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  • 30 Mar 2021 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was posted to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ Public Records Access Monitoring Committee’s mailing list and is republished here with permission:

    The IAJGS Records Access Alert previously reported that the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB) has recommended the closing and sale of Seattle’s national archives facility without any public input. Records include those of Washington State, Orgon, Idaho and Alaska dating back to 1840. Little has been digitized. The records move would be National facilities in Riverside California -over 1,000 miles away. This is a critical loss to the millions of residents in the states that currently are covered by the Seattle facility.

    The sale was approved by the Office of Management and Budget. This would severely hamper access for people in the Pacific Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Orgon and Washington State.

    Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson previously stated he would to try and prevent the sale via lawsuit. Additionally Washington, Oregon and two dozen Native American and Alaska Native tribes and cultural groups are suing the federal government to stop the sale of the National Archives building in Seattle. Earlier this month a bipartisan group of US Senators and members of the House of representatives from Washington, Oregon. Idaho and Alaska sent a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) asking them to stop the sale. All but one federal lawmaker in the four states signed the letter; the lone holdout was Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Central Washington). The sale is opposed by all 8 US Senators and many US Representatives from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State.

    The US Senator Patty Murphy (D-WA) has introduced a bill, called “Assuring Regular Consultation to Have Indigenous Voices Effectively Solicited Act’’ – or “ARCHIVES Act” for short – to retroactively amend the original FASTA legislation. FASTA is an Obama-era law that was used by an obscure federal agency to target the Seattle facility, and other valuable federal real estate, for closure and rapid sale. Joining Senator Murphy as cosponsors of the bill to prevent the sale of the Pacific NW NARA office are: Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley (both D-OR.)

    Murphy’s bill says that for federal properties targeted via FASTA, “if the proposed sale or transfer would affect access to Federal agency services by a federally recognized Indian Tribe, the relevant Federal agency shall consult with all Tribal governments that may be so affected.” The ARCHIVES Act further states that in most cases, “Federal civilian real property may not be sold or transferred under this Act … if the proposed sale or transfer would substantially reduce or eliminate access to Federal agency services by a federally recognized Indian Tribe.” This Tribal consultation did not happen with the Seattle branch of the National Archives – which houses more than 150 years-worth of federal materials related to Tribes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska – until after the intent to sell was first reported by KIRO Radio in early 2020.

    A draft of Murphy’s bill may be read at:

    At the time of writing this posting the bill number was not posted to the bill.

    See news article:

    Senator Murray's press release may be read at:

    To read the previous postings about the potential closing of the Washington NARA Office, go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at: You must be registered to access the archives. To register go to: and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical organization with whom you are affiliated You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.

    Jan Meisels Allen
    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 29 Mar 2021 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (more commonly known as SLIG):

    SLIG is pleased to announce that applications are currently being accepted for the following scholarships:

    UGA Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship: Named in honor of Jimmy B. Parker, this full- tuition scholarship is awarded to someone who has “demonstrated commitment to genealogical excellence and community involvement.” Full details here.

    Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship: This scholarship was created by friends and colleagues in honor of Laura G. Prescott (1958-2018) and her passion for genealogical education, this scholarship awards full tuition and hotel accommodations to SLIG, SLIG Academy, or SLIG Virtual. Full details here.

    SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees: Created in 2016, this scholarship is awarded to students who have never previously attended an institute program and who wish to elevate their education to new heights. Full details here.

    SLIG Intermediate Foundation Scholarship: This scholarship provides full tuition to the SLIG Virtual Intermediate Foundations course. Targeted to institute attendees who desire to strengthen their research knowledge and skills at an intermediate level, in preparation for future institute courses. Full details here.

    Deadlines: Applications for all four scholarships are due no later than June 1, 2021. Winners will be announced after July 1, 2021.

    Complete details for each of these opportunities and information about scholarships available through other organizations may be found at

  • 29 Mar 2021 10:50 AM | Anonymous

    The Georgia State Archives in Morrow has reopened by appointment only.

    Genealogists and historians now have access to the reference library, microfilm library, computer terminals and original records by appointment. Appointments can be scheduled Tuesdays through Saturdays: Morning: 9:00 to 12:00; afternoon: 1:00 to 4:00.

    Please use Ask an Archivist Form  or call 678-364-3710 to schedule your appointment or enquire about resources.

  • 26 Mar 2021 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Mary Nickles and published in the KJZZ website:

    A cutting-edge project at Brigham Young University uses family history and DNA research to prevent cancer.

    "It's definitely saving lives," said Julie Stoddard. She and fellow researcher Jill Crandell are working on a public health initiative called "Connect My Variant."

    Stoddard and Crandall got involved when a researcher studying hereditary cancer, Dr. Brian Shirts at the University of Washington, started finding that people with the same genetic variant often shared a common ancestor, Crandell explained.

    Shirts asked BYU's Center for Family History and Genealogy to track down the family trees of those people, so relatives can be warned of cancers that commonly strike before screenings can catch them.

    You can read the full article at:

  • 26 Mar 2021 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement written by Findmypast:

    Take your research further with Findmypast. Along with a host of new historical newspapers, this week’s Findmypast Friday features updates to parish baptisms, banns, marriages, burials and monumental inscriptions covering Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Essex.

    Norfolk Baptisms

    Search over 9,000 new additions covering 1937 to discover your ancestor’s birth place, parents’ names and baptism date.

    Norfolk Baptisms are a collection of parish records from the Norfolk Record Office, which have been digitised and indexed. Norfolk’s parish registers are available to search by name, parish and parents’ names. By searching only your ancestor’s parents’ names, you can discover your ancestor’s siblings and extend your family tree further.

    Norfolk Banns & Marriages

    Determine when, where and to whom your ancestor was married as well as their residence and father’s name with over 16,000 new records from 1921. 

    In images of later registers, you can see your ancestors’ signature. Some images reveal even further details about the marriage, such as, who performed the ceremony, fathers’ occupations, the names of witnesses and the bride’s surname.

    Norfolk Burials

    Discover the final resting place of your Norfolk ancestors along with their age at death and the date of their burial in the latest update to this useful collection. 

    Many of our ancestors moved throughout their lives for different reasons like work and family. Death records will show where they were living at the end of their lives and this may indicate where their families resided.

    For a full list of parishes covered in Findmypast’s Norfolk collections, view the Norfolk Parish List

    Lincolnshire Monumental Inscriptions

    This record set is packed with rich detail for the Lincolnshire branches of your family tree. We’ve added over 36,500 new records.

    These records include 295 parish churchyards and burial grounds and were transcribed by the volunteers of the Lincolnshire Family History Society. As well as revealing when and where your ancestor was laid to rest, many records will include additional details such as their age at death and the names of additional relatives such as parents and spouses.

    Essex Memorial Inscriptions

    If your ancestor was laid to rest in Essex, over 22,000 new records could reveal vital information on their lives and deaths.

    These records have been compiled from engravings found on tombstones and other memorials in the churches and churchyards of Essex. They represent significant evidence for your family history research and can often provide additional information outside of death dates. You will find inscriptions from various denominations such as Anglican, Roman Catholic, Quaker, and non-conformist, as well as community and war memorials.


    Findmypast’s newspaper collection continues to grow with new titles covering both the north and south of England, the south of Wales, and specialist titles that focus on the temperance and trade unionism movements in the Victorian era. Hot off the press this week are:

    While this week’s supplemented papers and the years added include:

  • 25 Mar 2021 10:16 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from FamilySearch:

    Examine millions of new records this week at FamilySearch  from S. Africa Civil Marriage Records 18401973, DR Congo Census 1984Catholic Church Records for Chile 1710–1928, the Dominican Republic 1590–1955 and Puerto Rico 1645–1969Catholic and Lutheran Church Records for Germany (West Prussia  1537–1981 and East Prussia 1551–1992). Investigate more from the US in Voter Registrations for Alabama 1834–1981 and Louisiana 1867-1905Bureau of Land Management Tract Books 1800–c1955, and Virginia Marriages 1771–1943.

    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 remainder of this announcement is a very long list of the newly-added records. The list is too long to publish here but you can read the entire list at:


  • 25 Mar 2021 4:50 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. government will not release personally identifiable information about an individual to any other individual or agency until 72 years after it was collected for the decennial census. This "72-Year Rule" restricts access to decennial census records to all but the individual named on the record or their legal heir.

    In 2002, I wrote about the release of the 1930 U.S. census. In 2012, I wrote about the release of the 1940 U.S. census. Guess what I will be writing about next year? That's right: the release of the 1950 U.S. census.

    Both of the last two releases of census records created huge responses from genealogists and others. In fact, when the 1940 U.S. census was released online, the web servers were swamped. Response times slowed to a crawl and the census sites generated a lot of time-out errors. The problems continued for weeks until finally the demand by genealogists and others for online access to the records slowed. Eventually, the web sites returned to what is more-or-less normal operation.

    Upon releasing the entire 1940 U.S. census online on April 2, 2012 (the first day it was legal to do so), a manager at remarked, "We expected a flood. What we received was a tsunami!"

    Yes, my prediction for the online releases of the 1950 U.S. census records is essentially the same as that of 9 years ago: overloaded web sites, very slow response times, and probably a lot of time-outs and other errors.

    A lot of things have improved amongst web servers since 2012, especially in the area of cloud computing where it is possible to add dozens or even hundreds of servers to a single domain name on short notice. Maybe I am wrong, maybe the census records will be added smoothly and without frustrating thousands of genealogists. Maybe... but I doubt it.

    There is no method of testing in advance a sudden increase in workload of thousands of web servers. Becoming prepared is simply a matter of making "best guesses" of how to handle the surge and then, at the appointed time, crossing your fingers.

    The 1950 Census of the United States will be released for public inspection on Friday, April 1, 2022. Mark that date on your calendar.

    The method of the release has not yet been announced. Will all the records be released online at once on April 1st? Or will the records be released over a period of several days or weeks? I don't believe that has been announced yet but I bet there are committee meetings going on now that are formulating those plans!

    A few facts about the 1950 census:

    • The 1950 U.S. census lists information about 151,325,798 residents (not always citizens) of the United States of America
    • The 1950 census collected the following information from all respondents:
      • address
      • whether house is on a farm
      • name
      • relationship to head of household
      • race
      • sex
      • age
      • marital status
      • birthplace
      • if foreign born, whether naturalized
      • employment status
      • hours worked in week
      • occupation, industry and class of worker
    • In addition, a sample of individuals were asked additional questions covering income, marital history, fertility, and other topics. Full documentation on the 1950 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.
    • The original forms on paper that were used to enumerates all U.S. residents no longer exist. Those paper forms were destroyed after the forms were microfilmed.
    Microfilming the 1950 census
    • Housing information for individual households no longer exists in any format. That information was collected on the reverse (back) side of the population schedule (paper) forms, but that side of the form was not microfilmed in 1952.
    • A (blank) 1950 U.S. Census Form may be seen on the Census Bureau's web site at:

    NOTE: you probably will need to increase the size of the image by using the RESIZE command in your web browser or PDF file viewing application. The exact instructions to do so will vary from one program to another.

    Many of these programs will increase the image size by holding down the CONTROL key and then clicking on the Plus Sign (+) one or more times. Macintosh users should hold down the COMMAND key and then click on the Plus Sign (+) one or more times.

    Reducing the size of the image may be accomplished on many programs by holding down the CONTROL (or COMMAND) key and then clicking on the Minus Sign (-) one or more times. However, your web browser or PDF file viewing application may use different keys. Check the program's instructions or Help File for the details.

    • For the first time, 3 former U.S. Presidents and one current president will be listed in the records: William J. Clinton (born 19 August 1946 at Hope, Hempstead County, Arkansas), George W. Bush (born 6 July 1946 at New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut), Donald J. Trump (born 14 June 1946 at Queens, Queens County, New York), and current President of the United States Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (born 20 November 1942 at Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania).  NOTE: James Earl Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924) PROBABLY is not listed, as he was in the U.S. Navy and serving on board a (submerged) submarine on the day the census was taken in 1950. This needs to be verified once the records are released to the public.
      • Letter from Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dixon, Jr., to General Counsel, General Services Administration, William G. Casselman II, Esg., concerning the origins of the "72-year Rule" and its evolution to 1973, June 14, 1973:
    • The Census Bureau began use of the first non-military computer shortly after completing the 1950 enumeration. UNIVAC I (for Universal Automatic Computer), the first of a series, was delivered in 1951, and helped tabulate some of the statistics for the 1954 economic censuses. It weighed 16,000 pounds and used 5,000 vacuum tubes.

    UNIVAC I  in use

    One more question:

    Will YOU be listed in the 1950 U.S. Census records?

    A popular automobile of 1950

  • 24 Mar 2021 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    According to an article in the MyHeritage Blog:

    "Last year, MyHeritage teamed up with Legacy Family Tree Webinars to make history: we hosted the first-ever 24-hour genealogy webinar marathon. The event, conceived toward the beginning of the pandemic-related shutdowns worldwide, was meant to provide a fully online learning experience bringing together genealogists from all across the globe to hear the latest news, ideas, and advice from the world’s top experts. It was such a success that we’re doing it again: on April 8–9, 2021, we’ll be hosting the second annual 24-hour genealogy webinar marathon!

    "Just like last year, the entire event is free and open to all. You can pop in for just one or a few of the lectures that most interest you, or challenge yourself to stay tuned in to the entire event. Live Q&As will take place during the lectures and there will be door prizes available as well."


    "Wrong time zone? Too busy? Can’t drag yourself out of bed at 2 A.M.? (Not that you need to — you can join with a mobile device right from your pillow!) No worries. All the lectures will be available for free viewing on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website for a week after the event."

    A lot more information, including a lengthy list of all the scheduled presentations, may be found in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 24 Mar 2021 12:43 PM | Anonymous

    If you are researching relatives who may have been Holocaust victims, you need to check the Arolsen Archives for records that have just been discovered and added to that collection. According to a story by Bernard Osser and published today in the Times of Israel web site:

    A train-load of victims destined for concentration camp, lined up on the railway station on arrival at Auschwitz.

    "Ewa Bazan, an archivist at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, compares her work on newly accessible records to piecing together a “puzzle” that is revealing new names and stories of the Nazi death camp’s inmates.

    "Ninety percent of the notorious camp’s files were destroyed by its guards before they fled but a recently completed two-year collaboration with the Arolsen Archives in Germany is bringing new information to light.

    “We didn’t know what to expect when we started the project,” Bazan told AFP, barely hiding her emotion.

    "The patient, humble research carried out by Bazan and her colleagues has uncovered the previously unknown identities of an estimated 4,000 camp inmates as well as information about 26,000 others.

    "Currently, the identities of around 300,000 inmates out of the 400,000 estimated to have been held at the camp are known."

    You can read the full story at

  • 24 Mar 2021 12:33 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement issued by

    LEHI, Utah and SAN FRANCISCO -- Mar. 24, 2021-- Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced the appointment of Lorrie Norrington as an independent member of its Board of Directors. She previously served as an advisor to Ancestry from May 2019 to December 2020.

    Lorrie Norrington has more than 30 years of operating experience in technology, software, and internet businesses. She currently serves as an Advisor and in an Operating Partner capacity for Lead Edge Capital, a growth equity firm.

    Prior to Lead Edge Capital, Norrington was the President of eBay Marketplaces and led all eBay businesses in 39 countries. Before joining eBay, Norrington was the CEO of Inc., an online shopping comparison site acquired by eBay in 2005, served as an Officer at Intuit and led a variety of businesses at the General Electric Company over a 20-year period in a broad range of industries.

    “We are pleased to welcome Lorrie to Ancestry’s board of directors. She brings decades of leadership in key areas, including consumer technology platforms, e-commerce and innovation at a global scale,” said Mark Thompson, Ancestry board chair. “Lorrie joins the board at an exciting time and will provide valuable perspective as we continue to accelerate growth and empower journeys of personal discovery for millions more people around the world.”

    Norrington has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS degree from the University of Maryland. She also serves on the board of Colgate-Palmolive, HubSpot, Autodesk and Eventbrite. Previous boards include DIRECTV,, McAfee, TaskRabbit, Catawiki, and Lucasfilm.

    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 more than 27 billion records and over 18 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain a new level of understanding about their lives. 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.

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