New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 29,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Cambridgeshire Registers & Records

Explore publications pertaining to the English county of Cambridgeshire. Discover your ancestor in more than 300 parish register entries from Orwell and St Michael’s. The Parish Registers of Orwell were transcribed and edited by R W Whiston, rector of Orwell. The oldest, of which the present volume is a transcript, contains entries beginning with the year 1560 for marriages and burials and with the year 1569 for baptisms and ending with the year 1653 for all three divisions alike. The Parish Registers of St Michael’s contain baptisms, marriages, and burials that took place in St Michael’s parish between 1538 and 1837.

Buckinghamshire Registers & Records

Many Massachusetts High School Yearbooks Are Now Available Online on

Employees at the Boston Public Library have placed thousands of yearbooks from Massachusetts high schools online. The images are all being posted on The yearbooks already digitized include about 140 Massachusetts cities and towns.

Remembering those old pictures might strike fear into the hearts of many, but as historical documents, yearbooks can’t be beat.

The Genealogist Releases Another Batch of Poll Books

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has just released 116,218 records into its ever growing Poll Book Database. This useful resource for family historians can be used to find ancestors residences from the period before the census collection. The newly released Poll Books range from 1705 to the 1830s, joining records covering periods between census years.

The database allows researchers to:

  • Discover ancestors who had the vote
  • Find where they were registered to cast their ballot
  • Discover the nature of their qualification to vote, such as possessing a Corn Warehouse, a Workshop, a House, or owning a Brewhouse
  • These Poll Books range from 1705 to the 1830s.

Building Demolition Halted at Former Quaker Graveyard

Developers have been forced to halt the demolition of a former social club that was built on top of a Quaker burial ground in Roundhill, Hampshire, England. The project was to build eight homes and a shop – but strict conditions had been set before a construction permit was issued. Work came to a halt when the site was found to be a former Quaker graveyard.

A New Forest District Council spokesman said: “The site is located in a conservation area and is of historical and archaeological significance.”

Past Predictions about the Future of Electricity

On March 29, 1879, a widely circulated newspaper called the American Register published a scathing editorial stating that “it is doubtful if electricity will ever be [widely] used” because it was too expensive to generate.

Several months later, the Select Committee on Lighting and Electricity in the British House of Commons held hearings on electricity, with experts stating that there was not “the slightest chance” that the world would run on electric power generation. In 1879, electricity was still considered an expensive fantasy.

Thomas Edison contradicted those statements a few months later, on New Years Eve. Edison publicly unveiled his incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park. At the time he allegedly stated “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”

Rare Maps, Books, and Prints Stolen from the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh

A 1787 document signed by Thomas Jefferson. “Four Works Bound Together,” John Calvin, 1557-1572. And pages and pages sliced from rare books from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh are among more than 300 items valued at more than $8 million were stolen over the last 20 years.

The former archivist of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s rare book collection told investigators he conspired with the owner of an Oakland bookseller since the 1990s to steal and resell items taken from there.

London Blitz: Where the Bombs Fell

File this under “History.” A new web site takes information about 43,000 casualties and more than 50,000 tons of high-explosive bombs that fell on London and displays all of the information on an interactive map.

Thanks to Geographer Dr Kate Jones and her team at the University of Portsmouth, you can now see exactly where the bombs fell. The map, which was funded by charity JISC, uses data previously available only by viewing in the Reading Room at The National Archives. Now it is available to anyone who wishes to explore where the bombs fell. The map also includes any further information, photographs, and memories available from that period and place.

Is My Virus Checker Telling the Truth?

Virus checkers are wonderful tools-— when they work. The problem is that you never know if they are telling the truth or not when they claim to have detected a virus on a web site or in a file on your computer.

The problem is called “false positives.” This happens when a virus checking program says there is a virus or there is a POSSIBILITY of a virus when, in fact, there is no virus in the web site or in the file. Sadly, this happens thousands of times every day, mostly to Windows users.

My favorite reference for this issue is How To Tell If a Virus Is Actually a False Positive, an article written by Chris Hoffman four years ago that still seems to be very accurate. He wrote:

“Your antivirus will complain that this download is a virus, but don’t worry — it’s a false positive.” You’ll occasionally see this assurance when downloading a file, but how can you tell for sure whether the download is actually safe?

A false positive is a mistake that happens occasionally — the antivirus thinks a download is harmful when it’s actually safe. But malicious people may try to trick you into downloading malware with this assurance.

The article may be found at

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of July 2, 2018

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch expands its free online archives this week with new records and or images from AustraliaBillion GravesCanadaChileColombiaFind A GraveFranceGermanyItalyNew ZealandSlovakiaUruguay and the United States (Arkansas, District of Columbia, GeorgiaMaineNorth CarolinaOhioTennessee, and Texas). Those with Native American Heritage ancestors in the Ute Tribe will be excited to search new content for the tribe’s 1944 Census.

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

Court Rules Copying Photos Found on Internet is Fair Use

This ruling will affect many genealogists who are building or are maintaining web sites:

A Virginia federal court has made a decision that photographers won’t be happy to hear: the court ruled that finding a photo on the Internet and then using it without permission on a commercial website can be considered fair use.

Happy Fourth of July

Happy July 4th: Enjoy Free Access to U.S. Newspapers Until July 8, 2018

Here is an extract from the MyHeritage Blog:

In honor of July 4th, we are delighted to announce FREE access to all U.S. Newspaper collections on MyHeritage’s SuperSearch™, for a limited time.

From July 3, 2018 through July 8, 2018, we are providing free access to all 33,591,658 U.S. Newspaper records – no data subscription required!

Newspapers are essential resources for genealogy and family history research. In addition to providing birth, marriage, and death notices, society pages contain stories rich with information on persons of interest, as well as various community activities and events.

Search our U.S. newspaper collections on SuperSearch™

The U.S. Newspaper collection currently holds newspapers from the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, Maine, New York, Kentucky, Indiana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maryland, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware. In addition to the newspaper collections organized by state, we are also providing free access to Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, 1836-1922 collection. This collection encompasses 10,186,650 pages drawn from newspapers throughout the entire United States from 1836-1922.

The full article is much longer. You can read all of it at:

View a Rare Copy of United States Declaration of Independence… in London

American schoolchildren always learn of the United States Declaration of Independence, printed July 4, 1776. They are also told that a copy (not the original) is on view at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

The same schoolchildren may or may not be told that 200 copies were printed on July 4, 1776. What they usually are not told is that at least 26 copies are known to still exist. What fascinates me is that three of those copies are held in one place: The National Archives in Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England.

Yes, The National Archives of Great Britain has more original 1776 copies than does the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Adopted Woman Finds Long-Lost Sister Right Next Door

What are the odds? Hillary Harris was adopted as an infant. She searched for her birth family as an adult, and after many years, her search was incomplete. She knew she had a half sister, and she knew the sister’s name from her adoption file, but she couldn’t find her. Then one day last year, a strange thing happened. A couple moved in next door to the home Harris and her husband own in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The woman’s name was Dawn, and she was from Greenwood, Wisconsin, the same place Harris’ sister lived, according to the adoption file.

I suspect you have already guessed the rest of the story. However, you might want to read the details of earlier adoption search and the eventual reunion in an article by Allison Klein in the NewsOK web site at:

Music CDs, R.I.P.

A bit of history has faded away. Best Buy has stopped selling CDs at its stores. The sales of music CDs apparently is no longer profitable, due to digital streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others.

Now CDs have gone the way of buggy whips. You can read more in an article in the MoneyWatch web site at:

Celebrating Immigration on the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a celebration of the nation’s birth. But it has historically also been a celebration of a country that defines itself by its incorporation of people from around the world through immigration. Historian Ellen M. Litwicki explains that this was especially true in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Chicago, where Independence Day celebrations were mainly organized by immigrant groups.

You can read the full article at

Yesterday was the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesI normally publish this reminder on the first day of every month. However, the first day of July was yesterday, a Sunday. I normally don’t publish new articles on Sunday so I will publish the reminder today.

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 (or the next day), if not more often.

Happy Canada Day!

This video from Canadian Heritage seems most appropriate this weekend.

Happy Birthday Canada!

MyHeritage Launches New Filtering System for DNA Matches

I have only used this briefly but it certainly did work well for me!

MyHeritage has released a brand new filtering system for DNA Matches — which will be very helpful for anyone looking for DNA cousin matches.

Quoting the announcement on the MyHeritage Blog:

“DNA Matches are people who share DNA segments with you. Each DNA Match is thought to be related to you, with one or more shared segments inherited from one or more common ancestors. By now, the DNA database on MyHeritage has grown so large, that most users on MyHeritage have thousands of DNA Matches. Managing all those DNA Matches, and making sense of them has become a challenge — and this is exactly where the new filtering system comes in!

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 57,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Kent, Lydd Midwife’s Birth Register 1757-1815

Search for your Kent ancestors in William Waylett’s birth register. The collection contains over 2,400 records transcribed from the original register of William Waylett (1729-1815), a male midwife who practiced in Lydd and the surrounding parishes on Romney Marsh in Kent.

Transcripts span the years 1757 to 1815 and will reveal a combination of your ancestor’s birth date, birth place, parent’s names and any additional notes. Notes may include details of the pregnancy, delivery, mother, or payment for services.

Sussex Monumental Inscriptions