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Discover Your “Musical DNA”

An online advertisement caught my eye: “Spotify & AncestryDNA Users Can Now Generate Personalized Playlists Based On Their DNA Heritage Results.”

Really? My musical DNA? What is that?

An article by Kaitlyn Wylde in the Bustle.com web site states:

AncestryDNA has joined forces with Spotify to create the ultimate personal playlist curation experience. And by “personal”, I mean the playlist that this partnership offers you will resonate with you very deeply — aka, the music is literally tuned to your DNA. Yes, using your AncestryDNA results, Spotify will put together a collection of songs that are based on your heritage. If you’re in the market for a closer connection to your music library, this special feature will definitely hit the spot. I mean, how much closer can you get than sharing DNA?

Music CDs, R.I.P.

A bit of history has faded away. Best Buy has stopped selling CDs at its stores. The sales of music CDs apparently is no longer profitable, due to digital streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others.

Now CDs have gone the way of buggy whips. You can read more in an article in the MoneyWatch web site at: https://cbsn.ws/2KvkSzv.

CBC (English-language) and Radio-Canada (French) Music Library Closing, CD’s to be Digitised, Destroyed

It is sad news but I am not surprised. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is facing huge funding cuts from the government and increasing costs. The results include massive staff and production cuts. Rapidly developing technological developments are also driving the changes. The broadcaster, with its stations across the country has, over the decades, amassed a vast collection of recorded music and other artefacts. In 2012, and subsequent to a massive budget cut, the CBC began a policy of digitizing its collection to save space and storage costs, even as a move began to sell off buildings and move into smaller quarters. An executive with the project said, there will be no room in the new building for storage of the library.

Not only are CDs to be digitized and the destroyed, older records are to be destroyed without being converted to digital formats at all. The records to be destroyed include approximately 70,000 old 78rpm discs. Few of these were ever re-recorded on LP, and almost none of these exist on CD.

RootsTech 2016 Announces Keynote Speakers David Isay and Michael Leavitt and Musical Guests the Crescent Super Band, featuring Ryan Innes, and The Lower Lights

News from RootsTech:

SALT LAKE CITY, (January 8, 2016)—RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced today additional musical guests and keynote speakers who will join its inspiring all-star lineup. Nationally renowned musicians the Crescent Super Band and Ryan Innes will partner for an exclusive performance during the opening social event on Thursday, February 4. The session of RootsTech on Friday, February 5, will feature award-winning radio producer and founder of StoryCorps, David Isay, while the session on Saturday, February 6, will feature Michael Leavitt, who served in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush. Concluding the conference on February 6 will be the musical group The Lower Lights.

RootsTech_opening

Newly Recovered Ground Zero Photos Show Why You Should Back Up your CD-Recordable Disks Now: Photo CDs Don’t Last Forever

An article by Sean Hollister in The Verge web site at http://bit.ly/2RlRD1V describes a problem that every genealogist would like to avoid. In fact, it is easily avoidable if you are already aware of the problem and if you have already taken steps to side-step this technical issue.

When comedian and activist Jon Stewart gave an impassioned speech before Congress to seek ongoing aid for 9/11 first responders, it inspired Internet Archive software curator and digital preservationist Jason Scott to share something timely with the world as well: a newly discovered cache of photos from one of the workers who toiled away at Ground Zero, and who’d saved thousands of those photos on writeable CD-ROM disks.

But Scott says he wasn’t actually able to preserve all of those photos, because of the way they were stored. Many of the images stored on writeable CD disks were unreadable! Indeed, CD-recordable disks made on personal computers do not last forever. In this case, they didn’t even last 8 years!

Irish island of Arranmore is Looking for New Residents from the United States and Australia

Here is an opportunity to study your Irish ancestry: move to Ireland.

Actually, you would have to move to Arranmore, a tiny island 5 kilometers off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland. The island is twinned with Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. In the 1800s, families evicted from Arranmore relocated to Beaver Island and most of the residents who live on Beaver Island today can trace their roots back to Arranmore.

While Arranmore is a tiny place, it boasts very high-speed Internet access, enough musicians and good Irish whiskey to keep a party going well into the night, the best diving in Ireland on your doorstep, seafood to rival the tastiest New England chowder, and a daily commute that will never exceed five minutes. It sounds dreamy.

Brooklyn Library Digitizes Thousands of Historic Newspaper Articles

The Brooklyn Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library is making more than 40 borough-specific newspapers available for online hunting. Their digital archive of Brooklyn Daily Eagle articles is already an essential tool in borough research and the latest project adds thousands more newspaper pages for history buffs to hunt through.

The Brooklyn Collection started in 1997 as part of the History Division, with a small book collection focused on the borough. It now holds more than 5,000 books and an archive that includes 200,000 photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, sheet music and more.

TheGenealogist Announces the Online Release of Islington Lloyd George Domesday Survey Records

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist announces the release of Islington Lloyd George Domesday Survey records. These cover land owners and occupiers in 1910-1915 with over 70,000 individuals recorded, joining the previously released data books and their associated maps for other parts of London.

This new release is the latest stage of TheGenealogist’s vast ongoing project to digitise over 94,500 Field Books, each having hundreds of pages, and linking them to large scale IR121 annotated OS maps which are now viewable in TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer tool.

The records have been sourced from The National Archives and were compiled by the Valuation Office in a period that stretched from 1910-1915 in response to the Lloyd George government passing the People’s Budget 1909/1910.

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood left out of Who Do You Think You Are? because his Family History is “Too Complex”

Ronnie Wood is an English rock musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, artist, author and radio personality best known as a member of The Rolling Stones since 1975. He was scheduled to be a celebrity guest on the U.K. version of Who Do You Think You Are? The show’s professional genealogists researched his ancestry and found a lot of information about his ancestors. There was but one problem,: they found too much information to fit into a one-hour program!

It seems that Ronald Wood has a huge family tree made up of gypsies, most of whom lived on canal barges.

A representative of Who Do You Think You Are? stated, “With Ronnie’s colourful relatives – who can be traced back over 300 years – there was too much to be able to work through in time for this year’s series.”

Using a Chromebox as My Primary Day-to-day Computer

The following article has little to do with genealogy, family history, DNA, or the other topics normally covered in this newsletter. However, it does discuss my recent experiences with low-cost computing and I think it may be of interest to many readers of this newsletter.

Here is a conversation I had recently with a friend:

“A couple of weeks ago I installed a Chromebox computer and it soon became my primary computer.”

“A what?

“A Chromebox.”

“What is a Chromebox?”

“It is essentially the same as a Chromebook computer except that it is not a laptop computer. Instead, it is a small desktop computer that requires an external, plug-in keyboard, a mouse, and an external monitor. It is powered by plugging it into a wall outlet, not by batteries. It runs the Chrome operating system, the same as the operating system used in Chromebooks.”

In fact, the Chromebox has become a better addition to my collection of computers than I expected. Of course, I haven’t disposed of my other computers. I still have the Macintosh, Windows, Linux, and Android systems.

I also have a Chromebook laptop which has become my primary computer when traveling. I have always been able to use the Chromebook for almost all computer tasks that I need to do. However, when returning home, I used to switch to the iMac desktop system for my day-to-day tasks. The iMac is the most powerful and flexible of all the computers that I own so I simply assumed it should be the one that I used most of the time. However, I have changed my mind in the past few weeks.

FamilySearch Celebrates 20 Years Online

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Twenty years ago, global nonprofit FamilySearch launched an innovative new website, a free internet genealogy service. Two decades later, FamilySearch is a leader in the rising tide of popular ancestry-related services online. During that time, FamilySearch has expanded and evolved its free mix of online offerings, holding true to its purpose to provide economical access to the world’s genealogical records and create fun family history discoveries for everyone.

On May 24, 1999, FamilySearch.org took the online genealogy world by storm, offering free access to hundreds of millions of historical records online—a treasure for those seeking to make family history connections. For perspective, online broadcast news, e-trading, and downloadable music services were the rage at the time. Google, ranked 93rd of top websites, was still an up-and-coming service that was attempting to redefine the role of a search engine by indexing the web to make results junk free and more consumer relevant.

MyHeritage Eurovision Bus heads to London

Attention European readers of this newsletter: You might want to attend the party on board the MyHeritage Eurovision Bus! According to an article in TVToday:


 

Fans are getting ready for Eurovision 2019, while music lovers spend the night in the pub.

MyHeritage’s Eurovision Bus has begun its tour of Europe, attending major pre-parties, hosting celebs and give Eurovision fans chances to win Eurovision tickets. The bus began its journey on April 6th in Amsterdam heading yesterday to Hamburg. It will be spending today in Copenhagen, however Brits wanting to get on board will need to head to London on April 14th.

The Internet Archive has Uploaded 450,000 songs Collected Before Myspace’s Massive Data Loss

I have written before learning about the music your ancestors enjoyed. (See https://blog.eogn.com/?s=music for a list of some of my previous articles about music.) Myspace used to be a good source for both old-time and modern music but last month, it became widely known that MySpace has lost much of the user data uploaded to it before 2016, including potentially million of music tracks from between 2003 to 2015. It is estimated that up to 53 million songs from 14 million artists were deleted.

