Latest News Articles

Everyone can read the (free) Standard Edition articles. However,  the Plus Edition articles are accessible only to (paid) Plus Edition subscribers. 

Read the (+) Plus Edition articles (a Plus Edition username and password is required).

Please limit your comments about the information in the article. If you would like to start a new message, perhaps about a different topic, you are invited to use the Discussion Forum for that purpose.

 Do you have comments, questions, or corrections to any of these articles? 

If you do not see a Plus Sign that is labeled "Add comment," you will need to upgrade to either a (free) Standard Edition or (paid) Plus Edition subscription. 

Click here to upgrade.

Click here to find the Latest Plus Edition articles.

Complete Newsletters (including all Plus Edition and Free Edition articles published within a week) may be found if you click here. (A Plus Edition user name and password is required to view these complete newsletters.)

Do you have an RSS newsreader? You may prefer to use this newsletter's RSS feed at: and then you will need to copy-and-paste that address into your favorite RSS newsreader.

Latest Standard Edition Articles

  • 23 Mar 2021 7:38 PM | Anonymous

    New and Updated

  • 23 Mar 2021 7:20 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from an article by Jenny Ashcraft published in the Fold3 Blog:

    Soldiers from the 92nd Infantry Division

    The 92nd Infantry Division, also known as Buffalo Soldiers, was the only Black infantry division to see combat in Europe during WWII. They served as part of the U.S. Fifth Army in Italy’s Po Valley and the northern Apennine Mountains, where they helped penetrate the Gothic Line (Germany’s last major line of defense against Allied forces pushing north). The division paid a heavy price, losing an estimated 700 soldiers. To date, 50 soldiers from the 92nd remain unaccounted for, and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) would like to use DNA analysis from surviving family members to identify them. We’re teaming up with the DPAA to help spread the word and track down the families of these fallen soldiers. Let’s honor the sacrifices of the 92nd Infantry Division and help bring them home!

    To positively identify the missing members of the 92nd, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) started the “92nd Infantry Project” in 2014. Of the 53 soldiers unidentified at the end of the war, 50 are still unaccounted for. One major obstacle that stands in the way of positive identification is family reference DNA samples.

    You can read more about this worthwhile project at:

  • 23 Mar 2021 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Accredited Genealogists Ireland:

    Accredited Genealogists Ireland member Paul Gorry has published a new edition of his 2018 book, Credentials for Genealogists: Proof of the Professional. In it he puts forward the case for professional genealogists seeking credentials, or accreditation, from a relevant accrediting body. There are eight such bodies throughout the world, AGI being one of them.

    Gorry says “nowadays the majority of professional genealogists do not hold credentials and appear not to think them necessary for their career”. But he argues that professional credentials provide “a structure essential to the integrity of the profession, a stamp of approval for the conscientious practitioner and protection for clients”.

    He asserts that credentials guarantee that the holder has the required knowledge, skill and experience, as well as ethical behaviour, to be regarded as a true professional.

    Back in 2018 he chose to sell the book through an independent bookshop in Ireland. People overseas found this inconvenient and asked about ordering it through Amazon.

    For that reason this Second Edition is available to purchase on Amazon. It went live early on St. Patrick’s Day (Irish time), purely by coincidence. It may be found by following this link to Amazon:

  • 23 Mar 2021 10:55 AM | Anonymous

    Genea is a research program for Macintosh that has earned a great reputation. Now the company has announced version 2.0 which adds new features as well as versions for iOS and iPadOS.

    Here is the announcement from Vertical Horizon Software:

    If you need help with your genealogy research, Genea is the app for you. Genea allows you to keep your notes and research logs organised and separated from your own family tree. When you find a matching results, you can easily export the note to import the information in your family tree.

    After a year of feedback and improvements, we bring Genea 2 to iOS, iPadOS and MacOS. We not only improved the Notes features, but also added Research logs to Genea.

    Research logs allows you to track your genealogy research in a simple but convenient way. Create as many research logs as you want. Define the objective of each research log. Add context info about the people and or the places you are researching, and log the research you have done. You can share a PDF of the Research log and add research activities in your calendar. You can of course search research logs to find results and more.

    Notes is modified in several ways. You can sort lists alphabetically or on date. You can search on places, dates (exact date, before, after or between dates). You can search on gedcom tags and more.

    Notes can contain text and an image, and you can link events to the Notes, and link people to the events, including their relationship to the event.

    You can adjust images and even do text recognition on typed text. All this can be exported as a gedcom file to import in your favorite family tree app.

    The MacOS version provides Touch Bar features and shortcuts. In several places we added extra context info and popover views, so all the info you need is just one tap away.

    With Genea 2, your genealogy research app has become much more mature, and a powerful tool for all people that take genealogy research serious.

    Genea appStore iOS (USA):

    Genea appStore MacOS (USA):

    Genea manual v2.1:



  • 23 Mar 2021 10:31 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from American Ancestors (also known as the New England Historic Genealogical Society):

    American Ancestors Offers Free, Online Live Family History Chat Service with Expert Genealogists

    Six Days Per Week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

    Do you have a genealogy or local history question? American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering a free, online live chat service, hosted by experienced staff genealogists. The service is available to all, Monday—Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Nearly everyone who researches family history has a question about something, whether it’s where to find a record, how to interpret an unfamiliar term, or locating the most authoritative sources for specific types of information. Our genealogists can help steer you in the right direction!

    WHO: Founded in 1845, American Ancestors/NEHGS is America’s oldest genealogical organization and a leading non-profit committed to advancing the study of family history. Find out more at

    WHAT: A free, online live chat service for family historians of all levels, hosted by experienced staff genealogists. During chat hours, several experts will be available to answer a wide variety of genealogical and historical questions.

    WHERE: Visit and
    type your question in the window in the lower right corner.


    • I recently heard that the Wales Family Association collection was donated to NEHGS. Are these papers available online?
    • What is the 19th century definition of a homesteader?
    • How or where would I be able to locate volume 4 of the Newport, RI Probate Records Index?
    • What resources could I use to find more about local Massachusetts regiments from the Civil War?
    • I discovered that my ancestor was christened 45-50 miles away from where he was born in Norway. Could you tell why my ancestors would have traveled so far?

    About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society
    American Ancestors, also known as New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), with its national headquarters located in Boston’s Back Bay, is the oldest and largest genealogical society in America. It serves more than 300,000 members and millions of online users engaged in family history nationally and around the world. It is home to a world-class research library and archive, and an expert staff. American Ancestors offers an award- winning genealogical research website at with more than 1.4 billion names and maintains a publishing division which produces original genealogical research, scholarship, and educational materials, including The NEHG Register, flagship journal of American genealogy since 1847, American Ancestors, its award- winning magazine and Mayflower Descendant, a quarterly journal of Pilgrim genealogy and history.
  • 22 Mar 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from a new announcement from Reclaim the Records:


    Reclaim The Records' two-year legal battle with multiple New York City government agencies makes headway, now goes before the judge 

    Hello again from your friends at Reclaim The Records! Today we have an exciting update in our long-running legal battle to (1) acquire and then release to the public about 1.6 million currently-inaccessible NYC death certificates from 1949-1968, totally free, as uncertified digital scans that we want to put online, and (2) strike down some truly awful new rules that heavily restrict public access to twentieth century New York City vital records, even from some of the relatives of the people directly named in the records.

    This project originally started back in October 2017, when the City held a public hearing at which none of the people in attendance and none of the more than six thousand people nationwide who submitted public comments voiced support for the new and incredibly strict record access rules. But the City went ahead and approved the stricter rule change anyway.

    Well, that just wouldn't do. So in February 2019, we sued them.

    And it was quite a long list of "them". The Respondents in our case include the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, the New York City Bureau of Vital Statistics; the New York City Board of Health; Oxiris Barbot in her official capacity as New York City Commissioner of Health; Gretchen Van Wye in her official capacity as New York City Registrar; and last but certainly not least, Steven P. Schwartz in his official capacity as former New York City Registrar.

    We had one court hearing in November 2019 and one in early 2020, before two different judges, facing off with the City over some of the issues. And then the pandemic struck, and things in the New York City court system understandably got put on hold for a while.

    But now, we've got some movement -- and, you guys, we don't want to jinx it, but it seems to be looking promising.

    Check out the fun legal paperwork!

    There are a lot of interesting legal nerd issues to talk about in this case. It's not just "can we plz have copies of a cousin's death certificate" it's also a lot of discussion about whether a city agency can make rules and policies, even if that agency has been given lots of discretionary powers, that can override the state's laws, particularly a state Freedom of Information Law. And when an agency does make rules, were they made capriciously? Were they overstepping their specific areas of expertise? Can a Department of Health really hold itself up as an expert on privacy?

    These are the kinds of issues that we will likely be dealing with in every state and territory, as we continue our nationwide work to fight for better public records access. So even if these New York records aren't part of your personal family tree, think about the underlying concepts and arguments, and how they could be applied to someday release more records in your area of interest.

    NOTE: The above is an excerpt from the Reclaim the Records newsletter and is too long to reproduce in its entirely here. You can read the full announcement in the Reclaim the Records newsletter at:

  • 22 Mar 2021 9:38 AM | Anonymous

    Most of us have always pictured Viking warriors as being blonde, blue-eyed males. However, it appears there were exceptions. Historians have known for some time that Viking warriors included some women. Now the historians have discovered that at least one woman was a Viking warrior and a leader.

    One particular Viking grave was unearthed more than 100 years ago. It obviously was the grave of a chieftain or some similar high-ranking warrior. For more than 100 years, the high-ranking Viking warrior was assumed to be male. Dr Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson has been studying the grave found in the 19th Century.

    While the grave and its contents had been known for more than a century, apparently nobody thought to determine the sex of the skeleton. After all, Viking warriors were always males, right?


    Thanks to the new technology called DNA, determining the sex of a skeleton is now rather easy. However, nobody thought to test this particular skeleton until recently.

    Dr Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson's team carried out a DNA test on the bones, revealing that they belonged to a biological woman. The discovery shook the academic world. The artifacts buried with the warrior indicated it was the grave of a high level warrior.

    As stated in the article, "If this omen actually was the warrior that she was buried as, she probably would have done some not so nice things, so she wouldn't have been a very good role model. She was a fierce person."

    You can read more and watch a video of this story in the BBC World Service web site at:

  • 19 Mar 2021 9:24 PM | Anonymous

    There is a family myth amongst tens of thousands of American families: "The family name was changed at Ellis Island." The stories claim the immigrant arrived at Ellis Island and was unable to communicate with the officials. A record was then created by someone who (undoubtedly did not speak the same language as the immigrant) assigned the immigrant a descriptive name.


    This fairy tale refuses to die. Let's look at a few simple facts:

    1. Passenger lists were not created at Ellis Island. They were created abroad, beginning close to the immigrant's home, when the immigrant purchased his ticket. In 99% of the cases, the clerk filling out the forms and creating the passenger list in "the old country" knew how to speak, read, and write your ancestor's language. That clerk filled in the proper name. In the case of Eastern European or Oriental languages, those forms even included the correct non-Roman characters. To be sure, spelling variations were common as the immigrants usually were illiterate and often didn't know their own alphabets or how to spell their own names in any language. The clerks wrote what they heard, which may or may not be the same spelling used elsewhere. In fact, there might not be a "correct" spelling. However, what was recorded ALWAYS sounded correct, especially when pronounced in the immigrant's language.

    It is unlikely that anyone at the local steamship office in "the old country" was unable to communicate with the immigrant or his/her family. Names were most likely recorded with a high degree of accuracy at that time.

    2. The idea that the immigrant was unable to communicate with officials at Ellis Island is ludicrous. In fact, one third of all immigrant inspectors at Ellis Island in the early twentieth century were themselves foreign-born, and all immigrant inspectors spoke at least three languages. In addition, Ellis Island and other ports of entry also hired an army of interpreters, most of them as part-time employees. These interpreters always (repeat: ALWAYS) could speak, read, and write the languages of other immigrants. If a new immigrant arrived and no interpreter was available for his or her particular language, that immigrant was detained at Ellis Island until a qualified interpreter was located and brought in for the interview. Most immigrants were processed through Ellis Island within a day or two but there were cases where immigrants were detained for several days until an interpreter became available and proper documentation could be completed. Nobody passed through the process without being interviewed by someone in a suitable language.

    Immigrant being interviewed at Ellis Island by an Immigration Official and an Interpreter

    (Photo courtesy of the Ellis Island Archives)

    3. The passenger lists were always prepared in "the old country" by steamship company officials. If any immigrant arrived at Ellis Island and provided a different name to officials from that provided on the passenger list, he or she was always denied entry. If a brief investigation could not clear up the mystery, the immigrant was shipped back to the old country on the steamship's return trip.

    NOTE: Many immigrants were refused entry for a variety of reasons and were returned. Estimates seem to vary from 12% to 18% of all would-be immigrants were denied entry into the United States and instead were sent back to their originating countries. The fates of most of these returnees has not been well documented.

    4. Later immigrants had to verify their correct names every year. Starting in July of 1940, the Alien Registration Act required every alien resident in the United States to register at their local Post Office in January. As part of the registration process, the immigrant had to provide ALL names by which he or she had ever been known, including his or her full name as used in "the old country" as well as the name used currently. Yes, that was true even if the "previous name" was written in Russian, Arabic, Chinese, or other letters. Alien Registration requirements applied to all aliens over the age of fourteen, regardless of nationality and regardless of immigration status.

    Despite these facts, the Ellis Island name-change story (or Castle Garden, or Angel Island, or any other Port of Entry, or earlier versions of the same story) is as American as apple pie. However, there is little to no truth to these stories.

    When Did the Names Change?

    After processing through Ellis Island and settling within the United States, many immigrants DID change their names. In numerous cases, the names were changed for them by public officials, schoolteachers, shopkeepers, and neighbors. Anyone from Eastern Europe, with a name LONG on consonants and short on vowels, learned that his name often got in the way of a job interview or became the subject of ridicule at his child's school. Any change that might smooth their way to the American dream was seen as a step in the right direction. In most cases, these later name changes were made without court papers or any other official recognition.

    In any case, the records at Ellis Island and other ports of entry always contained the original names, although with frequent spelling variations.

  • 19 Mar 2021 8:27 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from TheGenealogist:

    [TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer on a mobile phone, using the “Locate Me” feature whilst visiting Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire. Cycling through a Modern Satellite Image, Modern Map, 1890’s OS Map and 1838 Tithe Map ]

    Over 30 counties of georeferenced Tithe Maps have been added to date!

    TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™, the resource for researchers to turn to when searching for an ancestor’s landholding whether owned or simply occupied, has been boosted with the significant addition of georeferenced Tithe Maps for Anglesey, Durham, Devon, Shropshire, Somerset, Suffolk and Wiltshire.

    From cottages with gardens to acres of farmed land and country estates, the addition of georeferenced Tithe maps as a layer over modern and other historical maps will allow researchers to see how the landscape changed over time. Map Explorer™ gives the researcher the ability to switch between layers of tithe, historical and modern maps which are all tied to coordinates and so allow the user the ability to see how places change over the years.

    From a plot identified on the tithe map it is possible to click through to then see the description as it was recorded in the apportionment record at the time, thus revealing more about what an ancestor’s holding had been. Using Map Explorer™ the family historian can browse an ancestor’s area to find other plots that they owned or occupied. Alternatively, TheGenealogist’s Master Search can be used to look for ancestors’ plots across the tithe records and then view them on Map Explorer™.

    Lacock Abbey on a tithe map accessed on a mobile phone

    Subscribers accessing TheGenealogist on their mobile devices while out walking can use the “locate me” function when using the tool on the move and so open up the history of what is around them. This is explored further in their featured article (see the link below).

      • Total number of maps in this release is 2,738

      • Total number of Tithe maps in Map Explorer™ is now 9,710

      • Map Explorer™ has over four million viewable records indicated by Map Pins

      • TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™ displays maps for historical periods up to the modern day.

    The addition to Map Explorer™ this week of the black and white tithe maps for Anglesey, Durham, Devon, Shropshire, Somerset, Suffolk and Wiltshire, linked to the apportionment books, will enable researchers to discover ancestors who both owned or occupied property between 1837 and the 1850s, with some additional altered apportionments in later years when property was sold or divided. The records allow TheGenealogist’s Diamond subscribers to find details of the plots, the owners of the land, as well as the occupiers at the time of the survey while also identifying the actual plots on the maps. Tithes usefully record all levels of society from large estate owners to occupiers of small plots such as a homestead or a cottage.

    With this addition, Map Explorer™ now features colour tithe maps for the counties of Buckinghamshire, Cumberland, Essex, Huntingdonshire, Middlesex, Northumberland, Rutland, Surrey, Westmorland, the City of York as well as North and East Ridings of Yorkshire plus black and white maps for Anglesey, Berkshire, Cambridge, Cheshire, Durham, Devon, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire Suffolk, Yorkshire West Riding and Wiltshire.

    See TheGenealogist’s article: Traveling back in time with MapExplorer™ in your hand:

    Find out more at

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put 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!

  • 19 Mar 2021 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Dig deeper into your Irish heritage with employment and poor law records from the Emerald Isle. Here is what's new this Findmypast Friday.

    Ireland, Dublin Guinness Brewery Employees

    Did your ancestor work for one of Ireland’s most iconic brands? Discover occupations, birth and death dates, spouse names and more.

    Arthur Guinness established his brewery at St James's Gate, Dublin in 1759 by signing a now-defunct 9,000-year lease for £45 a year. Since then, thousands of Dubliners have worked at the famous landmark. If your relatives were among them, this collection is a must-search.

    Clare Poor Law Unions Board of Guardians Minute Books

    Findmypast have added over 500,000 records to this County Clare collection, a fascinating resource if you have family ties in the region.

    The detailed records cover workhouses in Clare's Corofin, Ennis, Ennistymon and Kilrush Poor Law Unions. In them, you'll find information on the day-to-day running of the institutions with mentions of inmates, staff and suppliers.

    Leicestershire Parish Records

    Privacy rules have allowed Findmypast to release another tranche of baptism, marriage, banns and burial records from churches across Leicestershire.

    As with all of their parish record collections, Findmypast have compiled a handy list showing exactly what's new and the timeframes covered.


    Findmypast’s newspaper releases continue the distinctly Irish theme this week. This latest update includes published nine new papers from Ireland and updated five others with additional pages. Hot off the press from Ireland are:

    While this week’s supplemented papers include:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software