DNA Day Sales 2017

April 25 is National DNA Day, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute at https://www.genome.gov/10506367/national-dna-day/. Several of the DNA testing companies hold sales on or around the date in order to promote DNA testing and to drum up some business for their services.

Professional Genetic Genealogist, CeCe Moore, has put together a list of DNA testing sales being offered for this year’s event. The testing companies offering sales include MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA, LivingDNA, and AncestryDNA.

You can view the list and click on links to the various sale pages in CeCe Moore’s web site at: http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2017/04/dna-day-sales-2017.html.

The Good Cemeterian

Andrew Lumish spends his free time in an unlikely place: cemeteries. On his weekly day off, he spends about ten hours using his cleaning skills to restore veterans’ tombstones around Tampa, Florida. To honor veterans for serving their country, Lumish taught himself how to properly clean graves. He found out the system the government uses for national cemeteries—including Arlington—and got to work.

Lumish tries to post four new pictures a week on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheGoodCemeterian/.

Question: What Race Am I?

Prince EA, the “spoken word” artist, has recorded an interesting and thought-provoking video, that illustrates one question millions of people have: what race do I claim when filling out forms? He’s downplaying race by explaining that we are all mixed like him and what matters is that we are all human.

Prince EA uses MyHeritage DNA as the basis for his video. (Note: MyHeritage is also the sponsor of this newsletter.)

The video was published earlier today on Facebook by Prince EA at: http://bit.ly/2oV4qKy.

We’re all part of the same family tree of humanity.

A Proposal to Make the 209-year-old Golspie Inn Hotel in Scotland a Culture and Heritage Centre

The owner of the historic Golspie Inn Hotel would like to add a Culture and Heritage Centre to the hotel. He writes:

“Our main focus is to make the Golspie Inn a conductive meeting place where people from the world wide Highland diaspora and, indeed, all those interested can stay, meet and mingle in the ‘homeland’, socialise, research their culture, heritage and ancestry and, of course, sample the goodies and have fun whilst doing so! Another one of the Centre’s unique features will be the chronicling of the diaspora stories and the celebration of the immigrants’ incredible contributions in the new world but that it will be taking place in their own original homeland.”

I guess this is a “solicitation” for funds but it strikes me as a very worthwhile cause:

Genealogy Applications for Chromebooks

The subject came up today in another web site but I think it bears repeating here. I must admit that I love my low-cost Chromebook computer. (Chromebooks typically cost about $150 to $300 although there are a few high-end Chromebooks that cost more.) I am using my Chromebook more and more every day, including right now as I write this article.

The question was asked, “What genealogy programs are available for Chromebooks?”

I have looked at the list before but that was some time ago. Today I went back and looked at the same list again and was surprised that it has grown so much. There are a LOT of genealogy programs available for Chromebooks. Some of them are really Android programs that now run on many of the newer Chromebooks. See https://play.google.com/store/search?q=genealogy&c=apps for the list. Most of them are available free of charge although there are a couple of exceptions.

Ancestry to Open 26 Million Military Records to Celebrate Anzac Day

Every year on Anzac Day, Australians and New Zealanders take time to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by their Anzac ancestors, and how those sacrifices have helped shaped their nations to be what they are today.

“Anzac” stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.”

Anzac Day on 25th of April marks the anniversary of the day in 1915 during World War One when Australian and New Zealand troops went ashore at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula. This was the Anzacs first major military action as part of the Great War, and the Anzac’s faced fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders.

A Franklin (North Carolina) Times Newspaper Archive is now Available Online

Over 100 issues of The Franklin Times have been digitized by Louisburg College and are now available on DigitalNC. These issues are from 1909-1911, and were published on a weekly basis. Louisburg is the seat of Franklin county, and The Franklin Times reports on news taking place in Louisburg, Franklin County, North Carolina, and the United States.

The Franklin Times website states, “it is the only newspaper published in the county and its content is focused on local government, local schools, the communities and the people who call this rapidly growing area home.” Although many years have passed, the focus of the paper remains the same.

You can read more at http://bit.ly/2pR9wGW.

A Wasted Telemarketing Phone Call

This has nothing to do with genealogy. However, I found it amusing and decided to share it.

First, I have mention that I am a “snowbird.” That is, I spend about six months of the year in the cool climate of Massachusetts and the other six months in the sunbelt of Orlando, Florida. Next, I only have one telephone number. I disconnected my old-fashioned, wired telephone years ago and use a cell phone as my only phone.

The cell phone has a Massachusetts number but I answer it from wherever I am located. It seems to work well and I can answer calls whether I am in Massachusetts, Orlando, Singapore, Reykjavik, or other places where I am traveling. However, when callers see the Massachusetts phone number and do not realize it is a cell phone, many of them assume I am in Massachusetts.

This morning, the cell phone rang as I was driving down a street in Orlando. I answered (with hands-free Bluetooth) and almost instantly realized it was one of those obnoxious telemarketing calls. A very excited lady on the other end launched into a sales pitch. She sounded as if she was so excited that she was almost out of breath.

“I’m calling to inform you that you just won a one-week, all expenses paid vacation to Orlando!”

Photographs from the Halifax, Nova Scotia, Municipal Archives are now Available on Flickr Commons

The Halifax Municipal Archives is a historical research center for the region of Halifax, Canada, which stretches along Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast from the rural communities of Ecum Secum and Hubbards to the urban core of Dartmouth, Bedford, and Halifax.

Focused on the records of city and county governments from 1841 onwards, the Halifax Municipal Archives also has records from families, businesses, and community organizations going back to the 1790s, which complement the municipal government records.

While the Halifax Municipal Archives holds many documents dating back as far as the 1790s, the Halifax Municipal Archives/Flickr Commons web site contains photographs produced by the City of Halifax Works Department during a period of intense urban renewal: 1958-1969. These can be useful if you are researching twentieth-century Nova Scotia ancestry or you simply want to reminisce about the place where you grew up.

Karen Mauer Jones to retire from NYG&B, the Society is Now Seeking a Replacement

The following announcement was written by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society:

Karen Mauer Jones

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) is seeking an editor to produce The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. The current editor, Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS has announced her plans to retire by the end of 2017.

Continuously published since 1870, The Record is the second oldest genealogical journal in the country and one of the most distinguished. Published quarterly, it concentrates on people and places connected to New York City, State, and region and features compiled genealogies, solutions to problems, and unique source material.

The editor is responsible for:

NEHGS Announces FREE Access to Probate-Related Databases

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

Access to Thirty-Two Probate-Related Databases on AmericanAncestors.org Is Free from April 18 to April 25

At AmericanAncestors.org/probate, Free Educational and Instructional Resources Are Available to Help Utilize Probate Records in Genealogical Research

April 18, 2017—Boston, Massachusetts—New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering free access to thirty-two probate-related databases for one week—from Tuesday, April 18, through midnight (EDST) Tuesday, April 25—with registration as a free Guest Member on AmericanAncestors.org. These databases contain some of the earliest probate records of colonial Massachusetts and other New England colonies and states, as well as New York, and New Brunswick, Canada.

AmericanAncestors.org/probate provides a wide variety of information and features on the use of probate records in family history research, and brings the probate research expertise of NEHGS staff to genealogists of all levels. It is a gateway to a deeper understanding of the use of probate documents in the study of one’s family history.

(+) Will a New Network Replace Our Present World Wide Web?

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

The World Wide Web probably is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. While perhaps not as important as the discovery of fire or the wheel, the World Wide Web is not far behind. The World Wide Web gives the average person unlimited sources to find out about nearly everything. However, it certainly is not perfect. In my opinion, all the biggest problems of the World Wide Web revolve around one element: security.

In today’s World Wide Web, your most private digital conversations and information are stored on hard drives someplace. Your finances are all online, accessible to government spies and, theoretically, accessible to private hackers alike. Everything about you is stored on servers. The storage of your information generates profits for the shareholders of the companies involved while you simultaneously pay fees to these companies for the “privilege” of keeping so much information about you.

(+) “Ceramic Microfilm” May Preserve Documents that Cannot Survive a Carrington Event

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

“What goes around, comes around.” That seems true in the case of pottery as well as stone, clay, and ceramic tablets. Japanese pottery from the Jomon period dates back more than 13,000 years and contains some of what is believed to be the oldest human writing that still exists in the world. Cuneiform tablets that contain writing created by the Sumerians have survived for 5,000 years. Acid-free paper is expected to survive only a few hundred years while today’s paper – with its acids – has a much shorter life expectancy. Microfilm and microfiche are expected to last only 300 years and even then, only if it is stored under ideal temperature and humidity conditions. Magnetic tapes, floppy disks, and other modern media are expected to last only a decade or two unless someone copies those items every decade or two. (Luckily, that is easy to do.)

Perhaps the greatest threat to the storage of electronic information is a rare solar storm called the “Carrington Event.” The last major Carrington Event to hit the earth took place in 1859, a time when there was almost no electronic information in existence. Studies have shown that a solar storm of this magnitude occurring today would likely cause more widespread problems for a modern and technology-dependent society.

The Carrington Event is a magnetic storm, not physical.

State of Tennessee Puts New Andrew Jackson Collection Online

The Tennessee State Library and Archives has an online collection of materials that will make it easier to learn about the nation’s seventh president. The 109-item collection includes digitally scanned copies of many of Jackson’s personal letters, original maps from the War of 1812, political cartoons, campaign broadsides, engravings, lithographs and a rare photograph of him.

Also included are papers from some of Jackson’s chief associates, including John Overton, John Coffee, James Winchester, William Carroll and William B. Lewis.

To view the Andrew Jackson collection online, please visit: http://bit.ly/AndrewJacksonTeVA.

Woman Finds Lost Father with a DNA Test, Previously Thought He Was Dead

Krista Brian was always told that her father that she had never met was dead. She also was told that she had Mexican ancestry.

At the age of 37, Krista took a DNA test from Ancestry.com. to find out for sure on Ancestry.com. When the test results came back, she received two shocks, one immediately and another a few days later.

The first surprise was when the DNA test results proved that Krista Brian’s paternal ancestry was African-American, not Mexican. The second surprise came a few days later: the website put her in touch with a potential family member, named Andrew Baker. He was her father.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 1.1 million new records available to search this Findmypast Friday including;

British Columbia Estate Files Browse 1859-1949

British Columbia Estate Files contains over 783,000 records that allow you to delve through probate estate files pertaining to the judicial districts of British Columbia; the County Court and the Supreme Court. Probate estate records are a valuable resource for family history research, providing vital details such as dates, names, and locations to help grow your family tree. Included in this collection is a probate index for the district of Vancouver, sorted alphabetically by last name.

John Stamos to be Featured on the US Version of Who Do You Think You Are? Sunday on TLC

On this Sunday’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? at 10/9c on TLC, actor John Stamos explores his Greek heritage for the first time and learns more about his grandfather’s sad childhood. He also meets a relative he never knew and hears firsthand about his family’s enduring strength. In a suiting coincidence and homage to John’s heritage, the episode premieres on Greek Easter, which is usually celebrated on a different date but this year coincides with the Western calendar’s Easter Sunday.

You can catch a sneak peek of the episode at: http://bit.ly/2nJRvOn

New Historic Records On FamilySearch: Week of April 10, 2017

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:


If you have French heritage, this is your week. FamilySearch has recently published over 3.3 million French Census records from 1876 to 1906. Also in this update are some large historic record collections from Argentina, The Netherlands, Peru, and Sweden. You can also find some newly indexed records from Brazil, Cape Verde, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, and the United States. Search these new free records and more at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Bizarre Things People Believed 50 Years Ago

Our ancestors had beliefs that seem strange these days. In some cases, it wasn’t only our ancestors. Some of us are old enough to remember the advertisements that “20,679 physicians smoke Lucky Strikes.”

The Grunge web site has an article, with advertisements, of what was believed to be “common knowledge” only 50 years ago. You might want to check it out at: http://bit.ly/2oAdOFt.

Hmmm, I wonder what “truths” we all accept today that will be considered strange 50 years from now…

Genealogist Discovers Man has been Using Dead Baby’s Identity for Decades

A Pennsylvania man has been using a dead person’s identity for more than 21 years. Authorities got involved after a relative of the deceased used Ancestry.com to put her family tree together. The woman was searching for family information on Ancestry last year and her nephew Nathan Laskoski popped up. She saw he got married and he moved around the country, from Texas, to Mississippi, to Tennessee and eventually to Pennsylvania.

But the problem is Laskoski died in 1972 when he was just two months old.

Authorities say 44-year-old Jon Vincent, back in 1996, escaped from a halfway house in Texas, went to a cemetery to find someone born around the same time he was.