March 26, 2015

RootsTech Roundup, Writing Family History and More in the Newest Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 176

Genealogy Gems Podcast and Family HistoryThe newest episode of the FREE Genealogy Gems podcast–episode 176–has published and it is PACKED with gems!

Lisa begins with her own in-depth comments on RootsTech 2015. Whether you attended or didn’t, I think you’ll find her front-row analysis of the world’s biggest family history event pretty interesting! I appreciate her insight that RootsTech isn’t just about teaching people to do family history. It’s about motivating and inspiring their legacy-building efforts. I have sometimes felt a lack of that at conferences myself: I get a lot of how-to but not the energizing “why-to” that I sometimes need myself.

I join Lisa to talk about the Genealogy Book Club and MORE great reads for family history lovers. We’re still reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, which offers up a history lesson about the thousands of neglected children who were shipped off by train to rural homes in the U.S. and Canada. In the context of an unlikely friendship between an elderly orphan train rider and a modern teenage girl in the foster care system, we learn how much of a child’s identity comes wrapped up in their family’s backstory. Lisa and I also talk about writing family history using different voices. I recommend books written in a few different voices, or styles.

Another great segment in this episode is the topic of yDNA research and surname studies. Genetics is re-invigorating those “one-name” groups that explore their common surname heritage. As in every episode of the Genealogy Gems podcast, you’ll get some great tips and learn about online resources you may not have seen. You’ll hear from our listeners and readers with questions and comments. And we hope you’ll respond with your own! Click here to listen to the podcast and read the show notes.

Watch RootsTech 2015 Sessions Online FREE

webinar_education_800_wht_13013 RootsTech 2015Did you miss RootsTech 2015? You can watch highlights online for FREE!

Several RootsTech 2015 keynote sessions and lectures were videotaped for live streaming. Now they’ve been archived online. Click here to see what’s available.

Our own DNA correspondent here at Genealogy Gems, Diahan Southard, was recorded. You can now watch her presentation, “Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy.” Watch with relatives who might be interested in “doing DNA” with you! She makes a complex topic MUCH easier to understand.

Genealogy DNA Quick Reference Guides Cheat SheetsRemember, once  you’re ready to test (or had testing done), Diahan’s available as a personal coach to help you navigate the exciting world of genetic genealogy. And we’ve got her entire series of genetic genealogy quick guides available in our Store. Buy just the ones you need or the entire  bundle for a great discount. These were super popular at RootsTech!

 

 

Find Your Family History in New York: September 2015 Conference

NYSFHC Logo 2015New  York can be a fascinating but frustrating place to research your roots. Learn new skills to find your family history in New York at the second New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse, NY, September 17–19, 2015.

From an FGS press release:

“The Central New York Genealogical Society and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society are cosponsoring the 2015 New York Family History Conference.  This year’s event will also be a Federation of Genealogical Societies Regional Conference.

The three-day conference will be held September 17–19 at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center Liverpool, just outside Syracuse, New York.  It will attract hundreds of researchers—both amateur and professional—and top experts in the field.

Nationally known speakers, Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, The Legal Genealogist; Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, FASG; David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, FamilySearch.org; Curt B. Witcher, Allen County Public Library; D. Joshua Taylor, Findmypast.com and President, Federation of Genealogical Societies; Dick Eastman, author and publisher; James D. Folts, Ph.D., New York State Archives; Henry B. Hoff, FGBS, editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register; Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., The Genetic Genealogist; Ed Donakey, FamilySearch.org, VP of FGS; Eric G. Grundset, Library Director, DAR Library; Jim Ison, CG, FamilySearch.org; Matt Knutzen, New York Public Library; Jen Baldwin, Findmypast.com; and, New York-specialist, professional genealogists Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS; Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS; Terry Koch-Bostic and Jane E. Wilcox will give lectures.

Attendees will have an opportunity to advance their skills in researching New York families, to build general skills and through 30 lectures in three parallel tracks and learn ways to build their local genealogical and historical societies through the FGS Focus on Societies day. In addition there will be three luncheons and a dinner, all with riveting speakers; and open-to-the-public Society Showcase; and exhibits by vendors and societies.

Registration is now open online. The registration fee for the three-day conference (excluding meals and printed syllabus) is $140 for the first 75 registrants (available through March 31 or until sold out); members of the CNYGS or the NYG&B receive a $25 discount. The conference program and exhibitor information may be found on the conference website, www.NYSFHC.org.”

RootsTech / FGS 2015: Free Sessions at Our Booth and PRIZES!

OTB_RT_14frontBack by popular demand! After fabulous response last year, Genealogy Gems will once again be sponsoring “Outside the Box Sessions,” a series of FREE mini-presentations at Booths 1240 & 1242 at RootsTech 2015.

Our popular sessions help you think outside the box (and have fun and get free swag while you’re at it). Lisa’s sessions will include:

  • Tech Tips for Newspaper Research (Thursday at 12:00);
  • How to Use Google Earth for Genealogy (Thursday at 4:00);
  • Google for Genealogy: What’s NEW! (Friday at 11:30 and Saturday at 2:00);
  • Google Strategies for Common Surnames (Friday at 12:00);
  • Win Prizes! Google Earth Genealogy Game Show (Friday from 5:30-6:30-perfect “Happy Hour!” activity);
  • iPad Tips and Tricks (Saturday at 10:00);
  • Evernote Tips and Tricks (Saturday at 12:30).

FREE EBOOK: Attend any session and receive our free ebook of handouts for all sessions!

2nd editionClick here for the full schedule and the Grand Prize entry form (which also gets you the FREE Outside the Box e-book with all session handouts). Drop this entry by Booth #1242 and say hello!

Lisa will also be signing copies of her brand new book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox Second Edition!

We are again partnering with The Photo Detective Maureen Taylor and Janet Hovorka (author of Zap the Grandma Gap), and Family Tree Magazine.

Here’s a look at the fun we had at NGS last year:

By the way, our RootsTech partner Family ChartMasters is celebrating the release of its NEW pocket guide, The Chart Chick Insider’s Guide to Salt Lake City: Everything A Genealogist Needs to Know Outside the Library. Click here to get a FREE pdf travel guide to Salt Lake City and, if you like, order the book for only $9.95 (pre-order for pickup at RootsTech and pay no shipping, or add on $5 to have it sent to you).

Are You Going to RootsTech 2015? So is Laura Bush

Bush_Laura_PROMOPIC copyRootsTech 2015 is just over a month away! Are you going? Genealogy Gems will be there in booth 1242 and we look forward to meeting you!

And, as recently announced, former First Lady Laura Bush will be at RootsTech, as she joins an already-impressive who’s-who list of this year’s keynote speakers and entertainers.

Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager will keynote the Friday morning general session on February 13. According to a FamilySearch press release, “The former First Lady will talk about life in the White House and the importance of family during those eight years, as well as reflect on the difficult days following September 11th. Jenna Bush Hager will join her mother onstage for a fireside chat where they will share family stories as a new mother and grandmother.”

Last year, over 9000 people from 31 countries attended this forward-thinking gen-tech conference in person. An estimated 150,000 viewed live-streaming sessions around the world. It’s tough to argue with RootsTech’s claim as “the largest family history conference in the world.” Visit us at the Genealogy Gems booth in the Expo Hall!

rootstech 2015 ambassador badgeStill need to register, or need more information? Head over to the RootsTech website.

 

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.