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  • 5 Aug 2022 7:57 AM | Anonymous

    I discovered an article written by Caroline Bourque and published in the web site that interested me and that I suspect will also be of interest to many genealogists. It starts with:

    "When Chelsey Brown started her design blog City Chic Decor in 2017, her focus was on decorating small rental spaces on a budget—so naturally, she often found herself at flea markets. Having grown up with a genealogist father, the e-designer began wondering about the people who’d originally owned the furniture, art and other objects that were for sale. “I realized these items should be with their rightful families, not sitting in a box,” Brown tells Business of Home.

    One day, she decided to take that instinct a step further. After picking up a few letters and postcards at various flea markets, she began hunting online for public family records to match the names on the documents. Within 30 minutes, she located the living descendants of the heirlooms she’d picked up. “I was really happy that first day, [realizing] this is something I can do—it’s feasible,” says Brown.

    Flea markets became Brown’s regular haunt, where she went every Saturday and Sunday in search of new items to reconnect with their owners. Her efforts multiplied when she began documenting the process on social media, where her stories of tracing family heirlooms quickly went viral. Since then, she’s tracked down hundreds of original owners, following a research process that involves scouring online genealogy databases like MyHeritage, old obituaries, newspaper articles, Facebook and even the white pages to get in touch with family members about all manner of heirlooms, including jewelry, photo albums, bibles, artwork, diaries, letters, medals, historical artifacts and books."

    You can read the article at:

  • 4 Aug 2022 10:12 PM | Anonymous


    Ten brand new titles and over 400,000 pages have been added to the archive this week. 

      New titles: 

    ·         Antigua Standard, 1883-1890 

    ·         Australian Spiritualist, 1881 

    ·         Battersea Polytechnic Review, 1894 

    ·         British Yachtsman, 1894 

    ·         Evans and Ruffy’s Farmer’s Journal, 1809-1832 

    ·         Hampstead News, 1882-1961 

    ·         Holloway Press, 1872-1962 

    ·         Land & Labor, 1918 

    ·         Sutton Journal, 1863-1896, 1898-1902 

    ·         West Kent Argus and Borough of Lewisham News, 1894-1931 

    Updated titles: 

    ·         Ashbourne News Telegraph, 1998 

    ·         Birmingham Weekly Mercury, 1936-1945, 1947-1948, 1951-1955, 1957-1958, 1961-1962, 1964-1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976-1979, 1983-1985, 1993-1994, 1998 

    ·         Birmingham Weekly Post, 1879 

    ·         Bracknell Times, 1998 

    ·         Brentwood Gazette, 1993 

    ·         Bucks Advertiser & Aylesbury News, 1845, 1851, 1863 

    ·         Cambridge Town Crier, 1993 

    ·         Caterham Mirror, 1993 

    ·         Chester Chronicle, 1998 

    ·         Crewe Chronicle, 1998 

    ·         Derby Express, 1998 

    ·         Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, 1993 

    ·         East Cleveland Herald & Post, 1993 

    ·         East Grinstead Observer, 1993 

    ·         Edinburgh Evening News, 1951 

    ·         Erdington News, 1911-1917 

    ·         Evening Despatch, 1908-1911, 1913, 1920-1923, 1925-1929, 1933-1935, 1937-1938, 1948-1949, 1951-1954 

