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  • 15 Mar 2022 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by the Kentucky House of Representatives:

    FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky House on Monday passed HB 502, also known as the Genetic Information Privacy Act.

    The bill is meant to protect consumers who wish to send in their DNA for genetic testing to companies like and 23&Me. The legislation is sponsored by Republican Rep. Danny Bentley, of Russell.

    “This bill is for the future. Many companies offer direct consumer testing through the internet, and it has become widely available. A person can order a kit, send in a cheek swab to the company, and receive a genome scan. It is usually not under a doctor’s supervision so there are no safeguards for Kentuckians. Information is easily obtainable by thefts, and with that information, a thief gains control of that person’s genetic information. People have a right to privacy when it comes to their genetic information, just like they have that right for their medical information, and this legislation puts those necessary safeguards in place,” said Rep. Bentley.

    Rep. Bentley said the measure would do two things to ensure the safety of a person’s genetic information. It would regulate the collection, use, and disclosure of genetic data. It would also create a civil cause of action for violations of the prohibitions to be brought by the Attorney General.

    The bill’s primary co-sponsor, Republican Rep. Steve Sheldon, of Bowling Green, added “It is extremely important that we regulate the collection of people’s genetic information because it could be harmful if that information is stolen or leaked. This is a growing private industry and we want to ensure that we are protecting the privacy of the citizens of the commonwealth”

    The bill is now heads to the Senate for consideration.

  • 14 Mar 2022 1:42 PM | Anonymous

    The 2020 census continued a longstanding trend of undercounting Black people, Latinos and Native Americans, while overcounting people who identified as white and not Latino, according to estimates from a report the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

    Latinos — with a net undercount rate of 4.99% — were left out of the 2020 census at more than three times the rate of a decade earlier.

    Among Native Americans living on reservations (5.64%) and Black people (3.30%), the net undercount rates were numerically higher but not statistically different from the 2010 rates.

    People who identified as white and not Latino were overcounted at a net rate of 1.64%, almost double the rate in 2010. Asian Americans were also overcounted (2.62%). The bureau said based on its estimates, it's unclear how well the 2020 tally counted Pacific Islanders.

    You can read more in an article by Hansi Lo Wang and published in the NPR web site at:

  • 14 Mar 2022 10:02 AM | Anonymous

    A few days ago, I wrote an article about what I believe is a great bargain. A $97 Chromebook is available at:

    Now something happened that is rare and very welcome. BestBuy dropped the price even further: it is now available for $89 (U.S.)

    You can check it out at:

  • 14 Mar 2022 9:16 AM | Anonymous

    Here is an announcement from the Lord Lyon Society:

    The Lord Lyon Society was set up by the present Lord Lyon, Dr Joe Morrow CBE QC FRSE, to support the Court of the Lord Lyon and to further enliven the promotion of Scots Heraldry.

    Our new venture

    It is a new venture and its initial activities will be focussed in 2022 around the 350th Anniversary of the founding of the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland.

    The Society’s aim is to promote Scots heraldry, genealogy and the related arts, heritage and culture, and to continue to make the Court of the Lord Lyon relevant in our time.

    You can read a (lot) more at:

  • 14 Mar 2022 9:03 AM | Anonymous

    Randy hasn't been sitting idle. He has again updated his long list of tools of interest to genealogists. The following announcement was written by Randy Majors:

    First, the popular Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker chrome extension has been updated to work with the latest version of Ancestry’s website.

    Also, now when you use the Historical U.S. Counties map tool, you can explore the historical counties for any historical date in the context of civil townships. As you likely know, civil townships are often used in a lot of historical records from census to land ownership and more. Now, when you turn on labels for historical counties by checking the “Show historical county labels” box in the lower left corner of the map, if you also check the “Show present-day townships” box, as you zoom in you will see both historical county labels in brown and civil township labels in dark orange, as in the following screenshot:

    Note that the civil townships are present-day boundaries, while the county boundaries are historical as of the date you choose at the top of the map. While not perfect, this works fairly well because civil township boundaries have changed much less often than county boundaries and so even present day townships can help you get better historical context of an area you are researching.

    And finally, for monthly contributors, you can now add drawings on one map tool and then add the drawing to another map tool! For example, let’s say you draw your ancestor’s farm using the Section Township Range map tool, using the “Draw & Measure” button (which takes you to mapBuilder’s “Draw & measure on the map” module):

    Now, once you save your drawing to your My Account page (you will be prompted to save after drawing on the map; just read the instructions that will appear at the top of the map while drawing), you can then go to another map tool and add your drawing to that map.

    Let’s go back to the Historical U.S. Counties map tool for an example. Open mapBuilder below the map and choose your drawing from the right side of the “Draw & measure on the map” module:

    When you click the “Show these Drawings on the map” button, you will then see your ancestor’s farm in the context of historical county boundaries, like this example that shows the property was in Cass County, Michigan Territory in 1830, but by 1831 it was in St. Joseph County!

    I hope these enhancements help you with your research and mapping. And if you haven’t already, be sure and install the Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker for chrome and never let another ancestor fall off the map!

    Happy mapping!

  • 11 Mar 2022 3:27 PM | Anonymous

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

    I have written several times about the wisdom of backing up your important computer files to the cloud and a couple of newsletter readers have questioned the wisdom and security of backing up files online. In my mind, this is a non-issue. Security is always under your control, if you wish. You can securely place any files on any online storage system if, and only if, you first encrypt the files before sending them from your computer. Luckily, that is easy to do.

    Once your files are encrypted, nobody can read your files, not even the employees at the online service where the files are stored. Your encrypted files will be secure on any online service, regardless of that service's security policies. There are dozens of free encryption programs to choose from for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

    Most online backup services encrypt your files before sending them to the online service. That's MOST, but not all. There are a few exceptions. It is possible that some online services will not automatically encrypt files. You need to read the service's specifications closely in order to find out.

    Some paranoid individuals won't believe any company's published specifications. Indeed, there is good reason to be doubtful. One online service published a specification several years ago claiming that nobody could read your files that had been automatically encrypted and backed up. The company's managers later became red-faced when it was revealed that a handful of systems personnel employed by the company COULD decrypt and read those files.

    Indeed, the risk was small but any risk at all that contradicts any company's stated policies is cause for concern. Luckily, the entire issue can be avoided by encrypting your own files first before backing them up to any online service. Then even the employees at the online service will not be able to view your files.

    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/12656957.

    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

  • 11 Mar 2022 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    War disrupts and ends lives. It destroys homes and infrastructure. And as Russia continues its war in Ukraine, the cultural heritage of Ukraine is also at risk.

    Some Ukrainian museum websites have gone offline as the servers hosting them lose connections or are destroyed in attacks. To prevent that information and cultural memory from disappearing entirely, around 1,000 archivists, programmers and librarians have volunteered to form a group called Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online or SUCHO.

    They’ve been recording and archiving these websites before they go offline. 

    You can

  • 11 Mar 2022 8:54 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Cambridgeshire Burials 

    Another 14,000 records have been added into this existing collection, covering four cemeteries in Cambridgeshire, England. Brought online in collaboration with Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Family History Society, and the Family History Federation, you can discover names, burial places, and sometimes an ancestor’s residence. 

    National School Admission Registers & Logbooks, 1870-1914 

    12,000 new records have been added for schools in Halifax, Yorkshire into this existing collection. Explore an ancestor’s early years with details such as where they went to school, addresses and parents’ names. 

    New Zealand, Women’s Suffrage Petition 

    With these 43,000 records, find out if your female ancestor petitioned for the right to vote in New Zealand in 1892 or 1893. Findmypast have enhanced this existing collection by adding addresses.  


    22 new historical newspaper titles have been added to the archive this week, plus a further 39 titles have been updated.  

    New titles: 

    ·         Alloa Circular covering 1875, 1879-1887 and 1889 

    ·         Bridge of Allan Gazette covering 1884 and 1888-1890 

    ·         Constitution covering 1827 

    ·         Crim. Con. Gazette covering 1838-1840 

    ·         Dumbarton Herald and County Advertiser covering 1853-1855, 1867, 1877, 1885-1890 and 1892 

    ·         Dunfermline Journal covering 1852, 1880-1892 and 1895 

    ·         Eastern Star covering 1853 

    ·         Essex Weekly News covering 1862-1881, 1883, 1885, 1887-1896 and 1898-1915 

    ·         Evening Times (London) covering 1852 

    ·         Hebrew Observer covering 1853-1854 

    ·         Holt’s Weekly Chronicle covering 1837-1838 and 1855 

    ·         Howdenshire Gazette covering 1873-1893 and 1897 

    ·         Leith Herald covering 1879-1891 

    ·         Little Times covering 1867 

    ·         Pioneer and Weekly Record of Movements covering 1851 

    ·         Pulman’s Weekly News and Advertiser covering 1859-1861, 1865-1879, 1886, 1889, 1893-1895 and 1897-1899 

    ·         Redditch Indicator covering 1864-1866, 1868-1870, 1872, 1874, 1877 and 1893 

    ·         Retford, Worksop, Isle of Axholme and Gainsborough News covering 1874-1875, 1877 and 1888-1891 

    ·         Rutherglen Reformer and Cambuslang Journal covering 1879, 1885, 1889 and 1891 

