Episode 60 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Thursday March 5, 2015 and this is Episode 60.

The FDA will be making it easier for 23andMe to market direct-to-consumer tests. These will be for diseases that someone will not decide on any radical surgery as a result from a test such as breast cancer.

The FDA will classify autosomal recessive carrier screening tests as class II. These tests will be exempt from FDA premarket review

A formal notice about this will be published and that will be followed by a 30-day comment period.

The FDA is allowing 23andMe to market the Bloom syndrome status report. Bloom syndrome is a rare disorder found in people of Central and Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish background. It is characterized by short stature, sun-sensitive skin changes, an increased risk of cancer, and other health problems.

Current 23andMe customers will not have access to their Bloom syndrome status report. They are not planning on creating reports for those that are individually cleared such as for Bloom syndrome. Those reports will be released when 23andMe has a more comprehensive product offering.

This is the first time the FDA is allowing a direct-to-consumer test and it gives 23andMe a model for future submissions. They plan to submit more tests for approval so they can provide US customers with health information.

The blogoshpere has been talking about a great article that was posted on CeCe Moore’s blog Your Genetic Genealogist. It was a guest post that explains two and a half years of research to find out who this person’s father’s parents were.

It starts with a genetic test from AncestryDNA that came back with the results that the tester was half Jewish. Thinking the test was wrong, she and her sister tested at 23andMe. The tests showed they were Jewish.

Having been brought up as Irish these results were quite a surprise.

After some analysis it was determined that their father was Jewish. Another relative on the father’s side was tested and the results came back that he wasn’t related at all.

The father was born in a hospital in the Bronx. Using The New York City Birth Index, the names of the babies born at the same time in the same hospital were determined.

As the years passed, the relative on the father’s side had a new match with someone at 23andMe. This new match explained that she was very surprised that her tests came back Irish when she expected to be Jewish.

It turns out that her grandfather was born in the same hospital a day before the father being researched. She had pictures of her grandparents who look exactly like the father.

Some more DNA tests were ordered on the new family to prove that two baby boys were switched in the hospital.

I’ll have a link in the show notes to this article and another article written by the person who was the new match who helped to solve the mystery. In those articles you can find out about all the details of how the research was done.


It seems that FamilyTreeDNA has a very large backlog for processing Y-DNA tests. The supplier of an important component for Y-DNA tests is no longer in production. FamilyTreeDNA had to upgrade to the next generation of sequencers to process the tests.

They have been developing a new procedure to use this sequencer and it has taken some time to test to ensure reliable results.

They are now processing the backlog. So if you are waiting for the results of your Y-DNA test, it may be just a matter of a few more weeks until you get the results.


FamilySearch adds more than 1.1 million indexed records and images to Brazil, Japan, Russia, and the United States

FamilySearch adds more than 19.2 million indexed records and images to Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and the United States

More new records at FamilySearch

New indexed record collection
US, New York, Naturalization Index (Soundex), 1792–1906

New browsable image collections added include
US, California, San Diego Passenger Lists, 1904–1952
US, Maine, Crew List Arriving at Eastport, 1949–1958
US, Massachusetts, Boston, Crew Lists, 1811–1921
US, New York, New York, Index to Vessels, 1897–1956
US, New York, Rouses Point and Waddington Crew Lists, 1954–1956
US, Pennsylvania, Crew Lists arriving at Erie, 1952–1957
US, United States, Freedmen’s Bureau, Records of the Commissioner, 1865–1872

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Canada, Canadian Headstones
Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805–2001

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
Russia, Lutheran Church Book Duplicates, 1833–1885
United States, Freedmen’s Bank Records, 1865–1874
United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980–2014
US, BillionGraves Index
US, Illinois, Soldier burial places, 1774–1974

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Brazil, Pernambuco, Civil Registration, 1804–2014
Japan, Genealogies, 1700–1900


Ancestry unveiled a beta version of their new website at RootsTech last month. The new site makes it easier for people to discover and tell stories about their families while helping people to become better researchers.

There’s a new LifeStory view for each ancestor in your family tree. It uses all the records and information you have for that ancestor and generates a narrative with a timeline of their life. The timeline uses maps, historical records, and photos to enrich the story. You can customize the story to make it reflect how you want it.

The Historical Insights feature lets you learn about important moments in history that occurred during your ancestor’s lifetime. This can help you understand your ancestor’s life better.

The new website has a new Media Gallery where you can manage all your media such as records, videos, photos, and stories.

For each ancestor there will be a Facts view where you can manage the facts, sources, media, and relationships associated with that person.

If you are interested in participating in the beta website you can signup to be placed on a wait list at home.ancestry.com/beta. Ancestry will be inviting people to join the beta in batches over the next few months. You will receive an email about how to join the beta.


MyHeritage has added some new collections to their SuperSearch feature for members of the site. The new collections contain military records, birth records and prison registrars.

There are many new collections for Scottish records and MyHeritage mentions that some of these are free to access. From what I can determine all the new Scottish records seem to be free to access.

Here are the names of the new collections:
U.S. Veterans Burial Sites, 1775-2013
U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865
Scotland, Selected Births & Baptisms, c. 1640 – c. 1860
Scotland, Selected Prison Registers, 1828 – 1878
Scotland, Selected Sheriff Court Paternity Case Index, 1748 – 1914
Scotland, Selected Banns & Marriages, c.1650 – c. 1855T
Scotland, Selected Deaths & Burials, c. 1730 – c. 1845
Scotland, Notices of Admissions to Mental Institutions, 1858 – 1859
1841 Scotland Census Extract
1851 Scotland Census Extract
1861 Scotland Census Extract

Findmypast continues to release new records every Friday.

They’ve added nearly 10,000 new records to the collection of Royal Artillery Honors and Awards. Most of these records contain the soldier’s name, service number, rank, award type, date of award, field of operations and command formation.

Lots of records have been added to the Wiltshire Parish Baptisms. These new records came from the Wiltshire Family History Society.

Some new records have been added for baptisms, marriages, and burials to the collection of North West Kent parish records.

25 new titles have been added to the collection of historic British newspapers as well as new articles have been added to existing titles. Substantial updates include the Gloucestershire Echo, Derbyshire Courier, and Portsmouth Evening News.

The Sunday Mirror has been added to the new titles. This national newspaper contains articles and images from the First World War.

Some other collections added for the UK are the medical records from the 1832 Manchester Cholera epidemic and UK Trade union records.

Findmypast has added some new collections to its Irish records. Over 1.6 million new articles have been added to the collection of historic Irish newspapers. There are updates to 36 existing titles and 5 new titles.

New records have been added to the Ireland National Roll of Honor 1914 – 1921.

There are some new Australian records at Findmypast. The New South Wales, Macquarie Park Cemetery Transcriptions, 1922 – 2001, is an index of headstone inscriptions from a cemetery located in North Ryde, in north-western Sydney.

There are some other new collections for Australia that contain a selection of Immigration records from the state of Queensland.

Findmypast has made some improvements to the search navigation. Now you will see a list of record categories on the left-hand side of the search results.

If you want to go back to the old search there is a link on the left called “Looking for the old Search?”. The link will be New Search when you are using the old search.


BillionGraves has a new competition for the month of March. The top photo uploaders and top transcribers for the month will win prizes. One $50 Amazon gift card will go to the top uploader and top transcriber.

The top two in each category will win a portable device charger. The top four will get a BillionGraves t-shirt. The top eight will get a BillionGraves original collectors pin. And the top 100 will get a one month subscription to BillionGraves Plus.


A new website has launched for finding genealogy books. The name of the site is gengophers.com. It’s currently in beta.

GenGophers is a search engine for finding genealogy books that are located at other websites.

It’s a free website. The site is supported by ads and “Google Consumer Surveys.” These surveys ask a question before you can view a book. If you answer 6 questions you can earn 7 days of survey-free access to site. Otherwise you will be prompted to answer a question each day.

The site searches approximately 40,000 books with more being added. The books are from FamilySearch, the Allen County Public Library, the Mid-Continent Public Library, and a few other libraries. The agreement with FamilySearch allows GenGophers to store a copy of the books from FamilySearch on the GenGophers servers for faster access.

When searching for books, the results show the publication name and a snippet from the page with the search terms highlighted.

Plans are to add another 60,000 books to the site and improve the search algorithms.


Famberry is a site where you can collaborate with your family to build a private family tree. It won third place in the GenSoftReviews User Choice Awards for 2014.

The have announced “Famberry Search.” This is an interactive search facility for searching family trees at the site to help you connect with related family.

Famberry now supports GEDCOM files for import as well as export.

The site is free.


Gramps is a free program for keeping track of your family tree. It runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. They have released a small update. Version 4.1.2 was released on March 1st.

60 fixes are listed for the update. There are updates for some translations, program crashes were fixed, and many other problems were fixed.


The Digital Library of Georgia has a new online resource called the North Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive.

It provides online access to six newspaper titles published in Dalton, Gainesville, and Rome. These three cities are located in north Georgia.

The collection consists of over 33,000 newspaper titles from the years 1850 to 1922. You can search the collection or browse by date.

The Digital Library of Georgia plans to add additional titles from the region.

There are other newspaper archives available through the Digital Library of Georgia.


The Louisiana State University newspaper The Reveille is going to be digitized. Past issues are currently located in bound books and microfilm in LSU libraries.

Once funding is obtained, the project will go out for bid. It is expected to take six months to digitize all the newspapers.

Once digitized the newspaper will be found at the Louisiana Digital Library. The archives will be searchable.


The City of Los Angeles and the Getty Conservation Institute have launched a new website at HistoricPlacesLA.org. It contains information about significant historic resources in Los Angeles and has been in the making for the last 15 years.

The project called SurveyLA was created to identify culturally significant buildings, monuments, and other places worthy of preservation.

The site is still a work in progress. So far there are 25,000 resources that can be found on the website. When the survey is completed next year, all historic resources will have been reviewed to determine what to place on the website.

At the site you can search by neighborhood or by categories such as Modernism in LA, the Entertainment Industry, or Pre-1900 Los Angeles.


In Ohio the adoption files will have open access starting March 20th. Those who were adopted between January 1, 1964 and September 18, 1996 will be able to obtain their original birth certificate and adoption decree. The law allowed adoptees to get their records if they were born before 1964 or after 1996. This new law will fill in the gap for the years in between.

This will mean all adult adoptees will have access to their adoption file.

Birth parents of the adoptees had a one-year period to request that their names be redacted.


There is a new Polish-American Marriage Database at the website for the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast. The database contains the names of Polish couples who were married in the Northeast United States. The following states are included: Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont. Plans are to add Connecticut and Jersey City, NJ later.

The information came from various sources such as marriage records, newspaper marriage announcements, parish histories, town reports, or information submitted by Society members.


The Nova Scotia Archives will be adding more birth, marriage, and death records to its site for the year 1914. They are currently digitizing these records and they should be available in July at the website novascotiagenealogy.com.

Over 25,000 records were released on December 31, 2014. The Nova Scotia Archives will be creating indexes for these records for easy searching when they are placed online.


The Ontario Genealogical Society Niagara Peninsula Branch has received permission to scan and index all funeral records from Morse & Sons Funeral Home for the years from 1828 to 1965. This represents a total of 19,709 records. And these records are now available to search.

At the Society’s website you can search by name. If you want to see the actual record you will need to pay $5 for the first record and $1 for each additional record. You will need to email your request with the book and page number as well as the name.


A new website and database has come online called England’s Immigrants 1330 – 1550. It contains the names of those who migrated to England during the period of the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death, the Wars of the Roses and the Reformation.

The database is fully searchable by name, nationality, profession and place of residence. From the results you will find where the immigrant settled and where they came from. Often times their occupation will be listed

This three-year project was a collaboration between the University of York, The National Archives and the Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield and it was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Forces War Records continues to transcribe records from Military Hospitals Admissions and Discharge Registers WW1 collection held at the National Archives in England. There are still lots of records to be transcribed for this collection. The goal is to have this completed by 2016.

These records may contain information about soldiers where their service records no longer exist in the UK. It is estimated that as many as 70% of all service records for World War I no longer exist.

Forces War Records site was created as a place to find information about ancestors who were in the military. For each record you will also find supplementary data. You not only see the record information, but also information on the regiment, unit, or base or ship, battles fought, and medals they may have been awarded. It’s a subscription website that costs about $14 for four weeks of access.


People in Denmark now have access to a digital library at Arkiv.dk. There they will find over 1 million documents such as photos, diaries, letters, and sound and video recordings.

Since the 1980s content from more that 550 archives have been digitized and they are now freely available for those accessing the digital archive from Denmark.

Every month more photos will be added to the database.


The Netherlands Institute of Military History has joined the Flickr Commons. NIMH is a research institution that specializes in Dutch military history. They will be uploading approximately 2 million images to Flickr Commons.


The Israel State Archive will be launching a new website later this year. Millions of records will be released in the first phase with more released over time.

Not all documents will be of interest to genealogists but the early census records will be of interest.


The newsletter for the Genealogical Speakers Guild is now freely available to the general public. The March 2015 issue is available for download at their website genealogicalspeakersguild.org.

Not only does the newsletter contain information about members of the Genealogical Speakers Guild but it also contains tips and ideas for speakers and want-to-be speakers.

The newsletter Speak! is published quarterly during the first week, in March, June, September, and December.


There’s a new digital publication from the National Genealogical Society. It’s called the NGS Monthly. Each month it will feature articles on genealogical methodology, research techniques, sources, and the latest news from NGS.

It will be published in the middle of each month and it replaces the Society’s older newsletter called What’s Happening.

Each month there will be an article about genealogical methods that tie back to an article in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ). This article will deconstruct a scholarly work so all levels can benefit from the analysis done in the article.

You need to be member of NGS to have access to the new digital publication.


There will be a free online course offered called Intro to Genealogy and Family History Research from State Library of North Carolina.

The full name is RootsMOOC: Intro to Genealogy and Family History Research. The MOOC part stands for Massive Online Open Course. This is a course that can have thousands of students that is offered free online.

The course will help people get started with genealogy and find out how to do research. It will cover getting started with genealogy research, using the U.S. Census, working with state and local resources, and online sources and strategies.

The course starts on March 23 and runs for 10 weeks.


There is another MOOC that will be starting on March 16th that will run for 6 weeks. It’s called Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Irelands History 1912-1923. This is a repeat of the same course that was offered last year where 15,000 took the course.

The course covers the Great War, the Easter Rising, the Irish war of independence and civil war.

It’s from Trinity College Dublin run in partnership with FutureLearn.


Who Do You Think You Are? Live will be held in Birmingham in April. They’ve announced another celebrity guest who will be at the show. She is Tamzin Outhwaite who is best known for her roles in EastEnders and New Tricks. Tamzin appeared on the British version of Who Do You Think You Are? where she found out about her ancestor who emigrated to the UK from Italy. She will be talking about her experience on the show.


DearMyrtle has unearthed the live stream schedule for the National Genealogical Society’s conference that will be held in May.

There are two tracks – The Immigration and Naturalization Process and Methodology Techniques. Each track costs $65 for members and $80 for non-members. Or you can pay $115 for members, $145 for non-members for both tracks.


Registration is now open for the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History to be held in Salt Lake City, September 21 – 25. Four genealogists from the British Isles will be speaking – Else Churchill and Alec Tritton from England, Fiona Fitzsimons from Ireland, and Bruce Durie from Scotland.

If you register by August 15th you will receive a discount of $65 off the regular registration fee of $495.

There are a couple of new podcasts to mention.

The first one is from Chris Paton who writes the blog British GENES. He’s from Scotland and he’s a professional genealogist who has written many books and often speaks around the world. His first episode can be found at SoundCloud. He has applied to get it placed in iTunes.

The second new podcast is from Jenny Joyce, a genealogist from Australia. She has named her podcast the Jennyalogy Podcast.

The podcast doesn’t have an RSS feed so you will have to listen to it from the website.


Coming up

Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinar
Tuesday, March 10, 9pm eastern
Finding Your Femme Fatales: Exploring the Dark Side of Female Ancestors
presented by Lisa Alzo

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 9pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Crafting Ancestor Profiles from Start to Finish
presented by Lisa Alzo

Thursday, March 12, 8pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Solving Tough Research Problems
presented by David Dilts

Friday, March 13, 3pm Eastern
North Carolina Genealogical Society
How Old Was He?
presented by Judy Russell
Webinar free viewing April 3 – 5

#genchat – Geneablogging made easy
Friday, March 13, 10pm eastern

Saturday, March 14, 3pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Hispanic Research Methodology: A Case Study

Tuesday, March 17, 9 PM Eastern
APG Webinar
Are You Ready to be a Professional Genealogist?
presented by Paula Stuart-Warren

Tuesday, March 17, 8pm eastern
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Webinar
The New and Improved Wisconsin Historical Society Website
presented by Lori Bessler

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Irish Genealogical Records in the 17th-19th Centuries
presented by Judy Wight

Wednesday, March 18, 8pm eastern
Georgia Genealogical Society
Managing the Genealogy Data Monster
presented by Thomas MacEntee

Wednesday, March 18, 9pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Norwegian Paleography

Wednesday, March 18, 9pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Get the Scoop on Your Family History with Newspapers
presented by Lisa Louise Cooke

Thursday, March 19, 8pm eastern
Florida State Genealogical Society Poolside Chat
Attacking Brick Walls Using Technology and Traditional Methods
presented by Claire V. Brisson-Banks

Saturday, March 21, 3pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Conozca los sitios asociados de FamilySearch, parte 1: Inscripción y el sitio de FindMyPast (Learn about Findmypast)

Saturday, March 21, 4pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Conozca los sitios asociados de FamilySearch, parte 2: Los sitios de Ancestry y MyHeritage (Learn about MyHeritage)

Saturday, March 21, 5pm Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Cómo utilizar mejor el Wiki de FamilySearch (How to best use FamilySearch Wiki)

You can find all the webinars mentioned and more at the calendar at Geneatopia.com.

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 60.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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