The ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk website is celebrating its 10th anniversary in September 2012. A copy of the news release follows:
“Officially launched in mid-September 2002, ScotlandsPeople was one of the first genealogy sites to arrive on the web. The site now contains over 90 million digital records and corresponding images, and adds new sets of fully-searchable historical records on a regular basis.
With over one million registered users from across the world, the website remains the biggest online resource for Scottish census, birth, marriage and death records. The website has evolved through a decade of huge technological growth and in a time where interest in genealogy has soared.
Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of brightsolid, the company that enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland, said: Read the rest of this entry »
It has been touted since July of this year that Ancestry.com is looking for a sale. The latest update reports Ancestry.com is putting pressure on buyout firms to sweeten their offers after a second round of bids last month. As yet, no deal has been made.
As reported by Reuters on September 10, there are three companies currently bidding for the company. According to three people who are familiar with the matter, Ancestry is seeking an offer that tops $35 per share, or about $1.5 billion,
Today, Ancestry’s stock is up 13.1% to $30.80 on heavy trading volume with about 1.2 million shares have been traded today, as compared to the 30-day average volume of 505,000 shares. Spikes in volume could validate a breakout or signify a potential turning point.
The press release from Reuters is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve just finished a Scotsman newspaper article about ScotlandsDNA project, which started in 2011. The idea behind the project is to find out who the Scots are, more specifically who arrived there after the ice melted around 9,500BC. Scientists are making exponential gains in their quest to unlock the mysteries of DNA, so this sounds like a fascinating project for everyone involved.
Geneticists can now read genetic markers to a point where tiny variations can reveal a great deal about where we came from. These markers can not only determine the part of the world where they arose, they can also be dated.
ScotlandsDNA group has successfully managed to find some answers to questions about the Scots collective national identity and they are, to say the least, a surprising revelation.
If you and your Scottish relatives have dark hair you may have been told that you’re descended from shipwrecked sailors from the Spanish Armada. You might also have been confidently told that your ancestors included Celts, Picts, a smattering of Vikings, and probably some Irish immigrants. Read the rest of this entry »
Ancestry.com has uploaded a huge amount of new data in the last couple of days. The list is impressive and easy to access. Although the majority of the data is in browse able book form instead of the typical easy to uses indexed records. They are, nevertheless, excellent sources of information for family historians and could even be brick wall busters. Competition among the big subscription databases is good for customers.
It looks as though there is something for just about everyone in this latest batch of 88 items, so I decided to publish the entire list as follows: Read the rest of this entry »
Beware! this article contains my personal opinion.
According to the experts, we are in danger of losing our digital history because it’s stored on ever changing technology that no longer has devices to read them.
They are, of course referring floppy disks, CD’s, mobile phones, cameras, etc. Currently, we are already continually transferring information from one device to another as old technologies die and other forms of media take their place. Most of us back up information in two or three places and constantly need to consider those nasty viruses too (another subject worthy of discussion).
Cloud storage solutions also have problems with loss, corruption and can even make mistakes with data. What if the company fails? I would hope they offer alternatives to customers before they shut down. If you’re looking into storing in the cloud, you might want to check out their company continuity plans and privacy policies. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s difficult for many people to fly around the country attending genealogy conferences. Family Tree University has a terrific solution for family historians and genealogists for folks who can’t travel everywhere. They’re hosting a Virtual Genealogy Conference where you’ll learn about strategies and resources to boost your research all from the comfort of your own home.
The conference starts at 9 a.m. Friday, September 14 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday September 16.
For $199.99 you get a three-day all-access pass to watch 15 pre-recorded video classes and participate in live chats. Join in every day or as your schedule allows—you make your own schedule.
The price is very reasonable when you consider the cost of travel on top of admission fees. You don’t get to network with associates but there are other benefits, such as: Read the rest of this entry »
Some interesting statistics have been picked out of the 2000 U.S. Census. The census was used to identify the top 10 ethnic ancestries in the country. For some reason it was a surprise to be that German was No.1at 15.2% followed by Irish at 10.8%. I personally thought it would be Irish because I lived in New York for 28 years.
Here’s a list of the top 10 with statistics:
- German 15.2%
- Irish 10.8%
- African American 8.8%
- English 8.7%
- American 7.2%
- Hispanic 6.5%
- Italian 5.6%
- Polish 3.0%
- Native American 2.8%
I’m not quite sure how to interpret No. 5. American 7.2%.
To get back to No. 1 Germany, the 2000 census data was used to show those claiming German ancestry state by state: Read the rest of this entry »
Sponsored by Ancestry.com and Family Tree Magazine, The Genealogy Event is scheduled to take place on October 26th and October 27, at the Metropolitan Pavilion located at 18th Street and Avenue of the Americas in New York City. It’s the only New York City even of its kind in 2012 and it looks as though there will be something for everyone with 40 speaking events crammed into two days.
