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  • 19 Dec 2022 7:13 AM | Anonymous

    Selected by statewide cultural heritage stakeholders and funded by the DLG’s competitive digitization grant program, over 3,000 pages of digitized African American funeral programs from Evans County, Georgia, and other Southeastern towns and cities are now freely available in the Digital Library of Georgia and can be seen online here: African American Funeral Programs, 1960-2022.

    The collection of 637 individual programs dates between 1961-2022, with the birth dates of the people represented going back to 1870.

    You can read all the details at: https://blog.dlg.galileo.usg.edu/?p=8418.


  • 16 Dec 2022 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    Vail in the 1980s can now be relived by locals online as ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org. The newspaper is now searchable through the free website, which is a service of the Colorado State Library at: ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org

    The web site presently contains more than 600 newspapers published in Colorado from 1859 up to 2021.

    The Vail Trail’s inclusion in ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org collection has been a major focus of the Friends of the Vail Public Library group for the last decade, said Lori Barnes with the Vail Public Library. The group’s goal is to see the Vail Trail digitized and searchable through 2003.

    Barnes said Friends of the Vail Public Library has been fundraising for years to see the project completed. “This is a big way that Friends of the Library dollars have been utilized over the years,” Barnes said this week.

    The work has become more expensive as the paper grew — the final digitized edition of the Vail Trail currently available on ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org is the July 24, 1992 edition, which is 91 pages.

  • 16 Dec 2022 10:03 AM | Anonymous

    Would you like to keep your genealogy findings in the cloud where you and anyone you allow can access the information from anywhere? An article by Daniel Blechynden and published in the TechRadar web site describes in detail just how to do that with a program called webtrees (apparently always spelled with a lower-case "w".)

    Blechynden writes:

    "webtrees is a free, super powerful open-source genealogy program. It supports standard GEDCOM files, which means that it’s compatible with most major desktop programs, and it comes with loads of excellent management features. 

    "However, webtrees is a self-hosted program, and it can be pretty difficult to get started with—especially if you haven’t used self-hosted software before. In this guide, we’ve provided a complete step-by-step approach to installing and getting started with webtrees.

    "Before you can begin using webtrees, you need to choose a web hosting provider (opens in new tab) for installation. Hosting provides the storage space, processing power, and other resources required to use the program."

    You can read the full article at: https://tinyurl.com/2fkeycb2

  • 16 Dec 2022 9:05 AM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, I believe that many readers of this newsletter have an interest in low-cost computing devices. I know that I share that interest and therefore want to share my discoveries.

    I have written a number of times about the advantages of Chromebook and Chromebox computers, the low-cost systems that perform almost all the functions that most computer users want from their systems. I use my Chromebook and Chromebox systems almost daily even though a couple of weeks ago I added a new, high-powered Macintosh to my collection of computers. The Chrome OS systems are so much simpler and easier to use when I have a "quickie" use for a computer.

    Writing in the Android Authority web site, Rita El Khoury has written an article about a number of recent additions to the Chromebook/Chromebox systems. I thought I knew those systems well but her article showed me a number of new things that I was not aware of previously.

    If you have an interest in Chrome Operating System computers, you probably will want to read Rita El Khoury's article at: https://www.androidauthority.com/love-chrome-os-3251538/.

    Comment: During the Christmas season, I have seen dozens of ads for Chromebook systems at lower prices than I have ever seen before (and for a lot less than what I paid for mine!). If you are looking for a system for yourself or for a gift for a computer non-expert, you might want to check the current ads.


  • 16 Dec 2022 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    Perhaps he was simply a friendly next-door neighbor. Maybe not. Scientists are hoping ‘historical biomolecules’ on a 15th-century missive written by Vlad Dracula, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s vampire count, will reveal more about him.

    A 16th-century portrait of Vlad III, more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula. Photograph: Ian Dagnall Computing/Alamy

    On a dark and stormy night in May this year, exactly 125 years to the day that Bram Stoker published the definitive vampire novel, two people pored over a document more than 500 years old in a room in Transylvania – signed by Dracula himself.

    Gleb and Svetlana Zilberstein’s mission? To extract genetic material from the letters written by Vlad Dracula – the historical inspiration for Stoker’s vampiric count – left there by his sweat, fingerprints and saliva.

    And from that, the pair, who have been dubbed “protein detectives” – though they prefer “historical chemists” – can build up a picture of not only the physical makeup of the Wallachian warlord who became known as Vlad the Impaler for his practice of displaying his enemies on stakes, but also the environmental conditions in which he lived.

    “It was mystical that we were extracting Dracula’s molecules on the day that Bram Stoker’s novel was published 125 years ago,” said Gleb Zilberstein. “We did not specifically plan this date. All night, after the extraction of Dracula’s molecules, it rained, dogs howled and lightning flashed. It was really a very magical atmosphere. Count Dracula blessed his release from the Romanian archive.”

