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  • 1 Jul 2022 9:50 AM | Anonymous

    The following was written by Killian Downing and published in the Europeana Pro web site:

    This week sees the launch of the innovative new digital archive, the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland, which makes a rich array of historical documents available for research, education and enjoyment. Europeana Members Councillor and Dublin City University archivist Killian Downing tells us about how the Virtual Record Treasury was created and its significance.

    The newly launched Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland is a digital archive which combines historical investigation, archival discovery, conservation and technical innovation to re-imagine and recreate, through digital technologies, archives lost at the beginning of the Irish Civil War. For the first time in 100 years, researchers will be able to ‘step back in time’ to explore a virtual recreation of the Public Record Office of Ireland and its collections which were destroyed in a fire on 30 June 1922.

    In June 1922, the Public Record Office of Ireland stored over seven centuries of Irish records dating back to the time of the Normans in Ireland. Hundreds of thousands of precious historical documents relating to all aspects of Irish life were lost, including invaluable census records dating from before the Irish Famine in the 1840s. 

    The Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland has been developed by Beyond 2022, an international collaborative research project working to create a virtual reconstruction of the destroyed Public Record Office of Ireland. Beyond 2022 has been developed by historians in Trinity College Dublin and computer scientists in the Science Foundation Ireland ADAPT Centre, in partnership with five core partners: National Archives, Ireland, National Archives, UK, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Irish Manuscripts Commission and the Library of Trinity College Dublin. 

    Rich collections and digitally reconnected archives

    The Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland now provides access to 50 million words of searchable text spanning seven centuries; 150,000+ database records; 6,000+ maps; and 2.7 million knowledge graph triples. It brings together a rich array of replacement and surrogate records digitally repatriated from archival collections around the world, within an immersive 3D reconstruction of the destroyed building. 

    You can read more at:

    The Virtual Record Treasury is an open-access resource, freely available online to all those interested in Irish history around the world - explore it now.

  • 1 Jul 2022 5:32 AM | Anonymous

    The following was written by Findmypast:

    Findmypast adds records from this key period in American history 

    Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence  

    Each signer of this historic document is included in this collection, new to Findmypast this week. Following a traditional genealogical style, you might uncover a personal family connection to a signer of the Declaration of Independence by following their descendants. These 18,000 records have been kindly supplied by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

    Pennsylvania, Oaths of Allegiance Lists 

    Also new to Findmypast this week, with these 13,000 records you might discover if an ancestor renounced their allegiance to the British monarchy, and instead pledged support to the Continental Congress. Here, you may learn where and when your ancestor made this pledge. 

    Pennsylvania, American Revolution Patriot Militia Index 

    This new collection comprises 10,000 PDF records to help you discover if your ancestor was directly involved in the fighting during the American Revolution. The records normally include the name of the soldier, their rank and their type of involvement. 

    Scotland Memorial Inscriptions 

    Nearly 13,000 records have been added into this existing collection, with the new material covering Angus and Fife. Explore years of death, others buried in the same plot, denominations and more. 


    This week’s newspapers also have a North American feel, with the Gazette of the United States, the Anglo-American Times and the Canadian Ottawa Free Press.  

    New titles

    ·         Anglo-American Times, 1865-1896 

    ·         East Galway Democrat, 1913-1921, 1936, 1938-1949 

    ·         Gazette of the United States, 1789-1798, 1803 

    ·         Munster Tribune, 1955-1959, 1961-1962 

    ·         Ottawa Free Press, 1904-1909, 1911-1915 

    ·         Wallington & Carshalton Herald, 1882-1897 


    Updated titles: 

    ·         Brentwood Gazette, 1990 

    ·         Carmarthen Journal, 1998 

    ·         Colonial Standard, 1889 

    ·         Cork Weekly Examiner, 1897 

    ·         Derbyshire Times, 1919, 1927 

    ·         Dominica Chronicle, 1910 

    ·         Dominica Guardian, 1921 

    ·         Ellesmere Port Pioneer, 1990 

    ·         Harrow Observer, 1987 

    ·         Irvine Herald, 1989 

    ·         Llanelli Star, 1991 

    ·         Mirror (Trinidad & Tobago), 1901-1902, 1908, 1914-1915 

    ·         Stanmore Observer, 1991 

    ·         Westerham Herald, 1890

  • 30 Jun 2022 6:02 PM | Anonymous

    According to a new count, 152 cultural sites in Ukraine have been partially or totally destroyed since the beginning of the war. Last week UNESCO published an updated assessment of the damage caused to cultural sites in Ukraine since 24 February 2022, when the Russian offensive began.

    According to the checks carried out by its experts, 152 cultural sites have been partially or totally destroyed as a result of the fighting, including 30 historical buildings, 18 cultural centres, 15 monuments, 12 museums, seven libraries and 70 religious buildings.

    Among the museums damaged and destroyed are The Military Historical Museum – a branch of the Chernihiv Historical Museum, Building of regional children’s library, Regional Art Museum. G. Galagana, the Ivankiv Museum, Kharkiv Art Museum, and Hryhorii Skovoroda National Literary Memorial Museum, and the Mariupol Museum of Local Lore.

    You can read more in an article in the Museums + Heritage Advisor web site at:

  • 30 Jun 2022 5:48 PM | Anonymous

    The National Holocaust Centre & Museum has created a new website which tells the story of four refugees from Nazi Europe, using some of the objects they owned.

    Ordinary Objects, Extraordinary Journeys, set up jointly with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and with sponsorship from the Arts Council, was launched on Tuesday to coincide with Refugee Week.

    Marc Cave, chief executive of the NHCM, which has been at the forefront of digital education about the Holocaust, said, “It is the human stories that we venerate”.

    The centre gradually became a museum as survivors began to entrust it with their artefacts and it was “now produce to house a collection of uniquely personal meaning”.

    When the centre agreed to do a collections-based project with the HMDT, “we wanted to ensure it was in the service of telling the stories of some lesser known survivors of the Holocaust,” he said.

    “Some of the objects seem mundane. Some seem beautiful. But all are priceless in what they tell us about the annihilation of normal Jewish family life right across Europe. There is a common misperception that the Holocaust just took place in Germany - and maybe Poland.

    “This exhibition tells four stories spanning Greece, France, Austria, Germany, Poland, England and Scotland.”

    You can read more at:

  • 30 Jun 2022 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the national median age of Americans has increased by 3.4 years to 38.8, with the largest single-year gain of 0.3 years coming in 2021, the year after the coronavirus pandemic hit. The birthrate nationwide has been declining, and decreased immigration levels have accelerated the decline.

    You can read more in an article by Tara Bahrampour published in the Washington Post at:

  • 29 Jun 2022 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    This week I decided to take a trip down memory lane. I re-read the first 50 issues of this newsletter, all published in 1996. The genealogy world indeed has changed. Here are a few of the more memorable newsletter items from nine years ago, along with a few comments:

    Only the more advanced computer users in 1996 had state-of-the-art software: Microsoft's latest operating system, called Windows 95. However, because I was now writing a "techie" newsletter, I purchased a very high-speed system (a 90-Mhz Pentium I) with a huge amount of memory (32 megabytes) so that I could use the latest professional operating system from Microsoft: Windows NT 3.51. During the year, Microsoft also released Internet Explorer version 3.0. Most of the 30 million users of the World Wide Web used Netscape, however. A few used the older Mosaic web browser.

    The annual GENTECH conference was held on Plano, Texas, with several hundred attendees.

    The National Genealogical Society held its annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society announced a new online presence on a section of CompuServe. This apparently was the first major genealogy society to serve members online. Things have certainly changed since then!

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society held its annual summer conference in Farmington, Connecticut. The luncheon speaker was Dick Eastman, speaking on "The Future of On-Line Computer Communications for Genealogists."

    Family Tree Maker version 3.0 by Broderbund added the capability to read genealogy data CD-ROMs produced by a company that Broderbund had recently acquired: Banner Blue.

    A previously unheard-of company called Progeny Software introduced their first genealogy product: PAF*Mate.

    Bill Harten, GEDCOM coordinator for the LDS Church's Family History Department, announced that GEDCOM 6.0 was under development. (Twenty-six years later, GEDCOM 6.0 is still "under development." According to, GEDCOM 5.5.5 is the latest version, released on 2 Oct 2019.)

    CompuServe shocked the computer industry when they announced a new offering of UNLIMITED online time for only $19.95 a month. All online services had previously charged by the hour. (It seems ironic that CompuServe was later acquired by its rival, AOL, and later both organizations simply faded away. So much for trying to be the industry's low-cost leader.)

    An online genealogist in Scotland was rescued from possible death by a group of other genealogists in the U.S., including this writer, when using a genealogy chat room. Reverend Ken Walker, a Scottish history expert who lived alone, had a seizure while online and was unable to disconnect his computer from the dial-up computer's phone line in order to call for medical help. The online genealogists in the same chat room deduced his location and placed a trans-Atlantic telephone call to the police in Walker's hometown. An ambulance arrived within minutes. The doctors who later examined Walker at a local hospital stated that he probably would not have survived without immediate medical attention.

    I wrote a review of the "books" written by Halberts of Bath, Ohio. These contained no genealogy information, only listings from telephone directories. (The company later went out of business.)

    "Relations" was a new genealogy program for Apple's handheld Newton devices.

    Geni, a Psion 3 genealogy program, was released.

    CommSoft, the company that produced Roots IV for MS-DOS and also Visual Roots, announced their latest genealogy program: Family Gathering for Windows. A few months later a Macintosh version was announced. Late in the year, the same company announced the release of Roots V for Windows.

    Other genealogy software reviewed in the 1996 newsletters included KinWin 1.1, GENTREE (in French), Family Tree Maker version 3.0, Tree-O, Family Matters, Kith and Kin, Brothers Keeper for Windows, Personal Ancestral File for the Macintosh version 2.3.1, Family Tree International, FamilyBase, PAF*Mate, Ahnenforscher (in German), Genius for Windows, FamilyTree for OS/2 (do you remember OS/2?), Cumberland Family Tree for Windows, The Master Genealogist's new Windows version, Family Origins version 5, Family Matters, Family History Composer for the Macintosh, and Corel's "Family Tree Master." How many of those programs are still available?

    Yes, 1996 was a newsworthy year. I must say that I have also enjoyed the succeeding 26 years.

  • 29 Jun 2022 9:46 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from the MyHeritage Blog:

    We’re excited to share that we’ve just completed an additional update to the data for our ultimate genetic genealogy tool, Theory of Family Relativity™.

    Theory of Family Relativity™ can save you countless hours of work figuring out how you might be related to your DNA Matches. It pulls together billions of data points from across the 86 million family trees and 18.2 billion historical records on MyHeritage to bring you plausible theories about your relationship paths to your DNA Matches.

    These calculations are run on a periodic basis. Since our last update, many new DNA kits, family tree profiles, and historical records have been added to MyHeritage. This means that the number of theories, the number of DNA Matches that include a theory, and the number of kits that have a theory have all increased significantly.

    If your DNA results came in relatively recently, or if you’ve been waiting to receive a theory, there’s a good chance you might receive one as a result of this update.

    The new update by the numbers

    As a result of this new update:

    25,636,711 Theories of Family Relativity™ were added

    328,439 kits that didn’t have any theories previously now have at least one

    233,297 additional users will have at least one theory following this update

    Note that in this update, we only added new theories and did not update any theories that existed previously.

    Viewing and analyzing your Theories of Family Relativity™

    To view your Theories of Family Relativity™, visit your DNA Match page. The relationship calculated by the theory will appear directly on the match card of a DNA Match that has a theory. New theories will be labeled with a “NEW” banner for 30 days after this update.

    There is a lot more info available at:

  • 28 Jun 2022 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    Health problems of world leaders have influenced many events. In one man's case, a medical problem probably changed the history of the world and affected the lives of millions of people.

    Charles V had the titles of Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile, Naples, and Sicily, and ruler of the Burgundian territories. In Spain he ruled officially as Carlos I, though he is often referred to as Carlos V. He commanded an empire that stretched across much of Europe and included Spanish America. Conquistadores Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, and others conquered the Aztec and Inca empires and claimed vast new lands in the name of Charles V.

    Unlike many kings of his time, Charles V was an educated man and spoke several languages. It was said that he spoke "Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to his horse". He was also an expert military strategist.

    Doctors diagnosed Charles with gout in early adulthood. However, modern-day medical experts have often wondered if the diagnosis was correct. The causes of gout were mostly unknown in the sixteenth century.

    In 1552, Charles V planned to lead his armies in battle in an attempt to recapture the French city of Metz. However, the pain of a gout attack left him barely able to walk and unable to ride a horse to lead his armies into battle. In 1556, Charles abdicated his various titles, giving his personal empire to his son, Philip II of Spain, and the Holy Empire to his brother, Ferdinand. Charles retired to a monastery and spent the next two years in severe pain. He died in 1558, probably of malaria. What had been his empire fell apart soon after. Twenty-six years later, his remains were transferred to the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, outside Madrid.

    Historians have attributed most of Charles V's problems to the pain he suffered, ever increasing as he grew older and older. Had he not been in pain, Charles' superior army probably would have defeated the French and added still more land to his empire. "His physical suffering influenced decisions that affected the future of many countries," said Dr. Pedro Luis Fernandez, a pathologist at the University of Barcelona.

    Sometime between his death and the later transfer of his body to the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the fingertip of Charles' little finger was separated from the rest of his body. The reason for the separation and its location for many years after is unknown. However, at some point the fingertip was returned to the monastery, where it has since been kept in a red velvet box.

    Dr. Fernandez and other medical researchers were given the opportunity to perform laboratory tests on a mummified piece of Charles V's little finger. The analysis revealed deposits of needle-shaped crystals of uric acid that had eroded tissue and bone – a sure sign of gout. Such crystals are caused by a buildup of uric acid and result in pain and swelling of the joints, often the big toe.

    Gout has long been associated with rich diets and alcohol. According to historians, Charles V was famous for his big appetite, especially for meat, and he drank large amounts of beer and wine. Charles probably never knew how much his diet contributed to the pain.

  • 28 Jun 2022 4:44 PM | Anonymous

    The Organization of American States (OAS) and Foundation El Libro Total today signed an agreement to disseminate more than 80,000 books digitized by the institution's platform, free of charge, throughout the Americas and the world.

    The agreement establishes a framework of collaboration between the two institutions, through which the OAS will use its platforms to disseminate material from the digital library of The Total Book Foundation and leaves open the possibility of other cooperation agreements in the interest of spreading the culture of the region. The Culture and Tourism Section of the Department of Economic Development of the OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral Development will oversee the initiative.

    OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro expressed his enthusiasm for this initiative that will help promote Hispanic American culture around the world. "For us at the OAS, the cultural and creative sectors occupy an important place in the economies of our member states, because they constitute livelihoods and contribute to innovation, investment, digital modernization, and cultural and heritage tourism," added Secretary General Almagro.

    The President of the Fundación El Libro Total, Alejandro Navas, highlighted that the agreement "brings us together with the OAS and the people of the Americas" so that millions of people can access free reading through the digital platform of his institution.

    Meanwhile, the Permanent Observer of Spain, Carmen Montón, who participated as a witness of honor to the agreement, said: "This agreement contributes to improve equity in access to culture, in this case to books in Spanish, and to promote reading in our language".

    The Fundación El Libro Total is a non-profit organization supported by the company Sistemas y Computadores S.A., whose main objective is the recovery, conservation, dissemination, and enhancement of the universal cultural heritage. For this purpose, it created the digital library of America El Libro Total, whose domain is

  • 28 Jun 2022 9:50 AM | Anonymous

    East Riding Archives - responsible for safeguarding and making available the documentary heritage of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England - have just selected an automated digital archiving solution called Preservica, and launched a new site, offering access to a new public digital archive.

    The Archives service oversees a vast collection of records dating from 1185 right up to the present day. With over 400,000 historic items, most of the archive is based on paper, parchment, and other traditional methods of manuscript recording, but over the past 25 years or so, the way that society records information has changed dramatically.

    Archivist Sam Bartle says with more and more of today's information being stored digitally they need a new approach to keeping the data safe.

    You can read the details in an article by Matthew Pells published in the web site at:

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