Episode 51 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Wednesday September 24, 2014 and this is Episode 51.

Recently voting was held to determine the Rockstar Genealogists. This was the 3rd annual Rockstar Genealogist competition put together by John D. Reid who writes the blog Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections. Rules for those who are nominated are they give “must attend” presentations at conferences or webinars. And they must create materials that you have to have and you follow them on social media.

The top Rockstars voted by all are:

1. Judy G. Russell
2. Roberta Estes
3. Megan Smolenyak
4. CeCe Moore
5. Dick Eastman
6. Thomas MacEntee
7. D. Joshua Taylor
8. Lisa Louise Cooke
9. Thomas W. Jones
10. Bennett Greenspan

There were categories for different geographic regions and for DNA. I’ll have a link in the show notes where you can find out the winners in the other categories


There have been a couple of articles written at the website Vox.com about DNA. Vox.com is a digital news site with journalists writing articles daily about news items, similar to getting a daily newspaper.

The titles of the DNA articles were “With genetic testing, I gave my parents the gift of divorce” and “Genetic testing brings families together And sometimes tears them apart.”

The first article is written by a stem cell and reproductive biologist, who decided to get tested with 23andMe when he was teaching a class about the genome. His father also tested at 23andMe. When the results came in he found out he had a half brother.

This new brother shared DNA also with the father who tested. However, this new brother did not appear on the father’s account. The father had to check the box that said “check this box if you want to see close family members in this search program.”

This new brother was contacted and it was found out that he was adopted at birth.

As a result of all this, the author’s parents divorced and no one is talking to his father.

The article then goes on about how 23andMe is misleading people and those who signup are actually participating in paternity tests. When you check the box to see close family members you may not be able to handle the results and 23andMe should be warning you about this.

The second article at Vox is about someone who was adopted. He tested with 23andMe with the hopes of finding out some medical information. This was before the FDA put a stop to those tests.

The results of his test showed a half brother. He contacted the half brother and they realized their mother had a baby she never told anyone about. That baby was the man who had been adopted and wanted to find out more about his medical conditions from 23andMe.

The adopted man met his half sister and his mother.

It’s been a very successful reunion that 23andMe promotes on its website.

The sister goes on to say that she tested to learn more about her ancestry but she was left with more questions than answers and some bitterness about what happened that she was not prepared for or cautioned about.

These articles may be the reason why 23andMe decided not to go ahead with allowing all customers to see their closest matches without having the check a box to see them.

Blaine Bettinger, a well-known genetic genealogist, wrote a blog post about the articles. He points out that DNA testing may reveal family secrets but so can written records. Census records may reveal family relationships, birth certificates may reveal different parents, and will and probate records may list heirs no one knew about.

Mr. Bettinger also mentions the consumer needs to be educated about the possible outcomes of DNA testing. He feels the Vox article fails to present the story in a balanced and unbiased manner.

Another well-known genetic genealogist, Roberta Estes, wrote a blog post about the Vox article where the parents ended up getting a divorce. She presents information from CeCe Moore and the man you was adopted. They say they were misquoted in the article. CeCe Moore is another well-known genetic genealogist. The man who was adopted never said he had a negative experience when he found out who is father was and CeCe Moore mentions that the adopted child was conceived before the parents were married.

Ms Estes goes on to say that the blame for the problem lies with the father, not the testing company that was 23andMe. The box that you need to check has led to panic among families who test and don’t see each other as close relatives.


If you want to learn more about DNA you can purchase videos of the lectures that were presented at the first Institute for Genetic Genealogy held in August in Washington, D. C. The entire set of 27 lectures cost $50 or you can purchase individual ones for $4. The lectures range from beginner to advance and each lecture lists what category it falls into. If you attended the conference you will get access to the videos.

The Institute for Genetic Genealogy is a not-for-profit effort and the proceeds from the video sales will be shared with the speakers and used to cover any remaining expenses from the conference.

When you purchase the videos you get a YouTube link to the video. This link is not publicly available and they would appreciate it if you did not share the links. Doing so will deprive the speakers of additional revenue.

If you purchase all the videos you get a document with the name of the lecture, the speaker, the category it falls into such as beginner, intermediate, or advance, and the link to the video.
The next Institute for Genetic Genealogy will probably be held in one or two years on the West coast.


The old Family History Library Catalog is no longer available. All web traffic to the old catalog is now being automatically redirected to the new FamilySearch Catalog. Any bookmarks you created to the old catalog will also automatically forward to the new catalog.

