by Lisa Cooke | Apr 21, 2016 | 01 What's New, Conferences
If you’re going to NGS 2016, enter to win a bundle of “genealogy gems” at the Genealogy Gems Booth #228! The grand prize package–worth over 0–is a fabulous bundle of expert genealogy instruction.
Attendees of NGS 2016 will have lots of opportunities to learn while at the conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL on May 4-7. But what if you could take home from there a year’s worth of expert instruction–online and in print–from top presenters on their best topics?
That’s what the winner of this year’s Grand Prize drawing at the Genealogy Gems booth will receive. And everyone who enters will receive a free e-book with all the handouts from the free Genealogy Gems Theater presentations during NGS.
So if you’re at NGS, take a second to download the entry form. Print and fill it out, then bring it with you to the Genealogy Gems booth #228 sometime during the conference. Just the free e-book you WILL receive is worth the effort. And cross your fingers–maybe it’s your turn to win BIG!
NGS 2016 The Grand Prize winner will receive:
…from Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems:
…from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard:
…from Family Tree Magazine: an e-book bundle of some of their best-sellers ,valued at about $100:
Again, to win the prize: Click here for the Grand Prize entry form (which also gets you the FREE ebook with all Genealogy Gems Theater session handouts). Drop the entry off at Booth #228.
Ready to see all that’s happening at NGS 2016 in the Genealogy Gems booth and theater? Click here to see the full series of free classes being taught in the Exhibit Hall–several will even be streaming online!
by Lisa Cooke | Aug 23, 2016 | 01 What's New, Conferences
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference for 2016 is “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories” and will be held in Springfield, Illinois. See what your future holds by learning about the past. Genealogy Gems will be there, and you’re going to love our line-up of free 30-minute classes in the exhibit hall (booth #200). Plus, enter to win our Grand Prize drawing! Here are all the details.
Make Your Future Whatever You Want, But Make it a Good One
With his iconic exclamation of “Great Scott!”, Back to the Future’s Dr. Emmitt Brown reminded us that the future is in our own hands. Make your future genealogy research “a good one” by attending this year’s conference.
JMortonPhoto.com & OtoGodfrey.com [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
This Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will benefit the novice, the professional, and anyone in between. With over 160 sessions and 72 expert speakers from all over the world, you will be inspired to reach greater heights in all things genealogy.
Each day, a new set of classes will guide you through:
- the U.S. Midwest (regional track)
- the United Kingdom (British Isles and Commonwealth track)
- the continental European research (ethnic track), to give you the latest and greatest in genealogy research.
If you missed early registration, that’s okay. Walk-in registration is available by clicking here. Enjoy all four days of inspiring classes, only attend a day or two, or just meander around the exhibit hall.
Free Stuff in the Exhibit Hall
The exhibit hall is always a favorite place to network and socialize with your genealogy buddies. Wander from booth to booth to see what the future holds for genealogists and gather up all the fun and free swag, too.
Most importantly, Lisa wants to see you for our free sessions that are back by popular demand! With such a positive response last year, Genealogy Gems will once again be hosting a series of free presentations at this year’s FGS conference. Join us in our Genealogy Gems Theater in booth #200 in the exhibit hall. Our 30-minute information-packed sessions will help you think outside the box for greater genealogy success.
Attend any of our sessions and sign-up to receive our free e-book of handouts for all the sessions. Want to plan ahead so you don’t miss a thing? Glance over the schedule below (click the button to download the schedule) and mark your can’t-miss sessions. (Not able to attend? Stay tuned because we will be announcing which sessions will be broadcast live over Periscope for free.)
BONUS: Join Lisa in the FGS theater area of the exhibit hall
Saturday at 12:10 for
Top Google Search Strategies for Genealogists
Grand Prize Drawing: Total Retail Value over $210
Presenters at the Genealogy Gems Theater have pitched in for this year’s Grand Prize drawing. The winner will receive:
…from Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems
…from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard
…from Family Tree Magazine: an e-book bundle valued at about $100
Click here for the Grand Prize entry form, which also gets you the free e-book with all the session handouts. Drop the entry off at booth #200. The winner will be notified by email.
Lisa will of course be presenting lectures during the daily sessions. Jump on over to our website page for even more information about the FGS Conference.
We’re looking forward to seeing you there, friends!
by Lisa Cooke | Aug 14, 2017 | 01 What's New, Court Records, Records & databases
Lydia thinks her great-grandfather was murdered–perhaps even by her grandfather! Here’s some advice for her and everyone researching “cold cases” for criminal ancestors on your family tree.
I heard recently from Lydia with these intriguing questions:
My great great grandpa William John Gabriel Nelson disappeared one day, never coming home from work. It was family lore that he had been “shanghai’d.” But even as a child the story didn’t add up. [Through a] few other mentions of the account throughout the years, and recently reconnecting with cousins through Ancestry.com/DNA and your advice to just email DNA matches, I have a growing reason to believe my great-grandfather was murdered. An even bigger fear is that my grandfather may have been the one to do it.
All parties involved with this are now dead, so follow-up is impossible with them. But I’m wondering about contacting the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) or the library to determine if indeed there was a cold case, missing persons report or John Doe. Since this happened in the mid 1940’s, would I contact the LAPD or is this now a job for a historian?
As a citizen, Lydia can certainly contact the LAPD here. It might take a bit of persistence to get to the right person or resource. I would start by asking for how you can find out the status of a cold case from the year in question.
Here are 4 ways to follow up on your own criminal ancestors’ cold cases:
1. Look for cold case files online.
As I often say, all good searches start online because they will help you prepare to go offline. In other words, not everything is online, but searching online first will give you a lay of the land, revealing what is available, who to contact, and where to go in person. Start with a Google search such as LAPD cold cases. The search results include several good leads:
With a case like Lydia’s that is over 70 years old, I wouldn’t expect to pull it up in an online database (though you never know!) But I do see several sites here that provide phone numbers to gain access to those who can lead you in the right direction.
2. Search Google for clues.
Use Google’s powerful search technology to look for online mentions of the names, places, and dates of your particular case.
In Lydia’s case, she might begin with keywords relating to her great-grandfather’s disappearance, with his name, year, and the place he was last seen. Including descriptive keywords such as disappear, mystery, vanished or murder might also yield helpful results.
Learn more about effective search techniques in my book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Second Edition.
3. Check old newspapers.
Newspapers in your ancestor’s hometown (or further afield) may have mentioned the incident. With a common name like William (or Bill) Nelson, you may need to weed out the overabundance of unwanted results you get. Let me show you how I did this in GenealogyBank
, a popular genealogical newspaper website:
The initial results of searching GenealogyBank (above) for the terms William Nelson and Los Angeles brought up over 1,000 search results! (The red arrow points to the tally.) Since I don’t like wasting valuable research time on irrelevant results (who’s with me?!), I refined the search. I specified Nelson as a last name, William as a first name, Los Angeles as a keyword, and I added a date range: the decade during which he disappeared. Next, I limited my search to Los Angeles-area newspapers, shown below:
This search narrows results down to under 200: a robust number, but at least manageable to look through for relevant material.
I want to be able to use these same search parameters in the future, so I click Save My Search.
The search now appears in My Folder
for future reference.
4. Look for criminal records.
If you knew (or suspected) that a relative was prosecuted for a crime, it’s time to start looking for records relating to the criminal case. There may be several kinds:
- In cases of suspicious death (where there was a body, unlike Lydia’s case), look for any surviving coroner’s records.
- If a trial may have occurred, research the jurisdiction to find out what court would have handled it, and then look for files relating to the case.
- If an ancestor may have served time, look for prison records. Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode 29 is devoted to the topic of prison records.
Read this article about a woman who was researching not one but two mysterious deaths on her family tree.
Want to help investigators lay to rest their own cold cases?
Click here to read about the Unclaimed Persons Project and how you can help.
by Lacey Cooke | Jul 28, 2018 | 01 What's New, ConferencesWhat: Federation of Genealogical Societies 2018 Conference Where: Fort Wayne, Indiana Booth: #101 Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems When: August 22-25, 2018 We can’t wait to see you at the Federation of Genealogical Society 2018 Conference! Genealogy Gems will be...