Genealogy 101: Listening to Podcasts

Introduction: In this article, Gena Philibert-Ortega writes about genealogy podcasts – and the websites where these podcasts can be heard for free. Gena is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.

What are your favorite podcasts? Not sure what a podcast is or why you should listen? Podcasts are a great way to learn more about genealogy, history, and technology. Similar to a radio show, you can listen to podcasts anywhere, including during your workout, long commute, or as you cook dinner.

Photo: the Serial podcast being played on a smartphone, through headphones
Photo: the Serial podcast being played on a smartphone, through headphones. Credit: Casey Fiesler; Wikimedia Commons.

What Is a Podcast?

According to Wikipedia, a podcast is “an episode or series of digital audio or video files which a user can download and listen to.”* The term podcast originated with the Apple iPod and the word “broadcast.” But you do not need an iPod to listen to podcasts. While a podcast is like a traditional radio show, what makes it different is that it’s available on demand. Unlike your favorite talk radio show where you tune in at a specific time of day, podcast files are available for you to listen to or download at your convenience.**

A podcast may be subscribed to or found via the podcast’s website or host website. Podcasts can also be found via:

and other similar services.

Types of Podcasts to Consider

As a genealogist there are several different types of podcasts you may be interested in listening to. The following examples are not meant to be a comprehensive list, simply a few types of podcasts for you to consider.

Genealogy

Genealogy podcasts provide you news of the latest products and services in the genealogy world as well as research tips, book reviews, interviews, and websites. Genealogy podcasts include:

History

History, especially social history, is an important component of family history. Look to history podcasts to help refresh your knowledge of historical events or to better understand your ancestor’s time period. The following are a few of my favorites:

Technology

We could all use some additional help with the technology side of things. So, a technology podcast might just be the thing for better understanding apps, your computer, or mobile devices. A few of these podcasts include:

What’s Your Favorite Podcast?

Podcasts are a great way to learn the latest about the topics you’re interested in. Take some time today to identify podcasts that you would be interested in and turn that boring commute or down time into a classroom.

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* “Podcast,” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast: accessed 23 September 2017).
** “What is a Podcast?” International Podcast Day (https://internationalpodcastday.com/what-is-podcast/: accessed 23 September 2017).

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2 thoughts on “Genealogy 101: Listening to Podcasts

    1. Hi Corinne,

      If your tablet is an Apple product then you can search in Itunes for podcasts. Links to other places to find podcasts can be found in the article above. You might also want to Google a subject like “history” and then the word “podcast” to find even more to choose from.

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