The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Anyone who has been researching U.S. ancestors for very long is probably familiar with the U.S. census records. The census records of 1940 and earlier are publicly available; anyone may view them. However, the census records of 1950 and later are sealed and not available to descendants until 72 years after the date of the census. Or are they?
In fact, genealogists can obtain limited information (for a fee) from the 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and even the 2010 U.S. census records. To be sure, the information available is limited, and the fees are high. However, this service is valuable to some people.
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
There are over 11 million new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday.
Search over 2.5 million transcripts to discover relatives who died in the United Kingdom. The collection covers England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Jersey and list the individual’s name, date of death, and location of death.
These records include over two and a half million entries with just under two million records pertaining to the years 2007 to 2013. The remainder of the records cover the years 2014 to 2016.
The following is a message posted to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ mailing list by Jan Meisels Allen:
The IAJGS Records Access Alert has written about the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) numerous times—including how in the Netherlands they are removing certain genealogically-relevant documents from their website due to the GDPR. The GDPR becomes effective May 25, 2018
In DNAeXplained-Genetic Genealogy by Roberta Estes she reports that several genealogical firms are also closing down due to the privacy provisions of and compliance with the GDPR:
The Largest Private Historical Archive in the USA of 4.5 Million Photos, Drawings, Engravings and More is For Sale
I doubt if many private individuals can afford this but a genealogy society, historical society, or perhaps a company that offers historical information on the World Wide Web might be very interested. The historical D. Jay Culver collection, valued at $163.2 million, is offered for $15 million.
According to the announcement from the company handling the sale:
“This unique collection, including more than 4.5 million photographs, plates, line drawings, prints, engravings, playbills and other historical art, delivers a solid opportunity for substantial estimated return on investment. For example, the value of less than one percent of the collection exceeds the asking price of $15 million.
Progeny Genealogy has introduced a new chart in its popular Charting Companion software that provides a simple way to visualize DNA test results, in the context of a Descendant chart.
The DNA Matrix combines a genealogy database (Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, Legacy, etc.) with the CSV match files that result from DNA tests. It shows the amount of DNA shared by people in the family tree. It can highlight errors, or confirm hypotheses.
Discover your ancestors on FamilySearch with this week’s new records, including birth, marriage, death, and immigration records from Australia, Brazil, Kentucky, Luxembourg, Oklahoma, and Peru. Research these new free records by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.
The world is abuzz this week as the former American actress, Meghan Markle, will marry Prince Henry of Wales (familiarly known as Prince Harry) on Saturday, May 19, 2018. He is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. While Meghan Markle is an American, she is related to both Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare, along with many other famous English citizens.
According to the MyHeritage Blog at http://bit.ly/2wRSiSo:
“We found that Markle is William Shakespeare’s fifth cousin thirteen times removed. Her connection to Winston Churchill is even closer, as they are sixth cousin five times removed.
Sometimes we take certain things for granted. We often don’t stop to realize what life was like for our ancestors. We may have skills that our ancestor did not possess. Recently I stumbled across some old photographs that made me stop and think.
In 1905 the automobile was a novelty. Very few people had ever driven one, much less owned one. After looking at a couple of photographs, I realized that most people did not know how to drive in those days.
Today most adults are familiar with driving automobiles. However, 100 or more years ago, that was not true. In fact, the idea of someone driving an automobile was so unique that commercial photographers of the time often took advantage of the automobile to sell more photographs.
The most misused Social Security Number of all time was 078-05-1120. In 1938, wallet manufacturer the E. H. Ferree company in Lockport, New York decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets. A sample card, used for display purposes, was inserted in each wallet. Company Vice President and Treasurer Douglas Patterson thought it would be a clever idea to use the actual SSN of his secretary, Mrs. Hilda Schrader Whitcher.
The following announcement was written by Forces War Records:
Forces War Records, the website to visit for anyone researching their family’s military history or searching for ancestors through military data are excited to announce that it’s new and refreshed website is now live.
With a fresh new design and feel, the new look website gives users the opportunity to navigate through Forces War Records extensive database of military records, documents, products and services with ease. Delivering a fully responsive experience, the new website gives users a seamless transition from desktop to mobile browsing and improved searchability. Also, there’s a whole host of smaller but impactful changes, all to make your experience of the Forces War Records site that much better for you.
The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Ontario Genealogical Society:
May 15, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts— The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) have announced an historic marketing collaboration between the two organizations. As a result of an agreement made between the two societies, NEHGS—the oldest and largest genealogical organization in the United States— and OGS—the largest in Canada—will offer memberships, products, and services at attractive discount prices to members of the collaborating organization. Original publications of the two family history institutions—as well as research projects, online courses, webinars, and professional consultations—will also be made available at special pricing to members.
