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MyHeritage

Announcing the Unlock the Past Conference in Seattle

Unlock the Past has announced a major, unique genealogy conference to be held in Seattle, Washington on Thursday, September 6. There are several unique aspects about this one-day conference:

1. It is a one-day genealogy conference program that will feature no less than 10 presentations in two streams – a DNA stream and an Irish/general stream, presented by four of the top international genealogy and DNA experts of our time:

Blaine Bettinger (USA)

Dr Maurice Gleeson (UK)

Cyndi Ingle – best known for her famous web site, Cyndi’s List (USA)

Wayne Shepheard (Canada)

2. The conference is very international. Not only do the four speakers come from three different countries, the hosting company (Unlock the Past) is based in Australia but is well known for hosting genealogy cruises all over the world.

Legend of Loch Ness Monster will be Tested with DNA Samples

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy but it does concern DNA, something of interest to many genealogists.

For hundreds of years, visitors to Scotland’s Loch Ness have described seeing a monster that some believe lurks in the depths. University of Otago (New Zealand) professor Neil Gemmell says he’s no believer in Nessie, but he wants to take people on an adventure and communicate some science along the way.

Gemmell said that when creatures move about in water, they leave behind tiny fragments of DNA. It comes from their skin, feathers, scales and urine. He said his team will take 300 samples of water from different points around the lake and at different depths. They will filter the organic material and extract the DNA, he said, sequencing it by using technology originally created for the human genome project. He said the DNA results will then be compared against a database of known species. He said they should have answers by the end of the year.

Details may be found in an Associated Press article at: http://bit.ly/2GIB9KA.

National Archives of Australia to Lay Off 10 Staff Members

A “downsizing” at the National Archives of Australia has left it less able to give access to records, its boss David Fricker says. The agency that describes itself as Australia’s memory will lose another 10 staff this year after staffing cuts in 2017-18, he confirmed at a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday. It comes as the archives faces more applications from researchers to access records.

Budget papers this month showed the institution’s staffing would drop to 355 this year, compared to 429 reported in the 2013-14 budget.

You can read more in an article by Doug Dingwall in the Sydney Morning Herald web site at http://bit.ly/2IETqOE.

How to Get Scotch Tape Off of a Work of Art or a Family Document

Do you have an old document or family heirloom that has Scotch Tape applied? According to an article by Sarah Zhang in The Atlantic web site, “Sticky tape was first invented in the mid-19th century, and it’s been making conservators’ lives hell ever since.”

“Tape is the bane of the conservator’s existence,” says Margaret Holben Ellis, a professor of paper conservation at New York University. The problem is simply that tape works too well. Removing it can easily take off a layer of paper, and adhesives from old tape can sink into paper, staining it an unsightly yellow or brown.

New Records on FamilySearch: Week of May 21, 2018

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Find your German ancestors on FamilySearch with 2 million new Baden, Germany Catholic Churchrecords. You can also check out the new genealogical records added this week from ArgentinaBeninAustriaBoliviaBrazilEnglandLuxembourgNetherlandsPolandPortugalUkraineUnited States (IowaLouisiana, and Rhode Island) and Venezuela.

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.

Caribbean-Americans Searching for Their Chinese Roots

The Atlas Obscura web site has published an interesting article by Eveline Chao about the search by Chinese-Jamaican-American or Canadians who wish to find their family history. Author Chao describes the good work done by Hakka Conferences and others to help each other find information about their ancestors.

It seems that many people originating in China with a distinct set of customs and a language also called Hakka left the country and moved to Jamaica in search of better economic opportunities. The British first brought Chinese and Indian workers to the Islands to replace slave labor on sugar plantations after Britain abolished slavery in 1834. (Initially, they used indentured servants from Ireland and Germany, but quickly turned East.) From 1853–1884, a recorded 17,904 Chinese—mostly men from Guangdong Province in southeast China—migrated to the British West Indies as indentured laborers, according to scholar Walton Look Lai. Some 160,000 migrated to the Caribbean overall (including Cuba).

Many Chinese immigrants intermarried with Afro-European-Chinese-Caribbean people. In later years, many of their descendants moved to the United States or to Canada. And you thought you had problems finding family records?

Findmypast Announces Plans to Publish Kent County Council’s Collection of Original Parish Registers

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • Findmypast to publish original Kent parish registers online for the first time
  • Kent County Council has begun digitisation and records will be available to search, exclusively on Findmypast, later in 2018
  • The new additions will join Findmypast’s existing Kent collections to form the most comprehensive online archive of Kent parish registers in the world

Leading family history website Findmypast today announces a new partnership with Kent County Council that will result in the digitisation and online publication of thousands of Anglican parish registers from across the county.

GEDmatch Again Used to Identify a Suspected Murderer

Investigators in Washington state recently used the same technique that earlier identified the suspected Golden State Killer. (You can read my earlier article about the “Golden State Killer” at http://bit.ly/2khfe4a.) Investigators have now used genetic genealogy to connect a 55-year-old Seattle area man to the rape and murder of a woman more than 30 years ago.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state said it was able to link William Earl Talbott II to the November 1987 slaying of Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, by matching DNA found at the crime scene to data in the public GEDmatch genealogy website.

The suspect previously did not have a criminal record and was unknown to law enforcement personnel. “He was never on any list law enforcement had, there was never a tip providing his name,” Snohomish County Sheriff’s Detective Jim Scharf said at a news conference, the Seattle Times reported. “If it hadn’t been for genetic genealogy, we wouldn’t be standing here today.”

Hart Island, a Potter’s Field where New York City’s Poor and Unclaimed Dead are Buried

This sounds more like a Charles Dickens novel than it does about a 21st century news story. It seems that millions of formerly impoverished but now deceased citizens, along with many whose bodies were unclaimed by family, are buried in Hart Island. The 101-acre sliver of land in the waters far, far north of the Manhattan is the final resting place of more than an estimated 750,000 deceased persons. Hart Island is not open to the public.

Most of the graves are unmarked. The records of the coffin row-and-column placement are kept between five and 10 years, depending upon the effect of plot soil conditions on attempted disinternments. When disinternment attempts are no longer practical and appropriate, those plot burial records are turned over to the Municipal Archives.

Genealogy in the Year 2364

Is this the future of genealogy? Actually, it doesn’t look much different from today.

This 1988 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode shows what family history research might be like in the 24th century. An ancient space capsule was discovered floating near the Starship Enterprise. It appears to be from Earth. On board are three humans who are in suspended animation, a form of deep sleep that can last for centuries. The crew of the Starship Enterprise wakes the humans who now find themselves 376 years in the future from their last memories.

Idaho Transportation Department launches ‘Travel Back through Idaho History’ Photo Collection

If you have ancestors or other relatives in Idaho in the past 100 years, you may be interested in a newly-released collection of photographs from the state. There are so many historical photos that really belong to the people. All these state agencies, we collect these over the years and they reflect our history,” ITD spokesperson Reed Hollinshead said.

The ITD launched its 30,000-photo archive on May 1, making historic photos of the state of Idaho available to the public.

New Brunswick Provincial Archives is Offering to Restore Photos and Documents Damaged by the Recent Flooding

The Provincial Archives in New Brunswick is offering to help residents restore or copy heirloom photos and documents damaged by recent flooding. Items to be considered for restoration include diaries, letters, maps, architectural drawings and photos. Photos can also be printed on paper, tin or glass.

The province says repairs of single documents will be done free of charge. Larger document recovery projects will be given quotes on a case-by-case basis.

‘Aboriginal’ Redacted from Australian Birth, Death, Marriage Certificates after Being Deemed an Offensive Term

Vital records worldwide are becoming more and more politically correct. A West Australian bureaucrat has deemed the use of the term “Aboriginal” may be regarded as offensive and exercised a little-known power to redact it from birth, death and marriage certificates. However, not everyone agrees with this decision.

It has shocked historians, who were unaware of the practice and say Aboriginal is considered by most to be an inclusive term. “Way back in the past people might have hidden their Aboriginality … it’s now a source of pride for many people of Aboriginal descent today,” according to Jenny Gregory, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Western Australia.

Call for Papers – Family Tree Live

I wrote earlier at http://bit.ly/2rYTs9D about Family Tree Live, a new family history conference to be held in London on 26th & 27th April 2019. The organizers of the conference have now issued a call for papers:

Family Tree Live, being held at Alexandra Palace on 26 and 27 April 2019, will offer family history enthusiasts of all levels the opportunity to attend talks presented by an inspiring and knowledgeable range of experts in their subject.

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. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

(+) How to Obtain Information from the 1950 and Later Census Records

Automobiles in Old Family Photographs

How to Protect Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Your family’s Documents from the Ravages of Climate Change

Social Security Cards Issued by Woolworth

Google Cloud Storage Plans are now Cheaper than Ever

Some Genealogy Sites Closing Due to EU’s General Data Protection Regulation

The Largest Private Historical Archive in the USA of 4.5 Million Photos, Drawings, Engravings and More is For Sale

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

California, Illinois, Missouri, 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.

(+) How to Obtain Information from the 1950 and Later Census Records

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.

New Records Available To Search on Findmypast as of May 18, 2018

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.

UK deaths 2007-2016

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.

British in India, Directories 1792-1948 Browse

Some Genealogy Sites Closing Due to EU’s General Data Protection Regulation

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.