The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Old documents, newspapers, and photographs are often improperly stored. They may have been rolled or folded for years. By the time that you, the family historian, find these items and wish to view them, the documents may be damaged if forced open. Old paper, especially that manufactured after 1885, becomes brittle with age. This will be doubly true if the document has been stored in a very low-humidity environment, such as an attic. Old or fragile items may even crack and crumble if not handled properly.
The primary problem is that old paper and photographs that have not been stored properly will become dried out over the years. Dryness creates brittleness, which then causes damage when the item is not handled properly. Have you ever seen someone tenderly – but wrongly – try to uncurl an old photo or unfold an old news clipping, only to see it crumble in their hands? It’s a sad sight.
Do not attempt to open brittle documents!
How to use the Upper Saint John Valley (Northern Maine and Northwestern New Brunswick) Historical Land Grant Database to Find Your Ancestors
Do you have ancestors from the Upper Saint John Valley? I do. That’s 50% of my ancestry and I also lived there for a few years. I was recently told of a great genealogy database for the area. If you also have an interest in the history and the people of the Upper Saint John Valley, you will want to read this article written by George L. Findlen, CG, CGL. He describes how to locate a family in a land grants database and how to use the information found there with other resources in order to track a family (some, not all) from 1845 forward in time.
The process requires multiple steps but the effort is worth it. The following is published here with the kind permission of author George L. Findlen:
Upper Saint John Valley (Northern Maine and Northwestern New Brunswick) Historical Land Grant Database
By George L. Findlen, CG, CGL
The 2014 Congrès Mondial Acadien (World Acadian Reunion) took place in the Upper Saint John Valley on the Maine–New Brunswick border in August. The three-week event was filled with cultural, historical, religious, and entertainment events. The core of the CMA was a series of family reunions, 120 of them, which included some Yankee and Quebec names, since they and Acadians have intermarried over the years.
Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research Announces Upcoming Courses and Offers Memorial Day Drawing for Free Course
The following announcement was written by the folks at the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research:
“We are very excited about these new courses, covering genetic genealogy; English, German and Native American research; and U.S. federal land and Revolutionary War records,” said co-administrator Michael Hait, CG. “The response to our courses has been outstanding! The Virtual Institute is an excellent option for in-depth genealogical education, especially for those with limited travel options.”
In celebration of Memorial Day, the Virtual Institute is also offering a drawing for everyone who registers for a course between Friday, 22 May 2015 and Monday, 25 May 2015 at midnight (U.S. Eastern). Each registrant will be entered into the drawing to win a free additional course ($69.99 value). Those registering for multiple courses will receive multiple entries. Three winners will be drawn. The prizes can be applied to any standard course prior to 31 December 2016, not including the original course registration.
Registration for the following courses is currently open:
I have written before about Genealone, a product that allows you to quickly and easily build your own genealogy web site. See https://goo.gl/RZlgPF to find my earlier articles. The following message was written by David Nebesky of Genealone.com
You can get 50% discount on genealogy plugin for WordPress from Genealone now. With Genealone WP you can publish your family tree on your blog or WordPress site easily. The plugin imports GEDCOM files, displays charts and maps, finds relationship etc. For more information and for online demo please visit http://genealone.com/genealone-wp.
What will people know about you after you die? Some people are going a step further, and creating a virtual “shoeboxes” of family photographs, love letters, marriage certificates, priceless video clips and key documents, in an attempt to preserve their most precious memories.
One such person is Brian Bird, a former World War II Spitfire pilot who has lived a long, exciting – and at times terrifying – life. Now, at the age of 90, he is embarking on one of his most important missions, to create a digital record for his family to remember him by after his death.
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
This Findmypast Friday marks the release over 154,000 fascinating apprenticeship records from two of London’s historic liveries. This week’s additions also include mortuary register records from the London borough of Southwark, Royal Navy officer’s award index records and over half a million new passenger list records from Victoria, Australia’s most populous state.
Haberdasher and Ironmonger records
Containing over 136,000 records, City of London Haberdashers, Apprentices and Freemen 1526-1933 lists the details of apprentices who trained with the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers in the City of London. Founded in 1516, the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers is one of London’s twelve historic liveries. Haberdashers sold accessory items such as hats, scarves, gloves, shawls, parasols, needles, buttons and thread. They traded from the shops and stalls around Cheapside and probably worshipped together in the old St Paul’s Cathedral in a chapel to St Catherine of Alexandria, who was to become the Fraternity of Haberdashers’ chosen patron saint. Company membership allowed individuals to become a Freeman; a person who was not tied to land as a villein or serf. Apprentices travelled from all over the country to join the company.
The Ancestry.com Blog reports that the Jersey, Channel Islands, Wills and Testaments collection covering the years 1663-1948 and the Jersey, Channel Islands, Occupation Registration Cards from World War Two covering the years 1940-1945. Both these collections will be of enormous benefit to anyone who is eager to learn more about their Jersey family history. Some of the most common surnames found in these collections include, De Gruchy, Renouf, Hamon, Amy, Bisson, Querée, Le Brocq, Le Marquand, Le Cornu, and De La Haye.
Dr. Bruce Durie, internationally recognized as one of Scotland’s top genealogists, has been granted the prestigious Fulbright Scottish Studies Scholar Award. This will enable him to spend seven months research and teaching at an American University, on one of the most prestigious and selective scholarship programmes operating world-wide.
Dr. Durie will be researching Lowland Scots migration to the Carolinas, and teaching classes on Scottish Genealogy, Culture and History at St Andrews University, Laurinburg, North Carolina, from January to July 2016.
Commenting on receiving the award, Dr. Durie said:
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fulfill a longstanding ambition. So much of Scottish-American migration is told in terms of the Highland and the Ulster Scots. But Lowlanders probably predominated in the early days of the settlement of that part of America, and subsequently.
This story strikes me as non-news: Reuters News Agency is reporting that Ancestry.com LLC, the world’s largest family historical past website, is exploring a sale that would be worth between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, together with debt, based on information from individuals acquainted with the matter. Permira Advisers LLC, the buyout agency that owns most of privately held Ancestry, has employed funding banks to run a public sale for the corporate, according to unnamed sources.
You can read the story at http://goo.gl/TTazpi and at a few other web sites as well.
I am repeating the rumors here because there is a lot of buzz about this story. However, I am surprised that anyone would be surprised that Permira Advisers LLC is thinking of selling. Of course Ancestry.com is for sale!
Finally! Someone has found a use for all those AOL disks that were sent to your house and given away by many stores. Jason Scott Sadofsky is a Free-Range Archivist & Software Curator for the Internet Archive. He wants every disc ever made, but is specifically requesting that readers of his blog send him old AOL discs, the kind that came free at Best Buy checkouts, packed in magazines and mailed randomly to your house back in the 1990s. He wants to add them to an online archive of computer history.
The National Genealogical Society has introduced four new books for genealogists. I noticed that one of them (Nebraska) was written by Bobbi King who writes most of the book reviews that are published in this newsletter. (Hey, Bobbi. Can I write the review of YOUR book?)
The following announcement was written by the National Genealogical Society:
ARLINGTON, VA, 20 MAY 2015—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce the publication of four, new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in more than twenty-two states. The newest volumes are Research in California by Sheila Benedict; Research in Missouri, 3rd edition, by Ann Carter Fleming, cgSM, cglSM, fngs; Research in Oklahoma by Kathy Huber, MLS; and Research in Nebraska by Roberta “Bobbi” King. The books are now available in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions. The print versions will ship after 31 May.
There’s a lot more you can do with Google than just searching the entire Internet. For instance, you can search for web pages added to Google’s indexes within a range of dates. The most common use for this is to look for pages added within the past 30 days or perhaps within the past week.
For instance, I have an elusive “brickwall ancestor” that I have been trying to identify for years: Washington Harvey Eastman. Unfortunately, his three names are not unusual although the combination of those three names is a bit unique. If I simply enter his name into a Google search, I receive many “hits,” including a few from newsletter articles I have written.
Since I have already searched for him before, I have already seen all the “hits” that have been available for some time. There’s no need to go back and wade through all those same hits time after time. I only want to see the NEW web pages that mention his name. Luckily, Google supplies the tools to do this. In fact, there are two different methods that are closely related.
NEHGS Commemorates Memorial Day with FREE Access to Important Military Databases on AmericanAncestors.org
The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
May 20, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—In the spirit of Memorial Day and to make ancestral research even more productive this holiday weekend, AmericanAncestors.org and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) have made several online military databases accessible FREE to all who wish to search for patriots in early American colonial wars.
Here is a quick note that apparently is good for today only. Rick Broida writes in his Cheapskate Blog:
Sobering thought for the day: Data loss is not a matter of if — it’s a matter of when. If you use a computer or smartphone or tablet long enough, eventually you’ll lose precious documents, photos or the like. Might be the result of a virus, might be due to theft or accident, but it’ll happen.
The question is, will that event prove to be a major calamity or minor inconvenience? You can easily make it the latter by implementing a robust backup system, by which I mean one that archives your data locally and online. Automatically. All the time.
Most of us have seen pedigree charts before, even large charts. However, Andrew Tatham has created a very impressive 6 foot x 3 foot (approx 2 metres x 1 metre) chart that shows Prince George of Cambridge, his ancestors and their place in history. You can see some low-resolution snippets from the full-sized chart below:
You can view a thumbnail-sized version of the chart at http://www.ttrees.co.uk/.
The title above is a mouthful. Here’s the translation:
According to Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Scientific Director of the Irish DNA Atlas Project (an academic research collaboration between the Genealogical Society of Ireland the RCSI) – “The work is important in that it illustrates that the Y chromosomes lineage that is carried by over 90% of Irish males (i.e. R1b S116) descends from a founder that lived somewhere between 3.7 and 4.8 thousand years ago, with a strong expansion in population size around 3000 years ago. This result plugs in very well with the recent Haak et al paper (the one with all the ancient DNA work), suggesting that the origin of R1b & resulting expansion (in late neolithic) was from the steppe region North of the Caspian Sea.”
The following announcement was written by the Maine State Archives and is available to all at http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/research/vitalrecordschanges.docx.
Per state law, all vital records – such as notices of birth, death and marriage – dating from 1892 to the present day, are no longer available at the Maine State Archives.* The records dating from 1892 – 1922 were previously held at the Archives, but have now been digitally scanned, allowing the Vital Records office to issue these documents. As of May 1, 2015, Data, Research and Vital Statistics at the Vital Records office will issue ALL vital records from 1892 to present.
The Maine Department of the Secretary of State, Maine State Archives will continue to issue non-certified copies of documents prior to 1892.
The fourth and final day of the National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference was held Saturday at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. It continued in much the same manner as the first three days. That is to say that it went well.
The unofficial attendee count on Friday evening was well over 2,200 people. I didn’t hear the final count on Saturday but I suspect it was 2,300 or maybe a bit more. The St. Charles Convention Center was a perfect venue for a crowd that size: not too big and not too small. If I write that it was “just right” I’ll sound like Goldilocks but it really was “just right.”
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina
Some of the above changes may have been deletions of previous 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.