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Sandy on November 27th, 2013

By 1916, United States citizens were referring to Thanksgiving Day as Turkey Day, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the Pilgrims might not have eaten turkey at all. According to historians, the Pilgrims ate wildfowl, corn, and venison.  Turkey first claimed its place as the Thanksgiving bird in the 1700s when Founding Father […]

Continue reading about A short history of the Thanksgiving feast

The following Warning Letter dated November 22, 2013, was sent to Ann Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe, Inc., regarding the marking of the 23andMe Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service without marketing clearance and approval in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. I’ve left off the address, which you can find on […]

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Sandy on November 22nd, 2013

50 years ago today.

Continue reading about RIP President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Sandy on November 22nd, 2013

Kannon Yamada has written a simply excellent article, How to Get Your Identity Stolen in One Easy Step.  It really is a must read for everyone. In the article Mr.Yamada explains how to take care of your personal information in a way that is easy to follow and a real eye opener with a few surprises […]

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The following news release from Ancestry.com looks back at the assassination of President John F.  Kennedy in their new online historical record collection: “PROVO, UT–(Marketwired – Nov 20, 2013) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today released for the first time online 6.5 million new birth and death records from the Texas […]

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The latest announcement from NGS regarding the 2014 Family History Conference is as follows:  “NGS is pleased to announce the program for the 2014 Family History Conference is now available in a sixteen-page Registration Brochure, which can be downloaded at http://goo.gl/KwHTix. The online version of the program is also available on the conference website at conference.ngsgenealogy.org. Conference […]

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On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War. The Gettysburg Address as […]

Continue reading about The Gettysburg Address: One of the most memorable speeches in just 272 words

The latest news from FamilySearch.org is shared below: “FamilySearch has added more than 3.2 million indexed records and images from Austria, BillionGraves, Brazil, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,157,399 images from the Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902–1980, collection, the 324,226 images from the new South Africa, […]

Continue reading about FamilySearch Adds More Than 3.2 Million Indexed Records and Images to Collections from Austria, Brazil, Italy, South Africa, and the United States

Sandy on November 15th, 2013

The following article was published in Bloomberg online news that Google Books achieved a major victory in federal court yesterday when Judge Denny Chin ruled that its digitization of more than 20+ million books is a fair use under the United States copyright laws:  “Google Inc.’s (GOOG) project to digitally copy millions of books for online […]

Continue reading about Google wins dismissal of suit over digital books project

Sandy on November 13th, 2013

On November 13, 1850, Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, is born in Scotland. Stevenson studied civil engineering and law, but decided to pursue a career as a writer and began publishing essays and travel pieces. His decision alienated his parents, who expected him to follow the family trade of lighthouse keeping. […]

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According to TechCrunch, Google is today releasing another update to Gmail. Google users will now be able to skip the downloading process with email messages with just a click.  You can view and save your files directly to Google Drive without leaving your inbox. This change is being made a day after the rollout of […]

Continue reading about The latest Google update: Gmail users no longer need to download attachments

As Veteran’s Day draws near (Monday, November 11) hear in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, it’s a time to remember those who fought and died in conflicts across the globe. To honor the approaching centenary of the First World War the British National Archives is offering a way to research this war and the […]

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Hot on the heels of yesterdays much talked about Twitter’s big public launch, an article in Forbes titled The Twitter Guide for Professionals Who ‘Just Don’t Get It’ written by Tim Maurer, provides some interesting context on what Twitter is all about. I actually do “get” the value of Twitter at the same time am […]

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FamilySearch has added more than 1.2 million indexed records and images from Brazil, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 442,32 images from the Italy, Bologna, Bologna, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866–1942, collection, the 241,897 images from the India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194–2013, collection, and the 244,840 images from […]

Continue reading about FamilySearch adds more than 1.2 Million indexed records and Iimages to collections from Brazil, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the United States

According to AP a copy of Napoleon’s will soon be up for auction on tomorrow in Paris’ Drouot Auction house, giving unusual insight into Napoleon’s final days. The original letter penned in Napoleon’s own illegible hand on April 16, 1821, is in France’s national archives and unavailable for purchase. The copy written by a close […]

