November 20, 2017

Royal Family Lines in TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? with Courtney Cox

Courtney Cox discovers royal family lines in the return of Who Do You Think You Are?. Watch TLC this Sunday, March 5 at 10/9c to follow some amazing journeys as celebrities explore their lineage and discover new revelations.

Royal Family Lines in 7th Season of WDYTYA

This Sunday’s season premiere kicks off with actress Courteney Cox as she traces her maternal line back seven centuries to the Medieval times, finding royal lines among the branches of her family tree. Going even further back, she learns that she descends from one of the most prominent figures in European history.

Season 7 of the hit TLC show Who Do You Think You Are? will be a nail-biter for sure. Communists, secret agents, and abolitionists are revealed in family history discovered by this seasons celebrities. The line-up of celebrities include:

Jessica Biel making a surprising discovery that changes what she thought knew about her heritage.

Julie Bowen, of Modern Family, uncovers the story of two relatives whose moral codes are from opposite ends of the spectrum.

Courteney Cox will trace her maternal line back seven centuries to the Medieval times to discover royalty in her lineage and an unbelievable tale of family drama.

Jennifer Grey uncovers new information about the grandfather she thought she knew, learning how he survived adversity to become a beacon of his community.

Smokey Robinson searches for answers behind the mystery of why his grandfather disappeared from his children’s lives, and finds a man tangled in a swirl of controversy.

John Stamos digs into the mystery of how his grandfather became an orphan, and learns of tensions between families that led to a horrible crime.

Liv Tyler learns that her family is tied into the complicated racial narrative of America.

Noah Wyle unravels the mystery of his maternal line, uncovering an ancestor who survived one of America’s bloodiest battles.

Courtney Cox: Sneak Peak of Her Story

Sharing Your Own WDYTYA Experience

Have you recently found an amazing discovery that has altered how you feel about your family’s history? We would love to hear about your experiences on our blog, here in the comments section, or on our Facebook page. After all, everyone has a story to tell.

And speaking of telling your story, Sunny Morton’s new book can help you do just that. It includes:

  • fill-in pages with thought-provoking prompts to capture key moments that define your life
  • Advice and exercises to reconstruct memories from long ago
  • Interactive pages for family and friends to share their own stories
  • Special forms for spotlighting important people, places and times.

Get Story of My Life by Sunny Jane Morton.

Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast Episode 135 Now Available

Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 135The Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 135 is packed with super tech tools for family history and flavored with powerful research tips.

The Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 135 is now available to Genealogy Gems Premium website members.

Host and producer Lisa Louise Cooke has packed this episode with new and fabulous technology tools for genealogists. The head-turning Evernote for Windows update may just win you over to Evernote at last (if you’re not already using it). She invites listeners to check out two new tech products that have come across her desk, and shares why she’s finally on-board with Inbox for Gmail (even though it’s been out for a while).

Lisa Louise Cooke Studio Final genealogy gems premium podcast episode 135Other episode highlights:

  • Why all genealogists should take a lunch break with PERSI now and then (it’s a Findmypast database, not a person);
  • What genealogy TV shows and films are making news right now;
  • Spotlight on emigration records: would your ancestor appear in these?
  • DNA questions for Diahan from a listener;
  • How to Google your way to more recent records than are on Ancestry.com;
  • Diahan Southard talks about the DAR’s move to accept DNA evidence; and
  • A somber moment in U.S. history: The Johnstown Flood.

Genealogy Gems Premium MembershipNot a Premium member yet? You’re missing out! Each month, Lisa shares in-depth news, innovative strategies, insightful commentary and inspiring stories in the Premium podcast. Premium members also have access to 30 (and counting!) on-demand instructional videos on the SAME topics that family historians flock to at major conferences. A Premium membership is like having Lisa host your own personal genealogy conference, all year long, any time. Check out Premium membership here.

