Book Review: Frozen in Time

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

frozen-in-timeFrozen in Time
An Early Carte de Visite Album from New Bedford, Massachusetts
By Susan Snow Lukesh
Self-published at Lulu.com. 2016. 166 pages.

“Cartes de visite: small, mass-produced, and inexpensive photographs introduced in the United States in 1859, widely used in the 1860s and then almost completely superseded by the larger cabinet card photograph in the 1870s.”

Ms. Lukesh inherited a carte de visite album created in the 1860s by her great-great grandmother Abby Taber Hunt. She presents this album, along with biographical sketches of the families, with detailed descriptions of a neighborhood, as a glimpse of one sectional area as being representative of the larger metropolis, and a sense of the culture and times of the seacoast town and whaling port city of New Bedford.

Shoebox Turns Your Phone into a Scanner

Shoebox from Ancestry.com turns your iPhone or Android phone into a mobile photo scanner. You can scan your old paper photos and share them with family and friends. Shoebox’s edge detection and perspective correction technology produces accurate images of your photos quickly and accurately. The face detection feature will automatically find your family members so you can tag them in the photo.

shoebox

Dates can be manually added to your photos so that the information is recorded for future generations. After you’ve cropped a photo, you will be taken to a “Edit details” page. Use the icons at the bottom to tag family members, date your photo, add a location, and write your own description.

Who Was Saint Valentine?

saint-valentineValentine’s Day is the second most popular holiday to send a card. The Greeting Card Association claims that an estimated one billion cards are sent each year. Yet, most of the people who send the cards have no idea who Saint Valentine was. Even historians cannot agree.

According to some authorities, there were two Valentines. One was a priest and doctor who was martyred in the year 269, and the other was the bishop of Terni, who was brought to Rome to be tortured and executed in 273. Others say it was the same person. Both men (or the same man) have legends attributed to them concerning love and matrimony, legends that may or may not be true.

Early Victorian Photos Featured on new Website

William Henry Fox Talbot in 1864

William Henry Fox Talbot in 1864

The William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné contains the complete corpus of the works of the Victorian inventor of photography on paper. More than 25,000 known surviving Talbot negatives and prints are now online.

The photographs are mostly from Talbot’s home in Wiltshire home of Lacock Abbey as well as from Oxford, Reading, and York (England) and a few from Paris, all taken from 1839 to 1846. In most cases, these are the only known photographs of that era. It should provide the best available views or life in those areas in the 1840s.

A Report from RootsTech2017, with Pictures

rootsfinder_treeRootsTech2017 was held in Salt Lake City on February 8 through 11. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. I can also state that I am exhausted. It must have been a great event!

Wednesday kicked off with a one-day focus on the Innovator Summit, a one-day event that focused on new family history-related software development. The sessions included presentations for entrepreneurs, marketing, development, start-up funding, and also presentations for any conference attendees interested in the development of future family history services, presented by an elite group of industry experts. You can learn more about the Innovator Summit at https://goo.gl/Gm4ynl. You might want to watch the short introductory video on that page as well.

Of course, the big news is the winners of the Innovator Showdown, a major contest with $199,000 in cash and other prizes! OldNews USA took top honors in the 2017 Innovator Showdown, walking away with $95,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. OldNews is an Android app designed to help users quickly discover their family in historical US newspapers. The app uses the Library of Congress “Chronicling America” collection of more than 11 million newspaper pages from 1789 to 1922 to deliver its results.

Other winners were:

Announcing a New Consistency Checker for Online Family Trees at MyHeritage

What errors are in your genealogy database? Most people have several and are not aware of the errors. A new Consistency Checker for online family trees at MyHeritage scans your family tree and identifies potential mistakes and inconsistencies in your data so that you can quickly make the necessary changes in your tree, improving its overall quality and accuracy.

pr_consistency_checker

I ran this on my database and am a bit embarrassed to admit it found two errors.

In addition, the Consistency Checker identified several possible problems, such as people who had children at a rather young, but possible, age or at an advanced, but possible, age. In other words, it displayed a notice that “you might want to double-check this.” Luckily, in my case they were all legitimate facts as many of my French-Canadian ancestors did have children while in their mid-teens. However, it never hurts to double-check your sources.

MyHeritage Launches Photo Discoveries™

I saw this demonstrated today at RootsTech. MyHeritage found a picture of my great-uncle. I had never seen a picture of him before. I think this is going to be big. The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

Exclusive feature delights users with photographs of their ancestors and relatives, added to their family tree in one click

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, February 10, 2017 – MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the launch of Photo Discoveries, an innovative feature which transforms family trees by automatically adding matching historical photos. A Photo Discovery provides users with a set of photographs of ancestors and relatives they may have never seen before, originating in family trees contributed by others. Users can add the photographs to the matching profiles in their family tree, in a single click.

pr_photo_discoveries_final

Layered on top of MyHeritage’s highly accurate Smart Matching™ technology, which locates matching profiles in other family trees, and Instant Discoveries™, which enable users to add entire branches to their family tree in just a few clicks, Photo Discoveries identifies the profiles that have no photographs in the user’s family tree and provides photographs of these individuals from matching profiles on other family trees.

OldNews USA Wins Top Honors at RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown

This was a major contest this week with big prize money! The following was written by FamilySearch:

oldnews-usaOld news, it seems, is actually “new” news. Very innovative news in fact. Today at RootsTech, the world’s largest family history technology conference, OldNews USA took top honors in the 2017 Innovator Showdown, walking away with $95,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. OldNews is an android app designed to help users quickly discover their family in historical US newspapers. The app uses the Library of Congress “Chronicling America” collection of more than 11 million newspaper pages from 1789 to 1922 to deliver its results.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

findmypast_logoOver 31 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms

Discover your Catholic ancestors from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in this first record release from an agreement we’ve made with the Roman Catholic Church to digitise their unique records for the first time ever. These baptism records list your ancestor’s name, their parent’s names, and their residence at the time.

Additional information that you may find from the images include place of birth, sponsors, minister who performed the ceremony, and notice of marriage. Catholic priests were charged with noting all vital events of their parishioners. If, for instance, a parishioner married outside her home parish, the priest who performed the marriage would contact her priest to confirm she was baptised and to share the details of her marriage, hence the marriage notice in the baptism register.

Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Marriages

MyHeritage Appoints Prominent DNA Expert Dr. Yaniv Erlich as Chief Science Officer

The following announcement from MyHeritage was released today at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. I would draw your attention to two different facts in the announcement: (1.) the credentials of Dr. Yaniv Erlich indicate that he is one of the leading DNA scientists of our time and (2.) the announcement of “MyHeritage DNA, the company’s newly established DNA service for family history and ethnicity.”

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah , February 9, 2017 – MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the appointment of Dr. Yaniv Erlich as its Chief Science Officer. Dr. Erlich, a DNA scientist of world renown, will lead scientific development and strategy for MyHeritage DNA, the company’s newly established DNA service for family history and ethnicity, and ensure that its products are built on a solid scientific foundation.

Dr. Erlich, nicknamed the Genome Hacker by Nature journal, brings to MyHeritage unparalleled experience in the field of genomics as Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computational Biology at Columbia University and as a Core Member at the New York Genome Center. He is also the former principal investigator and a Whitehead Fellow at MIT’s Whitehead Institute, founder of DNA.LAND and the principal investigator of the Erlich DNA lab.

Findmypast launches Catholic Heritage Archive

Findmypast Has announced immediate availability of millions of exclusive Catholic records published online with more coming soon. The records are from thre United States, Britain and Ireland. The company also announced:

  • Findmypast also announces new additions to the ambitious United States Marriages project
  • Release marks significant expansion of Findmypast’s US data collection

catholicheritagearchive

Thursday 9th February 2017

Leading family history website, Findmypast, today announced the creation of the Roman Catholic Heritage Archive, a ground breaking initiative that aims to digitize the historic records of the Catholic Church in the United States, Britain and Ireland.

Findmypast is today releasing over 3 million exclusive records including sacramental registers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1757 to 1916 as well as for the British Archdioceses of Westminster and Birmingham from 1657 onwards. This builds on last year’s publication of more than 10 million Irish Catholic parish registers.

New Free App to Help Visitors in Dublin Trace Their Irish Ancestors

I wish this had been available when I was in Dublin a few months ago! The following announcement was written by Ancestor Network and announced this morning at RootsTech:

Dublin, Ireland, and Salt Lake City, Utah; Wednesday, 8 February 2017

ancestor_networkAncestor Network, Ireland’s leading provider of professional genealogy and probate research, has just released at RootsTech 2017 a free, new and interactive Irish Genealogy Research App; Your Dublin Map Guide to Irish Genealogy and History Sources. This ‘Ancestor Network’ App displays a list of the leading Dublin-based libraries, archives, research centres, historic sites and museums. These are linked to a detailed interactive map of Dublin containing supplemental information such as physical and web address location, contact details, and opening hours.

This App functions as your historical and genealogical guide in navigating through the streets of Dublin and to make the most of your time visiting or researching in Ireland.

On the Road Again, This Time to RootsTech

By the time you read these words, I should be in the air or possibly already arrived in Salt Lake City. I will attend the annual RootsTech conference. I hope to write about the events there daily and perhaps publish a few photographs in this newsletter as well. I will also be hosting a dinner for readers of this newsletter on Saturday evening, February 11.

As usual, I will be traveling with a Chromebook computer along with other gadgets that should keep me in touch with the newsletter. Connectivity should not be a problem but available time is usually the biggest impediment. You probably will see fewer articles posted here than normal in the next few days. However, I do hope to post a few new articles during the conference.

I’ll be back home on February 13.

Ancestry Publishes New Genetic Research on U.S. Population Structures in Nature Communications

The following announcement was written by Ancestry:

DNA and genealogical information from more than 700,000 AncestryDNA users gives new insight into historical events in North America during the last several hundred years

ancestry-com-logoLEHI, Utah and SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 07, 2017 — Today, Ancestry published a scientific article entitled “Clustering of 770 thousand genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America” in Nature Communications. The article shares new research using genetic data from over 700,000 individuals from North America to uncover a detailed picture of the subtle patterns of migration and settlement in post-colonial USA. Ancestry is the leader in family history and consumer genomics with 80 million family trees and more than three million people using AncestryDNA, a combination which powered the fine-grain historical insights that have previously been inaccessible from genetic studies.

This research was led by Ancestry’s Chief Scientific Officer Catherine Ball, Ph.D., her Ancestry colleagues and historian Erin Battat, Ph.D., from Harvard University.

“Ancestry is just scratching the surface of scientific discoveries that can be made when combining large amounts of genomic data with detailed pedigree information, and I’m incredibly proud of the work the team put into this research project as well as the fascinating results we’ve found,” said Ball. “It’s especially rewarding to gain insights that not only contribute significantly to genomic research, but provide a glimpse into our own personal histories and identities.”

Key highlights of the paper:

Twile is now Completely Free for Everybody

This announcement should please a lot of people! The following was written by the folks at Twile:

Doncaster: 7th February 2017

Family history timeline Twile announces its service is now free for all users.

The UK based company, who will be exhibiting at RootsTech in Salt Lake City this week, have revised their subscription in order to fully embrace their mission of making family history more engaging for the whole family.

The totally free service now allows all Twile users to:

  • Build their family tree
  • Share and collaborate with family
  • Add unlimited milestones and photos
  • Import trees and memories from FamilySearch
  • Import and merge multiple GEDCOM files

The US Presidency & its Irish Connection

John Cunningham, owner of Claddagh Rings, has crated a visual showing the US Presidents who had at least some Irish ancestry. 22 American presidents claim Irish roots which is half of all the 44 presidents up to and including Barack Obama.

You can see the visual at by clicking here.

Depending upon which web browser you use in your computer, you might see it full-sized or it may display as a miniature image. If it is miniature, most web browsers can display it larger by simultaneously pressing CONTROL and the Plus Key several times. Macintosh users will need to press COMMAND and the Plus Key several times.

TheGenealogist Launches over 282,000 Parish Records, plus 43,000 New War Memorial Records

The following announcement was written by the folks at The Genealogist:

The Genealogist has added to the millions of its UK Parish Records collection with over 282,000 new records from Essex, Cumberland and Norfolk making it easier to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records covering ancient parishes. Some of the records go back as far as 1672.

thegenealogist_war_memorialThe new release of War Memorial records means there are now over 350,000 searchable records. This latest release includes war memorials from London, along with further English counties including Cumbria, Berkshire, Warwickshire and Suffolk. The collection also stretches across the globe to encompass new War Memorials situated in Perth, Australia and the Province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Fully searchable by name, researchers can read transcriptions and see images of the dedications that commemorate soldiers who have fallen in the Boer War, WW1 and various other conflicts.

Orasure Settles Lawsuit with Ancestry.Com over DNA Testing for $12.5 Million

Ancestry.com has agreed to pay OraSure Technologies Inc. and its Canadian subsidiary DNA Genotek $12.5 million to settle claims it stole patented DNA testing technology to produce its own saliva-based DNA test.

DNA Genotek sued Ancestry.com in May 2015, alleging the website stole its technology for collecting DNA via saliva samples and improved upon it for its own use in violation of the terms of an agreement between the two companies. The website offers to trace users’ ethnic background using their DNA.

Update: A Few Tickets are Still Available for the EOGN Dinner after the RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City

But the tickets must be purchased by Monday evening, February 6, at 12 midnight Mountain Time.

Are you planning to attend this year’s RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City? Do you think you will be hungry after the conference closes on Saturday evening? Would you like to have dinner with a large group of genealogists? If so, join us for dinner!

Reservations are required. Only those with advance reservations will be admitted. Payment must be made in advance. The charge is $55 per person and payment may be made with VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, or PayPal. I have to call the restaurant and give them an exact final headcount first thing in the morning of February 7 so the restaurant can order enough food and schedule enough staff to handle our group.

Details are available in the earlier announcement at https://goo.gl/jyZURz.

(+) The Best Note-Taking App That You Probably Never Heard Of

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

I have been a big fan of Evernote for several years. At the moment, I have more than 4,200 notes, audio clips, photographs, web pages, scanned images, and more in my Premium account on Evernote. The program is available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, WebOS, Maemo, BlackBerry (including BlackBerry Playbook), and Google Wave platforms as well as a beta for Symbian S60 5th Edition. There are portable versions of Evernote available for flash drives and U3 drives. Notes can be shared with other Evernote users over the Internet.

The downside of Evernote is that the company added limitations to the free version, called Evernote Basic. It’s now accessible via a maximum of two devices. You can select any two from the above list of computing devices, but the limit is two. The company also raised prices on the premium versions of Evernote.