September 22, 2017

Featured Success Story From our Reader Celebrating our 200th Episode

The Genealogy Gems Podcast recently celebrated our 200th episode and 10th anniversary! Can you believe it? We couldn’t have made it without you, our Gems listeners and readers…thank you! We asked you to share with us how Genealogy Gems has helped you along your personal family history journey and to share your triumphs. Today we are proud to feature the inspiring success stories of a true Genealogy Gem, Robin!

Celebrating The Genealogy Gems Podcast 200th Episode

My name is Robin and I am from Nevada and I just love Lisa’s amazing podcast and website.

Lisa and her team are an amazing source of information for a hobby genealogist. A daily inspiration for me as I listen to the podcast. They have given me the courage to step outside my comfort zone and to keep contacting distance relatives in my search for photos or family history.

I have utilized so many of the Gems here on the website. Here are a few of my favorite Gems that have helped me with my searches.

  • Diahan Southard (a Gem all on her own)
  • Genealogy for Beginners (I devoured this page)
  • Google Earth
  • Google Toolbox (My favorite tool to use! Love, love, love!)
  • How to get started in Evernote
  • Organize your Genealogy Files
  • How to interview your relatives
  • All of the podcasts
  • Learning about Animoto and using it to make a video of all my cousins

I enjoy listening to Lisa read the letters from other people on the podcast so much and have wanted to send in an email, but I kind of felt a little awkward talking about myself and about what I had accomplished these past couple years. So, when Lisa invited everyone to write in for the Genealogy Gems 200th podcast episode, I thought to myself, what the heck, go for it.

My First Success Story: Keep It Safe

I wanted to share with your readers a couple of my stories. I am not a trained genealogist, but I really enjoy the search on Ancestry, Newspapers, and USGenweb, and many others. I came across the Gems website when I was researching Scrivener and how to incorporate it into my research. I read one of the reviews and they mentioned Genealogy Gems. Well, let me say, I have been hooked ever since then!

My mother, sadly, passed away last April of Alzheimer’s. She got me interested in genealogy as a teenager and I became hooked. I’m in my 40s now and recently got back into researching about four years ago. When my Mom was first diagnosed, she came to me and handed me a box of her papers and asked, “Can you keep them safe for me?” I shoved them to the back of a closet–my only thought was to keep them safe.

A couple years ago, I remembered the box I had in safe keeping and pulled it out. The box contained newspaper clippings my grandmother kept of family members of her mother which later helped me to confirm my great-grandfather’s parents names. Also contained in the box were several funeral books with family names, and birth and death certificates. It’s almost as if she knew I would come back to doing genealogy. It’s been an amazing adventure and I am so very thankful to my mom for giving me this wonderful gift of adventure.

My Second Success Story: Making a Lost Family Connection

In the last couple years, I have solved an old family mystery of my missing (paternal) great-grandfather after WWI. He had been presumed dead in the war, but I found he actually got out and married another woman.

I was able to track his daughter down and had a great conversation with her before she passed away eight months later within a week of my own father’s passing. His daughter was able to verify that he was indeed our lost great-grandfather. My dad and Uncle were shocked when I told them! I knew my dad enjoyed my calls to update him on my newest finds and solving the mystery when he showed up at my door out-of-the-blue with a box containing his baby book and other items as a kid. I have to say, that was one of the best days I ever spent with my dad. We sat and poured over the items and drank coffee spiked with a little Carolan’s liquor. He was going through chemo and radiation at the time and wasn’t allowed to drink. He claimed his doctor gave him special permission for a little in his coffee!

My Last Success Story: Participating in a Denmark Museum Exhibit

Mors Museum. Picture provided by Robin.

My most exciting moment was in November of 2015. I had emailed a library in Nykobing, Mors, Denmark for info in reference to the Morso Stove Factory. My husband’s ancestor worked there in the early 1900s.  My email was forwarded to the local Museum Mors director to answer my inquiries. I had included a photograph of my husband’s great-great-grandfather who worked at the stove factory. The director replied with my answer and asked if I would like to contribute to the new exhibit coming up in March of 2016, “The Emigrants ” with any photos, documents, family stories. Of course, I said yes, totally delighted and grinning from ear to ear!

As I considered what items to send to the Mors Museum director, I remembered that earlier in the year, I had contact with a fellow ancestry member named Dan (distant cousin of my husband) regarding a family book he referenced as a source. He sent me a copy via Google drive. The author, a lady name Connie, put this family book together and spent several years gathering information and typing it up on a typewriter, yikes. It’s over 250 pages of pure information on my husband’s ancestors. I tracked down Connie and spoke to her for the first time. I think she was shocked and honored that her book on her (former) husband’s family was going to be a part of a museum exhibit.

I then contacted Dan and he had some materials to contribute as well since he was the grandson of the youngest ancestor that immigrated to America.

Mors Museum Exhibit. Picture provided by Robin.

I had so much fun being a part of this and putting all the materials together to send by Google Drive to the curator. I have included several pictures from the museum exhibit. I believe the exhibit ends in October of this year. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but they were so kind to share the photos with me.

I have to say, even though this was a hard year, due to my parents passing, I think they both left me a gift to help me get thru this difficult time.  It’s been an amazing adventure and I have grown and learned so much from my family history.

I really want to say thank you so much to Lisa and the Genealogy Gems team, because I couldn’t have done half of the research I’ve done this past year without their guidance. Thanks for letting me share my story, too!

Congrats on the 200th podcast episode and I hope you all have a wonderful celebration.

Happy searching and many blessings,

Robin

Enjoy the Benefits of Premium Membership

Genealogy Gems - Family History Podcast and WebsiteRobin utilized our Genealogy Gems Premium Membership to help her navigate genealogy records, learn about DNA, organize with Evernote, and much, much more. Become a Genealogy Gems Premium Member today and get exclusive access to incredible content to help you further your research – all for one low annual price! Click here to learn more.

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 192 is Ready

GGP 192The free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 192 is ready. It’s perfect pre-family reunion listening: learn to make oh-so-shareable family videos, gather health info from relatives and more.

It’s tough to pick one favorite part of the new Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 192. I loved the segments that have inspired me as I’m getting ready to attend a family reunion this month:

  • Lisa teaches us how to easily create professional-looking family history videos–and I do mean EASY and BEAUTIFUL (see the example below);
  • A listener shares a favorite database that can help us find and connect with living relatives.
  • The inspiring story of how DNA solved one family’s adoption mystery.

But there’s more! New Genealogy Gems team member Amie Tennant shares insights as she prepares for professional certification. And you’ll hear a fun segment from the Genealogy Gems Book Club interview with author Helen Simonson on The Summer Before the WarYou’ll also hear something new about Dropbox and a new initiative to capture the family histories of remote, indigenous populations.GGP thanks for sharing

Whether you’re in tech mode, prepping for a family reunion or looking for tips and inspiration to be a better genealogist, this episode has something for you.

Who else do you know who will enjoy this free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #192? Will you share it with them? Thank you!

Free Beginner Genealogy Podcast Series (Also Great for Do-Overs!)

Beginner genealogy FHME podcastA free podcast series for beginner genealogy, The Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast series offers step-by-step how-to instruction and inspiration.

Are you just getting started in family history? Or are you ready for a genealogy “do-over” with a more systematic approach to learning and researching? My free beginner genealogy podcast series, Family History: Genealogy Made Easy, may be just what you’re looking for. Kim from Alpine, Utah, wrote in to say how much that series has helped her:

“Dear Lisa,

I’ve downloaded all of the Family History Made Easy podcasts and am making my way through them while I exercise. I just finished listening to your archived Family History Made Easy podcast #31 “Immigration and Naturalization Records, part 3” with Stephen Danko, not realizing there were also parts 1 and 2. When I got on my computer to look at the show notes and realized there were two more episodes in this series to listen to, I was thrilled: I have an incentive now to go walking at least twice more this week! The podcasts are the motivation for me to get out and get the blood circulating!

I was amazed at all there is to learn from ship manifests, and have a plan to go back and review those I’ve already captured. I’m sure there are many new things I will be able to learn from them, after learning about all of the marks and notations.

Thank you for producing this entire series of informative, educational, instructive, and interesting, podcasts, as well as the Genealogy Gems podcasts. They are a service to the genealogy community and help elevate the quality of our family history work. I wish you well and hope you continue producing them for a long time!

Family History: Genealogy Made Easy PodcastHere’s how to access the free series:

1. Go to www.genealogygems.com
2. Hover your mouse over Podcast
3. Click on Family History: Genealogy Made Easy
4. Episodes are in numerical order
5. Click the link for episode 1 called Getting Started
6. The web page is called “show notes” and has all the information covered in that episode.
7. Click “Play Now” link at the top and then click the Play button to listen on your computer, or you can subscribe through iTunes. Here’s a link to frequently asked questions about podcasts.

Free PodcastAlong with the step-by-step beginner genealogy series, you can also listen to the entire archive of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, like Kim has done, for tons of additional ideas and strategies.

Free Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 188 Now Available

GGP 188 genealogy gems podcast episode 188Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 188 has published. It’s packed with news, tips and inspiration that can help your family history research now. Check it out!

The newest episode of the free Genealogy Gems Podcast is now available. Host Lisa Louise Cooke shares her signature variety of news, inspiration, innovative strategies and tips you can use now. Highlights from the Genealogy Gems podcast episode 188 include:

  • RootsTech news and resources for everyone;
  • New records online for Ireland and the United States;
  • Two inspiring emails from listeners who unravel family mysteries with determination, skill and Google sleuthing;
  • A Genealogy Gems Book Club update with more thoughts on the featured title Orchard House: How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Growby Tara Austen Weaver and book recommendations from RootsTech attendees;
  • A critique of a recent NPR article on genetic genealogy by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard; and
  • A great conversation with Cindy Cochran and Sabrina Riley of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society Library at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Lisa Louise Cooke with Cindy Cochran and Sabrina Riley genealogy gems podcast episode 188

Lisa Louise Cooke with Cindy Cochran and Sabrina Riley

My favorite part of this episode for me was Lisa’s conversation with Cindy and Sabrina. It was fun to meet two interesting women who help keep their corner of the genealogy research world running smoothly. I don’t even have Nebraska roots but I appreciated the inside “look” at their genealogy collection. It reminds me what gems–human and archival–may be tucked away on college campuses that love and welcome researchers.

New to the Genealogy Gems podcast? Welcome! Click on the link above to listen; subscribe and listen in iTunes or download the Genealogy Gems app (click here to learn more about these options).

thanks youre a gemDo you already listen to the free Genealogy Gems podcast? Will you please tell your friends and fellow “genies” about it? We especially appreciate your recommendations on your favorite social media sites–thanks for sharing this post!

 

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 187: Judy Russell on Law and More

GGP 187 genealogy gems podcast episode 187Listen to the free Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 187! The Legal Genealogist Judy Russell answers a fabulous listener question and MORE.

Judy RussellGenealogy Gems Podcast Episode 187 has just been published! In this episode, Lisa welcomes Judy Russell, AKA “The Legal Genealogist,” who specializes in researching laws that applied to our ancestors. She takes on a Genealogy Gems listener’s fantastic question about the bounty land his War of 1812 ancestor never claimed. Can he still claim it? Find out in this episode.

More highlights from this episode include:

  • The latest on life after Family Tree Maker software and a fresh look at why family history software is still relevant today;
  • New strategies for using Google to answer your genealogical research questions;
  • Our new Genealogy Gems Book Club announcement. (Get ready to read!);
  • Why you will definitely want to stop by our booth at RootsTech 2016; and
  • New records online and up-to-the-moment emails with questions, tips and inspiring successes.

Click here to access the newest free episode of the Genealogy Gems podcast. (Or click here first to learn how to listen to the Genealogy Gems podcast.) Happy listening!

How to use Google for Genealogy

Get Lisa’s Google Methodology:

For more step-by-step strategies on one of the podcast topics–using Google to answer your genealogical research questions–turn to Lisa Louise Cooke’s book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. It’s your ultimate guide to learning to use Google and its many free tools (Google Books, YouTube, Google Scholar, etc) for genealogy and for everything else! Use it to master Google searching in 2016!

