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

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Genealogy Gems Podcast shows you, the family historian, how to make the most out of your family history research time by providing quick and easy to use research techniques. In addition, you will learn creative ways to share your family tree and the legacy of your ancestors. Lisa Louise Cooke guides you through the exhilarating process of discovering your family tree. She scours the family history landscape to find and bring you the best websites, best practices, and best resources available. And Lisa’s interviews with the experts in the field of genealogy make the Genealogy Gems Podcast your own personal genealogy conference. Guests include genealogists such as Dick Eastman, DearMYRTLE, Curt Witcher, Arlene Eakle, and the folks from Ancestry.com, as well as celebrities such as Tukufu Zuberi of The History Detectives, Kathy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters, Tim Russell of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, the band Venice, and Darby Hinton of the Daniel Boone TV series from the 1960s.Your family history is world history.

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Genealogy Gems Podcast shows you, the family historian, how to make the most out of your family history research time by providing quick and easy to use research techniques. In addition, you will learn creative ways to share your family tree and the legacy of your ancestors. Lisa Louise Cooke guides you through the exhilarating process of discovering your family tree. She scours the family history landscape to find and bring you the best websites, best practices, and best resources available. And Lisa’s interviews with the experts in the field of genealogy make the Genealogy Gems Podcast your own personal genealogy conference. Guests include genealogists such as Dick Eastman, DearMYRTLE, Curt Witcher, Arlene Eakle, and the folks from Ancestry.com, as well as celebrities such as Tukufu Zuberi of The History Detectives, Kathy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters, Tim Russell of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, the band Venice, and Darby Hinton of the Daniel Boone TV series from the 1960s.Your family history is world history.

iTunes Ratings

220 Ratings
Average Ratings
167
21
15
8
9

Super helpful

By Chai4mom - Mar 21 2020
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Love this podcast for consistently helpful hints with my hobby of family history. Lisa Louise Cooke is a wonderful podcaster, with professional, high quality episodes.

Can’t do without

By Joan Laurie - Sep 23 2018
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The best way to stay up to date and learn something every podcast!

iTunes Ratings

220 Ratings
Average Ratings
167
21
15
8
9

Super helpful

By Chai4mom - Mar 21 2020
Read more
Love this podcast for consistently helpful hints with my hobby of family history. Lisa Louise Cooke is a wonderful podcaster, with professional, high quality episodes.

Can’t do without

By Joan Laurie - Sep 23 2018
Read more
The best way to stay up to date and learn something every podcast!
Cover image of The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke     -      Your Family History Show

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

Latest release on Jul 11, 2020

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Genealogy Gems Podcast shows you, the family historian, how to make the most out of your family history research time by providing quick and easy to use research techniques. In addition, you will learn creative ways to share your family tree and the legacy of your ancestors. Lisa Louise Cooke guides you through the exhilarating process of discovering your family tree. She scours the family history landscape to find and bring you the best websites, best practices, and best resources available. And Lisa’s interviews with the experts in the field of genealogy make the Genealogy Gems Podcast your own personal genealogy conference. Guests include genealogists such as Dick Eastman, DearMYRTLE, Curt Witcher, Arlene Eakle, and the folks from Ancestry.com, as well as celebrities such as Tukufu Zuberi of The History Detectives, Kathy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters, Tim Russell of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, the band Venice, and Darby Hinton of the Daniel Boone TV series from the 1960s.Your family history is world history.

Rank #1: Special Episode: The End of FamilySearch Microfilm Lending Program

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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 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. ( 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). 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 . 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 . 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 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 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

27mins

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Rank #2: Episode 170 - Interview with Lisa Kudrow of the TV series Who Do You Think You Are?

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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? 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

1hr 5mins

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Rank #3: Episode 184

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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 .
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:
(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 and dating back to the 1760s;
Alberta, Canada newspaper back to 1889; and
, and 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 that reveals the Blitz in a new way: Bomb Sight, . 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: ”
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 .
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 for a while, I located a page there that compares the various file formats for photos, videos, etc.” Then Bill shared this 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 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 .
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, . (.)
GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: Our next Genealogy Gems Book Club pick is 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 . 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 , , and . 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 . 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, .”—Diahan Southard

Oct 06 2015

59mins

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Rank #4: Episode 29 - Genealogy and DNA

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Published Oct 7, 2007 Episode 29 SHOW NOTES GEM: I had the opportunity to talk with Anna Swayne of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation recently.  Listen as we walk through this emerging area of genealogy step-by-step and get a solid overview of how DNA testing can assist us in our family history research.  Suggested Reading: Megan Smolenyak & Ann Turner by Colleen Fitzpatrick  - SMGF's founder, James LeVoy Sorenson, was featured in a USA Today article in June. The article focuses on Mr. Sorenson's work in genetic genealogy as well as his other companies.  Sign up for the free Genealogy Gems   Check out what's new at the Get Lisa's new book:  Genealogy Gems:  Ultimate Research Strategies is out of print. Visit the for her latest books.

Oct 07 2007

25mins

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Rank #5: Episode 133 - Interview with Henry Louis Gates Jr on Finding Your Roots May 19, 2012

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May 19, 2012 Discover what Dr. Henry Louis Gates hope to convey in the final episode of his series Finding Your Roots.   NEWS: I just returned from NGS and had a chance to visit with many listeners including: Lisa Lisson of the Are You My Cousin? blog    and Debra writes the Deb’s Research blog     I also taught classes while there.  My first class was on using the iPad for Genealogy, and while I think the students learned a lot, I know I certainly did. Folks were coming up to me throughout the conference sharing their favorite apps and tricks. Great app for the Kids: Talking Tom Cat (Android)    GEM: App Jumping If you have an iPad, you probably find yourself using a couple of different apps at a time.  When you are in an app, just use four fingers and swipe side to side to jump from app to app that you currently have open.  For this to work you need to make sure that you have “Multi-tasking Gestures” activated under the “General” tab in your Settings.   GEM: Four Finger Swipe Now as you are doing the Four Finger Swipe you’ll probably notice that you have some apps open that you no longer need open, and if they are open they are taking up battery resources. It’s a good idea to close these down, which is more than just pressing the HOME button to get out of the app. Use four fingers and swipe from bottom to top and this will reveal a horizontal line of the apps you have open.  Press and hold one of the apps to start them all shaking and a minus sign will appear on each. Press the minus sign on each app you are not currently using to close them.     NEWS:       GEM: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. What does it mean to be Latino? On May 19, 2012, the season finale of the PBS TV series that explores race and identity through the genealogy of some of America’s best-known personalities, seeks to answer that question. Through the family histories of actors Michelle Rodriguez and Adrian Grenier, and Linda Chavez, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist and political analyst for FOX News, viewers will discover that Latino identity emerged from the tangled histories of European, Native-American and African peoples. The three subjects of Sunday’s episode all share Spanish colonial roots, yet each views their identity very differently: as Native American, Puerto Rican, Dominican or simply Latino. At the helm of this series is Henry Louis Gates Jr.  He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature, and is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as the director of the W.E.B Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He’s best known for PBS productions like African American Lives, Oprah’s Roots, and African American Lives 2. This week I was fortunate to grab some time with this very busy man to talk about the final episode of this newest series, Finding Your Roots.   Get Lisa's Free Newsletter .  If you do you’ll receive my free ebook 5 Fabulous Google Search Strategies for the Family Historian absolutely free, and that’s a sweet deal indeed!

May 19 2012

42mins

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Rank #6: Episode 50 - Family History Daydreaming, Interview with Tim Russell of Prairie Home Companion and Handwriting

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Published Aug 15, 2008 Welcome to the 50th Episode of the Genealogy Gems Podcast! The Louise Carousel - GEM:  Profile America August 16, 1862  Birthdate of Amos Alonzo Stagg GEM:  A Little DayDreaming with Genealogy Podcasters Bill Puller of the Mike O'Loughlin of   GEM: Interview with Tim Russell of the Prairie Home Companion Tim Russel of radio show Prairie Home Companion's Listen to Tim on Minnesota's news station, where he is the entertainment editor weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m.   Tim and Lily Tomlin on the set of the movie A Prairie Home Companion Profile America â August 20, 1920:   One of the nationâs first radio stations began broadcasting in Detroit    GEM:  Handwriting Analysis with Paula Sassi Alice McManus are eligible to submit their ancestors handwriting for possible analysis by Paula on the show.  a handwriting sample, a paragraph telling about the ancestor and why they would like to have the handwriting analyzed, and a photo of the ancestor if itâs available.  presented by MN Public Radio Announce Best Bals Dolls Winner:  Melissa Barker Join the to the FREE Genealogy Gems Podcast Newsletter for genealogy news & tips, and sneak peeks at upcoming episodes. The Song: The Family Tree featured on this episode is courtesy of the band Venice.  See Venice LIVE at one of the following Concert Dates:

Aug 15 2008

57mins

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Rank #7: Episode 48 - Exclusive Interview with Kathy Lennon, Contest Winner, Newsletter update

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Published June 14, 2008 GEM: Another look at the Handwriting of Our Ancestors Melissa Roberge's great grandfather Robert W Hicks GEM: An Interview with Kathy Lennon Listen to Part One of my exclusive interview with one of America's Sweethearts, and let me tell you, she is a gem!  You know Kathy Lennon from her more than 50 years with the Lennon Sisters, but you may not know that she is also an avid family historian.    Lennon Sister - Premium Members post your stories  in the Forum for a chance to win a pair of Best Pals Dolls!  Who Were Your Best Childhood Pals? Genealogy Gems Premium Members are invited to come share your stories of childhood best pals, your own story or perhaps one about an ancestor, and be entered in our Best Pals contest for a chance to win a beautiful pair of Best Pals dolls, each with their own signed certificate of authenticity, and delivered in a Best Pals Tote Bag.  It's over a $60 value!  You may enter as many stories as you wish.  The winner will be contacted by email on July 31, 2008.   Kathy and Janet as children with dolls Best Pals Dolls   Kathy & Janet & The Best Pals The Lennon Sisters upcoming performances: November 1 - December 6, 2008Tony Orlando and the Lennon Sisters Show Welk Resort Center, Branson, MO.     NEWSLETTER UPDATE:  The free Genealogy Gems Podcast newsletter will soon see a new, colorful email publication.  I'm so happy to finally get the newsletter updated and I hope you enjoy the photos and the much easier to read format.  Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems

Jun 14 2008

36mins

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Rank #8: Episode 190

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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  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 
More Conference Streaming Sessions by Lisa Louise Cooke: RootsTech 2016 (these are free!)
NEWS: New Genealogy Records Online
, ,  and records for Western Australia on Findmypast.com;
on FamilySearch.org;
and  on Ancestry.com;
on Findmypast.com;

records on FamilySearch.org;
at FamilySearch.org
at FamilySearch.org;
updated on Ancestry.com;
 at FamilySearch.org
on FamilySearch.org;
at Findmypast 
Illinois marriage records on FamilySearch.org in 3 collections:
(hosted by the Red River Genealogical Society) at Ancestry.com--search for free; 
at Ancestry.com updated 
 
NEWS: Family Tree Maker Direct Import into RootsMagic
.
 
MAILBOX: Carol and the Coast Guard in Google Books

Google Books search on "USCG Beale:"
Google.com search "coast guard history" 1920..1935 "Beale:”
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 . 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 . 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

CONVERSATION GEM: Celeste’s Google Search Success Story and Google Search Methodology Tips
For Genealogy Gems Premium members (See all Premium videos at ):

Common Surname Search Secrets
Ultimate Google Search Strategies
Digging Deeper into Web Sites with Google Site Search

CONVERSATION GEM: Jillian on Irish adoption law
INTERVIEW: Scott from Extreme Genes Helps Solve a 30-Year Old Missing Persons Case
More “Cold Case” Inspiration:

Premium Video: Genealogical Cold Cases (To learn about Premium membership )
 
BOOK CLUB: by Helen Simonson

British author Helen Simonson’s debut 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

1hr 4mins

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Rank #9: Episode 201

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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 . "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 and catch a summary of its main points Catch our future free Genealogy Gems streaming sessions on Facebook! "Like" and follow the .   GENEALOGY GEMS APP BONUS MATERIAL If you listen through ) and ), 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 : 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: , , , , How to organize electronic files (see the free ) 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 . 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 . INTERVIEW: ANGELA WALTON-RAJI Angela Walton-Raji instructs the . 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 she mentioned.) Why did we move? Who remembers that journey? Were people involved in the Civil Rights movement, in the , with the , 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 , a unit of all-black World War II paratroopers. is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. : it’s free to get started.     Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends . 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 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 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 and use coupon code GEMS100 to save $100 off your purchase of research services (expires 4/30/17).   DIAHAN SOUTHARD: 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 . 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   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 . 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. and how you can listen to Lisa’s upcoming exclusive conversation with author Annie Barrows about .   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! to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.

