Episode 71 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Thursday October 29, 2015 and this is Episode 71.

23andMe is relaunching its direct-to-consumer genetic test. You may remember that the FDA had them stop issuing genetic test results about 2 years ago. The FDA was concerned people may have unnecessary surgery as a result of the test results and others may not realize they had certain diseases if the tests can back as negative. They wanted 23andMe to prove that their tests were accurate so consumers could make informed decisions.

This past February the FDA approved 23andMe to test for a genetic variant for Bloom syndrome, a disorder associated with short stature, sun sensitivity and higher cancer risk. Now 23andMe can test for conditions such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and and hereditary hearing loss.

The FDA is now allowing 23andMe to tests for 36 rare diseases that could be passed down from parents to children. And the company will report on certain “wellness” traits such as a predisposition to lactose intolerance and ear wax composition. That makes for a total of over 60 health, ancestry, wellness and carrier status reports. Before the FDA shutdown 23andMe tested for over 200 conditions.

The 36 diseases that 23andMe can report on are autosomal recessive disorders. These are genetic conditions where two abnormal genes, one from each parent, are present that results in the disease.

23andMe can’t test for the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, or any chance of adverse reactions to certain drugs. This information was provided in the past before the FDA ordered 23andMe to stop such tests.

The test price has doubled. It now costs $199, previously it was $99. 23andMe says the increase in price is related to the cost of bringing the product to the customer. No other direct-to-consumer genetic testing company offers reports that are approved by the FDA.

As 23andMe gets approval for more tests, consumers who buy the test now will get updated reports with information about newly approved tests.

All these new reports means that the23andMe website will be changing to display the information. If you previously tested with 23andMe you will be getting access to the new reports at no extra charge if you have tested since December 2013. This is when they started using the V4 chip. If you tested before that time, they are still determining what reports you will have access to.

The new website will be broken down by carrier status reports, wellness reports, trait reports, and ancestry composition. Many reports have scientific details about the test and how results are calculated.

The Countries of Ancestry tool that has been on the current website will be going away. You will no longer have access to the tool starting on November 11. That means that you will no longer be able to view and download segments you have in common with other members you are not directly sharing with. Also you won’t be able to select any profile you are sharing with to view and download information for that profile.

Good news is the number of matches that will be available in the DNA Relatives section will increase from 1,000 to 2,000. Matches that were in the Countries of Ancestry, that is going away, will be found under DNA Relatives.

Invitations will no longer need to be sent for viewing ancestry and segment information for matches. If someone chooses to participate in Open Sharing, they consent to allow others to view their information.

Anonymous participation will no longer be allowed in DNA Relatives starting on November 11. Anyone using a nickname will automatically be converted as anonymous. In order to participate in DNA Relatives you will need to use your real name or initials. If you are not interested in finding family matches you will want to be anonymous.


Findmypast will be releasing the 1939 Register on November 2.

The 1939 Register was similar to a census because of the information that was collected. This is a big deal for searching records in the UK during the early 20th century.

The 1921 census should be released in 2022. The 1931 census was destroyed in a fire in 1942. If it had not been destroyed it would not have been released until 2032, 100 years after it was taken.

The 1941 census was not taken due to World War II. That means the there is a large gap of 30 years between censuses. The 1921 census was taken and then it was not until 1951 when the next census was taken.

So the 1939 Register is very important for finding records during that time. It was created to gather vital information about the country’s population at the outbreak of war.

On September 29, 1939 the National Register was taken to gather information on the civilian population. Everyone was included. Just like the census, everyone was recorded based on where they were that day.

Each individual was issued a registration card. In order to do this the register was continually update. This was done until 1952.

The registration card was used for identity, rations books, and enlistment into the armed forces.

Findmypast will be releasing the 1939 version that was created on September 29th, registrations after that date will not be included in the collection.

In the 1939 Register you will find the date of birth for each person. Previous census records only recorded person’s age. You will also find names, addresses, occupation, and marital status

There are 7,000 volumes that contain over 41 million entries.

