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  • 13 Jun 2022 11:35 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Syracuse University Libraries:

    WASHINGTON —Syracuse University Libraries expands its Preservation Steward agreement with the U. S. Government Publishing Office (GPO). Under this agreement, libraries pledge to permanently preserve print collections of historical Government publications produced by GPO. Syracuse University Libraries is the first Preservation Steward to agree to preserve new volumes as they are published, as well as the historical volumes.

    Under this agreement, Syracuse University Libraries will preserve the following.

      • United States Code from Volume 1 of the 1940 edition through all new volumes as they become available
      • Statutes at Large from Volume 1 (first through fifth Congresses) through all the new volumes as they become available

    “GPO congratulates Syracuse University Libraries on being trailblazers in Government information and becoming the first library to preserve new volumes of Government information as they are published,” said Superintendent of Documents Laurie Hall. “This is a big step forward in providing access to Government information today and into the future and realizing GPO’s vision of an America Informed.”

    “Syracuse University Libraries has been part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) for more than 140 years, nearly as long as the University’s founding. We were designated as an FDLP on February 7, 1878 by U.S. Congressional Representative Frank Hiscock. Our Government documents collection includes all types of publications in all formats, and we select 70% of all available documents,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian.

    “This is a tremendous resource both to our campus scholars as well as the greater Central New York community. Extending the program to include new volumes of Government information as they are published provides the most timely resources to our faculty, students and community members,” said John Olson, Librarian for Government and Geo-Information at Syracuse University.

    Through the FDLP, GPO works with approximately 1,100 libraries nationwide to provide public access to authentic, published information from all three branches of the Federal Government in print and electronic formats. The program's antecedents can be traced back to the act of Congress dated December 27, 1813 (3 Stat. 140). The act provided that one copy of the journals and documents of the Senate and House be sent to each university and college and each historical society in each state. GPO has operated the FDLP since 1895.

    GPO is the Federal Government’s resource for publishing trusted information for the Federal Government to the American people. The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through and partnerships with approximately 1,100 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Initiative. For more information, please visit

  • 13 Jun 2022 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    Whether you have dark or light eyes depends almost entirely on genetics. Eyes come in a wide range of colors, some more common than others. These colors include blue, gray, green, hazel, and all the shades of brown—some so dark they almost look black. The more melanin that you have in your eyes (specifically in the stroma, one of the layers in the colored part of your eye known as the iris), the darker your eyes are.

    Eye color used to be thought of as a pretty simple trait. Brown-eyed parents, it was thought, could have kids with any eye color—although they usually had brown-eyed kids. And blue-eyed parents, it was believed, could only have children with blue eyes. In this overly simple scenario, the brown eye color was "dominant" over the blue eye color.

    It turns out that in real life, the inheritance of eye color is a bit more complicated. More often than this simple model in which brown eyes are dominant might predict, blue-eyed parents can have brown-eyed kids. This is because more than one gene is involved in the eye color trait.

    Scientists have identified four well-studied markers linked to eye color in the TYR, OCA2, and HERC2 genes, and near the SLC24A4 gene. Your pattern at these genetic markers is what determines your eye color result. Some people have markers linked only to light eye color. Some have markers tied only to dark color. And others have a combination of both light eye color markers and dark eye color markers.

    The most rare eye color in people around the world is green. The most common color is brown.

    It's likely that originally all humans had brown eyes. Around 6,000 to 10,000 years ago a genetic mutation popped up in the Black Sea region that likely led to blue eyes. Actually, if you have blue eyes that does not indicate your having blue eye pigment. Instead, it indicates the front part of your eye has hardly any pigment at all. blue eyes indicates the lack of pigment, not the dominance of any particular color.

    It's likely that originally all humans had brown eyes. Around 6,000 to 10,000 years ago a genetic mutation popped up in the Black Sea region that likely led to blue eyes. In fact, all blue-eyed people have are believed to have a common ancestor: a European from the Black Sea region who probably lived between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago.

    Blue eyes are most common in Northern Europe. A relatively high percentage (27%) of blue-eyed people in America is partially thanks to Americans with Eastern European, Irish, and British ancestry.

    Today, brown is still the most widespread eye color in the world. Light brown eyes are most common in the Americas, West Asia, and Europe, while dark brown eyes are most frequently found in Africa, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.

    Green eyes are most frequently found in Northern and Central Europe. Although green eyes can occur naturally in all races, about 16% of people with green-eyed people are of Germanic and Celtic ancestry. To be more precise, a staggering 86% of people from Ireland and Scotland have green eyes.

    Less than 1% of the world’s population has gray eyes, which makes them one of the least common eye colors. The shades of gray eyes may vary from greenish to smokey blue to hazel-brown, which often depends on the environment, especially lighting. They are most common in Northern and Eastern Europe.

  • 10 Jun 2022 3:07 PM | Anonymous

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

    Do you have any old cassette tape recordings or even earlier reel-to-reel recordings that you would like to convert to digital audio files or to CD disks for preservation and possibly to share with others? That is a good idea for several reasons.

    The tapes you have on hand might contain recordings made at family dinners or birthday parties or family reunions. Then again, perhaps you have all the classic Perry Como recordings that you would like to listen to once in a while. Whatever the recording, you need to convert every tape to modern media now, while you still can. With today's technology, "modern media" usually means a CD disk or a flash drive or an audio file saved on a hard disk.

    Why should you do that now? First of all, tape players are becoming difficult to purchase. Have you looked in a local department store or electronics store for a cassette player? A few stores still sell them, but cassette players are rapidly disappearing. Reel-to-reel tape players are even harder to find.

    Sure, you may still have a suitable player in the closet that will play your old tapes; but, what happens if that player malfunctions? Can you find a replacement?

    A second reason is that tapes, especially cassette tapes, have a habit of destroying themselves. If that tape is the only copy available of a valuable family recording, the loss is insurmountable. "Gee, I should have copied that when it was available."

    Even if you still have a tape player, keep in mind that the more you play a tape, the more its signal is degraded. Do you hear a hissing sound in the background when you play a tape? If so, that indicates that the tape is already degraded. Tapes are especially susceptible to heat, dirt, and magnetism, so get them converted while you can, before it degrades even more.

    Finally, tape recordings of family events should be shared with the relatives. Duplicating tapes is a bit difficult, but duplicating CDs and digital audio files and then distributing them is very easy to do.

    The process of copying tapes to modern media is surprisingly easy. In fact, some of the best software for that purpose is available free of charge. Hardware is also available, either in your closet or available for purchase at reasonable prices.

    What you need

    At the risk of oversimplifying, I will point out that all you need is a computer with a sound card (which includes almost every computer built within the past ten years), a suitable tape player, a cable to connect the two, and some audio recording software.

    All modern Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers contain a built-in sound card. The computer you are using to read this article probably has what you need. Tablet computers often have everything needed, although not always. For the remainder of this article, I will assume that you are using a Windows or Macintosh desktop or laptop computer.

    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:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/12812626.

    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

  • 10 Jun 2022 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    Encrypted chat app Telegram recently released the following announcement:

    Since the day Telegram was launched almost 9 years ago, we've been giving our users more features and resources than any other messaging app. A free app as powerful as Telegram was revolutionary in 2013 and is still unprecedented in 2022. To this day, our limits on chats, media and file uploads are unrivaled. And yet, many have been asking us to raise the current limits even further, so we looked into ways to let you go beyond what is already crazy. The problem here is that if we were to remove all limits for everyone, our server and traffic costs would have become unmanageable, so the party would be unfortunately over for everyone.

    After giving it some thought, we realized that the only way to let our most demanding fans get more while keeping our existing features free is to make those raised limits a paid option. That's why this month we will introduce Telegram Premium, a subscription plan that allows anyone to acquire additional features, speed and resources. It will also allow users to support Telegram and join the club that receives new features first. Not to worry though: all existing features remain free, and there are plenty of new free features coming. Moreover, even users who don't subscribe to Telegram Premium will be able to enjoy some of its benefits: for example, they will be able to view extra-large documents, media and stickers sent by Premium users, or tap to add Premium reactions already pinned to a message to react in the same way. While our experiments with privacy-focused ads in public one-to-many channels have been more successful than we expected, I believe that Telegram should be funded primarily by its users, not advertisers. This way our users will always remain our main priority.

    My suggestion:

    If you are a Telegram user (or even if you are not a Telegram user), and if you don't want to pay fees in order to exchange encrypted text messages, take a look at the always-free app, called Signal, at

    All text messages sent with Signal are encrypted. The primary disadvantage with Signal is that both the sender and the receiver of text messages must be using Signal.

    I have been using Signal for a couple of years now and love it. Best of all, your encrypted text messages on Signal cannot be monitored by Facebook (now called Meta), Google, Yahoo, the FBI, the CIA, Homeland Security, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or any other hackers.

  • 10 Jun 2022 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    Millions of homes recorded in the 1901 census have now been plotted on historical georeferenced maps by TheGenealogist. Family history or house historians can now explore the areas where their ancestors lived and see how far it was for them to walk to the shops, visit their local pub, travel to work or take a train to another city or town.

    Following on from their recent releases of the 1939 Register and the 1911 Census records linked to contemporary and modern map layers on TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™, now the same innovative features have been applied to the 1901 Census of England and Wales.

    With this release Diamond subscribers are able to pinpoint where their ancestors’ properties were at the time of the census count and so metaphorically walk the streets from the comfort of their home. Alternatively, users may access TheGenealogist on their mobile phone to physically discover the neighbourhood while on the move.

    This key tool can make the lives of the family or house historian easier than ever to research census records for buildings and the newly linked 1901 census complements the rich georeferenced Lloyd George Domesday Survey and Tithe records that are already available on TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™ as well as the 1939 Register and the 1911 Census records recently added to this website.

    The majority of the London area and other towns and cities are viewable down to the property level, while other parts of the country will identify down to the parish, road or street.

    With this new release, viewing a household record from the 1901 census will now show a map, locating your ancestors' house. Clicking on this map loads the location in Map Explorer™, enabling you to explore the area and see the records of neighbouring properties.

    See TheGenealogist’s article about the 1901 Census on MapExplorer™: The Clog Dancers house and the paths they would have trodden.

    Find out more at

    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!

  • 10 Jun 2022 9:36 AM | Anonymous

    I learned in school that our ancestors came to the New World in the 1600s in search of religious freedom. While I still believe that to be true, I now believe the full story is a bit more complex than the reasons given in grammar school textbooks.

    Religious freedom was a motivation for Puritans, Pilgrims, Quakers, and others, but thousands of other immigrants were members of the established church in England and had no interest in other theologies. What motivated them?

    Perhaps the simplest answer is that living in England was very difficult at the time. The upper classes lived comfortably, but the majority of citizens had difficulty eking out even a mere subsistence. Starvation was not unknown, and even those who did eat regularly had diets that most of us today would reject. Without refrigeration or modern canning techniques, even those with some financial security had monotonous diets in the winter and early spring. The thought of eating turnip soup three times a day for weeks on end seems appalling today but was common in the 1600s. The Irish more likely ate potato soup.

    NOTE: I will focus on the citizens of the British Isles simply because information about them is more readily available in English, even in Olde English. I am not as familiar with living conditions in Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, and other European countries but I imagine those people suffered from similar hardships.

    Fish and meat were available but often at prices that were beyond the reach of most city dwellers. Their country cousins perhaps had a slightly better diet of meats and vegetables that they produced themselves, but country dwellers typically lacked other comforts of life. In the winter, there was no available fresh produce, regardless of where you lived. The only vegetables that were available in the winter were the root crops that could be stored for months: potatoes, turnips, carrots, etc. Cabbage, while not a root crop, also stores well and was frequently available.

    Perhaps today we do not appreciate the appalling conditions under which our ancestors lived. Imagine, if you will, a city on a warm summer day in which there were no sewers and no source of fresh water. The primary mode of transportation was by horse-drawn carriages and wagons, so horse manure was everywhere in the streets. Even so, the odor from human wastes must have been far stronger as chamberpots were typically dumped into the streets and alleyways. Most residents did not bathe regularly, did not wash their hair, and never brushed their teeth.

    Of course, modern medical care was unknown, and medical ignorance was universal. These people did not know why they breathed air, how the digestive system worked, why brushing one's teeth was important, or why clean water was desirable.

    Most of England's water was heavily polluted, and there was relatively little in the way of forests as they had been cut years earlier for timber and for firewood.

    Without proper food preservation techniques, we can assume that most of the food our ancestors consumed had a high germ count. Without clean living quarters or clean water, we can also assume that most of our malnourished ancestors were ill a high percentage of the time. It's a wonder that any of them survived and had descendants!

    NOTE: If you have ever seen an historical movie, you might think you saw life as it existed “in the old country.” You would be wrong. First of all, the local modern-day board of health would immediately close down any movie set that is truly authentic. Next, present-day actors and actresses would refuse to work under such conditions! Did you notice that the modern-day actors and actresses all seem to be wearing CLEAN clothes? And, when they smiled,  they actually had teeth?

    Speculators and adventurers of the time wildly advertised living conditions in the New World as a Utopian experience. While the claims were partially true, those with a financial interest in attracting new immigrants were quick to embellish the facts. After all, there were no "truth in advertising" laws at the time.

    We now know that many of the early settlers starved to death or died of diseases linked to malnutrition. Yet the reports sent back to England spoke glowingly of fertile fields and forests that were full of game for the hunter. The seas were described as full of fish available to anyone.

    William Wood in his 1634 book, New England Prospect, wrote:

    Unlike England's undrinkable water, New England's is "so good many preferred it to 'beer, whey, and buttermilk and those that drink it be as healthful, fresh and lusty as they that drink beer.'"

    Winters, he claimed, were milder than in England, summers hotter but "tolerable because of the cooling effect of fresh winds." Oh, and food was plentiful: "deer, available for the taking; raccoon, as good as lamb; grey squirrels, almost as big as an English rabbit; turkeys, up to 40 pounds."

    Hmmm, have you ever eaten raccoon? To the semi-starved residents of England, it must have sounded like a feast.

    You can read the first few pages of a modern-day reprint of William Wood's book, New England Prospect, on Google Books at:

    I have focused on the people and the lifestyles of England simply for convenience; those records and books are easy to read for modern-day English speakers. However, the lifestyles and the motivations were similar in Ireland, Scotland, and all throughout Europe.

    In fact, some of our ancestors made the difficult trip over the Atlantic for religious freedom. However, probably a much larger number made the trip for adventure and for greater financial opportunities. After all, life was none too pleasant in "the Old Country." Many believed that life would be much better in the New World.

    Whatever their reasons, I am certainly glad that they made the trip!

  • 10 Jun 2022 8:21 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Findmypast adds new transcribed birth, marriage and death newspaper notices for England

    England, Newspaper Birth Notices

    Over 200,000 make up this collection of transcribed newspaper birth notices, making it easier than ever to find your ancestors in black and white. Spanning across England, they have a particular focus on Lincolnshire, and also include snippets from the newspapers themselves. In addition to the birth, it’s often possible to read about parents, godparents, addresses and more.

    England, Newspaper Marriage Notices

    Go beyond traditional marriage records with these marriage notices. You might uncover wedding guests, gifts, and even details of what the happy couple wore. There are nearly 700,000 records in this collection with additional snippets from the original newspapers.

    England, Newspaper Death Notices

    The largest new collection this week contains over 1.8 million death notices. It may be possible to discover short obituaries, funeral details, occupations and residences. 


    Over 100,000 pages have been added to the newspaper archive this week, with one new title and 26 updated titles.

    New titles:

    Updated titles:

  • 9 Jun 2022 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is somewhat off-topic. That is, it does not concern anything to do with genealogy, DNA, or related topics normally found in this newsletter. However, it is related to a topic often mentioned here: forensic genealogy.

    The missing infant daughter of a man and woman whose bodies were discovered in Texas in 1981 has been found "alive and well" more than four decades later, according to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

    The bodies of Florida couple Tina Gail Linn Clouse and Harold Dean Clouse Jr. were found in a wooded area in Houston, the office said in a news release. But the couple -- "the apparent victims of a homicide" -- were not positively identified until 2021 through the work of forensic genealogists with Identifinders International.

    For the Linn and Clouse families -- who last heard from the couple in 1980 and spent decades searching for answers about the Clouses' whereabouts -- one question has been left unanswered: Where was their infant daughter Holly? According to authorities, the girl was not found with the couple's remains.

    But after more than 40 years, Holly -- now 42 -- has been found alive and well, per the AG's office. However, she has no memory of the events that occurred when she was an infant.

    You can read more in an article written by Rebekah Riess and Dakin Andone and published in the CNN web site at:

  • 9 Jun 2022 3:11 PM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article concerns the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, not the American network which is also commonly referred to as "ABC":

    Archivists and librarians at the ABC are in shock after management unveiled plans to abolish 58 positions and make journalists research and archive their own stories.

    Reporters and producers working on breaking news, news programs and daily programs like 7.30 will have to search for archival material themselves and will be expected to log the metadata of any new material into the system.

    The research library staff will continue to help investigative programs like Four Corners and Background Briefing, but will not be available to assist daily news or ABC co-productions.

    “After thoroughly assessing and considering all aspects of this organisational change, we have determined that work being performed by some of our ABC archives team members is no longer required, has evolved, or can be combined with other roles that fit into our plans for the future state of ABC archives,” staff were told.

    You can read more at:

  • 9 Jun 2022 3:05 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the University of South Florida:

    A new online exhibit launched today by the University of South Florida's La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archives of the Americas will provide the public with unprecedented insight into the daily lives and relationships of the multi-ethnic population that comprised St. Augustine, Fla. from the 16th-19th centuries. The Florida city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the continental U.S.

    Titled “Lost Voices from America’s Oldest Parish Archive, 1594-1821,” the initiative is making St. Augustine’s diocesan archives digitally accessible for the first time to a global audience. The project is being launched in two phases. Phase I, published on June 6th, includes more than 4,000 pages of ecclesiastical records from America’s first parish. Phase II will be published later this year.

    “These records give us biographical sketches and can help us track individuals through time," said J. Michael Francis, the Hough Family Endowed Chair of Florida Studies at USF’s St. Petersburg campus and the executive director of the La Florida project. “When combined with other records from Florida and Spain, we can flesh out stories of individuals that hardly ever appear in historical records, such as women and Native Americans and free and enslaved African Americans.”

    The “Lost Voices” initiative is featured on the newly-revamped La Florida digital platform. The platform allows teachers, students, scholars and the general public to research pivotal moments in early Florida history, conduct detailed searches on individuals and demographic changes and create custom infographics from the entire collection.

    The collection presently includes baptism, marriage, death and burial records, including the 1801 burial record of Georges Biassou, an early leader of the Haitian Revolution who moved with his family to St. Augustine. Other documents identify the names of dozens of runaway slaves who risked their lives to escape English plantations in search of freedom in Spanish Florida.

    Some of the individuals recorded in the parish records were buried in St. Augustine’s historic Tolomato Cemetery. “Lost Voices” will enable historians to connect individuals in the cemetery to their actual historical records and start geotagging events in those individuals’ lives. The people documented in these records will also be added to a searchable population database, allowing users to link individuals to the original records in which they appear.

    The "Lost Voices" exhibit has translated and digitized around around 9,000 handwritten documents from America’s first parish.

    "Lost Voices" is translating and digitizing thousands of handwritten documents from America’s first parish, providing rare insight into early Florida history.

    "This project breaks new ground by giving a voice to those who have been traditionally overlooked by the history books," said Martin Tadlock, regional chancellor of USF's St. Petersburg campus. "By enhancing those complex and nuanced stories through the use of updated technology, Dr. Francis and his team have given all of us a new and fuller understanding of Florida's rich colonial history."

    Piecing together clues about the little-known lives of Native Americans, free and enslaved Africans, and conquistadors from Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ireland and elsewhere, La Florida brings early Florida’s diverse population to life through short videos, interactive maps and a searchable population database. It weaves together the lives and events of more than three centuries of Florida’s colonial past, from Juan Ponce de León’s 1513 expedition to 1821, when Florida became a U.S. territory.

    La Florida’s fundamental goal is to combine cutting-edge technology with rigorous historical research in order to share Florida’s colonial history in compelling and innovative ways,” said Rachel Sanderson, associate director of La Florida.

    Francis and his team work with academic and cultural institutions to comb through thousands of pages of original documents in archives in Spain, Italy, England, Mexico and the United States. The three-year “Lost Voices” initiative built on the expertise of paleographers, historians and translators to transcribe and translate the entire collection of St. Augustine’s colonial ecclesiastical documents, which are largely written in Spanish, along with hundreds of Latin documents.

    “History books are never written about common people that were the fabric of a community, but that in a sense is what the La Florida project is doing for St. Augustine,” said Father Tom Willis, the pastor of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, America’s first parish. “I was born and raised here in St. Augustine, so I have always had a loving connection with St. Augustine history. And what Michael and this project have done is brought it alive in so many wonderful ways.”

    The “Lost Voices” project was supported by a $250,000 major initiatives grant from the National Archives and the generous support of the Hough Family Foundation, the Lastinger Family Foundation and the Frank E. Duckwall Foundation.

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