The Family Tree Podcast

Hear about the best genealogy tools and tips directly from Family Tree Magazine‘s editors and experts! Tune in to the Family Tree Podcast for a dose of genealogy education and fun.

In this monthly online radio show, host Lisa Louise Cooke—creator of the popular Genealogy Gems podcast—takes you behind the scenes to learn more about genealogy topics from our magazine, courses and more. Each episode features interviews with genealogy experts and Family Tree editors on using genealogy websites, records and resources, along with sneak peeks at the latest tools from Family Tree.

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Episode List

Episode 130: Online Records Roundup | March 2019

Discover valuable resources for online records with this month’s genealogy podcast.


Episode 129: Gain Major Genealogy Problem-solving Skills | February 2019

Add these genealogy problem-solving tricks and strategies to your research arsenal with this February 2019 podcast.


Episode 128: Make 2019 Your Most Organized Year Yet | January 2019

Get the key genealogy organization tricks to make 2019 your best year yet.


Episode 127: The 2018 Genealogy Year in Review | December 2018

2018 has been a busy year in the genealogy world! We’re wrapping it up with a recap, and chatting about what we look forward to in 2019. Join us!


Episode 126: Exploring Your UK Ancestry | November 2018

This episode is all about UK ancestry. Lisa and her guests discuss the best UK websites, the genes that make up the British Isles, and much more!


Episode 125: Genealogy Problem Solving | October 2018

Learn strategies for your biggest genealogy problems, discussing the difference between DNA types and looking at FamilySearch’s Communities.


Episode 124: Immigration and our Ancestors | September 2018

This month we’re discussing unusual immigration records, plus find out which websites are best for saving and sharing your research.


Episode 122: DNA and Adoption | July 2018

In this month’s podcast, we’re not only discussing DNA and adoption, but also premiering several new segments.


Episode 121: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Podcast | June 2018

The Family Tree Podcast is celebrating its 10 year anniversary! Join us as we discuss some of our favorite stories and interviews from the last decade.


Episode 119: All About Ancestry.com | April 2018

Ready to dive into Ancestry.com? Grab your headphones and join Lisa and her guests as they discuss top tips for maximizing the site.


Episode 118: Online Trees | March 2018

This month Lisa focuses on online family trees. We’ll be discussing tips for digitizing your history, MyHeritage’s tree hints, and much more!


Episode 117: What’s New in Genetic Genealogy | February 2018

This month is all about genetic genealogy. We’ll be discussing Ancestry.com’s new Migrations tool, top DNA websites, and much more!


Episode 116: Famous Family Trees | January 2018

Our January Podcast is all about famous family trees. Join Lisa as she discusses heraldry and the upcoming royal wedding.


Episode 115: Best of Genealogy in 2017 | December 2017

In our December 2017 podcast, we’ll be discussing DNA and adoption, plus some of our favorite things from 2017!


Episode 113: Research Secrets from the Pros | October 2017

Lisa investigates tips for breaking down brick walls, knowing when to hire an expert, and chats with the FTU Dean.


Episode 112: 101 Best Free Genealogy Websites | September 2017

Lisa discusses the 101 Best Genealogy Sites of 2017, along with interviews from the editors of Family Tree Magazine.


Episode 111: Fall Virtual Conference Preview | August 2017

Learn what you can expect from the Fall Virtual Genealogy Conference, including previews of what you learn and how to make the most of the experience.


Episode 110: Strategic DNA Testing | July 2017

Lisa dives into the topic of DNA testing, from the latest news from two of the best-known companies, getting started, and working with your results.


Episode 109: Mapping Your Family History | June 2017

In this podcast episode, we talk about using old maps and mapping tools to learn more about your ancestors through the places they’ve lived and loved.


Episode 108: Researching Your Heritage | May 2017

In this May 2017 podcast episode, host Lisa Louise Cooke brings in genealogy research experts Claire Santry and James Beidler to talk about researching ethnic heritage.


Episode 106: Genealogy Websites | March 2017

In this genealogy podcast episode, discover fabulous online resources for finding your family history and working with the ones you frequent.


Episode 105: African-American Genealogy Research | February 2017

In this month’s podcast, we celebrate Black History Month with tips for finding your African-American ancestors.


Episode 104: Plan for Genealogy Success in 2017 | January 2017

Kick off the year with these tips to formulate your plan for successful genealogy research.


