Episode 80 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Thursday April 14, 2016 and this is Episode 80.

Private equity firm Silver Lake and GIC, an investment firm located in Singapore, have agreed to acquire equal minority stakes in Ancestry.com. Permira is selling its stock to Silver Lake and GIC.

Permira purchased Ancestry in 2012 for 1.6 billion and it’s estimated that they tripled their investment with this sale. Last May Permira hired investment banks to run an auction for Ancestry.com. It’s estimated that now Ancestry is worth $2.6 billion, including debt.

GIC will increase its stake in Ancestry and hold as much equity in the company as Silver Lake. According to the press release Silver Lake and GIC will hold equal minority ownership positions and the other current investors, Permira, Spectrum Equity, and Ancestry management will remain as meaningful equity investors in the company and along with GIC will continue to own a majority of the company.

Ancestry management includes the President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan and Chief Financial and Chief Operating Officer Howard Hochhauser.

This sale should be completed this summer following regulatory approval.


The World Memory Project is a collaboration between the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Ancestry. It’s a free online database that lists information about the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. The project was launched in May 2011 and just recently it hit 1 million records.

This was made possible by volunteers from all over the globe who indexed materials from the Museum’s archives. The goal is to make the names of Holocaust victims searchable. Families of survivors and victims can discover at the website what happened to their loved ones during this time.

The Nazis tried to erase the Jewish people. This project helps to restore their identities for posterity and honor those who were lost.

It’s not known how many records the project will eventually index. Many archives have yet to be digitized.


If you are an AARP member you are eligible for a 30% discount at Ancestry. A new agreement was reached and this discount will be available for another year until March 31, 2017.

You can only use this discount once and it’s only available for the World Explorer subscription. The discount applies to new memberships as well as renewals. But remember you can only use this discount once. If you’ve already used an AARP discount at Ancestry, you cannot use it again.

This discount usually expires on March 31 of each year and then AARP and Ancestry negotiate to make the discount available for another year.


More new records at FamilySearch

New indexed record collection
Missouri Civil Marriages 1820-1874

New browsable image collections added include
Australia Victoria Coastal Passenger Lists 1852-1924
China Imperial Examinations and Related Papers (Han Yu-shan Collection) 1646-1904
Minnesota YMCA World War I Service Cards 1917-1919

The following have new indexed records and images
New Jersey Marriages 1670-1979
Oklahoma School Records 1895-1936
Tennessee Church Marriages 1810-1965

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Brazil São Paulo Immigration Cards 1902-1980
Georgia Confederate Home Records 1901-1930
Georgia Deaths 1928-1940
Germany Hesse Frankfurt Civil Registration 1811-1814 1833-1928
Germany Prussia Pomerania Church Records 1544-1945
Illinois Cook County Birth Certificates 1871-1940
Italy Imperia Civil Registration (State Archive) 1785-1904
Montana Chouteau County Records1876-2011
Montana Granite County Records 1865-2009
Montana Mineral County Obituaries 1870-2010
Peru Amazonas Civil Registration 1939-1998
Peru Áncash Civil Registration 1888-2005
Peru Cajamarca Civil Registration 1938-1996
Peru La Libertad Civil Registration 1903-1998
Texas Laredo Arrival Manifests 1903-1955
Vermont Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1732-2005

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
BillionGraves Index
Utah Birth Certificates 1903-1914

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Netherlands Gelderland Province Civil Registration 1800-1952
South Africa Orange Free State Estate Files 1951-2006
Spain Diocese of Santander Catholic Church Records 1538-1985


MyHeritage has announced some new technology called Book Matching. It matches individuals found in family trees at MyHeritage to their collection of digitized historical books. It uses semantic analysis to understand sentences in the pages of digitized books. The book matching technology automatically understands narratives describing people including names, events, dates, places, and relationships. This leads to finding matches with very high accuracy. So for instance if you have an ancestor who has a common name, by using information about their relatives, their birth and death dates, and where they lived you will get better results. That’s how book matching works. It looks at all the information about a person in your family tree.

