Episode 79 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Wednesday March 30, 2016 and this is Episode 79.

Mocavo is now part of Findmypast. At the beginning of the year Findmypast announced that they would be merging Mocavo in with Findmypast. Findmypast acquired Mocavo in 2014.

Mocavo was started in 2011 as a genealogy search engine. They then started added records. The records mostly consisted of small datasets such as yearbooks, directories and others that were not already online.

The Mocavo website closed at midnight on Wednesday March 23rd. All the records that were found at Mocavo will be available at Findmypast.

Those who had a subscription to Mocavo will have their account moved to Findmypast and they will receive a 30-day free trial to Findmypast. If you subscribed to Mocavo and Findmypast, your Findmypast subscription will be extended by 30 days.

If you had a family tree at Mocavo, it will be migrated to Findmypast and you will receive a link to it at Findmypast.

This merger will help Findmypast become more competitive in the US market. They are trying to expand in the US market as well as Canada. Findmypast has been known as the website to go to for English and Irish records.


GEDmatch is a website where you can upload your autosomal DNA data from any of the DNA testing companies. It’s a free service with an optional subscription for additional tools. The free tools allow you to find more matches from other testing companies.

GEDMatch has stopped accepting Family Tree DNA data file uploads.

Family Tree DNA is concerned over security and privacy of their customer information at GEDmatch. Many people upload their own data and also data for other family members who have tested to GEDmatch. Those other family members may not know their data has been upload to another site. They probably only agreed to send their DNA to the testing company.

Family Tree DNA is also concerned about the privacy of those who match the person who uploads their data to GEDmatch.

Family Tree DNA and GEDmatch are trying to resolve the issues.

There is a new notice on GEDmatch that the existing Family Tree DNA kit numbers on GEDmatch will be changed to the letter ’T’ followed by a random number. The name and email information for matches will stay the same.

Notices from GEDmatch are displayed after you login.


Back in 1921 the USS Conestoga left San Francisco for Pearl Harbor with 56 officers and crew. The Navy tugboat was towing a barge to American Somoa. The barge was lost as well as the tugboat.

A mistaken message from Pearl Harbor that the tugboat had arrived there meant that it took weeks before anyone knew the tugboat was missing.

One of the largest searches of the 20th century took place looking for the tugboat and those who were onboard. Nothing was found.

The disappearance of the boat has been a mystery until now. The shipwreck’s discovery was officially announced recently by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Navy.

A shipwreck was identified in October 2015 as the USS Conestoga. As many as possible of the crew’s family members were contacted before this news was made public. A genealogist was hired to track down the crew’s family members and descendants. They are still trying to locate family members. They hope that this announcement about the discovery will lead to more family members being discovered.

It is believed that the ship encountered some bad weather and the bilge pumps (they pump water out of the bilge which is the lowest part of a ship) were known not to be working well and they probably could not pump all the water out during the storm.

There are no plans to resurface the Conestoga. Sunken military crafts that are owned by the U.S. Government are protected by law that prohibits “unauthorized disturbance.” It will remain a military gravesite.


Runaway slave advertisements were placed in newspapers during the 18th and 19th centuries. These ads contain information that might help readers identify the fugitives. They may contain the name of slave, height, build, appearance, clothing, literacy level, and any other information that might help identify them. Sometimes the ads state where the fugitive might be headed and why.

A new project called “Freedom on the Move” is being created at Cornell University Ithaca, New York. The project aims to compile a database of historical runaway slave advertisements that were published in newspapers.

The project will be a collaborative effort between individuals, colleges, and libraries. Archivist and researchers nationwide will be able to add advertisements and search terms to the database. It is hoped to compile all North American runaway slave advertisements.

Crowdsourcing will be used to enable the general public to take part in creating the database. After you signup at the website freedomonthemove.org and enter the data entry section of the website you will be presented with the PDF of the original and in the text that was created using OCR (optical character recognition). Your first task will be to correct any mistakes made from the optical character recognition. Next you’ll record key information about the person in the ad and then tag the database entries with rich semantic data.

This project is just getting started and currently the website only contains information about the project. There will be a workshop on May 13 to introduce the project to some potential partners.


The Loveland Public Library in Colorado will be digitizing newspapers that were published prior to 1923 that are free of copyright restrictions and are in the public domain. Currently these newspapers are on microfilm.