    ·         Town Talk covering 1822 

    ·         Verulam covering 1828 

    ·         World (London) covering 1859 


    Updated titles: 

    ·         Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser       from 1987 

    ·         Banffshire Advertiser from 1914 

    ·         Bedfordshire on Sunday from 1987-1988 

    ·         Birmingham Mail from 1988-1989 

    ·         Birmingham News from 1988 and 1990-1991 

    ·         Birmingham Weekly Mercury from 1987 and 1991 

    ·         Bolton Evening News from 1914 

    ·         Cambridge Daily News from 1990 

    ·         Carmarthen Journal from 1991 

    ·         County Express from 1914 

    ·         Daily Record from 1989-1990 

    ·         Denbighshire Free Press from 1913 

    ·         Dover Chronicle from 1874 and 1877-1878 

    ·         East Kent Gazette from 1986 

    ·         Edinburgh Evening News from 1907 and 1909 

    ·         Formby Times from 1987 

    ·         Galloway News and Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser from 1987 

    ·         Herapath’s Railway Journal from 1844-1848 and 1852-1903 

    ·         Hinckley Times from 1986 

    ·         Huddersfield Daily Examiner from 1991 

    ·         Jersey Evening Post from 1913 

    ·         London Chronicle from 1812 and 1815 

    ·         Macclesfield Courier and Herald from 1833 

    ·         Macclesfield Express from 1986 

    ·         Marylebone Mercury from 1989 

    ·         Merthyr Express from 1986 

    ·         Middlesex County Times from 1991 

    ·         Morning Herald (London) from 1829-1830 

    ·         North Star (Darlington) from 1887 

    ·         Norwood News from 1964 

    ·         Nottingham Evening Post from 1986 

    ·         Paisley Daily Express from 1988 

    ·         Soulby’s Ulverston Advertiser and General Intelligencer from 1913 

    ·         Southport Visitor from 1987 

    ·         Surrey Mirror from 1879 

    ·         Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald from 1913 

    ·         Trowbridge Chronicle from 1862 and 1892 

    ·         Westminster & Pimlico News from 1984 and 1991 

  • 10 Mar 2022 2:31 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Scottish Indexes:

    Glasgow, Scotland – In a continuation of their Scotland's Criminal Database project, Glasgow based genealogists Emma and Graham Maxwell have released an index to a further 43,000 historical Scottish Prison records. These have been added to Their ongoing project to open up historical criminal records to help people trace their family history is moving on apace and opening up more stories to the global research community. These latest prison records are predominantly from the prisons of Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Paisley, with some updates to other prisons around Scotland. Scotland's Criminal Database now includes over 30 prisons from across Scotland.

    You can see a detailed breakdown of coverage here:

    Emma Maxwell, genealogist at says, “I love the stories people uncover in these records. These missing pieces of the jigsaw give us the details that help us picture the lives of our ancestors. During this indexing project, we found entries for Dumfries civil prisoners relating to the aliment of children. These could be the clue you’re looking for to discover the father of an illegitimate child. Another entry we found related to James Gunning, a medical student in Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, who was convicted in 1852 for ‘Violating Sepulchres’; better known as ‘body snatching’.”

    Join Emma and Graham at the Scottish Indexes Conference to hear more about their exciting projects:

  • 10 Mar 2022 9:35 AM | Anonymous

    A Louisiana lawmaker has proposed legislation that would allow adopted people to obtain copies of their original birth certificates once they reach age 24. It would follow a nationwide trend to reform decades of secrecy surrounding adoption records. 

    House Bill 450, filed by Rep. Charles Owen, a Republican from the Fort Polk-area town of Rosepine, proposes that an adopted person who is at least 24 would no longer have to petition a court to unseal their original birth certificate. They could instead obtain an uncertified copy upon request from the state registrar of vital records. 

    In a closed adoption under Louisiana law, most, if not all records, including the original birth certificate that often contains the identities of the biological parents, are sealed and not accessible to the adopted person. The state issues the adopted child an altered birth certificate with the legal fiction that the child was born to their adoptive parents. 

    Closed adoption records can only be unsealed with a court order. Such a process typically requires hiring an attorney and providing a compelling reason to convince a judge to make the records available, Owen said in an interview. 

    Owen pointed out access to consumer DNA testing is inexpensive and widespread through websites such as and It allows nearly anyone to trace their genealogy and track down their biological family members for about $100, he said. 

    The state doesn’t really have a good reason for requiring an adopted person’s birth certificate to remain confidential forever, Owen said.

    “They arbitrarily think they need to keep them sealed,” Owen said. “No one has offered any good reason to me yet, though I’m told that they will come.” 

    You can read more in an article by Wesley Muller published in the Louisiana Illuminator at:

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