TV’s Who Do You Think You Are? #WDYTYA Starts Tomorrow

aisha tyler wdytya

It’s time for a new season of Who Do You Think You Are? here in the U.S. Episode one features comedian and actress Aisha Tyler (Archer, Ghost Whisper.)

According to TLC, Aisha “tracks down her 2x great-grandfather, whose story had been lost over generations, and uncovers an astonishing tale of a prominent ancestor whose struggle to keep his illegitimate son a secret made headlines.”

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store tomorrow:

The new season of Who Do You Think You Are? premieres Sunday, April 3 at 9/8c

The contributors featured in the upcoming season include:

  • Scott Foley finds a relative who risked his life for one of America’s founding fathers, and an ancestor who suffered unspeakably during one of this nation’s darkest times.
  • Lea Michele nails down where her mysterious paternal ancestors came from, and learns of the dire economic circumstances they endured while trying to emigrate to the U.S.
  • Chris Noth learns his ancestors suffered during one of the greatest catastrophes in American history, and a relative who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of all time.
  • Molly Ringwald explores family lore of Swedish royalty which uncovers her ancestors’ harrowing lives and a brave woman who forever changed her family’s fate.
  • Katey Sagal is shocked to learn of her family’s Amish roots, and digs deeper as she realizes the level of dedication to their faith.

 

WDYTYA 2016: TLC Premiere is April 3

Time for wdytya 2016WDYTYA 2016! The two-time Emmy nominated series Who Do You Think You Are? returns to TLC on April 3. Six new stars, and six new ancestral stories.

A male witch hunt. Amish ancestors. Desperate emigration. Bloody battles. Travel to Portugal, Sweden and Ellis Island. WDYTYA is back! A new season of this popular series premieres on TLC on Sunday, April 3 at 9/8c.

According to a company press release, celebs you’ll see in WDYTYA 2016 include:

  • Scott Foley, who finds a relative who risked his life for one of America’s founding fathers, and an ancestor who suffered unspeakably during one of this nation’s darkest times.
  • Lea Michele, who nails down where her mysterious paternal ancestors came from, and learns of the dire economic circumstances they endured while trying to emigrate to the U.S.
  • Chris Noth, who learns his ancestors suffered during one of the greatest catastrophes in American history, and a relative who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of all time.
  • Molly Ringwald, who explores family lore of Swedish royalty which uncovers her ancestors’ harrowing lives and a brave woman who forever changed her family’s fate.
  • Katey Sagal, who is shocked to learn of her family’s Amish roots, and digs deeper as she realizes the level of dedication to their faith.
  • Aisha Tyler, who tracks down her 2x great-grandfather, whose story had been lost over generations, and uncovers an astonishing tale of a prominent ancestor whose struggle to keep his illegitimate son a secret made headlines.

More Genealogy TV Gems for WDYTYA fans

Relative Race genealogy tv showRelative Race (watch archived episodes online!)

WDYTYA: What They Couldn’t Tell Us in Ginnifer’s Episode

CeCe Moore and DNA Consulting on Finding Your Roots

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 189: Relative Race and More

GGP 189 Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 189The free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 189 is published, with an exclusive interview with stars of Relative Race and more.

The newest episode of the Genealogy Gems Podcast is published and ready for your listening pleasure! Two stars of the new BYUtv show Relative Race join host Lisa Louise Cooke to talk about their experiences criss-crossing the U.S. to meet their AncestryDNA matches.

Here are some more highlights from Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 189:

  • Irish research tips–and tons of new Irish records online–in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this month;
  • 3 reasons to test your DNA for genealogy, from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard;
  • an excerpt from the new Genealogy Gems Book Club interview;
  • emails from several listeners offering inspiration and tips;
  • and news from the genealogy world, including databases on runaway slaves (in the U.S. and Britain) and an updated MyHeritage search technology.

I’m a fan of “genealogy TV,” and it’s fun to hear behind-the-scenes feedback from stars of Relative Race. This show’s approach–connecting everyday couples with genetic matches–puts faces to our DNA matches in a fresh and personal way. I’m not hoping to camp on my genetic matches’ lawns anytime soon, but I do sometimes wish I could knock on the doors of some (“please respond!”). Another favorite take-away from this episode was a tip from Matt in Missouri, who wrote in with a creative approach for connecting with relatives through Find A Grave.

Free PodcastRemember, this and all episodes of the Genealogy Gems podcast are FREE to listen to. Click here for FAQ on podcasts and how to listen on your computer or via your favorite mobile device. Click here for a list of past episodes you may have missed. Why not “binge out” a little and catch up during your next commute, workout or down time?

New Genealogy TV Show Debuts This Weekend: Relative Race

Relative Race genealogy tv showRelative Race debuts tomorrow: a new reality genealogy TV series that sends 4 couples chasing their genetic roots. 

Tomorrow evening, you’ve got a new genealogy TV option! The new reality series from BYUtv, Relative Race, “features four married couples as they travel across the US in search of long lost relatives, armed with only paper maps, a rental car, a $25 per diem and a flip phone.”

The show sounds like one part Amazing Race, one part Who Do You Think You Are? With autosomal DNA test matches provided by AncestryDNA, four “couples embark on a journey that starts in San Francisco, ends in New York City and leads them to unknown relatives along the way. Cameras follow all four teams as they drive across the country–more than 4500 miles–in just ten days, stopping each day to complete a challenge and find (and stay with) their newly discovered relatives in a different city.”

“At the end of each day, the team that finishes last receives a strike. After three strikes, teams are eliminated. The remaining teams travel to NYC for the grand finale where there is a $25k grand prize for the winning couple.” Here’s a preview–and something to curl up in front of tomorrow evening.

The show airs on Sunday, February 28 at 8pm ET/6pm MT/5pm PT on BYUtv, the television station of Brigham Young University. Watch Relative Race for free or on your preferred cable network:

  • Stream live or watch on demand on BYUtv.org
  • Download the free mobile app for iPhone/iPad, Android, Amazon and more
  • Cable options: Dish (Ch. 9403), DirecTV (Ch. 374), and carried by nearly 600 cable television providers nationwide

More Genealogy TV Gems

WWII Ghost Army Documentary

WDYTYA Archive: What They Didn’t Tell Us in Ginnifer’s Episode

Interview with Genealogy Roadshow Host Mary Tedesco

 

Here’s How You Can Bring Your Family History to a Big Screen: How to Use Chromecast

display family history photos on TV with ChromecastHere at Genealogy Gems we love using Google for genealogy. Today we have another exciting Google resource that can transform how you share your genealogy with your family – because ultimately, genealogy is all about sharing your family’s story!

While the mobile device era has made communication and sharing easy and instant, sometimes it’s hard to really see the ‘big picture’ on our tiny screens. And crowding around the computer monitor isn’t much better. Chromecast by Google is a tool that allows you to stream content from your mobile devices and computers directly onto your TV!

You can share slideshows, photos, videos, and more while everyone is seated comfortably in the living room. If you are looking for an easy and inviting way for your family to enjoy all the hard work you put into constructing the family tree, Chromecast is for you. The Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player currently sells for $35 and takes a mere 5 to 10 minutes to set up.

Even though I’m Lisa’s daughter, I am not a techie person at all, so if I can do it in just a few minutes without help, you can too!

 

How to Use Chromecast
After you’ve completed the initial set up, simply open the app you want to stream (YouTube, for example) and tap the Chromecast icon. Streaming is now enabled. (Chromecast primarily works over wifi, but Google recently announced that Ethernet cables are now available as an alternative.)

While streaming, you control the app functions on your mobile device or computer. For example, if you’re streaming a movie from the Netflix app on your iPad, you would play, pause, and make your selections directly on your iPad. If you want to switch back to viewing on your mobile device (or simply stop streaming), tap the Chromecast icon again.

Dozens of photo and video apps are compatible with Chromecast and all are listed on their website. Here are a few that I think genealogists will really enjoy, and they’re all available on both The App Store and Google Play:

photosPhoto Cast for Chromecast
Free
Premium Upgrades – $2.99 and up

albums for Google ChromecastWhen you open the app, you can view all the photos and videos (including TV shows or movies you may have purchased) on your device. You can also create slideshows by picking individual photos or entire albums and adding songs from your music library. Then tap the Chromecast icon to instantly stream to your TV. It has four viewing modes available. Photo streaming has very little lag, but video streaming could take a little longer to load, depending on your wifi speeds. Multiple devices can stream to the same TV, and slideshows can continue to play on the TV while you use your mobile device for other tasks.

chromecast goog;e slidesGoogle Slides
Free
Google Slides is an ideal tool for Chromecast because it is linked directly to your Google account. I recommend using Google Slides from your laptop or desktop because you can pull pictures from your hard drive (or anywhere – you’re not limited only to the pictures on your mobile device). And personally I find I can work much more efficiently with a full mouse and keyboard for this kind of project. You can create a wonderfully detailed and multi-media slide show or presentation. Then, download the app to your mobile device and your presentations will be accessible there as well. I find streaming from your tablet works a little better than streaming from your computer, but you can still stream from a computer as long as it’s connected to wifi and is close enough to the TV to detect Chromecast.

Chromecast youtube iconYouTube
Free
Chromecast youtube app screenChromecast offers you an easy and convenient way to watch videos from our Genealogy Gems YouTube channel and other favorites on your TV! Open the YouTube app and tap the Chromecast icon. Browse videos as usual. When you select one to watch, it will stream to your TV with no loss of video or audio quality. You can also create a TV queue, specifically for videos you want to watch on the big screen. Tap on a video and a pop-up will ask to either play it or add it to your TV queue. The best part? YouTube will continue to play your video on your TV even if you minimize the app on your device to do other tasks. Before you finish your viewing session, be sure to tap the Subscribe button at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel so you’ll have easy access to all current and new videos.

Desktop Streaming
Streaming from your desktop browser is another great feature. Anything you are viewing on your browser (videos, audio, website content, etc.) can be projected to your TV. You will need the current version of the Chrome web browser, as well as the Chromecast extension installed. In my personal experience I found streaming video from my browser to be a bit slow and choppy, but results may vary based on browser settings and wifi speeds. It’s worth a try, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this technology continues to evolve and improve.

TIP: How to Update Chrome
Normally, Chrome updates automatically in the background when you open and close your browser. But here’s how to check if you have the most current version of Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. In the top right, click the Chrome menu
  3. Click About Google Chrome.
  4. The current version number is the series of numbers beneath the “Google Chrome” heading. Chrome will check for updates when you’re on this page.
  5. Click Relaunch to apply any available update.

Another cool thing about Chromecast:
Once you have Chromecast set up, your devices will detect any Chromecast that is nearby, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. So if you’re at a family member’s home and they have Chromecast, you can stream from your device to their TV as well! Can you say “time to share the latest version of the family tree?”

Again, as a non-techie I found Chromecast to be very user-friendly, and a huge value for the price. There are loads of fun apps to explore (music, podcasts, interactive games, and even a karaoke app!). Happy streaming!

thanks youre a gemP.S. If you decide to purchase Chromecast, will you please use this link? Purchasing through our site supports the free Genealogy Gems podcast and all the free content on our website.

WWII Ghost Army Marches into Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 182

GGP 182An incredible tale of deception during World War II. Inspiring research and storytelling techniques. Learn about the Ghost Army–and the creation of its PBS documentary–in the new, free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 182.

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs landed in France to conduct a secret mission. They were to create an elaborate façade of military might for an audience, the German army. These men had one goal: to fool the enemy into believing they were an American army thousands strong, and draw their attention away from the actual fighting troops.

