Episode 21 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Saturday, January 25, 2014 and this is Episode 21

FamilySearch released a newly redesigned indexing website. They made lots of enhancements to make indexing easier and more enjoyable.

FamilySearch indexing is a volunteer program to index records found at FamilySearch.org.

There’s a Help Resources page where you can find tutorials, guidelines, FAQs, and other help for indexers, arbitrators, stake indexing directors, and group administrators.

To find a project to work on you can click on an interactive map to find projects in a particular country. Then you can search the listings or sort them by name, language, or newest to oldest.

These changes are the first step in a total redesign for indexing. Further improvements will be to have indexing be done completing in a browser, no more programs to download and install.

If you’re going to RootsTech, there will be a FamilySearch indexing booth where you can learn more and try it out. Also there will be a session called “Introducing the new FamilySearch indexing tool.”


There have been lots of indexed records added to FamilySearch for England and Wales. You will find birth, marriage, and death records for the area from 1800 to 1920.

Some other collections got more indexed records. Those were:

Brazil, Santa Catarina, Catholic Church Records, 1714–1977
England, Bristol Parish Registers, 1538–1900
U.S., Vermont, Vital Records, 1760–1954 and they also added some more images to the Vermont collection.

And some collections got more images added to them. Those would be

Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600–2012
Portugal, Viana do Castelo, Catholic Church Records, 1537–1911
Russia, Tatarstan Church Books, 1721–1939
U.S., California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835–1979
U.S., Massachusetts, Deaths, 1841–1915
U.S., Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1627–2001
U.S., Michigan, Deaths, 1867–1897
U.S., Ohio, Hamilton County Records, 1791–1994

Other new images were added for

U.S., Michigan, Eastern District, Naturalization Index, 1907–1995
U.S., Montana Naturalization Records, 1868–1999
U.S., Montana, Teton County Records, 1881–2012
U.S., New England, Seamen’s Identification Cards, 1918–1940
United States Revolutionary War, Virginia Pension Application Files, 1830–1875
U.S., Wisconsin, Milwaukee Petitions to Naturalization, 1848–1991


Ancestry.com has expanded the information displayed for ethnicity when looking at DNA results. When you click on a certain ethnicity, a map displays where people of that ethnicity lived. Also displayed is some information about the map and the ethnicity.


Ancestry has uploaded over 1 million wills probated through the Prerogative Court of Canterbury from 1384 – 1858 in England & Wales. This is also known as PCC.

You can find these records at the UK National Archives site and pay for each will you would like to look at and this can be done online. You can also use the pay site TheGenealogist in the UK to search and view wills.

Ancestry has created a new index for all these records. So if you’ve searched these records before and didn’t find anything, you may find it at Ancestry.

The Prerogative Court of Canterbury dealt with property in the more southern section of England and Wales. The PCC also proves wills for those who died abroad including those in the military.

Some people in the northern sections of England & Wales may have used the southern court. So you may find wills from the British Isles and Ireland.


Ancestry has added lots of records for New York City. They teamed up with the New York City Department of Records/Municipal Archives to index more than 10 million birth, marriage, and death records for 1866 – 1948.

Ancestry has also added the 1855 and 1875 New York state censuses.

They’ve created a new page just for the new collection at Ancestry.com/NewYork.

And Ancestry has a research guide for New York. The guide shows what records and other resources are available for New York and where to find them. You’ll also find a timeline of New York events in the guide.

The guide is free and you can download it from the Ancestry.com/NewYork page.

There are more guides that have been released in the last few months. They are for

New Mexico


The Armchair Genealogist will once again have a Family History Writing Challenge this year. This will be the fourth year for the writing challenge.

There’s a Family History Writing Challenge website that has a membership area with a writer’s forum and resources. It’s free to sign up and then you have access to everything on the site.

Also at the web site you’ll find a companion guide.

The writing challenge is from February 1st – 28th. You will be writing about your family history. It’s to get you to start or maybe finish a family story that your family will want to read.

You commit to write every day during the challenge. It’s meant to get you into a daily writing habit that hopefully you will continue after the challenge I over.

Everyday during the challenge period you’ll receive a Daily Dose newsletter with motivational messages, tips, and other instructional posts.

The Family History Writing Challenge is way for you to get inspired to write about your ancestors and if you sign up you’ll find a supportive environment with experienced writers offering advice.


The day before the RootsTech conference there will be an Innovator Summit. Last year this day was called the RootsTech Developer Day.

It’s a day focused on the family history industry and expanding technology in family history. It’s meant for software developers, entrepreneurs and business leaders to network and learn about innovations in the family history industry.

The keynote speaker for the Innovator Summit will be Chris Darcy. He is the Director in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer of BMC Software. BMC Software is a company specializing in business server management software. The company helps IT organizations cut cost and reduce risk,

He is known as “The World’s Most Quantified Man.” He keeps track of every moment of every day about many things such as the number of steps he has travelled, average heart rate, food eaten, every phone call, appointment, and any other quantifiable data about himself. His keynote address is titled, “Facebook of the Dead.”