Episode 103: State-Based Ancestry | December 2016

In this December podcast, we explore state-based genealogy research and the available tools and techniques for discovering our U.S. ancestors.


Episode 101: Cemeteries and Genealogy | October 2016

Learn all about what cemetery records you can find and how they can benefit your genealogy research in this month’s podcast.


Our 100th Podcast Episode! | September 2016

Family Tree Magazine is celebrating our 100th episode with this special, hour-long podcast. From unusual surnames to special censuses, get the great genealogy search tips and tools, we revisit five highlights from the past few years.


Episode 99: Best Genealogy Websites August 2016 | April 2016

In this episode, Lisa Louise Cooke and company discuss the best genealogy websites for 2016, recently published by Family Tree Magazine.


Episode 98: Organizing Your Research | May 2016

The secret to great genealogy: Learn how to organize your family history research! This episode is all about organization tips, tools and techniques.


Episode 97: Maximizing Military Records | April 2016

Follow along with Family Tree University and host Lisa Louise Cooke as we cover the essentials of researching your ancestors’ military service.


Episode 96: Tracing Hard-to-Find Ancestors | May 2016

Get genealogy tips for researching those hard-to-find ancestors: using newspaper archives, finding missing people in the census and more.


Episode 95: Tracing Immigrant Ancestors | April 2016

In this episode, get the scoop on tracing your immigrant ancestors, from tips on finding German and Eastern European ancestors, to tracing your Irish roots.


Episode 94: Online Genealogy Tools and Apps | March 2016

Learn about some great online tools, apps and resources you can use in your genealogy research.


Episode 93: Surnames and Genealogy | February 2016

Get the best genealogy research tips and tools for searching your family’s last names – from how to handle common surnames to using of geographical data.


Episode 92: Set Yourself up for Genealogy Success in 2016 | January 2016

Set yourself up to make your genealogy research efforts successful in 2016, with ideas for organizing, researching and more!


Episode 91: Cloud Computing for Genealogists | December 2015

In this month’s episode, wrap up the year with Lisa Louise Cooke and her tips on using the cloud to back up your genealogy research online.


Episode 90: Brick Wall Busting Strategies | November 2015

In this month’s episode, learn how to break down those brick walls in your family tree with fantastic tips and tools from Lisa Louise Cooke and her guests.


Episode 89: Conquering the Courthouse | October 2015

Join Lisa Louise Cooke and guest Sunny Morton to learn 4 tips to learn how to use courthouse records in your family search and create a research plan.


Episode 88: Organizing Your Genealogy | September 2015

This episode is all about getting organized so you can quickly store and secure your genealogical findings and build your genealogy portfolio.


Episode 87: Best Genealogy Websites of 2015 |August 2015

Get the scoop on the 101 best websites in genealogy and search strategies for maximizing your investigations.


Episode 86: Discover Your Roots Hints | July 86

This month, learn how to start searching for your family history with hints from Discover Your Roots, Instant Discoveries on MyHeritage and more.


Episode 85: Rooting Out Research Mistakes | June 2015

This month’s theme is Rooting Out Research Mistakes. Lisa interviews contributing editors for tips on how to keep your genealogy clean of errors.


Episode 84: Archiving Family Photos | May 2015

This month we have tips on photo organizing secrets, 25 keepsake family photo projects and Lisa provides strategies for navigating the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.


Episode 83: Source Citations Made Easy | April 2015

Lisa interviews guests about key strategies for creating simple source citations. Plus, Lisa walks through how to use WorldCat’s source documentation tool.


Episode 82: Mapping Mania | March 2015

Lisa interviews guests about mapping strategies and websites to find and use old maps like HistoryGeo, David Rumsey and Google Earth, and more.


Episode 81: Online Genealogy Hints & Hacks | February 2015

This month’s theme is Online Genealogy Hints and Hacks. We talk about tips for sites from Google to Facebook to FamilySearch.org.


Episode 80: The Past & Future of Genealogy | January 2015

In the 15th Anniversary episode of the podcast, host Lisa Louise Cooke asks the editors and writers of Family Tree Magazine to reminisce about the past decade and a half in genealogy, and to speculate on the future of family history.


Episode 79: 2014 Genealogy Year in Review | December 2014

We’ll discuss major genealogy news to happen in 2014, the best family history websites of 2014, and tips from the best webinars to take place this year.


Episode 78: DNA & Your Genealogy | November 2014

Special guest CeCe Moore discusses what it’s like to research for the PBS show “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.”