Continue reading about Copy of Napoleon Bonaparte’s will up for auction in Paris on November 6

The following press release from the National Archives and Records Administration regarding a new exhibition opening Friday, November 8 on the Iraqi Jewish artifacts—See below: Washington, DC…On Friday, October 11, 2013, the National Archives will unveil a new exhibition, “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage.” The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials […]

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Sandy on October 31st, 2013

The Celts, those interesting and mysterious folks who lived about 2000 years ago in what is known today as the United Kingdom and Ireland, celebrated New Year on November 1st. They believed that on the night before New Year the boundary between the worlds of the living and the world of the dead became blurred. […]

Continue reading about Halloween is not a tall tale it’s real

Sandy on October 30th, 2013

As I’ve often mentioned on SpittalStreet.com, gravestones and obituaries are useful tools to add meaningful and hard to find information to your family tree. Obituaries are among the few places that usually include a woman’s maiden as well as her married name together. This makes it easier to track down female ancestors. They also often […]

Continue reading about New tips and trick for Halloween from MyHeritage

The National Archives is hosting the 9th annual forum on communications with former White House photographers on October 30th at 7 p.m. The event will be webcast live on the National ARchives UStream channel. The link is available on the following press release from NARA: “Washington, DC…On Wednesday, October 30, at 7 p.m., the National […]

Continue reading about National Archives Hosts 9th Annual Forum on Communications with Former White House Photographers on October 30

A new website is in the launch stage to request volunteers to record all the Welsh place-names. I tried the site today and it doesn’t appear to be ready yet. Keep trying. Alan Stewart says: “October 22nd 2013 saw the launch of a new website which hopes to harness the power of volunteers to record […]

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If you’ve been worried about how to preserve your digital records, you may soon be able to purchase a new optical disk that could store data for up to a billion years. To some this may seem hubristic, to others definitely not. According to the latest gizmag report, a researcher at the University of Twente […]

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Sandy on October 25th, 2013

New online records of Scottish Property Valuation Rolls for 1920 are scheduled to be released on Monday October 28, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. The news release from ScotlandsPeople is as follows:  “‘Homes fit for heroes’? New historical records offer a fascinating snapshot of Scottish society in the wake of the First World War The names […]

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Sandy on October 23rd, 2013

Crista Cowan (The Barefoot Genealogist) offers a simple plan on the Ancestry.com blog about how to get more from your AncestryDNA test. If you find a lot of cousin matches and are not sure how to make the connection, Christa has offered a very commonsense approach. There are six points with explanations along with a […]

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According to an official report, rising sea levels are threatening the existence of Orkney’s island’s famous Stone Age village of Skara Brae. A draft management plan for the protection of the Stone Age site chronicles coastal erosion as “a threat to the long-term survival” of the subterranean village. The report, compiled by Unesco, Historic Scotland, […]

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I hope you follow the link to the Spitalfields Life website. The website displays a collection of pictures taken of Old London, England, taken by the Society of Photographing of the Relecs of Old London held in the archive at the Bishopsgate Institute. As the gentle author on the Spitalfields Life website stated, “It gives […]

Continue reading about Amazing photographs of old London from the Bishopsgate Institute archive

Sandy on October 20th, 2013

Deceased Online says: “On Wednesday 9th October we changed some aspects of the way the Deceased Online (DOL) website works. For most users the differences in day-to-day use of the website will be minimal, as the changes are limited to the way documents are priced and how you pay for them. Effective prices will not change. […]

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Sandy on October 18th, 2013

On October 18, 1867, the U.S. took possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million. This works out to less than two cents per acre. The Alaska purchase comprised 586,412 square miles and in case you didn’t know it’s  about twice the size of Texas. The deal was led by William Henry Seward, secretary […]

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Sandy on October 16th, 2013

Followers of this blog certainly know SpittalStreet.com is not a political platform. That said, like most of the citizens of great Republic I’m concerned about what’s been happening these past few weeks regarding the Debt Ceiling and the Affordable Care Act (affordable to whom?–throw ‘em all out) and decided to draw attention to yet another […]

Continue reading about NSA surveillance: A tool for tracking everyone

One of my go-to sites the StreetInsider.com has published the following up-to-date newsflash from Business Wire regarding a landmark alliance between MyHeritage and FamilySearch that includes the exchange of technological innovation and historical records to benefit users: “TEL AVIV, Israel & SALT LAKE CITY, Utah–(BUSINESS WIRE)– MyHeritage, the popular online family history network, and FamilySearch.org announced today the […]

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Sandy on October 14th, 2013

In Canada, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October to celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year. It’s a statutory holiday in most areas of Canada with the optional exceptions of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Companies regulated by the Canadian Federal Government, such […]

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Sandy on October 11th, 2013

I can’t say this has happened to me, but if you’ve ever been appalled to see yourself or your friends in a Facebook ad, then you’re going to be more upset over Google’s new Terms of Service (TOS). Google updated its TOS today to allow an adult user’s profile name and photo to appear in […]

Continue reading about News Update: Your face may appear in a Google ad soon

We all make mistakes, even the Vatican. The following article appeared in USA Today: “What would “Lesus” do? He would probably spell-check his work. The Vatican has reportedly withdrawn from sale around 6,000 medals of a new papal medal inscribed in error with the word “Lesus” instead of “Jesus.” Four of the medals, which went […]

Continue reading about Sweet ‘Lesus': Vatican apparently didn’t spell-check

A prayer book considered to be the Jewish equivalent of an early complete edition of the Christian Book of Common Prayer has recently been discovered. This rare Hebrew text dates back to the 9th century and predates the world’s oldest Torah scroll.  The book as 50 pages and is 4.3 inches long and 4 inches […]

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The free genealogy electronic magazine Irish Lives Remembered is a great and well-presented resource. The October issue is the 17th edition and available for download for family researchers and genealogists across the globe. There are interactive links throughout the magazine and it can also be downloaded to PDF format. Click on Irish Lives Remembered to […]

Continue reading about Free: Irish Lives Remembered e-Magazine October issue now available

Sandy on October 7th, 2013

Another amazing free resource for researchers looking for ancestors in Devon, England: “This index has been created as a combined project by Origins.net and the Devon Wills Project (DWP). DWP is a collaborative project involving the Devon Family History Society, the Devon Record Office, GENUKI/Devon, and the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office to compile a consolidated […]

Continue reading about Devon Wills Project 1312-1891 online FREE of charge

The first 140-character message from Twitter was sent in March 2006 and, since then, the company has become a game-changing communications tool, making news from public figures and ordinary citizens. Twitter appears to be having a difficult time going public. I do understand that Twitter is a fire hose and beyond the CNNs, Kardashians, and […]

Continue reading about Twitter’s advertisers say 218 million followers isn’t a big enough audience!

D. C. Thomson Company, Ltd., is a Scottish publishing company based in Dundee, best known in Scotland for comics. They are also known as the owners of brightsolid one of the first Internet Service Providers. D.C. Thomson also publishes The Dundee Courier, The Sunday Post, Oor Wullie, The Broons, The Beano, The Dandy and Commando. United Kingdom […]

Continue reading about The future of family history is digital: Well-known brightsolid renamed DC Thomson Family History

FamilySearch (remember it’s free) has recently added more than 10 million indexed records and images from England, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 2,829,077 indexed records from the U.S., Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1891–1943, collection, the 1,452,770 indexed records from the Mexico, Distrito Federal, Civil Registration, […]

Continue reading about FamilySearch adds more than 10 million records including England’s Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire

If living well is the best revenge, then Rod Stewart has long since avenged the critical barbs he’s suffered through the years. Still active in his fifth decade as a recording star, he can point to nearly three dozen pop hits and nearly 40 million albums sold as proof that he’s done something very right. […]

Continue reading about Rod Stewart earns his first #1 hit with “Maggie May”-Oct 2, 1971

Ancestry.com announced yesterday that they had acquired Find A Grave, Inc., the online cemetery database. This is big news. They have been buying smaller players in the genealogy business and Find A Grave has a huge database of memorials and photographs. The news release is as follows: “PROVO, Utah, Sept. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — […]

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It was announced yesterday, that the world’s oldest running newspaper Lloyd’s List will stop the presses and go digital only after 279 years. The paper, known as The List, was started by Edward Lloyd the owner of Lloyd’s Coffee House in London, England, in 1734 started as a notice pinned to the wall of the […]

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I’d already noticed that Google is much improved at offering direct answers to questions? Yesterday, Google celebrated its 15th birthday and told the world about their latest search algorithm update—Hummingbird. Hummingbird’s impact affects almost 90% of sites worldwide, so that makes it the biggest update since 2009—Caffeine. A few weeks ago, they quietly flipped the […]

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After more than 150 years, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association has opened the Fred W. Smith National Library to allow as all to study George Washington. I find it curious that there wasn’t a Presidential Library dedicated to the first president of this country before, but there is now. I’d like to share Steph Solis, […]

Continue reading about George Washington presidential library to open today, September 27.

Sandy on September 26th, 2013

If you’ve purchased online and paid for your purchases through PayPal, you’ll be interested to learn that Ebay’s PayPal has bought Chicago-based payments gateway Braintree in a cash deal worth $800 million. Braintree was on sale with Square and PayPal both in acquisition discussions for the company. The idea is to combine Braintree with eBay’s […]

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Sandy on September 25th, 2013

If you’ve heard mention during family discussions of an ancestor who worked for British royalty, you may find the addition of 300,000 Royal Household records at Findmypast.co.uk a useful resource. See below: “300,000 new Royal Household records added It’s time to find out if your ancestors worked for royalty as we’ve published more than 300,000 Royal Household staff […]

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Kelly Clarkston (American Idol winner) was described as being forced to sell a $250,000 gold and turquoise ring, once owned by English novelist Jane Austin. Forced is probably a strong word to use since Kelly was reportedly very gracious about her London auction purchase being thwarted. Ms Clarkson is a fan of the 19th-century author […]

Continue reading about Jane Austin’s House Museum buys Kelly Clarkson’s Jane Austen ring

I’d like to share part of the most recent newsletter from ScotlandsPeople that arrived in my inbox today. Among other interesting items, it refers to Laurel and Hardy’s links with Scotland and Oliver Hardy’s Scottish roots. There’s also a link to the news story in BBC News Highlands and Islands, referred to in the newsletter. […]

Continue reading about Laurel and Hardy’s links with ‘Bonnie Scotland’ and Oliver Hardy’s Scottish roots

Genealogy Roadshow is premiering it’s new series on PBS on Monday September 23, solving family history mysteries. Fall episodes will take place in Detroit, Nashville, Austin and San Francisco, featuring folks who have interesting family history claims, stories or questions submitted, explored and solved by professional genealogists. Some participants believe they are distant cousins to […]

Continue reading about ‘Genealogy Roadshow,’ new on PBS, solves family history mysteries

A new online website has been set up by England’s North Yorkshire County Council thanks to the rising popularity of local and family history and to TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are? E-shop customers will be able to buy research packages to help them investigate their family tree, their community etc. The […]

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Sandy on September 19th, 2013

Here we go again with yet another privacy issue—Or, is it? The most recent squawk is about the new fingerprint recognition feature on the iPhone 5s. I think it’s safe to accept the reality that as we enjoy the latest innovations in technology we’re giving up yet another slither of our personal privacy. Fingerprint recognition is […]

Continue reading about Is the iPhone 5S fingerprint really secure?

Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was so much more than painter of the world famous The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa.  Da Vinci is considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and one of the most diversely talented human being to ever have lived. In addition […]

Continue reading about Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable Codex on the Flight of Birds now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The Family History Library (FHL), in Salt Lake City, Utah, the largest family history library in the world has named Diane Loosle as its new director. Congratulations to Ms. Loosle for being the first woman to hold this job. Diane has exciting plans, for the FHL and says a top priority for her as director […]

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Sandy on September 17th, 2013

New regulations allow New York animal lovers to spend eternity with their pets. According to The Daily News Reports, officials have finalized worked out rules allowing pet cemeteries to accept cremated remains of humans. Note that it’s the humans who go to the pets, and they can’t advertise human burial services. Back in 2011, New […]

Continue reading about New York legalizes burial with your pet

“GenealogyInTime Magazine” is located in Ottawa, Canada. It’s a wonderful online research tool for family historians and the fifth largest free genealogy website in the world. I’ve found it to be a great informational resource and it’s so much more than an online magazine as you’ll discover when you visit the site. This week, a […]

Continue reading about An additional 532 million free genealogy records from around the world are now searchable at GenealogyInTime.

Sandy on September 15th, 2013

A brand new library has opened in Texas well stocked with 10,000 e-books and 500 e-readers, apparently looks like an Apple store but really is a library. Located in San Antonio’s Bexar County and named BiblioTech, the $2.4 million 4,000 square-foot pace opened to the public on Saturday. Interestingly, the library was built with $1.9 million […]

Continue reading about A bookless library has newly opened in San Antonio

Sandy on September 13th, 2013

Today at sundown, is the beginning of the Day of Atonement, also known as Yom Kippur (יוֹם כִּפּוּר or יום הכיפורים.) It’s the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. The most heard greeting for the Jewish New Year season is “May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life”. […]

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Sandy on September 13th, 2013

Is this the beginning or the beginning of many problems? Has the long-awaited day arrived? Let’s hope they can borrow the “Lessons Learned” project files from Facebook. Twitter has a 200 million user microblogging service and is a great platform for all including family historians. The service has filed for its initial public offering and […]

Continue reading about Twitter Files for IPO

I personally considered Dell computers to be a quality product then something happened. Today’s news is probably great for the user community and, of course, the shareholders. Based on a preliminary vote tally from the special meeting of stockholders on Sept.12, 2013, Dell stockholders have approved the proposal in which Michael Dell, Dell’s Founder, Chairman […]

Continue reading about Michael Dell and Silverlake Partners secure stockholder approval to go private

The following is the latest press release from Ancestry.com: “PROVO, Utah, Sept. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com Inc. (the “Company”) today announced that its indirect parent company, Ancestry.com Holdings LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (the “Parent”), intends to sell subject to market conditions, in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers under Rule […]

Continue reading about Ancestry.com announces launch of Senior Unsecured Notes Offering

BillionGraves says: This is another huge milestone for BillionGraves and we can’t thank you enough! This is no doubt due to all your hard work during these last few months! Thank you for all your countless hours traveling to cemeteries, cleaning off headstones and taking pictures. There is still so much more to do (including […]

Continue reading about BillionGraves hit the 5 MILLION records mark this weekend!

About 10 weeks ago the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided that “isolated human genes cannot be patented.”  The decreasing cost of genetic testing can allow laboratories to provide more affordable options for everyone. However the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents on over 20% of human genes. Apparently, this is […]

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The following press release regarding an agreement to deliver valuable historical content over the next five years between ancestry.com and International Family Search was published yesterday: “PROVO, Utah, Sept. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com and FamilySearch International (online at FamilySearch.org), the two largest providers of family history resources, announced today an agreement that is expected […]

Continue reading about Ancestry.com and FamilySearch to make a billion global records available online

In a smaller update, FamilySearch has recently added more than 260 thousand indexed records and images from Guatemala, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 102,461 images from the new U.S., Indiana, Naturalization Records and Indexes, 1848–1992, collection, the 45 images from the Italy, Mantova, Mantova, Censuses (Comune), 1750–1900, collection, […]

Continue reading about FamilySearch Adds More Than 260 Thousand Indexed Records and Images to Collections from Guatemala, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States

It’s always refreshing when regular folks who aren’t looking for royal connections still find an fascinating genealogy. Last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featured country music start Trisha Yearwood who discovered that her ancestral relatives stole wounded and killed “several fat bucks” from English royal hunting grounds in the 1700s. Comment […]

Continue reading about Trisha Yearwood “Who Do You Think You Are?” a must see

MyHeritage is offering genealogy researchers free access to their records. See below: “Labor Day weekend is here – a time to celebrate the contributions made by workers from the labor movement. It’s also time for families to get together and enjoy the last bit of summer with barbecues, parades and reunions. In honor of the […]

Continue reading about Free access to all US census records from MyHeritage during Labor Day weekend