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  • 21 Oct 2021 7:36 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania:

    PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania has named James M. Beidler, a Keystone State native and longtime family history professional, as Interim Executive Director.

    Beidler, who also served as GSP Executive Director from 1999 to 2003, has made a name for himself as an author, editor, and speaker during this 30 years of genealogy work. He recently co-chaired the successful virtual conference of the International German Genealogy Partnership after original plans for an in-person conference needed to be cancelled due to COVID-19. The IGGP conference drew more than 800 registrants from around the globe and was lauded as the first online genealogy conference to be successful in all aspects from program to exhibits.

    “We are absolutely thrilled that Jim will be working with us," said Valerie-Anne Lutz, President of GSP. "His background and experience are perfect for GSP as we reimagine the organization and work toward a better future."

    Beidler has been given the charge to take the renewed enthusiasm of the society’s passionate volunteers and kickstart activity by the society in a variety of directions. “It all began this summer after I rejoined GSP as a member,” Beidler said. “I had a Zoom call with the president and secretary just to let them pick my brain a little. Sometime later, I realized I might have more to offer than just some talking points.”

    In addition to doing an inventory of all GSP’s resources—in terms of materials as well as human capital—Beidler will be helping the current board members and volunteers with everything from programming to publications to website improvements to grant opportunities, as well as recruiting more members, volunteers, and board members to help GSP become a state society that is the first stop for any genealogists with Pennsylvania roots, which is estimated to be about one in four Americans.

    About Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania

    GSP is a non-profit educational institution located at 2100 Byberry Road, Suite 111, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19116, and is found on the web at the URL,

    Founded in 1892, GSP is one of the earliest genealogical societies founded in the United States. Our mission is to provide leadership and support in promoting genealogy through education, preservation, and access to Pennsylvania-related genealogical information. GSP is committed to preserving and publishing primary source records and to helping people to search for their ancestors.

  • 21 Oct 2021 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by AGRA (The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives):

    Dr John Burt

    Dr John Burt was an Associate of AGRA, who made a great impact with his enthusiasm and willingness to get involved. His sudden death earlier this year came as a great shock to all his colleagues, who very much wished to find a way of remembering him and his contribution to AGRA and to genealogy. We are therefore pleased to announce that Council has decided to institute an annual bursary award of £250 in his memory. This is to be payable to an AGRA Associate progressing to full membership, and will go towards the expenses of furthering their genealogical education.

    Antony Marr, AGRA Chair, said: “John made a tremendous contribution to both AGRA and the wider genealogy world. We are all saddened at his death.

    “This bursary is a fitting tribute to John, providing a lasting legacy to his passion for furthering genealogical knowledge.”

    Dr John Burt, M.B., Ch.B., B.A., Cert. Archaeol., M.Sc., F.S.A.Scot., Q.G., was a retired general medical practitioner. Known as Jack by family and friends, he followed in his father's footsteps working for nearly 30 years as a local GP in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. Educated at Edinburgh Academy and obtaining his medical qualifications at the University of Aberdeen, John was a keen climber having reached the summit of all the Munros in Scotland and even gained a Blue Peter badge as a child.

    He had a passion and huge knowledge of military medals which he had been collecting since childhood. Researching the men named on Fife War Memorials enabled him to give knowledgeable talks on the First World War – a war both of his grandfathers had fought in and survived.

    John loved researching and learning and relished the challenge of tackling a new project. He published a book on Pictish stones in the 1990s which remains the only work of its kind to date.

    Following his retirement from medical practice he gained an M.Sc. in Genealogy, Palaeography and Heraldry with the University of Strathclyde. Researching the case notes of individuals in Roxburgh District Asylum for his dissertation enabled him to write two books for genealogists and historians on mental health in nineteenth century Britain, which were published by Pen & Sword History: 'Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots: A History of Insanity in Nineteenth Century Britain and Ireland' (2017) and 'Madness, Murder and Mayhem: Criminal Insanity in Victorian and Edwardian Britain (2018).

    John endeavoured to make a positive difference to the lives of others through his work and research and was well-loved and much respected by both the medical and genealogy communities. It is therefore fitting this bursary will go towards making a positive difference to genealogists.

    FURTHER INFORMATION: For further information please contact Jane Roberts, on tel 0771 4203891 (09:00-17:00 hrs) or via

  • 20 Oct 2021 9:45 AM | Anonymous

    On Sunday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a donation of $2 million to the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City.

    The donation is to help Native American tribes learn more about their ancestral roots, according to the church.

    Elder Kyle S. McKay of the Seventy, and several Native American members, presented the gift during a reception at the museum on Sunday.

    The museum, which honors many Native American tribes, will use the gift to build a FamilySearch center and fill other needs. The center will include digital interactive exhibits for Native American families. Many will be able to learn more at,which is the Church’s nonprofit genealogy arm.

