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  • 1 Mar 2024 10:44 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement written by the U.S. National Genealogical Society:

    The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has commissioned two of the country's leading forensic genealogists—Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG, and Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais, CG—to produce a new book, Forensic Genealogy: Theory and Practice. Ramage and Desmarais will lead a team of contributing authors including Cairenn Binder, Angie Bush, David Gurney, PhD, JD, Kelvin L. Meyers, and Rich Venezia, to create a scholarly and comprehensive book on the field of professional forensic genealogy. Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, will serve as editor.

    Ramage is a former trustee and treasurer of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and serves as general counsel to BCG. He authored chapters for Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, and his articles have appeared in OnBoard, the BCG newsletter, and the APG Quarterly. He is a former instructor at Boston University's Genealogical Research Program and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), NGS, and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. His expertise is in missing and unknown heirs in trusts and estates and real estate in the mid-Atlantic region. 

    Desmarais is a BCG trustee, former APG vice president, and member of NGS and the APG Forensic Genealogy Special Interest Group. She has coordinated popular forensic genealogy courses at Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (now GRIP Genealogy Institute) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Her articles have appeared in the NGS Quarterly, Utah Genealogical Association's Crossroads, and the APG Quarterly. She specializes in forensic genealogy to resolve military repatriation, estate, and realty cases. As a US Department of Defense qualified genealogist, she and her research team have located families for more than twelve hundred World War II and Korean War soldiers.

    "We are extremely pleased to have seasoned forensic genealogists at the helm of this important project," said NGS Executive Director Matt Menashes, CAE. "Forensic Genealogy: Theory and Practice promises to be a 'must have' resource for those seeking to learn about or enhance their skillset in the field. The publication date will be announced later this year."

  • 1 Mar 2024 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    Black and white masthead of the February 15, 1933 issue of The State's Voice

    Issues of The State’s Voice, published in Dunn, NC from 1933-1935, have been added to DigitalNC. Published by O. J. (Oscar J.) Peterson, this paper is much more of an editorial vehicle than many other papers at the time. The entire front page is devoted to his thoughts on one or more news items or topics of the day. His other interest was in writing informational essays about various parts of the state, like the one in this issue about Orange County and Hillsboro(ugh)

    Over the years, Peterson managed a number of newspapers besides The State’s Voice including the Chatham Record, the Sampson Democrat, and the Lumberton Argus. Aligning with the Democratic platform of the time, Peterson expresses strong opinions in his paper about prohibition, public education, and economics. His editorials are so pointed that they are alternatively lauded or criticized in other papers. 

    In the final issue of the paper, Peterson says: “The publication of the State’s Voice has been an interesting experience, or experiment, in several respects.” The paper was intended to be read statewide, and was launched upon a “highly intellectual basis with a confessed non-public appeal.” He seems to attribute the demise of the paper in part to a lack of intellectuality amongst his subscribers, despite many of them being prominent in the state.

    This paper was added on behalf of the Harnett County Public Library. You can view all of the materials contributed to DigitalNC from Harnett County Public Library on their contributor page.

  • 1 Mar 2024 6:57 AM | Anonymous


    The City Archives and Special Collections is excited to present the inaugural GenFest on March 9 at the New Orleans Public Library’s Main location (219 Loyola Ave.).  

    Stop by between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to browse information and exhibits from regional Louisiana genealogical, historical, cultural, and preservation organizations; informational programs from local experts; and a genealogy panel featuring representatives of many local heritage organizations. 

    A panel discussion moderated by Gaynell Brady – owner and educator of Our Mammy’s – starts at 1 p.m. Panelists include representatives from the LA Chapter African American Genealogical and Historical Society, La Creole, Los Isleños, Museum of Southern Jewish Experience, Archives of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Laura Plantation, German-Acadian Coast Historical and Genealogical Society, and more. 

    Archivist Amanda Fallis organized the event and said GenFest is a way for the City Archives to bring together southeastern Louisiana genealogical, preservation, historical and cultural organizations to share their mission and story with festival attendees and each other. 

    “Putting together our very first GenFest has been a wonderful experience,” said Fallis. “Communicating with all the amazing people keeping preservation, history, genealogy, and culture alive in our community has been inspiring and humbling. I cannot wait for Library patrons to join our organizations, presenters, and panelists in a celebration of knowledge and legacy.” 

    Tables from over 30 Southeastern Louisiana genealogical, preservation, historical, and cultural organizations will be at the event. Attendees will also enjoy four different presentations about genetics, collecting and preserving images, and cemetery history and records. 

    The Friends of the New Orleans Public Library will also have a second-hand genealogy book sale featuring over 1,000 items. Shannan Cvitanovic, executive director of the Friends said they are “thrilled to support this event.” 

    “The Library’s archivists feel the urgency of preserving family histories, particularly those of marginalized groups,” Cvitanovic said. “GenFest gives family historians, both new and experienced, the tools they need to preserve our stories before they are lost. We cannot wait to feel the energy of so many story tellers and story gatherers in one place. It will be both educational and emotional.” 

    For details and up-to-date information, visit

  • 1 Mar 2024 6:48 AM | Anonymous

    The Board for Certification of Genealogists is pleased to announce that it will accept applications beginning March 1, 2024, for a new credential, Certified Genetic Genealogist (CGG). This credential will denote associates who have demonstrated competence using genetic evidence to solve complex genealogical problems.

    BCG’s President, Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG®, states, “Given the increasing use and benefit of DNA to solve genealogical problems, having such a credential supports the Board’s mission to promote competence and ethics among genealogical practitioners. It also provides the public with confidence that a practitioner’s competence in genetic genealogy has been independently evaluated.”

    Any current Certified Genealogist® may submit application materials for the add-on CGG credential. For more information regarding the requirements and application process, please visit BCG’s website at

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

  • 1 Mar 2024 6:45 AM | Anonymous

    BackUpYourGenealogyFilesToday is the first day of the month. That is a good time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

    Your backups aren't worth much unless you make a quick test by restoring a small file or two after the backup is completed.

    Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often. (My computers automatically make off-site backups of all new files every few minutes.)

    Given the events of the past few months with genealogy websites laying off employees and cutting back on services, you now need backup copies of everything more than ever. What happens if the company that holds your online data either goes off line or simply deletes the service where your data is held? If you have copies of everything stored either in your own computer, what happens if you have a hard drive crash or other disaster? If you have one or more recent backup copies, such a loss would be inconvenient but not a disaster.

    Of course, you might want to back up more than your genealogy files. Family photographs, your checkbook register, all sorts of word processing documents, email messages, and much more need to be backed up regularly. Why not do that on the first day of each month? or even more often?

  • 29 Feb 2024 8:13 AM | Anonymous

    Newspaper title header that reads: The Perquimans Weekly.

    Thanks to our partners, Perquimans County Library and Pettigrew Regional Library, as well as funding from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), a massive batch of The Perquimans Weekly adds 10+ years worth of issues to DigitalNC! This batch expands our current holdings to include the years: 1989 to 1992 and 2010 to 2020.

    Commemorating the migration of Quakers from Perquimans County to the Northwest Territories during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, individuals donned their best Quaker costumes and hopped on their horses or into their horse-drawn buggies and wagons to participate in the Friends to Freedom Wagon Train that traveled through Perquimans County from March 17th to 20th in 2011.

    The first two days of the event were set aside for riding the planned 25 mile trail. They started their journey at the Newbold-White House campsite, making stops in Beech Springs, Belvidere, Bagley Swamp, and Winfall. In Belvidere, around 400 people came out to celebrate the train with vendors, live entertainment, wagon rides, food, and promotion of the area’s historical homes and buildings.

    On the last leg of the journey, the Train took the Causeway and historic S bridge to parade through Hertford before finally coming back to the Newbold-White House. The final day of the event ended with breakfast, a church service, and a driving course competition at the Newbold-White House site.

    To view more issues of The Perquimans Weekly, please click here.

    To learn more about the Perquimans Public Library, visit their website here.

    To view more newspapers from across North Carolina, please click here.

  • 29 Feb 2024 7:52 AM | Anonymous

    In many ways, the overgrown cemetery on a South Carolina rice plantation where my paternal ancestors are buried is emblematic of Black history itself. On my first visit in 2013, I went in search of the Fields family graves. There I found many unmarked graves, some of them nothing more than sunken depressions, as far as the eye could see. A few had simple headstones. One marked grave had been broken wide open by a fallen tree limb, and had filled with water. I was horrified to see my ancestor’s skeletal remains floating at the top.

    After researching the history of peasant rice farmers in West Africa for over a decade, I had recently extended my research to enslaved laborers on Lowcountry South Carolina rice plantations. But I had not thought to research my own family’s history. Seeing that open grave made me feel as though I had turned my back on my ancestors. I pledged then to find out who was buried in that cemetery and tell their story.

    African Americans searching for their family histories often have only small irregular pieces of an enormous puzzle. Most of those pieces are missing because enslaved African Americans were not recorded by their first and last names before the 1870 census. Until recently, identifying enslaved and formerly enslaved people who lived before that time was virtually impossible. To complicate matters, professional historians typically analyze and interpret plantation owners’ records, which identify enslaved people as property and by first name only, and describe the violence that was done to them, how their labor was exploited and their bodies abused. These records deny our ancestors’ humanity.

    Because of these limitations, it had become accepted as fact among historians and genealogists that efforts to recover African American family histories reaching back to the time of slavery would hit a brick wall.

    Today, I’m excited to report, the brick wall, or at least a large part of it, has been dismantled. Projects to digitize enormous troves of once difficult to access records are giving African American families opportunities to recover more of our lost past and offering historians the potential to enrich and rewrite the history of slavery.

    You can read more in an article by Edda L. Fields-Black published on the New York Times web site at:

  • 28 Feb 2024 12:49 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by Home Children Canada:

    • New collaboration between Canadian and UK organisations sees creation of first major collection of records pertaining to Home Children

    • Over 130,000 British children were sent to British Overseas Territories as part of forced migration scheme between 1860s and 1970s

    • Offered for free, the records will allow estimated 4m+ descendants of Home Children to trace their ancestors for the first time

    • Collection launched on Findmypast at Rootstech, in collaboration with The National Archives, British Library, Library and Archives Canada, and Home Children Canada

    A major new collection of Home Children records has launched today on family tree website, Findmypast, which will allow millions of descendants of British Home Children to trace their ancestors for free – many for the first time. 

    Created in collaboration with organisations across the UK and Canada, including The National Archives, The British Library, Library and Archives Canada, and Home Children Canada, the new collection features a vast and varied range of records which tell the stories of those who were part of the forced child migrant scheme in place from the 1860s up to the 1970s.

    The collection, launched at Rootstech, will be a growing repository with records added on an ongoing basis. It currently includes workhouse records, Juvenile Inspection Reports, Home Children Board of Guardian Records and emigration reports, while future updates are likely to see historical newspapers, migration records, workhouse and institutional records, periodicals and military records added.

    Over 130,000 children, now known as ‘British Home Children’, were sent across the Commonwealth, in particular to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Only 12% of these children were ‘true orphans’ - many came from charitable homes, workhouses, or destitute and struggling families. They were usually fostered into families when they reached their destinations to be used as unpaid domestic or farming labour. 

    However, abuse was widespread in a system which offered little protection to the children and few investigations into the care they received from their foster families. Many were relocated several times during their childhood, and often separated from their siblings.

    Historically, descendants of Home Children have struggled to trace their roots, with most records held in private archives and inaccessible to the public. This collection will provide an open-access, centralised set of resources for descendants to trace their forced migrant ancestors back to the UK and their birth families and add them directly to their family tree on Findmypast.

    Sarah Bush, Findmypast Managing Director, said:

    We’re extremely proud to launch this groundbreaking new collection, which will allow millions more people to uncover the stories of their forced migrant ancestors. It’s an incredibly poignant and complex part of our Commonwealth history, and these records will shed light on the lives and experiences of the British Home children, which have so often been overlooked or concealed. 

    At Findmypast, we believe that every story matters, and we hope to offer renewed hope of discovering ancestors and even new connections to families across the globe – easily and completely for free.”

    Roger Kershaw, Head of Strategic Operations and Volunteers at The National Archives, said: 

    Many of the children dispatched from the UK to Canada were from children’s homes and had their past erased before being used as cheap labour, with boys working on farms and girls as domestic servants. 

    Records from The National Archives reveal some of the government decisions leading to the emigration of children as young as one-year-old, including correspondence from the Home Office, Ministry of Health, Local Government Board and Colonial Office, with those bodies leading the policy, such as Dr Barnado’s.

    We are pleased to be able to contribute to this collection which will provide new avenues for research into the story of the British Home Children.”

    Lori Oschefski, an expert on British Home Children, President of the charity Home Children Canada, and a descendant of a Home Child herself, said: 

    This new database is significant because it fills crucial gaps in our understanding of Home Children's histories. These gaps hindered comprehensive research efforts, but now, with access to previously unavailable data, we can uncover deeper insights into the experiences and journeys of Home Children. 

    As the daughter of a Home Child, I cannot overstate the importance of this new collection for our community. While I conducted significant research for my mother before her passing, accessing records was challenging, and the information in this index was unavailable to me. This collection will revolutionize the search for information on British Home Children, offering understanding, closure, and peace of mind to millions of affected descendants whose personal histories were stripped away by migration programs.”

    Discover the collection for free on Findmypast:

  • 28 Feb 2024 9:20 AM | Anonymous

    On April 2, 2011, Plano, Texas Police Department responded to a home invasion sexual assault that occurred sometime after 2 o’clock in the morning. The victim was awakened by an unknown male in her bed. She fought back during the sexual assault and in the course of doing so, her attacker’s blood was transferred to a pillowcase on the bed. The pillowcase was collected as evidence, as was a routine sexual assault nurse examination, both of which were forensically analyzed to develop a clear suspect DNA profile.

    In September and October of 2011, Coppell Police Department (Dallas County) and Corinth Police Department (Denton County) responded to similar home invasion sexual assaults where the victims also underwent SANE exams. The unknown male profile in both of those cases was a forensic match to the suspect profile in the Plano case. Plano, Coppell, and Corinth police departments worked tirelessly for years collecting DNA from persons of interest and following up on any and all viable tips associated with these cases. The suspect was even the subject of an FBI’s America’s Most Wanted episode.

    In 2018, Arlington Police Department (Tarrant County) sent sexual assault kits on unsolved cases for additional testing in hopes that advancements in DNA technology would result in new leads. This uncovered evidence from a 2003 home invasion sexual assault case that also matched to the same offender from all three 2011 cases.

    You can read more in an article published in the Texas Metro News web site at:

  • 28 Feb 2024 8:23 AM | Anonymous

    The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

    The Sawtooth Slayer
    by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Self published. 2022. 342 pages.

    Nathan Goodwin will be at RootsTech at his booth in the Expo Hall. He enjoys meeting and greeting his readers, so drop by and say hello.

    The Sawtooth Slayer, a murder mystery set on the edge of the Sawtooth Range of the Rocky Mountains, in the small western city of Twin Falls, Idaho, is one more must-read story for the followers of Nathan Goodwin. A series of kidnappings and cruel murders have set the town on edge, and Detective Maria Gonzalez is tasked with solving the cases that have few leads and scant clues to a killer’s identity.

    Detective Gonzalez turns to Madison Scott-Barnhart, and Madison’s staff at her  investigative genetic genealogy company, Venator, for help in solving the case. Madison has moved her work to home, amidst the Covid crisis, where personal family complications parallel the difficulties of crime-solving with DNA analytics and genealogy searches. 

    The characters are well-developed and relatable, and the author does a good job weaving together the various threads of the story.  The genealogical aspect adds an intriguing layer to the mystery, and readers will find themselves drawn into the familiar world of genealogical problem-solving. 

    After all these years of enjoying Mr. Goodwin’s books, I do have a criticism. I wish his books were better-produced. I wish the chapter headings, line spacing, margins, and chapter spacings were better formatted. More like the traditional formatting of novels; his pages are pretty dense with type, and my eyes are asking for a little white space. Some illustrations might be interesting, too, just something to break up the crowded pages full of text. I know Mr. Goodwin’s sense of image is skilled; his book covers are perfectly drawn for his stories. 

    So on that slightly adverse note (although for an author, no critique is ever “slight”), Mr. Goodwin’s skillful storytelling and attention to detail make this a standout novel in the genre, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

    The Sawtooth Slayer is available from the author at:, from Amazon, and most other online bookstores.

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