October 20, 2017

FTM’s 101 Best Genealogy Websites: Here’s the Latest List!

Family Tree Magazine has released its newest list of 101 best genealogy websites–and we’re on the list! This year’s list is all about the best free genealogy websites–for US.research, military records, tech tools and more. 

Each year, Family Tree Magazine publishes its list of the 101 best genealogy websites. They love sharing their favorite sites with readers and honoring those who create these sites. We just heard that the new list is out–and we’re on it!

This year, the list focuses on websites that provide genealogy information and records for free. Categories include:

  • Big genealogy websites
  • Online vital and grave records
  • Military genealogy websites
  • Genealogy immigration websites
  • Genealogy map websites
  • Old newspaper genealogy websites
  • Genealogy library websites
  • US genealogy websites
  • Websites for sharing your genealogy
  • Online genealogy technology tools
  • UK & Irish genealogy websites
  • International genealogy websites
  • Genealogy social history websites
  • Online genealogy tips and help

Genealogy Gems appears in that final category. Here’s what Family Tree Magazine has to say about us:

More than 200 free podcast episodes with research experts make Lisa Louise Cooke’s “genealogy radio” website a must, along with how-to videos, a genealogy book club and a helpful news blog.

We share this category with only five other honorees, including RootsTech and YouTube! Click here for the full list of 101 Best Websites.

Family Tree University Fall Virtual Conference 2017Don’t miss Family Tree University’s Fall Virtual Genealogy Conference, coming up September 15-17, 2017. I’m giving the live keynote address, “The Big Picture in Little Details,” because even the smallest details may reveal the bigger picture of an ancestor’s life. I’m giving some of the 15 lectures you can watch on your own schedule throughout the event, and Genealogy Gems Editor Sunny Morton is also giving one. Click here to read more about it and get a promocode for $30 off your registration.

Get the Big Picture and the Little Details

I’m excited to keynote Family Tree University’s Fall Virtual Genealogy Conference, September 15-17, 2017. Get three days of video presentations packed with DNA research strategies, the latest tech tools, organization and preservation tips, and MORE! Sign up by September 15, 2017 with our coupon code for $30 off registration.

Family Tree University Fall Virtual Conference 2017

My grandmother was fond of saying, “The devil’s in the details.” I’m not sure about the devil’s current residence, but I do know that even the smallest details can add up to a really big picture. As genealogists, we’re all hunting for even the tiniest facts and features that will bring that picture into clear focus.

Family Tree University’s 2017 Fall Virtual Genealogy Conference (September 15-17) aims to help you discover and apply all those little details to your family history. With fifteen presentations ranging from DNA testing to research strategies, technology and preservation tools (and everything in between), you’ll gain a host of tricks for understanding your ancestors’ lives better. Some lectures focus on specific record sets, like Genealogy Gems Editor Sunny Morton’s presentation on mining the U.S. census. Other classes help you reconstruct compelling ancestral stories; for example, Nancy Hendrickson’s “Resources for Visual Storytelling” and my own classes, “Time Travel Technology” and “5 Google Secrets Revealed.” Click here to see the full (and impressive!) lineup of presentations.

I’m tying all these virtual classes together with a live keynote presentation, “Big Pictures in Little Details,” on Sunday, September 17, after which I’ll do a brief, live Q&A.

The best part about the FTU virtual conference weekend: Not only can you participate from the comfort of your own home, but you won’t have to choose between presentations occurring at the same time. They’re all available to stream and download. So you can keep them and refer back long after the conference is over. Even my live keynote and Q&As will be recorded, so you won’t have to miss a thing!

Sign up by September 15 and save $30 with our exclusive coupon code GEMS30.

Come join me for a fun-filled three days at the 2017 Fall Virtual Conference!

Best Genealogy Websites for 2016 Includes Genealogy Gems

Wow! We can’t thank you enough for your overwhelming support of The Genealogy Gems Podcast, website, blog, and our YouTube Channel. Family Tree Magazine listed Genealogy Gems among their 101 best genealogy websites for 2016!Family Tree magazine 110 Best websites for family genealogy

Genealogy Gems Named One of the Best for 2016

Family Tree magazine writer David A. Fryxell wrote the post last week listing the 101 Best Websites for 2016. He said they were searching for “new frontiers in online genealogy [and] sites not afraid to innovate at warp speed.” As you know, we really enjoy sharing new and innovative ways to use technology around here and we are delighted they noticed!

To organize the list of 101 best genealogy websites, Family Tree Magazine broke it down into several categories. Some of the categories included, Best Websites for Exploring Your Ancestors’ Lives, Best Genetic Genealogy Websites, and Best Sites for Sharing Your Genealogy. Genealogy Gems fell into the Best Genealogy News and Help Websites of 2016 and it is because of you, our readers and listeners. Thank you!

Another Milestone: 2 Million Downloads!

2 million downloads

   Above: Podcast Stats Screenshot

As if we weren’t elated enough, The Genealogy Gems Podcast hit 2 million downloads earlier this month! We could never have accomplished this goal without your enthusiasm and support. Thank you for listening, for sharing, and for keeping us engaged in bringing you the best in genealogy and family history research tools.

