Pssst: Lisa’s Free Sessions at RootsTech…Pass it On!

2013-03-23 RootsTech One of the best kept secrets about #RootsTech is the fact that free sessions are held all day in the Demo Theater in the Exhibit Hall! At first glance it looks like a lounge full of comfy chairs. But don’t let that fool you. (Image right: My friend Janet Hovorka, talking about her new book Zap the Grandma Gap in the demo theater 2013. That’s my finger on the right!)

Folks in the genealogy industry will be presenting informative 15 minute segments that anyone can sit in on.

My sessions are less demo, and more crash course classes. You’re guaranteed to learn tips you can use:

FRIDAY Feb. 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm:  Evernote Quick Tips for Genealogists

SATURDAY Feb. 8, 2014 at 12:40:  Time Travel Using Google Earth

And if comfy chairs and usable tips aren’t enough incentive, how about a chance to win prizes! Every person in attendance at the demo is eligible.

Limited Seating and we start right on time (there’s only 5 minutes between these speed sessions!) so arrive early. And if you need a reminder, stop by the Genealogy Gems Booth #830 and pick up a demo flyer with the dates and times.

Preserving the Memories of Combat Veterans

If your family has a history of military service, you want to better understand the experience of war, or you want to help preserve someone’s memories

korea soldiers

American soliders in the Korean War. Fighting with the 2nd Inf. Div. north of the Chongchon River, Sfc. Major Cleveland, weapons squad leader, points out Communist-led North Korean position to his machine gun crew. November 20,1950. Pfc. James Cox. Wikimedia Commons Image.

of combat, you should check out Witness to War.

Witness to War aims to capture “the ‘foxhole view of combat as seen by the soldiers who experienced it.” They do oral history interviews with combat veterans, then preserve and share them through their website. They have already posted a lot of video interviews that are searchable by subject or name.

Their collection of photos, mostly snapshots taken by soldiers,  is sobering and powerful. There are a lot of battlefield and other very stark images.

Do you know anyone whose memories should be included in this site? They are currently interviewing soldiers in the Atlanta and Washington, D.C. areas. All content they collect will be donated to the (US) Library of Congress Veterans History Project.


Genealogy Gift Ideas: Heritage Home Decor

Sharing our family history in displays around the house inspires conversation, reinforces our family’s sense of identity and can also create beautiful surroundings! Here are some of my favorite picks for inspired heritage home decor that will help you “walk the talk”. Pick one up as a holiday gift or one for your own home–or both!

wall decor image


Family Tree Wall Decor
I love how this gorgeous black tree design anchors a heritage wall display. They use current pictures of kids and grandkids, but I think it would also look  great with older pictures of ancestors. Sometimes when your heritage photos are all different sizes and styles (and you don’t have a dozen matching frames) it’s hard to figure out how to hang them together. But as you can see, the display looks great with different size images and frames!



Bronze Family Tree Picture Frame (6 photos)
This compact, stylish and ornamental design fits easily on a coffee or end table or even a fireplace mantel. The tree comes with 6 little frames: order an extra set of 4 here. Again, think of this as a great way to show off pictures of your children or grandchildren, or use it to display treasured images of ancestors.

Order Additional Picture Frames



Crafting a Meaningful Home

Crafting a Meaningful Home: 27 DIY Projects to Tell Stories, Hold Memories and Celebrate Family Heritage by Meg Mateo Ilasco.

If you like to make your own heritage displays, this book is for you. It’s packed with inspired ideas and detailed instructions on how to make things like decoupaged plates, a memory wall and silhouettes on canvas. The projects shown are all really adaptable to fit your supplies and style. Meg thinks “out-of-the-box” about ways to preserve and show memories–way beyond the traditional framed pictures which are great but may not express the creative side of some of us.






Espy Photo Frames (styles vary). This link will take you to my own store, where I offer these one-of-a-kind frames, exclusive to Genealogy Gems. The images, though nice, don’t do these frames justice. The edges are encrusted with original vintage jewelry pieces, antique mini-artifacts, pearls and beads and other little surprises. The openings can hold a mirror but also make a fabulous home for heritage photos. The frames draw the eye and hold it: nobody will miss this display and whatever loved one’s image holds a place of honor in it. Check out all the styles on my site after you click on the link above.





Need more ideas? Check my boards at Pinterest: Lisa Louise Cooke

Family History Craft Projects

Legacy Displays

How to Find What You Want at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has a new quick video tutorial to help us find things in their enormous collections, both offline and online.

Flickr Creative Commons image by Paull Young.

Flickr Creative Commons image by Paull Young.

“How to Find Stuff at the Largest Library in the World” is a 5-minute introductory video. It shows how to use subject headings, research databases and other helpful tools to find books, photos, sheet music, manuscripts and more at the Library of Congress or other locations.

This video makes the Library of Congress seem much less intimidating. And we get some tempting glimpses of the inside of the Library. The tips they mention are helpful for navigating any research library though, so check it out!

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