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  • 20 Jan 2022 8:26 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was released this morning by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist has released records of 72,663 individuals so that researchers will be able to discover useful details about ancestors’ homes from the following London areas in 1910: Albany, Belsize, Camden Town, Chalk Farm, Euston, Grays Inn Road, Highgate East, Highgate West, Kilburn, Priory and Adelaide Parish (Hampstead), St Andrew East, St Andrew West, St Giles East, St Giles North, St Giles South, Saffron Hill, Somers Town and Tottenham Court Road.

    Tottenham Court Road, London

    These property tax records, collected by the Inland Revenue’s Valuation offices, are linked to detailed OS maps that will pinpoint down to plot level and can be searched by name or keywords using the Master Search, or by selecting a pin from the map displayed inside TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer™. The ability to switch between georeferenced modern and historic maps allows the researcher to see how the neighbourhood in which their ancestors had lived or worked may have altered with the passing of time.

    IR58 records around Highgate Cemetery on TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™

    The huge value of these IR58 records, uniquely digitised by TheGenealogist from the originals at The National Archives, are that Family history researchers as well as house historians will be able to discover all sorts of information about the past owners and occupiers of the homes, land, outbuildings and property recorded in these areas at the time before Britain was plunged into the First World War.

    Read TheGenealogist’s article From showgirl to Dame of the British Empire: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2022/from-showgirl-to-dame-of-the-british-empire-1519/

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections.

    TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

    TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

  • 19 Jan 2022 6:44 PM | Anonymous

    I have gone paperless!

    Actually, I have been paperless for several years. However, a new scanner allows me to do more than before with less hassle and at higher speeds than ever before.

    I went paperless several years ago. Since then, every piece of paper that enters my house, whether I carry it in or it is delivered by the mailman, gets examined promptly, usually within hours. With anything that requires action, such as paying bills or scheduling a trip to the grocery store, I force myself to handle it promptly, usually within minutes after opening the envelope. Any paper that needs to be saved for any reason gets scanned, saved in my secure cloud file storage services, and the paper is then immediately shredded and sent to recycling. Finally, any piece of paper that doesn’t require action and isn’t worth saving, such as advertising “junk mail,” goes to the shredder within minutes after its arrival.

    Life without paper is great!

    A few years ago, I purchased new scanner. I must say that I am pleased with it. If it isn't the absolute best document scanner for home and office use, it certainly must qualify as "one of the best." Indeed, it is undoubtedly the best document scanner that I have ever used. Admittedly, I have only used a dozen or so document scanners at home and at work in the past few years but this is the best scanner I have ever used. It cost more than I had planned to spend but now that I have used it for a while, I am very happy with the purchase.

    Best of all, I don’t even need a computer to scan and save all sorts of documents! That's right, this scanner doesn't even need to be attached to a computer!

    Scan to Cloud

    Rather than purchasing more filing cabinets to store my various pieces of paper receipts and other documents that need to be saved, I now digitize everything and store all these documents in the cloud or in a tiny flashdrive, then my computers automatically make multiple backup copies and store them in several different locations, both at home and in the cloud. I really like the idea that I can quickly and easily search for any document and retrieve it wherever I am from any smartphone or tablet or laptop computer. And I do mean ANY smartphone or computer! Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android, or even a computer borrowed from a friend or a computer at a public library. All have easy access to my thousands of documents that have been digitized over the years. All I need is some sort of computing device, an internet connection, and my user name and passwords.

    The scanner I purchased is called a "document scanner" simply because it is designed to scan either one side of each sheet of paper or both sides of the paper, up to 600 dpi dots (or pixels) per inch. You can load up to 100 sheets of paper into its Automatic Document Feeder. If you specify double-sided scanning, that's 200 digital images. You have the choice of saving the multi-page scans as individual files (one file per page) or as one large file containing all the pages scanned.

    Of course, if you need to scan more than 200 pages, when the Automatic Document Feeder is emptied, the scanner simply pauses, waiting for the user to insert more pages. If additional pages are added, the scanner simply continues adding more pages to the same scanned document. In theory, the scanner could scan thousands of pages into one digital image file. However, I suspect the more practical use is for scanning documents of up to a few hundred pages.

    I will stress that this is a DOCUMENT scanner simply because it is designed to scan sheets of paper, not bound books and not any non-paper items such as coins, postage stamps, pictures that are still in picture frames, small toys, or other small physical items. If you want to scan an entire book with this scanner, you will need to first cut the binding off. However, my new scanner will also scan photographs or documents sealed in plastic, such as a driver’s license, after you read the user’s manual to learn how to do that.

    While my new scanner will scan photographs, I would not consider it to be designed to digitize high-quality color photographs that typically are used for weddings and similar events. After all, it is called a DOCUMENT Scanner. If I wanted a high-quality color image scanner that accurately digitizes every shade of ever color image at very high resolution, I would have purchased something designed for that task instead of a document scanner.

    Of all my scanning since I obtained this new scanner, there was only one time I had to resort to reading the manual: I wanted to make a digital image of my driver’s license that is sealed in plastic. Everything else has been super simple and obvious without reading any instructions. However, I found I could not scan a document sealed in plastic by simply inserting it into the sheet feeder used for paper documents. The plastic is too thick to go through a document feeder that is designed for paper.

    The different method wasn’t obvious to me until I read the manual. Scanning and digitizing everything else was simple with no reading of the users manual required. The instructions I would give to anyone else are: “insert the pages, select the options, and press SCAN.” Simple!

    The scanning process looks similar to a typical office photocopier: the individual sheets are "grabbed" from the Automated Document Feeder one at a time and fed through a series of rollers, past the scanning photosensors, and then stacked in the output stacker. If you have ever used an office photocopier, you undoubtedly are already familiar with this process.

    I will not use this scanner for any delicate pieces of paper, such as a 100-year-old newspaper clipping or for a very old marriage certificate. The process of moving a single sheet of paper through the scanner involves several rollers and other mechanical components. While the path through the scanner appears to be in a straight line, without bending the paper as it goes through the rollers, gears, and other components, I still will not trust the scanner with anything fragile. Of course, that is true for all sheet-feed scanners, not just for the one scanner I purchased.

    I also have scanned a number of photographs in the past few months with the new device, including both color and black-and-white photographs. I was quite pleased with the results although I would add two caveats:

    1. The same disclaimer about scanning delicate items still applies. I scanned a dozen or so black-and-white photographs, some of them were original 70-year-old photographs while other were modern copies of old photos. Everything worked well. However, I would never insert any photograph that is very old or appears to be delicate into this scanner. It isn’t suitable for scanning albumen print photographs, gelatin-silver print photos, or anything similar. The rollers and other components used to transport the scanned item through the scanner are not guaranteed to preserve the item(s) in their untouched condition. I have scanned perhaps perhaps 500 documents and modern photographs through this scanner and never had a single paper jam but any scanner always has the POSSIBILITY of jams. You would not want that to happen to a valuable old family photograph!

    2. While the color reproduction on this scanner is very good, I don't believe the light sources inside the scanner are optimized for color photography with suitable color temperature compensation. The colors looked good to my non-photographer's eyes but if I was trying to reproduce high-quality color wedding keepsake photographs or anything of similar quality, I would go looking for a scanner that was designed for such work.

    However, the colors scanned from magazine pages, newspaper articles, advertising flyers, old photocopies of census records, and more all looked very good to me, especially when scanned at 600 dpi. (I do most of my scanning at 200 dpi and only switch to a higher resolution when digitizing high-quality documents.)

    My new scanner is a Raven Pro Document Scanner.

    The Raven company actually produces three different scanners, all similar but they vary in details. I purchased the Raven Pro scanner and will be writing about that one. I chose it because of the following features:

    This is one of the few scanners that can scan and store the digital images directly into several popular cloud services (Raven Cloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, Box, SharePoint, OneDrive, Quickbooks Online), USB Drive, Email, FTP, flashdrive, SMB Share, or Fax. No computer is required for delivering scanned images directly to these services.

    That's right, this scanner doesn't even need to be attached to a computer!

    I could take it to a relative's house or to a library, (as long as either wi-fi or a flashdrive is available, along with a power outlet) and spend hours scanning documents. Everything scanned could be stored in DropBox or Google Drive or to a number of other cloud-based file storage services. Other options include scanning directly into email messages that can be sent to any email address you specify, even to your own email address if you wish.

    While I have been using wi-fi to connect to the internet for the past few days, the scanner also includes an ethernet connector for use with a wired network connection.

    You also can have the image(s) sent to any FAX machine if you already have an account on a computer-to-FAX service of some sort. The FAX service is not provided by Raven. I haven't tested the FAX capabilities yet and probably never will simply because I have no need for FAX. However, I would guess the image being sent will be of much higher quality than the typical FAXes you have seen in the past. It can even send color FAXes. Of course, all this will also depend upon the image reproduction capabilities of the receiving FAX machine!

    Numerous other capabilities are included in Raven scanners, including the capability to save images via FTP (file transfer protocol) to any computer you can reach and you have a user name and password that works for FTP. The scanner will also send the mages directly to Sharepoint, SMB, and other technologies available in many corporate offices. Again, I did not test these capabilities as I have no use for them.

    A free Raven Cloud subscription is included for UNLIMITED secure cloud storage. Yes, UNLIMITED storage! It not only stores scanned items produced by the Raven scanner but you can also store PDF, JPEG, or TIFF documents up to 30 megabytes in size that originated elsewhere. However, Raven Cloud is limited to storing only those image documents; you cannot import word processing documents, spreadsheets, or your genealogy database from some other computer. Still, the Raven Cloud will store tens of thousands, (maybe hundreds of thousands or even more) of JPEG, TIFF, or PDF files.

    All scanned documents produced by the Raven document scanners will produce searchable PDFs with OCR capabilities. It will scan at 200, 300, 400, or 600 dpi.

    Since the Raven scanner does not need to connect directly to a computer, the digitized images can be used with almost any computer available today. Simply save your scanned documents to a cloud service, to email, to a flashdrive, or to some similar service. Then you can later retrieve the scanned images into almost any computer: Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, Linux, Android, iPad, or even to your smartphone! I really appreciate this capability as I use several computers running different operating systems. I would hate to be tied to only one computer that is kept at home when I might be traveling to distant locations.

