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  • 21 Feb 2024 3:31 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by WikiTree:

    Feb 21, 2024 – WikiTree, the free genealogy community and collaborative family tree, now hosts the largest free database connecting African-American families.

    African-Americans are underrepresented in genealogy. Slavery tore apart families and remains an ugly genealogical brick wall for many Americans. In 2020, a group of volunteers led by genealogist and author Emma MacBeath came together on WikiTree to create the US Black Heritage Project. Its mission: make it easy for descendants of enslaved ancestors to discover their roots and connect with family members.

    Over 200 professional genealogists and amateur family historians have donated thousands of hours of research time to the Black Heritage Project. As of today, they have created over 282,000 African-American family member profiles. These are all available to the public, entirely free, on An African-American who comes to WikiTree now has a good chance of finding their ancestors, cousins, and connections across the entire 32,000,000-person global family tree.

    “WikiTree is the perfect place for us to connect families who have been left disconnected for generations," says Emma MacBeath. "There is nothing like this project out there. There are many projects working on groups of families or large document sets. But no one else is combining document processing with tree building in a public one-world tree like WikiTree. Best of all, our information is freely available to everyone."

    Despite these accomplishments, WikiTree’s generous volunteers say they are just getting started. This month – Black History Month in the US – a new project was announced: The US Black Heritage 1880 Project. Its goal: create a connected WikiTree profile for all 6.6 million Black Americans enumerated in the 1880 US census. Anyone can help this project. Click here to volunteer.

    WikiTree has been growing for 16 years, from the grassroots up. Our community now includes over one million members and over 37 million profiles. Our tree is considered the most accurate and trusted global tree because of WikiTree’s collaborative culture, sourcing requirements, and incorporation of DNA. See this 90-second animated explanation.

  • 21 Feb 2024 3:20 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy:

    The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is now accepting applications for Hive Minders for Fall Virtual 2024.

    Hive Minders help our virtual classrooms function smoothly, addressing challenges that arise. If you are comfortable with technology, consider applying to serve during one of the courses offered during SLIG Fall Virtual 2024.

    Hive Minder job responsibilities include:  

     • starting Zoom for each weekly class session;

    • managing closed captioning, breakout rooms, polls, and recordings;

     • assisting faculty and students with light tech and announcements;

     • taking attendance with the provided Airtable attendance tracker;

     • keeping SLIG staff aware of classroom and student issues or concerns.

    Hive Minders receive:  

     • a tuition waiver for the course for which they serve as Hive Minder;

     • training to be a Hive Minder;

     • a Hive Minder reference packet;

     • assistance and support from SLIG's Virtual Coordinator, Tech Assistant, and Director for emergencies and questions.

    Courses offered during SLIG Fall Virtual 2024 may be viewed here.

    To apply to be a Hive Minder during SLIG Fall Virtual 2024, please complete the application at this Airtable link. The deadline for applying is May 1, 2024. All applicants will receive notification via email whether they have been selected.

    A call for Hive Minders during SLIG 2025 and SLIG Spring Virtual 2025 will arrive in April.

    Did we mention that Hive Minders receive a tuition waiver?

  • 21 Feb 2024 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by the (U.S.) National Archives and Records Administration:

    Kansas City, MO

    The National Archives at Kansas City is pleased to announce that its exhibit space will reopen on February 20, 2024.

    The public space at 400 West Pershing Road will be open to the public for self-guided tours Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time. 

    At the exhibit entrance, visitors will experience the We the People exhibit featuring records from the holdings of the National Archives at Kansas City. Alongside the stories of the great and powerful, the exhibit features facsimile records that give insight into the lives of ordinary people. Nearly all Americans can find themselves, their neighbors, their ancestors, or their community in the records of the National Archives. Interactive displays include flip books and a station where visitors can make rubbings of famous signatures from Kansas City holdings.

    “The exhibit at the National Archives at Kansas City highlights valuable archival holdings and local history,” said Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan. “I’m thrilled that the exhibit space will now be more accessible to everyone seeking to learn why records matter and how they impact our lives.”

    The exhibit closed to walk-in visitors at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, though researchers with appointments to the research room were able to visit the space starting in January 2022.

    Visitors to the exhibit space are welcome to use the public access personal computers with connections to genealogy resources. The research room remains open by appointment only, and researchers can email to schedule appointments.  

    For more information, visit For media inquiries, please contact the National Archives Public and Media Communications Office at 202-357-5300 or

    About the National Archives at Kansas City

    The National Archives at Kansas City is home to historical records that date from the 1820s to the 2000s that were created or received by federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. There are also records from across the country, including bankruptcy cases, court of appeals records, and patent case files. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit

    About the National Archives

    The National Archives and Records Administration is the nation's record keeper. It safeguards and manages the official records of the U.S. Government, ensuring the documentation of our nation's history. For more information, visit

  • 21 Feb 2024 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA):


    The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) issued a statement to the Ministry of Justice (the MoJ) formally objecting proposals in regard to the storage and retention of original will documents. The MoJ consultation document outlined proposals to destroy these documents following digitisation.

    The statement outlined the membership's collective experience of the significant risks associated with digitisation projects, including errors of omission. If the originals are destroyed, that data is lost forever. While AGRA welcomes digitisation as an alternative means of access, it is not a replacement for original documents.

    There can be no dispute that the original will, with the signatures of the testator and witnesses, will be the most accurate version. However, the majority of digital images currently supplied to researchers are not images of the original will, but of the office copy of the document. These office copies do not have the original handwriting or signatures of the testator and other parties. AGRA raised the need for more clarification as to which documents are held by the MoJ, where they are held and which, if not all, of those documents are proposed for digitisation and/or destruction.

    Most of all, AGRA condemned the proposed wilful destruction of potentially historically valuable documents and records. This would represent a major loss to the cultural and historical heritage of England and Wales. The proposal that original wills of notable individuals will be retained does not take into account those whom history retrospectively reclaims as such.

    Wills are not merely records associated with the legal process of a person's decease. Each will is a unique and personal document, which can reveal so much more about an individual, their family, land and property and their life, than can be accounted for in pounds, shillings and pence.

    AGRA regards the proposed plans to end the storage of wills as equivalent to an act of cultural vandalism and urged the MoJ to withdraw their proposals.

    The statement, issued by Gill Thomas, Chair of AGRA, was undersigned by AGRA Fellows, Members and Associates.


    We encourage everyone with an interest in this issue to respond to the consultation by 23rd February at 11.59pm (GMT), to write to your MP raising your concerns and to sign the following petition:

    To respond directly to the MoJ's consultation, please email:

  • 20 Feb 2024 6:25 PM | Anonymous

    Here is an article that is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, I suspect it will be of interest to many readers of this newsletter.

    The iPhone's ease of use makes it a great choice for older folks who want a smartphone, and there are plenty of options to make iOS easier to use and more accessible. Whether you're setting up a phone for your great uncle (or you're the great uncle!) we have a pile of great tips to share.

    1. Consider Enabling Assistive Access 

    Assistive Access is a feature introduced in iOS 17 that greatly simplifies the iOS experience. While designed for people with cognitive disabilities, it's also a good choice for seniors who only need to use the essential functions of their devices.

    A trusted person can set up Assistive Access to show only the apps that their loved one needs, which then run in a simplified format. This might be too drastic a step for tech-savvy seniors, but it's worth a look if the user doesn't want to be overwhelmed with apps and menus they won't use anyway.

    See our guide to Assistive Access on iPhone to learn more.

    2. Use Display Zoom

    You can read much more in an article by Ben Stegner published in the web site at:
  • 20 Feb 2024 2:20 PM | Anonymous

    Applications are now being accepted for several scholarships available to participants in upcoming SLIG events. The deadline for each scholarship is May 1, 2024. Summaries are included below.  Click on each scholarship title for links to additional details and application procedures.

    UGA Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship

    The UGA Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship provides a guaranteed seat and full tuition to one course of choice at either SLIG 2025 or SLIG Spring Virtual 2025. This scholarship will be awarded to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to genealogical excellence and community involvement.

    Laura G. Prescott Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Scholarship

    The Laura G. Prescott Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Scholarship provides a guaranteed seat and full tuition to one course of choice at SLIG Fall Virtual 2024, SLIG 2025, or SLIG Spring Virtual 2025. Applicants may be of any age or skill level but should exhibit a passion for genealogy, appreciate the importance of education and standards in our field, and serve the community through volunteerism.

    SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees

    The SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees provides a guaranteed seat and full tuition to one course of choice at SLIG 2025. Applicants should meet these qualifications: (1) never have attended, nor will be attending, any of the national genealogical institutes prior to SLIG 2025; (2) have previously sought to improve their genealogical education through formal or informal means; (3) have an intermediate or above level of research knowledge and skills, and are ready for an in-depth learning experience; and (4) have identified a SLIG 2025 course that meets their ongoing educational objectives.

    SLIG Foundations Scholarship

    Formerly the SLIG Intermediate Foundations Scholarship, the SLIG Foundations Scholarship provides a guaranteed seat and full tuition to the Foundations: The Research Process course offered at SLIG Fall Virtual 2024. For more information about this course, click this link. Applicants should meet these qualifications: (1) have a strong working knowledge of basic genealogical research principles and have had several years of experience applying those principles using a variety of record sources to identify ancestors and confirm relationships; (2) have utilized a variety of formal and informal educational opportunities to obtain and strengthen knowledge, and now feel ready for an in-depth, curriculum-based learning experience; (3) have time available each week during the course to spend at least three hours in class sessions plus five to ten hours to complete homework; and (4) have reviewed the course description and outline to identify how this course will help meet their educational objectives.
  • 20 Feb 2024 8:21 AM | Anonymous

    ‘Publicitor’ Melvin Smith chronicled the community for decades in various newspapers.

    The small but mighty CCC Newsette warmed hearts and heated up mailboxes across Evanston’s sizable Black community and beyond from 1971 to 1985. A project of publisher and community activist Melvin Scribner Smith, the newspaper was published weekly and went through many formats and incarnations. It was a rebirth of two earlier versions also led by Smith: the Evanston Newsette (1941-1942, 1946-1951), and a brief run of the Evanston Afro Newsette in 1968. It also briefly merged with the North Shore Examiner in 1976, but retained its name.

    The CCC Newsette thrived for a decade and a half and was buoyed along by waves of local activism as well as the national Civil Rights Movement.   

    The Shorefront Legacy Center and the Evanston Public Library have been working to digitize copies of the issues. Now any Evanstonian with an Evanston public library card can bask in lively and detailed accounts of the Evanston Black community’s courage, struggles, humor, debates, triumphs and valor, as reflected in the pages of the CCC Newsette. 

    You can read the full story (and search through the database) in an article by Kristin Lems published in the web site at:

  • 19 Feb 2024 12:52 PM | Anonymous

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

    (+) Why You May Need to Hire a Professional Genealogist

    Irish Ministers Martin and Humphreys Welcome Release of Additional Birth, Marriage and Death Records

    African Americans Working to Recover the Names of Their Ancestors

    Incident at National Archives Rotunda Closes Galleries to Public

    Antigonish (Nova Scotia) Heritage Museum Will Launch Newspaper Database

    ASU Professor Is Using New Tool to Find Missing U.S. Soldiers From Vietnam War: Digital Archeology

    The Australian War Memorial Is Calling on the Public to Assist in Transcribing Thousands of Love Letters Dating Back Almost a Century

    Issues of The Skyland Post Now Available

    The Archaeological Conservancy Is Excited to Announce We Have a New Website

    Family Search Offers Free 20-Minute Virtual Consultations

    Examine the World of Investigative Genetic Genealogy at the New Jersey State Library

    Genealogy Resource Fair to be held in March in Georgia

    Palm Springs Genealogical Society Cancels Its DNA Seminars

    Who Was Saint Valentine?

    The Best Sites for Free, High-Quality Audiobooks

    Google Proposes Users of Older Windows 10 PCs to Migrate to ChromeOS Flex (a Variant of Chromebooks)

  • 19 Feb 2024 11:07 AM | Anonymous

    Here is an article that is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, I have written often about the advantages of Chromebook computers and the closely-related ChromeOS Flex software. This article is about ChromeOS Flex:

    Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 10 on October 14, 2025, which could render 240 million PCs obsolete for consumers and businesses due to lack of free security updates and technical support. Since many of Windows 10 systems are too old to run Windows 11, many users will have to pay Microsoft for extended support or buy new PCs. Some may want to preserve their existing machines and not pay Microsoft, which will be dangerous due to lack of security updates, but Google seems to have a solution.  

    Google suggests you migrate to cloud-based ChromeOS Flex, which will keep receiving regular security updates and support for at least some time, Google tells to owners of Windows 10-based PCs that are too outdated to run Windows 11. The lightweight operating system that can be easily installed on Windows devices using a USB stick. If people adopt ChromeOS Flex, this will prevent millions of PCs from becoming electronic waste, which is good for the planet. 

    In addition, ChromeOS Flex provides numerous other advantages, including regular security updates, data encryption, and potentially improved performance for older devices. It also promises lower IT support costs, making it an attractive option for businesses. The operating system is compatible with various Chrome Enterprise solutions, catering to a wide range of business needs such as fleet management, kiosk deployment, and ransomware recovery. 

    You can read more in an article by Anton Shilov published in the Tom’s Hardware web site at:

  • 19 Feb 2024 10:55 AM | Anonymous

    The Archaeological Conservancy is excited to announce we have launched our new website! Please visit us at

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.Feb. 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- We are excited to announce that The Archaeological Conservancy has launched a new website. When you visit us at you'll find a rich and interactive experience that lets you immerse yourself in cultural heritage across the country.

    We've worked hard to design an updated site that is easy to navigate, while also being rich in information. You'll find:

    - A responsive design, no matter what device you use to visit us

    - American Archaeology article excerpts, field notes, book reviews, a digital archive of all American Archaeology issues (older than two years), and a searchable database of archived book reviews

    - Information on our current tour schedule

    - Virtual site tours that take you to some of our most interesting archaeological preserves

    - An interactive map that lets you explore preserves across the country

    - Easy access to recordings of our Virtual Lectures (2020 through the present)

    - A password-protected area for our members where you can update your contact information, make donations, and read digital copies of the most current editions of American Archaeology

    We'd like to thank our web developer Adam Hurd of Halfpixel for working with us to bring this new website to you. We hope you enjoy exploring it!

    About The Archaeological Conservancy

    The Archaeological Conservancy, established in 1980, is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of our nation's remaining archaeological sites. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Conservancy also operates regional offices in MississippiMarylandWisconsin, and Nevada. The Conservancy has preserved over 585 sites across the nation.

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