Sunday, March 31, 2019

Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Genealogy’s Unsung Heroes Awards – Nominations for 2Q2019

The Genealogy Guys, George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, co-hosts and producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Rick and Randy, creators of Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software, today announce that the continuation of their partnership to acknowledge and celebrate those members of the genealogy community who digitize or index photos and other documents of value to genealogical researchers.  The Unsung Heroes Awards is a quarterly awards program designed to recognize its recipients in five categories: individuals, genealogical/historical societies, libraries/archives, young people, and a new posthumous certificate award.

Completed nomination forms are being accepted for the 2019 Second Quarter awards. Nomination forms (see below for link to the forms) should be emailed to and winners will be selected each quarter.  Winners will receive: a custom-made commemorative mug with their choice of two of their images; an announcement on an episode of The Genealogy Guys Podcast; a profile of the winner published on The Genealogy Guys Blog and the Unsung Heroes Blog at the Vivid-Pix website ( A certificate will be awarded in the name of the posthumous winner.

Nominations eligible for the second quarter of 2019’s awards must be received no later than May 15, 2019, and the winners will be announced on June 1, 2019. Due dates for later quarters will be announced on The Genealogy Guys Podcast; The Genealogy Guys Blog; the Unsung Heroes Blog at the Vivid-Pix website, but all nominations will remain in the running for future quarters.

Details and links to the nomination form can be found at the website for Aha! Seminars, Inc., producer of The Genealogy Guys Podcast, at


George G. Morgan
Aha! Seminars, Inc.
(813) 220-6274
Rick Voight
(404) 664-9897


Monday, March 25, 2019

Enjoying Vivid-Pix Restore

The Vivid-Pix RESTORE software has been hard at work on some of my poorest family photos lately, and I wanted to share just one example.

I have a number of photos taken at my great-grandparents home at 808 South Broad Street in Rome, Floyd County, Georgia, in 1906. These are the last photos known of the whole family because a) son Brisco W. Holder left after the elections in the Fall of 1906, and b) son Luther "Luke" Moffitt Holder died of tuberculosis in 1908 while traveling back from a health stay from New Mexico with his wife, Mary Choice Omburg Holder.

The images below were taken that summer day in 1906. Two of the female family members, stylishly dressed in shirtwaists and straw boater hats. The faded original photo at top didn't show much detail. It wan't until I used RESTORE on the original image to produce 9 potential alternatives was I able to see details and select the image seen at bottom.

Original image - 1906.
(Click to enlarge.)

Edited image with RESTORE..
(Click to enlarge.)

I now can see that the woman on the right is holding the hand of a small child of perhaps two years of age. There also is in front of the women a small, child-sized chair.

I can't tell who the women are, but I can employ a few strategies. First, I open my RootsMagic database and the family view of Green Berry Holder. I can then look at each of the children who were married and who had children living in 1906 of the age of approximately 15-30 months of age. There are 5 or 6 whose age fit the bill. While I don't have anything definitive to identify the women and the child, I do now have a much improved photographic image to consider in my research.

Viewing Your Ancestors' Home

Context is essential in learning about your ancestors and bringing their stories to life. Reading the evidence is one thing but being able to visualize the people and places imprints more vivid details in your mind's eye.

In my genealogical research, I often want to see the places where my ancestors lived. I have collected vintage postcards from the towns and events where they were. Like family photos, these can show me additional details. In my census research, too, my interest is often piqued to see the places where my ancestors lived. I've developed an easy way to try to do this.

First, I locate the person or family in the US federal census and make note of the details in the left-hand columns regarding street name and house number. This is most effective of course, in a municipal or urban environment. The image below shows the 1910 US census for Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. My great-grandparents lived at 808 South Broad Street in Rome.

1910 US federal census, Rome, Floyd County, Georgia
(Click to enlarge.)

Second, I go to Google Maps and enter a search for the address, When the map page is displayed, I use the Street View facility to go to ground level and then manipulate the 360° viewer to see the address. If I am lucky, the building still stands and I can see what it looks like today. That is the case with the image below, captured from Google Maps.