Mar 07 2017

1hr 4mins

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Rank #10: Episode 216

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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 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! to read the full announcement.   Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends . 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 . BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users: Beginning German Genealogy: 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 and is only $2.99 for . To learn more about Legacy Tree services and its research team, visit . 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 to see the full article (and plenty of images!) on the Genealogy Gems website. INTERVIEW: TAMSIN TODD AND BEN BENNETT, 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  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.  is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. : 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.  to upload your autosomal DNA test results from another company to MyHeritage for FREE. Or  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! to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter, with tips, inspiration and money-saving deals.

Apr 11 2018

1hr 1min

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Rank #11: Episode 46 - A Listener's Leatherhead, Handwriting Analysis, & GG Premium Launch

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Published Apr 16, 2008 Episode 46  : To quote their email "The Generations Network, Inc. is encouraging consumers to validate and verify the legitimacy of a website before providing credit card information or paying for services." This is good advice.  You know the rules on the Internet really shouldn't be much different than the rules in our daily lives.  Find out about someone"s character and background before you hang out with them, and get referrals for unknown companies from people you trust.    Family Tree Kids:   Movie Gem:  Leatherheads: I'll have a link to the official website in the show notes as well as a video preview of the  movie.    MAILBOX: Pat Dalpiaz's grandfather "Weenie" Flynn was a star quarterback on the St. Bonaventure University (Alleghany NY) football team for 3 years.  He appeared in Ripley's Believe It or Not for his football leadership weighing only 117 pounds and leading the team to impressive victories.  Deanna Bullock wrote in to give a very good reason why you should subscribe to the free Genealogy Gems Podcast Newsletter.    GEM: Analyzing Your Ancestors Handwriting Story of how Grandmpa JB and Grandma Pauline's letters came into my possession:  .     Listen to some of the letters in .    Paula Sassi, Certified Graphologist.  .  Website  VIDEO: Paula Sassi featured on San Diego's Fox 6 News Learn more about Handwriting Analysis at   GEM: I am VERY excited to announce that we are launching a new service:  .  If you enjoy the free podcast episodes that we've made available, your gonna LOVE Genealogy Gems PREMIUM! Premium Members are going to have access to an exciting new area of the website available only to Premium members.  There you'll find Members-only premium podcast episodes.  You won't be able to hear these anywhere else!  It will be everything you love about the episodes you've heard so far, and much more.   For about the cost of a gallon of gas or a gourmet coffee a month you'll get all of these exclusive podcasts and videos! You won't find them on iTunes.  Paula Sassi certified graphologist has graciously agreed to analyze some lucky premium members ancestor's handwriting.  So once you are a Premium member, you will be entered for a chance to win an analysis of an ancestor's handwriting to be featured on a Premium episode.  So won't you join me, and become a Genealogy Gems premium member today!  I guarantee you're gonna love it, or your money back.

Apr 17 2008

1hr 1min

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Rank #12: Episode 171 - Coping with Change, and Genealogy Storytelling

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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 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 . 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  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 : 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 ."  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      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.” 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 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 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   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

57mins

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Rank #13: Episode 188

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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  update with more thoughts on the featured title  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, .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  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  to the National Library of Ireland’s free online collection of  from 1000 parishes, with over 10 million baptisms and marriages. 
 
(US) DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH RECORDS. Ancestry.com has added a new collection of  from 14 states and has updated a separate but similar collection of  (1639-1989).
 
US MARRIAGES. Findmypast has just released an enormous collection of . “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
: 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  and .
 
NEWS: RootsTech Follow-Up
Live-streamed RootsTech 2016 sessions by Lisa Louise Cooke:
, 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.

by Lisa Louise Cooke, a followup lecture to the one above
: this 30-minute lecture was streamed live by Lisa from the Exhibitor Hall. 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 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
(redirects inquiries to The National Archives, which has an entire  dedicated to its Railroad Retirement Board records.
Additional railroad history and genealogy suggestions:

(see individual chapters)
BACKBLAZE NEWS
 article on 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  two thumbs-up for its new solution: the . 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-- and —gave similar reports.
INTERVIEW: Lisa talks to Cindy and Sabrina at Union College
Cindy Cochran of and Sabrina Riley of Union College on the
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 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, 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:

by Julienne Osborne-McKnight
, a memoir by Paula Williams Madison about the author’s journey into her family history, which resulted in a documentary by the same name
, 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
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:

Feb 17 2016

1hr

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Rank #14: Episode 49 - Interview with America's Sweethear Kathy Lennon Part 2, Train Robbery History, and Contests

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Published June 12, 2008 Episode 49 SHOW NOTES Coming in August:  Want to know what it was like to work with Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, and one of my favorites Lily Tomlin?  Then tune in next month to episode 50.  I'll be chatting with the wonderful voice actor from the radio show and movie A Prairie Home Companion.  Above:  Tim Russell and Garrison Keillor We talk about his love of family history and antiques, his amazing career in a very nostaligic profession of being a radio actor  and of course his work with Garrison Keillor and al the folks at YUMMY GEM:  Lisa's Peach Pie...Just out of the oven... GEM:  Genealogy Society Booth at County and State Fairs.  There are many things we do as members of genealogy societies, but I think this was one of the best activities I've come across.  Genealogy society members from neighboring areas come together to introduce the public to the joy of family history. NEW:  Family Tree Magazine including instructional video by Lisa Louise Cooke.  The article will appear in the November 2008 issue, but is available now free online.  All together it's a great resource for your friends who haven't yet tried podcasts.  Share these resources with your friends and genealogy society.   MAILBOX:  Premium Member Maureen Stephan shares a valuable Gem she recently found. GEM: Train Robberies 7/18 GEM: Part Two of my Interview with Kathy LennonIn Episode 48 we got started on my interview with Kathy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters.  Kathy is such a sweetheart and so fun to talk to that I just couldn't edit any of our conversation.  So Iâm bringing it to you in two parts, and today is part two of our conversation.  The Lennon Sisters In this episode Kathy talks about the tragic death of her father, and the strength of character of her mother and the values she passed on to her eleven children.  She also shares some insight into being a famous Lennon sister, and tells us all about her newest venture which has a family history twist to it. Premium Members can to be considered for an upcoming handwriting analysis by   Iâll be selecting ones that I think will be interesting to  all the listeners.  More information in

Jul 13 2008

1hr 6mins

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Rank #15: Episode 217 - The Golden State Killer and Your Genealogy and DNA

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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 “” docuseries (As an Amazon Associate, Genealogy Gems earns from qualifying purchases) 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 and is only $2.99 for  is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. : it’s free to get started. 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 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,” by Lisa Louise Cooke by Diahan Southard 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: “,” Wired.com article by Katie M. Palmer, published 21 July 2015, on Ancestry.com’s partnership with Google-owned Calico biotech firm “,” 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 . 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 . More information on DNA testing by Diahan Southard “,” 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 for genealogy news, tips, inspiration and strategies (DNA is one of many tools talked about!) Read free online articles at . to read dozens of articles on DNA. to view our complete line of DNA quick reference guides , 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

50mins

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Rank #16: Episode 183

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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 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 , 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 , 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.
 
V 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  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 : 
Gengem10 gets Genealogy Gems listeners 10% off! 
Call with any questions at
 
1-800-776-8357 or send an email to .
 
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 and can also access my 2-part instructional video series, “” (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 : 
Gengem10 gets Genealogy Gems listeners 10% off! 
Call with any questions at
1-800-776-8357 or send an email to .
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 , 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:  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.
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 that also comments on the lack of African DNA in Harding’s descendants.
Get Diahan's DNA  to help you easily navigate your own genetic genealogy journey.
Diahan Southard offers DNA consultations to help you with your results.

Sep 02 2015

1hr 3mins

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Rank #17: Episode 42 - Family Tree Magazine, Genline, and another great Venice song

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Published Feb 21, 2008 Episode 42 SHOW NOTES of Genealogy Gems on her Feb. 12, 2008 episode.  And Dear old Myrt also listed of the Genealogy Gems podcast in her weekly Best of the column under Podcast.    Visit Venice at MAILBOX: Gary Falsken recommends the history podcast "" hosted by The Podcast Network. GEM: Interview with Allison Stacy, editor of featuring the Family History Expo   GEN: Interview with Kathy Mead of You know this episode is very special to me because it fall on the first birthday of the Genealogy Gems Podcast.  There are several exciting things in the works for Genealogy Gems this coming year.   What was your favorite gem this last year? Thank you for listening.  You guys are awesome!  We have no intentions of having Genealogy Gems podfade, and it"s because of you that we're still here!  Venice song:   We're Still Here

Feb 21 2008

20mins

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Rank #18: Episode 192

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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 . “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 and clicking ‘x’ next to the file or folder.”   NEWS: MyHeritage and Tribal Quest (on FamilySearch.org)   NEWS: New Premium Video : a new video available to by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard Genealogy Gems Premium website membership: to learn more to watch a free video preview   MAILBOX: Russ Recommends the U.S. Public Records Index Russ blogs at : 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:  and Free partial version (1970-2009) at Another partial version (1970-2010) at Thoughts about using the U.S. Public Records Index (some of these points come from the ): 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 and ) 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 . 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 . She is also preparing to become a certified genealogist, which is a professional credential offered by the (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 : articles, examples, and skill building activities.   GEM: How to Create Family History Videos Quickly and Easily 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 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, , which became a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 21 languages.  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

1hr 10mins

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Rank #19: Episode 70 - A Tool for Connecting with Researchers Online

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Google announced last week that it has quadrupled its searchable archive of historical news articles, many of which are free to access.From the The National Archives just announced that it has launched what it calls a Narations blog.  The is going to focus on online public access to records of the U.S. National Archives MyHeritage.com, has announced the release of Family Tree Builder 4.0.   The Family Tree Builder software is available for about Google's new improved search BBC News  MAILBOX:Sean shared his recent discoveries and then had some questions about the 1930 census and the Office Use Only columns.   GEM:  The site is described as "Census microdata for social and economic research".  It's an excellent and little known web site that is dedicated to collecting and distributing US census data. Its goals are to: Collect and preserve data and documentation Harmonize data   Disseminate the data absolutely free    But as the column implies, the census taker was instructed not to write in column 26D so in this case the instructions can't help much.  Column 26D was filled in by the staff at the census bureau after the census taker completed the task.  The codes written in the column were to assist them in tabulating statistical information which they reported to Congress. Unfortunately these numbers really don't provide additional information because they just reflect what was written in the Occupation columns by the census taker GEM: Tools for Occupation CodesBut if you have a curious streak and would like to see exactly what the codes meant I've got a gem for you.  Steve Morse the author of the One Step Tools shares your curiosity and he created a page on his website called  You can learn what the occupation codes in Column 26D mean by visiting this page:     GEM: Agricultural Census (Non-Population Census)Farm # - It refers to the Special census called the Farm ScheduleListen to Family Tree Magazine podcast #12 Census secrets with Curt Witcher for more information. at the National Archives at the National Archives   GEM: Member Connect with David Graham. Director of Product Management at Ancestry.com gives us a tour of the new Member Connect feature.    This episode is sponsored by Rootsmagic

Aug 19 2009

44mins

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Rank #20: Episode 214

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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 matching algorithm has gotten better—AND they’ve added a chromosome browser. Time to or ? to read all about it! MAILBOX: LISTENERS ON FAMILY HISTORY VIDEOS Muffy in Seattle sent 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 ( and ). GENEALOGY BUSINESS ALLIANCE ; . See websites for complete rules. Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends . 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 . INTERVIEW: DONNA MOUGHTY ON IRISH RESEARCH by Donna M Moughty The following review appeared in the January 2018 newsletter of the , 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 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: Donna’s Irish guide series Get the or purchase them individually through the links below: (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. 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.  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 .  is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. : 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 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 (available by subscription at Ancestry.com). Searching the card catalogs of , and 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 .   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 , and .  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. 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. 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:  and 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. 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: 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 . It includes information about each of the separate organizations that came together to form the Coast Guard at. Ancestry.com has a . 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

1hr

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Episode 243

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One Family's Story and the Lessons Learned from History In this episode of the Genealogy Gems Podcast you'll hear Daniel's story and the lessons we can learn from history. You can watch the video recording of this on Elevenses with Lisa. Click here for the complete show notes at my Genealogy Gems website.  Getting Your History Digitized Our family’s history comes in many forms, and some of them over time can become obsolete. I shared in this episode my continuing progress on my own project of converting the rest of my old home movies that are in a variety of formats (8mm, mini DV, High 8, and VHS.)  I use Larsen Digital and have been extremely pleased with the service and results. The folks at Larsen Digital have put together special and exclusive discounts for Genealogy Gems listeners and readers.  Get the Genealogy Gems Podcast App Get the right app for your phone or tablet .   Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media: Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. Click below to sign up today.

Jul 11 2020

57mins

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Episode 242

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Research Plans and Avoiding Distractions You will find the complete notes for the topics discussed in this episode (and more) in the .  Getting Your History Digitized Our family’s history comes in many forms, and some of them over time can become obsolete. I shared in this episode my continuing progress on my own project of converting the rest of my old home movies that are in a variety of formats (8mm, mini DV, High 8, and VHS.)  I use Larsen Digital and have been extremely pleased with the service and results. The folks at Larsen Digital have put together special and exclusive discounts for Genealogy Gems listeners and readers. Get the Genealogy Gems Podcast App Get the right app for your phone or tablet .   Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:   Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. Click below to sign up today.

Jun 16 2020

49mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 241

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May 2020 Visit our website at GenealogyGems.com for the complete show notes.   Topics: Google Search - a new change you need to know about How to Return Found Items to Other Families  - including an interview with Caryl Kidd-Osborn of the Shrubs to Trees – A Pay-It-Forward Genealogy Facebook Group  School Records - 10 Strategies for finding them The Genealogy Gems Podcast is the leading genealogy and family history show. Launched in 2007, the show is hosted by genealogy author, keynote presenter, and video producer. The podcast features genealogy news, interviews, stories and how-to instruction. It can be found in all major podcasting directories, or download the exclusive  to listen to all the episodes and receive bonus content.

May 12 2020

56mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 240

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April 2020 Visit our website at GenealogyGems.com for the complete show notes.   Topics: Organization with Lisa Lisson, Are You My Cousin? DNA Q&A with Andrew Lee, Family History Fanatics Evidence & Proof with Kate Eakman, Legacy Tree Genealogists The Genealogy Gems Podcast is the leading genealogy and family history show. Launched in 2007, the show is hosted by genealogy author, keynote presenter, and video producer. The podcast features genealogy news, interviews, stories and how-to instruction. It can be found in all major podcasting directories, or download the exclusive  to listen to all the episodes and receive bonus content.

Apr 07 2020

1hr 6mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 239

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March 2020  for the complete show notes. In this episode we’re going to delve into how DNA testing and genetic genealogy has changed our world. Award-winning journalist Libby Copeland, author of the new book The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are discusses genetic genealogy, the big DNA testing companies (AncestryDNA,  23andMe, Family Tree DNA, and MyHeritageDNA) The Golden State Killer Case and the use of genetic genealogy DNA for criminal investigation, the genealogy community and RootsTech, adoption and NPE cases, and more.  The Genealogy Gems Podcast is the leading genealogy and family history show. Launched in 2007, the show is hosted by genealogy author, keynote presenter, and video producer. The podcast features genealogy news, interviews, stories and how-to instruction. It can be found in all major podcasting directories, or download the exclusive  to listen to all the episodes and receive bonus content.

Mar 13 2020

1hr 4mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 238

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February 2020 I LOVE genealogy, mysteries and puzzle solving. Are you with me on that? Well in this episode we have not one by two tales of mystery. The first has a Valentine’s theme centered around a mysterious love letter. Professional genealogist Kathleen Ackerman will be here to share how a love letter that was missing its last page took her on a genealogical journey full of surprises. And our second story is a mystery full of twists,  turns and murder that will ultimately resurrect your faith that what you think is lost, may still be found. for the complete show notes.

Feb 13 2020

1hr 5mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 237 - The Family History Show that grows your Family Tree

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The Genealogy Gems Podcast is the leading genealogy and family history show. Launched in 2007, the show is hosted by genealogy author, keynote presenter, and video producer Lisa Louise Cooke. The podcast can be found in all major podcasting directories, or download the exclusive Genealogy Gems Podcast app to listen to all the episodes and receive bonus content.  We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Genealogy Gems app. We blazed a new trail back in 2010 when we launched the app – apps were still really new back then.  I loved the idea of having a way to deliver exclusive bonus content to you as well as the audio, the show notes and best of all an easy way for you to contact me and the show. It’s more popular than ever, and as far as I know we are still the only genealogy podcast app available. If you haven’t already downloaded it just search for Genealogy Gems in Google Play or Apple’s App Store, or get the right app for your phone or tablet . In this episode I have two interviews for you on very different subjects. First up will be a follow up to last month’s episode where we focused specifically on the New York Public Library Photographers’ Identities Catalog. Well, in this episode we’re going to talk to the genealogy reference librarian at the New York Public Library, Andy McCarthy. And as you’ll hear, there are a massive amount of resource available there for genealogists everywhere. Then we’ll switch gears to Scandinavian genealogy with David Fryxell, author of the new book The Family Tree Scandinavian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The free podcast is sponsored by The free podcast is sponsored by   Don’t wait another day. Get the computer backup that I use to view the complete show notes.  App Users: Don't miss the bonus content!

Jan 07 2020

1hr 4mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 236 - The Family History Show that grows your Family Tree

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Hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke Recorded December 2019 My how time flies and it’s flying further and further way from when our ancestors’ got their photographs taken, which can make the task of identifying and dating them harder and harder. Do not fret my friend because I have the coolest free tech tool for you that can help you zero in on the date of your photos. David Lowe a Specialist in the Photography Collection of the New York Public Library will be joining me today to tell you all about it. And, we’re going to be talking about some important genealogical records that you may be missing at Ancestry.com. I wrote about How to Find and Browse Unindexed Records at Ancestry in the Genealogy Gems newsletter which linked over to my article on our website, but this is so important that we need to talk about here together. for the complete show notes   This free podcast is sponsored by:   Lisa Recommends Computer Backup Learn more about Backblaze computer cloud backup and get your computer backed up today at   Read our latest articles at Genealogy Gems:   Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member Gain access to the complete Premium podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars, including Lisa Louise Cooke’s newest video The Big Picture in Little Details. Become a member .   Please Help Us by Taking the 1 Minute Genealogy Gems Survey Please help us create the best podcast for you by taking .   Join Lisa Louise Cooke in person at Genealogy Roots What:        2 days of innovative genealogy education at the Senior Expo When:       January 14 & 15, 2020. 9am – 4:30pm Where:      Dixie Convention Center in beautiful St. George, Utah Who:         All ages and skills levels Cost:          2 day pass: $50  |  Early Bird Price: $35 (Expires 12/31/19) If you didn’t have an opportunity to attend this event in Salt Lake City in October 2018, this is your chance! . of Genealogy Roots in Salt Lake City. of Genealogy Roots in Salt Lake City.   Get the Genealogy Gems Podcast   Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:   Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. to sign up today.

Dec 11 2019

59mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 235

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Hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke Recorded November 2019 Federal court records are wonderful because they are so packed with genealogical information. But knowing which records are available and where to find them can sound daunting, and that stops many genealogists from ever tapping into them. In this episode our aim is to fix all that. Professional forensic genealogist Michael Strauss is here to pull back the curtain and introduce you to these valuable records. You know Michael from our Military Minutes segments here on Genealogy Gems. He also recently introduced us to descendancy research on Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast . The response to that episode was terrific. Many of you wrote into say that it opened up a new avenue of research for you. This episode promises to do the same. for the complete show notes   This free podcast is sponsored by:   Lisa Recommends Computer Backup Learn more about Backblaze computer cloud backup and get your computer backed up today at   Read our latest articles at Genealogy Gems:   Learn German Handwriting  Katherine Schober of SK Translations, professional German script expert, translator, and author has created Reading the Old German Handwriting Online Course - so you can be reading those old German letters in just a matter of months. Complete with videos, flash cards, games, and more, this do-it-yourself course has students raving.     Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member Gain access to the complete Premium podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars, including Lisa Louise Cooke’s newest video The Big Picture in Little Details. Become a member .   Please Help Us by Taking the 1 Minute Genealogy Gems Survey Please help us create the best podcast for you by taking .   Join Lisa Louise Cooke in person at Genealogy Roots What:        2 days of innovative genealogy education at the Senior Expo When:       January 14 & 15, 2020. 9am – 4:30pm Where:      Dixie Convention Center in beautiful St. George, Utah Who:         All ages and skills levels Cost:          2 day pass: $50  |  Early Bird Price: $35 (Expires 12/31/19) If you didn’t have an opportunity to attend this event in Salt Lake City in October 2018, this is your chance! . of Genealogy Roots in Salt Lake City. of Genealogy Roots in Salt Lake City.   Get the Genealogy Gems Podcast   Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:   Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. to sign up today.

