Maybe you’ve hit a wall in tracing an elusive ancestor, or you’ve received DNA-analysis results of which you can’t make heads or tails. At this point, you might consider getting professional help. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (well known for his Finding Your Roots television program) and and Suzanne Stewart, a researcher at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, have pulled together some guidance that can point you in the right direction. You can find this interesting, although brief, article about finding a professional genealogist to help you at http://goo.gl/KqoJYH.
The British Library opened a new long-term home for UK national newspaper collection last week. The facility is huge. It appears to be the latest, state-of-the-art facility featuring robotic cranes to retrieve newspapers from shelving that are 20 metres (65 feet) high. Of course, it has temperature and humidity controls, as one might expect in any archival facility.
In reading about the new facility, one thing jumped out at me: the newspapers are stored in a dark, airtight, low-oxygen environment, both for preservation purposes and to eliminate the risk of fire. Apparently, humans are unable to breath within the stacks unless they are equipped with oxygen tanks. Items are normally retrieved by robotic cranes, which transfer stacks of newspapers via an airlock to a retrieval area where staff can remove requested items and send them either to the British Library Newsroom at St Pancras or the on-site Reading Room at Boston Spa.
The following is the press release issued by the British Library:
The following book review was written by Bobbi King:
North Carolina is one of the latest brochures in the Genealogy At a Glance series of short, concise guides meant to be portable, durable, lightweight, and quickly referenced. With some significant genealogical events coming up in Salt Lake City within the next few weeks, genealogists might consider this a useful guide to pick up at one of the conference vendors and take over to the Library.
Ancestry.com sold the company’s first DNA kit in the U.S. in 2012 and, since then, more than 700,000 people have used AncestryDNA to discover more about their family history. Now anyone in the United Kingdom or in Ireland can do the same.
The Ancestry DNA kit costs £99 plus shipping. You can learn more or order a kit at: http://dna.ancestry.co.uk.
Accessible Archives and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Enter Into a Publishing Partners Agreement
The following announcement was written by Accessible Archives, Inc.:
Malvern, PA (January 29, 2015) – Accessible Archives, Inc., a publisher of electronic full-text searchable historical databases has signed an agreement with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to preserve in digital format a number of primary source collections relating to President Lincoln and the State of Illinois. Once the materials have been digitized and made fully searchable, they will be available to genealogists, scholars, students, and those studying historical issues of personal interest as new databases by Accessible Archives. This collaboration was coordinated through Unlimited Priorities LLC, a firm specializing in support for small and medium-size companies in the information and publishing industries.
Newsletter reader Patsy West sent an email to tell me that a new genealogy resource is now available on FamilySearch.org: Southampton Co., VA colonial records. She wrote, “I’ve had a really hard time searching there, as few of the court books had been indexed and published. A family association has now scanned and indexed all of the early court books. It is a terrific resource for genealogists researching that county.”
According to the FamilySearch web site: “In 2009 and 2010, in cooperation with Circuit Court Clerk, the Honorable Richard Francis, volunteers of the Brantley Association of America digitized the entire court book collection from 1749 through the early 1880s and recruited volunteers across the nation to index some 57,000 pages involving approximately one million names. It has been named ‘The Southampton Project’ (SoH). All the images and indexes shown below, are fruits from the SoH project and have made been made available online, for free. See how it developed at www.brantleyassociation.com.”
The following announcement was written by Ancestry.com:
PROVO, Utah, Jan. 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced its plans to build a new company headquarters at The Corporate Center at Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah.
“We’re excited about our new Utah headquarters,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry. “We’re proud of everything our employees have accomplished in recent years, and we’re looking forward to a new facility that is going to be an awesome place to work.”
I will say I had a great time this morning. The Villages Genealogical Society invited me to give a presentation to the society’s members about a technology topic. I have visited that society before in The Villages, Florida and enjoyed the first visit. I paused for about a half-second before accepting their latest invitation.
Indeed, I enjoyed this morning’s presentation as much as I did the first one. Now, let me ask you a question: Do you know of any other genealogy society that can attract more than 350 members to a society meeting held at 10 AM on a Wednesday morning?
Click on the above image to view a larger version.
(US) Proposed Rules for Certification for Access to Death Master File Comment Period EXTENDED Published in the Federal Register
This is a follow-up to the article published five days ago in this newsletter at http://goo.gl/UlqiNl. This was written by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:
As mentioned in Friday’s January 23, 2015 posting to this announcement list, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) extended the comment period from January 29, 2015 to March 30, 2015. No reason has been given for this extension. The notice of the extension has been posted in the Federal Register and may be read at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-01-28/pdf/2015-01546.pdf.
To read the proposed final rule go to: For those who wish to review the proposed final rule see: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-30/pdf/2014-30199.pdf.
The proposed final regulations for certification for access to the Death Master File have major concerns for genealogists and small businesses. As drafted they are:
- limited data elements in the Death Master File making it all but unusable for meaningful genealogical searches;
- prohibitive charges for access to the data and to becoming certified; and
- security provisions that are not small business-friendly.
IAJGS is submitting our statement expressing our concerns later this week. It will be posted on this announcement list. Individual forensic and professional genealogists should express their concerns by submitting a statement by March 30, 2015. To submit a statement it must be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF formats only.
This week’s episode of Genealogy Roadshow on PBS was videotaped in Philadelphia with most scenes taped at the Franklin Institute, showing the research efforts of hosts Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco along with additional research performed by a number of other professional genealogists hired by the show’s producers. While most of the program came from Philadelphia, one segment featuring Kenyatta Berry was videotaped in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
The format of the show remained unchanged from the previous two episodes already shown this year. You can read more about that in my previous articles at http://goo.gl/jqvGLu and at http://goo.gl/24h5em. However, I did enjoy the stories that were made available in this week’s episode.
