AUDIO PODCAST SHOW NOTES: Get the very latest on the major update Google has made to Bard, and the answer to the question “Should I use Bard, ChatGPT, or any of the other chatbots for genealogy research?” I’ve got some surprising answers for you!
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You can watch the video version: SHOCKING RESULTS! Should you use AI Chatbots for Genealogy?
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Also covered in this episode: Google just announced an update to Bard. New features include:
- Pin and rename conversations
- Export code to more places
- Share responses with friends
- Images in prompts
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Download the handy PDF show notes that complement this podcast episode.
Genealogy Gems Podcast
with Lisa Louise Cooke
Highlights from this episode:
- How to use Animoto, my favorite new tech tool for creating professional-looking slide shows and videos
- New Genealogy Gems team member Amie Tennant shares insights as she prepares for professional certification
- A listener shares a favorite genealogy database for finding recent relatives
- A listener uses DNA to connect adoptive and biological relatives?who were closer than she thought
- A segment from the Genealogy Gems Book Club interview with author Helen Simonson on The Summer Before the War
- News from Dropbox and a new initiative to capture the family histories of remote, indigenous populations
NEWS: Dropbox Improvement
New on Dropbox: Now when you share Dropbox content with someone, shared links will stay active even if you move or rename the file or folder.
Dropbox file-sharing tip: “If you ever want to unshare something you’ve already sent out (like to remove access to a sensitive document), it’s easy to disable an active link.” Just sign in to dropbox.com. “Click the link icon next to the file or folder, and click ‘remove link’ in the top right corner of the box that appears. You can also remove the link by visiting dropbox.com/links and clicking ‘x’ next to the file or folder.”
How to share folders on Dropbox
NEWS: MyHeritage and Tribal Quest
NEWS: New Premium Video
Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy: a new video available to Genealogy Gems Premium website members by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard
Genealogy Gems Premium website membership: Click here to learn more
Click here to watch a free video preview
MAILBOX: Russ Recommends the U.S. Public Records Index
Russ blogs at https://worthy2be.wordpress.com/
Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 181: What to use while waiting for the 1950 census
Russ recommends the “U.S., Public Record Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 and 2.”
“Volume 1 is far more interesting with more data. A search will return a Name AND Birth date, along with more than one ADDRESS, Zip Code and sometimes phone numbers.”
Ancestry’s description of its online database for Volume 1 says original data comes from public records spanning all 50 states, such as voter registration lists, public record filings, historical residential records and other household database listings.
Thoughts about using the U.S. Public Records Index (some of these points come from the FamilySearch wiki):
Not everyone who lived in the U.S. appears in the index, and you’re more likely to find birth information for those born between 1900 and 1990. What you’ll find is primarily where someone lived, and often when they lived there.
It’s rarely possible to positively identify a relative in this index, since there’s limited information and it spans the entire country for up to a half century, and you can’t follow up on the record it comes from because the index doesn’t say where individual records come from. As Russ says, this is a great resource to use in combination with other records. It’s a similar concept to the way you might consult uncited family trees: great hints to go on and follow up with further research into verifiable sources.
When you find more recent listings, you can sometimes find telephone numbers for living distant relatives. The Family History Made Easy podcast has a 2-episode series (episodes 14 and 15) about cold-calling techniques for reaching out to distant relatives you don’t know.
MAILBOX: Katie on Cold-calling and Adoption and DNA
Katie blogs her family history adventures at McKinnon Ancestry.
Click here to read a blog post with her story and see more pictures that go with it.
INTERVIEW: Amie Tennant
Amie Tennant is the newest member of the Genealogy Gems team. She contributes to the blog at www.genealogygems.com. She is also preparing to become a certified genealogist, which is a professional credential offered by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).
What have you learned in the process of preparing for certification?
“I think the biggest thing I have learned is the meaning of true exhaustive research. We talk a lot about that in our genealogy standards, but essentially, it is looking EVERYWHERE for EVERYTHING that might shed light on your research question.”
Why do you want to become certified?
I want a way to determine how well I am doing. A measuring stick of sorts.
What is the process like?
The process is the same for everyone. Once you have decided to become certified, you apply to the BCG. They send you a packet of information and you are “on the clock.” The clock is up in one year unless you ask for an extension. The portfolio you create consists of:
- Signing the Code of Ethics
- Listing your development activities (like formal coursework or enrichment activities);
- Transcribe, abstract, create a genealogy research question, analyze the data, and then write the research plan for a document that is supplied to you;
- Do those same 5 things for a document of your choosing;
- A research report prepared for another person.
- A case study with conflicting, indirect or negative evidence;
- A kinship determination project (a narrative genealogy that covers at least 3 generations)
- There is a lot of great free content on the BCG website: articles, examples, and skill-building activities.
GEM: How to Create Family History Videos Quickly and Easily
Visit our page on how to create family history videos which includes video tutorials and inspirational examples.
BOOK CLUB: Interview excerpt with Helen Simonson,
The Summer Before the War
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Beatrice Nash is a bright, cosmopolitan young lady who has grown up traveling the world with her father. Now he’s gone, and she’s landed in the small village of East Sussex, England, where the locals aren’t entirely thrilled about engaging her as a female Latin instructor for their schoolchildren. She spends a summer fighting for her job, meeting a local cast of engaging eccentric characters (both gentry and gypsy) and trying not to fall for handsome Hugh. Then the Great War breaks out.
This novel follows Helen’s popular debut novel, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, which became a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 21 languages. Genealogy Gems Premium website members can join us in June to hear our exclusive and fun interview with Helen Simonson.
GENEALOGY GEMS PODCAST PRODUCTION CREDITS:
Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer
Sunny Morton, Contributing Editor
Vienna Thomas, Audio Editor
Additional content by Lacey Cooke, Amie Tennant
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!
The British Newspaper Archive celebrated its 3rd birthday recently by looking back at how people are searching its 9 million+ newspaper pages. To date, the five most common searches are:
4. Jack the Ripper
Not what you expected? Your digitized newspaper searches as a family historian may be a little more specific and less sports-and-murder oriented. But are they too general to yield successful results?
Here’s a tip from Lisa: “With 9 million searchable pages, the key to finding what you want is to use the Advanced Search.
“You’ll find it under the search box. My initial search for my husband’s great grandfather resulted in tens of thousands of hits until I included mandatory keywords, his name as a phrase, a defined time frame, and zeroed in on advertisements. The 299 results were far more manageable and resulted in several fantastic finds!”
Armed with these tips, those with Irish or English roots should explore The British Newspaper Archive, even if you’ve searched there before. “We’ve come a long way since the website launched on 29 November 2011 with 4 million historic newspaper pages,” says a press release. “The collection is now more than twice the size, with over 9 million fully searchable pages available from 300 British and Irish titles. The newspapers cover 1710 – 1954, a much broader time period than at launch. If you weren’t able to find a particular person, event or place when The British Newspaper Archive launched, it’s well worth looking again now.” Visit www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to try a search for free.”
Learn more about searching historical newspapers in Lisa’s book, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers. Chapter 4 is all about the newspaper search process, and includes a copy-able Newspaper Research Worksheet.
Last of all, check out this fun infographic below from the British Newspaper Archive in honor of its birthday: