Gallatin, Montana back to the mid-1800s. Here’s a tip that wasn’t in our article: you can search for Ancestry Web Indexes by going to Ancestry’s drop-down Search menu. Click on Card Catalog, and do a title search for the word “Web.” You’ll see lots of results that say “Web:” followed by the name of the index. Just another helpful tip to get the most out of one of the world’s biggest genealogy websites, whether you’re a subscriber or not!   NEWS: Bomb Sight websiteWe’ve probably all seen images from the World War II bombing of London  in movies. You see Londoners hunched in tube station tunnels during air raids in The Imitation Game. In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Pevensie children are evacuated to the countryside to escape the Blitz. But for anyone who didn’t experience it themselves or grow up in the shadow of those bombed-out buildings, we don’t really GET the Blitz, when the Germans bombed London regularly for several MONTHS. There’s a new website and mobile app that I have to recommend that reveals the Blitz in a new way: Bomb Sight, http://www.bombsight.org/. The core of this site is a digitized version of 559 bomb census maps that show where each and every bomb fell between July of 1940 and the following June. These maps were classified until 1971, and were previously only available in their fragile, original condition in the British National Archives. Now you can explore all those neighborhoods and read about the individual bombs that devastated them. You can even see related historical images and read stories and memories. It’s stunning to look closely at a neighborhood and see how densely the bombs fell. It’s also stunning to pan out to the widest view and see SO many dots. So many bombs. So much destruction. Take a few minutes, won’t you, and explore BombSight.org, and you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the bombing of London.   MAILBOX: Advice to a new family history bloggerRecently Judy wrote to me after she attended one of my presentations. She says, “Just wanted to know I took your advice and started a blog on one of my cold cases. Here's the link if you'd like to see it: http://onebranchthenanother.blogspot.com/” So I took a look at Judy’s blog. Here is a summary of my comments: Her posts are packed with genealogical data She shows great use of search keywords: she even included all the name spelling variations! In addition to the wonderful information her blog provides to readers, it’s also wonderful Google “cousin bait” because others searching for all those names and places will find her I would love to see a "Next Steps" list after the Questions list (which I think was a great addition to the post) A Sobering Reminder about Computer Backups I met Kathy from Carmel Valley, California on the Legacy Genealogy Cruise this past June, which was SO much fun! Afterward, Kathy sent me this note: “Hi Lisa, I hope all is well with you and your family. I am still thinking about our lovely Caribbean cruise. I thought you might share a reminder with your listeners. My husband and I were out of town last week and were robbed. The robbers took only electronics (thank goodness) and did not mess up the house….another thing to be thankful for. But your listeners can not rely on external hard drives as backup. If the external hard drive is by the computer….the robbers will take that as well. Thank goodness we had a web-based backup. So we did not lose our precious research or photographs. It could have been so much worse. This is just another reason why your listeners should look at BackBlaze or another company that provides the same service. I am grateful that I did. Yes, we have to purchase new computer equipment….BUT we have our research and our photos. Gratitude, gratitude.” I’m so sorry Kathy was robbed. But I’m so glad she didn’t lose the most important part of her computer: what was on it. And I sure appreciate her sharing her close call with us. We’ve heard it before: the way to keep from losing copies of anything is to keep multiple copies in multiple physical locations. Kathy mentioned robbery, but another common scenario that would take out all your in-house computer storage is a natural disaster—a flood or fires, like the ones that recently plagued Carmel Valley where she lives (I hope Kathy wasn’t affected). But it’s a lot of work to back up everything yourself on an ongoing basis and keep distributing it to multiple physical locations. A cloud-based backup service does this work for you: both the backup and the offsite storage! Here at Genealogy Gems, I trust Backblaze as our official cloud-based computer backup service. Do your homework and find what’s right for you. But I did my homework and I recommend Backblaze. It’s less than five bucks a month for the peace of mind and security that your computer’s contents will ALWAYS be safely stored and available for you to retrieve from their secure online vault. I encourage you to check them out at www.backblaze.com/Lisa. Digital file storageAfter listening to the most recent Genealogy Gems podcast episode, Bill wrote in with this great comment: “I was very interested in listening to podcast Episode 183 since one of its major segments dealt with preservation of old photos and videos. For the last three years (as time permits), I've been scanning my (and my wife's family's) old photos - mainly black and white. This is still a work-in-progress. Tried to do a good bit of reading about this subject (on the Internet) before I started. Also attended a genealogy seminar in 2009 where one of the presentations covered digital photo preservation.  “Based on what I've read and heard, the ‘experts’ generally appear to recommend using the .tif file format (versus jpg, gif, png, bmp) for capturing and retaining any photos you deem valuable or important. This decision seems to be driven by the loss-less nature of the .tif format versus the "lossy" nature of the other formats. There's no question that a .tif version of a given image is substantially larger than its jpg counterpart, too. Since the choice of a file format is a pretty basic (and important) aspect of the digital preservation process, I was surprised it wasn't mentioned in the podcast or associated notes. “After exploring the Larsen Digital site for a while, I located a page there that compares the various file formats for photos, videos, etc.” Then Bill shared this webpage URL with me. I loved hearing from Bill. He’s absolutely right that TIF is preferred over JPG for just the reasons he mentioned. Kristin and I didn't cover that in our conversation due to time constraints, and the fact that we've covered the advantages of TIF over JPG several times before in past Genealogy Gems episodes (like episode 57 with Sally Jacobs, The Practical Archivist, which is available for free online). We addressed image resolution because this is a specific area we haven't covered as much. Just a reminder, the Genealogy Gems coupon code for Larsen Digital is still good! The code is Gengem10, and it’s good for 10% off services like digitizing old photos and your family videos and film reels. Visit their website at www.larsendigital.com, call them at 800-776-8357 or send an email to info@larsendigital.com.                 GEM: “Open Letter Grandma” Recently I came across this wonderful poem that resonated so well with me—and made me laugh—that I got the author’s permission to share it on the podcast. It’s called “Open Letter to Grandma” by Amie Bowser Tennant, and it’s posted on her blog, RootsBid. (Click on the link to read the poem.)                 GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: Citizens Creek: A Novel by Lalita TademyOur next Genealogy Gems Book Club pick is Citizens Creek by New York Times bestselling author Lalita Tademy. Some of you have probably read her previous novels, Cane River and the sequel Red River. Cane River was an Oprah Book Club selection. I read these a few years ago and really enjoyed them. So I was really excited when I heard she had a new novel out. And even more excited when I found out I’d get to interview her for Genealogy Gems Book Club! Citizens Creek is a novel, but it’s based on the lives of real people. The publisher describes it as “the evocative story of a once-enslaved man who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars, and his granddaughter, who sustains his legacy of courage. “Cow Tom, born into slavery in Alabama in 1810 and sold to a Creek Indian chief before his tenth birthday, possessed an extraordinary gift: the ability to master languages. As the new country developed westward, and Indians, settlers, and blacks came into constant contact, Cow Tom became a key translator for his Creek master and was hired out to US military generals. His talent earned him money—but would it also grant him freedom? And what would become of him and his family in the aftermath of the Civil War and the Indian Removal westward? “Cow Tom’s legacy lives on—especially in the courageous spirit of his granddaughter Rose. She rises to leadership of the family as they struggle against political and societal hostility intent on keeping blacks and Indians oppressed. But through it all, her grandfather’s indelible mark of courage inspires her—in mind, in spirit, and in a family legacy that never dies. “Written in two parts portraying the parallel lives of Cow Tom and Rose, Citizens Creek is a beautifully rendered novel that takes the reader deep into a little known chapter of American history. It is a breathtaking tale of identity, community, family—and above all, the power of an individual’s will to make a difference.” Contributing Editor and Book Club Guru first considered this book for the Genealogy Gems Book Club because of the compelling history told about both Native Americans and African Americans. “But then,” she says, “the characters’ stories became more personal and more relatable and more obviously about family, relationships and legacy. We see how the experiences of one generation shape them—and how they shape themselves--and what effects all this has on the next generation. We see how the next generations look backward for inspiration and support and guidance, to see how best to manage in the present and think about the future.” Next episode, Sunny will share a couple of passages from the book about Rose, Cow Tom’s granddaughter, who becomes the keeper of his secrets.   DNA GEM: Some Suggestions for the Empty Handed Genetic Genealogists with Diahan Southard “Over one million people have had their DNA tested for genealogical purposes, and that number is climbing fast. If we were able to survey all of those who have tested, how many would answer that they are fully satisfied with their results? I think the level of satisfaction we feel with our genetic genealogy experience has everything to do with our expectations going in. “What did you expect going in? Many are drawn to genetic genealogy by the pretty pie charts and maps that reveal our mix of ancestral heritage. If they are expecting a nice addition to their coffee table pieces, they are pleased. If they are expecting a crystal ball into their ancestral heritage, they are often disappointed. “Likewise, when you see a 2nd-4th cousin on your match page, you may have every expectation that you can figure out how you are related to each other. But when that common ancestor remains elusive, many fear that the test is not helpful, or worse, inaccurate. “Recently we heard from Jenna on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page. Jenna has followed the autosomal DNA testing plan perfectly: She tested first with Ancestry, then transferred to Family Tree DNA. She even went the extra step and uploaded her results into GedMatch, a free third party tool, and yet, she feels she hasn’t made any positive connections. “For anyone in this situation, here are 2 explanations, and 2 next-steps to help set good expectations for your genetic genealogy experience. “First, you need to know your own family history. If your family is not from the United States, or have only recently immigrated to the United States, you will not find very many matches in the databases. This will change as time moves on and genetic genealogy gains greater exposure and acceptance in other markets.  “If you do have ancestry from the United States, but are still coming up empty handed, it might be because you happen to be the pioneer in your family, the first to jump into genetic genealogy. While 1 million people is a lot of tested individuals, I am consistently surprised by the number of people I meet who have never heard of using DNA testing in genealogy. “Unfortunately, both of these explanations just require patience to be resolved. But, while you are waiting, here are 2 tips to get the most out of what you have: “First, as our Facebook friend suggested, start with a goal. In her case, she is interested in her paternal grandmother’s father. Anytime you are researching a male, if you can find his direct paternal descendant, a living male with his surname, you should have him take the YDNA test. “In the absence, or in addition to that, having as many descendants of your ancestor tested as possible will help you fill in the genetic gaps that naturally occur as DNA is passed down. But short of throwing more money at the testing companies, you can search each database by surname and location to look for others who might share these genealogical characteristics with the individual you are looking for. “My second tip is to focus on your closest genetic match and use all the available tools to investigate your relationship. This will involve using the Common Matches tools found at Ancestry.com, Family Tree DNA, and GEDmatch. In this way you can find multiple individuals that may all be related to you through a single common ancestor. You can then use their known genealogies to look for overlapping genealogical information, like surnames and locations to help you identify your shared common ancestor. “Most people that I talk to who feel like their DNA has left them empty handed are just simply not aware of how to use the tools and clues at their testing company to tease information out of their matches. That I why I have written the genetic genealogy quick guides that do take you step by step through your results to make sure you are making the most of your DNA test results. “You can find these guides under the Store tab at GenealogyGems.com. I also offer customized DNA guidance like the help I’ve been giving Lisa, which she’s talked about in her free weekly newsletter. If you’re interested in a consultant, find me through my website, YourDNAGuide.com.”—Diahan Southard    
Oct 06, 2015
Episode 183
01:03:03
In this episode, a special expert joins us to talk about digitizing and storing your old movies, videos, and pictures—even further updating those old movies you’ve already put on CD. You’ll hear a juicy clip from our exclusive Genealogy Gems Book Club interview with the editor of the new Laura Ingalls Wilder biography, Pioneer Girl. And Your DNA Guide is here with a story of DNA and the President. NEWS: AncestryDNA Common Matches Genealogists are losing sleep lately because of a new DNA tool, but in a good way! I’m talking about AncestryDNA’s release of its Common Matches tool. Diahan Southard, our resident DNA expert, shared the breaking news on our website recently, within hours of when the new tool when live. She loves it so much she’s already spent hours using Common Matches, which she says is blowing her genealogy mysteries wide open. This tool pulls out shared matches between two people who match at 4th cousins or closer. The tool is on AncestryDNA’s main match page, between the “Pedigrees and Surnames” filter and the “Map and Locations” filter. This link will take you to a blog post on our site with Diahan’s great visuals and explanation of how to use this new tool. We heard from Alana on Facebook after she read Diahan’s post. She said, “I stayed up for hours past my bedtime last night resolving hundreds of mystery matches. Everything makes so much more sense now. I’ve been mentally begging them to come up with a way to search for two surnames: this does an even better job than that. I did think it was funny how they broke the news by trying to sell me more tests. Oh well. I am SO thankful for this extremely useful new tool!” Have you tried it? Let us know how it works for you. We’d love to hear your success stories and how you’re making the most of DNA testing for genealogy.    DOUBLE YOUR CLOUD BACKUP SECURITY Recently Backblaze, a sponsor of this podcast, let us know that we can now activate an extra layer of security to better protect the data we have stored with them.   The feature is called two-factor verification. It requires that we present both our account credentials and a verification code from a second device to gain access to our Backblaze account. That means someone who was trying to steal our data would have to have both our account information and access to the phone that's tied to the account. The option to require both these security steps can make Backblaze’s solid security even more powerful. It’s like you’re giving Backblaze permission to lock the doors to your data with two different keys instead of a single one, because you’re willing to take the time to use that second key whenever YOU need access.   This is just one more reason I’m glad I’ve chosen Backblaze as the official cloud-based computer backup service of Genealogy Gems! I sleep more easily knowing Backblaze is backing me up, 24/7, without me having to do anything but live my life, create and edit the many files that bring you this show, and keep my Backblaze subscription current!     NEWS: RootsMagic Update for FamilySearch Family Tree If you’re a RootsMagic user, did you install the required update recently so it will continue to work with FamilySearch? On July 30, last month, FamilySearch made some changes to its own site, which required RootsMagic to tweak things on their end to keep up.   If you’re running RootsMagic 7, look for the “Update Available” indicator in the lower right corner of your RootsMagic 7 program screen, and click on it. You will then be able to continue working with FamilySearch Family Tree as if nothing has changed. If you’re running Rootmagic 6, you can either upgrade to version 7 for around $20 or you can download the free RootsMagic 7 Essentials version and switch back and forth between them with the same database. Thanks for helping us spread the word to other RootsMagic users who are now scratching their heads when trying to work with FamilySearch FamilyTree!   MAILBOX: Keeping Track of Your Master Family Tree We recently heard from a new RootsMagic user, who bought the software to keep track of his family tree. He was still finding it difficult to corral all his data in one place. He wrote, “I have my family tree splattered everywhere: FamilySearch, MyHeritage and Ancestry. I’m afraid of losing control of my tree and would like some advice on keeping things straight. Each of the sites I go on seem to offer different information, so I started posting information on different sites. Can you offer any suggestions that I can use to centralize my data across different sites?” This is NOT just a problem Louis is having! In fact, I venture a guess that most people with online trees in more than one place have this problem and some may not even realize it. I look at my RootsMagic database on my computer as my MASTER database and tree. I may post things online, but only copies. Websites come and go and I want to keep ownership of my own master file on my own computer. With this kind of thinking, I can post my tree online but not lose control of it! When I post tree data online, I’m going fishing for family, so to speak. I’m trying to connect with cousins and gain research leads. With that in mind, I upload only the portion of the tree for which I want to generate those connections and leads. I don’t put my entire tree on each site because I don’t want to get bogged down with requests and alerts for far flung branches that I’m not focused on researching right now. To do this I make a copy of my database, edit it to fit my research, and then upload it. As I find documents and data on genealogy websites, I may “attach” them to the tree on that site, but I always download a copy and retain that on my computer and make note of it in RootsMagic. That way I retain control of my tree and my sources.   Visit our sponsor MyHeritage.com and start boosting your genealogy research                 GEM: Digital Preservation If you’re lucky enough to have old home movies, then you are probably really concerned about how to preserve them and how to get them into some kind of format that you can share with your family and use in your own family history projects. And what about digitizing and preserving our old photos? We all have those. It can all seem like a pretty daunting task, and that’s why I’ve invited Digital Film Conversion expert Kristin Harding from Larsen Digital in for a chat. Here at Genealogy Gems we’ve been talking lately about the importance of backing up all your computer files, particularly since our experience with our new sponsor Backblaze has shown us how easy and inexpensive it is to have a first-rate cloud back-up service. But there’s an important step that has to happen before you can back something up: you have to digitize it in the first place! Bonus! Here's a coupon code for Larsen Digital:  Gengem10 gets Genealogy Gems listeners 10% off!  Call with any questions at   1-800-776-8357 or send an email to info@larsendigital.com.   Tips for digitizing still images Prioritize items that are the oldest, most special or rare, fragile or deteriorating (capture that image before it crumbles or fades). Resolve to scan at a higher resolution: Scan old family pictures at 600dpi for 4 x 6 photos. Very small photos (and images you want to enlarge from a small portion, like a group photo) should be 1200 dpi. That way, when you enlarge them, you’ll get the sharpest, most clear image possible. Consider the benefits of a professional scanning service like Larsen Digital: Professional scanners are faster and you get better color quality and contrast in your digital image. When customers bring in their photos, they all say “I just don’t have the time to do this myself!” Also, once a photo is scanned, it then usually needs to be cropped and digitally color corrected. Navigating your way through Photoshop if you are a novice can be time consuming & frustrating, and a pro can do this post-scanning editing.  Customers usually have slides and negatives, which are much more complicated to scan than photos. They often turn these over to a professional scanning company to ensure that they preserving their family memories at the highest quality. Learn more about how to organize the filenames of all your old images in a two-episode series on the free Family History Made Easy podcast: episodes 32 and 33. Genealogy Gems Premium members can also access my 2-part instructional video series, “Hard Drive Organization” (where you can WATCH how to organize your computer files).   What about moving images? So many of us have old home movies. And we have them in lots of different forms like Super 8, and VHS. You are pretty adamant that we should preserve our old home movies as MP4 digital video files, not just on DVDs and CDs as many of us have done over the past several years. DVD’s don’t last forever! The ability to read DVDs from our devices is already fading. Digital video files also offer the convenience to edit your footage and upload files online to easily share with friends & family. But it is convenient to have these on CD and DVD, also, to easily share with relatives and pop into a DVD player (for those whose televisions aren’t hooked into their computers). These “hard copies” can be kept in a safety deposit box for safe-keeping. When MP4s are saved on our hard drives, then they’re easier for our cloud back-up service to keep backed up. A final tip: save multiple copies of all these to multiple locations. Kristin advises that all media should be stored in at least two places, preferably 3. “For example, your home computer would be one location; I think an external hard drive is always a smart bet because computers crash all the time. I personally believe that storing it with a cloud provider is critical to ensure that your media never gets lost or erased. If you have your files backed up into different locations, no matter what disaster strikes, (computer crash, floods, fire, moving) you will always have a copy safe somewhere.” Bonus! Here's a coupon code for Larsen Digital:  Gengem10 gets Genealogy Gems listeners 10% off!  Call with any questions at 1-800-776-8357 or send an email to info@larsendigital.com.        GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: Pioneer Girl - an interview with editor Pamela Smith Hill Listen to  an excerpt from our interview with Pamela Smith Hill, editor of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, is the never-before-published autobiography Laura wrote in the 1930s. The stories and memories she shares in it are the basis for her popular Little House children’s series.   Get the Full Interview: Genealogy Gems Premium members have exclusive access to the full interview in the upcoming Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode 127, to be published later this month. Your membership—just one low annual fee--gives you access for a full year to all the monthly Premium podcasts as well as past ones, so you can hear our interviews with other fantastic authors on books we’ve loved. You’ll also have access to our full series of Premium how-to videos, which include the Ultimate Evernote Education series, Google and Google Earth, and my other hottest topics.   DNA GEM: William Harding DNA test New evidence in a 90 year old paternity case came to light recently in the form of a DNA test.  While most cases of unknown paternity include an unwed woman and a child, this one had the unique distinction of also involving the president of the United States. The New York Times recently named former president Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) as the father of Elizabeth Ann Blaesing after her son, James Blaesing, and two individuals related to the Hardings, were found to have shared DNA. Just to be clear, the DNA test results don’t and can’t name a specific relative as the shared source of any two individual’s DNA. Though we would like it to be, it is not DNA in, ancestors name and birth certificate out. The actual report from the testing company was that James Blaesing and Peter and Abigail Harding were second cousins.  This means that the shared ancestral couple for these three has to be among their 4 sets of great grandparents. The DNA alone cannot tell us which set. It was a combination of the DNA and the known genealogy that provided such a high level of confidence in this case. While there are certainly mixed feelings among members of the Harding family about this new evidence, this is clearly a win for DNA. A man who was thought to have never had children did in fact have one child, and now a grandchild. This preserves a genetic legacy for his family line that might have otherwise been lost. This is also a clear win for the power of curious descendants and the healing balm of time.  It was actually Harding’s grand niece and grand nephew who instigated the testing out of a pure desire to know the truth.  Time has allowed them this curiosity without threat of scandal and technology has provided the necessary tools to once and for all more fully understand their ancestor and the life he lived. AncestryDNA declared after this story broke that DNA testing can rewrite history, which may be true.  However, I prefer to think of DNA testing not as white out that can erase false accusations, but rather as a filter that allows you to separate fact from fiction so that history can reflect lives rather than lies. Here’s a link to a related article that also comments on the lack of African DNA in Harding’s descendants. Get Diahan's DNA quick reference guides to help you easily navigate your own genetic genealogy journey. Diahan Southard offers DNA consultations to help you with your results. Learn more here    
Sep 02, 2015
Episode 182 - The Ghost Army of WWII
57:48
  You know me, I love looking outside the genealogy box to discover strategies and inspirational stories that can help us be better family historians. In today’s episode, we’re heading back to World War II, and event that in some way touched the lives of every genealogist’s family, and we’re going to hear an incredible tale deception while at the same time gather research strategies, interview techniques, and compelling story telling methods that I know you’ll love and be able to apply to your own family history. This episode is brought to you by our wonderful sponsors:                                                   www.BackBlaze.com/Lisa                 In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs landed in France to conduct a secret mission. They were to create an elaborate façade of military might for an audience, the German army. These 1100 men had one goal: to fool the enemy into believing they were an American army thousands strong, and draw their attention away from the actual fighting troops.  Get ready to go behind the curtain of Twenty-third Headquarters Special Troops known as the Ghost Army with my special guest Rick Beyer, author of the book The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery Rick Beyer, is not only a best-selling author, but he’s also an award-winning filmmaker, and popular speaker. He wrote and directed the acclaimed documentary film Ghost Army, which premiered on PBS in 2013, and is currently available here. (Photo above:  Rick Beyer. Photo by Brian Smith)  Please click images below for the book or DVD. Thank you for using our links to Amazon - you are helping us produce the free Genealogy Gems Podcast.     Watch the trailer for The Ghost Army:   The Interview: Rick explains the three divisions of the Ghost Army, and the deception they were responsible for. Radio, Visual:                     (Photo above: Dummy M4 Sherman Tank of the type used by the Ghost Army. 93 pounds fully inflated. Credit: National Archives)  and Sonic:                                             (Photo above:  Uncovering the Speakers of a Sonic Half-Track. Credit: National Archives)     We discuss the power of imagination and how these brave soldiers took advantage of that to defeat the enemy. Rick shares a story featured both in the book and the documentary film The Ghost Army where some men in France spotted some pretty bizarre things.                               (Photo above:  The Americans are very strong by Arthur Shilstone. Credit: Arthur Shilstone)  Then Rick takes us behind the scenes of the book to explore research strategies and in particular, effective interviewing techniques.               (Photo above:  Rick Beyer interviewing Ghost Army Veteran Jack McGlynn in 2007. Credit: Rick Beyer)  The book is compelling on many levels: the storytelling, the integration of all the art, photos and documents, and fantastic catchy chapter titles that make you want to read, and Rick shares the secret behind his success, particularly those catch chapter titles!                           (Photo above:  "Near Metz" by Sgt. George Vander Sluis, 603rd Camouflage Engineers, 1944. Credit: Jeff Vander Sluis)    Telling family history stories in a way that captivates non-genealogists can be a tough job. Rick shares his tips for telling great stories, particularly in a book format.                                             (Photo above:  Photo montage featuring some of the eleven hundred men of the Ghost Army. From the book The Ghost Army of World War II. Credit: Photos contributed by William Sayles, Dick Syracuse, Nathaniel Dahl, Jack McGlynn, Bob Boyajian)  A Very Special Gem: A Plate of Peas by Rick BeyerAttention Genealogy Gems App Users:  Watch Rick tell this heartwarming story. The video is part of your episode Bonus Content. Get the App here   Visit Rick at Rickbeyer.net Get the book here and support the free podcast Get the DVD here and support the podcast Rent the film here and support the free podcast     Be a part ofThe Genealogy Gems Book Club       If you enjoyed this episode, I sure hope you will share it with your friends and family. If you have the Genealogy Gems app, it’s super easy to share an episode : Just tap the episode, and then tap to share it on Facebook, Twitter or by email. Your friends will thank you, and “It makes me feel really good that you are sharing these episodes that we work so very hard on. Thank you! "In the end, we may search with our computers, but we never want to stop searching with our hearts." Lisa Louise Cooke
Aug 08, 2015
Episode 181 - 1950s, New Book Club Read
59:41
Today, we’re turning back the clock to talk about two of my favorite eras, the 1950s and—well, the second one is a surprise. I’ll tell you later in the show when I introduce the NEW Genealogy Gems Book Club featured title! But first, we’ll talk a little news—from a new Google innovation to two new record collections online that fill in a hole in American documentary history. I’ll read some mail from YOU about the new Ancestry site and family history blogging. NEWS Wouldn’t it be great if your smartphone alerted if you left your keys or eyeglasses behind when leaving the house? Google is working on it, based on a recent patent it filed. The patent describes a device that uses short-range wireless technology to link your smartphone with other must-have items like your wallet, keys or glasses. The idea is that if you leave a location with one item, but leave other items behind, an alarm will go off. A commentary on the VentureBeat website explains that “the user can control the amount of distance between the mobile device and the paired object that must exist before an alarm goes off. They can also control the type of alarm, as well as how often the device checks to see if all paired objects remain nearby.” Here’s a drawing from the patent. In one way, it makes me think that Google is taking its Alerts out of cyberspace and right into our daily lives to help them run more smoothly. Do you use Google Alerts? Setting them up lets me find out about new content online as it becomes available—24/7—relating to my favorite keyword searches. I use Google Alerts to automate my online genealogy searches and follow other favorite topics. You can learn more about Google Alerts AND how to search for patents like the one I was just talking about—for household items and inventions that shaped our relatives’ lives—in my book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. * In last month’s podcast, I mentioned the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors Database in response to a question from a listener who was looking for a good resource for Civil War sailors. Unfortunately, as I stressed in the blog post, the percentage of sailors included is still fairly low in that database. So I was pleased to see a new collection on Fold3 recently: U.S. NAVY SURVIVORS. Here’s a link to a post about it. Nearly 2 million records in this collection come from case files of approved pension applications between 1861 and 1910, so they include Civil War survivors and later Navy veterans until just before World War I. I love seeing all these new record collections that appear online that, ever so gradually, fill in the gaps to help us find our ancestors! At Genealogy Gems we blog about new record collections online every Friday—watch for those on our blog! * Finally, there’s another record set coming online that will just be HUGE for those researching African-American ancestors. Freedmen’s Bureau records are finally being fully indexed! Anyone with African-American roots or who has ANY Southern ancestors should know about these. The Freedmen’s Bureau was organized after the Civil War to aid newly-freed slaves in 15 states and Washington, DC. Destitute whites were also helped. For several years the Freedmen’s Bureau created marriage records, labor contracts, and other records of families and their military service, poverty, property, health and education. The richest documents are the field office records of each state. (Here’s a link to a great article from the National Archives about these records.) A few field office records are already transcribed or indexed; you can find links at the Freedmen’s Bureau Online. Now FamilySearch and other national partners have issued a call to action for the genealogy community to help finish indexing them all—an estimated 1.5 million records—within the coming year. A press release says the “records, histories and stories will be available on DiscoverFreedmen.org. Additionally, the records will be showcased in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is currently under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and expected to open in late 2016.”   MAILBOX Recently I heard from Patty, who says, “Not long ago I listened to the podcast in which you encouraged people to send the links to their genealogy blogs, and after seeing this week's newsletter, I thought I finally would.” “I started a blog last summer to share my research with my family, which is fairly spread out throughout the country.  I also wanted to document a trip to Italy that my husband and I took last October, which included genealogy research as well as the chance to meet newly discovered relatives there. My website is www.MyDeadRelatives.net. Thanks for all the great info you provide!” You’re welcome, Patty, and I have to say, I hear from SO many people about the power of blogging your family history. Most people start because they’re just bursting to share their family history finds, and they want to do it in the small bite-size pieces that work so well on a blog. Many of them also hope to connect with other descendants who may stumble across their blogs and contact them. And you know, it really does happen! If you’re ready to start blogging your family history—or to get re-inspired and get BACK to it—I recommend you listen to my how-to series on the FREE Family History Made Easy Podcast or watch my YouTube channel version. * Finally, we continue to hear feedback on the new Ancestry site. On the Genealogy Gems Facebook page, Cynthia told us, “I absolutely love it! At first I was confused, but took the time to figure out how to find what I wanted, add new facts, photos, etc. It was a challenge and now I will never go back to the old way.” Also on Facebook, Paris told us she misses the “show how we’re related” feature with its icon, and Ken misses now having the family group view. Nora also wrote in with more detailed comments on her three favorite features. In short they are: That when you are given the option to accept hints, you now have yes, no AND MAYBE options. (And I agree—that’s so much more practical to have a MAYBE option.) She loves the Lifestory view, especially since it gives the option of removing historical events you don’t want to include from an ancestor’s timeline. She finds it easier to merge facts about the same life event when reported by multiple sources. Nora even shares step-by-step tips for how she merges facts on the new site. Here’s a link to her full comments, along with helpful screen shots. * A third piece of mail comes from Carol in St. Louis, Missouri. She was frustrated that she couldn’t read my entire email newsletter. “Would love to know what you are saying,” she says. But my newsletter email doesn’t fit in her email window. She says, “I don’t want to toggle to the right to see the end of each line and then have to toggle back.” I don’t blame her! That’s annoying. The good news is that anyone who has trouble with my emails not fitting in their viewers can fix it pretty easily. Email sizing is related to your computer’s screen resolution setting and a variety of other variables. It’s different for everyone. In cases where it doesn’t come through to your email account right, we provide a link at the top of the email that you can simply click to view the email on a new web browser tab fitted to the page. To get the free Genealogy Gems email newsletter, just sign up in the box in the upper right-hand corner on the Genealogy Gems home page. We don’t share your email address with anyone else and you get a free e-book of Google tips for genealogy just for signing up.   Sunny and I discuss her digital backup plan (or lack thereof!) My solution for her: www.Backblaze.com/Lisa               GEM: Find Your Family History in the 1950s What comes to mind when I say these words? Sock hops. Drive-ins. Juke boxes. Fuzzy dice. Letterman jackets. Poodle skirts, bobby socks and saddle shoes. 3D movies. Hula hoops. Of course, the 1950s. Do you remember any of these fads, or have you seen any family pictures that show them? Of course, the fifties weren’t all fun and games. Think the Korean War, McCarthyism, the Iron Curtain. The 1950s was also a time of complex social problems and conflict throughout the world. What about finding records about your fabulous family in the 1950s? You know, we’re always told to start researching the most recent generations. But national censuses and many vital records have privacy blackouts. So I want to mention four major resources for finding family in the ‘fifties: Oral history interviews. In many families, there’s at least one person around who remembers the 1950s personally. If there’s not, then look to the memories of the next living generation, who often know at least some important things about the past. Interviewing a relative is one of the most fun and meaningful ways to learn your family history. After all, you’re learning about the past first-hand (or second-hand, if you’re asking about someone’s parents). You can ask specific and personal questions of the kind that don’t appear on a census record. You can deepen your relationships with those you interview and gain a better understanding of the lives that led to you. Older people often love to have someone take a sincere interest in them. The Family History Made Easy podcast has a great episode on interviewing your relatives. Here are some tips about interviewing your family: Reach out with sincere interest in that person, not just their memories of others who have gone. Be patient and respectful when you ask questions. It can take a while to establish a rapport and discover the kinds of memories that person most wants to share. The best skill you can have is that of a good listener. Don’t interrupt. Don’t judge. And listen so intently that you can ask great follow-up questions. Newspapers are my second resource. Turn to these for more recent relatives’ obituaries and other articles that mention them. Use hometown papers to discover more about a relative’s daily life, current events that would affect them, popular opinions of the time, prices for everyday items and more. Thanks to the internet, it’s getting easier than ever to find family members in newspapers. Some newspapers have been digitized, though this isn’t as common with more recent papers that may still be under copyright protection. Still, you can use online resources to discover what newspapers served your family’s neighborhood, or even whether an ethnic, labor or religious press would have mentioned them. Each country and region has its own online newspaper resources. In the US, I always start with the US Newspaper Directory at Chronicling America. (In this case, DON’T start with searching digitized papers, which only go up to 1922.) From the home page, click on US Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present, and you’ll get a fantastic search interface to locate ALL newspapers published in a particular place and time, as well as the names of libraries or archives that have copies of these papers. Links for newspapers outside the United States include: The British Newspaper Archive, the National Library of Australia digitized newspapers webpage and the Newspaper Collection webpage for Library and Archives Canada. Remember, historical societies and even local public libraries are also wonderful places to look for newspaper holdings. My book, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, gives you all kinds of tips for what to look for in papers and how to locate them, both online and offline, and in free and subscription resources. City directories are the third place I look for recent relatives. By the 1950s, most towns and cities published directories of residents, mostly with telephone numbers. I use annual directory listings to track families from year to year. These might give you your first clue that someone moved, married, separated, divorced or died. I can often find their exact street address (which is great for mapping them out!), who lived at the house and sometimes additional information like where they worked, what their job was or who they worked for. Ancestry has over a billion U.S. city directory entries online, clear up to 1989. But most other online city directory collections aren’t so recent, probably for copyright reasons. Look for city directories first in hometown public libraries. I would call the library and see if there is a local history or genealogy room where they handle research requests. Also check with larger regional or state libraries and major genealogical libraries. These are pretty straightforward research lookups and may not be that expensive to request copies of your relatives’ listings in each year for a certain time period. The fourth and most fun place to look for relatives, I think, is in historical video footage! YouTube isn’t just for viral cat videos and footage of your favorite band. You can look for old newsreels, people’s home movies and other old footage that’s been converted to digital format. It’s not unusual to find videos showing the old family neighborhood, a school or community function, or other footage that’s relevant to your relatives. Use the YouTube search box like you would the regular Google search box, because it’s powered by Google. Enter terms like “history,” “old,” “footage,” or “film” along with the names, places or events you hope to find. For example, the name of a parade your relative marched in, a team he played on, a company she worked for, a street he lived on and the like. It’s hit and miss, for sure, but sometimes you can find something very special. My Contributing Editor Sunny Morton didn’t really believe me that YouTube could be a great source for family history finds. She set out to prove me wrong—and I’m glad she did! Almost immediately, with a search on the name of her husband’s ancestral hometown and the word “history,” she found a 1937 newsreel with her husband’s great-grandfather driving his fire truck with his dog! She recognized him from old photos and had read about his dog in the newspapers. What a find! Her father-in-law was stunned, because he never met his own grandfather, who died in 1950. You can learn more in my all-new second edition of The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, which has an entire, newly-updated chapter on YouTube. So that’s four places to look for 1950s relatives: in family memories, newspapers, city directories and YouTube footage. So what ABOUT those 1950 and 1951 censuses around the world? Spotlight on the 1950 US Census: The 1950 US Federal census won’t be released to the public until April 2022. If you REALLY need an entry on yourself or immediate relatives, you can apply to receive copies of individual census entries from 1950-2010. It’s not cheap—it’s $65 per person, per census year. But if you’re having research trouble you think would be answered by a census entry, it might be worth it. Here’s a link to the page at Census.gov that tells you how to do this (it’s called the “age search service”). Ancestry does have a 1950 U.S. census substitute database. It’s a little gimmicky, because it appears to be just a slice of their city directory collection from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s. But this is still a good starting point to target US relatives during this time period. I have some interesting factoids on the 1951 censuses for England, Canada and Australia, which aren’t available yet to the public. At Office for National Statistics website, you can at least download a blank form for the 1951 census in England. That site says: “There was no census in 1941 and only limited population information from the 1939 National Register, making the 1951 census highly significant in tracking changes in society over 20 years. The 1951 Census revealed that the population of Britain had exceeded 50 million. It was the first census to ask about household amenities (outside loos) as Britain began to clear slums and rebuild housing after World War II. Questions about fertility and duration of marriage were reinstated. The Registrar General for England and Wales, Sir George North, asked women to be more honest about their age. Many women of the time felt that questions relating to age were of a too personal nature. Information from previous censuses suggested that women had adjusted their age upwards if they married young and down if they married later. Problem pages in newspapers and magazines were flooded with queries from distraught women, fearful that their true age would become public knowledge.” That’s so funny to me now, as our age is a basic piece of all our identifying records! So a good substitute for the 1951 census may be England’s electoral registers, at least for those who were qualified to vote. An Ancestry description of London electoral registers states that these “registers typically provide a name and place of abode, and older registers may include a description of property and qualifications to vote. Registers were compiled at a local level.” That webpage has helpful tips on searching registers by location through 1954. What about Canada? They do censuses every 10 years on the years ending in “1” also, and a population and agriculture census in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta every 10 years in the years ending in “6,” according to the Library and Archives Canada website. By law, you can’t get personal information yet from post-1921 census returns except about yourselves or for pension or other legal purposes. The site does say that “Third parties cannot obtain information about another individual without the individual's written consent,” which leads me to wonder you COULD get them if you did have consent, but that might not be easy or possible to get from the relatives you’re researching. You’ll hit up against the same privacy issues in Australia for 1951, but what is online is the entire Year Book Australia for 1951, with free downloadable chapters on topics like land, transportation, communication, education, welfare, labor, wages, prices, the population, vital statistics, and several different types of industrial reports. You won’t likely find ANY ancestors mentioned by name, but you can read generally how the country was doing at the time.                 GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB:   The new Genealogy Gems Book Club featured title is Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill. This autobiography was written by Laura in the 1930s, and is the basis of her popular Little House children’s series. But her actual autobiography was never published, and it’s the “grown-up” version—more detailed, more explicit—of all those stories and her recollections of family, and neighbors, wagon trains and homesteads: pioneering in an American West that was fading away. Across the cover of the first tablet she scrawled “Pioneer Girl.” These real stories behind the Little House stories will intrigue--and sometimes stun--any Laura Ingalls Wilder fan. What makes this book a standout and a prime candidate for genealogists? The immaculate research that went into it. The stunning example it sets for source citations, which consume large portions of most of the pages. And the often never seen before photos sprinkled throughout that bring the people and times to life visually for the reader.  