    Speaking of travel, the Raven scanner I purchased weighs 9.26 pounds (4.2 kilograms) and is 12.44 by 8.15 by 7.01 inches (31.6 by 20.7 by 17.8 centimeters). It obviously won't fit into a pocket but is still light enough to easily be carried to a relative’s house, to the office, or to a local library or archive. (Always ask the librarian or archivist for permission before scanning anything!) I already have a gym bag that is perfect for carrying this scanner along with its power cord, a flash drive or two, and even a few dozen documents to be digitized. I suspect it will also fit nicely into a bowling ball bag.

    The Raven scanner handles paper documents up to 9.5 inches (24 centimeters) wide. The advertised specifications claim the paper can be as long as 14 inches but I had no trouble with longer documents, including very long grocery store receipts printed on narrow paper that was 3 or 4 feet long. I don’t know what the longest possible length can be. All I can say is that it easily handled every receipt that I could find around the house, even receipts from a CVS drug store! (You KNOW how long those receipts can be!) The scanner will easily digitize paper invoices, all sorts of business documents, business cards, handwritten notes, drawings, ID cards, business cards, grandchildren's artistic drawings, and more.

    NOTE: Use of plastic cards, embossed credit cards, drivers licenses, ID cards, insurance cards, medicare cards, or any membership card can be accomplished, but do not feed them into the Automated Document Feeder in the same manner that you use for paper documents. The plastic cards are too thick to travel through the scanner. Instead, refer to the owners manual to learn how to manually open the scanner, remove a "pad module," and then manually feed plastic cards into the scanner one at a time.

    Scanned pages can be edited after scanning by tapping the page thumbnail edit icon on the scanner’s control panel, then selecting your edit options such as rotating or cropping. You can also delete pages or insert new pages as well. Choose “Save” when done. Once a document is saved in the cloud or in a flashdrive (or both), you can find a plethora of programs for your computer that will edit, fold, spindle, and mutilate PDF files as you wish.

    The included Artificial Intelligence-powered OCR (optical character recognition) software automatically turns your documents into searchable PDF files, making it easy to to find the document you are looking for. Every printed document you scan will be OCR’ed automatically but don’t plan on doing that with handwritten documents.

    I found it easy to display the scanned PDF files on any computer, select the entire page or part of the page (using Control-A, Control-C on most systems or Command-A, Command-C on Macintosh systems), than pasting the text into a word processing or other program. This copy-and-paste has to be done from a computer, however. You cannot do that with the scanner alone.

    If you store thousands of scanned documents in the Raven Cloud, you can easily search later for any words or phrases inside any document. The entire process of finding and retrieving any file shouldn’t require more than a few seconds, even if you have saved thousands of documents in the Raven Cloud.

    The Raven scanners allow you to save documents to two or more locations simultaneously. For instance, it is possible to save documents to Raven Cloud, to DropBox, to an email address, and to Evernote simultaneously with one touch of the SCAN icon. Regardless of where I want to send my scans, I always add the Raven Cloud to the list to make sure I have a backup copy there. This is sort of the same thing as adding a “bcc:” copy to all my email messages.

    Other cloud services (DropBox, Google Drive, and many others) all have somewhat similar capabilities and can be used with the Raven scanners although the details will vary from one cloud service to another.

    The Raven scanner also includes automatic blank page removal, straightening, rotation and cropping. You also can remove pages that you don't want, and add additional pages after scanning.

    NOTE: There is no printed users manual included in the box with the scanner, However, a rather large and detailed PDF users manual is available online. You can download and even print the manual, if you like. (I won’t print it as I am now enjoying a paperless existence. I read everything on computer screens.) I haven't yet finished reading all of the manual as I am having too much fun scanning! If you would like to read the user’s manual first before making a purchase, you may find it at: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0236/9286/9696/files/Raven_Scanner_Plus_User_Manual_01172020.pdf.

    The Raven Pro Document Scanner is also fast! It will scan both sides of documents at speeds of up to 60 pages per minute. That’s fast! Load the pages, select the options you want (double or single sided, desired resolution, destination, and more), and then press SCAN. Then it is zip-zip-zip as the pages fly through the scanner. (Scanning at higher resolutions will be slower, however.) After the last page goes thorough, there is a delay of a few seconds while the software inside the scanner is obviously performing some functions. The more pages scanned, the longer the delay. Then a status message appears stating that the final image(s) have been delivered to the destination(s) you specified.

    I have not yet experienced a single paper jam, even when some of the paper (such as cash register receipts) was not smooth or wrinkle-free. The advertisements claim the Raven scanners have “Anti-Jam technology” but provide no description of what that means. Whatever the technology used, it has resulted in smooth operation so far.

    I am very impressed with both the set-up process and the ease of scanning documents. Everything was easy to understand, except for the process of digitizing documents sealed in plastic. I zipped through the set-up and then scanned a few dozen documents before I ever bothered to download the users manual. That’s perfect for us males who do not like to read instructions!

    Three Versions of the Raven Scanners

    Raven makes a number of scanners. When deciding what to purchase, I quickly narrowed my choices to two different models of Raven Document Scanners. The two are quite similar to each other, look alike, and apparently run the same internal software. (Yes, these two scanners each contain complete computers built into each scanner. The internal computers run the Android operating system.) However, the two different models do have some significant differences.

    The three different models include the lower-priced Raven Original Document Scanner versus the higher-priced Raven Pro Document Scanner. Yes, the only difference in the names is "Original" versus "Pro." As you might expect, the Pro version probably will appeal more to anyone who anticipates digitizing a lot of documents. Raven lists the Pro version as scanning up to 60 pages per minute (or 6,000 pages per day) but I don’t believe I have the patience to stand or sit in one place and feed 6,000 pages into a scanner during an 8-hour day! In contrast, the lower-priced Raven Original Document Scanner will only scan 17 pages per minute. These speeds are correct for both single-sided and double-sided scanning.

    In addition, there is a third model: the Raven Standard Document Scanner. I haven’t had my hands on that model and, after reading the specifications, I rejected it as not meeting my needs. It appears to be a “dummied down” version of the Raven scanners. It is advertised as being for Windows and Macintosh computers. It appears to require software installation inside the computer and does not support scanning to the cloud as described earlier. It is cheaper however. For details, look at: https://amzn.to/3Ifl4fi.

    Besides speed, the more expensive Raven Pro Document Scanner has numerous improvements over the cheaper Raven scanners:

    The major differences between the Original and the Pro versions include:

    The lower-priced Raven Original Document Scanner will scan up to 17 pages per minute versus 60 pages per minute for the Pro version. That is a major difference if you do a lot of scanning.

    The Raven Original Document Scanner will accept up to 50 sheets of paper in its Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) versus 100 sheets of paper for the Pro version.

    The Raven Original Document Scanner has a 7-inch LCD touchscreen on the front for the operator's use while the Pro version has an 8-inch LCD touchscreen.

    Both versions include two-sided duplex scanning with OCR (Searchable PDF) as well as automatic blank page removal and automatic de-skewing (straightening) of pages that don’t go through the scanner in a perfectly straight line. Both will scan at 200, 300, 400, or 600 dpi.

    The Biggest Downsides of These Scanners

    Nothing is ever perfect and these two scanners are no exception. They both share one big problem: price.

    These are high-end scanners with advanced capabilities not found in simpler scanners. Therefore, the Raven scanners do command premium prices.

    I found the Raven Original Document Scanner available on Amazon for $439.85 (US).

    I then found and eventually purchased the Raven Pro Document Scanner from Amazon for $649.85 (US).

    These prices may vary from time to time as Amazon often changes prices. You also might find Raven scanners available at higher or lower prices from other merchants.

    These prices are high but, when compared to scanners with similar specifications made by other companies, Raven’s prices seem to be close to the competing products. If you narrow your search to scanners that can digitize 10 to perhaps 20 pages per minute and also have built-in automated document feeders varying from a capacity of 10 to perhaps 50 sheets of paper, you will find that most of them retail for $400 or more. Moving up to the higher-speed and higher-capacity scanners finds the prices moving up as well. Scanners that compete with the higher-speed Raven Pro Document Scanner typically cost $600 or more. In addition, most of the competitors’ products at those price ranges do not offer direct-to-cloud scanning (with a few exceptions).

    While all these prices are certainly higher than what I normally budget, a survey of all the sheet-feed scanner products shows the pricing of Raven’s document scanners seems to be in line with all the competitors’ products.

    There is another issue that may or may not be seen as a drawback by potential customers: these two Raven scanners only text documents in PDF file format as well as in popular graphics formats, including JPG, TIFF, and PNG.

    Summation

    You also can watch a rather detailed video review on YouTube at https://youtu.be/uHW5zJcbpg8. The video is good as you can see most of the things I described in the above review. Another scanner review that I like is available at https://youtu.be/wUbX4LKLevY. You can find a number of other videos (of varying quality) about the Raven Pro Document Scanner by starting at: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Raven+Pro+Document+Scanner.

    Once you have received your Raven Pro Document Scanner and before you install it, watch Raven Pro Document Scanner - What You Need To Know with Tech Steve at https://youtu.be/BotpCBIHskc. This last video shows step-by-step instructions on how to set up the scanner and then walks the viewer through all the various commands and capabilities of the device. That’s a lot easier and faster than reading the 38-page manual. I also found the video to be easier to understand than the users manual!

    With an expensive purchase such as this, I would strongly recommend you read the reviews from previous customers at these web sites and anywhere else you can find such reviews before you actually order any sheet-fed scanner. That will help you decide whether or not this scanner is a good “fit” for your needs.

    I swallowed hard and paid for the higher-priced Raven Pro Document Scanner. I plan to digitize hundreds of pages of documents as I digitize my remaining books and the contents of my 4-drawer cabinet full of notes and photocopies I have accumulated in the past 35+ years. I also will occasionally will take it with me on trips, mostly to relatives' homes. I felt the higher speed is worth the higher price. 60 pages per minute versus 17 pages per minute is a rather significant difference, especially if you plan on digitizing thousands of documents. It also allows you to digitize many more documents in the limited time available while in a library or at a relative’s house.

    If you are interested in these scanners and don’t need the higher speed of the Pro version, you may find the cheaper Raven Original Document Scanner is better suited to your needs and to your checkbook.

    Overall, I am delighted with the Raven Pro Document Scanner. It is fast, reliable, produces high-quality images, delivers the scanned images to a wide variety of places, is super easy to set up and operate, and does not require an attached computer.

    I have been leading a paperless existence for several years now and the Raven Pro Document Scanner simply allows me to do the same thing faster and easier than ever before. I especially like the free Raven Cloud used to store an UNLIMITED number of documents and then being able to easily search and retrieve any document I need within seconds.

    While the Raven scanners are expensive, I also believe that you get what you pay for. I expect this to be my primary, heavy-duty scanner for many years. A few years ago, similar scanners with the same capabilities cost $1,000 or more; often much, much more.

    My purchase was made from my personal funds with no reimbursement from anyone. Nobody has asked me to write a review of this scanner and I am not compensated for writing this article. I thought about the purchase for a long time, then swallowed hard and dug out my credit card. Two days later, an Amazon driver delivered the scanner to the house. After several days of frequent use, I am very glad I spent the money.

    You can learn more at https://www.raven.com/pages/raven-scanner and at https://amzn.to/33KHZ3j.


  • 19 Jan 2022 6:40 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement written by FamilySearch:

    Star of Music, Theater, Film, and Television Says People Live on through Their Music 

    BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA and SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—For 3-time Latin Grammy Award winner Diego Torres, music is a universal language that connects people through the generations. The son of legendary Argentine singer and actress Lolita Torres, Diego says music is everything because of its power to recall to mind life’s meaningful experiences. Register for free to see Diego Torres’ keynote performance on the RootsTech 2022 mainstage (March 3–5, 2022).

    “Like a perfume, music makes you think of a person, a story, a disappointment, or an encounter,” he said. “You see that you associate something to a song and when you play that song—it's as if you were there. It's like reliving the moment. The connection is very deep, very deep.”

    In addition to his 3 Latin Grammy awards, Diego has won 10 Gardel awards, a very important and prestigious national award in Argentina, and sold more than 20 million records around the world. But it is the stories of how his music reaches to the hearts of his listeners that gives him the most satisfaction. 

    “I have a cousin who is a medical instrument technician, and she sends me videos from the operating room, for example, of a girl who's about to give birth, and they're listening to my song at full volume. They're singing, and the girl is like, ‘Uh, uh.’ She's singing to [my] song, and [I’m] like, ‘No, it can't be.’”

    For many years Diego has involved members of his extended family as characters in his music videos. In one powerful example, a music video became a family treasure that helped him introduce his 8-year-old daughter Nina to his family members, including some who were deceased, whom she had never met. 

    “So, she sat down with me and started watching the video,” Diego said, “Then, I told her, ‘Do you see when I arrive at the hotel? The concierge who's asleep when I rang the call bell is your grandpa. That's my dad,’ because Nina didn't meet him. ‘Did you see when we were in the room? Well, the person who's on the other side is your mom. Did you see the one who's sitting next to me with a tray? That's aunt Angelica. There's aunt Mariana, that's cousin Angela, and there's your cousin Sol.’"

    Enjoy more of Diego Torres’ musical story by registering for RootsTech 2022 today at RootsTech.org and joining the virtual event March 3–5, 2022! 

  • 19 Jan 2022 7:59 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from FamilySearch:

    During the week of 17 January 2022, FamilySearch added over one million new, free records from Find a Grave Index, plus thousands more from Canada Ontario Tax Assessment Rolls, and expanded country collections for Bolivia, England, France, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sweden, and Venezuela. The United States added more records for Virginia County Marriages 1771–1989.

    Find many more ancestors using the free archives listed below. Millions of new genealogy records are added each week to make your searches easier.

    Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check back next week and, in the meantime, search existing records on FamilySearch. For other exciting genealogy content, peruse over 1,000 free, on-demand sessions from RootsTech Connect 2021.

    Country

    Collection

    Indexed Records

    Digital Images

    Comments

    Bolivia Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996

    148,375

    0

    Expanded collection
    Brazil Brazil, Minas Gerais, Civil Registration, 1879-1949

    4,748

    0

    Expanded collection
    Brazil Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999

    2,016

    0

    Expanded collection
    Canada Canada, Ontario Tax Assessment Rolls, 1834-1899

    568,032

    0

    Expanded collection
    El Salvador El Salvador Catholic Church Records, 1655-1977

    3,815

    0

    Expanded collection
    England England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988

    59,919

    0

    Expanded collection
    England England, Northumberland Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1920

    6,761

    0

    Expanded collection
    France France, Hautes-Alpes, Census, 1856

    15,115

    0

    Expanded collection
    France France, Saône-et-Loire, Parish and Civil Registration, 1530-1892

    592

    0

    Expanded collection
    India India, Madras Diocese Protestant Church Records, 1743-1990

