Episode 15 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

I’m Patty Roy, also known as Dinah Larkham in Second Life

Today is Wednesday, November 6, 2013 and this is Episode 15

MyHeritage has added 5.5 million of gravestone records to SuperSearch. These records are from BillionGraves and it brings the total collection of gravestone records to more than 100 million. And they’ve added 3.5 million obituaries from Tributes.com. This site has been around since 2008 and is a supportive community where friends and family can come together to honor the memory of loved ones with a lasting personal tribute. It’s also a source for obituary news. The obituaries found at this site will tend to be recent.

MyHertiage users will receive notifications about these new records that match individuals in their family tree.


Ancestry.com reported Q3 financial results for the third quarter that ended September 30th 2013. Total revenue was almost $140 million with net loss of $13.6 million. There was an increase of subscribers to Ancesty.com. There are approximately 2,175,000 subscribers as of September 30, 2013. That’s a 7.7% increase from last year and a 3% increase for the second quarter of 2013.

There have been more than 400 million records added during the third quarter. Some highlights are

New England, Birth, marriage and death records
Saskatchewan, Canada, Residents Index
England & Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers
Birmingham, England, Parish Records
New York, Naturalization Petitions
Perth, Western Australia, Australia, Property Owner Rate Books


A recent article published at nature.com talks about a genome hacker assembling the largest-ever family tree. The genome hacker is a computational biologist, Yaniv Erlich, who recently presented at the American Society of Human Genetics conference held in Boston October 22nd thru the 26th. His session was called “Harnessing Web 2.0 Social Networks for Genetic Epidemiology Studies with Millions of People.”

He found data from millions of public profiles from the genealogy website geni.com. From the data, he and his team constructed a single pedigree of 13 million individuals that stretches back to the 15th century.

The names have been stripped of the data to protect privacy. To construct a tree like this using existing birth, marriage, and death records would be cost-prohibitive.

Now that the data has been assembled, plans are to analyze it for complex genetic traits such as longevity, fertility, and migration patterns.

During the conference there was a press release about this project from MyHeritage, the company that owns geni.com, and Whitehead Institute where Dr. Yaniv Erlich is a Fellow and Principal Investigator. The press release announced the collaboration between the MyHeritage and Whitehead Institute to advance the understanding of human traits using big data. It mentions that Dr. Erlich is using more than 43 million anonymized public profiles at Geni.com’s World Family Tree. It is hoped that the research will contribute to the scientific community and the public good.

Whitehead Institute created a video, which you can find on YouTube. It shows how the 43 million profiles can by used to visually display an analysis of human migration.


23andMe has launched the African Ancestry Project. The project was created because the African American population is underrepresented in genetic research. Right now those who qualify can obtains a free kit, that’s a $99 dollar value.

To qualify for the free kit, you must:

Have 4 grandparents for the same sub-Saharan African country
Be 18 years of age
Have Internet access to take a survey about ancestry and provide a saliva sample
You must live in the United States in a state the allows 23andMe shipping

Only one kit will be issued per family. Existing 23andMe members may enroll in the project but they won’t be eligible for any free kits.

23andMe is especially interested in individuals from countries associated with American slave trade in order to help African Americans trace their ancestry. They will also be analyzing the health of people with African ancestry.



There have been some changes to FamilySearch Photos and Stories. The first change that you will notice is the size of the picture you can upload can now be as large as 15 megabytes. Previously the limit was 5 megabytes.

You will be able to link photos and stories to living people that you have the rights to see in your family tree.

Not only can you upload .jpg and .png files, you can now upload pdf files. Future updates will allow even more file types.

There is now a place to upload documents such has scanned images of your sources and family documents. If you previously uploaded a document as a photo because that was the only place for it, you can now place it under Documents.

There is a new improved picture viewer for viewing photos. Some of these features such as the photo viewer and documents are still in beta.

There have been some new updates to the Family History Library Catalog. The changes should make the catalog easier to use and searches should be more productive.

When you search for a place that does not have any titles in the catalog you will see suggestions for similar places that do have titles. This is the same as before. What’s new is you will also be shown some place notes and the name the place was also known as.

Many titles have more than one author. The name of the main author will now be displayed in bold type.

There are places in the catalog that don’t have any tiles. You can’t conduct a place search for these places that don’t have any titles since you won’t be getting any results.

You can now see the bound volumes and issue numbers that are used to create and manage the catalog.

Title searches will also search on subtitles. And you can add years to the search.


FamilySearch is enhancing and modifying their indexing system. A new indexing website will be launched later this year. Then in 2014 the new indexing system will be launched.

Some of the changes you will see will be

Enhanced project selection
The ability to join multiple groups
Achievements and recognition
Facebook integration
An improved beginner experience

Everything you will need for indexing will be on the website. You will no longer need to download a separate desktop application.

All the pages for indexing will automatically adjust to the resolution and type of device someone is using. Smartphones will be limited to viewing information. You won’t be able to do indexing from a smartphone since they don’t have a large enough screen to easily do indexing.

From your MyIndexing page you will be able to see what batches you have checked out, what groups you belong to, and activity and achievements for you and your friends.

You will be able to choose favorite projects and you will be able to select batches in a specific location or time period for certain projects.

If you’re going to RootsTech, FamilySearch will be presenting a session called “Introducing the New FamilySearch Indexing Tool” where you can get a detailed look at the new system.

FamilySearch has recently added over 135 million indexed records and images to the collections from Brazil, Canada, England, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, and the United States.

New indexes were created for records in these collections

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965
England, Cheshire Non-conformist Records, 1671-1900
U.S., Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959
U.S., Louisiana, New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945
U.S., North Carolina, Wilmington and Morehead City Passenger and Crew Lists, 1908-1958
United States Public Records Index

Images were added for

Indonesia, Jawa Tengah, Kebumen, Naturalization Records, 1951-2013
Indonesia, Jawa Tengah, Wonogiri District Court Records, 1925-2013
Italy, Trieste, Trieste, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1924-1939

There is a new genealogy app for Andriod phones and tablets called Progeniture. It’s a free GEDCOM viewer for non-commercial use. You can take notes and export them for printing or pasting into other programs.

If this app does not read you GEDCOM file, you may contact the developer and he or she may be able to help you. This was done for someone else and maybe they will help you also.

The app does not have any diagrams. It lists people and allows you to bring up details about the person.

There’s a minor update for RootsMagic 6, that brings it to version The update includes some small fixes and enhancements. The changes from the RootsMagic update site are

New: When selecting ancestors, you can now select the number of generations of ancestors, as well as the number of generations of descendants coming back
New: When doing drag and drop you can now select the number of generations of ancestors, as well as the number of generations of descendants coming back
Fixed: Some issues when selecting people by genetic lines (mtDNA)
Fixed: The direct descendant list would sometimes show extraneous people when there were cross cousin marriages in the line
Fixed: Occasional Access Violation (A/V) errors when copying a fact from RootsMagic to FamilySearch Family Tree

Updates are usually issued every one to two months for RootsMagic.

The UK magazine Your Family Tree has free resources available each month. Since it’s the beginning of the month, their website has new resources for November. This month they have things for Northamptonshire. You will be able to download maps of the area, baptisms from the village of Maxey in Northhamptonshire, and you can download an extract from Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Northhamptonshire for Kettering, Northhampton, and Wellingborough.

The Great Parchment Book of the Honourable The Irish Society is part of the collections at the London Metropolitan archives. The book was created in 1639 as a survey of all the estates in Derry managed by the City of London. It was the Irish Society who took charge of the management of the Irish estates in Derry. Unfortunately a fire at the City of London Guildhall in 1768 destroyed many records of the Irish Society except the Great Parchment book. Since the fire, the book has been unavailable to researchers because it was so badly damaged.

A project to restore the book has been going on since 2009. The parchment sheets were flattened as much as possible and then digital image techniques were applied to make the writing legible.

Now all the original images of the parchment sheets can found at the site for the book called greatparchmentbook.org. Two thirds of the images have been enhanced and they are on the site as well as transcripts of the pages.

The Welsh National Book of Remembrance is going to be digitized. The book is located at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff Wales. It is a 1,100-page book that contains the names of 35,000 Welsh men and women who lost their lives in World War I.

Not only will the book be digitized, it will also be indexed.

There will also be improvements made to the Temple of Peace where the book is located.

Funding for this project is from the Heritage Lottery Fund. They have been giving out money as part of the Through the First World War: then and now grant program. This is part of marking the centenary of the war between 2014 and 2018.

Cymru1900Wales is a project to create a comprehensive list of historic places in Wales. At their website you will find a map of Wales for around the year 1900 as found on Ordnance Survey maps at the end of the Victorian period from 1899 to 1908.

They are looking for online volunteers to enter the names of places and alternative names and spellings for the places. You can even enter any special memories you have of the place.

They have a website at Cymru1900Wales.org.


FindMyPast has announced that millions of school records will be published for the first time on their site. This will be a 2-year project to publish over one million England and Wales school registers. The records cover the years 1870 – 1914 for every region of England and Wales. FindMyPast is working with the Archives and Records association on this project.
Over at DeceasedOnline, they’ve added approximately 45,000 burial records from Wiltshire Council cemeteries. These date back to 1856 and the collection consists of 7 cemeteries. The county of Wiltshire is located in South West England.

The British Newspaper Archive wrote a blog post about their technology upgrade. Starting in June of 2013 they began a large scale upgrade to the newspapers that are published online. It will allow more papers to be added quickly. The upgrade took longer than anticipated and during this time they did not publish many new pages on the site.

They have been scanning new material, it just hasn’t been placed on the website. The plan is to have new pages published at the normal rate by the beginning of November. And then the backlog of images will be published.
Many people have been frustrated with the lack of new papers published at The British Newspaper Archive. Hopefully these changes will make everyone very happy.

The Wellcome Library is located in London and it’s one of the worlds major resources for the study of medical history. It has had a project to digitize the London Medical Officer of Health Reports and they are now online. These reports are free to search and access. They cover public health from 1848 to 1972. You’ll find lots of statistics but you also may find a London ancestor.

The London, Edinburgh, and Belfast Gazettes are available on new, re-launched website that is in beta. You can find these gazettes at thegazette.co.uk. This replaces the three separate sites that were used for each gazette.

If you register at the new site, you can save your searches under “My Gazette.” You can also share what you find at the site using Facebook and Twitter as well as save and print your findings.

Who Do You Think Your Are? in Australia has been renewed for 2014. It will air on SBS with the following celebrities featured in each episode – Andrew Denton, Rebecca Gibney, Lisa McCune, Richard Roxburgh and Jacki Weaver . Although 5 celebrities have been mentioned for the shows, there will be a total of 8 shows.

Also in Australia, Jill Ball, held her first Google Hangout with a full panel. They discussed many genealogy topics with an emphasis on Australia. She will be having these Hangouts on a regular basis. The next one will be on Thursday, November 14th at 5 am eastern or 9pm Sydney Australia time. The topic will be about a favorite old or new genealogy book. Each participant will talk about a book. Panelists will rotate to allow as many people as possible to participate in the Hangout.

The Victoria Genealogical Society in British Columbia in Canada has announced the launch of “Voices of the Past.” The website is now online for this project where they will be posting recordings as well as pictures of stories told by seniors. There are a few recordings from volunteers on the site. They have some upcoming recording sessions where you can record your story or a loved one’s story to be placed on the website. This is a free community service

The list of genealogy related events for Massachusetts and New Hampshire has been posted at Heather Rojo’s blog Nutfield Genealogy. She lists all the genealogy club meetings, library events, and other things going on that may be of interest to a genealogist.

Heather Rojo has been interviewed on the BBC radio show “A Kist o Wurds.” It’s a show about music, poetry, history, culture and the Scots Irish language. Heather and others discussed the original Ulster Scots who settled in Nutfiled, which today is Derry, Londonderry, and Windham, New Hampshire. The program is available for listening as well as some other shows that were recorded in New Hampshire about Robert Dinsmoor from Windham, New Hampshire. You only have a week to listen to the broadcast, the first broadcast about New Hampshire aired Sunday, November 3rd.
Over at DearMyrtle’s YouTube channel you’ll find 2 new videos about Family Tree Maker 2014. DearMyrtle and cousin Russ discuss backups with Family Tree Maker 2014 and another video is about the sync features of the program.

And every Monday they are recording a Google Hangout called Mondays with Myrt. You can watch it live Mondays at noon eastern and if you like you can be on the panel.

Fieldstone Common, an Internet radio program hosted by Marion Pierre-Louis, has announced the shows for November. On November 7th will be Gary Shattuck who wrote “Artful and Designing Men”, a book about Capt. Job Shattuck and ‘Shays’s Rebellion’. Then on November 14, Marion’s guest will be Dr. John Demos, who will talk about his book “A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony”, on November 21st the guest will be Elizabeth Shown Mills and she will talk about the adaptability of historical research for those who want to be writers. And finally on November 28th, the guest will be Peter G. Rose and he will talk about his book “Food, Drink and Celebrations of the Hudson Valley Dutch.

Webinars coming up

Tuesday, November 11, 2pm eastern
Friends of the National Archives – Southeast Region
Southern Home Front, WW II
presented by Nathan Jordan

Tuesday, November 11, 7pm eastern
Illinois State Genealogical Society
Little Houses on the Prairie: Midwestern Research Techniques
presented by Diana Crisman Smith

Wednesday, November 13, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Researching Your Ohio Ancestors
presented by Lisa Alzo
#gentchat – Researching at the County Level
Wednesday, November 13th, time to be announced

Behind the Camera: Professional Genealogists & TV
Thursday, 14 November 2013 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: D. Joshua Taylor

And that’s it for this week

If you use Flipboard on your phone or tablet, be sure to check out the Geneatopia magazine by searching for genealogy or Geneatopia in Flipboard.

You can send email to geneatopia@gmail.com

You can find links to things mentioned in this show in the show notes at Geneatopia.com. This is episode 15.
Thanks for listening


Listen to the episode.

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