Genealogy Gems - Family History Podcast and WebsiteDid you know there are two versions of The Genealogy Gems Podcast? Anyone can listen to our free podcasts (nearly 200 to date) and Premium Members can currently listen to an additional 137 exclusive Premium Episodes.

If you enjoy our free podcast, you’re going to love the Premium Episodes. Click here to peruse our vast archive, rich with family history innovation and inspiration. Premium episodes go more in depth and are commercial free!

Also included in Premium Membership is over thirty of Lisa’s most popular genealogy classes on video, complete with downloadable handouts.

What’s New for Genealogy Gems

No time to sit on our laurels because we have loads of gems in the works for the coming year. Would you like to feel more focused and organized? You’ll be hearing detailed strategies for streamlining your family history efforts and reducing overload and disorganization.

Have you seen Lisa’s Tech Tips video series? She launched it this summer to rave reviews and she’s got more incredible strategies on the way to help you save time and get better research results.

Youtube genealogy tech tip videos reviews

Start watching and learning today here at our Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. And to keep in the loop, click the Subscribe button while you’re there!

Here’s an Exclusive Discount on NEW Mastering RootsMagic Class

Check out this exclusive discount on a new Mastering RootsMagic class. You’ve invested in the choosing the right software–now make the most of your investment.

OK, all you RootsMagic users: Last week I heard that Family Tree University is offering a brand new course on Mastering RootsMagic. That caught my attention. I use RootsMagic software to retain control of my master family tree (click here to see why) and I know many Gems listeners and readers do, too. And of course we want to be masters of the most important tools we use for our genealogy.

The FTU class is NOT on sale to the public: it’s brand new and being offered at full price. I got in touch with Family Tree University and asked them if they would extend a special discount to you since we’ve been talking so much lately about the importance of databases.

buy now

 

 

So here’s the scoop about the class:

Mastering RootsMagic Class

In this 4-week, no-pressure, self-pace online course, you’ll find ways to make the most of all RootsMagic has to offer. For example, you’ll learn:

  • How to get started using RootsMagic
  • Step-by-step processes for creating your family tree and uploading a gedcom
  • How to develop your family tree
  • Add source citations, edit information, attach pictures and other media, and more
  • Organization tips and tools, like creating timelines, charts, reports, and research logs
  • Making the most of RootsMagic to create a family website or write your family history

RootsMagic expert and FTU instructor Diana Smith will be available throughout to answer your questions personally.

More RootsMagic Gems

RootsMagic Review: Why I Use It

RootsMagic 7 Can Now Import Family Tree Maker Files Directly

Better RootsMagic for Mac Options Now Available

Best Genealogy Apps Under the Big Top

best genealogy apps under the big topChoosing genealogy apps can be like watching a three-ring circus, but not when you let me, your ringmaster, direct you to the best genealogy tools for your mobile device.

family tree magazine best genealogy appsIn my brand new article Under the Big Top featured in the March / April 2016 issue of Family Tree Magazine, we’ll skip the side shows and get right to main acts of the best apps for genealogy, like:

The Strong Men – the genealogy apps that pull a lot of weight, giving you constant access to your online tree and or the ability to search for historical records.

custom_app_icon_15153The Lion Tamers – A genealogy database on your computer puts you in control of your tree, but you also want to be able to access that data when you hit the road. These companion apps to two popular desktop programs let you take your master family tree with you.

The Balancing Acts – There’s a lot to juggle when it comes to genealogy: documents, stories, photos, trees, and more. These genealogy apps will help you find the right balance and fly through your research with the greatest of ease.

Send in the Clowns – Clowns bring smiles to our faces, and these apps will bring smiles to your face and the faces of the children in your family – the future genealogists!

Get the digital download issue
Get the print issue

This issue also features an excellent article by our own Sunny Morton. It’s called “Triple Threat,” and Sunny explains how the “big three” genealogy sites (Ancestry, FamilyMyPast, and MyHeritage) measure up to each other—and to your research needs. She compares the sites’ records, search features, and more.mobile genealogy book

For many more on the genealogy apps to use for your family history research, turn to Mobile Genealogy: How to Use Your Tablet and Smartphone for Family History Research.

Save 10% with Coupon code web10

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Watch this free video class for more tips from your app ringmaster!

 

Shop Family Tree

 

Organize Digital Family Photos: Free Podcast Interview with Denise Levenick

organize digital family photos

I love Denise Levenick’s “getting started” strategies for digital photo organization in the free May 2015 Family Tree Magazine podcast. I have thousands of digital photos on my computer–and that’s just from the past few years!

how to archive family photosDenise Levenick is the author of The Family Curator blog and the book How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally. Her approach is so practical and forgiving: start where you are. Start small. Take your time. Do a few at a time. Use a consistent and simple file naming and digital file organizing scheme!

Also in this podcast, Editor Diane Haddad chimes into the conversation with 25 keepsake family photo projects. Then host Lisa Louise Cooke wraps up the photo theme with her favorite strategies for navigating the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.

 

Family History: Genealogy Made Easy PodcastAre you ready for some serious hard drive organization? We can help with that! In our free 2-part series, “Organize Your Genealogy Files,” Lisa shares the system she developed about a decade ago to keep her computer hard drive organized. Her system has withstood the test of time: she’s added thousands more files to her genealogy folders as well as folders that organize “the rest of her life.” Click here to go to these episodes of the Family History Made Easy Podcast, episodes 32-33. Genealogy Gems Premium members can also watch the 2-part Premium video series, “Hard Drive Organization.” You’ll learn similar principles but you can watch Lisa do all that digital organizing right on her computer screen!

3 Genetic Genealogy Experts Talk Shop in Free FTM Podcast

FTM podcast logoThe newest episode of the Family Tree Magazine podcast is now online for your listening pleasure! Catch the latest news and a special spotlight on DNA with chats with THREE leading voices in genetic genealogy.

The latest and greatest in genetic genealogy!

It is so exciting to watch this industry move forward–so quickly and with such fantastic consequences for genealogists.

  • Catch Lisa’s exclusive interview with genetic genealogist CeCe Moore, who talks about what it’s like to research for the PBS show “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”
  • Lisa also gets a behind-the-scenes look at leading genetic genealogy company Family Tree DNA with founder Bennett Greenspan.
  • Finally, Family Tree University’s resident DNA expert and instructor Blaine Bettinger talks about common misconceptions in using DNA for genealogy–and advice on using genetics to bust your brick walls.

News you can use and more

Of course, as usual in the Family Tree Magazine podcast, you’ll hear “News from the Blogosphere” with Editor Diane Haddad, and Lisa stops by the Publisher’s Desk to chat with Allison Dolan, who shares some perspective on the evolution of DNA testing for genealogists.

Disaster Planning for Genealogists and More: New FTM Podcast

FTM podcast logoAutumn gives me the urge to organize and prepare for the future. That’s why I think the new Family Tree Magazine podcast episode is especially timely.

Lisa hosts the September 2014 Family Tree Magazine podcast with these highlights:

  • News from the Blogosphere with Diane Haddad;
  • Preservation tips from the Family Archivist columnist, Denise Levenick;
  • Digital archiving websites from the current 101 Best Websites list;
  • Genealogy estate planning with Family Tree University dean Tyler Moss;
  • and roundup preparedness tips from Publisher Allison Dolan.

For more on disaster planning for genealogists, check out our four-part blog post series on it. Click here for the first one.

Evernote Web Clipper and Much More in Family Tree Magazine (September 2014)

Family Tree MagazineThe new issue of Family Tree Magazine is out, and I really appreciate the shout-outs to us here at Genealogy Gems–and more great tools to help you find your family history.

Directory of genealogy groups on Facebook:
A letter to the editor referred to the article “Teaming Up,” co-written by myself and Genealogy Gems/Family Tree Magazine Contributing Editor Sunny Morton in the December 2013 issue.

Katherine R. Wilson writes, “Since last summer, I’ve been compiling a list of genealogical and hisorical links (almost 3900 of them) found on Facebook, including genealogical and historical societies from around the world, surname lists, Native American genealogy links, African-American genealogy links, Jewish genealogy links, DNA lists, cemetery lists, etc. his list is frequently updated and available to download at no charge from my website.”

(Do you want to collaborate on your family history? Check out our four-part blog post series with tips and tools for researching with a buddy.)

Evernote web clipper article:
Flip to the Toolkit section, pages 66-67, to find my tutorial on using the Evernote web clipper. Because let’s face it, we need a better way to save content from and links to genealogy content we find online. Bookmarks get unwieldly (what did you name that site?) and don’t save content from pages that might disappear.

Evernote for Genealogy Quick Reference GuideEvernote offers precise screen clipping for a PC or a Mac. You can import, store, organize, tag, backup, share and retrieve notes with lightning speed in Evernote. (You can even do full-text keyword searches of those screenshots! How cool is that?) Check out that article!
Learn even more with my Evernote for Genealogists quick guides for both Windows and the Mac, available in pdf format or (in the U.S.) as a printed, laminated guide. (right)
101BESTlogo_2014

Best website awards!
The Genealogy Gems website was named in this issue as one of Family Tree Magazine’s 101 Best Websites in the “In the Know” category. Author David Fryxell actually referred to me as the “podcast queen!” He highlighted the site’s 160 free shows plus the videos and extra content our Premium members can access for $29.95 a year.

The Genealogy Gems YouTube channel was also mentioned as an example of genealogy content you’ll find on YouTube. (Watch something there! It’s free!)

The issue is packed with much more, from a great article on creating a timeline of your ancestor’s life to how to create a genealogy disaster plan. Check it out here!

Insider Tips for Using Ancestry.com: Family Tree Magazine Podcast – July 2014

FTM podcast logoEvery month I host the Family Tree Magazine Podcast, where I check in with the editors and experts at Family Tree Magazine for a dose of genealogy fun and education.

I thought you would especially enjoy the July 2014 episode: it’s all about tips for using Ancestry.com! Highlights of what you’ll hear:


See what new tricks YOU can learn from this free podcast for maximizing your time on Ancestry.com!