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Call for Presentations at the Ontario Genealogical Society’s 2016 Conference

The following was written by the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, hosts of the 2016 OGS conference:

The Ontario Genealogical Society’s Toronto Branch will host the Society’s annual conference on June 3-5, 2016. The Society (OGS) enjoys the largest membership of any Canadian family history organization. The conference theme, “Genealogy on the Cutting Edge”, has been selected to inspire excitement among speakers, exhibitors and attendees alike.

In keeping with this theme, we invite proposals for presentations on: (1) the latest developments in archives, libraries, museums and societies in the heritage sector, (2) recently discovered or released genealogical records, (3) newly developed genealogical databases, transcriptions or indexes, (4) innovative theoretical or methodological approaches to genealogical or historical research, including case histories, (5) cutting-edge technology and its application for family historians, whether in information management, mobile computing, genetic testing and analysis, or other emerging fields.

Family Historians Go Online to Identify Unknown Soldiers and You Can Help

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission says it has seen a steep rise in cases where amateur genealogists and historians believe they have solved the mystery of unidentified war graves. Similar efforts are underway in the U.S. and in European countries that were the scene of World War I and World War II battles.

The ability to search old war records easily online and the popularity of family history programs such as Who Do You Think You Are? and the the Missing In Action Recovery and Identification Project of the University of Wisconsin at Madison shave led many to turn amateur historian and try to identify the graves of missing ancestors.

Make Your Reservation NOW for the NGS 2016 Conference in Fort Lauderdale

If you have ever attended one of the larger national genealogy conferences, you may already know that nearby hotels often are fully booked months in advance of the event. Experienced attendees know they need to make their room reservations months in advance, even a year in advance is a good idea. Next year’s annual conference of the National Genealogical Society will be held in Fort Lauderdale, a very popular vacation resort in the springtime. You might want to make your reservations now. I made mine yesterday.

The conference will be held in the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, a first-class conference facility. I have attended a couple of non-genealogy events in that convention center in the past and can tell you it is a great location. I can also tell you it is adjacent to Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades cruise ship port, a location that is crowded when cruise ships arrive or are about to depart. Many people who are going on or returning from cruises spend a night or two in the nearby hotels. Such cruises are typically planned many months in advance so hotel reservations are also booked many months ahead of time. If you don’t want to be forced to spend your nights in a hotel several miles away, you might want to make your reservation now.

Alabama Senate Approves Bill to Abolish Marriage Licensing

A newly-proposed piece of legislation in Alabama might have a minor impact on genealogy record-keeping. The state’s constitution declares marriage to be between a man and a woman. However, federal courts are attempting to force the state to issue marriage licenses for same-sex marriages. Alabama Senate Bill 377 proposes to end marriage licensing and replace them with a contract process.

According to the text of the bill, it would abolish the requirement to obtain a marriage license from the judge of probate.

Book Review: The People of Ireland 1600-1699, Part Four

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The People of Ireland 1600-1699, Part Four
by David Dobson
Printed for Clearfield Co. by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. 114 pages.

Mr. Dobson gathered the 17th-century names of “ordinary people” whose roots were native to Ireland, or who were immigrant English, with a few names of Huguenot and Dutch immigrants. These collected names can be used to identify locations of families during the 1600s. Those persons of Scottish origin are collected in Mr. Dobson’s Scots-Irish Links, 1575-1725, and are not included in the People of Ireland works.

Mr. Dobson writes that there are few church baptism, marriage, and burial records from the Irish Catholic parishes before the mid-1750s. Presbyterian church records date from the 1670s, and the Quakers maintained records from the 1650s. As the predominant religion, the missing Catholic records represent a significant amount of missing data. Mr. Dobson accessed a considerable amount of material not available to the ordinary researcher, along with primary sources such as governmental records and references found in Irish, British, and European sources.

Help for Texas Flood Victims to Salvage Wet Documents and Heirlooms

Conservators and students at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information are available to provide advice and limited disaster recovery assistance to help this weekend’s flood victims salvage damaged family treasures. Wet papers and photographs, textiles, scrapbooks, books and other sentimental objects should be frozen, if possible, and not thrown out, the conservators say.

Losing such items can be devastating after disasters such as floods. Luckily, many things can be salvaged with proper guidance.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 1.7 Million Indexed Records and Images for Australia, China, India, Peru, the Philippines, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added to its collections more than 1.7 million indexed records and images for Australia, China, India, Peru, the Philippines, and the United States. Notable collection updates include 327,195 images from the Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874–1996 collection; 275,449 images from the Peru, Puno, Civil Registration, 1890–2005 collection; and 249,700 images from the Peru, San Martín, Civil Registration, 1850–1999 collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 5.8 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few hours ago. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

(+) How to Use the GPS You May Already Own but Didn’t Know You Had

(+) Rescue Old Photos and Documents: Make a Humidification Chamber

Google Power Search: How to Search by a Date Range and Why You Might Want To

How to use the Upper Saint John Valley (Northern Maine and Northwestern New Brunswick) Historical Land Grant Database to Find Your Ancestors

Mocavo Announces: U.S. Federal Census Images & Viewer are now Free for Everyone Forever

How Castle Garden Records Burned in the Ellis Island Fire

NGS Introduces Four New Research in the States Books: California, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska

(+) How to Use the GPS You May Already Own but Didn’t Know You Had

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

GPS (Global Positioning System) devices are very useful tools for genealogists. These devices can be used to find locations easily and are often accurate plus or minus ten feet or so. Genealogists typically use GPS receivers to find or to document cemetery tombstone locations as well as to find old homesteads, courthouses, libraries, or even fast-food restaurants when traveling on research trips.

I have frequently used the U.S. Government’s Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) at http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/ to locate old cemeteries, even small ones of only a dozen graves or even less. The information provided in the GNIS includes the exact latitude and longitude of each named feature, including cemeteries. GNIS provides the exact location of the entrance to each cemetery although not the location of individual tombstones within the cemetery. The GNIS data is “read only.” That is, you read the information in a web browser and then manually copy the displayed latitude and longitude into a GPS receiver of your choice. More sophisticated and easier-to-use systems are now available.

Mocavo Announces: U.S. Federal Census Images & Viewer are now Free for Everyone Forever

The folks at Mocavo.com have posted an announcement that says (in part), “Today, we are thrilled to announce that for the first time anywhere, the indexes and images for all United States Federal Census are now available for free to everyone.” This is good news for anyone researching U.S. ancestry.

How Castle Garden Records Burned in the Ellis Island Fire

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will hold a live webinar that should interest many genealogists. Here is the announcement:

How Castle Garden Records Burned in the Ellis Island Fire*

USCIS “Records Found” LIVE Webinar, Friday, May 29, 2015 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Exactly what records burned in the 1897 fire that consumed Ellis Island? Were “some,” “many,” “most,” or “all” records destroyed? Were passenger lists destroyed or “only administrative” records? Some say State and municipal records were burned, but why would those records be at a Federal immigration station? Did we really lose anything in that fire? Join Marian L. Smith and the live USCIS Records Found webinar at 1:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 29th for answers to these burning questions for New York passenger list research.

A Proposal to Abolish the Alabama Historic Commission

The Alabama Pioneers web site contains an email message from Ted Urquhart, President of the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance. He states:

“You may already be aware that a bill has been introduced to the Alabama House of Representatives to abolish the Alabama Historic Commission (AHC) and transfer most – but not all – of its responsibilities and holdings to the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).

C.E. Brehm Memorial Public Library in Mt Vernon, Illinois to Expand Genealogy Department

The C.E. Brehm Memorial Public Library collects materials reflecting the general migration patterns of people in Southern Illinois. The primary focus is on Virginia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as Southern Illinois. Of secondary importance are materials covering other migration routes through Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. Now the Genealogy Department will be moved into a new, larger facility.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin

Some of the above changes may have been deletions of previous events.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

(+) Rescue Old Photos and Documents: Make a Humidification Chamber

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Old documents, newspapers, and photographs are often improperly stored. They may have been rolled or folded for years. By the time that you, the family historian, find these items and wish to view them, the documents may be damaged if forced open. Old paper, especially that manufactured after 1885, becomes brittle with age. This will be doubly true if the document has been stored in a very low-humidity environment, such as an attic. Old or fragile items may even crack and crumble if not handled properly.

The primary problem is that old paper and photographs that have not been stored properly will become dried out over the years. Dryness creates brittleness, which then causes damage when the item is not handled properly. Have you ever seen someone tenderly – but wrongly – try to uncurl an old photo or unfold an old news clipping, only to see it crumble in their hands? It’s a sad sight.