    ·         Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal, 1993, 1995 

    ·         Field, 1857 

    ·         Formby Times, 1993, 1995 

    ·         Gloucester News, 1993 

    ·         Harlow Star, 1993 

    ·         Harrow Informer, 1993 

    ·         Harrow Observer, 1998 

    ·         Heartland Evening News, 1999 

    ·         Herald Cymraeg, 1993 

    ·         Hertford Mercury and Reformer, 1998 

    ·         Herts and Essex Observer, 1998-1999 

    ·         Hounslow & Chiswick Informer, 1993 

    ·         Huntingdon Town Crier, 1998 

    ·         Irvine Herald, 1994 

    ·         Isle of Thanet Gazette and Thanet Times, 1993 

    ·         Kentish Express, 1961 

    ·         Leatherhead Advertiser, 1993 

    ·         Long Eaton Advertiser, 1998 

    ·         Middlesbrough Herald & Post, 1993 

    ·         Midweek Visitor (Southport), 1993 

    ·         Neath Guardian, 1993 

    ·         Ormskirk Advertiser, 1992 

    ·         Ottawa Free Press, 1903 

    ·         Plymouth Extra, 1989, 1993 

    ·         Retford, Gainsborough & Worksop Times, 1998 

    ·         St Neots Town Crier, 1993 

    ·         St. Kitts Daily Express, 1906, 1909-1915 

    ·         Stockport Express Advertiser, 1993 

    ·         Strathearn Herald, 1993 

    ·         Sun (Antigua), 1911, 1913-1920 

    ·         Sunbury & Shepperton Herald, 1991 

    ·         Thanet Times, 1993 

    ·         Uxbridge Informer, 1995 

    ·         Walton & Weybridge Informer, 1993 

    ·         West Surrey Times, 1918 

    ·         Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 1993 

    ·         Woodford Times, 1870-1881, 1896, 1899-1915 

  • 4 Aug 2022 10:08 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Records for Ireland and Australia cruise online this Findmypast Friday  

    Findmypast adds 200,000 new records covering Queensland, Waterford and beyond 

    Queensland Funeral Notices 

    Perfect for researching more recent relatives, and ideally timed for Family History Month, around 33,000 new records have been added into this existing, exclusive collection, covering the years 1973-2003. These transcripts could help you uncover the burial date, residence and age of your ancestor. Some include additional notes too, such as ethnicity or religion.  

    Ireland, Waterford, Dungarvan Town Commissioners Records 

    New and exclusive to Findmypast, these records cover the years 1851-1922. The Town Commission was responsible for government activities such as road maintenance, housing, and regulating markets. If your ancestor is within the records, you might discover details about their finances or occupation. Around 47,000 transcripts and original images make up this collection.  

    Waterford Poor Law Union Board of Guardians Minute Books 

    Exclusive to Findmypast, the additional records number at around 38,000. It’s possible to uncover if your ancestor married in the workhouse, asked for emigration assistance, or owed money. Be sure to check the original images for extra detail. 

  • 4 Aug 2022 9:52 PM | Anonymous
    Colleen Shogan, a nearly 15-year federal service veteran and currently an executive at the White House Historical Association, has been nominated to serve as the U.S.’ archivist, the Biden administration announced Wednesday.

    She would succeed David Ferriero, who retired from the National Archives and Records Administration in April after 12 years of leadership, if the Senate confirms her nomination.

    Shogan serves as senior vice president and director of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History at WHHA.

    Prior to her current role, she held a decade-long career at the Library of Congress and took part in the 112th Congress Stennis Congressional Fellowship Program. The Boston College graduate also worked at the Senate as a policy staffer.

    Before she joined the federal government, Shogan taught government and politics at George Mason University in an assistant professor role. Shogan holds a PhD in political science from Yale University.

  • 4 Aug 2022 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    Do you plan to live forever? No? I didn't think so.

    Have you thought about creating a secure credential inheritance plan for your loved ones? That is, once you are gone, how will your heirs be able to log into your bank accounts, stock broker account, crypto currency wallets, email, social media accounts (somebody has to inform the rest of the world of your demise and that certainly won't be you!), utility bills, mortgage account, Netflix and other streaming service subscriptions, or any of the other password-protected accounts that are so common these days.

    I am sure there are plenty of ways of making sure your heirs have access to all your accounts, including passwords. However, probably the easiest method is to provide them with access to your password manager. (You DO have a password manager, right?)

    Giving a trusted person access to your password manager vault could be the most useful legacy you leave behind. Talk about your online account inheritance plan with the people who will receive your passwords when you die. Let them know which password manager you use, and leave written instructions for accessing your digital vault.

    If you do not yet gave a password manager, you might waant to consider some of these:

    Bitwarden - - FREE for personal use, modest fees for families, "teams," or for corporate use. Also, Bitwarden Send is a feature that allows all users to transmit data directly to others, while maintaining end-to-end encrypted security and limiting exposure. Versions available for a web browser (any sort of computer) plus native versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Chromebook, Apple iOS, or Android. There is also a command line option that you can run by itself or embed it into scripts. This is the password manager I use and I haven't yet found any other password manager that tempts me to switch.

    1Password - - $4.99 U.S. for access by a family of five. Versions available for a web browser (any sort of computer) plus native versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Apple iOS, or Android.

    LastPass - - Offers 30-days free access, $3 U.S. after that. Each user gets their own personalized account with LastPass Families.

    Dashlane - - FREE although limited to use on only one device, additional devices cost money, families pay $8.99/month for use by all family members, an extension for the Chrome web browser.

    Keeper - - Available for Windows, Macintosh, Android, and Apple iOS - primarily aimed at use by corporations, FREE for use by one person, $4.99 for use by families.

    NordPass - - Set up emergency contacts so if unexpected happens, someone you trust could access your passwords.

    RoboForm - - for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android plus web browsers (on any sort of computer).

    Finally, talk about your online account inheritance plan with the people who will receive your passwords when you die. Let them know which password manager you use, and leave written instructions for accessing your digital vault.

  • 3 Aug 2022 9:26 PM | Anonymous

    Millions of people pass through the doors of one of America's most popular museums each year.

    But few come with a purpose as deeply personal as the group of Indigenous South Australians who recently arrived at the front steps.

    WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following story contains images and voices of people who have died.

    For decades, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has held the remains of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people whose bones were taken from Australia in order to be studied in the United States.

    Major Sumner was one of several representatives from the Narungga and Kaurna nations who made the long journey to the US capital to take their ancestors home.

    "Let the world know this is what happened to our people, to the people that passed on," he said.

    "They were taken away, they were put in boxes and kept in museums and poked.

    "Once we rebury them, they [will] no longer be touched."

    The repatriation from Washington was the third time the Smithsonian Institution had returned ancestral remains to Australia.

    It earlier repatriated bones taken from the Northern Territory during a major scientific expedition to Arnhem Land in 1948.

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

    NOTE: is the Australian Broadcasting Company, not the American Broadcasting Company in the U.S.

  • 3 Aug 2022 8:31 PM | Anonymous

    The WXYZ web site has an interesting article written by Ameera David that describes Black American genealogy research:

    Black adults in the United States are more likely than any other group to see race as central to their identity. For many of those Americans, descended from enslaved Africans, the roots of their identity through ancestry remains a mystery.

    When enslaved people were captured from the continent and brought to the Americas, they lost their names, they lost their languages, they lost the freedom to honor their ancestors,” said Gina Paige, President and Co-founder of

    Today those ancestors’ descendants are on a quest to reclaim what was taken all those years ago.

    “I can only go so far back in my family as far as my great grandparents on one side and grandparents on the other side, and that was not enough for me,” said Evan Chaney, researching his family history.

    Unlike his grandparents, Evan could use DNA to pick up, where the paper trail had ended- a test through that could trace his roots back hundreds of years to a specific country and ethnic group.

    You can read the full story at:

  • 3 Aug 2022 9:33 AM | Anonymous

    In 2021, the Hawaii State Archives launched a project to digitize what is physically in the building so everyone can access the files online from home.

    From people to parades, from buildings to boats, there are thousands of photos from the past that are now available to go through.

    To see what Honolulu looked like in the 1930s, click here. And for dog lovers, click here.

    The State Archives is currently balancing multiple projects to serve the community.

    One of the largest known collections of Hawaiian music in the world recently landed in their hands. There are over 20,000 pieces of Hawaiian music in scores of boxes that will eventually become accessible to the public once they’re organized. Click here to learn about the project.

    Now, the State Archives is digitizing over 22,000 glass plate negatives. To learn more, click here.

  • 3 Aug 2022 9:18 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

    We’re delighted to introduce Photo Tagger, a free new feature on the MyHeritage mobile app that lets you easily tag multiple photos of the same individual in one go. Previously, tagging photos meant reviewing and tagging them one by one, which was time consuming. Photo Tagger makes organizing your family photos easier and accelerates your productivity, enabling you to tag hundreds of photos in minutes. You can still tag your photos individually as before, but Photo Tagger adds convenient and accurate bulk tagging.

    The benefits of tagging photos

    After you’ve tagged your photos, you can quickly locate photos of your relatives without having to “dig” through your entire photo collection to find them. You’ll know who everyone is at first glance, and you can easily filter photos by person to see all the photos of a specific individual. If you use the MyHeritage website, you can even filter photos to show only those where specific individuals, like you and your grandfather, appear together.

    Tagging your photos enriches them and turns your family tree into an heirloom that your loved ones will treasure for generations to come, making it much easier for your descendants to enjoy these photos and know who appears in them. Tagging will also enrich your family tree by creating personal photos for your relatives,.

    You can read a lot more, including step-by-step instructions on how to use the new Photo Tagger, in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 2 Aug 2022 3:41 PM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy-related information, I suggest you skip this article. In contrast, if you want to know about the latest technology of methods of safely and securely saving your backed-up files, read on.

    Decentralized cloud file storage services, sometimes called cooperative storage clouds, is a new method of storing files in the cloud. Decentralized cloud file storage services have several advantages over the various cloud-based file storage services we have been using for several years (DropBox, BackBlaze, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, iDrive, Amazon Web Services, SpiderOak, Mega, and dozens of other, similar services).

    Is there a need for cloud-based file storage services? Absolutely!

    Computer users around the world are creating huge quantities of latest information yearly. This year alone, humanity will produce more information than the previously 5,000 years combined! Having one copy of each piece of information is insufficient. Additional backup copies are needed. The demand for storage doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

    Cloud storage services of most any sort are great for sharing files with friends and families, keeping documents in sync between all of your devices, restoring files that were deleted accidentally or by hardware malfunction, and so much more. Storing files in the cloud frequently is cheaper than purchasing additional hard drives. In addition, cloud storage protects against in-home and in-office disasters: fires, floods, burglaries, and similar threats.

    More than once I have accidentally deleted important files from my desktop computer. Occasionally, a hardware malfunction has deleted a file or two or even an entire hard drive. Restoring files from the cloud has saved me from disaster on a number of occasions and I assume that thousands (or tens of thousands or more) other computer users have similar stories.

    Yet, even today's cloud-based file storage services are not perfect. To be sure, they are more reliable than my own computer(s) but they still are not 100% reliable. For instance, Amazon Drive just announced they are shutting down their cloud-based file storage service (luckily, they provided 17 months' advanced notice to give users plenty of time to move their files to other services.) Move it or lose it. Several other cloud-based file storage services have suffered with system outages, sometimes for extended periods of time.

    Most cloud storage providers use centralized architectures (all files stored in one place or in a number of places all owned by the same company), so data is also susceptible to a single point of failure, limited encryption, and minimum privacy policies—meaning your data’s security and privacy can be compromised.

    The single point of failure is a significant weakness in traditional cloud-based file storage services. For instance, the largest Amazon Web Services data center in North America once experienced an extended power outage, resulting in website downtimes and permanently lost data due to hardware failures.

    Another concern is data privacy. The most recent and impactful of these was the Equifax hack of 2017, in which almost 150 million customers - about half of the United States population - had their personal identification and credit information compromised in some way.

    Of course, a court order from a U.S. Federal court will supply all the data you have stored online to anyone who can justify the reason from the request.

    Right now, the majority of data making up the many websites we use every day sits in data warehouses owned by just three companies: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. All three of those companies MUST obey court orders from U.S. courts. We have also often seen these companies suffer blackouts, and swaths of the Web go down for hours — that’s the problem with having single points of failure.

    Certainly, there must be a better alternative. Luckily, there is.

    Decentralized Cloud Object Storage Networks

    A move to decentralized cloud object storage networks appears to be replacing traditional centralized data centers. Not only are these decentralized storage services more reliable and more secure, they also have proven to be much cheaper to operate as well.

    Decentralized cloud storage refers to the concept of breaking each file to be stored into smaller pieces, encrypting each piece separately, and then storing the individual pieces in different locations around the world. No one file is every stored completely in one location.

    To protect against unplanned outages, each segment of each of every file is stored in multiple locations. If 5 or 10 copies of every encrypted piece of every file are stored in 5 or 10 different locations, the odds of all 5 or 10 becoming unavailable at the same time are remote indeed.

    With decentralized cloud storage, a court order is useless. Even the owners and operators of the decentralized cloud storage services are unable to retrieve and read your files. Therefore, they cannot give the files to the courts or to anyone else. The only person who can retrieve and read your files is YOU, the one person who created, encrypted, and broke the file(s) up into small pieces before storing the result in different locations all over the world.

    Most of the decentralized cloud storage services already in operation use crowd-sourced file storage spaces. That is, the decentralized cloud storage services themselves typically do not own any file storage space. Instead, they contract out with many different companies and individuals around the world who have extra available storage space available on their various hard drives. When a customer decides to save a file into a the decentralized cloud storage service, the file is first broken into many smaller pieces inside the user's computer, each piece is encrypted while still inside the user's computer, then each piece is copied to multiple locations to various locations around the world.

    The end user typically is not aware of the location of each segment of every file and usually does not care. In short, "it just works." (Some of today's decentralized cloud storage services do have methods of displaying the various storage locations being used.)

    Should the end user then later decide to retrieve a file for some reason, each piece is retrieved from the world-wide locations, is decrypted (inside the user's computer) and then is presented to the user in the identical format that it started with.


    Most of today's decentralized cloud storage services use a method of breaking the file(s) into smaller segments, encrypting the file(s) and then distributing them that is called the InterPlanetary File System (I love that name!) or IPFS for short.

    The peer-to-peer IPFS retrieves pieces from multiple nodes at once, enabling substantial bandwidth savings. With up to 60% savings for video, IPFS makes it possible to efficiently distribute high volumes of data.

    IPFS powers the creation of diversely resilient networks that enable persistent availability — with or without internet backbone connectivity. This means better connectivity for the developing world, during natural disasters, or just when you're on a flaky coffee shop wi-fi connection.

    The average lifespan of a web page is 100 days before it's gone forever. The medium of our era shouldn't be this fragile. IPFS makes it simple to set up resilient networks for mirroring data, and thanks to content addressing, files stored using IPFS are automatically versioned. Of course, web pages are not the only thing that should be stored in cloud-based file storage services.

    IPFS is a distributed system for storing and accessing files, websites, applications, and data.

    What does that mean, exactly? Let's say you're doing some research on aardvarks. You might start by visiting the Wikipedia page on aardvarks at:

    When you put that URL in your browser's address bar, your computer asks one of Wikipedia's computers, which might be somewhere on the other side of the country (or even the planet), for the aardvark page.

    However, that's not the only option for meeting your aardvark needs! There's a mirror of Wikipedia stored on IPFS, and you could use that instead. If you use IPFS, your computer asks to get the aardvark page like this: /ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/Aardvark.html

    The easiest way to view the above link is by opening it in your browser through an IPFS Gateway. Simply add to the start of the above link and you'll be able to view the page →(opens new window)

    IPFS knows how to find that sweet, sweet aardvark information by its contents. The IPFS-ified version of the aardvark info is represented by that string of numbers in the middle of the URL (QmXo…), and instead of asking one of Wikipedia's computers for the page, your computer uses IPFS to ask lots of computers around the world to share the page with you. It can get your aardvark info from anyone who has it, not just Wikipedia.

    And, when you use IPFS, you don't just download files from someone else — your computer also helps distribute them. When your friend a few blocks away needs the same Wikipedia page, they might be as likely to get it from you as they would from your neighbor or anyone else using IPFS.