I have often recommended using file storage services in the cloud for storing your genealogy information and for storing any other information that is valuable to you. Whether you use the cloud as your primary storage area or if you use it simply as a backup to your computers’ disk drives is unimportant. If information is important to you, you need to have AT LEAST two copies of everything, stored in two different places. Three copies of everything stored in three different places would be better still and four copies… well, you get the idea. You can never have too many backup copies.
What interests me is that prices of storing data in the cloud keep dropping. Today, Google made new changes to its storage plans that include a new, low-cost storage plan and half off the price of its 2 terabytes storage option. Details may be found in Google’s announcement at: https://www.blog.google/products/google-one/one-simple-way-get-more-out-google/.
Several changes were announced:
How to Protect Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Your family’s Documents from the Ravages of Climate Change
I will suggest that a story by Sophie Yeo in the PacificStandard web site should be required reading by archivists, librarians, genealogists, government officials, and anyone else who cares about preserving old paper documents. She writes, “Almost all American archives are at risk from disasters or changing temperatures. Community history will probably be the first to go.”
She also writes:
“This history, in the form of manuscripts, codices, printed books, and other material artifacts, is kept in expensive and well-ventilated university collections; it is tucked in crumpling cardboard boxes under the desks of local librarians; it sits crammed into the storage cupboards of city governments. Some documents attract scholars from around the world, while others hold scant interest beyond hobbyist historians. Many are irreplaceable.
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
Online Webinars, Ireland, California, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Oregon
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.
According to an article in Law360.com at http://bit.ly/2IeBKZV:
Law360 (May 11, 2018, 7:49 PM EDT) — Genealogy company 23andMe Inc. hit rival Ancestry.com with a false advertising and patent infringement lawsuit in California federal court on Friday, seeking to invalidate its “Ancestry” trademark and claiming the company sells a DNA-based ancestry test that infringes 23andMe’s patent.
The suit accuses the Utah-based Ancestry.com of infringing its patent since 2013 by selling AncestryDNA kits that identify a person’s relatives who share parts of their DNA. 23andMe also claims that Ancestry.com has been misleading customers by running a “perpetual sale” and by falsely claiming in ads that it tests five times more regions than its rivals.
“Defendants’ repeated pattern of false and misleading advertising has caused, and will continue to cause irreparable injury to 23andMe’s reputation, goodwill and business, if not enjoined,” the suit says.
The complete article with all the details may be found at: http://bit.ly/2IeBKZV. To read the entire article, you must register on the site and provide your name and email address. However, registration is free and will provide seven days’ access to the articles on the site.
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Compact discs and DVDs have going the way of the dodo, and online streaming media will keep that trend going throughout 2018, 2019, and probably for many more years.
Several articles have appeared online in the past few years describing the slowly dying music CD and video DVD businesses. In short, sales of CD and DVD disks are being replaced by directly downloading music and videos online to iPods, computers, and other music playback devices.
Remember the record and CD stores that used to be available at your local mall? Where have they all gone? What happened to the music store that sold CDs? How about the Blockbuster DVD rental store that used to be in your neighborhood? Where did it go? The reality is that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Apple TV, and other online video services made the DVD rental stores obsolete. The same is true of music CDs: it is easier, much faster, and usually cheaper to download the music online that it is to go to a “brick-and-mortar” store to purchase the same things on plastic disks.
We are now seeing the same thing with the companies that sell genealogy-related CD-ROM disks. Music CDs are already plummeting, video DVD sales are plummeting, can data CDs be far behind?
The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Discover your ancestors on FamilySearch this week in nearly 300,000 images and indexed records from BillionGraves Index, more than 150,000 from Peru, Cusco, more than 130,000 from Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, and more records from Cape Verde, Denmark, Germany, Guatemala, Panama, Portugal,and Slovakia. Research these new free records by clicking on the collection links below or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.
The Vatican Secret Archives is one of the grandest historical collections in the world. Located within the Vatican’s walls, next door to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries. It’s also one of the most useless. If you want to peruse anything else, you have to apply for special access, schlep all the way to Rome, and go through every page by hand. It isn’t much use to modern scholars, because it’s so inaccessible. However, thanks to modern technology, access is changing.
Known as In Codice Ratio, a new project uses a combination of artificial intelligence and optical-character-recognition (OCR) software to scour these neglected texts and make their transcripts available online for the very first time. If successful, the technology could also open up untold numbers of other documents at historical archives around the world.
Quoting from an announcement by FamilySearch:
“As a RootsTech presenter, you’ll be surrounded with unique opportunities to share your personal knowledge, enhance your brand, and network with people throughout the industry.”
The full announcement is a bit lengthy so I won’t reproduce it here. However, you can read all the information by starting at: https://www.rootstech.org/call-for-presentations.