Episode 77: Haunting Ancestral Cemeteries | October 2014

This month we’re haunting ancestral cemeteries! Analyze ancestral tombstones, find obituaries online and learn how to make a cemetery research trip.


Episode 76: Your Genealogy Preparedness Plan | September 2014

This month is all about Genealogy Preparedness. Learn how to backup your research, archive physical files and ensure long-term preservation of your genealogy.


Episode 75: Best Genealogy Websites of 2014 | August 2014

Listen for highlights from our 15th annual listing of the 101 Best Genealogy Websites.


Episode 74: All About Ancestry.com | July 2014

In this month’s episode, learn all about Ancestry.com including the site’s recent attack from hackers and about the retirement of popular Ancestry.com services.


Episode 73: Tracing Your Military Ancestors | June 2014

This month’s theme is Tracing Military Ancestors. Learn how to find info on your female veteran ancestors, what military records you can find and much more.


Episode 72: Genealogy Road Trips and Tours |May 2014

Sponsored by Family Tree Tours.

Prepare for your summer genealogy road trips and tours with this episode, including what to pack and the best apps for researching on the road.


Episode 71: Record and Preserve Your Family’s Story | April 2014

For many genealogists, the goal of their research is to share it with future generations. This month, learn about some helpful tools for doing just that.


Episode 70: Combating Brick Walls | March 2014

Because brick walls are such a consistent nuisance for genealogists, learn how to combat them with the latest tips and tricks from the experts.


Episode 69: The Latest High-Tech Genealogy Research Tools | February 2014

On the heels of the annual RootsTech conference, learn about the latest high-tech research tools, including the massive databases on Ancestry.com.


Episode 68: The 175th Anniversary of Photography | January 2014

In honor of the 175th Anniversary of Photography, learn about the history of photography as well as photo editing and retouching for genealogists.


Episode 67: State Sources | December 2013

Learn about the best state websites for your genealogy and go inside the wealth of information at the Kentucky Historical Society.


Episode 66: Discovering Your Ethnic Heritage | November 2013

Learn about your immigrant ancestors with tips and tricks for researching Germany, Norway, the Czech Republic and more.


Episode 65: Digitize Your Home Movies | October 2013

It’s Family History Month! This episode, learn how to convert old home videos, organize your genealogy and how to use the site Tribal Pages.


Episode 64: Geography and Genealogy | September 2013

This month’s theme is Genealogy and Geography. Learn how to trace your ancestral village, how to add “local flavor” to your genealogy and more.


Episode 63: 101 Best Genealogy Websites | August 2013

Learn about some of this year’s best websites, including the Newberry Library, FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com and My Genealogy Hound.


Episode 62: Civil War Roots | July 2013

Learn how to find your Gettysburg ancestors, honor the battlefield with a virtual visit and learn to navigate the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System website.


Episode 61: Family History Freebies | June 2013

This month’s theme is Family History Freebies. Learn about some free family history tools, Heritage Quest, and how to become a FamilySearch.org Power User.


Episode 60: Conquering the Courthouse | May 2013

This month, explore overlooked and underused sources with courthouse records, probate records and CyndisList.


Episode 59: American History | April 2013

This month, explore American history for genealogists with historic maps, social history tools and top genealogy blogs.


Episode 58: Finding Your Female Ancestors | March 2013

This month, research your female ancestors by learning how to tease out maiden names, good sources to check and more.


Episode 57: Heritage in Historical Photography | February 2013

In this episode, learn tips on historic photo identification and preservation from the Family Photo Detective


Episode 56: Explore Online Resources | January 2013

This month, explore genealogy online by learning about Google Books, WikiTree.com, Ancestry.com and the Ultimate Google for Genealogists Collection.


Episode 55: Documenting Your Journey | December 2012

Celebrate the holidays by recording your family history. Learn quick tips for getting your family history book into library stacks.


Episode 54: Digitize Your Documents and Photos | November 2012

This month, give thanks for your family by digitizing your documents and photos. Learn tricks for scanning old pictures, and get the details on digital photography essentials.


Episode 53: A Grave Podcast | October 2012

This month, celebrate Halloween by learning how to navigate a cemetery, tips and tricks for tombstones and the benefits of Find A Grave.


Episode 52: Preventative Medicine for Your Research | September 2012

This month, practice some preventative medicine with your family tree by guarding it from sick sources and learn what DNA tests can reveal about your genealogy.


