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

Jan 6, 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 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 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, 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
The good news is that the free app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has now officially been launched and is available in the iTunes app store. According to Michael Booth, Vice-President of RootsMagic, a version of the app for Android devices will be available in the near future.

While the app does not give you full functionality of the RootsMagic software, it does put your family tree information at your fingertips, and provides a lot of useful features including:

  • Access your actual RootsMagic files via iTunes or Dropbox
  • Easily search and explore your family tree
  • View pictures, notes, and sources 
  • Browse lists of your information and view more information about sources, to-do items, research logs, media, addresses, repositories, correspondences, and places.
  • Useful tools including a perpetual calendar, date calculator, relationship calculator, and Soundex calculator.

RootsMagic for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is free and now available in the Apple App Store. It does require the RootsMagic desktop family tree software or the free RootsMagic Essentials software to create, edit, or add to your genealogy files. More information is available at


The Southern California Genealogical Society’s popular Jamboree Extension Webinar Series. If you are looking to brush up on genealogy research or learn some new skills from the comfort of your own home, than these webinars are for you 

Jamboree Extension Series webinars are conducted the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. Saturday sessions will be held at 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time. Wednesday sessions will be scheduled at 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 

For information and to register for the 2013 sessions, 
check out the SCGS website.

Coming up in the next few months: 

Wednesday, January 16 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 

Linda Geiger Woodward, CG, CGL  

Documentation: Never Having to Ask, 'Where Did That Come From?'


Saturday, February 2 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time.

Eric Basir  

Digital Organization for Documents and Photos  


Wednesday, February 20 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 

Michael John Neill  

No Will?  No Problem


Saturday, March 2 -  10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Lisa Louise Cooke    

Time Travel with Google Earth


Two National Conferences Merge Creating Larger Family History Event

FamilySearch Adds New Records: Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and U.S.

40 Million New Genealogy Records To Help You Locate Your Family History

30 Years Ago Today: The Event That Changed Your Life Forever


Leanore wrote in to say “I listened to your virtual Christmas party where you asked each person what they were doing genealogically for Christmas.  Though I've done several fun things over the years, this year I didn't do anything (except host the whole group for Christmas.) But, one of our daughters created a very special book of our family's past Christmases.  We lived overseas for many years so each country has its own couple of pages with photos of our holiday celebrations there.  What a "trip" and a wonderful gift!”

And Jean wrote in to say: “I enjoyed listening to everyone you talked to during your virtual trip around the world.  However, I must say what I enjoyed most was listening to Davey as he explored your home and the Christmas decorations.  I loved listening to the young voice so filled with excitement and enthusiasm for everything he found!”

Cindy has a Question about Place Names: “I'm trying to clean up my place names in my database and I came across some that are before a state became a state and even some before we were even a country. I have an ancestor who died in 1704 and my tree reads: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. OR, Should I be naming places for what they are now? I think it should be the name that the place was at the time of the event, but I seem to be the only one.”

Lisa’s Answer: There are arguments on both sides. A quick Google search served up several writings on the subject in support of both using the modern location, and using the location at the time of the event.  I’ll have links in those in the show notes for you.

Modern location article

At the time of the event article

Personally, I use the location name at the time of the event. Many times I have to do a lot of work to determine the name of a location at the time of the event (like a German village that now is technically Poland), and it would be easy to lose track of that. And besides, when I am looking for the records, I typically need to look under the village name. Another consideration is that place names continue to change. So if you use "modern day" names, they are only as accurate as the date you entered them. To play it safe, I often include the modern day name in parenthesis so that I have everything I need just in case. Most important: being consistent and doing what works well for you.

I got an email from two brand New Genealogy Bloggers:
The first is Vickie Long and she says: “
I have been listening to your podcasts for months – and I’m almost caught up to the current one.  Tonight I took the plunge and with the help of my dear husband I started a genealogy blog –   Thanks for your encouragement.” Or use the URL Address:

and Jackie in Australia also has a new blog: “Am very excited to continue learning and adding to my Blog - you have inspired me to do this and I am having lots of fun - some of my family are keen for me to keep doing this!  My blogspot is only a baby at the moment - I'll give you the address - but please remember it's only just been conceived!”

Congratulations to you both for putting your family history out there and I wish you great success and hopefully even a few new cousin connections!



5 Reasons You Need the New YouTube App for Family History

How the Census will Change in the Future

The Wild West of Sound Today and in the 19th Century

Search Tips for Finding Tricky Names and Spellings in and Google



The Google Earth for Genealogy class video is now available to view for free on the Genealogy Gems website.