Nov 12 2019

1hr 5mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 234

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with Lisa Louise CookeOctober 2019 NEWS: New and Returning genealogy-themed television Shows: A New Leaf on NBC A New Leaf will be included in the Saturday NBC morning programming block called The More You Know beginning October 5, 2019.  From the Ancestry Blog:  “Each week ‘A New Leaf’ will follow people on the cusp of key life inflection points, who using family history, genealogy, and sometimes AncestryDNA® analysis will go on a journey of self-discovery and learn from the past while looking to the future. In partnership with Ancestry, Fuentes will join families as they learn the importance of appreciating and understanding their family history and ancestors in order to make important life decisions. ” Website: Finding Your Roots on PBS Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s sixth season of Finding Your Roots on PBS will have two new episodes this fall and eight more in January 2020. The new people featured include Melissa McCarthy, Jordan Peele, Isabella Rossellini, Gayle King, Terry Gross, Queen Latifah and many more. Check your television schedule and cable provider. Website: The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes on Oxygen Another new show that taps into genetic genealogy is The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes. It premieres October 12 at 8 p.m. on the Oxygen channel. Website: New Services for Genealogists: Legacy Tree Genealogists Offers a New Consulting Service Visit:  From the press release: “Genealogist-on-Demand: Legacy Tree Genealogists Launches Virtual Consultation Service Offering Access to Family History Experts, Any Time, Any Where. Legacy Tree Genealogists announced today the launch of a new service—45-minute, virtual one-on-one consultations with a professional genealogist. At only 100 USD, these consultations provide users with a cost-effective resource to have their research questions answered in real-time by a professional genealogist, from the comfort of their own home.    Larsen Digital Now Digitizes Your Old Negatives In the past I’ve told you about the incredible work that Larsen Digital did for me getting some of my old home movies digitized. Well, they’ve just launched a new service where you can send them your old negatives and they will convert them into beautiful high-resolution digital images that you can use. We’re talking 4000 dpi images! The service is called Value because it’s less expensive than the Pro which includes restoration. It’s a great way to get all your old negatives digitized. Then you can decide if there’s further restoration you want done on select images. Negatives can deteriorate over time just like photos. The sooner you get them digitized the better condition images you will have. Larsen Digital is offering Genealogy Gems listeners a great discount on both the new value service and the Pro negative digitization service, as well as 35mm negatives & 35mm Slides.  Visit the Genealogy Gems page at .  Use coupon code GENGEM.    Findmypast Now Supports Tree to Tree Hints Long gone are the days of having to search for genealogical records all alone. When you have any part of your family tree online on any of the “” websites (Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch) they do a lot of the hunting for you. They deliver hints that have a good chance of matching up with your ancestors. Your job is to carefully review them and determine if they are your ancestor’s records.  (Genealogy Gems Premium Members: Listen to Premium Podcast  devoted to hints at Ancestry that includes a bonus download guide on Genealogy Hints at a Glance.) Up until now,  offered hints on birth, marriage and death records. Now they are joining the other Genealogy Giants in offering hints based on other user’s family tree on their website.    The free podcast is sponsored by:   GEM: Downsizing with Family History in Mind with Devon Noel Lee Get your copy of Downsizing with Family History in Mind .  (We hope you enjoyed the interview, and thank you for using our link.) At some point we all face downsizing. Whether we are helping our parents downsize to a smaller house, or we need to downsize our own belongings to carve out a spare bedroom or just make room in a closet. it’s never really an easy task. And I think it’s safe to say it’s even more difficult for the family historian, because we collect a lot of paper, photos and other things that are often near and dear to our hearts. Devon Noel Lee and her husband Andrew Lee of the Family History Fanatics YouTube channel have taken on this challenge themselves and they’ve written a new book called Downsizing with Family History in Mind. Here to help you make the tough choices and clear the clutter is Devon Noel Lee. There are many reasons for downsizing: To move to a smaller place Absorbing inherited genealogy Divorce To free up space in your own home Downsizing the sentimental items is the hardest part of downsizing. Question: A lot of us just think, well it’s a Saturday morning, I think I’ll just do some decluttering. But you say in the book that decluttering doesn’t work. Why is that? Devon’s Answer: “There are three things that experts teach us that are absolutely wrong:” We don’t give ourselves enough time for nostalgia. We’re really bad at evaluating what’s going to last for the long term We use the wrong boxes when decluttering – all the experts say to use Keep, Sell and Donate. Devon recommends the following boxes: Keep Giveaway (combining sell and donate) – to family, societies, archive, university special collections, libraries, etc. Trash (or recycle) Process How to “process”: Digitize Process the information in your binders and get rid of the binders if no one wants them. Use it: Sad to say, most people don’t want your family china. Give yourself permission to use it and enjoy it now. Make memories with it! Let your children play with things. Four Basic Downsizing Principles in the book: Reduce:  Divide things into the boxes. Preserve: This is when you’re going to digitize the things in your process box. Photograph objects. Transfer your genealogy into software and online trees. Reclaim: Take everything out of the process box after processing, and divide into Giveaway, Trash and Keep. Don’t put things into storage! Showcase: Put on display what you found worth keeping so it can be enjoyed. Transform what you have into something that is easier to pass on like videos, podcasts, scrapbooks. Focus on story-based items. From Lisa: It puts us back in control as to what happens to it. Making sure the right people get it. I’m a big fan of displays. If we haven’t taken a moment to get something on the wall - to put a display together - how can we expect our family to appreciate it and embrace our family history values?   Question: Many downsizing projects are much more than a single day. When you’re faced with a really big job, where do you recommend that people start, and where should they put their primary focus? The book includes action plans for folks who have: just an hour Weekend 3-6 months 6-12 months Capture what is right now: Photograph the outside of the home. Photograph what’s inside. Then focus on photographing the collections in their context. Mentioned by Lisa: Genealogy Gems Podcast includes a Gem called Thanks for the Memories. In it, I share an example of mentally walking through my Grandma’s house and capturing all of my memories on paper. Get a piece of paper or pull up a word document.  Close your eyes for a moment and visualize a favorite memory from your childhood.  In my case I started with a favorite place, my maternal grandma's house.  But perhaps yours is the back alley where you and your friends played baseball, or your great uncle's garage where he showed you how to work on cars.  Whatever is meaningful to you. Now, open your eyes, and write your thoughts one at a time.  Just free flow it. They don't have to be complete sentences.  Later you can try your hand at writing more of your actual experiences or memories of a person.  Again, it doesn't have to be a novel or sound really professional.  It's just the memories from you heart.   Family Photos: Question: If we have piles and piles of family photos, particularly ones we’ve inherited, how to do we decide which to keep and which to toss? Or do you ever toss? Devon’s answer: Get rid of the duplicates! Keep 1 of the biggest and best and throw the rest away. Don’t bog yourself down with hours spent trying to track down someone else to give them to. Get rid of blurry, overexposed, underexposed, and meaningless photos. Unlabeled photos: There will be some circumstances where you will not be able to keep them. You can’t go into debt for unlabeled photos. You want to separate them from the labeled so that other family members don’t throw them all out together. If you have time, try to identify them by asking relatives, and posting them to DeadFred.com. If you can, donate the remaining unlabeled photos to orphaned photo collectors, or toss. You did the best you can. Don’t feel guilty because your ancestors didn’t label their photos. Question: What advice do you give your readers who are faced with what to do with their genealogy when they don’t have descendants or when no one in the family wants it? What encouragement can you offer when there is no one who descends from you, or there is no one who wants them. Devon’s answer: If you think you don’t have anyone in your family who is interested, you’re wrong. Downsizing and organizing will increase the chances of someone willing to take it later. If you don’t have anyone in your immediate family who wants your stuff, start looking for distant cousins actively working on a surname. They won’t want everything. You will have to divide the material. They want it organized. Do it while you’re living – don’t leave it to someone else. Digitize it and get it online where it can be shared. From Lisa: Getting your stuff in good condition makes it more desirable. Our collection, broken up, may have much more value to other people. Get your copy of Downsizing with Family History in Mind . (We hope you enjoyed the interview, and thank you for using our link.) The free podcast is sponsored by: GEM: Profile America – The 1830 U.S. Federal Census Saturday, October 5th. The national census to be taken April 1 next year will be the 24th time this once-a-decade count has been conducted since 1790. The fifth census in 1830 profiled a quickly expanding nation, counting nearly 13 million residents — an increase of more than one-third in just 10 years. New York remained the largest city, while second and third places were a near tie between Baltimore and Philadelphia. Also, among the 10 biggest cities were Charleston, South Carolina, and Albany, New York. In the decade to follow, Cyrus McCormick invented the grain reaper, opening huge sections of the Great Plains to agriculture, and Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Sources:     Read our latest articles at Genealogy Gems: Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member Gain access to the complete Premium podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars, including Lisa Louise Cooke’s newest video The Big Picture in Little Details. Become a member . Please Help Us by Taking the 1 Minute Genealogy Gems Survey Please help us create the best podcast for you by taking . Get the Genealogy Gems Podcast App Get the right app for your phone or tablet .   Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:   Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. to sign up today.

Oct 08 2019

54mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 233

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Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 233 with Lisa Louise CookeSeptember 2019 In this episode: Today we’re going to take a look at what so many records and record collections have in common: they are often Lists. Now that may sound pretty straight forward, but there’s a lot more to Lists than meet the eye. A list of names, places or other information has a lot to tell us and can be used in unique ways. Professional genealogist Cari Taplin joins me in this episode for a conversation about what is so lovely about lists.   My Summer Vacation If you’ve been following me on Instagram – you can find me or by searching for genealogy gems podcast in the free Instagram app – then you know that I’ve spent a bit of my time this summer getting a taste of some of the work many of my ancestors did and probably that many of your ancestors did: farming. Bill and I have a close friend who owns his great grandfather’s 1904 homestead in North Dakota. A few years back Bill went up there to help them open it back up and get things up and running. This year we helped them harvest their crop of oats. (They even have a sign in the field that says “These oats will grow up to be Cheerios.”) Of course, we used equipment that our ancestors may not have had. I learned to drive the combine, and I disked the field with the tractor. But in many ways, things haven’t changed all that much. One of the things that really struck me was how the farming community out there pulls together. Now to put this in perspective: the 240-acre homestead is about two miles down a dirt road for Canada. The house has fallen into disrepair over the decades, so our friend bought an old farmhouse in the nearby town where he grew up. That town has a population of just over 50 people! So, we’re talking about a pretty remote location, and folks are scattered on various farms miles apart. But when a tractor was in need of repair, within the hour a neighbor would be pulling up ready to crawl under it alongside our friend to work on it till it was fixed. When a piece of equipment was needed that he didn’t have, it would soon be rolling down the road from a neighboring farm to pitch in. Everyone had one eye on the sky at all times to watch the ever-changing weather, and there was such a commitment by all to make sure no neighbor was left with unharvested crops before a storm hit. So even though the combines of today are motorized massive machines with air conditioning and stereos, the work ethic, the commitment and the community was unchanged from when his granddad first filed his homestead claim. Bill and I felt really blessed to be a part of it. Think of us next time you eat your cheerios.   GEM: Tapping into the Power of Lists with Cari Taplin If you’ve been doing genealogy for any length of time, then you have probably encountered a list. They come in all shapes and sizes, and at first glance they may seem very straight forward. Cari Taplin, a certified genealogist out of Pflugerville, Texas, says it’s worth taking the time to really examine lists carefully because there may be more there than meets the eye. Cari  currently serves on the boards of the Association for Professional Genealogists and is the Vice President of Membership for the Federation of Genealogical Societies. As the owner of , she provides speaking, research, and consultation services, focusing on midwestern and Great Lakes states and methodology.   Types of Lists Nearly every time we sit down to do genealogy research we run into a list. There are loads of them out there. Here’s just a starter list of the lists you might run into: indexes of any kind city directories tax lists petitions censuses church membership members of a club or society fraternal organization member lists community groups committees lists in newspapers like hotel registrations, letters at post office hospital admittances and discharges cemetery books event participants jurors estate sales militia rolls voter lists land lottery winners school class lists yearbooks agricultural lists   Significance of List Construction Of course, not every list is alphabetically organized by any means. We might run into a list of prison inmates listed by number, or burial sites listed by plot or location. The information can be organized in many different ways. Cari says that the way the list maker decided to organize the list tells us a lot about the information. For example, a list that is alphabetized might be an indication that it is a recreated list. Other ways that lists may be constructed include chronologically or by location. Here are follow up tasks you can do: Evaluate for potential error Locate the original source   List Explanation or Instructions Understanding the thinking behind how the list was constructed is also important. The U.S. Federal Census is a great example of a list that has other background documents such as the enumerator instructions. We don’t see these instructional documents unless we go looking for them. The instructions provide background on the creation of the list, and that can help us get more out of it. Research Tip: : The Decennial Censuses From 1790 to 2000. From that page you download the PDF of enumerator instructions. Here’s an example of how understanding the census enumerator instructions can help you better understand how to interpret it: In 1900 the census was answered as if it were a particular day. This means that if someone died a few days later, they may still be listed as alive in the 1900 census. If you know that they died that year, you now have more information that it was after the enumeration date. Genealogy websites like Ancestry, FamilySearch and MyHeritage often provide background on the creation and purpose of their record collections.   Tax List example: there are laws behind them. Look up the statute. Google to find summations of tax laws at the time. Keep in mind that they might be in order of location. When analyzing a list, ask yourself the following questions: What was this list created for? Why is it in this order? What does that then tell me about these people?   What’s we’re really talking about is educating ourselves so that we’re not contributing to the errors that get out there. It’s an investment in accuracy.   Context It can be tempting to just scan the list, grab your ancestor out of it, and move on. But if we do that, we could be leaving a lot of genealogical gold behind. “Evidence mining requires attention to detail, including details that might initially seem insignificant.” ––BCG, Genealogy Standards, #40, p. 24 Here are some ideas as to what we should look for: Sometimes it’s just a name (example: petition lists) There might be columns at the top – pay attention to those details for more understanding Other people in the list: the FAN Club (Friends, Associates, Neighbors.) Look for those names in other documents.   Organizing Your Research and the Data Collected from Lists Cari uses spreadsheets to organize her genealogical research project data. Come of the benefits of using a spreadsheet are that you can: easily sort the data easily manipulate the data visualize the data in different forms   Free Download: Read and download the free spreadsheet template.   Explore the Bigger List Often times you do a search, and you find a single record. But that single record is actually part of a massive internal list, an indexed list from which the search engine is pulling. An example of this is when you run a search for your ancestor at the  After finding your ancestor’s record, you can then run a search by that land description to find other people who owned land and possibly lived nearby. on the batch search technique that Lisa mentioned.   What Constitutes Proof? “Evidence mining requires attention to detail, including details that might initially seem insignificant.” – BCG, Genealogy Standards, #40, p.24 Review the Genealogical Proof Standard in the show notes for Genealogy Gems Podcast   2 men with 1 name When everyone in the family wants to name their children after Grandpa, you can end up with a lot people in a county with the same name. You need to tease them apart. Questions to ask: Who did they associate with? Who were their siblings? Where were each of them located? All of these things can help differentiate them. A spreadsheet is an excellent tool for this.   The Yearbook List Example Very often the list of names is the full list of students. However, not every student necessarily had their photo taken. Count the names and then count the photos to verify you have the right person. Search the to try and find another photo of the person to compare.     Cari’s Main Message Don’t skip over a list because it’s lacking some identifying information. You still need to record it. You may come back to it one day!   Visit Cari Online:    Profile America: The Gregorian Correction Wednesday, September 11th. This was a day that didn’t exist in Colonial America in 1752, as the familiar calendar underwent what is called the “Gregorian correction,” switching from the ancient Julian calendar to adjust for errors accumulated over centuries. After September 2nd, the next day was September 14th. The British parliament’s Calendar Act of 1750 had also changed New Year’s Day from March 25th to January 1st. As a result, the year 1751 had only 282 days. Since then, with leap years built in as in 2020, the calendar has remained constant.  Sources:              News: Watch Lisa’s new MyHeritage Education Center to watch videos and read article to help you get more out of using MyHeritage. Watch the presentation at the MyHeritage Education Center:

