Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 245 – Telling Your Family’s Story with Video

with Lisa Louise Cooke
September 2020

Don’t just gather genealogical information. Take the time to tell your ancestors’ stories!

Video is the perfect medium for sharing your family’s history. It captures the interest of the eyes and the ears.

In this episode my special guest is Kathy Nielsen. She’s a librarian from California who recently started creating videos. She’s going to walk you through the simple yet effective process she followed. Then I will share additional things to consider and strategies that you can use.

If you’re not interested in creating a video, that’s OK. Today’s episode will make you a better storyteller and will provide you with inspiring story examples by other genealogists.

Elevenses with Lisa Episode 14 – Creating Family History Story Videos

Watch the video and read the full show notes here.

Creating family history story videos

After listening to this episode, watch Elevenses with Lisa episode 16 How to Make a Video with Adobe Spark  to learn how to make videos quickly and easily for free.

Genealogy Gems Premium Members can download the handy PDF show notes for each of these Elevenses with Lisa episodes. Simply log into your membership, and then in the menu under “Video” click “Elevenses with Lisa.” Click the episode and scroll down to the Resources section of the show notes.

Genealogy Gems Premium Members can download the show notes PDF from the Resources section on that page.

Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member

Premium Members have exclusive access to:

  • Video classes and downloadable handouts
  • The Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast
  • Elevenses with Lisa downloadable show notes PDF

Become a member here.

Genealogy Gems premium elearning

Click to learn more about Genealogy Gems Premium Membership.

Getting Your Family History Digitized

I use Larsen Digital and have been extremely pleased with the service and results. The folks at Larsen Digital have put together special and exclusive discounts for Genealogy Gems listeners and readers. Click here to learn more and receive exclusive discounts and coupon codes.

Genealogy Gems Podcast App

Don’t miss the Bonus audio for this episode. In the app, tap the gift box icon just under the media player. Get the app here

Sunday, September 27th. “The Irish philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke stated in 1790 that “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” For those that do the looking forward, or those just idly curious about in their roots, today is Ancestor Appreciation Day. Census records play an important role in researching individual details, but the law mandates a 72 year wait for access. Annually, though, the Bureau’s American Community Survey compiles statistics for detailed ancestry or ethnic groups or populations in the nation. The largest reported ancestry is German, at over 41-million of our nearly 330-million population. The Irish of Edmund Burke come second, with nearly 31-million, or more than remain in Ireland itself.” Profile America

Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter

The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. Click below to sign up today.

Get Unlimited Photo Enhancement and Colorization at MyHeritage

Get genealogy records and unlimited Enhanced and Colorized photos as a MyHeritage PremiumPlus or Complete Plan Subscriber. Click here to start a free trial.

“I use MyHeritage to research my family tree.” Lisa Louise Cooke

Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:

Instagram.com/genealogygemspodcast
Facebook.com/genealogygems
Pinterest.com/lisalouisecooke
YouTube.com/GenealogyGems

Podcast Resources

Download the episode mp3
Download the show notes episode 245

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 237

The Genealogy Gems Podcast is the leading genealogy and family history show. Launched in 2007, the show is hosted by genealogy author, keynote presenter, and video producer Lisa Louise Cooke. The podcast can be found in all major podcasting directories, or download the exclusive Genealogy Gems Podcast app to listen to all the episodes and receive bonus content. 

Podcast host: Lisa Louise Cooke
January 2020
Download the episode mp3

We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Genealogy Gems app. We blazed a new trail back in 2010 when we launched the app – apps were still really new back then.  I loved the idea of having a way to deliver exclusive bonus content to you as well as the audio, the show notes and best of all an easy way for you to contact me and the show.

genealogy gems podcast app 10th anniversary

It’s more popular than ever, and as far as I know we are still the only genealogy podcast app available. If you haven’t already downloaded it just search for Genealogy Gems in Google Play or Apple’s App Store, or get the right app for your phone or tablet here.

In this episode I have two interviews for you on very different subjects. First up will be a follow up to last month’s episode where we focused specifically on the New York Public Library Photographers’ Identities Catalog.

Well, in this episode we’re going to talk to the genealogy reference librarian at the New York Public Library, Andy McCarthy. And as you’ll hear, there are a massive amount of resource available there for genealogists everywhere.

Then we’ll switch gears to Scandinavian genealogy with David Fryxell, author of the new book The Family Tree Scandinavian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

The free podcast is sponsored by RootsMagic

Rootsmagic

GEM: The New York Public Library’s Milstein Division of United States

History, Local History & Genealogy with Reference Librarian Andy McCarthy.

The NYPL is one of the largest public genealogical collections in the country. They have a “wide-angle” approach to providing reference materials for local and US History.

The Top Resources at The New York Public Library

#1 The reference librarians.

Email them at history@nypl.org Ask questions, prepare for your visit.

#2 The online catalog:

Click here to visit the New York Public Library’s Online Catalog.

While they subscribe to many genealogy databases, they don’t host many. Use the catalog to determine what’s available, and what to ask for. See if what you’re looking for exists. Pay close attention to subject headings to identify resources.

#3 The Digital Collections

Click here to visit the Digital Collections at the New York Public Library. 

  • City Directory Collection up to 1933.
  • Manhattan is the largest and is coming soon. This collection was only available previously on microfilm. It is a browse-only collection (not keyword searchable)
  • The 1940 Phone Directory is online.
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Map collection is digitized and online.
  • The Map Wharper which is a crowd-sourcing project providing for historic map overlays, and super zooming in views. 