Jul 11, 2015
Episode 180 - Ancestry, FamilySearch, Google, Cloud Backup, Book Club Interview
01:00:00
    Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 180 with Lisa Louise Cooke   Welcome to episode 180 of the Genealogy Gems podcast! Today we’re talking about big names, like Ancestry and Google and FamilySearch. We’re talking about big numbers—the possible price tag for Ancestry at auction—and small numbers: a handheld computer for under $100. We’re also talking about road trip tips, an important online Civil War database, a leading Canadian digital archive and EXCLUSIVE tips for using FamilySearch’s free digitized book collection, which now tops 200,000 titles. And because I’ve gotten so much demand for it, I’m sharing tips for backing up your data at Ancestry—not just your tree but your sources and DNA, too. Mixed in with all this news and how-tos is an assorted cast of listeners-with-questions and an inspiring story about long-lost siblings reunited by radio. Let’s get started! NEWS Certainly some of the biggest news buzzing around the genealogy world is the possible sale of Ancestry. Reuters recently reported that the buyout firm that owns most of Ancestry has hired investment bankers to put the company up for auction. The price tag, they say? Between $2.5 billion and $3 billion. So what could this mean for customers? Of course, it’s far too soon to say. Ancestry currently delivers over 15 billion genealogy records to over 2 million subscribers. Their current trajectory includes acquiring even MORE records pretty aggressively, which we love. But as I'm sure we’ve all experienced at one time or another, though, when any type of company gets sold, things can change. Or we could continue to see business as usual at the shaky-leaf genealogy giant. Mybest advice to those of you whose master family trees are on Ancestry is to download and backup your data. I'm not being alarmist or saying the sky is falling here! This announcement is simply a good opportunity to do something we routinely recommend anyway. I'll have specific advice for downloading your tree, checking your source material and getting your raw DNA from Ancestry later in the podcast. In another piece of news, have you notice that Google is now answering the questions you google instead of just giving you search results with the keywords in your questions? Say you Google the question, “What county is Chicago in?” Google will respond at the top of your search results with a big, fat “Cook County” headline followed by some key facts about the county. Google’s also creating a bit of a stir with its new Chromebit; it's a Chrome OS full size computer about the size of your hand, and it plugs into an HDMI on our computer. This sounds like a great option for on-the-go genealogical computing! A lot of folks aren’t fully cloud-based and they really don't ever plan to be: they like to work from a hard drive or desktop of some kind. So this offers them a portable way to do that. You could plug in at a public terminal--say at a library--or at someone else’s home computer, or even a television so that you could share pictures on a big screen. And best of all the Chromebit is as affordable as it is portable! A write-up at ReadWrite.com  reports that Google says the Chromebit will be less than $100! MAILBOX Recently we heard from Jennifer, who is taking a little road trip, as many others of us in the northern hemisphere are contemplating in June. She asks a great question: “I’m tagging along on my husband’s thesis research trip to Columbus, Ohio. I have some ancestors from other parts of Ohio. I was wondering what exactly I could look for in a state’s capital city's collections and archives? I was thinking that the state capital may have a “gem” that I couldn’t find elsewhere, or even duplicated information [from local repositories].” Jennifer is definitely thinking along the right lines! Here’s our advice: At the state government level there are often two key resources: the state library and the state archives. These might be combined. One might be called the state historical society. You just have to look for each state. In Ohio, the Ohio History Connection serves as the state historical society and official state archives. But there is also a state library that serves as a repository for government documents and a resource for other libraries. Each has resources for genealogists, online and in-house. Look for some links to these in our show notes. In addition, public libraries of major cities often have excellent local history and genealogy collections. This is definitely true of the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio’s state capital! We suggest you contact librarians before you go and ask what they have that can’t be found anywhere else, both on a state level and for locales you are researching. Often times that will include photograph collections, materials on old businesses, and newspapers on microfilm. If you can formulate specific genealogical questions that you want to try and answer and share those ahead of time with the librarian that will help her guide you toward the unique gems. Every state library and archive is unique, so consulting by phone with the reference librarian is the best way to go. Recently Tom wrote in with a question about a Civil War veterans database: “I’ve been a listener of your podcast for quite a long time. Great job. (Thanks, Tom!) “We have a grass-roots group trying to locate and document Civil War Veterans buried in Washington state. Is there a good website where I can enter a name and unit identification and get results of the person’s [Civil War] service?  I’m having a really hard time finding US Navy sailors.” It sounds like Tom is conducting a very worthwhile project! An excellent resource–but still in progress for sailors with only about 20% of them–is The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS). The site describes its resources as a “database containing information about the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Other information on the site includes histories of Union and Confederate regiments, links to descriptions of significant battles, and selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records.” This is an excellent resource for soldiers. As far as sailors go, the site says, “The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System currently contains [only] the records of approximately 18,000 African American sailors, though additional records will be added in the future. The information in the Sailors Database is derived from enlistment records and the quarterly muster rolls of Navy vessels." A Howard University research team is behind this stellar effort, using muster rolls to fill in missing data or correct apparent misinformation. Here’s a link to an article from the National Archives about African-American servicemen in the Navy during the Civil War. If a Navy ancestor isn’t among those already listed, my first instinct is always to turn to Google searches first. I ran a search in Google Books for free digitized books meeting the criteria “civil war” “sailors” and there are some resources there as well. I'll put a link to these results in the show notes. Just one example? Manchester Men, which appears to be a published list of those who served from Manchester, N.H. You can learn more about Google searching for “niche” topics like this in the fully-revised and updated 2nd edition of my book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. Finally, we heard from Alexis with this energetic note about her ”genealogy podcast marathon:” “I just had to email you and say thank you for all you do!  I am 23 and finding that I am obsessed with family history.  No one around me seems to understand why but I love it.  And I was thrilled when I found your podcast!  Though still pretty young, I've been behind on some technologies like podcasts but now I'm addicted to those too.  It makes work so much better. Though I wish I didn't have to work at all so I could just research and apply what you teach us instead. Wouldn't that be great?!  I have been on genealogy podcast marathons. I'm still quite behind on genealogy gems since I just found you now in 2015 but I'm working through it!  And I started a blog of course. I just mentioned you in my last post as well. It's called Geneaholic Confessions at http://geneaholicconfessions.blogspot.com/. It's just getting started but I really want to be a part of the geneablogger community ‘cause it sounds like you guys have tons of fun! Thanks for all you do!                 GEM: PROTECTING YOUR ANCESTRY DATA Okay, I promised you some tips for protecting your data on Ancestry, which you should do regularly whether the site is under threat of new management or not. First, download your current tree(s) to GEDCOM files onto your computer. Under the Trees tab, choose Create and Manage Trees. For each tree you have, choose Manage Tree, then Export Tree. At this point the green button should say “Download your GEDCOM file.” Just click on it and it will download. If you’re having difficulty, click “download tips” underneath the green button. I've heard that some of you have had difficulty downloading your trees to specific software, like Family Tree Maker or RootsMagic. For Family Tree Maker, read this article on syncing your updated online tree to your Family Tree Maker software. RootsMagic users should watch this YouTube video on importing your Ancestry tree into RootsMagic. Consult other online support options if you still need help. Next, check your sources! The Ancestry help section states, “Any pictures, charts, books, views, or similar items found in the original file will not be included in the [downloaded] GEDCOM. Vital information, notes, and sources are usually retained after conversion.” Check your GEDCOM to see whether your source notes are intact. Then make sure you have copies of documents, videos, photos and other items you may have attached to your tree. You don’t want them to disappear, should there be a hiccup (or worse) in service. Finally, if you have used AncestryDNA, download a copy of your raw DNA data. Here’s a link to show you how. We especially recommend this step! These tests are expensive. Tests for loved ones who are now deceased can’t be repeated. And Ancestry has disposed of DNA samples in the past when the company has switched directions. (Again, I'm not trying to be alarmist about this, just cautious.) If you have relied on Ancestry or any other cloud-based service to host your only or master family tree, I recommend you do some homework and consider keeping your master tree on your own computer, and a backup file with all your other backup files. We here at Genealogy Gems use Backblaze as our backup service and we love them (visit www.Backblaze.com/Lisa for more information).           GEM: TIPS FOR USING FAMILYSEARCH’S DIGITIZED BOOK COLLECTION So here's another tip for you. Google Books, which I mentioned before, isn't the only place to find digitized family history books online. Another free and growing resource is FamilySearch's Family History Books collection.  They've reached a milestone 200,000 titles! This collection began 8 years ago and includes "family histories, county and local histories, genealogy magazines and how-to books, gazetteers, and medieval histories and pedigrees,” according to the landing page. Digitally-archived volumes like these are so valuable because they are immediately accessible and because they are keyword-searchable. Here are three search strategies to use for these: ·         Look for only a surname (in case the first name is written different ways or a different relative is mentioned). ·         In addition to surnames, search for the name of a neighborhood, street, church, school, business, type of work or other keywords that pertain to your family. ·         Use the Advanced Search feature to focus your search, like for a keyword in a title, or a type of publication like a periodical. Once you’re reading a book, you can click on the info icon (a circle with an “i” in it on the upper right) to see more information about the book, including source citation and copyright information. We were curious about how well FamilySearch's digital book Viewer interfaces with mobile devices. So we asked FamilySearch. Turns out, this is still a work in progress and in fact some browsers work better than others. Dennis Meldrum at FamilySearch told us that “Safari does not work well with the Viewer.” Neither do mobile devices like the iPhone or iPad. “The Viewer works best with IE or Firefox. It also works with Chrome, but the Adobe Tools do not work. We are aware of the limitations of the Viewer and are working to replace it by the end of the year." GEM: CANADIANA DIGITAL ARCHIVE Speaking of digital libraries and archives, I've got a great one to share with you. If you have Canadian roots, you should be searching Canadiana (www.Canadiana.ca) regularly for family history information. Recently Newswire.ca described Canadiana as “a digital initiative of extraordinary scale,…a joint effort of 25 leading research institutions, libraries and archives working together with the goal of creating Canada’s multi-million page, comprehensive online archive.” Its digital collections chronicle Canada’s past since the 1600s and most of its content is free. For example, the free Héritage Project “aims to digitize, preserve and make accessible Canada’s archival materials for Canadians and the world." Their large collection of genealogy materials so far includes immigration records, church records, land records, family histories, voters’ lists and more. Military history, government documents and aboriginal records are also well-represented. Check back often! More is coming, like local and regional newspaper digitization and records of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Another part of Canadiana is The Canadiana Discovery Portal. This gateway to digital collections from 40 repositories points to 65 million pages! Sample subjects include  Ontario genealogy and War of 1812 campaigns. This portal is also free to use. One part of the site that's awesome but NOT free? Early Canadiana Online, with 5 million images already and expected to grow to 16 million. A subscription will run you $10/month or a year for $100, says that site, I'm assuming in Canadian currency. This is “a full-text collection of published documentary material, including government documents and specialized or mass-market periodicals from the 16th to 20th centuries. Law, literature, religion, education, women’s history and aboriginal history are particular areas of strength.” The site describes itself as “the most complete set of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines and government documents.” Tip: scroll down on the home page to click the Genealogy and Local History portal, but don’t ignore the rest of the site! GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB This month we feature a meaty excerpt from our interview with Nathan Dylan Goodwin, author of The Lost Ancestor (The Forensic Genealogist). Genealogy Gems Premium subscribers can access the full interview in this month’s podcast episode. He tells us how he got started; we talk about the plot and characters and the challenges of creating genealogical mysteries with dangerous consequences for the present and more!   DNA GEM: INTEGRATING GENETICS AND GENEALOGY TOOLS Our very own Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, joins us now. She talks about how the ideal genetic genealogy interface creates a seamless transition between genetics technology and genealogy research. AncestryDNA, she says, is really pioneering the integration with its newest product update. Read more about it here. PROFILE AMERICA Here's a this-month-in-history from Profile America. Ninety-one years ago this June, "Congress passed — and President Coolidge signed — the Indian Citizenship Act, which stated 'all noncitizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby declared to be, citizens of the United States: Provided that the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Indian to tribal or other property.' "Prior to this act, about two-thirds of American Indians were already citizens by other provisions. Universal voting rights lagged until 1957, as various state laws were amended. Today, there are over 2 million single-race American Indians possessing this full citizenship and 566 federally recognized tribes." Wow, I had no idea there were so many federally recognized tribes! I close today with a story Contributing Editor Sunny Morton recently read about long-lost relatives who were reunited. We hear lots of stories like that now, relatives who rediscover each other online or through DNA tests. But this story happened in 1926! Sunny found the story in a newspaper article. The children of a man named Alonso Jones were sitting around one day listening to the radio. Then they heard the announcer say, "Alonso Jones, wherever you are, listen...Your sister wants to see you at Worthington, Ohio. She has not seen or heard from you in forty years. You were born at Antiquity, Meigs County, Ohio, at the time of the Civil War...." "You were reared by Captain William Roberts, an Ohio River flat boat man. You went with him on a produce boat when you were a boy and ran away while the boat was lying at the bank in Arkansas." The article reports that the man telegraphed his sister and arranged to meet her. All because she'd had a dream that the radio could help her find her brother, and she tried it, and it worked. What an inspiration! It reminds me of the value of thinking outside the box, of using all available technologies, and of never giving up when we are looking for family. Forty years after she lost her brother, she still thought of him, and she finally figured out how to find him.  Click below to visit our YouTube channel:
Jun 16, 2015
Episode 179 - Evernote Book Library, Book Club
01:06:47
Have you ever felt like you got the short end of the genealogy stick when it comes to family heirlooms? Maybe you haven’t inherited much in the way of family photos or memorabilia, or maybe you feel like you’ve tapped out all the potential goodies that are out there to find. In this episode I’ll share an email I got from Helen, because she reminds us that you should never say never.  I’ve also got another amazing story about an adoption reunion. And we’ll also check in with our Genealogy Gems Book Club Guru Sunny Morton about this quarter’s featured book, The Lost Ancestor by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. And of course all kinds of other genealogy news and tips for you.  We’re going to take all that genealogy and technology noise out there and distill it down into the best of the best, the genealogy gems that you can use. I’m just back from several weeks on the road. Since we last got together in episode 178 I’ve been to Cape Cod to talk to the Cape Cod Genealogical Society about Time Travel with Google Earth, and all you Genealogy Gems Premium Members have that video class and handout available to you as part of your Premium membership – and if you’re not a member click Premium in the main menu at genealogygems.com to learn more about that.  And then Bill and I headed to Providence, RI where I was the keynote at the NERGC conference. That was my first time ever to New England so it was a real treat. And we teamed up once again with the Photo Detective and Family Chartmasters and held our free Outside the Box mini genealogy sessions in our booth which were very popular. Then I had a 2 day turnaround and Lacey and I were off to Anchorage Alaska to put on an all-day seminar at the Anchorage Genealogical Society.   Another great group of genealogists! And Lacey and I added an extra couple of days to explore, and explore we did. We booked a half day ATV tour to explore the National forest outside Anchorage. Now this was before the start of tourist season, so there we are, to gals driving out of town, onto a dirt road and waiting at the meeting spot in the middle of nowhere where we met Bob the Guide. He looked like he was straight out of Duck Dynasty! He showed us how to drive the ATVs, assured us that the bears weren’t quite out yet, and then packing his side arm pistol lead us out into the wilderness for 4 ½ hours of amazing scenery. It was like we had the entire forest to ourselves. This guide would pull over every once and while, whip out a telescopic lens on a tripod and in seconds would zero in on something way over on the mountain across the valley, and he’d say “look in there. See that clump of snow with legs, that’s a Mountain Goat, or that’s a Dall Sheep.” It was incredible. We saw moose, and muskrat, the biggest rabbit’s I’ve ever seen in my entire life, which Bob the Guide called bunnies, and he was right, the only thing we never saw was bear. But that was just fine with me and Lacey! So after our mountain safari we flew home and I gave an all-day seminar in my own backyard in Denton, TX, and then Bill and I jumped in the suburban and drove to St. Charles Missouri where I spoke at the National Genealogical Society Conference. St. Charles is just on the other side of the river from St. Louis, and we were pleasantly surprised to find the a quaint little main street. Diahan Southard Your DNA Guide here at Genealogy Gems was with us and Diahan and I drug poor Bill in and out of every “foo foo potpourri” shop they had when we weren’t busy meeting so many of you at the booth or in class. It was a 4 day conference, which is A LOT of genealogy, but we had a blast and again teamed up with Family Chartmasters, The Photo Detective and Family Tree Magazine for an Outside the Box extravaganza of free sessions in the booth. And this time Diahan Southard joined in with sessions on Genetic Genealogy. And all this reminds me of an email I received recently from Shelly. She writes: “I am a new listener and new premium member of Genealogy Gems.  Thanks for getting me motivated to organize my research and get back into learning my family history. I had never thought about attending a genealogy conference before but listening to your podcasts has gotten me interested in going.  There is a conference coming up in less than two weeks only 1 1/2 hours from me in St. Charles, Mo. I can't afford to attend the actual conference, but would it be worth it to just go to the free exhibit space? I listened to one of your podcasts that mentioned you and a few others give free mini classes. Please let me know what you think. Thanks, Shelly” I told Shelly that I thought it would absolutely be worth it. In fact, that is one of our goals with our free Outside the Box sessions in our booth - to give everyone a free opportunity to experience a genealogy conference. The hall is very large, there will be loads of exhibitors, and you not only attend any and all of our sessions, but at most larger conferences you’ll usually also find companies like Ancestry, MyHeritage and FamilySearch holding sessions at their booths. Well Shelly took my advice and she wrote back. She says: “Thanks for your encouragement to attend the NGS exhibitor area!  I was able to attend on Friday and enjoyed looking at all the booths and talking to some of the exhibitors.  I was also able to attend a few Outside the Box sessions also, although yours were too crowded to see or hear very well!  Thanks so much for doing this.  While waiting for a free session to start in another area, I overheard two men talking about DNA for genealogical purposes and privacy.  My ears perked up as they discussed an instance where a DNA sample sent to Ancestry.com was used to help solve a crime committed by a relative of the DNA tester.  I don't have enough information to form any opinions on that case, but the question of privacy came up when I was asked my mother to take a DNA test for me.  The first thing she said was that it sounded interesting but she was worried whether the government or the police could get ahold of the information.  I encouraged her to read the privacy information on the site and to let me know, but I told her I didn't see how anyone could get the information.  Her curiosity got the better of her, as I knew it would, and she agreed to the testing and I am awaiting the results.  The funny thing is that my mother does have a criminal history and has served over ten years in prison (I was raised by my father from age 5).  Hopefully there aren't any serious unsolved crimes my mom has been involved in!  She is 64 now so hopefully the statute of limitations has passed for most crimes.  I will let you know if the FBI come knocking on my door :)” I want to say thank you to all of you listening who stopped by the booth and welcome to all our new listeners who got to know us at these recent conferences and seminars, we are very glad you are here! Recent Family Tree Magazine Evernote Webinar: In the last year I've moved from Earthquake central (California) to Tornado Alley (Texas) and it's been a bit of an adjustment to say the least. 2 weeks ago while I was presenting a webinar on using Evernote for genealogy for Family Tree Magazine when my husband silently placed a note in front of me. It said that we were under tornado watch and if it got any worse he was hauling me off the computer and into the storm shelter! I hung in there, and thankfully it blew over and we finished the webinar. Genealogy wins again! (And yes, the video of the webinar is coming soon to Premium Membership.) Then last night we spent about an hour in our shelter room while our county got pummeled with torrential rain, non-stop lightening, and yes, even a few tornadoes touched down. Our devoted dogs Howie and Kota instinctively blocked the doorway to the shelter in an effort to keep us safe. They did a good job, and all is well! All this threat of danger and destruction has reinforced my decision to bring into our Genealogy Gems family a brand new sponsor. Backblaze is now the official back up of Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems. If you've been to the RootsTech conference then you may already be familiar with them. Backblaze is a trusted online cloud backup service that truly makes backing up all your most precious computer files super easy.  The thought of losing my genealogy files is too much to bear. Now I can concentrate on keeping my loved ones safe through the storms of life because I know Backblaze is taking care of my files and photos! Many of you have asked me which company I use to back up my files. I've done my homework and Backblaze is my choice. I invite you to visit www.Backblaze.com/Lisa and get all your files backed up once and for all.   “Dear Lisa, Thanks for the latest email. I have been using Backblaze for a year now. I thankfully have not needed their complete services :-), but I love the feeling of being protected. Have a great weekend! It was so nice to meet you at Roostech in February. Thanks, Ellen” Tyler Moss, the dean of Family Tree University wrote me after a recent webinar I gave for them: “One woman typed an ellipsis (…) in to the chat box. I messaged her back and said “I’m sorry, did you mean to send a question? All I see are three periods.” And she said, “Oh no, I’m just in wonder at all the awesome things I can now do in Evernote!” The webinar we were doing was called “Enhance Your Genealogy with Evernote” and in that session which we recorded on to video as well I covered 10 terrific genealogy projects you can use Evernote for to improve your research, organization and productivity.  My motto these days is, save time by being more efficient so you have more time to spend with your ancestors, and that’s what this training session was all about. And the good news for all of you who are Genealogy Gems Premium Members is that the video and downloadable handout are coming very soon to the Premium Videos section of genealogygems.com. Look for the announcement of its release in our weekly free newsletter. You can sign up for the free Genealogy Gems weekly e-newsletter on our homepage. GEM: Evernote Library Project Create an Evernote Genealogy Book Library: Create a new notebook called “Library” With your smart phone or tablet, snap photos of the cover of each of your genealogical books Send the photos to the Library notebook in Evernote (on your mobile device tap the share icon and tap Evernote. You will need to have authorized the Evernote app.) Another option is to email them to your unique Evernote email address which will also place them in Evernote. Evernote will apply Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to each image making them keyword searchable. To see if you already have a book, tap the notebook and then search an applicable keyword. Inspiration and motivation from Helen: A recent email from listener Helen reminds us to search our basements and attics for unique and amazing family history finds. There’s no substitute for being able to tell family members’ stories through their own words and photographs. “I just had to tell you about my recent find. My late father-in-law served in the Canadian Navy for 39 years, entering Naval College when he was only 14. Most of my knowledge about his life came from talking with him before he died. Of course, then I did not know the questions to ask. “About a month ago, I was preparing for a lecture on his life for a local World War 1 Seminar. I starting looking around in our basement as I knew we had some material from when we cleared out his house when he died, but I had no idea of just what exciting material I would find. “I found his personal diaries, with the earliest from 1916! The journals give an amazing first-person record of naval service from a person who devoted his life to the service of his country. I was able to weave his actual words into the somewhat dry official record of his long time service [ending with] his being presented with a Commander of the British Empire medal shortly before his retirement. “I am so grateful that the family saved these invaluable documents through the myriad of moves that a naval officer’s career entails. In a different box, I found his photographs from the same era—some even earlier than the journals. I am now seriously considering publishing the journals along with the photographs, as they deserved to be shared.” Genealogy Gems Premium members can click here to access Premium podcast episode 116 to hear a discussion between two authors of books on life-story writing, and here to access a Premium podcast AND video on how to make a family history video Her Birth Mom Was Her Co-Worker! Birth Family Reunion A woman recently went searching for her birth mom after receiving a copy of her adoption records (these recently opened in her home state of Ohio). She didn’t have to search very far: just in a different department at her workplace. “When [La-Sonya] Mitchell-Clark first received her birth records in the mail on Monday and saw the name Francine Simmons, she immediately plugged it into Facebook,” reports the story on Entrepreneur. It didn’t take long for her to recognize her mother as a woman who worked at the same business she did. “Following a tearful reunion, the two…discovered that they live just six minutes away from one another,” reports the article. La-Sonya also learned that she has three birth sisters, one of whom also works at the same company. Wow! Company picnics and water cooler chats must suddenly seem a lot more meaningful after this birth family reunion. Learn to use your own DNA to search for genetic relatives (whether you’re adopted or not!) in our free Genealogy Gems podcast interview with CeCe Moore, a leading expert who appears regularly on television shows to talk about finding family with DNA.     Genealogy Gems Book Club Our featured book for the 2nd quarter of 2015 is The Lost Ancestor. Sunny's Book Recommendations: Hiding the Past by Nathan Dylan Goodwin The Orange Lilies: A Morton Farrier novella by Nathan Dylan Goodwin The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux Out of the Shoebox: An Autobiographical Mystery by Yaron Reshef Jimmy Fox’s Nick Herald Genealogical Mystery series: Deadly Pedigree, Jackpot Blood and Lineage and Lies Nathan Dylan Goodwin does have two other titles in the same series. I’ve read them both. Hiding the Past takes us into a genealogical mystery set in World War II and it’s a similar type of read as The Lost Ancestor. I enjoyed it. The Orange Lilies is a novella set at Christmastime. Here Morton puts his skills to work—and his emotions—to confront the story of his own origins and a family story from the Western Front in World War I a century ago. It’s a more personal story and Nathan I think is pushing into newer territory as a writer in dealing with more intimate emotion. But I like seeing Morton have these experiences. I also have a few more titles to recommend along these lines. It’s that “If you liked this book, we think you’ll also like…” The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux. This is a novel. I opened to the first page and the About the Author made me laugh: Stephen, amateur genealogist, lives in Hampshire and the South of France with two metal detectors and a long-suffering wife.” The book opens with a scenario many of us may be sympathetic with. A genealogy buff buys a marriage certificate he sees on display at an antiques gallery. He begins researching the couple with an idea of returning the certificate to them. Eventually he uncovers several secrets, one with some money attached to it, but others are also chasing this money. It may sound a bit far-fetched but it doesn’t unfold that way. I like the surprise twists that bring the story into the present day. I also liked living out a little fantasy of own through Peter, the main character: that of being that genealogical research hero who brings something valuable from the pasts to living relatives today. Another book I recently enjoyed is Out of the Shoebox: An Autobiographical Mystery by Yaron Reshef. This one’s a more serious, and I think a little more sophisticated, read. In this memoir (so a true story), Yaron gets a phone call about a piece of property his father purchased in Israel years ago. He and his sister can inherit it, but only if they can prove that man was their father. He goes on an international paper chase into the era of World War II, the Holocaust and the making of Israel. Then a forgotten bank account surfaces. There’s more, of course, in Yaron’s two-year quest to understand the tragedies of his family’s past and recover some of its treasures. There’s another series I’ve been made aware of but haven’t read yet. This is Jimmy Fox’s Nick Herald Genealogical Mystery series: Deadly Pedigree, Jackpot Blood and Lineage and Lies. The hero is an American genealogist who lives and works in New Orleans, of course one of the most colorful and historical parts of the U.S. I’ll put links to all of these on our Genealogy Gems Book Club webpage, which you can find at http://lisalouisecooke.com/genealogy-book-club/.  
May 25, 2015
Episode 178 - CeCe Moore on DNA, 2nd Qtr Book Club book announced!
01:00:45
Episode 178 Lisa Louise Cooke Niche record collections that might just be what you are looking for. Interview with genetic genealogist CeCe Moore about using DNA for genealogy research, adoption, and the Finding Your Roots TV show. Announcement of the Genealogy Gems Book Club book for the 2nd quarter of 2015. A listener shares an update on adoption records in Ohio.   NEWS: RECORDS CANADIAN MENNONITE PHOTO ARCHIVE: A new databaseis now online with over 80,000 images of Mennonite life from across Canada and dating back to 1860s. A press release says that the archive “is a project of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada  and includes Mennonite archival partners in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.” An online ordering system allows visitors to order image copies for noncommercial use. GEORGIA NEWSPAPERS: The Digital Library of Georgia has launched an archive of north Georgia historical newspapers. “The North Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive provides online access to six newspaper titles published in three north Georgia cities (Dalton, Gainesville, and Rome) from 1850 to 1922. Consisting of over 33,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date. The site is compatible with all current browsers and the newspaper page images can be viewed without the use of plug-ins or additional software downloads. The archive includes the following north Georgia newspaper titles: Gainesville News (1902-1922), Georgia Cracker (Gainesville) (1894-1902), North Georgia Citizen (Dalton) (1868-1921), Rome Courier (1850-1855), Rome Tri-Weekly Courier (1860-1880), Rome Weekly Courier (1860-1878). The Digital Library of Georgia will add additional titles from the region over time. OHIO GENEALOGY INDEX. The Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, OH has created an onlineGenealogy Index to some of its most valuable and unique genealogical records, including original funeral home and Bible records. Also in the index are Jewish marriages and death notices, an index of names in a significant African-American manuscript collection, a 1907 Cleveland voter registration index, a photo database of Cleveland military personnel from WWII and the Korean War and a biographical sketch name index. Currently, there are about 320,000 records in the index; more are being added on an ongoing basis. The Society primarily archives records relating to Cleveland and northeast Ohio. Soon to be added are indexes to the 1870 mortality census for Ashtabula, Ohio and indexes to several church records collections. WWII CADET NURSING CORPS (US): The WWII Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, new on Fold3, contain membership cards of women who joined. According to Fold3, the cards “are organized by state, nursing school, and cadet name. Some cards include the date of admission to the school, date of admission to the corps, and date of graduation (or date of other reason for termination from the school). Others contain details like the woman’s marital status, father’s/husband’s name and profession, years of college completed, place of residence, and how they heard about the corps. Still others also record the woman’s age in addition to the previously mentioned information.” MICHIGAN DEATHS. Images of Michigan death certificates from 1921-1939 are now available for free at Seeking Michigan. “The index for records from 1940-1952 will be made available in the next few weeks, with additional certificate images to be released each year as privacy restrictions are lifted (1940 images will be released in January 2016),” says a press release. NEW ZEALAND ORAL HISTORIES. A new web archive of oral histories of New Zealand nurses is now available. “The aim of this website is to capture this rich history and create a resource that nurses, students, academics and family members can access in order to gain a better understanding of nursing history in New Zealand,” says the site’s home page. The site contains a “large collection of oral histories including abstracts, recordings, photos and other information. These histories have been collected from nurses who trained during the 1950s and 1960s and capture both the everyday elements of nursing practice along with some of the more unusual. Here you are able to listen to stories, read brief abstracts, and view photos of the nurses.” Got a story to tell? They are accepting new interviews. There’s also a section on hospitals and one on nursing uniforms. WWI WOMEN. FindMyPast has posted over 9,500 UK records that illustrate the various roles played by woman during the Frist World War. These include: §  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Service Records 1917-1920. It’s a relatively small collection but rich in material on each woman. §  British Women’s Royal Naval Service officer files 1917-1919 (ADM 318) details the service history of women who served as officers in the Women’s Royal Naval Service during the First World War. §  British Women’s Royal Naval Service Ratings’ Service Registers 1918-1919  contains the details of nearly 7,000 enlisted women who served as Wrens during the First World War. §  British Women’s Royal Air Force Service Records 1918-1920 is an index of 31,090 Women’s Royal Air Force service records held by The National Archives.                 MAILBOX: Adoption: Recently Genealogy Gems Premium member Katharine wrote in this with newsworthy gem: “Recent adoption records are being released in Ohio. Such an exciting time for those adoptees yearning to connect with their bloodlines! Before the bill took effect, they allowed birth mothers to redact their names. Out of 400,000 only around 110 took them up on that.  There’s also a preference form with the birth records where the mother can request not to be contacted. I wonder how often that might not be respected.  It’s such an interesting situation for someone to be in.” Thanks for the news, Katharine. She sent us this link to a local news story that covers the story. http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/local/ohio/2015/03/18/adoption-records/24980157/ Want to learn more about accessing adoption records in any state? Check out the U.S. Adoption Research page at the FamilySearch wiki for a terrific overview and helpful links. Also, try running a Google search for the name of the state and  the keywords adoption and genealogy. You’ll find lots of great resources, like this page on adoption records at the Pennsylvania state library or this online resource from the State Historical Society of Missouri. The right Google search can shorten your search for the records you want! This tip brought to you by the newly-published, fully-revised and updated 2nd edition of The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Second Edition by Lisa Louise Cooke. http://lisalouisecooke.com/2015/03/recent-ohio-adoption-records-now-open/                 GEM: CeCe Moore on DNA CeCe writes the popular award-winning blog “Your Genetic Genealogist” and is a well-known speaker. Currently she is working as the genetic genealogy consultant for two PBS television shows “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” and “Genealogy Roadshow”. She serves as the lead “Ancestry Advisor” to 23andMe and is the Co-Director of the Global Adoptee Genealogy Project. She is frequently consulted by and quoted in the press in regard to the emerging personal genomics industry.   GEM: Genealogy Gems Book Club We got excellent response from readers and listeners about Orphan Train, our first quarter book. Book Club member and listener Karen  said, “I just finished "Orphan Train" and thought it was very good. It's hard to believe that children were treated like that. I've often thought while doing my own genealogy research that it's amazing any of us are here at all given the difficult lives many of our ancestors lived.” But now it’s time to talk about our next Genealogy Gems Book Club selection. Our next book is The Lost Ancestor (The Forensic Genealogist) (Volume 2) , the most recent book in a mystery series by British author Nathan Dylan Goodwin.     In The Lost Ancestor , we meet the hero of the series, Morton Farrier. He’s a forensic genealogist whose cases are usually quite tame, but occasionally he takes on a job that leads him into dark and dangerous corners of the past and the present. He reminds me a bit of that famous fictional British detective, Sid Halley in Dick Francis’ books, because Morton takes at least a punch or a bullet and threats to his personal life in just about every episode. Fortunately his girlfriend is a police officer in training, so she doesn’t mind these occupational hazards so much. Morton is hired to find out what happened to his client’s great-aunt Mary, who disappeared without a trace a century ago. A tame enough premise, but then we get to the historical setting of her life story: a grand English estate where she’s a maid who’s thinking above her status. This is a drama that will speak to Downtown Abbey lovers for sure. With her proximity to a grand family comes proximity to money and power, which have a definite effect on how Mary’s story unfolds. We follow Morton to his favorite research haunts—where he scuffles with his nemesis, a grumpy librarian and envy his budget, which allows him to order vital records at will by express mail. Maybe we don’t envy the lumps and risks he takes, but they’re fun to read. The Lost Ancestor has a different feel than our previous two books, best-sellers that were a little more literary. I hope you will find it a welcome change of pace. This is a genealogy-specific find and a great choice for both men and women. It’s an excellent pick for holidays, weekend relaxing, or curling up indoors or outdoors, whatever the weather permits in your corner of the world. My hammock just went up, and it’s still hanging there empty and hopeful for it to warm up just a little more.   CLOSING Visit the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/genealogygems             Please SUBSCRIBE while you’re there. Check out our new video son Evernote and DNA.    
Apr 10, 2015
Episode 177 - Interview with the Author of Orphan Train
50:20
This episode features our interview with Christina Baker Kline, the author of our Genealogy Gems Book Club featured book Orphan Train. The book spent five weeks at the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestselling list as well as time at the top of The Bestsellers List in Canada, and by now after reading the book you know why. Christina will share how the book came in to being. And why she first hesitated to write it. And how, although this is a novel, in fact the details of Vivian’s story are true thanks to her extensive research. And Christina sheds light on the effect that being an orphan had on the children of yesterday and the children of today. Download the show notes NEWSAnd I want to kick off this episode with something new here at Genealogy Gems. You know, a lot of announcements and press releases about new record groups constantly cross our desks – some large and some for niche. Well we are now going to round these up for you in a blog post at genealogygems.com every Friday. Watch for the genealogy records that your ancestors might appear in–but also watch for the kinds of records that may be out there for your kin, which might help you break down your family history “brick walls.” PRISON RECORDS. Kingston, Canada, Penitentiary Inmate Ledgers, 1913-1916, are now available on Flickr. According to GenealogyCanada.blogspot.com, “The ledger includes frontal and profile mug shots, the inmate’s name, alias, age, place of birth, height, weight, complexion, eye colour, hair colour, distinctive physical marks, occupation, sentence, date of sentence, place of sentence, crime committed, and remarks of authorities.” And speaking of FlickrIf you’re interested in historical photos, there has never been a better time to try the Flickr Creative Commons. Flickr is a popular photo-sharing site that’s keeping up well with the times: its new app was on the “Best of 2014″ App Store list for iPad apps. It’s a great platform for sharing your favorite photos with family and friends. But wait, there’s more! An important part of the Flickr world is Flickr Creative Commons, which describes itself as part of a “worldwide movement for sharing historical and out-of-copyright images.” Groups and individuals alike upload old images, tag and source them, and make them available to others. Like what kinds of groups? Well, there’s the British Library photostream, with over a million images in its photostream! And how about the (U.S.) Library of Congress, with over 23,000 photos? Look for your favorite libraries and historical societies–and check back often. New additions post frequently. For example, as of December 2014, The Netherlands Institute of Military History now has a photostream. According to a blog announcement, “The Institute exists to serve all those with an interest in the military past of the Netherlands. Its sphere of activities covers the Dutch armed forces on land, at sea and in the air, from the sixteenth century until now. The staff of the NIMH administer a unique military history collection containing approximately 2 million images, of which they will be uploading many to the site.” At this posting, only a couple dozen images show up so far, like the one shown here. Check back–or check with the Institute to see what they’ll be posting soon–for more images. Here’s a tip: Those who post images to Flickr Creative Commons offer different rights to those who want to download and use their images. Described here (and searchable here by the kinds of rights you want), those rights may include the ability to use a photo as long as it’s for noncommercial purposes and proper credit is given. Perfect for a responsible, source-citing genealogist! CEMETERY HEADSTONES. The Canadian Headstone Photo Project is now also searchable at FamilySearch.org. The original site with over a million headstone photos isn’t new. But some people don’t know about the site, and its search interface isn’t as pretty or flexible. So we think it’s nice that FamilySearch is hosting that data, too. According to FamilySearch, the collection is still growing. “This collection will include records from 1790-2013. The records include a name index of headstone inscriptions, courtesy of CanadianHeadstones.com, which is a family history database of records and images from Canada’s cemeteries.” HISTORICAL PROPERTIES MAP INTERFACE. The state of Delaware in the United States has launched an updated version of its CHRIS (Cultural and Historical Resource Information System) GIS tool. Use this interface to explore houses, districts and National Historic Landmarks in your ancestor’s Delaware neighborhoods. Maybe a place they lived, worked, shopped, worshiped or attended is still standing! Not sure how to find record sets like these for YOUR family history? Here’s a tip! Use the “numrange” search operator in Google to locate records from a particular time period. Do this by typing the range of years to search (first and last year) into your Google search box, with two periods in between (no spaces). For example, the search “Kingston Penitentiary” 1900..1920 brings up the ledgers mentioned above. This tip comes to you courtesy of the book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Second Edition by Lisa Louise Cooke–the fully-revised 2015 edition that’s packed with strategies that will dramatically improve your ability to find your family history online.   MAILBOX From Cassandra: "I stumbled on your podcast a few months back and enjoy listening to it when occasion permits. Today, I listened to episode 22, where you spoke about turning your video iPod into a Family History Tool. Although technology has come a long way since 2007, the topic of this podcast reminded me of how fortunate I am in having an iPad mini. I appreciate that you emphasized the value of mobile devices in aiding the genealogist in various tasks. Your podcast brought to mind an experience I had last summer where my tablet became my genealogy tool. I went to visit my great aunt living just 30 minutes north of me and talked for an hour about her parents, siblings, and grandparents. (All of which were recorded.) The next visit I made was two weeks later with my parents accompanying me. We arranged for my aunt and her younger sister to be there. Bringing stories and photos, we had a marvelous evening! Besides recording animated conversation and anecdotes, I was able to use my tablet to "scan" pictures. With their permission, I have since edited and shared photos online along with their stories. As circumstances would have it, one of my aunts suffered a stroke only a month later. This has been a great sorrow for my family, but in thinking back I am so grateful I had the time to visit with her; what an opportunity to have preserved those precious conversations and photographs! Thanks for your podcast and for the valuable tips and stories.  P.S. I posted about this experience in my blog along with the value of using tablets in family history work in July last year. There is a picture of me and my Aunt Connie with my impressions of the first visit"     From Terri:  "I am so glad I found you and all the fun things you have to offer to all of us working on our Family History.  I was listening to a webinar with Gena Philibert-Ortega and she mentioned your Genealogy Gems Podcast and how useful it was.  So I went on immediately and downloaded it on my iPhone.  It has been so much fun and I have already gleaned so many helpful hints from it.  Recently, on my drive from San Antonio to Houston and back, I listened to many the ones in your archives.  Well, the Podcast led me to your website where I decided to become a premium member and have already taken advantage of many of the videos and podcasts.  I then signed up for the newsletter.   I have installed Google Earth on my computer and have already begun plotting my Family History.  It is so much fun!  With your great video on using old pictures to help find places you lived, I have been able to find the home we lived in right after I was born, 57 years ago.  It still stands, and except for a few minor renovations and a paint change, looks very much the same.  I have attached the old pics and the one from Google Earth.  It was a very exciting moment!  (I am the little one crawling around on the right of the picture) My father is 79 and he has been the one, for many years, encouraging me to delve into the family tree.  We have some interesting story lines out there that have been fun to look into.  One of the things I found was an American Revolutionary Ancestor, in my father’s line, which led me to apply for the Daughters of the American Revolution and my app was accepted in December.  I was inducted this last weekend and my dad was there to see it.  That was a very special moment.   After watching your videos on YouTube, I have started a blog, "Unearthing My Family Roots”.  It is in it’s infancy but I am enjoying it and hope to start incorporating family history and genealogy into it after the “Cruise Log” is complete.  You can find the blog here.   As you can see, I am taking full advantage of my membership, so you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that you are coming to my local genealogical society meeting (Genealogical Society of Kendall County) in March and I can’t be there.  We are expecting our second granddaughter around that time in Missouri and I am going up to help. :)  I know you will be wonderful and everyone will go home with lots of takeaways.  Thank you for all you do and I look forward to all your future GEMS!" From Lisa: Thanks for writing and I'm thrilled to hear you have become a Genealogy Gems Premium Members and that you are enjoying it! And I'm particularly happy to hear that you are putting Google Earth to good use. Congratulations on your new blog. You are a talented writer, and I thoroughly enjoyed your series on the day you found the family bible and shared it on Google+. It is so similar to my own introduction to the family history obsession! I'm sorry to hear I won't get an opportunity to meet you at the upcoming seminar. I'm really looking forward to Kendall County because all of my dealings with the folks there so far have been delightful. Recently I heard from Sue, whose story offers a compelling reason to use Google Scholar for genealogy research! Read it below–then I’ll tell you a little more about Google Scholar: “I’ve been using computers for genealogy research (among other things) for about 30 years and am pretty good at finding most anything on the internet whether it pertains to genealogy or something else. It’s a continuous learning experience because computer, the internet and genealogy on the internet are always changing and updating. After hearing your seminars at RootsTech 2015], I tried out a couple of Google searches for my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather Silas Fletcher. Silas lived on Indian Key in the Florida Keys in the early 1820s. My husband and I and our son visited Indian Key several years ago and the young lady who took us out in the boat had actually written her college thesis on Silas! Of course, we didn’t think to get her name or any other information. So I Googled “scholar paper Silas Fletcher’ and the first item on the search turned out to be her thesis! I also found a second thesis on Indian Key and a research paper a third person had written–and they both contained information on Silas. In the footnotes I found references to deed books (book number and page number) that contained statements written by Silas, his wife Avis, their daughter Abigail and Mike’s 2nd great grandfather William H. Fletcher about their lives and movements in the Florida Keys. With that information I went to Familysearch.org and found the deed books I needed for Monroe County. I was able to go find their statements very easily instead of having to ‘browse’ through the books on the off-chance I would find something (which I do if I don’t know the exact book where the record would be). I can hardly wait to try out the rest of what I learned at your seminars to see what else I can find!” Sue’s experience is a great example of using Google to dig for your family history. One little-known feature on Google is Google Scholar, which would help Sue and anyone else more easily find material like what she describes: doctoral dissertations, theses, academic papers and more. Your keyword searches in Google Scholar will target results from academic publishers, universities, professional societies and more. Though scholarly literature gets a bad rap sometimes for being boring or highbrow, they do something genealogists love: THEY CITE SOURCES. Sue cleverly read the footnotes of the materials she found and they led her right to a key source she needed. Here’s another resource she could find using the details found on Google Scholar in a Google Image search: a map of his community! My newly-updated, revised book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox has an all-new chapter on using Google Scholar. Among other things, I show you advanced search strategies and how to use Google Alerts with Google Scholar for continuous updates on your favorite search results. Click here          GEM: Interview with Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan TrainOur Featured Book – 1st Quarter 2015 Orphan Train  by Christina Baker Kline spent five weeks at the #1 spot  on the New York Times Bestselling list and is now on top of The Bestsellers List in Canada. When you read it you’ll see why. Here’s the storyline: Vivian is an Irish immigrant child who loses her family in New York City and is forced to ride the ‘orphan train.’ Orphan trains were a common solution in the late 1800s and early 1900s for care of abandoned or orphaned children in New York City and other places. The children were loaded onto trains and paraded in front of locals at various stops across the countryside, where they might be claimed by just about anyone. After following Vivian’s life through her childhood and young adulthood, we fast-forward. Vivian is 91, and a teenage girl named Molly comes to help her clean out her attic. Molly is a Penobscot Indian who is in the modern foster care system. Gradually they realize they have a lot in common, and you’ll love the ways they each respond to that. To me, the book is about the importance of family identity. Each of us has a family storyline that existed before we were born and brought us into being. Vivian’s and Molly’s experiences remind me how important it is to know and value our family backgrounds. Of course I loved learning more about orphan train riders, too. That chapter of history is now a vivid reality to me. Click here to order your copy of Orphan Train. Tune in to upcoming episodes of the Genealogy Gems podcast as we talk about Orphan Train and interview Christina Baker Kline!   Northwest Genealogy ConferenceAugust is a beautiful time in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ll be heading to Washington state for the upcoming  Northwest Genealogy Conference in Arlington WA, just one hour north of Seattle  August 13, 14, and 15, 2015.    The Northwest Genealogy Conference will feature 3 full days of classes from speakers like Cece Moore and Judy Russell, and I will be there as well teaching 3 classes on Evernote and mobile technology. And there will be an exciting exhibit hall where you can see genealogy products and services up close. If you’re new to genealogy, they’ve got something just for you too! The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society is sponsoring free Beginning Genealogy Classes in conjunction with the Northwest Genealogy Conference that will be held on Wednesday 12 August from 1:00pm to 5:00pm at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center. Seating is limited, and pre-registration is required. Registration opens on April 1, 2015 Head to http://www.nwgc.org/   Profile America: Deadly InfluenzaWednesday, March 11th. One of the most devastating public health crises in history hit the U.S. on this date 97 years ago — and experts are still studying it, hoping to head off a similar global pandemic. The first cases of what was called “Spanish flu” were reported among soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas. By October, the worst month, 195,000 Americans perished. By 1920, nearly one-in-four Americans had suffered from this strain of the flu, killing about 600,000. Worldwide, estimates put the death toll up at 50 million or more. Even less dramatic strains of flu can be deadly, necessitating medical research. There are some 112,000 medical scientists and 6,700 medical laboratories in the U.S. today. The output helps America’s 737,000 physicians and surgeons in maintaining our health. Profile America is in its 18th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau. Sources: Outbreak Toll Laboratories NAICS 621511  Physicians and medical scientists    
Mar 10, 2015
Episode 176 - RootsTech Roundup, Writing Your History, DNA and Surnames
01:08:43
Download the show notes here In this episode we are going to check in with our Genealogy Gems Book Club Guru Sunny Morton on our featured book Orphan Train, and some additional books you’ll want to add to your reading list that also provide insight in to how you can approach writing your own family’s history. And Your DNA Guide here at Genealogy Gems, Diahan Southard, will be here to tell you how to Social Network Your YDNA with Surname Projects But first I’ve got the RootsTech Run down for you. Last week I spoke at RootsTech 2015 which was really a two-fer conference of both RootsTech and the Federation of Genealogical Societies national conference. So needless to say it was bigger than ever. If you didn’t attend, why should you care? Because FamilySearch which is the organization behind RootsTech has really, and I mean really, upped the family history game if you will. Even though they are a non-profit, they are really leading the industry, and having a huge impact on the types of genealogy resources and services that are being developed, which directly affect your family history research. And “Family History” is the key phrase there. At a FamilySearch VIP event I attended the leadership made a point of saying there is a distinct difference between genealogy and family history. We may often use these terms interchangeably, but they made this point with purpose, to drive home the fact that they are concerned with more than just genealogy; the building of your tree and tracing of your lineage. They are extremely focused on “family history”, and from what I know about you, you are too. Family history is the holistic approach – the stories, the photos, the legacy you are creating through your research. It’s not that its critical which words you use, but I think they focused on the distinction to really help the community understand what their focus is. For example, the keynote speakers included Former first Lady Laura and Jenna Bush, (who by the way did a phenomenal job and were witty and thoroughly enjoyable),   as well as Donny Osmond, and American Idol star David Archelta. There were some negative comments about these choices floating around on social media before the conference, but for anyone who attended and saw the presentations it all made perfect sense. They all spoke, and sometimes sang, to the heart of family history. I know for all you listening, your heart is certainly in it. They offered incredible inspiration and I think everyone walked away rejuvenated and recommitted to their research. And research just isn’t the right word. They came away motivated to continue on the legacy of family history they are building. And really that is the job of the keynotes. To set the tone and inspire and motivate, because there were plenty of  indepth classes and a huge variety of topics to fulfill the educational component of why we attend conferences . Let me give you a run down on some of the stats: FamilySearch, which was formerly the Genealogical Society of Utah, celebrated its 120th birthday last fall. It now operates 300 cameras in 50 countries around the world collecting digital genealogical sources. They released two mobile apps in 2014, FamilySearch Tree, the mobile companion to Family Tree on the FamilySearch website, and The Family Search Memories app which helps you collect, preserve, and share your favorite family photos, stories and spoken words. They are launching a new indexing program which will be part of the FamilySearch website which can be used on most desktop computers, notebooks and tablets. And to give you an idea of the scope of FamilySearch Indexing , there are 321,000 volunteers who have indexed 160 million records in 2014 alone, bringing the total of records indexed to 1.26 billion. These are records being made available to all of us free on the familysearch.org website. In June of 2014 FamilySearch surpassed publication of 1 billion images. It took 7 years to get there and the billionth image was published in FamilySearch’s growing collection of Peruvian records. IF you consider that a single digital image can have several historic records on it, that means there are actually billions of record images on FamilySearch. FamilySearch projects that it will take just 3 to 5 years to publish the next billion images. And as for new record collections, in 2014 FamilySearch published 38 million obituaries, 10 new Freedmen’s Bureau field office collections, and new and updated collections all around the world. One of the coolest things they unveiled is their new Discovery Centers. This is something that they announced last year, and our contributing editor Sunny Morton got a chance to go through the one in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City while at the conference.  Here is a link to her blog post. The FamilySearch Discovery Center is focused on offering families simple and powerful in-person family history experiences. Each visitor gets a unique, personalized experience where they learn about themselves and where their family came from, and how they lived. They can even record a video about themselves or a family member.  You’re in luck if you live in the Seattle area because a center is expected to open there in June of 2015. The two centers will serve as a testing ground to fine tune the centers and then open more around the world.   (Image above: Amy, Sunny and Lisa at the Genealogy Gems booth) So while I was at the conference I presented three classes for FGS which included using Evernote for Genealogy which was a packed house, using criminal cold case strategies for your brick wall genealogical cases, and video marketing for genealogy societies. For RootsTech I taught Turn your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse and, and building a genealogy business which was for the Rootstech Innovator Summit.   (Image above: Lisa and Diahan filming a segment at RootsTech) And of course we had the Genealogy Gems booth in the massive expo hall where we teamed up with FamilyChartmasters, The Photo Detective and Family Tree Magazine to once again present  our Outside the Box booth sessions where folks could join us for ½ hour session on topics like Google Search, Evernote and a whole lot more.   NEW! Map for African-American Genealogy Resources after the Civil War The time period after the U.S. Civil War is a messy era for searching for African-American ancestors from the South. Millions of people were emerging from slavery, without documented histories of who they were or who they were related to–many without even consistent first and last names. A new website helps researchers locate important African-American genealogy resources from the post-war Reconstruction era. Mapping the Freedmen’s Bureau is a map-based tool for helping you find the Freedmen’s Bureau offices and hospitals, Freedman’s Bank offices, “Contraband Camps,” U.S. Colored Troops battle sites and other locations nearest your ancestors that may have created records about them. Many of these record sets are just coming online or are newly indexed and are free to search, so the timing couldn’t be better. What it is a fantastic tool! I’m so pleased to see this site. Now those who know what location they’re starting with can easily glance at a map and click to see which of these resources exist in a specific locale and where to find them online or offline. Listen to my interview with African-American genealogy research expert Deborah Abbott, PhD, in the FREEGenealogy Gems Podcast episode 159.   Danish GenealogyMyHeritage has announced a new arrangement with the Danish National Archive to digitize, index and make available online millions of Danish genealogy records. According to MyHeritage, these include: “Danish national censuses, including approximately 9 million images and 31 million records, covering the years of 1787 through to 1930.  One of the most enlightening sources of historical content, census records provide a glimpse into a family’s past listing information about each household including the names of occupants, information on residence, ages, places of birth and occupations. Church records (3.9 million images) containing approximately 90 million names from 1646 to 1915. The Parish Register provides information regarding anyone who was born, baptized or confirmed (after 1737), married or died in a particular parish. The records include rich information about a person’s family: for example, for baptisms they list the date of birth, date of baptism, name of the child, parent’s names, occupations and residence, and often names of witnesses and godparents.” According to MyHeritage, “The records, spanning almost 300 years, provide a window to the lives of Danish ancestors during fascinating periods in history including the Napoleonic wars, liberalism and nationalism of the 1800s, the Schleswig Wars and industrialization. “The records will illuminate the lives and times of noted Danish historical figures such as Kierkegaard and Niels Bohr. Celebrity fans will be able to look into the family history of Danish Americans such as Scarlett Johansson and Viggo Mortensen for clues on their success. Many of the records will be made available on MyHeritage as early as April 2015 and the rest will be added during the year. MyHeritage is a leader in family history for those with Nordic roots and is “the only major company providing services in Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish. With more than 430,000 users in Denmark and an additional 600,000 registered users in Sweden, 500,000 in Norway, and 280,000 in Finland, MyHeritage has amassed the largest Nordic user base and family tree database in the market.” Just one more reason we at Genealogy Gems are pleased to have MyHeritage as a sponsor of the Genealogy Gems podcast.   MAILBOX From Judy: "After reading your message about "getting materials back home", I thought I'd share something I've begun. Because of working on family genealogy, I have become the recipient of several family items. We have no children, just a niece and nephew who do not live nearby. So...To make sorting things easier for family at the end, I've begun a photo album with pictures of family heirlooms with a message included that tells whose item it was or who made it and/or a story about why it has been special. I'm in hopes that at least they can try to find and save these items instead of trying to guess or having to take the time to go through all of the family binders where most are also recorded."   From Sharon in California About Nov. 13 newsletter: "Lisa, in today’s email you talked about walking through your front door and seeing things differently.  Since you are a big fan of Google and Google Maps, I wanted to tell you about a speaker that we had at our San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society meeting one time who talked about using maps in genealogy.  And he said the first map we should use is the map of our house.  I thought that was a little Silly, until I thought about the first house I remember, when I was 3 or 4 years old (and I’m now 74).  As I walked up those stairs to our apartment, I remembered so many things about that house.  As I “mapped” the layout of the house, each room brought back Memories.  Memories of my bedroom where when I had measles and my Dad brought me little Scotty dog magnets and we played with them on my bed.  In the kitchen, where my Mom taught me to eat vegetables that I didn’t like by piling on the butter.  The back porch where the ice Man delivered blocks of ice.  And many, many more.  Each house, and it’s map brought back individual memories.  Maybe this isn’t genealogy, but it is family history, or maybe only MY history, but it was fun going through all those memories."   From Deanna: "I was very touched by the story of your husband's relative whose mother took her own life due to what sounds like depression.  I have a loved one who has anxiety and depression, and I am so thankful we live in a time where education, resources and medical options are available to assist those who are struggling. I am also thankful for your podcast, Genealogy Gems, which was a great source of encouragement to me during a difficult season of being the caregiver of my struggling loved one. The research tips inspired me to keep looking for those elusive ancestors, and the many stories reminded me that most life journeys have difficulties.  Most importantly, however, I was reminded that we humans are quite resilient.  Thankfully, my loved one is doing much better now, yet I still look forward to each and every Genealogy Gems podcast.  In addition, I am planning on attending the upcoming seminar in Vero Beach, FL, which is being hosted by the Indian River Genealogical Society.  Although it's a bit of a drive for me, I couldn't miss seeing you in person!  Thank you for all you do, and may God bless the life journeys of you and your family!"     GEM: Genealogy Gems Book Clubwith Sunny Morton Our current featured book, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, is getting some nice thumbs-ups from Genealogy Gems readers. Just to catch you up, this is the story of two women. It starts with Vivian, an Irish immigrant child who loses her family in New York City and is forced to ride the ‘orphan train.’ She’s placed with several different families across the Midwest, with different results, but it’s the same premise at every home: her life starts over fresh there, with new rules and expectations and little or no recognition of her past or personality. After following Vivian’s life through her childhood and young adulthood, we fast-forward. Vivian is 91, and a teenage girl named Molly comes to help her clean out her attic. Molly is a Penobscot Indian who is in the modern foster care system. On the show, I read a passage from when Vivian meets Molly. On first glance, they are so different: an old white lady with money and a Native American teenager without resources. Molly immediately judges Vivian. But Vivian’s response totally disarms her. And that’s when it starts to get fun. I hope you will have a chance to read Orphan Train before our interview with Christina Baker Kline next month! More Good Reads from the Genealogy Gems Book Club: Fabulous Family Histories I think a lot of people make genealogy goals at the new year: goals like writing up your research. I’ve noticed that one of things people often stumble over when they try to write family history is what style of writing to use. Do they want to write like a college professor, scholarly and objective? Or should their personal feelings and opinions be part of the story? Or, even more nontraditional, should they fictionalize their ancestors’ stories like a novel? My book recommendations this month are three published family histories—all fascinating reads—that happen to be examples of different kinds of writing. Mordecai: An Early American Family by Emily Bingham is perhaps the most engaging scholarly family history I’ve read. It’s based on thousands of letters and other documents that make me just go green with envy—like, how did she FIND that document??? There are more than 50 pages of endnotes. I don’t think the author is related to the Mordecais. My sense is that she’s a historian who came upon a gold mine of a family, in terms of documentation, personality and themes she saw emerge down the generations of this family. I do like to read well-written scholarly history, especially about families and religion. I am fascinated by how religious beliefs make people tick, and their effects on family and community life, especially for a family like the Mordecais who belonged to a marginalized faith at that time in U.S. history. On the show I read the opening paragraph of the introduction, to give you a sense of her voice. Many of you may have read Family by Ian Frazier, which came out several years ago and was popular among genealogists. Ian also wrote the best-selling books On the Rez He’s an expert observer, insightful, compassionate, funny and honest. So it’s no surprise he also uses a first person voice, or the use of “I” when writing about his explorations into family history. On the show I read a passage from page 9 where he is writing about his ancestor’s hometown of Norwalk, Ohio, and we compare how different his voice is, but how effectively he wraps together his own experience with his research. The Worst Country in the World  by Patsy Trench is a first-person narrative about her Australian ancestors, who were among the first European settlers in that fascinating country. Patsy actually quit her job and traveled from London to Australia several times to research the story of her fourth great-grandmother and other relatives. She describes the book she wrote as “a hybrid: part family history, part memoir, part novel. The skeleton of the story…is as true as I could make it…. But I have put flesh on the bones, invented personalities for real people, circumstances behind the facts, all in the cause of turning my family saga into what I hope is an entertaining read. The dramatised scenes are from my imagination but the outcome of them is fact.” (Introduction, page 5) She cares a lot about her research, so she tries to make it clear in the text what’s based on evidence and what’s speculation, and she includes a detailed appendix that spells out where she took liberties. On the show I read a passage from page 86 about something her ancestor may or may not have done upon her arrival in the colony. You can hear the author’s playfulness as she openly decides to buy into an unsubstantiated account for the purposes of good storytelling. Then she tells a good story, and we have a sense of the setting, other characters, social life and current events in her ancestor’s new life in Australia (whether or not that specific incident actually unfolded as it did).  All in all, these three books—great reads in and of themselves—are also great examples of the different kinds of storytelling methods and voices we might choose to adopt when we write about our ancestors’ lives. Happy reading from the Genealogy Gems Book Club!   GEM: Your DNA Guide at Genealogy Gems, Diahan Southard Family history organizations and studies based on individual surnames have been around for years. They are now integrating YDNA research into their efforts. Use surname projects to enhance your paternal DNA research!   Surnames are the flagships of our genealogical research. We name our files after them and we tag our research with them. We wear our last names proudly on pins and necklaces and T-shirts.   But surnames can also be misleading. Illiteracy, language barriers, and just plain carelessness led to misspellings and alterations, not to mention those ancestors who blatantly changed their name to avoid detection.   The advent of YDNA testing has changed the way many genealogists view surnames and their role in their genealogy. Because a man’s YDNA is the same as the YDNA carried by each of the ancestors in his direct paternal line, the YDNA can act like a filter, clearly indicating which men with a particular surname, or variant, truly share a direct paternal line.   So how has YDNA testing affected family organizations that do surname research? I asked Debbie Kennett, a regular contributor to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki and Facebook page who is also involved with the Guild of One Name Studies. The Guild of One Name Studies was established in 1979 to promote public understanding of one-name studies and preserve the information obtained by those studies.   “Virtually every common surname is now the subject of a DNA project,” says Debbie, including “just over 500 Guild members who are running a DNA project. That number has jumped up considerably just in the last couple of years.”   The quality of those projects varies. Debbie tells us that a quality YDNA project includes three elements: “presenting the DNA data, recruiting people from different countries and also correlating all of the genealogy information.”   Jean Morrison, a member of the Morrison surname project, says that because of DNA testing, “identifying where in Scotland this family originated prior to coming to America ca 1728 has become a realistic goal. The Morrison Q Group has identified through Y line testing at 111 markers, 22 individuals with an MRCA (most recent common ancestor) within eight generations.” In plain English, this means that a definite YDNA pattern has been associated with her Morrison surname and with a common ancestor eight generations back.   Noel and Ron Taylor were two early adopters of YDNA testing for their Taylor family project. Their first samples were submitted to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation in 2000. The former president and currently the head of the board of trustees for the Taylor Family Society, Noel says that using DNA “caught the attention of many people in our organization….It renewed great interest in the hearts of many people who had been doing research for many years [who may have] lost interest and were somewhat discouraged.” The Taylors have made significant breakthroughs with their DNA testing. They have connected several Taylor lines back to a common ancestor, verified their paper trails, and even found a line of Hodges that were actually Taylors!   It appears that YDNA is becoming part of the research plan for most family societies. But Debbie tells us that there is still much room for improvement in her organization. “Not all Guild members are running [DNA] projects. We have something like 2,700 Guild members so we are still not at the stage where the majority of Guild members are running projects.”   Besides The Guild, other organizations have been created to assist genealogists with their surname research, including a new organization just launched in November. The Surname Society’s goal is to “to build a collaborative environment where members are encouraged to develop their own approach to the investigation of their surname.” Kirsty Grey, chairman of the Surname Society, says that DNA testing has taken a front seat role in the research of one of their founders as well as several early members. “DNA is one of the many strands of family history research (and to a greater extent, surname studies) which can connect individuals, often where genealogical research cannot.”   That really is the bottom line. DNA, especially YDNA, can tell you things about the surnames in your pedigree that you can’t learn in any other way. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to jump on the YDNA bandwagon and see what your DNA has to tell you.   DNA for Genealogy Resources: Quick Reference Guides by Diahan Southard   (purchase all 6 laminated guides for the best deal): Getting Started: Genetics for Genealogists; Y Chromosome DNA for Genealogists; Autosomal DNA for Genealogists;and Mitochondrial DNA for Genealogists. Understanding Ancestry DNA Understanding FamilyTreeDNA Get the NEW AncestryDNA and FamilyTreeDNA 2 guide bundle Click here Digital Guid es: Click here   Visit Diahan's website to learn about expert consultations with me. You’ll get customized guidance on which tests to order and how to maximize your results for your genealogy research.   New! MyHeritage Digital Guide: (Click image above to order)   Pre-Order the 2nd edition ofThe Genealogist’s Google Toolbox           Watch the newly updated iPad Premium Video
Feb 23, 2015
Episode 175 - New Book Club Book, Mary Tedesco of Genealogy Roadshow, DNA, and Lisa's New Book
59:22
  Download the show notes here I’m pretty excited  about this episode because it’s just jammed back with all kinds of fun stuff! (image right: my Grandson Joey excited about his new wagon!) First, Genealogy Gems Contributing Editor Sunny Morton will be here to announce our new Book Club read for this first quarter of 2015.  And it is fantastic! Even better, the nationally acclaimed author who wrote it will be joining us on a future episode to give us the back story. Then, since it is January that means that a lot of television shows are ramping back up, and one of those is the Genealogy Roadshow on PBS. And not only will it be back with new episodes, it will also feature a new addition to the panel of hosts. Professional genealogist Mary Tedesco is joining Genealogy Roadshow and she will join me a little later in this episode to talk about her experience on the show and also about her specialty which is Italian research, which I couldn’t be happier about since we haven’t had a chance to delve into Italian genealogy until now. Our Genealogy Gems DNA Guide will also be here. And I have a very special announcement for you at the end of the show.   MAILBOX: Read: Merry Cemetery Displays Dirty Little Secrets of the Dead Epitaphs from Genealogy Gems listeners on Facebook: From Cindy:"One of the most fascinating epitaphs I've ever seen is in Monticello, Florida. It reads, "Remember reader as you pass by, as you are now so once was I, as I am now so you shall be, prepare for death and come with me." The date of death was in the 1880s. The tombstone is made of metal instead of stone." From Jan: "Most memorable epitaph to date: In Memory of Elizabeth Palmer who should have been the wife of Simeon Palmer who died Aug 1776. This in the Old Commons Cemetery, Rhode Island." Jillian writes in about the story of Mary Ann Munns Cooke’s untimely death "What an amazing, heartbreaking - yet somewhat uplifting - story. I feel compelled to share a similar struggle on my family tree - it is a bit long (for all of the details, I would advise reading my blog at www.burgessgenealogy.wordpress.com), but the shorthand version involves my great-great grandmother being widowed by the Spanish Influenza, and her children being taken from her by a corrupt politician, who uses his connections to incarcerate her in an insane asylum to gain control of her late husband's property and mineral rights. She survived it, miraculously, and went on to live a happy life, even getting to see her great grandchildren being born. My grandmother told me that her father was forever changed by what his mother endured, but he was the most forgiving man she'd ever met. It reaffirms your statement that bad things may happen, but you don't have to let it determine your outlook, your path. Much love to you and your family for overcoming and living out a legacy that recognizes the struggle, and the acts involved in overcoming."   GEM: Book Club with Lisa and Sunny Morton Our last featured book, She Left Me the Gun, was a memoir by a woman raised in England who researched her South African past. This time, we fly across the pond to the new world, to a bestselling U.S. novel, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (image right). Orphan Train is one of my favorite books. I’ve read it twice and recommended it more times than I can count. I thought a lot about whether a genealogy book club, which is based on researching real history, should incorporate novels. But genealogists are three dimensional people; we’re not all fact and no fun, right? I have loved historical fiction from the time I read A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by EL Konisburg. It’s a kid’s chapter book about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine told from her point of view as she and the cast of characters from her life were sitting on a cloud in heaven waiting for her husband King Henry II to get into heaven. That novel bred in me this love for re-imagined history, in which the stories and lessons from past lives are repackaged in a way that’s meaningful to us, in a way that we’re willing to listen to. But back to Orphan Train. I’m guessing that many of you have already read it and loved it—if you have, raise your hands on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page and tell us so! If not, here’s a teaser for you. Orphan Train follows the story of Vivian, who as an Irish girl immigrant with another name entirely loses her family and is forced to ride the orphan train. What was the orphan train? It was an early, special urban brand of foster care in which homeless or neglected children were gathered up and put on trains out to the country. They advertised ahead of time their stops in little rural railroad depots, where essentially the children were lined up and local residents could come pick up kids and take them home. Essentially the children were advertised as free labor sources for farm families. So, Vivian rides the orphan train and we follow her childhood through some challenging placements with a few families and then into young adulthood when she is still trying to pin down an identity for herself. Then we move ahead in time. As a 91-year old woman, Vivian meets Molly, a teenager in today’s foster care system. Molly comes to Vivian’s home to help her clean out her attic because she’s gotten in trouble and needs community service hours. Molly thinks this old lady has nothing in common with her, not knowing anything about Vivian’s own trials as an orphan rider. So what makes this a good read for family history lovers? The core of the story is about family identity. Both these girls were separated from their families at a young age—they were told their past wasn’t good enough and they were re-booting their lives from scratch. You can’t do that to a person without serious consequences to their psyches. This book reminds me how important it is that each of us has a storyline from the past that existed before we were born, and brought us to who we are today. It’s perilous to break that story up or to be ignorant of it. The author spent a lot of time with the real stories of people who have lived in foster care or who rode the orphan trains, so the feel of the book would be authentic and real even though it’s not wholly factual. The orphan train history is so fascinating itself and this is a great way to be introduced to that chapter in history—which I have read is not limited to the U.S. I have read that about 100k children rode orphan trains in Canada, too. Read the Genealogy Gems Book Club Book for 1st Quarter 2015: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Next month Sunny will be back with a few more suggestions for fun things to read and a teaser from the book, and then in March we’ll have an interview with Christina Baker Kline. Please visit our wonderful sponsors:     Profile America: Ellis Island Opens Thursday, January 1st. The place where many of our ancestors first stepped ashore when they came to America seeking a new life opened on this date in 1892 — Ellis Island in New York Harbor. The very first immigrant processed at the new facility was a 15-year-old Irish girl named Annie Moore. Over the course of more than 60 years, some 12 million people flowed through the center. Some sources say the number is considerably higher. The peak year was 1907, when just over a million immigrants came to Ellis Island. The complex now belongs to the National Park Service and is visited by several million people a year. In 1910, the foreign-born represented nearly 15 percent of America’s population. Now, after falling through 1970, that figures sits at 12.9 percent.   GEM: Mary Tedesco on Genealogy Roadshow and Italian Genealogy Mary M. Tedesco is also the founder of ORIGINS ITALY at originsitaly.com, which is a firm specializing in Italian and Italian-American genealogical and family history research. She speaks fluent Italian and travels often to Italy where she conducts genealogical research and visits family. Watch the new season of the Genealogy Roadshow Read about it on the Genealogy Gems Blog:Genealogy Roadshow Season 2: Pirates, Holocaust Heroes and More Visit Mary at Origins Italy at http://www.originsitaly.com/ Mary’s favorite websites for Italian research: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Italy https://familysearch.org/search Things to know about Italy: Italy is subdivided into 20 regions Records are at the town level   Your DNA Guide with Diahan SouthardI am a huge proponent of the Chromosome Browser as an essential tool in genetic genealogy. I do agree that it should be a part of any genetic genealogy experience.  I have been in meetings with Ancestry and they do have their reasons for not providing one, with privacy being paramount in their minds.  The idea that we can have quick and relatively inexpensive access to our ENTIRE genome is a daunting thought.  We can't possibly know what will lie ahead in the many industries implementing this amazing scientific advancement.  Ancestry is just trying to be forward thinking. I too feel that this makes them seem like an overprotective parent that keeps their child in the house at all times behind two padlocked, steel-enforced doors, just so they won't wander out into the street and get hurt. And it is very frustrating.  But on some level I do understand their perspective.  They have a VERY long term perspective.  They are planning and thinking about where this technology will be in 5, 10, 15, 20 years.  At that time will will surely have moved away from the SNP testing we are doing now to full genome sequencing.  At that very high level of comparison there will be many things that a chromosome browser could reveal about our health.   I think with the implementation of DNA circles Ancestry is trying to implement tools in the areas where they are comfortable, and actually capable.  Yes, they are making mistakes.  But so are the other testing companies.  Yes the trees are flawed. They did release the DNA circles as Beta. I too have ready many concrete accounts of how this tool is making mistakes.  But they are in uncharted territory here.  No other company is trying to so fully integrate traditional genealogy with genetic genealogy, and there is something to be said for that.  And, you will probably agree that one of the biggest frustrations with any testing company is getting people to post their family trees and/or respond to your inquiries about their family trees.  By making inclusion in the Circles contingent upon having and linking your sample to a family tree (even a flawed one) it does encourage more people to post public trees.  Of course, it does completely ignore anyone without a family tree- again, frustrating. Talk to Diahan about DNA Consulting. Learn how with my series of quick guides (purchase all 4 laminated guides or the digital download bundle for the best deal); Getting Started: Genetics for Genealogists; Y Chromosome DNA for Genealogists; Autosomal DNA for Genealogists;and NEW! Mitochondrial DNA for Genealogists.   Lisa’s Announcement:Pre-Order the 2nd edition ofThe Genealogist’s Google Toolbox at a very special price. Reg. $24.95  Pre-order Sale Price: $19.95 Completely updated with loads of new content! Everything you need to know to stay up to date on using Google for your family history.
