Episode 53 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Tuesday October 28, 2014 and this is Episode 53.

MyHeritage has announced a major collaboration with 23andMe. The combination of MyHeritage’s historical records, family tree profiles, and matching technologies will be combined with 23andMe’s DNA analysis to help users uncover their family history.

DNA testing is used to find relatives from shared ancestors and MyHeritage’s family trees and historical records can help to understand these connections.

All of 23andMe’s customers will have access to MyHeritage’s family tree tools and matching technologies from the 23andMe website. This will eventually replace the 23andMe family tree editor.

MyHeritage users will be able to purchase 23andMe Personal Genome Service as well as Family Tree DNA kits. The integration between MyHeritage and 23andMe will allow the use of DNA to prove or disprove matches found at MyHeritage.

The integration between the two companies will be done in phases with the first phase being completed by early 2015.

The relationship between MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA is for affiliate sales. There is no integration between the two companies to compare results.

MyHeritage also announced the addition of millions of new records to its SuperSearch feature. The new records come from United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Russia and some other countries. They contain birth and death records, church records, and electoral rolls.

The new collections are

England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952:
England, Norfolk Bishop’s Transcripts, 1685-1941
Ukraine, Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates, 1840-1845
Iowa, State Census, 1905
Illinois, Northern District (Eastern Division), Naturalization Index, 1926-1979
Russia, Samara Church Books, 1869-1917 I
Germany, Prussia, Pomerania Church Records, 1544-1945
Denmark Civil Marriages, 1851-1961
Minnesota, Naturalization Card Index, 1930-1988
South Africa, Methodist Parish Registers, 1822-1996
Tennessee Deaths, 1908-1933
Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation, 1847-1864

You will need a MyHeritage subscription to view these collections.


Family Tree DNA recently held their annual conference where they announced that the price for autosomal DNA transfers from AncestryDNA or 23andMe will be reduced from $69 to $39. That price reduction is now in effect. You can only transfer version 3 of the 23andMe test that was available from November 2010 until approximately November 2013. If you try to upload a wrong version, you will be told what versions can be uploaded to try again.

You can transfer your results for free and see your 20 closest matches. If you want to see all the matches you’ll have to pay. And if you want to see the family trees for your matches or see their email address, you’ll have to pay. However, if you get four others to transfer their results, your fee will be waived.

Kris Stewart has links on her blog “My Link to the Past” for people who need 4 referrals to unlock the paid features. So if you are thinking of transferring, click on a link her blog post. Then submit your referral link in the comments for the post and hopefully you’ll get 4 referrals.

This new price reduction is to get more people using Family Tree DNA so everyone will find more matches.


The Genetic Genealogy Ireland Conference was held in mid-October and once again they will be putting the presentations on their YouTube channel. So far there are 5 presentations and there are all the presentations from last year’s conference that are still worth watching.

Be on the look out for all presentations from the 2014 conference on YouTube. They are being added in the order they were given at the conference.


GEDMatch is a website where you can upload your autosomal DNA results and use tools at the site to identify cousins. To use the site you download your raw autosomal DNA test results and upload them to GEDMatch. Then you get to compare your results to other GEDMatch users and it doesn’t matter what company they tested with.

The site is run by volunteers who accept donations. They have announced that the advanced tools at the site will only be available to Tier 1 members. For every $10 donated you will have access to the advanced tools for a month. So that means it will cost $10/month and you can setup recurring donations for each month.

Tier 1 members will have access to the following tools:

Matching Segment Search where you can find other kits with segments that match yours.
Relationship Tree projection is used to calculate probable relationship paths based on genetic distances
Lazarus to generate ‘pseudo-DNA kits’ based on segments in common with your matches. In other words, generate DNA for an ancestor.
Triangulation to find people who match you with your top 300 matches.

Hopefully more donations will keep the site online. In that past there have been some server issues and the site was not available.


Ancestry.com reported third quarter 2014 financial results. Tim Sullivan mentioned “Ancestry continues to execute well on our longstanding mission to help everyone discover, preserve, and share their family history.”

Ancestry’s strategic priorities in pursuit of this mission include focusing on core customers and investments in core technologies and features.

They have added 16,000 net new subscribers this past quarter. There was a 5% increase in subscriber revenue with a total of 2.125 million subscribers. Core retention rates are solid.

They are investing in their DNA business where they have doubled their customer database since January of this year. There are lots of opportunities to weave DNA into the core Ancestry experience. And it has been a great avenue path to acquire new subscribers. Many people order DNA kits and then become Ancestry subscribers.

Long-term investments include the international market in places like Germany and Mexico.

They continue to deliver great television programming including the US version of Who Do You Think You Are?, they are a main sponsor of the PBS series Finding Your Roots, and CNN family history segments that look into the ancestry of some CNN anchors.

Ancestry still has profits and positive cash flow even though there have been some significant investments.


Ancestry has released two more state research guides. One is for New Jersey and the other one is for Pennsylvania. New Jersey was founded 350 years ago and is called the Garden State probably to reflect all the farmland in the state. Pennsylvania is known as the keystone state because of its central location among the original 13 colonies.

Each research guide contains the history of the state, various census records that are available, where to find vital records, some other collections, state resources, and significant dates for the state.


Ancestry has released more Pennsylvania death records. The collection now covers the years 1906 – 1963. Before this update the death records only went up to 1944. The year 1906 was the start of statewide registration of births and deaths. This latest update completes the collection; it ends with the year 1963. The year 1964 marks the 50-year privacy window before records can be released.

Next year should see the birth records being added.

Since these records come from the Pennsylvania State Archives, if you live in Pennsylvania you will have free access to those records so you don’t need an Ancestry subscription to view them.

Ancestry has also added 31 new databases for Germany. They mostly consist of birth, marriage, and death records. There are some records for family registers, emigration, recruitment rolls, and residence registration.

These 11.7 million records span the years from 1874 to 1950.


The Find A Grave app has some new beta features for users to try. There’s a way to upload multiple photos at once. This is available from the cemetery page. You can preview, rotate, and delete images that you upload.

The photos can be used to create new memorials or attach them to preexisting memorials using the new transcription tool.

The app is only available for iOS devices from Apple.


FamilySearch adds more than 9.2 million indexed records and images to Belgium, India, Slovakia, and the United States.

FamilySearch adds more than 462,000 thousand indexed records and images to Australia and the United States
More new records at FamilySearch

New browsable image collection
Australia, New South Wales, Cemetery, Military, and Church Record Transcripts, 1816-1982

Added images to an existing collection
US, Illinois, Northern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991

The following have new indexed records and images
US, New Jersey, State Census, 1915
US, Pennsylvania Obituaries, 1977-2010

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Slovakia, Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-1910
United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
US, Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001
US, Oregon, County Marriages, 1851-1975

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1541-1910
Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1913
Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, 1621-1910
Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912
Belgium, West Flanders, Civil Registration, 1582-1910
India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2014
US, Maryland, Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999
US, New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1785-1950
US, Ohio, Cuyahoga County Probate Files, 1813-1932
US, Oregon, Deschute County Records, 1871-1985


The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is undergoing some changes. Some reference desks will be removed and new consultation areas will be placed on those floors. There will be comfortable welcome areas where the old reference desks used to be.

To prevent guests waiting in lines to get help, there will be a paging system similar to what you see in many restaurants when waiting for a table. This will be used when guests sign up for a consultation with a specialist during weekday daytime hours. There should be volunteers available on each floor to help with questions.

The photo scanning equipment will be available and Family Story booths will be set up to make video and audio recordings that you can save to a flash drive.

There will be a children’s area where parents need to stay with their children while another family member is doing research in the library.

These changes should be completed by November 2014.


Findmypast has released 4.5 million British Army records. These records were created by the Army Medal Office and they were used to keep a record of medal entitlements earned by soldiers during the war.

They have released over a quarter of a million Irish newspaper articles which include nine new titles. The new titles are

The Drogheda Journal/Meath & Louth Advertiser,
Dublin Monitor,
The Galway Vindicator & Connaught Advertiser,
Limerick Reporter & Tipperary Vindicator,
The Newry Examiner and Louth Reporter,
Northern Whig,
Pue’s Occurrences,
Sligo Champion,
and The Waterford Chronicle.

And they have released thousands of British inheritance and Court of Chancery records. The Inheritance Disputes contain over 26,000 lawsuits at the English Court of Chancery. The types of records you will find are wills, bequests, grants of administration, descent of property, identity claims and other testamentary disputes tried in the Chancery Court in London.

There is also an index of the Chancery Cases heard during the reign of Charles I. The Court of Chancery had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, such as land ownership, trusts, the administration of the estates of lunatics and the guardianship of infants.

Findmypast has added many more UK burial records for greater London and Warwickshire. The Greater London collection consists of records from the City of London, Middlesex, and Surrey.

They have added records from the Witton cemetery to the Warwickshire, Birmingham collection. This is the largest cemetery in that area.

They have added Somerset Notes and Queries that contain articles on Somerset history, folklore, and literature.

Another collection that has been added for Somerset is the Somerset Electoral Registers 1832 – 1914. These records contain information about property and can be used to trace addresses and if someone rented or owned their homes and businesses.

The Findmypast weekly update was reduced to every two weeks or a fortnight a little while ago and now it will be monthly. They will be continuing with the Findmypast Fridays page where they will list all the new records added for the week.


MacFamily Tree has a new user interface for the latest Mac OS X operating system called Yosemite. And it supports the feature where you can be working on the app version of the software on your iPhone or iPad and you can continue the edits on your desktop computer. This is a new feature in Yosemite called Handoff.

MacFamily Tree now has a top bar to navigate to previous views similar to how you use a browser. This way you won’t lose track of the persons you edited or features you were using.


Legacy Family Tree has a new update. They’ve added 36 new Research Guidance suggestions. These suggestions look at what you know about an ancestor and then give you a list of links and suggestions based on the ancestor’s time period and location.

The update also includes some bug fixes.

If you have the deluxe edition you can click the “Install and Download Now” link within the program to update. You will find this on the Legacy Home tab.

If you have the Standard Edition you will need to download and install the new version.


There is an update to the free program Gramps. This update brings the program up to version 4.1.1 from 4.1.0. This means there are bug fixes and minor changes added to the previous version. There were 56 new updates all together to fix some user interface problems and to improve translations.


Connecticut State Library has started holding community events to encourage local residents to bring in family letters, photographs, diaries, and other objects from the World War I period. They hope to preserve family-held memories and mementos from World War I.

This initiative is to commemorate the centennial of the entry of the U.S. into the war in April 1917.

The materials will be made digitally available at the Connecticut Digital Archive.

The Connecticut State Library became the central repository for the state and local records generated during the World War I period. The collection has continued to grow over the years from many donations and the acquisition of published materials and private archives.

There is a new website called Remembering World War One, Sharing History/Preserving Memories. It provides a platform for sharing historical material from libraries and institutions about the Connecticut wartime experience.


The Indiana Commission on Public Records has partnered with Ancestry.com to digitize more than 13 million records. Birth and death certificates from as early as 1900 will be digitized and marriage records from 1958 through 2005. The public will have access to those records that are over 75 years old.

The records will start to be available during 2015 with completion expected by 2016. This would have taken the state more than a decade to complete if done on their own.

After a three-year embargo the records will be available online for free through the State Archives. This time period is so Ancestry.com can recoup its costs. However, the State Archives will provide public access to the digital records at its Indianapolis location.


Newspapers.com specializes in newspapers from across the US from the 1700s – 2000s. Its a subscription website. They have a new viewer that is faster and more streamlined and has more options for printing and saving. There are tools to adjust the brightness and contrast, rotate the image, view full screen, and zoom.

The filmstrip at the bottom of the screen has also been improved. You can now scroll between different days’ papers and on a computer you can auto scroll by moving your mouse over the area.

It uses HTML5 which enables it to work on all platforms such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet.


Sometimes when you are writing about your ancestors lives it’s useful to look at newspaper ads to get a feel for what life was like during that time. Now the New York Times has started an online archive for vintage ads. So far the ads from the 1960s are online. Plans are to add additional decades.

The Times wants you not only to view the ads but help identify them. You can find ads within a page by looking what is highlighted in the page and selecting the kind of ad it is – exactly one ad, part of an ad, multiple ads, or not an ad.

You can annotate ads with company and product information. And you can transcribe the ad text to make the archive searchable.

The archive is called Madison in reference to Madison Avenue.


The Ranger is a daily newspaper for Fremont County in Wyoming. They’re creating a photo archive online. Currently you can see all the photos that were taken for a story, not just the ones that were published in the newspaper. Readers can order high-quality prints at the website.

It’s hoped that eventually older photos will be added to the site from the permanent Ranger archive which contains about 750,000 pictures dating from 1949.


There’s a new online archive from the DC Public Library Special Collections that documents the history of Washington, D.C. At the website you’ll find photos, maps, audio, cartoons, and postcards.

This web portal is a work in progress.


The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is starting to put the Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel service files online. The files are in a pdf format and can be found at the Soldiers of the First World War: 1914 – 1918 database.

You can search by name, regimental number and rank. And you can specify if you only want to search within the files that have been digitized and not the entire collection.

Over 76,000 files are available so far. Plans are to upload 5,000 files every two weeks.

As these files are digitized, certain portions of the collection will be closed as they undergo preparation, conservation, and digitization. Some files need to have staples, paper clips, and glue removed. And some need to be treated for mold.

LAC had announced in January 2014 this project to digitize 640,000 of these files as part of the First World War commemoration.


The Library and Archives Canada has launched two new guides: Guide to Sources Relating to the Canadian Militia, 1855–1988 and Guide to Sources Relating to Canadian Naval Vessels, 1909–1983.

These guides were written by Barbara Wilson, a military archivist with the library, who passed away this year.

The first guide about the Canadian Militia is a starting point for researching records that document the Canadian militia units. It references records and files that can be found throughout different archival fonds held at the Library and Archives Canada.

The second guide about navel vessels is a starting point for researching records of naval vessels that served with the Royal Canadian Navy.


The latest collection of burial and cremation records added to Deceased Online, are from Nottingham. This is the first phase for this area. So far the following cemeteries have been added:

Northern Cemetery (Bulwell), opened 1903
Southern Cemetery (Wilford Hill), opened 1919
Wilford Hill Crematorium, opened 1931
High Wood Cemetery, opened 2006

Searching at the site is free. You will need to purchase vouchers to see the records.

Deceased Online has improved the advanced search facility for Memorial/Monumental Inscriptions. There are more accurate results for searching inscriptions because you can now search more fields to get the results you’re looking for.


The Wellcome Library is located in London and it’s one of the world’s major resources for the study of medical history. They are going to digitize records of psychiatric hospitals dating back to the 18th century.

Once digitized the records will be available for free at the Wellcome Library website. Besides records there will also be copies of some magazines that were published by the hospitals, photographs, administrative documents and registers.

The project is expected to take two years to complete.


The British Red Cross is starting to upload records for British volunteers in the First World War at its website. The records for surnames starting with A and B are currently available. That makes for 30,000 records so far.

Volunteers will be adding more records to the site every few weeks. Eventually the site will include the details of 236,000 Red Cross volunteers. These volunteers drove ambulances through the trenches, knitted socks, collected clothes for the patients, and treated those who were injured as well as many other things to help during the War.


Those who belong to the Irish Family History Society will now have access online to back issues of the Irish Family History Society Journal. There are now 10 issues available from 1985 to 1994 in the Member’s area of the website which is found at ifhs.ie

More will be added in early 2015.

The Irish Family History Society is open to anyone in the world looking to trace his or her Irish roots. Membership costs 25 euros or $32 per year.


Genealogy Gems is launching a free book club. Contributing editor Sunny Morton will be the Genealogy Gems Book Club guru. The featured book will be introduced each quarter. During the second month of the quarter they will talk about the book and list a few more books you may be interested in reading. During the final month of the quarter there will be a sneak peek with the author of the featured book in the free podcast. Genealogy Gems Premium members will get to listen to an extended chat with the author as they talk about the family history aspect of their book.

The first book will be “She Left Me the Gun: My Mother’s Life Before Me” by Emma Brockes. This book traces the author’s mother’s traumatic childhood in South Africa.

There’s a page at the Genealogy Gems website dedicated to the book club where you will find the current book being a discussed and other book recommendations.


Those who belong to the Southern California Genealogical Society get many benefits. At the Jamboree held last June, it was announced that SCGS members would have access to Fold3 from home.

This access will be ending on October 31st.

Starting on November 1st members will have remote access to MyHeritage Library Edition.

Members will continue to have access to archived webinars and World Vital Records from home.


The Board for Certification of Genealogists recently met in Salt Lake City. They will be changing the name for one the requirements from “Research Report Prepared for a Client” to “Research Report Prepared for Another.” This is to reflect that not all who apply for certification plan to take clients.

The new president of BCG is Jeanne Larzalere Bloom who takes over from Elissa Scalise Powell.

Judy Russell made a donation to fund a full year of free public instructional videos for BCG.


The National Genealogical Society is seeking nominations for the 2015 Genealogy Hall of Fame. The nominations should be persons whose achievements or contributions have made an impact on the field of genealogy. According to the press release

“A nominee must have been actively engaged in genealogy in the United States for at least ten years, must have been deceased for at least five years at the time of nomination, and must have made contributions to the field of genealogy judged to be of lasting significance in ways that were unique, pioneering, or exemplary.”

Each year NGS elects one person to the Hall of Fame. To nominate someone you do not need to be affiliated with the National Genealogical Society.

Nominations are due by January 31st.


D. Joshua Taylor has been re-elected for a second term as President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. New board members elected include Melissa Tennant, Linda McCauley, David Rencher, and Cherie Bush. Polly Fitzgerald Kimmitt and Randy Whited were re-elected as board members

These new officers will assume their duties beginning January 1, 2015.


FGS is looking for volunteers to help at the 2015 conference to be held in Salt Lake City in February. Volunteers are needed for registration, answering questions at the information desk, monitors for sessions, luncheons, and a social event.

Depending on how many hours you volunteer, you will be refunded a portion of the registration fee if you register for the entire conference at the early rate.


FGS is starting a monthly Google+ Hangout on Air. This will be 30 minute show live the first Thursday of the month at 9pm eastern.

These will focus on the FGS 2015 Conference that will be held in February. They will also discuss news and events.

The HOAs will be co-hosted by FGS Marketing Chair Caroline Pointer and FGS 2015 Conference Marketing Chair Linda McCauley. Guests for the first one will be Cyndi Ingle, J. Mark Lowe, and Paula Stuart-Warren.


The FGS 2015 Conference will be held in conjunction with RootsTech 2015. Donny Osmond will be the keynote speaker on Saturday, February 14th. He will be releasing a new album just before the conference. The title of the album is “The Soundtrack of My Life” that tells the story of his life.

The Osmond family is very interested in family history and they have the Osmond Family Organization that maintains and updates a website about the genealogy of the Osmonds.


DearMyrtle will be at the conference with her AmbushCam. She did this at the NGS conference held last May in Richmond, Virginia. She will be “ambushing” people as they are walking around at the conference and ask them a few questions. These interviews will be at her YouTube channel.


Registration is now open for the New England Regional Genealogical conference that will be held in Providence, Rhode Island, April 15 – 18.

Early bird registration is $120 and that ends February 28th. After that registration is $150.


Registration is open for the Virtual Professional Management Conference that will be held January 8 and 9. You must be a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists to register.

Sessions will be streamed to your computer live and they will be available to watch later for 3 months. There are a total of 9 sessions. You can sign up for all 9 or pick and choose only the ones you are interested in.

Individual sessions are $20 each, some sessions are packaged together at various prices, and all the sessions cost $145.


Coming up

Tuesday, November 4, 1pm eastern
Ancestry Live Event
What’s New at Ancestry.com: November 2014 Edition
presented by Crista Cowen

Wednesday, November 5, 8pm eastern
Minnesota Genealogical Society
Who in the World is the Common Ancestor? Adding DNA to Your Genealogy Tool Kit
presented by J. H. Fonkert

Thursday, November 6, 9pm eastern
FGS Google+ Hangout on Air
Guests will be Cyndi Ingle, J. Mark Lowe, and Paula Stuart-Warren

Thursday, November 6, 10pm eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Using the Danish Demographical Database: Finding Censuses

Friday, November 7, 8pm eastern
Twitter #IDGChat – Family History Gifting
Follow the chat using Twubs. Got to Twubs.com and sign in with your Twitter account.

Saturday, November 1, 1pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Historical Newspaper Research for Genealogists
presented by Pamela Weisberger

Tuesday, November 11, 2pm eastern
Friends of the National Archives – Southeast Region
Civil War Medical Records
presented by Carig R. Scott

Tuesday, November 11, 9pm eastern
Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinar
Evaluating What You Have Found: The Third Stage of Research
presenter: Barbara Renick

Wednesday, November 12, 10pm eastern
Mesa FamilySearch Library Webinar
The Jewish Connection – Mythology or Reality
presented by Emily H. Garber

Saturday, November 13, 9pm eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
US Research Series United States Naturalization Records

Friday, November 14 2014, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar – Legacy Family Tree – Virtual User’s Group Meeting
presented by Legacy Family Tree Panel

#genchat – Secret Societies
Friday, November 14th, 10pm eastern

Saturday, November 15, 4pm eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
¿Mis antepasados vinieron de . . .? (taught in Spanish)

Saturday, November 15, 6pm eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Reading Spanish Handwriting (taught in English)
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 53.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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