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  • 27 Jan 2023 7:46 AM | Anonymous

    A small asteroid is flying very close to Earth on Thursday night, less than a week after astronomers discovered the object. The New York Times reports: 

    The asteroid, named 2023 BU, was scheduled to pass over the southern tip of South America at 7:27 p.m. Eastern time. The asteroid is fairly small -- less than 30 feet across, about the size of a truck -- and will be best visible in the skies to the west of southern Chile. For space watchers unable to view 2023 BU firsthand, the Virtual Telescope Project will be broadcasting the event on its website and YouTube channel. The asteroid will not hit Earth but will make one of the closest approaches ever by such an object, hurtling past Earth at just 2,200 miles above its surface, according to a news release from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This encounter puts the asteroid "well within the orbit of geosynchronous satellites," the statement noted, but the asteroid is not on track to hit any. 

    2023 BU was unknown to NASA, or anyone, until last Saturday. Gennadiy Borisov, an amateur astronomer in Crimea, noticed the asteroid from the MARGO Observatory, a setup of telescopes that he has used to discover other interstellar objects. Astronomers then determined 2023 BU's orbit around the sun and impending trip past Earth using data from the Minor Planet Center, a project sanctioned by the International Astronomical Union. It publishes positions of newly found space objects, including comets and satellites, from information of several observatories worldwide.

  • 27 Jan 2023 7:32 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    British Army, Honourable Artillery Company, Cardew-Rendle Roll Of Members 1537-1908 

    This new collection is a directory of biographies for 17,000 members of the Honourable Artillery Company, covering nearly four centuries. As the oldest British Army regiment, it received its royal charter from Henry VIII in 1537. Details you’ll find will vary from entry to entry, from birth year and residence to remarkable events and great deeds.  

    British Army, Honourable Artillery Company Journal 1923-2021 

    The first issue of this journal was published in 1923, and documented events and activities of the regiment. Make good use of the optional keyword search field here to find mentions of your ancestor, or key events in this regiment’s history. 

    British Army, Coldstream Guards 1800-1981 

    Another 48,477 records have been added to this existing collection, which includes records for the oldest continuously serving regiment in the British Army. The new records cover attestation books, discharges, casualties and more. You'll normally find a rank, regimental number and an event year for your ancestor.  

    Newspapers 

    Brush up on local history with even more titles and new pages added to the newspaper archive this week.  

    New titles: 

    • Bangor, Anglesey Mail, 1993 
    • Blackpool Times, 1901-1902, 1904, 1918-1919, 1933 
    • Brackley Advertiser, 1960 
    • Cannock Advertiser, 1923 
    • Cobham News and Advertiser, 1970-1971 
    • Grimsby News, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1916-1917, 1923, 1928-1930, 1935 
    • Horwich Chronicle, 1889 
    • Isle of Man Examiner, 1905, 1916 
    • Lancaster Observer and Morecambe Chronicle, 1919 
    • Melton Mowbray Times and Vale of Belvoir Gazette, 1918 
    • North Middlesex Chronicle, 1874, 1880, 1889, 1899 
    • South Durham Herald & Post, 1999 
    • St. Helens Newspaper & Advertiser, 1902-1903, 1916, 1918-1919 
    • Wilmslow Express Advertiser, 1981 

    Updated titles: 

