It’s time for a new season of Who Do You Think You Are? here in the U.S. Episode one features comedian and actress Aisha Tyler (Archer, Ghost Whisper.)
According to TLC, Aisha “tracks down her 2x great-grandfather, whose story had been lost over generations, and uncovers an astonishing tale of a prominent ancestor whose struggle to keep his illegitimate son a secret made headlines.”
The new season of Who Do You Think You Are? premieres Sunday, April 3 at 9/8c
The contributors featured in the upcoming season include:
- Scott Foley finds a relative who risked his life for one of America’s founding fathers, and an ancestor who suffered unspeakably during one of this nation’s darkest times.
- Lea Michele nails down where her mysterious paternal ancestors came from, and learns of the dire economic circumstances they endured while trying to emigrate to the U.S.
- Chris Noth learns his ancestors suffered during one of the greatest catastrophes in American history, and a relative who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of all time.
- Molly Ringwald explores family lore of Swedish royalty which uncovers her ancestors’ harrowing lives and a brave woman who forever changed her family’s fate.
- Katey Sagal is shocked to learn of her family’s Amish roots, and digs deeper as she realizes the level of dedication to their faith.
Ancestry.com and FamilySearch International, the two largest online providers of genealogy data, just announced an agreement that’s expected to put a billion more historical records from around the world within reach online.
FamilySearch and Ancestry: Billion Record Deal
A billion is a LOT of records. If you wanted to count to a billion, it would take you 95 years.
According to an Ancestry.com press release, the organizations will partner “with the archive community over the next five years to digitize, index and publish these records from the FamilySearch vault.”
“The access to the global collection of records marks a major investment in international content as Ancestry.com continues to invest in expanding family history interest in its current markets and worldwide,” continues the release. “Ancestry.com expects to invest more than $60 million over the next five years in the project alongside thousands of hours of volunteer efforts facilitated by FamilySearch.”
This kind of collaboration (rather than competition) between these two enormous organizations will likely mean fabulous fruits for the genealogist. I love that the emphasis is on worldwide records, too. Though people in certain international markets may be the ones using their records, the ancestors of those folks have come from all parts of the world. As always, stay tuned to Genealogy Gems to hear news like this and for updates as these records start becoming available.
More old home movies are being digitized and more historical footage is coming online. Do you know how to integrate these with your family tree or blog? Wouldn’t it be great to show that you found great-grandpa in four censuses, the SSDI and a 1937 news reel showing him driving his fire truck? (That really did happen to me. Click here to read about it and see the footage.)
Here a few ways you can share your old family footage online:
1. If you have have a free Google account, then you have a free YouTube channel! You can upload old footage as well as movies YOU make of still images. Then you can use the Share > Embed feature to include the video on your own genealogy blogs. Click here to watch an inspiring video Lisa made about her ancestor, a nurse in training.
2. If you have Legacy Republic digitize your old family movies, you can upload them through your Legacy Republic account into your FamilySearch family tree. (Click here to watch a video about how it works.)
3. Add an online video source citation to your Ancestry tree. Create a new source in an ancestor’s individual profile. The Source Citation section asks for any URL related to this citation. Enter the URL. Then it asks whether you have media items to attach. You will be walked through the process of uploading video from your own computer. If you choose the option to record a video, Ancestry will access your computer’s microphone and camera and record you speaking for up to 12 minutes.
Wish you knew more about how making or finding family footage? Learn more here:
- Genealogy Gems Premium members can click here to access a Premium podcast and video on how to create your own family history video (learn more about Premium membership here).
- Click here to watch Lisa’s free YouTube series about blogging your family history or click here to listen to free Family History Made Easy podcast episodes about genealogy blogging (episodes 38-42).
- Learn about finding and using old film footage on YouTube and other websites in the updated-for-2015 2nd edition of The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox (there’s an entire, expanded chapter on YouTube that inspired my own find of that 1937 newsreel).
A new project backed by top British scientists is crowd-sourcing space exploration by offering donors the chance to put their DNA on the moon. Their first Kickstarter campaign successfully ends today: over £600,000 has been raised in less than a month!
Lunar Mission One hopes to put a research craft on the “South Pole” end of the moon within ten years. The vessel will drill deep into the rock in an effort to learn more about the moon’s origin and history.
Around 6700 individual pledges were made in this first phase of funding. Those who pledged at a certain amount will receive space in a “digital memory box” that will be sent into space with the research craft, a sort of 21st-century time capsule and digital archive on the moon.
“People will be able to upload whatever they want to their memory box – including personal messages, photos, audio and video,” promises the Lunar Mission One website. “There will also be the option to submit a strand of hair for those who wish to store their DNA for inclusion in the time capsule.”
“The price of the digital memory boxes will be determined by capacity – starting from as little as a few dollars. Most digital information-only purchases are expected to be $10+. Customers who want to combine digital information with a strand of hair, will pay $100+. We are also developing prestige packages ($1,000+) and a lottery option from $1.”
What do you think? It’s not too late to join the fun! According to the Lunar Mission One website, “Following the Kickstarter fundraising, and for the next four years, people will still be able to reserve space in the private archive, through an online portal. This could be for themselves or as a gift. Individuals will be able to get involved in other ways, such as through membership of our Supporters Club.” Learn more at the Lunar Mission One website.