This is a follow-up to the description of haggis, neeps and tatties that I published a few days ago at http://goo.gl/LMF0lA. Today, I discovered that MacKie’s of Scotland also sells Ridge Cut Whisky & Haggis Potato Crisps (that’s potato chips to Americans) as well as Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper Crisps. Is nothing sacred? Haggis potato chips… er, crisps?
I assumed these crisps are available in the U.K. but was surprised to learn that Americans can purchase MacKie’s Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper Crisps from Amazon although at a high price: $49.99 for a pack of 12 5.3-ounce bags. There is no mention on Amazon of the Whisky & Haggis Potato Crisps, however.
New England Historic Genealogical Society Has Offered to be the Repository for Armenian Genealogical History
The following was written by the The New England Historic Genealogical Society:
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) on Newbury St. in Boston has offered to be the repository for Armenian genealogical history—that is, to accept materials (family trees, letters, oral histories) from the Armenian community in New England relating to family history and genealogy.
Founded in 1845, the NEHGS is the country’s founding genealogical organization and a leading national resource for family history research. NEHGS offers access to unique content, publications, research materials, expert staff, and vast collections of rare artifacts and primary documents. The NEHGS website (www.AmericanAncestors.org) includes several searchable databases of Armenian births, marriages, and deaths in Massachusetts between 1880 and 1915. These useful databases were compiled by William A. Brown, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel and to Thailand, and are available for free on the NEHGS website.
NEHGS is hoping that New England Armenian-American genealogical materials will soon be added to its impressive collections of New England Irish-American materials, New England African-American materials, and New England Jewish-American materials.
The following book review was written by Bobbi King:
The Veterans Cemetery. Esquimalt, British Columbia. God’s Acre.
Compiled and edited by Harvey A. Buckmaster. Published by the Victoria Genealogical Society, Victoria, BC. Revised and updated 2014 Edition. 230 pages.
The Veteran’s Cemetery, known as God’s Acre, has been magnificently transcribed and re-published by the Victoria Genealogical Society, following a previously published volume in 2000.
The compilers have recorded marker transcriptions exactly as inscribed on the tombstones, with additional Notes added by the compilers to include additional genealogical information such as birth and death dates when available and not included on the markers.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans announced this morning that as of March 1, 2015, visitors to St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery will be permitted only if accompanied by a licensed guide. The reason cited is increasing vandalism.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans says allowances will be made for families who own tombs within the cemetery, but this edict effectively closes out genealogists from this historically rich source of information. There are plans to do the same in the St. Louis No. 3 and St. Roch cemeteries.
The following announcement was written by the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP):
Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is a very popular “summer camp for genealogists” that is held on the campus of La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Last year 205 students from 40 states and 3 countries attended six courses in Pittsburgh. Having fun while learning about genealogy in the company of friends and like-minded classmates is why students return year after year. Not to mention the course coordinators and instructors who are tops in the field! GRIP is happy to provide two separate weeks for learning opportunities this summer, each with its own opening registration date.
RootsTech 2015 will be a 3-day event offering more than 200 classes; an expo hall of hundreds of exhibitors and sponsors, including interactive booths to assist in your family history journey; general sessions with well-known and inspiring speakers; and entertaining events at the end of each day. See my earlier article at http://goo.gl/c4c7uC for details.
One vendor in this year’s exhibits hall, EZ Photo-Scan, is inviting all attendees to bring their family pictures, documents, and any memorabilia that can be digitized, for free scanning on site.
Family Tree University has announced an online conference and has even included a special early bird offer for readers of this newsletter. The following was written by the folks at F+W Media, Inc., sponsors of Family Tree University:
Family Tree University’s Winter 2015 Virtual Conference adds Genetic Genealogy sessions to presentation lineup
For a fraction of the cost it takes to travel to—and attend—a live event, Family Tree University’s Winter 2015 Virtual Conference provides attendees with an all-access pass to 15 half-hour video sessions, allowing you to learn from popular genealogy speakers from the comfort of home. And now, FTU is excited to announce the debut of a Genetic Genealogy track.
The following was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:
Arlington, VA, 26 JANUARY 2015: Each year, the National Genealogical Society recognizes excellence within the genealogy field through a number of awards. The deadline for several of these awards—January 31—is quickly approaching. NGS encourages its members, member societies, and other organizations to review the requirements and make submissions. Winners will be recognized at the NGS Family History Conference, to be held May 13-16, 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri.
The following NGS awards have a deadline of January 31:
The following Plus Edition article is written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
What does a library look like anymore?
When Egyptian King Ptolemy I built the Library of Alexandria nearly 2,300 years ago, the great library became the intellectual center of the ancient world. Ptolemy hoped to gather as much human knowledge as possible. Even ships anchored in the port were impounded until all the manuscripts they contained could be copied. World leaders lent their scrolls for duplication, and library officials traveled far and wide to purchase entire collections. Meanwhile, dutiful scribes hand-copied the library’s awesome collection, which eventually grew to as many as 700,000 scrolls.
Brewster Kahle is a modern-day Ptolemy: he wants to ensure universal access to all human knowledge. And now he thinks that goal is within our grasp. In fact, his web site, called The Internet Archive, has already stored 430 billion web pages. Yes, that’s BILLIONS of web pages. However, this online archive has a lot more than just web pages. It serves as an online library, the largest such library in the world. People download 20 million books from the site each month. This online library gets more visitors in a year than most libraries do in a lifetime.