Published May 28, 2013
Lisa Louise Cooke
In this episode we’ll discuss the 3 reasons you need the new version of Google Earth, a tech tool for discovering what your speech reveals about your heritage, a free Mac tool that will help you take control of iTunes, the new FamilySearch Map App, how to research the college students in your family tree, along with an interview with Irish Genealogist Eileen O’Duill.
What I saw on my vacation in Dallas, Texas:
3 Reasons You Need the New Version of Google Earth Just Released
Google celebrated Earth Day by releasing Google Earth 7.1 and announcing some great new content! And there are three reasons you will want to make the upgrade:
1. New Hands-Free Navigation Technology
The big news with version 7.1 is Leap Motion support, a touch-free 3d technology that lets you “navigate Google earth with simple hand gestures.” The Leap Motion Controller ($79.99) https://www.leapmotion.com/product will start shipping mid-July, so you’ve got some time to get to know Google Earth a little better before you start flying around in it like this:
2. More 3D City Views
There’s also exciting new 3D data in Google Earth, most notably for New York City. But there’s also more imagery for other cities around the world: Innsbruck, Austria; Dijon, France; Cagliari, Italy and the Spanish cities of San Sebastian, Santander, Pamplona, Manresa and Burgos. Other U.S. cities with 3D coverage include Miami, FL; Houston, TX; Orlando, FL; Encinitas, CA and Spokane, WA.
3. The Addition of the 50th Country to Google Maps’ popular Street View Feature
You can now view 50 countries with Google Maps’ popular Street View feature. The newest nations to be added are Hungary and Lesotho (a tiny country within South Africa), and there’s new or updated coverage for Poland, Romania, France, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and other locations worldwide. Google calls this “the largest single update of Street View imagery we’ve ever pushed, including new and updated imagery for nearly 350,000 miles of roads across 14 countries.”
Help for Using Google Earth for Genealogy
Upload the latest version of Google Earth for free (for PC, Mac or Linux). Then check out my Google Earth for Genealogy 2-CD Bundle. There’s a reason is this one of my best-selling presentations: Google Earth is one of the best genealogy research tools around! In these CD presentations, I show you how to locate and map ancestral homesteads; use historical map overlays; identify where old photos were taken; create 3D models of ancestral locations; create custom family history tours and much more.
Discover What Your Speech Reveals About Your Heritage
If you’ve ever lived in or visited the U.S. or Canada, you already know we don’t all speak English the same way. But did you know that we actually speak eight different major dialects in North America?
The website North American English Dialects has put those dialects on the map. In fact, it even traces their origins and spread: 2 dialects from the west and 6 from the east, reflecting the way the English language originally spread across the continent.
It’s fun to look at this map and think about how our American or Canadian ancestors may have pronounced things differently than we do (or the same, depending on how far we’ve wandered). If your families have migrated within the past 50 to 100 years, click on some of the sound samples from your old stomping grounds and see if you catch some familiar cadences or phrases.
Learn more about how our speech reveals our heritage and family history by listening to my interview with Dr. Robert Leonard Ph.D., Forensic Linguist in Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 89. Dr. Leonard has been featured on the TV series Forensic Files and has a fascinating personal history as well.
GEM: Stop iTunes Automatically
The iTunesTimer dashboard widget
If you are a Mac user and listen in iTunes, it will keep playing your podcasts and mp3s until you turn it off. It is a Mac desktop app for you that lets you set a countdown timer that will automatically pause iTunes at the end of the countdown.
The iTunesTimer dashboard widget will not only pause iTunes when the timer goes off, but it can even restart iTunes when you tell it to. And that means you can not only drift off to sleep listening to Genealogy Gems but you can also have it wake you up in the morning! The widget has additional options to for controlling QuickTime, DVD Player and putting your machine into sleep mode. Use the slider bar to select the time duration and click the green button to start the countdown.
The iTunes Timer requires the OS X operating system, version 10.4 or later
How to Make a Daguerreotype
We live in the era of digital photography–far from the time of the daguerreotype. But that didn’t stop Seattle-based photographer Dan Carrillo from falling in love with daguerreotypes and bringing this art form back to life. Today he creates photographs he calls “shiny little jewels” using the same laborious process and dangerous chemicals as early photographers.
Google Patents: More than 480 daguerreotype-related patents at Google Patents
Look Who Will be on TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are?
It has recently been announced that the love interest in the hit movie “Elf” and current star of the popular TV series “New Girl” (think “That Girl” 21st century style), Zooey Deschanel will appear in the next season of TLC’s reality television show Who Do You Think You Are.
According to Zooey Dechanel Online “The season premiere is set for July 23rd, though not sure when Zooey’s episode will air yet.” Zooey joins the growing list of celebrities signed up to star including Christina Applegate, Cindy Crawford, and Chris O’Donnell.
Zooey’s latest album: Volume 3 – She & Him.
If you grew up in the 50′s and 60′s you’ll likely enjoy her warm nostalgic vocals that feature a nod to icons like Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline, enveloped in a subtle “Spector Wall of Sound” feel. Take a listen for yourself :
Your Chance to Enter Family History Writing Contest
Here it is! The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) sponsors an annual writing contest for those who write genealogy for blogs, journals, magazines, newspapers, websites and even for editors of family history newsletters.
Entries are due by June 15, 2013
FamilySearch App Maps Ancestors Birthplace
A new app for FamilySearch.org users lets you map your ancestors’ birthplaces. It retrieves information about your ancestors from your data at FamilySearch.org. The app is FamilyMap and is available in iTunes for $1.99.
Using College Records
I suggest starting with 3 sources:
- University archives material
- Student files
(I’m going to talk about researching U.S. colleges, but some of the same ideas will apply to researching students outside the U.S.)
Yearbooks are probably the easiest place to start your search. College yearbooks date back to the 1880s in the States; most schools had them by the early 1900s. A lot of old yearbooks have been archived online. Some schools have digitized their own. For example, Virginia Tech first published a yearbook in 1895; they’ve posted theirs on their website, digitized by decade.
Look for these on school websites in the university archive or digital archive section. You can also find a ton of yearbooks from all kinds of schools at Classmates.com (where registration is free), E-Yearbook.com and Old-Yearbooks.com. Ancestry.com even has a sizeable U.S. School Yearbooks collection, though many of these are for high schools, not colleges.
If your relative attended school just before yearbooks appeared, look for group photos. You might find these in published histories or originals in university and community archives.
UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES MATERIALS
After you’ve checked yearbooks, turn to other historical sources about the school. Check the university archives webpage for digital collections (including photos) and descriptions of non-digitized materials. (Original manuscripts might be difficult to find in an online card cataloge.) Then contact a university archivist and ask what materials are available to help you learn more about a student who attended during the years in question. Ask about student newspapers and other campus publications. If you think your relative participated in intramural or competitive athletics, performing arts or other activities, ask about memorabilia for those activities.
Finally, it’s worth asking about individual student files, too: transcripts, applications and other materials kept on file like news clippings. Some schools haven’t kept individual files on students from long ago. You may also run into privacy restrictions. Federal law protects university records for living students (the law is called FERPA, or the Family Education and Privacy Act of 1974). But schools can set their own rules regarding disclosure of records for deceased students. Politely ask the University Archivist or someone in the Alumni Office what records exist and their policy for sharing. You may need to prove the student is deceased. Alumni files kept after the student’s graduation (about a career or their ongoing relationship with the school) may be less restricted.
GEM: Eileen O’Duill
Earlier this year while I was at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in London, I got a chance to sit down and chat with certified genealogist Eileen O’Duill.
She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, international trustee of APG (U.S.) 1995-2000, 2007-2008 first CGRS (1995) in Ireland. Her specialization is Irish research and searches for next-of-kin, and she has been admitted as an expert witness in the Surrogate Courts of New York. Co-author of Irish Civil Registration – Where Do I Start available at her website www.heirsireland.com. Lecturer on Irish genealogy topics ranging from beginners to specialist subjects.