The Best State Websites for Genealogy: Episode 132

By Family Tree Editors

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Join Lisa and her guests for an update on Family Tree Magazine’s new edition of the best state websites for genealogy! Plus, a 2019 year in review and a look forward at what’s to come in 2020.

Ep. 132: December 2019

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In this episode:

Tree Talk (1:20)

Lisa shares a research success story from the genealogy community in Tree Talk. This month, professional genealogist Rich Venezia shares how he used Civil War pension index cards to solve a family mystery.

Online Article: How I Did It: Found Answers in Civil War Pension Index Cards by Rich Venezia.

Professional genealogist Rich Venesia.
Professional genealogist, Rich Venezia.

2019 Genealogy Year in Review, Plus a Look at 2020 (5:55)

Family Tree Magazine editor Andrew Koch joins Lisa for a recap of what’s happened in the world of genealogy in 2019. He also shares what he sees on the horizon for 2020 including:

  • Family Tree Magazine’s 20th anniversary. The Jan/Feb issue includes our 20 best tips from the last two decades, plus tips for whipping your genealogy into shape and 14 underused records for finding female ancestors.
  • Companies and conferences heavily focus on telling your ancestors’ stories. Conference themes: RootsTech 2020: “The Story of You” (keynote speaker David Kennerly, Pulitzer-winning photographer); NGS 2020 “Echoes of Our Ancestors”
  • More international conferences: MyHeritage LIVE in Israel (where Lisa Louise Cooke will be speaking), and the possibility of a second international RootsTech.
Andrew Koch, Editor of Family Tree Magazine.
Andrew Koch, Editor of Family Tree Magazine.

DNA Deconstructed (13:53)

DNA expert Diahan Southard brings some clarity to the topic of DNA triangulation.

Online Article: Tips for Triangulating Your DNA Matches.

Diahan Southard.
Our DNA expert, Diahan Southard.

The 75 Best State Genealogy Websites (19:46)

We take a look at some of the best genealogy websites that you’re going to want to focus on in the new year ahead with Rick Crume, author of our “75 Best Websites” article entitled All-Americans. Here are the websites mentioned by Rick in this episode:

East Coast Best Websites

NEW YORK: German and Italian Genealogy Groups

NEW JERSEY: New Jersey Digital Highway

SOUTH CAROLINA: University of South Carolina Libraries Digital Collections

Midwest Best Websites

NEBRASKA: The History Harvest

IOWA: Iowa Heritage Digital Collections

INDIANA: Indiana State Library Genealogy Collection

West Coast Best Websites

CALIFORNIA: California Digital Newspaper Collection

WASHINGTON: Washington State Archives Digital Archives

Stories from the Stacks (30:28)

We explore one of the largest public genealogical collections in the country, the Milstein Division of United States History, Local History & Genealogy of the New York Public Library.

Guest: NYPL Reference Librarian Andy McCarthy

Andy’s Tips for Exploring the NYPL

  • Email your questions before you visit:
  • Take advantage of the online catalog.
  • Use the Digital Collections including the City Directory Collection, the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map collection, and Map Wharper which is a crowd-sourcing project providing for historic map overlays in New York. Digital Collections:
  • Tap into the online Research Guides. A link to the guides can be found on the Milstein Division home page.
New York Public Library Logo

Your Host: Lisa Louise Cooke

Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast in your favorite podcasting app or with the Genealogy Gems Podcast app in your app store, and visit her website for great research ideas, podcast episodes and videos.

Have fun climbing your family tree!

Lisa Louise Cooke, host of the Family Tree Magazine podcast.