German-American Day Assistance from the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV)

This happened two days ago but I learned of it today. Anyone with German ancestry will probably be interested in this web genealogy resource year-round.

October 6 is German-American Day, commemorating the first German settlers in what later became the USA on October 6, 1683. 300 years later, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan declared this date to become the German-American Day in the U.S. The Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV) has created a new section on the organization’s web site called German-American Genealogy.

Quoting from the web page:

Following the historical path and also in further development of the Declaration of Salt Lake City by the DAGV and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) in the US on March 22, 2013 we as German umbrella organisation present this site for intensify the contact not only between the our two but between all genealogical societies and researchers on genealogy in both of our countries dealing with people that are interested in that special topic.

We are supporting contacts to make researching more easy on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: for the one who wants to find his ancestors coming from Germany mostly by leaving the ports of Hamburg or Bremerhaven, for the other one who wants to find offspring of former immigrants to America in today. Both could lead to a vivid connection in present families.

FGS 2015 and RootsTech 2015 Together: How Will That Work?

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has held an annual conference for many years. RootsTech also has held annual conferences in the past few years. In a few months, the two organizations will do something unusual: they will each hold their own conferences in the same facility at the same time. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and RootsTech are teaming up to bring you that event in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 11–14 at the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC). Yes, two conferences, one location.

This radical change will provide two genealogy conferences happening at the same time under one roof while sharing some activities, sessions, and space. There will be only one exhibitors’ hall. How will all that work? Most of the answers are given at

Tennessee Partnership with Allows Students to Search for Ancestors and for State History

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is launching a new partnership with the popular genealogy site, The two have collaborated for several years, digitizing many of Tennessee’s historical records. A new agreement provides access to the digitized records to every public school classroom in the state. is offering access to the records free of charge.

Students will have free access to 14 billion records across the 30,000 databases on Ancestry Institution, such as U.S. Census records from 1790 to 1940, as well as military records and, another Ancestry-owned website.

ICAPGen Family History Conference

The following was written by the organizers of the ICAPGen Family History Conference:

The annual family history conference co-sponsored by ICAPGen and the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University will be held on Saturday, November 1, 2014 in the Joseph F. Smith building on the BYU campus. Come celebrate 50 years of genealogical credentialing with some amazing classes on accreditation, professional research, methodology, technology and DNA research. The luncheon speaker will be David Rencher. Lunch is included in the low price of the conference. It will be a great day! Go to to see the conference schedule. Sign up for the conference online here:

BillionGraves Introduces 5 New Features

BillionGraves now claims to have the world’s largest collection of GPS tagged headstones. Its competitor, Find-A-Grave, still has more headstones catalogued, but the majority of those do not have GPS locations. In a small cemetery, the GPS location of an individual headstone may not be important but in larger cemeteries it can be a critical piece of information for anyone seeking to visit the tombstone.

Saturday, October 18, is Home Movie Day

Do you have old home movies created by familiar members some years ago? If so, mark this date on your calendar: October 18, 2014.

Shot on 8 mm, Super 8, and 16 mm film, the movies often contain cherished family memories and invaluable social and historical images, but few people have the equipment to view them. Fewer still know how to maintain them for future generations.

If you do not see the video above on your screen, you can watch it at:

According to the Center for Home Movies’ web site: Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held annually at many local venues worldwide. Home Movie Day events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors’ in turn. It’s a chance to discover why to care about these films and to learn how best to care for them. Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held annually at many local venues worldwide. Home Movie Day events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors’ in turn. It’s a chance to discover why to care about these films and to learn how best to care for them.”

MyHeritage is Now Available at Subscribing Libraries and Educational Institutions Worldwide

More genealogy information is now available to everyone online, if your local library subscribes to a newly-announced service from MyHeritage. You can access the MyHeritage Library Edition™ either at your local library or in the comfort of your own home by using remote access. The following announcement was written by the folks at MyHeritage:

MyHeritage partners with EBSCO Information Services to bring MyHeritage to libraries and educational institutions worldwide

Leading family history network launches an institutional version of its service and unveils exclusive partnership to provide any educational facility with instant access to centuries of history in billions of historical documents from all over the world.

