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  • 3 Oct 2023 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    Your electronic devices may alarm you on Wednesday afternoon — but there's a reason for that. A nationwide test of the federal emergency alert system will be broadcast at approximately 2:20 p.m. EDT to cellphones, televisions and radios across the United States at around the same time. Most Americans with wireless cellular devices will receive an emergency alert message, as will most whose televisions or radios are on when the test occurs. 

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct Wednesday's test in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission. Emergency alert messages that make up the test are divided into two groups -- the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for radios and televisions, and the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) for wireless phones -- although both are scheduled to happen at once. Wednesday will mark the seventh nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. Six previous tests were conducted over the years between November 2011 and August 2021. This will be the third nationwide test of wireless alerts, and the second nationwide test transmitted to all cellphones, FEMA said in a statement. As the wireless alert tests are sent out to phones, the Emergency Alert System tests will be sent out to televisions and radios. 

    People can elect not to receive certain emergency alert messages to their cellphones from local authorities, or in some instances, simply decide whether to subscribe or not to a specific set of emergency alerts put out by a particular agency. On the other hand, it is not possible to opt out of the upcoming test of the national wireless alert system. All major wireless providers participate in FEMA's wireless alert system. So, most people whose cellphones are turned on and located within range of an active cell tower during the test should receive a message, the agency said (PDF).
  • 3 Oct 2023 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    An anonymous former state employee came forward Friday claiming to have evidence that the Arkansas governor’s office doctored documents and unlawfully withheld financial records that should have been made public under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.

    Attorney Tom Mars, who is representing the whistleblower, sent a letter today to Sen. Jimmy Hickey (R-Texarkana) offering to have his client speak to auditors. Hickey yesterday requested that Legislative Audit, a nonpartisan agency independent from the executive branch, look into what’s come to be known as “podiumgate.”

    The controversy concerns the $19,000 purchase of a lectern (or podium) by the governor’s office from an out-of-state events company earlier this year, as well asGov. Sarah Sanders’ successful efforts to newly block access to certain governmental records.

    Austin Baileyl, the Little Rock lawyer behind the Blue Hog Report blog, from accessing those records. Campbell’s FOIA requests uncovered the lectern purchase to begin with.

    You can read more in an article by Austin Bailey published in the Arkansas Times web site at:

  • 3 Oct 2023 9:14 AM | Anonymous

    The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

    Remembering Eckhardt & Haug Ancestors from New York City 
    by Louise A. Eckhardt. Published by Genealogy Publishing Group (Amherst, Mass.). 2022. 173 pages.

    Right away, what’s striking about this book is the abundance of pictures. Nearly every page has at least one type of illustration: sepia-toned family photographs, colorized postcard pictures, black and white snapshots, images of documents that are sharpened with contrast and easy to decipher, pictures of places and scenes; there is such a profusion of pictures that highlight the chronicle being told that the reader’s interest is engaged even before the story gets looked at. 

    In a well-produced book (which this is), having such crisp, readable text alongside the many expertly curated illustrations leaves the reader with a reading experience that is both pleasurable and meaningful. 

    The story is about William and Anna Eckhardt, Edward and Louise Haug, and Eva (Haug) Lenning. These are the author’s four grandparents and great-aunt Eva, whose family history writing served to preserve irreplaceable family history. A chapter is devoted to each of the five persons. Color-coded descendant charts help clarify the relationships; visual aids are always a welcome assist in keeping straight who belongs to whom.

    They were all longtime New Yorkers: the Eckhardts were in the garment industry and the Haugs were in business and active in community affairs. Their life stories reflect New York life in the twentieth century set amid mundane daily activities, political movements, epidemics, cultural changes, and the regular celebrations of marriages, births, and Sunday dinners. The family story envelops the times of New York City and the twentieth century. 

    The author spent 12 years writing her book. Twelve years that leaves her family with a distinctively notable and rich family history that will occupy a special place on their family bookshelves for a long time to come.

    And the pictures are the best part of the book. 

    Remembering Eckhardt & Haug Ancestors from New York City may be purchased from Amazon at: and from many other bookstores.

  • 2 Oct 2023 4:25 PM | Anonymous

    In honor of German Reunification Day, all 197.5 million German historical records on MyHeritage will be completely free to access from October 1 until October 5, 2023.

    Did you know that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 17% of Americans claim German roots?

    October 3 marks German Unity Day, and to celebrate, we are offering free access to all German records on MyHeritage. This is an exciting opportunity for all our users who have German heritage to connect with their roots. 

    German Unity Day celebrates the reunion of East and West Germany in 1990. It symbolizes freedom, unity, and democracy, ending the division the country faced post World War II. It’s a day when German people celebrate their shared history and values. To commemorate this significant event, MyHeritage is offering free access to over 197 million German historical records from October 1–5, 2023!

    Search all German records now

    MyHeritage is home to 65 valuable historical record collections from Germany. Alongside birth, marriage, and death records going back to the 16th century, MyHeritage offers a number of exclusive record collections from Prussia, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Hesse, as well as emigration records from Southwestern Germany and Hamburg to Australasia.

    You can read more in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 2 Oct 2023 4:23 PM | Anonymous

    Updated collections this month include the Foreign Legal Gazettes, which now features new issues of from Burkina Faso, the Philippines, and Ecuador. And two new sections were added into the Occupational Folklife Project collection: Training the Troops: Military Role-Players of Fort Polk, Louisiana and Immigrant Women Artists in Oklahoma : Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021.

    Read this and more at:

  • 2 Oct 2023 4:02 PM | Anonymous

    One of the largest databases of medieval manuscripts has added 61 new items to its collection. They include manuscripts from the Franciscan order as well as fragments dating back to the eighth century.

    The digitized manuscripts were added to e-codices: The Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland, which is run out of the University of Fribourg. The new additions bring their collection to over 2500 items.

    Among the additions are three medieval manuscripts held at the Central Library of the Swiss town of Solothurn. They originally belonged to the Franciscans and included a German translation of their Rule.

    Another interesting addition to the collection is four manuscripts from a library in Porrentruy, which is located in northwest Switzerland. They are not from the Middle Ages, but were made around the end of the 19th century, and are armourials depicting coats of arms of the local nobility.

    Many of the new additions come from the Abbey Library of Saint Gall, an important monastery in the Middle Ages. Some of these are collections of fragments of manuscripts from older works, including those dating back to the 8th century. Dr. William Duba, who coordinates e-codices for the Center for Manuscript Studies at the University of Fribourg, explains that for him “by far the most exciting part of the update is the publication of hundreds of fragments from the Ildefons von Arx fragment volumes 1397 and 1398a. Before we started work on these, most of them were known only by a one-line title applied to a whole folder. Thanks to the work of Chiara de Angelis, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cassino, Scientific Editor Brigitte Roux, St. Gallen librarian Philipp Lenz, and numerous others who helped in specific cases, we have identified and dated each of the fragments, and noting where they come from the same manuscripts.”

    You can read more at:,

  • 2 Oct 2023 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    One of the world’s most famous museums has a problem: Some of its treasures are missing, and it needs the public's help to find them.

    The British Museum in London this week appealed to the public to help recover around 2,000 lost, stolen or damaged items from its vast collection.

    Details and images were released Wednesday of the missing loot — which includes jewelry and gems from the Greek and Roman eras — in the hope of generating some leads on where they ended up. 

    “If you are concerned that you may be, or have been, in possession of items from the British Museum, or if you have any other information that may help us, please contact us at,” the museum said in a statement.

    You can read more at: 

  • 2 Oct 2023 3:55 PM | Anonymous

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

    (+) Why You Want to Archive All Your Email Messages – Part #2

    Upload Your DNA Data to MyHeritage and Enjoy Free Access to All DNA Features

    It is the First Day of the Month(+1): Back Up Your Genealogy Files

    The Family History Show is now coming to the Midlands!