Sep 11 2019

54mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 232

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 232 with Lisa Louise Cooke August 2019 Please take our quick which will take less than 1 minute.  Thank you!   In this episode: Exploring what you can do to go deeper in your genealogy research for a more accurate family tree with Elissa Scalise Powell. Irish genealogy radio host Lorna Moloney, a professional genealogist with Merriman Research, discusses Irish genealogy.   MAILBOX: Marcia Finds Treasure on eBay “I recently remembered your idea of searching for family related things on eBay. My grandfather and his brother both worked as agents for the Wrought Iron Range Co. of St. Louis. They sold excellent quality wrought iron stoves and my great uncle did very well there as a supervisor. I did a search for the Wrought Iron Range Co on eBay and immediately pulled up a history of the company, an advertisement for the range and a metal they gave away. I bought them all! However, the best goodie which I am still bidding on is a “salesman’s sample Wrought Iron Range stove about 12 inches tall and 14 inches long in color and with all working parts. (Photo: The stove Lisa inherited from her grandmother.) I may not win the bid, but I am thrilled with what I found. This will bring my grandfather’s occupation to life for my great nephews!!!!” More eBay Research Strategies on Genealogy Gems: Learn more about eBay alerts in .  eBay strategies on Genealogy Gems eBay strategies on Genealogy Gems  about Genealogy Gems Premium membership.   Steve Shares a New German Translation Resource “I came across a new site that you might like to inform your listeners about. It is very new and just getting started, so I know they would appreciate a mention. The name of this new site is "German Letters in Letters"  []. What they are doing is trying to collect letters written between German immigrants to the US and their relatives back home in Germany. You can very easily submit scanned copies of any letters you have and the really neat thing is that they will post them at their site. Once they post them, they are asking for translations by any volunteers. So, this is an excellent way to have any letters in your possession to be translated..... for FREE! I was given about 30 letters written to my GG grandfather, Johann Bernard Husam, who immigrated to Adams Co., Illinois about 1855. They are from his siblings, nieces, and a nephew back in Germany. They range from 1866 to the early 1900s. I scanned them and they are now on this site. I was given these letters by great granddaughter-in-law [my aunt] who spoke German as she had grown up in the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia. She had escaped Czechoslovakia at the end of WWII before the Russians invaded. She, thankfully, had translated all of the letters.” Resource Learn more about German research from at Genealogy Gems.   What Ann Likes About the Podcast Hi, Lisa, I'd love to say that your podcast has helped me with a genealogy brick wall but at this point I'm only a "drop-in genealogist," figuring that I'm the only one in the family interested at this time (working on one grandson though, because I think he'd be a real asset) in finding and preserving family stories. I do research in fits and starts. But, I do love your podcasts. I'm catching up on back episodes now and recently listened to one that started with you describing a granddaughter's first Christmas coming up. It reminded me of one of the best things about your podcasts - it's like you're sitting in my living room with me, having a cup of tea, discussing your stories and tips and tricks to help with mine. Thank you so much for all the information, and for your casual, personal, yet professional style!”   Kristine is No Longer a “Cooke-Cutter” Researcher “I just retired and guess what is first on my list of things I WANT to do? :-)  I jumped in with both feet listening to your Premium podcasts and realized a few times that I am the 'cookie-cutter' researcher.  But, no more. You are the Captain of my ship now. Thank you! After binging on your podcasts the last two weeks, the first bit of advice I took was changing the way I searched on Newspapers.com. My family's everyday life's treasures were buried in the pages of the local news! You made me take a second look after I dismissed the possibility of ever reading about them.  Thank you so much for your dedicated work on behalf of all the genealogists. My Premium subscription will NEVER run out.  When a family member says "I don't know what to get you" I'm prepared to solve that dilemma! Warm regards, A listener for life” Resource: Read Lisa’s article called   GEM: Overcoming Shallow Research with Elissa Scalise Powell Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP); past-president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and 2017 She won the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Achievement Award. She is a Certified Genealogist®, and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM. You can reach Elissa at . (Thank you to Elissa for contributing notes for this episode.) Visit Elissa’s website at The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) The Genealogical Proof Standard was created to help genealogists gain confidence in their research conclusions by providing criteria that can be followed. A genealogical conclusion is considered proved when it meets all five GPS components. The 5 Components of the GPS Reasonably exhaustive research This type of research emphasizes original records that provide the information for all evidence that might answer a genealogist’s question about an identity, relationship, event, or situation Complete, accurate citations to the source or sources of each information item contributing—directly, indirectly, or negatively—to answers about that identity, relationship, event, or situation Tests—through processes of analysis and correlation—of all sources, information items, and evidence contributing to an answer to a genealogical question or problem Resolution of conflicts among evidence items pertaining to the proposed answer A soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion based on the strongest available evidence Resource The book by the Board for Certification of Genealogists provides a standard by which all genealogists can pattern their work. About Sources Some sources are considered “Low-hanging fruit.” They can be described as: - straightforward research - easily accessible - record type is easily understood - document states the fact desired Many times, genealogists will need to stretch and reach for harder to find sources. These types of sources are: - not straightforward - possibly unknown to you at this time - not easily accessible - time-consuming to explore - take study to understand it - not self-explanatory Elise’s Examples of the Pitfalls of Shallow Research Believing that family stories have been accurately passed down in all details. Believing that official documents are always correct. Believing that published records, especially transcriptions or abstracts, are faithful representations of the original. Premature conclusions can come back to haunt us. Disregarding ill-fitting evidence can create brick walls. Careless citation practices do not give us the tools we need for analysis. Researching and understanding historical context is crucial to solving problems. Barriers requiring expertise beyond our own should not hamper the research process. Assuming there is only one record and suspending research when the first one is found. Assuming that details are unimportant, or not noticing them at all. Elissa also points out that when we do shallow research, we can actually do more harm than good. Shallow genealogical research: Doesn’t allow our ancestors to reveal themselves or their reasons for actions Puts them in the wrong time and place Can create wrong kinship ties Misleads future researchers Causes brick walls Wastes our time Does a disservice to our current family and descendants   GEM: Irish Genealogy with Lorna Moloney of Merriman Research While speaking at THE Genealogy Show conference in Birmingham England in June of this year I got a chance to sat down for the first time with Lorna Moloney host of The Genealogy Radio show which is produced at Raidio Corcabaiscinn. Click ). Lorna runs Merriman Research which is dedicated to bringing educational solutions and resources to a wide audience.  Lorna’s website: Photo: Lisa and Lorna at THE Genealogy Show in Birmingham, England in 2019.     Do you have Irish Roots? Then Irish Roots Magazine is perfect for you! Visit Irish Roots Magazine at    Join Lisa in Person for 2 Exciting and Innovative Days of Genealogy! 1 and 2 day passes available. : 2 days for the price of 1 until 9/15/19.

Aug 12 2019

1hr 3mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 231

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 231 with Lisa Louise Cooke July 2019 NEWS: Google Earth News Jennifer in California sent me a fascinating item recently , and she says “Thought you might get a kick out today's blurb from Google, where they pat themselves on the back for what can be done with Google Earth. No argument from me; it's amazing!” So, what can be done with Google Earth besides all the family history projects that I teach here on the podcast and in the Premium videos? Well, Peter Welch and Weekend Wanderers in the UK are using Google Earth to find treasure! Read all about it Visit the   FamilySearch adds audio FamilySearch.org, the free and massive genealogy website from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  has added a new way for you to add more memories to your tree. In addition to photos you can now add audio both at the and the FamilySearch FamilyTree and Memories apps which you can download from your mobile device’s app store. So now as you’re selecting and uploading family photos to familysearch, you can also gather and record the stories that go with those photos. It’s sort of like being able to write on the back on the photograph, but in an even more personal way. Your voice, and the voices of your relatives can now be part of your family’s history. about adding audio From the FamilySearch website: “Photos and audio attached to deceased ancestors can be viewed by other users on the FamilySearch Family Tree. To protect privacy, photos and audio attached to living people can be seen only by the person who added the memory unless that person .” MyHeritage App updateAmong the newly introduced features are Family Timelines, the ability to view family trees that you’re matched with, the ability to choose which information you extract from Smart Matches™, an improved research page, and more.   MAILBOX: We received lots of great feedback on the article by Joy Neighbors From Craig: “After finding my Paternal grandfather and great-grandfather, I looked for my Paternal GG Grandfather in the same area. No luck. I went to the R.B. Hayes library in Tiffin, Ohio and started looking at every page in the burial listing for the township I thought he would be in. And there he was – last name misspelled! (The “A” was changed to a “K”.) I was able to drive over to the cemetery and located his stone – still readable after his burial in 1885. I plan to go back to the area this summer to look for his wife, who was buried elsewhere (they were separated.) I wish I could get someone to update the lists with the correct spelling, to match the gravestone and census papers, but that seems impossible to do.” From Ann: “My brother Ray says we have visited more dead relatives than live ones. Trying now to visit the relatives above ground!” From LeRoy: Spent many hours walking, crawling, pushing through brush brambles and briers just to find and take pictures of tombstones. I regret only one such adventure. If I may. My sweetheart and I went to a small cemetery in New Jersey to gather family names and pictures for Billion Graves and our personal records. While I was taking pictures, my wife was clipping brush and bushes from the stone that identified her families plot. We had a great day. I filled two clips of pictures and my sweetheart did a magnificent job on that stone. It was only a few hours later, when she started itching that I really “looked” at the pictures and realized that the brush that she cleared from that stone was poison ivy. Wouldn’t have been so bad, but when she found that I’m not affected by poison oak, ivy or sumac. She was not happy. From Shirley: I have recently started doing ancestry research and have been astounded at what I have found. No creepy tree stories. However, it is nice to know that some ancestors took special care to by buy family plots even though they knew eventually the girls might marry and want to be buried with their husband. I found it interesting that both my grandfather and my grandmother are both buried with their individual parents. From Patsy: Shirley’s  story jogged my memory. My mother died in 1934 when I was 4 years old. She is buried in her father’s plot rather than my paternal grandfather’s plot. I have wondered for years why the burial was arranged that way and imagine all sorts of situations. Were the families feuding? Was one family more financially able to foot the bill. Did my paternal grandfather not like my father? Hmmmm……… From Sharon: I checked out this book from the local library about a month ago. Decided I needed my own copy. All genealogist should read it. It is very informative & entertaining. From Marinell: About 5 years ago I found the farm on which my gr great grandparents were buried. The tall granite marker with the parents’ names had been knocked over, the foot stones stacked and several large rocks were around the monument and it was in the middle of a field that was being planted and harvested. We made contact with the owner and received permission to have it raised. In the meantime, I found an obituary for a son who was buried on the family farm. I also found an article about a woman who did dowsing, contacted her and she agreed to come perform the dowsing. I was videoing it when my phone went totally dead! I had never had that happen and it was charged. Thirty minutes later it came back on mysteriously! She found 2 adult women, 2 adult men and three toddlers. After further search I found another obituary for a grown daughter buried there and 3 toddler grandchildren who died in 1882. She said that the large rocks would have marked the graves. Sadly, they had totally desecrated the family cemetery. But I was excited to learn all I did and was startled by the phone totally dying. The free podcast is sponsored by We first talked to Julianne last year  in Genealogy Gems Podcast . In that episode we explored the tragic story of Julianne’s ancestors, the Metthe family. It was a riveting case study of the twists and turns that genealogy can take us on.GEM: Checking in with Julianne Mangin Julianne had originally been a bit of a reluctant genealogist. But after a 30 year career in library science, including 14 years as a librarian and website developer for the Library of Congress in Washington DC, she could couldn’t help but try to find the truther in the piecemeal stories that she was told by her mother. Julianne has continued to research and write at her , and I thought it would fun to check back in with her and see what she’s been up to. Her latest blog series is called Alice’s Story. It follows the path of discovery she followed to uncover the story of a previously unknown aunt. – the Exeter School – Final Resting Place The research began where most good genealogical research begins: at the end of Alice’s life and her death certificate. Institutional Records - But with few records and no first-hand interviews available, Julianne turned to researching the institutions themselves to dig deeper into Alice’s experience. Resource:Genealogy Gems Premium Video: ( required) State Census Records can help fill in the gaps between the federal census enumerations.  Search for “state census” in the card catalog:   The free podcast is sponsored by   Resource: “Copies of many state censuses are on microfilm at the . The Family History Library's most complete collections of state censuses are for Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. However censuses exist for the following states also:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  ,  and . State, colonial, and territorial censuses at the  are listed in the Place Search of the  under "STATE - CENSUS RECORDS"   Old Postcards are a great resource for images. Resources:Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast and feature strategies for finding family history on ebay. (Genealogy Gems Premium required)   Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning MemberGain access to the complete Premium podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars, including Lisa Louise Cooke’s newest video The Big Picture in Little Details.   Institutional Annual Reports – Julianne searched for annual reports to the Legislature for more details on the various institutions where Alice resided. Resources:   Old Newspapers offered a counterbalance to the annual reports. Resources:   “The institutions were like characters in the story.”   Also mentioned in this interview:   You worked really hard on your family history – protect it with the Cloud backup service that Lisa uses:

