Episode 56 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Friday January 16, 2015 and this is Episode 56.

Many people are starting off the New Year by participating in a Genealogy Do-Over. It’s based on starting your genealogy over from scratch and set up by Thomas MacEntee. Many people started doing genealogy not realizing you should have some sound research to back up your claims and document all your sources.

The genealogy do-over is a thirteen-week process. Each week will concentrate on a certain achievement. By the end you will have set a firm foundation for genealogy and family history research.

Over two thousand have joined the Facebook group for the genealogy do-over.


ProGen Study groups are where people discuss and put into practice the ideas found in the book Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Each month members of the group study one chapter. It’s an 18-month program that is led by a board-certified genealogist.

There is a new administrator for the ProGen Study Program. She is Rebecca Whitman Koford. Rebecca has completed the ProGen program and she has served as group coordinator. She will take over form Angela McGhie who will be joining the board of directors.


Family Chronicle magazine is changing its name to Your Genealogy Today. The name change will take effect with the March/April issue. The content won’t change too much.

There will be three new regular columns – “Genealogy Tourism”, “DNA & Your Genealogy”, and “Advice from the Pros”.

Moorshead Publishing will still own the magazine. There will be a new domain name for the magazine. Plans are for YourGenealogyToday.com to be online by March 1st.

Besides Your Genealogy Today, Moorshead also publishes Internet Genealogy and History Magazine.


Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness is back. This is where you can ask volunteers to do some genealogy research for you. It can be for looking up records at the local courthouse, taking a picture of a gravestone, or any thing else pertaining to the local area. Requesters are required to reimburse the volunteers for any expenses such as postage, cost of making copies, and parking fees. The web site lists volunteers for you to contact.

Anyone can register as a volunteer.

The original Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness was shut down in 2011 after the death of its founder.


23andMe and Genetech will be working together to study Parkinson’s disease. Genentech will be accessing about 3,000 people in the 23andMe database.

This is a multi-year collaboration. Genentech will pay $10 million upfront and up to $50 million later.

To goal will be to discover new targets for drugs and diagnostic tests.

Last year 23andMe announced another collaboration deal with Pfizer. That consists of 10,000 people with clotis or Cron’s disease to look for genetic clues that cause that type of disorder. 23andMe has announced another partnership with Pfizer this year.

Pfizer will have access to data from over 650,000 individuals to help find new targets to treat disease and to design clinical trials.

All data used will come from those that have consented to have their data used in research.

23andMe plans to announce similar deals this year with other drug makers and biotechnology companies.


The final draft of the Genetic Genealogy Standards has been released. The standards are to be used as best practices when using DNA for genealogical research. Some of the guidelines include getting consent from the person being tested, those being tested understand that some unexpected results may be found such as unknown family members, and the results can only be shared with the testers consent.

This is just the beginning. Plans are to include guidelines for Y-DNA and mtDNA testing and interpretation. And some guidance for citing DNA results.


When Ancestry announced that it would be discontinuing tests for Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA, they also announced that they would be destroying all the samples for those who had the test done. There was great uproar about having these samples destroyed.

Ancestry does not offer those tests anymore but the samples that were submitted for those tests may not have been destroyed.

Debbie Kennett, who writes the blog Cruwys News, has heard unofficially that the samples have not been destroyed. Ancestry is discussing what they will do with the samples in the future. You should be able to download your results from those discontinued tests by downloading the file from the AncestryDNA results page.


FamilySearch has added records for Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Italy, Peru, Russia, and the United States

New browsable image collections added include

Italy, Bergamo, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1866–1901
US, Georgia, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865–1872
US, Kentucky, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865–1872
US, North Dakota, Census 1925
US, Tennessee, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865–1872

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection

Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902–1980
Canada, Canada Census, 1911
Canada, Newfoundland, Vital Records, 1840–1949
Peru, Lambayeque, Civil Registration, 1873–1998
U.S., California, Oakland, Alameda County, Obituary Card Files, 1985–2011
U.S., Michigan Obituaries, 1820–2006
U.S., Washington, County Records, 1803–2010
US, Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1938
US, Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878–1939, 1959–1995

These next collections have added images to an existing collection

Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, 1621–1910
China, Collection of Genealogies, 1239–2014
Czech Republic, Church Books, 1552–1963
Czech Republic, School Registers 1799–1953
Russia, Tatarstan Confession Lists, 1775–1932
U.S., Michigan, Probate Records, 1797–1973
U.S., Ohio, Probate Records, 1789–1996
US, Hawaii, Obituaries Index, ca. 1980–present
US, Oregon, Yamhill County Records, 1857–1963

FamilySearch.org users now have access to the papers of Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was the founder of the Mormon church.

Descendants of early church members can now view documents that mention their ancestors. There is a new website that uses the digitized pages of the Joseph Smith papers to compare with the names of ancestors in your family tree at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch’s Family Tree now has a new update that has hints. These hints can be found on an ancestor’s detail page and in the descendancy view. The new algorithm used makes it possible to identify more than 14 million new hints. It also includes new record sets such as the Find-A-Grave collection.

Using these hints users will be able to add more sources to the Family Tree as well as add new persons found in the records.

FamilySearch has launched a new online App Gallery. This will help people find FamilySearch’s partner applications and services. You can search by platform, price, and language or browse by category.

The gallery listings are for products that interact with and support FamilySearch Family Tree.


In the last month Ancestry has released research guides for Montana, Delaware, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These research guides contain a history of the area, where to find census and vital records, some other collections pertaining to the state, and a list of significant dates for the state.


Tim Sullivan, CEO at Ancestry.com, posted a letter for all Ancestry subscribers to see when they login. The letter mentions that many records were added from many different countries.

Lots of people took AncestryDNA tests and the Ancestry mobile app is very popular.

The year ahead promises to be very exciting. Ancestry will be adding new features to add historical context around the times and events when our ancestors lived. There will be a new way to engage with other Ancestry members who share a common ancestor.

There will be new discoveries for those who have taken an AncestryDNA test. And there will be a simplified, easier-to-use site focused on family stories.


MyHeritage plans to add millions of Danish historical records to SuperSearch. They have entered into an agreement with the Danish National Archives to index Census and Parish records. The census records cover the years from 1787 to 1930 and the parish records are from 1646 to 1915. This is the first time they will be made digitally available.


MyHeritage now offers Family Tree Builder 7.0 for the Mac. This is a free program that has been available on Windows.

This is not a native Mac version; MyHeritage is still working on that. The current version is called Family Tree Builder Mac Extension. This version does not require Windows in order to run it on a Mac.

It uses CrossOver by CodeWeavers to run the Windows code on the Mac.

The program syncs with your data at MyHertitage.


Findmypast continues to release records every Friday. They seem to be adding records for the UK and for the US.

New UK records include deaths and burials in England and Wales. These records came from over 14 million records found in the International Genealogical Index (IGI).

They’ve added over 12,000 records for Ryedale baptisms. These baptisms took place in the nine parishes across the Ryedale district in North Yorkshire.

Lots of records have been added for North West Kent. These include baptisms, marriages, and burials. They’ve also added the records for the Kent, Bexley Asylum Minute Books 1901-1939.

Another asylum collection has been added, that would be for the South Yorkshire Asylum which was later known as the Middlewood Hospital.

Baptism, marriage, and burial records have been added for Nottinghamshire. Birth and baptism records have been added for the British Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Marriages and burial records for the Isle of Man have been added.

Marriages records from London, Docklands and East End have been added.

There’s a new collection for Devon that contains over 60,000 records from many different local sources. It offers insight into the every day lives of people living in the 18th and 19th centuries. You will find details of military service, neighbor disputes, mental health, crime, and lots more. The name of the collection is Devon Social & Institutional Records.

They’ve add the Eastbourne Gazette Newspaper Notices from Sussex.

The British Army Officer Promotions collection cover the years from 1800 – 1815 and contains the names of those who served in Wellington’s army and whose promotions were announced in the London Gazette.

The British Army Bond of Sacrifice collection contains biographies of officers who died in the Great War.

If you can’t find your male ancestor in the 1871 England census, he may have been in the military. The 1871 Worldwide British Army index is now online at Findmypast. This collection is specifically for finding where men serving in the British Army on the census day of 1871 were.

The Derby railway servant’s orphanage registers list the details of children from Northern Britain whose father’s died while working on the railways.

There are now 50 titles in the Irish Newspaper Collection. The latest titles added are Connaught Watchman, Galway Mercury, Dublin Morning Register, Statesman, Westmeath Journal, Kerry Examiner, Limerick and Clare Examiner, Journal of the Chemico-Agricultural Society of Ulster and Allnut’s Land Schedule.

Many more articles and 14 brand new publications have been added to the British Newspapers collection.

For the US records, Findmypast has added Arizona deaths & burials, Idaho births and christenings, and Utah Marriages.

The United States Revolutionary War pensions files are now available at Findmypast.


The Findmypast First program was initially only available to those living in the UK. They have now expanded this program to everyone with a 12-month subscription. Some of the benefits you get include monthly webinars, having a say about what records sets should be added, priority email support, monthly competitions, and discounts for products at other companies.


The trees on the Findmypast website now have hints. This feature is in beta. These hints should help you find more records for your ancestors.

An orange circle with a number representing how many hints will appear next to your ancestor.


GenSoftReviews have announced the User Choice Awards for 2014. The top rated program was Aheneblatt, a free Windows program for keeping track of your ancestors.

Second place went to The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG). This lets you create a website based on your data. It requires a web server running PHP and MySQL.

Third place went to Famberry. This is a site where you can collaborate with your family to build a family tree.

At the GenSoftReviews site anyone can leave a review for any of the genealogy programs listed.

The site was created by Louis Kessler, a genealogist and a programmer. His is the author of the genealogy program Behold.


The National Archives in the US has published their “Strategy for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2015-2024.”

Comments that were received about the strategy were incorporated into the final document.

The revised strategy includes the following five approaches:

• Expanding the focus to new types of partnerships and new types of records.
• Crowdsourcing digitization and metadata creation.
• NARA will engage with Federal agencies to ensure that agency-digitized permanent records can flow into the online catalog.
• Think digital first: NARA will incorporate a focus on online access into our work processes and enable created digital content to flow into our catalog.
• NARA will continue to leverage its own Digitization Labs for work that partners and contractors cannot do.

I’ll have a link in the show notes to the full report.


The museum at Ellis Island is planning to open its new center in the Spring. It will be called the Peopling of America Center. Also there will be a new museum entrance. The Pre-Ellis Era immigration galleries will be expanded and their new name will be Ellis Island: The National Museum of Immigration.

Last year they launched a new website and as a result of feedback some changes have been made to improve the site. The database has been expanded to include the years from 1925 – 1957.


There has been a project underway to digitize Swedish-language newspapers that were published in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

These newspapers contain news from Sweden and news from other immigrant communities in the United States. They also helped the new immigrants adjust to the new country. Most Swedes settled in the mid-west.

This project started in 2008. It involves the National Swedish Library in Stockholm, the American Swedish Institute, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Swenson Swedish Immigration.

The archive of newspapers should go live sometime in 2015. There are also plans to translate the newspapers so non-Swedish speakers will be able to read the text.


The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, usually referred to as the Freedman’s Bureau, was a U.S. Federal government agency that aided freed slaves and other poor people after the Civil War. Many records from the Freedman’s Bureau are starting to come online.

Angela Walton-Raji and Toni Carrier have created a new website called “Mapping the Freedmen’s Bureau – An Interactive Research Guide.” This site is useful for locating and accessing records of the Freedman’s Bureau, Freedman’s hospitals, contraband camps, Freedman’s Bank branches, and the location of battlefields where men who were in the US Colored Troops fought.

There is an interactive map to find which of these services were located in different areas. If the records are online, the map will provide a link to them.


The New Brunswick Archives has added almost 9,500 birth records online for 1919. They are available at the Archive’s website. You’ll also find marriage and death records. All records have been recently updated.


Over in the UK TheGenealogist website has added over 22,000 headstone records. This includes 23 cemeteries from the twelve parishes of the Island of Jersey. And it also includes some other cemeteries from Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, The West Midlands and Wiltshire.

At the site you can search by name, year of death, and graveyard. The results are linked to images of the gravestones and there are maps to locate where the person is buried.

TheGenealogist has also released over 800,000 records to their military collection. These records all pertain to World War I. There are prisoner of war records, missing in action, and killed in action.


There is a proposal in the House of Lords to make birth, marriage, and death certificates available in a digital format. Due to shows like Who Do You Think You Are? there has been a great interest in genealogy.

In Scotland the birth, marriage, and death certificates can be found online at ScotlandsPeople and Northern Ireland introduced a similar system last year.

The amendment will be debated in early 2015.


The British Newspaper Archive has added more than 200,000 pages. Some highlights include Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle. This was one of Britain’s leading sports newspapers in the nineteenth century. The years from 1830 – 1850 are available online.

17 other new titles were added. Some of those would be Derbyshire Courier, Galway Mercury and Connaught Weekly Advertiser, Roscommon Journal and Western Impartial Reporter and the Walsall Observer and South Staffordshire Chronicle.

I’ll have a link in the show notes where you can find the entire list.


The Battle of Waterloo occurred in 1815. It ended over 20 years of conflict in Europe and is considered a milestone in European history. To celebrate 200 years since this great event took place, commemorations activities are being planned.

Those who have an ancestor who fought in the Battle of Waterloo will have the opportunity to apply for tickets to attend a commemoration service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The group Waterloo 200 has a website and they are collecting stories from descendants about their ancestors who were part of that battle.


The ScotlandsPeople web site has added births for the year of 1914, marriages in 1939, and deaths in 1964. The images can be released under legislation that allows the publication of births after 100 years, marriages after 75 years, and deaths after 50 years ago that were registered in Scotland.


According to Claire Santry who writes the Irish Genealogy News blog, the Irish Newspaper Archive will be lowering its prices by 50% permanently.

They are still displaying their Christmas special price but this should be the price from now on.

The yearly price is about $207 US and the monthly price is $35 US.


The Vestfold Museums of Norway now has a presence at Flickr Commons. There you will find many photos held by the museums.

Flickr Commons is a catalog of the world’s public photo archives.


The first National Genealogy Conference in Canada will be held in Nova Scotia from July 17 – 19. Many well know speakers will be there and there will be guided tours of the Canadian Museum of Immigration and a tour of Halifax. Prior to the conference you can submit personal information to the Scotiabank Family History Centre and they will provide immigration information.

The cost is $895 Canadian dollars or approximately $750 US.


Registration is now open for the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus! The conference is June 5 – 7 and DNA day is before the conference on Thursday, June 4th. You have until April 30th to take advantage of early bird prices.


Who Do You Think You Are? Live is a conference held each year in England. This year it will be held in Birmingham, April 16 – 18. The keynote workshop speaker will be Dick Eastman. He writes a daily blog that started out as a newsletter 19 years ago. The topic for his keynote will be what the future holds for genealogy.


If you read blogs or write a blog you may have noticed the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks that occurred in 2014. That was where each week you took an ancestor and wrote about them on your blog.

There will be a 2015 edition. This is the brainchild of Amy Johnson Crow. This year Amy will have an optional weekly theme to help you get inspired to write about your ancestors.


There are a few writing things coming up. The Armchair Genealogist will be having the 5th Family History Challenge. During the month of February you gather with others to write about family history stories.

There is a website where you can register for this challenge. Once you register you get access to the members area where you will find articles to help you write your stories.

You’ll also find lots of resources to help you get started and stay organized.

There will be a daily dose with fresh new articles to provide you with inspiration, education, and motivation during the month of February.

Guest authors will be part of the program. This year there is a new workbook to help you find out about your ancestor’s character.


The Ohio Genealogical Society is having their annual writing competition. Society members and non-members are able to submit writings for the competition. Only unpublished entries are eligible.

Winning articles will be published in either the Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly or the Ohio Genealogical Society News. There will also be some monetary prizes.

Entries must be submitted by March 1st.


The Dallas Genealogical Society is having a writing contest. This will be the third year for this contest.

It’s open to members and non-members of the Dallas Genealogical Society. Only original material that has not been published elsewhere in any format is eligible.

Entries may be submitted up until April 30th. Winners will be announced in July.

Winning entries will be published in Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society. There are cash prizes for the top three entries.


DearMYRTLE is very busy this year. She continues with Google Hangouts on Air. There’s Mondays with Myrt, Wacky Wednesday, and Saturday Game Night.

She has started a Beginning Genealogy series that will be live every Wednesday at noon Eastern. This will be going on until mid-June. It’s meant for those new to genealogy but I’m sure everyone will learn something new from the series.

She is also organizing a GenLaw Study Group. She is looking for 15 panelists who will be participating in discussions each week. There will be weekly homework assignments based on the book Genealogy and the Law: A Guide to Legal Sources for the Family Historian by Kay Haviland Freilich and William B. Freilich.

The sessions will start on January 23rd and run until mid-March.

All of DearMYRTLE Hangouts on Air are recorded and can be found on her YouTube channel. She also uses Google+ where comments are posted during the live session that you can read later.

The Indepth Genealogists will be having IDG Chit-Chat Live using Google Hangouts. This will be recorded sessions that anyone can view on their YouTube channel.

In the first episode, Shannon Combs-Bennett, Jennifer Alford, and Terri O’Connell discuss the first episode in season 2 of Genealogy Roadshow.

The Genealogy Guys will be producing more podcasts in the coming year. They will still have the same podcasts with news and listener email. They will also have another podcast that will be a theme. In that podcast they won’t talk about any news and they will only have listener email it it’s related to the theme. The first themed show was about copyright. The next themed show will be about “U.S. Ships’ Passenger List Records.”


When Legacy announced their 2014 webinar series there was a lot of discussion about the lack of African Americans presenting during the year. As a result of this Legacy has added 4 more webinars for 2015 and they are

Researching Ancestors in the Era of Freedom by Angela Walton-Raji
United States Colored Troops Civil War Widows’ Pension Applications: Tell the Story by Bernice Alexander Bennett
Mending Broken Ties: Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery by Melvin J. Collier
Maps Tell Some of the Story for the African-Ancestored Genealogist by Angela Walton-Raji

And during January 3 additional webinars will be free to view, those are

When Freedom Came – Documenting the Family’s Freedom Story by Angela Walton-Raji
Your Civil War Ancestors: Beginning Your Research by Michael Hait
Best Internet Resources for African American Genealogy by Angela Walton-Raji

Webinars coming up.
Monday, January 19, 11am Eastern
National Archives in England
Using Discovery, our online catalogue
presented by Chrissy Peters

Tuesday, January 20, 1pm Eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Introduction to Fold3
presented by Crista Cowen

Tuesday, January 20, 8pm eastern
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Webinar
Researching Your Swedish Heritage in Living Color Using ArkivDigital
presented by Kathy Meade

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
My Genealogy DO-Over—A Year of Learning
from Research Mistakes
presented by Thomas MacEntee

Wednesday, January 21, 8pm eastern
Georgia Genealogical Society
Developing the Genealogy of a Community: A Case Study
presented by Tim Pinnick

Wednesday, January 21, 9pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Finding Your Female Ancestor’s Story in the Newspaper
presented by Gena Philibert-Ortega

Thursday, January 22, 1pm Eastern
MyHeritage Webinar
Global Family Reunion with A. J. Jacobs

Thursday, January 22, 8pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Using Research Logs
presented by David Dilts

Thursday, January 22, 9pm eastern
Heritage Collector Webinar
Converting / Editing and Sharing Old Movies
presented by Tom Perry

Sunday, January 25, 2 – 4pm eastern

During the week of January 26, FamilySearch will be having webinars every day at 1 and 4pm Eastern. All sessions will be about England and Wales.

Monday, January 26, 1pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Maps & Gazetteers

Monday, January 26, 4pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Online Websites

Tuesday, January 27, 1pm Eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Missing Records
presented by Crista Cowen

Tuesday, January 27, 1pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England & Wales Census Records

Tuesday, January 27, 4pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England & Wales Civil Registration

Wednesday, January 28, 1pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Church of England Church Records

Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Getting Started in Scrapbooking
presented by Susan Budge

Wednesday, January 28, 4pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Non-Conformist Church Records

Thursday, January 29, 1pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Probate Records, Part 1

Thursday, January 29, 3pm Eastern
NEHGS Webinar
Genealogical Resources at the American Jewish Historical Society–New England Archives
presented by Judi Garner and Stephanie Call

Thursday, January 29, 4pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Probate Records, Part 2

Thursday, January 29, 9 PM Eastern
APG Webinar
Careers in Genealogy: Personal Historian
presented by Linda Coffin

Thursday, January 29, 9pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Danish Emigration

Thursday, January 29, 9pm eastern
Heritage Collector Webinar
Making Photos, Storybook Pages and Calendars INTERACTIVE
presented by Marlo Schuldt

Friday, January 30, 1pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Parish Chest Records

Friday, January 30, 4pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Poor Law Records

#genchat – Writing Your Family History
Friday, January 30, 10pm eastern

And that’s it for this episode.

You can send email to geneatopia@gmail.com

You can find links to things mentioned in this show in the show notes at Geneatopia.com as well as a transcript. The transcript can also be found in the Geneatopia Flipboard magazine.

This is episode 56.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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