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On the Road Again, This Time to New Zealand and Australia

If you have been reading this newsletter for some time, you already know that I travel often. That will continue to hold true for the next two weeks. On Sunday, May 28, I will travel from the U.S. to Auckland, New Zealand, to attend and give talks at the New Zealand Society of Genealogists conference. You can see the details at https://www.genealogy.org.nz/2017-conference_1571.

The following week, on June 6, I will travel to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. That will be a non-genealogy trip. Instead, I am going for some R & R. I plan to be a tourist for several days.

I’ll return home in two weeks on June 12.

(+) Rescue Old Photos and Documents: Make a Humidification Chamber

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

Old documents, newspapers, and photographs are often improperly stored. They may have been rolled or folded for years. By the time that you, the family historian, find these items and wish to view them, the documents may be damaged if forced open. Old paper, especially that manufactured after 1885, becomes brittle with age. This will be doubly true if the document has been stored in a very low-humidity environment, such as an attic. Old or fragile items may even crack and crumble if not handled properly.

The primary problem is that old paper and photographs that have not been stored properly will become dried out over the years. Dryness creates brittleness, which then causes damage when the item is not handled properly. Have you ever seen someone tenderly – but wrongly – try to uncurl an old photo or unfold an old news clipping, only to see it crumble in their hands? It’s a sad sight.

What Do You Do When the DNA Results Seem to be Lying?

I received an email message today that is not terribly unusual. I have received a number of similar questions before. I did reply in email, but I thought I would also write an article about it as I am sure others have faced the same “problem.” In fact, the resolution is simple, although a bit expensive.

This is the email message I received although I edited out the name of the person and the name of the DNA testing company in order to protect the privacy of both. In fact, this could have happened with any of the DNA testing companies:

I have a topic that has been bugging me lately. A certain DNA testing company is advertising about their “ethnicity” reports. My previous family history results show that I am over 80% British Isles and less than 5% German. However, I know that my father (he had his test done, too) is almost 50% German/Czech. Our family history research also shows that his father must have been close to 100% German.

I understand that I get what I get – not an exact % split of DNA but a roll of the dice. However, their commercials imply that you will know that you are not German if the DNA test shows no German in the ethnicity profile. What gives?

I think they are misleading people with those ads. What’s your opinion? (I also think their ethnicity reports are not 100% accurate.)

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 249,000 records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Surrey institutional records 1788-1939

Explore over 200,000 assorted records from 16 institutions across the English county of Surrey, including poor law unions, workhouses, schools, infirmaries, goals and more. Each result will provide you with a transcript of key details from the source material. The records cover 13 places in Surrey: Addlestone, Chertsey, Cobham, Dorking, Farnham, Godstone, Guildford, Hambledon, Redhill, Richmond Upon Thames, Southwark, Warlingham, and Woking. The amount and nature of the information recorded will vary depending on the type of source material. Most will reveal a combination of your accentor’s occupation, marital status and home parish as well as dates relating to their birth, baptism, death and the event that was being recorded.

Vermont, Enrolled Militia Records 1861-1867

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of 22 May 2017

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, (May 25, 2017), The largest historic record collection updates this week are for Peru (over 1 million newly indexed civil registrations) New York Passenger Lists. Search these new free records and more from Chile, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Utah, and New Hampshire at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below. Find and share this news release online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.

TheGenealogist Adds New Online Passenger Lists from the 1920s Era

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has just released four and a half million BT27 records for the 1920s. These Outbound Passenger Lists are part of the growing immigration and emigration record sets on TheGenealogist and contain the historical records of passengers who departed by sea from U.K. ports in the years between 1920 and 1929. With the addition of this decade of records, the already strong Immigration, Emigration, Naturalisation and passenger list resources on TheGenealogist have been significantly expanded.

A Liner at Liverpool; from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

The fully searchable records released today will allow researchers to:

  • Identify potential family members travelling together with SmartSearch. TheGenealogist’s unique system can recognise family members together on the same voyage. In this case it will display a family icon which allows you to view the entire family with one click.

Update of MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker 2017 Release Plans

MacKiev has been working feverishly on the new release of Family Tree Maker 2017. There have also been hints in the MacKiev status reports that the folks at Ancestry.com also have been burning the midnight oil on their end as well.

The details have not been released but apparently one big show stopper has been getting the Family Tree Maker 2017 software in both the Windows and Macintosh computers to synchronize properly with Ancestry.com’s servers. Apparently, the problems are believed to be close to resolved. Beta test users reportedly have been performing updates for several days now.

If you are curious when the release will be finalized, keep an eye on the MacKiev.com status reports at https://support.mackiev.com/498640-RELEASE-OF-FTM-2017. Those status reports seem to updated about every week or so.

(+) How to Transition Your E-mail to a Better Service

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

Note #1: The following article describes an incident with Yahoo Mail. However, it could as easily have been on AOL Mail.

A friend of mine had her Yahoo email account hacked a while ago. Her friends and I all knew it had been hacked when we received an email message claiming to be from her that started as, “I know this might be a surprise to you but am sorry to reach out to you in this manner. I apologize for not informing you about my travel to Scotland for a Seminar. Everything is going fine but there’s a little problem, I misplace my wallet on my way back to the hotel and right now all my credit cards, money are gone. Am sending you this message to inform you that am stranded at the moment and need your help financially.”

I knew the message did not come from my friend because of the typo errors in the message. The message went on at some length, asking me to send her money via Western Union.

NOTE #2: Never send money via Western Union, as it cannot easily be tracked and refunded, if needed. There are better, more fraud-resistant, ways to send money during emergencies.

Can Ancestry.com Claim Ownership of Your DNA Data?

A controversial article by a consumer protection attorney and former deputy attorney general of New Jersey has stirred up a hornet’s nest. Joel Winston published an article with the claim that the genealogy website Ancestry.com is “taking DNA ownership rights” from customers and their families. In other words, he says that Ancestry.com claims to own their customers’ personal DNA data.

Strong words, indeed. In fact, Mr. Winston’s assertions seem to be a bit far fetched.

Ancestry.com responded on the company’s DNA blog. Without mentioning Attorney Winston by name, Ancestry.com’s Chief Privacy Officer Eric Heath called Winston’s post “inflammatory and inaccurate.” Heath emphasized that Ancestry.com never takes ownership of customers’ DNA. Instead, the customers license the information to Ancestry DNA but the customers always retain ownership.

The End of an Era: Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Closes

The “Greatest Show on Earth” is no more. For many of our ancestors and even for our children and grandchildren of today, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus provided entertainment not found elsewhere. Perhaps we should all take note of the passing of this once-gigantic entertainment enterprise. The founders were the epitome of American entrepreneurship, an excellent example of why America welcomes immigrants.

The Ringling brothers were the seven American-born sons of harness maker Heinrich Friedrich August Ringling (originally spelled as “Rungeling”), (1826–1898), an immigrant from Hanover, Germany, and Marie Salome Juliar (1833–1907), an immigrant from Ostheim, in Alsace (now a part of Bavaria, Germany). One Ringling sister, Ida Loraina Wilhelmina Ringling also was part of the family although she apparently was not involved in the circus business. [Reference: “Ringling brothers” on Wikipedia.org]

Buried in Fingal: a new Database for North Co Dublin

Here is a huge new online resource for researching Irish family heritage: Fingal County Council has released a new interactive guide called Buried in Fingal.

The free database includes searchable details of more than 65,000 people interred between 1905 and 2005 in 33 of the burial grounds in the council’s care in North County Dublin. The site is searchable by name and graveyard. Search returns provide date of interment, area of last residence, and precise grave plot identifiers plus, in most cases, a link to a clear image of the register entry. The oldest burial record dates to 1877 and the most recent to 2013.

Ancestry Insider Is Shutting Down

Another blog bites the dust. (Or is it “bytes the dust?”) The Ancestry Insider blog provided an unofficial, unauthorized view of Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org for more than ten years. You can read the announcement at: http://www.ancestryinsider.org/2017/05/a-fond-farewell.html.

Geniarts – “When a Family Tree Becomes Art”

I must admit that I do not have any experience with this proposed product but it certainly looks interesting. Geniarts is the name of a company that develops “family tree templates, by creating a website dedicated to contemporary artists who imagine new family tree template.” The company also states, “In three simple steps, your family tree becomes the heart of an work of art.”

Geniarts is a company in Brussels, Belgium that has started a Kickstarter project. That is, the project is described on the Kickstarter web site as part of a global crowdfunding effort. Kickstarter collects money from the general public and provides it to the various projects described on Kickstarter.com, such as Geniarts. Project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal for that project is not met by the deadline, no funds are ever collected. The result is a kind of assurance contract.

Quoting from the Geniarts project on the Kickstarter web site:

Book Review: Tips and Quips for the Family Historian

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Tips and Quips for the Family Historian
By Elizabeth Shown Mills and Ruth Brossette Lennon.
Genealogical Publishing Co., 2017. 173 pages.

On a lighter note……Elizabeth Mills has collaborated with her granddaughter Ruth Brossette Lennon in producing a smallish book of “tips and quips,” presenting a more lighthearted approach to words from the wise.

Ms. Lennon typeset the book and created the look. Her innovative style gives a cheerful and sunny air to the deep thoughts of master genealogists: “Genealogy can not only help kids understand the world but can give them respect for their elders, bridge generation gaps, and heal family wounds.” (Tony Burroughs.)

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few minutes ago. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

Book Review: Evidence Explained, Third Edition

Announcing the MyHeritage Collection Catalog

Announcing the 14th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise (Alaska 2018)

Finding Lisa: A Real-Life Murder/Mystery/Genealogy Story

Arkansas State Archives and Several Partners have Digitized 24 Historic Arkansas Newspapers

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Genealogy Cruises, California, Indiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Utah

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.

Second Batch of “Six in Six” Records available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following article was written by Findmypast:

Second batch of “Six in Six” records available to search this Findmypast Friday

  • Over 1.3 million Nottinghamshire Parish records added to Findmypast’s UK collection
  • Release forms second phase of project to publish parish records from six English counties in six months
  • Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Somerset and Warwickshire still to come

Over 1.3 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including baptisms, banns, marriages and burials transcribed from original parish registers and bishop’s transcripts by Findmypast and the Nottinghamshire Family History Society.

The release marks the second phase of Findmypast’s Six Counties in Six Months initiative. First launched back in April with over five million Wiltshire records, the project will see the online publication of vital parish records from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Somerset and Warwickshire over the next four months.

Announcing the MyHeritage Collection Catalog

MyHeritage has just announced the launch of the MyHeritage Collection Catalog, a new section on the MyHeritage.com website that lists the historical record collections indexed and available on MyHeritage SuperSearch™.

The catalog is useful for beginners as well as professional users, as it details the number of records each collection contains, which collections are new, and the date in which each collection was added or last updated. It is available online and includes many useful functions. I know that I will be using it frequently when looking for specific records.

Announcing the 14th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise (Alaska 2018)

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past:

Adelaide, South Australia, 17 May 2017 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its 2018 cruise – an opportunity to discover more about your family history while in great company and visiting great destinations.

The Alaska cruise, 7-14 September 2018 on Royal Caribbean‘s Explorer of the Seas will leave from Seattle, visiting Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia over 7 days.

The conference program will feature 40–45 talks in three streams from an international team of 12–15 speakers. No talks will occur when in port or during scenic cruising. An optional full day extra seminar is being considered the day before the cruise to offer additional value to the many who will travel from a distance. This will feature leading North American speakers and a different program.

The featured presenters on the cruise are:

Book Review: Evidence Explained, Third Edition

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Evidence Explained
Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace
Third Edition Revised. By Elizabeth Shown Mills. Genealogical Publishing Co., 2017. 892 pages.

Now, this is a TOME.

Heavy in weight, thick in size, and rich in content. It’s so dense and daunting that the author wrote a comforting QuickStart Guide on the very first pages, to wit: don’t be intimidated by the book’s size, read chapters 1 and 2 (on the basic principles of history research), then go back to doing your research and refer just to the parts of the book that you need right when you need it.

This is the third edition of Evidence Explained, which hardly needs an introduction to the vast number of genealogists who have been working in the field for some time. For new genealogists may not know what the fuss is all about, Evidence Explained has influenced the genealogy world beyond measure. , Eventually every genealogist worth his or her salt acquires the book as a most necessary aid for citing the genealogy histories.