Tue, 9 October 2012
Have you ever wondered how the Internet works? I mean, how data from your computer actually makes to another computer somewhere else around the world? I found a very cool video that really manages to explain a very complex process that happens in a matter of seconds in a way that actually makes a lot of sense. And yet while it made sense, after I watched it it was almost harder to believe that it really works at all because it’s so amazing. Even if you are typically a person who doesn’t bother to click on videos, you have got to check out How Does the Internet Work in the newest of edition of the free Genealogy Gems Podcast email newsletter. Go to www.genealogygems.com and enter your email to sign up.
Read Lisa's blog post: Money Growing on Trees: Ancestry Buying and Selling
While the world’s largest online family history resource, Ancestry.com, awaits a possible buyout, they are keeping busy buying other companies. Reuters reported that Permira Advisers LLP has emerged as the front-runner to take Ancestry private in a deal that could exceed $1.5 billion. (Read more about the possible acquisition at PEHUB)
Ancestry also released the following press release about the company’s latest acquisition, San Francisco based 1000Memories. You can learn more about 1000 Memories by listening to my interview with Michael Katchen, Director of Business Development at 1000Memories in Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 119.
Learn more about using Google Books for genealogy in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox.
New Premium Episode 92
In the newest episode (#92) of the Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast I’ll tell you about a terrific example of a website that has set the goal of have every image they possess (allowable by copyright) digitized and on their website by early 2013
I’m also going to tell you about something pretty shocking that happened to me recently while speaking at an international genealogy conference. I was really taken by surprise, and received some unexpected questions. I will share those with you as well as some solid answers.
It’s another packed episode. If you are a member sign in now to start listening. Become a Member today.
Stephanie also wrote in with an opinion about Ancestry Trees
From Loretta: Ancestry Trees
Ricky in Birmingham, Alabama asks about citing sources and paper and file organization
GEM: New Family History Bloggers
First up is David Lynch who started a blog on his St. Croix research
The reason I’m writing is that sometimes we forget that the world wasn’t homogeneous throughout the 1800s. Right now, I’m writing a series on illegitimate births on the island of St. Croix from 1841-1934. From my research, it seems that over 77% of the children born were to unmarried households. Typically they formed stable family units, but just didn’t marry. In fact, in my personal family history, I have a set of ancestors who had 16 children and got married after their 12th child was born. In the US at the same time, only about 4% of the children were illegitimate.”
Jennifer shares her blog
Sonja Hunter wrote in to share her blogging success
I also wanted to let you know you inspired me to start blogging. I rang in the New Year by starting a blog about doing genealogy in my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. One primary goal is to highlight helpful area resources. I imagine this will be most helpful to those new to conducting family history research in the area.
In addition, I am trying to include Kalamazoo area or Michigan history items that I think are interesting. One example is an article I found in the local paper describing what Kalamazooans from 1884 imagined life would be like in 1984. I've also written about poisonous cheese in the 1880s, diphtheria and the case of my gg-grandfather's brother-in-law who may or may not have committed suicide by slitting his throat. I consulted Paula Sassi for that case and plan to blog about her handwriting analysis in the future.
Thank you for inspiring me to embark on this project! I'm learning a lot. And keep up the good and valuable work you do on your podcasts!
From John in Maryland:
And finally Shannon Bennett has really made a blogging splash. She writes:
However, I do have to blame you for the latest adventure in my life, which is why I am writing. Listening to you tell us, in almost every episode, about the importance of having a family blog finally sank in. The first couple of times I heard you say it I thought to myself “there’s no way I would/could ever do such a thing, I barely have time to keep up with my Live Journal account.” A few weeks went by and the thoughts began to change to “hmmm…maybe I could do this.” Then after 4 months of thinking about it I started to do some research into how to run a successful blog.”
Shannon took the plunge and applied to Family Tree University to write for their Family Firsts Blog. “I come to find out that they are looking for their second blogger. I sat…I thought…I clicked the application button. Yes, on a whim I entered because I thought I had nothing to lose. You see I never win these types of things.
A month goes by, and I have given into the feeling that well it was a good try but of course I didn’t get it.…then later on that week I find out I won it!
So thank you, I never would have entered let alone thought about creating my own blog less than a year into my family research, without you and your wonderful podcasts.”
Tue, 25 September 2012
In this episode we are pulling back the curtain on the Antiques Roadshow, as well as talking a bit about what to include and not include in your family tree.
I’m just back from Odessa Texas where I presented a full day seminar at the Permian Basin Genealogical Society. I got to enjoy a big dose of Texas hospitality and had an absolutely wonderful time.
Next up I’m heading to Kelowna British Columbia for the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society Harvest Your Family Tree 2012 Conference where I will be again doing four presentations as well as a Meet the Speakers panel.
Family Tree Magazine Digital Subscriptions from Kathy: “I subscribe to Family Tree Magazine. Can I download my print subscription to my iPad....as you can with other subscriptions? Or do I need to pay for each issue that I download? Family Chart Masters helped me with my Family Tree Chart. It was beautiful and was a hit at our Family Reunion. Janet was so helpful. Thank you for the recommendation. Love your podcasts.”
Lisa’s Answer: The Family Tree Magazine digital subscription is separate from the print subscription, unless you have purchase their VIP Subscription. So you can either purchase individual digital issues from the Shop Family Tree Store, or you can purchase a separate annual digital subscription. I think they keep it separate because not everyone wants both. Click here for a $10 off coupon for ShopFamilyTree and when you use that link it also supports the free Genealogy Gems Podcast. Thank you!
Get Lisa’s Book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse
Replacement for RAOGK
From Mary in Iowa: “In Podcast #139, Ricky asked about a successor to the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness website. There are actually three Facebook groups (not pages) carrying on the task of looking up genealogy information and other requests. They are RAOGK, RAOGK - USA, and RAOGK - International. You need to be a member of the Facebook group to post a message or request, but most requests for membership are granted quickly.”
Scott from Oakland Maine: “I am in need of some advice regarding an un-cooperative family member. My father’s brother wants nothing to do with our family, and in years past once referred to himself as the “black sheep”. He has absolutely no interest in genealogy and is not at all willing to be a part of the family story that I am putting together. My question is, how do I reference this character in my tree.”
Lisa’s Answer: I imagine every family has a tough nut on a branch of the family tree! I’m a firm believer in the truth, and what I would do if it were me is to include basic data (that is publicly available) on him on my private, personal family tree. On trees and other info you make available publicly, (such as an online family tree) I would list him and his immediate family only as "Living" and whether they are male or female. In the end you have to do what seems right for you.
From Glenn: “Just wanted to say a quick thanks for both podcasts you produce…I've been interested in the Family History for some time…Recently my interest has arisen again, of course I have made classic mistake in not documenting everything, and just collecting names, dates and so forth. So in the last 6 months I've been citing sources and updating the database. One of the quandaries I have is when do you stop, not so much vertically, but how wide do you go, in relation to cousins, second cousins and families? Probably the main question I have is trying to decide whether to get a subscription to Ancestry.com or not, I feel I'm at that stage where online document will help out, in filling in the leaves on my branches.”
Lisa’s Answer: Go as wide as you want and are interested in. I would recommend adding basic info for someone you find who you won’t be pursuing, so that if down the road you run in to a brick wall and you need to do some cluster research or reverse genealogy, you will have new leads to follow. RE: Ancestry - I think you will find that Ancestry membership is a very cost effective and time saving way to do your research. Mine has been invaluable. See if you can find a 7 day free trial to check it out and confirm they have the kinds of records you need.
GEM: Diane Haddad Pulls Back the Curtain on The Antiques Roadshow
Diane Haddad is the Managing Editor at Family Tree Magazine.
Click here for $10 off coupon for ShopFamilyTree good through 12/31/13. Thanks for supporting this free podcast!
Music in this segment:
The Antiques Roadshow Remix
By The Elusive MrHatchard
GEM: Halloween History Tidbits
Follow Lisa on Pinterest
GEM: Newspaper Milestones
On September 15, 1982, USA Today began publishing
On September 18, 1851, the New York Times issued its first edition
On September 25, 1690, the first newspaper in America was published for one day in Boston before being shut down by British authorities unhappy with its content.
Get Lisa’s Book How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers
Tue, 11 September 2012
Published Sept 11, 2012
Enjoy a Blast from the Past with Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 140. You'll hear episodes 3 and 4 from 2007.
EPISODE 3 - Originally Aired March 11, 2007
A big thanks to Bill Puller of the Genealogy Tech Podcast, for mentioning the Genealogy Gems Podcast in his March 7 blog.
New to Podcasting? How to Subscribe to this podcast for FREE
GEM: GOOGLE ALERTS & EBAY FAVORITE SEARCHES (aka eBay Alerts)
Check out Bill Puller’s podcast Episode #8 of the Genealogy Tech Podcast
You can create a thousand!
(Idea: Start with those items you highlighted in your family journals (See episode #2 below)
EBAY FAVORITE SEARCHES:
How to create a Favorite Search in eBay:
You’ll probably receive your first emails tomorrow morning!
GEM: FAMILY HISTORY DISPLAYS
EPISODE 4 - Originally Aired March 17, 2007
HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY
A Tribute to My Irish Roots-"Michael Lynch came to America first, and bought his land in Wisconsin in 1857. He then wrote to a friend still in Ireland, and asked him to find him an Irish wife. Margaret Scully was 16 at the time and agreed to go. She traveled with her brothers Dan & Tom Scully in 1860. They were married April 10, 1860 in Stillwater, MN."
Michael’s land was covered in timber. He cleared all the land with oxen. Margaret was very afraid of the Indians. There were terrible Sioux Indian uprisings in the area at the time. Family she would not stay in their cabin alone while Michael was clearing the land. So she would take the children and hide in the woods."
Margaret (nee Scully) Lynch
Born July 17, 1839 in Limerick, Ireland
She died at the age of 87 and left behind 7 of her 8 children, 40 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
Find your Irish ancestors now with this book:
In Search of Your British and Irish Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your English, Welsh, Scottish, & Irish Ancestors [Paperback]
Buy through our Amazon search box and support the free podcast.
Angus Baxter wrote a terrific book about finding your German ancestors which I found invaluable. “In Search…” will take you step by step back to Britain and Ireland, even if you are new to family history research.
From the MAILBOX:
Kay Alderman saying that she’s enjoying the podcast and has added Genealogy Gems to her new genealogy blog called Another Amateur Genealogist. (Update: no longer available)
DVD Gem: Berkeley Square
My eldest daughter and I have been glued to this DVD since we started it. We are both HUGE Pride & Prejudice fans (The A&E version) and are thrilled to find a serial of the same caliber. Berkeley Square follows the intertwining lives of three London nannies at the turn of the 20th century. Each episode (and there are 10 – yummy!!) is packed with romance, intrigue, and plot twists that have kept us glued to the couch. We’ll be watching these nannies over and over in the future just as we do Lizzie and her sisters! Buy Berkeley Square through our Amazon search box and support the free podcast.
What is it? YouTube is an online video streaming service that allows anyone to share videos with others by uploading them to the site. In addition, it allows member to view the videos of others. The website address is youtube.com
Sign up is easy and free:(Update: If you have a free Google account that will be your YouTube account)
Caution: Be aware that there is objectionable content on YouTube. Nonetheless, it is a powerful medium for genealogists to use, and I predict it will go by leaps and bounds when it comes to family history and history in general.
Videos I found relating to my family’s history:
Der Deutsche Osten - Ostpreußen/The Germ.East: East Prussia
South East England old film
Get this book and max out the potential of YouTube yourself: YouTube for Dummies. Buy through our Amazon search box and support the free podcast.
Remember, www.YouTube.com isn’t just for teenagers anymore!
“Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wed, 29 August 2012
Published August 29, 2012
Let's get ready to go back to school - family history school! And I've got some exciting new to tell you about!
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #139 brought to you by two times Grandma Lisa Louise Cooke. Yes, indeed my second little Grandson was born on August 15, 2012 about 2 ½ weeks early, and he and his mommy my daughter Vienna are doing marvelously. His name is Joseph, and we’ll all be calling him Joey which I absolutely adore, and even better his middle name is Cooke.
Life is good, and being a Sha Sha as Davy calls me is heaven on earth that’s for sure.
This month Ancestry announced that it has completed the records indexing process for the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, which you can find at www.ancestry.com/1940census.
Since the initial release of the 1940 U.S. Census by the National Archives in April, Ancestry.com has progressively published information state by state. But now, no longer will you have to look up enumeration districts. Now all 134 million records are now searchable for free by name, date, place of birth and other key information recorded in the census.
You’ll also be able to make corrections or update information that is incomplete, leading to a better overall database of information.
Assisting you with navigating the 1940 U.S. Census is Ancestry.com’s Interactive Image Viewer, which enables users to browse document pages with simple graphical overlays. The viewer adds highlights, transcriptions and other functionality directly on the Census page. This enables users to access small census fields by scrolling over them and getting a pop up that magnifies the information that was recorded by census takers.
In the 1940 census you find information on whether your ancestor’s owned or rented their home, the value of the residence and how many people lived there. For the first time, census takers in 1940 also asked questions specific to income and education. And you may be surprised what you will not find, like details on military service, whether they could read or write, and whether they spoke English which were all questions that were asked in prior censuses.
You will find the 1940 census in its entirety at www.ancestry.com/1940census
FamilySearch Volunteer Opportunity: US Immigration & Naturalization Genealogy Project
In my last Premium podcast, I mentioned that Chronicling America, the Library of Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov Congress’ historical newspaper website, sent out a newsletter on using Civil War maps printed in the New York Daily Tribune. I just have to share more on this with everyone!
And finally, here’s something fun from George Mason’s University’s History News Network website:
If you have teens in your family then chances are you have heard the phrase OMG which stands for oh my God. But have you ever wondered who started it? You may have thought it was Alicia Silverstone in the 1995 movie Clueless, but actually you have to dig much further back in history to find its origins. All the way back to 1917 in fact. Read the rest of the story
In Google Books:
Amy in Santa Rosa, CA posted the following question on the Genealogy Gems Facebook Fan page:
Amy has one more question:
Stick to proven genealogy methodology to find out more about him. Start with his death and move backward in time. I would look for a newspaper obituary, census records (if he was alive prior to 1940), general ancestry.com searches, and military records.
RootsMagic forum explaining how many users have accomplished this. It's perfectly ok to have 2 sets of parents because that was the reality of the situation. And it only seems right as adoptive parents do the actual parenting. I can't imagine leaving them out. I hope that helps. Good luck and thanks for listening to the podcast!
Brandt has a question about place names
Ricky in Alabama also has two questions
When I save it to my database (FTM right now but I just got roots magic5) it saves just like a photo. Should I create a word document and insert the image making it a document? Same for death certificates I've saved from microfilm."
On On the PC:
2. Right click on the image
3. Select Properties
4. Click the DETAILS tab
5. Enter keyword tags and details about the image
To keep jpegs and other files organized and coordinated with your genealogy database, check out the Hard Drive Organization video series that is part of Premium Membership.
Ricky’s second questions:
If you're not active on Facebook, I would recommend going to the www.usgenweb.org and going to the state and then county website for the county where you need the help. Many county sites have LookUp help and ways to connect with those in the area who can be of help. And of course if you are looking for help with obtaining a photograph of a grave, try www.findagrave.com or www.billiongraves.com
This time of year everyone is heading back to school, and it’s a good reminder that not only could we benefit from continuing to pursue our own genealogical education, but in an effort to foster an appreciate for our family history and ensure its survival we really need to be educating the children in our families about family history, what it means, why it matters and even how to learn more about it on their own.
