The FREE Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast series teaches genealogy for beginners with step-by-step, hands-on help at a friendly pace!
“Which podcast is best for beginning genealogists?” This question recently came from our reader and listener, Beverly.
It cued me to remind everyone about my FREE Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast! I created it for beginners to help them get started in a fun and easy way, and for more advanced researchers who want to brush up on their family history research skills in a step-by-step fashion.
Are you new to podcasts?
A podcast is like an online, on-demand radio show. You can listen whenever and wherever you want because they are recorded! Here’s a link to frequently asked questions about podcasts.
After you get started, enjoy the back episodes of the free Genealogy Gems Podcast for tons of additional ideas and strategies. The easiest way to listen is through the Genealogy Gems app available for Apple, Android and Windows.
More Gems: Genealogy for Beginners
We really want you to see Genealogy Gems as your guide through the fun and fascinating world of family history. That means in addition to our podcasts, we write loads of how-to articles just for you. To get instant access to all of our blog posts just right for beginners, go to our home page, look for the What do you want to learn about? menu, click the down arrow, and click Beginner. On your screen you will see all of our Beginner articles in chronological order starting with the most recent.
A free podcast series for beginner genealogy, The Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast series offers step-by-step how-to instruction and inspiration.
Are you just getting started in family history? Or are you ready for a genealogy “do-over” with a more systematic approach to learning and researching? My free beginner genealogy podcast series, Family History: Genealogy Made Easy, may be just what you’re looking for. Kim from Alpine, Utah, wrote in to say how much that series has helped her:
I’ve downloaded all of the Family History Made Easypodcasts and am making my way through them while I exercise. I just finished listening to your archived Family History Made Easypodcast #31 “Immigration and Naturalization Records, part 3” with Stephen Danko, not realizing there were also parts 1 and 2. When I got on my computer to look at the show notes and realized there were two more episodes in this series to listen to, I was thrilled: I have an incentive now to go walking at least twice more this week! The podcasts are the motivation for me to get out and get the blood circulating!
I was amazed at all there is to learn from ship manifests, and have a plan to go back and review those I’ve already captured. I’m sure there are many new things I will be able to learn from them, after learning about all of the marks and notations.
Thank you for producing this entire series of informative, educational, instructive, and interesting, podcasts, as well as the Genealogy Gems podcasts. They are a service to the genealogy community and help elevate the quality of our family history work. I wish you well and hope you continue producing them for a long time!
Here’s how to access the free series:
1. Go to www.genealogygems.com 2. Hover your mouse over Podcast 3. Click on Family History: Genealogy Made Easy 4. Episodes are in numerical order
5. Click the link for episode 1 called Getting Started 6. The web page is called “show notes” and has all the information covered in that episode.
7. Click “Play Now” link at the top and then click the Play button to listen on your computer, or you can subscribe through iTunes. Here’s a link to frequently asked questions about podcasts.
Along with the step-by-step beginner genealogy series, you can also listen to the entire archive of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, like Kim has done, for tons of additional ideas and strategies.
Here’s how you can listen to the Genealogy Gems podcasts when you’re not online.
Recently Lorraine sent us this question: “Can your podcasts be downloaded to listen to offline, i.e. on a cruise where internet access isn’t practical?”
Lucky Lorraine, if she’s headed on a cruise! The answer is YES, absolutely, Lorraine (and anyone else) can listen to our podcasts at sea, while out walking or running, on a camping trip, or anywhere else we find ourselves without internet access.
Here are 3 ways to listen to the Genealogy Gems podcasts offline:
1. Genealogy Gems App: If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can get the Genealogy Gems app and easily download episodes to your phone. In the app, go to Settings and turn on the feature to automatically download starred episodes. Then just tap the Star icon for any episode you wish to download to your phone.
2. iTunes: If you don’t have a mobile device, you can use iTunes (free) to download episodes to your laptop computer or iPod/mp3 player. (Click here for more specific instructions on our Frequently Asked Questions page/)
A female census taker interviews a mother and child for the 1950 US Census. Image courtesy of the US Census Bureau, found at Flickr Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/uscensusbureau/5020542240/in/photostream/.
There’s a story behind every census record. In fact, there are as many stories as there are names on each census page. This is true not just for people being enumerated, but also for the census-takers themselves.
I was reminded of this by Joanne, author of the Researching Relatives blog. She wrote in response to a blog post I wrote about a census taker a few months ago:
“Thank you for inspiring me with one of your posts from October. I never paid attention to the census takers until I read your post, and then I went back and looked at some random pages and found two female census enumerators.”
Of course I went right to her blog. She says she looked through random census entries about her relatives without finding anything special. Then, “In the 1930 census, the enumerator was Anna M. Allen and, in 1940, it was Bessie Dorgan. I’m guessing that female census takers weren’t that unusual, but it still caught me by surprise. So like Lisa, I wanted to find out more.” She put her research skills to work and learned more about these women and their roles as providers for their family. Click here to read more about her discovery.
Do you blog about your family history? Have you ever blogged about a discovery made in response to a tip you got from Genealogy Gems? I’d love to hear about it! Learn more about blogging your family history in myFREE Family History Made Easy podcast,episodes 38-42. Learn how-tos and get inspired by the stories of others who are sharing their family history discoveries online!
Do you know about the Julian calendar and how it can REALLY throw your genealogy research off?
I knew about this but I’ve never heard it explained as simply as Margery Bell does in the Family History podcast episode 43, just republished and re-released on the Genealogy Gems website. Click on the link to see show notes from the episode with a great summary of what the Julian calendar is and how it can affect your research.
In this podcast episode you’ll learn things like:
the definition of “double-dating” in the historical calendar and how to interpret those dates;
the fact that different countries switched over from the Julian calendar at greatly different times;
why Washington’s birthdate, as recorded in his family Bible, is not the birthdate celebrated today in the U.S.;
why several days are missing from the 1752 calendar;
how to translate dates from the Julian calendar to today’s Gregorian calendar.
I hope you enjoy this FREE podcast episode! And why not share it with a genealogy buddy? It’s a great topic for beginning and more experienced family history researchers.
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 44: Family Secrets in Genealogy Records
Today’s episode is unlike any other I’ve done on the podcast. Today we are going to tackle some difficult subject matter: family secrets in genealogy. You know, none of us have a perfect family tree. In fact, I would venture to guess that at some point each one of us who are delving into our family’s past will come across some sad and painful stories. An ancestor abandoned at an asylum, incarcerated for acts of violence, or perhaps who committed suicide.
For Crystal Bell, my guest on today’s show, that sad and painful story was very close to her branch of the tree. In fact, the troubles lay at her parents’ door, and she bore the brunt of the chaos that was created. And yet there is tremendous hope that comes from Crystal’s story. She is a wonderful example of the freedom that can come from facing your fears and breaking down the mystery of a troubled past. It’s what I call the redemptive gifts of family history.
Crystal also shares some of the research strategies that her co-workers at Ancestry.com gave her for taking the next steps in finding her mother, who passed away under an assumed name.
Thoughts from Crystal on responding to the family secrets in your own tree:
“Hatred and resentment only make you look older. They have a great toll on your health. As far as I’m concerned, I can’t hate my mother and father because I don’t know their circumstances were. I can only try to determine their ancestors. I want to know who were my ancestors. Where did they come from?
I feel badly when people…just don’t want to know. I don’t want to die with that sense of abandonment. I want to move on, I want to get past the grief. I want to know who my people were. I just, for the first time in my life, want to experience a feeling of joy and happiness that I feel like I deserve.”
Ancestry.com “Shaky Leaf” Technology
Crystal made connections on her Ancestry.com family tree by reviewing the automated hints provided on the site, known popularly as “shaky leaves.” Learn more about using these in this video.
The MyCanvas service mentioned by Crystal is no longer offered by Ancestry.com. But it is still around! Learn more in my blog post about it.
Here’s a final thought for today:
We are not just defined by one relative, or the product of a dysfunctional family or parental relationship. We come from all of our ancestors….
The ones who did amazing things,
The ones who did everyday things,
And the ones who did wrong.
You deserve to know them all, and as the saying goes, the truth will set you free.