Episode 33 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Tuesday, April 15, 2014 and this is Episode 33
The first thing for today isn’t about genealogy but it been on the mind of many genealogists this last week. That would be the Heartbleed security flaw. This was recently discovered and it affects something called OpenSSL. That’s a method of sending information between two sites encrypted. You do this to login at a site or pay using your credit card.

The problem is that its possible that someone could uncover usernames and passwords when they’re entered as well as any other information that is being sent encrypted.

Not all sites use OpenSSL, they may use something else for encryption so those other sites are not affected by Heartbleed. And some sites may be using an older version of OpenSSL which doesn’t have this problem. There has been a patch issued so if the site is using the latest version, it will be safe.

Changing your password at sites that are affected won’t help. That will just expose another password for a hacker to obtain. You need to wait until the site has updated OpenSSL and then change your password.

Many sites were affected, a good list of major sites that were affected can be found on a blog post at Mashable and CNET has a list as well. The good news is that most banks and financial institutions weren’t running OpenSSL so there is no need to worry there. Most other large sites were affected.

But what about the genealogy web sites. You’ll need to check those yourself. A place to do this is at the Qualys SSL Server Test page. You enter a domain name and then it will run some diagnostics and give you more information about the site’s security than you probably want but right up near the top it will tell you if the site is vulnerable to the Heartbleed attack.

FamilySearch issued a statement that they were not affected. And Tammy Hepps has an updated blog post on her blog Treelines about how the major genealogy companies are affected. Her blog post was called Genealogy Industry Report Card on the Heartbleed Security Flaw.
By the way the name Heartbleed comes from the name of an extension in OpenSSL called heartbeat. This extension checks that there is a live connection for sending information. It’s called heartbeat because it keeps the connection alive for the duration of the session. The bug is in this extension so they called it heartbleed.


The Civil War started in April of 1861 and in remembrance of if Fold3 is allowing free access to all records in its Civil War Collection for free from April 14th to 30th. You’ll find all sorts of things related to the Civil War. Records include service records, pension index cards, “Widows’ Pension” files, Navy survivors certificates, slave records, and Army registers. There are photographs, maps, and court investigations. Also included in the collection is the 1860 census and lots of other documents related to the war.

You can search any time but to view the records during this free period you must register at Fold3.


The Federation of Genealogical Societies has two webinars about the War of 1812 available at their web site. These webinars will only be available until Sunday April 27th.

The first webinar is called “Discovering Local & State Militia Record” and it’s presented by J. Mark Lowe

The second webinar is called “Researching in the Post War Records of 1812″ and it’s presented by Craig Scott.

Theses webinars were recorded in the Summer of 2013 and if you want to watch them you only have until April 27th.


For the past 6 months Kenneth Marks has been listing newspaper web sites on his blog The Ancestor Hunt. He has completed posting for all 50 states plus Washington DC.

For each state he lists the subscriber sites where newspapers for that state can be found and he lists other free sites. The free sites may include the Library of Congress Chronicling America and Google News Archives.

Many states have newspapers online that are found at a state agency or university site and these are free.

I can tell you that I have had great success finding some obituaries from the links listed for certain states.

Kenneth has compiled an extensive list for every state and I encourage you the check it out. His blog has a separate area for newspapers so you don’t have the search the blog to find links for a specific state.

Under the Tutorial section of his blog, you will find videos about how to use some of the newspaper collections.


Guild of One-Name Studies held its 2014 Guild Conference and Annual General Meeting on April 11th – 13th. It was held in Ashford in Kent, England.

Dick Eastman was the keynote speaker. Other speakers talked about their one-name projects and there were more general genealogy topics as well. The conference was recorded and the two main days can be found on YouTube.

The video for the first day is 7 hours long and the video for the second day is 4 ½ hours long. You may want to look at the agenda to see what time you want to watch a certain session. I’ll have links in the show notes to the agenda and the videos.


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned about an expert on Richard III, He’s a professor of history and he was questioning if the remains of Richard III are really his or maybe another male relative that could have shared the same mitochondrial DNA and obtained the same injuries in the war.

Now another expert says that the doubt about the remains is so insignificant that it doesn’t count. The evidence taken together proves that it is Richard III. DNA testing, radiocarbon dating and damage to the skeleton prove the remains are Richard III. There was also a reconstruction of his face based on the bones that matches portraits of him.

This latest expert to voice his opinions is archeologist Mike Pitts. His is the author of a new book about the search for Richard III’s grave called “Digging for Richard III: How Archaeology Found the King.”

Family Tree DNA will be launching a new and improved Population Finder in a few weeks. This tool shows a geographic breakdown for where your ancestors came from. It compares your DNA to DNA of ethnic groups around the world.

With the new and improved tool, you’ll be able to compare your ethnicity with your matches. This will happen automatically when the new Population Finder launches. If you want you can turn this feature off.

FamilySearch has added more than 6.6 million indexed records and images to collections from Austria, Brazil, England, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the United States

The collections have indexed records added to an existing collection are
England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844–1952
Mexico, Coahuila, Catholic Church Records, 1627–1978
Mexico, Hidalgo, Catholic Church Records, 1546–1971
Mexico, Puebla, Catholic Church Records, 1545–1977
Mexico, Sonora, Catholic Church Records, 1657–1994
Mexico, Zacatecas, Catholic Church Records, 1605–1980
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1834
U.S., District of Columbia Marriages, 1811–1950
U.S., North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762–1979
United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
Nicaragua, Civil Registration, 1809–2013

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Austria, Seigniorial Records, 1537–1920
Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902–1980
Brazil, Piauí, Civil Registration, 1875–2013
Dominican Republic, Civil Registration, 1801–2010
England, Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Miscellaneous Records, 969–2007
Portugal, Coimbra, Passport Registers and Application Files, 1835–1938
Portugal, Viana do Castelo, Catholic Church Records, 1537–1911
Spain, Province of Gerona, Municipal Records, 1566–1956
Spain, Records of Widows and Orphans of Spanish Officers, 1833–1960
U.S., Idaho, Bonneville County Records, 1867–2012
U.S., Illinois, Lee County Records, 1830–1954
U.S., Minnesota, County Marriages, 1860–1949
U.S., New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787–1938
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1785–1950
U.S., North Carolina, Civil Action Court Papers, 1712–1970
U.S., Oregon, Douglas County Records, 1850–1983
U.S., Oregon, Grant County Records, 1851–1992
U.S., South Carolina, Darlington County Records, 1798–1928

And in a separate blog post FamilySearch announced adding more than 2 million images to collections from Italy. There are images for civil registration for Genova, Italy and Lucca, Italy. The images span various years. Also images were added to Napoli, Italy civil registration collection.

Randy Seaver recently wrote a blog post about using the collections at FamilySearch that aren’t indexed, they just contain images. You don’t search for a name, you need to browse the collections by area to find those collections that aren’t indexed. He mentions that FamilySearch doesn’t make it easy or provide directions about finding these collections. He also mentions that if your not using those records, your missing out.

I just want to say that some of these collections that just contain images are very usable. Some are in alphabetical order, if you know the surname you can an enter an image number to bring up an image later in the collection, look at that image and then decide what image number to enter next to get closer to the image you would be interested in.

Other image collections are ordered by date. So if you know the year of the event you can again jump around the collection by entering a number representing what image to look at to get to the right place in the collection.

And I’ve found some image collections are ordered by location and then within a location it’s ordered by date.

I encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t already. Even if the collection says it contains billions of records, once you open it you’ll see how it’s organized and you may realize you can use it after all.


Ancestry’s latest research guide is for Maryland. It gives you an overview of Maryland history and lots of sources to use when researching your Maryland ancestors.

The guide contains all the censuses taken in the state of Maryland, significant dates in Maryland history, where to obtain vital records, where to find military collections, and where to find some other state resources.


BillionGraves has released its iOS app in 25 languages. The new release also fixes several bugs and some enhancements to the on-device transcription feature including handling of Hebrew dates.

In the near future an Android version will be released with 25 different languages and the web site will be available in 25 different languages.


The uproar about the new search features at FindMyPast continues. Many people are threatening not to renew their subscriptions because they don’t like the new search.

Forums have been set up at FindMyPast and people are complaining.

FindMyPast says the new site and search are meant to improve performance and allows for searching across many record sets. They appreciate all the feedback. They are trying to speed up development to address the concerns of its subscribers. You can expect more improvements from FindMyPast.

Over the next 100 days FindMyPast will be releasing 100 record sets during that time. This new initiative is called 100 in 100. New records will be released every week and some weeks will highlight recently added collections.

There will be records for parishes, births, marriages, deaths, and christenings.

So far they’ve release 10 collections pertaining to those who served in World War I from the Pals Battalions. A Pals battalion is a unit raised by local authority. The term pals was used to recruit men who worked together and they should join up and fight along side each other.

So far in the collections there are records for Pals battalions from Birmingham, Bradford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Salford, South Down, the 1st Sprotsman’s Battalion, and Stockbrokers’ Battalion.

You can find out what’s been added or highlighted at 100in100.findmypast.co.uk.


A couple of new Android apps have been released. The first one is called CatroGenea. The app lets you manually enter individuals or you can import a GEDcom file. It supports the French and English languages. It costs $4.14. Usually those odd amounts are due to conversion factors. The developer of this app is in France.

The other new Android app is called GEDexplorer. You import a GEDcom file and view it visually on your Android device. It supports links to pictures, web pages, and maps. You can select either Swedish or English for a language and it costs $5.00.


The British Newspaper Archive has a new iPhone app out. From where ever you are you can read stories from over 200 years of historical newspapers. You can learn what happened on this day in history, discover reports reflecting today’s news, and enjoy interesting and amusing snippets.

The app shows articles chosen by the British National Archive with the date they appeared in the newspaper. You can tap to read the article and view the images. You can zoom in to read the text.

The app is free and you don’t need a subscription to the British Newspaper Archive to use it.


The UK National Archives is making over 150 top secret MI5 files available online. The files contain information about organizations and individuals involved in espionage or under surveillance during World War I. You’ll find information on suspected spies and double agents some you may have heard of such as Mata Hari.

These files are part of the Archive’s First World War 100 program which is digitizing records to mark the centenary of the First World War.


The British genealogy site Origins.net has updated its free National Wills Index to include more than 300,000 Devon wills from 1164 – 1992. The Devon records came from 60 sources.

The National Wills Index is meant to be a finding-aid to see where probate records were originally recorded and where they can be located now and if it’s a transcription. The index also tells you if a record has survived the bombings of World War II and where these records can by located.

This index is searchable and free of charge.


A new web site has been launched in Ireland for a project called “Heroes of the Great Irish Famine.” The site pays tribute to individuals and communities whose compassion and generosity sustained the lives of those who suffered during the famine.

Members of the public may submit information about individuals and communities they feel should be recognized for their generosity.

It is hoped this web site will become a valuable information resource and inspire people to learn more about the Great Irish Famine.

The site will have details about events in the run up to the National and International Famine Commemorations which will be a 10 day event from May 2nd to May 11th.

The site can be found at irishfamine.ie


The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland is in the process of uploading videos that were recorded at the “Exploring Your Archives in Depth” workshops that were held in January and February of 2014.

So far there are videos for the lectures by Dr. Annaleigh Margey about the 1641 Depositions and by Valerie Adams about using church records.

The YouTube channel is called PRONIonline.


Each year the Federation of Genealogical Societies recognizes individuals, genealogical and historical organizations who make significant contributions to family history.

You can find a list of award given at the FGS web site. Not all awards are given each year. After May 1st you will see more awards listed.

The Federation invites you to nominate individuals and societies to be eligible to receive an award of recognition. The deadline for submission is June 15, 2014.

Coming Up

Tuesday, April 22, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Discovering Your Quaker Ancestors

Wednesday, April 23 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – The Homestead Act of 1862
presented by Thomas MacEntee

Thursday, April 24, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Five Things You Can Do This Weekend to Clean Up Your Family Tree

Thursday April 24, 1pm
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Guide to I&N History Research – Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

Thursday, April 24, 9pm eastern
Second Life National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) Study Group
Helen F. M. Leary, “Sally Hemming’s Children: A Genealogical Analysis of the Evidence —-,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 89 (September 2001): 165-207.
Clarise is downsizing Just Genealogy and the landing point has changed. If you’re interested in buying land next to Just Genealogy contact Clarise who is also known as Dear Myrtle.

#genchat – The Tax Man: he left paperwork behind
Friday, April 25th, 10pm eastern

I usually close be mentioning my magazine on Flipboard. Well, the legal genealogist has explained the terms of service for Flipboard and if I share something that some else posted on their blog and it turns out that they posted something they did not own the copyright for, I’m responsible. So that magazine is gone.

In it’s place you can find a Flipboard magazine called Genealogy News from Geneatopia. It contains the transcripts from all the past shows and I’ll update it with newer transcripts as shows are created.

And that’s it for this episode.

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 33.
Thanks for listening

Listen to the episode.

Posted in Transcripts