Jul 17 2019

58mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 230

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Have you thought about telling the story of your personal history? Most of us at some point have, But let’s be honest: continuing the genealogical research of our ancestors probably seemed more appealing, and frankly, it’s probably easier than sitting down and figuring out how to capture our own story. I’ve spoken to a lot of genealogists through the years, and I often hear comments like “ah, my story isn’t all that interesting or important.” But nothing could be farther from the truth. When we don’t tell our own story, we not only take a big risk that the memory of our life will be lost down the generations, but we rob our family and our community of an important piece of THEIR history. Karen Dustman is the author of the book Writing a Memoir, from Stuck to Finished! She’s been helping folks capture and record their stories for several years in her community in the Sierra Nevada which spans Central and Eastern California, into Western Nevada. She’s known widely there as a local historian, writing on her blog and in the local newspaper about the history of the area.   Karen’s Book !   It was Karen’s story of the history of not a family, but an old house in the Carson Valley that shed light on the fact that one of its’ inhabitants was at risk of being forgotten. And no one wants to be forgotten.  In this episode we’re going to explore the life and death of 10 year old Roy Thran. How his story tentatively made its way through the generations of the family in one simple box to the hands of his great grand-niece Krista Jenkins. It was Krista who connected the all-important dots eventually culminating in a museum exhibit that is now telling an important part of the Carson Valley history and touching the lives of its residents. In this episode we travel back to 1925, to a sparsely populated ranching community to hear the story of Roy Thran, and how it’s being shared today. My hope is that Roy’s story will transform your thinking about sharing your own story. Get the full show notes: to visit the show notes page at the Genealogy Gems website where you can read the entire story complete with photos and documents referred to in this episode. Here's a wonderful and easy way to tell your story: For 20 DOLLARS off, visit  when you subscribe!

Jun 11 2019

1hr

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 229

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 229 with Lisa Louise Cooke May 2019 NEWS: Lisa Louise Cooke is back in the studio after two weeks on the road speaking at the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) Conference and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Conference. Each conference was great and had its own unique feel, and there were many new genealogists in attendance. Genealogy Gems listener Carol stopped by and enthusiastically shared with how the eBay search strategies for family history that Lisa discussed in paid off in a big way!   MAILBOX: Robin wrote in to share how Sydney Orton’s song with her grandpa in Genealogy Gems Podcast brought her to tears in a toll plaza while driving!   Steve wrote in to rave about the value that his new has brought to his family history research.   Rylee says she’s grateful to have found the podcast and she shares a story of genealogical discovery that she hopes will inspire others. Rylee asks “How do I find sources for these people? I have searched all over ancestry and Family Search and have had no luck again. I really want to believe that the people I have as Adam’s parents and siblings all the way through his 2nd great-grandparents (paternal) are truly his family but I need to get more information. Where can I go for help with German records and where can I continue my search?” Lisa’s comments: You're absolutely right, what you found are just hints. It sounds like it's time for you to move on from the "Genealogy Giants" (Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc.) and into German records websites, libraries, and archives to find real sources that nail down the family tree. Lisa recommends the quick reference comparison guide. We have several articles and episodes at Genealogy Gems that can help you do this: Go to At the top of the home page select "German" from the "Start Learning" drop down menu That will take you to featuring our German research strategies. I'm optimistic for you because Germans are known for keeping excellent records, and I have had good luck in searching them.    GEM: Your Master Family Tree, and Sharing Branches Online Explained I describe it this way: Plant your tree in your own backyard and share branches online. A master family tree has three important characteristics: It is owned and controlled by you. It is the final say on what you currently know about your family tree. It is protected with online backup to ensure it is safe. Plant Your Master Family Tree Lisa uses software for her master family tree. Learn more about GEDCOM files in this article: Protech Your Master Family Tree Lisa uses to back up her master family tree and computer. Visit (Using this link also helps keep this free podcast free. Thank you!) Read more: Share Branches Online available in the Genealogy Gems store.   Read Lisa’s article: for all of the strategies mentioned in this episode.   The free podcast is sponsored by:   PROFILE AMERICA: Friday, May 24th, 2019 In a way, today marks the 175th birthday of the World Wide Web. Only it was electro-mechanical, not digital. On this date in 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse activated the first telegraph line, sending a dots-and-dashes code message from the U.S. Capitol building to a receiver in Baltimore. By the late 1850s, the first telegraph cable had been laid across the Atlantic Ocean, and in 1861, the telegraph spanned the continental United States. Over the ensuing decades, the wires wrapped around the world. From the 1844 demonstration, telecommunications today has grown into a half-trillion dollar a year industry, and employs more than 1 million workers in over 59,000 industry establishments. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at . Sources: Joseph Nathan Kane, Kane’s Famous First Facts, Fifth Edition, H.W. Wilson Co., New York, NY, 1997, #7692.     Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member Gain access to the complete Premium Podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars, including Lisa Louise Cooke’s newest video The Big Picture in Little Details. . (Membership doesn’t auto-renew because we don’t like that either. Prior to your membership expiring you’ll receive a friendly reminder email from us.)

May 23 2019

55mins

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Episode 228 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke

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The Genealogy Gems PodcastEpisode 228 April 2019 with Lisa Louise Cooke In this episode: More new feature enhancements announced by Listeners Trisha and Betty share their stories with Lisa in person Lisa’s interview with Crista Cowan, The Tombstone Tourist, Joy Neighbors, share 3 intriguing discoveries that she’s made while searching cemeteries Military Minutes Man Michael Strauss explores an underused genealogical treasure: women's registration cards on the home front from 1917-1918 during World War I RootsTech Film Festival semi-finalist Sydney Orton shares the touching story behind newly discovered precious audio and video tape, and how she and her sister honor their grandparent’s memories.   NEWS: Newest features announced on April 9, 2019 by : Revamped User Profile Page and Improved Messaging system. Ancestry’s theory is that maximizing the features added to the Profile page will increase collaboration and responsiveness. According to Ancestry, if you’re using folders to organize your messages, you probably won’t be seeing the new version of the messaging system for another 6-8 weeks.   Mailbox: In this episode you’ll be hearing from the listener’s themselves. Trisha stopped by to visit with me at RootsTech 2019. Also, at the National Genealogical Society’s conference a few years ago Betty shared an exciting discovery she made by digging into one of my favorite free online resources: Google Books. (Premium Members: watch the Premium video and download the handout.)   Image below: Trisha Mays visits me at the Genealogy Gems booth at RootsTech 2019.     GEM: Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist   Crista has worked at since 2004 and is best known for her Barefoot Genealogist videos at Ancestry’s YouTube channel. In this episode she shares her own personal genealogy journey, and some of the new features announced by at RootsTech 2019. GEM: Joy Neighbors, The Tombstone Tourist If you’re a Genealogy Gems Premium Member you met author Joy Neighbors in Premium Podcast episode 169. Joy is a delightful national speaker, author, freelance writer, and avowed Tombstone Tourist. Joy writes the weekly cemetery culture blog, A Grave Interest which you can read at   Her book, , focuses on how to locate cemetery records, what to do when you get to the cemetery, and how to understand the silent language of the stones. She also shares a few stunning family secrets along the way. In the Premium podcast episode 169 Joy and I discussed cemetery research strategies that every genealogist can use to uncover family history. In this Gem, I’ve invited Joy to share 3 very intriguing and surprising discoveries that she’s made while searching cemeteries which you can also . Thanks for supporting this free podcast by using our links!   GEM: Military Minutes with Michael Strauss The Council of National Defense was created by an Act of Congress based on the Army Appropriation Act passed on August 29, 1916. This agency was made up of the Secretaries of War, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor along with an advisory commission that was later appointed by President Woodrow Wilson on October 11, 1916. Their purpose was to come together and coordinate the industries and resources of the United States for national security and general welfare and to be prepared for war.  Later on, April 21, 1917 a few short weeks after the United States entered World War I the Women's Committee of the Council for National Defense under the national council was created with suffragist Anna Howard Shaw appointed the Chairman.  As the women organized separate divisions and chapters were created in every state and groups that centered on the African-American community. When the division were formed registration, cards were filled out by women all across the United States requesting personal information. The cards not only offer genealogical details, but give a unique prospective into the social history of women in the early 20th century women move one step closer to national suffrage.     Details on the registration cards included: Name and address Age and marital status Color or race of applicant Country of birth and/or citizenship status Time applicant willing to pledge or volunteer for war effort Occupation and where and by whom employed Educational background Personal references for applicant Emergency service where volunteer willing to go and when Work experience or training to aid in the war effort Date and place of registration (wards or precincts in cities) Physical description General remarks Signed and dated registrar and assignment for war effort. An example from one of the registration cards from Grand Rapids is for Constance M. Rourke (1885-1941), born in Cleveland, Ohio.  She was an educator, a noted author, and historian.  Educated at Vassar College in New York she later moved back to Michigan after a brief teaching career, where she worked for the Board of Education in Grand Rapids.  She lived in the same house in town for the rest of her life after publishing several noteworthy books.   The national headquarters of the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense was located at 1814 N Street NW, Washington, DC.  The building was formally the Playhouse Club and theater and owned by Washington socialite Henrietta M. Halliday (widow of Edward C. Halliday) who leased the property to the women's committee for free during World War I.  After the end of World War, I in 1918 the council continued to operate until it was dissolved in 1921.   Several collections from different states are available online to research.  One of the largest online databases comes from the Grand Rapid Public Library in Michigan.  Their database search contains 22,836 individual registration cards that are searchable by name, address, age, and occupation.  The records cover the Michigan Division of Grand Rapids for the Women's Committee for Council of National Defense.  The card indexes offer not only offer genealogical information, but provide educational background, work skills, and employment information.  Online at In Midland, Michigan another set of cards are available at the Midland Center for the Arts has in their collection registration cards that cover their county. This collection consists of 2 boxes that contain 802 total cards for area women residents.  The cards are not digitized, but have been indexed by name along with an excellent finding aid on how to access these records:   Another set of cards that is available comes through the courtesy of the Indiana Genealogical Society.  Less than 50,000 registration cards are known to exist in the state of Indiana. Two counties (Jasper and Miami in Indiana), have known collections of registration cards, but believe other counties in Indiana have these treasures stored away in museums, courthouses, or in other libraries that are  statewide and don't know they exist.  Anyone with more information on locations of more cards should contact them.  An excellent blog post explains help they seek: . Some smaller collections of online registration cards are located at the Arkansas State Archives in Little Rock.  It is under Arkansas Women's History Collection and has a finding aid online.  At this time four cards are scanned to give patrons an idea of what to expect when searching this record group.  On their website an excellent blog posting explains their records and as part of this group in Arkansas the Colored Auxiliary Council during World War I.  Both can be searched online:    and to look at the limited number of cards: . Another small collection online from the University of Iowa Libraries in Iowa City, IA.  There digitized images are limited in number again to offer patron the opportunity to see what potential the records hold.  They also have scanned some of the correspondence relating to the women who belonged to the local Iowa Division.  To access their finding aids and look at the images: From this list of online sources for the registration cards it appears that most are in the Midwestern part of the United States.  It is true that several states have these available online.  If the geographic area of the country of your interest isn't listed than consider looking at different state archives, libraries, museums, and other historical sites.  Searches in card catalogs, finding aid, and other sources will often be the best way to locate potential collections.  One final location that genealogists should consider comes directly from the National Archives in College Park, MD.  This is known as Archives II.  The records of the Records of the Council of National Defense (CND) which is located in Record Group 62.  Besides the registration cards the Archives has general correspondence, weekly reports of state division activity, and minutes for meeting.  The minutes are digitized on the National Archives website and offer a glimpse into the activities of women nationwide.  For more information and reading about the Women's Committee for the Council of National Defense; some suggested sources: Blair, Emily Newell. The Woman's Committee United States Council of National Defense: An Interpretative Report. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1920. Online Breen, William J.  Uncle Sam at Home :Civilian Mobilization, Wartime Federalism, and the Council of National Defense, 1917-1919. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1984. Clarke, Ida Clyde. American Woman and the World War. New York: D. Appleton & Son, 1918. Online Van Orsdal, Anita Anthony. “There shall be no woman slackers" The Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense and Social Welfare Activism as Home Defense, 1917-1919. 2016. Michigan State University, PhD dissertation. file:///C:/Users/Michael/Downloads/AnthonyVanOrsdal_grad.msu_0128D_14489.pdf   TECH GEM: Backup Your Computer with Backblaze Computer backup is a critical part of your genealogy research plan. Visit   GEM: Let Me Call You Sweetheart through the Generations Sydney Orton fell in love with family history and started her research when she was 11 years old. Now at 19 years old, she is even more passionate about genealogy! I discovered Sydney one day on social media when I saw a short video she posted with her sister. Turns out she had entered the video in this year’s RootsTech Film Fest. While the video didn’t win, it won my heart because it featured an audio recording from long ago that her grandpa made for her Grandma. Because the audio from the film is so wonderful just on it’s own, I asked Sydney if I could share it with you here on the show, and she graciously agreed.   The Story Behind the Song Sydney explains: “My Grandpa and my Grandma were in love when he left to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints in Australia. They were not yet engaged, but they planned to marry each other when he came back after two years. During the months he was gone, Grandpa sent Grandma gifts like a boomerang, a stuffed Koala bear toy, and photo prints. For her birthday, Grandpa sent her audio tapes of him singing love songs, while he played the guitar. For my 14th birthday, Grandpa gave me his guitar. It was about 50 years old and I loved it. Grandpa passed away suddenly in the fall of 2017. A few days after, my Dad was going through Grandpa’s computer and found the audio. Grandpa must’ve converted it a few years ago. It was such a special experience to listen to him sing. A few months later, Grandma decided to move and she hosted a garage sale. My uncle Austin looked through the items and pulled out an unmarked, dinged up, video tape. He felt like he should take it home, so he did. He searched for a VCR player for hours before he found one. Then, he discovered what the tape contained. Footage of my Grandparents and their family! No one knew it existed. The video recorder belonged to my great grandparents, but they let their son and daughter-in-law borrow it occasionally. It was colorized, but silent, and it was beautiful. Grandma and Grandpa had a special kind of love. The kind you see in classic 1930s Hollywood movies. The kind where you never doubt that they were meant for each other. My uncle showed the rest of our family the footage during our last reunion. My aunts and uncles saw video of themselves as children for the first time! I saw my grandparents raise my Dad. It was such a gift. For Christmas, I wanted to give my Grandma something special. So, I worked with my sister to put together a video compiling the audio from Grandpa’s mission and the silent footage my uncle found. My sister learned to play the chords of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” on Grandpa’s guitar because I couldn’t figure it out. She has a knack for just hearing music and playing it right. Together, we sang a duet with the recording from Grandpa. I mixed together the audio and edited the footage into one whole video. The video was not completed in time for Christmas, but I did finish it in time to enter the RootsTech Film Fest where it made it to the semi-finalist round. The video was imperfect, but it was just right for its purpose. And that purpose was to make my Grandma smile. I was away at college when I wanted my Grandma to see it. So my Mom went over to Grandma’s house and facetimed me while they watched it. Grandma said to me after, “I was at dinner tonight and someone was playing the piano. I listened to the music and I tried to remember what it was like to dance with Steve.” Together, we shared tears and laughter as we remembered my Grandpa, Steve Orton. I am forever grateful for the technology that made the video possible.” Follow Sydney on Twitter:  @genealogy_gal Visit Sydney’s website:    Get MORE Genealogy Gems with the Ad-Free Premium Podcast 1 Year Membership Featuring: Premium  (150+ episodes) Now over 50 ! New content added monthly 12 months of access No auto-renewal (you decide!)     Attention Users: Don’t miss the Bonus Content in your app for this episode! Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Genealogy Gems earns from qualifying purchases you make when clicking from the links we provide. It doesn’t cost you anything extra but it helps support our free blog and podcast. Thank you!

