Episode 32 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Wednesday, April 9, 2014 and this is Episode 32

The New York Public Library has recently released a collection of more than 20,000 maps. These high resolution maps can be viewed at the New York Library’s Digital Collection page, and downloaded used the Map Warper. You will need to create a free account in order to download the images. All these images are free.

The maps may be located at the New York Library but they consist of maps from all over the world. The library has been scanning its map collection for about 15 years using money from various grants to fund the projects for scanning.

Through the years they have built up the collection. There are 1,100 maps of the Mid-Atlantic United States and cities from the 16th to 19th centuries, more than 700 maps of the Austro-Hungarian empire from 1877 to 1914, 2,800 maps from state county and city atlases mostly from New York and New Jersey, over 10,000 maps mostly of fire insurance atlases of New York city ranging from 1852 to 1922, and more than 1,000 detailed maps of New York city dating from 1660 to 1922.

The Map Warper may be difficult to use at first. You can view a video about how to use it. Once you bring up a map you can match the map to a current Google map or OpenStreetMap. You can set some control points to match the old map with a current map, you click Warp Image and then you can see the rectified map. That’s why the image viewer is called Map Warper.

The Map Warper tool may be useful to see where you ancestor lived when the map was created and compare it to how the area is today. For the city you can see where the streets where and for areas outside the city you can see where the waterways and transportation routes were located.


More ships’ passenger lists will be coming to the Ellis Island web site. The current collection spans the years from 1892 to 1924. The additional records will be for the years 1925 to 1957. 40 million new records will be added to the collection as a result of a partnership with FamilySearch.org. The current collection has about 25 million records. The new records should be available by the end of the year.

Ellis Island was an immigrant inspection station from 1892 to 1954.

The site is found at EllisIsland.org and it’s free to access.


This year the American Library Association will have Preservation Week from April 27th to May 3rd. This is the time for communities to be connected through events and activities, to preserve collections.

Preservation week started in 2010 because so many items in collecting institutions required immediate attention and care. Many of these institutions rely on volunteers and preservation week was a way to get more people involved.

Everyone is encouraged to help preserve records at their local libraries or at home. You can find many ideas about what you can do at the Preservation Week web page.

Be on the look in your local area for some preservation events and activities or make time to preserve you family items for future generations.


23andMe posted an update on its blog about what’s going on with 23andMe and the FDA. Remember 23andMe was told by the FDA to stop selling its Personal Genome Service which was used for health reports on diseases and conditions. The FDA wants more proof of validity for these tests. It’s afraid people will undergo unnecessary surgery as a result of a false positive result and a false negative result may lead people to not recognize a risk that they have.

The FDA is not concerned about using DNA for genealogical testing and 23andMe is still offering that test.

23andMe mentions that they are working with the FDA to start creating a subset of health reports. They don’t know how long the process will take and they can’t say when any reports will be made available.

Any new 23andMe customers should realize that they have access to ancestry reports only, health results will not be available to them.

23andMe says they are working with the FDA so its customers can have access to genetic health information.


A well known DNA expert, Blaine Bettenger has written a blog post titled “What’s new with 23andMe?” Blaine’s blog is called The Genetic Genealogist.

He mentions 23andMe is providing new ways people can learn about personal genomics and interact with the company. They have a Pinterest board called “What We’re Reading” where you can find out about the latest news in the field of personal genomics.

23andMe has something called the DNA Facts Generator where you can find out genetic traits as percentages. These facts come from 23andMe customers who have opted in to participate in research and answer survey questions. So did you know that 21% of migraine sufferers say that shopping can be a trigger. You can find lots more facts like this at the web site.

Something else 23andMe has been doing is interviewing some employees on their blog. The posts are meant to introduce everyone to the people behind the research at 23andMe.


FamilySearch has announced a new series of monthly webinars. The first one will be about U.S. Census Records: the Backbone of U.S. Research. It’s presented by G. David Dilts. That will be on April 10th which may have occurred before you’re listening to this podcast. No word if the webinars will be archived and they have not announced any future webinars but they did say these webinars would be monthly.

At the RootsTech conference it was announced that LDS church members would be getting free subscriptions to Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, and FindMyPast.com. This is a result of the partnerships FamilySearch has formed with these companies to collaborate on obtaining records and sharing resources. The free access was suppose to happen by the end of 2014.

Well, it may happen sooner. FamilySearch is testing the access and they plan a limited roll out to some of its members in the next two months. Members will be notified by email. It’s anticipated that all members of the church will have access to these sites by the end of the summer or early fall.


FamilySearch has added a collection of Nebraska homestead records. These records have taken over a decade to digitize. There are over 1.6 million records available to the public online. These records came from the Nebraska Homestead Land Entry Case Files. They contain details about the property, what types of homes were on the property, and what crops were grown. Some may contain naturalization information or military service documents.

FamilySearch plans to continue to digitize records like this from the other 29 homesteading states.


Ancestry ‘s latest research guide is for Maine. In the guide you’ll find the history of Maine, the censuses where Maine is include, where to find vital records for Maine, state resources such as archives and libraries, other online collections, and significant dates for the state.


MyHeritage has a new competition where three lucky winners get a Kindle. All you have to do is tell a story about uncovering your ancestors or finding a long-lost relative using MyHeritage. You can also submit a success story about your family site or an interesting family history adventure.

You have until April 30th to submit a story. You send the story to stories@myhertiage.com or place it in the comment section of the blog post that announced the competition. A panel of in-house genealogists will select the winning stories. The winners will be notified by email.


BillionGraves has a new contest called the Golden Egg contest or the 2014 Global Easter Egg Hunt. It’s designed to get you outside and enjoying the nicer weather.

Each Wednesday in April there will be a clue on the BillionGraves blog, Facebook page, and Instagram page. The clue will be a date in national or global history that you will need to find on a headstone between Wednesday and Sunday of that week. The example they give is “What day was the declaration of independence signed?”

You will need to take a picture of the headstone and upload it to BillionGraves. It must be a new picture, not something that’s has already been uploaded.

Once you upload your picture, you will need to copy and paste the URL into the comments section of the blog post where you found the clue for that week.

Everyone who submits a photo will receive a BillionGraves pin. The other winners will be randomly selected the Monday after the Sunday deadline for submission. There will be a Golden Egg Grand Prize worth $40 in value, a Silver Egg worth $20, and a Bronze Egg worth $10. Details about the prizes will be released each Wednesday on the BillionGraves blog, Facebook page, and Instagram account.

To qualify for the prizes, you must have added a total of 100 photographs to BillionGraves each week to be considered in the prize drawings.

Mocavo has added the ability for you to fine tune your searches. You can change the search engine preferences. Mocavo Gold members will be able to use tuners to see a different set of results.

These “tuners” are in a beta stage. Mocavo is working to identify the perfect application for each new search algorithm.

Some of the things you can do is to select “more records, fewer books”, books with long pages which is good for finding an ancestor in newspapers or city directories, books with short pages for finding an ancestor in diaries or letters, dense matches to find multiple occurrences of the search terms very close to each other, sparse matches where only a few search terms are found on each page, quantity and quality to specify the amount of times the search term appears and how relevant the record page is to the search, terms near front of book, terms near back of book, and short and small books.

Another new search feature is the ability to filter results by proximity of keyword. You can choose how close the search terms appear together. So if you are looking for John Smith and the setting is set to +1 you will find all John Smiths that also include any records where the middle name is mentioned since Smith is one word away from John. You can adjust the slider to search by exact criteria with the slide set at exact, in the middle which represents +1, or far which allows for more leniency.

Mocavo is encouraging people to let them know what they think of the new sliders and submit ideas about how the searches can be improved.

Over at FindMyPast you will find a different way of searching. As with all things new, many people are unhappy with the new search. FindMyPast is trying to implement an improved site with more records and more powerful search with a better user experience. They recognize that some old features have not transferred to the new search and they are working to resolve those issues.


There’s a new genealogy app for the iPad. It’s called Branches for iPad from Sherwood Electronics Laboratories and it costs $4.99. It’s a GEDCOM viewer that uses mapping concepts to visualize relationships and view family history records. It helps you visualize relationships including multiple marriages and adoptions. It can also show you where you have missing data.

You will always see a map of your entire tree in the upper left hand corner so you won’t get lost as you zoom in to see detail in your tree.

Some of the things you can do with the app is to bookmark a view, view your tree from other perspectives using different root persons, discover lines coming forward using descendent views, and show intermarriages between family lines.

Heredis a program for keeping track of your ancestors. It runs on both Windows and Macs. They now have videos about how to use the program at their site. There are also user guides for both versions.

You’ll find the Learning Center by clicking the button for Help and learning from the top of the main page.


