The following article has little to do with genealogy, family history, DNA, or the other topics normally covered in this newsletter. However, it does discuss my recent experiences with low-cost computing and I think it may be of interest to many readers of this newsletter.
Here is a conversation I had recently with a friend:
“A couple of weeks ago I installed a Chromebox computer and it soon became my primary computer.”
“What is a Chromebox?”
“It is essentially the same as a Chromebook computer except that it is not a laptop computer. Instead, it is a small desktop computer that requires an external, plug-in keyboard, a mouse, and an external monitor. It is powered by plugging it into a wall outlet, not by batteries. It runs the Chrome operating system, the same as the operating system used in Chromebooks.”
In fact, the Chromebox has become a better addition to my collection of computers than I expected. Of course, I haven’t disposed of my other computers. I still have the Macintosh, Windows, Linux, and Android systems.
I also have a Chromebook laptop which has become my primary computer when traveling. I have always been able to use the Chromebook for almost all computer tasks that I need to do. However, when returning home, I used to switch to the iMac desktop system for my day-to-day tasks. The iMac is the most powerful and flexible of all the computers that I own so I simply assumed it should be the one that I used most of the time. However, I have changed my mind in the past few weeks.
The following announcement was written by Findmypast:
There a more than 58 million new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:
Search for your English ancestry in thousands of pages from the Calendar of The Royal College of Surgeons in England and Members of The Royal College of Physicians. Containing over 31,000 names, these publications will provide you with your ancestor’s residence and years of appointment.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is a professional body founded in 1518, which promotes the best health and healthcare for all and has played a pivotal role in raising standards. It is the oldest medical college in England. For the first four centuries, women were excluded from the RCP. A bylaw was passed in 1909 allowing women to take examinations. Within the records, you can find the name Helen MacKay, the first female fellow.
Struggling Care Worker Becomes Lord of $60 Million English Estate After DNA Test Proves He’s an Heir
Did you ever wish to inherit a fortune from a rich uncle who had recently passed away? That happened to Jordan Adlard-Rogers. He received a roughly $60 million inheritance from an uncle that previously Adlard-Rogers was not certain was his relative.
Adlard-Rogers — who reportedly grew up in a council house and suffered long periods of financial hardship — has now quit his job and moved into the estate. The 1,536-acre Penrose Estate is said to be where King Arthur was mortally wounded and died.
You can read a lot more in an article by Phil Boucher in the People web site at: http://bit.ly/2JEZyq3.
Nijmegen is a city in the Dutch province of Gelderland. The city lies a few kilometers from the border with Germany. Nijmegen has long been known for its annual Four Days Marches (Dutch: Nijmeegse Vierdaagse), beginning on the third Tuesday of each July.
Did your family members walk in the Nijmegen Four Days Marches between 1921 and 1939? You can look it up in the registration day Four Days Marches Royal Dutch Association for Physical Education (KNBLO)!
The index on this scanned registration register that is located at the Nijmegen Regional Archive can now be searched via Open Archives. Scans of this register also provide information about the profession, age, address, place of residence and their awards.
Association of Professional Genealogists Now Accepting Applications for Young Professional Scholarship, 1st of July Deadline
The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:
APG to Honor Student or Young Professional with Strong Interest in Developing a Career in Genealogy
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 24 May 2019 – The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is now accepting applications for the APG Young Professional Scholarship. The scholarship goes to a young professional or a student who aspires to a professional career in genealogy. The scholarship awards a registration for the APG Professional Management Conference (PMC) and a stipend of up to $1,000 to defray costs of travel and lodging at the conference. The winner will be announced in July 2019 for attendance at the APG PMC 2019, which will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19–21 September 2019.
“Young professionals help bring energy and new ideas to the genealogy field,” said Billie Stone Fogarty, APG President. “As this is APG’s 40th anniversary, it is appropriate that we offer an up-and-coming genealogist this opportunity to learn more about the field at the premier conference for genealogy professionals. The winner will have the chance to delve into advanced genealogical business topics, as well as network with a wide variety of professionals.”
APG Young Professional Scholarship Eligibility and Application Details
The following book review was written by Bobbi King:
The participation of women in the Revolutionary War has been historically ignored. Volumes have been written about the militiamen, the military leaders, the regimental soldiers, and the everyday ordinary men who operated the inns, the boarding houses, and the village businesses that served the patriot cause.
Mr. Crowder has put together a book with biographical sketches of eighty-eight women who defied the British authorities, providing aid to the partisan Americans in one way or another.
One example: Mary Murry:
The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:
Twenty years ago, global nonprofit FamilySearch launched an innovative new website, a free internet genealogy service. Two decades later, FamilySearch is a leader in the rising tide of popular ancestry-related services online. During that time, FamilySearch has expanded and evolved its free mix of online offerings, holding true to its purpose to provide economical access to the world’s genealogical records and create fun family history discoveries for everyone.
On May 24, 1999, FamilySearch.org took the online genealogy world by storm, offering free access to hundreds of millions of historical records online—a treasure for those seeking to make family history connections. For perspective, online broadcast news, e-trading, and downloadable music services were the rage at the time. Google, ranked 93rd of top websites, was still an up-and-coming service that was attempting to redefine the role of a search engine by indexing the web to make results junk free and more consumer relevant.
An article by Dan Robitzski in the Futurism.com web site at https://futurism.com/23andme-updating-ancestry-results states:
“If you took a genetic ancestry test through a company like 23andMe, you may want to go back and give your results a second look.
“That’s because as the company gathers more data and learns more about genetic trends, it may update the results for your specific DNA and change around where it believes your family came from, according to STAT News. While it makes sense that these companies would eventually hone in on more accurate results, the shifting reports can be a rude shock to people who used the app to figure out their personal identity — only to find, like 23andMe user Leonard Kim, that the results later shift without warning.”
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who reads this newsletter. I wrote an article a few weeks ago that describes the same thing with Ancestry.com’s test results: the company’s DNA ethnic origins reports changed as more and more information was added to the company’s findings of ethnic origins. You can find my earlier report at http://bit.ly/2DN6o8y and a follow-up article at http://bit.ly/2HxniKH.
I am not sure I understand the logic of this. Perhaps Airbnb wants to promote genealogy research trips under the assumption that many of those traveling will stay in Airbnb-advertised guest facilities and also might have their DNA tested by 23andMe.
In any case, Airbnb and DNA-testing company 23andMe announced on Tuesday the two companies have partnered to help people “connect with their ancestry” through a heritage travel program.
An announcement by Jennings Brown on the Gizmodo web site cautions:
Memorial Day has many traditions, including spending time with family and sharing memories of relatives who served in the military. Do you have relatives who served their country? Have you discovered new information about their military history?
To help you learn more about your heroic ancestors and the sacrifices they made in service of their country, MyHeritage is offering free access to all of the company’s military records in SuperSearch™, over 47 million records. The collections can be searched for FREE from May 22 (that’s NOW) until May 28, 2019. You can read more in the MyHeritage Blog.
Search the military records for free at www.myheritage.com/military-records for fascinating new information about your ancestors and relatives who served in the military. Let us know what you discover.
I suspect that Geoff Rasmussen is the most prolific genealogy webinar host of all time. I know I have benefited immensely from listening to a number of his webinars. Now he is offering a one-year webinar membership. It usually costs $49.95 but, for one week, it’s 50% off at only $24.98. That price includes access to the entire webinar library.
With your webinar membership, you’ll get unlimited access to more than 900 classes and all the syllabus materials on:
The following announcement was written by the African American Civil War Soldiers team:
African American Civil War Soldiers recently launched a new workflow to complete the transcription of the military records of all Black men who fought for the Union army, beginning with the famous 54th and 55th Massachusetts regiments. Read on to see how you can get involved!
Last year Zooniverse volunteers transcribed the records of a sample of 40,000 members of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), the African American soldiers who fought for their freedom in the American Civil War. Due to the enthusiasm and commitment of these volunteers we completed the sample ahead of schedule. Today we are launching a new site to transcribe the records of the rest of the USCT and make them all freely available to scholars, genealogists and members of the public. We have divided the remaining soldiers based on their state of enlistment, and will be launching each new batch of records state-by-state.
The following book review was written by Bobbi King:
The prodigious compiler David Dobson continues to memorialize the Scottish and Irish peoples, and some others.
The People of Strathmore 1600-1799
2017. 212 pages.
The name Strathmore is derived from the Gaelic words An Srath Mor, meaning broad or big valley. Located in eastern Scotland, the region is home to several small towns and farming communities.
This book identifies people living in the burghs of Kirriemuir, Forfar, and Brechin, as well as area parishes lying within the county of Angus. A previous book The People of Lowland Perthshire covers the western part of Strathmore that lies in Perthshire.