Tune In During 2016! How to Listen to the Free Genealogy Gems Podcast

Lisa Louise Cooke Studio FinalLooking for a fresh, motivating and FREE resource for learning to do family history? Tune in to my free, award-winning Genealogy Gems podcast. Here’s how.

Recently I heard from Alan with this question: “I am still trying to get a grip on podcasts. Can you fill me in so I can understand the process? My 86-year old brain is slow to catch on.”

I’m so glad he asked! It reminds me that not everyone knows how to listen to my free “online radio show,” the Genealogy Genealogy Gems Podcast. And some of you may not even have heard of it!

The Genealogy Gems Podcast is an award-winning monthly online show that helps you make the most of your family history research time. In each lively episode, I bring you the best websites, easy-to-use research techniques, inspiring stories and innovative ways to use top technologies for genealogy. A variety of experts, celebrities and entertainers make guest appearances on the show, including Lisa Kudrow of Who Do You Think You Are?, Mary Tedesco of Genealogy Roadshow, Tukufu Zuberi of The History Detectives, Kathy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters, Dick Eastman, CeCe Moore and many others.

How to Listen to the Genealogy Gems Podcast

First, take a few minutes to watch the welcome video on the home page of my website. This video explains the website and where to find podcasts on the website. You can always find the most recent free podcast episode on the home page of our website at www.genealogygems.com:

genealogy gems podcast how to 1

Next, to find all the free episodes, hover your mouse over PODCAST in the menu and click Genealogy Gems Podcast.

genealogy gems podcast how to 2

That will take you to the page listing all the past episodes. Here you can click  the episode you want. You can also click Frequently Asked Questions and you will find instructions for using iTunes and getting the podcast on smartphones and tablets.

genealogy gems podcast how to 3

Clicking the episode number (above) takes you to the web page for that episode (image below). This is the “show notes” page and includes all of the information and websites we talk about in that episode for your convenience.

genealogy gems podcast how to 4

Here you can click the play button on the episode player to listen to that episode. In our weekly newsletter we include links to the newest episodes so that you can quickly get to this page and listen.

Genealogy Gems Podcast and Family HistoryClick here to go to a list of all past episodes of the free Genealogy Gems podcast. Give it a try! It’s free, it’s fun and it’s all about inspiring YOUR family history research.

Newly Published! Free Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 186

Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 186Inspire your holiday season with tips on interviewing older relatives, using DNA for adoption research and more in the Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 186!

Kathy Hawkins Genealogy Gems podcast episode 186

Kathy Hawkins, Therapist and TimeSlips Creative Storytelling Master Trainer

The free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 186 is now live. This month, we celebrate upcoming holiday family time with relatives with a special interview. Guest expert Kathy Hawkins shares suggestions and encouragement about capturing memories from our oldest relatives. I especially appreciate her insights about understanding the memories of those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Also in this episode, our resident genetic genealogy expert, Diahan Southard, offers her thanks for DNA connections that are helping her (and others) fill holes left by adoption in her family. Don’t miss her stories!

You’ll also hear about:

  • a great new resource from MyHeritage for connecting with other researchers,
  • family history poetry from two of our Gems listeners,
  • letters from the Gems mailbox and
  • an excerpt from our new Genealogy Gems Book Club interview, which will appear in full later this month in the next Genealogy Gems Premium podcast.

GGP thanks for sharingClick here to listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 186! If you enjoy it, thank you for sharing it with your friends and family by email and through your social media channels. We appreciate it when you help us spread the word about the free Genealogy Gems podcast and website!

How Can I Listen to the Genealogy Gems Podcasts Offline?

listen to Genealogy Gems podcasts offlineHere’s how you can listen to the Genealogy Gems podcasts when you’re not online.

Recently Lorraine sent us this question: “Can your podcasts be downloaded to listen to offline, i.e. on a cruise where internet access isn’t practical?”

Lucky Lorraine, if she’s headed on a cruise! The answer is YES, absolutely, Lorraine (and anyone else) can listen to our podcasts at sea, while out walking or running, on a camping trip, or anywhere else we find ourselves without internet access.

Here are 3 ways to listen to the Genealogy Gems podcasts offline:

1. Genealogy Gems App: If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can get the Genealogy Gems app and easily download episodes to your phone. In the app, go to Settings and turn on the feature to automatically download starred episodes. Then just tap the Star icon for any episode you wish to download to your phone.

2. iTunes: If you don’t have a mobile device, you can use iTunes (free) to download episodes to your laptop computer or iPod/mp3 player. (Click here for more specific instructions on our Frequently Asked Questions page/)

3. Website: If you don’t wish to use iTunes: On your computer or laptop, go to www.genealogygems.com. In the menu hover your mouse over Podcasts and choose which free podcast you want to listen to: the Genealogy Gems Podcast or the Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast (a step-by-step show for beginners and back-to-basics). Premium Members of our Genealogy Gems website can sign in and then also hover over Premium and select Premium Podcast.

Follow the links to click the episode number you want which will take you to the show notes page.

direct downloadsOn the show notes page for the episode, you will find the option to download the episode.

For the Genealogy Gems podcast, scroll to the bottom of the page to see the “Direct Download” link.

For Family History: Genealogy Made Easy and Genealogy Gems Premium podcasts, it’s toward the top of the page and just says “Download.”

Click to download the mp3 audio files to your computer. Enjoy on demand–wherever you are!

More Tips for Enjoying the Genealogy Gems Podcasts

enjoy_the_music_1600_clr_90355 Occasions When You Really Do Have Time to Listen to Genealogy Gems Podcasts

Here’s Why You Should Use the Genealogy Gems App

NEW to the Genealogy Gems Podcast: The Genealogy Gems Book Club

 

 

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 184 Is Ready for YOU

GGP 184The FREE Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 184 has been published and is ready for your listening pleasure! 

In this episode of the free Genealogy Gems podcast, you’ll hear about lots of fabulous and FREE online resources–including a way to harness the power of Ancestry.com for free.

You’ll also hear advice from two listeners, one on saving your genealogy from theft and another with a tip on digital preservation for photos. I share a genealogist’s poem that made me laugh. Resident DNA expert Diahan Southard joins us to respond to a common lament: when DNA doesn’t seem to be panning out for you.

In this episode we also announce our next Genealogy Gems Book Club, the last featured title of 2015. It’s a meaty new novel by a New York Times best-selling author who has also penned an Oprah Book Club Pick. Come check it out (or click here to read more about it)! Listen in iTunes, through our app (for iPhone/iPad or Android users), on our website and TuneIn (now available for Amazon Echo users).

GGP thanks for sharingThe Genealogy Gems podcast is proud to continue its tradition as a FREE, listener-friendly show for all levels of family history researchers (beginners and beyond!). Thanks for sharing this post with your friends and genie buddies. You’re a GEM!

WWII Ghost Army Marches into Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 182

GGP 182An incredible tale of deception during World War II. Inspiring research and storytelling techniques. Learn about the Ghost Army–and the creation of its PBS documentary–in the new, free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 182.

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs landed in France to conduct a secret mission. They were to create an elaborate façade of military might for an audience, the German army. These men had one goal: to fool the enemy into believing they were an American army thousands strong, and draw their attention away from the actual fighting troops.

Ghost Army book clubIn this podcast episode, we celebrate the Twenty-third Headquarters Special Troops–known as the Ghost Army–with my special guest Rick Beyer, author of the book The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery and director and screenplay author of the acclaimed documentary film Ghost Army, which premiered on PBS.

Rick joins us for a riveting conversation. He explains the three divisions of the Ghost Army, and how they fulfilled their duties with courage and creativity. Then he takes us behind the scenes of the book to explore research strategies and in particular, effective interviewing techniques. Finally he talks to us about putting it all together: storytelling, the integration of all the art, photos and documents, and fantastic catchy chapter titles that make you want to read.

This is a must-hear episode whether you love history, mystery, military stories, family history writing advice or just listening in on a great conversation! Thank you for sharing this episode with others who will enjoy it!

Genealogy Gems Book Club Genealogy Family HistoryIf you love author interviews, check out the Genealogy Gems Book Club. We regularly interview writers of best-selling fiction and nonfiction titles that catch the interest of family history lovers.