December 17, 2014

The Genealogy Industry: $2 Billion–and Growing!

cfl_light_with_plant_growing_out_800_wht_13136Recently, Forbes magazine called family history a “2-plus billion dollar industry that is expected to grow to nearly 3 billion by 2018 (ifla.org). Any investor will tell you that any market described with the word ‘billion’ is a market well worth pursuing.”

The article goes on to describe how FamilySearch International has been quietly spurring growth in the genealogy industry. The nonprofit genealogical organization has made its API (application program interface) available to other developers at little to no cost, allowing for partnerships and app development. FamilySearch’s big annual conference, RootsTech, hosts an Innovator Summit that “offers developers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs access to the latest content and resources that provide insight on family history data, services and inspiration for current and future projects.”

“FamilySearch is no longer being quiet,” they conclude. “They are ready to start knocking doors on a massive scale. In fact, at the industry’s biggest world-wide conference, RootsTech 2015, FamilySearch will be holding a Shark Tank-like competition in front of a 3,000 person live audience.”

“The RootsTech Innovator Challenge is the first of its kind with $25k in prize money and judging by seasoned investors, family history industry leaders, and live audience(s),” explains a statement from FamilySearch sent to Genealogy Gems. “Family history is attracting big partnerships while providing lucrative opportunities for smaller developers to solve complex problems and appeal to the consumer masses.”

like buttonDo you have a great business idea that serves the genealogy market–or do you know someone who does? Share this blog post  with them! More brilliant and creative products and services for genealogists is GOOD for US!

NGS 2015 Genealogy Conference Program Now Available

NGS 2015The FULL program and registration brochure for the next National Genealogical Society conference is now online. Browse the NGS 2015 program for some mouthwatering sessions, workshops, tours and social events!

Why read it now, right when the holiday season is kicking off? Several events have limited seating–first-come, first-served to those who register. And registration opens December 1! So set aside your Black Friday shopping lists and read this tempting list. You may give yourself a holiday gift of attendance at NGS next spring!

ALisa Louise Cooke of the Genealogy Gems Podcastmong the sessions Lisa will be teaching at NGS 2015 are NEW topics many of you haven’t heard yet:

  • Tech Tools that Catapult the Newspaper Research Process into the 21st Century;
  • iPad & iPhone Power User Techniques for Genealogy; and
  • Six Pillars to Build Your Genealogy Business Online.

The conference will take place in St. Charles, Missouri. The 16-page brochure is downloadable here as a pdf or you can read it online here.  Register at the NGS website. Can’t make it in person? They will stream 10 sessions live for you to watch from the comfort of your own home or office. (Learn more about in coming months.)

Win a Chance to Attend RootsTech 2015 for FREE!

rootstech 2015 ambassador badgeRootsTech 2015 is shaping up to be a major production again! This three-day technology-oriented family history mega-conference offers over 200 classes for beginners-to-pros, hands-on computer labs and big-name evening entertainment options. The conference runs in conjunction with the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, so attendees can catch two powerhouse conferences with one visit to genealogy mecca Salt Lake City, Utah.

Our news of the day is that RootsTech has given us a FREE RootsTech All-Access Pass for one of YOU. This is a $159 value–itself an enormous value for all the fun and learning you’ll find at RootsTech.

If you can get yourself to Salt Lake City for RootsTech from February 12-14, 2015, you can enter to win this pass.

TO ENTER:

  • genealogy book club genealogy gemsEmail us and in the subject line include the title of the book we are currently featuring in our brand new  high & low tech Genealogy Gems Genealogy Book Club.
  • In the body of your email, tell us whether you think you’ll read the book. (Tell us why if you’d like–your opinion won’t affect whether you win!)
  • Include your name, email address and phone number.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Your entry must be received by Nov. 25, 2014. The randomly selected winner will be announced in the Dec. 4, 2014 newsletter.

We just launched our new Book Club last month and we’re already hearing enthusiastic response. Our Book Club is free and features mainstream fiction and nonfiction titles that make great reads for those who care about family history. Sign up for our free monthly newsletter to follow the Book Club selections.

Good luck!

RootsTech 2015 Entertainment: Donny Osmond and More

AJ JacobsRootsTech 2015 is known for being all about genealogy and technology. however, in an effort to broaden its audience in 2015 it will feature some heavy-hitting entertainers from outside the industry: best-selling authors, singers, dancers and even the cast of a (family-friendly) college comedy TV show.

