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Tune in for the best information, innovation & inspiration to help you grow your family tree!

Jul 4, 2011

Published July 4, 2011

In this episode you'll pick up tips for family history writing success from John Paul Godges, the author of Oh, Beautiful, An American Family in the 20th Century.




Genealogy Gems Podcast LIVE! featured Allison Stacy, publisher of Family Tree Magazine and Handwriting Expert Paula Sassi


Click the “Like” button on the Genealogy Gems Facebook Fan page


Genealogy Gems Facebook Fan Heather Wilkinson Rojo’s letter dated May 11, 1887 written by her first cousin 4 times removed John Owen Dominis was featured.  What a fascinating story that turned out to be.  The Live podcast is coming soon!


Read the Family Curator blog where Denise Levenick did a nice write up of the Live Genealogy Gems Podcast.


Genea-musings Blog photos from Jamboree



Colorado Family History Expo

Bev wrote me after the Colorado conference to say...

“Thank you so much for your help in getting this up and running for me.  I went to all of your classes on Saturday at the Colorado Expo and I learned so much from you and enjoyed your very upbeat and enthusiastic demeanor.  I love your book on the Google Toolbox.  I had no idea that Google had so much to offer.  And you made it so simple to understand for someone who is somewhat knowledgeable about computers like me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I can't wait to see your next book.” 


Ruby Coleman’s review of my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox at her Genealogy Lines Blog.  Thanks Ruby!


MidWest Family History Expo

In Overland Park Kansas July 29 & 30, 2011

Click here for more info 


Northern California Family History Expo

San Mateo County Event Center

Oct 7 & 8, 2011


Georgia Family History Expo in Duluth GA

November 11 & 12, 2011 


New Television Programme: Find My Past on the UK's Yesterday Channel

UKTV has signed a deal with Brightsolid, the company that owns Find My Past and Genes Reunited, to launch a new 10-part one-hour series called Find My Past. Each week the show will use the website to focus on a famous moment – such as Dunkirk or the Jack the Ripper attacks – to connect "three seemingly unrelated members of the public."



Genealogy Gems named one of the 101 Best Websites


The Genealogy Gems website has been named one of our annual 101 best family history websites in the September 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine. Check out the full list 




New listener Barbara from Sydney Australia

“I just wanted to thank you for your genealogy gems pod cast.  I discovered it recently and downloaded all the episodes so I can listen to them on my commute to work on the train.  It is the best ½ hour, each way, of my day and this morning I had to drive to work and really missed listening to you!  Only 2 weekends ago I had an email from a cousin in California I knew nothing about, and she was able to give me some clues that meant I was able to find my (I should say our) family in Ireland.


I think that making that connection has been the most fantastic thing about researching my family history so far.  My mum always said we had family in the US, but I never knew who they were.  Now I have a cousin there.  How fantastic!

Thanks again for your pod cast, It’s really fun to listen to, and I thought you might like to know how far you have traveled.”


Ancestry Thoughts

Carol wrote in to share her thoughts on Ancestry and other genealogists she’s attempted to contact for collaboration:


“Almost everyone I have contacted has chosen not to respond – either their email bounces or there’s just silence.  This ‘silence’ is so prevalent in my genealogical inquiries (historical societies, message boards, surname websites, etc) that I have to wonder if genealogy is a collaborative sport at all.


Carol also shares her Ancestry wish list:

“Here’s what I want from Ancestry (besides better indexing):


- I want members to populate their public trees with accurate info (tall order, I know).

- If they’re using Ancestry as a whiteboard, then make it a private tree.

- I don’t want Ancestry deciding what’s correct info and what isn’t. 

- And I would like the courtesy of a reply when I attempt to make contact or to correct wrong information.


Thanks, Lisa, for providing tips and techniques to the genealogical podcast community – keep up the good work!"


Marilyn also wrote in with a common question of folks new to family history about Ancestry and Family Tree Maker.


Just Do It

Roger emailed recently about how timely Episode 112 was:

“The Christmas gift was still given but how grateful we are for the precious moments we shared. You never know – do it while you have time. So, thanks again for another great podcast and for all you do.”



GEM: Interview with the author of Oh Beautiful! John Godges


John’s Three Point Process for Writing About Family History:


Outline: Start with a hypothesis providing a focused theme and starting point.  Including and excluding info. John carefully selected his chapter titles because they are what guided him in his writing.


Talking: Having a talkative family is helpful, but even if your family is low-key, strive to help them feel comfortable to share.


Questions – Asking the write questions goes a long way to helping relatives open up.  John emphasized 3 questions about “reflection”:


1) When in your life was it most difficult for you to be true to yourself?


2) Was there any particular group or role model that had a particularly important influence on your life?


3) When in your life did you most feel connected to something larger than yourself?


Read Oh Beautiful, An American Family in the 20th Century by John Paul Godges 

Barnes & Noble Logo - 125x40 If you decided to buy a copy of this compelling book, I sure appreciate it if you do so through by clicking this Barnes & Noble image to get to their website to make your purchase. 


(As you may have recently heard, Amazon has cancelled California resident affiliates, which unfortunately has affected Genealogy Gems.  Thanks for your continued support of the free podcast through our other fine online shops like Barnes & Noble.)



Lisa on the Genealogy Guys Podcast

Check out the Genealogy Guys podcast and Drew Smith’s interview with me at Jamboree