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

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 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 for details. In turn, that article refers to a longer article in the ABC.NET.AU News site at 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.

Extensive Genealogy Chart available at the Southport (Maine) Museum

Do you have any ancestors that lived in Southport, Maine? Is your last name Marr, Pierce, Pinkham, Collins, Brewer, Cook, McClellan, Hodgdon, Cameron, Blake, Sherman, Pratt, Barter, Blackman or Alley? If so, you might be able to trace your roots back to Thomas Marr and Eunice Spinney, who were born in the late 1780s.

You can find a brief article ‘s extensive efforts Ron Orchard in an article by Jim Singer in the Boothbay Register at

Ancestry Appoints Carla S. Newell as Chief Legal Officer

The following announcement was written by Ancestry:

Tech industry veteran to help company continue rapid growth and global expansion

LEHI, Utah, Aug. 09, 2016 — Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced that Carla S. Newell is joining its senior leadership team as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel. Newell will lead the global legal team, supporting privacy, security, and risk management initiatives as the company continues to expand globally while accelerating the growth of its high-demand consumer genomics offering. Newell is succeeding William Stern, who is departing from Ancestry to pursue new business opportunities.

Prior to joining Ancestry, Newell spent more than a decade as Operating General Partner at Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a leading growth equity investor, where she led legal, investor relations and fundraising for the firm and its multi-billion dollar funds. Among TCV’s portfolio companies are many of the world’s most successful and recognizable consumer technology brands, including Expedia, Facebook, Fandango, Netflix, Spotify, and Zillow. Most recently she has served as an adviser and board member for a number of early stage technology companies and funds.

Protecting Privacy in Genomic Databases

A recent announcement from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Indiana University at Bloomington describes a process that permits database queries for genome-wide association studies but reduces the chances of privacy compromises to almost zero.

The new system, implements a technique called “differential privacy,” which has been a major area of cryptographic research in recent years. Differential-privacy techniques add a little bit of noise, or random variation, to the results of database searches, to confound algorithms that would seek to extract private information from the results of several, tailored, sequential searches.

Federation of Genealogical Societies and National Park Service Announce a Partnership for a New Preservation Project

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

FGS Marshals Volunteers to Help National Historic Park Tell the Stories of Over 130,000 U.S.-Mexican War Soldiers

FGS-LogoAugust 8, 2016 – Austin, TX. and Brownsville, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Park Service’s Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park announce a partnership to develop a searchable database of more than 130,000 soldiers of the U.S.-Mexican War.

The database will allow descendants of U.S. soldiers to connect to their personal history and help Palo Alto commemorate and tell the stories of these soldiers. After the database is developed, unit histories, digitized documents, and information on U.S.-Mexican War soldiers will be added. Efforts will also be made to include names and information about Mexican soldiers in this war.

On the Road Again

By the time you read these words, I should be en route to Auckland, New Zealand, to be a tourist for a few days and then to make presentations at the Auckland Family History Expo 2016 on 12 August to 14 August. (See for information about the conference.)

I will also offer a presentation on Monday, 15 August, at the Auckland Central City Library. Details may be found at

Following the conferences, I will take a a few days’ vacation in a country that has been on my bucket list of places to visit for years: Singapore. I am told Singapore is a great place to visit or even to live. I’d like to check it out for myself.

What’s in a Name? Finding Your Identity in a Changing, Socially Connected America by Liz Pekler

I am delighted to introduce a new guest author for this newsletter. Liz Pekler describes herself as a “travel photographer and social advocate for equality and change.” Here is her first article for this newsletter:


Image Source: Pixabay

In a speech delivered at Cairo University a few months into his term, then newly-elected U.S. President Barack Obama remarked: “Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected president.”

Indeed, a vast majority of Americans likely thought the exact same thing in the decades prior to 2008. From the time of the Mayflower pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock in the 1600s to the 19th century, families with traditional English, Scottish, or Welsh last names such as Smith, Johnson, Taylor, Miller, Jones, and Williams populated the early American landscape. Meanwhile, Western European migration in the late 19th to early 20th centuries further injected U.S. society with more varied bloodlines, adding names such as Anderson, Clark, Nelson, Martin, Rossi, and Murphy to the melting pot.

New Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

7,544,737 new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including:

United States, Canadian Border Crossings

United States, Canadian Border Crossings contains over 6.6 million highly detailed records. The collection is made up of four collections from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), including both indexes and passenger manifests of entries from Canada into the United States through St Albans, Vermont, between 1895 and 1954. Passage to Canada was generally less expensive than travelling directly to the United States. If you have been unable to discover how your ancestors arrived in the United States using other US travel and migration records, it could be because that they chose to take this route.

How to Print Directly to a PDF File in Windows 10

Go-PaperlessI have often written about the benefits of going paperless. (See for my articles concerning going paperless.) Instead of printing things on paper, I suggest using your computer to create PDF file of the documents instead. PDF files are easy to create, require less space, are easier to send by mail (by using email), are easier to copy, are easier to find in the future, and, if you really need something on paper in the future, can be printed at any time.

Macintosh users have had the capability for years of creating PDF documents from any application. Strangely, Windows did not have that capability until recently. Windows users have always needed to install third-party software in order to create PDF files. Now that has changed. Windows 10 lets you print directly to PDF from any application.

Dropbox Paper Challenges Evernote, Google Keep, Zoho Notebook, OneNote and Other Cloud-Connected Note-Taking Products

Evernote has long been one of the best note-taking apps for use by genealogists and by millions of others. I have been a big Evernote fan for years and still am. However, Evernote recently increased the prices of its Plus and Premium versions. Evernote Basic remains available free of charge but is now limited to two devices per account, like a computer and a phone, two computers, or a phone and a tablet. Bummer! (See my earlier article at for the details.)

Many Evernote users were disappointed by the news and have since looked for replacement programs. See my article about one possible replacement at while others are switching to Microsoft’s OneNote (see Now a new candidate from a well-known vendor is entering the marketplace.

Dropbox has long been a very popular cloud-based file storage service. Most Dropbox users find it is an excellent service for making backup copies of files as well as copying (or “replicating”) those files amongst multiple computers, such as keeping the same files at all times on both your your desktop and laptop computers. The same files also can be retrieved on an iPad, iPhone, Android device, Windows Phone, or even on a Kindle Fire. Now Dropbox is adding a new trick that appears to be aimed at enticing Evernote users to switch to Dropbox’s new service.

Collage, The London Picture Map

Launched last week, Collage, The London Picture Map allows you to trace London’s visual history street by street. With more than 150,000 pictures mapped across the city, the digital photo archive of the city of London is a huge resource showing what London looked like over the years. Yes, if you have London ancestors, it is likely that you can now see what they saw. The project is the result of two full years of digitizing and mapping images from the London Metropolitan Archive and the Guildhall Art Gallery, which together possess the largest collection of London images in the world.

Whitechapel High Street- looking east about 1890

Whitechapel High Street- looking east about 1890

(+) How to Obtain Information from the 1950 through 2010 US Census Records

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

Seal_of_the_United_States_Census_BureauMost US genealogists believe that the US decennial census records are inaccessible for 72 years to protect respondents’ privacy. Not true! The records are restricted but not completely unavailable. That is, the records from the past 72 years are not available to the general public but are available to a very few individuals who have a need to obtain the information contained in a record. The process for obtaining transcripts of the information is simple although, like many other requests sent to the government, delays are common.

Announcing the Online Launch of The List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers

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

A colour-coded resource of surviving registers and their locations

Archive of the Month August 2016

Irish Genealogical Research Society

At a reception in St Audoen’s parish church, Dublin, at 6pm, Wednesday, 3rd August 2016, the Director of the National Archives, John McDonough, launched The List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers: an online colour-coded resource featuring live links to other relevant online resources.

Charles City County, Virginia, Records Stolen by Union Soldier During Civil War have Now been Returned

Charles City is among about 20 Virginia counties whose records were destroyed or pillaged during the war. Charles City County records that were taken by a Union soldier during the Civil War have been returned, closing part of a gap in wills, marriages, indentures and other court filings from the 1600s.

The records disappeared in August 1862, during the Peninsula Campaign. On Aug. 15 at 10 a.m., local and state officials will celebrate their return on the 154th anniversary of their disappearance.

2017 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise Early Booking Special

I wrote earlier (at about Gary and Diana Smith’s 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean on February 26 to March 5, 2017. I will be on that cruise and certainly am looking forward to it. I have been on the Celebrity Silhouette before and loved it. Now the cruise line has announced an Early Booking Special for anyone who signs up for the cruise before August 31.

The option for unlimited Internet access is unusual. Internet access from cruise ships is usually very expensive. I will be signing up for that option!

Here is the announcement:

Celebrity Solstice - Aerial at Sea Miami ShorelineEARLY BOOKING SPECIAL
Genealogy Cruise

7-Night Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Silhouette
February 26 to March 5, 2017

Reserve: Oceanview, Balcony, Concierge, or Aqua Class Stateroom* by August 31, 2016 and receive your choice of two (2) of the following amenities:


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