Episode 50 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Sunday September 14, 2014 and this is Episode 50.

The Internet Archive has uploaded millions of images from scanned books in its collections. A computer program was developed to extract the images from the books. The images were tagged with information such as the title of the book, year of publication, author, publisher, and some accompanying text found in the book near the image.

The images were found from 600 million pages of books spanning 500 years. So far 2.6 million images have been uploaded to Flickr. About 10 million more will be uploaded.

Each image has a hyperlink that takes you to the actual page in the book where it was found. The link takes you to the Internet Archive’s website.

The books that were used to find the images are all out-of-copyright so the images are free to use. The images are found on Flickr in The Commons area, which is where many archives and libraries are placing photographs in the public domain.


The Daily Mail is a British tabloid newspaper. They recently published an article that DNA evidence has been used to determine who Jack the Ripper was. Jack the Ripper was a serial killer who is responsible for at least five murders in Whitechapel in East London in 1888 and maybe 11 other murders.

The blood found on one the victim’s shawl was analyzed and found to contain DNA from herself and someone else. The DNA was compared to descendants of the victim and to a relative of a suspect thought to be Jack the Ripper.

That suspect was Aaron Kosminski. Kosminski was a hairdresser working in Whitechapel where the murders were committed. In 1891 he was placed in an insane asylum where he remained until his death. He did not have any children so the DNA analysis was done using mitochondrial DNA. A descendant from his sister was used to compare the DNA. Kosminski, his sister, and her female descendants all share the same mitochondrial DNA. And there was a match.

The shawl that contained the blood was bought at auction by an amateur detective, Russell Edwards. The shawl originally was given to a policeman who investigated the murder. His wife packed it away, unwashed. A descendant of the police officer decided to auction off the shawl.

Mr. Edwards contacted Dr. Jari Louhelainen, a leading expert in genetic evidence from historical crime scenes to perform the DNA tests.

A new book has just been published about how the real identity of Jack the Ripper was determined. The book is Naming Jack the Ripper by Russell Edwards. Edwards was the one who bought the shawl and requested to have the DNA analysis done.

Some would like more information about the tests.

Did they do a mitochondrial DNA full sequence or only partial?

Who is the person whose DNA was used to compare to Aaron Kosminski? She has requested not to be identified.

They mention about identifying the haplogrougp of T1a1 for Kosminski. This haplogroup is common among those with Russian Jewish ancestry. Kosminski was a Polish Jew who fled from Russia to London in the early 1880s. Many others who are not Jewish also share this haplogroup

The shawl used may not have been found beside the body of the victim. That was speculation at the time. The victim was very poor and probably could not have afforded such an expensive shawl.

None of this has been peer-reviewed by other scientists and verified to be accurate.

And the announcement about this break through was in the Daily Mail, not a reputable, peer-reviewed scientific publication. The announcement was just days before the book was available for purchase.

Ashkenazi Jews descend from an Eastern European origin. The early ancestors made their way to Europe during Roman rule and tended to stay together. That means they married within their own community or faith.

Those who have done DNA testing and have Ashkenazi Jews as ancestors find many matches. These matches appear more genetically related than they actually are because they can trace back to the same ancestors from thousands of years ago and they share some large segments of DNA with each other. The DNA results suggest that the matches are closer than they are.

Now a new study has revealed that all Ashkenazi Jews can trace back their ancestry to 350 individuals who lived 600 to 800 years ago. The study was published in the Nature Communications journal.

Scientists sequenced the complete genomes of 128 Ashkenazi Jews and compared those sequences with non-Jewish Europeans in order to determine which genetic markers are unique to Ashkenazi Jews. They found the Ashkenazi Jews had many genetic similarities.

By cataloging the complete Ashkenazi Jewish genome they hope to identify disease-causing mutations for this population.

Analyzing the results shows that the original Ashkenazi Jews were half European and half Middle Eastern. They lived during medieval times and there were about 350 of them.


FamilyTree DNA once again allows you to upload a GEDCOM file. After you login you click the new Family Tree button and then click the gear in the lower right corner to upload a GEDCOM file. There’s a big graphic that says Have a GEDCOM? Click to upload it now, so you can find the gear.

Uploading the file will overwrite your existing file if you had uploaded one previously. It will ask you to identify who you are in the file. It tries to match you in the tree based on your name used for your Family Tree DNA kit. It doesn’t list everyone in the tree.

If you had a GEDCOM uploaded, that GEDCOM has been transferred to the new Family Tree.

If you don’t have a GEDCOM file you can build your family tree.

The new Family Tree is called an interactive family tree. You can add, edit, or delete data. Previously, the old version was static, you couldn’t make any changes.

Each person is represented by a circle, you may have a picture of them in the circle. On the outskirts of circle there is an indicator for what tests have been taken for that person.

You can link your matches in your tree. Husbands and wives don’t match so you can’t link them because they don’t share DNA. You can only link your own DNA matches into your tree.

The Family Tree shows link icons where there are matches in your tree. You will also see that near the zoom bottoms in the lower right corner. By clicking the link button you will be able to see your matches.

There is a notes area for each person that comes from the notes you create for people that you match with. These are your notes and no one else can view them. They’re useful for remembering that you contacted that person and what the results were. There is a Story tab that shows information from the person’s profile, they enter it and you can see it.

You can identify other relatives who have tested with Family Tree DNA and who are found in the GEDCOM file. And you can expand your tree to not only include your ancestry, but also add siblings, cousins, and other relatives.

In top right corner can see a high level overview of your tree so you can see what you are viewing compared to the overall tree. And you can search for someone in your tree.

At very top you see whose tree you are looking at. You may be looking at one of your matches’ tree and this will tell you which one you’re looking at. There will also be a breadcrumb trail that shows how you got to the person you are looking at.

From the gear icon you can adjust your settings to specify who can view your tree.

Elise Friedman did a webinar about the new Family Tree and it can be found at the Learning Center at the Family Tree DNA website.


FamilySearch adds more than 3.8 million indexed records and images to Brazil, Columbia, England, India, and United States

More new records at FamilySearch

New browsable image collections added include
US, Montana, Mineral County Obituaries, 1870–2010
US, Ohio, County Death Records, 1840–2001

The following collection has new indexed records and images
US, Oregon, County Marriages, 1851–1975

The next collection has indexed records added to an existing collection
US, Indiana, Marriages, 1811–1959

And this collection has indexed records and images added to an existing collection
BillionGraves Index

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Brazil, Bahia, Passenger Lists, 1855–1964
Brazil, Pernambuco, Civil Registration, 1804–2013
Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600–2012
India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194–2014
US, Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797–1954
US, Ohio, Hamilton County Records, 1791–1994


Ancestry’s Find A Grave website has had the 100 millionth photo uploaded. Volunteers submit photos and information about gravestones. The site was created in 1995 as a place to record the graves of celebrities but is soon grew to include everyone. Ancestry bought the site a year ago.


The latest research guide from Ancestry is for North Carolina. In the guide you’ll find the history of North Carolina, significant dates, where to find census records for North Carolina, vital records, military records and other collections. Also listed are some other state resources such as archives and other websites that would be of interest to genealogist researching in North Carolina.

And they’ve released another research guide for Colorado. It has similar items as the North Carolina guide except it’s all about Colorado.


Findmypast has added marriage records from Surrey and Middlesex, and burial records for Eastbourne, East Sussex, the Church of St. John in Bodle Street Green. These records are the result of their partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies and the acquisition of the Origins website.

Findmypast has also added marriage records for Dorset, a rural county in the south west of England on the English Channel coast. These records come from the work of volunteers at the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society.

If you have a tree at FindMyPast, you’ll now be able to attach historical records to your family tree. Now you can connect records to people in your tree for easy access to the records you’ve found.

You can export your tree as a GEDCOM and importing a GEDCOM has been improved. The improvement includes uploading photographs and other images automatically along with the data in the GEDCOM file.

The Welsh parish record search screens now have Welsh translations.

Every Friday will be Findmypast Friday which will be a weekly record round up. Hopefully this will be a great way to start your weekend by finding all the new records that have been added to Findmypast in one place.

Findmypast has 50% off for a new or lapsed subscription for one month to access the UK collections. After one month your subscription will automatically be renewed at the normal price unless you uncheck the ‘auto-renew my subscription’ check box.

You may need to enter the special offer code of FACEBOOK9 for the discount.


BillionGraves and MyHeritage were awarded the Presidential Citation award by the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) for their partnership in promoting the preservation of international burial locations.

BillionGraves and MyHeritage launched a global initiative to digitize cemeteries and gravestones and making them accessible online for free.

BillionGraves has hinted about some incredible changes coming. They mention bug fixes, new features, new products, and enhancements. We’ll just have to wait and see what’s coming.


The folks over at RootsMagic have been busy. They now have an easy way to run RootsMagic on a Mac. They’ve released MacBridge for RootsMagic 6. You don’t need to install Windows, it runs right on your Mac.

You need to purchase both MacBridge and RootsMagic if you want the full featured version of RootsMagic. You don’t need to buy an additional RootsMagic 6 license to use it on your Mac. You can use the license for the Windows program you’ve using. MacBridge cost $9.95 for a limited time. Normal price will be $14.95. It’s only available as a download from the RootsMagic website.

MacBridge for RootsMagic 6 is a customized version of CrossOver with RootsMagic contained in it. CrossOver is a Mac program that allows you to install Windows applications on your Mac.

Once you install MacBridge, you will need to enter your license for RootsMagic 6 or you can use RootsMagic Essentials. Then RootsMagic runs directly on your Mac. You may want to change the fonts used in the program so you can see the letters better. That is found under Tools. Program Options and then click Display on the left side.

There are a few features that will not work with MacBridge for RootsMagic 6. Those are

Burning the Sharable CD to CD. You can still do this if you save the file and then burn the CD yourself.
No GenSmarts integration. GenSmarts is a separate program that will not run in MacBridge for RootsMagic 6.
No RootsMagic-To-Go, that’s the ability to run RootsMagic from a USB drive when you are away from your computer.
No Mapping feature
And you can’t have RootsMagic backup to a CD, Dropbox, or Google Drive. The Windows version lets you backup to DropBox or Google Drive without having to install software for DropBox or Google Drive on your computer. If you do have that software installed you can still have your RootsMagic database stored in DropBox or Google Drive.

RootsMagic is still working on an actual native Mac version that should be available sometime next year.

The other thing the folks at RootsMagic are working on is a direct import from The Master Genealogist. That program is being discontinued. Users of the program could create a GEDCOM file and import that into RootsMagic. However they would loose some data types that The Master Genealogist doesn’t export to GEDCOM. Some of those would be witnesses, roles, and source templates.

The direct import will be part of the next RootsMagic update. This update should be ready in the next few weeks.


The Ellis Island website has a new look and a new name. The old name was EllisIsland.org or EllisIslandRecords.org and those names still work. It will redirect you to LibertyEllisFoundation.org. This new site combines the websites for Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Wall of Honor, and Flag of Faces. The new site is in a beta phase and they encourage feedback about the site.

There are new elements for searching. You can search by last name as well as first name or initial. There’s a one-page search form and icons have been labeled for easier navigation.

There are 40 million new records for the years 1925 through 1957. About 2/3 of the records for those years have been added. The rest will be available by the end of the year.

Foundation members have uploaded family histories to the site.

If you had a login to the old site, you will need to reset your password. You click a link to enter your email address that you used at the old site and you will get an email to reset your password. Any searches you had saved will be moved to the new site sometime later during the beta phase.


The Library of Congress has placed more than 175,000 photos from the depression online. These photos were taken by the photographers of the U.S. government’s Farm Security Administration.

A project known as Photogrammers from Yale University created an easy way to explore the photographs. There’s a map to explore by county or you can view photographs taken by certain photographers. You can also view by a theme such as “war” or “religion”. More themes will be coming soon.

The Global Family Reunion that is being organized by A.J. Jacobs will be focusing on Alzheimer’s disease. The reunion will be held in June 2015 in New York.

To raise funds for Alzheimer’s, A.J. Jacobs will donate $1 to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund or the Alzheimer’s Association for up to a total of $10,000 for every person you can connect to him through WikiTree or Geni.

You can earn points for finding connections and win some prizes.

You can find out more about the reunion in Genealogy News shows 27 and 42. Just go to the show notes and I’ll have links there so you can find the transcripts to those shows if you would like to know about more details about the reunion.

Bill West writes the blog West in New England and he has a yearly poetry challenge. He has already announced that it’s time to get ready for this years challenge.

You share a poem or song on your blog. It can be anything related to your ancestors and you should mention how it relates.

You have until November 20th to submit a link to your post for the poetry challenge to Bill West. He will publish the links on Thursday, November 27th, Thanksgiving day in the U.S.


Twenty years worth of journals from the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa can be read for free at their website. The journals are published quarterly with a title of Anglo-Celtic Roots.

The society is located in Ottawa, Ontario and is focused on family history research, and its dissemination, by people with ancestry in the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands). The journal contains articles on Canadian and British Isles history as well as many diversified topics.


The British Newspaper Archive has added 180,000 pages to its site. This includes a new title – the Bedordshire Times and Independent from 1906, 1910, 1935, and 1950. More issues will be coming online soon.

41 other titles were updated. You can find the full list of updates at their site and of course I’ll have a link in the show notes to that page.


Public libraries in the United Kingdom are working with local communities and artists to create a website called the Digital War Memorial. Community groups have had the opportunity to work with artists to create their own individual response to the First World War. This memorial will continue to be built during the four years of commemoration, 2014 – 2018.

The project started with materials held by public libraries and archives. Things like photographs, newspapers, letters, and other documents were used with artists to create poetry, music, dance, and writing to reflect the impact of the First World War.

The Digital War Memorial has been incorporated into HistoryPin which is digital archive for recollections. The content can be “pinned” to a location using Google Maps.


The Ulster-Scots Community Network promotes awareness and understanding of the Ulster-Scots tradition in history, language, and culture. They offer many free booklets and they have just released another one called “The Ulster Covenant and Scotland.” This booklet explains why the Anti Home Rule campaign attracted so much support in Scotland in the late 1800s.


There’s a new website about County Wicklow in Ireland called Our Wicklow Heritage. It was developed by the Wicklow Heritage Forum to showcase the heritage of the county. They encourage everyone to participate by sharing information, stories, and photos.

The site has a Genealogy section that contains all sorts of records, tombstone inscriptions, and links to other websites that may be of interest.

The site is being developed in association with the county’s library and archives. It has been online for a while and it officially launched during Ireland’s Heritage Week, which was held the last week in August.


Another county in Ireland, County Mayo, has a similar site as the Our Wicklow Heritage site. This site is called Centenary Mayo and it commemorates the Decade of Centenaries from 1913 to 1923. During these years many events occured that changed the course of Irish History. These events were the First World War, the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War.

The website was created to commemorate the role Mayo men and women had during this period.

The site encourages everyone to contribute stories, information, photographs, or other items relating to the period.


Voting is open for Federation of Genealogical Societies delegates and member society representatives to vote for the 2014 slate of FGS officers. You will need to login with your society’s username and password to vote.

Voting will remain open until September 30th.

The final tally is in from the FGS conference Celebrity Fun Walk to raise money for Preserve the Pensions. Over $20,000 came from donations, then FGS matched that to make it over $40,000, and Ancestry’s match and made it over $80,000. That’s enough money to digitize over 360,000 pages. This event turned out to be a great success.


The Illinois State Genealogical Society has issued the ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge. They will match any donation up to the first $10,000 that is made before January 31, 2015 to the Preserve the Pensions fund.

How this will work is you will make a donation, ISGS will match it, then FGS will match it, and finally Ancestry will match it. So if you donate $100, ISGS will match it so it becomes $200, then FGS will match it so it is $400, and then Ancestry’s match will make it $800. Any size contribution will be welcomed for this effort.


There has been an official announcement for the Genealogical Research Institute that will be held May 28th thru June 1st, 2015 on the campus of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois. I mentioned this in Episode 47.

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)

Michael John Neill is the organizer for this event.

Registration will open sometime during September with a price of $400 for a 4 and a half day course.


Registration is open for the 2015 Forensic Genealogy Institute. This will be held March 26th – 28th in Dallas, Texas. There will be two courses offered – Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases and Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum.

The “Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases” course applies DNA and traditional genealogical research to uncover the genetic heritage of those with unknown parentage. The “Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum” will offer hands-on experience in researching various types of forensic cases, interviewing clients, writing contracts, writing forensic reports or affidavits, and attending a mock trial to defend a forensic report.

Registration for each course is $445, which includes 20 hours of instruction by expert forensic and genetic genealogists during the three days.


There is a new educational opportunity coming that will be online. The Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research has been created to offer courses online. Currently there are nine courses being offered and taught be well known genealogists. Each course will consist of four 90-minute lectures that will be presented on two consecutive Saturdays. Each course will have syllabus material and exercise available. There will be time for Q&A during the lectures. You will get a copy of the course recording. Each course costs $69.99.

Here are some of the courses being offered:

Michael Hait, “Writing Logical Proof Arguments,” 1 November–8 November 2014
J. Mark Lowe, “Preparing the Field: Understanding the Agricultural Records of our Ancestors,” 24 January–31 January 2015
Maureen Taylor, “Family Photographs: Identifying, Preserving, and Sharing Your Visual Heritage,” 21 February–28 February 2015
Donna Moughty, “Strategies for Finding Your Irish Ancestors,” 7 March–14 March 2015
Blaine Bettinger, “(Finally!) Understanding Autosomal DNA,” 21 March–28 March 2015
Billie Stone Fogarty and Rick Fogarty, “Verifying the Family Legend of Native American Ancestry,” 18 April–25 April 2015
Melanie D. Holtz, and Melissa Johnson, “Genealogical Applications of Dual Citizenship by Descent,” 2 May-9 May 2015
Paul Milner, “An In-Depth Look at the Big Four Records of English Research,” 30 May – 6 June 2015
Angela McGhie, “Digging in Federal Land Records,” 19 September-26 September 2015


Something called The Genealogy Event will be held in New York City, Friday, October 17th and Saturday the 18th, plus a DNA day on Sunday the 19th. This will be the third year for The Genealogy Event.

The first two days are held in partnership with the National Archives of New York City. There are many sessions to choose from about a board range of topics.

There are many different prices for what sessions and events you want to attend.


The National Archives in the U.S. will be hosting its second Virtual Genealogy Fair from October 28th to the 30th. There will be 17 presentations. Here are the titles of the presentations:

Introduction to Genealogy
Preserving Your Personal Records
When Saying ‘I Do’ Meant Giving Up Your U.S. Citizenship
Overview of American Indian Records and Resources on the National Archives Website
Great Granny Eunice came from Ireland, Grandpa Fred was in the War, Can Access Archival Databases (AAD) Help Me?
World War I Draft Registration Cards
Finding the Correct Ancestor: Using Civil War and Census Records
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Federal Land Records at the National Archives
Family History and the FOIA: Researching 20th Century FBI records
Discovering Your Family’s Past in Military and Early Veterans Administration Personal Data Records and Selective Service Records
Individual Deceased Military Personnel Files (IDPFs)
Vets and Feds in the Family Tree
Alien Ancestors during Times of War
Patently Amazing: Finding Your Family in Patent Records

The live sessions will start each day at 10am eastern and can be accessed on YouTube. There will be handouts available and the presentations will be recorded. During the live sessions there will be a chat area.


The featured speaker for the 2015 Legacy Genealogy Cruise will be Lisa Louise Cooke. She is the producer and host of the Genealogy Gems podcast and Family Tree Magazine podcast, a well know speaker, and author.

This will be the 12th annual Legacy cruise. It starts and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with visits to Haiti, Jamaica, and Cozumel, Mexico. The dates are June 20 – 27, 2015.


Season two of “Finding Your Roots: with Henry Louis Gates Jr. is almost here. It premieres Tuesday, September 23rd on PBS. This will be a 10-part series that explores the heritage and ancestry of some famous people.

The first episode will feature novelist Stephen King, actor Courtney B. Vance and Canadian actress-singer Gloria Reuben. These three grew up without their father. They will find out family history they never knew.

Other guest on upcoming shows will include Rebecca Lobo, Billie Jean King, Derek Jeter, Anna Deavere Smith, Anderson Cooper, Ken Burns, Benjamin Jealous, Khandi Alexander, Aaron Sanchez, Ming Tsai, Tom Colicchio, Valerie Jarrett, Nas, Angela Bassett, Tony Kushner, Carole King, Alan Dershowitz, Sting, Sally Field, Deepak Chopra, Tina Fey, David Sedaris, George Stephanopoulos, and Gov. Deval Patrick,

Next lets switch to webinars.

The Minnesota Genealogical Society has a call out for proposals for their 2015 genealogy webinars. The webinars are the first Wednesday of the month excluding January and July. They are free for anyone to attend with the recording being made available to members of the society.

They are looking for topics related to emerging technology such as
social media as a research tool,
getting the most from updates in Ancestry.com and FamilySearch,
creative Internet search strategies,
cloud computing for genealogy,
software for managing, organizing, and analyzing genealogical information

Monday, September 22, 8pm eastern
BCG Webinar
Fine Wine in a New Bottle: Guidelines for Effective Research and Family Histories
presented by Thomas W. Jones

Wednesday, September 24, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – A Library at Your Fingertips – the Internet Archive
presented by Maureen Taylor

Wednesday, September 24, 10pm eastern
Mesa FamilySearch Library Webinar
The Wonders of Wiki
presented by Carma Lee Ellingson

Thursday September 25, 1pm
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
“Records Found” Case Studies

Thursday, September 25, 9pm eastern
Second Life National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) Study Group
Lynne Fisher, “Uncovering the Linkenheim, Baden, Origin of Ludwig Fischer of Cook County, Illinois.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 99 (September 2011):199-212.

Thursday, September 25, 10pm eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Danish Church Records: Research Strategies

#genchat – Managing multiple research projects
Friday, September 26th, 10pm eastern
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 50.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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