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  • 2 Apr 2021 1:53 PM | Anonymous

    The Smithsonian Libraries is home to millions of items so the folks there spend a lot of time sorting and cataloging all sorts of things. One new online resource created by the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives is a new Genealogy Research Guide.

    The guide is a simple list of online web sites that contain a lot of genealogy records online. While it may be "simple," it is also extensive. The list includes such web sites as: 

    I bet you haven't yet checked out ALL of these resources! This is a web site you should add to your list of bookmarks.

    The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives' Genealogy Research Guide may be found at:

  • 2 Apr 2021 1:22 PM | Anonymous

    I do remember home computers in those days and I do not miss them! If you were using online home computers in the 1980s, this video from the archives of Thames TV is a reminder of how we used to send and receive email messages long before the invention of the World Wide Web. Ah, the sweet sound of a dot matrix printer.

    My favorite line from the video is when the television interviewer asked, “Why did you buy a computer?” I cannot imagine anyone asking that question today.

    This interview was first shown on Thames TV’s computer programme ‘Database’ in 1984. You can view it at

  • 2 Apr 2021 9:30 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    This latest Findmypast Friday updates features modern death records, exclusive parish registers and unique wartime indexes. Read on to find out what's new this week.

    Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Records

    Due to 100 year privacy rules having expired, Findmypast have just released over 821,000 new Catholic records from 1921, covering baptisms and marriages from the City of Brotherly Love.

    The latest update includes:

    Each record includes both transcripts and images of the original document. As well as revealing vital dates and locations, these exclusive sacramental registers will enable you to discover the names of your ancestors’ parents and spouse.

    England & Wales Deaths 2007-2020

    Search over 353,000 new modern death records that are now available to search in their own standalone collection,

    When combined with England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007, this set sees Findmypast’s death record coverage for the two countries span an impressive 183 years.

    Ireland, Northern Ireland Deaths 1998-2020

    Findmypast have also created a distinct record set for recent Northern Ireland deaths which has been expanded this week with over 5,000 new records. 

    The entire collection now stands at over 92,000 records. In it, you can discover your ancestors year of birth, year of death and where they lived.

    Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, Mentioned in Dispatches 1940-1945

    Unique to Findmypast, this useful index can help you trace high-flying family members from World War 2. Containing over 32,000 transcripts, each result records an act of gallantry by the recipient whose name and key regimental details was published in The London Gazette

    The award of a MiD or 'Mentioned in Dispatches' was signified by the wearing of an oak leaf emblem on the ribbon of the War Medal. This followed on from the convention adopted during the First World War when the MiD emblem was worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal. A person could be MiD on multiple occasions but only one oak leaf emblem was ever worn.


    Reading Standard, covering 1891-1895, 1897-1911 and 1913-1961 and The News (London), covering 1805, 1807 and 1809-1835, are brand new to Findmypast this week.

    While additional pages have been added to:


  • 1 Apr 2021 4:20 PM | Anonymous

    Search millions more Catholic Church records this week on FamilySearch from Bolivia 1566–1996Costa Rica 1595–1992El Salvador 1655–1977, Guatemala 1581–1977Peru 1603–1992, and Venezuela 1577–1995, plus Catholic and Lutheran Church records from Germany Prussia, Pomerania 1544–1966. Also explore new Canada Tax Assessments 1834–1899 and expanded collections for BrazilEnglandUruguay, and the US (GAILMAVA). 

    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 file of new records is long, too lengthy to  fit into this. article However, you can find the entire list at:

  • 1 Apr 2021 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an email message posted to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) Public Records Access Monitoring Committee mailing list and is republished here with permission:

    Many states have changed their adoption records access laws over the past decade.  However, Senate Bill 331/House Bill 999 ( in Maryland which would have allowed adult adoptees 18 years and older unrestricted access to their original birth certificates and adoption records without a court order failed in the Maryland Senate by a vote of 16 for and 31 opposed. The bill would also have changed the “disclosure veto” option into a “contact preference form,” in which a biological parent or adoptee can state whether they prefer to be contacted or not. It had received a favorable report by Judicial Proceedings.

    The American Adoption Congress has a chart of access with or without restrictions for adult adoptees access of their original birth certificates at:

    To read more see:

    Jan Meisels Allen

    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 1 Apr 2021 4:00 AM | Anonymous

    BackUpYourGenealogyFilesToday is the first day of the month. That is still a good time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

    Your backups aren't worth much unless you make a quick test by restoring a small file or two after the backup is completed.

    Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often. (My computers automatically make off-site backups of all new files every few minutes.)

    Given the events of the past few months with genealogy websites laying off employees and cutting back on services, you now need backup copies of everything more than ever. What happens if the company that holds your online data either goes off line or simply deletes the service where your data is held? If you have copies of everything stored either in your own computer, what happens if you have a hard drive crash or other disaster? If you have one or more recent backup copies, such a loss would be inconvenient but not a disaster.

    Of course, you might want to back up more than your genealogy files. Family photographs, your checkbook register, all sorts of word processing documents, email messages, and much more need to be backed up regularly. Why not do that on the first day of each month? or even more often?

  • 31 Mar 2021 5:08 PM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage has announced a major update to DNA Matches on MyHeritage — you can now compare your Genetic Groups to those of your DNA Matches.

    According to the MyHeritage Blog:

    "In late December 2020, we introduced Genetic Groups, an enhancement to our Ethnicity Estimate which increases the resolution of MyHeritage DNA’s ethnicity breakdown to 2,114 geographic regions. Since then, we’ve been working to improve the feature and add new components requested by users, and in January 2021 we released the first set of user interface improvements

    "Comparing the shared genetic characteristics of your DNA Matches is very useful and can help you figure out how you might be related. Previously, on the Review DNA Match page, you were able to view the Ethnicity Estimate of your DNA Matches and see which ethnicities you share. Now, you can drill down even further and see which Genetic Groups they belong to, and which ones you have in common."

    You can read a detailed explanation and view a number of graphics illustrating the use of the latest updates in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 31 Mar 2021 4:49 PM | Anonymous

    An announcement from FamilySearch:

    Increase your ability to make more family discoveries by virtually attending the FamilySearch Family History Library's free April 2021 Webinars. Sessions feature beginner level classes covering US research tips, Genetic Genealogy (DNA)Analyzing What You Know, Finding Original Records, Correcting Relationships and Merging Dupicates (in Family Tree), an open Q&A session plus one Spanish language class entitled ¿Qué dice? Cómo leer la escritura antigua (What does it say? How to read ancient writing.).

    Spend a day with the FamilySearch US Research team learning tips and tricks for discovery your US ancestors in a hands-on case study learning format (See Finding the Parents of Bertha Kantner: An Interactive How-to US Research Case Study).

    Update your genealogy sleuthing skills with information on genetic genealogy in a series of sessions covering Why and How Genealogists use DNAGrouping Matches, Determining Relationships, Finding Unknown Parents, and Solving a Brick Wall (case study).  If your family history leads back to England ten sessons will immerse you in Resources on Ancestry and FindMyPast, the FamilySearch Wiki, Reading Old Handwriting, plus Church of England records, English History, and England jurisdictions.    

    No registration is required for these free online sessions. See the table of classes below for more details.

    If you cannot attend a live event, most sessions are recorded and can be viewed later at your convenience at Family History Library classes and webinars

    All class times are in Mountain Standard Time (MDT).

    Want more? Peruse over 1,000 free, on-demand sessions from RootsTech Connect 2021.

    Thu, Apr 1, 10:00 AM MST Research Process: Finding Original Records (Beginner) Yes
    Thu, Apr 1, 1:00 PM MST Hessian Soldiers: Their History and How to Find Them in America and Germany (Beginner) Yes
    Mon, Apr 5, 10:00 AM MST Using the FamilySearch Catalog (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Apr 6, 10:00 AM MST Merging Duplicate Records in FamilySearch Family Tree (Beginner) Yes
    Thu, Apr 8, 9:00 AM MST Finding the Parents of Bertha Kantner: An Interactive How-to US Research Case Study (7 hour event with frequent breaks) (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Apr 13, 10:00 AM MST Correcting Relationships in FamilySearch Family Tree (Beginner) Yes
    Thu, Apr 15, 10:00 AM MST United States Military Draft Records (Intermediate) Yes
    Thu, Apr 15, 1:00 PM MST ¿Qué dice? Cómo leer la escritura antigua (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST Adding Memories to FamilySearch Family Tree (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 9:00 AM MST Never Trust... (Beginner) by the British Research Team Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 9:30 AM MST English History and Family History Research: 1066-1714 (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 10:00 AM MST English History and Family History Research: 1714-1939 (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 10:30 AM MST England Jurisdictions (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 11:00 AM MST Church of England Records before 1813 (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 11:30 AM MST Church of England Records from 1813 onward (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 1:00 PM MST That's English?! Reading Old Handwriting (Intermediate) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 1:30 PM MDT Introduction to Quarter Sessions Records (Intermediate) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 2:00 PM MDT England Research in the FamilySearch Wiki (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 2:30 PM MDT Key English Resources on (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 3:00 PM MDT Key English Resources on (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 3:30 PM MDT Key English Resources on (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 4:00 PM MST Start with What You Know, Analyze What You Know (Beginner) Yes
    Fri, Apr 23, 4:30 PM MST Open Question and Answer (Beginner) Yes
    Mon, Apr 26, 9:00 AM MST Why Genealogists Use DNA (Beginner) Yes
    Mon, Apr 26, 9:45 AM MST How Genealogists Use DNA (Beginner) Yes
    Mon, Apr 26, 10:30 AM MST Grouping DNA Matches (Beginner) Yes
    Mon, Apr 26, 1:00 PM MST Using DNA to Determine Relationships (Beginner) Yes
    Mon, Apr 26, 2:15 PM MST Using DNA to Find Unknown Parents: A Case Study (Beginner) Yes
    Mon, Apr 26, 3:00 PM MST Using DNA to Solve a Brick Wall: A Case Study (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Apr 27, 10:00 AM MST Using the FamilySearch Mobile Apps (Beginner) Yes

    Visit Classes and Online Webinars for more information.

    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.

  • 31 Mar 2021 4:41 PM | Anonymous

    This looks like a major online event! The following is the announcement from the Genealogical Forum of Oregon:

    Registration is now open!

    Genealogy Zoomboree

    April 16-18, 2021

    Making the Invisible Visible

    Join us for a multicultural Genealogy Zoomboree! Four nationally known experts show you how to track seemingly invisible records and people.

    This is a three-day, live and online event. Registration for one, two, three or all four speakers is online only.

    The Zoom link for the event will be emailed to you about one week prior to the event, along with the handouts. All handouts are electronic and are included with your registration.

    All sessions will be recorded and videos available to registrants through May 18th.

    Please click here to get our flyer and share it with your friends.

    Contact Information 

    • Fri., Apr. 16: 1 - 3:30 p.m.

      Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL
      Executive Director, Board for Certification of Genealogists - popular speaker at NGS, APG, RootsTech and Legacy Family Tree Webinars, and has published many articles for professional publications.
      ➣ Courthouse Research & Indexes - Find critical genealogical information from your local courthouse.
      ➣ Land Records: Rich Sources for Your Research - Even non-landowners can end up in land and deed records

    • Sat., Apr. 17: 9 - 11:30 a.m.

      Linda Harms Okazaki
      Charter Member, Nikkei Genealogical Society - a featured columnist of Finding Your Nikkei Roots, and a member of APG, The Genealogical Speakers Guild, the Daughters of the American Revolutions, and numerous Japanese American organizations.
      ➣ Introduction to Japanese American Research - Japanese American research provides lessons in genealogical research that benefits all genealogists. Custom information for Oregon included.
      ➣ WWII Internment Camps: Japanese, Germans & Italians - Japanese Americans and their families, as well as Americans of other heritage, were considered "enemy aliens," and imprisoned by the U.S. Government. Learn about internment sites and the records created.

    • Sat., Apr. 17: 1 - 3:30 p.m.

      Sherri Camp, MLS
      Past President, Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society - the Genealogy Librarian at the Topeka, Kansas library, has served the Family History Center for 17 years, and author of African American Topeka.
      ➣ African American Research Strategies - Learn key strategies to locate resources and records for information about African American ancestors and family members.
      ➣ A Treasure Trove of Free Websites - Learn how to access free genealogical information while we stay safe at home doing research at our computers.

    • Sun., Apr. 18: 1 - 3:30 p.m.

      Michael Lacopo, DVM
      Professional Genealogist - versed in research from a methodical and scientific view with his background in medicine, he has researched for clients since 1980 and lectured on genealogy nationally and internationally since 2004.
      ➣ Medical Genealogy: A primer of diseases that killed our ancestors and the epidemics they lived through - Many researchers barely understand the cause of death listed. Know what afflicted your ancestors' communities, the common diseases, and you'll learn how they lived.
      ➣ "I am poor, obscure, plain, and little." - Researching Invisible Ancestors - If your ancestors had little money, did not buy and sell land, did not leave wills, and did not purchase gravestones, how do you find them? This lecture will show you how!

  • 30 Mar 2021 8:34 PM | Anonymous

    From an article by Desmond Brown in the CBC News website:

    "A former Virginia slave who was laid to rest in the Hamilton Cemetery on York Boulevard is believed to be the first Black man in Canada to have received an official U.S. Civil War headstone.

    Historian Robin McKee points to the Hamilton Cemetery burial site of Nelson Stevens, a Black veteran of the Civil War. (Photo courtesy of Evan Mitsui/CBC)

    "Recently, Hamilton historian Robin McKee spoke to CBC News about how he found Nelson Stevens's unmarked grave in 2007 while doing research for his Civil War-themed tour — one of several tours he has been conducting in the Hamilton Cemetery for 20 years.

    "McKee learned Stevens came north to escape slavery, settled in Hamilton and enlisted to fight for the Union Army against the Confederacy as a soldier in a United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiment."

    The full article may be found at:

    My thanks to newsletter reader Jim Benedict for telling me about this story.

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