Episode 55 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Thursday December 18, 2014 and this is Episode 55.

Ancestry has announced enhanced DNA matching. They have found a new and better way to compare DNA between AncestryDNA members to find more accurate matches to distant relatives, 70x more likely to find distant relatives. This means you will see less matches because some people who matched you before will no longer be considered a match under the new DNA matching rules. Hopefully the matches that are displayed will be those that share a common ancestor that you can document, not a common ancestor from thousands of years ago where there is not a paper trail to determine who they are.

You won’t need to provide a new sample. The new algorithms will be used to compare your existing DNA results again to everyone in the AncestryDNA database. If you want to see the old matches, for a limited time you can download them, including any notes you had added.

Ancestry also announced a beta version for DNA Circles. Ancestry uses the new matching algorithm along with public Ancestry.com trees to create circles based on those who match you with DNA and also have a common ancestor with you. Each person in a circle matches at least one other in the circle. The aim is to create a circle of people who are all related.

Each circle is based on a common ancestor. This new tool will help you find cousins easier. By having them in a circle will make it easier to collaborate with your extended family.

DNA Circles can uncover new relatives that you may not match with genetically since everyone inherits different parts of DNA from the same ancestor. But they all descend from the same ancestor. Everyone in the circle will genetically match at least one other person in the circle but they won’t all match each other. It is possible if everyone in the circle has the wrong invalid information in their public Ancestry tree that the circle will be reporting an ancestor that is incorrect.

DNA circles go back seven generations, that’s you plus 6 generations. If the common ancestor is past seven generations, there will not be a circle created for those matches.

To be in a circle you must subscribe to Ancestry.com, have a public tree, and be an AncestryDNA customer. The more people who test, the bigger your circles will become.


Ancestry.com has released the findings of the first chapter in its Global Family History Report. This is a multi-country study that examines trends in family history. The countries studied for the reports are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Sweden.

Over 6,000 interviews were carried out with adults, aged 18 and over. Approximately 1,000 interviews per country. Interviews were carried out online during June 2014.

They found out that family history has grown in the United States by 14 times over the past decade. Two-thirds said that family history has become more important to them.

This growth is motivated by more people wanting to understand who they are by knowing who their ancestors are. This trend to research ancestors has brought generations closer together.

In the 1950s and 1960s, 60% of grandchildren had a close relationship with a grandparent. Today it’s 78%.

More of the younger generation is talking to older family members to learn about their family history. The older generation knows more about their family history than their parents did.

Almost half of those who have researched their family history have discovered living relatives they never knew about. And some, 9%, even actually met these new relatives.

The rise in interest in family history is being driven by the Internet. One in three adults have used the Internet for family research. That’s double the number in 2008 and the forecast is that this will double again by 2025. The Internet has changed how we share and access information. 81% believe family history has become easier to research.

Photos play a big role when researching family. 81% use photos for their research. This is a higher number than those using census records or birth, marriage, and death records. The Internet is making it easier to share photos so future generations will have access to them.

This was the first part of a multi-chapter report. The rest will be published in the coming year.


Ancestry’s latest research guides are for Alabama, Iowa, and Washington. In the guides you’ll find a history of the state, where to find census records, vital records, other records and collections, and state resources. As with all resource guides there’s a list of significant dates for the state.


Ancestry has introduced Historical Insights. This new feature will give you historical hints similar to the shaky leaf hints. Information from your family tree and historical records are used to determine where you ancestor may have been during certain historical events. It doesn’t mean they were at the event but it may lead to clues as to how the event may have shaped their lives.

You’ll be able to see all the family members who experienced the same event.

Currently Historical Insights is only available from the Ancestry mobile app. In the coming months it will become available on the Ancestry website.


Ancestry has released an Android app for Find A Grave. Version 1 is available for free in the Google Play store. From the app you can search for cemeteries on a map or by name, search by name for a person, create new memorials, add photos, and update GPS coordinates.

You can also edit your bio and preferences and fulfill photo requests.

Some things missing in the app are the ability to add flowers and notes. The app doesn’t work without an Internet connection. You can still take photos and upload them later when you have an Internet connection.


Every year Tamura Jones lists the GeneaBlog awards for the year. The winners for 2014 are:

Most Original New Genealogy Blog is Geneaplooza. Its a comic strip related to genealogy. New strips are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Best Old Newspaper News is The Ancestor Hunt. Kenneth Marks has been scouring the web for old newspapers and writes about his findings. Not only that he has organized links to newspapers by state and by provinces for Canada. You can find tutorials he has done, lists of big newspaper sites, and links to some newspapers in other countries.

Best Educational New Blog Series is German Genealogy Tips. Josiah Schmidt has created some blog posts with tips for German genealogy. He also has recently started a podcast with a focus on German research.


King Richard III is still making news. Remember King Richard III remains were found in a parking lot in Leicester in 2012. He died in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth.

Richard didn’t have any children so to analyze the DNA, researchers looked for descendants from Richards sister, Anne of York.

Mitochrondrial DNA from living descendants of his sister and other analysis was used to determine that the body found was Richard III.

Mitochrondial DNA is passed down from a mother to her male and female children. Males do not pass this down to their children.

Now researchers are looking at his YDNA which is passed down from father to son. Since Richard didn’t have any children, researchers are looking up the tree from Richard III and then back down again to identify who would inherit the same Y chromosome as Richard. They looked at the descendants of Edward III, Richards great great grandfather.

There isn’t a link between Richard III and the male relatives who are alive today who should share the same YDNA results or haplogroup. That means that some where along the way there was a non paternal event – a boy was born to a woman, and her husband was not the father.

This means that some who have ruled may not have actually been of royal blood and had no right to rule. Could it be the Tudors or could it be Richard or could it be someone else? They just don’t know.


Family Tree DNA is having a big sale on all their tests. Sale prices range from $10 to $70 off the normal price. Sale prices will be good until December 31, 2014.

And they are providing Mystery Rewards for existing customers every week. These rewards are another $5 to $100 off certain tests. So for example one week you may be able to get an additional $10 off a Family Finder test. Next week you get a different reward to use.

Rewards are emailed each week or you can find your reward when you login at Family Tree DNA.

Over at Roberta Estes blog, DNAeXplained, people are posting their rewards they don’t want in the comments section for others to use.

Others are also posting codes they won’t be using.

The Mystery Rewards are being used to get more people to test with FamilyTreeDNA so everyone can find more matches.


The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has approved 23andMe DNA testing for learning about health risks but it must be use with caution. They say no test is 100% reliable.

The UK version of the test will not include all the same tests as the US version.

23andMe started selling DNA testing kits in Canada in October. These also don’t contain all the tests that were in the US version.

In November of 2013 the FDA in the United States banned the company from selling DNA kits for medical analysis. They thought the people would be making decisions based on results that may not be accurate. So someone may not do anything about a condition they have because it was not recognized by the test or they may have unnecessary surgery because they tested positive for something that should have been negative.

Those who have tested in the UK with 23andMe since November 2013 for the ancestry test will be able to receive their health reports free of charge.


FamilySearch adds more than 125.4 million indexed records and images to the United States

More new records at FamilySearch

New browsable image collection added include
US, Utah, Weber County Marriages, 1887–1938

New indexed record collection
Find A Grave Index

The following have new indexed records and images
US, Michigan Obituaries, 1820–2006

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
US, Montana, Lake County Records, 1857–2010
US, Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866–2010
These collections have added images to an existing collection
US, Tennessee, White County Records, 1809–1975
US, Washington, County Records, 1803–2010


FamilySearch has been working on a new indexing program where you won’t need to download a program; it will all be done in the browser. There was a beta test of the new browser-based program in August. As a result they discovered more improvements need to be made and the release of the new program has been delayed.


FamilySearch has discontinued its photo duplication service for microfilm and books. That was discontinued on December 5th. Existing orders will be completed by no new orders will be accepted.

Many microfilm and books are being digitized and added to FamilySearch.org and more links are being made available from partner sites for this type of information.

If the microfilm or book you need has not yet been digitized, you can order it from the nearest family history center.


The software program RootsMagic released a new version, version 7. New features include web hits, file compare, DataClean, quick groups, and easier online publishing.

Web hints let you know that there may be a record for someone at MyHeritage or FamilySearch. FamilySearch is free and MyHeritage has some free records and then other records that show up as hints, you will need a MyHeritage subscription in order to view them. For both websites, FamilySearch and MyHeritage, you don’t need to have a tree in order see web hints.

DataClean helps you fix problems with names or places in your database. You can correct names in all uppercase, improper capitalization, invalid characters, wife shares husband surname, plus lots more.

Cleaning place names will look for some of the same things as it does when cleaning names such as invalid characters and all uppercase. It will also check for misspellings and for those place names that are missing the country, DataClean can add the country. It compares place names to a database of place names to obtain the correct spelling and format.

Compare files will let you check two files in case you were entering data in two different databases. It shows you the differences in the two files. From the results you can copy data between the two files.

The previous version of RootsMagic had a feature called online publishing. You could generate a web site and have it hosted at RootsMagic. It generated a lot of static files. You can still generate this type of website with RootsMagic 7 as well as websites that were created with older versions of RootsMagic.

The version in RootsMagic 7 is database driven. It doesn’t generate a lot of files. Now it sends your database to the server. These types of websites must be hosted at MyRootsMagic.com.

At the RootsMagic YouTube channel you will find a recording from a webinar all about the new features.

RootsMagic will be doing in-depth videos on all the new features in the coming months.


Another genealogy program, Family Historian, that is very popular in the UK, announced that they have integrated MyHeritage’s Smart Matching and Record Matching technologies into their program. The latest version, version 6, was recently released with the MyHeritage matching. They call this feature Automatic Internet Data Matching.

As with the RootsMagic version, some matches will be free to view and others will require a MyHeritage subscription to view.

There are quite a few new features and enhancements in this new version of Family Historian. Some notable new features are

A new map window to map locations of all the places and events
A new web search window that is a complete web browser
New automatic source citation pane
Extended family timeline facts
Support of witnesses
Attach pictures to places

If you’re interested in all the features you can check out the list at the Family Historian website. And of course I’ll have a link in the show notes to that list.


MyHeritage is a sponsor of the Museum of History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland. The museum has a new exhibition that tells the story through 1,000 years of the history of Polish Jews from the Middle Ages to today.

The exhibit contains video, interactive installations, artifacts, paintings, and reconstructions.

As part of their sponsorship, MyHeritage Library Edition is available on the computers in the museum’s resource center for all visitors to use.


MyHeritage and BillionGraves have collaborated with some genealogy organizations and volunteers to digitize 150,000 gravestones at the Holon cemetery in central Israel.

This was part of the global initiative MyHeritage launched with BillionGraves earlier this year.


MyHeritage has launched Instant Discoveries. This is a free experience that makes it easier for new users to start researching their ancestors.

You enter some basic information about your parents and grandparents such as names, dates, and places. And then information about your ancestors is displayed. An online family tree is created with many relatives and photos.

MyHeritage uses the billions of family tree profiles and historical records at the MyHeritage website to build the family tree.

Not everyone will get lots of ancestors this way. It depends on how much information is entered and where their ancestors came from. The success of this technology will improve as MyHeritage grows.

This new service is currently only available to new users. Existing user will eventually be able to use this to see about finding new ancestors from their family tree.


Heredis genealogy software is on sale until January 5th, 2015. It’s available for Windows and Mac. It’s 50% off for all versions.

This program is very popular in Europe. It has an extended view that shows all people your ancestor knew, not just the immediate family, there’s a migration map to where you ancestors lived, the search wizard uses online databases available, and you can publish your family tree online at the Heredis site.


Marian Pierre-Louis has joined Legacy Family Tree.

They make the Legacy Family Tree genealogy program as well as producing a yearly webinar series. Marian will be the Social Media Marketing Manager. She will provide outreach to Legacy customers through the Legacy blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

She will also host some webinars that will be held on Wednesday evenings.

She still plans to produce more podcasts for her shows Fieldstone Common and The Genealogy Professional. She’s suffered from burn out these past few months but she says she will not be giving up those podcasts.


Legacy webinars are free to attend and free to view for a short time after the recording was made. If you want to watch any of the previous webinars or want the handouts you need a subscription to Family Tree Webinars. Right now a subscription costs $50 annually or $10 monthly. With that you get access to all the webinars and handouts.

Now they’ve added something else for subscribers. You can view the chat logs from the live webinars. They contain answers to questions that were asked, hyperlinks the presenter mentioned, and the conversation that took place during the webinar.