    1,970

    0

    Expanded collection
    Nicaragua Nicaragua, Catholic Church Records, 1740-1960

    69

    0

    Expanded collection
    Other Find A Grave Index

    1,002,096

    0

    Expanded collection
    Panama Panama, Catholic Church Records, 1707-1973

    29

    0

    Expanded collection
    Paraguay Paraguay, Military Records, 1870-1965

    11,476

    0

    Expanded collection
    Peru Peru, Huánuco, Civil Registration, 1888-1998

    24

    0

    Expanded collection
    Samoa Samoa, Vital Records, 1846-1996

    13,227

    0

    Expanded collection
    Sierra Leone Sierra Leone, Civil Births and Deaths, 1802-2016

    43,994

    0

    Expanded collection
    Slovakia Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-1935

    2,388

    0

    Expanded collection
    South Africa South Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers, 1801-2004

    3,914

    0

    Expanded collection
    South Africa South Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Registers (Cape Town Archives), 1660-1970

    7,633

    0

    Expanded collection
    South Africa South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-1976

    5,133

    0

    Expanded collection
    South Africa South Africa, Reformed Church Records, 1856-1988

    5,480

    0

    Expanded collection
    Sweden Sweden, Örebro Church Records, 1613-1918; index 1635-1860

    7,514

    0

    Expanded collection
    Sweden Sweden, Stockholm City Archives, Index to Church Records, 1546-1927

    1,971

    0

    Expanded collection
    United Kingdom England, Lincolnshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1574-1885

    703

    0

    Expanded collection
    United States Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1949

    57

    0

    Expanded collection
    United States New Jersey, Death Index, 1901-1903; 1916-1929

    307

    0

    Expanded collection
    United States Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1989

    19,487

    0

    Expanded collection
    Uruguay Uruguay Civil Registration, 1879-1930

    2,612

    0

    Expanded collection
    Venezuela Venezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-1995

    15,300

    0

    Expanded collection
  • 17 Jan 2022 11:29 AM | Anonymous

    Here is a press release issued by National Geographic:

    National Geographic Explorer Tara Roberts Takes Us on a Personal Journey That Follows Black Scuba Divers Searching for Slave Shipwrecks Around the World

    The Podcast Series Is Accompanied by a Cover Story in the March Issue of National Geographic Magazine and a National Geographic Documentary Special, CLOTILDA: LAST AMERICAN SLAVE SHIP, Premiering Monday, Feb. 7, 10/9c on National Geographic and Available to Stream Next Day on Hulu

    Ahead of Black History Month, National Geographic is launching a powerful new podcast, INTO THE DEPTHS, on Jan. 27, 2022, that uncovers the deep history of the transatlantic slave trade as it follows a group of Black divers who are dedicated to finding and helping to document slave shipwrecks. The podcast series trailer is now available on Apple Podcasts and wherever podcasts are found, as well as at http://natgeo.com/intothedepths. The podcast will also be accompanied by a cover story in the March issue of National Geographic magazine, available online on Feb. 7, and a National Geographic documentary special, CLOTILDA: LAST AMERICAN SLAVE SHIP, premiering Monday, Feb. 7, 10/9c on National Geographic and available to stream next day on Hulu.

    The six-part podcast series, funded in part by the National Geographic Society, highlights the journey of National Geographic Explorer Tara Roberts (@curvypath_tara on Instagram), who quit her job and left her life behind to follow in the footsteps of Diving With a Purpose, a group of Black divers who traverse the globe in search of long-lost slave shipwrecks and the truth of the history that accompanies them. The podcast follows Roberts from Florida to Costa Rica, and from the continent of Africa back to Roberts’ family home in Edenton, North Carolina, where the journey quickly turns personal for her.


    “What I was experiencing was this sense of longing. I think this is a unique thing for African Americans. Where is home for us?” she asks in the fourth episode of the series. The question leads her on this life-changing journey.

    INTO THE DEPTHS is a profound and personal exploration of identity and history as told through the lens of Black scientists and storytellers eager to deepen our understanding of American history,” says Davar Ardalan, executive producer of Audio for National Geographic.

    The podcast, which will drop from Jan. 27 to March 3, features over 40 voices, including underwater divers and archaeologists - descendants of those brought over on the ships, historians, and a variety of experts whom Roberts works with to uncover these stories. Ken Stewart, diver and co-founder of Diving With a Purpose, is featured in the second episode as Roberts dives into the story of the Spanish pirate ship, the Guerrero, which wrecked off the coast of Florida in 1827. Meanwhile, the town of Africatown, Alabama, made up of the direct descendants of Africans brought to America on the slave ship Clotilda, make an appearance in episode six. The journey brings Roberts to a deeply painful and personal crossroads concerning her identity as a Black American as she searches for a sense of belonging. You can listen on Apple Podcasts and wherever podcasts are found.

    “As I got to know the divers, the ships they had found, the stories of those who had been captured, I realized this was a way to come to grips with those 400 years, with this traumatic history [of much of the Black population in the United States],” Roberts explains in the opening of the first episode. “Through these ships, we could bring lost stories up from the depths and back into collective memory.”

    The podcast series was produced and directed by Francesca Panetta with National Geographic’s Carla Wills as executive editor and producers Mike Olcott and Bianca Martin.