    Crowd-Sourced History Project Seeks to Humanize the Incarcerated

    University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries Acquire Terri Cappucci Glass Plate Negative Collection

    Historical Treasures From the 15th Century: New Website Offers a Treasure Trove of Data and Research Tools

    IGHR's 2024 Course List Has Been Released

    The Augusta Genealogical Society Announces a Virtual Genealogical Program: Saturday, October 28, 2023 - "Researching Prison Records"

    This Week, Explore New Records From Ireland, London and Kent on Findmypast

    Recently Added and Updated Collections on Ancestry

    EBSCO Information Services Releases Moment Magazine Archive

    National Genealogical Society & Vivid-Pix Are on the Road for Family History Month

    DNA Drives Help Identify Missing People. It’s a Privacy Nightmare

    Boston Public Library Opens E-Book Access to Teens Across US

    Update LibreOffice Now to Fix a Security Flaw

    Important Raven Scanner Cloud Announcement

    You Can Now Get Your Free Credit Report Every Week, Forever

    How Accurate Are Pet DNA Tests? We Sent One Lab a Swab From a Human

  • 2 Oct 2023 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage is making a FREE offer that will appeal to a lot of genealogists:

    We’re pleased to tell you about a very special, limited-time offer we’re launching this week: from October 1 to October 8, 2023, you can upload your DNA data to MyHeritage and get access to all advanced DNA features, including the Ethnicity Estimate, absolutely free — forever!

    Uploading your DNA to MyHeritage can lead to life-changing discoveries. It led Loren McDonald to find his biological family, and receive a beautiful 7-page letter from his birth father, who he never had the opportunity to meet. Within days of uploading his DNA to MyHeritage, Rhys Williams discovered a half-brother he never knew about, and the similarities between them are uncanny. Stories like these are why we do what we do here at MyHeritage, and we want to make many more of them possible! 

    Upload your data to MyHeritage now

    It’s very common for people to want to try multiple DNA databases to cast a wider net in their research. Moreover, for people who are searching for family members — for example, adoptees searching for their birth parents — “fishing in multiple ponds” offers the greatest chances of finding answers, but purchasing multiple DNA kits gets expensive. That’s why we never charge users for uploading their DNA, viewing their DNA Matches, and contacting their DNA Matches. However, a one-time unlock fee of $29 (or a site subscription on MyHeritage) is usually required to access the advanced DNA features.

    During this week, we are waiving the unlock fee. You can now upload your DNA data to MyHeritage and receive your Ethnicity Estimate, Genetic Groups, and access to other advanced DNA tools such as the Chromosome Browser, AutoClusters, and Theory of Family Relativity™ — absolutely free! These features will remain free forever for the DNA kits you upload during this week. MyHeritage supports DNA files from Ancestry, Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder, and 23andMe.

    Why upload to MyHeritage?

    You can read all the details at:
  • 2 Oct 2023 9:17 AM | Anonymous

    Are you looking for data on someone who was a “guest of the state" at Sing Sing prison? A new crowd-sourced digital history project may have the information you seek. (No guarantees, as the database is still being built.)

    From 1865 to 1925, nearly 50,000 people passed through the gates of Sing Sing prison, just 20 miles north of New York City.

    Very little is known about who they were.

    Shadows on Stone, a new crowd-sourced digital history project that began in a Fordham history class, seeks to fill in that gap and, in doing so, help restore the humanity of a group of people who have historically been dismissed as irredeemable.

    The goal of the project is to transfer digitized records that were entered when prisoners first arrived at the prison. Since only a very small number of the inmates ever wrote about their time there, these “mini-biographies” of their lives before imprisonment offer the only glimpses of who they were.

    Anyone who would like to help is welcome to try their hand at transforming the hand-written documents into legible text that will eventually be entered into a searchable database.

    Analyzing Data in a Fordham History Class

    The project first began in 2018, when Fordham undergraduate students in two honors history classes were tasked by now-retired professor Roger Panetta, Ph.D., to analyze some of the entries from the first set of names. The data was then uploaded to the crowd-sourcing research site Zooniverse.

    The students published two reports based on their findings: The NYC Criminal and Sing Sing Penitentiary in the 19th Century and Paved with Good Intentions: Origins of the New York Penitentiary. They also created an entry that is currently on the Sing Sing Museum’s webpage.

    Open to Public Volunteers

    Panetta, who is writing a book about Sing Sing, decided to expand the project and open it to the public. A soft launch for the Shadows on Stone took place in August; it will fully go live in October.

    Anyone who would like to help is welcome to try their hand at transforming the hand-written documents into legible text that will eventually be entered into a searchable database.

    Panetta said the data on these inmates was originally collected as part of a movement in the 19th century to identify the so-called “criminal class.”

    Using ‘Fragmented Biographies’ to Gain Insight

    You can read more in an article by Patrick Verel published in the Fordham News web site at:

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