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‘South Park’ to Make Fun of Genealogy DNA Web Sites

The animated television series South Park is taking a shot at white people who feel they are oppressed by an overly politically correct society.

In a preview for Wednesday’s episode “Holiday Special,” Randy watches a commercial for a web site that claims to help Caucasians identity their genealogy, DNA and Me, which leads them to feel oppressed once they discover a small percentage of minority ancestry.

The announcer on the DNA and Me commercial goes on to say, “Order now and find out if your friends should be more sympathetic towards you.”

Update: Library of Virginia Reading Room Closures… the Rooms Are Open Once Again

This is an update to an article I published last year on 1 November 2016, still available at: http://bit.ly/2wRWxwK. There have been major changes since that article was published.

The Library of Virginia’s web site now states that the Reading Rooms are now open again to researchers Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Details are available at: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/about/visit.asp.

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of September 25, 2017

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Summary

Good news to those with South Africa roots–over 1 million free images of historic records were published this weekMany more were published from AustraliaAustriaEnglandFind A GraveFranceIrelandItalyParaguay, and Peru! Search these new free records at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Floridians: Share Your Digital Photos of Hurricane Irma

NOTE: This has nothing to do with today’s genealogy. However, Florida residents are invited to help preserve the history of the state and to record events that perhaps will benefit future historians and possibly even future genealogists.

The Florida State Archives is asking residents to preserve hurricane history by donating your digital images of preparation, damage, volunteers, shelters, recovery and other effects of Hurricane Irma. The donated photographs will join past photos of Camille, Andrew, and Charley as one of many hurricanes that have shaped Florida’s history. Some of the photographs donated to the State Archives will appear on Florida Memory.

Details may be found in the Florida Memory web site at: http://bit.ly/2wLmnCs.

Super-Accurate GPS Chips Coming to Smartphones in 2018, Will Improve Cemetery Locations Accuracy

New GPS (Global Positioning System) chips will be used in future cell phones that will be accurate within 30 centimeters (11.8 inches), rather than five meters (16 feet) which is typical of today’s cell phones. At least, that’s the claim chip maker Broadcom is making. While this may not seem at first to be significant for genealogists, it should greatly improve the accuracy of locations recorded with a cell phone and its camera.

The big benefit for genealogists will be in the accuracy of locations recorded in BillionGraves.com and FindAGrave.com.

Millions of tombstones are already recorded today with accuracy of plus or minus 16 feet or sometimes even worse accuracy than that. Sixteen feet sounds like reasonable accuracy in many cemeteries, but it still is not good enough for quick location of tombstones in many family plots and certainly not close enough for pinpoint accuracy in a columbarium, a room or building with niches where funeral urns are stored.

Update to IGRS Early Irish Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Irish Genealogical Research Society:

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added a further 5,000 records to the Society’s Early Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes. This brings the total number of names to almost 260,000.

This latest update means the Society’s exclusive collection of lesser used and obscure sources for Irish births, marriages and deaths now comprises a total of 24,500 births (noting 47,800 names), 83,600 marriages (186,800 names) and 16,800 deaths (24,500 names). The total number of names is 259,500.

This particular update draws from a range of material: surviving 19th century census records; marriage licence indexes; pre-1922 abstracts from exchequer and chancery court records; memorial inscriptions; biographical notices from newspapers; a large number of long forgotten published works on particular families and places; and memorials from Ireland’s Registry of Deeds.

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 Preserve Water-Soaked Books and Papers in an Emergency

Will Postal Carriers Act as Census Enumerators for the 2020 US Census?

How One Woman Brought the ‘Mother’s Curse’ to Thousands of Her French-Canadian Descendants

How Your Ancestors Could Have Been Convicts Transported to Australia

Only 0.3% of People Have One Ethnicity in their DNA, Showing Our World is a True Blend

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, and Missouri

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 Preserve Water-Soaked Books and Papers in an Emergency

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

Hurricane season is upon us and we should learn from the experiences of past storms. The recent Harvey and Irma hurricanes and flooding taught all of us again that paper is a very fragile storage medium for old records. However, paper is also the most common storage method in use today. The news reports from the recent hurricanes told of numerous libraries, public records offices, and more that had water in their offices. In some cases, the water reached records that should be saved for centuries. Many families also lost family documents, old photos, and even examples of their children’s art work. Unfortunately, water-soaked paper documents will only last for a few days unless treated immediately.

