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  • 4 May 2023 8:12 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release written by the Maine Department of Education:

    The Maine DOE is accepting applications for a pilot program with the American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society.  Help students think like a historian and learn how to trace families back in time. Receive inquiry-based lessons that incorporate authentic methodologies used by professional genealogists. Lessons guide students through the process of conducting family history research, and students will hone their research skills using primary sources and case studies from local Native American and African American history. Go beyond family trees and help students make real-world, personal connections to history.

    Lesson Plans that Support Students to:

    • Plan and carry out research
    • Analyze and evaluate genealogical sources
    • Draw conclusions and support claims with evidence
    • Provide guided practice with primary sources (census records, vital records, photographs, etc.)

    Case Studies

    • Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Figures from local Native American and African American history

    Inclusive Teaching Strategies

    • Make genealogy accessible to all students
    • Navigate sensitive topics with students
    • Address common misconceptions about genealogy

    This pilot begins with an in-person workshop in June.  During the 2023-2024 school year, the American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society will provide two virtual sessions to support teachers using these resources in their classrooms.  Additionally, the DOE will conduct a monthly virtual PLC to provide a space for teachers to collaborate.

    • Application Deadline: June 1 , 2023
    • Click to Apply
    • For Teachers of Grades: 4-8
    • Cost: Free
    In-person workshop Virtual Follow-Up Sessions Virtual PLC
    Date: Monday, June 26, 2023

    Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

    Location: Maine DOE, Augusta, ME

    Date: October & March

    Time: TBD

    Location: Zoom

     

     

    Date: Once a month beginning in November

    Time: TBD

    Location: Zoom

     

    For more information about this program, please contact Jaime Beal, Maine DOE Interdisciplinary Instruction Specialist.

  • 4 May 2023 11:36 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist has added 56,924 new individuals to their War Memorial collection, bringing the total number of fully searchable War Memorial Records on TheGenealogist to over 665,000.

    These fully searchable records have been transcribed and their location plotted to allow subscribers to find the names of ancestors that paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    War Memorials come in various types. Photos ⓒ Mark Herber

    These War Memorials, from the UK and abroad, can provide us with useful details about our ancestors revealing organisations and places that they had belonged to. 

        • War Memorials can divulge links to a community, village, town etc

        • Workplace memorials can tell us where they had worked before the conflict 

        • Organisation monuments and plaques honour past members that fell

        • Former pupils and staff of a school or university are remembered at the institution

        • Names in a church, or other places of worship, tell us about religious affiliation

    This release includes images from war memorials of a variety of shapes and sizes and have been fully transcribed. Covering the war dead from various conflicts including the Boer War, the First World War and World War II an ancestor’s inclusion on a memorial can be profoundly moving to find, especially as so many of the war dead will have no actual grave for us to visit. 

    Hertfordshire Records and Maps

    Also released this week are over 33,000 Lloyd George Domesday Survey records for the Hitchen area of Hertfordshire where we find the occupation and ownership records of people from across the social strata. These link through to highly detailed contemporary maps to show exactly where your ancestor lived. You can then see how the area changed over time with TheGenealogist’s powerful MapExplorer. 

    These newly released records include the childhood home of the King’s beloved grandmother.

    Discover More

    To find out more about both of these releases, you can read TheGenealogist’s Featured Article: The Queen Mother’s childhood home and the Australian Hero killed on the streets before her coronation. https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2023/the-queen-mothers-childhood-home-and-the-australian-hero-killed-on-the-streets-before-her-coronation-1695/ 

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put 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’s 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!

  • 4 May 2023 6:25 AM | Anonymous


    There’s no time like the present to discover your British roots and explore your family’s unique place in history. MyHeritage’s historical records from the U.K. consist of 635 collections including birth, marriage, and death records, census records, baptisms, wills and probate records, military records, and more. Search for your ancestors and gain valuable insights into their lives through collections such as the 1911 England & Wales CensusEngland & Wales Index of Wills and Probates, 1853–1943, and United Kingdom, Death Index, 1980–2022 

    The collections span several centuries of history and cover England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, and Isle of Man.

    Please note that this free access lasts from now until May 8, 2023.

    Go to https://myheritage.com/coronation to enjoy the free access.

  • 3 May 2023 3:14 PM | Anonymous

    A federal appeals panel has determined investment giant Blackstone can’t be sued under an Illinois genetic information law over allegations of improperly accessing data without consent solely because it acquired Ancestry.com.

    Blackstone reportedly spent $4.7 billion to purchase the popular genealogy website in December 2020. The following July, plaintiffs Carolyn Bridges and Raymond Cunningham filed a class action complaint, alleging Blackstone violated the Genetic Information Privacy Act. Blackstone removed the complaint to federal court the Southern District of Illinois, where U.S. District Judge David Dugan dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim.

    The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on the matter May 1. Judge David Hamilton wrote the opinion; Judges Michael Scudder and Doris Pryor concurred.

    According to the panel, Illinois lawmakers enacted GIPA in 1998 to regulate genetic testing data in commercial and medical settings. It said the operative clause for purposes of the class action is a provision that no person or company “may disclose or be compelled to disclose the identity of any person upon whom a genetic test is performed or the results of a genetic test in a manner that permits identification of the subject of the test.”

    The plaintiffs based their allegations on the saliva sample genetic sequencing kits purchased from Ancestry before the Blackstone acquisition. They said Ancestry paired their tests with personal information, like email and home addresses, and alleged Blackstone’s control acquisition purchase compelled Ancestry to disclose that protected information.

    Hamilton said Judge Dugan’s dismissal stemmed from a determination the complaint lacked adequate allegations of compulsory disclosure and, even if he had decided there was such a disclosure, the complaint didn’t overcome the company’s position the data in question was anonymized.

    You can read more in an article by Scott Holland published in the Cook County Record web site at: https://tinyurl.com/4f4nrbjb.

  • 3 May 2023 7:03 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, I have written often about Chromebooks, the low-cost computers that can perform most all tasks that standard Windows and Macintosh systens can perform.  They are excellent "second computers" for use when traveling, for use by adolescents and even younger children, for gifts to senior citizens and other non-computer-literate adults, and for many other uses also.

    ChromeOS is common on Chromebooks, but is it right for you? Or do you already have a Chromebook and want to learn more about its capabilities? A new article by Tyler Lacoma takes a look at everything that makes ChromeOS unique. The article is at: https://www.androidpolice.com/google-chrome-os-in-depth-guide/

    Also, Google offers a Chromebook tutorial where you can learn more and pick up additional tricks at https://www.google.com/chromebook/.

    Comment: I just bookmarked both of those web addresses on my Chromebooks so that I can refer to therm at any later date. You might do the same.

    Additional Comment: If you are thinking of purchasing a new Chromebook, you might want to look at the soon-to-be released new military-grade heavy-duty Chromebook from Asus at 

    https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/13/22229159/asus-chromebook-cx9-br1100-price-release-date-specs. Not only is it rugged, it is also much higher-powered than other Chromebooks. Pricing isn’t mention in that article but, with those specs, you can be assured that it won’t be cheap!
  • 2 May 2023 9:11 PM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, I find it interesting. Also, genealogists often are "book people."

    According to an article in Slashdot.org (at https://tinyurl.com/478h7rcd):

    "Fake Books Are a Real Home Decor Trend 

    "If it looks like a book, feels like a book and stacks like a book, then there's still a good chance it may not be a book. From a report:

    Fake books come in several different forms: once-real books that are hollowed out, fabric backdrops with images of books printed onto them, empty boxlike objects with faux titles and authors or sometimes just a facade of spines along a bookshelf. Already the norm for film sets and commercial spaces, fake books are becoming popular fixtures in homes. While some people are going all in and covering entire walls in fake books, others are aghast at the thought that someone would think to decorate with a book that isn't real. "I will never use fake books," said Jeanie Engelbach, an interior designer and organizer in New York City. "It just registers as pretentious, and it creates the illusion that you are either better read or smarter than you really are."

    Ms. Engelbach said she has frequently used books as decor, at times styling clients' bookcases with aesthetics taking priority over function, which is a typical interior-design practice. 


    "At Books by the Foot -- a company that sells, as its name suggests, books by the foot -- one can purchase books by color (options include 'luscious creams,' 'vintage cabernet' and 'rainbow ombre'), by subject ('well-read art' or 'gardening'), wrapped books (covered in linen or rose gold) and more. The tomes are all 'rescue books,' ones that would otherwise be discarded or recycled for paper pulp, said Charles Roberts, the president of Books by the Foot's parent company, Wonder Book. During the pandemic lockdown in 2020, remote work created increased demand for the company's services. While it mostly specializes in the sale of real books, the company has also dabbled in the world of faux ones."

    If you want to purchase some "books by the foot,"" go to https://boothandwilliams.com/all-shops/color-by-the-foot/.

    I think I will pass.

  • 2 May 2023 7:53 PM | Anonymous

    May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

    The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success.

    Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

    Like most commemorative months, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first ten days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. In the same year, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 72. Neither of these resolutions passed, so in June 1978, Rep. Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978 to become Public Law 95-419 (PDF, 158kb). This law amended the original language of the bill and directed the President to issue a proclamation for the “7 day period beginning on May 4, 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990 when Congress passed Public Law 101-283 (PDF, 166kb) which expanded the observance to a month for 1990. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 (PDF, 285kb) which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

    The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

    This site presents only a sample of the digital and physical holdings related to Asian/Pacific heritage available from the Library of Congress and other participating agencies.

    Executive and Legislative Documents

    The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to Asian/Pacific Heritage Month.

    About the Site

    The Web portal at https://asianpacificheritage.gov/about/ is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The contents of this site highlight only a small portion of the physical and digital holdings of the participating partners.

  • 2 May 2023 4:47 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release written by Vivid-Pix:

    Savannah, GA, May 1, 2023 – Vivid-Pix, www.vivid-pix.com, is recognizing National Photography Month and National Mental Health Month in May by showcasing the joy and healing power of photos.

    According to the National Institutes of Health, “Reminiscence Therapy (RT) involves the discussion of past activities, events and experiences with another person or group of people, usually with the aid of tangible prompts, such as photographs, household and other familiar items from the past, music, and archive sound recordings.”

    Vivid-Pix is hosting classes, specials and giveaways throughout the month. Class topics include photo organization, photo restoration, storytelling, genealogy and photo reminiscence therapy: https://www.facebook.com/vividpixfix/. Relive Your Memories giveaway details can be found at: https://www.vivid-pix.com/giveaway/. Family history enthusiasts will enjoy the mystery game What Happened to Great Uncle George? https://www.vivid-pix.com/unclegeorge/.

    Value of Pictures to Reduce Stress

    Ever look at a photo prompting a memory and a smile to flash across your mind and face? It’s a physiological reaction. When looking at photos, cortisol levels are lowered, and this reduces stress. According to WebMD, the hormone cortisol manages the body’s stress levels. If you’re constantly under stress, cortisol can derail your body’s most important functions, leading to health problems, including anxiety and depression. With the psychological impact of social distancing, missing holidays with loved ones, isolation, fear of sickness, and financial issues from closures, reminiscing about cherished memories is more important than ever.

    Experts Use Photography Reminiscence Therapy to Help Depression, Dementia, & Alzheimer’s

    Experts have been using Reminiscence Therapy for years to help depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. As reported by NPR, “Researchers find that dementia patients who engage in activities such as gathering photographs and talking about family see improvements in their quality of life and are less agitated,” said Shirley Wang, NPR.

    Vivid-Pix, CERTUS Institute, achi, and the National Institute for Dementia Education research provides insight into how different types of photos affect those with memory loss and their benefit with important daily tasks such as taking medicine and interacting with others.

    Europe-based Researchgate reported that Reminiscence Therapy is an effective way to increase self-esteem and decrease behavioral disturbances in those with dementia, and their research proved that photography was the best therapy. “Eighty percent of the subjects (12 out of 15) showed more attention to their personalised reminiscence photo video than to the other two types of TV shows, thus suggesting the effectiveness of personalised reminiscence photo videos for reminiscence intervention.”

    Taking a daily photo also improved well-being through self-care, community interaction, and the potential for reminiscence. According to ScienceDaily.com, U.K. researchers said it’s “an active process of meaning making, in which a new conceptualisation of wellbeing emerges.” “[If] I’m ever feeling down or something, it’s nice to be able to scroll back and see good memories. You know, the photos I’ve taken will have a positive memory attached to it even if it’s something as simple as I had a really lovely half an hour for lunch sitting outside and was feeling really relaxed,” said a study participant.

    About Vivid-Pix

    Vivid-Pix helps individuals, families, friends and organizations with their most treasured memories by inventing and harnessing technologies. Vivid-Pix Solutions assists family historians, as well as paid and unpaid caregivers, to assist with cognitive decline and dementia through Photo Reminiscence Therapy. Vivid-Pix patented software has been sold in over 120 countries, improving photos and documents.

  • 2 May 2023 4:25 PM | Anonymous

    This article will probably interest a small percentage of the readers of this newsletter. However, if that includes you, you will be very interested in it.

    I spent 8 years living near the "Old Man of the Mountain" and was in my automobile most every day repairing mainframe computers installed in customer sites all over Vermont and New Hampshire. I drove past the "Old Man" several times most weeks and I always looked up to see the "Old Man" in all his glory. I also climbed the mountain (on foot) several times. Then, one day, he was no longer there!

    The iconic Old Man of the Mountain fell to the ground on May 3, 2003. (I happened to drive by his location the next day.)

    Old Man of the Mountain

    “The Old Man” as he stood for hundreds (thousands?) of years

    You can read more about this in an article by Amy Olson published in the Dartmouth College web site at: https://home.dartmouth.edu/news/2023/05/interactive-3d-model-recreates-old-man-mountain

    Make sure you watch the video at: https://youtu.be/te0NRSWsC3U and another video at https://youtu.be/fqft0248O2k.




    .

  • 2 May 2023 7:35 AM | Anonymous

    The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies has been invited to join an international effort to raise greater awareness and dissemination of Holocaust testimonies worldwide.

    At a recent two-day conference in London, the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation announced plans to build a web-based portal of the United Kingdom’s collections of Holocaust Testimonies by spring 2024. The proposed working group will also include the Association of Jewish Refugee Voices, British Library, Imperial War Museum, and University of Southern California Shoah Foundation.

    Read more about the proposed working group at: https://www.jewishnews.co.uk/lord-pickles-launches-holocaust-testimony-portal-working-group/.

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