This has been a huge undertaking and Findmypast will be charging extra to access these records. They will be available to purchase for £6.95 or $10.95 per household which is 60 credits, or £24.95 or $37.95 for a 5 household bundle which is 300 credits. Findmypast subscribers will get a 25% off discount for the 5 household bundle.

You will purchase credits to access the records. If you buy 60 credits for a household, they are valid for 90 days. If you purchase 300 credits for 5 households, they are valid for 365 days.

Once you obtain access to the records, they are yours to own forever.

It will be free to search the register so you can determine if you want to view the actual record.


Ancestry reported on their third quarter 2015 financial results. They had double-digit growth.

Subscriber growth increased and net additions are both up, a trend they expect to see for the rest of the year. And retention is healthy.

There are 2,234,000 subscribers of Ancestry websites. That’s up only slightly since June 30 but it’s up 6% when compared to September 2014, about a year ago.

There has been strong momentum in DNA kit sales. AncestryDNA sales in the quarter were double relative to last year.

DNA kit sales double in the third quarter in a year over year basis as consumer awareness and interest continues to grow. They expect AncestryDNA will generate around 75 million in revenue. This business is profitable. They continue to see cross sales to the core Ancestry service.

Ancestry is the largest consumer DNA database in the world. As the database grows more cousin connections will be made and they will have more data for their science team to work with.

Looking forward, the potential inclusion of health related insights as well as additional ways they can make the product more powerful and more interesting for more people will help to grow AncestryDNA.

They believe the consumer genomic space is at a very early stage of development. They have a strong and attractive competitive position in this new category.

One of their initiatives this year had been a board redesign of the Ancestry website. Roll out continues as planned. 50% of subscribers have adopted the new website as their primary interface. This will continue to grow as the site is rolled out.

They are pleased with pace of implementation and user feedback and engagement with the new platform.

An objective of the new website was to provide features and tools to better enable subscribers to build family stories in a narrative format. These stories are more engaging and easier to share with family and friends.

There has been an increase in the number of new users interacting with and accepting hints. This was another focus of the new design.

In September they launched their largest new content collection in many years, over 170 million U.S. Probate and Wills records from all 50 states. These records are for over 100 million individuals. Records date back to the mid 1600s.

This collection was a $10 million investment and a multi year effort. This collection should provide meaningful new discoveries for long time users while attracting new users.

Overall in Q3 they added over 400 million total records to their collection of over 16 billion records.

Newspapers.com service signed a deal with Gannett to digitize over 80 of their U.S. newspapers. This project will add over 100 million full page newspaper images fully indexed and searchable.

Ancestry is making steady progress with Ancestry subscribers in Germany and Mexico. Ancestry will be building brand visibility in these markets in the coming months.

The new Mexico record collections will be free for U.S subscribers as part of a campaign tied to the Day of the Dead Holiday which is on November 1st. On this day family and friends gather to remember those who have died.

Ancestry reported its third quarter 2015 financial results on Wednesday, October 21.

The day after the report they released 118 new databases and two updated databases for Mexico. The records consist of civil registration for births, marriages, and deaths for many places throughout Mexico. There are also many Catholic Church Records for various areas. There are more than 220 million records that date back to the 1500s.

The new records are a result of Ancestry’s collaboration with the Mexican Academy of Genealogy and Heraldry based in Mexico City, Mexico. They originally came from microfilm of these records with the assistance of FamilySearch.

These records will be available for free until November 2.

There is also a new Ancestry website for Mexicans at ancestry.com.mx. This site is in Spanish and tailored to Mexicans and Mexican Americans.

If you subscribe to this version of Ancestry you will have access to all Mexican records plus access to US records relevant to Mexican Americans. That would include census, immigration, border crossings, BMDs, and some relevant regional records.

Another big record collection released by Ancestry is the Scottish Calendar of Confirmations 1876-1936. Confirmations in Scotland are what we call in the US probate.

The collection includes an index and images to the published Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories filed in Scotland for the years 1876 – 1936. You can find these records at the ScotlandsPeople website only up until the year 1925. The Ancestry collection goes until the year 1936


More new records at FamilySearch

New browsable image collections added include
United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors 1775-1783

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Brazil São Paulo Immigration Cards 1902-1980
Colorado County Marriages 1864-1995
Dominican Republic Civil Registration 1801-2010
El Salvador Civil Registration 1704-1977
Iowa County Marriages 1838-1934
Kentucky County Marriages 1797-1954
Louisiana New Orleans Passenger Lists 1820-1945
Louisiana Parish Marriages 1837-1957
Montana County Births and Deaths 1840-2004
New Hampshire Marriage Certificates 1948-1959
New York County Marriages 1847-1848; 1908-1936
Ohio County Marriages 1789-2013
Oklahoma County Marriages 1890-1995
Pennsylvania Civil Marriages 1677-1950
Tennessee County Marriages 1790-1950
United States Passport Applications 1795-1925
Vermont St. Albans Canadian Border Crossings 1895-1924
Washington County Marriages 1855-2008

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
North Carolina County Marriages 1762-1979

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Argentina National Census 1869
Czech Republic Land Records 1450-1889
Italy Napoli Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1865
Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939
Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1840-1896


The Organized Genealogist Facebook group has over 26,000 members. It’s a very active group with people posting about how to organize all your genealogy research. There are over 300 files in the file area for the group.

To find a file you may be interested in something Russ Worthington, aka Cousin Russ, DearMYRTLE’s cousin, has created. He made a Google Doc that lists all the categories for the files. Clicking a category brings up a Google Sheets page and from there you can click the link to a file. The list of files shows the day the file was uploaded to Facebook, who uploaded it, and the type of file it is such as PDF, Word, or Excel file.

When the categories are updated, the date it was updated will be listed next to it.

There is one Catch All category that comes up when clicking many categories. In there there are only one or two files for the category you clicked. From there you can use the filter feature, clear all the categories and then select the one(s) you are interested in.

You will find a link to this document at the top of the Organized Genealogist Facebook group. You will need to click the See More link for the pinned post that is always at the top of the page to find the link to the document.


HistoryPin is a free website where anyone can upload historical photos and stories. It can be used by individuals, community groups, libraries, archives, museums, schools and universities. Over 65,000 have used the site.

You upload items and pin them to a map. Then others can search the map to find things for a particular area.

There have been some changes to the website.

Now when you submit a pin, it must be in a collection. If you already have an account, your pins are now in a collection for you. From there you can move the pins to different collections, rename the collection, and share it with others.

All collections are now open and other people can contribute to any collection.

Searching has been improved to help you find more content in an area. You can search for individual pins, collections, and tours.

It’s now easier to upload photos. You can drag ’n drop, enter a link to the photo, add text pins, and add an approximate location for the pin such as a neighborhood or city.

And it’s easier to search and organize your own stuff that you’ve added to the site.

There’s a new forum where people can connect to one another to share and collaborate.


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 $84 per year or you can subscribe for $14 per month.

They’ve add a new collection of military hospital admissions and discharge registers for World War I. There are over half a million records.

In the records you can find details of injuries and treatments. They also show when a person went back to the battlefield or returned home.

This collection may be the only remaining source of information for some people during this time because 70% of all service records were destroyed during The Blitz.

The Forces War Records has only released a third the records in this collection. There are still one million more to be added.


The National Library of Wales has recently released 40 old maps via Wikimedia Commons and Peoples Collection Wales.

Content has been released using Wikimedia Commons since January. So far the same content could be found on National Library of Wales websites.

The maps were manually added to Wikimedia Commons and they are not found on the National Library of Wales websites. They are testing to see the impact of releasing content this way. They hope to engage the public with these images.


The International Tracing Service (ITS) keeps the memory of the victims of Nazi persecution alive. They preserve historical records, answer requests of survivors and family members of victims, and maintain a large research collection.

The ITS was established at the end of World War II to find out what happened to Holocaust victims and others. It was part of the British Red Cross and its missions was to trace people who were victims.

The ITS has recently uploaded 50,000 documents to its website. They hope someone will recognize the items so they can be returned to the victims’ families. There are personal effects from prisoners in concentration camps and items collected by the Gestapo.

Also at the website you will find the routes of Death Marches and locations of burial sites. It is hoped that people will leave comments so researchers will learn previously unknown information.

Plans are to add more documents to the online archive.

ArkivDigital is celebrating 10 years. This is now a website for accessing Swedish records. It started out as a company that sold images on CDs.

They continue to add new records to their online collections. All the images are photographed in color.

They add about 600,000 new images each month.

They plan to soon launch a new version of ArkivDigital that will include a name searchable databases of the 1950 Swedish population. Later they will be adding the year 1960.

They will also be adding a searchable name index to the household records for 1880 to 1920. This is already available at MyHeritage. The MyHeritage Swedish records are from ArkivDigital.

Not only will you find records from Sweden at ArkivDigital, but also for Kansas in the United States and some records from Finland.

The records from Kansas consists of mostly of Swedish-American church books. More of these types of records will be added from Kansas.

At ArkivDigital you will also find records of many congregations outside of Sweden – Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, London, Oslo, and Beunos Aires.

The Finland records are from Åland. There are many different types of records from this area and they are adding more.


Three well-known Canadian genealogists have put together a conference called the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit. It will be held October 21 – 23, 2016 in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

There will be five research tracks to choose from – Canadian, English, Irish, Scottish, and French-Canadian.

There will be a pre-summit day at the Archives of Ontario and a Loyalist workshop with the Dominion Genealogist of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.

The three genealogists putting all this together are Christine Woodcock, Kathryn Lake Hogan, and Mike Quackenbush.


RootsTech has announced the opening day keynote speakers. They will be New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler, award-winning journalist Paula Williams Madison, and the president and CEO of FamilySearch International, Stephen Rockwood.

Bruce Feiler is a columnist for the The New York Times. He writes the “This Life” column which is about today’s families. He is also an author. His latest book “The Secrets of Happy Families” is about best practices for modern-day parents.

Paula Williams Madison has a very intriguing story about her grandfather who returned to his native China after living in Jamaica. She has produced a documentary about this story as well as a book.

Stephen Rockwood is the new president and CEO of FamilySearch International and managing director for the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The previous president of FamilySearch always had many new announcements at the RootsTech conference and this new president should be doing the same.


The Illinois State Genealogical Society has announced their 2016 Webinar schedule. The webinars are free to everyone to view live and then the recordings are only available to members of the society. The live webinars are the second Tuesday of each month at 9PM Eastern.

FamilySearch is the sponsor for the webinars.

And you can find all the webinars listed in the Geneatopia calendar.


FamilyTreeWebinars has a new website. The site has been rebuilt from the ground up using the latest technology.

There’s a new browse menu so you can narrow done webinars by category or speaker. The categories are further broken down into subcategories. You can also use the search box to find webinars. There are over 275 webinars to search.

You can also view webinars by date so you can easily see what was recently added. You can still view the webinar for free for about a week after it was recorded.

The webinars are time-stamped so you can jump to a section that interests you. You will see your viewing progress for each webinar so you can resume where you left off later. There’s a playlist where you can see what you were watching. You can browse the webinars and add them to your playlist.

The website familytreewebinars.com is a responsive website which means it will display nicely on smartphones and tablets. You will be able to easily view webinars on any size device.


If you missed the two-day Virtual Genealogy Fair put on by the National Archives, you can now find in on YouTube. It is two long videos.

Day 1 is 4.5 hours and day 2 is 5 hours. Each day consisted of 5 sessions. Handouts are available for each session. I’ll have links in the show notes for the videos and handouts.


I usually mention some upcoming webinars at this part of the show but I included the upcoming week in last weeks’ episode. Check the show notes for those or better yet check the Geneatopia calendar for the latest changes in the Webinars that are scheduled. Also on the calendar are educational classes and conferences.

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 71.

Thanks for listening.


Listen to the episode.

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