The library has digitized eight years of newspapers through a partnership with the Colorado Historical Society and the Colorado State Library. The newspapers are part of the Colorado Historical Newspapers Collection and already online.

The library plans digitize the rest of the newspapers up to 1923 and place them online with the other newspapers.


The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds in Massachusetts has almost completed a project to transcribe handwritten land records from 1793 to 1900. Handwritten documents from that time can be difficult to read. The project makes it much easier to decipher the contents of the deeds. The transcription will provide a valuable timesaver for historians and genealogists.

Some deeds of famous people include those of John Adams, his son John Quincy Adams, and Paul Revere.

The project should be completed in April. Xerox Corp. has funded the $2 million project. The entire project has taken two years. All of these transcriptions will be accessible free of charge to the public and they will be posted with the existing land records on the registry’s website.


The Lewes Historical Society of Delaware has created a database of about 8,500 graves from the Delaware Bay region. Each grave has a GPS location so the grave can easily be found and also where within the cemetery the grave is located.

The Historical Society will be building a new website that will link the graves to photographs, letters and other artifacts in the society’s collection.

The Society embarked on this gravestone project in 2003 to help answer questions they get about where someone’s ancestor is buried.

The database can be found at the society’s website – historiclewes.org. The database is searchable by name, birth year, death year, and cemetery.


The New York Public Library has launched something called Photographers’ Identities Catalog. It’s a collection of biographical data for those businesses involved with the production of photographs. This includes photographers, studios, manufacturers, and dealers.

The collection spans the entire history of photography from around the world. Each entry contains information about the type of work that was done, if they have any items included in museum or gallery collections, and links to where the data was obtained.

From the website for the Photographers’ Identities Catalog you can search by many different ways to find out some information.

One very useful way to use this new service is for trying to date photographs. Many people have old photographs with only the name of the photography studio, no other information is written on the back of the photograph. If you knew around when it was taken, it may be possible to try to figure out who is in the photograph. Now you can look up the studio and find out what years it was in business. You will have a time frame for when the photo was taken.

All the data is free to use as you wish. The New York Public Library has also placed out there for free all the data and code that was used to create the Photographers’ Identities Catalog.


The National Archives in the US is experimenting with a support community for historians and other history enthusiasts, researchers, genealogists, citizen archivists, open government advocates, and archival professionals. It’s called History Hub.

It’s a place ask questions, share information, work together, and find help. It has discussion boards, blogs, and community pages to bring people together who are interested in American history.

At the History Hub website you can browse questions and answers, see what’s trending, or see posts by groups. Some groups that might be of interest to genealogists would be the Genealogists group, Military records, African-American Records, and American Indian records groups.

This pilot will run until the end of May and will help the National Archives expand public participation.


More new records at FamilySearch

New browsable image collections added include
New Jersey State Census 1865

New indexed records and images collection
Maryland Church Records 1668-1995
New Jersey Church Records 1675-1970
North Carolina Civil Marriages 1763-1868
Ohio Marriages 1800-1942
Tennessee Civil Marriages 1838-1888

New indexed records collection
Illinois Church Marriages 1805-1985
Illinois Civil Marriages 1833-1889
Michigan County Marriages Index 1820-1937
Utah LDS Missionary Registers 1860-1937

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Belgium Antwerp Civil Registration 1588-1913
Belgium East Flanders Civil Registration 1541-1914
Belgium Hainaut Civil Registration 1600-1913
Belgium Liège Civil Registration 1621-1914
Belgium West Flanders Civil Registration 1582-1910
Brazil Pernambuco Civil Registration 1804-2014
California San Pedro Immigration Office Special Inquiry Records 1930-1936
England Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers 1538-2010
Find A Grave Index
Hawaii Index to Filipino Arrivals to Honolulu 1946
Illinois County Marriages 1810-1934
Maryland Piney Point Crew Lists 1950-1956
New York New York Soundex to Passenger and Crew Lists 1887-1921
Peru Junín Civil Registration 1881-2005
South Carolina Georgetown Passenger Lists 1904-1942
Texas and Arizona Arrivals 1903-1910
United States Passport Applications 1795-1925
United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records 1812-1815
Virginia Alexandria Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels 1946-1957

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
Belgium Brabant Civil Registration 1582-1914
United States Freedmen’s Bureau Marriages 1861-1872

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Czech Republic School Registers 1799-1953
Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928
Indiana Marriages 1811-2007
Japan Genealogies 850-2012
Japan Village Records 709-1982
Spain Province of Cádiz Municipal Records 1784-1956


The FamilySearch Wiki is undergoing an upgrade. You will now see that navigation has been moved from the right side to the left side. The country and state pages are being redesigned for easier use. FamilySearch is still updating and correcting pages to reflect the changes.

