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  • 13 Nov 2020 2:15 PM | Anonymous
    The following is an announcement from Findmypast:

    New and Exclusive Records Available To Search on Findmypast

    Warwickshire, Coventry Blitz, German Air Raids 1940-1941

    A unique collection created by Findmypast to mark the 80th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, these records contain the details of casualties of German air raids over city between November 1940 and June 1941.

    Details include name and home address, nature of casualty (killed, injured etc.) and where the casualty was treated. Close to 2,500 individuals are included on these lists, including some who remained unidentified.

    The vast majority of casualties were citizens of Coventry, but there were also victims from the length and breadth of Britain whose names can be found on these lists, as well as military personnel and members of the Auxiliary Fire Service and Air Raid Precautions.

    Coventry was badly hit many times, the raid of 14th/15th November 1940 being the worst. For almost 11 hours, the Luftwaffe dropped around 500 tons of high explosive, 30,000 incendiaries and 50 landmines. This devastating attack left 176 dead, around 680 wounded, many families homeless and destroyed the ancient heart of the city including its 14th century cathedral.

    Children and adults alike are recorded in these lists, and surname searches quickly reveal whole families affected.

    Records show how James Dawson and Arthur Young, both living at separate addresses in Cambridge Street were injured in the November 1940 raid, but Cambridge Street on the whole, escaped serious damage. 

    Unfortunately that wasn’t to be the case when the Luftwaffe paid a return visit in April 1941. Numbers 133, 135 and 137 Cambridge Street were all hit, with members of the Arrowsmith, Webb and Sadler families, and other individuals besides, all killed.

    British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers' Medical Records

    Thousands of additional records have once again been added to this important collection. Discover the names of injured soldiers, service details and where they were treated.

    Held by The National Archives and only available online at Findmypast, the collection includes admission and discharge records from over 20 hospitals, field ambulances and casualty clearing stations during the First World War.

    National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914

    Over 17,000 new Yorkshire school records are now available to search. This latest tranche has been made available thanks to our partners at the Calderdale Family History Society.

    Yorkshire Baptisms

    Unique to Findmypast, over 6,000 new baptism records from St Simon’s Church, Sheffield are now available to search.

    Yorkshire Monumental Inscriptions

    Over 4,600 new records from the West Riding of Yorkshire round off Findmypast’s releases from ‘God’s Own County’. The locations covered include Charlestown, Hebden Bridge, Langfield, Luddenden Foot, Lumbutts, Midgley, and Mount Tabor


    New titles in this week’s update include the Somerset Guardian and Radstock Observer.

    Further updates have also been made to the following titles:

    • Halifax Evening Courier covering 1926-1930, 1932-1934 and 1938-1939
    • Kinematograph Weekly covering 1923-1925 and 1927-1930
    • Western Morning News covering 1894
    • Birmingham Daily Gazette covering 1864
    • Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer covering 1947
    • Eddowes’s Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire, and the Principality of Wales covering 1853

  • 13 Nov 2020 5:01 AM | Anonymous

    Today is  Friday, the 13th of the month. That is an especially bad day for people who suffer from a phobia famously called triskaidekaphobia, a fear of the number 13. Any Friday that falls on the 13th of the month is especially bad, causing the fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek words Paraskeví (meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís (meaning “thirteen”).

    Surprisingly, this is the second Friday the 13th of this year. The first Friday the 13th of 2020 occurred back in March.

    In the Christian world the number 13 has long been associated with many bad events. Jesus had 12 disciples, which meant there were a total of 13 people in attendance the evening of the Last Supper, with Judas being received as the 13th guest.

    On Friday 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered Knights Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested. The Knights Templar were charged with numerous other offenses, such as financial corruption, fraud, secrecy, denying Christ, spitting on the crucifix, idol worship, blasphemy, and various obscenities. The soldiers arrested and imprisoned all the Knights Templar they could find. Most of those imprisoned were tortured until they died. Many in France were burned at the stake, including Grand Master Jacques de Molay. Only a few Knights Templar survived, mostly those who were in distant countries at the time, and they went into hiding.

    The German Luftwaffe bombed Buckingham Palace on Friday, the 13th of September, 1940.

    Hip hop star Tupac Shakur died on Friday, September 13, 1996, of gunshot wounds suffered in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting.

    The Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed off the coast of Italy, killing 30 people, on Friday, the 13th of January 2012.

    In 1907, Thomas W. Lawson published a novel called Friday, the Thirteenth, with the story of an unscrupulous broker taking advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th. The novel became a best seller of the time.

    In addition, the month of April is double trouble, according to Chaucer. Just as he fashioned April to be the “cruelest month” in his Canterbury Tales, he also fashioned Friday to be a day “of misfortune.”

    Then, of course, we have the hockey mask-wearing killer named Jason in the movie Friday the 13th, released in 1980.

    How many Friday the 13ths have you survived? A calculator embedded in an article by Philip Bump in The Washington Post gives the answer. You can check it out at:

    In spite of these misfortunes, there is no truth to the idea that Friday the 13th is unlucky. Still, I am not taking any chances. You won’t see me this Friday as I am taking the day off and staying in bed.

  • 12 Nov 2020 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    "Stories Behind the Stars" is a nonprofit initiative that seeks to compile stories of the 400,000-plus fallen in one central database, accessible from a smartphone or other technology device.

    It is a monumental task that no one man, not even someone of Don Milne's talent and aspirations, can handle.

    To date, volunteers from 47 states and 10 countries, are dedicating time to "Stories Behind the Stars" as researchers and writers. Each volunteer receives training and free access to research tools.

    The goal, according to project creator Don Milne, is to allow visitors to hallowed sites such as war memorials and cemeteries the opportunity to scan the names of the fallen with a smartphone and gain instant access to the biographies, and photographs, hosted in the central database at

    "Stories Behind the Stars" is searching for more volunteers to find more information and to transcribe the data onto the project's online database. All you need is a smartphone and a desire to help.

    You can read more about this nonprofit project in an article by Jon Pompia in The Pueblo Chieftain at

    You also can watch a video about the "Stories Behind the Stars" project at:

  • 12 Nov 2020 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from FamilySearch:

    RootsTech Connect 2021—the world’s largest family celebration event—announced its first wave of keynote speakers hailing from Australia, Italy, Mexico, and the United States. Speakers include New York Times bestselling author and international motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic; Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, a retired top female world golfer; Francesco Lotoro of Italy, musician, composer and collector of music composed in captivity during the Holocaust; and Sharon Leslie Morgan, author and genealogist dedicated to promoting healing by providing resources for African American genealogical research.

    RootsTech Connect, February 25–27, 2021, is a free online conference to discover, share, and celebrate family and heritage connections.


    Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia. With no medical explanation or warning, Nick came into the world with neither arms nor legs. He has overcome his disabilities and has achieved remarkable goals despite them. By age 19 he started fulfilling his dream of encouraging others through their personal challenges. He has spoken live to 6.5 million people live in more than 65 countries, met with 21 presidents, and addressed 9 governments. His New York Times best seller, Unstoppable, is now published in more than 30 languages. Vujicic now lives in California with his wife and 4 children. (Read more about Nick Vujicic).

    Lorena Ochoa is best known as the top-ranked female golfer in the world for 157 consecutive weeks in the LPGA. As the first Mexican golfer of either gender with such a ranking, she is considered the best Mexican golfer and Best Latin American female golfer of all time."Knowing your past is very important to understand who you are," said Ochoa. "The work that FamilySearch and RootsTech Connect does is incredible. I know more about my story than I would have ever imagined."

    Ochoa has received numerous prestigious awards. She now hosts her own tournament bringing the professional elite to golf in Mexico. Among many altruistic pursuits, she has started a foundation focused on educating low-income children. In November 2012, she published her book, Dream Big, sharing the goals from her childhood that set her on that course. Lorena is the mother of 3 young children, and lives with her husband, Andres Conesa, in Mexico City. (Read more about Lorena Ochoa).

    Francesco Lotoro is an Italian pianist, composer, conductor, and professor at the Umberto Giordano Music Conservatory in Foggia, Italy. For the past 30 years, he has worked tirelessly to recover, study, archive, execute, record, and promote tens of thousands of remarkable musical scores composed by prisoners in concentration camps. He is currently working on a multi-volume encyclopedia dedicated to music written in concentration camps and to the related composers with the goal for it to “become a historic, artistic, cultural and spiritual treasure for all.” For his efforts, Lotoro has received widespread interest and recognition throughout Europe and North America. (Read more about Francesco Lotoro).

    Sharon Leslie Morgan has devoted her career to support African American genealogical research. She founded Our Black Ancestry (OBA), an online community to provide resources for African American genealogical research, preserve historical materials and properties, and promote healing of wounds that are a legacy of slavery. OBA is a partner with FamilySearch on the ROAR (Reclaiming Our African Roots) Project.

    A staunch advocate of racial justice, Morgan has co-authored several books including Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade, and she works with organizations that promote this work. She has received prestigious awards for her efforts to help others with this research and make connections to provide healing.

    “I believe genealogy is a tool for healing from America's egregious past and a shining light on a pathway toward a society that embraces equality and justice for all,” said Morgan. “RootsTech Connect 2021 is an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate humanity in all of its colors, cultures, and creeds."  (Read more about Sharon Leslie Morgan).

    Register for RootsTech Connect 2021 for free at

  • 11 Nov 2020 5:46 PM | Anonymous

    The following was written by the National Genealogical Society (NGS):

    The National Genealogical Society (NGS) introduced today the newest course in its Continuing Genealogical Studies series, Reading Old Handwriting. This illustrated course is essential for everyone researching their family tree. It offers family historians tips to understand hard-to-read handwriting in documents such as wills and deeds. Its practice exercises teach how to read and interpret handwritten land records, probate files, and, of course, your ancestors’ personal letters.

    NGS Education Director Angela McGhie states, “…the ability to read old handwriting is a foundational skill for understanding many of the documents family historians discover in their research. Being able to read old handwriting is the first step in interpreting genealogically relevant facts. Our new course Reading Old Handwriting complements NGS’s course, Transcribing, Extracting, and Abstracting Genealogical Documents, which was released in June 2020.

    The course guides genealogists through ten modules. Every module has multiple hands-on exercises to help family historians develop expertise in reading documents from a variety of locations and time periods. Course author Carla S. Cegielski is a freelance genealogical researcher and author of the Tech Tips column in the quarterly NGS Magazine.

    For more information and to register, visit Reading Old Handwriting on NGS’s website.

  • 11 Nov 2020 5:41 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the American Society of Genealogists:

    The Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists held their annual meeting on Saturday, November 7, 2020. Caleb H. Johnson of Paulden, Arizona, was elected to the Society as its 168th Fellow.

    Caleb H. Johnson has conducted trailblazing genealogical research on the Mayflower passengers and their descendants for the past twenty-two years. In that time he has produced five books, a large number of scholarly articles, and an informational website, This body of work includes the discovery, at first on his own and more recently in partnerships with two English scholars, of the origins of no fewer than twelve Mayflower passengers. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Johnson was editor of Mayflower Descendant and contributed much of the material in that journal for those years.

  • 11 Nov 2020 5:35 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the American Society of Genealogists:

    At the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Genealogists on November 7, 2020, Dr. Neil D. Thompson, our 100th Fellow, was elected as a Fellow Emeritus, in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to genealogy. Among Dr. Thompson’s many contributions to the field is the journal The Genealogist, which he founded in 1980 and edited and published for many years; it is now published by the Society.

  • 11 Nov 2020 5:30 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the American Society of Genealogists:

    At the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Genealogists on November 7, 2020, the Society voted to give its Donald Lines Jacobus Award to The Littlefield Genealogy: Descendants of Edmund Littlefield of Wells, Maine, Through Six Generations, 2 vols. (Waterville, Maine: Maine Genealogical Society, 2020), by Priscilla Eaton.

    A Great Migration immigrant from Titchfield, Hampshire, England, Edmund Littlefield’s descendants grew to become one of the largest families in Maine, with branches extending to southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Quebec. Eaton’s research, supported by extensive documentation and detailed analysis, covers more than three thousand of Edmund’s descendants.

  • 11 Nov 2020 5:22 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Genealogical Speakers Guild:

    Call for Proposals for Webinar on February 10, 2021

    The Guild is seeking proposals for the February 10, 2021 Educational Webinar. The webinars are presented to the GSG membership four times a year.

    Among the topics being considered are webinars on strategies for online delivery, webinar tips and techniques, advanced PowerPoint tips and techniques, recording videos for a website and speaker tips and tricks. Other topics will also be accepted.

    Compensation will be limited to $150 for the selected webinar.

    Proposals should include the following information:

    • Speaker's name, address, and telephone number
    • Speaker's Email address and website URL
    • Title of the webinar
    • Summary of the webinar (not to exceed 150 words)
    • A detailed description of the webinar (not to exceed 500 words)
    • Audience skill level (intermediate, advanced, etc.)
    • Biography for publicity (not to exceed 250 words)
    • Resume of previous experience (within the last 18 months) experience

    The webinar will be limited to a total of one hour (50-minute presentation and a brief five-ten minutes question-and-answer period). Handout material will be required for the presentation and will be hosted on the GSG website on the "Members [Only]" page.

    Up to three submissions may be submitted on or before 11 December 2020 as a PDF file or Word file. Submit them to

  • 10 Nov 2020 5:08 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS):

    Are You Descended from a Mayflower Passenger?
    Finding Out Just Got Easier 

    New, Searchable Digital Database of Mayflower Society Membership Applications Helps Reveal Family Connections to Pilgrims 

    Leading Genealogical Organizations Partner to Produce
     an Online Resource to Simplify Mayflower Ancestral Research 

    November 10, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—It is estimated that there are more than 35 million living descendants of the Pilgrims around the world. Proving family connections to this group used to be a daunting task, but no longer. American Ancestors and its partners—the General Society Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) and FamilySearch International—have introduced an online resource that makes the question “Am I descended from a Pilgrim?” easier to answer than ever before, a timely offering in this 400th anniversary year of the Mayflower's arrival in America. 

    Today, American Ancestors|New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced the release of a new online database on its website at that contains authenticated lineages of passengers on the Mayflower who left descendants. These family histories are compiled from names and dates of approved membership applications to the Mayflower Society (GSMD). The earliest application dates to 1895. The searchable database is available to members of American Ancestors|NEHGS, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting family history. In coming weeks, the database will be available to all active members of the Mayflower Society. 

    “Descendants of famous Pilgrims such as William Bradford, John and Priscilla Alden, and others, can now easily search for and find family histories spanning as many as 13 generations,” said Brenton Simons, President and CEO of American Ancestors|NEHGS. “It’s a huge step forward for Mayflower family historians, and a useful research tool for anyone interested in family history and genealogy.” 

    According to Don LeClair, Associate Director, Database Search & Systems at American Ancestors, “Linking your name to someone on a tree in this database may more quickly identify a Mayflower line, and aid in your application process to the Mayflower Society.” American Ancestors assists hundreds of its members each year with making a formal application to the Mayflower Society for membership. 

    In addition to the searchable database of more than 4.5 million names, family trees—built on the application known as American AncesTREES, a proprietary program of American Ancestors—will display valuable information for any individual interested in researching a possible ancestral connection to a passenger on the Mayflower. A complete tree has been created of the 24 Mayflower Pilgrim families who are known to have left descendants, a complete tree has been created. Where previous online Mayflower databases offered information on generations one through five of a Pilgrim, this new database now expands the online resource to include up to the 11th, 12th, or possibly the 13th generation descending from a Pilgrim family—through the year 1919. Due to privacy restrictions, no name or data has been included of any individual on a GSMD membership application who was born after December 31, 1919. 

    “The General Society of Mayflower Descendants is honored to once again partner with NEHGS,” said Jane Hurt, Governor General of GSMD. “As the custodian of family lines going back fifteen generations or more from founding families in America, being able to share our information with American Ancestors will help us identify additional descendants, find undiscovered lines, and welcome new members to our society.” 

    A partnership makes challenging research easier  

    The new database is the result of a three-year collaboration between American Ancestors| NEHGS, the General Society Mayflower Descendants (GSMD), and FamilySearch International, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The historic membership applications from the archives of GSMD were digitized by FamilySearch International to create a storehouse of images of each page of an application. Names were meticulously indexed for search functions online. American Ancestors then created a searchable family tree for each Pilgrim on its American AncesTREES platform, using the new indexed data and merging it with data from an earlier project done with GSMD for its renowned Silver Books collection.  

    American Ancestors CEO Simons stated, "This is an unprecedented collaboration between three of the ‘greats.’ FamilySearch is a giant of the field and brings the best technologies to bear. The Mayflower Society (GSMD) is one of the most esteemed hereditary societies, and it champions the story of the Pilgrims. And American Ancestors is the public face of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the founding genealogical society in the world and best known for maintaining the highest standards in the field of genealogy."  

    Simons emphasized that free online access to the documents and lineages from the verified GSMD member applications sheds new light on one of America's founding legacies. In the year commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s landing, many of the planned events marking its significance have been postponed. But investigating one’s possible ancestral connection to the iconic Pilgrim family may take place comfortably at home and at any time through the use of new resources such as the database announced today. 

    The Mayflower Society (GSMD), one of the leading lineage societies
    General Society Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) started taking applications for membership in 1895. It currently has more than 30,000 active members. This year, with attention being given to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage in 1620, more individuals have sought recognition of their ancestry by submitting an application for membership to be verified by GSMD. 

    Scholarship undertaken by the GSMD over the years has resulted in publication of 30 volumes of the Silver Books, known as such for the color of the covers.  The books incorporate genealogical data covering generations one through five of a Pilgrim. That data was indexed by American Ancestors from 2017 to 2018 to create an initial online database called “The Mayflower Families Fifth Generation Descendants.” That has now been merged with the information contained in the more than 100,000 Mayflower Society applications utilized in this project, respecting the privacy of data of anyone born after December 31, 1919.

    To view the new database, “General Society of Mayflower Descendants Membership Applications, 1620-1920,” and explore its content, visit  Many other resources pertaining to Mayflower research may also be viewed at

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