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Latest Standard Edition Articles

  • 28 Feb 2024 7:44 AM | Anonymous

    The unit will partner with smaller departments across the state to focus on solving old cases using genealogy databases and testing to follow leads. Can your Ancestry test help solve a crime? How does law enforcement use DNA databases? What kind of crimes are they focused on? 

    “Ten, 15-20 years ago, this was science fiction,” Torrez explained. “I mean there was no way for anyone to figure these things out.”

    Torrez explains how investigators used genealogy to ultimately identify and arrest Angel Gurule in 2020. Gurule was charged with attacking and raping a jogger near the bosque. He pled guilty to two counts of rape and was sentenced to 12 years.

    Genealogy testing also led to investigators finding and identifying Edward Duran in 2021, matching his DNA to a rape kit from 1997. Duran remains behind bars awaiting trial on seven counts of rape.

    You can read more in an article by Gabrielle Burkhart and Chris McKee published in the krqe web site at:

  • 27 Feb 2024 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by the U.S. National Genealogical Society:

    FALLS CHURCH, VA, 27 FEBRUARY 2024—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) recently launched a monthly workshop series—AI Toolbox—for everyone interested in learning how artificial intelligence (AI) can facilitate their family history research. The virtual workshops teach practical AI skills that help all genealogists become more efficient and achieve better results. No prior experience with AI is needed.

    Students discover how to harness the power of AI to

    • manage those overflowing boxes of family photos;
    • transform research into captivating narratives;
    • create attention-grabbing images for genealogy projects, businesses, or organizations; and
    • extract, summarize, and analyze information from genealogical sources more efficiently.

    Each month, a "Toolmaster" demonstrates how to use the latest free and subscription-based AI tools on a different genealogical project. The first four workshops are now available for registration.

    The first workshop—Use AI for Your Family Photos—is on Thursday, 21 March 2024, at 2:00 p.m. (ET), live via Zoom. Attendees can watch the recording for one month following the live event.

    Additional scheduled workshops include: 

    Use AI to Draft Narratives from Timelines and Research Logs

    Thursday, 11 April 2024, at 2:00 p.m. (ET) 

    Use AI to Create Images for Genealogy Projects, Business, and Social Media

    Thursday, 16 May 2024, at 2:00 p.m. (ET)

    Use AI to Research Historical Documents and Letters

    Thursday, 20 June 2024, at 2:00 p.m. (ET)

    The AI "Toolmasters" are professional genealogists and educators who have considerable expertise in the use of AI for genealogy. Mark Thompson specializes in genetic genealogy and managing family archives and has held leadership roles in information technology. Nicole Dyer is an author and the creator of and the Research Like a Pro podcast. Michelle Custer Bates specializes in criminal ancestors and probate heirship and is a committee member for both the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

  • 27 Feb 2024 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    The following is (part of) an announcement from the Homeland Security Department:


    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


    Final rule.


    This final rule adjusts certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees charged by USCIS. This rule also provides additional fee exemptions for certain humanitarian categories and makes changes to certain other immigration benefit request requirements. USCIS conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the full cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services. DHS is adjusting the fee schedule to fully recover costs and maintain adequate service. This final rule also responds to public comments received on the USCIS proposed fee schedule published on January 4, 2023.


    This final rule is effective April 1, 2024. Any benefit request postmarked on or after this date must be accompanied with the fees established by this final rule.

    Public Engagement date: DHS will hold a virtual public engagement session during which USCIS will discuss the changes made in this final rule. The session will be held at 2 p,m. Eastern on Feb. 22, 2024. Register for the engagement here:​accounts/​USDHSCIS/​subscriber/​new?​topic_​id=​USDHSCIS_​1081.

    USCIS will allot time during the session to answer questions submitted in advance. Please email questions to by 4 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, and use “Fee Rule Webinar” in the subject link. Please note that USCIS cannot answer case-specific inquiries during the session.


    Docket: To view comments on the proposed rule that preceded this rule, search for docket number USCIS 2021–0010 on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at


    Carol Cribbs, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 5900 Capital Gateway Dr., Camp Springs, MD 20746; telephone 240–721–3000 (this is not a toll-free number).


    A lot more supplementary information may be found in the Federal Register at:

  • 27 Feb 2024 8:59 AM | Anonymous

    About 54 years ago, a boy scout troop leader in Sauvie Island, Oregon stumbled upon a shallow grave. In the buried dirt seemed to be some forgotten clothing. In reality, it was the remains of a teenage girl.

    Her entire body, in skeletal form, was discovered underneath the grave, as well as pieces from a black curly wig, according to Oregon State Police. At the time, investigators said the body showed clear signs of foul play. 

    For decades, the identity of the young woman remained a mystery — until Thursday. 

    State authorities identified the woman as Sandra Young, a teenager from Portland who went missing between 1968 and 1969. Her identity was discovered through advanced DNA technology, which has helped solve stubborn cold cases in recent years. 

    The case's breakthrough came last year in January, when a person uploaded their DNA to the genealogy database, GEDMatch, and the tool immediately determined that the DNA donor was a distant family member of Young. According to Oregon State Police, Young's DNA was already in databases used by law enforcement to help identify missing persons.

    From there, a genetic genealogist working with local law enforcement helped track down other possible relatives and encouraged them to provide their DNA. That work eventually led to Young's sister and other family members who confirmed that Young went missing around the same time that a body was discovered in the far north end of Sauvie Island.

    You can read more in the full story written by Juliana Kim in the NPR web site at:

  • 27 Feb 2024 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    Transport for London (TfL) has a rich history that spans more than 160 years and transcends the borders of London and the UK, with globally recognised iconography such as our red buses, black cabs, Tube maps and famous roundel. After three years of close collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, we are delighted to be bringing our archives, histories and stories online for a global audience with this new exhibition.

    United in our passion to preserve culture and art, we wanted to immerse users in our world of transport in a new, accessible way. With the digitisation of more than 2,000 documents and images from our Corporate Archive collections — including hundreds of historic maps — this online exhibition shares our history, current projects and cultural contributions, and details the stories and moments that led TfL to be who we are today.

    What can audiences look forward to? Never-seen-before content and stories. For example, did you know that in 1905, TfL owned over 17,000 horses? Or that TfL contributed to the World War II efforts by producing 710 Halifax Bombers in just three years? You can also investigate the innovative tunnelling and construction methods used to build the Victoria line.

    You can read more in an article by Emma Strain, the Customer Director for Transport for London, at:

  • 26 Feb 2024 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a list of all of this week's articles, all of them available here at 

    (+) Kekule Numbering System

    SLIG Scholarship Applications Due May 1st

    AGRA Issues a Statement of Formal Opposition to the Ministry of Justice's Proposals to End the Storage of Original Post-1858 Wills

    Wikitree Announces Largest Free Database of African-American Families

    Records Related to Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs or UFOs) at the National Archives

    National Archives to Host Sunshine Week Panel on Artificial Intelligence and Government Access

    National Archives Supports Efforts to Digitize Important Records From Puerto Rico

    National Archives at Kansas City Reopens Exhibit

    Issues of The Central Express and The Sanford Express Now Available on DigitalNC

    Paging Through the Lively CCC Newsette, an Online ‘Substantial Record’ of Evanston Illinois' Black History

    3.9 Million Pages of Finnish History Digitized

    See Where Your U.K. Ancestors Lived in 1861

    Learn About the Lives of Your Leeds Ancestors

    Wanted: Hive Minders for SLIG Fall Virtual 2024

    10 Ways to Make the iPhone User-Friendly for Seniors

  • 26 Feb 2024 10:09 AM | Anonymous

    Newspaper title: Central Express. Between the words Central and Express is an image of a train going along the tracks with a building in the back right.

    Over 1,700 issues of The Central Express and The Sanford Express are now available to view thanks to our partner Lee County Libraries and funding from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). According to the Library of Congress, the paper was published under name The Central Express from ~1886 until 1891 when it was changed to The Sanford Express. This batch adds issues from a period of urbanization as well as agricultural and industrial expansion in Lee County from the late 19th to the early-to-mid 20th century.

    From 1880 to 1919, Sanford saw agricultural and industrial expansion and community growth as a result of improved transportation. During this period, a large Black community began to take shape in Sanford with the establishment of business and residential district centered on Pearl Street. Individuals who did not work in the Pearl Street businesses in Sanford farmed; worked in the county’s brownstone quarries, sawmills, turpentine distilleries; or in building trades. 

    The text in the image reads: John Womack, a respectable colored man of this place has gone to Charlotte to become chief cook at the Buford House.The Central Express, September 28, 1889.

    John and David Womack are specifically mentioned in the National Register of Historic Places application submitted in 1993 for the “Historic and Architectural Resources of Lee County, North Carolina, ca. 1800-1942,” as Black business operators. According to the application, the two were operators of a brickyard located near Sanford in the 1890s. Interestingly, John Womack is mentioned in the September 29, 1889 issue of The Central Express as being “a respectable colored man of this place,” that went to Charlotte to “become chief cook at the Buford House.” There appears to be no follow-up in The Sanford Express for John Womack’s return to Sanford in the 1890s to operate the brickyard.

    Information about Sanford was taken from the NPS National Register of Historic Places application, seen here.

    To view more issues of The Central Express and The Sanford Express, view the newspaper’s landing page here.

    To browse more newspapers from across North Carolina, view our newspaper collection page here.

    To learn more about Lee County Libraries, visit their website here.

  • 26 Feb 2024 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    All Swedish-language newspapers published in Finland are now available digitally, as the National Library's digitization project has been completed.

    The University of Helsinki reports that nearly 3.9 million pages were digitized in the project which ended on December 31st.

    Now, almost six million pages of Swedish-language newspapers are available digitally through the National Library's service. According to the National Library, Swedish-language papers account for 30 percent of all newspapers available on the service.

    Searches can be made from digital content within newspaper contents and descriptive information.

    According to Kimmo Tuominen, Chief Librarian at the National Library, comprehensive digitized collections can promote language science, machine learning and AI development by opening up new opportunities for Finnish researchers to develop language models.

    "The availability of digitized newspapers revolutionizes research possibilities and deepens understanding of Finnish history and culture. We are grateful to our supporters and partners for making this part of Finland’s Swedish-speaking cultural heritage increasingly accessible," says Tuominen in a statement.

    You can read more in an article by Joakim Kullas published in the web site at:

  • 26 Feb 2024 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    Here is an article that is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, I suspect it will be of interest to many readers of this newsletter.

    The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has established an ‘‘Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Records Collection," per sections 1841–1843 of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 118-31).  

    Please explore the links below to find out more about records related to unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs)/unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in NARA’s holdings. All links to items in the National Archives Catalog are downloadable and can be republished with attribution to the National Archives and Records Administration.

    RG 255: Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    • Items from the series “Photographs Relating to Agency Activities, Facilities and Personnel, 1960–1991” (National Archives Identifier: 5956182, Local Identifier: 255-GS)

    RG 342: Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations, 1900–2003

    • Items from the series “Black and White Photographs of U.S. Air Force and Predecessors' Activities, Facilities, and Personnel, Domestic and Foreign” (National Archives Identifier: 542185, Local Identifier: 342-AF)
      • Items include 342-AF-63708AC, 342-AF-163969AC, 342-AF-34920AC, 342-AF-34923 AC, 342-AF-34919AC, 342-AF-163969AC, and 342-AF-34919AC.  A finding aid for these items is available in the Still Picture Research Room.
    • Items from the series “Black and White and Color Photographs of U.S. Air Force Activities, Facilities, and Personnel, Domestic and Foreign” (National Archives Identifier: 542326, Local Identifier: 342-B)

    RG 341: Records of Headquarters U.S. Air Force (Air Staff)

    • “Project “BLUE BOOK”, 1954–1966.” (National Archives Identifier: 542184, Local Identifier: 341-PBB)
    You can read more at:

  • 23 Feb 2024 5:13 PM | Anonymous

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

    Genealogists often use terms that are not familiar to others. Most of these terms become familiar soon after we get involved in searching for our family trees. We soon speak of pedigree charts, enumerators, Henry numbers, fan charts, and more. However, one term we do not hear often pops up occasionally: Kekule Numbers. 

    The German mathematician Stephan Kekule of Stradonitz (1863-1933) was a genealogist as well as the son of famed mathematician and chemist Friedrich August Kekulé. He used a numbering system to show relationships in text format. In German-speaking counties, lists of names created with Stephan Kekule’s numbers are still referred to by his name: Kekule numbers. However, in English-speaking countries the same numbers in lists would be called “numbers.” 

