Thu, 8 November 2012
Today's gem focuses on a challenge that we all face as family historians – getting organized, archiving all of our stuff, and digitizing materials an d photos. I know that’s biting off a big chunk, but it’s such an important one. And in this episode I’m going to start to break it down for your with the help of the Family Curator, Denise Levenick who has written a book called How to Archive Family Keepsakes. She’s got lots of practical advice to share.
FamilySearch recently announced that their U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Community Project is Half-way to its 2012 Goal of 30 Million Records
Current and Completed Projects
Canadian Military Records
Google recently announced that Google Maps just got the biggest Street View update ever, doubling the number of special collections and updating over 250,000 miles of roads around the world. Google has increased Street View coverage in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. And they are launching special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico, among others. .
They’ve also recently updated the Google Earth satellite imagery database. This refresh to the imagery has now been updated for 17 cities and 112 countries/regions. So Google Earth has never been better for genealogy research. And of course if you would like to learn more about what Google Earth can do for you as a genealogist, check out my free YouTube videos which show you what you can learn in my video CD series called Google Earth for Genealogy which is available at the Genealogygems.com store.
Genealogy Gems Premium Membership Update
I have also added a video recording of one my most popular classes to the Premium Videos collection. It’s called How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with Evernote.
From Premium Member Kelly: “Thank you so much for your podcast on Evernote. I've been on YouTube watching videos about it but they were hard to follow and more advanced or to techie. Your podcast was easy to follow and went over the basics and I really appreciate that. I think I finally ready to try it.”
If you would like to be able to watch the Evernote class from the comfort of your own home please join us as a Genealogy Gems Premium Member which you can do at www.genealogygems.com
From Patience: “I have noticed in your podcast, other's podcasts, blogs, and at workshops I have attended that there is a concern about the next generation. I do understand, but I wanted to share with you my experience in hopes of easing everyone's worries. I am 23 years old, and let me tell you I stick out like a sore thumb at workshops as I usually am the youngest by at least 30 years. That being said when I started researching I met one of my cousins on ancestry.com, and we really hit it off we have all the same interests, and are like long lost twins. For a while I assumed that she was retired, and much much older than I, but after several emails I found out she is only two years older than me!!!
Jennifer Takes the iPad on the Road
Pat Oxley, a Genealogist on Facebook posted her review of my new book on Facebook last week. "Despite another day of coughing and basically feeling yuk, I bought and downloaded Lisa Louise Cooke's new book "Turn your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse." It is FABULOUS! I worked my way through the book, taking notes and then downloaded and played with some of the apps she suggested! Thank you Lisa Louise! I will say it's a terrific book even if you're NOT a genealogist. Many of her suggested apps could be applied to many different hobbies and interests. You can buy it through Lulu.com.”
GEM: Interview with author Denise Levenick, The Family Curator
Archiving, organizing and digitizing family treasures is one of the greatest challenges for genealogists. In her book How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records, Denise Levenick presents a game plan that breaks down the steps and provides a clear picture of the end goal. The worksheets and checklists provide the kind of practical advice I look for in “how to” books. No fluff, just common sense, and usable information that lead to success.
Get your copy of Denise's book How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records and start getting organized now! Click the link (above) and use the coupon code GENEALOGYGEMS to get an extra 10% off the book (and your entire order!)
Denise May Levenick is a writer, researcher, and speaker with a passion for preserving and sharing family treasures of all kinds. She is the author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes and creator of The Family Curator blog http://www.TheFamilyCurator.com, voted one of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in 2010 and 2011.
Gem: One More Thing
(1) a box full of the small notebooks he kept from his schooldays till a few years before he died…early ones and especially the ones of his years in the Army in India and Burma…The later notebooks are a record of his expenses - with dates, items and expenses which brought back many memories (eg doll for Tina - bought in New York on holiday in 1958 - I remember it well, it was a sort of pre-Barbie!). Every ice-cream he ever bought us - there was a LOT of ice-cream (he loved it)!
(2) my grandfather's old attache case - full of letters from my stepfather's mother between about 1978 and her death in 1993. There were hundreds of them - and yes, I read every single one and they have formed the basis of the story of her life (yes, she also left a small diary, a collection of her own recipes of family favourites, and a very simple family tree), which I am now writing…what VERY little there was seemed to be in answer to some of his questions...It just shows how the smallest things can provide clues.”
Thank you Tina for sharing this – it certainly does remind us that clues can come from anywhere. But it also reminds us of something else – that while it’s wonderful to have our history recorded so it can be remembered, sometimes it’s the smallest things that are remembered most: Like ice cream. I think I’m going to sign off now and take my grandson Davy out for a cone. I hope he remembers it, because I know I will. Who will you invite out for a an ice cream and spend your precious time with today?
Mon, 22 October 2012
In this episode you will hear how one man’s passion for geography and history were saved from destruction, and you’ll find out what a portable scanner can do for your genealogy research and mobility.
My Latest Travels
I wrapped up my recent round of travels last week with a trip to Sumner, Washington where I spoke at the Autumn Quest Annual Seminar sponsored by the Heritage Quest Library. It was a packed room and we spent the day talking about how to find your family history in newspapers, using Google Earth for Genealogy, how to find living relatives and most importantly how to save your research from destruction.
There seemed to be a bit of serendipity involved in this particular speaking engagement, which was booked many many months ago. Recently Bill’s mom made the big move to a lovely retirement home and she really wanted her kids to get together and go through the house and pick up the items they wanted to keep, and then prepare the house to be rented out. As it turned out, amazingly enough, this was the ideal weekend to corral all four kids together to do that before the renovations on the house started.
So after Saturday’s seminar, on Sunday we all got together and although my mother in law was very happy to have moved and really wanted to the kids to do this, it was just hard to get started. Since I didn’t grow up in the house it was a little easier for me to see the task at hand from more of a practical point of view, and I was sort of nominated to guide the process. And it actually worked out really well. Everyone was very comfortable with how the remaining items were divided up, and there were lots of family photos to go around.
I was fortunate enough to receive my mother-in-laws father’s original Royal Typewriter. I think it’s probably from about 1910 and is in pristine condition. It’s all cleaned up and in my studio now inspiring me to continuing writing and blogging. And I also received a small journal with the handwritten life stories of her parents. So I have my work cut out assembling the stories and photos and I hope to get some coffee table books printed as well as do a video that the family can enjoy. We’ll see if I can get that done in time for Christmas.
I’m sure many of you listening have also gone through this process of closing down a parent’s household. If you have an interesting story, or came across an unexpected gem email me or call and leave your story on the voice mail line at 925-272-4021 and I might just share it on an upcoming episode.
Geographic History Saved
Now I mentioned to you that I taught the class Save Your Research from Destruction, and though that title may sound a bit over dramatic, time and time again it proves accurate.
Thank goodness there are folks like Matthew Greenberg, who came to the rescue of a century of old maps. He’s my hero!
GEM: Interview with Gordon Nuttall of Couragent, Inc. and the Flip-Pal
I’ve been a longtime fan of the Flip-Pal portable scanner and I use mine all the time. You’ve probably heard me mention it before on the show, and I often have specials on the Support the Podcast page on my website where you can save money, and at the same time your purchase helps to support this free podcast. Over the years I have received questions from many of you who are trying to decide if it really makes sense to get a portable scanner, and wanting to better understand what it can do for you and how to use it. So I decided it is about time to get all the answers together for you in one podcast gem. And who better to get those answers from than the inventor himself,
Use this link to Flip-Pal and use the special codes below:
“Carry On!” promotion: Save $20 when you purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner plus a Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket, valid October 1-December 31, 2012. Promotion Code: C412A (Please place both items in your shopping cart first before using the promotion code)
“The Suite Life!” special: Purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner with Digital Creativity Suite 3.0 DVD and get a Flip-Pal mobile scanner Cleaning Cloth and Flip-Pal Window Protector Sheets 3-Pk FREE!, valid October 1-December 31, 2012. Promotion Code: TSL12A (Please place all items in your shopping cart first before using the promotion code)
These promotional codes cannot be used in conjunction with other promotion codes.
Thank you for helping make the free Genealogy Gems Podcast possible!
Just a Few More Things
Premium Episode 93 – Evernote
Premium Video: How the Genealogist can Remember Everything with Evernote
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, 22 July 2012
Published July 22, 2012
In this episode author Gena Philibert Ortega and I talk about her new book From the Family Kitchen: Discover your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes. Who doesn’t love yummy home cooking? There is a lot to be learned about our ancestors, and in particular those elusive female ancestors, through a study of our culinary history.
We’ll be talking about the invaluable genealogical records that are so often over looked, ways that you can really dig in to your fabulous food family history, and I’m even going to share a recipe and utensil that our grandmother’s use and that you can still use today to make super scrumptious treats for your family. (Video coming to the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel!)
Speaking of grandmas, I finally found my awesome grandma in California in the 1940 census and it was a snap because the California index along with several other states on July 13, 2012 by Ancestry. Grandma and Grandpa were just 3 months away from moving in to their first real home which they were in the process of having built, and from the birth of their first child, my mom.
