This story strikes me as non-news: Reuters News Agency is reporting that Ancestry.com LLC, the world’s largest family historical past website, is exploring a sale that would worth between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, together with debt, based on information from individuals acquainted with the matter. Permira Advisers LLC, the buyout agency that owns most of privately held Ancestry, has employed funding banks to run a public sale for the corporate, according to unnamed sources.
You can read the story at http://goo.gl/TTazpi and at a few other web sites as well.
I am repeating the rumors here because there is a lot of buzz about this story. However, I am surprised that anyone would be surprised that Permira Advisers LLC is thinking of selling. Of course Ancestry.com is for sale!
Finally! Someone has found a use for all those AOL disks that were sent to your house and given away by many stores. Jason Scott Sadofsky is a Free-Range Archivist & Software Curator for the Internet Archive. He wants every disc ever made, but is specifically requesting that readers of his blog send him old AOL discs, the kind that came free at Best Buy checkouts, packed in magazines and mailed randomly to your house back in the 1990s. He wants to add them to an online archive of computer history.
The National Genealogical Society has introduced four new books for genealogists. I noticed that one of them (Nebraska) was written by Bobbi King who writes most of the book reviews that are published in this newsletter. (Hey, Bobbi. Can I write the review of YOUR book?)
The following announcement was written by the National Genealogical Society:
ARLINGTON, VA, 20 MAY 2015—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce the publication of four, new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in more than twenty-two states. The newest volumes are Research in California by Sheila Benedict; Research in Missouri, 3rd edition, by Ann Carter Fleming, cgSM, cglSM, fngs; Research in Oklahoma by Kathy Huber, MLS; and Research in Nebraska by Roberta “Bobbi” King. The books are now available in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions. The print versions will ship after 31 May.
There’s a lot more you can do with Google than just searching the entire Internet. For instance, you can search for web pages added to Google’s indexes within a range of dates. The most common use for this is to look for pages added within the past 30 days or perhaps within the past week.
For instance, I have an elusive “brickwall ancestor” that I have been trying to identify for years: Washington Harvey Eastman. Unfortunately, his three names are not unusual although the combination of those three names is a bit unique. If I simply enter his name into a Google search, I receive many “hits,” including a few from newsletter articles I have written.
Since I have already searched for him before, I have already seen all the “hits” that have been available for some time. There’s no need to go back and wade through all those same hits time after time. I only want to see the NEW web pages that mention his name. Luckily, Google supplies the tools to do this. In fact, there are two different methods that are closely related.
NEHGS Commemorates Memorial Day with FREE Access to Important Military Databases on AmericanAncestors.org
The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
May 20, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—In the spirit of Memorial Day and to make ancestral research even more productive this holiday weekend, AmericanAncestors.org and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) have made several online military databases accessible FREE to all who wish to search for patriots in early American colonial wars.
Here is a quick note that apparently is good for today only. Rick Broida writes in his Cheapskate Blog:
Sobering thought for the day: Data loss is not a matter of if — it’s a matter of when. If you use a computer or smartphone or tablet long enough, eventually you’ll lose precious documents, photos or the like. Might be the result of a virus, might be due to theft or accident, but it’ll happen.
The question is, will that event prove to be a major calamity or minor inconvenience? You can easily make it the latter by implementing a robust backup system, by which I mean one that archives your data locally and online. Automatically. All the time.
Most of us have seen pedigree charts before, even large charts. However, Andrew Tatham has created a very impressive 6 foot x 3 foot (approx 2 metres x 1 metre) chart that shows Prince George of Cambridge, his ancestors and their place in history. You can see some low-resolution snippets from the full-sized chart below:
You can view a thumbnail-sized version of the chart at http://www.ttrees.co.uk/.
The title above is a mouthful. Here’s the translation:
According to Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Scientific Director of the Irish DNA Atlas Project (an academic research collaboration between the Genealogical Society of Ireland the RCSI) – “The work is important in that it illustrates that the Y chromosomes lineage that is carried by over 90% of Irish males (i.e. R1b S116) descends from a founder that lived somewhere between 3.7 and 4.8 thousand years ago, with a strong expansion in population size around 3000 years ago. This result plugs in very well with the recent Haak et al paper (the one with all the ancient DNA work), suggesting that the origin of R1b & resulting expansion (in late neolithic) was from the steppe region North of the Caspian Sea.”
The following announcement was written by the Maine State Archives and is available to all at http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/research/vitalrecordschanges.docx.
Per state law, all vital records – such as notices of birth, death and marriage – dating from 1892 to the present day, are no longer available at the Maine State Archives.* The records dating from 1892 – 1922 were previously held at the Archives, but have now been digitally scanned, allowing the Vital Records office to issue these documents. As of May 1, 2015, Data, Research and Vital Statistics at the Vital Records office will issue ALL vital records from 1892 to present.
The Maine Department of the Secretary of State, Maine State Archives will continue to issue non-certified copies of documents prior to 1892.
The fourth and final day of the National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference was held Saturday at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. It continued in much the same manner as the first three days. That is to say that it went well.
The unofficial attendee count on Friday evening was well over 2,200 people. I didn’t hear the final count on Saturday but I suspect it was 2,300 or maybe a bit more. The St. Charles Convention Center was a perfect venue for a crowd that size: not too big and not too small. If I write that it was “just right” I’ll sound like Goldilocks but it really was “just right.”
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina
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.
The third day of the National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference was held today at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. Again, the day seem to go well.
I spoke with one of the conference organizers today and she laughed at a comment I published yesterday: “I was very impressed at how smoothly everything seemed to work yesterday and today. I attend a lot of genealogy conferences and am used to seeing a few last minute glitches and rough edges. I saw nothing like that yesterday or today. Everything just worked.”
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 2.5 million fascinating Dublin Workhouse records that highlight the devastating impact the great famine had on Irish society. This week’s additions also include baptism and burial records from the English county of Nottinghamshire, birth, marriage and death Index records from Australia’s Northern Territory and millions of historic British newspaper articles.
Dublin Workhouses Records
Containing over 1.5 million records, the Dublin Workhouses Admission & Discharge Registers 1840-1919 list the details of those who passed through the workhouses of the North and South Dublin Unions. Levels of poverty in Ireland were far higher than in England and the workhouse was often an inescapable part of life that would have touched many, if not most Dublin families. The North and South Dublin Unions were among the busiest in Ireland, not simply because they were in the capital but because they often took in paupers from across the country. This was especially true during the years of the Great Famine in the 1840s when crowds of desperate, starving people came to Dublin from all over the country. Given the lack of 19th century census material in Ireland, the registers will be an incredibly valuable resource to those with Irish ancestors. Dublin was the largest point of embarkation from Ireland during the 19th century era of mass Catholic migration and a significant number of those who emigrated would have passed through these workhouses.
The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) was an early collector of DNA information to be used for genealogy purposes. It was founded by inventor and philanthropist James LeVoy Sorenson and Brigham Young University professor Dr. Scott Woodward. Mr. Sorenson envisioned the development of a genetic-genealogical blueprint of all humankind. Some years later, the database and supporting infrastructure was acquired by Ancestry.com and became the basis for what is now Ancestry DNA. It has since served the interests of thousands of genealgists as well as several other communities.
Sadly, Ancestry has now announced the closure of this valuable service. The announcement at http://www.smgf.org states:
We regret to inform you the site you have accessed is no longer available.
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
I have been using two 27-inch monitors on my desktop computers for years. Using two monitors at once is surprisingly easy to do. I love the convenience of my email program, a web browser, iTunes, and RSS newsreader displayed on the monitor to the left side of my desk while my word processor and my favorite genealogy programs are running in separate windows on the monitor to the right. Doing so is a time saver, and I believe it improves productivity significantly. I wrote about the use of two monitors in a Plus Edition article earlier this year at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=34734.
When traveling, I always have felt constrained by being limited to one small screen on the laptop computer. It certainly would be nice to also use two monitors at once on the laptop, especially as I already do so on the desktop at home. A few months ago, I found an easy, lightweight, and not very expensive solution: purchase a second monitor designed only for laptop use. Best of all, it is very is easily packed; it easily fits into any laptop bag or backpack designed for carrying a 16-inch computer, along with the laptop computer itself. My backpack has a pocket for carrying a laptop, and I find I can easily slide both the laptop computer and the external monitor into the one pocket.
The second day of the four-day National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference was held today at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. It was held as planned. What else can I say? You can read about all the lectures and the lecturers at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/NGS-2015-StC-Program-Final.pdf.
I was very impressed at how smoothly everything seemed to work yesterday and today. I attend a lot of genealogy conferences and am used to seeing a few last minute glitches and rough edges. I saw nothing like that yesterday or today. Everything just worked. Maybe the organizers dealt with a few problems but, if so, I didn’t see any indications of problems.
The following announcement was published by BMC Bioinformatics:
Founder populations have an important role in the study of genetic diseases. Access to detailed genealogical records is often one of their advantages.
These genealogical data provide unique information for researchers in evolutionary and population genetics, demography and genetic epidemiology. However, analyzing large genealogical datasets requires specialized methods and software.
The GENLIB software was developed to study the large genealogies of the French Canadian population of Quebec, Canada. These genealogies are accessible through the BALSAC database, which contains over 3 million records covering the whole province of Quebec over four centuries.
FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.9 Million Indexed Records and Images for Australia, Canada, Peru, and the United States
The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:
FamilySearch has added to its collections more than 2.9 million indexed records and images for Australia, Canada, Peru, and the United States. Notable collection updates include 643,899 images from the Peru, Áncash, Civil Registration, 1888–2005 collection; 608,881 images from the Peru, Junín, Civil Registration, 1881–2005collection; and 531,346 images from the US, Illinois, Northern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1906–1994 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 atFamilySearch.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.
The 4-day National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference started this morning at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. This year’s event is co-sponsored by the host society, the St. Louis Genealogical Society.
More than 2,100 genealogists pre-registered to attend this event and I am sure a few more tickets will be sold at the door. I think all 2,100 of the attendees were at the opening session this morning. At least it felt that way when we all filed out of the very large room at once, trying to walk through the single hallway and down the one escalator!
Actually, that was the only inconvenience caused by the big mob that I saw all day.