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  • 6 Dec 2021 7:38 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement written by


      • announces that researchers on its website will now be able to go directly to Pages of Testimony search results within Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names

      • This Partnership will streamline users’ experience and provide the ability to add to the Yad Vashem Names Database new Pages of Testimony substantiated with biographical documentation.

      • Family Historians researching the current or former territories of Poland can now more easily determine whether their relatives have been memorialized or whether they can elaborate on the known life events for a Shoah victim using the JRI-Poland database.

    Jerusalem — December 6, 2021 —, an independent non-profit organization, announces a new partnership initiative with Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, to display a direct link to matching Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony search as part of a genealogical search on the Jewish Records Indexing – Poland website. Recognizing the importance of the family historian for advancing Yad Vashem's mission to memorialize each one of the 6 million Shoah (Holocaust) victims, Yad Vashem will now allow a surname search on to simultaneously search the Yad Vashem repository of documents and display a link to those search results through an API (Application Programming Interface) on the JRI-Poland users' search results screen.

    The choice of for this promotional feature stems from JRI-Poland's 26-year success in utilizing its long-standing agreement with the Polish State Archives to document the largest pre-war European Jewish community, the Jews of the current or former territories of Poland. Alexander Avram, Director of Yad Vashem's Hall of Names in Jerusalem observed that "while many shelves remain empty, bearing witness to more than one million individuals who have yet to be memorialized, we hope that partnerships like this with JRI-Poland can and will play an important role in helping us fill those vacant shelves and add a large number of Pages of Testimony in the years to come."

    JRI-Poland Executive Director, Stanley Diamond of Montreal, Canada, remarked, "JRI-Poland is honored to assist Yad Vashem with its sacred duty by facilitating the preservation of a Shoah victim's memory and improving the retelling of major events in a Shoah victim's life. We do this by presenting the documentation of the vital events and at the same time indicating either the existence of - or the lack of - a tribute for these individuals in the Yad Vashem Hall of Names."

    JRI-Poland Assistant Director, Robinn Magid of Berkeley, California, added, "Correlating vital records with a mention in the Hall of Names is the first step in presenting a more complete biography of people like my great-grandmother who were lost in the Shoah”. She added, “Yad Vashem and JRI-Poland are collaborating to increase the likelihood that our audiences will find something new, perhaps overlooked, and maybe even life-changing."

    JRI-Poland Co-founder, Michael Tobias of Glasgow, Scotland commented, "Providing this new service to Yad Vashem is a natural extension of our core objective of providing our fellow researchers with the ability to recover details of their families' lives in Poland."

    About Yad Vashem

    Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is the ultimate source for Holocaust education, documentation and research. From the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem's integrated approach incorporates meaningful educational initiatives, groundbreaking research and inspirational exhibits. Visit us at:

    About is a collective of global volunteers preserving the details of our ancestors’ lives in a form that will remain accessible forever to the greatest number of researchers. We have built the largest database representing the lives of the Jews who lived in the current or former territories of Poland, their families and their communities. Visit us at:

  • 3 Dec 2021 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.

    Are you thinking about upgrading to a new computer, possibly including an upgrade to a new operating system? If so, this article is for you.

    Over the years, a number of popular genealogy programs have been discontinued. Do you remember Personal Ancestral File, The Master Genealogist, CommSoft's Roots 5, Carl York's The Family Edge, Quinsept's Family Roots, Ultimate Family Tree, or SierraHome's Generations 8.0? Those and a number of other, lesser-known genealogy programs have all faded away over the years. May they all rest in peace.

    The reasons for each program's demise vary, but a few themes seem common. Obviously, a lack of customers is often a major factor. Developing software, distributing it, and supporting it with a customer service department is not cheap. Any program needs to sell a lot of copies in order to generate enough revenue to cover expenses and hopefully to generate a profit for the producer. Some programs never sold enough copies to achieve profitability.

    Another huge expense is updating the software frequently to add new features and to keep up to date with rapidly-changing technologies. For instance, several genealogy programs were written in programming languages using dBase or FoxPro databases, products that were dropped by their producers years ago. The genealogy programmers kept using the database technology as long as they could, but eventually problems crept in. The most common problem was compatibility with Windows. New releases of Windows might break or at least hamper the databases used in some genealogy programs.

    One genealogy program suffered a similar, but slightly different, problem. After working well for a number of years, a new version of Windows was introduced by Microsoft. The program would no longer print when installed on the new version of Windows. If installed on earlier versions of Windows, printing worked perfectly; but, the newer version of Windows from Microsoft made changes to the printing functions that were not compatible with the one genealogy program.

    Paying for programmers' time to rewrite existing software to make it compatible with the latest version of an operating system is expensive. Many small software producers with small customer bases could not afford to make the changes. If a company sells software for $30 and has only a few thousand customers, the company cannot afford to hire many more programmers.

    Another problem is a bit subtle but just as deadly: implementing a modern user interface. Look at any program—genealogy or any other application—that was created only within the past few years and designed for use with Windows 8 or Windows 10 or Macintosh macOS. Then compare that to a similar program written ten or fifteen years ago for Windows 98 or Macintosh OS 9. The newer program probably has a modern "look and feel" when compared to older programs. Yet many of the programs that have been around for years look very old-fashioned by today's standards. I can think of one genealogy program that runs under Windows, but it looks like it was written for MS-DOS.

    NOTE to anyone who started using a computer in the past few years: MS-DOS was a primitive operating system produced by Microsoft before the company invented Windows. The original MS-DOS did not use a mouse and could only display very primitive graphics. You can read more about the history of MS-DOS in Wikipedia at:

    Another issue is the addition of apps for handheld devices. The entire world seems to be enamored of mobile apps in the past few years. Indeed, the sales of Windows and Macintosh systems is slowly declining while the sales of tablet computers, smartphones, and other portable devices has exploded. Many of today's genealogists want to carry their databases everywhere in a mobile device that weighs a few ounces, not in 3-ring binders and not in a laptop. Today's genealogy programs that do not have companion apps for iPad and/or Android mobile devices are losing sales.

    Finally, there is “the cloud.” Technology has changed to the point where it is now more practical and also more cost-effective to save your data in distributed servers in multiple locations. The high reliability, always backed-up capabilities keep your data safe and secure. Even better, with today’s “online everywhere” technology, you can access your data from home, from a genealogy conference, from a genealogy library or archive, from a hotel room, or even while riding in a commuter train. Cloud technology also keeps your information safe and secure from hackers, unlike individual computers.

    Today it is practical and, in many cases, preferable to keep your own private genealogy database in cloud-based where it cannot be changed by anyone else in such products as MyHeritage, The Next Generation of Genealogical Sitebuilding, WebTrees, and other products that protect your data.

    NOTE: I generally recommend you do not store your PRIMARY genealogy database in any online service that allows other people to change your carefully researched information. Those online databases that allow anyone and everyone to change your data are generally full of “genealogy fairy tales.” I would suggest you avoid such primitive products and instead focus on maintaining YOUR carefully-researched data, complete with source citations.

    Of course, all this has a huge impact on all genealogists who use computers. What should you do if you learn that your favorite genealogy program will soon be discontinued? Another question is, "What should you do NOW to protect your investment in case your favorite genealogy program is discontinued at some time in the future?

    The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/12162977.

    If you are not yet a Plus Edition subscriber, you can learn more about such subscriptions and even upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription immediately at

  • 3 Dec 2021 1:16 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Over 4.6 million new records from “the garden of England” have been added to Findmypast in their latest Findmypast Friday update.

    Kent electoral registers, 1570-1907

    This brand-new collection contains over 4 million records spanning 337 years and dating back to the reign Elizabeth I. Documenting both parliamentary and local voters' lists, these transcripts provide the names, parishes and, in later records, addresses of voters across the county as well as the nature of their qualification to vote and the date they were recorded.

    The earliest records are from the Boroughs of Faversham and Dover – countywide coverage does not really begin until the 1830s when electoral reform widened the franchise.

    Kent Burials

    Over 16,000 new additions from the Watling Street Cemetery have been added to our collection of Kent Burials. The amount of information listed in each record may vary, but most will reveal a combination of the deceased’s burial date, age at death, residence, occupation and dedication. Some records may also include additional notes such as their marital status, parent’s names or if they were a foundling.

    Kent Burials now contains over 4 million records spanning over 400 years. The collection constitutes a valuable resource for researching ancestry in Kent and is provided in association with Canterbury Cathedral Archives, The National Archives, Kent County Council, Medway Archives, the North West Kent Family History Society, Val Brown and the College of Arms, the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and much of the Commonwealth including Australia and New Zealand.


    This release sees a week of tens, with ten brand new titles and ten updated papers. This include 114,064 new pages, from the aptly-named agricultural paper Leek Times to local news segment The South London Journal.

    New titles:

    Updated titles:

  • 3 Dec 2021 8:44 AM | Anonymous

    U.S. census records are kept private for 72 years to protect respondents' privacy, then released to the general public. However, most genealogists are not aware that it is possible to obtain information from newer census records.

    The fact is that records from the 1950 to 2010 Censuses are available but can only be obtained by the person named in the record or their heir after submitting form BC-600 or BC-600sp (in Spanish).

    NOTE: Publications related to the census data collected from 1790 to 2010 are available at However, none of those records list names and other personal information given by the respondents.

    You can learn more in Availablity of Census Records About Individuals (a PDF file available at:

  • 3 Dec 2021 8:23 AM | Anonymous

    The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA partnered with a film foundation to create an image archive to recognize and celebrate decades of Armenian photography.

    The Promise Armenian Institute signed an official memorandum of understanding with the Armenian Film Foundation in April, said Hasmik Baghdasaryan, deputy director of the Promise Armenian Institute, in an emailed statement. This led to the creation of the Armenian Image Archive.

    The project is interested in Armenian photographic collections and photographers with photos of Armenian subjects and is not bound by a particular time period or geographical region, Baghdasaryan said.

    “The Armenian Image Archive has three goals: preservation, research, and exhibition of Armenian photographers and photography related to Armenian subject-matter,” Baghdasaryan said in the statement.

    You can read more in an article by Lori Garavartanian published in the Daily Bruin web site at:

  • 3 Dec 2021 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    How do you store information in DNA? Well, the concept isn't all that difficult to understand.

    The "traditional" method of storing digital information was as ones and zeroes. As a result, this requires a measurable amount, although a small amount, of physical space to record and store the information. Flash drives, hard drives , and other methods of storing ones and zeroes can do so in a small space but the space requirements are not zero.

    That becomes significant when storing terabytes and terabytes of information, such as in today's cloud-based data centers. Some of today's cloud-based storage facilities require computer rooms the size of a football field. Or larger. Much of that space is required to store information.

    Originally developed to analyze blood, DNA uses a different method to store our genetic information. Where hard drives use ones and zeros, DNA storage uses four chemical bases, adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T). Remember elementary school science class? These compounds connect in pairs (A to T; G to C) to create rungs on a double helix ladder. It turns out that you can use DNA to convert ones and zeros into those four letters for storing complex data. Not only can you copy the method used in DNA, the result is less physical space required.

    In other words, you can pack more information into a (small) physical space by copying DNA's four chemical bases than you can when using ones and zeros.

    Microsoft, one of the pioneers of DNA storage, is making some headway, working with the University of Washington’s Molecular Information Systems Laboratory, or MISL. The company announced in a new research paper the first nanoscale DNA storage writer, which the research group expects to scale for a DNA write density of 25 x 10^6 sequences per square centimeter, or “three orders of magnitude” (1,000x) more tightly than before.

    If adopted by future data warehousing facilities, the result could be much smaller data centers, resulting in lower electricity, air conditioning, and similar requirements.

    Microsoft is one of the biggest players in cloud storage and is looking at DNA data storage to gain an advantage over the competition by using its unparalleled density, sustainability, and shelf life.

    You can read a lot more about this new technology in an article by Phillip Tracy published in the Gizmodo web site at:

  • 2 Dec 2021 1:51 PM | Anonymous

    23andMe is best known for at-home genetic tests primarily for inheritance testing. However, the company has long been planning on using their genetics expertise to develop drugs. The idea was to use its genetic database to identify and create new treatments. 23andMe now has a database filled with genetic information from approximately 11.9 million people.

    In June 2021, 23andMe went public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), VG Acquisition Corp., which is backed by British billionaire Richard Branson. 23andMe raised $592 million in proceeds from the IPO and, as of September 30, had about $700 million. With that cash in hand, it plans to push faster and deeper into drug development.

    The company, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., has two immuno-oncology compounds under development. One is via a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, which is currently in clinical studies. The second drug is expected to enter the clinic by the end of March 2022.

    The GlaxoSmithKline deal was inked in July 2018 and marked a four-year collaboration. At the time, they said they expected to progress several targets per year jointly, and would initially split evenly the development activity expenses. GSK made a $300 million equity investment in 23andMe.

    The first compound from the partnership entered the clinic in July 2020. They described it as a “potential first-in-class cancer treatment that was discovered by GSK and being co-developed by the two companies.” It was genetically validated by 23andMe using a proprietary algorithm that compared potential drug targets to data from its research platform.

    Steve Schoch, 23andMe’s chief financial officer, told the Wall Street Journal that if the two cancers drugs are effective, it will help the company show a profit for the first time. In the quarter that ended September 30, it reported a net loss of $16.5 million, compared to a net loss of $36.2 million in the same period in 2020.

    But profitability from drugs that are only entering the clinic is several years down the road. The cash from the SPAC-IPO deal will provide funds to run on until they can generate meaningful clinical data, which would allow them to raise more capital.

    “Once you have meaningful efficacy data on the biotech side of things, the ability to raise capital, and the price at which you raise capital, will change meaningfully and will become less expensive and more available,” Schoch said.

    Approximately 81% of its revenue comes from its at-home genetic tests. The rest comes from GSK for access to its research database.

    At the beginning of the month, 23andMe completed a previously announced acquisition of Lemonaid Health, which is a sign the company is moving into healthcare and pharmacy services. Lemonaid Health is an on-demand platform for medical care and online pharmacy services.

    At the time, Anne Wojcicki, chief executive officer and co-founder of 23andMe, stated, “This acquisition marks the first step in 23andMe’s journey to provide our customers with truly personalized healthcare, starting with genetics as the foundation. Lemonaid Health’s telemedicine platform and digital pharmacy will enable us to bring better healthcare to individuals in an affordable and accessible way, and ultimately empower people to take better control of their health.”

    Schoch noted, “We only advertise our direct-to-consumer business. We’ve been very, very quiet about the biotech business because [with] that one, you just have to wait until it moves.”

  • 2 Dec 2021 7:50 AM | Anonymous

    Here is a major announcement: from December 2–7, 2021, MyHeritage is offering free access to one of the company's most important historical record collections: U.S. City Directories.

    The U.S. City Directories collection contains over 561 million records in 26,000 public U.S. city directories published between 1860 and 1960. They typically include names, names of spouses, addresses, occupations, and workplaces, which makes them a rich source of information about family members in the United States — especially as an alternative to missing or destroyed census records. The MyHeritage collection is especially valuable because of its advanced indexing and multiple record consolidation, which make it much easier to find what you’re looking for and track your ancestors’ progress over time.

    This is amazing news for anyone looking to dig deeper into their roots in the United States. You are welcome to search the collection now to learn more. 

    You can read more about this limited time offer in the MyHeritage Blog at:

    Happy searching!

  • 2 Dec 2021 7:45 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA):

    Manorial and Estate Records in England and Wales are the subject of AGRA’s latest autumn/winter monthly podcast.

    Available to listen to as of the 1 December 2021, join three of AGRA’s professional genealogists – Ian Waller, Catherine Ryan and Sue Adams – as they share their valuable insights and research tips about these fascinating records, which can provide a wealth of information about ordinary people.

    In a discussion moderated by Helen Tovey, editor of Family Tree Magazine, our AGRA genealogists, with years of experience in their field and a track record of breaking down brick walls for clients, will explain and demystify these sources. Their advice will enable family and local historians to unlock these under-utilised records.

    AGRA Chair, Antony Marr, said: “Continuing the very popular AGRA podcast series, our AGRA experts can explain how to best access and use Manorial and estate records. These are an under-used but very valuable source of information about the lives of ancestors, and not often included in on-line collections.”

    AGRA’s podcasts are released on a monthly basis. Each edition tackles a different aspect of family history, and links to a section on the AGRA website with details of helpful resources and search tools.

    The podcasts are available on the AGRA website as well as on a range of podcast hosts, such as Apple.

    Topics already covered by AGRA’s professional genealogy experts, and available to listen to are:

    • House Histories. Ancestral Research, Getting Started - including understanding BMD and Census records. • Research Before 1837.
    • Military Research - including British service in India.
    • DNA Testing and Use in Conjunction with Genealogical Research.
    • Using Land Records, such as maps and tithe maps for further research.
    • Commissioning Effective Research, to ensure you get the results you want and the best value for money when using a professional genealogist.
    • Legal and Chancery Records. • Researching Welsh Ancestors.

    Further topics to be released in 2022 are:

    • January: Researching Liverpool Ancestors. Liverpool became a colourful melting pot of immigrants from Ireland and further afield, as well as having strong connections with the slave trade. It provides a rich field for family research.
    • February: Poor Law, Settlement Records, Workhouses & Asylums. Before the Welfare State the Poor Law was the only source of relief for the poor and destitute. Our experts examine how it worked and what records it produced.

  • 2 Dec 2021 7:40 AM | Anonymous

    Graham and Emma Maxwell at will be hosting another Scottish Indexes Conference on Sunday 5 December 2021. This is a free event and the schedule for the day is now available from

    Here are the presentations you can look forward to:

    • ‘Tracing Jewish families in Scotland and Central/Eastern Europe’ by Michael Tobias
    • 'Scottish Marriage: Instantly Buckled for Life’ by Chris Paton
    • ‘Ae Fond Kiss and then we sever’ by Kirsty Wilkinson
    • 'Tips for tracing your 18th century Scottish ancestors online' by Andrew Armstrong
    • ‘Dundee's Tallest Tenement’ by Jennifer Jolly
    • ‘Business Records for the Family Historian’ by Dr Irene O’Brien
    • ‘Solving Brickwalls’ by Emma Maxwell
    • Genealogy Q & A hosted by Graham and Emma Maxwell

    Click here to register on Zoom.

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