    • Aldershot News, 1906 
    • Ayrshire Post, 1993 
    • Birmingham Mail, 1981 
    • Bracknell Times, 1995 
    • Brighton Herald, 1925 
    • Bristol Evening Post, 1984, 1996 
    • Burntwood Post, 1998 
    • Cannock Chase Post, 1998 
    • Chiswick Times, 1904, 1909, 1911, 1913, 1916 
    • Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter, 1967 
    • Ellesmere Port Pioneer, 1999 
    • Esher News and Mail, 1994-1995 
    • Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 1998 
    • Gateshead Post, 1968, 1977, 1982, 1984-1985 
    • Harrow Gazette, 1907 
    • Harrow Informer, 1998 
    • Hertford Mercury and Reformer, 1997 
    • Herts and Essex Observer, 1997 
    • Hinckley Herald & Journal, 1999 
    • Hounslow & Chiswick Informer, 1982 
    • Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner, 1885, 1888 
    • Hull Daily Mail, 1989, 1992-1993, 1997-1998 
    • Irvine Herald, 1982 
    • Isle of Thanet Gazette and Thanet Times, 1989 
    • Lincolnshire Echo, 1994, 1999 
    • Liverpool Mercury, 1904 
    • Llanelli Star, 1996 
    • Loughborough Mail, 1993 
    • Macclesfield Express, 1981, 1985 
    • Manchester Evening Chronicle, 1935 
    • Nottingham Guardian, 1877 
    • Rochdale Observer, 1903 
    • Rugeley Post, 1999 
    • Salford Advertiser, 1999 
    • Sandwell Evening Mail, 1998 
    • South Wales Echo, 1983 
    • St. Neots Weekly News, 1997 
    • Sunday Sun (Newcastle), 1967, 1984-1987, 1991, 1994 
    • Surrey Mirror, 1969 
    • Wellingborough & Rushden Herald & Post, 1998 
    • West Hull Advertiser, 1999 
    • Weston & Worle News, 1999 
  • 26 Jan 2023 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst:

    The New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Records—rich and voluminous materials of Quakers going back to their mid-17th-century beginnings—will be the focus of a new digitization project by the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (SCUA), in the UMass Amherst Libraries. When the project is completed, the vital records and meeting minutes heavily consulted by historians and genealogists will be available in SCUA’s digital repository, Credo, on the web, and through the collaborative Massachusetts digital portal, Digital Commonwealth, of which SCUA is a member. 

    Thanks to the efforts of Rob Cox, head of SCUA at the time, the records arrived at UMass Amherst in 2016, after having been on deposit at the Rhode Island Historical Society. Almost immediately, SCUA staff began to receive requests for research help in the collection, many from patrons unable to visit in person. Demand for access to the records, along with the age and fragility of many of the materials, have made digitization imperative. 

    “The UMass Libraries are proud to be engaged in the preservation of these rare materials, as they are in high demand by researchers all over the world,” said Nandita Mani, Ph.D., dean of University Libraries. “Our work in digitizing these records not only preserves them for the future, but in fact reduces barriers to access and makes them available to all.” 

    Beginning in late January 2023, the first group of 283 bound volumes will be sent off-site to be scanned and will be temporarily unavailable. Digitization will be performed by the Internet Archive scan center, part of the Boston Public Library’s Library for the Commonwealth program, which provides digitization services to Digital Commonwealth members. SCUA staff anticipate the process of digitizing each group of bound volumes will take four to six weeks and that all 787 of the record books will be available online by end of summer 2023. 

    SCUA maintains an active partnership with the New England Quakers, jointly stewarding the historical records of the organization. The New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Records includes records of most of the Quarterly and Monthly Meetings, in addition to the Yearly Meeting, as well as documentation of a range of committees and programs created and administered by the Quakers. The vital records have historically been kept by the Monthly Meetings and are probably the most frequently consulted. 

  • 26 Jan 2023 8:55 PM | Anonymous

    The following was written by the Belgian State Archives:

    Have you always dreamed of retracing your family's history? This arduous task is now made simpler thanks to the Belgian State Archives. The federal institution has just published a new website that includes some 38.6 million official documents.

    It is frankly not always easy to go back to the very roots of your family tree. If your research leads you to branches that exceed the level of your grandparents or great-grandparents, you are in luck. In many families, people have no idea who their ancestors are beyond that. But the documentation to complete your lineage has now become more accessible. The State Archives has just published its new site dedicated to genealogy.

    On this new platform, you can search for useful sources to learn more about your ancestors, provided they lived in Belgium. In total, millions of pages of documents have been digitised: birth, baptism, marriage, death or burial certificates, as well as all the registers (called decennial tables) that list these documents.

    You will be able to browse more easily through no less than 28,527 parish registers and 36,780 civil registers, which have a total of 2.2 million pages. Consultation of these digitised archives is free of charge, but limited to ten downloads per day.

    The new interface makes reading these documents faster and smoother, and the search function has been simplified. You will just need to know from which municipality the document you want to consult originates. Registers that disappeared (such as in a fire or during one of the World Wars) are also listed, so as not to waste time searching for these missing archives.

    The platform will continue to evolve in the coming months. The digitisation of registers dating from 1910 to 1950 is underway in several repositories, and a new search engine allowing research to be conducted based on a personal name will be put online soon.

  • 26 Jan 2023 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by Heredis:

    French software vendor Heredis is expanding its offering and will now provide various services related to genealogical research in France. After a successful test phase, the company will officially launch its new service on January 26, 2023.

    "During the Covid-19 pandemic, we suddenly had a lot of requests from our French customers who were stuck with their research and turned to us for help," said Audrey Cavalier, co-managing director of Heredis. "That led us to the idea of developing a specific genealogical service and offering it not only to French-speaking genealogists, but also to all English- and German-speaking genealogists to help them with their research in France."

    This has resulted in a comprehensive range of services:

    - Help with genealogical research. You don’t speak French, yet your ancestors originate from France? Our experts can conduct online searches on your behalf and locate your French-speaking ancestors!

    - Deciphering and transcribing French records (soon also in Latin),

    - Translations of your French documents into English (or German)

    The company can rely on the expertise of its staff, which includes three genealogists who graduated in "Genealogy and Family History" from the French University of Nîmes. Specialized in genealogical research in France and equipped with German and English foreign language skills, they are at the disposal of genealogists searching in France.

    In addition, Heredis also aims to increase the visibility of existing professional genealogists and offers a specific directory of professionals for each language. This will not only help to direct searches that go beyond the scope of online archives in France to the appropriate contacts, but also provide a public and free platform for professional genealogists in Europe!

    For more information, visit https:// www.heredis.com/en/help-with-your- research/

    Are you a professional? 


    Please contact us at services@heredis.com to be listed.

    ABOUT HEREDIS

    Heredis has been producing technical solutions in the field of genealogy for 29 years. The French company, managed by its employees, develops genealogy software for Windows and Mac, iOS and Android as well as other products related to family research. Recently, it has also started offering genealogical services for research in France.

    For more information, visit: https://www.heredis.com/en


  • 26 Jan 2023 8:55 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 about a topic that I feel all computer users should know.

    If you are looking for any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter. you might skip this one. However, I don't recommend that.

    From an article by Charlie Warzel published in the MSN web site:

    In February, an engineer named Dmitri Brereton wrote a blog post about Google’s search-engine decay, rounding up leading theories for why the product’s “results have gone to shit.” The post quickly shot to the top of tech forums such as Hacker News and was widely shared on Twitter and even prompted a PR response from Google’s Search liaison, Danny Sullivan, refuting one of Brereton’s claims. “You said in the post that quotes don’t give exact matches. They really do. Honest,” Sullivan wrote in a series of tweets.

    [Read: Be careful what you Google]

    Brereton’s most intriguing argument for the demise of Google Search was that savvy users of the platform no longer type instinctive keywords into the search bar and hit “Enter.” The best Googlers—the ones looking for actionable or niche information, product reviews, and interesting discussions—know a cheat code to bypass the sea of corporate search results clogging the top third of the screen. “Most of the web has become too inauthentic to trust,” Brereton argued, therefore “we resort to using Google, and appending the word ‘reddit’ to the end of our queries.” Brereton cited Google Trends data that show that people are searching the word reddit on Google more than ever before.

    Instead of scrolling through long posts littered with pop-up ads and paragraphs of barely coherent SEO chum to get to a review or a recipe, clever searchers got lively threads with testimonials from real people debating and interacting with one another. Most who use the Reddit hack are doing so for practical reasons, but it’s also a small act of protest—a way to stick it to the Search Engine Optimization and Online Ad Industrial Complex and to attempt to access a part of the internet that feels freer and more human.

    Google has built wildly successful mobile operating systems, mapped the world, changed how we email and store photos, and tried, with varying success, to build cars that drive themselves. This story, for example, was researched, in part, through countless Google Search queries and some Google Chrome browsing, written in a Google Doc, and filed to my editor via Gmail. Along the way, the company has collected an unfathomable amount of data on billions of people (frequently unbeknownst to them)—but Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is still primarily an advertising business. In 2020, the company made $147 billion in revenue off ads alone, which is roughly 80 percent of its total revenue. Most of the tech company’s products—Maps, Gmail—are Trojan horses for a gargantuan personalized-advertising business, and Search is the one that started it all. It is the modern template for what the technology critic Shoshana Zuboff termed “surveillance capitalism.”

    The internet has grown exponentially and Google has expanded with it, helping usher in some of the web’s greediest, most extractive tendencies. But scale is not always a blessing for technology products. Are we wringing our hands over nothing, or is Google a victim of its own success, rendering its flagship product—Search—less useful?

    You can read the entire article at: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/the-open-secret-of-google-search/ar-AAYEUAL

    So what you do do to avoid the problems with Google? My advice is to use DuckDuckGo.com as your search engine. Perform all your searches with DuckDuckGo.com.

    I have been using DuckDuckGo.com as my only search engine for more than a year now and I much prefer it to to Google. I suggest you try it for a few days to see if you like it.

    If you don't care for DuckDuckGo.com, you might use StartPage at https://www.startpage.com/. I used it for a while and I like it. However, I prefer DuckDuckGo.com.

    If you want to experiment some more, you might check out How to Remove Google From Your Life at https://www.howtogeek.com/348792/how-to-remove-google-from-your-life/. (I have replaced Google entirely.)



  • 26 Jan 2023 7:56 AM | Anonymous

    From the JRI-POLAND'S e-newsletter:

    More than three months after suffering an external hacking attack, the Polish State Archives (PSA) has spent several months solidifying their internet security. Today, the PSA website has returned to its normal online operations. As of this writing - the JRI-Poland search results “Click to View” feature can once again retrieve images of more than 2.7 million documents from the PSA website once again!

    To access the Polish State Archives web site, Go to https://www.nac.gov.pl/en/ for the English section of the web site. (Not all records are available in English. If you can read Polish, go to https://www.nac.gov.pl/.)

  • 24 Jan 2023 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    From the MyHeritage Blog:

    In honor of Australia Day, we are delighted to announce that we are offering free access to all of the Australian records on MyHeritage — encompassing 95 million records from across 288 historical record collections!

    Search 95 million Australian records for free

    January 26 marks Australia Day, the national holiday that honors the history of Australians. It is our hope that offering these collections for free will provide fascinating new insights into the lives of Australians throughout history, and perhaps an appreciation for how far the world has come since then.

    In the last few months, we have added over 25 new collections from Australia, bringing the total number of Australian collections to 288. The collections are from all over the country and include birth, marriage, death, naturalizations, military, passenger lists, and more types of records. Many of these collections include high-quality scans of the originals. 

    One of the recent collections, “New South Wales Gaol Inmates & Photos,” offers stunning photographs of people who served in prison from 1870 to 1930, and rich details on their physical attributes, convictions, and prison sentences. In some cases, they are the only photos of these individuals that exist.

    Here are a few fascinating examples from the Gaol Inmates & Photos collection:

    NOTE: The full article is much longer with examples of (colorized) photographs and several example records. You can read the full article at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2023/01/australia-day-free-records-access-95-million-records-from-australia-for-free/.

  • 24 Jan 2023 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by Discover Your Ancestors magazine:

    The Family History Show is back next month! February 18th 2023

    We wanted to share some great news with you: The Family History Show is back online next month!

    The success of last year’s online event, much appreciated in the family history community, has convinced the organisers of The Family History Show, Online to bring it back this February 2023. With new talks and all the features of a physical family history show, this virtual event can be easily accessed from around the world in the comfort of your own home.

    The Family History Show, Online, organised by Discover Your Ancestors magazine, is busy making preparations for its return on Saturday 18th February 2023.

    You'll have the opportunity to put your research questions to an expert, watch free talks and to speak to family history societies, archives and genealogical suppliers by text, audio, video chat or email from the comfort of your own home.

    Make a date in your diary and snap up an early bird ticket now for only £7! You'll also get a downloadable goody bag worth over £10.

    Save the date in your diary and snap up an early bird ticket now for only £7! You'll also get a downloadable goody bag worth over £10.

    Featuring All New Talks

    Watch the New Talks given by Nick Barratt  Historian Author and Professional Genealogist; Keith Gregson – Professional Researcher & Social Historian; Donna Rutherford – DNA Expert; and Stephen Gill – Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (keep an eye out for further announcements about the content of each speaker’s presentation).

    Societies, Archives and Companies

    Visit exhibitors, societies, archives and companies in our virtual exhibition hall. Here there will be the opportunity to talk to some of the stallholders by text, audio or video from the comfort of your own home.

    Show Partners

    SoG, AGRA, TheGenealogist, GenFair, S&N Genealogy Supplies

    Early Bird Ticket Offer

    Buy your tickets in advance and save - tickets to attend The Family History Show Online are available from the website at just £7.00 each. You will also get a FREE virtual goody bag on the day worth over £10.https://thefamilyhistoryshow.com/online/tickets/


  • 24 Jan 2023 8:25 AM | Anonymous

    The great Scottish poet, Robert Burns, was born January 25, 1759. In celebration of his birthday, Burns Suppers range from formal gatherings of esthetes and scholars to very informal dinners throughout Scotland and in the homes of Scottish descendants worldwide. Most Burns Suppers adhere, more or less, to some sort of time honored form which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.

    Almost anyone can enjoy a Burns Night celebration. All that's needed is a place to gather, plenty of haggis and neeps to go around, a master of ceremonies, friendly celebrants, and good Scotch drink to keep you warm.

    I'll leave it to you to find the place to gather, the  master of ceremonies, the friendly celebrants, and good Scotch drink. However, for the haggis, you may have to look a bit harder (unless you meet in Scotland). If you leave out the legally inedible parts, haggis is edible in the United States. 

    Americans can order non-traditional haggis online. 

    Some years ago, I took my first trip to Scotland and, of course, I had to try the haggis. However, being a vegan in those days presented a bit of a challenge. After all, traditional haggis has MEAT in it!

    I soon discovered that many Scottish restaurants serve vegetarian haggis. That seemed strange to me but I tried it found it tasted rather good. In fact, I ate vegetarian haggis several times during my twelve-day stay. The flavor varied a bit from one restaurant to the next but was always good.

    In conversations with some of the locals, I found several who said they had eaten haggis quite often when they were growing up but now, as adults, they prefer the vegetarian haggis. MacSweens, (http://www.haggisuk.co.uk/) a company in Edinburg, Scotland, manufactures 1,000 tons of haggis every year. The company reports that one in four orders for haggis it sells is vegetarian.

    Traditional haggis (with meat) has some ingredients that are not legal to sell in the U.S. However, vegetarian haggis is completely legal and haggis made in the U.S. will have other cuts of meat substituted to insure legality.

    To learn more about Burns Dinners, go to http://www.robertburns.org/suppers/. You can find a recipe to make your own Vegetarian Haggis at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegetarian-haggis/ and the list of ingredients does sound much more appealing than that of the original haggis. Who wants to eat sheep’s lung anyway?

    If you live in the UK, you can have traditional or vegetarian haggis delivered to your door by ordering online at https://www.haggisuk.co.uk/haggis. It is frozen so I don't think they will ship overseas. 

    If you live in the US, you can have traditional or vegetarian haggis delivered to your door by ordering online at https://www.scottishgourmetusa.com/. The company even sells vegetarian haggis although the web site states that it is “out of stock” right now. You can find still other Scottish items for sale in the US at the same web site: http://www.scottishgourmetusa.com.

    Sounds delicious! Please pass the neeps and tatties.

    Footnote: Neeps and tatties are traditionally served with haggis. Neeps are the traditional Scottish word for turnips. For a hilarious description of neeps as spoken in Scotland, look at http://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neep

    A tattie is a word used in Scotland for potato, as explained at http://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tattie.

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