FamilySearch continues to add records to the free familysearch.org website. They just announced that they have added the 1881 and 1891 Scotland Census Indexes and Millions More records for Brazil, China, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Other Countries.
Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems website:
We’ve got an entirely new website for you, and thanks again to all of you who have been writing in. I know we’ve had some hiccups along the way getting the Premium feed switched over, but that’s up and running now, and let me remind you, Premium Members are now getting all 88 Premium Episodes published to date.
In the past you would get the most recent 6 episodes and then a new one each month. But now, you have a wealth of episodes available to you. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be able to make all of the content available to you Premium Members, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but the old site just couldn’t handle it.
Premium Membership is now a HUGE value – same price, at least for now - $29.95 gets you one whole year’s access to all of those episodes.
“My question is how do I access the early premium episodes, I always listen to Genealogy Gems / Premium via iTunes?”
Lisa’s Answer: Sign in to your premium membership. From the menu go to Premium Episodes and there you will find instructions for updating your premium podcast feed. It’s important to delete your current premium feed in iTunes first and add the new feed. The need feed will download all the episodes for you and then bring you the new ones as they are published.
Mike wrote in to say: “The new website looks great. Having recently redesigned one at work, I know how much time it can take. I particularly appreciate the back catalog of premium podcasts and have started listening to them. And I hope that your video on hard drive organization will finally motivate me to get electronically organized. Keep up the good work!”
Lisa’s Answer: Thank you very much Mike I really appreciate it!
I am really tickledthat the new site was Randy Seaver’s Tuesday Tips on July 10, 2012 on his wonderful Genea-Musings blog which you will find at www.geneamusings.com
Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems website his Tuesday's Tip - Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems Website
Thank you Randy!
Life After iGoogle Follow up
In Genealogy Gems podcast episode #136 I gave you a neat solution to the demise of iGoogle. As you know Google has announced it will be discontinuing iGoogle which is the way you can customize the Google homepage just for you, and here on the podcast we’ve talked many times about how to customize it specifically for genealogy research. Now while it won’t go away until later in 2013, there’s no time like the present to make a switch and Netvibes.com is a great alternative. So in our last episode I walked you through a special process for converting your tabs and your RSS feed gadgets to a new free Netvibes account to get you started in the transition. And I also published a video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel to show it to you step by step.
I’ve heard from many of you that you love the Netvibes solution:
Nanby said: “Thanks for saving our iGoogle pages. I am going to work on your solution.”
Lee wrote: “Looking forward to your help in converting from iGoogle, and LOVE that all the Premium podcasts are available. Thank you thank you!”
Kim commented on the Genealogy Gems blog:
“I glanced at NetVibes this weekend, but knew you would be addressing the issue! I loved your comment, ".....this will be fun"! You actually make it so easy for us to follow along and yes, even make it 'fun' :) Appreciate the tutorial and I'll be watching for more.”
I you've been trying to get your genealogy vibe on by converting from iGoogle to Netvibes but you’re having trouble (and I've heard from a couple of you) rest assured, it does work. However there are a few things I want to remind you about.
First, this only converts your iGoogle tabs and your RSS gadgets such as gadgets you have for following blogs and podcasts. It can’t convert gadgets that were made specifically for iGoogle because they are coded for iGoogle. However, don’t worry because there are lots of great Netvibe gadgets that can do many of the same things.
Also, in this conversion, it is MANDATORY that you follow the directions exactly! It won't work otherwise. So for example, while it might seem like it should be easier to just drag your mouse over the code to highlight it for copying rather than right-clicking and using SELECT ALL which I tell you to do in the instructions, don’t do it, because I found that it absolutely can make a difference. I don’t know what that is, I’m not a programmer, I just play one on TV, so that’s why I really tried to carefully write out the instructions in the show notes, and demonstrate them in the video.
I know that it may seem like you are doing too many extra steps by copying and creating an .XML document just to turn around and convert it and then copy it as a .TXT document, but every single step as I described it is critical to the conversion working properly. So if you’re having trouble, I would recommend printing out the instructions from the show notes page, and doing each step and checking it off to be sure you don’t miss anything.
But please, if it gets frustrating, just know that you do not have to convert iGoogle. I don’t want you to get bogged down with the conversion and pull your hair out. Simply start a new Netvibes dashboard and add the feed manually by using copy and paste. It will take a little longer to make the transition, but it’s not that bad and it will save you from further headache.
And stay tuned because I'll be doing additional videos showing you how to start a Netvibes page from scratch and then how to really jazz it up which is going to be really fun!