    “As a Black journalist, it’s been uplifting to edit and produce this podcast together with Black women storytellers who have brought tremendous insights and creativity to this groundbreaking series, including Tara as well as National Geographic Explorer and poet Alyea Pierce, sound designer Alexis Adimora, and producer Bianca Martin,” Wills says.

    National Geographic is also encouraging listeners to listen with their crews and host their own COVID-19-safe listening parties by offering a downloadable listening party toolkit, available at natgeo.com/intothedepths. The toolkit will include an episode guide, discussion guide, social sharing graphic, and more, as well as helpful information regarding how to participate in the conversation online using #intothedepths.

    In addition to the podcast series, Roberts will be featured on the cover of the March issue of National Geographic magazine, which will be published online at natgeo.com/intothedepths on Feb. 7. The feature will profile Roberts’ journey as she travels with the divers to investigate the lost stories of the slave trade – both to expand the historical record and to honor the 1.8 million unsung souls who perished during the middle passage.

    National Geographic will also premiere a documentary special, CLOTILDA: LAST AMERICAN SLAVE SHIP, about the most intact slave shipwreck found to date and the only one for which we know the full story of the voyage, the passengers and their descendants. In July 1860, on a bet, the schooner Clotilda carried 110 kidnapped Africans to slavery in Alabama. The traffickers tried to hide their crime by burning and sinking the ship, but now, for the first time since Clotilda arrived in America, maritime archaeologists enter the wreck. In a dangerous dive, they explore the actual cargo hold and find physical evidence of the crime the slave traders tried so hard to hide. Descendants of the passengers share how their ancestors turned a cruel tragedy into an uplifting story of courage and resilience.

    The special features experts include the following:

      • Dr. Sylviane Diouf, historian and author of “Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America”
      • Dr. Natalie S. Robertson, historian and author of “The Slave Shop Clotilda and the Making of Africatown, USA”
      • Mary Elliott, curator of American slavery, National Museum of African American History and Culture
      • Dr. James Delgado, maritime archaeologist, SEARCH Inc.
      • Stacye Hathorn, Alabama State archaeologist, Alabama Historical Commission
      • Joseph Grinnan, maritime archaeologist/diver, SEARCH, Inc.
      • Kamau Sadiki, lead instructor, Diving With a Purpose

    CLOTILDA: LAST AMERICAN SLAVE SHIP is produced by National Geographic Studios, with producer/director Lisa Feit, senior associate producer Alex Brady, senior lead editor Joe Bridgers, editor Liv Gwynn and executive producer Chad Cohen. Michael Cooke is the director of photography. For National Geographic, Courteney Monroe is president, Content.

  • 17 Jan 2022 11:19 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC):

    The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) this week announced that it will soon begin accepting grant applications for the Community Advancement Packages (CAP) Grant Program, designed to help libraries serving populations of 60,000 or less respond directly to identified community needs in 2022.

    The application window opens Jan. 26, with a deadline of April 1. At least $750,000 is expected to be available for this grant program. Applicants may apply for one or two Community Advancement Packages on the same application form. Each package provides up to $5,000 in reimbursement funds. Total awards will not exceed $10,000. Funding is provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

    CAP Grants will support and advance community development by funding library-sponsored programming and services through the provision of specially targeted packages. These include equipment and tools to support in-person, hybrid, and virtual programming and services clustered around a specific area of need. As relevant, some also include materials and resources for outreach programming that reduces barriers to library spaces and/or provides access to inclusive services and programs beyond the walls of the library, such as retirement facilities, day-care centers, schools, and other community spaces. Packages are divided into four types:

    Programming and Services Packages

    Analog Outreach; Beyond the Library; Teen Services; Trauma-Informed Library

    Technology Packages

    Assistive Technology and Digital Inclusion; Audio-Visual

    Special Collection Development Packages

    Inclusive Library Collection; Mental Health Collection; Multilingual Collection; Collection Development

    Critical Needs Packages

    Administrative Support; COVID-19; Partners for Health; Crisis Response

    Full descriptions of each package can be found on the TSLAC Cap Grants website at www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn/cap.

    TSLAC will host an informational webinar, Introducing TSLAC Community Advancement Packages, from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. on Weds., Jan. 26. Library grants applicants are encouraged to register to attend at www.tsl.texas.gov/CAPwebinar2022

    Accredited Texas public libraries, local public library systems, members of the TexShare Library Consortium, and non-profit organizations that are applying on behalf of accredited libraries and/or TexShare members are encouraged to apply through the TSLAC Grants Management System by the deadline of April 1, 2022. Full eligibility and other criteria, as well as application instructions, can be found at www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn/cap or by emailing the TSLAC Grants team at grants@tsl.texas.gov.


  • 17 Jan 2022 11:13 AM | Anonymous

    Three years ago, Anika Chabra lost her mother. But she lost something else, too. “With her passing, many of the stories and traditions that were unique to her and our family vanished in an instant,” Chabra says. “That made us realize that we can't wait until tomorrow to start capturing and reflecting on our family’s stories.”

