Announcements

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.

MyHeritage Partners with Project Life™ to bring You the Perfect Way to Preserve and Share Memories with the Family Discovery Kit

The following is an announcement by MyHeritage:

The holiday season is all about family and the memories you create together. This year, MyHeritage has partnered with Project Life™ by Becky Higgins to bring you the perfect way to preserve and share those memories with the Family Discovery Kit. With this unique gift set, you’ll make incredible discoveries about your family and create a beautiful album to cherish your family story for generations to come.

The National Archives to Make Changes to Fees

NOTE: This is about an announcement from The National Archives in Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England, not from the National Archives and Records Administration in the United States.

Starting 1 February 2019, there will be changes to some of the fees charged by The National Archives. Quoting from the announcement at http://livelb.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/changes-to-our-fees/:

“As a government department providing a public service, we are able to charge for some statutory services (as defined by the Public Records Act ) on a cost recovery basis. The Fees Order, which regulates our fees, has been refreshed from the last calculation which came into effect 1 April 2017. We are maintaining the standard approach in line with the HM Treasury publication, Managing Public Money, to set charges at a level that will recover full costs, ensuring that The National Archives neither profits at the expense of consumers nor makes a loss for taxpayers to subsidise.

Godfrey Memorial Library Now Has a New Web Site

You can check it out at: http://www.godfrey.org:

Announcing a 72-Hour Scan-a-Thon: Genealogists are Invited to Participate in Scanning Marathon

The following announcement was written by WikiTree and the GeneaBloggersTRIBE:

December 6, 2018: On the weekend of January 11-14, 2019, WikiTree and GeneaBloggersTRIBE will kick off the new year by hosting a 72-hour image scanning marathon. Genealogists and family historians from around the world are invited to participate.

The goal of the Scan-a-Thon is to scan and upload photos and other items such as letters, postcards, funeral cards, and primary documents. Like a marathon, this is a competition to see who can do the most, but most participants won’t be serious competitors. Most will be doing it for the sake of preserving family history.

To add to the fun and collaborative atmosphere, participants will be organized into teams by geography and genealogical interest, such as Team Acadia, Nor’Easters, Windsor Warriors, Flying Dutchmen and Legacy Heirs.

Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Is Named in Honor of Justin Wyner and Genevieve Wyner

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

The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center Will Expand Its Work Chronicling the Vibrant and Influential History of Jews in New England

Boston, Massachusetts—November 16, 2018—The Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), the premier resource for exploring and preserving the histories of Jewish families and institutions in New England and beyond, will henceforth be named in honor of Justin Lawrence “Jerry” Wyner and his wife Genevieve Geller Wyner, for their far-reaching vision and support. The announcement was made by Brenton Simons, NEHGS President and CEO, at a recent gala honoring the Wyners held at Boston’s Taj Hotel.

Let the Ontario Genealogical Society Preserve Your Website!

The Ontario Genealogical Society has adopted a policy of working to preserve and keep publicly available privately operated websites of genealogical interest which were in danger of closing or being abandoned due to changes in the circumstances of the site owner/developer. In effect, the Society offers succession planning for the website owner/developer.

According to an email message I received from David Thompson, Volunteer & Director of the Ontario Genealogical Society:

“We have quietly pursued the acquisition or hosting of a few sites, most notably CanadianHeadstones.com, which is currently undergoing a major face-lift and upgrade. In addition we are hosting CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery project (http://cemetery.canadagenweb.org/), a local history site in Port Hope Ontario (http://alivingpast.ca/), a family genealogy site, a Canadian WW-II troopship memorial site, and others, including a GEDCOM site (https://ontariofamilyhistory.org/tng_2017_11/) which currently contains some 62,000 individuals and 21,638 families.

New Board of the World Federation of Genealogy and Heraldry (CIGH) Elected

The following announcement was written by the the Confédération Internationale de Généalogie et d‘Héraldique:

Arras/France (dw). At the 33rd international Conference of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences a new board of the Confédération Internationale de Généalogie et d‘Héraldique (CIGH, the world federation on genealogy and heraldry) was elected:

President Dr. Pier Felice degli Ubert (Italy), the two Vice-Presidents: Ing. Manuel Pardo de Vera y Díaz (Spain), Dr. Jaime de Salazar y Acha (Spain), General-Secretary: Dr. Stanislav V. Dumin (Russia), Treasurer: Dr. Rolf Sutter (Germany), Conseiller jurisdique: Dr. Charles Mack. Honorary President Michel Teillard d’Eyry (France), Honorary Vice President CR Humphery-Smith (Great Britain) and Yves de la Goublaye de Ménorval (Bolivia), Honorary Treasurer: Dr. Günter Mattern (Switzerland). Conseillers: Pierre Le Clercq (France), Prof. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Danmark), Dr. Manual Ladron de Guevara i Isasa (Spain), María Inés Olaran Múgica (Spain), Jan T. Anema (Netherlands), Dirk Weissleder (Germany), Torsten Kux (Germany). Permanent Bureau of the International Congresses: President Elizabeth a. Roads (Great Britain), Secretary Kaare Seeberg Sidselrud (Norway).

Assembly and new board of the Fédération Internationale de Généalogie et d’Héraldique (CIGH) (picture: Dirk Weissleder)

German Genealogy Worldwide: 1st Board of the International German Genealogy Partnership is Elected

The following announcement was written by the International German Genealogy Partnership:

It has been many months in development, and with many twists and turns along the way.  But now the moment has arrived at last!

In time for the 70th Deutscher Genealogentag held Oct. 5-7, 2018 in Melle near Osnabrück, Germany, the International German Genealogy Partnership (IGGP) has finally taken its place within the genealogical world as an organization that seeks to unite researchers from several countries behind a common purpose.  And in coming to life as a vehicle for cooperation across national boundaries and diverse oceans, it may serve as a model for others.