Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia
I’m Patty Roy, also known as Dinah Larkham in Second Life.
Today is Saturday April 21, 2018 and this is Episode 116.
The last genealogy news podcast was about RootsTech and
it’s been over 2 months since the I did a general news podcast. So for this podcast I will just go over the most important things that have happened since the last general news podcast. I’ll put in the show notes all the links to the record updates at FamilySearch, Findmypast, Ancestry, MyHeritage and DigitalNC. I won’t be mentioning all the record collection updates.
And now for the news.
Ancestry Names Margo Georgiadis Chief Executive Officer
Ancestry has announced who the new CEO will be. It’s Margo Georgiadis. She has been CEO of Mattel, the toy company, since February 2017. Before that she was a Google executive.
A new CEO at Mattel will take over April 26 with Ms. Georgiadis in an advisory role until May 10. She will take over as CEO at Ancestry on May 10.
Howard Hochhauser has been interim CEO since 2017. He will now return to his role as Ancestry’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer.
The previous CEO was Tim Sullivan. He stepped down from that position on October 1, 2017 and became chairman of the Board of Directors at Ancestry. He had been the CEO for 12 years.
The reason for this was to find a new CEO who could lead the company during an initial public offering (IPO). Ancestry had previously said that it will be releasing public information about its business and financial information for the IPO when a new CEO is in place.
Ancestry to Scan and Index Pension Files for RFC/RAF
Ancestry will be undertaking a project to digitize the pension files for those who served in the RFC and RAF during the First World War. The Royal Flying Corp was the air arm of the British army and the Royal Air Force was formed during the end of the First World War.
There are approximately 8 million records that will be scanned and indexed. These may be the only records of an individual’s war service and may contain some detailed information about their service.
The records are held by the Western Front Association (WFA). The agreement with Ancestry will provide income to WFA from the records for ten years. Members of the WFA will have free access to these records from the WFA website. The rest of us will need an Ancestry subscription to access the records.
23andMe New Trait’s Reports and Expanded Ancestry Composition
23andMe has a new trait’s reports. These reports tell you about the genetics behind your traits such as statistical predictions about the color of your eyes, if you have dimples, or your taste preferences.
There are new colorful designs, new visuals to show results, it compares your predicted result with your actual trait, and expanded content that explains more about the trait.
The traits are based on 100 people who are research participants with the same genetic result as you. The report displays percentages about how likely you have or have not that trait such as if you can detect bitter tastes.
There is another new section where you can answer some questions about your likes and dislikes. Then it will tell you how you match up with others who share the same opinions.
All of these trait reports come from people who participated in surveys. 23andMe used that information to discover brand-new genetic associations that are used try to determine your traits.
23andMe will be updating the Ancestry Composition report in the coming months. The report includes 120 more geographic regions. These additional regions will allow people to learn more about their genetic origins.
There are improvements to the map to see your ancestry composition. Some of the populations on the map have been relabeled for accuracy and better understanding.
The press release lists all the additional regions and I’ll have link in the show notes to it so you can see the new regions, 120 is too many to list here.
MyHertiage DNA Quest Goes Global
You may remember from RootsTech that MyHeritage announced DNA Quest. This is the project to give away 15,000 DNA kits to those who were involved in adoption in the United States. That would be people who were adopted or who gave up a child for adoption. About 10,000 people have applied to receive a free kit.
MyHeritage has opened up this initiative to anyone in the world. They have 5,000 more DNA kits to give away. The deadline to apply is April 30th.
MyHeritage Easier Navigation for DNA Matches and Improvement to the Chromosome Browser
Based on feedback that MyHeritage received at RootsTech, they have made some changes to make navigating the list of DNA matches easier. MyHeritage recent improvements made to DNA matching means that there are many more matches to go through.
Now you can enter the page number in the match list that you want displayed. You no longer have to click through the pages one by one.
You can now increase the number of matches that appear on each page. Originally only 10 were displayed. Now you can select 25 or 50 to be displayed. If you want you can export the entire list of DNA matches to review them externally in any software you like.
Distant matches are now listed as “3rd cousin – distant cousins.” Previous it said “3rd cousin – 5th cousin” which may have led you to believe that match was closer than it was.
The new one-to-many chromosome browser that was announced at RootsTech has had some improvements made to it.
The DNA matches that you are comparing in the chromosome browser will remain docked at the top of the page so you will now what color is associated with each person. You can easily remove matches that have been chosen for comparison from the ones docked at the top of the page.
Now you can review and contact DNA matches from the chromosome browser.
On the DNA match review page you will see an indicator for shared DNA matches who have triangulated segments with you and the DNA match you are reviewing. A triangulated segment is a shared DNA segment between you and your match which means you probably share a common ancestor and you both inherited that same segment from that ancestor.
MyHeritage Announces Customer Support 24/7
MyHeritage has announced that they will be providing customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are 138 full-time employees that will be taking phone calls and handling support questions via email. The support team has been doubled in size in the past 6 months. The support team speaks 18 languages.
The online Help Center has been improved and now works on mobile devices. The help center allows you to enter a question and then list articles with the potential answer. It is able to help people 87% of the time.
MyHeritage is looking into an online chat service.
New Features to the MyHeritage Mobile App
There are some new features that have been added to the MyHeritage mobile app. There is now an inbox that can be used to communicate with other members of MyHeritage using email-based messaging.
Another new feature is the scanner. You can scan old photographs or historical documents directly into you family site at MyHeritage using your smartphone.
Newberry Library Digital Collections Are Available For Anyone to Use
The Newberry Library in Chicago has announced that its digital collections are available to anyone for any lawful purpose, whether commercial or non-commercial, without licensing or permission fees to the library.
The user still remains responsible for determining whether material is in the public domain, whether it is protected by copyright law or other restrictions, or whether a particular activity constitutes fair use. They will just not have to pay or request permission from the Newberry Library to use it.
Some of the collections at the Newberry Library include Chicago and the Midwest, French Revolution Pamphlets, German-American birth and baptismal certificates, and lots more.
The new changes in policy is meant to encourage users to use the collection more often.
The Newberry Library website is also the home of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries where you can track boundaries as they changed over the years for all 50 of the United States and the District of Columbia.
Ohio Digital Network Available at DPLA
The Ohio Digital Network is now available at the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). There are wartime propaganda posters, oral histories from the 1970 Kent State shooting, and John Audubon’s bird illustrations as well as many more items about life in Ohio.
African American Civil War Soldiers Website
There is a new website for crowdsourcing to transcribe military records of African American soldiers who fought for their freedom in the American Civil War. There were about 200,000 soldiers who formed the United States Colored Troops.
The documents to be transcribed were mostly handwritten. Each record will be transcribed multiple times to ensure accuracy.
There are drop-down menus to make it easy for volunteers to identify historic locations and other information that is contained in the records. And there is a field guide about 19th century handwriting and the historical context. A discussion forum can be used to compare notes and tell others about interesting findings.
The transcribed documents will be made freely available at the African American Civil War Museum website.
World War II Research and Writing Center
There is new website called the World War II Research and Writing Center. It was created by a well-known World War II researcher Jennifer Holik.
Course are offered at the website. These are scheduled throughout the year. Currently four courses are offered, they are
Finding the Answers in the Individual Deceased Personnel File
Finding the Answers: World War II Research Online
Finding the Answers: Starting World War II Research
Finding the Answers through Word War II Writing
The costs for each course ranges from $45 to $300.
Vintage Postcards from Tacoma’s Historic Parks Available Online
More than 500 images of vintage postcards from Tacoma, Washington have been placed online. The postcards are pictures of Tacoma’s historic parks.
The postcards were collected by someone who was interested in how things looked when they were in junior high school. He bought his first postcard on eBay and then later continued to look for postcards online and at antique shows and stores, and through private collectors. The postcards for Tacoma parks were sold to Metro Parks and now they have been digitized and are being made available to the public for free.
The postcards are available on the Metro Park’s Tacoma website.
Digital Archive of People From Early Spanish Florida
There is a new digital archive about the people from early Spanish Florida. It’s called La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archive of the Americas.
The archive was created by professors and students at the University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg. They spent years going over original documents, maps, and images to chronicle the distant lives and events related to the first settlers of Florida. They traveled to Spain to obtain and study original archival records related to these settlers.
The site is arranged into four categories.
1. Exhibits. These are interactive, digital exhibits that explore colonial Florida history. There are more than 6,000 parish records available starting in 1594.
2. People. This is a searchable biographical database about people who lived in Florida between the 16th and 19th centuries.