    Chabra wanted to create a platform to help people document and celebrate their culture, and turned to a co-worker in the advertising industry, Jennifer Siripong Mandel, to do it with her. The pair’s brainchild: The Root & Seed Conversation Tool web app (at https://www.rootandseed.com/conversation-tool) helps people celebrate their family traditions, culture and roots. “We recognized that we all have family stories that are worth knowing, and traditions that we should record, but not many of us do it (or not), at least until it’s (almost) too late,” Siripong Mandel says. They knew that getting elders excited about the process was key. “Since elders are such a critical part of family stories, we focused on their needs. We learned that asking them to download and install mobile apps was too big a barrier, so our tool is a web app,” Siripong Mandel says. “All you need is a smartphone and the internet to make it work. The interface and functionality is super-simple, by design.”

    You can learn more in an article by Briony Smith published in the Hamilton Spectator web site at: https://bit.ly/3nxNWYw.

    The Root & Seed Conversation Tool is available at: https://www.rootandseed.com/conversation-tool.


  • 17 Jan 2022 11:05 AM | Anonymous

    Cape Fear (North Carolina) Museum of History and Science’s photographic collection is now available online to anybody for viewing.

    Cape Fear Museum's collection of more than 57,000 objects, paper documents, and photographs sheds light on the history, science, and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. This online catalog provides access to the Museum's photograph collection, consisting of more than 15,000 images. This catalog will continue to grow as the Museum collects additional photographs.

    The museum worked with Rediscovery Software to create a database of the museum’s photo collection of over 15,000 images. After 20 months of work, the photos also feature tags and ways to search them via various filters.

    You can access the collection at https://capefearmuseum.rediscoverysoftware.com/Mhomed.aspx?dir=Permanent%20Collection.


  • 14 Jan 2022 2:36 PM | Anonymous

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

    NOTE: This article contains several personal opinions.

    I travel a lot and I spend a lot of time with officers and members of many genealogy societies. Most everywhere I go, I hear stories of societies that are shrinking in size or perhaps a few stories of societies that are struggling to maintain what they already have. Even amongst all this "doom and gloom," I do hear a few rare stories of genealogy societies that are thriving and growing larger every year. Not only are they attracting more members, these few societies are also offering more and more services to their members with each passing year.

    Why do the majority of societies flounder while a handful succeed?

    I hear all sorts of "reasons" why societies are shrinking these days. I suspect they are not true reasons but are merely "shoot from the hip" excuses. Common excuses include "it's competition from the Internet" or "it's the economy" or "people just aren't interested anymore."

    To be sure, competition and economic difficulties and even lack of interest exist everywhere. If society members and officers do nothing to offset these factors, inertia sets in and societies suffer. However, these factors affect all societies. Why is it that some societies thrive and even expand while others shrink at the same time?

    I suspect the answer is a combination of many factors. However, some of the causes and perhaps even a few of the solutions become obvious when we look at history. Our ancestors witnessed and perhaps participated in similar problems years ago in other industries. Indeed, in recent years, even those of us alive today have seen similar declines and occasional reversals in a number of business endeavors. Perhaps the answer to future growth of your genealogy society may be found by first looking back at the history of similar problems in other fields of endeavor.

    Here is the first question to ponder: What happened to all the railroads in North America?

    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: https://eogn.com/(*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/12262624.

    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 https://eogn.com/page-18077



  • 14 Jan 2022 1:26 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    1921 Census of England & Wales Official Reports

    Discover more about England and Wales in 1921. Explore this unique collection of official census reports including county reports, the full 1921 Census national report as well as the Dictionary of Occupational Terms. This full collection is brought together for the first time on Findmypast.

    After every census, the details given by every household to the enumerators are gathered to create the national statistics that go on to inform government and health policies. For decades and even centuries, those reports are used by a variety of individuals and organisations to gain a better understanding of the country at that time. This was the same after the 1921 Census of England and Wales. All the census schedules were gathered by the enumerators and sent to the census headquarters at the converted Lambeth Workhouse. For six years, census clerks calculated not only the national statistics but also the statistical reports for each county.

    Every county report and the national report will include reports on the following details:

      • Population
      • Population growth
      • Marital Status
      • Orphanhood
      • Education
      • Occupations (both male and female)
      • Industries
      • Dependency
      • Birthplaces
      • Movement of population
      • Widows

    Occupation books

    Along with the statistical reports we have published the books related to the classification and definition of all occupational terms in the 1921 Census. The Dictionary of Occupational Terms was first published in 1927. Every occupation was classified and allocated a code. Those codes appear in green ink on the census schedules. Usually, the code is three digits from 000 to 999 and then followed by a slash and an extra digit. You can link every code to an occupation definition.

    The additional digit indicate the following -

    /0 = not employed - in education etc

    /1 = not employed - unpaid domestic duties etc

    /2 = employer - not working at home

    /3 = employer - working at home

    /4 = self-employed (own account) - not working at home

    /5 = self-employed (own account) - working at home

    /6 = employed - not working at home

    /7 = employed - working at home

    /8 = unemployed

    In addition to the Dictionary of Occupational Terms, we have provided the Classification of Occupations. A publication that includes detailed lists of the classification of not just the occupations but also the industries. For example, Industry order XXVII was for Persons Engaged in Personal Service and then within that order, the occupational code for Domestic Servants was 900. It also includes instructions to the clerks employed in classifying occupations.

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