Tue, 18 February 2014
In this episode you'll hear what you've been missing and how to get it from the Ancestry Wiki. Also how to do a very specialized type of Google search you may have never tried, a French-Canadian genealogy resource, and more.
Top 10 Reasons I Moved to Texas:
10. They have something here, it’s called weather
9. I live on an acre now so my neighbors don’t complain that they hear me over here talking to myself
8. There’s a Soft Surroundings store in Southlake! And a Pottery Barn, and a Coach purse store, and…
7. Genealogy Bloggers Amy Coffin and Caroline Pointer. If you know them, you understand
6. Wise County has just launched a new genealogy society and they wanted a speaker who lived less than three hours away
5. It’s been almost 10 years since I filmed a reality TV show out here, so I figure they’ve moved on.
4. My cat Ginger is from Texas and what she meows goes
3. After 18 years in California I finally get to have a pool in my backyard
2. They don’t have chicken fried steak in California
1. My Grandsons - Davy and Joey!
A few years ago while attending a genealogy conference, I decided to conduct some on-the-fly interviews for The Genealogy Gems Podcast. I asked folks to tell me about the most prized family heirloom that they possessed. I heard about everything from the door knob of a woman’s parent’s bridal suite, to the bedazzling flapper dress worn by a great grandmother.
All were interesting, but I was stopped in my tracks when one woman looked at me with pain in her eyes and declared “I have nothing. Not a thing. My cousins destroyed everything.”
It was a difficult concept to digest. As the acknowledged “keeper of the family history flame” in my family, I’ve been fortunate enough to have inherited an abundance of family heirlooms from both sides of my parent’s families. How sad it would be to have nothing concrete to hold in your hand; nothing to help you feel the generations that held the item before.
Since that day I’ve remained inspired to help people find ways to track down information and artifacts that make up their family history. Time and time again, I’ve found that just when you thought there was nothing left to find, an item will resurface. The Galaxy Quest movie quote (surely based on the famous words uttered by Winston Churchill in 1940) is one I cling to when it comes to genealogy: “Never give up! Never surrender!”
This motto has never been so gloriously justified as it was recently when a woman from Indianapolis, Indiana received the surprise of a lifetime this Christmas. The Purple Heart awarded to Pat Davis’ father, (a father she never met) was found recently and returned to her. Watch the compelling video below where the daughter holds the unearthed piece of family history in the palm of her hand.
Kyla wrote: "I had old photos and letters returned to me by a woman who found me on a genealogy message board. Her father had obtained them from my brothers who were throwing them away. It was like a miracle."
RootsTech 2014 may have come to an end, but SCGS Jamboree is just around the corner
I’m pleased to return this year to speak at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. This popular conference, hosted by The Southern California Genealogical Society, runs June 6 to 8, 2014 in Burbank, California, USA.
The theme of the 2014 Jamboree is Golden Memories: Discovering Your Family History. It promises to pack tons of fun into a long weekend, as it always does.
My classes on Friday and Saturday include:
Who Needs Google Reader? Flip Out Over Genealogy Content with Flipboard!
Ultimate Google Search Strategies for Genealogists
How to Create an Exciting Interactive Family History Tour with Google Earth.
SCGS Jamboree 2014 welcomes 55 speakers, over 60 exhibitors, 134 class sessions for a variety of experience levels, and special events. Online registration is open on the Jamboree website, and the Marriott’s website is ready to take your reservation. Hope to see you there! Read more about it here.
Genealogy Test Reveals Dad’s DNA Swapped in Artificial Insemination
It’s not uncommon for genetic DNA tests to reveal that you’re not related to people you thought you were. But here’s a twist I’ve never heard before.
A family who had a daughter by artificial insemination of the husband’s sperm eventually decided to do some DNA testing for family history. Imagine the wife’s shock when she discovered that her husband and daughter shared no DNA!
They got a bigger shock when they did a little research. Apparently the biological father worked at the lab that handled the family’s insemination process. The man is dead now, but it appears he may have deliberately swapped in his own sample for the father’s.
Of course lots of questions have come up–including how many other children may have received the DNA of a man who was a convicted kidnapper.
My heart goes out to this family and to others who now fear their genetic fatherhood was hijacked. Read the full story here (it’s popped up in several news outlets now, but I first saw it at KUTV.com). Watch the video at the Genealogy Gems Blog
Newly Remastered and Republished Podcast Episodes
Family History Episode 16 – The Family History Library Catalog
Family History Episode 17 – Using Family History Centers Part I
Family History Episode 18 – Using Family History Centers Part II
What’s New at Evernote
BillionGraves Now Accepting Your Documentation
I’m hearing so much these days about source citation and I love it! Everyone seems to be getting smarter and better at sourcing their research finds. And genealogy websites are making it easier and more collaborative. Here’s just one example, an announcement just made by BillionGraves:
“After months of work in response to hundreds of user requests, BillionGraves has added several new features designed to validate and enhance the headstone records found on BillionGraves. The Supporting Record feature now allows users to upload evidence-based documents that support the BillionGraves records that have been collected through our mobile Apps. This means that users are now able to upload headstones, birth/death, burial, marriage, cremation, and many other types of records without needing a smart phone.
Thousands of records are being uploaded every day and are breaking down genealogy brick walls and making connections that once seemed impossible. While working closely with our users and genealogists we found that there were many headstones and burials that just couldn’t be accounted for with our current systems; including unmarked graves, cremation scatterings, destroyed stones, and so on. Our Supporting Records features eliminate this problem while maintaining the validity and accuracy of the BillionGraves database.”
Answer to A Genealogical Google Search Question
Jo-Anne: “Is there a Google Earth Cd of the 1932 L.A. Olympic Games?”
Lisa’s Answer: I would try the following Google Search as follows...
Quotation Marks around a word or phrase mean that the word or phrase must appear in all results.
Adding .KMZ or .KML tells Google that you want Google Earth files as the highest priority. Put quotation marks around the file designation and you’ve just told Google to ONLY return Google Earth files.
Lisa wants to know: “What type of Google Earth files / maps / tours would you be interested in finding?”
What Would You do?
From a concerned listener: "I have a dilemma I'm not sure how to handle. I have a recent ancestor that I never met, but my parents knew. This ancestor did some remarkable things in his lifetime, but also some terrible things to members of his family, some of whom are still living. I want to write about the good things he did, but I don't want to upset the relatives he hurt. Do you have any suggestions on how to handle recent ancestors with difficult pasts?"
Lisa wants to know: What do you think? Have you faced this situation, on either end?
A Podcast for French-Canadian Research
Thank you to our wonderful sponsor
GEM: The Ancestry Wiki with Crista Cowan
In this gem, Crista Cowan explains how to find the wiki, how to search it, and how to explore it because "we don't know what we don't know."
Producer: Vienna Thomas
Wed, 8 January 2014
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 163: Get ready to flip out with me over Flipboard. It’s a free app and web tool that you have to see to fully appreciate. In this episode I’ll take you behind the scenes at Flipboard in the Silicon Valley and talk to the folks who create the product that helps you enjoy the online content you love. I’ll also share a little discovery I made about family history when I threw my back out over the holidays (there’s got to be an easier and less painful way to do family history research!) and get you up to date on all the genealogy news.
The back pain in my family history was there all the times but I didn’t recognize it! My Great Grandmother Louise’s “hand on hips” stance in many of the old family photos was more than just a sassy attitude. It reflected a family history of back pain that plagued my grandmother, my uncle, and me.
And what do you suppose folks will think a 100 years from now when the news stories are long gone, and they are reviewing the footage of the sign language guy at Nelson Mandela’s funeral? A reminder that not everything we see in old home movies and photos may necessarily be as it seems?
Happy 4th Birthday Genealogy Gems App! Get the App:
New Episodes of Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast
The fourth annual Rootstech conference, hosted by FamilySearch, will be held February 6-8, 2014 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to renowned keynote speakers, the conference features over 200 classes, hundreds of booths in a huge Expo Hall, and evening events.
Keith wrote: “I previously wrote you a few months ago when I launched my own blog, sonofswift.tumblr.com. I am happy to report that tomorrow marks my 150th post. Thank you for reading my first message on your show. I have since had it listed on Geneabloggers and started a weekly picture post, Wordless Wednesday. After spending a considerable amount of time trying to break down brick walls, I'm currently focused on learning about my, and my wife's, great grandparents, which I call "thickening the branch. In the new year I plan on releasing eBooks containing all my research from the past six months with accompanying trees. All of it is thanks to guidance I get from listening to your podcast. Thank you for all that you've done and will continue to do.”
Congratulations on your blog's milestone! Now anytime someone searches Google for one of your ancestors they will find you. I'm so happy to hear that the podcast has been helpful to you in your journey.
From Maryann: “Sitting here addressing Christmas cards and grabbing a bit of lunch when I decided to check my email. Spotted your email and opened it up. Skimmed through it, went back to the top again to check out more of what you wrote about the RootsTech 2014 Flipboard magazine you put together. Looked over at the stack of cards still waiting, but thought I'd grab a few minutes to just get it downloaded. Thanks to your book, I already have and use Flipboard, so it didn't take long to find the magazine and subscribe. It looks FANTASTIC. Can hardly wait to sit down and spend time reading through the articles and watching the videos. Right now, though, that stack of cards is shouting me, so I'd better set aside my iPad (after reading your book, I chose a mini, and am forever grateful for the help your book gave me, especially in setting up my apps) and get back to them.”
And Taunja is also flipping over Flipboard: “I've had Flipboard on my smartphone and didn't know what to do with it! Just subscribed to the Rootstech magazine and it looks wonderful...thanks so much! Looks like a better learn a little bit more about Flipboard.”
GEM: Flipboard Interview
Well, it didn’t take long to track down some great alternatives, and in this gem I want to focus on the one I flipped out over for tracking and enjoying my favorite online media like blogs and videos. It’s called Flipboard, and if you have my book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse, then you’re probably already familiar with it.
Now wait, don’t turn off this episode because you don’t have an iPad. You don’t need one to use and enjoy Flipboard. It’s a free app for Android and Apple devices – so we’re talking all kinds of smart phones and tablets can use it.
Now while the app allows you to pull together all your favorite RSS feeds together and displays them in a beautiful way, Flipboard also has a Magazine feature. In a recent issue of the free Genealogy Gems eNewsletter – which you can sign up for on our homepage at www.genealogygems.com – I wrote an article all about a magazine I created all by little self using the free Flipboard web tools. These magazines – and I really call them magazine issues, because they are like stand along issues of a magazine – can be viewed on your computer web browser as well as the app, and you can add content from all over the web, and share it with others.
When I saw the magazine feature for the first time my mind just started racing with all the genealogical possibilities. I’ve created several free magazines that you can enjoy, and I’ll tell you more about how to access those at the end of this segment. But first, we’re going to head to the Silicon Valley and meet with the folks at Flipboard to get an up close and personal look at the company, the app, and these awesome magazines.
In this interview I travel to Flipboard's offices in Palo Alto, the home of a few names you might recognize, such as Facebook, and meet up with Todd Lapin. He is on Flipboard’s editorial team and runs their new blog focused on discovering of great content http://magazines.flipboard.com and he also runs their MagMakers twitter handle: https://twitter.com/FlipboardMag
RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge is a free magazine available in the free app https://flipboard.com/ and on the web at http://tinyurl.com/RootsTech2014. The magazine pulls together great web content from RootsTech speakers, exhibitors, and official bloggers in one beautiful and convenient place.
Looking for more great genealogy themed Flipboard magazines? Check out two more new issues from Lisa Louise Cooke:
Genealogy Gems Premium Members can hear for about using Flipboard for Genealogy in the upcoming Premium Episode #106 later this month. The episode will also include additional notes and instructions. Click here to become a Genealogy Gems Premium Member today.
Wed, 4 December 2013
Wondering how to get your kids and grandkids engaged in family history? Looking for worthwhile activities for the kids over the Christmas break? In this episode author Janet Hovorka provides answers. Our children are the future of our families, and there's no better time to help them engage, explore and enjoy their family history! App Users: Be sure to check out the audio Bonus Content in the Genealogy Gems App!
Where You Can Find Over a Million British Church Records that are Now Indexed!
From Gary: “There was a recent episode of the Las Vegas Based “CSI” show in which a genealogist was used to help solve a crime and the head CSI guy (Ted Dansen) and the Genealogist debated about Genealogy being a science. Only took them 1 hr (and 30 commercials) to do what takes us a live time –Hummmmmm!!!”
Premium member Roger in Utah: “Thanks for another great podcast – this time on MY ancestral homeland of Norway. I have spent many hours using the digitalarchivet.no website. While you can use the English version, parts of it are only in Norwegian.
Norway, like most Scandinavian countries, has put nearly all of their parish records online. It is a wonderful resource. You have to learn what some of words are, such as birth, Christening, confirmation, marriage, death, etc. But even just these can help a lot. If you learn a few more Norwegian words, you can more fully access the vast amount on information available on that site.
In that podcast you also talked about taking a risk and contacting someone about possible family information. Through some of my Norwegian research I found a man who lives in a little town about an hour north of Oslo.
He is the leader of a group called the Hadelandlag Society. Hadeland is a region of Norway. I got an email address for this man, Ole, and contacted him. He has been wonderful to me. He went to a local repository and looked up information on my family from the information I gave him. Of course, I thanked him profusely for helping someone he did not even know. We have now emailed several times. Certainly the “risk” paid off.
I have also found some US chapters of the Hadelandlag Society and have become a member. And I found some distant cousins as a result, one in Canada, and one in Minnesota. We email somewhat regularly. See what taking the “risk” can do.”