    Indeed, ahnentafel numbers and the Kekule numbers for listing ancestors are the same. However, Stephan Kekule also created a similar system for listing descendants, a system I have rarely seen in English-language publications.

    Ahnentafel is a word commonly used in genealogy although it probably confuses most newcomers. Ahnentafel is a German word that literally translates as "ancestor table." It is a list of all known ancestors of an individual and includes the full name of each ancestor as well as dates and places of birth, marriage, and death whenever possible. It also has a strict numbering scheme. 

    Note: Ahnentafel numbers for ancestors did not originate with Stephan Kekule. He simply popularized the system in his 1896 Ahnentafel Atlas. Spanish genealogist Jerome de Sosa first used the same ancestor numbering system in 1676, and ahnentafel/Kekule numbers are sometimes called “Sosa-Stradonitz system.” Kekule's contribution was the numbering system for descendants.

    Once the reader is accustomed to ahnentafels or Kekule numbers, it becomes very easy to read these lists, to move up and down from parent to child and back again, and to understand the relationships of the listed people. Ahnentafels are very good at presenting a lot of information in a compact format. However, the numbering system is the key to understanding ahnentafels or Kekule numbers. 

    The starting-person receives the number 1. For an example, let’s create a list of your ancestors and give each person a number. You are number one. 

    The father of the starting-person receives the number 2, and the mother gets the number 3. In our example, your father is #2 and your mother is #3. As we continue, a pattern emerges: your paternal grandfather is #4, your paternal grandmother is #5, your maternal grandfather is #6 and your maternal grandmother is #7. Moving up another generation continues the numbers: your father’father’father is #8 and so on. 

    Here is an excerpt from a list of one famous American’ancestors:

    1. George Walker Bush

    2. George Herbert Walker Bush

    3. Barbara Pierce

    4. Prescott Sheldon Bush

    5. Dorothy Walker

    6. Marvin Pierce

    7. Pauline Robinson

    8. Samuel Prescott Bush

    9. Flora Sheldon

    10. George Herbert Walker

    11. Lucretia [Loulie] Wear

    As you continue listing ancestors, you will soon see a pattern developing: 

    Male ancestors have always even numbers.

    Female ancestors always have odd numbers.

    The number of the father of a person is always twice as large as that of the original person.

    The number of the mother is twice as large as the original person’s plus one.

    To visualize the numbers, first consider a typical pedigree chart: 

    Carefully observe the numbers in the chart. You will notice that every person listed has a number and that there is a mathematical relationship amongst the individuals listed: 

    Gender: Male ancestors always have even numbers (ignore the starting person, or #1); female ancestors have odd numbers.

    Parents: The father of any person has a number of double that of his child (2n), and the mother of any person always has number of double that of her child plus one (2n + 1).

    Mate: A male ancestor's mate has number n + 1, and a female ancestor's mate has number n - 1.

    Relationship: The exact relationship between any ancestor n and the individual at position 1 is found by successively dividing n by 2, discarding fractions at each stage, until reaching the number 1. The resulting list of integers identifies the ancestral positions that form the lineage. The number of times that n is halved equals the number of generations between the individual and the ancestor at position n.

    Ancestors per generation: The first ancestor number in every generation (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc.) corresponds to the number of ancestor positions in that generation.

    Generation numbers: The above numbers are also exponentiations of 2 (i.e., 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, etc.), and the exponent may be used as the generation number (i.e., 16 - or, 2 to the fourth power - represents the fourth ancestral generation).

    Now, let's take a typical ancestry chart and write it in ahnentafel format: 

    1. person

    2. father

    3. mother

    4. paternal grandfather

    5. paternal grandmother

    6. maternal grandfather

    7. maternal grandmother

    8. paternal great-grandfather

    9. paternal great-grandmother

    10. paternal great-grandfather

    11. paternal great-grandmother

    12. maternal great-grandfather

    13. maternal great-grandmother

    14. maternal great-grandfather

    15. maternal great-grandmother

    Notice that the numbers are exactly the same as in the pedigree chart. The rules of father=2 times child, mother=2 times child+1, child=one-half of parent, etc., remain the same. This is an ahnentafel chart. 

    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 beginning at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/13320124.

    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

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