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  • 13 Dec 2022 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    Note: The following refers to the "RGD," which is the Jamaican government's Registrar General’s Department.

    The rebranded "Outtamany Search" and other products and services were launched on Wednesday, December 7, during a ceremony at the Courtleigh Hotel, St Andrew, Jamaica.

    The Outtamany Search, formerly known as Genealogical Research, provides useful information on a family's history, factual evidence on the cause (s) of death through generations, and can identify the origin of a family or discover unknown family members. The upgraded service includes more in-depth research reports with a list of vital events, births, marriages, deaths, customised family trees and ancestral causes of death. The research report can highlight specific milestone events, and clients have the option of a published family book in hard or soft copy.

    "I am pleased to announce the relaunch of the new and improved genealogy search," stated CEO of RGD, Charlton McFarlane. "With this rebrand it is not only more in-depth, but also has a more authentic Jamaican feel with the name Outtamany Search. It includes a story output with an ancestral view and descendant view, and clients can choose one or both – which we call an hourglass view. Additionally, there's also access to the Gleaner archives and — this will ensure that our searches are as comprehensive as possible. The RGD will also commence the use of the family tree-maker software, which significantly improves the quality of the final output."

    Floyd Green, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with oversight for the RGD, also shared a riveting outlook on the new tool for discovery.

    "We're sure that as Jamaicans — with our rich history of many people coming from many places to here, the best place on Earth — we all have an interesting and enthralling family story, a story that confirms and re-confirms what we already know — that out of many, we are one. It is for this reason that the RGD has taken the time to craft and reshape our genealogy search, and today we are proud to launch our Outtamany Search. I want to congratulate the team at RGD for being proactive and diligent in working on this product," Green continued.

    Green added: "I can't think of a better time than Christmas time to launch this Outtamany Search as I believe it will make an excellent gift for the family. I encourage Jamaicans at home and abroad to give the gift of an Outtamany Search for Christmas."

    With the updated online platform, persons will also be able to track the status of all applications online, make payment for Search of Wills and Deeds, as well as make applications and payments for Authenticated Copies of Wills and Deeds online.

    You can read more at:

  • 13 Dec 2022 7:34 AM | Anonymous

    Two bound sets of maps from the British Library’s core collection of early modern English cartography have recently been digitised and placed online. Harley MS 3749 is a series of 18 hand-drawn maps of parts of the Royal estate at Windsor, produced in 1607 by the English surveyor, mapmaker and author John Norden (c. 1547-1625).

    Harley MS 3813 is a collection of 37 (of an original 44) small printed maps of English and Welsh counties and areas of Ireland and Scotland, engraved by the Flemish artist Pieter Van den Keere (1571-c. 1646) and printed at around the same time as Norden’s work. Their histories are entwined in various ways.

    John Speed, 'Midlesex described with the most famous cities of London and Westminster' from The theatre of the empire of Great Britaine. London, 1611-12. Maps C.7.c.20.

    Both sets of maps ended up in the collection of Robert (1661-1724) and Edward (1689-1741) Harley, the 1st and 2nd Earls of Oxford, thousands of manuscripts, printed books and associated materials which became one of the founding collections of the British Museum in 1753. Norden’s work, produced for and originally owned by James VI and I, came into the Harleys’ possession in 1710, whilst Van der Keere’s maps reached the collection in 1725.

    You can read a lot more and view numerous pages from the bound maps in an article in the British Library web site at

  • 12 Dec 2022 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    This is perhaps the most exciting news of our time. Thanks to DNA, lives are not only being saved, but also significantly extended. From the BBC News:

    "A teenage girl's incurable cancer has been cleared from her body," reports the BBC, "in the first use of a revolutionary new type of medicine...."Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital used "base editing" to perform a feat of biological engineering to build her a new living drug. Six months later the cancer is undetectable, but Alyssa is still being monitored in case it comes back.

    Alyssa, who is 13 and from Leicester, was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May last year.... Her cancer was aggressive. Chemotherapy, and then a bone-marrow transplant, were unable to rid it from her body.... The team at Great Ormond Street used a technology called base editing, which was invented only six years ago [which] allows scientists to zoom to a precise part of the genetic code and then alter the molecular structure of just one base, converting it into another and changing the genetic instructions. The large team of doctors and scientists used this tool to engineer a new type of T-cell that was capable of hunting down and killing Alyssa's cancerous T-cells....

    After a month, Alyssa was in remission and was given a second bone-marrow transplant to regrow her immune system.... Alyssa is just the first of 10 people to be given the drug as part of a clinical trial.

    Alyssa, who is 13 and from Leicester, was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May last year.... Her cancer was aggressive. Chemotherapy, and then a bone-marrow transplant, were unable to rid it from her body.... The team at Great Ormond Street used a technology called base editing, which was invented only six years ago [which] allows scientists to zoom to a precise part of the genetic code and then alter the molecular structure of just one base, converting it into another and changing the genetic instructions. The large team of doctors and scientists used this tool to engineer a new type of T-cell that was capable of hunting down and killing Alyssa's cancerous T-cells....

    After a month, Alyssa was in remission and was given a second bone-marrow transplant to regrow her immune system.... Alyssa is just the first of 10 people to be given the drug as part of a clinical trial.

    Her mother said that a year ago she'd been dreading Christmas, "thinking this is our last with her". But it wasn't.

    And the BBC adds that applying the technology to cancer "only scratches the surface of what base editing could achieve.... There are already trials of base editing under way in sickle-cell disease, as well as high cholesterol that runs in families and the blood disorder beta-thalassemia."

  • 12 Dec 2022 3:14 PM | Anonymous

    Here is an article that caught my eye. (Many years ago I used to live in Farmington, Maine where Chester Greenwood is rather famous as a local hero.) Let's give some publicity to a local hero who is still fondly remembered today.

    From the University of Maine web site:

    Fogler Library staff have created a LibGuide about Chester Greenwood, the inventor of the earmuffs from Farmington, Maine. The guide includes links to information about Greenwood’s personal life, his other inventions and the early earmuff manufacturing process.

    Chester Greenwood 

  • 12 Dec 2022 3:01 PM | Anonymous

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

    (+) What to Do to About Damaged CD-ROM Disks

    Celebrity Genealogy Show ‘Finding Your Roots’ Wants Your Family Mysteries

    Stranger Tells Woman to Get a DNA Test, Revealing Truth About Her Parentage

    Worldwide Holocaust Memorial Monuments Digital Database Is Launched

    Materials From the Augusta (Georgia) Jewish Museum Documenting More Than Two Centuries of Jewish Life, Culture, Foodways, and Tradition Are Now Available Online

    The Board for Certification of Genealogists Announces Two New Scholarships

    American Society of Genealogists 2023 Grants for Continuing Genealogical Research Projects

    Free BCG-Sponsored Webinar: “Wayward Girls: A Context Case Study”

    Community Archive Project Reverberate Documents Black Irish Migrant Experience

    Findmypast Adds Brand New Kent Parish Records

    Over 629,000 Chelsea Pensioner Records Now on TheGenealogist - Many Searchable for the First Time!

    Recently Added and Updated Collections on

    North Dakota Historical Society Adds Digitized Newspapers to Web Site

    Ford Heritage Vault Unlocked to Add New Digital UK Archives

    Are You Both Smoking and Drinking? Blame Your Ancestors!

    Qwant: The Search Engine That Doesn't Know Anything About You

    Proton Calendar Rounds Out Security-Focused Big Tech Alternative on iOS

    Your Chromebook Can Run Microsoft Office

  • 12 Dec 2022 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG):

    At its annual meeting on 9 October 2022, the Board for Certification of Genealogists trustees approved two new scholarships.

      • A scholarship for an applicant under the age of 40 (must be under age 40 on 15 March)
      • A scholarship for an individual who is currently “on the clock” having submitted the preliminary application to become a Certified Genealogist. 

    These two new scholarships are in addition to The Paul Edward Sluby Sr. African American Scholarship.

    Applications for scholarships to participate in national genealogical institutes are due annually on 15 March.

    Scholarships will award up to $1,700 of the tuition, travel, and lodging expense of attending one of four premier national institutes. BCG will also waive its final application fee of $300 for scholarship recipients who submit portfolios of work to be considered for certification within three years of the announcement of an award. 

    Applicants are required to submit an essay and a sample of their genealogical research. Scholarship recipients will be awarded in May, so that recipients can take part in institutes scheduled for the following year. Those wishing to apply should fill out the required application form (available in the PDF Library) and submit with supporting materials as required to

    Four institutes are eligible for all three scholarships for tuition, travel, and lodging expenses (where applicable). The Sluby Scholarship is also eligible for the Midwest African American Institute.

      • Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), held annually at the National Archives and other locations in Washington, DC, and College Park, Maryland. The 2023 session is scheduled for the week of August 7th.
      • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, provides two separate week-long sessions in June and July.
      • Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR), held in Athens, Georgia, in July, under the auspices of the Georgia Genealogical Society.
      • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City held in January each year.

    Applicants should exhibit intermediate or higher skills that have prepared them for an in-depth learning experience. With the exception of the under-40 scholarship, there is no age limit or income requirement.

    Download application form here and submit with the supporting materials to

    The words Certified Genealogist and letters CG are registered certification marks, and the designations CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

  • 12 Dec 2022 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    The title says it all. I can only add that the collection contains historical materials dating from 1850 to 2022 that come from a diverse group of Jewish creators, including youth, women, clergy, fraternities, and congregations that offer unique insights into the greater Augusta, Georgia region’s Jewish life, philanthropy, foodways, and experiences.

    You can read more at:

    The Digital Library of Georgia is available at: (although I suggest you start first at to learn more about this one new addition to the site).

  • 12 Dec 2022 10:30 AM | Anonymous

    The digital database “Holocaust Memorial Monuments”  has been launched as a partnership project of the Center for Jewish Art, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies/The George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies, University of Miami, Florida; and theInternational Survey of Jewish Monuments, Syracuse, New York.

    The new database – still in a developmental stage – has been created to collect and preserve digital documentation about Holocaust memorial monuments worldwide, including standardized mapping, photography, description, and historical research.

    It also includes a growing bibliography on Holocaust and memorial monuments. The database records searchable and comparative information for educational, public policy, and academic use. It is a component of the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art – the world’s largest repository of documentation on Jewish material culture — and will also be accessible from the Miller Center and ISJM sites.

    The total number of Holocaust memorial monuments in the world is unknown, but the project team estimates that it may be above 10,000.

    The first stages of the project include, in addition to developing the database itself, research about and photography of a wide selection of different types of Holocaust memorial monuments in various places; compilation of a bibliography; and preparation of a master list of memorial monuments that will be further documented in years to come.

    You can read more at:

  • 12 Dec 2022 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, I have written a number of times about the advantages of Chromebooks, the low-cost computers that do most everything that higher-priced computers can do (although not everything).

    If you have already purchased a Chromebook, or are contemplating such a purchase (perhaps as a Christmas present?), you probably will be interested in a new article by Joshua Goldman published in the MSN web site 

    You can find Actually, Your Chromebook Can Run Microsoft Office at:

  • 9 Dec 2022 4:31 PM | Anonymous

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

    I received a somewhat frantic e-mail recently from a reader of this newsletter. She mentioned a specific genealogy CD-ROM disk that was produced a few years ago, but her question could apply to any CD or DVD disk of any topic. She wrote (in part):

    "Help! I have a CD-ROM disk of [name deleted here] and it cracked. I want to replace it, but can't seem to find it anywhere. The company that produced it no longer appears to be in business. Any suggestions? Is there any other CD-ROM that has equivalent materials?"

    Sadly, I was not able to offer much help. A cracked CD disk is useless, except maybe as a coaster for your coffee cup. Even a scratch the size of one human hair can render a CD-ROM disk useless; if it has visible physical damage, the problem is even worse. To make matters worse, the company that produced her disk is now out of business, so I doubt if she can find a low-cost replacement. I referred her to to eBay to see if she can find a used copy of the same CD for sale.

    With a bit of hindsight, anyone can quickly determine what my correspondent SHOULD have done: she should have made a backup copy while the CD was still usable. Then again, how many of us ever do that? I know that I occasionally create CD backups although not as often as I should.

    Such a solution would not have been practical a few years ago. To make it worse, many of today’s computers don’t even contain CD-ROM or DVD-ROM disk drives (although you can still purchase EXTERNAL CD-ROM drives that plug into modern computers’ USB connectors). 

    Blank CD disks cost 40 cents or less when purchased in quantity at most any discount store. Making backups of your CD disks should be a trivial exercise. After all, how much would it cost you to replace a CD-ROM disk that becomes defective?

    Most new computers or new CD-ROM drives include software to write to the CDs. In fact, most have an option to copy the entire contents of a disk to a new, blank disk. This is true for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems. Check the software already installed on your computer; I suspect you will find that you already have everything you need. If not, you can download free software that will make copies for you.

    Macintosh users already have the required software: open FINDER, click on APPLICATIONS, click on UTILITIES, and then click on DISK UTILITY. In fact, the Macintosh Disk Utility will duplicate Macintosh, Windows, and Linux disks alike. If you would like a more robust disk duplicating program but one that is available free of charge, look at Burn at

    Linux users have a variety of free CD-ROM utilities to choose from. I normally use K3B but can find others.

    A Second Backup Plan

    With today's hard drives typically having a storage capacity of a terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) or more, it is now practical to create backup images of CD disks and to store them on a hard drive or, perhaps even better, on USB flash drives. After all, one large hard drive can now store hundreds of CD-ROM disk images. Probably the best method is to create .ISO images of the original CD disks. An .ISO "image" file is a method of merging all the files on a CD into a single compressed file according to a defined format. 

    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 at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/13020107

    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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