Apr 13 2019

58mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 227

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News: Major Announcements Made at RootsTech 2019 Ancestry Announcements: Historical records: Ancestry just released over 5 million Mexico Catholic records and 1 million new France Census and Birth, Marriage, Death records and have several U.S. statewide projects underway, from New York to Hawaii. They also released US WWII Draft Cards from seven states. By early next year, the full set of WWII Draft Cards – all 33 million — will be exclusively available on Ancestry and Fold3. MyTreeTags™:“MyTreeTags™ allows you to add tags to people in your family tree to indicate whether your research on them is confirmed or verified, or to record personal details, like “never married.” You can also create your own custom tags to note that a person immigrated from Denmark or worked as a blacksmith. You can even use filters as you search your tree to see everyone with the same tag.  MyTreeTags™ is one way we can help you save time and enrich your ancestor profile.” You can join the MyTreeTags™ and New & Improved DNA Matches beta at  New & Improved DNA Matches: “We have redesigned the DNA Matches experience to help you make more discoveries, faster. Now you can easily sort, group and view your DNA Matches any way you’d like.  New features include color coding and custom labeling offering you more control over how you group and view the matches, quicker identification of your newest matches and new ways to filter your matches. : “ThruLines™ shows you the common ancestors who likely connect you to your DNA Matches—and gives you a clear and simple view of how you’re all related.  When you link your public or private searchable family tree to your AncestryDNA results, new chapters of your family story may be revealed. ThruLines™ will roll out gradually to all customers who qualify beginning today.” Source:   MyHeritage Announcements: “A new genetic genealogy tool that groups together DNA Matches that likely descend from common ancestors in a compelling visual chart. This easy-to-use tool helps you explore your DNA Matches more efficiently in groups rather than as numerous individuals, and gain insights about branches in your family tree.” “In March 2018 , a pro bono initiative in which we pledged to donate 15,000 DNA kits to adoptees and those seeking to reunite with family members who were placed for adoption. Within a few months, all the DNA kits we allocated for this initiative were sent out. Applicants opened up to us to share their emotional stories of searching, their hopes for future reunions, and the sense of belonging they felt thanks to their participation in DNA Quest…Following the success of the initiative, we have decided now to extend DNA Quest and donate 5,000 additional MyHeritage DNA kits, for free, to eligible participants.” MyHeritage has completed a 5-year project of digitizing every cemetery in Israel. It is now the first country in the world to have almost all of its gravestones preserved and , with images, locations, and fully transcribed records. They’ve put up all this content for free, too. (LDS members only) “We are pleased to announce the return of the GEDCOM Import feature to Geni! This has been one of the most requested features on Geni and we’re excited to finally make it available to everyone. GEDCOM is a standard file format used to save, transfer, and transport family tree information. Long-time users may recall that Geni previously allowed users to start a tree using their GEDCOM files, however we disabled this feature in 2011 to avoid duplication of profiles in the World Family Tree. Our new and improved importer has been rewritten to import a few generations at a time, continuing only on branches where there are no matches to existing profiles on Geni.” “You can now import a GEDCOM file as a new tree, a new branch if you already have a tree, or onto any existing profile on which you have full permissions to edit and add onto. No longer will you need to endure the slow process of adding each individual one at a time to the tree. Now anyone can quickly add trees which didn’t exist before on Geni, saving you valuable time and allowing you to focus instead on new research.” “This unprecedented feature helps you make the most of your DNA Matches by incorporating genealogical information from all our collections of nearly 10 billion historical records and family tree profiles, to offer theories on how you and your DNA Matches might be related. If you’ve taken a MyHeritage DNA test or uploaded your DNA results to MyHeritage, this revolutionary technology may offer astounding new information on your family connections.”   GEM: Digging Deep into the Theory of Family Relativity™ with Ran Snir Ran Snir  is the product manager responsible for products. He leads a really talented team of developers and engineers and designers to create and optimize DNA users entire journey. He led the development of the Chromosome browser for Shared DNA Segments feature at MyHeritage DNA, from concept to production and launch.

Mar 14 2019

59mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 226

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Welcome my friend to the podcast where we take joy in the discovery of your family’s history! This is Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #226 and in today’s show we’ll cover research strategies and new resources that will help you find your way, plus I’ve got a tech tip and a fascinating bit of military genealogy for you.   GEM: They Shall Not Grow OldThere are so many things I want to cover every month, but I try really hard to sift through it all and bring you the best of the best, the genealogy gems. And I LOVE when you bring me Gems! Just like Betty did recently. Betty is taking my online course at Family Tree University this month called Google Earth for Genealogy which I told you about in our weekly newsletter. You’re all signed up for that right? Well Betty was so excited about something she found that she wrote the following on our course discussion board. She says: “My husband and I just saw the movie "They Shall Not Grow Old" about the soldiers in WWI. We saw it in 3-D, which was amazing! The whole movie is remastered, colorized video and audio from the newsreels and also the soldiers' interviews in the 1960's and 70's. The director, Peter Jackson, introduces the movie and then, the best part is after the show.” I saw her message at about 8:00 that night, and I immediately grabbed Bill and jumped in the car and for the 9:30 pm showing.  I couldn't agree more that it was spectacular. From Betty: “When I read that you went straight to the movie, I almost cried I was so happy!  I knew you would like the last 1/2 hour the best.  When Peter Jackson talked about everyone finding out about the history of their family, I was so excited!  Wasn't it amazing what they could do with old video, still shots, cartoons, and audio interviews?   It has so much potential for genealogists. The most important thing is to gather the information and digitize the videos we already have.  In the future, maybe the technology will be more accessible to us, non-professional family historians.  What a treasure that movie was!  I hope it inspires more people to do the same with other aspects of WWI or other historical subjects.”     GEM: The History of Baby Clothes Valentine’s Day brings to mind visions of cupid, a baby dressed only in a nappy shooting arrows of love at unsuspecting couples. While this little cherub celebrates the holiday au natural, let’s take some time to talk about the fashion statements the babies in our family tree have made through the centuries. To help us visualize the togs those tots wore we could turn to our grandmother’s photo albums, but there we may find a surprise: lots of photos of female ancestors and surprisingly fewer of the males. Why is that? Allison DePrey Singleton, Librarian at the unravels the mystery and stitches together a delightful history of baby clothing. from Allison on baby clothes.  Sources: Baumgarten, Linda. What clothes reveal: the language of clothing in colonial and federal America: the Colonial Williamsburg Collection. Williamsburg, VA: Colonial Williamsburg. Calvert, Karin Lee Fishbeck. Children in the house: the material culture of early childhood, 1600-1900. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992. F., José Blanco, Mary D. Doering, Patricia Hunt-Hurst, and Heather Vaughan Lee. Clothing and fashion: American fashion from head to toe. Vol. 1-3. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2016. Hiner, N. Ray., and Joseph M. Hawes. Growing up in America: children in historical perspective. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985. Paoletti, Jo B. "Clothing and Gender in America: Children's Fashions, 1890-1920." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 13, no. 1 (1987): 136-43. doi:10.1086/494390. Paoletti, Jo Barraclough. Pink and blue: telling the boys from the girls in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012. "When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?" Smithsonian.com. Accessed January 10, 2017. .   MAILBOX:Mary Lovell Swetnam, Special Collections Librarian Virginia Beach Public wrote me to tell us all about a new online resource. “I was able to determine that hundreds of records of enslaved persons were not included in either of the two previous abstracts of the Overwharton Parish Register. They have now been abstracted and are available free on our site. Please see the link below. I have also included a .”   Dana wrote in with one purpose in mind: to share her genealogy happy dance with us. And I think that’s an awesome reason to write! Email or leave a voice mail at (925) 272-4021 and share your genealogy happy dance with me! This free podcast is sponsored by:     GEM: Scottish GenealogyAmanda Epperson PhD shares 3 strategies for finding and ancestor in Scottish records. Read Amanda's article: Amanda Epperson is the author of the book . Since completing her Ph.D. in history from the University of Glasgow in 2003, Amanda has taught history at the college level, researched and edited family histories, most recently for Genealogists.com, and written articles for a variety of publications including Family Tree Magazine and Your Genealogy Today.  Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning MemberGain access to the complete Premium podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars, including Lisa Louise Cooke’s newest video The Big Picture in Little Details.     This free podcast is sponsored by:   TECH GEM: Backblaze’s Locate My ComputerBackblaze executive Yev Pusin explains a little known feature that just might get you out of a jam! Learn more about computer cloud backup and get your computer backed up today at Learn more: Premium Members can watch . (Log in required)   GEM: Military Minutes with Michael Strauss Deciphering Draft Registration CardsWe are revisiting Draft Registrations for both World War I and World War II. You will recall that this was the subject of our first "Military Minutes" together; since this aired several listeners have had questions and comments regarding the numbering on the cards, draft classifications, and how to dig deeper into other records of the Selective Service System whose office was responsible for the registering of all the men during both wars.   Click the images below to see all of the draft registration documents Michael discusses in this episode:   GEM: Profile America – America’s First Hospital Monday, February 11th. Among his very many achievements, Benjamin Franklin played a leading role in the founding of America’s first hospital. Together with Dr. Thomas Bond, he obtained a charter for a hospital to serve the poor, sick and insane in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Hospital opened on this date in 1752 in a converted house. Sources: Joseph Nathan Kane, Kane’s Famous First Facts, Fifth Edition, H.W. Wilson Co., New York, NY 1997, 4868     Get the free weekly Genealogy Gems

Feb 12 2019

57mins

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 225

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with Lisa Louise Cooke GEM: A Conversation with Kenyatta D. Berry (Genealogy Roadshow) Get ready for a fun and inspiring start to your new genealogy year. I’m not going to lecture you about how to get organized and all that – you get enough of that New Year banter other places. Today I’m going to bring you a talented lady who’s a sharp genealogist and just happens to be one of the hosts of the television series Genealogy Road show., Kenyatta Berry. I had the pleasure of working with Kenyatta Berry last summer when we filmed a webinar together at the FGS national conference. She was beaming from ear to ear about the book she was working on, and I encouraged her get in touch with me when it was done so we could talk about it here on the show. Well, the book turned out to be a beauty: it’s called The Family Tree Toolkit. It’s a great overview for those new to genealogy, and  a quick reference manual for more experienced genealogists with all of its charts and resource lists. Kenyatta asked me to moderate her Dallas book tour event. In December of 2018 we met up at the Dallas main library in downtown Dallas for An Evening with Kenyatta. This was a wonderful opportunity to not only spend the evening with her and a room full of dedicated genealogists, but also to record it all and bring it you! In today’s episode, Kenyatta Berry shares how she caught the genealogy bug, busting brick walls, her thoughts on DNA, and of course some of the most memorable experiences on the Genealogy Roadshow. Kenyatta Berry’s book If you enjoyed this episode and want to get a copy of Kenyatta’s book, we appreciate when you use our link (above). This financially supports us at no extra cost to you, helping us to bring this free podcast to you each month. Thank you! GEM: A Family History Discovery in Home Movies I made an amazing discovery this week thanks to my guest Dr. David Haas from . As you’ll recall David shared his family’s history of making home movies, and the hours of old film footage dating all the way back to the 1920s that he had restored and digitized. His story inspired me to start digging through my closets and I found the cannisters of 8mm film that I had converted to VHS back in the 1990s.  The problem with that first conversion is that 1) VHS is completely obsolete. And 2) the film which dated back to the 1960s was converted in its deteriorated state. It was washed out and grainy making it hard to see everything. So, in December I sent those original films off to the same company that David used – in Chandler, AZ. Right after the new year the fully restored and digitized files arrived on my doorstep along with the original films. The results are jaw-dropping. The film is gorgeous color just like David’s were, clear as the first day they were taken back in the ‘60s, and now finally in a digital format that I can use for all kinds of projects and sharing. But here’s the kicker, in reviewing them I made a startling discovery. About 20 minutes into the film my great grandfather came on the screen. This is the only known film of him in existence, and I was floored that I hadn’t spotted him before. But the VHS was so washed out it wasn’t obvious. Now I see him smiling and standing with his son (my grandfather) and his son (my uncle). Three generations of Burkett men, the oldest having been born in 1880 – and all there on film for me to see. Left to right: My uncle, my great grandfather, and my grandfather c. 1962. View the restored video on I love finding genealogical documents but I would take moving images of my ancestors any day of the week over a document. It just goes to prove that you can never say never, that at any given moment something can surface that you never thought possible. Thank you to Video Conversion Experts! They did a phenomenal job, but that’s not surprising because they are one of the top labs in the country. They restore video for the movie and TV industry too. They offer varying levels of restoration. It’s not cheap, but if you need professional restoration it’s an investment you won’t regret. I certainly don’t. We don’t have a promo code with Video Conversion Experts but be sure and tell them you heard about them here on the podcast and sign up for their sale emails. In fact, we received this comment on the episode from Jodi. She writes: The episode about home movies and David Haas was wonderful. I had also found some old film footage when my parents moved back in 2011. I debated about getting them transferred to digital because of the price. But my father was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I am SO glad that I spent the money to get the project done. He was able to see the old films of his family and explain to me who some of the people were. What a gift! Thank you for encouraging people to do this and sharing all of your knowledge with us so graciously. Here’s a link to her old family videos:  I took a look at Jodi’s videos, and they’re wonderful. She did a tremendous job with the documentation in the video descriptions. Absolutely brilliant the way she included the linked time stamps to the various videos that she had posted to YouTube. She really took to heart our follow up conversation in about how to share the videos once you digitize them. Larsen Digital Saves Money and Handles a Variety of Media Yesterday I received a batch of VHS tapes that converted for me. I’ve known Kristen Larsen for several years. They offer an excellent affordable option that is safe, reliable and great quality. They also really stand out because they can pretty much convert anything you have. I sent them VHS, Mini DVs and even a reel of audio tape and some cassettes of family interviews. They handled all of it affordably and Kristin and her team communicate with you along the way, so you can rest easy that all your precious memories is in good hands. I have about a zillion family history projects I want to do now that I have these audio interviews in an mp3 digital format. My first plan is to create some Animoto videos where I can drag and drop the audio in with the scanned photos that they describe. You can contact Larsen Digital at   Use the promo code GENGEM so you can get 15% off your order. View My Video Find on InstagramHead to (image right) to see the restored video of my great grandfather. Instagram is my favorite social media platform and one that I post to personally nearly every day. You can download the app to your phone for free from your app store and then just search for Lisa Louise Cooke in the app and tap follow. I post genealogy tips and ideas, behind the scenes and stuff about me and my family. It’s a lot of fun!   More with Kenyatta Berry We’re going to have a lot of fun this year! In the next Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode (#167). Premium members will hear the Q&A we did with Kenyatta after the interview was over. If you’re not a member yet, you can fix that today at

Jan 10 2019

1hr

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Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 224

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Lisa’s Recent Travels Swedish Genealogical Society in Edina, MN and a side trip to Winthrop, MN. Above: Speaking at the Swedish Genealogical Society   Above: Bill (left) with his new found Larson cousin.  Oslo Norway – MyHeritage Above: Speaking at the MyHeritage conference in Oslo, Norway T with my genealogy crew at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway Read  By Anna Swayne A Visit to Sweden  Above: Lacey in Gothenburg, Sweden Non-Genealogical Recommended Reading: U by   Mailbox High school teacher Lindsey called in to share an unexpected occurrence of genealogy serendipity. Here the original Genealogy Gems Podcast where George Ella Lyon reads her poem. I created for Tom Boyer of his Where I’m From Poem  is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. : it’s free to get started. Give the gift of story with Storyworth StoryWorth gives your loved ones a reason to spend time with their favorite memories and share them with you giving you opportunities to become closer, even when you live far apart. It’s an easy and thoughtful gift even at the last minute. Get $20 off by visiting storyworth.com/gems when you subscribe. Visit Followup on GGP 223 I’m organizing and digitizing my Grandmother’s old home movies with . I told my uncle about it and now he’s sending me the rest of his old home movies! Video Conversion Experts is the company that Dr. Haas used to convert his films. They did an exceptional job in post production restoration, and are known for this work in the film industry. They are the ideal company to go with if you want to invest in the highest quality of restoration.  They are currently running a terrific 35% off sale now through 12/21/18.  I’m digitizing my family’s High 8 home movie tapes with . The list of mediums that they can digitize is one of the most extensive I've seen. They are even able to digitize the unmarked audio tape that I found among my grandmother's hoem movies. Kristin and her team are well known in the genealogy community and are based in Utah. They have graciously extended a 15% off to my listeners. Use the coupon code: GenGem Discount is valid on: video tapes, movie film, audio reels, audio tapes, slides, negatives, photos & specialty film. Your feedback on episode 223 On Instagram from Erin: "I loved this episode Lisa! Anna’s song is so beautiful too! I learned a lot and the way you shared this story was wonderful. A favorite gem for sure." From Greg in New Zealand: "I’m loving the new narrative/profile episodes and had noticed the evolving voice and style in GGP 223. You and your team are wonderful writers...David Haas’ story reminded me of my good friend Mark Holtze. An editor in Toronto, Mark has digitised all of his grandfathers’ They are brilliantly presented. Mark is very talented. I think they’re worth sharing with your listeners. I don’t know Mark’s connection to specifically but it’s an amazing one on his playlist." I couldn't agree more! Here's the description of the video: A number of 8mm film reels were purchased at a Flea Market in New York City for $10. They ended up being home movies taken in the late 40's and 50's. How they ended up at a Flea Market in Manhattan all those years later is one thing, but most importantly was getting the films reconnected with the family. ...60 years later....   Thank you to our sponsor: I've used for years and love it. You will too!   Organizing the videos you find online After listening to episode 223, Kate was inspired to head to YouTube in search of videos that illustrate her memories. She writes: “I’ve been trying to set up a collection of my memories on you tube. Do you have any thoughts on to put this together? Is it possible to add clips and not full videos?” My suggestions: YouTube: Organize with playlists You can use Playlists to group the videos you find by topic. You could create playlists for locations, timeframes, people and so on. Sign in with your free Google account which will give you access to your YouTube “channel.” When you find a video, under the title of the video click the plus sign that says “Add to”. Select a playlist from the playlists listed in the dropdown menu. These are playlists you have already created in your account. If it’s a long list, use the search box to search for a playlist title. Or create a new Playlist by clicking “Create New Playlist” at the bottom of the menu. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn't give you a way to add your own notes. And you can't create clips of videos (at least not as of this writing), but I do know that when you share a video you can mark that it start at a point in the video that you select. Which brings me to my next suggestion… Pinterest: Organize Videos into boards on Pinterest If you would like to have even more control over organizing the videos that you find, and you want to be able to add your own notes and memories, consider using Pinterest. In your free Pinterest account you can create as many boards as you want. Create a board for each topic (much like with the Playlists I suggested previously) and save YouTube videos to them. And of course, you can save any other online content "memories" that you find along with them if you want. The beauty of pinning is that you can add your own notes and memories, plus you can set the video to begin at any point within the video that you want. Simply click “Share” under the video in YouTube, and click to check the box for “Start at.” Next, click on the player timeline that runs across the bottom of the video on the spot where you want the video to begin playing. Finally, click the Pinterest icon in the Share area to pin it to your Pinterest board of choice.   Profile America: TV Tech Thursday, December 13th. The important holiday business of viewing such classics as “It's A Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story” on home TVs owes much to a technological advance this month 80 years ago. In December 1938, Russian-American engineer Vladimir Zworykin was awarded two patents for cathode ray tubes. One was for the iconoscope to capture video images. The other was for the kinescope, which displayed television and computer monitor images for decades until the advent of flat panel screens. Whatever the ills of TV programming, obviously the American people consider it an appliance for a wonderful life. More than 98 percent of American households own at least one set, a percentage that has held steady for years and across all age groups.

Dec 11 2018

58mins

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220 Ratings
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167
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Super helpful

By Chai4mom - Mar 21 2020
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Love this podcast for consistently helpful hints with my hobby of family history. Lisa Louise Cooke is a wonderful podcaster, with professional, high quality episodes.

Can’t do without

By Joan Laurie - Sep 23 2018
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The best way to stay up to date and learn something every podcast!