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Jun 19, 2012

Published June 19, 2012

In this episode we’re going to follow up on Episode #133 and my interview with Henry Louis Gates about his show Finding Your Roots with an conversation with one of the celebrities profiled on the show, Linda Chavez.




FamilySearch announced that it hit the halfway point for creating a searchable index for the 1940 U.S. census, which has been an unprecedented genealogical community effort made up of more than 125,000 volunteers

More states will be added in the coming weeks. You can follow the day-to-day indexing status at dashboard and search completed states at

However, the 1940 census is not the only record collection that FamilySearch has been working on .  They have recently added project for records from Argentina, Mecklenburg, Germany, Italy, Norway—1875 Federal Census [Part F], Panamá, Slovensko, and Venezuela


Find My Past TV Series
As you know by now the TV series Who Do You Think You Are? in the US has been cancelled. However, genealogy themed television in the UK seems to continue to thrive. 

According to an article on the UKTV website called “UKTV signs deal with Brightsolid for second series of AFP Find My Past on Yesterday”

Read the article here


My Heritage
On June 11, 2012: MyHeritage held an international online press conference and  announced that it has reached the milestone of one billion profiles. The billion individuals in nearly 23 million family trees, created by the millions of families using MyHeritage worldwide, constitute a gigantic network for discovering family heritage and connecting to relatives. Read more about it here



Janelle Collins in Australia: “Thanks to your podcast on creating a Google blog I’ve started one of my own! … Do I need to have my ancestors’ names in the blog title rather than in the text of the post itself for a search to bring up my blog post?”

“Also, LOVED the 10 Minutes More song...Do you know if there are lyrics available so I can show it to my husband to read instead? Many thanks for all your hard work in making so many podcasts. I listen to them daily while I drive to college and back most days.”

Lisa’s Answer: Congratulations on your blog!  When it comes to optimizing your blog for search, you want keywords included that other genealogists will be searching for.  So include them when possible in both the title and the body of the blog post. Consider also adding location names or other significant keywords that people will be looking for, and links to relevant websites. 

You can find lyrics on the Genealogy Widower Facebook fan page.

Alvie in Florida: “I just got back from my morning bike ride - usually an hour - and I enjoyed listening to your interview with Dr. Gates.  He is such a fascinating man. Of course, I would never take away from the whole the fact that your interview skills played an enormous role in eliciting the right responses.  You were keenly aware of your audience and their desires. Thank you for this fantastic podcast.”

Richard in Sacramento, CA: “I was wondering when someone would do it, and you did. Thanks. As all of the various genealogy blogs concerned themselves for three years with “Who Do You Think You Are”, Henry Louis Gates Jr. competed against two of those years. In both cases, I personally believe that he did a much better job than the NBC series.”

Jay in Brisbane, Australia is New to Genealogy: "I really want to thank you for your show. Not only have I found each and every episode informative and inspiring (and, yes, I've downloaded every single episode in iTunes!), helping me get starting growing my fledgling family tree, but you've also inspired me to start a blog to document my efforts and share the stories I discover."

If you are new to genealogy like Jay is, listen to my Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast.  If you haven't already discovered it, you've got another 46 episodes ahead of you. :-)

Also New to Genealogy

From Ricky: “I got totally hooked on Genealogy research this past January. In this short amount of time, I have gained A LOT of information and documents. I have listened to your podcasts. ALL of the Family History Made Easy, ALL of the Genealogy Gems and now I've started the Family Tree Magazine podcasts. I just can't get enough. I've subscribed to GG and FTM on iTunes, and I am a Premium GG subscriber. Now that I'm learning how I SHOULD HAVE been doing my research, I have a question. Should I, STOP and go back and try to do good source citations to all of the information I currently have???  Thank your for your advice.”

Lisa’s Answer: The answer is yes. However, all though it sounds like a lot of work, you'll actually benefit not only by verifying all of the data and getting it sourced properly (which will pay off big dividends in the long run) but all genealogists experience new finds and insights when revisiting sources.  You know more than you did when you first got the information, and that helps you see things in a new light.


Find-A-Grave Shocker from Roxanne in Vancouver, British Columbia: “Yesterday I put onto Find-A-Grave the details of my dad's cousin's grave in California. I was able to include the grave's exact location as I received that information a few years back from the cemetery office….I kid you not but I received a "success" email from Find-A-Grave within 1/2 hour. I couldn't believe it, is someone playing a game and put something else there? I clicked the link and oh my gosh, there was the picture of the headstone and even more exciting was that the cousin's wife shared the same headstone.”



GEM:  Interview with Linda Chavez 
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a non-profit public policy research organization in Falls Church, Virginia.  She also writes a weekly syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country and is a political analyst for FOX News Channel.  Chavez authored Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation (Basic Books 1991)      


A Key to Genealogy Brick Walls

Before I wrap up this episode I wanted to share something that happened to me the other day, and the lesson it taught me about genealogy that I think we can all benefit from. 

A few weeks ago my youngest daughter Hannah came home for a few weeks break when the college term ended.  Bill and I and Lacey and Hannah went out shopping on a Saturday afternoon, and when we go to the second store Hannah wasn’t feeling very well so she said she was just going to wait in the car. So I handed her the car keys, and we all went inside to finish our final errand.  Read the rest of my story here.