North Carolina’s Brimley Collection of Photographs is now Available Online

The Brimley Collection is one of the oldest and most interesting photograph collections in the State Archives of North Carolina. The photographs in this collection document many aspects of life in the state between the late 19th and mid-20th century and include people both common and renowned, scenes of cities and towns, rural landscapes and farms, agricultural activities and products of every variety found in North Carolina, industrial concerns, and much much more.

The Brimley Collection is named for Herbert Hutchinson Brimley, the first leader of The North Carolina State Museum of Natural History. That museum was at the time an all-encompassing state museum that included history, art, and science. It later evolved and morphed into separate entities – the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the State Archives of North Carolina, the NC Museum of History, and the NC Museum of Art – all of which operate under an umbrella governance and exist today.

MyHeritage Adds Significant Collection of New York Immigration Records with Unique Content

The following announcement was written by the folks at MyHeritage:

90 million records from the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists collection bring to light the stories of millions of immigrations, arrivals and visits to America spanning 138 years

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, November 2, 2017 – MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the addition of the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957 collection to SuperSearch™, the company’s global search engine containing more than 8.25 billion historical records. The records are of major significance for anyone looking to trace their immigrant ancestors’ arrival in America, and include names, dates, countries of origin, addresses of family members and friends, occupations, and physical descriptions, among many other details.

Ancestry Adds Options to Share or to Not Share DNA Information

Ancestry has announced a new update to its popular DNA service: an option to share DNA information or to keep the information private. In a statement released yesterday, the company states:

“Customers can now decide if they want to have access to the list of people they may be related to and be shown as a potential family member for other customers with whom they share DNA. While connecting family is one of the main benefits of our service, we also recognize that not everyone is open to discovering their extended family.”

The full announcement may be found at:

My thanks to the several newsletter readers who told me about the new announcement.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 62,000 records available to search and explore this Findmypast Friday, including;

Surrey Lay Subsidies 1524-1645

Search for your ancestors in over 16,000 early taxation records created from The National Archives’ E 179 series, ‘Exchequer: King’s Remembrancer: Particulars of account and other records relating to lay and clerical taxation, National treasury records’. Lay subsidies are taxation records from the final years of the Tudor period and the early years of the Jacobean era. All the records come from Surrey in South East England.

Each record includes a transcription of the original taxation records held at The National Archives in Kew. Transcripts will reveal a combination of your ancestor’s name, the date of the original records, your ancestor’s home parish and hundred. Some records may also include the names of other taxpayers living in the same area as well as the individual and total amounts paid in taxes.

Surrey Court Cases 1391-1835

Who Actually Owns Your Content When You Post It to the Web?

Over the years, I have heard or read many comments from genealogists about who owns information posted to the World Wide Web. In fact, many people are reluctant to post their family trees online because “someone might steal the information.” A short article published in the Web site uses non-lawyer English to explain several of the issues concerning legal “ownership” of information posted online.

If you have concerns about ownership of online information, you might want to read Who Actually Owns Your Content When You Post It to the Web by David Nield at

I will offer one thought to keep in mind: names of people, along with dates and places of birth, marriage, death, military service, and similar facts of interest to genealogists are just that: facts. As stated in the article by David Nield, “You can’t copyright facts, or ideas, or systems…” While you might be in possession of certain facts about your ancestors, that doesn’t mean that you OWN the information. No one person “owns” facts within the U.S., according to copyright law.

(+) FREE PDF Tools in The Cloud (and One Non-Cloud Tool as Well)

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

Portable Document Format files are amongst the best things available in your computer. The biggest advantage of the Portable Document Format is that it can be used across all devices. You can read PDF files on an iPhone, an iPad, Android devices, Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Chromebooks, and probably some other operating systems you never heard of. Indeed, it is a PORTABLE Document Format, usually referred to as a “PDF file.” The word “portable” is appropriate because PDF files may easily be moved from one operating system to another, such as from Windows to Macintosh or Android.

PDF files are very popular with genealogists. There is a host of ways that they find these capabilities useful. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • Convert files to share with family members who may not have the programs you use
  • Make PDF files found online searchable to find information on ancestors
  • Convert PDF files found online to a format that lets you extract facts about an ancestor to paste into your genealogy program
  • Convert PDF files found online to a format that lets you extract images of ancestral people and places
  • Convert PDF files of genealogy books into other formats, such as Word files or ebook reader formats

Find Living Cousins Using The Newfoundland 1921 Census

The following announcement was written by Peter Calver of Living Cousins:

Newfoundland didn’t become part of Canada until 1949 – so it wasn’t included in the Canadian censuses. The earliest census which covers the whole of Newfoundland was taken in 1921, and as it is now available free at the FamilySearch website it has been added it to the list of censuses that LostCousins members can use to search for cousins.

It’s really easy to enter the data for your relatives and search for the researchers who share your Newfoundland ancestors because all the information you need is in the FamilySearch transcription.

There are now 9 censuses that you can use to search for cousins, of which 7 are free online. Nobody should be excluded from the LostCousins project because they can’t afford to pay – that’s why standard membership of LostCousins is free.

Transcriptions from the St. Agnes Cemetery Tombstones in Menands, NY are Now Online

The following announcement was received from Bill McGrath of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society:

Headstones Showing Foreign Place Of Birth

The Troy Irish Genealogy Society has just added the following new data series to its website.

This data base of 900 names inscribed on 210 headstones in St. Agnes Cemetery in MENANDS, New York will be of interest to genealogy researchers. To see these records go to the website of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society – – click on PROJECTS and then click on CEMETERY RECORDS and then on Headstones Showing Foreign Place of Birth.

For the most part the inscriptions are overwhelmingly of Irish immigrants to the Capital District Region. While sone inscriptions merely say “Ireland”‘ a large number are more specific and identify the County in Ireland along with the name of the town and the name of the Parish.

Recorded MyHeritage Genealogy Seminar Webinars Are Now Available Online for Free

In an article I published a couple of weeks ago (and still visible to all at, I mentioned that MyHeritage would be holding free online webinars featuring the participation of experts in DNA, Jewish genealogy, general research techniques, and technology trends for genealogy. That webinar was held on October 19.
The webinars did take place and they were also recorded. If you missed the original events, you can still listen to them today. Details may be found at

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

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, if not more often.

Residential Genealogy Online

Would you like to know who lived in your home many years ago? Or perhaps you want to find the home of your ancestors in the 19th century. One online site can help. Historic Map Works has unveiled a way to link people and places throughout history.

Historic Map Works is a collection of 19th and early 20th century city, town, and county maps. The detailed maps usually show every building and every street in each city or town. Each single-dwelling home contains the name of the family who resided there, either on or beside the building on the map. Apartment complexes contained the property owner’s name.

The new site should be of interest to history buffs, genealogy searchers, and real estate agents. Can you imagine the realtor listing the details of a family that used to live in the house being offered for sale? I suspect that amount of detail might increase the sale price!

Hallowe’en in 1875

Book Review: The True Story of the Acadians

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The True Story of the Acadians
By Dudley J. Le Blanc.
A reprint by M.M. Le Blanc .
BizEntine Press. August 2016. 271 pages.

Recently, I visited and marveled at the rugged coastline and forested beauty of Acadia National Park. Located in the northeastern region of the native state of our well-regarded Mr. Eastman, in Maine, Acadia National Park is where the rays of the rising morning sun, in the winter months, first reach the United States, striking the peak and a few shivering souls atop Mt. Cadillac.

The word ‘Acadia’ sparked a memory of a poem I had read in elementary school, “Evangeline” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poet eulogized the young Acadian woman Evangeline’s loss and lifelong search for her love Gabriel. The poem memorializes the actual events of the forced banishment of Acadian peoples by the English to their southern New England colonies.

Not that many miles away and to the east and north of Acadia National Park, is the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. There is Acadia.

TheGenealogist adds to its expanding collection of Parish Records

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added over 140,000 individuals to their Parish Records for Worcestershire and Warwickshire to increase the coverage of these midland counties.

Released in association with Malvern Family History Society and the Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society, this is an ongoing project to make available high quality transcripts to family history researchers.

  • 97,841 individuals have been added to the Worcestershire baptism records
  • 44,250 individuals join the Warwickshire baptism records

These new records can be used to find your ancestors’ baptisms, in fully searchable records that cover parishes from this area of England. With records that reach back to the mid 16th century, this release allows family historians to find the names of ancestors, their parents’ forenames, the father’s occupation (where noted), and the parish that the event took place at.

1921 Canadian Census is Now Available Free at the Library and Archives Canada

According to a note in the IAJGS Public Records Access Alert:

In 2013, Ancestry digitized the Canadian 1921 census and until last month it was available only through Ancestry. Per their agreement with Library and Archives Canada, the 1921 census is now available free at the Library and Archives Canada. Canada has a 92-year privacy act therefore, the first time it would have been available to the public is 2013. In 1921 there were 233 census districts and enumerators collected information on 8,788,433 individuals. The Dominion Bureau of Statistics was authorized to microfilm and destroy the original paper records. The only microfilm copy s an archival holding. The digitized copies were made from microfilm-which is acknowledged on inconsistent quality and some images are not readable. Some of the records did not survive. Access on Library and Archives Canada is free.

To access the census go to:

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 1.10

GedSite is a great tool for creating personal genealogy web sites. The propgram has its own “roots” in a program that was used to create gorgeous web sites from the database of The Master Genealogist, a Windows program that is no longer available. The program’s creator, John Cardinal, then moved his focus to creating web sites from GEDCOM files. He named the newly-launched program GedSite.

Now John has greatly expanded the capabilities of GedSite, as explained in the announcement below:

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 1.10

Featuring enhancements for customers using Legacy®

North Andover, MA – October 27, 2017 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce GedSite version 1.10, the most recent release of this must-have tool for any genealogist creating web sites from GEDCOM files. This release features enhanced support for GEDCOM files exported from Legacy® and several optimizations related to exhibit handling.

“GedSite builds narratives using a flexible processing engine that interprets sentence templates exported from several genealogy programs, now including Legacy” said John Cardinal, CEO and Founder of Family History Hosting.

Soliciting and acting on customer feedback is an integral part of the GedSite development process, and as usual, this release delivers several features requested by users, including optimizations related to media exhibits.

NEHGS Honors Historian and Bestselling Author Winston Groom with Its Lifetime Achievement Award

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

A Genealogy by NEHGS of Groom—Author of Forrest Gump — Tells of Southern Ancestry and of Notable Kin Including Harper Lee and Truman Capote

October 26, 2017—Boston, Massachusetts—Best-selling author Winston Groom was honored by New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) with its Lifetime Achievement Award in History and Literature at its Fall Family History Benefit Dinner in Boston on Thursday evening.

At the event Brenton Simons, NEHGS President and CEO, presented Groom with an expertly prepared genealogy of his family—a tradition of NEHGS for many years. Simons revealed in detail Groom’s deep southern roots and ethnic variety including Croatian, Irish, Spanish, and French ancestry. Highlighted were the author’s ancestors noted for their patriotic service including the Civil War, the War of 1812, and the Revolutionary War.

History Colorado Now Offers Historic African American Newspapers

History Colorado recently digitized and added Denver African-American newspapers, the Statesman (1905-1912), and The Denver Star (1912-1918).

The Statesman was first published by Joseph D. D. River in 1889. In 1912, The Denver Star began to bill itself as “The paper formerly known as the Statesman.” In 1913, it was noted that “the papers formerly known as The Statesman and The Independent, have been merged into The Denver Star.” While these papers covered news from African-American communities in “Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and the West”, they also covered local news from Denver’s Five Points district. Five Points, sometimes referred to as the “Harlem of the West” is one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods. These newspapers offer researchers a vast amount of information on Denver’s African American culture and community, including its residents, businesses and aspects of everyday life.

Click on the above links to access either the Statesman or The Denver Star.

Over 1.3 Million New Portsmouth Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast publishes the archives of the Portsmouth History Centre online for the first time

Findmypast has today, 27th October 2017, published online for the first time more than 1.3 million historical records in partnership with the Portsmouth History Centre. The publication marks the first phase of Findmypast’s new Portsmouth collection, a rich archive spanning the years 1538 to 1917 comprising beautifully scanned images of original handwritten documents. When complete, the collection will from the largest repository of Portsmouth family history records available online.

Made up of a variety of fascinating documents including parish baptisms, marriages, burials and Workhouse records, the collection will continue to grow as additional Portsmouth records including electoral rolls, rate books, crew lists and World War One military exemption records are added in later phases.

Why Was the Information Removed from Online?

NOTE: This is a slightly updated version of an article I published about a year ago. A newsletter reader sent a message to me recently expressing dissatisfaction with records that once were available online but recently have disappeared. I am offering this republished article as an explanation about why we should not be surprised when that happens. I believe that every genealogist should understand why this happens so this article bears repeating every year or two. Please feel free to republish this article in newsletters, message boards, or forward it in email messages as you see fit.

I will also offer a suggestion as to making sure you keep your own copies of online records that are valuable to you.

A newsletter reader sent an email message to me recently expressing dissatisfaction that a set of images of vital records has been removed from one of the very popular genealogy sites. Indeed, removal of any online records of genealogical value is sad, but not unusual. Changes such as these are quite common on FamilySearch, MyHeritage,, Fold3, FindMyPast, and many other genealogy sites that provide digital images of old records online. Removal of datasets has occurred dozens of times in the past, and I suspect such things will continue to happen in the future. I thought I would write a brief explanation.