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New Historical Records Added in the First Half of November 2019 on MyHeritage

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

In the first half of November, MyHeritage added 18.8‬ million new records from 10 new collections: 1801 Norway Census, 1865 Norway Census, United Kingdom War Memorials 1914–1949, Estonia Gravestones 1812–2019, North Carolina Mecklenburg County Birth Index (1913–2019); Marriage Index (1884–2019) and Death Index (1916–2019), Pennsylvania, Lawrence County Index of Obituaries (1871–2016) and Index of Marriage Announcements (1858–2006), and Chile Electoral Rolls 2013.

Here is a breakdown of the new records:

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 18 November 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch: added new, free, historical records this week from Benin, Brazil, England, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Africa and the United States including 2 million North Carolina birth, marriage, and death records (1800 to 2000).

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

Ancestry Uses Artificial Intelligence to Sift Through Hundreds of Thousands of Obituaries

From an article in the Market Research Base web site at

“Ancestry used synthetic intelligence to extract obituary particulars hidden in a half-billion digitized newspaper pages courting again to 1690, knowledge invaluable for patrons constructing their household bushes.

“The household historical past and consumer-genomics firm, based mostly in Lehi, Utah, started the venture in late 2017 and launched the brand new performance final month. By its subsidiary, the corporate had a trove of newspaper pages, together with obituaries — however it stated that manually discovering and importing these loss of life notices to in a kind that was usable for patrons would possible have taken years. As a substitute, Ancestry tasked its 24-person data-science workforce with having know-how pinpoint and make sense of the info. The workforce educated machine-learning algorithms to acknowledge obituary content material in these 525 million newspaper pages. It then educated one other set of algorithms to detect and index key information from the obituaries, resembling names of the deceased’s partner and youngsters, start dates, birthplaces and extra.”

The full story may be found at:

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

A notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few minutes ago.

The following articles are listed in this week’s Plus Edition email:

(+) How to Find Someone Who Has the Book You Seek

Genetic Genealogy can Help Solve Cold Cases. It can also Accuse the Wrong Person.

Geni Introduces Consistency Checker to the World Family Tree

The National Library of Israel and Google Together Will Digitize 120,000 Historic Books and Place Them Online

The State Archives of North Carolina is Looking for Transcribers

USCIS Proposes Fee Increases for Genealogy Records

(+) How to Find Someone Who Has the Book You Seek

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

Perhaps the full title of this article should be How to Find Someone Who Has the Book You Seek and Also Let Everyone Else Know About the Books You Own and Also Catalog Your Own Personal Library with Minimal Effort.

You can find dozens of programs that will help you catalog your personal book collection. Some of these will create a list that you can print or store on your own computer or store on your smartphone or even upload to the World Wide Web. Some products also keep track of the books you want to read (sometimes called a wish list) and will also keep track of books you have loaned out to others, including the date loaned. Some cataloging products will also track other media, such as CD and DVD disks, video games, and more. However, one online service does all that and lots more. Best of all, you can share your catalog with others and also see what others have in their collections. The service is available either free of charge or for very low fees, depending upon the options you select.

The product I use is primarily a service for cataloging books, but it can also be used to catalog and track other media, including music and videos. It even works for ebooks. You can sort, share, explore, import, and export data pertaining to your personal or even institutional library. You can track who has borrowed which book. You can see other users who have similar libraries to yours and browse books they have that you might be interested in. Perhaps best of all, you can find reviews of thousands of books on the system.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Rhode Island

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.

Association of Professional Genealogists Announces New Officers, Board, and Nominations Committee Members

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

David McDonald Named President of World’s Largest Professional Organization for Genealogy

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 16 November 2019—The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) has announced the results of its election for new officers, board members, and nominations committee members. The APG membership elected six at-large board members for two-year terms. Two nominations committee members were elected for one-year terms. Those elected:

Executive Committee (two-year term)

White House Photographer David Kennerly to Keynote RootsTech 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch, the organizers of RootsTech:

RootsTech 2020, the world’s largest family history convention, is pleased to announce David Hume Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize—winning White House photographer, as the featured keynote speaker on Friday, February 27, 2020, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kennerly will share some of his incredible stories as part of RootsTech 2020’s 10th anniversary celebrating genealogy and technology innovation.

David Hume Kennerly has a rich legacy of impressive contributions to photography and history. His photos have appeared on more than 50 major magazine covers. He has photographed 10 U.S. presidents and served as a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine and was a contributing photographer for Time and Life magazines. American Photo magazine named Kennerly “One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography,” and Washingtonian magazine called Kennerly one of the 50 most important journalists in Washington, D.C.

USCIS Proposes Fee Increases for Genealogy Records

The following message was posted to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies,  (IAJGS) mailing list by Jan Meisels Allen and is republished here with her permission:

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced through the Federal Register that they intend to increase the request fees charged by them, including for genealogy services.  Currently, the G-1041 Index Search Request is $65 and form G-1041A Genealogy Records Request is $65. The USCIS proposes to raise the fees to $240 and $385 respectively.  These are a 269 percent and 492 percent change respectively (if I did my math correctly).  They are based on the projected costs and volumes of the genealogy program. The search fee is non-refundable if nothing is found in their search. The projected costs include a portion of Lockbox costs and an estimated staffing requirement for genealogy workload.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was  written by Findmypast:

British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers’ Medical Records

Over 36,000 new additions from the National Archives in Kew are now available to search. These highly detailed records include images of original documents and will reveal when and where your ancestor was wounded, the nature of their injuries, where they were treated and how long they were. Service details and other additional notes may also be included.

The medical records were collected by the Medical Research Committee and then given over to the British Museum during the First World War, 1914 to 1918. The records were used for statistical research. In 1931, Thomas John Mitchell and G M Smith published History of the Great War, based on official documents. Medical services: Casualties and medical statistics of the Great War from the data gathered from these medical records.

United States, Official Army Register 1861-1865

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 11 November 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch: added Chilean (1821-2015) and South African (1886-2010) cemetery records. More historical records added from American Samoa, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, England, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, PeruPortugal and the United States of America (including over 600,000 Charleston, South Carolina records (1732 – 1872) and Native American Census Rolls (1885-1940)).

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

FamilySearch Celebrates 125th Anniversary

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch, aka Genealogical Society of Utah, has been helping to create family connections for 125 years. What began as a humble state family history society over a century ago, today has blossomed into a global organization that continues to help millions of people make inspiring family connections. FamilySearch, formerly the Genealogical Society of Utah, is celebrating the commencement of its 125th Anniversary today. The international nonprofit is grateful to have played a part in the meteoric rise of consumer interest in family history and helping to enrich the lives of millions of people in ways that were not anticipated in the beginning.

Online Telephone Directory Collection of Interest to Genealogists

The Library of Congress’ collection of telephone directories represents the following states and localities: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the city of Chicago. The dates of the directories span most of the 20th century. The Library’s United States telephone directory collection consists of 8,327 digitized reels of microfilm; of these, about 3,500 are presented in this collection. The remainder of the collection may be requested from the Microform Reader Services (LJ 139).

You can read more about this online collection at while the catalog of available directories and much more may be found at

My thanks to newsletter reader Michelle Cadoree Bradley for telling me about this online resource.

Native American Genealogy in the New York City Area

The following is an excerpt from an article by Natiba Guy-Clement published in the Brooklyn Library’s web site :

Tribal leaders and historians from Canada, Delaware, Oklahoma and the Lenape Center here in New York, engaged with us about their history, customs and traditions. From Chief Chester Brooks, the oldest chief in attendance, we learned about 7 generations of his family bloodline that he was able to recite to us from memory. This was quite a privilege for me to witness, the oral recitation of family ties that takes genealogists time and effort to compile. I learned that it was borne out of the aftermath of colonization, since many families were decimated or reduced very quickly, it was necessary to know who your family was to prevent intermarriage. Other Tribal representatives shared their stories about the present conditions of their respective groups and talked about their efforts to educate newer generations about their history and culture.

My Not-So-Evil “Twin Brother”

I have long been a fan of the television series “The Curse of Oak Island” that is now in its seventh season on the History Channel. I think I have seen every episode of the program. I also have had a long-term interest in another possibly related topic of European adventurers roaming around North America in the 1300s.

