Genealogy News Episode 122

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Monday September 17, 2018 and this is Episode 122.

23andMe vs.

Last May 23andMe filed a lawsuit against The suit accuses of infringing on a 23andMe’s patent which is for DNA kits that identify a person’s relatives who share parts of their DNA and there were some other accusations.

This case has been heard in court and the judge decided that the 23andMe patent is invalid. That means that Ancestry can continue to show the common ancestors between DNA matches.

The parts of the case where 23andMe claims that the word ancestry has become a generic term when talking about DNA testing making the Ancestry trademark invalid is still to be decided.

Ancestry Gets 23andMe Patent Killed, But TM Claims Survive

AncestryDNA Ethnicity Changes

AncestryDNA has updated their ethnicity estimates. The reference population used to calculate the estimates has been increased. These mostly came from AncestryDNA test takers who opted in to research.

The number of regions tested has increased from 353 to 380. That means that you will see a finer breakdown such Swedish or Norwegian instead of Scandinavia. And Western Europe will be distinguished by France and Germany. Asia East will be broken down into six regions: Japan; Korea and Northern China; China; Southeast Asia—Dai (Tai); Southeast Asia—Vietnam;  and Philippines.

The way the DNA is analyzed has also changed. Instead of comparing small chunks of DNA, the new way looks at longer stretches of DNA. This means that you will not be seeing some obscure small percentages. These small percentages were low confidence regions and they are now eliminated.

People who get their results back will only see the new results. Those who had previously tested will have the option to view the old results as well as the new results.

Existing customer will be asked the following questions before they can view the new estimates.

Do you expect your ethnicity estimate to change as DNA science improves?
Which changes would you expect?
How did your original estimate match what you know about your family?

These new estimates effect the percentages shown for ethnicity. It does not change the DNA matches.

Powered by the World’s Largest Consumer DNA Network, Ancestry Unveils More Detailed and Precise Ethnicity Estimates Than Ever Before

DNA Match Labeling Chrome Extension

There is a new Chrome extension to help you organize your AncestryDNA results. It’s called DNA Match Labeling. After the extension is installed you can assign up to eight colored circles for different labels. You may want to label each color for a certain branch in the family.

Then you can assign a color to your matches. This will make it visually easy to see which matches belong to which family line. You cannot sort by color or search by color.

The setup for entering labels for the different colors will always appear at the top of the page for your DNA matches.

AncestryDNA lets you star your matches for easy access to remember which ones are important to you. With the extension installed there will be an empty circle underneath the star. Clicking the circle will let you select a color for that match.

The circle or dot is used by AncestryDNA to signal that the match is new. This is a blue dot next to the match. That will still appear. The circle from the extension will be displayed below the blue dot.

This Chrome extension was created by well-known genetic genealogist Blaine Bettinger who worked with a programmer to build the extension.

Introducing “DNA Match Labeling” – A Sorting Mechanism for AncestryDNA Matches!

Reclaim the Records New York State Birth Index, 1881-1942

Reclaim the Records is placing the New York State Birth Index, 1881-1942, at the Internet Archive for everyone to access. Their Freedom of Information request to the New York Department of Health has been fulfilled.

The birth index is sorted by year, then alphabetically by surname. The town of birth and the certificate number can be found in the index. Then with that information you can order the birth certificate.

This is an index for New York state which does not include New York City. The cities of Albany, Buffalo and Yonkers are not included in the index until 1914 or 1915 when they decided to register births at the state level.

This index can also be found at Ancestry. Reclaim the Records is suing the New York State Department of Health over preferential treatment to If you want more information about that you can find it in Episode 119.

Reclaim The Records wins the New York State Birth Index, 1881-1942

RootsWeb Pages Available Once Again

You may remember back in December 2017 there was a security breach at RootsWeb. RootsWeb is a site where you can create a website and many genealogical societies did this. You can also view previous posts made to the forums, subscribe to mailing lists and find other resources at RootsWeb.

As a result of the security breach, Ancestry, which owns RootsWeb, took the site down. They have been slowly restoring it.

They have recently announced that all homepages and free pages have been restored. Most of the old URLs work but there is a new way to access the pages. The old URLs will redirect to the new versions, you may use which ever one you wish.

You can also use https if you prefer at the beginning of the new URLs. This is the secure way to access web pages. If you use http, without the s, Google will flag it as insecure. Https will not work for the old URLs.

Homepages and Freepages URLs Are Working Again

MyHeritage DNA Now Accepts 23andMe v5 and Living DNA Uploads

MyHeritage DNA now accepts uploads from Living DNA and those who have recently tested with 23andMe using the v5 chip. MyHeritage DNA also supports data uploads from all major DNA testing services, including Ancestry, 23andMe (prior to V5) and Family Tree DNA (Family Finder).

Uploading your data to MyHeritage will allow you to receive DNA matches at MyHeritage and their ethnicity estimates as well as use of the chromosome browser for free.

If you upload after December 1, 2018, you will no longer get ethnicity estimates and use of the chromosome browser for free. If you upload before December 1st you will continue to enjoy the free DNA features after that time. In other words you are grandfathered in. MyHeritage will be announcing soon how much it will cost to get all the DNA features after December 1st.

New: MyHeritage supports 23andMe v5 and Living DNA uploads

MyHeritage Partners with WHSmith

MyHeritage has partnered with retail store WHSmith to sell DNA kits. WHSmith is a retail and online store in the UK. It has over 600 stores on the high street. Many cities and towns have a street named High street which is the primary business street for that town or city.

WHSmith will be selling something called MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kit. This bundles a MyHeritage DNA kit with 3 months access to MyHeritage’s suite of online genealogy services.

They are hoping many people will buy this as a Christmas gift this year.

MyHeritage Partners with British Retailer WHSmith to Distribute DNA Kits

More new records at FamilySearch

New indexed records and images collection
Virginia, Birth Certificates, 1912-1913
Virginia, Divorce Records, 1918-1988

These collections are new indexed record collections
Arkansas, Sevier County, Birth Records, 1914-1923
England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957
France, Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, Church Records, 1539-1793
France, Yonne, Military Records, War of 1870
Michigan Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880
Michigan, County Births, 1867-1917
United States, Border Crossings from Canada to United States, 1894-1954
United States, World War I American Expeditionary Forces Deaths, 1917-1919
Virginia, Lynchburg, Diuguid Funeral Home records, 1820-1971

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Argentina, Santa Fe, Catholic Church Records, 1634-1975
Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912
Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Civil Registration, 1829-2012
Brazil, Santa Catarina, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1977
California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994
Chile, Civil Registration, 1885-1932
England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004
France, Finistère, Quimper et Léon Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1772-1894
France, Saône-et-Loire, Censuses, 1836
Illinois, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1998
Illinois, Macon County, Decatur Public Library Collections, 1879-2007
Liberia, Marriage Records, 1912-2015
Louisiana, Orleans Parish Vital Records, 1900-1964
Massachusetts, Revolutionary War, Index Cards to Muster Rolls, 1775-1783
Mexico, Sinaloa, Civil Registration, 1861-1929
Missouri, Jackson County Voter Registration Records, 1928-1956
Montana, Meagher County Records, 1866-2012
Netherlands, Noord-Holland, Civil Registration, 1811-1950
Ohio Probate Records, 1789-1996
Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977
Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1939-1999
Peru, Áncash, Civil Registration, 1888-2005
Peru, Puno, Civil Registration, 1890-2005
South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958
Spain, Soldier Personal Service Files, 1835-1940
Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935
Texas, Bexar County, San Antonio Cemetery Records, 1893-2007
Texas, Houston, Historic Hollywood Cemetery Records, 1895-2008
Virginia, Marriage Certificates, 1936-1988

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
BillionGraves Index
Virginia, Death Certificates, 1912-1987

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of August 28, 2018

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of September 10, 2018

Findmypast Releases Indexed Electoral Registers

Findmypast has announced that they now have nearly 53 million indexed electoral registers covering the 1920s and 1930s for England and Wales. Electoral registers are listings of all those registered to vote in a particular area.

The lists were created annually so you can find the same person multiple times.

These registers will enable family historians to trace ancestors between the 1911 census for England and Wales and the 1939 register. These are available at Findmypast.

The new collection called England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1920-1932 was created by reprocessing the original documents to improve image quality. And they developed a new process for picking out individual names, so the search index is very accurate.

Findmypast Announces Release of Over 53 Million Indexed Electoral Registers

More New Records at Findmypast

Findmypast has added more records to its Yorkshire baptisms and burial collections.

They have added more memorial inscriptions for Montgomeryshire, Wales, Kent, Folkestone Cheriton Road Cemetery and from gravestones, tombs, and monuments in Dorset.

They have added some records about the Second World War for those who lived on the island of Jersey during this time.

There have been some new records added for Scotland. They’ve added the following collections:

• Scotland, Edinburgh Temperance Pledges 1886-1908

• Scotland, Berwickshire, Ladykirk Heads of Household 1811

• Scotland, Edinburgh St Cuthbert’s Census 1790

• Scotland, Perthshire, Inhabitants of the Burgh of Perth 1766

• Scotland, Shetland, Tingwall List of Inhabitants 1785

And they have continued to add more pages to the existing newspapers to the British & Irish Newspapers.

Findmypast Friday August 31st

Findmypast Friday September 7th

Findmypast Friday September 14th

University of California, Santa Cruz Digitizes Historic Photographs

The University of California, Santa Cruz has partnered with the California Digital Library to digitize thousands of historical photographs. They document the people, landscape, and politics of California in the mid-20th century.

There are over 6,000 photographs that have been placed online for anyone to view. The University of California, Santa Cruz holds the copyright for all the images.

Library digitizes over 6,000 photos from Pirkle Jones/Ruth-Marion Baruch collection

South Carolina State Library Digitizing Federal Civil War Documents

The South Carolina State Library is digitizing Federal Civil War documents. The documents are from the Colin J. McRae Papers, Huse Audit Series. Huse was a Confederate purchasing agent for the breakaway states’ Ordinance Department in Britain.

The collection contains original invoices and correspondences that list goods and services purchased from England by the Confederate military. Colin J. McRae was the chief financial agent for the Confederate government and audited Huse to ensure he was not committing fraud while spending the Confederacy’s money in Britain.

About half the collection has been digitized. The digitized documents can be found at the South Carolina Digital Library.

Digitizing Federal Civil War Documents

Digital Library of Georgia Adds African American Monthly Teacher Reports

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) has placed online monthly teacher reports from African American rural and city schools operating from 1930 to 1939 in Laurens County, Georgia. A total of 58 schools have been digitized.

The monthly reports were created by individual teachers and submitted to the Laurens County Superintendent. The reports list student names, age, grade and attendance for the month. Some of the reports show teacher salaries, addresses, and other information.

Monthly teacher reports from African American rural and city schools operating during the 1930s in Laurens County, Georgia now available online

Milledgeville State Hospital Record Book Available at the Digital Library of Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia has also added the Milledgeville State Hospital Alumna Association record book. It contains records of the graduation classes of the Nursing School over 37 years.

The hospital was known as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum; the Georgia State Sanitarium; and the Central State Hospital. It closed in 2010.

Newly digitized Milledgeville State Hospital record book a valuable source of local history

Historic Dalton Scrapbook at Digital Library of Georgia

And an historic scrapbook documenting the history and progress of the city of Dalton has been digitized and added to the Digital Library of Georgia.

Historic Dalton Scrapbook Now Freely Available at Digital Library of Georgia

Additions to DigitalNC

DigitalNC, the online library for institutions across North Carolina, has added some more newspapers to the site.

The first 61 issues of The Laurinburg Exchange have been added. These are from August 1889 to 1926. These are the first issues of the newspaper

Another newspaper that has been added with its first issues is the Richmond Headlight. The years cover 1901 to 1906.

Issues from 1933 to 1940 of The Transylvania Times have been added.

One issue of the Bessemer City Messenger has been added. The issue date is May 25, 1895. This makes it the oldest newspaper that can be found at DigitalNC.

More issues of The Transylvania Times are now available online

The Richmond Headlight Now Digitized and Online at DigitalNC

Rare issue of Bessemer City Messenger now on DigitalNC

The Laurinburg Exchange Now Digitized and Available Online at DigitalNC

The Daily Reveille from Louisiana State University Being Digitized

The Daily Reveille, the student newspaper of Louisiana State University, is almost all digitized for the years 1960 to 1980. This is the first batch of planned digitization. The newspapers will be available online at the Louisiana Digital Library.

About $75,000 additional funding is needed to digitize all the papers.

The Daily Reveille archives to soon be available online

Digital Library of Georgia Update on Newspapers

The Digital Library of Georgia has announced a list of newspapers that it has placed online this past summer. The newspapers can be found at the Digital Library of Georgia’s Georgia Historic Newspaper website.

32 new newspaper titles have been added as well as 18 newspapers that were previously digitized.

Georgia Historic Newspapers Update Summer 2018

Topic Pages at has introduced topic pages. These are free, curated collections of newspaper articles on different subjects. Topic Pages can be used for research or to just find out more about a subject.

The Topic Pages are found in different categories such as black history, famous people, or natural disasters.

Introducing Topic Pages!

Winnipeg Tribune Archive

The Winnipeg Tribune was a newspaper that was published for 90 years. It closed in 1980. Now it has been fully digitized by the University of Manitoba’s archives and special collections and its available online for free. It’s all indexed so you can search to find what you’re looking for.

Defunct Winnipeg Tribune enters digital age

Winnipeg Tribune Archive

PRDH Update

The Drouin Institute has announced a big update to the PRDH. They have added family reconstructions for the years 1825 to 1849. This represents nearly 780,000 individuals that make up almost 95,000 families.

This means the number of individuals in the PRDH database has doubled.

The PRDH started out as a university research project to calculate statistics to study the population of Quebec. They sold subscriptions to genealogists to cover their cost and further research.

You can search by individual to find information about that person and their brothers and sisters. From the family you can continue to click on individuals to find out who was in their family and who their spouse was. There is a link to the original records which is located at the Genealogy Quebec website. This is the website for the Drouin Institute and requires a separate subscription.

To access the records at the PRDH you need a subscription. The subscriptions are hit based which means you pay to access so many records. There is no time limit as to when you can access the records that you paid for.

Massive PRDH-IGD update, now nearly twice as many individuals in the database!

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has added death records for the year 1967. This represents almost 5,000 death records. Due to privacy legislation the death records become available after 50 years. So, 1967 is the latest year the death records can be available.

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick digitizes death certificates for 1967

1926 Census for the Prairie Provinces

The 1926 census of the Prairie Provinces covered Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The census was released to the Library and Archives Canada.

FamilySearch is in the process of indexing the census and once that is completed it will be available. Anyone can participate in FamilySearch indexing. The more people involved with indexing will make the records available sooner.

O, Canada! Help index the 1926 census — at home

TheGenealogist Adds Warwickshire Parish Records

TheGenealogist, a subscription site in the UK, has add 1.5 million more parish records for Warwickshire. There are images and transcripts for the records.

TheGenealogist adds to Warwickshire parish collection

TheGenealogists Release Third Part of The Lloyd George Domesday Survey

TheGenealogist has released the third part of The Lloyd George Domesday Survey. This resource was created from records that were created for the Valuation Office survey. It can be used to see where an ancestor lived in 1910 around the area called Brent. Previously released were the areas of Barnet, Edgware, Finchley, Friern Barnet, Hendon and Totteridge, plus the City of London and Paddington

Beside the street maps there are images of the pages from the accompanying Field Books. These contain detailed information about the property such as the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, and description.

The 1910 Valuation Office Survey of Brent, released online with annotated maps

Letters Seized From Ships to be Digitized

Over 160,000 lost letters that were seized during Britain’s naval wars over three centuries and they will be digitized. The time frame when these letters were written are the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The letters are from about 35,000 ships that were captured by the British navy or privateers. The letters are in many different languages.

Many of the letters remain unopened, some have wax seals. The letters will tell personal stories and information about what was going on during that time such as the development of the colonies, the slave trade and international trade.

Huge historical archive of mail from captured ships to go online

Edinburgh Photographs Online

A collection of photographs about Edinburgh has been placed online at Edinburgh Collected. This is a website where anyone can upload pictures and create online scrapbooks. The website is managed and maintained by Edinburgh Libraries.

