Recent Posts

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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“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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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

A press release from Ancestrycom: “PROVO, Utah, Aug. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com Inc. (the “Company”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com LLC, today announced that it has completed its offer to exchange (the “Exchange Offer”) up to $300,000,000 of its outstanding 11.00% Senior Notes due 2020 for up to $300,000,000 of its new […]

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Award winning actor Kevin Spacey gave a talk in Edinburgh, Scotland, making so much sense that I’ve decided to share it on this blog. The major message of the presentation was “…give people what they want, when they want it, in the form that they want it in, at a reasonable price and they’ll be […]

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Can you Imagine, a Canadian dentist Michael Zuk who purchased John Lennon’s molar in 2011 has reportedly begun sequencing Lennon’s DNA as the first step to creating a clone set out by scientists who propose to clone a woolly mammoth. Please do not do this! Although a clone would turn out looking like John Lennon. […]

Continue reading about Canadian dentist hopes to clone John Lennon using tooth DNA

Sandy on August 23rd, 2013

Findmypast.co.uk has added 125 million new newspaper articles covering 1753-2012 from worldwide sources.  Newspaper articles are handy since they contain stories that ordinary records don’t have. They also help family historians to understand what was going on during the time their ancestor was alive. Full details of what this extensive record release is as follows: […]

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Millions of school records covering every region of England and Wales from 1870-1914 are going online. This will be a significant source of information for family historians. The following information was posted on the UK and Ireland Archives and Records Association (ARA) website: “Contracts have been signed by ARA and brightsolid after agreement was reached […]

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The following information comes from FamilySearch.org FamilySearch has recently added close to 1.5 million indexed records and images from Chile, Honduras, Jamaica, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 953,730 indexed records from the Jamaica, Civil Registration, 1880–1999, collection, the 242,722 indexed records and images from the U.S., Louisiana, New Orleans Passenger Lists, […]

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Sandy on August 21st, 2013

The following article appeared on Dick Eastman’s blog Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter today and serves as a warning to anyone considering hiring one an organization such as the one mentioned in the article to find missing or unknown heirs: “World Wide Genealogy Ltd (formerly Beneficiaries Ltd) of Reading, England, was convicted of 10 counts of […]

Continue reading about “Heir Hunters” Ordered to Repay Their Victims

Sandy on August 19th, 2013

Two hundred, searchable volumes covering  350 years of history have now been made available online at Findmypast.co.uk. The news release is as follows: “Great news for those of you with Canadian relations! We’ve added 71,000 pages of books covering nearly 350 years of history from all corners of Canada to our World Collection including: Military […]

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Sandy on August 16th, 2013

TARDIS means “Time and Relative Dimension in Space”. It’s the time machine and spacecraft in the science fiction television program Dr. Who and all its spin-offs. When the program Dr. Who was first developed in 1963 by the BBC, I was watching and loving it and so was my dad. The story is about the […]

Continue reading about What is TARDIS? and what Google has done

The following is a press release from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): “Washington, DC…The National Archives marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with a featured display of an iconic image from the march, a special program and film screenings of THE MARCH, James Blue’s 1964 film […]

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Tonight at 9/8 central  “Who Do You Think You Are? is featuring  Zooey Deschanel  (New Girl).  Zooey journeys to Pennsylvania for to research her Quaker roots. If you aren’t able to watch or record the show, the episode will be available for viewing on the TLC website.

Continue reading about Tonight’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” on TLC: Zooey Deschanel’s (New Girl) Quaker roots

Sandy on August 12th, 2013

Good news for Canadian genealogists and family historians.  Access has been granted to 1921 hand-written census data made available by Ancestry.ca last week thanks to the Library and Archives Canada. The release comes a few days before Statistics Canada will make public a final ste of data from the 2011 National Household Survey on August […]

Continue reading about A glimpse into 1920s Canada: New census data released

The “frying Pan” was the first electric lap steel guitar created by George Beauchamp in 1931 and manufactured by Rickenbacker Electro. The instrument earned its frying pan nickname because of its circular body and long neck. The acoustic guitar was a staple of American rural music in the early 20th century mainly in black rural […]

Continue reading about While My Guitar Gently Weeps: First-ever electric guitar the “frying pan” August 10, 1937

I couldn’t let this one pass. The 47 story skyscraper in Spain set to be the tallest residential building in the European Union has an interesting problem that is causing a lot of red faces. Although there is an elevator reaching the 20th floor, floors 21 through 47 has a problem there’s no elevator and […]

Continue reading about 47-story Spanish high-rise has a big problem: they forgot the elevators

The latest press release from Ancestry.com: “PROVO, Utah, Aug. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com LLC, the world’s largest online family history resource, announced the appointment of Janice Chaffin and Brad Garlinghouse to the Company’s Operating Committee, increasing the Committee’s size to seven members. The Company has already reported these appointments in its Registration Statement […]

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Ancestry.com has added Registers of Clandestine Marriages and of Baptisms in the Fleet Prison, King’s Bench Prison, the Mint and the May Fair Chapel, which includes details on: Rules of Marriages Who performed Clandestine Marriages What you may find in the records What You May Find in the Records The contents and format of the […]

Continue reading about London, England, Clandestine Marriage and Baptism Registers, 1667-1754

Upfront with NGS has just kicked off a four part series on DNA testing and its genealogical uses. Although the first DNA tests were done in 1999, DNA testing for genealogy was still in its early stages it didn’t the consumer market place until a few years ago. And, according to the National Genealogic Society […]

Continue reading about DNA Testing for Genealogy – What Can It Do For You?? Part 1 of 4

Sandy on August 3rd, 2013

Bessie Jones was born February 8, 1902, and died July 17, 1984. A gospel singer from Smithville, GA, she learned her songs from her grandfather a former slave born in Africa. Bessie was a founding member of the Georgia Sea Island Singers. Click on the video below to hear her sing—So Glad I’m Here: For […]

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One of my all-time favorite poems is Ozymandias. It was written by Percy Bysshe Shelly and first published in the British magazine The Examiner in 1818. The central theme of Ozymandias is the inevitable decline of all leaders, and of the empires they built, however mighty in their own time. English Romantic poet  was born on […]

Continue reading about Percy Bysshe Shelley born August 4, 1792 a reminder of the human condition

This is a terrific magazine and it’s free. The July issue (14th edition) of Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy eMagazine is now available online to read or download free of charge from www.irishlivesremembered.com. This edition is packed with 72 pages of family history resources and stories to help trace your Irish ancestors with a special focus […]

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