Sat, 18 May 2013
A lot has been happening in the genealogy world while I have been on the road, and my job is to boil it down so I can bring you the best genealogy gems and that’s what we are going to do in this episode.
While it was a tall order to get up there on that stage and try to foresee the future, we had fun trying. I would be interested in knowing what you think is out on the horizon for genealogy, and what you would like to see on the horizon for genealogy. Drop me an email and we’ll share some of those ideas on an upcoming episode.
RootsTech Report from Sunny
FamilySearch Records Update
Your Ancestor’s Criminal Past
If you have British roots, you will want to check out the new collection available on Findmypast.com: a half million criminal records dating from 1770-1934!
This sounds like a pretty gripping collection, whether you've got British roots or not. It contains records like mug shots, court documents, appeals letters and registers from prison ships (which were used when mainland prisons were crowded). According to Findmypast.com, the records "provide a wide variety of color, detail and fascinating social history, chronicling the fate of criminals ranging from fraudsters, counterfeiters, thieves and murderers and their victims." The 500,000 records you can search now are only a fifth of the full collection of 2.5 million that will be online soon.
The company calls this the largest collection of historical criminal records from England and Wales to be published online and is done in association with the National Archives (UK). Findmypast.com members can click here to access the criminal collection directly (make sure the box for "Institutes and Organizations" is checked). Read more about it here: Find Your Criminal Ancestors: UK Collection from FindMyPast
Digitized War of 1812 Pension Files on Fold3
According to the National Archives, pension files for the War of 1812 rate among their most-requested materials. But the files haven’t been easy to use because they’re only at the National Archives–they haven’t been available in published, microfilmed or digitized form. You have either had to research the pension files onsite in Washington, D.C. or order copies from the Archives. Not exactly easy access. This is about to change. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), The National Archives, Ancestry.com and Fold3.com are partners in a huge effort: to preserve and digitize 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension Records and make them available for free online. Read more about it
Who Do You Think You Are? TV Series Update #WDYTYA
In recent weeks, reports have circulated that Kelly Clarkson has filmed an episode. A fan reported seeing her in Americus, Georgia and that they were shooting footage at Andersonsville National Historic Site. Read more about it at the Genealogy Gems Blog.
Newspapers are reporting that the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is filming its own version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” According to the Bureau County Republican and the NewsTribune (Illinois Valley), popular Danish actress Suzanne Bjerrehuus was in the area filming stories of her great-great-grandparents, who emigrated from Denmark to the American Midwest in 1869. (They apparently left behind one of their six children, from whom Bjerrehuus descends.)
Church Records for Genealogy on Archives.com
About 4.6 million genealogical records from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are now available on Archives.com. This project represents a unique collection for Archives.com, which partnered with the ELCA Archives to digitize and index about 1000 rolls of microfilmed records of affiliated church. According to the company, this collection represents records that have never been online before. It eliminates the major barriers we usually have in researching church records: not knowing which specific congregation an ancestor attended; not knowing where those records are now and not having easy access to them. Read more about it at my website.
Online Historical Maps: From David Rumsey to the DPLA
Genealogists rely on historical maps to help us navigate the geography of our ancestors’ lives. One of the most important resources available online is the David Rumsey Map Collection. Well, Rumsey recently announced on his website that he will be making more than 38,000 of his historical maps–everything he’s currently got online–available at the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Read more about it...
Google’s free program Google Earth includes nearly 150 historic maps in the Layers panel. You can also add historic maps downloaded from Rumsey’s site to Google Earth by using the Overlay feature. My video tutorial series called Google Earth for Genealogy will show you how. You can also get step-by-step instructions in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. Or get them all in a discounted bundle.
Lee has some questions, and perhaps you do too:
Question: How often do the premium podcasts come out?
Answer: Typically there is one new premium episode and one new premium video every month. And the real value in Premium Membership is that when you join, you get the entire back catalogue of Premium podcast episodes and video. That means as soon as you become a Member you will have access to over 95 exclusive Premium episodes and over a dozen videos of my most popular classes and topics!
Answer: Premium podcast episodes are commercial free, and very similar in format to the free show although the material I cover is different, and we often take time to go more in depth into particular genealogy topics.
