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  • 4 Jan 2021 12:32 PM | Anonymous

    Wouldn't it be nice to be able to go back in time and talk with your ancestors? Unfortunately, technology hasn't progressed that far... yet. Not even for our English-speaking ancestors.

    However, Simon Roper is an expert in the English language as it changed over the years. He has now recorded a YouTube video in which he speaks in what is believed to be an example of "modern English." He provides an example of English as it was spoken in southern England every 60 years, starting in the year 1346 A.D.

    English? I couldn't understand a word of English in the year 1346!

    You can check it out for yourself at

  • 31 Dec 2020 2:41 PM | Anonymous

  • 31 Dec 2020 1:19 PM | Anonymous

    2020 may have been the year of cloud storage. It has become a useful tool for all computer owners. I have become more productive in the past year because of the ease of having all my data with me wherever I go.

    At the moment, the biggest hurdle to actually using all that storage is bandwidth. Even on a relatively fast connection in the United States, it can take weeks to upload a terabyte of data.

    The availability of safe and secure online storage available at very low prices has changed the way I work forever. My personal backups are in additional copies backed up on to make sure everything remains available in case pCloud ever becomes unavailable for some reason. Yes, I have backups to my backups. I suggest you do something similar also.

    I haven’t given up local backups, of course, because old habits die hard. I also keep backups of every file that ever existed on my Macintosh systems by using Apple’s TimeMachine backup software and external hard drives that plug into each Mac. That includes my laptop and the two iMac desktop systems I have at my two locations.

    In the not-so-distant future, we’ll marvel at the old-fashioned idea that people used to keep terabytes of data on big in-home hard drives where they were subject to hardware failures, fires, floods, and other things that destroy such drives.

    Where are your backups?

  • 31 Dec 2020 10:54 AM | Anonymous

    According to an article by Darrell Etherington published in the TechCrunch web site:

    "DNA testing technology company 23andMe has raised just shy of $82.5 million in new funding, from an offering of $85 million in total equity shares, according to a new SEC filing. The funding, confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, comes from investors including Sequoia Capital and NewView Capital. It brings the total raised by 23andMe to date to over $850 million.

    "There’s no specific agenda earmarked for this Series F round, according to a statement from the company to the WSJ, beyond general use to continue to fund and grow the business. 23andMe’s business is based on its distribution of individual home genetic testing kits, which provide customers with insights about their potential health and their family tree based on their DNA."

    You may find the article at:

  • 30 Dec 2020 10:11 PM | Anonymous

    The North Carolina State Archives Website has just moved to an updated version of its website. Although the primary address ( remains the same, there will be some changes to web addresses deeper within the site, primarily to pages that host documents like lesson plans, finding aids, guidance documentation, and record schedules. If you have one of these pages bookmarked you may need to verify that the link is still correct and, if the location has changed, create a new bookmark.

    While the move is expected to proceed smoothly, there are bound to be a few glitches with any project of this magnitude. Archives' personnel ask for your patience while they complete this work and apologize in advance for any inconvenience it may cause.

  • 30 Dec 2020 10:01 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. National Museum of Women in the Arts is asking the public to share recipes that document unique family histories.

    "Family recipes, whether invented on the fly or handed down through generations, often become treasured heirlooms, offering a window into the private lives, flavors and histories of one’s ancestors. Now, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is giving the public a chance to share their relatives’ beloved recipes with a broader audience.

    "The Washington, D.C. institution—the only major museum dedicated exclusively to women artists—is currently accepting submissions for an online exhibition, “Reclamation: Recipes, Remedies, and Ritual,” slated to open on January 18. Participants are encouraged to share their family recipes, as well as pictures of the dish, anecdotes and reflections on its significance, through an online form.

    "The program is part of the museum’s “Women, Arts, and Social Change” initiative, which seeks to highlight “the power of women and the arts as catalysts for change.” Per a statement, community recipe submissions will feature in the museum’s first-ever exclusively online, interactive exhibition alongside creations by nine artists.

    “[Recipes] will be layered with the artists’ work, creating a dynamic portal for exploring the interconnectedness of food and the communal nature of nourishing and curing the body,” the statement notes. “In this way, both artists and viewers will use those materials to honor women’s roles in the practices and traditions surrounding food.”"

    You can read more in an article by Nora McGreevy in the Smithsonian Magazine website at:

  • 30 Dec 2020 1:55 PM | Anonymous

    From an article by I. C. Murrell published in the Port Arthur News web site:

    "Some Sabine Pass (Texas) School students and their instructor are determined to restore headstones of those buried in nearby cemeteries that date back to the 19th century.

    "Noah Escareno, Allan Cantu, and Cody Schaller were in Scott Hagedorn’s graphic design class last spring when the coronavirus pandemic interrupted their plans to create these monuments. Through the use of historical data and 21st-century technology, the first headstone will soon be restored.

    “'It’s a long time coming, since we’ve been working on it for most of last year,' Schaller said. 'It’s going to be nice finally getting to finish it, especially since COVID hit to stop it. We worked on it for a long time last year.'

    “It took a lot of time and effort, a lot of different days going into the cemetery when it was really cold outside, a lot of field trips and walking with the iPads and phones and taking videos of everything, all the tombstones that were destroyed and where they were at. We had to build a layout of the entire cemetery so we would know where the old tombstones were and the bodies were buried. So, it was a whole lot of work.”

    The full article is much longer and goes on to describe the use of 3D printing, robotics, a laser-etching machine, and more in the article at:

  • 30 Dec 2020 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from an announcement written by the Texas State Genealogical Society:

    The Texas State Genealogical Society announces a Call for Presentations for their 2021 TxSGS Family History Conference “Connecting Generations.” This event, slated for October 1-2, will be held virtually. Selected presentations will be included in a TxSGS Live! two-day event with live Q&A; other presentations will be recorded for an On-Demand program available for replay for 90 days after TxSGS Live! The deadline for proposals is February 28, 2021.

    The full Call for Presentations may be found at:

  • 30 Dec 2020 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from an announcement written by FamilySearch:

    Investigate on FamilySearch this week 4M new parish and civil registrations for Eure France (1526-1902), plus additional Catholic Church records from Bolivia (1566–1996), the Dominican Republic (1590–1955), Peru (Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, 1665–2018), Puerto Rico (1645–1969), Mexico (Yucatán 1543–1977), Venezuela (1577–1995) and more for US collections (AR, CA, GA, IL, IN, MS, 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.)

    The full announcement is too long to post here. However, you can read the full text at
  • 29 Dec 2020 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    In the 3 Nov 2020 of this newsletter, I published Can You Find the Name and Family of a Nameless Hiker the Internet Can’t Identify? That article is still available at

    The "unknown hiker" has now been identified.

    Mostly Harmless, a man whose emaciated body was found in a tent by day hikers in Florida. Harmless had hiked from New York to Florida and there was food and money in his tent, but no identification. The police were unable to identify him and many people on the internet took up the challenge and tried to find out who he was, all to no avail.

    He has now been identified as Vance Rodriguez, a technology worker originally from Louisiana but in recent years based in Brooklyn, New York. He was identified by several of his (former) personal friends from years ago who had read the story online. A previous DNA test on the body conducted by an outside lab showed that Harmless had Cajun ancestry. All of his (previous) friends confirmed that Rodriguez not only exactly fir the description of thee body but that he had mostly Louisiana Cajun ancestry.

    His cause of death is still unknown, even after the autopsy.

    You can read the latest update in an article by Jason Nark published in the web site at:

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