3. Mapping. These are interactive maps for Florida that show insights and the history of towns and structures.
4. Florida Stories. There are videos and posts about men, women, and events in Florida’s Colonial period.
La Florida is a dynamic site with new content being added regularly.
Maryland State Archives Announces African-American Genealogy Guide
The Maryland State Archives has a new guide to Researching African American Families at the Maryland State Archives. Print copies are available at the Archives and you an access an online version. I’ll have a link in the show notes where you can get a copy.
This guide is beneficial for anyone researching African Americans.
Mystic Seaport Creates Whaling History Website
Mystic Seaport, in partnership with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, has created a comprehensive whaling history database at WhalingHistory.org. It is meant to serve as one place to go to find out about whaling history.
The website consists of three databases – the American Offshore Whaling Voyage (AOWV) database that contains information about all known American offshore whaling voyages from the 1700s to the 1920s, the American Offshore Whaling Log database which includes information from logbooks from American offshore whaling voyages between 1784 and 1920, and an extensive whaling crew list database from the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
The next phase will be to link other collections to the database that are found at other institutions.
1771 Massachusetts Tax Inventory Database Online
Harvard University has created and placed online a database called the 1771 Massachusetts Tax Inventory. It is searchable by name and you can also find statistics for certain towns and other information that is found in the tax records.
Other information includes the type and value of real estate and buildings, as well as tabulation of livestock and farm commodities produced.
There is an interactive map that helps you locate towns and counties in the state. The map is based on a 1792 map from the Harvard University map collection. The interactive map requires the Flash plug-in.
More Congregational Church to be Digitized
The records of the Congregational Church from 1630 to 1800 are being put online by the Boston-based Congregational Library and Archives Hidden Histories project. They have received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize the records and place them online.
Church records from 1630 to 1800 will be placed online for free for anyone to use. Some records are already online. Those are from 40 churches mostly from Massachusetts.
The grant will place additional 18,000 records online and transcribe 7,000 of them. Churches from outside of Massachusetts will be added, that would be other states from New England.
The first Colonial settlers were Congregationalists. During that time if people had a disagreement they went to the minister not a court. The minister would record what went on and this is part of the church records.
Library of Congress Adds Irish-American Resources
The Library of Congress has added to its website a guide to Irish American resources at the Library of Congress. The guide lists a variety of formats that can be explored including audio recordings of interviews and music, photographs, and historic newspaper articles. It also lists freely-available online resources from the Library of Congress’s collections and selected online resources from sites outside of the Library of Congress. Additional materials such as printed books and subscription databases are available onsite at the Library of Congress and through other libraries.
The Library of Congress has also added new images to the Free to Use and Reuse archive. Items placed in that archive have no known copyright restrictions. New content has been added that is related to Irish Americans.
Digital Library of Georgia Adds Content from Spelman and Morehouse Colleges
The Digital Library of Georgia has added catalogs from Spelman College. These contain information on degree programs, policies and procedures, fees and administrative issues, academic course offerings, faculty, staff and board members.
Spelman College yearbooks have been added for the years 1951 – 2007.
Yearbooks from Morehouse college have also been added for the years 1923 – 2013.
Digital Library of Georgia Adds College Newspaper Red and Black
The Digital Library of Georgia has added the University of Georgia’s newspaper called the Red and Black. The Red and Black is an independent publication and it is the most widely circulated college newspaper in Georgia.
The archives of this newspaper provide a record of student life and athletics at the University of Georgia. They also are a resource for researchers and scholars looking for insights into student’s perspective on important issues of the time.
CSUN Student Newspaper Digitized
California State University Northbridge (CSUN) has digitized all issues of its campus newspaper The Sundial. The issues span from its inception as part of Valley State College in 1957 through the current year.
Connecticut State Library Announces 25 Historic Newspaper Titles to be Digitized
The Connecticut State Library has announced that it has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Twenty-five newspaper titles been selected to be digitized and made freely available online at the Library of Congress Chronicling America website.
The following newspapers will be digitized:
New Britain Herald 1920-1930
Connecticut Western News 1871-1922
Tolland County Press and The Press from Stafford Springs 1883-1922
Italian language papers from 1906-1930
African American papers from 1940-1949
and Labor papers from 1836-1932
These newspapers should be available by Fall 2019.
Ontario Genealogical Society and NextGen Genealogy Network Announce Partnership
The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) and NextGen Genealogy Network (NGGN) have announced a new partnership. OGS is Canada’s largest member supported geological organization. NGGN is a United States organization created as a community for young genealogist.
OGS will provide NGGN with financial support, together with promotional support in the OGS weekly online newsletter, and together with an information on the OGS website.
OGS hopes that supporting NextGen will encourage younger people to become more actively involved in genealogy and get involved in traditional societies.
LAC Monthly Report on the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files
The Library and Archives Canada continues digitizing the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files. They are now up to the name Venables. – V E N A B L E S.
These service files are for soldiers of the First World War. They are digitizing the files basically in alphabetical order.
They are now 91% complete. They want to be completed by November 2018 which is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. At the current rate of digitization, they will have this collection completed by the beginning of September 2018. Two months ahead of schedule.
Library and Archives Canada Introduces Co-Lab
The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has introduced something called Co-Lab. This is a crowdsourced initiative to get the public to help transcribe, add keywords and image tags, provide translations and add descriptions to images. This will make the content more searchable and easier to discover.
When you are searching for things at the LAC website you will have the opportunity to use Co-Lab to enter some information about what you found.
Every so often LAC will launch challenges. These will revolve around a theme.
If you create an account, you will be able to keep track of your contribution history and hear about new challenges and updates to Co-Lab.
Library and Archives Canada and Ottawa Public Library New Facility
The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Ottawa Public Library will be sharing a new facility that will be built close to the existing LAC. The budget includes 73 million for construction for the new building.
It will be a four-story building with 61% devoted to library and 39% for Library and Archives Canada. Shared amenities will include the entrance plaza, meeting rooms, outdoor programming space, an exhibition gallery and a genealogy center.
Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and Canadiana.org are Merging
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and Canadiana.org are merging. The merger took place as of April 1. The two organizations will be under the leadership of CRKN. The hope is that the organizations will be stronger together.
CRKN will continue licensing activities for scholarly journal content and expand support for digitization, access and preservation of Canadian heritage content through the services of Canadiana. The merger will expand and accelerate Canadiana services and programs with digitized documentary heritage about Canada.
Canadiana is subscription site that costs $13 a month or $120 for the year. The site has monographs, periodicals, annuals, federal government publications, colonial government publications and newspapers to 1926.
Old Toronto Photos Sidewalk Lab
Photos from the City of Toronto Archives have been used to create a map with the photos that can show how Toronto used to be starting from 1850s. Clicking a photo on the map will show information about the photo, including the title, date, condition and any copyright restrictions.
You can search by address or by name of a street, building or business.
There are over 30,000 historic photos on the map.
There are other photo maps similar to this for San Francisco and New York.
World War One Thunder Bay Centennial Project
A new website for the World War One Thunder Bay Centennial Project features historical wartime documents and other items from a number of community organizations. Thunder Bay is a city on Lake Superior, in northwestern Ontario, Canada.
The Thunder Bay Public Library and its partners have been working on this project since 2014 and the new website has recently been launched for it. At the website, you will find letters from the war, the death notices and even some attestation papers from when the soldiers signed up.
New Brunswick Opens Sealed Adoption Records
Adoptees and birthparents who have had a child placed for adoption in New Brunswick will now be able to access previously sealed documents. The information will only be released when the adoptee has reached the majority.
Also adult children of a deceased adult adoptee and adult children of a deceased birth parent whose child was placed for adoption can also access the records.
PRDH has a new Web Address
The PRDH is a directory of all vital events (baptisms, marriages and burials) celebrated by the Catholic church in Quebec and French Canada from 1621 to 1849. The PRDH has a new web address. The old address will automatically direct to the new address.
The change does not affect the content for the old address since automatic redirection will take you to the new address. The old links will still function and the automatic redirection will bring you to the correct page.
Genealogy Quebec Adds Planet Genealogy
Recently the Drouin Institute acquired Planet Genealogy. Documents from that website have now been added to Genealogy Quebec, a subscription website.
Over 34,000 baptism, marriage and burial files have been added to the Kardex tool. Files produced by René Jetté during the creation of his famous book “Dictionnaire Jetté” were added. And they have added images of parish registers from Ste-Louise-de-Marillac de Montréal (1951-2016) as well as St-Barthélémy (1940-2010).
Genealogical Publishing Company Subscription Plans
The Genealogical Publishing Company has some subscription plans where you pay a monthly or yearly fee to access e-books about a certain topic. The Irish and America plan contains 42 books and costs $10 per month or $120 per year. The Scots and America has 57 books for the same price.
Other subscriptions include 34 books in Genealogy at Glance. This cost $2.50 per month or $25 per year. Getting Started with Genealogy contains 24 books and costs $7.50 per month or $75 per year.
Irish Genealogical Research Society Adds Death Entries
The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added 7,500 death entries from newspapers published between 1740 and 1810 to its database. Civil registration for deaths did not begin until 1864 in Ireland. These entries from newspapers may be the only record of someone’s death.
Non-members can search the index by surname. Members have access to the entire database. Membership costs $30 per year.
Biography of Swedish Women
The Biography of Swedish Women was launched on International Women’s day. It contains information about 1,000 women with another 1,000 to be added soon. Each woman has made important contributions to Swedish society, from the Middle Ages to the present.
The project started over two years ago with almost 400 experts led by a team of researchers at the University of Gothenburg.
The Biography of Swedish Women is online and is available for free in both Swedish and English.
Personal Historian 3
RootsMagic has released Personal Historian 3. This program helps you write the story of your life and other individuals.
Personal Historian creates an interactive timeline of a person’s life to help you keep the stories organized and give context to events. Then the stories can be compiled into a finished book with a table of contents, chapters, pictures and indexes.
Personal Historian 3 has the ability to download a copy of all your Facebook posts, places, pictures, family, and even comments right into the program. You can even print and publish a book from your Facebook feed.
Many people have used the program to write stories of many of their ancestors and sometimes the stories apply to more than one ancestor. Now Personal Historian allows you to import stories, pictures, people, places, and categories from one file to another to make it easier to share and combine histories.
The LifeCapsule feature consists of sets of events, timelines, and memory triggers to give context to your stories. Now you can add your own for any subject you like.
Personal Historian 3 has many more enhancements, features, and fixes that have been requested by users.
Genealogy Gems Premium Membership Now Comes with Premium eLearning
Genealogy Gems Premium members now have access to some DNA tutorial videos from Diahan Southard. The tutorial series is organized into four categories – general, autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA and Y DNA.
There is a guide book to go along with the all the videos that come with premium membership. It contains show notes from the first 100 episodes of the premium podcast with an index by topic. And the guide book contains all the handouts for the premium videos. The guide book costs $29.95. Premium membership costs $50 per year.
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Speakers 2018 Conference
The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa has announced the program and speakers for their 2018 conference that will be held September 28 to 30, 2018 at Ben Franklin Place in Ottawa.
Bruce Durie will present many sessions about Scottish genealogy and Diahan Southard will present many sessions about DNA. Other speakers include Sam Allison, Leanne Cooper, Sadie de Finney, Mark Olsen, Lynn Palermo, Shirley-Anne Pyefinch, and Linda Reid.
NGS Live Stream at 2018 Conference
The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has announced the schedule for the live stream during their 2018 conference that will held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on May 2 – 5.
On May 3rd, the live stream lectures will focus on DNA’s role in supplementing genealogical research. Two other talks will discuss African American and Loyalist research.
On May 4th, the live stream lectures will be by the Board for Cerification of Genealogists (BCG). Those lectures will emphasize research, analysis, and problem-solving skills.
The cost is $95 for one day or $149 for both days.
I4GG Videos Available for Purchase
The 2017 International Genetic Genealogy Conference was held in December. The videos from the conference are now available for purchase. There are 21 lectures given by some of the top genetic genealogy experts. The cost is $99 for all of them or $10 each and you get access to the videos on Vimeo.
Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2018 Videos Uploaded to YouTube
Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2018 was recently held in Belfast and the video lectures are now available on their YouTube channel. The sound quality this year is better than in previous years since there was a dedicated room for the presentations. Other years the lectures were given in the main exhibition hall and you could hear the background noise in the videos.
National Records of Scotland Podcasts
The National Records of Scotland has started a new podcast. It’s called Open Book and it will be a series of talks and discussions dedicated to preserving Scotland’s past, recording the present and informing on the future.
So far there are four episodes. They are about the poet Robert Burns, what real people found in the archives to inspire their writing, what’s in the archive about St. Kilda, some islands off the coast of Scotland, and the Football club that was founded in Edinburgh.
Be sure to check out the calendar at Geneatopia.com for the webinars coming up.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 116.
Thanks for listening.