Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Get Going with Genealogy Videos

Having done quite a few genealogy videos recently, I began to think about what was really out there in video land for the genealogist. It turns out that more video opportunities are being made on just the subject of genealogy than there is time in a day to watch all of the offerings. If you do a search on for "genealogy family history," you will find about 35,300 videos listed. If each of those videos were only one minute long, which is certainly not the case, it would take you almost 25 days of continuous video viewing just to see the genealogy videos on

Now, I expect that one of my diligent readers will probably watch all of the videos and tell how wrong my estimate was of the time it was going to take. That is probably true since some of the genealogy videos I have on are more than an hour long, so the time it would actually take to view every single video is likely much longer than 25 days. In fact, since I would have to take a break to watch Studio C, it would take me much, much longer.

So, is this a blog about genealogy or videos? I can't really make up my mind. I do know that there are only about two genealogy topical TED Talk videos, one by Spencer Wells and one by A. J. Jacobs. Of course, this brings up another topic altogether and that is the World's Largest Family Reunion aka the Global Family Reunion. Here is a photo of me with A.J. at RootsTech.

As an added bonus you got a photo of blogger, Russ Worthington, in the background. OK, back to videos and genealogy.

One of the major movements of our time is the move to "distance learning." According to the Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics of the United States Department of Education, distance learning includes, "live, interactive audio- or videoconferencing; prerecorded instructional videos; webcasts; CD-ROMs or DVDs; or computer-based systems accessed over the Internet."

If you include all that in the mix of what I am referring to as video, there is probably no way to measure the huge amount of information out there about genealogy and how to do it. You know the old saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to float on his back, you've got something." (Often called Hartley's First Law, but used by Groucho Marx, among others) In other words, having all that educational stuff available is one thing, but unless you are already involved and interested in genealogy, why would you watch any one of the tens of thousands of video or use any of the other media?

Just a couple of examples. I get questions all the time about how to use Not only do they have their own instructional videos on their website and on, but I also have an hour+ long presentation on the BYU Family History Library Channel. Here are the links:

Just on the BYU Family History Library Channel there are a total of over 85 videos of classes and instruction on genealogy.

Here is a short list of some of the major places to look for videos and other stuff on genealogy besides

Can you float on your back?

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