Announcements

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.

Press Release: Forces War Records Partners with Remembered

The following announcement was written by the U.K. Military Genealogy website, Forces War Records:

Forces War Records is delighted to be partnering with Remembered, the charity behind the There But Not There campaign which saw their Tommy statues appearing all over the UK and around the world in 2018.

Press Release: Bode Forensic Genealogy Service (FGS)

The following announcement was written by the Bode Forensic Genealogy Service:

Bode Technology’s Forensic Genealogy Service, an offering to law enforcement investigators and crime laboratories, combines advanced DNA testing and genealogy to develop ancestral relationships between samples and deliver leads.

The FGS program is a logical expansion of its service offerings to support the law enforcement community. By incorporating Bode’s accredited forensic laboratory, accredited clinical testing laboratories, and board certified and experienced genealogists, Bode has developed a high-quality, turn-key solution for our clients from sample submission through confirmation testing.

Loyola University to Create a Database of Loyalist Americans’ Claims

Loyalists, the women and men who chose to stay loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, have been the subject of a resurgence of scholarly interest over the past decade. Many of the Loyalists moved to Canada as the U.S. Revolutionary War came to a close and a few others moved to England.

Previously dismissed as the losers in the conflict, scholars have turned their attention to those who separated themselves from their friends and neighbors and gave up their land and possessions when they chose to leave the new United States at the end of the American Revolution. The story of that difficult decision recorded in the Loyalist Claims Commission is one that has been largely overlooked since the end of the war.

Relative Risk for Alzheimer Disease Based on Complete Family History

A recent medical study finds that if your family history shows Alzheimer disease (AD) amongst close relatives, your risk of developing the same disease are increased. A population resource including a genealogy of Utah pioneers from the 1800s linked to Utah death certificates was used to estimate relative risk for AD based on specific family history constellations, including from first- to third-degree relatives.

The study’s conclusion states, “This population-based estimation of RRs [relative risks] for AD based on family history ascertained from extended genealogy data indicates that inherited genetic factors have a broad influence, extending beyond immediate relatives. Providers should consider the full constellation of family history when counseling patients and families about their risk of AD.”

The study isn’t very reassuring to those of us with relatives who suffered from Alzheimer Disease!

Four Nations Unite Today in Boston to Share Plans for Mayflower 2020

The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

March 14, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts —Four nations are set to unite and share their 2020 Commemoration Program plans for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Voyage with an audience of guests invited to attend the event, which will be hosted today at the New England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston. Presenters will include representatives from Mayflower 400, Leiden 2020, Plymouth 400, Inc., VisitBritain, American Ancestors, and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Over the course of the event, each of the nations: United Kingdom, United States of America, the Wampanoag Nation, and the Netherlands will share their unique perspectives of that pivotal moment that defined the course of world history.

The four international Mayflower compact partner nations are united in their passion to commemorate the anniversary and to celebrate shared values of freedom, democracy, humanity, and the future.

Announcing DNA Down Under with Blaine Bettinger

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past:

Announcing DNA Down Under

with Blaine Bettinger

Adelaide, South Australia, 5 March 2019  –  Unlock the Past is delighted to announce DNA Down Under, a DNA themed roadshow to six Australian cities, culminating in a major 3-day conference in Sydney.

This is a world class conference and roadshow. Choose from 40 topics in three streams in Sydney over three days. The other five cities offer 10 topics each in two streams over a full day. There are topics at all levels, ranging from beginner to expert. Each city will have an exhibition of product and service suppliers, societies, DNA interest groups and organisations.

The presenters

MyHeritage Completed Digitizing All of Israel’s Cemeteries

This was mentioned at RootsTech. However, a blog entry on the MyHeritage Blog contains more details. You can read the full story at: https://tinyurl.com/yxjq3omj.

By the way, MyHeritage and BillionGraves are partners in an effort with a plan to work with other organizations and individuals around the world to digitize ALL the cemeteries in the world, compete with pictures and geographical coordinates of each tombstone.