Earlier this year at the National Genealogical Society conference that was held in Cincinnati, Ohio a young mom approached me and told me she just published some books on how to teach your children about genealogy. And this wasn’t just a book but rather a curriculum.
Branching Out Curriculum by Jennifer Holik
If you’re not quite ready to jump into a curriculum, maybe you’re just not sure that your kids could actually really get interested you’ve got to check out the Chart Chick blog by my friend Janet Hovorka. Janet has been sharing her personal genealogy journey with her kids, and she calls it like it is. You’ll be inspired and entertained and you’ll pick up some great gems along the way for working with kids on family history .
Learn more about getting your kids involved in genealogy at the The ChartChick Blog: http://thechartchick.blogspot.com/
Fall Virtual Conference
A “virtual” conference is an online event which you can attend from the comfort of your own home. If you haven’t attended one before the upcoming Fall Virtual Conference presented by Family Tree University September 14-16, 2012 is a great opportunity to get involved. It’s your chance to head back to school this Fall, gaining new research strategies, and brushing up on proven genealogical research techniques. Click here to Register and enter the coupon cod: FRIENDSOFLISACOOKE
Read my Family Tree Magazine Facebook Interview: http://www.familytreeuniversity.com/qa-lisa-louise-cooke
Exciting New Book
Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse
Here's a Preview:
Wed, 8 August 2012
Published August 8, 2012
In the last episode we took a big bite of food family history, and in today’s episode I’ve got part 2 of my interview with Gena Philibert Ortega, author of From the Family Kitchen: Discover your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes.
From Alvie in Lakeland Florida: “Would it be possible to share the recipe for the cookie - was it a sour cream cookie? The one your husband loves. My wife loves to bake cookies to share and she has all sorts of recipes and folks rave about her cookies.”
Lisa’s Answer: You'll find the sour cream cookie recipe that I talked about in the interview at the bottom of a blog post that I did a while back called “Family History Never Tasted So Good” You’ll see a picture there of my husband with his Nanna, and at the bottom of the post just click the image of the cook book page and it will be large enough to read the recipe. http://lisalouisecooke.com/?s=sour+cream
From Tina: “I've just been watching your video about the Toast-tite. I remember we had something similar (although it wasn't called a Toast-tite) when I was growing up in Brazil - except that it was square (kind of makes more sense when the bread is square ...) and it made simply the best toasted cheese sandwiches ever! And when I went back to Brazil in the mid-1980s, you could STILL buy them! I wish I still had one - they were far better than the electric toasted sandwich maker that I bought later on ... I love foodie memories!”
From Laurie in Ridgefield, WA: “I want to share with you a craft project that I created for my two grown sons. I didn’t realize at the time that what I created fit into the topic you have discussed about how to get the family involved in history. At the time I not even created a family tree yet!
As I am sure you are aware we pass down recipes within a family and as it grows and moves away those tastes of “home” are often missed. It could be Grandmas bread baking or an aunts cookies. Memories etched deep in our senses. Both of my boys have called me from the grocery store to ask how to cook a favorite dish. This got me to thinking close to the holidays about a homemade cook book filled with family favorites. I scoured the old copy of the church fund raiser, a cookbook my mother in law submitted recipes too.
Digging up more favorites from my recipe box and contacting family members asking them for a favorite recipe along with any story that went with it. I then purchased blank cookbooks in a binder style. Transcribed onto the computer as documents printed to PDF, each recipe has its own page that lists the person’s name and any story & tips.
This gift turned out to be the highlight of the day and they poured over it and then I heard them talking about the food and memories. Now, my boys tell me when I cook something new and very good… that’s one for the book. It has turned out to not be just a book on a shelf but one they use often.”
From Carol in Flagstaff, AZ: “I have several interesting cookbooks pertaining to my history. One is a Joy of Cooking, published during WWII, which includes a section on meal planning during rationing. The other is from a Norwegian heritage society in Seattle…What would be good ways to share this information with other Family Historians? (I could scan portions of the books.)”
Lisa’s Answer: Be sure to check the copyright of the old cook books you have. Do a Google Search on “copyright guidelines” for more information. I think a great way to share them would be to blog about them. And if you want a quick and easy way to start blogging for free watch my How to Blog Your Family History Videos at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/genealogygems
Blogging is not only a great way to share with your family and friends, but your articles will be searchable by Google which means other folks out there who are interested in the same things can find your blog and comment. And chances are you could possibly use brief excerpts of the books in an editorial fashion in a blog, but again just read through some of the copyright guidelines available online.
You could also create a book where you share the original recipe, then include “your take” on the recipe, and include photos of you making the dish and old family photos that tie in. I have a series of Premium Podcast Episodes with videos that show you how to use print on demand services to create your book quickly and easily online, and affordably. The beauty of print on demand is that you only pay for exactly the number of books you want. There’s no minimum order number. And if your family and friends want a copy than can buy it right from the website rather than you having to be the middle man, which is especially nice for folks who live across the country from you.
From Sean: “I enjoyed that episode and it got me thinking of our cookbooks. I've got a recipe box that came to us via my wife's grandmother that I'll be taking a closer look at this weekend. As for me, my first cookbook was a copy of The Joy of Cooking that my parents bought me when I first left for college. Although as the family chef I haven't made a lot of markings in it yet, we have pressed many leaves and flowers between its pages (within wax paper between the book's pages). Several of the leaves and flowers are still there, but now with our 20th wedding anniversary tomorrow, I'm going to take some time with Jennifer to see if we can identify where and when those artifacts were saved.”
Lisa’s Answer: I think it would be great if you starting making notes in the margins – like that a recipe is someone’s favorite dish, or the first time you make it – I think we could all do some of that to share a little more with our descendants.
GEM: Culinary Family History with Gena Philibert Ortega Part 2
In this gem I’m going to welcome you back to the warmest room in the home, the kitchen. Here amongst the pots and pans we are going to meet back up with my friend Gena Philibert Ortega, author of the book From the Family Kitchen: Discover your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes. In the last episode #137 we talked old cookbooks, where to find them, and what they can tell us about our family history. In the final part of this interview I get to turn the table on Gena a bit and ask her some food family history questions that she encourages her readers to ask in their families.
When you click this link to buy Gena’s book you are helping to financially support the free Genealogy Gems Podcast at no additional cost to you, and you'll save money. Thank you! Family Tree $10 Off Purchase at Shop Family Tree. Use coupon code FAMILY1050 during checkout. Expires 07/31/2013.
Watch the Companion Interview Video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel
Watch the Companion Interview Video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel
Please be sure to click the SUBSCRIBE button while you are there!
BONUS VIDEO: Gena and I hit the kitchen to make a blast from the past. Watch the video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. Be sure and leave a comment, "Like" the video, and pass it along to your friends!
Genealogy Gems App users will find the video in the BONUS CONTENT for this episode.
Cool Cooking iPad Apps (click images below:)
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this look at family history and food, and that it’s inspired you to rummage through the back of the cupboards, and ask around the family for those recipes, cookbooks, memories and even old cooking utensils so that you can bring your family’s culinary history back to the forefront and preserve it like a Ball jar of good peaches.
And one last little gem for you: If you enjoy reminiscing about the food of days gone by I want to recommend a video series to you that I have enjoyed for years. It’s called Clara Cooks and I’ve added a few of my favorite episodes to my Food and Family History Playlist at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. Just go to www.youtube.com/genealogygems and scroll down and you’ll find the playlist in the column on the right. And there you’ll also find my video interview Gena and our little cooking in the Cooke kitchen segment. Bon Appetit!
GEM: Getting the Scoop from the Genealogy Gems Facebook Fan Page
From Kat on Facebook:
Sun, 8 July 2012
Published July 8, 2012
Everyone is concerned about Google pulling the plug on iGoogle, but in today's episode I have a fantastic solution for you. And you will find the companion video at my Genealogy Gems YouTube channel and as the video bonus content in the Genealogy Gems Podcast App. And the new Genealogy Gems website has been launched!
It’s here! I promised you it was coming and it has. The brand new website is up and running at genealogygems.com and at lisalouisecooke.com. You’ll find Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems in both places. The old site was 5 years which is ancient in techie years, so it was time.
Back in the Fall of 2011 I began laying the framework for the new site, well aware that the old one had become cluttered, and it wasn’t keeping up with all the new versions of web browsers out there. Things were starting to not display properly.
A few months later in March 2012 listener and Premium Member Simona wrote me to tell me she had noticed it too. And she had some opinions about the magazine delivery nature of the podcast episodes. The original model for the premium podcast was like a magazine. When you subscribe you get the last few episodes, and then each new episode as it was published. After about 3 months the oldest episode would drop off and the new one would come on. There were a few reasons for this which included the capabilities of the old site. Here’s what Simona had to say:
“I downright LOVE your productions Lisa and think you are the sweetest and smartest. But I get frustrated and even -dare I say- annoyed with the shelf life limit of your premium podcasts. You see I very rarely hard-wire sync my idevices to my notebook pcs. So I end up missing more premium podcasts than I download and listen to.”
OK, well I obviously completely agree with Simona on her comments on the website, and the email just helped support the decision I had made to invest in a new site. And I hope Simona and all of you are happy with all the changes and upgrades.
NEW SITE UPGRADES:
Everything is on one site: The blog, the free episodes, Premium Membership, and our brand new store.
The free iTunes podcast feed and the Premium feeds are both functioning now.
Premium Membership includes ALL past episodes, and continued access to those episodes while you are a member.
But the big news for Premium members is that premium membership is no longer a magazine subscription model. I’ve built a site that is set up to hold all the gems I’ve created for you over the last 5 years, and the many more years to come. Yep, right now we are on Premium episode #88 and ALL 88 episodes are available to you as part of your premium membership. What we are creating for you is a growing catalogue of gems and tutorials and genealogy entertainment that you can tap into when you want it. And Genealogy Gems Premium Membership gives you access to all of it! And of course each month we are adding new premium episodes and videos so that catalogue will just keep growing and growing.
You know sometimes a gem or topic isn’t what you need this week, but it’s exactly right for what you want to do 2 months from now. Now you can sign in to your membership and grab the gems you need when you need them. And I hope you are as excited about the amount and accessibility of content as I am!
Now Simona brought up a question about accessing the premium episodes and downloading them to her devices. Here’s the thing – as I’ve said many times before iTunes doesn’t support premium membership sites, so we have had to custom build a feed for you so that at least you can add your premium content through iTunes. But for now that still means plugging in your iPod. Technology is moving quickly though and we are constantly searching for ways to make that process easier, and unfortunately we have to rely on Apple to help make that possible. I’m really proud that we have managed to build a way to deliver premium content to you through iTunes and I’ll let you know if and when we develop a method for wireless download, as is available for the free podcast through our Genealogy Gems App (available in the iTunes app store and at Amazon for Android.)
And I’m very happy to say that the response to the new website has been 100% positive. I had braced myself for some folks who didn’t want change, but so far not a one. You were ready for an upgrade as much as I was. Here’s what just some of you had to say:
Robin in Ohio says: “Your new web page is AWESOME! Love the colors, layout and info. All your Gems are sooooo helpful, upbeat and truly some great genealogy fun!!! I look forward to listening to your podcast while riding my bike and gardening. You are such a genealogy-go-getter and amazing example to me. Thanks for sharing so many GenGems and some of your life events along the way. It makes the person behind the cyber voice so pleasantly real. Thanks for sharing your talents with me”
Sue in Nevada says “What a drastic difference! It is so neat, concise, and user-friendly. Can't wait till it is fully up and running. It was worth the wait....” Sue in Nevada
Teri says: “Wow. Really nice look. Makes you a destination site!”
Christine commented on The Genealogy Gems Podcast Facebook Fan Page: "I just "peeked"--1000% improvement! Not only is it more user-friendly, the design & colors are more "you"
I’m ecstatic that you love the site and I hope that those of you listening who have been listening on your mobile device and maybe haven’t stopped by the website in a while drop in and see what Robin, Sue, Teri and Christine are raving about.
Facebook Fan Page
Attention all Facebook users! There's been an upsetting development in the way that site is run, and the unfortunate result is that many of you are no longer receiving Venice's posts. What they've done affects all fan pages. It used to be that whenever I posted a status update it would send it out to every single person who is subscribed to the Genealogy Gems page. Well, no longer. Now it tells us, underneath every post what percentage of subscribers it has actually sent that post out to. And usually that number is right around the 25% mark. Which means that the site deliberately and arbitrarily chose 75% of you to not receive it. But here's the rub: On every single individual post, it now offers us a "Promote" option, where we can pay them money to increase the number of fans who will receive that specific post. To get the note/video/picture/song to show up on the walls of 100% of our Facebook fans, it could cost us around $50. Not as a one-time payment, but rather PER POST.
But there is something you can do. Follow these instructions to guarantee that you'll receive all of our subsequent updates:
1) Sign into Facebook.
2) Go to: www.facebook.com/genealogygems
3) Hover your cursor over the "Liked" box.
4) Put a checkmark next to the words "Show in News Feed."
I’m sorry for the inconvenience and really appreciate your support!
From Barbara: “Hi Lisa, Greetings from a Canadian Premium Podcast listener. I got a notification on my iGoogle home page today and was gobsmacked (my ancestors were British) to see that they are discontinuing iGoogle on the 1st of November next year. This seems really strange, given that they just released the new update a short time ago, however that’s Google for you. If you don’t like what they’re doing today, wait awhile – they’ll be doing something new by tomorrow. This is one change that’s going to be rather sad for me. I’ve enjoyed my iGoogle home page. I sure hope they have something exciting and new coming to make up for this.”
From Linda: “I just looked on my iGoogle home page, and it says iGoogle will not be available after November 1, 2013? (--happens to also be my birthday, so an easy date to remember, for me at least) What?!?!? I have got it all set up, thanks in part to you, and now it is going away...it just ain't fair. You are going to need a new webinar telling us what to do now, cause I don't have any idea how to make it work in Chrome!
There is life after iGoogle, and I have a solution for you!
GEM: Life After iGoogle
In this gem we are going to look at Life After iGoogle.
It’s pretty challenging to stay organized online isn’t it? It seems like every day something new is happening, and it can take some superhero powers to stay up to date while you’re still working on today’s to do list.
That’s why iGoogle was such a gem! In webinars, presentations, my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox and as part of Premium Membership I have taught thousands of you how to convert iGoogle into your personal genealogy homepage. We added gadgets that could accomplish the tasks you needed to get done, then expanded with tabs, and even dressed it all up with custom themes. And I’ve heard from so many of you have it revolutionized your online computing and research experience.
However, in 2012 as we here in the U.S. were celebrating Independence Day and the freedom we enjoy, Google very quietly announced that it was doing away with iGoogle. The online freedom we were so happily enjoying came to a screeching halt. Ouch!
Now even though I’m known as the Google Guru, first and foremost, I see my role as genealogy gems goddess. And that means that I am primarily focused on bringing you the best gems, not just Google gems. So after a good 5 minute mourning session by the iGoogle gravesite, I got to work on a new gem that would meet all of our homepage needs, and dare I say even surpass iGoogle in some areas. And don’t worry, what I’ve come up with isn’t going to force you to start from scratch. We’re going to move much of your iGoogle content to a brand spanking new genealogy homepage and then add lots of gems to it.
Today I’m very happy to introduce you to www.Netvibes.com
Yep, there is life after iGoogle. And once you get into the Netvibes vibe you’re going be doing the genealogy happy dance. So let’s get started.
Guess what: Netvibes has been around as long as iGoogle! Both were launched in 2005. But here’s the thing, Google never figured out how to make money with iGoogle, and that plays a huge role in why it’s going away. However, the Netvibes team discovered early on that a personal dashboard just wasn’t all that conducive to a bunch of advertising to the pay the bills, and so they expanded their business model to provide expanded premium products to businesses at a price, that allows them to continue to provide the free service to their individual users. The fact that they have figured out how to make their business profitable means that there’s a much better chance that the Netvibes dashboard will be around for a while. And believe me, with the demise of iGoogle Netvibes has already seen a bump in users, and I predict that’s about to increase dramatically.
The first thing we need to do is import your existing iGoogle content into Net Vibes. And if you don’t have an iGoogle page, cool – it just saves you from having to do this step, but hang in there because you are definitely going to want to set up a Netvibes genealogy dashboard with the rest of us which we will do in just a minute.
PLEASE NOTE: Follow these instructions EXACTLY. Any deviation will cause it not to work. And be sure to use Internet Explorer NOT Firefox for this procedure.
1. Log in to a Google account.
2. Go to this page: http://tinyurl.com/6wm8jzo
3. In your IE browser menu click on PAGE (in the COMMAND bar, which if it is not showing you will need to activate) select SAVE AS and name the file iGoogle_code.xml (save it as an XML file to your computer’s hard drive)
4. Open the XML file that you just saved
5. Right click on the page and select SELECT ALL and then copy right-clicking and selecting COPY
6. Go to this page: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/07/export-igoogle-feeds-to-opml.html Scroll down until you see a box
7. Paste the code in the first box
8. Click the CONVERT TO OPML button
9. Copy the converted code
10. Open a new document in Notepad
11. Paste the code on the page
12. Save the file: From the menu select File – SAVE AS and name the file to_netvibes.txt (You are just going to save it as a text file)
13. Go to www.netvibes.com
14. Sign up for a free BASIC account and select the Default layout.
15. On the starting dashboard click ADD CONTENT in the upper left had corner of the page.
16. Click ADD A FEED (the orange RSS button)
17. Under the feedback next to OPML: click IMPORT
18. Browse your computer and select to the to_netvibes.txt file
19. Click the IMPORT button
20. This will import any tabs and RSS feeds that you had in iGoogle
This looks a LOT like iGoogle don’t you think? Making this move is going to be a breeze because the two services are SO much a like!
Now of course, not all of the iGoogle gadgets converted. That’s because they are iGoogle gadgets. You’re going to have to locate new gadgets from Netvibes.
I’m going to set you up with some of the most important gadgets you’ll need. And you can bet I’ll be covering more customized gems in upcoming Genealogy Gems Premium episodes.
Under Add Content there are a couple of different areas where you can get gadgets, which are called Widgets in Netvibes. In addition to using the search box, you can browse Categories, select from Essential Widgets, and you can add more RSS feeds which you’ll use to follow podcasts, blogs, and other types of syndicated content.
Let’s start by deleting the iGoogle gadgets that didn’t convert properly. Just click the little X button in the upper right corner of the widget just like you would have in iGoogle.
Essential Widgets are your desktop tools. Lisa suggests:
Before we go any further, let’s clean up and organize a bit. Moving widgets around is super easy. Click the title bar of the widget, drag, and drop.
And there you have it, in just a few minutes time you’ve made the dreaded move! Stay tuned because I have a LOT more great stuff for you to do to get your genealogy vibe on.
GEM: Genealogy Gems Song by Mike Steward
ArtistSignal is a music contest:
Click to Vote for Michael’s music.
Tue, 19 June 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.
Lisa Recommends the Flip Pal Scanner. Click the image below for more information:
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
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”
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
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.
Mon, 11 June 2012
June 11, 2012
Episode 134: You asked for it! Here's a blast from the past: Episodes 1 & 2 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast!
Episode 01 February 25, 2007
by Lisa Louise Cooke
My goal in creating this podcast is to provide you with inspiration and innovation to help you get the most of out your research time. There's never enough time to work on your family tree, is there? So when you have some precious moments to dig into your roots, you want to be mining gold nuggets, not dead ends.
Genealogy Gem: Google.com allows you to restrict search results to a specific website.
1 - Go to your favorite genealogy website
You will receive search results just like a regular Google search, except these results show only pages where your keyword appears in the website you chose to search, rather than every website on the internet!
Believe me, once you use this gem, you will never go back to slogging through hundreds of pages that have nothing to do with your family. Try it today!
I hope you'll subscribe to this podcast so you won't miss a single gem packed episode. Email me with feedback, suggestions, and questions.
GEM: Transcription of Family Journals & Letters
Start with what you know. Then talk to your oldest relatives first before you lose them.
Transcription is worth it!
One of my inspirations: the autobiography of my husband's grandfather Raymond Harry Cooke born March 6, 1894 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. This journal led to the discovery of the following photograph...
The Rose Theatre Staff in 1914 (Material courtesy of the City of Regina Archives":
Bottom left corner: Raymond Harry Cooke. To his upper right, Miss Belle Osborne. They later married, and remained so for over 50 years.
Please email feedback and questions. Be sure to let me know how you heard about the podcast.
Sat, 19 May 2012
May 19, 2012
Discover what Dr. Henry Louis Gates hope to convey in the final episode of his series Finding Your Roots.
I just returned from NGS and had a chance to visit with many listeners including:
I also taught classes while there. My first class was on using the iPad for Genealogy, and while I think the students learned a lot, I know I certainly did. Folks were coming up to me throughout the conference sharing their favorite apps and tricks:
Great app for the Kids: Talking Tom Cat (Android)
GEM: App Jumping
If you have an iPad, you probably find yourself using a couple of different apps at a time.
When you are in an app, just use four fingers and swipe side to side to jump from app to app that you currently have open. For this to work you need to make sure that you have “Multi-tasking Gestures” activated under the “General” tab in your Settings.
GEM: Four Finger Swipe
Now as you are doing the Four Finger Swipe you’ll probably notice that you have some apps open that you no longer need open, and if they are open they are taking up battery resources. It’s a good idea to close these down, which is more than just pressing the HOME button to get out of the app. Use four fingers and swipe from bottom to top and this will reveal a horizontal line of the apps you have open. Press and hold one of the apps to start them all shaking and a minus sign will appear on each. Press the minus sign on each app you are not currently using to close them.
The 2013 NGS Family History Conference, Building New Bridges, will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 8–11 May 2013. The conference hotel and venue will be the LVH−Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton). To ensure a reservation, you can reserve accommodations now and be sure to request the NGS conference rate when making a reservation. Call the Hilton for reservations at 1-800-635-7711 or go online at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/accommodations.
GEM: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
What does it mean to be Latino? On May 19, 2012, the season finale of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the PBS TV series that explores race and identity through the genealogy of some of America’s best-known personalities, seeks to answer that question. Through the family histories of actors Michelle Rodriguez and Adrian Grenier, and Linda Chavez, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist and political analyst for FOX News, viewers will discover that Latino identity emerged from the tangled histories of European, Native-American and African peoples.
The three subjects of Sunday’s episode all share Spanish colonial roots, yet each views their identity very differently: as Native American, Puerto Rican, Dominican or simply Latino.
At the helm of this series is Henry Louis Gates Jr. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature, and is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as the director of the W.E.B Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He’s best known for PBS productions like African American Lives, Oprah’s Roots, and African American Lives 2.
This week I was fortunate to grab some time with this very busy man to talk about the final episode of this newest series, Finding Your Roots.
I hope you will join me at the Southern California Genealogical Society Writer’s Workshop, and Jamboree June 7-10, 2012 in Burbank California. I’ll be there teaching several classes, some of which are brand new, and I would love to see you there. It’s not too late to register. Click here for all the details.
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Thu, 3 May 2012
Published May 3, 2012
Decipher your ancestor’s head gear with Maureen Taylor (AKA The Photo Detective) with tips from her new book Bonnets and Hats. And then grab your spouse for a genealogical musical number.
Thanks for the Shout Outs:
Going the Extra Yad by Emily Garber
The 1940 U.S. census indexing project was launched this April as part of a broad online community effort.
- Over 85,000 volunteers have already completed 20 percent of the census project.
- A record number of active indexers used the program in a single day—34,947 volunteers.
- In one day more than 3.2 million records were indexed and 1.5 million were arbitrated.
Recently Completed Projects The Genealogy Gems News Blog
Deleted Scenes from Rob Lowe’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?
Sterling is lucky to have old family photos but needs some help preserving them. He writes: “I've become a regular listener of your Genealogy Gems podcast and I find that I'm enjoying it as much as any of the NPR radio shows that are my listening mainstays. I've learned so much from listening to you over the past few months and I'm deeply grateful.
Sally also writes:
The scrapbook format is difficult to process because of the different elements from which it is made. The adhesive may be water soluble and simple to soak off. Try to isolate a leaf of the book with some plastic sheeting (i.e. place a piece of plastic under the leaf to avoid damaging the leaf below). Place a damp piece of blotting paper over one of the newspaper clippings under a light weight. Leave it for about twenty minutes then very carefully, using a spatula, lift the newspaper from the leaf. Place the newspaper clipping between two pieces of dry blotting paper to dry."
Thanks to Sally Jacobs the Practical Archivist. You can get lots more greats preservation advice from her at www.practicalarchivist.com
Swedish TV Series: Line in Denmark wrote in again to give us an update on a popular Swedish TV show about family history: “I have some exiting news about the Swedish tv show that I mentioned in my last email. "Everything for Sweden." On this link they are looking for new contestants for the second season!
“I have taken up your advice on contacting long lost family members. I still don't have the courage to phone them, but instead contacting them on e-mail. So far it has been a big success. I would never have done it if I hadn't listened to your show. So thanks! Love your podcasts - please keep on making them!”
Beverly Loves the Podcast: “I'm a relatively new listener and premium member. I was bitten by the genealogy bug when I was about 12 years old and now I'm a grandmother. I've been calling myself a reformed genealogist because the "bug" has been dormant for a while…Thank you for all you share with your listeners. You have a real gift for communicating in a clear and personable way. I look forward to all your gems I have yet to uncover.”
Get your free audio book and over 40,000 audio book titles to choose from at Audible: http://www.audiblepodcast.com/gems
GEM: Interview with The Photo Detective Maureen Taylor, author of the book Bonnets and Hats
$4.00 off discount coupon for Genealogy Gems Podcast listeners: FJH889FZ
GEM: The Genealogy Widower
You can download a free copy of Michael Stewart’s song the Genealogy Widower here.