Episode 67 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Monday September 14, 2015 and this is Episode 67.

Ancestry has a new collection called U.S. Wills and Probate Records. It contains more than 170 million documents. It includes all 50 states. It does not include every will and probate record ever created. They plan to add to the collection over time so it includes more of these types of records.

Years vary for each state. So for Maryland the years available are from 1604 – 1878 and in Tennessee the years are from 1727 – 2008.

It took Ancestry more than two years to create this collection at a cost of $10 million. The cost includes the digitization and the licensing of the records. They worked with many different archives from individual state and local courts across the country.

Wills can contain a great deal of information. Typically, each child is mentioned. Married daughters may have their husband’s name mentioned. This can help break brick walls where the name of the parents of a female ancestor is not known. Sometimes a relative is left only $1, so they can’t contest the will. They essentially don’t receive anything from the deceased.

Some of the wills are copies of the original and sometimes they are copies that were copied into registers, often listed as “will books.”

The collection is called U.S. Wills and Probate Records so there’s more than just the will. The probate records are usually made up of many papers and they are gathered together into a packet. In that packet you may find inventory that lists the belongings of the person who died along with their value. Sometimes you may find who was appointed guardian to the children and papers explaining what the executor did to carry out the will.

The collection is indexed and sometimes you will be brought to an index page in the collection. From that page you will find an additional page number that you will need to browse to in the collection to find the actual will. It’s not a difficult process since all the pages are numbered and you can enter in the page number you want to go to.

The collection is indexed by the name of the individual whose estate is being settled. It is not indexed by every name that is listed in the documents.

Sometimes there isn’t a will and an administrator would be in charge of distributing the estate. The heirs would be identified, there would be an accounting of the estate’s assets and debts to be taken, and the distribution of the estate would follow the laws of the state at that time. These records also hold a great deal of information about your ancestors.

You can only view this new record collection using the new Ancestry web site. You cannot use the older version of the web site to access these records.

If you need some help with how to use the collection, there is a video series created about the collection at Ancestry Academy. There are 10 videos with 45 minutes’ worth of content total. The course is free.


AncestryDNA has released a new matching tool called Shared Matches. The new tool is meant to give you clues about the common ancestor that you may share with your DNA matches. With this new tool you can also filter matches you have in common with either your mother or father. You will only see mother and father buttons if you had one or both of your parents tested.

Ancestry says that to take full advantage of this new tool you should consider having other family members tested. You can narrow down matches displayed by clicking a button for shared matches between you and someone else. So if you had a first cousin tested you would know what side of the family your shared results are for.

You can keep displaying shared matches as you go through the results. As you are looking at shared match between you and a known family member, you can click on a match to display just see those matches in common. This lets you further investigate the results by sorting your matches into groups.

It also helps to find out information about your matches that have not posted a tree on Ancestry or have a tree that is private. You can place them in groups with other matches who do have a tree to try to figure out who is the common ancestor.

This new tool only works with fourth cousins or closer. So the shared match that is displayed is for a fourth cousin or closer to both you and the person that has the shared match.


Ancestry is partnering with Gannett to digitize more than 80 daily newspapers across the United States. Newspapers.com, an Ancestry business unit, and Gannett will create online archives with full text search, clipping, and sharing features.

The partnership is expected to digitize more than 100 million full-page images of historical newspapers. Each newspaper archive will include every available page from the first date of publication to issues from 30 days ago. You’ll be able to access these newly digitized images as a subscriber to each newspaper’s website.

Already The Cincinnati Inquirer has been made available through this collaboration between Ancestry and Gannett. Some other newspapers that will soon be online are the Detroit Free Press, the Arizona Republic, the Indianapolis Star, and the Tennessean. There will be an “Archives” link in each newspapers primary online navigation to access the back issues.


As you may be aware Ancestry has a new website. And with any change some people are not happy. There is now an online petition to bring back the old version of ancestry. Almost 3,000 people have signed the online petition.

The petition states that they are not resistant to change but they do not like the new look and style of the new website. The old version of the website called the classic version will eventually be deleted and the petition is asking to keep it.

I’ll have a link in the show notes to the petition if you’re interested in signing it.

At the petition site you will find links to the Ancestry blog with their weekly feature update. The weekly updates list issues that were resolved and enhancements that were made to the new website. It also lists features they are still working on and issues that have been recently reported.

They are interested in feedback and want the new website to be a success.


The National Archives has renewed their partnership agreement with Ancestry.com. Before the contract was signed NARA asked for public comment about this partnership agreement.

All the records digitized as a result of this partnership will be available for free at all NARA research rooms across the country. There is a five-year embargo before NARA can make the records available online for everyone to access.

NARA needs partnerships with other organizations in order to get records online and expand access to them. They cannot do this by themselves.

Some partners have undertaken digitization projects that are outside of their partnerships with NARA. This allowed them to make these collections available on their websites. Because these images were produced outside of a partnership agreement, NARA does not receive a copy and so these images will not be placed on the NARA website. An example of this would be the Revolutionary War pension files that were digitized without a partnership agreement.

As a result of public comments about NARA’s partnership with ancestry, the quality control processes are under review.


The National Archives (NARA) in the US has a partnership agreement with Findmypast.com that is ready for public comment. Findmypast is a privately held UK-based online genealogy service.

The agreement between NARA and Findmypast is to allow Findmypast to digitize some archival materials. Findmypast will have five years for these materials to be published exclusively at Findmypast. At the end of five years the material will be transferred to NARA. If Findmypast creates any additional metadata that is beyond the scope of the metadata required by NARA, that material will not be transferred to NARA.

Findmypast will provide free access to the digitized materials at all NARA locations.

Review for public comment will be available until September 25. You can submit comments up until that time.


DNA has been used to prove that President Warren Harding had a child with Nan Britton. The child was a girl, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing.

At the time when the news was released about the child, it was said that Harding could not be the father because he had mumps as a child that left him infertile.

Harding was president from 1921 until his death in 1923. Before his death he sent money for his daughter. He did not leave anything for her after he died. Nan Britton wrote a book about her 6-year affair with Harding to raise money to support her daughter. Their daughter was born in 1919. The book caused a sensation when it was published in 1928.

Last year the Library of Congress released to the public love letters President Harding wrote to his mistress Carrie Phillips. A grandnephew of the president read the letters and also read the book written by Nan Britton, the mother of Harding’s child. He concluded that the man who wrote the letters and the man written about in the book seemed to be the same person.

The President’s grandnephew, which means his grandfather was President Harding’s brother, and a grandniece, decided to find a child of the the little girl, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing. They found someone who would be the grandson of President Harding.

All three tested with AncestryDNA, the grandson, the grandnephew, and the grandniece. The results showed that the grandson was a second cousin to the other two. This proves that the woman Elizabeth Ann Blasesing had to be the daughter of President Harding.

For years the Harding family denied the child was the daughter of Warren Harding and now DNA has proved the President had a daughter.


Geno 2.0: Next Generation (Geno NextGen) is the next phase of the Genographic Project. This is a project from the National Geographic to decode the deep ancestry of individuals using their DNA. Using advanced DNA analysis, they hope to answer questions about where humans originated and how they populated the earth.

There was the Geno 1.0 test and the Geno 2.0 test. This NextGen test has a huge improvement from those other two tests. If you have already tested with the Genographic Project you will need to pay full price to get more accurate results. There are no discounts for those who had tested before.

They will now be including thousands of more new Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA mutations.

They will be analyzing more mutational markers to estimate regional affiliations and compare the results to reference populations. This will allow participants to learn if they are similar to people in different regions.

The Neanderthal DNA percentage will be recalculated with higher precision. During the last three years there has been more information’s about Neanderthals that is being used to recalculate Neanderthal DNA.

The Genographic Project does not test or produce reports about medical conditions and they don’t sell DNA results. It costs $199.95 for a kit. In the kit there will be cheek swabs and instructions for submitting your DNA samples. Your results will show the migration path of your ancient ancestors, find the percentage of your genome that is affiliated with different regions of the world, and help fill in the gaps in the human story.

If you test with the National Geographic you can transfer your results to Family Tree DNA for free. So not only can you contribute to research but you can also search for your own ancestors using the Family Tree DNA database.


