Sandy on October 31st, 2012

The Celts, who lived about 2000 years ago in what we now know 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. It was at this […]

Continue reading about The fascinating history of Halloween-not a tall tale

Well, now we know eccentricity and dark humor is not a product of this generation. has published a cool article for Halloween by Paul Rawlins. Happy Halloween! “Who would name their daughter Halloween? According to the 1920 (and 1930) U.S. census, that would be John and Ollie Hildebrand of Freeborn Township, Missouri, for one […]

Continue reading about Some interesting names for the records, Halloween, Dracula, Frankenstein, Ghost…

The Clans, Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands is an excellent and comprehensive work on Scotland’s highland clans and is probably  most accurate account of Scottish clans, tartans, and fighting regiments ever published. In the context of Scottish clans, septs are families that followed another family’s chief. These smaller septs would then comprise, and […]

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Sandy on October 29th, 2012

Some say that genealogy is America’s second-most popular hobby and some say it’s the first. And, as stated by University of Michigan anthropologist Beverly Strassmann, it’s a hobby that started with the hunter-gathers of the Neolithic Period about 11,500 years ago around the same time that the transition to the agriculture society was taking place. […]

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Bloomberg reported on October 26 that shareholders are not doing a happy dance over the proposed $1.6 billion buyout by Permira Advisers LLP. The article below includes links for further information: “ the world’s largest family-history website, was sued by shareholders who contend they will be shortchanged in a proposed $1.6 billion buyout by […]

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Sandy on October 27th, 2012

Take two minutes to view and hang on for a fast ride:

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If you are hooked on researching your family history and want to consider enhancing your skillset to become a certified genealogist to help others, you could start by looking at The Genealogists Proof Standard. The Proof Standard code t was originally written in 1964 and then updated in 1994 by the Board for Certification of […]

Continue reading about Certification for Genealogists, the Proof Standard and the Genealogist’s Code

Remember about two years ago when Apple founder Steve Jobs stated on an earnings conference call that it would be impossible to make a good tablet with a screen smaller than the iPad’s 10 inch display? “There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably […]

Continue reading about Steve Jobs said it would never happen! Apple unveils iPad mini at California event

Sandy on October 24th, 2012

Alan Stewart of Grow Your Own Family Tree has reported that the website Family Relatives has added more than 200,000 records to its collections: “Family Relatives says: “We are delighted to add some unique records to our expanding collection and existing 850 million records. We have added over 200,000 records in a number of directories […]

Continue reading about African and Caribbean telephone directories go online

Last week I passed through Lenoir in North Carolina on the way to enjoy mountain views of the North Carolina Fall foliage. (Lenoir by the way is pronounced Lenore although Renoir is not pronounced Renore). We did wonder in passing about the location of the new Google data center that did bring some much needed […]

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According to Bloomberg and USA today, Permira Advisers LLP has reached an agreement to buy Ancestry. com for about $1.6 billion, according to someone familiar with the sale. At this time Premira has declined to comment. The AP press release is as follows: “PROVO, Utah (AP) — Genealogy website has agreed to be acquired […]

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Sandy on October 21st, 2012

An interesting list has been put together by Irish Central of the top 100 common Irish surnames with a brief explanation of where these names come from. The list provides an interesting historical reference from A to W. I was interested to learn that MacCormack was of Scottish origin from the Buchanan clan. As written […]

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Here’s a good news statement from the office of the Governor of Georgia published yesterday October 18: “Gov. Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced today that the state will restore $125,000 to Kemp’s budget to keep the Georgia State Archives open to Georgians for the remainder of the budget year. “Georgia’s Archives […]

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Sandy on October 19th, 2012 is publishing a daily mystery genealogy death records challenge using the site’s death records collections. If you enter a challenge you’ll be entered in a November 2  grand prize drawing for an iPad. Challenges will be available today, Oct. 19 (the weekend challenge) and again on Oct. 22, 24, 26, 29, and 31st. If […]

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The following is a release from Genes Reunited and Findmypast with news about free access to all 1911 census transcriptions for the next month:  “ALL 1911 TRANSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW FREE ON GENES REUNITED AND FINDMYPAST.CO.UK Leading family history websites and have teamed up to offer their members free access to all 1911 census […]

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Sandy on October 17th, 2012

Since I made the decision to cut the clutter and go electronic with books and other paper records I have, like some others, often commented that ebooks appear over priced overpriced. In fact, I’ve even blogged on the subject several times. The article that would pertain to this blog post is about the Department of […]

Continue reading about $69 million eBook settlement could mean money for you

On October 18, 1867, a mere 145 years ago, the U.S. took possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for the insignificant amount (by today’s standards) of $7.2 million. If the Russians had decided to keep it you can rest assured that they would have been drilling for oil and we would be […]

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When you’ve been researching family history for a few years it’s easy to forget to pass along what seems obvious. I’m talking about those helpful hints for finding your ancestors that seem clear, but are not so apparent to people starting out. Nick Cifuentes has published a blog post on Ancestry that provides some great […]

Continue reading about Genealogy: Death Certificates provide valuable information about birth, life and death

According to a new Spanish National Research Council report, a concrete structure nearly 10 feet wide and 6.5 feet tall has been unearthed by archaeologists. It is currently thought to have been erected by Julius Caesar’s successor, Augustus, to condemn the assassination of Caesar on March 25, 44 B.C. The structure was found at the […]

Continue reading about Discovery of spot where Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Curia of Pompey

In these days of cloud storage the following news release from Genes Reunited could be a welcome solution to storing your family genealogy records if you’re already a Genes Reunited member. If you’re researching family history, Genes Reunited reportedly has 12 million members and over 780 million names listed. One new name is added to […]

Continue reading about Genes Reunited launches Keepsafe for digitally storing family records

The latest press release from “(PROVO, Utah) – October 11, 2012– What do Justin Bieber, Ryan Gosling, Avril Lavigne and Celine Dion have in common? According to, the world’s largest online family history resource,the four Canadian performers are all related, sharing a family connection with some of Quebec’s earliest settlers. Heartthrobs: It’s a […]

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Scotland’s University of Glasgow has announced an 18 month project to produce the first ever extensive database of Scotland’s loved poet Robert Burns manuscripts, which could hold great significance for Burns scholars across Scotland. The Centre (center) for Robert Burns Studies is in collaboration with BurnsScotland to examine, digitize and store all Burns papers. Papers […]

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Sandy on October 10th, 2012

October is American Archives Month, a time when the efforts of all the great archivists throughout the country are recognized. The work of an archivist at the National Archives is a lot different from what you’ve experienced at the office. You may even have seen the commercial with the file clerk sitting exhausted at her […]

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If you’re a regular Facebook user as well as a family historian you’ll be interested to know about’s new future that allows members to use Facebook to add information and new people to family trees: “We are excited to announce the release of a new feature that allows Ancestry members to use Facebook to […]

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As regular as clockwork every Saturday morning I receive the Genealogy in Time Magazine newsletter. It’s an excellent resource and I can personally recommend that you sign up if you don’t already receive it. This week the focus is on a three-part Date Guide to English Genealogy, which provides a reference timeline for English genealogy […]

Continue reading about A common sense date guide to English genealogy from GenealogyInTime Magazine

A fascinating new website has been launched to explore the history and mystery of Native American  artwork. The website highlights  the major milestones in the evolution of Native American Indian art of the Southwest and explores the  connection between history and today’s culture from basket weaving to jewelry styles with each piece of art illustrative […]

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There’s a brand new Irish genealogy library in Phoenix, Arizona. The McClelland Irish Library (MIL), five years in the making, cost $5 million dollars and holds more than 6,000 books, journals and periodicals on the rich Irish genealogy. Along with reading rooms and computer research resources there’s an exiting ongoing exhibit of the Book of […]

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1000memories founded in 2010 is an online photo digitizing technology, which brings sharing capability previously unavailable to users. I wrote about the release of the release of 1000memories ShoeBox App for the Android and iPhone. I believe this is a win-win situation for Ancestry. The following Globe Newswire release was published by NASDAQ: “PROVO, […]

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Tonight, millions of Americans and people from other nations will be tuning into as Obama and Romney go head to head in the first of three presidential debates. In case you haven’t noticed each has poured praise on the others debating skills in a the usual effort to lower the public’s expectations for his own […]

Continue reading about The presidential debates then and, more importantly, now

Sandy on October 3rd, 2012

According to Reuters news service, Permira Advisers LLP has now emerged as the front-runner to take Inc private with a deal that could top $1.5 billion. This is a result of a request by Ancestry to the private equity firm and its competitors to improve on their offers. It has been reported that the […]

Continue reading about Update: Permira front runner in Ancestry sale talks

We’ve often heard the opinion that the platform used by Wikipedia in which anyone can contribute is likely to be filled with errors and bias that would make it completely unreliable and unusable. This unfortunate perception continues in spite of evidence that Wikipedia is every bit as accurate as printed encyclopedias. The latest rumble is […]

Continue reading about Latest Wikipedia controversy: How NARA avoids conflicts of interest

The British National Archives is an amazing online resource. The latest addition to their collection is a project titled “Asia through a lens”. The collection is made up of more than 35,000 photographs, sketches and drawings from across the British Empire and offers a unique insight into life in the colonies from the second half […]

Continue reading about British National Archives has released online early images of Asia