MyHeritage Extends DNA Quest Initiative to Help More Adoptees Reunite with Their Birth Families

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

MyHeritage pledges 5,000 additional free DNA kits for global distribution to eligible participants, following the success of the first phase of its pro bono initiative

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah–MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, announced today that it is extending DNA Quest, its pro bono initiative to reunite adoptees with their birth families through at-home DNA testing. The first phase of DNA Quest was launched in March 2018 and offered 15,000 free DNA kits to adoptees and those seeking to reunite with family members who were placed for adoption. This resulted in many successful reunions. Due to the large number of applicants, a waiting list of several thousand people was established after registration closed in May 2018. The next phase of DNA Quest announced today re-opens applications on the project website (www.dnaquest.org) and will offer an additional 5,000 free DNA kits to eligible applicants from all countries. Preference is given to applicants who are unable to afford genetic testing.

MyHeritage helps people find their relatives using its DNA Matching technology. The MyHeritage DNA database is one of the fastest-growing in the industry and currently numbers 2.5 million people, including people who tested on MyHeritage and others who uploaded the results of their DNA test for free from other providers. Numerous participants have already reconnected with long-lost family and others have obtained vital clues to assist them in their search. New discoveries continue to emerge, offering participants newfound hope of reuniting with their long-lost loved ones. The search for biological family, especially for birth parents, is time sensitive, as each year older relatives pass away.

MyHeritage Adds Automatic Clustering of DNA Matches for Insights on Common Ancestors

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage. (However, I converted several key phrases into BOLD TEXT.)

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah–MyHeritage, the leading global service for genetic genealogy, announced today the release of AutoClusters, a new feature that automatically clusters and visualizes shared DNA Matches.

In the past few years, millions of consumers have purchased DNA kits in order to find relatives based on shared DNA. However, the DNA results typically do not describe the exact relationship path between two matching people, and only cite the likely connection (for example, 3rd cousins). AutoClusters are helpful in shedding light on the relationship paths, by grouping together DNA Matches who likely belong to the same branch and have a common ancestor. Reviewing their family trees can allow users to piece together the entire branch.

How the 2020 Census Bureau Will Invite Everyone to Respond

Future genealogists will want to read about you in the 2020 U.S. Census. After all, don’t we appreciate looking at our ancestors’ records in previous censuses? The least you can do is to make sure similar data is available to your descendants.

A new page from the U.S. Census Bureau provides suggestions. You can see it at: http://bit.ly/2T4Bwdn.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Donates 2 Million Dollars to the International African American Museum Center for Family History

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch and by the International African American Museum:

Gift will enable greater family history discoveries for African Americans at the site where nearly half of all enslaved Africans arrived in the United States

Salt Lake City, Utah (27 February 2019), At the 9th annual RootsTech family history and technology conference held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, Elder David A. Bednar of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented Michael Boulware Moore, president and CEO of the International African American Museum (IAAM), with a donation of 2 million dollars to support the creation of the IAAM Center for Family History.

Elder David A. Bednar said, “We want to support the museum and the Center for Family History because we both value the strength that comes from learning about our families. The museum will not only educate its patrons on the important contributions of Africans who came through Gadsden’s Wharf and Charleston, it also will help all who visit to discover and connect with ancestors whose stories previously may not have been known.”

Findmypast Announces Project to Digitise & Publish 1921 Census of England & Wales

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

The National Archives in association with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has awarded leading British & Irish family history website Findmypast the contract to digitise and publish the 1921 Census online

In the most anticipated family history development since the online publication of the 1939 Register, Findmypast has been selected as The National Archives’ commercial partner to make the 1921 Census of England & Wales available online.

The census, which was the first to be conducted following the introduction of the Census Act of 1920, will be published online by Findmypast in January 2022.

