Episode 47 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Sunday August 10, 2014 and this is Episode 47.

Wholly Genes has announced that they will discontinue The Master Genealogist program. Even though thousands of people use The Master Genealogist, it is not enough to support it and continue development. The program has been around for 25 years.

The owner of Wholly Genes, Bob Velke, mentioned health reasons were a factor in this announcement and there will be fewer opportunities to develop and market the program.

Official support for the program will end at the end of 2014. Bug fixes will be released but no new features will be released. The product will be available for purchase through September.

A document is available for other developers who would like to create a direct import of the data stored in The Master Genealogist. This means that some other programs may be able to import the data from The Master Genealogist without first saving it in a GEDCOM format.

Second Site is a companion program to The Master Genealogist that produces websites from the data stored in The Master Genealogist. John Cardinal, the creator of Second Site, has said that he will continue to develop and support Second Site. He may eventually support GEDCOM format. Second Site costs $34.95. For an additional cost you can host your site with Family History Hosting. The software can be installed at many other hosting sites or it can be used to create a website on a DVD or USB drive.

FamilySearch has a billion of images available for viewing at FamilySearch.org and less than 22% are indexed. There will be some changes coming to FamilySearch indexing to speed the process along.

Simple projects will no longer be indexed by two people with an arbitrator to resolve conflicts. Simple projects would be those that contain printed or typewritten records. These should be indexed accurately and only need to be transcribed once. The records will be audited for accuracy and if the quality drops, a peer review will be added.

Some other projects will be indexed by one volunteer and another volunteer will do a peer review. Volunteers will need to index a minimum number of records before the can qualify to review other work. The new indexing program will assign batches submitted by newer volunteers to more experienced volunteers for review. This should ensure quality of the results.

Some fields such as age and year are generally transcribed accurately and the new indexing program will not require those fields to be reviewed.

Experienced volunteers sometime have their work reviewed and the reviewer makes a correction that isn’t necessary leading to more errors. The new indexing program will recognize these experienced volunteers and bypass the review process for the work these people do. Periodic audits will be done on their work to ensure the quality of the work is high.

FamilySearch adds more than 10 million indexed records and images to Canada, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and the United States

New browsable image collection added include
U.S., Virginia, African-American Funeral Programs, 1920–2009

New indexed record collections
U.S., Mormon Migration Database, 1840–1932
U.S., Utah Obituary Index
U.S., Utah, Obituaries from Utah Newspapers, 1850–2005

The following have new indexed records and images
U.S., Idaho, Southern Counties Obituaries, 1943–2013

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Canada Census, 1911
U.S., Idaho, Southeast Counties Obituaries, 1864–2007
Ukraine, Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates, 1840–1845

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1848–1991

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Czech Republic, Censuses, 1800-1945
Dominican Republic, Civil Registration, 1801–2010
South, Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500–2012
U.S., Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718–1957
U.S., Maryland, Register of Wills Records, 1629–1999
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1785–1950
U.S., Ohio, Cuyahoga County Probate Files, 1813–1932

The latest research guide from Ancestry is for the state of Oklahoma. In the guide you’ll find the history of Oklahoma, census and vital record information, other collections for the state, state resources and significant dates.


It’s time once again for the Branch Out Contest at Ancestry. This contest is running several times during the year. So far there have been 5 winners.

All you have to do is fill out a form with some basic information and a brief story about your family history. You have until August 31st to apply. The winner will be chosen randomly sometime in early September.

The winner receives 20 hours of ProGenealogists research, one year Ancestry World Explorer Plus membership, a copy of Family Tree Maker, and two Ancestry DNA kits. The approximate retail value of all of this is $2,496.

Ancestry has another contest that you can enter until August 29th. This one is called “Be a Who Do You Think You Are? Star.” One lucky winner will get to experience the Who Do You Think You Are? experience. This will include a trip to your family’s homeland, 40 hours with a professional genealogist to help you research your family history and $2,000 cash. This prize has an approximate retail value of $15,000.

To enter you answer a question based on the latest Who Do You Think You Are? show that aired in the U.S. The contest is available to those living in the U.S. and Canada (excluding the Quebec province).

There are six entry periods that last for one week after each episode airs. So a person may enter 6 times, once for each week. The Grand Prize drawing will be conducted, on or about September 1st. There will also be 12 First Prizes awarded throughout the Sweepstakes Period, 2 each week.

If both first prize winners are from the U.S., the first one receives an Ancestry DNA kit and the second one receives an Ancestry World Explorer membership.

If both first prize winners are from Canada, the first one receives Ancestry Canada Deluxe Annual membership and the second one receives Ancestry World Deluxe 3-Month membership.

If one first prize winner is from the U.S. and the other one is from Canada, the U.S. winner will receive a AncestryDNA test and the Canadian winner will receive an Ancestry Canada Deluxe Annual membership.

AncestryDNA will be improving cousin matches for Jewish and Hispanic customers. Many of these customers have been getting false cousin matches since sometimes there are DNA matches based on ethnicity. Many Jewish individuals might have a lot of DNA that looks to be identical because of their shared ethnicity. Ancestry has figured out how to eliminate these matches.

You can now share your AncestryDNA results with family and friends by sending them an invitation. You will need to have an Ancestry account to do this. It can be a paid membership or a free registered guest account. You can send the invitation using an email address or an Ancestry username.

Sharing DNA results is similar to sharing family trees on Ancestry.

Richard Hill wrote a book called “Finding Family” about his search for finding his birth father. He used DNA to identify his birth father. He has updated his free guide called “Guide to DNA Testing.” I’ll have a link in the show notes where you can find it.

Findmypast has launched a World War I page. From this page you can search all the World War I records at once at the site. There are other useful resources on the page including a guide to starting military history research.

Findmypast has added over 30,000 North West Kent burial records for Gravesend. This brings the total collection for North West Kent to over 100,000. These new records are transcripts of burial registers compiled by the North West Kent Family History Society.

Those that have a subscription to Findmypast should see a new Kinship calculator located on each person profile. This shows you how people in your tree are related to each other. It goes up to eighth cousins twenty times removed.

Findmypast is now 90% through the search screens for UK records form improved optimization. Once that is completed they will be focusing on important US and Irish records.

Based on feedback Findmypast will be implementing address search for the census and a new search navigation.

A tombstone at a cemetery in one of Tennessee’s oldest church was permanently damaged recently. It was done by a FindAGrave volunteer who used a wire brush to clean the tombstone. He wanted to get a better photo of the inscription for the people who had requested a photo. He did this to many tombstones.

What happened was that streaks were made over the engravings where a dark stain had built up and this caused the engravings to be rubbed almost smooth so the words are no longer legible.

The photos were posted to FindAGrave. The police were able to find out who did the damage by looking to see who submitted the photos. The man has been arrested and charged with a felony offense. By law you cannot alter a monument unless the church gives you permission.

BillionGraves has created a community where users can connect with each other. There you can ask questions, leave feedback, help each other, create groups in your state or country, connect with other users, and start projects at nearby cemeteries. This has been requested by BillionGraves users.

The more you engage in the community the more points you will earn, increasing your rank in the community.

In the coming months special features will be given to those who are very engaged in the community. These features may include merging duplicate records, linking/un-linking images, managing records, and insider access to features before they are released to the public. More features will be added in the future.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $345,000 to the University of Tennessee Libraries for phase three of the Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project. This will enable another 100,000 pages of Tennessee’s microfilmed newspapers dating from the late 19th century to 1922 to be digitized.

Since 2010, over 200,000 pages from Tennessee newspapers have been digitized. These focused on newspaper titles published from the Civil War through the Gilded Age. Phase three will concentrate on the Progressive era.

This phase will begin in September and continue for two years.

The project is part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America website.

It’s been announced when the remains of Richard III will be reinterred. Remember his remains were found under a parking lot and identified as King Richard III. The remains will be reburied at Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015.

There will be seven days of events that will start on Sunday, March 22nd. The University of Leicester will transport the remains from Leicester to Bosworth where he died to remember his final moment. Then the coffin will travel to a number of villages where Richard spent the last days of his life.

Following the procession, the remains will lie in repose at the cathedral for three days, for the public to come and pay their respects.

Then on the morning of Thursday, March 26, the former King of England will be reinterred in front of an invited group of guests.

The following Friday and Saturday the tomb will be revealed and there will be a service to mark the completion of the reinterment.


The British Newspaper Archive has added more the 8 million newspaper pages from 1710 – 1954. The first few years have been added for the following titles:

Biggleswade Chronicle, covering 1912
Daily Record, covering 1914-1915
Lake’s Falmouth Packet and Cornwall Advertiser, covering 1864
London Evening Standard, covering 1860-1862 and 1866-1867
Newcastle Evening Chronicle, covering 1915
Northern Whig, covering 1869-1870
Surrey Comet, covering 1854-1857 and 1859-1870
Watford Observer, covering 1864-1865, 1867, 1869-1870

The International Committed of the Red Cross has released a website called Prisoners of the First World War. At the site you can search by name in order to view index cards that were created by the Red Cross during the war. The agency collected information from detaining powers and national agencies about prisoners of war and civilian internees.

They have been in the process of digitizing these cards to make them available online.

The Royal British Legion has created a website called Every Man Remembered. They want to document every Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in World War I. They are encouraging everyone to access the database to find someone they knew and make a personal dedication. Or you can search for someone who served in regiments located near you, share a similar name, or died on this day 100 years ago and commemorate them.

The goal is to commemorate every single person who died in the war.

TheGenealogist has a new collection of Military Medal recipients. These are records of those servicemen awarded the Military Medal in The First World War. This medal was awarded for exceptional bravery. It was first issued during The First World War.

The Military Medal Collection spans the years from 1914 to 1918. The records contain the name of the person, service number, rank and regiment, and the date the medal was awarded. There is an image of the actual card and a link to the listing in the London Gazette.

The National World War I Museum in Kansas City is collaborating with Fold3 to preserve and share legacies of World War I Veterans. The public is invited to submit stories and photos about their World War I ancestors and connect with others.

Fold3 brought online historical images from the museum, which include photos of some soldiers, and created Honor Pages for each one at the Fold3 website. Anyone can contribute information to these pages.

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Archives New Zealand and the National Library have announced that more than 141,000 First World War service files are now available online at Archives New Zealand website. These are the New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Files for all known New Zealanders who served in the First World War.

Each file may contain many images, which makes for around 4 million individual images for the 141,000 files. All the images were scanned by hand, one image at a time.

Also at the site you will find photos and War Art which were commissioned by the New Zealand government.

Deceased Online has placed more Aberdeenshire records online. These records complete the Aberdeenshire dataset which consists of more than 200 burial grounds and cemeteries. Aberdeenshire is located in North East Scotland.

Deceased Online specializes in burial and cremation registers of the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Maxwell Ancestry has launched a new website called ScottishIndexes.com. It contains some records pertaining to Scotland. Now you can search all collections at once and then use the advanced search to narrow down the search. The site has some censuses, mental health records, prison register, sheriff court paternity decrees and birth, marriage, and death collection sets. You can search using the index for free and then you pay to view the actual record.

There is also a Learning Zone that contains quick facts, explanations of the record sets, and top tips to help with your research.

Registration is now open for the Association of Professional Genealogists 2015 Management Conference. The conference will be held on January 8 – 9, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The theme is “Professional-Grade Genealogy.” Thirteen speakers will be giving talks about time-management, genealogical standards, citation writing, having difficult conversations, setting fees, adoption, DNA, writing, and speaking.

The program has been expanded to two days. New this year will be poster sessions that will provide networking opportunities and a venue to share research, work, and ideas.

Registration fees vary depending on membership and how many days you want to attend the conference. For an APG member the conference price is $165 and after October 15th, the price will be $210.

There is going to be new genealogy conference next year. It’s called the Genealogical Research Institute and it will be held May 28th thru June 1st, 2015 on the campus of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois.

There will be 4 tracks.
– Refining Internet and Digital Skills for Genealogy (coordinator Cyndi Ingle)
– Advanced methodology and analysis (coordinator Michael John Neill),
– Intermediate sources and research (coordinator Debbie Mieszala),
– Germanic research sources and methods (coordinator Teresa McMillin)

Look for an official announcement soon.

In Australia, the month of August is National Family History Month. It started out as one week but expanded last year to a month to allow greater participation across Australia. During the month many events are scheduled related to family history and genealogy.

The Fieldstone Common program with Marian Pierre Louis is back after a 2 month summer break. From here forward Fieldstone Common will switch to an every other week schedule.

Some things coming up.

Dear Myrtle is still holding three hangouts per week. There’s Monday’s with Myrt, Wacky Wednesday, and on Saturdays it’s Genealogy Game Night. You can participate live or you can watch the recordings at Dear Myrtle’s YouTube channel.

Monday, August 18, 8pm eastern
MyHeritage Webinar
Golden Genealogy Rules: Tips to uncover your family heritage

Tuesday, August 19, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Genealogical Proof Standard: Complete and Accurate Citation of Sources
presented by Crista Cowen

Tuesday, August 19, 8pm eastern
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Webinar
The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper
presented by Cyndi Ingle

Wednesday, August 20, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Find A Grave – The World’s Largest Cemetery Database
presented by Russ Worthington

Wednesday, August 20, 8pm eastern
Georgia Genealogical Society
Staying Safe Using Social Media
presented by Thomas MacEntee

Wednesday, August 20, 9pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Seven Strategies for Finding the Hard Ones
presented by James M. Baker

Thursday, August 21, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
A Case Study in Quaker Records
presented by Crista Cowen

Thursday, August 21, 3pm eastern
New England Historic Genealogical Society
Find Your Union Civil War Ancestor at NEHGS
presented by David Allen Lambert

Thursday, August 21, 8pm eastern
Florida State Genealogical Society Poolside Chat
“Coming to America”: The Immigrant Experience
presented by Diana Crisman Smith

Thursday August 21, 9pm eastern
Utah Genealogical Association
Finding Stories on Google Books
presented by Jimmy Zimmerman
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 47.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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