The Leith-based Living Memory Association has been collecting old personal and family photographs for over 15 years and they have placed them online at Edinburgh Collected.

Digital Archive Collaboration Will Preserve Edinburgh’s Past

Church of Ireland Parish Registers to be Digitized

A grant has been awarded to digitize the Church of Ireland parish registers. These registers date back to the early 1600s. They have held by the Representative Church Body (RCB) Library in Dublin.

Once the records are digitized they will be indexed and made available at This is a free website run by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

There has been a recent phishing scam where people have received emails to subscribe to the site. It looks like the email came from There is no subscription or signup to use the website.

Church of Ireland parish registers to be digitised

Swedish Newspapers to be Digitized

All the Swedish newspapers in the Royal Library’s collection are going to be digitized over the next four years. The newspapers were published from 1734 to 1906.

In Sweden newspapers over the age of 115 are copyright-free. So, by the time the digitization is finished in four years, the last year available for copyright-free newspapers will be 1906.

In the collection are major newspapers as well as obscure newspapers that came out with a small number of issues.

As the newspapers are digitized they will be placed at the Swedish Newspapers website found at

Now all Swedish newspapers are digitized 1734-1906

RootsTech London 2019 Conference Announced

RootsTech is expanding. They have announced a RootsTech conference that will be held in London, England, October 24 – 26, 2019. The usual winter RootsTech will still be held each year in Salt Lake City, Utah.

RootsTech London will follow the similar format as past RootsTech conferences. There will be more than 150 lectures taught by industry experts, an exhibit hall where vendors from around the world will display family history technology and services, entertainment, and inspirational keynote sessions.

All lectures will be conducted in English. Registration for RootsTech London 2019 will open in February 2019. More information can be found at

RootsTech London 2019 Conference Announced

Ontario Genealogical Society Call for Speakers for 2019 Webinar Series

The Ontario Genealogical Society has put out a call for proposals for its 2019 Webinar series. Some of the topics the society are interested in are


• Technology and Tools

• Research and Methodology

• Organization and Storage of Research, Documents and Heirlooms

• Research in the Country of Origin (i.e. England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France etc.)

• Comparison of Genealogical Websites

• Immigration

• Writing and Publishing Family Research

Speakers may submit up to three proposals. Only those that are chosen will be contacted. Those chosen will receive an honorarium. The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2018.

Call for Speakers: The Ontario Genealogical Society’s 2019 Webinar Series

Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Call For Webinar Proposals

The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society has put out a call for webinar proposals for its 2019 series of webinars. Webinars are held the third Thursday of the month at 8PM Eastern. They are free for everyone to watch live and they are available as a recording to members of the society.

The Society is particularly interested in proposals with content relating to Wisconsin and upper Midwest resources but they encourage proposals on a wide range of topics.

The deadline to submit proposals is October 8th.

WSGS Webinars

Tenth Annual Poetry Challenge

Thanksgiving is coming soon in the US and that means that popular genealogy blogger Bill West will be posting submissions to his poetry challenge. This will be the tenth year that he has done this.

You have until Thursday, November 15th, to submit something. That’s a week before Thanksgiving. The types of things you can submit are a poem written by you or someone else or lyrics to a song. Then explain how the subject of the poem or song relates to your ancestor’s home or life.


Abundant Genealogy on Amazon Echo

Thomas McEntee is a well-known speaker and writer. Each day he posts a links to genealogy-related things that are on sale at and He has just started an Alexa skill for the Amazon Echo called Genealogy Update.

He is going to try to produce a Genealogy Update everyday. In the update he will be mentioning what’s going on related to genealogy and genealogy related bargains. He will also post this on his blog for you to listen to with a written dialog of what he said.

NEW! Listen to Abundant Genealogy on Amazon Echo via Alexa!

Amy Johnson Crow Podcast

Amy Johnson Crow, a well-known genealogist and blogger, has started a podcast. It’s called Generations Café.

It will be about genealogy and family history tips and resources. There will be interviews with other genealogists. Plans are to produce the show weekly.

Generations Café by Amy Johnson Crow

Be sure to check out the calendar at 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

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.

This is episode 122.

Thanks for listening.

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