Announcements

U.S. Census 2020 To Ask Question on Same-Sex Couples

The following was written by D’vera Cohn of the Pew Research Center:

new question about citizenship on the 2020 census form is in the headlines these days, but the U.S. Census Bureau also plans other changes for the next national count. Among them: For the first time, the agency will add specific check boxes for same-sex couples to identify themselves, and it will ask people who check the white or black race boxes to say more about their national origins.

The bureau’s list of 2020 questions, sent to Congress for review late last month, also was notable for what it did not include. Despite years of research into possible benefits of combining the race and Hispanic questions on the form, the bureau will continue to ask them separately. Bureau researchers had said the combined question produced more complete and accurate data, especially about Hispanics. The census form also will not include a much-researched check box for people of Middle Eastern or North African origins.

The 2020 census is to ask seven data questions: age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, relationship status, homeownership status (own or rent) and citizenship. The bureau also listed several follow-up questions it will ask to make sure that everyone who usually lives in the household being surveyed is included.

The citizenship question, which has been challenged in court, will be asked last to “minimize any impact on decennial census response rates,” according to a memo from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department oversees the Census Bureau.

Census has overcounted same-sex couples

The new check boxes for same-sex couples are an attempt to fix a long-standing problem of Census Bureau overcounts of these couples.

A New Partnership is Announced: Ontario Genealogical Society and the NextGen Genealogy Network

The following announcement was written by the NextGen Genealogy Network and the Ontario Genealogical Society:

The NextGen Genealogy Network (NGGN) and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) are pleased to announce a new partnership. OGS is providing NGGN with financial support, together with promotional support in the OGS weekly online newsletter, eWeekly, together with an information page on the OGS website.

NGGN, a United States based 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization was founded in 2013 to create a community for young genealogists. Building connections and fostering engagement among young genealogists eighteen to fifty, NGGN strives to build connections between generations, and welcomes the friendship, mentorship, and support of our fellow genealogists of all ages.

MyHeritage Announces Easier Navigation in your DNA Match List

An announcement in the MyHeritage Blog states:

“At MyHeritage our users’ feedback is extremely important to us. We do our best to listen to the community to provide the best possible family history research experience. Today we released two new features that were requested by our users at the RootsTech conference in Utah in February (thanks Judy Russell, and others!), to make navigating in the list of DNA Matches easier. Following major updates and improvements to our DNA Matching in January 2018, MyHeritage DNA users are receiving 10 times as many matches as before. It’s therefore only natural that there is now demand for easier ways to work with this information and make the most of it.

“With this feature, you can manually enter the page number you would like to go to, in the list of DNA Matches. From now on, if you are interested in DNA Matches that appear beyond the first few pages of your massive DNA Match list, you don’t need to click through the pages one by one. Simply enter the page number you would like to jump to in the “Go to page” field and then press “Enter”.”

There’s a lot more. You can read the full announcement at: http://bit.ly/2GwjqtK.

27 Public Libraries and the Internet Archive Launch “Community Webs” for Local History Web Archiving

I have to believe this could become a huge resource for genealogists. According to an announcement in the Archive.org Blog:

“With generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, as well as the Kahle/Austin Foundation and the Archive-It service, the Internet Archive and 27 public library partners representing 17 different states have launched a new program: Community Webs: Empowering Public Libraries to Create Community History Web Archives. The program will provide education, applied training, cohort network development, and web archiving services for a group of public librarians to develop expertise in web archiving for the purpose of local memory collecting. Additional partners in the program include OCLC’s WebJunction training and education service and the public libraries of Queens, Cleveland and San Francisco will serve as “lead libraries” in the cohort. The program will result in dozens of terabytes of public library administered local history web archives, a range of open educational resources in the form of online courses, videos, and guides, and a nationwide network of public librarians with expertise in local history web archiving and the advocacy tools to build and expand the network. A full listing of the participating public libraries is below and on the program website.”

This could result in huge online collections local history and information created by libraries nationwide. The list of participating libraries is impressive, ranging from big city libraries to one small town library near me. You can learn more at: http://bit.ly/2IqBJi1.

MyHeritage Science Team’s Research Featured in the Prestigious Journal Science

The following announcement was written by the team at MyHeritage:

We are proud to share that our science team, led by MyHeritage’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Yaniv Erlich, has had a groundbreaking paper published today in Science, one of the most influential academic journals in the world.

The research was conducted with scientists at Columbia University, the New York Genome Center, MIT and Harvard, and provides fresh insights into the last couple of centuries of marriage and migration in Europe and North America, and the role of genes in longevity. Other than Dr. Erlich who led the research, MyHeritage Science Team member Tal Shor is also one of the authors.

Massive Family Tree Yields New Insights about Humanity

MyHeritage Launches DNA Quest — a Major Pro Bono Initiative for Adoptees and Their Biological Families to Find Each Other via DNA Testing

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage, the sponsors of this newsletter. The announcement was made in front of thousands of genealogists at an opening session of RootsTech by Aaron Godfrey of MyHeritage. The announcement and the in-person introduction of two long-lost sisters to the RootsTech audience was a major highpoint of the day. (You can view the session soon on the RootsTech videos at http://www.rootstech.org.) If you are an adoptee or a member of a birth family, I suggest you read this announcement about a FREE service carefully. You also will want to read the article in the MyHeritage Blog.

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah–MyHeritage, the leading global destination for family history and DNA testing, announced today the launch of a new pro bono initiative, DNA Quest, to help adoptees and their birth families reunite through genetic testing. As part of this initiative, MyHeritage will provide 15,000 MyHeritage DNA kits, worth more than one million dollars, for free, with free shipping, to eligible participants. Participation is open to adoptees seeking to find their biological family members, and to anyone looking for a family member who was placed for adoption. Preference will be given to people who are not able to afford genetic testing. The first phase of the initiative is open to USA residents, involving adoptions that took place in the USA. Application opens today on the project website, www.dnaquest.org, which includes detailed information about the initiative.

Founders, Fishermen, and Family History Cruise Features Genealogy and History

The following announcement was written by Gena Philibert-Ortega:

Sail from Boston to Nova Scotia in August 2019

28 February 2018 – Gena Philibert-Ortega’s Founders, Fishermen, and Family History cruise sponsored by MyHeritage will set sail August 10-17, 2019, from the Port of Boston, Massachusetts. Sailing on the Holland America Line ship ms Veendam, additional stops planned are Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Genealogists Gena Philibert-Ortega, David Allen Lambert, Daniel Horowitz, and Tami Osmer Mize will provide educational presentations, technology demonstrations, and consultations. In addition, a pre-cruise day (August 9, 2019) at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society includes an opportunity to learn more about the Society holdings and allows time for research. Additional events are being planned, including special presentations and a tour at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

Legacy Republic Launches in Salt Lake City to Save One Million Memories and Unlock Region’s Genealogy Treasure Chest

The following announcement was written by Legacy Republic and released at the RootsTech conference:

On a quest to save one million memories, the world’s most trusted family legacy service, Legacy Republic, is officially launching today in Salt Lake City to connect local families to their past through photo and video digitization. The company now has limited openings for up to 30 Legacy Maker consultants and Pro Services Executives, who will inspire and help their communities preserve, celebrate and relive their family stories.

At a time when the country has been facing massive natural disasters, and 500 million photo albums have yet to be digitized, Legacy Republic recognizes the importance of preserving and celebrating family history and heritage — tenants that are especially vital to the Salt Lake City community.

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies Announces a New Eastern European Records Certificate Featuring Courses Written by Lisa Alzo, MFA

The following announcement was written by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies:

27 February 2018 – The National Institute for Genealogical Studies is proud to announce a new addition to our Certificate Programs. The Eastern European Records Certificate features courses in researching various records and repositories in Eastern Europe.

Course author and genealogy professional, Lisa Alzo, MFA says of researching Eastern European ancestors, “A vast number of immigrants came to the United States and Canada from various areas in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Unfortunately, in the past, those with Eastern European roots have been reticent to begin research on their immigrant ancestors due to perceived barriers of language, geography, and difficulty with accessing and understanding the records. With the popularity of DNA testing, more people are discovering they have Eastern European ancestry and have a desire to know more. As more records become accessible with each passing year, it has never been easier to consolidate known facts with newly discovered information.”

Courses in this new certificate program include:

The Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies is Renamed to Family History Connections

The Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies located in Blackburn, Victoria, Australia will now be known as Family History Connections. According to the new web site at: https://www.familyhistoryconnections.org.au:

“In the name AIGS, each word had a certain meaning. The word Australian implies that we help people with their Australian research. This is misleading because we provide access to family history resources from around the world. The word could also imply that our members are from around Australia, which is also incorrect, as the majority of our members live locally in Melbourne. We are not an Institute in the modern meaning of the word – conducting research and publishing papers. Rather, we help members to do their own research through the resources we provide. Genealogical Studies is a term not widely recognised in this day and age, when the commonly used term on web sites, commercial databases, magazines and books is Family History.

RootsFinder Delivers Powerful New Tools to Genealogists for Free

I suspect this is going to be a major tool for all genealogists. The following announcement describes the latest project by several people, including Dallan Quass, a well-known software developer who has produced several excellent genealogy products in the past. He was the Chief Technology Officer of FamilySearch from 2002-2004 and the creator of WeRelate.org and GenGophers.com, two of FamilyTree Magazine’s top 101 genealogy websites.

RootsFinder tries to be a great tree for supporting genealogy researchers at all levels, but especially new genealogy researchers. It also focuses heavily on pictures, stories, and videos to make things more interesting for a younger audience.

Here is the announcement:

RootsFinder.com is a free, online family tree that makes researching family history much easier. Unlike other online trees, which only provide hints to their own content, RootsFinder provides hints and search suggestions to websites such as:

  • FamilySearch
  • FindMyPast
  • AmericanAncestors
  • BillionGraves
  • FindAGrave
  • Ancestry
  • MyHeritage
  • and more

JoyFlips giving away $80,000 worth of FamilyArchive™ Kits at RootsTech

The following announcement was written by the folks at JoyFlips, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform:

San Francisco, CA. February 20, 2018:

JoyFlips will be launching several technical breakthroughs in version 4.0 of its family album technology at RootsTech 2018, along with a giveaway of 2,000 of its new FamilyArchive™ Kits — an $80,000 value — during the event, Feb. 28 – Mar 3, 2018, in Salt Lake City. The new technology in JoyFlips 4.0 will also be featured in the RootsTech Innovation Showcase during the conference.

The new FamilyArchive Kit is a secure offline automatic backup, protected by patent-pending technology, that will keep your family’s digital archive safe for over 50 years. Anyone attending the conference who has a free JoyFlips account, or opens one between February 28 and March 3 at 3pm, is eligible to receive a free $40 value FamilyArchive Kit by stopping by one of the JoyFlips booths at the show. (Recipients must be 14 or older to be eligible) Offer limited to 2,000 eligible attendees. One FamilyArchive Kit per person. Anyone not attending the conference in person who opens a free JoyFlips account from February 28th through March 3rd will be eligible for a 50% discount off the normal price of $40, including free shipping, if ordered by March 31, 2018.

Library and Archives Canada Launches Voila, the New National Union Catalog, as part of WorldCat

The following announcement was written by Library and Archives Canada:

February 1, 2018 – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is proud to launch Voilà, Canada’s new national union catalogue, hosted on the OCLC website. The announcement was made today to thousands of participants gathered at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference held in Toronto.

LAC has been working with the non-profit cooperative OCLC, a leader in library services, to implement a leading-edge library management system that will make the published heritage of our country more visible than ever before, and will share Canada’s culture and knowledge with the world.

Legacy Tree Genealogists to Sponsor DNA Innovation Contest at RootsTech

The following announcement was written by the folks at Legacy Tree Genealogists:

Legacy Tree Genealogists, the world’s highest-rated genealogy research firm, will be a sponsor of the upcoming DNA Innovation Contest at RootsTech. Additionally, Legacy Tree’s Senior Genetic Genealogist, Paul Woodbury, has been invited to participate as a panel judge to assist in determining the winning entry.

professional genealogist Paul Woodbury

“I’m honored to have been invited to participate in this capacity,” said Woodbury. “At Legacy Tree we embrace evolving technology in the genealogy sphere, and anything we can do to be a catalyst to support the DNA community, cultivate innovation and inspire others to do the same is something we want to be involved in.”

The contest, open to innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits across the country and globe, offers $50,000 in cash and services to winning innovators and entrepreneurs whose solutions improve the use and reliability of DNA methods and research. Applications to the contest can be submitted now through February 20, 2018 at http://www.growutah.com/centrum/dna.

(UK) National Archives Announces the Opening of Prisoner of War Archives

The following announcement was forwarded by the IAJGS Public Records Access Email Alert:

The (UK) National Archives announced they are opening their prisoner of war (WW II) archives. These documents were transferred to the National Archives in December 2014. There are approximately 190,000 records of persons captured in German-occupied territory during World War II, primarily Allied service men (including Canadians, South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders, British and Allied civilians and some nurses. There are also cards for American, Norwegian, Chinese, Arab and Cypriot origins.

The new collection (WO 416) also includes several thousand records of deceased allied airmen whose bodies were found near their downed aircrafts. While these airmen were never prisoners of war, these records act as records of death.

Update: the Journal of Genealogy and Family History

The Journal of Genealogy and Family History was first announced nearly a year ago. (See my earlier article about the announcement at: http://bit.ly/2DgPBs0.) Now the first edition has been published and work has begun on the second edition. The following announcement was written by the foks who produce the Journal of Genealogy and Family History:

Peer-reviewed journals are a rare thing in the world of genealogical publishing, though the USA has long been fortunate in having such journals specialising in local matters. The Journal of Genealogy and Family History was launched around Easter last year as a peer-reviewed, scholarly publication with a world-wide remit. It exists purely online. It is free to read and free to publish in. Offers of good quality papers are always welcomed and can be submitted through http://www.qualifiedgenealogists.org/ojs/index.php/JGFH.

The Journal has closed Volume 1 after its successful first nine months and is now editing papers for Volume 2.

Looking for Help in the Heredis Booth at RootsTech

Heredis is a very popular genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh, iPad, iPhone, and Android. At least, it is popular in Europe and in many other places although I don’t hear as much about it in North America. The folks who produce Heredis are working to change that. They plan to have an exhibit booth at RootsTech 2018 in Salt Lake City to demonstrate Heredis to everyone there. However, they are looking for some help in that booth. Are you interested?

Comment from Dick Eastman: I have used Heredis a lot and am very impressed with the propgram. It certainly is competitive with the other leading genealogy programs of today and I can see why it is so popular in many different countries. To see my past articles about Heredis, start at https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aeogn.com+heredis&t=hg&ia=web.

The following announcement was written by the folks who produce Heredis:

Preserve the Pensions Announces New Images Available at Fold3.Com

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

Austin, Texas – The (FGS) is pleased to announce new pension images available at our hosting partner, Fold3. As we detailed in August of this year, conservation had resumed and digitization would shortly follow on War of 1812 Pension files covering surnames M(Moore)-Q. This new release of images is the first installment on the promise made by FGS, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and Ancestry to complete the project we started and to which you all have so generously contributed. Additional images will follow as the Ancestry digitization team continues to refine their process and achieve full capacity in accord with NARA protocols.

Forces War Records offers 40% off the Normal Membership Price

The following announcement was written by Forces War Records:

War touches many people’s lives. Is your family’s military history waiting to be discovered? Is there a war hero in your family waiting to be remembered? Did any members of your family get awarded medals for their actions in war?

Perhaps they did, but you just haven’t found out about it yet…Why not search the Forces War Records site and take a look at the wealth of records and historic documents the company holds. Let us help you start, or continue your family history quest.

Here are 5 reasons to become a full member today:

Scroll through Colonial life with the Harvard Library

This should be a fabulous resource for anyone researching Colonial American ancestry. It isn’t a genealogy database. Instead, it will teach you about the lives your ancestors led and the world in which they lived.

In a few weeks, the Harvard Library will release a new website for its ongoing, multiyear digitization “Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.” Approximately 450,000 digitized pages of all the known archival and manuscript materials in the Library relating to 17th- and 18th-century North America will be available to the public. The library’s vast collection from era, from love letters to receipts, is being digitized for public view