A New Partnership is Announced: Ontario Genealogical Society and the NextGen Genealogy Network

The following announcement was written by the NextGen Genealogy Network and the Ontario Genealogical Society:

The NextGen Genealogy Network (NGGN) and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) are pleased to announce a new partnership. OGS is providing NGGN with financial support, together with promotional support in the OGS weekly online newsletter, eWeekly, together with an information page on the OGS website.

NGGN, a United States based 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization was founded in 2013 to create a community for young genealogists. Building connections and fostering engagement among young genealogists eighteen to fifty, NGGN strives to build connections between generations, and welcomes the friendship, mentorship, and support of our fellow genealogists of all ages.

(+) Your Photos May Disappear

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

Many genealogists scan old photographs, touch them up in a photo editing program, and then print the photos on high quality ink-jet printers. Many of us also take new photographs with our digital cameras and often print some of them on paper. There is but one problem: those printed pictures may disappear within a few years.

To be sure, this isn’t a problem just with digital photographs. If your family used Polaroid cameras or the Anscochrome or early versions of Kodak’s Ektachrome slide films for their photographs in the 1960s, you probably already know that conventional color photography has not always been a model of image longevity. Anscochrome and early Ektachrome color pictures have already faded significantly. Polaroid color photos are even worse. The reds probably are already gone, and the other colors have also faded significantly. Later color photos were better, however. Color photos and slides taken in the 1980s and 1990s probably will last longer. Of course, conventional black-and-white prints, which are made up of tiny grains of silver, remain the undisputed longevity champions. They probably will last for 100 years or more.

The question arises: how to preserve the digital photographs of your family so they will be available to family members 100 years from now?

Free Access to Fold3’s Civil War Collection, April 1–15

The following is copied from the Fold3 web site:

“To commemorate the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, Fold3 is providing free access (with registration) to our Civil War Collection from April 1–15. This collection currently has 50 titles, with more than 91 million records, so if you’re looking for information on the Civil War veterans in your family tree—or doing other Civil War-era research—now is the perfect time to explore these records on Fold3.”

Full details may be found at: https://blog.fold3.com/free-access-to-fold3s-civil-war-collection-april-1-15/.

New Records Available To Search on Findmypast

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Prerogative Court Of Canterbury Administrations 1660-1700

Search over 88,000 transcripts and images of Index slips and related documentation created from original Prerogative Court of Canterbury administrations held by The National Archives at Kew. This collection includes a high volume of mariners; approximately a third of these records refer to a mariner.

Each record will reveal the date of your ancestor’s will, the value of their will, the archive reference number and any additional notes.

Ireland, Alphabetical Indexes To The Townlands and Parishes 1851-1911 Browse

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

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

(I normally post this reminder on the first day of every month. However, April 1 was a Sunday and I normally don’t publish articles on the weekend. Even though this reminder is a day late, it still offers great advice.)

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.

The Zello App Can Help Save Lives During Major Storms and Has Many Others Uses Also

NOTE: This article is off-topic: it has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy articles, you might want to skip this one. However, it is something that I believe all cell phone users should be aware of. The online app called Zello could save your life. It is also a great way to communicate with groups of people, such as relatives or members of a search-and-rescue organization. I have been using Zello for non-critical communications for a couple of years now and would hate to be without it.

Zello converts your Android or Apple iOS or Blackberry cell phone or your Windows computer into a general-purpose walkie-talkie. It is sort of a high-tech replacement for CB radio except that Zello converts your cell phone into a free 2-way radio with worldwide range. I have used the free Zello app to talk with friends and relatives in North America free of toll charges while I was walking along the streets of Singapore as well as when I was in New Zealand. I have also used it to talk with communications hobbyists in South America and in the Sahara desert while I was driving in my automobile in Florida.

Zello also was recently used in the Houston area, New Orleans, all over Florida, Puerto Rico, and in other Caribbean islands during the recent hurricanes when wired telephones and emergency two-way radio towers (police, fire, ambulances, and others) were destroyed by the hurricanes. Cell towers also were sometimes knocked offline during the hurricanes but usually were the first communications systems to be restored to operation once the winds subsided.

Perhaps the greatest story of all was the use of Zello by the “Cajun Navy” during Hurricane Irma. According to Wikipedia:

MyHeritage Adds New Scanner and Inbox Features in the Mobile App

MyHeritage has announced two major new additions to the company’s mobile app for Android and for iOS (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) users:

Scanner — a useful feature that utilizes your smartphone’s high-resolution camera for scanning old photographs and documents directly into your family site on MyHeritage to preserve them digitally. To learn more about the Scanner feature, please read here:

Inbox — a comprehensive email-based messaging feature to communicate with other members of MyHeritage, including your own relatives, regarding DNA Matches, Smart Matches and other topics of genealogical collaboration. To learn more about the inbox, please read here:

Tomorrow is World Backup Day

I have written many times about the need for genealogists and most everyone else to make frequent backups of their important data, pictures, and videos. (See http://bit.ly/2pQTv6o for some of my past articles about the needs for backups.) Therefore, I will call your attention to the fact that April 1 (no fooling!) is World Backup Day.

Whatever else you may be reflecting on this weekend, take a moment to think about what you would do if you suddenly lost your genealogy data due to a software bug, malware, theft, fire, flood, or even (yes, it happens!) human error. Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer), you keep another copy of everything somewhere safe.

Is It Time to Try a Newsreader?

Your paperboy just got smarter. This article will tell you how to easily read more information on the Internet in a shorter period of time. In short, you can use much of the Internet without all the clutter.

I used to spend 2 or 3 hours per day visiting specific web sites over and over in an attempt to find new information. I regularly visited CNN.com looking for news, weather.com looking for the latest weather forecast for my home town, various stock market web sites, and, of course, genealogy sites looking for information about a variety of topics. The old method meant visiting each and every web site, one at a time, then waiting for the page to appear on my screen, then looking at menus to find the new information, waiting again for the new pages to appear, and so on. It was a tedious way to search for new information.

Today I can accomplish the same thing within a very few minutes instead of spending hours searching for elusive information. Today I “subscribe” to CNN.com, weather.com, and several hundred other web sites. New information automatically appears on my computer’s screen whenever I want; I no longer have to open a web browser to visit dozens of web sites in search of new information. I only see new information. Older information that has already appeared on my screen earlier is not displayed to me a second time. Most of the advertisements are also not displayed although a few do manage to appear. The result is in the a form of a “custom newspaper” designed for me, containing new information about topics of interest to me.

WWII Writing Course Announced

This is different! The following announcement was written by the World War II Research and Writing Center:

The World War II Research and Writing Center is pleased to announce the release of a new educational website. WWII Education, which will provide users to online courses, webinars, and more! We are excited to announce the release of our first course, Finding the Answers Through WWII Writing.

Course Description:
Stories have the power to transform us. Throughout our lives, the stories we have heard may shape our identity. They may shape the perspective we have on life, the past, present, and future, ourselves, and those we love. Stories may raise questions about the war, family secrets, those who were lost, and things we discover through our research.

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of March 26, 2018

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Hundreds of thousands of new historical records are available this week on FamilySearch from around the world, including CaliforniaCape VerdeEl SalvadorEnglandNicaraguaParaguaySouth Africa, and Uruguay. Search these new free records by clicking on the collection links below or search over 5 billion free records at FamilySearch.

Snapshot of Ireland a Century Ago: an Online Photographic Archive

If you want to see what your Irish ancestors saw 100 years ago, you might want to look at the new Snapshot of Ireland on Ancestry.co.uk. The digitally restored black-and-white photographs date as far back as the Land War of the late 1800s. The historical prints and photographs include more than 120 images taken in Ireland, offering an insight into daily life in Irish cities, towns, villages and countryside between the late 1800s and the 1950s.

The collection is part of Ancestry’s UK Historical Photographs and Prints 1704-1989 set, which features more than 40,000 photographs. The full collection of photographs and prints is available to view online at ancestry.co.uk, and will be available without charge over Easter weekend.

Details may be found in the IrishTimes web site at: http://bit.ly/2GbTCn7.

Update: Tropy – A New App that Helps Create Order out of Research Disorder

This is an update to an article I published yesterday that adds a bit more information about the product. Tropy is program that provides a method of organizing the photographs and scanned images you take of various documents encountered during your family history research.

Tropy is a FREE, open-source desktop application for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux that is designed to help researchers organize and describe the photos and scanned images they make in archives and elsewhere. The program will group photos, annotate images, add metadata, export to other applications, and easily search their collections.

On the downside, Tropy only allows researchers to import photos as JPEGs, PNGs, and SVGs. It does not import PDF files.

NGS to Live Stream Ten Genealogy Lectures During the Family History Conference in May

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 27 MARCH 2018 — The National Genealogical Society (NGS) will live stream ten lectures by nationally recognized speakers on some of the most popular topics in the field of genealogy during its 2018 Family History Conference. These lectures will be among more than 175 offered at the conference, 2−5 May 2018, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On 3 May, three live stream lectures will focus on DNA’s role in supplementing genealogical research. Two other talks will discuss African American and Loyalist research. The selections on 4 May feature lectures by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) that emphasize research, analysis, and problem-solving skills. NGS members and non-members across the United States and overseas, who are unable to attend the conference in person, are invited to sign-up for these live stream broadcasts.

 Registrants for live stream can sign up for a one-day or a two-day pass.

Student Compiles Details About Greeneville and Greene Counties’ (Tennessee’s) Black History

If you have black ancestry in Greeneville or Greene County, Tennessee, you need to read a post-graduate studies project by Juniper Starr, a University of Tennessee College of Information student who tapped into a number of sources to help organize the history as part of a master’s degree project.

Starr said the project is ongoing and dependent on participation from members of the community, who can also act as volunteers to help compile the information.

“It will help them build their own genealogy. We’re trying to corral it all in,” Starr said.

You can read more about the study in an article by Ken Little in the Greenville Sun at http://bit.ly/2IYSDVq as well as in the Black in Appalachia web site at http://blackinappalachia.org.

California sues the Trump Administration over the Addition of Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census

The state of California sued the Trump administration Monday night, arguing that the decision to add a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census violates the U.S. Constitution. The state’s attorney general acted just after the Commerce Department announced the change in a late-night release.

The suit is just the start of what is likely to be a broader battle with enormous political stakes that pits the administration against many Democratic states, which believe that the citizenship question will reduce the response rate for the census and produce undercounts. As a result, opponents say, states with significant immigrant populations stand to lose seats in state legislatures and Congress, along with electoral college votes in presidential elections and federal funding based on census counts. Republicans gained a significant advantage in redrawing maps after the 2010 Census.

You can read more in the many online news web sites. For instance, you can find dozens of articles about this issue by starting at: http://bit.ly/2DY6BTL.

What Your Cat’s DNA Can Tell You

OK, now I have heard it all. Cat DNA?

Basepaws is a company dedicated to genetic testing for cats. You order a CatKit ($95), which equips you with all the tools you need to provide Basepaws with DNA samples from your kitty. The kit includes a swab for collecting cheek cells and tape for collecting fur. Have you ever tried to put a stick into the mouth of a cat? Good luck with that!

Basepaws aims to tackle several spheres of information related to DNA—things like health, ancestry, and predicting traits. However, it is a new company and presently is only able to provide basic information about breeding. Is your cat a purebred? Probably not, but Basepaws can tell you for sure.

MyHeritage Announces Easier Navigation in your DNA Match List

An announcement in the MyHeritage Blog states:

“At MyHeritage our users’ feedback is extremely important to us. We do our best to listen to the community to provide the best possible family history research experience. Today we released two new features that were requested by our users at the RootsTech conference in Utah in February (thanks Judy Russell, and others!), to make navigating in the list of DNA Matches easier. Following major updates and improvements to our DNA Matching in January 2018, MyHeritage DNA users are receiving 10 times as many matches as before. It’s therefore only natural that there is now demand for easier ways to work with this information and make the most of it.

“With this feature, you can manually enter the page number you would like to go to, in the list of DNA Matches. From now on, if you are interested in DNA Matches that appear beyond the first few pages of your massive DNA Match list, you don’t need to click through the pages one by one. Simply enter the page number you would like to jump to in the “Go to page” field and then press “Enter”.”

There’s a lot more. You can read the full announcement at: http://bit.ly/2GwjqtK.

IGRS Launches Latest Update to its Early Irish Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes

The following announcement was written by The Irish Genealogical Research Society:

The latest update of 11,000 additional entries to the Society’s Early Irish Birth, Death & Marriage Indexes includes some 7,500 death entries from newspapers published between 1740 & 1810. The combined number of names now found in the three databases is 278,334.

The data is drawn from a wide number of Irish newspapers, but particularly from Walkers Hibernian & Gentleman’s Magazine, Pue’s Occurrences, the Leinster Journal, Faulkner’s Dublin Journal and the Hibernian Chronicle. Despite the too often generally held view that early newspapers do not note details about “ordinary” people, this update proves to the contrary. It is full of references to such people as farmers, publicans, innkeepers, butchers, bakers, printers, brewers, apothecaries, tailors, seed merchants, drapers, painters, grocers, sailmakers, clerks, confectioners, cutlers, saddlers, haberdashers and tallow chandlers, to name but a few. And all are from places right across the island of Ireland.

For instance, in Faulkner’s Dublin Journal in November 1761 we learn that Mrs Esther Hodgson died, from George’s Quay in Dublin and she was the wife of a measurer. In the same newspaper in March 1764 the death of Mrs Lysaght is reported. The notice goes on to record that she was the widow of Charles Lysaght, of Craigmore, Co. Clare and her maiden surname was Hogan. In Pue’s Occurrences in March 1756 the demise of Mrs Hutchinson is noted. She was from Fleet Street, Dublin, and was reportedly aged 110 years!

Call for Proposals Deadline Extended for NGS 2019 Family History Conference

The following was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 26 March 2018—NGS has extended the submission deadline for speakers—as well as organizations interested in sponsoring lectures—to submit lecture proposals for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2019 Family History Conference. All proposals must be submitted electronically at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/call_for_proposals 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, 6 April 2018.

The conference, Journey of Discovery, will be held in St. Charles, Missouri, 8-11 May 2019. Typically, this annual conference attracts between 1,800 to 2,000 family historians and genealogists as well as more than eighty exhibitors and sponsors. NGS promotes its conferences nationally and in regional markets as well as through online social media.