Sat, 18 May 2013
A lot has been happening in the genealogy world while I have been on the road, and my job is to boil it down so I can bring you the best genealogy gems and that’s what we are going to do in this episode.
While it was a tall order to get up there on that stage and try to foresee the future, we had fun trying. I would be interested in knowing what you think is out on the horizon for genealogy, and what you would like to see on the horizon for genealogy. Drop me an email and we’ll share some of those ideas on an upcoming episode.
RootsTech Report from Sunny
FamilySearch Records Update
Your Ancestor’s Criminal Past
If you have British roots, you will want to check out the new collection available on Findmypast.com: a half million criminal records dating from 1770-1934!
This sounds like a pretty gripping collection, whether you've got British roots or not. It contains records like mug shots, court documents, appeals letters and registers from prison ships (which were used when mainland prisons were crowded). According to Findmypast.com, the records "provide a wide variety of color, detail and fascinating social history, chronicling the fate of criminals ranging from fraudsters, counterfeiters, thieves and murderers and their victims." The 500,000 records you can search now are only a fifth of the full collection of 2.5 million that will be online soon.
The company calls this the largest collection of historical criminal records from England and Wales to be published online and is done in association with the National Archives (UK). Findmypast.com members can click here to access the criminal collection directly (make sure the box for "Institutes and Organizations" is checked). Read more about it here: Find Your Criminal Ancestors: UK Collection from FindMyPast
Digitized War of 1812 Pension Files on Fold3
According to the National Archives, pension files for the War of 1812 rate among their most-requested materials. But the files haven’t been easy to use because they’re only at the National Archives–they haven’t been available in published, microfilmed or digitized form. You have either had to research the pension files onsite in Washington, D.C. or order copies from the Archives. Not exactly easy access. This is about to change. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), The National Archives, Ancestry.com and Fold3.com are partners in a huge effort: to preserve and digitize 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension Records and make them available for free online. Read more about it
Who Do You Think You Are? TV Series Update #WDYTYA
In recent weeks, reports have circulated that Kelly Clarkson has filmed an episode. A fan reported seeing her in Americus, Georgia and that they were shooting footage at Andersonsville National Historic Site. Read more about it at the Genealogy Gems Blog.
Newspapers are reporting that the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is filming its own version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” According to the Bureau County Republican and the NewsTribune (Illinois Valley), popular Danish actress Suzanne Bjerrehuus was in the area filming stories of her great-great-grandparents, who emigrated from Denmark to the American Midwest in 1869. (They apparently left behind one of their six children, from whom Bjerrehuus descends.)
Church Records for Genealogy on Archives.com
About 4.6 million genealogical records from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are now available on Archives.com. This project represents a unique collection for Archives.com, which partnered with the ELCA Archives to digitize and index about 1000 rolls of microfilmed records of affiliated church. According to the company, this collection represents records that have never been online before. It eliminates the major barriers we usually have in researching church records: not knowing which specific congregation an ancestor attended; not knowing where those records are now and not having easy access to them. Read more about it at my website.
Online Historical Maps: From David Rumsey to the DPLA
Genealogists rely on historical maps to help us navigate the geography of our ancestors’ lives. One of the most important resources available online is the David Rumsey Map Collection. Well, Rumsey recently announced on his website that he will be making more than 38,000 of his historical maps–everything he’s currently got online–available at the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Read more about it...
Google’s free program Google Earth includes nearly 150 historic maps in the Layers panel. You can also add historic maps downloaded from Rumsey’s site to Google Earth by using the Overlay feature. My video tutorial series called Google Earth for Genealogy will show you how. You can also get step-by-step instructions in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. Or get them all in a discounted bundle.
Lee has some questions, and perhaps you do too:
Question: How often do the premium podcasts come out?
Answer: Typically there is one new premium episode and one new premium video every month. And the real value in Premium Membership is that when you join, you get the entire back catalogue of Premium podcast episodes and video. That means as soon as you become a Member you will have access to over 95 exclusive Premium episodes and over a dozen videos of my most popular classes and topics!
Answer: Premium podcast episodes are commercial free, and very similar in format to the free show although the material I cover is different, and we often take time to go more in depth into particular genealogy topics.
Answer: Actually, the free podcast is the "free trial" for Premium. If you like the free podcast, you will love Premium!