The Holder home at 808 South Broad Street in Rome, 
Floyd County, Georgia.
Image from Google Maps.
(Click to enlarge.)

The passage of time may work against you and the house or building may have been razed or replaced. However, if you do locate a photo in Google Maps, that can add another layer of visual context to your research on the individual and their family.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

We Have a New Portable Recording Microphone!

Our new Yellowtec IXm portable dynamic microphone arrived yesterday. We saw it at Podfest and ordered it from a dealer in Ocala at a discount. We'll be using this for live interviews on-site at conferences and other venues. 

Thanks to our sponsors and Patreon supporters 
for making this possible.

Friday, March 15, 2019

MyHeritage Offers Free Access to Irish Records - March 14–20, 2019

Free Irish Records for St. Patrick’s Day!

Do you have any Irish roots? According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Irish diaspora in the United States alone numbers more than 33 million people — 10.5% of the total U.S. population, and roughly 5 times Ireland’s population of 6.7 million. This isn’t even counting the descendants of Irish immigrants in countries around the world.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re offering all MyHeritage users FREE access to all our Irish record collections from March 14–20, 2019.

The Irish people have a history full of many ups and downs, with some instances of extreme “unluckiness,” times of sadness, famine, and war. So why do people often refer to the Irish as particularly lucky? 

Because of Ireland’s tragic past, many Irish left Ireland and immigrated to the U.S. or elsewhere to find better lives. Irish immigrants in the U.S. struggled to succeed, and they worked very hard. They were mistreated by many who believed that the Irish settlers’ good fortune was due only to luck — not hard work and perseverance. Others believe that the expression points to the financial good fortune of the Irish and Irish-Americans as successful miners during the gold and silver rushes in the 1850s.

Perhaps the expression comes from a deeper part of Irish heritage and legacy. “The luck of the Irish” is a tribute to the hard work and determination of the Irish people, who, despite all the challenges that they have faced over the years, still have good luck. Many Irish people have been forced to emigrate from their homeland over the years, and despite battling challenges and pitfalls, they have continued to prosper and survive, generation after generation.

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Search our Irish records for free today to see if you have any Irish ancestry.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

F+W Media, Inc., Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

F+W Media, Inc., publishers of many magazines including Family Tree Magazine and many genealogy books, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization on Sunday, 10 March 2019. It is unclear as to the impact on its publishing activities, Family Tree University, and other activities in the genealogy arena. The army of authors of books and magazine articles are, of course, concerned about payments and royalties. This include both of The Genealogy Guys.

The article at and at numerous news outlets online summarize the situation at present. We will report more as information becomes available.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Our New Sound Mixer Has Arrived!

Our new sound mixer, the Rode RODECaster Pro Integrated Podcast Production Studio, just arrived today! We saw several and compared them while at the 2019 Podfest Multimedia Expo last weekend, and we were very impressed with this state-of-the-art mixer. It replaces our 10+ year-old economy mixer.

We'll soon be using the new mixer to improve sound quality overall, including equalizing the channels and doing better editing. 

We owe a very special thank you to our fantastic sponsors and our generous Patreon supporters for making the conference and this purchase possible!

Listen up for even better podcasts soon!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Blaine T. Bettinger Discusses New DNA Tools at

Blaine T. Bettinger has created a video discussing the new Ancestry DNA Tools,  He discusses the new DNA Match List beta has clustering and filtering options, and the ThruLines offers new relationship possibilities. Here is a link to his video:

Blaine T. Bettinger Discusses the New MyHeritage DNA Tools

Blaine T. Bettinger has created a video discussing the new MyHeritage DNA Tools,  AutoCluster and the Theory of Family Relativity. Both help you better understand your DNA matches. Here is a link to his video:

Sunday, March 10, 2019

We're Now on Twitter!

The Genealogy Guys are now on Twitter! 

Follow us at @genealogyguys to stay on top of all we have happening!

The 2019 Podfest Multimedia Expo Was Great!

The Guys had a wonderful time at the 2019 Podfest Multimedia Expo in Orlando, Florida, this past Wednesday through Saturday. There were more than 1,000 podcasters and aspiring podcasters there from the U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK, South America, and elsewhere, all wanting to learn more and share ideas with one another. And sharing information they did! The breakout sessions covered hosting services, content structure, sound mixing and music, editing tools, and educational opportunities, among just a few of the topics. The three-hour Pecha Kucha session (Japanese for "chit chat") consisted of 5-minute presentations given by many successful podcasters and experts. Each one was chock-full of information and advice, and we made lots of notes! The Keynote sessions were exciting and filled with tips and techniques for successful podcasting.

Link to a brief video before the Keynote sessions.

A view of one aisle in the exhibit hall.
(Click to expand.)
The exhibit hall hosted hosting services, services to help people launch and monetize their podcasts, great hardware options, podcast education companies, self-publishing, a head shot photographer, and so much more. The Guys bought a new state-of-the art audio mixer to replace their 10+ year-old unit, and you'll be hearing better quality, better equalized sound before much longer. We also saw an amazing portable microphone for interviews at conferences and on-site at other venues that is a must-have, and we'll be ordering that this week.

We had a great time and learned a lot to help us make The Genealogy Guys Podcast and the Genealogy Connections podcast better for you, our listeners.

We especially want to thank our Patreon supporters for their help in financing this trip and these new equipment purchases. We couldn't do this without each one of you!

Next year's Podfest will be held on March 6-8 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. We already have our tickets!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

New Episode of The Genealogy Guys Podcast with Blaine T. Bettinger is Available!

Have you listened to this week's episode of The Genealogy Guys Podcast (#358) at yet? Blaine T. Bettinger joins The Guys and will have regular discussions with Drew about all things DNA. There's also a wealth of news and announcements from last week's RootsTech and listener email. 

You don't want to miss it!

We're Off to the 2019 Podfest Multimedia Expo!

Drew and I are heading to the 2019 Podfest Multimedia Expo in Orlando for a few days to learn even more about how to bring the best podcasts possible to the listeners of The Genealogy Guys Podcast and the Genealogy Connection podcast. An international group of attendees and exhibitors will make this one truly great conference! We'll share more after we return.

Learn more about it yourself at

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Blaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D, J.D., Joins The Genealogy Guys Podcast

Blaine T. Bettinger, the internationally recognized expert on genetic DNA, speaker, and prolific author, will be joining The Genealogy Guys Podcast beginning on March 5, 2019. Blaine has been a genetic genealogist for more than a decade, with experience in Y-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA. He is the author of one of the longest-running blogs devoted to DNA testing, The Genetic Genealogist ( He frequently lectures on genetic genealogy locally, at conferences across the country, on genealogical cruises, and in webinars. He has a subscription website called DNA Central at where he provides top-quality educational materials on the subject of genetic genealogy research.

He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a J.D. in Intellectual Property Law. He created DNA Central (, the go-to self-educational subscription website with everything you need to understand your DNA. He is the author of two landmark books: The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy (Family Tree Books, 2016) and Genetic Genealogy in Practice co-authored with Debbie Parker Wayne (National Genealogical Society, 2016).

Blaine will join The Genealogy Guys Podcast and will be interviewed by co-host Drew Smith in a regular segment to discuss news, analysis tools, methodologies, and much more. You do not want to miss learning more from Blaine!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Unsung Heroes Award - Young People

The Genealogy Guys Podcast and the Vivid-Pix Unsung Heroes Blog are well aware of the desire of genealogical and historical societies to attract new members, and particularly younger people into their midst. Many approaches are being used to get younger people involved in learning about their ancestry, and the earlier the spark is lit the better.

Many success stories result from family interactions. The sharing of stories, eliciting interest of family photographs, exposure to documents about ancestors and family members into geographical location, time period, and historical and social context help bring those people's into perspective and "bring them back to life."

