Episode 208

The Genealogy Gems Podcast

with Lisa Louise Cooke

Download the show notes

In this episode:

  • A free webinar!
  • Great comments from you: An inspiring Google Books success story, how one listener gets her shy husband talking about his life story, and a listener’s own version of the poem, “Where I’m From”
  • The Archive Lady talks to us about historical scrapbooks at archives that may be packed with genealogy gems for us
  • A genealogy hero who saved a life story
  • Your first look at RootsTech 2018


“Reveal Your Unique Story through DNA & Family History”


Googling and Making Videos with Lisa Louise Cooke

Newspaper Research Worksheet from Lisa Louise Cooke

Genetic Genealogy: Here’s What You Need to Know from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard


Click here for more on RootsTech 2018

Going to RootsTech for the first time? Read this RootsTech Q&A.


“Remembering Dad” video

Pat’s tip: When someone is shy about sharing life stories, interview them informally while traveling. Pat uses her iPad to transcribe his responses, then polishes it up when she gets home and transfers it to her own computer. “Eventually we will have enough to write the story of his life, with lots of pictures. And it’s completely painless.”


Link image to:

Click here for another inspiring genealogy discovery using Google Books?with how-to tips and a free video preview of Lisa Louise Cooke’s Premium video tutorial, “Google Books: The Tool You Need Every Day”


Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 185: Learn more about the “Where I’m From” poetry project and hear a conversation with the original author, Kentucky poet laureate George Ella Lyon.


Scrapbooks are one of my favorite record sources to do genealogy research in and to also process in the archives. There are all kinds of scrapbooks; each and every one is unique and one-of-a-kind. They were put together with love and the hope that what was saved and pasted onto those pages will be remembered.

The origins of scrapbooking is said to go back to the 15th century in England and it is still a hobby enjoyed by many today. Most archives, libraries, historical and genealogical societies have scrapbooks in their collections. They will most likely be found in the Manuscript Collection as part of a specifically named collection.

Scrapbooks contain all kinds of wonderful genealogical records, photographs and ephemera. There is even a scrapbook in the Houston County, Tennessee Archives that has candy bar wrappers pasted in it. This particular scrapbook is one of my absolute favorites. It was compiled and owned by Evelyn Ellis and dates to the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Among the normal newspaper clippings and event programs are interesting pieces such as a Baby Ruth candy bar wrapper with a handwritten note by Evelyn that reads “Always remember June 11, 1938 at Beach Grove at the Ice Cream Supper.” There is also an original ticket pasted into the scrapbook from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee where Evelyn Ellis visited and recorded her comments on April 1, 1939.

There are scrapbooks for just about any subject. Aside from personal scrapbooks, you can find war scrapbooks, obituary clipping scrapbooks and scrapbooks that collected and recorded local or national events. The obituaries found in scrapbooks could be a real find because sometimes they are the only pieces of the newspaper that survive and can be a treasure trove for any genealogist. Many scrapbooks contain one-of-a-kind documents, photographs and ephemera.

To find scrapbooks in an archive, ask the archivist if they have any scrapbooks in their records collections. Many times scrapbooks are housed with a particular manuscript collection and will be listed in the finding aid. Some archives have a collection of just scrapbooks that have been donated to them and can be easily accessed. Most scrapbooks will not be on research shelves and will be stored in back rooms at the archives and will have to be requested. You should also check the archives online catalog for any listings of scrapbooks before you jump in the car and drive to the archives.

I encourage all genealogists to check with the archive in the area where your ancestors were from and see if they have any scrapbooks in their archived records collections. Scrapbooks are like time capsules: you don’t know what will be found in them until you open them up.

BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users

If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is a PDF with tips for what to do if your own scrapbook gets wet. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.


Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.


MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.


Original story on SWVA Today: “String of Pearls: Marion’s Bob White Shares Family History Collection” by Margaret Linford, Columnist

Smyth County Public Library Local History webpage

Genealogy Gems how-to resources to help you:

Video record a loved one telling their life stories

How to video record a fantastic family history interview

How to create a family history video with Animoto

Digitize and share your research and your own life story: Interview with Larsen Digital in Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 183

How to Start Blogging series in the free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast (episodes 38-42) and this article: 3 Ways to Improve Your Genealogy Blog

RootsMagic family history software has publishing tools (for print and online publishing):

Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. RootsMagic is now fully integrated with Ancestry.com: you can sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.


Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard shared this story from Christine:

“Friday night I brought out large cut out of my Grandmother, Christine Doering, sitting in an easy chair so it looks like she is talking with you, and I played a recording done in 1970’s of her talking and giggling about coming to America in 1896 at the age of 9.  For some they had never heard her voice before.”

Learn more about Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast:

Explore our website at www.genealogygems.com,

Subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter (from the home page on the website)

Subscribe to the free Genealogy Gems YouTube channel.


Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer

Sunny Morton, Editor

Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, Content Contributor

Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer

Hannah Fullerton, Production Assistant

Lacey Cooke, Service Manager


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Europeana for Genealogy: WWI Digital Archive, Newspapers and More

Europeana digital archive WWIEuropeana is a digital doorway to European cultural heritage that everyone with European roots will find interesting and enlightening.

Funded by the European Commission and Ministries of Culture in 21 member states, the Europeana website is home to nearly: 19 million images; 13 million texts (including books, archival papers and newspapers); half a million each sound and video files and 16,000 3-D models of objects.

Europeana’s World War I Digital Archive

A major part of Europeana is its World War I digital archive. As the site describes, Europeana “has been running World War I family history roadshows around Europe, helping to digitize people’s stories, documents and memorabilia from 1914-1918. People can upload their own digitized items onto the Europeana1914-1918.eu site. In 2014, the centenary of WWI, 100,000 images and scans have already come into Europeana, creating a virtual memory bank that reflects all perspectives on the conflict.”

Europeana 1989 and the Fall of the Iron Curtain

A sister site, Europeana 1989, collects “stories, pictures, films relating to the events of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe.” You can upload your own materials or, as the site says, “let us take you on a journey through the Fall of the Iron Curtain, see it from all sides and draw your own conclusions.”

The top countries to supply images to Europeana are Germany, France and the Netherlands, each with more than 3.5 million items, and then Spain, Sweden, Italy and the U.K. The site attracted 4 million unique visitors last year. Click here to read a guide to using Europeana for genealogy and local history research.

Historical Newspapers at Europeana

Historical newspapers are another great source for genealogical and historical research. Europeana now includes the Europeana Newspapers collection which features hundreds of newspaper titles and millions of newspaper pages, spanning four centuries and 20 countries from across Europe. In addition to viewing digitized newspaper pages, many now support readable text files. These files allow you to keyword search within their contents. You can zero in on these files by using feature called ‘Search for records with full text’.

Europeana’s Newspaper Collection offers a variety of ways to access and use the content including:

It’s worth investing a few minutes in reviewing the historical newspapers guides at Europeana In order to get the most from the collection. The helpful guides explain how to navigate, search, find, and reuse Newspapers content.

More at Europeana

Other Europeana links to try:

  • The Europeana portal is the search engine for the digitised collections of museums, libraries, archives and galleries across Europe.
  • Our Virtual Exhibitions feature highlights from the collection.
  • Follow the Europeana blog to keep updated on the projects and progress of this rapidly-growing resource for European family history.
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What Makes Findmypast a Genealogy Giant

Here’s what makes Findmypast a Genealogy Giant Findmypast ranks as one of the Genealogy Giants: one of the world’s biggest and best genealogy websites. It’s a must-use site for tracing your roots in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Findmypast also offers... Read more

Premium Episode 74 – English Idioms, PDF Pandemonium, NewspaperMap Followup

Date Published: August 15, 2011

Click here to download the Show Notes pdf

Virtual Genealogy Conference at Family Tree University starts August 19, 2011. I’ve created a brand new class for it called Common Surname Search StrategiesGet 20% off the conference or any Family Tree University class including my classes with the coupon code GEMSFTU

Origins of Common English Idioms

The folks at All That Is Interesting did some research on some of the most common sayings and researched their fascinating and sometimes sort of wacky history – sort of the genealogy of sayings:

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride
First recorded in a Victorian music hall tune, “Why Am I Always A Bridesmaid?”, by Fred W. Leigh.

The phrase garnered popularity after Listerine the mouthwash company used it in an ad in 1924!

Pull Someone’s Leg
Historically thieves used to snag their pedestrians and subsequently rob them. One thief would be assigned ‘tripper up’ duty, and would knock the person to the ground.  

Next is one that I’m dealing with ALL the time – “Meeting a Deadline”
This one hails back at least to the Civil War, and the saying apparently stems from the prison camps, where a line was drawn to demarcate the boundaries for the prisoners. The line became to be known as a deadline because any prisoner who attempted to cross it was shot dead.

Learn more about the Depot of Prisoner’s of War on Johnson Island

And if sometimes you feel like a Basket Case, let me assure you that you are probably still in much better shape than those that the phrase basket case originally applied to: Rumors circulated during WWI that soldiers who had lost both arms and legs were carried around in baskets.

The actual term, ‘basket case’, however was coined by the US military after the close of WWI  – when they flatly denied such a practice. Fort Wayne News and Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Indiana dated March 27, 1919

View the newspaper clipping

Major General Ireland, surgeon general of the army, today said there was no foundation for widely circulated reports of “basket cases” in army hospitals.  A “basket case” is a soldier who has lost both legs and both arms and therefore cannot be carried on a stretcher.  “I have personally examined the records,” said Gen. Ireland, “and am able to say there is not a single basket case either on this side of the water nor among the soldiers of the American expeditionary forces.  Further, I wish to emphasize that there has been no instance of an American soldier so wounded during the whole period of the war.”

Close, But No Cigar
In the old days carnival game booths favored giving cigars to winners rather than stuffed toys. The first evidence of the saying comes from a film script for Annie Oakley in 1935 starring my favorite actress Barbara Stanwyck, after which it was frequently used in newspaper articles.

Of the 4.3 million images added to FamilySearch.org this week:
Austria, Upper Austria, Linz Citizen Rolls, 1658–193702,295  New browsable image collection.
Brazil, Catholic Church Records,1835–19660903,147  Added browsable images to existing collection.
Canada, New Brunswick, County Deed Registry Books, 1780–19410709,561  New browsable image collection.
Hungary Civil Registration, 1895–198002,319,187  Added browsable images to existing collection.
Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886–193302,124  Added browsable images to existing collection.
Panama, Catholic Church Records, 1707–19730240,799  New browsable image collection.
U.S., Louisiana, Orleans Parish Second District Judicial Court Case Files, 1846–1880027,805  Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Maine, State Archive Collections,1636–196404,845  Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686–1881027, Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899–1921049,286  Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., North Carolina, County Records, 1833–1970, Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800–1909018,865  Added browsable images to existing collection

GEM:  PDF Pandemonium
Free iBooks app

Free Adobe Reader

Free Genealogy Gems email Newsletter

My book the Genealogist’s Google Toolbox is in a pdf format

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to save a content rich family history webpage as a pdf file and then be able to read it later at your convenience on your laptop, eReader or mobile device?

How to Convert a Webpage to a PDF:
1. Highlight and copy the URL address for the webpage that you want to convert to a pdf file.
2. Go to iWeb2Print
3. Paste the URL address in to the URL box
4. Click the Convert button
5. After a few moments of processing a link will appear that says Download PDF
6. Click it and the pdf version of the webpage will appear in a new window
7. Click the SAVE button to save the file to your computer.

If you have collected several family history webpages as pdf documents, you can merge them all together in one document – your own little eBook on a particular subject!

How to Merge PDF Documents:
1. Create a new folder on your hard drive
2. As you find WebPages you want to include, process them through iweb2print and save them to the folder
3. Go to iPDFftoMerge
4. Click the ADD FILE link under the PDF selection boxes until you have enough selection boxes for all of the files you want to upload.
5. Select and upload the pdf files you want to merge together by clicking the Browse button
6. Select the order your want your files to appear in
7. Click the MERGE button
8. When it’s done merging the pdf click the DOWNLOAD button Your newly merged document will appear in a new window ready to print or save to your computer.

This little gem can split large pdf documents for you into smaller one.You can split a PDF into just the useful pages you need or pull out particular chapters.

How to Split a pdf:
1. Pull the file off your computer (or you can enter the URL address for a pdf file that is hosted online)
2. Select how you want the file to be split (Burst, Range, etc)

Set up Your NetBook as an eReader from a Podcast Listener
Ruth’s Genealogy
What To Do With All These PDF Files (webpage may no longer be available)
PDF-XChange Viewer (free app)
Article: Turn Your NetBook Into a Feature Rich eBook Reader

Easily convert eBooks
There are a lot of e-readers and mobile devices and they aren’t all pdf friendly. Hampstersoft allows you convert eBooks to dozens of common formats that you can use with more than 200 gadgets!   Just add the files to convert and then select the gadget you have. he one limitation is that you can’t convert e-books that are copy-protected. The Wizard will help you with the settings. To save time, use the batch conversion mode.

Download Hampstersoft for free
Windows 7/Vista/XP compatible and supports a variety of languages

Watch the demo video of Hampstersoft

GEM:  NewspaperMap.com Followup and Secrets
In Premium Episode 72 I told you about Newspapermap.com. You may have noticed as I did the other day that the Historical button is missing, and that was the best part!   There is one secret place you can go to still find the Historical Button and access the historical newspaper listings.

Select the Portuguese version of Newspaper Maps:
1. Go to Newspapermap.com
2. Click Portuguese in the box in the bottom right corner of the screen.

How to Create an English Version of the Portuguese NewspaperMap.com Featuring the Historical Button:
1. Go to Newspapermap.com
2. Click Portuguese in the box in the bottom right corner of the screen.
3. Copy the URL address
4. Go to Google Translate at http://www.translate.google.com
5. Paste the URL in the translate box
6. Select from Portuguese to English and you will then get a link to the English version of the Portuguese website.
7. Bookmark it and you can keep right on going.  

Portuguese Newspaper Map in English


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