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What’s Football Got To Do With Genealogy?

If you have an ancestor or relative who played on a sports team while in high school or college, a video about their athletic activities can catch the attention of current sports fans in the family. Click on the image to see the video I made about my family’s Georgia Tech football player, Albert “Red” Davis,

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Dishing Up Ice Cream Reveals Family History

In our family, serving up ice cream serves as a reminder of our ancestor’s Depression era business, the Davis Bookstore in Ocala, Florida. My grandpa, George L. A. Davis, featured a soda fountain in the front of his store to attract customers to come in and shop for school and office supplies. We still have

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Search For Meteor Reveals Family History Treasure

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It sounds like a sensational headline, but it pretty well describes what happened to me. A “shooting star” (more accurately, a meteor falling into our atmosphere) led me to a family history discovery. It all started when I was out early one morning in August and saw one (just one) meteor flash across the sky during

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Genealogy Roadshow Offers Learning Resources

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Even if you’re not a teacher you can garner some great ancestor story video ideas from PBS Learning Media. Genealogy is a great way to get kids and teens connected to history because of its personal appeal. PBS Learning Media and Genealogy Roadshow teamed up to offer a learning resource page filled with engaging video clips

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Find Treasure Through Digital Public Library of America

Wouldn’t it be a thrill to find a digitized image or record about an ancestor where you least expect it? For example, a bible record for ancestors born in Texas turning up in a North Carolina archive. Kind of like finding pirate’s treasure, right? Only it could be your own personal family treasure. The Digital

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Celebrate July 4th By Saving 20% on AncestryDNA Tests

I love giving my community the chance to save on their family history research. Through July 4th click here or on the image above to save 20% on an autosomal DNA test from AncestryDNA. That means $79 (plus shipping) for an autosomal DNA test! Good through July 4, 2016  

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The 3 Biggest Myths About Making A Family History Video

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If you want to capture your family’s attention and share an ancestor’s story in a video, but are afraid it’s just too hard, too expensive, or too overwhelming, then you need to read this immediately because the myths and the TRUTH about making family history videos are inside this article. Myth #1: Technology is too difficult This was once true.

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Corseted Cut-ups

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  Celebrate clocking out with this fun historic footage from the Library of Congress. We usually don’t think of our corseted ancestors as laughing and running, but these Gibson Girl wannabes show a lively view into the working world of women at the turn of the 20th century. We see factory workers taking time checks either at the

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Preserving Your Old Movie Treasures

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If you’re lucky enough to have some home movies on film passed down to you, you’re probably also wondering what to do so you can preserve them AND view those magical moments of your family waving at you from the past. In the May/June 2016 issue of Family Tree Magazine, Maureen A. Taylor explains in

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3 Items Around You Hiding Ancestor Stories

Take a moment with an item handed down through your family and consider the story or stories behind it. If you think of photographs or other images to illustrate the story, you have the start of a video. Here are three types of artifacts offering ancestor story video ideas: #1 — Books Books passed down through the

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The Secret To Being On A Genealogy TV Show

You’ve probably watched the TV shows – “Who Do You Think You Are?,” “Genealogy Road Show” or “Finding Your Roots.” You may have thought “They should make a video about my ancestors. They have such amazing stories.” Or perhaps you’ve encouraged family members to watch the shows and they’ve gotten excited their family history. Of course,

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Genealogy Insights from D. Joshua Taylor: His Circus Performer Ancestor, Video Research Logs, and Ancestor Elevator Speeches

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D. Joshua Taylor, Co-host of Genealogy Roadshow on the PBS network and President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B), took a few moments from his busy schedule at RootsTech 2016 to chat with me about the future of genealogy and how video plays a role. I reduced our conversation to the concentrated interview

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How They Met

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“How they met” stories are great for a family history video.  In Melissa Finlay’s YouTube video about Walter Corn and Billee Barton, she catches your ear with great music and the story of how golfing mothers started the ball rolling for their children’s courtship. Look for another video by Melissa about a more distant Irish ancestor and

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Take the Magic History Bus

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Open house night at my son’s high school – parents wandering the halls, feeling the anxiety of freshmen on the first day of high school trying to find their first period class. Thankfully, Junior ROTC students are there to guide us masterfully to our destinations. My son, Noah, has world history for first block. His

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Tell An Intriguing Ancestor Story In 2 minutes

  I love this example of using video while visiting a historical landmark to tell a family history story. Note how Andrew St.Pierre White uses an intriguing “hook” at the beginning to entice the viewer.  Then, while telling the story of his ancestor, he uses multiple cutaway shots to provide interest and atmosphere.  Fundamentals of music, straightforward narrative, and

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New York Public Library Makes Public Domain Easy

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Next to coffee, public domain images are my favorite addiction. The New York Public Library introduced a way to get your public domain fix when it announced its enhanced public domain collections­–making it easier for users to search, remix and create with the rich offerings of images, manuscripts, sheet music, and even data–all free of

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3 Mistakes Genealogists Make When Sharing Their Family History

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Ever get that glazed-eye stare when trying to share your genealogy research finds with your family? Here’s what you might be doing wrong and how you can change the eye rolling into excitement by creating a video to share an ancestor’s story.   Mistake #1—Focusing on names and dates Instead, focus on the drama, conflict

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Fab Florida Family History Photos

Got any family history connections to Florida between 1899 and 1963? Even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy browsing the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection for photographs showing a broad spectrum of people and places including African-American and Hispanic families, workplace shots, recreational sites and many other views of life in Florida in the early 20th century.

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3 Thanksgiving Prep Steps a la VideoGenealogy: No Turkey Required

Want more than a turkey coma and a sink full of dirty dishes after your Thanksgiving dinner? Take three steps to prepare for your family gathering so you’ll come away with some family history video goodies sweeter than pumpkin pie. By the end of Thanksgiving weekend you could create an Ancestor Story Video that you

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Seeing Our “Old Folks” as Babies

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A fun way to engage a younger family member in genealogy is to show that those ancient ancestors were once babies and kids.  Animoto makes it really easy to create a quick video photo montage with music and titles, like the one I posted here.  I admit I had way too much fun finding music and

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House Divided Joins Forces to Create Treasure Trove of Civil War Media

If you are trying to make videos about your American Civil War ancestors, head over to the Dickinson College House Divided website.  Dickinson encourages students to use images, audio, and music to create historical documentaries about the era from 1840-1880.  Multiple contributors provide a collection of sites filled with articles, videos, and links to resources for public domain music, photographs,

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Portals to the Past

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Not unlike the DeLorean car in the movie Back to the Future, objects and artifacts can be time machines taking you back into your ancestor’s lives. Maybe you have your great-grandma’s coffee grinder or some odd office device that is almost mysterious in it’s purpose. But, if you can discover how it was used and the context

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Video Making Process Reveals Clues

One of the many reasons to make a an ancestor story video is that the process can reveal clues from your evidence you haven’t noticed before.  The editing process requires you to look at images  and listen to narrative closely and repetitively, which I think gives our brains the chance to see things with a slightly shifted perspective.

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Get Your Fair Use Geek On

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Who said case law is boring? My all-time favorite actor, Jimmy Stewart, and my favorite Hitchcock film, Rear Window, showed up in a court case that popped up in my first attempt to browse the U.S. Copyright Office’s Fair Use Index at http://copyright.gov/fair-use/ . The Fair Use Index introductory webpage says “Fair use is a longstanding and vital

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Search IS Powerful, But Not ALL Powerful.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a librarian. I love searching databases. I enjoy the exercise of massaging search strings and subject terms. I thrill at getting a list of results with super relevant hits. But, if I only explore online image collections that have searchable indexes, or failed to just browse those collections, I would

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Memories Last, Especially When You Share Them

Wordless Wednesday

     

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Resource Spotlight: The Commons on Flickr

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The Commons (on Flickr)  https://www.flickr.com/commons The Commons On Flickr is a collective effort by archives worldwide to  “share hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives.” The site encourages users to add tags and information to help catalog images. The FAQ has a wonderful explanation of “No Known Copyright Restrictions” which can help when deciding

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Nebraska, A Genealogy Road Trip In Disguise

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On a recent movie night , my husband and I chose to watch the movie Nebraska, mostly because I’m a fan of its director, Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, The Descendants, Election). Payne takes what initially seem like mundane events and flat mid-western landscapes and turns them into engaging human stories set against an artistic, cinematic backdrop of

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