If you contribute to the Wiki, the editor you will now use will be a Visual Editor. The old editor was a Rich Text editor. The upgraded Wiki will be editable in all browsers, including Chrome.


There’s a new free course at Ancestry Academy called “Ancestors, Family, and Associates in the War of 1812.” The course starts with the history of war and then goes on to discuss the types of records that are available related to the war. Those records include pension records that are being digitized, bounty land records, state militia records, and prisoner of war records.

The course is taught by David Rencher, the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. He is involved with the effort to get the pension files from the War of 1812 digitized. That project is called Preserve the Pensions.


RootsWeb, which is part of Ancestry, was down for a couple of weeks due to hardware failure. They were able to bring the site backup but they did not have a recent backup.

So anything that was added after the summer of 2015 is not there. They are asking everyone that posted something after that time to add it to the site again.

Ancestry has said that additional resources will be added to support the site so that this does not happen again.


Ancestry now has probate records for Yorkshire which is a county in northern England. There are over 30,000 probate records in the collection. There are thousands of detailed wills, probate inventories, warrants, and letters of administration written between the years 1521 and 1858.

Ancestry digitized the original records that were held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service.

Also at Ancestry you’ll find other records relating to Yorkshire including electoral registers and prison records


Ancestry has added many new collections for Cornwall, England. These records came from the Cornwall Record Office.

There are records for prison inmates, those in the workhouse, those in the asylum, police records, hospital records, military records from 1780 – 1831, and Congregational and Baptist church registers.


Ancestry has added two new collections for Ireland – the Courts Martial Files, 1916–1922 and the Intelligence Profiles, 1914–1922.

Both these collections will be free collections permanently.

The collections are from the UK National Archives and contain details about those who were involved with the Easter Rising of 1916.

Martial law was declared on April 25, 1916 to bring order in Dublin and later it was extended to include the whole country. During these times individuals were arrested under Martial law if they were suspected of being pro-independence which was considered committing treason to the Crown.

Under Marital Law individuals were tried without council or a jury. Trials took place in private.

There are nearly 2,000 names listed in the Court Marital Files collection. Each record contains the evidence against the defendant, their statements, and proclamations.

The other collection, the Intelligence Profiles, contains photographs, newspaper clippings, and everyday movements of those who were suspected of being disloyal to the Crown. This collection contains about 800 names.


During the Easter Rising of 1916 there were seven signatories who signed their name to a proclamation for Ireland’s independence from the United Kingdom.

All seven signatories were executed by the British military.

The latest issue of the Irish Family History Foundations quarterly free online newsletter, the CLANN, has a profile on each of the seven signatories. These seven men’s families were researched and the result is stories that reveal the diverse backgrounds for each man.

The research was conducted by Paul Gorry, a Member of the Accredited Genealogists Ireland.


On March 1 both Ancestry and Findmypast announced indexes to the Irish Catholic parish records. The indexes are for the images found at the National Library of Ireland’s collection of Irish Catholic Registers. The images are free to access at the library’s website but there isn’t an index at the library’s website.

Supposedly Ancestry and Findmypast worked together to create the index. A well-known Irish genealogist John Grenham has been looking at the indexes and he has determined that they are the same.

The differences between the two sites is how they interpret surname variations. So you will get different results when doing the same search at each website.


Findmypast has released some new records. They’ve added collections for birth, marriage, and death indexes for Western Australia.

Over 3.2 million records have been added to the Billion Graves Cemetery index collection.

12 new publications have been added to the British Newspapers collection and three new titles of been added to the Irish Newspapers collection. Both collections have had updates to existing publications.

They’ve added a collection that contains over 37,000 records that list the details of men who served with the Irish revenue police between 1830 in 1857.

The Royal Irish Constabulary pensions 1873-1925 contains information about those who were in the armed police force of the United Kingdom and Ireland from the early 19th century until 1925.

The Royal Irish Constabulary History & Directories contain information from six different publications that were printed between 1871 and 1920. They provide insight into the daily operations of the police force and the history of the organization.

