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  • 22 Feb 2021 11:19 AM | Anonymous

    Do you have any old VHS videotapes around? If so, you need to understand that the video quality of those tapes is deteriorating every year, even if you are not playing them!

    Jeanette D. Moses explains all this and provides information on how to convert the VHS tapes to more modern (and longer-lasting) media in her article in the Tom's Guide website at: https://www.tomsguide.com/how-to/digitize-vhs-tapes.


  • 22 Feb 2021 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    Elon Reeve Musk is a self-made multibillionaire business magnate, industrial designer, and engineer. He is also one of the richest people in the world.

    Musk is the CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc., the founder, CEO, CTO, and chief designer of SpaceX; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink; and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI.

    Perhaps his obvious success is due to something in his genes.

    Elon Musk may be transforming everything from power to space travel, but Elon isn’t the only entrepreneur in his family tree. A YouTube video explores the rest of Elon’s family. There are a LOT of entrepreneurs in the family!

    You can watch the YouTube video at: https://youtu.be/nLT1A6XtjZ8.


  • 19 Feb 2021 8:59 PM | Anonymous

    Bay State College’s Boston Campus has donated its entire undergraduate library to the Internet Archive so that the digital library can preserve and scan the books, while allowing Bay State to gain much needed open space for student collaboration. By donating and scanning its 11,000-volume collection centered on fashion, criminal justice, allied health, and business books, Bay State’s Boston campus decided to “flip entirely to digital.”

    You can read more about the move at http://bit.ly/3ugfpQ3.

    Comment: OK, now here is a proposal I believe is worth pondering: Should we promote the same kind of moves for most (or all) genealogy libraries?

    Most of the smaller genealogy libraries are woefully underfunded. Also, access to these libraries is a problem if the would-be patron lives a long distance away, such as in another country. Wouldn't it be better to place all books that may legally be copied or digitized online and make them available 24 hours a day, to every place in the world? (Optionally, the books could also be placed back on the shelves after being digitized for local use.)

    Yes, I would even pay a reasonable amount to access them remotely. That would be a lot cheaper than what I have paid in past years for travel to remote locations, hotels, restaurant meals, and more expenses I don't even want to contemplate.

    Yes, I am in favor of digitizing all sorts of things and make those digital images online. Is it a perfect solution? Absolutely not but I am sure that it is better than the present system of storing a few things here, a few things there, and lots of things not documented or not available at all because of travel constraints.

    What do you think?


  • 19 Feb 2021 8:34 PM | Anonymous

    Are you contemplating a major effort to digitize old paper records, either at home or at a local archive? If so, read "Six Steps To Consider Before Scanning Vertical Files" in the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center Blog first. A bit of thought and planning might save you a lot of work later!

    Look at https://www.digitalnc.org/blog/vertical-files/.

  • 19 Feb 2021 8:16 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from Findmypast:

    Discover marriages, pub landlords and more this Findmypast Friday. Here's what's new this week.

    Britain, Marriage Licences

    Search over 100,000 new additions from the Diocese of Durham dating all the way back to the 16th century.

    With records from as early as 1115, this useful collection covers fifteen English counties including London, Lancashire, Suffolk, Exeter, Lincoln, Yorkshire, and more. Marriage licenses will reveal your ancestor’s intended spouse, father’s name, and the intended marriage place.

    Cambridgeshire, Licensed Victuallers

    Were your Cambridgeshire ancestors pub landlords? Discover the name of their establishment, its location and when they ran it.

    The surviving records for Cambridgeshire 1764-1828 are kept in the Cambridgeshire Archives in Ely. They have been photographed and transcribed by members of the Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire Family History Society, which has kindly licensed the records for the use of researchers on Findmypast. 

    Each record normally includes the name and abode of the victualler, the name of the alehouse, tavern or inn, and the name and abode of the person providing surety.

    United States, Inspection Roll Of Negroes, 1783

    Search the records of Black Loyalists evacuated by the British from New York in 1783 after defeat in the American War of Independence. Please note that the terms used in historical records reflect the attitudes and language of the time and may now be considered inappropriate, derogatory or offensive.

    A page from the Inspection Rolls documenting Harry Washington (see attached), former slave of George Washington, who escaped to British lines in 1776 and rose to the rank of corporal in Lord Dunmore's regiment of "Black Pioneers".

    The records in the Inspection Roll are highly detailed. The exact content varies according to the status of the individual evacuee (for instance, whether free, or former slave, or slave of a Loyalist), but most will include a combination of their name, age, status, physical description and the vessel they were evacuated on.

    Newspapers

    Explore11 new titles covering diverse locations from India, China, Dominica and Antigua to Beverley, Birkenhead and Blandford. Brand new to the collection this week are:

    Findmypast have also added additional pages to 19 existing titles as follows;

  • 19 Feb 2021 5:23 PM | Anonymous

    In partnership with the Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU (Brigham Young University), and the Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU, a research effort is underway with one major goal: to prevent hereditary cancer.

    Leaders behind the project say Utah is the best place to start because people in the state know their family history really well.

    Brian Shirts, an M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Washington is spearheading a research effort to prevent hereditary cancer. In partnership with Brigham Young University (BYU), Shirts joined Jill Crandall, the director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU, and an associate professor in the history department, and professor of family history, along with Julie Stoddard, the center coordinator at the Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU, to conduct such research.

    Dr. Shirts had a thought: what if people knew about their cancer risks based on their family history? And he started to dive in to the question.

    “We’re working in conjunction with the University of Washington to identify individuals who may have cancer-causing genetic variants,” Stoddard said. “These individuals are identified through genealogical research on the different lines of these participants who have the same variants.

    “What Dr. Shirts does is he finds these participants who have the variant and then he sends them to our BYU team. We do the research on their pedigrees to help them identify which ancestor may have had the variant. And then look for those descendants of those ancestors so they can be identified, and the participants can reach out and tell them of their increased chance of cancer.”

    “Hereditary-cancer risk is something that affects about 1 percent of the population. But this is inherited in families, so it’s not just a random 1 percent of the population,” Shirts said.

    These inherited genes — such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 that cause breast cancer or one of four genes that causes Lynch Syndrome, which creates a higher risk for developing certain types of cancer, particularly of the colon — cause more than a 50 percent lifetime risk of cancer for the people who inherit them, Shirts observed.

    You can read a lot more in an article by Curt Gresseth publish in the KSL News web site at: https://kslnewsradio.com/1943437/genealogy-cancer-research-beginning-in-utah/.

  • 18 Feb 2021 8:38 PM | Anonymous

    A new study looked at a stretch of DNA on chromosome 12 where a haplotype — a cluster of genetic variants that are inherited together — that affects susceptibility to the coronavirus is located. For each copy of the Neandertal haplotype a person inherited, the risk of needing intensive care fell approximately 22 percent, researchers report in the March 2 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The variants may affect the activity or function of genes involved in a biochemical chain reaction that ends with the destruction of viral RNA, including the coronavirus’s. The protective variants are largely absent among people in sub-Saharan Africa, where few people carry genes inherited from Neandertals. About 25 to 30 percent of present-day people of Asian and European ancestry carry the protective variants. Some Black people in the Americas also inherited the protective haplotype, presumably from Asian, European or Native American ancestors.

    You can read more at https://www.pnas.org/content/118/9/e2026309118.


  • 18 Feb 2021 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Trent Toone in the Deseret News:

    "With the world’s largest family history conference less than a week away, Feb. 25-27, more than 315,000 participants from more than 200 countries and territories worldwide have registered with nearly 90% of those participating for the first time.

    Thousands attend RootsTech at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. This year’s free, virtual RootsTech Connect is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of participants. Photo by Scott G Winterton of the Deseret News.

    That’s a dramatic increase from previous years in the Salt Palace Convention Center, with about 30,000 attending in person and an average of 100,000 online viewers, according to Jen Allen, one of RootsTech Connect’s director of events at FamilySearch and one of the event’s main organizers.

    "'It has been a challenge and a learning curve,” Allen said. “But the fact that so many people can engage in the learning and the inspiration from around the world, it’s been just incredible to watch that grow. ... This is a game changer. The global approach of it will never go away.'"

    There is a lot more information, including a list of the 2021 keynote speakers, at http://bit.ly/37sYtvX.


  • 18 Feb 2021 11:18 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release from Vivid-Pix:

    Vivid-Pix will Help Family, Class Alumni, and Military Reunion Participants & Planners

    Relive the Past, Make New Memories, & Find New Ways to Celebrate

    Press Release: http://www.thomas-pr.com/vividpix/vividpixreunionsmagazinerelease.html

    Savannah, GA, February 18, 2021 – Vivid-Pix www.vivid-pix.com, the leading provider of AI-powered image restoration software, announced today that it has acquired Reunions magazine, a leading publication for reunion planning and celebration for the past 30 years. From its beginnings as a print magazine and expanding online, Reunions magazine provides education, resources, and event sharing – pre, during, and post the reunion event. 

    Reunions magazine will be Updated & Expanded for Easy Access to Ideas, Features, & Education

    Vivid-Pix will operate the expanded Reunions magazine website and online magazine as a resource to assist families, class alumni, and military reunion participants relive the past and make new memories. The Reunions magazine site (https://reunionsmag.com/) will be redesigned and updated to provide easy access to ideas, features, and education for reunions and reunion planners alike.

    Edith Wagner, Editor and Founder of Reunions magazine, said, “We are delighted to be able to continue our long service of information, inspiration and ideas to reunions and reunion planners. Working with Vivid-Pix expands our reach with a redesigned website as well as appealing to their audience. Their services are of great interest to our readers who are always looking for new ways to celebrate. The eagerly awaited future of reunions will be bright.”

    Vivid-Pix Provides Patented Photo Restoration Software & Education to Relive and Share Memories 

    For the past 8 years, Vivid-Pix has provided patented image improvement software and helpful education to relive and share cherished memories from yesteryear and yesterday. “Reunions are a great way to stay connected with family and friends. These events often include ‘a journey down memory lane.’ Photos provide the best way to relive these journeys and reminisce,” said Rick Voight, CEO, Vivid-Pix. “Reunions create new memories and, of course, new pictures. It’s our sincere pleasure to be working with Reunions magazine, organizations involved with reunions, and all the family and friends, as you plan, get together, and celebrate!”

    For more information on Reunions magazine and Vivid-Pix, see www.reunionsmag.com and www.vivid-pix.com.

    About Vivid-Pix

    Vivid-Pix RESTORE patented AI software automatically restores faded old black and white, sepia, and color photos and documents; and provides image organization, editing, and saving. Vivid-Pix recently launched a new version of RESTORE that improves a wider variety of image formats; metadata tagging for research, transcription, and sharing of family stories; and Crop/Recalculate to hone-in on specific areas that need fixing – details essential for genealogists and family historians.

    The U.S. Patent Office has awarded two patents to Vivid-Pix for its image processing techniques used to automatically correct images. Vivid-Pix RESTORE is available for Mac and Windows for $49.99 at: https://vivid-pix.com/restore/buy.html with a 10 Free-Fix Trial without a credit card required at: https://vivid-pix.com/restore/free-trial.html. See Vivid-Pix RESTORE in action at:  https://Vivid-Pix.com/restore. For more information, see the website at: https://vivid-pix.com/.

    Vivid-Pix was founded by Rick Voight and Randy Fredlund, who have a combined 47 years of experience from Eastman Kodak Co. They brought Kodak’s “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest” philosophy to the design of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. For more info, see: https://vivid-pix.com/.

  • 18 Feb 2021 11:10 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from Findmypast:

      • Findmypast announce a variety of new tools and features designed to enhance user discoveries
      • Major update improves accessibility to detail rich genealogical resources
      • Users can now locate and decipher the hidden details within images of original documents 

    Leading family history website, Findmypast, have today announced a major new update to their record image viewer.

    Now available to all users, the upgraded viewer introduces a raft of new tools and features all designed to enhance user discoveries.

    For both beginner and expert family historians, digitised images of original documents are an essential resource that often provide significantly richer levels of detail than transcripts alone.

    With many millions of images available to explore and with millions more being added to the site each month, Findmypast have launched this upgrade to help users make the most of this vast genealogical goldmine by making the contents of historical documents easier to access and understand.

    These new features and tools include;

      • Brightness and contrast adjustors – to help improve the legibility of difficult to read documents. Also included is the option to ‘invert colours’ for those who prefer to read light text on dark backgrounds
      • Previews of previous subsequent pages - Thumbnails of the images either side of an individual record have now been added. This helps users understand what might lie beyond the page they’re initially looking at - whether a volume cover, new volume or record. For the 1911 Census, Findmypast have also created thumbnails for additional information about each volume
      • Page numbers - where available, page numbers have also been made visible. To help navigate volumes in their entirety, users can now see exactly where they are within the document, the total number of pages available, and can jump to any one of them immediately
      • Easier access to transcripts - Where an image has transcripts available, Findmypast now enables users to access any transcript for a person featured in that image from within the viewer itself. This enhances users’ ability to ability to see what names are included in any given image, particularly helpful in cases where old handwriting may be difficult to read. This is available on many record sets such as the 1939 register, Crime and Punishment record set, Passenger Lists etc. 
      • View transcript on the page within the 1939 Register - Findmypast have used data coordinates to show users transcripts in situ when viewing on desktop, making it much easier to identify individuals and households at a glance
      • Enhanced viewing on mobile or tablet devices – including an improved interface and the ability to flip documents for improved viewing of landscape images
      • Simplified access to important tools – Findmypast have grouped the most popular user actions such as printing, downloading and adding to tree at the top of each image and have added explanations for new users

    As well as making it easier for users to quickly and accurately access the information they need, today’s announcement also lays solid foundations for future updates.

    Following significant and continued investment in the development of new tools and features, Findmypast will continue to work hand in hand with their passionate online community to further enhance their unique offerings and deliver the best possible experience for all.

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