Episode 42 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Sunday June 21, 2014 and this is Episode 42.
Ancestry.com and Find A Grave websites were down on Monday, June 16th, up and down on for the rest of the week. Some people reported that RootsWeb and fold3 sites were also affected. They are all owned by Ancestry.

The cause was a Distributed Denial of Service attack or DDoS. Ancestry has everything under control now but the site still faced some intermittent outages and slowness.

A Distributed Denial of Service attack works by sending many requests to the server at the same time over and over again. It’s as if everyone wanted to use Ancestry at the same time and the server couldn’t process all those requests at the same time, and those people would try again and again causing Ancestry to become unresponsive for those who really wanted to use it.

Of course people didn’t send the requests to view the Ancestry page, computers did. Many times hackers set up a botnet to coordinate the attack. This botnet consists of many computers that have this type of software or malware installed. If the botnet software is on our computers without our knowledge, our computer is known as a zombie computer and we participate in the attack without even knowing it.

These types of attacks are done for various reasons. Sometimes the attackers want money to prevent or stop the attack. Other times the sites are attacked for other reasons such as political, religious, or someone has a grudge against the company. Sometimes it’s even a kid who wants to see what he or she can do.

Many people posted their frustration on Twitter and Facebook, some demanding refunds and extensions to their subscriptions. Some needed to be reminded that there are other things to do beside access Ancestry web sites.

There were no username and passwords stolen and no data was compromised. The attack was to bombard the sites with requests for pages; no data is impacted in this type of attack. It is meant to make the sites unusable.

As the sites come back online some sections will still not be working. User of the software Family Tree Maker will not be able to sync with Ancestry until everything is working and Mycanvas.com site was offline for quite awhile.


Eric Shoup, Executive Vice President of Ancesty.com was interviewed by Fortune magazine. Shoup oversees the Ancestry.com website, the mobile app, archives.com, and the launch of AncestryDNA. In the interview he was asked 10 questions.

Most of the questions were related to how he feels about technology and what companies he admires and other personal thoughts.

He did mention about how he would like to create an ancestral graph so we could see how we’re all related. As for business challenges he mentioned that about 80% say the have an interest in family history and he would like to turn those people into Ancestry subscribers.


If you have ancestors from England you may be interested to know that Ancestry has placed parts of The Phillimore Atlas and Index to Parish Registers online. You’ll find it under a collection called Great Britain, Atlas and Index of Parish Registers. The Phillimore Atlas is a guide to parish registers in England, Scotland, and Wales. It’s sometimes called ‘the genealogists bible.’

The atlas includes maps that show parochial boundaries and probate jurisdictions. It lists the starting dates of registers for churches and chapels. There are topographical maps for each parish showing the roads and other features to determine the movement of people, which may help you, locate which parish they went to.

Chris Paton has given a review of this new collection at Ancestry at his British Genes blog. He mentions that not everything contained in the book is found at Ancestry.


The Ancestry mobile app has won the 2014 APPY award for the best “Reference App”. This is the second year in a row the app has won this award. The APPY awards are held annually to acknowledge creativity and excellence in app design.

The app has a detailed timeline with narratives, historical context, and media that is automatically generated from an ancestor’s life events. The app lets you take your family history with you.


Ancestry’s latest research guide is for Arkansas. In the guide you’ll find the history of Arkansas, significant dates, census information, where to find records for the state, other collections, and statewide research resources.


Findmypast has bought Origins.net, a site that specializes in unusual and hard to find British and Irish records. They have many early records including rare marriage indexes, apprentices and poor law records. They also have the National Wills index. By combining the National Wills index with the existing collections at Findmypast will make Findmypast the largest online resource for UK wills and probate material.

Over the next few months the collections at Origins.net will be brought into Findmypast. The Origins.net website will continue as usual for the next few months. According to Origins.net founder Ian Galbraith, “All of the records currently on Origins will over time be made available on FMP and we’d like to reassure you that you will still be able to enjoy researching your family history with Origins.”


This weeks Findmypast update mentions that 290 people have joined the Customer Participation Group. The group is holding 23 separate discussions about new ideas and features. Some have been invited to do some user testing on refining categories and search forms. Next week, they’ll be testing a new search interface.

At Findmypast you’ll now be able to see addresses at the top of household transcripts. The census forms have been changed based on feedback and you can now report transcription errors for missing fields where there is an associated image.

New records added to Findmypast include school and university register books dating back to 1264 and two million nonconformist baptism, marriage, and burials.


23andMe has released an update about its regulatory review process with the FDA. They have submitted a new 510(k) application. This is for a FDA approval process for a medical device.

The submission is for one condition that 23andMe reports to its customer. That would be Bloom syndrome. People with Bloom syndrome have an increased risk for cancer. They tend to be short, sensitive to the sun, and low birth weight.

Once this submission clears, 23andMe will understand what is needed for future submissions.

23andMe noted that they are still in the early stages of the regulatory review process.


Family Tree DNA has made some updates to their site. The myOrigins cluster names have been simplified to make them easier to share and pronounce. There wasn’t any changes made to the underlying data that is used to show you your ancestral origins.

There is now a privacy setting that allows users to opt out of Big Y matching. When you opt out, you will not see any Big Y matches and others will not be able to see your information.

There is a SNP search box on the Haplotree page so you can easily locate a SNP of interest.

And the price for a Y-DNA25 test has been reduced to $109. It had been $229. The price for upgrades for this test has also been reduced.


There is a new website for learning about DNA. It’s called How –To DNA and can be found at howtodna.com. It contains links to podcasts and videos related to genetic genealogy. The site is meant for beginners and advanced genealogists. Hopefully at the site you’ll be able to figure out how to add DNA to your research.

Plans are to add many more how-to videos in the next few weeks and months.

The website was created by Blaine Bettinger, a well-know genetic genealogist.


FamilySearch has added more than 2.6 million indexed records and images to Brazil, Chile, England, Netherlands, Peru, Spain, United States, and Venezuela.

FamilySearch has adds more than 4.9 million indexed records and images to Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, United States, and Venezuela.

New browsable image collections added include
Italy, Como, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806–1815, 1850–1927
U.S., Arkansas, Field Offices Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau, 1864–1872

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Canada, Ontario Births, 1869–1912
Chile, Civil Registration, 1885–1903
Costa Rica, Civil Registration, 1860–1975
England, Kent, Register of Electors, 1570–1907
Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877–2008
Mexico, Sonora, Catholic Church Records, 1657–1994
Netherlands, Noord-Holland, Civil Registration, 1811–1950
Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province, Civil Registration, 1811–1942
Spain, Province of Cádiz, Municipal Records, 1784–1956
Peru, La Libertad, Civil Registration, 1903–1998
Russia, Samara Church Books, 1779-1923
Spain, Province of Málaga, Municipal Records, 1760–1956
Switzerland, Bern, Civil Registration, 1792–1876
U.S., Massachusetts, Boston Crew Lists, 1917–1943
U.S., Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1891–1943
U.S., Montana, Beaverhead County Records, 1862–2009
U.S., New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902–1956
U.S., New York, Yates County, Swann Vital Records Collection, 1723–2009
U.S., Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883–1945
U.S., Texas, San Antonio, Alien Arrivals, May 1944–March 1952
United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918
Venezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577–1995

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635–1981
Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600–1913
Brazil, Paraíba, Catholic Church Records, 1731–2013
Colombia, Military Records, 1809–1958
Peru, Cusco, Civil Registration, 1889–1997
Peru, Junín, Civil Registration, 1890–2005
Portugal, Braga, Priest Application Files (Genere et Moribus), 1596–1911
Portugal, Viana do Castelo, Miscellaneous Records, 1636–1962
South Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500–2012
Venezuela, Archdiocese of Mérida, Catholic Church Records, 1654–2013

FamilySearch has announced the online publication of additional Freedman’s Bureau records in recognition of Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It’s held on June 19th. On June 19th, 1865, which is two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers made it to Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that those who were still enslaved were free.

The latest Freedmen’s Bureau records added are for Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

The Freedmen’s Bureau records were kept from 1865 – 1872 and they contain data about African Americans and impoverished whites in the Southern States and District of Columbia who needed public assistance.

The records contain a wealth of information. For genealogists they contain full names and former masters and plantations. In the 1860 census the names of slaves are not given. These records can be used to find the names as well local censuses, marriage records, and medical records.


FamilySearch has announced that ST VeiwScan Premium and MagiPhoto for Windows Phone are now Tree Access Certified. That means that these programs can access Family Tree data to analyze, display or print.

ST ViewScan Premium now allows users to upload microfilm content directly from the screen of a Digital Microfilm Viewing and Scanning system to their accounts at FamilySearch.org.

MagiPhoto for Windows Phone lets you take pictures with your phone or use a picture you already had and upload and tag the people in the image in the FamilySearch tree.

Find-a-Record Research Assistance is now Tree and Ordinance Access certified. This is a website and chrome extension that helps you find records for those ancestors in your FamilyTree at FamilySearch.


FamilySearch has announced a series of free Scottish research webinars. The sessions will be held live at the Family History Library and if you are in the area you can attend there. The webinars will cover Scotland Census, church records, land records, probate records, emigration, poor law, maps and gazetteers, naming patterns and clans, and Scotland websites.

The webinars will be held from June 23rd – June 27th. There will be a total of 10 webinars, 2 held each day. One will be held at noon eastern and the second one will be at 3pm eastern.

These webinars are part of a series of webinars that will be made available monthly.


AJ Jacobs will be holding the world’s largest family reunion on June 6, 2015 at the World’s Fair Ground in New York. He recently gave a TED talk at TEDActive 2014 about what he’s doing.

He talked about his family tree at Geni that contains Gwyneth Paltrow with 17 links between him and Gwyneth. He explained his relationship to Barack Obama and Kevin Bacon.

We are all biologically cousins. Since we’re all related, AJ decided to through a party. He mentioned some famous people who will be going to the reunion.

The official website for the reunion is as globalfamilyreunion.org .

If you want more detailed information you can read the transcript from Genealogy News Episode 27 from March 4, 2014 where I describe how AJ got started on this and some more information about the reunion.


The software program Legacy had some problems with FamilySearch tools that have been fixed. FamilySearch had made some changes so that you could not see the FamilySearch data that you had linked to in the program. It took the folks at Legacy about a day to get the problem fixed.


A new version of the software program Gramps has been released. This is a new major release and you should make sure your computer can run it before you install it. Some new features are better place handling, new tags support on Event, Place, Repository, Source, and Citation, source/citation data become attributes, new place editor, enhanced MediaReference editor, new methods on Date handlers, and better support on translation for inflection rules.


There is a new photo archive for Dickinson, North Dakota that can be found at the Dickinson Museum Center’s new online photo archives. There are 8,000 photos of landscapes, wedding pictures, team photos, and ranchers at work.

It has taken two years to digitize the collection and it’s now ready for public use. Another 1,000 photos are still being processed. It will take years before all the images will be available online.

The photos came from donations from various photography studios in Dickinson and from families, schools, and businesses. If you had ancestors from North Dakota you may find their picture in this collection since the collection contains photo proofs from the photography studios.


Kevin Marks at his blog The Ancestor Hunt added links for finding online historical photos for the states of Florida, Nevada, and Massachusetts.

The Armchair genealogist will be creating 10-minute tip videos. The first in this series is creating a research checklist in Evernote. She shows you how to customize a research checklist for your ancestors.


The Library and Archives Canada has added a large list of digitized microfilms to its website. The records are not indexed but when you open a collection you may find it organized by date or alphabetical order. There are almost 100 new collections added to the site. Many of the collections don’t pertain to genealogy but some do such as parish registers, census returns, and land surveys.

The Library and Archives Canada has also added more than 24,000 references about money scrip (certificates) that were given to Métis family members. These people originated when fur traders married Aboriginal women. Their descendants formed a distinct culture in western Canada.

The certificates were issued by the Department of the Interior in exchange for the relinquishment to land claims. The certificates could then be applied toward the purchase of land in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.


The Drouin Institue has a subscription web site for finding Quebec records. They’ve added some new records. Marriage records for Lafrance has links to images for the year 1913 for 14,700 new links. The Jette book is now available at the site. The title of the book is “Genealogical Dictionary of Quebec Families.” It lists families since the beginning of the Quebec settlement up to 1730 using parish records, census records, and notarial records.

They’ve also added nearly 50,000 pages from the personal archives of the Gaston-Dupuis Fund. And there is a new section of personal archives with more than 600 images.

The National Archives in the UK have made the Household Cavalry records available online. There are over 12,000 records of servicemen who were part of the Household Cavalry during the Battle of Waterloo, the Boer War, and the First World War dating from 1799 to 1920.

The records contain the serviceman’s original handwritten enrollment form, the names of the next of kin, and in some cases, a conduct sheet and a causality sheet. There are also records for those who applied but got rejected.


The archives of the International Prisoners-of-War Agency should be online and available to the public through an online application in August 2014.

The International Committee of the Red Cross created the International Prisoners of War Agency on August 27, 1914. Its purpose was to put families and prisoners in touch with each other. The Agency allowed prisoners and families to exchange messages.

The Agency collected information from detaining powers and national agencies about prisoners of war and civilian internees. They kept information on index cards and these are being digitized.

They are also digitizing records of French prisoners of war during World War II. This will go online in 2016.


The newspaper archive for the independent daily newspaper of the U.S. military has added some more editions to its collection. The newspaper was established in London in 1942 for American military service members.

New editions from London for the years 1942 to 1945 and Northern Ireland for the years 1943 to 1945 are available at the website.

The Stars and Stripes website is a subscription site.

The Wellcome library has made some changes to its access procedures to make it more open. Much of the more recent digitized material is freely available. You only need to click to agree to the terms and conditions. You don’t need to register any more to view the images. They realized that many people didn’t want to register and were missing the most recent archives.

The Wellcome Library contains resources for the study of medical history.


Welsh Newspapers Online has added 100,000 new pages for a total of 725,000 pages from 115 newspaper publications. Welsh Newspapers Online is a free resource form the National Library of Wales. More pages are expected to be added this year to make over 1 million pages available online.


The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland now has the Derry-Londerry War Memorial records online. These records contain details of soldiers who fought and died during the First World War.

The records provide additional information about the soldiers whose names appear on the memorial. The Secretary of the City of Derry War Memorial Committee sent forms to the next of kin of the fallen soldier. The forms contain the name and address of the next of kin, the soldier’s rank, regimental number, and any military honors.


Claire Santry writes the blog “Irish Genealogy News.” She reports that the Valuation Office will beginning digitizing Griffith’s Valuation Cancelled Books also known as the Revision books. These books contain changes in land ownership. When a book became full of revisions it would be marked as cancelled and a new book would have been started.

It will take fours years to get the books digitized but they will be released in batches so we should see some before the four year time period.

Now on to some conference news.

Registration is open for the 2014 British Institute. It will be held October 20 – 24, 2014 at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah. It is arranged by The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.

Classes are held in the mornings and the afternoons are spent at the Family History Library with instructors available to assist with research.

The following courses will be offered:

From Simple to Complex: Applying Genealogy’s Standard of Acceptability to British Research with Tom Jones
Researching your Irish Ancestors with David Rencher
Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond with Paul Milner
Welsh Family History Made Simple with Darris Williams

Early registration will end August 15th and after that date the prices will go up.


The early bird discount for the FGS conference that will be held in San Antonio Texas is July 1st. You have until that time to save $50 on conference registration. The conference will be held August 27 – 30, 2014.


The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy has announced that the fourth annual Forensic Genealogy Institute will be on March 26-28, at the Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Two new courses will be offered – “Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum” and “Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases.” Each course is 20 hours long and offered over 3 days.

Registration will open sometime this summer.


Family Tree magazine is planning a genealogy cruise to Norway. The cruise leaves from London, England on May 16, 2015 and returns on May 23. Ports of call in Norway will be Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, and Ulvik.

Speakers are Lisa Louise Cooke, Diane Crisman Smith, Gary M. Smith, and D. Josh Taylor.


DearMYRTLE will be doing more VBlogging or video blogging. There will be Mondays with Myrt which is a 90-minute free form discussion, Wacky Wednesday, a 60-minute single how-to topic and Genealogy Game Night on Saturdays. She will also be recording more frequent “short subject” VBlog posts about 5 minutes in length. She has started some of those with a Starting Over series on RootsMagic.


Tuesday, June 24, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Double Dating: Julian Calendar or Gregorian Calendar
Wednesday, June 25 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Documenting Native American Families in 19th and 20th Century Records
presented by Angela Walton-Raji

Wednesday, June 25, 10pm eastern
Mesa FamilySearch Library Webinar
Tips & Skills for Researching
presented by Marsha Allen

Thursday, June 26, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Genealogical Proof Standard: An Introduction

Thursday June 26, 1pm
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Guide to I&N History Research

Thursday, June 26, 3pm eastern
NEHGS – Get the Most from the NEHGS Online Library Catalog
presented by Anne Meringolo and Emily Baldoni

Thursday, June 26, 9pm eastern
Second Life National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) Study Group
F. Warren Bittner, “Without Land, Occupation, Rights or Marriage Privilege: The Büttner Family from Bavaria to New York,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 100 (September 2012): 165-187.

Friday, June 27 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Copyright Mythconceptions
presented by Judy G. Russell

#genchat – Occupational hazards: Understanding what paid the bills
Friday, June 27th, 10pm eastern

And if you’re interested in Scottish research don’t forget the FamilySearch webinars that will be held everyday at noon eastern and 3pm eastern during the week of June 23rd.

The following week

Sunday, June 29, 2 – 4pm eastern

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

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

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 42.

Thanks for listening


Listen to the episode.


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