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.

Genealogy Crowdsourcing: 4 Strategies and 4 Tips for Your Brick Wall!

While at RootsTech 2014 I had an opportunity to talk with my friend, author and genealogy podcaster Drew Smith (The Genealogy Guys) about the how to conduct effective crowdsourcing of genealogical ideas and solutions, a technique he covers in his new book Advanced Genealogy.

Genealogy Crowdsourcing Strategies
1. Facebook – Search for a Facebook Group
2. Mailing Lists on RootsWeb
3. Message Boards on Ancestry
4. Search Google as message board posting will appear in results

Genealogy Crowdsourcing Tips:
1. Tell people what you already know.
2. Be specific about what you are looking for.
3. Take what you already have and go back and review it. You may notice things you missed.
4. Vocalize the problem to a person with a fresh set of eyes.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Drew’s book and you use this link Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques to purchase it from Amazon, you’ll also be supporting the free Genealogy Gems Podcast- thank you!

Got 10 Minutes? Here’s 100 Years of History

Can 100 years be packed into 10 minutes? This YouTube video attempts to do it!
(Warning: contains some graphic images)

The video also illustrates how the movie camera has captured our triumphs and tragedies for over 100 years.

Do you have old family movies? Consider posting them on YouTube with relevant descriptions that will help others find and watch them. Just like old photos, old film can play a TV animatedsignificant role in our family history, and the Internet provides a forum for sharing them. If you have a free Google account (perhaps you use Gmail or another Google service) then you can use that account to activate your own YouTube channel.

You can learn how to get your free YouTube channel up and running at my upcoming class at RootsTech2014 called How to Use YouTube for Family History: Setting Up Your Own YouTube Channel (RT1508) Thursday, February 6 at 10:30 AM in Room: Ballroom H

100 Years in Few Seconds: Faces Through Time

According to Jan Langer, there are said to be over 700 people over the age of 100 living int he Czech republic. Langer “wondered what changes and what remains on a human face and in a human mind in such a long time, and in such a short while in relative terms. I wondered how much loneliness of the old age weighs, and what memories stay in 100-year-old mind.”

In this riveting time lapse video, Langer explores the similarities and the differences in appearance and in physiognomy over 100 years. He used comparative photos (archive portraits from family albums and contemporary portraits) to bring the faces through time. Personally I find the old faces as captivating as the young.

Though characteristics of personality change over time, Langer says it “seems as if individual nature remains rooted in the abyss of time.”

The series was created as a part of a project for Aktualne.cz.
More information can be found at www.fotojatka.cz

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Genealogy Gift Ideas: Genealogy Entertainment

The last post in this year’s series of genealogy gift ideas is all about FUN. Laugh and cry with these great entertainment options:

Family Tree Season 1

Family Tree: The Complete First Season (DVD)
This series is brilliantly funny! I loved it! It pokes a bit of fun at genealogists (so get ready to smile at yourself) while capturing what’s in the family historian’s heart. Anyone who loves family history (or has a quirky family or just likes good comedy) will really enjoy this series.

This genealogy-themed TV show isn’t a research-the-celebrity format. In fact, the fiction of it makes it even more fun. Here’s a plot summary:”Written and created by Christopher Guest, Family Tree is a documentary-style comedy series conceived and produced in the manner of Guest’s feature films. The story revolves around the journey of the 30-year-old Tom Chadwick (Chris O’Dowd), an Englishman in his 30s who has few roots, little family, and a somewhat unsure sense of his purpose in life. Having recently lost his job and girlfriend, Tom inherits a mysterious box of belongings from a great-aunt he never met, triggering a passion to investigate his family lineage. As Tom’s interest in genealogy grows, his life expands and evolves in unexpected directions, as he uncovers a world of unusual stories and characters in the U.K. and the U.S., as well a growing sense of who he is and who his real family are.”

 

Sweet Land

Sweet Land: A Love Story (DVD)
This film has a great story of love and immigration in the early 20th century. I had the director on the podcast previously (Episode 30).

Here’s the plot summary: “Inge (Elizabeth Reaser) is a feisty German mail-order bride who has come to Minnesota to marry Olaf (Tim Guinee), a young Norwegian immigrant farmer of few words. But in a post-WWI, anti-German climate, the local minister (John Heard) openly forbids the marriage. Inge and Olaf fall in love despite the town’s disapproval. But when the town banker (Ned Beatty) attempts to foreclose on the farm of his friend Frandsen (Alan Cumming), Olaf takes a stand…and the community unites around the young couple, finally accepting Inge as one of their own.”

 

 

 

Family Name

Family Name (DVD)
A listener tells me this is a must-watch, and I have ordered my copy. This Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary captures the worlds of genealogy, race relations in the Southern U.S. and a man’s search for his family identity.

Here’s the summary: “What does a name signify, exactly? Growing up in Durham, North Carolina, white filmmaker Macky Alston never questioned why all of the other Alstons at his elementary school were black. Twenty-five years later, Alston decides to unravel this perplexity in the award-winning documentary FAMILY NAME.

Alston’s quest to solve his genealogical mystery takes him from New York to Alabama and then back to North Carolina. He seeks clues at family reunions, graveyards, church services, and, eventually, the original Alston plantations. The people he meets vary markedly in race, age, class and perspective, but they all have two things in common: the family name and a compelling story to tell. The biggest question of this investigation, perhaps, is whether it will provide the Alstons with catharsis or create an even greater sense of division. As the revelations mount, FAMILY NAME unfolds an unforgettable emotional journey that transforms our conceptions of the past.”

venice

 

Family Tree by Venice (mp3 Song)
(from Spin Art by Venice (CD)) is a gorgeous musical tribute to family. Some people sing or play it at family reunions, funerals and other family gatherings that are about remembering and celebrating. The musicians are part of the extended Lennon family – not John Lennon but the celebrated Lennon Sisters. There’s a lovely acoustic version of the song The Family Tree you can download, too. The group were guests on the podcast (Episode 39).

 

 

WDYTYA Season 1Who Do You Think You Are?: Season One
and Who Do You Think You Are: Season 2
Relive (or catch what you missed of) the unforgettable first two seasons of WDYTYA? from 2010 and 2011.

Celebs discover dramas in their family histories in front of the camera, adding their own discovery process to the story. Their family stories trace larger themes in American history and culture and lead them to reflect on the events and people that made them who they are.

The Season One lineup features Lisa Kudrow (one of the show’s producers), Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee and Emmitt Smith.

In Season 2, you’ll meet Vanessa Williams, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Steve Buscemi, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd.

 

 

WDYTYA kids book

Who Do You Think You Are? Be a Family Tree Detective
by Dan Waddell offers some genealogy sleuthing fun for kids. Inspired by the show, the book helps kids tools, tips, ideas and activities “to investigate, discover, and preserve family secrets and treasures.”

It’s got kid-friendly language and plenty of colorful illustrations make this a great companion for junior genealogists.

 

Family History Episode 5 – Unlocking the Past and Home Sources

Family History: Genealogy Made Easy PodcastPublished October 29, 2013

by Lisa Louise Cooke

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. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.

Episode 5: Unlocking the Past and Home Sources

In our first segment my guest is genealogy author and publisher David Fryxell.  I’m going to be talking to him about locating valuable family resources and the importance of being tenacious in your research.

Then in our second segment we’re going to help you along on your own genealogy journey by talking about the importance of scouring your home for family clues and creative and effective ways to get the words out to your relatives so that family history information finds you!

Links

Online Photo Book Publishers and Other Resources for Creating Your Family History Book

Creating a Family History Book: Start-to-Finish Guidance for Assembling and Printing a Family Keepsake

iPhoto

Kodak Gallery is now Shutterfly

Snapfish

My Family History Videos

A Nurse in Training, Part 1

A Nurse in Training, Part 2

Take a Break: A Video Guaranteed to Take You Back to a Gentler Time

Grab a pop, find a porch swing and enjoy Pickin’ and Trimmin’

Overcoming Angst: How to Prepare to Attend a Genealogy Conference

ShyHave you thought about attending a genealogy conference, but found the idea a bit daunting? First-timers can feel thrown back into “junior high school mode”:

  • Which classes should I attend?
  • Where will I sit?
  • What if I don’t know anybody?

Don’t let a little shyness stop you from going! With a little preparation you can be ready to hit the conference running.

In this video presented by George Morgan (The Genealogy Guys) for the Southern California Genealogical Society (the folks who put on the annual Jamboree in Burbank, CA) you’ll learn what to expect, how to prepare, and how to get the most out of your time once you are there.

Watch the video: How to Get the Most Out of a Genealogy Conference from SC Genealogical Society

The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is a terrific conference and plans are already in the works for Jamboree 2013 to be held in Burbank, CA June 7 – 9, 2013.  Head to their website for all the details on the schedule and registration.   Hurry – according to their website early bird registration ends April 30, 2013.

I hope to see you in some of my classes at Jamboree:

Friday June 7 at 1:30pm Pimp Your Pad! How to Turn Your iPad (and other tablets too) into an Ultimate Genealogy Cruisin’ Machine

Friday June 7  Banquet – Behind the Scenes of WDYTYA? (I’ll be moderating)

Saturday June 8 at 11:30am Master Using Google for Common Surname Searches

Saturday June 8 at 2:00pm The Google Earth Military March Game Show (Ooo…this is going to be good!)

And of course I’ll see you at my booth in the exhibit hall.

 

Who Knew the iPad Could Do This?

If you got an iPad or tablet for Christmas, you may have spent a good deal of time playing angry birds and checking your email. (Come on, be honest!)

But, if you got a copy of my new book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse,  then you have moved well beyond hurling squawking pudgy red birds at piles of wood, and you are now pivoting to your pad for nearly every area of your family history research.

But who knew that the iPad could do this?!!:

5 Reasons You Need the New YouTube App for Family History

The Genealogy Gems Channel is in the #1 spot when searching “genealogy” in the YouTube app, along with many other excellent family history channels

There’s a new YouTube App for iPad (also available for iPhone and Android) that is a must have for your favorite mobile device.

It’s been a long time coming but worth the wait. Here’s a list of the features you will enjoy:

  • Improved search – New tools include auto-suggestion and the ability to browse for new videos while you watch
  • Faster Loading of videos – We like faster!
  • More Ways to Share Great Video Finds - Share a video on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, email or text message right from the YouTube app
  • Sleek New Design – YouTube Channel Guide allows you to swipe right to see new videos from all your favorite channels
  • More Videos –  Tens of thousands of videos now unlocked for your phone

Still not convinced as a genealogist that you need the new app? Here are 5 reasons you should be using YouTube in conjunction with your family history search:

#1 Learn More about Your Ancestor’s World
Search for clubs, businesses, events and other items that impacted your ancestors’s lives.

#2 Find Your Ancestors in Action
Ever since the Internet came on the scene, genealogists have been searching online for photos (or for the distant cousins possessing photos) of their family.  Apply this strategy to YouTube and video.  Click here to read about how a Genealogy Gems Podcast listener hit pay dirt by following this advice.

#3 Get Quick Answers to Your Genealogy Questions
Got a pressing question on how to fix your Ancestry tree to how to how to create crafty family history gifts? Videos on YouTube not only supply answers, but show you how. When you find a channel that you like, click the Subscribe button. This will set you up to be notified of new videos from that channel as soon as they are published. (Sign in to YouTube with your free Google account because, yep, Google owns YouTube.)

The Genealogy Gems Channel in the YouTube App

#4 Benefit from Genealogy Conferences from the Comfort of Your Home
Not everyone has the time or money to attend a genealogy conference. Conference organizers understand this and are harnessing the power of online video to bring key content to users where they are.  To get started, check out the videos that feature popular conference speakers and the conference experience from channels like SCGS (Jamboree) by searching SCGSgenealogy in the app and NGS  by searching NGSGenealogy.

#5 Learn New Techniques for Sharing Your Family History
Get crafty and creative with project ideas found on YouTube.  Search for keywords such as photos, shadow boxes, quilting, scrapbooking, etc. I’ve set up a special playlist on the Genealogy Gems Channel called Family History Craft and Display Projects that is chock full of videos to get you started. Search “GenealogyGems” in the YouTube app or go directly to the playlist at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAE920F093159BD02  

These are just a few ideas for using YouTube and the new YouTube app to enhance your family history adventures. Leave a comment and share the finds you have made.

Learn more about YouTube in Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 140