Kitty Cooper is a well-known blogger who specializes in DNA. She is doing some analysis on X chromosomes matches and she is requesting your help if you have close family members who have DNA tested. There is a simple form to fill out where you enter the relationship between the two people how many centamorgans are shared, how many total segments of shared, and what’s the size of the largest segment. All this information can be attained from looking at the results at 23andMe or Family Tree DNA. If you tested someplace else you can upload your data to Gedmatch and get the information from there.

All this information will be used to help an adoptee find their ancestors. Hopefully by getting a large amount of data Ms. Cooper will be able to determine the actual percentages relatives share with an X chromosome match. This will help determine if the X chromosome matches for the adoptee would be for an uncle, aunt, or sibling.

I’ll have a link in the show notes you can find the form to submit your results.


From August 7 – 14 FamilySearch held the Fuel the Find indexing promotion. They were hoping to get 100,000 people to participate with indexing. They ended up with over 82,000 volunteers from all over the world who participated in this event.

They indexed over 12 million records and over 2 billion records were arbitrated.

During the weeklong event they encouraged people to index records that were in different languages other than English. The amount of these records that were indexed in other languages exceeded the numbers FamilySearch expected to get.

FamilySearch has created a participation badge for those who volunteered that they can share with their friends on social media to let them know that you helped “Fuel the Find.”

The phrase “Fuel the Find” means that index records are like fuel that gives FamilSsearch the power to connect people with their ancestors.


FamilySearch has placed the 1915 New Jersey state census online. States censuses were typically taken during the midpoint between the federal censuses which are taken every 10 years starting in 1790. So this New Jersey census is halfway between the 1910 in 1920 federal censuses.

New Jersey took state censuses every 10 years from 1855 to 1915. A state census can be use to discover additional family members, other places of residence, migration patterns, and other important information.

The 1915 state census was the last state census taken in New Jersey.

Family search has indexes to the 1915, 1905, and 1885 New Jersey state censuses. The 1895 New Jersey state census can be found at Ancestry and it includes an index and images.


The Arizona State Library has joined 35 other states making their genealogy resources available online via FamilySearch.org. FamilySearch will be providing scanning and hosting services at no cost to the state. The digital images will be freely available online. About 5,000 books will be scanned. After the scanning is complete the books will be returned to Arizona. All of this is expected to take six months to complete.

You may recall that Arizona’s genealogical library recently closed. A small part of that collection was transferred to the archives. Most of the items were placed in archival storage, offered to outside groups, or were going to be disposed of. FamilySearch is taking the books that were part of the genealogy library and digitizing them for everyone to use.


Pedigreeable is now FamilySearch certified. This means that this app can read data from your FamilySearch account. It creates family tree charts and tree views. You can choose from a variety of templates and color schemes.

You can download the chart that is created for free or you can pay $19.95 for deluxe download that gives you options for the number of pixels in the file, or you can pay $34.95 for a poster print.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its nonprofit subsidiary FamilySearch International broke ground on a new facility in St. George, Utah. This will be a new FamilySearch library that will offer research services and family-friendly experiences for family discoveries.

This new facility will be state-of-the-art. There will be interactive technologies and activities that can be continued in the home. Patrons will have access to the most current research resources and there will be 150 knowledgeable staff members to help them.

The library will be 4,700 square feet and it is scheduled to open in late fall of 2016. It will be free to the public. The current St. George FamilySearch library will remain open until construction of the new facility is completed.


FamilySearch announced at RootsTech a new place called the Discovery Center. It’s located next to the Family History Library. They also announced they would be building one in Seattle and that one is now open. The center is actually in Bellevue which is a suburb of Seattle.

The center offers interactive experiences for people to discover, share, and preserve family histories and memories. It is free to the public.

At the center there are tablets and touch screens where you can learn more about yourself, your family origins, and discover information about your ancestors. It creates a “Museum of You.”

Also at the center there is a high definition video recording studio where visitors can record their life stories so future grandchildren will have access to the recordings later. Visitors can bring a USB drive to take a copy home of the recorded session.

Other discovery centers will be built in London, England, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


MyHeritage has added over 1.8 million records to SuperSearch about the UK Military. The records span the years from 1914 – 1952. There are Army lists home guard officer lists, Air Force lists, prisoners of war held in Italy, the British Jewry Book of Honour, and the British Red Cross and Order of St John, Enquiry List, 1917.