The lineup includes:

  • Friday keynote: A.J. Jacobs, author of four New York Times bestsellers, editor at large at Esquire magazine, and a commentator for NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. He is currently helping to build a family tree that connects the entire world and will host the Global Family Reunion on June 6, 2015, which he hopes will be the biggest, most inclusive, most entertaining and most educational Family Reunion in history. Jacobs has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Dr. Oz Show, Conan, The Colbert Report and many others.
  • Donny OsmondSaturday keynote: Donny Osmond, singer, actor, television series host, best-selling author (his autobiography entered the UK bestseller chart at #1), commercial spokesman, motivational speaker, and even a racecar driver. His more recent roles include Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway; a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight; and a Dancing with the Stars champion (2009). Today, Donny performs at the Flamingo Las Vegas alongside his sister, Marie, in their show “The Donny & Marie Show” which earned “Best of Las Vegas” by the Las Vegas Review Journal three years in a row.
  • Saturday evening: The cast of BYUtv’s popular comedy show Studio C and other popular entertainers (TBA) will host the closing event (at 5:15pm).
  • Friday evening: the sights, sounds and dances of various world cultures will entertain crowds in the the expo hall, which will have extended hours (until 7:00). 

Registration is open for RootsTech: click here to learn more.

NERGC: New England Genealogy Conference Registration Now Open

New England genealogy conference NERGC 2015Registration is now open for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) in Providence, Rhode Island on April 15-18, 2015.

Lisa will be there–will you?

Lisa Louise Cooke will be a featured speaker for this conference along with The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell. Here are the lectures she’ll be giving:

Tech Day (Track 2) – Wednesday – 15 April 2015 – 10:45am – How to Turn your iPad or Tablet into a Genealogy Powerhouse

Tech Day (Track 1) – Wednesday – 15 April 2015 – 3:15pm – How to Use Google Earth for Genealogy

T-118 – Thursday – 16 April 2015 – 3:15pm – How to Use Evernote for Genealogy

S-329 – Saturday – 18 April 2015 – 3:15pm – Master Using Google for Common Surname Searches

S-344 – Saturday – 18 April 2015 – BANQUET – 7:00pm – The Google Earth Genealogy Game Show 

Click here for the program brochure. For online registration and to pay by credit card, go to the NERGC website.

 

Cruise the Caribbean with Me! Legacy Genealogy Cruise 2015

Genealogy CruiseWant to cruise the Caribbean in style with me–while learning smart strategies for family history research?

I’m pleased to announce I’ll be the featured speaker at the 12th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise. We embark on June 20, 2015 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA and will visit Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico on the luxurious Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Sea ship.

During the seven-day cruise, I will teach seminars focused on getting quality genealogical results, quickly. You’ll receive loads of strategies and tips you can start using right away, from high-tech solutions to busting brick walls. I will join Legacy Family Tree’s Geoff Rasmussen and others who will offer classes on Legacy and other genealogy technology.

Click here more information or to register! You can also call their travel coordinator, Christy, at 1-800-557-8601 or send an email to LegacyFamilyTreeCruise@gmail.com.

See you on board!

FGS Ambassadors Needed: Who Wants to Help?

stick_figure_raising_hand_400_wht_12734Become an FGS Ambassor - Here’s their invitation:

“The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is pleased to announce an invitation for FGS Ambassadors. If you are a blogger, social media enthusiast, writer, editor, or in any way interested in spreading the word about the FGS 2015 Conference, FGS is looking for YOU.

The 2015 FGS Conference scheduled for February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah, will be a one-time special event with RootsTech. FGS Ambassadors will blog, share, like, +1, and tweet to spread the news about this unique FGS conference to their friends, colleagues, and everyone interested in genealogy.

Benefits to FGS Ambassadors include:

  • Link to your blog, website, Twitter, or other social media accounts on the FGS 2015 Conference Ambassadors Page.
  • Potential to be guest blogger on the FGS Voice Blog.
  • Direct contact with the FGS 2015 Marketing Committee.
  • Advance notice of press releases and other important updates from the Conference Committee.
  • Participation in the FGS Ambassadors Facebook Group.
  • Meet-up with other Ambassadors at FGS 2015—group photo for FGS publicity.
  • Ambassador badge ribbon at the conference.

FGS 2015 RootsTech SLCHaving a genealogy blog or planning to attend the FGS 2015 conference are not requirements for participating.

Visit FGS Ambassadors at https://www.fgsconference.org/media-center/ambassadors/ to review the full guidelines for participating and to register as an FGS Ambassador. Please register by October 8, 2014.”

FGS 2015: Early-Bird Registration Open for “Largest Family History Event in North America”

FGS 2015 RootsTech SLCRegistration opens TODAY for the Federation of Genealogical Societies FGS 2015 conference scheduled for February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This highly anticipated genealogy event puts the FGS and RootsTech conferences under one roof at the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC).

Registration opens with a special early bird price of $139 for a full FGS conference registration. That pricing is available through September 12, 2014. Attend only FGS or add-on a full RootsTech pass for an additional $39. Click here to register.

“FGS 2015 will undoubtedly be part of the largest family history event in North America,” says D. Joshua Taylor, President of FGS. “We are delighted to partner with RootsTech to bring the best of tradition and innovation to the family history community.”

Conference Highlights

  • Conference Sessions: The program features lectures for genealogists of all experience levels. Attendees will learn from a variety of tracks including Tried and True Methods, The Most Useful Records Hidden in Plain Sight, Compiling Singular Records into Lively Stories, A Retro Look at Organizing and Planning, and Modern Access to Vintage Resources. See the full program and list of speakers here.
  • General Sessions: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings will kick off with a joint general session for all FGS and RootsTech attendees.
  • Expo Hall: Both conferences will share an expo hall covering more than 120,000 square feet, which will offer at least 240 booth spaces and a Demo Theater featuring special vendor presentations. Genealogy Gems will have a booth there!
  • Research Opportunity: The Family History Library is the reason that Salt Lake City is the dream destination of genealogists everywhere. The library is a located in walking distance of the Salt Palace Convention Center and the four conference hotels.  
  • Focus on Societies: Sessions on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 will give society leaders and volunteers ideas and tools to help societies promote themselves, increase membership, and develop sources of revenue.
  • Librarians’ Day: On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, ProQuest will sponsor a full pre-conference day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.

I hope I’ll see YOU among the FGS/RootsTech crowds in Salt Lake City in February. Here are the presentations I’ll be giving:

Wednesday, 10:45 am – How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with Evernote

Wednesday, 4pm – Video Marketing: Killer YouTube Strategies for Societies

Thursday, 1:30pm – Reopen Your Genealogical Cold Case: A Step-by-Step Process

Listener-Recommended Jewish Genealogy Resources

JewishGenLogoThe world of genealogy is so huge that one person can’t possibly know everything. That’s why I’m always glad to hear from readers who research different ancestries. Recently I heard from Diane Goldman in Bethesda, MD, USA, who wrote in about her favorite Jewish genealogy resources:

“Dear Lisa,

I love listening to the tips and interviews on your podcast.  So I’m excited to send a recommendation your way. You haven’t broadcast much on Jewish genealogy, but there are some fabulous resources.

  • Salt Lake City just welcomed the latest conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies The last 2 conferences were in Boston and Paris; next year’s will return to Jerusalem. (My tip: Use their website’s member list to find a Jewish genealogy organization for you–either one near you or one that focuses on the right region of the world for your family.)
  • A conference highlight is always the update for JewishGen.orgbegun by Texan Susan King and now associated with New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage.  JewishGen’s grown from a bulletin board linking researchers across the globe to a resource complex featuring personal stories, databases, and digitized materials. Each regional/topical Special Interest Group features its own wealth of resources, often the only access to materials of a particular country or of a region now split among several countries, such as the Galician or Sub-Carpathian group.
  • JewishGen also hosts the independent LitvakSig (Lithuanian data) and Jewish Records Indexing (JRI)-Poland.  The latter has mushroomed from an individual’s medical research to an invaluable resource complex: ‘The largest fully-searchable database of indexes to Jewish vital records accessible online.  4 million records from more than 500 Polish towns.'”

Thank you, Diane! It’s a pleasure to share these resources with Genealogy Gems readers.

You Don’t Have to BE a Pro to Train with Them: APG 2015 Professional Management Conference and SLIG

SLIG APG 2015Two back-to-back opportunities for professional-level genealogy education will take place in Salt Lake City in January 2015 (not too long before the RootsTech – FGS joint conference).

The APG 2015 Professional Management Conference takes place January 8-9. The Association of Professional Genealogists hosts, but includes all who want to learn from and alongside the pros. Here’s the skinny:

  • It’s January 8-9, 2015 at the downtown Hilton Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • 16 sessions include DNA, genealogical standards, adoption research, how to cite your sources and more.
  • The theme is “Professional-Grade Genealogy,” and you’ll definitely be learning from top experts in the field.
  • Early-bird registration is open at www.apgen.org/conferences. Registration for virtual access to select sessions (Virtual PMC) will open later this year.

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy kicks off the following week, with week-long, in-depth instruction on more than 10 genealogical subjects. More details available at www.SLIG.ugagenealogy.org.