Library of Congress Launches New Tool to Search Historical Newspaper Images

Looking for information about family members in old newspapers? It can be a tedious task if you search each online newspaper manually. Luckily, automation can save you many hours of tedious searching.

Quoting a new article in the News from the Library of Congress:

“The public can now explore more than 1.5 million historical newspaper images online and free of charge. The latest machine learning experience from Library of Congress Labs, Newspaper Navigator allows users to search visual content in American newspapers dating 1789-1963.

FamilySearch Recognized for US-Mexican War Database Creation

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch International and Pat Rand of the National Park Service were both presented with the prestigious Directors’ Award of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) at the FGS 2020 virtual annual conference. The Directors’ Award recognizes exceptional contributions to the field of genealogy and family history, and extra-mile efforts to promote good will and improve services.

FamilySearch was specifically commended for its volunteers’ efforts in indexing records for the United States Mexican War Soldiers and Sailors Database project. Through the efforts of FamilySearch volunteers, records for 130,000 soldiers who served in the war are now searchable for free online.

Connecticut State Library Announces Historic Newspaper Titles to be Digitized

From an announcement by the Connecticut State Library:

The Connecticut State Library is pleased to announce that with a fourth grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the following newspaper titles have been selected to be digitized for the Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project (CDNP), and made freely available online. These newspapers include:

  • The Litchfield County Post 1826-1829
  • The Litchfield Enquirer 1829-1881 (a continuation of the Litchfield County Post)
  • La Sentinella 1931-1948 (this completes the entire run of this title started in the last grant round)
  • The Waterbury Democrat 1931-1946 (this expands coverage of previous Waterbury Democrat papers digitized)

Raechel Guest, Director of the Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury noted that “This is a period of great interest to researchers, and not just because of the national issues of the Great Depression, the repeal of Prohibition, and World War II. Waterbury made national news in the late 1930s and early 1940s when Mayor and Lt. Gov. T. Frank Hayes and his cronies were exposed for a complex scheme of bribes, kick-backs, and voter fraud. The period also includes the celebration of Connecticut’s Tercentennial, when Waterbury created a “Settler’s Village” at Chase Park featuring the city’s diverse immigrant traditions.”

Saab Center Grant Will Help Shine Light on Portuguese-American Experience

The following announcement was written by the University of Lowell (Massachusetts):

Students, faculty and researchers interested in the rich cultural and historical tapestry of Portuguese-Americans in the Merrimack Valley and beyond will soon have access to a digital archive chronicling generations of immigrants, thanks to a $300,000 grant received by the university’s Saab Center for Portuguese Studies.

The grant, from the William M. Wood Foundation, is spread over three years.

The archive will be known as the Greater Boston Portuguese-American Digital Archive (PADA).

PADA will open a window to the history of a “significant and underrepresented” immigrant group, according to Frank Sousa, director of UML’s Saab Center for Portuguese Studies and supervisor of PADA.

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is Changing its Name to Holocaust Museum Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is changing its name and logo. The new Holocaust Museum Los Angeles announced on Friday it aims to prioritize history and education centered on fighting hatred and intolerance toward all communities.

“We’re a Holocaust museum and this puts the Holocaust name first,” museum Chief Executive Beth Kean said.

Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Unsung Heroes Awards at Federation of Genealogical Societies 2020 Conference

The Genealogy Guys Podcast, co-hosted by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software, are pleased to recognize the winners in the Unsung Heroes Awards at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference being held online.

The Unsung Heroes Awards acknowledge and celebrate those members of the genealogy community who digitize, index, or transcribe documents of value to genealogical researchers.  The Unsung Heroes Award is designed to recognize the efforts of its recipients in multiple categories.

The winners selected for Unsung Heroes Awards for August 2020 are in the Individual and Genealogical Society categories:

Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Unsung Heroes Society Scanning Equipment Grant Winner at Federation of Genealogical Societies 2020 Conference

The Genealogy Guys Podcast, co-hosted by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software, are pleased to recognize the first winner in the Unsung Heroes Grant at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference being held online.

The Unsung Heroes Grant enables a genealogical society, historical society, or museum to make images available to the genealogy community. The award includes a high-quality scanner, software to save and back up images, and two copies of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. The package is valued at $500.

The winner selected for the Unsung Heroes Grant for August 2021 is the Morgan County History Partnership (MCHP).