    Zilberstein’s sense of the theatrical belies the pioneering science at the heart of what he and Svetlana do. He said: “Our job is to find the biochemical traces left from the time when the historical object was created or when it was used by some historical figure.

    “When ‘historical biomolecules’ are found, we begin to analyse them. That is, to determine the molecular composition and age of historical molecules. We mainly determine proteins and metabolites.”

    “These molecules are more stable than DNA and provide more information about the environmental conditions, health, lifestyle, nutrition of the historical person to whom the historical molecules belonged.”

    You can read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/dec/11/dracula-vlad-the-impaler-letter-protein-clues.

  • 16 Dec 2022 8:33 AM | Anonymous

    From the MyHeritage Blog:

    AI Time Machine™, our successful new feature that allows you to picture yourself throughout history, keeps getting better. We’re happy to announce that due to popular demand, the available themes in AI Time Machine™ have been expanded to include a new category: AI avatars. In addition to the historical (time travel) themes offered since its launch, you can now create AI avatars in dozens of stunning themes. See yourself rendered as a pencil sketch or animated character, as a World Cup soccer player, and in more original, fun themes. If you’ve already taken AI Time Machine™ for a spin, you can generate the new themes on an existing model, or upload a new set of photos to create dazzling avatars. Avatars are perfect for sharing with your family and friends or for using as your profile photo on social media.

    You can read more and also see examples of the new avatars at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2022/12/new-ai-time-machine-adds-ai-avatars/.

  • 16 Dec 2022 8:16 AM | Anonymous

    For decades, Nuestra Cosa provided a platform for UC Riverside’s Chicano students to share their stories, poetry, and art with the campus.

    After the newspaper stopped publishing in 2012, much of that history became harder to find, with back issues tattered or fading away. A new project has made those voices available once again in a digital collection where readers can browse through the 40-year span of the newspaper.

    The project converting almost 100 issues of Nuestra Cosa into a digital format was a collaboration between the UCR Library and Chicano Student Programs, or CSP, as well as student groups Teatro Quinto Sol and the Encuentros, Student Participatory Research Project (ESPARiTU).

    It was unveiled last month at a gala celebrating the CSP’s 50th anniversary, which also marks the 50th anniversary of Nuestra Cosa, which published its first issue on Dec. 7, 1972.

    Nuestra Cosa
    A collage of back issues of Nuestra Cosa, the Chicano student newspaper now available online. (Victor Perry/UCR)

    The celebration included displays of newspaper covers and was attended by alumni who wrote for the publication. It was a powerful experience to share the project with contributors to Nuestra Cosa and the community it chronicled, said Sandy Enriquez, a special collections librarian who oversaw the effort for the library.

    The publication, whose title translates into “Our Thing” in English, was founded by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, or MEChA de UC Riverside, a student organization founded in 1969 during the Chicano movement with chapters at universities across the United States. It was created at a pivotal time when student members were active in the social and political issues of the time and were seeking to increase their representation on campus.

    The archive also includes a 1969 publication called Adelante by MEChA de UC Riverside that was a precursor to Nuestra Cosa.

    The project is the latest step in making documents and records of campus history more accessible. Earlier this year, the library posted the complete archives of the Highlander student newspaper on the same Calisphere database where Nuestra Costa is now available.

    Calisphere includes digital records from all 10 University of California campuses along with a variety of historical records from libraries, archives, and museums throughout California.

    You can read (a lot) more about Nuestra Cosa at: https://insideucr.ucr.edu/stories/2022/12/13/historic-chicano-student-newspaper-made-available-online.

  • 16 Dec 2022 8:06 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Surrey and US records added this Findmypast Friday 

    • Explore English and US roots with this week’s new records 
    • Five new newspaper titles have been added, including updates to a further 68 
    • Plus, get25% off selectedFindmypast gift subscriptions until December 23 - the perfect last-minute gift  

    This is the closest thing we have to a census for this time period, where men over the age of 18 were requested to sign one of three oaths to declare their support of the Protestant Reformation in England. You may find your ancestor’s name, parish and county while exploring the 132,304 new records.

    New this week, this collection explores the genealogies of families that made contributions to the development of Philadelphia during the Colonial era. The families are mainly of English, Welsh or German descent, and the detail covers the 18th and 19th centuries, with some going further back still. What you’ll find will vary for each family, but you’ll normally find key biographical details, and sometimes extra clues such as letters or burial locations.  

    Another 4,700 records have been added to this existing set from the 1883 publication Croydon in the Past. The person who compiled it was local to the area and noted down details of headstones on their walks. While the information available varies, you may see small biographies on the original images, in addition to a birth year, next of kin, and a last residence.  

    Five new newspapers have been released this week, with more pages added to a further 68. 

    (The long list of newspapers and more may be found at: https://www.findmypast.com/blog/new/surrey-states-protestation.) 

  • 15 Dec 2022 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    Mems Dead is a tool to help you make the most of a wonderful source for researching Irish family history and local history: the Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland (also known as the Journal of the Irish Memorials Association).

    Quoting from the Mems Dead web site:

    What is in the Journals

    Most people will find something in the Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland (also known as the Journal of the Irish Memorials Association) that is of interest and value for their Irish family history research or Irish local history research.  The lucky ones will even find mention of the particular people or places they are researching.

    Record types

    A diverse array of records were captured in the Journals.  The vast majority of Journal entries contain gravestone inscriptions.  A reasonable proportion include snippets of family history; very occasionally they include pedigree charts or descendant reports.  Some Journal entries incorporate transcripts of parish register entries, funeral entries, newspaper clippings and other records such as wills, marriage licence bonds and family bibles.  Coats of arms are represented, both as illustrations and blazon.  The names and residences of the Journals’ subscribers and contributors are given.  Other content includes: local histories; church/graveyard histories and illustrations; lists of ministers by parish; and descriptions of church plate (e.g. chalices).

    The Journals can act as a substitute when the underlying sources have been lost, particularly gravestones, many of which have become illegible due to weathering, vegetation and destruction.

    As well as being a source of information in their own right, the Journals can act as a gateway to other valuable sources.  When a record or publication is referenced in the Journals, it is advisable to look for the original (if it survives) because it may include further information of interest beyond what was extracted in the Journals.  Similarly, it is worth checking any entries that mention a place of interest or nearby places - even if they do not directly touch on your research subject, they may signpost useful avenues for further research.

    Date range

    Most of the information in the Journals relates to the 18th and early 19th centuries.  There is also a reasonable amount of information relating to the 17th century and outliers on either side of this range.  Consequently, the Journals helpfully supplement mainstream sources for Irish genealogical research, providing evidence of events that pre-date civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in Ireland as well as many of the surviving parish registers.

    Some of the information in the Journals relates to the date of production/publication, between 1888 and 1939 (e.g. details of subscribers and contributors).

    Geographic scope

    The Journals contain information from every county in Ireland but the extent of coverage varies considerably between parishes and many parishes are not covered at all.  Consequently, they will be more useful for researching some locations than others.  The southern half of Ireland is better-represented than the northern half.

    Some Journal content provides information about events that occurred outside Ireland, such as Irish people who were buried overseas.

    Data types

    The Journals often provide information about family groups - something that is not frequently found in the other sources that exist for Irish genealogical research prior to the mid-19th century.  Due to the prevalence of gravestone inscriptions in the Journals, place of burial and memorial can commonly be found, as can date of death and age at death.  Place of residence is identified for about 1 in 5 of the people mentioned.  Occupation is indicated for about 1 in 3 men and place of work for about 1 in 6 men.  Details of baptism and marriage are much less common; they are most likely to be found for events that occurred in Co. Dublin and other areas included in the parish register sections of the Journals.

    People represented

    Women are more visible in the Journals than in many of the other sources that exist for Irish genealogical research prior to the mid-19th century (those often focus on landowners and heads of households, who were predominantly men).

    Clergy are particularly well represented in the Journals, especially Church of Ireland clergy.  The other occupations that are most commonly identified include military, merchants and civic leaders (politicians, magistrates, etc.).  There is less chance of finding information about farmers, labourers, textile workers and the working class generally - compared to the landed gentry, these people were less likely to have had durable gravestones and were less likely to have attracted the attention of the Journals' contributors.

    All religious denominations can be found in the Journals though religion is seldom explicitly stated.  The context can provide clues to people's religion but it is worth remembering that non-Anglicans may have been baptised/married/buried in Church of Ireland churches due to its historical role as the state church.

    Reliability

    While compiling the sample shown on this website, we compared hundreds of Journal entries with the underlying gravestones/records/publications on which they were based.  The vast majority of the datapoints that were reconciled turned out to be dependable transcripts of the underlying sources, though mistakes were occasionally identified.  Additionally, we compared some Journal entries with alternative sources of the same information, which sometimes highlighted errors in the Journals and sometimes highlighted errors in other sources.  Observations are indicated on the entry's page under ‘transcriber notes’, see for example here (not every entry was verified).

    Considering the way in which Journal content was crowdsourced, the reliability is likely to vary.  Apply usual good genealogical research practices to validate information found in the Journals:

    • sense-check the internal consistency (e.g. do dates and ages match stated relationships?)
    • review the gravestones/records/publications on which Journal entries were based (if they survive) to check the accuracy of the transcription
    • correlate Journal entries with different sources to identify and overcome errors


    You can read more at: https://memsdead.com/.


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