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  • 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.

  • 17 May 2023 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    In April 2023, MyHeritage added 20 historical record collections and 16 million historical records from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, Norway, and Scotland. The collections include baptism, marriage, death, obituary, census, military, school, business, and naturalization records. 

    The full list of newly-added records is quite lengthy and can be viewed in the MyHeritage Blog at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2023/05/myheritage-adds-20-historical-record-collections-in-april-2023/.

  • 16 May 2023 8:55 PM | Anonymous

    Footprints left on a beach. Air breathed in a busy room. Ocean water.

    Scientists have been able to collect and analyze detailed genetic data from human DNA from all these places, raising thorny ethical questions about consent, privacy and security when it comes to our biological information.

    The researchers from the University of Florida, who were using environmental DNA found in sand to study endangered sea turtles, said the DNA was of such high quality that the scientists could identify mutations associated with disease and determine the genetic ancestry of populations living nearby.

    They could also match genetic information to individual participants who had volunteered to have their DNA recovered as part of the research that published in the scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on Monday.

    “All this very personal, ancestral and health related data is freely available in the environment and is simply floating around in the air right now,” said David Duffy, a professor of wildlife disease genomics at the University of Florida.

    Environmental DNA has been obtained from air, soil, sediment, water, permafrost, snow and ice cores and the techniques are primarily being used to help track and protect endangered animals.

    Human DNA that has seeped into the environment through our spit, skin, sweat and blood could be used to help find missing persons, aid in forensic investigations to solve crimes, locate sites of archaeological importance, and for health monitoring through DNA found in waste water, the study noted.

    However, the ability to capture human DNA from the environment could have a range of unintended consequences — both inadvertent and malicious, they added. These included privacy breaches, location tracking, data harvesting, and genetic surveillance of individuals or groups. It could lead to ethical hurdles for the approval of wildlife studies.

    You can read more in an article by Katie Hunt published in the CNN Health web site at: https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/15/health/human-dna-captured-from-air-scn/index.html.

  • 16 May 2023 8:39 PM | Anonymous

    We always say, never start a blogpost with the words, 'We are delighted to announce that'.

    So, in true time-honoured fashion, we are thrilled to release a list of all the rolls and charters digitised as part of our Medieval and Renaissance Women project. There are 25 rolls and 219 charters in total, in addition to the 93 manuscript volumes that we announced in a previous blogpost. The Medieval and Renaissance Women project has been made possible thanks to generous funding by Joanna and Graham Barker.

    The seal of the Empress Matilda

    The seal of the Empress Matilda, between 1141 and 1142: Add Ch 75724

    Here begins the list. This may take some time, but it's worth it, we promise. From the top... The will of Sibylla Frances of Dunwich. A confirmation by Sybilla of Kaversfeld, widow of Hugh Gargate, to Bicester Priory of land in Stratton. An acknowledgement by Marie, abbess of St Stephen’s Abbey, Soissons, to the Knights Templar of Mont-de-Soissons. A sale by Katherine von Solmesse and Salentin, lord of Isenburg, her husband, to Baldwin, archbishop of Trier. A letter of attorney from Ismania, widow of Laurence Berkerolles. A certificate for the safe delivery of Margaret of Anjou to Louis XI of France. A chirograph of Fredescendis, abbess of Maubeuge, granting land to Guarin, abbot of Vicogne…

    Actually, why don't you simply peruse the list for yourself? It's great fun, we promise (again)!

    A confirmation by Sybillia of Kaverfield, featuring her seal.

    Confirmation by Sybilla of Kaversfeld, widow of Hugh Gargate, to Bicester Priory of land in Stratton, early 13th century: Add Ch 10608

    You can download the full list of charters and rolls here, with links to the British Library’s Digitised Manuscripts site and the Universal Viewer. There, you'll be able to read these manuscripts in full and for free from the comfort of your own living room. 

    PDF: Download Medieval_and_renaissance_women_digitised_charters_rolls_may_2023

    Excel: Download Medieval_and_renaissance_women_digitised_charters_rolls_may_2023 (this format cannot be downloaded on all web browsers)

    You can read a lot more at: https://tinyurl.com/rjw7twwh/

  • 16 May 2023 5:59 AM | Anonymous

    1950 Census logoOn April 1, 2022, the National Archives released the 1950 Census (kept confidential for 72 years) online at archives.gov/1950census. See the press release. Anyone, anywhere can search freely—experienced researchers, genealogy buffs, and novices! 

    Speak with a trusted expert: Are you a member of the media who is covering the release of the 1950 census records? Upon request, we can share a list of historians, genealogists, and archivists who can provide you with more information for your coverage. Email: public.affairs@nara.gov.

    Here is a condensed version of the 1950 Census tabulation picture. In the foreground is a punch card machine. Holes are punched in the card according to a prearranged code, transferring the facts from the questionnaire into statistics. The man operating the machine labeled “140” is running a sorter. This machine sorts cards into any desired classification. The other two machines are tabulators which add up the final results.

    1950 Census Release: What's Old?

    • Outlined in the Constitution and taken every 10 years since 1790, the census is used to define “We the People" by providing a snapshot of the nation's population.

    1950 Census Release: What’s New?

    • First time using optical character recognition/artificial intelligence (OCR/AI) for handwriting recognition
    • First time using a transcription tool to improve the name index
    • First chance to download the entire census in bulk
    • First time releasing the census during a pandemic
    • First 1950 Census National Archives Genealogy Series on our YouTube channel

    Getting Started

    Visual Resources

    NARA Blog Posts

    refer to caption

    Door-to-door census-taking, April 1950.

    View in National Archives Catalog

    ​Posts from NARA's Experts

    View all the 1950 Census posts on History Hub

    Useful Links

    U.S Census Bureau Resources

  • 16 May 2023 5:51 AM | Anonymous

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

    Washington, DC

    On Wednesday, May 17, at 6 p.m., ET, the National Archives, in partnership with the White House Historical Association, presents an evening discussion of the new book Mourning the Presidents: Loss and Legacy in American CultureKate Clark Lemay, Acting Senior Historian at the National Portrait Gallery, will lead a discussion with co-editors Lindsay Chervinsky, Senior Fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, and Matthew Costello, Vice President of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History. They will be joined by contributors Andrew M. Davenport, Public Historian at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Director of the Getting Word African American Oral History Project, and David B. Woolner, Professor of History at Marist College, Senior Fellow and Resident Historian of the Roosevelt Institute, and Senior Fellow of the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College.

    The program is free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, and livestreamed. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

    Panel Discussion – Mourning the Presidents: Loss and Legacy in American Culture

    Wednesday, May 17, at 6 p.m. ET

    William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Museum

    Register to attend in person or online; watch on the National Archives YouTube Channel.

    Mourning the Presidents brings together renowned and emerging scholars to examine how different generations and communities of Americans have eulogized and remembered U.S. Presidents since George Washington’s death in 1799. The program will be followed by a book signing.

    This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation.

    About the National Archives

    The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, so people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries and online at www.archives.gov

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