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

Nov 27, 2011

Published Nov 27, 2011

In this episode you are going to hear from Forensic Genealogist Leslie Lawson.


Genealogy News


Return of Who Do You think You Are?

NBC has just announced that the TV series Who Do You Think You Are? will be returning to television screens here in the U.S on Friday, February 3 at 8pm.  Since this falls at the same time as the RootsTech conference I wouldn’t be surprised if they plan a group screening for attendees.


RootsTech 2012

The winner of the free RootsTech 2012 registration is Carol Genung.


So I look forward to seeing Carol there and hopefully many of you listening – there’s still plenty of time to register for the conference at  And for those of you unable to attend I’ll have videos that bring the experience to via your computer in the comfort of your own home.


New Records at FamilySearch

They’ve added a wde range of new records from 20 countries, including  Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, England, Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Philippines, and the U.S. The U.S. additions include records from California, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.


RootsMagic Update

RootsMagic has released a minor update  ( which fixes a few issues. 

Read more at the RootsMagic blog


Google Milestones


Google Earth has now had more than 1 billion downloads!  Read the blog post


Google celebrated it’s 15th birthday in September 2011.


1000Memories Shoebox App

1000Mempories has launched a new free iPhone app called  "Shoebox" that they say is like putting a scanner in your pocket. 


See more about it here


Watch a short commercial video


Listen to Lisa’s interview with Michael Katchn of 1000Memories in Episode 119 




I had the pleasure of being invited up to Victoria British Columbia in October 2011 to give a full day seminar on using Google for Genealogy at the Victoria Genealogical Society. I had a marvelous time and I’ve had the pleasure of hearing from several who were in attendance that day including this email from Mike who wrote in to say.


“I couldn't make the seminar, sadly, but my better half -- Kate -- went and she came home brimming over with ideas, two books, a couple of DVDs and a ton of excitement!  We've been putting some of your ideas to great use, and having some walls get knocked down. Outstanding stuff!  I've also started listening to the GenealogyGems podcasts starting with #21, and in the first episode I already found some great hints on how to get US Naval records for my great-grandfather. Where have you been all my life?!  Thank you again for everything you do for the Genealogical community. You ARE one of the Genealogy Gems!! “



Feedback on Steve Luxenberg Interview

A topic causing my mailbox to overflow was my interview with Steve Luxenberg and his wonderful book Annie’s Ghost


Episode 120


Episode 121


Maureen posted on my Facebook Wall”

“Genealogy Gems episodes 120 and 121 are, by far, two of the best family history research podcasts that I've ever heard. Steve Luxenberg author of Annie's Ghost was full of great research ideas. These podcasts are keepers!"


Brandt posted:

"Thanks for the interviews with Steve Luxenberg and the recommendation for Annie's Ghosts. I LOVED the book, and the interviews added a lot to it. Hope he writes another one soon!"


Larraine posted:

"Annie's Ghost by Steve Luxenberg is excellent. I can't put it down! It's thanks to you Lisa that I discovered the book after listening to your podcasts."


Julie M. emailed:

“I just had to tell you how enjoyable your interview with Steve Luxenberg was! After the first part, I immediately ordered his book for Kindle (through your site, of course) and started it right away. It is compelling reading and I'm hooked on it.  What a great story told by a quality story-teller! I find it hard to put it down and look forward to getting back to it as quickly as possible. Perhaps you need to start a "good reads" section in your podcasts or newsletters. Hooked on your podcasts and trying to catch up on all of them.”

I think that’s an excellent idea! Email or leave a voice mail and tell me if you would be interested in a Genealogy Gems Book Club. 


Find out more about the book at Click on "Behind the Book," to view documents not part of the print edition.



More Terms of Endearment for Grandparents:

And there’s another topic that we’ve discussed here on the show that you’ve been continuing to write me about and that is terms of endearment for our Grandparents.


Sharon’s cute quip:

“When my son was born, my father would lean over him and put his hand on his belly and shake him a little bit saying "You little bum, you little bum!".  Well guess what my son started calling Grandpa from the moment he could form the word, "Bum!…As always Lisa, thanks for informative and entertaining podcasts!”


What Will Our Descendents Covet?

In this next email, long time listener Pat poses an interesting question:

What do you think our descendants will wish they had of ours 100 years in the future?


What comes to my mind I there is one thing that is becoming more rare today but has been around forever - our own handwriting. Everyone used to write letters and yet today we call, text and email. And yet handwriting is so personal. I think perhaps our descendants will be yearning for those rare handwriting examples.


I’d love to hear from the rest of you listening.  Email me  or leave a voicemail comment at 925-272-4021.


Laurie asks:

If I become a premium member, how do I listen on my iPod?  Is that only available on the computer?”


As a Premium Member you can add our custom Premium Membership iTunes feed to your iTunes to subscribe to the premium podcasts. All the instructions are included in the show notes for the Welcome episode.  You can also download the mp3 files from the website and manually add them to your iPod if you wish.


Family Health History:

Lisa wrote in recently with some questions around family health histories.  She writes:
I was recently told that I have breast cancer and that got me thinking about what other medical issues I should be aware of...I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to finding out my family medical history.”


Lisa I'm so sorry to hear about the diagnosis and I hope that it is early and very treatable.


I think Google Books would be a great place to start as they have all of the Ancestry magazines digitized and online. A quick search of medical history brought up several promising articles. here are some to get you started:

Building a Tree of Prevention (article)

Genealogy and Genetics article in Ancestry Magazine

Create a Family Health History (section of article)

Genograms article has a health history focus

I wish you a speedy recovery and I hope these resources are helpful to you. Take care!


Feedback from Kari on one of her favorite Genealogy Gems episodes:

“I love your podcasts.  I have learned so many things from you and your guests.        


Episode 119 was one of my favorites.  Your story about the barbie clothes and the sewing box brought back memories for me!


Kari asked about possible resources for creating a family calendar.  Lisa’s suggestions:


Family Chartmasters (for more custom 1 sheet work) Click image below:


Costco (for more quick and traditional calendars)


Lulu (for good quality, fast service and variety of sizes)






Get your free audio book and over 40,000 audio book titles to choose from at Audible:


Audiobook tItles mentioned in this episode:

The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro

Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own by Henry Louis Gates


GEM: A Forensic Genealogist

Interview with Forensic Genealogist Leslie Lawson.  Leslie specializes in missing heirs, and kinship determination.

Visit Leslie's website:  Lawson Reserach Services, LLC at 


GEM: Your Life in 5 Minutes with Sunny Morton

Visit Sunny online at

Get Sunny's book "Your Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories by clicking this link: My Life & Times


Lisa’s “iPad for Genealogy” article will appear in Family Tree Magazine

Jan 2012 issue and it starts mailing to subscribers 11/8