Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Watch Look Listen - In The Spotlight

Spotlighting audio and video content


This is the first in a series of spotlight posts for audio and/or video content.

Watch Look Listen - In The Spotlight

The amount of knowledge and entertainment that can be accessed from online audio and video content is staggering. Search for virtually any topic and you are likely to find a Podcast or YouTube video on the subject. Webinars are a great teaching medium and many genealogy societies provide this service for free to members or for a limited time to non-members.

To help you break through the noise, I will spotlight podcasts I have listened to that I found to be above the norm, YouTube videos that teach as well as webinars and hangouts I've watched. The episodes I highlight could fall into any or all of these categories.

  • Genealogy & Family History: for every genealogy enthusiast
  • Small Business Tips: for genealogy entrepreneurs and societies
  • Marketing & Social Media: for genealogy bloggers, societies and small businesses

You can listen via your desktop or through various apps available for your smart device.


If you are new to podcasts, give them a try. I personally use the Podcast Addict app on my Android phone. YouTube videos, including recorded Hangouts, as well as webinars are generally viewed through your desktop or via a mobile app. 

To assist with deciding which podcast to listen to or which Hangout to watch, many publishers will provide show notes or time stamp the video for you. Often the show notes will include the links to sites that are discussed during the show. You can think of the show notes as a blog post which you may prefer to read if listening isn't your cup of coffee.

Print off the show notes or save them in Evernote for later reference.

A time stamp, such as on a Hangout, will allow you to start watching at a specific point in the video. This is helpful if you want to re watch a portion of the video that you found particularly interesting. I understand that the process of time stamping a video is time consuming and why many publishers do not do this.

Webinars generally provide an overall description of the content to be presented and may or may not come with a handout. The goodness in a handout is usually the URLs of the sources the presenter refers to during the webinar are provided.

In The Spotlight Audio Content:


This is a two-part spotlight from a 2010 episode of Genealogy Gems with Lisa Louise Cook interviewing Dr. Robert Leonard a forensic linguist.
Part 1: Episode 89
Part 2: Episode 90 

In The Spotlight Video Content:

Research At The National Archives
Take note that the content I am spotlighting is not necessarily the most current episode. These are episodes I feel are worth listening to, some from several years ago. I point that out as any breaking news, functionality and technology mentioned may have changed since the episode aired.

Visit my Pinterest board For Podcast Junkies Like Me to get a jump start on listening to podcasts.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Top 4 Reasons To Attend MoSGA's Annual Conference 2015 Roundup

I hope to see many of you this weekend in Columbia, Missouri.

The 35th Annual Missouri State Genealogical Association's Conference is sure to be a success with Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, as our Keynote Speaker.

Liars Laws and Brickwalls MoSGA 34th Annual Conference

My 2014 Conference posts still apply. I hope you enjoy hearing a bit about what Missouri has to offer in the way of genealogy research. Read on for my top four reasons to attend.

Reason #1, Judy G. Russell:
The Legal Genealogist
Reason #2, If you are traveling from the west:
Kansas City
Reason #3, The Show Me State Capitol:
Jefferson City

Reason #4, MIZZOU!
If you failed to pre-register, no worries, you may register for the conference at the door Friday and Saturday morning. For more details visit mosga.org. See you soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Love/Hate Relationship with Online Family Trees

As much as I hate incorrect information and misdirected efforts, I love the potential for new information.

My Tree Of Rights Desperately Seeking Surnames

Those of you who have an uncommon surname may agree with me. You enter your surname in the search criteria, hit the search button and 10 records come back. It's so disappointing. Those are the same 10 records you've seen for the last three years you have been researching this particular line. Disappointment, frustration and weariness follows from the same lack of potential information that could help move your research forward.

How to combat using the same old search criteria and receiving the same old results?

Switch things up! Spell the names differently, enter a different year of birth, add or remove a middle name. Loosen your criteria and broaden your search area. Next analyze the additional records your new search parameters bring to light and enjoy the potential of finding a new record in your expanded list of records returned.

The search method I described above, I do that with my online tree at Ancestry.com. My online tree is my working tree. I work out the kinks, collect records, analyze, switch names, dates, and places around. Once I'm confident of my conclusions, I enter that information into Legacy Family Tree which is my tree of truth. That's my method that is how I choose to research and collect information.

Generally, I do try to go back and sync up my two trees but not always immediately. Sometimes, I'm busy with life and my career and daily distractions. Sometimes I get an email from a cousin or my Mother-In-Law asking about a different line and I start down a different path. So those dates I switched around may sit there a while.

Do I admire those that have pristine family trees? I absolutely do. Do I appreciate those that have fully sourced trees? I do and I appreciate your attention to detail. Do I respond to emails that question and/or correct the information in my online tree? I sure do! Thank you, thank you, thank you to my fellow researchers that have contacted me. If it wasn't for some of you, I would not be anywhere near as far along in my research as I am.

I know it annoys many of you to find incorrect information in online trees and feel that undocumented trees should be set to private. My biggest annoyance with online trees is the lack of communication from other researchers. Emails and comments on trees go unanswered. If they would collaborate, we could both further our research.

We all could take a step back though as our passion, our drive and our end goal is ours alone. We can't stamp our methods onto others, we each have unique drivers and motivators.


I state very clearly on my Ancestry.com profile where I'm coming from.

If other researchers don't read that and understand what that means, that's on them not me. It's very similar to accepting the terms of service for a product without reading it then claiming ignorance of what they agreed to. I can't, nor do I want to take up any policing role in others research methods. I have left comments on information that I felt was attached incorrectly to an ancestor. Some reply, some don't. Again, one has to step back and accept that we all approach things differently and badgering and ranting won't change that.

Do we really want one perfect tree of truth? I sure don't, what would I do in my spare time? Would I like to find that one tree that has the information I need to get my past my stumbling blocks? Of course I would, we all would. Until that happens I will continue to work through these stumbling blocks as best I can, asking for help and educating myself along the way.

I hope my online tree helps another researcher. If they don't read my "terms of service" and blindly copy to another tree, oh well, that will just give someone something to post a rant about on Facebook. And we can't have too many rants now can we?