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  • 7 Dec 2020 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    I received a rather pleasant surprise this past weekend: He's back!

    An old friend is announcing the formation of a new company that will provide a valuable service to genealogists.

    Many long-time genealogists will recognize the name Bob Velke. Bob probably is best known in the genealogy community as the founder and CEO of The Master Genealogist (TMG), genealogy software for Microsoft Windows first released in 1993. Bob founded the company Wholly Genes Software to sell and support the program.

    Those who were able to learn more about Bob also soon realized he was an expert researcher and a person who demanded true source citations to all facts that he added to his own genealogy database. He strongly encouraged the users of The Master Genealogist to do the same with their record keeping. Indeed, The Master Genealogist was the experts' preferred tool for proper record keeping. Nothing before or since has the source citation capabilities of The Master Genealogist.

    Time marches on and Wholly Genes Software eventually went out of business and faded away. However, here is a new press release I received from Bob this past weekend:

    Introducing Gopher Records, LLC: a new way to retrieve records from the  National Archives.

    For a limited time, you can get a Civil War pension  file for just $25 and a service file for just $10. This introductory offer represents a 50% discount from our regular prices which are already the lowest in the industry.

    When ordering directly from NARA, a digital copy of a full pension file  is $80 for the first 100 pages and $0.70 per page thereafter. For a  300-page file, that's $220.00 - but our price is just $25 with this  amazing offer.

    NARA is closed for COVID-19 but we are taking advanced orders now. When  NARA opens, orders will be processed in the order that they are  received. Best of all, you won’t be asked to pay until your documents  are ready to be delivered to you.

    This 50% discount offer expires on 31 Dec 2020.

    Please visit us at https://GopherRecords.com/de/.

  • 7 Dec 2020 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release from the Blackstone Group, Inc.:

    NEW YORK-- Blackstone (NYSE: BX) today announced that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have completed their previously announced acquisition of Ancestry® from Silver Lake, GIC, Spectrum Equity, Permira, and other equity holders for a total enterprise value of $4.7 billion. Current Ancestry investor GIC will continue to retain a significant minority stake in the company.

    Ancestry is the global leader in digital family history services, operating in more than 30 countries. The company has over 3.6 million subscribers, with annual revenue of over $1 billion. The company harnesses the information found in family trees and historical records to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry also operates a market-leading consumer genomics business, which informs consumers about their heritage and key health characteristics.

    David Kestnbaum, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, and Sachin Bavishi, a Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “We are very excited about Ancestry’s future, as the company continues to demonstrate strong growth as the industry leader. We look forward to partnering with Ancestry in the years ahead to help the company further expand its product offerings and drive ongoing technology innovation so that an even greater number of families can discover more about their histories and themselves.”

    Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as lead financial advisor to Ancestry. Barclays also served as a financial advisor to Ancestry. BofA Securities, Credit Suisse, and JPMorgan served as financial advisors to Blackstone. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Ancestry and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to Blackstone. Dechert LLP is serving as legal advisor to GIC.

    CEO Transition

    Margo Georgiadis, Ancestry President & CEO, has announced that she has informed the board that she plans to depart the company at the end of 2020. The company expects to announce a new CEO in early 2021 who will drive the next phase of the company’s ongoing growth. Ms. Georgiadis will remain available for a period of time after her departure to assist in a smooth transition.

    “I’m so proud of the collective accomplishments of the Ancestry team and am confident in the company’s continued success,” said Georgiadis. “In partnership with Blackstone and Ancestry’s deep bench of management talent, the company is well positioned for continued growth, delivering on its mission to empower journeys of personal discovery for millions of people around the world.”

    Eric Wilmes, Head of Private Equity, Americas at GIC, and Stephen Evans, a Managing Director at Silver Lake, said, “Margo has made a tremendous impact on this organization, and we are grateful for her many contributions. She has created a best-in-class leadership team and led a process of rebuilding and strengthening our products and our business. On behalf of the entire board, we wish Margo the very best in her next chapter.”

    About Blackstone

    Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $584 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

    About Ancestry®

    Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of 27 billion records and over 18 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain actionable insights about their health and wellness. For over 30 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.

    About GIC

    GIC is a leading global investment firm established in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. A disciplined long-term value investor, GIC is uniquely positioned for investments across a wide range of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, private equity, real estate and infrastructure. In private equity, GIC invests through funds as well as directly in companies, partnering with its fund managers and management teams to help world class businesses achieve their objectives. Headquartered in Singapore, GIC employs over 1,700 people across 10 offices in key financial cities worldwide. For further information on GIC, visit www.gic.com.sg.

  • 7 Dec 2020 11:56 AM | Anonymous

    Mystery solved.

    It took 36 years, but a Florida man who relentlessly insisted he was William Shatner’s son just realized he isn’t, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

    Peter Sloan, who legally changed his last name to Shatner last year, can thank Ancestry.com for helping to clear up the matter.

    The 63-year-old Clearwater man, who was adopted as an infant, got it into his head that the “Star Trek” star was his dad because his biological mother told him she had a fling with the actor at the time of his conception, and that it was highly possible.

    While possible, DNA proved that it wasn't true.

    You can read the full story at https://bit.ly/3mZqEZm.

  • 7 Dec 2020 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a message posted to the IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies') Public Records Access Monitoring Committee mailing list and is republished here with the IAJGS' permission:

    Earlier this year, the IAJGS Records Access Alert informed its readers that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved closing its facility in Seattle—without any public input. The sale is  due to the recommendation for sale by the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB)and approved sale by the Office of Management and Budget. See: https://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2020/nr20-37.

     The original announcement said it was expected to take 18 months for the sale and NARA requested to stay in the building for an additional three years. The records move would be National facilities in Riverside, California -over 1,000 miles away.  While some of the records have been digitized they are not many and this would severely hamper access for people in the Pacific Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State. Priceless Tribal records are also housed in the building—many are the tribal treaties or maps in existence. Other very essential records include tens of thousands of records related to  the Chinese Exclusion Act, records of internment of Japanese Americans, records memorializing Washington’s history. 

    An article from KOMO News in Seattle on December 4th states the state officials plan to fight the Trump Administration plan to sell the Seattle archives building. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he intends to try and prevent the sale via lawsuit…the building’s sale was buried in the fine print of a 74-page meeting minutes from October.

    While initially, the federal government said it would sell the National Archives building and other federal government buildings in Seattle individually, newly uncovered plans call for selling them immediately as a bundled unit.

    To read more see: https://komonews.com/news/local/state-officials-plan-to-fight-trump-plan-to-sell-seattle-archives-building

    Thank you to Barbara Jean Mathews, CG, FASG and president of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council for sharing the aforementioned article with us. 

    To read the previous IAJGS Records Access Alert postings about the Seattle, WA NARA Building pending sale and removal of documents to 1,000 miles away go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts  You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts.  You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)

    Jan Meisels Allen
    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 7 Dec 2020 11:29 AM | Anonymous

    Five days ago, I published an article with the title of "Google Cloud Print is Going Away, Can You Find an Alternative?" Two days ago, Michael Perrigi answered the question.

    The answer is "Yes, you can print from a Chromebook without using Google Cloud Print."" You can find the article at: https://chromeunboxed.com/print-from-a-chromebook-without-gcp.


  • 7 Dec 2020 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    Predictions about the future often turn out to be inaccurate. However, in 1953, writer Mark R. Sullivan published an article in the Tacoma News Tribune that seems to have been very accurate. Sullivan predicted that people will be surrounded by telephones wherever they go, unable to get away from them even if they don’t want to be around them.

    Yes, all of the above is commonplace today.

  • 4 Dec 2020 2:15 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist releases more College and University registers into its expanding Educational Records adding a quarter of a million additional individuals. This release includes records from England, Scotland, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand and even a college from Portugal.

    The records can be used to discover a student’s achievements and are fantastic for identifying where next to apply your research for an ancestor. Educational records will confirm birth dates and sometimes the place of birth. Usually they give a father’s name and address, which is useful when the parent is missing from the census, and they can give details of the student’s occupation and a great deal more useful information.


    Fettes College, Edinburgh

    Researchers can use this new data to find ancestors who attended or taught at a variety of Educational establishments in a wide range of years up to the mid 1930s. The earliest record in this release is dated 1566 in the Christ's Hospital Exhibitioners to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 1566-1923. In contrast the latest record is 1936, taken from the List of Occupants of Rooms in St John's College 1895-1936.

    These records can also be used to identify those who held high office in the institutions, so that University patrons, deans, visitors, professors and masters and the principals and governors of schools are usually included.

    Also in this release we have some fascinating Irish Examination Board records from 1889, 1891 and 1892. These reveal the candidates’ names, addresses and grades in all their subjects, including some rather unusual ones. If you can find an ancestor, within these records, it will certainly be an eyeopener as they disclose what subjects your forebear had been a good or a bad student of.

    The registers released on TheGenealogist today are:

    Aberdeenshire

    • Aberdeen Education Authority Members' Directory, 1920-1921

    • Aberdeen University Roll of Graduates, 1860-1900

    Cambridgeshire

    • Christ's Hospital Exhibitioners to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 1566-1923

    • List of Occupants of Rooms in St John's College, 1895-1936

    • Gonville and Caius College Vol. II, 1713-1897

    • Register of Admissions to King’s College, 1850-1900

    • Admissions to Peterhouse or S. Peter's College in the University of Cambridge, 1615-1911

    • Girton College Register, 1869-1946

    Devon

    • Kelly College Register, 1877-1927

    Dublin

    • Alumni Dublineneses, 1593-1846

    Edinburgh

    • University of Edinburgh Graduates, 1859-88

    • The Fettes College Register, 1870-1932

    Dublin

    • Intermediate Education Board for Ireland, Exhibition and Prize Lists, 1889

    • Intermediate Education Board for Ireland, Exhibition and Prize Lists, 1890

    • Intermediate Education Board for Ireland, Examinations Held in 1889 Pass Lists, Boys

    • Intermediate Education Board for Ireland, Examinations Held in 1892 Pass Lists, Boys

    • Intermediate Education Board for Ireland, Examinations Held in 1891 Pass Lists, Boys

    London

    • Dulwich College War Record, 1939-1945

    Netherlands

    • University of Leyden, List of English speaking Students of Medicine, 1932

    New Zealand

    • The Early History of Wellington College, N.Z, 1867-1883

    • New Zealand University Calendar, 1925

    Oxfordshire

    • Alumni Oxonienses (Members of the University of Oxford) 1715-1886 Vol I

    • Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 Vol II

    • Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 Vol III

    • Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 Vol IV

    • Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 Vol V

    • Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 Vol VI

    • Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 Vol VII

    • Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 Vol VIII

    • Oxford Men and their Colleges, 1880-1892

    • War Record of the University Press, Oxford, 1914-1919

    Portugal

    • Historical Account of Lisbon College

    Surrey

    • County of Surrey Endowed Institutions Volume IV

    Yorkshire

    • Teachers and Officers of Ackworth School, 1779-1894

    Read TheGenealogist’s article on researching more about an ancestor from the leads revealed in the pages of Educational Records:

    https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/educational-records-may-reveal-your-ancestors-unusual-achievements-1362/

  • 4 Dec 2020 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Essex Baptisms

    Over 169,000 new transcripts have been added to Essex baptisms. Unique to Findmypast, these new additions, covering a wide range of parishes and date ranges, will reveal your ancestor’s date and location of birth, date and location of baptism, residence, parents’ names and father’s occupation. 

    See Findmypast’s Essex parish list for details of the new arrivals, along with locations and years covered across the entire collection.

    Devon Baptisms

    Findmypast’s Devon collection continues to grow with over 45,000 Methodist baptism records. These new additions cover 73 churches and span from 1837-1919.

    The collection now contains over 2.7 million records spanning 400 years of the maritime county’s history.

    Berkshire Probate Index

    Discover details of your Berkshire ancestors in new probate records dating all the way back 1480.

    Findmypast’s unrivalled parish coverage

    The index will reveal the year of probate, the type of document surviving, its archive reference (for ordering copies of original documents from the Berkshire Record Office) and usually an ancestor’s occupation and residence.

    Newspapers

    This week, Findmypast have added over 47,000 additional pages to Leicester Evening Mailcovering 1929-1943.

     

  • 3 Dec 2020 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by MyHeritage (the sponsor of this genealogy newsletter):

    Earlier this year we released an amazing feature for colorization of black and white photos –MyHeritage In Color™. It was based on deep-learning technology licensed by us exclusively from DeOldify – the super talented team of Jason Antic and Dana Kelley, following pioneering work by our team member Maor Cohen. MyHeritage In Color™ quickly became a viral sensation with more than 16 million photos colorized since its release. You can read more on our blog about our launch of this feature, how it went viral, and the colorization settings we added for it.

    Try MyHeritage In Color™ now

    Throughout the year, Jason and Dana continued to work hard to improve colorization even further, as they are, in their own words, obsessively pursuing the perfection of colorization using deep learning. We are now happy to release the fruits of their continued efforts — a new colorization model, which produces even better results when colorizing black and white photos. Going forward, we will use the new colorization model as the default option when you colorize your photos. So, you need not take any action to take advantage of the new model, just continue to colorize your photos on MyHeritage.

    Why colorize your black & white photos?

    Photos provide a unique view into the lives of our ancestors and relatives, but viewing them in black and white places them at a certain distance. Viewing the same images in color brings them to life like nothing else can. Colorized historical photos can spark interest in the past, and help us relate more personally to events and people from times gone by. It allows us to view these photographs in an entirely new way, giving us new perspectives on the people and places who made us who we are today.

    Imagine seeing your grandparents’ wedding photo in color for the first time, or noticing the small details portraying life on the streets of New York a hundred years ago. When you view the colorized images next to the original black and white photos, you’ll be amazed by the difference. Colorization does not modify your original photo, it creates a new copy, and it marks it with a special symbol in the bottom left corner to inform others that the colors are simulated and are not authentic.

    Examples

    Several examples that show how the new colorization model (which we’ll call November 2020) achieves better results than the former model (February 2020). You can see these examples and also learn more about the new process in the MyHeritage Blog at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/12/myheritage-in-color-just-got-better/


  • 2 Dec 2020 4:04 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    Search over 2.7M new records added to FamilySearch this week for the Norway 1891 Census, along with nearly 4M Catholic Church records for Mexico, Oaxaca 1559–1988, and Mexico, Nayarit 1596–1967.  Look in expanded country collections  for Austria, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru, S. Africa, Sweden, UruguayVenezuela, and the United States (CA, LA, MS, NY, VA and WA).  

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

    NOTE: The full list of newly-added records is too long to list here. You can read the entire list at: https://media.familysearch.org/new-free-historical-records-on-familysearch-week-of-30-november-2020/.

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