April 18, 2014

FREE FGS Webinars: War of 1812, Using Twitter in Genealogy

FGS logoFor a limited time, you can watch FREE genealogy webinars from the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2014 Webinar Series. These are top-notch experts in their fields who have a lot to share. These three caught my eye:

“Discovering Local and State Militia Records” by J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA is available only until Sunday, April 27, 2014:

So is “Researching in the Post War Records of 1812″ by Craig Scott, MA, CG:

Interested in social media? Don’t miss this webinar: “Capturing the Community: Using Twitter to Connect, Engage and Educate in Genealogy” by Jen Baldwin:

Check out the full webinar series here.

Magnify Your Genealogy Research with this App and Your Smartphone

Magnifying reading glassesSometimes when I really need to read something my arms just aren’t long enough and my reading glasses are buried in the bottom of my purse. But one things that is always within reach is my smartphone.

My favorite mobile app that comes to my rescue  is Magnifying Glass with Light by Falcon in Motion for the iOS. I use it on both my iPhone and iPad. (Android users can grab Magnificent Magnifier HD for the same sort of tool.)

Magnifier mobile app for smartphoneMagnifying Glass with Light is a handy free tool that I find myself using quite often. The first time, I was coming home at night, and the porch light was off. Not only was it dark, but I didn’t have my readers handy so I couldn’t have read the number pad on the front door lock if I wanted to (which I did!) I whipped out my iPhone and not only did the light illuminate the situation, the magnifier made reading those little numbered buttons a snap.

Safely inside, I continue to use this handy tool to inspect old family photos, read small print and other genealogical activities.  In this screenshot (right) you can see what the app screen looks like as I inspect the tiny writing at the top of an street car in a old photo of my Great Grandfather (below.) Sweet!

San Francisco Street Car Great Grandpa Burkett Family History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what’s new in Version 3:Magnifying Glass with Light mobile app iphone

  • LED light level control
  • Image Stabilizer
  • Crystal Clear Mode
  • High Contrast Mode
  • Auto-Focus Lock
  • Save photos to exclusive album

Bottom Line:

Price: Free

Ease of Use: Easy

Relevance to Daily Life: Daily Uses

Download: Yes!

Further Reading:
British newspaper Archive App: Here & Then
Using Evernote on the iPad, Android, Tablet & Smartphones
Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse

 

 

British Newspaper Archive App: Here & Then

The newest kid on the app block is Here & Then, which serves up fascinating historic articles, images and advertisements from The British Newspaper Archive through your iPhone for free.

Here & Then Mobile App for Genealogy

Click to enlarge image

Download Here & Then from Apple’s iTunes store

Download this mobile app and read stories from over 200 years of historical newspapers for free, wherever you are.

  • Learn what happened on this day in history
  • Discover reports reflecting today’s news
  • Enjoy interesting and amusing snippets dating back to the 1700s

Don’t have an iPhone? You can also read daily stories on our Facebook page – ‘like’ The British Newspaper Archive on Facebook

About The British Newspaper Archive
The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership project between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History. From November 2011 to 2021, up to 40 million pages from historical newspapers across the UK and Ireland (spanning the period, 1700 to 1950) will be uploaded to the website. www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection.

Using Evernote on the iPad, Android Tablet, and Smartphones

evernote on the ipad, evernote heroRecently I heard from Jill, who is learning to use Evernote on the iPad for her genealogy. She asks:

“I am using Evernote only as a “note taking” app.  I am not sure how to use it on my iPad. I  have your “quick guide”…how do you copy items (on a mobile device such as iPad, Android tablet, or smartphone) to be put in Evernote from a website?”

Solution: Using Evernote on Mobile Devices

The Evernote for Genealogists quick reference guide will prove invaluable for the desktop software (Windows or Mac), but it doesn’t apply to the free Evernote app.

Every Evernote account has its own unique email address. In the Desktop software’s menu go to TOOLS > ACCOUNT INFO and you’ll see it there. You can use that email address to email photos, etc. from your iPad to your Evernote account.

Dolphin App for mobile genealogy and EvernoteTo learn about web clipping on the iPad and other mobile devices, watch the video of my class on the RootsTech website “How to Become an iPad Power User” (you’ll find the class towards the bottom of the 2014 video list.) In the video I show you how to use the free browser app called Dolphin to easily accomplish mobile web clipping, plus lots of other tips. You can download the free handout for that class here.  Evernote is built right in to Dolphin, making web clipping of your genealogy finds just as easy on an iPad or other mobile device as it is on your desktop!

Genealogy Gems Premium Membership and PodcastFinally, Genealogy Gems Premium Membership is loaded with Evernote tutorial videos including one I just did as a webinar (that video alone has a retail value of $39.95) Genealogy Gems Premium membership is just $29.95 and includes over a dozen classes and 100+ premium podcast episodes)

Happy (Mobile) Clipping!

Family History Episode 21 – RootsMagic and Irish Genealogy Research

Family History: Genealogy Made Easy PodcastOriginally published 2009. Republished March 4, 2014

Download the Show Notes for this Episode

Welcome to this step-by-step series for beginning genealogists—and more experienced ones who want to brush up or learn something new. I first ran this series in 2008-2009. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.

Episode 21: RootsMagic and Irish Genealogy

Lacey Cooke guest-hosts this double-feature episode on two big topics in family history: RootsMagic genealogy software and how to get started in Irish research.

In the first segment you’ll from Bruce Buzbee, president and founder of RootsMagic Genealogy Software. He talks about his industry-leading software, RootsMagic, which you can try in basic form for free (RootsMagic Essentials) or purchase with all the bells and whistles (totally worth it!) for $29.95.

And in our second segment you’ll hear from Judith Wight. This is a very timely conversation since we are soon to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Judith is a professional genealogist whose specialty (and personal passion) is Irish research.  This is your chance to learn from a master about how to find those elusive Irish ancestors! Listen for her tips on finding Church of Ireland records, civil registrations, estate records and how history helps us understand gaps in the records.

More Irish Research Links!

Irish Genealogy

RootsIreland

 

 

 

Just How Many (and Who) are Subscribing to Podcasts?

Lisa Louise Cooke Studio FinalAccording to Apple, iTunes crossed a huge milestone this year: 1 Billion Podcast Subscriptions! An incredible number considering that podcasting did not exist before 2005.

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, and we have certainly seen that growth here at Genealogy Gems. The Genealogy Gems Podcast is fast approaching 1.5 million episode downloads. Here are more stats you might find interesting:

While most Genealogy Gems Podcast listeners live in the U.S., this map shows that genealogists around the world are tuning in:

 

podcast map

Here are regions broken down by those  downloading the most episodes:

access

region

 

Most of you are listening via iTunes (both online and loaded on to your favorite mobile device) and through the Genealogy Gems Podcast Mobile app:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a fun infographic we put together that you can share with your friends and on your blog:

 

 

 

 

The Cool New Technology that Just Got Better with Genealogy

Flipboard CoverFlipboard
Originally designed specifically for the iPad in 2010, the free Flipboard app has moved onto all the major mobile platforms. And this cool new technology has just gotten better with a big dose of genealogy!

I invite you to explore the newly released free Flipboard magazine RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge. (Image right: cover)

Genealogy Gems has  published the magazine in conjunction with the RootsTech program team in a continuing effort to help family historians embrace new technologies and present RootsTech attendees with the possibilities.

Consider what’s been happening in the mobile space this last year:

  • Smartphone usage in the U.S. increased by 50 percent (Kleiner Perkins)
  • The number of emails being opened on mobile increased by 330 percent (Litmus)
  • Tablet usage doubled in the U.S. (Pew Research Center)

The bottom line: More than ever folks are accessing websites, videos, podcasts, blogs and other online information on their mobile devices. That’s where the free Flipboard app comes in.

RootsTech Flipboard magazine pageThe free Flipboard app is a social-network and online aggregator of web content and RSS channels for Android, Blackberry 10, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. Content is presented in a captivating magazine format allowing users to “flip” through it with a simple swipe of the finger.

As a genealogy new media content creator and publisher, we’re excited to introduce a creative use of this emerging technology to the genealogy industry. RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge is a free magazine available at http://tinyurl.com/RootsTech2014. The magazine pulls together great web content from RootsTech speakers, exhibitors, and official bloggers in one beautiful and convenient place.

This magazine has presented an opportunity to crowd-source the know-how and talent of all of those who work to make RootsTech a success. The magazine offers an exciting look at the RootsTech experience the innovative technologies emerging in the genealogy industry, and a new vehicle for everyone in the RootsTech community to converge! The pages go beyond text and images by also delivering video and audio!

How to Access the Magazine in Flipboard:

  1. Get the free Flipboard app at flipboard.com, in iTunes or Google Play.
  2. Set up for your free account
  3. In the search box at the top of the homepage, search for ROOTSTECH
  4. Tap “RootsTech 2014″ by Lisa Louise Cooke (you’ll see a magazine icon next to it.)
  5. When the magazine loads, tap the SUBSCRIBE icon at the top of the page
  6. Starting at the right hand side of the page, swipe your finger from right to left over each page to “flip!”

Looking for more great genealogy themed Flipboard magazines? Check out two more new issues from Lisa Louise Cooke:

Stay tuned to the Genealogy Gems Blog and Podcast for Lisa’s upcoming exclusive interview with the folks at Flipboard!

Genealogy Gift Ideas: Family History On-the-Go

Lisa Santa Hat 2These days, genealogists can take all their research “to-go” on their iPad or tablet. Here are some of my favorite genealogy gift ideas that harness the power of portable computing and a Black Friday / Cyber Monday Special you won’t want to miss!

If you aren’t already using an iPad or tablet for genealogy, consider what it can do for you:

  • keep your family tree and all your sources at your fingertips with tools like the Ancestry and RootsMagic apps;
  • all kinds of imaging: document and photo scanning, microfilm imaging (right from the reader!) and a built-in regular and video camera for shots of relatives, tombstones, family artifacts and heritage sites;
  • share cool finds on the spot–when great-grandpa comes up in conversation you can pull up his picture on the gorgeous tablet display;
  • collaborate with other researchers with great free tools like online file sharing services such as Dropbox.com, and free video calls with Skype; etc.
  • keep track of travel details, to-do lists and other needs (genealogy or not!) and MORE.

Now here are my gift picks, starting with the obvious: the iPad itself. To shop these items, please click on the links below so your purchases will help support the Genealogy Gems podcast. Thank you!

iPad

iPad 4 (with retina display, MD510LL/A, 16GB with Wifi, black). 5 MP forward- and rear-facing camera, a just-right-sized screen with gorgeous resolution, an HD video camera, plenty of storage for a portable device (with cloud storage, too, of course) and more. All this weighs in at less than 1.5 pounds, so it tucks easily in your messenger bag, backpack, purse, briefcase or even your laptop case. Click to get:Apple iPad with Retina Display MD510LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi,) at a special discounted price.

 

Sound benderThe speaker on the iPad is fairly small and sometimes you just need to pump up the volume. Here’s the perfect, simple solution:
SoundBender 2.0 Easy-Fit Magnetic Sound Enhancer (for iPad 2, 3 and 4). This wireless sound amplifier is really cool and works great! I originally saw it on the TV show Shark Tank and bought one immediately. It magnetically secures to the side of your iPad and bends sound toward you for your music, videos, games, Facetime and of course your Genealogy Gems podcast episodes! Click to get: SoundBender 2.0 Easy-Fit Magnetic Sound Enhancer for iPad 2 & iPad 3 & iPad 4

