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  • 24 May 2022 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    How much personal information are you willing to give the government? Would that answer change if your unique data could help solve a crime? Millions of people don’t get to make that choice for themselves if they use certain online genealogy kits without reading the fine print.

    You can read the full story in an article by Elizabeth Wadas and published in the NBC15 web site at:

  • 23 May 2022 7:06 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Georgia Southern University:

    Georgia Southern University Libraries and Nalanda Roy, Ph.D., recently launched a digital collection, “An Integral History: Asian Studies Digital Archive,” to coincide with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month in May.

    The archive provides a curated collection of multidisciplinary resources in support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in the United States. Contributions are curated from Digital Commons, the University’s open-access institutional repository, and highlight Georgia Southern’s scholarly and cultural assets related to the Asian Studies minor. The collection represents faculty and student research, books, videos, community resources and campus events.

    “The Asian Studies Digital Archive is an important addition to Georgia Southern’s collections because developing an understanding of other cultures will create a cultural awareness,” said Roy, an associate professor of international studies and Asian politics and coordinator of the University’s Asian Studies program. “It will also teach us to have more meaningful interactions with others around us, and celebrate our differences and similarities.”

    Each May, AAPI is observed to recognize the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have contributed to American history, society and culture. The Asian Studies Digital Archive will carry that legacy forward, and continue to grow, as faculty are encouraged to participate in the initiative.

    “As the coordinator of the Asian Studies program at Georgia Southern University, creating the Digital Archive has been a dream project,” said Roy, who is a Certified Diversity Executive and a former Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow at Georgia Southern. “I am very happy to work with the Georgia Southern Libraries to create a resource that will be helpful to both the Georgia Southern and local communities.”

    For more information on the Asian Studies Digital Archive, visit

    Facts about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    *U.S. Census Bureau

    1978 — Congress passed a resolution creating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.

    1992 — The observance expanded to a month (May), timed to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the United States (May 7, 1843) and completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 (the majority of workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants).

    2020 — Total Asian population in the U.S. is roughly 6% or 20 million.

    5.1 million — The estimated number of the Asian population of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the U.S. in 2020. The Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group in the U.S.

    690,000 — The estimated number of total Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population in the U.S.

    607,010 — Native Hawaiian residents make the largest NHPI group in the U.S.

  • 23 May 2022 1:25 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a list of all of this week's articles, all of them available here at

    (+) How to Care for Aging, Fragile Paper, CDs, Magnetic Tapes, and Their Data Content

    India’s Restrictive VPN Law Should Be a Warning to Us All

    These 14 States Had Significant Miscounts in the 2020 U.S. Census

    Seven Centuries of Irish Archives Painstakingly Recreated After Being Destroyed in Civil War

    BlackRock Doesn’t Own 75% of Ancestry

    Laird Towle, R.I.P.

    Russ Worthington (Cousin Russ), R.I.P.

    Jay Holbrook, R.I.P.

    Archaic Medical Terms

    Dr. Don Cline: How Many Siblings Were From ‘Our Father’

    American Society of Genealogists Awards Two More Continuing Research Grants

    Local History Day Event Highlights Role of Medieval Women

    University of Limerick Invites You to Past Lives: Spotlight on History of Family

    Findmypast Adds Wiltshire Records and Many More Newspapers Online

    Why a Family Created via Anonymous Sperm Donation Wants to See Industry Changes

    What is RSS?

    Amazon Just Announced a New $60 Tablet

  • 23 May 2022 8:20 AM | Anonymous

    In June 1922, the opening battle of Ireland’s civil war destroyed one of Europe’s great archives in a historic calamity that reduced seven centuries of documents and manuscripts to ash and dust.

    Once the envy of scholars around the world, the Public Record Office at the Four Courts in Dublin, was a repository of documents dating from medieval times, and packed into a six-storey building by the River Liffey. It was obliterated when troops of the fledgling Irish state bombarded former comrades who were hunkered down at the site as part of a rebellion by hardline republicans against peace with Britain.

    A wounded rebel is brought out of the burning Four Courts building in Dublin after the surrender to Free State troops in June 1922. Photograph: Bettmann Archive

    Each side blamed the other for the destruction, but there was no disputing the consequences. “At one blow, the records of centuries have passed into oblivion,” said Herbert Wood, deputy keeper of the public records. The ruins stood as a testament to loss and a harbinger of the destruction of European cultural treasures in 20th century wars.

    Now, on the eve of the disaster’s centenary, a virtual reconstruction of the building and its archives is to be unveiled. Historians, archivists and computer scientists have spent five years piecing together much of what had been thought lost for ever.

    You can read more in an article published in The Guardian at:

  • 23 May 2022 7:53 AM | Anonymous

    The following was written by the University of Limerick, Ireland:

    The Department of History at the University of Limerick, Ireland is delighted to invite you to an event entitled

    Past Lives: Spotlight on History of Family taking place on Tuesday 24 May, 16.00-17.00 (for those in other time zones click here to see what time this is for you). This event will appeal to 

    anyone interested in history, including genealogists and family historians.

    Join Dr Rachel Murphy, lecturer on the MA History of Family at the University of Limerick, to find out more about the history of family and some of the topics that historians of family research.

    During the event, which is part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival, participants will be introduced to three graduates of the course who will present findings from their MA research:

    Noreen Bracken: The Coroners of County Clare, 1822 to 1922

    Tara O’Brien: Youth agency and Identity in Rural Ireland, 1950-1970

    Brid O’Sullivan: The Townland of Knocknagarhoon, Co. Clare: A Study of Population, Households, Family, People and Migration

    There will be time for questions at the end of the session.
    This online event will be of interest to the general public, in particular anyone interested in genealogy, history, family history and local history – in Ireland and beyond.

    Hosted by the Department of History, University of Limerick. To attend the event please click here. Please note an attendee link to attend this live event will be sent to you close to the event date. If you have any queries or issues registering, please contact

    We look forward to welcoming you (virtually) on the day.

  • 20 May 2022 2:34 PM | Anonymous

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

    CD-ROM disks, along with their higher-capacity cousins DVD and Blu-ray disks, are fragile methods of storing information. In short, these plastic disks are not suitable for long-term storage. Many corporations and non-profits are racing to get their data off the discs as quickly and safely as possible and into a more reliable digital storage environment. If you have genealogy information or any other information stored on these disks, you need to do the same.

    For many years, the thought amongst genealogists has been to print the information on paper for long-term preservation. Yet, many of us have handled old pieces of paper that are decaying, crumbling, or fading to the point that the information is not readable. In fact, most paper manufactured in the past 75+ years contains acids that will hasten the deterioration of the information you wish to preserve. Add in the many problems of paper destruction caused by mold, mildew, moisture, insect damage, floods, fires, burst water pipes, and other factors, and you soon come to the realization that storage on paper is as risky as storing on optical media or even more so.

    In some circles, the solution is to “digitize data so as to preserve it.” However, even digitizing requires some serious precautions and planning. Today’s common choice for long-term digital data storage is CD-ROM or DVD disks. However, that technology has only appeared in the past three decades; so, we do not yet know if these devices will store data for a century or more. Some studies indicate that the information may not last that long. In fact, there is proof that many CD-ROM disks may not even last a decade!

    For instance, New York Public Radio is now transferring the contents of their archive of over 30,000 CD-ROM disks. NYPR Archives Manager John Passmore said that some of the older discs exhibit “end-of-life symptoms,” which creates an urgency at NYPR to move the content off the CDs and into the organization’s asset management system. Passmore gave a presentation at the Library of Congress' Digital Preservation 2014 Meeting about the issues and the solutions being used at New York Public Radio. You can read an interview of John Passmore made earlier in the year on the subject in the Library of Congress’ website at

    The main advantage of digital data is that there is no signal degradation in the output. In a digital environment, data is stored in "bits," often referred to as "ones and zeroes." Each bit either is there or it isn't. In contrast, data stored on analog media such as a magnetic tape of audio or video, is stored in an infinite number of signal strengths. This variable quality is the problem; the result of copying it, playing it, or even just storing it is degraded audio or images. In short, analog data will degrade over time; digital data will not.

    The degradation of analog information is obvious when using a photocopier. Information or images printed on paper are analog. If a photocopy of the original document is made, the new copy is not as crisp and clear as the original. In short, the image is degraded a bit. If a photocopy is made of the photocopy, the image is degraded a bit more. If a photocopy is made of the photocopy of the photocopy... Well, you probably have seen the results when someone hands you a document that has been photocopied many times, such as "office jokes" posted on bulletin boards in many offices, jokes that seem to never die.

