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It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often.

Les Filles du Roi

If you have French-Canadian ancestry, you probably have encountered the term “Filles du Roi” at some point in your genealogy research. Millions of today’s Canadians and Americans can find one or more of the Filles du Roi in the family tree. I thought I would explain the term this week and also provide some historical background information.

The French term “Filles du Roi” translates literally as “the daughters of the King.” Between 700 and perhaps 1,000 young, single women traveled to Quebec City, Trois Rivières, and Montréal from 1663 to 1673 as a part of a program managed by the Jesuits and funded by King Louis XIV.

Jean Talon, Bishop François de Laval and several settlers welcome the King’s Daughters upon their arrival. Painting by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale.

These hardy immigrant women married and raised families. In fact, many of them raised large families in the tradition of the day. Many of their sons and daughters went on to also have large families, and so on and so forth for generations. As a result, millions of living people are descended from this group of pioneer women.

Home of the Marissa (Illinois) Historical and Genealogical Society Destroyed by Fire

A suspicious fire destroyed the Marissa Academy building overnight. It is the home of the Marissa Historical and Genealogical Society, which serves as both a library and a museum – a repository of irreplaceable historical documents, photographs, memorabilia and antiques, many of them donated by residents of the town. The building was constructed in 1891 and had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1994.

You can watch a video report of the fire, including video of the damaged collection being removed after the fire, on YouTube at or in the video player below.

“Genealogy Roadshow” Helps Katrina Victim

The next episode of the PBS series “Genealogy Roadshow” will be broadcast next Tuesday, February 3. This episode will feature a return to New Orleans, the location of an earlier episode of the program as well as the location of Hurricane Katrina, one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.

The next episode was videotaped at the New Orleans Board of Trade and reportedly will include stories from residents of one of America’s most multicultural cities. One man seeks to recover his family history when the family’s records were washed away in Hurricane Katrina. Host Joshua Taylor travels to the Old United States Mint, which holds thousands of historical documents, to see if that relatively recent history can be reconstructed.

UFO Project Blue Book Files Removed from a Web Site at the Request of Fold3

Click on the above image to view a larger, although still fuzzy, version.

Ten days ago, I published an article entitled Photos of UFOs Now Available from the National Archives and Records Administration at The article described the new addition of files concerning UFO reports collected by the U.S. Air Force while investigating UFOs from the late 40s to the late 60s. The files were recently added to the Black Vault web site at To be sure, most of the material had previously been available on and bits and pieces have also been published on other web sites as well. However, the documents on the Black Vault web site were in a PDF format, and therefore were more accessible than they had been previously.

The files at The Back Vault have now been deleted. Fold3, a subsidiary of, has claimed they have a digital copyright over the files.

How to Watch Genealogy and Other Television Programs from Other Countries

I like to watch the British television programs, including Who Do You Think You Are? When I was in Scotland last year, one evening in my hotel room I watched a movie on the U.S. version of Netflix. A Canadian friend of mine watches Netflix movies from his home in Canada.

How is that possible? The answer is simple: use a VPN.

How Do You Find a Professional Genealogist You Can Trust?

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

British Library opens National Newspaper Building

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:

Book Review: North Carolina Genealogy Research

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

North Carolina Genealogy Research.
by Michael A. Ports. Genealogy At a Glance guide, published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. Laminated, 4 pages.

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.

AncestryDNA Testing Kits Now Available in the United Kingdom and Ireland 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:

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.

Southampton County VA Early Court Records now Digitized

Southampton County, Virginia probably takes its name from the English port city of Southampton.

Newsletter reader Patsy West sent an email to tell me that a new genealogy resource is now available on 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”

Ancestry to Build New Headquarters in Lehi, Utah

The following announcement was written by

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.”

Thank You to The Villages Genealogical Society

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 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:

To read the proposed final rule go to: For those who wish to review the proposed final rule see:

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:

  1. limited data elements in the Death Master File making it all but unusable for meaningful genealogical searches;
  2. prohibitive charges for access to the data and to becoming certified; and
  3. 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 Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF formats only.

Genealogy Roadshow, Season 2, Episode 3

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 and at However, I did enjoy the stories that were made available in this week’s episode.

Whisky & Haggis Crisps

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

This is a follow-up to the description of haggis, neeps and tatties that I published a few days ago at 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 ( 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.

Book Review: The Veterans Cemetery. Esquimalt, British Columbia. God’s Acre.

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.

St Louis No. 1 Cemetery in New Orleans to be Closed to All but Licensed Tour Groups

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.


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