Laid out below is the event notice with a link to the website to learn more including information about the organizer Bridget Bray and Director of Sales Jessica Carney:
“The Genealogy Event is a two day event for those interested in genealogy and family history. The event will feature a wide variety of exhibitors, learning opportunities and one on one expert sessions – and all in one space!
Friday October 26th: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Saturday October 27th: 9:00am – 6:00pm Read the rest of this entry »
It comes as no surprise to me that the enthusiasm for family history is growing in the Hispanic community.
In addition to my day job, I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for 12 years two nights a week and, from my own personal experience, I’ve learned that family is the most important social unit for Hispanics. Family includes not only parents and children, but also the extended family. People within a family unit believe there is a moral responsibility to help other members of the family experiencing problems. And, they walk the talk.
The term Hispanic was created by the United States in 1970 in an attempt to provide a common denominator to a large diverse population connected by the Spanish language to track population and trends. One can view the term Hispanic in the same light that you would Europeans. Think about how many different languages are spoken in Europe and all the different customs and personalities. Read the rest of this entry »
The National Genalogical Society (NGS) very recently announced a new partnership with Funium owner of the Facebook game Family Village. Players will be able to explore their family trees by accessing NGS resources and research aids.
I previously wrote about Family Village in my article Family Village new Facebook® Platform game now open to public. In Family Village, you build a thriving village building businesses, assigning jobs, collecting profits etc. As you grow your village Funium, the creator of the Facebook game, is working behind the scenes to find connections and documents to help you learn about your family. You can save these documents in your library and share them with friends and family. populated with avatars representing your family and ancestors. You’ll build businesses, assign jobs, and collect profits to earn money for your village to grow. You’ll build homes, buy cars, pets, and decorations from the time in which your ancestors lived, all while learning about your heritage.
As your village grows, Funium will be working behind the scenes to find family connections and interesting documents such as newspaper articles, yearbook photos, census records, marriage records, maps and many other interesting items that will allow you to know much more about your family. You will be able to save these documents in your library and share them with other friends and family as you wish.
Click on Market Watch to read the announcement.
The Jersey Journal has an interesting article which serves to remind us that Universities are often great resources to get some genealogy research. The article highlights Rutgers University’s Special Collections and University Archives as one of those resources especially if you’re researching colonial New Jersey.
Daniel Kline, author of the article, has first-hand knowledge of the collection since he interned during the last semester of his library science masters program.
The collection’s focus is, as you might guess, on New Jersey History and if your ancestors lived in New Jersey and perhaps you’re bound to want to learn what it was like to live and the circumstances that shaped their lives. If they attended Rutgers University using the university archives yearbooks. Rutgers was founded in 1766 and you might find mention of your ancestors in the archives of the Daily Targum the student university newspaper. It’s the second oldest daily college newspaper in the U.S.
If you’d like to read the article click on The Jersey Journal
The following announcement describes the new partnership between Findmypast.com and the Federations of Genealogical Society (FGS) with a plan to make records available to findmypast.com and create a vital revenue stream for local societies:
“Findmypast.com, an international leader in online family history research, today announced a national partnership with Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) to preserve, digitize and provide access to local records from genealogical societies across the country.
The collaborative initiative will help preserve genealogical records and provide a vital revenue stream for the societies. Throughout the remainder of 2012, findmypast.com will release records from the following pilot partners:
- New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, the most authoritative source for research on New York families
- Illinois State Genealogical Society
- Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society
“As we aggressively grow our business in the U.S., we are looking to form partnerships that benefit both the genealogical community and findmypast.com,” said Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid, the parent company for findmypast. “This partnership will benefit our customers by giving them access to records that can’t be found anywhere else and participating societies will receive royalties for record images viewed.”
The records are a fantastic addition to a growing collection of US records on findmypast.com. FGS members who participate will reach new audiences as each society and their collection will be promoted by findmypast.com.
The society collection complements the new US and international records that will be made available on findmypast.com and could include:
- Newspapers and obituaries
- Bible records
- Cemetery records
- Birth, marriage and death records
- Land records
- Court records Read the rest of this entry »
Ancestry.com has a new version of their iPhone and iPad app. The entire app has a new look. The idea is to make the interaction with your family tree more like interacting with a map or a photo with the ability to pinch zooms in an out. Swiping moves the entire tree.
The old version only showed direct lines and you’ll now be able to show more relatives. The new viewer includes an option to show grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
As with any new software upgrade, Ancestry is listening to customer feedback and are already working on improvements requested by end users. For example, they’re working on removing grandchildren from the Pedigree View in the next update to make it easier for you to see your whole tree.
As with anything new give yourself time to get used to the new viewer
Click on working with the new family tree viewer for detailed explanations and screenshots that will help you after you install the app. The screenshots give a very clear explanation to what to expect.
The following is a press release about Gale Genealogy Connect a new online resource for genealogical research:
“FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Aug. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, today announced the launch of Gale Genealogy Connect, a new online tool for genealogical research. Focusing on the “how to” of genealogical research along with unique source materials, Gale Genealogy Connect serves as a complement to popular fact, date and people-based genealogy resources already on the market.
Sourced from the publications of Genealogical.com, parent company for Genealogical Publishing Company and Clearfield Company, Gale Genealogy Connect features over 550 reference works at release (formerly only available by print or CD-ROM) on a standalone ebook platform, with a goal of growing the collection to nearly 1,500 works. The content covers a wide range of topics such as genealogy research basics, genealogy methods and sources, colonial genealogy, immigration, royal and Native American ancestry. Gale Genealogy Connect serves both novice and advanced researchers – beginners will learn proper research methods and how to define and organize goals, while powerful search features help advanced researchers make connections among data to uncover a meaningful story behind their family tree. Read the rest of this entry »
I remember very clearly while driving home from work on New York’s Long Island (August 27 1979), hearing the news on my car radio that Lord Louis Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, had been assassinated by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorists.
Mountbatten was spending the day on his fishing boat Shadow V in Donegal Bay off Ireland’s northwest coast when a 50-pound bomb hidden on the vessel exploded killing him and three others, including his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas.
This was the first blow struck against the British royal family by the IRA during a long terrorist campaign to drive the British out of Northern Ireland and unite with the Republic of Ireland. Mountbatten was a favorite of the British people and this act of terror was the catalyst that hardened the hearts of the people against the IRA cause and convinced Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to take a hard-line stance against the IRA. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been an enthusiastic subscriber to Dick Eastman’s Plus Edition for more than three years and have often wished that I could forward some of the articles to others.
The following article Facing Up to the Long-term Future of Your Genealogy Society has been released so that more people could read it. Mr. Eastman does say “this article contains several personal opinions”. It’s a terrific article written by a seasoned professional:
“I travel a lot, and I spend a lot of time with officers and members of many genealogy societies. Most everywhere I go, I hear stories of societies that are shrinking in size and even a few stories of societies that are struggling to maintain their existence. Even amongst all this “doom and gloom,” I do hear a few rare stories of genealogy societies that are thriving and growing larger. Not only are they attracting more members, but these few societies are also offering more and more services to their members with each passing year.
Why do the majority of societies flounder while a handful succeed? Read the rest of this entry »
Every so often I like to upload a YouTube link or video to SpittalStreet.com. Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey is a classic and certainly one that people love to watch over and over. It’s certainly high on the list of my all-time favorite movies and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched it. Admit it: You’ve seen Dirty Dancing more times than you’d care to admit.
Click on the Dirty Dancing: Time of My Life Final Dance video below:
IT Outsourcing is the most cost-effective way for companies to hire qualified individuals (there are plenty of qualified individuals in the United States looking for work) for specific IT jobs without having to commit to the ever increasing costs of having an in-house team.
It has been a controversial issue in the customer service industry for some time now. Instead of spending on overhead such as taxes, health benefits, and infrastructure, companies now outsource. This means layoffs and more layoffs and the trend has grown exponentially during the last four years.
Hopefully our next Presidential Administration, Congress and the Senate, will see fit to offer incentives to companies–if they’re intent on outsourcing–to at least outsource to companies within the United States.
Although cloud-computing is rapidly becoming more attractive solution for storage problems in the world of genealogy, family history, and even for the average user, I doubt that storing our ancestral data on the other side of the world is an attractive solution. How often have you called your Internet Service Provider’s help desk and found yourself being assisted by an agent in the Philippines, India, and other countries? Read the rest of this entry »
I received the following notice from the National Genealogy Soctiety (NGS) today:
“NGS is pleased to once again be a sponsor of RootsTech, to be held this year on 21–23 March 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Members of NGS can take advantage of an exclusive early registration that offers a $100 savings off the full three-day conference pass price. This offer is for a limited time, from 29 August–2 September 2012, before registration officially opens to the public. The exclusive insider price is only $119 (the regular price is $219).
RootsTech is a fast-growing conference with a unique emphasis on helping individuals learn and use the latest technology to get started or to accelerate their efforts to find, organize, preserve, and share their family’s connections and history. In its third year, RootsTech 2013 will offer many new and exciting resources for genealogists and family historians of all skill levels. Join the thousands of attendees and experience RootsTech 2013: Read the rest of this entry »
I’ll start by saying I know that the tap water in Scotland does taste different from the tap water in the United States and many other countries that I’ve visited through the years.
There’s nothing like it. And, since I spent my formative years in Scotland I know this is true. I never needed a soft drink with my meals, the water was sufficient.
When I read the online article in the Dundee Courier of how the preservationists washed the first edition of the paper (printed in 1816) in a trough of water, it wasn’t such a stretch to believe that the Scottish tap water wouldn’t need much help with added chemicals to complete the task.
Watching anyone handling a 200 year-old fragile document is quite disturbing under any circumstances. Imagine seeing it being submerged in a trough of water. This first edition was washed three times over for about 30 minutes each time during a restoration process that has taken many hours of painstaking work.