MyHeritage Breakthrough: The Theory of Family Relativity™

MyHeritage made an announcement this morning at RootsTech2019 that should interest every genealogist who has had a DNA test. I had a chance to use this new innovation briefly and it confirmed a “maybe” entry in my personal genealogy database that had bugged me for years. I previously had found a mention of a man that I suspected is my great-great-grandfather, along with information about his parents. However, the brief mention was in someone else’s family tree and I wasn’t confident about it’s accuracy.

The new Theory of Family Relativity™ not only found him but also showed the amount of DNA that he and and I and another of his descendants share. It also displayed information about a lot of distant cousins of mine that I previously was unaware of. Not bad for the first five minutes of use!

Here is the announcement from MyHeritage:

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah–MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, revealed today its latest innovation in genetic genealogy — the Theory of Family Relativity™. This technology offers users, for the first time ever, theories that utilize nearly 10 billion historical records and family tree profiles to explain DNA connections. Until now, family history enthusiasts used two distinct domains for making discoveries: the paper-trail world of records and trees, and the biological world of DNA connections. Now, MyHeritage has combined these two domains and integrated them seamlessly.

Ancestry announces MyTreeTags

Add labels to people in your tree to highlight personal details or clarify your research status. Now you can add tags to people in your family tree to indicate whether your research on them is confirmed or verified, or to record personal details, like “never married.” You can also create your own custom tags to note that a person immigrated from Denmark, or worked as a blacksmith. You can even use filters as you search your tree to see everyone with the same tag.

Click here to see a PDF file of the entire announcement.

Ancestry announces ThruLines

ThruLinesTM​ shows you the common ancestors who likely connect you to your AncestryDNA® Matches—and gives you a clear and simple view of how you’re all related. When you link your public or private searchable family tree to your AncestryDNA results, new chapters of your family story may be revealed. You could see how your DNA Matches fit into your family tree and learn new details about the common ancestors who likely connect you.

Click here to see a PDF file of the entire announcement.

Ancestry Announces New and Improved DNA Matches Fact Sheet

Click here to see a PDF file of the entire announcement.

Bestselling Authors Stephen and Tabitha King Make $1.25 Million Gift to American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

February 26, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts—Bestselling author Stephen King and his wife Tabitha have made a gift of $1.25 million through the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation to New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) —known online as American Ancestors to millions of users—the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. The purpose of the gift will be to develop educational programming that introduces family and local history to wider audiences and helps the organization expand its Back Bay headquarters in Boston. It will also fund the creation of a unique curriculum in family history for public school students. This gift follows the organization’s successful $62.5 million capital campaign and its acquisition of an adjacent building at 97 Newbury Street, into which the organization will soon expand.

Initiative Begins to Digitally Preserve Ontario’s Historical Vernon Directories

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch and by Library and Archives Canada:

Salt Lake City, Utah (19 February 2019), The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are working with FamilySearch International to digitize the historical Vernon directories for the province of Ontario. The initiative will begin immediately to preserve and make the directories freely searchable online for family historians, researchers, and Canadians.

Vernon directories were published yearly, by city, from the 1890s to 2014, except 2010, when the company’s ownership changed. They cover most of Ontario, including the province’s capital city of Toronto. The name “Vernon directories” is derived from the name of the publisher. The initiative will encompass an estimated 1,875 directories.

The Friends of Irish Research Announces the Opening of the David Allen Lambert Library in Brockton, Massachusetts

The following announcement was written by the Friends of Irish Research:

Breaking News – Brockton, MA: The Friends of Irish Research is pleased to announce its partnership with the Alliance of Massachusetts Genealogists in the opening of their enhanced research library located at 899 North Main Street, Brockton, MA. Often times the naming of something is a difficult choice and for someone who is no longer with us. This is not the case for us. We are thrilled to be able to introduce you to the David Allen Lambert Library. David is a good friend of the organizations here in Brockton and a name that is synonymous with genealogical and historical research here in New England.

We invite those interested in a research center south of Boston to come join us at 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 23, 2019 for the dedication of the David Allen Lambert Library. The library hosts a growing collection of books, thousands of digital books, periodicals, maps, newspapers, microfilm collections, and researchers to help others in tracing their family trees.