Jan 08, 2015
Episode 174 - Shocking Revelations in My Family Tree that May Benefit You
01:06:23
               In this episode I'm going to share a personal story from my own family history just recently uncovered, and pull from it 3 powerful strategies that you can start using right away to further your own genealogy research in newspapers. My husband's grandfather, Raymond Harry Cooke, was born March 6, 1894 in Tunbridge Wells, England. Ever since I first started researching his family I have been aware that Raymond's mother, Mary Ann Cooke, died at a young age, around 40 years old. What I didn't realize was that in the back of my mind I sort of made some assumptions about what happened to her.  I knew she had lost one child in child birth, and had one living child, Raymond. Though the answer as to her exact date and cause of death have been elusive, I haven't been in a big hurry to find the answer, because I guess deep down I assumed that she had lost her life in a third pregnancy. So it remained one of those genealogy projects I put off for a rainy day.  This hypothesis was unexpectedly shattered last week!  Not long ago I posted on the Genealogy Gems blog about BritishNewspaperArchive.com hitting over 9 million digitized pages. Last Wednesday evening I decided to take an hour out for my own genealogy (which I rarely get to do these days) and do some digging to see if I could find anything about Mary Ann's death.  With the site's powerful advanced search engine I located the answer within minutes. And it was devastating. (Image left) 3 Tips for Finding Family History in Newspapers: Look for "Search" Clues in the Articles You Find After absorbing the story of Mary Ann's untimely death, there was still work to be done. I went back through the article with a fine tooth comb making note of every unique details that could possibly be used in a future database search such as addresses, name variations, neighbors, friends, occupations, etc. This will lead you to: Look Beyond Known Names In my case, I noticed that Mary Ann Cooke was referred to as "Mrs. Cooke" in one article, and "Mrs. Cook" in another, so I omitted her first name and ran searches under both options, resulting in even more articles. And in the article about "Mrs. Cooke", her son Raymond was referred to as "Master Cooke". Indeed even more articles existed under that name as well. Go Beyond People Search for the addresses of locations where they lived. And don't necessarily include their name. Simply searching the address can give you a kind of "house history" set of search results, revealing who lived there before, descriptions of the home and its contents and who moved in after your ancestors left. In my case, I located an article about the Cooke home (by the address) being up for sale several years before they owned it. That article included a fairly detailed description of the property. The final article found in the British newspapers was also found only by address (as the Cooke name wasn't mentioned) and it detailed the contents of their household up for sale. The auction was held in prepartion for their move to Canada. Resource: How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers by Lisa Louise Cooke               GEM: Interview with Emma Brockes, Author of She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me, and More Reading Recommendations "When a parent dies, you the child, your relationship with that history changes almost over night. It suddenly becomes much more relevant to you. because you feel like you're the only one left in a position to remember it. So, having never wanted to know anything about my mother's life, suddenly after her death it seemed imperative to me to find out absolutely everything. And to remember her that way. It felt to me that I couldn't, how does one put it, I couldn't stake out the parameters of what I had lost, until I knew everything there was to know about her, and of course there was this huge black hole in her background which I knew nothing about." Emma Brockes Read Sunny's blog post Genealogy Gems Book Club: MORE Great Books Recommended to find out about two more excellent books for genealogists.   GEM: Your DNA Guide at Genealogy Gems: Ancestry DNA Update Read Diahan's blog post AncestryDNA Review and Breaking News! Updates Launched at the Genealogy Gems blog.    
Dec 08, 2014
Episode 173 - Inspiring Ideas
49:25
We all need a little inspiration now and then, and in this episode I hope to bring you some through good books, inspiring comments from other listeners, and some new ideas to try. Once I got past the organization of my new office, what I’ve really enjoyed doing is devoting time to display family photos and artifacts, and just decorating the room. It may seem frivolous, but I don’t this it is. We spend a lot of time in our offices, and you may have a home office, or corner of a room where you work on your genealogy.  Considering the importance of the work and the time you spend doing it, I think it’s time and effort well spent to put effort in to inspiring decorations and displays.  (Lisa's new office display) Europeana for Genealogy: WWI Digital Archive and More MORE German Genealogy Records at Ancestry.com Indiana Genealogy Records to be Digitized by Ancestry.com 1865 New York State Census Now on FamilySearch   MAILBOX: Feedback on the “Lizzie” interview from AlvieI am thoroughly enjoying the podcasts and videos. Recently I drove to South Florida and listened to the episode about Lizzie Milligan.  It sure brought back lots of memories.  Many years before I got heavy into genealogy a co-worker of mine gave me a large box of post cards which was passed to him by his grandmother.  These cards were mailed during the digging of the Panama Canal and these were cards sent to his grandmother by her future husband from Panama. They were so very interesting reading but I had no use for them so I turned them over to our local museum in Lakeland, FL.  I don't know what became of them.   Kay loves MyHeritage too "Loved this podcast today - I listened while I walked my 3-mile loop.  Just want to share a MyHeritage story. I had uploaded a small GEDCOM at least a couple of years ago and never done much with it.  They had no record matching to speak of in the beginning and all the family matches were to persons who had much less information about the families than I did.   However, at RootsTech last winter, I talked to one of their reps - told him I would probably just let my subscription run out.  He convince me to try uploading a larger file, get the data subscription, and in fact offered me a free three months to try again - so I really couldn't say no. Now a bit of background.  I lived in Alabama for several years - and probably about 15 years ago the newspaper had published an extended article about the Sultanadisaster, the steamboat that exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis on 27 Apr 1865 with the loss of some 1600 lives  - the Cahaba prison where so many of those unfortunate men on the Sultana had come from was only about 50 miles from us.  At that point I'd never heard of it but I became quite fascinated and interested in the story and read everything I could find - I discovered that most of the released Union prisoners who died on the Sultana were from Indiana, Illinois & Ohio and knew that I had family in Indiana during that War, but didn't think there was any personal connection. After I began to work with MyHeritage again, up popped a Kokomo Daily Tribunenewspaper obituary of the brother-in-law of one of my paternal great-grandfathers, who had died in 1925 in Howard County, IN.   And there it was - he had been on theSultana and had suffered serious burns the result of which remained problematic for the rest of his long life.  It was thought that infection from the old burn wounds were the ultimate cause of his death.  In fact, he had been reported as dead to his family, because of the unbelievable chaos that surrounded the rescues.   What joy there must have been when he did return home! I always wonder when this sort of serendipity happens.  Was I always fascinated by this saga because I knew that somehow there was a family story involved? Anyway, I, too have become a believer in MyHeritage!  The brother-in-law never applied for a pension, or otherwise mentioned his service and I had the information about where he was buried.  As a collateral relative, he wasn't really a person I spent much research time on.   I probably never would have done a thorough newspaper search.  But there it was - nicely found for me and connecting to another bit of history!"     GEM: BOOK CLUB conversation with Sunny Morton “When [your] parent dies…your relationship with their history changes almost overnight. It suddenly becomes much more relevant to you because you feel like you are the only one left who is in a position to remember it. So having never wanted to know anything about my mother’s life, suddenly after her death it seemed imperative to me to find out absolutely everything….It felt to me that I couldn’t…stake out the parameters of what I’d lost until I knew everything there was to know about her.” -Emma Brockes, on She Left Me the Gun  Book Recommendations: Suggestion from Mary: The Woman in the Photograph: The Search for My Mother's Past by Mani Feniger Here’s one along a similar theme of secrets in a mother’s past and the mother-daughter relationship. One of our listeners, Mary, wrote to us about it. She said, "I just ordered this book and thought you might be interested in reading it. I am looking forward to reading it myself.” The book is The Woman in the Photograph by Mani Feniger. Here’s a little blurb on the book: Mani Feniger wanted nothing to do with the relics of her mother's life before she escaped from Nazi Germany in 1936. But when the fall of the Berlin Wall exposed the buried secrets and startling revelations of her mother's past, she was drawn into an exploration-of history and family, individuality and identity, mothers and daughters-that would change her life forever." Listener suggestion from Mike: The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans  is by John Bailey "Here's a book I found that you and your listeners might also enjoy. The Lost German Slave Girl recounts the story of a poor emigrant family and what happened to one of the daughters.  I found it fascinating.  The story is non-fiction and takes place around New Orleans in the first half of the 19th century.  There is much family research involved, some heart-wrenching descriptions of what the emigrants suffered, and delightful insights into the New Orleans of that time period.  It's the kind of research that we family historians love to do but is more dramatic than many of the personal stories we work on."   Profile America: Thursday, November 13th “Even the most mundane items we take for granted have to be invented by someone. This month 110 years ago, that someone was Connecticut inventor Harvey Hubbell. In November 1904, he received a patent for the world's first detachable electric plug: the two-, now sometimes three-prong plug familiar to us today. Remarkable as it sounds, at the time electric terminals would extend out from a wall, and any electrical device had to be hardwired to them. A time consuming process with a chance of electrocution. Hubbell was no one-hit wonder, as in the 1890s he created an electric switch and patented the pull-chain electric light socket. Electrical supplies for builders and homeowners are available at nearly 29,000 locations in the U.S., including 6,500 home centers and 12,500 hardware stores.”     Improvements in Using Autosomal DNA for GenealogyDiahan Southard, Your DNA Guide You may recall from our recent DNA discussion on the Genealogy Gems podcast (Episode 168) that Ancestry.com recently discontinued their mtDNA and YDNA tests (the two that trace our direct maternal and direct paternal lines) to focus on autosomal DNA (which delivers information about both your mother’s and your father’s side of your ancestral tree). Well, recently I attended an all-day meeting hosted by Ancestry.com: a summit to talk about current trends and accomplishments at Ancestry DNA , and ideas about the future of DNA testing at Ancestry.com. Free Shipping on Ancestry DNA Kit w Code: FREESHIPDNA The meeting included a diverse group of Ancestry representatives, from CEO Tim Sullivan to members of the marketing, scientific, communications, and even computer science departments, as well as some of the top voices in genetic genealogy. It was an open and lively discussion, and I walked away with a few gems I want to share with you today. More Powerful DNA Hints Coming In AncestryDNA, the ‘shaky leaf” hints are meant to help you find a common ancestor between you and your DNA matches. The computer code behind the old hints was not very efficient. Lazy, in fact. It started at the bottom of your tree—and the bottom of your match’s tree—and slapped on a shaky leaf at the first sign of a shared common ancestor. While this method worked for a large number of cases, it was leaving a lot of stones unturned. But the IT guys at Ancestry have beefed up the computer power, allowing them to cover a much greater distance through our trees and the trees of our matches before making a judgment about the best place to assign that shaky leaf. The result? Better hints about how you and your match COULD be related. Remember, the leaf is still just a SUGGESTION on how you and your match might be related. It is not a crystal ball. Did You Know? Ancestry DOES store your DNA samples in a secure location. Ancestry spent months designing their own DNA collection kit. Ancestry was able to attract some of the brightest scientists in the field of population genetics because of YOU. You with your documented pedigree charts and your willingness to help move this science of discovering our ancestors forward. Looking Ahead There is no question that the genetic genealogy industry is rapidly advancing, and our discussion with Ancestry certainly didn’t disappoint. While I will be sharing with you in future posts about some of the exciting changes, I do want you to be ready for one that will be coming online fairly soon. It has to do with your matches. If you have been tested by AncestryDNA, you may have been initially excited, then nearly immediately overwhelmed, by the number of individuals listed in your match page, all claiming to have some kind of connection to you and your family tree. All three major genetic genealogy testing companies (AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, and 23andMe) are using basically the same laboratory methods to glean information from your DNA. What differs is how they use that data to draw conclusions about your ethnic heritage and about your relationships to other individuals. As it turns out, AncestryDNA has been reporting far more individuals as your relatives than it should have. You can think of it like this: You have sent out tickets, in the form of your genetic code, to an exclusive party where you (of course!) are the star. However, you have lost the guest list and you are counting on the testing company to check the ticket of each guest before they enter your party to be sure they were really invited. AncestryDNA was relatively new in the role of party bouncer, and in the interest of not turning away any VIP guests, they initially allowed guests into your party who had (gasp!) forged tickets!! But as AncestryDNA admits more guests, the experience it’s gained in party monitoring is starting to show. You see, each of the forged tickets has some unique qualities that have started to send up red flags to the team of scientists at AncestryDNA . They are now in the process of carefully documenting what each forged ticket looks like and tossing those unwanted guests out on their ear. The short of it: in the near future your match list at Ancestry will be much shorter. Which is good news to you, as it means only those invited genetic cousins will be around eating hors d’ oeuvres and ready to talk about your shared common ancestry. Each testing company has its strengths and weaknesses. It was good to have a bit of insight into this one company and come to a greater understanding about why it is they do what they do. It is a great time to be in this young genetic genealogy industry, with so much room to grow and change. I will let you know when I find the next genetic gem. Use our affiliate link / ad to get free shipping and help support the free podcast. Free Shipping on Ancestry DNA Kit w Code: FREESHIPDNA   GEM: Couple Celebrates 80 years of Marriage Read Couple Celebrates Astonishing 80 Years of Marriage, So What's Their Secret? Watch the video and see photos through time of the successful couple at KVAL.com      
Nov 11, 2014
Episode 172 - Book Club Launch, DNA, and Star Trek Journey
47:49
In this episode I've got some exciting news, a cool free online tool, advice on translation, stories of inspirational finds, DNA for genealogy, and a Star Trek take on the innovations of yesteryear!  NEWS: FamilySearch’s free  interactive mapClick here to see the FamilySearch England & Wales 1851 Parish map. WWI-Era Orphaned Heirloom Looking for Its Family   What Has Replaced Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness?Facebook is the new RAOGK. And the upside is that Facebook expands the resources to folks who may be in a position to help through a shared interest while not necessarily being a genealogist. If you don’t see a group that meets your needs, create one! From your Facebook account: 1. on the left side of the page under GROUPS click “Find New Groups” 2. Here you can join groups (Facebook will likely recommend some based on your profile interests) 3. In the upper right corner click the green + CREATE GROUP button 4. Give your group a name and select whether it is public or private 5. Start posting content to your group page 6. Start promoting the page on your profile page while also friending other genealogists and soon you will likely have a vibrant group that can assist each other based on a shared interest. RAOGK U.S.A. RAOGK Interntational Read the full article   MAILBOX: From Dot: Australian Newspapers - I had to let you know how grateful I am to you and your podcasts. Thank you so much for helping our family put flesh on the bones of our ancestors. In Episode 167 of Genealogy Gems you mentioned Paul Nauta at FamilySearch let you know “that the National Library of Australia has added an additional 35 historic newspapers to their online collection at http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper. In the last couple of weeks we have found over twenty articles referring to our great grandparents and family, Charles and Margaret McIntosh.  Charles McIntosh came to Australia from Scotland in 1856 and worked for the NSW Railways in various locations before settling in a Gate House Cottage in Moss Vale  As well as finding obituaries for family members including our Great grandmother, we have found other interesting articles. I have included a few examples: Charles lost two sovereigns between the pub and the house , about $300. An unwelcome visitor was found in the house – a big black snake, A cousin in California sent a description of the Golden Gate Bridge. From Kathy Needs Help Translating Swedish Gems - I just returned from an amazing trip to Sweden.  Through the help of the local genealogical societies I was able to locate the descendants of an older sibling who did not emigrate to America.  My new found Swedish cousins were so delighted to meet my husband and myself.  They knew they had American cousins, but had no idea where we lived.  They had pictures and letters sent from California in the 1890's, describing my great grandparents' experience.  My grandfather even wrote inquiring about a nice Swedish girl who might like to come to California.  Priceless.  (He did find a nice Swedish girl in California). During this trip I picked up brochures, books etc....all in Swedish.  I remember that you had a question from one of your listeners about how to translate a book in another language.  You talked about scanning the pages and then what?  I would appreciate any ideas, thoughts you might have on this subject. Be sure to remind your listeners about the local genealogical societies.  Swedish genealogists spent 5 days with me looking for churches, graves and farms.  They were absolutely wonderful! Lisa’s Answer: Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 96 covers translation tools.   Google Translate Check out the chapter on Google Translate in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox   Amy and Jillian’s recorded comments Jillian’s genealogy blog: www.burgessgenealogy.wordpress.com Win a free PDF article! If you would like to receive a copy of the article I wrote for Family Tree Magazine called “Technology RX” which includes 10 of my top favorite tools for managing technology, a 5 page pdf article. All you need to do is call and leave a voice mail comment or question at  925-272-4021 Be sure to clearly leave your email address too and if we use it on the podcast you will receive the Technology RX pdf.      GEM: The Genealogy Gems Book Club Do you love to read? Then you’ll be happy to hear that we are launching the new Genealogy Gems Book Club! This is an idea we’ve been percolating on for quite a while, and many of you have sent in recommendations for riveting books to dig into. I can’t think of anyone who reads more voraciously than our own Contributing Editor Sunny Morton. So I’ve asked Sunny to be our Genealogy GemsBook Club Guru! The first month of each quarter Sunny will introduce our featured book. The next month we’ll talk about it, as well as introduce you to a few more book gems in case you need a few other good reads to hold you over until, and our final month of the quarter where we’ll give you a sneak peek at our interview with the author to get their insight. As always, Premium members get to take this feature to the next level. In that last month on the Premium Podcast, Sunny will join us for an extended chat with the author about the family history aspects of their book. Our first Genealogy Gems book is She Left Me the Gun: My Mother’s Life Before Me by Emma Brockes. She’s an award-winning journalist from the UK who, after her mother’s death, began investigating hints of her mother’s difficult childhood in South Africa. Here’s a bit from the back of the book jacket, “Brockes begins a dangerous journey into the land-and the life-her mother fled from years before. A chilling work of psychological suspense and forensic memoir, She Left Me the Gun chronicles Brockes’ efforts to walk the knife-edge between understanding her mother’s unspeakable traumas and embracing the happiness she chose for her daughter.” This is an amazing, page-turning read. It’s a memoir that is also, as one reviewer described, part family history, part investigative reporting, part travel narrative. It’s beautifully written, funny in parts, very self-aware that she is working her way around a sensitive topic with relatives she’s never met. Sunny tells us what she thinks you will especially appreciate about this book: "I think they’ll love the way the writer describes her research and discovery process: online research, the South African archives, her discovery of her grandfather’s conviction of a serious crime that her mom’s family didn’t even know about, on top of his crimes they did know about. Then there’s the historical context: how her mother’s life straddles apartheid-era South Africa and the UK. It’s a first-generation immigrant’s tale. I think they’ll appreciate the difficulties she describes in intruding into people’s lives to ask very personal questions about the family past, and her description of the relationships between her aunts and uncles. One marvelous take-home for family historians is her ability to absorb the tragedies of the past without being sunk by them. And finally, anyone who has ever written their own family history will be absolutely inspired by the way she writes so compellingly, with such compassion but without being too sentimental." In a couple of months, we will have an interview on the show with the author Emma Brockes. The interview is fascinating whether or not you’ve read the book, but the reason we’re telling you ahead of time is that you’ll love it even more if you read the book. Sunny gives us a hint: "So I’ve done the interview already and I’ll give you a teaser. My favorite part of the interview is something she only touches on briefly in the book: how to tell the stories of living relatives in print without hurting their feelings or your relationship with them. That was one of my favorite parts of our conversation because I can tell she cares about her family a lot. I’m really excited to share this book with GG audiences. Again, the book is She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me by Emma Brockes." Visit the Genealogy Gems Book club page now.     Your DNA Guide: National Geographic and New Zealand with Diahan Southard Recently a group of 100 residents from a very cosmopolitan city assembled together to determine what exactly it was they had in common. What they learned about themselves that evening, has a direct impact on you, a genealogist interested in identifying your ancestors. Those 100 residents were from Wellington, New Zealand. Their host? Dr. Spencer Wells, Director of the National Genographic project.  Their admittance fee to this party? A cheek swab. You see, 800 years ago the first inhabitants of New Zealand were just beginning to explore their new territory. They had arrived from the eastern islands of Polynesia and lived in relative isolation for over 500 years. While first discovered by the Dutch in 1642, New Zealand wasn’t regularly visited by Europeans until the late 18th century. Therefore the study of New Zealand’s populations can give us a relatively recent look at what has been going on all over the world for thousands of years: indigenous populations being mixed with outside population groups. For Spencer Wells and the National Genographic Project, sampling people of New Zealand would provide a rare opportunity to study the genetic effect of a recent collision of populations. We can think of mixing populations like adding a tablespoon of salt to a glass of water. At first it is easy to see the two different substances co-existing in the same location.  But soon the salt becomes part of the water- creating a new substance, with only a small portion of the original substances remaining. This is what happened throughout history as outside groups arrived and intermarried with indigenous populations. The goal of population genetics as a field of study, and specifically of the National Genographic project, is to look at the modern day population (in our example the salt water), and be able to identify which ancestral populations are present (in our example, determine which parts are salt, and which parts are water. This of course, without knowing beforehand that you were dealing with salt water!). The National Genographic project has identified 9 ancestral regions from which they believe all modern populations descend. These nine would be like our salt, and our water.  They have then described how 43 reference population groups (our salt water) are comprised of their own unique mix of these 9 groups.  They can also describe the origins of your direct maternal line, and if you are male, your direct paternal line. This information was gathered for the Wellington residents and it was determined that the original Polynesian population, and a small East Asian population, are certainly the minority among a predominately Western European population group. This information will help groups like the National Genographic Project to determine the possible migration patterns of other peoples and cultures. What does this mean for genealogy?  This kind of research helps fuel the Admixture results (the pie charts and percentages) reported to you by a genetic genealogy testing company when you take an autosomal DNA test.  It is this research that helps genetic genealogists look at your DNA and pick out the essential, ancestral elements- your salt and your water- and determine how your unique mix- your salt water- reveals information about the origins and migration patterns of your ancestors. Get Diahan Southard's Genetics for Genealogists Quick Reference Guides at the Genealogy Gems Store.   Original article National Genographic Project The 9 Ancestral Populations at the National Genographic Project The 43 Reference Populations at the National Genographic Project   GEM: A Star Trek Journey Through October Innovations You know, through history October has turned out to be quite a month for technological innovation, particularly those that affect our every day lives through modern conveniences. In this very special Profile America segment, come with me as we boldly go where no man has gone before! From Census.gov: Tuesday, October 21st. An invention was demonstrated on this date in 1879 that lit the way for a dramatic change in the rhythm of Americans' daily lives. At his Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratory, Thomas Edison set up the first incandescent light bulb, which burned for almost 14 hours. Within a few years, some cities had installed electric streetlights. The number of homes across the U.S. with electricity grew steadily, but even in 1940, more than one-in-five houses was without power. Today, there are over 10,000 electric power generating establishments. American homes on average use nearly 11,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. The national average bill for this power is just over $107 per month, but over $203 in Hawaii. Wednesday, October 22nd. "10 - 22 - 38 Astoria." That cryptic sequence indicating date and place was the very first photocopied image, created on this date in 1938 in Astoria, New York. A man named Chester Carlson developed a method of making dry copies of documents on plain paper, known as xerography -- which we take for granted in using photocopiers today. Before his invention, copies were made either by using carbon paper when typing or by a mimeograph machine for large numbers of copies. Both were messy and cumbersome. The first commercial copiers became available in 1959. Now, 76 years to the day after the first photocopy, making copiers is a $2.2 billion a year business in the U.S. Saturday, October 25th. A melted candy bar led to the invention of one of today's most-used kitchen appliances. Percy Spencer of the Raytheon company was working on a military radar device in the mid-1940s when he noticed that his snack had gotten soft. Intrigued, he experimented with irradiating some kernels of popcorn, which promptly burst. Further work led to the first microwave ovens, which cost only a little less than a new car. On this date in 1955, the first consumer models were introduced, but they required installation and cost $1,200. Countertop models came along in 1967. Now, more than nine out of 10 homes across the country have microwave ovens, and manufacturing microwave ovens and other electric cooking ranges is a nearly $2.5 billion a year business. Sunday, October 26th. Doing laundry was a wearying, time-consuming chore for many centuries. The industrial revolution and American inventiveness attacked the ancient chore on this date in 1858, when Hamilton Smith patented a rotary washing machine. But it was hand-driven and proved to be hard on both the operator and clothes. People continued to use the tub and washboard, even after the first electric washer came along in 1908. A few years later, the agitator-type machine appeared and gained immediate popularity. Finally, in the late 1930s, the fully automatic washer with a spin cycle went on sale. Today, over 85 percent of the nation's nearly 119 million households have a washing machine. Wednesday, October 29th. The scene on this date in 1945 at Gimbel's department store in New York City was shopping chaos. Big ads the day before had trumpeted the first sale in the U.S. of a new writing instrument that guaranteed it would write for two years without refilling -- the ballpoint pen. By the end of the day, the store had sold its entire stock of 10,000 at $12.50 each. The idea of the ballpoint pen was first patented in 1888 by John Loud of Massachusetts, who never made any pens. Now, ballpoints are the standard. Vast selections are offered by the nation's 7,400 office supply stores, which employ some 94,000 workers.   AmazonPlease use our Amazon box on any page of this website to begin your searches for online shopping. Doing so financially supports this free podcast at no cost to you.  Thank you!
Oct 20, 2014
Episode 171 - Coping with Change, and Genealogy Storytelling
57:35
Do you have enough time to work on your family history the way you would like to? How about taking on someone else’s family history? In this episode I’ve invited someone who has jumped over his own family history to diligently working on a perfect strangers…or did he jump over it? It’s a very interesting story! We’ll also be talking later about coping and in fact excelling even in the face of technological change.  I’m home for a week before I head back out on the road. And the next stop is Naperville Illinois and the Fox Valley Genealogical Society where I’ll be presenting a full day seminar on Sept. 27, 2014. The following week I’ll be at the Pima County Genealogical Society in Tucson AZ and then in October the Heritage Quest Library in Sumner Washington.  I hope you’ll check out my full schedule at http://lisalouisecooke.com/lisas-schedule/ and perhaps join me at one of the upcoming events.  Improvements at Genealogy GemsWe have a new easier way to get exactly the content you want from the Genealogy Gems website! We've added a new feature to the bottom left hand corner of the Genealogy Gems homepage: Select Content by Topic. Now finding the content you want, whether a podcast episode, blog article or video, is as simple as selecting the topic from the drop down menu. For example: Looking to learn more about DNA? Select "DNA" in the list. Are you new to family history? Click "Beginner." You can also access our complete archive of blog articles in the "Blog Archive by Date" drop down list just below Topics. We are really striving to make the website something you can turn to every day not only for the latest in genealogy, but for the topics and content you need when you need them. This is your website!   Family History Jewelry Also new to the Genealogy Gems website has been so new items in the store including some exclusive genealogy research quick sheet bundles, and a beautiful line of customizable jewelry, perfect for showing off your family history. You can select from rings, pendants, and a charm bracelet – each one customizable with family photos creating true heirlooms. In fact Marlene was so excited about how her customized jewelry turned out she called in to tell us about it. “You are a genius.  I just received my bracelet from lisa lisson.  I did a generation picture of my Mother and 4 Mothers going back to my 3rd Great Grandmother.  It is beautiful, and sacred.  Thank you for hooking up with this website, I am thrilled.  You really care about me and my needs.” Marlane You can find the jewelry created by Esther’s Place at our store. You’ll be amazed how quickly they will create your jewelry and affordable it can be. I’ve got them working on a bracelet right now that features the women in my family tree.   Silver Surfers: Internet Use by Older AdultsWe reported on a very interesting infographic recently on the Genealogy Gems blog called Silver Surfers: Internet Use by Older Adults Interesting Stats:  In 2012 Baby Boomers aged 47-65 spent an average of 27 hours a week on the Internet Of the seniors that are online, one in three are using social media. A big change from just back in 2009 when only 13% of seniors online were using social media. In fact 1 in 5 Twitter users are over 50 49% of online seniors have a Facebook account Seniors aren’t just socializing, they are shopping too. 59% of seniors online have made a purchase online in the last 3 months Here’s what you had to say on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page: From Sheri: "Lisa, My sister and I met you at RootsTech this year. We're already planning next year’s trip! I read the article about silver surfers and just wanted to say that when I was a kid (Fairbanks, Alaska) we had party-line phones, one TV station! My mother wrote letters to her family in Idaho regularly and long distance phone calls were very rare! I'm a baby boomer and have always been interested in technology. I do most research online with Ancestry, Fold3, FamilySearch, etc. I haven't jumped into the blogging pool but who knows! I'm currently starting to work on suggestions from your Google Earth CDs, putting together family tours. Love your podcasts. You are my favorite "source". Sheri" From Diane: "Thanks for the article about the silver surfers. I saw you when you spoke to the San Diego Genealogical Society and learned a lot. I am a major social media user. I am on many FB groups, use Twitter, Pinterest and have my own genealogy blog. I am a baby boomer. Party lines were in use when I was a kid and for parts of my growing up our household didn't even have a phone. Here is a link to my blog."  From Sandee: "When I was a kid, we communicated mostly by letter -- which soon fell by the wayside because they took so long to write, were full of scribble-outs and add-ins, and had a long turnaround time. Phone calls were for really important stuff and emergencies. When I went to college, my parents gave me a tape recorder and several REELS of tape so I could send oral "letters" home (which I don't think I ever did). My dad read the Dick Tracy comic strip and said that someday we really would have wrist-worn telephones and would be able to see each other as well as talk. In spite of all the complaints about constant contact via cell phones and text messages and emails, modern-day communication seems to foster friendships." Check out Pebble Smartwatch for iPhone and Android (Black)     Candace says: "When I was young we had a party line with 8 families. We weren't supposed to listen in to other conversations, but we all knew which ring indicated the best news." Candace’s memories remind me of the Andy Griffith show! From Lynn: "You asked about seniors and 'net usage. I mostly use e-mail and delight in being able to stay in touch on a daily basis with my 94 year old cousin in Michigan. She is the only person in her assisted living facility with a computer.” Thank you to our sponsors:   MAILBOX: Natalie in TX has success with one of Lisa's Tips: “I attended your 3 classes this past weekend at the Houston Genealogical Forum and I really enjoyed them as I do all of your classes. I have done a lot of work already on newspapers for about 20 years with interlibrary loan and traveling to libraries and newspaper offices out of town.  My small towns' newspapers so far have hardly shown up online but slowly that is changing.  So when I finished your class I used some of your Google search tips on some newspaper sites.  Some things worked, others didn't but one thing I'm glad you mentioned was do not overlook was if a hit came up on a newer date, not to overlook it.  I went to the Old Fulton Postcards website and he mainly has New York newspapers on his site but he also has The Rogersview Review from Rogersville, Tennessee.   So I found  several hits on that site but the one I wanted to tell you about was I was looking for my 3Great Grandfather Williamson Tucker and there were a few hits but one was in 1995 and the other was in 2001.  So I clicked on the 1995 article and it was a picture of New Hope Baptist Church and the first two sentences said "New Hope Missionary Baptist Church was established in 1833. It was given in a land grant by Williamson Tucker in memory of William C. Bailey."  Then the 2001 issue which was a listing for Hawkins County churches and had New Hope on it,  and it gave a little more info that William Bailey gave land to the church but never made a deed for it.  He then died and then my ancestor Williamson Tucker acquired the land from the Baileys and then deeded it to the church.   Wow, I did not know that, and I probably would have skipped over those two hits because they were so late dated.  So thank you for the tip!   I've been writing a paper on my grandfather the Rev. Ellis Birl McLain who was a Methodist minister who lived in many places and so far I have found him in 15 different newspapers in six states so I really do know the importance of searching newspapers.”  Linda from South Australia writes in about Dealing with Chaos: “I just read your advice on ‘dealing with the chaos’ (a problem that has been tormenting me for ages) and a very bright light went on in my head when I read your suggestion for using Evernote to store things for future research.  I use MS OneNote to store some of my loose bits of genealogy info, but I haven’t organized them well.  I’ll use your tip – the simple idea of having a ‘future research’ section for each family makes me feel better already! The harder part will be putting something in there, leaving it for later, and then going back to what I was looking for in the first place – I’m easily distracted!  Especially when someone I’m NOT looking for turns out to be more interesting than the one I AM looking for.” Del in California has been busy using Google Earth for Genealogy: “I finally got around to watching the Google Earth video CD I purchased from you last January when you were here.  I have been doing the map overlays, which is really a neat feature…It served a practical use, as I have a plat map of the whole of Bent County, Colorado upon which I have marked all the locations where we own mineral rights (passed down from my grandfather).  I can then use the transparency feature to compare the holdings with the actual topography.  I also have overlaid plat maps of various ancestors who had original land patents in Indiana, Colorado, and Ohio.  A couple of the ancestors donated land for cemeteries, which I have visited and are visible on Google Earth and marked on the overlay maps. Fun stuff…would not have been able to actually make it work without the CD.” Google Earth for Genealogy digital video series The Genealogist's Google Toolbox book    GEM: Project Lizzie – An Interview with Ron PloofWe’re all working on our own family tree, but have you ever considered working on someone elses? Someone you’ve never met and you don’t know their descendants? Storyteller Ron Ploof is here to share how and why he took on such an endeavor, and some of his successes and challenges along the way which he is documenting on his new website Project Lizzie at www.projectlizzie.com In this interview we head back to 1976 when Ron was 13 years old, and helping his uncle who had just bought a house in Massachusetts. Exploring as 13 year olds do, Ron found something intriguing in the attic of that house – a stack of 99 postcards tucked away. He’s held onto them for the past 38 years. Ron was always fascinated with the pictures on the front of the cards, but in 2012, he started studying the stories on their backs. And that's when he could see that 86 of them were addressed to a Mrs. Lizzie Milligan and postmarked between 1904 and 1925. He has spent the past year-and-a-half trying to learn as much about her, including a trip from California to Massachusetts to find her gravesite. Ton started publishing Lizzie's story online in February of this year. Ron has asked his readers to join in the hunt, which begs the question: Why should his readers care? It’s a very important question, because we all have had a non-genealogist relative ask us the question: Why should I care? Even when they are related to the person! If we can share the why, we can more successfully share the journey. 2/24/18 UPDATE: Read the final installment on Ron Ploof's blog here. Profile America — Wednesday, September 17th On this date in 1787, the Constitutional Convention wrapped up in Philadelphia with the delegates accepting the document and sending it on to the states for ratification. Less than two years later, the new U.S. government had to take out a loan. This week in 1789, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton was in negotiations to borrow nearly $192,000 from the Bank of New York and the Bank of North America. The money was needed to pay the salaries of President Washington and the members of the first Congress. The loan was obtained in February 1790 and paid off in June. Today, the president's salary is $400,000 a year — more than twice the amount of the first loan — and the debt of the 50 united state governments is around $1.15 trillion. Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 1104, 3804 http://www2.census.gov/govs/state/12statesummaryreport.pdf  Page 6   Coping and Exceling through Techological Change Recently I was teaching an online class, and one of the students was stumped because the class materials said to use the Advanced search link on Google.com and it wasn’t there. She stopped worked and posted that she couldn’t do it because the link wasn’t there. This is a perfect example that we really need to cultivate our problem solving skills in today's constantly changing online environment. I totally get that it can be frustrating to visit a familiar website or refer to something in a book (or a class!) and find that things are not as they used to be. In this case, Google removed the "Advanced Search" link from the Web Search and Image Search home pages. And I’ve had situations where I went to teach an iPad class, and the night before a new operating system was released changing practically everything! However, if we come to expect change then we won’t have to be quite so surprised and frustrated when we run into it. And of course in most cases that change is really an attempt by the website to improve and evolve, although that can seem debatable when it's something you enjoy or depend on. When you run up against change, you are better equipped than most to deal with it. As Genealogists the sleuthing skills we have honed become our greatest assets! The quickest way to determine what's going on when something changes online (which again can happen nearly every day) is to just "Google It!" After reading the student’s message, that's exactly what I did, because I didn’t have the answer on the top of my head either. So I went to Google.com and searched on: google advanced search no longer on home page.  The results quickly led me to the answer: At both the Image Search page (google.com/imghp) and the Web search page (www.google.com) the Advanced Search has been moved to "Settings." Simply click "Settings" in the bottom right corner and you will find "Advanced Search" there as one of the options. The good news is that chances are, if we've noticed a change, others are already talking about it online, and often will have already shared the answer. "Googling it" is often the easiest way to determine what's going on, so that you can get on with your family history work. So until we meet here again, get on with your family history work! 