Do not attempt to open brittle documents!

How to use the Upper Saint John Valley (Northern Maine and Northwestern New Brunswick) Historical Land Grant Database to Find Your Ancestors

Do you have ancestors from the Upper Saint John Valley? I do. That’s 50% of my ancestry and I also lived there for a few years. I was recently told of a great genealogy database for the area. If you also have an interest in the history and the people of the Upper Saint John Valley, you will want to read this article written by George L. Findlen, CG, CGL. He describes how to locate a family in a land grants database and how to use the information found there with other resources in order to track a family (some, not all) from 1845 forward in time.

The process requires multiple steps but the effort is worth it. The following is published here with the kind permission of author George L. Findlen:

Upper Saint John Valley (Northern Maine and Northwestern New Brunswick) Historical Land Grant Database

By George L. Findlen, CG, CGL

The 2014 Congrès Mondial Acadien (World Acadian Reunion) took place in the Upper Saint John Valley on the Maine–New Brunswick border in August. The three-week event was filled with cultural, historical, religious, and entertainment events. The core of the CMA was a series of family reunions, 120 of them, which included some Yankee and Quebec names, since they and Acadians have intermarried over the years.

Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research Announces Upcoming Courses and Offers Memorial Day Drawing for Free Course

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research:

RALEIGH, North Carolina, 22 May 2015. Registration is currently open for six upcoming courses offered by the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research.

“We are very excited about these new courses, covering genetic genealogy; English, German and Native American research; and U.S. federal land and Revolutionary War records,” said co-administrator Michael Hait, CG. “The response to our courses has been outstanding! The Virtual Institute is an excellent option for in-depth genealogical education, especially for those with limited travel options.”

In celebration of Memorial Day, the Virtual Institute is also offering a drawing for everyone who registers for a course between Friday, 22 May 2015 and Monday, 25 May 2015 at midnight (U.S. Eastern). Each registrant will be entered into the drawing to win a free additional course ($69.99 value). Those registering for multiple courses will receive multiple entries. Three winners will be drawn. The prizes can be applied to any standard course prior to 31 December 2016, not including the original course registration.

Registration for the following courses is currently open:

Discount on Genealone WP (Genealogy Plugin for WordPress)

I have written before about Genealone, a product that allows you to quickly and easily build your own genealogy web site. See https://goo.gl/RZlgPF to find my earlier articles. The following message was written by David Nebesky of Genealone.com

You can get 50% discount on genealogy plugin for WordPress from Genealone now. With Genealone WP you can publish your family tree on your blog or WordPress site easily. The plugin imports GEDCOM files, displays charts and maps, finds relationship etc. For more information and for online demo please visit http://genealone.com/genealone-wp.

World War II Spitfire Pilot Takes His Legacy Online

What will people know about you after you die? Some people are going a step further, and creating a virtual “shoeboxes” of family photographs, love letters, marriage certificates, priceless video clips and key documents, in an attempt to preserve their most precious memories.

One such person is Brian Bird, a former World War II Spitfire pilot who has lived a long, exciting – and at times terrifying – life. Now, at the age of 90, he is embarking on one of his most important missions, to create a digital record for his family to remember him by after his death.

New Records Available to Search at Findmypast

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

This Findmypast Friday marks the release over 154,000 fascinating apprenticeship records from two of London’s historic liveries. This week’s additions also include mortuary register records from the London borough of Southwark, Royal Navy officer’s award index records and over half a million new passenger list records from Victoria, Australia’s most populous state.

Haberdasher and Ironmonger records

Containing over 136,000 records, City of London Haberdashers, Apprentices and Freemen 1526-1933 lists the details of apprentices who trained with the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers in the City of London. Founded in 1516, the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers is one of London’s twelve historic liveries. Haberdashers sold accessory items such as hats, scarves, gloves, shawls, parasols, needles, buttons and thread. They traded from the shops and stalls around Cheapside and probably worshipped together in the old St Paul’s Cathedral in a chapel to St Catherine of Alexandria, who was to become the Fraternity of Haberdashers’ chosen patron saint. Company membership allowed individuals to become a Freeman; a person who was not tied to land as a villein or serf. Apprentices travelled from all over the country to join the company.

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