Once I got serious at genealogical research, I realized that I wanted to hang out with people who were also interested in genealogy. I haven't listened to music on the radio regularly for a long time. I'd always end up listening to talk radio, sometimes struggling to find topics that I'm interested in. The solution? Genealogy podcasts! Given the large number of back episodes available, you can have your own personal genealogy radio station for months on end. You can subscribe to them through iTunes but what I did was just went to their web sites and downloaded the mp3 files to my laptop's hard drive, connected my phone and copied the files there. I then plugged my phone into the audio system of my car and listened to them like they were a radio station.
What can you expect from a genealogy podcast? They all have a little different take on the subject but overall, you can expect a section of news from the genealogical community, including web site updates, new software and information about conferences, subject matter talks to help you better understand various documentation types or ways to research, letters from listeners where they (and you) send emails to the host with questions you'd like answers to or tips to provide for others and interviews with professional genealogists, teachers and experts in various fields.
What podcasts are out there and which do I recommend? I have two that I listen to as soon as I can after they release them. The others I download when I'm caught up on my favorites and am looking for something new.
1. It's a close contest for my favorite podcast, but I'll have to rate the "Genealogy Guys" podcast as my favorite. You can find them at http://www.genealogyguys.com and you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. George Morgan and Drew Smith are genealogy experts and lecturers. Drew is a reference librarian in Tampa, Florida. These guys know their genealogy and you can tell they love working on it. Their enthusiasm is contagious and I look forward to their podcast. As I write this, they put out the regular podcast once per month, typically in the first week of the month, and Drew has an additional monthly podcast called "Genealogy Connection", which is a full episode dedicated to an interview with one subject matter expert.
2. A close second for my favorite podcast is "Genealogy Gems" by Lisa Louise Cooke, found at http://www.genealogygemspodcast.com/. She's a one-woman show, although she has segments hosted by others. While she does research tips, she also gives tips on presentation-type subjects, or how to get others interested in genealogy. One regular segment she has is the quarterly book club, where they introduce a book to you, suggesting that you read it, and providing a bit of a book review, and finally they interview the author. Another regular segment, and one that I particularly enjoy, is the DNA Guru, where they discuss different aspects of genealogical DNA testing.
3. Another podcast I enjoy is the Family Tree Magazine podcast, found at http://www.familytreemagazine.com/info/podcasts. This monthly podcast features stories that parallel articles in the monthly magazine. This is also hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke and has many of the same contributors as the Genealogy Gems podcast. Again, the show is divided up into segments that focus on different aspects of genealogy, from research tips, creative ideas to present your genealogy to others and news stories about the latest developments in the genealogical community.
4. Dick Eastman's genealogy podcast, found at https://blog.eogn.com/category/podcast/. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his archive of old podcasts, which he discontinued a few years ago. While doing research for this post, it appears he may have started back up again! I don't know what any recent podcasts are like but I can say that his archived podcasts were very professionally created, with host Dick Eastman providing great discussions about various genealogical subjects. His podcasts seemed to be more focused on the latest technology so some of those archived may seem a bit dated, but he presentation is superb. I'll be checking out his latest podcasts and my ranking may change, given how much I enjoyed them in the past.
5. Dear Myrtle, found at http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/, is another podcast that I enjoyed in the past but just haven't kept up on. Dear Myrtle is a thoroughly enjoyable genealogy podcast.
A couple more podcasts I just found after doing a web search are:
I haven't checked these out yet but I intend to!