”It’s as simple as that!” Emma Fraser explained. ”Often we use de-ionised water and sometimes it’s necessary to check PH levels and acid balances. But Scottish water is good enough for a process like this, warmed slightly to speed up reactions. Water also reinforces the bonds of the fibres of the paper.”
There’s more so please click on TheCourier.co.uk to learn more about it.
I recently read an article in the Green Valley News online, written by genealogist Betty Lou Malesky. The article is different and sometimes amusing, with a dash of reality, as compared to the many articles written on the subject of ancestral search and why we do it.
People do have different reasons for taking up genealogy. If you’re like me you it’s because you want to become acquainted with your ancestors, what they did and how they fit into the fabric of history. If you’re a professional genealogist it may be because you like to solve mysteries for others in search of ancestors and enjoy working out puzzles.
If you’re lucky enough to go back 20 generations you “could find 2,097,152 ancestors. I’m inclined to agree that this is highly unlikely. Even with the best professionals working for you it would be impossible to find them all.
I consider myself lucky that I’ve found one of my family lines goes back to 1623 and three that go back to the 1700s. These finds do include documentation and do not count family legends. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a new “drive-by” virus on the Internet, and it often carries a fake message—and a fine—supposedly from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is being swamped with complaints. The virus is called ‘Reveton Ransomware’, is designed to extort money from its victims.
The following is a news release by the FBI describing Ransomware. There are also links to resources and a list of suggestions if you become a victim of the virus:
“Reveton is described as drive-by malware because unlike many viruses—which activate when users open a file or attachment—this one can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website. Once infected, the victim’s computer immediately locks, and the monitor displays a screen stating there has been a violation of federal law. Read the rest of this entry »
The following news release was published on NBCNews.com:
“PROVO, Utah, Aug. 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) today announced the completion of its acquisition of Archives.com, a leading family history website, for approximately $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities.
“Archives.com is a great addition to the Ancestry.com family. It is a fast-growing business that has expanded the addressable family history market through a simple and affordable approach,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. “We are excited to increase our ability to help more individuals discover their family history.”
Archives.com was owned and operated by Inflection LLC, a Silicon Valley-based technology company. Since Archives.com’s launch in January 2010, the site has rapidly grown to more than 440,000 paying subscribers who pay approximately $39.95 a year. Archives.com offers access to over 2.2 billion historical records, including birth records, obituaries, immigration and passenger lists, historical newspapers, as well as U.S. and U.K. Censuses.
Ancestry.com plans to operate Archives.com separately, retaining its brand and website. Many Inflection employees, including key marketing, product and engineering executives, will join the Ancestry.com team.“
With the 1940 U.S. census completed on Ancestry.com, you can search through all 134 million people in the census. Now that this is done, Ancestry is working behind the scenes to make it even better and this includes the input from users of the mammoth database.
In a huge effort to make the 1940 U.S. Census Index more accurate Ancestry is asking users to help with accuracy and more details by adding fields which includes occupation, income, grade completed, the value of a home or monthly rent, etc.
Here’s the short list on how you can help:
- Reporting a problem with the image itself
- Why it matters
- What to do when you can’t find your family member in the indexed 1940 U.S. Census
For detailed information on what Ancestry is planning to accomplish and instructions on how to make changes in the database as an end user from the index page or while viewing the actual census image click on How Can I Improve the 1940 Census
CastleGarden.org is a free resource and a great resource, not only for family historians and genealogists, but also for educators, students, and the interested public.
It’s an educational project of The Battery Conservancy, offering access to an amazing database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820–1892, the year Ellis Island opened. Over 100 million Americans are able to trace their ancestors through this invaluable resource.
Castle Garden is an educational project and is known today as Castle Clinton National Monument. It’s the major landmark within the 25 acre waterfront park at the tip of Manhattan, known as The Battery. From 1855 to 1890, the Castle was America’s first official immigration center and a collaboration between New York State and New York city.
“The Battery remains one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City. Native Americans fished from its banks, and the first Dutch settlers built a low, stone wall with cannons, a battery, to protect the harbor and the fledgling city of New Amsterdam. The transformations of The Battery and the Castle tell the history of New York and, by association, the growth and development of our nation.”
Click on CastleGarden.org to learn more and, if you have the bandwidth, support is needed to complete the complete digitization of the original ship manifests.
The historic Old Bailey is the central criminal court for England and Wales named from the street on which it stands. The Old Bailey court building in central London is one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court. This court still hears the most serious criminal cases for Greater London and exceptional cases for the rest of England.
Part of today’s building stands on the site of the medieval Newgate Gaol, on Old Bailey, a road which follows the line of the City of London’s fortified wall (or bailey), which runs from Ludgate Hill to the junction of Newgate Street and the Holborn Viaduct.
The Old Bailey online has a free of charge, for non-commercial use, a fully searchable database with details of some 197,745 criminal cases from 1674–1913.
This online project is a collaborative effort between the Universities of Hertfordshire and Sheffield and the Open University. It was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Big Lottery Fund.
Click on Oldbaileyonline.org to visit the site. You’ll find the Getting Started and Guide to Searching videos very helpful.
