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  • 5 Oct 2022 9:27 AM | Anonymous

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

    Washington, DC

    The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has posted a draft Customer Research Agenda and requests feedback from public and government customers, stakeholders, staff, and colleagues in the archival, historical, and records management communities.

    The draft Customer Research Agenda is open for review and comment through October 21, 2022.

    To view the draft, visit Submit comments by email to

    “Your collective experience with us matters, and we are working to better serve you,” said Stephanie Bogan, Chief Customer Experience Officer.

    NARA will review and consider comments received by October 21, 2022, prior to finalizing its Customer Research Agenda. The final Agenda will be published on and updated annually.

    “As published in NARA’s Strategic Goal 2:  Connect with Customers and Action Plan to Advance Customer Experience at NARA, we are deeply committed to learning directly from our customers and working together to design and deliver equitable and effective services for all,” Bogan said.

    NARA is developing its Customer Research Agenda to guide the agency’s customer research and service improvement efforts. Its customer research will center on deepening the agency’s understanding of the wants, needs, and expectations that individuals, organizations, and communities have when interacting with the National Archives. In alignment with agency-wide efforts to expand NARA’s reach and access, the draft Customer Research Agenda includes questions that explicitly focus on helping NARA understand how the agency can expand access and participation. NARA’s goal is to ensure that its services are available to all, including groups that have been historically disadvantaged or excluded.

    The draft Agenda is an important step toward achieving NARA’s Strategic Goal 2: Connect with Customers. These efforts also support government-wide initiatives to improve federal customer experience and service equity as represented in the President’s Management Agenda, Executive Order 13985, Executive Order 14058, and the Office of Management and Budget’s A-11 Circular §280.

  • 4 Oct 2022 5:52 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release from the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center:

    The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (NCDHC) at the University Libraries has received a $603,154 grant to continue its operations. The Library Services and Technology Act grant comes from the State Library of North Carolina with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

    Established as a partnership between the University Libraries and the State Library of North Carolina, the NCDHC promotes learning by increasing open access to North Carolina’s historical and cultural heritage. The center partners with libraries, museums, archives and cultural institutions around the state to digitize items from their collections and make them freely available online. 

    In March, the NCDHC announced its first satellite location, in partnership with Elizabeth City State University. The new location helps meet demand for print newspaper digitization, scanning materials and assigning image metadata before sending the digital files to Chapel Hill where they are uploaded to the center’s website, 

    The NCDHC also recently completed an 11-month project that added more than 2 million newspaper images to its database. The images, originally digitized through a partnership with, are scans of microfilmed papers from the North Carolina Collection in the Wilson Special Collections Library. Now, in addition to being available on, those images are accessible on as part of a searchable collection containing more than 4 million newspaper pages in total. 

    Learn more about the NCDHC and its work to ensure that North Carolina’s cultural heritage is preserved and accessible. 

  • 4 Oct 2022 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    The Encyclopedia of Chicago is a joint production of the Chicago Historical Society, the Newberry Library, and Northwestern University. The online web site includes thousands of historical resources, including articles, photographs, maps, broadsides, and newspapers, all related to Chicago's colorful and complex history.

    I found it very easy to navigate. Of course, the test of any online web site of historical information is its contents. Indeed, the Encyclopedia of Chicago has thousands of pages of information for all to see. I found items about the Labor Unrest in Chicago from April 25 - May 4, 1886, maps of Prairie Avenue where many of Chicago's wealthiest citizens lived in the 1880s, including George M. Pullman (of the Pullman railroad cars), Marshall Field (Chicago's richest man), John G. Shortall among others. The map is fully interactive; you can zoom in and out as well as move north, south, east, or west with the mouse. Other items I noted included many historical photographs, essays on ice fishing, essays on Chicago's gangsters of the 1930s, descriptions and maps of cemeteries, and much more.

    The Encyclopedia of Chicago is a great resource for Chicago residents as well as anyone with Chicago ancestry. While it doesn't provide lists of births, marriages, and deaths, it does give great insights into the world in which your ancestors lived.

    The Encyclopedia of Chicago is available free of charge to everyone. To access it, go to

  • 4 Oct 2022 9:25 AM | Anonymous

    One hundred years ago, the University of Vermont launched the state’s first radio station, which eventually became WCAX, TV channel 3. In honor of this milestone, today Secretary of State Jim Condos and State Archivist Tanya Marshall announced that the theme for Vermont Archives Month this October is ‘communication,’ to showcase the myriad ways people have conveyed information to each other over time.

    “At a time when our civic discourse is more divisive than any time I have experienced in my lifetime, this year’s Archives Month theme of ‘communication,’ could not be more fitting or important,” said Secretary Condos. This theme was selected in recognition of the critical role communication plays in how successfully we all live and work together.”

    “The transition from relying on textual records like pamphlets and newspapers for information sharing to broadcasting, first by radio and then television, is especially fascinating,” added State Archivist Marshall.

    The Vermont State Archives & Records Administration, a division of the Secretary of State’s Office, will host an open house from 5 to 7 PM on October 27 featuring behind-the-scenes tours and an exhibit titled “Getting the Message Out (and In).”

    The public records on display will have a three-pronged focus: how state government conveys information the public needs to know, how the public interacts with the government, and how the state markets itself outside of Vermont. Additional events for public agency partners will be held the week of October 10 in recognition of Electronic Records Day.

    Other historical records repositories around the state will also be hosting events, most notably the recently reorganized Montpelier Historical Society. They will hold a public forum on October 22 from 2 to 4 PM in the Pavilion Auditorium entitled “The Golden Age of Vermont State News Coverage,” which they identify as the era from 1960 to 2000. Anne Galloway will moderate a discussion with several long-time reporters, editors, and bureau chiefs.

    More information about Vermont Archives Month, including the schedule of events, can be found online at is external). Inquiries can also be directed to the Vermont Historical Records Program at sends e-mail).

  • 3 Oct 2022 3:39 PM | Anonymous

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

    (+) Another Method of Sharing Genealogy Files

    MyHeritage Announces Sorting for Shared DNA Matches

    How Police Can Use Your DNA to Solve Crimes Without Consent

    National Archives Still Missing Some Trump Administration Records

    Senate Panel Deadlocks on Archivist Nominee in Party-Line Vote Wins Class Action Over Its Use of Yearbook Photos

    Wolf Blitzer Goes on Journey After Learning His Grandparents Were Murdered at Nazi Death Camp

    Introducing Geno.Me

    Courier Journal Donates 'Priceless' Photo Collection to University of Louisville

    New Website Helps Preserve Kansans' Life Stories

    A Family Tree From Ancient and Modern DNA

    The University of Central Arkansas Digitizes More Than 1,000 Historic Photos

    Queen Camilla, Celine Dion, Madonna and Beyonce Are Cousins

    WikiTree Announces Free Genealogy Symposium and “WikiTree Day” Party

    Geneanet Offers Free Access to German Records for a Week

    Arctic World Archive (AWA)

    US Embassy Launches Website to Document Cultural Heritage of Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh

    Rolling Releases for Norfolk Records Added to Findmypast

    Clare Invite to Dublin Festival of History Online

    A New Monument Addresses the Erasure of Japanese American Incarceration

    Are You Ready for the Future? Or Is It Already Here?

    It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

  • 3 Oct 2022 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    It was December of 2014, and Michael Usry had no idea why a pair of Louisiana State police officers showed up at his New Orleans home, asking him to accompany them to the precinct for questioning.

    He was even more confused when an FBI agent asked to swab his cheek for DNA.

    “They wouldn’t tell me anything,” Usry, now 43, tells The Post. “I was like, ‘Am I being accused of a crime? Do I need a lawyer?’ ”

    It was only later that Usry, a low-budget filmmaker, learned he was a suspect in the 1996 murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. There were a few things that pointed to him: He’d visited Idaho Falls, Idaho, where the victim was killed, during the same time frame of the murder. He had directed a 2010 film called “Murderabilia,” which — according to the search warrant — “dealt with some sort of homicide or killings.”

    But the main reason cops showed up on Usry’s doorstep was his DNA. When genetic evidence from the crime scene didn’t match anything in the national law-enforcement database, the police ran a familial DNA search on, the world’s largest for-profit genealogy company.

    They found a close match between semen found at the murder scene and the DNA of Usry’s dad, who had donated his saliva to Ancestry as part of a genealogy project with his church. When the elder Usry was deemed too old to be a suspect, it led detectives to his son. Although the younger Usry had never used Ancestry or any other genealogy service, his dad’s DNA was enough for a judge to issue a warrant.

    Even after Usry’s DNA was tested and his name cleared — which took weeks — he didn’t rest easy.

    You can read more in an article by Eric Spitznagel and published in the New York Post web site at:

  • 3 Oct 2022 2:02 PM | Anonymous

    The National Archives has still not recovered all the presidential records that should have been turned over at the end of the Trump administration, according to a new letter to Congress from the acting archivist.

    "We do know that we do not have custody of everything we should," Debra Steidel Wall, acting archivist of the United States, said in her letter to Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., suggesting that former officials had still not turned over electronic messages of official business done on personal accounts.

    Wall's letter was a response to a Sept. 13 request from Maloney seeking an "urgent review" of "whether presidential records remain unaccounted for and potentially in the possession of the former president."

    Wall said the National Archives and Records Administration "would consult with the Department of Justice" on whether "to initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed."

    You can read more in an article by Benjamin Siegel published in the ABC News web site at:

  • 3 Oct 2022 1:47 PM | Anonymous

    Shared DNA Matches are a valuable tool for users interested in figuring out how they’re related to a specific DNA match. The new sorting functionality enables you to sort your Shared DNA Matches based on the proximity of their relationship to you or to the DNA Match you’re reviewing, and gain new insights.

    Shared DNA Matches are a valuable tool for users interested in figuring out how they’re related to a specific DNA match. The new sorting functionality enables you to sort your Shared DNA Matches based on the proximity of their relationship to you or to the DNA Match you’re reviewing, and gain new insights.

    You can read more about this new functionality in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 1 Oct 2022 5:51 AM | Anonymous

    Today is the first day of the month. Today is an excellent time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

    Your backups aren't worth much unless you make a quick test by restoring a small file or two after the backup is completed.

    Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often. (My computers automatically make off-site backups of all new files every few minutes.)

    Given the events of the past few months during the pandemic with genealogy websites laying off employees and cutting back on services, you now need backup copies of everything more than ever. What happens if the company that holds your online data either goes off line or simply deletes the service where your data is held? If you have copies of everything stored either in your own computer, what happens if you have a hard drive crash or other disaster? If you have one or more recent backup copies, such a loss would be inconvenient but not a disaster.

    Of course, you might want to back up more than your genealogy files. Family photographs, your checkbook register, all sorts of word processing documents, email messages, and much more need to be backed up regularly. Why not do that on the first day of each month? or even more often?

  • 30 Sep 2022 6:20 PM | Anonymous

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

    One of the big challenges in genealogy software is sharing of data when two or more researchers are working on the same family. The most common scenario is when each person has his or her own genealogy database. However, as different members of the project discover new data and enter it into their own databases, how does the information automatically get updated to others without requiring each person in the project to manually re-enter the same data?

    The quick answer is “via GEDCOM files.” However, anyone who has ever tried this way of merging small bits of information from multiple researchers into the database of each participant can tell you that it is no small task. GEDCOM was designed for a one-time data import. While possible, it is difficult to use GEDCOM for frequent small updates.

    Luckily there is an easier method of sharing genealogy databases. Anyone with a Windows, Macintosh, or Linux system can set up a private file-sharing network. For the remainder of this article, I will focus on Windows solutions. However, similar programs are available for Mac and Linux systems as well.

    By using a file-sharing program, you and your cohorts can establish a private, encrypted network across the Internet. The only people who can access the data are the ones to whom you grant access. All data is fully encrypted and protected by user IDs and passwords. The more popular methods are free of charge.

    File-sharing programs are as also called “peer-to-peer” networks, or simply P2P. In this case, peer-to-peer means that there is no central file server involved. Each participant’s computer can exchange data with every other participant’s computer across the Internet, assuming that each computer’s owner gives access to the other participants. In fact, the menus allow each owner to share as much or as little data as he or she wishes. For this discussion, I will assume that the owner of each computer has decided to share either one file or one entire subdirectory although other options are available.

    P2P networks became popular with the original Napster music-sharing network. Napster’s success spawned hundreds of other P2P networks , many of them with far more powerful capabilities than the original network. Many of the early networks were used for illicit activities, such as sharing copyrighted music, videos, and other content. However, as the software has matured, P2P networks have become “legit.” To be sure, a few wide-open networks still exist and are anonymously sharing files against the terms of copyrights, licenses and laws. However, newer, private P2P networks have become respectable; they can respect copyrights and laws. In fact, P2P networks are now becoming useful in corporations as well as for personal use.

    You can install a P2P application in your computer and then designate what files will be made available to others as well as to whom they are available. You can share photographs, documents, and even genealogy databases. Yes, you can even share copyrighted materials, but all of that is under your private control. You are responsible for all material that you share.

    Anyone who is to be allowed onto your private P2P network will need to install the same software on his or her computer. Once installed and logged on, the individuals you allow into your network can access the files you make available. Conversely, you can access the files that they decide to share, if any. All participants must have an Internet connection at the time they are sharing data. However, these networks work well on dial-up as well as broadband connections.

    “Wait a minute,” you say. “Can’t I do the same if I set up an FTP server on the Internet?” The answer is, “Yes, you can -- if you’re more technical.” You can create FTP or Web servers if you have the knowledge required. However, such servers require a knowledge of Web technology and at least moderate skills at configuring servers. Establishing a P2P network is far simpler -- so simple that most non-gurus can create such a network within minutes without assistance.

    You can also find some public file-sharing networks that run on some company’s server. These may be free or charge a modest amount. Most of the ones I have seen insert obnoxious pop-up ads all over the place. They also limit you as to how many megabytes you can share. The private P2P networks described here will not display pop-ups, and file sizes are limited only by the space on your hard drive.

    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/12938393.

    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

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