Recently they’ve tripled the number of books from 50,000 to 400,000. They plan to add hundreds of millions of additional pages of digitized books to the collection each year.

Currently there are duplicate copies of books and they are working to de-duplicate the books. Once that work is complete most of the duplicate matches will disappear.

Book matching is currently available for English books only but they plan to cover other languages as well. They will be adding genealogy books from all over Europe in all major European languages.

If you have a MyHeritage subscription you get to the book matching by clicking on the Discoveries tab on the top of the home page, then click on Record Matches, and then click on Review Matches for Compilation of Published Sources.


Findmypast has added over 1.3 million Irish Quaker records. This is the first phase of a major project to digitize all of the surviving Quaker records for Ireland. So far there are Irish Quaker migration records, Society of Friends Congregational records and school records. The Society of Friends is another name for Quakers.

And there is a collection of Quaker birth, marriage, and death records that go back to the 1600s.

They have also added over 900,000 Royal Navy and Royal Marine service and pension records covering 215 years of British naval history.

Findmypast and the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) have renewed their partnership for a further 10 years.

Findmypast and FFHS joined forces starting in 2007. Since then over 48 million FFHS records have been transferred to the Findmypast website.

As a result of this partnership, Findmypast has been able to publish records from over 100 different Family History Societies from England, Wales, and Scotland. Most of these records are parish records that contain birth, marriage, and death information. Having the data on Findmypast makes it searchable by a large number of people.

Individual societies receive royalties each time their records are accessed at Findmypast.


If you placed your DNA data at the site DNA.Land, you now have a new report to look at that provides much more information about your ancestry. This new report breaks down your ancestry in more detail so that is should now be closer to the ancestry reports that are generated by the testing companies.

DNA.Land is a not-for-profit site that is run by academics affiliated with Columbia University and the New York Genome Center. The site gives you the ability to learn more about your genome in return for helping scientists to make new genetic discoveries to benefit all of humanity.

You upload your results from either 23AndMe, Ancestry DNA, or Family Tree DNA.


Family Historian is a very popular genealogy program in the UK and Australia. They have just announced automatic matching against records at Findmypast. This is similar to the shaky leaf feature at Ancestry.

This new feature is available in version 6.2. This is a free update for all version 6 users.

Family Historian also provides matching with MyHeritage.

Family Historian is a product from Calico Pie. They have just released a book called “Getting the most from Family Historian 6.” It’s a detailed guide to the program. Few people use all the features in the program and the book will provide directions on how to use all the features.

The book contains lots of screenshots and illustrations. It’s meant for beginners and advanced users.

The book is available for purchase from Amazon in the UK and US and it’s also available in Australia from Gould Genealogy. The books costs $23.95US.


Another genealogy program, Gramps, has been updated. This new version is a minor version and it’s considered a maintenance release. There have been lots of fixes and corrections.

The new version is 4.2.3. And before you install it, they recommend you backup your data.


Michael John Neill writes a few blogs – Genealogy Tip of the Day, Genealogy Search Tip, Genealogy Transcriber, and Rootdig. He has released a free app for Genealogy Tip of the Day. The app is available on iOS and Android.

Now you can keep up with the daily tip on your mobile device.


“Reclaim the Records” has posted the New York city marriage indexes 1908 – 1929 online at Archive.org.

Reclaim the Records is getting access to public records that can be used for genealogy research. They won a settlement to gain access to the New York city marriage indexes.

These indexes can be used to request the original record from the New York City Clerk’s Office. The record contains the application the couple filled out to get married, an affidavit that states that both are legally allowed to get married, and the marriage license that was granted so the couple could get married.

The dates in the index are before the couple got married. These records don’t mean that the couple actually got married.


The Tennessee State Library & Archives is launching an effort to collect and digitize World War I memorabilia that would be of interest to Tennesseans.

Archivists will be traveling throughout the state to give presentations about how to care for old items. They will also digitize these items.

They hope to collect photographs, letters, diaries, maps, sketches, weapons, uniforms, and other artifacts related to World War I that are owned by private citizens.


The Digital Library of Georgia has announced the expansion of the West Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive. It now provides access to fourteen newspaper titles published in seven west Georgia cities (Butler, Carrollton, Dallas, Douglasville, Fayetteville, LaGrange, and Newnan) from 1843 to 1942.

Previously there were only 6 newspapers available at the site for West Georgia. They recently added newspapers were from Fayetteville and Newnan.

They are fully searchable or can be browsed by date.


Two more newspaper titles have been added to Chronicling America for South Dakota.

The Kimball Enterprise (1883) and the Kimball Graphic (1883-1905) are now both available on Chronicling America.

There are 12 other newspapers available at the site for South Dakota. With these new titles, there are now 14 newspapers for South Dakota.


The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering free access to all of its online records on AmericanAncestors.org. This offer is good until April 20th.

At the site you find find lots of New England records but there are also records covering 18 countries. There are searchable collections of published genealogical research journals and magazines.

All free until April 20th.


The Canadian Research Knowledge Network has launched the Canadian National Digital Heritage Index (CNDHI – pronounced “candy”). This is an index of digitized collections from across Canada.

It’s hoped that this index will contain all Canadian digitization projects. The goal of the project is to increase awareness of digitized collections in institutions and libraries across Canada. Hopefully this will lead to an increase in use of those collections.

The project is supported by funding from Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network.


Ransomware has been discovered on a computer at ScotlandsPeople Centre which is located in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Ransomware infects a computer and restricts access to files until a ransom is paid. Once the payment has been made, the user regains access to their files.

It was discovered in one file and was spotted before it could do any damage. The center was closed for a week and a half in order to perform rigorous safety checks.

During the closure all on-site services were closed. The ScotlandsPeople website was working and the public could obtain abstracts of births, marriages, and deaths online or in person.

You can obtain 20 free credits at ScotlandsPeople during the month of April. That’s worth about $4.50US. I’ll have a link in the show notes about this.


The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) is celebrating its 80th anniversary by launching an 80th Anniversary Archive.

This Archive will contain personal stories of Irish-born ancestors. They are encouraging anyone with Irish-born ancestors to write up their story and submit it to the archive.

The archive will be made available for free at the IGRS website. The best editions will be included in a special anniversary eBook.


The Church of Ireland has launched the Parish Placenames Project. This project will create a bilingual listing of all of the parishes of the Church of Ireland. There will be an explanation of the Irish terms and it will be incorporated into the Church of Ireland Directory.

The work will be carried out in stages. This first stage will be for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory. Listings for those areas can be found at the Irish Guild of the Church website. These are considered a first attempt and feedback is encouraged so the process can be improved upon.


A well-known Irish genealogist, John Grenham, has moved his Irish Ancestors research database from The Irish Times website to his own website at https://johngrenham.com. The https version of the website takes you to the database. http will take you to the blog.

The old version of the database will gradually be shut down and by mid-May it will no longer be available.

Until mid-May the new version of the database will be free at its new location. You will need to register to access the database. After mid-May heavy users of the database will pay a small fee for access.

The new database has been rebuilt with some new features for listings of newspapers, wills, and GRO records.

The database can be searched by surname or placename, you can fill out a form to see what information can be found for what you enter, or you can browse.


WDYTYA? Live was held recently in the National Exhibition Centre, or NEC, Birmingham, UK. This is called an event, not a conference. It consists of a very large exhibit hall with some talks or lectures going on in spaces off the exhibit hall.

Some of the news from the event I already mentioned. That would be MyHeritage now searching books for your ancestors and Findmypast lastest additions and their partnership renewal with the Federation of Family History Societies.

There have been a few blog posts about the event from Dick Eastman, Steve Jackson, Debbie Kennett, Chris Paton, John Reid, and M. Diane Rogers. I’ll have a link in the show notes to Debbie Kennett’s blog post where she has links to the other blog posts if you would like to read about all the details.

Here’s some news items those folks mentioned in their blog posts that I haven’t already mentioned.

Findmypast will be making some enhancements their website to make it easier to search, add family trees, and increase the rate new records are added.

Findmypast will be adding parish records from Leicestershire and Yorkshire soon as well as Shropshire and Staffordshire.

The Staffordshire records are of interest to me since I have ancestors from there. Most of the parish records from Staffordshire are available at Findmypast. They did this in stages with the last stage consisting of just a few parishes. Wouldn’t you know that one of those parishes in that last stage is where my ancestor is from.

Other additions to Findmypast will be the Canadian censuses and more records from Australia.

AncestryDNA was sold at a discount at the event and it looked like may people took advantage of the sale. The sale price was half the price of ordering a kit and paying shipping charges. Ancestry also offered a 25% discount to anyone at the event who renewed their subscription.

You can find lots of handouts for the presentations that were given at the event at the Society’s of Genealogists website. There are PDFs or links to where the speaker placed the handout at their own website.

Eventually you will find all the DNA talks that were given on YouTube. They will be on the channel DNA Lectures – Who Do You Think You Are. At that channel you’ll also find all the DNA lectures from 2015 and 2014 about DNA.

The Journal of Genetic Genealogy will be relaunched this summer. This is a free open-access journal. Its last publication was for Fall 2011.

Next year’s WDYTYA? Live will be held at the same place, April 6 – 8, 2017.


The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has released a mobile app for the NGS 2016 Family History Conference, which will be held May 4‒7, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The app is available for Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone, and web-enabled devices.

According to the press release you can do the following things with the app:

• Stay organized with up-to-the-minute exhibitor, speaker, and event information
• Sync the app across all of your devices with Multi-Device Sync
• Receive important real-time communications from NGS
• Build a personalized schedule with times and locations of sessions
• Locate and bookmark exhibitors on the convention center maps
• Take notes and download event handouts and presentations
• Rate and comment on the sessions you attend
• Find attendees and connect with your colleagues through Friends
• Stay in-the-know and join in on social media with #NGS2016GEN

And much, much more!


Monday, April 18, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Key Scotland Websites

Monday, April 18, 7:30PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Digital Cameras for Genealogists
presented by James Tanner

Tuesday, April 19, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Watch Geoff Live: DNA
presented by Diahan Southard

Tuesday, April 19, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Incredible Scotland Maps & Gazetteer Online Resources

Tuesday, April 19, 5PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Norwegian Genealogical Collections

Tuesday, April 19, 8PM Eastern
Board for Certification of Genealogists Webinar
Finding Your Early 1800s US Ancestors Online
presented by James M. Baker

Tuesday, April 19, 8pm eastern
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Webinar
A Path to Your Next Research Steps: Using Timelines to Organize, Analyze and Evaluate Evidence
presented by Annette Burke Lyttle

Wednesday, April 20, noon Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Dutch Records Indexing Workshop

Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Fire Insurance Maps – The Google Maps of Their Day
presented by Jill Morelli

Wednesday, April 20, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Scotland Census Records

Wednesday, April 20, 7:30PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Discover Your Ancestors in Military Records
presented by James Tanner

Wednesday, April 20, 8PM Eastern
Georgia Genealogical Society
Using FamilySearch.org: Records, Family Trees and More!
presented by Amy Bowser Tennant

Wednesday, April 20, 9PM Eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society Webinar
The Peripatetic Germans: Emigration and Immigrations (1693-1914)
presented by James Baker

Thursday, April 21, 2PM Easter
23AndMe Webinar
Who Do You Think You Are? The Complex Genetic Portrait of the U.S.
presented by Dr. Kasia Bryc

Thursday, April 21, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Scotland Civil Registration Records

Thursday, April 21, 8PM Eastern
Florida State Genealogical Society Poolside Chat
Problem Solving with Timelines
presented by Beth Watson Foulk

Thursday, April 21, 9PM Eastern
Utah Genealogical Association
The Family History Library: Its Past, Present and Future
presented by Jason Harrison

Friday, April 22, 7:30PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Using the Google Goldmine for Genealogists
presented by James Tanner

#genchat – Ethnic Focus: German Genealogy
Friday, April 22, 10PM Eastern

You can find all the webinars mentioned and more at the calendar at Geneatopia.com. Plus you can find all the ongoing activities that I didn’t mention at the calendar on the website.

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 80.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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