The Genealogy Gems Podcast
with Lisa Louise Cooke
This episode breaks two huge pieces of genealogy news and shares two great conversations:
FamilySearch ends microfilm lending: how you can get the records you need;
RootsMagic adds Ancestry.com compatibility: sync your Ancestry.com tree to your master RootsMagic file and search Ancestry.com from within the software;
Melissa Barker, the Archive Lady, talks about visiting archives to explore original manuscript record treasures;
Nicole Dyer shares a fun family history activity idea to do with kids?do you have a family gathering coming up that could use this inspiration?
A SURPRISE IN MY MAILBOX!
NEW PREMIUM VIDEO!
Lisa Louise Cooke shows you how to use the free Google Earth Pro software to create your own historic map collection customized for your genealogy and family history research. By the end of this class you’ll have a permanent collection of hundreds of gorgeous historic and vintage maps from around the world, organized and ready to use for family history.
The 4th Annual Northwest Genealogy Conference
This episode today is brought to you by the 4rd Annual Northwest Genealogy Conference, hosted by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, north of Seattle in Arlington, WA. Centering on the theme, “Where Does Your Story Begin?” it’s four days PACKED full of genealogy.
There will be well-known and respected keynote speakers, including our friend and genetic genealogist Diahan Southard, speaking on DNA; Kenyatta Berry of Genealogy Roadshow fame, speaking on Caribbean research and using slave schedules in research; and Daniel Earl speaking on Putting History in Your Family History.
Starting off with the Free Day Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Peggy Lauritzen will address beginner’s issues in her Genealogy 101 presentation, which is also a good refresher for the more seasoned genealogists. There will be such great genealogical information for all levels, AND it’ll be lot of fun!
Between classes take a chance to meet a distant cousin with the “Cousin Wall”. Participate in the genealogy-related scavenger hunt, the Wednesday evening meet and greet and the Friday dress-as-your-ancestor day, and much, much more!
Go to www.NwGC.org for details and to register. Check it out now — registrations are limited, so it’s good to get in early. It’s August 16-19, 2017. It’ll be a great show: don’t miss it!
INTERVIEW: MELISSA BARKER, THE ARCHIVE LADY
Melissa Barker is a Certified Archives Records Manager, the Houston http://www.honeytraveler.com/buy-antibiotics/ County, Tennessee Archivist and author of the popular blog A Genealogist in the Archives and bi-weekly advice column The Archive Lady. She has been researching her own family history for the past 27 years.
Preserve your own family archive
Items in danger include original items in attics, basements, etc.
What to preserve first? The most precious and original items you have!
- Clean documents and photos with archival sponges. Lay the item perfectly flat. Gently place a finger or hand to hold it steady. Work with the sponge from the center outward, in small sections.
- Keep two-dimensional items as flat as possible.
- Encase fragile items in Mylar sleeves (buy from archival supply companies).
Visiting an archive:
- Call ahead! Don’t trust the operational hours from the website. Ask about parking ? it’s often very limited. Ask ahead about access to archival items of interest.
- Archive etiquette: Follow the rules. Be courteous when working with staff.
- Museums, societies, archives, and libraries may all have collections in back rooms you can’t see?but you can ask for them.
- Vertical Files – in folders in cabinets
- Manuscript Collections – underused in genealogy! Ask for finding aid.
- Loose Records – the working papers of a court case, for example
- Unprocessed Records – not yet incorporated into the official collection
Tips for using your mobile devices in archives:
- Ask for procedures for taking photos with your own device. There may be rules against this or a use fee.
- Capture the source information by photographs: cover page, page number, folder, box number, manuscript collection name, etc.
BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users
If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus audio content for this episode comes from Melissa Barker, the Archive Lady, with more about finding and using original manuscript records in your genealogy research. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.
Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. RootsMagic is now fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you can sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.
Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/lisa.
INTERVIEW: NICOLE DYER
Nicole has been researching her ancestors and delighting in their stories for the past 15 years. Nicole volunteers at the Tucson Family History Center teaching a family history story time group for young children.
Lisa suggested the free program Jing for video screen capturing: https://www.techsmith.com/jing.html
(Full disclosure: this podcast blog contains affiliate links. We will be compensated if you make a purchase through our link. Isn’t that an awesome way to help keep the free podcast free?!)
Visit Animoto here and start a free trial
Start creating fabulous, irresistible videos about your family history with Animoto.com. You don’t need special video-editing skills: just drag and drop your photos and videos, pick a layout and music, add a little text and voila! You’ve got an awesome video! Try this out for yourself at Animoto.com.
GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB: A FAMILY HISTORY MURDER MYSTERY!
Journalist Helene Stapinski’s new family history memoir:
A story of poverty and power, love, tragic decisions, and a courageous and desperate woman’s leap for a new life across the ocean
Find a whole list of fabulous family history-inspired reading at the Genealogy Gems Book Club!
Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer
Sunny Morton, Editor
Vienna Thomas, Associate Producer
Lacey Cooke, Service “Happiness” Manager
This episode’s got a bit of holiday sparkle! Lisa Louise Cooke welcomes Genealogy Gems Book Club author and Victorian lifestyle expert Sarah Chrisman to the show to talk about Victorian holiday traditions, some of which may still live on in your own life. Following that conversation, Lisa shares a fun description of Victorian-era scrapbooking: how it’s different than today’s scrapbooking hobby but also how it reminds her of modern social media.
More episode highlights:
Three success stories from Genealogy Gems listeners: a Google search with great results, a brick-wall busting marriage record and yet another YouTube find for family history (people keep telling us about those!).
Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard chimes in with what she likes so far about MyHeritage’s new DNA testing service.
An internationally-themed German research conference and a makeover for the Scotland’s People website.
NEWS: GERMAN-AMERICAN GENEALOGY PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE
First-ever German-American Genealogy Partnership Conference: Minneapolis, MN, July 28-30, 2017.
70 presentations over 3 full days on the theme, “CONNECTIONS: International. Cultural. Personal”
Topics will include major German-speaking regions; social networking opportunities each day for those with common interests in specific regions
For the full scoop, at www.GGSMN.org and click “2017 GAGP Conference”
NEWS: SCOTLAND’S PEOPLE
The newly-relaunched ScotlandsPeople website has several exciting new features:
Mobile-friendly web design and an enhanced search function;
Free access to several records indexes;
More than 150,000 baptism entries from Scottish Presbyterian churches (other than the Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland) have been added and more are coming, as well as marriages and burials;
More types of records held by National Records of Scotland are coming, including records of kirk sessions and other church courts;
Explore the site for free, including handy how-to guides for using Scottish records such as statutory records, church registers and census returns.
MAILBOX: GOOGLE SEARCH SUCCESS STORY
From Joan: “I used one of the handy hints from your presentation at the South Orange County California Genealogical Society’s all day seminar in Mission Viejo, CA. I entered some of my common named ancestors, used the quotes, added a time frame and included some key words, like locations. Most of what I found were my own queries and posts. That shows it works!….
One thing I was amazed at was a multi-page article I found: ‘The Lincoln Kinsman,’ written in 1938. It included a lot of information on the Bush family [which is another of her family lines]. The article even included what I think is my ancestor Hannah Bush Radley.” (Click here or on the image above to see a copy of “The Lincoln Kinsman” at Internet Archive.)
Listen to a free 2-part series on cold-calling distant relatives or others as part of your genealogy research: “Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast, episodes 14 and 15.”
BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users:
A handy cheat sheet with 14 tips from that series on cold-contacting distant relatives. It’s updated with brand-new suggestions, including ways to find potential relatives’ names during the research process. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.
MAILBOX: VONDA BLOGS A MARRIAGE RECORD DISCOVERY
Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 197 that inspired her discovery
Vonda’s blog post on her discovery: “Right Under Your Nose, or at Least, Your Fingertips! Dickey Family about 1909”
MAILBOX: YOUTUBE SUCCESS STORY
Gay entered “Freeport Texas history” in YouTube and found historical newsreel footage of the opening ceremony of a local water treatment plant. She and the women in her family were seated on the front row. Here’s a screenshot from that footage: maybe this is a stylish young Gay in sunglasses? (Watch the video here.)
Lisa’s book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox has an entire chapter on discovering family history gems such as these on YouTube.
More tips and success stories on using YouTube to find your family history in moving pictures:
- A woman found her dadding racing his 1959 El Camino
- 6 ways to use YouTube for family history
- Find historical documentaries about your family on YouTube
Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. By the end of 2016, RootsMagic expects to be fully integrated with Ancestry.com, too: you’ll be able to sync your RootsMagic trees with your Ancestry.com trees and search records on the site.
Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at http://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.
INTERVIEW: VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS WITH SARAH CHRISMAN
Sarah Chrisman lives her life every day as if it’s the Victorian era. Her clothing, household, pastimes, chores and more all reflect the time period.
Listen as Lisa and Sarah talk about the Victorian Christmas tree; gift-giving, crafts, decorating and things that might surprise us about holiday celebrations during that time.
Books by Sarah Chrisman:
This Victorian Life: Modern Adventures in Nineteenth-Century Culture, Cooking, Fashion and Technologies, a memoir Sarah’s everyday life. The Book Club interview in December will focus mainly on this book.
First Wheel in Town: A Victorian Cycling Club Romance. This is from her series of light-hearted historical fiction set in an era she knows well!
Sarah Chrisman joins me again later this month on the Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode 142 to talk about what it’s like to live every day like it’s the late 1800s. Don’t miss it! Not a Premium member? Click here to learn more about the perks of membership!
Legacy Tree Genealogists provides expert genealogy research service that works with your research goals, budget and schedule. The Legacy Tree Discovery package offers 3.5 hours of preliminary analysis and research recommendations: a great choice if you’ve hit a brick wall in your research and could use some expert guidance. Click here to learn more.
MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Click here to see what MyHeritage can do for you: it’s free to get started.
GEM: VICTORIAN SCRAPBOOKING
The Victorians coined the phrase “scrapbooking:” they literally pasted paper scraps into books. As an embellishment, those who could afford to bought “relief scraps,” such as the ones shown here. These were like the precursors of modern sticker sheets or die cuts, printed just for the scrapbooking hobby. You could buy colorful images of everything from flowers or children to animals, or angels or Father Christmas. These images were raised or embossed on the paper, which is why they called them reliefs.
Relief scraps could be used as embellishments around other items on scrapbook pages, but sometimes they were the only decoration on a page, arranged in pretty patterns.
This Ladies Home Journal magazine from May 1891 at HathiTrust Digital Library describes quote “a Sunday Scrap-book?as a source of almost unlimited pleasure and profit to children who can read and write.”
DNA WITH DIAHAN, Your DNA Guide
I don’t think there is any dispute that the four major online resources for genealogy include Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Find My Past, and My Heritage. Of those four, only Ancestry.com has attempted any real integration of DNA test results into traditional genealogy.
That is, until recently. On May 19, 2016 MyHeritage announced that they will be adding a DNA matching service to their offering, and then on November 7th announced they would be conducting DNA tests themselves. Now, MyHeritage has enjoyed partnerships with 23andMe and Family Tree DNA for quite some time now, but those partnerships have been woefully underutilized and are little more than an affiliate service, where MyHeritage provides a discounted rate to test at those companies.
There is no question that the launch of DNA Heritage fully into the genetic genealogy market is exciting news. In fact, it is something I have been pushing for ? we absolutely need someone to challenge AncestryDNA. Competition is good.
In September they began to provide matching results for individuals who had uploaded their results. As of today, uploading your results is still free, so if you have been thinking about it, you may want to take advantage sooner rather than later. As expected, the matches are only as good as the depth of the database, and it is early in the game, so their database is small, but even now we can get an idea of what to expect from MyHeritage as they take their first steps into genetic genealogy.
One of the most exciting elements of their November 7th announcement is their development of a Founder Population project where they have handpicked individuals to represent their reference population for calculating ethnicities. They plan to launch with 25 population groups, but will likely increase to 100 in a fairly short amount of time. This is a far more advanced ethnicity report than is currently offered anywhere else.
After you have figured out how to download your raw data from your testing company (see my instructions here: http://www.yourdnaguide.com/transferring), and then managed to add it to My Heritage (you have to add a family tree to MyHeritage to do this, see further instructions in their May press release), and waited the requisite time to process, you will receive a notice that you have new DNA matches.
For a full review of the features and ins and outs of where to click and what to look at, please refer to the September blog post from MyHeritage.
As for my favorite features, I like how they list all the possible relationships that make sense between you and your match taking into account multiple factors like your age, gender, and your genetics instead of a simple, generic range like 2nd-4th cousins. The accompanying chart that visually shows you all possible relationships is also very helpful. You can access it by clicking on the little question mark icon next to the relationship suggestions. I like that these suggestions remind us that our genetic relationships have different genealogical interpretations. Meaning that genetically, a 2nd cousin once removed, a first cousin twice removed, and a second cousin, all fall within a similar genetic range and it is impossible to determine your exact relationship based on the genetics alone.
I also like that they are providing all three genetic descriptors of your relationship: total amount of shared DNA, how many segments are shared, and the size of the longest piece of shared DNA. While this more of an intermediate to advanced piece of your results, it can be important as your relationship analysis becomes more involved.
One unique claim made by MyHeritage in their press release about their matching feature addresses a main concern that genetic genealogists have: the lack of pedigree information provided by their matches. MyHeritage claims that 95% of their DNA samples have pedigrees attached. That is remarkable! However, from my own quick calculation of my matches, the number with pedigrees is more like 60%.
They also indicated that they will soon be doing a bit of pedigree analysis for you by providing a list of shared surnames and locations between you and your match based on the pedigrees you have both submitted. This will certainly be a welcome addition.
According to the November 9th Q and A they haven’t decided yet if the ethnicity features will be available to those who only transfer, and they hint at many more features they have in the works that may only be offered to those who purchase their test.
In short, the MyHeritage site is currently functioning much like the top three genetic genealogy sites (Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, and 23andMe) and like the free tool Gedmatch, offers a meeting place for those who have been tested at one company to meet those who have tested at another, with the added bonus of a promise of new features on the horizon.
PROFILE AMERICA: A DICKENSENIAN TALE
Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer
Sunny Morton, Editor
Amie Tennant, Content Contributor
Vienna Thomas, Audio Editor
Lacey Cooke, Additional Production Support
Check out this new episode!
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!