People

George G. Morgan Joins the Writing Team at The In-Depth Genealogist

The following announcement was written by the folks at The In-Depth Genealogist at http://theindepthgenealogist.com:

IDG WELCOMES NEW CONTRIBUTOR
GEORGE G. MORGAN OF THE GENEALOGY GUYS PODCAST

The In-Depth Genealogist is pleased to announce a new contributor to the monthly digital magazine, Going In-Depth. George G. Morgan of The Genealogy Guys Podcast has joined the writing team and will be sharing his expertise in a column called Genealogy, by George.

George G. Morgan is president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally recognized genealogy expert who presents in the U.S., Canada, England, on cruise ships, and though webinars. He is the co-host of the longest running genealogical podcast, The Genealogy GuysSM Podcast, with thousands of listeners around the globe. His company also produces the Genealogy Connection podcast, and The Genealogy Guys Blog.

In the Future, You Might Live Forever Online

Gregg Pascal Zachary is a professor of practice in Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation. He is now talking about what you might leave behind forever, after your death. For better or for worse, everything you post online as well as everything that others post online about you might be collected in one place to represent you, forever.

Considering the drop in price of data storage hardware in the past few decades and assuming that trend continues for a long time, we can assume that every scrap of information about you can be preserved in the future for approximately the price of a postage stamp.

In an interview published in the ASUnow web site, Zachary says:

Announcing the Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship

The following announcement was written by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (affectionally known as “SLIG”):

In recognition of the professional accomplishments of our friend and colleague, Laura G. Prescott, and her contributions to the area of education in genealogy, a scholarship for tuition to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) has been established. The scholarship will be funded through tax-deductible donations.

Laura is known throughout the genealogical community for her passion for genealogical education in the areas of teaching, writing, research, and more. She worked for the New England Historic Genealogical Society for seven years before starting her own research business, was a lecturer at conferences, seminars, and workshops at all levels, and has written articles on a wide range of genealogical topics for the field’s journals. She served as president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and was director of Ancestry Academy, Ancestry’s collection of educational webinars presented by leading genealogical educators.

US Census Bureau Director Nominated

The following announcement was written by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, Inc. (IAJGS) Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

This is a critical time for the US Census Bureau. They have been without a permanent director for a year and there is much consternation about issues revolving around the 2020 census regarding adequate funding, potential undercounting of certain groups, and especially the added question regarding citizenship which was added at the request of the Department of Justice. Several lawsuits are pending regarding the citizenship question.

On July 18 Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the Permanent Census Bureau Leadership team. The White House announced their intent to nominate Dr. Steven Dillingham to be the Director of the US Census Bureau. Dr. Dillingham currently serves the Director of the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning for the Peace Corps.

Another Humorous Obituary

“Michael James Sweetack was born in Fond du Lac Wisconsin on May 27th, 1974 to Stanley and Debra Sweetack.

“He died on July 5th, 2018, leaving behind 8 packets of Szechuan sauce, a whole lot of debt, one 10 euro note, and other various things that could very possibly be used to make concentrated dark matter, the fuel for accelerated space travel- regardless of the issue with relativity.

“He was preceded in the death by approximately 101 billion other people and…”

There’s more. You can read the entire obituary at http://m.hovcremation.com/obituaries/events?obituaryId=3145136.

4,800 Welsh Portraits added to Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata

Over the last 4 years the National Library of Wales has worked with Wikimedia to provide open access to more than 10,000 public domain images. These include the Welsh Landscape Collection, photographs, maps and manuscripts. This partnership has led to more than 455 million views of Wikipedia articles containing National Library images to date.

The National Library of Wales has now placed nearly 5000 portrait prints, photographs and paintings in the public domain on Wikimedia Commons. The Library hopes that volunteers will be encouraged to create Wikipedia articles about the Welsh sitters, artists, printers and photographers involved in the collection.

Genealogists Uncover 10 Heirs of Famed Chicago Street Photographer Vivian Maier

Not all genealogists are researching their own family trees. Some are “heir searchers:” those who attempt to find missing or unknown heirs, entitled to deceased people’s estates before the tax authorities lawfully seize the money. One recent article describes the search for heirs of the celebrated Chicago street photographer, Vivian Maier. The challenge was to find any viable heirs to come forward to claim a piece of the former nanny’s lucrative estate.

Now, after an exhaustive genealogical investigation, lawyers representing potential heirs have filed a lengthy report in Cook County (Illinois) Probate Court that, for the first time, puts the entire Maier family tree into focus.

Details may be found in an article by Jason Meisner in the Chicago Tribune web site at: https://tinyurl.com/ya2h27ve.

Terry Ward’s Obituary Mentions He Left Behind 32 Jars of Miracle Whip and 17 Boxes of Hamburger Helper

I am saddened that I never met Terry Wayne Ward of DeMotte, Indiana. He sounds like a man I would love to know. Here is his obituary:

Terry Wayne Ward, age 71, of DeMotte, IN, escaped this mortal realm on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, leaving behind 32 jars of Miracle Whip, 17 boxes of Hamburger Helper and multitudes of other random items that would prove helpful in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

Terry is survived by his overly-patient and accepting wife Kathy, who was the love of his life (a fact she gladly accepted sympathy for during their 48 years of marriage). He is also survived by daughters Rebecca (William) Hines and Jean (Jeff) Lahm; sister, Linda; brother, Phil; grandchildren: Alexander and Hannah Hines (The Mesopotamians), Daphne and Erin Pistello (The Daffer and Peanut), Brendan and Owen Lahm (Phineas and Ferb) and Tessa McMurry (Smiley).

He is preceded in death by his parents Paul and Bernice Ward, daughter Laura Pistello, grandson Vincent Pistello, brother Kenneth Ward, a 1972 Rambler and a hip.

Lloyd Bockstruck, R.I.P.

One of the giants of genealogy has passed away. Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck was a prolific author, genealogy scholar, librarian, educator, and lecturer. He died Sunday, May 27, 2018 in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 73.

Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck, the son of Harry Earl Bockstruck and Olive Elsie Blakenship, was born at Vandalia, Illinois. He graduated cum laude with an B.A. in Biology and History from Greenville College in 1967. Mr. Bockstruck received an M.A. in Modern European History from Southern Illinois University in 1969, and and M.S. in Library Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1973. He received a certificate from the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, Samford University, in June 1973.

Meghan Markle’s English Roots

The world is abuzz this week as the former American actress, Meghan Markle, will marry Prince Henry of Wales (familiarly known as Prince Harry) on Saturday, May 19, 2018. He is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. While Meghan Markle is an American, she is related to both Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare, along with many other famous English citizens.

According to the MyHeritage Blog at http://bit.ly/2wRSiSo:

“We found that Markle is William Shakespeare’s fifth cousin thirteen times removed. Her connection to Winston Churchill is even closer, as they are sixth cousin five times removed.

Watch a Special Webinar with MyHeritage’s Founder and CEO

Gilad Japhet is the Founder and CEO of the well-known genealogy company, MyHeritage. That company also sponsors this newsletter. I suspect that many genealogists will be interested in an informative free webinar that features an interview of Gilad. The webinar is hosted by Geoff Rasmussen (who is also well-known within the genealogy community for his many excellent webinars.)

The interview is a very frank and open webinar in which Gilad describes the beginnings of MyHeritage as well as its vision. Gilad is the only CEO of a large genealogy company that I know of who was an avid genealogist long before starting the company. He started young; I believe he became a genealogist when he was 13-years-old. He never looked back. In this interview filled with personal anecdotes, he includes key milestones and learnings along the way, including the intriguing story of a 70-year-old genealogical mystery that he tackled and solved.

NEHGS Honors David McCullough with Lifetime Achievement Award

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

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Presents Its Lifetime Achievement Award to “An American Legend”: Author, Historian David McCullough

New England Historic Genealogical Society Unites Two Pulitzer Prize-Winners in a Tribute to David McCullough

NEHGS Genealogy Reveals McCullough is Related to a Grand Family of Literary Figures, Including Some Subjects of His Award-Winning Narratives

April 28, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts—On Friday, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) brought together two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors in a sparkling tribute to one of them: author and historian David McCullough. During an evening entitled “Honoring an American Legend,” NEHGS President and CEO Brenton Simons presented McCullough with the organization’s coveted NEHGS Lifetime Achievement Award “for his unparalleled contributions to the historical narrative of our nation.” Simons later introduced the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff who moderated a lively and engaging conversation with the honoree. The event was held before an overflow crowd of supporters of NEHGS at its annual Family History Benefit Dinner.

The Genealogy of First Lady Barbara Bush

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

As America Mourns Barbara Bush, Genealogists at New England Historic Genealogical Society Announce She Was Related to Ten Presidents,  Including her Husband, and to Prince William

April 19, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts—As the nation mourned the passing of one of its most-beloved American First Ladies, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) remembered Barbara Pierce Bush, a woman whose life will be noted as one of only two in the nation’s history to be both the wife and mother of an American President, and who was related to ten presidents (including her husband and son) and to European royalty. Her funeral is set for Saturday.

Dr. Wendy Richter Named as State Historian and Director of the Arkansas State Archives

The following is an announcement written by the Department of Arkansas Heritage:

Dr. Wendy Richter

Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), today named Dr. Wendy Richter as state historian and director of the Arkansas State Archives (ASA), a division of DAH. Richter previously served as director of the Archives, when it was known as the Arkansas History Commission, from 2005-2012. She has over 35 years of experience in archival records and research, specifically in Arkansas history. She will begin work on May 14 at a salary of $87,095.

“The work of the Arkansas State Archives is very important, and I look forward to Dr. Richter’s leadership of the organization and its mission of maintaining the historical records of our state,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Her understanding of and scholarship in Arkansas history are an extraordinary gift to our state.”

Human Longevity, Inc. Hires Former Ancestry Executive, Scott Sorensen, as New Chief Technology Officer

Scott Sorensen has been the Chief Technology Officer at Ancestry, Inc. for 16 years. He is now leaving the company for a new position. The following announcement was written by Human Longevity, Inc.:

SAN DIEGO, March 19, 2018 — Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) – the genomics-powered health intelligence company – announced today that Scott Sorensen is joining the leadership team as Chief Technology Officer, reporting to J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO.

Sorensen joins HLI from Ancestry, a leader in family history and consumer genomics products and services. He held a variety of positions during his 16-year career at Ancestry starting as Director of Engineering and culminating as CTO. He was integral in developing the strategy and vision to transform the family history business into a genomics business. He directed the development of scalable, reliable technology platforms and architecture – and created processes for engineers and scientists to collaborate and deliver solutions to clients effectively. He also helped prepare the technology organization for IPO and PE transactions.

Nicki Peak Birch, CG, Retiring as Executive Director of BCG

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

Nicki Peak Birch, CG, longtime Executive Director of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), has elected to retire this year at the end of her contract, 30 June 2018. The Board has selected Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, as the new Executive Director.

Nicki Birch, a Virginia resident, was certified in 2007 and became the Executive Director in 2010. She was the sixth person to hold the administrative reins in BCG’s 50-year history, following Richard E. Spurr (1964-73); Donna R. Hotaling, CGRS (1973-82); John Frederick Dorman, CG Emeritus (1982-96); Marty Hiatt, CGRS (1996-2001); and Lynn C. McMillion, CG Emeritus (2001-2010).

Alan Mann, R.I.P

Many genealogists who spent time a few years ago at Salt Lake City’s Family History Library will remember Alan Mann. He had various assignments there over the years but probably is best remembered as the supervisor of the Automated Resource Center at the Family History Library. He also was a frequent speaker at many genealogy conferences around the country.

Sadly, Alan’s brother, Steve Mann, posted the following to Facebook last night: “My brother, Alan Mann, passed away last night after a 5-year battle with cancer. He worked for more than 25 years for FamilySearch. He went all over the world teaching.”

There is more to Steve Mann’s message. You can read it at: http://bit.ly/2CDAkAE.

Dr. J. Christopher Young, R.I.P.

The genealogy world lost another valuable member recently. The following is an extract from the ForeignProtestants.com web site:

“Dr. J. Christopher Chris Young passed away on January 29, 2018, from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Nearly 2 million living Foreign Protestants descendants have lost one of their most passionate and prolific advocates of the historical and genealogical study of these reliant and creative initial 1,453 immigrant settlers to Lunenburg in 1753 who were so important to the economic and cultural development of not just the Nova Scotia and Canada, but all of North America.

“Chris’ Foreign Protestants family heritage (Jung & nee Corkum) fueled his passions in applying his exceptional analytical and writing skills to further extend the heritage discovery and preservation efforts of Dr. Winthrop Pickard Bell’s historical book The “Foreign Protestants” and the Settlement of Nova Scotia. Chris spent thousands of hours completing Dr. Bell’s unfinished goal of developing a registry of the 1st 1,453 immigrants from Germany, Switzerland, and the Montbeliard region of France and Holland who landed on June 7, 1753 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Chris’ editing efforts yielded not only the Register of the Foreign Protestants of Nova Scotia (ca. 1749-1770), but also Maps Associated With Lunenburg County Family History. Both were published in 2003.”

2018 Lackey Scholarship Winner Announced: Linda MacIver

The following announcement was written by the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records Alumni Association:

The Genealogical Institute on Federal Records Alumni Association (Gen-Fed Alumni) announces, with great pleasure, the recipient of the Richard S. Lackey Scholarship for 2018, Linda MacIver of Boston, Massachusetts. Awarded yearly, this scholarship covers tuition and some other expenses for the week long seminar, the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed). The scholarship application specifies an “experienced researcher employed in a paid or volunteer position in the services of the genealogical community.”

John Sittner Jumps into 2nd Congressional District Race

Many of us who have been in the genealogy world for a long time will remember John Sittner. He was the founder of Ancestry Publishing, a company that he later sold and soon after the company name was changed to Ancestry.com. John now has a new interest: he has filed paperwork to run for Congress as an independent candidate in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.

Sittner, who is also the owner of Ethos Investments, a real estate investment firm, filed paperwork last week ahead of his candidacy. Sittner previously was director of Olympic opportunities and planning for Salt Lake City leading up to the 2002 Winter Games.

Sittner will be challenging 3-term incumbent Republican Chris Stewart in November. Democrats Shireen Ghorbani, Randy Hopkins, and Misty Snow also plan to run for the same Congressional seat.