 

iPad car headrest

iPad Car Headrest/Mount/Holder (for iPad 1, 2, 3 and 4). My Grandsons LOVE this!  Extra-long cable included. Turns your iPad into a backseat entertainment system. Perfect for watching movies, looking at pictures, playing games and more. Makes it more fun for non-researchers (adults and children!)  to be along for the ride on those genealogy road trips and solves the problem of “who gets to play with the iPad.” Straps onto the headrest of the seat in front; extra-long cable extends 6.5 feet. Doesn’t require tools. Click to get: Ipad Car Headrest Mount Holder for Apple Ipads 1-4 Including Extra Long Cable
mount

iPad Dashboard Car Mount.  Use the vacuum base to safely secure your tablet onto the windshield. No messy adhesives! Makes it easier to consult online maps, recipes, weather apps and of course all those genealogy apps when you need to be hands-free. Use it to listen to the Genealogy Gems podcast while you work out, clean, sort files, cook and more! (Just don’t watch it while you’re driving!) Rotatable stand moves 180-degrees for comfortable positioning, Rotating ball joint ensures a perfectly angled display Click to get: SQdeal Universal Dashboard Car Mount Holder Cradle For Apple iPads 1 – 4 /iPad Mini

Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhosue
Learn how to get the most out of your iPad with my book, Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse. Learn how to think like an iPad/tablet user (it’s different than desktop computing). Discover everyday apps to help you with household, travel, business and other tasks. And of course, learn the myriad of ways you can harness the power of mobile computing for your genealogy. (Like all those ways mentioned above – imaging and document scanning and MORE.)

Between Black Friday (11/29/2013) and Cyber Monday (12/2/2013), you can purchase this book along with ALL my other books in special 40% 0ff bundles:

$29.95 for the e-book bundle
$49.95 for the print bundle

Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Dropbox for Genealogists

Collaborative Cloud ComputingTo celebrate my article in the new issue of Family Tree Magazine (co-authored with Genealogy Gems Contributing Editor Sunny Morton), I’m running a series of posts on teamwork tips and technology tools for collaborative research. This post covers one of my favorite free sharing tools: Dropbox.

A cloud storage service like Dropbox or iCloud is a dream come true for genealogy researchers who want to collaborate from across the living room or across the world. It’s also great for accessing your own research from multiple devices without ever having to copy it over: your home computer, laptop, tablet/iPad, smart phone.

Basically, Dropbox looks like any other file folder you keep on your computer. Open the folder, retrieve and save files to it like any other folder. But this folder lives online as well, so more than one person or computer (with approved access) can access it. You can save documents, images and other files in real-time. And it’s free!

What can you share on Dropbox?

  • Research sources. Photographs, documents, audio files of interviews, materials from books, etc. Basically any source material you can think of that can be preserved digitally!
  • Your to-do lists. Whether working alone or as a team, it’s important to have–and use!–a to-do list. The list should track specific tasks, like ordering an ancestor”s death certificate or searching for an obituary. For the article in Family Tree Magazine, the editors created a brand new Research Planner and Log: a comment-enabled PDF that lets you keep track of tasks, including when they’re done. This is a great document to use in Dropbox!
  • Research notes and writing. Think timelines, biographical sketches, drafts of writing projects, GEDCOM files (the universal file type for family tree data) and any other files related to getting the research done.
  • Links. Keep a file with your favorite links embedded in it, including links to digital books, vital records and other resources. You can simply copy and paste links into a word-processing file called “Links.” Include notes before or after each link, like “great local history blog for Marietta, Ohio.”

Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy PowerhosueFor more on using Dropbox and other collaborative tools on your tablet, check out my book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse, available as an e-book or in print.

I also hope you’ll check out our article “Teaming Up” in the December 2013 issue of Family Tree Magazine. You’ll find more technology and teamwork tips, including more on Dropbox for genealogists.

Check out the other blog posts in this series:

Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Research with a Partner

Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Evernote for Genealogists

Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Sharing Genealogy Files Online for Free

The Fifth Generation iPad is on the Way and will possibly include…

copyright Lisa Louise Cooke

copyright Lisa Louise Cooke

The website All Things D is reporting that Apple has announced it will hold a Fall iPad Event on October 22, 2014. The newest generation of iPad will possibly include:

  • a thinner and lighter design much like the iPad Mini
  • an improved camera
  • running Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip
  • the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that recently debuted on the iPhone 5s
    (a big maybe??)

The second-generation iPad mini is also set for an upgrade with a retina display and possibly incorporating the A7.

Check out the article here.

Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhosue

 

And to learn how to use your iPad for your family history research, check out my book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse.