San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Digging For Roots Onlne

By Dennis L. Maness, MLS

Today we’re going to talk about PODCASTS.

The article on podcasts in  Wikipedia  states, “A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The word is a neologism derived from "broadcast" and "pod" from the success of the iPod, as podcasts are often listened to on portable media players.”

In short, it’s a free (my mantra in this blog series) file that can be downloaded and listened to on your computer or mobile device (I use my smart phone) or burned to a CD. In our case the file will be about genealogy. While the term may be new to some of you, podcasts have been around for a while now. In fact as I was writing this my wife reminded me that before she retired as a Teacher’s Aide for Special Education 4 years ago she had a class that was assigned to make a podcast for the school. Of course since the students were deaf they made a video version not an audio file like we’re discussing today. But I digress.
NPR, the BBC, various newsmagazines, sports organizations, and news commentators and others have podcasts available.

A good introduction to the podcast world is a talk that Lisa Louise Cooke gave at the RootsTech 2012 (you know, the genealogy conference that had more than 4000 people attending!). It is archived at . Note, you’ll have to pause the first video that starts and go down the page until you see Lisa and the “Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101” thumbnail.

Some of the most popular genealogy podcasts are put out by

Thomas MacEntee on Geneabloggers Radio , which has more than 70 shows archived;

The " Genealogy Guys " (George Morgan and Drew Smith) who just put up their 242nd (!) podcast;

Even the Federation of Genealogical Societies(FGS) has a podcast for members of  genealogical societies (that’s us folks!);

Probably the most popular (I’m just guessing here) is the Genealogy Gems podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke which started about 2007. She just uploaded Episode 143. Although there is a “Premium Version” that you can pay for, the basic podcasts are free;

FamilyTree Magazine (not associated with Family Tree software) has been putting out podcasts since 2008;

Personal Life Media hosts a Family History podcast that is also hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke. They’ve just posted their 46th episode.


You can listen live by going to a genealogy website, or download the podcast for later listening. I’ve found that the most efficient way to get downloads is to go to iTunes , search for “genealogy podcast” and an enormous list of podcasts will appear including more than I’ve listed here. And again, they are all free!

So the next time you’re doing chores around the house, driving in your car, or using your treadmill you can multitask by learning more about our favorite subject, genealogy.

Remember, as Legacy Family Tree’s Geoff Rasmussen says,

“Life is short; do genealogy first!”

No comments: