April 17, 2014

The Genealogy Professional Podcast: New on the Podcasting Scene

The Genealogy Professional podcastProfessional genealogist and house historian Marian Pierre-Louis is launching a new podcast called The Genealogy Professional.

Marian describes her new show this way: “”The Genealogy Professional podcast provides a peek behind the curtain to give up-and-coming and experienced genealogists a chance to learn from active professionals working in the field. Each show contains an interview with an active genealogy professional and provides tips and guidance related to practical aspects of business such meeting deadlines, networking, finding clients, submitting articles for publication and applying for speaking engagements.”

Like our own Genealogy Gems podcast, The Genealogy Professional podcast speaks to an international audience. Her guests have included professionals from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Israel and the U.S. Shows are broadcast weekly (released on Mondays) through the above website, iTunes and Stitcher.

Free through April 30: Fold3 Civil War Collection

Here’s your opportunity to research your Civil War ancestors for free at Fold3:

“To remember the commencement of the Civil War in April 1861, Fold3 invites you to explore all records in its Civil War Collection [http://go.fold3.com/civilwar/]for free April 14–30.

Civil War Photos for Genealogy and Family History

Click this image to visit the website “Original Photographs from the Civil War” for an incredible look back.

Explore Civil War documents featuring everything from military records to personal accounts and historic writings. Soldier records include service records, pension index cards, “Widows’ Pension” files, Navy survivors certificates, Army registers, and much more. Other record types include photographs, original war maps, court investigations, slave records, and beyond. Items such as the Lincoln Assassination Papers, Sultana Disaster documents, letters to the Adjutant General and Commission Branch, and the 1860 census are also contained in the Civil War Collection.

Confederate-specific records include Confederate service records, amnesty papers, casualty reports, and citizens files, as well as Confederate Navy subject files and Southern Claims Commission documents.

Join Fold3 in its commemoration of the Civil War. Discover information on famous participants as well as your own Civil War ancestors through documents, photos, and images that capture the experiences and vital information of those involved in America’s deadliest conflict. Then commemorate your ancestors by creating or expanding memorial pages for them on Fold3’s Honor Wall [http://www.fold3.com/wall/]. Get started searching the Civil War Collection here [http://go.fold3.com/civilwar/].”

 

How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers: FREE 2-part Podcast

find your family history in newspapersIf you tune in regularly to Genealogy Gems, you know I love using newspapers to learn more about my relatives. I wanted to alert you to two FREE back-to-back podcast episodes on how to find your family history in newspapers. These episodes will get you started or revitalize what you’re already doing:

Family History Made Easy: Episode 27: How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, Part 1

Family History Made Easy: Episode 28: How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, Part 2 (Part 2 will be published on April 22, 2014)

What have YOU found in old newspapers about your family? Share it on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page!

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.

Family History Episode 27 – Find Your Family History in Newspapers, Part 1

Family History Genealogy Made Easy PodcastFamily History: Genealogy Made Easy

with Lisa Louise Cooke

Republished April 15, 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 2008-09. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.

Episode 27: Find Your Family History in Newspapers, Part 1

Newspapers offer such a unique perspective on history in general, and our ancestors specifically.  You can find everything from birth, marriage and death announcements, to school and club event, crime stories, land transactions, sports activities and just about any other activity that your ancestors were part of that made the news.  So let’s get started and “Read all about it!”

In this episode, you’ll hear from Jane Knowles Lindsey at the California Genealogical Society. She is currently the president there and often teaches on the subject of newspaper research.

Here are some take-away thoughts from this episode, along with some updates:

  1. Determine which newspapers existed for your ancestor’s hometown and time period. Look for ethnic and neighborhood papers, too. The most comprehensive U.S. newspaper directory is at Chronicling America. This site does let you search by language, ethnic background, labor group and more.
  2. Look for these newspapers at digitized newspaper sites, starting with the free ones. In the U.S., this means starting with Chronicling America and state digital newspaper project sites (search on the state name and “digital newspapers”). These sites came out of the government digitizing program mentioned in the show.
  3. Digitized newspaper searching is done with OCR (optical character recognition), which doesn’t pick up everything in tough-to-read historical print. Try searching with different spellings, a first name in a particular timeframe, or other people or terms that may have been mentioned.
  4. Ancestry has put lots of newspapers on their website—but not everything, and for only limited time periods. Notice what time period is covered for a specific newspaper. Ancestry has since launched Newspapers.com.
  5. If you’ve found the name of a newspaper that probably covered your family, but you haven’t found it digitized, search the name of the newspaper in your favorite web browsers. Most newspapers are on microfilm somewhere and web directories will likely list holdings. Also, some newspapers have also been indexed on USGenWeb or other sites.
  6. State archives and libraries are often a great resource for newspapers. Local libraries may have unique clippings files or scrapbooks.
  7. Several websites and databases now focus on obituary content. You can target a search for these.

How to Find Your Family History in NewspapersI loved this topic so much I ended up writing a book on it! How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers walks you through the process of finding and researching old newspapers. You’ll find step-by-step instructions, worksheets and checklists, tons of free online resources, websites worth paying for, location-based newspaper websites and a case study that shows you how it’s done.

More Newspaper Links

Some of the digital newspaper collections mentioned in the episode are available by library subscription, like The Early American Newspapers collection the and 19th century Newspaper Collection from The Gale Group. Check with your local library.

Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com)

GenealogyBank

Godfrey Memorial Library

New England Historic Genealogical Society  (by subscription only)

Newspapers.com

Small Town Papers

USGenWeb

Heroic Rescue! 5000 WWI Photos Saved by a Rubbish Collector

WWI photos, World War I photographs

British volunteers for “Kitchener’s Army” waiting for their pay in the churchyard of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London. August 1914. Wikimedia Commons Image

One man has spent years rescuing thousands of WWI photos, letters and other artifacts from the trash. The full story, reported recently by the U.K’s MailOnline, tells the story of this heroic effort.

According to the article, dustman (garbage collector) Bob Smethurst began started this rescue mission about thirty years ago. As he dumped waste cans, he would sometimes spot old pictures, letters and other memorabilia spilling into the masher. He’d rescue them when he could. Now he’s got an enormous collection.

Mr. Smethurst noticed a lot of this World War I material being thrown out during the 1970s and 1980s as veterans died of old age. He guesses that a similar amount of World War II material has been heading to landfills or burn piles in recent years.

Have you ever rescued someone’s family artifacts from oblivion? Tell us about it on the Genealogy Gems Facebook pageA hat tip to Premium Member Kimberly for alerting me to this article!

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

 

 

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 26 – Using Church Birth Records in Family History

Family History Genealogy Made Easy PodcastFamily History: Genealogy Made Easy

with Lisa Louise Cooke

Republished April 8, 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 2008-09. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.

Episode 26Using Church Birth Records in Family History

In our last episode we covered civil birth records. As promised, in this week’s episode we finish up this two part series on birth records by talking about church birth records. Just like with civil birth records, there are a variety of records to track down. So to help us in the hunt I’m bringing back professional genealogist Arlene Eakle, PhD. She helps us see the challenges we face and the success we can have locating church records about our ancestors’ births.

Read the show notes below for exciting updates to the original conversation.

The first place Arlene looks for church birth records is the International Genealogical Index (IGI).  This database can be found at FamilySearch.org. As you can see below, you’ll see a search tool for just the IGI. Community-indexed IGI is what you want to search: the collection of vital and church records from the early 1500s to 1885.

church birth records, IGI

Unfortunately, the indexed entries are not sourced in this database. Chase down the original source of the record with this FamilySearch tutorial.

Here are 3 tips for searching for church records

1. Search for a namesake of the person you are looking for, particularly if they have a fairly unusual or unique name.  Often times that person will be related and give you a clue as to where to find the other person.

2.  Always attempt to get a copy of the original source for information found in transcribed records or online.

3. When you want to locate a church in the U.S. and determine how to access their records, Arlene suggests using Rootsweb and USGenWeb.  US Gen Web is organized by state, then county.

And here are links to 3 more places to look for your family history:

1. Google Books

2. The Social Security Death Index, or SSDI, which we talk about in Episode of this podcast.

3. Volunteer lookups: Arlene mentions Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. That site went offline, then was revived, but isn’t exactly the same. Find it listed along with other volunteer lookup sites at Cyndi’s List.

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!