Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 225

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 225

Get ready for a fun and inspiring start to your new genealogy year. I’m not going to lecture you about how to get organized and all that – you get enough of that New Year banter other places. Today I’m going to bring you a talented lady who’s a sharp genealogist and just happens to be one of the hosts of the television series Genealogy Road show., Kenyatta Berry.

Download the show notes PDF

 

GEM: A Conversation with Kenyatta D. Berry (Genealogy Roadshow)

I had the pleasure of working with Kenyatta Berry last summer when we filmed a webinar together at the FGS national conference. She was beaming from ear to ear about the book she was working on, and I encouraged her get in touch with me when it was done so we could talk about it here on the show.

Well, the book turned out to be a beauty: it’s called The Family Tree Toolkit. It’s a great overview for those new to genealogy, and  a quick reference manual for more experienced genealogists with all of its charts and resource lists.

Kenyatta asked me to moderate her Dallas book tour event. In December of 2018 we met up at the Dallas main library in downtown Dallas for An Evening with Kenyatta. This was a wonderful opportunity to not only spend the evening with her and a room full of dedicated genealogists, but also to record it all and bring it you!

In today’s episode, Kenyatta Berry shares how she caught the genealogy bug, busting brick walls, her thoughts on DNA, and of course some of the most memorable experiences on the Genealogy Roadshow.

Kenyatta Berry’s book The Family Tree Toolkit is available here.
If you enjoyed this episode and want to get a copy of Kenyatta’s book, we appreciate when you use our link (above). This financially supports us at no extra cost to you, helping us to bring this free podcast to you each month. Thank you!

GEM: A Family History Discovery in Home Movies

I made an amazing discovery this week thanks to my guest Dr. David Haas from episode 223. As you’ll recall David shared his family’s history of making home movies, and the hours of old film footage dating all the way back to the 1920s that he had restored and digitized. His story inspired me to start digging through my closets and I found the canisters of 8mm film that I had converted to VHS back in the 1990s.  The problem with that first conversion is that 1) VHS is completely obsolete. And 2) the film which dated back to the 1960s was converted in its deteriorated state. It was washed out and grainy making it hard to see everything.

So, in December I sent those original films off to the same company that David used – Video Conversion Experts in Chandler, AZ. Right after the new year the fully restored and digitized files arrived on my doorstep along with the original films. The results are jaw-dropping. The film is gorgeous color just like David’s were, clear as the first day they were taken back in the ‘60s, and now finally in a digital format that I can use for all kinds of projects and sharing.

But here’s the kicker, in reviewing them I made a startling discovery.
About 20 minutes into the film my great grandfather came on the screen. This is the only known film of him in existence, and I was floored that I hadn’t spotted him before. But the VHS was so washed out it wasn’t obvious. Now I see him smiling and standing with his son (my grandfather) and his son (my uncle). Three generations of Burkett men, the oldest having been born in 1880 – and all there on film for me to see.

old home movies and genealogy - grandpa

Left to right: My uncle, my great grandfather, and my grandfather c. 1962
View the restored video on my Instagram here

I love finding genealogical documents but I would take moving images of my ancestors any day of the week over a document. It just goes to prove that you can never say never, that at any given moment something can surface that you never thought possible.

Thank you to Video Conversion Experts!
They did a phenomenal job, but that’s not surprising because they are one of the top labs in the country. They restore video for the movie and TV industry too. They offer varying levels of restoration. It’s not cheap, but if you need professional restoration it’s an investment you won’t regret. I certainly don’t. We don’t have a promo code with Video Conversion Experts but be sure and tell them you heard about them here on the podcast and sign up for their sale emails.

In fact, we received this comment on the episode from Jodi. She writes:
The episode about home movies and David Haas was wonderful. I had also found some old film footage when my parents moved back in 2011. I debated about getting them transferred to digital because of the price. But my father was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I am SO glad that I spent the money to get the project done. He was able to see the old films of his family and explain to me who some of the people were. What a gift! Thank you for encouraging people to do this and sharing all of your knowledge with us so graciously.

Click here to view her old family videos on YouTube. 

