Announcements

BCG Names First Recipients of the Donn Devine Award

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

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) has announced the first three recipients of the Donn Devine Award for Extraordinary Service. The award, established in honor of longtime BCG trustee Donn Devine, recognizes those who have made important and lasting contributions to the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Named at a luncheon held in St. Charles, Missouri, as the first recipients, were:

Family History Library to Add Sunday and Longer Monday Hours to Schedule

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

The FamilySearch Family History Library, one of Salt Lake City’s top attractions and the world’s largest genealogy library, will extend its hours of operation beginning Sunday, June 2, 2019. For the first time, the main floor of the library, including the FamilySearch Discovery Experiences, will be open on Sundays, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and extended to 9:00 p.m. on Mondays. Regular library hours will be Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The library is free to the public.

The addition of Sunday hours and extended Monday hours will allow more individuals and families to take advantage of the library’s rich, fun, and interactive discovery activities. On Sundays, services will be limited to the main floor of the library, with its immersive, interactive discovery experiences and 68 computers that provide free access to premium family history websites and digital collections. Guest support will be provided by a research specialist and local consultants. On Monday through Saturday, the library will be fully staffed and will continue to offer full services on all floors.

Genealogical Forum of Oregon Challenges Other Societies to Help Rebuild the Paradise Genealogical Society’s Library

The following is an announcement from the Genealogical Forum of Oregon:

GFO Challenge: Let’s Help the Burned Genealogy Library in Paradise, California

Our hearts go out to the Paradise Genealogical Society whose library burned to the ground during California wildfires last year. They’ve found a new location to rent and have decided to rebuild their collection from scratch.

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is in a good position to help. Here’s what we’re doing:

NGS Announces Winner of the Filby Award

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce that Susan Kaufman, manager of the Houston Public Library’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, is the winner of the NGS Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship. The award, along with its $1,000 prize, was presented to Kaufman today at Librarians’ Day, an event held a day in advance of the NGS 2019 Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri.

Created in 1999 by NGS, the award is named for the late P. William Filby, former director of the Maryland Historical Society and author of many core genealogical reference tools that genealogists have relied on for decades. It is presented annually at the NGS Family History Conference and has been sponsored by ProQuest and William Forsyth since 2006.

You can Help on a Brand-New Transcription Project: Criminal Characters

This is an unusual project: transcribing the records of persons imprisoned. If you have Australian ancestry, you undoubtedly already understand the importance of this project. However, Australian ancestry isn’t required to volunteer for this worthwhile project. The following announcement was written by the organizers of the project:

Archival Grant Opportunity: Historical and Archival Records Care Grants in Pennsylvania

The following announcement was written by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) and the Pennsylvania State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB):

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) and the Pennsylvania State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) are now accepting applications for the Historical & Archival Records Care (HARC) grant program. The application deadline is August 1, 2019.

Funding is available to historical records repositories, such as: historical societies; libraries; universities; local governments; and school districts for collections care, including surveying; inventorying; preserving; arranging; and describing historical records significant to Pennsylvania, as well as for records reformatting and equipment.  Applicants may apply for up to $15,000 with a 50/50 cash or in kind match.  Smaller grants in amounts up to $5,000 are available with no match required. Funding is provided by PHMC.

Press Release: The Genealogy Squad Facebook Group Announced

The following announcement was written by George G. Morgan and the other people listed below:

Tampa, Florida – 1 May 2019 – A new Facebook group for genealogy, The Genealogy Squad, is being launched at https://www.facebook.com/groups/genealogysquad on Monday, 6 May 2019. The mission of the Genealogy Squad Facebook group is to provide a positive space for the sharing of appropriate and reliable methods and resources to assist genealogists at all levels in their research activities. The principals and administrators are:

Press Release: Association of Professional Genealogists Selects Judy Nimer Muhn as Coordinator for 2020 Professional Management Conference

The following was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

Muhn Brings Extensive Nonprofit Experience to Premiere Professional Genealogy Event

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 22 April 2019—The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today announced the appointment of Judy Nimer Muhn as coordinator for the 2020 Professional Management Conference (PMC). Muhn, of Milford, Michigan, brings decades of nonprofit-management and genealogical leadership to this annual conference that serves the professional genealogy field.

Muhn joins Annette Burke Lyttle, who has served as APG PMC Coordinator since 2017 and will continue in her role. Muhn will rotate management of the conference with Lyttle each year. “With Annette’s help, we’ve grown APG PMC’s program and offerings over the past few years,” said APG President Billie Stone Fogarty. “We realized that much of the planning for the next conference needed to take place while we were working on the current conference. Having two professionals in this role addresses this issue, while augmenting creative planning and giving each coordinator a needed break between conferences.”

 

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.”