Get a Blast from the Past in Genealogy Gems Episode 140

Way back in 2007 (I know, it’s ancient times in online terms) I started recording a little show called The Genealogy Gems Podcast. My studio consisted of a desktop PC and a $10 Radio Shack microphone. Back then I worked all week long to come up with 15 or 20 minutes of broadcast content. My first genealogy Gems were about techniques I was using in my own research and the technology that was moving faster every day.

Before I moved to my new website earlier this year I removed the first 20 episodes from the podcast feed for a variety of reasons – hosting costs, sound quality, etc. Now with the new site we’ve got lots of room to stretch, and with some restoration the episode sound quality has been improved. So every so often I march a couple of episodes out of the vault, and in Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 140 you’ll hear Episodes 3 and 4.

Episode 3 highlighted one of my favorite research strategies at the time which is still a favorite today: eBay Favorites  eBay is not just for dvds and kitchy knick knacks.  Like Google Alerts, eBay Favorites does the searching for you. Auctions delivered to your inbox could feature hard to find history books, yearbooks, and even photos of your ancestors and family bibles. Later in the episode we take those found genealogical items and talk about how to incorporate them into creative and meaningful family history displays.

Episode 4 originally aired on St. Patrick’s Day in 2007 and understandably touches on Irish genealogy. Then we move on to using YouTube for genealogy. YouTube was just a 2 year old toddler back then, but it was already showing it’s strength as an addition to our genealogy toolbox.

Enjoy listening to a blast from the past in Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 140


You May Only Have Half of Your British Ancestor’s Immigration Story

If you have found the passenger list for your British ancestor in the Ellis Island database, you’ve only gotten your hands on part of the story. There are outgoing passenger lists from the UK to the US available and has added them to their offerings.

Findmypast has announced the expansion of its U.S. records to include World War I Draft cards and outgoing passenger lists from the UK to United States, among others. has also made news recently with the announcement of a new partnership with Federation of Genealogical Societies to preserve and digitize local U.S. records from genealogical societies around the country including newspapers and obituaries, bible records, cemetery records and birth, marriage and death records.

New records that have been added or will be added during 2012 include:

·        World War I Draft Cards

·        Outbound UK Passenger Lists (BT27)

·        Genealogical society materials

·        1940 Census records

The new records join nearly 1,000 existing unique and international record collections including:

·        England Royal Household Records

·        Most complete England, Wales and Scotland census collection available online

·        British Army service records

·        Unique Irish prison and court records

·        Irish military and rebellion records

·        Millions more records and specialist records that cannot be found anywhere else and many sets dating back to 1200 AD

Texting fave OMG! has Roots Back to World War I

If you have teens in your family then chances are you have heard the phrase OMG which stands for oh my God. But have you ever wondered who started it? You may have thought it was Alicia Silverstone in the 1995 movie Clueless, but actually you have to dig much further back in history to find its origins. All the way back to 1917 in fact.

George Mason’s University’s History News Network website says that the folks at the Oxford English Dictionary discovered a use of “OMG” from 1917. It comes in a letter by British Admiral John”Jacky” Fisher, who wrote and I quote:

“I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis—O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)—Shower it on the Admiralty!”

According to the site “Fisher was famous for being the driving force behind the creation of the HMS Dreadnought, an advanced capital ship which, when it was launched in 1906, seemed revolutionary. This, the world navies agreed, made all other capital ships obsolete, but, distressingly to the British, destroyed their long-standing lead in naval power, if temporarily. The result was an enormously expensive Anglo-German naval race, which did much to bring on World War I.”

The letter was published in his book  Memories, published in 1919 (below in Google Books. Enter OMG into the search box to see it for yourself)

Save 20% on Genealogy Virtual Conference Featuring Historic Maps with Lisa

A “virtual” conference is an online event which you can attend from the comfort of your own home. If you haven’t attended one before the upcoming Fall Virtual Conference presented by Family Tree University September 14-16, 2012 is a great opportunity to get involved. It’s your chance to head back to school this Fall, gaining new research strategies, and brushing up on proven genealogical research techniques. Click here to Register and enter the coupon code FRIENDSOFLISACOOKE

I’ve been an instructor since the first Virtual Conference, and this time around I am really jazzed to bring you some of the best websites for finding historic maps. I’m passionate about using Google Earth for genealogy, and creating historic map overlays is one of the techniques I teach in my Google Earth for Genealogy video series on CD. So I always have an eye out for great digitized historic maps available for free online, and I’ll be sharing my favorites in this 1/2 hour video class.

One of the things that really makes FTU’s Virtual Conference a stand out is that the classes are on video! This means you can download them to watch now, and later down the road. During the conference weekend there will also be “virtual exhibit booths” to visit and live chats to participate in.

As a presenter at the conference I have the opportunity to offer my listeners and readers a 20% savings on Family Tree University’s upcoming Fall Virtual Conference. Click here to Register and enter the coupon code FRIENDSOFLISACOOKE

You can get to know a little more about me and the Historic Maps class by reading the Q&A chat we did on the Family Tree Magazine Facebook fan page wall the other day.

See you in class!


FamilySearch Volunteer Opportunity: US Immigration & Naturalization Genealogy Project

The following was announced today by FamilySearch:

More than 160,000 volunteer indexers made the 1940 U.S. Census available for searching in just five months. The project was an unprecedented success that dramatically illustrated what the genealogical community can accomplish when united in a common cause.

Now many volunteers are turning their attention to the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Community Project, an indexing effort to make passenger lists, naturalization records, and other immigration related records freely searchable online. Hundreds of thousands of North American volunteers are expected to contribute over the next 18-24 months, focusing initially on passenger lists from the major US ports.

Individuals, societies and other groups that want to participate should visit to learn more.

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