Latest News Articles

Everyone can read the (free) Standard Edition articles. However,  the Plus Edition articles are accessible only to (paid) Plus Edition subscribers. 

Read the (+) Plus Edition articles (a Plus Edition username and password is required).

Please limit your comments about the information in the article. If you would like to start a new message, perhaps about a different topic, you are invited to use the Discussion Forum for that purpose.

Do you have comments, questions, corrections or additional information to any of these articles? Before posting your words, you must first sign up for a (FREE) Standard Edition subscription or a (paid) Plus Edition subscription at:

If you do not see a Plus Sign that is labeled "Add comment," you will need to upgrade to either a (FREE) Standard Edition or a (paid) Plus Edition subscription at:

Click here to upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription.

Click here to find the Latest Plus Edition articles(A Plus Edition user name and password is required to view these Plus Edition articles.)

Complete Newsletters (including all Plus Edition and Free Edition articles published within a week) may be found if you click here. (A Plus Edition user name and password is required to view these complete newsletters.)

Do you have an RSS newsreader? You may prefer to use this newsletter's RSS feed at: and then you will need to copy-and-paste that address into your favorite RSS newsreader.

Latest Standard Edition Articles

  • 18 Jun 2021 4:58 PM | Anonymous

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

    One of my favorite computer tools is Evernote. I've been using it for more than 10 years now and love it. Sometimes I wonder how I ever got along before Evernote. While Evernote has many uses, I use it primarily as a digital filing system. In fact, I find that it is a perfect complement to almost any genealogy program, often compensating for the shortcomings of whatever genealogy program you might use to track your research.

    Admittedly, all this didn't happen overnight. When first installed, Evernote presents the new user with a blank screen. That user typically says, "Now what?" This article will hopefully answer that question.

    First, let’s clarify what this program can do for you. Simply put, Evernote helps you organize and retrieve information. Remember when you purchased your first computer? The salesperson told you it would organize and retrieve everything from your kitchen recipes to your income tax records. That salesperson probably didn't mislead you; he simply was talking about the future. The hardware has been available for years and has been sold in computer stores everywhere. What has been missing until recently was the easy-to-use software: Evernote.

    To be sure, dozens of database programs and other retrieval programs have been available for years. Most database programs, including your present genealogy program, have been hobbled with rigid design requirements: data has to be entered in certain formats or the programs were designed for very specific purposes. Evernote represents a new method of databases: those with free-form data. You can store and easily retrieve text notes, sound bytes, images, full-motion video, recipes, income tax records, insurance documents, saved web pages, and more. Even your recipes and your genealogy data can be stored. They can both be stored in the same database or in separate databases, as you prefer. Even better, if you own two or more computers, such as a desktop and a laptop system or a computer at the office plus a second at home, Evernote makes sure that all your data is available simultaneously on all your computers. In fact, it even makes the same information available on Windows, Macintosh, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Blackberry, and Windows Phone devices, in addition to any web browser on a borrowed computer or at the library or in an Internet cafe. Your latest data is available at all times on all devices.

    Evernote also makes backups of your data in the cloud for security purposes. It even contains an option to encrypt sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, to keep your information private. Anyone will have great difficulty obtaining your data from Evernote; but, if they succeed and if you have encrypted the information, even retrieving that data will be useless. All the hacker will see is a random amount of scrambled letters and numbers. However, since you know the encryption key, you can immediately convert those scrambled letters and numbers into clear text whenever you wish.

    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/10664904. 

    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

  • 18 Jun 2021 4:37 PM | Anonymous

    I was planning to write a Plus Edition article aimed at genealogy societies who wish to create a new web site or to improve an existing web site. While researching the article, I discovered that a similar article has already been written. The other article isn't specific to genealogy societies but the information in A Nonprofit's Guide to Building Simple, Low-Cost Websites is about 99% the same as I would have written in my article for genealogy societies.

    Since most of the information I planned to offer is already available elsewhere, I will suggest any interested reader should first read the A Nonprofit's Guide to Building Simple, Low-Cost Websites article by Chris Peters at I will then offer the following comments to supplement the original article with the other 1% of the information that I wanted to write about.

    First, I strongly support Chris Peters’ suggestion to use blogging software as the society's primary web-development tool. Most of today's blogging software offers a variety of options so that any genealogy society should be able to tailor any of the leading blogging products in a manner to meet the needs of the society. To be sure, there are more sophisticated products available, such as Joomla, Drupal, and others. However, if your society has the expertise to install, configure, and maintain one of these sophisticated products, you probably aren't reading this article on "How to get started!" If you are new to creating web sites, I suggest you start small and simple. You can always expand later.

    WordPress is the most popular blogging platform available today. The company claims that WordPress now “powers” over a fifth of the Internet. There are other blog hosting services as well. However, I don't know of any service that is better than WordPress and its offer of free hosting. Additional options are available for WordPress for modest fees, however.

    I have been using WordPress for several years and find it has been a "no brainer." It is easy to use and has proven to be very reliable. The couple of times I have had questions or needed something fixed, I sent an email message. The questions have always been answered and the problems resolved within a very few hours, including nights and weekends.

    The only thing that is complicated about WordPress is the fact that there are two versions: a hosted blogging service at and software available at that you can download yourself and install on your own web server.

    For a society that is just learning about web sites and available technologies, I strongly suggest you ignore any thoughts about creating your own web server and installing software on it. You can do that later after you gain experience, define the reasons for doing it yourself, and identify the webmaster(s) who are qualified to do the work. Until then, take the simpler approach: have someone else do all the technical work while you focus on adding your society's information. On, you can rapidly create a new blog entirely for free, with a reasonable amount of customization and very little technical knowledge required.

    For the remainder of this article, I will ignore the idea of creating your own web server and installing software on it.

    NOTE: Never have only one webmaster. People sometimes lose interest or get sick or otherwise become unavailable at inopportune times for a variety of reasons. If your only webmaster suddenly becomes unavailable, who will step in and take over? Have a backup.

    First, go to and read about the various options available. Also look at all the other "how to" articles listed in the column to the left at You will find a lot of good information there.

    Pick your choices and then create a free account.

    You can select any of 200+ free themes with even more themes available for a fee.

    You may want to add a custom .com, .org, .net, .info, .biz, .co, .me, .mobi, or .tv address, such as or whatever is appropriate for your society's name. Doing so will cost $99 US per year. To be sure, you can simply use a free subdomain of, such as: However, doing so looks less professional and also makes your web site a bit harder to find. Of course, you can always build your site first free of charge by using the subdomain and then upgrade to your society's own domain name at a later date.

    Purchasing the society's own domain name also suggests the new online publication will be more permanent.

    For frequently updated information, such as announcements of meeting dates, announcements of new society publications, field trips, and more, simply post the information in a blog post. You want visitors to the web site to see "What's New" when they first visit the home page.

    Less time-sensitive information, such as transcribed census records, images of old homesteads, back issues of the society newsletter, FAQs (Frequently-Asked Questions), and more can be added to static pages in the same web site. You may want to add calendars of future events and more. WordPress itself has many options and then you can find hundreds of additional "plug-ins" (WordPress calls them "widgets") created by third-party producers that will add even more functionality to the site. You can find information about many WordPress widgets at

    One word of caution: don't overdo it with widgets. Some web sites look as if the webmaster tried to add one of everything. I have seen web sites that are an eyesore. Simpler is often better. I suggest you start out with a simple design and then cautiously add new things as you gain experience.

    Make sure the sponsoring organization is prominently mentioned. A public profile isn’t mandatory, but most societies will want to have contact information prominently posted. If the society owns a library or has a designated place for meetings, make sure that is quickly visible to every new visitor to the site. To edit your public profile in, click your Gravatar in the top right to head to Me → My Profile. When you comment on sites across, this is the information associated with your account.

    Need an online chat room added to the web site? See for information about 11 different available chat rooms that can be installed within seconds.

    Eventually, the society probably will want to sell online ebooks of the society's publications or possibly sell tickets to upcoming seminars and conferences. You can find a variety of tools that will simplify such sales. Lots of web sites that will sell ebooks and e-pamphlets may be found by starting at For admission to conferences and events, almost everyone uses EventBrite at

    Adding an effective web site will enhance your society's image, attract new members, and broadcast the society's products and services to the entire world. It will be far more effective at publicizing the society's efforts than any printed brochures.

    The time to get started is NOW!

  • 18 Jun 2021 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    More than 16,000 photos, videos, and historical documents detailing the history of Indianapolis Parks are now available to view on The Indianapolis Public Library’s website.

    The Indy Parks and Recreation Digital Collection is the newest addition to the Library's Digital Indy archive, which includes collections of documents, images, videos, and recordings that highlight local history. Digital Indy’s content may be printed or downloaded free for personal use, study, or research.

    The new Indy Parks collection includes photographs of 86 parks and golf courses, videos of historic events such as the U. S. Women's Olympic Swimming Trials at Broad Ripple Park, and board meeting minutes ranging from 1908-2017. Community events, performances, and groundbreaking ceremonies make up the bulk of the collection, offering a unique visual record of Indianapolis’s past.

    You can learn more at

  • 18 Jun 2021 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a message sent by the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee and republished here with permission:

    Court and Tribunal Judgements moved to a new website and the storage and publication of judgements will now be managed by the (UK) National Archives.

    The website will host thousands of court judgments, saving time and money for lawyers, judges, academics, journalists, students and members of the public who require them for vital case preparation or research purposes.

    Judicial Review rulings, European case law, commercial judgments and many more cases of legal significance from the High Court, Upper Tier Tribunal, and the Court of Appeal will be readily available to anyone from April 2022.

    At present, there are multiple sources for court judgment publications, of which the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) is the largest. The long-term aim is for all of them to migrate onto The National Archives website which has a track record in hosting digital files safely and securely.

    BAILII will continue to provide free access to judgments, for other jurisdictions, including Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth as well as England and Wales, continuing their great service to date.

    The UK National Archives website is:  Be mindful that the records will not be available until April 2022.

    To read more see:


    Jan Meisels Allen
    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


  • 18 Jun 2021 9:41 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist is launching the complete census for Scotland (1841-1901) at The Family History Show Online on Saturday 19th June. For the first time you can use their renowned brick wall busting search tools on these records. You can find a person using keywords such as occupation, birthplace, year of birth and more, search for a family using their forenames or search for an address.

    George Street, Stranraer

    This release adds over 24 million records from the Census of Scotland 1841-1901 to their already substantial data offering. TheGenealogist provides an extreemly strong package for family historians researching British Isles ancestors with its wide range of data that also includes the advantage of its unique Land Records (Tithe and Land Tax) that give ownership and occupiers down to property level.

    TheGenealogist has been extremely busy in the last year expanding its coverage for its Diamond subscribers to cover all areas of the British Isles.

    Releases in the last nine months have seen 14.5 million individuals from all the Anglican Parish Records for Wales added. A further 34 million records for England and Wales came with the release of the 1939 Register records. There were 100,000 Irish Will records and now, this week, TheGenealogist is pleased to announce that these have been joined by over 24 million records from the Census of Scotland 1841-1901.

    This is the first time that TheGenealogist has released such a large number of Scottish records and it now means that this important data for the most northerly part of the British Isles can now be searched using the comprehensive search features for which TheGenealogist is renowned. Appreciated by family historians researching their ancestors for the ease of use of its powerful Master Search, TheGenealogist gives researchers the ability to select phonetic, exact or standard search filters.

    The comprehensive search facilities that are already available when using TheGenealogist’s English and Welsh census records will make this Scottish census release a welcome addition to the family history researcher’s toolkit.

    Read TheGenealogist’s feature article: Scottish census records list the homes of Scots from city dwellers to lighthouse keepers.

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, which puts 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!

  • 18 Jun 2021 9:33 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Leading family history website has just published over 800,000 newly digitised crime records in association with The National Archives. Findmypast’s Crime, Prisons and Punishment collection is now the largest searchable archive of British crime records available anywhere online, containing over 6.6 million records.

    The new additions span the years 1784-1939 and include registers of inmates from infamous prisons including Pentonville, Wormwood Scrubs, Millbank and Newgate as well as governor’s journals, trial records, lists of visitors, men in solitary confinement, baptisms at women’s prisons and more.

    The full list of series added in this latest update includes;

      • Pentonville (prison registers, minute books)
      • Gibraltar Prison (visitor's book, journal of proceedings) 
      • Chatham Prison, Kent (Register of Prisons)
      • Portsmouth Prison (Index of working parties)
      • Wormwood (Index of working parties, register of prisoners under separate confinement)
      • Wormwood Scrubs (index of working parties)
      • Millbank Prison (book of questions)
      • Newgate (list of prisoners; chaplain, surgeons and sheriff visits)
      • Bedford Gaol (governor's journal)
      • Lindsey Gaol (Visiting committee)
      • Liverpool Gaol (calendar of trials and quarter sessions)
      • Reading Gaol (entry book of pardons of prisoners, visiting justices)
      • Lancaster Gaol (Register of Debtors and Plaintiffs)
      • Oxford Gail (Gaoler's journal)

    Also included are over 1000 new mugshots taken at Pentonville in 1876. To explore original mugshots, search the MEPO 6, PCOM 2 and PCOM 4 series

    Containing all manner of documents from a variety of Government departments, including the Home Office, Prison Commission, Metropolitan Police, Central Criminal Court (also known as the Old Bailey), treasury and the Admiralty, the collection covers criminal cases, goals, hulks, prisons, criminal calendars and more.

    Spanning 165 years of the British Justice system, they reveal many ordinary and extraordinary stories of criminals, victims and law enforcers from the Georgian highway robber, the Victorian murderer and the Edwardian thief, to the common rural poacher, unemployed petty food thief and the early trade unionist.  

    Researchers will find physical descriptions, photographs, whether their ancestor was executed or transported, details of their offence, sentencing, imprisonment and official correspondence about their case.

    The full Crime, Prisons and Punishment 1770 – 1935 collection includes 22 series from the National Archives at Kew, recording the intimate details of millions of victims and villains, beginning with judges' recommendations for or against pardons, petitions through which criminals and their families could offer mitigating circumstances and grounds for mercy, and later, licenses containing everything from previous convictions to the state of a prisoner's health.

    These latest additions have also been added to Findmypast’s browsable collection, allowing you to delve through the original documents page-by-page.

    Westminster Parish Records

    Unearthed using this week’s new crime records, Findmypast have also added hundreds of baptisms and burials that took place in Westminster Penitentiary to their collection of Westminster Parish records.

    An 1823 burial register from Westminster Penitentiary. View the full record.

    Most of the new prison baptisms are for adult inmates, although some do record the details of children born to female prisoners or staff.


    Two new publications join the Findmypast Archive this week along with substantial updates to six existing titles. Online for the first time are:

    While thousands of pages have been added to:

  • 17 Jun 2021 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    23andMe has now combined its business with VG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: VGAC), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Virgin Group. Here is the announcement:

    SUNNYVALE, Calif. and NEW YORK, June 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 23andMe, Inc., a leading consumer genetics and research company, and VG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: VGAC), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Virgin Group, today announced the completion of their previously announced business combination. The transaction, which was approved on June 10, 2021 by VG Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders, uniquely positions 23andMe to revolutionize personalized healthcare and therapeutic development through human genetics. The combined company is called 23andMe Holding Co. and will be traded on The Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) beginning on June 17, 2021 under the new ticker symbol “ME” for its Class A Common shares and “MEUSW” for its public warrants.

    23andMe raised approximately $592 million in gross proceeds to fuel growth and expansion in the company’s consumer health and therapeutics businesses. Capital from the transaction will also be used to invest in the Company's unique genetic and phenotypic database to help accelerate personalized healthcare at scale. CEO Anne Wojcicki and 23andMe’s management team will continue to lead the combined company.

    “23andMe was founded to revolutionize healthcare by empowering people with direct access to their DNA,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe. “Over 11 million people have joined 23andMe and are part of the community that is using genetics to transform how we diagnose, treat and prevent human disease. As we enter the next phase as a public company, we have the opportunity to expand our impact by bringing personalized healthcare directly to everyone.”

    “As one of the earliest investors in 23andMe, I’ve long believed in its vision to transform the future of healthcare,” said Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder. “I’ve seen first-hand the transformative impact 23andMe has in paving the way for many more people to be proactive about their health and wellbeing. There are huge growth opportunities ahead, and with Anne and the rest of the incredible management team at the helm, I’m confident they will continue to innovate and disrupt the industry, creating a lasting impact on many people’s lives. We look forward to continuing our partnership as 23andMe begins life as a public company.”

    As part of the business combination, Evan Lovell, Chief Investment Officer of Virgin Group and Chief Financial Officer of VG Acquisition Corp., and Peter Taylor, President of ECMC Foundation, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to educational attainment for low-income students and former Chief Financial Officer for the University of California system, will join the 23andMe Board of Directors (the “Board”). Lovell and Taylor will join existing directors Roelof Botha, Patrick Chung, Richard Scheller, Neal Mohan and Anne Wojcicki on the Board.

    Citi served as lead financial advisor, capital markets advisor, and placement agent to 23andMe. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel to 23andMe.

    Credit Suisse acted as lead financial advisor, capital markets advisor and placement agent to VG Acquisition Corp. LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal counsel to VG Acquisition Corp.

    About 23andMe
    23andMe, Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is a leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, 23andMe's mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has pioneered direct access to genetic information as the only company with multiple Food and Drug Administration authorizations for genetic health risk reports. 23andMe has created the world's largest crowdsourced platform for genetic research, with 80% of its customers electing to participate. The 23andMe research platform has generated more than 180 publications on the genetic underpinnings of a wide range of diseases, conditions, and traits. The platform also powers the 23andMe therapeutics group, currently pursuing drug discovery programs rooted in human genetics across a spectrum of disease areas, including oncology, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to other therapeutic areas. More information is available at

    About VG Acquisition Corp
    VG Acquisition Corp. was formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, amalgamation, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. The management team includes Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Company, a renowned global entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group; Josh Bayliss, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and director, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Virgin Group and is responsible for the Virgin Group’s strategic development, licensing of the brand globally and management of direct investments on behalf of the Virgin Group in various companies around the world; and Evan Lovell, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and director, who is the Chief Investment Officer of the Virgin Group and is responsible for managing the Virgin Group’s investment team and portfolio in North America. More information is available at

    Forward-Looking Statements
    This communication contains certain “forward-looking statements” including, without limitation, statements regarding the listing of shares of the combined company on Nasdaq, the use of proceeds, and the expansion of 23andMe’s businesses. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “would,” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. The forward-looking statements contained herein are based on 23andMe’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects, but there can be no assurance that these will be as anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the control of 23andMe), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, 23andMe does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

  • 16 Jun 2021 4:48 PM | Anonymous

    The following review was written by Book Review Editor Bobbi King:

    Blood-Tied: The First Esme Quentin Mystery

    By Wendy Percival. Ebook. 2021.

    We got lots of work done during those quarantine days, right? What luck! We were mandated to stay home. No need for making excuses for not joining friends and not going out for lunch. We stayed home without guilt and spent whole afternoons reaching out to new DNA matches. We got caught up reviewing those persistent fluttering hints, and we finally polished off that nagging stack of family group sheets brought home from the family reunion. Congratulations, work well done.

    Now it’s time to escape the summer heat and dip into some easier and more enjoyable reading.

    Blood-Tied is the first of four fiction novels with Esme Quentin as the central character. She bears an unknown past that gradually unravels, and she pursues genealogy. She lives in an English cottage in an English village in the Shropshire hills, widowed, when she receives a frantic phone call that summons her to the bedside of her comatose sister, brutalized by an unknown attacker. Esme and her niece Gemma set out to discover what happened, and along the way Esme must reckon with discomfiting family secrets.

    The book is a pleasurable read and an entertaining escape into someone else’s genealogy. It offers some leisure breaks from our own work, or time out from the heat, or some relaxation time sitting outside after a long day’s drive in the RV.

    The book is available at the author’s website, where you may add to your enjoyment by downloading a free prequel to the Esme Quentin series, Legacy of Guilt. The author has three other stories and two novellas available for download.

    Blood-Tied: The First Esme Quentin Mystery is available from the author at as well as from Amazon in paperback at and in a Kindle edition at:

  • 16 Jun 2021 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Southern California Genealogical Society:

    SCGS Library Re-Opens on
    Tuesday, July 6, 2021
    We are so excited to open our doors and 
    welcome back our members, non-members, 
    family historians, and all genealogists into our library!

    The days our library will be open  are as follows:
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 

    the first 2 Sundays of each month, 
    the 3rd and 4th Saturdays of each month. 
    The hours: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. 
    We may expand these hours and days later on in the year, 
    depending on the needs of our members 
    and the availability of our beloved volunteers
     who staff the library. 
    Special thanks to all of our members, family historians, 
    and genealogists who waited so patiently 
    for the library to open again. 
    Some of our interest groups and other programs will return to in-person meetings at the library, while others will remain online. All groups and programs will return to the library when the  County of Los Angeles gives us the green light to do so. 

    Southern California Genealogy Society and Family History Society

    417 Irving Dr. 
    Burbank, CA 91304

  • 16 Jun 2021 5:53 AM | Anonymous

    It’s a myth in American culture that every family has a coat of arms or a “family crest” or at least one exists for every last name. However, coats of arms are granted to individuals, not surnames.

    In other words, if you don't have documentation that says thay you (and you alone) are authorized to display a “family crest,” you are not authorized to show it.

    Details can be found in a YouTube video produced by Genealogy Magazine, entitled "Episode 10: The Family Crest," available at:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software