Find My Ancestor Blog

Mobile Monday – Genealogy Gems Podcast App

Disclaimer: The following reviews may have personal opinions in them. At the bottom of each review there is a link to purchase and download the app reviewed. By clicking on the links below you are helping support this free blog and Find My Ancestor. Thank You!

The following post continues the Mobile Monday Series reviewing various apps for mobile devices that help doing genealogy while you are on the go. If you haven't been following this series be sure to check previous posts:

If you have not been listening to the Genealogy Gems Podcast yet you have been missing out on a great genealogy resource that is informative and entertaining. Lisa Louise Cooke has been doing the Genealogy Gems Podcast ever since March 2007. At the very beginning Lisa wondered whether anyone was even listening to her and now she is known by genealogists around the world.

There are a number of ways to listen to the Genealogy Gems Podcast including streaming it directly from the website, downloading it from the website and played in your media player on your computer or mp3 player, subscribe through iTunes, and now you can stream the podcast directly from your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Having this app is so useful to me because there are many times when I am at work and I get bored with music and I want to listen to one of the new episodes of the podcast but I can't simply download and sync it while I am at work so being able to go into the app and play the episodes make it very convenient and easy.
Genealogy Gems Podcast App start-up screen
The picture above is known to many genealogists! Even if the title Genealogy Gems Podcast was not shown above, I would automatically know that it has something to do with the podcast because it has become the podcast and website logo.
Episode Player and Show Notes
When the podcast loads, which by the way is SO much faster after this last upgrade, it takes you to the most recent episode and is ready to play. It tells you what episode number it is along with the date the episode was published. Below the play button is that episodes Show Notes. The Show Notes are a brief summary of what that episode contains and what "Genealogy Gem" is in that episode. To view all the show notes simply swipe your finger like and other app or website on an iPhone or iPod Touch.

You can also listen to all previous episodes of the podcast by clicking on the Episodes button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. I really like this feature because many times Lisa refers to previous episodes in more recent podcasts and it is nice to be able to scroll back a year or two and listen to that episode as well without having to download it again to my iPhone.
Episode List
By clicking on the Contact tab at the bottom of the screen you are able to contact Lisa by a number of different ways. She loves hearing from her listeners whether they have a questions, comment, or just want to say hi. You can even call the voicemail line ( (925) 272-4021 ) and leave her a message. Your message may even show up on a future podcast! On this tab you can also email Lisa, go to her Twitter and Facebook pages, visit the website (, and troubleshoot the app if something seems not be working like it should.
Contact Genealogy Gems
The last tab on the botton of the screen says Starred. On the Episodes tab and screens you can star a specific episode if something stands out or to remind you to come back to that episode to a link mentioned in the show. This Starred screen will show all episodes you have starred and marked as special.
Starred Episodes
Back on the Episodes screens there is a little button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that says Extras. This page gives all sorts of extras for you to view and download. You can download wallpapers that are episode related, view any bonus content, play the podcast in the background so you can do other things on your iPhone, get links that were mentioned in the episode, and share the episode with a friend.
Episode Extras
You can also view the Show extras which let you view the podcast in iTunes, visit the website, and share the podcast with a friend.
Show Extras.
This app and podcast is so great. Lisa has really helped get the word out there on how do find records, what sites are available, and given us the opportunity to learn more about genealogists out there with all the interviews she conducts. If you have not been following her podcast you definitely have been missing out! To learn more about her and the Genealogy Gems Podcast, visit the Genealogy Gems website. Lisa also hosts the Family Tree Magazine and Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcasts.



Review of Jamboree 2010

The Southern California Genealogical Societies Annual Jamboree has now ended. This was my first time attending Jamboree, and I must say it was a blast!!

I have never met so many so many people blogging about genealogy all at the same time and place. I am not sure exactly how many GeneaBloggers we had there, but there were a lot! I was able to see many who I had already met at previous conferences, and I met a lot who I have seen and follow their blogs, but never met in person.

Friday when I first arrived I met up with Amy Coffin of the We Tree Blog, Holly Hansen of Family History Expos, and Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers. They were sitting near the hotel lobby all on their laptops just typing away. I had met all three of them for the first time at the Mesa Family History Expo in January 2010.

There wasn't an opening keynote speaker like they usually have at all the other conferences I have been to, so that was a little different but nothing heart-breaking. After registration I walked around the exhibit hall to see what kind of new booths were available that I haven't seen at any other conferences. Some of my other blog posts go into a little more about the exhibit hall.

The first class I attended was Lisa Louise Cooke's titled "What You Must Know To Save Your Research From Destruction". Without reading the syllabus to see exactly what this class was about I assumed it was going to have ideas and ways to make your genealogy archival safe from disaster and aging. Rather, Lisa talked about the importance of coming up with a Genealogy Materials Directive and making donations with a Deed of Gift. You can download Lisa's form from Genealogy Gems. Click on the link on the left hand side that says Directive for OGS

That evening a group of GeneaBloggers who didn't attend the Friday Night Banquet, My Genealogy Now and Then, featuring Chris Haley, got together and went to a really good Greek restaurant across the street from the hotel and had a great time visiting and getting to know each other better. 

At dinner I met Gini Webb from Ginisology and her husband Steve. I sat by them at dinner and we got to know each other better. Gini and I have know each other for a little while because of our two blogs, but had never met in person until now, so it was really great to finally meet her and become good friends. I also sat next to Steve Danko from Steve's Genealogy Blog whom I had never met until then. Cheryl Palmer from Heritage Happens who is another great friend I finally met was sitting next to him. Other bloggers who joined us were Becky Wiseman from Kinexxions, Susan Kitchens from Family Oral History, Randy Seaver and his wife Linda from Genea-Musings, Susi Pentico from Susi's Chatty Performances, and a couple others who I did not get a chance to meet and visit with.

After dinner we went back to the hotel lobby and visited with one another as well as a few other bloggers. Tami Glatz from Relatively Curious, Kathryn Doyle from California Ancestors, and the famous footnoteMaven. I have been looking forward to seeing footnoteMaven for quite some time. She is such a fun and sweet lady! It will be a lot of fun talking to her and all the others who I have now finally met in person. Late that night as we were all sitting near the lobby, Elyse Doerflinger from Elyse's Genealogy Blog showed up and brought a lot of life to the party! Elyse was not able to attend the conference on Friday because she was at her graduation!! Congrats Elyse!

Saturday morning started off with a great breakfast at the restaurant there in the hotel with Gini and Steve, Cheryl, Elyse, and I. There we were able to again visit and have more fun.

After breakfast, Gini, Steve, Cheryl, and I went to the Blogger's Summit Part 1 where Thomas MacEntee, Stephen Danko, Elyse Doerflinger, and Randy Seaver were on the panel of bloggers discussing what a blog is for those who were not familiar with them, how to set one up, how to make posts, and most importantly what the benefits of having a genealogy blog are.

Right after Part 1 and before Part 2, all of the GeneaBloggers who were around got together for a big group photo. It was pretty crazy trying to get everyone in the picture because there were probably a dozen cameras and as soon as we would take one picture another blogger would walk in and join us so then another picture had to be taken. Sorry if my photo (provided by Gini Webb) does not have you in it!

At one o'clock on Saturday Lisa Louise Cooke had a live recording of the Genealogy Gems Podcast. It was a lot of fun being able to to see the recording of that. Her guests on the show were Suzanne Adams of, the Photo Detective Maureen Taylor, and Chris Haley.

Suzanne Adams talked about some of the process she went through doing research for Who Do You Think You Are. Can you imagine what it would have been like to help with the research for those celebrities? That would be such a great opportunity to help with that.

Maureen Taylor talked about her new book called The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation. This book is really neat! I was able to purchase a copy of the book at Jamboree and have started reading through the amazing stories of the people who lived during the Revolutionary War. Each story includes a photograph of the person. The book will be available later this month. You can pre-order a copy through

Chris Haley was her last guest on the episode. Chris is the nephew of Alex Haley who is the author of the book Roots. Chris is a genealogist himself as well as a perfumer. During the podcast Lisa asked him if he would sing a song for the audience. 

On Sunday morning Gini, Cheryl, and I went to Geoff Rasmussen's class titles "Timelines and Chronologies: Secrects of Genealogical Success". I have attended a couple of Geoff's classes at previous conferences, but none of them have been about the Legacy Software. I had never even seen Legacy in action until this class. I must say, I found it to be a very cool software. There are many great features I liked about it that aren't found in other genealogy softwares. The main purpose of his class of course was to demo and emphasize the importance in timelines in your research. Most of the time we look at Family Group Records and Pedigree Charts, but those won't give us information as to where other important events took place to tell us where to look for records. I thought it was pretty cool. I am going to have to play around with Legacy and check out it's other features.

Geoff also did a demo on two other softwares called AniMap and Centenia. Both programs I had never heard of but they are a must for every genealogist! Have you ever had an experience where you were looking for a record in a specific county during a certain time frame? Then, after searching for what seems like forever you find out that at the time record was created is  wasn't the same county or even state that it is today? You didn't even know the boundaries had changed? AniMap and Centenia can help you figure out boundaries of the places you search for. I will be posting a later blog entry about AniMap in more detail after I play with it for a while.

People started to filter out throughout the day on Sunday as they were heading home. Jamboree was such a fun conference and it was great to be able to meet all of the GeneaBloggers who I had not met before and to be able to see all the friends who I have met at other conferences. If you have never been to Jamboree, I highly recommend it for next year. I will definitely be there!!


Family History Library Catalogue Down

For those of you who don't know, the Family History Library Catalogue is down and will be for a few days. I am currently at the library, and let me tell you, it is a pretty sad day here for people.

For those people who were expecting to come here tonight or the next few days will be disappointed to find that they will not be able to do much with the catalogue unless you look at the decade old microfiche catalogue. I just spent some time trying to use that and it was quite difficult. Isn't it amazing how dependent we get on the simplicity and easy access of the internet? 

For those people who are from out of town who came to do research at the library, I hope they came prepared with a list of microfilm rolls, call numbers, and other information so they can find what they are looking for. I bet there are a few people here who just learned that lesson.

If you listen to the Genealogy Gems Podcast, you would probably heard an interview Lisa Louise Cooke did with Irene Johnson about the Family History Library and their tips and tricks on making your Family History Library visit the best it can.

The following is from the Genealogy Gems Podcast show notes for Episode 80 where Lisa interviews Irene Johnson:

"Irene’s Tip:  Do your homework before you visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. 

Do Your Homework Before You Come:
- Scour the online catalog
- Decide what you need
- Ask for help when you visit

Lisa’s Tip – print out the items you want from the catalogue and prioritize them.  Determine which items are available only in Salt Lake City."

Both Irene and Lisa have other great tips in the interview, so if you haven't listened to it yet, I highly recommend it. I noticed when I went to the page where Episode 80 is, the little audio player widget on the right hand side says Episode 84. You can either scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the download link to download the episode and listen to it on your computer, but to listen to it in your browser you might have to follow a couple extra steps - at least until the player gets fixed.

For now, click the play button, and then click the information button in the bottom right corner. Then click by where it says done and it will give a list of episodes. Scroll down to Episode 80 and click on it. That should play the episode for you. 

Even for someone like me who lives in Salt Lake City, it is always smart to "do your homework" before visiting the library because you never know what will happen.


Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast Ends

For those of you who haven't heard Lisa Cooke's latest podcast, episode 81, she announces that she will soon be publishing the last episode of the Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast. It is sad to hear that such a great podcast is now coming to an end, but she explains why she is no longer going to be making episodes.

The 'Genealogy Made Easy' podcast is meant for those who are just beginning their family history and need to know how to find their ancestors and different techniques for those who do not know what to do. Lisa feels that the podcast has done just that. 

She announces that just because she is ending the one podcast, that the other, Genealogy Gems, will still continue and she hopes that by focusing her time on just one podcast that she will be able to get more episodes out more often. She hopes she can publish an episode weekly! Lisa also has her Premium Members episodes as well that she will continue to publish. And after all this, we can assume she will continue to host the Family Tree Magazine podcast as well. 

I myself am sad to see the 'Genealogy Made Easy' podcast ending, but I am glad that she will continue to publish the Genealogy Gems podcast with more frequent episodes. Thanks Lisa for all your hard work bringing us such great information and entertainment!

For those who have never listened to Lisa's podcasts, I highly recommend them whether you are a beginner or more seasoned genealogist. I am pretty sure that the 'Genealogy Made Easy' episodes will still be available through iTunes or her website even though she will no longer be publishing new episodes. If I hear anything else, I will be sure to let you know.