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  • 12 Feb 2024 8:37 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    With the release of four new record sets, we're taking a trip to South Africa this week.

    Church records and membership lists document over 350 years of South Africa's history and people in our latest release. With records from the Cape, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, and Transvaal regions, is there a South African branch of your family tree waiting to be explored? Plus, we've added over 102,000 pages to our newspaper archive.

    South Africa Baptisms

    Spanning 1660-2011, over 785,000 new baptism records offer essential information about your South African family heritage. Some entries include a digitized scan of the original record, which is always worth checking for extra details, like godparents' names. Where available, the original record is likely to be written in Dutch or Afrikaans.

    South Africa Marriages

    Did your ancestor tie the knot in South Africa? Find out in over 314,000 new church marriage records.

    The records reveal the names and birth years of both spouses, as well as when and where their wedding took place.

    South Africa Burials

    Trace South African ancestors from cradle to grave with the help of over 4,800 new burial records.

    From its indigenous people to European colonization and apartheid, South Africa's history is as diverse as it is tumultuous. Could these records help you trace a family connection there?

    South Africa Church Membership Lists

    Detail-rich records reveal when your ancestor joined the church, along with important biographical facts. The 141,000-strong collection includes membership lists from Cape and Free State.

    Hot off the press: Over 102,000 more newspaper pages

    We've added Morecambe Visitor to our newspaper archive this week, alongside updates to 24 other papers. Here's a full rundown of what's new:

    New title:

    • Morecambe Visitor covering 1900, 1917, 1952-1954, 1956-1962, 1964-1968 and 1987

    Updated titles:

    • Arbroath Herald from 1988
    • Banbury Guardian from 1929, 1931-1945 and 1964-1977
    • Batley News from 1991
    • Bellshill Speaker from 1987
    • Biggleswade Chronicle from 1967-1969
    • Bo’ness Journal and Linlithgow Advertiser from 1889
    • Chorley Guardian from 1988
    • Crawley and District Observer from 1985
    • Derry Journal from 1996
    • Eastbourne Gazette from 1927
    • Guernsey Evening Press and Star from 1917
    • Hemel Hempstead Gazette and West Herts Advertiser from 1869
    • Kilsyth Chronicle from 1986-1987
    • Londonderry Sentinel from 1967
    • Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle from 1986
    • Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail from 1981-1982
    • Motherwell Times from 1974
    • Northampton Chronicle and Echo from 1987
    • Prescot Reporter from 1873
    • Retford, Worksop, Isle of Axholme and Gainsborough News from 1973
    • Rugby Advertiser from 1980-1981, 1985 and 1989
    • Wigan Observer and District Advertiser from 1986
    • Worcester Journal from 1917
    • Worthing Herald from 1983 and 1985

    Filter by title and date when searching to focus on the updates that interest you most.

    We released even more baptism, marriage and burial records last week. If you missed them, you can catch up on what was featured here.

  • 12 Feb 2024 8:17 AM | Anonymous

    There's a treasure trove in the basement of the Asheville Citizen Times building. It's what Gene Hyde, Head of Special Collections at UNC Asheville's Ramsey Library, calls the "Holy Grail" of Asheville's archival history — thousands of photographs dating back to the paper's 1870s origins.

    But for nearly a decade, the archive, often called the "photo morgue," in newspaper-speak, has languished. Banks of filing cabinets sat gathering dust, subject only to use by reporters and particularly persistent researchers.

    That's about to change. The Citizen Times is donating its photo archives, dated 1870-2000, to UNCA's Ramsey Library, where it will become the university's newest and largest photo collection.

    "Photographs really can do something to bring history alive that nothing else can," Hyde said. "And no institution is better suited to more thoroughly and comprehensively document what goes on in a community than a daily paper with photographers. That’s what you do, every single day."

    For the first time, the paper's archives will become a public resource. The collection will be organized per archival standards, honoring "original order," Hyde said, put in a temperature controlled space in the university archives, with a guide created to navigate the collection. Eventually, it will be digitized.

    It's the "unprecedented, comprehensive, photographic history" of Asheville, Hyde said. Daily newspapers keep the record of their regions. As the collection tells the sprawling history of the Citizen Times, so too it tells a story of the city.

    “The broad community implications of what the archive means is so historically important," said Paul Bonesteel, a local documentary filmmaker.

    You can read more in an article by Sarah Honosky published in the citizen-times.com web site at: http://tinyurl.com/mr72t5kx

  • 9 Feb 2024 2:54 PM | Anonymous

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

    A newsletter reader recently posted a comment about some articles I have written explaining why the cloud is good for genealogy and for many other purposes. The newsletter reader protested, "You constantly tout that cloud storage is much more secure than local device based storage. Yet, we constantly hear about celebrities, companies and national and state governments whose files have been hacked and published."

    Yes, indeed, there have been major security problems with government and corporate data servers. However, these problems usually do not occur on cloud computing services. The problems all arose (to my knowledge) from hackers accessing old-fashioned servers in data centers, not from true cloud services that use encryption. The cloud is not the same thing as a server in a data center. 

    To be sure, cloud computing is not radically different from single servers. Instead, the thing generally called "the cloud" is an outgrowth, or advancement, of single servers. Many enhancements have been added to the concept of single servers, and improved security is one of the enhancements that is usually included. In most cases, a cloud-based service provides much higher security than does a single server or a group of servers in a data center. Improved security isn't automatic; the company providing the cloud services must add security to the service. However, given the large number of servers involved in a cloud service, improved security is almost always included.

    The US government apparently still uses many servers that are not cloud-based and are vulnerable to attacks from hackers around the world. Many corporations do the same. Use of cloud technology isn’t a perfect solution but it is far better than running single servers or even groups of servers in a non-cloud environment, the way that all companies and government agencies did a few years ago.

    Explanation

    Cloud computing means that, instead of using the power of your desktop computer, or the power of a server somewhere inside your company's network, the computing power is provided for you as a service, often provided by another company, and is accessed over the Internet, usually in a completely seamless way. Exactly where the hardware and software is located and how it all works doesn't matter to you, the user—it's just somewhere in the nebulous "cloud" that the Internet represents.

    NOTE: Many large corporations, the US military, and some others create their own privately-owned clouds. However, individuals and most small to medium-sized businesses contract cloud services from third-party vendors, such as from Amazon Web Services, Apple, Cisco, Citrix, IBM, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace, Salesforce.com, Verizon, and other cloud service providers.

    Cloud computing is a buzzword that means different things to different people. For some, it's just another way of describing IT (information technology) "outsourcing"; others use it to mean any computing service provided over the Internet or a similar network; and some define it as any bought-in computer service you use that sits outside your firewall. However we define cloud computing, the normal definition of "the cloud" is data processing services provided by banks of servers, often located in multiple data centers around the world.

    In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. However, that simplistic explanation does not provide any clues concerning the increased security available with most cloud-based services.

    One major difference is the cloud is not a single server in a remote data center. Just because you access a service online on the Internet does not mean you are accessing a cloud service. If your employer owns one mail server and it is installed in the company's data center, that mail service is not running in the cloud. In contrast, Google's Gmail service runs on thousands of mail servers that are located in a dozen or more data centers around the world. The various data centers constantly back up the information in the other data centers. If any one server or even if one entire data center goes offline for some reason, the backup servers located in the other data centers around the world will take over and continue normal operation within seconds. The user sees little or no interruption.

    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://www.eogn.com/(*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/13313300

    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

  • 9 Feb 2024 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

    Over 140,000 names from War Memorial records released, plus thousands of Image Archive pictures pinned onto georeferenced maps

    TheGenealogist has just added 142,861 new individuals to their War Memorial collection, bringing the total number of fully searchable War Memorial Records on TheGenealogist to over 1,688,000.

    These fully searchable records have been transcribed with their location plotted on Map Explorer™ so you can find the names of ancestors who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    Lt. William Bruce VC on the war memorial in Lerwick, Shetland Islands

    These War Memorials, from a variety of places in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, can be used to find ancestors and reveal organisations, churches, towns and communities that they had belonged to. 

    • War Memorials provide us with links to a community, village, town or area

    • Workplace memorials reveal where ancestors may have worked in civilian life 

    • Organisation monuments and plaques honour their lost members

    • Past pupils and staff of schools or universities reveal connections with the institution

    • Names in a church or other places of worship tell us about religious affiliation

    TheGenealogist has transcribed the details from these memorials and then pinned their location to maps on their powerful Map Explorer™; this allows researchers to see where the places connected to their ancestors are.

    Also released this week are thousands of extra historical pictures added to TheGenealogist’s Image Archive. These often fascinating and atmospheric drawings and historic photographs have also been geolocated with pins on the Map Explorer™. Having found an ancestor’s address in a record such as the census and seeing it located on the map, researchers can then view pictures of the neighbourhood as it had once looked when our ancestors lived there. 


    Central YMCA Canteen, Tottenham Court Road

    TheGenealogist has boosted this resource with the addition of some great locational views, including over one thousand beautiful engravings for places of interest in the capital from Old and New London by Edward Walford. There are now over 12,000 geolocated images viewable on Map Explorer™.

    Save Over 50% on our Diamond Personal Premium Package

    To celebrate this latest release, TheGenealogist is offering its Diamond Personal Premium Package for only £98.95 a saving over 50%.

    This offer includes a lifetime discount! Your subscription will renew at the same discounted price every year you stay with us.

    To find out more and claim the offer, visit: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/MGBWMI224

    This offer expires at the end of 10th May 2024

    TheGenealogist has used this resource in a new case study, Looking at the Past Through Our Ancestors’ Eyes, which you can read here:https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2024/looking-at-the-past-through-our-ancestors-eyes-6949/

    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 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!

  • 9 Feb 2024 8:10 AM | Anonymous

    There is an interesting article by Leah Hendry published in the CBC News web site that may be of interest to many genealogists:

    As more police forces crack decades-old cold cases with the help of genetic genealogy, Montreal police have yet to have a major breakthrough on a case of their own.

    The lack of progress — at least publicly — is raising concerns about the Montreal police department's priorities at a time when both the Sûreté du Québec and neighbouring Longueuil police have used new forensic methods to solve cases long thought to be unsolvable.

    Last spring, Longueuil police solved the 1975 murder of Sharron Prior and in 2022, Quebec provincial police tracked down the man suspected of killing Guylaine Potvin, a 19-year-old slain in Saguenay nearly 24 years ago. He is now on trial for first-degree murder and sexual assault.

    Both cases analyzed Y chromosome DNA — which traces paternal ancestry — to help match an unknown profile with a potential family name. Armed with new leads, police then used traditional policing techniques to zero in on a suspect.

    Stéphane Luce runs a non-profit organization that raises awareness of unresolved missing persons and murder cases in Quebec. He says it's about time Montreal had a win.

    The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) created a cold case unit in the spring of 2019 which now has eight investigators.

    "With this new technology it could be a good thing for the investigators to put their nose in a file and find out if there's DNA and good DNA to be worked on," said Luce, president of Meurtres et Disparitions Irrésolus du Québec.

    Stéphane Gauthier was kidnapped on his way to meet his mother and her boyfriend in Montreal's Plateau neighbourhood on Dec. 21, 1982. (Meurtres et Disparitions Irrésolus du Québec)

    Luce's organization has pushed the SPVM to re-examine several unsolved murders, including that of 12-year-old Stéphane Gauthier, who was abducted and murdered just before Christmas in 1982.

    Luce believes Gauthier's case is a perfect candidate for advanced genetic testing because unidentified DNA was found at the crime scene.

    You can read the full article at: http://tinyurl.com/bdp2ehak

  • 8 Feb 2024 5:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity named the University of South Florida (USF) and the Florida Holocaust Museum as the permanent home of the papers and artifacts of Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who became an esteemed humanitarian, writer and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

    Wiesel’s physical and digitized papers, including correspondence with world leaders, unfinished manuscripts, photographs and video and audio recordings will be housed and catalogued at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library’s Special Collections Department on the USF St. Petersburg campus. Artifacts from his collection, including his Nobel Prize, the contents of his personal office and library, and a variety of artworks will become a cornerstone of the permanent exhibition at the museum, which is located in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. 

    The announcement was made at the Florida Holocaust Museum’s annual “To Life” Gala on February 3.

    With this trove of historical documents and research materials, USF plans to create the Elie Wiesel Center for Humanitarian Ethics. The new center will feature an historical archive and searchable database, allowing researchers and educators to delve deeper into the Holocaust and apply Wiesel’s teachings to contemporary genocides, crimes against humanity and assaults on human rights. 

    “We are honored to work together with the Florida Holocaust Museum to create a hub of humanitarian activity and education worthy of such an extraordinary man,” said Rhea Law, president of the University of South Florida. “Together, we will build a center of intellectual activity that reflects Wiesel’s own life and learning. We are grateful for the trust placed in our university and stand ready to turn this vision into a reality.”

    You can read more in an artilce by Matthew Cimitile published in the stpetersburg.usf.edu web site at: http://tinyurl.com/rf68xb2a.

  • 8 Feb 2024 5:50 PM | Anonymous

    Users can easily access books via mobile app using their library card

    The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, is pleased to announce the statewide roll out of the Palace Project, a new digital library service that offers free ebooks and audiobooks in one easy-to-use app. Through the Palace app, library users have access to over 20,000 items curated by the Digital Public Library of America and the New Jersey State Library. The app contains a vast collection of ebooks and professionally narrated audiobooks, ranging from classic novels to the latest bestsellers. Additionally, the State Library has curated its own digital lending collection within the app – the New Jersey Topics Shelf. This growing collection of digital books features New Jersey biographies, inventions, events, photographs and much more.

    Users can access the Palace app on their preferred mobile device via download from the Apple or Google Play stores. The process for signing up is completely self-contained within the app, and will require an email address and authentication through geolocation (anywhere in NJ). Books can be borrowed and read on your mobile device, and downloaded for use when you are not connected to the internet.

    “This new e-reading experience allows users to access thousands of free books in one simple app. It offers unique content, including many titles without holds, waits or checkouts, making it perfect for use in the classroom, for book clubs and community events, and for those who just love to read,” said Michael Maziekien, Shared Services Project Specialist, New Jersey State Library. “The Palace mobile app transforms the way our patrons engage with our collections, making it easier than ever to explore, learn and connect.”

    Learn more about the Palace Project, and how to access the Palace app, at: www.njstatelib.org/thepalaceproject.

  • 8 Feb 2024 8:52 AM | Anonymous

    Congress wants to know what agencies know about UFOs, and, under a new law, agencies have to tell them.

    New records management provisions included in the recently enacted 2024 defense policy bill require federal agencies to organize and tag records related to what the government calls "unidentified anomalous phenomena" or UAP. 

    Agencies have until the end of the current fiscal year to "review, identify, and organize each UAP record in its custody for disclosure to the public and transmission to the National Archives," according to a memo sent Tuesday afternoon from Laurence Brewer, chief records officer for the U.S. Government, and Chris Naylor, NARA's executive for research services, to federal agency records managers.

    A new, central collection of UAP records will be housed at the National Archives and Records Administration.

    The law passed without measures sought by backers, notably Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that would have set up a presidential commission with the authority to declassify records pertaining to UAP.

    "For decades, many Americans have been fascinated by objects mysterious and unexplained and it’s long past time they get some answers,” Schumer said last July when the bipartisan legislation was introduced. "The American public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence, and unexplainable phenomena.

    You can read more at:  https://www.nextgov.com/digital-government/2024/02/national-archives-tees-new-rules-ufo-records/393982/

  • 8 Feb 2024 8:29 AM | Anonymous

    NOTE: The following article does not contain any genealogy-related information.  However, it is a heart-warming story that I think should be shared.

    At 10 years old, Harper Borders has dealt with Joubert Syndrome her whole life, leading to developmental delays, mobility issues, and blindness. Harper goes to Marshall Pediatric Therapy to see Chloe Isaacs, who had an idea to get Harper a posterior walker

    "I had had this idea for a long time for Harper just to give her some type of independence,” Isaacs said. “With the use of her sight cane, it made it really hard for her to use any type of walker, but she really needed that stability, too. There was nothing out there on the market, like I searched and I searched. Nothing came up.”

    Chloe heard about a nonprofit in Cincinnati called "May We Help You". This group enlisted a local robotics team from Ross High School to build the kind of walker Harper needed.

    “The students just took off with the idea and created, well, they put together, kind of built their own walker,” Harper’s mother, Sarah Borders, said. “They put sensors on the walker that can detect objects two feet in front of Harper when she's using the walker.”

    “They started this project in June,” Isaacs said. “And right before Christmas, we got the phone call that it was ready, and everybody was so excited; it was like a little Christmas miracle.”

    A few of the students traveled down to Lexington on January 8 to deliver the walker to Harper. The walker uses the sensors and vibrates when an object stands in the way of Harper, so she can maneuver around whatever lies in front of her.

    “It was all that we could do not to cry and just hold back tears,” Isaacs said. “I mean, it was a dream come true; I have searched and searched, trying to find something like this out there. To hear that the boys were just so passionate about it too, I think, also helped the project come to life because when you throw that passion and that love in the air, it's just differen different.”

    You can read more in an article by Caleb Barnes published in the http://tinyurl.com/3kmew3j3.

  • 7 Feb 2024 3:09 PM | Anonymous

    More and more African Americans are chiseling their way through the infamous 1870 "brick wall" and digging up their ancestral roots. Today, at least 19 states have chapters of the Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society (AAHGS).

    "If you have those enslaved ancestors, as most folks who identify as African Americans — whose families have been here for awhile — what is known is that we were not treated as people. We were treated as possessions," explained Bessida Cauthorne-White, who is the president of the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society

    1870, five years after emancipation, is the first time formerly enslaved African Americans were listed on the federal census. Before that, the names of slaves were scattered throughout historical documents listed amongst the property of their enslavers.

    For 30 years, Newport News genealogist and genealogy educator Renate Yarborough Sanders has combed through thousands of documents connecting the dots between back then and now. 

    "1870, where people refer to it as this brick wall... instead of seeing it as this brick wall, I see it as the place where we can determine which road we go down with our research. Are we looking for someone who was likely enslaved or are we looking for someone who we have found to be a free person of color?"

    Newly digitized records living on the internet have made the genealogical journey much more accessible. 

    You can read more in an article by Janet Roach published in the 13newsnow web site at: http://tinyurl.com/39aa594j.

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