Sun, 19 August 2007
Published August 19, 2007
Episode 23 SHOW NOTES
According to alert listener Richard Yehle, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests can receive acknowledgement letters from the US Dept. of Homeland Security / US Citizen and Immigration Services in just two weeks. Richard's requests were placed on a speedier "simple track." This means that response time has been drastically cut from the six months it took me to receive answers about 5 years ago. This is good news for genealogists! Better yet, you now have the option of requesting a CD with pdf file, instead of paper files, if the number of pages is over 15. We"re all waiting with bated breath to hear back from Richard when he receives the final results from his request for his great grandfather's records.
GEM: Follow up - Using Your Video iPod As A Genealogy Tool
Proactive listener Donna wrote this week to ask what the best format and resolution was for saving pictures to be viewed on the Video iPod.
For photos to be viewed on a television screen, save them as JPEG files at 300 dpi resolution.
For photos strictly viewed on your iPod, resize them to reduce their ipod storage requirements. Here's how:
To Reduce Image Size:
I was able to reduce my original 1.24 MB photo to just 141 KB. This saves LOTS of room on your iPod!
Photo Slideshow Troubleshooting Checklist
GEM: Home Movie Hint
Please permit me to share a suggestion you may find useful... I recently took a number of old movie reels (from the 1940s) out to be transferred to DVD, as I'd long intended to do.
Regarding Brick Walls:
If you're ready to give up you're probably closer than you think. Or as they said in Galaxy Quest: "Never Give Up, Never Surrender!"
Sun, 12 August 2007
Published August 12, 2007
When my grandmother had to downsize and move into an assisted living facility, my aunt stumbled upon a beautiful silk baby dress and a pair of leather button-up baby shoes that had belonged to my grandmother. She had these framed for me along with a photograph of my grandmother on her 1st birthday wearing them! She gave the finished product to me because she knew how much I am fascinated by our family's history. Sincerely, Diana Larson?
Email from Barbara Murphy, NY:
Use the time while you"re downloading podcasts to make a few entries into a memory book! That's a gem of an idea!
GEM: Turn Your Video iPodInto A Family History Tool
The Micro memo snaps easily into the connector at the base of the video ipod. It has a flexible microphone and built in speaker. When you plug it into your ipod it automatically puts your ipod in Voice Memo mode with the option to start recording.
How To Record
How To Download Recordings to Your Computer
How Two Use Two Desktop Microphones For An Interview
How To Record With An External Microphone Or Other Source In Stereo
How To Load Images Onto Your Video iPod:
ITunes has now copied all of the photos from that folder onto your iPod. You'll see that happening in the box at the top of the Itunes screen.
How To View Your Images On Your iPod
How To View Your iPod Photos And Videos On Your Television
How To Create A Photo Slideshows In Your iPod
So now you can gather the family around the television set and share your photos, and videos in big, living color with your Video iPod
I hope if you do purchase any of the items I mentioned today, you'll do it through the links on my website. The links simply tell the vendor who referred you. The price is the same and your personal information goes ONLY to the vendor. By purchasing through my website link, you help support this podcast and defer the production costs. So we all win.
Your iPod is fun AND hard working. Happy listening AND viewing!!
Sun, 5 August 2007
Published August 5, 2007
Genealogy Reviews Online blog: Genealogy Gems - You've Got to Check this One Out.
Lisa's Movie Pick: Full of Life (1957). It's a really heartwarming movie about immigrants and their American born children that you can watch comfortably with your kids and your grandkids.
The novel by John Fante is still available: Full of Life by John Fante
GEM: Freedom of Information Act Follow Up
Email from Richard Hrazanek: "I loved the tip about requesting your ancestor's immigration file through the Freedom of Information Act. Do you know if you can do the same thing with a person's military record."
FOIA can assist you in obtaining military records.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Website article: How to use the Freedom of Information Act.
