by Lisa Cooke | Nov 11, 2013 | 01 What's New, Collaborate, Dropbox, Family Tree Magazine, Inspiration, Research Skills, Technology
Recently Katharine, a Premium podcast member, asked for my advice on collaborating with a research partner. She wrote, “While I am primarily a digital researcher, and have divested myself of duplicate papers, my research buddy uses a lot of binders and has many unconnected families in various computer genealogy programs. We need a good way to collect and focus our research.”
As it happens, Genealogy Gems Contributing Editor Sunny Morton and I just co-wrote an article on this topic. “Teaming Up” appears in the December 2013 issue of Family Tree Magazine. In honor of this article, we’ve prepared a companion series of blog posts on collaborating and are hosting a FREE giveaway for a digital subscription to Family Tree Magazine.
First, check out these strategies for deciding how to work with someone.
First, don’t judge or try to change each other too much. If one of you really wants to learn new tech tools or organizational methods, that’s great. But your strategy for staying organized and connected should be as easy as possible for both of you so you can focus on the research itself. Requiring an old-school genealogist to suddenly master Skype, Evernote and Dropbox to work together might be as unfair as asking a newbie researcher to locate unindexed court records and transcribe them in German!
Next, play to your strengths. Is one of you super organized, or a fast typist, or great at merging GEDCOMS or another skill that would move your project forward? Does only one of you have direct access to certain research materials (databases, manuscript sources, etc)? Talk about your individual strengths and interests and then divide the workload accordingly.
Mix it up. Often in any collaboration, one person is more tech-savvy than the other. Sometimes a combination of traditional and up-to-the-minute technologies will work best. For example, maybe you’ll decide to keep your shared files in Dropbox but communicate by old-fashioned telephone instead of Skype. Maybe one of you will organize everything online (or at least on the computer) and then mail printouts to a non-computer-user for review.
Watch this blog for more on technology tools for collaborating, and check out our article (which has lots of great exclusive stuff!) in the December 2013 issue of Family Tree Magazine , available by digital and print subscription.
Check out the other posts in this series:
Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Dropbox for Genealogists
Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Evernote for Genealogists
Tips for Collaborative Genealogy: Sharing Genealogy Files Online for Free
by Lisa Cooke | Oct 20, 2013 | 01 What's New, History, Maps
A recent blog post at slate.com caught my eye because it features a map from the genealogists-love-it David Rumsey map collection. But what captured my attention was the story the unfolded behind the foldable map itself. I think you’ll love it!
Blogger Rebecca Onion uses a 1929 souvenir map of the United States to tell the story of early commercial air traffic–specifically the story of the origins
Rumsey TAT map
of airline giant TWA. Apparently early “transcontinental flights,” as they were advertised, were sight-seeing tours with short flights interspersed by train rides to the next flight location. The map featured in her blog post was a souvenir of one of these passengers, who added his own colorful comments on his experience.
This fun post is part aviation history, part map-lover trivia. The story unfolds even more in a short video documentary on Transcontinental Air Transport I’ve added below. It includes cool aerial shots and more on how the early air transport industry, er, got off the ground.
And don’t forget to use maps (storied or just the plain informational types) in your family history research! These can help you find your way around ancestral hometowns, chart migration routes as they would have and otherwise see the world (literally) in the same ways they did. David Rumsey’s map collection is one of the best online collections out there, with free access to over 44,000 high-resolution historical maps.
Learn more about how to use the David Rumsey historic map collection in conjunction with Google Earth by watching my free video class Google Earth for Genealogy.
My Genealogist’s Google Toolbox Kit, is a value bundle that includes my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox and Volumes I and II of Google Earth for Genealogy (on video CD). And right now the kit is available for 20% off!
by Lisa Cooke | Oct 18, 2013 | 01 What's New, British, Canadian, Google, Inspiration, Maps
Gail Rogers in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada recently shared how my presentation on using Google Earth for genealogy helped her find her way to the site of an old family business–and the place where her ancestor died. She’s given me permission to share it with you. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do!
“Just last week, I received an 1879 death certificate for my great-great-great-grandmother. She ran The Castle Inn in Stafford, Staffordshire, England after the death of her husband in 1863. To my sorrow and horror, I learned that she hanged herself probably within the establishment where she also lived!
“When I shared this with a group of English and Australian cousins who are also researching this family, one of them sent me a link to a 1960s photo of The Castle Inn, shortly before its demolition:
“Then I remembered your presentation about pinpointing your ancestor’s home in San Francisco. I’ve had several “family history” maps with icons that I’ve been working on for the past five years at Google Maps, so I went to the one for my Staffordshire ancestors, clicked on my icon for Eastgate Street in Stafford, and used the Street View to wander down the street, looking for the outline of the roofs, as you did with your old family photo. (You can view a video of my Google Earth for Genealogy class for free here on my website that demonstrates this technique.)
“I soon spotted the outline at the extreme left of the photo, “turned around” (virtually) and wham! There were the double Elizabethan-style timber-framed gables, just as they appeared in the older photo!”
Gail, I was so glad to read that this helped you. I’ve gotten so much great feedback on that particular example of how to use powerful Google Earth (and Google Maps) tools to find important family landmarks.
The presentation she’s talking about can be found in The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox Kit, a value bundle that includes my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox and Volumes I and II of Google Earth for Genealogy (on video CD). Even better, right now that kit is available for 20% off! The 2 discs are also available as a bundle on their own. And thanks, Gail, for sharing your success with us!
by Lisa Cooke | Oct 17, 2013 | 01 What's New, Conferences, FamilySearch, Flipboard, RootsTech
Have I got a promo code for you!
Want to save off your registration for what’s shaping up to be one of the biggest family history events ever? Of course you do!
From now until November 30, 2013, Genealogy Gems blog readers can save an additional $10 off the already discounted early registration price for RootsTech 2014, happening February 6-8 in Salt Lake City. The promo code is RT14LTO by November 30.
#RootsTech promises to be a spectacular learning event, with over 200 classes and a dozen hands-on labs taught by knowledgeable experts, special lunchtime and evening events and more. Before January 6, you can get a full-access pass for just $159, an $80 savings off the full price of $239. But again, register before November 30 with the promo code above and you’ll only pay $149.
The full schedule of classes will be available when the app comes out in November, but RootsTech has posted the computer lab schedule. These labs were incredibly popular last year. They sold out fast and had to add more! Your early registration gives you dibs on labs like these, including my own class on Flipboard:
by Lisa Cooke | Oct 16, 2013 | 01 What's New, Who Do You Think You Are?
Genealogy Roadshow logo
Genealogy Roadshow is now casting for its next season. Are you a contender?
In case you missed the first season, Genealogy Roadshow is a PBS series much like Antiques Roadshow–only your ancestors are the antiques. Instead of everyday people bringing their old collectibles and antiques in to be appraised by experts, everyday people bring their family stories and pedigree charts. Genealogists research their stories and reveal new details to them and their relatives.
Filling out the preliminary application may feel a bit like auditioning for a part along with your entire family. There are questions like “What is your story and why is it important to you to find out now?” “Have you or any member of your family or outside group looked into any branches of your family’s history? If so, please describe who and explain what roadblocks or limitations they encountered.” “What would uncovering this information about your family mean to you and your family?” Applicants are asked to submit GEDCOMs, if they have them, and whether they have DNA samples.
Interested? Check out the online application yourself! Then, in case you missed them or want to catch them again, catch episodes from the first season on PBS Video.