The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania is Moving

The following message was sent by The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania:

For quite some time, the Officers and Board of The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania have envisioned moving to an office with more space. A suburban setting with train and bus access and ample parking for those who would drive.

As luck would have it, we have been propelled into living our dream. A few weeks ago we were notified that the building we have been in for the past several years, 2207 Chestnut Street, has been sold and will be demolished. All tenants need to vacate by September 14th, 2016. That has stimulated a flurry of excited activity – considering and looking at a variety of possibilities while adhering to the mandate of our charter, which is, that we remain within the bounds of Philadelphia. We are pleased to announce that we have secured a suite of offices at 2100 Byberry Road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Gorham (Maine) Historical Society May Need to Disband

An article by Robert Lowell in the KeepMeCurrent.com web site describes a potential loss for historians, genealogists, and the general public. The Gorham (Maine) Historical Society is on the verge of going out of business. The society doesn’t have a president, vice president or recording secretary. Brenda Caldwell, executive secretary and archivist, and a few core members are trying to breathe new life into it.

The society’s building houses genealogical records, documents, volumes of books, scrapbooks, town reports, school yearbooks and files with histories of Gorham people and landmarks.

Plan to Leave Your Digital Assets in Your Will

Our personal lives are far more complicated in the digital age than those of our ancestors. Genealogists may read their ancestors’ wills but sometimes forget about their own estates, especially digital goods. From bank accounts to Facebook, PayPal and more, a good chunk of our personal and financial lives are online. If you fail to account for those digital assets in your estate plan, you risk burying your family or friends in red tape as they try to get access to and deal with your online accounts that may have sentimental, practical or monetary value.

The good news is that a growing number of states are enacting laws that help clarify the rules for how executors and others can access and manage the online accounts of someone who has died.

Printable Family Trees and Genealogy Charts

The following is extracted from an announcement by FamilyTreeTemplates.net:

Blank_Family_TreeThe website FamilyTreeTemplates.net has added two dozen new family tree templates and genealogy forms to download and print.

“These new family trees round out the site with crafty ‘do it yourself’ trees as well as traditional designs and an array of ancestry charts and form,” said Kevin Savetz, the site’s creator. “These are perfect for genealogy buffs as well as kids or anyone interested in recording their family history.”

Update: Internal ‘Set Of Blunders’ Crashed Australia’s Census Site

Last week I published an article entitled “Australian Bureau of Statistics says Census Website Attacked by Overseas Hackers” at https://goo.gl/hXMC0P. In the article, I questioned why the bureaucrats thought the attack was initiated by overseas hackers. Now security experts have looked at the information available and found that it wasn’t an overseas hack at all. Instead, the Australian Bureau of Statistics personnel looked at the servers’ log files and “interpreted the alarms as a successful hack…these were little more than benign system logs and the technical staff monitoring the situation poorly understood it.”

Google Duo Video Chat App is Now Available for Apple iOS and Android

Want to have a two-way FaceTime video chat with family members, friends, or business acquaintances? I have done this frequently to chat with my grandchildren. I am presently 9,300 miles (14,966 km) away from them but Apple FaceTime is almost as good as being there in person. Not only do I see the grandchildren but they can show me their latest artwork, clothes, and other things that grandchildren love to show their grandparents. The highlight of the last video chat was seeing where the oldest grandchild had lost her first tooth.

There has been but one problem: Apple’s FaceTime only works on Apple devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Macintosh systems. That became a problem when I switched to an Android cell phone a few months ago in order to save a lot of money. (See my recent article at https://goo.gl/lyFj5f for the details.) FaceTime is a wonderfully easy solution, but it isn’t available for Android.

Repairing Old Family Photos with Photoshop

For genealogists who have old family photographs, a new article in the MakeUseOf web site should be required reading. The article by Harry Guinness says:

“Everyone has old family photos lying around. If they’ve been sitting in a box for a few decades, though, they’ll be discolored, faded, and probably scratched or bent. With Photoshop, you can make them look as good as new.

Family having a picnic in the woods

FamilySearch New Collections Update: Week of August 15, 2017

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

New Collections Update: Week of August 15, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—The past two weeks have brought a few new large indexed collections, including New York passenger lists, English parish registers, and United States muster rolls, plus images and indexes from the Czech Republic, Peru, Norway, Portugal, and the United States.  See the interactive table below for these and more historic records added this week at FamilySearch.org. Join our online indexing volunteers anytime and help make more of these exciting collections discoverable to more people. Find out how at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

NGS Announces a New Course in its American Genealogical Studies Series: Branching Out

The following announcement was written by the (US) National Genealogical Society:

NGS_LogoARLINGTON, VA, 16 August 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the release of Branching Out, the newest online, cloud-based learning course in the American Genealogical Studies (AGS) series. Branching Out is comprised of five modules on topics designed to enhance genealogical research skills of both family historians and those interested in pursuing careers as professional genealogists.

Federation of Genealogical Societies Announces Upcoming National Conferences for 2019 and 2020

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

Upcoming FGS National Genealogy and Family History Conferences To Be Held August 21-24, 2019 in Washington, D.C. and September 2-5, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri

August 16, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the FGS 2019 National Conference will be held August 21-24 in Washington, D.C., and the FGS 2020 National Conference will be held September 2-5 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Upcoming Conferences DC and KC Graphic

“We are extremely excited for all our upcoming conferences and look forward to visiting Washington, D.C., and Kansas City in future years,” says FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “From 2016 to 2020, our conference venues are steeped in both history and research resources and make perfect settings for genealogists and family historians.”

Auckland Family History Expo in Pictures

I must admit that I had fun this past weekend. I had an opportunity to visit and to speak to the Auckland (New Zealand) Family History Expo. I found a very enthusiastic group of genealogists at this event.

Sponsored by the Auckland Council Libraries in cooperation with the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, this turned out to be a major genealogy conference. Approximately 500 people attended the Expo on Saturday and 350 were there on Sunday. Those are large numbers in a country with a smaller population! Many of the presentation rooms were full to maximum capacity and the exhibits hall was crowded almost all the time when there were no presentations in progress.

British Airways and Ancestry.com are Offering Sweepstakes Travel to London

Want to travel to do some genealogy research? If you have British ancestry, a new offer from British Airways and Ancestry may be just what you need.

london-1366x768-england-big-ben-westminster-abbey-city-bus-travel-6471

British Airways and Ancestry.com are teaming up to offer a sweepstakes to London. British Airways launched the advertising campaign about the joys and importance of air travel. To celebrate the way families are reconnected on a daily basis thanks to aviation, the airline has partnered with Ancestry.com to give away a pair of business-class tickets, a year-long membership to the website, and four nights at the Sheraton Grand Luxury London Park Lane hotel, now showing the newest incarnation of the Sheraton brand. Sheraton is investing big bucks in hotels around the world, and this is one of the showpieces. Enter the contest between now and Aug. 26, along with two more opportunities in September.

UPDATE: Click here and scroll down the next page to find the entry form. It is well hidden otherwise.

Facing Up to the Long-term Future of Your Genealogy Society

This article was first published as a Plus Edition article on March 7, 2012. It turned out to be a very popular article. At the suggestion of some newsletter readers, I am re-publishing it today as a Standard Edition article so that more people can read it. I have made a few minor updates to the original article as well.

Please feel free to forward this article to others or to republish it anywhere you please for non-commercial purposes. There is no need to ask for permission; “just do it.”

NOTE: This article contains several personal opinions.

I travel a lot (I am in Auckland, New Zealand today and going to Singapore on Monday), and I spend a lot of time with officers and members of many genealogy societies. Most everywhere I go, I hear stories of societies that are shrinking in size and even a few stories of societies that are struggling to maintain their existence. Even amongst all this “doom and gloom,” I do hear a few rare stories of genealogy societies that are thriving and growing larger. Not only are they attracting more members, but these few societies are also offering more and more services to their members with each passing year.

Why do the majority of societies flounder while a handful succeed?

Another Great Obituary: William Ziegler

William Ziegler escaped this mortal realm on Friday, July 29, 2016 at the age of 69. We think he did it on purpose to avoid having to make a decision in the pending presidential election. He leaves behind four children, five grand- children, and the potted meat industry, for which he was an unofficial spokesman until dietary restrictions forced him to eat real food.

William volunteered for service in the United States Navy at the ripe old age of 17 and immediately realized he didn’t much enjoy being bossed around. He only stuck it out for one war. Before his discharge, however, the government exchanged numerous ribbons and medals for various honorable acts.

Alaska, Colorado, Maine, and New Jersey Join the National Digital Newspaper Program

Four new partners have been added to the National Digital Newspaper Program. The National Endowment for the Humanities has made awards to digitize historic newspapers to the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums; the Colorado Historical Society; the Maine State Library, and Rutgers University in New Jersey. With forty-three states and one territory now participating in the program, NEH is approaching its goal of representing every state and U.S. territory in Chronicling America, the open access database of historic American newspapers maintained by the Library of Congress.

This year, NEH awards have also been issued to state partners in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas to continue their contributions to Chronicling America. You can read more about the project at http://goo.gl/SxT0TL.

Some Le Havre Departing Passenger Lists Are Online

According to The French Genealogy Blog, Inscription Maritime has the following online lists from Le Havre:

Registres matricules des gens de mer – 1751-1950 – These are highly detailed crew lists, often with copies of brith registrations. There are alphabetic indices at the end of each volume.

Rôles des bâtiments de commerce – 1751-1816 – These are the papers required of each merchant vessel, listing stores, cargo, crew and passengers. Included in this category are the matricules des bateaux de plaisance – 1850-1906, the crew and passenger lists for pleasure craft.

National Geographic’s Free Website for Printing Detailed Topographical Maps

ng_seal_blackTopographic maps are a great resource for genealogists looking for cemeteries, especially old or even abandoned cemeteries. I have found cemeteries listed on topographic maps that would have been difficult or perhaps impossible to find otherwise.

In theory, you can print your own maps from the U.S. Geological Survey’s web site at http://www.natgeomaps.com/trail-maps/pdf-quads. However, I have had little luck at that web site. It seems to be almost constantly busy. The rare times I have been able to use the site, the PDF images downloaded from the site aren’t formatted for standard printer paper. That makes printing the maps very difficult.

The National Geographic web site has come to the rescue.

Australian Bureau of Statistics says Census Website Attacked by Overseas Hackers

Australia_Census_logoAustralia’s 2016 census has created a lot of controversy concerning privacy issues. (See my recent article at https://goo.gl/JnMGUW for details. In turn, that article refers to a longer article in the ABC.NET.AU News site at http://goo.gl/IWLzCw.) Now the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says it believes a series of hacking attacks which led to the census website being shut down were part of a deliberate attempt to sabotage the national survey.

Thousands of Australians were prevented from taking part in the census on Tuesday night as the ABS website crashed.

Barbados Considers ‘Roots Tourism’

I wonder if more governments should think about this. Promoting genealogy tourism can add millions of dollars/pounds/Euros/ or other local currency to local businesses’ income:

Barbados Today:-Local officials have identified genealogy tourism as a niche area on which they will seek to capitalize.

Manager of Innovation and strategy at the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) Terry Vanterpool-Fox said Barbadians locally and abroad had a keen interest in learning about their family history.

Guide to New York City’s Treasured Archives Released

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

The publication unlocks key resources for anyone tracing New York City’s vast
history to leverage the hundreds of key collections housed at the Municipal Archives.

New York City Municipal Archives- An Authorized Guide for Family HistoriansNEW YORK, NY — The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) is pleased to announce the release of New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians.

The 245-page guide will make research at this vital facility far more approachable and will introduce researchers to many previously-unknown record collections housed there.
As one of the world’s largest repositories of city records, the holdings of the New York City Municipal Archives offer untold resources for those tracing the history of New Yok City and its families. But until now, it has remained difficult for anyone but the most experienced researcher to navigate more than the basics of this essential archive. This new guide, created with the assistance of the New York City Municipal Archives, will make it possible for genealogists, family historians or anyone researching New York City’s vast history to leverage the hundreds of key collections found there.

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