Sep 16, 2014
Episode 170 - Interview with Lisa Kudrow of the TV series Who Do You Think You Are?
01:05:59
Lisa shares her recent research successes: Getting in touch with a distant German cousin through MyHeritage Organizing and “Visualizing” the German photos from her Great Grandmother’s Scrapbook (below is the inscription by Louise's siblings in the front cover of the scrapbook) Using Google Earth to plot out each photographer studio listed on the back of the photos in the scrapbook Finally identifying the people in one of the first old family photos she received (separate from the scrapbook) by using the “location “groups” visualization and her RootsMagic database family group sheet for the Nikolowski family   GEM: Sunny Morton’s interview with Lisa Kudrow, Executive of the U.S. TV series Producer of Who Do You Think You Are? Celebrities that will be featured on the U.S. TV show Who Do You Think You Are? Who Do You Think You Are? season five (and second on TLC) features popular celebrities from TV and film. Tonight's episode features Valerie Bertinelli (One Day At a Time, Hot in Cleveland)  Set Your DVR: Who Do You Think You Are? Season 5 Wednesdays.   This episode was sponsored by:                            
Aug 14, 2014
Special Free Premium Episode
33:35
Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast Episode #113 Who Do You Think You Are? has become a worldwide television phenomenon, starting in the UK and making its way around the world, telling the stories of well-known celebrities in search of their family history. July 23, 2014 marks the debut of season 5 of the series here in the U.S. and the show’s Executive Producer Dan Bucatinsky is here to tell us more about it. We hope you enjoy the free access to this Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode! Click here to subscribe today Benefits of Membership: 110+ Exclusive PremiumPodcast episodes Video recordings of Lisa’s most popular classes New video & audio content each month All for just $29.95 a year. Don’t miss another day… BONUS: For a limited time new members will receive the exclusive digital PDF ebook of a collection of Lisa’s most popular articles from Family Tree Magazine! (the ebook will be emailed to you within 24 hours of purchase)   About Dan Bucatinsky Dan Bucatinsky won the 2013 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series category for his portrayal of James Novack on the hit Shonda Rhimes series, Scandal. Bucatinsky wrote, produced, and starred in the 2001 indie romantic comedy All Over the Guy (Lionsgate). In 2003 he and partner Lisa Kudrow founded Is Or Isn't Entertainment, which produced the cult, Emmy-nominated HBO comedy The Comeback co-starring Bucatinsky as publicist, Billy Stanton. Thanks in part to their rabid fanbase, The Comeback is returning to HBO for six episodes beginning this November. Dan and Lisa’s acclaimed docu-series Who Do You Think You Are? recently received its’ second Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Structured Reality Program. The show returns for a fifth season on TLC this month. Who Do You Think You Are? Season five (and the second season on TLC) will feature six popular celebrities from TV and film: Valerie Bertinelli (One Day At a Time, Hot in Cleveland) Jesse Tyler Ferguson (ABC’s Modern Family) Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, and currently starring in NBC’s Parenthood) Kelsey Grammer (Cheers and Frasier ) Rachel McAdams (movies like Mean Girls, The Notebook) and her sister, Kayleen McAdams. Cynthia Nixon (HBO’s Sex in the City) Tune in to “Who Do You Think You Are?” Season 5 onthe TLC channel on Wednesday, July 23 at 9/8c. The 5th season opener features actress Cynthia Nixon (of Sex in the City) Watch the trailer here We hope you enjoyed this special episode of the Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast. Become a Premium Member  
Jul 23, 2014
Episode 169 - Blast from the Past Episode 14
52:52
Catch a glimpse of the silent movie era and how it was an integral part of your ancestors’ lives. In this episode, I find out more about the silent movies my grandmother catalogued in her diary, and how they molded a generation. The cultural influences of the “Picture Shows” Below is a page from my grandmother’s journal documenting the silent films she saw that year, including the actors who starred in them. Just like today, the stars who light up the silver screen were mimicked and followed for fashion trends, hair styles, decorating ideas, and moral behavior. Understanding who the role models were at the time gives us a better understanding of the cultural influences of the era.  Films are NOT primary resources, but they certainly paint a picture of life at any given time in history. Finding silent films in my area To learn more about silent films, I started with a simple Google search, altering my search criteria until I found movie theaters that showed silent films in my area. The first theater I found was the Stanford Theatre, located in Palo Alto, California. It was first opened in 1925 and stood as Palo Alto’s premier theater house for several decades. In 1987, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation bought the theater and restored it. It is now owned and operated by the non-profit Stanford Theatre Foundation. www.stanfordtheatre.org - The website provides all the movie schedules from 1929-1961, compiled from ads that appeared in the Palo Alto Times. Vaudeville acts were also regularly included in the lineup. And the Wurlitzer organ live accompaniment was a staple. Grandma’s Diary Entry – Sunday, April 22, 1928 I have to lead singing at church. Walter and I went to the lake. Met Helen Weathers and Jesse Jay and Ed Taylor. Helen and I went in swimming. Went to the show afterwards. The vaudeville was keen. Lew Cody in “Adam and Eve.” The first silent movie I saw was “Diary of a Lost Girl”, a German movie starting Louise Brooks. It was a late entry silent film released on April 24, 1930. It tells the story of an innocent young girl, who is raped by the clerk of her father’s pharmacy. After she becomes pregnant, she is rejected by her family and must fend for herself in a cruel world. It was not the wholesome far I expected but was riveting nonetheless. (I must acknowledge the organ accompaniment of Dennis James because he added a drama and magic to the film that was priceless.) The next film I saw was the classic 1923 comedy “Safety Last” starring Harold Lloyd. This is a must-see, full of laugh-out-loud humor. I was starting to get a feel for what drew Grandma to the pictures as a young girl. It was magical, glamorous, and hugely expanded her social network.   Society’s views on the silent film era To learn more, I was combed through newspapers from her home town in the 1920s at the State Archives. I came across two newspaper articles: “Getting Back to the Home” from January of 1925, and “Harking Back to those Old Home Days” from February 5, 1925. The first article leads in… “Much has been said as to the methods of checking the crime and rebelliousness among the young people of today. The automobile, trains and other means of travel as well as moving pictures, dance halls, etc. that attract young people, and so lead them to seek amusement away from home have contributed to the fact that the home is not the center of attraction for the majority of families as it once was.” The article went on to say that there were plans in the works for a community get-together. The February 5th article reported the events of that evening, which was called “Back to the Home.” The local residents ate pumpkin pie, sang songs, listened to speeches and music, and comic readings. (And I happened to recognize the name of the cellist in the orchestra as being the man who signed as witness on my great-grandfather’s naturalization papers!) The even was a huge success and was deemed “something that will in surely bear repeating.” Immediately my grandmother’s diary entries bemoaning her mother who was “from the old country” started to become clearer. Grandma felt that Great-Grandma just didn’t understand her. Having experienced the thrill of the old movie theater experience myself, and reading in the newspapers how it was affecting society, I began to better understand that she lamenting more than just the woes of being 15 years old. Society was changing. And as a mother, I began to sympathize with my great-grandmother’s plight of trying to raise three teenagers in the new world. Enjoying Silent Movies at Home I live 25 minutes from a little town that has a Silent Film Museum devoted to a company that produced hundreds of them locally back in the teens.  Every Saturday night, they show two shorts, and one full length movie each week with live piano accompaniment. Last week my husband and I went to the regular Saturday night show, and we found ourselves watching the original full-length versions of two movies about San Francisco in 1906.  In the last podcast, I covered the San Francisco Earthquake and other historical events, and included a Youtube.com playlist that I created full of old and new videos about the earthquake.    The first movie short was called “A Trip Down Market Street.” This is in my Youtube.com playlist under the title “San Francisco 1905 - 1906 (short form).” The Archivist at the museum said that research has uncovered that this film was shot just about four days before the earthquake hit in April 1906. The filmmaker shot the entire movie from the back of a cable car slowly moving down Market Street toward the Ferry Building. He told us that the reason the movie survived is that the filmmaker shipped the film to their New York offices for processing just one day before the quake. The second movie short was produced by Blackhawk Films immediately following the earthquake, (www.filmclassic.com/Blackhawk.htm) and was aptly titled “Destruction of San Francisco.” Portions of this film can also be found on the YouTube playlist. If you don’t live within driving distance to a theater showing silent films, here are some options for viewing at home: Netflix (UPDATED) – They have an incredible catalogue of films that can be hard to find. You can stream movies from any device at home at www.Netflix.com. Type “silent” in the search box and click the GENRE matches tab. You can also search by your favorite silent movie star (Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Harold Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, Jackie Coogan, etc). Not all films are available to stream, but many can be delivered in DVD form with a subscription to www.dvd.netflix.com. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) – www.tcm.com/index.jsp - Go to the website and type SILENT in the search box, then click GO. Scroll down to the KEYWORD MATCHES to see what’s available. They often run “Silent Sundays.” I find the best way to approach TCM it to review the schedule for the week on my cable TV menu, and set movies of interest to be recorded. The Public Library – A quick search of my local library catalogue online showed dozens of silent movies. I found that searching a particular silent era actor as an “author” worked better than searching ‘silent movies’ alone. Beware, movies held over the one week time limit incur hefty fees. But the titles were free, and in the case of my local library, I can place a request for a movie from another library in the same county system, and they will deliver it to my local branch and hold it for me for pick up free of charge. For a global search of libraries try www.worldcat.org Amazon.com – If you have a specific title or actor in mind, a quick search will tell you if Amazon has it. And if it’s been released, they probably do. However, browsing is more challenging. To narrow your search to only silent movies, select DVD  in the SEARCH area, and click GO. Then click “BROWSE GENRES.” From the next page click CLASSICS. Then, in the Browse box on the right, click SILENT FILMS. I got over 400 results.  If you’re not looking for a Charlie Chaplin film, add “-Chaplin” to your search and you’ll get the results down to 282 films. You can help support this free podcast by always starting your searches in our Amazon search boxes located throughout the Genealogy Gems website at www.GenealogyGems.com Ebay.com – If you’re looking for a title that is particularly hard to find, EBay may be the best source. www.ebay.com Grandma’s Diary Entry – Friday, November 2nd, 1930 “Alfred, Len, Mama and I went to the show in Merced.  “Four Son’s.”  It was sure good!” I looked the movie up at IMDb.com, the biggest movie database on the internet. The description stated that the movie revolved around a mother and her four grown sons living happily in a German village prior to WWI. The oldest son, Joseph, yearns to go to America, and his mother gives him her savings to realize his dream. After the war begins, two of the sons go off to battle and are killed. Meanwhile, Joseph becomes an American citizen and joins the army to fight against Germany. The youngest son then leaves to join his battalion, and is killed in battle. After the war, Joseph goes home to New York and sends for his mother. She makes the journey through Ellis Island and they finally reunite. My grandma’s parents had emigrated from Germany in 1910, just prior to the start of the war.  Great-grandfather came over first to find work. When great grandmother discovered she was pregnant with Alfred, she followed three months letter, which was sooner than planned. She secretly made the trip with her 3-year-old daughter. I had to get a copy of this film! I couldn’t find “Four Sons” at any of the usual places, so I went to Ebay.com. There I found someone who had a copy, and I bought it. The movie was extremely moving, and I cheered for the naive yet faithful mother as she made her way alone through the confusing world of Ellis Island and the streets of New York. This movie must have been very touching for Great grandmother to watch, and I would guess that it generated conversation about her own trip.  Many years later, Grandma fulfilled a life long dream and made the trip to Ellis Island to see it for herself. Before her death, she told an eager granddaughter all about Mama, the journey through Ellis Island, and about her love for the moving pictures. GEM: Interview with Sam Gill – April 19th, 2007 Do you by chance research your own family history? Not much now. As a child I helped my mother quite a bit with her genealogical research, joining her on trips to libraries, helping at home, typing up manuscripts, filling in sheets, etc. My mother published a little pamphlet on the John Ashton family of London, Ontario, Canada for which I’ll provide a link to a recent description. In my youth, I also recorded via reel-to-reel tape, important family members (father’s mother in depth; mother’s step-mother briefly; mother and father, and siblings casually) in the 1960s and 1970s. They—the older family members-- are all deceased now, and I am very glad I did this. I am currently transferring these tapes to CD. My brothers George and Paul are very interested in family history, too—now, actually more so than I am, which is very surprising considering my brother Paul showed very little interest in family during his youth. I was extremely interested in family history in my youth, but not as much now, unless it be to discover whatever I can about the personal relationships family members had to one another, as well as to their friends and other loved ones. How accurately do you think they portray life at that time? One needs to be very careful with film, today as well as yesterday. Most film—even documentaries—often depict people as they want to be seen, or to perform in stories the way they themselves want to appear, or the way the filmmakers specifically want their characters to appear. I have a friend who once coordinated the locating of antiques in the Los Angeles area for Christie’s in London, who commented that frequently the furniture he saw in teens silent films of the fairly common society-drama type, were extremely high-end antiques that would command extremely high figures in current auctions, and are the kind of antiques never seen in today’s films, or at least very rarely. I mention this because it’s a good example of the fact that each person may see something of interest that another person would not even notice or care about. Also, films from the silent era can be important historically and culturally in showing us the way life was; but as with any photograph, it may take a lot of interpretation and understanding to know exactly what it is that we are looking at. What influence do you believe the young medium of movies had on the culture of that time? Huge influence. I believe films from the very beginning had an enormous impact on our culture, and the culture of every country when and where films began to be shown. And as sound was added, even with radio, and later with the immediacy of television, the impact has become even more profound. Many immigrants have commented, too, then as now, on the importance of going to the movies to learn the language and culture of their new country. I believe youth especially has been affected, but probably all ages. I mention youth because young people are so impressionable, and so things such as fashion, dating techniques, job aspirations, desires of where one might live and play, attitudes toward family and community, nearly every aspect of life has been represented and thus made available to audiences for their “selecting,” taking what each person wants or “needs” and leaving the rest. With what they take, they can mold their lives, or re-define what it is they believe they know and want. How would you advise a family historian to approach the silent movies as a resource?  See as many films as he or she can, starting with whatever seems of most interest—documentaries; travel films; comedies; dramas; westerns; whatever. For more of the genuine “feel” of the movie-going experience, I believe what we are doing here at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum on Saturday nights, is very important. These silent films were shown with music accompaniment, which aids greatly the impact and accessibility of these films. With what movie or actor / actress would you recommend they start to become introduced to silent films? That’s an interesting question, and one that gets at the root of what I mean when I say these films can have a profound impact on a person—especially youth. Just as someone today may be enormously impressed with Johnny Depp or Christina Ricci, or a film about the mafia life, or corporate life in New York City, or even a horror or fantasy film, the same holds true for silent films seen today. Each of our audience members seems to relate in a highly individualistic way to a film, often to a particular “star”—perhaps being impressed with the steely reserve of William S. Hart; laughing at the often-surreal physical stunts of Buster Keaton who becomes a kind of Every Man against the harsh realities of our physical world; the adventurous-spirit of Douglas Fairbanks; the spunkiness of Mary Pickford who never let anything get her down; and so on. The film A TRIP DOWN MARKET STREET (1906) has become a great favorite here, where a camera was placed on the front of a street-car heading down from about 8th Street to the Ferry Building in April 1906 just a few days before the earthquake and fire. Horse-drawn wagons, cars and vehicles, automobiles, people on foot, bicycles, you name it, all these methods of transportation are fascinating; but most fascinating, we are watching the people themselves, some oblivious to the filming, others intensely interested, staring right at the camera! Any other thoughts on the subject as it pertains to folks interested in learning more about the era of 1900-1930? There are more and more films available on DVD but I still love books, and what one can discover going to the library and pulling film books off the shelves to read at one’s leisure—historical works, cultural studies, picture books (even coffee table books), encyclopedias, biographies and autobiographies, corporate histories of film companies, on and on. It’s all fascinating, and it’s all out there…to be discovered. Many years ago, someone told me he thought I “lived in the past,” and implied that that was a pretty terrible thing to do. I answered, “I don’t think of it as LIVING in the past, but of EXPLORING the past, like an archaeologist.” I think the truth of that may be the same for genealogists, to explore the past through the discovery of family history, which is after all, human history.
Jul 14, 2014
Episode 168 - All About DNA and Genealogy
01:01:36
Get up to speed on the world of DNA and Genealogy in this episode. We’ll explore in depth the ramifications of Ancestry closing down some of their DNA tests along with other businesses in their portfolio. Then you’ll meet Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard. She’s a genealogy gem who will be joining us here on Genealogy Gems on a regular basis to help guide us through the murky waters of DNA research in easy to understand, and FUN terms.   Ancestry is shutting down 5 areas of their business In a recent media conference call Ancestry gave us the heads up that the next day they were going to announce the closures, and those of us on the call had the opportunity to ask questions before the announcement. While the spin is that they want to focus their efforts "in a way that provides the most impact, while also delivering the best service and best product experience to users" It is clear that these businesses were not their most profitable. It makes good business sense, and we certainly do want Ancestry to remain profitable so that it can remain in business. But that doesn't mean it won't be painful for many customers. The 5 areas shutting down are: Genealogy.com MyFamily MyCanvas LegacyDNA (y-DNA and mtDNA tests will be retired),  English version of Mundia These closures definitely did cause some pain with their customers, and I know that includes many of you listening right now. In fact I started receiving emails almost immediately that morning that Ancestry went public with this, and many of you also posted your comments on the Genealogy Gems Fan Page on Facebook which I invited you to do in the newsletter article I sent out. In that article I told you that one of the most surprising moment in the conference call was when the Ancestry execs on the call were asked if the DNA samples that customer submitted, particularly those samples of deceased relatives) could be returned so as to be further processed by other companies.  The answer: No.  When pressed if they would allow customers to upgrade tests run on those samples before they were destroyed (yes, they made it very clear they will be destroyed) the answer was that well...they hadn't really thought about that. Leave it to genealogists to ask the important questions, and my hope is that Ancestry will take this question to heart before the closing date of September 5, 2014.  Read more about it on the Ancestry blog, and click through on the area you are interested in to get more answers to questions about the closures.  My impression during the call was that they were caught off guard a bit by the push back from those of us on the call regarding the DNA samples. Ancestry is focused on profitability - and I don't blame them for that, they are in business. If they don't remain profitable they go out of biz and we all lose. It probably wasn't as easy for them to think through the impact on every day family historians because some if not many of the top execs (and I've met them – they are nice people) are not genealogists. So first I want to share with you some of the comments I’ve received, and then I will give you some of my personal opinions on the subject.   Please click image to visit our Sponsor: & tell them you heard about them on The Genealogy Gems Podcast!   Comments from You: Graham in Australia writes: "This morning I found the following Ancestry DNA announcement in my email and felt the need to immediately respond. No sooner had I sent my response and your newsletter arrived on this very subject. I thought you might be interest in my response as I am sure there will be many people out there who will be similarly betrayed. I paid out some $250 in 2009 to have my Y-DNA test done with them knowing that this was going to be a long term investment to possibly find matches. I am glad Ancestry don't hand my superannuation savings. To ancestry: I am disgusted that ancestry is taking this action. You appear to only be after short term gains rather than the long term which is where the strength of DNA testing resides. In 2009 I invested in my Y-DNA test knowing that this will likely take several years to yield useful paternal match results which was the main thrust behind doing the tests. I don't know who is my biological paternal grandfather and have through the matching facility I have been in contact with the closest person yet and while quite distant it has given me some direction and hope that a match can be found in the future. Your action to remove this has just killed that possibility.  I for one will not be considering taking any autosomal tests with you as this will likely be dumped sometime in the near future." Roxanne in Oregon writes: "I am very upset with Ancestry.com and their comments about not returning DNA (Y & mt) samples or giving the opportunity to upgrade the test. Could this be just the beginning?  I understand about “business” but their policy of “destruction” is not acceptable.  This seems to violate a code of ethics that we have all come to rely on when giving samples to further science as well as our own research.  Who knows what the future will hold after we are long gone? Surely our DNA samples will become more helpful as testing becomes more acute. At the very least samples should be able to be transferred to another DNA lab, even if one needs to pay for it.   Who can we write letters to at Ancestry.com and at what address? Maybe if they get enough response the policy of “destruction” will be re-analyzed."    Follow up post on the Ancestry Blog Ken Chahine on June 12, 2014 in AncestryDNA Comments of note on the Ancestry follow up post: “Also, did anyone else notice that they mentioned that many of the samples are past shelf life? How does FTDNA guarantee 25 yrs of maintaining our samples?” “What I’m a little less clear on is why you’re just deleting the results off the website. Can’t you simply archive them so that they’re viewable? Does it really take that much effort or bandwidth to simply let me see my mtDNA haplogroup?” “BUT I have to question how committed you are to my research when you delete a valuable tool that I paid you for.” Susan on the Genealogy Gems Podcast fan page on Facebook: “Ancestry.com should NOT destroy the DNA! Especially for persons now deceased. They should make every effort to return samples if people ask for them by a specific date. I guess they're thinking about liability issues and bogus requests but I'm sure they can figure out a way to ascertain that the person asking is related to the DNA.” From Tom: Facebook page and online petition to persuade Ancestry.com not to destroy their YDNA and mtDNA samples and data. "Stop Ancestry.com's DNA Dump"  https://www.facebook.com/noDNAdump  Lisa's opinion on all of this: It comes down to personal responsibility and forward thinking I think it's a mistake not to offer alternatives to their customers for retention of the samples. However, I always preach to you, my listeners that you need to retain control of all that is important to you and be responsible. We must be responsible and not put it in someone else's hands. When you test (particularly an older relative), you should save a sample and keep it in your lock box at home if it matters to you. I'm sympathetic to all involved because this is new territory and it's easy to miss thinking through the ramifications. But it's just like I recommend that you never use Ancestry as their one and only tree. Post your tree, that's fine, but retain the master on a database on your own computer, and then back up your computer! Finally, I think offering only autosomal is trendy rather than a true comprehensive product tool for the genealogist. I just published some excellent "Getting Stared" DNA Guides in my website store for this very reason. No test and no company is right for everyone. So in my opinion Ancestry is now no longer offering a true complete DNA service to genealogists. They are capitalizing on a trend. This is just my personal opinion of course. Linda writes: "I just purchased a dna kit from Ancestry.  Knowing now that they are discontuing that part of the program, can I send sample elsewhere?  Suggestions of what, where, how to get this done?” Lisa's Answer: If it were me, I would probably get a refund and start fresh with FamilyTreeDNA. Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 92 includes an interview with their founder Bennett Greenspan. Also, we two brand new DNA cheat sheets in our store that are excellent resources: Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist Y Chromosom DNA for the Genealogist Randy in Seattle was concerned about another one of the businesses Ancestry is dropping MyCanvas: “I just got a notice that Ancestry is dropping it’s MyCanvas service.  I can understand not wanted to invest a lot into trying to keep it up to date with other printing services.  However, they are not only dropping the service, they are doing it in less than 3 months, all content will be deleted, there is no way to export the existing projects, and there is no alternative service to which all the work which has gone into existing projects can be transferred.   I am a long time Ancestry member and a follower of your podcasts and web page.  Generally I defend ancestry against a lot the complaints people have about them but this is pretty disheartening news for me.  I have puts 100’s of hours into creating a number of ancestry projects and having a printed copy is not the same as having the electronic version available to update and get a new updated print. Do you have any suggestions on how to make concerns known to ancestry, and do you think there is any possibility of getting them to modify their plans.  I would be happy with finding some place or way to download the electronic projects and would at least appreciate more time to get my existing projects finished and printed, especially those I am creating for extended family who will want time to review and print their own copies.” Lisa’s Answer: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. You can visit their original blog post on the subject here. Leave a comment on that particular post - they are monitoring it. You can also click through on the MyCanvas link for more info. You can also tweet them on Twitter at @ancestry As to an alternative, personally I use Lulu.com. While it is not a genealogy site, it is excellent and print on demand publishing (books, photo books, calendars, etc.) They have been around quite a while and publishing is all they do, so I expect them to be around for a long time to come. Katharine in Ohio is also going to miss MyCanvas wrote: “My heart sank when I received the email from Ancestry.com about their MyCanvas section retiring. I just printed another chart as a wedding gift and have a couple more in the works. The service was just what I wanted, easy to work with, prompt and provided a beautiful product for a reasonable price. I've heard of Heartland and will investigate them. Can anyone else recommend places to have charts printed?” Lisa recommends: http://www.familychartmasters.com   Please click image to visit our Sponsor: & tell them you heard about them on The Genealogy Gems Podcast!   GEM: Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard has worked with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, and has been in the genetic genealogy industry since it has been an industry. She holds a degree in Microbiology and her creative side helps her break the science up into delicious bite-sized pieces for you. She's the author of our DNA guides Getting Started: Genetics for Genealogists, and Y Chromosome DNA for Genealogists.    
Jun 17, 2014
Episode 167 - Colonial American Genealogy
01:08:39
Get ready to lay a foundation in your knowledge of Colonial American genealogy research. Beth Foulk is here to walk us through early immigration to America, Indentured Servitude and Bondage, and the records and resources that can help you locate your ancestors from this time period. But first... NEWS: Lisa's youngest daughter Hannah got married last weekend!    NGS 2014 Conference in Richmond VA In addition to teaching conference classes Lisa teamed up with Maureen Taylor (The Photo Detective) and Janet Hovorka (Family ChartMasters) to provide “Genealogy Outside the Box” free 30 minute sessions in the exhibit hall. Stay tuned for more announcements of more sessions at future genealogy conferences! New Newspaper Collection The National Library of Australia has added an additional 35 historic newspapers to their online collection at http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper. The greatest concentration of newspapers in this latest update is from New South Wales. Most of the new additions cover the date range from about 1875 to 1960, with many in the 1910 to 1945 era. Most of the additions appear to be from small towns. Hat tip to Paul Nauta at FamilySearch     MAILBOX: From Chris on Family Relics: "I loved your comments on "most treasure family relic" in the latest podcast. I'm very fortunate to have pictures and artifacts from my mother's side, but unfortunately I know very little about my dad's side and have only a few things. I could relate to the woman whose answer was "nothing".   One consolation for me has been a few little things I could find out with just a little digging. I wrote about it on my blog  Finding the things I mentioned at least lets me stand in the shoes of my ancestors and imagine life in that place and at that time. It's not as nice as a "relic", but it brings them to life as real people. I think that's important in genealogy as well. Love the podcast!" Judy writes to as a follow up to the Google Earth for Genealogy Webinar “I was so excited about your workshop. Legacy presenters are good but you are among their best. In fact I received an email from my friend: After watching today's webinar and seeing the gal search the GLORecords for land patents I tried for William Breeding.  S C O R E ! ! ! ! !  I had tried searching for land patents for William Breeding in the past with no success. My great results are due to finally getting confirmation that it is William Jackson Breeding for sure and watching this gal search today. Thanks for the heads up on this webinar!!!” Watch Google Earth for Genealogy free here at the Genealogy Gems website.   Barbara is Shocked: "I really enjoy your podcasts, and was listening to your latest one when your piece about not so happy memories really struck a chord with me.  I recently asked for the file of my Great Uncle from the Australian War Memorial.  He was in World War I in France.  I found that he had been charged with desertion and sent to goal( (jail)!  What a shock, and I don’t think many of the family know a lot about it.  Reading through the transcript of the court marshal and the history of this time of the war, it was pretty clear he was a young man in shock after seeing several of his fellow soldiers die,  who did not know what to do.  He got separated from his troop and wandered around for a couple of days until he found another company and was arrested.  Later he got TB and this probably shortened his life.  A sad story, and during my research, I found that 306 Commonwealth solders were shot for desertion.  It is quite a controversial part of our history as (thank goodness) the Australian Army refused to allow any of its soldiers to be executed, and this caused some issues with the English officers. A new law passed on November 8th 2006 and included as part of the Armed Forces Act in the UK has pardoned men in the British and Commonwealth armies who were executed in World War I. The law removes the dishonour with regards to executions on war records but it does not cancel out the sentence of death.  I have decided not to put any of the information online, but keep it in the family archives.  Anyone in the family who decides to go looking will find it at the war memorial site, but my uncle did not marry or have children, so that does seem to lessen the impact." Barbara also asks for your help: I am trying to track down the family of an Australian sailor from WWI who wrote some lovely postcards.  I bought them at a garage sale several years ago, and have only just got around to reading them.  I would really love to give them to the family, as they are very touching. I posted about them on my blog. Here is what I know from them: The writer was on board the SS Gilgai in December 1915 to February 1916, traveling from St Vincent, Cape Verde to Boston, USA. He was not the captain or 2nd officer, as these are referred to in the postcards He refers to someone, possibly a son in Australia, as Jack He refers to his wife always as My Darling Girlie He had a friend on the SS Calulu He may have been in charge of the offloading of cargo or the engines. He bought his wife a trinket made of seeds and a table centrepiece while overseas (perhaps they are still in the family?) I can be contacted via my blog Genealogy Boomerangs if any listeners have information. Any help you can give would be appreciated, and thanks again for the great podcasts, I love hearing about all your travels and experiences.    Welcome  to our new sponsor: MyHeritage.com! This episode is also sponsored by RootsMagic. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for supporting this FREE podcast!   GEM: Colonial Research with Beth Foulk Look for the bibliography on her website: www.genealogydecoded.com During the 1600s and 1700s three-quarters of all immigrants were indentured servants and another 50-60,000 were convicts "transported" to America and sold into "slavery" on the plantations of Maryland & Virginia as their sentence for the crime. The conditions in England were abysmal, and for many this was the only out of a broken social system that had failed them. Beth discusses: The social conditions in England The social construct that gave rise the culture of indenture Who was indentured? (male, female, young, rural) The two types of indenture. (self and spiriting (kidnapping) What life was like once in service in America.  The length of term and life thereafter. The social conditions that gave rise to the shipping of convicts to America (this was before Australia became a penal colony) The black market business of shipping convicts to America.  Who did this and why? How was it done? The Transportation Act of 1718 and the attempt to regulate this business. What life was like on board the ship. What the selling or auction process was like. What life was like in America as a "transported convict" Who was transported (not all convicts) Records  1718: The Transportation Act is passed, which included: 1.    Who could be shipped 2.    Surgeon must be on board 3.    Dictated the number of convicts that could be on board Definitions: Bondage (aka Convict in England)   Question:  Where can the genealogist look to identify if their ancestor was indentured or in bondage?  Answer:  The Old Bailey Online – London’s Central Criminal Court 1674 - 1913 (free)  www.oldbaileyonline.org Full transcripts of every court hearing during this time period From the website: “The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. If you are new to this site, you may find the Getting Started and Guide to Searching videos and tutorials helpful.” Also look for: Runaway records Newspapers of the time. Books of transcripts and abstracts of runaway notices (These could include a physical description) The pre-eminent authority: Author Peter Wilson Coldham Books in Amazon  Other possible records for Indentured: Contract (very rare) Land Records Probate Deed Church (references to “Servant”) Other possible records for Convicts: Census (if your ancestor is the only one with that last name in the area,that could be a clue they were a convict) There were also Political Prisoners. Look for Diary or Transcripts Visit Beth’s website: www.genealogydecoded.comGo to “Indentured and Convicts” blog posts Email Beth at beth@genealogydecoded.com SONG: The Death of Wolfe (Song used with permissions from Archiving Early America website) Explore their early America music section Come all ye young men all, let this delight you, Cheer up ye, young men all, let nothing fright you, Never let your courage fail when you're brought to trial, Nor let your fancy move at the first denial. So then this gallant youth did cross the ocean, To free America from her invasion, He landed at Quebec with all his party, The city to attack, being brave and hearty. The French drew up their men, for death prepared. In one another's face the armies stared, While Wolfe and Montcalm together walked, Between their armies they like brothers talked. Each man then took his past at their retire. So then these numerous hosts began to fire, The cannon on each side did roar like thunder, And youths in all their pride were torn asunder. The drums did loudly beat, colors were flying, The purple gore did stream and men lay dying, When shot off from his horse fell this brave hero, And we lament his loss in weeds of sorrow. The French began to break, their ranks were flying, Wolfe seemed to revive while he lay dying, He lifted up his head as his drums did rattle, And to his army said, How goes the battle? His aide-de-camp replied, Tis in our favor, Quebec, with all her pride, nothing can save her, She falls into our hands with all her treasure, Oh then, brave Wolfe replied, I die with pleasure. Watch the video: Music in a Colonial Williamsburg Tavern By the Colonial Williamsburg YouTube channel For more inspiration and information search “Colonial Genealogy” at YouTube.   CLOSING: Why You Do Genealogy In the Feb newsletter I shared a video where I explain why I do family history, and asked all of you to share what motivates you on the Genealogy Gems Podcast Facebook page. Here’s what some of you had to say: Paul wrote: "To start with my Aunt gave me 2,000+ names when I was baptized as she knew the Church members do a lot of genealogy. Many of the stories I found were interesting. But I also got to know my father who was killed about 7 months before I was born." Tim wrote: "Just the whole destiny thing. When I go back several generations, I wonder what IF he had never married her, what IF she had not moved to this town, met her husband, what IF they had stopped having kids just before my gggrandfather was born...etc. I am who I am and where I am because of decisions that were made long ago. Just kind of cool." Margaret: "Really nice video. I pursue my family history because I want to take myself back to THEIR time, find out what their lives were like, follow their journeys, trials, tribulations and day-to-day lives. Through census records, city directories and Sanborn maps I discovered my 2nd great grandpa lived around the corner from an ice-cream store in Savannah, with a dairy right behind it! How cool is that!" Peter: "I do research because I want to know who my family is, where they came from and what they did. After a 20 year search to solve one of my family line missing links I solved it and yelled whoo who, it felt so rewarding."  Margaret: "My mom had always described herself as a Heinz 57. I'm much more curious about just what/who had contributed to who I am. Having roots that reach into ancestors from Germany, England, Mexico and Spain by ways of RI, IN, TX and California make for interesting research!"
May 22, 2014
Episode 166 - Tips, Ideas and Listener Email
55:16
I’ve been enjoying time at home getting the new house decorated.  I have a wonderful sort of wall niche area in the living room that is perfect for a family history display, so the wheels are turning on what I want to do there. I’ve been pinning lots of ideas on Pinterest for that. And of course I’m getting in my time with my grandsons Davy and Joey. Now that Joey is a year and a half and running all over the place, it’s just playtime bedlam at Sha Sha’s house.  I'll be speaking in Round Rock, TX at the Williamson County Genealogical Society How to Reopen and Work a Genealogical Cold Case But soon May will be here and that means I’ll be heading to the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond Virginia. And we are going to do something very unique at NGS this year. In addition to my three scheduled presentations, we’ve got ourselves some extra booth space this year, and I’ll be giving what we are calling Outside the Box Sessions.  You know how it is, you head to a big conference, and you’re running for one 1 hour session to the next. And they are usually pretty big classrooms. Well, we are going to getting outside of that box, and holding 30 minute sessions in our booth area on the topics you’ve told me you want most. As presenters we don’t get to have the final say on which of our presentations is selected for the main conference, so it’s really exciting to have this unique way of offering the topics you ask us for. It’s   a smaller intimate setting, the sessions will be packed with tips you can start using right away, all participants will get a free ebook of the handouts for those quickie sessions, we’ll have prizes and you’ll even have some treats to nibble on. I am really excited about doing this, and I think you’ll find it refreshing, fun and informative.  I’ll doing four sessions – one each day of the conference Ancestral Time Travel with Google Earth Evernote Quick Tips for Genealogists Tablet Tips and Tricks for Genealogists Google Search Strategies And, I’ve invited two of my dearest friends, Janet Hovorka of Family Chartmasters, and The Photo Detective Maureen Taylor to join me and present some of their most popular topics!  So in all, you’ll have a dozen ½ hour sessions to choose from to reinvigorate your genealogy research. If you want to get outside the box, come hand out with us, get the ebook, nibble on some treats and get away from the huge crowds.   New Videos at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel:  Genealogy Crowdsourcing: 4 Strategies and 4 Tips for Your Brick Wall!  with Drew Smith A Sneak Peek at What Will be Included in the Future FamilySearch App with Brian Edwards 5 Tools for Paying it Forward in Genealogy With Michael Cassara A conversation with long time Genealogy Gems listener Michael Cassara who presented a session at RootsTech this year and I thought it was so interesting I asked him to sit down with me to talk more about it. Michael shares one of the ways that he likes to give back to the genealogy community. He buys old inexpensive photographs and does his best to track down family members today and get those ancestors back in to the hands of their families. And he shares some of techniques he uses to do that which you could certainly use in your own family history research. MJ watched the video and left this comment: “I sooo agree with the karma of sharing our genealogy and our photos. I love the Find a Grave / BillionGrave photo idea. And I know myself about good karma. I found some studio photos of a distant relative, contacted a direct descendant and sent the photos to him. He wrote back and said "my Dad looks just like his grandmother, and never knew it before! And what a gift for my son." A few weeks later a postcard collector wrote me and asked if I wanted postcards sent by my grandfather. You bet! She sent 3 envelopes full with photos of my grandparents, my great grandparents and possibly my great great grandmother as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. I had never seen most of them before. What a gift.” Go to www.Youtube.com/genealogygems and  watch the video and leave your comment about your experiences.   Not all Family History is Happy Memories In what seems to be the exact opposite of the usual obituary you come across as you are searching through newspapers, The Blaze reported that a Reno newspaper has removed an obituary supposedly submitted by children glad their mother was dead. The obituary was published in the Reno Gazette-Journal last September in acknowledgement of the death of Marianne Theresa-Johnson Reddick. “Marianne Theresa Johnson- Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Sept. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit…” Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/son-wrote-vicious-obit-reno-mom-insists-completely-true-article-1.1454890#ixzz2yWNXowqD http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/09/11/children-celebrate-mothers-death-in-unusual-obituary-branding-her-as-cruel-abusive/ Nobody’s family is perfect. Certainly mine isn’t. But I do think that one of the incredible things that Family history can do is shed light on the truth, and provide the power to change things for the next generation and make a difference. I’ll never forget back in probably about 2008, early on when I first started speaking at conferences regularly, I was at a Family History expo in the exhibit hall, and a local man, who appeared to be homeless, came in to the public hall, and he was absolutely distraught and angry about the pain he endured at the hands of his family, and he was hurt and deeply angry to see the family history expo being held there. In the end security guards helped lead him away, and I felt so sad for him because he was obviously in incredible pain, and he most likely didn’t have the ability or resources to actually reap some of the benefits that come from learning about your history, your whole family’s history. Not just the line of people who got way off track and caused pain, but as we know there are infinite lines out there, and there’s a lot to learn from all of them, so that history does not repeat itself. And just as importantly, that we have the opportunity to discover the gems in our tree, the unsung heroes, people who did do a good job and contributed to society. In the end, we get to pick who we admire, and we get to decide those areas that we will not perpetuate. After all, if our history stays in the dark, it is apt to look and feel even larger and scarier, but it is also apt to repeat itself. I’d love to hear from you on this subject. You don’t to share specifics. But how has learning more about your family history empowered you. And if you think it has caused harm, I’d like to know more about that too. Finally, to wrap up this segment before we get to the mailbox, I just want to send out a big thank you to some very nice folks out there in the genealogy community.   Evernote for Genealogists Thanks Yous As you probably know by now we published our Evernote for Genealogists quick reference guides, and I just want to take a moment to thank the wonderful bloggers out there who helped spread the word about these 4 page cheat sheets. A big thank you to: Thomas MacEntee: Hack Genealogy“You know what I love about these guides on Evernote? They are easy-to-use, the information is laid out in a format that makes it easy to find what you need, and it truly is something you can keep referring to as you work your way through Evernote and its features.” Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings Amy Coffin of the We Tree Blog“I hate to sound like a salesperson, but I found this quick guide to be helpful and extremely easy to read. The tables are concise and the lists of quick keys are impressive. This guide is a keeper.” Renee Zamora of Rene’s Genealogy Blog Sue Maxwell, The Granite Genealogy Blog Ancestry Insider Blog DearMYRTLE James Tanner, The Genealogy Star Blog“I had been using Evernote extensively for quite some time. But was faced with dilemma when the program began to evolve rapidly. I simply lost touch with all the features being added and did not understand why I ran out of storage space and was shut down when I didn't purchase some upgrade. So, I transferred what I was doing on Evernote and used alternative products. So, solely because of this handy guide, I now understood the product. I already had the program on all my devices so transitioning back is as simple as clicking. What I needed clarified was how the program functioned vis a vis the difference between the "free" version and the "paid" version. With that out of the way, I am back in the Evernote use realm. Now, I probably could have figured out all the stuff from the Evernote website, but this made it easier for me to get going and actually do something.” Thanks again to all the bloggers who took the time to give the guides a test run. They are available in our store both for Windows and for Mac. Genealogy Gems Premium Members can enjoy several Evernote videos as part of Premium Membership: How the Genealogist can Remember Everything with Evernote (Beginner) How to Organize Your Research with Evernote (Intermediate) Making Evernote Effortless (Intermediate) BRAND NEW!   New RootsMagic Video Our long time podcast sponsor RootsMagic just published a new video I think you’ll be very interested in. It’s called Importing an Ancestry Family Tree into RootsMagic. Have you been wondering how to do this?  Well, now they have a short video that will show you how.  Currently this is limited to trees that you are the owner / manager, since Ancestry doesn't appear to allow downloading a tree belonging to someone else. You’ll find the video at the RootsMagic YouTube channel MAILBOX: From Jane in Edmonton, Alberta: “Need your advice (as I am sure do thousands of others!!) First of all, let me take time to let you know how much I am enjoying my subscriptions to your Genealogy Gems and your podcasts.  I purchased subscriptions at the Alberta Genealogy Conference in Edmonton last year, and have been thoroughly enjoying them. I am still very much a genealogy novice.  I have dabbled on Ancestry for a number of years, but have never really had time to devote properly.  Last year I decided to try to get a little more serious, and joined the local Genealogy Society, and having retired in December, I finally feel like I should be back on this in earnest, and am wondering if you could give me some needed advice. I love Ancestry.ca, and have also dabbled in Scotland's People, the free BMD Index out of England, and of course, Family Search with the LDS.  I am finding, however, that I often end up wandering around in circles and mazes as one thing leads to another, and another, and ...   I am sure you know what I am talking about.  I'm now wondering if I would be best to take it one person at a time - to find out as much as I can about that person in that point of time, before going on to another.  I seem to be jumping back and forth between my Dad's family, my Mom's family, their families, etc. until there are times that I find myself at a certain point, only to wonder "Where was I going with this?"   I have started trying to make notes about facts as I spot them, but setting them aside to continue on the current charted course, but find that I end up hopelessly out of order and just as lost. Any advice as to how to attack this would be appreciated more than you can imagine!  I am afraid that, sadly, I am one of those individuals who is now wishing I had asked more questions when I was younger, as I am now the "older" generation, and so am relying on my own memories of stories told by my parents and grandparents back when I was young enough that I'm not sure I paid attention.  I do have four siblings, but when I speak to them, I often wonder if we all grew up in the same family, as their remembered timelines differ greatly on some events than my own.” You are not along in this genealogical dilemma! It's easy to let the records start to take over and lead you around. One way to combat that is to set a genealogical goal - define what it is you want to know. It might be something very specific about a particular ancestor, or it might just be to fill in the blanks on one particular family. Early in my research focused on one grandparent, and working backwards, I would strive to fill in all the blanks on that person, then their parents, then their siblings. I wouldn't "leave" that family until I felt that I had filled in as much of the family group sheet as possible. In fact, we have sort of lost track of the "family group sheet" in this technological age. But it is an excellent tool for keeping you on track and focused on the blanks that need to be filled. An additional strategy is to have a process for dealing with information that comes your way that is a bit off track. Often we feel like we have to pursue it or we'll lose it. I like to use Evernote (free at evernote.com) to capture data that I'm not ready to deal with right now, but definitely want to pursue later. I create an Evernote "notebook" for that family surname, and a note book called "future research". Drag and drop "Future Research" onto the family surname notebook which will create a "stack."  Now you can create notes and drop them into the "Future Research" notebook which is inside the applicable family. Add tags to your note like "newspaper," "death record," etc. and some good searchable keywords so that the note will be easy to find when you need it. Now you can capture the item, file it away, and stay focused on the task at hand. If you would like to learn more about how to use Evernote for genealogy I have a quick reference guide (PDF) in my store that will work wonders in keeping you organized.   From Mary Jane in KY “Thank you Lisa, I received your ebook fine, and now have it installed on my desktop. I've been watching a lot of your videos, have watched the ones where you had interviews at Rootstech. Each day I watched on my computer, the selected Rootstech programs as they were presented. Last week our Kentucky Genealogical Society and Kentucky Historical Society had an all day Saturday viewing of 10 of the programs given out there.  It was a special program that the Kentucky Historical Society and Kentucky Genealogical Society were chosen to participate in viewing - called a Family History Fair. Your program was one of them - How to Use YouTube for Family History: Setting Up Your Own YouTube Channel. And all those syllabi were available for us to print in advance. We had 135 people to attend.  We were very privileged and it was much appreciated by a large crowd of people. You are such a pretty gal, with a bubbly personality. Kiss those babies for me.  I've just become a great grandmother. I really enjoy your Genealogy Gems, have received your newsletters for several years, but I don't use anything but the computer. It's something about the older generation not being able to learn all these other gadgets.” You can watch free videos from the RootsTech 2014 genealogy conference at https://rootstech.org/about/videos/   From Steve in Cedar Falls, Iowa This is all your fault :) Yes, this is your fault! That sounds ominous, but this is a good thing! I say your fault because you are the one who encouraged me, on your blog, to start blogging about family history. I started two blogs- one for the paternal side and one for the maternal side. The paternal blog is schellseekers.blogspot.com and the maternal blog is  happekotte.blogspot.com. My intent was to create a place where family could see the family history that I had found. But something else happened in addition to this intent. A guy in New York came across my maternal blog and emailed me that he had something I might be interested in. It was about my third great grandfather who was born in Germany. Before he came to America, he was a part of a German colony in Guatemala. I knew that, but had no proof of when and where he married or even where in Germany he was from. This gentleman from New York is originally from Guatemala and is connected to my third great grandmother who was also part of this colony. He sent me a copy of an original church record from Guatemala giving the date they were married in Guatemala AND the name of the town in Germany that he was from and his date of birth. It gets better! The German town was named Rellinghausen. When I put Rellinghausen in Google Earth, it kept taking me to Recklinghausen. Now this Recklinghausen is just north of Essen which is the place that I thought the family was from, so it seemed reasonable to assume this was the place and it had been misspelled in the Guatemala document. I order LDS microfilms from Recklinhausen and found not even one instance of the name from 1816 to the 1840s! So, I ruled out Recklinghausen. Next I entered" Rellinghausen” into Wikipedia and found that Rellinghausen had been a separate town before 1910. In 1910, it was annexed by Essen! That’s why it was not showing up on Google Earth! Next step was to contact the diocese in Essen about possible records for this ancestor. With the help of Google Translate, I wrote to the diocese office (found with a Google search) and gave the name and date of birth for this third great grandfather. I received an email back from a church secretary who said she was sending it on to someone who might help. About two weeks later, I received an email from the parish priest from the church in what was once Rellinghausen. Attached was all of the birth information including parents. I probably would have never found this otherwise! So, yes, this is all your fault and I’m VERY happy to blame you! Thanks so very much for the encouragement!” Lisa’s Answer: What an incredible story! I will happily take the blame for any part of it. :-) Google Books Tip: Be sure to search Google Books specifically for "Rellinghausen" "happekotte". A few interesting things in there. Google Translate Tip: And remember that using Google Translate will change "happekotte" as well as prevent you from seeing some snippets on books not fully available. So you'll want to search both in German and English. Steve’s Reply: “Thank you for the additional ideas for searching. The ideas that you put out there on your podcasts, the contacts someone makes through a blog, looking at possible clues in other public trees on Ancestry ALL go to show you that genealogy is much more fun and much more successful when it involves collaboration. Thanks again.” - Steve   From Carol: “I’m new into genealogy.  I’ve worked on my maternal grandfather’s side of the tree and had some success.  Yay!   Now I’m trying to work on my maternal grandmother’s side and it is more difficult.   I seem to be generating a lot more paper and search theories this time.   Is there anything out there that is a  digital basic checklist.   Something that you can check off - like census, birth record, death record, etc. Love all your Evernote tips!” Free Records Checklists and Forms: Family Tree Magazine  www.familytreemagazine.com/freeforms Ancestry.com  www.ancestry.com/trees/charts/ancchart.aspx?   From Kris: “The last few months, I've begun packing up our house in Santa Clara, CA for a major life change.  This requires dividing up our 'worldly possessions' into 2 parts (one for France and one for our US home, which will be in Florida).  I spent whole days listening to your pod casts (via the app which I love on my iPhone 4s) and made it back to 2011.  Your pod casts are wonderful and as the family genealogist (for mine and my husband's family), listening to you gave me renewed energy during the long, tedious days of packing.  It occurred to me that after all this effort, I will have much more time to work on my family histories and pursue the huge file I have titled "needs further research." My favorite podcast moments thus far are:  listening to your moving challenges as you relocated to Texas  (misery loves company : ), the guest who stated that it is 'not advised' to shred original documents after digitizing them, the 'Flip Pal' interview, the daunting task of catching up on technology and the learning curve that comes with that, and your suggestions for all of us to make the family names and dates more interesting, in order to get other family members excited about our family history. Thank you for all you do for genealogists!  I met you once at our local library where you gave your Google class, and hope we cross paths again.  In the meantime, be kind to yourself.  Get well soon!   WEDDING IDEAS From Kirsty: “I have some very happy news. I got engaged last week, a very happy time for us. I remember you had talked about a family reunion sometime in the past , and I wonder if you had any tips of getting family history information out of my family while there are all at the wedding.” Lisa’s Answer: Congratulations on your engagement! How exciting. I've been busy planning my youngest daughter's wedding. She's getting married in May. I would suggest searching family reunion websites for ideas you can convert to a wedding reception. A search of Google and Pinterest.com should help you locate them. If you have  your guests seated at tables, that's a great opportunity to provide an icebreaker that can double as a family history gathering opportunity. You could have a form at each place setting for them to fill out. If you are having a videographer, you could have a short list of questions at each table, and when he comes to their table he records them answering the questions. (What's your earliest child hood memory?  Who's the earliest ancestor you have a photograph of? What are three things you remember about Great Grandmother? Etc.) If you they won't be at tables, you could have a family history table (next to another table they are likely to visit such as guest book table) and have your activity there. Let them know that this is their gift to you. You could even have some sort of treat or little sticker they can wear that says "I shared the family history, have you?" (In the U.S. when you vote they often give you a little lapel sticker that says "I voted.")  Or you could create the "Sweet Memories Candy Bars" that feature family history that I write about in my book Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies.  
Apr 15, 2014
Episode 165: A Blast from the Past
26:44
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 13 Originally Published 2007 Remastered March 2014 By Lisa Louise Cooke   From the MAILBOX Hello Lisa: I have just finished listening to your podcast on tracing family members through school records. You mentioned some sources to research. Alan's Website Many years ago I came across a list or resources to be found in the home. I still have the photocopy I made,  but it does not say who originally created it. I believe I found it at my local LDS.  Anyway since putting it on my site, I and others who have come to that page have added to it. I really like your show and look forward to receiving your newsletter. Allan Scahill   GEM:   Memorial Day & WW II Service Records With the month of May comes Memorial Day, and in Episode Thirteen I thought it would be a good time to do a quick check for some military records.   If you have relatives who served in World War II here are a couple of free ‘must check’ websites for you. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): www.archives.gov/aad The WWII enlistment records for the years of 1938 through 1946 are listed on the NARA website.  These records contain the majority of enlistments, approximately nine million men and women who enlisted in the U.S. Army, including the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.  What I like about the NARA records is that they include the Army Serial Number, which I’ve not seen on the Ancestry version of the records.  And of course they are free at the NARA website.  They also have searchable WWII Prisoner of War Records. Another great website for searching for soldiers traveling overseas or returning home after the war is Steve Morse’s All New York Arrivals Search Form. I hadn’t thought of searching for traveling soldiers until I heard Steve Morse speak about it at a recent seminar.   As soon as I got home from the seminar, I used his form and immediately found my Great Uncle Elzie returning home on the Ile de France after being injured in the D-Day invasion.  With the availability of New York passenger lists up to 1957, many new research doors have been opened. If you’d like more information or historical background on Memorial Day, visit the U.S. Memorial Day website.   GEM:  Family History Books By now you may have seen my videos A Nurse In Training Part 1 & Part 2 on my YouTube channel. A Nurse In Training didn’t actually start out as a video but rather a book.  I have found that by breaking up my research into digestible chunks of time and self-publishing them in hard cover books my extended family is able to understand and enjoy our family’s history. I started self-publishing about a year ago.  We don’t live close to our families, so Christmas gifts have to be purchased ahead of time and shipped.  Family history books turned out to be a fantastic way to start sharing some of my research findings in an affordable way that could be easily mailed. In the past I’ve sent CDs full of photos and documents. But in the end I think they were a bit overwhelming to the non-genealogists in the family. I think there are many reasons for this: Computer CDs are perceived as something technical and hard to use.   The material is chopped up, and individual photos and documents don’t tell a particular story smoothly and easily. I think they’re also perceived as very time consuming.  Folks just don’t feel like they have the time to sit down and really give it the attention it deserves.  Also, many people find reading on a computer screen hard on the eyes.  The solution: a good old fashioned book!  Books are still hard to beat for telling a story in words and pictures in a user friendly way. But where to begin the story, and where to end it?  That’s the big question!  The temptation is to tell the story of one generation of the family.  That’s usually just too big of a project to take on.  The book will likely end up being lots of dates and names and not a lot of room for much else.  And there’s always the risk that it won’t be completed if it’s too large an undertaking. I wanted my family to get to know these people in our family tree intimately.  That meant focusing in much closer than an entire generation of the family.  In the end, I started with my favorite ancestor:  my grandmother.  I’ve transcribed many years of her diaries as I talked about in Episode Two.  One of the stories that really emerged out of them was her years spent in nurses training in the 1930s.  I learned so much through her journal entries, and I knew I had a good collection of photos from that period.     I decided that my starting point would be her graduation from high school and her decision to enter the nursing field.  By the time I had pulled everything together from 1930 to 1933, I had more than enough for a nice size book.  It’s really important to create your book with your audience in mind.  Your audience is your family member who will be reading the book.  Here are my Top Six Tips for making your book fascinating to your reader: #1 The Should Book Convey An Overall Theme Start by reviewing all the available material you have.  That will give you a good sense of what the time period was like for your ancestor.  You’ll also start to understand their goals, experiences, and emotions.  Ultimately a theme should begin to surface.  In the case of A Nurse In Training, I wanted to communicate my grandmother as a young woman taking on a new adventure away from home that ultimately led to this warm, caring woman’s successful career as a nurse.  I also tucked a bonus subplot in there of how she just happened to meet her husband at the same time! You don’t need every scrap of research and every photo to get this theme across.  It’s your job to be a sharp editor and to pick out the critical pieces.  You want the words and photographs that clearly communicate your theme to the reader. #2 Create a Book that can be Read in One Sitting Like it or not, if it takes too long read, they probably won’t.  Strive to create a book that doesn’t look intimidating.  I create books that are ten to twenty double sided pages.  People will be willing to pick up a thinner book off the coffee table.  If it’s well done they’ll find that all of a sudden they’ve finished the entire book without wanting to put it down.  The final goal is that they will walk away with a real sense of having gotten to know that ancestor. #3 Your Book Should Contain the Best of What You Have This goes back to conveying the theme and being a strict editor.  My grandma had many funny stories, but there just wasn’t room for all of them.  I picked the best of the best.  Anyone who reads the book should hopefully come away with the fact that she had a sense of humor and could laugh at herself.  So keep the content of your book focused, full of graphics and photos, and including the best of the best.  If you can capture their interest in the first three pages, you’ll have them for the entire book. #4 Include Lots of Photos and Graphics A picture is definitely worth a thousand words.  Since the number of words in this size book will be limited, photographs will be your best friend.  If you’re lacking in family photos, many of my previous podcasts will give you countless ideas for locating associated photos.  In A Nurse In Training I included scanned images of skating rink tickets, programs and announcements from my grandma’s scrapbook, and journal pages in my grandmother’s own hand.  These types of items really add texture and interest to your book, as well as help the reader to see that you’ve really done your homework. #5 Keep It in Chronological Order This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get side tracked and start going back and forth in time.  Believe me, for the reader’s sake keep things in chronological order. You as the researcher know this information backwards and forwards, but this is probably your reader’s first exposure to it.  Be gentle with them and keep it straight forward and simple.  Your reader will thank you. #6 Go for High Quality High quality glossy pages, good image quality and a hard cover binding all shout to the reader “I’m worth your time, read me!”  For example, I found a drawing of Dameron Hospital where my grandmother worked, but it was a low quality image and didn’t translate well in the book.  As much as I wanted to include it, I ended up leaving it out. I’m glad I did; it wasn’t critical to the book and there were other ways to communicate the hospital to the reader. Keeping these tips in mind, let’s talk about how to publish your own family history book. I create my books in the Kodakgallery which is now Shutterfly at www.shutterfly.com. There are several websites out there offering the ability to publish your own book.  I chose Kodakgallery because the program was very easy to use, the price was competitive, publishing and shipping time was FAST, and the quality was excellent.  I saw a book that a friend of mine published of his father’s World War II service years and it was gorgeous.  Again, quality is really key. Hopefully, these books will become family keepsakes and you’ll want them to be the highest quality possible. I use the Classic Photo Book style which is 9” x 10-1/4" in size and includes ten double sided pages for a total of twenty pages, but you can certainly add more.  It comes in a hardcover that you can do in linen fabric, smooth matte or leather.  It also includes a window in the front cover that you can see your first photo through.  I really like that feature because it never fails to capture people’s curiosity and entice them to pick up the book and take a look. They also have a larger Legacy Photo book which is 12” x 14”.  This is the size my friend used that worked really well because he was including large images of newspaper pages about the war. I’m going to walk you through the steps of setting up a book in Kodak Gallery because it’s a resource I feel very comfortable recommending.  But again, there are other options out there, and my guess is that the publishing process would be pretty similar.  I have provided a Kodak Gallery link for you at my website at GenealogyGems.TV on the STORE page.  If you decide to use Kodak, I would really appreciate you accessing it through this link because it will help support the production costs associated with producing this podcast.   In the Photo Books area of the website, click CREATE BOOK. The first thing you’ll do is choose a cover material for your book.  I used black leather for A Nurse In Training which is really nice and has a light sheen to it.  It is $10 more than linen or matte.  I created a Guest Book for my daughter’s wedding where the right side pages were photos of the happy couple and the left side pages had space for guests to sign and write notes.  I used linen for that cover in the color “baby pink” and really liked that as well.  Ultimately, I think it comes down choosing a cover style that compliments the theme and contents of the book.  Once you’ve made your selection, click the NEXT button. You will then need to choose a page design for your book.  For A Nurse in Training I used the design “Time After Time.”  It has a lovely antique look.  Go ahead and pick one you like.  Don’t worry, you can always change the page design any time before you make your final purchase.  When you’re ready, click NEXT. This will bring up a box asking if you want to auto fill your book with photos you’ve already uploaded to the website, or if you want to add them page by page.  If this is your first book, I think page by page is the way to go. Now you’re getting to the fun stuff: adding content to your book.  Anywhere you see a text box you just click inside of it and start typing.  The space for text can be somewhat limited though, so always preview your pages to be sure you didn’t lose any text. To upload photos look below the image of the book and click the UPLOAD PHOTOS link.  You can browse your hard drive and select the photos and images you want to include.  On the publishing page your photos will appear beneath the book.  Just grab the photo and drop it into the DRAG PHOTO HERE box where you want it to appear.  You can preview the pages as you go by clicking PREVIEW right below the book spine.  Images can be adjusted with zoom & arrow movement features. Keep clicking next page until you have filled all the pages.  Each page layout can be altered by clicking the CHOOSE PAGE LAYOUT button in the upper corner of the page.  Using a variety of layouts can add a lot of interest to your book.  Ultimately you’ll be selecting the layouts that accommodate your images and text.  Don’t be afraid of leaving white space on pages.  It makes the book easier to read and enjoy.  Another nice feature of the book is the cover page.  Select a good, clear, preferably simple photo of your subject for the cover page.  It will be seen through a vellum page from the cover.  Under the photo you will want to put the title of your book, and on the second line add your name as author. On the backside of the cover page you will want to create your dedication page using a text only page layout.  Here’s an example of what you could write: First Sentene: State who the book's audience is Second Sentence: Give credit to those who contributed materials Third Sentence: STate your personal goal for the book, as well as your name and the year published. I gave copies of my book about my grandma to my mom and my uncle.  It was the first time in years that I’ve seen tears in my uncle’s eyes.  He loved it; no toaster or tie could have made a better Christmas gift.  The following Christmas I did a book about my father-in-laws WWII naval years and sent a copy to everyone on my husband’s side of the family.  In the months following as I received RSVPs for my daughter’s wedding they were still raving about the book and how much it meant to them.  More than anything, they were so surprised to realize how little they knew about their father’s patriotic service.  It’s a joy to create these books as well as to give them.  They’ve stimulated wonderful family conversations and I know they won’t end up in the next garage sale.  Remember: your research can be fascinating and understandable to others in your family.  It just takes a little creativity and effort.  What good is it sitting on a shelf?  Don’t wait until you are done with your research.  It will never happen.  Start putting pieces of your family history directly into your family’s hands with a beautiful family history book.   
Mar 11, 2014
Episode 164 - The Ancestry Wiki, Searching for Google Earth Maps and Files
57:53
In this episode you'll hear what you've been missing and how to get it from the Ancestry Wiki. Also how to do a very specialized type of Google search you may have never tried, a French-Canadian genealogy resource, and more. Top 10 Reasons I Moved to Texas: 10. They have something here, it’s called weather 9. I live on an acre now so my neighbors don’t complain that they hear me over here talking to myself 8. There’s a Soft Surroundings store in Southlake! And a Pottery Barn, and a Coach purse store, and… 7. Genealogy Bloggers Amy Coffin and Caroline Pointer. If you know them, you understand 6. Wise County has just launched a new genealogy society and they wanted a speaker who lived less than three hours away 5. It’s been almost 10 years since I filmed a reality TV show out here, so I figure they’ve moved on. 4. My cat Ginger is from Texas and what she meows goes 3. After 18 years in California I finally get to have a pool in my backyard 2. They don’t have chicken fried steak  in California 1. My Grandsons - Davy and Joey!   The Piece of Family History that Miraculously Made Its Way Back to This Indianapolis Woman A few years ago while attending a genealogy conference, I decided to conduct some on-the-fly interviews for The Genealogy Gems Podcast. I asked folks to tell me about the most prized family heirloom that they possessed.  I heard about everything from the door knob of a woman’s parent’s bridal suite, to the bedazzling flapper dress worn by a great grandmother. All were interesting, but I was stopped in my tracks when one woman looked at me with pain in her eyes and declared “I have nothing. Not a thing. My cousins destroyed everything.” It was a difficult concept to digest. As the acknowledged “keeper of the family history flame” in my family, I’ve been fortunate enough to have inherited an abundance of family heirlooms from both sides of my parent’s families. How sad it would be to have nothing concrete to hold in your hand; nothing to help you feel the generations that held the item before. Since that day I’ve remained inspired to help people find ways to track down information and artifacts that make up their family history. Time and time again, I’ve found that just when you thought there was nothing left to find, an item will resurface. The Galaxy Quest movie quote (surely based on the famous words uttered by Winston Churchill in 1940) is one I cling to when it comes to genealogy: “Never give up! Never surrender!”   This motto has never been so gloriously justified as it was recently when a woman from Indianapolis, Indiana received the surprise of a lifetime this Christmas.  The Purple Heart awarded to Pat Davis’ father, (a father she never met) was found recently and returned to her. Watch the compelling video below where the daughter holds the unearthed piece of family history in the palm of her hand.  Kyla wrote: "I had old photos and letters returned to me by a woman who found me on a genealogy message board. Her father had obtained them from my brothers who were throwing them away. It was like a miracle."   NEWS: RootsTech 2014 may have come to an end, but SCGS Jamboree is just around the corner I’m pleased to return this year to speak at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. This popular conference, hosted by The Southern California Genealogical Society, runs June 6 to 8, 2014 in Burbank, California, USA. The theme of the 2014 Jamboree is Golden Memories: Discovering Your Family History. It promises to pack tons of fun into a long weekend, as it always does. My classes on Friday and Saturday include: Who Needs Google Reader? Flip Out Over Genealogy Content with Flipboard! Learn how to use the free Flipboard app to turn your favorite genealogy web content into your own free customized digital magazine. You will flip over how fun and easy they are to create and share. Perfect for genealogists and societies! Ultimate Google Search Strategies for Genealogists Learn Google search techniques, tricks and tips to achieve better genealogical search results, and then elevate your search to a strategic level. Finally, see how all of this applies across the spectrum of free Google Tools. How to Create an Exciting Interactive Family History Tour with Google Earth. Learn to tell your ancestor’s story in a captivating multi-media way in Google Earth. Incorporate images, videos, genealogical documents, and historic maps and bring it all together in a virtual family history tour for sharing and research analysis. SCGS Jamboree 2014 welcomes 55 speakers, over 60 exhibitors, 134 class sessions for a variety of experience levels, and special events. Online registration is open on the Jamboree website, and the Marriott’s website is ready to take your reservation. Hope to see you there!  Read more about it here.   Genealogy Test Reveals Dad’s DNA Swapped in Artificial Insemination It’s not uncommon for genetic DNA tests to reveal that you’re not related to people you thought you were. But here’s a twist I’ve never heard before. A family who had a daughter by artificial insemination of the husband’s sperm eventually decided to do some DNA testing for family history. Imagine the wife’s shock when she discovered that her husband and daughter shared no DNA!  They got a bigger shock when they did a little research. Apparently the biological father worked at the lab that handled the family’s insemination process. The man is dead now, but it appears he may have deliberately swapped in his own sample for the father’s. Of course lots of questions have come up–including how many other children may have received the DNA of a man who was a convicted kidnapper. My heart goes out to this family and to others who now fear their genetic fatherhood was hijacked. Read the full story here (it’s popped up in several news outlets now, but I first saw it at KUTV.com). Watch the video at the Genealogy Gems Blog   Newly Remastered and Republished Podcast Episodes Family History Episode 16 – The Family History Library Catalog Family History Episode 17 – Using Family History Centers Part I Family History Episode 18 – Using Family History Centers Part II   What’s New at Evernote“Synchronization is now about 4X faster than ever before. This applies to any version of Evernote that you use. Sync now often takes a couple of seconds to complete, and when you get a new phone or computer, downloading your notes will take much less time. If you have a small account, you might not notice that much of a difference. On the other hand, if your account is large, or you’ve been using Evernote for many years, or you share notebooks with other users, or your entire company uses Evernote Business, you’ll see massive improvements.” A detailed overview of what Evernote did is now on their Tech Blog.   BillionGraves Now Accepting Your Documentation I’m hearing so much these days about source citation and I love it! Everyone seems to be getting smarter and better at sourcing their research finds. And genealogy websites are making it easier and more collaborative. Here’s just one example, an announcement just made by BillionGraves: “After months of work in response to hundreds of user requests, BillionGraves has added several new features designed to validate and enhance the headstone records found on BillionGraves.  The Supporting Record feature now allows users to upload evidence-based documents that support the BillionGraves records that have been collected through our mobile Apps. This means that users are now able to upload headstones, birth/death, burial, marriage, cremation, and many other types of records without needing a smart phone. Thousands of records are being uploaded every day and are breaking down genealogy brick walls and making connections that once seemed impossible. While working closely with our users and genealogists we found that there were many headstones and burials that just couldn’t be accounted for with our current systems; including unmarked graves, cremation scatterings, destroyed stones, and so on. Our Supporting Records features eliminate this problem while maintaining the validity and accuracy of the BillionGraves database.”   MAILBOX: Answer to A Genealogical Google Search Question Jo-Anne: “Is there a Google Earth Cd of the 1932 L.A. Olympic Games?” Lisa’s Answer: I would try the following Google Search as follows... "1932" Los Angeles "Olympic Games" "google earth" .KMZ Quotation Marks around a word or phrase mean that the word or phrase must appear in all results.  Adding .KMZ or .KML tells Google that you want Google Earth files as the highest priority. Put quotation marks around the file designation and you’ve just told Google to ONLY return Google Earth files. Lisa wants to know: “What type of Google Earth files / maps / tours would you be interested in finding?”   What Would You do? From a concerned listener: "I have a dilemma I'm not sure how to handle. I have a recent ancestor that I never met, but my parents knew. This ancestor did some remarkable things in his lifetime, but also some terrible things to members of his family, some of whom are still living. I want to write about the good things he did, but I don't want to upset the relatives he hurt. Do you have any suggestions on how to handle recent ancestors with difficult pasts?" Lisa’s Answer: I'm sure different folks have different ideas on this. But for me, living relatives come first. If it causes pain to someone living their life today, then I would hold off. I would also feel I was being somewhat deceptive to write up only the positive elements of their life. Deception can be created by omission. And our life activities are interconnected. For example, if a man built and incredible company, it might have been at the expense of his children if they never received his love or time. That is part of the story. To tell the true and complete story, I don't believe the genealogist can cherry pick. And therefore there are times when we must leave stories and lives alone until telling their stories would no longer cause harm to living people. I certainly would not want to allow "terrible things" to continue by bringing it back up in public. That's just my personal opinion on the situation. I hope all goes well in whatever you decide. Lisa wants to know: What do you think? Have you faced this situation, on either end?   A Podcast for French-Canadian Research: Maple Stars and Stripes Thank you to our wonderful sponsor GEM: The Ancestry Wiki with Crista Cowan In this gem, Crista Cowan explains how to find the wiki, how to search it, and how to explore it because "we don't know what we don't know." From Ancestry: “Do you want to know what birth records exist for a specific county? Did you just discover that your ancestor was in the military and need to know what military records might give you the most information about him? The answers to these (and MANY other) genealogy questions can be found in the Ancestry.com Family History Wiki.”   Producer: Vienna Thomas Contributing Editor: Sunny Morton  
Feb 18, 2014
Episode 163 - Flip Your Genealogy into Flipboard
01:12:28
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 163: Get ready to flip out with me over Flipboard. It’s a free app and web tool that you have to see to fully appreciate. In this episode I’ll take you behind the scenes at Flipboard in the Silicon Valley and talk to the folks who create the product that helps you enjoy the online content you love. I’ll also share a little discovery I made about family history when I threw my back out over the holidays (there’s got to be an easier and less painful way to do family history research!) and get you up to date on all the genealogy news. The back pain in my family history was there all the times but I didn’t recognize it!  My Great Grandmother Louise’s “hand on hips” stance in many of the old family photos was more than just a sassy attitude. It reflected a family history of back pain that plagued my grandmother, my uncle, and me. And what do you suppose folks will think a 100 years from now when the news stories are long gone, and they are reviewing the footage of the sign language guy at Nelson Mandela’s funeral?  A reminder that not everything we see in old home movies and photos may necessarily be as it seems?   NEWS: Read: iTunes hits 1 Billion podcast subscribers Happy 4th Birthday Genealogy Gems App!  Get the App: For Android For iPad For iPhone For Windows 8   New Episodes of Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast Episode 9 The fourth annual Rootstech conference, hosted by FamilySearch, will be held February 6-8, 2014 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to renowned keynote speakers, the conference features over 200 classes, hundreds of booths in a huge Expo Hall, and evening events. Pinterest Pinterest as has given users three more “secret” boards where you can pin privately. Visit Lisa’s Pinterest boards at www.pinterest.com/lisalouisecooke MAILBOX: Keith wrote: “I previously wrote you a few months ago when I launched my own blog, sonofswift.tumblr.com. I am happy to report that tomorrow marks my 150th post. Thank you for reading my first message on your show. I have since had it listed on Geneabloggers and started a weekly picture post, Wordless Wednesday. After spending a considerable amount of time trying to break down brick walls, I'm currently focused on learning about my, and my wife's, great grandparents, which I call "thickening the branch. In the new year I plan on releasing eBooks containing all my research from the past six months with accompanying trees. All of it is thanks to guidance I get from listening to your podcast. Thank you for all that you've done and will continue to do.” www.Megankeith.com/past Sonofswift.tumblr.com Congratulations on your blog's milestone! Now anytime someone searches Google for one of your ancestors they will find you.  I'm so happy to hear that the podcast has been helpful to you in your journey. From Maryann: “Sitting here addressing Christmas cards and grabbing a bit of lunch when I decided to check my email. Spotted your email and opened it up. Skimmed through it, went back to the top again to check out more of what you wrote about the RootsTech 2014 Flipboard magazine you put together. Looked over at the stack of cards still waiting, but thought I'd grab a few minutes to just get it downloaded. Thanks to your book, I already have and use Flipboard, so it didn't take long to find the magazine and subscribe. It looks FANTASTIC. Can hardly wait to sit down and spend time reading through the articles and watching the videos. Right now, though, that stack of cards is shouting me, so I'd better set aside my iPad (after reading your book, I chose a mini, and am forever grateful for the help your book gave me, especially in setting up my apps) and get back to them.” And Taunja is also flipping over Flipboard: “I've had Flipboard on my smartphone and didn't know what to do with it! Just subscribed to the Rootstech magazine and it looks wonderful...thanks so much! Looks like a better learn a little bit more about Flipboard.”   GEM: Flipboard Interview If you’ve been listening to this podcast since the beginning, or have gone back and caught up on the previous episodes, then you know that I was a big advocate of iGoogle as a way to stay organized online. And one of the things I used to love to organize were all my favorite podcasts, blogs, and videos having to do with family history. I say used to because back in November 2013 Google did away with iGoogle, much to my dismay. They want their users to focus on Google+, which frankly is not a favorite of mine. In fact I was just reading the other day that Google’s CEO was saying that they made a big mistake in underestimating social media online, and that has put them in a position of constant catch up. Well, it didn’t take long to track down some great alternatives, and in this gem I want to focus on the one I flipped out over for tracking and enjoying my favorite online media like blogs and videos. It’s called Flipboard, and if you have my book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse, then you’re probably already familiar with it. Now wait, don’t turn off this episode because you don’t have an iPad. You don’t need one to use and enjoy Flipboard. It’s a free app for Android and Apple devices – so we’re talking all kinds of smart phones and tablets can use it. Now while the app allows you to pull together all your favorite RSS feeds together and displays them in a beautiful way, Flipboard also has a Magazine feature.  In a recent issue of the free Genealogy Gems eNewsletter – which you can sign up for on our homepage at www.genealogygems.com – I wrote an article all about a magazine I created all by little self using the free Flipboard web tools. These magazines – and I really call them magazine issues, because they are like stand along issues of a magazine – can be viewed on your computer web browser as well as the app, and you can add content from all over the web, and share it with others. When I saw the magazine feature for the first time my mind just started racing with all the genealogical possibilities. I’ve created several free magazines that you can enjoy, and I’ll tell you more about how to access those at the end of this segment. But first, we’re going to head to the Silicon Valley and meet with the folks at Flipboard to get an up close and personal look at the company, the app, and these awesome magazines. In this interview I travel to Flipboard's offices in Palo Alto, the home of a few names you might recognize, such as Facebook, and meet up with Todd Lapin. He is on Flipboard’s editorial team and runs their new blog focused on discovering of great content http://magazines.flipboard.com  and he also runs their MagMakers twitter handle: https://twitter.com/FlipboardMag RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge is a free magazine available in the free app https://flipboard.com/  and on the web at http://tinyurl.com/RootsTech2014. The magazine pulls together great web content from RootsTech speakers, exhibitors, and official bloggers in one beautiful and convenient place. Looking for more great genealogy themed Flipboard magazines? Check out two more new issues from Lisa Louise Cooke: Using Newspaper for Genealogy and Family History  Using Historic Maps for Genealogy and Family History  Genealogy Gems Premium Members can hear for about using Flipboard for Genealogy in the upcoming Premium Episode #106 later this month. The episode will also include additional notes and instructions. Click here to become a Genealogy Gems Premium Member today.    
Jan 08, 2014
Episode 162 - How to Help Kids Engage, Explore and Enjoy Family History
57:07
Wondering how to get your kids and grandkids engaged in family history? Looking for worthwhile activities for the kids over the Christmas break? In this episode author Janet Hovorka provides answers. Our children are the future of our families, and there's no better time to help them engage, explore and enjoy their family history!  App Users: Be sure to check out the audio Bonus Content in the Genealogy Gems App! NEWS: Congratulations to the winner of the 1 year digital subscription to Family Tree Magazine. Amanda’s Blog: ABT UNK Tips for Collaborative Genealogy Read about FamilySearch Updates Include VA Pension Cards, South American Records Where You Can Find Over a Million British Church Records that are Now Indexed!    MAILBOX: From Gary: “There was a recent episode of the Las Vegas Based  “CSI” show in which a genealogist was used  to help solve a crime and the head CSI guy (Ted Dansen) and the Genealogist debated about Genealogy being a science.  Only took them 1 hr  (and 30 commercials) to do what takes us a live time –Hummmmmm!!!” Premium member Roger in Utah: “Thanks for another great podcast – this time on MY ancestral homeland of Norway.  I have spent many hours using the digitalarchivet.no  website.    While you can use the English version, parts of it are only in Norwegian. Norway, like most Scandinavian countries, has put nearly all of their parish records online.  It is a wonderful resource. You have to learn what some of words are, such as birth, Christening, confirmation, marriage, death, etc. But even just these can help a lot. If you learn a few more Norwegian words, you can more fully access the vast amount on information available on that site.  In that podcast you also talked about taking a risk and contacting someone about possible family information. Through some of my Norwegian research I found a man who lives in a little town about an hour north of Oslo. He is the leader of a group called the Hadelandlag Society. Hadeland is a region of Norway. I got an email address for this man, Ole, and contacted him. He has been wonderful to me.  He went to a local repository and looked up information on my family from the information I gave him. Of course, I thanked him profusely for helping someone he did not even know. We have now emailed several times. Certainly the “risk” paid off. I have also found some US chapters of the Hadelandlag Society and have become a member.   And I found some distant cousins as a result,  one in Canada, and one in Minnesota. We email somewhat regularly. See what taking the “risk” can do.” Matt Has a Mystery and is Looking for Extra Sets of Eyes: “Thank you for your podcasts! … even listening to the older podcasts can provide needed perspective on how to break through your brick walls. Speaking of brick walls, mine may be crumbling. I've been trying to trace the parents/ancestors of my great-grandmother. Up until this past summer, I had no information whatsoever. On May 30, 2013, I found an 1855 New York State Census entry that may tell me who her family is. I wrote up a blog entry about the current status of the search and I'd be interested in your thoughts.”  Matt's Blog From Alan in Minneapolis, MN: “I started listening to the podcast about a year ago, and it's been a great reminder of things that I had forgotten how to use Google for.  Thanks to your hints, I've found descendants for 2 of my wife's great-great uncles who moved away from the farm in Illinois and we lost track of. The Google tips from early on in the series have even helped in projects at work- my colleagues think I'm spending hours searching for things that I'm finding in a couple minutes with some of the tricks. Also after hearing about blogging your family history for at least the last 3 pod casts,  I've finally decided to take the leap and start publishing my discoveries on a blog (groundhoggenealogist.blogspot.com) so I can post there rather than send emails and miss some of the cousins or send Facebook messages and miss the others.  I've only written two posts (one's up one set to publish Sunday morning), but I hope this is something I can keep up. Just a note to say thanks.” Janice in Montreal started a genealogy blog: “I attended several of your presentations at the BIFHSGO conference a few weeks ago and really enjoyed them. Partly as a result of hearing your advice, I have started a blog on which I'm posting the short family history articles I've been writing, as well as comments on the research process. The story called "An Economic Emigrant" explains why I'm a Canadian rather than an American. Please take a quick look when you get a chance.” writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca. Ethan is looking for some Fold3 help: “I recently went to look for the graves of my great-grandparents and learned in doing so that their son, my grandpa's brother, died in WWII.  Since he has a very common name, George L. Allen, I have been unsuccessful in trying to look up his records on fold3.com or other search engines.  Any hints on how to narrow my search?  This is the information I was able to obtain just from his headstone: Private First Class, 63rd armored infantry battalion, 11th armored division.  He died Jan 6, 1945, just as the war was dying down.  Other than that, I don't know if he was in the Pacific or in Europe.  My fold3.com search yields thousands of results.  Any help would be appreciated!” Lisa’s Answer: Fold3.com does have some educational videos on YouTube. In particular: How to Search on Fold3. If you don't get the full answer you are looking for, leave a comment on the video to ask a more specific question or ask how to contact them with your question. YouTube is interactive when it comes to comments and I would anticipate they would respond. Family Tree Magazine Webinar Recording: Making the Most of Fold   GEM: Helping Your Kids and Grandkids Engage in Family History with Janet Hovorka Janet is the author of the book Zap the Grandma Gap Available Workbooks: My British Ancestor My Swedish Ancestor My Civil War Ancestor My German Ancestor    Above: Janet Hovorka, Owner of FamilyChartmasters  Visit the free Website for more Zap the Grandma Gap CLOSING: Sign up for the FREE Genealogy Gems Newsletter at www.GenealogyGems.com Explore Lisa's brand new Pinterest Board: Best U.S. Libraries for Genealogy Follow Lisa at Pinterest  
Dec 04, 2013
Episode 161 - Taking Risks, and Norwegian Research
49:17
I was so impresssed with Yngve Nedrebø, the Chief archivist at Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway) who I recently interviewed for the Family Tree Magazine podcast that I'm publishing an extended version of that interview here on the Genealgoy Gems Podcast. This is a "must hear" for those with Norwegian heritage. In this episode you'll also hear from a fellow listener and get a chance to see his family history tour that he created in Google Earth using the techniques I teach in the Google Earth for Genealogy video CD series. And we'll get a taste of the history of coffee. Linda from Ventura Seminar writes in about her recent success: “I just loved your presentation Saturday at the Ventura Genealogy Seminar.  I learned so much and feel very enthused to really get to work on all this.  In fact I was so encouraged I got brave and called a telephone number that I had found for a possible 1st cousin, once removed.  And surprise, it was him and we had a lovely 30-minute conversation and I’m going to send him information and he and his wife invited me to Florida to visit!!  How about that.  It was so exciting, still haven’t gotten over it.” Linda said that she was encouraged enough to get brave and make that telephone call. That can be a pretty scary thing. We all have things that we need a bit of bravery to do. And that brings me to an important question that I posed in the most recent edition of the free Genealogy Gems Newsletter. Having you taken a technological RISK lately? This was the key question I posed in the newsletter: Are you fully embracing technology so that you can connect with those that matter to you, both living and in your family tree? There's not as much RISK as you might think. As I always say in my classes: "you can't break it, so go for it and give it a try!" And of course Genealogy Gems is here to help.   MAILBOX: Eric shares his Google Earth Family History Tour: “This is my most complex Google Earth Project ever.   I hope you enjoy it.  It’s really been a hit with my family.  They don’t glaze over right away, LOL!  Visit Eric's blog to see his tour. After viewing it I couldn't help but wonder if there was video out there. And sure enough I found a few. I'm sure there are more with potential: B17s taking off from Podington:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qVAHmO0AnA Focke-Wulf Fw 190: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdPv0h5Kpm4 YouTube video update: If you’ve had trouble embedding videos recently in your own family history tours, or genealogy blog, it's actually YouTube that is causing the problem. If you look closely at the YouTube embed code they are (for some unknown reason) leaving off the "http:" and so the code doesn't work. Copy and paste the embed code into a Google Earth placemark and then correct the URL so it is complete and it will work for you. (Do note though that the person who uploaded the video can opt not to allow it to be embedded. If that's the case, there will be a statement on the video page) A Different Kind of Map: Mapping Arlington Cemetery   Cameron is Looking for Death Certificates “I am 23 year old recent graduate of nursing school and a huge fan of your Genealogy Gems podcast. I've been researching my family history for about 5 years off and on, and I've discovered more than I've ever imagined. I've been listening two your show for about 3 months now after I discovered it, and I appreciate all of the helpful tips. However, I still have a little problem. I can't seem to find the maiden name of one of my recent ancestors Sallie Mosley. She was born in 1863, I assume in Emanuel County, Georgia. She married James Mosley in the 1880's. I know that the courthouse in Emanuel county burned several times, so that could be why I can't find a marriage record. I have found a death certificate on Ancestry, but isn't very detailed unless you order the certificate. If I visited the courthouse, could they possible dig up a detailed death certificate?”   From Lisa: I ran a quick Google search and found the following on the Emanuel County, Georgia records site: "Death certificates are open to the public. You must be a member of the immediate family to acquire a death certificate with the cause of death. Our Death certificates on the local level begin at 1927 and back to 1917 in our state office." So depending on when she died they may be able to be of help.  I would also recommend contacting local historical and genealogical societies. They often have the inside scoop on what's available and how to access it locally. A quick Google search should help you make contact. Run the search in Google Earth and it will plot them out for you on the map!   GEM: Norwegian Genealogy and the National Archives of Norway One of the shining stars on the Internet that offer rays of research hope for those with Norwegian heritage is the National Archives of Norway’s Digital Archive. Lisa’s special guest: Yngve Nedrebø, Chief archivist at Riksarkivet.  http://www.arkivverket.no/eng/Digitalarkivet   GEM: Wartime Coffee Bean Counting Given what seems to be the ever-growing profusion of coffee vendors, imagine what a crisis it would be if coffee were suddenly rationed. That's exactly what happened this month in 1942 because the war had interrupted shipments and people were hoarding coffee. But rationing lasted only until the next summer. It's thought that coffee was introduced into America by Captain John Smith, one of the founders of the Jamestown Colony in Virginia. Its popularity jumped after both the Boston Tea Party and the beginning of Prohibition. For those who don't make their own coffee, there are just over 19,000 coffee shops across the country, and they sell more than $10 billion worth of coffee a year. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at . Sources: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/coffee-rationing-begins http://jamestowncoffee.com/the-history-of-coffee-in-america/ http://globalreach.blogs.census.gov/2013/06/26/coffeedata/    
Nov 14, 2013
Episode 160 - Genealogy Blogging and A Lisa's Favorite Genealogy Gem
01:07:44
In this episode you will meet other listeners who are getting the word out about their family history through blogging as well as give you some genealogy blogging pointers,and I will introduce you to one of my first “Favorite Genealogy Gems” Look who I ran into in Detroit: Steve Luxenberg, author of "Annie's Ghosts" Cruise with Lisa It’s always a joy for me to get to get out and about and meet so many of you in person. And, have I got an amazing event to tell you about where we can get together in person, talk genealogy and experience the joy of travel! I’ve just signed on with Unlock the Past Cruises for their 2014 British Isles Cruise. Presenters page Itinerary:  day 1 – depart Tilbury, London – 6pm (boarding from 12.30pm) day 2 – at sea day 3 – Invergordon, Scotland – 7.30am-10pm day 4 – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands – 7am-6pm day 5 – Stornoway, Outer Hebrides – 7.30am-10pm (transfer to shore by tender) day 6 – Tobermory, Isle of Mull – 7.30am-4pm (transfer to shore by tender) day 7 – Dublin, Ireland – 8am-5.45pm day 8 – St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly - 9am-6pm (transfer to shore by tender) day 9 – St Peter Port, Guernsey - 7.30am-6pm (transfer to shore by tender) day 10 – Honfleur, France –  9am-5pm day 11 – arrive Tilbury, London – 9am You’ll have around 40 topics to choose from, held mostly in the evening so there will be loads of time to explore the landscape. My understanding is that this cruise is filling up very quickly so if you’re interested be sure and click the links above for more details.   Brand New in the Genealogy Gems Store Evernote for Windows for Genealogists Quick Reference Guide “a nice easy to grab and use laminated cheat sheet that can instantly answer your most important questions and give you easy ways to use Evernote more quickly and efficiently.” Evernote is certainly the fastest-growing note-taking technology out there, so it is no wonder that it is incredibly popular with genealogists. But there is so much packed in to it that I notice that many genealogists aren’t taking full advantage. Keep this handy cheat sheet close at hand and you’ll have everything you need. This four page laminated guide includes: A Getting Started Checklist Quick Key Break Out Boxes – packed with keystrokes to speed up your use of Evernote Specialized Note-taking Actions How to Get the Most Out of Clipping Tips for Maneuvering the Desktop Client Genealogical Organization Recommendations Little Known Search Strategies Specialized Genealogy Focused Techniques such as Source Citation Tips, Clipping Recommendations, and Using Reminders Evernote Premium vs. Free Comparison Also available for UK, Canada or Australia shipping   Genealogy News: ANCESTRY.COM and FamilySearch recently announced that they have made an agreement to jointly make a billion global records available online over the next five years by digitizing, indexing and publishing the records from the FamilySearch vault. Ancestry.com expects to invest more than $60 million alongside thousands of hours of volunteer efforts facilitated by FamilySearch.  The companies also announced in early 2013 an additional project where they plan to publish 140 million U.S. Wills & Probate images and indexes over the next three years—creating a national database of wills and other probate documents spanning 1800-1930 online for the very first time.   Daughter Receives WWII Soldier Father's Letter Decades Later Watch the Video:   MAILBOX: In this episode we celebrate listeners who are sharing their family history through blogging: New Blogger Keith is a Son of a Swift http://www.megankeith.com/past I have run a personal family history site for the past five years and now, based on your advice, launched my own genealogy blog. I already had a tumblr account, so I started sonofswift.tumblr.com (Son of Swift is a translation of my name from the original Gaelic, O'Seibhleain).  Thanks for the great idea and I will continue to listen as I conduct my research into the future.”   Chris is Now Blogging http://leaftwigandstem.blogspot.com/   “OK listening to the folks in your latest podcasts convinced me. I started my own genealogy blog last month. So far there's not a lot of "traffic" but I've gotten good reviews from the family members…Hoping you have some tips in mind for a future podcast...sort of a maintaining a blog for the long run -tips and tricks type thing. Take a look and let me know what you think. LOVE the podcast.”   Follow up from Chris: “After getting my feet wet, I decided to join GENEABLOGGERS network at www.geneabloggers.com  . Wow. My first goal was realized just after that. I found another blogger who is a "double cousin" through two different branches of my family. Thanks so much for your advice.”   Margaret is on a Family Album Journey familyalbumjourney.blogspot.com “I started my blog a couple of years ago, but I decided to really blog regularly back in May.  I'm using the photos in my Davis ancestors' family albums from the 1880s as a springboard for my blog posts.  They lived in Savannah, so I'm really focusing a lot on Savannah history and the photographers there.  It's been fun.  I took a break when I went on a family vacation in July, so I'm struggling to get back in the rhythm of posting.   I tend to do a lot of research just for my posts, so it can take a lot of time, but I love it! Thanks for the inspiration and all the great information.” Wayne Uses Blogging to Discover Genealogy http://discovergenealogy.blogspot.ca/ “I have started a new blog about genealogy. It is a place where I can tell stories, relate experiences and pass along tips discovered while doing research on my family; through volunteer activities, including as an Online Parish Clerk; and from projects completed as a genealogical consultant. The first post is in place and I have many more in preparation." Premium Member Sandy is Digging into her Family Roots http://diggingintomyfamilyroots.blogspot.com/ “I am a new blogger, on your last podcast you said to email a link to our blogs. I watched your videos to get me started. i do have fun with it. I hope you like it.” Sandy’s blog has been featuring a series of letters home written during World War II." Steve is Poking Around the Past http://pokingaroundinthepast.com/ “On September 1st I finally managed to get my family history blog started, and I'd like to invite you to take a look. I call it Poking Around in the Past, and I gave you a mention (link) in my first post.” From Gloria who describes herself as “A Die Hard Fan” http://familylinks.blog.com “I have a blog but haven’t really dedicated it to genealogy although it ties in sometimes as I use it for building my platform for my upcoming adoption memoir. Feel free to take a look at Family Links Matter. I put together a Facebook group page—The Groton, MA LONGLEY line—and family members post and share info, pictures, and a lot more. I met a third cousin and her daughter, several 7th cousins, and more. It’s a great resource for all of  us. Check it out Groton MA line LONGLEY https://www.facebook.com/groups/34724192366/   Lisa’s Blogging Tips Include great visuals – old photos, public domain images, etc. Your readers will enjoy them and they may help in your blog’s Google search results ranking. Give your readers an easy way to subscribe by email Give it a try by subscribing to the Genealogy Gems Blog through email using https://blogtrottr.com/ Instructions for Subscribing to a blog via email: (feel free to add these to your blog) Look for the orange RSS button to get the feed address for a blog or podcast. Copy the RSS feed address for the blog Example: The Genealogy Gems blog the feed is http://lisalouisecooke.com/feed/ Go to www.blogtrottr.com Paste  the blog feed URL in the “Feed” field on the Blogtrottr website In the next field type in your email address Select how often you want to receive the email notifications of new posts Click the orange “Feed Me” button Emails of new posts will now be delivered to your email address as requested Let your readers know that the service is available to them by adding a Text Widget to the side bar of your blog with the above instructions and a link to Blogtrottr. Try assigning themes to your blogging days. It can help you get a jump start on writing, as well as help you determine which areas are your favorites that you may want to focus on my more in the future as your “niche.” Check out Geneabloggers at www.Genealogybloggers.com for genealogy blogging support and theme ideas. Break up long posts into several posts. They are easier for you to publish, and easier for your readers to consume. Collect blogging ideas in Evernote. Set up a notebook called “Blogging Ideas” and tags for your various subject areas such as: Family lines / surnames such as  “Johnson Family” Location based subjects such as “Texas History” Focus areas such as  “Memoirs”, “Old Photos” etc. Learn everything you need to know about using Evernote for genealogy by becoming a Genealogy Gems Premium Member. In addition to over 100 exclusive Premium episodes, membership includes my one hour Evernote class video, and the Evernote instructional mini-series.  Get the Evernote for Windows for Genealogists Quick Reference Guide in the Genealogy Gems Store   GEM:  Lisa’s Favorite Genealogy Gems (Just in time for Christmas!): Espy Frames by Jen Garrett As I get older, I find myself tiring of the same old gift giving every year. You know how it is – we all have too much stuff, and what we become more and more interested in is that which will last, and have a lasting impression on our family and those we love. So as I travel throughout the year I keep my eyes peeled for things that really stand out – items that are truly Genealogy Gems. Wonderful products that I want for my own home and family, and ones I think that you will appreciate and enjoy as well. So I’ve decided that Lisa is going to have her Favorite Genealogy Gems.  And the first one that I want to introduce you to today are Espy Frames by Jen Garrett. I will never forget taking my annual walk through the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference exhibit hall this last year. I really didn’t expect to see anything earth shattering or new. But when I reached the end of the first row and turned the corner I was instantly mesmerized by what I saw. Laid out across a long table, and hanging on the walls behind it were the more glorious and spectacular frames I had ever seen. Most were large thick frames around mirrors, but a few encompassed vintage photos. But they had three very important things in common. They all were dripping with vintage gems, jewels, charms, buttons and antiques. They were all one-of-a-kind pieces of art, and each one told a very unique story.  Oh, and they had one more important thing in common. They were all created by Jen Garrett. In this gem segment of the podcast I want to introduce you to Jen. She is a very special lady, which an incredible talent for story telling through these incredible art frames. I hope you come away with is that there are new and creative ways to help tell you ancestors story. I have a very special hand tinted photo from the 1930s of my beloved Grandma Alfreda Burkett in her nursing cap, taken the day she graduated from nursing school. She looks so young, and beautiful and full of excitement for her new career, which would last for over 50 years.  I’ve waited to hang that photo in my home because I knew it deserved a special frame, and I’ve just never found one that did it justice. The frame that I bought that day, absolutely does it justice. It’s covered in vintage items from that era, all with a medical theme Exclusive Collection Hand Selected by Lisa I noticed it right away because the frame held a photo from that same era of another young nurse. She has been replaced with Grandma Burkett’s photo, and this framed piece is now, truly, a family heirloom. It hangs in my Genealogy Gems office, and it will be handed down for generations to come. Jen’s frames are an investment well worth making. And if you would like to acquire one of these very special frames you will find an exclusive collection now in the Genealogy Gems website store, just in time for the holidays. The frames are all truly incredible works of art! Even if you aren’t interested in purchasing a frame, may I encourage you to just go and window shop. You’ll be inspired. And once a frame I this collection has been purchased it’s gone forever, because they really are one-of-a-kind. Be sure to click on them to see the enlarged view. The photos don’t do the frames justice, but the larger images will give you a taste of all of the incredible and intricate details in them. On a PC you can hold the Control key and plus the plus key (+) to zoom in even further. Enjoy! Join Today: Genealogy Gems Premium Membership Sign up for the Free Newsletter on the www.GenealogyGems.com homepage and get the free ebook 5 Fabulous Google Search Strategies for the Family Historian as a thank you gift!  
Oct 09, 2013
Episode 159 - African American Research, Work Through the Ages
42:42
Come along as we solve a family history mystery with high-tech and low-tech tools, discuss who to begin African-American research, explore newly available Canadian records, and contemplate the value of work as well as the values we want to pass on to our kids and grandkids.   NEWS: Canadian Genealogical Records Now Available If you have Canadian kin, you’ll be pleased to hear that the 1825 census of Lower Canada is now searchable online. The 1825 census of Lower Canada counted nearly half a million people. Heads of household were actually named, with other members of the household counted by category. You can search by household name or geographic location. The 1921 census counted 8.8 million people in thousands of communities across Canada. According to the Library and Archives Canada Blog, the population questionnaire had 35 questions. The census also collected data on “agriculture; animals, animal products, fruits not on farms; manufacturing and trading establishments; and [a] supplemental questionnaire for persons who were blind and deaf. This represents a total of 565 questions.” The census was released this past June 1 from the national Statistics office to the Library and Archives. That office is processing and scanning the nearly 200,000 images for public use. It hopes to have them posted soon. You can start looking for your Canadian ancestors in the Library and Archives Canada’s popular Census Indexes at which include that 1825 census and a new version of the 1891 census, too. If your family arrived in Canada after the 1921 census, check out the website for The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, where a million immigrants landed between 1928-1971. The much-anticipated (but little-publicized) 1921 Canadian census is now online and available for browsing at http://www.ancestry.ca/census  They anticipate releasing an index later this year. When you click on the first link above, you’ll see that Ancestry.ca’s collection of Canadian census data goes back to 1851. Check out my post above to learn about online data back to 1825. It’s getting easier all the time to find your Canadian ancestors online! Genealogy Roadshow on PBS: More Genealogy TV Lovers of Who Do You Think You Are! and other genealogy TV favorites will be pleased to know that Genealogy Roadshow is filming for airing this fall on PBS. This has already been a popular series in Ireland, where Genealogy Roadshow is in its second season. The series premieres in the U.S. on KQED on Monday September 23.  Read more about it here   MAILBOX: Death Certificate Confusion  Scott writes: “I wanted to send this death certificate to you and maybe you could talk about it on your podcast.  It's a reminder we can't take what we see at face value even from a primary source created at the time of the event.  On one line it says he died Jan 17, 1937 and another it says the attending doctor saw him alive on February 17 of the same year.  But then he was buried on Jan 20th.  It's really not all that clear whether the events took place in January or February from just this document.”    Lisa’s Reply: What is really fascinating about this document is how the slight variation in handwriting gives away the problem. The doctor was very detailed with the variety of dates he entered as Feb. when events took place. His “3” generally stands up or even tips forward a bit. But the Registrar, Mr. Popeland, distinctly tilts his “3” and “7” back a bit. And his hand is also heavier. Very quickly you see that Dr. Brallier completed his portion of the form and then, I would guess later, Mr. Popeland completed the remainder of the form and filed it. The big question is who made the mistake: was Mr. Popeland correct that it was January, or was Dr. Brallier correct that is was February? I searched Ancestry and MyHeritage because I was anxious to know the answer. After an initial search neither Dempsey nor his wife Ruby Lee appeared, which is rather curious. After trying all types of name variations, I finally went to our old friend, www.Google.com . I search on his wife "Ruby Lee Danner" in quotation marks and up popped one result - a court case. Searching “Dempsey Danner” in quotation marks resulted in 7 hits, 3 of which were him, including an obituary at the Arizona Obituary Archive. Dr. Braillier has been vindicated. Perhaps Mr. Popeland had filed one too many certificates that day, or had his mind on something else as he entered January in the remaining blanks. And once again, the case is made that the person who was there at the time of the event in person got it right, and the one recording the event later did not. Kate shares some old time photo resources:  “…Old Time DC on Facebook.  It's brilliant.  It's a collection of DC photos from the past.  It's not owned by anyone and anyone can post.  https://www.facebook.com/OldTimeDc  I love looking at old photos trying to figure out what the world was like before…It would be so wonderful if people in various cities starting compiling things like this Old TIme DC Facebook page.  Many families have shared interest in various places and streets but most people didn't think to take photos of those things.” Lisa’s Tip: Try searching for names of towns and keywords like “photos” and “history” to see if there are similar groups on Facebook that can benefit your research. My example: I found a similar Facebook page for Margate Kent https://www.facebook.com/MargateHistory. It's a terrific use of social media!   GEM:  Interview with Dr. Deborah Abbott Genealogy Gems contributor Sunny Morton interviews Dr. Deborah Abbott, Ph.D., an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and currently serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS).   Dr. Abbott specializes in African American genealogy, slavery, court records as well as methodology. Her genealogical research project about an African American Family from Kentucky entitled "From Slavery to Freedom to Antioch" was highlighted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio) Newspaper under the title "Six-Volumes to Amplify a Family History" in 2008.   In this Gem Dr. Abbott shares her strategies for Starting the Search for African American Roots: Interview your family (both blood and non-blood!) Ask open ended questions Generate feelings Get an entire social history if you can. Try asking a question to frame the question. Like “who was the president when you were 12?” Debbie's Favorite Resources: Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org. Opened at the same time! Go back and forth between the two. Think of Ancestry as “the index” and FamilySearch as the “images.”  Example: Ohio Death Index 1908-2007   Slave Research: Follow the Census Research slave holder Pay attention to who is in the house, and who lives around them. Sometimes slave holders and former slaves share first names in addition to last names. “Once we get into the slave era African-America are no longer people, they are property.” You are looking for people as you would other property like land. You must look at the people making the transactions, all the way through their death.   Ohio had laws that governed the movements of African-Americans in the early years. Understand the history and the laws in the location and timeframe you are researching. In Ohio –African-Americans had to register.   Free Family History Festival Sat. Sept. 28, 2013 Detroit Public Library – Main Branch Debbie will be teaching on techniques for tracing African-American Roots Lisa will be teaching on Ultimate Google Search Strategies and Tips and Get the Scoop on Your Ancestors with Newspapers.   Lisa’s Personal Thoughts on the Value of Work, Looking to Ancestors for Values, and Passing on our Family’s Values to our Kids and Grandkids.    
Sep 05, 2013
Episode 158 - Exclusive Interview with the Producer of TLC's Who Do You Think You Are?
01:08:17
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 158 August 2, 2013 NEWS: Attention Gmail Users:Google has revised the Gmail dashboard to now include tabs, separating your emails based on the type of content. Overall, I really like it, but I wanted to bring to your attention to the fact that your Genealogy Gems email newsletters will probably land in the Promotions tab, rather than your Primary tab. The problem with this is that we are used to focusing on what is in the in box in front of us, and I know I’m having a little difficulty retraining myself to check the other tabs. To ensure that you get your Genealogy Gems newsletter emails instantly, move the newsletter to your Primary tab. Click on the  email to grab, drag and drop it on the Primary tab. From that point forward your newsletter emails should show up in your Primary tab, and you won’t miss a thing!   The Genealogy Gems Podcast App is now available for Windows 8 phone, tablets and desktop! Our app provides you the ability to stream or download free Genealogy Gems Podcast content, and even share your favorite episodes. Here's what you need to know:   Phone / Tablet:  First, download the Genealogy Gems phone app for $2.99 from the Windows Phone Store.   Once installed, a live tile will be available on the start menu. Opening the app will provide you a list of episodes available for the show. You can swipe left or right to move through favorites, downloaded episodes, and recently played episodes.  Selected episodes will be highlighted with a check mark in the corner. Tapping on an episode you wish to listen to will open an in app player. Clicking on the three dots in the lower right hand corner will open up the menu shortcuts, giving easy access to marking episodes as favorites, downloading the episodes for offline listening, or sharing the episodes out with your friends.   Desktop: Download the Genealogy Gems desktop app ($2.99 from the Windows Desktop App Store.)   Opening the app will provide you a list of episodes available for the show on the right with a player on the left and utilizes all the standards of the Windows 8 navigation. Selected episodes will be highlighted with a check mark in the corner.   An episode can be bookmarked by marking it as a ‘favorite’, and episodes can be downloaded so that they are available offline.   When downloading a file, the status of the download will appear. Once an episode is favorited or downloaded, you can set the app to show only those favorite episodes or those downloaded files. You can also view a list of what episodes were recently played.   The Genealogy Gems Podcast app is the one and only family history podcast app available, and was named a Must Have Apps for Hobbies by App Advice.   Fold3 and Ancestry Trees Now when you discover an ancestor's record on Fold3.com, you can save it to your online tree at Ancestry.com.   According to Fold3.com's press release: "Whenever you see a green 'Save to Ancestry' button above a document or on a Fold3 memorial page, you can link that document or page directly to someone’s profile on Ancestry."   "You’ll be asked to log into your Ancestry.com account, and then you’ll see a drop-down list of your trees. Locate the tree you wish to save the document to, begin typing the name of the person to whom the record should be attached, choose the correct name from the list that appears, and then press save."   Watch this tutorial video to learn more and see how it's done:   OCLC and FamilySearch Partnership The patron catalog on FamilySearch.org is renamed the FamilySearch Catalog. It is re-branding of the FHL Catalog. FamilySearch is planning to load their catalog records into WorldCat by the end of the year. In the case of our very larger records, these may be abbreviated. Patrons discovering their catalog records on WorldCat will be able to click through from WorldCat to the FamilySearch Catalog to view the complete record. WorldCat will eventually show holdings in selected regional family history centers as well. There are currently no plans to change circulation policy. Films can be ordered to FamilySearch Centers as before. Other materials are not circulated.  However, they are scanning their books and have over 80,000 of them on line. There are links to them in the catalog. They can also be searched on Familysearch.org by selecting “Books”.   PAF Retires If you've been doing family history research for a while, you probably have heard of (and maybe used) PAF: Personal Ancestral File software. Well, it's been hard at work for a long time--as a true pioneer in genealogy computing--and now it's retiring.   It's not that your PAF software suddenly doesn't work. But as of today, July 15, 2013, you won't be able to get downloads, supports or upgrades from FamilySearch, which has made the software available since 1984.   What does that mean for PAF users? The current version of PAF supports exports to GEDCOM files, still a universal file type for genealogy software. So while GEDCOMs still remain supported on other software and online family tree hosts, you'll be able to transfer the data from your tree. Those who want to continue to use FamilySearch products (like Family Tree) are advised by FamilySearch to switch to software that partners with FamilySearch: Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree or RootsMagic. Learn more about the PAF discontinuation, what it means to you and supported software options at FamilySearch.   And just to put in a plug for RootsMagic, a Genealogy Gems Podcast sponsor, RootsMagic 6 is the only software that is "share+ certified" by FamilySearch for use with Family Tree: the only software, as RootsMagic says, "certified to collaborate and share data and sources with FamilySearch Family Tree." If you're already using RootsMagic 4 or 5, you'll need to upgrade. Purchase RootsMagic 6 or order your upgrade here: http://rootsmagic.com/Store/RootsMagic/     And speaking of RootsMagic: Now you can find short training videos in addition to free full-length webinars on RootsMagic's new YouTube Channel, RootsMagicTV at http://www.youtube.com/user/RootsMagicTV/videos   If you're a RootsMagic user (or may be interested in becoming one), FamilySearch Family Tree or PAF user, you'll love these helpful tutorials.   And let your voice be heard: They are even taking suggestions for topics to cover in future short videos, too! email them at support@rootsmagic.com.     British Research The London Metropolitan Archives says that half the inquiries they receive are from family historians. This is likely due to their rich resources, click here to peruse the collection: http://preview.tinyurl.com/k75c59e   Because there is such a strong genealogy interest in the LMA, they are making a huge effort to reach out to genealogists. They're all about educating us and sharing what's at LMA through their website, hands-on classes, remote research services and partnerships with data sites like Ancestry and FindMyPast. All this from a city archive!   Check out this video they've made for family history researchers: http://youtu.be/OKLmWKJWkqE     Were Your Ancestors "Vicious" or in "Chronic Want"?London Poverty Maps Map It Out! There is a fantastic blog posting on Mad About Genealogy about the Booth Poverty Maps, which look like a riveting way to understand your ancestor's 1880s London neighborhood. http://www.madaboutgenealogy.com/booth-poverty-maps/   According to blogger Linda Elliott,  "Booth employed a team of social investigators who walked around the London streets often in the company of the local policeman and recorded what they saw and heard. The notebooks that they filled out can be viewed online and make for fascinating reading with amongst other findings they record what the policeman thought of each street and sometime each building and its inhabitants."   The Charles Booth Online Archive Linda describes each category in greater detail in her blog post, along with everything a genealogist needs to know to use the maps   MAILBOX: Response to the update on Ancestry from Allen: “I just listened to your most recent show and wanted to comment on the Ancestry.com search updates you discussed.  I'm sure you have a direct line to them and wanted to offer some suggestions they might be able to use.   First, and I think you may have mentioned this specifically, it would be nice if there were a way to exclude certain records from a search, either automatically or by selection.  In particular, I am thinking that if I have a 1920 Census record attached to a person, there should be some way to exclude 1920 Census results from a search.  Clearly that is not a record I need if that person already has one attached.  Secondly, and related to the first, it would be nice if there were some "level of confidence" or other rating one could apply to a record match.  That way I could attach a record to a person with no confidence but still have it reference a certain person, or with a moderate confidence or high confidence.   This might also apply to relationships as well.  I think this would go a long way toward solving the problem of people posting incorrect information on their tree and others copying it.  The truth is, there is all kinds of information that we associate with our trees that we're not completely sure about but still feel reasonably confident about, but if there were some way to make that know, both to ourselves and others, it would help the situation.  Ancestry.com could then incorporate these into my first search suggestion, so that records with a high confidence would trigger a filter to remove other similar records that would not apply.  In any case, I love the show.  Keep it up.”   From Debbie Cook: My son sent me the interesting link below to a Flickr page that I thought might interest your subscribers.  They are older photos superimposed on to the existing landscape at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsultan/sets/72157626149118210/   UPDATE: Genealogy Gems Toolbar has been discontinued.   Sarah wrote in to say: “I want to learn how to use Roots Magic 6 that goes to Trees” Lisa’s Answer: You can watch the free RootsMagic class on "Using FamilySearch Family Tree with RootsMagic" on their website at http://rootsmagic.com/webinars/   From Sherry, a Premium Member from British Columbia: “I wrote to you several months back to tell you about my new family history blog, "My Descent into Descent", (http://mydescentintodescent.blogspot.ca), and how you inspired me to create it. Well, you've also inspired me to use my new iPad, which my husband gave me for Christmas, as a tool for my research, and now for blogging. Recently, my sister and I took our long-awaited "Family History Road Trip" to New England, and I took my iPad along to blog from the road! I also brought along a keyboard, and would blog in the morning, using the Blogger app, while my sister and niece were still asleep. It was fun to share our experiences almost as they were happening, as well as the crisp and clear photos I was taking with my iPad. As my sister was more interested in the stories from our mutual family tree and less in the research, we tried to plan our trip to include destinations which would interest us both. As I have discovered that we are Mayflower descendants, one of the places we visited was the Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. As you may know, it includes a near authentic replica of the village of Plymouth circa 1627, and has actors portraying the roles of the people living there that year. They are well-versed in the stories of the pilgrims they are portraying, and stay in character while they are conversing with you. I was hoping I might run into an actor playing one of our ancestors, but I couldn't believe our luck! Of the handful of actors we met, two were portraying our ancestors, Hester Cooke and Richard Warren! Who actually gets to talk to their long departed ancestors on a family history road trip? Thank you so much for the many ways you inspire and inform us all. I would very much like to recommend to your listeners that they consider blogging their family history. Since I started my blog in November, I have had over 4,000 hits, when I only expected to receive a few. Most excitingly, I had always wanted to connect with the descendants of my great grand aunt Lily. After telling the story of that part of the family in depth over several blog posts, I waited for several months before I heard anything. As it turned out, some of her descendants were curious about their family history, and while Googling some of the names, my blog popped up! They could not believe their good fortune in finding out so much about their tree all at once! I plan to visit them this coming week. They are excited to meet me and my husband, and have a family Bible to show me.” Leigh has a new genealogy blog! “I just wanted to let you know that I've been listening to your old Podcasts and working my way up to the present.  I'm on Episode 80 now, and I'm learning so much from you.  It has never occurred to me to start a blog, but after listening to your advice on the subject, I finally decided to give it a whirl.  I mentioned you and your Genealogy Gems podcast in the post and linked to your page.  I've heard you say that you appreciated that on previous podcasts, so I thought it would be okay.  If you'd like, you can view the blog at http://thesegenesfit.blogspot.com/ . I love your podcasts, and once I'm caught up, I'm planning to become a Premium member.  Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone!" Winnie the Pooh Quote:  “You can't stay in your corner of the forest, waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes.”   Thank you to our sponsor RootsMagic.com GEM: Behind the Scenes of the TV series Who Do You Think You Are? with Producer Allie Orton It was a sad day when NBC cancelled Who Do You Think You Are? here in the U.S., but genealogists are now drying their eyes and grabbing their popcorn because it’s returning to TV this month. The TLC channel has picked up Who Do You Think You? and the first episode featuring singer Kelly Clarkson premieres on July 23, 2013. Here to tell us all about it is Producer and Research Manager for the series Allie Orton. She’s a graduate of the University of Southern California, and began work as a researcher on the first U.S. season of "Who Do You Think You Are?" back in 2008. In her current role she oversees research development, coordinates communication between Ancestry.com and the research staff, and shepherds these compelling stories to completion! In this interview Allie shares: How she got involved in the show The impact of the cancellation How celebs are selected The research team makeup The art of storytelling Kelly Clarkson episode Stand out moments If it is getting any easier to produce the show Her favorite episode (hint: it’s this season) Her favorite person (OK, people!) to work with How she’ll be spending her time during the premiere What you can expect to see this season Book referred to: Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women , Work, and the Family, from Slavery to the Present Exclusive for Premium Members: Allie’s Advice for Genealogists in Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast Episode 100   STAY IN TOUCH: You can stay in touch with me all month long by subscribing to the free Genealogy Gems Newsletter right on the homepage of my website www.genealogygems.com And here’s a thought to ponder until we meet here again: People don't care what you know until they know that you care
Jul 29, 2013
Episode 157 - Blast from the Past Episodes 11 and 12 Remastered
39:37
In this Blast from the Past episode we are turning the time machine back to May of 2007.  First up is Genealogy Gems Episode #11, first published May 07, 2007, which includes two great gems for you: How to Find Pictures from the Past with Google.com, adn a Family History Decoupage Plate Project. This is easy even for you non-crafters out there and the result is an heirloom quality decorative plate that tells an ancestors story. Then in this double header, Genealogy Gems episode # 12, which was originally published on May 13, 2007  features ancestor educational records and my Top 10 Tips for finding the Graduation Gems in your family history. Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode: #11 Original Publish Date: May 07, 2007 GEM #1 – Discover Pictures from the Past with Google One of the easiest ways to find photos on the web is with Google.com.  The ability to focus your search on images is often overlooked.  Let’s go over the basics: Go to google.com Notice the search box at the top of the page Above the box reading left to right you will see the word WEB bolded.  This means that when you enter a word or phrase etc you will be searching everything on the web.  To the right of the word WEB is the word IMAGES.  Click on it -  and it will now be bolded. Now when you enter a word or phrase all of your results will come back as images that Google found on the internet.  This could be photos, drawings, graphics, etc. There are additional “modes” you can search in with Google such as video, news, maps, books, etc. but for right now we’re going to focus on images. To find photos of specific people try putting their first and last names within quotes (i.e. "laura ingalls wilder"). If you've got a bit more time or a really unusual surname, then you could just enter the name and that should get you started. You can also find photos of old items and places from your ancestor’s life such as tombstones, buildings, their hometown, the kind of old car they drove.  If the page containing the full image doesn't come up when you click on the thumbnail, here’s what you can do: Use your mouse to highlight the URL website address that appears below the thumbnail and press Control C on your keyboard to copy the address. Click where it says “WEB” above the Google search box to go back to website searches.  Place your curser in the search box by clicking inside it.  Press control V on your key board and that will paste the URL address into the search box. Click the SEARCH button. The first result or two should be from that website that had the image you wanted. Look at the last line of the result for that website and click on the "cache" link. Now you are looking at a cache version, or in other words an older version of the website, hopefully BEFORE the image was removed or moved. By browsing through this version of the website, you will hopefully find the image you are looking for!   GEM #2 – Mother’s Day Project – Decoupage plate In my book it’s not enough to find wonderful photos on the internet that help tell the story of your family’s past, or have a boxful of old family photos.  It’s sort of like the old riddle “If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear it, then does it make a sound?”  If a photo is tucked away in a shoe box, is it adding to the value of your research?  Not in my book. Family History is meant to be shared.  However, I believe wholeheartedly that we, the family historian are not the primary “customer” if you will.   I constantly challenge myself to see my family today as my “customer”.  I want the family’s history to be meaningful to them and ignite in them a pride, loyalty and reverence for our family.  So I’m always trying to come up with new ways to share what I’ve found that they will enjoy. Decoupage Photo Plate: Decoupage was a hot craft for women in the early part of the century, and it's definitely gone through resurgence in the last decade. As I mentioned in a previous episode of the podcast, my mom recently brought me a truckload of family heirlooms.  She and my stepdad have taken the plunge to sell their home and travel in a motor home full time.  When I was preparing for this episode, I went looking for the decoupage plate that I made her a couple of years ago for Mother’s Day.  I assumed it was in one of the boxes that she brought me, but I couldn’t find it.  When I asked her about it, she said to me, “I gave you your great grandmother’s tea set, your grandmother’s china, and pretty much everything else I had. But I didn’t give you the plate.  I’m keeping THAT!”  Hearing her say that meant as much to me as the plate probably means to her. So may I just say, if you pour some love and time into creating this plate, I guarantee it will be treasured.  Here’s the plate I made for my mom:     Wasn’t she a cutie patootie?!  I started by selecting photos that told the story of her childhood…at the top is a photo of the house her parents built the year she was born.  Going clockwise, the next photo is her as baby, then as a toddler in her crib with her favorite teddy bear, then as a preschooler in the coat & hat her mother made for her.  In the center is my favorite childhood photo of her, probably just before entering kindergarten.  I love that it’s a close up, her BIG brown eyes, and the dainty bows in her hair.  The design in simple, and very focused on its subject matter – my mom! The photos are glued from behind so they show through the glass plate.  I painted the back black, which seemed appropriate for the black and white photos, but it could be gold, or any color you want.  Let’s get started making this modern family heirloom. The supplies you need are simple and inexpensive: A clear glass plate with a smooth finish.  You can usually buy these at craft stores, or discount stores very cheap.  Maybe a dollar each.  I got mine at a kitchenware factory outlet.  Make sure you’ve cleaned it very well before you begin, and that’s completely dry. A sponge craft brush A jar of decoupage glue Good, fine paper-cutting scissors.  Cuticle scissors also work very well. Paint – choose a color you would like for the back.  Just a small bottle of acrylic craft paint and A flat paint brush – another option is to use pretty paper or tissue. Clear brush on acrylic varnish if you want a glossy finish on the back. A selection of photos you want to use.  Personally, I like the more monochromatic look – either all color, or all black and white, but you can do whatever looks good to you.  You can also use other images that compliment the photos.  Make copies of the photos.  You can scan them and print them out on paper, or take them to a copy center and color copy them.  Whether you are using color or black and white, you’ll want to color copy them to get the best quality.  You can also play around with sizing the photos the way you want them.  While I fit just five on my mom’s plate, they are all large enough to be seen clearly, even at a distance when the plate is hanging on the wall.   Experiment with laying out your design to fit the plate.  Keep in mind that the plate likely has some slight curvature to it, so you don’t want to just turn it upside down and draw a circle around it, because your design won’t end up quite big enough.  Cut your copies a bit larger than the area they are going to cover.  Also, if you want to add any words, now is the time.  You can draw directly on the copy or print out something and cut it to fit.  In my case, felt like a picture was worth a thousand words! When applying the cutouts, you'll be working in reverse: the first images placed on the plate will be in the foreground of the design when viewed from the front of the plate. Start by applying the prominent images to the decoupage medium. Glue the edges firmly to the glass. Turn the plate over to check the placement of images Put a nice even coat of glue on the photo, on the side you want to see. Don't worry about brush strokes, but be careful not to go over it too many times, you don’t want the ink to run.  Place the image face down on the back of the plate and spread the glue over the back of the photo. Turn the plate around so you can see the image from the front and work out the air bubbles from behind.  (you can try placing a piece of wax paper over the photo and use a roller  over the wax paper to go over it and smooth it out and get the air bubbles out. Turn the plate over and check the results. Continue place the images until the entire plate is covered. Let it dry (24 hours should do it) Use painters tape to tape off the edges before you apply the acrylic paint to the back of the plate.  Let dry.  Apply a second coat, or sponge on a second color if you want to.  Let dry If you want a glossy finish on the back, apply an acrylic varnish.  Let dry   Genealogy GemsPodcast Episode #12 Original Publish Date: May 13, 2007 TODAY’S GEM – Top 10 Tips for Finding the Graduation Gems in Your Family History 1.  Establish the Timeline:  Check your genealogy database to figure out when your ancestor would have attended school.  I’m going to be focusing on high school, but this could just as easily apply to researching the college years. 2.  Family Papers & Books We always start our research at home, so go through old family papers & books looking for Senior Calling Cards, High School Autograph Books, Journals & Diaries, Senior Portraits, & Yearbooks   3.  Newspapers – Search for announcements,  honor rolls & other articles about end of the year activities.    It’s easy to say search newspapers, but it’s not always that easy to find them.  So here are some ideas of where to look for historical newspapers… - Ancestry.com ($) - The Local Public Library Website in the town where your ancestor attended school.   Check their online card catalogue, or send them an email to find out if they have the years you are interested in, and to see if they will cooperate with interlibrary loan with your local library.  - The Library of Congress  - Family History Center in Salt Lake City.  Search the Family History Library Catalog online for your ancestor's location to find what newspapers they may have.  - Historical and genealogical societies.  - U.S. state archives and libraries 4. The State Library – Wisconsin Dept of Education website list of state libraries:  5.  State Historical Societies – in addition to newspapers as I mentioned before, state historical societies might have old yearbooks & photos. 6.  Rootsweb.com - Check the Message Board for the county & state you’re looking for, as well  post a message asking if anyone has access to yearbooks or other school info. 7.  Websites focused on Yearbooks –   Yearbook Genealogy.com website:  http://www.yearbookgenealogy.com/  & The National Yearbook Project 8.  The US GENWEB site - Search on the county website where the school was located. 9.  Call the School – if they don’t have old yearbooks, they may be able to put you in touch with a local librarian or historian who does.  Go to www.whowhere.com and type in the school name in “Business Name”.  Call around 4:00 pm, when the kids are gone but the school office is still open.  EBAY:  Do a search on the school or town you’re looking for to see if anyone out there is selling a yearbook that you need.  Be sure and also search for old photographs or postcards of the school.  Here’s my extra trick: From the results page do a “Completed Listings” search & email potential sellers to inquire about the books you are looking for.  You might get lucky like I did! Don’t be afraid to ask – Ebay seller’s want to sell!  And if all else fails, set up an Ebay Favorite Search to keep a look out for you.  Go to my website and check out Episode #3 for instructions on how to do this.  
Jul 12, 2013
Episode 156 - What to Do When Technological Change Creates Mayhem in Your Life
47:54
In this episode you will get a sneak peek at new changes coming in Ancestry search, and we will look for women in naturalization records. But first here is what you can do... When Technological Changes Get You Down  The Mayhem commercials from Allstate are a riot, but of course all that mayhem is not all that funny when it’s happening to you. Sometimes it feels like technology companies are having a little mayhem fun with us when they get us all up and running with their software program, or app, or phone, or tablet, or whatever, and then bam they change it all up.  Mayhem! It’s not really that we don’t want new technology and that it’s always mayhem. But rather: read more here   MAILBOX: A Listener Takes Action and Gets a Win! In most recent Genealogy Gems newsletter called “How Google Broke My Heart” I lamented the fact that Google is no longer digitizing historic newspapers, but put out a reminder that all of the newspapers that they have digitized to date are all still available for free online. And then I shared a cool webpage that my friend Dave Barney at Google shared with me that provides an easy to browse catalogue of all of the newspaper titles and they the years they cover. In response to that article, a listener, Chris, shared what happened after reading the newsletter.  Chris says... "Just read your article and went to check it out. I was able to find my grandfather's obituary, who died a month after i was born. Thanks for the tip!" So there you have it, the benefits of not just reading the Genealogy Gems newsletter, but taking action on it! I love hearing how you all take the gems and run with them!   Criminal Past Follow up Here is an email from a listener with Australian roots, and they are writing in about the last episode where I was talking about the new collection of criminal records at findmypast.com: “Your most recent podcast (excellent as always!) touched on transportation of convicts from UK.  The National Archives of the UK has an excellent podcast series, with many casts focused on genealogy issues.  Highly recommended for anyone with UK ancestors.  The podcasts are recorded talks given by their own professional Archives listeners. In one recent series, they discussed transportation, clarifying a lot of misunderstandings in the process. To start, the prisoners were not convicts in the sense that we use the term these days.  Violent criminals in those days were hanged.  Those transported were primarily debtors and those that committed property crimes.  These folks were not forced to emigrate.  Instead, they received a 7 year sentence.  After completing their sentence, they were free to stay or to return to England.  Perhaps the most interesting detail to me was the role the American Revolution played in the settlement of Australia.  Before the Revolution, transport was to North America.  After the war, that channel ceased to exist.  It took several years for the British to find an alternative, Australia.  So, if not for our revolution, Australia would not be what it is today.” Mike has a question about how to put names to faces. He writes: “I recently came across a class photo of a company of Navy recruits graduating on 13 June 1944 in Farragut Island, Idaho. My Father is one of them. But as I was looking at this mass of individuals (many of which would be dead within the year of the photo being taken); I thought “why not put the photo out to the general public and ask people to try and ID everyone in the photo.” I just do not know how to go about doing that the best way. That is when your name came to my mind to ask. Yes, I have digitized the photo, it is huge, so individuals would have to magnify the image.” Lisa’s Four Strategies for Crowd Sourcing Photo Identification: Well, Mike I’ve got 4 tips for you and anyone looking to try to put names to faces with the help of the genealogy community and the public at large. 1) www.deadfred.com - this is a free website where you can submit your photo, include as much info as you know about it, and then others can search the site and hopefully make identifications. This is a well-respected site that has been around a long time, and I have interviewed the founder (episode 74), who is great and passionate about old photos. 2) Consider creating individual photos of each man from the original digital scan. This might come in handy so that people can get a good look at their faces. 3) Consider creating your own free genealogy blog, even if it is just to post one article about the photo. Think of it as your own personal message board. You could include the photo (and some of the close-ups I mentioned creating) and then write up a description of what you know about the photo, the class, the location, etc. Make it as keyword rich as possible so that others will find it when they do Google searches on these keywords and topics.  www.blogger.com is free and easy to set up in just a few minutes. 4) Another type of "personal message board" would be a YouTube video. Just film the photo, zooming in and out on the faces. Many video editing programs will let you add the photo to the software timeline and zoom in and out just like a camera.  There is a free program called Jing that might work. Or Windows Movie Maker, etc. Again, add all that keyword rich text to your video description and title, and be sure to add appropriate TAGS to the video. All of that will help it get found. Mike took my advice and set up his own free genealogy blog: www.adiscoveryofthepast.blogspot.com   Gem posted on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/genealogygems. Marge Mero says: "Lisa, we found this quilt in the Main Street Museum at Polson, Lake County, Montana. It has my husband's grandmother's name stitched into this square. (Mrs. S. E. Salter). We also found a Red Cross quilt with relative names at a museum in Lanigan, Saskatchewan. Your posting was a good reminder to watch for quilts in museums." Check out her post on Facebook because you’ve got to see this quilt!  This episode is sponsored by:   GEM: Women in Naturalization Records Women’s suffragists demonstrate in February 1913. Photographer unknown. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. We’re also nearing the completion of the enormous Community Indexing Project of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Records. Already we can search newly-created indexes to millions of naturalization records at FamilySearch.org. But often we don’t find the women we’re looking for. Let’s look at why. But I’ll warn you, the reasons aren’t pretty. In the past, women had very few legal rights. None could vote. Married women had even fewer rights. Their legal identity disappeared when they married, swallowed up in their husband’s. Married women did not handle legal matters in their own name, own property or keep their own money. Sometimes they did not even have legal liability for their actions. This was known as the legal principle of coverture. In 1855, a law was made that women who weren’t ineligible for other reasons (like race) were automatically made citizens when their husbands were naturalized. There was no extra paperwork or court costs. Their husbands’ papers (in combination with their marriage records) served as proof of the women’s citizenship, even though before 1906, you will not usually find the women’s names even listed on their husbands’ applications. This represented a step forward for most married women, but not all. If a husband didn’t naturalize, the wife couldn’t naturalize without him. (On the flip side, if a U.S.-born woman married a foreigner, she often lost her U.S. citizenship, whether or not she left the country. This problem wasn’t fully resolved until many years later; learn more about the laws and resulting paperwork in this article by the National Archives. Naturalization laws were not applied evenly, and some women got their citizenship anyway. Eventually, as women won voting rights in various states in the early 1900s, men who applied to naturalize were sometimes denied because their wives, who would be granted citizenship and therefore voting privileges, didn’t speak English or meet other requirements. Men complained that their wives’ nationalities were getting in the way, a problem women had lived with for years! In 1922, women gained the right to naturalize independent of marital status. If their husbands were already citizens, they didn’t have to file declarations of intentions (the first step in the paperwork process), just a petition (the second step in the process). Otherwise, they had to fill out both sets of papers. Eventually even this link to their husbands’ citizenship disappeared, and they just filled out their own entirely separate paperwork. What about unmarried women and widows? They could apply for naturalization, but in especially before the 1900s, they sometimes didn’t if they had no property. They could not vote and the law didn’t always treat them fairly. They saw little benefit in investing the funds and time in applying for citizenship. It’s fascinating how much we can learn about the status of women by the way they were treated in the records we research. It reminds us to look past the paperwork to the reasons and intentions behind it, if we really want to understand how people lived. To our foremothers, both those who gained citizenship and those who were denied it, we salute you!   CLOSING: From Georgia: “First things First: Thank you so much for all you do for genealogists. I recently retired and it was my interest in your podcast long before the last day, that drew me to genealogy. While accurate data is of the most importance, I must confess, I am in it for the stories. Your website and podcast have captured my philosophy perfectly. I want the past to live for my family, not just sit politely on the dusty bookshelf. Second thing: It was with your encouraging podcasts and an unrelenting techie grand-daughter, I have begun a website and blog for my families (Doudna, Brown, Allison, and Gillingham), "Billies Girl" at billiesgirl.weebly.com. I am still in the beginning steps, but am having more fun than I ever expected.  I would like to add links to your website on the pages. But, as I am, admittedly, ignorant in the ways of web-world, I am not sure if this is something I can just do or if I need to get permission from other sites to link them. I would of course be identifying and giving credit for anything I link too. I think I can thank you for bringing me through that touchy first bit of retirement. Thanks again.”  Georgia Congratulations on your new blog! And I am always happy to have listeners link to http://www.genealogygems.com Since my daughters are all now "leaving the nest" there have been many times over these last few years that I have been grateful to have the podcast and my listeners for helping me get through that "touchy" transition. I am very glad if I have been a help or encouragement to you in any way.  
Jun 13, 2013
Episode 155 - Catching Up on Everything Genealogy, and WikiTree Update
52:54
A lot has been happening in the genealogy world while I have been on the road, and my job is to boil it down so I can bring you the best genealogy gems and that’s what we are going to do in this episode.   NEWS: RootsTech If you didn’t make it out to Salt Lake City for the huge RootsTech conference – and I do mean huge – don’t fret because they have lots of video recordings online for you including a panel that I participated in where the topic was the Future of Genealogy. If you have ever wondered what is coming down the pike, and what some of the leaders in the genealogy community would like to see, I think you will enjoy this 1 hour video session.  While it was a tall order to get up there on that stage and try to foresee the future, we had fun trying. I would be interested in knowing what you think is out on the horizon for genealogy, and what you would like to see on the horizon for genealogy.  Drop me an email and we’ll share some of those ideas on an upcoming episode. RootsTech Report from Sunny And if you would like to hear more about what went on at RootsTech here's a RootsTech re-cap there written by our own Sunny Morton, contributing editor to Genealogy Gems.   FamilySearch Records Update There are new digitized images for Australia, Austria, China, England, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the U.S. – In fact in might be faster to announce where they are NOT digitizing records! Read FamilySearch Adds New Records Read More Family History Records at FamilySearch Your Ancestor’s Criminal Past If you have British roots, you will want to check out the new collection available on Findmypast.com: a half million criminal records dating from 1770-1934!   This sounds like a pretty gripping collection, whether you've got British roots or not. It contains records like mug shots, court documents, appeals letters and registers from prison ships (which were used when mainland prisons were crowded). According to Findmypast.com, the records "provide a wide variety of color, detail and fascinating social history, chronicling the fate of criminals ranging from fraudsters, counterfeiters, thieves and murderers and their victims." The 500,000 records you can search now are only a fifth of the full collection of 2.5 million that will be online soon.   The company calls this the largest collection of historical criminal records from England and Wales to be published online and is done in association with the National Archives (UK). Findmypast.com members can click here to access the criminal collection directly (make sure the box for "Institutes and Organizations" is checked). Read more about it here: Find Your Criminal Ancestors: UK Collection from FindMyPast   Digitized War of 1812 Pension Files on Fold3 According to the National Archives, pension files for the War of 1812 rate among their most-requested materials. But the files haven’t been easy to use because they’re only at the National Archives–they haven’t been available in published, microfilmed or digitized form. You have either had to research the pension files onsite in Washington, D.C. or order copies from the Archives. Not exactly easy access. This is about to change. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), The National Archives, Ancestry.com and Fold3.com are partners in a huge effort: to preserve and digitize 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension Records and make them available for free online.  Read more about it   Who Do You Think You Are? TV Series Update #WDYTYA In recent weeks, reports have circulated that Kelly Clarkson has filmed an episode. A fan reported seeing her in Americus, Georgia and that they were shooting footage at Andersonsville National Historic Site. Read more about it at the Genealogy Gems Blog.   Newspapers are reporting that the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is filming its own version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” According to the Bureau County Republican and the NewsTribune (Illinois Valley), popular Danish actress Suzanne Bjerrehuus was in the area filming stories of her great-great-grandparents, who emigrated from Denmark to the American Midwest in 1869. (They apparently left behind one of their six children, from whom Bjerrehuus descends.) Read the Post at the Genealogy Gems Blog   Genealogy Jamboree: Get all the details about the Jamboree Banquet and Classes More details on the Genetic Conference   Church Records for Genealogy on Archives.com About 4.6 million genealogical records from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are now available on Archives.com. This project represents a unique collection for Archives.com, which partnered with the ELCA Archives to digitize and index about 1000 rolls of microfilmed records of affiliated church. According to the company, this collection represents records that have never been online before. It eliminates the major barriers we usually have in researching church records: not knowing which specific congregation an ancestor attended; not knowing where those records are now and not having easy access to them.  Read more about it at my website.   Online Historical Maps: From David Rumsey to the DPLA Genealogists rely on historical maps to help us navigate the geography of our ancestors’ lives. One of the most important resources available online is the David Rumsey Map Collection. Well, Rumsey recently announced on his website that he will be making more than 38,000 of his historical maps–everything he’s currently got online–available at the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Read more about it...   Google’s free program Google Earth includes nearly 150 historic maps in the Layers panel.  You can also add historic maps downloaded from Rumsey’s site to Google Earth by using the Overlay feature. My video tutorial series called Google Earth for Genealogy will show you how. You can also get step-by-step instructions in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. Or get them all in a discounted bundle.   MAILBOX: Lee has some questions, and perhaps you do too: Question: How often do the premium podcasts come out?  Answer: Typically there is one new premium episode and one new premium video every month.  And the real value in Premium Membership is that when you join, you get the entire back catalogue of Premium podcast episodes and video. That means as soon as you become a Member you will have access to over 95 exclusive Premium episodes and over a dozen videos of my most popular classes and topics! Question: Does the premium version cover different material than the free version or the same topics but with more depth? Answer: Premium podcast episodes are commercial free, and very similar in format to the free show although the material I cover is different, and we often take time to go more in depth into particular genealogy topics. Question: Is it possible to buy one episode of Premium to try it out before subscribing for the full year?  Answer: Actually, the free podcast is the "free trial" for Premium. If you like the free podcast, you will love Premium! Question: While searching the iPad App Store for anything new in genealogy, I see there is a paid app for Genealogy Gems but little descriptive information. Is this just for listening to the podcast? Is the price one time or for each episode? Or, have I discovered something new that you are about to tell us all about?  Answer: The Genealogy Gems app is a one-time $2.99 purchase (which goes toward development and updates) and conveniently streams the free podcast on your mobile device. It also includes "bonus features" like unique short video, audio, images, and pdfs unique to the app. Click for the Genealogy Gems iPad app: Click for the Genealogy Gems iPhone app: Genealogy Gems App for Android   Joyce asks about region-locked video: Question: Is it possible to watch the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? online?  If so I want to.  I need to attend their conference one of these days also. Looks like you had a blast! Lisa’s Answer: Unfortunately, the UK version is not available outside of the UK online. Many television video providers do what is called "region-locking."  However, if you are really determined to watch, a quick Google search can uncover some work around. Here's an article to get you started. From the BBC website: Currently BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only, but all BBC iPlayer Radio programmes are available to you. One more thing - occasionally folks upload episodes to YouTube such as this one. Watch them soon as you can because they are often removed due to copyright issues.   New Genealogy Blogs Blogging is in the family at Matt’s house…I love your show and look forward to every episode. I've been researching for close to 20 years now, but because of podcasts, blogs and all the other electronic communications that have come along with the Internet, I feel more connected and involved in the genealogy community than ever. I want to thank you for always encouraging us to start our own blog. I finally made that jump yesterday. My daughter, who is only 11, and has her own blog about doll crafts has also been encouraging me, so I thought I better get with the program. You can check it out at http://thepastobsession.blogspot.com/ I can't promise anything about how often I will post, but I do appreciate the encouragement you always provide to your listeners. Thanks for providing a great resource to the genealogy community. p.s. Just in case you want to check it out, my daughter's blog is: carrotandclaire.blogspot.com Amanda also has a new blog…I have been catching up on all the genealogy gems podcasts for the last month (I sometimes hear your voice when I don't have my headphones in!  :)  Anyway,  I just recently became a premium member, and I'm working my way through those podcasts and videos to catch up.  I just wanted to write to say thank you for doing what you do.  I can really tell when I listen that you love what you are doing.   I've been "working" on our family tree since 2003 or so, but only in the last year have I gotten serious about it... and only after I started listening to you have I realized about sources.  So, I now have a tree with over 13,000 people in it and most of it isn't sourced.   I wanted to let you know that I have started a genealogy blog (mostly so I can go back and source everything from the beginning).  I have had a blog in the past just about my kids and other general stuff, but I never kept it going.  I'm already thinking differently about this one because of all the possibilities there are...   the address is feeserfamilygenealogy.blogspot.com, I hope you'll check it out.  It's about more than just the Feeser line of our family, but since that's my last name now, that is what we used as the title.   Just after my very first post some of my first cousins (who I talk to a lot) let me know about some pictures and information they have, and one of my cousins even has a recording of our great grandmother that she did when she was younger (she's the oldest cousin).     Linda likes to blog and laugh…I have been meaning to write to you for some time now to thank you for your marvelous podcast. I have been a faithful listener to Genealogy Gems since the beginning and have enjoyed your stories, insights, and how-tos.  You have a gift for expressing the joys of learning about our family history, not to mention a contagious laugh!   Your podcasts have kept me company on walks, while doing chores, even when waiting in line. On a warm June afternoon a couple of years ago, I found myself doing just that - listening to your podcasts on immigration records and taking copious notes as I stood in line for several hours at the Palo Alto Apple Store, waiting to "early-adopt" my first iPhone.  Some hours later, I logged onto Ancestry.com to search for my elusive Italian Schiavone family, using your tips.   What a surprise when I found my great-grandfather Vito and his oldest son, Pasquale, in the Ellis Island records!  Your tips on how to read the ship's record led me to Pasquale's petition for immigration - and to so much more…When I finally tumbled into bed at 5:00 a.m.. my sweet (and very understanding husband) asked me why I had stayed up for so long.  I could hardly begin to tell him, because I was still crying tears of joy. Not long after that, I reconnected with a cousin I had lost touch with and since then have made new connections with long-lost cousins I had never known from this side of the family…It turned out the other cousin remembered my grandfather Schiavone.  He had invited her family to stay at our home while our family was away on vacation.  She actually rode my tricycle and played in my sandbox!  Can you believe what a small world?  And all of this thanks to you.  Unfortunately, this cousin passed away just last year, but I feel so blessed to have met her and to have made the other connections, who I will always treasure. By the way, I want to echo your enthusiasm for the rewards of blogging about family history.  It is so much fun, not to mention a great way to record family history for our children and for those who are searching for their roots.   But there are other rewards, too, in that researching and writing about our families allows us the opportunity to really reflect on their lives and understand them better.  This can in turn sometimes lead to some wonderful discoveries we may not have made if we had not reflected on their stories in this way.   I invite you to visit my blog, called Many Branches, One Tree, at www.manybranchesonetree.blogspot.com Bill is celebrating 160 years down under on his blog…I thought you might like to hear about another blog you inspired.  I created a web site dedicated to the Jessep Family history back in 1997.  It holds just the facts and covers the many spellings of the name.  This is my father’s page so you can see what I mean. http://www.jessep.com/web/i6.htm  My Jessep line arrived in Australia on the 29 Sep 1854 and I suddenly realized that in 2014 our line will have been Down Under 160 years.  Now that is something to get excited about and provided a starting point for the story.   The blog also allows the story to start and get added to with the help of others.  This gave it the  purpose it had been missing.  The about page has more information:  http://www.jessep.com/blog/about   GEM: Interview with Chris Whitten, Founder of WikiTree Part 1 of my interview with Chris was done for the Family Tree Magazine podcast. In this episode, Part 2  Chris talks about the "GEDMatches" tool.   According to Chris: "This is really a major advance on WikiTree. It makes it much more useful for people who just want to stick their toe in the water and see if cousins are already participating here.”  
