On March 29, 1999, Deborah Dalzell’s body was found inside her home off Colony Meadows Lane in Sarasota, Florida. Her co-workers were concerned when she did not show up for work. When deputies arrived, they found her brutally beaten, sexually battered, and strangled. Who did it remained a mystery for nearly two decades. The main piece of evidence left behind was DNA from the suspect.
The mystery man was finally unmasked this week. Deputies announced the arrest of 39-year old Luke Fleming. At the time of the murder, he lived less than a mile away from Dalzell. Fleming was charged with murder and sexual battery with great bodily harm. He remains in the Sarasota County Jail on a $1.2-million bond.
“Thanks to DNA evidence coupled with ancestry and genealogy, we’ve finally connected the dots,” said Sheriff Tom Knight.
The RootsTech organizers have opened registration for RootsTech 2019. You can take advantage of exclusive early bird pricing, and purchase your full conference pass for only $189. Regularly priced at $299, that’s over $100 in savings!
Can’t attend the full conference? 1-day passes are only $99. Register today.
Details may be found at: https://www.rootstech.org.
RootsTech2018 highlights may be found in the video below:
Genealogist CeCe Moore is well known for her work in using DNA information to solve “cold cases” for police departments. She has now indicated this is just the beginning of such work. Suspects in hundreds of unsolved murders and rapes will be identified using public DNA databases in the near future, according to her statements at the recent MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference.
CeCe Moore is the head of a genealogy unit at Parabon Nanolabs. The company has already helped US police forces identify suspects in nine grisly crimes since last spring. It does so by using crime-scene DNA to locate relatives who have uploaded their own profiles to a consumer genealogy service. Once blood relatives are located, the identity of suspects can be inferred from family trees.
In addition, a volunteer group called the DNA Doe Project has been identifying human remains, and a forensics organization, Identifiers International, has said it is working on a dozen murders.
You can read more and watch a video in an article by Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for biomedicine, at: http://bit.ly/2OF7zKJ.
Several genealogy cruises take place every year. Cruising genealogists get to enjoy genealogy talks about doing research in different countries, software demonstrations, “how to” presentations describing effective genealogy techniques, good food, gorgeous scenery, and adventurous shore excursions. What could be better?
Occasionally we hear claims that interest in genealogy is declining. These claims are based on the fact that attendance at some genealogy conferences is less than that of a few years ago. Yet everywhere else we look, we see proof of the opposite. The RootsTech conference attracted more than 22,000 people this year. While it is held in the “genealogy Mecca” of Salt Lake City, that’s not bad for a mid-winter event! Who Do You Think You Are? Live! used to be held in England every year and often attracted close to 15,000 attendees. The accompanying Who Do You Think You Are? television series about genealogy, now in its tenth season, remains popular in several countries around the world. Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. continues to attract millions of viewers and is now in its fifth season on U.S. television.
Thousands of genealogy web sites also attest to the current level of interest. The number of genealogy programs available for mobile computing devices is increasing faster than ever before, and the latest growth is in cloud-based genealogy programs. Several of the software producers are reporting record sales. Finally, genealogy “theme cruises” attract more and more people every year.
I’d say that genealogy is alive and more popular than ever!
The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:
FamilySearch expands its free online archives this week with over 1 million indexed records from England and Wales from the National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957. New additions also include content from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and the United States, including information from the following states: Arkansas, Illinois Massachuseetts, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Border Crossings from Canada to the United States and World War I Americana Expeditionary Forces Deaths, 1917-1919. New records are also available from the Billion Graves Index.
There is an article by Marc Daalder in the Detroit Free Press that will interest genealogists. It starts:
“Ancestry.com, the website better known for helping users create family trees, find distant family members and capture suspected serial killers, made a lot of customers angry last week.
“Recently, Ancestry has entered the business of DNA testing, which allows users to send a vial of spit to the company and receive in return a detailed genetic portfolio, including risk for some diseases and estimates of their ethnic ancestry.
“Neither the medical nor the heritage information are guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate, but as the science improves, so does the quality of the results. At least, that’s what Ancestry insists.
“After Ancestry rolled out a new update to its ethnicity estimate system last week, users noticed dramatic changes in their ethnic profiles – some of which is inaccurate, customers say.”
Later in the article, Marc Daalder also states:
NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy-related articles, you might want to skip this one. However, if you would like to learn of a cheap and very secure method of storing data in the cloud for backup purposes, this article may be of interest to you.
Wasabi is a brand-new cloud storage service. The company is so new that not all the planned “bells and whistles” are yet available. However, the present implementation hows a great deal of promise. In short, Wasabi appears to be perfect for Macintosh and Windows users looking for a simple way to use cloud storage at very low prices.
I signed up for Wasabi a few hours ago and, so far, it seems to work well. I am using Wasabi in the same manner as an external disk drive. Installation and operation was simple. If I do encounter problems with Wasabi in the future, I will publish a follow-up article at that time.
The most obvious advantage of Wasabi is the price: $.0049 per gigabyte/month which equals $4.99 per terabyte/month (all prices are in US dollars).
The following announcement was written by Genealogy Tours of Scotland:
Genealogy Tours of Scotland announces the second annual virtual conference on Scottish Genealogy Research.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26TH, 2019
The ViC (virtual conference) will launch on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at 8:30 am Eastern
The line-up of talks and speakers for the day:
The Lad o’ Pairts: Patterns of Scottish Migration to Canada, presented by history professor Kevin James
“Genealogy in the High Court of Justiciary” presented by archivist Margaret Fox
Using Sheriff Court Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist, Emma Maxwell
The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies”
New President, Treasurer and Vice President of Membership
September 15, 2018 – Austin, TX.
The Federation of Genealogical Societies is pleased to announce that Faye L. Stallings has been appointed by the Board of Directors to become President of the organization effective September 15, 2018. Faye has served as Treasurer of the organization since January 1, 2017. She brings to the organization more than 20 years of leadership and executive experience with a Fortune 100 company, as well as a passion for genealogy.
FGS would like to express immense gratitude to Teri E. Flack who has served as the interim President for the past few months and wish her much success in pursuing her personal interests.
I returned home early Saturday morning after a 7-day genealogy cruise to Alaska, sponsored by Unlock the Past. I have to say that it was a very successful cruise.
About 160 genealogists from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, New Zealand, and Australia (I hope I didn’t overlook anyone!) converged on Seattle, Washington, to board the Explorer of the Seas on Friday, September 7. It was the most international genealogy cruise I have ever attended.
Unlock the Past CEO Alan Phillips extended the cruise with a day of pre-cruise seminars conducted at the Seattle Public Library. Covered topics included DNA testing as well as Irish and general genealogy research. These ten seminars were also offered to non-cruising genealogists in the Seattle area and online. They were also livestreamed and recorded; I will write about this offering in a separate article, but you can see the day’s program at https://www.utpinseattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/UTP-in-Seattle-brochure-v2.pdf.
Once underway, we made our way to Juneau, Skagway, and the Tracy Arm Fjord, all in Alaska. On the return trip back to Seattle, we stopped for a day in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
The Society of Genealogist’s former patron was Prince Michael of Kent, after whom the Society has named a prestigious award (created in 2000). The award is granted periodically to a person or organization which has made an outstanding contribution to genealogy. The latest recipient of this honor is Cyndi Ingle, well known for he Cyndi’s List web site, one of THE go-to-places for genealogy.
The presentation of the award on 12 September 2018 was made on board the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship by Amelia Bennett, a trustee of the Society of Genealogists, in front of a large group of genealogists on a cruise to Alaska.
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, 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.
Goodbye microfiche sheets, hello Internet!
Reclaim The Records has announced that the organization has won and published the first free online copy of the New York State birth index, for the years 1881-1942!
Reclaim The Records made a Freedom of Information request to the New York State Department of Health a year ago, in September 2017, and it has finally been fulfilled. The data for 1881-1934 is online right now at the Internet Archive and the remaining data for 1935-1942 will be online by the end of this week. With more than 700 gigabytes of high-resolution images, it is taking a while to upload all the images.
This statewide birth index was previously only available to researchers who were sitting in a small number of upstate New York public libraries, as well as the Manhattan branch of the National Archives (NARA). And even then, it was only available in an old-fashioned and difficult format, scratched-up and faded microfiche sheets. And you had to hand in your driver’s license to be held hostage by the librarian just so you could see a single sheet at a time.
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
There are over 53 million new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;
Over 53 million indexed England and Wales Electoral Registers covering the 1920s and early 1930s are now available to search. Improved access to these important documents will enable you to bridge the vital gap left by the destruction of the 1931 census of England & Wales. Combined with the 1911 Census and 1939 Register, today’s release means that Findmypast is now able provide you with unrivalled record coverage for early 20th century Britain, helping you to trace ancestors across a period of history that has traditionally been problematic for many researchers.
The new collection, England & Wales Electoral Registers 1920-1932, has been created by reprocessing the original documents in order to improve image quality. Findmypast has also developed a new process for picking out individual names, allowing this vast bank of records to be searched with greater accuracy than ever before, in a similar way to other indexed collections currently available on the Findmypast. Searches now also cover all of England and Wales and matching records from the registers will feed into hints for anyone with a Findmypast Family tree.
The following announcement was written by the organizers of the The Family History Show:
Headline sponsor: TheGenealogist
The following announcement was written by the organizers of The Family History Show:
The UK’s Biggest Family History Show of 2018 is almost upon us. After last year’s hugely successful event we are back and twice the size! With even more free talks, societies and exhibitors. Come along to discover ways to delve deeper into your family tree and add more detail to your research. Dick Eastman will be giving the keynote speech on ‘The Future of Genealogy’ and there is a full programme of free talks to help you on your way back to the past. With free car parking and a free minibus from the train station, you won’t want to miss this!
Saturday 22nd September 2018 10am to 4.30pm
Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher
You will find plenty to explore on the day:
Here is another industry first from MyHeritage. If you are using MyHeritage’s FREE DNA matching service or are thinking of using the FREE service soon by using DNA results obtained from another testing company, you will be interested in this news. According to an announcement from MyHeritage:
“We now support the upload of 23andMe v5 and Living DNA data files, in addition to supporting data uploads from all major DNA testing services, including Ancestry, 23andMe (prior to V5) and Family Tree DNA (Family Finder).
As of December 1, 2018, MyHeritage’s policy regarding DNA uploads will change: DNA Matching will remain free for uploaded DNA data, but unlocking additional DNA features (for example, ethnicity estimate, chromosome browser, and some others) will require an extra payment for DNA files uploaded after this date.
MyHeritage will announce the full details of the new policy once it is finalized, closer to December 1st. All DNA data that was uploaded to MyHeritage in the past, and all DNA data that is uploaded between today and prior to December 1, 2018, will continue to enjoy full access to all DNA features for free. These uploads will be grandfathered in and will remain free.
At this time, the new, restrictive copyright law passed yesterday by the European Parliament will only affect countries in the European Union. However, elements of many European Parliament legislation often show up within a few years in the laws of other countries around the world. The latest law should be a warning to genealogists.
The 438 to 226 vote, described as “the worst possible outcome” by some quarters, could have significant repercussions on the way we use the internet.
Quoting from an article on Slashdot:
The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage was designed to preserve black culture and history in the commonwealth. Construction is underway on a new gallery space in the south end of the building and a room on the second floor has monies set aside to turn it into a genealogy center.
By Veterans Day, the center’s courtyard will be home to an African-American veterans’ memorial named for Kentucky native, Col. Charles Young, a well-decorated Civil War-era military officer and diplomat.