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Jan 24, 2012

Published Jan 24, 2012

In this episode Genealogist Shirley Gage Hodges will share her genealogical wisdom with you as well as talk about her status as "perennial student."

Marilyn attended my class called Inspiring Ways to Captivate the Non-Genealogist in Your Life and wrote in “I attended your class during the Arizona Family History Expo.  I enjoyed it very much!”

Hear Me in Person
go to the Genealogy Gems Website at and Seminars in the menu. That’s what I do to be sure I’m in the right place at the right time!

The 43rd Annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is now officially open for registration

Burbank, CA  June 8 through the 10 of 2012.

My Brand New Book is Available:
Everything You Need to Know About How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers

Here’s what Steve Luxenberg, Washington Post associate editor and author of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret said about the book:  Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret

"Read it. Study it. Absorb it. But above all, use Lisa Louise Cooke’s new book as the guide and instructional tool that it is meant to be. As a veteran of research and libraries, I found all sorts of nuggets and new resources. Beginners will find an embarrassment of riches, including an impressive appendix with a comprehensive list of online routes to national, international and local newspapers. This is as close as you’ll get to one-stop shopping for learning about historical newspaper research."

And that’s really what I wanted it to be – One stop shopping for everything you need to know about finding your family history in newspapers.  There are some incredible stories out there waiting to be found, and this book is going to get you there! 



Myron from Iowa writes:

“I have a Genealogical Gem that I think you would like to hear about. I have a recording of my Great Grandma's voice. My father served in the army 1946-1950, sometime while he was in the service his family took a trip from Nebraska to New York City. While visiting the Empire State Building, at the top there was this coin operated machine that would cut your own record, recording your voice, that you could mail to your friends. 

My mom has that record. I recorded the record to a wav file and it sounds really bad.  I don't understand German so I hope they aren't saying anything bad. Enclosed are some photos of it and the wav files from it.”


Is there anyone out there who speaks German who could translate this recording for Myron?  If that’s something you can help with, that would be amazing.  Please email the written translation to me.  I’ll share the results here on the show.

there was definitely genealogically serendipity involved in this email from Myron because just before receiving it I had come across a video on YouTube that I thought was absolutely wonderful, and right along the same lines.

Story Corps at Vimeo

Video:  No More Questions!

No More Questions! from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

GEM: Interview with Genealogist Shirley Gage Hodges, “The Perennial Student”

“Everyone has something to learn.”

You can read Shirley’s articles on genealogy at the Global Gazette

The Genealogical Speakers Guild

The Immigration Experience
Genealogy Gems App users check the Bonus Content for this episode for additional Immigration notes from Shirley! 

What keeps Shirley motivated:

  • Finding the stories of her ancestors
  • Learning more about ancestor’s connection with our country

The lesson Shirley learned after her search for Grandpa Larkin:

“We do have to be so careful!  He was a grand old gentleman, and I would have loved to have him as a Grandfather.”  Alas it turned out the he was someone else’s Grandpa!

Shirley Has Her Eye on the Future with These Historical Projects:

  • The Harvey Girls
  • Amazing Women of the West
  • Creating a Family History Christmas Wreath.

Learn how to make one for yourself!


Watch all 4 episodes of Family History Christmas Wreath at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel.


CLOSING: Thanks for the Shout Out

I want to say thank you to some bloggers who have given me a shout out lately:

The Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society

Posted the blog article Searching for Common Surnames about my recent speaking engagement at the Sacramento Central Public Library.

And Genealogy Blogger and podcast listener Kim Von Aspern invite me to sit down with her a few weeks ago for one on one interview and she is publishing it as a blog series at her Le Maison Duchamp blog at

Check out her articles:

Lisa Louise Cooke in Sacramento

Interview with Lisa Louise Cooke Part 1

Interview with Lisa Louise Cooke Part 2