    IPFS makes this possible for not only web pages but also any kind of file a computer might store, whether it's a document, an email, a video, or even a database record.


    Making it possible to download a file from many locations that aren't managed by one organization:

    Supports a resilient internet. If someone attacks Wikipedia's web servers or an engineer at Wikipedia makes a big mistake that causes their servers to catch fire, you can still get the same webpages from somewhere else.

    Makes it harder to censor content. Because files on IPFS can come from many places, it's harder for anyone (whether they're states, corporations, or someone else) to block things. I assume IPFS can help provide ways to circumvent actions like these when they happen.

    Can speed up the web when you're far away or disconnected. If you can retrieve a file from someone nearby instead of hundreds or thousands of miles away, you can often get it faster. This is especially valuable if your community is networked locally but doesn't have a good connection to the wider internet. (Well-funded organizations with technical expertise do this today by using multiple data centers or CDNs — content distribution networks. IPFS hopes to make this possible for everyone.)

    That last point is actually where IPFS gets its full name: the InterPlanetary File System. The goal is to build a system that works across places as disconnected or as far apart as planets. While that's an idealistic goal, it keeps the IPFS developers working and thinking hard, and almost everything they create in pursuit of that goal is also useful here at home.

    IPFS Services

    So far, the traditional cloud-based file storage services (Dropbox, Google Drive, iDrive, BackBlaze, OneDrive, SpiderOak, and many others) have NOT switched to decentralized cloud file storage technology. However, a number of new startup services have been formed in recent years that have jumped onto the decentralized cloud file storage technology, including Filecoin, Storj, Barracuda, BitTorrent, MaidSafe and the Safe Network, Oberon, NFT.Storage, and other companies you probably have never heard of are dominating the market. I must admit I have not tried all of them so I cannot make specific recommendation as to which IPFS service is "the best."

    My Experience with Storj

    Despite that disclaimer, I can report on one decentralized cloud file storage service. I signed up for an account on I decided to try Storj for three primary reasons:

    1. Storj offers 150 gigabytes of FREE storage space to everyone. That is a huge amount of free storage space, much more than most of the company's competitors.

    2. Most of the decentralized cloud file storage services apparently do not have merchant accounts and therefore cannot accept credit card payments. Instead, most of them are paid only by proprietary crypto payments. However, is an exception: it offers payments either by crypto currency or by credit card. I pulled out a credit card and signed up. (There is no charge until you exceed 150 gigabytes of FREE storage space. So far, I am still using free storage space although I expect I will soon go over 150 gigabytes of storage space.) Once you go over 150 gigabytes of FREE storage space, the fee is $4.00 (U.S. for every terabyte of stored data although you are only charged for whatever you use that is above and beyond 150 gigabytes.)

    3. Storj advertises that they have an (Amazon) S3-compatible gateway. This means if you already have or will obtain software that communicates with Amazon S3, it can be reconfigured to work with Storj. There are many S3-compatible products in the marketplace. Admittedly, I have not use the S3-compatible capabilities. However, I have used Arq (a popular backup product that I already owned that works with Microsoft Windows and with Macintosh and now with Storj.) Arq makes it easy to automate backups of part or all of my Mac. It makes backups automatically in the middle of the night or at times that I am not at home. You can learn more about ARQ at

    So far, I have backed up nearly 100 gigabytes of data and the software has worked flawlessly. I have nearly 2 gigabytes of data on my Mac so I expect to expand the size of my backups soon.


    So far, I am very happy with and its implementation of the InterPlanetary File System. It works well, automatically (even if I am not at home), and very securely. It installed quickly and easily. No surprises.

    I don't have any method of testing the security but I believe it is top-notch. I believe that not even the CIA or the Russian government can hack into my files. Nor can the biggest threat of all: Facebook. The fact that Storj is much cheaper than the other cloud-based file storage services I have tried simply is even more enticing.

    If you would like to learn more about Storj or even download the product and try it yourself, go to Can you use 150 gigabytes of FREE file storage space?

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