For the best-known loss of records by water damage, ask the U.S. Census Bureau about water-soaked documents. Most U.S. genealogists have been told that the 1890 census records was “destroyed by fire” in 1921. In fact, the fire damaged only a small percentage of the records. Far more damage was caused by the firehoses of the fire department called in to battle the blaze. Most of the damage was caused by water being poured onto the fire, water that soon seeped into millions of otherwise undamaged records. The fire did not go above the basement but water poured into the upper floors drained into the basement, extinguishing the fire. Unfortunately, in the process of water draining through the upper floors, a high percentage of the otherwise undamaged documents became soaked with water.

imbue App for iOS devices and soon, Android: Make Every Family Item a Time Capsule

A new family memory app for Apple devices that should appeal to many genealogists is being developed in a Kickstarter campaign. It will be demonstrated in a technology demonstration next year at RootsTech. The app was launched Wednesday, September 20.

The name of this new app is imbue, apparently always spelled with a lower-case “i.” The word “imbue” means “Inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality. Saturate, suffuse, drench, steep.”

If you contribute financially to the development of this new app, you can be both a beta tester and also receive a subscription to the final, released product when it is ready.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 753,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Dublin Electoral Rolls

Containing more than 427,000 transcripts, this index pertains to records found on the Dublin City Library & Archive website. The rolls are broken up into four divisions: College Green, Dublin Harbour, St Stephens Green, and St Patricks. The original documents have been digitised by Dublin City Council, which aims to digitise the entirety of their electoral rolls, spanning from 1898 to 1916. Additional information, including images, can be found on the source’s website.

Will Postal Carriers Act as Census Enumerators for the 2020 US Census?

The U.S. Constitution requires a census of all residents every ten years. However, the effort for the 2020 Census is in turmoil. (See http://bit.ly/2uAbHl7 and http://bit.ly/2xiqlCb for two of my recent articles describing the chaos.) In the last two or three collections of census data, the time required to plan the census, hire the right people, and to train them required 3 or 4 years of advance planning. Unfortunately, there is only 2 years and a few months left until the next scheduled census. This creates a big question: how to plan, hire, and train the enumerators (people who take the census) in this short time?

Now the Census Bureau has a new suggestion: use Postal Service employees to perform the census.

A notice in the Federal Register asks for comments about the proposal, even though little information is given about the proposal.

AAGHSC Conference to be Held in Chicago on October 13 and 14

The following is an announcement from the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC):

Come and Celebrate the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago’s (AAGHSC) 35th Annual Family History Conference, Unique Issues Researching African American Genealogy, with keynote speaker and professional genealogist LaDonna Garner, M.A., R.V.T. Additional speakers include Karen Burnett, Stephanie Byrd, Janis Minor Forte, Paul D. Holmes, Evelyn Nabors, Saundra Shelley, and Cheryl Varner.

The Society will hold its conference on Friday, October 13, 2017 and Saturday, October 14, 2017 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 5200 S. University Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Registration is open to the public. Additional details may be on the Society’s website – www.aaghsc.org.

Maine Irish Fundraise to bring DNA Tests to Galway

Here is an interesting twist: Irish descendants in the U.S. are sending DNA kits to find out more about their roots in the Co. Galway Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking district).

The Maine Gaeltacht Project, linked with the Emigration and Diaspora Centre Project in Carna, Co. Galway, is funding DNA testing for Galway locals in an attempt to link members with their Irish families. The Maine Irish found that groups of Irish immigrants from the same townland or county would cluster together when they arrived in the US. That is true of Maine too. That means many of those with Irish roots living in the Portland, Maine, area can trace their family history back to the Connemara Gaeltacht.

You can read more in an article by Frances Mulraney in the IrishCentral web site at: https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/maine-irish-galway-dna-testing.

Only 0.3% of People Have One Ethnicity in their DNA, Showing Our World is a True Blend

When I started writing a blog that is mostly concerned with genealogy, I never expected to also be writing about Irish whiskey. However, strange things do happen. In this case, there is a genealogy lesson to be learned for all of us: Only 0.3% of people have one ethnicity in their DNA, showing our world is a true blend.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey:

Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey partners with MyHeritage DNA to unlock the ‘Beauty of Blend’

Only 0.3% of people have one ethnicity in their DNA, showing our world is a true blend

To celebrate the launch of ‘The Beauty of Blend’, Tullamore D.E.W., the original triple blend Irish whiskey has partnered with MyHeritage DNA, the leading destination for family history and DNA testing, to create a limited edition branded DNA kit which will allow people all over the world to uncover their own unique blend. Reviewing trends of DNA testing from around the world, Tullamore D.E.W. worked with MyHeritage DNA, to uncover that 99.7% of people have a blend of multiple ethnicities, meaning that only 0.3% of individuals sampled are of only one ethnic background.2 The partnership gives fans an opportunity to discover, and celebrate, their own unique blend of ethnicities. Limited edition branded MyHeritage DNA kits will be given away through a gifting program and the Tullamore D.E.W. social channels in the coming months.

