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  • 19 May 2023 4:35 PM | Anonymous

    Your (very) distant ancestors probably did not originate where you thought they did.

    A new model for human evolution asserts that modern Homo sapiens stemmed from multiple genetically diverse populations across Africa rather than a single ancestral population. This conclusion was reached after researchers analyzed genetic data from present-day African populations, including 44 newly sequenced genomes from the Nama group of southern Africa. The research suggests that the earliest detectable split in early human populations occurred between 120,000 to 135,000 years ago, after long periods of genetic intermixing, and that subsequent migrations created a weakly structured genetic stem. Contrary to some previous models, this research implies that contributions from archaic hominins were unlikely to have significantly affected Homo sapiens’ evolution.

    You can read more in an article published in the University Of California - Davis web site at: https://scitechdaily.com/new-dna-research-changes-origin-of-human-species/

  • 19 May 2023 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    The Underground Railroad, which helped people escape slavery to freedom, necessarily operated in secrecy until the end of the Civil War. Now a grant from the National Park Service will support the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida in highlighting the history of this pivotal social movement.

    The $350,000 grant through the U.S. Department of the Interior will allow the program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to gather, preserve, transcribe and promote digital video and audio recordings for use in museums, K-12 classrooms and documentaries.

    The Network to Freedom Underground Railroad Oral History Project is a collaborative research project designed to shed light on one of the most important and least-understood social movements in American history.

    “Conductors and freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad struggled against the power of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the executive branch for generations and in doing so left an unrivaled record of democratic striving and intersectional coalition building uniting African American, white, and Hispanic antislavery activists against tyranny,” said PAUL ORTIZ, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. “This is an incredible opportunity for University of Florida undergraduates, graduate students, and staff to learn the legacies of the most important grassroots democratic institution in American history.”

    Under the guidance of the National Park Service and the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, UF staff and students in the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program will record the oral and family traditions of Underground Railroad descendants and representatives.

    The Underground Railroad oral histories will be jointly housed at the National Park Service and the University of Florida Digital Collections at George A. Smathers Libraries.

    You can read more in an article by Douglas Ray published in the University of Florida web site at: https://tinyurl.com/mrxfkcvd.

  • 19 May 2023 9:53 AM | Anonymous

    In 1981, the Hearst Corporation donated its newsreel collection to the University of California. In cooperation with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Packard Humanities Institute is developing this website as part of a joint project to make the Hearst newsreel collection more easily accessible to the public.

    Like all historical records, newsreels reflect the attitudes and prejudices of the times in which they were produced. This website is intended to promote public interest in the past, and as a resource for historical and cultural research. Naturally, neither we nor the UCLA Film & Television Archive endorse all the views depicted in the images and commentary of these newsreels, some of which could be disturbing or offensive to some users.

    Begin browsing the newsreels shown in theatres from 1929 to 1967. If the story title is displayed in red, you can click on the title to play the video.

    See all viewing options

    Frequent Questions

  • 19 May 2023 7:19 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Scotland People of Nairnshire   

    Over 4,000 new transcriptions have been added to this existing collection. These records are from multiple sources, and often include details such as names, places and additional notes. If your ancestor was from Nairnshire, this collection could be the key you’re looking for.  

    Scotland Registers and Records 

    To complement the Nairnshire records, a further five publications have been added into Scotland Registers and Records. These PDFs cover 1290 to 1850, and include social histories, parish records and more. There are 84 titles in total to explore, including Land and People of Nairnshire by Bruce B. Bishop, offering key detail about Nairnshire residents.  

    Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902 

    If your ancestor served in the Anglo-Boer War, you may find them here. A further 19,117 records have been added to this collection, taking it to over 383,000. You might find details of your ancestor’s unit, medals awarded, or even casualties.  

    Notable names spotted in this collection include: 

    ·         A young Winston Churchill, taken prisoner at Blaauwkrantz Farm in Escourt in 1899 

    ·         Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, who was awarded a Queen’s South Africa clasp 

    Newspapers 

    Six brand new titles, updates to a further six, and a total of 89,176 new pages make up this week’s newspaper releases. 

    New titles: 

    ·         Bayswater Chronicle, 1860-1873, 1878, 1893, 1896, 1909-1939, 1944-1949 

    ·         Buteman, 1875, 1882, 1884, 1887-1889, 1892 

    ·         Citizen (Letchworth), 1906-1916 

    ·         Downham Market Gazette, 1879-1889, 1891-1895, 1897-1911, 1913-1916 

    ·         Loftus Advertiser, 1879-1895, 1897, 1899-1906, 1909-1916 

    ·         Morayshire Advertiser, 1858-1864 

    Updated titles: 

    ·         Eastern Post, 1922-1925, 1927-1938 

    ·         Haverhill Echo, 1941-1943 

    ·         Macclesfield Times, 1925 

    ·         New Milton Advertiser, 1990 

    ·         Sheerness Guardian and East Kent Advertiser, 1894-1896, 1899-1911, 1913-1932, 1934-1939 

    ·         Sheerness Times Guardian, 1940-1948, 1979 

  • 18 May 2023 9:08 PM | Anonymous

    You’ve probably heard somewhere that siblings share half of their genes with one another. That’s, like, Genetics 101, right? Actually, not quite. Thanks to the randomness of chromosome segregation and a process called recombination, siblings' genomes are not always 50 percent the same.

    This figure is actually an average, as Our World in Data researcher Saloni pointed out recently on Twitter. So, while you and your sibling probably share around 50 percent of your genes, the actual number is likely a little different. 

    Genetic inheritance

    To understand why that is, you first need to know a little bit about genetic inheritance. 

    As humans, our DNA is coiled into 23 pairs of chromosomes – 46 chromosomes in total. Twenty-two of these pairs are called autosomes, and the final pair are sex chromosomes (XX or XY). One chromosome in each pair is inherited from our mother and the other from our father.

    For this to happen, cells must first undergo a process called meiosis to produce gametes (egg or sperm cells). During meiosis, the number of chromosomes in the parent cell is reduced by half: a cell with 46 chromosomes produces four gametes, each containing just 23 chromosomes, one from each pair.

    When the egg and sperm (each with 23 chromosomes) then fuse during reproduction, an embryo with a complete set of 46 chromosomes is formed.

    But before the chromosome pairs get split apart, a sort of genetic reshuffling occurs. This is known as recombination. Autosomes line up in their pairs and exchange bits of genetic information, resulting in each egg and sperm cell having its own unique combination of genes.

    For more info, read an article by Maddy Chapman published in the iflscience.com web site at: https://tinyurl.com/mr2xhe4c.

  • 18 May 2023 8:16 AM | Anonymous

    Attention UK residents: Who Do You Think You Are? is returning!

    The BBC has confirmed its popular genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? will finally be back on screens after more than a year away. The broadcaster's popular show regularly uncovers secrets from the past for the celebrities looking back on their family history. Now, the show will be returning and its just weeks away.

    Who Do You Think You Are will return to screens on BBC One on Thursday 1st June.

    Earlier this year, The Sun exclusively confirmed that Emily Atack would be delving into her background this summer.

    You can read more at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/22391724/bbc-confirms-return-who-do-you-think-you-are/.

  • 17 May 2023 5:36 PM | Anonymous

    Marietta House Museum and the Prince George’s County Historical Society present:  Beyond Old Bowie: A 20-Year Ancestry.com Search for African and Prince George’s County, MD. Ancestors

    Please join us for a hybrid program on Saturday, June 10th from 1pm – 3pm, as family researchers Denise Barton and Karen Pearson, present a family journey with place-based research and online information, leading them to numerous other family members and names, such as Duckett, Spriggs, Clark, Queen, and more. The oral and documented history of the Barton-Johnson branch of the family includes property in “Old Bowie” and family burials in the Sacred Heart and Ascension Catholic churches.  Nathania Branch Miles, of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society of Prince George’s County, will share resources during this presentation.  

    Recommended for ages 12 & up (ages under 18 must be accompanied by an adult). Walk-ins welcome. Registration is recommended but not required, however, online participants must register. Direct link for registration: https://tinyurl.com/ym33z8x2For more information, please call 301-464-5291 or email mariettahouse@pgparks.com.

    Marietta House Museum is located at 5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale, MD. 20769, and is a property of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

  • 17 May 2023 5:23 PM | Anonymous

    From a press release iussued today by the (U.S.) National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):

    Dr. Colleen Shogan assumed the role of Archivist of the United States today and, immediately after taking the oath of office, began her work as the head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). 

    “It is an honor and a privilege to join the National Archives and Records Administration today as the 11th Archivist of the United States.” Shogan said. “Our mission is both straightforward and complex: strengthen our nation’s democracy through access to the public records we hold in trust. As a political scientist, I have a deeply held belief in the importance of that mission. As the Archivist, I will be a passionate advocate for NARA and the work we do.” 

    Shogan’s first briefing focused on veterans services. Reflecting her priority to address the backlog of veterans’ records, Shogan spoke with leaders from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). They discussed major initiatives that will continue to improve service delivery to veterans, including staffing and digitization efforts. Shogan said her first visit to a NARA facility outside of Washington, will take place later this month, when she will tour the NPRC in St. Louis and meet with staff as well as local congressional delegates. 

    On her first day as Archivist of the United States, Shogan also toured the research rooms and museum spaces of the National Archives Building. She will spend her next few days meeting with NARA leaders about their work, touring the National Archives at College Park, and receiving briefings about the functions NARA fulfills in execution of its mission.

    “The National Archives is extremely fortunate that Dr. Shogan has joined us to lead the agency,” said Deputy Archivist Debra Steidel Wall. “I look forward to her leadership and to working alongside her to further NARA’s essential work: making our records accessible equitably, promoting civic literacy, serving our country’s veterans, expanding digitization, and, through these functions, strengthening American democracy.” Wall served as the Acting Archivist of the United States from May 2022 until Shogan assumed office.

    Shogan is the 11th Archivist of the United States and the first woman to hold the position permanently. She was nominated by President Biden on August 3, 2022, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 10, 2023. She succeeds David S. Ferriero, who retired as Archivist in April 2022. Prior to her appointment, Shogan most recently served as senior vice president of the White House Historical Association. She previously worked for over a decade at the Library of Congress in senior roles as the Assistant Deputy Librarian for Collections and Services and the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service.

    Earlier in her career, Shogan worked as a policy staff member in the U.S. Senate and taught at Georgetown University and George Mason University. She earned a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a Ph.D. in American Politics from Yale University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Order of the Cross and Crown, and the United States Capitol Historical Society’s Council of Scholars.

  • 17 May 2023 11:16 AM | Anonymous

    Have you already made out a will? This article discusses the situation where one dies intestate (without a legal will). While it discusses the U.K., similar rules apply in most other countries.

    There are an estimated 8,000 unclaimed estates throughout the UK. This includes estates that have been left without a will, estates where the heirs are unknown, and estates that have been abandoned. The value of these estates is estimated to be in the billions of pounds.

    As of April 25, 2023, there were 1954 unclaimed estates in London alone. These estates are worth a combined total of £600 million (based on the average value of unclaimed estates in London).

    Unclaimed Estates in England and Wales are listed on the Government’s Bona Vacantia list, with cases often listed for years before an entitled relative can be traced and the legitimacy of their claim proven.

    Daniel Curran, MD Finders International comments; “When a person passes away they may do so without leaving a Will or the Will they made is invalid. In both cases the estate is then treated as ‘intestacy’ and the rules of intestate succession come into force, according to the Country in which they died.

    In most cases, the rightful heirs are out there. They might not be closely related – or even know of the deceased – but there are almost always family members who can be traced and can find themselves the recipients of an unexpected windfall.

    Sometimes, this money can be life-changing; more often than not, it’s a nice windfall that can be used for a holiday, new car or anything else that might not have been possible without it.”

    So, what do you do if you think you may be entitled to an unclaimed estate?

    Each week www.bonavacantialist.co.uk publish the details of Unclaimed Estates as they arise. ‘Bona Vacantia’ means vacant goods and is the name given to ownerless property, which by law passes to the Crown. It lists a range of information known about the deceased including their name, age, place of death and any other relevant information known about their life including spouses.

    Most recently, surnames such as: Searle, Berry, Hardie, Locke, Bellamy, McCarthy, Quinlan and Coombes have been listed with London as the place of death. Do you recognise any of these names?

    If you believe that you may be the rightful owner of an unclaimed estate, you can contact Daniel Curran’s team at Finders International.

    You can read more at: https://tinyurl.com/5n7jkwsh.
  • 17 May 2023 10:44 AM | Anonymous

    Celebrate Jewish genealogy, heritage, and immigration with music, food and more!

    New York’s first-ever Mishpachah Festival: A Celebration of Genealogy, Heritage, and Immigration, will take place on Sunday, May 21, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

    Mishpacha, which means “family” in Hebrew, will celebrate Jewish culture via genealogy lectures, Jewish heritage panels, cooking demonstrations, live music, and more family-friendly activities. And speaking of family, folks in attendance may connect with some new relatives, thanks to genealogy experts on hand to help with family history research. 

    “We are proud to present the inaugural Mishpachah Festival, where we will celebrate and explore Jewish genealogy, heritage, and immigration along with our partners,” said Jack Kliger, CEO and President of the Museum of Jewish Heritage. “There will be insightful lectures and activities for people of all ages, as we open the Museum to welcome our ‘family’ and together discover more about heritage and community.” 

    You can read more in an article by Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner published in the timeout.com web site at: https://tinyurl.com/22k8dnb4.

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