Genealogy News Episode 105

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Tuesday July 17, 2017 and this is Episode 105.

RootsMagic Now Syncs with Ancestry Trees

RootsMagic 7.5 has been released. This is the version that will sync your tree that’s stored on your desktop computer with your tree at This is a free update if you have version 7. If you would like to buy RootsMagic and you are an Ancestry subscriber you can buy the software for only $20 and this offer is available through July 31st.

To get started with the new version you can upload your RootsMagic tree to Ancestry or download your existing Ancestry tree into RootsMagic. If you already have a tree on your desktop computer that you use with RootsMagic and you also have a tree at Ancestry, you cannot merge the two. It would be very difficult to go thru all the differences between the two trees and you would have to tell the program for each person that they are the same person in the RootsMagic tree and the Ancestry tree.

You can choose what is going back and forth between RootsMagic and Ancestry. Both trees do not have to match. That way you can have some private data in your RootsMagic tree that does not get uploaded to your Ancestry tree.

RootsMagic has had hints for FamilySearch, Findmypast, and MyHeritage. Those hints display as a lightbulb next to the person’s name. Clicking the lightbulb takes you to the site. From there you have to copy the information into RootsMagic.

Ancestry hints work a little bit differently. The hints are shown in RootsMagic. You don’t go to the Ancestry website. You can click on a link to bring it up on the Ancestry website.

For each hint it will show the information for the hint along with the information you have already for this person. So you can decide if the hint contains new information. By clicking a button you can add the hint information to your RootsMagic database along with a source citation. It even brings over the scanned document.

Hints require that you have a tree on Ancestry.

Beside record hints you also get hints for user member trees. These should be used as guides because not all user member trees have sources for where the information came from.

There is a third category of hints called Photos and Stories. They are really sources. They are pictures that Ancestry thinks belong to your person. You can review them and download them for your person as an attached photo.

If you upload your tree from RootsMagic to Ancestry it may take awhile for any hints to appear. To get the process started you can look at your tree on Ancestry and then hints will begin to appear.

Randy Seaver has a review of how all this works and I’ll have a link in the show notes where you can read his blog posts. Also RootsMagic has a video about how this new feature works.

RootsMagic and Ancestry: Working Together at Last

My Best Practices for RootsMagic TreeShare and Ancestry WebHints

Family Tree Maker 2017 Released

Family Tree Maker 2017 has been released. It was originally scheduled for release at the end of March but there were performance issues syncing to trees on

Lots of testing has taken place between March and now and changes have been made to the software. Ancestry and Family Tree Maker worked together to get the syncing to work. There have been over 75,000 beta testers using the software to test syncing.

All has finally gone well and the software is ready for everyone to use.

There are some new features in this new version besides a new way to sync to Ancestry trees. FamilySearch is integrated into Family Tree Maker so you can get match suggestions from that site. The new color coding feature lets you use colors for people to place them into groups. A new tool called Photo Darkroom lets you restore old photos.

And there is better compliance to GEDCOM standards when exporting to a GEDCOM file.

Another change is that if you want hints from Ancestry your tree must at Previously your tree could be only on your computer and you could still get hints from Ancestry.

Older versions of Family Tree Maker can no longer sync trees at Ancestry because Ancestry is now using new technology called FamilySync.

With this release both the Windows version of the program and the Mac version are made from the same codebase. That means changes only need to be done once for both versions.


Family Tree Maker 2017 Released: A Review Bought by AncestorCloud is a family research firm that has a team of over 4,000 professional genealogists who are located around the world. They have been acquired by AncestorCloud.

AncestorCloud will be rebranded as AncestorCloud started out by offering cloud storage and sharing of genealogy documents. It evolved into a marketplace to buy and sell genealogy services. The marketplace will be moved to

Trace will provide clients with custom research services and provide the business with expertise in marketing, sales, customer experience, and investor relations.

Trace Acquires

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Has a YouTube Channel

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) now has a YouTube channel. Currently there are promotional videos to view on the channel. There is also a video by Paula Stuart-Warren called Taking Your Research to the Next Level.

They plan to make their channel another learning resource for genealogists.

SLIG Creates Own YouTube Channel

23andMe Named One of the Smartest Companies for 2017

23andMe has been named one of the smartest companies for 2017 by MIT Technology Review. They got this recognition because the FDA granted them permission to tell customers whether their DNA puts them at risk for some diseases and they have over a million customers who have consented to have their genetic information used for scientific research.

50 Smartest Companies 2017

Golden23 Sweepstakes

23andMe is running a contest called the Golden23 Sweepstakes. To be eligible for the prize you need to order a DNA kit by August 3rd or complete a sweepstakes entry form online. If you win as a result of completing the online form, you will need to take a DNA test with 23andMe.

A winner will be drawn each day for 23 days. The winners will receive a trip package valued up to $20,000 which includes accommodations for five nights, round-trip airfare for the winner and one guest, a custom itinerary by to explore the local life and some spending money.

Your destination for your trip will be based on your 23andMe Ancestry Composition results.

Contest: The Golden23 Sweepstakes at 23andMe

AncestryDNA Test Takers Need Their Own Account

AncestryDNA has announced changes for activating kits. This will go into effect on July 18th. In the past you been able to add multiple kits to your own DNA account. The person that took the test does not have full control of their own DNA and AncestryDNA is afraid that there is a potential for misuse.

Starting on July18th anyone who takes a DNA test will be required to have their own Ancestry account. When they log into their account they can choose to assign sharing roles to other people. If they decide to give someone else manager status they will have full access to the account just as they did when they were the one who managed all the accounts. Also all messages sent to the test taker will go to the manager of the account.

If the test taker is a relative of yours, you can attach their kit to your tree. This way the test taker can have a free account and the manager with a paid account will see all the hints and matches.

This new system means that the person who is taking the test will have access to their own data and decide who else has access to it.

You can still set up an account for another person and manage it for them. You just need to follow the Genetic Genealogy Standards and get the test takers consent to manage their account.

These new changes have been in effect at Family Tree DNA. They require each customer to have their own account.

Enhancing Collaboration and Roles on DNA Results

New Find A Grave Website

You can now access the new Find A Grave website. This new version is a beta version. You can get the there by going to the website and then clicking the link that is displayed with a yellow background and says Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now. Or you can go to

The new site will be more secure, have improved performance and speed, and support mobile devices in other languages. Any changes that you make at the new site will affect existing memorials and they will be permanent.

Some new features are that you now search by town or city in countries other than the United States. At the old site you could narrow down your location by country but only the US had the ability to narrow down by state.

The new upload tool allows you to add a group of headstone photos. And you can preview, rotate, and delete images that you upload.

Ancestry acquired Find A Grave in 2013 and had announced plans for a new and improved website.

New Find A Grave website easier to search, but technical glitches cause some grumbling

New Records at FamilySearch

Now for some new records at FamilySearch

This first collection is a new indexed record collection
New York, New York City Marriage Licenses Index, 1950-1995

New browsable image collections added include
Italy, Chieti, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1866-1930
Italy, Macerata, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1808-1814
Kansas State Censuses for the years 1865, 1875, 1885, and 1895

The following is a new indexed records and images collection
Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Argentina, Mendoza, Catholic Church Records, 1665-1975
Austria, Upper Austria, Linz, Death Certificates, 1818-1899
Belgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798-1906
Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912
Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996
Brazil, Pernambuco, Civil Registration, 1804-2014
Brazil, Piauí, Civil Registration, 1875-2013
Chile Civil Registration, 1885-1903
Dominican Republic Civil Registration, 1801-2010
England, Cambridgeshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1599-1860
Find A Grave Index
France, Coutances et d’Avranche Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1533-1894
Hawaii Obituaries Index, ca. 1980-present
Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records
New Jersey State Census, 1895
Nicaragua Civil Registration, 1809-2013
Ohio, Crawford County Obituaries, 1860-2004
Panama, Catholic Church Records, 1707-1973
Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1939-1998
Peru, Cajamarca, Civil Registration, 1938-1996
Philippines Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1986
Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919
South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958
United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
BillionGraves Index
Louisiana Deaths, 1850-1875, 1894-1960

These collections have added images to an existing collection
New York State Census, 1905
Russia, Samara Church Books, 1779-1923
United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors, 1775-1783

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of June 28, 2017

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of July 10, 2017

FamilySearch Web-Based Indexing

FamilySearch has released its web-based indexing program. You can find it at by clicking on the Indexing link at the top. From there you can click on Web Indexing or Find a Project. Both links will let you select a batch of records to index. Batches are groups of images that can be indexed in about 10 to 20 minutes.

Different projects are available for the web version and for the desktop version of indexing.

The web version has a simpler interface and it has fewer features than the desktop version. Eventually more features will be added to the web version.

Eventually the desktop version will be phased out. The web version will allow anyone to index from their phone, tablet, or desktop computer. And it will let people index from wherever they are since they can use their phone.

Web Indexing from FamilySearch

New Records at Findmypast

Findmypast has added the Canadian census for the years 1861 and 1871.

They’ve also added lots of records for Yorkshire. This includes bishop’s transcripts, baptisms, banns, marriages and burials.

London marriage licenses for the years 1521 to 1869 have been added. And more than 130,000 Wiltshire wills and probate records have been added.

Over 121,000 new Roman Catholic Parish records have been added. Those include England Roman Catholic parish baptisms, marriages, burials, and congregational records.

They’ve added The Catholic Standard to the collection of Irish newspapers. Some other Irish records that have been added are the Dublin city ordinance survey map for 1847 and 68 illustrated early Irish maps for the years 1558 to 1610.

Each quarter they update PERSI. PERSI is the PERidocial Source Index and it contains an index to genealogy and local history periodical articles that have been published. They are working to also get scanned images of the actual articles online.

They’ve added over 28,000 new articles that cover Ontario, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan and Rhode Island.

Findmypast Friday June 30th 2017

Findmypast Friday

Findmypast Friday July 14th

TheGenealogist Adds Northumberland Records

TheGenealogist, a subscription site in the UK, has released over 1.3 million parish records for Northumberland. The records are indexed and go back to 1560.

TheGenealogist releases Northumberland parish records

Diaries from the Second World War

Some diaries written by women in Great Britain during the Second World War are now available online. They were written from 1938 to 1942 for more than 1300 different cities, towns and villages.

They record the work of the Women’s Voluntary Services during the war. Topics range from sewing and cooking to extinguishing bombs and driving during blackouts. All the diaries are handwritten and they are not full text searchable. You can search by place name. Individuals are rarely mentioned so these diaries can be used to understand what was going on during wartime.

Also available from the Women’s Voluntary Services is their bulletin magazine that was produced monthly for 36 years. There are over 400 issues that are available online.

WVS Diaries 1939 – 1942 and Bulletin Free Online

NEHGS and General Society of Mayflower Descendants Collaboration

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) have announced a collaboration between the two societies. NEHGS members will have access to some new searchable databases that will be found on GSMD members will get discounts on new memberships to NEHGS.

The Mayflower Families Through Five Generations series of books are also known as the “silver books.” They contain information about the first five generations of descendants of Mayflower passengers who arrived in 1620. The fifth-generation portion of these books will be available online at

NEHGS will index the content that is been published in the first 50 years of the Mayflower Quarterly—A Journal of Pilgrim History and Genealogy in Colonial New England. These were published between 1935 and 1984.

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) Announce Collaboration

Holocaust Memorial Museum Kickstarter Campaign

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has recently completed a very successful Kickstarter campaign. The money raised will be used to catalog and digitize more than 200 diaries in the museum’s collection.

More than 5,500 people pledged money that exceeded the goal of $250,000 for the campaign. The money will help to make the voices of the survivors and victims of the Holocaust to be heard. Diaries can reveal some very intimate and heart-wrenching accounts of the Holocaust.

Three of diaries will be translated into English. There was another Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $50,000 to translate 10 more diaries into English and that goal was met. Now a total of thirteen diaries will be translated and transcribed.

Museum’s First Kickstarter Campaign Meets Goal to Expand Access to Holocaust Diaries

Library of Congress Oral History Online

The Library of Congress has put online its first installment of a major oral history project the documents the diverse culture of contemporary workers around the United States. This first installment is a collection of interviews from the Port of Houston. Each interview lasts from 50 to 60 minutes.

It features interviews that were recorded during 2011 – 2012. The interviews document River pilots, Marine fighters, longshoremen, tugboat operators, port engineers, union organizers, owners of port related businesses and other workers at the port. Along with the interviews there are digitized field notes and photographs.

Other projects should be available online by the years end include interviews with hairdressers and beauty shop owners, big top circus workers, home healthcare workers in Oregon and New York, ironworkers in the upper Midwest and workers in the National Park Service.

Library Begins Release of Occupational Folklife Interviews

Louisiana State Museum Digitizing Documents

The Louisiana State Museum is completing the digitization of its colonial documents collection. In a few months this collection will be available online. In the collection there are criminal and civil court cases, commercial transactions, successions, wills and other legal documents that date back to 1714. These documents were handwritten in French and Spanish.

The documents document Louisiana’s colonial era and includes things such as sales of enslaved people as well as real estate, disputes between families and neighbors and they also reveal the social and commercial underpinnings of the colony. There are stories that document the daily life of Louisiana’s first settlers and their relations with native tribes.

LSM Prepares to Publish Colonial Documents Collection Online

Newberry Library French Revolution Pamphlets

The Newberry Library in Chicago has just completed digitizing more than 30,000 French Revolution pamphlets and placed them online. These pamphlets were published between 1780 and 1810. They contain the political, social, and religious history of the French Revolution.

In the pamphlets there is representation of opinions from all factions that opposed and defended the monarchy during the turbulent period from 1789 to 1799. They also chronicle the events of the First Republic.

The pamphlets come from two collections, the French Revolution Collection and the Louis XVI Trial and Execution Collection.


City of Tampa Releases Photographic Collections

The City of Tampa, Florida, will be releasing two new digitized historic photographic collections to the public. The first collection comes from the greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and it contains images of events in Tampa from 1950 to 1990. There are many photographs of local elected officials and other dignitaries in this collection.

The other collection includes more than 50,000 images taken by local photographers from 1940 until 1990. They capture many life events such as graduations and weddings as well as some scenes from daily life in Tampa.

Both collections are currently in the process of being digitized and they are being added to online daily. You can find them online at the Hillsborough County Public Library website.

City of Tampa to Release Two Newly Digitized Historic Photo Collections

Updates at DigitalNC

The North Carolina website called DigitalNC continues to add more collections. Recent additions include

• Photographs from the Benson Museum of Local History
• The 1967 yearbook from Benson High School
• The 1963 New Hope High School yearbook
• Various yearbooks from Burke County
• 5 more yearbooks from Mars Hill University for the years 2012 – 2016
• Yearbooks from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for the years 1971 to 2016

New photographs and a yearbook from Benson Museum now online

1963 New Hope High School yearbook available

Most recent Mars Hill University yearbooks now available

UNC School of the Arts yearbooks are here

Yearbooks offer a glimpse of student life in Burke County

Montgomery Times Newspaper Online

The Montgomery Times newspaper from Maryland is now available at the digital archive of the Montgomery County Public Library’s website. This newspaper was a local African newspaper for the area. It began publication in 1992 and was combined with the Prince Georges Times in 1999. The paper ran until 2002. The first seven years of the newspaper are available online,and that would be for the years from 1992 until 1999.

Montgomery County Public Libraries Announces Digital Collection of Local African American Newspaper

New Website for Georgia Newspapers

The Digital Library of Georgia has launched a brand-new website that features historic newspapers from around the state. The newspapers are full text searchable and they can be browsed by date and title.

Some new features include essays about publishing history of various newspaper titles, browsing by region, and browsing by types. The types would include community papers, papers of record, African-American papers, religious papers, school papers, and Native American papers.

All previously digitized newspapers will eventually be incorporated into the new platform.

New website devoted to Georgia historic newspapers available from the Digital Library of Georgia.

Library and Archives Canada Update on Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files

The Library and Archives Canada has released their monthly report about the digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files. They are now up to the name Pilkey P-I-L-K-E-Y.

These service files are for soldiers of the First World War. They are digitizing the files basically in alphabetical order.

They are now 72% complete and on schedule to have the whole project completed by November 2018.

Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files – Update of July 2017

Canadian Gravemarker Gallery Website Closing

The creator and webmaster of the Canadian Gravemarker Gallery website has decided to retire. All the photos that were on this website will continue to be available at the CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project website.

There are over 2 million photos of Canadian cemeteries that were taken by volunteers across the country over the last 20 years. They will slowly be moved over to the CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project webstie. You can check their blog or Facebook page to find out the status of the photos.

Starting on July 31st if you go to website you will be redirected to the website for the CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project

Canadian Gravemarker Gallery to close, but photos will be preserved

BAnQ Postcards from Montréal

The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) has received a collection of postcards that depict scenes of Montréal from the late 19th century to the 1960s. The postcards not only show tourist attractions and architecture but they also show scenes of everyday life in Montréal.

The postcards will be processed and digitized and will gradually be made available online.

BAnQ acquires 7,000 historic Montreal postcards

Australian Photo Review on Trove

The magazine the Australian Photo Review is now available online at Trove. Trove is the website for the National Library of Australia.

The first edition of the magazine was published in January 1894. The magazine contains practical advice on technical processes, descriptions from the latest meetings of the Australian photographic societies and examples of contemporary work.

The last issue appeared in 1956. All issues have been digitized and they are fully searchable.


Finland to Digitize Archive

The government in Finland plans to digitize its document archive by 2030. In the future it will only accept digital formats. Once the documents have been digitized the original ones will be destroyed.

This should save the government millions of euros and make the information easier to access. Searchers are much easier in a digital format and artificial intelligence can be used to make new connections from the material.

Finnish government scraps paper and digitises archives

Family Tree Webinars Bonus Content

Family Tree Webinars has announced a subscriber summer spectacular. They already have members only content but this summer they will have full in-depth series for members. There will be five series that will be released every two weeks throughout the summer.

Available now are four classes from archivist Melissa Barker about researching in archives. Also available are five classes from Blaine Bettinger on DNA. Then there will be five classes about Texas from Teri Flack.

There will be three classes about the census from Amie Bowser Tenant. Then there will be six classes about photo restoration with Eric Basir. And the last set of classes will be five classes about the Revolutionary war with Craig Scott.

The 2017 Webinar Subscriber Summer Spectacular!

FGS Webinars

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) will be having a webinar the third Thursday of each month at 8PM Eastern. They are calling this their Society Management webinar series and the first one will be on July 20th. The first webinar will be a presentation by Fred Moss about the open death record initiative. Fred Moss is a member of the Records Preservation and Access Committee.

The August session will feature David Rencher, the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySerch. He will be talking about the nominating committee.

FGS Announces Webinar Series on Society Management

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr Celebrities Announced for Season 3

The PBS show “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.” will be staring its third season on October 3rd. The guest celebrities who will be finding about their family trees include Aziz Ansari, Scarlett Johansson, Larry David, Garrison Keillor, Amy Schumer, Ted Danson, William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen, Ana Navarro, Christopher Walken, Ava DuVernay, Bryant Gumbel and others.

PBS Announces a New Star-Studded Season of Finding Your Roots

Be sure to check out the calendar at for webinars coming up. And while you’re there consider making a donation to help defray the costs of the podcast.

The calendar also has all the Google Hangouts that are scheduled, events going on in Second Life, and online events that you pay for.

And that’s it for this episode.

You can send email to

You can find links to things mentioned in this show in the show notes at as well as a transcript. The transcript can also be found in the Geneatopia Flipboard magazine and you can find the recording on YouTube.

This is episode 105.

Thanks for listening.

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