Take a Genealogy Cruise to Alaska with HB Genealogy Cruises

hbgenealogycruisesGenealogy cruises are very popular and for good reasons. They are educational, they are fun, and they also provide a great experience for family members who are not interested in genealogy. Unlike a genealogy conference in a major city’s conference center, I have never heard a complaint about a cruise from non-interested family members who accompany a family member on one of these family history conferences on the seas.

For more information about the benefits of genealogy cruises, see my earlier article, Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers, at http://goo.gl/9d0acs.

HB Genealogy Cruises, sponsored by Heritage Books, has been in the cruise business for several years under the guidance of Craig Scott. The company is now offering its 4th Annual Genealogy Conference & Cruise, this time from Seattle, Washington, to British Columbia, to several ports in Alaska, and back again. The cruise will take place on September 17 — 24, 2017, roughly one year from now. I will suggest now is the time to start planning!

MyHeritage Releases Most Significant Collection of Finnish Historical Records Ever Published Online

If you have Finnish ancestors, you will want to know about this new addition! The following announcement was written by the folks at MyHeritage:

Extensive collection of 33 million Church records digitized by MyHeritage covers the population of Finland during 300 years, providing a treasure trove of information for anyone with Finnish ancestors

TEL AVIV, Israel, LEHI, Utah & HELSINKI, Finland, September 12, 2016MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, announced today the addition of a new historical records collection: Finland Church Census and Pre-confirmation Rolls, 1657-1950. The collection, indexed and searchable in its entirety, is currently available only on MyHeritage, along with millions of scanned original documents. It was created with the cooperation of the National Archives Service of Finland.

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(+) 5 Ways to Connect Long-Distance Family Members

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

Today’s lifestyles often mean that families are separated by hundreds of miles, if not thousands of miles. Grandparents and grandchildren may live in different parts of the country or even different parts of the world. The U.S. Department of State estimates 6.3 million Americans live abroad, and more than 65 million travel overseas each year. Indeed, many people travel frequently for business or pleasure, resulting in them being separated for days, weeks, or even months at a time from family members. Yet today’s technology allows distant parents and grandparents to read their children or grandchildren bedtime stories, to draw with them, and to be with them—virtually.

For instance, I spend winters about 1,200 miles from my grandchildren, and yet I video conference with them frequently. A few weeks ago, I did the same while I was in Singapore, about 10,000 miles from the grandchildren. Doing so is easy and free. Well, you do have to have an Internet connection and some hardware that you probably already own. I guess that it is not free technically but is available “at no extra charge,” using equipment that most of us already possess. Add in a bit of free software and you, too, can be (virtually) with your loved ones daily.

New London Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

findmypast_logoTo commemorate the Great Fire of London’s 350th anniversary, over 3.5 million historic London records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Brand New Records

London Post Office Directories 1842, 1851 and 1861, Browse

Browse over 1.5 million records from three London Post Office Directories. The directories include lists of traders, bankers, people employed by the crown, officials, lawyers as well as full street directories. They are presented as a browse search, which allows you to select a publication and browse through it from beginning to end.

The collection includes various lists such as a commercial directory, a trade’s directory, a parliamentary directory, a street directory, and a court directory. They list names alphabetically by surname and allow you to discover your ancestor’s occupation, business address, or home address.

Westminster, Poor Law and Parish Administration

Westminster, Poor Law and Parish Administration contains over 1.7 million records including bastardy papers, admissions, examinations, pauper records, valuations, work house records and more.

DigitalNC Launches an Architectural History of Transylvania County, North Carolina

In conjunction with the Transylvania County Library, DigitalNC recently added a new exhibit containing nearly 1500 images to the Images of North Carolina Collection. If you have Transylvania County ancestry, you might get lucky and even find a picture of the house where they lived or their barn or similar buildings. Obviously, there is no guarantee that YOUR ancestors are included. Even some cemeteries are included.

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The exhibit, Transylvania: The Architectural History of a Mountain County, features nearly 1,500 images taken during an architectural survey done of the county in the early 1990s. Architectural surveys are inventories of built, intact structures in a given area. These images document structures and communities in Brevard, Rosman, Lake Toxaway, Cedar Mountain, Pisgah Forest, and other areas. The County was founded in 1861 as an agricultural community, which is evident through the survey. Hundreds of images depict homes, barns, spring houses, smokehouses, chicken houses, silos, and many other structures that reflect the activities and roots of the rural community.

Facebook Post Leads Residents to Rally to Clean Up a Titusville, Florida Cemetery

The LaGrange Cemetery in Titusvillle, Florida was best described as being “in shambles.” John Petrik took to Facebook on Friday morning, where he explained in a community group what he discovered at the cemetery. By Monday morning, the LaGrange Cemetery was filled with more than 30 volunteers inspired by the post and ready to work. On a whim’s notice, inspired residents posted in the group, organizing a spur-of-the-moment clean up on Labor Day.

Ancestry Appoints Catherine Ball as Chief Scientific Officer

The following announcement was written by Ancestry.com:

Recognized Leader in Field of Genomics Will Help Company Scale DNA Offering to Millions More

catherineballLEHI, Utah, Sept. 08, 2016 — Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced the appointment of Catherine Ball, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. In addition to overseeing the science team, Dr. Ball leads the Company’s initiatives to develop innovative new technologies and analyze genetic data at a rapidly-increasing scale.

Dr. Ball joined Ancestry in 2011 as Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics, helping to establish the Company’s approach to genetic genealogy leading to the launch of AncestryDNA. She has built Ancestry’s science team into a key innovation engine, driving new scientific discoveries and powering the Company’s growth to become the largest consumer genomics provider globally. Today, AncestryDNA has the world’s largest consumer genomics database and has helped more than two million customers learn more about their ethnic origins and genetic relationships.

(+) Convert 35mm Slides to Digital

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

slidesI have hundreds of 35-millimeter slides stored in boxes. They might as well be shoeboxes although the boxes I use are a bit different size. I collected them over the past few decades and must admit I never looked at any of them again until recently. I find that storing slides or any photos or home movies in any inconvenient location means that they are rarely viewed again. Why did you or someone else spend all the money for cameras, film, and processing if no one ever looks at the results?

I will suggest the solution is to digitize the films and slides. Once digitized, the images are easy to view at any time and very easy to share with others. Your children, grandchildren, cousins, and other relatives might like to receive digital copies of pictures taken long ago. With today’s technology, that is easy to do.

Beware the Flash Drive Scam

Did you see an advertisement for a flash drive with 1 terabyte of memory or some other large amount of storage selling for about $10? If so, don’t fall for the scam. It isn’t what it claims it is.

Hackers in China are listing flash drives for sale on eBay and elsewhere claiming the drives contain huge amounts of storage, 500 gigabytes, one terabyte, or even more. Prices are unbelievably low, typically $10 or so. There is but one problem: it is fake.

Twile Allows Users to Merge Multiple GEDCOM Files

I have written before about Twile. See http://goo.gl/jVVbaw for a list of my past articles about the company. Now Twile is introducing a new upgraded version. The following announcement was written by the folks at Twile:

twileDoncaster, UK: 7th September, 2016

Twile have today released a new feature allowing users to merge multiple GEDCOM files into one family tree and keep it updated with future changes.

The new feature means that family members storing their research independently in different family history sites – such as Ancestry or Findmypast – can now bring all of their findings together in one private family tree on Twile and import newer versions as they further their research. As well as building their tree, Twile will use the data in the GEDCOM files to automatically add events to the family timeline, such as births, marriages and deaths.

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the FGS 2017 Conference in Pittsburgh

This may seem early. After all, the 2016 FGS conference was held just last week. However, hotel reservations often sell out early so the wise genealogist probably wants to make a reservation NOW for the 2017 FGS conference. I made my reservation today.

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

Book your room now for #FGS2017

9/7/2016 – Austin, TX.

FGS is pleased to announce that hotel reservations are now open for the 2017 Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Two Pittsburgh hotels are now taking reservations for the FGS 2017 conference – “Building Bridges to the Past.” The conference will be held August 30-September 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Irish Birth, Marriage, and Death Records are now Online

According to the announcement at http://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/:

irishgenealogyThe historic records of Births over 100 years ago, Marriages over 75 years ago and Deaths over 50 years ago of the General Register Office (GRO), are now available to view on www.irishgenealogy.ie, following their launch at 5.30pm on Thursday 8th September 2016.

The records are available at https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/civil-search.jsp.

Sir Tony Robinson Tells Stories from the Past in New Podcast Series “It’s About Time”

The following announcement was written by the folks at ancestry.co.uk:

New history podcast from Ancestry launches with three compelling episodes

  • Sir Tony Robinson brings stories from the past to life in the present
  • Tales include a sordid murder in Victorian England, immigration to America through a Charlie Chaplin classic and the split of famous suffragette sisters the Pankhursts
  • Podcast brought to you by Ancestry, available on iTunes and Stitcher now

New podcast series It’s About Time has launched online today (Wednesday 7th September), featuring narrator Sir Tony Robinson bringing stories from the past to life in the present.

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It’s About Time is produced by Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, and the first three episodes are available to listen to and download for free through iTunes and other podcast platforms.

A Journey of Genealogy on Board the Queen Mary 2

Genealogy cruises are very popular but now there is a new player in the the game: Cunard.

qm2_in_nyA bit more than two years from now, on 4 Nov – 11 Nov 2018, the newly Remastered Queen Mary 2 will sail from Southampton, United Kingdom to New York City. For the first time ever, Cunard has collaborated with Ancestry.com, the largest online family history resource in the world, to offer guests the opportunity to trace their family trees while on the remastered Queen Mary 2.

Ancestry’s experts will demonstrate how data drawn from the largest online collection of family history records can help trace your family’s past. Find out how AncestryDNA can introduce you to living relatives you never knew existed and reveal your ethnic mix across 1,000 years.

WikiTree Announces Source-a-Thon

The following announcement was written by the folks who run WikiTree.com:

Genealogy community donates $3,000+ in prizes to support sourced genealogy

150dpi_logoSeptember 7, 2016: WikiTree will be kicking off Family History Month with a three-day sourcing marathon, October 1-3, 2016. Individuals and organizations from around the genealogy community are coming together to support this event by donating door prizes for participants. Over $3,000 in genealogy prizes have already been pledged.

Citing sources is required on WikiTree’s collaborative, free family tree, but inexperienced genealogists don’t always record them. As Mags Gaulden, a WikiTree leader, states, “In a perfect world all genealogies would be well-sourced, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. We have all run across online genealogies that are just repeats, copy-and-pastes, of what someone else had thrown up based on what aunt Mabel told them back in the 70s.”

The Future of Genealogy Software

Warning: this article contains personal opinions.

genealogy-softwareI recently exchanged email messages with a newsletter reader who is looking for a replacement for his favorite genealogy program, the now-defunct program called The Master Genealogist. He raised some good points about today’s available genealogy products, and I responded with some of my views and predictions. I decided to write an article based upon our “conversation” and to also expand our comments as I imagine many newsletter readers also are interested in finding new and (hopefully) better programs.

First, let me write specifically about The Master Genealogist.

MyHeritage Now Has DNA Matching Available

MyHeritage has just announced that DNA Matching is now live!

DNA-smallerMyHeritage compares DNA data of individuals, which has been uploaded to the MyHeritage website, in order to find matches based on shared DNA. Your DNA matches are people who are highly likely to be relatives (close or distant) because there are significant similarities between their DNA and yours. MyHeritage DNA Matching can open up exciting new research directions, and allow you to find and connect with relatives you may not have known about.

The DNA matching has been available for a few months in a limited beta test but now is available to everyone. The DNA Matching is free and will remain free for those who have already uploaded their DNA test results to MyHeritage. Anyone who has taken a DNA test with other test providers, or has DNA test results from other family members, and has not uploaded them to MyHeritage yet, the company recommends they hurry and upload the DNA data now, in order to enjoy free DNA Matching on MyHeritage forever.

1,600 Stories Previously Buried in a Forgotten Tacoma Pauper Cemetery are now Recorded and Available Online

What was the Pierce County, Washington, pauper cemetery is now a forgotten memory. More than 1,600 people are buried there, all laid to rest between the 1880s and 1920s. Researchers say either the county never kept a record of the burials or lost it, possibly in a fire.

If not for a curious funeral director who started six years ago to collect the names of the dead, they would remain hidden in handwritten ledgers kept by individual funeral homes across Tacoma. Bill Habermann enters the names on tracked down military records and newspaper stories about the deaths.

One Study Claims That Genetics Affects How Much You Drink

alcoholismIf you become intoxicated after one drink, blame your ancestors. Researchers at Washington State University have found that your genetic makeup affects your sensitivity to alcohol.

A receptor in our brain reportedly affects our reaction to alcohol. The protein receptor, located on cells in the cerebellum, is known as GABAA. When it’s activated, it suppresses the firing of brain cells. That leads to balance issues, stumbling, slurred speech and reduced social inhibitions. Depending upon your genetic makeup, that could happen even after one drink. For others, the receptor takes a long time to be stimulated, leading to binge drinking and alcoholism.

National Genealogical Society Publishes the First Workbook on Genetic Genealogy

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

gginpARLINGTON, VA, 6 September 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the publication of Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the first workbook on genetic genealogy. Written by Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CGSM, CGLSM, the book provides family historians and genealogists who have just begun to explore genetic genealogy practical, easy to understand information that they can apply to their research. As Wayne notes in her blog, Deb’s Delvings in Genealogy, “DNA can seem complex to many of us, but this book will guide you and help build your knowledge level one step at a time.”

At their own pace, readers learn the basic concepts of genetic genealogy. They then build on that knowledge as they study the testing, analysis, and application of Y-DNA, X-DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and autosomal DNA (atDNA) to reach and support genealogical conclusions. Each chapter includes exercises with answer keys for hands-on practice.