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  • 4 Dec 2020 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Essex Baptisms

    Over 169,000 new transcripts have been added to Essex baptisms. Unique to Findmypast, these new additions, covering a wide range of parishes and date ranges, will reveal your ancestor’s date and location of birth, date and location of baptism, residence, parents’ names and father’s occupation. 

    See Findmypast’s Essex parish list for details of the new arrivals, along with locations and years covered across the entire collection.

    Devon Baptisms

    Findmypast’s Devon collection continues to grow with over 45,000 Methodist baptism records. These new additions cover 73 churches and span from 1837-1919.

    The collection now contains over 2.7 million records spanning 400 years of the maritime county’s history.

    Berkshire Probate Index

    Discover details of your Berkshire ancestors in new probate records dating all the way back 1480.

    Findmypast’s unrivalled parish coverage

    The index will reveal the year of probate, the type of document surviving, its archive reference (for ordering copies of original documents from the Berkshire Record Office) and usually an ancestor’s occupation and residence.


    This week, Findmypast have added over 47,000 additional pages to Leicester Evening Mailcovering 1929-1943.


  • 3 Dec 2020 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by MyHeritage (the sponsor of this genealogy newsletter):

    Earlier this year we released an amazing feature for colorization of black and white photos –MyHeritage In Color™. It was based on deep-learning technology licensed by us exclusively from DeOldify – the super talented team of Jason Antic and Dana Kelley, following pioneering work by our team member Maor Cohen. MyHeritage In Color™ quickly became a viral sensation with more than 16 million photos colorized since its release. You can read more on our blog about our launch of this feature, how it went viral, and the colorization settings we added for it.

    Try MyHeritage In Color™ now

    Throughout the year, Jason and Dana continued to work hard to improve colorization even further, as they are, in their own words, obsessively pursuing the perfection of colorization using deep learning. We are now happy to release the fruits of their continued efforts — a new colorization model, which produces even better results when colorizing black and white photos. Going forward, we will use the new colorization model as the default option when you colorize your photos. So, you need not take any action to take advantage of the new model, just continue to colorize your photos on MyHeritage.

    Why colorize your black & white photos?

    Photos provide a unique view into the lives of our ancestors and relatives, but viewing them in black and white places them at a certain distance. Viewing the same images in color brings them to life like nothing else can. Colorized historical photos can spark interest in the past, and help us relate more personally to events and people from times gone by. It allows us to view these photographs in an entirely new way, giving us new perspectives on the people and places who made us who we are today.

    Imagine seeing your grandparents’ wedding photo in color for the first time, or noticing the small details portraying life on the streets of New York a hundred years ago. When you view the colorized images next to the original black and white photos, you’ll be amazed by the difference. Colorization does not modify your original photo, it creates a new copy, and it marks it with a special symbol in the bottom left corner to inform others that the colors are simulated and are not authentic.


    Several examples that show how the new colorization model (which we’ll call November 2020) achieves better results than the former model (February 2020). You can see these examples and also learn more about the new process in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 2 Dec 2020 4:04 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    Search over 2.7M new records added to FamilySearch this week for the Norway 1891 Census, along with nearly 4M Catholic Church records for Mexico, Oaxaca 1559–1988, and Mexico, Nayarit 1596–1967.  Look in expanded country collections  for Austria, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru, S. Africa, Sweden, UruguayVenezuela, and the United States (CA, LA, MS, NY, VA and WA).  

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

    NOTE: The full list of newly-added records is too long to list here. You can read the entire list at:

  • 2 Dec 2020 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a message posted to the IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies') Public Records Access Monitoring Committee mailing list and is republished here with the IAJGS' permission:

    Ancestry includes many U.S. school yearbooks in their database. On December 1, 2020 in California, my home state, a lawsuit was filed in San Francisco – a proposed class action lawsuit, alleging Ancestry amassed photographs, names, likenesses and identities without permission to sell subscription access to the information and advertise Ancestry services and products. 

    The plaintiffs include California residents who are not Ancestry subscribers, have not donated a yearbook to the company and whose data were uploaded by Ancestry into the yearbook database—“U.S. School Yearbooks, 19090-1999”.  The database has about 730 million individual records including 60 million records from schools and universities in California.

    The lawsuit, filed against Inc, Operations Inc and LLC, alleges violations of the California's publicity rights statute and unfair competition law, intrusion upon seclusion and unjust enrichment.

    The case is Callahan et al v. Inc. et al, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:20-cv-08437

    At the time of this posting there is nothing on the Ancestry website regarding the litigation.

    To read more see:

    Thank you to Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist for informing us about this litigation. To read her blog post on this see:

    Jan Meisels Allen
    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 2 Dec 2020 11:07 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Bryan Pietsch in the New York Times' website:

    A request by a grandson of Warren G. Harding to prove his lineage with “scientific certainty” by exhuming his grandfather’s body has been denied by a judge in Ohio.

    James Blaesing, whose grandmother, Nan Britton, wrote a tell-all book in 1928 about her affair with the 29th president, had already had the relationship established with help from and DNA samples from two Harding descendants.

    But one faction of the Harding family that was dismissive of Mr. Blaesing had cast doubt on the Ancestry genealogy, ostensibly because it was a relatively new, though reliable, method. So Mr. Blaesing sought to go further to establish direct proof that President Harding was his grandfather.

    You can find the entire article at:

  • 2 Dec 2020 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    I was very disappointed a few weeks ago to learn that Google Cloud Print will be no longer be supported after the end of this month. I expect that all Chromebook users and many others are equally disappointed.

    I travel a lot and I also own a Chromebook. This inexpensive laptop has become my favorite traveling computer. In fact, this article is being written on a Chromebook sitting on the dining room table at a friend's house in Massachusetts. (I have been on the road for 2 weeks but will return home this coming weekend.)

    I normally do not travel with a printer. Instead, for the occasional printing need when traveling, I have used Google Cloud Print to print documents on my home printer from the Chromebook, no matter where I am in the world. Of course, I cannot pick up  the printout until I return home but that is normally wjhat I need anyway. I typically do not need the printed document whike still traveling.

    In fact, I find Google Cloud Print. so useful that I have configured my other computers to also print via the same method.

    Of course, Chromebook users weren't the only ones to use Google Cloud Print. So did millions of other laptop users, including those using Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android, and Apple iOS laptops, tablet computers, or smartphones, all of which could print by using Google Cloud Print.

    After being available for about ten years, Google recently announced that the Google Cloud Print. service will no longer be supported after December 31, 2020. Now I and thousands of other traveling computer users are left high and dry without printing capabilities. Or are we?

    An article by Barclay Ballard in the TechRadar Pro web site may be the best source for information about remote printing. Ballard points out:

    "Chrome OS has its own native printing solutions for Wi-Fi, CUPS, and local printing devices. Microsoft also launched its own Universal Print service earlier this year, while HP has its own cloud-based print offering.

    "Other options that could be worth exploring may be found in Google Chrome’s collection of extensions. Plug-ins like EveryonePrint, may not have a major name like Google behind them, but they will be working hard to capture more market share by attracting former Google Cloud Print users."

    You can find the article, including links to resources on other web sites, at:

  • 2 Dec 2020 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    The National Genealogical Society 2022 Family History Conference, Our American Mosaic, will be held in Sacramento, California, 25-28 May 2022. The call for proposals is now open and closes on 1 April 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

    The complete Call For Proposals may be found on the NGS website at:

  • 2 Dec 2020 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    Prolific genealogy programmer Randy Majors has added a new Reference Maps section of the Research Hub website. Here is the announcement:

    Quick Links: New Reference Maps section on

    Sometimes, you just need a quick reference map image rather than a fancy interactive map tool.  

    Well, for those times, you can now visit the new Reference Maps section of the Research Hub website.  You get there by going to this part of the menu on

    On that menu, you'll find links to the following state-based map images:
    Using the Civil Township Maps by State as an example, click the image of the state you're interested in to go to that interactive map tool, like this:
    Once you're using the map tool, you can turn on other map layers in the lower left corner or zoom in further if name labels are not appearing on the map.

    But I thought you said reference map IMAGES?!

    Yep, I did :)  Just scroll down the page below the map tool. 
    You'll see a static image like this (only larger):

    Shortcut:  To go straight to the image from the Reference Map page, you can right-click the image thumbnail and choose 'Open image in new tab'.
    Note that some of the static map images cannot be labelled on a state-wide map because there are just way too many townships in some states.  If that's the case, just click through to the interactive map tool and zoom in a bit to your area of interest and labels will draw in a few seconds.  
    Also, if there is interest from people, I will create county-based map images for a more close-up view where more features can be labelled.
    Hope these reference maps come in handy from time to time.
    Happy mapping!
  • 1 Dec 2020 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    UPDATE: A typo error in the due date has been corrected.

    The following announcement was written by the Genealogy Guys Podcast and by Vivid-Pix:

    The Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce

    Society Grants Program and New Unsung Heroes Program Nominees

    The Genealogy Guys Podcast, the world’s oldest genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of the acclaimed RESTORE photo and document image improvement software, announce a new Unsung Heroes Program and a call for nominations for Unsung Heroes Awards.

    The partners created the Unsung Heroes Awards in 2019 to encourage, acknowledge and celebrate members of the genealogy community who lead the way in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photos and documents, for use by researchers around the globe. They added a new Unsung Heroes Societies Grant Program in 2020 for societies to apply to receive a scanner and high-quality software to make digitization projects a reality.

    Unsung Heroes Societies Grant Program

    This program awards grants to two societies each year to facilitate their digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photographs and documents. The winning grantees each will receive a high-quality scanner, a backup and online storage software package, and two copies of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software to improve the legibility of documents, the color/contrast of photographs, and to add image tags and other important information to the image metadata. The grant package is valued at $500.

    Applications must describe the intended use of the grant. Multiple applications may be submitted by a single society/chapter but grantees are limited to one grant per society. The grant application form is available at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at The due date for this grant is by midnight EDT on January 1, 2021 and should be sent to Successful grantees will be announced separately at different times of the year by The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix via press release, social media, and the partners’ websites. (The first grant recipient society was announced during the 2020 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference.) The next recipient will be announced during the RootsTech Connect Virtua Conference February, February 25-27, 2021.

    Unsung Heroes Awards Program

    The Unsung Heroes Awards Program continues to recognize individuals, societies, and libraries for their work in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photographs and documents and making that work accessible to the genealogical community. All nominations are to be submitted using the nomination form at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. The due date for the next set of nominations is midnight EDT on January 1, 2021, and should be sent to

    Award winners will receive a commemorative certificate, a customized mug that can include an image of their choice, and a copy of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. Individual winners will also receive a one-year subscription to Genealogy Guys Learn, the online subscription education program. Winners will be announced by The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix via press release, social media, and on the partners’ websites. Winners for the next round of category nominations will be announced during the RootsTech Connect Virtua Conference February, February 25-27, 2021. Nominations received from non-winners will be retained for consideration for future awards.

    Instructions for Submissions

    Full details of the programs are available at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at The grant application form and the award nomination form are available there in PDF format for download. If you have any questions, please email or

  • 1 Dec 2020 11:26 AM | Anonymous

    According to an announcement from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

    "Under Pub. L. 101-249, use this form to request posthumous citizenship for an alien or noncitizen national whose death resulted from injury or disease incurred on active duty with the U.S. armed services during specified periods of military hostilities. Posthumous citizenship is an honorary status commemorating the bravery and sacrifices of these persons; it does not convey any benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act to any relative of the decedent.

    "If we approve your application, we will send you Form N-645, Certificate of Citizenship, in the name of the decedent. The certificate only establishes that we consider them to be a citizen of the United States as of the date of their death, and is invalid for all other purposes."

    Details may be found at the Citizenship and Immigration Services website at:

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