Matt Has a Mystery and is Looking for Extra Sets of Eyes: “Thank you for your podcasts! … even listening to the older podcasts can provide needed perspective on how to break through your brick walls. Speaking of brick walls, mine may be crumbling. I've been trying to trace the parents/ancestors of my great-grandmother. Up until this past summer, I had no information whatsoever. On May 30, 2013, I found an 1855 New York State Census entry that may tell me who her family is. I wrote up a blog entry about the current status of the search and I'd be interested in your thoughts.” Matt's Blog
From Alan in Minneapolis, MN: “I started listening to the podcast about a year ago, and it's been a great reminder of things that I had forgotten how to use Google for. Thanks to your hints, I've found descendants for 2 of my wife's great-great uncles who moved away from the farm in Illinois and we lost track of. The Google tips from early on in the series have even helped in projects at work- my colleagues think I'm spending hours searching for things that I'm finding in a couple minutes with some of the tricks.
Also after hearing about blogging your family history for at least the last 3 pod casts, I've finally decided to take the leap and start publishing my discoveries on a blog (groundhoggenealogist.blogspot.com) so I can post there rather than send emails and miss some of the cousins or send Facebook messages and miss the others. I've only written two posts (one's up one set to publish Sunday morning), but I hope this is something I can keep up. Just a note to say thanks.”
Janice in Montreal started a genealogy blog: “I attended several of your presentations at the BIFHSGO conference a few weeks ago and really enjoyed them. Partly as a result of hearing your advice, I have started a blog on which I'm posting the short family history articles I've been writing, as well as comments on the research process. The story called "An Economic Emigrant" explains why I'm a Canadian rather than an American. Please take a quick look when you get a chance.” writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca.
Ethan is looking for some Fold3 help: “I recently went to look for the graves of my great-grandparents and learned in doing so that their son, my grandpa's brother, died in WWII. Since he has a very common name, George L. Allen, I have been unsuccessful in trying to look up his records on fold3.com or other search engines. Any hints on how to narrow my search? This is the information I was able to obtain just from his headstone: Private First Class, 63rd armored infantry battalion, 11th armored division. He died Jan 6, 1945, just as the war was dying down. Other than that, I don't know if he was in the Pacific or in Europe. My fold3.com search yields thousands of results. Any help would be appreciated!”
Lisa’s Answer: Fold3.com does have some educational videos on YouTube. In particular: How to Search on Fold3. If you don't get the full answer you are looking for, leave a comment on the video to ask a more specific question or ask how to contact them with your question. YouTube is interactive when it comes to comments and I would anticipate they would respond.
Family Tree Magazine Webinar Recording: Making the Most of Fold
GEM: Helping Your Kids and Grandkids Engage in Family History with Janet Hovorka
Janet is the author of the book Zap the Grandma Gap
Above: Janet Hovorka, Owner of FamilyChartmasters
Visit the free Website for more Zap the Grandma Gap
Sign up for the FREE Genealogy Gems Newsletter at www.GenealogyGems.com
Explore Lisa's brand new Pinterest Board: Best U.S. Libraries for Genealogy
Thu, 14 November 2013
I was so impresssed with Yngve Nedrebø, the Chief archivist at Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway) who I recently interviewed for the Family Tree Magazine podcast that I'm publishing an extended version of that interview here on the Genealgoy Gems Podcast. This is a "must hear" for those with Norwegian heritage. In this episode you'll also hear from a fellow listener and get a chance to see his family history tour that he created in Google Earth using the techniques I teach in the Google Earth for Genealogy video CD series. And we'll get a taste of the history of coffee.
Linda from Ventura Seminar writes in about her recent success:
“I just loved your presentation Saturday at the Ventura Genealogy Seminar. I learned so much and feel very enthused to really get to work on all this. In fact I was so encouraged I got brave and called a telephone number that I had found for a possible 1st cousin, once removed. And surprise, it was him and we had a lovely 30-minute conversation and I’m going to send him information and he and his wife invited me to Florida to visit!! How about that. It was so exciting, still haven’t gotten over it.”
Linda said that she was encouraged enough to get brave and make that telephone call. That can be a pretty scary thing. We all have things that we need a bit of bravery to do.
And that brings me to an important question that I posed in the most recent edition of the free Genealogy Gems Newsletter.
Having you taken a technological RISK lately?
Eric shares his Google Earth Family History Tour:
After viewing it I couldn't help but wonder if there was video out there. And sure enough I found a few. I'm sure there are more with potential:
YouTube video update: If you’ve had trouble embedding videos recently in your own family history tours, or genealogy blog, it's actually YouTube that is causing the problem. If you look closely at the YouTube embed code they are (for some unknown reason) leaving off the "http:" and so the code doesn't work. Copy and paste the embed code into a Google Earth placemark and then correct the URL so it is complete and it will work for you. (Do note though that the person who uploaded the video can opt not to allow it to be embedded. If that's the case, there will be a statement on the video page)
Cameron is Looking for Death Certificates
From Lisa: I ran a quick Google search and found the following on the Emanuel County, Georgia records site:
I would also recommend contacting local historical and genealogical societies. They often have the inside scoop on what's available and how to access it locally. A quick Google search should help you make contact. Run the search in Google Earth and it will plot them out for you on the map!
GEM: Norwegian Genealogy and the National Archives of Norway
One of the shining stars on the Internet that offer rays of research hope for those with Norwegian heritage is the National Archives of Norway’s Digital Archive. Lisa’s special guest: Yngve Nedrebø, Chief archivist at Riksarkivet. http://www.arkivverket.no/eng/Digitalarkivet
GEM: Wartime Coffee Bean Counting
Wed, 9 October 2013
In this episode you will meet other listeners who are getting the word out about their family history through blogging as well as give you some genealogy blogging pointers,and I will introduce you to one of my first “Favorite Genealogy Gems”
Look who I ran into in Detroit: Steve Luxenberg, author of "Annie's Ghosts"
You’ll have around 40 topics to choose from, held mostly in the evening so there will be loads of time to explore the landscape.
My understanding is that this cruise is filling up very quickly so if you’re interested be sure and click the links above for more details.
Evernote is certainly the fastest-growing note-taking technology out there, so it is no wonder that it is incredibly popular with genealogists. But there is so much packed in to it that I notice that many genealogists aren’t taking full advantage. Keep this handy cheat sheet close at hand and you’ll have everything you need.
This four page laminated guide includes:
$8.95 plus shipping. Also available for UK, Canada or Australia shipping
ANCESTRY.COM and FamilySearch recently announced that they have made an agreement to jointly make a billion global records available online over the next five years by digitizing, indexing and publishing the records from the FamilySearch vault. Ancestry.com expects to invest more than $60 million alongside thousands of hours of volunteer efforts facilitated by FamilySearch.
