Archive for the ‘Our Friends’ Category

Share Your Story

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

In the past few months at, Inc. we have talked about the importance of sharing your family history– whether that means interviewing a loved one, or simply writing down your personal history to share with others.

Recently, StoryCorps announced its desire to make its recording sessions available to as many people as possible. Recordings are now available in cities listed below. The cities that include a link below are now open for booking reservations. There is no cost for the interview, although a donation is suggested.

Tucson, AZ Jan. 5- 17, 2009
Tampa, FL Jan. – 17, 2009
Juneau, AK Jan. 5- Jan. 29, 2009
Savannah, GA Jan. 27 -Feb. 21, 2009
Greater Los Angeles, CA Jan. 29- Feb. 21, 2009
Winston-Salem, NC Feb. 26- Mar. 21, 2009
Asheville, NC Mar. 26- May 2, 2009
Salt Lake City, UT Mar. 26- May 2, 2009
Eugene, OR May 7- 29, 2009
Yakima, WA Jun. 4- 26, 2009

Take the opportunity to share your story. Sign up today.

New Podcast For Genealogists

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

A new podcast was recently launched for genealogists called Family History: Genealogy Made Easy. The podcast is geared to beginning genealogists, and yet includes motivational interviews for the more experienced researchers.

Lisa Louise Cooke is the author of the podcast, and her hope is that this podcast will reach out to the non-genealogist and show them that discovering their family history is possible and easier than ever with all the Internet advances.

Getting started is the hardest part, and following along with this weekly serial podcast will make it easier than ever to get started and reap rewards.The audio player can be downloaded here: Genealogy Gems News Blog.

Just click the GET button on the player. It not only plays the new show, but also The Genealogy Gems Podcast, The Family Tree Magazine Podcast, The Family History Expos Podcast and Digital Photography Life. You can also subscribe free to the show in iTunes.

“Extreme” Family History and Genealogy

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

With the advent of digital technology, new ways of “doing” family history and genealogy are appearing, allowing individuals to more fully “experience” history, or to collaborate with others in finding their ancestors through innovative tools being developed or adapted for genealogical research. Some of these new ways are out-of-the ordinary-even extreme-in comparison with traditional methods. This article briefly shares two ways in which family history and genealogy may be called “extreme.”


The first “extreme” we found is where individuals actually live in a recreated time period. We discovered that Lisa Cooke, Genealogy Gems, and her family participated in PBS television series called Texas Ranch House. A Web site has preserved the experience and comes complete with journal excerpts as a reality check with plenty of links to historical resources. Life on a Texas ranch in 1867 was recreated for television and Lisa’s family by outfitting the family and ranch workers in period clothing and providing them with the tools of the time to experience “what the saddle-sore, rope-burned, and sun-blistered ranch life was really like.” The site features details of the episodes where “real” life depicted the recreation, leisure time, music, cattle drives, and food of the Texas cowboys and their families. An interactive history page features games where individuals can test their skills of wrangling, roping, selecting food, cattle prodding, and cowboy slang. This area helps young people learn many aspects of history and have fun while learning.

Genealogical record collection on an “extreme” scale is what is doing all over the world. The current FamilySearch effort to convert their microfilm collection to digital is to create better access to the films and new records. FamilySearch operates 4500 Family History centers in 80 countries throughout the world. Dick Eastman, a popular blogger in the genealogy and family history field, interviewed Paul Nauta, Manager of Public Affairs, at FamilySearch. a non-profit organization that has accumulated the largest repository of genealogical records in the world. Dick interviewed Paul at the recent FGS conference in Philadelphia. You can view the entire interview at Roots Television by clicking here.

Facts on the “extreme” nature of the FamilySearch project:

* The bulk of the collection is still on microfilm and FamilySearch has almost 2.5 million rolls of microfilm left to digitize.

* Less than 3% of this material is digitized and indexed online.

* This microfilm collection will take 8-10 years to convert it to digital.

* 15 high speed scanners are in the Granite Mountain Records vault in Salt Lake City Utah and are being used five days a week.

* FamilySearch has replaced most of their microfilm cameras in the world with digital cameras.

* Over 200 camera teams in 45 countries are digitizing original documents five days a week.

* These teams produce 40 million images a year that FamilySearch wants to put online.

DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour Genealogy Podcast Features

Friday, August 29th, 2008

DearMYRTLEDearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour genealogy podcast for August 19, 2008, is available online and includes Whitney Ransom McGowan, corporate communications director for talking about the upcoming innovations to and Whitney’s portion of the podcast starts about 47 minutes into the program.

DearMYRTLE’S other guests include Dusty Rhodes from, the free website that helps users coordinate communication with family and other researchers with common paternal DNA (Y-DNA); and Elizabeth Powell Crowe, author of Genealogy Online 8th edition.

Family Tree Magazine Now Offers Genealogy Podcast

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Recently Family Tree Magazine announced the launch of its genealogy podcast. This podcast provides information on genealogy tools and tips. One of the best features about this 30-minute podcast is that it is free. Visit the Family Tree Magazine podcast page at:

Lisa Louise Cooke–creator of the popular Genealogy Gems podcast will be hosting the online radio show. Lisa will provide more in-depth information on some of the topics covered in Family Tree Magazine. Family Tree Magazine will feature interviews with genealogy experts. Editors at Family Tree Magazine will also discuss Web sites, resources, and records. Plus, editor, Allison Stacy, will provide sneak previews on upcoming issues. Diane Haddad will deliver the latest in genealogy news.

Click here to listen to the first genealogy podcast: Episode 1. This issue contains information about content that will be posted in the July Issue, particularly with state research guides, the WorldCat Web site, the Family Tree Kids! Web site. Plus you will receive hints on connecting with distant cousins from Maureen A. Taylor and strategies on tearing down those brick walls from Sharon DeBartolo.

Who’s Who at the FGS Conference?

Monday, September 4th, 2006

We were at the FGS Conference for several days and found many interesting answers to that question. I have read Dick Eastman’s blog quite a bit, but Friday I actually had the opportunity to meet him. He is a very cordial person who desires to be at the forefront of the latest genealogy news. If you haven’t read his online newsletter, check it out.

Kory Meyerink from stopped by our booth and provided an excellent overview on the historical importance of the location of the FGS conference as well as his thoughts on the exhibition booth. We also had a fun opportunity to talk with Linda, a story teller and illustrator. Not only did she share her thoughts about genealogy, but she also introduced us to several of her latest books, and then sprinkled some fun confetti on our booth. I personally love the hat she is wearing and her fun personality. In the evening we talked with Pierre Cloutin from Progeny. Pierre gave us an extensive review on one of their latest products called Map My Family Tree. This product is really neat.

(This entry contains a podcast and a few vidcasts! Click on the above links to find them.)

Day 2: BYU Family History and Genealogy Conference

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

We are here having a great time at the BYU Family History and Genealogy Conference. We are sitting in the vendor section surrounded by several great companies:, Family History Live On Line,, and Acentra. takes your pictures and stories and combines them into a “biography”-style documentary and artistic book. They can also do videos. I have looked at several of these books, as well as one of their videos and the quality is really high. They capture the things that matter most to people, including their values and family, and important experiences that have happened in an individual’s life. Tom Taylor is the owner of this company, which he has been operating for 12 years. He definitely has a passion for helping people celebrate and commemorate their lives.

Pictures and Stories

The next company is Family History Live Online. The owner of this company is Robert “Tex” Crawford. He has been sharing fun stories and experiences with us since we set foot at the conference. Family History Live Online provides live support for people who need assistance while they are doing their genealogy. Their tagline is “Taking the Mystery out of Family History.”

Family History Live On Line

Across from our booth is If you have a fear of writing, Robert Paxton and his team at can help. Robert provides tools to help people write their family histories, as well as complete writing services. They can pull a family history together in just a few weeks.


Acentra is a new company that is simply awesome. They take images, documents, videos, cassettes, and convert them to a digital format. They say that it takes a consumer approximately 45 seconds to scan a single-sided standard document or photo. Acentra claims to be able to scan a double-sided standard document or photo in 1 second! That’s pretty fast!