A Message from MyHeritage

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And You Thought You Had Problems Researching the Ancestry of Your Last Name?

In the United States, the most popular family surname is Smith. As per the 2010 census, about 0.8 percent of Americans have it. In Vietnam, the most popular surname name is Nguyen. The estimate for how many people answer to it? Somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the country’s population.

You think tracing the Smith family is difficult? Try tracing the Nguyen family!

An article by Dan Nosowitz in the Atlas Obscura web site states:

“Nguyen doesn’t indicate much more than that you are Vietnamese. Someone with the [surname of] Nguyen is going to have basically no luck tracing their heritage back beyond a generation or two, will not be able to use search engines to find out much of anything about themselves.”

Portrait of Bao Dai (born Nguyễn Phúc Vĩnh Thụy), the last emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty.

A Digital Map Will Provide Online Access to East End Cemetery, a Historic African-American Burial Ground in Richmond, Virginia

Built by the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, Department of Geography and the Environment, and Spatial Analysis Lab, the map features drone-captured imagery and GPS data points collected by hundreds of students and volunteers organized by the Friends of East End.

The searchable digital map can be accessed on both phones and tablets.

The East End Cemetery Collaboratory is a learning community composed of faculty and staff from the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University and members of the Friends of East End Cemetery. The Collaboratory is also developing a comprehensive digital archive of the cemetery, which contains:

MyHeritage Introduces Cross-Langauge Record Matches

This sounds like a game-changer to me. MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) has just introduced new technology that will be of interest to anyone whose ancestors spoke a language other than English, whether they were in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or still back in “the old country.”

MyHeritage’s web site has long been available in 42 different languages and is the most popular genealogy website in most non-English speaking countries, as well as having millions of international users who built family trees found only on MyHeritage, exclusive global record collections, and unique technology for overcoming language barriers.

Today, the company announced a significant innovation: the already existing Global Name Translation Technology™ has been extended to apply to Record Matches as well. With this new addition, translated Record Matches are now calculated on an ongoing basis, and you’ll receive matches with historical records and family tree profiles in other languages. When you view them, the names will be conveniently spelled out using your own alphabet.

Keep in mind that this translates NAMES, not the entire record. As explained in the announcement below, this can be very useful when names are pronounced differently in various languages, such as the name Alexander which was spelled in the old country as Alejandro, Александр, Саша, or Sasha.

You can learn more, both in the announcement below and even more extensive information, complete with screenshots, is available in the MyHeritage Blog at https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/06/introducing-cross-language-record-matches.

Individuals researching their heritage often face a language barrier when researching their ancestors who lived in another country. MyHeritage pioneered Global Name Translation Technology™ to help users overcome this barrier, by automatically translating names between languages. This unique capability, originally conceived by MyHeritage’s Founder and CEO, allows users to locate records that mention their ancestors in different and often unexpected languages (as well as in synonyms in each language). Initially, this was available in our search engine, SuperSearch™, and has now been extended to automatic Record Matches as well.

For example, if you search for an ancestor you know as Alexander, the algorithm may uncover a Spanish record where his name is listed as Alejandro (a Spanish version of Alexander), or a Russian record with the name written Александр in Cyrillic characters (the Russian way to write Alexander), or its common Russian nickname Саша (Sasha).

With this new addition, translated Record Matches are now calculated on an ongoing basis, and you’ll receive matches with historical records and family tree profiles in other languages. When you view them, the names will be conveniently spelled out using your own alphabet. You may already have noticed some records from other languages appearing in your matches.

This feature will help you easily locate records that would otherwise have been very difficult for you to find.

This unique technology is only available on MyHeritage and works hand in hand with our huge database of international records.

You can read more about and see examples of Cross-Language Record Matches on our blog, and see what some of our users have already begun saying about it.

Even more extensive information, complete with screenshots, is available in the MyHeritage Blog at https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/06/introducing-cross-language-record-matches.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 1 June 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added 6.5 million New York land records and over 1 million Uruguay passenger lists, 1880 – 1980.  Additional records were added for American Samoa, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Iceland, Ireland, Niue, Norway, Peru, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom.  Additional US records were added for AK, CA, HI, ID, IA, KS, LA, MN, MS, NY, NC, OH, PA, UT, VA, and WI.

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

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 latest Plus Edition newsletter is available at: https://eognplus.com/news/thisweek.htm

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

(+) Are You Eligible for Dual Citizenship?

MyHeritage Adds Exclusive New Record Collection: Germany, North Rhine Westphalia, Death Index 1870–1940

MyHeritage is Offering Free Access to Different Record Collections Every Day in June

Remember the Fluoroscope?

Do You Have Backups or are You Simply Synching?

Calculating Birth Dates from Death Date Information

Pasadena (California) Museum of History’s Black History Collection Is Now Available Online

Announcing the 1950 Census Project for the Morse One-Step Site

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 26 May 2020

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Society Grants Program and New Unsung Heroes Program Nominees

SLIG Announces Academy Courses and Deadline Modifications

Virtual Celtic Connections Conference Registrations are Now Open

General Society of Mayflower Descendants has Cancelled its 42nd Congress

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

(+) Are You Eligible for Dual Citizenship?

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

Are you eligible for citizenship in the country where your ancestors were born? You might not have to give up your American citizenship. Many Americans may be surprised to learn that they are eligible for dual citizenship. With today’s political upheaval in the US, more Americans than ever are seeking citizenship, especially dual citizenship, in foreign countries. See Americans Renouncing Citizenship at Record Rates at https://www.newsmax.com/us/american-citizenship-bambridge-accountants/2020/05/12/id/967062/ for the details.

SLIG Announces Academy Courses and Deadline Modifications

The following announcement was written by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, usually abbreviated as “SLIG”:

Our hearts went out to the National Genealogical Society, APG, IGHR, GRIP, and many other organizations who have had to face the Coronavirus pandemic head-on and make vital changes in very little time over the past few months. We applaud the flexibility of presenters, faculty members, and organizations in their efforts to adapt rapidly to difficult times.

So, what about SLIG?

The safety and health of our faculty, students, committee members, and guests are of the utmost importance to us. Therefore, we are navigating slowly and carefully as we plan for 2021. While SLIG 2021 is still scheduled to be held in Salt Lake in January, modifications will be made to ensure the safety of all attending, and contingency plans created to deal with present and future unknowns.

Announcing the 1950 Census Project for the Morse One-Step Site

Joel Weintraub has announced a major new addition that he created for Stephen Morse’s One-Step Webpages site: the 1950 Census Project includes 230,000 plus 1950 Enumeration Districts’ definitions transcribed and searchable, an additional 79,000 small urban/rural names added to the definitions, and over 2,400 city street indexes for most cities over 5,000 in population.

The work was performed by was done with Steve Morse, Joel Weintraub, and under 80 volunteers. All of this is online at https://stevemorse.org/ right now.

The 1950 census form asked where respondents were born and whether they were naturalized.

 

MyHeritage is Offering Free Access to Different Record Collections Every Day in June

Starting today, each day of the month MyHeritage is offering a different and significant historical record collection will be available for free.

According to the announcement:

“The collections chosen for this offer were handpicked for their value for family historians and include collections that are exclusive to MyHeritage. Among them are the Sweden Household Examination Books, 1840–1947, 1940 Denmark Census, and U.S. City Directories. Altogether, we’ll be providing free access to more than 2 billion historical records throughout June!

“All the collections are available on www.myheritage.com/research, and you can find the full schedule for the free collections, including direct links, on our blog at https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/05/each-day-of-june-a-different-record-collection-will-be-free/.

Here is a list of the collections that will be made available for free during June:

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often.

Given the events of the past month with genealogy web sites laying off employees and cutting back on services, you now need backup copies of everything more than ever. What happens if the company that holds your online data either goes off line or simply deletes the service where your data is held? If you have copies of everything stored either in your own computer or stored in a different company’s online service, such a loss would be inconvenient but not a disaster.

Do You Have Backups or are You Simply Synching?

“I don’t need backups. I’ve got my files synced.”

Wrong!

I have written many times about the need for genealogists and most everyone else to make frequent backups I won’t repeat all that here. You can find my past articles by starting at https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aeogn.com+backups&t=hu&ia=web.

However, I have to ask one question: Do you have backups or are you simply syncing your files?

In fact, there is a huge difference.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Findmypast round-off their month of Second World War releases with fascinating new military records from the British Army and Royal Air Force

British Army Service Records

This essential military collection has been enhanced with over 89,000 records from the Coldstream Guards, spanning from 1800-1947. Comprising of many different regimental histories, there are records including discharge books, court martial books, decorations and rewards and officers’ statements of services. The Coldstream Guards are the oldest regiment in the British Army in continuous active service. With origins dating back to the English Civil War, the regiment has served in every major conflict and many minor ones since it was raised.

These fascinating records have been published in partnership with The Coldstream Guards Charitable Fund.

Royal Engineers Journals 1939-1945

The Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Society Grants Program and New Unsung Heroes Program Nominees

The following announcement was written by the Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix:

The Genealogy Guys Podcast, the world’s oldest genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of the acclaimed RESTORE photo and document image improvement software, announce a new Unsung Heroes Program and a call for nominations for Unsung Heroes Awards.

The partners created the Unsung Heroes Awards in 2019 to encourage, acknowledge and celebrate members of the genealogy community who lead the way in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photos and documents, for use by researchers around the globe. They have added a brand-new Unsung Heroes Societies Grant Program for societies to obtain a scanner and high-quality software to make digitization projects a reality. They have also adjusted the Unsung Heroes Awards Program eligible nominees and the contents of the prize package.

Virtual Celtic Connections Conference Registrations are Now Open

The following announcement was written by Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI) and The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA):

Virtual Celtic Connections Conference, available online July 31-August 31, 2020

Join us on a virtual “Journey Home” and learn more about researching your family history!

ALL THIS FOR ONLY $99 (USD):

  • On-demand presentations – No difficult decisions about which lecture to attend! All 25 pre-recorded presentations will be available for you to view whenever you choose.
  • Conference extended from July 31-August 31 – Plenty of time to listen to any and all talks of interest to you (as long as you do so before August 31).
  • Nine live chat sessions with the presenters – Opportunities for you to ask questions and interact with our speakers and other attendees. Schedule will be posted soon.
  • Safe, convenient and less expensive – No risky and costly travel, no reservations, no trip delays. View the presentations from home at your convenience!
  • Renowned genealogists cover a variety of topics – Fiona Fitzsimons, Maurice Gleeson, John Grenham, Chris Paton plus seven outstanding U.S. genealogy experts will address multiple topics and interests. See the complete program listing at our website (http://celtic-connections.org/ccc_program.html).
  • Online syllabus — Electronic version of the conference syllabus will include all presentations as well as discounts on digital products.

Register now at http://celtic-connections.org/ccc_register.html.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 26 May 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added 1.2 M new, free, historical records this week to United States collections including 800K from California. World collections added church, civil, and tax records for American Samoa, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, England, Finland, France, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Niue, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Sweden.  Additional United States records were for AZ, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IN, IA, LA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, and WI.

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

Remember the Fluoroscope?

Here is a walk down memory lane for anyone old enough to remember the fluoroscope, an x-ray device that was available in thousands of shoe stores worldwide. It also had several proprietary names, including the Pedoscope, X-ray Shoe Fitter, and the Foot-o-scope.

Fluoroscopes were once a common sight in shoe stores. Thousands of the devices were installed in the mid-20th century. Eventually, customers, shoe salespeople, and medical authorities alike finally realized that a shoe store isn’t the best place for a boxful of radioactive isotopes.

I well remember my mother taking me to Reed’s Footwear and Clothing store where we and Bill Reed (the owner of the store) all looked at live x-ray images of my feet inserted into new shoes in the store to see if the shoes fit properly or not.

MyHeritage Adds Exclusive New Record Collection: Germany, North Rhine Westphalia, Death Index 1870–1940

MyHeritage has announced a major new addition to its available online records. The North Rhine Westphalia, Death Index 1870–1940 collection includes 2,450,551 records along with beautiful scanned images of the original documents. These records cover 98% of the population and have been mandatory in all German states since 1876. They may include the first and last names of the individual, the date and place of birth and death, age at death, residence, name of spouse, and even the names of the individual’s parents.

The images have been fully indexed by MyHeritage for the first time, making the information more accessible and readily searchable than ever before. These records are available only on MyHeritage, and are an invaluable resource for anyone researching their German roots.

Calculating Birth Dates from Death Date Information

What day was that ancestor born? It seems like such a simple question, and yet finding the answer can be surprisingly complex, even when you have the numbers in front of you. Exact dates are often found in death certificates and frequently on tombstones. The problem is that these are often written as death dates followed by the person’s age at death.

Here is a common example:

Here lies the body of John Smith,

Died August 3, 1904,

Aged 79 years, 9 months, 29 days

How do you tell John Smith’s date of birth?

You obviously need to subtract 79 years and 9 months and 29 days from the date of death. Simple, right? Well, not as simple as it first appears.

Pasadena (California) Museum of History’s Black History Collection Is Now Available Online

Online Project is Part of USC’s Award-winning L.A. as Subject Community Histories Digitization Project

From the PasadenaNow web site:

Pictured: Merlene Ballard and boyfriend (Black History Collection, BH-D-5-19

“The Black History Collection, one of more than 250 special collections in the Archives at Pasadena Museum of History, is part of a generous digitization grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the University of Southern California’s L.A. as Subject Community Histories Digitization Project.

General Society of Mayflower Descendants has cancelled its 42nd Congress

The cancellation is due to the Covid19 (CoronaVirus) pandemic. The society plans to hold its next Congress in September 2021.