Episode 65 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Sunday July 26, 2015 and this is Episode 65.

MyHeritage has announced some new technology called Global Name Translation. The announcement was made at the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy that was recently held in Jerusalem.

With this technology MyHeritage users will be able to search using different languages. So you type in a name to search on and the results will come back from records in different languages. The technology translates what you typed into different languages for the search.

This means that you can type in the name of your ancestor and that name will be translated into a different languages and the search results will display records for the other names.

MyHeritage will also use this technology to connect people with family trees that are entered in different languages. So if you’re website is in English and you have German ancestors who Anglicized their name, the German version of their name will also be used to search other family trees.

This first version will translate names among English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Czech, Russian and Ukrainian. That’s 17 different languages. The next version which is currently in development will add Chinese and Japanese with additional languages to follow.

With this new technology users from around the world will find it easier to research their global roots without having to know an additional language.


FamilySearch has announced some new partners are now certified with FamilySearch. Those are Ancestors with Memories, Pick an Ancestor, RootsBid, MagiPhone, RootsMagic for Mac, and RootsMagic Essentials for Mac.

Ancestors with Memories is app that searches your ancestors who have photos, stories, documents, or audio recordings stored in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Pick an Ancestor is made by the same people who made Ancestors with Memories. It looks for a beginning ancestor that you can use with the company’s other apps.

RootsBid is a site where you can submit and bid on family history projects. You can request a researcher or if you are a researcher you can list your areas of expertise. This was previously listed as FamilySearch certified last month and for some reason it was listed again this month.

MagiPhoto makes it easy to upload documents and pictures to FamilySearch and easily tag persons in the photos and link them to their entries in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

RootsMagic has long been a popular program on the Windows platform for recording your data. Not too long ago they released a version that would run on a Mac using MacBridge software. That version is now certified with FamilySearch.


It’s almost time for the Worldwide Indexing Event. It will take place August 7 – 14. FamilySearch expects 100,000 online volunteers to participate. This will be the second annual Worldwide Indexing Event.

This year’s event will encourage records to be indexed in other languages than English. The focus will be on languages of French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. There are special training guides available to help new and experienced English indexers with skills in these languages to help index these particular records.

Everyone is encouraged to participate. Last year there were over 91,000 participants and this year they expect over 100,000 participants. To be counted, you submit at least one indexing or arbitration batch sometime during the week of August 7.


FamilySearch is planning to build a building in Lehi, Utah. The building will be built on what is now a driving range for a golf course. Residents there are very upset that this new building will block their view and their property values will go down.

The golf course has announced that the driving range would be moving regardless of whether any new buildings will be built there.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is proposing two professional office buildings – one for FamilySearch International with a FamilySearch Discovery Center that will be open to the public.

The planning commission will decide what to do about the buildings at their next meeting sometime next month. The land has already been purchased by the LDS church with a small donation from the Ashton family. The planned buildings meet city zoning requirements.

The Lehi area has become a hub for high-tech companies such as Adobe and Ancestry.


Ancestry has launched AncestryHealth.

Ancestry has also announced the new Chief Health Officer. She is Dr. Cathy A. Petti. Dr. Petti will be working alongside the genomics, bioinformatics, privacy and security teams to create a consumer health experience. She will be guiding consumers to be mindful of their health and well being. She will be determining which products AncestryHealth will be offering. Plans are to offer a variety of health-related products.

The AncestryHealth’s first offering is a free service that lets consumers fill in their family health history with the help of their Ancestry family tree. This service is currently in beta which means its ready to be used but it is still a work in progress. Knowing your family health history can help you make decisions about your own health to take steps to reduce or prevent risks to health problems that afflicted your ancestors.

AncestryHealth will be working with other institutions to integrate family health history data into medical records. Physicians will be able to use family health history as a screening tool.

You can find AncestryHealth at AncestryHealth.com.

They want consumers to be able to use their data to affect their future.


AncestryDNA was released about three years ago and they have reached the one million mark.

The database has more than doubled in the last year. Analyzing the data, they have found that 1 in 5,000 people who have taken the test are related within about 5 generations.

The more people who test increases the likelihood of finding matches to people related to ancestors in your family tree.


AncestryDNA and Calico, a Google-funded company focused on longevity research and therapeutics, have announced an effort to investigate human heredity of lifespan. The companies will evaluate data from millions of public trees and the over one million DNA samples at AncestryDNA.

They will be analyzing the role genetics and its influence have in families experiencing unusual longevity. There may be hereditary factors that contribute to longevity. They hope to find what genes are responsible for longevity and potentially develop drugs to lengthen lifespan.

Ancestry will contribute their databases, tools, and algorithms to the study. Calico will develop and commercialize any potential therapeutics that emerge.

Family trees at Ancestry contain birth and death dates that are used to determine someone’s age when they died. Calico will be able to compare genetic information to an entire family. The genetic data is not full genomes of individual. It is a subset that is used to compare individual characteristics to be used to match people who share a common ancestor.

After some analysis the full genome of some individuals will be sequenced. Those will be for individuals with long-lived family members or those whose family members died young.

All data used for analysis will be anonymous.

It is hoped to get meaningful information about health and disease from this type of data.


Ancestry released its second quarter 2015 financial results.

They are executing some of their most important strategic initiatives in years. Revenue growth was over 8 1/2%.

They released a major upgrade to their core Ancestry website. It advances how customers view and share the details of their ancestors lives. It helps to piece together events, places, and times of their ancestors. These product improvements are an important driver of growth. This is one of Ancestry’s most important product releases in years.

The rollout of the new website has gone as expected and they are pleased with the feedback they are getting. About 20% of subscribers have made the transition to the new website.

The new website includes something called Life Story which lets subscribers share stories of their ancestors. Another tool is Historical Insights. This displays historical events that may have shaped ancestors lives. There is also a new media gallery for for more effective and quicker organization of the photos, videos, and records.

Ancestry continues to find new content collections to bring online. In Q2 they added another quarter of a billion new records. These records come from the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, and Romania. German content is an area of focus for Ancestry this year. It is expected that they will add 18 million German records this year.

Ancestry is preparing for the release of the United States wills and probate records collection. This will be the biggest collection released by Ancestry since the 1940 census. This collection will be an Ancestry exclusive when it launches. The collection is from all 50 states. The launch will happen this fall and there will be a strong marketing campaign for it.

Ancestry has over 2.2 billion subscribers. This is roughly flat with first-quarter results but it is up 5% compared to last year at this time.

Construction on their new headquarters is proceeding nicely. They are the owners of a build to suit lease agreement for the new headquarters.


Some recent new collections added at Ancestry include U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. This collection picks up where the Social Security Death Index leaves off. It provides more details than what you can find in the SSDI. The information comes from what was filed with the Social Security Administration through applications and claims. It includes details such as birth date and place and parents names. Not everyone who is listed in the SSDI can be found in this database.


Findmypast has been focusing on criminal records this month. They’ve added some more registers of criminal petitions, Treasury Departmental Accounts Convict Hulks, Judges Report on Criminals, and Home Office and Prison Commission: Prisons records. From Australia they added convict records covering Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Island of St Helena.

More military records have been added for the British Army, Northumberland Fusiliers 1881-1920. They list details of men who served in this regiment during many different wars.

A list of over 3,000 British Army Officers who were receiving half pay in 1714 has been released. And there is a census of the Irish Army taken during the Irish Civil War in 1922.

Parish records have been added for St Julian in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. And the 1831 census for Shropshire has been added. This census only contains the name of the head of household but you can also find how many buildings the family had, the number of servants, whether the family worked in agriculture or some other trade, and the number of men, women and youth under the age of 20.


everyStory is a new cloud-based story sharing platform on the iPad. It is in beta and can be downloaded from the app store.

It allows you to store audio and images to a secure cloud-based system. You have the option of sharing photos and stories between other everyStory users or groups.

The app allows people to record their stories so that others may remember their voices and their stories.

everyStory is free while it’s in a beta version. Eventually there will be free and premium memberships. The premium membership will cost $3.99 per month or $39.99 annually with access to exclusive content.

The company plans to add more capabilities and versions for other devices and operating systems.


If you use RootsMagic and use that program to work with FamilySearch Family Tree you will need to install the new update by July 30. This update deals with changes that FamilySearch will be putting in place on July 30.

If you don’t update you will no longer be able to log into FamilySearch Family Tree with RootsMagic.

If you are using RootsMagic version 6 to work with FamilySearch Family Tree you will no longer be able to do this after July 30. Your options are either to upgrade to the latest version of RootsMagic which is version 7 or use the free RootsMagic 7 essentials program. You can run both RootsMagic 6 and the free version of RootsMagic 7 on the same computer. So you can use the free version to work with FamilySearch Family Tree and continue to use the previous version for all your other work.


Family Tree Magazine’s annual “101 Best Websites for Genealogy” is out. This is the 16th year Family Tree Magazine has published this list. You can find it on their website and I’ll have a link in the show notes so that you can explore all the sites that they mention.

The list is broken down into several categories, 16 to be exact. That number represents that this is the 16th year this list is been published.


The National Archives is looking for people to suggest and prioritize what they should be digitizing. They are interested in what you would like to see digitized over the next few years. Should they focus on a particular theme, topic, or event for the digitization efforts? Maybe a specific series, record group, or collection should be made completely accessible online.

From now until August 14 the public can post their comments and suggestions at the online town hall. You can also vote on your favorites.


The National Archives in Washington D.C. has something called an innovation hub. It has recently been open to the public.

There is a meeting area and a citizen scanning room where you can use their equipment at no cost as long as you contribute a copy of what you scan for the National Archives online catalog. Many items will need to be transcribed. You can help by registering at the National Archives online catalog and transcribing some of the records found there.


A new project is underway in San Jose to preserve family letters, photographs, and government documents connected to the World War II Japanese interment camps.

Over the next two years 15 campuses in the California State University system will be digitizing these documents into a searchable database. San Jose State has the fourth largest collection of interment archives in the California State University system. The archives include letters from family members begging for their relatives to be released. There are also pictures showing daily life in the camps.

There has already been a website set up for this project, called the CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project and you can find it at csujad.com.

A grant from the National Park Service will be funding this project.


The Canadian expeditionary force personnel service files continue to be digitized. These are service files for soldiers of the First World War. The Library and Archives Canada is digitizing these files in alphabetical order. Unfortunately, they skipped a few boxes and they will be digitized them in the next few months. Basically those with last names beginning with A through G are digitized.


McGill University is located in Montréal, Québec, Canada. It’s a public university that was founded in 1821. During the summer it will be uploading over 9000 issues of the student newspaper the McGill Daily to the Internet Archive. These issues will date back to 2001.

When all of these issues have been uploaded they will be concentrating on uploading the predecessors publications that date back to 1873. They will also be adding the already digitized publications called the McGilliad (1930-1931) and the McGill Fortnightly Review (1925-1926).


Ancestry has placed an index collection of middle school, junior high, high school, and college yearbooks from across Canada. There are over 1 million records from almost 800 institutions across the nation and the years span from 1908-2010. These yearbooks can help place people in historical context and create life stories.


The 1901 census of England and Wales can be found at FindMyPast and Ancestry. So the dedicated site 1901censusonline.com has closed. If you try to go to that site you will be redirected to Findmypast. You will need to sign up for an account to view the records.


You can now search online for details from all the surviving First World War Merchant Navy Crew lists for 1915. A four-year long project between the National Maritime Museum and The National Archives has been completed.

There are stories of 750,000 First World War merchant seamen and 39,000 voyages. More than 400 volunteers from across the world contributed to this project.

There are no other records for individual merchant seamen from this period so these crew lists are the only surviving documents.


A new database has gone online to find out if your British Caribbean ancestor was a slave owner. Historians from the University College of London have catalogued 46,000 British subjects who were compensated by the government when they lost their slaves as a result of abolition in 1833.

It took five years to catalog all this information and you can find it at the website ‘Legacies of British Slave-ownership’.


TheGenealogist, a subscription site in the UK, has released almost 100,000 records of London synagogue seat-holders. The records are from 18 Synagogues around London spanning the years 1920 – 1939. Some of these synagogues are no longer in existence.

In the records you can find names of gentlemen eligible for office, life members of the council, women who are seatholders, and seatholders who are not eligible to vote.

The records are searchable by name, keyword, synagogue, and address. You will need a diamond subscription to TheGenealogist to access these records.


The National Library of Wales has replaced the beta version of its free Welsh newspapers online website with a new interface and new features. They have also added more pages to bring it to a total of over 1 million pages at the site with 15 million articles.

There are nearly 120 newspaper publications up to the year 1910.

The beta site was launched in 2013 with 24 newspapers.

You can find the site at newspapers.library.wales.


FamilySearch has announced that they will be accepting applications for the RootsTech Innovator Showdown 2016 from September 1 to December 1. This a global competition where developers and entrepreneurs submit applications to compete for cash prizes and in-kind prizes submitted by industry and national sponsors.

Judging will be done similar to the 2015 event. There will be an experienced judging panel who will choose the semi-finalists. Those semi-finalists will present their projects to more judges who will choose the finalists. Then the finalists will present at a live showdown event where judges and the audience will choose the winner.


The book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas Jones is discussed in Gen Proof study groups. Two new groups are starting up in August. One group is for beginners and the other is for advanced genealogists.

Each week will consist of discussion and an exercise from the book.

Certificates will be offered to those who fully participate and complete the program.

I’ll have a link in the show notes about the study groups where you will find an email address to ask to be part of the group.


Thomas MacEntee has something called The Genealogy Fairy. He sets aside 5% of all proceeds he gets from affiliate marketing. That would be where he receives a percentage of sales made where people have clicked on his links and made purchases at places such as Amazon and MyHeritage.

The money that was set aside is going to be used for a grant program. Any genealogical or historical organization can apply for a grant starting August 1. Currently there is $1,500 available.


The genealogists in Second Life have a new website at slgenealogygroup.com. At the site you will find news, events, slides from discussions, and links mentioned in presentations given in Second Life. Also listed will be some cool places to visit in Second Life.

The meetings for the APG chapter in Second Life will be held each month a half hour later. This time matches the time for all the other get togethers in Second Life. The APG meetings will be at 6 PM SL time instead of 5:30. SL time is Pacific time so that would be 9PM Eastern. The meetings are the second Thursday of the month.

There will be a barbecue and dance held in Second Life on Monday, August 31 at 6PM SL time. This is a chance to mingle with other Second Life genealogists while listening to music.

And there is a Twitter account you can follow on twitter @SLGenealogy to keep up with what genealogists are doing in Second Life.


If you missed the PBS series First Peoples, you can now view it on their website.

First Peoples was about how prehistoric and modern humans evolved and the migration paths they took to populate the globe. You can find all five episodes on the PBS website. I’ll have a direct link to shows in the show notes.

Season 3 of the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” was placed on hold while they decided how to handle processing the show after it was found that Ben Affleck requested his slave-holding ancestor not be mentioned and the show did not air that part.

Season 3 will air on PBS in January 2016. It was originally going to be September 2015.


Season 7 of the U.S version of Who Do You Think You Are started on July 26. If you miss the show they usually have it available on the TLC website the day after it airs.


Tuesday, July 28, 1pm Eastern
Ancestry Live Event
A Divorce Is Never Just a Divorce
presented by Crista Cowen

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Storyboard Your Family History
presented by Lisa Alzo

Thursday, July 30, 9pm eastern
Second Life National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) Study Group
Donn Devine, “Sorting Relationships among Families with the Same Surname: An Irish-American DNA Study,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (December 2005): 283-293. See also, “Sorting Relationships among Families with the Same Surname: An Irish-American DNA Study,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 95 (September 2007): 196.

Friday, July 31, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Mending Broken Ties: Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery
presented by Melvin J. Collier

#genchat – Society Focus: creative programming
Friday, July 31, 10pm eastern

Saturday, August 1, 1pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Remedies for Copy & Paste Genealogy
presented by Cyndi Ingle

Wednesday, August 5, 11:30AM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar Advancing Your Polish Genealogy: 300 Years of Records
presented by Sonja Nishimoto

Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
What’s In a Name? Trouble!
presented by Ron Arons

Wednesday, August 5, 8pm eastern
Minnesota Genealogical Society
A Guided Tour to Cyndi’s List 2.0
presented by Cyndi Ingle

First Thursday of every month
DNA Genetic Genealogy Interest Group
Google Hangout on Air

North Carolina Genealogical Society
Tarheels in the Family Tree?, Part II
presented by Helen Leary
Webinar free viewing encore August 7 – 9

Don’t forget about DearMyrtle’s line up. She will be doing Google Hangouts on Air for Mondays with Mryt, Wacky Wednesday, Genealogy Game Night, the Master Genealogical Proof study group is still meeting as well as Scotland Genealogy. You can find out about these on her Google + community and find the recordings on her YouTube channel.

And check out the calendar at SLGenealogy.com for the on going meetings in Second Life.

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 65.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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