Episode 36 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Sunday May 4, 2014 and this is Episode 36.

The month of May is Jewish American Heritage Month. It’s an annual recognition and celebration of Jewish Americans in the United States. This year will honor the 100th anniversary of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The JDC was founded in 1914 to help starving Jews in Palestine and Europe during World War I and after World War II ended the JDC helped Holocaust survivors worldwide.

I’ll have a link in the show notes to a website devoted to Jewish American Heritage Month with a list of events.


May is also Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. A time to celebrate the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. I’ll have a link in the show notes where you can find events related to this celebration.


MyHeritage has reached a new milestone, 5 billion historical records. It only took 2 years to reach 5 billion records. Some of these records come from partnerships with FamliySearch and BillionGraves and from the acquisition of World Vital Records and Geni.com. Other records are from birth, marriage, death, immigration, military records, newspaper articles, photographs and family tree profiles. For newspapers each page is counted as a record and for most other collection each name is counted as a record.

MyHeritage, is having a contest for Mother’s day. the prize is to win a free MyHeritage PremiumPlus account. You send a selfie with you and your mother or if you’re a mother a selfie with you and your child. And write a little something about what you love best about your mom.

Send them to stories@myheritage.com or on the MyHeritage Facebook page my May 12th.


FamilyTree DNA is launching something called myOrigins. It’s a new version of Population Finder. It will be free to anyone who has purchased a Family Finder test.

You will be able compare your ethnicity with your Family Finder matches. This will happen automatically. If you don’t what others to see your ethnicity you will have to turn off sharing my ethnic breakdown with my matches. This will also set it so you can’t compare your ethnicity with your matches.


The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints presented a $1.5 million gift to the Museum of the American Revolution. This museum will be located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and will open in late 2016.

There will be a discovery center supported by FamilySearch located at the museum.

The goal of the fundraising for the museum is $150 million. So far they have raised a little over $100 million.


FamilySearch has added more than 5.8 million images to collections from Belgium, England, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, and the United States.

New indexed record collections.

  • England, Essex Parish Registers, 1538–1900

New browsable image collections added include:

  • Philippines, Civil Registration (Local), 1888–1983
  • U.S., Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865–1872
  • U.S., Massachusetts, Boston Crew Lists, 1917–1943
  • U.S., New Hampshire, Marriage Certificates, 1948–1959
  • U.S, New York, Naturalization Index, 1792–1906
  • U.S., North Carolina, Freedmen’s Bureau Records, 1863–1872
  • U.S, Rhode Island, District Court Naturalization Indexes, 1906–1991
  • U.S, Texas, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865–1870

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection.

  • England, Bristol Parish Registers, 1538–1900
  • Italy, Modena, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806–1942
  • Philippines, Pangasinan, Civil Registration, 1945–1981
  • United States Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798–1914
  • U.S, West Virginia Will Books, 1756–1971

These collections have added images to an existing collection.

  • Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration, 1582–1912
  • Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600–1911
  • Belgium, West Flanders, Civil Registration, 1582–1910
  • Canada, Saskatchewan Provincial Records, 1879–1987
  • Germany, Hesse, Frankfurt, Civil Registration, 1811–1978
  • Netherlands, Limburg Province, Civil Registration, 1792–1938
  • Netherlands, Overijssel Province, Civil Registration, 1811–1960
  • Portugal, Bragança, Catholic Church Records, 1541–1985
  • Portugal, Lamego, Diocesan Records, 1529–1963
  • Portugal, Setúbal, Catholic Church Records, 1555–1911
  • Spain, Province of Málaga, Municipal Records, 1760–1956
  • South Korea, Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500–2012
  • U.S., Delaware Vital Records, 1680–1971
  • U.S., Illinois, Northern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1906–1991
  • U.S., Indiana, Marriages, 1811–1959
  • U.S., Massachusetts, Boston Tax Records, 1822–1918
  • U.S, Ohio, Cuyahoga County Probate Files, 1813–1931


Ancestry released their first quarter financial results. They mentioned that the AncestryDNA product is starting to have impact on revenue. Other highlights are

  • 20,000 more subscribers at the end of the first quarter for 2014 as compared to the end of 2013
  • over one billion new records were added, many from the collaboration with FamilySearch
  • other significant collections added were
  • New York City Vital Records Index (1866-1948
  • Fremantle, Western Australia, Passenger Lists (1897-1963)
  • Massachusetts State Census (1855 and 1865)
  • England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills (1384 – 1858)
  • launched eight new vital record collections

Georgia Births and Christenings
Idaho Deaths and Burials
Idaho Select Marriages
Indiana Births and Christenings
Indiana Marriage Index
Iowa Select Deaths and Burials
Iowa Select Marriages
Montana Marriage Index.

  • implemented an updated user search experience by consolidating search into one simple interface with search sliders to modify results
  • launched a new “Found a Match” feature so users can keep track of hints and label them as “Found it,” “Maybe,” or “Not it.”
  • launched a new “Show Me” feature so users can quickly scan census records to see who else is in the household

Highlights for AncestryDNA include

  • better hints system to show where a common ancestor is shared
  • can share ethnicity results with family and friends via email
  • updated region descriptions
  • created a new spit kit for collecting DNA

And Ancestry launched an iOS app for Find A Grave


Ancestry released over 11 million new records in a collection called The Quaker Collection. The Quakers were known as the “Religious Society of Friends.”

The collection spans over 300 years from the late 1600s to the late 1900s.

You can go directly to the collection by typing ancestry.com/quakers in the address bar of your browser.

You’ll find a free research guide to get stated with Quaker records. The guide explains a little about who were the Quakers and then describes birth, marriage, and death records. There is information about certificates of removal which were created when someone moved, disownments and apologies which were created when someone was not behaving properly and the apology was what they wrote in response, and the Hinshaw records that were created by Mr. Hinshaw. He extracted genealogical information for every set of Quaker monthly meeting minutes he could find.

The guide also contains important dates in Quaker history and common abbreviations you’ll find in the records.

There is a new book about the Quakers written by an Ancestry employee, Lisa Parry Arnold. The title is “Thee and Me: A Beginner’s Guide to Early Quaker Records.” The book contains many images and a case study to help understanding the research process for tracing Quaker ancestors. It also goes over the Quaker collection on Ancestry.

It costs $17.99 or $9.99 for the Kindle version. A reviewer mentioned that the Kindle edition does not contain the images or the case study.


The latest research guide from Ancestry is for South Carolina. In the guide you’ll find the history of South Carolina, significant dates, a list of South Carolina censuses, where to find vital records, military records, immigration and travel collections, land & wills, and some other collections such as city directories. It also lists major libraries and other web sites that may be of interest for finding your South Carolina ancestors.


FindMyPast is still trying to soothe its subscribers who do not like the relaunched search engine. The latest is a blog post from Annelies ven den Belt, CEO of findmypast.

She writes that the upgrade met with some challenges and mistakes that resulted in a less than perfect experience for users. She promises to improve the site and features and grateful for everyone that sent feedback.

From now on she will be posting weekly on the blog in order to improve communication and keep everyone informed of priorities and updates.

They have revised the Facebook house rules and they are moderating the Feedback Forum to make sure every suggestion gets back to the teams at findmypast.

There is now a ‘customer participation group’ to better understand needs and ideas for future development. You can sign up for the group by sending and email to participate@findmypast.co.uk.

You can also send an email directly to the CEO of findmaypast at annelies@findmypast.co.uk. She says she will read every one but may not be able to respond to every email.


Some more records have been released at findmypast covering World War I and World War II. They are the Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942. These were originally created by British Army regiments as a permanent record of a man’s enlistment. There were four lines for each man’s entry.

They also released Royal Artillery Other Ranks: Casualty Cards 1939-1947, Cyprus Emergency Deaths 1955 – 1960, and Palestine Conflict British Deaths 1945-1948.


The BillionGraves website has been updated. There were lots of bug fixes, better handling of international languages on the transcription page, ability to transcribe and display Hebrew dates, transcription enhancements, and some pages have been localized into other languages .

They’ve created a tutorial to help you use the new website.

For the month of May the BillionGraves competition is called “Million More in May Madness.” The name reflects adding 1 million unique images to the BillionGraves database.

If you make to the leaderboard for adding photographs or being a transcriber you may win the May pin.

But this month is to reach a million images, so there is a prize of a 16GB, 4G-LTE capable Apple iPad Mini. That prize will be awarded to EVERYONE who uploads 50,000 unique images and EVERYONE who transcribes 75,000 records. This is open to anyone in the world.


Mocavo has a Summer Research Guide to get you ready for your genealogy travel this summer. It lists tips and tricks to help you have a stress-free research trip. It even has things you can do if you take a “staycation.”


There will be a Huguenot Heritage Centre built in Rochester which is 30 miles from London, England. The Huguenots were French Protestants who fled from religious persecution in France, over a period of 200 years. Many Huguenots settled in England.

The idea for the Huguenot Heritage Centre came from the French Hospital, which was founded in London in 1718 as a charity to offer sanctuary to poor Huguenots. The hospital owns many items pertaining to Huguenots which will be displayed at the new centre.

The French Hospital will be receiving a grant form the Heritage Lottery Fund for the development of the centre. The centre will tell the story of the flight of Huguenots to Britain, explain their key contributions to Britain, and explore the Huguenot experience. The centre will open in the summer of 2015 above the Vistor Information Centre in Rochester.


The National Library of Wales is going to digitize tithe maps. They have over a thousand of these large maps. They plan to also digitize the apportionment documents, which is a key to the maps. They contain the name of landowner and tenant, description of land, sometimes showing field names, state of cultivation such as meadow or pasture, number of acres, and amount due.

Soon there will be a crowd-sourcing project to help with the project which is expected to last for two and a half years.


The Dublin Ireland electoral registers for the years 1908 to 1910 are available online from the Dublin City Library and Archive at dublinheritage.ie. The full set of records from 1898 – 1916 will eventually be online.

You can search by name, address, division, and ward. You can use wildcards and you can perform a full text search.

And it’s free.


The National Archives of Ireland has added to its collection of soldiers wills on its website. This collection contains the wills of Irish soldiers who died while serving in the British Army. Most are from World War I but there are some from the late 19th century and from the South African War.


There’s a new project in Jerusalem to digitally archive the testimonies of hundreds of 1948 veterans. 1948 was the year of the Arab-Israeli War that was fought between the State of Israel and a military coalition of Arab states and Palestinian Arab forces. The result of the war caused over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs to flee the area that became Israel. After the war many Jews left their Middle East countries and fled to Israel.

The project is a partnership between the National Library of Israel and the Toldot Yisrael, a non-profit organization that records firsthand testimonies of those who helped found the State of Israel. The collection will be permanently housed in a digital archive at the library.


The Federation of Genealogical Societies 2014 Conference is looking for ambassadors. These are bloggers, societies, writers, and editors. They will be spreading information about the conference that will be held in San Antonio, Texas, August 27 – 30.

You just have to register and then you can place a badge, which is an image, on your blog or social media account. You’ll be expected to write about the conference in your blog, use twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or other social networks.

You’ll also be eligible for some giveaways, maybe become a guest blogger on the FGS Conference Blog, a link to your blog or website on the FGS Conference blog’s Ambassador page, be part of a Twitter list of ambassadors, and get an ambassador badge ribbon at the conference.

Coming Up

Monday, May 12, 10 am eastern
The National Archives UK Webinar – Victorian workhouses
Learn how to explore records about workhouses.
presented by Paul Carter

Tuesday, May 13, 2pm eastern
Friends of the National Archives – Southeast Region
Introduction to Military Records at the National Archives
presented by John Deeben

Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinar
Tuesday, May 13, 9pm
Organizing (or Reorganizing!) That Family Reunion
Presenter: James M. Beidler

#genchat – Connecting to Australia
Wednesday, May 14th, noon eastern

Wednesday, May 14 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Photo Apps for Android, iPhones or iPads
presented by Maureen Taylor

Wednesday, May 14, 7pm eastern
U.S. National Archives
A Nation of Immigrants: How They Have Shaped America.

Starting on Friday, May 16
North Carolina Genealogical Society presents Diane L Richards speaking on Freedmen’s Bureau Records
Webinar will be available until May 18

Friday, May 16, 8pm eastern
Twitter #IDGChat – Brick Walls

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 as well as a transcript. The transcript can also be found in the Geneatopia Flipboard magazine.

This is episode 36.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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