The travels of these Europeans in North America is unproven, but there is a lot of circumstantial evidence. I find the subject interesting. For details, see my earlier articles, “Was the Westford Knight also on Oak Island? and “Update: Was the Westford Knight also on Oak Island?”

Because of my investigations into the Westford Knight, I even had a very brief appearance in one of “The Curse of Oak Island” episodes last year.

I also have been a technology geek for years and have written a number of articles in this newsletter about genealogy uses of GPS devices, ground penetrating radar, and other high-tech methods of finding graves, ancestors’ homesteads, and other locations of interest to genealogists and historians.

Imagine my surprise last night when I watched the latest episode of “The Curse of Oak Island.” One person on the show looked strangely familiar. He is also a high-tech geek and is very involved in GPS and ground penetrating radar.

Do you see a resemblance between us?

The National Library of Israel and Google Together Will Digitize 120,000 Historic Books and Place Them Online

I suspect that at least some of these books will provide names and other information about families, especially those families that have been dispersed by the Holocaust.

The National Library of Israel (NLI) and Google have announced that 120,000 books from the library’s collection will be uploaded to Google Books for the first time as part of their collaboration.

The books that are expected to be uploaded will, according to NLI, include all of the library’s out-of-copyright, royalty-free books which have not yet been digitized. Around 45% of the books are written in Hebrew script, in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, and other languages of the Jewish world. The rest of the works are in a variety of languages, including Latin, German, French, Arabic and Russian.

Genetic Genealogy can Help Solve Cold Cases. It can also Accuse the Wrong Person.

According to an article by Nsikan Akpan, William Brangham, and Rhana Natour published in the PBS News Hour web site:

“From a law enforcement perspective, the case for using genetic genealogy is strong. But experts are also flagging concerns about what the method means for people’s legal and DNA privacy.”

Here is a quote from further in the same article:

“Genetic genealogy — in truth, any forensics dependent on DNA — can fall prey to the same human biases that plague other aspects of law enforcement. Close relatives or even non-relatives can be accused of the crime if care is not taken with how the genetic genealogy is interpreted.

“It happened to Michael Usry.”

23andMe’s Stance on Protecting Customers’ Data

The following is from an article by Kathy Hibbs, 23andMe’s Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, as published in the company’s blog:

“A Florida judge recently issued a warrant granting law enforcement access to search the database of GEDmatch, a small publicly accessible DNA and genealogy research site. Allowing law enforcement access to GEDmatch’s nearly one million users should trouble anyone who values people’s right to privacy.

“It certainly troubles us here at 23andMe.

“Perhaps just as disturbing is GEDmatch’s apparent lack of scrutiny and challenge of the validity of the warrant issued.

Ancestry Says, “Your Privacy is our Top Priority”

From an article by Ancestry’s Chief Privacy Officer, Eric Heath, published in the Ancestry Blog:

“Your privacy is important to us. That’s why we want to share our position on a recent event where a Florida judge issued a search warrant to allow law enforcement to search all of GEDmatch, an open data personal genomics database. Following the issuance of the search warrant, GEDmatch opened its database of nearly one million users — beyond those who had consented to such access — within 24 hours. Ancestry believes that GEDmatch could have done more to protect the privacy of its users, by pushing back on the warrant or even challenging it in court. Their failure to do so is highly irresponsible, and deeply concerning to all of us here at Ancestry. GEDmatch’s actions stand in stark contrast to our values and commitment to our customers.

The State Archives of North Carolina is Looking for Transcribers

The following is an announcement from the State Archives of North Carolina:

TranscribeNC, the crowd sourced transcription program by the State Archives of North Carolina, has reached a milestone. Over the last six months, over 100 volunteers have dedicated their time to complete over 1600 page edits. The local draft board project will close on November 30. You still have a chance to make history!

Beginning in December, TrasncribeNC will debut new projects focusing on WWI letters and diaries and women’s history. More information coming soon!

If you or someone you know is interested in keeping some of NC’s important stories alive, please go to for more information.