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah & IPSWICH, Mass – October 7, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced a significant expansion into the institutional education market, with the launch of a dedicated, high-performance family history service for institutions and the signing of a strategic partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) to distribute it exclusively.

As the leading provider of online research content for libraries and other institutions, EBSCO’s partnership with MyHeritage reaffirms its commitment to providing first-class content to libraries at affordable prices.

23andMe Expands Into Canada

23andMe, is now offering health and ancestry information based on analysis of DNA to Canadians. Founded in 2006, the company provides home-based saliva-testing kits, which customers send in for genetic analysis.

23andMe will charge Canadian clients CDN$199 plus shipping for its personal genome service through, which the company says will help them to better understand their health and ancestry and “to possibly discover new relatives.”

Canadians will have access to 108 health-related reports that includes information on genetic risk factors for various health conditions, potential drug responses, genetic traits and inherited conditions.

It sounds to me as if 23andMe is offering not only genealogy-related testing but also is offering the medical testing that was stopped in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration. Obviously, there is no prohibition (so far) about offering the same service in other countries. The Canadians will benefit from having access to medical testing that is prohibited for Americans unless they get a doctor to order similar, but very expensive, tests for a patient.

Philadelphia Area Residents are Invited to attend Video Tapings of “Genealogy Roadshow”

The public can watch as preselected local residents have family mysteries revealed on camera with featured genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco. The results will become part of the “Genealogy Roadshow” television program on PBS.

These free events will take place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (lines form at 8 a.m.) at these locations: Saturday, Oct. 25 — The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St. and Sunday, Oct. 26 — The Franklin Institute, 271 N. 21st St.

Combating IRS Refund Fraud: The Next Profile in Courage?

The following was written by Fred Moss of the Records Preservation and Access Committee, a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies:

The continuing vulnerability for the IRS online filing system to refund fraud by identity theft has been much in the news in recent days.

It was the focus of the CBS 60 Minutes broadcast Sunday evening, the 21st of September which featured interviews ranging from the fourth IRS commissioner in the last two years, film clips from the Congressional testimonies of his predecessors, and “expert” testimony from a former identity thief.

The broadcast also anticipated the public release on Monday, the 22nd of September of a Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) Report responding to a request from key members of Congress entitled: “Identity Theft – Additional Actions Could Help IRS Combat the Large, Evolving Threat of Refund Fraud.”

What GAO Found

(+) Calendars Explained

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

What could be simpler than a calendar? The printed one from the local real estate office shows twelve months, each with 28 to 31 days. Simple, right?

Well, it hasn’t always been so simple. After all, I keep stumbling upon genealogy records that are logged with “double dates.” That is, a birth record might state “22 February 1732/3.” Which was it: 1732 or 1733? Well, it actually was both. Just to make things more complex, most of our ancestors didn’t know what day it was. You see, most people in the early 1700s and earlier were illiterate. They couldn’t read a book, much less a calendar. Most people did not know what day it was or even how old they were. Very few remembered their own birthdays.

Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750

Would you enjoy a comic book dedicated to history? Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 may be the answer.

Edited by Jason Rodriguez and created in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Concord Museum, Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 features tales about free thinkers, female business owners, Jewish settlers, and other little-known real-life characters.

Colonial Comics is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. Created in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Concord Museum, the illustrated stories will focus on tales normally not documented in most history books. The books will include stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life.

Attention French-Canadian Descendants: Did You Inherit Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy?

Not only do genealogists have the opportunity to learn about their ancestors, but they can also learn about various inherited diseases. Some of these medical conditions could be life-threatening while others are merely an inconvenience. By studying inherited diseases floating around in your family, you may save or prolong your own life or the lives of your loved ones. By identifying the risks early in a person’s life, medical treatment often can be much more effective than the limited choices available after the medical condition becomes obvious.

I find it interesting that one French-Canadian couple in the 1600s who are the ancestors of millions of living people have tentatively been identified as carriers of a common form of muscular dystrophy. It became more than “interesting,” however, when I recognized the names of this couple as my ninth great-grandparents. Suddenly it wasn’t just “interesting;” it was personal!

If you have French-Canadian ancestry, now is the time to check your pedigree charts.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 183 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, China, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Ukraine, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch adds more than 183 million indexed records and images to Belgium, China, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Ukraine, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 66,586,112 indexed records from the England and Wales, Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008, collection; the 6,142,790 images from the US, Missouri, Probate Records, 1750-1998, collection; and the 1,019,409 images from the US, Washington, County Records, 1803-2010, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at

The Genealogy Event takes place in NYC on October October 17 & 18

The following announcement was written by the organizers of The Genealogy Event:

The Genealogy Event, in partnership with The National Archives at New York City (NARA at NYC) is taking place in New York City, October 17 & 18 at the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, One Bowling Green. DNA Day, an added feature of The Genealogy Event is being held at India House, One Hanover Square on October 19. Across the three days attendees will benefit from over fifty genealogy and DNA focused talks, complimentary one on one consultations with genealogy experts, an exhibitor marketplace, a Friday night social event and research opportunities at the National Archives at New York City.

Partnership with the National Archives at New York City

Book Reviews: Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Historical ‘Proof’ and Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Citing Sources

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Historical ‘Proof’ and Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Citing Sources.
By Elizabeth Shown Mills. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. One page, 8×11, laminated.

The four-page laminated “at-a-glance” guides published by Genealogical are pretty handy instruction brochures, and now Genealogical has published a couple new one-page guides that are similarly meant to be quickie references on specific topics. These guides are offered under the heading of “Your Stripped-Bare Guide to ….”

One of the most noticeable pieces of the new publication is the graphic on the front page up in the top left-hand corner. A happy character wearing nothing more than a delighted grin and a graduate’s mortar board, tassel a-flutter in the breeze, with a bit of heinie showing beyond the borders of the covering document, is somewhat startling to see.

Genealogists Shouldn’t Need Town Hall Appointments

An interesting editorial in the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant describes a legislative proposal to give town clerks the option to require genealogists to make appointments for research. The bill never made it out of committee in the last session but probably will be re-introduced in the next session. If it passes, it will be bad news for genealogists and others and also will provide government employees one more opportunity to provide less and less service to the constituents who pay the salaries of the same government employees.

Jane E. Wilcox Named Contributing Editor of New York Genealogical and Biographical Record

Jane Wilcox is well-known for her radio show: “The Forget-Me-Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told.” Now she is expanding her role, as described in this announcement:

KINGSTON, N.Y. (October 1, 2014) – Professional genealogist Jane E. Wilcox of Forget-Me-Not Ancestry has joined the team of contributing editors of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Wilcox, an author, national lecturer and radio show host, joins an international group of editors.

A member of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s Education Committee as well, Wilcox said, “It is a great honor to be asked to join this distinguished team of contributing editors, which includes three fellows of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and two fellows of the American Society of Genealogists. I look forward to the collaboration.”

The Record is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal of great distinction in continuous publication since 1870 and is published quarterly by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B).

Follow-Up: Now it is Too Late to Transfer Your Y-DNA Information

On June 6, I wrote a brief article with the title of Now is the Time to Transfer Your Y-DNA and Autosomal DNA Information at I wrote that:

“™ announced that the company will no longer sell Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. Even worse, the results from past Y-DNA and mtDNA tests will no longer be available after September 5, 2014. apparently will erase all of its customers’ Y-DNA and mtDNA test results. Anyone who has Y-DNA data stored on probably will want to transfer that data to a different matching service, preferably well before September 5.”

It is no surprise that has now completed what they announced they would do. An article by Roberta Estes at states:

FamilySearch and GenealogyBank Announce a Massive Online US Obituaries Project using Volunteers

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

In celebration of Family History Month, FamilySearch International ( and GenealogyBank ( today announced an agreement to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. It will be the largest—and perhaps most significant—online US historic records access initiative yet. It will take tens of thousands of online volunteers to make GenealogyBank’s vast U.S. obituary collection more discoverable online. Find out more at

The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million US newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to present. The completed online index will be fairly comprehensive, including 85% of U.S. deaths from the last decade alone. The death collection will easily become one of the most popular online genealogy databases ever, detailing names, dates, relationships, locations of the deceased, and multi-generational family members.


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