Episode 51: Mobile Genealogy | August 2012

Take your genealogy on the road with some great new mobile apps, learn tips and tricks for family history travel and tour the top mobile websites of 2012.


Episode 50: Researching the War of 1812 | July 2012

Celebrate The War of 1812 Bicentennial, get an update on the 1940 census and learn tips for Revolutionary War genealogy resources.


Episode 49: Finding Historical Context | July 2012

Find out the best websites for putting your ancestors in historical context and get a taste of your family’s food history.


Episode 48: Understanding the 1862 Homestead Act | May 2012

Understanding the 1862 Homestead Act, using the Newberry Atlas of Historical Boundaries, and demystifying confusing land record terms.


Episode 46: Finding Living Relatives | March 2012

Finding living relatives, verifying data from online family trees, and an interview with Daniel Horowitz, Chief Genealogist at MyHeritage.com.


Episode 45: Social Security Death Index | February 2012

The campaign to save the Social Security Death Index, an interview with Mocavo’s Chief Genealogist, a sneak peek at the Spring 2012 Virtual Conference!


Episode 44: Catch Up with MyHeritage’s Daniel Horowitz | January 2012

Finding living relatives, verifying data from online family trees and an interview with Daniel Horowitz, Chief Genealogist at MyHeritage.com.


Episode 43: Navigating Naming Conventions | December 2011

This month’s podcast features tips on naming conventions, as well as a discussion of the Western States Historical Marriage Index.


Episode 42: Preserving Your Family’s Recipes | November 2011

Tips on how to get relatives to discuss family history, a discussion of the Historic American Cookbook Project and news on the Genealogists for Families project at Kiva.com.


Episode 41: Using Autosomal DNA to Solve Family Mysteries | October 2011

In this episode we explore using autosomal DNA testing to solve family mysteries, planning a research trip to Salt Lake City and more.


Episode 40: A Tour of the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) | September 2011

Search secrets for online newspaper collections, as well as pointers for using the Periodical Source Index to find articles about your ancestry.


Episode 39: Tracing Your Roots in the Old Country | August 2011

Tips for tracing your roots in the old country, including a crash course in German genealogy with Family Tree University instructor Jim Beidler.


Episode 38: Preparing for the 1940 Census Release | July 2011

Get acquainted with Family Tree Magazine’s 101 Best Websites of 2011. David A. Fryxell points out some of his favorite resources.


Episode 37: Planning a Successful Research Trip | June 2011

Hit the road with Family Tree Magazine as we offer up advice for taking research trips and preserving your ancestors’ souvenirs.


Episode 36: National Photo Month at Family Tree | May 2011

It’s all about photos this month as Lisa explores Flickr, gets advice from our Photo Detective and talks digital photography with Nancy Hendrickson.


Episode 35: All About Civil War Research | April 2011

April’s episode is all about Civil War and military research. We chat with Michael Varhola, the author of Life in Civil War America.


Episode 34: Best Websites for Irish Resources | March 2011

Trying to find an ancestors whose case has gone cold? Lisa Alzo offers brick wall busting strategies from our March 2011 issue.


Episode 33: Resources for African American Research | February 2011

February is Black History Month, and this edition of the podcast is chock full of great resources for African-American researchers.


Episode 32: Starting on the Right Foot | January 2011

We’ll show you how to get 2011 started on the right foot. We’ve got tips for using a research plan and ways you can make 2011 the year of the heirloom.


Episode 31: Saving and Sharing Family Memories | December 2010

Learn how to preserve your family’s legacy. We offer tips for collecting family stories, preserving heirloom recipes and organizing your memories online.


Episode 30: Focusing on US Research | November 2010

US research is the focus of this episode, with the best websites for state research and the Washington State Digital Archive


Episode 29: Tracing Immigrant Ancestors | October 2010

In this episode, we’ve got advice on tracing immigrant ancestors, news about Ancestry.com’s acquisition of Footnote.com, Scots-Irish research tips and more.


Episode 28: Going Green with Your Research | September 2010

We’ve got a roundup of portable scanners, advice on going green with your research and a look at the new FamilySearch Beta website.


Episode 27: Finding Mr. Right | August 2010

Having trouble finding your family tree’s Mr. Right? Helpful advice from Sharon DeBartolo Carmack will help you break down your brick wall.


Episode 26: Best Websites and Preservation Resources | July 2010

We talk about our list of Family Tree Magazine‘s 101 Best Websites for 2010, and give you links to some of the best preservation resources online.


Episode 25: Preserving Your Heirlooms | June 2010

We celebrate the podcast’s second anniversary with tips for preserving your own legacy and heirlooms.


Episode 24: Hanging Out in the Cemetery | May 2010

We’re hanging out in the cemetery this month, with advice on doing tombstone rubbings and info on a great cemetery website.


Episode 23: Brick Wall Busters Book | April 2010

Be the first to know about our new book, 101 Brick Wall Busters. Plus, get tips for preserving heirloom quilts.


Episode 22: New Genealogy Show and a Census Extravaganza | March 2010

The March 2010 episode of our podcast is a census extravaganza to go along with our May 2010 issue.


Episode 21: Resources for African American Research | February 2010

Tune into the February 2010 episode of our podcast, which features tips on African-American genealogy, newspaper preservation and tips for getting your genealogy in shape.


Episode 20: Our 10th Anniversary | January 2010

The January 2010 episode of our podcast is celebration of Family Tree Magazine’s 10th anniversary. Founder and contributing editor David Fryxell talks with us about the origins of Family Tree Magazine and shares some of the top tips from its pages over the last decade.


Episode 19: Our Search for Humorous Tombstones | December 2009

Learn about our humorous tombstone search, plus Lisa talks with Illya D’Addezio about his website: Live Roots.


Episode 18: Footnote’s New Interactive Census Collection | November 2009

Diane Haddad gives you the inside scoop on Footnote’s new interactive census collection, which will add 9.5 million documents to the website’s collection.


Episode 17: Researching Your Native American Ancestors | October 2009

Searching for Native American roots? Jim Warren offers advice from his article in the November 2009 issue.


Episode 16: Diving Deep in the Library of Congress | September 2009

In this episode we explore the variety of US collections available at the Library of Congress.


Episode 15: Best Websites and a Redesign Sneak Peek | August 2009

Lisa talks with publisher Allison Stacy about Family Tree Magazine’s 10th anniversary, as well as a sneak peak of the magazine’s redesign.


Episode 14: Reverse Genealogy | July 2009

In this episode’s top tips segment, Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Maureen A. Taylor tells us how reversing the rules can deliver some great results.


Episode 13: Where to Find Us this Summer | June 2009

Allison and Lisa talk about upcoming genealogy events where you can meet Family Tree Magazine staff, network with fellow researchers and take away great ideas for tracing your roots.


Episode 12: Searching Census Records | May 2009

In this episode we get some tips from the experts on using census records to discover your ancestors.


Episode 11: Hidden Clues in Old Hairstyles | April 2009

Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor talks with host Lisa Louise Cooke about historical hairstyles and what they can tell us about our ancestors.


Episode 10: RootsMagic Updates and Research-Friendly States | March 2009

We review the best and worst states for genealogy research, plus a look at the Family History Library, World Vital Records and Irish roots.


Episode 9: Web Guides and Memory Makers | February 2009

We share new record releases, money-saving research tips, plus advice for creating, sharing and preserving family photos.


Episode 8: Setting Your Genealogy Goals for the New Year | January 2009

Learn secrets for searching online library catalogs, historical newspapers on GenealogyBank, and great ideas for tracing your roots in the new year.


Episode 7: 2008 Year in Review | December 2008

Highlights from this episode include genealogy gifts, top tips for making the most of Google, hints for interviewing relatives over the holidays and more.


Episode 6: Civil War Resources and More | November 2008

This episode is all about Civil War Research, including a look at the Soldiers and Sailors Database from the National Park Service.


Episode 5: Skeletons in the Closet | October 2008

Lisa chats with Sunny McClellan Morton, author of the article “Skeletons In The Closet” from the Nov 2008 issue, plus much more.


Episode 4: Live from the FGS Conference | September 2008

Host Lisa Louise Cooke and managing editor Diane Haddad bring you news from the 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference.


Episode 3: Reaching Out to Readers | August 2008

Lisa and Allison discuss ways that listeners and readers can get involved with Family Tree Magazine.


Episode 2: Best Websites Preview and More | July 2008

This episode is all about websites! Join us as we feature some of our favorites from the upcoming 101 Best Websites for Genealogy feature.


Episode 1: Recharging Your Research | June 2008

Welcome to the premiere episode of the Family Tree Magazine podcast! We’re sharing our best tips, resources and more.