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  • 12 Apr 2024 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

    From wartime to workhouse records, there are 180,000 Warwickshire additions to explore this week. 

    This week we added 183,015 new records from the county of Warwickshire. Delve into Second World War history in more detail than ever with new Coventry bomb damage schedules and updates to our existing Coventry Air Raid set. 

    There are also new Coventry workhouse registers and burials to explore. From the West Midlands to Toronto, enrich your family tree with new newspaper pages that span the globe. 

    Coventry Bomb Damage Schedules 1940-1941 and Coventry Blitz, German Air Raids 1940-1941

    These 74,615 new and updated records recount the German Air Raid bomb damage that Coventry suffered between 1940 and 1941.

    Taylor (Lt) - War Office official photographer

    Broadgate in Coventry city centre following the Coventry Blitz of 14/15 November 1940 

    Warwickshire, Coventry, Bomb Damage Schedules is a brand new set, comprising 73,811 images and transcriptions which cover the years 1940 and 1941.

    To further bolster our Blitz record collection, we've also added 804 new transcriptions and images to our existing Warwickshire, Coventry Blitz, German Air Raids 1940-1941 record set. 

    If your ancestor lived through this fateful period of British history in the county of Warwickshire, you may be able to glean key information about their experiences from these new and updated records.

    Coventry Workhouse Admission and Discharge Registers, 1853-1946

    If your ancestor passed through the doors of one of Coventry's workhouses between 1853 and 1946, their name may appear in this new brand collection. 

    There are 70,437 fascinating new workhouse additions for you to discover this Findmypast Friday. 

    Warwickshire Burials, 1847-1896

    We also added 37,963 burial records from Coventry's London Road Cemetery this week, covering the years 1847 to 1896. 

    New pages from Coventry to Canada

    There are 91,584 brand-new pages for you to explore this Findmypast Friday, with 22 new and updated titles that span the globe. 

    The Coventry Graphic, 1911.

    The Coventry Graphic, 1911.

    New titles:

    • Bedworth Times, 1875-1876
    • Coventry Graphic, 1912-1921
    • Foleshill & Bedworth Express, 1874-1876
    • Gainsborough Evening News, 1954-1983, 1987, 1992-1994, 1996
    • Matlock Mercury, 1986-1988, 1990, 1992-1994, 1996, 1998, 2000
    • Piercy’s Coventry Gazette, 1778

    Updated titles: 

    • Arbroath Herald, 1964-1973
    • Coventry Standard, 1747-1748, 1751, 1755, 1757, 1759-1794, 1798-1811, 1814-1831
    • Derbyshire Times, 1986
    • Eastbourne Gazette, 1988
    • Edinburgh Evening News, 1995
    • Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, 1982, 1985-1987
    • Leamington Spa Courier, 1984, 1987
    • Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 1993, 1995-1996, 1998
    • Melton Mowbray Times and Vale of Belvoir Gazette, 1890-1893, 1999
    • Morpeth Herald, 1998-1999
    • Motherwell Times, 1983
    • Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, 1955-1956, 1987-1988, 1990-1991, 1993-1995, 1997-1998, 2001
    • Rugby Advertiser, 1855, 1960-1968, 1984
    • Stornoway Gazette and West Coast Advertiser, 1967-1971, 1975-1985, 1988
    • Toronto Daily Mail, 1881
    • West Sussex County Times, 1983, 1986-1987

    We added 100,000 brand-new record sets last week. Don't miss out - discover the full release here.

    Have you made a surprising family history discovery? Whatever you've uncovered about your past, we'd love to hear about it. You can now get in touch and tell us using this handy form.

  • 12 Apr 2024 8:19 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release written by the folks at the Australian National University:

    The first database of message sticks used in Indigenous Australia has been created, pulling together records and information on message sticks housed in museums and archives around the world. Message sticks are wooden objects used by First Nations Australians for communicating over long distances. The database contains images and any available information about origin and meaning for over 1,500 individual message sticks. Uniquely, the database is informed by the Indigenous Australian concept of Country and deliberately prioritises Indigenous knowledge. The authors say that, for the first time, knowledge about Australian message sticks can be evaluated as a single set, and they hope that the database will help Traditional Owners to identify and reconnect with ancestral knowledge.

    Journal/conference: PLOS ONE

    Link to research (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0299712

    Organisation/s: The University of New England, The Australian National University

  • 12 Apr 2024 8:07 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release from TheGenealogist:

    We have all delved into our family history yearning to understand the lives of our ancestors, but after we have found them in the births, marriages and death records we will often turn to the census records to discover where they lived. But what happens if you've hit a brick wall in your research, struggling to piece together the puzzle of their past because they were, somehow, not at home on census night? What resource can we turn to as a substitute?

    It may be that we have found our ancestor in their home and discovered that their occupation reveals that they were a shopkeeper or small business person. What we would now like to know is where they ran their business from and discover more about the village, town or area of the city in which they worked.

    The latest release from TheGenealogist contains over 10 million new individuals recorded in directories from the first two decades of the 20th Century. This virtual bookshelf stacked with volumes from the early 1900s to 1929 includes publications from all over the United Kingdom and Ireland.

    These directories are filled with listings of people, their addresses and details of the places they lived in. Other directories list businesses and offer a fascinating glimpse into ancestors from this time. 

    Harris & Co can be found in the Hampshire directories on TheGenealogist

    You can use these records to discover the street address of your great-grandfather or their shop/business, perhaps learn where your great-grandmother practised her dressmaking trade from, or find the names of your ancestors' neighbours in the street listings. These directories will also reveal any listings of official positions that they may have held in charities, societies, local administration, etc., or even unearth your ancestor's telephone number!

    With some books you can read topographical details about the village, town or city in which your ancestor lived. This will give you a better feel for what their area was like at the time that your forebears lived there.

    Better than 50% off!

    To celebrate this latest release, TheGenealogist is offering its 12 months Diamond Package for just £98.95 – that’s over 50% off!

    To find out more and claim the offer, visit:

    Expires on 12th May 2024.

    This offer includes a lifetime discount! Your subscription will renew at the same discounted price every year you stay with us.

    This includes the following:-
    Subscription to Discover Your Ancestors Online Magazine (Worth £24.99)
    Discover Your Ancestors' Occupations by Laura Berry (Worth £9.95)
    Researching and Locating Your Ancestors by Celia Heritage (Worth £9.95)
    Regional Research Guidebook by Andrew Chapman (Worth £9.95)
    Discover Your Ancestors Periodical Compendium Volume 1 (Worth £9.95)

    Total Savings: £105.79

    Read TheGenealogist’s article, More than just an address:

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, which puts a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 

    TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations and Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

    TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

  • 11 Apr 2024 3:07 PM | Anonymous

    In Part #1 of this article (available at, I described how to find the longitude and latitude of almost any cemetery in the US. Now that you have identified the geographic coordinates, how do you travel to the site? Driving to that location may involve a few challenges. Of course, you can always plot those coordinates on a good map of the area and then use the map to find the cemetery. However, with the use of a high-tech device, you can easily obtain real-time instructions on how to drive directly to the cemetery. In many cases, a robotic voice will even tell you when to turn left or right along the route.

    The technology that makes this possible is the Global Positioning System (GPS). The GPS consists of a constellation of 24 active satellites (and one or more in-orbit spares) orbiting the earth every 12 hours. Four satellites are located in each of six orbits. The orbits are distributed evenly around the earth and are inclined 55 degrees from the equator. The satellites orbit at an altitude of about 11,000 nautical miles. These satellites broadcast time information that is accurate to a few microseconds (millionths of a second). Receivers on the ground can decode these time signals, apply some mathematics, and thereby determine the exact location of the ground receiver, plus or minus thirty feet or less.

    The Global Positioning System was first used by the military some years ago and soon after was adopted by the airlines. Using this technology, airline pilots and military personnel can determine their exact location at any time.

    The early GPS receivers had a price tag of tens of thousands of dollars. However, as the technology matured, prices dropped. About thirty years ago, GPS receivers fell into a price range that became attractive to fishermen, hunters, backpackers, RV owners, and long-haul truckers. In fact, recently I have seen simple GPS receivers on sale at the local Wal-Mart store for $74.88. However, most GPS receivers typically range from $129 to $499 for consumer models. You may even find GPS navigation units built into automobile dashboards, although usually at prices well in excess of $1,000.

    Today, all iPhones and most Android “smartphones” also contain GPS receivers. With the addition of a free or low-cost app, these phones also can be used as very accurate GPS devices. Several such apps are available for both iPhones and Android phones.

    The thing that fascinates me is that the free smartphone apps are just as accurate as the $1,000 dedicated GPS receivers: all of them can determine your location within 30 feet or less. Paying higher prices does not result in better accuracy. It does, however, increase the number of features available. As you move up in price, you find GPS receivers with larger displays, and even self-updating databases. The high-end units made for automotive use will even talk to you, warning you of upcoming turns as each guides you to your destination.  Some of them allow you to talk back as they have voice actuated commands. The GPS in one of my automobiles even projects its display as a transparent image on the windshield, meaning the driver never needs to take his or her eyes off the road while navigating. This “head up display” greatly enhances safety. The same GPS device also uses voice input for all commands; I can specify new routes and search for locations all while keeping both hands on the steering wheel. All I need is my voice. 

    I have used a number of GPS receivers in recent years. Several of the low-cost GPS receivers plug into laptop computers, allowing you to use your existing laptop's power and storage capabilities to equal the performance of free-standing GPS units that cost thousands of dollars. 

    One free-standing handheld GPS unit I own is typical of today’s GPS products: it slips into a shirt pocket, weighs six ounces, operates on two penlight cells, and has a built-in map of all the major highways, lakes, rivers, railroad tracks, and other major features within the United States. It also has the capability of downloading detailed map information for a small area, including side streets and topographical mapping information. It has a "street price" of about $99. Best of all, for a few more dollars, a cable is available that allows the portable GPS to be connected to a laptop PC.

    Perhaps even more useful is a GPS app installed in a “smartphone.” My favorite is Waze, a free app that not only displays all the normal GPS information but also provides up-to-date information about traffic jams, highway construction, and even speed traps. Not bad for a free app that can be added to a cell phone you already own! This provides great technology at no increase in price over what you have already invested into your cell phone.

    If you wish to drive to a cemetery that may contain the grave of an ancestor, you can simply enter the latitude and longitude of the cemetery, as obtained from the GNIS database, into almost any modern GPS receiver, and it will point the way. With some programs, the laptop will even talk to you when it is time to turn left or right. The result is that you can keep your eyes on the road while you listen to navigation instructions.

    A few years ago I used a newly-purchased GPS to locate several small cemeteries in Epping, New Hampshire. I was looking for the grave of Daniel Dow, an ancestor who lived in Epping in the late 1700s and early 1800s. I know little about this man other than his name and the dates and locations of his birth, marriage, and death. I was hoping to find a few more details. I did not know where he was buried, but I did know that he spent his adult life in this small town. I assumed correctly that there would only be a few cemeteries in the town and that none of them would be very large. The fact that it was a warm spring day and I had a brand-new convertible sports car added to the enticement, of course.

    I first looked on the Geographic Names Information System’s Web site and printed out a list of all the cemeteries in Epping, New Hampshire. This list included latitudes and longitudes. I then jumped in my sports car, turned on the GPS receiver, and entered the same latitudes and longitudes into the GPS receiver (which can store up to 500 of these "waypoints"). Once that task was completed, I started the car and sped off. 

    I selected the first cemetery, or waypoint, and the GPS receiver pointed the way. When I say "pointed the way," that is exactly what it did. The GPS receiver has an arrow that points straight up if the desired destination is straight ahead. If the destination is to the left or right of your automobile, the GPS receiver’s arrow points in the appropriate direction. The receiver also has digital displays that show your speed, the distance remaining to the waypoint, and a lot of other information.

    The roads in Epping certainly are not all in a straight line. This is a typical rural New England village with winding back roads, many of them unpaved. I could not always follow in the exact direction that the arrow indicated, but I usually was able to go in the approximate direction. As I got closer and closer to the designated cemetery, the digital readout for "distance remaining" approached zero.

    I easily found several larger cemeteries, but all proved to have no evidence of my elusive ancestor. I punched in the coordinates for the final cemetery on the list and headed off, following the advice of the GPS arrow. I soon found myself on an unpaved road that led through dairy farming country. The "distance remaining" display kept counting down, one mile… one-half mile… five hundred feet… one hundred feet… fifty feet. I didn’t see a cemetery and continued driving. However, the "distance remaining" started counting back up again.

    I turned around at the next farmhouse and headed back. The "distance remaining" display repeated the earlier scenario. It counted down to thirty feet and then started counting up again, all with no cemetery in sight.

    I made another U-turn and started a third pass although at greatly reduced speed. I stayed in first gear as I watched the GPS display. Again, the digits counted down. I then found that the display never went to zero. Instead, it would count down to thirty feet and then start counting up again. I overshot the location, so I backed up until the display said "thirty feet" and then stopped. The arrow pointed 90 degrees to my left. I turned the engine off and looked around. There was no cemetery in sight.

    Being curious, I got out of the car and started walking to the left. I counted off thirty feet as I walked off the road and through the thick underbrush. At approximately thirty feet from my automobile, I stopped and looked around. Again, no cemetery was visible. However, I seemed to be standing on something substantial, even though it was covered with brush. I leaned down, pulled the brush away, and discovered that I was standing on a tombstone that had apparently fallen over many years ago and was now covered with New England’s finest thick brush.

    In the next few minutes of poking through the thick underbrush, I found five more horizontal tombstones. With a bit of work, I was able to read the lettering on each. Thanks to the Geographic Names Information System and my GPS receiver, I had located a cemetery that was invisible from the road only thirty feet away. I doubt if I would have ever found that cemetery, had I been given a less precise description of its location.

    By the way, I wish I could report some success in looking for Daniel Dow’s grave in Epping, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, there was no trace of him in the brush-covered cemetery that I discovered.

    GPS receivers have many uses besides genealogy. In addition to determining the exact location of a cemetery tombstone or an ancestor's homestead, you can navigate down strange roads, find residential addresses that would be elusive otherwise, and even find fast-food restaurants while on cross-country trips. You can find courthouses in major cities, ATM machines almost anywhere, and hospitals if you have a medical emergency. The GPS built into one of my automobiles will even find the nearest vegan restaurant, if I ask for that. Best of all, a GPS receiver is the ultimate salvation for the male ego: you never, ever have to ask for directions.

    I would suggest that a GPS receiver is an excellent tool, both for cemetery hunting and for non-genealogy purposes. If you have an interest in adding this high-tech marvel to your genealogy toolkit, I would recommend that you first spend some time on the Web learning about the capabilities of these fascinating devices. A few of my favorite GPS Web sites include: ,,, and the explanatory article in Wikipedia at Any search engine probably can find a few hundred more Web sites dealing with GPS technology. 

    Probably the most sophisticated GPS navigation systems are the ones built into some of today's luxury automobiles. These in-dash solutions typically include databases of streets and highways as well as the locations of hospitals, ATM machines, restaurants, fast food outlets, and much more. However, most of them do not list cemetery locations. There is little to no standardization among the various automobile manufacturers; each is free to supply whatever GPS navigational units they wish. In-dash units typically do not have external interfaces that the consumer can use. Most are labeled with the car manufacturer's name although a different company typically supplies the technology. The in-dash units are usually quite expensive; prices often run from $1,000 to perhaps as high as $2,000. Even worse, when you trade the car, the GPS navigational system goes with the vehicle. 

    A much more cost-effective solution is to purchase a portable GPS receiver, often a handheld unit. Prices vary from $79 to $999 (U.S. funds). Surprisingly, the $79 units are as accurate as the $2,000 in-dash devices; both can determine your location, plus or minus thirty feet and sometimes even less than that. Many inexpensive GPS receivers work well on an automobile dashboard, attached with a piece of Velcro or perhaps a suction cup mount for the windshield that the manufacturer may include. I have used a variety of these units, all with good results.

    I also have a navigation system built into the dash of my current sports car. The built-in system looks better and is far more convenient to use than an external laptop and GPS receiver. However, many handheld GPS receivers provide the same functionality and accuracy as the expensive unit in the sports car's dashboard. 

    Perhaps the most useful GPS unit is the one built into most iPhones and Android cell phones. There are numerous GPS on the Android Play Store and iPhone App Sore. My favorite is Waze although you might prefer Google Maps or some other app. 

    There are a number of manufacturers of GPS receivers. The better-known manufacturers of consumer GPS receivers include Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance, and DeLorme. The GPS receivers vary widely in appearance and capability.  Almost all GPS receivers display latitude and longitude and have the capability for storing "waypoints" (locations along a planned route) that the user manually enters before embarking on a trip. In the past few years, built-in maps have become common. The maps typically show highways along with rivers, streams, oceans, and sometimes railroad tracks. However, trying to read the information on a small handheld device's display on a dark night while zooming down the expressway in heavy traffic is not recommended!

    Once the purchase price goes over $200, improvements multiply. Bigger map databases with more streets become common. When you go over $300, the screens get bigger and color displays become the norm. Almost al the larger units offer options for a selection for either the shortest or fastest routes, directions, and estimated arrival time to your intended destination. Automated voice prompts alert you to upcoming turns, course deviation, and distance to final destination. At the touch of a button, you can locate all the nearby highway exits, gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, hospitals, and rest areas, all on5-inch by 1.8-inch or even 7-inch full-color LCD display screens that can easily be read while in motion. 

    On longer trips you will need to be concerned about the laptop's battery life. You don't want the battery to fail while you are in the middle of unfamiliar territory! Most GPS receivers can be powered by the automobile's power socket. Again, you will need to buy a cable for this. 

    Safety becomes an important consideration when using a GPS receiver while in motion. The best method is to use two people: one drives while the other navigates. However, if properly planned and equipped, a solo driver can safely use GPS navigation units. Thousands of truck drivers do this daily, as do airplane pilots. Thousands of police officers also safely use their in-vehicle laptops every day. Some advance planning is necessary, however. Not only should you not text and drive, you also shouldn't be pressing the buttons or icons on a GPS receiver while in motion! (That's why I love my GPS receiver with voice input. I never take my two hands off the steering wheel or my eyes off the road.) 

    Placement of the GPS receiver is critical. Assuming a solo driver situation, you want to be able to view the device's screen without taking your eyes off the road. Having the GPS receiver in the passenger's seat or in the center console is not a good idea! For a handheld GPS receiver or cell phone, I use a small device that clips to the dashboard and securely holds the GPS receiver or cellphone in place at just below normal eye level. 

    All of this seems excessive for simply finding cemeteries. However, the price tag for adding Waze or another GPS app to your present cell phone is quite reasonable: FREE. Once you start using an in-vehicle GPS, you will find many uses for it. It is especially good for your next vacation trip. RV owners and long-haul truck drivers can testify to the usefulness of GPS systems. Many genealogists will do the same. 

  • 11 Apr 2024 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    I recently was told of a family society that invested thousands of dollars in publishing a book that is valuable to family members. Due to a shift in technology, however, the society may lose its "investment." I decided to share the story with others to hopefully prevent repetition by others.

    Thousands of family genealogy books were published from the late 1800s through the 1900s. These books vary widely in quality, but many of them are exhaustive reference sources, containing information about thousands of individuals born with the same surname. The most common format is a book that contains information about all the known descendants of an original immigrant or some other individual. Some of these books contain hundreds, or even thousands, of pages of information. 

    For years, many family societies have been republishing these books and offering them for sale. All books published prior to 1929 are now considered to be public domain (reference:, and many books published after that date did not have the copyrights renewed. Republishing out-of-copyright books is legal, and it also provides a great service for extended family members who wish to get a quick start on researching their own family trees. 

    The recent story involves a particular family society that has been publishing books about their progenitors for more than fifty years. I don't want to embarrass anyone, so I am going to refer to this group as the "Smith Family Society." That isn't their real name. In fact, this story could apply to most any family society, so perhaps you will want to insert your own surname of interest in place of the word "Smith" throughout the rest of this story.

    The original "Smith Family History" book was published in the early 1900s and sold well at the time. Starting in the 1970s, the Smith Family Society has been republishing the same book over and over, making it available to newer generations. I don't know how many copies have been sold over the years, but the number apparently is in the thousands of copies. In recent years, the Smith Family Society has been charging $79.95 for the thick book and has had many satisfied customers. 

    Indeed, republishing this old reference book has been a great service, and most of the people who purchased it have appreciated the republishing service. Of course, reprinting a book, even republishing an old book, is never cheap. The book in question is nearly 1,000 pages. In order to obtain a quantity discount, the Smith Family Society has always printed 1,000 copies at a time, placed the books in storage, and then sold them one-at-a-time. Once the inventory has been exhausted, the Smith Family Society has always ordered another 1,000 copies to be printed, and the cycle repeats itself. This method has worked well for years.

    Of course, the printer expects to be paid when the books are printed, not when they are sold. Each time a new order has been sent to the printers, the Smith Family Society has always written a check for many thousands of dollars, then planned to regain that money from sales of the books over the following years. Throughout the 1900s and even the very first few years of the new century, that plan worked well. However, the same time-tested plan recently failed, and now the society may lose thousands of dollars as a result.

    The reason for the failure is simple: both Google Books and have now made digital copies of the same book available online, free of charge. 

    Anyone can download the free images of the book and store the digital version on their own hard drive. The free digital images are word-for-word the same as the printed copies that the society has been selling for $79.95. The online versions have the same text, the same table of contents, the same index, and even the same illustrations. Sales of the printed book have dropped dramatically and now are approaching zero copies sold per year.

    Of course, some people will always prefer a printed book over a digital image. However, the price difference in this case is substantial: $79.95 versus zero. Many people who might wish for a printed copy will instead settle for a digital image, given the price difference.

    Not everyone knows about the free image available online, but word has been "getting around." In fact, society officers are in a quandary, trying to decide if they should mention the availability of free digital versions of the book in the society's newsletter that is mailed to all society members. A simple mention of free books will probably kill almost all future book sales. 

    A number of "side issues" arise from this shift in technology. At last count, the Smith Family Association still has more than 500 copies of the book in storage. I don't know if the society is paying for that storage space or not. Hopefully, they have free storage and also, hopefully, the books are stored in a climate controlled storage facility.

    Regardless of where the books are stored, there is always some risk. Paper and bindings will deteriorate over time, depending upon storage conditions. Rodent and insect damage can occur in some of the best storage facilities. A burst water pipe, a fire, a tornado, or a hurricane can also have disastrous consequences. The society is risking the money that is presently tied up in inventory. At the present rate of sales, that inventory may not be exhausted for another century!

    If your society is planning to publish or republish materials, you might want to consider the financial implications. You will have "competitors!" Digital libraries are springing up everywhere, even digital genealogy libraries. BYU's Lee Library, FamilySearch, the Allen County Public Library, the Clayton Library in Houston, and many others are in the process of digitizing their collections and place them online. Even if your family's traditional reference book is not available online today, you need to realize that it probably will become available before long. Do you really want to spend thousands of dollars printing many copies of books in hopes that you can sell them and recover the costs in the future?

    Others, including a dozen or more individuals, are selling CDs on eBay, are scanning books and making them available on CD-ROM disks at prices ranging from $5 to $25. To see some examples, go to and search for: genealogy cd. I did that just now as I was preparing this article and I found hundreds of old genealogy books reprinted as PDF files on CD-ROM disks. To find “print on demand” books, go to and search for: genealogy book. Again, hundreds of such books can be found and prices for printed books vary from $20 to $100 or more. I don't know how many of them were created using “print on demand” but I suspect a high percentage are created that way. 

    Can your society compete? I'd say "yes." The answers are simple: don't print a lot of books!

    Perhaps your society should start selling printed books using “print on demand.” Don't print any books until someone orders one. Then have it printed at that time. Most publishers in the “print in demand” business will print the book within 24 hours or so and will even drop-ship it directly to the customer!

    In fact, you might decide to not print any books at all and simply tell would-be purchasers to download their copies online. Another solution is offer the book on a (low cost) CD-ROM disk.

    Perhaps a better solution is to only print a few copies at a time. In fact, "print on demand" is very popular and cost-effective today. You might print only one copy at a time and then only after receiving an order. Others may find it more cost-effective to wait for an order but then to respond by printing five or perhaps ten copies. One copy gets sent to the purchaser while the other four copies (or nine copies) are placed in inventory, awaiting future sales. The financial risk of printing only a few books at a time is obviously much less than publishing a thousand copies all at one time.

    To be sure, printing small quantities of books is more expensive per book than making a big purchase. However, your society is already competing against the best possible price: free. You might as well increase the selling price of your books in order to cover the increased printing costs. After all, you are now offering the "premium version." You might as well charge a premium price, say $25?

    By cooperating with the digital libraries and even promoting digital publishing, you can provide a real service to your society's members. After all, isn't that the primary purpose of the society? To serve its members in the best manner possible?

    In all cases, the driving question is, "What happens if we get stuck with all these books?"

    Dozens of companies can publish books as “print on demand” volumes. One well-known genealogy publisher, Genealogical Publishing Company, may be found at

    Genealogical Publishing Company has been publishing print on demand books for several years, along with traditional printed volumes in larger quantities. If you want a true do-it-yourself effort, you can also investigate: 

    LuLu at

    CreateSpace at for print distribution to Amazon, including publishing in Kindle format,  with no upfront cost

    IngramSpark at for print distribution to non-Amazon universe

    Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing at for ebook distribution (zero upfront cost)

    The above list shows some of the more popular print-on-demand publishers but you can also find many more with a quick Google search. Search for: “print on demand”.

    The next time you or your publisher think about republishing an out-of-copyright book, you probably will want to consider print on demand publishing.

  • 10 Apr 2024 5:15 PM | Anonymous

    Advancements in genetic genealogy and research are to be the focus of an international conference at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

    Leading experts in the fields from around the world will be among the speakers at the two-day event, to be hosted by the Strathclyde Institute for Genealogical Studies (SIGS).

    The interdisciplinary conference will have a particular focus on the use of autosomal DNA and Y-DNA and the themes of bioarchaeology, genetics, and investigative genetic genealogy. The importance of these themes to genetic genealogy will be explored.

    Subjects covered will include:

    • ancestry in Northern Europe, from the Iron Age to today
    • what genetic genealogy can reveal about Scottish noble families in the Anglo-Norman era, from the late 11th to late 13th centuries
    • the ancestry of descendants of Scots who settled in Poland in the 16th to 19th centuries
    • discrepancies between legal and biological kinship in western Europe between the 15th and 19th centuries. 

    This presentation stems from an international study which discovered that DNA from the hair of composer Ludwig van Beethoven had no male Y-chromosomal match with people alleged to have been his distant relatives.

    The conference, titled Advancing Genetic Genealogy: How the Past is Informing the Present Through Revolutions in Genetic Research, will be held at Strathclyde on 7-8 June. It will be the first academic genetic genealogy conference to be held in the UK.

    You can read more at: and in article in this newsletter at:

  • 10 Apr 2024 1:10 PM | Anonymous

    1. Introduction to GEDCOM Files

    What is GEDCOM?

    Think of GEDCOM as the genealogy world's version of spreading juicy gossip—but in a digital format. GEDCOM stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunication, and it's a file format used to organize and share family history information in a standardized way. Most geneaogy programs of today can import and export GEDCOM files.

    Why Use GEDCOM Files for Genealogy Research?

    Using GEDCOM files streamlines the process of sharing family tree data across different genealogy software and platforms. It's like having a universal translator for family history—makes collaboration and research easier than deciphering ancient hieroglyphics.

    2. Understanding the Structure of GEDCOM Files

    Components of a GEDCOM File

    GEDCOM files are like a well-organized family reunion—each file contains individuals, families, events, and relationships, neatly categorized and interconnected. It's like having a virtual family album, but with less awkward family photos.

    Here is a Sample GEDCOM file:

    0 HEAD 1 SOUR PAF 2 NAME Personal Ancestral File 2 VERS 5.0 1 DATE 30 NOV 2000 1 GEDC 2 VERS 5.5 2 FORM LINEAGE-LINKED 1 CHAR ANSEL 1 SUBM @U1@ 0 @I1@ INDI 1 NAME John /Smith/ 1 SEX M 1 FAMS @F1@ 0 @I2@ INDI 1 NAME Elizabeth /Stansfield/ 1 SEX F 1 FAMS @F1@ 0 @I3@ INDI 1 NAME James /Smith/ 1 SEX M 1 FAMC @F1@ 0 @F1@ FAM 1 HUSB @I1@ 1 WIFE @I2@ 1 MARR 1 CHIL @I3@ 0 @U1@ SUBM 1 NAME Submitter 0 TRLR

    GEDCOM Tag Format

    In the world of GEDCOM, tags are like the secret code that unlocks the mysteries of your family history. Each tag represents a specific piece of information, like dates, names, and relationships, making it easier to navigate through your family tree data.


    • ADOP (Adoption)

    • ANUL (Annulment)

    • BAPL (Baptism, LDS)

    • BAPM (Baptism)

    • BARM (Bar Mitzvah)

    • BASM (Bas Mitzvah)

    • BIRT (Birth)

    • BLES (Blessing)

    • BURI (Burial)

    • CAUS (Cause of Death)

    • CENS (Census)

    • CHR (Christening)

    • CHRA (Adult Christening)

    • CONF (Confirmation)

    • CONL (Confirmation, LDS)

    • CREM (Cremation)

    • DEAT (Death)

    • DIV (Divorce)

    • DIVF (Divorce Filed)

    • EMIG (Emigration)

    • ENDL (Endownment, LDS)

    • ENGA (Engagement)

    • EVEN (Generic Event)

    • FCOM (First Communion)

    • GRAD (Graduation)

    • IMMI (Immigration)

    • MARB (Marriage Bann)

    • MARC (Marriage Contract)

    • MARL (Marriage License)

    • MARR (Marriage)

    • MARS (Marriage Settlement)

    • NATU (Naturalization)

    • ORDN (Ordination)

    • PROB (Probate)

    • REFN (Reference Number)

    • RESI (Residence)

    • RETI (Retirement)

    • SLGC (SealChild, LDS)

    • SLGS (SealSpouse, LDS)

    • WILL (Will)

    Attributes Tags

    • CAST (Caste)

    • DSCR (Description)

    • EDUC (Education)

    • FACT (Generic Fact)

    • IDNO (ID Number)

    • NATI (National Origin)

    • NCHI (Children)

    • NMR (Marriages)

    • OCCU (Occupation)

    • PROP (Possessions)

    • RELI (Religious Affiliation)

    • RESI* (Residence)

    • SSN (Social Security Number)

    • TITL (Nobility Title)

    3. Tools for Viewing and Editing GEDCOM Files

    Popular GEDCOM Viewer Tools

    Imagine a peek into your family tree's window—GEDCOM viewer tools like MyHeritage, FamilySearch, and allow you to visualize and explore your family history data with ease. It's like having a front-row seat to your ancestor's greatest hits.

    Editing GEDCOM Files Safely

    Editing a GEDCOM file is like being the director of your family history movie—make changes, add new characters, or correct typos without losing the plot. Just remember to save often and tread lightly, as even digital family trees can get tangled if you're not careful.

    4. Importing and Exporting Data with GEDCOM Files

    Importing Data into Genealogy Software

    Importing data with GEDCOM files is like throwing a family history party—bring all your relatives (data) together under one virtual roof by seamlessly transferring information into genealogy software. It's like creating a digital family reunion, but without the awkward small talk.

    Exporting Data to Share with Others

    Sharing your family history with others is like passing down a treasured heirloom—exporting as GEDCOM files allows you to share your research with family members, historians, or even that cousin you met once at a family picnic. It's like spreading the genealogy love one file at a time.

    5. Collaborating and Sharing Genealogy Research using GEDCOM Files

    Collaborative Genealogy Research with GEDCOM

    So, you've got your hands on a GEDCOM file - a magical text document that holds the key to your family tree. But why keep all that ancestry goodness to yourself? Collaborating with other genealogy enthusiasts or distant relatives can take your research to the next level. By exchanging GEDCOM files, you can combine your collective knowledge and uncover even more branches on your family tree. It's like a genetic reunion, but without the awkward small talk.

    Sharing GEDCOM Files with Family Members

    Want to impress your family at the next reunion with your genealogy prowess? Share your GEDCOM file with them! Whether you email it to long-lost cousins or upload it to a genealogy website for all to see, spreading the family tree love has never been easier. Just imagine the look on Aunt Martha's face when you reveal that you're both distant relatives of a famous potato farmer from the 1800s. Family drama, here we come!

    6. Best Practices for Managing GEDCOM Files

    Organizing and Naming GEDCOM Files

    Let's face it - GEDCOM files have a way of multiplying faster than rabbits on a spring day. To avoid a chaotic mess of unidentifiable files, it's best to keep things organized. Create a logical folder structure, give your files clear and consistent names, and maybe throw in a few emojis for good measure. Trust us, a well-organized GEDCOM collection will save you from a future headache and make finding that elusive ancestor a breeze.

    Regular Backups and Data Security

    Picture this: you've spent hours meticulously documenting your family history in a GEDCOM file, only to have it vanish into the digital abyss. Don't let that horror story become your reality. Regularly back up your GEDCOM files to an external hard drive, cloud storage, or even a trusty USB stick. And while you're at it, sprinkle some digital security fairy dust by password-protecting sensitive information. Your ancestors will thank you from genealogy heaven.

    7. Troubleshooting Common Issues with GEDCOM Files

    Handling Data Loss or Corruption

    Oops, did your GEDCOM file just pull a disappearing act or turn into a digital Picasso painting of gibberish? Don't panic just yet. Take a deep breath, channel your inner tech wizard, and try using a GEDCOM repair tool to resurrect your precious genealogy data. And if all else fails, remember that family history is more than just files - it's the stories and connections that truly matter.

    Resolving Compatibility Issues

    Ah, the dreaded compatibility conundrum. Your GEDCOM file is from the future, while your genealogy software is stuck in the past. Fear not, intrepid researcher! Before throwing your computer out the window in frustration, check for software updates, conversion tools, or helpful online forums where fellow genealogy enthusiasts might have the golden key to compatibility bliss. Remember, where there's a GEDCOM, there's a way!


    In conclusion, mastering the use of GEDCOM files can greatly enhance your genealogy research endeavors. By understanding the structure, utilizing the right tools, and following best practices for managing and sharing these files, you can streamline your workflow and collaborate effectively with others in your family history journey. Remember to troubleshoot common issues with GEDCOM files promptly to ensure the integrity of your valuable genealogical data.

  • 10 Apr 2024 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release written by

    Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, published its third annual Impact Report, outlining the company’s corporate responsibility approach and highlighting progress in three core areas: ethical business practices; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and community impact. Aligned with Ancestry’s mission to empower journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives, the company is committed to enhancing its products and leveraging its resources to build a more connected, resilient and sustainable future for generations to come.

    “We recognize that the actions we take today have a profound impact on future generations, and we are committed to ensuring we operate our business in a manner that is good for both people and the planet,” said Deborah Liu, Ancestry President and CEO. “While we are proud of our progress, we know more work is ahead. We remain steadfast in ensuring our corporate responsibility efforts not only meet but exceed the goals outlined in our report.”

    Building on the goals set in the previous two annual reports, the 2023 Impact Report reaffirms Ancestry’s commitment to transparent, equitable, and inclusive business practices, including:

    • Launched a new AncestryDNA kit made of recycled materials to cut waste-to-landfill.
    • Reduced carbon emissions by 21% across Ancestry’s scope 1, 2, and largest scope 3 contributors.
    • Embarked on our second HistoryMakers National College Tour and Scholarship at four HBCUs, TCUs, and HSIs across the United States.
    • Added four new DNA ethnicity regions and 910 new DNA communities to serve more diverse customers globally.
    • Made 3.3M records available for free as part of Ancestry's $3M pledge through 2025 to preserve history that is at-risk of being forgotten or overlooked.
    • Provided 10.5M+ students across five countries access to Ancestry records through AncestryClassroom at no cost, surpassing the 2025 target.

    To read the full report, view Ancestry’s SASB metrics and UN SDG goals, and learn more about the key initiatives within each impact area, visit

    About Ancestry
    Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of more than 60 billion records, over 3 million subscribers and over 25 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Over the past 40 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families. 

  • 10 Apr 2024 9:50 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 found it interesting and decided to share it with readers of this newsletter.

    One company offers a completely free plan of 10 gigabytes of FREE file storage space with no limits in regards of features available.You simply create an account to get started. Even better, no credit card is required.

    I suspect that 10 gigabytes of file storage space will be enough to satisfy ALL the file storage needs for many people.

    Based in Recklinghausen Germany, Filen strives to provide the highest quality cloud storage solution available to date. 

    Try out Filen before buying a plan. The company offers free access and even larger amounts of file space are available for modest payments at: (scroll down the page for a bit to find the free offer).

    You can read all the details on the  Filen web site at:


  • 10 Apr 2024 9:29 AM | Anonymous

    Jeff O’Brien, Saskatoon’s city archivist, said the city had been looking for a permanent facility for the archives to call home for many years. The archives are now set to relocate the entire collection to the old Post Office Building downtown, right across from City Hall and the Saskatoon Public Library.

    The current location near the Saskatoon Airport has been in use since 2010, but has also reached its maximum capacity, O’Brien explained. He said the collection is almost twice as large today as it was 14 years ago.

    According to the city, the archives contain 450,000 photographs, 4,000 feet of shelves and 3,000 linear feet of records, along with thousands of maps and blueprints dating back to the early 1900s. About 3,500 boxes of material will be moved this week.

    “The goal will be to make sure we don’t lose anything, but to also do some organization up front,” O’Brien said.

    “You want to keep the stuff that tells the story (with) the most summary, but at the same time the most substantial way possible.”

    You can read more in an article by Mia Holowaychuk published in the web site at:

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