After RootsTech conference ends on Saturday February 8th there will be an after party using Google Hangouts with Dear Myrtle. Bloggers who attended RootsTech will meet at DearMyrtle’s house and bloggers located in New England will be meeting at Heather Rojo’s house in New Hampshire. Then Google Hangouts will be used to discuss what went on at the conference, the latest genealogy news and technology.

You will be able to watch the hangout live on Saturday, February 8th, at 8:30pm eastern or you can watch the recorded session.


Another big conference will be the 2014 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and Family History and DNA Conference. This will be the 45th jamboree. It’s held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel in Burbank California from Friday June 6th to Sunday June 8th.

There will be 55 speakers, over 60 exhibitors, and 134 class sessions for all skill levels. The theme for this year’s jamboree is Golden Memories: Discovering Your Family History with a focus on European ancestors. Special activities will focus on the decade of the 60s.

The DNA Conference will be the day before the Jamboree on Thursday, June 5th. This will be the second year for this. It’s produced by Southern California Genealogical Society and sponsored jointly by SCGS and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG).

The keynote speaker for the DNA conference will be Dr. Maurice Gleeson, a professional psychiatrist and pharmaceutical physician. He is the co-administrator of the Ireland mitochondrial DNA project.

If you belong to the Southern California Genealogical Society the cost for the entire three days is $125 and $125 to add the DNA conference. Costs for nonmembers is $145 and $135

There are various fees for attending only portions of the event.


There’s a new blog from the New England Historic Genealogical Society called Vita Brevis and you will find it at vita-brevis.org. The staff of NEHGS will be writing blog post to give you short essays about research and news of the genealogical community.

The blog entries will also be posted on the NEHGS facebook page found at facebook.com/nehgs.

And you can find out about the blog entries by following the Twitter feed @AncestorExperts.


Mocavo’s Michael Leclerc has been doing monthly interviews with leading genealogists called Fireside Chats. They were only available to those with a subscription to Mocavo. Starting in January these interview will be available to all free of charge.

If you watch live, there is a chat room where you can ask questions of the guest.

All the previous Fireside Chats are available to view. Previous guest include Thomas Macentee, Paula Stuart-Warren, Kelvin Meyers, Diane Gravel, Alex Lindsay, Dr. Michael Lacopo, Kris Rzepczynski, Elissa Scalilse-Powell, Maureen Taylor, Drew Smith, and Polly Kimmitt.

You can find the recordings at mocavo.com/fireside


More and more people are putting their family trees at sites like WikeTree. Now researchers are starting to analyze all this data.

A study as been done by Michael Fire and Yuval Elovicic and they have published a paper called Data Mining of Online Genealogy Datasets for Revealing Lifespan Patterns in Human Population.

They study the human lifespan and try to correlate social and genetic features that affect lifespan. They have used over a million profiles and over 9 million connections for the study.

The findings indicate there is a small correlation between a parents’ lifespan and their children’s lifespan and a higher correlation to the lifespan of spouses. So those whose parents lived a long life can expect to also live a long life.

Males who had more children tend to live longer and women who have more children don’t live as long as those without so many children.

And people who live to be 50 usually live to be 80.

The methods and algorithms used can be found in the paper.


Genealogy In Time has released the top 100 websites for genealogy for 2014. This is the third annual review of the most popular genealogy websites.

They used Alexa to determine the most popular sites. Alexa provides internet traffic rankings around the world. This year they enhanced the list with new analytics and metrics trying to convert the internet traffic into the number of visitors to each website.

The top 10 sites are

Ancestry.com r
Find A Grave
Genealogy Bank

And the 11th site is worth mentioning, it’s Dick Eastman’s site where he keeps us informed about genealogy related topics.

The diary of a World War I hero is going to be blogged exactly 100 years after each day’s enter was written. Private Arthur Linfoot kept a diary of his experiences during the war. His diary spans the time from January 1, 1914 to December 31, 1918 and it’s written in short hand. Mr. Linfoot’s son has decoded the diaries so he could read them.

The blog began this year on New Year’s Day.


The British Red Cross has obtained a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to digitize 244,000 Word War I voluntary aid detachment index cards.

The index cards are stored at the London headquarters of the Red Cross. The plan is to have the first batch of index cards online and free by August 2014. 100 volunteers will be recruited to digitize the index cards. These cards contain the names of the volunteers and what they did as volunteers to the Red Cross.

This project is to commemorate the centenary of World War I.


The UK National Archives at Kew has placed online some pages from the First World War British Army unit war diaries. These are unit diaries, not personal diaries. Any confidential material has been removed.

Scanning of these diaries began three years ago.

