Lisa’s Picks: Falling for Family History

By Lisa Louise Cooke Premium

genealogy fall fun

On the road

One of the most unusual locations I’ve ever spoken to a genealogy group was right here in my home state of Texas. Houston’s National Museum of Funeral History <> has 30,000 square feet of funeral service artifacts—the country’s largest collection. Between genealogy classes, I studied the coffins and caskets, hearses from throughout history (the 1921 Rock Falls hearse above has hand-carved wood panels), and items from the funerals of presidents, popes and celebrities like Roy Rogers.

genealogy fall fun

Heirloom DIY

This timeless DIY heirloom is a meaningful gift that wraps your relative’s wrist in family history. Dig through your jewelry box for old, nonworking watches, or hit the thrift store, eBay <> and garage sales. Snap off the back and carefully clean the glass, then insert a photo cut to size. Replace the back and you have a one-of-a-kind bracelet to treasure. Watch my quick how-to video at my Genealogy Gems YouTube channel.

genealogy fall fun

App obsession

I recently found a passage in a library book that I wanted to quote in my research notes. Rather than type it all out, I grabbed my phone and opened the Text Grabber app (available for iOS and Android). I took a pic of the page, cropped it to my desired passage, and Text Grabber turned the image into typed text. Why is text better than an image? Because text is editable and searchable. The app also lets you email the text, save it to myriad other tech tools, and translate it.

genealogy fall fun

Photo search tip

Every genealogist loves seeing photos of ancestors. It’s quick and easy to look for photos of the folks in your tree using the Ancestry app. If you have your family tree on Ancestry, open the app and tap Hints in the menu along the bottom of the screen. Bypass the large number of hints and head straight to suggested photos by tapping the filter icon in the top left corner, then tapping Photos. •

genealogy fall fun


Hear how Lisa and expert guests deal with brick walls, confusing DNA results and other genealogy problems in our October podcast. Use your favorite podcast app or listen on our site.


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