May 18, 2013
Episode 154 10 Tips for Breaking Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall
33:59
Travel back to #RootsTech - You'll hear 10 Top Tips for How to Bust Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall, and get the scoop on the new partnership between OCLC / WorldCat and FamilySearch. From Lisa: If you didn’t get a chance to attend a genealogy event yet this year, don’t fret, because in today’s episode while I get back to my laundry and packing to travel to Tennessee to present a genealogy seminar, you are going to hear two recordings we did at RootsTech. First up is Jay Jordon, President of OCLC which you may know as the WorldCat. We got a chance to sit down at RootsTech to chat about their new partnership with familysearch which will bring the familysearch catalogue to WorldCat. Watch the Video: Then you’re going to hear 10 Top Tips for How to Bust Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall – The winner of the free RootsTech registration that we gave away on the Genealogy Gems blog Sarah Stout, got an opportunity to sit down with me and Canadian Genealogy Guru Dave Obee to discuss her brick wall (read all about it here) which spanned the Canadian and US border. But the locations weren’t really the important thing here. The 10 Tips that Dave dished up can really be used by every family historian to achieve genealogy success. Watch the Video: Dave Obee’s Top 10 Tips: 1. Create a Timeline – “plot her life…it’s easier to see the holes.” 2. Understand Geography – “plot movements” 3. Find Every Possible Record 4. Understand How Records Were Created 5. Read Every Local Story in Newspapers at that Time 6. Tap into Local Knowledge – “Locals know more” (historical and genealogical societies) 7. Go There if You Can in Person 8. Look for Negative Proof 9. Collaborate with Other Researchers 10. Be Diligent About Proof Resources Mentioned in the video: Google Earth for Genealogy (video tutorial CD) Volume I and II by Lisa Louise Cooke How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers by Lisa Louise Cooke   Lisa's Events: Click here to see where Lisa will be presenting next Click here to book Lisa for your next event  
Apr 30, 2013
Episode 153 - Blast from the Past Episode 10, and Darius Gray on Storytelling at RootsTech
34:12
Enjoy a blast from the past with episode #10 featuring Steve Morse and his One-Step website. Then delight in Darius Gray, a genealogist and storyteller who provides tips on sharing your family history stories with your family, (recorded at #RootsTech 2013) GEM: A Blast from the Past -Episode: # 10        Original Publish Date:  May 01, 2007 GEM: Stephen Morse On August 21, 2007 I attended a seminar sponsored by a local genealogical society.  The speaker was Stephen P. Morse who is very well-known in the genealogy community for his ingenious database search tools available to everyone free from his website: www.stevemorse.org It’s estimated that nearly 40% of Americans today have an ancestor who arrived in the United States at Ellis Island.  I know I certainly do.  Well, ship’s passenger records are really exciting to find and to work with.  If you have an ancestor who came through Ellis Island, you’re going to want to make it a priority to find their record.  Steve Morse, described to those of us at the seminar, the success and the frustrations that he encountered in trying to retrieve records from the ellisisland.org database. Steve experienced much of the same frustration that we often do.  However, he just happens to be a world renowned engineer.  He holds electrical engineering degrees from three universities, which he put to good use when he designed the Intel 8086, the predecessor to today’s Pentium processor.  And being an amateur genealogist he put those skills to good use by developing the One-Step Ellis Island website to make those records easier to find.  Since that time the One-Step site has really been expanded to include new search capabilities and an array of color-coded search forms. Today Steve recommends use of his Gold Form that searches all New York passengers using enhanced search options.  It uses the database at ellisisland.org but has its own search form and search engine that provides the enhanced features.  When you use the Ellis Island website you’ll most likely have to keep going back and revising and adding to your search to get what you need.  But using the Steve’s Gold Form website, all the search criteria are there on one page for you to choose from and use.  You’ll be using your search time much more effectively – and you know me, I want to get the most I can out of my research time. The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding these ship passengers in the Ellis Island database.  Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census.  Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes over 100 web-based tools divided into twelve separate categories.  They range from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations.  He even has a last-minute bidding form you can use for e-bay!  If you listened to Episode 3 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast on Ebay, then you know that I was excited to hear that!   Please let other genealogists know about how much you enjoy the Genealogy Gems Podcast: If you’re enjoying the show & have an itunes account, would you please do me a favor?  Go to the Genealogy Gems Podcast listing and leave a positive review.  Thanks!   GEM: Interview with Genealogy Guru and Storyteller Darius Gray at RootsTech 2013     Google Earth for Genealogy Video Training Series Book Lisa to teach your genealogy group about how to use Google Earth for Genealogy! Click here to see where Lisa will be speaking next in person        
Mar 29, 2013
Episode 152 - Interview with Dr. Turi King at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in London
58:33
Show Notes Lisa Louise Cooke I am back from speaking at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference in London, and I’ve brought back some gems for you for this episode which I’m excited about. I got to spend about a week in England and this time around got to do some touring with my friend Janet Hovorka owner of Family ChartMasters. We went to Windsor castle which I’ve always wanted to see, and it did not disappoint. What windsor castle can teach us about family history. It’s all in the details! The highlight for me was going to Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire. I’m an Austenphile, and I soaked in nooks and crannies of the home where she lived with her sister Cassandra. It was fantastic seeing the little desk where she worked on her books like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma.” Janet and finished up the tour with tea at Cassandra’s Cup  teashop across the street, where hundreds of china tea cups hang from the ceiling, and where I had the best bowl of tomato soup in my entire life! Oh yeah, I was there for a genealogy conference. And yes, WDYTYA Live lived up to all expectations. Janet and I had a booth and I taught classes on Google Search and using your iPad and tablet for genealogy. The classes were sold out and people were lined up around the walls. The turn-out they get for this event is just incredible. I haven’t heard the final numbers, but word is it was well over 12,000 people over the three days. So here’s my own genealogy story from the event. Now, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while then you may remember me telling you about my first trip to WDYTYA Live and how after one of my presentations several of my husband’s distant English Cook cousins met up with us and we sort of had an impromptu family reunion upstairs in the expo hall. One of those in attendance was Louise Cook (without the “e”) who is married to my husband’s cousin Peter. I know, it gets a little confusing with Louise Cook and Lisa Louise Cooke! But anyway, Louise and I stay regularly in touch, and we met up at the conference this year.  She found me after one of my classes and we got to visit, and she told me that she was going to help out with her friend’s society booth. So we are walking back to my booth, and when we arrive, she looks up and laughs because the Lincolnshire booth was right next to ours and there was her chair!  Can you imagine if we had not already met, that Lisa Louise Cooke, and Louise Cook would have been sitting right next to each other throughout the conference not knowing that our husbands were related by way of their third Great Grandfather? ! The moral of the story: Next time you sit down at a genealogy conference introduce yourself to those next to you, you never know who you might be related to.     NEWS: Find My Past Series now on the website Find My Past, the hit UK television show, is now available to view via findmypast.com. Find My Past, now entering its second season, links living individuals to real historical events found in their family tree and now Findmypast.com is the only place in the US where you can watch the show! Register on findmypast.com for free and watch Find My Past episodes that aired in the last 30 days at no cost. Missed an episode or want to watch your favorites again? Findmypast subscribers can watch all episodes for an unlimited time. Every episode will be available to watch on findmypast.com a week after it airs.      MAILBOX: Delray wants to know where the Family History Podcast Show Notes have gone... “I've been listening to your podcasts for over two years now:  GenealogyGems and GenealogyGems Premium.  ALL of the podcasts are on my iPod, so that I can listen to them over and over.  It seems each time I listen to your podcast, I learn something new that I missed last time.  Somehow I missed the fact that you used to have a podcast called Family History: Genealogy Made Easy.  I'm going to be teaching a class to genealogy newbies in April, so I've been listening to these older podcasts to see what you shared with beginners.  You mention the "show notes" like you do in GenealogyGems, which are always a life saver when I miss a web address or something; however, I cannot locate any "show notes" for the Genealogy Made Easy show.” Lisa’s Answer: The Family History podcast is in a bit of transition right now. We are no longer part of the Personal Life Media network and so all of the show notes pages that they previously hosted have been removed from their website. We are now working to transition the Tunes podcast feed. As soon as that happens, we will start republishing the show on the Genealogy Gems website. Gus chimes in on Genealogy Podcast No. 148 “Here are my thoughts on internet rip offs. I have both a blog and a web site and my feelings are that if I put anything up there, people will steal anything and use it for their own use. I have copied myself from two books, one published in 1888 and another published in 1895, I don't feel that I am really stealing from these old books. In the book from 1888, I gave credit to the original author, (my ancestor) in a new book." Dan shares his experience with copyright: “When rock legend Ronnie James Dio died in 2010 I used his obituaries as a starting point for genealogical research on his ancestry, blogging about what I found at "What I have in common with Ronnie James Dio".  Two people contacted me politely requesting permission to reprint the information, so in my experience people have been quite respectful of copyright.  One of those people wanted to add my findings to the Hungarian Wikipedia page on Dio, increasing my reach as a blogging genealogist beyond my wildest dreams.  Getting the Word out on a Genealogy Blog “I regularly listen to your podcast through iTunes and see that sometimes you feature blogs on your show.  I've been meaning to write to you for quite some time now and am hoping you can let your audience know of my genealogy blog. My blog, called “No Hoof Left Behind,” features a family history of the Breeding family.  Our roots are specifically in the following areas: Wythe County, VA; Overton County, TN; Carroll County, AR and Tulsa, OK.  Over the past two years, I have tackled genealogy from a different perspective: that of looking at my great-grandpa Hugh Breeding’s trucking company.  At first, I merely intended on putting together some basic facts and figures on the company and calling it a day.  However, I have really gotten into the history of the company and the place it held in the trucking industry…the employee vignettes featured throughout my company research really drives home the story of the company on a more personal level as well as adding much more color to the overall history of the firm. I really like this post   GEM: WDYTYA Round Up Interview with Dr. Turi King Read her bio at the University of Leicester website Read my blog on the discovery of the remains of Richard III Full interview on Premium Episode 97   Lisa’s Articles: Check out my two article in the March / April 2013 issue of Family Tree Magazine The Evernote vs. Microsoft OneNote Quick Guide  and The Toolkit Tutorial Using the David Rumsey Map Collection  
Mar 08, 2013
Episode 151 - 50 Fabulous Family History Favorites Part 2
38:43
In this episode we wrap up my 50 Fabulous Family History Favorites List On Friday I babysat my two grandsons Davy and Joey, and I put together a little game that was prompted by a listener email. You met long time listener and Premium Member Dot in Australia during our virtual Christmas Party in episode 147, and after the show aired, Dot wrote me to say how much she enjoyed it and to tell me about a little concentration game she put together for her granddaughter.  When my kids were growing up we called in the Memory Game and I know some folks call it the Match Game. But no matter what you call it, it’s the game where you have a set of cards that are all pairs, and you lay them upside down in rows on the table and two at a time turn them over trying to find matches. The person with the most matches wins. Dot made up cards with photos of her family members. She writes: “She opened the little box I was holding and went through the photos one by one. We put a few pairs down at a time, and as she turned them over she matched them. I included our pets as well.” I wrote Dot back to let her know that MyHeritage.com had something similar. You have to sign in to your free account. In the menu you will find the MyHeritage Family Game under the Apps tab When Davy, who is three years old, arrived on Friday I got to thinking about all this, and I quickly whipped together a set of cards using photos of family members and ancestors. How to Make a Quick Memory Game: Software:  Microsoft Publisher Create one rectangle outline shape the desired size of the cards Copy and paste the shape to fill up the page. (I fit 6 cards per page) Duplicate the page enough times to have enough cards for a game. (I just started with 9 pairs) Using the Insert Picture feature, fill each rectangle with a digital photo from your computer (adjust the size of the image to fit the rectangle so all the cards would be uniform.) Print them out on Glossy Photo paper Cut out the cards It was a lot of fun and a great way to incorporate family history in to daily activities. I think when we do that it makes family history more of a natural part of our kid’s lives. Dot also mentioned to me that she found an app for her iPad called Match. (Update: this app appears to be discontinued. Try Match the Memory at https://matchthememory.com/ )  And the other fun things I did this weekend was watch a movie called Play the Game. My daughter Hannah told me about it and set it up in my Netflix Instant Queue when she was here over the holidays, and we finally got a chance to sit down and watch it. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s movie to watch with your sweetie, this is it. It is a little independent film from 2008 starring one of my all-time favorites – Andy Griffith. It’s about the relationship between a young man and his grandfather, and how they coach each other through their love lives. It’s funny, and sweet, and that’s very refreshing. You can check it out at the movie’s website called http://www.playthegamemovie.com     GEM: 50 Fabulous Family History Favorites Free ChartsGenealogy charts in one form or another have been around since people started keeping track of their family history. And even with all the technology we have today, sometimes there is just no substitute for a paper chart to help you work through the complicated relationships in your family tree. My first favorite gems are in the chart category, free charts that you can use online and offline to help you keep things organized, as well as help you share your family tree with others.   26. About Genealogy http://www.genealogy.about.com/od/free_charts/ig/genealogy_charts/ View, download, save and print free family tree charts and forms including U.S. Census Extraction forms. In this collection you will find traditional family tree suitable for printing, as well as interactive charts that allow you to type in the fields online (using the free Adobe Reader program) before saving them to your computer.    27. Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com/trees/charts/ancchart.aspx? Deep in the Ancestry website are a diverse collection of free downloadable forms and charts. Select from Ancestry Ancestral Form, Research Calendar, Research Extract, Correspondence Record, Family Group Sheet, Source Summary, US, UK and Canadian Census forms.             28. Family Tree Magazine https://www.familytreemagazine.com/freeforms/  Offers a wide selection of free downloadable charts including a Five-Generation Ancestor Chart, Family Group Sheet, Research Calendar, and Repository Checklist. You’ll also find forms for Cemetery Transcription, Immigration, Records, Oral History, Heirlooms, and census extraction forms for every US enumeration.   29. MarthaStewart.com http://www.marthastewart.com At marthastewart.com they offer an online decorative Family Tree Fan Chart template suitable for framing.  In the search box on the site’s home page search for “Family Tree Charts” and you’ll find several lovely charts in the results list that include instructions and downloadable templates. You’ll also find other “good things” including free videos and family tree display ideas.   30. FamilyChartmasters.com http://www.familychartmaster.com The Family ChartMasters chart creation tool--Family ChArtist-- is a great way to make a decorative 8.5x11 chart suitable for scrapbooking, framing or other craft projects.  Enter your information manually or via gedcom and choose one of the simple pedigree chart designs.  You can edit your information and then choose from hundreds of borders, background and embellishments or even use your own pictures in your chart.  Movies You can tell by the way I opened this show that I love a good movie, and I particularly love movies with family history themes and stories of immigration. This next group of favorites is what I consider to be some of the best:   31. Full of Life “Writer Nick and his wife Emily are expecting their first child. When a necessary home repair proves too costly to afford, Nick must swallow his pride and visit his father, a proud immigrant stonemason with whom he has a difficult relationship, and ask him to do the work. Confronting the issues of religious and family tradition which have separated father and son causes Nick and Emily to reevaluate their lives and the things they value most.” Starring the incredible Judy Holliday who you’ll remember from the original version of the movie Born Yesterday, and Richard Conte   32. Sweet Land Episode 30 The Movie website: http://www.sweetlandmovie.com/ When Lars Torvik’s grandmother Inge dies in 2004, he is faced with a decision – sell the family farm on which she lived since 1920, or cling to the legacy of the land. Seeking advice, he turns to the memory of Inge and the stories that she had passed on to him. The movie is based on Will Weaver’s short story A Gravestone Made of Wheat and shot on location in Southern Minnesota. 33. The Emigrants Starring Max Von Sydow. In episode 24 I mentioned the book which was made into a movie.  Episode 24 (Swedish: Utvandrarna) “The Emigrants” is a 1971 Swedish film directed by Jan Troell. It tells the story of a Swedish group who emigrate from Småland, Sweden to Minnesota in the 19th century. The film follows the hardship of the group in Sweden and on the trip. The film is based on the first two novels of The Emigrants suite by Vilhelm Moberg: The Emigrants and Unto a Good Land.”   34. America, America (British title The Anatolian Smile) A 1963 American dramatic film directed, produced and written by Elia Kazan, from his own book. In this tale, loosely based upon the life of Kazan's uncle. Turner Classic Movies has started showing it occasionally, so check their schedule.   Conferences and Events One question I get asked a lot is about conferences. Most folks don’t have the time or money to attend them all, and I often get asked, if I could go to just one which would it be? Well, first and foremost it’s the one that has the kind of classes you are looking for  for your particular research, but I do have some overall opinions on conferences that I think you really can’t go wrong with. 35. SCGS Jamboree  36. FamilySearch’s RootsTech 37. Mesa Family History Expo  38. WDYTYA Live in London (Update: This conference has been discontinued) 39. Alberta Genealogical Society Conference   Stuff for Kids Every day that we invest in genealogy research it becomes even more important that we capture the interest of the next generation in family history. If we don’t, it could all be lost and for nothing. This next group of faves are tools you can use to accomplish this important task. 40. Disney’s The Tigger Movie 41. Family Tree Magazine Kids 42. Zap the Grandma Gap 43. My Boards on Pinterest   My Favorite Episodes 44. The Forensic Linguist Dr. Robert Leonard Episode 89 Episode 90   45. My interview with Venice Episode 38   46. Interview with Lisa Kudrow Episode 81   47. Chris Haley sings Episode 91   48. Steve Luxenberg Episode 120 and Episode 121   49. Interview with Gena Ortega Episode 137  and Episode 138   50. Heritage Quilts Episode 39  
Feb 15, 2013
Episode 150 - Lisa's 50 Fablous Family History Favorites
40:42
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 150 In celebration of this 150th episode and my 50th birthday, I bring you: A Birthday from Long Ago 50 Fabulous Family History Favorites  Websites: 1. Familysearch.orghttp://www.familysearch.orgThey are the leaders in free online records. While it’s tempting to just start typing in ancestors name for searches and hoping for the best, a strategic genealogist determines what type of record they want to find for a question about their ancestor, and then uses the catalogue to determine if FamilySearch has those records. Catalogue is one of the links above the search box, and while it doesn’t stand out, that link is really the key to understanding what familysearch has to offer. Click it and try out all the variations of searches from place names to keywords. 2. Ancestry.com They are the big daddy of the subscription genealogy record sites, and of course in addition to records you can build your family tree on the site. One of the questions folks usually get around to at some point is how to delete and merge data in their Ancestry family trees, and I recently posted a video by Ancestry’s Krista Cowan that explain exactly how to do it. 3. Library of congress American memoryhttp://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html I’ve discussed this gold mine of public domain free ephemera several times on the show including episode 31. and of course in Episode 54 I explained how I used the American memory website to locate the original sheet music for one of the songs in the Name that Tune segment. 4. US Bureau of Land Managementhttp://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.htmlIf you are looking for U.S. Homestead records then this is the site for you. And if you haven’t been there in a while you’ve got to check it out because they’ve upgraded the site and added loads of new content in including original Field Notes. 5. Google bookshttp://books.google.com Premium Episode 91 – Paper, Ink and Books. One of the gems I tell my students in my Google classes is that even if they have no other interest in Google Books, go there and do a search on Ancestry Magazine, because although the magazine is no longer published, all ten years of issues are digitized, online and searchable at Google Books. Now that’s a gem! 6. Google.com How could I not include Google.com as a favorite website. I wrote an entire book about it for goodness sake. A piece of noteworthy news: have you noticed the changes to Google Image search lately?  I’ll be highlighting those in an upcoming episode. 7. Stanford University’s  Data Visualization Mapping Journalism’s Journey West http://west.stanford.edu/news/newspaper_visualization You can see examples of it in action at my youtube channel in the newspaper Research playlist. And I give you everything you need to know about it in my book How to Find Your Family History In Newspapers 8. The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Published by the Newberry Library, it is a genealogist’s answer to changing county boundaries over the years. http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/project.html   Video in Premium Episode 70 9. FamilySearch’s Research Wikihttps://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Main_Page OK if you’re not using this you are just plain old working too hard!  This site is where all the greatest research minds at the Family History Library come together just to help you find your family history. I particularly turn to the Research Wiki when researching internationally as they have some fabulous international consultants who outline what you need to know get started, all the way to the depths of the most obscure records that are available. 10. Davidrumsey.comhttp://www.davidrumsey.com Genealogy is all about location, location, location, and that means that historic maps are vital to your research. David Rumsey is a cartographer here in the San Francisco Bay Area who has spent his entire life collecting over 150,000 historic maps from around the world. And over 30,000 of them have been digitized and made available online through his website. Here’s a tip: be sure to sign up for a free account to his website so that the highest resolution maps will be available to you to download. And don’t just stop with downloading the map, import your maps into Google Earth so that you can view areas today and in the past. My Google Earth for Genealogy video series shows you have to do it step by step and it’s incredible what a difference it can make to you research. I’ll have a quick little video in the show notes for you so you can see a preview of it and the other techniques I teach on the video series. YOUTUBE CHANNELS: Another fabulous gem out there is YouTube. Did you ever think that YouTube would be a fabulous genealogy gem? Well, it really is, and video is the fastest growing segment online and it’s not just cute cat videos and stupid pranks.  There’s a ton of great genealogical related content, and I want to share some great family history channels to get you started 11. USNational Archives YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/usnationalarchivesYou’ll find hundreds of videos, and of course not every one of them would be applicable to genealogy, so I recommend you click the Browse Videos link under the banner at the top and then click Playlists. This will sort the videos into topics. And of course, as with all YouTube channels you can search by keyword in the channel’s search box in the upper right corner. Since Google owns YouTube, you can use all the Google tricks I’ve taught you over the years and in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox to find exactly what you are looking for. I particularly love the 1940 census playlist and the one called Tracing WWII 12. AncestryCom https://www.youtube.com/user/AncestryCom Here again you will find an amazing number instructional videos and the great thing about Ancestry’s channel is that they give you a list of all the playlists right on the channel’s home page so you find all the videos for a particular topic you are looking for. If you are a paid subscriber to Ancestry, this channel is really key to getting the most out of the website. 13. FamilySearch Channelhttp://www.youtube.com/familysearch FamilySearch offers over 70 videos, and is a particularly worthwhile channel for folks who are new to family history research. But let me tell you, if you need a bit of inspiration, or just a feel good moment, don’t miss their new video called A Survivor’s Pearl Harbor Experience. I will have it in the show notes for you. It is one of my favorite videos. 14. UniversalNewsReels http://www.youtube.com/user/UniversalNewsreels?feature=watch With over 600 videos you are almost guaranteed to find something on any world even topic. According to the channel’s description: “In the pre-TV era, people saw the news every week in their neighborhood movie theaters. Newsreels were shown before every feature film and in dedicated newsreel theaters located in large cities. Universal Newsreel, produced from 1929 to 1967, was released twice a week. Each issue contained six or seven short stories, usually one to two minutes in length, covering world events, politics, sports, fashion, and whatever else might entertain the movie audience. These newsreels offer a fascinating and unique view of an era when motion pictures defined our culture and were a primary source of visual news reporting.”  I fully admit that one of my favorites in the bunch is Much Ado About Hairdos filmed right here in the San Francisco Bay area in the early 1950s.  I think I might give that Leopard hairstyle a try. 15. Library of Congress channel http://www.youtube.com/user/libraryofcongress1218 videos. Use the Playlists!  You’ll find Timeless treasures and contemporary presentations from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. at the Library of Congress Channel. The Library is the steward of millions of recordings dating from the earliest Edison films to modern day presentations held at the Library. Again look to the playlists link to help you sort through the videos. Some gems of note are the Spanish-American War playlist of videos, and America at Work, America at Leisure playlist which is an incredible collection of 150 films. Here’s a description of that playlist from the channel: “Highlights include films of the United States Postal Service from 1903, cattle breeding, fire fighters, ice manufacturing, logging, gymnastic exercises in schools, amusement parks, boxing, expositions, football, parades, swimming, and other sporting events. The majority of the films presented here are from the Paper Print Collection, while the remainder are from the George Kleine Collection, both residing in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (M/B/RS) of the Library of Congress. Both of these collections have printed catalogs available in the Motion Picture and Television Reading Room at the Library. The films were selected from these two collections on the basis of the activities pictured in the films and the quality of the available prints. As many different types of work, school, and leisure activities as could be found were sought in order to show the broadest possible representation of activities at the turn of the century. The selection is limited, however, by what is available from these collections; not every possible occupation or leisure activity from the turn of the century is represented. The films in the Paper Print Collection were deposited for copyright from 1894 to 1912 as positive pictures on paper. Many were deposited in this manner on paper rolls frame by frame. For preservation and access purposes, the Library of Congress has made 16mm prints of these Paper Print titles, and has more recently been making 35mm prints of selected titles.” This collection is a wonderful way to revisit how folks spent their time in the early part of the 20th century. 16. Depression Era Cooking with Clarahttp://www.youtube.com/user/DepressionCookingClara Cannucciari is 96 year old cook, author great grandmother and YouTube star. In these fabulous videos Clara recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era. You’ll learn how to make simple yet delicious dishes while listening to stories from the Great Depression. If you love these videos as I do, you’ll love Clara's book: "Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression" and I’ll have a link to that in the show notes. 17. Mike O’Laughlin Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/MickthebridgeIf you have Irish roots this is a must see channel. Mike is an author of Irish Books, a producer of the Irish Roots Café Podcasts, and a lover of Irish folk Songs. And he’s been at all this since 1978. You’ll find over 25 videos including some really wonderful old Irish songs sung by Mike himself overlaying some captivating imagery.   MOBILE APPS: 18. Flipboard http://www.flipboard.com Download the free app, sign up for your free account, and then load Flipboard up with RSS feeds for all your favorite genealogy blogs, podcasts, and video channels. You will end up with a gorgeous color “glossy magazine-like” layout that you can easily flip through and enjoy.in iTunesIn Google Play 19. Dropboxhttp://www.dropbox.comsign up for a free account and then download dropbox to your computers and mobile devices. You will then have seamless file sharing and synchronization, as well as the added benefit of having your files backed up on the Cloud.In iTunesIn Google Play 20. Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.comThink of Pinterest as a fun online bulletin board that makes it easy to store and share the gems you find on the Web. Check me out on Pinterest and follow my family history boards: http://pinterest.com/lisalouisecooke/In TunesIn Google Play 21. Evernotehttp://www.evernote.comEvernote can help the genealogist remember everything! Sign up for a free account, download the desktop client to your computer, and then get the free apps for your mobile devices and you’ll be all set to start taking notes of every kind. Notes are automatically synchronized so you are never caught working on an old version.  Genealogy Gems Premium Members can watch the video of my full length Evernote for Genealogy class.In iTunes In Google Play 22. RootsMagicHot off the press, this long awaited free app allows you to take your entire genealogy database with you! Check out the free recorded video webinar called RootsMagic for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch at http://www.rootsmagic.com/Webinars/ In iTunes 23. CycloramicShell out 99 cents and you’ll have an app that will spin your  iPhone around in a circle taking glorious panoramic videos and photographs. Just set your iPhone on Vibrate, set it on a flat smooth surface and watch it spin.In iTunes 24. Best Phone SecurityThis free iPhone app is produced by RV AppStudios LLC. According to the app’s description “It senses when it's been touched or moved. Then, a loud alarm starts blaring and a bright red light flashes, making the joke on the thief! To stop the alarm you have to enter your security PIN.  Use alarm on your iPhone/iPod/iPad when in public or also to catch those sneaky friends and family who try to peek into your iPhone when you're away. What really happens when you're in the shower, sleeping, or just away from your device. Use this high quality app to trigger an alarm.” This could come in very handy when you are researching at libraries!In iTunesIn Google Play 25. PocketboothBy Project Box, 99 centsSnap old time photo booth film strips with your family and friends. A fantastic activity for Family Reunions!In iTunesIn Google Play Stay tuned for the next episode where we wrap up with the second half of the list!
Feb 05, 2013
Episode 149 - A Blast from the Past Episodes 7 and 8
59:47
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode: # 07        Original Publish Date:  April 8, 2007 The April 15 tax deadline is looming: did you know that The Civil War income tax was the first tax paid on individual incomes by residents of the United States? There is a fascinating article by Cynthia G. Fox on the subject called Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years.  It appears on the National Archives website and is excerpted from the Prologue Magazine Winter 1986 edition, Vol. 18, No. 4.  GEM #1:  Anna-Karin’s Genealogical Podcast http://annakarin.libsyn.com/ Anna-Karin Schander lives in Sweden and she publishing a podcast in English about Swedish-American genealogy. It will contain both information about Swedish genealogy and history and records and what happened to the Swedes who immigrated mainly to USA (but also to other countries) and the records they left.  She includes wonderful old traditional Swedish music as well.  GEM #2 – A website dedicated to the only war fought on American soil by Americans: The Civil War SONG:  Battle of Manassas Gov. Sam Houston-Texas: “Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives you may win Southern independence, but I doubt it. The North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche.” The Civil War began at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina 146 years ago this week on April 12.  3 million fought - 600,000 died. Chances are someone in your family tree fought in the war. But one thing we know for sure, if you’ve traced any of your family lines back to the 1860s in the US, then you have folks in your tree who lived through and were deeply affected by the Civil War.  We’re going to want to learn more about their experience in order to understand their lives.  This will lead us to more genealogical leads. Read about the Civil War in the newspapers that your ancestors read. In addition to the newspapers available by paid subscription on Ancestry.com, there’s a terrific free resource! Go to http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/civil_war_us/index.html Click on The Civil War Years 1860-1866 Follow the links to topics of interest.  Locate ancestors who may have fought in the war. A terrific website is the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System Website  Areas of the System: Soldiers  The CWSS includes 6.3 million soldier names from the National Archives, which were compiled by NPS'   in the CWSS project. As of February, 2000, volunteers in over 36 states had completed the data entry of all the 6.3 million soldier names from 44 states & territories. The two final editing processes for the records have recently been completed. Sailors  The NPS and its' CWSS partners are committed to eventually include the names of all Union and Confederate Naval personnel. Given that the records sources for the Navy are not as well organized as the Army records, nor are they micro-filmed, the target date for this is still to be determined. Regiments  The CWSS will include histories of over 4,000 Union and Confederate units (regiments), which will be linked to soldiers' names and battle histories. These will be completed this year as part of the CWSS site. The site currently includes regimental histories of units from 44 states and territories. Battles In the CWSS  The unit histories are linked to histories of the 364 most significant Civil War battles already on the Internet from the NPS' American Battlefield Protection Program. These battle histories were compiled as part of a report to Congress by the Civil War Sites Advisory Committee. Prisoners  The current version of the CWSS includes prisoner records of Union prisoners at Andersonville and Confederate prisoners at Fort McHenry. Cemeteries  The National Park Service manages 14 National Cemeteries, all but one of which is related to a Civil War battlefield park. The NPS is planning on listing all names of burials in these cemeteries on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. The first phase involves data taken from written records of Poplar Grove National Cemetery at Petersburg National Battlefield, and also includes images of the headstones. Medal of Honor  This feature of the CWSS includes information on over 1,200 Civil War soldiers and sailors who received the Congressional Medal of Honor. And National Parks Featured  areas of the site: NEW STORIES - The National Park Service Civil War Institute – Stories of the Civil War addresses the social, economic, political & military aspects of the war. EDUCATE – for teachers providing civil war curriculum materials from national parks & lesson plans on building a family history. BLACK HISTORY - Looking for more on the civil war on the internet? Check out the Military Indexes website and follow the links to a wide range of web resources.  http://www.militaryindexes.com/civilwar/   Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode: # 08        Original Publish Date:  April 15, 2007 It’s Tax Day – Check out your ancestor’s tax records using the links at http://www.cyndislist.com/taxes.htm GEM #1:  Great San Francisco Earthquake Song: “Hello, Frisco!” By Harvey Hindermeyer, a 1915 wax cylinder recording by The Edison Co. 101 years ago, on April 18, 1906 at 5:13 am an earthquake nearly 8.0 on the Richter Scale hit San Francisco.  A slip in the San Andreas Fault caused Shock waves up and down the Pacific Coast.  Hundreds Died.  Fires did the most damage. My Great Grandma was 7 months pregnant with my maternal grandfather when the quake struck. They were living at on Kentucky St., in the city at that time, and I can’t imagine what she must have gone through. In 1906 my Great grandpa worked as a motorman on a cable car. Shortly after the earthquake he went into a very sensible new career – Life Insurance Salesman!   A great place to start learning more about this moment in American History is at the USGS website   Next stop…The Virtual Museum of the city of SF April 18-23 Earthquake Timeline Earthquake Newspaper Clippings Eyewitness Accounts “Who Perished”; List of Dead from the 1906 Earthquake San Francisco Fire Department Report U.S. Army & Navy Operations During the Earthquake and Fire Engineering and Scientific Reports Relief and Recovery Efforts San Francisco One Year Later Photographs of the 1906 Disaster Audio:  When I did a search in Google for San Francisco Earthquake Audio I found “Remembering the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake” an audio recording by National Public Radio. The website not only allows you to listen to the original broadcast, but offers a truly multimedia presentation including a timeline, photos, and videos Book Resource: Earth Shook, the Sky Burned, the ; 100th Anniversary Edition: A Photographic Record of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire But how were genealogy records impacted by this catastrophic event?” The San Francisco 1906 Earthquake Great Register. Led by Gladys Hansen, San Francisco City Archivist Emeritus and her team. Video of Gladys talking about the project: On the website, Gladys Hansen states the following “Because of government and financial interests of the time, the official San Francisco death toll has always been extolled as remarkably small. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors official count in 1907 was only 478. It was thought that a high death toll would hamper the rebuilding and repopulation of the city.” Originally Gladys focused on the 1906 Earthquake Dead using the death dates  between April 18, 1906 - May 19, 1906. However with the Governor's Earthquake Task Force now defines an earthquake death as "… an immediate fatality resulting from an earthquake or an earthquake-caused injury or illness that becomes fatal within a period of ONE YEAR following the earthquake." This dramatically broadens the scope of the research. Gladys and her team are now embarking on an effort to compile an accurate account of those affected by the 1906 earthquake. This time they are looking for information on everyone who was in San Francisco at that time, not just those who died. They consider all stories. Book Resource by Gladys Hansen Denial of Disaster: The Untold Story and Photographs of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906   GEM #2  Shake Up Your Research Strategy Step 1: Locate the event on a Timeline. History.com – This Day in History Step 2: Internet Searches Google (For Alerts see Episode 3) Google Images Ancestry EBay (see Episode 3) State Historical Society State Archives Census – Find neighbors and do a quick Google & Ancestry search on them. YouTube.com (see Episode 4 for more info on using YouTube)  Lisa's playlist on YouTube.
Jan 25, 2013
Episode 148 Quick Genealogy Gems You Can Use
46:22
Welcome to the first episode of 2013, and there is certainly a lot already going on this year, and this episode is packed with genealogy news, your emails and of course gems tucked in along the way. NEWS: One of the longest running and best known websites is Cyndislist at cyndislist.com. The website is run by Cyndi Howells, and for over 16 years she has meticulously catalogued all of the websites that are devoted to genealogy.  Anyone can go to cyndislist.com for free and follow the topic links to find online resources on just about any area of genealogy. Back on Nov 1, 2012 Cyndi posted an article on Facebook describing how she had discovered that another website had copied her entire website – not just a few links, but the entire website, and made it available on their website. According to Justia.com, a site that makes available public information on Dockets and lawsuit filings Cyndi's List and Cynthia Howells has formally filed a law suit against the alleged content snatching website. But the real shocker, the website in question isn’t some random spam website, but rather one that was launched in 2012 by an established genealogist, Barry Ewell. The site is called MyGenShare and in addition to free content Barry offers paid membership for access to all the content.  Because there is an active lawsuit the folks involved can’t really talk about it, so we don’t have much more information. But we will keep you informed as we learn more, and I would be interested in to know what you think.   RootsMagic App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Now Available The good news is that the free app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has now officially been launched and is available in the iTunes app store. According to Michael Booth, Vice-President of RootsMagic, a version of the app for Android devices will be available in the near future. While the app does not give you full functionality of the RootsMagic software, it does put your family tree information at your fingertips, and provides a lot of useful features including: Access your actual RootsMagic files via iTunes or Dropbox Easily search and explore your family tree View pictures, notes, and sources  Browse lists of your information and view more information about sources, to-do items, research logs, media, addresses, repositories, correspondences, and places. Useful tools including a perpetual calendar, date calculator, relationship calculator, and Soundex calculator. RootsMagic for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is free and now available in the Apple App Store. It does require the RootsMagic desktop family tree software or the free RootsMagic Essentials software to create, edit, or add to your genealogy files. More information is available at http://www.rootsmagic.com/ios.   The Southern California Genealogical Society’s popular Jamboree Extension Webinar Series. If you are looking to brush up on genealogy research or learn some new skills from the comfort of your own home, than these webinars are for you  Jamboree Extension Series webinars are conducted the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. Saturday sessions will be held at 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time. Wednesday sessions will be scheduled at 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.  For information and to register for the 2013 sessions, check out the SCGS website. Coming up in the next few months:  Wednesday, January 16 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.  Linda Geiger Woodward, CG, CGL   Documentation: Never Having to Ask, 'Where Did That Come From?'   Saturday, February 2 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time. Eric Basir   Digital Organization for Documents and Photos     Wednesday, February 20 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.  Michael John Neill   No Will?  No Problem   Saturday, March 2 -  10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time Lisa Louise Cooke     Time Travel with Google Earth   Two National Conferences Merge Creating Larger Family History Event FamilySearch Adds New Records: Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and U.S. 40 Million New Genealogy Records To Help You Locate Your Family History 30 Years Ago Today: The Event That Changed Your Life Forever MAILBOX: Leanore wrote in to say “I listened to your virtual Christmas party where you asked each person what they were doing genealogically for Christmas.  Though I've done several fun things over the years, this year I didn't do anything (except host the whole group for Christmas.) But, one of our daughters created a very special book of our family's past Christmases.  We lived overseas for many years so each country has its own couple of pages with photos of our holiday celebrations there.  What a "trip" and a wonderful gift!” And Jean wrote in to say: “I enjoyed listening to everyone you talked to during your virtual trip around the world.  However, I must say what I enjoyed most was listening to Davey as he explored your home and the Christmas decorations.  I loved listening to the young voice so filled with excitement and enthusiasm for everything he found!” Cindy has a Question about Place Names: “I'm trying to clean up my place names in my database and I came across some that are before a state became a state and even some before we were even a country. I have an ancestor who died in 1704 and my tree reads: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. OR, Should I be naming places for what they are now? I think it should be the name that the place was at the time of the event, but I seem to be the only one.” Lisa’s Answer: There are arguments on both sides. A quick Google search served up several writings on the subject in support of both using the modern location, and using the location at the time of the event.  I’ll have links in those in the show notes for you. Modern location article At the time of the event article Personally, I use the location name at the time of the event. Many times I have to do a lot of work to determine the name of a location at the time of the event (like a German village that now is technically Poland), and it would be easy to lose track of that. And besides, when I am looking for the records, I typically need to look under the village name. Another consideration is that place names continue to change. So if you use "modern day" names, they are only as accurate as the date you entered them. To play it safe, I often include the modern day name in parenthesis so that I have everything I need just in case. Most important: being consistent and doing what works well for you. I got an email from two brand New Genealogy Bloggers: The first is Vickie Long and she says: “I have been listening to your podcasts for months – and I’m almost caught up to the current one.  Tonight I took the plunge and with the help of my dear husband I started a genealogy blog – TurnTheHearts.weebly.com.   Thanks for your encouragement.” Or use the URL Address: http://turnthehearts.weebly.com/turnthehearts.html and Jackie in Australia also has a new blog: “Am very excited to continue learning and adding to my Blog - you have inspired me to do this and I am having lots of fun - some of my family are keen for me to keep doing this!  My blogspot is only a baby at the moment - I'll give you the address - but please remember it's only just been conceived!” raymonddodd.blogspot.com Congratulations to you both for putting your family history out there and I wish you great success and hopefully even a few new cousin connections!   QUICK GEMS: 5 Reasons You Need the New YouTube App for Family History How the Census will Change in the Future The Wild West of Sound Today and in the 19th Century Search Tips for Finding Tricky Names and Spellings in Ancestry.com and Google   CLOSING: The Google Earth for Genealogy class video is now available to view for free on the Genealogy Gems website.        
Jan 06, 2013
Episode 147 - A Virtual Genealogy Gems Christmas Open House
46:13
Jump on the sleigh and make the rounds with me to friends of the podcast. We'll making surprise stops at listener's homes, drinking hot cocoa with long time friends  of the show and genealogy experts, visiting with the newest member to the Genealogy Gems team, and my Grandson Davy will even make a guest starring appearance!  
