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  • 17 Dec 2021 7:36 AM | Anonymous

    The world has lost one of the leaders in Hispanic Genealogy.

    Here is an excerpt from the obituary of Eugene Lewis Torres:

    "Eugene was a man of many things, and he helped many who knew him. He grew up learning the ways of a ranch, was a jet airplane mechanic in the Air Force, studied at the Colorado State University and became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. For Most of his life he had been caring for animals, but the one thing he was even more passionate about, was being a genealogist. He was a trendsetter in Hispanic Genealogy in the area of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. He helped form the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, an organization with chapters from California to Colorado."

    You can read the entire obituary at:

  • 16 Dec 2021 12:14 PM | Anonymous

    It is amazing to think about the changes during the lifetimes of our ancestors. However, we rarely get to hear those ancestors describe the differences themselves. There is one exception: YouTube has a video of a fascinating interview with an 87-year-old farmer that was recorded on film in 1929.

    The man admits to having been born and raised in the first half of the previous century (it must have been in 1842). He then compares the changes in his life since the invention of telegraph, typewriter, automobiles, electric lights, and airplanes.

    My favorite quote from the interview? "You boys think you're living in just the best time of the world's history, but it's no better than [what] our father's had."

    You can watch the (colorized) interview of the old-timer at:

  • 16 Dec 2021 8:52 AM | Anonymous

    If you, like me, "collect" humorous and unusual obituaries, here is one for your collection. It's long, but worth the read. I never met Renay Mandel Corren, but, after reading her obituary, I wish I had.

    Here is an excerpt:

    "There will be a very disrespectful and totally non-denominational memorial on May 10, 2022, most likely at a bowling alley in Fayetteville, NC. The family requests absolutely zero privacy or propriety, none what so ever, and in fact encourages you to spend some government money today on a 1-armed bandit, at the blackjack table or on a cheap cruise to find our inheritance."

    You can read the entire obituary at

    My thanks to newsletter reader Victor T. Jones, Jr. for telling me about  this obit.

  • 16 Dec 2021 8:13 AM | Anonymous

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

    Washington, DC

    In accordance with President Biden’s directive of October 22, 2021, the National Archives today posted 1,491 documents subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act).  Released documents are available for download.

    The John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, established by the National Archives in November 1992, consists of approximately five million pages. The vast majority of the collection has been publicly available without restrictions on access since the late 1990s. As permitted by the JFK Act, agencies appealed to the President to continue postponement of certain information beyond October 22, 2021. The President provided agencies with a temporary certification until December 15, 2022, to allow for a review of all documents withheld in full or in part under section 5 of the JFK Act and directed agencies to “to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, disclosing all information in records concerning the assassination, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise.”

    As of December 15, 2021, all documents subject to section 5 of the JFK Act have been released in full or in part. No documents subject to section 5 of the JFK Act remain withheld in full. Over the next year, the National Archives and the agencies proposing continued postponement of more than 14,000 previously withheld documents will be conducting an intensive review of each remaining section 5 redaction to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency. Any information currently withheld from public disclosure that agencies do not propose for continued postponement beyond December 15, 2022, will be released to the public on that date. 

    Online Resources:

    The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection

    Documenting the Death of a President

    JFK Assassination Records Review Board

    JFK Assassination Records FAQs

    Warren Commission Report

  • 16 Dec 2021 7:55 AM | Anonymous

    On the cusp of turning 70 Linda learned that she wasn’t an only child after all, not only that but her newfound sister, Cheryl, was a former co-worker and good friend.

    Linda and Cheryl’s story aired recently on the Today Show. If you didn’t get to see Anne Thompson’s report on the sisters take a moment and check it out here:

    For Cheryl learning that her father, the man who raised her, wasn’t her biological father was a shock. But reconnecting with her old friend Linda and learning that they were in fact sister, has been a joy.

    “It’s been a blessing really,” she said.

    Not only have the two reconnected but they learned that for a couple of months each year they live just a mile apart making it that much easier to get reacquainted and build memories as sisters and friends.

    You can watch a video about this story at:

  • 15 Dec 2021 9:06 AM | Anonymous

    The Jamaican Jewish Cemeteries Preservation Fund (JJCPF) launched its database of Jewish burial grounds in Jamaica today. Volunteers conducted extensive cataloguing of the sites across the island between 2008 and 2017. They recorded 33 burial locations including synagogue-purchased cemeteries, family burial grounds, those that were sold and no longer exist, and plot markers which were part of an interment ground that is now on residential property.

    Details may be found at:

  • 15 Dec 2021 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    One of three class action claims against will continue as a result of a federal judge’s recent ruling.

    Chicago judge Virginia Kendall on Dec. 7 allowed lawyers to pursue recovery for alleged violation of the Illinois Right of Publicity Act, while tossing claims made under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

    The lawsuit seeks to penalize for using old yearbook photos without permission to advertise its pay service. Lawyers at Clifford Law Offices, Morgan and Morgan and Bursor & Fisher had defended their claims by pointing to a Seattle judge’s decision to let a similar case go forward against Whitepages. said it was protected from suit by the Communications Decency Act.

    More information may be found at:

  • 15 Dec 2021 8:35 AM | Anonymous

    A Northern District of California Magistrate Judge ruled against plaintiffs last Friday, dealing another blow to their efforts to hold accountable for the alleged misappropriation of their names, images, and likenesses by the world’s biggest online genealogy company through its collection of their yearbook photos and information for commercial purposes.

    After their case was dismissed for lack of constitutional standing and they appealed, the plaintiffs sought an indicative ruling from the court. The request asked Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to either grant a motion to reconsider her dismissal ruling or make an indicative ruling that the motion presents a “substantial issue” and that she would accept remand from the Ninth Circuit to hear it.

    In last week’s decision, the court said it would only partly consider the motion because of a lack of an underlying Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) “extraordinary circumstance” motion. “Because there is no pending Rule 60(b) motion, there is no basis for the court to say whether it would deny or grant the motion. The court can, however, state whether the proposed Rule 60(b) motion would raise a ‘substantial issue’ without tying ‘the district court to a particular ruling on the motion after remand,’” the court explained.

    (Some) details may be found at

  • 15 Dec 2021 7:38 AM | Anonymous

    I must admit this is new to me. I have been involved in genealogy research for more than 40 years but I never heard of anyone researching their ancestry based on the shape of their foot...

    According to an article by Camila Barbeito and published in The List web site:

    "Today more than ever before, genetic makeup doesn't necessarily coincide with birthplace. While most people of ancient history could trace back their ancestors to the same place they called home, few can do the same in 2021. Even if you were born in Philadelphia or San Diego, you might trace your forefathers back to Ireland, Nigeria, China, Italy, or India, even if you never knew you were connected to those places. While that's all well and good, and definitely makes for an interesting day checking out your results (not to mention fun conversation at the dinner table), what's anyone to do once their DNA test is over with? If you're interested in examining your ancestry further, we present you with another alternative: the shape of your foot. Unexpected? Maybe. But the results are actually surprisingly accurate."

    The article then goes on to describe the Egyptian foot shape, Greek foot shape, Celtic foot shape, Roman foot shape, and the German foot shape.

    OK, I am not sure I believe these claims but I do think it is interesting. You can read the article at:

    In case anyone is interested, I seem to have Egyptian feet which strikes me as a bit strange. After 40 years of tracing my family tree, this is the first clue that I have encountered that claims I have Egyptian ancestors. Perhaps a few thousand years ago...

  • 14 Dec 2021 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Minnesota-based Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition have signed an agreement to collaborate in the search for records of Indian boarding schools.

    The goal is to establish an online archive of the records starting late next year, so families can access them.

    A memorandum of understanding will allow for the sharing of records and information in support of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, which was announced earlier this year.

    Details may be found in an article by Dan Gunderson and published in the MPRNews web site at:

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