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.
Mon, 11 June 2012
June 11, 2012
Episode 134: You asked for it! Here's a blast from the past: Episodes 1 & 2 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast!
Episode 01 February 25, 2007
by Lisa Louise Cooke
My goal in creating this podcast is to provide you with inspiration and innovation to help you get the most of out your research time. There's never enough time to work on your family tree, is there? So when you have some precious moments to dig into your roots, you want to be mining gold nuggets, not dead ends.
Genealogy Gem: Google.com allows you to restrict search results to a specific website.
1 - Go to your favorite genealogy website
You will receive search results just like a regular Google search, except these results show only pages where your keyword appears in the website you chose to search, rather than every website on the internet!
Believe me, once you use this gem, you will never go back to slogging through hundreds of pages that have nothing to do with your family. Try it today!
I hope you'll subscribe to this podcast so you won't miss a single gem packed episode. Email me with feedback, suggestions, and questions.
GEM: Transcription of Family Journals & Letters
Start with what you know. Then talk to your oldest relatives first before you lose them.
Transcription is worth it!
One of my inspirations: the autobiography of my husband's grandfather Raymond Harry Cooke born March 6, 1894 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. This journal led to the discovery of the following photograph...
The Rose Theatre Staff in 1914 (Material courtesy of the City of Regina Archives":
Bottom left corner: Raymond Harry Cooke. To his upper right, Miss Belle Osborne. They later married, and remained so for over 50 years.
Please email feedback and questions. Be sure to let me know how you heard about the podcast.
Sat, 19 May 2012
May 19, 2012
Discover what Dr. Henry Louis Gates hope to convey in the final episode of his series Finding Your Roots.
I just returned from NGS and had a chance to visit with many listeners including:
I also taught classes while there. My first class was on using the iPad for Genealogy, and while I think the students learned a lot, I know I certainly did. Folks were coming up to me throughout the conference sharing their favorite apps and tricks:
Great app for the Kids: Talking Tom Cat (Android)
GEM: App Jumping
If you have an iPad, you probably find yourself using a couple of different apps at a time.
When you are in an app, just use four fingers and swipe side to side to jump from app to app that you currently have open. For this to work you need to make sure that you have “Multi-tasking Gestures” activated under the “General” tab in your Settings.
GEM: Four Finger Swipe
Now as you are doing the Four Finger Swipe you’ll probably notice that you have some apps open that you no longer need open, and if they are open they are taking up battery resources. It’s a good idea to close these down, which is more than just pressing the HOME button to get out of the app. Use four fingers and swipe from bottom to top and this will reveal a horizontal line of the apps you have open. Press and hold one of the apps to start them all shaking and a minus sign will appear on each. Press the minus sign on each app you are not currently using to close them.
The 2013 NGS Family History Conference, Building New Bridges, will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 8–11 May 2013. The conference hotel and venue will be the LVH−Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton). To ensure a reservation, you can reserve accommodations now and be sure to request the NGS conference rate when making a reservation. Call the Hilton for reservations at 1-800-635-7711 or go online at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/accommodations.
GEM: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
What does it mean to be Latino? On May 19, 2012, the season finale of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the PBS TV series that explores race and identity through the genealogy of some of America’s best-known personalities, seeks to answer that question. Through the family histories of actors Michelle Rodriguez and Adrian Grenier, and Linda Chavez, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist and political analyst for FOX News, viewers will discover that Latino identity emerged from the tangled histories of European, Native-American and African peoples.
The three subjects of Sunday’s episode all share Spanish colonial roots, yet each views their identity very differently: as Native American, Puerto Rican, Dominican or simply Latino.
At the helm of this series is Henry Louis Gates Jr. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature, and is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as the director of the W.E.B Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He’s best known for PBS productions like African American Lives, Oprah’s Roots, and African American Lives 2.
This week I was fortunate to grab some time with this very busy man to talk about the final episode of this newest series, Finding Your Roots.
I hope you will join me at the Southern California Genealogical Society Writer’s Workshop, and Jamboree June 7-10, 2012 in Burbank California. I’ll be there teaching several classes, some of which are brand new, and I would love to see you there. It’s not too late to register. Click here for all the details.
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Thu, 3 May 2012
Published May 3, 2012
Decipher your ancestor’s head gear with Maureen Taylor (AKA The Photo Detective) with tips from her new book Bonnets and Hats. And then grab your spouse for a genealogical musical number.
Thanks for the Shout Outs:
Going the Extra Yad by Emily Garber
The 1940 U.S. census indexing project was launched this April as part of a broad online community effort.
- Over 85,000 volunteers have already completed 20 percent of the census project.
- A record number of active indexers used the program in a single day—34,947 volunteers.
- In one day more than 3.2 million records were indexed and 1.5 million were arbitrated.
Recently Completed Projects The Genealogy Gems News Blog
Deleted Scenes from Rob Lowe’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?
Sterling is lucky to have old family photos but needs some help preserving them. He writes: “I've become a regular listener of your Genealogy Gems podcast and I find that I'm enjoying it as much as any of the NPR radio shows that are my listening mainstays. I've learned so much from listening to you over the past few months and I'm deeply grateful.
Sally also writes:
The scrapbook format is difficult to process because of the different elements from which it is made. The adhesive may be water soluble and simple to soak off. Try to isolate a leaf of the book with some plastic sheeting (i.e. place a piece of plastic under the leaf to avoid damaging the leaf below). Place a damp piece of blotting paper over one of the newspaper clippings under a light weight. Leave it for about twenty minutes then very carefully, using a spatula, lift the newspaper from the leaf. Place the newspaper clipping between two pieces of dry blotting paper to dry."
Thanks to Sally Jacobs the Practical Archivist. You can get lots more greats preservation advice from her at www.practicalarchivist.com
Swedish TV Series: Line in Denmark wrote in again to give us an update on a popular Swedish TV show about family history: “I have some exiting news about the Swedish tv show that I mentioned in my last email. "Everything for Sweden." On this link they are looking for new contestants for the second season!
“I have taken up your advice on contacting long lost family members. I still don't have the courage to phone them, but instead contacting them on e-mail. So far it has been a big success. I would never have done it if I hadn't listened to your show. So thanks! Love your podcasts - please keep on making them!”
Beverly Loves the Podcast: “I'm a relatively new listener and premium member. I was bitten by the genealogy bug when I was about 12 years old and now I'm a grandmother. I've been calling myself a reformed genealogist because the "bug" has been dormant for a while…Thank you for all you share with your listeners. You have a real gift for communicating in a clear and personable way. I look forward to all your gems I have yet to uncover.”
Get your free audio book and over 40,000 audio book titles to choose from at Audible: http://www.audiblepodcast.com/gems
GEM: Interview with The Photo Detective Maureen Taylor, author of the book Bonnets and Hats
$4.00 off discount coupon for Genealogy Gems Podcast listeners: FJH889FZ
GEM: The Genealogy Widower
You can download a free copy of Michael Stewart’s song the Genealogy Widower here.
Thu, 26 April 2012
April 26, 2012
The big news is Ancestry.com’s acquisition of Archives.com
Early Bird Registration Ends 4/30/12 – Register Now
TH-001 - Conversation with the Author: Steve Luxenberg and Annie's Ghosts
Ashley discovers the important of citing her genealogy sources:
I wanted to drop you a note to express my deepest thanks for all of the work that you put into the podcast. I'm just shy of 30 years old and I've been working on my family tree since I was about 15, but even after all of that work, I'm still learning something new every day!
Jack in Newport News, Va wants to know what do to with the folks who may or may not be ancestors:
“We all are searching for the "right" people but sometimes we find, or seemingly find, the "wrong" people. With the massive number of records on-line these days, it seems quite easy to find someone with the right name and age-range and, often even close to the right area. Sometimes I can eliminate a find based on some fact, but often there’s less certainty. What is the suggested best practice for handing a wrong, or possibly wrong, person/fact?”
This is a good question and one we all face at some point.
In the end I think it comes down to two things:
1. What works best for you
2. And however you decide to handle it, do it consistently!
My personal preference is to make notes in the correct person. If there is no "correct" person in my database, then I will create an "unknown" person in that spot and start adding my finds to that profile, even if it's just in the notes section, so that it's all in one place. It's critical to cite your sources on ALL data along the way so that you know where it came from and you can find it again.
Challe needs help saving old books:
“What does one do to get the information out to the next generation that might not have access to these books? How do you continue the work without reinventing the wheel of all the research that they did? How do you make corrections if needed? I am concerned that the information will be lost and I am unsure as to what to do about it.”
I turned to my friend and book publisher Leland Meitzler owner of Family Roots Publishing at www.familyrootspublishing.com, for an answer to your question and here’s what he said:
“This is an ongoing conundrum, and a question that's not easily answered. The bottom line is that the person should contact the next of kin, and attempt to buy the copyright, or at least the publication rights - just as a publisher would do. And it needs to be in writing.
Failing that, use the "data" within a succeeding publication, being very careful to obtain, and cite the original sources, and if those are not available, cite the book and author without copying word for word what they published. Honestly, it's tricky, and not something I'd want to attempt.
If the book was published prior to 1923, all this is not an issue. The item is in the public domain. If published after that date, but before 1978, there's still a good chance that the book may be out of copyright, if the author didn't renew. After January 1, 1978, the copyright is good for the authors lifetime, plus 70 years. Actually, it's even more complicated than that, but that's the basics.”
Leland recommends: Carmack's Guide to Copyright & Contracts
GEM: The Defective, Dependent and Delinquint Special Census of 1880 with Jana Broglin, CG, OGSF
The DDD: Supplemental Schedules 1 through 7
Download Jana's pdf "Using the 1880 DDD Census". A special thank you to Jana for making this available!
U.S. Federal Census – 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes at Ancestry
Visit Jana’s Website: http://www.janabroglin.com
Mon, 16 April 2012
Published April 16, 2012
In this episode learn more about APG, find out what’s new with RootsMagic 5, and get started searching the 1940 census.
Diane Haddad and I just spent some time on the Family Tree Magazine podcast going over everything that’s been happening with the release of the 1940 census. Diane is the Managing Editor of Family Tree Magazine and writes the Genealogy Insider blog, and she’s been doing a terrific job covering the records release, indexing efforts and early finds in the 1940 census.
You can hear the entire April episode of the Family Tree Magazine podcast at www.familytreemagazine.com/podcast
And you can read more about it my article called Genealogy Just Got More Exciting! The 1940 Census is Here at the Genealogy Gems News Blog.
where you can read about the official opening ceremony at the National Archives and check out a really cool infographic put out by Archives.com that guides you through the process of finding your relatives in the 1940 census before the index is finished and released. Because there isn’t a searchable name index yet, you’ll need to follow a simple three step process:
#1 Write down where you ancestor lived. You can ask older references, check old city directories, voters registrations, previous census and the like to come up with a pretty reliable list.
#2 Go to 1940census.archives.gov Enter your family’s location to find their enumeration district. This is key to finding them without a published index.
#3 Use the Census Maps to narrow your results
#4 Enter the enumeration district number to view the image
Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC
If you’ve been enjoying the new season of the TV series Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC, then you’re really going to enjoy the deleted scenes videos I have for you on the Genealogy Gems News blog.
Also part of that series is another new video that the National Archives released on …
New Free RootsMagic Webinars Announced
RootsMagic has released Version 5. At the Ohio Genealogical Society conference in Cleveland I got a chance to sit down with Bruce Bruzbee, the President of RootsMagic and he tells us what’s new.
It was so great to have a chance to sit down with Bruce and hear about all the upgrades, and he mentioned the free webinar series that they’ve been doing, and all of those have been recorded and are on their website at RootsMagic.com
Installing and Upgrading RootsMagic 5
New Media Tagging in RootsMagic 5
New Source and Citation Features in RootsMagic 5
New Research Logs and Manager in RootsMagic 5
New Timeline View in RootsMagic 5
Installing and Upgrading Personal Historian 2
Apr 19 - New County Check in RootsMagic 5
Apr 26 - New Reports and Options in RootsMagic 5
To sign up for the free webinars, visit the webinar page at:
Thanks for the Shout Outs:
by Jenna, Desparately Seeking Surnames Blog
By: Carolyn L. Barkley, Genealogy and Family History Blog
From Eylse’s Genealogy Blog
"Thank you so much for letting me be a gem!". I loved how you played the "Cooke's reel to reel version and then the iTunes version of "Thine Alone". I definitely spent a lot of time talking with myself and debating whether I had the nerve to send that email! I know you've always said that almost all contacts with genealogists are extremely rewarding, but this was just about my first attempt at communication. I am so delighted that it solved your mystery! …You have a marvelous gift for making all of us feel special, and you've certainly helped me get even more motivated to explore my family history, thanks again.”
From the Voice Mail Line:
Cite your sources!
Send large files for free with www.yousendit.com
Share large files for free with www.dropbox.com
GEM: Interview with Kenyatta Berry, President of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG)
Kenyatta D. Berry is a lawyer, businesswoman and genealogist with over 15 years experience in genealogy research and writing. A strategic and tactical professional with over twelve years progressive experience in Business Development, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Product Marketing and Law.
Kenyatta is looking forward to helping APG continue to grow as an organization and serve the needs of professional genealogists worldwide. Her research focus includes African American genealogy, Virginia genealogy, Land records and House Histories.
Ms. Berry is a member of the Council Member of the Corporation for the New England Historical Genealogical Society. She has been featured in Jet Magazine, on XM Satellite radio and a researcher for NBC Dateline and WETV.
Thu, 22 March 2012
Published March 22, 2012
Genealogy Gems Book Club: Our featured book is Running Away to Home by Jennifer Wilson. In this book, Jennifer takes us on a once and a lifetime genealogical journey where she walked in her ancestors shoes and lived among their descendants.
Get the Book at Amazon: and help support the free Genealogy Gems Podcast.
Visit Jennifer Wilson’s website: http://www.jennifer-wilson.com
Jennifer Wilson has been writing for 15 years for folks like Esquire, National Geographic Traveler, Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Budget Travel, AAA Living, Parents, Midwest Living, Iowa Outdoors, the Chicago Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, (the dearly departed) Gourmet and many others.
SPECIAL VIDEO CONTENT:
watch on The Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel
Genealogy Gems App Users will find a special video about the interview as bonus content for episode 129.
Get the app for iPhone / iPad
Get the Android App at Amazon (Search "Genealogy Gems")
If you enjoyed this episode and the video, please do me a favor and click the thumbs up button for the video at YouTube, you’ll find it right under the video. And you’ll also find ways there on Youtube to share the video through Facebook and Twitter for all you Tweeters out there. Thank you for sharing!
Plan on attending the Southern California Genealogical Writer’s Conference June 7, and Genealogy Jamboree June 8-10, 2012. On June 7 Steve Luxenberg and I will be kicking off the Writer’s Conference with a very special “Conversation with the Author” session. Steve will join me on stage to sit down for an in depth discussion about Annie’s Ghosts and the job of crafting such a compelling family history story. Then throughout the writer’s conference Steve will be teaching a variety of classes to help genealogist’s write their family’s stories. It’s an incredible opportunity to learn from the best!
I will also be teaching 4 additional classes throughout the conference weekend, so I certainly hope that you will join us there for an amazing weekend at Jamboree!
Click here for more information on Jamboree.
Fri, 9 March 2012
Published March 9, 2011
In this episode we'll talk to Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid.
In this episode we'll talk to Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid.
Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012
Mark Olsen of MyHeritage / World Vital Records WDYTYA recap at the MyHeritage blog
Else Churchill and her team from the Society of Genealogists in the UK really do a brilliant job organizing the classes for Who Do You Think You Are?
I’m honored that my Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 class is included in the group. I really enjoyed introducing more people to podcasts and blogs I’ve heard from a lot of folks that this really opened their eyes to a medium they didn’t realize was out there for them to enjoy for free.
Debbie writes: “Wow. All I can say is Wow. I am a 52 year old mother of 4 in Bountiful, Utah. I have been watching the RootsTech Live presentations online and have just finished watching yours. It was amazing and inspiring. I consider myself somewhat tech savvy but have veered away from Blogs. (Just the sound of the word Blog infers something that will weigh you down.) But after your presentation I am anxious to try iGoogle and add blogs and podcasts tailored to my interests. I had no idea. And thanks for pointing out the Google blog search option. All the genealogy-focused search options now available through Google are exciting. I am hopeful you will add all your RootsTech presentations to your podcasts. They sound fascinating.”
And during that presentation I encouraged viewers to get their own genealogy blog started so that they can get information out there that might help them connect with other genealogists researching the same family line. And Carol wrote me shortly after the conference to let me know that she did just that! She writes:
Marlene also wrote in about RootsTech. She says: “The Rootstech Conference was so awesome. I learned so much about podcasts, I am willing to try it out. But first I am the craft queen, especially when it comes to crafting my family history. The last day of the Rootstech I had to leave early. I didn’t get to your last class that I had waited so long for. Do you have a podcast of the steps for creating the crafts you make with your family history?? I see the instructions, but I wanted to watch you in action. p.s. Thanks so much for your signed book on find family through newspapers. I can’t wait to get started. Marlene”
Genealogy Gems YouTube channel:
And the 4 part Family History Christmas Wreath series
Also, several projects discussed in class are featured in my book "Genealogy Gems" available at my Lulu Store.
Hi Lisa, I love your podcasts, but I'm still catching up!! Back in 2009. you ran a series of "Name that Tune" challenges, which I absolutely loved, I think I have old time music in my DNA. It took me a day to recognize the "Missouri Waltz," I knew "The Dark Town Strutters Ball" right away; when I was little I named my doll "Honey" and always thought of those first lines "I'll be down to get you in a taxi, Honey...", I knew "I'll see you in my dreams" don't know if you are old enough to recall "Sing along with Mitch" when it was on TV, but we had all Mitch Miller's Sing Along albums and "I'll See you in my dreams" was among them.
Okay, so that brings me to the reason for this email. In Episode 56, you celebrated "I'll See you in my dreams" and then played a brief 30 seconds of another tune, it was a violin instrumental.
Well as I said I've listened up to 59 and I've never heard the result for that last tune. I think it may be "Thine Alone" by Victor Herbert. It was from the operetta "Eileen". Herbert was born in Ireland and emigrated to America, his more famous songs include "Ah Sweet Mystery of Life" and "The March of the Toys" from "Babes in Toyland" but he seems to have written hundreds of songs.
You had a loyal listener named "Jeannie" who called you with the names of the first 4 songs, I laughed at the similarity in our names, but anyway, I'm going crazy, did anyone else ever recognize that song? If you go to iTunes, there is a good instrumental version of "Thine Alone" on the Album "The Music of Victor Herbert & Sigmund Romberg" performed by George Melchrino. It is a lovely song.
I can't tell you how many wonderful memories those songs gave me!! Yes, I am working on my Family History and really enjoy all your podcasts, videos, blogs and advice. I did finish your Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast series, got to get to work on the Family Tree Magazine Podcast too!!
GEM: Interview with Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid