Genealogy News Episode 99

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Friday March 24, 2017 and this is Episode 99.

Ancestry IPO may become a public company this year according to Bloomberg. The owners Permira and Silver Lake have been talking to banks and taking formal pitches from potential advisors who would have a role in the offering.

No final decision has been made yet for an initial public offering (IPO) for The owners may decide to keep the company private.

Ancestry was a public company from 2009 – 2012. In 2012 agreed to be acquired by a private equity group consisting of Permira, Spectrum Equity, and members of’s management team which includes Tim Sullivan, CEO, and Howard Hochhauser, CFO. That deal was $1.6 billion.

Last year, Silver Lake and sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corp. took stakes in which then valued the company at about $2.6 billion. That deal resulted in Permira tripling its original investment. Owners Reportedly Weigh 2017 IPO of Genealogy Website

Family Tree Maker FamilySync

Family Tree Maker will be releasing a new version of the software before March 31st. This version will contain the new FamilySync.

Last year Software MacKiev acquired Family Tree Maker from Ancestry after they decided to discontinue the product. TreeSync was the feature that allowed Family Tree Maker to sync with your family tree on Ancestry. The new version to sync you tree with Ancestry will be called FamilySync.

The upgrade is free to all those who purchased the program since March 1, 2016. Those with earlier editions of the program will be able to purchase the new version at a discount of $29.95. This discounted price is only good until March 31st. After March 31st, the discounted price will be $39.95. The full price for a new copy of the program will be $79.95.

Those who are on the Family Tree Maker mailing list will receive an email when the new version of Family Tree Maker is released. In that email will be an invitation to get the free upgrade.

If you want to purchase the $29.95 upgrade before it’s officially available, you can do that at the Software MacKiev store. I’ll have a link in the show to where you can pre-order the update.

Between Wednesday, March 29, and Friday, March 31, there will be some time when syncing functionality will not work while Software MacKiev, the makers of Family Tree Maker, roll out the new technology.

Ancestry will no longer support TreeSync as of March 29.

If you do not upgrade Family Tree Maker, the software will still work. You just won’t be able to sync your tree on your home computer with the tree you have at Ancestry.

Software MacKiev introduces FamilySync

A special offer for Family Tree Maker users.

Evidentia Cousin Tracker

Evidentia version 3 was released this past December and version 3.1 has just been released. This new version contains something called Cousin Tracker.

Ancestry trees show shaky leafs to indicate a match. Ancestry trees are not always well sourced. The Ancestry We’re Related app gives you some potential famous cousins and your DNA matches may not have much information about how you’re related to them. All of this requires further research and the Cousin Tracker can help you track this research.

You enter a possibility tree in the Cousin Tracker with two branches – one for you and one for your cousin. Evidentia will track your progress by showing you which link in the tree has a proof. When all the links in the tree are proven, you write a conclusion. Or maybe you found out that you can’t prove that you are cousins.

New! Evidentia v3.1 Cousin Research Tracker

National Archives App Remembering WWI

The National Archives in the U.S. has released a new app called “Remembering WWI.” The app is available for iPad and Android.

It allows you to participate, collaborate, and engage with the Archives’ collection of World War I photographs and moving images.

The National Archives has partnered with Historypin on the app. The Library of Congress, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, the WWI Centennial Commission, the American Association for State and Local History, and the National WWI Museum and Memorial are participating in this national effort to commemorate World War I.

Through the app people can contribute their own stories about World War I.

The app contains rarely seen public domain images and films to explore and use in their own projects.

The app is geared toward educators but anyone interested in World War I will find it useful.

New “Remembering WWI” App Release!

New Records at FamilySearch

More new records at FamilySearch

New indexed record and images collection
Texas, Matagorda County, School Census Records, 1923-1945

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
BillionGraves Index
British Columbia, Victoria Times Birth, Marriage and Death Notices, 1901-1939
England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918
France, Saone-et-Loire, Census, 1876
Ghana, Accra, Marriages, 1863-2003
Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records
Spain, Soldier Personal Service Files, 1835-1940
United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)
United States, YMCA World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Maine, United States Naturalization Records, 1918-1991

New Historic Records On FamilySearch: Week of March 6, 2017

New Records at Findmypast

Findmypast releases new records every Friday. Since St. Patrick’s day was on a Friday this year, Findmypast released lots of Irish records on that day.

You can browse over 20,000 records from the Ireland, Directories 1636 – 1799.

There are 1,600 records that will allow to find out if your ancestors were put on trial or worked in Ireland’s court system in the Ireland, Legal Administration collection.

The Ireland Memorial Inscriptions collection contains 1,400 records about memorial inscriptions found in cemeteries.

800 records have been added to the Ireland Surnames & Family Histories collection.

There are new collections for Ireland, Society of Friends (Quaker) births, marriages, deaths, congregational records, and school records.

And over 14,000 records have been added to Ireland, Histories & References. This collection lets you learn about the area where you ancestor lived.

Findmypast has added some more records for Australia. Victoria Wills & Probate lists the names of deceased persons whose estates passed probate through the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne between 1841 and 1989.

They’ve added Victoria Divorce Cause Books 1861-1938, Victoria Register of Prisoners Under Sentence Of Hard Labour 1847-1853, Victoria Cemeteries, and more records have been added to Victoria Burials & Memorials.

Over 400 records have been added to the Australian Capital Territory Marriages.

Some other new collections are
• Derbyshire, Chesterfield union workhouse death index 1838 – 1904, New South Wales
• Tea Gardens cemetery inscriptions 1898 – 2008, New South Wales
• Stroud Baptismal Register 1892-1925
• British Army, Plovdiv Military Cemetery Burials

There is a new browsable collection for Manitoba Probate records 1871-1930.

Over 600,000 new records have been added to the collection of United States Marriages.

And over 2.5 million articles and 13 new titles have been added to the British Newspapers collection.

Findmypast Friday March 10th 2017

Findmypast Friday March 17th 2017

Findmypast Friday March 24th 2017

British Newspaper Archive Milestone

The British Newspaper Archive has reached a new milestone. They now have newspapers from every county in England. There is at least one title from each of the country’s 48 counties. There are a total of 747 titles at the British Newspaper Archive.

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between Findmypast and the British Library with a goal to digitize up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library’s collection over a 10 year period.

So far, they have digitized almost 19 million pages over the past 7 years. They have increased the pace of digitizing pages but they will probably not reach the goal of 40 million pages at the end of 10 years. At the end of 10 years they may have digitized 35 million pages based on the new rate.

British Newspaper Archive Announces Major New Milestone

GRO Pilot 3

The General Register Office in London has been offering the purchase of some certificates as PDFs. They are doing this trial in three pilot phases.

In the past the GRO did not provide any indexes online to its records. Online indexes have been available on commercial sites or the free site

The GRO is starting to put their own indexes on their own website. These are limited indexes, not for all years.

Previously you could only get an official certified certificate. Most genealogists don’t need a certified copy, they just want the information.

It has been this way because of legislation that was passed in 1836. This law was the beginning of civil registration in England that started in 1837. That means that all births, marriages, and death had to be recorded.

A couple of years ago a law was passed to allow people to obtain uncertified copies. The GRO has started doing this with their pilot program or scheme as the say in England.

You apply for a scanned PDF that is uncertified.

This past November they offered births and deaths. These records had been scanned a few years ago but never made available.

You used the GRO’s website with the new indexes to find the record you wanted. These are newly created indexes, they did not copy the original indexes to these records.

They added to the death index the age of death. The age of death has been on indexes since 1866 but now the age is on all the indexes starting in 1837.

To the birth index they added the mother’s maiden name for all years.

Uncertified copies could be ordered for births 1837 – 1915 and deaths 1837 – 1957. They cost £6. A certified copy costs £9.25.

Pilot 1 started on November 9, 2016 and ended after 45,000 PDFs were ordered.

Even though the first pilot has ended the indexes are there on the website.

The second pilot was not very useful for genealogists. It produced uncertified express copies. These were very expensive (£45) but you could get them in a few hours. This was used by probate companies looking for heirs. You made your request between 8AM and 1PM and you had the copy within 3 hours.

This phase was done from February 8, 2017 or until 15,000 PDFs had been ordered.

The third pilot is now going on. You can now order copies that were not part of the original scanning that was done a few years ago.

England and Wales records that are part of the third pilot include
Births: 1935-2006
Deaths: 1958-2006
Marriages: 1837-2010

Pilot 3 ends at 4PM on April 12 or when 40,000 PDFs have been ordered. Each uncertified copy costs £8.

For this phase the GRO has not created an index. You will need to find reference to the record you want at FreeBMD, Ancestry, Findmypast, or any other site that has GRO indexes.

These pilots are being used to get feedback and determine what works and what doesn’t.

GRO Pilot 3: PDF copies of non-digitised records

Forces War Records Military Genealogy Tutorials

Forces War Records has five new military genealogy tutorials available on line. They are

Understanding your ancestor’s record
Breaking down brick walls
Trench Traumas & Medical Miracles
How to trace your POW ancestor
Quick guide to requesting WW2 records

The tutorials are PDF files.

Forces War Records site was created as a place to find information about ancestors who were in the military. For each record you will also find supplementary data. You not only see the record information, but also information on the regiment, unit, or base or ship, battles fought, and medals they may have been awarded. It’s a subscription website that costs about $11 for four weeks of access or $62 for a year.

Forces War Records free tutorials

Michigan Naturalization Records

The Archives of Michigan has partnered with FamilySearch to index naturalization records of nearly 70 Michigan counties. Michigan has 83 total counties. The images and the index will be freely available at the website

They would like anyone to help with the indexing. You will need the FamilySearch indexing software and sign up for a free FamilySearch account. Then find the Michigan naturalization project in the indexing software. It’s called US Michigan Archives of Michigan Naturalization Records 1812 – 1985.

Seeking Michigan Naturalization Index Project

Help Transcribe Maine Documents

The state of Maine is looking for volunteers to help with some transcription projects. The Maine State Archives and Maine State Library have launched a project for volunteers to transcribe the text from high-quality images of historic documents. The images and the transcriptions will be placed online for anyone to use at the Digital Maine online archives.

There are all sorts of documents to transcribe – birth and death records, Civil War soldiers in the hospital, Revolutionary War rolls and musters, and official government correspondence. New documents and collections will continue to be added as those posted are transcribed.

The transcription projects will go one while there is interest from the public. Only a small portion of the 95 million pages of records have been digitized.

State seeks volunteers to help digitize Maine historical documents

New Images Online for Hardin County, Texas

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has digitized the Clyde and Thelma See Glass Plate Negatives Collection and the L.J. Whitmeyer Glass Plate Negatives Collection. They have placed these at the Texas Digital Archive where they are available to everyone.

The collections contain images of portraits, street scenes, and other images from Hardin County. There are over 120 images spanning years from the 1890s to 1920s.

Clyde and Thelma See Glass Plate negatives collection are now digitalized

Three More New Jersey Newspapers to be Digitized

Three more New Jersey newspapers will be scanned and placed online at the Chronicling America website. The 19th- and early 20th-century issues of West-Jersey Pioneer (later the Bridgeton Pioneer), Jersey City News, and Perth Amboy Evening News are currently available on microfilm at the New Jersey State Archives. The microfilm will be digitized and made available to everyone.

Quoting from the announcement at Rutgers University Libraries

The three selected papers provide news from northern, central, and southern regions of New Jersey and span a period of over 70 years, from before the Civil War to after World War I. The West-Jersey Pioneer (later the Bridgeton Pioneer), “An Independent Family Newspaper Devoted to Agriculture, Arts, Education, Morality, Local and General News,” will be digitized from 1851 to 1917; the Jersey City News, “Democratic in Principles and Independent in its Views on Local Questions,” from 1889 to 1906; and the Perth Amboy Evening News, “An Independent Newspaper,” from 1903 to 1922.

End quote.

New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project Selects Three Newspapers for Digitization

More Jewish Records Online

The International Tracing Service (ITS) continues to expand its digital archive.

The ITS was established by the Allied powers after World War II to help reunite families separated during the war and to trace missing family members. The Allies placed documentation seized during the war at the ITS offices in Germany.

This archive continued to grow and is now overseen by an 11-nation International Commission.

Added to the digital archive are the card index of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany and material on death marches from concentration camps.

The ITS only has a small portion from the entire card index of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany. The cards contain information about birth, professions, and addresses of persons before the mass deportation of the Jewish population. All persons classified as Jews in 1939 were required to register.

The death marches have more documents added to what was already online. The death marches are shown on a map where you can click the name of a town or village. All the documents pertaining to the concentration camp in that area will be displayed.

The ITS plans to make more documents on deportations, the Holocaust and force labor available on its digital archive.

Card index on Jewish victims now online

Chicago-Area Jewish Cemetery Burials

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois has expanded its online database of Chicago-area cemetery burials. It now includes several other useful collections of information.

The new additions include

• Memorial plaque transcriptions and photos from two Chicago synagogues
• Intake reports from the Drexel Home for the Jewish Aged
• Death notices published in the Jewish United Fund News from 1994 to 2005
• An index with date of birth and date of death information extracted from Chicago Tribune death notices published in the latter half of the 1990s

New research tool developed for Chicago-area Jewish genealogy

Alberta Releases Browsable Index to Civil Registration

The Provincial Archives of Alberta in Canada has released a browsable index of Alberta’s civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. You will need to know the first letter of the surname and then scroll to find the year. This will bring up a PDF of the index.

Once you find a person you are interested in you will have the registration number. From that number, you can request the actual record. It will cost $.35 plus shipping and handling.

The years that the records are available are

Birth records that are 120 years old (1897 or before)
Marriage records that are 75 years old (1942 or before)
Death records that are 50 years old (1966 or before)
Stillbirth records that are 75 years old (1942 or before)

Alberta civil registration indexes released online

New Brunswick Death Records for 1966

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has released the Index to Death Certificates for 1966. Death records are kept private for 75 years which means that the year 1966 can be made available to the public.

The actual images are not available online. Images are also not available for the year 1965. All the other years from 1918 have images.

You can fill out a form to request a copy of the actual record.

New Brunswick Archives releases 1966 index to death certificates

BIFHSGO New Database

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa has placed on their website a new database that contains a list of Canadian militia personnel from 1907 who were NOT born in Canada. This index is free for anyone to use.

Nearly three-quarters of the men were born in England others were Irish and Scottish. There were some from Wales, India, the United States, Australia, the Channel Islands, France, and Newfoundland.

Savoir faire — BIFHSGO creates foreign-born Canadian Militia 1907 database for all

City of Vancouver Archives New Search on Website

The City of Vancouver Archives website has updated the online search feature on its website.

You can now view full size images that are under copyright to a third party. Before you could only see a thumbnail of the image.

The advanced search looks different but basically functions the same. You find advanced search by clicking the search box and then there will be a link to it. At first you see results for all records but you can filter those records by selecting different choices.

There are two new features to the list of results: sorting and list creation. You can sort alphabetically, by most recent, reference code, or date.

Results will show a paperclip icon that you can click to add the record to your personal clipboard. This clipboard list can be printed. These items in the clipboard cannot be saved between sessions.

Significant changes to our online search

Waterloo County House of Industry and Refuge Website

There is a new website called “Waterloo County House of Industry and Refuge.” The name of the website reflects the poorhouse of that name that was in Ontario, Canada. It operated from 1869 – 1950.

The website documents the house and the occupants. Those who lived there were poor. The site explains everyday life and the practices of the House.

New website explores care, treatment, life of poor in 19th-century Ontario

LAC Update on Digitization Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files

The Library and Archives Canada has released their monthly report about the digitization Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files. I could tell you almost the same thing as last month because they are STILL digitizing surnames with the letter M. They are now up to the name McLelland. They have been digitizing surnames that start with the letter M since October.

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

They started this project in 2014 and they plan to have the project completed by the end of 2018. At the current rate the project will be completed in May 2018. Same estimate as last month.

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

Virtual Tour of Endinburgh

Coming in May 2017 will be a virtual tour of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the sixteenth-century. It’s based on a drawing from 1544.

This will be an interactive tour as the city appeared before it was burned by the English army.

The tour will be available as a mobile app, a 3D virtual experience, and as a web-based resource.

New technology reveals old Edinburgh

IGRS Released Stories

The Irish Genealogical Research Society celebrated its 80th anniversary last year. To mark this milestone, they started a project to collect stories about people’s favorite Irish born ancestors. They have just released some of these stories.

From the IGRS website

“In this first batch of stories to be published, we hear of a soldier gassed in the Great War; an Irish Republican who served in both the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War; a Dublin middle class Protestant widow who brought a case in the Court of Common Pleas against a suitor’s broken marriage proposal; and of a working class Belfast girl who became entangled in the events of the Russian revolution of 1917.”

More stories will be published soon.

First Tranche of Stories Published from IGRS 80th Anniversary Archive

Swedish Migration Center Files for Bankruptcy

Swedish Migration Center in Karlstad, Sweden, has filed for bankruptcy. This center documents the great migration from Sweden to North America. It’s a non-profit organization.

In 2013 its mission widened to document both emigration and immigration. There are many branch offices that employ over 200 people.

The association has debts of 12.5 million and assets of about 2.5 million.

Swedish Migration Center files for bankruptcy

2017 FGS Conference Program Available

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has their 2017 conference program available. This year’s conference will be held August 30 – September 2 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

The tracks for the conference include:

• Immigrant/EthnicRecords
• Regional
• Methodology
• Analysis
• Skills
• African American
• Land & Taxes
• Religion
• Occupations

Online registration will be opening soon.

2017 FGS Conference Program Announced!

MAAGI Registration

Registration is open for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute also known as MAAGI. It will be held July 11 – 13, 2017 at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

You register for one of the tracks. The DNA track is filled. The tracks are

Fundamental Methods & Strategies for African American Research (Shelley Murphy, Coordinator)
DNA & African American Genealogy, (Bernice Bennett, Coordinator)
Intermediate Genealogy – Pre & Post Slavery Era Research (Janis Minor Forté, Coordinator)
Genealogy Writing From Planning to Publication (Angela Walton-Raji, Coordinator)

Registration is $325 or if you are a MAAGI member the cost is $276.25.

Registration for Midwest African American Genealogy Institute 2017 Now Open

Caribbean Cruise

The California Genealogical Society and the Genealogy Guys have announced a Caribbean cruise. It will leave out of Fort Lauderdale with stops in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. It will be February 11 – 18, 2018.

The genealogy classes during the cruise will be taught by the Genealogy Guys – George Morgan and Drew Smith.

Caribbean Cruise

Normally I mention all the online activities that are coming up at the end of the show. But my voice isn’t up to more talking. So I encourage you to go the Geneatopia calendar where everything is listed there.

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 99.

Thanks for listening.

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