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  • 28 May 2021 10:32 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist has just added a marvellous new feature which makes its Map Explorer™ resource even more appealing for family historians.

    Image Archive pictures located on georeferenced old and modern maps using the Map Explorer™

    Already boasting georeferenced historical and modern maps, Tithe Records and Maps to look for your Victorian ancestors’ homes, Lloyd George Domesday Records and Maps for nearly one million individuals, Headstones and War memorials, the mapping interface now also allows TheGenealogist’s Diamond subscribers the ability to also see what their ancestors’ towns and areas in the U.K. once looked like. With the addition of these period photographs of street scenes and parish churches where researchers' ancestors may have been baptised, married and buried, this new feature allows subscribers to jump back in time.

    This release sees the ever-multiplying collection of historical photographs from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive accessible for the first time from inside Map Explorer™ as a recordset layer. The various images for an area have their locations pinpointed on the maps allowing family historians to explore their ancestors’ hometowns and other landmarks from around their area.

    When viewing an Image Archive record in TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™, the family history researcher is shown the image’s location on the map as well as from what point of view the photographer took the photo. Also included underneath the historical image is a modern map and street view (where it's available) so that the person researching their past family’s area is able to compare the picture from the past with how the area looks today. When used in conjunction with the other georeferenced maps and associated records, TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™ is a highly valuable tool for those researching their family history.


    See the photo location, the photographer position, plus a modern map and street view (where available) enabling a comparison to be made of the image and how the area looks today

    Watch this short video to learn more about this great new feature: https://youtu.be/Mt5f-mAyJ5Q

    You can read more and see examples in the article: Images from ancestors’ hometowns on Map Explorer™ allows us to “see” where they lived through their own eyes.

    https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2021/images-from-ancestors-hometowns-on-map-explorer-allows-us-to-see-where-they-lived-through-their-own-eyes-1416/

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, which puts a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections.

    TheGenealogist innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

    TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!


  • 27 May 2021 10:07 PM | Anonymous

    I recently received an e-mail from someone who has the same last name as my own. She had searched the web and found that I often write about genealogy and occasionally about coats of arms and crests. She sent me an e-mail that said (in part), "I am looking for a copy of the Eastman family crest because my son would like to have one."

    She and I exchanged a couple of emails, and I explained that there is no such thing as a family crest. Each person has to apply for permission to display his or her own crest and is not authorized to share it with others. In my message, I used the word "crest" but didn't mention "coat of arms."

    She then she wrote back, "If there is no family crest, do you have a coat of arms for the Eastman name? If you do, could I please have a copy of it for my son? He wants to have it for a tattoo he is going to have put on his back."

    A tattoo? Gasp!

    He wants to have a tattoo of something that isn't his? I'd suggest that the son think long and hard about the wisdom of doing that.

    I have written several articles about the "propriety" of displaying coats of arms or family crests when you do not have written permission from the heralds to do so. (Heralds are the people who issue crests and coats of arms.) Many other people have written similar articles.

    I won't repeat all the information here. Instead, I will suggest that, if you have an interest in the subject, you should read some of the following articles now before doing anything that is difficult to reverse:

    Misconceptions About Family Coats of Arms -  https://www.thoughtco.com/family-coats-of-arms-1422009

    Family Coats of arms, Crests and other such misconceptions -  http://www.naught.org/coa.html

    Fancy your own coat of arms? -  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/659526.stm

    The above is an incomplete list; a search on Google or other search engines will find many more, similar articles. The National Genealogy Society's Consumer Protection Committee also provides additional information about the shoddy businesses that create and sell coats of arms.

    I wonder if my correspondent's son is still interested in the tattoo.


  • 27 May 2021 3:50 PM | Anonymous

    The R.38/ZR-2 exploded mid-flight in front of onlookers in Hull, Yorkshire, England on 24 August 1921, before crashing into the River Humber, killing most of the crew.

    The airship, called the "Titanic of the skies", was on a test flight before being handed over to the US Navy.

    Historic England wants to create an online archive about the disaster.

    The 695ft long (212m) airship was built at Cardington, Bedfordshire, but was based at Howden, East Yorkshire, to complete its test flights. It was due to fly to Pulham in Norfolk ahead of a final handover to the US, but it had to return due to bad weather. Last checks on its steering caused the light structure of the airship to break apart.

    In total, 44 of the 49 British-American crew died in the resulting catastrophe.

    It was designed to be the first of four ships that could patrol far out to sea for up to a week at a time, to combat the German U-boat threat.

    44 of the men pictured above died in the crash

    Ahead of the anniversary, Historic England has commissioned a crowdsourcing project to create an online archive of materials relating to the disaster.

    Keith Emerick, from Historic England, said: "Like the Titanic, the R.38/ZR-2 was the most advanced of its kind at the time. It was larger, faster and could fly higher than any of its predecessors."

    You can read more in an article in the BBC News web site at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-57260147.


  • 26 May 2021 3:50 PM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage is continuing the company's addition of enhancement of old, damaged, scratched, and otherwise damaged photos.  This thing is close to magic!

    The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

    New AI-based feature reinforces MyHeritage’s position as the market leader for storing and improving historical photos


    TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MyHeritage, the leading global service for discovering your past and empowering your future, announced today the release of Photo Repair, a powerful new feature that automatically fixes scratches, tears, holes, stains, and other damage on historical photos. Photo Repair takes photos that have deteriorated over the years and corrects the damage, making flaws disappear as if by magic. MyHeritage is the only company to offer a complete suite of features for colorizing, enhancing, animating, and now repairing historical photos, all of which produce exceptional results. Photo Repair is effortless and immediate: it is suggested only when it is needed, and is activated by the user with a single click.

    “We share their commitment to cultivating a renewed appreciation for our ancestors through historical photos, and have dedicated ourselves to developing and perfecting technologies for enhancing photos. Thanks to these technologies, priceless memories no longer have a shelf life.”

    Tweet this

    The technology for repairing scratched and damaged photos was licensed by MyHeritage exclusively from DeOldify, created by deep learning experts Jason Antic and Dana Kelley. Photo Repair is one of several technologies that have been licensed from DeOldify and integrated into the MyHeritage platform. Antic and Kelley developed the technology behind the company’s first AI-based photo feature, MyHeritage In Color™, which uses deep learning to colorize black and white photos and to restore the colors in photos that have faded over time.

    MyHeritage offers a comprehensive toolbox for historical photos, from digitizing and preserving photos stored in albums to breathing new life into photos by repairing damage, improving resolution, infusing color, and animating the faces of beloved ancestors. The tools also include Deep Nostalgia™, a groundbreaking feature for animating photos that was licensed from D-ID, became an internet sensation, and has been used 82 million times since its launch three months ago; and the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer, which brings blurry faces into focus.

    “Powered by five cutting-edge AI technologies, MyHeritage has established itself as the world’s top destination for storing and improving historical photos, and the new Photo Repair feature is an important addition to our toolbox,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Scratches and other damage often characterize one’s oldest and most cherished photos. If you have a rare photo of your great-grandparents, it is likely to be damaged, and you will be delighted when you see how MyHeritage repairs it instantly before your very eyes. On MyHeritage, precious family memories can now be effortlessly restored and preserved for posterity.”

    “We are excited to partner with MyHeritage once again to bring Photo Repair technology to the world,” said Dana Kelley, co-founder of DeOldify. “We share their commitment to cultivating a renewed appreciation for our ancestors through historical photos, and have dedicated ourselves to developing and perfecting technologies for enhancing photos. Thanks to these technologies, priceless memories no longer have a shelf life.”

    Integration into the MyHeritage platform

    MyHeritage is the go-to platform for exploring family history, offering a one-stop-shop for building family trees, researching one’s ancestors, and storing and improving historical photos.

    Photo Repair is available on the MyHeritage website and the free MyHeritage mobile app for iOS and Android. Repaired photos can be downloaded and shared with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and other social media. Repaired photos that were also colorized or enhanced can be shared directly from the mobile app and the Photos section of the website. In the very near future, a dedicated page will be added to the MyHeritage website, allowing anyone to access Photo Repair without having a prior MyHeritage account.

    When a photo is uploaded to MyHeritage, a specialized detection algorithm runs in the background and determines if it has sustained damage. If so, a Repair button will appear, ensuring that users will not waste time attempting to repair photos that don’t need it. Photos may be repaired effortlessly with a single click, and the process takes only a few seconds. The default repair model, named Gentle Repair, will fix most types of damage with minimal changes to the rest of the photo. For photos with more substantial damage, an Extensive Repair model can be applied.

    As with all MyHeritage photo features, repairing photos does not modify the original photo; a new, improved version is created and saved alongside the original photo, which remains intact.

    Photo Repair is a freemium feature on MyHeritage. Users can repair several photos for free. Beyond that, continued use requires a subscription.

    About MyHeritage

    MyHeritage is the leading global discovery platform for exploring family history. With billions of historical records and family tree profiles, and with sophisticated matching technologies that work across all its assets, MyHeritage allows users to discover their past and empower their future. MyHeritage DNA is one of the world’s largest consumer DNA databases, with 5 million customers. MyHeritage is the most popular DNA test and family history service in Europe. Since 2020, MyHeritage is home to the world’s most advanced AI technologies for animating, repairing, enhancing, and colorizing historical photos. www.myheritage.com

    Further details, along with more examples of repaired photos and even step-by-step instructions on how to easily repair old photos with this new tool, may be found in the MyHeritage Blog


    Also, watch the YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0u6O5Z71RU.

    Photo Repair is extremely easy to use. Simply upload a scratched or damaged photo to MyHeritage.com, and if we detect damage, we will suggest that you apply Photo Repair by displaying a Repair button. If you choose to use it, with a single click, the scratches and damage in the photo will disappear like magic!



  • 26 May 2021 9:38 AM | Anonymous

    An article by James Fleury and published in the newshub.co.nz web site should be required reading by genealogists who have had their DNA tested by any of the DNA testing companies. In short, it says to don't believe what they tell you.

    Perhaps a longer and more accurate answer is to always read the fine print that accompanies the test results and consider what it tells you. Unfortunately, many test recipients don't do that.

    Amongst other things, the article advises:

    University of Otago professor of biological anthropology Lisa Matisoo-Smith told me these autosomal DNA ancestry tests can be "misleading" for people as she claimed there are no biological markers that can assign people to any specific population with anything even close to 100 percent accuracy.

    She said while the DNA markers are real and there is a chance, given a combination of specific markers that someone's ancestry is from a particular region, there is no way of being 100 percent certain the markers are specific to that area and claimed it is unlikely they are at all.

    Matisoo-Smith said this is because the companies providing these tests have identified what they call "ancestry specific markers" and while they call these markers "specific" they are only found at a higher frequency in particular ethnic groups or regions.

    There is a lot more details listed in the article, however. You can read it for yourself at: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/opinion/2021/05/dna-ancestry-tests-are-they-telling-the-truth-that-s-questionable-genetic-anthropologist.html.


  • 26 May 2021 9:22 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Forces War Records:

    The leading family history website Ancestry has announced that it is acquiring UK military records website Forces War Records.

    Clever Digit Media, which operates the UK military records website Forces War Records, are delighted to announce that our business and websites http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk and http://www.british-genealogy.com have been purchased by Ancestry.com UK Limited.

    Ancestry, which holds over 27 billion family history records from 80 countries, knows how crucial it is to connect with the military heroes in our family trees, so we can preserve their stories and honour their sacrifices. From regimental databases to medal rolls and from POW records to casualty lists, military records hold rich and important information about our ancestors. That is why we are pleased to announce that Ancestry has acquired Forces War Records.

    Since it was founded in 2010, Forces War Records has transcribed over 26 million Commonwealth military service records and has been connecting its users with these wartime stories. Ancestry is excited to help expand the product and bring these collections to new customers worldwide.

    We are looking forward to the future with great excitement and enthusiasm as our business has much to benefit from the involvement of Ancestry, and we believe that Forces War Records in return adds an authoritative and specialist brand to the Ancestry family, offering even more resources, tools and records to empower customers on their journeys of personal discovery.

    Are you looking for the war heroes in your family?

    Do you know enough about your ancestors and their military past?

    Why not log on to Forces War Records and search our vast collection of records to find out more – there could be a war hero in your family just waiting to be discovered, and remembered…

    SEARCH - https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/



  • 25 May 2021 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    If you are researching Irish ancestors, you will undoubtedly want to look in a new online web source: the Church of Ireland Gazette Digital Archive Complete (1856-2010). Quoting from the announcement:

    The Church of Ireland Gazette Digital Archive is complete. All editions of the newspaper, from its foundation in 1856 up to and including 2010, are freely available electronically, allowing the worldwide audience to view and search it using any name, place, or other search term. This gifts everybody from the cursory reader to the academic researcher with access to this extensive resource here: https://esearch.informa.ie/rcb

    Written and read by lay and clerical members and others, the Gazette provides the longest-running public commentary on the Church’s affairs, and as such is recognised as a valuable primary source for understanding the complexities and nuance of Church of Ireland and indeed wider Protestant identity, as well as the Church’s contribution to political and cultural life north and south. From 2010, as regular readers will know, the Gazette becomes available as an e-paper.

    In 2013, the RCB Library’s ambitious goal to digitize and make freely available the complete run of the newspaper began modestly with the content of the 1913 editions uploaded. Since then, a combination of state funding, private sponsorship and the support of central Church funds has enabled evolutionary growth of the project, and thanks to the generous grant from the Irish Government’s Reconciliation Fund, administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs, this is now complete, with a permanent digital archive available online for future generations of researchers.

    You can read more at: http://churchofirelandhist.org/church-of-ireland-gazette-digital-archive-complete-1856-2010.


  • 25 May 2021 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    From an Associated Press article by William J. Kole:

    BOSTON (AP) — A highly contagious disease originating far from America’s shores triggers deadly outbreaks that spread rapidly, infecting the masses. Shots are available, but a divided public agonizes over getting jabbed.

    Sound familiar?

    Newly digitized records — including a minister’s diary scanned and posted online by Boston’s Congregational Library and Archives — are shedding fresh light on devastating outbreaks of smallpox that hit the city in the 1700s.

    And three centuries later, the parallels with the coronavirus pandemic are uncanny.

    “How little we’ve changed,” said CLA archivist Zachary Bodnar, who led the digitization effort, working closely with the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    “The fact that we’re finding these similarities in the records of our past is a very interesting parallel,” Bodnar said in an interview. “Sometimes the more we learn, the more we’re still the same, I guess.”

    You can read the full article at: https://bit.ly/3oPy82x.


  • 25 May 2021 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an article from the MyHeritage Blog that I am sure will interest many people here:

    This Memorial Day, we’re giving you a chance to learn more about the ancestors in your family tree who put their lives on the line in service of their country. For one week, Wednesday, May 26 through Tuesday, June 1, all military records on MyHeritage will be completely free to access.

    Search Military Records on MyHeritage

    MyHeritage is home to 69.6 million military records from all over the world, including draft, enlistment, and service records, pension records, and other military documents. These collections contain valuable information about men and women who served, and often, information on their families as well. Military records can contain birth and death dates, names and addresses of family members, and details about the soldier’s service. In some cases, military records provide details not found in other types of records, such as notes on physical characteristics like height, weight, and eye color.

    Normally, records on MyHeritage are free to search, but viewing the full record and saving it to your family tree is available only to those with a paid Data or Complete plan on MyHeritage. But this week, in honor of Memorial Day, anyone wishing to learn more about their ancestors’ military history will be able to access the full records at no cost.

    Whether you already know about the heroes in your family and want to discover more about them, or you have yet to learn about the individuals in your family who served, finding their military records is a perfect way to honor their service this Memorial Day.

    Search the records now — who knows what you might find?

  • 24 May 2021 8:10 PM | Anonymous

    From an article by Diane Sagers published in the latest issue of the FamilySearch Blog:

    The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah, has long been a go-to place to find genealogical research materials and is the flagship library for FamilySearch International. With the closure of the library a year ago due to the COVID 19 pandemic, people have had to rely largely on online materials, unable to access records that are only viewable at the Family History Library or other locations. A new Library Lookup Service will soon provide greater access to these records globally.

    Online Records and Limited Access Records

    With a free FamilySearch account, you can search through a large database of records online on FamilySearch.org. This search often provides a text index of the record for quick reference and a complete image of the record. Some books and materials, however, only have the index available. The full images for these records can only be accessed at the Family History Library, family history centers, or affiliate libraries—primarily due to copyright restrictions or partner agreements.

    Due to COVID-19 conditions, visiting one of these facilities to look at materials has not been possible. To offset pandemic restrictions and as part of an effort to serve a global audience living too far away to visit the library, the Family History Library has launched its own lookup service.

    How the Lookup Service Works

    Upon request, staff and volunteers at the library will look up specific records in their collections that cannot be viewed online. Since Library Lookup is not a research service, people will need to identify the specific record from FamilySearch.org that they need to see.

    As mentioned, an online search might provide only basic information from a document, yet frequently the original document contains more information. To use the Lookup service, visit the online request form to request a copy of the image of the original document.

    Requests may take a few weeks to process, depending on the volume of requests being handled at a given time.

    Special Cases for Books

    Many books in the FamilySearch collections have not yet been digitized, also because of copyright limitations. Those same restrictions mean that the library cannot copy large numbers of pages from any one book.

    When requesting a book, please be as specific as possible about what you are seeking. Using the same online request form, guests can provide the title or call number of the book, along with the page number they would like copied. The staff will send a PDF copy of the page or pages, as allowed. In cases where page numbers are unknown, staff can check the index in a book for the listing of a name or chosen term to help provide the right pages.

    Available in Many Languages

    The FHL Library Lookup Service is available in about 15 languages and can help you access various records from countries worldwide. Sometimes books at the Family History Library are also available through other sources, as explained here.

    Continuing Service after the Reopening

    Renovation work has been done inside the Family History Library during the closure to prepare for guests when it is time to reopen. The exact date for reopening for the library and FamilySearch centers is dependent on government and local leadership guidelines. That date will be announced as soon as it is available. After the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and the library reopens, the Library Lookup Service will continue as part of the FamilySearch global outreach.


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