Genealogy News Transcript Episode 85

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

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

Today is Sunday, June 26, and this is Episode 85.

FamilySearch Down for 24 Hours

A notice was placed on the FamilySearch website that says “The FamilySearch website will be undergoing a technical upgrade Monday, June 27th starting at 12:00 am MDT (6:00 am UTC) and may be down for up to 24 hours as we test the system.”

By the time you’re listening to this the upgrade has probably already happened.

If the update was not successful, another attempt to upgrade will occur on July 11th.

They will be moving the database to Amazon servers. This should ease some of the technical problems and slowness during peak times. It will also give FamilySearch room to grow and add more records.

They will also be getting rid of New Family Search which is the old version. That means that the Family Trees on New Family Search will not be linked to the tress at FamilySearch Family Tree.

With this link gone many issues will also be gone. You will be able to merge duplicate individuals that previously could not be merged.

You will be able to change gender. Relationships that are deleted will not “magically” reappear. They reappeared because they could not be deleted at New FamilySearch.

New FamilySearch Collections – June 6, 2016

More new records at FamilySearch

New indexed record collection
Michigan Civil Marriages 1834 – 1974

New browsable image collections added include
Italy Roma Civil Registration (State Archive) 1863 – 1930

The following have new indexed records and images
Connecticut Marriages 1640 – 1939
Florida Port Everglades Passenger Lists 1932 – 1951
Texas El Paso Alien Arrivals 1924 – 1952

Next these collections have indexed records added to an existing collection
Argentina Tucumán Catholic Church Records 1727 – 1955
Australia Tasmania Civil Registration (District Registers) 1839 – 1938
Belgium Liège Civil Registration 1621 – 1914
Belgium Namur Civil Registration 1800 – 1912
Brazil Pernambuco Civil Registration 1804 – 2014
California San Francisco County Records 1824 – 1997
Canadian Headstones
France Haute-Garonne Toulouse Civil Registration 1792 – 1893
Georgia Brunswick Passenger Lists 1904 – 1939
Hungary Jewish Vital Records Index 1800 – 1945
Illinois Cook County Birth Certificates 1871 – 1940
Illinois Cook County Deaths 1878 – 1994
Iowa Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records 1861 – 1949
Louisiana Naturalization Records 1831 – 1906
Massachusetts Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626 – 2001
Minnesota Baudette Warroad and International Falls Passenger Lists 1910- – 1923
New York Northern Arrival Manifests 1902 – 1956
Nicaragua Civil Registration 1809 – 2013
Ohio County Births 1841 – 2003
Peru Catholic Church Records 1603 – 1992
Peru Lambayeque Civil Registration 1873 – 1998
Philippines Manila Civil Registration 1899 – 1984
South Africa Cape Province Western Cape Archives Records 1792 – 1992
Utah Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel Database 1847 – 1868
Washington Birth Records 1869 – 1950

The next collection has had indexed records and images added to an existing collection
Belgium Antwerp Civil Registration 1588 – 1913

These collections have added images to an existing collection
Belgium East Flanders Civil Registration 1541 – 1914
Oregon Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records 1870 – 1930
Peru Cusco Civil Registration 1889 – 1997
Peru Puno Civil Registration 1890 – 2005

FamilySearch Indexing Changes

FamilySearch updated their indexing program on June 15th. One of the changes is the removal of the arbitration results percentage. This shows the percentage of how many of the indexed values a user submitted agreed with the arbitrator’s opinion.

Many felt discouraged when this number goes down and decide to quit indexing. FamilySearch does not feel this is an accurate representation of an indexer’s contribution.

If you want to compare your results with the arbitrators, you can click the Review Batches button and see the arbitration results for each batch.

Another change will be consolidation and update the help section and links. The F1 key will no longer bring up help since it was outdated. The new way to get help is to search the articles at

Freedmen’s Bureau Indexing Complete

The Freedman’s Bureau records on FamilySearch are now all indexed. The records were released almost a year ago with a goal of having them indexed by late 2016 in time for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. That goal has been accomplished.

About 19,000 volunteers from across the United States and Canada indexed the records. The next step will be to teach people how to use these records to find their family.

The final batches will need to go through arbitration before they will be made available. All records are indexed by two volunteers. If there are any differences between the two entries, a third, experienced volunteer who is the arbitrator makes the decision as to what is correct.

All records should be available in a few months.

Ancestry Launches Dutch Records Online

Ancestry has launched more than 100 million birth, marriage and death records from the Netherlands. These records come from an agreement between Ancestry and the Netherlands Centre for Family History.

These records have been available on the Netherlands Centre for Family History website WieWasWie which means WhoWasWho in English. This site is available in English and Dutch. It’s a subscription site that costs about $20 per year. You can search the site for free. A subscription gives you some advanced features when searching, the ability to save your searches and a few other things.

The Dutch records on Ancestry include indexes of civil registration records, population registers, church registers and family announcements.

Ancestry Adds Records from Gloucestershire

Ancestry has also added some records for Gloucestershire. They’ve added Prison records 1791 – 1914, Land Tax records 1713 – 1833 and Electoral Registers 1832 – 1974. And they’ve updated the Gloucestershire Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1538 – 1813.

Ancestry Academy Introduces Short Courses

Ancestry Academy has added Short Courses. These give you quick tips on one topic in 5 minutes or less. The first Short Courses are about the basics of the U.S. Federal Census.

They include:
Pre 1850-Censuses
1850 Census: An Introduction
1890 Census: Where is it?
1880 Census: An Overview
Introduction to the 1940 Census

Ancestry Academy costs $11.99 for one month, $99 for a year or $199 for 6 months which includes access to Ancestry, Fold3 and If you have an All Access subscription to Ancestry, you get access to Ancestry Academy at no extra charge.

New Records at Findmypast

Findmypast has added records to its Wiltshire baptisms, Surrey Marriage index, Warwickshire burials and a brand new set containing baptisms, marriages and burials from the parish of St Martin in the Bull Ring in Birmingham.

They’ve made additions to quite a few collections:
British newspapers
Yorkshire West Riding marriages
Ireland Dog Licenses
Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers
Ireland Poor Law Records
Britain, Knights of the Realm & Commonwealth index

A new collection has been added for South Australian Rate Books. This collection is an index that was transcribed from the rate assessments for the district of Beachport for the years between 1882 and 1888.

Another new collection is Prisoners of War 1715 – 1945. It contains records for the Napoleonic, Crimean, Boer, First and Second World Wars.

The Arizona death collection dates from the late 1800s to 1965. That includes all counties except La Paz county because it was recently established in 1983 and the death records end with the year 1965.

There has been an update to PERSI with more images from 12 different titles. PERSI is a subject index to genealogical periodicals.

Over 30,000 new records have been added to Northumberland & Durham Baptisms.

More articles have been added to the Irish newspaper the Belfast Weekly News.

Findmypast Free Access to Military Records

All UK, Irish, Australian, Canadian and US military records at Findmypast will be free from 27th of June to 4th July. This is to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The Battle of the Somme was fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German empire. It started on July 1, 1916 and took place on both sides of upper reaches of the River Somme in France. It was a very bloody battle with many lives lost.

MyHeritage Sun Chart

MyHeritage has added a new family tree chart. They already offer a wide selection of charts and books that can be created for free.

The new chart is called a Sun Chart. The main ancestor is shown in the center with multiple generations of descendants in the outer rings. It includes photos and isn’t’ limited in the number of generations.

A regular descendant chart can become enormous. Descendant fan charts are better but they have limitations. They are limited in the number of generations and don’t display photos.

Sun Charts can include many ancestors in a compact circular format. MyHeritage has developed an algorithm to make these charts even more compressed. It calculates every individual’s exact position to produce the smallest possible chart by moving the rings so descendants will be shown as close as possible to their parents.

Australians Asked to Submit DNA for Database

The Centre for Ancient DNA at Adelaide University is starting a database of DNA. The have asked Australians to donate their DNA to help researchers solve wartime mysteries. They are specifically looking for those who were alive before 1945 or people descended from those who were alive at the time and a resident of Australia.

The historical database will provide a snapshot of the genetic makeup of the Australian population in the early 1900s.

The database will be used to identify unrecovered war dead and solve decades-old missing person cases.

AncestryDNA and FamilyTreeDNA

AncestryDNA recently changed to using a custom chip for processing DNA tests. The new chip provides the same matches as the old chip and it tests some health-related SNPs and produces better ethnicity results for some populations outside of Europe.

This new format for AncestryDNA results is not compatible with FamilyTreeDNA. If you tested prior to mid-May you can still upload your results to Family Tree DNA and unlock your matches for $39. Those who have tested with the new chip at AncestryDNA will have to wait before they can transfer to FamilyTreeDNA.

FamilyTreeDNA is working so that those who have tested with the new chip at AncestryDNA will be able to transfer their results to FamilyTreeDNA. They have made this a high priority so expect to be able to transfer AncestryDNA soon.

1950 Census Enumeration District Maps

Federal Censuses are organized by enumeration districts. This is an area that a census taker could cover within a two to four-week period when the census was taken. It could be a city block, an area outlined by boundaries or an entire county in a rural area.

The 1950 census will be released to the public in 2022. The National Archives has released over 8000 Enumeration District Maps to its online catalog.

These maps do not contain any information protected under privacy restrictions. No one will have access to the actual census until after 72 years has passed since it was taken except the person named on the record or their legal heir. There is a fee of $65 for this service to access the record.

The census is arranged by enumeration district. So you can’t search by name, you can only look at enumeration districts. Once the 1950 census is released indexes will be created. But if you want to find your relatives in that census you will need to know where they lived.

There is a crowdsourcing project called “Project 1950” to get all the street addresses in the United States mapped to their corresponding enumeration district.

When the 1950 census becomes available you will be able to look up by street address to find the enumeration district. Then you can go to the 1950 census and page through for just that enumeration district to find your relatives.

Eventually the 1950 census will be indexed. This is what was done for the 1940 census. Today the mapping of the street address to the enumeration district is used to find people whose name was misspelled or not indexed correctly for the 1940 census. It’s still a useful tool.

I’ll have a link in the show notes to “Project 1950” where you can volunteer if you would like to participate.

Newspaper St. Helena Star has been Digitized

The newspaper the St. Helena Star in Napa Valley, California has been digitized. Back issues from 1874 to 2015 are available for free. They are searchable or you can browse by date.

These back issues were previously only available through the use of microfiche readers as the St. Helena Library.

South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive Expansion

The Digital Archive of Georgia has expanded the South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive with the addition of two newspapers – Houston Home Journal (Perry) (1870-1923) and Grady County Progress (Cairo) (1910-1917).

The archive can be accessed from the Digital Library of Georgia using Georgia’s Virtual Library GALILEO.

Georgia State University Yearbooks

The Georgia State University has placed their annual yearbooks online. The collection starts with the yearbook from 1934 and goes to the year 1996.

During the 1930s and 1940s there were two yearbooks per year to reflect the separate day and night divisions. Over the years the college went through several name changes. The last yearbook for 1996 reflects a time before the college became a research institution.

Newspapers Digitized for Greenfield, Indiana

More newspapers have been digitized in Indiana. Three local newspapers from Greenfield in Hancock county will be coming online. The newspapers are the Evening Star, the Greenfield Republican, and the Evening Republican. Eventually you will find these newspapers at the Hoosier State Chronicles website.

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

The Library and Archives Canada have digitized the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files up to the name Karpuk, with a K. They are digitizing the records basically in alphabetical order. That makes for 46% of these records are now online.

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 one month later than last month’s estimate.

Ontario Genealogical Society Adds Names

The Quinte branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has added more names to its database of family histories, pedigree charts, cemetery transcriptions, and newspaper indexes for their local area.

They’ve increased the database by about 25%.

If you find a name and you would like more information, you can visit the branch or email a research request. There is fee to cover the cost of the research.

Nova Scotia Archives Adds More Records

The Nova Scotia Archives has added more births, marriages, and death records online. The birth records for 1915, the marriage records for 1940, and the death records for 1965 have been added. These records were release on December 31, 2015 and they have been digitized and indexed.

You can search all the available Nova Scotia vital records for free at

TheGenealogist Completes Norfolk Parish Records Collection

TheGenealogist, a subscription website in the UK, has completed putting online the collection for Norfolk Parish Records. These records are released in partnership with the Norfolk Record Office and they cover the majority of parishes in the Diocese of Norwich. Also included are some Suffolk parishes near Lowestoft and the parishes in the deanery of Fincham and Feltwell that were part of the Diocese of Ely in south-west Norfolk.

There are now over 9.8 million searchable records at the website. These records include baptisms, marriages, marriage banns and burials for Norfolk with images of the original registers.

New Staffordshire History Centre

The Staffordshire History Centre has been approved to receive funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A new center will be built to hold old records, community exhibition space, search rooms and strong rooms to store an additional 25 years of future collections.

The new center will combine the existing records held at the Lichfield Record Office and the William Salt Library and more records will be coming online. There will be over six million parish records available in the new center and online. Plans are to digitize key collections

More than 100 people will be asked to volunteer in this project.

Royal Navy Service Records from the First World War Online

A new website called the First World War: Lives at Sea has been released. It’s a searchable database to find those who served in the Royal Navy during the First World War.

It has been difficult to obtain who was on which ship because of a lack of crew lists after the late 19th century. This new database will create virtual crew lists for different battles and campaigns.

The database is searchable by name, occupation, next of kin and medals.

This is a work in progress. The full collection should be uploaded and transcribed by November 2018, which is the end of the First World War Centenary.

Home Front Legacy Recording App

There is a new app for those in the UK who would like to participate in recording physical landmarks for the First World War. The app is available for phones and desktop PCs.

The idea is that you record local places where you live to preserve the information about the First World War for future generations.

The project will run thru 2018.

New Records at ArkivDigital

ArkivDigital is a subscription website for Swedish records. They have added records for Älvdalen. This parish never delivered their church books to the Regional Archive in Uppsala.

ArkivDigital visited Älvdalen to photograph all the church books and they recently went back to make their collection up-to-date. Church records up until 1945 have been added for that parish.

Swedish law prohibits records after 1945 to be released. This is due to a privacy law that records cannot be available until after 70 years.

Privacy laws for marriage records and migration registers are not as restrictive. So ArkivDigital was able to add migration records up to 1971 and marriage records up to 1963 for Älvdalen.

Hotel Registrations for NGS 2017 Conference

The National Genealogical Society’s next conference isn’t until May 2017 but it’s already time to make your hotel reservations. The conference will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina.

There are there discounted hotels to choose from that are convenient to the convention center where the conference will be held.

TLC Renews ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and ‘Long Lost Family’

TLC has renewed the shows “Who Do You Think You Are?” and “Long Lost Family.” “Who Do You Think You Are?” follows celebrities as the embark on personal journeys to trace their family trees.

“Long Lost Family” features stories about people who were separated from family members when they were young. The series reunites those who were separated by adoption, abandonment and other reasons why families lose track of one another.

Ancestry will be sponsor for the upcoming seasons for both series. As part of the sponsorship, Ancestry will provide family history research to uncover family mysteries.

New Podcast – Genealogy Connection

Drew Smith of the Genealogy Guys will be the host of a new podcast called Genealogy Connection. This show will present interviews with genealogical speakers, authors, librarians and archivists, database service providers, software and technology developers, and other leaders in the community.

If you already subscribe to the Genealogy Guys, this new podcast will appear in that feed. The new podcast will alternate episodes with the Genealogy Guys.

The first episode of Genealogy Connection will debut during the week of June 27th.

Coming Up

Tuesday, June 28, 1PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar a Necessity When Researching in the Czech Republic

Tuesday, June 28, 8PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Navigating The Family History Guide
presented by Bob Taylor

Wednesday, June 29, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA?
presented by Diahan Southard

Wednesday, June 29, 4PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
French Indexing

Thursday, June 30, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
British Research Questions Answered

#genchat – Personal Digitization Methods
Friday, July 1, 10PM Eastern

Saturday, July 2, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Los libros de la vida
(The Books of Life)

Tuesday, July 5, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Ask Your U.S. Research Question

Wednesday July 6, 10AM Eastern
Genhound Class
Exploring the 1906 Eastern Cherokee Applications

Wednesday, July 6, noon Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Are You Your Own Brick Wall, Common Genealogical Mistakes and Their Solutions

Wednesday, July 6, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Navigating Naturalization Records
presented by Lisa Alzo

Thursday, July 7, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
History Library Catalog and Services

Thursday, July 7, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Research Case Study

Thursday, July 7, 7PM Eastern
Ontario Genealogical Society Webinar
Finding Your New England Ancestors
presented by David B. Appleton

Friday, July 8, 3PM Eastern
North Carolina Genealogical Society
Finding Women: Maiden Name Not Known
presented by Craig R. Scott
Webinar free viewing August 5 – 7

Saturday, July 9, noon Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Switzerland Records Online

Saturday, July 9, 1PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Switzerland Compiled Genealogies

Saturday, July 9, 2PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Switzerland Research Strategies

Tuesday, July 12, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Resources on FamilySearch

Tuesday, July 12, 9PM Eastern
Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinar
Special Delivery: Using US Postmaster Documents in Family History Research
presented by Jean Hibben

Wednesday, July 13, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Resources on Ancestry

Wednesday, July 13, 9PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
A Genealogist’s Guide to Heraldry
presented by Shannon Combs-Bennett

Thursday, July 14, 1PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
United States Research: Big City Research

Thursday, July 14, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Genealogy Program Records Overview

Thursday, July 14, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
England Resources on Find My Past

Friday, July 15, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Finding French Ancestors
presented by Luana Darby

#genchat – Adoption Cases: Past & Present
Friday, July 15, 10PM Eastern

Saturday, July 16, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Cómo utilizar el Wiki de Investigación
(Using the Research Wiki)

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 85.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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