    In contrast, digital copies are perfect reproductions of the originals.

    The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/12788102

    If you are not yet a Plus Edition subscriber, you can learn more about such subscriptions and even upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription immediately at

  • 20 May 2022 1:27 PM | Anonymous

    Did you ever find a record of someone's cause of death and then asked, "What the heck is that?"

    You can find the definitions of Atheroma, Barrel Fever, Cynanche Trachealis, Jail Fever, and lots of other disgusting things in the Bakers' World web site at:

  • 20 May 2022 10:02 AM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is off-topic. That is, it does not concern anything to do with genealogy, DNA, or related topics normally found in this newsletter. However, I have written several times about the wisdom of using VPNs to preserve your privacy from hackers, invasive corporate advertising, and from governments spying on their citizens.

    VPNs as a scapegoat whilst removing freedom of choice.

    From an article by Sebastian Schaub published in the TechRadar web site at

    People who subscribe to VPN services will generally be driven by two main factors - privacy and security. Clearly, such users value their privacy for many different reasons, choosing to remain private whilst going about their online business. Any move to restrict or even remove privacy effectively seeks to undermine those who provide VPN services. So it is worrying to see news developing in India where new directions published by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology seek the power to be able to identify VPN users - goodbye privacy. This can only be viewed as another overly restrictive law that essentially compromises the privacy and security of almost all VPN users. 

    Despite the public backlash, India is pressing ahead with its new cybersecurity rules that will require cloud service providers and VPN operators to maintain names of their customers and their IP addresses. For services that won’t comply? India has informed them they will need to cease operations in the country, according to The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.

    India had already threatened to do something similar last year whereby a parliamentary committee wanted the Indian government to ban VPNs altogether on the basis that the criminal fraternity were using VPN encryption to commit crime. India wouldn’t be the first country to try and curtail VPN services using similar excuses. Russia blocked access to VPN service providers that included the likes of NordVPN and Express VPN with very vague references to extremism, narcotics and child pornography. China controls most parts of the internet available to citizens and therefore sees the use of any VPN service as an obstacle to achieving absolute cyber sovereignty within its borders.

    And this is what any interference by governments on VPN services boils down to. It is a reflection of their desire to control the internet and block access to what they consider prohibited information and resources. However, any technology can be misused but the overwhelming majority of VPN usage is for legal and legitimate purposes. All around the world, many millions of consumers and businesses rely on VPNs for essential online protection. Our own data has illustrated this in the past. During social unrest in Indonesia last year, the government imposed blocks on WhatsApp and Instagram - we saw our traffic increase by a massive 300%, a clear reflection of the will of the Indonesian people wanting to control their freedom and expression of speech.

    Any curbs on VPN usage, especially where you set out to restrict or remove privacy, is an attack on internet freedom in general.

    The full article is much longer. You can read the entire thing at:

    Comments from Dick Eastman:

    The latest move by the Indian government should be a warning to all internet users: Big Brother is watching you.

    The Indian government is rather unique in that the government announces such things publicly. Most other governments already use similar methods but rarely make public announcements about them. If you value your online privacy (and you should!), it is time to hide your online activities.

    You might claim, "But I don't do anything illegal." To which I would respond, "Why do you have a door on the toilet or curtains in your house? Just because you're not doing anything illegal doesn't mean that you have to share everything you do with strangers."

    I wonder if the next statement from the Indian government will state that all private letters sent through the postal service must be written on post cards, not sealed in envelopes. That would greatly simplify government snooping.

    (OK, so written private letters are rare nowadays, being replaced by e-mail. But I will suggest the above paragraph raises a bigger question: What is the purpose of government? To spy on its citizens or to protect the privacy rights of those citizens?)

    Luckily, there are several easy methods to obfuscate your online communications so that even government spies and others cannot read your online activities:

    1. Sign up for a VPN service based in a country that is far more liberal about protecting your privacy and where spying on citizens is illegal. Those countries include: Switzerland, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, and Iceland. There are probably others also, but those are the ones I can think of right now. You want to avoid VPN services based in Russia, China, the Arab countries, the United Kingdom, Canada, or the USA or in any other country with a repressive government. Repressive governments probably do the same thing as India except they don't publicize such things.

    2. Build your own VPN where you and your correspondents are the only ones who have the capability to read your communications. I wrote about one such solution in an earlier article: (+) Hands-On with My New DPN (available only to Plus Edition subscribers but still available to them at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/12759512). You can also find many online articles about creating your own personal VPN by starting at

    3. Skip VPNs completely and switch to the FREE Tor Browser. This is explained at: but it only protects you on the World Wide Web, not in email, file transfers, most online chat protocols, and other online activities. Tor also slows down your web activities significantly.

    My personal belief: I believe EVERY online user has a right to privacy. I further believe every bit of communications online should be fully encrypted in such a manner that can only be decrypted by the originator and the addressee(s) of those communications. I believe this even though I don't (knowingly) do anything illegal. I lead a rather open life. However, I simply don't like anyone snooping around in my activities.

    What do you think? Does a hacker, criminal, online site (like Facebook), a government (including all FUTURE ADMINISTRATIONS) have a legal right to monitor everything you write or say?

    If governments do have that right, welcome to 1984!

  • 20 May 2022 8:37 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Wiltshire takes pride of place this Findmypast Friday  

    Findmypast add thousands of exclusive Wiltshire records from three new collections, in partnership with Wiltshire Family History Society 

    Wiltshire Baptisms 

    Covering nine parishes across Wiltshire and over 300 years, nearly 70,000 transcripts have been added into this existing collection. In addition to names, birth years and baptism years, it’s also possible to uncover parents’ names. 

    Wiltshire Asylum Registers, 1789-1921 

    This brand-new collection of nearly 28,000 transcripts covers eight institutions across the county. Details vary, but it might be possible to discover admission dates and notes on discharge. Earlier records in this collection are from private asylums.  

    Wiltshire WW1 Hospital Records 

    The next new collection includes just over 6,000 records for over three Wiltshire hospitals. Clues such as an ancestor’s rank, service number and details of injury could be found within these records. They also cover some regiments for outside of the UK. 

    Wiltshire Tithe Award Register 1813-1882 

    Over 250,000 records make up this new collection, which include details of taxes paid by residents to their local church. It’s a great resource to uncover Wiltshire land and property owners.  


    One new title and 12 updated titles round up this week’s releases, including the politically independent Woodford Times. 

    New titles: 

    ·         Woodford Times, 1869 

    Updated titles: 

    ·         Bebington News, 1989-1990, 1992 

    ·         Clarion, 1916-1927 

    ·         East Kilbride News, 1991 

    ·         Glasgow Chronicle, 1849 

    ·         Harlow Star, 1988, 1990 

    ·         Herne Bay Press, 1883-1897, 1899-1912, 1919-1975 

    ·         Nantwich Chronicle, 1995 

    ·         Nottingham Evening Post, 1995 

    ·         Oldham Advertiser, 1990, 1993 

    ·         Ormskirk Advertiser, 1990 

    ·         Peterborough Herald & Post, 1989 

    ·         Pontypridd Observer, 1962 

  • 20 May 2022 8:29 AM | Anonymous

    To U.S. residents: were you counted in the 2020 Census?

    According to an article written by Hansi Lo Wang and published in the NPR web site:

    For the 2020 census, all states were not counted equally well for population numbers used to allocate political representation and federal funding over the next decade, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Thursday.

    A follow-up survey the bureau conducted to measure the national tally's accuracy found significant net undercount rates in six states: Arkansas (5.04%), Florida (3.48%), Illinois (1.97%), Mississippi (4.11%), Tennessee (4.78%) and Texas (1.92%).

    It also uncovered significant net overcount rates in eight states — Delaware (5.45%), Hawaii (6.79%), Massachusetts (2.24%), Minnesota (3.84%), New York (3.44%), Ohio (1.49%), Rhode Island (5.05%) and Utah (2.59%).

    For the other 36 states, as well as Washington, D.C., the bureau did not find statistically significant net over- or undercount rates.

    These revelations come after the population totals from a census beset by the coronavirus pandemic and years of interference from former President Donald Trump's administration have already been used to divvy up seats in the House of Representatives, as well as votes in the Electoral College, for the next decade.

    "No census is perfect," Census Bureau Director Robert Santos warned during a public webinar about the latest results from Post-Enumeration Survey. "And the PES allows us to become more informed about the 2020 census by estimating what portion of the population was correctly counted, where we missed people and where some people were counted that shouldn't have been."

    You can read the entire article at:

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