The author notes here the Davidson family of Harley-Davidson motorcycle fame, and the Carnegie family, ancestors of Andrew Carnegie.
The International Tracing Service in Germany has uploaded more than 13 million documents from Nazi concentration camps, including prisoner cards and death notices, to help Holocaust researchers and others investigate the fate of victims.
Established by the Western Allies in the final days of World War II and initially run by the Red Cross, the ITS also announced Tuesday it was changing its name to “Arolsen Archives – International Center on Nazi Persecution.”
The staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center seem to be collecting and digitizing all sorts of materials of interest to genealogists and then placing them online in DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina. According to the DigitalNC web site:
“Over 120 genealogical collections from Surry County have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Surry Community College. Created and assembled by Luther Byrd, former Elon College professor from Westfield, North Carolina, these collections represent a huge variety of information about different families and their descendants living in Surry County. Many of the collections include documents, papers, newspaper clippings, and personal letters to and from Byrd about the family members.
“Also included are various family records and family tree diagrams, complete with indexes to determine where a given family member is located in the tree.”
“Looking through these collections, it is fascinating to see the staggering amount of documents and material that these families created and saved throughout the years, as well as the amount of work that Byrd put in to ensure that these collections are all relevant and well-maintained.”
If you have North Carolina ancestry, you need to spend some time at: http://bit.ly/2Qcvqmx.
GEDmatch is an open data personal genomics database and genealogy website founded in 2010 by Curtis Rogers and John Olson. Its main purpose is to help “amateur and professional researchers and genealogists,” including adoptees searching for birth parents. However, it recently has also become “the de facto DNA and genealogy database for all of law enforcement,” according to The Atlantic’s Sarah Zhang.
GEDmatch recently gained a lot of publicity after it was used by law enforcement officials to identify a suspect in the Golden State Killer case in California. Other law enforcement agencies started using GEDmatch for violent crimes, making it one of the most powerful tools available for identifying “cold case” criminals.
Sadly, the same site also has generated a lot of controversy involving the lack of privacy of personal DNA information, both for the people who uploaded their own DNA data and especially for the relatives of the uploaders whose DNA information also was included without their permission and usually without their knowledge. Such blatant disregard for personal privacy may be a violation of privacy laws in many countries.
The GEDmatch owners have now tightened the web site’s rules on privacy. The result is expected to make it much more difficult for law enforcement agencies to find suspects.
WARNING: This article contains personal opinions.
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Paper. I have been drowning in it for years.
Genealogists soon learn to collect every scrap of information possible. We collect copies of birth certificates, marriage records, death certificates, census entries, military pension applications, deeds, and much, much more. I don’t know about you, but I have been collecting these bits of information as paper, mostly photocopies, for years. Over the past thirty+ years, I have probably spent thousands of dollars in photocopying fees!
I now have a four-drawer filing cabinet behind me as I write these words and another four-drawer filing cabinet in the basement. I have book shelves that are groaning under the weight of (printed) books. Since I don’t have enough room for all my books, many of them are stored in boxes in the basement, and I seem to never retrieve any of those books from storage. They lie there, year after year, gathering dust and mildew, providing information to no one.
Searching for information in hundreds of books stored in the basement is so time consuming and so impractical that it never gets done.
In addition to the thousands of dollars spent on photocopying fees, I have spent still more on filing cabinets, manila file folders, bookshelves, and more. Then there’s the books. I hate to think what I have spent for books! Postage charges alone have been more than I care to think about.
The following announcement was written by MyHeritage. You can also read more details and look at a number of additional images in the MyHeritage Blog at https://blog.myheritage.com/2019/05/introducing-the-myheritage-dna-health-ancestry-test/.
MyHeritage Expands to Health; Launches New DNA Test Offering Powerful and Personalized Health Insights for Consumers
The new MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry test provides comprehensive health reports for conditions affected by genetics including heart disease, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease
TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah—MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, announced today a major expansion of its DNA product line with the launch of the MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry test. The test provides a new dimension of genetic insight with comprehensive health reports that can empower future health and lifestyle choices. It is a superset of the current MyHeritage DNA Ancestry-Only test, and includes its pillar features: a percentage breakdown of ethnic origins and matching to relatives through shared DNA. MyHeritage is now the only global consumer DNA company to offer an extensive health and ancestry product in over 40 languages.
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
Online Webinars, Australia, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past 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.