Premium Episode 119

Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast

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Premium Member Tip:
If you haven’t already signed up for the free Genealogy Gems Newsletter, please take a moment and do so now. Here’s why: Our membership system is separate from our newsletter system because of course not every single reader / listener is a Member and because newsletter systems require that you “opt in” to be sure that you are not receiving a newsletter you don’t want to receive. That’s why we don’t automatically add you to the list.


genealogy book club genealogy gemsGEM: The Genealogy Gems Book Club

We are launching a new year and with it comes a brand new featured book in our Genealogy Gems Book Club!

The book club is where we share the best genealogy and family history themed books for you to devour. You can follow the blog posts and best of all hear from the authors themselves on The Genealogy Gems Podcast and here on the Premium Podcast.

Our Featured Book for this 1st Quarter of 2015 is Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, which spent five weeks at the #1 spot  on the New York Times Bestselling list and is now on top of The Bestsellers List in Canada. When you read it you’ll see why. In this episode’s Book Club segment I’m going to introduce you to the author of Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline, who will give you some personal back story on how she came to write the book, and how the orphan trains of long ago turned out to be a much bigger story than she ever imagined.

orphan train Christina Baker Kline genealogy book clubNext month our Book Guru Sunny Morton will join me for a conversation about the book, and in March Christina will be back for a full length interview in Premium Podcast episode 121.

In the meantime, grab a copy of Orphan Train at the library, use our Amazon search box to order a copy. Then join us on the Genealogy Gems Podcast Facebook page for book club updates and conversation with other Genealogy Gems readers.


how to start a genealogy blogGEM: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Genealogy Blog, and Answers to Your Blogging Questions
Are you ready to start a genealogy blog (or improve one you already write)? Well,  Genealogy Gems Premium member Kevin wrote in looking for some advice, and since I’d love to see all of you out there blogging about your family history, I thought I would share Kevin’s questions and my answers here on the show.

And why would I be encouraging you to blog about your family history?

5 Reasons You Should have a Genealogy Blog:

  1. It’s like having your own family history message board. Every word you write is searchable by Google which means others researching the same family lines can find you and connect with you
  2. Because it can help bust your toughest brick wall. I’ve heard and shared countless stories here at Genealogy Gems from readers and listeners of how just putting it out there on a blog lead to someone contacting them with a treasure trove of new information about their family tree.
  3. Because writing a narrative about your research is a tried and true tool for genealogists. Telling the story of your family through your research findings will help you identify gaps in your research, and sometimes even errors will jump out at you.
  4. Because your kids, and grandkids are (or in the case of those of you much younger – will be) online. They don’t want to read through your genealogy file folders. They want to read quick and easy stories on the go on their smart phones and tablets. Putting your research out there on a blog provides them with an easy way to digest the family heritage and subscribe to it, since blogs can be delivered to their email inbox or to a blog reader like .
  5. Because there are no excuses. You can start a blog for free, and there are no rules, so you can decide who often and how much you write.

Okay, now that I’ve given you my best pitch for why you should be blogging, let’s get back to Kevin’s questions and my answers.

Q: “I am ready to start writing a blog but my typing is slow. Is there a dictation app (iOS) or software (Windows) that I could use to dictate my first drafts of my blog posts?

A: Type “Dragon software” into the Amazon box on the right column of this page and click “Go” it will pull up a great dictation program that might be just what you are looking for. (Using our Amazon box supports the free podcast – thank you!)

Q: Which blog site do you use and why did you select it?

A: I use Word Press for my website and blog. They have a free version at  Google also has Blogger which is free. I have a free series of videos on the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel about how to set it up. They are a few years old, but will give you the basic idea.

Q: Do you compose your blog posts directly on your site or do you type them in Word or some other word processing program then cut and paste them into your blog?

A: It’s best to compose them directly into a new post on Word Press or Blogger. Cutting and pasting out of Word will likely carry over unwanted formatting which can cause headaches.

These are all great questions, and I hope the answers have helped you a little with your genealogy blogging. Now are you ready to get inspired and tutored on genealogy blogging? Check out my FREE podcast series on how to start a genealogy blog.

Family History Genealogy Made Easy PodcastClick here to listen to the free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast, then start with episode 38 and continue through episode 42. You’ll learn step-by-step how-tos and you’ll be introduced to some inspiring blogs that WORK. We often hear about success stories from listeners who started a blog after hearing these episodes.

figure_talk_giant_phone_anim_300_wht_6767And of course I would love to hear YOUR genealogy blogging success stories and I know everyone else listening would too. Call the Genealogy Gems voice mail line at 925-272-4021 and leave a message and I may just share it on an upcoming episode.

Lisa Louise Cooke with Maureen Taylor (right), the Photo Detective.

GEM: The Future with Lisa and Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective

Gems mentioned :

How One Artist Paid Homage To Seven Generations Of Women In Her Family

Daughter Photoshops herself into vintage pictures of her mom

Image below: A 3D printed model of Maureen!)

GEM: Canning Process (Profile America)
January 19Monday, January 19th. Being able to store and distribute food before it spoiled became easier in the young United States on this date in 1825. That’s when Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett were granted a patent for the tin can. Heating and sealing food in glass jars had started a few years before in France, and the British Royal Navy was being supplied with canned foods by 1820. Borrowing the practice, the U.S. became the eventual world leader in canning. Even though today frozen foods, plastic containers and concentrates are widely available, canned foods are still popular, including soups and canned tomato sauce. In fact, it takes more than 17,000 people to make all the metal cans we use each year, an industry doing annual business worth more than $15 billion.

Canning History
Lisa’s Mason Jar Mania Board on Pinterest

GEM: Stitching History Back Together
A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee tells the story of some 1939 dress designs that made it out of Nazi-occupied territory–and pays tribute to their designer, who didn’t.

The PBS News Hour recently posted a video segment on YouTube video that tells the story:

Years later, their story was literally stitched together by descendants and local historians. The couple sent her dress designs to a cousin in Milwaukee in a desperate attempt to get work visas to leave. It never happened. Paul was killed. Hedy’s fate is unknown.

A few years ago, the designs were rediscovered along with letters that told their story. Now the design drawings–and dresses newly created from them–are the centerpiece of “Stitching History from the Holocaust,” an exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee. I encourage you to read more about the exhibit at  in the show notes for this episode you can watch the video. I think you will be as moved as I am to hear this story.

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