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  • 24 Sep 2020 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana is searching for its next executive director and is asking for the community’s input. In an online survey, people can submit what traits and characteristics they think are important for the next director to have.

    You can take the survey at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ehb19tt7kf2r0mol/a023ehkffg32mc/greeting. The deadline to complete the survey is September 24, 2020. (Update: the date has now been extended.)

    Last month, the library’s executive director at the time, Greta Southard, resigned. A few days later, the library Board of Trustees appointed Denise Davis to serve as interim director. She was already serving as ACPL’s Director of Strategic Initiatives.

    The library hasn’t said when a new permanent executive director could be named.


  • 24 Sep 2020 2:16 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a project that could use your genealogical expertise! The following is an excerpt from an article by Hallie Golden and published in The Guardian:

    On a recent Saturday, as fires raged across much of the US west coast, Nancy Collins, 42, received a Facebook message from a friend: “Do you angels feel like helping find people again?”

    Collins, a genetic genealogist in the San Francisco Bay area, didn’t hesitate: “Of course.”


    Two years ago, the pair, along with several others with expertise in genealogy and digital sleuthing, came together to help locate some of the many people who had gone missing following the catastrophic wildfires in Paradise, California. Collins and her fellow genealogical experts are known as “search angels” and, along with the support of several administrators, they have ultimately helped to connect nearly 250 people with their family and friends.

    In the months that followed, there were times when it seemed they would need to join forces once again, such as after fires in Australia, but the group has largely remained on hiatus.

    Until now, that is.

    With a new series of devastating fires that have burned millions of acres and killed more than 30 people in Oregon, California and Washington, including a firefighter, the search angels had been resurrected to help reunite families and friends and bring closure to those desperately in need of it.

    You can read the full story at https://bit.ly/2RYpnnb.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage has just refreshed the data for the Theory of Family Relativity™.

    This update has added millions of new and improved theories that explain how you and your DNA Matches might be related, and can enlighten you about family relationships that may have been complete mysteries until now.


    If you are not familiar with MyHeritage’s Theory of Family Relativity™, the best description I have found is that it “leverages all the data available on MyHeritage, such as family trees and historical records, to provide you with plausible theories as to how you may be related to a given DNA Match.” The results are exactly what they are claimed to be: THEORIES, not proven facts. In short, the MyHeritage computers have compared millions of DNA records against your DNA sample and said, “These are possibilities, you might want to check these to verify whether or not they are your relatives.” These possibilities then need to be reviewed by you to determine if the theory is really a fact or not.

    MyHeritage’s databases have grown considerably since the last update, to include millions more family trees and 2 billion additional historical records. This can open up new avenues for discovery and increase the likelihood of finding a theory as to how you and your DNA Matches are related.

    Theory of Family Relativity™ latest update by the numbers:

    The total number of theories has increased from 14,260,864 to 20,330,031 — a 42.6% increase.

    The number of DNA Matches that include a theory increased by 42.5% from 9,964,321 to 14,201,731.

    You can read all the details in the MyHeritage Blog article at https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/05/update-to-theory-of-family-relativity-2/.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    This update has added millions of new and improved theories that explain how you and your DNA Matches might be related, and can enlighten you about family relationships that may have been complete mysteries until now.

    Since the last update, the number of theories on MyHeritage has grown by 64%, from 20,330,031 to 33,373,070! The number of MyHeritage users who now have at least one Theory of Family Relativity™ for their DNA Matches has increased by 28%.

    Here is the announcement written by MyHeritage:

    We’re happy to announce that we’ve just refreshed the data for the Theory of Family Relativity™ for the third time since releasing this game-changing feature in February 2019. This revolutionary technology may offer astounding new information on your family connections.

    The Theory of Family Relativity™ helps you make the most of your DNA Matches by incorporating genealogical information from all our collections of 12.5 billion historical records and 4 billion family tree profiles, to offer theories on how you and your DNA Matches might be related.

    Users who have taken a MyHeritage DNA test or who have uploaded a DNA kit from another service since the last update may now receive answers and new insights about their relationships to their DNA Matches. This update will also provide users who have previously taken a MyHeritage DNA test or uploaded their DNA data with new theories to further their research, thanks to MyHeritage’s ever-growing database of family trees and historical records.

    If you haven’t taken the MyHeritage DNA test yet, consider ordering your kit today.

    More about the Theory of Family Relativity™

    Learn more about the revolutionary technology that saves you dozens of hours of research crafting multiple theories about how you and your DNA Matches might be related in this webinar:

    For other resources about the Theory of Family Relativity™ and our DNA tools, please visit the MyHeritage Knowledge Base.

    Theory of Family Relativity™ update by the numbers

    The total number of theories has increased from 20,330,031 to 33,373,070— a 64% increase.

    The number of DNA Matches that include a theory increased by 59% from 14,201,731 to 22,618,962.

    Sometimes we arrive at a theory through multiple paths, indicating a strong theory and providing additional supporting evidence. After the previous update, there were a total of 161,762,761 paths. This update increased the number of paths by 61% to 261,960,015.

    The number of MyHeritage users who now have at least one Theory of Family Relativity™ for their DNA Matches has increased by 28%.

    How to see your new theories

    If we have found new theories for you in this update, you’ll see a banner about the Theory of Family Relativity™ at the top of your DNA Matches page. Click “View theories” to see all the theories we’ve found, both old and new.

    This banner, indicating that you have new theories, will be available for a few weeks, after which you can access your theories by going to your DNA Matches page.

    Whenever a DNA Match has a theory, this will be indicated in the DNA Match card. You can also filter your DNA Matches to see only those with a Theory of Family Relativity™ by clicking on the Filters icon. In the first group of filters, select “Has Theory of Family Relativity™.”

    You will also see a “NEW” badge next to new theories that were just added. This indication will appear for 30 days.

    Theory of Family Relativity™ is a premium feature that requires a site subscription on MyHeritage (Premium, PremiumPlus, or Complete). Users without a MyHeritage plan will still see all the theories that we found for them, but when they click on the theory to view the full details, some of the information will be hidden. Users who upload their raw DNA data from another testing service to MyHeritage can pay a one-time fee of $29 per kit to unlock all advanced DNA features offered by MyHeritage, including Theory of Family Relativity™. Learn more about our subscription plans.

    Conclusion

    The Theory of Family Relativity™ can be a game-changer for people searching for new family members and genealogists trying to break through brick walls. It can help users instantly solve mysteries that may have been baffling them for months or years.

    We hope you enjoy the new update and can’t wait to hear about your new discoveries.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:33 PM | Anonymous

    If you live in or near Chelmsford, Essex and have experience as an archivist, you might want to apply for a position at the Essex Records Office. Quoting from the posting:

    “Educated to degree level with a diploma/MA in Archive Administration, the appointee will be an integral part of Essex Record Office’s team of Archivists, and will be encouraged to develop their skills in a supportive professional environment in a state-of-the-art, modern archive building opened at the Millennium. This role is suitable for newly qualified archivists.”

    There is a lot more information about the position to be found at https://jobs.localgov.co.uk/job/148299/archivist-essex-record-office/.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    An article by Carrie Gibson in The Guardian website describes the voyage of the Mayflower and also the first few years of the Pilgrim settlement in Plimoth in what is now Massachusetts. One problem: the story describes many things that were not mentioned in history books when I was in school.


    A 1752 PAINTING BY BERNARD GRIBBLE OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS BOARDING THE MAYFLOWER IN 1620 FOR THEIR VOYAGE TO AMERICA. PHOTOGRAPH: PRINT COLLECTOR/GETTY IMAGES

    The article describes the Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy, the inaugural exhibition of the Box in Plymouth, Devon, England, being held in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s Atlantic crossing.

    Here is a quote from the article:

    “‘This wasn’t a huge historic voyage in 1620. If anything, it was an act of madness because they were going at the wrong time of year into an incredibly dangerous Atlantic,’ said the exhibition’s curator, Jo Loosemore.

    “The omission in the port book is one of many gaps surrounding the voyage of the Mayflower that the exhibition tries to fill. The general story is well known: the Mayflower took its 102 men, women, and children – the majority of whom were Puritan religious dissenters known as Separatists, but also called Pilgrims – from Plymouth to what they hoped would be the Hudson river. They endured a treacherous 66-day voyage and were blown off course, landing on the tip of what is now Massachusetts, before crossing the bay to set up a colony on land belonging to the Wampanoag, whose name means ‘people of the first light’ and who had inhabited the area for some 12,000 years.

    “They had an estimated population of at least 15,000 in the early 1600s, and lived in villages on the Massachusetts coast and inland. Their help enabled the English to survive, and also became the basis for the much-mythologised first Thanksgiving feast, still celebrated in the US as a national holiday, though not without controversy. The reality, as this exhibition shows, was far more complicated – and violent.”

    You can read the full article at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/20/pilgrim-fathers-harsh-truths-amid-the-mayflower-myths-of-nationhood.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:27 PM | Anonymous

    Were your parents REALLY your parents?

    According to any article by Michael Cook in the BioEdge.com web site (that specializes in bioethics news):

    “A new field of litigation has evolved in the United State: denouncing fertility fraud. In the latest episode, a nation-wide firm, Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway, announced that it was pursuing two fertility doctors who allegedly used their own sperm a generation ago to get women pregnant and without informing them.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, according to Adam Wolf, the lawyer handling the cases. He claims that hundreds of fertility fraud cases will emerge across the US as people begin to investigate their genealogy using home DNA testing kids.”

    You can read the rest of the article at: https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/national-wave-of-fertility-fraud/13561.


  • 22 Sep 2020 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    If you have Scandinavian ancestry, you probably will be interested in an article by Jim Vejvoda and published in the IGN.COM web site. Here is an excerpt:

    It turns out most Vikings weren’t as fair-haired and blue-eyed as legend and pop culture have led people to believe. According to a new study on the DNA of over 400 Viking remains, most Vikings had dark hair and dark eyes. (Sorry, Chris Hemsworth and Travis Fimmel.)

    Nature’s study sequencing the genomes of 442 Viking remains from Viking-inhabited areas like northern Europe, Italy, and Greenland — human remains dated between 2400 B.C. to 1600 A.D. and which were buried with a variety of Viking artifacts — reveals far more genetic diversity than previously thought about the people who came from the land of the ice and snow. The Vikings, after all, were a scattered group whose sea-faring for trade, exploration, and conquest saw them settle far and wide during the Viking Age that lasted from roughly 700 A.D. to 1100 A.D.

    Not only did many of the studied Vikings turn out to not be blond or blue-eyed, their genetic admixture shows they weren’t a distinct ethnic group but rather a mix of various other groups, “with ancestry from hunter-gatherers, farmers, and populations from the Eurasian steppe.”

    You can read the full article at: https://www.ign.com/articles/viking-ancient-dna-study-what-did-vikings-look-like.


  • 22 Sep 2020 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    Just in time for the anniversary of the Battle of the Brandywine, Chester County Archives and Records Services has released a new interactive tool that helps you discover who lived on your property in September 1777.

    The 1777 Chester County Property Atlas is an interactive map that allows researchers to easily see who owned properties in 1777, and if those owners or occupants reported any losses caused by British troops during the Philadelphia Campaign of the Revolutionary War.

    The culmination of years of research by Chester County Archives staff, the project’s original intent was to assist with interpretation and preservation of events surrounding the Battle of Brandywine.

    You can read a lot more about this new online service on an article at: https://bit.ly/302vWcO.

    I did find it interesting that the article does not provide a URL for the new 1777 Chester County Property Atlas. However, a quick search online found it at: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/9cef8b93eaa94faf8e106edbb737ef1c.

    That article also states, “Chester County Archives and Records Services invites researchers to share their land ownership and ancestral stories on its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ChescoArchives.”


  • 21 Sep 2020 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a message from the IAJGS Records Access Alert mailing list:

    Both the Republic of Ireland’s Central Statistics Office and the National Records of Scotland announced their respective 2021 censuses will be postponed until 2022 due the current COVID-19 pandemic.

    To read the Irish Central Statistics Office press release go to:

    https://www.cso.ie/en/csolatestnews/pressreleases/2020pressreleases/pressstatementpostponementofcensus2021/

    To read the Scotland Census Office notice go to:

    https://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/node/753

    This will be the first time that the decennial census in Scotland has been disrupted since the Second World War, with no census taken in 1941 (although a National Identity Register for Scotland involved a census process in 1939).

    I have not heard whether the censuses planned for England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be  postponed. In July, the IAJGS Records Access Alert posted about the legislation to hold the census for England and Wales on 21 March 2021, and therefore, it appears at this time those censuses will be postponed. If there is an announcement which changes the previous England and Wales time period for the census, it will be posted on the IAJGS Records Access Alert.

    To see the previous postings on the Ireland, Scotland and UK censuses  go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at:  http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts/ You must be registered to access the archives.  To register go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical  organization with whom you are affiliated   You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.

    Jan Meisels Allen

    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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