Genealogy News Episode 87

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Wednesday August 10, 2016 and this is Episode 87.

Family Tree Magazine 101 Best Websites for 2016

Family Tree Magazine has released their list for the 101 best genealogy websites for 2016. They have been creating this list for the past few years. This year they’ve added more than 30 new, innovative and overlooked sites. The new sites are marked with a star.

To make room for all the new sites on the list, they’ve omitted sites that are covered in other roundups in the magazine. They will have another list for those websites in the December 2016 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

The 101 sites are grouped into 16 categories which are

Big genealogy websites
Websites for exploring your ancestors’ lives
US genealogy websites
Sites for sharing your genealogy
Websites for putting ancestors on the map
Genealogy library websites
Websites for finding ancestors in old newspapers
African-American genealogy websites
Cemetery and directory sites for genealogy
Tech tools for genealogy in 2016
Immigrant ancestors websites
British & Irish genealogy websites
International genealogy websites
Genetic genealogy websites
Genealogy News & Help websites

101 Best Websites for Genealogy in 2016

GenealogyInTime 2016 Genealogy Websites

Another list of genealogy websites for 2016 has been released by GenealogyInTime. GenealogyInTime is a website with articles, news, and search capabilities. They call the website a magazine.

Their website list for 2016 consists of websites from around the world. They have a list of the ten most popular websites and list for the top ten free genealogy websites as well as the list of the 100 most popular genealogy websites. is the most popular genealogy website by far with 136,000 daily visitors. Following Ancestry is FindAGrave, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage. The other large subscription site, Findmypast, is in 10th place. These rankings are based on daily visitors.

FindAGrave is the number one free genealogy website followed by FamilySearch. Third place for free websites goes to Moose Roots, a genealogy research engine.

Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2016

Genealogy Facebook Lists

The Genealogy on Facebook list has been updated. It now contains more that 10,000 groups and pages. The free downloadable pdf is 288 pages.

The list contains links for English-speaking Facebook groups and pages related to genealogy and history.

This list was created and updated by Katherine Willson, a speaker and genealogist.

Another Facebook List has been created by archivist Andrew Chernevych. He created the list by searching for “archives Canada” within Facebook pages. To his surprise some small archives are in the list with a large number of followers and other major institutions have no Facebook presence at all.

The top three Canadian archives on Facebook are Library and Archives Canada, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, and Archive de Montreal.

I’ll have links in the show notes for all these lists.

More than 10,000 Facebook groups/pages for genealogists

Canadian Archives with Largest Following on Facebook

GenealogyBank Lets You Save Searches

If you are a GenealogyBank subscriber, you can now save your searches, save places within a search, and save pages to a folder at GenealogyBank. Now when you search and you get a long list of results to go thru, you can save your place in the results to come back another day and pick up where you left off. You can save what interests you in a folder and later download those images to your computer when you have time.

GenealogyBank Adds “My Folder” with Search Saving Capability

Family Book Creator Available in French and Spanish

Family Book Creator is a plugin for the Windows version of Family Tree Maker. It creates books from your data stored in Family Tree Maker. You will also need Microsoft Word or OpenOffice to make the books.

The plugin is now available in French and Spanish. That’s in addition to the other languages supported – Danish, English, German, Norwegian, and Swedish.

There is a 30-free trial of the program. If you decide to buy it, there is a summer sale going on until the end of August where you can get the plugin for 20% of the normal price of $54.95.

Family Book Creator is now Available in French and Spanish

New Records at Findmypast

Findmypast has released the third and final installment of its Crime, Prisons and Punishment records collection. These records are from The National Archives in the UK. The collection now contains over 5.5 million records of English and Welsh crime and punishment records. New records include female felons who were released on license and criminal registers from Middlesex and across England and Wales.

The entire Crime, Prisons and Punishment records collection contains details of felons found in the criminal justice system in England and Wales between 1770 and 1935. Many of these records include a photograph of the prisoner.

Other new records added at Findmypast include United States, Canadian Border Crossings and Yorkshire baptisms, banns, marriages and burials.

The border crossing records are made up of four collections from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Many people traveled to Canada and then to the United States because it was cheaper than traveling directly to the United States.

These border crossings are for those who entered the United States through St Albans, Vermont, between 1895 and 1954.

2.5 Million Crime Records Released This Findmypast Friday

New records available to search this Findmypast Friday August 6, 2016

RootsWeb Upgrade

You may recall that RootsWeb was not available for a couple of weeks in March because of hardware problems. RootsWeb, which is part of Ancestry, was restored from a backup. Unfortunately, the backup was from the summer of 2015. So a few months of work was lost.

Ancestry said they would be working to make sure something like this does not happen again. Last week they started migrating RootsWeb to new servers. While this is going on many pages at RootsWeb will be inaccessible and you may not be able to update areas of the site that you normally have access to.

RootsWeb Mailing Lists are Not Accessible. Why?

Short Courses at Ancestry Academy

Ancestry has added some short course videos at Ancestry Academy that are available to all. These videos are about one topic and are 5 minutes or less in length. The videos are written by Academy experts and presented using outside talent.

The short videos are like lessons from full courses since they are brief.

Ancestry plans to continue to add to the list of short videos.

Short Course Videos Added to Ancestry Academy

AncestryDNA New Tool

About 10% of AncestryDNA users have a new tool to use. If you match someone and go to their profile page, you will also see other matches that are administered by the same person.

With this new tool you can find matches that are more distant than 4th cousins. Ancestry recently restricted matches to be 4th cousins or closer. Now there is a way to see many more matches.

A new AncestryDNA tool

Quest Diagnostics and AncestryDNA Team Up

Quest Diagnostics, a provider of clinical laboratory services, and AncestryDNA have signed a multi-year global collaboration agreement.

This collaboration will help AncestryDNA expand their services and meet the growing demand for their DNA tests.

Quest Diagnostics will be providing wellness and health traits by performing genetic testing on Ancestry customer samples at its state-of-the-art laboratory in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The testing will start in the first quarter of 2017.

The two companies will be developing tools and applications to help people understand their “family medical tree.”

Quest Diagnostics and AncestryDNA Collaborate to Expand Consumer DNA Testing

Houston Herald Online

The newspaper the Houston Herald has been digitized and can now be found online at the newspaper’s website The searchable collection spans the years 1881 to the present.

Copies of the Herald have been available online for over 10 years starting with the year 1948 to the present. Now with this latest release the archives go back to 1881.

It costs $4.95 per month or $19.95 for six months to access the newspaper at

The Houston Herald’s archive is also located at so if you have a subscription to that site, you will have access to the Houston Herald. Subscriptions at cost $19.90 per month or $74.90 for 6 months.

Archives open up Houston’s history since 1880s

Delaware Newspapers Online

More newspapers have come online for Delaware. The New Castle Public Library has made available 5 new titles from New Castle. The years span from 1938 to the present. You can find these newspapers and more at the Digital Archives of the New Castle Public Library.

Delaware Gets New Online Historic Newspapers

Digital Archives of the New Castle Public Library

Macon Telegraph Historic Newspaper Archive Compatible with all Browsers

The Digital Library of Georgia has re-released and enhanced the Macon Telegraph Historic Newspaper Archive. It is now compatible with all current browsers and no plug-ins or additional software is needed to view the images.

There are fourteen newspapers that are part of the Macon Telegraph Historic Newspaper Archive. The Digital Library of Georgia is part of Georgia’s Virtual Library GALILEO and is based at the University of Georgia.

Enhanced Macon Telegraph Archive

More Years Added for the Raeford-News Journal

The North Carolina newspaper the Raeford-News Journal has 15 more years available online. The newspaper can be found at the DigitalNC website for the years from 1943 to 1985. The digitization work was done by the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill.

15 Years of the Raeford News-Journal now available on DigitalNC

DPLA has Collections from Wisconsin

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has a new collection called Recollection Wisconsin. It contains historical resources from more than 200 Wisconsin collections.

In this new collection you will find local stories from Wisconsin, postcards, memories, maritime trade and travel on the Great Lakes, and world events.

If you’re not familiar with DPLA there was a webinar presented about it a few weeks ago called “Using DPLA for Genealogy and Family History”. It was presented by Amy Johnson Crow, a well-known genealogist, and Tamika Maddox Strong, genealogist and IT Program Manager at the Georgia Public Library Service.

It’s available on YouTube. I’ll have a link in the show notes to it if you would like to watch it and learn how to use DPLA.

Welcome, Wisconsin!

YouTube Using DPLA for Genealogy and Family History

New Bedford Whaling List Database

A new database is available online for searching for men who embarked on whaling voyages out of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

This started as a project at the New Bedford Free Public Library and it became a project of the Boston Whaling Museum.

Records were kept by custom officers who may not have spelled the names correctly or the seaman may not have known how to spell their own name. So you will need to be flexible when searching the database.

The men came from all over the world. The records are not limited to those from Massachusetts.

These records were kept because these men often did not return because of death or desertion.

Plans are to update this database yearly.

Did your ancestor hunt whales? Museum database offers clues

Whaling Crew List Database

Reclaim the Records gets New York City Marriage Index Released

Reclaim the Records has won its Freedom of Information lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York over the release of the New York City marriage index. The data covers sixty-five years from 1930 to 1995 and contains an index to about three million New York City marriage records.

This data has not been made public before.

The microfilm for these records will be digitized by FamilySearch and placed online at the Internet Archive.

Last year Reclaim the Record got the New York City Marriage index for the years 1908 – 1929. These can be found at the Internet Archive.

Our tenth newsletter:
WE WON! The New York City marriage index 1930-1995 will be free and open data!

New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has released a new book called New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians. It’s a guide to key collections housed at the Municipal Archives.

You will need to go to the Archives and the guide will help you explore new collections about New York City. The New York City Municipal Archives has been difficult to use beyond the basic collections. The guide will help you explore New York City history from the time of the Dutch Colonial Era.

The book costs $40, members of the society will receive a $10 discount and can also purchase a digital copy. Orders can be placed at

Guide to New York City’s Treasured Archives Released

Digital Collection of Families from Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland and Alabama

The Tennessee State Library & Archives has added the genealogical research files of Dr. Barbara Long to their online collection. Dr. Long was a professional psychiatrist and an amateur genealogist. She collected lots of information while researching her family. The collection contains material for many families with roots in east Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland and Alabama. You will find copies of deeds, wills, land grants, census records, Bible records, and other documentation as well as reports from professional genealogists, notes, correspondence, and interviews.

Dr. Long contributed her research in a digital form to the Library & Archives.

New digital collection of family histories available

New Jersey Adoptees

Adoptees in New Jersey can begin to apply for their birth certificate. The forms are now available and are being accepted by the Department of Health. Records will start being released on January 1, 2017.

Those who can request a birth certificate are adoptees; direct descendants, siblings or spouses of adopted persons; adopted parents, legal guardians or other legal representatives of adopted persons; or state or federal government agencies for official purposes.

Birth parents may redact identifying information if the adoption was finalized before August 1, 2015. They must do this before December 31, 2016. The law allowing adoptees access to their birth certificates was implemented in August 2015 so that is the reason for the cutoff date of August 1, 2015.

Adoptees May Apply for Birth Certificates as Part of New Adoption Law

Japanese Military and Imperial Maps

Stanford University is scanning and making available online its collection of Japanese military and Imperial maps. These maps were captured at the end of World War II as the U.S. Army took control of Japan. Soldiers confiscated secret Japanese military maps and the plates used to print them.

The maps cover much of Asia and include notes about climate and transportation. They are being used to study the history of Asia.

Some maps were saved by the Japanese and the Tohoku University Library in Japan has placed them online. These maps are indexed in both Japanese and English.

Secret Japanese Military Maps Could Open a New Window on Asia’s Past

Prince Edward Island Families

The last volume on the early families of Prince Edward Island has been published. This now a 7-volume set contains the genealogy of Acadian families from the Island.

Jean Bernard has been researching the genealogy of Acadians for years. He is a local historian who realized very little was published about the genealogies of the first families to arrive at Prince Edward Island.

The seven volumes were written in French. Mr. Bernard has begun translating the volumes to English.

P.E.I. historian publishes last of 7-volume Acadian genealogy

Map of Demolished Vancouver Homes

The Vancouver Vanishes Facebook Group has produced an interactive map that shows information about character houses that have been destroyed. There is pin for each house. Clicking on the pin shows an image of the house with an address and some other information known about the house such as year built and who were the first owners of the house.

The houses are being demolished to make room for larger more expensive homes.

Most of the homes are located on the west side of Vancouver.

Interactive map of demolished character homes in Vancouver

Great Fire of London and Minecraft

The Great Fire of London occurred in 1666. It lasted three days and gutted the medieval city of London inside the old Roman seawall. Fortunately, there weren’t many deaths but many buildings were destroyed.

The Great Fire started at a bakery sometime after midnight on Sunday, September 2, and spread rapidly. At that time, they created firebreaks to create a gap between the fire and other land so there would be nothing combustible around the fire and it would not spread. This technique was not put in place in time to stop the spread of the fire. The winds fanned the fire into a firestorm making it impossible to create firebreaks.

2016 marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire. The Museum of London has an interactive exhibit about the fire, themed walks and tours, lectures, workshops, family activities and even children’s sleepovers. All of these activities are happening at the museum but they have one more activity that you can interact with without having to go to London.

They will be creating three interactive maps that will be freely available for you to download and use with a program called MineCraft. The maps are free but you will have to pay for Minecraft. The first map is available now, it depicts what London looked like before the fire. In September they will release and map about the fire and then in February they will release a map after the fire.

The pre-fire map is actually a treasure hunt, where players explore the city in search of audio clips which explain how the events unfolded. The second map will be a series of mini-games: evacuating residents, fighting fires, and meeting famous figures. The third map will allow gamers to craft their own revitalized London based on the plans of how the city was to be rebuilt.

You will need to purchase Minecraft for $26.95 to use the maps. Minecraft is very popular with children. It’s known as a “sandbox game” where users get virtual land to build on using blocks.

Great Fire 1666: The Great Fire of London in Minecraft

London Picture Map

There is something new out that has taken over two years in the making and it has just come online. It’s called the London picture map. More than 150,000 images have been placed on a map where you explore London using the map or search. There are photos, paintings, drawings and historic posters on the map. You can see how London looked years ago.

There are so many images that they all can’t be added to the map, only a small portion are available on the map. To make sure you find all the images available you should use the search feature.

You can think of the London picture map as Google Street view for old London.

The images are from the London Metropolitan Archive and the Guildhall Art Gallery. These two institutions combined possess the largest collection of London images in the world.

Remarkable New Photo Map of Old London

British Rail Line Map

Another map of London has come online and it’s about every rail line that ever existed in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It uses overlays to display the rail lines. You can toggle between tracks, stations and labels to be displayed.

The underlying map can be displayed as regular map, satellite view, Open Street Map, some historical maps that are available, or a simple blank map

Right now the map displays all rail lines – existing lines and those that are no longer there. Eventually it will distinguish between them.

The map is for personal use only.

An Online Map of Every British Rail Line Ever

The British Newspaper Archive Reaches 15 Million Pages

The British Newspaper Archive has reached 15 million pages. The project started in 2011 with the goal of digitizing 40 million pages in 10 years. It has been 5 years now since the project started and they’ve digitized 38% of their goal.

The British Newspaper Archive is presented by Findmypast in partnership with the British Library. It’s available to certain subscribers of Findmypast and as a stand-alone subscription.

British Newspaper Archive reaches 15m pages

List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers

The Representative Church Body Library has relaunched its List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers. The list is online and free to access. It contains details of websites and archives that hold baptism, marriage and burial records. Details include the dates covered, what survives, and where they are located.

Many records were destroyed during the Irish Civil War in 1922 when the Public Record Office of Ireland (PROI) was destroyed. The list has details about abstracts and transcripts for records that have been destroyed. These can be used as substitutes for the original records.

This new list is the result of a collaboration between the RCB Library and the Irish Genealogical Research Society. It is part of the Irish Genealogical Research Society’s 80th birthday celebration.

RCBLibrary relaunches List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers

Database of soldiers of the U.S.-Mexican War Being Developed

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Park Service have partnered on a new preservation project. The project is to develop a searchable database of soldiers of the U.S.-Mexican War. Sometimes the war is referred to as the Mexican-American War and sometimes just the Mexican War.

The War lasted from 1846 to 1848. It started over the US annexation of Texas in 1845. Mexico considered that land to be part of its territory.

The War resulted in Mexico losing land to the United States. That land is now present-day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Initially the database will contain the names of soldiers. Later they will add unit histories, digitized documents, and information on U.S.-Mexican War soldiers.

FGS is looking for volunteers to help with this project by indexing.

FGS has partnered with the National Park Service before to create Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System database that can be found at the NPS Civil War website. It’s a great resource to find out about those who fought in the Civil War.

FGS Marshals Volunteers to Help National Historic Park Tell the Stories of Over 130,000 U.S.-Mexican War Soldier

BCG and Family Tree Webinars Form Partnership

The Board for Certification of Genealogists and Legacy Family Tree Webinars have announced a new partnership. Legacy will be the host for all future BCG webinars.

BCG webinars are held on the third Tuesday of each month. Registration for the live webinar is free and you can still signup at the BCG website. You can also register at

The recordings may be available for a limited time. You can also view the recordings if you have a Family Tree Webinars subscription or you can purchase individual webinars from a link on the BCG website.

Board for Certification of Genealogists and Legacy Family Tree Webinars Form Webinar Partnership

FamilySearch Webinars

Next up are the upcoming webinars. FamilySearch has really increased the number of webinars each month. Some weeks there is a webinar every day. They also have live classes going on in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library.

Now they are giving these week long sessions a name. They week of August 22nd will be called the United States Research Seminar and the week of September 12th will be the European Family History Conference 2016.

You’ll find all the webinar portions of the seminar and conference in the Geneatopia calendar.

FREE European Family History Conference September 12-16, 2016

Monday, August 15, noon Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Making the Most of
presented by James Tanner

Tuesday, August 16, noon Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Making the Most of
presented by James Tanner

Tuesday, August 16, 4PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Moving and Migration for Swedish Genealogy

Tuesday, August 16, 8PM Eastern
Board for Certification of Genealogists Webinar
Another Kind of Navigation: GPS for Genealogy
presented by Shellee Morehead

Tuesday, August 16, 8pm eastern
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Webinar
Using Word to Write Your Family History
presented by Seema Kenney

Wednesday, August 16, noon Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Making the Most of
presented by James Tanner

Wednesday, August 17, noon Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Finding Gyrid Aarsand’s Place of Origin in Norway

Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society
presented by Amy Johnson Crow

Wednesday, August 17, 8PM Eastern
Georgia Genealogical Society
Seeking Your Scots-Irish Ancestors
presented by Donna Moughty

Wednesday, August 17, 9PM Eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society Webinar
What’s In a Name? Every Surname Tells a Story
presented by Teresa “Tessa” Keough

Thursday, August 18, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Norwegian Migration and Immigration

Thursday, August 18, 8PM Eastern
Florida State Genealogical Society Poolside Chat
From Chernorudka to Chicago – Lessons Learned From Tracing One Family’s Immigration Pathway
presented by Jane Neff Rollins

Thursday, August 18, 9PM Eastern
Utah Genealogical Association
Taking Your Research to the Next Level
presented by Paula Stuart-Warren

Friday, August 19, 1PM Eastern
The National Archives
Birth, marriage and death records at The National Archives

Saturday, August 20, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
No hay otros registros
No other records

The week of August 22nd is the FamilySearch United States Research Seminar. Webinars will be held Monday thru Friday at 10:30AM, 11: 45AM, 3:15PM and 4:30PM. All these times are Eastern. The titles of the webinars are:

Using the Family History Catalog Effectively
United States Research: New England Region
United States Census Techniques and Strategies for Finding Elusive Ancestors
United States Research: Mid-Atlantic Region
Tips and Tricks for Using FamilySearch’s Historical Records Collection
United States Research: Mid-South Region
Immigration into the United States
United States Research: Gulf South Region
FamilySearch Research Wiki
United States Research: Midwest Region
United States Naturalization
United States Research: Great Plains Region
FamilySearch Memories
United States Research: Pacific States Region
United States Land Records
United States Research: Mountain West Region
Cousin Research
United States Research: Big City Research
United States Probate Records
Some other things going on that week are:

Wednesday, August 24, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry
presented by Brian Donovan

Thursday, August 25, 1PM Eastern
The National Archives
Inventions that didn’t change the world

Thursday, August 25, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Guide to I&N History TBA

Thursday, August 25, 3PM Eastern
NEHGS Webinar
Researching Native American Ancestors at NEHGS
presented by Meaghan Siekman

#genchat – Education: NGSQ and Other “Academic” Reads
Friday, August 26, 10PM Eastern

You can find all the webinars mentioned and more at the calendar at

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 87.

Thanks for listening.

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