What’s Your Tartan?

If you have Scottish ancestry, do you know the tartan worn by your clan?

Well, first of all, there are no official rules. According to the Court of the Lord Lyon King of Arms:

“There are no strict rules on who has the right to wear a particular tartan… Wearing a particular clan tartan indicates that the wearer bears an allegiance to the chief of that clan… There is no official register of tartan. Records of designs are maintained by the Scottish Tartans Authority, Fraser House, 25 Commissioner Street, Crieff, Perthshire, PH7 3A Y. The Lord Lyon has no jurisdiction over tartan…”

Official or not, many customs have been developed over the centuries about the wearing of various tartans.

Are DVDs and CDs Disintegrating?

There have been a number of articles in this newsletter and elsewhere in genealogy publications about long-term storage of magnetic and optical media. Many of us are concerned about the life expectancy of CD-ROM and the newer DVD-ROM disks. Tina Sieber writes in the MakeUseOF web site, “While estimations predict a life time of up to 200 years for optical discs, we can never be sure when they are really going to break. However, by being aware of what determines the life span of optical discs and what causes them to break, you can make choices and significantly increase the survival time of your stored data.”

Tina describes music on CD and movies on DVD disks, but her comments apply equally to computer data stored on DVD-ROM disks.

You can read her article at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/cds-truth-cddvd-longevity-mold-rot/.

On the Road Again, This Time to Scotland

As I often write in this newsletter, I will be traveling for a while. This time it is a bit different: I am going on a longer trip and I am combining genealogy with tourism.

I am leaving Thursday morning, August 21, and will be gone for ten days, returning home on August 31. My primary purpose of the trip is to attend the Who Do You Think You Are? Live expo in Glasgow, Scotland. However, I am leaving a week early to (1.) get used to the time zone change and (2.) to be a tourist traveling around Scotland. I will spend some time in the Highlands and on the Isle of Skye. I will also stop by Loch Ness to check on the status of Nessie.

Kelsey Grammer’s Episode on the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are?

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featured Kelsey Grammer as the guest celebrity looking for his family tree. A five-time Emmy Award winner, Kelsey Grammer is the first actor in television history to receive multiple Emmy nominations for performing the same role on three series. Grammer is known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. This week, he became a typical American who wants to know more about his ancestry.

Jennifer Utley, an Ancestry.com family historian, worked with Grammer in this episode. Grammer tells Jennifer that he was raised by his grandmother, Evangeline, after his parents divorced. His starting point in exploring family history was trying to learn more about why Evangeline’s parents didn’t raise her. In California, Grammer learns that his grandmother’s parents were from Northern California, and as the digging continues, Grammer finds out he has ancestors who lived in Oregon. Other experts in San Francisco and in Oregon contributed their expertise on camera as well.

Mapping Migration in the United States

The New York Times has published an interesting series of maps of the United States showing where the residents of each state were born. It shows the percentage of natives of each state, along with the other states where people were born and also the percentage of residents who were born outside the U.S. Within a state, larger shapes mean a group makes up a larger share of the population. The map shows data from 1900, 1950, and 2012.

Those born in Louisiana must really enjoy living there as 79% of the Louisiana residents of 2012 were also born there. Only 36% of the Floridians are native born, which should surprise no one.

Sponsor a Celebrity Walker in the Preserve the Pension Fun Walk at FGS2014

Here is a great project with a worthy goal. It will take place during the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Which celebrity will you sponsor?

The Preserve the Pensions Fun Walk will take place on Saturday morning, August 30th, at 6:30am. Four genealogy celebrities will be competing for your sponsorship to see which of them can raise the most funds for the Preserve The Pensions campaign. One of those in the walk has lovingly referred to that as “oh dark thirty.”

Judy Russell of The Legal Genealogist, D. Joshua Taylor and Kenyatta Berry on behalf of Genealogy Roadshow and Ed Donakey of Family Search will be looking for sponsors. (I’ll let you guess which one of them remarked about “oh dark thirty.”) The organizers of the walk suggest that those of you who intended to walk will get out and enjoy all that San Antonio has to offer and you are also asked to commit to sponsoring one of the celebrity walkers as well.

Will Ancestry.com Add Family Health Info to Autosomal DNA Genetic Genealogy Service?

An article in the BioArray News, written by Justin Petrone, speculates that Ancestry.com may expand its genetic genealogy services to include family health-related information. A company spokesperson confirmed that the firm is in the “early stages of exploring family health history as a part of our company’s offering,” but declined to further elaborate.

You can read Justin Petrone’s article at http://goo.gl/baIkLy. (You will have to create a user name and password before you can read the article.)

Delaware Becomes First State to Give Heirs Broad Digital Assets Access

What happens to your email, Facebook, Twitter, blog, and other accounts when you die? Delaware has now passed a law that ensures families’ rights to access the digital assets of loved ones during incapacitation or after death. House Bill (HB) 345, “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act,” gives heirs and executors the same authority to take legal control of a digital account or device, just as they would take control of a physical asset or document.

While some states, including Idaho and Nevada, have some existing provisions pertaining to limited digital assets for heirs, they are not as broad as the new Delaware law. For now, the state’s version of UFADAA only applies to residents of Delaware.

Kelsey Grammer to be Guest Celebrity on This Week’s U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are?

Kelsey Grammer will take a trip into the past to explore his grandmother’s family. In this week’s Who Do You Think You Are? Grammer uncovers the story of a woman haunted by demons, and finds a connection to family who risked everything in one of the greatest migrations in American history.

The episode will be broadcast tomorrow night, August 20 at 9/8c. Check your local television listings for the channel and time in your location. The episode will be available soon after on iTunes and later still on other Internet television sites.

In addition to this season’s new premieres, TLC has also acquired episodes from previous seasons of the series, marking their first debut on cable. Tomorrow night will feature encores of Reba McEntire’s episode at 8/9c, and Vanessa Williams’ episode at 10/9c.

Next week Minnie Driver’s episode will air as the season finale on August 27. Next week’s encore episodes will include Tim McGraw and Rita Wilson.

Ancestry.com to Transfer the MyCanvas Service to a New Home

This past June, Ancestry.com announced that the company was retiring the MyCanvas website and service in September 2014. Details may be found in my earlier article at http://wp.me/p5Z3-lk. Now the company has made arrangements to transfer the MyCanvas content to another company. The following was written by Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product at Ancestry.com:

We’ve heard from many people who love MyCanvas and hate the idea of it going away. Well, we have some good news for you: It’s not going away after all! We were successful in finding a new home for the service at Alexander’s.

AncestryMyCanvasBook
Founded 35 years ago, Alexander’s is a Utah-based printing production company that has been the long-term printer of MyCanvas products including its genealogy books, calendars, and other printed products. This makes the transition of MyCanvas to Alexander’s a natural fit.

More Hertfordshire Council Records added to Deceased Online

The following announcement was written by Deceased Online:

Welwyn Hatfield is latest Hertfordshire council to place records on Deceased Online All burial records for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WelHat) in Hertfordshire have been digitized and added to the specialist family history website www.deceasedonline.com.

Click on the above image to view a larger version

The Council covers the areas of Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield in the centre of Hertfordshire within the East of England Region to the north of London. Welwyn Garden City is England’s 2nd garden city, founded in 1920 by Sir Ebenezer Howard. Hatfield by contrast has a long history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! – Glasgow Announces List of Exhibitors

A list of exhibitors expected at next week’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! expo in Glasgow, Scotland, has been posted on the organization’s web site. As you might expect, there will be a lot of Scottish exhibitors. However, I also see a number of nationally and internationally known vendors there as well: Ancestry.co.uk, Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), Deceased Online, FamilySearch, FamilyTreeDNA, Federation of Family History Societies, Guild of One-Name-Studies, National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and the Society of Genealogists.

You can view the entire list at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/about-show/our-exhibitors.

Jane Wilcox to Interview Robert Charles Anderson on Internet Radio

Here is a notice from “The Forget-Me-Not Hour:”

Robert Charles Anderson will join host Jane E. Wilcox on “The Forget-Me-Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told” radio show on Wednesday, 20 August at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. Bob will talk about his latest book — hot off the press — entitled Elements of Genealogical Analysis. He will discuss this genealogical research methodology approach that he has used for more than 30 years in his work on the Great Migration Study Project. He’ll tell us what we can find in the book and how it can help us in our genealogy research.

Listen live or on-demand after the show airs at http://goo.gl/ZJLDWd.

(+) Genealogy Myths: Real, Fool’s Gold, or Both?

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

Family stories are a wonderful thing. They often give you insights into the lives of your ancestors. However, beware! Not all family stories are true. Many such stories are fictional. Yet, even the stories that are either entirely or part fiction may contain clues to facts. Good genealogical practice requires that we admit the fiction. But the next step the genealogist takes separates art from science. Before we discard these stories altogether, we need to mine them for nuggets of truth. Let’s look at a few of the more common “family legends” to see which ones you can mine for real gold.

Myth #1: Our name was changed at Ellis Island.

Fact: No evidence whatsoever exists to suggest this ever occurred. In fact, Ellis Island had rigid documentation requirements.

Genealogy Software Review: Legacy Family Tree

I have decided to write software reviews of all of the leading genealogy programs available today for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android, and Apple iOS, as well as cloud-based genealogy programs. This is the second article in the series: Legacy Family Tree, one of the more popular genealogy programs for Windows. I will later review genealogy programs for other operating systems as well.

I have also created a Windows Genealogy Software Comparison Chart showing the major features of each program reviewed so far. The Chart may be found at http://wp.me/p5Z3-FG.

Legacy Family Tree is one of the more popular genealogy programs available for the Windows operating system. Its popularity is caused by three major factors: it is powerful, it is easy to use, and it contains most all the features that serious genealogists demand. However, it also works well for genealogy newcomers. If you are looking for an easy-to-use genealogy program for a Windows PC, Legacy Family Tree absolutely should be on your list of programs to consider.

(+) A Comparison Chart of Genealogy Software for Windows

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

Genealogy Software for Windows Comparison

A side-by-side comparison of all programs reviewed to date: RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree

An Unusual Family Reunion: the Descendants of William Douse of Prince Edward Island

It was not the sort of event you’d expect to find on the agenda of a family reunion, even a reunion of the Douse family.

William Douse was from Wiltshire, England. He emigrated to Prince Edward Island, Canada, in 1822 and became a successful businessman until his death in 1864. He was buried in a large crypt in the Old Protestant Burying Ground on University Avenue in Charlottetown. One hundred fifty years later, his descendants decided to open the crypt and to make repairs, making sure that William Douse and other family members entombed with him would rest in peace in restored surroundings. The opening and repairs were made during a multi-day family reunion.

Tintamarre Parade Draws Thousands of Acadian Descendants to Madawaska, Maine

Tintamarre, the traditional Acadian parade that for the 2014 World Acadian Congress was planned to be one of the biggest ever, and which wound its way down Main Street in Madawaska making the biggest racket possible. It made an amazing amount of noise — and it certainly was one of the biggest ever, with preliminary estimates from World Acadian Congress organizers putting the total number of people in the parade between 10,000 and 12,000.

Book Review: My Ancestor Settled in the British West Indies

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

My Ancestor Settled in the British West Indies.
By John Titford. Published by the Society of Genealogists Enterprises Limited, London. 2011. 253 pages.

Mr. Titford has written a book about the British families who immigrated to the West Indies and their associated records. Loss has been the key point of the records generated in the colonies. Neglect, destruction, and civil strife have taken their toll on these records of Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Guiana, British Honduras, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, St Kitts, St Lucia, and St Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Reminder: 2014 FGS Conference Online Registration Ends August 19

The following was written by the organizers of the 2014 FGS Conference:

Online registration for the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference, scheduled 27-30 August 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, ends Tuesday, August 19. Register at http://www.fgsconference.org/registration. This year’s conference theme is “Gone to Texas,” and the local hosts are the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society (SAGHS) and the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS).

Pre-registering for the conference gives you access to some great benefits. Those who have already registered for the conference still have time to purchase tickets to the conference “extras.”

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