Announcements

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

Announcing Unlock the Past Handy Guides

The following announcement was written by the folks at Unlock the Past, a division of Gould Genealogy:

Adelaide, South Australia, 18 October 2017 – history and genealogy company, Unlock the Past, has launched a new series of handy guides to add to its popular guide books series. These are low cost A4 four-page guides on quality heavy card stock, concise, but packed full of key facts and clear information – intended for handy reference.

The series has launched with six titles from well known genealogists and Unlock the Past presenters and authors, Kerry Farmer, Eric Kopittke and Chris Paton. Current titles are listed at bit.ly/handy-guides.

They are priced at AU$5 (US$4 and £3) — for ready sale by authors themselves, societies and other resellers. Ebook editions are available for AU$3.95 from www.gen-ebooks.com. The range of titles is expected to grow considerably in coming months.

We welcome:

Large Luggage and Bags no longer Permitted inside The National Archives of the United Kingdom

A note to Americans and a few other nationalities, this refers to The National Archives of Great Britain at Kew, London, not to the National Archives of any other nation. From The National Archives web site at http://bit.ly/2xBGvrh:

With effect from 14 November 2017, large suitcases, bags and other items that are too big to fit into our lockers will not be allowed into our building. This change is being introduced for safety and security reasons, and is in line with arrangements at similar institutions across London.

USCIS Genealogy Program Improvements Announced

The following is an announcement from the U.S. government’s Citizenship and Immigration Services:

To improve efficiency and decrease wait times for USCIS Genealogy Program customers, processing of USCIS genealogy requests will transition from Washington, D.C., to the USCIS National Records Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

Association of Professional Genealogists Creates the Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy

First Recipient Prescott Presented with Award at APG Professional Management Conference

Laura G. Prescott

WASHINGTON, D.C., and WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 29 September 2017 – The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) unveiled a new award at the APG 2017 Professional Management Conference (PMC) in the Washington D.C. area. At today’s opening session, APG President Billie Stone Fogarty presented an engraved crystal award to Laura G. Prescott, a past APG President and longtime, active member. The award, named for Prescott, will be given yearly to recognize service to the field of professional genealogy.

Board for Certification of Genealogists Welcomes Five Trustees—Two New and Three Re-Elected

The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists:

Returning for another three-year term as trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists are:

  • Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, of Chicago, Illinois. Board-certified since 1999, she has served as BCG Treasurer from 2010 to 2014, and President from 2014 to 2017. Bloom is a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook County research, problem solving, and multi-generational family histories. In her previous career she was a banker and a financial planning analyst.
  • Stefani Evans, CG, of Las Vegas, Nevada. Board-certified in 2005 and elected as a trustee in 2011, she currently serves as BCG Vice President and co-chair of the conference committee. She previously served as a BCG Education Fund Trustee, a director of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), and conference chair for the NGS 2013 Family History Conference. Evans is a Doctoral candidate in the History of the North American West at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
  • Nancy A. Peters, CG, of Aiken, South Carolina. Board-certified in 2011, she has served as a BCG trustee and as the editor of OnBoard since 2014. As a full-time genealogist, her client work, genealogical publications, and classroom instruction focus on solving complex kinship and identity problems. In her previous career, Peters had her own consulting practice—designing, developing, and instructing software training courses for corporate clients.

Joining them are two newly elected trustees:

UPDATE: FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Salt Lake City, Utah (30 August 2017), Thursday, September 7, 2017, marks the closing of an 80-year era of historic records access to usher in a new, digital model. FamilySearch is discontinuing its microfilm circulation services in concert with its commitment to make billions of the world’s historic records readily accessible digitally online. (See FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm). As its remaining microfilms are digitized, FamilySearch has provided additional information to users of its historic microfilm program. m.

FamilySearch, a global leader in historic records preservation and access, began microfilming historic records in 1938. Advancements in technology have enabled it to be more efficient, making an unbelievable tide of digital images of historic records accessible much quicker online and to a far greater customer base.

FamilySearch released a list of helpful facts and tips to help patrons better navigate the transition from microfilm to digital.

QUICK FACTS AND TIPS

ISFHWE Excellence-In-Writing Competition Winners Announced

The following announcement was written by Tina Sansone, ISFHWE Competition Coordinator:

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors is proud to announce the winners of the Excellence-in-Writing Competition. All entries were exceptional this year. Submission details for 2018 will be announced soon. For any questions on the competition, email competition@isfhwe.org.

Category 1 – Columns

1st Place – Elaine Thomas: “For the Love of Dinah”
2nd Place – Carolyn Schott: “Welcome Back to Osthofen”
3rd Place – Maureen Wlodarczyk: “More Than (Immediately) Meets the Eye”
HM – Valerie LaRobardier: “Do You Have an ‘Indian Princess’?”

Category 2 – Articles

The International African American Museum Launches an African American Genealogy Center

The following announcement was written by the folks at the International African American Museum:

CHARLESTON, SC – Today, the International African American Museum (IAAM) announced the launch of its Center for Family History – an innovative national genealogy research center dedicated solely to celebrating and researching African American ancestry. The center will engage in genealogy education, original research, community archiving, public outreach, and collections. It will also assist with DNA testing.

The Center for Family History is the International African American Museum’s first program launch. It will engage visitors online now at www.iaamuseum.org, and in one of the most prominent gallery spaces in the museum.

Pass It Down Reinvents the Greeting Card to Help Capture Family Memories

I haven’t had this in my hands yet but it certainly looks interesting. Here is the announcement from Pass It Down:

greetingStory™ makes it simple and fun to capture family stories one greeting card at a time.



Chattanooga, Tenn. (July 18, 2017) – Pass It Down, an award-winning storytelling platform that makes it easy to digitally record and preserve family memories, announced today the launch of its first physical product, greetingStory™. greetingStory™ reinvents the greeting card, making it easy to capture family memories and handwriting, reconnect with loved ones and preserve family stories.

Québec City has been Bringing the Era of Our Ancestors to Life for over 20 years at the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France

The following announcement was written by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) and Canadian Heritage:

QUÉBEC CITY, June 15, 2017 –  – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, attended the launch of the 2017 programming and took the opportunity to announce their financial support for the Corporation des fêtes historiques de Québec for the 21st edition of the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France. This annual rendezvous with history will be held in the historic district of Old Québec, from August 9 to 13.

Canada Economic Development has invested $750,000 dollars over three years (2015, 2016 and 2017), in the form of a non-repayable contribution, through the Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP). The funding was used in part to help promote the Fêtes on the Canadian, American and European markets to enhance the area’s tourism outreach and to attract numerous visitors from near and far. The support was also used to develop new tourism experiences with the addition of facilitation spaces and activities related to history, heritage and the St. Lawrence River.

Family ChartMasters Announces a New Genealogy Chart Created for Showing Off DNA Test Results

The following announcement was written by Family ChartMasters:

CEDAR HILLS, Utah – June 9, 2017 – A beautiful new way to display the results of a genetic family history test has been created for the millions of people who are getting to know their ancestors through DNA testing. Family ChartMasters, the genealogy chart printing leader for over 15 years, has designed a new DNA ethnicity chart to help family history enthusiasts show off their genetic heritage.

“We hope that this new chart will help people who have become curious about their genealogy through DNA testing become even more excited about searching out their ancestors,” says owner Janet Hovorka. “At Family ChartMasters we believe that family history can save the world. The more people know about their background, the more they are inspired with civility, gratitude and compassion for other people because they find out we are all more alike than different. We want to help people make that easy to remember every day.”

Honorary Research Fellow Appointed at the University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is well-known for having a Genealogical Studies programme offering a range of courses from beginner level up to a Masters degree. Now the University has announced a major addition to the staff:

Dr Iain McDonald has been appointed as Honorary Research Fellow in the Genealogical Studies Department, University of Strathclyde.

Iain comes originally from an Aberdonian family, and began his interest in genealogy 15 years ago, whilst trying to identify any family connection to the Lords of the Isles. Unfortunately, there was no connection, but the process led to an avid interest in Scottish genealogy, and the early history and movement of the Scottish people.

By day, Iain is an astrophysicist, working at the University of Manchester. By night, he has been using physical, statistical and mathematical techniques to develop tools, for both conventional and genetic genealogy.