I took a look at Jodi’s videos, and they’re wonderful. She did a tremendous job with the documentation in the video descriptions. Absolutely brilliant the way she included the linked time stamps to the various videos that she had posted to YouTube. She really took to heart our follow up conversation in episode 224 about how to share the videos once you digitize them.

Larsen Digital Saves Money and Handles a Variety of Media
Yesterday I received a batch of VHS tapes that Larsen Digital converted for me. I’ve known Kristen Larsen for several years. They offer an excellent affordable option that is safe, reliable and great quality. They also really stand out because they can pretty much convert anything you have. I sent them VHS, Mini DVs and even a reel of audio tape and some cassettes of family interviews. They handled all of it affordably and Kristin and her team communicate with you along the way, so you can rest easy that all your precious memories is in good hands.

I have about a zillion family history projects I want to do now that I have these audio interviews in an mp3 digital format. My first plan is to create some Animoto videos where I can drag and drop the audio in with the scanned photos that they describe.

You can contact Larsen Digital at www.larsendigital.com 
Use the promo code GENGEM so you can get 15% off your order.

larsen digital old home movies

 

Genealogy Gems on InstagramView My Video Find on Instagram
Head to Instagram.com/genealogygems (image right) to see the restored video of my great grandfather. Instagram is my favorite social media platform and one that I post to personally nearly every day. You can download the app to your phone for free from your app store and then just search for Lisa Louise Cooke in the app and tap follow. I post genealogy tips and ideas, behind the scenes and stuff about me and my family. It’s a lot of fun!

 

 

More with Kenyatta Berry

We’re going to have a lot of fun this year! In the next Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode (#167). Premium members will hear the Q&A we did with Kenyatta after the interview was over.

If you’re not a member yet, you can fix that today here.  

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer
Bill Cooke, Audio Editor
Lacey Cooke, Service Manager

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Genealogy Gems earns from qualifying purchases you make when clicking from the links we provide. It doesn’t cost you anything extra but it helps support our free blog and podcast. Thank you!

Episode 207

The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 207
with Lisa Louise Cooke

Download the show notes

In this episode, Lisa welcomes Mary Tedesco, a co-host of PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow. Mary shares stories and tips about tracing Italian and Italian-American roots. Also:

  • FamilySearch updates since the end of microfilm lending (and how YOU helped make the last days of lending more effective);
  • A listener uses Google to find her mysterious great-grandmother, with a success story she calls a “game-changer” for her genealogy research.
  • The premiere of Military Minutes with Michael Strauss

NEWS: DOUBLE THE FUN WITH MORE GENEALOGY GEMS PODCAST

This episode launches the NEW twice-monthly Genealogy Gems Podcast format. From now on, watch for two free episodes every month, each about 35-45 minutes long.

If you haven’t downloaded the Genealogy Gems app for easier listening on your mobile device, consider doing so now to make it twice as easy on yourself?and get twice the bonus content from now on!

If you’re listening through the Genealogy Gems app, your bonus content for this episode is?. The Genealogy Gems app is FREE in Google Play and is only $2.99 for Windows, iPhone and iPad users.

 

NEWS: FAMILYSEARCH RECORDS ACCESS UPDATE

ALL of the microfilmed records that have been rented in the past 5 years have now been digitized, over 1.5 million films.

From now on, if you need a film that hasn’t been digitized yet, you can call FamilySearch Support toll-free (866-406-1830) and request it for the priority digitization list.

They continue to digitally scan about 1000 films per day. (That sounds like a lot, but at this rate it will still take them until 2020 to be done.)

New digital images are being put in the FamilySearch Catalog as soon as possible. This is not the main digital record search area! It will take collections a while to appear here. Instead, under the Search tab, select Catalog, and then search by place and record type or other categories. This is a master catalog of all the Family History Library’s collections, online and offline, and when you click on an item’s individual description, you’ll be able to see a link to its digitized version if it’s available.

If you or anyone else had any films on loan in family history centers and FamilySearch affiliate libraries when the lending program ended, those automatically have extended loan status, which means they can stay there indefinitely unless the management decides to send them back.

If all else fails, you can still go to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT and order microfilmed records to view, or you can hire someone to do it for you.

FamilySearch Affiliate libraries now have access to nearly all of the restricted image collections as family history centers.

Click here to read or listen to Lisa’s special interview with Diane Loosle of FamilySearch. It goes into much more detail about accessing records on the site, at affiliate libraries and more.

Click here to read the August 30, 2017 update from FamilySearch.

To save 30% off a Care.com Premium membership, visit care.com/gems when you subscribe.

 

I had so much fun opening the box. They even sent me an apron!

Visit hellofresh.com and use promo code gems30 to save $30 off your first week of deliveries.

 

NEWS: FREE WEBINAR 9/23 LIVE FROM NYC

Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems presents:

Reveal Your Unique Story through DNA & Family History

Sponsored by Animoto

Saturday, September 23, 2017

11:00 AM EST

 

Turn DNA results into your family history

Turn your family history into a compelling story

Turn your compelling story into a video!

Learn from Lisa Louise Cooke, Diahan Southard and Animoto’s Beth Forester:

– Your DNA testing options (there are more than you think), and possible outcomes

– The best free resources for going beyond DNA, back several generations in your family (quickly!)

– Creative ideas for filling in the story gaps

– How to expand your story in ways you never expected by finding DNA connections

– Share the story you’ve uncovered with the world through riveting video

Can’t attend live? Register anyway to receive the slides and the video recording afterward.

Lisa chat with Hannah about Hurricane Harvey

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.

 

MAILBOX: KRISTIN’S SUCCESS STORY

“Among the handful of mystery photographs of my grandmother as a child and the strangers who sat beside her, was a brief article from a newspaper. It was a lesson in manners, titled ‘Silence is Golden’ and it was written by Merton Markert, a student of the Modern Classics. A photo of a young woman with a disheveled Gibson hairdo was attached.”

The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd Edition by Lisa Louise Cooke teaches the search strategies you need to do searches like these.

Try Ebay! Lisa found a listing for a commencement program from 1902, old post cards of the school, and other yearbooks from Lancaster High School. Sign up for a free Ebay account, run a search, and then click to Follow the search. You will then be alerted to future auctions that match your criteria.

Click here for tips on finding yearbooks and other school records.

Genealogy Gems Premium member perk: Premium Podcast episode 16 has great tips for using Ebay to find family history treasures. Click here to learn more about Premium membership.

 

 

INTERVIEW: MARY TEDESCO

MARY M. Tedesco is a professional genealogist, speaker, and author. She is a host and genealogist on PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow” and Founder of ORIGINS ITALY. Mary speaks fluent Italian and travels often to Italy to conduct client genealogical research and visit family. She is co-author of Tracing Your Italian Ancestors.

Click here to watch a free interview with Mary Tedesco with more tips on doing Italian genealogy research.

 

GENEALOGY GEMS BOOK CLUB

Murder in Matera by Helene Stapinski tells the story of the author’s journey to Italy to learn the truth behind the family stories about her Italian ancestors. Tune in to Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 208 later this month to hear an excerpt from a conversation with Helene Stapinski. (The entire interview will play in Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 151.)

 

MILITARY MINUTES: DRAFT REGISTRATIONS

INTRODUCING MICHAEL STRAUSS

Michael Strauss, AG is the principal owner of Genealogy Research Network and an Accredited Genealogist since 1995. He is a native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah and has been an avid genealogist for more than 30 years. Strauss holds a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran.

BONUS handout to celebrate this new segment: Click here for a 4-page handout on U.S. draft registration records by Michael L. Strauss.

FREE NEWSLETTER:

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Check out this new episode!

Video: Italian Genealogy Research Tips with Mary Tedesco

Do you have Italian ancestors? Did you recently discover Italian heritage in your DNA ethnicity results? Don’t miss this exclusive interview with Mary Tedesco of Genealogy Roadshow! She’s here to talk about her top tips for Italian genealogy research, as well as share a bit about working on the hit PBS series.

Mary recently published Tracing Your Italian Ancestors, an 84-page guide to researching. There’s a section on using U.S. records to learn essentials about your family, and then a section on researching in Italian records. In this interview, she talks about traveling to Italy to research for others and the importance of using Italian church records in local parish churches or diocesan archives.

Learn more about Mary at her website, Origins Italy, or visit the Genealogy Roadshow website to learn about her involvement on that show. Also, Mary joined us as a guest on the FREE Genealogy Gems podcast, episode 175. Click here to listen!

If you watch genealogy TV shows like Genealogy Roadshow or Who Do You Think You Are? or Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr, go to our home page and search on the category “Genealogy TV.” See what we’ve blogged about!

Genealogy Edu-tainment! Celebrity Interview, Bestseller for Book Club, DNA Chat and More!

tv_film_icon_400_wht_15178 (1)Are you ready for a hearty dose of genealogy edu-tainment? It’s all there in the newest episode of the free Genealogy Gems podcast: a genealogy television celebrity, a best-seller for our new Genealogy Gems Book Club title and an industry insider peek at Ancestry’s DNA products.

Since it’s the beginning of the year, a lot of television shows are ramping back up (like WDYTYA in March). Genealogy Roadshow on PBS will it be back with new episodes and a new addition to the panel of hosts: professional genealogist Mary Tedesco. She joins Lisa in this episode to talk about her experience on the show and about Italian research, her specialty.

genealogy book clubDid you hear about our new featured book for Genealogy Gems Book Club? It’s the internationally best-selling novel Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline! Tune in to the episodes or click to the show notes to learn more about the book and why I chose it for our virtual book club. And don’t forget the best part of our book club: the author will join us for an exclusive interview! The interviews are fun even if you haven’t read the book, and fantastic if you have. That interview is coming up in May.

DNA Guide Diahan Southard also makes an appearance on the January Genealogy Gems podcast episodes. She offers a frank insider’s opinion of what’s going on with AncestryDNA and Ancestry.com’s DNA Circles feature. Stay up-to-date in this fast-moving and fascinating aspect of genealogy with Your DNA Guide on Genealogy Gems!

Finally, you’ll hear about Lisa’s newest project. Available by popular demand is the revised and updated 2nd edition of The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox! 

Genealogy Gems Newsletter Sign Up

The Burning of the Gipsy – Behind the Scenes of Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?The final episode of TLC’s first season of Who Do You Think You Are? came with more than just an extra helping of ancestral drama. Along with the end of the season came the welcome announcement that WDYTYA? will  return in 2014 on TLC.

First, the final episode recap: American actor Jim Parsons explored his paternal line and discovered one ancestor who was lost in a tragic accident–and another who narrowly escaped death by guillotine.

The Ancestry.com research team reports, “When we went digging into Jim Parsons’ family tree we found his third-great-grandfather was Jean Baptiste Hacker, a phyWDYTYA Gipsy articlesician who was raised in New Orleans but moved to Plaquemine, Louisiana, after starting his medical career. Just a few years later, Dr. Hacker, along with his daughter Leocadie and his nephew, was killed in a tragic fire on board the steamboat Gipsy in December 1854.”

They documented the accident through an article from New Orleans paper the Daily Picayune (digitized at Newspapers.com and shown here):

Another line of research takes Jim’s ancestry back to France, where he learned one of his forebears was an architect to Louis XV. “The timing of Louis Francois [Trouard]’s appointment is significant: 1787 is only two years prior to the French Revolution. Four architects were executed during the Revolution, and another 25 were imprisoned. Yet Louis Francois escaped Republican retribution….”

“At the Chapelle de la Providence, a structure designed by his ancestor, Jim discovers the startling truth: Louis Francois had good revolutionary credentials, including houseguests such as Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.”

Along with that riveting last episode, TLC just announced it will bring back more of the same next season. On September 10, Digital Spy reported that 2014 will see 10 more episodes. Celebrity guests haven’t been announced yet, so stay tuned! We’ll keep you posted on future developments.

Meanwhile, TV watchers, mark your calendars for the American version of Genealogy Roadshow, the  PBS show scheduled to debut next week.

 

 

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