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  • 26 Jan 2023 7:56 AM | Anonymous

    From the JRI-POLAND'S e-newsletter:

    More than three months after suffering an external hacking attack, the Polish State Archives (PSA) has spent several months solidifying their internet security. Today, the PSA website has returned to its normal online operations. As of this writing - the JRI-Poland search results “Click to View” feature can once again retrieve images of more than 2.7 million documents from the PSA website once again!

    To access the Polish State Archives web site, Go to for the English section of the web site. (Not all records are available in English. If you can read Polish, go to

  • 24 Jan 2023 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    From the MyHeritage Blog:

    In honor of Australia Day, we are delighted to announce that we are offering free access to all of the Australian records on MyHeritage — encompassing 95 million records from across 288 historical record collections!

    Search 95 million Australian records for free

    January 26 marks Australia Day, the national holiday that honors the history of Australians. It is our hope that offering these collections for free will provide fascinating new insights into the lives of Australians throughout history, and perhaps an appreciation for how far the world has come since then.

    In the last few months, we have added over 25 new collections from Australia, bringing the total number of Australian collections to 288. The collections are from all over the country and include birth, marriage, death, naturalizations, military, passenger lists, and more types of records. Many of these collections include high-quality scans of the originals. 

    One of the recent collections, “New South Wales Gaol Inmates & Photos,” offers stunning photographs of people who served in prison from 1870 to 1930, and rich details on their physical attributes, convictions, and prison sentences. In some cases, they are the only photos of these individuals that exist.

    Here are a few fascinating examples from the Gaol Inmates & Photos collection:

    NOTE: The full article is much longer with examples of (colorized) photographs and several example records. You can read the full article at:

  • 24 Jan 2023 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by Discover Your Ancestors magazine:

    The Family History Show is back next month! February 18th 2023

    We wanted to share some great news with you: The Family History Show is back online next month!

    The success of last year’s online event, much appreciated in the family history community, has convinced the organisers of The Family History Show, Online to bring it back this February 2023. With new talks and all the features of a physical family history show, this virtual event can be easily accessed from around the world in the comfort of your own home.

    The Family History Show, Online, organised by Discover Your Ancestors magazine, is busy making preparations for its return on Saturday 18th February 2023.

    You'll have the opportunity to put your research questions to an expert, watch free talks and to speak to family history societies, archives and genealogical suppliers by text, audio, video chat or email from the comfort of your own home.

    Make a date in your diary and snap up an early bird ticket now for only £7! You'll also get a downloadable goody bag worth over £10.

    Save the date in your diary and snap up an early bird ticket now for only £7! You'll also get a downloadable goody bag worth over £10.

    Featuring All New Talks

    Watch the New Talks given by Nick Barratt  Historian Author and Professional Genealogist; Keith Gregson – Professional Researcher & Social Historian; Donna Rutherford – DNA Expert; and Stephen Gill – Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (keep an eye out for further announcements about the content of each speaker’s presentation).

    Societies, Archives and Companies

    Visit exhibitors, societies, archives and companies in our virtual exhibition hall. Here there will be the opportunity to talk to some of the stallholders by text, audio or video from the comfort of your own home.

    Show Partners

    SoG, AGRA, TheGenealogist, GenFair, S&N Genealogy Supplies

    Early Bird Ticket Offer

    Buy your tickets in advance and save - tickets to attend The Family History Show Online are available from the website at just £7.00 each. You will also get a FREE virtual goody bag on the day worth over £10.

  • 24 Jan 2023 8:25 AM | Anonymous

    The great Scottish poet, Robert Burns, was born January 25, 1759. In celebration of his birthday, Burns Suppers range from formal gatherings of esthetes and scholars to very informal dinners throughout Scotland and in the homes of Scottish descendants worldwide. Most Burns Suppers adhere, more or less, to some sort of time honored form which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.

    Almost anyone can enjoy a Burns Night celebration. All that's needed is a place to gather, plenty of haggis and neeps to go around, a master of ceremonies, friendly celebrants, and good Scotch drink to keep you warm.

    I'll leave it to you to find the place to gather, the  master of ceremonies, the friendly celebrants, and good Scotch drink. However, for the haggis, you may have to look a bit harder (unless you meet in Scotland). If you leave out the legally inedible parts, haggis is edible in the United States. 

    Americans can order non-traditional haggis online. 

    Some years ago, I took my first trip to Scotland and, of course, I had to try the haggis. However, being a vegan in those days presented a bit of a challenge. After all, traditional haggis has MEAT in it!

    I soon discovered that many Scottish restaurants serve vegetarian haggis. That seemed strange to me but I tried it found it tasted rather good. In fact, I ate vegetarian haggis several times during my twelve-day stay. The flavor varied a bit from one restaurant to the next but was always good.

    In conversations with some of the locals, I found several who said they had eaten haggis quite often when they were growing up but now, as adults, they prefer the vegetarian haggis. MacSweens, ( a company in Edinburg, Scotland, manufactures 1,000 tons of haggis every year. The company reports that one in four orders for haggis it sells is vegetarian.

    Traditional haggis (with meat) has some ingredients that are not legal to sell in the U.S. However, vegetarian haggis is completely legal and haggis made in the U.S. will have other cuts of meat substituted to insure legality.

    To learn more about Burns Dinners, go to You can find a recipe to make your own Vegetarian Haggis at and the list of ingredients does sound much more appealing than that of the original haggis. Who wants to eat sheep’s lung anyway?

    If you live in the UK, you can have traditional or vegetarian haggis delivered to your door by ordering online at It is frozen so I don't think they will ship overseas. 

    If you live in the US, you can have traditional or vegetarian haggis delivered to your door by ordering online at The company even sells vegetarian haggis although the web site states that it is “out of stock” right now. You can find still other Scottish items for sale in the US at the same web site:

    Sounds delicious! Please pass the neeps and tatties.

    Footnote: Neeps and tatties are traditionally served with haggis. Neeps are the traditional Scottish word for turnips. For a hilarious description of neeps as spoken in Scotland, look at

    A tattie is a word used in Scotland for potato, as explained at

  • 24 Jan 2023 8:01 AM | Anonymous

    Here is a bit of advice to anyone thinking of getting married: first research your genealogy as well as that of your partner. Just ask Marcella Hill.

    Marcella recently shared a video detailing how the horrific revelation came about in her video captioned “I accidentally married my cousin.”

    Marcella starts by telling viewers that she has never revealed this secret to anyone. She says she and her husband were relaxing on the couch, searching for names for the baby they were having.

    The couple decided to go through FamilySearch to see if either one of them has a name that stood out in their bloodline. As Marcella and her spouse browsed through grandparents, mentioning their names, her husband said, “Oh, that’s funny. We have the same grandma and grandpa’s names.”

    Doubtful, Marcella looked over her husband’s family and told him that she believed he was mistakenly logged into her account. After taking a closer look, the pair realized that he was logged in correctly and that Hill’s grandfather and her husband’s grandmother were first cousins.

    The couple decided to get both grandparents on the phone and ask if they knew each other.

    “Sure enough, they sure do. They lived together when they were growing up as children,” she says.

    Marcella tells viewers that she and her husband are third cousins. 

    “And, when I go to my family reunion, he gets to go to his, too… at the same time!” as the video ends.

    In a follow-up video, Marcella defended her situation further when a viewer asked how she hadn't realized she was related to her husband at her wedding.

    "Wedding? What wedding?" Hill asked before explaining, "We got married in a courthouse after work on a Wednesday." She shared photos of the event and noted that no extended family members — or cousins — were there.

    You can read more in an article by NyRee Ausler published in the web site at:

    Have you and your spouse researched BOTH of your family trees?

    “A cousin is a ready-made friend for life.”

  • 23 Jan 2023 6:37 PM | Anonymous

    Researchers have developed a new machine-learning model to detect cancers that are in their early stages of disease by examining DNA fragments from cancer cells in the blood.

    A University of Wisconsin­–Madison research team was able to detect cancer in the bloodstream in most of the samples tested, it said. 

    Muhammed Murtaza, professor of surgery at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health based in Madison, Wisconsin, led the study, which was published recently in Science Translational Medicine, a medical journal from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, according to the study’s press release.  

    "We’re incredibly excited to discover that early detection and monitoring of multiple cancer types are potentially feasible using such a cost-effective approach," said Murtaza in the press release. 

    Earlier detection of many cancers will lead to better outcomes for patients, the release noted.

    "We’re incredibly excited to discover that early detection and monitoring of multiple cancer types are potentially feasible using such a cost-effective approach," says the lead author of a new study. (iStock)

    Although other scientists are also developing blood tests to detect cancer earlier, the present technology has limitations, such as cost and the "sensitivity" of the test.

    Sensitivity, in this case, refers to the ability of the test to correctly detect the presence of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

    How is the test done?

    When cells die as part of the body’s natural process of cell turnover, fragments of DNA are released outside the cells. These start to circulate in the bloodstream — namely, the plasma, which is the liquid portion of the blood, according to the researchers. The research team hypothesized that cancer cells have DNA fragments that are different from healthy cells, specifically where the DNA strands "break." Nucleotides, which are the "building blocks of DNA," surround these break points. 

    The research team used a special technique that the study named Genome-wide AnaLYsis of FRagment Ends — or GALYFRE — to analyze the "cell-free" DNA from 521 samples.

    You can read more in an article by Shiv Sudhakar published in the Fox News web site at:

  • 23 Jan 2023 4:10 PM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society:

    American Ancestors Announces Annual Young Family Historians Essay Contest Now Accepting Essays for 2023 Contest, Cash Prizes for Grades 412

    Accessible, Student-Centered Curriculum Offers K12 Educators Practical, Classroom-Ready Lessons for Teaching History Through Family Stories and Connections

    January 23, 2023Boston, MassachusettsThe 2023 American Ancestors Young Family Historians Essay Contest is now open! This national essay contest, sponsored by American Ancestors, a non- profit genealogical organization, is open to any student currently enrolled in grades 412. Home- schooled students are also eligible to participate.

    The contest asks students across the nation to

    • explore what they’ve learned about themselves,
    • the community, and the nation by reflecting on a
    • story from their personal family history. Essays
    • must be submitted by April 1, 2023, and six winners will be announced in early June 2023.

    Genealogy requires students to engage in historical thinking and it empowers them to create historical narratives for themselves. Students can explore their roots and make real-world, personal connections to history, while developing critical research skills such as chronological thinking, supporting claims with evidence, and identifying lessons from the past.

    Cash prizes will be awarded for the best essays. Six essays will be awarded, in three categories (grades 4-6, grades 7-8, and grades 9-12). Winners will receive $500, and Semifinalists will receive $250.

    American Ancestors, the world’s oldest and largest genealogical society, is dedicated to youth education and supporting educators, both in the classroom and at home. Teachers, librarians, and at-home instructors can use lessons and inclusive teaching strategies from our free Family History Curriculum to help students explore their roots.

    Family History Curriculum experience.

    The American Ancestors Family History Curriculum offers inclusive teaching strategies and easy- to-use lesson plans for classroom teachers, informal educators, after-school programs, and homeschool educators. The lessons are designed to foster the development of critical thinking and research skills that students can use to make meaningful connections to the past.

    The curriculum is available to all educators for free in the form of an online download at

    “As leading educators in the family history space, we are committed to supporting teachers with the tools to get young people excited about history,” said Dustin Axe, curriculum author and head of youth programming at American Ancestors.

    “This curriculum is the first of its kinda detailed but flexible plan teachers can easily incorporate into their existing approach to classroom instruction. As a licensed social studies teacher who has taught in museum and cultural institutions for almost two decades, I can empathize with teachers who need practical materials that work right away,” added Axe.

    Lessons are designed to be accessible to students of all backgrounds, cultures, religions, and family configurations. The curriculum defines genealogy in the broadest possible terms, and encourages students to define family for themselves, fostering an environment in which students feel comfortable exploring their roots. Students can personalize their research based

    A new, innovative educational curriculum aims to empower students of all backgrounds to discover their personal connection to history. Developed over several years by a team of professional educators and genealogists at American Ancestorsa national center for the study of family history, heritage, and culture— the American Ancestors Family History Curriculum leverages genealogical research methods that any studentregardless of ancestral origins and family configurationcan use to learn more about our shared human on their unique history and they can research anyone they consider part of their family, including close friends.

    According to James Triesler, an award-winning educator from Virginia with more than twenty years of classroom experience, incorporating genealogy into the classroom has a demonstrably positive effect: “Educators are not just teaching history, they're creating historians. This new curriculum encourages students to make connections with the past, strengthen relationships in the present, and leave a record for the future. This will change both the way history is taughtand the way that students view history.”

    The curriculum contains multiple lesson plans for grades 4 through 6 and teaching strategies that can be used to enhance genealogy lessons for any grade. Teachers can freely download the full curriculum as a PDF or they can download it lesson-by-lesson at Handouts and activities are provided as editable Google Docs, which can be personalized to the needs of any student. A letter to parents and guardians about the aim and scope of the curriculum is available in English and Spanish.

    Teachers interested in learning more can also take advantage of free one-on-one or department-level Teacher Trainings with the Education & Programming staff at American Ancestors, who will help teachers create personalized plans to incorporate content, lessons, and teaching strategies into existing curricula. Training is available to teachers in grades K through 12.

    Created for Educators, by Educators

    The American Ancestors Youth Education Program for Family History was developed by a team of professionals with extensive expertise in genealogy, experience with adult and youth education, and familiarity with schools across the country. The curriculum took nearly three years to complete, with experts providing strategic input and recommendations for the research, development, evaluation, and expansion of all trainings, lessons, and materials.

    About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

    American Ancestors is a national center for family history, heritage, and culture. It is the global brand of New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), America's oldest and largest genealogical society (founded in 1845). American Ancestors serves more than 350,000 members and millions of online users engaged in family history nationally and around the world through its website with more than 1.4 billion names in its databases. Located in Boston’s Back Bay, NEHGS is home to a world-class research center and archive, an expert staff, and the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center. It maintains a publishing division which produces original genealogical research, scholarship, and educational materials, including the Register, the flagship journal of American genealogy since 1847; American Ancestors, its award- winning magazine; and Mayflower Descendant, a quarterly journal of Pilgrim genealogy and history.

  • 23 Jan 2023 7:43 AM | Anonymous

    From the blog of the Illinois State Genealogical Society:

    The Illinois Death Certificates searchable database at has been updated to include death certificate entries for the years 1951-1971!

    CLICK HERE to visit the NEW 1951- 1971 Death Index Database!

    This is a long-awaited update that is sure to help many Illinois family historians! The updated database is listed separately from the earlier death indexes, so now when you visit the State Archives Databases page at, you will see the marriage index plus three death index options:

    The information you will find in the new database is very similar to the 1916-1950 database- 

    • Name 
    • Sex/race
    • Age at death 
    • Certificate number 
    • Date of death 
    • City and county where the certificate was filed
    • Date certificate was filed 

    This information can be used to contact the county clerk for a copy of the death certificate. Death certificates prior to 1916 or after 1947 can be obtained through the county clerk's office where the certificate was filed.

  • 20 Jan 2023 3:49 PM | Anonymous

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

    How many ancestors do you have? 

    It is a simple question and would appear to have a simple answer: Any of us can count the number of our ancestors by performing a very obvious mathematical progression: two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so forth. In the past twenty generations, you have a mathematical chance of having more than one million ancestors. Thirty generations produces more than a billion ancestors, and forty generations results in more than one trillion.

    The calculation is correct from a mathematical viewpoint but it ignores one obvious fact: there have never been that many humans on the face of the earth since the dawn of evolution! The reality is that it is impossible to have one trillion unique ancestors, regardless of the mathematics involved. 

    In reality, we all have multiple lines of descent from single individuals. That is, if you could fill out a pedigree chart of all the names of all your ancestors going back forty generations, you would see the same individuals appearing time and time again in various places in the chart. For example, your mother's great-great-grandfather might be the same person as your father's great-great-great-grandfather, and so on and so forth, repeated thousands of times with different individuals at different places in your family tree. The further back you go in time, the more often certain individuals will appear in multiple locations in your ancestry.

    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/13066029.

    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

  • 20 Jan 2023 3:13 PM | Anonymous

    Archeologists in Norway have discovered the world's oldest dated runestone, featuring runic inscriptions from up to 2,000 years ago.

    Researchers at the University of Oslo's Museum of Cultural History found the stone while investigating a burial ground in the municipality of Hole in eastern Norway in fall 2021, according to the museum.

    The stone has been named "Svingerudsteinen," or "the Svingerud Stone," after the site where it was found.

    Burnt bones and charcoal from the cremation pit where it was discovered revealed that the writing was carved into the reddish-brown sandstone boulder, measuring about a foot in height and width, between 1 and 250 AD.

    Runes are the oldest known form of writing in Scandinavia, and the alphabet was widely used from the beginning of the Common Era (CE) and throughout the Viking Age until the late Middle Ages, according to the university.

    Scandinavia has several thousand runestones from the Viking Age -- between 793 and 1066 AD -- but there is less evidence of runes from earlier times.

    Of the runestones found in Norway, only about 30 are believed to date from earlier than around 550 AD.

    Svingerudsteinen is the only stone found by archeologists that dates to before 300 AD. It contains the first three letters of the runic alphabet -- "f," "u" and "th" -- on one of its sides, according to the museum.

    You can read more in an article by published in the CNN.News web site at:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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