How One Woman Brought the ‘Mother’s Curse’ to Thousands of Her French-Canadian Descendants

The first King’s Daughters—or filles du roi—arrived in New France in 1663, and 800 more would follow over the next decade. Given their numbers, they were not literally the king’s daughters of course.

They were poor and usually of common birth, but their passage and dowry were indeed paid by King Louis XIV for the purpose of empire building: These women were to marry male colonists and have many children, thus strengthening France’s hold on North America. French Canadians can usually trace their ancestry back to one or more of these women.

For more information about the filles du roi, see my earlier article at http://bit.ly/2wG6ecP.

Whenever a small group of people leave a large population (France) to found a new one (New France), they bring with them a particular set of mutations. Some of these mutations will by chance be more common in the new population and others less so. As a result, some rare genetic disorders disproportionately impact French-Canadians.

One of these is Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, which causes vision loss, usually in young men. Recently, geneticists using French Canadian genealogy have reexamined the effects of Leber’s and found a striking pattern of inheritance: It seems to show a long-theorized but never-seen-in-humans pattern called the “mother’s curse.”

RootsTech 2018 Now Open for Registration

RootsTech, the lagest genealogy conference held each year in North America, probably the largest in the world, is now accepting reservations for next February’s event. Here is the announcement:

SALT LAKE CITY (19 September 2017)–FamilySearch International has announced that registration to RootsTech 2018 is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family roots, heritage, and stories. The conference will be held February 28 to March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, go to RootsTech.org.

In 2017 the growing event attracted more than 26,000 attendees in-person from all 50 U.S. states and more than 35 countries. Family Discovery Day, a free 1-day event held on Saturday as part of the conference, is also open for registration.

rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®

Atavus, Inc. has just announced an improvement to the company’s product, rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®. This should interest many genealogists as rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote® now works with Evernote, a very popular product amongst genealogists.

The following announcement was written by Atavus, Inc.:

Atavus, Inc. announces that its multiplatform genealogy program, rootstrust, now supports interoperability with Evernote. In the latest version of rootstrust, users can optionally use Evernote as a primary or secondary repository for imported files and website links.

Evernote is a multiplatform app for taking, organizing and archiving notes where a ‘note’ can be virtually any file or website link. To take advantage of this interoperability between rootstrust and Evernote, you must first have an Evernote account. You can start with a free account and upgrade to a Plus account or to a Premium account, as you require more storage space. Windows and Mac OS users also need to download and install the free Evernote client program for their operating system. Since there is no Evernote client available for Linux, rootstrust will soon (next release) provide its Linux users with an Evernote-like extension to rootstrust.

New York City Department of Health Proposes Adoption of 125 Years for Birth Records 50 Years for Death Records Embargoes

Here is another attempt to lock up records for many year, records that legally are in the public domain. The following announcement was written by the New York City Department of Health:

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is proposing a schedule of when the Board of Health can make birth and death records available and transfer then to the NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS). The Municipal Archives is within DORIS. The proposal is to place embargo periods for birth records for 125 years from date of birth and 75 years from date of death. This is similar to the 2011 Model Vital Records Act which imposes a 125 year embargo on birth records, 75 years for death, and 100 years for marriage records. The proposal is also asking for input for a 50 year vs 75 year embargo for death for those involved with family history. In New York City marriage records are under the City Clerk’s Office, not the Department of Health, and therefore marriage records are not included in this New York City Department of Health proposal.

Records currently at DORIS (birth records up to 1909 and death records to 1949) are not affected by the proposed rule.

TheGenealogist adds over 1.1 Million Records to their Sussex Parish Record Collection

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added over 1.1 million individuals to its parish record collection covering the county of Sussex. Published In association with The Parish Record Transcription Society, this first tranche of records will be followed by more releases in the near future.

This new release covers individual records of:

  • 717,000 Baptisms
  • 213,000 Marriages
  • 208,000 Burials

The Parish Record Transcription Society (PRTSoc) have worked with TheGenealogist and S&N to publish their records online, making over 1.1 million individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable: