Episode 27 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Tuesday, March 4, 2014 and this is Episode 27

There’s going to be a big family reunion held in Queens, New York on June 6th 2015 from 7am to 9pm. Everyone is invited.

The largest family reunion in history will be held at the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair Grounds in New York, which has the New York Hall of Science on the grounds. It can hold 5,000 people and there 11 acres outside to hold many more.

The event is being organized by A.J. Jacobs, a journalist in New York City. He recently wrote a piece in the New York Times called “Are You My Cousin?” He was recently interviewed on the NPR show On Point to discuss the article and the reunion with Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, and Dr. Spencer Wells of National Geographic’s Genographic Project. The title of the show was “Crowdsourcing and the New Genealogy Boom.”

He was also interviewed on the Extreme Genes radio program.

A few months ago, AJ got an email from one of his fans in in Israel, and he said that he had a family tree that connected to AJs. AJ got the genealogy bug and is pursuing his family history by finding as many ancestors and connections to living people as possible.

A.J. is writing a book about this event. He’s using his book advance to fund the reunion. He has written other books. The last one was “The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible.” Other books are “The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to become the Smartest Person in the World” where he spent 18 months reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z. Another book he’s written is “My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself” where he improves his life, and “Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection.”

Morgan Sprulock will turn the family reunion into a documentary. Mr. Spurlock has made many documentaries in the past.

Everyone is related to each other some how and everyone is invited to this family reunion. It’s open to the public so anyone can come. If you can prove a relationship to A.J .you get a bracelet so you can be part of the biggest family photo ever taken.

You can send an email to aj@ajjacobs.com to get on the mailings list and if you include your name and the names of your four grandparents, A.J. will try to track down your relationship to him using Geni.com and MyHeritage.

The reunion will be live streamed so people can call in from all over the world. He’s going for another world record for the most people watching in a virtual family reunion.

He wants to beat the current Guinness record of 4500 from a family reunion in France.

There will be entertainment. Sister Sledge will be performing “We Are Family.” Speakers include Dr. Oz and Gilad Japhet from MyHeritage, with more speakers to be announced.

The focus of the reunion is to raise funds for Alzheimer’s


Family Tree Magazine has an article in the current issue called Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow by Lisa Louise Cooke. The article lists bloggers to follow, Twitter users to follow, Facebook pages, YouTube channels and Pinterest boards to follow. The article can also be found online.

The 40 mavericks listed are those that provide quality genealogy content.


At the Family Tree DNA conference last November the Big Y test was announced. This test provides results on over 10 million base-pairs and approximately 25,000 SNPs on the Y chromosome. The test is only available to existing Family Tree DNA customers.

It explores deep ancestral links on the paternal side. It uses the next-generation sequencing; it reads each position 55 to 80 times. On Friday, February 28th, Family Tree DNA released the first set of Big Y results. The BIG Y tests have been processed in the order in which they were received. More people will be getting their results in the coming month.

The results were supposed to be released in January but they were pushed back to the end of February. And everyone is not getting his or her results today. Some will have to wait until the end of March. The results were delayed because one of the suppliers ran out of certain reagents needed to run the Big Y test.
The test is intended for expert users

If you had the test done, you won’t find the results with your Y DNA results, the Big Y results are found under Other Results.

Our mitochondrial DNA comes from our biological mother. Some women have faulty mitochondrial DNA and they may pass on diseases to their children. Scientists are asking the Food and Drug Administration to consider human trails where a woman’s mitochondrial DNA can be replaced with mitochondrial DNA from a donor so the child will not inherit any diseases. The nucleus of the donor egg is removed and replaced with the nucleus from the woman afflicted with the faulty mitochondrial DNA. The egg is then fertilized in vitro.

The child would end up with most of its DNA from his parents with the mitochondrial DNA coming with someone else. The procedure is sometimes called “three-parent IVF.”

If approved this would change the genetic material that is passed down through the generations. Everyone gets their mitochondrial DNA from their mother. Daughters pass this DNA to their children. Males do not pass their mitochondrial DNA to their children.

The FDA held meetings last week to discuss and review this. They will decide if a public discussion is needed or approve or disapprove trails of “three-parent IVF” to be carried out on humans.


FamilySearch announced at RootsTech that 2014 will the “The Year of the Obituary.” FamilySearch will be digitizing obituaries from Family History Centers and they would like you to bring your obituary collection to a Family History Center for scanning. After the obituaries are scanned they will be returned to you.

The obituaries submitted will become part of the indexing project


FamilySearch has made some changes to its indexing program. The new FamilySearch logo is displayed, new fonts, and some colors have changed. The underlying functionality has not changed.

You’ll find the Work Offline option in a drop-down menu instead of a check box. The green arrow to close the batch and return to the start page is now on a line by itself above where it used to be.

These are just a few minor changes and are not part of the new indexing program that is planned for release later this year.


A new sliding control is coming to Ancestry search in the next couple of weeks. The sliders will make it easier to broaden or narrow the search results based on the search criteria entered. When all the sliders are to the left, the results will be broad and when all the sliders are to the right the results will be more exact matches.

You will be able to use the sliders to control the first and last name, birth and death facts, one “Any event” fact, and one residence location.

Adjust the sliders and click the Update button to see the results. You can still edit other criteria using the “Edit Search” link


Ancestry continues to roll out state research guides. The latest one is for Connecticut. In the guide it describes the history of Connecticut, the censuses available, where to find vital records offline and online at Ancestry.com, other Connecticut collections at Ancestry and places that hold collections about Connecticut.


The National Army Museum in London and Ancestry.co.uk will make available online the last effects of thousands of British soldiers who died in the First World War.

The Soldiers’ Effects ledgers contain records of monies owing to soldiers who died during the war. They contain information about a soldiers’ debts, death, and next of kin.

The records will be available sometime in early 2015.


FindMyPast has a new fun app called I Once Was. It’s free from the Apple App store and its designed for an iPhone but can be run on an iPad. It displays some head shots of people at their job such as a nurse or a priest. The pictures are from 1914. Then you can add your picture to the photo so the face in the photo is replaced with your face. You can share the resulting photo on Facebook or Twitter.


Mocavo has announced a new online transcription tool. This new service will be launched soon.

Many of the databases at Mocavo contain signatures and hand-written notes. Community members will be invited to help index these records so they are searchable.

Mocavo is testing the tool. It uses the hand-writing detection system that Mocavo announced a few months ago. You will be able to easily transcribe without leaving the keyboard using the popover windows that will appear.

There will be an arbitration process to review submissions for accuracy.


Mocavo also announced that they have developed the ability to extract pictures, photographs, and images from books.

The next step is to extract the image with its caption. Once this is in place, Mocavo will be able to add image-specific search.

The Kentucky Historical Society has made the decision to stop producing Kentucky Ancestors in print and to transition to an online publication. The online version will have full-length editor-reviewed articles, book reviews, similar to the older print version. The web site will include more features such as case studies, video interviews, instructional tutorials, and a calendar of events. The web site will be available to all for free.

New content will updated weekly on the site and they welcome article submissions for the web site.


A new web site is being created by the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, England, to display photographs of American Air Force personnel in Britain during the Second World War.

About 15,000 prints and slides from The Roger Freemand Collection will start to be on line this summer. Roger Freemand was an aviation historian who started collecting materials for his book “The Mighty Eighth” which was about the US Eighth Air Force operations during World War II. He continued to collect materials and write many more books.

The images show members of the USAAF during off-duty leisure time, their aircraft, combat missions, and the local communities they stayed at.

The web site will link each photograph to the group or unit it represents. It will show the geographic location where the photograph was taken. And it may give a personal story about the person in the photograph.

The public will be encouraged to contribute stores about the photographs.


There’s a web site called “Locating London’s Past” from the Centre for Metropolitan History. They have placed a map of London from 1746 on the site. The map is John Rocque’s 1746 map of London which took 10 years to survey, engrave, and publish at the time. The map consists of 24 sheets. They digitized each sheet and georeferenced it so the map is placed on earth in the right place onto a Google map. You can travel around London as it was in 1746 and StreetView is available to see what the place looks like now. As you place the little man into StreetView, blue lines appear over the 1746 map showing where the streets are located today.


Origins.net is a subscription web site for finding records in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. They now have a full index to and digitized images of the original 1891 census for all counties in England and Wales. The census was taken on the 5th of April 1891. Details contain names, ages, address, occupations, relationship to head of household and place of birth.

Origins.net plans to add the 1881 census to its site in the next 3 months and the 1851 census shortly after to cover the full range of censuses from 1841 – 1901.


Deceased Online is now offering annual subscriptions. Deceased Online is a web site with a database of UK burials and cremations. The annual subscription allows you access records in unlimited numbers. Some record types such as maps and whole-cemetery headstone collections are not included. These may require royalty payments and if you want to access those you can purchase pay-per-view vouchers.

These vouchers are still available to view records if you don’t want to pay for an annual subscription.


The ScotlandsPeople web site will be releasing the wills of 26,000 Scottish soldiers who died in the First World War. The wills provide a glimpse into the lives of the individuals who fought in the war.

The wills will be available in May 2014 as part of commemorations of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.


The BBC has launched World War I at Home. The BBC has partnered with the Imperial War Museums and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to collect and record stories about World War I.

The collection contains stories that show how World War I affected people and places in the UK and Ireland.

The stories will be organized by place or by theme such as War in the Air, War at Sea, War at Home, Technology, Women, Medicine, Working for the War, Soldiers from Different Nations, Arts and Media, Memory, Home Front Line, Protest, Sport or Animals.

Stories will be going out on local radio, television in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. All the stories will be available online and plans are to keep adding new stories.

BBC programming is only available from the countries where it broadcasts but you can find clips of shows, radio programs, transcripts, photos, and interactive guides at the web site that are available to any one.


There’s a new show on BlogTalkRadio called African American Genealogy and Slave Ancestry Research (AAGSAR): Where African American Genealogy and Smart Technology Connect. It’s hosted by Luckie Daniels with co-host Bernita Allen. The show is live Sundays at 6pm eastern and you can find the recordings at the blogtalkradio site.

DearMyrtle’s Mastering Genealogical Proof Study group 2 meets Sundays at 10am eastern. DearMyrtle wrote a blog post about how to post comments, view live, or view the recordings that you may find helpful.

Tuesday, March 11, noon eastern
Heritage Collector Storybook Users Group Webinar
Creating a Family Storybook part 1
presented by Kathleen Bitter

Tuesday, March 11, 2pm eastern
Friends of the National Archives – Southeast Region
Alien Files (A-Files)
presented by Elizabeth Burns

Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinar
Tuesday, March 11, 9pm eastern
Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent
Presenter: Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL

Wednesday, March 12, 10 am eastern
The National Archives UK Webinar – Emigration records
presented by Roger Kershaw

Wednesday, March 12 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Some Lesser Known Irish Resources
presented by Judith Eccles Wight

Wednesday, March 12, 9pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Timeline Creation Applications
presented by Tammy Hepps

Thursday March 13, 1pm
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Genealogy Program Introduction

#genchat – Early Census Years
Friday, March 14th, 10pm eastern

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 27.


Listen to the episode.

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