Findmypast has added a couple new collections for New York State. The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s (NYG&B) quarterly review, is now available to browse and search at Findmypast. They’ve added over 5000 transcriptions to the collection of New York State Religious Records 1716-1914.

And two more collections have been added – London, Westminster Marylebone Census 1821 & 1831 and British Royal Navy Seamen 1899 – 1924.


There has been a major upgrade to The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (or “TNG”). This program is used to create a website of your family tree and can be hosted at TNG or any other hosting company that you choose. It requires PHP and MySQL.

The new version includes many new charts, the ability to track DNA tests, new template design, translations for Arabic and Slovak, and many other improvements such as fan charts, data validation reports, heat maps, and the ability to run a Google search on the website.

Some other changes are that websites will be more mobile friendly, several pages and tables now have responsive design. And TNG is compatible with the latest versions of PHP and MySQL.

There is a one-time license fee of $32.99. If you are an existing user you may upgrade to the latest version for $14.99 or $16.99, depending on your currently installed version.


There are lots of TV shows on about genealogy.

BYUtv has been airing Relative Race. It’s a reality TV show about 4 couples racing from California to New York. Along the way they spend nights with newly found relatives that matched an AncestryDNA test with one of them.

If you don’t get the BYUtv channel, you can still watch the episodes online. There will be a total of 10 episodes and an additional “Where Are They Now” episode where the couples tell about their experiences in the race.

A show called Follow Your Past has been airing on the Travel Channel. It is shown in the mornings for the Eastern time zone.

Who Do You Think You Are? returns on Sunday, April 3 with six new episodes. The show airs at 9PM Eastern and it’s followed by another genealogy related show called Long Lost Family. It’s a show about those who have been separated from their parents and families for most of their lives. This includes parents looking for children they gave up for adoption.

If you missed the last season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., many PBS stations are repeating the episodes. Check your local listings to find out the times. It’s also available to watch online.

Tuesday, April 5, 1PM Eastern
Ancestry Live Event
What’s New at Ancestry: April 2016 Edition
presented by Crista Cowen

Wednesday, April 6, noon Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Spanish Records Indexing Workshop

Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Getting to Know Findmypast – Your Source for British and Irish Genealogy
presented by Jen Baldwin

Wednesday, April 6, 4PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Caring for Your Heirlooms: Simple Ways to Preserve Books, Photographs and Artifacts at Home
presented by Christina Thomas & Cristopher McAfee

Wednesday, April 6, 8PM Eastern
Minnesota Genealogical Society
Major Midwestern Archives and Their Records
presented by Paula Stuart-Warren

Thursday, April 7, noon Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Mid-19th Century Yorkshire Case Study & Research Strategy Session

Thursday, April 7, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
History Library Catalog and Services

Thursday, April 7, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Strategies for Successful French Research Online

Thursday, April 7, 7PM Eastern
Ontario Genealogical Society Webinar
Lesser Known Databases for Scottish Genealogy
presented by Christine Woodcock

Friday, April 8, 2016, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Confirming Enslaved Ancestors Utilizing DNA
presented by Melvin J. Collier

#genchat – When and How to Hire a Pro?
Friday, April 8, 10PM Eastern

Monday, April 11, 5:30PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Wiki, Wiki, Wiki: FamilySearch Research Wiki
presented by Burke Jackson

Tuesday, April 12, 9PM Eastern
Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinar
Letters, Ledgers, and Lodge Books: Finding Ancestors with Ethnic Resources
presented by Lisa A. Alzo

Wednesday, April 13, noon Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Portuguese Records Indexing Workshop

Wednesday, April 13, 4:30PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Online Newspaper Sources for Genealogists
presented by James Tanner

Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 9PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
U.S. Land Records – State Land States
presented by Mary Hill

Thursday, April 14, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Genealogy Program Introduction

Thursday, April 14, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Research Logs: A Tool for Organizing Your Research

Friday, April 15, 4:30PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Copyright Essentials for Genealogists
presented by Peter Midgley

Saturday, April 16, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Historia familiar de Italia Parte 1
Family History of Italy Part 1

Saturday, April 16, 4PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Historia familiar de Italia Parte 2
Family History of Italy Part 2

Saturday, April 16, 5PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Historia familiar de Francia
Family History of France

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 79.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.


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