The first batch is online and you can search and download over 300,000 diary pages for the first three cavalry divisions and the first seven infantry divisions that arrived on the Western Front.

All the diary pages should be published by the end of the year for a total of 1.5 million pages.

The National Archives is launching a crowdsourcing project using the war diaries called Operation War Diary. Volunteers will tag data by person, place, or activity. There’s a 10-minute tutorial that demonstrates the tagging process.


The Gathering Ireland was a huge success in 2013. Hundreds of clan gatherings and family meetings took place around Ireland during 2013. There was an increased focus on the promotion of roots tourism by Tourism Ireland.
For 2014, Tourism Ireland will continue to promote Ireland to those with roots in the country. They plan to make this the focus of their overseas marketing campaign.


A new website to accompany the Decade of Centenaries commemorations program has launched. The Decade of Centenaries program in Ireland started in 2012 to focus on the centenary events occurring during 1912 – 1922. They are working with local and national cultural bodies to develop exhibitions and public discussions as well as access to historical records and primary sources from the time period.

According to the press release, the website will feature commemorative events related to the centenaries to be commemorate in Ireland between now and 2022. The website will be used in raising public awareness about events taking place and access commentary from the Century Ireland Project, the History Ireland website and magazine, and other government departments and agencies involved with events.

At the web site you’ll find a digital version of the exhibit Defense Forces on the Centenary of the Irish Volunteers and material from the History Ireland archive that is been placed online for the first time.


There’s a new website called Ireland’s Memorial Records that contains records of Irish soldiers who died during World War I. It’s free to access.

The archive was developed by Google, the In Flanders Fields Museum in Belgium and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

It contains records for those soldiers buried in Belgium. More records are planned to be added to the database with plans for all records to be added by the end of 2014.

The original records date to 1923 when 49,000 records were published in a memorial book. They were compiled by The Committee of the Irish National War Memorial and the books are on permanent display in the Flanders Fields Museum.


The free month magazine Irish Lives Remembered has published their January issue. The month the focus is on Dublin. You’ll find articles about tracing your ancestors in Dublin, the Irish in New Jersey, Meryl Streep’s Irish roots, and finding the Irish in Colonial South Australia.

The next issue will be out on February 10th.


There’s a reality-television show in Sweden called Allt för Sverige which translated to English means Anything for Sweden and marketed in the United States as the Great Swedish Adventure. It’s had three successful seasons. The show is mostly in English with the host briefly explaining a few things in Swedish.

The show is about Swedish Americans who travel to Sweden in search of their roots. There are 10 contestants who compete in each show in trivia quizzes, solving large puzzles, balancing plates, and all sorts of crazy games. One person is eliminated in each show. In the end one person remains and that person gets to go and meet living descendants of their ancestors.

Every episode takes part in a different area of Sweden and sometimes there is a connection to the area for one of the contestants. The person eliminated each week receives some research about their ancestors.

The show is looking for season 4 applicants. They would like you to create a short video about 39 seconds to 2 minutes about why you want to be on the show. Also you need to submit about why your Swedish heritage is important to you and describe your personality. They’re looking for fun, outgoing and adventurous people to be on the show.

Three more celebrities have been announced for the Australian version of Who Do You Think You Are?

They are Adam Goodes, a football player, Amanda Keller, radio show host and co-host of the TV show “The Living Room”, and Paul McDermott who is involved in the entertainment field.

No word on when the show will air in Australia.


Now for things coming up.

Every Monday at noon is Mondays with Myrt. You can view the Google Hangout live or watch the recording.

For the next two weeks will be some Ancestry Events. They use Livestream where you can view live or watch the recording later.

Tuesday, January 28, 1pm eastern
Understanding Baptismal Records
presented by Crista Cowen, the Barefoot Genealogist

Thursday, January 30, 1pm eastern
Soundex, Wildcards and Other Search Options
presented by Crista Cowen, the Barefoot Genealogist

Tuesday, February 4, 1pm eastern
What’s New at Ancestry.com: February 2014 Edition
presented by Crista Cowen, the Barefoot Genealogist

More of these Ancestry events should be announced for February.

Wednesday, January 29 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Ten Reasons Your Ancestor Was in Canada
presented by Kathryn Lake Hogan

Wednesday, January 29, 3pm eastern
New England Historic Genealogical Society Webinar Ten Steps for Writing & Publishing Your Family History
presented by Penny Stanton, Publishing director

NEHGS has many webinars planned this year as part of its education initiative.

Saturday, February 1, 1pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Deconstructing Your Family Tree: Re-Evaluating the Evidence
presented by Dr. Michael D. Lacopo
Not too many webinars for next week because its RootsTech where you will be able to watch many presentations live. You can find out what will be streamed and view the video at rootstech.org.

And that’s it for this episode

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 21.
Thanks for listening


Listen to the episode.

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