Thu, 11 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.”
Tue, 30 April 2013
Travel back to #RootsTech - You'll hear 10 Top Tips for How to Bust Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall, and get the scoop on the new partnership between OCLC / WorldCat and FamilySearch.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend a genealogy event yet this year, don’t fret, because in today’s episode while I get back to my laundry and packing to travel to Tennessee to present a genealogy seminar, you are going to hear two recordings we did at RootsTech.
First up is Jay Jordon, President of OCLC which you may know as the WorldCat. We got a chance to sit down at RootsTech to chat about their new partnership with familysearch which will bring the familysearch catalogue to WorldCat.
Watch the Video:
Then you’re going to hear 10 Top Tips for How to Bust Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall – The winner of the free RootsTech registration that we gave away on the Genealogy Gems blog Sarah Stout, got an opportunity to sit down with me and Canadian Genealogy Guru Dave Obee to discuss her brick wall (read all about it here) which spanned the Canadian and US border. But the locations weren’t really the important thing here. The 10 Tips that Dave dished up can really be used by every family historian to achieve genealogy success.
Watch the Video:
Dave Obee’s Top 10 Tips:
1. Create a Timeline – “plot her life…it’s easier to see the holes.”
Resources Mentioned in the video:
Click here to see where Lisa will be presenting next
Click here to book Lisa for your next event
Fri, 29 March 2013
Enjoy a blast from the past with episode #10 featuring Steve Morse and his One-Step website. Then delight in Darius Gray, a genealogist and storyteller who provides tips on sharing your family history stories with your family, (recorded at #RootsTech 2013)
GEM: A Blast from the Past -Episode: # 10
Original Publish Date: May 01, 2007
GEM: Stephen Morse
It’s estimated that nearly 40% of Americans today have an ancestor who arrived in the United States at Ellis Island. I know I certainly do.
Well, ship’s passenger records are really exciting to find and to work with. If you have an ancestor who came through Ellis Island, you’re going to want to make it a priority to find their record.
Steve Morse, described to those of us at the seminar, the success and the frustrations that he encountered in trying to retrieve records from the ellisisland.org database.
Steve experienced much of the same frustration that we often do. However, he just happens to be a world renowned engineer. He holds electrical engineering degrees from three universities, which he put to good use when he designed the Intel 8086, the predecessor to today’s Pentium processor.
And being an amateur genealogist he put those skills to good use by developing the One-Step Ellis Island website to make those records easier to find. Since that time the One-Step site has really been expanded to include new search capabilities and an array of color-coded search forms.
Today Steve recommends use of his Gold Form that searches all New York passengers using enhanced search options. It uses the database at ellisisland.org but has its own search form and search engine that provides the enhanced features.
When you use the Ellis Island website you’ll most likely have to keep going back and revising and adding to your search to get what you need. But using the Steve’s Gold Form website, all the search criteria are there on one page for you to choose from and use. You’ll be using your search time much more effectively – and you know me, I want to get the most I can out of my research time.
The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding these ship passengers in the Ellis Island database. Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census. Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes over 100 web-based tools divided into twelve separate categories. They range from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations. He even has a last-minute bidding form you can use for e-bay! If you listened to Episode 3 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast on Ebay, then you know that I was excited to hear that!
Please let other genealogists know about how much you enjoy the Genealogy Gems Podcast:
GEM: Interview with Genealogy Guru and Storyteller Darius Gray at RootsTech 2013
Book Lisa to teach your genealogy group about how to use Google Earth for Genealogy!
Click here to see where Lisa will be speaking next in person
Fri, 8 March 2013
I am back from speaking at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference in London, and I’ve brought back some gems for you for this episode which I’m excited about. I got to spend about a week in England and this time around got to do some touring with my friend Janet Hovorka owner of Family ChartMasters. We went to Windsor castle which I’ve always wanted to see, and it did not disappoint.
What windsor castle can teach us about family history. It’s all in the details!
The highlight for me was going to Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire. I’m an Austenphile, and I soaked in nooks and crannies of the home where she lived with her sister Cassandra. It was fantastic seeing the little desk where she worked on her books like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma.” Janet and finished up the tour with tea at Cassandra’s Cup teashop across the street, where hundreds of china tea cups hang from the ceiling, and where I had the best bowl of tomato soup in my entire life!
Oh yeah, I was there for a genealogy conference. And yes, WDYTYA Live lived up to all expectations. Janet and I had a booth and I taught classes on Google Search and using your iPad and tablet for genealogy. The classes were sold out and people were lined up around the walls. The turn-out they get for this event is just incredible. I haven’t heard the final numbers, but word is it was well over 12,000 people over the three days.
So here’s my own genealogy story from the event. Now, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while then you may remember me telling you about my first trip to WDYTYA Live and how after one of my presentations several of my husband’s distant English Cook cousins met up with us and we sort of had an impromptu family reunion upstairs in the expo hall. One of those in attendance was Louise Cook (without the “e”) who is married to my husband’s cousin Peter. I know, it gets a little confusing with Louise Cook and Lisa Louise Cooke! But anyway, Louise and I stay regularly in touch, and we met up at the conference this year. She found me after one of my classes and we got to visit, and she told me that she was going to help out with her friend’s society booth. So we are walking back to my booth, and when we arrive, she looks up and laughs because the Lincolnshire booth was right next to ours and there was her chair!
Can you imagine if we had not already met, that Lisa Louise Cooke, and Louise Cook would have been sitting right next to each other throughout the conference not knowing that our husbands were related by way of their third Great Grandfather? ! The moral of the story: Next time you sit down at a genealogy conference introduce yourself to those next to you, you never know who you might be related to.
Following in Family History Footsteps: Young Genealogist Scholarship Available
Find My Past Series now on the website
Register on findmypast.com for free and watch Find My Past episodes that aired in the last 30 days at no cost. Missed an episode or want to watch your favorites again? Findmypast subscribers can watch all episodes for an unlimited time. Every episode will be available to watch on findmypast.com a week after it airs.
Delray wants to know where the Family History Podcast Show Notes have gone...
Gus chimes in on Genealogy Podcast No. 148
Dan shares his experience with copyright:
Getting the Word out on a Genealogy Blog
Over the past two years, I have tackled genealogy from a different perspective: that of looking at my great-grandpa Hugh Breeding’s trucking company. At first, I merely intended on putting together some basic facts and figures on the company and calling it a day. However, I have really gotten into the history of the company and the place it held in the trucking industry…the employee vignettes featured throughout my company research really drives home the story of the company on a more personal level as well as adding much more color to the overall history of the firm.
GEM: WDYTYA Round Up
Genealogy Gems Listeners
Cliona and Lisa
Interview with Dr. Turi King
Full interview on Premium Episode 97
Check out my two article in the March / April 2013 issue of Family Tree Magazine
The Evernote vs. Microsoft OneNote Quick Guide and
The Toolkit Tutorial Using the David Rumsey Map Collection
Thu, 14 February 2013
In this episode we wrap up my 50 Fabulous Family History Favorites List
On Friday I babysat my two grandsons Davy and Joey, and I put together a little game that was prompted by a listener email.
You met long time listener and Premium Member Dot in Australia during our virtual Christmas Party in episode 147, and after the show aired, Dot wrote me to say how much she enjoyed it and to tell me about a little concentration game she put together for her granddaughter.
When my kids were growing up we called in the Memory Game and I know some folks call it the Match Game. But no matter what you call it, it’s the game where you have a set of cards that are all pairs, and you lay them upside down in rows on the table and two at a time turn them over trying to find matches. The person with the most matches wins. Dot made up cards with photos of her family members.
She writes: “She opened the little box I was holding and went through the photos one by one. We put a few pairs down at a time, and as she turned them over she matched them. I included our pets as well.”
I wrote Dot back to let her know that MyHeritage.com had something similar. You have to sign in to your free account. In the menu you will find the MyHeritage Family Game under the Apps tab
When Davy, who is three years old, arrived on Friday I got to thinking about all this, and I quickly whipped together a set of cards using photos of family members and ancestors.
How to Make a Quick Memory Game:
It was a lot of fun and a great way to incorporate family history in to daily activities. I think when we do that it makes family history more of a natural part of our kid’s lives.
Dot also mentioned to me that she found an app for her iPad called Match which lets you add your own photos. It’s by Apps Kids Love. This is a really fun app and if you set up a folder of your ancestor photos in Flickr it’s a snap to add them.
And the other fun things I did this weekend was watch a movie called Play the Game. My daughter Hannah told me about it and set it up in my Netflix Instant Queue when she was here over the holidays, and we finally got a chance to sit down and watch it. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s movie to watch with your sweetie, this is it.
It is a little independent film from 2008 starring one of my all-time favorites – Andy Griffith. It’s about the relationship between a young man and his grandfather, and how they coach each other through their love lives. It’s funny, and sweet, and that’s very refreshing. You can check it out at the movie’s website called http://www.playthegamemovie.com
Show Your Love
Have you enjoyed the podcast, the Genealogy Gems app, the website, one of my books? Show your love (just in time for Valentine's Day!) by casting your votes!
The 2013 About Genealogy Readers' Choice Awards are open for nominations in a variety of categories, ranging from genealogy software and apps, to websites and blogs. Click on the links below to nominate your favorite sites. Nominations for the 2013 About Genealogy Readers' Choice Awards are open until midnight (EST) on February 17, 2013.
GEM: 50 Fabulous Family History Favorites
Genealogy charts in one form or another have been around since people started keeping track of their family history. And even with all the technology we have today, sometimes there is just no substitute for a paper chart to help you work through the complicated relationships in your family tree. My first favorite gems are in the chart category, free charts that you can use online and offline to help you keep things organized, as well as help you share your family tree with others.
26. About Genealogy
View, download, save and print free family tree charts and forms including U.S. Census Extraction forms. In this collection you will find traditional family tree suitable for printing, as well as interactive charts that allow you to type in the fields online (using the free Adobe Reader program) before saving them to your computer.
Deep in the Ancestry website are a diverse collection of free downloadable forms and charts. Select from Ancestry Ancestral Form, Research Calendar, Research Extract, Correspondence Record, Family Group Sheet, Source Summary, US, UK and Canadian Census forms.
28. Family Tree Magazine
Offers a wide selection of free downloadable charts including a Five-Generation Ancestor Chart, Family Group Sheet, Research Calendar, and Repository Checklist. You’ll also find forms for Cemetery Transcription, Immigration, Records, Oral History, Heirlooms, and census extraction forms for every US enumeration.
At marthastewart.com they offer an online decorative Family Tree Fan Chart template suitable for framing. In the search box on the site’s home page search for “Family Tree Charts” and you’ll find several lovely charts in the results list that include instructions and downloadable templates. You’ll also find other “good things” including free videos and family tree display ideas.
The Family ChartMasters chart creation tool--Family ChArtist-- is a great way to make a decorative 8.5x11 chart suitable for scrapbooking, framing or other craft projects. Enter your information manually or via gedcom and choose one of the simple pedigree chart designs. You can edit your information and then choose from hundreds of borders, background and embellishments or even use your own pictures in your chart.
You can tell by the way I opened this show that I love a good movie, and I particularly love movies with family history themes and stories of immigration. This next group of favorites is what I consider to be some of the best:
31. Full of Life
32. Sweet Land
The Movie website: http://www.sweetlandmovie.com/
When Lars Torvik’s grandmother Inge dies in 2004, he is faced with a decision – sell the family farm on which she lived since 1920, or cling to the legacy of the land. Seeking advice, he turns to the memory of Inge and the stories that she had passed on to him.
The movie is based on Will Weaver’s short story A Gravestone Made of Wheat and shot on location in Southern Minnesota.
33. The Emigrants
Starring Max Von Sydow. In episode 24 I mentioned the book which was made into a movie. Episode 24
(Swedish: Utvandrarna) “The Emigrants” is a 1971 Swedish film directed by Jan Troell. It tells the story of a Swedish group who emigrate from Småland, Sweden to Minnesota in the 19th century. The film follows the hardship of the group in Sweden and on the trip. The film is based on the first two novels of The Emigrants suite by Vilhelm Moberg: The Emigrants and Unto a Good Land.”
34. America, America
(British title The Anatolian Smile) A 1963 American dramatic film directed, produced and written by Elia Kazan, from his own book. In this tale, loosely based upon the life of Kazan's uncle.
Conferences and Events
Stuff for Kids
Every day that we invest in genealogy research it becomes even more important that we capture the interest of the next generation in family history. If we don’t, it could all be lost and for nothing. This next group of faves are tools you can use to accomplish this important task.
My Favorite Episodes
44. The Forensic Linguist Dr. Robert Leonard
45. My interview with Venice
46. Interview with Lisa Kudrow
47. Chris Haley sings
48. Steve Luxenberg
49. Interview with Gena Ortega
50. Heritage Quilts
Mon, 4 February 2013
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 150
In celebration of this 150th episode and my 50th birthday, I bring you:
50 Fabulous Family History Favorites
and of course in Episode 54 I explained how I used the American memory website to locate the original sheet music for one of the songs in the Name that Tune segment.
4. US Bureau of Land Management
5. Google books
7. Stanford University’s Data Visualization Mapping Journalism’s Journey West
8. The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
9. FamilySearch’s Research Wiki
Another fabulous gem out there is YouTube. Did you ever think that YouTube would be a fabulous genealogy gem? Well, it really is, and video is the fastest growing segment online and it’s not just cute cat videos and stupid pranks. There’s a ton of great genealogical related content, and I want to share some great family history channels to get you started
11. USNational Archives YouTube channel
13. FamilySearch Channel
15. Library of Congress channel
Here’s a description of that playlist from the channel: “Highlights include films of the United States Postal Service from 1903, cattle breeding, fire fighters, ice manufacturing, logging, gymnastic exercises in schools, amusement parks, boxing, expositions, football, parades, swimming, and other sporting events.
The majority of the films presented here are from the Paper Print Collection, while the remainder are from the George Kleine Collection, both residing in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (M/B/RS) of the Library of Congress. Both of these collections have printed catalogs available in the Motion Picture and Television Reading Room at the Library.
The films were selected from these two collections on the basis of the activities pictured in the films and the quality of the available prints. As many different types of work, school, and leisure activities as could be found were sought in order to show the broadest possible representation of activities at the turn of the century. The selection is limited, however, by what is available from these collections; not every possible occupation or leisure activity from the turn of the century is represented.
The films in the Paper Print Collection were deposited for copyright from 1894 to 1912 as positive pictures on paper. Many were deposited in this manner on paper rolls frame by frame. For preservation and access purposes, the Library of Congress has made 16mm prints of these Paper Print titles, and has more recently been making 35mm prints of selected titles.”
This collection is a wonderful way to revisit how folks spent their time in the early part of the 20th century.
16. Depression Era Cooking with Clara
17. Mike O’Laughlin Channel
24. Best Phone Security
Stay tuned for the next episode where we wrap up with the second half of the list!
Thu, 24 January 2013
Genealogy Gems Podcast
The April 15 tax deadline is looming: did you know that The Civil War income tax was the first tax paid on individual incomes by residents of the United States?
There is a fascinating article by Cynthia G. Fox on the subject called Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years. It appears on the National Archives website and is excerpted from the Prologue Magazine Winter 1986 edition, Vol. 18, No. 4.
GEM #1: Anna-Karin’s Genealogical Podcast
Anna-Karin Schander lives in Sweden and she publishing a podcast in English about Swedish-American genealogy. It will contain both information about Swedish genealogy and history and records and what happened to the Swedes who immigrated mainly to USA (but also to other countries) and the records they left. She includes wonderful old traditional Swedish music as well.
GEM #2 – A website dedicated to the only war fought on American soil by Americans: The Civil War
SONG: Battle of Manassas
Gov. Sam Houston-Texas: “Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives you may win Southern independence, but I doubt it. The North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche.”
The Civil War began at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina 146 years ago this week on April 12. 3 million fought - 600,000 died.
Chances are someone in your family tree fought in the war. But one thing we know for sure, if you’ve traced any of your family lines back to the 1860s in the US, then you have folks in your tree who lived through and were deeply affected by the Civil War. We’re going to want to learn more about their experience in order to understand their lives. This will lead us to more genealogical leads.
Read about the Civil War in the newspapers that your ancestors read. In addition to the newspapers available by paid subscription on Ancestry.com, there’s a terrific free resource!
Locate ancestors who may have fought in the war. A terrific website is the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System Website
Areas of the System:
Soldiers The CWSS includes 6.3 million soldier names from the National Archives, which were compiled by NPS' in the CWSS project. As of February, 2000, volunteers in over 36 states had completed the data entry of all the 6.3 million soldier names from 44 states & territories. The two final editing processes for the records have recently been completed.
Sailors The NPS and its' CWSS partners are committed to eventually include the names of all Union and Confederate Naval personnel. Given that the records sources for the Navy are not as well organized as the Army records, nor are they micro-filmed, the target date for this is still to be determined.
Regiments The CWSS will include histories of over 4,000 Union and Confederate units (regiments), which will be linked to soldiers' names and battle histories. These will be completed this year as part of the CWSS site. The site currently includes regimental histories of units from 44 states and territories.
Battles In the CWSS The unit histories are linked to histories of the 364 most significant Civil War battles already on the Internet from the NPS' American Battlefield Protection Program. These battle histories were compiled as part of a report to Congress by the Civil War Sites Advisory Committee.
Prisoners The current version of the CWSS includes prisoner records of Union prisoners at Andersonville and Confederate prisoners at Fort McHenry.
Cemeteries The National Park Service manages 14 National Cemeteries, all but one of which is related to a Civil War battlefield park. The NPS is planning on listing all names of burials in these cemeteries on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. The first phase involves data taken from written records of Poplar Grove National Cemetery at Petersburg National Battlefield, and also includes images of the headstones.
Medal of Honor This feature of the CWSS includes information on over 1,200 Civil War soldiers and sailors who received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
And National Parks
FEATURED areas of the site:
NEW STORIES: The National Park Service Civil War Institute – Stories of the Civil War addresses the social, economic, political & military aspects of the war.
EDUCATE – for teachers providing civil war curriculum materials from national parks & lesson plans on building a family history.
Looking for more on the civil war on the internet? Check out the Military Indexes website and follow the links to a wide range of web resources. http://www.militaryindexes.com/civilwar/
Genealogy Gems Podcast
It’s Tax Day – Check out your ancestor’s tax records using the links at http://www.cyndislist.com/taxes.htm
GEM #1: Great San Francisco Earthquake
Song: “Hello, Frisco!” By Harvey Hindermeyer, a 1915 wax cylinder recording by The Edison Co.
101 years ago, on April 18, 1906 at 5:13 am an earthquake nearly 8.0 on the Richter Scale hit San Francisco. A slip in the San Andreas Fault caused Shock waves up and down the Pacific Coast. Hundreds Died. Fires did the most damage.
My Great Grandma was 7 months pregnant with my maternal grandfather when the quake struck. They were living at on Kentucky St., in the city at that time, and I can’t imagine what she must have gone through. In 1906 my Great grandpa worked as a motorman on a cable car. Shortly after the earthquake he went into a very sensible new career – Life Insurance Salesman!
A great place to start learning more about this moment in American History is at the USGS website
Next stop…The Virtual Museum of the city of SF
Audio: When I did a search in Google for San Francisco Earthquake Audio I found “Remembering the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake” an audio recording by National Public Radio. The website not only allows you to listen to the original broadcast, but offers a truly multimedia presentation including a timeline, photos, and videos
But how were genealogy records impacted by this catastrophic event?” The San Francisco 1906 Earthquake Great Register. Led by Gladys Hansen, San Francisco City Archivist Emeritus and her team. Video of Gladys talking about the project:
On the website, Gladys Hansen states the following “Because of government and financial interests of the time, the official San Francisco death toll has always been extolled as remarkably small. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors official count in 1907 was only 478. It was thought that a high death toll would hamper the rebuilding and repopulation of the city.”
Originally Gladys focused on the 1906 Earthquake Dead using the death dates between April 18, 1906 - May 19, 1906. However with the Governor's Earthquake Task Force now defines an earthquake death as "… an immediate fatality resulting from an earthquake or an earthquake-caused injury or illness that becomes fatal within a period of ONE YEAR following the earthquake." This dramatically broadens the scope of the research.
Gladys and her team are now embarking on an effort to compile an accurate account of those affected by the 1906 earthquake. This time they are looking for information on everyone who was in San Francisco at that time, not just those who died. They consider all stories.
Book Resource by Gladys Hansen Denial of Disaster: The Untold Story and Photographs of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
GEM #2 Shake Up Your Research Strategy
Step 1: Locate the event on a Timeline. History.com – This Day in History
Step 2: Internet Searches
Sat, 5 January 2013
Welcome to the first episode of 2013, and there is certainly a lot already going on this year, and this episode is packed with genealogy news, your emails and of course gems tucked in along the way.
One of the longest running and best known websites is Cyndislist at cyndislist.com. The website is run by Cyndi Howells, and for over 16 years she has meticulously catalogued all of the websites that are devoted to genealogy. Anyone can go to cyndislist.com for free and follow the topic links to find online resources on just about any area of genealogy.
Back on Nov 1, 2012 Cyndi posted an article on Facebook describing how she had discovered that another website had copied her entire website – not just a few links, but the entire website, and made it available on their website.
According to Justia.com, a site that makes available public information on Dockets and lawsuit filings Cyndi's List and Cynthia Howells has formally filed a law suit against the alleged content snatching website. But the real shocker, the website in question isn’t some random spam website, but rather one that was launched in 2012 by an established genealogist, Barry Ewell. The site is called MyGenShare and in addition to free content Barry offers paid membership for access to all the content.
Because there is an active lawsuit the folks involved can’t really talk about it, so we don’t have much more information. But we will keep you informed as we learn more, and I would be interested in to know what you think.
RootsMagic App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Now Available