Rod Powers of About.com does a great job outlining how to obtain military records
The National Archives website article: Access to Military Records by the General Public, including genealogists who are not next-of-kin
Timothy E. Blaise's website devoted to the 4th Infantry Division 224th Infantry Regiment Company "D" which his uncle served in. Timothy outlines his experience with obtaining military records.
GEM: Thanks for the Memories
Get a piece of paper or pull up a word document. Close your eyes for a second, and visualize a favorite memory from your childhood. In my case I started with a favorite place, my maternal grandma's house. But perhaps yours is the back alley where you and your friends played baseball, or your great uncle's garage where he showed you how to work on cars. Whatever is meaningful to you. Now, open your eyes, and write your thoughts one at a time. Just free flow it. They don't have to be complete sentences.
Later you can try your hand at writing more of your actual experiences or memories of a person. Again, it doesn't have to be a novel or sound really professional. It's just the memories from you heart.
Tie together this gem with episode 20's Sweet Memories gem where we made a family history chocolate bar label for a candy bar that could be tucked in a Christmas Stocking as a gift. Replace the Ingredient's list on the back label with a text box that includes these free flowing memories about the photo that appears on the front label.
Wed, 25 July 2007
Published July 29, 2007
Book Recommendation: Home and Home Again by George and Helen Papashvily.
GEM: German Homeland - Part 2
Here's a checklist of other types of records that might contain information about your ancestor's home town.
Bremen Passenger Lists 1920 - 1939
Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1872
A research outline from FamilySearch for Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934
Look sideways, at brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, even friends. If you can determine where one of them was born, you will have an EXCELLENT place to look in Germany for your ancestors!
In addition, determine if your ancestors had traveling companions on their way to America and look into their backgrounds. Go back to the census and check out your ancestors first recorded American neighborhood. Where were their neighbors from? Folks often settled near family and friends from the old country.
The Freedom of Information Act
is a federal statute that allows any person the right to obtain federal agency records unless the records (or part of the records) are protected from disclosure by any of the nine exemptions in the law.
It can take up to six months to receive a reply. I've obtained two ancestor files so far, and both contained information and photographs that I had never seen before. No fees are required when you make the request. And the first 100 pages of copying and two hours of search time are free!
GEM: Christmas in July
Sweet Memories Candy Bar Stocking Stuffers
First, you'll need the following items:
Here's how to create the label:
Scan the photos you want to include on the label
Open a new page in Microsoft Publisher
Use the Rectangle Tool to create a 7 " high x 5 " wide rectangle
Insert a background image using the INSERT IMAGE function, and then resize it to fit just over the rectangle. Another option is to select the rectangle, and use the FORMAT FILL COLOR function to color the box.
Use INSERT IMAGE to add your photos, and resize them to fit. Measure down 2" from the top of the label, and that's where the top of the front side photo is placed. Set it Ââ? from the left edge.
The backside photo should begin 5" from the top of the label, and be set Ââ? from the left edge.
Insert the text boxes. The "Sweet Memories" and Ingredients text boxes are about 3" wide and 1 1/4" high. Format with the borders and colors that you want. Reflect your own family values in the Ingredients list.
To Print: From the menu, click FILE then PRINT and then click the PROPERTIES button. From this window select "high resolution paper" or "High Brightness" as the Media Type, and select HIGH for the Print Quality to get the bestlooking label. Print the label & cut out carefully.
Folding guidelines: The first fold line is 1 Ââ? from the top of the label, and the second fold line is 4 Ââ? from the top of the label.
Use a small piece of double sided tape to stick the label to itself on the backside snugly.
Now you have your own custom family history themed chocolate bar ready to tuck in Christmas stockings this year. They're guaranteed to put smiles on everyone's face on Christmas morning, and hopefully inspire a bit of curiosity about the family tree.
August Episodes - In order to get the book finished and prepare for some exciting new episodes for Season Two I'm not going to make any promises about how often new episodes will be published in August of 2007. However, I will be putting out a couple of new podcasts as well as doing some blogging on the website so check back often.
Music courtesy of UC Santa Barbara: Deutschlands Ruhm performed by the Johann Strauss Orchestera for Edison Records in 1913. Homeland, sung by the soprano Elizabeth Spencer, recorded by Edison records in 1911
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:00am EST
Sun, 15 July 2007
Published July 15, 2007
GEM: A Long Look Sideways
Have you ever heard the piece of genealogical advice that says if you get stuck with your own ancestor, look sideways - at their siblings, aunts and uncles? Well in this episode we stretch this idea even further by looking at folks who aren't even related to us in order to get a clearer view of our ancestor's lives.
EXAMPLE Here's a list of books that I've found that are about specific locations and experiences that apply to my ancestors:
Places to find old or out of print books:
Ebay.com, Amazon.com, Google Search, Garage Sales
GEM: Finding Your German Ancestors Town of Origin
A little German village can seem like a needle in a haystack when you're starting with ancestors who made it to the shores of America. But once you've found that gem, it will open up all kinds of records from their native land, and likely take you back several more generations.
There are three important pieces to this Ancestral puzzle:
First step: find them in the most recent census and work backwards. Look for immigration information.
The naturalization process created a lot of paperwork, and in that paper work your ancestors were asked for specific information about where they were born, where they immigrated from, the ship they traveled on, and when they arrived in America. Naturalization was applied for at the county courthouse in most cases.
Try the free GenWeb website http://http://usgenweb.com/ for the county where you think your ancestor's applied for citizenship to see what resources they have available. Also, look up the county courthouse online for records and contact information.
Declarations of Intent: The first document filed for citizenship
The more recent the naturalization, the more likely you will find listed the place of birth, date of emigration and the ship on which they sailed.
Brush up on your German border history. Most recent border changes occurred in 1945 and 1871. Wikipedia
Consult a gazetteer at the library or online, and look up the town. This should indicate the parish and Kreis.
Check familysearch.org: Enter the last name, and the country as Germany to see if people with the same last name are listed in the same location you have pinpointed in Germany.
Also, Search PLACE under the Family History Library link to find out what records they hold for that village. Suggestion: Put the village name in the first field and the kreis in the second.
Next, Timelines are a great tool for seeing the bigger picture and determining how the little bits of information fall within it.
One of my favorite German sites is Genealogy.net German Genealogy website http://www.genealogienetz.de/reg/ger1871.htm
Email me & Visit the complete website at lisalouisecooke.com
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:58pm EST
Sun, 8 July 2007
SHOW NOTES Published July 8, 2007
GEM: Colorado History
The song That Railroad Rag performed by Edward Meeker.is an Edison Recording from 1912, Courtesy of the University of California, Santa Barbara
GEM: Vehicular Forensics
Applying your own CSI "Alternative Light Source" to reveal the license plate number on an a car in an old photo.
Compare the plate with plated found on LicensePlates.TV
Check the state's Department of Motor Vehicles website for license history
Try the state's archive website online catalog for 'motor vehicle records'
Book Alert: No more note taking required! My new book The Comprehensive Guide to Season One of the Genealogy Gems Podcast -The First Twenty Episodes is set for publication in August / September 2007. Subscribe to the newsletter for special notification.
Ragtime music courtesy of Frederick Hodges
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:54pm EST
Sun, 24 June 2007
CLICK HERE and type "Subscribe" in the subject line of your email. Include your name, state & how you heard about the podcast in the body of the email.
SHOW NOTES Published June 24, 2007
NOTE: Though I mentioned in this week's podcast that the new website is up and running, there have been some problems with coordinating it with itunes. So in order to get this podcast to you in itunes, I've delayed the launch of the website. Thanks for your patience. I highly recommend that you subscribe to the newsletter as this is the email list I will use to listeners if it turns out that I must move my podcast feed.
Saw the movie "Waitress" this week. Nothing to do with genealogy, but boy it was one terrific movie and I can't recommend it enough. If nothing else, seeing Andy Griffith again in a movie was worth the price of admission. But it's also a great story done in a really fresh way.
GEM: A Few Gems From The Great White North - Canadian Research
The song O Canada courtesy of the University of California, Santa Barabara
The Library & Archives Canada
GEM: Searching with Synonyms in Google Place a tilde (~) character directly in front of the relevant keyword in the search box. For example, a search for "burket ~genealogy" would not only bring up sites that include 'burket and genealogy," but also "burket and family history," or "burket and family tree"
Coming Soon: The Comprehensive Guide to Season One of the Genealogy Gems Podcast - the First Twenty Episodes. So don't worry about extensive notetaking while you listen to the podcast. Hopefully by September you will have everything at your fingertips in this new book which will be available through the Genealogy Gems Podcast website Store page.
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:30pm EST
Sun, 17 June 2007
SHOW NOTES Published June 17, 2007
GEM: Genealogy Play Day!
SONG: Ev'rything's funny to me performed by Sallie Stembler.
Ragtime Music courtesy of Frederick Hodges Music Visit his website at Frederickhodges.com Songs are from the album: Picnics.
Song: I think I hear a woodpecker knocking at my family tree performed by Edward M. Favor. Issue by Edison Standard Record, 1910
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: No more note taking required!
My new book The Comprehensive Guide to Season One of the Genealogy Gems Podcast - The First Twenty Episodes is set for publication in August / September 2007. Subscribe to the newsletter for special notification, or check back to this website often for more details.
Email me with questions or comments
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:12pm EST
Sun, 10 June 2007
SHOW NOTES - Published June 10, 2007
GEM I Love to iGoogle & You Will Too!
Create An Account
Go to: https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount
How to Add an rss Feed Gadget for this Podcast
BONUS: I have created a special gadget just for you called This Week's Genealogy Gem. I will be emailing all of my newsletter subscribers an invitation to add the Genealogy Gem gadget to your igoogle homepage.
If you have an itunes account & are enjoying the podcast, please click this ITUNES REVIEW LINK and leave a positive review in Itunes. Thanks for your support!
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:26pm EST
Sun, 3 June 2007
Click Here Type SUBSCRIBE in the subject line, and send you name, state and how you heard about the podcast.
Ancestry.com U.S. Military Collection Free through D-DAY JUNE 6, 2007
The collection because it contains the 267 issues motion picture newsreels called The United News produced by the U.S. Office of War Information during World War II.
GEM: A New View On Family History - Exploring Silent Movies
The people who performed in the silent movies were viewed intently by your ancestors. They took in their hairstyles, decorating, morality, etc.This podcast includes an interview with Sam Gill, Archivist of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, and retired archivist for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in Hollywood.
Sources for Silent Movies Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum (& Edison Theater) 37417 Niles Blvd, Niles, CA
Netlfix: They have an INCREDIBLE catalog of hard to find silent films. (as well as all their other movies & TV shows totaling over 75,000 titiles) Mailing is very fast, and convenient (they provide postage paid envelopes & no driving!) The low cost per rental makes it a hard to beat - $4.99 a month gets you 2 movies (just $2.50 each). And for $9.99 you can get an unlimited number of movies (one at a time). If you watch 2 a week that's just $1.25 each! I've become a huge Netflix fan - I LOVE it!
(By using this link you contribute toward the cost of producing this podcast. Thank you!) Type "silent" in the search box.
Recommendations To Get You Started:
Mary Pickford in Daddy Long Legs, Through the Back Door, and Suds; Clara Bow in "It" & Wings. Harold Lloyd in Safety Last & Grandma's Boy. Douglas Fairbanks in The Nut, Mark of Zorro & The Mollycoddle. Lois Weber (Director) The Blot (mentioned by Sam Gill. Available on Netflix & through Amazon)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Amazon - Silent Movie Search:Select DVD in the SEARCH area Click GO
EBAY My Grandma's Diary Entry for Friday, Nov. 2, 1930
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:05pm EST