New Records Available To Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by FindMyPast:

There are over two million new records and newspaper pages available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Royal Air Force Lists 1919-1945

Search the Royal Air Force Lists from 1919-1922 and 1938-1945. The Lists contain over 62,000 names and include the women’s branches of the military including the WRENs, WAAF, and Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service. The records are presented as digitised copies of the original publications. You can search by your ancestor’s name and a keyword.

The lists may tell you your ancestor’s rank and branch. Initials next to your ancestor’s name will show if they received a military medal; for example, DSO means the officer received the Distinguished Service Order. Most publications will have a table of contents and provide you with a list of symbols, abbreviations and letters denoting honours and awards. The lists also include the names of those who had resigned and reasons such as ill-health.

Queensland, Windsor Town Council Honour Roll 1914-1925

CZUR Aura: the Inexpensive Book (and Other Things) Scanner that Does Not Require Cutting the Bindings from the Books

Genealogists love scanners. We digitize old photographs, documents, maps, old handwritten notes, and dozens of other things that we wish to preserve in digital formats. Perhaps the most desirable scanners are book scanners, designed to quickly digitize the 100 pages or more pages found in a typical genealogy book. There are but two problems with most of the book scanners:

  1. They are expensive at $400 to $40,000 US, depending upon the features included and the speed of the scanning.
  2. Many book scanners require cutting the bindings off the books and then inserting the stacks of unbound pages into a sheet feeder that looks similar to what is found on high-speed office photocopiers.

Cutting the binding off a book is often traumatic for genealogists! Yes, I have cut bindings from modern reprints of old books without hesitation but I doubt if many genealogists will cut the binding from a book printed 100 years ago or even earlier.

A new scanner that is going into production now will solve most of these issues. Even better, it scans books, loose pages, photographs, and even small objects (coins, toys, jewelry, silverware, and more) without damaging any of the objects being digitized.

My Progress on Digitizing all my Old Genealogy Books

A newsletter reader wrote today and asked an embarrassing question:

“Over a year ago you said you were trying to scan 50 pages a day to get rid of most paper copies of books. How is that going??? Would be interested in reading more, esp. what programs, etc. you are using. I’ve been inclined to do the same, but with me it’s a “now and then if I’m totally bored” process.”

I must admit that I am a bit embarrassed that my progress has slowed down. There are multiple reasons: (1.) I spend my summers up north and my winters in the sunbelt which means the books to be digitized always seem to be in “the other place,” (2.) I travel a lot which is a good excuse for procrastinating on all sorts of plans, and (3.) I suffer from a severe case of general procrastination. I was going to join the Procrastinators’ Club of America but haven’t gotten around to it. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrastinators%27_Club_of_America and http://articles.latimes.com/1987-06-21/news/mn-9001_1_story-tomorrow for details concerning that organization.)

Luckily, I have found many of my genealogy books are already available in digital formats on Archive.org, Google Books, and numerous other web sites. If one of my books has already been digitized, I simply save the digitized version to my local hard drive and to the backup services, then throw away the paper copy. That has saved me a lot of work.

However, I have found an excellent method of digitizing my remaining books: give the work to someone else and let that company do the work for a rather modest price.

Findmypast Grants Three Days of Free Access to All Records and Newspapers to Mark 100 Years Since the End of the First World War

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

  • Findmypast makes entire collection of more than 9 Billion records and all historical newspapers free for three days

All UK, Irish, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and US records as well as all British, Irish and World Newspapers are free from the 9th to the 12th November 2018

Leading British & Irish family history website, Findmypast, will be making their entire collection of world military records free for three days in honour of the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War.

A century on from the end of the war, family historians can explore all of Findmypast’s records and newspapers free of charge.

Over 9 billion records covering the UK, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Findmypast’s vast archive of British, Irish and World Newspapers, will be completely free to search and explore.

TheGenealogist’s new Release Commemorates the Centenary of the Ending of the First World War

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

Armistice day

To mark the end of World War 1 that came to a close on 11 November 1918 with the signing of the armistice, TheGenealogist has just released over 42,000 records of Officers that died in the Great War, along with additional Rolls of Honour and over 30,000 War Memorials, War Graves plans, maps and listings.

These fully searchable records join an already strong WW1 Collection on the site, providing a highly useful resource for those seeking their ancestors caught up in the conflict.

This new release will allow researchers to:

A Video of MyHeritage LIVE’s Keynote Address by CEO Gilad Japhet is Now Available Online

I wrote earlier (at http://bit.ly/2SS1bSN) about last weekend’s very successful MyHeritage LIVE Conference held in Oslo, Norway. I mentioned that MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet gave the keynote address. A video of that talk is now available in the MyHeritage Blog at http://bit.ly/2RK4fiB.

720,000 Newly Digitized Historic Photos Show Where New Yorkers Lived in the 1940s

The New York City Department of Records & Information Services is home to a lot of documents and photographs; from Lindsay administration memos to crime scene photos, the expansive collection draws from 50 NYC agencies. The archives are so vast that it’s taking a while to digitize everything, but they did just release 720,000 images online.

The latest photo dump brings their 1940s tax photos online; tax photographs were taken by the City’s property tax office (or rather, by freelancers which they paid via funding from the Depression-era Works Progress Administration) as part of their assessment process. All in all, they show “every house and building in the five boroughs” from the decade, according to their press rep.

NEHGS Announces FREE ACCESS to 1.4 Billion Names–Nov 6 through 13

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

Fall Back into Research with Access to over 1.4 Billion Names from AmericanAncestors.org

November 7, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts–To assist family historians of all levels with a great reason to fall back into research, American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) are granting FREE access to more than 1.4 billion names within its data-rich online records. For a limited time only—from Tuesday, November 6, 2018, through Tuesday, November 13, 2018—anyone can access the many research databases within the award-winning website of NEHGS by registering as a FREE Guest Member at AmericanAncestors.org/Free-Billion.

The website of NEHGS at AmericanAncestors.org contains some of the most important online databases for researching American ancestry, with more than 1.4 billion names in records covering 18 countries. Many databases include original content created by the experts and scholars at NEHGS, and all are open for eight days of FREE research to anyone who registers as a Guest Member. Access to all databases is free from November 6 at 12:00 AM EST through November 13 at 11:59 PM EST.

New WWI Records on FamilySearch for Armistice 100th Anniversary

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (7 November 2018)— On Veterans Day 2018, the world will look back a century to the victory of Allied forces and the signing of the Armistice that marked the end of World War I. With that signing, on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” 1918, the world rejoiced. In memory of those who served, FamilySearch has added millions of new, free historical records to help families discover more about their WWI veteran ancestors. Search the WWI collections at FamilySearch.org.

In many allied nations, Armistice Day is a national holiday coinciding with Veterans Day and Remembrance Day to celebrate the endings of both World War I and World War II. In the warring nations of World War I, millions registered for war and millions served. Twenty-one million were wounded and 20 million died.

The 1926 Canadian Census of the Prairie Provinces is to Be Released by March 2019

According to the Library and Archives Canada web site at: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/Pages/2018/1926-Census-announcement.aspx, the 1926 Census of the Canadian Prairie Provinces, which contains over 45,000 pages. Statistics Canada transferred the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces to Library and Archives Canada earlier this year. Library and Archives Canada now owns the data, and it was Library and Archives that concluded the agreement with FamilySearch to index the thousands of census entries so Canadians can find the material on the Library and Archives Canada website easily. Details may be found at: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/Pages/2018/1926-Census-announcement.aspx.

MyHeritage LIVE 2018 Conference in Oslo, Norway was a Success!

Late last night, I returned from a trip to Oslo, Norway where I attended the first-ever MyHeritage LIVE Conference. This two-day event turned out to be the most memorable genealogy of the several hundred conferences I have attended over the years. It also was the most international of all the genealogy conferences I have attended. Besides all that, it was a blast.

The MyHeritage LIVE 2018 Conference was held this past weekend, November 3 and 4, in Oslo, Norway. Originally, I had some doubts as to the possible success of a genealogy conference to be held in Norway in the late autumn. I shouldn’t have questioned the idea. It turned out to be great. In fact, you need to scroll down to see the video at the end of this article to watch one high point of the conference!

MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet explained in his conference keynote speech that Oslo was selected simply because it was near the center of MyHeritage’s customer base. With thousands of customers in North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and elsewhere, he wanted to find a location that was as close as possible to as many of those customers as possible. In hindsight, I would say he succeeded.

U.S. Version of WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Returns for a New Season

The following announcement was written by Shed Media:

TLC’s Emmy Award-winning series, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returns on Monday, December 3 at 10:00p.m. ET/PT, with four new episodes featuring celebrities tracing their family history, as they dive into their past and explore their connection to generations that came before them.

With the help of Ancestry.com and historical documents, these stars get the opportunity of a lifetime and embark on exciting missions to discover their own heritage. For some, that may mean tracing back several generations to distinct moments in world history. The celebrities featured in these new episodes are:

The MyHeritage LIVE 2018 Conference Starts in Oslo, Norway

The MyHeritage LIVE 2018 Conference doesn’t really begin until tomorrow (Saturday). However, registration opened this afternoon and the convention hotel is already filling up with attendees, most of them already wearing their conference badges as they walk around the place. I think we may overwhelm the number of other guests in the hotel!

About 450 conference attendees are expected for this weekend’s sessions held in the modern Radisson Blu Scandinavia hotel in Oslo, Norway. The hotel is located in the center of Oslo, near the Royal Palace and its magnificent gardens.

I have to take someone else’s word about being magnificent gardens. I arrived in Oslo four days ago in order to do some sightseeing before the conference. During that time, I have mostly seen rain and snow intermixed. That was a bit of a shock as I stepped off the plane from my non-stop flight from warm and sunny Orlando.

Digital Library Services with Access to Online Genealogy Databases are now Available in Maine

Digital library services, including online access to MyHeritage.com and to Ancestry.com, are now available to all Maine residents simply by visiting a local library. Known as the Digital Maine Library, the site allows any Maine resident to easily access thousands of magazines, newspapers, reference sources and learning materials from their home computers. The Digital Maine Library can be accessed online at www.library.digitalmaine.org.

No More Room at National Archives of Iceland

What do you do when the National Archives runs out of room to store documents? That’s the question being asked now in Iceland.

National Archives of Iceland

The National Archives of Iceland (ÞSK) have temporarily stopped receiving government documents due to a lack of shelf space, RÚV reports. Representatives say the government has known about the situation since at least January, but has yet to solve the problem.

In Search of the Food Your Norwegian Ancestors Enjoyed: Lutefisk

NOTE: I am presently in a hotel room in Oslo, Norway, and will attend the MyHeritage LIVE 2018 Conference this weekend. While here, I decided to look for a restaurant that serves a traditional Norwegian meal called lutefisk. However, I haven’t found it yet. Is it still a staple food in Norway? Admittedly, I am hampered by the fact that many restaurants in Norway print their menus only in Norwegian! Also, I am here in Norway a bit early for the lutefisk season.

I have found restaurants that serve mooseburgers and reindeer burgers (It was delicious!) and steaks but no Lutefisk as of yet.

Here is what I know about Lutefisk.

lu·te·fisk \´lüd·e¸fisk, ´ lüe-\ or lut·fisk \´lüt¸f-\ also lu-de·fisk \´lüde-\ or lud·fisk \´ lüd¸f-\ n -s [lutefisk fr. Norw, fr. lute to wash in lye solution + fisk fish; lutfisk fr. Sw, fr.luta to wash in lye solution + fisk fish; ludefisk & ludfisk fr. Dan ludfisk fr. lude to wash in lye solution + fisk fish; stockfish that has been soaked in lye water, skinned, boned, and boiled

It is with some hesitation that I write about lutefisk. It reportedly is a vile tasting dish made of cod or a similar white fish, dried, then preserved, then soaked in lye (!), later soaked in plain water to remove the caustic (poisonous) lye, then cooked. All along the way, it smells like … Well, let’s just say I am told that it smells bad. Really bad.

BCG Trustees Elect Officers, Welcome New Trustees, Thank Departing Trustee

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

The trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) met in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 21 October 2018.

Elected as officers were:

  • Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, President
  • Laurel T. Baty, CG, Vice-President
  • LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, Treasurer
  • Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, Secretary
  • Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL, Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee

New Website of Nottingham Photos Goes Live 100 Years After Collection Was Launched

A new website hosting thousands of Nottingham, England, photographs went online today, one hundred years after the city’s photographic collection was established.

The Picture Nottingham site at www.picturenottingham.co.uk builds on the success of its predecessor, Picture the Past, will enable visitors to view thousands of images capturing the rich social heritage ranging over 200 years. Images include some of the oldest Nottingham photographs from the 1850s, taken by Samuel Bourne, as well as many local pictures, engravings and sketches dating from the 1700s onwards.

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of October 29, 2018

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives this week with new historical records from Germany, Chile, Italy, and the United States (Texas, West Virginia, and Western States Marriage Index.)

Research these free new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.