Episode 19 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Wednesday, December 11, 2013 and this is Episode 19

23andMe has stopped all marketing of its service in response to the letter it received from the FDA. They have stopped all TV, radio, and online advertising. The letter stated that 23andMe does not have approval from the FDA to market the device. 23andMe has been slow to respond to the FDA’s request for more information. The FDA is concerned over inaccurate results that could cause people to undergo unnecessary tests and surgeries.

As of November 22nd, 23andMe has stopped providing health-related information for people who have ordered kits. They are offering a full refund for those who recently ordered the kit. You can find details when you login at 23andMe or you may have gotten an email about a refund.

If you purchased a kit before November 22nd, you will still have access to both ancestry and health-related information.

The current kit being offered is for learning about your ancestors. And you will get a file with your raw data.

23andMe will now be working to satisfy the FDA requirements so it can once again market the medical device for genetic testing and provide health results.

23andMe has also cancelled their affiliate program. That was program where you can place a link on your web site, like an ad, and if people click it to buy a kit from 23andMe, you would receive a commission for the sale. The affiliate accounts will expire and those in the program will no longer be receiving commissions.

If you are an existing customer, you may want to download your data and any correspondence you’ve had with others and make sure anyone that matches with you has your email address, just in case, something else happens at 23andMe.


Just a few days after 23andMe received the letter from the FDA, a San Diego woman has filed a class action lawsuit against the company saying that their genetic kits are meaningless, they are not supported by scientific evidence, and they falsely advertise to consumers. The complaint also mentions that 23andMe is building a DNA database to market to other sources in the scientific community based on meaningless results. The lawsuit is asking for $5 million in damages on behalf of all 23andMe customers.


FamilySearch has added more than one million indexed records and new images from BillionGraves and the United States. The images for BillionGraves are indexed.

New indexes were added for Bolivia, Catholic Church Records, 1566–1996 and Germany, Prussia, Pomerania Church Records, 1544–1945

Images were added for the following states in the U.S.:

• Illinois, Lee County Records, 1830–1954
• New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787–1938
• North Carolina, Civil Action Court Papers, 1712–1970
• Oregon, Douglas County Records, 1850–1983


The Vatican Library and Oxford University’s Bodleian Library have made available 1.5 million pages of medieval manuscripts. This is the result of a $3.3 million project funded by the Polonsky Foundation. The project was announced in 2012 that these two libraries would be digitizing Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts and books over the course of four years.

The images are the first part of this project and they can be found at a new web site. There you will find two Gutenberg Bibles, the first books set on typeface by printer Johannes Gutenberg.

Also you will find an 11th century Greek bible, a 15th century German bible with hand-colored and illustrated by woodcuts.

More images are expected to go online soon.


Ancestry is continuing a Branch Out contest. The first winner was announced in November and the second winner will be announced January 5th.

To enter you fill out a form with your name and address and a brief story about your family history that is not more than 500 words. The story must be theme-related.

Winners will be chosen randomly. More winners will be selected in March, May, July, and September of 2014 for a total of 6 grand-prize winners.

The grand-prize consists of twenty hours of ProGenealogists research. ProGenealogists is owned by Ancestry and specializes in historical and genealogical research.

The prize also consists of a one-year Ancestry.com World Explorer Plus membership, one Ancestry DNA kit, and one premium leather photo book from MyCanvas.com. MyCanvas is owned by Ancestry and it lets you upload photos to create books, calendars, and posters from your photos.

This contest is only available for those in the United States. There is a limit of one entry per person per email address. You can enter up until December 31, 2013.


There’s going to be a new museum in Richmond Virginia about the Civil War. The American Civil War Center and the Museum of the Confederacy are joining forces to create the new museum. They plan to combine their collections in a new museum that will be built at the almost 9 acre site at the American Civil War Center’s Tredegar Iron Works.

Beginning in the summer of 2014 the American Civil War Center will close all its indoor exhibits and facilities during construction. The outdoor exhibits and the National Park Service Visitor Center will remain open during this time.

The new museum won’t be opened in time for the National Genealogical Conference that will be held in Richmond in May. The museum is scheduled to be open in the fall of 2015. The old museum should close the indoor exhibits just after the conference.

The new museum will contain a large collection, enable the two museums to expand their educational and research programs, and further establish Richmond as a Civil War destination.


The National Genealogical Society is having a society newsletter competition to recognize the hard work and creativity editors give to their newsletters.

The winning society will receive a complimentary one-year organizational NGS membership and be featured in the NGS magazine.

Two consecutive issues must be submitted by an NGS member organization along with a completed entry form.

The deadline is December 31st.


NGS has announced that the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones, is now available in Kindle format from Amazon.com for $9.99. You can still get the print version from the NGS store for $25 for members or $30 for nonmembers.

This book is about genealogical methods and reasoning. DearMYRTLE will be having another study group using this book starting in February. You may want to get a copy if you want to follow along with the group.


RootsMagic 6 has been updated to Version This update added source citations to pedigree charts, the ability to share notes to FamilySearch Family Tree, support for direct import of Legacy 8 files which is the latest version of Legacy that was released recently, and few minor fixes – one for page numbers in index for group sheets to always appear, some cosmetic issues with FamilySearch Person Tools screens were fixed, and also fixed some website indexes when viewed with Safari.

If you have RootsMagic, when you open the program a screen with news will be displayed and alert you to the update to download. If you don’t display that screen you can click Help and Check for updates to be prompted to download and install the update.

RootsTech 2014 will be held February 6th thru the 8th, that will be on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They have announced who the keynote speakers will be.

On Thursday the keynote speaker for the general session will be Ree Drummond who you may know better as The Pioneer Woman. That’s the name of her blog where she writes about cooking, photography, and tells stories about her life in Oklahoma. She’s written a few cookbooks and has a show on the Food Network.

Another speaker on Thursday will be Annelies van den Belt. She is the CEO of DC Thomson Family History (formerly brightsolid). That company is comprised of FindMyPast, British Newspaper Archive, and Genes Reunited, as well as a few more web sites related to genealogy.

On Friday the keynote speakers will be Dr. Spencer Wells and Judy Russell. Dr. Wells is the director of the Genographic Project. This project is dedicated to finding out were humans originated and how they populated the earth by analyzing DNA.

Judy Russell is a certified genealogist who happens to have a law degree, her blog can be found at legalgenealogist.com.
On Saturday the speakers will be Stephanie Nielson and Todd Hansen. Stephanie is a survivor of a plane crash that burned over 80 percent of her body. She blogs at NieNie Dialogues and she has published a book about her experience called Heaven Is Here.

Todd Hansen is the host of The Story Trek, a series on BYUtv. He’s a reporter that sets out to show how interesting ordinary people are. He conducts random door-to-door interviews.


The RootsTech conference will be streamed live to over 450 sites; some will be translated into different languages. Over 40 presentations will be shown at the live sites, these are being called off-site family history fairs. These will be LDS Family History Centers and local genealogy societies.

Twelve sessions will be streamed live at the RootsTech web site.

Over at the Lonetester HQ blog, Alona Tester has an all in the numbers geneameme going on. It’s not a contest but to encourage others to create a blog post with numbers such as 10 is the number of children an ancestor had, 22 was the age they got married, and so on. You’re to list 10 numbers and send a link to your post in the comments to the blog post that announces the geneameme. Then in January, Alona will create a blog post with all those who participated.

FindMyPast has some free records that they recently published on the site for free until January 31, 2014.

The free records are for

Births and christenings in California, Indiana and Utah
Marriages in Alabama, California, Indiana, Iowa and Virginia
Deaths in Alabama and North Carolina

The Early Irish Marriages Index at the Irish Genealogical Research Society has added more records to bring it to a total of 30,000 marriage records. That means 60,000 individuals with 10,000 parents you can search for. All the marriages occurred before 1864 and you can search the index for free.


The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize ALL the books in the library by the mid 2020s. That’s ALL the books. The Norwegian Legal Deposit Act requires all published content be deposited in the library. The collection at the library dates from the Middle Ages to today.

If you live in Norway you will be able to access all 20th-century works, even those still under copyright. Any non-copyrighted work will be available for download.

This project started in 2006 but it is making the rounds in the news blogs since there was an article recently published about it in The Atlantic.

Coming up

At noon eastern will be Mondays with Myrt, that’s a Google Hangout were anyone can participate and it’s recorded so you can watch it later.

Tuesday, December 17, 6pm eastern
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society
Land Entry Records; Providing Details of a Pioneer’s Life
presented by Donald Schnitzler

Twitter #genchat – Researching the Southwest States
Wednesday, December 18th, 11:30am eastern

Wednesday, December 18, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Overcoming Lost Records Using Technology
presented by Karen Clifford

And also on Wednesday at the same time as the Legacy webinar
Wednesday, December 18, 2pm eastern
MyHeritage Webinar: Family History and the holidays

Wednesday, December 18, 9pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Tips, Strategies, & Resources for the African American Researcher
presented by Tim Pinnick

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 19.
Thanks for listening


Listen to the episode.

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