NIAGARA GENEALOGY: Learn while you listen | Lifestyles

I’ve always been a reader. As a child, books were a constant companion, and my local library was a safe place to travel the world. As years passed, audio books became a mainstay. Suddenly I was looking forward to my 45-minute drive to work as I could read a book every week with no interruptions. Audio books are still a go-to for me, but when podcasts were introduced in 2004, I was an early subscriber. If you’re unfamiliar, a podcast is like an online radio show that you download from your computer or smartphone. Genealogy podcasts are a favorite and now that I’m working from home, you’ll find me listening while puzzling, out in the garden or just enjoying a glass of wine on the deck.

There are so many genealogy podcasts that can help sharpen your skills. These are some of my favorites and I hope you check them out.

Genealogy Happy Hour. Join hosts Amy and Penny for this fun podcast with “two blondes and a bottle” to quote its tagline. It’s for any level of genealogy researcher interested in accurately documenting family history. Their most recent podcast was a case study with tips on separating ancestors with the same name. They also talk about wine, which bumps them up on my list.

Ancestral Findings. Whether you are new to genealogy or a seasoned researcher, these short podcasts full of tips, tricks, ideas and information about genealogy and our ancestors will inspire and assist you in moving farther back in your family tree.

Extreme Genes. Host Scott Fisher, a long-time morning show host, packs his weekly podcasts with interviews and current genealogy news. Segments from “The Preservation Authority” Tom Perry have taught me how to preserve my own family treasures. David Allen Lambert, chief genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, hosts “Tech Tips” sharing new ways to find family history with social media and websites.

The Genealogy Guys. George and Drew’s podcast was one of the first I found in the early 2000s. Full of genealogy related news, information on genealogy conferences, books of note along with many other subjects, this is still a favorite. I really love their fun live shows and interviews with some of the biggest names in genealogy.

Genealogy Gems. A leader in the genealogy world in so many ways, Lisa Louise Cooke’s podcast has been offered since the mid 2000s. With great tips and such amazing interviews with fascinating people within the genealogy realm, I don’t miss an episode. Listen to her interview with Pamela Smith Hill, the editor of the Laura Ingalls Wilder annotated autobiography Pioneer Girl (Episode 183) and you’ll be hooked too.

Family Tree Magazine Podcast. Lisa Louise Cooke also hosts Family Tree Magazine’s monthly podcast. Each episode is focused on a theme, such as exploring the Freedmen’s Bureau, researching Irish ancestry, or how to handle difficult facts uncovered by DNA. Her interview with Libby Copeland, author of The Lost Family, discusses how DNA results are changing family dynamics. (Episode 136)

There isn’t enough room to list all the wonderful podcasts available along with several discontinued podcasts whose information is still completely relevant for today’s researchers. A recent Google search for “genealogy podcasts” listed more than 40 results with topics that range from research methods and DNA tracing to preservation techniques and planning a genealogy research trip. Plus, new podcasts are introduced all the time. Happy hunting!

Freelance writer Carol DiPirro-Stipkovits is a member of the National Genealogical Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists, and she is president and board chairman of the Niagara County Genealogical Society. Send questions or comments to her at [email protected]

Freelance writer Carol DiPirro-Stipkovits is a member of the National Genealogical Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists, and she is president and board chairman of the Niagara County Genealogical Society. Send questions or comments to her at [email protected]

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