Some families engage in visiting, researching, and documenting cemeteries. Work on Find A Grave has been under way for decades, resulting in a massive volunteer-based database of cemeteries, burials, memorials, photographs, and a wealth of other data. The more recently created BillionGraves, a web-based counterpart to Find A Grave, has increased accessibility to cemetery information and more.

As our first set of Young People winners for the Unsung Heroes Award, we want to recognize four participants in a county weekly cemetery documentation effort. They come from Alachua County, Florida, and not surprisingly are yet another part of Individual Unsung Hero winner Jim Powell's genealogical passion.

We're offering casual videos of four young volunteers. We hope you enjoy them and will expose other younger people to the fun, challenge, and joy of preservation. (These videos are in MP4 format.)

Taylor Griffith - Taylor has helped with the documentation of almost every cemetery in Alachua County. She took the lead position and showed her talents and determination to get the job done. She has been cleaning and recording gravestone markers for preservation and for publication at the online site

Elora Powell - Elora wasn't always into the cemetery stone documentation process. While working on a particularly hard to read, much less photographable stone, she may have been sort of whining about the bad stone. Her father knelt down and said something about the fact that the stone will only get worse and the information that she can recover from the marker would be preserved. From that point forward, Elora became a dedicated grave marker preservationist. Many of these images are on the online site

Rianna Griffith - Rianna has helped with most of the cemeteries in Alachua County, and she was eager to go and help. She cleans and photographs grave markers to preserve information for the future. She has become an expert photographer of gravestones and has proved invaluable in her work. Her work also appears on

Camara (Mara) Casson -  is a Phillip Farner Scholar at Florida Tech and headed to Oxford this summer. She is slow and technical, always looking for perfection. She was always ready to go and spend hours in the heat or rain or cold to help with this project and  participate with almost all the cemeteries in Alachua County. She cleaned and photographed many grave markers for preservation of the information and for the online site at

All of these young people form a tight team that has built something much bigger than themselves for their county.

We Sing Your Praises!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Pictures from RootsTech: Award of the Unsung Heroes Award - Library Category

Here are two photographs from RootsTech 2019, and from the presentation of the Unsung Heroes Award in the Library Category to the DAR Library. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Photograph courtesy of Mary Tedesco.
Rick Voight, CEO of Vivid-Pix, (left) and Drew Smith, Co-host of The Genealogy Guys Podcast (right), were honored by the presence of DAR Library Interim Director Elizabeth J. Ernst (center) when honor the Daughters of the American Revolution Library received the Unsung Heroes Award in the Library category. The DAR Library has been in operation since 1896, and has preserved, digitized, indexed, and made available a true wealth of American history to the world!

The display board with the names of all of this first group of winners of the Unsung Heroes Awards is on at the Vivid-Pix booth at RootsTech.

Photography courtesy of Mary Tedesco.

The Young People Unsung Heroes Awards will be presented on Saturday morning, 2 March 2019 at the Vivid-Pix Booth #1538 at RootsTech in Salt Lake City.

We Sing The DAR Library's Praises!

Unsung Heroes Award - Daughters of the American Revolution LIbrary

There are many libraries and archives deserving recognition for their dedicated work in digitizing, indexing, transcribing, and making available the rich historical and genealogical materials that survive. The Unsung Heroes Award received many such nominations from public, academic, and archival institutions for our first quarterly awards, and these exciting projects will be considered for recognition in the future quarterly set of awards.

We believe, however, that the first award in the Libraries and Archives Category deserves to be bestowed on the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Library. The library was nominated by the Anasazi Chapter of the NSDAR, located in Glendale, Arizona. 

The DAR Library states at its website at that "Since its founding in 1896, the DAR Library has grown into a specialized collection of American genealogical and historical manuscripts and publications, as well as powerful on-site databases. The DAR Library collection contains over 225,000 books, 10,000 research files, thousands of manuscript items, and special collections of African American, Native American, and women’s history, genealogy and culture. Nearly 40,000 family histories and genealogies comprise a major portion of the book collection, many of which are unique or available in only a few libraries in the country. The DAR Library is free and open to the public."

While helping descendants of Revolutionary American War patriots document their lineage, their collections have preserved and protected original documents and members' applications in many cases by digitizing images and indexing documents. The Genealogical Research Committee have indexed 20% of the books and have entered more than 20 million names.

The DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS) is a free resource provided by the National
GRS Search from NSDAR website.
(Click image to enlarge.)
Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to aid general genealogical research and to assist with the DAR membership process. The GRS is a collection of databases that provide access to the many materials amassed by the DAR since its founding in 1890.

The Ancestor Database was created by and is maintained by the staff of the DAR's Office of the Registrar General. With few exceptions, the data is taken from verified membership applications and supplemental applications. New records and information are added on a daily basis.

The Descendants database is an index of the names found on the lineage page of DAR applications and supplementals. The purpose of the Descendants Database is to help those looking for a DAR Patriot or lineage to determine how much of their lineage has already been proven and to identify the best possible Record Copy to order. Once a connection has been found using the information in this database, copies may be ordered online or by mail. This database contains lineage from most original applications starting with National Number 1 through 889,069. Also included are the lineages from most supplemental applications in Add Volumes 1 through 1004. This database is possible thanks to the efforts of over 3,000 volunteers.
  • Genealogical Records Committee Reports (GRC) began in 1913. The DAR Genealogical Records Committee Reports comprise one of the most unique parts of the DAR Library’s holdings. This 20,000+ volume set includes a wide variety of content including transcriptions of local probate, court and land records; Bible records; cemetery transcriptions; family genealogies and lineages; Revolutionary War service; and other  genealogically significant types of records.
The GRC Index that is included in the GRS is an every‐name index to the complete GRC
Collection. Names in this index are spelled exactly as they appear in the GRC Report.
Search results include the name of the individual, the title of the specific GRC Report in
which the name appears, and the page number on which the name appears. When
searching the index, the state refers to the state from which the report was submitted
and may not have anything to do with where the ancestor sought may have lived.
  • Bible Records and Transcriptions Index: The DAR Library collection includes a large number of family Bible records—whether copies of original pages or transcriptions in published or unpublished works. The GRS includes a searchable index to a portion of these family Bible Records with more records to be added in the future. The first set of records added to this searchable index are identified as a subset of the GRC Collection so there is some overlap between the Bible Records and Transcriptions Index and the GRC Index.
  • Patriot’s Record Project Index (PRP) The DAR Library is actively identifying, obtaining, digitizing and indexing records related to the Revolutionary War that might serve as proof of Revolutionary War service for a particular ancestor. This is an ongoing effort and additional records are being added to the index on a regular basis.
What impact will making these materials available have on the research
communities? The DAR Library databases make available to researchers everything from transcriptions of local probate, court and land records; Bible records; cemetery transcriptions; family genealogies and lineages; Revolutionary War service; and other genealogically significant types of records. 

From novices to professionals, the DAR Library offers a wealth of unique materials for
Bible Record Search and Transcription page.
(Click to expand.)
researchers of all levels. Since its founding, the DAR Library has grown into a specialized collection of American genealogical and historical manuscripts and publications, as well as powerful onsite databases. The collection contains more than 225,000 books, 10,000 research files, thousands of manuscript items, and special collections of African American, Native American, and women’s history, genealogy and culture. Nearly 40,000 family histories and genealogies comprise a major portion of the book collection, many of which are unique or available in only a few libraries in the country. Research at the Library is free to the public.

The DAR library also provides “Search Services” for researchers that need assistance searching various resources including, but not limited to documenting lineage gaps in NSDAR, NSSAR, and NSCAR. applications, searching for Family Bibles in the DAR Collections, conducting research related to Mayflower Descendants and searching the resources of the Huguenot Society that are currently included in the DAR Library Collection.

We believe that the NSDAR has performed an invaluable service to genealogy and historical research, and it continues to provide exemplary service to preservation, education, and research.

We Sing Your Praises!