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  • 18 Nov 2022 8:09 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture:

    Resource to Help Families and Researchers Explore Reconstruction and Post-Emancipation African American Life

    The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) announces the launch of the Freedmen’s Bureau Search Portal. The new comprehensive search platform is designed to help family historians and genealogists search for their ancestors and for scholars and students to research various topics found in over 1.7 million pages of Freedmen’s Bureau records.  

    The portal allows users to search records from the United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. Congress created the Freedmen’s Bureau after the Civil War to assist in the political and social reconstruction of post-war Southern states and to help formerly enslaved African Americans transition from slavery to freedom and citizenship. From 1865 to 1872, the Freedmen’s Bureau created and collected over 1.7 million handwritten records containing the names and information of hundreds of thousands of formerly enslaved individuals and Southern white refugees.   

    The search portal combines data created by two different NMAAHC initiatives into a single searchable platform. In 2015, NMAAHC, FamilySearch International, the California African American Museum and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society collaborated on a crowdsourcing project to index the names, dates and locations found in the records. Data created from the project—nearly 2 million indexed names—was transferred to the NMAAHC in December 2016.  

    Shortly after the indexing project was complete, NMAAHC and the Smithsonian Transcription Center began a crowdsourcing effort to fully transcribe all of the more than 1.7 million pages, including labor contracts, land leases, marriage certificates, hospital registers, ration orders, teachers’ reports and personal testimony. To date, over 400,000 pages of records have been transcribed and are fully searchable.  

    The portal allows users to search indexed data for specific names, places and dates and transcribed data for topics, subjects, institutions and any other keywords and phrases. By bringing these two data sets together, the Freedmen’s Bureau Search Portal creates unprecedented research possibilities and access to this invaluable set of records.   

    The portal and the ongoing Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project provide a better understanding of Reconstruction and post-emancipation African American life and allow African Americans to connect with their ancestors in a way that was previously thought impossible.  

    Volunteers Can Join the Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project  

    The museum is leading a volunteer effort to transcribe the digitized records of the Freedmen’s Bureau so they can be more useful for scholars and genealogists researching the Reconstruction era. To learn more about the Freedmen’s Bureau Project, the public can visit the Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center on the museum’s second floor or the Smithsonian Transcription Center webpage to volunteer.   

    About the National Museum of African American History and Culture  

    Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 8.5 million in-person visitors and millions more through its digital presence. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.  

  • 17 Nov 2022 4:10 PM | Anonymous

    A team of researchers led by scientists from the University of Edinburgh completed the largest genetic study to date looking at dyslexia and linking the condition to genes associated with neurodevelopment.

    Dyslexia is estimated to affect between 5 to 17 percent of the population. It impacts a person’s reading ability and often runs in families.

    A team of researchers led by scientists from the University of Edinburgh completed the largest genetic study to date looking at dyslexia and linking the condition to genes associated with neurodevelopment.

    Dyslexia is estimated to affect between 5 to 17 percent of the population. It impacts a person’s reading ability and often runs in families.

    You can see the full study in Nature Genetics.

    The researchers also assembled a list of answers to questions on the study, its purpose, and how the genetic study was conducted here.

  • 17 Nov 2022 9:31 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Stuart Isett and published in the Fortune web site:

    Deb Liu, former Meta executive and current chief executive officer of, addressed the gloomy economic climate on stage at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference on Tuesday.

    Liu joined Ancestry, the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world, in 2021 as its new CEO just three months after investment management firm Blackstone bought the company and took it private for $4.7 billion. She was tasked with growing subscribers, a goal that required reaching out to more clients of color and expanding internationally.

    Today, the fledgling CEO faces new stumbling blocks. The company must now confront an increasingly volatile market and an unremitting slowdown in the tech industry, an environment that Liu says is easier to navigate without the extra obligations that come with being public.

    “I think in uncertain times, it’s actually better to be a private company because you can invest in the future and not worry quarter to quarter what you’re answering for,” Liu said on stage.

    You can read more at:

  • 17 Nov 2022 8:55 AM | Anonymous

    Here are some photos automatically generated by MyHeritage's new software (with further examples and explanation available in the MyHeritage Blog at:

    Here is MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet as a Viking

    Fast forward AI Time Machine™ again. This time, Gilad is in the 1960’s and 1970’s as a hippie, or maybe a co-founder of Apple Computers?

    Yes, it also works for females. Here is Maya Lerner, MyHeritage’s SVP Product, in different themes.

    Reminder: this works with any digital photograph. You can create new "pictures" of yourself, your relatives, or your ancestors!

    What do YOU want to be?

  • 17 Nov 2022 8:42 AM | Anonymous

    This has to be one of the niftiest new products available from MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter). I have experimented with this for a bit and fell in love with it immediately! 

    Here is the announcement from MyHeritage:

    (You can also read more and see examples in the MyHeritage Blog at:

    TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah--MyHeritage, the leading global service for discovering your past and empowering your future, announced today the release of AI Time Machine™, a cutting-edge, fun feature that creates images of a person in different time periods throughout history using text-to-image AI technology. The stunning, hyper-realistic results can easily be shared on social media and used as profile photos to amaze friends and family.

    AI Time Machine™ is based on Stable Diffusion and technology licensed by MyHeritage from Astria, an innovative company specializing in tailor-made AI image generation. The feature is very easy to use: simply upload 10 to 25 photos of the same individual taken in a variety of settings and poses. A model of the individual is then created and cast as a protagonist in dozens of predefined themes set in different historical eras. With only a few clicks anyone can see themselves as an ancient Greek warrior, an Egyptian pharaoh, a medieval knight, a Victorian lady, a hippie from the 1960’s, or an astronaut in space. Images can be downloaded as a set of 8 or individually, for easy sharing.

    “At MyHeritage, we’re constantly developing cool new ways to connect people to their family history,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Over the past 3 years we released many successful features that use the power of AI to bring historical photos to life. AI Time Machine™ is a new twist on this theme, inviting you to travel to the past and see yourself as you might have looked at the time of your ancestors. While developing this feature, the recurring question among our team was when it would be released so we could finally share our own mind-blowing images!”

    “We are delighted to collaborate with MyHeritage to apply our technology to the field of family history,” said Alon Burg, Co-founder and CEO of Astria. “Generative AI is an exhilarating new frontier, and we’re very excited that this integration will create fun and meaningful experiences for millions of people worldwide.”

    AI Time Machine™ is the latest addition to the suite of cutting-edge photo technologies that have positioned MyHeritage as the market leader for improving old family photos. The company’s suite of photo features includes Deep Nostalgia™, which animates the faces in still photos and took the world by storm, catapulting MyHeritage to the top of the app store charts in dozens of countries; Photo Repair, which automatically fixes scratches and creases; MyHeritage Photo Enhancer, which brings blurry faces into focus; MyHeritage In Color™, which automatically colorizes black and white photos and restores the colors in faded photos; and DeepStory, which makes your family photos speak. Collectively, these features have been used more than 200 million times since their release. MyHeritage’s photo features resonate deeply with consumers, increase interest in history in general and family history in particular, and introduce new audiences to the fascinating domain of genealogy.

    While highly realistic, images generated by AI Time Machine™ are created by artificial intelligence; they are not authentic photographs. As per MyHeritage’s commitment to responsible AI, watermarks are added to all images generated by AI to distinguish them from authentic photos. AI Time Machine™ images are perfect for sharing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and other social media.

    AI Time Machine™ is currently available on desktop and via mobile web browser. The feature is free at launch for a limited introductory period (with a limit of one model and 50 themes per user, for a total of 400 images), following which it will become a paid feature. A one-time purchase will then allow you to upload photos to create a model of one person and generate 160 images with up to 20 themes. Users with a MyHeritage Complete plan will enjoy a higher usage quota at no additional cost.

    Try AI Time Machine™ now at
    Watch the demo video of AI Time Machine™.

    About MyHeritage

    MyHeritage is the leading global discovery platform for family history. With billions of historical records and family tree profiles, and with sophisticated matching technologies that work across all its assets, MyHeritage allows users to discover their past and empower their future. MyHeritage DNA is one of the world’s largest consumer DNA databases, with 6.3 million customers. MyHeritage is the most popular DNA test and family history service in Europe, and is trusted by 104 million users worldwide. Since 2020, MyHeritage is home to the world’s most advanced AI technologies for animating, repairing, enhancing, and colorizing historical photos.

  • 17 Nov 2022 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

    FALLS CHURCH, VA, 17 NOVEMBER 2022—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has named Margaret R. Fortier, CG®, and Mary Kircher Roddy, CG, as co-editors of itsNational Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ). They take the reins of editorial responsibility for this prestigious publication from retiring editors Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGLSM, and Allen R. Peterson, AG, CG.

    “I am honored to be chosen as co-editor along with Mary,” said Margaret Fortier, of Medford, Massachusetts. “We look forward to presenting the work of genealogical authors to expand the knowledge and skills of all genealogists.” Mary Kircher Roddy of Seattle, Washington, added, “It is an honor for us to be selected and add our contributions to those of the many great NGSQ editors. We’re excited to work with authors to share their research with the genealogical community.”

    “We are pleased that NGS has selected two outstanding genealogists to succeed us as co-editors,” said Nancy Peters and Allen Peterson. “We are confident the Quarterly will be in good hands. Under their skilled editorial direction, the NGSQ will continue its long history of publishing leading-edge, quality case studies and family histories with enduring value to our field.”

    Roddy is a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and was treasurer of the Association of Professional Genealogists from 2018 through 2021. She has both published and peer reviewed several articles in the NGSQ since 2018. She is a frequent presenter at conferences and for societies in the US, Canada, and Australia on methodology and record types. She is one of the founders of the Applied Genealogy Institute. Her personal research focuses primarily in Ireland, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio but extends to genealogical records in Germany.  In addition to the NGSQ, her articles have appeared in NGS Magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, and various society publications. She was a mentor for ProGen study groups. 

    A genealogical researcher, writer, and instructor, Fortier is chair of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) webinar committee and a board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) where she serves on the bylaws and professional development committees. Her research focuses on the New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, Quebec, and Italy. She lectures at the NGS Family History Conference and has been an instructor for the Applied Genealogy Institute. She is facilitator for a GenProof study group and for the Certification Discussion Group. She has written for NGSQ, the APG Quarterly, and MASSOG: A Genealogical Journal for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She holds an MS in Information Design from Bentley University.

    “We are fortunate to have recruited such excellent genealogists to take the helm of theQuarterly and build on the work of Nancy Peters and Allen Peterson,” said NGS President Kathryn Doyle. “We are so thankful to Nancy and Allen and appreciate their talent, hard work, and dedication in maintaining the high standards of the NGSQ. As co-editors since 2019, they have not only given voice to wonderful authors, but they ensured the ‘Q’ remains invaluable to everyone learning genealogy. They have further cemented the ‘Q’ as one of the foremost scholarly genealogical journals. We know that Margaret and Mary will continue that legacy.” 

    The first issue for Fortier and Roddy will be Volume 111, No. 1, March 2023.
  • 16 Nov 2022 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    From an article in the web site:

    Work has begun on examining and analysing a genealogical roll from the 15th century which has not been seen publicly for over 20 years.

    A team of historians and heritage science researchers at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) will be using cutting-edge scientific imaging in a rare and precious genealogical roll that was made in England between 1447 and 1455. The new spectral imaging method developed by NTU for scanning manuscript rolls will produce not only high-resolution colour images given by traditional digitisation but also material and ‘hidden’ information.

    The roll – MS 501 which is located at Burlington House with the London Society of Antiquaries – is almost 50ft long and is considered to be one of the finest late-medieval chronicles in the world. Because of its unusual size and length, the roll cannot currently be accessed and presents unique challenges when it comes to digitisation.  It contains a series of beautiful images thought to have been created by William Abell, a well-known fifteenth-century manuscript illuminator based in London. When, in 2021, The London Society of Antiquaries started a campaign to raise the profile of the society led by historian Michael Wood, they chose this roll as a key example in their collection, and sourced charitable donations to carry out its digitisation.

    You can read more at:
  • 16 Nov 2022 12:56 PM | Anonymous

    Evernote is one of my favorite apps for storing random bits of information that I might want to refer to later. I believe Evernote is also used by thousands of other genealogists for many purposes, both genealogy-related and other reasons as well.The following information therefore will probably be of interest to many genealogists:

    From an article written by Ian Small and published in the Evernote Blog:

    Evernote’s Next Move: Joining the Bending Spoons Suite of Apps

    Today we are pleased to announce that Evernote has agreed to join Bending Spoons, a leading developer of stand-out mobile apps.

    In the deal signed between Bending Spoons and Evernote, Bending Spoons agrees to take ownership of Evernote in a transaction expected to complete early in 2023.

    For Evernote, this decision is the next strategic step forward on our journey to be an extension of your brain. The path we’ve taken in recent years—rebuilding our apps in order to expand Evernote’s utility and deepen its appeal—has made possible new features, deep focus on our customers, and ultimately, an #everbetter productivity solution on the cusp of the next stage of innovation and growth. Teaming up with Bending Spoons will speed that journey, accelerating the delivery of improvements across our Teams, Professional, Personal, and Free offerings.

    As I write this blog post, our new collaborative editing capability, which allows multiple people to edit the same note simultaneously, and individuals to edit the same note on multiple devices without note conflicts, is in early days of beta testing around the world. At the same time, we are within weeks of beta-ing our new support for Office 365 calendars—another much anticipated step forward for our customers. Of course, our drive to improve Evernote includes smaller changes, too. Whether you’ve wanted mini-sidebars on tablets, new preference menu options, iOS and Android widgets, drag & drop for tags, or even the ability to choose where to start a new note (Hint: it’s either in the title or the body; you now get to set the default), customer-centric innovation continues with every release.

    While ownership is changing hands, our commitment to keeping your data safe and secure remains as steadfast as ever, and the Evernote you know and love will continue to thrive. Joining Bending Spoons allows us to take advantage of their proven app expertise and wide range of proprietary technologies. Even a small glimpse into their vibrant suite of apps, including Splice for video editing and Remini for AI-assisted photo editing, demonstrates why about 100 million people rely on Bending Spoons products every month. Bending Spoons has built a remarkable business with strong financials and has the ability and resources to propel Evernote forward.

    Together, we share a vision for Evernote as a powerful, intuitive extension of your brain. Everything we do at Evernote is focused on helping our customers remember everything and accomplish anything. We look forward to the continued pursuit of that mission with you, our customers and partners, now as part of Bending Spoons.

  • 16 Nov 2022 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    More than 2,200 Chinese Exclusion Act case files held by the National Archives at Riverside are now available online in the National Archives Catalog, thanks to a collaboration with the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California.

    The project began in 2018 after a fortuitous meeting at a local American Archives Month event. Shortly thereafter, professors and students from California State University, San Bernardino, and the University of California at Riverside joined the team.  

    National Archives at Riverside staff trained the student interns, who digitized 56,507 documents using donated scanners. 

    These records document the movement of Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans in and out of the United States during the exclusion era, when a series of acts passed by Congress between 1882 and 1943 severely curtailed Chinese immigration to the United States.

    Around 10 percent of Riverside’s Chinese Exclusion Act case files have been digitized.

    While the pandemic may have temporarily disrupted the digitization efforts, it did not stop the momentum to increase access to these records, which are invaluable to family and historical research. 

    You can read more in an article written by Angela Tudico and published in the web site at:

  • 15 Nov 2022 10:37 PM | Anonymous

    Archives New Zealand has indefinitely removed access to its widely used online search system for its collections after restricted records containing private information became publicly visible.

    Now the only way people can access Archives’ collections is by going into physical Archives offices and requesting physical copies of records.

    On Friday, the Government record-keeping authority discovered that brief record titles containing private information were publicly visible. The full records were not available digitally and have never been accessible to the public.

    “We take the privacy of the material we hold very seriously,” chief archivist Anahera Morehu said in a statement.

    You can read more in an article by André Chumko published in the web site at .

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