Free RootsTech 2014 Flipboard Magazine
Where Genealogy and Technology Converge
Originally designed specifically for the iPad in 2010, the free Flipboard app has moved onto all the major mobile platforms. And this cool new technology has just gotten better with a big dose of genealogy!
I invite you to explore the newly released free Flipboard magazine RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge.
Genealogy Gems has published the magazine in conjunction with the RootsTech program team in a continuing effort to help family historians embrace new technologies and present RootsTech attendees with the possibilities.
Consider what’s been happening in the mobile space this last year:
- Smartphone usage in the U.S. increased by 50 percent (Kleiner Perkins)
- The number of emails being opened on mobile increased by 330 percent (Litmus)
- Tablet usage doubled in the U.S. (Pew Research Center)
The bottom line: More than ever folks are accessing websites, videos, podcasts, blogs and other online information on their mobile devices. That’s where the free Flipboard app comes in.
The free Flipboard app is a social-network and online aggregator of web content and RSS channels for Android, Blackberry 10, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. Content is presented in a captivating magazine format allowing users to “flip” through it with a simple swipe of the finger.
As a genealogy new media content creator and publisher, we’re excited to introduce a creative use of this emerging technology to the genealogy industry. RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge is a free magazine available at http://tinyurl.com/RootsTech2014. The magazine pulls together great web content from RootsTech speakers, exhibitors, and official bloggers in one beautiful and convenient place.
This magazine has presented an opportunity to crowd-source the know-how and talent of all of those who work to make RootsTech a success. The magazine offers an exciting look at the RootsTech experience the innovative technologies emerging in the genealogy industry, and a new vehicle for everyone in the RootsTech community to converge! The pages go beyond text and images by also delivering video and audio!
How to Access the Magazine in Flipboard:
- Get the free Flipboard app at flipboard.com, in iTunes or Google Play.
- Set up for your free account
- In the search box at the top of the homepage, search for ROOTSTECH
- Tap “RootsTech 2014″ by Lisa Louise Cooke (you’ll see a magazine icon next to it.)
- When the magazine loads, tap the SUBSCRIBE icon at the top of the page
- Starting at the right hand side of the page, swipe your finger from right to left over each page to “flip!”
Looking for more great genealogy themed Flipboard magazines? Check out two more new issues from Lisa Louise Cooke:
- Using Newspaper for Genealogy and Family History
- Using Historic Maps for Genealogy and Family History
Stay tuned to the Genealogy Gems Blog and Podcast for Lisa’s upcoming exclusive interview with the folks at Flipboard!
Digitizing Colonial Genealogy
If you’ve got British colonial roots in North America, you know how tough it can be to learn more about your family during that time. That’s why I was excited to read a recent article in the Harvard Gazette.
According to the article, plans are afoot to digitize and make available millions of British colonial documents. And yet, there are still that many colonial-era documents sitting largely untouched in public and private archives, far from the reach of the everyday genealogist.
The Gazette reports not one but two major digitizing projects underway relating to British colonial documents in the U.S. Harvard University is leading the first project, which is already funded and underway. It will capture around 30 million pages of 17th- and 18th-century material from more than 1600 manuscript collections at 12 different Harvard repositories.
As if that’s not good enough news, a much larger project is in the works, too. A larger-scale Colonial Archives of North America has plans to digitally assemble pre-Revolutionary War material from Harvard and several historical societies, archives and Libraries in New England, New York and beyond (including Montreal). I was pleased to see that records relating to businesses, poverty, public health and indigent care will form part of the anticipated collection. These kinds of documents talk about everyday folks and their living conditions; just what we want for our colonial genealogy. This second project is not funded yet but researchers are confident it will be.
Meanwhile, check out online resources like these for colonial documents:
- Library of Congress’ online resources for Colonial and Early America;
- The John Carter Brown Library’s digital Archive of Early American Images;
- Colonial Williamsburg’s Digital Library;
- Cornell University Library’s Windows on the Past digital collection.
National Archives Digitizing Projects: Colonial, WWII, Jewish and More
And there’s another digitizing project that also includes Colonial records Over $2 million in grants has been awarded by the National Archives (U.S.) to digitize important historical documents. Here’s how the awards break down:
- $1.1 million to “nine publishing projects from the U.S. Colonial and Early National Period, including the papers of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Dolly Madison, and John Jay. Projects to record the Documentary History of the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress also received funding”
- Nearly $700,000 to “State and National Archives Partnership (SNAP) grants to enable 28 state historical records advisory boards to carry out their mission to support archival education and strengthen the nation’s archival network;”
- Over $500,000 to 7 projects to “digitize World War II Oral History files; the papers of Leo Szilard, the nuclear physicist; the papers of General Oliver Otis Howard, Civil War general, Commissioner of the Freedman’s Bureau, and third president of Howard University; Historical Collective Bargaining Agreements from the 1880s through the 1980s; the Center for Jewish History’s American Soviet Jewry Movement collections; Early Connecticut manuscripts; and 19th century trademark files in the California Archives, including the original trademarks and specimens from Levi Strauss & Co. jeans, 19th century medicines and tonics, and the original trademark registered to Anheuser Busch for its Budweiser lager.”
