Episode 68 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Sunday September 27, 2015 and this is Episode 68.

The Superstar Rockstar Genealogists for 2015 have been announced.

This is the 4th year John D. Reid of Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections bog has asked the genealogy community to submit nominees for Rockstar Genealogists and then sets up voting for this event. Over 2,000 voted. Over 50% were from the United States.

Rockstar genealogists are those who give “must attend” presentations at conferences or webinars or who write articles you read, write a blog you read, listen to podcast, or follow on Facebook or Twitter.

Those who received the most votes by specified countries and areas are

CeCe Moore for International, USA, and Genetic Genealogy
Jill Ball for Australia/NewZealand
Dave Obee for Canada
Kirsty Gray for England, Scotland, and Wales
Claire Santry for Ireland

Broken down by categories, the winners are

Gold –  CeCe Moore
Silver – Judy G. Russell
Bronze – Thomas MacEntee

Gold –  CeCe Moore
Silver –  Judy G. Russell
Bronze –  Roberta Estes

And the same three are the top three in the genetic genealogy category, just in a little bit different order.
Genetic Genealogy
Gold –  CeCe Moore
Silver –  Roberta Estes
Bronze –  Judy G. Russell

England, Scotland and Wales
Gold –  Kirsty Gray
Silver –  Janet Few
Bronze –  Celia Heritage

Gold –  Dave Obee
Silver – Christine Woodcock
Bronze –  Dick Eastman

Australia/New Zealand
Gold –  Jill Ball
Silver –  Chris Goopy
Bronze –  Shauna Hicks and Thomas MacEntee

Gold –  Claire Santry
Silver –  Stephen Smyrl
Bronze –  John Grenham

You may have noticed one important name was missing. That would be Elizabeth Shown Mills. Last year she requested to be removed from the list and this year her name was listed with the words not tabulated.

Congratulations to all and these lists show who we should be following, reading, and listening to.


DNA has been used to solve the mystery of a man who was beaten and left by dumpster in Savannah, Georgia, 11 years ago. The man, who goes by the name of Benjaman Kyle, was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia. He has made his home now in Jacksonville, Florida.

Law enforcement and the FBI tried to find out who Benjaman Kyle really was but they were never able to determine his true identity. Kyle was able to remember a few things about himself such as his birth date, ties to the state of Indiana, and that he was a Catholic.
They decide to try Y-DNA testing to see if a match could be found at Family Tree DNA and a surname could be found. This was before autosomal testing was available. Once that was available Benjamin Kyle took that test. Still no real match was found.

For the past two and a half years CeCe Moore and a team of Search Angels have been working on the case. They made sure Benjamin Kyle’s DNA results were in all three major DNA databases – Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA. There were no close matches.

These databases continue to grow and eventually there was a second cousin match.

The Search Angels who worked on this case, are a group of individuals who help adoptees find their biological families. They use DNA testing combined with assembling family trees with DNA matches to find family.

The Search Angels are members of DNAadoption.com. This is a non-profit group and they were able to help pay for DNA testing kits for research with the Benaiman Kyle case.

They also talked with Benjaman to see what he could remember and used that information along with the ancestry trees that were created from DNA matches to narrow down the family tree that was created. Eventually the tree was narrowed down and people were contacted and Benjaman’s true identity was found.


More new records at FamilySearch

New browsable image collections added include
Italy Arezzo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1314-1934
Italy Enna Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1944
Italy Imperia San Remo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1805-1910
Italy Potenza Civil Registration (State Archive) 1697-1923
Italy Rieti Civil Registration (State Archive) 1840-1945
Italy Trapani Civil Registration (State Archive) 1906-1928
Michigan Crew Lists for various ports 1929-1966
Pennsylvania Civil Marriages 1677-1950

The following have new indexed records and images
Virginia Richmond City Birth Index 1870-1912

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Delaware Wilmington Vital Records 1847-1954
France Haute-Garonne Toulouse Censuses 1872 and 1886
New York Yates County Swann Vital Records Collection 1723-2009
Utah Applications Indian War Service Medals 1905-1912
Utah Eureka and Payson Births and Deaths 1898-1903

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
BillionGraves Index
Brazil Rio de Janeiro Immigration Cards 1900-1965
England and Wales Census 1841
Ohio County Marriages 1789-2013

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Colombia Catholic Church Records 1600-2012
Italy Pescara Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1929
Montana Granite County Records 1865-2009
Utah Weber County Marriages 1887-1938
Washington County Marriages 1855-2008

FamilySearch has also added another browsable collection about deaths in Prince Edward Island between 1721 in 1905. There almost 16,000 images that contain handwritten index cards. The information was taken from many different sources.

This collection has been available at the website for the Public Archives and Records Office for Prince Edward Island but now it can be easily found on the FamilySearch website.

The collection goes up to 1905 because in 1906 deaths had to be recorded in Prince Edward Island and you can obtain them from the Vital Statistics Office. However, unless you can prove you are a close family member, the death certificate will not contain the cause of death.

FamilySearch has new online courses available. There are courses on Irish research, Scottish research, Korean research (those courses are in Korean), two more courses recorded in Spanish, and some courses about reading Swedish birth and christening records. Those are in English.

These new courses can be found in the FamilySearch Learning Center. That’s part of the FamilySearch website.

Some more programs have become FamilySearch certified. That means the software can access FamilySearch Family Tree. The programs are Ancestral Quest for Mac, Ancestral Quest Basic for Mac and Little Family Tree. Ancestral Quest is a program for keeping track of your family tree. Competitors would be FamilyTree Maker and RootsMagic as well as many others.

Little Family Tree is an Android app designed for children to get them engaged with their personal family history.


Ancestry has a new collection called UK Apprentices Indentured in Merchant Navy (1824-1910). It contains over 340,000 historic Merchant Navy apprentice records. These contain information about life at sea during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The originals are held at the National Archives in Kew. The records contain the name and age of the apprentice with the date they signed up and the ports they visited during their naval career. The name of the master and the name of the ship can also be found.

Ancestry owns Find A Grave, the website where volunteers take pictures of tombstones and upload them to the site along with a transcription. Last year they held a community day to encourage volunteers to take pictures and upload them to the site. It was a huge success.

They’re going to do a community day again this year. It’s going to be on Saturday, October 17th. You can participate by finding a cemetery that is listed on the FaceBook Find A Grave events page and join the group.

If you don’t find a cemetery listed on the events page, you can contact a cemetery near you to see if they will allow a group to take pictures on October 17. Then you can place the information about the cemetery on a Google doc page and then someone will place it on the events page.

And of course I’ll have a link in the show notes to all of this information if you are interested in signing up.


Findmypast has made available at its website thousands of documents and records from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s eLibrary. It contains the Society’s journal called the Record. It’s a very important scholarly resource for people researching New York families.

Other collections include diaries, baptisms, family Bibles, cemetery extracts, religious records, and much more.

The records released represent the first phase of Findmypast’s partnership with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.

Findmypast has also released over 43,000 new parish registers from historic archdeaconry of Canterbury. They cover the parishes of Hythe, St Leonard & Canterbury and Holy Cross located in Kent.

They’ve also added six new Irish newspaper titles, more new newspaper articles, and directories and almanac records. There are 122 almanacs and directories that cover three centuries of Great Britian’s history. There are trade directories, county guides, almanacs and general directories. Some of the Kelly directories are included in this collection. Kelly & Co. produced directories for many counties around the United Kingdom and bought other publishers of directories. They created directories until the 1970s.


California State University (CSU), Northridge will help to digitize 10,000 documents and 100 oral histories related to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. This will be a collaboration between 15 CSU campuses to create a public, online repository that will contain documents and audio files about Japanese-American life in California during World War II.

A grant has been awarded from the National Park Service to complete the digital archive during the next two years.

Each campus library in the California State University system has special collections with different materials that are related to the Japanese during World War II. There could be oral histories, newspapers, correspondence such letters, and clipped newspaper and magazine articles. Many of these types of materials will deteriorate over time and it’s important to capture them before they are gone.

Approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced to relocate to camps where they live in squalid conditions for three years. Most of them were US citizens and many of them lost their homes and livelihoods.


The Poughkeepsie Journal has been published in New York since 1785. All back issues going back to 1785 can now be found on the website for the paper. Unlimited access will cost $59.95 for the year or $7.95 per month. Current subscribers to the Journal can access the past two years as part of their subscription.

Gannett bought the newspaper in 1977. They have partnered with Ancestry to digitized their newspapers and this new archive for the Poughkeepsie Journal is a result of the partnership. The actual images are on Newspapers.com, which is owned by Ancestry.com.


The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries have received a grant to fund the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project. This project is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program which gives funds to UF to digitize pages of newspapers from Florida and Puerto Rico.

The National Digital Newspaper Program is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress. The digitized newspapers can be found at the website called Chronicling America.

Newspapers to be digitized at the University of Florida were published between 1836 in 1922. By the end of this portion of the project there will be over 200,000 pages digitized and it will be freely available at the Library of Congress Chronicling America website, the University of Florida Digital Collections website, and also at the University of Puerto Rico’s website.


The Minnesota Military Museum is asking Minnesota veterans to submit their story to be part of a statewide database. They are encouraging family members, and interested individuals to help build this registry and to submit veterans’ stories.

They are looking for stories and pictures of veterans from the Civil War to today. The service is free of charge and is part of the mission of the museum to preserve records of Minnesota veterans service.

From the Museum’s website click the Veterans tab and then from the Veterans Registry click Add to Registry. From there you can fill out a form with your information and the information about the veteran.


McMaster University library in Canada has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to label over 4,000 old postcards. The postcard collection was donated to the archives seven years ago and have now been scanned.

The goal is to describe the postcards with information such as the country, city, province, specific place or event, and the date. Not all of this information is on every postcard but in the end whatever is found will help categorize these postcards.

Once of the postcards have been identified they will be added to the digital archive for McMaster University.


The National Library of Scotland is planning to put a third of its collection online over the next 10 years.

The library already has an online presence. Some items available online include the last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, the Order for the massacre of Glencoe, the first books printed in Scotland in the 16th century, the first atlas of Scotland and First World War official photographs.

The Library is committed to improving access to its collection of 24 million items by placing them online.


The Irish Genealogical Research Society has added the Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur’s Notebook to its website IrishAncestors.ie.

This notebook was compiled during January to October 1875 and it contains biographical notes on approximately 10,000 inner-city Dublin Protestants. These records detail the lives of almost a third of the inner-city’s Protestant population.

Most of the entries contain occupations, education, number of children and places of origin. This valuable resource can be used as a census substitute. The censuses from 1861 through 1891 were destroyed by the government after statistics had been compiled from them.

IrishAncestors.ie is a subscription website. However, you can search the index for the Notebook without a subscription to determine if your ancestor is included before you signup for a subscription to view the image.


The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) presented some awards at the recently held New York State Family History Conference. Four FGS Award of Merit were presented.

The first award went to the Western New York Genealogical Society. They have published the WNYGS Journal for the past 30 years. It includes many unpublished records covering Western New York.

The Genealogy Guys were award for their service the to genealogical community. They have been podcasting for 10 years.

The Central New York Genealogical Society was awarded for publishing its journal, Tree Talks. This journal concentrates on transcriptions of original documents that are obscure or hard to locate.

The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society received an award for its publication called New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. This was published this past year and contains content about local and regional resources and key topics in New York family history.


The Southern California Genealogical Society has extended its call for presentations through October 7th. Presenters can submit proposals for the 2016 Jamboree that will be held in June as well as for webinars for 2016.

The 2016 Jamboree theme 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.” Presentations on all topics will be considered.

The folks organizing RootsTech would like people to submit family videos that will appear in the RootsTech Opening Kick-off video. Selected footage from the submissions will be used for the video. One submitter will win a full RootsTech 2016 conference pass.

All videos and photos that are submitted will become the property of FamilySearch and by submitting them you give them unrestricted rights.


The schedule is out for the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair. This will be held October 21st and 22nd. From the schedule you also will find a link to the handouts for each presentation.

The fair will start each day at 10 AM Eastern and end at approximately 3 PM. Each day there will be five presentations. Most of these presentations will be about accessing records that are held by the National Archives.


The Genealogy Roadshow is taping for their new season. There is still time to apply to be on the show if you’re interested. They will be taping in Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island on the weekend of October 3 and 4th. Then they will be in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, November 1. After that it’s on to Houston, Texas on Saturday, November 21, Los Angeles, California on Saturday, December 5, and Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, December 12.

At the website there’s a form that you fill out with information about yourself, what you would like them to look into, and how uncovering this information about your family would mean to you.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Using Periodicals to Find Your Ancestors
presented by Gena Philibert-Ortega

Wednesday, September 30, 3PM Eastern
NEHGS Webinar
Mining the Treasures in Newspapers
presented by Rhonda R. McClure

Thursday, Oct. 1, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
History Library Catalog and Services

North Carolina Genealogical Society
Where They Walked: Working With Deeds
presented by Kathy Gunter
Webinar free viewing October 2 – 4

Saturday, October 3, 1pm eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society
Ten Steps to Better Genealogy
presented by Eric W. Siess

Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 2pm eastern
Legacy Webinar
Wearables and Genealogy—Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait
presented by Thomas MacEntee

Wednesday, October 7, 8pm eastern
Minnesota Genealogical Society
Engaging the Next Generation
presented by Shannon Combs-Bennett

Thursday Oct. 8, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Genealogy Program Introduction

Thursday, October 8, 8PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
United States Church and Cemetery Records
presented by Tim Bingaman

#genchat – Google Earth & Google Maps
Friday, October 9, 10pm eastern

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 68.

Thanks for listening.


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