The companies also announced in early 2013 an additional project where they plan to publish 140 million U.S. Wills & Probate images and indexes over the next three years—creating a national database of wills and other probate documents spanning 1800-1930 online for the very first time.
Daughter Receives WWII Soldier Father's Letter Decades Later - Read the article
Watch the Video:
In this episode we celebrate listeners who are sharing their family history through blogging:
New Blogger Keith is a Son of a Swift
I have run a personal family history site for the past five years and now, based on your advice, launched my own genealogy blog. I already had a tumblr account, so I started sonofswift.tumblr.com (Son of Swift is a translation of my name from the original Gaelic, O'Seibhleain). Thanks for the great idea and I will continue to listen as I conduct my research into the future.”
Chris is Now Blogging
Follow up from Chris:
“After getting my feet wet, I decided to join GENEABLOGGERS network at www.geneabloggers.com . Wow. My first goal was realized just after that. I found another blogger who is a "double cousin" through two different branches of my family. Thanks so much for your advice.”
Margaret is on a Family Album Journey
Wayne Uses Blogging to Discover Genealogy
Premium Member Sandy is Digging into her Family Roots
Steve is Poking Around the Past
From Gloria who describes herself as “A Die Hard Fan”
Lisa’s Blogging Tips
Give your readers an easy way to subscribe by email
Instructions for Subscribing to a blog via email: (feel free to add these to your blog)
Let your readers know that the service is available to them by adding a Text Widget to the side bar of your blog with the above instructions and a link to Blogtrottr.
Try assigning themes to your blogging days. It can help you get a jump start on writing, as well as help you determine which areas are your favorites that you may want to focus on my more in the future as your “niche.”
Check out Geneabloggers at www.Genealogybloggers.com for genealogy blogging support and theme ideas.
Break up long posts into several posts. They are easier for you to publish, and easier for your readers to consume.
Collect blogging ideas in Evernote. Set up a notebook called “Blogging Ideas” and tags for your various subject areas such as:
Learn everything you need to know about using Evernote for genealogy by becoming a Genealogy Gems Premium Member. In addition to over 100 exclusive Premium episodes, membership includes my one hour Evernote class video, and the Evernote instructional mini-series.
Get the Evernote for Windows for Genealogists Quick Reference Guide in the Genealogy Gems Store
GEM: Lisa’s Favorite Genealogy Gems (Just in time for Christmas!): Espy Frames by Jen Garrett
As I get older, I find myself tiring of the same old gift giving every year. You know how it is – we all have too much stuff, and what we become more and more interested in is that which will last, and have a lasting impression on our family and those we love.
So as I travel throughout the year I keep my eyes peeled for things that really stand out – items that are truly Genealogy Gems. Wonderful products that I want for my own home and family, and ones I think that you will appreciate and enjoy as well. So I’ve decided that Lisa is going to have her Favorite Genealogy Gems. And the first one that I want to introduce you to today are Espy Frames by Jen Garrett.
I will never forget taking my annual walk through the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference exhibit hall this last year. I really didn’t expect to see anything earth shattering or new. But when I reached the end of the first row and turned the corner I was instantly mesmerized by what I saw.
Laid out across a long table, and hanging on the walls behind it were the more glorious and spectacular frames I had ever seen. Most were large thick frames around mirrors, but a few encompassed vintage photos. But they had three very important things in common. They all were dripping with vintage gems, jewels, charms, buttons and antiques. They were all one-of-a-kind pieces of art, and each one told a very unique story. Oh, and they had one more important thing in common. They were all created by Jen Garrett.
In this gem segment of the podcast I want to introduce you to Jen. She is a very special lady, which an incredible talent for story telling through these incredible art frames. I hope you come away with is that there are new and creative ways to help tell you ancestors story.
(image above: Jen's barn workshop)
I have a very special hand tinted photo from the 1930s of my beloved Grandma Alfreda Burkett in her nursing cap, taken the day she graduated from nursing school. She looks so young, and beautiful and full of excitement for her new career, which would last for over 50 years. I’ve waited to hang that photo in my home because I knew it deserved a special frame, and I’ve just never found one that did it justice. The frame that I bought that day, absolutely does it justice. It’s covered in vintage items from that era, all with a medical theme.
Exclusive Collection Hand Selected by Lisa
Jen’s frames are an investment well worth making. And if you would like to acquire one of these very special frames you will find an exclusive collection now in the Genealogy Gems website store, just in time for the holidays.
I have personally selected these frames and they are all truly incredible works of art!
Even if you aren’t interested in purchasing a frame, may I encourage you to just go and window shop. You’ll be inspired. And once a frame I this collection has been purchased it’s gone forever, because they really are one-of-a-kind.
Be sure to click on them to see the enlarged view. The photos don’t do the frames justice, but the larger images will give you a taste of all of the incredible and intricate details in them. On a PC you can hold the Control key and plus the plus key (+) to zoom in even further. Enjoy!
Join Today: Genealogy Gems Premium Membership
Sign up for the Free Newsletter on the www.GenealogyGems.com homepage and get the free ebook 5 Fabulous Google Search Strategies for the Family Historian as a thank you gift!
Thu, 5 September 2013
Come along as we solve a family history mystery with high-tech and low-tech tools, discuss who to begin African-American research, explore newly available Canadian records, and contemplate the value of work as well as the values we want to pass on to our kids and grandkids.
Canadian Genealogical Records Now Available
The 1921 census counted 8.8 million people in thousands of communities across Canada. According to the Library and Archives Canada Blog, the population questionnaire had 35 questions. The census also collected data on “agriculture; animals, animal products, fruits not on farms; manufacturing and trading establishments; and [a] supplemental questionnaire for persons who were blind and deaf. This represents a total of 565 questions.” The census was released this past June 1 from the national Statistics office to the Library and Archives. That office is processing and scanning the nearly 200,000 images for public use. It hopes to have them posted soon.
You can start looking for your Canadian ancestors in the Library and Archives Canada’s popular Census Indexes at which include that 1825 census and a new version of the 1891 census, too.
If your family arrived in Canada after the 1921 census, check out the website for The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, where a million immigrants landed between 1928-1971.
The much-anticipated (but little-publicized) 1921 Canadian census is now online and available for browsing at http://www.ancestry.ca/census They anticipate releasing an index later this year.
When you click on the first link above, you’ll see that Ancestry.ca’s collection of Canadian census data goes back to 1851. Check out my post above to learn about online data back to 1825. It’s getting easier all the time to find your Canadian ancestors online!
Genealogy Roadshow on PBS: More Genealogy TV
Death Certificate Confusion Scott writes: “I wanted to send this death certificate to you and maybe you could talk about it on your podcast. It's a reminder we can't take what we see at face value even from a primary source created at the time of the event. On one line it says he died Jan 17, 1937 and another it says the attending doctor saw him alive on February 17 of the same year. But then he was buried on Jan 20th. It's really not all that clear whether the events took place in January or February from just this document.”