Family Tree Webinars Call for Papers

The following announcement was written by Geoff Rasmussen who runs the very popular online Family Tree Webinars:

Legacy Family Tree Webinars is welcoming webinar submissions for its 2021 webinar series. Webinars are typically 60 minutes plus Q/A. All speakers are welcome to submit. Topics covering Africa, Asia, South America, Scandinavia, Colonial America, Canada, Europe, DNA, technology, the GPS, the FAN club and case studies are especially encouraged, but all are welcome. Please check the library at to see what topics have been done previously. Speakers receive remuneration of $200 per webinar plus monthly viewership royalties.

Pat Rand 2020 Hartzog Award Winner

It is great to see someone recognized for his or her outstanding service contributing information for the benefit of others. Here is a recent announcement from the National Park Service, a service of the U.S. Department of the interior:

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP is pleased to announce that park volunteer Pat Rand was awarded the Regional Hartzog Enduring Service Award for 2020

The Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service recognizes the exemplary contributions of these very important people. Former NPS director George Hartzog, Jr. and his wife Helen created a fund to support awards that honor the efforts of volunteers who go beyond the normal call of duty.

The Hartzog Enduring Service Award recognizes an individual who made a significant difference through specific volunteer work that has a sustained, positive impact and advances the NPS mission.

Preserving Stories

rootstrust, Version 2.0 is now Available

The following announcement was written by Atavus, Inc:

As promised, Atavus, Inc. released rootstrust, Version 2.0 on August 1, 2020 following a very productive beta test period. The feedback from beta testers enabled the developer to finalize and release a very stable product. Among the numerous new features of Version 2.0, the following are particularly worthy of mention:

    • Professional quality, template-based source citations using the style proposed by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
    • Improved support for ultra-high-resolution video displays like those featured on some Microsoft Surface Pro models and Mac computers with a Retina Display.
    • File Cabinet synchronization – a facility for keeping your collections of rootstrust document and multimedia files in sync with their backup copies.
    • Performance enhancements for extremely large databases.
    • Data entry directly from the Ancestor View (pedigree chart view). See figure below.

Genetic Impact of African Slave Trade Revealed in DNA Study

A major DNA study has shed new light on the fate of millions of Africans who were traded as slaves to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries.

More than 50,000 people took part in the study, which was able to identify more details of the “genetic impact” the trade has had on present-day populations in the Americas. It lays bare the consequences of rape, maltreatment, disease and racism.

Sussex County, New Jersey Libraries to Reopen on Monday

The Sussex County Library System (SCLS) will reopen all of its locations to the public for limited service beginning Monday, July 20.

“We are thrilled to be able to welcome the public back and ask for everyone’s patience while we all adapt to our new procedures,” ,” said Library Director Will Porter. “While we have been very pleased with the flexibility provided by our online resources, we are looking forward to safely resuming access to our services that can only be used at the library. For many Sussex County residents, the library is their only reliable source of internet access, for example, and many of our local history and genealogy resources are not available when our doors are closed.”

(United Kingdom) Census Order and Regulations for England and Wales

The following announcement was first posted to the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee’s mailing list:

The legislation to hold the census in England and Wales on 21 March 2021 is now official. It became law at the may Privy Council on 20 May 2020.  The order may be read at:

The Census Regulations came into force on 23 June 2020 in England and 26 June in Wales. The Regulations include many of the operational details of the census, as well as exact copies of the paper questionnaires and descriptions of the online questionnaires. They are available to view online:

The Quinte Branch of Ontario Ancestors Announces an Update of the Society’s Online Finding Aid

The following announcement was written by the Quinte Branch of Ontario Ancestors:

To celebrate our 40th anniversary as a branch of Ontario Ancestors, the Quinte Branch online Finding Aid is getting an update. The number of records will increase to over 1,516,000 thanks to the efforts of our volunteer indexers. That’s an increase or over 166,000 records.

In addition to the indexing of new genealogies received in our library, we have also concentrated on including a number of major historical works and genealogical transcripts. These latter items add a broad range of new records to the database covering the whole Quinte Region including Hastings, Prince Edward and part of Northumberland counties.

(UK) National Archives Announces Reopening of Reading Rooms on July 21st

The following was written by; Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

The (UK) National Archives announced that on July 21st the reading rooms in Kew will reopen after being closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Archives will be providing limited access to parts of the building and our services will operate differently for the time being.

They are introducing new systems:

Yonkers, NY Birth and Death Records Go Online For First Time

Reclaim the Records claims another victory for genealogists! The following is from the Reclaim the Records announcement at:



Hello again from Reclaim The Records! We hope everybody has been hunkered down safely and soundly for the last few months, maybe working on some genealogy from home with some of the records we’ve helped release online over the past few years. Well, we’re back to announce some great new records you might want to check out while you hunker in your bunker. And as always, these new records we’ve acquired and published are totally free.

After literally years of negotiating and haggling (although luckily stopping short of yet another lawsuit), we are pleased to announce the first-ever publication of tens of thousands of late nineteenth and early twentieth century births and deaths for Yonkers, New York. We’ve photographed the alphabetical indices, and for most years we were able to photograph the full birth and death registers, too!

And none of these record books had ever been available to the public to use or browse before, not even on microfilm at a library. And the people listed in these records were generally not in the statewide birth and death indices that we previously acquired and published for New York.

These photos are all new, and they’re gorgeous:

Click on the above image to view a much larger version.

Announcing: ORA, the Online Repository Assistant

This is very interesting. Here is a new offering created by John Cardinal, a well-known software developer who focuses on creating software tools for genealogists. His past accomplishments include Family History Hosting as well as companion programs for use with The Master Genealogist (TMG) (from Wholly Genes Software), Second Site, and the TMG Utility. Now John has created a new product that looks like it will be a very useful tool. Here is the announcement from John:

Narragansett, Rhode Island, June 17, 2020 – Family History Hosting is pleased to announce ORA, a web browser extension combined with a Windows program to help you extract data from the web pages of your favorite online repositories and capture the information in your preferred genealogy program. ORA has several features that will save time, reduce errors, and increase the consistency of your data entry.

ORA works with the Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera browsers when used under Windows and supports these online repositories:, FamilySearch, Find a Grave, Findmypast, General Register Office (UK),, and Nova Scotia Genealogy. More repositories will be added with each update.

The Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Society Grants Program and New Unsung Heroes Program Nominees

The following announcement was written by the Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix:

The Genealogy Guys Podcast, the world’s oldest genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of the acclaimed RESTORE photo and document image improvement software, announce a new Unsung Heroes Program and a call for nominations for Unsung Heroes Awards.

The partners created the Unsung Heroes Awards in 2019 to encourage, acknowledge and celebrate members of the genealogy community who lead the way in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photos and documents, for use by researchers around the globe. They have added a brand-new Unsung Heroes Societies Grant Program for societies to obtain a scanner and high-quality software to make digitization projects a reality. They have also adjusted the Unsung Heroes Awards Program eligible nominees and the contents of the prize package.

Announcing the 400th Anniversary Edition of “Of Plimoth Plantation”

The following announcement was written by American Ancestors|New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts:

Native American Historian and American History Experts
Offer a Groundbreaking Look at
the Most Important Eyewitness Account of the Mayflower Story

A Newly-Annotated Edition of
Governor William Bradford’s Account of Plymouth Colony,
Published by American Ancestors and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Provides New Perspectives on Colonization and Conflict

May 21, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—In this first-of-its-kind edition of Bradford’s account of the Mayflower’s journey, its arrival in 1620, and life in the New World—published this week by American Ancestors and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts—Wampanoag, American, and Dutch scholars set the record straight about the impact of the arrival of 102 passengers to what they would call Plymouth Colony. This new book offers a fresh perspective on what took place over the first years of settlement—particularly the interactions between the Pilgrims and the Native people—in time for this year’s 400th anniversary of one of the most impactful events in world history.

A Correction to the Correction Concerning the New Prime-Time Television Series “The Genetic Detective”

CeCe Moore

On April 16, I published an announcement at of a new television series: The Genetic Detective, starring well-known genetic genealogist CeCe Moore. I simply copied-and-pasted the announcement sent to me by ABC News. The announcement stated:

“Moore Takes on Her First-Ever Cold Case – the Double Homicide of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg – in Series Premiere, Tuesday, May 26 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC”

I will refer to that as “the original announcement.”

On May 15, I received a second announcement from ABC News that announced a change of date for the premier. It repeated the original announcement and then added some more information. (I will refer to that as “the second announcement.”) I copied-and-pasted the second announcement into this newsletter at This new announcement repeated the original announcement and then added a new section labelled “AIRDATE CHANGE” that announced: