Researching Indentured Servant Ancestors: Episode 149

By Family Tree Editors

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Indentured servant contract on a grey background with the Family Tree Podcast logo.

In this episode, join our host Lisa Louise Cooke and her guests as they discuss strategies for researching indentured servants, websites for Jewish genealogy research and so much more.

Ep. 149: May 2021

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In this episode:

Tree Talk (01:24)

There are several big genealogy subscription websites out there and Family Tree Magazine’s Social Editor Rachel Fountain has been making some inquiries on social media to find our which ones you think are the best investment.

From Ancestry to ArkivDigital, check out all our reader responses and join in on the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also follow Family Tree Magazine on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

Subscribe to the Genealogy Insider newsletter, sent weekly on Thursday.

Facebook engagement question

Featured Interview: Researching Indentured Servant Ancestors (05:38)

In centuries past, not everyone who wished to come to America could afford it. As a result, indentured servants were common in American settlements. They worked a set period of time, for a master in exchange for things like passage on a ship and room and board.

If you’re wondering whether any of your ancestors were indentured servants, or you’re found one that was and you’d like to learn more, Sumner G. Hunnewell can help. He is the former president of the National Society – Descendants of Colonial Indentured Servants and the author of the Family Tree Magazine online article called Tips for Finding Your Indentured Servant Ancestor.

Not everyone who wished to come to America could afford it. As a result, indentured servants were common in Colonial America. Was your ancestor one?

DNA Deconstructed: Navigating Unexpected DNA Results (22:25)

It’s common these days to come across news stories about people who found their life turned upside down by DNA testing. Diahan Southard helps us navigate those unexpected results.

DNA results can sometimes reveal distressing truths about your family relationships—and even your identity. Here’s how to handle such situations.
Diahan Southard

Best Genealogy Websites: Online Resources for Jewish Research (30:19)

In our best websites for genealogy segment Ellen Shindelman Kowitt shares some of the best websites for Jewish genealogy straight from her article Find Your Jewish Roots Online featured in the May 2021 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Websites mentioned:

Ellen is the director of JewishGen’s USA Research Division and National Vice Chair of a DAR Specialty Research Jewish Task Force. You can learn more about Ellen and her work as a genealogy lecturer and teacher on her website,

Ellen Kowitt

Editor’s Desk: Upcoming Courses (44:11)

Family Tree Magazine’s own eLearning Producer Amanda Epperson discusses genealogy courses that will be starting soon at Family Tree University.

Upcoming courses mentioned:

Find Your Scandinavian Ancestors with David Fryxell
Finding Your Czech and Slovak Ancestors with Lisa Alzo
Italian Genealogy with Melanie Holtz
Google Search Success for Genealogy with Lisa Louise Cooke

Note: The African American course Amanda mentioned was taught by Shamele Jordon; learn more about the course here.

Amanda Epperson

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