Now I just want to answer a couple of specific listener questions in case it will help the rest of you.
Don wrote in to say that sometimes the Command bar wasn’t visible in Internet Explorer, and he’s absolutely right. Some folks will not have their Command bar activated so that might cause some confusion when you try to follow the conversion instructions.
How to Activate Your IE Command Bar
1. Right click on a bit of blank space in the browser bar area at the top
2. a little popup menu will appear
3. from there you can check mark Command
4. the bar and the Page menu will become visible
Leroy wrote: “I watched you podcast on Netvibes. Nice solution to the loss of iGoogle. Want to know if Netvibes runs on both Mac OS and Windows platforms? Thanks in advance for the assistance.”
Lisa’s Answer: Like iGoogle, Netvibes is on the "cloud" and resides on the Netvibes website. This means it can be accessed by any computer, regardless of operating system. It also means you can access your homepage from any computer no matter where you are with your user name and password which makes it very flexible and portable.
Julie from AZ wrote to say “Been trying to sign up for a basic account, and can't get pass the sign-up page. Every user name imaginable seems to already be in us. Just keep getting the same message. Any suggestions?”
Lisa’s Answer: Netvibes has been around about as long as Google which is quite a while in technological terms, and I notice the same thing with Google when it comes to user names being used up. What I would recommend is to just get a little more unusual with the name you choose.
One idea that works also for passwords is to create a user name that stands for a sentence:
I Am Migrating To Netvibes From iGoogle = IAMTNFI (the first letter of each word)
Kay writes: “I listened to the most recent Episode 136 and was so excited! First of all, it's terrific news about the Premium service and the access to all the podcasts. This has always been very frustrating to me - I listen while I walk and then most of the time I would forget to save the podcasts on my hard drive before they were gone forever.
So glad to hear there is a solution to iGoogle. BUT the transfer isn't working. When I attempt to convert the source file from my iGoogle page to the OPML format, I get one of two results. Either nothing because the file is "too big" or I get an OPML file that's only about 8 lines long - this is a file that will not import into NetVibes dashboard. I just get "0 files imported".
Lisa’s Answer: I heard from a couple of you that you also got an error message like Kay did saying your iGoogle code was too big to convert, and you told me you have pretty big iGoogle pages. I have a pretty large iGoogle page with 12 tabs full of gadgets and I just went through the instructions again and it converted. I don’t know why that happens, and I can’t seem to replicate the problem, so the best thing I can suggest is that you make a list of the iGoogle gadgets that you have – the ones that are not RSS feed gadgets – and then delete them before going through the conversion process. That should make the overall file smaller. And then you will have a list of the kinds of gadgets you were using in iGoogle so that you can look for replacements in NetVibes.
And the "zero files" result is the same one I got when I was just highlighting and copying, or when I didn't save the code into an XML file first and then re-open it and copy it into the conversion box. I'm guessing with your know-how you might be doing some short cuts that just don't work in this case.
UPDATE: Genealogy Gems Toolbar has been discontinued
Reset your homepage – Janice is talking about the page that the little house button on your browser is set to.
How to Change Your Homepage in Firefox back to Google:
1. Go up to the menu (Make sure your Menu bar is on and visible) and clicking TOOLS
2. Select OPTIONS
3. Select the GENERAL tab in the pop up window
4. Paste http://www.google.com in the "Home Page" field
5. Click OK
6. That will reset your Home button on the Firefox browser back to Google.
Internet Explore: just click the little arrow next to the button and follow the menu prompts to reset it to http://www.google.com
John asked about another feature. “I recently reinstalled your toolbar on my IE9 browser. I've found this to be a very useful tool. However, I noticed a few things changed soon after adding the toolbar. When I add a new tab in my browser it defaults to what I believe to be a Bing search page with your logo on it. I miss my old New Tab page where I could click on several of my most used sites. I'm not even sure what the default was prior to adding the toolbar.”
Lisa’s Answer: When you install the toolbar it will set the page you get when you click to open a new browser tab page, to a search page which shows a search box and a Genealogy Gems logo. If you don’t want a search page on new tabs, you can change it back to the default page that shows your most recent pages as options to click when you open a new tab.
How to Reset New Browser Tabs:
1. Click the wrench icon in the toolbar menu
2. Click the ADDITIONAL SETTINGS
3. Uncheck the box for "show a search box" for new tabs
Thanks to all of your who have installed the free Genealogy Gems Toolbar. I really want you to enjoy it and hope these customizations help you do so!
GEM: Interview with Gena Philibert Ortega
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
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:)
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.