Click on Newgate Gaol to learn about the historical prison on Wikipedia.
Click on bailey also on Wikipedia to what it means.
Yahoo news reported the results of a new poll taken across the U.S., UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa has come up with a top 10 list of unfortunate names for towns.
Toad Suck in Arkansas has been designated the “most unfortunate edging out Climax, Georgia, and Boring Oregon.
According to genealogist, Josh Taylor some people are disconcerted to learn that their ancestors came from a place called Toad Suck, Roachtown, or Monkey’s Eyebrow. Read the rest of this entry »
Findmypast.co.uk has just published more than 181,000 records of every serviceman enlisted with the Royal Air Force when it was created on 1 April 1918 as follows. The records contain vital information about your RAF ancestors, such as:
- Job in the RAF (trade classification
- Date and terms of enlistment
- Rate of pay
The men included in these records originally joined either the Royal Flying Corps or the Royal Naval Air Service. These organisations were merged to form the RAF in 1918.
We are working with Ted Beard and Kevin Asplin to bring you these records.
The British National Archives says:
“Your views are very important to us and we want to hear them! Take our online survey now – your feedback will help us improve our website and online services.
The survey is entirely anonymous and should only take five minutes to complete. Your responses will only be used for statistical purposes.”
The 33rd Annual Texas Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference: Los Caminos del Rio is schedule to take place on South Padre Island, Texas, from October 11-14 and from the Agenda promises to be a great event. The event will feature informative speakers, tours, sightseeing and plenty of networking functions.
The conference is held in a different Texas location each year and genealogist from outside of Texas also attend. Crispin Rendon who specializes in Spanish research and genetic genealogy and will attend this year’s conference on San Padre Island.
There are topics of interest to genealogists and family historians of all levels of experience as follows: Read the rest of this entry »
Findmypast.co.uk now has a large collection of prison ship records that include details about the prisoners as to the crime they committed and reports from their gaoler (jailer) as follows:
“You can now search records for 8,900 prisoners held captive on prison ships, or hulks, on findmypast.co.uk
Hulks were ships used as floating prisons – often these were ships that were no longer fit for battle but were still afloat.
This collection covers the period 1811-1843 and contains records for prisoners on the following hulks: Bellerophon, Euryalus, Hardy and Antelope, as well as a small number of records for Parkhurst prison.
The records hold fascinating details about the prisoners, including the crime they had committed, the sentence they received and the report from their gaoler.
Our thanks go to Barbara Chambers for providing us with these records.
Documents classified “secret and confidential” usually makes us want to learn more. This is especially so with military records. Fold3 has confidential correspondence of the Navy from 1919-1927. That’s an interesting time-frame. Now you can review these formerly classified communications of the U.S. Navy during World War I, the immediate postwar years, and the first years after the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.
There’s an amazing collection of records which show the U.S. involvement with foreign countries, the application of technology to naval matters, establishment of overseas bases, appropriations, tactical doctrine, strategy, peacetime maneuvers, and wartime naval operations.
If you click on Confidential Correspondence of the Navy, 1919-1927 you’ll see that the files are organized by master numbers assigned to a variety of subjects and locations. There are other major sets of files, for example, Hawaiian Islands, German Peace Treaty, Radio, War Plans, and others are explained in the Fold3 description. Explore these historically enlightening, formerly classified documents within the Confidential Correspondence of the Navy, 1919-1927 on Fold3. Read the rest of this entry »
The National Archives has launched new online videos of its most popular genealogy “how to” workshops. The Know Your Records series is a “how to” in creation, content and use of records created by the federal government.
The videos cover “hot topics” in genealogical research such as Civil War records, online resources and databases, etc. These workshops are led by National Archives experts and are made available on the National Archives YouTube channel [http://tinyurl.com/NARAGenie].
Lectures on Know Your Records are held weekly at two places:
On Tuesdays in room G-24 at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.
Thursdays in Lecture Room B at the College Park building.
Learn more about the Know Your Records program at http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/know-your-records or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This following sample video is part of the Know Your Records series of talk at the National Archives. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is a press release from the National Archives and Records Administration:
“Washington, DC…The National Archives commemorates the War of 1812 bicentennial with a free display of a recently restored sail drawing of the USS Constitution created by sail maker Charles Ware in 1817. The drawing is on display today through Monday, September 3 (Labor Day), in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building, Washington, DC. Summer museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily; admission is free.
The USS Constitution frigate was named by George Washington and launched on October 21, 1797, in Boston, Massachusetts. Saved repeatedly from the scrap yard by its fans, it is the world’s oldest commissioned ship. It is still afloat and open for tours in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Read the rest of this entry »
After the initial articles and blog posts, nothing much has been said recently about the removal from public view of the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). With no hearings recently on Capitol Hill recently, one might wonder what they’ve been doing. Not much, unless it’s covert.
Are we losing ground on SSDI? The recent article Judy Russell on The Legal Genealogist gives readers an update on the subject that indicates, no news is not necessarily good news.
We haven’t been overtly attacked recently because we believe actually fighting fraud is a better idea than keeping records from public view—In this case, family historians and genealogists. I also enjoyed the comment, “… because we think that having the IRS actually use the records to check the validity of tax returns before sending out billions of dollars in fraudulent refunds is better than throwing out the public’s right to records access.”
No news is certainly not good news in this case. According to Ms. Russell the signs clearly indicate that our message on SSDI is not registering with the law makers. Read the rest of this entry »
“Today is all about numbers.
The first is 100, as in 100 percent of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census is now indexed. That means all 50 states are available to search to your heart’s content.
Our indexing came up with 134,395,545 people counted. Most reports on the 1940 census give the U.S. population as 132 million and change, so you may be wondering where the extra 2 million people came from. Two words: Puerto Rico. OK, and Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Panama Canal Zone. They were all included in the 1940 U.S. census and add another 2.1 million or so records to the final count.“
Click on Ancestry.com to see more details.
The following is a news release from Ancestry.com:
“Research Connects First African-American President to First African Slave in the American Colonies
PROVO, UTAH – July 30, 2012 – A research team from Ancestry.com (NASDAQ:ACOM), the world’s largest online family history resource, has concluded that President Barack Obama is the 11thgreat-grandson of John Punch, the first documented African enslaved for life in American history. Remarkably, the connection was made through President Obama’s Caucasian mother’s side of the family.
The discovery is the result of years of research by Ancestry.com genealogists who, through early Virginia records and DNA analysis, linked Obama to John Punch. An indentured servant in Colonial Virginia, Punch was punished for trying to escape his servitude in 1640 by being enslaved for life. This marked the first actual documented case of slavery for life in the colonies, occurring decades before initial slavery laws were enacted in Virginia. Read the rest of this entry »
Findmypast is offering a better deal for pay as you go credits as follows:
“We’ve listened to your feedback and have changed the way our PayAsYouGo credits work to give you a better, fairer deal.
Now, when you buy new credits on findmypast.co.uk, we’ll give your expired credits back to you, up to a maximum of 280. This applies to any credits that have expired within the last two years.
This is a great opportunity to get a second chance to build your family tree.
Claiming back your expired credits is easy. Just sign in to findmypast.co.uk, click ‘subscribe’ on the top right of the page and choose either 280 or 60 credits.
Once you’ve bought these, you’ll be able to see your new credits total – which will include your expired credits – on the top right of any page when you’re signed in to findmypast.co.uk”
William Laughton Lorimer, was born in 1885. His lowland Scots translation of the New Testament, written when he retired in 1955 at age 70, is considered to be one of the finest works in the language.
Although Lorimer himself wasn’t religious, he was born into an intellectually distinguished family of several generations of clergymen. He was a professor of Greek at the University of St Andrews and contributed to the compilation of the Scots National Dictionary.
The huge task of his lowland Scots version of the New Testament was translated from Greek, The work took 28 years to complete and in 1983 his son Robin had it published.
Lorimer was multilingual and his language proficiency included some familiarity with many of Europe’s minority languages such as Low German, Frisian, Faroese, Provençal and Rhaeto-Romansch. This aided him in examination first-hand the difficulties of translating the Bible into languages of restricted literary development. Prior to beginning his own translation he studied versions of all or parts of the New Testament in over two dozen different languages. Read the rest of this entry »
According to the New York Times Ancestry.com is in talks with private equity firms, TPG Capital, Providence Equity Partners and Permira on a possible sale of the company with final bids due next month. This news comes hot on the heels of reporting that the second quarter revenue rose 18% to $119.1 million. Per-share profit also rose to 44 cents.
I reported on this blog a last month ago that Ancestry has been working with Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners LLC to find buyers. Reuters reports state that it has already taken first offers and, like the NY Times, did not identify its sources.
During a conference call last Wednesday, CEO Tim Sullivan was asked to comment on a possible sale. He said, “No, we read the newspapers, also,” Sullivan said. “We’ve seen them. I think we obviously just never would be commenting on anything like that.”
Representatives of TPT, Permira and Providence also declined to comment.
“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve published 150,388 new parish marriage records for Devon on findmypast.co.uk
The records span the period 1837-2002. Anyone with Devon ancestors will want to search these records for fresh information about their ancestors’ marriages.
The Devon Family History Society provided us with these records.
“Looking for relatives in Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Utah? We’ve just released fully-searchable indexes for all 12 states. And 26 other states are ready to search. And remember, if the state you’re waiting for isn’t indexed yet, you can still look through 1940 Census images to locate your family—we will even provide you tools that will help.
Also complete: AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, GA, HI, IN, KS, KY, ME, MI, MT, NE, NH, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, VT, WA and WI Read the rest of this entry »
Wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill was one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century. Not only are his books eloquently written they are also interesting and notably readable.
At the end of World War II, Winston Churchill was forced to resign as British prime minister following the Conservative party’s electoral defeat by the Labor party. This was the first general election held in Britain in more than 10 years. On July 26, 1945, the same day that Churchill resigned, Clement Attlee, the Labor leader, was sworn in.
Winston Spencer Churchill was born at England’s Blenheim Palace in 1874. He joined the British Fourth Hussars when his father died in 1895. He went on to an illustrious military career for 5 years and served in India, South Africa, and the Sudan, distinguishing himself several time in battle.
He resigned his commission in 1899 in order to focus on his literary and political career and as early as 1900 was elected to Parliament as a Conservative MP for Oldham. In 1904 he joined the Liberals and served in several important posts before being appointed Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911. He worked to bring the British navy to readiness for WWI, which he accurately predicted would happen. Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks to the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society who provided the information, Findmypast.co.uk (subscription or pay-as-you-go) has newly published the following two sets of WWI records:
Oldham Employers’ Roll of Honour 1914-1920
Search records for more than 1,900 men who had enlisted in His Majesty’s Armed Forces and who were employed by companies in and around Oldham.
Some rolls include full name details as well as rank, regimental number, regiment, battalion, company and even platoon and section. Other men are listed simply by last name and initial.
Whatever new information you’re able to glean from these records, knowledge of the company that your WWI ancestors worked for will be very helpful in opening up other avenues of research. Read the rest of this entry »
The National Archives and Records Administration has today released a press notice to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act featuring Presidential records on a new web research page as follows:
“Washington, DC…To commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the National Archives is featuring Presidential records related to disability history on a new web research page at [www.archives.gov/research/americans-with-disabilities/]. The ADA was signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 and was the first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities.
The National Archives holds many records that relate to American citizens with disabilities. From personal letters to historic legislation, these records provide insight into efforts over the past century to establish programs and to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Read the rest of this entry »
According to the Indiana Covered Bridge Society, between 1820 and 1922, six hundred covered bridges were built in Indiana. Covered bridges were originally built that way to protect the bridges’ wooden floors from rotting. Unfortunately, less than one hundred are still standing.
Amateur photographer, the late Sydney B. Pepe, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who died at the age of 90 in February 2011, donated his photo collection to the genealogy center and named DeKalb County historian John Martin Smith the executor of his estate.
As fate would have it, while he was in the process of sending Pepe’s collection to the genealogy center, Smith and his wife were killed in a car accident in October 2011. But, the legacy lives on. Read the rest of this entry »
The American Civil war and its devastating consequences were not confined to the United States. The conflict also had repercussions in the cotton districts of North West England, where there was a dependency on supplies of raw cotton from our southern states. When the supply was interrupted there was real hardship.
This situation led to the fear of civil disturbances in some towns, including Hyde in Cheshire, and authorities swore in special constables to help keep the peace.
The following document comes from a series containing more than 26,000 boxes and files from the British National Archives: Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re have a vacation planned in Scotland in August or early September there’s a free exhibition being held at the Scottish Parliament called ‘Special Delivery: The William Wallace Letters‘.
William Wallace was a legendary hero to generations of Scots long before the movie Braveheart. Although I enjoyed the great movie starring Mel Gibson, I couldn’t actually see Mel as William Wallace. While on a trip to my home town in Scotland I viewed statue of William Wallace at the entrance to the Wallace Monument and couldn’t help but notice that Wallace looked suspiciously like Mel Gibson—oh well.
The news release from Scotland’s People is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »
Ancestry.com has recently sent out a notice that Internet connection problems user were experiencing with Family Tree Maker for the Mac is resolved as follows:
“We are pleased to announce that the Internet connection issues people have been experiencing with Family Tree Maker for Mac have been resolved. To get the update, close out of Family Tree Maker; then reopen the application. You’ll be notified that an update is available. Click Install Update. When the installation is complete, you may need to log in to your Ancestry account again. You can do this in the Web Dashboard on the Plan workspace. If your connection still doesn’t seem to be working, make sure the software is set to go online. You can do this by selecting Go Online from the File menu.
If you aren’t prompted to install an update, please go to the Family Tree Maker menu and select Check for Updates.
We thank you for your patience during this situation.
The Family Tree Maker Team”
The deepest and largest precious metal treasure has been recovered from a 412 foot steel-hulled British merchant vessel the S.S. Gairsoppa that sank in the North Atlantic in February 1941.
Forty-eight tons of silver was pulled from three miles below the surface by deep-sea explorers from Odyssey Marine Exploration. The haul recovered was 1,203 bars of silver, totaling 1.4 million ounces.
To date about 43% of the total treasure and the cache has been moved to a secure location in the United Kingdom, which contracted the project under the Department of Transport. It has been reported that the contract gives Odyssey 80% of the net value of the recovered goods, after expenses. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s always so nice to read a heartwarming article when current climate of finger pointing and lies in a quest for power has reached the point where people actually view their actions with disgust. This particular story started in nasty actions by some vandals who broke headstones at Felts Mills cemetery near Potstdam, New York and ended in human decency when a Potstdam stonemason Matt Williams offered the fix the broken ones.