Luckily, there is a free alternative.

Online Registration is Now Open for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2019 National Conference

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

The conference will be held August 21 – 24, at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, DC. Hosted by the Federation of Genealogical Societies in cooperation with sponsoring local societies, corporate sponsors, and partner organizations, FGS 2019 offers a new full four-day format jam-packed with topics of interest to every genealogist. The theme for this conference is “Come Home to our Washington, DC.”

“We are so excited to open registration for the FGS annual conference. We have an extraordinary learning experience planned for everyone with a whole lot of added fun! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone this year in our nation’s capital,” said Faye L. Stallings, CG, President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Conference Highlights

(+) Is Your CD-ROM Data Disappearing?

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

Genealogists are generally concerned with long-term data preservation. A lot of genealogists believe that the only method of preserving data is to print the information on paper. Yet, many of us have handled old pieces of paper that are decaying, crumbling, or fading to the point that the information is not readable. In fact, most paper manufactured in the past 75 years or so contains acids that will hasten the deterioration of the information you wish to preserve.

Even worse, the inks and laser printer toner we use today will fade in a few years, even if the paper survives. I already have papers in my filing cabinet I wrote or photocopied 25 or 30 years ago that have faded quite a bit. Some are already difficult to read because of faded ink or photocopy toner. Those papers probably will be unreadable in another 25 or 30 years.

As we have seen recently in several places around the world, paper is especially fragile. Paper documents are easily destroyed by fires, floods, earthquakes, mold, mildew, or building collapse. On several occasions, valuable paper documents have been lost forever due to simple burst water pipes.

Boston Public Library’s 78rpm Records Come to the Internet

This won’t help you discover your ancestors but will help you learn about the music they enjoyed. Following eighteen months of work, more than 50,000 78rpm record “sides” from the Boston Public Library’s sound archives have now been digitized and made freely available online by the Internet Archive.

Art Tatum

I am sitting here listening to It Had to be You by Jazz legend Art Tatum. The fidelity is what you would expect from a 78 rpm record made in 1944. That is, it is definitely low fidelity. However, it is obvious that Art Tatum was a keyboard maestro.

You can learn more about this new Boston Oublic Library’s additions to Archive.org’s collection of old music at http://bit.ly/2V5xVsm while the collection itself may be found at: https://archive.org/details/78rpm_bostonpubliclibrary.

 

RootsTech 2019 in Review

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

MyHeritage was Featured in a Unique Family History Tribute on the Steve Harvey Show

In honor of Black History Month, MyHeritage partnered with Steve Harvey to uncover and share the little known, yet inspiring legacy of musician and composer James Reese Europe. Through MyHeritage’s 9.5 billion historical records and a few family details, the company was able to reconstruct the life story and family tree of a musical legend who made an indelible impact on African American music while bravely serving his country in World War I.

Steve Harvey welcomed Europe’s great-grandson, Rob, and spoke with him about his great-grandfather’s legacy and how it’s influenced his life.

You can watch video of the episode in the player below or at: https://youtu.be/J0t-k5NEQDg.

The Singing Genealogists of Karnataka

Did you ever consider setting your family tree to music? How about musically reciting the members of the family tree for the past 9 centuries? And then doing that for multiple families?

That is what Helavas (professional genealogists) do in in ten districts of Karnataka, India.

An article by Amoolya Rajappa in TheWire.in web site describes the lives of the Helavaru community, a unique semi-nomadic tribe credited to have maintained documents containing the genealogy of several families in ten districts of Karnataka:

“It is believed that Helavas started practicing from the days of Basavanna, a 12th-century social reformer who rebelled against caste hierarchy and gender discrimination. Ever since they have carried on the practice of visiting households and narrating ancestral bloodlines in a lyrical fashion.”

The Global Family Reunion to Connect the World Again

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the Global Family Reunion:

Cousins across the continents come together to celebrate

14 February 2019: Four years ago, A.J. Jacobs, New York Times best-selling author, along with special guests including Ted Allen (Food Network), Dr. Mehmet Oz, comedian Nick Kroll, magician David Blaine, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, singer Lisa Loeb, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, and musical group Sister Sledge (We Are Family), came together to celebrate the connectedness of the human family in an epic reunion unlike any other.

Almost 4,000 “cousins” gathered together at the main event in Queens, New York, while another 6,500 participated at simultaneous events around the world.