Answer: The Genealogy Gems app is a one-time $2.99 purchase (which goes toward development and updates) and conveniently streams the free podcast on your mobile device. It also includes "bonus features" like unique short video, audio, images, and pdfs unique to the app.
Joyce asks about region-locked video:
Question: Is it possible to watch the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? online? If so I want to. I need to attend their conference one of these days also. Looks like you had a blast!
Lisa’s Answer: Unfortunately, the UK version is not available outside of the UK online. Many television video providers do what is called "region-locking." However, if you are really determined to watch, a quick Google search can uncover some work around. Here's an article to get you started.
From the BBC website: Currently BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only, but all BBC iPlayer Radio programmes are available to you.
One more thing - occasionally folks upload episodes to YouTube such as this one. Watch them soon as you can because they are often removed due to copyright issues.
New Genealogy Blogs
Blogging is in the family at Matt’s house…I love your show and look forward to every episode. I've been researching for close to 20 years now, but because of podcasts, blogs and all the other electronic communications that have come along with the Internet, I feel more connected and involved in the genealogy community than ever. I want to thank you for always encouraging us to start our own blog. I finally made that jump yesterday. My daughter, who is only 11, and has her own blog about doll crafts has also been encouraging me, so I thought I better get with the program. You can check it out at http://thepastobsession.blogspot.com/
I can't promise anything about how often I will post, but I do appreciate the encouragement you always provide to your listeners. Thanks for providing a great resource to the genealogy community.
p.s. Just in case you want to check it out, my daughter's blog is: carrotandclaire.blogspot.com
Amanda also has a new blog…I have been catching up on all the genealogy gems podcasts for the last month (I sometimes hear your voice when I don't have my headphones in! :) Anyway, I just recently became a premium member, and I'm working my way through those podcasts and videos to catch up. I just wanted to write to say thank you for doing what you do. I can really tell when I listen that you love what you are doing.
I've been "working" on our family tree since 2003 or so, but only in the last year have I gotten serious about it... and only after I started listening to you have I realized about sources. So, I now have a tree with over 13,000 people in it and most of it isn't sourced.
I wanted to let you know that I have started a genealogy blog (mostly so I can go back and source everything from the beginning). I have had a blog in the past just about my kids and other general stuff, but I never kept it going. I'm already thinking differently about this one because of all the possibilities there are... the address is feeserfamilygenealogy.blogspot.com, I hope you'll check it out. It's about more than just the Feeser line of our family, but since that's my last name now, that is what we used as the title.
Just after my very first post some of my first cousins (who I talk to a lot) let me know about some pictures and information they have, and one of my cousins even has a recording of our great grandmother that she did when she was younger (she's the oldest cousin).
Linda likes to blog and laugh…I have been meaning to write to you for some time now to thank you for your marvelous podcast. I have been a faithful listener to Genealogy Gems since the beginning and have enjoyed your stories, insights, and how-tos. You have a gift for expressing the joys of learning about our family history, not to mention a contagious laugh! Your podcasts have kept me company on walks, while doing chores, even when waiting in line.
Bill is celebrating 160 years down under on his blog…I thought you might like to hear about another blog you inspired. I created a web site dedicated to the Jessep Family history back in 1997. It holds just the facts and covers the many spellings of the name. This is my father’s page so you can see what I mean. http://www.jessep.com/web/i6.htm
My Jessep line arrived in Australia on the 29 Sep 1854 and I suddenly realized that in 2014 our line will have been Down Under 160 years. Now that is something to get excited about and provided a starting point for the story. The blog also allows the story to start and get added to with the help of others. This gave it the purpose it had been missing. The about page has more information: http://www.jessep.com/blog/about
GEM: Interview with Chris Whitten, Founder of WikiTree
Part 1 of my interview with Chris was done for the Family Tree Magazine podcast.
In this episode, Part 2 Chris talks about the "GEDMatches" tool. According to Chris: "This is really a major advance on WikiTree. It makes it much more useful for people who just want to stick their toe in the water and see if cousins are already participating here.”
Tue, 30 April 2013
Travel back to #RootsTech - You'll hear 10 Top Tips for How to Bust Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall, and get the scoop on the new partnership between OCLC / WorldCat and FamilySearch.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend a genealogy event yet this year, don’t fret, because in today’s episode while I get back to my laundry and packing to travel to Tennessee to present a genealogy seminar, you are going to hear two recordings we did at RootsTech.
First up is Jay Jordon, President of OCLC which you may know as the WorldCat. We got a chance to sit down at RootsTech to chat about their new partnership with familysearch which will bring the familysearch catalogue to WorldCat.
Watch the Video:
Then you’re going to hear 10 Top Tips for How to Bust Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall – The winner of the free RootsTech registration that we gave away on the Genealogy Gems blog Sarah Stout, got an opportunity to sit down with me and Canadian Genealogy Guru Dave Obee to discuss her brick wall (read all about it here) which spanned the Canadian and US border. But the locations weren’t really the important thing here. The 10 Tips that Dave dished up can really be used by every family historian to achieve genealogy success.
Watch the Video:
Dave Obee’s Top 10 Tips:
1. Create a Timeline – “plot her life…it’s easier to see the holes.”
Resources Mentioned in the video:
Click here to see where Lisa will be presenting next
Click here to book Lisa for your next event
Fri, 29 March 2013
Enjoy a blast from the past with episode #10 featuring Steve Morse and his One-Step website. Then delight in Darius Gray, a genealogist and storyteller who provides tips on sharing your family history stories with your family, (recorded at #RootsTech 2013)
GEM: A Blast from the Past -Episode: # 10
Original Publish Date: May 01, 2007
GEM: Stephen Morse
It’s estimated that nearly 40% of Americans today have an ancestor who arrived in the United States at Ellis Island. I know I certainly do.
Well, ship’s passenger records are really exciting to find and to work with. If you have an ancestor who came through Ellis Island, you’re going to want to make it a priority to find their record.
Steve Morse, described to those of us at the seminar, the success and the frustrations that he encountered in trying to retrieve records from the ellisisland.org database.
Steve experienced much of the same frustration that we often do. However, he just happens to be a world renowned engineer. He holds electrical engineering degrees from three universities, which he put to good use when he designed the Intel 8086, the predecessor to today’s Pentium processor.
And being an amateur genealogist he put those skills to good use by developing the One-Step Ellis Island website to make those records easier to find. Since that time the One-Step site has really been expanded to include new search capabilities and an array of color-coded search forms.
Today Steve recommends use of his Gold Form that searches all New York passengers using enhanced search options. It uses the database at ellisisland.org but has its own search form and search engine that provides the enhanced features.
When you use the Ellis Island website you’ll most likely have to keep going back and revising and adding to your search to get what you need. But using the Steve’s Gold Form website, all the search criteria are there on one page for you to choose from and use. You’ll be using your search time much more effectively – and you know me, I want to get the most I can out of my research time.
The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding these ship passengers in the Ellis Island database. Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census. Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes over 100 web-based tools divided into twelve separate categories. They range from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations. He even has a last-minute bidding form you can use for e-bay! If you listened to Episode 3 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast on Ebay, then you know that I was excited to hear that!
Please let other genealogists know about how much you enjoy the Genealogy Gems Podcast:
GEM: Interview with Genealogy Guru and Storyteller Darius Gray at RootsTech 2013
Book Lisa to teach your genealogy group about how to use Google Earth for Genealogy!
Click here to see where Lisa will be speaking next in person
Fri, 8 March 2013
I am back from speaking at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference in London, and I’ve brought back some gems for you for this episode which I’m excited about. I got to spend about a week in England and this time around got to do some touring with my friend Janet Hovorka owner of Family ChartMasters. We went to Windsor castle which I’ve always wanted to see, and it did not disappoint.
What windsor castle can teach us about family history. It’s all in the details!
The highlight for me was going to Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire. I’m an Austenphile, and I soaked in nooks and crannies of the home where she lived with her sister Cassandra. It was fantastic seeing the little desk where she worked on her books like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma.” Janet and finished up the tour with tea at Cassandra’s Cup teashop across the street, where hundreds of china tea cups hang from the ceiling, and where I had the best bowl of tomato soup in my entire life!
Oh yeah, I was there for a genealogy conference. And yes, WDYTYA Live lived up to all expectations. Janet and I had a booth and I taught classes on Google Search and using your iPad and tablet for genealogy. The classes were sold out and people were lined up around the walls. The turn-out they get for this event is just incredible. I haven’t heard the final numbers, but word is it was well over 12,000 people over the three days.
So here’s my own genealogy story from the event. Now, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while then you may remember me telling you about my first trip to WDYTYA Live and how after one of my presentations several of my husband’s distant English Cook cousins met up with us and we sort of had an impromptu family reunion upstairs in the expo hall. One of those in attendance was Louise Cook (without the “e”) who is married to my husband’s cousin Peter. I know, it gets a little confusing with Louise Cook and Lisa Louise Cooke! But anyway, Louise and I stay regularly in touch, and we met up at the conference this year. She found me after one of my classes and we got to visit, and she told me that she was going to help out with her friend’s society booth. So we are walking back to my booth, and when we arrive, she looks up and laughs because the Lincolnshire booth was right next to ours and there was her chair!
Can you imagine if we had not already met, that Lisa Louise Cooke, and Louise Cook would have been sitting right next to each other throughout the conference not knowing that our husbands were related by way of their third Great Grandfather? ! The moral of the story: Next time you sit down at a genealogy conference introduce yourself to those next to you, you never know who you might be related to.
Following in Family History Footsteps: Young Genealogist Scholarship Available
Find My Past Series now on the website
Register on findmypast.com for free and watch Find My Past episodes that aired in the last 30 days at no cost. Missed an episode or want to watch your favorites again? Findmypast subscribers can watch all episodes for an unlimited time. Every episode will be available to watch on findmypast.com a week after it airs.
Delray wants to know where the Family History Podcast Show Notes have gone...
Gus chimes in on Genealogy Podcast No. 148
Dan shares his experience with copyright:
Getting the Word out on a Genealogy Blog
Over the past two years, I have tackled genealogy from a different perspective: that of looking at my great-grandpa Hugh Breeding’s trucking company. At first, I merely intended on putting together some basic facts and figures on the company and calling it a day. However, I have really gotten into the history of the company and the place it held in the trucking industry…the employee vignettes featured throughout my company research really drives home the story of the company on a more personal level as well as adding much more color to the overall history of the firm.
GEM: WDYTYA Round Up
Genealogy Gems Listeners
Cliona and Lisa
Interview with Dr. Turi King
Full interview on Premium Episode 97
Check out my two article in the March / April 2013 issue of Family Tree Magazine
The Evernote vs. Microsoft OneNote Quick Guide and
The Toolkit Tutorial Using the David Rumsey Map Collection
Thu, 14 February 2013
In this episode we wrap up my 50 Fabulous Family History Favorites List
On Friday I babysat my two grandsons Davy and Joey, and I put together a little game that was prompted by a listener email.
You met long time listener and Premium Member Dot in Australia during our virtual Christmas Party in episode 147, and after the show aired, Dot wrote me to say how much she enjoyed it and to tell me about a little concentration game she put together for her granddaughter.
When my kids were growing up we called in the Memory Game and I know some folks call it the Match Game. But no matter what you call it, it’s the game where you have a set of cards that are all pairs, and you lay them upside down in rows on the table and two at a time turn them over trying to find matches. The person with the most matches wins. Dot made up cards with photos of her family members.
She writes: “She opened the little box I was holding and went through the photos one by one. We put a few pairs down at a time, and as she turned them over she matched them. I included our pets as well.”
I wrote Dot back to let her know that MyHeritage.com had something similar. You have to sign in to your free account. In the menu you will find the MyHeritage Family Game under the Apps tab
When Davy, who is three years old, arrived on Friday I got to thinking about all this, and I quickly whipped together a set of cards using photos of family members and ancestors.
How to Make a Quick Memory Game:
It was a lot of fun and a great way to incorporate family history in to daily activities. I think when we do that it makes family history more of a natural part of our kid’s lives.
Dot also mentioned to me that she found an app for her iPad called Match which lets you add your own photos. It’s by Apps Kids Love. This is a really fun app and if you set up a folder of your ancestor photos in Flickr it’s a snap to add them.
And the other fun things I did this weekend was watch a movie called Play the Game. My daughter Hannah told me about it and set it up in my Netflix Instant Queue when she was here over the holidays, and we finally got a chance to sit down and watch it. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s movie to watch with your sweetie, this is it.
It is a little independent film from 2008 starring one of my all-time favorites – Andy Griffith. It’s about the relationship between a young man and his grandfather, and how they coach each other through their love lives. It’s funny, and sweet, and that’s very refreshing. You can check it out at the movie’s website called http://www.playthegamemovie.com
Show Your Love
Have you enjoyed the podcast, the Genealogy Gems app, the website, one of my books? Show your love (just in time for Valentine's Day!) by casting your votes!
The 2013 About Genealogy Readers' Choice Awards are open for nominations in a variety of categories, ranging from genealogy software and apps, to websites and blogs. Click on the links below to nominate your favorite sites. Nominations for the 2013 About Genealogy Readers' Choice Awards are open until midnight (EST) on February 17, 2013.
GEM: 50 Fabulous Family History Favorites
Genealogy charts in one form or another have been around since people started keeping track of their family history. And even with all the technology we have today, sometimes there is just no substitute for a paper chart to help you work through the complicated relationships in your family tree. My first favorite gems are in the chart category, free charts that you can use online and offline to help you keep things organized, as well as help you share your family tree with others.
26. About Genealogy
View, download, save and print free family tree charts and forms including U.S. Census Extraction forms. In this collection you will find traditional family tree suitable for printing, as well as interactive charts that allow you to type in the fields online (using the free Adobe Reader program) before saving them to your computer.
Deep in the Ancestry website are a diverse collection of free downloadable forms and charts. Select from Ancestry Ancestral Form, Research Calendar, Research Extract, Correspondence Record, Family Group Sheet, Source Summary, US, UK and Canadian Census forms.
28. Family Tree Magazine
Offers a wide selection of free downloadable charts including a Five-Generation Ancestor Chart, Family Group Sheet, Research Calendar, and Repository Checklist. You’ll also find forms for Cemetery Transcription, Immigration, Records, Oral History, Heirlooms, and census extraction forms for every US enumeration.
At marthastewart.com they offer an online decorative Family Tree Fan Chart template suitable for framing. In the search box on the site’s home page search for “Family Tree Charts” and you’ll find several lovely charts in the results list that include instructions and downloadable templates. You’ll also find other “good things” including free videos and family tree display ideas.
The Family ChartMasters chart creation tool--Family ChArtist-- is a great way to make a decorative 8.5x11 chart suitable for scrapbooking, framing or other craft projects. Enter your information manually or via gedcom and choose one of the simple pedigree chart designs. You can edit your information and then choose from hundreds of borders, background and embellishments or even use your own pictures in your chart.
You can tell by the way I opened this show that I love a good movie, and I particularly love movies with family history themes and stories of immigration. This next group of favorites is what I consider to be some of the best:
31. Full of Life
32. Sweet Land
The Movie website: http://www.sweetlandmovie.com/
When Lars Torvik’s grandmother Inge dies in 2004, he is faced with a decision – sell the family farm on which she lived since 1920, or cling to the legacy of the land. Seeking advice, he turns to the memory of Inge and the stories that she had passed on to him.
The movie is based on Will Weaver’s short story A Gravestone Made of Wheat and shot on location in Southern Minnesota.
33. The Emigrants
Starring Max Von Sydow. In episode 24 I mentioned the book which was made into a movie. Episode 24
(Swedish: Utvandrarna) “The Emigrants” is a 1971 Swedish film directed by Jan Troell. It tells the story of a Swedish group who emigrate from Småland, Sweden to Minnesota in the 19th century. The film follows the hardship of the group in Sweden and on the trip. The film is based on the first two novels of The Emigrants suite by Vilhelm Moberg: The Emigrants and Unto a Good Land.”
34. America, America
(British title The Anatolian Smile) A 1963 American dramatic film directed, produced and written by Elia Kazan, from his own book. In this tale, loosely based upon the life of Kazan's uncle.
Conferences and Events
Stuff for Kids
Every day that we invest in genealogy research it becomes even more important that we capture the interest of the next generation in family history. If we don’t, it could all be lost and for nothing. This next group of faves are tools you can use to accomplish this important task.
My Favorite Episodes
44. The Forensic Linguist Dr. Robert Leonard
45. My interview with Venice
46. Interview with Lisa Kudrow
47. Chris Haley sings
48. Steve Luxenberg
49. Interview with Gena Ortega
50. Heritage Quilts
Mon, 4 February 2013
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 150
In celebration of this 150th episode and my 50th birthday, I bring you:
50 Fabulous Family History Favorites
and of course in Episode 54 I explained how I used the American memory website to locate the original sheet music for one of the songs in the Name that Tune segment.
4. US Bureau of Land Management
5. Google books
7. Stanford University’s Data Visualization Mapping Journalism’s Journey West
8. The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
9. FamilySearch’s Research Wiki
Another fabulous gem out there is YouTube. Did you ever think that YouTube would be a fabulous genealogy gem? Well, it really is, and video is the fastest growing segment online and it’s not just cute cat videos and stupid pranks. There’s a ton of great genealogical related content, and I want to share some great family history channels to get you started
11. USNational Archives YouTube channel
13. FamilySearch Channel
15. Library of Congress channel
Here’s a description of that playlist from the channel: “Highlights include films of the United States Postal Service from 1903, cattle breeding, fire fighters, ice manufacturing, logging, gymnastic exercises in schools, amusement parks, boxing, expositions, football, parades, swimming, and other sporting events.
The majority of the films presented here are from the Paper Print Collection, while the remainder are from the George Kleine Collection, both residing in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (M/B/RS) of the Library of Congress. Both of these collections have printed catalogs available in the Motion Picture and Television Reading Room at the Library.
The films were selected from these two collections on the basis of the activities pictured in the films and the quality of the available prints. As many different types of work, school, and leisure activities as could be found were sought in order to show the broadest possible representation of activities at the turn of the century. The selection is limited, however, by what is available from these collections; not every possible occupation or leisure activity from the turn of the century is represented.
The films in the Paper Print Collection were deposited for copyright from 1894 to 1912 as positive pictures on paper. Many were deposited in this manner on paper rolls frame by frame. For preservation and access purposes, the Library of Congress has made 16mm prints of these Paper Print titles, and has more recently been making 35mm prints of selected titles.”
This collection is a wonderful way to revisit how folks spent their time in the early part of the 20th century.
16. Depression Era Cooking with Clara
17. Mike O’Laughlin Channel
24. Best Phone Security
Stay tuned for the next episode where we wrap up with the second half of the list!
Thu, 24 January 2013
Genealogy Gems Podcast
The April 15 tax deadline is looming: did you know that The Civil War income tax was the first tax paid on individual incomes by residents of the United States?
There is a fascinating article by Cynthia G. Fox on the subject called Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years. It appears on the National Archives website and is excerpted from the Prologue Magazine Winter 1986 edition, Vol. 18, No. 4.
GEM #1: Anna-Karin’s Genealogical Podcast
Anna-Karin Schander lives in Sweden and she publishing a podcast in English about Swedish-American genealogy. It will contain both information about Swedish genealogy and history and records and what happened to the Swedes who immigrated mainly to USA (but also to other countries) and the records they left. She includes wonderful old traditional Swedish music as well.
GEM #2 – A website dedicated to the only war fought on American soil by Americans: The Civil War
SONG: Battle of Manassas
Gov. Sam Houston-Texas: “Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives you may win Southern independence, but I doubt it. The North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche.”
The Civil War began at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina 146 years ago this week on April 12. 3 million fought - 600,000 died.
Chances are someone in your family tree fought in the war. But one thing we know for sure, if you’ve traced any of your family lines back to the 1860s in the US, then you have folks in your tree who lived through and were deeply affected by the Civil War. We’re going to want to learn more about their experience in order to understand their lives. This will lead us to more genealogical leads.
Read about the Civil War in the newspapers that your ancestors read. In addition to the newspapers available by paid subscription on Ancestry.com, there’s a terrific free resource!
Locate ancestors who may have fought in the war. A terrific website is the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System Website
Areas of the System:
Soldiers The CWSS includes 6.3 million soldier names from the National Archives, which were compiled by NPS' in the CWSS project. As of February, 2000, volunteers in over 36 states had completed the data entry of all the 6.3 million soldier names from 44 states & territories. The two final editing processes for the records have recently been completed.
Sailors The NPS and its' CWSS partners are committed to eventually include the names of all Union and Confederate Naval personnel. Given that the records sources for the Navy are not as well organized as the Army records, nor are they micro-filmed, the target date for this is still to be determined.
Regiments The CWSS will include histories of over 4,000 Union and Confederate units (regiments), which will be linked to soldiers' names and battle histories. These will be completed this year as part of the CWSS site. The site currently includes regimental histories of units from 44 states and territories.
Battles In the CWSS The unit histories are linked to histories of the 364 most significant Civil War battles already on the Internet from the NPS' American Battlefield Protection Program. These battle histories were compiled as part of a report to Congress by the Civil War Sites Advisory Committee.
Prisoners The current version of the CWSS includes prisoner records of Union prisoners at Andersonville and Confederate prisoners at Fort McHenry.
Cemeteries The National Park Service manages 14 National Cemeteries, all but one of which is related to a Civil War battlefield park. The NPS is planning on listing all names of burials in these cemeteries on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. The first phase involves data taken from written records of Poplar Grove National Cemetery at Petersburg National Battlefield, and also includes images of the headstones.
Medal of Honor This feature of the CWSS includes information on over 1,200 Civil War soldiers and sailors who received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
And National Parks
FEATURED areas of the site:
NEW STORIES: The National Park Service Civil War Institute – Stories of the Civil War addresses the social, economic, political & military aspects of the war.
EDUCATE – for teachers providing civil war curriculum materials from national parks & lesson plans on building a family history.
Looking for more on the civil war on the internet? Check out the Military Indexes website and follow the links to a wide range of web resources. http://www.militaryindexes.com/civilwar/
Genealogy Gems Podcast
It’s Tax Day – Check out your ancestor’s tax records using the links at http://www.cyndislist.com/taxes.htm
GEM #1: Great San Francisco Earthquake
Song: “Hello, Frisco!” By Harvey Hindermeyer, a 1915 wax cylinder recording by The Edison Co.
101 years ago, on April 18, 1906 at 5:13 am an earthquake nearly 8.0 on the Richter Scale hit San Francisco. A slip in the San Andreas Fault caused Shock waves up and down the Pacific Coast. Hundreds Died. Fires did the most damage.
My Great Grandma was 7 months pregnant with my maternal grandfather when the quake struck. They were living at on Kentucky St., in the city at that time, and I can’t imagine what she must have gone through. In 1906 my Great grandpa worked as a motorman on a cable car. Shortly after the earthquake he went into a very sensible new career – Life Insurance Salesman!
A great place to start learning more about this moment in American History is at the USGS website
Next stop…The Virtual Museum of the city of SF
Audio: When I did a search in Google for San Francisco Earthquake Audio I found “Remembering the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake” an audio recording by National Public Radio. The website not only allows you to listen to the original broadcast, but offers a truly multimedia presentation including a timeline, photos, and videos
But how were genealogy records impacted by this catastrophic event?” The San Francisco 1906 Earthquake Great Register. Led by Gladys Hansen, San Francisco City Archivist Emeritus and her team. Video of Gladys talking about the project:
On the website, Gladys Hansen states the following “Because of government and financial interests of the time, the official San Francisco death toll has always been extolled as remarkably small. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors official count in 1907 was only 478. It was thought that a high death toll would hamper the rebuilding and repopulation of the city.”
Originally Gladys focused on the 1906 Earthquake Dead using the death dates between April 18, 1906 - May 19, 1906. However with the Governor's Earthquake Task Force now defines an earthquake death as "… an immediate fatality resulting from an earthquake or an earthquake-caused injury or illness that becomes fatal within a period of ONE YEAR following the earthquake." This dramatically broadens the scope of the research.
Gladys and her team are now embarking on an effort to compile an accurate account of those affected by the 1906 earthquake. This time they are looking for information on everyone who was in San Francisco at that time, not just those who died. They consider all stories.
Book Resource by Gladys Hansen Denial of Disaster: The Untold Story and Photographs of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
GEM #2 Shake Up Your Research Strategy
Step 1: Locate the event on a Timeline. History.com – This Day in History
Step 2: Internet Searches
Sat, 5 January 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 cyndislist.com. 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 cyndislist.com 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 Justia.com, 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
Fri, 14 December 2012
Jump on the sleigh and make the rounds with me to friends of the podcast. We'll making surprise stops at listener's homes, drinking hot cocoa with long time friends of the show and genealogy experts, visiting with the newest member to the Genealogy Gems team, and my Grandson Davy will even make a guest starring appearance!
Sat, 8 December 2012
Episode 146 - Maureen Taylor's New Film Project, Genealogy News, and A Fabulous Use for Google Alerts
In this episode we discuss the latest genealogy news, one listener's fabulous use of Google Alerts, and Maureen Taylor's new history film project.
Google Earth 7
In my video CD Google Earth for Genealogy Volume II I go into detail about 3D models and even give you resources for how you can get your own 3D models of everything from your house, to your ancestor’s home.
Download the new Google Earth 7 and get even more 3D imagery. You’ll find comprehensive and accurate tours of more than 11,000 popular sites around the world, including our growing list of cities where new 3D imagery is available.
A big change with this new version is the tour guide feature which serves as sort of a virtual local expert that suggests places nearby that you might want to explore and providing you with background information on the location. You’ll find the tour guide along the bottom of the screen, and it looks like sort of a film strip of thumbnail images representing various tours that are available. These change based on where you are on the Google Earth globe.
What’s new in RootsMagic 6 Video
In the video you will see new features in action such as:
If you are a current paid user of RootsMagic, you can upgrade for just $19.95. New users may purchase RootsMagic 6 for only $29.95. Order online at http://rootsmagic.com/RootsMagic/
Special Holiday Offer Now through Dec. 20, 2012
The next item here is that the Family Tree Service coming soon to FamilySearch.org
Watch an Introduction to Family Tree that shows 7 reasons to be excited about Family Tree.
Family Tree will enable you to:
If you have questions about what Family Tree will be like or how it will work, you can log in to a special training website that offers online courses, how-to videos, informational handouts, and step-by-step training.
RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City
Students: One-day only pass for $89 and students can get a 3 day pass with their student ID for just $39
Getting Started 3 Day Pass for beginners: gives you access to over 30 classes in the Beginner track is just $39 for the early bird price, and the regular price will be $49
Getting Started one-day pass giving you access to a selection of fundamental classes for just $19
I will be at RootsTech 2013 teaching a variety of classes in addition to my booth in the exhibit hall, and some free demo classes I’ll be doing in the Demonstration Area of the Expo hall. So I hope you get RootsTech 2013 on your calendar because I look forward to seeing you there.
Ireland - National Archives launches new website
The National Archives of Ireland has launched a new genealogy website at http://www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie/ which will initially host the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, Tithe Apportionment records from 1823-37, and Soldiers' Wills from 1914-17.
New at ScotlandsPeople
Millions of Old Newspaper pages added to FindMyPast
Ancestry.com launches newspapers.com
Comprising more than 25 million pages, Newspapers.com offers a historical and present-day newspapers ranging from the New York Times to small town and local newspapers throughout the United States.
According to Ancestry’s press release “The search capabilities on Newspapers.com are specifically designed for newspapers enabling users to easily search by keywords, location, time period and newspaper name.”
The yearly subscription rate is $79.95 for subscribers and $39.95 for Ancestry.com or Fold3.com members. Newspapers.com also offers a 7-day free trial that can be activated at www.newspapers.com.
Ancestry has launched a new Community Support site at Ancestry.com
MyHeritage Buys Geni.com
This podcast is sponsored by:
Jessica has a new blog and a question about photo storage: “…after about the 10th podcast in a row where you encouraged us to start our own blog, I finally got the message. I started my very own "geneablog" a couple of weeks ago. I only have three posts so far, but I'm pretty proud of it. Please check it out and let me know what you think. I'd love you to let your listeners know too, because that would be even more feedback! I am writing my blog from the perspective of my relentless quest to better understand the life of one particular ancestor of mine, William Park. I call it "Knowing William" and it writing it really makes me happy.” Visit her blog at http://williamparkfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/
“I recently listened to episode 119 where you talked to Michael Katchen from 1000memories. I went to the site, signed up, and uploaded pics to my first shoe box. In the interview I remember words like "social networking", "memorials", and "genealogy". I am confused. All I saw on the site was my shoe boxes and some not-very-informative FAQs. I know it has been a while, but have they changed the whole premise of the website in less than a year?”
Lisa’s Answer: Congrats on your new blog! Remember posts can be short and sweet, and pack them with searchable keywords so other researchers can find you in Google Search.
RE: 1000Memories. They have indeed changed up the website since the interview. I agree with you, it seems watered down now, and not as obvious as to how to make the most of it. They seem to be focused on "simplicity."
Barbara Shares A New Use for Google Alerts
The Google alert function is really useful for genealogy, and I first found out about it from Genealogy Gems – so thank you very much for the gem.”
GEM: Maureen Taylor’s new gig – bringing revolutionary war history to film
Maureen Taylor, Author of The Last Muster
Revolutionary Voices: A Last Muster Film, Directed by Maureen Taylor with Verissima Productions
Visit Film Site: lastmusterfilm.com
New Gem for Premium Members!
The iPad is built for hitting the road and is ideally suited for family history due to its’ sleek lightweight size, gorgeous graphics and myriad of apps and tools. In this class I will teach you “the tablet mindset”, the best apps for the tasks that genealogists want to accomplish, and my Top 10 list of iPad Tips and Tricks. By the end of class you will be able to turn your iPad into a family history powerhouse!