Episode 22 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Wednesday, January 29, 2014 and this is Episode 22

National Archives and Records Administration also known as NARA has selected a company called Search Technologies to deliver a million-dollar contract. The contract is to build a new search system for the Online Public Access or OPA resource for NARA. This is a portal to the billions of records NARA holds.

The new system is meant to ensure fast and easy access to these records. It will be built from the ground-up to increase the scalability for billions of records so more NARA content can be made available to the public over the Internet.

Search Technologies provides enterprises with search implementation and consulting. They have contracts with other government organizations including Government Printing Office (GPO), the Library of Congress, and the Office of the Law Revision Council (OLRC).


There’s a casting company in Los Angeles that is looking for people to be in a new show about DNA.

Right-now they’re searching for people who have stories that can be proven if they take a DNA test. There’re looking for people who think they may have a famous ancestor and want to prove it.

Or maybe you think you were switched at birth, you look like a different relative and maybe they’re you biological father or mother, or maybe you think you were adopted.

The casting company is called Doron Ofir Casting and they specialize in finding interesting people for reality tv shows. If chosen for the show you will be compensated.

You can fill out a form at their web site if you would like to be considered for the show.


FamilySearch is encouraging volunteers to assist BillionGraves with taking photos of headstones.

FamilySearch and BillionGraves have a collaborative agreement where BillionGraves provides FamilySearch with indexed records for people to search at the FamilySearch site.

Headstone images from BillionGraves can be matched to individual’s FamilySearch record pages to add more information about that individual.


FamilySearch “Photos” feature will now be called “Memories.” Many people are sharing photos and memories on the site and FamilySearch is making improvements based on feedback.

When you click on Memories you will see a second level of navigation to make it easier to view the different types of memories.

They are continuing to enhance the ability to find photos and link them to persons in the Family Tree.

The changes should make it easier to share lots of different memories such as photos, documents, and stories. Also the changes will allow FamilySearch to add more types of memories in the future such as maybe obituaries, audio, or video.


FamilySearch has added new images to the following collections

Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration, 1582–1912
England, Dorset, Parish Registers, 1538–1936
Italy, Cuneo, Alba, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866–1941
United States, Passport Applications, 1795–1925

Next are the new collections that have been added. These collections you can only browse the images.

Indonesia, Jawa Tengah, Pati, Naturalization Records, 1960–2013
U.S., Iowa, Non-Population Census Schedules, 1850–1880
U.S., New York, Bronx Probate Estate Files, 1914–1931
U.S., Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Seamen’s Proofs of Citizenship, 1791–1861
U.S., Vermont, St. Albans Canadian Border Crossings, 1895–1924

New indexed records and images were added for

Germany, Hesse, Stadtkreis Darmstadt, Darmstadt District, Civil Registration, 1876–1925
Peru, Arequipa, Civil Registration, 1860–1976
Peru, Junín, Civil Registration, 1890–2005

And the following collections had more indexed records added.

Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration, 1861–1997
Mexico, Coahuila, Civil Registration, 1861–1998
Mexico, Guerrero, Civil Registration, 1833–1996
Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874–1996


Ancestry released a press release last week that they are making available more than 1 billion records from 67 countries from FamilySearch. These records were already digitized and they will be in addition to the records that will be added based on the agreement that was announced a few months ago about sharing resources to digitize and index more records. In that previous agreement Ancestry will invest more than $60 million to digitize records in the FamilySearch vault and then FamilySearch volunteers will index the records.

These 1 billion record that have been added at Ancestry will help customers discover new information about their ancestors and find more details about existing ancestors. The FamilySearch records will be available to Ancestry members in one convenient place.

The records are starting to appear on the Ancestry site and all records will be available in the next few months.


MyHeritage CEO, Gilad Japhet, appeared recently on Bloomberg TV. He was interviewed by journalist Elliott Gotkine.

The interview starts out with how MyHeritage started in a garage and has grown phenomenally with 165 employees and a billion and a half profiles in the family trees built by 75 million users.

MyHeritage focuses on technology and they are working on making technologies to make automated discoveries about ancestors for the users of MyHeritage.

The company also wants to do good and works toward helping people who have lost property from World War II gain their restitution and help people reunite with their families.


GenealogyBank has added 13 million more newspaper articles. More articles were added to 22 newspaper collections and there are 7 new newspapers that have been added to GenealogyBank.


Legacy Family Tree software is now available in the Italian language. Using software in someone’s native tongue makes it easier to use.

Legacy is also available in Afrikaans, Czech, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, and English languages.


U.S. Library of Congress would like you to send a copy of what you are writing about your family history. The library is interested in all published and self-published works including compiled genealogies. Over the years many of these types of items have been donated as gifts and the Library has assembled a book collection of genealogy and local history.


There was a docu-style comedy show on HBO last season called Family Tree. Well it didn’t do very well and HBO has decided to cancel it. The eighth and final episode aired last July.

The show was about a young man who inherits a box of family heirlooms. He decides to find out more about the items and begins searching for his roots.


There have been some new games released where we can help archives and museums tag photos. There are different types of games but basically you’re presented with a photo and you need to type in what you see in the photo. You can play in a web browser, on an Android device, or on an iOS device.

The web site is found at metadatagames.org and you can find the apps Pyramid Tag and One Up at the Google Play Store and at the Apple App Store. You can find links to the apps at the web site and find other web based games on the metadatagames.org site.

These games enable archivists to gather and analyze information for digital media archives.


The Defense Department’s Defense Imagery Management Operations Center has signed a $5 million agreement to digitize thousands of historical images. It’s expected to take 5 years to digitize everything.

The agency has lots of photographic negatives, slides, film, and VHS tapes that will be digitized. All of this comes from bases that closed down or when offices move. Everything is saved as a federal record and stored for later digitization.

The images will be at defenseimagery.mil.


I came across a program about New Jersey family history called Family Historian. It was mentioned in a blog post from the JerseyRoots blog.

The show is produced by HomeTowne Television, a local access television station in New Jersey. It’s a non-profit organization run by volunteers.

The latest episode focuses on New Jersey but the rest of the shows cover all sorts of things such as

Alumni Sources, Iowa Sources, Wills & Estates, DNA Genealogy, Mayflower Families, African-American Genealogy, Spanish-American War Records, Genealogy for Children, Genealogy Library, Jewish Genealogy, Roman Catholic Church Records, Maine Sources, Land Records, World War I Records, Newspaper Sources, Italian Genealogy, Revolutionary War Records, Connecticut Sources, Founding A Town Archive, Ukrainian Genealogy, Writing Your Family Story, World War II Records, and Monmouth County Sources.

There are 18 episodes and they are free to watch at the HomeTowne web site.

There is a website in Australia called Claim a Convict. It went online in 1998 and it lists the convicts that arrived in Australia. At the site you can contact others who share the same convicts ancestors. You sign up with your email address so others can contact you. These email addresses are NOT displayed on the site.

The site is moderated so once you signup, you’ll have to wait for approval.

The database for the site has been converted into a more manageable format and a new interface was designed. Not all convicts are listed but they are working on adding more to the site.

The site was relaunched on Australia day, which was January 26th.


Family Tree Magazine in the UK has free downloads for March. This month you will find an extract from Slater’s 1858 directory of North Wales, you can download extracts of the Churchwarden’s accounts from the parish chest of Ludlow in Shropshire from Anguline Research Archives, there’s an extract from the book The Sinking of RMS Tayleur by Gill Hoffs, there are two case studies, and some forms to help get organized.


There are some changes coming to FindMyPast. They’ve been working on these changes behind the scenes and they are getting ready to release them.

They are moving to a new technology platform. New records are being added along with new features. Things will look and work differently.

There will be a new family tree builder where you will be able to record all the details about your ancestors, store source material, add facts and events, and see a timeline of their life.

New searching capabilities include being able to search across selected categories for records and filter based on keywords, record sets, and country. You will now be able to search all censuses at once.

All these improvements will make it easier for FindMyPast to release records more frequently.

Gradually members will be moved to the new site. If you want to use the site right away, when you log in you can join the queue for the new site.

Another announcement from FindMyPast is a Feedback Forum. This is a place where you can share your thoughts and ideas about the site. From the forum you can suggest improvements and vote on what you would like to see implemented on the site.

The forum will be accessible from every page at the site.


The Wellcome Library in the UK has released a new website with tens of thousands of digital images. The images include manuscripts, paintings, etchings, photos, and advertisements.

The images are under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license, which enables their use for person or commercial use with a source citation.


The UK National Archives is making available online the digitized records of over 8,000 individuals who wanted exemption form conscription into the Army in Middlesex during World War I.

These records are from the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal, which from 1916 and 1918, heard appeals from those who had applied for exemption form compulsory military service.

The records include case files for individuals and administrative papers showing the changing policy towards conscription during the war.

Many of these records for other areas were destroyed after the war. They spared this set of records from Middlesex and one another set .


Origins.net is a paid subscription site for finding information about your British and Irish ancestors. They have announced a full index to and digitized images for the 1901 census for all counties in England and Wales.

Other censuses for England and Wales at Origins.net are the 1841, 1861, and 1871. Plans are to add the 1881 and 1891 census in the next three months. Later the 1851 census will be added to cover the full range of censuses from 1841 to 1901.


The Ulster-Scots community publishes books on the Ulster-Scots traditions in history, language, and culture. They have many publications that are free to download or you can pay for a hard copy.

Three new books have been released. One book is about Henry Cooke, an influential Presbyterian minister in Belfast. Another book is about the Ulster-Scots and the making of modern Canada. And the third book just released is about the Ulster-Scots in Pennsylvania.


You may have seen a movie recently called Philomena. It’s about a woman, Philomena Lee who is searching for her biological son who was adopted. Philomena is played by Judi Dench.

The real Philomena has gotten a lot of feedback from people who want to help reunite adopted children with their birth mothers. She and her daughter have launched the Philomena Project in Dublin in association with the Adoption Rights Alliance and they will lobby the Irish State to grant access to adoption records.

The project provides funds, campaign mechanisms, support, and services to natural mothers looking for their adopted children. It will also assist adult children looking for their natural mothers.


The National Genealogical Society Family History Conference will be held in May in Richmond, Virginia.

NGS has a new hashtag to use on Twitter this year. The hashtag will be #NGS2014gen. Last year the hashtag #NGS2013 was used for the conference. However, the same hashtag was used by the Newcastle Gang Show who held a conference just before the NGS conference.

The new hashtag should eliminate any confusion.

An official app for the conference should be released in February. It will available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry.


RootsTech will be the largest conference of its kind this year. Attendees will be coming from almost every state in the US and others from different countries around the world. Over 10,000 attendees are expected to attend the conference in Salt Lake City.

If you can’t attend in person, you can watch the keynote sessions and 15 breakout sessions that will be broadcast live where you can watch them at RootsTech.org.

The schedule of the sessions is out and you can find a link in the show notes to plan your viewing during the conference if you can’t be there in person.

And don’t forget to watch the after party. That will be a Google Hangout with Dear Myrtle where many bloggers will be discussing the conference. That will be Saturday night, February 8th, at 8:30pm eastern.


Some other things coming up would be the weekly Google Hangout with Dear Myrtle called Mondays with Myrt.

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

Tuesday, February 4, noon eastern
Heritage Collector Storybook Users Group Webinar
Creating beautiful Valentines
During this class you will learn how to make beautiful Valentines. Just in time for Valentines Day.
presented by Kathleen Bitter
Tuesday, February 4, 9pm eastern
Heritage Collector Webinar – Getting Started With Heritage Collector Part #3
Photo Enhancement
Eliminating Duplicates
Adding Meta Data for Future Generations
presented by Marlo E. Schuldt

There will be some Twitter chats coming up.

On Friday February 7, the hashtag IDGChat will be guest chat with Cindy Freed on Civil War Research. That will be at 8pm eastern.

And then later that evening at 10pm eastern will be the hashtag genchat about RootsTech 2014! What new tech have you discovered because of genealogy?

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 22.
Thanks for listening


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