Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and other search engines are great for finding online databases that are useful to genealogists. However, smaller collections and even obscure ones are not prominently listed in the big search engines. Yet there are a few online listings that can point the way to finding what you seek.
The Genealogy Roots Blog at https://genrootsblog.blogspot.com contains pointers to many online genealogy databases, records and resources. The focus is on vital records (birth, marriage and death records), obituaries, census records, naturalization records, military records and ship passenger lists. Although the blog is based in the USA, online European, Canadian, and other records sources are sometimes included. You may also occasionally see a fun post or genealogy news. Joe Beine does a great job of adding more and more links as time goes by.
Another huge resource is Cyndi’s List, available at: https://www.cyndislist.com. The site contains roughly 336,000 links to genealogy-related web pages in more than 200 categories. The various categories include many sources online records as well as pointers to newsletters, religious groups, historical information, geography, and much, much more.
Genealogists use old books more often than most other people. Indeed, we also want to take excerpts from an old book and publish those excerpts as part of our own family’s genealogy. However, is that legal? Does the book still enjoy copyright protection?
Under U.S. laws, the answer is simple for books published prior to 1924: the book is now in the public domain (not copyrighted). For books, films, and other works published in 1924 or later, however, the question quickly becomes complicated.
Anything published in 1924 will remain under copyright until the year 2020, anything published in 1925 will remain under copyright until the year 2021, and so on.
The following announcement was written by the Bode Forensic Genealogy Service:
Bode Technology’s Forensic Genealogy Service, an offering to law enforcement investigators and crime laboratories, combines advanced DNA testing and genealogy to develop ancestral relationships between samples and deliver leads.
The FGS program is a logical expansion of its service offerings to support the law enforcement community. By incorporating Bode’s accredited forensic laboratory, accredited clinical testing laboratories, and board certified and experienced genealogists, Bode has developed a high-quality, turn-key solution for our clients from sample submission through confirmation testing.
The Downriver Genealogical Society Library and Newspaper Digitization Project has begun moving its artifacts and records to its new home in Flat Rock with a grand opening planned April 30. The society is moving from Taylor where it had stayed for 10 years, said Sherry Huntington, president of the society.
The genealogical society collects documents, newspapers, yearbooks, cemetery compilations and books regarding local history from 18 communities in Southeast Michigan, including the communities of Brownstown Township, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Huron Township, Rockwood, South Rockwood, Trenton and Woodhaven.
Details may be found in an article by Dean Cousino in the Monroe News web site at: http://bit.ly/2TMCUBU. The Downriver Genealogical Society’s web site may be found at: https://downrivergenealogy.org.
Loyalists, the women and men who chose to stay loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, have been the subject of a resurgence of scholarly interest over the past decade. Many of the Loyalists moved to Canada as the U.S. Revolutionary War came to a close and a few others moved to England.
Previously dismissed as the losers in the conflict, scholars have turned their attention to those who separated themselves from their friends and neighbors and gave up their land and possessions when they chose to leave the new United States at the end of the American Revolution. The story of that difficult decision recorded in the Loyalist Claims Commission is one that has been largely overlooked since the end of the war.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it is expanding the scope of the case against the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, agreeing to decide whether the move violated the Constitution.
The move comes after a federal judge in California ruled earlier this month that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose agency oversees the census, violated the Constitution’s Enumeration Clause.
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
California, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas
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.
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
The U.S. Census is very much in the news these days, and for good reasons. The final specifications for the 2020 census are still being defined and are frequently in the news. It reminds me of the controversy about the 1960 U.S. Census.
For years I have heard stories about the 1960 U.S. Census. The stories vary a bit on each telling but usually say something like, “The 1960 U.S. Census was stored on a computer media for which there no longer was any equipment to read it. The census data has been lost because of the change in technology.”
I always doubted that story. I was just starting my career in computers in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and I remember well the tape drives of that era. I spent many hours repairing those half-inch and three-quarter inch tape drives that weighed 800 pounds each! I think I still could disassemble and reassemble a Honeywell 204B-9 half-inch tape drive while blindfolded. That device was a maze of electronics (without integrated circuits), disk brakes, a big vacuum pump, and numerous solenoids. Those are the tape drives shown in the background of the picture below, showing a Honeywell H-200 computer circa 1970.
Even if you’re the kind of person who scorns tasteless green beer, you might enjoy a Guinness for Saint Patrick’s Day. And why not? Unlike shamrock pins and wild partying sure to take place on March 17th, Guinness drinking really is a longstanding tradition in Ireland, as well as the Irish diaspora. But it’s a folk tradition that’s inextricably tied up with almost a century of commercial advertising, according to Brenda Murphy, a gender studies professor at the University of Malta.
I am sure that Brenda Murphy must have conducted extensive on-site research on this topic! You can read her findings in the Jstor.org web site at: https://daily.jstor.org/why-we-drink-guinness-on-st-patricks-day.
F+W Media is a publisher of many popular magazines, books, digital products, videos and other content. Within the genealogy community, the company is best known as the producer of Family Tree Magazine, Family Tree University and the Family Tree website. Sadly, F+W Media filed for bankruptcy protection a few days ago.
Facing near-term liquidity issues with only about $2.5 million in cash available and $105.2 million in outstanding debt, F+W Media filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, citing in various documents a perfect storm of secular industry decline, poor investments, and even mismanagement.
NOTE: Family Tree Magazine published by F+W Media in the U.S. should not be confused with a magazine of the same name published in England by Warners Group Publications Plc. (See https://www.family-tree.co.uk/ for the “other” Family Tree Magazine.) The two magazines may share a name but nothing else. They are owned and published by totally different companies.
The following announcement was written by Findmypast:
Search a comprehensive catalogue of more than 54,000 biographical notices from Irish newspapers compiled by the celebrated Irish genealogist Rosemary ffolliott. Each record includes a transcript and original image that enable you to discover if your Irish ancestors had details of their birth, marriage or death announcement printed in a newspaper.
Rosemary ffolliott was Ireland’s premier genealogist, at the age of 23 she had her first book The Pooles of Mayfield, a history of settler families in the Cork area published in 1958. From the 1950s to the 1970s she was a member of the panel of freelance researchers engaged by the Genealogical Office, becoming a prominent member of the Irish Genealogical Research Society whose journal The Irish Genealogist she edited for a time.
In addition, she revised a simple guide to Irish Genealogy which was originally written by Father Wallace Clare, the founder of the society. In 1966 she became a Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, the first woman to be recognised in this way.
A recent medical study finds that if your family history shows Alzheimer disease (AD) amongst close relatives, your risk of developing the same disease are increased. A population resource including a genealogy of Utah pioneers from the 1800s linked to Utah death certificates was used to estimate relative risk for AD based on specific family history constellations, including from first- to third-degree relatives.
The study’s conclusion states, “This population-based estimation of RRs [relative risks] for AD based on family history ascertained from extended genealogy data indicates that inherited genetic factors have a broad influence, extending beyond immediate relatives. Providers should consider the full constellation of family history when counseling patients and families about their risk of AD.”
The study isn’t very reassuring to those of us with relatives who suffered from Alzheimer Disease!
Ancestry.com has added a new set of records that will be valuable for many genealogists. Here is the announcement:
This collection contains baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from more than 2,000 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations. The records range from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century. Select records may be found prior to the year 1926. The information contained in the records varies from congregation to congregation (and sometimes from minister to minister). In some ethnic congregations, you may run into records in German, Danish, or some other language.
The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:
6.8 million new records from nationwide censuses conducted in Norway more than a century ago provide a treasure trove of information for anyone with Norwegian heritage
Tel Aviv, Israel & Lehi, Utah — MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, announced today the publication of three census collections from Norway, from 1891, 1900, and 1910. MyHeritage has worked on digitizing these collections in partnership with the National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket).
The collections provide robust coverage for Norway’s entire population during a span of two decades and include valuable family history information. While some former Norway censuses were conducted only in select trading centers, these records are more comprehensive. The 6.8 million new records document names, households, dates of birth, marital status, relationships, and residential conditions, making them vital for anyone wishing to explore their Norwegian origins. Their publication marks the first time that Norwegian record collections of such high quality and granularity are available online.
The MyHeritage Blog has an interesting article about preserving old letters:
“If you are fortunate enough to have a cache of old family letters, you are sitting on a gold mine. Letter writing has gone by the wayside since the invention of the telephone, e-mail, texting, Twitter, and Facebook, just to name a few ways of modern communication. Those old letters in your genealogy records collection should be preserved for future generations. Whether you have 100 letters or just one, they are important to your family history and add to your family story.
The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
March 14, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts —Four nations are set to unite and share their 2020 Commemoration Program plans for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Voyage with an audience of guests invited to attend the event, which will be hosted today at the New England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston. Presenters will include representatives from Mayflower 400, Leiden 2020, Plymouth 400, Inc., VisitBritain, American Ancestors, and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
Over the course of the event, each of the nations: United Kingdom, United States of America, the Wampanoag Nation, and the Netherlands will share their unique perspectives of that pivotal moment that defined the course of world history.
The four international Mayflower compact partner nations are united in their passion to commemorate the anniversary and to celebrate shared values of freedom, democracy, humanity, and the future.
These are laws that strongly affect genealogists. Many states are locking up public domain birth, marriage, and death records under the bogus claim of “preventing identity theft.” What’s the odds that an identity thief wants to use the personal information of my grandmother who died more than 60 years ago? Does anyone believe a thief can obtain a loan or a credit card in her name?
In any case, MuckRock tracks the laws of 50 states plus Washington D.C., all with different statutes, exemptions, and limitations that dictate what you can get from your state and local agencies. With the rules of access differing across the board, MuckRock provides an easy way to keep track of them all through our interactive database showcasing the best, the worst, and the confusing parts of state records law.
MuckRock is available at: https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2019/mar/08/sw-state-guide.
Firefox Announces Send, Providing Free Encrypted File Transfers while Keeping your Personal Information Private
NOTE: This article is off-topic. That is, the article has nothing to do with genealogy, DNA, history, or any of the other topics normally discussed in this newsletter. However, the article contains information that I believe every computer owner should know so I am publishing it here. It describes how to SECURELY send files to another person in such a manner that nobody else can read them if you enable the password option and if the recipient knows the password unlocking key. (Don’t send the password in email!)
I just tested this and found that it also works with Chrome and I suspect it will work with other web browsers as well. The sender and the recipient can be using either Windows or Macintosh. Additionally, Send will also be available as an Android app in beta later this week. Best of all, it is very easy to use. Not bad for FREE software! The following is an extract from the Mozilla Blog. (Mozilla is the organization that produces the free Firefox web browser):
“Imagine the last time you moved into a new apartment or purchased a home and had to share financial information like your credit report over the web. In situations like this, you may want to offer the recipient one-time or limited access to those files. With Send, you can feel safe that your personal information does not live somewhere in the cloud indefinitely.