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  • 18 Jun 2021 9:41 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist is launching the complete census for Scotland (1841-1901) at The Family History Show Online on Saturday 19th June. For the first time you can use their renowned brick wall busting search tools on these records. You can find a person using keywords such as occupation, birthplace, year of birth and more, search for a family using their forenames or search for an address.

    George Street, Stranraer

    This release adds over 24 million records from the Census of Scotland 1841-1901 to their already substantial data offering. TheGenealogist provides an extreemly strong package for family historians researching British Isles ancestors with its wide range of data that also includes the advantage of its unique Land Records (Tithe and Land Tax) that give ownership and occupiers down to property level.

    TheGenealogist has been extremely busy in the last year expanding its coverage for its Diamond subscribers to cover all areas of the British Isles.

    Releases in the last nine months have seen 14.5 million individuals from all the Anglican Parish Records for Wales added. A further 34 million records for England and Wales came with the release of the 1939 Register records. There were 100,000 Irish Will records and now, this week, TheGenealogist is pleased to announce that these have been joined by over 24 million records from the Census of Scotland 1841-1901.

    This is the first time that TheGenealogist has released such a large number of Scottish records and it now means that this important data for the most northerly part of the British Isles can now be searched using the comprehensive search features for which TheGenealogist is renowned. Appreciated by family historians researching their ancestors for the ease of use of its powerful Master Search, TheGenealogist gives researchers the ability to select phonetic, exact or standard search filters.

    The comprehensive search facilities that are already available when using TheGenealogist’s English and Welsh census records will make this Scottish census release a welcome addition to the family history researcher’s toolkit.

    Read TheGenealogist’s feature article: Scottish census records list the homes of Scots from city dwellers to lighthouse keepers.

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, which puts a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections.

    TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

    TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

  • 18 Jun 2021 9:33 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Leading family history website has just published over 800,000 newly digitised crime records in association with The National Archives. Findmypast’s Crime, Prisons and Punishment collection is now the largest searchable archive of British crime records available anywhere online, containing over 6.6 million records.

    The new additions span the years 1784-1939 and include registers of inmates from infamous prisons including Pentonville, Wormwood Scrubs, Millbank and Newgate as well as governor’s journals, trial records, lists of visitors, men in solitary confinement, baptisms at women’s prisons and more.

    The full list of series added in this latest update includes;

      • Pentonville (prison registers, minute books)
      • Gibraltar Prison (visitor's book, journal of proceedings) 
      • Chatham Prison, Kent (Register of Prisons)
      • Portsmouth Prison (Index of working parties)
      • Wormwood (Index of working parties, register of prisoners under separate confinement)
      • Wormwood Scrubs (index of working parties)
      • Millbank Prison (book of questions)
      • Newgate (list of prisoners; chaplain, surgeons and sheriff visits)
      • Bedford Gaol (governor's journal)
      • Lindsey Gaol (Visiting committee)
      • Liverpool Gaol (calendar of trials and quarter sessions)
      • Reading Gaol (entry book of pardons of prisoners, visiting justices)
      • Lancaster Gaol (Register of Debtors and Plaintiffs)
      • Oxford Gail (Gaoler's journal)

    Also included are over 1000 new mugshots taken at Pentonville in 1876. To explore original mugshots, search the MEPO 6, PCOM 2 and PCOM 4 series

    Containing all manner of documents from a variety of Government departments, including the Home Office, Prison Commission, Metropolitan Police, Central Criminal Court (also known as the Old Bailey), treasury and the Admiralty, the collection covers criminal cases, goals, hulks, prisons, criminal calendars and more.

    Spanning 165 years of the British Justice system, they reveal many ordinary and extraordinary stories of criminals, victims and law enforcers from the Georgian highway robber, the Victorian murderer and the Edwardian thief, to the common rural poacher, unemployed petty food thief and the early trade unionist.  

    Researchers will find physical descriptions, photographs, whether their ancestor was executed or transported, details of their offence, sentencing, imprisonment and official correspondence about their case.

    The full Crime, Prisons and Punishment 1770 – 1935 collection includes 22 series from the National Archives at Kew, recording the intimate details of millions of victims and villains, beginning with judges' recommendations for or against pardons, petitions through which criminals and their families could offer mitigating circumstances and grounds for mercy, and later, licenses containing everything from previous convictions to the state of a prisoner's health.

    These latest additions have also been added to Findmypast’s browsable collection, allowing you to delve through the original documents page-by-page.

    Westminster Parish Records

    Unearthed using this week’s new crime records, Findmypast have also added hundreds of baptisms and burials that took place in Westminster Penitentiary to their collection of Westminster Parish records.

    An 1823 burial register from Westminster Penitentiary. View the full record.

    Most of the new prison baptisms are for adult inmates, although some do record the details of children born to female prisoners or staff.


    Two new publications join the Findmypast Archive this week along with substantial updates to six existing titles. Online for the first time are:

    While thousands of pages have been added to:

  • 17 Jun 2021 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    23andMe has now combined its business with VG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: VGAC), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Virgin Group. Here is the announcement:

    SUNNYVALE, Calif. and NEW YORK, June 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 23andMe, Inc., a leading consumer genetics and research company, and VG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: VGAC), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Virgin Group, today announced the completion of their previously announced business combination. The transaction, which was approved on June 10, 2021 by VG Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders, uniquely positions 23andMe to revolutionize personalized healthcare and therapeutic development through human genetics. The combined company is called 23andMe Holding Co. and will be traded on The Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) beginning on June 17, 2021 under the new ticker symbol “ME” for its Class A Common shares and “MEUSW” for its public warrants.

    23andMe raised approximately $592 million in gross proceeds to fuel growth and expansion in the company’s consumer health and therapeutics businesses. Capital from the transaction will also be used to invest in the Company's unique genetic and phenotypic database to help accelerate personalized healthcare at scale. CEO Anne Wojcicki and 23andMe’s management team will continue to lead the combined company.

    “23andMe was founded to revolutionize healthcare by empowering people with direct access to their DNA,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe. “Over 11 million people have joined 23andMe and are part of the community that is using genetics to transform how we diagnose, treat and prevent human disease. As we enter the next phase as a public company, we have the opportunity to expand our impact by bringing personalized healthcare directly to everyone.”

    “As one of the earliest investors in 23andMe, I’ve long believed in its vision to transform the future of healthcare,” said Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder. “I’ve seen first-hand the transformative impact 23andMe has in paving the way for many more people to be proactive about their health and wellbeing. There are huge growth opportunities ahead, and with Anne and the rest of the incredible management team at the helm, I’m confident they will continue to innovate and disrupt the industry, creating a lasting impact on many people’s lives. We look forward to continuing our partnership as 23andMe begins life as a public company.”

    As part of the business combination, Evan Lovell, Chief Investment Officer of Virgin Group and Chief Financial Officer of VG Acquisition Corp., and Peter Taylor, President of ECMC Foundation, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to educational attainment for low-income students and former Chief Financial Officer for the University of California system, will join the 23andMe Board of Directors (the “Board”). Lovell and Taylor will join existing directors Roelof Botha, Patrick Chung, Richard Scheller, Neal Mohan and Anne Wojcicki on the Board.

    Citi served as lead financial advisor, capital markets advisor, and placement agent to 23andMe. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel to 23andMe.

    Credit Suisse acted as lead financial advisor, capital markets advisor and placement agent to VG Acquisition Corp. LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal counsel to VG Acquisition Corp.

    About 23andMe
    23andMe, Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is a leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, 23andMe's mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has pioneered direct access to genetic information as the only company with multiple Food and Drug Administration authorizations for genetic health risk reports. 23andMe has created the world's largest crowdsourced platform for genetic research, with 80% of its customers electing to participate. The 23andMe research platform has generated more than 180 publications on the genetic underpinnings of a wide range of diseases, conditions, and traits. The platform also powers the 23andMe therapeutics group, currently pursuing drug discovery programs rooted in human genetics across a spectrum of disease areas, including oncology, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to other therapeutic areas. More information is available at

    About VG Acquisition Corp
    VG Acquisition Corp. was formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, amalgamation, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. The management team includes Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Company, a renowned global entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group; Josh Bayliss, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and director, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Virgin Group and is responsible for the Virgin Group’s strategic development, licensing of the brand globally and management of direct investments on behalf of the Virgin Group in various companies around the world; and Evan Lovell, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and director, who is the Chief Investment Officer of the Virgin Group and is responsible for managing the Virgin Group’s investment team and portfolio in North America. More information is available at

    Forward-Looking Statements
    This communication contains certain “forward-looking statements” including, without limitation, statements regarding the listing of shares of the combined company on Nasdaq, the use of proceeds, and the expansion of 23andMe’s businesses. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “would,” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. The forward-looking statements contained herein are based on 23andMe’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects, but there can be no assurance that these will be as anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the control of 23andMe), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, 23andMe does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

  • 16 Jun 2021 4:48 PM | Anonymous

    The following review was written by Book Review Editor Bobbi King:

    Blood-Tied: The First Esme Quentin Mystery

    By Wendy Percival. Ebook. 2021.

    We got lots of work done during those quarantine days, right? What luck! We were mandated to stay home. No need for making excuses for not joining friends and not going out for lunch. We stayed home without guilt and spent whole afternoons reaching out to new DNA matches. We got caught up reviewing those persistent fluttering hints, and we finally polished off that nagging stack of family group sheets brought home from the family reunion. Congratulations, work well done.

    Now it’s time to escape the summer heat and dip into some easier and more enjoyable reading.

    Blood-Tied is the first of four fiction novels with Esme Quentin as the central character. She bears an unknown past that gradually unravels, and she pursues genealogy. She lives in an English cottage in an English village in the Shropshire hills, widowed, when she receives a frantic phone call that summons her to the bedside of her comatose sister, brutalized by an unknown attacker. Esme and her niece Gemma set out to discover what happened, and along the way Esme must reckon with discomfiting family secrets.

    The book is a pleasurable read and an entertaining escape into someone else’s genealogy. It offers some leisure breaks from our own work, or time out from the heat, or some relaxation time sitting outside after a long day’s drive in the RV.

    The book is available at the author’s website, where you may add to your enjoyment by downloading a free prequel to the Esme Quentin series, Legacy of Guilt. The author has three other stories and two novellas available for download.

    Blood-Tied: The First Esme Quentin Mystery is available from the author at as well as from Amazon in paperback at and in a Kindle edition at:

  • 16 Jun 2021 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Southern California Genealogical Society:

    SCGS Library Re-Opens on
    Tuesday, July 6, 2021
    We are so excited to open our doors and 
    welcome back our members, non-members, 
    family historians, and all genealogists into our library!

    The days our library will be open  are as follows:
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 

    the first 2 Sundays of each month, 
    the 3rd and 4th Saturdays of each month. 
    The hours: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. 
    We may expand these hours and days later on in the year, 
    depending on the needs of our members 
    and the availability of our beloved volunteers
     who staff the library. 
    Special thanks to all of our members, family historians, 
    and genealogists who waited so patiently 
    for the library to open again. 
    Some of our interest groups and other programs will return to in-person meetings at the library, while others will remain online. All groups and programs will return to the library when the  County of Los Angeles gives us the green light to do so. 

    Southern California Genealogy Society and Family History Society

    417 Irving Dr. 
    Burbank, CA 91304

  • 16 Jun 2021 5:53 AM | Anonymous

    It’s a myth in American culture that every family has a coat of arms or a “family crest” or at least one exists for every last name. However, coats of arms are granted to individuals, not surnames.

    In other words, if you don't have documentation that says thay you (and you alone) are authorized to display a “family crest,” you are not authorized to show it.

    Details can be found in a YouTube video produced by Genealogy Magazine, entitled "Episode 10: The Family Crest," available at:

  • 16 Jun 2021 5:40 AM | Anonymous

    Kenyatta Berry

    Host of PBS’ “Genealogy Roadshow” and genealogist Kenyatta Berry will appear as the keynote speaker of a conference hosted by the Historical Society of Washington County on Saturday on exploring the family history of African Americans, particularly before the Civil War.

    ABINGDON, Va. — A nationally recognized genealogist and host of the PBS program “Genealogy Roadshow” will be the keynote speaker for a virtual conference on African Americans in Washington County, Virginia.

    Hosted by the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia, the virtual conference is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19. Participants are welcome to come and go during the online conference to suit their own schedules and interests.

    An attorney, published author and lecturer, Kenyatta Berry has worked for more than 20 years in genealogical research, focusing primarily on African American ancestry. She has been a contributor to The 1619 Project published by The New York Times and was the honorary chair for Preservation Week in 2019.

    During the conference, Dr. Jerry Jones will also discuss his book “Go and Come Again: The Story of Life as an African American in Southwest Virginia.” In addition, Dr. Jim Hagy will give a presentation on the history of Washington County.

    There will also be storytelling, links and resources provided during the conference.

    You can read more about this conference in an article by Carolyn R. Wilson published in the Washington County News web site at:

  • 15 Jun 2021 9:39 PM | Anonymous

    A federal judge dismissed with prejudice claims that used Californians’ yearbook pictures without permission.

    The dismissal comes after a class of Californians sued the genealogy website in November 2020 claiming the site used their old yearbook photos and other information in ads without their permission. The class claimed the company maintains a massive database of yearbook pictures spanning from 1900 through 1999, but that consumers never got a say if they wanted to be included in Ancestry’s databanks.

    “Ancestry did not ask the consent of the people whose personal information and photographs it profits from,” the plaintiffs said in their complaint. “Nor has it offered them any compensation for the ongoing use of their names, photographs, likenesses, and identities.”

    On top of amassing the yearbook collection without people’s permission, the class said, then used that database to solicit more users. The class said the company would use photos and other personal information in email and popup ads to potential customers to entice them to subscribe to its genealogy services, and even used photos of gravesites of deceased relatives to pull in more users.

    The plaintiffs said this conduct was illegal and violated their privacy rights. They asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to stop Ancestry from using the database without additional safeguards for users’ personal information.

    But after dismissing the suit this past March and sending the class back to the drawing board with their complaint, Beeler dismissed the suit against Ancestry once more Tuesday — and this time for good.

    Further details are available in an article by Carson Mccullough published in the Courthouse News web site at:

  • 15 Jun 2021 3:04 PM | Anonymous

    This article is off-topic. That is, it does not concern anything to do with genealogy, DNA, or related topics normally found in this newsletter. However, I suspect that thousands of newsletter readers will be interested in this article for many different purposes:

    If you have a Microsoft account (It’s easy and free to create one), you can access any of the popular Office programs for free. Your account grants you free access to Word, Calendar, PowerPoint, OneNote, Excel, and others. You can sign up here.


    You can read the full article at:
  • 15 Jun 2021 2:50 PM | Anonymous

    Want to host an online party, but not sure how to use Zoom? Check out this easy to follow guide to get you started.

    How to Host a Zoom Party and Connect With Your Loved Ones

    Here's how to throw a Zoom party and play the host for an online celebration.

    We are living in an era of online existence. In recent years, our use of digital technology has increased along with migrating our professional and personal lives online.

    Thanks to huge developments in technology and online services, it is easier than ever to connect with loved ones for big life events, such as weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations remotely. This is where you can use a video calling service such as Zoom to connect to loved ones by hosting a virtual party.

    What Is Zoom?

    Zoom party on a laptop

    Zoom is a video conferencing app that allows users to make phone calls, video calls and host work meetings on their laptops, desktop computers, and cellphones, using an internet connection.

    Why Is It Good for Hosting Online Parties?

    You can learn how to do it in an article by Charlotte Osborn and published in the Make Use web site at:

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