Answer: Actually, the free podcast is the "free trial" for Premium. If you like the free podcast, you will love Premium!
Answer: The Genealogy Gems app is a one-time $2.99 purchase (which goes toward development and updates) and conveniently streams the free podcast on your mobile device. It also includes "bonus features" like unique short video, audio, images, and pdfs unique to the app.
Joyce asks about region-locked video:
Question: Is it possible to watch the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? online? If so I want to. I need to attend their conference one of these days also. Looks like you had a blast!
Lisa’s Answer: Unfortunately, the UK version is not available outside of the UK online. Many television video providers do what is called "region-locking." However, if you are really determined to watch, a quick Google search can uncover some work around. Here's an article to get you started.
From the BBC website: Currently BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only, but all BBC iPlayer Radio programmes are available to you.
One more thing - occasionally folks upload episodes to YouTube such as this one. Watch them soon as you can because they are often removed due to copyright issues.
New Genealogy Blogs
Blogging is in the family at Matt’s house…I love your show and look forward to every episode. I've been researching for close to 20 years now, but because of podcasts, blogs and all the other electronic communications that have come along with the Internet, I feel more connected and involved in the genealogy community than ever. I want to thank you for always encouraging us to start our own blog. I finally made that jump yesterday. My daughter, who is only 11, and has her own blog about doll crafts has also been encouraging me, so I thought I better get with the program. You can check it out at http://thepastobsession.blogspot.com/
I can't promise anything about how often I will post, but I do appreciate the encouragement you always provide to your listeners. Thanks for providing a great resource to the genealogy community.
p.s. Just in case you want to check it out, my daughter's blog is: carrotandclaire.blogspot.com
Amanda also has a new blog…I have been catching up on all the genealogy gems podcasts for the last month (I sometimes hear your voice when I don't have my headphones in! :) Anyway, I just recently became a premium member, and I'm working my way through those podcasts and videos to catch up. I just wanted to write to say thank you for doing what you do. I can really tell when I listen that you love what you are doing.
I've been "working" on our family tree since 2003 or so, but only in the last year have I gotten serious about it... and only after I started listening to you have I realized about sources. So, I now have a tree with over 13,000 people in it and most of it isn't sourced.
I wanted to let you know that I have started a genealogy blog (mostly so I can go back and source everything from the beginning). I have had a blog in the past just about my kids and other general stuff, but I never kept it going. I'm already thinking differently about this one because of all the possibilities there are... the address is feeserfamilygenealogy.blogspot.com, I hope you'll check it out. It's about more than just the Feeser line of our family, but since that's my last name now, that is what we used as the title.
Just after my very first post some of my first cousins (who I talk to a lot) let me know about some pictures and information they have, and one of my cousins even has a recording of our great grandmother that she did when she was younger (she's the oldest cousin).
Linda likes to blog and laugh…I have been meaning to write to you for some time now to thank you for your marvelous podcast. I have been a faithful listener to Genealogy Gems since the beginning and have enjoyed your stories, insights, and how-tos. You have a gift for expressing the joys of learning about our family history, not to mention a contagious laugh! Your podcasts have kept me company on walks, while doing chores, even when waiting in line.
Bill is celebrating 160 years down under on his blog…I thought you might like to hear about another blog you inspired. I created a web site dedicated to the Jessep Family history back in 1997. It holds just the facts and covers the many spellings of the name. This is my father’s page so you can see what I mean. http://www.jessep.com/web/i6.htm
My Jessep line arrived in Australia on the 29 Sep 1854 and I suddenly realized that in 2014 our line will have been Down Under 160 years. Now that is something to get excited about and provided a starting point for the story. The blog also allows the story to start and get added to with the help of others. This gave it the purpose it had been missing. The about page has more information: http://www.jessep.com/blog/about
GEM: Interview with Chris Whitten, Founder of WikiTree
Part 1 of my interview with Chris was done for the Family Tree Magazine podcast.
In this episode, Part 2 Chris talks about the "GEDMatches" tool. According to Chris: "This is really a major advance on WikiTree. It makes it much more useful for people who just want to stick their toe in the water and see if cousins are already participating here.”