Episode 18 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Sunday, December 1, 2013 and this is Episode 18

The FDA has warned 23andMe to halt sales of its DNA testing kit which is know as Personal Genome Service or PGS, because they have not received regulatory clearances. The warning letter states that the product is a device “because it is intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or is intended to affect the structure or function of the body.”

Some of the uses for the DNA test are the potential for false positives or false negatives. For instance, someone with results for breast cancer may be a false positive and the person may undergo unnecessary tests and surgery. Where a false negative could result in failure to recognize an actual risk that may exist.

23anMe has failed to address issues described in previous interactions or provide additional information mentioned in letters that were sent. The FDA has sent specific feedback on study protocols and other requirements.

The FDA has not heard from 23andMe since May and they have noticed a new marketing campaign, which indicates that 23andMe plans to expand the uses of the DNA test to consumers without obtaining marketing authorization from the FDA.

The letter also states that 23andMe must immediately discontinue marketing the DNA test until it receives FDA marketing authorization for the device.

23andMe has 15 working days to respond with actions taken, or if actions are taken over time, a timetable for implementation.

The FDA is concerned about medical testing, not using DNA for genealogical testing.

There is a petition at WhiteHouse.gov for people to sign in support of asking the Obama administration to overrule the FDA’s action.

23andMe has made some improvements to its ancestry features called Ancestry Composition. This feature estimates what percentage of DNA comes from different populations. It has compared using 22 populations and now its been updated to 31 populations.

This new update will give more details for those with African ancestry. Also those with Asian ancestry will see more details.

Existing customers should start seeing an update to their Ancestry Composition in the next few weeks.

Ancestry.com and the Associated Press are bringing historical AP archives online.
The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by American newspapers and broadcasters. They are committed to independent and comprehensive journalism.

It took Ancestry several years to prepare and digitize the images. There are more than two million records and more than one million AP stories available for searching at Ancestry.com. You can search by name or search by subject and date. The collections consist of

• Associated Press, Name Card Index to AP Stories, 1905-1990 These were used to catalog AP stories by name

• Associated Press, Service Bulletin, 1904-1927
• The service bulletin offers information about AP’s organization and contains orders from AP’s General Manager. It contains information about topics in the news.

• Associated Press, Stories and Newsfeatures, 1937-1985 The newsfeatures are news stories selected by news librarians for microfilming. It is meant to contain stories of national or international importance

• Associated Press, Subject Card Index to AP Stories, 1937–1985
• These were used to catalog AP stories by subject.

• Associated Press, The AP World, 1943–2001
• This magazine documented the work of AP journalists and described technological advancements for reporting the news and coverage of major stories.

The collection makes for fifty years of news stories available now online

Other records added at Ancestry are 500,000 names from the England & Wales, Quaker Birth, Marriage and Death Registers. Quakers were required to turn over birth, marriage, and burial registration to the Register General in London that occurred prior to 1837 as a result of a law passed in 1840. 1837 is the year civil registration started where the government kept the registration of births, marriages, and deaths.
Ancestry has also added almost 1.5 million records to the Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1900 – 1959.

Three new projects were added to Ancestry World Archives. Hampshire, England, Allegations for Marriage Licenses, 1689-1837, London, England, Selected Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records, 1828-1930 (Update), and Savannah, Georgia, Licenses and Bonds, 1837-1909.

The London Poor Law records may be the most difficult to read. This is an extension of project that they have already completed

The Ancestry World Archives Project is mostly made up of volunteers who do the indexing. Once indexed, anyone can search the index at Ancestry. You will need a subscription to view the images.

Mocavo has announced that they have been working on transcribing handwriting on old documents using optical character recognition. This is what is used to scan old newspapers and recognize the words so we can search.

Mocavo purchased ReadyMicro a little over a year ago. This company specialized in document capture and scanning technology.

The announcement is that progress is being made to recognize handwriting. They can separate typed words from handwritten words. Over the years handwriting has changed and each person writes a little bit differently.

The system has been able to recognize handwriting with 90-95% accuracy. This is great news for all of us reading those old documents.

Heredis is a full-featured genealogy program that is very popular in Europe and gaining in popularity in other countries. The company is located in France. Just recently they released a 2014 version of the program for the Mac. Now they have released a 2014 version for Windows.

There is an extended view that shows all people your ancestor knew, not just the immediate family, there’s a migration map to where you ancestors lived, the search wizard uses online databases available, and you can publish your family tree online at the Heredis site. And there’s lots more.

It’s off to great reviews and you can check it out yourself by watching a video or downloading a trail version.

DearMyrtle has hinted about doing some Hangouts demonstrating the software after she tests it out.

The Windows version costs $39.99 and the Mac version costs $59.99.


Legacy Family Tree 8 has been released. This is a Windows based genealogy program. There are some new reports. The Origins Report shows you the countries your ancestors came from and what percentage you have in you from each country. The Migration Report shows how far and wide a person’s descendants spread to different countries.

Migration mapping animates where an ancestor moved during their lifetime.

Now as you add people to your tree, Legacy checks instantly to see if there is a duplicate so you can avoid adding the same person to the tree again.

A warning symbol is displayed for potential problems such as unusual gaps of time such as too many years between the births of children.

Source citations can be found on pedigree charts. And you can record the quality of the source when you enter it such as original vs. derivative, primary vs. secondary, and direct vs. indirect or you can enter I don’t know about the source quality. If you like you can print source labels to attach to your documents. The source clipboard can hold up to 5 different citations so you can reuse them where they are needed.

Color coding has been expanded to color code from two starting points. So now in your tree and can have separate colors for a husband’s ancestors and the wife’s ancestors. That way when your looking at ancestors you will know by color which descendant belongs with them.

You can share events among all the individuals that participated in the event such as a census record.

There are two new charts – the Family Bow Tie Chart and the descendant chart is available in left-to-right formatting
Legacy Family Tree 8 now interfaces with FamilySearch Family Tree. You can search the tree, download information, or contribute your information.

Legacy Family Tree 8 cost $29.95 for the download-only version or $39.95 for a CD, printed user’s guide, and beginner’s training video.


RootsMagic gets many requests this time of year from existing users who want to give RootsMagic as a gift. So their annual holiday tradition is to have a sale. Existing users can order gift copies of RootsMagic for $20 plus shipping. This also comes with the book “Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic.” Other products such as Personal Historian, Family Atlas, and Family Reunion Organizer are $19.95. And there is a special bundle called the RootsMagic Family History Suite for $49.95.
If you signed up to be a RootsMagic Android App beta tester, you should have gotten an email about a new version. You open the email from your Android device and download the apk file. This will start the installation that will overwrite the old version. They ask that you check to see if the bugs you reported have been fixed and send an email with what you find.
There was an article recently published in the journal Nature that revealed the results of DNA testing on a 24,000-year-old remains of a young boy from the Siberian village of Mal’ta. The results show that the boy’s mitochondria DNA showed that it belonged to haplogroup U, which is found in Europe and west Asia, not in East Asia where the boy’s body was found. This means that during the last Ice Age people from Europe migrated farther east across Eurasia than previously thought.

Also the boy’s DNA matches a large proportion of DNA of living Native Americans. This means that the first people to arrive in the Americas came from Western Europe as well as East Asia as previously thought.

The boy’s remains were found sometime during the 20-year period between 1938 and 1958 by Russian archaeologist Dr. Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen. He decided to research the population migration to America from Siberia so he analyzed the ancient DNA.

Last year King Richard III remains were found under a car parking lot in Leicester, England. DNA analysis was used to prove the remains are of the King who died in battle in 1485. Now there are talks about a proper burial. However, there is not a consensus as to where he should be buried. A group of distant relatives want the king to be reburied in York. The University of Leicester holds a license from the Ministry of Justice that allows it to decide where the remains are reinterred and they chose Leicester Cathedral. The dispute is being heard at the High Court and the final judgment will be not determined for some time.

FamilySearch has announced a new online guide to Kent England ancestors that can be found at the FamilySearch Research Wiki. There you will find articles on each of Kent’s Anglican parishes with descriptions of records available at online major websites, maps, wills of the county’s residents, and learn about the major Kent archives and libraries. You’ll also find information about cemeteries, census, court records, land and property, poor law unions, taxation and voting records.
Another announcement from FamilySearch was about two new applications that are now Tree Access Certified which means they are compatible with FamilySearch.org and conform to FamilySearch strict standards of quality. They are Filegrove and RootsMapper.

Filegrove is certified to read data from Family Tree. It allows you to digitally archive and organize your family history records. You can document the information you know about your records and share this with others. Now you can add to your FileGrove collection the images and records you find at FamilySearch.

You can try FileGrove for free for up to 100 records and some features are not available. Paid plans are $34.95 per year or $79.95 per year for societies where multiple users can use the account, training webinars to learn how to use FileGrove, and promotional material for the society.

RootsMapper is certified to read data from FamilySearch. RootsMapper displays migration patterns of your ancestors. It uses data in your FamilySearch Family Tree to plot the data. You can login at the RootsMapper site with your FamilySearch credentials and a map will be created based on the data in your Family Tree. RootsMapper is free and only works with a FamilySearch account.


FamilySearch has added LOTS of records. They say 39.5 million indexed records and images which are almost 40 million! They added to collections for Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the United States.



BillionGraves App for iOS has had some updates. The camera view will be “what you see is what you get.” Hopefully this will prevent people from taking pictures of their feet when they only want a picture of the headstone. So what you see on the screen is exactly the shot that will be taken.

Now when you delete pictures, you will see a spinner so you know the app is working. People thought the app was not deleting since they did not see a visual cue from the app.

The app now handles indoor mode better, the cemetery list refreshes when you open the cemetery page, fixed translations for Spanish and Portuguese in the Transcription view, and there were some minor bug fixes.

There’s been a big update to the articles at GenealogyBank. They’ve recently added more than 31 million articles from over 3,000 newspapers. And there are new additions from all 50 states. This update consists of new newspaper titles and expansion of existing titles.


The Arlington National Cemetery advisory committee has decided not to allow QR codes on headstones. QR codes would allow cemetery visitors to scan a QR code on their smartphone and see an obituary, photos, and other information about the deceased.

It was mentioned that it is important that the information is accurate and the committee may discuss QR codes in the future when it discusses recommendations about how to use technology in Arlington National Cemetery from the cemetery staff.


As promised, Bill West released the links to blog posts for the Fifth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge on Thanksgiving day. This year 11 bloggers participated with 13 poems to share. The poems could be original or by another poet. They may be about a person, place, an historical event, or a legend. Also, they could be a song and they could be a link to a video of someone playing the song. You’ll find the links at westinnewengland.blogspot.com

The Association of Professional Genealogists has named Kimberly Powell as President. She has been the genealogy expert at About.com since 2000 and is the author of many genealogy books. She is the chair of the APG’s Professional Development Committee and she also is the Vice President of APG. She will take over from the current president who is Kenyatta Berry.

Julie Goucher has a few blogs pertaining to genealogy. She is creating a collaborative blog called Global Genealogy. It will be hosted and written by many people. Her vision is a post every day written by a different person each day. Depending on how many volunteer to write for the blog will determine how often each person writes. A few people have already volunteered for the blog, you can still volunteer until December 15th with the goal the blog will go live on January 1st 2014. Right now it looks like each volunteer will be given one day in the month when they would write a post.

You can find a link in the show notes about how to volunteer for the blog.

For the past 5 years Tamura Jones has announced the Genealogy Blog Awards. This year is the sixth Genealogy Blog Awards. He picks some blogs that he feels deserve recognition for what they have done during the past year. Categories change each year and the number of blogs awarded changes each year. This year there are three outstanding blogs. The first is in the category Best New Blog Feature: Caroline Pointer’s Daily Things You need to know this morning. Each morning Caroline lists links to new web sites, other blog posts, and links to tech interests for genealogists. The list varies from 3 to 15 links to things we should be aware of.

The next award is for Free Tools Champion: Tim Forsythe. His blog is called Advanced Tools For Genealogists. He has some free tools based on his own GECDOM parser as well as other tools for analyzing our genealogy.

The last award is called Best New Vlog: Mondays with Myrt. I mention that every week since she hardly missing a Monday for her Google Hangout On Air where anyone can participate and discuss genealogy.

If you are a genealogical speaker, you may be interested in speaking at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa. They have put out a call for speakers for their next conference that will be held in Ottawa at the Library and Archives Canada, September 19 – 21, 2014. The conference will focus on English family history, immigration from the British Isles, and genetic genealogy. Proposals can also be on other topics that would be of interest to society members. The deadline for proposals is January 31, 2014.

The State Archives of Alaska is starting a four-year project to digitize the state’s vital records. Eventually these records will be made available online and they will be searchable. The Brinkerhoffs, Dan and Ruth, are the volunteers imaging the records. They have been to Ireland, Oregon, and Iowa to digitize records. They volunteer as filmers through FamilySearch. Records that are being scanned include birth, marriage applications and certificates, divorce, naturalization, probate and estate records.

Your Family Tree magazine in the UK has released the free downloads for the month of December. These are meant to supplement the January 2014 issue of the magazine.

There are some inventories for you to use to hone your skills about researching inventories, access to data from Slater’s 1846 directory for Dublin, Kingstown, and Wexford.

There are two case study articles.

To help you get organized in the coming year, there are series of forms and charts.

And there is an index to search back issues of the magazine with over 400 surnames listed.

There is a new Web site for searching for men and women who passed through the English coastal port of Folkestone on their way to or from the Western front during World War I. The Step Short project is placing online 42,000 names of soldiers, nurses and others. The names were listed in visitor’s books that were kept at the Harbour Canteen where millions boarded troop ships on their way to the battlefields.

The names are currently being transcribed and will be available on the Step Short web site early in the new year.

The images will be free to access. There will be an option to pay a small fee to use an index to search the images.

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) has launched an online database that contains an index of doctors during the First World War. The Scottish Medical Service Emergency Committee was headquartered at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and they controlled the enrollment of doctors in Scotland. The Committee sent out forms to all medical practitioners across Scotland between December 1915 and 1919 and this index contains information transcribed from these forms.

If your surname sounds like Durie, there will be a Durie Gathering next year in Scotland. It will take place from June 27th to the 30th. The aim is to bring Duries together from all over the world. There will be tours to places with Durie connections. You can find more information about the first Durie gathering at the Durie Family Association web site.

The National Library of Ireland in Dublin Library staff has been noticing material disappearing. The arts and antiquities unit of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined that a 35-year old man who was a staff member at the National Library of Ireland had approximately 250 books, pamphlets, and historical documents in his home. It was not clear what this person planned to do with the material. All the material was recovered and returned to the library.


The National Library of Ireland and Google have formed a collaboration to create a virtual Irish museum using photographs from three of its past photography exhibits. The library plans to make more items available. The library has 5.3 million photographs and the plans are to bring as many of these photographs online as it can.


The Irish Genealogical Research Society has expanded its online offerings with a new online index to abstracts and transcripts of Irish wills. These wills come from a variety of sources. The card index was created from wills at the Society’s Library, the manuscript collection, the Prerogative and Consistorial from the Betham Collection, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, the Welply Collection at the Society of Genealogist, and the Swanzy Collection held by the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Other wills come from those held in private collections that have been quoted in the IGRS annual journal, The Irish Genealogist, as well as other journals. Also included are many regional wills and administrations.

There are approximately 4,000 cards.

The full index is available in the members-only area at IrishAncestores.ie, it cost about $35 US for an annual membership.


There’s a new Irish Genealogy TV series that is being shown on TG4, a television station in Ireland. It’s called Tar Abhaile which means Come Home. The show focuses on two people each week who want to go to Ireland to discover more about their Irish ancestors.

Instead of people tracing their roots, groups of volunteers are working together as part of Ireland Reaching Out, or Ireland XO. They invite living descendants from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK to come to Ireland and see where their ancestors lived. And they introduce them to living relatives in the area.

The program is in Irish and English. There are subtitles in English. The part in Irish is when the host is introducing what is to come. When the person who doesn’t live in Ireland is interviewed and talking to others in Ireland, the show is in English.

There will be six shows and you can watch them online from the TG4 web site.

The Shanghai Library in China has digitized the city’s first English-language newspaper. The library has spent the last 4 years digitizing The North-China Daily News and its predecessor, The North-China Herald. The paper began publication in 1885 and its last edition was in 1951.

The Shanghai Library is now working on a database for searching the newspapers by keywords. Right-now you can search by date. And you can only view the newspapers from computers located in the library.

DearMyrtle will be having another Mastering Geological Proof study group. Mastering Genealogical Proof is the book by Dr. Thomas Jones that is about how to apply genealogical skills for producing good and thorough research.

There will be 10 sessions starting in February.

The group will use Google+ Hangouts on Air so we can watch live or view the recording.

Heather Rojo has posted her monthly list of genealogy events going on in New England on her blog Nutfield Genealogy. There you will find local genealogy club meetings, museum and historical society events, and other things that may be of interest to genealogists. She also lists some events for the next few months.
Wedneday, December 4, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – How Computers & Gadgets are Changing Genealogy
presented by Barbara Renick

Friday, December 6, 2013, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Home for the Holidays – Tips for Collecting Family History
presented by Gordon Nuttall and Lisa Milner from Couragent

Saturday, December 7, 1pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Getting Family History Information through the Back Door
by Jean Wilcox Hibben

Tuesday, December 10, 2pm eastern
Friends of the National Archives – Southeast Region
Treasures at the National Archives at Atlanta
presented by Selma Blackmon

Tuesday, December 10, 7pm eastern
Illinois State Genealogical Society
Miracles, Mysteries & Mayhem: Online Family Trees
presented by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom

Wednesday, December 11, 2pm eastern
Family Stories: Using Newspapers to Reconnect with the Stories of Your Family’s Past
presented by Tom Kemp

APG Webinar
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
“Terms and conditions may apply” — Contract Law and the Internet
Presenter: Judy G. Russell, CG
Websites have fine print too. And it’s the fine print that answers questions like: Why can I use this newspaper clipping from this service, and not that clipping from that service? What happens if I allow someone else to use my account on that website? If I get into a dispute with a genealogical service provider, can I sue them? This webinar will review the basics of website terms and conditions (“terms of use” or “terms of service”) and what they mean for the genealogist.

Friday, 10pm eastern
Twitter #genchat
Topic is Family History Centers

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 18.
Thanks for listening


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