Lisa’s Reply: What is really fascinating about this document is how the slight variation in handwriting gives away the problem. The doctor was very detailed with the variety of dates he entered as Feb. when events took place. His “3” generally stands up or even tips forward a bit. But the Registrar, Mr. Popeland, distinctly tilts his “3” and “7” back a bit. And his hand is also heavier. Very quickly you see that Dr. Brallier completed his portion of the form and then, I would guess later, Mr. Popeland completed the remainder of the form and filed it. The big question is who made the mistake: was Mr. Popeland correct that it was January, or was Dr. Brallier correct that is was February?
I searched Ancestry and MyHeritage because I was anxious to know the answer. After an initial search neither Dempsey nor his wife Ruby Lee appeared, which is rather curious. After trying all types of name variations, I finally went to our old friend, www.Google.com .
I search on his wife "Ruby Lee Danner" in quotation marks and up popped one result - a court case.
Searching “Dempsey Danner” in quotation marks resulted in 7 hits, 3 of which were him, including an obituary at the Arizona Obituary Archive.
Dr. Braillier has been vindicated. Perhaps Mr. Popeland had filed one too many certificates that day, or had his mind on something else as he entered January in the remaining blanks. And once again, the case is made that the person who was there at the time of the event in person got it right, and the one recording the event later did not.
Kate shares some old time photo resources: “…Old Time DC on Facebook. It's brilliant. It's a collection of DC photos from the past. It's not owned by anyone and anyone can post. https://www.facebook.com/OldTimeDc I love looking at old photos trying to figure out what the world was like before…It would be so wonderful if people in various cities starting compiling things like this Old TIme DC Facebook page. Many families have shared interest in various places and streets but most people didn't think to take photos of those things.”
Lisa’s Tip: Try searching for names of towns and keywords like “photos” and “history” to see if there are similar groups on Facebook that can benefit your research. My example: I found a similar Facebook page for Margate Kent https://www.facebook.com/MargateHistory. It's a terrific use of social media!
GEM: Interview with Dr. Deborah Abbott
Genealogy Gems contributor Sunny Morton interviews Dr. Deborah Abbott, Ph.D., an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and currently serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS).
Dr. Abbott specializes in African American genealogy, slavery, court records as well as methodology. Her genealogical research project about an African American Family from Kentucky entitled "From Slavery to Freedom to Antioch" was highlighted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio) Newspaper under the title "Six-Volumes to Amplify a Family History" in 2008.
In this Gem Dr. Abbott shares her strategies for Starting the Search for African American Roots:
Debbie's Favorite Resources:
Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org. Opened at the same time! Go back and forth between the two. Think of Ancestry as “the index” and FamilySearch as the “images.” Example: Ohio Death Index 1908-2007
“Once we get into the slave era African-America are no longer people, they are property.”
You are looking for people as you would other property like land. You must look at the people making the transactions, all the way through their death.
Ohio had laws that governed the movements of African-Americans in the early years. Understand the history and the laws in the location and timeframe you are researching. In Ohio –African-Americans had to register.
Free Family History Festival
Detroit Public Library – Main Branch
Debbie will be teaching on techniques for tracing African-American Roots
Lisa will be teaching on Ultimate Google Search Strategies and Tips and Get the Scoop on Your Ancestors with Newspapers.
Lisa’s Personal Thoughts on the Value of Work, Looking to Ancestors for Values, and Passing on our Family’s Values to our Kids and Grandkids.
Mon, 29 July 2013
Genealogy Gems Podcast
August 2, 2013
Attention Gmail Users:Google has revised the Gmail dashboard to now include tabs, separating your emails based on the type of content. Overall, I really like it, but I wanted to bring to your attention to the fact that your Genealogy Gems email newsletters will probably land in the Promotions tab, rather than your Primary tab. The problem with this is that we are used to focusing on what is in the in box in front of us, and I know I’m having a little difficulty retraining myself to check the other tabs.
To ensure that you get your Genealogy Gems newsletter emails instantly, move the newsletter to your Primary tab. Click on the email to grab, drag and drop it on the Primary tab. From that point forward your newsletter emails should show up in your Primary tab, and you won’t miss a thing!
The Genealogy Gems Podcast App is now available for Windows 8 phone, tablets and desktop! Our app provides you the ability to stream or download free Genealogy Gems Podcast content, and even share your favorite episodes. Here's what you need to know:
Phone / Tablet:
First, download the Genealogy Gems phone app for $2.99 from the Windows Phone Store.
Once installed, a live tile will be available on the start menu. Opening the app will provide you a list of episodes available for the show. You can swipe left or right to move through favorites, downloaded episodes, and recently played episodes. Selected episodes will be highlighted with a check mark in the corner. Tapping on an episode you wish to listen to will open an in app player. Clicking on the three dots in the lower right hand corner will open up the menu shortcuts, giving easy access to marking episodes as favorites, downloading the episodes for offline listening, or sharing the episodes out with your friends.
Download the Genealogy Gems desktop app ($2.99 from the Windows Desktop App Store.)
Opening the app will provide you a list of episodes available for the show on the right with a player on the left and utilizes all the standards of the Windows 8 navigation. Selected episodes will be highlighted with a check mark in the corner.
An episode can be bookmarked by marking it as a ‘favorite’, and episodes can be downloaded so that they are available offline.
When downloading a file, the status of the download will appear. Once an episode is favorited or downloaded, you can set the app to show only those favorite episodes or those downloaded files. You can also view a list of what episodes were recently played.
The Genealogy Gems Podcast app is the one and only family history podcast app available, and was named a Must Have Apps for Hobbies by App Advice.
Fold3 and Ancestry Trees
Now when you discover an ancestor's record on Fold3.com, you can save it to your online tree at Ancestry.com.
According to Fold3.com's press release: "Whenever you see a green 'Save to Ancestry' button above a document or on a Fold3 memorial page, you can link that document or page directly to
someone’s profile on Ancestry."
"You’ll be asked to log into your Ancestry.com account, and then you’ll see a drop-down list of your trees. Locate the tree you wish to save the document to, begin typing the name of the person to whom the record should be attached, choose the correct name from the list that appears, and then press save."
Watch this tutorial video to learn more and see how it's done:
OCLC and FamilySearch Partnership
FamilySearch is planning to load their catalog records into WorldCat by the end of the year. In the case of our very larger records, these may be abbreviated. Patrons discovering their catalog records on WorldCat will be able to click through from WorldCat to the FamilySearch Catalog to view the complete record. WorldCat will eventually show holdings in selected regional family history centers as well.
There are currently no plans to change circulation policy. Films can be ordered to FamilySearch Centers as before. Other materials are not circulated. However, they are scanning their books and have over 80,000 of them on line. There are links to them in the catalog. They can also be searched on Familysearch.org by selecting “Books”.