Ghost Army book clubIn this podcast episode, we celebrate the Twenty-third Headquarters Special Troops–known as the Ghost Army–with my special guest Rick Beyer, author of the book The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery and director and screenplay author of the acclaimed documentary film Ghost Army, which premiered on PBS.

Rick joins us for a riveting conversation. He explains the three divisions of the Ghost Army, and how they fulfilled their duties with courage and creativity. Then he takes us behind the scenes of the book to explore research strategies and in particular, effective interviewing techniques. Finally he talks to us about putting it all together: storytelling, the integration of all the art, photos and documents, and fantastic catchy chapter titles that make you want to read.

This is a must-hear episode whether you love history, mystery, military stories, family history writing advice or just listening in on a great conversation! Thank you for sharing this episode with others who will enjoy it!

Genealogy Gems Book Club Genealogy Family HistoryIf you love author interviews, check out the Genealogy Gems Book Club. We regularly interview writers of best-selling fiction and nonfiction titles that catch the interest of family history lovers.

WDYTYA Archive: What They Didn’t Tell Us In Ginnifer’s Episode

WDYTYA cutting roomNot every juicy finding makes it into each episode of Who Do You Think You Are. Here’s what ended up on the cutting room floor for Ginnifer Goodwin. What else might we learn in the upcoming “Into the Archives” episode?

Did you watch the Ginnifer Goodwin episode of WDYTYA? two weeks ago? Lisa thinks it was one of the best episodes they’ve done to date. Well, the show researchers didn’t tell us everything they learned. There were just so many twists and turns in the plot already!

But TLC gave us one more juicy detail. We just couldn’t share it until after the show aired. Remember the divorce record that was found for Nellie’s unknown first marriage? What the episode doesn’t show is that “Ginnifer discovers that Duff Williams sued Nellie for divorce first, and only married Nellie to avoid jail time for having sex with her outside of matrimony. But the tables were turned when he falsely accused Nellie in court of adultery, and his lies sent him to prison.”

This weekend, WDYTYA offers a special glimpse into its archives. You’ll see highlights from past seasons: triumphs and tragedies, delightful discoveries and sobering moments. According to TLC, “this special episode also unveils outtakes and never-before-seen footage from the series’ vault.” Catch the episode this Sunday, August 16 at 9/8c on TLC.

Be sure to share this post with fellow WDYTYA fans!

When sharing stories from my own family history “vault,” I almost always find I have to leave some things out, too. There isn’t room in every telling for every detail! So in this episode, I’ll be watching closely and thinking about why they left out the things they did.

Family History Genealogy Made Easy PodcastReady to start writing about the juicy stories and unexpected plot twists in your own family history? Blog it! Get started with our free 5-part series on blogging your family history in our Family History Made Easy podcast (episodes 38-42–and check out episode 45 for more inspiration).

 

WDYTYA 2015: Summer Episodes Begin July 26

JK Rowling WDYTYAOn Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 9pm EST, Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA 2015) returns to TLC in the United States for more great episodes:

  • TLC will air the U.S. premiere of J.K. Rowling’s episode, where the best-selling author sets off to uncover her maternal French roots. She finds that a family war story might not be what she thought when military records reveal a surprising twist.
  • Tom Bergeron, who is aware of his French Canadian roots on his paternal side, but wants to know what brought his ancestors to North America. He goes as far back as his 10x great grandmother to find the answer.
  • Bryan Cranston, who comes to discover an unfortunate pattern amongst the men in his family.
  • Ginnifer Goodwin, who sets out to learn about her mysterious paternal great grandparents, whom her father, regretfully, does not know much about either.
  • Alfre Woodard, who strives to find out more about the paternal side of her family, and explores how her surname came to be.

While you’re waiting for Who Do You Think You Are Summer 2015 to kick off, enjoy this unseen footage from the J.K. Rowling episode on the old WhoDoYouThinkYouAre website and these fun interviews with genealogy television industry leaders: