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  • 11 May 2023 8:54 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release written by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):

    The United States Senate voted today to confirm Dr. Colleen Shogan as the 11th Archivist of the United States. Nominated by President Biden on August 3, 2022, Shogan will begin her tenure as the head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) next week. She will be the first woman to hold the position permanently, succeeding David S. Ferriero, who retired in April 2022.

    Shogan most recently served as Director of the David M. Rubenstein Center for White House History and Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association. She previously worked for more than a decade at the Library of Congress, serving 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, she 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 and of the United States Capitol Historical Society’s Council of Scholars. Additionally, Dr. Shogan served as the Vice Chair of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation.

    As Archivist of the United States, Shogan will oversee NARA, 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 as well as online at www.archives.gov.

  • 11 May 2023 8:27 AM | Anonymous

    A new resource for tracking Native residential schools affiliated with the Catholic Church marks a major advance toward healing the wounds of systemic abuse, said one project organizer.

    An undated photo from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis archives shows a Catholic missionary with Native American youth. On May 9, 2023, a group of archivists, historians, tribal members and other supporters unveiled a list of some 87 Catholic-run Native boarding schools that had operated in 22 U.S. states prior to 1978. (OSV News photo/Archdiocesan Archives, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis)

    “While there are more steps for the Catholic Church to take to move toward truth, healing and reconciliation, this list is a powerful step forward,” said Maka Black Elk, executive director for Truth and Healing at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

    On May 9, Black Elk and a group of archivists, historians, tribal members and other supporters unveiled a list of some 87 Catholic-run Native boarding schools that had operated in 22 U.S. states prior to 1978. The schools were among more than 400 overseen by the U.S. federal government in the 19th and 20th centuries, with many sites operated by Christian churches and organizations.

    The list, accessible online at http://ctah.archivistsacwr.org, provides school names, locations and dates of operation, along with the dioceses in which the facilities were located and the orders that operated and staffed them.

    You can read the full story by Gina Christian published in thedialog.org web site at: https://thedialog.org/national-news/unveiling-of-list-of-catholic-run-native-boarding-schools-allows-for-subsequent-generations-to-achieve-healing/


  • 11 May 2023 8:08 AM | Anonymous

    We recently updated the MyHeritage 1910 Norway Census to include beautiful high-quality scanned images of the original census. This important project was done in collaboration with the National Archives of Norway. The addition of images makes this valuable collection an even richer source of information about individuals living in Norway in 1910, as the images can provide information not included in the original index  — for example, a person’s occupation. If you have Norwegian roots, you may find exciting details about your ancestors from this pivotal period in Norwegian history.

    Search the 1910 Norway Census

    The collection includes names, genders, residences, relationships, marital status, birthplaces, and, for most people, full birth dates. Censuses rarely include full birth dates (day-of-month, month, and year), making this an important birth index that provides this detailed information for almost everyone living in Norway in 1910.

    The 1910 Norway Census was the first one conducted after Norway’s separation from Sweden in 1905, which led to a period of significant national pride. Consequently, many of the Danish or Swedish city and municipality names were replaced with traditional Norwegian names. For instance, the capital Kristiania, named after Danish King Christian IV, was renamed Oslo in 1924.

    The census was conducted on Thursday, December 1, 1910, and continued on subsequent business days until completion. Due to Norwegian privacy laws, which restricts public access for 100 years, the 1910 census only became available to the public in 2010. It differs from the 1900 census in the following ways:

    • It includes a full date of birth for all people listed; the 1900 census listed full birth dates only for children under the age of two
    • More details regarding emigration and repatriation are included
    • People who were unemployed were required to state this on the 1910 census
    • Ship crews were listed only if they were located in Norwegian ports and waters; Norwegian ships in foreign ports and waters were not included

    Example

    Among the records in this collection is that of Roald Amudsen, the Norwegian polar explorer who made the first trek to the South Pole in 1911. In fact, when the census was taken, he was already en route to Antarctica, and his team reached the South Pole almost exactly a year later. The census record lists his birth date and place, July 16, 1872 in Borge; his current age, 37; his residence in 1910, Uranienborg, Nesodden, Akershus, Norway; and his marital status, single. It mentions that his residential status is “temporarily absent.”

    You can read the full article at: https://tinyurl.com/2p86yhum.

  • 11 May 2023 7:36 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Antonio Regalado published in the technologyreview.com web site:

    The joke about the Human Genome Project is how many times it’s been finished, but not actually.

    The first time was in 2000,  when Bill Clinton announced the “first survey of the entire human genome” at a White House ceremony, calling it “the most important and most wondrous map ever produced by humankind.”

    But the job wasn’t done. A year later, the triumph was announced again, this time with the formal publication of a “draft” of “the genetic blueprint for a human being.” In 2003, researchers had another go at the finish line, claiming the “successful completion” of the project, citing better levels of accuracy. Nineteen years later, in 2022, they again claimed victory, this time for a really, truly “complete” sequence of one genome—end to end, no gaps at all. Pinkie promise.

    Today, researchers announced yet another version of the human genome map, which they say combines the complete DNA of 47 diverse individuals—Africans, Native Americans, and Asians, among other groups—into one giant genetic atlas that they say better captures the surprising genetic diversity of our species.

    The new map, called a “pangenome,” has been a decade in the making, and researchers say it will only get bigger, creating an expanding view of the genome as they add DNA from another 300 people from around the globe. It was published in the journal Nature today.

    “We now understand that having one map of a single human genome cannot adequately represent all of humanity,” says Karen Miga, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a participant in the new project.

    Diversity in detail

    People’s genomes are largely alike, but it’s the hundreds of thousands of differences, often just single DNA letters, that explain why each of us is unique. 

    You can read the full story at: https://tinyurl.com/yauae6de.


  • 10 May 2023 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    If you have Irish ancestors, especially some from Cork, you will be interested in the Cork Graveyard Project run by Skibbereen Heritage Centre. An article in the corkbeo.ie web site describes the Cork Graveyard Project:

    Volunteers in Cork have put together an impressive genealogy database to help people look into their own history and fill out the family tree.

    It's all part of the Cork Graveyard Project run by Skibbereen Heritage Centre which has compiled an online database of Cork County Council burial registers and graveyard surveys.

    The records have been transcribed by hard-working volunteers and include details such as the deceased's name, the date of their death, the date of their burial and their address. In total, the heritage centre now has a database of over 380,000 local historical documents which includes more than 57,000 burial records.

    Skibbereen Heritage Centre has created an interactive map of graveyards in Cork. This works in tandem with a database on their website that allows you to search by name, place of burial and year of death. It even includes a 'sounds like' feature that helps people who only have a vague notion of their ancestor's name search for their records.

    You can read more at: https://www.corkbeo.ie/news/history/cork-genealogy-database-holds-57000-26874923.

    You can check out the Skibbereen Heritage Centre database here.

  • 10 May 2023 6:33 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists®:

    FREE BCG-SPONSORED WEBINAR

    “Name Changes and the Law”

    by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

    Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 8:00 p.m. (EDT)

    Names weren’t changed at Ellis Island, but in courts, legislatures, and elsewhere both formally and officially — and on the fly. As genealogists, we need to know why names were changed, and how those changes might be recorded if we want to have a chance at finding out what’s in a name.

    A genealogist with a law degree, Judy G. Russell is a lecturer, educator, and writer who enjoys helping others understand a wide variety of genealogical issues, including the interplay between genealogy and the law. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark, and holds Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer credentials from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, until her retirement, was an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School. Judy is a Colorado native with roots deep in the American South on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side. Visit her website at www.legalgenealogist.com.

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “Name Changes and the Law” by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. This webinar airs Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

    When you register before May 16 with our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars (http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=8102) you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Anyone with schedule conflicts may access the webinar at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

    “We appreciate the opportunity to present these high-quality educational webinars,” said

    President Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG. “At BCG, our purpose is to promote public confidence in

    genealogy by supporting uniform standards of competence. These webinars help to achieve that

    by providing educational opportunities to family historians of all levels of experience.”

    Following the free period for this webinar, BCG receives a small commission if you view this or any BCG webinar by clicking our affiliate link: http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=2619.

    To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2023, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at https://bcgcertification.org/bcg-2023-free-webinars/. For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (https://bcgcertification.org/learning).

    The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.


  • 10 May 2023 6:19 AM | Anonymous

    The University of Louisville has received a new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a public digital archive of artifacts revealing local history.

    Researchers from the UofL Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, or CACHe, say this searchable archive is meant to showcase and expand access to anthropological findings from Louisville and surrounding counties in the lower Ohio River Valley. The archive will include pictures, descriptions and 3D scans of artifacts from pre-contact Native American settlements and colonial life as Louisville was founded and grew. 

    “With this digital archive, we can preserve and share that history,” said Ashley Smallwood, a project lead and associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences. “These artifacts reflect what people ate, the tools they crafted and used, their culture — it’s a snapshot of what life was really like.” 

    CACHe has collected many artifacts from digs in and around the Ohio River Valley, such as the one held last year in partnership with the Kentucky School for the Blind

    Thomas Jennings, a project lead and center director, said CACHe works hard to include the community in discovering history and hopes the digital archive will help further that goal. 

    You can read more in an article by Baylee Pulliam published in the University of Louisville News web site at: https://tinyurl.com/yty9hk2x.

  • 10 May 2023 6:08 AM | Anonymous

    I am not sure if this works with really old family photographs or not (probably not) but it still can be a very useful tool. 

    How can open source investigators determine when a photograph or video was taken?

    Observing the length of shadows visible in an image or clip and employing tools like Suncalc offers one useful method.

    But this process of “chronolocation” – determining when a picture was taken rather than just where (which is known as geolocation) –  isn’t always feasible. For a start, it has to be daytime and there must be a shadow cast somewhere in the video or image of interest.

    If these options aren’t available, looking for other clues in a “source” image that can be cross-referenced with contextual “reference” images or other related information can also help narrow down a date range.

    Bellingcat has used such chronolocation techniques to determine when undated photos in a museum archive were taken and to find out when a Czech politician’s son (who claimed to be kidnapped) had been photographed

    Clues to look for in a source image may include:

    • Buildings (especially their façades)
    • Construction sites
    • Storefronts (similar to buildings but might be even more useful as this changes more frequently).
    • Seasonal indicators such as weather, foliage etc.
    • Natural landmarks
    • Clock towers
    • Public transport stops, bus lines etc.
    • Graffiti and murals
    • Banners
    • Advertisements

    Essentially, any aspect of a source image could be of use, provided that it has changed over time. Sometimes clues will be so obvious that it’s possible to immediately figure out the rough date of the source image from one detail alone.


    You can read a lot more in an article by Youri van der Weide published in the 

    bellingcat.com web site at: https://tinyurl.com/bda5vpt3.
  • 9 May 2023 7:38 AM | Anonymous

    Today I stumbled across the web site of a genealogy society I probably shouldn’t name. What caught my eye was a listing of ebooks of local records the society sells on CD-ROM disks. I started thinking, why don't more genealogy societies do the same? Even better, why don’t they sell the books online as ebooks?

    A Challenge

    Does your genealogy society publish and sell printed books of local records of genealogy interest? If so, does your society also sell them as ebooks? If so, kudos to your society! If not, then I have to ask: "Why not?" 

    If your society is not selling ebooks, the result is lost sales and also not serving genealogists around the world who could benefit from the information in the society's publications!

    One More Thing

    Actually, I would make one additional suggestion to any genealogy society: sell the ebooks not only on CD-ROM disks but also as downloadable ebooks that the buyer can read within seconds after purchasing, all without requiring any additional labor by the society.

    There are several benefits to the instant online sales:

    1. Obviously, the customer receives better service. The ebook is available immediately without waiting for someone to receive the order, stuff a CD-ROM disk into an envelope, mail it, and then wait for the postal service or UPS to deliver it.

    2. Many of today's laptop computers and more than a few desktop computers do not not include CD-ROM disk drives. (The desktop computer I am using at the moment to write this article is about 4 months old and does not include a CD-ROM disk drive.) Such drives are rapidly becoming obsolete. You could offer ebooks on flash drives, but even that is only a partial solution. For instance, are you going to use flash drives with the older USB connectors or the newer, smaller, high-speed USB-C connectors? Most of today's flash drives still use the older USB connectors, but the world is moving to the newer USB-C connectors. Publishing on flash drives with the older USB connectors almost guarantees that they will become obsolete within a few years (just like publishing on floppy disks). 

    Switching to downloadable files bypasses these hardware issues.

    3. Accepting orders, creating CD-ROM disks (or flash drives), stuffing them into envelopes, and mailing the products is a waste of man-hours and money. Creating safe and secure online sales with credit card payments requires a bit of labor to create the order process. However, once created, using online sales will SAVE many man-hours over a period of time. Once customers can use this process to both order and receive your ebooks, you will likely see impressive reductions in expenses (buying CDs or flash drives) as well as labor (mailing them to buyers), not to mention postage. I suspect you may also see an increase in sales as well as traffic to your website. 

    Sales of downloadable ebooks can be accepted and fulfilled (product delivered) without anyone's involvement, even at 3 AM in your local time zone. The buyer then receives the ebook within seconds after making payment, regardless of the time of day. Even better, you can "farm out" the labor to a company that will handle all this for you, such as to Amazon, Lulu.com, Apple, or others. 

    For more information about having a company sell your ebooks for you with almost no labor required on your part, see 20 Websites to Sell and Publish Your eBooks at https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/websites-sell-publish-ebooks/ as well as the articles found by DuckDuckGo by starting at https://duckduckgo.com/?q=publish+books+online&atb=v132-2_j&ia=web.

    COMMENT: Some people seem to think that placing genealogy information online means giving it away for free. Not so! If you or your society expended money, time, labor, and perhaps some materials in gathering and publishing the information, it is entirely reasonable to charge a modest fee to the genealogists who appreciate your labors. Even better, any revenue received can be used to pay the expenses of time, labor, and materials in gathering and publishing future information!

    “If you are good at something, never do it for free” is the most famous dialogue from movie The Dark Knight.

    With today's solutions of having a company sell your ebooks for you, the issues of collecting credit card payments becomes almost trivial. Simply sit back and let someone else do all the complicated stuff while you or your society only need to deposit the payments into a bank account. (Oh yes, the company that handles the online sales will even automatically deposit the money into your society’s bank account!).

    Summation

    In short, it's time to upgrade your society's publications to modern publishing formats. The result will be less labor required, lower expenses, more customers, and more distribution of the local information that is important to genealogists worldwide.

    I'd call that a win-win-win-win solution.

  • 8 May 2023 10:05 PM | Anonymous

    IGHR Logo

    Saturday, 24 June 2023

    We hope you will join us for an informative and fun-filled day viewing presentations, asking questions, and visiting vendor and society booths!

    FamilySearch personnel will present sessions about the extensive, free resources available online at FamilySearch.org and answer your questions!

    In addition, a variety of genealogy and history related organizations and vendors will have booths to help attendees explore genealogy tools, resources, organizations, and educational opportunities.

    The Virtual FamilySearch Expo is FREE and open to the public!

    Register HERE

    FamilySearch Expo Schedule

    Each presenter / exhibitor will be in a virtual Breakout Room at the scheduled time.

    Time (ET) Session Information
    10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Expo Orientation
    10:15 – 10:45 a.m. FamilySearch Overview | David Rencher, AG, CG
    10:15 – 10:45 a.m. Exhibitor Information Forthcoming
    10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Break
    11:00 – 11:30 a.m. FamilySearch Library and FamilySearch Centers Introduction | Lynn Turner, AG
    11:00 – 11:30 a.m. Exhibitor Information Forthcoming
    11:30 – 11:45 a.m. Break
    11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. FamilySearch.org – Overview of Website | Beth Taylor, CG
    11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Exhibitor Information Forthcoming
    12:15 – 12:30 p.m. Break
    12:30 – 1:00 p.m. The FamilySearch Catalog | Alyssa Gamble
    12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Exhibitor Information Forthcoming
    1:00 – 1:45 p.m. Lunch
    1:45 – 2:15 p.m. Tips and Tricks for Discovering Your Ancestors in FamilySearch’s Historical Records | Debbie Gurtler, AG
    1:45 – 2:15 p.m. Exhibitor Information Forthcoming
    2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break
    2:30- 3:00 p.m. FamilySearch Digital Library – Uncovering FamilySearch’s Digital Book Collection | Becky Loveridge
    2:30- 3:00 p.m. Exhibitor Information Forthcoming
    3:00 – 3:15 p.m. Break
    3:15 – 3:45 p.m. FamilySearch Wiki – Genealogy’s Hidden Gem | Amber Larsen, AG
    3:15 – 3:45 p.m. Exhibitor Information Forthcoming
    3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Break
    4:00 – 4:30 p.m. FamilySearch – Online Research Help and Resources | Becky Adamson, AG
    4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Exhibitor Information Forthcoming

    Exhibitor Links coming soon!

    Thank you, FamilySearch, for generously sponsoring the Family History and Genealogy Expo!

    About Our Sponsor

    FamilySearch Logo

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogical organization in the world. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the primary benefactor for FamilySearch services. The commitment of FamilySearch to help people connect with their ancestors is rooted in their beliefs—that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life.

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