Dec 15, 2012
Episode 146 - Maureen Taylor's New Film Project, Genealogy News, and A Fabulous Use for Google Alerts
01:12:26
In this episode we discuss the latest genealogy news, one listener's fabulous use of Google Alerts, and Maureen Taylor's new history film project.  NEWS: Google Earth 7Google as just released Google Earth version 7. Google Earth is an amazing tool for genealogy so new enhancements are always welcome! This new version enables you to explore a number of cities around the world in 3D, from Long Beach, California, to Rome, Italy. The 3D imagery uses the enhanced modeling capabilities, previously found on only mobile devices. In my video CD Google Earth for Genealogy Volume II I go into detail about 3D models and even give you resources for how you can get your own 3D models of everything from your house, to your ancestor’s home.  Download the new Google Earth 7 and get even more 3D imagery.  You’ll find comprehensive and accurate tours of more than 11,000 popular sites around the world, including our growing list of cities where new 3D imagery is available. A big change with this new version is the tour guide feature which serves as sort of a virtual local expert that suggests places nearby that you might want to explore and providing you with background information on the location.  You’ll find the tour guide along the bottom of the screen, and it looks like sort of a film strip of thumbnail images representing various tours that are available. These change based on where you are on the Google Earth globe. List of updated Google Earth imagery   What’s new in RootsMagic 6 VideoAnd there a favorite genealogy program that just got a new fresh update. RootsMagic 6 is now available, and you can see what’s new in the newest version of the genealogy database program in a brand new video they’ve published on their website at http://www.rootsmagic.com/webinars/ In the video you will see new features in action such as: Online Publishing  Find Everywhere feature Live Timeline View WebTags CountyCheck Explorer If you are a current paid user of RootsMagic, you can upgrade for just $19.95.  New users may purchase RootsMagic 6 for only $29.95. Order online at http://rootsmagic.com/RootsMagic/ Special Holiday Offer Now through Dec. 20, 2012 Order gift copies of RootsMagic 6 for just $19.95 (plus shipping).  You can also order other RootsMagic products at that same $19.95 price. Order the special holiday at http://www.rootsmagic.com/holidayoffer or order by phone at 1-800-ROOTSMAGIC (1-800-766-8762).   The next item here is that the Family Tree Service coming soon to FamilySearch.orgAccording to a FamilySearch press release, “Within the next few months, FamilySearch will make Family Tree available to everyone on its website. The first of many updates planned for FamilySearch.org, Family Tree will provide a free and engaging way to discover, preserve, and share your family history. Family Tree will also offer specialized tools to make temple work for your ancestors even easier and more convenient. Watch an Introduction to Family Tree that shows 7 reasons to be excited about Family Tree. Family Tree will enable you to: Save family information into a genealogy tree Edit and delete incorrect data, including relationships Connect and collaborate with others on shared family lines Show where information came from Link to online photos and documents If you have questions about what Family Tree will be like or how it will work, you can log in to a special training website that offers online courses, how-to videos, informational handouts, and step-by-step training. Get started with Family Tree today by watching the introductory video or reading about it on the training website. Family Tree will be open to everyone in the next few months. Ireland - National Archives launches new websiteThe National Archives of Ireland has launched a new genealogy website at http://www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie/  which will initially host the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, Tithe Apportionment records from 1823-37, and Soldiers' Wills from 1914-17. New at ScotlandsPeople Scottish wills and testaments from 1902-25 now online at the ScotlandsPeople at http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ Millions of Old Newspaper pages added to FindMyPastfindmypast.com has just published millions of pages of historical newspapers from not only England, but also across Wales and Scotland as well. This collection contains local newspapers for the period 1710-1950. More than 200 titles are included. Go to http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/newspapers Ancestry.com launches newspapers.com  On November 29, 2012  Ancestry.com Inc., announced the launch of Newspapers.com, a web site designed to offer a collection of more than 800 U.S. newspapers dating from the late 1700s into the early 2000s.  Comprising more than 25 million pages, Newspapers.com offers a historical and present-day newspapers ranging from the New York Times to small town and local newspapers throughout the United States. According to Ancestry’s press release “The search capabilities on Newspapers.com are specifically designed for newspapers enabling users to easily search by keywords, location, time period and newspaper name.” The yearly subscription rate is $79.95 for subscribers and $39.95 for Ancestry.com or Fold3.com members. Newspapers.com also offers a 7-day free trial that can be activated at www.newspapers.com. Ancestry has launched a new Community Support site at Ancestry.comYou can access Community Support by clicking on “Get Help” at the top of the Ancestry.com homepage. Once on Online Help, you will see a button for “Ask the Community” on the right hand side. That link will take you directly to Ancestry’s new Support Communities.  MyHeritage Buys Geni.comMyHeritage have just bought our long-term rival Geni.com - and also raised $25million in new funds. As a larger community, the users of MyHeritage and Geni.com will now receive matches with the other website family trees, and MyHeritage’s Record Matching, will benefit Geni's users, who will get access to historical records never available before on Geni.com. MAILBOX: Jessica has a new blog and a question about photo storage: “…after about the 10th podcast in a row where you encouraged us to start our own blog, I finally got the message.  I started my very own "geneablog" a couple of weeks ago.  I only have three posts so far, but I'm pretty proud of it.  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  I'd love you to let your listeners know too, because that would be even more feedback!  I am writing my blog from the perspective of my relentless quest to better understand the life of one particular ancestor of mine, William Park.  I call it "Knowing William" and it writing it really makes me happy.”  Visit her blog at http://williamparkfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/ “I recently listened to episode 119 where you talked to Michael Katchen from 1000memories.   I went to the site, signed up, and uploaded pics to my first shoe box.  In the interview I remember words like "social networking", "memorials", and "genealogy".  I am confused.  All I saw on the site was my shoe boxes and some not-very-informative FAQs.  I know it has been a while, but have they changed the whole premise of the website in less than a year?”  Lisa’s Answer: Congrats on your new blog! Remember posts can be short and sweet, and pack them with searchable keywords so other researchers can find you in Google Search. RE: 1000Memories. They have indeed changed up the website since the interview. I agree with you, it seems watered down now, and not as obvious as to how to make the most of it. They seem to be focused on "simplicity." Barbara Shares A New Use for Google Alerts“My Great Grandfather, Edmund Charles Clark, was a builder in Bendigo, and many of his houses still stand in Wattle Street Bendigo today. I spent a lovely day photographing them, but I cannot go up and knock on all the doors however! So I have a cute way of finding out just what those houses look like today especially on the inside. I have an alert in Google for "Wattle Street, Bendigo" and it works a treat. Every so often one of the homes goes up for sale or rent, and one of the real estate websites has pictures of both inside and outside. These come up on my search and I get to see inside the homes that are still standing. One is up for rent at present and here are the pictures from Realestate.com.au of 172 Wattle Street. Isn’t it lovely?  It is still much in original condition.   The Google alert function is really useful for genealogy, and I first found out about it from Genealogy Gems – so thank you very much for the gem."   GEM:  Maureen Taylor’s new gig – bringing revolutionary war history to filmPamela Pacelli Cooper, President, Verissima Productions Maureen Taylor, Author of The Last Muster Revolutionary Voices: A Last Muster Film, Directed by Maureen Taylor with Verissima Productions New Gem for Premium Members! Sign in to your Membership and go to Premium Videos to view the brand new video Genealogy on the Go with the iPad (and tablets too!) The iPad is built for hitting the road and is ideally suited for family history due to its’ sleek lightweight size, gorgeous graphics and myriad of apps and tools. In this class I will teach you “the tablet mindset”, the best apps for the tasks that genealogists want to accomplish, and my Top 10 list of iPad Tips and Tricks. By the end of class you will be able to turn your iPad into a family history powerhouse! Become a Premium Member Here
Dec 08, 2012
Episode 145 - Blast From the Past Episodes 5 and 6
42:45
In this episode I’ve got another blast from the past for you.  We have reached deep into the podcast archive and retrieved episodes 5 and 6. In Episode 5 we touch on using the video website YouTube for genealogy, and then I walk you through how to Bring Sites Back From the Dead with Google. Then we wrap things up with a cool little way to Spice Up Your Genealogy Database. In episode 6 I have a gem for you called Cast a Shadow on Your Ancestors, and we cover the free genealogy website US GenWeb    Episode: # 05  Original Publish Date:  March 25, 2007 MAILBOX      Email this week from   Mike O'Laughlin of the Irish Roots Cafe: “Congratulations on your podcast!  I am sure it will help many folks out there. I was glad to see the fine Irish families of Scully and Lynch on your latest show notes!” GEM:  You Tube Follow Up Note: The Genealogy Tech Podcast is no longer published or available. YouTube in the news – the concern was raised by Viacom this month about YouTube benefiting from their programming without compensating them, which could mean copyright infringement.  While the course of YouTube could change depending on the outcome of this suit, the attraction for family historians remains strong because of the nature of the content. Software mentioned: Pinnacle.  Final Cut for MAC.  Limits with Movie Maker I posted 2 videos – A Nurse In Training Part 1 & 2 Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel  Click the Subscribe button to receive notification of new videos   GEM:  Bring Sites Back From the Dead with Google                                                     When you get a "File Not Found" error when clicking on a link, it doesn't mean the information is always gone forever.  You may be able to find it in the Cache version.    Google takes a snapshot of each page it examines and caches (stores) that version as a back-up. It’s what Google uses to judge if a page is a good match for your query.  In the case of a website that no longer exists, the cache copy us a snapshot of the website when it was still active hidden away or cached.    Practically every search result includes a Cached link. Clicking on that link takes you to the Google cached version of that web page, instead of the current version of the page. This is useful if the original page is unavailable because of: 1.      Internet congestion 2.      A down, overloaded, or just slow website - Since Google’s servers are typically faster than many web servers, you can often access a page’s cached version faster than the page itself. 3.      The owner’s recently removing the page from the Web   Sometimes you can even access the cached version from a site that otherwise require registration or a subscription.    If Google returns a link to a page that appears to have little to do with your query, or if you can’t find the information you’re seeking on the current version of the page, take a look at the cached version.   Hit the Back button and look for a link to a "cached" copy at the end of the URL at the end of the search result. Clicking on the "cached" link should bring up a copy of the page as it appeared at the time that Google indexed that page, with your search terms highlighted in yellow.   If you don’t see a cached link, it may have been omitted because the owners of the site have requested that Google remove the cached version or not cache their content.  Also, any sites Google hasn’t indexed won’t have a cache version.   Limit:  If the original page contains more than 101 kilobytes of text, the cached version of the page will consist of the first 101 Kbytes (120 Kbytes for pdf files).   Really looking for an oldie but a goody?  Try the Wayback Machine  It allows you to browse through 85 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.   To start surfing the Wayback, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and press enter. Then select from the archived dates available. The resulting pages point to other archived pages at as close a date as possible. Keyword searching is not currently supported.     GEM:  Spice up your database Search Google Images, then Right click and save to your hard drive. Use Silhouettes Find something that represents what you do know about that person.  It really does help you see them more as a person and less as an entry in your database – their occupation, a reader, a sport, etc.     Episode: # 06 Original Publish Date: April 1, 2007 You can learn more about Jewish roots at the 350 Years of American Jewish History website JewishGen, The Home of Jewish Genealogy   GEM:  Cast a Shadow on Your Ancestors In the episode #5 I shared a little gem that would spice up your genealogical database – adding silhouettes and artistic images to the file of an ancestor when you don’t have a photograph.  Probably the most famous silhouette these days are the silhouettes used by Apple for advertising the iPod digital music and audio player.  It may surprise your teenager or grandchild to learn that the first silhouettes were done hundreds of years ago.  Back then silhouettes (or shades as they were called), they paintings or drawings of a person's shadow. They were popular amongst English royalty and the art form quickly spread to Europe.  A silhouette can also be cut from black paper, and was a simple alternative for people who could not afford other forms of portraiture, which, in the eighteenth century, was still an expensive proposition. The word took its name from Étienne de Silhouette, but it’s uncertain as to whether his name was attributed because he enjoyed this art form, or as the story goes because the victims of his taxes complained that they were reduced to mere shadows. Either way, the popularity of Silhouettes hit new heights in the United States where they were seen in magazines, brochures and other printed material. But they faded from popularity as Photographs took over in the 1900s. As a follow up, I want to share with you a simple technique for creating your own silhouettes. You can use ordinary snapshots to create a visual family record.  Take a photo of a person in profile against a neutral background.  Blanket the photo background with white acrylic or tempera paint Fill in the image with a heavy black permanent marker, curing the shoulders down for a classical pose.  Add fun details like cowlicks, eyelashes, hats, and jewelry that express the person’s personality with a fine felt-tip pen. Photocopy the doctored photos onto quality art paper.  Since glossy papers work print best, you could also use your computer scanner to scan the image into your hard drive.  From there you can add it to your database, or print it out onto glossy photo paper for mounting. To represent folks in your family tree, create a silhouette of your father to represent his Great Great Grandfather, and add a farmer’s hat and rake to represent his profession of farming.  Chances are dad has inherited some of his profile anyway.  Have fun with it and be creative.  But of course be very sure to label to silhouette appropriately as a creative interpretation rather than a literal rendering. You can also do silhouettes of your family including extended family and arrange the portraits together on a wall.  Use black painted frames in a variety of shapes and sizes and hang in a way that represents the family tree / relationships. Check out the Art Café Network website for a Short History of Silhouettes by Katherine Courtney.   For More detailed how-to information, they have additional pages on cutting.   2 Silhouette books to turn to: Silhouettes : Rediscovering the Lost Art by Kathryn K. Flocken     Old-Fashioned Silhouettes (Dover Electronic Clip Art) (CD-ROM and Book)    GEM:  GenWeb Pages Last year the website celebrated its 10th Anniversary.  The USGenWeb Project consists of a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. The Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone. Organization within the website is by state and county. You can go to the homepage of the website and click on the state of your choice from the left hand column.  From the state page you can select the county you wish to search in.  However, when I know they name of the county I want to search in,  I’ve found it’s often quicker just to search at google.com and do a search like  “genweb sibley county mn”  The choice is yours.  Remember to use the Google search gem that I gave you in episode one (see episode #134  http://www.genealogygemspodcast.com/webpage/episode-145-a-blast-from-the-past ) to quickly search within the county website.   Many don’t have search engines of their own, and so that’s when I first really started using that search technique.  These county sites are often very rich though, and after a focused search, it’s rewarding just to wander the site.  It will help you become more familiar with the county! You’ll likely find databases of Births, Deaths, Marriages, townships histories, plat maps, surnames, and a host of other topics. Because each county has its own volunteer coordinator, the information you will find varies from county to county.  And as always, info is being added regularly, so you need to book mark them and return on a regular basis to see what’s new.  Be sure and share your resources as well.  That’s the power behind the GenWeb project – volunteers.  Volunteering your county resources will enrich other’s experience and will likely lead to connections that will continue to further your own research. Book Mentioned in this episode:  The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy, Second Edition by Rhonda McClure  
Nov 24, 2012
Episode 144 - Digitize, Organize, and Archive
01:05:58
Today's gem focuses on a challenge that we all face as family historians – getting organized, archiving all of our stuff, and digitizing materials an d photos. I know that’s biting off a big chunk, but it’s such an important one. And in this episode I’m going to start to break it down for your with the help of the Family Curator, Denise Levenick who has written a book called How to Archive Family Keepsakes.  She’s got lots of practical advice to share. NEWS: FamilySearch recently announced that their U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Community Project is Half-way to its 2012 Goal of 30 Million Records In August of this year, FamilySearch announced its next major U.S. community project-U.S. Immigration and Naturalization. The project will create an extensive, free, online collection of U.S. passenger lists, border crossing records, naturalization records, and more-invaluable to genealogy researchers. See what U.S. Immigration and Naturalization projects are currently underway, or check on their status at FamilySearch.org/immigration.  You can join the community of online indexers and arbitrators helping to make passenger lists and naturalization records freely searchable on familysearch.org. Current and Completed Projects  To view a list of currently available indexing projects, along with their record language and completion percentage, visit the FamilySearch indexing updates page. To learn more about individual projects, view the FamilySearch projects page.    Canadian Military Records Ancestry.ca has also announced that they have launched some New Canadian Military Records Collections Read about it on my Blog: Limited Time Free Access to Canadian Military Records, and New Records Online   Google recently announced that  Google Maps just got the biggest Street View update ever, doubling the number of special collections and updating over 250,000 miles of roads around the world. Google has increased Street View coverage in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. And they are launching special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico, among others. . They’ve also recently updated the Google Earth satellite imagery database. This refresh to the imagery has now been updated for 17 cities and 112 countries/regions.  So Google Earth has never been better for genealogy research. And of course if you would like to learn more about what Google Earth can do for you as a genealogist, check out my free YouTube videos which show you what you can learn in my video CD series called Google Earth for Genealogy which is available at the Genealogygems.com store.  Google Earth for Genealogy Digital Video Series   Genealogy Gems Premium Membership Update I’m happy to let all of you Premium members know that I’ve put together a quick little video that will walk you through the process of setting up your Premium podcast feed in iTunes.You’ll find a link on the premium episodes page once you’ve signed in that will take you to the video and instructions for setting up your Premium iTunes subscription. I have also added a video recording of one my most popular classes to the Premium Videos collection. It’s called How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with Evernote. From Premium Member Kelly: “Thank you so much for your podcast on Evernote. I've been on YouTube watching videos about it but they were hard to follow and more advanced or to techie. Your podcast was easy to follow and went over the basics and I really appreciate that. I think I finally ready to try it.” If you would like to be able to watch the Evernote class from the comfort of your own home please join us as a Genealogy Gems Premium Member which you can do at www.genealogygems.com     MAILBOX: From Patience: “I have noticed in your podcast, other's podcasts, blogs, and at workshops I have attended that there is a concern about the next generation.  I do understand, but I wanted to share with you my experience in hopes of easing everyone's worries.  I am 23 years old, and let me tell you I stick out like a sore thumb at workshops as I usually am the youngest by at least 30 years.  That being said when I started researching I met one of my cousins on ancestry.com, and we really hit it off we have all the same interests, and are like long lost twins.  For a while I assumed that she was retired, and much much older than I, but after several emails I found out she is only two years older than me!!! I too worry about my generation, but I think after some maturing, most will at least have an appreciation for the past, and everything it has to offer, or at least I hope...But all I know is that there are two very pretty twenty something girls thousands of miles apart that would rather research and learn that go to parties...so that seems pretty hopeful I think.”   Jennifer Takes the iPad on the Road “Kudos for turning me on to a nifty iPad shortcut. Your latest book has some tips in the back, which is where, of course, I skipped to after dutifully reading the first three chapters or so. The tips about swiping the comma/exclamation point to create an apostrophe, and the other shortcut for quotation marks, are so great! I will no doubt find many other useful items when I return to reading. Honestly, your books are so full of wonderful information, I have to take a break before my head explodes (not pretty).” Pat Oxley, a Genealogist on Facebook posted her review of my new book on Facebook last week.  "Despite another day of coughing and basically feeling yuk, I bought and downloaded Lisa Louise Cooke's new book "Turn your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse." It is FABULOUS! I worked my way through the book, taking notes and then downloaded and played with some of the apps she suggested! Thank you Lisa Louise! I will say it's a terrific book even if you're NOT a genealogist. Many of her suggested apps could be applied to many different hobbies and interests. You can buy it through Lulu.com.” Get the updated book: Mobile Genealogy   GEM: Interview with author Denise Levenick, The Family Curator Archiving, organizing and digitizing family treasures is one of the greatest challenges for genealogists. In her book How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records, Denise Levenick presents a game plan that breaks down the steps and provides a clear picture of the end goal. The worksheets and checklists provide the kind of practical advice I look for in “how to” books. No fluff, just common sense, and usable information that lead to success. Get your copy of Denise's book How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records and start getting organized now!       Denise May Levenick is a writer, researcher, and speaker with a passion for preserving and sharing family treasures of all kinds. She is the author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes and creator of The Family Curator blog http://www.TheFamilyCurator.com, voted one of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in 2010 and 2011.   Gem: One More ThingFrom Tina in the UK: “Your recent blog post about items found when clearing out a house reminded me of my most significant find in my stepfather's attic. He died in July 2009 and my mother wanted to clear out and sell their big house and move to a retirement flat to be near the family in Bristol. I should explain that my mother and father divorced when I was a baby and my stepfather was like a father to me.  We threw out masses of stuff - he never did, EVER! - but this was mostly correspondence, company reports for all his shares etc which we sifted through without much of note being found. Then, in the attic there were two extraordinary finds: (1) a box full of the small notebooks he kept from his schooldays till a few years before he died…early ones and especially the ones of his years in the Army in India and Burma…The later notebooks are a record of his expenses - with dates, items and expenses which brought back many memories (eg doll for Tina - bought  in New York on holiday in 1958 - I remember it well, it was a sort of pre-Barbie!). Every ice-cream he ever bought us - there was a LOT of ice-cream (he loved it)! (2) my grandfather's old attache case - full of letters from my stepfather's mother between about 1978 and her death in 1993. There were hundreds of them - and yes, I read every single one and they have formed the basis of the story of her life (yes, she also left a small diary, a collection of her own recipes of family favourites, and a very simple family tree), which I am now writing…what VERY little there was seemed to be in answer to some of his questions...It just shows how the smallest things can provide clues.”  Thank you Tina for sharing this – it certainly does remind us that clues can come from anywhere. But it also reminds us of something else – that while it’s wonderful to have our history recorded so it can be remembered, sometimes it’s the smallest things that are remembered most:  Like ice cream.  I think I’m going to sign off now and take my grandson Davy out for a cone. I hope he remembers it, because I know I will. Who will you invite out for a an ice cream and spend your precious time with today?
Nov 08, 2012
Episode 143 - Mobile Scanning, Heroic Stories, and Old Postcards
49:36
In this episode you will hear how one man’s passion for geography and history were saved from destruction, and you’ll find out what a portable scanner can do for your genealogy research and mobility. My Latest Travels I wrapped up my recent round of travels last week with a trip to Sumner, Washington where I spoke at the Autumn Quest Annual Seminar sponsored by the Heritage Quest Library. It was a packed room and we spent the day talking about how to find your family history in newspapers, using Google Earth for Genealogy, how to find living relatives and most importantly how to save your research from destruction. There seemed to be a bit of serendipity involved in this particular speaking engagement, which was booked many many months ago. Recently Bill’s mom made the big move to a lovely retirement home and she really wanted her kids to get together and go through the house and pick up the items they wanted to keep, and then prepare the house to be rented out. As it turned out, amazingly enough, this was the ideal weekend to corral all four kids together to do that before the renovations on the house started. So after Saturday’s seminar, on Sunday we all got together and although my mother in law was very happy to have moved and really wanted to the kids to do this, it was just hard to get started. Since I didn’t grow up in the house it was a little easier for me to see the task at hand from more of a practical point of view, and I was sort of nominated to guide the process. And it actually worked out really well. Everyone was very comfortable with how the remaining items were divided up, and there were lots of family photos to go around. I was fortunate enough to receive my mother-in-laws father’s original Royal Typewriter. I think it’s probably from about 1910 and is in pristine condition. It’s all cleaned up and in my studio now inspiring me to continuing writing and blogging. And I also received a small journal with the handwritten life stories of her parents. So I have my work cut out assembling the stories and photos and I hope to get some coffee table books printed as well as do a video that the family can enjoy. We’ll see if I can get that done in time for Christmas. I’m sure many of you listening have also gone through this process of closing down a parent’s household. If you have an interesting story, or came across an unexpected gem email me or call and leave your story on the voice mail line at 925-272-4021 and I might just share it on an upcoming episode. Geographic History Saved Now I mentioned to you that I taught the class Save Your Research from Destruction, and though that title may sound a bit over dramatic, time and time again it proves accurate. One example is a story I recently came across originally in the LA Times Quote: "I think there are at least a million maps here," he said. "This dwarfs our collection — and we've been collecting for 100 years." Thank goodness there are folks like Matthew Greenberg, who came to the rescue of a century of old maps. He’s my hero! Click Here to See it for Yourself   GEM: Interview with Gordon Nuttall of Couragent, Inc. and the Flip-Pal I’ve been a longtime fan of the Flip-Pal portable scanner and I use mine all the time. You’ve probably heard me mention it before on the show, and I often have specials on the Support the Podcast page on my website where you can save money, and at the same time your purchase helps to support this free podcast. Over the years I have received questions from many of you who are trying to decide if it really makes sense to get a portable scanner, and wanting to better understand what it can do for you and how to use it. So I decided it is about time to get all the answers together for you in one podcast gem. And who better to get those answers from than the inventor himself, Gordon Nuttall, CEO of Couragent, Inc., the company behind the Flip-Pal.    Use this link to Flip-Pal Flip-Pal with Wifi Thank you for helping make the free Genealogy Gems Podcast possible!   Just a Few More Things Internet and Computer Prediction video Premium Episode 93 – Evernote Premium Video: How the Genealogist can Remember Everything with Evernote    
Oct 22, 2012
Episode 142 - Family History Bloggers
51:07
Have you ever wondered how the Internet works?  I mean, how data from your computer actually makes to another computer somewhere else around the world? I found a very cool video that really manages to explain a very complex process that happens in a matter of seconds in a way that actually makes a lot of sense. And yet while it made sense, after I watched it it was almost harder to believe that it really works at all because it’s so amazing. Even if you are typically a person who doesn’t bother to click on videos, you have got to check out How Does the Internet Work in the newest of edition of the free Genealogy Gems Podcast email newsletter. Go to www.genealogygems.com and enter your email to sign up.   NEWS: RootsTechRootsTech 2013 Promo Video   Ancestry Read Lisa's blog post: Money Growing on Trees: Ancestry Buying and Selling While the world’s largest online family history resource, Ancestry.com, awaits a possible buyout, they are keeping busy buying other companies. Reuters reported that Permira Advisers LLP has emerged as the front-runner to take Ancestry private in a deal that could exceed $1.5 billion. (Read more about the possible acquisition at PEHUB) Ancestry also released the following press release about the company’s latest acquisition, San Francisco based 1000Memories. You can learn more about 1000 Memories by listening to my interview with Michael Katchen, Director of Business Development at 1000Memories in  Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 119.   Job Opening SAR Operation Ancestor   Google Books Google Books and Publishers Reach Settlement over Digitization Learn more about using Google Books for genealogy in my book The Genealogist’s  Google Toolbox.   New Premium Episode 92 Old maps can tell us a lot more than just where our ancestors lived: They put events into geographic context, reveal surprising genealogical clues, and can be incorporated into Google Earth for analysis and storytelling. In the newest episode (#92) of the Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast I’ll tell you about a terrific example of a website that has set the goal of have every image they possess (allowable by copyright) digitized and on their website by early 2013 I’m also going to tell you about something pretty shocking that happened to me recently while speaking at an international genealogy conference. I was really taken by surprise, and received some unexpected questions. I will share those with you as well as some solid answers. It’s another packed episode. If you are a member sign in now to start listening.  Become a Member today.   MAILBOX Stephanie also wrote in with an opinion about Ancestry Trees “So here are my "2 bits".  I am new to all this and honestly never considered my public tree as published.  I have used the Ancestry tree as a if were my workbook, just as if it were a software package like Roots Magic.  Because I consider it a workbook I add names as I find them and work the family as a group to document the information AFTER I add them.  It simply never occurred to me that others would see this as complete, documented information.  I have kept my tree open since I want to be open to contacts.  When I see hints from other trees I simply avoid the un-sourced ones.  The Ancestry hints have moved me along much faster than I ever could have before.  I truly hope others who get angry could see my point of view. Thank you so much for teaching us, you have made this journey so much more enjoyable and effective!!!” From Loretta: Ancestry Trees “I've had a little different reaction towards the "polluted" online trees... sarcasm. At the beginning of the year I started a blog, Barking Up The Wrong Tree. I post on Tuesdays and Fridays. Both days could be considered tips for beginners but Tuesdays are examples of what NOT to do. All the examples are actual online trees and because of the propensity of newbies to mindlessly copy other trees most examples are not just on ONE tree. It makes for a lot of head meets desk moments but I'm enjoying it. Hope you and some of your listeners will too.” Ricky in Birmingham, Alabama asks about citing sources and paper and file organization <A HREF="http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_mfw&ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fgenegemspodc-20%2F8001%2F57c224a1-85ab-43d7-9fb9-1175aa0b4fc7&Operation=NoScript">Amazon.com Widgets</A>   GEM: New Family History Bloggers Family History blogging is hotter than ever and the ideal way to get your research out on the web where others working on the same family lines can find you through Google searches!  Many of you have been taking advantage of free blogging services like Blogger at Mom Cooke’s nagging here on the podcast, and reaping some rewards.  So let me highlight a few listeners who have turned in their “Round To It” for a “Gitter Done!” First up is David Lynch who started a blog on his St. Croix research “I recently started in my genealogy and find your show both entertaining and helpful.  My 200 Years in Paradise The reason I’m writing is that sometimes we forget that the world wasn’t homogeneous throughout the 1800s. Right now, I’m writing a series on illegitimate births on the island of St. Croix from 1841-1934. From my research, it seems that over 77% of the children born were to unmarried households.  Typically they formed stable family units, but just didn’t marry. In fact, in my personal family history, I have a set of ancestors who had 16 children and got married after their 12th child was born.  In the US at the same time, only about 4% of the children were illegitimate.” Jennifer shares her blog “Just wanted you to know that I've started my own blog, based largely on the encouragement in your podcasts.  What appealed to me was that it's a medium where I can share information, but not in a way that's an online family tree.  This will prevent readers from copying and pasting family tree branches, without slowing down to learn some context.  It also allows me a forum to correct some gigantic errors floating around out there about my ancestors.  I finally woke up to the fact that I've moved to the head of the line in the experience department.  I've placed a lot of tags on the entries, so the information is easily located in Google.” http://jenongen.blogspot.com/ Sonja Hunter wrote in to share her blogging success First, I would like to thank you for putting together your podcasts!...I only became a listener about a year ago, but have been working my way through old Genealogy Gems podcasts as well as the Genealogy Made Easy podcasts, mostly while gardening.  I also wanted to let you know you inspired me to start blogging. I rang in the New Year by starting a blog about doing genealogy in my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. One primary goal is to highlight helpful area resources. I imagine this will be most helpful to those new to conducting family history research in the area. In addition, I am trying to include Kalamazoo area or Michigan history items that I think are interesting. One example is an article I found in the local paper describing what Kalamazooans from 1884 imagined life would be like in 1984. I've also written about poisonous cheese in the 1880s, diphtheria and the case of my gg-grandfather's brother-in-law who may or may not have committed suicide by slitting his throat. I consulted Paula Sassi for that case and plan to blog about her handwriting analysis in the future.  Thank you for inspiring me to embark on this project! I'm learning a lot. And keep up the good and valuable work you do on your podcasts! Bushwahacking Genealogy Kalamazoo and Beyond  John Harrigan: Who Done It? (With Handwriting Analysis by Paula Sassi) From John in Maryland: “I want to thank you again for everything you do to inspire people to be enthusiastic about their family history.  I learn so many "Gems" within all of your resources and put many of them to practice.   You are the family history "Go-To" person in my book.  I recently started a blog for the primary reason of documenting my findings so that I wouldn't forget what I've been discovering.  The blog also appears to be a good way to share my success stories with others that may be interested.  I credit you for introducing the idea of using a blog in Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast.  When I first listened to the podcasts about blogs, I didn't think it was something that was applicable to me, as I felt I had no new information to share with others since many experts like yourself already handle this.  However, I'm giving it a try and enjoy it so far.  I really like how I'm able to place images within the text to help convey my information.” http://recordetective.blogspot.com/   And finally Shannon Bennett has really made a blogging splash.  She writes: “I have been hemming and hawing on writing to you and finally took the plunge to do it.  Last spring a friend of mine told me about your podcasts (yes all of them) since I had just started into family research.  She thought I would like it, and boy was she right!  I have taken you on my iPod to drop my kids off to school and pick them up again, cleaned house, grocery shopping as well as everywhere in between. The wealth of information I have gathered from your podcasts have been very helpful, and I have loved all the interviews and tid-bits that have come along the way as well.  There is no way that I could just pick one out of so many to be my all-time favorite.  Maybe a top 10 list would cover it. However, I do have to blame you for the latest adventure in my life, which is why I am writing.  Listening to you tell us, in almost every episode, about the importance of having a family blog finally sank in.  The first couple of times I heard you say it I thought to myself “there’s no way I would/could ever do such a thing, I barely have time to keep up with my Live Journal account.”  A few weeks went by and the thoughts began to change to “hmmm…maybe I could do this.”  Then after 4 months of thinking about it I started to do some research into how to run a successful blog.” Shannon took the plunge and applied to Family Tree University to write for their Family Firsts Blog.  “I come to find out that they are looking for their second blogger.  I sat…I thought…I clicked the application button.  Yes, on a whim I entered because I thought I had nothing to lose.  You see I never win these types of things. A month goes by, and I have given into the feeling that well it was a good try but of course I didn’t get it.…then later on that week I find out I won it! So thank you, I never would have entered let alone thought about creating my own blog less than a year into my family research, without you and your wonderful podcasts.” Trials and Tribulations of a Self-Taught Family Historian Family Tree Firsts Blog      
Oct 10, 2012
Episode 141 - Antiques Roadshow, and What to Include and Not to Include in Your Family Tree
44:09
In this episode we are pulling back the curtain on the Antiques Roadshow, as well as talking a bit about what to include and not include in your family tree. I’m just back from Odessa Texas where I presented a full day seminar at the Permian Basin Genealogical Society. I got to enjoy a big dose of Texas hospitality and had an absolutely wonderful time. Next up I’m heading to Kelowna British Columbia for the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society Harvest Your Family Tree 2012 Conference where I will be again doing four presentations as well as a Meet the Speakers panel.    MAILBOX: Family Tree Magazine Digital Subscriptions from Kathy:  “I subscribe to Family Tree Magazine.  Can I download my print subscription to my iPad....as you can with other subscriptions?  Or do I need to pay for each issue that I download? Family Chart Masters helped me with my Family Tree Chart.  It was beautiful and was a hit at our Family Reunion.  Janet was so helpful.  Thank you for the recommendation. Love your podcasts.” Lisa’s Answer: The Family Tree Magazine digital subscription is separate from the print subscription, unless you have purchase their VIP Subscription. So you can either purchase individual digital issues from the Shop Family Tree Store, or you  can purchase a separate annual digital subscription. I think they keep it separate because not everyone wants both. Click here for a $10 off coupon for ShopFamilyTree and when you use that link it also supports the free Genealogy Gems Podcast.  Thank you! Get Lisa’s Book: Mobile Genealogy Paperback   Replacement for RAOGK From Mary in Iowa: “In Podcast #139, Ricky asked about a successor to the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness website.  There are actually three Facebook groups (not pages) carrying on the task of looking up genealogy information and other requests.  They are RAOGK, RAOGK - USA, and RAOGK - International.  You need to be a member of the Facebook group to post a message or request, but most requests for membership are granted quickly.” Generous Genealogists  Gen Gathering   Scott from Oakland Maine: “I am in need of some advice regarding an un-cooperative family member.  My father’s brother wants nothing to do with our family, and in years past once referred to himself as the “black sheep”.  He has absolutely no interest in genealogy and is not at all willing to be a part of the family story that I am putting together.  My question is, how do I reference this character in my tree.”   Lisa’s Answer: I imagine every family has a tough nut on a branch of the family tree!  I’m a firm believer in the truth, and what I would do if it were me is to include basic data (that is publicly available) on him on my private, personal family tree. On trees and other info you make available publicly, (such as an online family tree) I would list him and his immediate family only as "Living" and whether they are male or female. In the end you have to do what seems right for you.   From Glenn: “Just wanted to say a quick thanks for both podcasts you produce…I've been interested in the Family History for some time…Recently my interest has arisen again, of course I have made classic mistake in not documenting everything, and just collecting names, dates and so forth.  So in the last 6 months I've been citing sources and updating the database. One of the quandaries I have is when do you stop, not so much vertically, but how wide do you go, in relation to cousins, second cousins and families? Probably the main question I have is trying to decide whether to get a subscription to Ancestry.com or not, I feel I'm at that stage where online document will help out, in filling in the leaves on my branches.”   Lisa’s Answer: Go as wide as you want and are interested in. I would recommend adding basic info for someone you find who you won’t be pursuing, so that if down the road you run in to a brick wall and you need to do some cluster research or reverse genealogy, you will have new leads to follow. RE: Ancestry - I think you will find that Ancestry membership is a very cost effective and time saving way to do your research. Mine has been invaluable. See if you can find a 7 day free trial to check it out and confirm they have the kinds of records you need.   GEM: Diane Haddad Pulls Back the Curtain on The Antiques Roadshow Diane Haddad is the Managing Editor at Family Tree Magazine. Music in this segment: The Antiques Roadshow Remix By The Elusive MrHatchard Available on the SoundClick.com website   GEM: Halloween History Tidbits Halloween Mason Jar Lanterns Vampire Hunting Kit from the 1800s Follow Lisa on Pinterest   GEM: Newspaper Milestones On September 15, 1982, USA Today began publishing On September 18, 1851, the New York Times issued its first edition On September 25, 1690, the first newspaper in America was published for one day in Boston before being shut down by British authorities unhappy with its content.   Get Lisa’s Book How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers Paperback  
Sep 25, 2012
Episode 140 - A Blast from the Past Episodes 3 and 4
44:36
Published Sept 11, 2012 Enjoy a Blast from the Past with Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 140. You'll hear episodes 3 and 4 from 2007. Show Notes EPISODE 3 - Originally Aired March 11, 2007 A big thanks to Bill Puller of the Genealogy Tech Podcast, for mentioning the Genealogy Gems Podcast in his March 7 blog.   New to Podcasting?  How to Subscribe to this podcast for FREE   GEM:  GOOGLE ALERTS & EBAY FAVORITE SEARCHES (aka eBay Alerts)   GOOGLE ALERTS: Check out Bill Puller’s podcast Episode #8 of the Genealogy Tech Podcast You can create a thousand!  (Idea:  Start with those items you highlighted in your family journals (See episode #2 below)   EBAY FAVORITE SEARCHES: How to create a Favorite Search in eBay: Enter keywords in to the “All Items” SEARCH box click SEARCH (Consider clicking the Search title and description box to insure you are getting everything) Once you get the search refined to give you good results, click “Add to my Favorite Searches” (just below the search line on the right side of the screen) This opens a window where you can elect to create it as a new search, or replace one of your existing searches.  Usually you will just be creating a new search.  Make sure the “Email me” box is clicked so you will receive email notifications when new items are listed.  You can choose how long you want to receive emails.  (This can be modified at any time through My EBay) Click SAVE SEARCH You’ll probably receive your first emails tomorrow morning! Examples: LARSON screwdriver SPORAN – San Joaquin Cotton Oil bale of cotton   GEM: FAMILY HISTORY DISPLAYS Shadow Box "L J Larson" Diana's Wall Display EPISODE 4 - Originally Aired March 17, 2007 HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY 19 Presidents of the United States have claimed Irish heritage. One-third to one-half of the American troops during the Revolutionary War 9 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were Irish Americans. Today, approximately one in four Americans can trace their ancestry in part to Ireland. A Tribute to My Irish Roots-"Michael Lynch came to America first, and bought his land in Wisconsin in 1857.  He then wrote to a friend still in Ireland, and asked him to find him an Irish wife.  Margaret Scully was 16 at the time and agreed to go.  She traveled with her brothers Dan & Tom Scully in 1860.  They were married April 10, 1860 in Stillwater, MN." Michael’s land was covered in timber.  He cleared all the land with oxen.  Margaret was very afraid of the Indians.  There were terrible Sioux Indian uprisings in the area at the time.  Family she would not stay in their cabin alone while Michael was clearing the land.  So she would take the children and hide in the woods." Margaret (nee Scully) Lynch Born July 17, 1839 in Limerick, Ireland She died at the age of 87 and left behind 7 of her 8 children, 40 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.    Find your Irish ancestors now with this book: In Search of Your British and Irish Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your English, Welsh, Scottish, & Irish Ancestors [Paperback] Buy through our Amazon search box and support the free podcast. Angus Baxter wrote a terrific book about finding your German ancestors which I found invaluable.  “In Search…” will take you step by step back to Britain and Ireland, even if you are new to family history research.   From the MAILBOX: Kay Alderman saying that she’s enjoying the podcast and has added Genealogy Gems to her new genealogy blog called Another Amateur Genealogist.  (Update: no longer available)   DVD Gem: Berkeley Square My eldest daughter and I have been glued to this DVD since we started it.  We are both HUGE Pride & Prejudice fans (The A&E version) and are thrilled to find a serial of the same caliber. Berkeley Square follows the intertwining lives of three London nannies at the turn of the 20th century.  Each episode (and there are 10 – yummy!!) is packed with romance, intrigue, and plot twists that have kept us glued to the couch.  We’ll be watching these nannies over and over in the future just as we do Lizzie and her sisters! Buy Berkeley Square through our Amazon search box and support the free podcast.   GEM:  YouTube.com YouTube.com lends itself beautifully to family history research by offering a very creative method for not only sharing family photos and videos, but really telling your families story.  What is it? YouTube is an online video streaming service that allows anyone to share videos with others by uploading them to the site.  In addition, it allows member to view the videos of others.  The website address is youtube.com  Sign up is easy and free:(Update: If you have a free Google account that will be your YouTube account) To become a member of YouTube, go to the "Signup" page (http://www.youtube.com/signup), by clicking SIGN UP in the top right corner of the home page. Choose a user name and password, and enter your information. Click the "Sign Up" button and you're done.  Caution:  Be aware that there is objectionable content on YouTube.   Nonetheless, it is a powerful medium for genealogists to use, and I predict it will go by leaps and bounds when it comes to family history and history in general.   Videos I found relating to my family’s history: Der Deutsche Osten - Ostpreußen/The Germ.East: East Prussia This video was a photo montage set music.  The villages are part of Poland today, but the video shows them as they were before World War II.  A video walk through Tunbridge Wells… South East England old film A nine minute film made up of very old film footage from the 1920s offering a tour of Margate, England and surrounding villages. (Update: no longer available) Subscribe to The Genealogy Gems Channel Get this book and max out the potential of YouTube yourself: YouTube for Dummies. Buy through our Amazon search box and support the free podcast. Remember, www.YouTube.com  isn’t just for teenagers anymore! “Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sep 11, 2012
Episode 139 Going Back to Family History School
59:42
Published August 29, 2012 Let's get ready to go back to school - family history school! And I've got some exciting new to tell you about! Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #139 brought to you by two times Grandma Lisa Louise Cooke.  Yes, indeed my second little Grandson was born on August 15, 2012 about 2 ½ weeks early, and he and his mommy my daughter Vienna are doing marvelously. His name is Joseph, and we’ll all be calling him Joey which I absolutely adore, and even better his middle name is Cooke. Life is good, and being a Sha Sha as Davy calls me is heaven on earth that’s for sure. Genealogy News: This month Ancestry announced that it has completed the records indexing process for the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, which you can find at www.ancestry.com/1940census. Since the initial release of the 1940 U.S. Census by the National Archives in April, Ancestry.com has progressively published information state by state.  But now, no longer will you have to look up enumeration districts.  Now all 134 million records are now searchable for free by name, date, place of birth and other key information recorded in the census. You’ll also be able to make corrections or update information that is incomplete, leading to a better overall database of information. Assisting you with navigating the 1940 U.S. Census is Ancestry.com’s Interactive Image Viewer, which enables users to browse document pages with simple graphical overlays. The viewer adds highlights, transcriptions and other functionality directly on the Census page. This enables users to access small census fields by scrolling over them and getting a pop up that magnifies the information that was recorded by census takers. In the 1940 census you find information on whether your ancestor’s owned or rented their home, the value of the residence and how many people lived there. For the first time, census takers in 1940 also asked questions specific to income and education. And you may be surprised what you will not find, like details on military service, whether they could read or write, and whether they spoke English which were all questions that were asked in prior censuses. You will find the 1940 census in its entirety at www.ancestry.com/1940census FamilySearch Volunteer Opportunity: US Immigration & Naturalization Genealogy Project FamilySearch also has indexed the 1940 Census with the help of more than 160,000 volunteers, and they are launching a new volunteer opportunity. Now they are turning their attention to the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Community Project, an indexing effort to make passenger lists, naturalization records, and other immigration related records freely searchable online. Hundreds of thousands of North American volunteers are expected to contribute over the next 18-24 months, focusing initially on passenger lists from the major US ports. If you of your genealogy society wants to pitch in you can visit familysearch.org/immigration for all the details. Read more about it: Indexing Volunteers Invited by FamilySearch to Join new US Immigration and Naturalization Community Genealogy Project   Bids to Buy Ancestry Reported by Reuters to be Lower than Hoped   In my last Premium podcast, I mentioned that Chronicling America, the Library of Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov Congress’ historical newspaper website, sent out a newsletter on using Civil War maps printed in the New York Daily Tribune. I just have to share more on this with everyone!   Civil War Maps for Genealogy Available in Online Newspapers   And finally, here’s something fun from George Mason’s University’s History News Network website: If you have teens in your family then chances are you have heard the phrase OMG which stands for oh my God. But have you ever wondered who started it? You may have thought it was Alicia Silverstone in the 1995 movie Clueless, but actually you have to dig much further back in history to find its origins. All the way back to 1917 in fact.  Read the rest of the story   MAILBOX: Amy in Santa Rosa, CA posted the following question on the Genealogy Gems Facebook Fan page: "On your podcast, I hear you recommend Roots Magic for genealogy software, but I have a Mac and as far as I can tell, it only works with PCs. I thought at one point you mentioned you were starting to use a Mac, so I'm wondering if you use different software on the Mac or if you use a PC for your genealogy software. I used to use Family Tree Maker before my PC crashed, but thought I'd do some research before buying software for the new Mac …Just thought I'd get your opinion, since I value your expertise on the podcast. It is probably just as well that my PC crashed because I never did any source citations (didn't know about it when I started genealogy and now it just scares me!), so I'll be learning how to do that as I add names back in..." Lisa’s Answer: While I use both Mac and PC, I only do genealogy on the PC which I prefer. I did publish a series of segments on comparing genealogy programs for the Mac starting with Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 51. Go to www.genealogygems.com and click PODCAST in the menu to get to them. Amy has one more question: "Do I include the grandpa I grew up knowing on my family tree or the biological grandfather. I'm inclined to include the biological one, that feels right. How do others in this situation do it? Wouldn't it be "blood" lines, not "fake" lines? My father really wants to know about his biological father, whom sadly never knew he existed. He died in a VA hospital, would that be a good place to contact for information? I have his birth and death certificates and his mother's death certificate. The only people I know anything at all about in that family are my biological grandfather and his parents." Lisa’s Answer: In regards to your other question, I'm afraid you may not have much luck with the VA hospital. Hospitals are notorious for closed records, although in my interview with author Steve Luxenberg, he talked in episodes 120  and episode 121 about how he worked around some of those challenges. Stick to proven genealogy methodology to find out more about him. Start with his death and move backward in time. I would look for a newspaper obituary, census records (if he was alive prior to 1940), general ancestry.com searches, and military records. As for the family tree in your database, adoptive parents are just like step parents (which are included on our trees) and can, and I believe should, be included. RootsMagic forum explaining how many users have accomplished this. It's perfectly ok to have 2 sets of parents because that was the reality of the situation. And it only seems right as adoptive parents do the actual parenting. I can't imagine leaving them out. I hope that helps. Good luck and thanks for listening to the podcast! Brandt has a question about place names "In going through some of my records, I've come across a few where the records were created here in the States, but name places back in Europe or elsewhere. The place names are often spelled phonetically, and sometimes I can't figure out what they were trying to say even with a Google search. Do you have any tips on figuring out how to find misspelled foreign place names" Lisa’s Answer: Gazetteers are always great resources, but when I'm really stuck I often (not surprisingly) turn to Google.  Type the location name (to the best of  your knowledge) and run a search.  Google will do it's best to suggest the closest matches to names it can find.  It's even better if you can include an additional key word or two to help Google narrow it down.  So if the place name is a village in Germany, type the village name in, and add the keyword Germany.  If you have a surname associate with it you could even try adding that as perhaps there are people today in the location with that surname.  With a few tries you might just get the answer.  And consider running the search in Google Earth since it is geographic in nature.  It's the same Google Search engine. Ricky in Alabama also has two questions "I'm still working my way through your genealogy gems podcasts. One thing I'm curious about. I have gone to a library and found obituaries on microfilm. I print the image, then scan it when I get home. So it saves as a .jpg. When I save it to my database (FTM right now but I just got roots magic5) it saves just like a photo. Should I create a word document and insert the image making it a document? Same for death certificates I've saved from microfilm." Lisa’s Answer: I just save them as jpeg, and make a note in the source citation in RootsMagic. No point in creating extra work. If you want more detail attached to the image, consider going into your computer files and adding data into the Properties of the image. On    On the PC:  1.    Open Windows Explorer and locate the image on your hard drive          2.    Right click on the image          3.    Select Properties          4.    Click the DETAILS tab          5.    Enter keyword tags and details about the image To keep jpegs and other files organized and coordinated with your genealogy database, check out the Hard Drive Organization video series that is part of Premium Membership. Ricky’s second questions: "I was listening to an older Genealogy Gems podcast recently, and I heard mention of the web site Random Act of Genealogy Kindness…is this site back online. If not, are there any sites similar to it??" Lisa’s Answer: With Social Networking sites so abundant now, my first stop would be Facebook. Many genealogists befriend genealogists around the country and put out a request when looking for help. And you can search for friends by location.  If you're not active on Facebook, I would recommend going to the www.usgenweb.org  and going to the state and then county website for the county where you need the help.  Many county sites have LookUp help and ways to connect with those in the area who can be of help.  And of course if you are looking for help with obtaining a photograph of a grave, try www.findagrave.com  or www.billiongraves.com   This time of year everyone is heading back to school, and it’s a good reminder that not only could we benefit from continuing to pursue our own genealogical education, but in an effort to foster an appreciate for our family history and ensure its survival we really need to be educating the children in our families about family history, what it means, why it matters and even how to learn more about it on their own.  Earlier this year at the National Genealogical Society conference that was held in Cincinnati, Ohio a young mom approached me and told me she just published some books on how to teach your children about genealogy.  And this wasn’t just a book but rather a curriculum. Branching Out Curriculum by Jennifer Holik Branching Out: Genealogy for High School Students Lessons 1-15 (Volume 1) Branching Out: Genealogy for 4th - 8th Grade Students Lesson 1-15 (Volume 1) Branching Out: Genealogy for 1st - 3rd Grade Students Lessons 1 - 15: Lessons 1-15 (Volume 1) Engaging the Next Generation: A Guide for Genealogy Societies and Libraries If you’re not quite ready to jump into a curriculum, maybe you’re just not sure that your kids could actually really get interested you’ve got to check out the Chart Chick blog by my friend Janet Hovorka.  Janet has been sharing her personal genealogy journey with her kids, and she calls it like it is. You’ll be inspired and entertained and you’ll pick up some great gems along the way for working with kids on family history .   Google Earth for Genealogy digital video series Read my Family Tree Magazine Facebook Interview: http://www.familytreeuniversity.com/qa-lisa-louise-cooke   Exciting New Book In this episode Lisa mentions: Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse by Lisa Louise Cooke The updated book is called Mobile Genealogy: How to Use Your Tablet and Smartphone for Family History Research and is available here in the Genealogy Gems Store.    
Aug 29, 2012
Episode 138 - Food and Family History Part 2
45:22
Published August 8, 2012 In the last episode we took a big bite of food family history, and in today’s episode I’ve got part 2 of my interview with Gena Philibert Ortega, author of From the Family Kitchen: Discover your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes. MAILBOX: From Alvie in Lakeland Florida: “Would it be possible to share the recipe for the cookie - was it a sour cream cookie?  The one your husband loves.  My wife loves to bake cookies to share and she has all sorts of recipes and folks rave about her cookies.” Lisa’s Answer: You'll find the sour cream cookie recipe that I talked about in the interview at the bottom of a blog post that I did a while back called “Family History Never Tasted So Good”  You’ll see a picture there of my husband with his Nanna, and at the bottom of the post just click the image of the cook book page and it will be large enough to read the recipe. http://lisalouisecooke.com/?s=sour+cream From Tina: “I've just been watching your video about the Toast-tite.  I remember we had something similar (although it wasn't called a Toast-tite) when I was growing up in Brazil - except that it was square (kind of makes more sense when the bread is square ...) and it made simply the best toasted cheese sandwiches ever! And when I went back to Brazil in the mid-1980s, you could STILL buy them!  I wish I still had one - they were far better than the electric toasted sandwich maker that I bought later on ... I love foodie memories!”  From Laurie in Ridgefield, WA: “I want to share with you a craft project that I created for my two grown sons.  I didn’t realize at the time that what I created fit into the topic you have discussed about how to get the family involved in history.  At the time I not even created a family tree yet!  As I am sure you are aware we pass down recipes within a family and as it grows and moves away those tastes of “home” are often missed. It could be Grandmas bread baking or an aunts cookies. Memories etched deep in our senses.  Both of my boys have called me from the grocery store to ask how to cook a favorite dish. This got me to thinking close to the holidays about a homemade cook book filled with family favorites.  I scoured the old copy of the church fund raiser, a cookbook my mother in law submitted recipes too.  Digging up more favorites from my recipe box and contacting family members asking them for a favorite recipe along with any story that went with it.  I then purchased blank cookbooks in a binder style.  Transcribed onto the computer as documents printed to PDF, each recipe has its own page that lists the person’s name and any story & tips.  This gift turned out to be the highlight of the day and they poured over it and then I heard them talking about the food and memories.  Now, my boys tell me when I cook something new and very good… that’s one for the book.  It has turned out to not be just a book on a shelf but one they use often.” From Carol in Flagstaff, AZ: “I have several interesting cookbooks pertaining to my history. One is a Joy of Cooking, published during WWII, which includes a section on meal planning during rationing. The other is from a Norwegian heritage society in Seattle…What would be good ways to share this information with other Family Historians?  (I could scan portions of the books.)” Lisa’s Answer: Be sure to check the copyright of the old cook books you have. Do a Google Search on “copyright guidelines” for more information.  I think a great way to share them would be to blog about them.  And if you want a quick and easy way to start blogging for free watch my How to Blog Your Family History Videos at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/genealogygems Blogging is not only a great way to share with your family and friends, but your articles will be searchable by Google which means other folks out there who are interested in the same things can find your blog and comment. And chances are you could possibly use brief excerpts of the books in an editorial fashion in a blog, but again just read through some of the copyright guidelines available online. You could also create a book where you share the original recipe, then include “your take” on the recipe, and include photos of you making the dish and old family photos that tie in.  I have a series of Premium Podcast Episodes with videos that show you how to use print on demand services to create your book quickly and easily online, and affordably. The beauty of print on demand is that you only pay for exactly the number of books you want.  There’s no minimum order number. And if your family and friends want a copy than can buy it right from the website rather than you having to be the middle man, which is especially nice for folks who live across the country from you. From Sean: “I enjoyed that episode and it got me thinking of our cookbooks.  I've got a recipe box that came to us via my wife's grandmother that I'll be taking a closer look at this weekend.  As for me, my first cookbook was a copy of The Joy of Cooking that my parents bought me when I first left for college.  Although as the family chef I haven't made a lot of markings in it yet, we have pressed many leaves and flowers between its pages (within wax paper between the book's pages).  Several of the leaves and flowers are still there, but now with our 20th wedding anniversary tomorrow, I'm going to take some time with Jennifer to see if we can identify where and when those artifacts were saved.” Lisa’s Answer: I think it would be great if you starting making notes in the margins – like that a recipe is someone’s favorite dish, or the first time you make it – I think we could all do some of that to share a little more with our descendants.   GEM: Culinary Family History with Gena Philibert Ortega Part 2 In this gem I’m going to welcome you back to the warmest room in the home, the kitchen. Here amongst the pots and pans we are going to meet back up with my friend Gena Philibert Ortega, author of the book From the Family Kitchen: Discover your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes. In the last episode #137 we talked old cookbooks, where to find them, and what they can tell us about our family history. In the final part of this interview I get to turn the table on Gena a bit and ask her some food family history questions that she encourages her readers to ask in their families.  When you click this link to buy Gena’s book you are helping to financially support the free Genealogy Gems Podcast at no additional cost to you. Thank you!  Get the book here.     Watch the Companion Interview Video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel (Please be sure to click the SUBSCRIBE button while you are there!)   BONUS VIDEO:  Gena and I hit the kitchen to make a blast from the past.  Watch the video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel.  Be sure and leave a comment, "Like" the video, and pass it along to your friends!   Genealogy Gems App users will find the video in the BONUS CONTENT for this episode.   Cool Cooking iPad Apps (click images below:)       I really hope you’ve enjoyed this look at family history and food, and that it’s inspired you to rummage through the back of the cupboards, and ask around the family for those recipes, cookbooks, memories and even old cooking utensils so that you can bring your family’s culinary history back to the forefront and preserve it like a Ball jar of good peaches. And one last little gem for you: If you enjoy reminiscing about the food of days gone by I want to recommend a video series to you that I have enjoyed for years. It’s called Clara Cooks and I’ve added a few of my favorite episodes to my Food and Family History Playlist at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. Just go to www.youtube.com/genealogygems and scroll down and you’ll find the playlist in the column on the right.  And there you’ll also find my video interview Gena and our little cooking in the Cooke kitchen segment.  Bon Appetit!   GEM: Getting the Scoop from the Genealogy Gems Facebook Fan Page From Kat on Facebook: “Love Genealogy Gems :) I just listened to the podcast that was talking about adding pages to your news feed up in the like button option. I am not convinced that your feed stays visible with just saying show in the news feed since Facebook is constantly changing things. Another tip for seeing pages on Facebook: On the home page of your news feed, on the far left column you will see pages and groups that you recently visited. If you hover your mouse over that address a little edit icon pops up and then you can add that page or group to your favorites. These favorites stay pinned to your left column and when people make comments or the page updates a little number shows up next to the page link. I hope this helps someone here :)” Join us at the Genealogy Gems page at Facebook:www.facebook.com/genealogygems
Aug 09, 2012
Episode 137 - Food and Family History, and NetVibes Update
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