(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.
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and RootsTech are teaming up for a one-time special genealogy event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, February 11–14, 2015. You can attend not one, but two, major genealogy conferences at the same time. If you can be in Salt Lake City those days, you won’t want to miss this event. It undoubtedly will be the largest genealogy gathering of the year in North America.
NOTE: I will be at the conferences also and will be hosting a dinner for readers of this newsletter on Saturday evening. I’ll write about the dinner in a separate article.
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, 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.
Apparently not every bit of information in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is accurate. There is a 94-year-old World War II vet in Ohio who just wants to pay his taxes but can’t because the IRS says he’s dead.
Siegfried Meinstein has been unable to convince the IRS he is alive, living in an assisted living facility near Columbus, Ohio. The IRS has told the nonagenarian it can’t process his tax return because their records indicate he is deceased.
The great Scottish poet Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759. In celebration of his birthday, Burns Suppers range from formal gatherings of esthetes and scholars to very informal dinners throughout Scotland and in restaurants and the homes of Scottish descendants worldwide. Most Burns Suppers adhere, more or less, to some sort of time honored form which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.
NOTE: American and Irish liquor producers spell it as WHISKEY, while Canadian, Scottish, and Japanese producers usually spell it without an “e”: WHISKY.
Almost anyone can enjoy a Burns Night celebration. All that’s needed is a place to gather, plenty of haggis and neeps to go around, a master of ceremonies, friendly celebrants, and good Scotch drink to keep you warm.
If you missed the deadline, you have until Monday to register. The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:
2015 FGS Conference Early registration discount Extended
January 23, 2015 – Austin, TX. The early registration discount for the 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference has been extended to midnight (MST), Monday, January 26. This extension allows three more days to register at $159 for the full four days of the conference coming up February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with RootsTech.
The following Plus Edition article is written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Ah, the glamorous life: flying from city to city, giving presentations before genealogy conferences and society meetings. How would you like to do the same?
A new product from Amazon to create Kindle ebooks has the word “Textbook” in its name but it appears to work for all sorts of books. Of course, I am thinking about genealogy books. The new software appears to be an extension to the already-available Kindle Direct Publishing application.
Kindle Textbook Creator even makes it easy to transform PDFs into an e-book format. I haven’t used the product yet but hope to do so soon. I noticed that Amazon claims its Textbook Creator offers a simple way to organize an array of educational materials — graphs, equations, charts or anything else you might find in a textbook.
Best of all, Kindle Textbook Creator is available free of charge for Windows and Macintosh. The books can be read on all sorts of devices, including Amazon’s Kindles, of course, as well as iPads, iPhones or Android devices.