Other new records at MyHeritage, that were not announced, are the Swedish household examination records. They have practically doubled the amount of records available. These would be for the years from 1880 to 1920. The records are part of SuperSearch and they can be searched by themselves. All these household examination records are indexed.

The Household Examination records in Sweden were used by the church to record everyone in the parish. The priest visited each house yearly to make sure everyone knew the catechism. The birth dates of each person are recorded along with notes where they moved to.

These records can also be found at Ancestry and ArkivDigital, however, they are not indexed. MyHeritage is the only place where the records are indexed.

MyHeritage CEO, Gilad Japhet, gave the keynote at the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, held in July. You can now find a video of this on YouTube. The title is “7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries.”

In the talk he discusses MyHeritage technologies such as SuperSearch and the newly released Global Name Translation which was announced at the conference.


Each Friday Findmypast releases new record collections. The biggest collection added in the last month is over 100 years of English and Welsh wills. They span the years form 1858 – 1959.

In 1858 the civil government took over the settlement of all estates and wills. They were probated through the Principal Probate Registry system.

The collection is called the Probate Calendars of England & Wales 1858 – 1959. The calendars will list if your ancestor left a will or was mentioned in one. Once you find your ancestor listed in the index, you can use this information to request a copy of the will from the National Probate Registry.

You can search by entering the first letter of the surname and then enter some keywords such as the name of your ancestors. You can also browse the collection if you are not sure of the spelling or have many people with the same last name that you want to find.

Some of these same records can be found at Ancestry. Their collection is called England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966. That’s 7 more years than the collection at Findmypast. However, this collection is indexed by the deceased name. The version at Findmypast is indexed by all names.

And you can find the same information at a UK government site called Find a will or probate (England and Wales). This collection spans the years from 1858 – 1996. You will need to know the surname and year of death to search this collection.

One million World War II prisoners of war records have been published at Findmypast. This coincides with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Most of the records are for Britons, followed by Dutch, Americans, and Australians. Besides the names, ranks, location, and time spent as a POW, there are over 360,000 images of pages from personal diaries and photographs.

Findmypast has added British army records from the War of 1812 and the First World War.

They have released nearly 2.9 million School Admission Register records. They comprise of 4 collections – National School Admission Registers 1870 – 1914, Ireland National School Registers which cover the years from 1860 to 1920, Surrey, Southwark, St Saviour’s Grammar School Admissions 1690 – 1895, and Coffs Harbour District Schools Index. Coffs Harbour is in New South Wales.

Baptism records have been added from Northumberland. Baptism, marriage, and burial records have been added for Hertfordshire.

Records from two Derbyshire hospitals contain over 4,000 records about admissions and deaths have been added.

There is a list of Scottish Presbyterians who signed the National Covenant to defend their faith during the 17th century.

You can browse over 330,000 Manchester electoral registers for the years 1832 – 1900.

The names of 600 disgruntled settlers in New Zealand who drew up a petition are listed in the New Zealand, Nelson, Petition after the Wairau Incident 1843. These people were upset that the government sided with local chiefs over land.

The Church of Ireland parish record search forms have been added to Findmypast. These were created by the Public Records Office staff for Old Age Pension applications. These pensions started in 1908. The staff member would have verified the birth and marriage information the applicant supplied.

The Irish census records were destroyed in 1922. This new record collection at Findmypast is considered a census substitute because it contains information that would have been found in the census if it still existed.

Nearly 1,000 records of the 1828 New South Wales Census has bee added. This was the first census ever taken in Australia.

New titles have been added to the collection of historic Irish Newspapers – the Belfast Commercial Chronicle, General Advertiser For Dublin and All Ireland, The Northern Standard, and The Pilot. Substantial additions have also been made to three existing titles; The Belfast Morning News, Freeman’s Journal and the Cork Examiner.


Now for some software news.

Charting Companion has two new charts – the Fractal Tree and the Dandelion Chart.

The Fractal Tree chart can start out small and then expand to display more ancestors. A fractal contains similar patterns at every scale. An example is a snowflake. As you examine the snowflake closer you will see that each piece has a similar pattern.

The Fractal Tree charts can be made in an unlimited size. You can print it out on standard paper and piece it together or you can take it to a print shop for printing.

