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  • 1 Apr 2022 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    More than two decades after the draft human genome was celebrated as a scientific milestone, scientists have finally finished the job. The first complete, gap-free sequence of a human genome has been published in an advance expected to pave the way for new insights into health and what makes our species unique. Until now, about 8% of the human genome was missing, including large stretches of highly repetitive sequences, sometimes described as "junk DNA." In reality though, these repeated sections were omitted due to technical difficulties in sequencing them, rather than pure lack of interest.

    Sequencing a genome is something like slicing up a book into snippets of text then trying to reconstruct the book by piecing them together again. Stretches of text that contain a lot of common or repeated words and phrases would be harder to put in their correct place than more unique pieces of text. New "long-read" sequencing techniques that decode big chunks of DNA at once -- enough to capture many repeats -- helped overcome this hurdle. Scientists were able to simplify the puzzle further by using an unusual cell type that only contains DNA inherited from the father (most cells in the body contain two genomes -- one from each parent). Together these two advances allowed them to decode the more than 3 billion letters that comprise the human genome.

    The science behind the sequencing effort and some initial analysis of the new genome regions are outlined in six papers published in the journal Science. You can read more by starting at:

  • 1 Apr 2022 9:31 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Findmypast add more parish records, plus an update to the 1939 Register in their weekly record release 

    1939 Register 

    Over 117,000 redacted records have been opened on the 1939 Register of England and Wales. Uncover an ancestor’s wartime occupation, where they were living, and even their full date of birth. Findmypast continues to have the most up to date version of the 1939 Register online.  

    Northamptonshire Baptisms 

    62,000 transcripts and images for 82 churches across this English county have been added to this existing collection. The records normally include the baptism date, parents’ names and even their denomination.  

    Yorkshire Baptisms 

    Over 10,000 transcripts have been added into this existing collection forSheffield. Biographical details can include both parents’ names, father’s occupation, and residence.   


    Nearly 200,000 pages have been added to Findmypast’s growing newspaper archive this week, covering 18 titles.  

    Updated titles: 

    ·         Australian and New Zealand Gazette, 1855, 1864 

    ·         Brentwood Gazette, 1988-1989 

    ·         Carmarthen Journal, 1993 

    ·         Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore), 1845, 1847-1876, 1913-1928, 1930 

    ·         Gloucester Citizen, 1986 

    ·         Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette, 1970, 1972 

    ·         Harlow Star, 1986, 1989 

    ·         Hinckley Times, 1987 

    ·         Ilfracombe Chronicle, 1872 

    ·         Kilmarnock Standard, 1987 

    ·         Liverpool Daily Post, 1874 

    ·         Liverpool Evening Express, 1899 

    ·         Macclesfield Express, 1991 

    ·         Rutherglen Reformer and Cambuslang Journal, 1887 

    ·         Staffordshire Newsletter, 1988 

    ·         West Lothian Courier, 1989 

    ·         Wishaw Press, 1993 

    ·         Wokingham Times, 1993 

  • 31 Mar 2022 6:27 PM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage has just added a really cool feature to be used with the 1950 U.S. census. Simply upload your family tree GEDCOM to MyHeritage at and then receive a FREE analysis in preparation for the 1950 US Census.

    I just used it and have my list ready for when the 1950 U.S. census goes live tomorrow. (If you already have your family tree on MyHeritage, as I do, you don't have to upload a GEDCOM file. The new Census Helper will look at your present genealogy database that is already stored on the site.)

    The Census Helper™ scans your tree and automatically compiles a list of individuals appearing in it who are very likely to be found in the 1950 U.S. census, along with relevant details. Armed with this list, you’ll know exactly which family members to search for in the newly released records, and your research will be much more focused. You’ll also be able to research those individuals in the census records with the click of a button.

    If you don't already have your family tree uploaded to MyHeritage, this is a fast and easy method to get started. And, once again, this is FREE and it is also available NOW.

    You can learn more about the Census Helper™ in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 31 Mar 2022 11:26 AM | Anonymous

    The new "Russia's War in Ukraine" collection seeks to document Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 which resulted in a full-scale war after eight years of military conflict between Russian and Ukraine. Content includes news portals (such as Kyiv Independent, Euromaidan Press, and 24tv), digital library or archive websites with important cultural and historical data (e.g. Institute of History Digital Library, Ukrainian Institute of National Memory), government and civil society websites (e.g. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, People for UA, Defense UA), documentation of the war and resources for refugees (e.g. Civilian harm in Ukraine, My story of the war in Ukraine, Info Help UA), and social media related to the war (accounts of President Zelensky, Dmitro Kuleba, Vitali Klitschko, Cabinet of Ministers, etc).

    The purpose of this project is to make data pertaining to the ongoing war easily available to researchers as well as to preserve important information that could be at risk if Ukraine's internet and digital infrastructure were damaged. 

    You can read more in an article published at

  • 31 Mar 2022 10:36 AM | Anonymous

    Just a quick reminder: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration will release the 1950 U.S. census records tomorrow (Friday) for the first time in 72 years. However, what is being released now is the raw (unedited and unindexed) data, not the nice and neat indexed data we have enjoyed in previous censuses (censi?). That comes later.

    The 1950 US Census Community Project is a national collaborative effort that uses the Internet, artificial intelligence, and a massive volunteer workforce to make these census records searchable online. However, that will be built by the volunteers in the following weeks and will not be available tomorrow. In fact, YOU can help build these indexes.

    The outcome of this amazing initiative benefits everyone. Not only will every page of the 1950 US census be digitally preserved forever (starting now), but the general public will soon have convenient access to volumes of rich historical information that could provide the missing links to their own family histories.

    You can learn more about this voluntary indexing at:

    and probably another dozen or more web sites. Use your favorite search engine to find them.

  • 31 Mar 2022 10:30 AM | Anonymous

    If you have not been paying attention to the news of the Russian-Ukrainian war, it probably is because you felt you were not affected. Unfortunately, that is not true for millions of computer users in countries all over the world. If you use Kaspersky antivirus software in your computer, please be aware that you should replace it... NOW!

    Kaspersky antivirus software is produced by a Russian company. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has warned that many Russian-written software products have recently been modified to collect personal information about the user (name, address, email address, installed software, and more) and to possibly create damage to the computer(s) being used.

    There is no evidence that Kaspersky has done this. However, if the Russian government should order such spying capabilities be added in the future, Kaspersky will have no choice but to comply with that order. 

    Kaspersky's products have already been banned from U.S.-government owned computers for several years.

  • 31 Mar 2022 10:02 AM | Anonymous


    A backup is a copy of all your important files — for example, your family genealogy, photos of your ancestors and your grandchildren, home videos, documents and emails. Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer or smartphone), you keep a copy of everything somewhere safe.

    Losing your files is way more common than you’d think.

    • One small accident or failure could destroy all the important stuff you care about. For instance:
    • 21 % of people have never made a backup
    • 29% of data loss cases are caused by accident
    • 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute of every day
    • 30% of all computers are already infected with malware

    Source of this information:

    It’s time to actually take action. Get started today to better protect your data!

    I normally post a message on the first day of each month, advising everyone to back up their files that day (or even more often). Because World Backup Day is today, I am publishing my monthly reminder one day early this month:

    It is (almost) the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

    Today (Actually, it is tomorrow) is the first day of the month, an excellent 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 during the pandemic 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 2022 9:50 AM | Anonymous

    If you are planning to attend the (live and in-person) conference of the NGS, to be held in Sacramento, California, you might want to register today (Thursday).

    The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

    Register Now for Early Bird Pricing

    Take advantage of the Early-Bird discount for the In-Person NGS 2022 Family History Conference in Sacramento, California. The discount ends at 11:59 p.m. ET tonight.

    You now have only a few hours left to save $50 on your registration. We look forward to seeing you for four days of:

    networking face-to-face at the first national conference in two years;

    enjoying local area tours, luncheons, receptions, and dinners thoughtfully planned by the California Genealogical Society;

    sharing ideas and discussing research;

    attending fascinating, educational lectures;

    discovering new goods and services for genealogists in the Expo Hall; and

    relaxing on the conference center’s outdoor terrace or at the city’s many outdoor courtyards.

    Best of all you don’t have to worry if you need to cancel your registration prior to 18 April. We will give you a complete refund, no questions asked, minus a $50 service fee.

    Once you register, make sure to book your hotel room.

    Have you already booked your hotel reservation? We recommend contacting the hotel to confirm that your reservation dates are correct. If you are holding multiple reservations or reservations at multiple hotels, we encourage you to solidify plans and release any dates or rooms that you will not be using. Room blocks are filling up fast and we want to make sure everyone is able to book at our discounted rates.

    For up-to-date information about conference hotels and COVID-19 policies and other rules, visit the conference website. Be sure to sign up for the NGS conference blog to receive conference news and announcements.

    Registration closes 18 April 2022.

    Register Now for Early Bird Pricing

    Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society inspires, connects, and leads the family history community by fostering collaboration and best practices in advocacy, education, preservation, and research. We enable people, cultures, and organizations to discover the past and create a lasting legacy. The Falls Church, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian.

  • 30 Mar 2022 5:45 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the American Society of Genealogists (ASG):

    Ian Watson of Burtenbach, Germany, has been awarded the first ASG Continuing Research Project Grant of $2500 for his work to bring transcriptions of Ipswich Deeds to public researchers.

    Ipswich Deeds are the five volumes of land records kept at the northern Essex County registry from roughly 1640 to 1710. In their early years these volumes also contain registered wills, inventories, and court records. They are an important source on the early settlers of Ipswich, Newbury, Rowley, and nearby towns. The originals are at the Southern Essex Registry of Deeds in Salem, along with manuscript copies of volumes 1-3 which were made in the 1800s. FamilySearch has digitized microfilm of the manuscript copies of volumes 1-3 and the originals of volumes 4-5 ( Building on the work of ASG Fellows George Freeman Sanborn Jr. and Jane Fletcher Fiske, who transcribed and initially indexed the first two volumes of Ipswich Deeds, Watson is updating the archaic media on which the transcriptions have been stored, converting from an obsolete text program to modern LaTeX files, and formatting and re-indexing the results for publication.

    Ian Watson is author of the forthcoming Volume I of Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1636-1638, covering surnames beginning with A through Be. He is co-author with Kyle Hurst of Selected Ancestors of Nelson McMahon and Louise Rathbun published by Newbury Street Press in 2020, and he is a paid proofreader for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly and the APG eNews. He preserved and reposted the Pruzhany Uyezd Research Society’s website at, which preserves material about the Pruzhany district Jewish diaspora. Watson’s most recent genealogical article is “The Dating of the Providence Civil Compact,” published in The American Genealogist, 91(2019-2020):165-189, 261-283.

    For more information about the Grant Program and application forms, e-mail or write to Alicia Crane Williams, FASG, Chair, ASG Grant Committee, 4 White Trellis, Plymouth MA 02360

  • 29 Mar 2022 11:13 AM | Anonymous


    The following is a press release written by Sano Genetics (although I added bold text):

    Sano Genetics, a healthtech start-up co-founded by three University of Cambridge genomics postgraduates, has raised USD11 million in a Series A funding round led by MMC Ventures, with further funding from Episode 1, Seedcamp and several angel investors.

    These include Paul Forster, a co-founder and former CEO of Indeed, Paul Wicks, former VP of innovation at PatientsLikeMe, and Margo Georgiadis, the former CEO of

    The startup has developed a software platform that connects patients living with rare and chronic conditions, such as Long Covid, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, directly with biotech and pharma companies leading personalised medicine research – a market worth USD52.4 billion in 2020 and predicted to reach USD112.8 billion by 2027.

    It also offers its biotech and pharma clients the ability to power branded portals for participant recruitment and engagement, on a national or global scale.

    Sano Genetics raised GBP500k in pre-seed funding in 2018, and GBP2.5 million in seed funding in 2020, which helped get the platform into the hands of more customers, including precision medicine developers BenevolentAI, ESCAPE Bio, and population-scale biobanks such as the NIHR BioResource.

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