Genealogy News Episode 86

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Friday July 22, 2016 and this is Episode 86.

Ancestry Second Quarter 2016 Financial Results

Ancestry has released their second quarter 2016 financial results. They continue to be profitable and add new subscribers. This increase is consistent with the last few quarters. Revenue is up 25% year over year.

Subscribers to Ancestry websites are up 2% as compared to last quarter or up 9% as compared to Q2 of 2015. Currently there are 2.4 million subscribers.

The growth is led by DNA followed by the subscriber business.

AncestryDNA has over 2 million samples.

During the second quarter Ancestry added more than 18 billion records. Major additions were

• Netherlands birth, marriage, and death records
• Indiana vital records
• German Lutheran records
• Update to US Yearbooks
• US naturalizations
• Australia WW2 military records

During the earnings conference call there was only one question. Howard Hochhauser, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, seemed to think the strong numbers speak for themselves and it has never been a better time to be an employee at Ancestry or an Ancestry customer. LLC Reports Second Quarter 2016 Financial Results

Ancestry Adds Somerset Records

Ancestry has added lots of records for Somerset, England. There are over 7 million records in 7 new databases. All the records are searchable with links to the original images.

The entire Somerset collection consists of births, deaths, marriages and school admissions covering almost 400 years.

The records came from the South West Heritage Trust located in Taunton.

Somerset to be bowled over by digitisation of millions of historical records

Ancestry Adds Norfolk Records

Ancestry has also added lots of records for Norfolk, England. They’ve added births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials for that area. These records came from the Norfolk Record Office.

Ancestry adds Norfolk parish records

Ancestry Updates LifeStory

Ancestry has updated LifeStory. LifeStory was introduced a year ago to automatically create a time based narrative of the events, sources, and relationships about people in your family. It also has historical insights that give you context about events that have impacted your ancestors lives. After the auto-generated story has been created you can modify it.

Many people have expressed interest in creating their own stories about their ancestors without having anything auto-generated. Now there is an option for each tree on the setting’s page that allows you to enable or disable stories being auto-generated. The default is to automatically build stories for the tree.

Ancestry Product Update: LifeStory Changes

Jay Verkler Appointed Interim CEO at Findmypast

Findmypast has appointed Jay Verkler as interim CEO. He takes over from Annelies van den Belt who has been CEO for the past three years.

Jay Verkler was CEO of FamilySearch from 2002 to 2012. During that time he presided over the first RootsTech conference and oversaw the shift of records stored on microfilm to records stored online. After his time with FamilySearch, Mr. Verkler worked as a consultant for many organizations.

The interim CEO timeframe is for 6 months. After that time a permanent CEO will be named.

Jay Verkler will be responsible to increase records and users for the United States.

Jay Verkler Appointed Interim CEO at Findmypast

Findmypast Adds New Records

Findmypast now has the 1911 Canada census. Plans are to add the other Canadian censuses to the site. All Canadian censuses except the 1921 census are available for free at the Library and Archives Canada’s website.

The 1921 census is available on Ancestry for free for those who live in Canada. Everyone else will need a subscription to Ancestry to access the 1921 Canadian census. Since the census was indexed by Ancestry, the agreement was that it would only be available at the Ancestry website for three years. After that time it will be free like all the other Canadian censuses. That should occur in the Fall of 2017.

Findmypast has added the surviving fragments of the New South Wales 1901 census.

They’ve added over 1.4 million records to its collection of British Army Service records. These records are from The National Archives in the UK. There are all sorts of different types of records that have been added such as pension claims, medical forms, discharge documents, attestation papers, and proceedings of regimental boards.

You can browse the British Army Service Records collection as well as Scotland, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Electoral Registers 1864-1931 and the Britain, and Absent Voters Lists 1918-1921.

Another new collection is the Royal Air Force, Gallantry Awards 1914-1919. It contains information about RAF servicemen who were awarded medals during World War I.

Baptisms, marriages and burials have been added for Northumberland and Durham and burials have been added for Devon.

Memorial inscriptions have been added for Essex. Monumental inscriptions have been added for Aberdeenshire, Banffshire & Kincardineshire in Scotland and Middlesex and Worcestershire in the UK.

These inscriptions are for cemeteries and church graveyards.

Almost 2 million new articles have been added to the British Newspapers collection. This includes 14 new titles.

Findmypast has added United States Naturalization Petitions. There are more than 7.8 million records spanning the years 1905 to 1950. So far there are only four states – Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Over 800,000 US Passport Application records have been added. If the application was after 1914, a photograph of the applicant is included.

PERSI has been updated with more than 18,000 articles from 94 publications.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, July 1, 2016

Over 8.7 million US immigration & travel records available to search this Findmypast Friday

Over 2.2 million new records from across the UK available to search this Findmypast Friday

Findmypast Friday – July 22nd 2016

Family Tree DNA New Features

Family Tree DNA has some new features. You can now automatically assign matches to your mother’s or father’s side even if you didn’t have your parents tested.

For this to work you need to have a tree at Family Tree DNA. You drag a match onto someone in your tree that is related to the matched person. If that person is in your tree you specify self as the relationship because you are dragging the DNA match to the actual person you have in your tree. If the person is not in your tree then you specify the relationship to the person who you dragged the match to on the tree such as son, daughter, sibling, mother, father, or spouse.

There will be a tabs for paternal and maternal matches so you can click the tab and see just those matches. The matches listed on these tabs have a higher threshold to be inclueded there than your list of all matches. Family Tree DNA wants to be positive that these matches belong on the correct side.

Currently this new feature is working VERY SLOWLY and wasn’t working at all for me.

Family Tree DNA Introduces Phased Family Finder Matches

Geni Add DNA to the World Family Tree

Geni and Family Tree DNA have partnered to integrate Family Tree DNA test results into Geni’s World Family Tree. All three DNA test results – Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and autosomal DNA, can be transferred to your Geni profile.

The DNA results can be used to confirm your relationship to individuals and relatives. You can also discover new relatives with DNA matching. All of this should increase the accuracy of the tree.

The DNA results on Geni will not show any marker information or raw data. There are additional settings that will allow users to control the way their DNA information is handled. Geni doesn’t display any DNA results, only matches and haplogroups.

If you are a Geni member, you can purchase DNA tests from Geni’s DNA testing page which will be purchases for a Family Tree DNA test. If you have already tested with Family Tree DNA you can transfer your DNA results to your Geni profile from Family Tree DNA.

Geni Is a division of MyHeritage. The site has one collaborative World Family Tree.

Geni Adds DNA to the World Family Tree

MyHeritage Introduces PedigreeMap

MyHeritage has announced the launch of PedigreeMap. It’s a new way to visualize your family history based on geographic information.

PedigreeMap generates an interactive map based on events in your MyHeritage family tree. Not only does is show places for birth, marriage and death, it also plots locations for images. This lets you see migration paths and places where your ancestors lived. It uses Google Maps.

To access PedigreeMap, you bring up your family tree and then from the Apps menu you click PedigreeTree.

To begin with you see a world map with circles. Each circle has a number that represents how many events are associated with that place. On the left you see a list of places. Clicking on a place will zoom in on the map and list the events associated with the place on the right ordered by date. Or you can click the circle with a number to do the same thing.

As you zoom in on the map you will see more circles with numbers for that particular area to narrow down the places in an area. These circles are orange and they represent a place. The grey circles represent a general area on the map.

If you see little red dots next to a place name, this indicates that there may be a spelling mistake or an inconsistent name. On the right side you can enter the name you want to use and all the events associated with that place with have the name changed. This is a way to do a search and replace for a particular place. You can also change each event individually.

At the bottom of the list on the left side you will see the places that could not be found on the map. This could be misspellings or notes entered in for the place.

When you open a PedigreeMap, the default shows all people. You can narrow down the display by picking a certain person in your tree and then only those ancestors are shown on the map. Once you have selected someone you can than choose to show the immediate family, ancestors, or solo for just that person. The default for a particular person is extended family.

If you select a person high up on your tree you can display on the map their descendants. This enables you to view parts of your tree on the map.

Over to the right there is a funnel icon. Clicking this will bring up ways to filter what is shown on the map. There are sliders to specify how many generations and what years. There are checkboxes for the types of events – births, deaths, photos, and other. Other includes marriages.

Plans are to improve PedigreeMap by figuring what places are listed in the family tree so Google Maps can interpret it correctly. They are also going to tweak this new tool based on user feedback.

Introducing PedigreeMap – an Interactive Map of Your Family History

DearMYRTLE Wacky Wednesday MyHeritage PedigreeMap

MyHeritage SuperSearch Alerts

MyHeritage has a new feature called SuperSearch Alerts. Now you will get an email if new records have been found based on a search you did previously. These records did not exist when you first did the search.

SuperSearch searches all the records at MyHeritage and all the family trees that are on the site. They are always adding and new records and with the alerts you won’t have to repeat the same searches to find new information.

Your old searches will be repeated every two months to see if there are any new matches. The searches are those you made when you were logged in to MyHeritage and were made since 2012 when SuperSearch was launched.

If the search yields too many results you will not be alerted about all those records because it was probably a search for a common name and the results probably are not relevant.

You will only receive about 1 email each week about new results so you won’t be overwhelmed with emails. If you want you can turn this new feature off.

This new feature will be rolled out gradually to make sure it doesn’t overload the servers at MyHeritage.

New: SuperSearch Alerts

FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Event

The FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Event was July 15 to 17. They hoped to get at least 72,000 volunteers to index as many records as possible during the 72-hour event.

The event surpassed its goal. Over 116,000 people indexed records during the event. Over 10 million records were indexed.

People from all over the world volunteered. Participants could choose records to index in their own languages.

Also people from all age groups participated. Over 10,000 were 17 or younger. The largest age group was 46 – 65.

Worldwide Indexing Event Far Surpasses Goal with 116,475 Participants

New App from Microsoft – Thinga.Me

Microsoft has a new iOS app called Thinga.Me. The app helps you organize collections by taking photos of objects and placing them on a digital shelf. The background is removed from the object so you just see the actual object.

Collections can be shared with others. You could create collections for family jewelry, awards, medals, anything that you have from your ancestors.

The app is currently in beta and you enter you email to be notified when a spot becomes available so you can try the new app.

The app was created under Microsoft Garage where Microsoft employees can develop things that are not related to their job. Some of the projects will become real and others will disappear. Thinga.Me may or may not become a Microsoft product.

Microsoft’s Thinga.Me wants to digitize your knickknacks

California State Archives Online

The California State Archives has entered into an agreement to be part of Google’s Cultural Institute. The Cultural Institute contains digital collections from various museums and archives.

The California State Archives will begin digitizing its collection and make it available to the public as online exhibits. Three exhibits have already been place online – California State Parks, California’s Secretary of State office, and Campaigns, Inc.

Campaigns, Inc. was formed in 1933 and pioneered the marketing of candidates and issues as a full-service business.

California State Archives now in the cloud

The Rhode Island Historical Society Launches a Digital Archive

The Rhode Island Historical Society has launched a digital archive called “Colonial Justice: Preserving and Digitizing Early Rhode Island Court Records.” The archive contains selected 1729 – 1812 records from the courts of Providence County, Kent County and Kings County which is now Washington County.

The online archive is free and open to the public.

RIHS Launches ‘Colonial Justice’ Digital Archive of 1729-1812 R.I. Court Records

Staten Island Newspapers Online

The New York Public Library has digitized newspapers from Staten Island and created a website for finding all digitized newspapers from the area. Now freely available and searchable are the Richmond County Advance, the Richmond County Mirror, and the Staten Island Magazine. Plans are to add many more newspapers for the area.

A website has been created to links where you can find the various newspapers.

Vintage Staten Island newspapers now available online

The Years for Digitizing Newspapers has been Increased

The National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress have announced the expansion of the years for the National Digital Newspaper Program. The program will now allow state partners to digitize news from 1690 – 1963. The previous time frame was from 1836 to 1922.

Only those newspapers that are in the public domain can be placed at the Chronicling America website. The Chronicling America website contains the digital images of newspapers that were digitized as a result of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Anything published before 1923 is in the public domain and can be placed at the site. After 1923 and until 1963 publications were in the public domain if they did not renew their copyrights. These public domain newspapers can now to added to Chronicling America as well as the first newspapers published in the United States.

Expanding Our Current Scope | NDNP

HistoryPin Helps Rural Libraries Document History

HistoryPin has obtained a grant from the Knight Foundation to help libraries document the history of rural American communities. The project is called “Our Story.” They will be helping rural libraries in New Mexico, North Carolina, and Louisiana to establish programs that will share and preserve the history of their communities.

The libraries will have events to encourage people to come in and share their photos and experiences in the community. The photos will be “pinned” to Google maps so others will be able to find them. HistoryPin places the photo where it was originally taken using Google Maps.

How Libraries Can Help Map the History of Rural America

The National Museum of African American History and Culture Website

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has a new website. It contains information about the opening ceremonies for the museum in September and how you can make a contribution.

It contains a searchable database to the museum’s nearly 37,000 items, stories about pieces in the collection, and virtual tours of the building and exhibitions.

Smithsonian African American museum debuts new website

New Projects for Virtual Museum of Canada

The Virtual Museum of Canada will be creating 11 new projects. The new projects will highlight Canadian culture and history. The new projects will be:

• Archaeo-Saga: The Original People of the Eastern Townships
• Archaeo-Saga which will be a study of Quebec’s earliest people who arrived about 12,000 years ago
• Cape Breton Island in Service: Nurses and Tunnellers During the First World War
• Francophone Life in the Capital, 1867–2017
• From Vimy to Juno – this will be an interactive exhibition that explores Canada’s role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge
• Hanging Out will be about Quebec’s Indigenous and Inuit communities
• Partners in Design: Understand/Discover/Explore will engage visitors to learn about design in everyday life
• Photostories Canada, 1955–1971
• Sanaunguabik (The Place Where Things Are Made) will contain Inuit art work
• Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes
• Stories from BC’s Salmon Canneries
• Wilfrid Laurier: Father of Modern Canada

All of these projects are in development and will go online when they are completed sometime between 2018 and 2019.


LAC Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files July Update

The Library and Archives Canada is slowly digitizing the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel service files. These are service files for soldiers of the First World War.

They are digitizing the files basically in alphabetical order. They are still digitizing files where the surname starts with K, same as last month. This month are up to the name of Knaggs.

They are now 48% done, last month they were at 46%. According to John D Reid of Anglo-Celtic Connections blog, the digitization project will be completed by January 1919 at the rate they are going. This is the same completion time he predicted last month.

Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files – Update of July 2016

CEF Service Files Digitization by LAC: July Update

Peterborough, Ontario City Directories

City directories for Peterborough, Ontario have been digitized and placed online. There are a total of 115 directories starting with the year 1858.

City directories were created annually and they list names, addresses, and professions for people in the city. You can find out where people lived and what they did for a living.

Some years are missing and they are requesting that anyone with directories for the missing years to let the city borrow them to scan them and add it to the digital archive.

Historical Peterborough city, county directories digitized for online viewing

Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project

There is a new website called the Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project. It contains a searchable database for over 6,000 Chinese Canadian artifacts held by 16 local and regional museums throughout British Columbia. You can search and also browse by subject.

This new website will of interest to those searching family genealogies, investigating Chinese Canadian history, and British Columbia history.

Chinese Canadian artifact inventory makes history with online database

Brits Looking into Irish Citizenship

On June 23rd the UK voted to leave the European Union. Some UK citizens are concerned that freedom of movement in the European Union might be restricted. So some are looking into whether they qualify for Irish citizenship.

They can have dual citizenship if their parents or grandparents were born in Ireland.

Ancestry UK has reported a 40% increase in trial memberships with a 20% increase in searches for Irish records.

Online Irish ancestry searches spike in UK in wake of Brexit as passport applications surge

New Website

A new subscription website has launched for UK war memorials. The site aims to preserve war memorials with photographs and transcriptions. It contains over 20,000 photographs with more than 1200 memorials and lists over 270,000 people.

The website was created by Mark Herber. He is the author of the book Ancestral Trails, the Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History.

The cost to use the site is about $6.50 a month, $13 quarterly, or $40 annually.

Plans are to continue to add more memorials to the site. launches online

National Archives of Norway will get a New Website

The National Archives of Norway makes its material available for public use at its website called the Digital Archives. They have entered into an agreement with a company called Bouvet to create a new website.

The website will be user friendly and have better ways for users to become more self-contained so they won’t need to contact the Archives for help.

It will also be compatible with all mobile devices. The new website should be available in spring 2017.

Agreement with supplier of new website

Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2017 Call for Presentations

The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2017 will be held June 9 – 11, 2017, with DNA day the day before Jamboree on Thursday June 8, in Burbank, CA. They are accepting presentation proposals until August 21, 2016.

Proposals can be for the Jamboree, the day long Genetic Genealogy Conference, and for SCGS webinars.

The theme for the 2017 Jamboree is “Hunting Your Heritage” and the theme for the Genetic Genealogy Conference is “Diving Into DNA.”

2017 Call for Presentations

Legacy Family Tree Webinars

Subscribers to Legacy Family Tree Webinars are getting lots of bonus webinars or classes. The bonus webinars are only available to subscribers and they are not recorded with a live audience.

So far they have added 5 classes from Melissa Barker about Researching in Archives and 6 classes about the Foundations of Irish Genealogy with John Grenham.

More series will be released this summer. Thomas MacEntee will have 10 classes about Microsoft PowerPoint, Blaine Bettinger will have 5 classes on the Foundations of DNA, and Gena Philibert-Ortega will have 4 classes on Researching in California.

Get ready for the 2016 Webinar Subscriber Summer Spectacular!

Free Genealogy Course

The University of Strathclyde and FutureLearn are offering their course Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree again. It just started on July 18th and it runs for 6 weeks. The last time this was offered over 26,000 people signed up.

The course is for those who have no experience with genealogy. It covers basic genealogy techniques, how to find and analyze sources, DNA testing, and how to add historical context to family history.

Free Course Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

36th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

The 36th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will held soon, August 7 – 12, in Seattle Washington. It may be too late to make travel plans to go but you can view some of the sessions online. The cost varies depending on when you signed up for the conference. If you did not signup for the conference the cost is $179 for the entire conference or $65 per day.

All the live sessions will be recorded and available for 3 months.

The actual sessions that will be available over the internet will be announced just before the conference.

36th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

13th Season of WDYTYA?

The celebrities for the 13th season of Who Do You Think You Are? in the UK have been announced. There will be 10 episodes. The celebrities are EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, star of film and stage Sir Ian McKellen, news presenter Sophie Raworth, The Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson, Star Wars and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis, presenter Liz Bonnin, actor and comedian Greg Davies, actress Sunetra Sarker and popstar Cheryl.

The date for season 13 to air on BBC One has not been announced but it will be sometime this fall.

Who DO they think they are? Danny Dyer’s connections to royalty are revealed on the new BBC show – which unearths Amanda Holden and Cheryl’s hidden family history 

Webinars Coming Up

Tuesday, July 26, 3PM Eastern
DPLA for Genealogy and Family History
presented by Tamika Maddox Strong and Amy Johnson Crow

Wednesday, July 27, 1PM Eastern
The National Archives
Naturalisation and citizenship records
presented by Mark Pearsall

Wednesday, July 27, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Researching Women – Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors
presented by Gena Philibert-Ortega

Thursday, July 28, 11AM Eastern
Findmypast Webinar
How to break down brick walls before 1837
presented by Else Churchill

Thursday, July 28, noon Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
United States Research: Mid-Atlantic Region

Thursday, July 28, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Ask Your British Research Question

Friday, July 29, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Your Questions INS Subject Correspondence Index References to USCIS Certificate Files
presented by Marian Smith

#genchat – Researching the Colonial Era
Friday, July 29, 10PM Eastern

Saturday, July 30, 2016, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
The Germanic French – Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families
presented by John Philip Colletta

Saturday, July 30, 2016, 4:15PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records
presented by Tom Jones

Tuesday, August 2, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Ask Your United States Research Question

Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint
presented by Thomas MacEntee

Wednesday, August 3, 8PM Eastern
Minnesota Genealogical Society
The Third Coast: How the Great Lakes Shaped America
presented by Cari Taplin

Thursday, August 4, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
History Library Catalog and Services

Thursday, August 4, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Research Case Study

Thursday, August 4, 7PM Eastern
Ontario Genealogical Society Webinar
What is Social History and Why Should a Genealogist Care?
presented by Annette Burke-Lyttle

North Carolina Genealogical Society
Finding Women: Maiden Name Not Known
presented by Craig R. Scott
Webinar free viewing August 5 – 7

Saturday, August 6, 1PM Eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society Webinar
Five Reasons the Records Aren’t in the Courthouse
presented by George G. Morgan

Saturday, August 6, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Hispanic Online Resources

The BYU Family History Library webinars will be resuming in August. They took the month of July off. The schedule of webinars for August has not been posted yet. When the schedule is posted, the webinars will be on the Geneatopia calendar.

Check the Geneatopia calendar for other things going on such has Hangouts and meetings in Second Life.

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.

This is episode 86.

Thanks for listening.

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