The Dandelion Chart spreads out in all directions and it allows you to include everyone in the family on the chart. You can move the names of people to get the chart you want.

Charting Companion is a Windows program that can make charts from GEDCOM files or directly from Ancestral Quest, Family Historian, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, Personal Ancestral File (PAF), or RootsMagic.

Charting Companion costs $34.95.


Twile is a website that lets you create timelines using a family tree, photos, and milestones such as birth, marriage and death. You decide who can access your timeline.

With it’s responsive design you can view your timeline on a variety of devices.

The site now supports the ability to upload a GEDCOM file.

The site is free to use. A plus version costs £19.99 per year or $30. The plus version gives you access to a wider library of milestone types.


New versions of MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree have been released. The latest version is 7.6. It’s a free update for all customers who are running version 7. For new customers MacFamilyTree costs $49.99 and MobileFamilyTree costs $14.99.

The new version makes it easier to manage resources, add notes to source citations, rate the quality and evidence of the source, and browse your sources easier.

There is a new person analysis report that allows you to answer specific questions or see group traits. It gathers pieces of information from different data sources and presents the results in a report. It can also display some general statistics about your family tree.

MacFamilyTree has a fractal ancestor chart. It’s a compact chart showing all ancestors of a person and it can be configured.

All of the new features can be found in both MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree.


About a month ago the program Ancestral Quest was released as a Mac version. This version uses a customized version of CrossOver. CrossOver is a Mac program that allows you to install Windows applications on your Mac. This is the same technology that is used to run RootsMagic on a Mac.

They still have the program available at a sale price of $29.99. Once the sale is over the price will be $34.95.

Ancestral Quest Basics for Mac is a free version of Ancestral Quest and will only be available for a limited time. It has all the essential features of the paid version but the more advanced features are locked.


Clooz is a Windows program that helps you keep track of your documents. You can import and export the data with the program Legacy Family Tree and now you can also do this with RootsMagic. Previously you could only import data from RootsMagic. You can still import data from The Master Genealogist or a GEDCOM file.

Clooz costs $39.95. Updates for Clooz need an annual subscription of $14.95 and this will be necessary in order to export data to RootsMagic if you have an older version of the program.


StoryCorps is a public service that lets anyone record their story and have it preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Each Friday on NPR Morning Edition you can hear a story.

StoryCorps was founded 12 years ago with the purpose that everyone has a chance to be heard. Everyone’s story matters. There is a smartphone app that can be used to record your story or interview someone else. The app was developed with a $1 million prize from TED.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks called TED Talks. TED stand for Technology, Entertainment and Design.

The StoryCorps app is free and it was released in March. It’s hoped that everyone will be using this app to interview all sorts of people to ask them who they are, what they want to be remembered for, and what they’ve learned in life. As well as used to interview family members

Quoting from a Ted talk given by Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps

“Imagine for example a national homework assignment where every high school student studying US history across the country records an interview with an elder over Thanksgiving so that in one single weekend an entire generation of American lives and experiences are captured.”

And that is what is planned for Thanksgiving 2015.

StoryCorps wants teenagers across America to interview a grandparent or elder this Thanksgiving and upload the recordings to the Library of Congress. They are asking high school history teachers to ask their students to record interviews with the StoryCorps’ free app.

It’s been called “The Great Thanksgiving Listen.” The hope is that this will become an annual tradition and it will bring families closer together.


The Allen County Public Library is a very well-known genealogy library located in Fort Wayne Indiana. It’s the home of PERSI – the periodical source index. Starting in November the library will be undergoing renovations. October is family history month so construction will not start until early November.

The library realizes that some of the space in the library is no longer aligned with how genealogists work today. More family history research is being done online with digitized records. There is less demand for microfilm and microfiche. About half of the area where the microfilm and microfiche readers are will become a meeting room.

An area will be created for people to do oral history interviews. They want to encourage more people to do such histories and they plan to teach people how to do it.


The Crawfordsville District Public Library in Indiana has received a grant to digitize the library’s microfilm newspaper collection. The newspapers date from the 1850s to the 1930s and after they are digitized they’ll be available on the state online archive of historic newspapers. The archive will not be indexed but when people find what they need they can then edit the file and put in keywords so other people will be able to find the information easily.

The Library and Technology Services Act grant from the U.S. Institute of Library Sciences will fund most of the project. The project is expected to be completed in the first part of 2016.


The states of Wisconsin and Delaware are joining the program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize newspapers and place them at the website Chronicling America. NEH will supply grants to digitize the newspapers.

The Delaware newspapers will include those were published between 1836 in 1922. About twice as many pages will be digitized in Wisconsin between the years 1836 in 1922.


ProQuest will be making available to libraries a Newspapers.com Library Edition. Newspapers.com is an archive of historical newspapers from the 1700s to the 2000. There are over 3500 titles from the US and around the world.

Libraries will be able to subscribe to the entire database, multistate collections, or state-level collections. Plans are to continue to expand the titles and content in this collection.


The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) will begin publishing the Mayflower Descendant starting with the winter 2016 issue. It will be published twice a year, in winter and summer. Subscriptions will be $50 per year.

The Mayflower Descendant has been published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants since 1899. It contains articles about those who came over on the Mayflower and their descendants as well as articles about many New England families. In the journal you’ll also find transcriptions and abstracts of deeds, wills, vital records, and other original documents.

Those who are members of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendant or who are current subscribers to the Mayflower Descendent will receive a 20% discount.


A woman who is seeking to find more about her ancestors from New York has filed a petition at the Supreme Court of the state of New York, County of New York. The petition falls under New York State freedom of information law. This law allows for public access to records created in the course of government agency business. The person requesting the records pays for copies.

The requester is seeking access to the 1908 – 1929 index to marriage licenses and affidavits. These contain more information then a marriage certificate.

If the records are released, plans are to scan them and put them online for free for everyone to use the Internet Archive.

A website has been set up called reclaimtherecords.org. This will be the first case to be undertaken with more planned for the future. At the website there is a list that Reclaim the Records will be working on to acquire over the next two years. The list is for the states of New Jersey, New York, and one case in West Virginia.


The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is in the process of the digitizing the WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force service files. They are doing this in alphabetical order and each month they post an update about how far along they are.

For the next few months LAC will not be announcing progress on this collection. During the election, Federal departments are required to stop publicity activities. It’s assumed that they will continue to digitize records but they will not post any updates. The last update was in August.


August 15 is known as V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day. On this day in 1945 it was announced Japan had surrendered and World War II ended.

Over 35,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were released from Japanese captivity. Unfortunately, there were over 140,000 soldiers captured by the Armed Forces of the Empire of Japan. Many of these men were tortured and kept in barbaric conditions. As a result many died in captivity.

Now records of been released online to tell the story of those who survived Japanese captivity. The records include the name, rank, data capture, the camp where they were held, and the date in captivity ended either through release, escape, or death.

These records can be found at the Forces War Records website in a collection called Imperial Prisoners of war held in Japan.

Forces War Records site was created as a place to find information about those who served in the military from the UK.

The site is a subscription site in the UK costing about $86 per year or you can subscribe for $14 per month.


Durham Records Online is a website that has records from County Durham and Northumberland. You can search for free but then you would have to buy credits to view the records. They are now offering subscriptions to the site. A subscription cost about $150 a year. There is no monthly subscription available. If you still prefer the old method, you can still buy credits to view the records.

A subscription will give you unlimited access to all the records for one year.

They continue to add records to the site all the time.


The Scottish Indexes website is run by genealogists Graham and Emma Maxwell. At the site you can search indexes and then you pay to obtain a transcription of the record for about $8. You can also buy publications for these indexes and records.

They’ve recently added paternity cases from Paisley Sheriff Court from 1833-1837. These types of records help to find more information about illegitimate ancestors. They often help to overcome a brick wall.


The ScotlandsPeople website has released birth, marriage, and death indexes for 2014. In addition to this, images for birth until 1914, marriages until 1939, and death until 1964 have been added.

They’ve done some analysis from the newly released indexes for 2014 about the names people give their children. Emily is in the top spot for the most popular girls name and Jack is still in the top spot for boys names. Jack has been in this top spot for seven years. Other popular girls names are Jessica, Elsa, Olivia, Sophie, and Emily. Popular boys names are Logan, Oliver, Lewis, James, and Jack.

Over 14,000 recorded deaths of Scottish seafarers have been made available by the National Records Scotland through the website ScotlandPeople. The records include the deaths of seamen along with other crew members who were serving on British registered vessels from 1909 to 1974. They’ve also released returns of deaths at sea for the years 1902 to 1905. These list seamen including fishermen who drowned in Scottish waters, emigrants who did not reach their destination, and those who served in the Royal Navy.


The Republic of Ireland’s Certificate of Irish Heritage scheme has ended. The Irish government was trying to forge connections with those who live in other countries and have Irish roots.

People with Irish ancestry could register their family connection to Ireland. All you had to do was submit the name of your ancestor and some birth information for that ancestor. You didn’t have to actually submit any proof that you are related to this ancestor.

Even though not much information was needed to obtain the certificate people did not bother to apply. Just 3000 of these certificates have been sold since 2011.


If you have ancestors from Norway you will be interested in a new web site called NorwayParishes.com. At the site you’ll find maps of Norway’s parish boundaries as well as links to online genealogical research tools. You can also search for farms or other properties by name along with information about the parish where the property resided.

When you zoom in on area you can see a detailed map with links to find out more information at FamilySearch.org and links to the church records for the parish. You will also see a picture of the church for that parish.

Future enhancements include additional layers of parish boundaries as they existed over the years. Currently on the site the parish boundaries are for 1979.


The National Archives of Thailand will be digitizing over 15 million of their documents and placing them online. They will be digitizing documents, photos, maps, and microfilms. They will be enabling online searches of this material once it is online. Only those items that are over 25 years old will be accessible to the public.

At first the digitized documents will only be available within the archives. Then you been able to access them online through the National Archives of Thailand’s official website. It is estimated that it will take a year to digitize all the documents.


Luxembourg is a small European country that is bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. There’s a website called LuxRoots that is run by volunteers when you can search for birth, marriage, and death records for this country.

They have just passed the 1 million mark for the number of birth records at the site. You buy points to be able to access records at the site.


North and South Korea have agreed to resume reunions of families who were separated by the Korean War. The agreement was part of a deal to end confrontations between the two countries. Last month North Korea exploded landmines near the border between the two countries. This escalated into threats of artillery shelling from both countries.

About 100 families from both sides will be reunited during the week of Oct. 20 – 26. The last of these unions was in February 2014. The reunions are meant to be a final meeting between elderly Koreans who live on opposite sides of the border.

Both governments forbid the exchange letters, phone calls, and emails between the two countries. About 66,000 South Koreans have applied to be selected for a reunion. Only a few hundred are selected each time.


The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has released a new course called Beyond the Basics. The course is intended to help those who are interested in discovering their roots. The course contains five modules. Each module has information, videos, examples, self-correcting quizzes, a glossary, a topic reference list, and a written assignment which is graded by a professional geologist. The modules are

Evidence Analysis
The Library: A Research Repository
The Federal Population Schedules
Civil Registration Records

The new courses available for $175 for members and $200 for nonmembers. NGS uses the Canvas cloud-based learning management system for all its courses.


5th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute will be held March 10 – 12, 2016 in San Antonio,Texas.

Topics will be about marketing, legal issues, advanced practicum, and DNA workshop. The event is sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. This is a professional organization dedicated to advancing public awareness and understanding of the forensic genealogy profession.


The Southern California Genealogical Society has announced its call for presentations for the next Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, to be held June 3-5, 2016 in Burbank, California. The call for presentations includes the pre-conference day on June 2 which will include a full day of DNA presentations and in-depth workshops, and the call for presentations includes the 2016 Jamboree Extension Series webinar program.

The theme for the 2016 Jamboree is “Giving to the Future by Preserving the Past”, and the theme for the pre-conference DNA day is “The Future of the Past: Genetic Genealogy 2016.”

You have until September 30 to submit your proposals through the online portal that has been set up.


RootsTech is now accepting entries for the 2016 Innovator Showdown. This is where developers and entrepreneurs compete for $100,000 in rewards. Last year there was $25,000 in prizes. Last year’s competition generated tremendous industry support resulting in an increase in the rewards.

The deadline for submissions is December 1 and the winners will be announced at RootsTech 2016 on Friday, February 5.

Legacy has announced the 2016 cruise. It will be held September 2 – 9 and will depart from Seward, Alaska to cruise Alaska’s inside passage. While at sea you will be able to attend classes from well-known genealogy speakers and legacy developers.


The BBC in the UK is broadcasting Who Do You Think You Are? It’s available on the BBC website to those who live in the UK. Some people have placed these episodes on YouTube. If you search YouTube for Who Do You Think You Are? you will find the episodes that were broadcast on the BBC.

All of these accounts have been recently created and most of them only have episodes from Who Do You Think You Are? The BBC does not normally place its content on YouTube and they also sell previous episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?

So you better act quickly if you’d like to watch these episodes on YouTube. They may be gone once the BBC finds out about them.


Each month something called ScanFest is held. This is where people can chat while they are scanning in old photographs and documents. Various platforms have been used for chatting. This past month Google Hangouts were used.

The next Scanfest will be Sunday, September 27. No word on what platform will be used for chatting.


Google hangouts are being used for something called #BLACKPROGEN. It is being organized by Nicka Smith. The first hangout was held September 8 where they discussed the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Every other Tuesday during September, October, and November they will be meeting to discuss African-American genealogy.

And if can’t make it to the live sessions they will be recorded and you can find them at Nicka Smith’s YouTube channel.

And remember that DearMYRTLE uses Google hangouts for all of her sessions that she has each week. Those are all recorded and you can find them on her YouTube channel.


Tuesday, September 15, 1pm Eastern
Ancestry Live Event
Using Media In Your Ancestry Family Tree
presented by Crista Cowen

Tuesday, September 15, 3pm Eastern
Ancestry Live Facebook Chat
U.S. Probates and Will Records
presented by Crista Cowen

Tuesday, September 15, 8PM Eastern
Board for Certification of Genealogists
The Best Educational Plan for You: Sifting Through the Options
presented by Elissa Scalise Powell

Tuesday, September 15, 8pm eastern
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Webinar
Blacksheep Ancestors and their Records
presented by C. Ann Staley

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Researching Your Dutch Ancestors
presented by Yvette Hoitink

Wednesday, September 16, 8pm eastern
Georgia Genealogical Society
How to Learn New Things
presented by Pamela Boyer Sayre

Wednesday, September 16, 9pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Coming to America: The Immigrant Experience
presented by Diana Crisman Smith

Thursday, Sept. 17, 1PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar Czech Online Church Records

Thursday, August 17 , 8pm eastern
Florida State Genealogical Society Poolside Chat
Mapping your Genealogy: From A to Z and In-Between
presented by Thomas MacEntee

Thursday September 17, 9pm eastern
Utah Genealogical Association
Organizing Your Research: Paper and Computer Files
presented by Melissa Barker

Friday, September 18, 3pm Eastern
North Carolina Genealogical Society
Where They Walked: Working With Deeds
presented by Kathy Gunter
Webinar free viewing October 2 – 4

Saturday, Sept. 19, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar Conozca el sitio de PARES

Saturday, Sept. 19, 4PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar Protocolos notariales

Saturday, Sept. 19, 5PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar ¿No hay otros registros?

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 11AM Eastern
Findmypast Webinar
World War II records
presented by Alex Cox
only for 12 month subscribers

Tuesday, September 22, 1pm Eastern
Ancestry Live Event
AncestryDNA FAQ: Revisited Part 2
presented by Crista Cowen

Tuesday, September 22, 8PM Eastern
Federation of Genealogical Societies
Utilize the Power of Video for Your Society’s Programming and Marketing Efforts
presented by Lisa Louise Cooke

Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales
presented by Kirsty Gray

Thursday, September 24, 8PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar United States City Directories
presented by Tim Bingaman

Thursday, September 24, 9pm eastern
Second Life National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) Study Group
F. Warren Bittner, “Dora Luhr’s Hannover Origin: A Case of Conflicting Evidence,” National
Genealogical Society Quarterly 98 (September 2010): 165-176.

Friday, Sept. 25, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
“Your Questions” Webinar

#genchat – Researching from a distance
Friday, September 25, 10pm eastern

You can find all the webinars mentioned and more such as ongoing events, paid webinars, and conferences 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 67.

Thanks for listening.


Listen to the episode.

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