Genealogy in Audio

Now you can absorb genealogy while you drive, work out, or do chores, through the magic of podcasting and Internet radio.

Genealogy podcasts have been around since at least 2005, when George G. Morgan and Drew Smith started The Genealogy Guys podcast, the longest running regularly produced podcast in the world. The Genealogy Guys recently posted podcast number 239! 1

What’s a podcast, you say? According to my favorite source for quick lookups, Wikipedia, “A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The word is a neologism derived from “broadcast” and “pod” from the success of the iPod, as podcasts are often listened to on portable media players.” 2 You don’t have to have an iPod to listen to podcasts; I listen to mine on my desktop computer, or my laptop, or my iPad. They “live” in my iTunes, and I subscribe to them mostly through the iTunes store, which lists dozens of choices. (You can also subscribe through web pages associated with the podcasts.)

Cyndi’s List provides links to seven general podcasts (including The Genealogy Guys and Lisa Louise Cook’s Genealogy Gems) and ten locality- or ethnic-group-specific ones. There is even a podcast mailing list at Rootsweb! Who knew?

Noteworthy podcasts include the aforementioned The Genealogy Guys and Genealogy Gems. I also enjoyed Kory Meyerink’s now-defunct Family Roots Radio Genealogy Hour; Kory’s podcasts are still available through the iTunes store. For fans of English history and genealogy, The National Archives (that’s The National Archives of the United Kingdom) has a podcast series, and so does the BBC. TNA’s latest podcast is “‘An impenetrable tangle or an under-used mine of information?’ The Court of Common Pleas and its records, c.1200-1875.”; other TNA podcast topics include the Titanic, Canadian research, researching merchant seamen, the tithe survey, and the Victorian workhouse. From BBC Radio 4, you can listen to Sally Magnusson and Nick Barrat’s Tracing Your Roots.

There are video podcasts too, but you’ll want to look at those as well as listen, so they’re not really suitable for car or gym use.

The second way to listen to genealogy talk digitally is through Internet radio. Kory Meyerink’s Family Roots Radio show broadcast over the Internet in 2007. Today, BlogTalk Radio is the platform for several shows, including the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ MySociety. MySociety airs Saturdays and covers topics of interest to genealogy societies and the volunteers who run them. Recent episodes addressed copyright, digitization projects, and legal and tax considerations. Jane E. Wilcox hosts The Forget-Me-Not Hour, a show whose subtitle is, “Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told.” Jane has been interviewing genealogy practitioners including Dick Eastman and Robert Charles Anderson. No longer active is Thomas MacEntee’s GeneaBloggers Radio. Over the course of 64 episodes, Thomas and his guests discussed genealogy news and interest topics including military research, African American research, the 1940 census, Who Do You Think You Are?, immigration, and young genealogists. You can use BlogTalk Radio’s search function to look for more shows.

Can’t commit to listening when the show you’re interested in broadcasts? No worries, you can subscribe to podcasts of archived shows. Happy listening!

  1. George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, The Genealogy Guys Podcast (http://www.genealogyguys.com : accessed 8 August 2012).
  2. “Podcasts,” Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast : accessed 8 August 2012).
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One comment on “Genealogy in Audio

  1. Theresa Casteel

    This is one element of genealogy that I have not delved into. I’ll have to check it out on my tablet and see if droid market can do podcasts….
    Welcome to the Geneabloggers family!
    Regards,
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)