Mr. Williams said he had never thought much about cemeteries until his 19-year old stepdaughter was killed in a car crash last October, see’s it differently now that she’s in a sacred place and you have idiot’s (I say useless idiots) desecrating the headstones.
To add insult to injury the headstones of Revolutionary War veterans were among those that were broken. Mr William’s son recently returned from Iraq and thankfully safe and sound. “People who do those things and devote their safety and their life for freedom, you don’t go and disrespect their memory and their place of rest.”
If you’d like to read the entire article click on Watertown Daily News.
More from Findmypast:
Search more than 13,000 new baptism records for the docklands areas of London on findmypast.co.uk
Details of the coverage of the new baptisms are as follows:
|Area||Number of records||Date range|
|St Dunstan, Stepney||10,062||1689-1697|
|George In the East, Stepney||2,403||1893-1901|
|St Andrews, Bethnal Green||760||1843-1876|
This is the latest update to our Docklands Ancestors collection of records. We’re working with Docklands Ancestors to help you discover new information about your docklands ancestors.
Findmypast, a subscription service site, is significantly increasing its database with two fresh sets of Yorkshire records as follows:
“North Yorkshire records
Type of records
Number of records
Danby (Glaisdale), Egton, Gilling (Forcett), Guisborough, Kirby Fleetham, Manfield, Ormesby (Eston), Richmond, Sessay, Stanwick St John, Ugglebarnby, Whitby (Sleights)
The Cleveland Family History Society provided findmypast.co.uk with these records.
Sheffield records Read the rest of this entry »
A newly revamped and user friendly website will soon be online from the Library and Archives of Canada. It’s one of the first federal sites to conform to the new Government of Canada design. The news release is as follows:
“A new gateway for finding out about Canada’s heritage will soon be opening up online: Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is developing a modernized website that will make it easier for you and Canadians everywhere to access its holdings. The new site includes a suite of helpful features and content, including drop-down menus, introductory and educational videos, a blog pilot project as well as quick links to LAC’s social media platforms. Read the rest of this entry »
A collection of records comprising 128,000 images of the Church of England parish baptisms, marriages, banns and burials called The Canterbury Collection is now available at Findmypast as follows:
“We are pleased to announce the launch of the Canterbury Collection on findmypast.co.uk
The collection comprises 128,000 images of Church of England parish baptisms, marriages, banns and burials for churches in the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury.
These images cover the vast period 1538-2005.
You can browse the images by parish, event and year range. When you select a parish from the drop-down list on the search page, you’ll see the type of event (baptism, marriage, bann or burial) for each parish, as well as the dates that the records cover. Read the rest of this entry »
As most of us know New York City is the Big Apple of the Northeast. This wasn’t always the case. About 500 years ago (1500 and 1530) when Europeans were starting to visit the New World, a new settlement the size of Manhattan was established in Canada on the North Shore of Lake Ontario in Canada. Called the “Mantle Site” the area was settled was settled by the Wendat (Huron) and was the largest and most cosmopolitan of its time and apparently “a real stunner for archaeologists”.
Between 1,500 and 1,800 people lived in Mantle and art and pottery at the site show signs that all 5 nations of the Iroquois to the south in New York State. This indicates contact and trade. Added to this the earliest examples of European goods predate the arrival of the European explorers by 100 years. Read the rest of this entry »
FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) consistently holds timely sales on their large battery of DNA tests for genealogical purposes. If you’re considering taking one of the many different ancestral tests, now is the time if you’d like verification of a relationship on your family tree.
Older relatives are the best candidates because they’re a generation closer to the progenitor. For some reason persuading older people can sometimes be difficult for a variety of reasons especially since the ”now” time is important before the opportunity is lost.
I’ve heard from several people that FTDNA is very good with privacy issues. For example, your test results aren’t posted—only matches and estimated ancestral distance—and it’s up to each individual to contact a match, or not.
Listed below is information on the sale as posted on Facebook: Read the rest of this entry »
Don’t forget you can research online free of charge on FamilySearch.org. The latest additions to their 1940 Census Index Project is as follows:
“FamilySearch is excited to announce the addition of Minnesota and Rhode Island to the list of completed and searchable states in the 1940 US Census Index Project. To date we have indexed 84.35% of the entire collection with 31 states fully indexed and available for searching atFamilySearch.org. Additional states will be following soon as we complete the finishing touches of those states that are finished with their indexing and arbitration.
Below are the latest statistics for the project. Read the rest of this entry »
One hundred and thirty-five years ago the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club began its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, England. Although a total of 22 people registered to play in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament only 21 amateurs competed on the July 9, 1877 the first day of the tournament. The prize was a 25-guinea trophy.
Tennis evolved from a 13th century French handall game called jeu de paume (game of the palm) which led to a racket-and-ball game called real (royal” tennis. Real tennis grew into lawn tennis, tplayed outside on grass and enjoyed a great surge in popularity in the late 19th century. Read the rest of this entry »