Library and Archives Canada is outsourcing its national catalog. The catalog lists the holdings from more than 1,300 libraries across Canada. They will be negotiating with a US based company called Online Computer Library Center of better known as OCLC. It’s the world’s largest library cooperative.

The contract will be for 5 years with options for five one-year renewals.

Library and Archives Canada will extract its collections database from AMICUS, its information resource system that was developed by LAC over two decades ago. Other collections passed to OCLC will come from bibliographic records and holdings data from other libraries across Canada. OCLC will use all this data to build the future LAC and national union catalog databases.


The Drouin Institute has put online over 1.3 million Quebec obituaries dating from 1999 to the present. The obituaries came from 250 sources. At the site you can search by name and date of death. The site is free.

The Irish Genealogical Research Society has started to put online for its members the Captain Clanchy Marriage Index. This index contains Irish marriages prepared during the 1950s by Captain Henry Clanchy. He was a member of the society.

The index was created from the society’s manuscript collection and pedigree files. Currently those names started with the letters A to C are available online for members of the society.

Eventually the collection will contain all the names totaling 6,000 entries.


There’s a web site about the Irish Mission for Immigrant Girls in New York City. The Catholic clergy and many others helped over 100,000 women immigrants. At the site you will find an exhibition and access to searchable records for these immigrants. Clicking the button for Resources and then clicking Watson House Digital Archives, takes you to another web site dedicated to the records. That web site is localarchives.net. The records are from the Irish Mission at Watson House from 1883 to 1954. It’s free to search the collection and view the records. More records will be added in the future.


The General Register Office of Northern Ireland has placed birth, marriages, and deaths from Northern Ireland online. You need to register for an account in order to search and then you need buy some credits to see the records. You can only view the records, you are not allowed to print the images, download the images, or take screen shots of the images. You purchase records to view and you may view these records for 72 hours.

New Genealogical Proof Study Groups are forming for Spring. These are small study groups where you get together to discuss the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas Jones. The groups consist of 10 to 15 people with a mentor. You can be in a beginner, intermediate, or advanced group.

There will be a private Google+ community for each study group. Discussion boards, video chat, and text chat will be used. How much of each will depend on how the mentor wants to conduct the group. You can ask questions or join a group by sending an email to genproofstudy at gmail.com

And there will be a link it the show notes to a web page that describes all about the groups.


The National Genealogical Society Conference is coming up in May. It will be from the 7th to the 12th in Richmond Virginia. They’ve made some changes to the original schedule that was published. These changes were necessary to accommodate the live streaming.

If you’re going to the NGS conference be sure to drop by my booth and say Hi. If you mention that you listen to the show, I’ll have a Geneatopia ribbon for you.
Coming Up
DearMyrtle continues doing Hangouts on Air, they’re every Sunday for the Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group 2 at 10am eastern and every Monday at noon eastern for Mondays with Myrt. They’re recorded and you can find them at DearMyrtle’s YouTube channel.

Tuesday, April 15, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Discover More About Your Ancestors in Tax Records

Tuesday, April 15, 8pm eastern
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Webinar
German-American Resources for Genealogists
presented by Antje Petty

#genchat – One Place Studies
Wednesday, April 16th, noon eastern

Wednesday, April 16 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Genealogy Evidence and Online Family Trees
presented by Karen Clifford

Wednesday, April 16, 8pm eastern
Georgia Genealogical Society
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) : an Introduction to the Basics
presented by Greer Martin

Wednesday, April 16, 9pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Caring for Keepsakes: The Top 10 Family Treasures
presented by Denise Levenick

Thursday, April 17, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
AncestryDNA: Making the Cousin Connection

Thursday, April 17, 1pm eastern
Family Tree DNA – A Selection of Y-DNA Success Stories at Family Tree DNA

Thursday, April 17, 8pm eastern
Florida State Genealogical Society
FSGS Poolside Chats – Online Catalogs: A Bridge to Successful Research
presented by Pam Cooper

Friday, April 18, 8pm eastern
Twitter #IDGChat – Brick Walls
Submit your brick wall using the IDG blog or send an email to editor@theindepthgenealogits.com by the first Friday of the month.
The submissions will be posted on the blog for discussion at the chat.
The results of the chat will be posted on the IDG blog.
Follow the chat using Twubs. Got to Twubs.com and sign in with your Twitter account.

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 32.
Thanks for listening.


Listen to the episode.

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