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  • 13 Jul 2021 7:19 PM | Anonymous

    Our ancestors took great pains to "decorate" a home for a funeral. After all, most funerals were held at home.

    Upper and middle-class families tried to memorialize their loved one’s passing like Queen Victoria herself. And that wasn’t easy. When Queen Victoria’s husband passed away, she remained in mourning for the rest of her life. For forty years she dressed in black and kept mementos in the royal castles as reminders of his death.

    In truth, few could afford to mourn as fully as Victoria did, but even working-class families observed modest versions of the same traditions. Some hung black wreaths and others served funeral biscuits. They made do with what they had.

    Photography was still rare in those days. A photographer was often called after a death. Deceased children were often posed in the arms of their parents. Sadly, this was sometimes the only family photo they owned.

    You can read a lot more about Victorian-era funeral customs in an article by Cathy Wallace published in the BillionGraves' blog at:

  • 13 Jul 2021 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    Search for your ancestors in over 1M new, free Catholic Church records added to collections this week on FamilySearch from Bolivia 1566–1996, Chile 1710–1928, Costa Rica 1595–1992, the Dominican Republic 1590–1955, El Salvador 1655–1977, Mexico (Querétaro 1590–1970 and Tamaulipas 1703–1964),  Nicaragua 1740–1960, Panama 1707–1973, Paraguay 1754–2015, and Venezuela 1577–1995. View thousands more records added to England Middlesex Parish Registers 1539–1988, the United States Bureau of Land Management Tract Books 1800–c. 1955, and South Carolina, Charleston District, Bill of Sales of Negro Slaves 1774–1872.

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

    (The full list of newly-added records is very long, too long to fit here. You can read the entire list at:

    About FamilySearch

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • 13 Jul 2021 3:43 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a notice sent to the IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies) Public Records Access Monitoring Committee's mailing list and is republished here with permission:

    The National Archives has made several data sets relating to World War II available as open data.  Go to:

    The open datasets for the archive inventories can be downloaded, via the link to the archive inventory, as PDF and XML. For the indexes, the open datasets can be downloaded, via the link to the index, as a zip file containing a csv and xml file.  The text on the relevant web pages can also be used as open data.

    Although these are open datasets, they may contain personal data of living persons. In chapter 5 of the privacy regulations of the National Archives you can read whether and how you may continue to use this data.

    The open datasets currently made available by the National Archives largely consist of archive inventories and indexes. An archive inventory always consists of a description of the archive and a description of the archive components. An index is a list with data about, for example, people, place names or keywords from the archive components.

    More than 400,000 open data photos from the National Archives are available through Wikimedia Commons. About 9000 photos have 'World War II' in the description.

    To view and use the National Archives World War ll photos from Wikimedia Commons see:

    Thank you to Yvette Hoitink, CG®    Dutch Genealogy Blog for informing us about this data set.

    Jan Meisels Allen
    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 12 Jul 2021 8:30 PM | Anonymous

    Great news! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Family History Library reopened last Tuesday.

    The genealogical research facility had been closed since March of 2020 due to the pandemic. The library was also updated during the closure.

    Now, as guests walk inside, they’ll notice newly-organized research materials, upgraded technology, desktop book scanners, more room for interactive experiences, and more than 300 staff and volunteers ready to help.

     It now has fewer computers than it did before, but more than half are Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.

  • 12 Jul 2021 8:20 PM | Anonymous

    Genealogists generally spend their spare time researching and thinking about live in the past. However, an article by Victoria Song and published in the Gizmodo web site got me thinking about the opposite: life in the future.

    The article states (in part):

    Owning things used to be simple. You went to the store. You paid money for something, whether it be a TV, clothes, books, toys, or electronics. You took your item home, and once you paid it off, that thing belonged to you. It was yours. You could do whatever you wanted with it. That’s not how it is today, and by 2030, technology will have advanced to the point that even the idea of owning objects might be obsolete.

    Many a think piece has been written about how Millennials aren’t as interested in owning things as their predecessors. After decades of Boomers keeping up with the Joneses, Millennials were supposedly “more about the experience” than physical goods. There’s a kernel of truth in that, but the shift to services was telegraphed a long time ago.

    Back in 2016, the World Economic Forum released a Facebook video with eight predictions it had for the world in 2030. “You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy,” it says. “Whatever you want, you’ll rent. And it’ll be delivered by drone.”

