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  • 21 Mar 2023 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    Genealogy site FindMyPast has released two new sets of Irish probate records from the 19th century.

    A new collection of more than 300,000 records created by the British Government's Inland Revenue Wills & Administration between 1828 and 1879 is now available to view on the site. 

    The collection was created to determine tax obligations on Irish estates and features a number of rare documents that predate the Irish Famine. 

    "These important records are a rare survival of priceless information about early Irish wills," FindMyPast said.

    The collection includes indexes for all years between 1828 and 1879, while it also includes surviving registers from 1828 to 1839 which contain extracts from the original documents. 

    You can read more in an article in the IrishCentral web site at:

  • 21 Mar 2023 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    Portrait Gallery Research and Conservation Project Used Getty Grant To Create a Microsite Featuring 1,800 Paper Silhouettes From Political Elite to Everyday People.

    The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has announced the launch of William Bache’s Silhouettes Album, a microsite featuring new research and digitized images for 1,800 cut-paper silhouettes by Anglo-American artist William Bache. In addition to presenting portraits of famous figures like Thomas Jefferson and Martha Washington, the digital project restores the identity of previously unknown individuals rarely encountered in Federal-era portraiture—from traveling entertainers to tavern keepers and dance instructors. 

    Your ancestors probably are not listed in this collection but how will you know unless you check it out yourself?  Read more about it in the Smithsonian’s web site at:

  • 21 Mar 2023 9:14 AM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, it is information that I believe every computer user, and especially Twitter users, should know.

    Ever since Twitter has been hemorrhaging users who no longer like the new owner's ideas of what the service should be like, millions of people have switched to Mastodon. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon is a non-profit, decentralized, and self-hosted social platform and a popular alternative to Twitter. Unlike Twitter, which is operated by one centralized entity, Mastodon has thousands of distributed servers known as “instances.”

    Each instance hosts the users’ posts and profile information, allowing for independent networks with varying themes and topics. This type of decentralization has several advantages, including enhanced privacy and an improved user experience.

    When you join a Mastodon instance, you will be connected to other users who share your interests. Your timeline will then feature posts and conversations related to topics you are interested in.

    You can also customize the type of content that appears in your timeline by using the “muting” feature, allowing you to filter out specific topics or conversations that don’t interest you.

    However, there is one major drawback to Mastodon: it is very different from Twitter and is somewhat complex to use. 

    Now Brian Harnish has written a user's guide to using Mastodon. I strongly recommend reading Harnesh's guide first before attempting to learn the ins and outs of Mastodon. You can find it at:

    Mastodon is still relatively new, so there will surely be updates and improvements in the future. If Twitter isn’t meeting your needs anymore, it may be time to try Mastodon.

  • 20 Mar 2023 12:39 PM | Anonymous

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

    (+) Obtain an ISBN Number for Your Genealogy Boo

    Getting Started Finding Your Family Tree

    The Myth of Wearing White Gloves

    How FamilySearch Is Using the Future to Discover the Past With AI

    In Case You Missed It, Here’s a Look Back at What Happened at RootsTech 2023

    From RootsTech 2023: What’s New at MyHeritage

    Storied Launches StoryAssist™, the First AI-Powered Online Family History Story Generator

    1931 Census Of Canada To Be Released On June 1, 2023

    Canada’s Greeks Share Their Stories in a Virtual Immigration Museum

    Leslie Weir Reappointed Librarian and Archivist of Canada

    Biden’s Nominee to Be Archivist Goes to the Full Senate

    Vicksburg, Mississippi Situated to Become Genealogy Hub for USCT Descendants

    Saint Patrick Wasn’t Irish!

    Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Launches First Ever Boston Tea Party Descendants Program

    NEH Grant Helps Mason, Partners Create Digital Archive of Civil War Graffiti

    Navigating Passenger Lists: Arrivals to the United States (an Online Seminar)

    Celebrate Your Irish Heritage With Findmypast

    Private Internet Access Now Gives You Unlimited Connections

    TouringCars.Net Launches Comprehensive Touring Car Database

  • 20 Mar 2023 8:22 AM | Anonymous

    A man from Hania in Crete, who wished to remain anonymous, says in his interview: “In that period all the people wanted to leave Greece, all the people wanted to go to the ships. All the youth wanted to go somewhere. The years back then were difficult as well… And I liked the ships. I wanted to travel and that’s why I left.”

    “Then how and when did you emigrate to Canada?” asks the researcher. “I didn’t emigrate. The ship had come here to Canada and I stayed illegally, like many others have stayed here.”

    That testimony is accompanied by an extract from the Globe and Mail newspaper from January 27, 1962, with a headline reading “1,000 Ship-Jumpers in Montreal,” which refers to the story of two sailors who abandoned ship and spent nearly two years, without papers, in Montreal.

    These and many more stories form the core of the Virtual Museum of Greek Immigration to Canada, an initiative that is part of the Immigrec project, and an interdisciplinary educational partnership that comprises research teams from three Canadian universities with Greek studies programs (McGill, Simon Fraser and York) and the University of Patras, with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

    Pier 21 at the port of Halifax; the arrivals area at Vancouver Airport; the Montreal rail station: the points of entry illustrate Canada’s immigration policy. Each is represented in the virtual museum with an explanation of their role and extracts of interviews with immigrants who tell the story of their arrival in the North American country. The museum also includes newspaper articles on the subject, official documents, photographs from family albums and photographs of memorabilia presented by the Greek emigres to the researchers.

    If you have Greek ancestors in Canada, you will want to read this article by Maro Vasiliadou published in the ekathimerini web site at:

  • 20 Mar 2023 8:15 AM | Anonymous

    An interesting article by Rebecca Olds and published in the Deseret News web site will interest many genealogists:

    FamilySearch has made more than 2.6 billion historical resources available to the public, and according to John Alexander who is a senior product manager there, there’s a lot more on the way. It’s just a matter of getting the documents transcribed.

    More than 5 billion more documents — collected and converted to digital images — need to be transcribed to make them searchable and usable in FamilySearch’s database.

    And 1 to 2 million more are added every single day.

    With the development of new artificial intelligence technology, there’s more hope of getting billions of records to families looking for information about their relatives in as little as five years. And it’s already being tested and used.

    “In just a couple of hours, the computer can index more than you or I could do in a whole lifetime if we did nothing besides indexing for the rest of our lives,” Alexander said. “So in terms of efficiency, it’s very fast.

    Currently, it’s being taught — yes, “taught” like a child — English, Spanish and Portuguese, with plans for Italian in 2023.

    Teaching AI to read hand-writing

    You can read the full article at:

  • 20 Mar 2023 8:05 AM | Anonymous

    In a stroke of sheer coincidence, two recent developments at the local level have left Vicksburg primed for a new opportunity as a hub for genealogy.  

    Both the National Park Service’s announcement of a project to disinter and catalog remains of U.S. Colored Troops in the Vicksburg National Cemetery and the Warren County Board of Supervisors’ decision to devote more than $400,000 in ARPA funds to digitizing records dating back to 1807, more people than ever will have the ability to unlock their family’s history.  

    One of the many unhealed scars of slavery is the lack of ancestral information available to people in the Black community. In many cases, the only way to determine African heritage is through DNA testing. Family histories are garbled due to the routine splitting of family units and inadequate recordkeeping in terms of birth and death records in the Antebellum period.

    You can read more in an article in the Vicksburg Post at:

  • 17 Mar 2023 2:29 PM | Anonymous

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

    "ISBN" stands for "International Standard Book Number." An ISBN number is an ISO standard and normally is found in all books published in the United States since 1970 and on many books published in other countries as well. Technically, an ISBN number is not a requirement for any book; you may publish books without such a number. However, experience has shown that an ISBN number is required if you want the book to be listed in the many indexing and cataloging systems available. Also, an ISBN number is required for all books that are to be sold by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and most any other major bookseller. These booksellers use the ISBN numbers to order, inventory, and track books. If your book or ebook includes an ISBN number, it will also be listed in Bowker Books in Print®, which is used by all the major search engines and most bookstores and libraries.

    Only the smallest self-published and self-marketed books can survive without ISBN numbers. 

    The ISBN identifies the title of the book or other book-like product (such as an audio book or video) to which it is assigned, as well as the publisher to be contacted for ordering purposes. The original standard has been revised as book and book-like content has appeared in new forms of media, but the basic structure of the ISBN as defined in the original ISO standard has not changed and is in use today in more than 150 countries. Today the ISBN agencies around the world are administered by the International ISBN Agency, located in London, UK. Information on international ISBN numbers may be found at

    As an ISO standard, one agency per country is designated to assign ISBNs for the publishers and self-publishers located in that country. In the United States, that agency is the U.S. ISBN Agency in New Providence, New Jersey, with a web site at

    For more than thirty years, ISBNs were 10 digits long. On January 1, 2007, the ISBN system switched to a 13-digit format. Now all new ISBN numbers are 13 digits long. A 10-digit ISBN cannot be converted to 13 digits merely by placing three digits in front of the 10-digit number. There is an algorithm that frequently results in a change of the last digit of the ISBN. You can find an online tool that will convert a 10-digit ISBN to its equivalent 13-digit ISBN number at

    The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/13135532.

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

  • 17 Mar 2023 8:37 AM | Anonymous

    Genealogists will probably enjoy reading an article by Trent Toone published in The Church News web site. It provides an excellent overview of the events and activities at this year's RootsTech event.

    I spent 3 days at the event and yet I discovered things I didn't know about in this article:

    3-day global family history event featured celebrity keynotes, fun activities, a bustling expo hall and hundreds of informative classes

    For the first time in three years, thousands attended RootsTech in person in Utah, and many more participated online March 2-4.

    The three-day global family history event in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City featured a list of celebrity keynotes, fun activities, a bustling expo hall and hundreds of informative classes, which will continue to be available online for the rest of the year at

    This year’s theme focused on “Uniting,” said Jen Allen, director of events for FamilySearch.

    “This year we are uniting, specifically uniting families — past, present and future,” Allen said in a video interview. “It has been an incredible growth ... and it feels perfect as we emerge out of that virtual-only experience and bring people together not just here, but all over the world.”

    RootsTech organizers sought to enhance the online experience by localizing content for all regions of the world. They incorporated 15 emcees from various cultures and backgrounds who speak 11 languages to help customize content for people following RootsTech around the world.

    You can read the article at:

  • 17 Mar 2023 8:22 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Connect to your Irish lineage this St Patrick’s Day with Findmypast 

    ·         Thousands of new Irish family history records added 

    ·         Findmypast has the largest collection of Irish family history records online 

    Family history website, Findmypast, has released thousands of new Irish genealogy records to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. With Findmypast, and their large collection of Irish records, you had a better chance of tracing those often-elusive Irish ancestors.  

    Findmypast have added the brand-new collection Ireland, Inland Revenue Wills & Administrations 1828-1879. With transcripts and images, these 261,256 records are a rare survival of priceless information about early Irish wills. The original documents were mostly destroyed in 1922. Typically, you’ll find details such as the name and address of the deceased, the name and address of the executor or administrator, the value of the estate and the date of death.  

    The existing Ireland Calendars of Wills & Administration 1858-1965 collection has been updated with a further 591,011 transcriptions. Though the detail varies from will to will, you’ll normally find the name of the deceased and their death date, the names of any beneficiaries and the county. 

    Other unmissable Irish genealogy records include: 

    ·         The ffolliott collection (exclusive to Findmypast) 

    ·         Irish workhouse records 

    ·         The Irish Quaker collection (exclusive to Findmypast) 

    ·         Ireland Roman Catholic collection 

    ·         Irish newspapers 

    Plus, Findmypast has several handy guides to kickstart and inspire Irish family history research: 

    ·         An expert’s guide to researching Irish surnames 

    ·         Discover the remarkably rich history behind Irish diaspora 

    ·         Why is Irish genealogy so tricky? 

    ·         Did your ancestors experience the Great Irish Famine? 

    ·         Everything you need to know about Irish census records 

    ·         Were your ancestors caught up in the Irish War of Independence? 

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