Offline Materials: 

They also have a massive collection available in house of books, pamphlets, newspapers, etc. There are research and photo copying services available.

#4 Research Guides online

Click here to view the New York Public Library’s research guides. 

Before you go:

  • Definitely reach out before you go.
  • Provide them with specific questions and they can help you identify what to focus on while you’re there.
  • Visit the Milstein home page. They also have many public classes. Check to see what will be available during your visit.

One of Andy’s Favorites Collections

The Photographic Views of NYC Collection. Arranged by cross streets

The free podcast is sponsored by MyHeritage

MyHeritage

GEM: Scandinavian Research with Author David Fryxell

David Fryxell’s book on Scandinavian Genealogy

David A. Fryxell is the author of the book The Family Tree Scandinavian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

David is an award-winning author, editor, speaker and publishing consultant. He founded Family Tree Magazine, the nation’s leading genealogy publication. As a writing expert, he wrote the Nonfiction column for Writer’s Digest magazine for more than a decade and served as director of the famous Maui Writer’s Retreat. He has authored countless articles for Family Tree Magazine, and is also the author of additional books including Good Old Days, My Ass and MicroHistory: Ideas and inventions that made the modern world.

David Fryxell Scandinavian Genealogy Author

Author David Fryxell

Here’s a brief outline of my Q&A with David Fryxell on his new book and Scandinavian genealogy research:

Question:

To understand the ties between the Scandinavian countries, and why countries like Finland and Iceland aren’t included, we have to learn about the cultures and languages, right?

Answer:

Scandinavian countries are really tied by language. And at one point all the countries were united. Borders change. The records reflect these various changes.

Question:

What’s the timeline of Scandinavian immigration?

Answer:

The First Wave, 1825–1860

The Second Wave, 1865–1880

The Third Wave, 1880–1924

Question:

What value do you think DNA testing provides, and what should we keep in mind if we do test?

Answer:

DNA results are most helpful to find other relatives who may be able to assist in your research.

Question:

Let’s say we know we’ve identified the ancestor who immigrated. What else do we need to know before we can jump the pond and start digging into Scandinavian records?

Answer:

In the case of Scandinavian ancestors, you may not have to find the U.S. passenger records. They have excellent passenger departure records.

Question:

Tell us about the census in Scandinavia. Is it consistent among all three countries?

Answer:

Norway and Denmark have good census records. You can find them at:

They are increasingly searchable, and much like our census records in the U.S.

Sweden doesn’t really have useful census records. But they have Household Inventory records in church books. They were recorded every year. Turn to websites such as ArchivDigital, and Ancestry.com.

Question:

Let’s dig into the records. Where do you recommend we start?

Answer:

Church records are key. (Vital Records, census, vaccination, etc.) Also Military, Land and Tax.

Question:

I love that chapter 16 is called What to do when you get stuck! Give us an example of a common area where researchers get stuck and one of your favorite strategies for unsticking them.

Answer:

  • Get familiar with and pay close attention to patronymic naming conventions where a man’s name is typically based on the given name of their father.
  • Look closely!
  • Challenge your assumptions!

More Resources from David Fryxell: https://vikinggenealogy.com

Protect Your Precious Genealogy Data

Don’t wait another day. Get the computer backup that I use www.backblaze.com/Lisa.

Backblaze lisa louise cooke

Profile America: First Radio Broadcast

Monday, January 13th. Today is the anniversary of the first radio broadcast to the public. It took place 110 years ago in New York City, engineered by Lee deForest, a radio pioneer and inventor of the electron tube.

Lee de Forest First Radio Broadcast

The 1910 broadcast wasn’t made from a purpose-built radio studio, but from the Metropolitan Opera house. DeForest broadcast the voices of Enrico Caruso and other opera singers. A small but impressed audience throughout the city gathered around special receivers to listen with headphones.

Today, 95 percent of American households have at least one radio.

One-hundred ten years after deForest’s lonely effort, some 5,400 radio stations employ about 92,000 people.

Sources:

Courtesy of Census.gov.

MyHeritage LIVE conference

I’ll be speaking at this conference in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 25 & 26, 2020. Read more here.

RootsTech 2020

I’ll be presenting 4 sessions and look forward to visiting with you at the Genealogy Gems booth at the front of the exhibit hall. Get all the details here.

Read our latest articles at Genealogy Gems:

 

Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member

Gain access to the complete Premium podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars. Become a member here.

 

Please Help Us by Taking the 1 Minute Genealogy Gems Survey

Please help us create the best podcast for you by taking this very short survey.

 

Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:

  • Instagram: Follow me here.
  • Facebook: “Like” the Genealogy Gems Podcast page here.
  • Pinterest: Follow me here.
  • Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel – Subscribe here.

Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter

The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. Click here to sign up today.

Download the Show Notes PDF

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 235

Federal court records are wonderful because they are so packed with genealogical information. But knowing which records are available and where to find them can sound daunting, and that stops many genealogists from ever tapping into them. In this episode our aim is to fix all that. Professional forensic genealogist Michael Strauss is here to pull back the curtain and introduce you to these valuable records.

You know Michael from our Military Minutes segments here on Genealogy Gems. He also recently introduced us to descendancy research on Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 174. The response to that episode was terrific. Many of you wrote in to say that it opened up a new avenue of research for you. This episode promises to do the same.

Podcast host: Lisa Louise Cooke
November 2019
Download the episode mp3

GEM: Federal Court Records with Michael Strauss

federal court records for genealogy

Where are Federal Records Found?

Federal Court Records are initially held in the custody of the national federal courthouses where the events occurred.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was founded in 1934.

National Archives, Washington DC (Archives1)
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408-0001
Toll-free: 1-866-272-6272
Email: archives1reference@nara.gov

Regional Archives – about a dozen across the country – hold record geographically by area. View the locations here at the National Archives website.

Are all the records catalogued on the National Archives website?

  • Master federal indexes are not yet online. Indexes are found at the location/level where these record files were created.
  • Each of the federal courts are found in record groups (RG).
  • Get the finding aid for the record group online at the National Archives website. That will point in the right direction as to where to get the indices.
  • Resource: Finding Aids at the National Archives

Types of Federal Courts:

The Federal Court System of the United States was established under the Judiciary Act of 1789 (1 Stat. 76) on September 24, 1789. Click here to read more about the role and structure of the federal courts at the United States Courts website.

District Courts:

Trial Courts of the United States. Their jurisdiction include:

  • Admiralty
  • Equity
  • Bankruptcy
  • and Naturalization

These courts began at different times dependent on the geographic area and when the states were created.

Circuit Courts:

Originally established in 1789 as three courts and later expanded to nine courts by 1866. Circuit Courts have jurisdiction over all matters (especially criminal) covered by Federal Law. Abolished in 1911 and taken over by District Courts.

Circuit Courts of Appeals:

Established under the Federal Court System by an Act of Congress on March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 826), by acquiring the appellate jurisdiction of the U.S. Circuit Courts and later the U.S. District Courts. They have different geographic jurisdictions than the regular federal courts.

Supreme Court:

It is recognized as the highest court in the United States operating as an appeals court. Although a criminal case may have first been heard at the local level, it may have escalated to a federal court. Therefore, there could be federal records on that case.

Application for the Genealogist:

Michael has found that some of the richest records in the federal court system have come from the criminal court records. Our ancestors did get into trouble upon occasion. Michael’s grandfather was arrested in the 1940s and he was able to obtain those records.

Searching for Federal Records

Is it worthwhile to head to the National Archives and generally search to see if an ancestor has records? Or is it best to identify a case first, perhaps through a newspaper article, and then go to the National Archives location that would have the records for those identified cases?

No one is wasting their time going and searching the records. It’s a great way to get familiar with them. However, identifying a case through other records first can lead you quickly to the federal records. (Michael first found his grandfather’s case in a newspaper article.)

Types of Federal Court Records:

Dockets: Lists of cases heard by the court. Sometime referred to as court calendars.

Minutes:

Brief daily accounts of all actions taken by the court.

Orders:

The specific judgments or orders of the court. An example would be an order granting citizenship.

Briefs:

Legal document arguing why one Party should prevail on a case.

Mandates:

When a Defendant obligates themselves to engage in activities in exchange for suspension of sentence. Frequently seen in Criminal Court.

Case Files:

All the loose documents relating to the case bundled together.

How to Find Records at the Archives:

  1. Review the finding aid
  2. Request the Index and find the name and corresponding file information
  3. Request the record

An appointment is not required. They will pull the records as you request them. Record groups are pulled at different times. For the most part you will have the opportunity to view the original documents.

Record Groups:

The National Archives is set up by record groups, such as:

Records of the U.S. District Court – RG 21

Records of the U.S. Supreme Court – RG 267

Records of the U.S. Court of Appeals – RG 276

Records of the U.S. Court of Claims – RG 123  (Claims against the US. Individual citizens could actually file claims against the US)

Request the individual record groups separately.

Bankruptcy:

Bankruptcy Acts were passed by Congress usually after business disturbances or financial recessions.

Bankruptcy Act of 1800

This act followed the business disturbances of 1797.

The first national bankruptcy act was approved on April 4, 1800 (2 Stat, 19.) It provided for an effective period beginning June 2, 1800 and continuing for 5 years.

It applied only to merchants or other related parties. The act provided for compulsory or involuntary bankruptcy, but not for voluntary bankruptcy. Because of its limited applicability the act was repealed on December 19, 1803, just months before its expiration date.

Bankruptcy Act of 1841

This act followed the business panic of 1837.

The second national bankruptcy act was passed on August 19, 1841 and was to take effect on February 1, 1842.

The law allowed voluntary bankruptcy to all debtors, but limited involuntary bankruptcy to merchants, bankers, factors (an agent or commissioned merchant), brokers, and traders.

It eliminated the requirement of the consent of the creditor for a discharge. The bankrupt filer, however, could obtain his discharge through a jury trial if the jury found that he had surrendered all his property and had fully complied with the orders of the court.

Bankruptcy Act of 1867

This act followed the post-Civil War recession of 1866-1867.

On March 2, 1867, Congress approved the Nation’s third bankruptcy act to assist the judges in the administration of the law, the act provided for the appointment by the court of registers in bankruptcy.

The registers were authorized to make adjudications of bankruptcy, to hold and preside at meetings of creditors, to take proofs of debts, to make computations of dividends, and otherwise to dispatch the administrative business of the court in bankruptcy matters when there was no opposing interest.

In cases where opposition to an adjudication or a discharge arose, the controversy was to be submitted to the court.

Bankruptcy Act of 1898

This act followed the business panic of 1893 and the depression that followed. We are currently under the umbrella of this fourth act.

In 1889 The National Convention of Representatives of Commercial Bodies was formed to lobby for bankruptcy legislation. The president of the Convention, Jay L. Torrey, drafted a new Bankruptcy Bill otherwise known as the “Torrey Bill.”

In 1898 Congress passed a bankruptcy bill based on the previous Torrey bill. This Act also called the “Nelson Act” was passed July 1, 1898, (Ch. 541, 30 Stat. 544.) It was the first United States Act of Congress involving Bankruptcy that gave companies an option of being protected from creditors. Previous attempts at bankruptcy law had lasted at most a few years. Its popular name is a homage to the role of Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota.

Bankruptcy files are in the custody of the National Archives and now stored offsite at the National Archives branch in Kansas City, MO. Researchers should contact the Archives directly to conduct searches. Some indexes are still maintained at the regional archives.

Bankruptcy Records Examples

1) Two pages from the Bankruptcy File of Percival L. Strauss of Bethel Twp. Berks Co. PA.  1 Page is the petition and the second page is a page from “Schedule A” which lists the debt owed by the bankrupt.

federal court bankruptcy record

Petition by Debtor: Percival L. Strauss

Creditors Bankruptcy record

Schedule A – No. 3: Creditors Whose Claims are Unsecured (Percival L. Strauss)

2) Tintype of Percival L. Strauss-circa 1872 within a few years of filing Bankruptcy.  

Percival L. Strauss

Percival L. Strauss. (Courtesy of Michael’s cousin Harry B. Strauss of Myerstown, PA)

Biographical information:
Percival Long Strauss (Son of Benjamin Strauss & Rebecca Long)
Born: December 16, 1830-Upper Bern Township, Berks Co. PA
Died: Mohnton, Berks Co. PA
Married: April 9, 1855-Bethel Township, Berks Co. PA to Malinda Smith (12 Children)

May 18, 1867 (Page 3, Column 6), in the Berks & Schuylkill Journal newspaper the entry reads: “P.L. Strauss of Bethel Twp. Berks County, PA Class #13 License paid $10.00 to conduct store (merchant).” 

This is the business he had at the time of his bankruptcy filing on May 27, 1867 in Philadelphia, PA in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Types of Information Found in Bankruptcy Records:

  • Lists of creditors (name, address)
  • Amount of money owed (the debt)
  • Specific information about the items for which the debt was incurred
  • Total dollar amounts

Follow the Federal Record Trail:

Information found could lead you to additional records. For example, if your ancestor filed for bankruptcy due to debts associated with his business, you could go back to the local level to look for records such as a business license, newspaper articles, etc.

Lisa suggests searching Google Books for digitized items such as county histories, almanacs, catalogs, merchant association books, etc. Here’s an example of a bankruptcy notice found in Google Books (which is free) for Michael’s ancestor Percival L. Strauss

Bankruptcy notice in Google Books

Searching for Percival L. Strauss bankruptcy notice in Google Books

 

Bankruptcy notice in Google Books

Bankruptcy notice (Oct. 9, 1868) found in Google Books

The National Archives has been consolidating all of the bankruptcy records. It is going to be the Kansas City, MO branch of the National Archives, which currently has the Patent files.

Examples of bankruptcy cases:

  • Bankruptcy Act of 1841 – Edgar Allen Poe filed bankruptcy in 1841.
  • Bankruptcy Act of 1898 Act – Dean Martin in New York

Amendments to the most recent bankruptcy act include:

1933: The “1898 Bankruptcy Act”

Amended to include railroad reorganization, corporate reorganization, and individual debtor arrangements.

1938:  The “Chandler Act”

Amended the earlier 1898 Bankruptcy Act, creating a menu of options for both business and non-business debtors. Named for Walter Chandler.

1978: The 1898 Bankruptcy Act

Replaced by The Bankruptcy Reform Act. This Act is still used today.

Writs of Habeas Corpus:

Habeas corpus is a court order from a judge instructing a person who is detaining another to bring the detainee before the court for a specific purpose.

It was often used during the Civil War for soldiers under the age of 18 years and in reference to runaway slaves.

Writs can be found in most case files. They usually involves a petition, transcript, order, and the writ when ordered by the Judge. Contact the National Archives regarding RG19 for records pertaining to this set of documents and indexes.

Fugitive Slave Act:

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850 as part of the Compromise of 1850. It was one of the controversial acts passed down by law. Runaway slaves could be returned with the help of the Federal Government.

Records can include:

  • Petitions
  • Affidavits
  • Testimonies
  • Documentation of ownership

Records are typically found in the court of original petition and the court with jurisdiction over the area where the slave escaped. Search under the slave holder’s name.

The Confiscation Act of 1862:

Passed by an act of Congress on July 17, 1862, the full title is “An Act to Suppress Insurrection, to Punish Treason and Rebellion, to Seize and Confiscate the Property of Rebels, and for Other Purposes.”

This Act gave the power to take the land and businesses of persons who served the Confederacy. Records include case files include; petitions, orders of the court, proofs of public notice, and notices of seizure

Example: General Robert E. Lee. The act covered land under Union Control. Lee lived in Northern Virginia, and his home was confiscated. The file has a complete inventory of his house. The location is now the Arlington National Cemetery.

Federal Criminal Records

Criminal records could include cases covering:

  • Treason
  • Assault and Battery on the high seas
  • Conspiracy to over through our government
  • Smuggling
  • Forgery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Carrying on a business without a license
  • Not paying taxes

Naturalization Records:

Records were created:

  1. at the federal level
  2. at the local level – local court at the county level

1790: The first national act created a two-step process:

  1. Declare your intention to become a citizen
  2. File your petition for citizenship

Your ancestors may not have finished the process, and they may have filed both at local and federal levels.

Naturalization Record German Genealogy Records Bust Brick Wall

Petition for Naturaliztion

 

Resource: The Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast

Family History Genealogy Made Easy Podcast

 

Episodes focusing on the Naturalization process include:

Episode 29: Immigration and Naturalization Records for Family History, Part 1

This episode begins a 3-part series on U.S. immigration and naturalization records. Learn about passenger arrival lists in the U.S., little-known certificates of arrival and naturalization records: how to find them and what’s in them.

Episode 30: Immigration and Naturalization Records for Family History, Part 2

In this episode we focus on passenger departure records created in European ports. He also talks more in-depth about U.S. naturalization records.

Episode 31: Immigration and Naturalization Records for Family History, Part 3

In-depth discussion of passenger list annotations and the immigrant’s experience at Ellis Island. Unlock the meaning of those mysterious scribbles on 20th-century passenger manifests!

Learn More with Michael Strauss:

Visit Michael’s Website: Genealogy Research Network

Register for Michael Strauss’ week-long Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) 2020 course called Court #2 A Guide to Treasures Found in Federal Records.

Hear More from Michael Strauss: Genealogy Gems Premium Membership

Gain access to the complete Premium podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars, including Lisa Louise Cooke’s newest video The Big Picture in Little Details.

Become a member here.

More Reading:

Black, Henry Campbell. Black’s Law Dictionary. Sixth Edition. St. Paul: West Publishing, 1990.

Burton, William C. Burton’s Legal Thesaurus. New York: Macmillan Library Reference, 1998.

Chapin, Bradley. Criminal Justice in Colonial America, 1606–1660. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983

Eichholz, Alice ed., Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd Ed Provo: Ancestry, 2004.

Evans, Barbara Jean. The New A to Zax: A Comprehensive Genealogical Dictionary for Genealogists and Historians. Second Edition. Champaign: B.J. Evans, 1990

Neagles, James C. and Lila Lee Neagles. Locating Your Immigrant Ancestor: A Guide to Naturalization Records. Logan: Everton Publishers, 1986.

Rapaport, Diane. New England Court Records: A Research Guide for Genealogists and Historians. Burlington: Quill Pen Press, 2006

Rose, Christine. Courthouse Research for Family Historians. San Jose: CR Publications, 2004.

Schaefer, Christina. Guide to Naturalization Records of the United States. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

Szucs, Loretto Dennis, and Sandra Luebking. The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1988.

Thank you to Michael Strauss for contributing to these notes and sharing his expertise!

This free podcast is sponsored by:

MyHeritage

MyHeritage.com is the place to make connections with relatives overseas, particularly with those who may still live in your ancestral homeland. Visit www.MyHeritage.com

Rootsmagic

Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. Visit www.RootsMagic.com

 

Learn German Handwriting 

Katherine Schober of SK Translations, professional German script expert, translator, and author has created Reading the Old German Handwriting Online Course – so you can be reading those old German letters in just a matter of months. Complete with videos, flash cards, games, and more, this do-it-yourself course has students raving. Learn more here. 

Read our latest articles at Genealogy Gems:

 

Dakota (AKA Kota Bear) makes Her Debut on this Episode

Please Help Us by Taking the 1 Minute Genealogy Gems Survey

Please help us create the best podcast for you by taking this very short survey.

Join Lisa Louise Cooke in person at Genealogy Roots

Genealogy Roots in St. George, UT 2020

If you didn’t have an opportunity to attend this event in Salt Lake City in October 2019, this is your chance!

Click here for all the details and tickets.

What: 2 days of innovative genealogy education at the Senior Expo
When: January 14 & 15, 2020. 9am – 4:30pm
Where: Dixie Convention Center in beautiful St. George, Utah
Who: All ages and skills levels
Cost: 2 day pass: $50  |  Early Bird Price: $35 (Expires 12/31/19)

Watch the video recap of Day 1 of Genealogy Roots in Salt Lake City:

Watch the video recap of Day 2 of Genealogy Roots in Salt Lake City:

 

Get the Genealogy Gems Podcast App Here

Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:

 

Sign Up for the Free Genealogy Gems Newsletter

The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. Click below to sign up today.

Lisa Recommends Computer Backup with:

Backblaze lisa louise cooke

Learn more about Backblaze computer cloud backup and get your computer backed up today at www.backblaze.com/Lisa

 

Download the show notes PDF

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 229

with Lisa Louise Cooke
May 2019

Listen now, click player below:

Download the episode (mp3)

In this episode:

  • Two listeners shares an exciting find using Lisa’s research strategies
  • Lisa provides next steps on German research in response to a listener question
  • Your Master Family Tree, and Sharing Branches Online Explained
  • The unusual history of one of the earliest forms of the World Wide Web

Download the show notes PDF

Please take our quick PODCAST SURVEY which will take less than 1 minute.  Thank you!

NEWS:

Lisa Louise Cooke is back in the studio after two weeks on the road speaking at the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) Conference and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Conference.

Each conference was great and had its own unique feel, and there were many new genealogists in attendance.

Genealogy Gems listener Carol stopped by and enthusiastically shared with how the eBay search strategies for family history that Lisa discussed in episode 140 paid off in a big way!

Carol and her ebay find

 

family name on back of postcard

MAILBOX:

Robin wrote in to share how Sydney Orton’s song with her grandpa in Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 228 brought her to tears in a toll plaza while driving!

Steve wrote in to rave about the value that his new Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning membership has brought to his family history research.

Rylee says she’s grateful to have found the podcast and she shares a story of genealogical discovery that she hopes will inspire others. Rylee asks “How do I find sources for these people? I have searched all over ancestry and Family Search and have had no luck again. I really want to believe that the people I have as Adam’s parents and siblings all the way through his 2nd great-grandparents (paternal) are truly his family but I need to get more information. Where can I go for help with German records and where can I continue my search?”

Lisa’s comments:  You’re absolutely right, what you found are just hints. It sounds like it’s time for you to move on from the “Genealogy Giants” (Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc.) and into German records websites, libraries, and archives to find real sources that nail down the family tree.

Lisa recommends the Genealogy Giants quick reference comparison guide.

We have several articles and episodes at Genealogy Gems that can help you do this:

  1. Go to genealogygems.com
  2. At the top of the home page select “German” from the “Start Learning” drop down menu
  3. That will take you to these results pages featuring our German research strategies.

I’m optimistic for you because Germans are known for keeping excellent records, and I have had good luck in searching them.

 

GEM: Your Master Family Tree, and Sharing Branches Online Explained

planting your master family tree

I describe it this way: Plant your tree in your own backyard and share branches online.

A master family tree has three important characteristics:

  1. It is owned and controlled by you.
  2. It is the final say on what you currently know about your family tree.
  3. It is protected with online backup to ensure it is safe.

Plant Your Master Family Tree
Lisa uses RootsMagic software for her master family tree. Learn more about GEDCOM files in this article: GEDCOM File (What is It & How to Use This Genealogy File)

Protech Your Master Family Tree
Lisa uses Backblaze to back up her master family tree and computer. Visit www.backblaze.com/lisa
(Using this link also helps keep this free podcast free. Thank you!)

Read more: How to Download Backblaze in 4 Easy Steps

Share Branches Online
Genealogy Giants Guide available in the Genealogy Gems store.

Read Lisa’s article: Planting Your Master Genealogy Family Tree for all of the strategies mentioned in this episode.

The free podcast is sponsored by:

Rootsmagic

PROFILE AMERICA: Friday, May 24th, 2019

In a way, today marks the 175th birthday of the World Wide Web. Only it was electro-mechanical, not digital. On this date in 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse activated the first telegraph line, sending a dots-and-dashes code message from the U.S. Capitol building to a receiver in Baltimore.

By the late 1850s, the first telegraph cable had been laid across the Atlantic Ocean, and in 1861, the telegraph spanned the continental United States. Over the ensuing decades, the wires wrapped around the world.

From the 1844 demonstration, telecommunications today has grown into a half-trillion dollar a year industry, and employs more than 1 million workers in over 59,000 industry establishments.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at www.census.gov.

Sources:

Joseph Nathan Kane, Kane’s Famous First Facts, Fifth Edition, H.W. Wilson Co., New York, NY, 1997, #7692.

 

Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member

Genealogy Gems premium elearning

 

Gain access to the complete Premium Podcast archive of over 150 episodes and more than 50 video webinars, including Lisa Louise Cooke’s newest video The Big Picture in Little Details.
Learn more here.

(Membership doesn’t auto-renew because we don’t like that either. Prior to your membership expiring you’ll receive a friendly reminder email from us.)

 

Genealogy Gems App Users
Don’t miss the bonus content in this episode. Tap the “gift” icon on the episode screen in the app.
Get the app here or search for “Genealogy Gems” in your device’s app store.

Episode 228: The Free Genealogy Gems Podcast

Genealogy Gems Episode 228

In this episode:

  • More new feature enhancements announced by Ancestry.com
  • Listeners Trisha and Betty share their stories with Lisa in person
  • Lisa’s interview with Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist at Ancestry.com
  • The Tombstone Tourist, Joy Neighbors, share 3 intriguing discoveries that she’s made while searching cemeteries
  • Military Minutes Man Michael Strauss explores an underused genealogical treasure: women’s registration cards on the home front from 1917-1918 during World War I
  • RootsTech Film Festival semi-finalist Sydney Orton shares the touching story behind newly discovered precious audio and video tape, and how she and her sister honor their grandparent’s memories.
[display_podcast] Download the show notes PDF

 

Download the episode (mp3)

Please take our quick PODCAST SURVEY which will take less than 1 minute.  Thank you!

IN THE NEWS: Ancestry.com Enhancements

Newest features announced on April 9, 2019 by Ancestry.com: Revamped User Profile Page and Improved Messaging system. Ancestry’s theory is that maximizing the features added to the Profile page will increase collaboration and responsiveness. According to Ancestry, if you’re using folders to organize your messages, you probably won’t be seeing the new version of the messaging system for another 6-8 weeks.

MAILBOX: Face to Face with Gems!

In this episode you’ll be hearing from the listener’s themselves. Trisha stopped by to visit with me at RootsTech 2019. Also, at the National Genealogical Society’s conference a few years ago Betty shared an exciting discovery she made by digging into one of my favorite free online resources: Google Books. (Premium Members: watch the Premium video Google Books: The Tool I Use Every Day and download the handout.)

INTERVIEW: Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist

Crista has worked at Ancestry since 2004 and is best known for her Barefoot Genealogist videos at Ancestry’s YouTube channel. In this episode she shares her own personal genealogy journey, and some of the new features announced by Ancestry.com at RootsTech 2019.

GEM: Joy Neighbors, The Tombstone Tourist

If you’re a Genealogy Gems Premium Member you met author Joy Neighbors in Premium Podcast episode 169. Joy is a delightful national speaker, author, freelance writer, and avowed Tombstone Tourist.

Joy writes the weekly cemetery culture blog, A Grave Interest which you can read at http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com

Her book, The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide, focuses on how to locate cemetery records, what to do when you get to the cemetery, and how to understand the silent language of the stones. She also shares a few stunning family secrets along the way. In the Premium podcast episode 169 Joy and I discussed cemetery research strategies that every genealogist can use to uncover family history.

In this Gem, I’ve invited Joy to share 3 very intriguing and surprising discoveries that she’s made while searching cemeteries which you can also read here.

Thanks for supporting this free podcast by using our links!

MILITARY MINUTES WITH MICHAEL STRAUSS: Women’s WWI Registration Cards

The Council of National Defense was created by an Act of Congress based on the Army Appropriation Act passed on August 29, 1916. This agency was made up of the Secretaries of War, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor along with an advisory commission that was later appointed by President Woodrow Wilson on October 11, 1916. Their purpose was to come together and coordinate the industries and resources of the United States for national security and general welfare and to be prepared for war. 

Later on, April 21, 1917 a few short weeks after the United States entered World War I the Women’s Committee of the Council for National Defense under the national council was created with suffragist Anna Howard Shaw appointed the Chairman.  As the women organized separate divisions and chapters were created in every state and groups that centered on the African-American community.

When the division were formed registration, cards were filled out by women all across the United States requesting personal information. The cards not only offer genealogical details, but give a unique prospective into the social history of women in the early 20th century women move one step closer to national suffrage.

Details on the registration cards included:

  1. Name and address
  2. Age and marital status
  3. Color or race of applicant
  4. Country of birth and/or citizenship status
  5. Time applicant willing to pledge or volunteer for war effort
  6. Occupation and where and by whom employed
  7. Educational background
  8. Personal references for applicant
  9. Emergency service where volunteer willing to go and when
  10. Work experience or training to aid in the war effort
  11. Date and place of registration (wards or precincts in cities)
  12. Physical description
  13. General remarks
  14. Signed and dated registrar and assignment for war effort.

An example from one of the registration cards from Grand Rapids is for Constance M. Rourke (1885-1941), born in Cleveland, Ohio.  She was an educator, a noted author, and historian.  Educated at Vassar College in New York she later moved back to Michigan after a brief teaching career, where she worked for the Board of Education in Grand Rapids.  She lived in the same house in town for the rest of her life after publishing several noteworthy books.

The national headquarters of the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defense was located at 1814 N Street NW, Washington, DC.  The building was formally the Playhouse Club and theater and owned by Washington socialite Henrietta M. Halliday (widow of Edward C. Halliday) who leased the property to the women’s committee for free during World War I.  After the end of World War, I in 1918 the council continued to operate until it was dissolved in 1921.

Several collections from different states are available online to research.  One of the largest online databases comes from the Grand Rapid Public Library in Michigan.  Their database search contains 22,836 individual registration cards that are searchable by name, address, age, and occupation.  The records cover the Michigan Division of Grand Rapids for the Women’s Committee for Council of National Defense.  The card indexes offer not only offer genealogical information, but provide educational background, work skills, and employment information.  Online at https://cdm16055.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16055coll5.

In Midland, Michigan another set of cards are available at the Midland Center for the Arts has in their collection registration cards that cover their county. This collection consists of 2 boxes that contain 802 total cards for area women residents.  The cards are not digitized, but have been indexed by name along with an excellent finding aid on how to access these records:  https://mcfta.pastperfectonline.com/archive/9CE77DF7-CBEA-47E8-80C7-383294794455

 Another set of cards that is available comes through the courtesy of the Indiana Genealogical Society.  Less than 50,000 registration cards are known to exist in the state of Indiana. Two counties (Jasper and Miami in Indiana), have known collections of registration cards, but believe other counties in Indiana have these treasures stored away in museums, courthouses, or in other libraries that are  statewide and don’t know they exist.  Anyone with more information on locations of more cards should contact them.  An excellent blog post explains help they seek: http://indgensoc.blogspot.com/2018/05/wanted-ww1-womens-defense-cards.html.

Some smaller collections of online registration cards are located at the Arkansas State Archives in Little Rock.  It is under Arkansas Women’s History Collection and has a finding aid online.  At this time four cards are scanned to give patrons an idea of what to expect when searching this record group.  On their website an excellent blog posting explains their records and as part of this group in Arkansas the Colored Auxiliary Council during World War I.  Both can be searched online: https://arkansascouncilofdefense.com/home   and to look at the limited number of cards: http://ahc.digital-ar.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16790coll14/id/72.

Another small collection online from the University of Iowa Libraries in Iowa City, IA.  There digitized images are limited in number again to offer patron the opportunity to see what potential the records hold.  They also have scanned some of the correspondence relating to the women who belonged to the local Iowa Division.  To access their finding aids and look at the images: http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/wwid/id/3300 

From this list of online sources for the registration cards it appears that most are in the Midwestern part of the United States.  It is true that several states have these available online.  If the geographic area of the country of your interest isn’t listed than consider looking at different state archives, libraries, museums, and other historical sites.  Searches in card catalogs, finding aid, and other sources will often be the best way to locate potential collections. 

One final location that genealogists should consider comes directly from the National Archives in College Park, MD.  This is known as Archives II.  The records of the Records of the Council of National Defense (CND) which is located in Record Group 62.  Besides the registration cards the Archives has general correspondence, weekly reports of state division activity, and minutes for meeting. 

The minutes are digitized on the National Archives website and offer a glimpse into the activities of women nationwide.  https://catalog.archives.gov/search?q=*:*&f.ancestorNaIds=391&sort=naIdSort%20asc&tabType=image

For more information and reading about the Women’s Committee for the Council of National Defense; some suggested sources:

Blair, Emily Newell. The Woman’s Committee United States Council of National Defense: An Interpretative Report. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1920. Online https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.rslgqf;view=1up;seq=5

Breen, William J.  Uncle Sam at Home :Civilian Mobilization, Wartime Federalism, and the Council of National Defense, 1917-1919. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1984.

Clarke, Ida Clyde. American Woman and the World War. New York: D. Appleton & Son, 1918. Online https://archive.org/details/americanwomenwor01clar/page/n7

Van Orsdal, Anita Anthony. “There shall be no woman slackers” The Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defense and Social Welfare Activism as Home Defense, 1917-1919. 2016. Michigan State University, PhD dissertation. 

GEM: Let Me Call You Sweetheart through the Generations

Sydney Orton fell in love with family history and started her research when she was 11 years old. Now at 19 years old, she is even more passionate about genealogy! I discovered Sydney one day on social media when I saw a short video she posted with her sister. Turns out she had entered the video in this year’s RootsTech Film Fest. While the video didn’t win, it won my heart because it featured an audio recording from long ago that her grandpa made for her Grandma. Because the audio from the film is so wonderful just on it’s own, I asked Sydney if I could share it with you here on the show, and she graciously agreed.

The Story Behind the Song
Sydney explains: “My Grandpa and my Grandma were in love when he left to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints in Australia. They were not yet engaged, but they planned to marry each other when he came back after two years. During the months he was gone, Grandpa sent Grandma gifts like a boomerang, a stuffed Koala bear toy, and photo prints.

For her birthday, Grandpa sent her audio tapes of him singing love songs, while he played the guitar. For my 14th birthday, Grandpa gave me his guitar. It was about 50 years old and I loved it.

Grandpa passed away suddenly in the fall of 2017. A few days after, my Dad was going through Grandpa’s computer and found the audio. Grandpa must’ve converted it a few years ago. It was such a special experience to listen to him sing.

A few months later, Grandma decided to move and she hosted a garage sale. My uncle Austin looked through the items and pulled out an unmarked, dinged up, video tape. He felt like he should take it home, so he did. He searched for a VCR player for hours before he found one. Then, he discovered what the tape contained. Footage of my Grandparents and their family! No one knew it existed. The video recorder belonged to my great grandparents, but they let their son and daughter-in-law borrow it occasionally. It was colorized, but silent, and it was beautiful.

Grandma and Grandpa had a special kind of love. The kind you see in classic 1930s Hollywood movies. The kind where you never doubt that they were meant for each other.

My uncle showed the rest of our family the footage during our last reunion. My aunts and uncles saw video of themselves as children for the first time! I saw my grandparents raise my Dad. It was such a gift.

For Christmas, I wanted to give my Grandma something special. So, I worked with my sister to put together a video compiling the audio from Grandpa’s mission and the silent footage my uncle found.

My sister learned to play the chords of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” on Grandpa’s guitar because I couldn’t figure it out. She has a knack for just hearing music and playing it right. Together, we sang a duet with the recording from Grandpa. I mixed together the audio and edited the footage into one whole video.

The video was not completed in time for Christmas, but I did finish it in time to enter the RootsTech Film Fest where it made it to the semi-finalist round. The video was imperfect, but it was just right for its purpose. And that purpose was to make my Grandma smile. I was away at college when I wanted my Grandma to see it. So my Mom went over to Grandma’s house and facetimed me while they watched it. Grandma said to me after, “I was at dinner tonight and someone was playing the piano. I listened to the music and I tried to remember what it was like to dance with Steve.”

Together, we shared tears and laughter as we remembered my Grandpa, Steve Orton. I am forever grateful for the technology that made the video possible.”

Follow Sydney on Twitter:  @genealogy_gal
Visit Sydney’s website: www.teenfamilyhistory.weebly.com

Get MORE Genealogy Gems with the Ad-Free Premium Podcast

1 Year Membership Featuring:

Attention Genealogy Gems Podcast App Users:

Don’t miss the Bonus Content in your app for this episode!

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!

Pin It on Pinterest

MENU