If you've been doing family history research for a while, you probably have heard of (and maybe used) PAF: Personal Ancestral File software. Well, it's been hard at work for a long time--as a true pioneer in genealogy computing--and now it's retiring.
It's not that your PAF software suddenly doesn't work. But as of today, July 15, 2013, you won't be able to get downloads, supports or upgrades from FamilySearch, which has made the software available since 1984.
What does that mean for PAF users? The current version of PAF supports exports to GEDCOM files, still a universal file type for genealogy software. So while GEDCOMs still remain supported on other software and online family tree hosts, you'll be able to transfer the data from your tree. Those who want to continue to use FamilySearch products (like Family Tree) are advised by FamilySearch to switch to software that partners with FamilySearch: Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree or RootsMagic. Learn more about the PAF discontinuation, what it means to you and supported software options at FamilySearch.
And just to put in a plug for RootsMagic, a Genealogy Gems Podcast sponsor, RootsMagic 6 is the only software that is "share+ certified" by FamilySearch for use with Family Tree: the only software, as RootsMagic says, "certified to collaborate and share data and sources with FamilySearch Family Tree." If you're already using RootsMagic 4 or 5, you'll need to upgrade. Purchase RootsMagic 6 or order your upgrade here: http://rootsmagic.com/Store/RootsMagic/
And speaking of RootsMagic:
Now you can find short training videos in addition to free full-length webinars on RootsMagic's new YouTube Channel, RootsMagicTV at http://www.youtube.com/user/RootsMagicTV/videos
If you're a RootsMagic user (or may be interested in becoming one), FamilySearch Family Tree or PAF user, you'll love these helpful tutorials.
And let your voice be heard: They are even taking suggestions for topics to cover in future short videos, too! email them at email@example.com.
The London Metropolitan Archives says that half the inquiries they receive are from family historians. This is likely due to their rich resources, click here to peruse the collection: http://preview.tinyurl.com/k75c59e
Because there is such a strong genealogy interest in the LMA, they are making a huge effort to reach out to genealogists. They're all about educating us and sharing what's at LMA through their website, hands-on classes, remote research services and partnerships with data sites like Ancestry and FindMyPast. All this from a city archive!
Check out this video they've made for family history researchers:
Were Your Ancestors "Vicious" or in "Chronic Want"?London Poverty Maps Map It Out!
There is a fantastic blog posting on Mad About Genealogy about the Booth Poverty Maps, which look like a riveting way to understand your ancestor's 1880s London neighborhood. http://www.madaboutgenealogy.com/booth-poverty-maps/
According to blogger Linda Elliott, "Booth employed a team of social investigators who walked around the London streets often in the company of the local policeman and recorded what they saw and heard. The notebooks that they filled out can be viewed online and make for fascinating reading with amongst other findings they record what the policeman thought of each street and sometime each building and its inhabitants."
The Charles Booth Online Archive Linda describes each category in greater detail in her blog post, along with everything a genealogist needs to know to use the maps
Response to the update on Ancestry from Allen:
First, and I think you may have mentioned this specifically, it would be nice if there were a way to exclude certain records from a search, either automatically or by selection. In particular, I am thinking that if I have a 1920 Census record attached to a person, there should be some way to exclude 1920 Census results from a search. Clearly that is not a record I need if that person already has one attached. Secondly, and related to the first, it would be nice if there were some "level of confidence" or other rating one could apply to a record match. That way I could attach a record to a person with no confidence but still have it reference a certain person, or with a moderate confidence or high confidence.
This might also apply to relationships as well. I think this would go a long way toward solving the problem of people posting incorrect information on their tree and others copying it. The truth is, there is all kinds of information that we associate with our trees that we're not completely sure about but still feel reasonably confident about, but if there were some way to make that know, both to ourselves and others, it would help the situation. Ancestry.com could then incorporate these into my first search suggestion, so that records with a high confidence would trigger a filter to remove other similar records that would not apply. In any case, I love the show. Keep it up.”
From Debbie Cook:
UPDATE: Genealogy Gems Toolbar has been discontinued.
Sarah wrote in to say:
“I want to learn how to use Roots Magic 6 that goes to Trees”
Lisa’s Answer: You can watch the free RootsMagic class on "Using FamilySearch Family Tree with RootsMagic" on their website at http://rootsmagic.com/webinars/
From Sherry, a Premium Member from British Columbia:
Well, you've also inspired me to use my new iPad, which my husband gave me for Christmas, as a tool for my research, and now for blogging. Recently, my sister and I took our long-awaited "Family History Road Trip" to New England, and I took my iPad along to blog from the road! I also brought along a keyboard, and would blog in the morning, using the Blogger app, while my sister and niece were still asleep. It was fun to share our experiences almost as they were happening, as well as the crisp and clear photos I was taking with my iPad.
As my sister was more interested in the stories from our mutual family tree and less in the research, we tried to plan our trip to include destinations which would interest us both. As I have discovered that we are Mayflower descendants, one of the places we visited was the Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. As you may know, it includes a near authentic replica of the village of Plymouth circa 1627, and has actors portraying the roles of the people living there that year. They are well-versed in the stories of the pilgrims they are portraying, and stay in character while they are conversing with you. I was hoping I might run into an actor playing one of our ancestors, but I couldn't believe our luck! Of the handful of actors we met, two were portraying our ancestors, Hester Cooke and Richard Warren! Who actually gets to talk to their long departed ancestors on a family history road trip?
Leigh has a new genealogy blog!
I love your podcasts, and once I'm caught up, I'm planning to become a Premium member. Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone!"
Winnie the Pooh Quote: “You can't stay in your corner of the forest, waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes.”
Thank you to our sponsor RootsMagic.com
GEM: Behind the Scenes of the TV series Who Do You Think You Are?
It was a sad day when NBC cancelled Who Do You Think You Are? here in the U.S., but genealogists are now drying their eyes and grabbing their popcorn because it’s returning to TV this month. The TLC channel has picked up Who Do You Think You? and the first episode featuring singer Kelly Clarkson premieres on July 23, 2013.
Here to tell us all about it is Producer and Research Manager for the series Allie Orton. She’s a graduate of the University of Southern California, and began work as a researcher on the first U.S. season of "Who Do You Think You Are?" back in 2008. In her current role she oversees research development, coordinates communication between Ancestry.com and the research staff, and shepherds these compelling stories to completion!
In this interview Allie shares:
Exclusive for Premium Members: Allie’s Advice for Genealogists in Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast Episode 100
STAY IN TOUCH:
And if you like this podcast you’re going to love being a Genealogy Gems Premium Member – you can do that at the website as well. Just $29.95 get you access to hundreds of exclusive Premium episodes and videos of my most popular genealogy classes for a whole year. That’s the best deal in genealogy and one that will keep you up to date, motivated and inspired to make incredible strides growing your family tree.
And here’s a thought to ponder until we meet here again: People don't care what you know until they know that you care
Fri, 12 July 2013
In this Blast from the Past episode we are turning the time machine back to May of 2007. First up is Genealogy Gems Episode #11, first published May 07, 2007, which includes two great gems for you: How to Find Pictures from the Past with Google.com, adn a Family History Decoupage Plate Project. This is easy even for you non-crafters out there and the result is an heirloom quality decorative plate that tells an ancestors story.
Then in this double header, Genealogy Gems episode # 12, which was originally published on May 13, 2007 features ancestor educational records and my Top 10 Tips for finding the Graduation Gems in your family history.
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode: #11
GEM #1 – Discover Pictures from the Past with Google
One of the easiest ways to find photos on the web is with Google.com. The ability to focus your search on images is often overlooked. Let’s go over the basics:
To find photos of specific people try putting their first and last names within quotes (i.e. "laura ingalls wilder"). If you've got a bit more time or a really unusual surname, then you could just enter the name and that should get you started.
You can also find photos of old items and places from your ancestor’s life such as tombstones, buildings, their hometown, the kind of old car they drove.
GEM #2 – Mother’s Day Project – Decoupage plate
In my book it’s not enough to find wonderful photos on the internet that help tell the story of your family’s past, or have a boxful of old family photos. It’s sort of like the old riddle “If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear it, then does it make a sound?” If a photo is tucked away in a shoe box, is it adding to the value of your research? Not in my book.
Family History is meant to be shared. However, I believe wholeheartedly that we, the family historian are not the primary “customer” if you will. I constantly challenge myself to see my family today as my “customer”. I want the family’s history to be meaningful to them and ignite in them a pride, loyalty and reverence for our family. So I’m always trying to come up with new ways to share what I’ve found that they will enjoy.
Decoupage Photo Plate:
Decoupage was a hot craft for women in the early part of the century, and it's definitely gone through resurgence in the last decade.
As I mentioned in a previous episode of the podcast, my mom recently brought me a truckload of family heirlooms. She and my stepdad have taken the plunge to sell their home and travel in a motor home full time.
When I was preparing for this episode, I went looking for the decoupage plate that I made her a couple of years ago for Mother’s Day. I assumed it was in one of the boxes that she brought me, but I couldn’t find it. When I asked her about it, she said to me, “I gave you your great grandmother’s tea set, your grandmother’s china, and pretty much everything else I had. But I didn’t give you the plate. I’m keeping THAT!” Hearing her say that meant as much to me as the plate probably means to her. So may I just say, if you pour some love and time into creating this plate, I guarantee it will be treasured.
Here’s the plate I made for my mom:
Wasn’t she a cutie patootie?! I started by selecting photos that told the story of her childhood…at the top is a photo of the house her parents built the year she was born. Going clockwise, the next photo is her as baby, then as a toddler in her crib with her favorite teddy bear, then as a preschooler in the coat & hat her mother made for her. In the center is my favorite childhood photo of her, probably just before entering kindergarten. I love that it’s a close up, her BIG brown eyes, and the dainty bows in her hair. The design in simple, and very focused on its subject matter – my mom!
The photos are glued from behind so they show through the glass plate. I painted the back black, which seemed appropriate for the black and white photos, but it could be gold, or any color you want.
Let’s get started making this modern family heirloom.
The supplies you need are simple and inexpensive:
A clear glass plate with a smooth finish. You can usually buy these at craft stores, or discount stores very cheap. Maybe a dollar each. I got mine at a kitchenware factory outlet. Make sure you’ve cleaned it very well before you begin, and that’s completely dry.
Experiment with laying out your design to fit the plate. Keep in mind that the plate likely has some slight curvature to it, so you don’t want to just turn it upside down and draw a circle around it, because your design won’t end up quite big enough. Cut your copies a bit larger than the area they are going to cover.
Also, if you want to add any words, now is the time. You can draw directly on the copy or print out something and cut it to fit. In my case, felt like a picture was worth a thousand words!
When applying the cutouts, you'll be working in reverse: the first images placed on the plate will be in the foreground of the design when viewed from the front of the plate. Start by applying the prominent images to the decoupage medium. Glue the edges firmly to the glass. Turn the plate over to check the placement of images
Put a nice even coat of glue on the photo, on the side you want to see. Don't worry about brush strokes, but be careful not to go over it too many times, you don’t want the ink to run.
Place the image face down on the back of the plate and spread the glue over the back of the photo.
Turn the plate around so you can see the image from the front and work out the air bubbles from behind. (you can try placing a piece of wax paper over the photo and use a roller over the wax paper to go over it and smooth it out and get the air bubbles out.
Turn the plate over and check the results.
Continue place the images until the entire plate is covered.
Let it dry (24 hours should do it)
Use painters tape to tape off the edges before you apply the acrylic paint to the back of the plate. Let dry. Apply a second coat, or sponge on a second color if you want to. Let dry
If you want a glossy finish on the back, apply an acrylic varnish. Let dry
TODAY’S GEM – Top 10 Tips for Finding the Graduation Gems in Your Family History
1. Establish the Timeline:
Check your genealogy database to figure out when your ancestor would have attended school. I’m going to be focusing on high school, but this could just as easily apply to researching the college years.
2. Family Papers & Books
We always start our research at home, so go through old family papers & books looking for Senior Calling Cards, High School Autograph Books, Journals & Diaries, Senior Portraits, & Yearbooks
3. Newspapers – Search for announcements, honor rolls & other articles about end of the year activities.
It’s easy to say search newspapers, but it’s not always that easy to find them. So here are some ideas of where to look for historical newspapers…
- Ancestry.com ($)
- The Local Public Library Website in the town where your ancestor attended school. Check their online card catalogue, or send them an email to find out if they have the years you are interested in, and to see if they will cooperate with interlibrary loan with your local library.
- The Library of Congress <http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/>
- Family History Center in Salt Lake City. Search the Family History Library Catalog online for your ancestor's location to find what newspapers they may have.
- Historical and genealogical societies.
- U.S. state archives and libraries
4. The State Library – Wisconsin Dept of Education website list of state libraries: <http://dpi.state.wi.us/pld/statelib.html >
5. State Historical Societies – in addition to newspapers as I mentioned before, state historical societies might have old yearbooks & photos.
6. Rootsweb.com - Check the Message Board for the county & state you’re looking for, as well post a message asking if anyone has access to yearbooks or other school info.
7. Websites focused on Yearbooks – Yearbook Genealogy.com website: http://www.yearbookgenealogy.com/ & The National Yearbook Project <http://www.rootsweb.com/~usyrbook/ >
9. Call the School – if they don’t have old yearbooks, they may be able to put you in touch with a local librarian or historian who does. Go to www.whowhere.com and type in the school name in “Business Name”. Call around 4:00 pm, when the kids are gone but the school office is still open.