A new program, rootstrust, has been released. This is a genealogical data management system. It manages relationships between people and relationships between people and places. At the rootstrust site, you’ll find lots of videos to learn how to use the program. It runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, and even from a USB drive so you don’t have to install it.

A free beta version of the program can be download at the website.

rootstrust was create by Brooke Nelson, a software developer and genealogist. I interviewed him at the 2014 NGS conference that was held in Richmond, Virginia. You can listen to the interview in Episode 38, released on May 28, 2014.


There’s been an update to Clooz. This program is used to catalog all your paper and electronic files. It’s also used to map files or documents to people. That way you find all the links between people to see their relationship.

Many people use their family tree program to link to the documents in Clooz. Now Clooz has a synchronization transfer tool to link the file to a different program.

The 1921 Canadian Census template has been updated to match the actual document in the Census.

And a problem has been fixed with how invalid entries are handled when filtering main grid displays.


Findmypast has added lots of new records. For those with Irish ancestors, they’ve added Griffith’s Survey Maps & Plans 1847 – 1864. This collection contains the place names recorded on Ordnance Survey maps and town plans used to create Griffith’s Valuation.

Griffith’s Valuation is considered one of the best resources for finding where Irish lived during the mid 19th century. A property tax survey was taken under the direction of Sir Richard Griffith between the years 1847 and 1864. The survey involved establishing the value of all property and buildings.

Since no census survives for this time in Ireland, Griffiths Valuation serves as a census substitute.

Findmypast has added records to its collection of National School Admission Registers & Log Books 1870 – 1914. The records for Anglesey, Plymouth, and West Devon have been added. The school records contain information about the students at the school such as name and address, date of admission, date of leaving, and the names of parents or guardians.

Records have been added to the Prison Ship (Hulk) Registers 1811 – 1843. The new records come from Discovery, Captivity, Antelope, Dromedary, Weymouth, and Coromandel. They list inmates held on these ships. Each record contains the inmate’s name, age, and trade as well as their crime committed and sentence.

18 new publications have been added to PERSI (the PERiodical Source Index.) These new publications are from several US states and include genealogy and history quarterlies, magazines, registers, and reports. I’ll have a link in the show notes for the list of new publications. They’ve also added more indexes for over 2,000 periodicals.

Findmypast has added lots of records for the District of Columbia for births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials.

There are over 3.4 million new records from British Trade Union Membership registers. The records are from 9 different unions. These registers can be used to trace details of someone’s working life.

Findmypast has added records from the IGI (International Genealogical Index) for English birth and baptism records and Welsh birth and baptism records.

They’ve added a new collection called the Peninsular War, British Army Officers 1808 – 1814. These records are index cards that were created about officers who fought for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars.

The Irish Dog License registers have had more records added. They contain information about the dog and the owner including their address. This collection can serve as a census substitute.

If you have ancestors from South Australia, you’ll be interested in the new birth, marriage, and death records for South Australia.

There are new collections for Scotland birth and baptism and Scotland marriages. Both collections contain records starting in the 1560s. These can also be found at FamilySearch and Ancestry.

More articles and titles have been added to the Irish newspaper collection. There are 25 new titles from all 4 provinces of the country.

Some other collections added to Findmypast include 1895 Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, Arizona marriages, Iowa Deaths and Oregon births.

Findmypast has completed the collection for the Irish Petty Sesions Court Registers. This collection was started in 2012. It contains information about those who were in trouble with the law. Three new courts have been added for Kilmainham in Dublin, and Balla and Charlestown in County Mayo. Additional years have been added to many other courts.

The records will be updated each year to bring them in line with the 100-year rule.

The fragments for the US 1890 census can now be found at Findmypast. You can also find these fragments at FamilySearch and Ancestry. The 1890 census was destroyed.

Here’s a little history about the 1890 census. For the 1890 census they had to come up with a different method for counting all information collected from the census. The information for 1880 census was finished being analyzed in about 1887, that was 7 years to process the information and in 1890 there would be many more people providing information and at the current rate, they wouldn’t be able to process the all information before the next census.

So someone by the name of Herman Hollerith devised a scheme using punched cards. This turned out to be highly successful. It only took one year to process all the information from the 1890 census.

Hollerith founded his own business based on this technology called the Tabulating Machine Company. This firm eventually merged with other tabulating companies and changed their name to IBM.

But what happened to the original 1890 census? There was a fire in the Commerce Building where the population schedules were stored. This occurred in 1921 and its estimated that 25% of the schedules were destroyed and 50% suffered from smoke and water damage.

In 1933 it was decided to destroy all the census records from 1890. Later some fragments from the 1890 census were discovered. And those are what you find at Findmypast, FamilySearch, and Ancestry.

Findmypast has a new feature that is in beta for record hints in family trees. It’s available to anyone, you don’t need to have a subscription to use this new feature.

Hints are shown where Findmypast finds a match for that person in its record collections. You can accept the hint, mark it for further consideration, or reject it.

You will need a subscription to view the records that are displayed as hints.

Findmypast has something called a Christmas Countdown. Everyday until December 25th, there will be family tips, historical recipes, history quizzes, and guest columns. You’ll find all this at the dedicated Christmas Countdown page or on the Findmypast Facebook page.

The week after Christmas, Findmypast will be helping everyone with their family tree with helpful guides, webinars, expert insights, and more. We’ll have to wait and see about the more part.


The British Newspaper Archive has added 19 brand new titles. Some of the titles are Aberdeen Weekly Journal and the County Chronicle, Surrey Herald and Weekly Advertiser for Kent, as well as 17 extra Irish titles.

45 other titles were updated. Some of those were Newry Examiner and Louth Advertiser, Northampton Mercury and Salisbury and Winchester Journal.

I’ll have a link in the show notes to all the titles added and updates.


The British Newspaper Archive is going to have a week of prize giveaways, starting on Saturday, December 27th. Check The British Newspaper Archive’s Facebook page from December 27th to January 2nd to take part. There will be 2 to 3 gifts each day. And the gifts can redeemed online. You can win subscriptions to magazines, websites, and books.

The blog post that announced the giveaways has the list of gifts to be given away each day.


Trove is the website for the National Library of Australia where you can find lots of online resources for Australia. It’s free to sign up and use. They continually added newspapers to their collections. The National Library of Australia recently announced

“The National Library of Australia now has the largest freely available collection of digitised newspapers in the world with the 15 millionth page going online today on the award-winning website Trove.”

The Australian Newspaper Digitization Project was launched in 2008 with the National and State Libraries Australia and the National Library of Australia.


In the US, the University of Montevallo in Alabama has launched a digital archive for newspapers printed in Montevallo and Shelby County, mostly for the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The collection is made possible by a gift from the grandson of the publisher of many newspapers in the area. The collection is called the W. M. “Mack” Digital Archive. Mr. Wyatt was owner and publisher of the Union Banner, the Montevallo Times, and the Calera Herald. He consolidated the Montevallo Times and the Calera Herald into the Shelby Count Times-Herald in 1954.

The collection is available to the public and as it expands, newsprints appearing in various formats will be added.


The Chelsea District Library in Minnesota has completed its digital newspaper archives project. It can be found at the site storiesofchelsea.org under the “Historic Newspapers” tab. Many sponsors made this project possible.

They donated $100 to sponsor a year of newspaper coverage. Sixteen years are still available for sponsorship.

The newspapers span the years from 1873 – 2012. They include The Chelsea Herald, The Chelsea Tribune and The Chelsea Standard. The collection is searchable.


The South Dakota State Historical Society is digitizing archival newspapers. The society has received a federal grant to place digital versions of newspapers at the Library of Congress site Chronicling America.

The society will be digitizing microfilm of newspapers that were published before 1922 and had stopped publication by that year. The digitization will be done by the Minnesota Historical Society.


The General Land Office of Texas has digitized some rare Texas maps and they have made them available to the general public. As the maps are digitized, they are being sold to support the conservation efforts. All the proceeds go to an effort to preserve and digitize historic maps and documents.

The digitized maps can be found at savetexashistory.org. The oldest map dates back to 1513.


For Nebraska, the Homestead Final Certificate Land Entry Case Files are now online and available at Ancestry.com. Many organizations have been working over a decade to digitize these files and make them available.

These records were created starting in 1862 to prove that those who received land through the Homestead Act fulfilled the requirements. The records describe the improvements made to the land, including houses constructed and crops planted.

Records from other states pertaining the homestead records are in the process of being digitized.


New York City’s record department has placed online some 17th century New Amsterdam historical manuscripts. This is the first step to make available to the public historic records of the New York City government.

The records cover the period from 1647 to 1661. These Dutch language manuscripts have been translated. They can be found at archives.nyc. You will find the records under the Ordinances & Translations link. From there you will see descriptions of the four collections. You will need to click on the image for the collection to be able to view the translated documents.

During the next year you can expect to see documents granting land to settlers of Brooklyn and Queens.


FamilyTree magazine has a new article on its website about the 75 best state-focused websites for the United States. There is at least one for every state. California has the most links with 4.

Most are links to state archives and historical societies that have placed records online. And best of all, these sites listed are free.


The AmericanAncestors.org has a new redesigned website. It offers a user-friendly design, mobile responsiveness so it’s easy to use on phones and tablets, faster searches and access to more digital resources. There are over 150 million new records.

There’s a new enhanced record viewer and now you have the ability to browse as well as search databases.

There was a webinar that explains how to use the new site and a guide about the site. And of course I’ll have a link in the show notes to both of those resources.


Mocavo has free access to the US census during its 12 Days of Census. For 12 days they are opening the Mocavo Census Viewer to everyone. Each day they will open up another census making most of the US census available for free on December 24th. Each day a different census is made available and the previous ones that were unlocked are available. So the first day they unlocked the 1820 census, the next day it was the 1830 census. On December 23rd they will unlock the 1940 census. And on December 24th all the censuses from 1820 – 1940 will be available for free.


If you have Quebec ancestors you may have heard of the PRDH. I won’t try to pronounce what the letters stand for but I will tell you a little about it. This is a program at the University of Montreal. They have transcribed the parish records of Ancient Quebec as well as some other records up until 1799. The records are available online for a small fee. They charge by how many records you look at, not by how many searches you do, or how many times you login, or for a certain period of time. You pay for how many records you would like to look at. This subscription doesn’t expire until you have looked at the number of records that you have paid for.

There is also free access where you can search the site to see if it contains information about the ancestors you are interested in.

The PRDH site has had an update. There have been corrections and additions to the database since the last update that was in December 2012. They say that the corrections represent only a small portion of the database that contains millions of items.

They have added the place of origin in France for immigrants who were married in Quebec under the French regime. And information form the Fichier Origine project is now in the database. This is a glossary of documents from the project Franco-Quebec Research origins about French and foreigners who settled in Quebec.

The navigation for the PRDH website was brought up-to-date with current standards. There are now pull-down menus. As with any changes there are some problems and complaints. The PRDH is working to solve any issues that come up.


Another site for Quebec research is the website for the Drouin Institute. It contains many different records for researching your Quebec ancestors. Now if you want to know more about the records at the site you can consult a new guide.

The guide shows you how to search the various collections at the site.


There’s a little bit of news for New Brunswick, Canada. The Provincial Archive of New Brunswick has added over 5,000 more birth records for the year 1918 to its website.

And there’s a new website titled the New Brunswick Scottish History. Phase I has been launched and it contains 1851 and 1861 census records for some counties. Additional counties will be added in 2015.

A Teacher’s Resource Center will be launched during December to help teachers use the site.


There is a new online ordering system for probate records from London. This new system replaces the Principal Probate Registry search room. Now you can order any will from 1858 and download a copy directly to your computer.

You can search for a will and order it. You will need to know the surname and year of death for the search. You will receive an email when the will is ready for you to download. It will cost £10 per entry or $15 US and you have 31 days to access the copy.

Previously you could access an index to post-1996 wills and soldiers’ wills from 1850 – 1986.

The UK site Deceased Online has added some records for Pembrokeshire, Wales. This new collection features transcriptions of records from cemeteries in the area around Narberth, Pembroke and Pembroke Dock.

Deceased Online has added more records to its Lincoln Collection. They have added records for the five cemeteries and crematorium managed by the City of London Council.


There is new website to commemorate those who served in World War I from the area of Blaenau Gwent, a county borough in South Wales. The site contains newspaper articles, details of war memorials and war graves, letters, photographs, and family histories.

There are sections for how people in the area are commemorating the centenary of World War I today and upcoming World War I related events.


The ScotlandsPeople website had added the 1925 Valuation Rolls. This is the seventh year added for Valuation Rolls. The rolls cover every kind of property that was assessed as having rateable value. In the rolls you’ll find information about the value of each property, names of who lived there, and their occupation.

The new records are free to search.


The ScotlandsPeople website will be getting a new redesign and infrastructure. Work will start sometime next year with the new site going live in September 2016. This is when the contract for the current site will expire and they are looking for a new contract that will last 4 years from that date to support the new website.


If you have Scottish ancestors and wonder what those Gaelic words mean, you can now search a new online tool to find out the meaning. The Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic website has been created at the University of Glasgow.

It contains digitized texts for learning about Scottish Gaelic as well as sound recordings.


The National Library of Ireland plans to publish its collection of pre-1880 Roman Catholic Registers online in the summer of 2015. These will be freely available at the rootsireland.ie website.

These records date from the 1740s to the 1880s and they are considered an important source of Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census.

This is the most ambitious digitization project the National Library of Ireland has taken on.

When launched in the summer of 2015 you will be able to search by parish and then select from a list of registers for that parish to browse the register.


The Irish Newspaper Archives website is having a Christmas sale, subscription are 50% off. Monthly subscriptions are approximately $37 per month or 30 euros and yearly subscriptions are approximately $220 or 178 euros.

They have recently added the Irish Examiner for the years from 1841 to 1949 to the site.


There’s a new website to find out about Australian related World War I projects. It’s called Word War One Link. The site was established by Inside History magazine. This magazine features articles about Australia and New Zealand’s social history and heritage.

The WWI Link website is a register of projects taking place across Australia during the centenary of World War I. Everyone is encouraged to submit their projects.


More keynote speakers have been announced for the joint RootsTech/FGS 2015 conference to be held in February in Salt Lake City. Former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager will be the keynote speakers during the Friday morning general session.

The First Lady will talk about her life in the White House. Jenna Bush Hager will join her mother for a fireside chat to talk about family.

Musician David Archuleta will perform at the closing event at the joint RootsTech/ FGS 2015 conference. David Archuleta was an American Idol finalist in 2008.

He will be teaming up with the comedy sketch group Studio C from BYUtv. Both will be performing new original pieces for the event.


The day before the RootsTech/FGS conference will be the RootsTech Innovator Summit. This day is about using family history data and services. It’s geared toward developers and business leaders.

The keynote speaker for the Innovator Summit will be Nathan Furr, a leading author and expert in innovation and entrepreneurship.


Tickets are now on sale for Who Do You Think You Are? Live at NEC in Birmingham, UK. There are many different prices and tickets that you can purchase for this show depending on what you want to attend. The show will be held April 16 – 18, 2015.


Registration is open for the NGS Family History Conference that will be held in St. Charles, Missouri, May 13 – 16, 2015. You have until March 30th to register to get the early bird rates.

There are various registration packages available. The entire conference costs $195 for members and $230 for non-members. That would be the early bird rates.


The Southern California Genealogical Society has announced the date for the 46th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. It will be held from Friday through Saturday, June 5 – 7, 2015, in Burbank, California. Registration by mail is now open and online registration will be available soon. The theme for this Jamboree is Genealogy FANfare: working together.

The day before the Jamboree on Thursday, June 4th, they will again hold Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus! The day is all about genetic genealogy.


The first ever national genealogy conference for Canada will be held July 17 – 19, 2015, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. David Obee is scheduled to be the keynote speaker. He has written many books about Canadian history and family history and he is a well-known speaker.

The following are the topics and activities planned:

DNA testing in Genealogy
History of immigration into Nova Scotia
Recording family history through photography, digital filing and citing sources
Best practices for beginner & intermediate genealogists
Tour of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Visit to the Titanic Graveyard


The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) in Ontario has announced the dates for the 2015 conference. It will be held September 18 – 20, 2015. There will be three themes – Scotland, Photographs in Genealogy, and Technology.

They have issued a call for speakers for lectures and workshops or seminars. You have until January 31, 2015 to submit a proposal.


The 11 Annual Genealogy Conference and Cruise will be held October 18 – 28, 2015. It will leave from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, then be going to Aruba, Cartagena, Columbia; Panama Canal and Colon Panama; Limon, Costa Rica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and back to Fort Lauderdale.

The focus will be on genetic genealogy. The presenters will be Angie Bush, CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger.


Unlock the Past offers many genealogy cruises. They are based in Australia but sometimes the cruise originate in other places besides Australia.

They have announced the schedule of cruises for 2015 and 2016. There are seven cruises and they are now accepting reservation for all of them. If you book by the end of 2014 you will be eligible to win $6,000 worth of prizes.

I’ll have a link in the show notes where you can find more information about the cruises.


The National Genealogical Society has released a new Continuing Genealogical Studies course: Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestors. It was developed by military expert Craig Scott. The course is an eight-week cloud-based course.

The cost for the course is $45 for NGS members and $70 for non-members.


The Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research will be offering a plus option for its courses. As a result from feedback from the first course offered they realized there needs to be more instructor interaction and feedback.

Plus course will cost $99.99, $30 more than the standard price of $69.99. The plus course will have an additional one-hour session, instructor feedback on exercises by email, and a certificate of completion for the course.

All courses consist of four 90-minute lecture sessions and syllabus material.


The PBS show Genealogy Roadshow’s second season will start on Tuesday January 13, 2015, at 8pm Eastern. It will air every Tuesday night until February 24th. The genealogists for this season are Kenyatta Berry, Joshua Taylor, and Mary Tedesco.

The shows were filmed in St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans. There will be two episodes for each location.

The show features people who want to know more about their ancestors. Some detective work is done based on what is known and sometimes there are some surprises for the guest.


The United States version of the TV show Who Do You Think You Are? will start a new season on Tuesday, February 24th, at 10pm Eastern. This will be the sixth season.

They’ve announced half of the featured celebrity guests. They are:

Julie Chen – host of CBS’ “The Talk” and “Big Brother” will be traveling to China to learn about her ancestors
Angie Harmon – who stars in “Rizzoli & Isles”. Previously she had rolls in Baywatch Nights and Law & Order. She finds out a connection to George Washington.
Sean Hayes – sitcom star of “Will & Grace”. He travels to Ireland to trace his roots.
Bill Paxton – an actor and director, he finds out about his American Revolutionary War ancestor.

Four more guests will be announced in the future.


There’s a reality-television show in Sweden called Allt för Sverige which translated to English means Anything for Sweden and marketed in the United States as the Great Swedish Adventure.

The show is about Swedish Americans who travel to Sweden in search of their roots. It starts out with 10 contestants. Each week they compete in all sorts of crazy games. One person is eliminated in each show. In the end one person remains and that person gets to go and meet living descendants of their ancestors.

During the shows, the contestants learn about Sweden and Swedish customs. They tour different areas and experience life as their ancestors did.

You can watch episodes on YouTube.

They are now looking for contestants for the next season, which will be season 5. They are looking for outgoing and adventurous Americans with Swedish ancestry who wants to learn more about their roots and see their motherland.

They would like you to create a 30 second – 2 minute video that tells a little bit about you, why your Swedish heritage is important to you, and why you should be picked for the show.

There is also a short form fill out with some information and pictures.

If you get picked you need to be able to spend 6 weeks shooting the show. The show will be filmed in the summer of 2015.

The deadline to apply is February 15th.


DearMyrtle will be having Genealogy and the Law Study Group starting in January. She will be deciding later what materials such as books and websites will be used.

She has hired Angie Bush as a DNA consultant so she can understand her DNA results. There are recorded Google Hangouts that are available about their conversations.

You can find them at the DearMyrtle YouTube channel as well as Mondays with Myrt, Wacke Wednesday, and Genealogy Game Night.

#genchat – Your genealogy holiday gifts
Friday, December 26th, 10pm eastern

Sunday, December 28, 2 – 4pm eastern

Thursday, January 2, 9pm eastern
FGS Google+ Hangout on Air

Saturday, January 3, 1pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Preservation of Photographs and the Importance of a Good Scan
presented by Brett Payne

Saturday, January 3, 3pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Metas genealógicas para 2015
translated means family goals

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 55.

Thanks for listening.


Listen to the episode.

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