The new catalog uses newer technology and is more efficient. There are only three page levels in the new catalog and you can search using multiple parameters. You can also search the contents of a specific family history center and you can create a list of titles that you can print.


According to Michele Simmons Lewis, FamilySearch’s State Genealogy Research pages on Facebook are going away. FamilySearch had created research pages for each state. They are being replaced with regional community groups. The names of the groups are U.S. West Genealogy Research Community Page, U.S. North East Genealogy Research Community Page, U.S. South Genealogy Research Community Page, and U.S. Mid West Genealogy Research Community Page.

Michele has direct links to these groups in her blog post and I’ll have a link in the show notes to that post so that you can easily find and join these groups.

There is a new interactive map for searching at FamilySearch.org. From the map you can click an area and see a list of countries in that area. When you click on a country in the list, you will see how many collections are available, the years covered, how many indexed records there are, and how many record images are available. Clicking the Start researching in link takes you to links for the collections. From there you can click a collection to start searching.


FamilySearch has a worldwide social media campaign going on to gather your fondest Grandma stories. The initiative for the campaign goes on until September 30th and the campaign will run indefinitely. FamilySearch is hoping to get 10,000 grandma stories by that date.

The free FamilySearch Memories mobile app can be used to create grandma stories. It has 20 fun questions you can ask your grandma to help you write and preserve history. This app is currently only available on iOS.


Ancestry is planning a Find A Grave Community Day on October 18th. On that day they encourage everyone to join a meetup at a cemetery. Meetup makes it easy for groups to get organized.

Ancestry has set up meetups for some cemeteries in San Francisco, Chicago, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, and Saint Louis. If you live in those areas you can join those groups. If you don’t live near those areas, you’re encouraged to contact a cemetery near you to ask if you can take photos and upload them to FindAGrave.com on Saturday, October 18th.

If the cemetery agrees, you can go to the Meetup page and enter the information so others will be able to join you.

The blog post announcing this event has detailed information about setting up a Meetup. I’ll have a link in the show notes for you if you are interested.


Ancestry’s Newspapers.com website has added the Pantograph newspaper. This newspaper is a daily newspaper that serves Bloomington-Normal, Illinois in the Central Illinois area. During 1848 – 1954, the newspaper was a weekly publication. From 1857 – 1982 its was renamed to The Daily Pantagraph. You’ll also find the years from 1982 to the present at Newspapers.com.


GenealogyBank has added 8 million more records. They’ve added a total of 35 newspaper titles from 20 U.S. States. 17 of these titles are new to GenealogyBank. You can view the blog post about the new additions to see the details for the names of the newspapers and the date range. And of course, I’ll have a link in the show notes to this page.


Findmypast Friday is a new feature at Findmypast where they will post a weekly record round up of new records sets added to the site. The following collections were part of the first Findmypast Friday:

• Eastbourne, England, Baptisms and Marriages, St John’s Church in Bodle Street Green
• Wicklow, Ireland, Cemetery Records
• Donegal, Ireland, Cemetery Records
• Tyrone, Ireland, Cemetery Records
• Fermanagh, Ireland parish registers for baptisms, marriages, and burials and cemetery records


Findmypast has added more images to the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). The new images cover the years 1827 – 1923.

PERSI is a subject index for genealogy and local history periodicals. You can search the index to find articles. Findmypast is adding images of the articles, so once you find something in the index you can click to view the article.

At the Findmypast blog you can find the names of the periodicals and the years for the images have been added.


Findmypast has announced the publication of the National School Admission Registers and Logbooks 1870 – 1914. They contain over 2 million records from 1500 schools throughout England and Wales. The counties included in this release are Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Devon, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey, Wiltshire and Glamorganshire – and also Westminster.

This is phase one of the historic school records. Phase two will be in Spring 2015 and phase 3 will be in Autumn 2015.


One more item about Findmypast. They’ve improved their family tree builder. It’s free to use and store at the Findmypast website regardless of whether or not you have a subscription. The new look is designed to be clearer and more colorful.

You can start your tree from scratch or upload a GEDCOM file.

There are four main views for the tree – Family view, Pedigree view, Family Group, and Profile view. Profile view is a page for each person in your tree that shows all the details for a person in one place. This page contains several tabs for an Overview, Facts & events, Relations, Media, Notes, and Hints. From the Profile page there is also a timeline displayed, a things to investigate panel, and a calculate relationship feature.

Upcoming features include hints and record merging, sharing your tree with family and friends and some other features will be coming as well.


Geni.com is a collaborative website where everyone is working on one large family tree. They’ve announced that they now support multilingual profiles. Now you can enter names and biographies in multiple languages. These will be stored separately and then displayed in your preferred language.

Geni’s World Family Tree has nearly 80 million profiles. With an international audience this new feature will accommodate those people who speak different languages. Everyone will be able to enjoy content in his or her native language.


Legacy has announced that they will soon import files from The Master Genealogist. This program is being discontinued. Although users can export a GEDCOM file and import that into another genealogy program, they may loose some data in the process. Legacy mentions they are very close to having his ready.

RootsMagic has already announced that their next update will be able to import TMG files directly.


The In-Depth Genealogists has been producing a free monthly genealogy magazine called Going In-Depth that you could find at the IDG website. The September issue will be the last free issue.

They have developed a membership program for the website that will start on October 1st. The magazine will only be accessible to members.

Blog posts at the site will remain free to all. Soon you will be able to purchase back issues of the magazine. Members will receive a discounted rate for books and magazines at the site of 10%.

Membership will allow writers to be paid and IDG will be able to hire “in-demand” writers for specific topics. These writers will bring more topics to the magazine that has been asked for by readers.

Membership will cost $35/year or you can purchase a $100 lifetime membership.


The Digital Public Library continues to expand. They’ve added the Medical Heritage Library, which contains many items about the history of medicine. These items come from the Internet archive and include items from the Wellcome Library, which is well-known for the study of medical history.

They’ve also added more that 148,000 items from the Government Printing Office’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Some examples of the types of things you can find are the Federal Budget, laws such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Federal regulations, and Congressional hearings.

Another collection they have added comes from the Getty Research Institute. They are dedicated to expanding knowledge about the visual arts. Getty has contributed metadata for information to be searched and retrieved for nearly 100,000 digital images, photographs, archives, and books.

Getty will make additional content available through the DPLA as it is cataloged and digitized.


The Connecticut Society of Genealogists Annual Literary Awards Publication and Essay Contest are open and receiving submissions from the public.

This is the 4th annual “Tell Me Your Family Story” essay contest. Entries must be related to New England. They could include family stories, oral histories, diary or journal excerpts, bible records, cemetery maker transcriptions, family traditions, or some conditions affecting the life of an ancestor. Essays are limited to 10 pages double-spaced. The winner will receive $100.

For the 28th annual Literary Awards Contests you submit a publication related to New England. Categories for the publication are genealogy, family history, and genealogical resource. All entries should include a title page, table of contents, and an index. You may submit a bound book or a searchable CD. The winner will receive $500. There is a $20 entry fee and you must submit two copies of the publication.

All submissions must be received by February 16, 2015 and winners will be notified by April 1, 2015.


Fold3 has added the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies to its site. This collection contains the two navies’ official reports, orders, and correspondence from the Civil War. From this collection you can obtain first-hand information about the navies in the Civil War. Approximately three-fourths of the collection is available. Fold3 is still working to get all of the collection on its site.


There’s a new journal about the American Midwest published by the University of Nebraska Press. The University of Nebraska will reap any profit from the journal. They pay to produce, market, and distribute the journal. They have just published their first issue.

The first issue is 180 pages and features eight peer-reviewed articles, 18 book reviews, and an interview with a former
University of Wisconsin-Madison history professor.

Each issue will cost $40 and the journal will be published twice a year.


The Drouin Institute has a subscription website with Quebec records. They’ve announced on their Facebook page that they have added records for 80 parishes for the period from 1850 to 1860 for LAFRANCE. The records consist of baptism, marriage, and burial records.


Missisquoi County Canada Genealogy Research Volunteer group in Quebec has announced that they have transcribed 10,000 parish records. From their web site you can search the records for the years 1763 – 1967. The actual images are stored at FamilySearch.org.

They have also transcribed the Library and Archives Canada microfilm Notary records, Google newspapers, Internet Archive eBooks of local directories and posted images and burials to Find-A-Grave.


TheGenealogist is a subscription website in the UK. They have added over 1.3 million World War I casualty records from daily lists published by the War Office and newspapers.

These records contain servicemen wounded in the British and Commonwealth forces for all the years of the First World War. May servicemen were wounded and set back to the front where they may have been wounded again.

These records are available to those who have a Diamond Subscription.


The Irish Archives Resource has doubled in size and now contains 34 archive services. The number of collections has increased from 360 to more than 500.

The Irish Archives Resource is where you can search archival descriptions from contributing institutions. It does not contain any records. Contributions are from Trinity College Dublin’s Manuscripts and Archives Research Department, RTÉ Stills Library, National Museum of Ireland Archives, University College Cork Archives, Derry City Council Heritage and Museum Service, and the archives of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

The new portal provides users with a range of archival collections from a single website. The project was begun in 2008 as a joint initiative of the Heritage Council and Archives and Records Association, Ireland.

With more funding the portal should be expanding from 34 archive services to 70.


Flyleaf Press from Dublin, Ireland, has merged with Ancestor Network, the leading Irish family history services and probate research company. Ancestor Network has provided advisory services for the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, and the Kerry Genealogy Roadshow. They have also managed genealogy educational courses and events across Ireland.

The combination of Flyleaf Press and Ancestor Network will create one of the fastest growing Irish genealogy businesses. Flyleaf Press will maintain its own brand identity and website. The combined organizations will be able to negotiate better financial terms and produce marketing materials together.

With Ancestor Network help, Flyleaf Press is expected to grow stronger and continue to provide innovation in the Irish family history sector, particularly in the area of e-publishing.


The Norwegian government has placed about 8,000 old maps online. These maps tell a lot about the nation’s development, landscape, place, transport and settlement patterns. In the collection you will find maps of cities, regions, as well as military maps and charts. The oldest map is from the 1700s.

From the website you search for maps by region or area.


The Federation of Genealogical Societies is looking for FGS Ambassadors for their 2015 conference to be held February 11 – 14 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The encourage you to apply if you are a blogger, social media enthusiast, writer, editor, or in any way interested in spreading the word about the FGS 2015 Conference.

Some benefits to being a FGS Ambassador are listed at the FGS blog and they include:

• Link to your blog, website, Twitter, or other social media accounts on the FGS 2015 Conference Ambassadors Page.
• Potential to be guest blogger on the FGS Voice Blog.
• Direct contact with the FGS 2015 Marketing Committee.
• Advance notice of press releases and other important updates from the Conference Committee.
• Participation in the FGS Ambassadors Facebook Group.
• Meet-up with other Ambassadors at FGS 2015—group photo for FGS publicity.
• Ambassador badge ribbon at the conference.
(List from http://voice.fgs.org/2014/09/become-fgs-ambassador.html)

You need to register by October 8th if you want to be a FGS Ambassador.


The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is still looking for presentations. The deadline to submit a proposal has been extended.

The 2015 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree theme is Genealogy FANfare! celebrating the use of the friends, associates and neighbors in research.

They are looking for proposals for the Jamboree, DNA day, and webinars. The deadline to submit a proposal is now October 10th.

Things coming up.

Sunday, September 28, 2 – 4pm eastern

Tuesday, September 30, 3 pm eastern
New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Webinar
How to Apply to Lineage Societies: Tips from NEHGS
presented by Lindsay Fulton

Wednesday, October 1 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – The Fair Court: Records of Chancery Courts
presented by Judy G. Russell

Wednesday, October 1, 8pm eastern
Minnesota Genealogical Society
Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking
presented by Paula Stuart-Warren

Thursday October 2, 1pm
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
History Library Catalog and Services

North Carolina Genealogical Society
available from October 3 – 5
J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, lecture on “NC Taxes:
People, Places, Time, and Delinquency”

Friday, October 3, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Overcoming Destroyed or Missing Records
presented by Karen Clifford

Friday, October 3, 8pm eastern
Twitter #IDGChat – Membership in Groups

Saturday, October 4, 1pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Where Have They Gone? Researching Ancestors who Chased Gold
presented by Hannah Z. Allan

Wednesday, October 8, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Welcome to FamilySearch Indexing!
presented by Devin Ashby

Wednesday, October 8, 10pm eastern
Mesa FamilySearch Library Webinar
Planning for the Worst: Disaster Recovery Strategies to Preserve Your Data
presented by Elio Greico

Thursday October 9, 1pm
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Genealogy Program Introduction

Thursday, October 9, 9pm eastern
Second Life APG Chapter meeting

Thursday, October 9, 10pm eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Danish Church Records: Finding Ancestors through Witnesses

#genchat – Town collections and their value
Friday, October 10th, 10pm eastern

Saturday, October 11, 2:15pm eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
US Research Series United States Military Records

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 51.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

Posted in Transcripts