- As you can see, there’s a lot in there to appeal to family historians. Maybe not so much the Levi Strauss and Budweiser artifacts, but I could see many of us being interested in the World War II oral history files; the papers of the Freedman’s Bureau Commissioner; the Center for Jewish History’s files; those early Connecticut manuscripts and more.
- The National Archives’ press release doesn’t say where these digitized files will end up. But I’m guessing at least some will eventually be made available on Founders Online, an award-winning database on the papers of “America’s Founders.” http://founders.archives.gov/
Explore Deep Ancestry
If you’ve had your DNA tested, you may have learned that you descend that you descend from Vikings. But wondered who exactly the Vikings were. There’s a cool website about ancient civilizations called http://www.TheAncientWeb.com and it looks like a fun and easy way to get up to speed on history.
As the title hints, this site is all about deep roots. It covers ancient societies in all parts of the world: North and South America, Europe, the Near East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. You’ll find history and images of artifacts on peoples ranging from Arabians to Vikings!
This is a great interactive tool for brushing up on ancient history. Check it out with your kids or grandkids who are exploring these topics in school.
But this is also a helpful resource if you’re looking to learn more about your “deep ancestry” as identified by DNA tests. You may never know if you descend from a famous (or infamous) warlord, ruler or explorer. But genetic tests are becoming more specific about deep geographic roots. So maybe it’s worth checking out a little Viking warrior fashion or learn about the ancient empire of the Mandingo on this site!
Jean wrote in response to Premium Episode 104 and the story of the cemetery in Philadelphia. She send me a link to the Hidden San Diego website that tells a similar story that occurred there in California : http://www.hiddensandiego.net/pioneer-park.php
Learn more about Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA (now a part of Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park, aka Pioneer Park; aka Catholic Cemetery, aka Mission Hills Cemetery, aka Old Catholic Cemetery) 1501 Washington Place, San Diego, CA 92103
“Dedicated to the Memory of Those Interred Within This Park”
She says: “ the San Diego story does not seem to indicate how this burial ground was changed into a park, but only the headstones were removed, so perhaps that is part of the rationale. Sadly, the removal of the headstones did in many where to buy medication cases destroy the death records of those buried there. Amazing.”
This was a Catholic cemetery, all the headstones were removed, but the bodies are still interred there. In the story you told about the Philadelphia cemetery, a University had the land condemned or “rezoned,” and the bodies transferred to a mass grave, so they could build a parking lot.
I’m just remembering your great story about the discovery of the grave and body of King Henry (and I think what Jean is referring to was my interview in Premium episode 97 with Dr. Turi King about the the discover of the body of King Richard the III.) And Jean says “Wasn’t that beneath a “carpark” in Great Britain? History does repeat itself!”
And Jean is absolutely right. And although parks are nice as in the case of San Diego, I don’t think the historical damage done is any different whether it’s a park or a parking lot. Gravestones are so critical when they were erected prior to official records being taken.
I’ll be down in San Diego giving a seminar for the San Diego Genealogical Society http://www.casdgs.org/
Family History Seminar January 11, 2014
Register here: http://casdgs.org/upload/events/files/1383075946_2014JanuarySeminarRegistration.pdf
Ricky has a question about computer filing:
“I’m trying to reorganize my computer files. My question is how would you name a Census image that you download (save) from the web (Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc)?? I can’t remember now if I’ve heard you tell this during one of your Podcasts (GG, FTM or the Made Easy one).
I want to organize my files and then enter everything into RootsMagic. There I’ll source it correctly, I just want the best way (or a better way) to save my Census image files. My current method in which the file name contains an ancestors name can be confusing when families live near one another and there are multiple families on the same page.”
Lisa’s Answer Suggestions:
1) No matter what you do, just be consistent
2) I like to think of my naming conventions as hierachy: most important info to least import. For example a census image downloaded from Ancestry would be:
I put the surname in caps to make them easy to browse. If you use my hard drive organization system that I show in the Premium videos, you could do away with “Census” and even the surname if you wanted because those elements of the file name are addressed in the folders. However, if you don’t mind the longer file names, it’s nice to still include those keywords because often files are shared and put in places (such as your database) that are outside of those folders.
3) If you want to take the time to enter additional meta data in the file you could certainly do that in the files “Properties.”
4) I save multiple copies when there are multiple families on one page. It doesn’t happen that often, and with my hard drive filing system each family has their own “Census” folder so they need their own dedicated image of that census.
5) Create a naming convention that works for you, easy to remember, and containing the information that is important to you.
GEM: Digital Archives
I’ve been talking lately on the Genealogy Gems blog at my website about digital archives:
DPLA Intro to the Digital Public Library of America
I’ve blogged before about the relatively new Digital Public Library of America:
National Archives and the Digital Public Library of America (Introduction)
Online Historical Maps: From David Rumsey to the DPLA
Now the Library of Congress has posted a 31-minute webcast that features the DPLA content director, Emily Gore. She not only demonstrates some great examples of what you can find in the public portal of the DPLA, but also discusses the potential for gathering even more materials (she gives an example using local sources.) It’s a great introduction to the site, and Gore answers some questions from the audience that seem to be on a lot of people’s minds.
Watch the Webcast recording here: http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=6018&loclr=rssloc
More reading: 250 killer Digital Libraries and Archives
Smaller Digital Archives:
We hear a lot about digital archives and libraries these days. They really are a boon to genealogists—if we know where to find them online, what they offer and how to use them.
The point of a digital archive or library is to take valuable materials that are usually buried in manuscript collections or university libraries and make them available at the click of a mouse to a much wider audience. At some sites, you’ll find digitized images of original records: government documents, photographs, reference and history books and much more. Other sites that describe themselves as digital archives at least put extended descriptions of archival material online, so you can keyword search materials like “Montana prison records.”
Some digital archives are better-known, national or international sources of digital content, like the DPLA (Digital Public Library of America) http://dp.la/
Internet Archive https://archive.org/
Google Books http://books.google.com/
National Archives Digital Collections http://www.loc.gov/library/libarch-digital.html
FamilySearch Digital Books http://www.books.familysearch.org
But did you know that a lot of smaller digital archives and libraries provide regional or statewide or provincial content? Often it’s just the kind of material a family historian is looking for. Here are a couple of examples within the U.S.
Virginia was a colonial gateway, a place where a lot of families with deep American roots began their lives in the New World. Just listen to the kinds of materials you can find in the Digital Collections of the The Library of Virginia http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/using_collections.asp: newspapers, photographs, maps, Civil War and War of 1812 documents, rare books, personal histories (including narratives of former slaves), biographical sketches, the cohabitation register which was really the legal marriage register for emancipated slaves, records from counties that have suffered a lot of record loss, an index to chancery court records and even a collection of legislative petitions. These last two, the chancery court and legislative petitions, are a fantastic thing to find online and text-searchable. Often court records are not indexed at all, are poorly or partly indexed, and aren’t online. Looking for more like this? Check out Documenting the American South, another digital archive packed with books, diaries, letters, oral histories and more at http://docsouth.unc.edu/.
If you’re searching for family on the other side of the U.S., check out the Northwest Digital Archives http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/index.shtml : This is a gateway to archival and manuscript collections in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alask and Washington. Some of the materials they point to are available in image form online. For others, you’ll just learn a description of what resources are available, what’s in them, and where they are. That’s the case for those Montana prison records. The Northwest Digital Archives describes this collection—over 100 years’ worth of records!—at the Montana Historical Society Research Center. You’ll find other gems like a homesteader’s description of growing up in South Dakota and a book on Jews in the Northwest.
HathiTrust Digital Library
HathiTrust Digital Library is an enormous pool of digital content: about 10.6 million volumes with about 3.7 billion pages. About a third of this content can be freely accessed by the public. A third may not sound like much, but a third of 3.7 billion pages is still a lot!
So what genealogy material do they have? You’ll find U.S. county and other local histories and about a half million government documents (state and federal) like military records and railroad commission and other reports. Many of these have lists of names you can full-text search. There are also unpublished dissertations and theses, which can be great sources for local history.
Here’s another plus. Anyone who’s a member of a participating library (or who creates a free “friend” account http://www.itcs.umich.edu/itcsdocs/s4316/ ) can create their own collections of digital content within the site. Then you can full-text search within just that material and/or make your collection public so others can search it, too. On the collections page, if you enter “Genealogy” you’ll find several collections created by different users ranging from really small to over 1000 volumes. There are also history collections worth browsing, like Records of the American Colonies. http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/mb?a=listis;c=855228657
HathiTrust has a mobile web site too. The current interface is limited: you can’t do full-text searches or browse collections. But you can still find and use great materials. I entered “Lackawanna Pennsylvania” as a search term on the mobile site and within seconds I had a 1897 county history on my iPad–no membership required.Read more