Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lisa Louise Cooke, Speaker for SDGS Jan 11 Seminar;--NARA New Search Tool Follow-Up

Lisa Louise Cooke Speaking at SDGS Seminar

On Saturday January 11, 2014 the San Diego Genealogical Society will be conducting a seminar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The featured speaker with be Lisa Louise Cooke.

Lisa is the owner of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy and family history multi-media company.  She is Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, the popular online genealogy audio show available at www.GenealogyGems.com, in iTunes, and through the Genealogy Gems app, and free toolbar.   Her podcast brings genealogy news, research strategies, expert interviews and inspiration to genealogists in 75 countries around the world, and recently celebrated it’s 1 millionth download!

Lisa is the author of a variety of multi-media materials including the Genealogy Gems Premium website subscription, and four books: Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse, How to Find Your Family History in NewspapersThe Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, and  Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies, and the video series Google Earth for Genealogy.

In addition to Genealogy Gems, Lisa works closely with Family Tree Magazine as producer and host of the Family Tree Magazine Podcast, a regular article author for the magazine, and curriculum developer and instructor for Family Tree University.


Lisa’s offerings are not limited to online.  She is a sought after international genealogy speaker. Whether in person or online, Lisa strives to dig through the myriad of genealogy news, questions and resources to deliver the gems that can unlock each genealogist’s own family history treasure trove! 

During the seminar Lisa will be giving four presentations, the specifics of which have not yet been established.  If you live in the southern California area, mark the date on your calendar. 
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New NARA Search Tool--Follow-Up

Yesterday I talked about the new search tool that NARA recently announced and said that I would be comparing it with the present search, which will be discontinued on August 15, and reporting on the results.  

I went to the NARA site yesterday and spent about an hour working with both the new OPA search and the outgoing Archival Research Catalog, hoping to define some clear differences between the two.  Today, I am going to have to admit defeat.  I first had difficulty selecting people or other search criteria which generated results for both search systems.  I tried using one of my ancestors who I know was in the Civil War and that didn't provide any results in either search.  I think that is because Civil War records for individuls is contained in the "Veterans Service Records" collection, which apparently isn't searched by the two search tools.  I then tried an old Fort that is near my home and was on the Santa Fe Trail--Bent's Fort.  I did get results using both systems and did like the OPA results better because they were grouped by record type.  One of the types was Presidential Libraries, for which there were three listings in response to the Bent's Fort inquiry.  However, even though I checked the box to highlight the response in the document; I could not find any references to Bent's Fort in any of the three documents.  There was extensive information about the Library (Clinton); but it was unclear how I was supposed to locate anything about Bent's Fort.  

I refer you back to the article by Diane Haddad     from the Family Search blog  http://blog.familytreemagazine.com/insider/2013/07/23/OnlinePublicAccessSearchReplacesNARAsArchivalResearchCatalog.aspx.  She was much more successful than I in comparing the two search tools.  

I was happy today to see in Randy Seaver's GeneaMusings http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/07/post-7000-on-genea-musings.html that he did not rank the NARA web site in his Top 10 Most Useful Online Genealogy Databases (he added 5 for a total of 15).  Had it been on the list I would have felt more guilty about my incomplete results.