Episode 30 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Wednesday, March 26, 2014 and this is Episode 30
A law was passed at the end of 2013 to limit access to the Social Security Death Index or what is also known as the Death Master File. You will not be able to access records of death in the SSDI until after three years have passed since the death of the individual unless you become certified to access the records.

The National Technical Information Service now has an application to apply for limited access to the death master file. Those who seek certification must have a legitimate business purpose or a legitimate fraud prevention interest.

You will need to fill out a certification that explains why you need access to the data and that you will not disclose what you find in the records if you get access to them.

You will also need to submit a new Subscriber Agreement of a Licensee Agreement. These forms require name and address information and a fee schedule based on how many users and how many queries will be made. Fees range from $1,825 for a copy on a DVD to $9,800 for access with weekly updates. There is also a $200 processing fee.

This is geared toward large organizations that can afford to pay the large fees to access the SSDI for the most recent three years. That would be insurance and financial organizations, not individual genealogists.


FamilySearch has announced that MacFamilyTree, Legacy Family Tree, MagiCensus Deluxe and MagiTree are now Tree Share Certified. These products can read and write data to the Family Tree at FamilySearch.

MacFamilyTree and Legacy Family Tree are programs to keep track of your data. MagiCensus Deluxe lets you extract and view census data for an entire family across many years and countries. You import a GEDCOM file to get started. And MagiTree is a free basic GEDCOM genealogy program.


FamilySearch has added several new research classes to the Learning Center on FamilySearch.org. There are four new classes about researching in Sweden, a course on using Czech online records, two courses on the Danish Website Arkivalieronline, a course about using the Dutch Webstie Whowaswho, a course on finding places in the former German areas of Poland using the online gazetteer Kartenmeister.com, and 8 Spanish language research courses.


AncestryDNA has stopped selling Y-DNA and mtDNA (mitochondrial) tests. They are only selling the autosomal DNA test. The Y-DNA test is often used in surname projects that Ancestry had very little support for. You can transfer you AncestryDNA results to Family Tree DNA and join a surname project there after you have upgraded for an additional fee.


Most libraries subscribe to Ancestry Library Edition. You can go to your public library and use the computers there to access Ancestry. The library edition does not have the historical newspaper collection and some other collections. And you can’t upload a family tree or collaborate with others. But you do have access to most of the record collections.

When you find a record you can print it or save it. Now you can send documents home. Clicking the Send Document button will allow you to enter your email address. When you get home there will be an email that contains a link where you can download the image or print it.


Ancestry continues to roll out state research guides. The latest one is for Nebraska. In the guide you’ll find the history of Nebraska, the censuses available for that state, significant dates, where to find vital records and other resources.


MyHeritage has contributed to the crowd-funding at Indiegogo for the film Children of the Inquisition. The film is about stories of the descendants of the Jews persecuted during the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions. Each person is on a quest to find his or her ancestral roots.

They have already filmed in Jamaica, El Paso, and the New York City area. The money raised will be used to film in Spain.

If you pledge $300 you will get a 2-year premium membership to MyHeritage.com. If you pledge $500 you will get a 2-year MyHeritage PremiumPlus membership. Plus all the awards for lesser pledges such as a tour of Shearith Israel, the oldest congregation in the United States, a signed copy of the book “The Forgetting River”, and two tickets to the New York City premiere.

You have until April 12th to make a pledge.


Mocavo has some new features. Now when viewing your search results you can get a Summary Search View. This view is available to Mocavo Gold members. Summary Search View groups the results by category and database title. This lets you target a certain database and avoid those that may be irrelevant to your research.

You’ll find the Summary tab in the upper right corner when looking at the search results. You can also select multiple filters in the sidebar to narrow down the results.

This view is in beta so you may find a few bugs.

A while back Mocavo had announced the ability to recognize handwritten documents so a computer could read them and convert them to text. The first transcribed database using this technology to recognize handwriting is now available for searching. The database is Marriage records, Marion County, Indiana.


There’s a new version of MobileFamilyTree. This is an iOS app that lets you store and view your data on your Apple mobile device. To get started you import a GEDCOM file. It’s based on the program MacFamilyTree.

The new version has the look and feel of iOS 7. AirPlay video support has been added so you can display interactive and virtual trees along with charts and reports using a projector or TV.

The main navigation tool called the Interactive tree has been rebuilt from scratch for improved navigation, in-place data entry, and the ability to zoom in and out using the pinch gesture.

Some other improvements include better overall performance, narrative reports using text-to-speak, some data entry enhancements and the ability to mark things as private.

It costs $6.99 for either the iPhone or iPad version which is 50% off the regular price. The sale price is good until March 31st.


Stanford Libraries online archive has created a French Revolution Digital Archive. There you will find a day-to-day record of parliamentary debates and discussions and images from the National Library of France.

You can search the archive within one collection or across both the text and visual collections. The visual collection consists of images, prints, illustrations, medals, coins, and other artifacts.

The archive is free for anyone to explore.


The British Library has a new collaboration called the Virtual Mappa project. It’s digital images of medieval world maps. The word mappa is latin for chart.

High-resolution images will be made available online for public access with transcribed and translated text. This will happen some time in the near future.

Most of the text on the map is in Latin. There will be links to other resources and tools to better understand the maps.

The project has been going on for the past few months.

Medieval maps weren’t just maps as we use them today for navigation. Medieval maps often contain lots of information such as events from the bible or other history is noted on the map. The text is often written in Latin.


FindMyPast has made some changes to its search. The new search platform lets you search at multiple category levels. Pick a record category and then your search will be performed across all types of records related to the category.

Once you get your results you can narrow down the results using filters and provide more search criteria.

The new search is totally new and some features from the old way of searching may not be there. FindMyPast is working on getting the new search to have some of the same features of the old search.

The new search is more powerful since it lets you search across record sets.


Minister Deenihan, who is from Ireland, and others launched the Inspiring Ireland web site during a visit to Stanford University in California. Inspiring Ireland provides free access to treasures held by cultural institutions including museums, libraries, galleries, archives, and theaters.

The project is a collaboration between many different organizations.

At the site you can explore A Sense of Place, A Sense of Identity, and A Sense of Freedom. From these three exhibitions you can search paintings, letters, photographs, books, historical objects and other items. You can also search by institution.

The web site will play a significant role in preserving collections related to Ireland’s cultural heritage.

The site is found at inspiring-ireland.ie.


The Czech Republic has used drones to capture images of cemeteries and integrate the data into a GIS system for the administrators of city cemeteries to use. The Czech unmanned aerial systems (UAS) company captured the images for the project. The mapping was done outside of the growing season so trees would not block the graves and the ground control points.

Each cemetery only took one flight lasting from 10 to 40 minutes.

Now for things coming up, the National Genealogical Society Conference will be held in Richmond, Virginia, May 7th – 10th. I’ll have a booth for Geneatopia there and if you’re attending the conference drop by and say you listen to the show and I’ll have a conference ribbon for you.

Other things happening are DearMyrtle’s Mastering Genealogical Proof Study group meets Sundays at 10am eastern and Mondays with Myrt meets at noon eastern on Mondays. It’s a Google Hangout and you can view live or view the recording which is found at DearMyrtle’s YouTube channel.

Monday, March 31, 8pm eastern
Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
Capturing the Community: Using Twitter to Connect, Engage and Educate in Genealogy
presented by Jen Baldwin

Tuesday, April 1, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
What’s New at Ancestry.com: April 2014 Edition

Tuesday April 1, 9pm eastern
APG Virtual Chapter Meeting
meets the first day of the month except in Jan, meet on the 2nd

Wednesday, April 2 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – 7 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists
presented by Thomas MacEntee

Thursday April 3, 1pm
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
History Library Catalog and Services

Friday, April 4, 8pm eastern
Twitter #IDGChat – Conferences, why attend?

Saturday, April 5, 1pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Descendancy Research
presented by Michael Brophy

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 30.
Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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