    “Everything you considered a product, has now become a service,” reads another WEF essay published on Forbes. “We have access to transportation, accommodation, food, and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.”

    The WEF’s framing is overly optimistic, but this is the future we’re rapidly hurtling toward. I rent my apartment, and therefore, all the home appliances in it. If I wanted, I could rent all my furniture and clothes. Sure, I have my own computer and phone, but there are plenty of people who use company-issued gadgets. And if I didn’t want company-issued items, I could always rely on electronics rentals. I like cooking and grocery shopping, but I could just sign up for a meal kit service and call it a day. I wouldn’t even need appliances like toasters, rice cookers, blenders, air fryers, or anything beyond a microwave. To get around, there are Citi Bikes, Uber, and Zipcar.

    You might be wondering—what’s the problem here? Consumerism is exhausting, and as far as housing goes, ownership isn’t the golden ideal it’s cracked up to be. In some ways, not owning things is easier. You have fewer commitments, less responsibility, and the freedom to bail whenever you want. There are upsides to owning less. There’s also a big problem.

    You can read the entire thought-provoking article at

  • 12 Jul 2021 7:43 PM | Anonymous

    New Zealand's National Library will donate 600,000 books that it was planning to cull from its overseas collection to a United States-based internet archive that will make digital copies of the works freely available online.

    National Librarian Rachel Esson announced the “historic” agreement on Monday, saying books left at the end of the library’s review process would be donated to the Internet Archive, a digital library with the self-stated mission of universal access to all knowledge.

    “This is a great outcome for us,” Esson said.

    The agreement comes after months of controversy and uncertainty regarding the cull of the books, mostly written by non-Kiwi authors.

    You can read all the details in an article by Andre Chumko published in the web site at:

  • 12 Jul 2021 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

    Are you ready to level-up your genealogy business? 

    Or maybe you're taking the first steps to become a professional? 

    Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the business of genealogy, the APG Virtual Professional Management Conference is a must!

    The PMC teaches genealogy professionals how to more effectively run their businesses by covering a wide range of business topics taught by well-respected industry professionals.

    This year’s conference features sixteen virtual presentations and opportunities to network with other peers and colleagues. Presentations will be offered during 3 sessions: August 24-25, September 21-22, and October 19-20. Each session will be followed by on-demand access to presentation recordings for 10 days.

    Registration is open to all interested individuals and early-bird discounts are available until July 15. If you decide to join APG and sign up for the whole conference, you will have access to a $120 discount. 

    We are looking for individuals and companies interested in donating door prizes and volunteers to help the event run smoothly. If you are interested in either, please contact

    We hope you will join us for this exciting event where you will gain tools for building a better genealogy business. To learn more about the conference and register, visit

    If you’re looking to join APG to access conference discounts in addition to a subscription to the APG Quarterly, a listing in our member directory, and more, visit

  • 9 Jul 2021 2:24 PM | Anonymous

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

    How many times has this happened to you? You enter a courthouse, library, or other repository of genealogy information with the intent of finding information about your ancestors. You don't really know what is available in that library or archive. After all, that is the purpose of your trip, right? You want to find out. Next thing you know, your head is spinning amidst a profusion of information and a confusion of objectives.

    You may be wondering how this happens. While at the library/archive/repository, you start to look at the available information, but you also notice a book, microfilm, or other set of documents about some related topic. You spend some time looking at that book, even though it was not a part of your original plan. You find some interesting material about things that are not directly related to your ancestors. The end of the day arrives all too soon, and you find yourself leaving the facility, feeling a bit frustrated that you didn't accomplish what you had planned to do that day.

    I know this has happened to me all too many times. Time and again I have traveled across town or across the country, only to not find the information that I wanted to discover. Over the years I have developed some techniques that help me become more organized and more effective once I am “on site.” I thought I would share some of those techniques this week.

    Basically, there are three steps to a successful genealogy research trip:

    1. Plan

    2. Plan

    3. Plan

    I might even suggest that there is a fourth step: stick to the original plan! However, that seems to simply be a variation of the first three steps.

    Before you leave home, have a game plan prepared. Establish goals and priorities prior to making your trip. Make a list of your problems and list the sources that might give you answers. Know which documents you wish to examine. In fact, with the major repositories, that is easy to do. The library catalogs of many major libraries are available online, including:

    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/10740592.

    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

  • 9 Jul 2021 1:42 PM | Anonymous

    Do you know how many ancestors you have? Of course not. Let’s simplify the question: How many ancestors do you have in the past one thousand years? Many people do not know the answer to that question. Care to guess? (The answer is given below but please don’t peek just yet.)

    The number of ancestors is simple to calculate as it is a simple mathematical progression: every person has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on. The number doubles with each generation. As you go back in years, the numbers soon become very large.

    For this example, I have assumed that a new generation appears on an average of every twenty-five years:

    Number of Ancestors

    Generation Number # of Years Before Your Birth Number of ancestors in that generation Total ancestors (this generation plus all later generations)
    1 -25 2 2
    2 -50 4 6
    3 -75 8 14
    4 -100 16 30
    5 -125 32 62
    6 -150 64 126
    7 -175 128 254
    8 -200 256 510
    9 -225 512 1,022
    10 -250 1,024 2,046
    11 -275 2,048 4,094
    12 -300 4,096 8,190
    13 -325 8,192 16,382
    14 -350 16,384 32,766
    15 -375 32,768 65,534
    16 -400 65,536 131,070
    17 -425 131,072 262,142
    18 -450 262,144 524,286
    19 -475 524,288 1,048,574
    20 -500 1,048,576 2,097,150
    21 -525 2,097,152 4,194,302
    22 -550 4,194,304 8,388,606
    23 -575 8,388,608 16,777,214
    24 -600 16,777,216 33,554,430
    25 -625 33,554,432 67,108,862
    26 -650 67,108,864 134,217,726
    27 -675 134,217,728 268,435,454
    28 -700 268,435,456 536,870,910
    29 -725 536,870,912 1,073,741,822
    30 -750 1,073,741,824 2,147,483,646
    31 -775 2,147,483,648 4,294,967,294
    32 -800 4,294,967,296 8,589,934,590
    33 -825 8,589,934,592 17,179,869,182
    34 -850 17,179,869,184 34,359,738,366
    35 -875 34,359,738,368 68,719,476,734
    36 -900 68,719,476,736 137,438,953,470
    37 -925 137,438,953,472 274,877,906,942
    38 -950 274,877,906,944 549,755,813,886
    39 -975 549,755,813,888 1,099,511,627,774
    40 -1000 1,099,511,627,776 2,199,023,255,550

    Answer to the earlier question: If we assume that there is a new generation every twenty-five years, an ancestor born 1,000 years before you would be 40 generations removed from you. You would have 2,199,023,255,550 (that’s 2 trillion, 199 billion, 23 million, 255 thousand, 550) unique ancestors born in the previous 40 generations, assuming no overlap (that is, none of your ancestors were cousins to other ancestors).

    1,000 years doesn’t even take you back to the years in which Charlemagne lived! (April 2, 742 AD to January 28, 814 AD)

    Now, how many ancestors have you had in the past 10,000 years? 100,000 years? I’ll leave it to you to figure out the mathematics involved. However, the answers obviously are huge numbers!

    There is but one problem: all of these numbers are far more than the total number of people who ever lived on the face of the earth.

    The reality is that all families can find lots of cousins somewhere in the limbs of the family tree, resulting in the same ancestor(s) showing up in multiple places in the pedigree charts. Ask anyone who has done French-Canadian genealogy or has researched any families that lived for generations in one small village almost anyplace on earth.

    Obviously, you and everyone else have cousin marriages in your ancestry, resulting in individual ancestors showing up in multiple places in your family tree.

  • 9 Jul 2021 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Immerse yourself in family history research this weekend with thousands of new records to explore. Here's a rundown of what's new on Findmypast.

    British Army Embarkation Lists, 1871-1889

    This detailed collection documents British Army soldiers who were drafted to India in the late 19th century.

    There are over 100,000 transcripts in this collection taken from original embarkation returns held in the British Library’s India Office Collection. They can reveal your army ancestors' names, ages, service numbers, ranks, regiments, the date they left for India and the ship they travelled on.

    St Kitts & Nevis Baptisms 1716-1881

    Delve into thousands of new baptism records from the Caribbean islands of St Kitts & Nevis.

    An old map of St Kitts (St Christopher) & Nevis, circa. 1775.

    Spanning from 1716-1881, the records reveal essential family tree information including names, parents’ names and addresses.


    It’s a bumper week of releases with 13 new papers and updates to six others. Brand new additions include:

    Findmypast have also published pages from additional years in the following newspapers:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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