    “Native Americans have been moved around so much from different places that a lot of our families have lost contact with each other. Having a center here is a way for us to connect our families together again,” James Pepper Henry, director of First Americans Museum, said.

    You can learn more in an article by Genelle Pugmire and published in the Provo, Utah Daily Herald at
  • 19 Oct 2021 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    An article about privacy and DNA that I will suggest should be required reading for every genealogist who has submitted or is thinking of submitting DNA information to a publicly-available database is available in the web site. It states (in part):

    "Vera Eidelman, staff attorney for the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, said people need to think about the wealth of information they're giving up when they use genetic testing kits for fun."

    "Genetic testing kits give users a fun look into the past. But what could be at stake in the future is cause for concern among privacy advocates.

    "When people think of genetic testing kits, they typically think of companies like 23andMe or

    "These companies allow you to spit into a tube and mail off your DNA-rich saliva. They report back with information about who your family is, where they're from, famous relatives and, with an upgrade, genetic markers indicating possible diseases you may have inherited.

    "This alone concerns organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union.",

    The article points out that ", 23andMe, and My Heritage DNA bar law enforcement from use."

    You can find the article at:

  • 19 Oct 2021 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Michael Walsh and published in The Register Citizen web site:

    "A grant received by the Sharon Historical Society and Museum will allow the nonprofit to fully catalog and document its large collection of Frances Morehouse Kelsey’s work.

    "Kelsey, a well-known Sharon resident, died in 1999 after a life spent documenting daily life in the town and the northwestern part of Connecticut. Much of that work was donated to the historical society in 2019 by Kelsey’s family.

    "Now, thanks to a $50,000 grant received from the Institute of Library and Museum Services, the nonprofit is going to have the ability to finally process what they said is a room full of materials."

    You can read many more details in the article at:

  • 18 Oct 2021 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    “If you find yourself struggling to know how to find your ancestors, FamilySearch has a new search experience that can help you find your ancestors in a quick and easy way without having to sign in. The FamilySearch Discovery Search experience provides a way to quickly search select databases on FamilySearch—the tree, records, memories, and last name information—all at the same time. This is a great way to get started with your family history and connect with your ancestors quickly!”

    You can learn more at

  • 18 Oct 2021 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    "Regina Vaughn has been painstakingly tracing her family legacy dating back to slavery to keep a vow she made to her late mother more than a decade ago.

    "She has spent countless hours, days, nights, weekends, sometimes holidays through weary and watery eyes from all of the tears while trying to uncover her lineage, primarily through written documents and files on microfilm."

    You can read more in an article by Terry Collins and published in the Yahoo News web site at:

  • 18 Oct 2021 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    It’s been 123 years since the infamous 1898 Wilmington Massacre and the first grave of one of the Black people killed during that tragic day has been discovered.

    Joshua Halsey is buried in an unmarked grave in Pine Forest Cemetery off Rankin Street. Members of a non-profit research group called Third Party Project were able to locate his grave after handwritten maps in the Pine Forest registry were digitized.

    “When that was digitized, we were able to go through it and start finding some names that were attached to these families,” said John Sullivan of Third Person Project. “Step by step that narrowed down the place where they could have been in the cemetery and then from there we were able to get it from just a meter or so from where the burial is.”

    Halsey was just 40 years old when a group of angry white men shot and killed him just outside his home.

    You can read the details in an article bFrances Weller published in the WECT web site at:

  • 18 Oct 2021 9:28 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a message sent by Deborah Lee Stewart, President, Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists:

    "Dear Friends - I am saddened to report that a long-time member of the Middlesex Chapter, Helen Schatvet Ullmann has passed away. From MSOG: "Helen was the 2019 recipient of the MOST Robert J. Tarte Award, given to those who have been distinguished for their exceptional, outstanding service that promotes the study of Family History and Genealogy and openness of Massachusetts's public records. She was a longtime member of the MASSOG editorial board and will be missed by many." She was a driving force in the genealogical community and among other things a long-time editor at NEHGS."

  • 18 Oct 2021 9:18 AM | Anonymous

    Gee, I was delighted when I was able to trace my own ancestry back a few centuries. This fellow certainly has me beat!

    From the Newsweek web site:

    "Darrell “Dusty” Crawford, whose Native American Blackfoot name is Lone Bull, looks over his results with fascination. He’d taken a DNA test with an outfit called Cellular Research Institute (CRI) and learned much about his heritage. What he doesn’t know yet is that the conclusions will also have implications for all Native Americans.

    "Tracing back history

    "The immediately astonishing thing about Crawford’s test is how far back the scientists at the CRI have traced his genetic history. In fact, the company has said that it has never managed to delve this far back in time before. And this achievement could force a rethink on the history of humans in the Americas.

    "Crawford lives in Heart Butte, Montana, a city located in the 1.5 million acres of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the north-west of the state. With a population of more than 17,000, the Blackfeet Nation is one of America’s largest Native American tribes. Three other Blackfeet reservations are located in Alberta, Canada."

    You can read all the details at:

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