Lessons from History for Genealogists – Episode 15 Elevenses with Lisa

Episode 15 Video and Show Notes

Live show air date: July 9, 2020
Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn about genealogy and family history.

In the last episode #14 we talked about how important it is to tell our stories. Then we went through the process of creating videos about the stories in our family history.

Every family’s story dovetails with history at large. That is certainly true for Daniel Horowitz and his family.

Daniel’s family experienced the horrors of the Holocaust. Many of his relatives tragically perished, and those who survived narrowly escaped to locations around the world like Trinidad and Venezuela.

Just a few decades later, Daniel and his family were once again forced to flee unforeseen and devastating societal upheaval. He and his young family left Venezuela and made their home in Israel.

Singer Family – 1920, Czernowitz, Ukraine

Singer Family – 1920, Czernowitz, Ukraine

My Guest: Daniel Horowitz, Genealogy Expert at MyHeritage

Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage Genealogy ExpertDaniel is the company liaison with genealogy societies and media, lecturing, and attending conferences around the world. Dedicated to genealogy since 1986, he taught and edited the family history project “Searching for My Roots” in Venezuela for 15 years. (Learn more about MyHeritage.)

I’m grateful Daniel is willing to share his very personal story and talk about what we can learn from history.

 

What a powerful and inspiring story! And notice that as he told us his story out loud, he discovered new insight into some of the parallels in his family tree. Storytelling doesn’t just benefit the listener. The storyteller continues to learn as well.

Further reading:

In the video I referenced an article I wrote last year on the Genealogy Gems blog called Standing in Judgment of Our Ancestors.

From You

Lucinda wrote in to share how episode 14 on making videos got her wheels turning, and the success she recently had using strategies from my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox.

The Genealogist's Google Toolbox Third edition Lisa Louise Cooke

Available in the Genealogy Gems Store

In the Next Episode

Next week we are going to make a short family history video using the free Adobe Spark Video app.

make a video with adobe spark episode 15

Click the image above to set a reminder to watch the show at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel.

Later this month you’re going to sit in with me on a consultation with an Irish genealogy expert who’s going to help me come up with a game plan for what I can do to bust a brick wall. If you have a brick wall, be sure to tune in and see how you can analyze where you are and set out a new strategy.

Resources

Live Chat PDF– Click here to download the live Chat from episode.

Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) Become a Premium Member here

Your Help Makes a Difference

If you enjoy this show and you want to keep them coming, you know what to do: click that Thumbs Up icon for me on YouTube. This helps our distribution tremendously. Simply click where it says YouTube in the lower right corner of the player above and it will take you to this video on YouTube where you can click the Thumbs Up icon.

Please Leave a Comment

I hope you’ll take a moment and let me know in the Comments section below what resonated with you in this episode. 

 

 

How to get better Google search results faster – Episode 13 Elevenses with Lisa

Episode 13 Video and Show Notes

Live show air date: June 25, 2020
Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn about genealogy and family history.

 

The first 4 minutes of the video is the “Waiting Room.” This welcomes viewers and counts down to the start of the live show.

Today’s Topic: How to get better Google search results faster.

Our Goal: Up to 90% reduction in the number of search results, and higher quality results on the first few pages.

In this session we discussed:

  1. Identifying what you already have, (the “searchables”) and
  2. using Google Tools to flesh out the details
  3. so that we can tell a richer, more complete story.

Start broad and then analyze your results to determine if you need to narrow your search by adding more details and search operators.

Reviewing your initial search results will possibly reveal alternative spellings you may want to explore.

The search operator we used in this episode was quotation marks.

Example: “Washington McClellan”

Quotation marks can be used on single words or phrases. They tell Google that:

  • all search results must include in word or phrase,
  • the words must be spelled exactly as you spelled them,
  • the words in phrases must appear in the order your typed them.

You can have multiple words and phrases in your query.

Example:  “mcalister” “harness” shop “logan utah”

If you discover an address during your searching, you can plot it in Google Earth. Search for it in the search box. Click the placemark button in the toolbar (the yellow pushpin icon) to mark the location.

(Learn more about using Google Earth in episode 12 of Elevenses with Lisa available here.)

Time Saving Tips:

  1. When reviewing large webpages, quickly find your keywords (“searchables”) by doing a Find on Page: Control (PC) or Command (Mac) + F. Type the words in the pop-up box to jump directly to them on the page.
  2. On the search results page, click Image results in the menu. This allows you to quickly spot sites with images that appear to be applicable to your search goal. Click the image to visit the site.

 

Google Genealogy

Use the quotations marks search operator in all of the free Google tools.

 

Learn More with These Resources

Book: Cooke, Lisa Louise, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Genealogy Gems Publications, print.
Video Series: Cooke, Lisa Louise, Google Earth for Genealogy digital video download series, Genealogy Gems Publications,
For a limited time use coupon code EARTH11 to get 25% off both of the resources above at the Genealogy Gems Store here.

The Genealogist's Google Toolbox Third edition Lisa Louise Cooke

Use code EARTH11 to get 25% off

Answers to Your Questions

Gwynn: If I have a My Google Map and pin on those will they show up on the google maps desktop version or do I have to redo them? For example, I have a map of Ohio with ancestor dates and locations.
Lisa: Google has recently added a button to the toolbar that will take you to Google Earth on Chrome. So, if you are looking at your placemark on the map and you click that button, it will open the same general location in Chrome, but currently it will not bring the placemark with it. I would not be surprised at all though if we see that functionality in the future.

Ceirra: I ​played with Google Earth from last week but couldn’t get back to even 1937???
Lisa: If you mean there were no Rumsey Maps (in the Layers panel) in a particular area, that’s not uncommon. That’s where pulling maps from other sources like the David Rumsey website can help. He has 100,000 maps digitized, searchable and downloadable that you can then use to create an overlay in Google Earth. And there are many, many other online sources for old maps. Read: The Best Way to Find Old Maps for Genealogy at the David Rumsey Website

Cynthia: If we have something from our relatives, what is the best way to put it on the internet to share with others?
Lisa: I really think posting on your own blog is the best way to share. It also provides a vehicle for being found by other researchers interested in your family when they Google. I have videos on the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel explaining how to set up a free Blogger blog.

MargtheCar: Are quotation marks case sensitive?
Lisa: No.

Steve: ​If you had two different spellings of a name, do you run separate searches for put both spellings in one search?
Lisa: You could run this search: “washington mcclellan” OR “Washington mcclelland”

Kelli: I ordered google toolbox 3. I have the first two. Are they worth sharing – or have things changed enough that I should just toss them? Shelf space, you know :).
Lisa: They are worth sharing if you warn them may encounter some things that no longer work or have changed. Search has some of the biggest changes. The Google Earth section hasn’t changed  much since the last edition of the book.

K M Vaughan​: Can we legally use the image from the library?
Lisa: Check the website for terms of use, or contact the library for permission.

Gwynn: Lisa, what do you think of the new google books viewer, Im not a fan because I cant see the source.
Lisa: It takes getting used to, I agree! But I think the overview page is actually quite an improvement. I’m publishing a newly updated version of my class Google Books: the Tool I Use Every Day in Premium membership that features the new viewer.

Karen: Can you use – minus?
Lisa: Yes indeed. Here’s an example of combining quotation marks and minus sign in the same query:  “Richard Lincoln” -abraham – president

Robyn: I don’t find that the 1850..1880 works for me. What could I be doing wrong
Lisa: Problems could include:

  • Running the search on mobile
  • You have a space in the string – no spaces
  • There are no available results that include those numbers
  • Using more or less than 2 periods

K M Vaughan​: Can your Google tools on mobile
Lisa: Yes, all the tools (such as Google Books, Scholar, Patents, etc.) can all be used on mobile, however you may find some minor differences, and some search operators may not work.

Cynthia: ​I have been trying to find the marriage certificate of my grandmother and her 3 husband, in 1953 and cannot find anything. What can I do to marrow the search
Lisa: Without the benefit of seeing the specific situation, I would recommend focusing your search on the record collection you need rather than the names of individual ancestors. I go into detail on this strategy in the book.

Carolyn: What did you use to make the video?
Lisa: I used Camtasia which I LOVE. Stay tuned, because next week we’re going to talk about making videos and some of the my favorite free tools as well.

Doug: What tool do you use to create the entries in Google Earth for the presentation (the autoplay part)?
From Lisa: I used Camtasia. Stay tuned, because next week we’re going to talk about making videos!

Genealogy Gems Premium Member Resources:

Log into your membership here on the website. (Learn more here about Genealogy Gems Premium membership.) In the menu under Premium click Premium Videos and then click the Google topic tile. There you will find videos with downloadable handouts: 

  • The Google Search Methodology
  • 5 Google Search Secrets
Video Classes by Lisa Louise Cooke

Google Video Classes by Lisa Louise Cooke

Today’s Teacup

 Blenheim Palace Grand Cabinet china. Learn more about Blenheim Palace, the home of Winston Churchill, at the website.

Blenheim Palace

Garden-side tea time at Blenheim Palace

 

From You

The best part about teaching is when I get to hear back from you about what resonated with you, and how you used what you heard to make a wonderful discovery. Doris has been a Genealogy Gems premium member since 2015 and she wrote to say “I’m finally listening to the Elevenses series! Just watched Episode 1 and wanted to share a find.”

Doris explained how she used my tip on being sure to turn the page of passport application records to ensure you don’t miss additional pages. She made quite a discovery!

Thank you to Doris for sharing her story. I sent her the video I created and the photo that I enhanced and colorized at MyHeritage. 

Enhance and colorize your photos at MyHeritage

Enhanced and colorized old family photo – learn more here at MyHeritage.

Click here to try enhancing and colorizing photos for yourself!

Resources: 

Live Chat PDF– Click here to download the live Chat from episode 12 which includes my answers to your questions. 

Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) Become a Premium Member here

I Want to Hear from You

Did you give this Google search operator a try in your genealogy searching this week? Please share your experience.  And of course I’m always interested in your questions and feedback. Please leave a comment below. This is your chance to join our community’s conversation!

 

 

 

 

Digital Organization – Episode 8 Show Notes (Elevenses with Lisa)

Live show air date: May 14, 2020

Episode 8 Video and Show Notes

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn.

In this episode I share viewers’ family history displays, answer your questions about my genealogy organization method, and show you how I file my genealogy digital files. (This series on genealogy organization began with Elevenses with Lisa episode 6.) Scroll down for all the show notes for this episode. 

 

As you’ll remember I launched this show after the first week of the stay at home recommendation in March. Back then my first “PSA” was to resist the temptation to cut your own bangs. Well it turns out that if you have scotch tape, then you’re good to go!

Nostalgia - cutting your bangs with scotch tape

From the Newspapers: Cutting your bangs with scotch tape!

 

From You:

Betty’s Family Tree Wall

“I feel like we are besties even though we really don’t know each other like our friends and neighbors so much. You are so open about your family and life.  Thank you!  

Here’s what I have done in my basement with the family pictures that have fallen into my lap over my 67 years.  It is a dream come true and being out of the light, the pictures won’t fade as some have done in the past.  I had to restore a few on the computer in Paint.  

Thank you for showing us how to do things like Google Earth for Genealogy in simplified ways.  It’s actually incredible how you do that.”

Thank you for sharing this inspirational photo display with all of us!

Betty's family tree photo wall

Betty’s family tree photo wall

 

Maria’s Wall of Photos

From Maria: “I’ve been an avid listener of your podcast, and have thoroughly enjoyed watching Elevenses every Thursday. It’s something I look forward to each week as we’re going through the stay-at-home order here in NYC.

After seeing the great photos on the wall behind you in your videos and the picture you enlarged to hang in your music room, I was inspired to do some family decor of my own.

I’ve been scanning family photos bit by bit as I was passed down albums from my great-grandparent’s and have been going through and labeling them with my grandparents, and decided to get some copies printed so I could enjoy them while keeping the originals safe in archival photo sleeves.”

Here is Maria’s gallery of photos on the wall by her desk providing motivation for continued genealogy research:

family history photo wall by maria

Maria’s family history photo wall

She says “They include ancestors from all sides of my family tree, with the earliest photo here dating to 1915. Thank you again for all that you do.”

Thank you for sharing, Maria!

From Sandra:
Q: Do you still plan on attending the FGS conference, in Kansas City this fall?
A: Yes, as of now it’s still a go. I will be there with bells on unless I hear otherwise. 

Lisa Louise Cooke's schedule at FGS 2020 conference

Lisa Louise Cooke’s schedule at FGS 2020 conference. Learn more here.

 

Answers to Your Genealogy Paper Organization Questions

From Linda:
​Q: My question from last week is I wonder why you start with death of each ancestor in your notebooks.
A: Because we do genealogy backwards. Remember, our goal is NOT to have a piece of paper for every event in a person’s life. Our goal is to have a safe place to keep the most precious paper that we want to archive in person’s life. Everything else is digital on our computer and backed up.

Our goal is to go as paperless as possible

Our goal is to go as paperless as possible

From Kelli:
Q: So if you start with a man’s birth, does he not ever show up in his father’s book?
A: As a reminder, the father would be a new tab, not a new notebook. If you decide to start from birth while using my system, birth to marriage would still be under his father. 

From Joyce:
​Q: What are you really keeping paper copies of?
A: I keep things like original documents, postcards, letters…I even have a doily in one of my books!

Debby commented to ​Kelli in the chat that she leaves a page in his father’s binder indicating which binder to look in for his complete story. In my system, not every “father” gets a binder, and the notebooks are not the complete story. They are simply the paper archive for the story. The full story is in your master genealogy database software.

If you’re struggling with tossing some of your paper, it can help to ask yourself, do my descendants REALLY want a piece of paper for every single thing I found even if it was just a print-out of a digitized (non-original) document? 

The answer is, NO!

In fact, the more paper you store, the more in jeopardy you put your family history research. Future generations may feel burdened by it, and likely won’t have room for it all. If it is an overwhelming amount it is less desirable for your descendants to try to hang on to it. Also, printer ink is expensive. 

From Bob:
Q: Do you 3-hole punch items that really don’t need a sheet protector? Like a census or something easily retrieved or printed again?
A: Occasionally, but usually only if it’s a Pending item. Otherwise I don’t print it out in the first place.

From Donna:
​Q: If you’re going to archive a digital file, would it be as effective to save it in your master software vs. a separate digital archive on your computer? Is there a benefit to having duplicate files?
A: I don’t attach files to my database. It’s not because it’s not a good idea. But because I started back when you couldn’t do that. And that made me very reliant on having an excellent digital filing system. If I see a marriage in my database which is sourced, I know exactly where to go on my computer to find the source document.

I would not recommend only linking to an online source document. I always download it to my computer. That’s because the document could move, or we could lose access to it depending on the status of our subscription to the website. Read: “If My Ancestry Subscription Expires, What Happens to My Tree?”

From genebuds​:
Q: But if I am organizing my archive for donation to a library, should not I have an index? The library won’t have a copy of my software.
A: When donating, ask about their requirements and provided the needed documentation. Options include providing a printed index, a copy of your gedcom file, or other reference material.

From C Davis​:
Q: You have to turn on your computer before you use a binder? Your computer boots fast? My RootsMagic does not start in a minute.
A: I leave my computer on all the time. It just goes to sleep. And in fact, turning your computer on and off a couple of time a day can actually shorten it’s life span.

Typically I leave RootsMagic up in the background while I’m doing research. But even if you don’t have it open and you were just looking at your online family tree, you typically know:
1) which surname and therefore which binder
2) which generation based on the age of the person (and therefore which tab to look under.)

Again, notebooks and paper are archival only. Most times I’m turning to my digital files for the backup documents.

I also received great questions about cloud backup. As I mentioned in the show, I use and trust Backblaze. Please use this link to get the best deal at Backblaze. Using this link helps support this free show. If you make a purchase we will be financially compensated for referring you at no additional charge to you.

From Cynthia:
​Q: Can you back up multiple computers on Backblaze?
A: You need one account for each computer. However, you can plug an external hard drive into your computer and the subscription for that computer will also cover that hard drive. This is very handy if for example you keep your scanned photos on a separate hard drive so that they don’t use up precious space on your computer.

From Hazel:
​Q: I use a laptop and move it around the house and outside the home, and (use the) battery, so will a system like Backblaze work?
A: Yes. All you need is an internet connection. If you are temporarily not connected to the internet, Backblaze just picks back up on backing up when you reconnect.

From C Davis:
Q: ​Backblaze works with old computers?
A: According to the company, they support back to Windows 7. Click here for the complete list for both Windows and Mac. Please use this link if you would like to get Backblaze for your computer.

Kathy mentioned:
​Carbonite now backs up video. I just activated it. It may come automatically now but just check if you start a new subscription.
A: I should clarify that it backed up video back when I used it but ONLY if you manually selected the video to be backed up. I discovered that many of my files were not backed up. According to their website: “**Video files are backed up automatically with the Plus and Prime plans. They can be added to your backup manually on any other plan.”

 

How to Organize All This Digital Genealogy Stuff!

My system is based on two foundational genealogical record types: the census and pedigree charts (just like my paper system). The folders are organized by head of household, typically the male head of household (just like the census.)

Overarching Folder Logic:

  • Families are divided by head of household.
  • Children (direct ancestors) are filed under their head of the family (Father) until married. 
  • After marriage, men (direct ancestors) become a head of household and women are filed under husband (if they are direct ancestors or if there is enough paper to warrant it.)

Creating Folders

Create a new folder on your hard drive called Genealogy.

Within the Genealogy folder, create general topic subfolders such as but not limited to:

  • Charts (family tree charts)
  • Correspondence
  • Countries (general history)
  • Database (genealogy software files)
  • History (for background material pertinent to your research)
  • Research Trips (maps, planning worksheets, and to-do lists)
  • Surnames (this folder is very important)
  • Heirlooms (can also be included under Surnames if you prefer*)
  • Photos (can also be included under Surnames if you prefer*)
  • Templates (ex. forms you use routinely)
  • Timelines

*I find when working with photos it is easier not to dig into each surname, but rather to have all photos in front of me and then dig in deeper from there. The Surnames folder is heavily focused on documents.

In the Surnames folder create a folder for the surnames you research most. Don’t worry about adding a folder for every surname right now—you can add more as you research. I started with my closest lines, organized as I researched, and then scheduled organizing time to catch up on the rest. 

Inside the first surname folder, create folders for the various types of genealogical records such as (but not limited to):

  • Births
  • Census
  • City Directories
  • Death
  • Journals
  • Locations (includes land records, postcards of towns and streets, maps, etc.)
  • Letters and Cards
  • Marriage
  • Military
  • Newspapers
  • Occupations
  • School
  • Voter Registrations
  • Wills and Estates

Keep a “template” set of these folders. Copy and paste these record folders into surname folders as needed. File your existing record files into the appropriate Surname > (Record Type) folder. Feel free to add an additional layer of folders by heads of households if you want, particularly for families with a lot of digital records. I do this within the records folder. 

How to File Genealogy Documents

Record websites typically provide the option to save the record to your computer. Click the Save button and navigate your way to the appropriate folder on your hard drive:

Genealogy > Surnames > Jones > Census. Name the file and click OK.

 

How to Name Your Computer Files

Name files with the year, head of household, and location.

For example, the 1920 U.S. Federal Census for the Robert M. Moore family file name would be:

1920_Robert_M_Springfield_OH.

This method allows you to quickly spot the census record within the Surnames > Moore > Census folder.

Since you are filing the record by surname and by record type, you don’t need to include those in the file name. By placing the year first, your files will automatically appear in chronological order in the folder.

Photos

I files the Photos folder under the Genealogy folder, not the Surnames folder. The reason for this is that typically when we are working with photos (perhaps for a book project or presentation) we want and need access to all of them. We don’t want to hunt around in our genealogy files for them. 

Resources

There are several full length video classes with downloadable handouts in my Genealogy Gems Premium membership that will help you take your organization even further. In fact membership includes over 50 video classes (including 6 on all aspects of using Evernote for genealogy), and an exclusive podcast just for members. Learn more here

To find files fast I use the free Master Seeker computer app for PC. 

Premium Members Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) Become a Premium Member here

Questions for you this week

Here are my questions for you this week. Please leave your comments and questions below. 

Did your mom cut your bangs with scotch tape?

Have you created a family history photo wall display in your home?

What are your favorite genealogy organization strategies?

 

Organizing your Genealogy Data – Episode 7 Show Notes (Elevenses with Lisa)

Live show air date: May 7, 2020

Episode 7 Video and Show Notes

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn.

This episode is a follow up to material covered in Episode 6. You will enjoy it much more if you watch episode 6 first. Then click the video below to watch Episode 7, and scroll down for all the show notes and details. 

Today’s Teacup:

Aynsley Bone China from England

The company was founded in 1775 by John Aynsley in Lane End, Longton, Staffordshire.

From You:

Lori writes:

I know you are asking what we have been doing and I wanted to share this with you. 

I have an old photo of my mother’s side of the family and they are sitting down at the table to celebrate my GG Grandmother’s birthday. 

Anyway I am a tea cup collector and tea drinker and so was my great grandmother who is also in the photo to the right holding onto my mom. 

I wanted to find her china and as you can see this photo is not very good at being able to identify.  I sent a close up of this picture on the china pattern to Replacements LTD.com and they were able to help me find the china and pattern! 

Here is the photo of the family (and) the china pattern that they helped me discover.  I didn’t know that you could send them a photo so when I discovered this I have been telling everyone!  

Love the Elevenses show!

Lor's family and their china

Lori’s family and their lovely china place settings.

Where Lori found her replacement china pieces.

ReplacementsLTD.com identified Lori’s china pattern!

Family History DIY Project

You may have noticed the watch on my wrist in this episode. I don’t usually wear a watch, but this actually isn’t a watch. It’s a DIY bracelet that I created using one of my grandmother’s old watches.

Click to watch (below) how you can make one yourself:

 

Learn more at Genealogy Gems DIY here.
Follow me for more Family History DIY ideas:
Instagram: Lisa Louise Cooke at www.instagram.com/genealogygems 
Pinterest:
Lisa Louise Cooke Genealogy Gems at www.pinterest.com/lisalouisecooke/

 

Answers to Your Questions About My Genealogy Organization Method

From Julie
Q: How do you handle legal size papers?
and from MargtheCar
Q: What do you do about oversize documents, panorama photos etc that don’t fit in a binder?
A: Hopefully you won’t have a lot. You can use a legal size binder like this one, or an archival safe box. Gaylord

From Joyce
Q: What weight of protectors?
A: Avery Heavyweight 3.3 mils  #76003

From Linda
Q:  Do you put each sheet of a letter in a separate sheet protector or do you put the entire letter in the one sheet protector?
A: One each although sometimes I place one-sided items back to back. You can slip a piece of acid-free paper or cardstock between them if you wish. 

From Kathryn
Q: Does it matter whether the binders themselves are archival?
A: As long as everything is in the archival safe sheet protectors they should be fine. Gaylord makes a 3 ring archival box but it’s expensive – about $30 each

From Betty in the Episode 6 Show Notes Comments
Q: Beginning with “the 4 ancestral lines”…don’t those notebooks become extremely large? Have you gone from a 3” on a name and then added a second for same line?
A: For a few family lines (the ones closest to me because they have the most archival paper) I do have multiple binders. I indicate on the spine the time frame that the binder covers. 

From Marilyn
Q: For a couple do you make a copy and file it in both of their binders.
A: A couple is in the same binder. The wife goes behind the head of household tab.

From Pamela
Q: Do you move the women into another binder when they married and how do you make a note in her birth family binder?
A: The last item in the father’s binder should be her marriage application / license. This tells you the surname of her fiancé. If she is a direct ancestor I create a new binder for her husband’s surname. You are welcome to put a sheet of paper that references the new binder, although my database would also tell me who her husband was, so I would look for that binder. I would only create a binder if there was enough material to warrant it, and if she were a direct ancestor.

From Ginny
Q: ​Are the male sons listed with their father until they marry?
A: Yes – they only move to a new binder if paper warrants it and they are a direct ancestor.

From Keck
Q: Do you put photos in the same binders?
A: Yes, for now. I’m setting up archival boxes. If you have a lot of old family photos, I recommend storing them separately. However, I think it’s wonderful to scan them and print copies of some of your favorites to include in their section of the binder. 

From Pamela
Q: ​Do you scan all your paper and keep it organized on your computer as well?
A: Yes, if it’s worth keeping for future reference. I don’t keep all paper though. I only keep and archive paper items that are precious and irreplaceable. My goal is to download the digital records I find online and store them on my computer (which is backed up with Backblaze.) And keep in mind, there is no pressure to file ALL paper before resuming your genealogy research. I schedule regular scanning time, for my backlog, and I scan and file as I go with current research. Eventually you will get caught up. 

From Susie
Q: ​Do you mark the paper to show that it is also digitized?
A: Yes, with a pencil check mark. Or you could use a thin sharpie and mark the sheet protector.

From Regina
Q: Do you keep copies of census records in your files? Or do you rely on the big name websites and attach it to an online tree?
A: Not typically, although I have kept a few from when I first started my research when I was a kid.  Now I download the digital file and save it on my hard drive which is backed up to the cloud.

From Kay
Q: Do you put new items in your heirloom binder? e.g. a gift you received that you think will be passed on? {of course, some things need to go in a will.)
A: Yes, absolutely!

From Carol
Q: I’ve really been enjoying your YouTubes and have become a member. I love the idea of the heirloom template, but for some reason when I try to insert a picture, only a small portion shows. I’m obviously doing something wrong. Would you do a quick summary of how to insert the picture?
A: I’m going to show you how to do that, and the best way to find all of the show notes:

 

 

master family tree

Stay in control of your genealogy.

Article Mentioned in this Episode

Read my article: Planting Your Master Genealogy Family Tree

 

Online Family Trees:

Pros:

  • Good for cousin connections
  • Good for generating hints
  • Good place to track and test ideas

Cons:

  • Controlled by someone else
  • Can only access documents with a subscription
  • Inaccurate trees

I use my online tree as a lead generator, NOT a master tree.

Do the Genealogy 2-Step to Protect Your Family Tree

Step 1: Purchase a genealogy software program and load it on your computer
Step 2: Back up your entire computer with a cloud-based backup service

The best type of backup protection involves:

  • Multiple copies
  • Updated regularly
  • At least one copy stored in a different physical location than your computer

What I look for in a cloud backup service:

  • Backup of all files automatically (including video!)
  • Free app for accessing files on mobile
  • Encryption and security
  • Ease of restoration
  • Competitive price

I use Backblaze. If you decide to check them out, please use this Backblaze link. If you do we are compensated at no additional cost to you, and that supports the free Elevenses with Lisa show. Thank you!  Whatever you choose, start backing up today!

More Answers to Questions About Genealogy Organization

From Jennifer
Q: Do you use the card catalog (behind you) for family “cards” to show what you have and what is filed where?
A: No. My database is my master. If I need to know something about someone in my family tree, I look them up in my database. That is the final word on what I currently know about them. Armed with that information I then know where to look in my computer digital files, and in which binder I will find the archival paper. 

From Julie
Q: Do you reference the documents in your regular binders so you know how to find them?
A: No. My database is where I turn because it is the most accurate and up to date information on each person in my tree. If I need documentation on any aspect of a person’s life, I turn to my hard drive where the bulk of my documents are. If it’s not there (although it probably is because I scan my archival paper) then I pull the family binder. I can ALWAYS find what I need. I’m happy to say that I haven’t lost an item yet. 

From Keck
Q: Do you have a Table of Contents in each binder?
A: No – it’s chronological and matches my database. See my previous answer to Julie above. 

From Sherry
Comment: Cross referencing is great and saves in duplicating paper…that being said, put a cross reference sheet in the front of each binder and list each item that you reference on that sheet.
A: I designed my system so that I would not have to cross reference. People are not duplicated in multiple binders because they can only be in one household at a time. They are either in their father’s household, or their own household. (Yes, an adult may live or rent from someone else, but they are still their own “head of household”.) The database is my guide as to their surname and the life events which is the information I need in order to know which binder to look in. This is the beauty and the simplicity of this system. All filing and organization is driven by the master database. And remember, the goal is keeping the least amount of paper possible. Most items will be digital on your computer. 

From Stephen
Q: ​If you have both paper and digital of the same document, do you discard the paper once done with it and reference the digital version in the binder?
A: I discard the paper if it’s not archival-worthy. (In other words, it is not previous, irreplaceable or highly sentimental. Most isn’t.) There’s no need to reference the digital version. If I need backup documentation on anything noted in my database, I know where to find it on my hard drive. We’ll talk more about hard drive organization in Episode 8. There is also an in-depth two part video series on how to do it step-by-step in Genealogy Gems Premium Membership. (Learn more about membership here

From Karen
Q: My big problem is I have about 8 different Brown families. How do I label them to know which is which?
A: My first questions would be, are all of them direct lines? I tend to archive only the most important items for direct ancestors. Digitize the rest, and toss the paper. If they are collateral relatives you can also file their paper in the direct line binder under the Collateral tab.
You can also include the unique number assigned to the person in Rootsmagic, or use their birth year to identify each unique Brown head of household. 

Multiple genealogy binders for one family

Multiple genealogy binders for one family

From Keck
Q: Do you duplicate that in Evernote or in your digital file for the same family? 
A: Evernote is my “active workspace”. It is not a complete look at my research. It is only the notes and clippings associated with my research. The paper organization we’re talking about is archival. All genealogy records are digital on my computer. If you want to remind yourself about an archived item, you can certainly make a mention of it in your Evernote notes. 

From Jennifer
Q: ​I’d like to list on Twitter for you and Facebook, are we doing Elevenses with Lisa for forever or are we just looking at May for now? (I want to open the invite.)
A:  I plan on continuing indefinitely. I have nowhere to go! And besides, I love meeting with you all each week. thank you for sharing the show – I really appreciate it!

share on facebook genealogy hoarder

Thank you for sharing Elevenses with Lisa with your friends and genealogy society!

In the Next Episode of Elevenses with Lisa:

  • Filing digital genealogical files
  • Naming digital files
  • Filing digital photos

 

Resources for Further learning:

Premium Members: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) Become a Premium Member here

These video classes (each with a downloadable handout) are included in Genealogy Gems Premium Membership and will help you further implement my system and become more productive (Members log in and then click the image to watch the video and download the handout):

Step-by-step 2 part video tutorial series.

Take control of your family tree and genealogy

Essential viewing!

Organize Your Digital Life

One hour video class.

Join me for exclusive videos, handouts and podcast episodes. Click the button below to become a Genealogy Gems Premium Member.

join now button

Do you have a questions about organizing your genealogy?

Please leave your questions and comments below. 

 

Episode 5 Elevenses with Lisa Show Notes – Family History Show

Live show air date: April 23, 2020

Episode 5 Video and Show Notes

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn. Click to watch below, and scroll down for all the details from Episode 5.

This week’s tea cup:

Old Country Roses by Royal Albert.

From My Viewers:

From Barbara C.:

When teaching 2nd grade years ago, I read Winnie to my kids after lunch each day.  When I began, little did I know it was a story for adults, too.  I’ve always remembered this line.

“When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish.”

It's 11 o'clockish!

It’s 11 o’clockish!

Genealogy News this Week

The National Archives of the UK

The National Archives is making digital records available for free online for as long as Kew is closed to visitors. If you have British ancestry, this is a great time to do some genealogy research from home.

“Registered users will be able to order and download up to 10 items at no cost, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. The limits are there to try and help manage the demand for content and ensure the availability of our digital services for everyone.”

Learn more here at the National Archives UK.

 

MyHeritage.com

MyHeritage is making U.S. Yearbooks available for free and they are in color.

MyHeritage has opened up access their yearbook collection for FREE, through May 23, 2020!

The collection includes 290 million names in 36 million pages, from yearbooks across the U.S. from 1890 until 1979. 10 million photos were colorized in the first 3 months following the launch of MyHeritage In Color™.

MyHeritage In Color™ has been applied to the Yearbook collection.

The goal is to “give people a fun activity to do when they are isolated at home that is genealogical, enjoyable, and free.”

Search MyHeritage U.S. Yearbooks for Free Now

 

Viewer Questions

Cristen shared a photo of herself watching the show with her Great Grandmothers hand painted China (which is lovely!)

Here’s her question:

Q: Can you create a new tag in Evernote on mobile?

Answer: Yes!

How to create a new tag in Evernote on mobile:

  1. Tap the Info (“i” in a circle icon) and
  2. Tap Add Tag
  3. Type in the new tag you want to create
  4. Tap the Return key on your keyboard
  5. The tag will appear in green, and will now be included in your list of available tags.

 

How Alice the Genealogist Avoids Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Part 4

 

Creating a Supportive Computing Environment

The following tools are available for your computer desktop or laptop.

Restore Tabs

In addition to using Ctrl+Shift+T (Win) or Cmd+Shift+T (Mac) to restore a closed browser tab, you can also right-click on the new tab plus sign and select Reopen closed tab from the pop-up menu. You can do this multiple times and web pages will continue to open in the reverse-order that they were closed.

Turn Multiple Tabs into One and Save Memory with OneTab

Online genealogy research can leave you with a lot of open web browser tabs. While using multiple tabs allows you to jump back and forth between web pages and records, they can take up valuable computer memory.

You can dramatically reduce your memory usage with the OneTab extension available for both the Chrome and Firefox browsers. With one click, OneTab will combine your open tabs into a clickable list in one browser tab. You can even export the list for future reference.

Get OneTab in the Chrome Web Store here
Get OneTab in the Firefox Web Store here

Reduce Email Distractions

Gmail now has a Snooze feature which allows you to temporarily file an email until the date and time you select.

Snoozed emails will reappear in your Inbox at the scheduled time.

Retrieve snoozed emails at any time by clicking “Snoozed” in the menu on the left.

Get Back on Track with MyActivity

When you are signed into your Google account, MyActivity tracks the searches you conduct and the websites you visit. By visiting your MyActivity, you can search for and return to any previous activity. You can also turn it off. Go to MyActivity and click Activity Controls from the menu. Switch the slider to the off position.

Visit MyActivity at https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Save Time by Previewing Your Google Search Results

Rather than clicking on each search result and loading the page (which also takes you away from the rest of your search results), use  the Google Results Previewer web extension for Chrome. Once installed you can simply hover your mouse over a result link to reveal a preview of the page. Then you can decide whether to click through or preview additional results.

Click here to get the Google Results Previewer web extension for Chrome.

Resources for Further Learning

Genealogy Gems Premium Members: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) Become a Premium Member here

Genealogy Gems Premium Video: Organize Your Online Life
More tech tips for getting and staying organizedsaving time, and getting more results!

Organize Your Digital Life

Premium Video: Full length class by Lisa Louise Cooke.

Genealogy Gems Premium Membership includes 50 video classes including 6 on using Evernote, and 2 on mobile genealogy topics. Click here to learn more or become a member. For a limited time new members can save 25% off Premium membership. Use Coupon code ALICE25 now through May 15, 2020.join now button

Genealogy Gems Premium Video: Using Evernote to Create a Research Plan.
The key to a successful family history research plan is having a set process for gathering and analyzing data. I will show you how to set up your plan in Evernote. 

Evernote for genealogy genealogical sources

Premium Membership also includes the video class: Using Evernote to Create a Research Plan by Lisa Louise CookeEvernote Quick Reference Guide, by Lisa Louise Cooke. Available at Genealogy Gems Store

Next Episode of Elevenses with Lisa

Click here for Episode 6 of Elevenses with Lisa. 

Be sure to click the “Set Reminder” button on the video page for all future episodes at my Genealogy Gems YouTube channel here

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