EBAY: Do a search on the school or town you’re looking for to see if anyone out there is selling a yearbook that you need. Be sure and also search for old photographs or postcards of the school. Here’s my extra trick: From the results page do a “Completed Listings” search & email potential sellers to inquire about the books you are looking for. You might get lucky like I did!
Thu, 13 June 2013
In this episode you will get a sneak peek at new changes coming in Ancestry search, and we will look for women in naturalization records. But first here is what you can do...
When Technological Changes Get You Down
The Mayhem commercials from Allstate are a riot, but of course all that mayhem is not all that funny when it’s happening to you.
Sometimes it feels like technology companies are having a little mayhem fun with us when they get us all up and running with their software program, or app, or phone, or tablet, or whatever, and then bam they change it all up. Mayhem!
It’s not really that we don’t want new technology and that it’s always mayhem. But rather: read more here
A Listener Takes Action and Gets a Win!
In most recent Genealogy Gems newsletter called “How Google Broke My Heart” I lamented the fact that Google is no longer digitizing historic newspapers, but put out a reminder that all of the newspapers that they have digitized to date are all still available for free online. And then I shared a cool webpage that my friend Dave Barney at Google shared with me that provides an easy to browse catalogue of all of the newspaper titles and they the years they cover.
In response to that article, a listener, Chris, shared what happened after reading the newsletter. Chris says...
"Just read your article and went to check it out. I was able to find my grandfather's obituary, who died a month after i was born. Thanks for the tip!"
So there you have it, the benefits of not just reading the Genealogy Gems newsletter, but taking action on it! I love hearing how you all take the gems and run with them!
Criminal Past Follow up
“Your most recent podcast (excellent as always!) touched on transportation of convicts from UK. The National Archives of the UK has an excellent podcast series, with many casts focused on genealogy issues. Highly recommended for anyone with UK ancestors. The podcasts are recorded talks given by their own professional Archives listeners.
Mike has a question about how to put names to faces. He writes:
Lisa’s Four Strategies for Crowd Sourcing Photo Identification:
1) www.deadfred.com - this is a free website where you can submit your photo, include as much info as you know about it, and then others can search the site and hopefully make identifications. This is a well-respected site that has been around a long time, and I have interviewed the founder (episode 74), who is great and passionate about old photos.
2) Consider creating individual photos of each man from the original digital scan. This might come in handy so that people can get a good look at their faces.
3) Consider creating your own free genealogy blog, even if it is just to post one article about the photo. Think of it as your own personal message board. You could include the photo (and some of the close-ups I mentioned creating) and then write up a description of what you know about the photo, the class, the location, etc. Make it as keyword rich as possible so that others will find it when they do Google searches on these keywords and topics. www.blogger.com is free and easy to set up in just a few minutes.
4) Another type of "personal message board" would be a YouTube video. Just film the photo, zooming in and out on the faces. Many video editing programs will let you add the photo to the software timeline and zoom in and out just like a camera. There is a free program called Jing that might work. Or Windows Movie Maker, etc. Again, add all that keyword rich text to your video description and title, and be sure to add appropriate TAGS to the video. All of that will help it get found.
Mike took my advice and set up his own free genealogy blog: www.adiscoveryofthepast.blogspot.com
Gem posted on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/genealogygems. Marge Mero says:
"Lisa, we found this quilt in the Main Street Museum at Polson, Lake County, Montana. It has my husband's grandmother's name stitched into this square. (Mrs. S. E. Salter). We also found a Red Cross quilt with relative names at a museum in Lanigan, Saskatchewan. Your posting was a good reminder to watch for quilts in museums."
Check out her post on Facebook because you’ve got to see this quilt!
This episode is sponsored by:
GEM: Women in Naturalization Records
Women’s suffragists demonstrate in February 1913. Photographer unknown. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.
We’re also nearing the completion of the enormous Community Indexing Project of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Records. Already we can search newly-created indexes to millions of naturalization records at FamilySearch.org. But often we don’t find the women we’re looking for.
Let’s look at why. But I’ll warn you, the reasons aren’t pretty. In the past, women had very few legal rights. None could vote. Married women had even fewer rights. Their legal identity disappeared when they married, swallowed up in their husband’s. Married women did not handle legal matters in their own name, own property or keep their own money. Sometimes they did not even have legal liability for their actions. This was known as the legal principle of coverture.
In 1855, a law was made that women who weren’t ineligible for other reasons (like race) were automatically made citizens when their husbands were naturalized. There was no extra paperwork or court costs. Their husbands’ papers (in combination with their marriage records) served as proof of the women’s citizenship, even though before 1906, you will not usually find the women’s names even listed on their husbands’ applications.
This represented a step forward for most married women, but not all. If a husband didn’t naturalize, the wife couldn’t naturalize without him. (On the flip side, if a U.S.-born woman married a foreigner, she often lost her U.S. citizenship, whether or not she left the country. This problem wasn’t fully resolved until many years later; learn more about the laws and resulting paperwork in this article by the National Archives.
Naturalization laws were not applied evenly, and some women got their citizenship anyway. Eventually, as women won voting rights in various states in the early 1900s, men who applied to naturalize were sometimes denied because their wives, who would be granted citizenship and therefore voting privileges, didn’t speak English or meet other requirements. Men complained that their wives’ nationalities were getting in the way, a problem women had lived with for years!
In 1922, women gained the right to naturalize independent of marital status. If their husbands were already citizens, they didn’t have to file declarations of intentions (the first step in the paperwork process), just a petition (the second step in the process). Otherwise, they had to fill out both sets of papers. Eventually even this link to their husbands’ citizenship disappeared, and they just filled out their own entirely separate paperwork.
What about unmarried women and widows? They could apply for naturalization, but in especially before the 1900s, they sometimes didn’t if they had no property. They could not vote and the law didn’t always treat them fairly. They saw little benefit in investing the funds and time in applying for citizenship.
It’s fascinating how much we can learn about the status of women by the way they were treated in the records we research. It reminds us to look past the paperwork to the reasons and intentions behind it, if we really want to understand how people lived. To our foremothers, both those who gained citizenship and those who were denied it, we salute you!
Second thing: It was with your encouraging podcasts and an unrelenting techie grand-daughter, I have begun a website and blog for my families (Doudna, Brown, Allison, and Gillingham), "Billies Girl" at billiesgirl.weebly.com. I am still in the beginning steps, but am having more fun than I ever expected.
I would like to add links to your website on the pages. But, as I am, admittedly, ignorant in the ways of web-world, I am not sure if this is something I can just do or if I need to get permission from other sites to link them. I would of course be identifying and giving credit for anything I link too.
I think I can thank you for bringing me through that touchy first bit of retirement. Thanks again.” Georgia
Congratulations on your new blog! And I am always happy to have listeners link to http://www.genealogygems.com
Since my daughters are all now "leaving the nest" there have been many times over these last few years that I have been grateful to have the podcast and my listeners for helping me get through that "touchy" transition. I am very glad if I have been a help or encouragement to you in any way.
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.”