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  • 11 Jun 2021 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    New English Catholic sacramental registers are available to search this Findmypast Friday along with new WW1 medical records and historical newspapers.

    England Roman Catholic Parish Registers

    Thousands of additional Catholic baptism, marriage, burial and congregational records have been added to the Catholic Heritage Archive. These exclusive resources cover the dioceses of Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Westminster. This includes:

    Each record includes both a transcript and scanned colour image of the original document. The amount of information listed in these detail rich records may vary, although most results will reveal key biographical details as well as the date, parish, and location of the event that was being recorded.

    Baptisms will reveal the names of godparents and parents, enabling you to uncover details of previous generations as well as the identities of family friends or relatives. Marriages will provide the name of your ancestor’s spouse, father and witnesses while burials allow you to discover the final resting place of your ancestors, their age at death, marital status and in some cases even cause of death.

    Congregational records are packed with other fascinating facts surrounding your ancestor’s relationship with the church such as details of their confirmation, first confession or even the location of their seat rental. 

    For more advice on making the Catholic Heritage Archive, read Findmypast’s comprehensive guide.

    British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers' Medical Records 

    Receiving 50% of the votes in last week’s community poll, this detail rich WW1 collection from the National Archives has been updated with 1,900 new entries. The collection includes transcripts and images of admissions and discharge records from hospitals, field ambulances, and casualty clearing stations.

    Transcripts will reveal names, ranks, service numbers, and hospitals as well as dates of admission, transfer and discharge. Images will provide a variety of unique details such as descriptions of the serviceman’s illness or wound and how long they stayed at the medical facility.


    Spanning from 1801-1803, the Morning Herald (London) has joined Findmypast’s newspaper collection.

    Morning Herald (London), 29 January 1803. Read the full page.

    The following existing titles have also been updated with additional page;


  • 11 Jun 2021 7:16 AM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article contains personal opinions.

    I recently read about a new book that documents all the readable tombstones in a cemetery and provides a map of that cemetery. The single copy of this hand-made book is available at a public library near the cemetery that was documented. That effort results in a valuable resource for anyone researching ancestry in the area IF THEY CAN TRAVEL TO VIEW THE BOOK. For some descendants, that may require travel of thousands of miles.

    Of course, thinking about the publication of a single book immediately begs the question, "What about those of us who are unable to travel to a specific library that might be thousands of miles away?" I will suggest it is time to change everyone's thinking about publishing.

    The "old mentality" always has been to publish a book in order to preserve information and to make that information available to everyone. Of course, this also implies that the information really is available only to everyone who is able to travel to the location of the book or is able to purchase a copy of the book.

    In reality, that's not a very good solution. Economic factors often prevent people from finding the information they seek. Many of us cannot travel to a library that is thousands of miles away. Even the purchase of a copy is difficult. You first have to find if a copy is available for sale. Often, the answer is "no." Next, if you are lucky enough to find copies for sale, you then have to pay for the book plus whatever shipping charges are required. For many of us, it isn't practical to pay $25 or $50 or more for every book that we would like to read, especially if we only need a paragraph or two. Even worse, many of us cannot pay hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars in travel expenses to visit various local libraries and repositories to view books and records of interest.

    In this day and age, there is a better solution. That solution involves technology.

    I will suggest that all books of interest to genealogists, historians, and others with an interest in the books' contents should be published electronically and copies should be placed online. There are thousands of web sites that will gladly host the books.

    These books generally are labors of love where the authors typically have no expectations of generating large profits. In a few cases, the books will be available free of charge. However, I would think it appropriate to pay the author a modest fee to help reimburse expenses and to encourage further production of future books of valuable records. These electronic books could either be placed on a public site with free access or be published on any of dozens of web sites that charge a small fee for access, such as Books can be published as PDF files or as HTML or even as DOC or RTF files, as the author desires. Once the book is written, publishing online requires only a few additional minutes.

    Of course, having the book visible to Google and other search engines greatly increases the chances of someone being able to find valued information whenever they wish.

    A book of cemetery records is a perfect example. I'd gladly pay $3 or $4 to access an electronic copy of a book online when I want to obtain a paragraph or two of information. However, I probably will be reluctant to pay $20 or more for a printed copy of the same book. After all, I will only use the book for a few minutes.

    My guess is that someone who places a book of cemetery records online on and charges $3 for access will probably make a lot more money than someone who charges $20 for a printed copy of the same book. Many people will pay $3 while they won't pay $20. Which produces more profit: selling 50 copies at $20 each or 5,000 copies at $3 each? The authors also will provide a better service to distant genealogists who seek the information. I also suspect the same will be true of tax lists, school records, and other transcriptions of interest to genealogists and historians.

    Placing the book online provides immediate, low-cost access to many more people than those who will ever see the book that is sitting on a shelf at a local library. In addition, multiple backup copies can easily be stored in multiple locations, guaranteeing availability of the book for generations, regardless of fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or burst water pipes.

    To be sure, there are some genealogists who do not use computers and therefore would seemingly be denied access. However, I will suggest that the number of non-computer-using genealogists is decreasing rapidly. Besides, without a computer, how would they ever learn about the printed book?

    The solution is simple: even non-computer-using genealogists can ask a computer-using friend or relative to order the book for them. I doubt if there is any genealogist who neither uses a computer nor knows someone with a computer.

    In today's world, "using a computer" is the same thing as saying "is connected online on the Internet."

    Finally, I would suggest it is still appropriate to print one copy of the book and donate it to one library in the same way as before. That's the way it has always been done for non-computer-owning genealogists, and it seems trivial to continue the practice. Let's continue to publish in the old-fashioned method whenever possible by printing and placing a printed book on a shelf. All I am suggesting is an ADDITIONAL method of distributing the books for the ever-growing majority of genealogists who use computers.

    Are you planning on compiling records? Is your local society involved in a project to transcribe important information and to make it available to others? If so, I hope that the information becomes available to everyone easily and at low cost. Luckily, this is easy to do in today's world. In fact, publishing online is easier than publishing on paper.

    The next time a person or a society publishes a book of transcribed records, please ask them a question: “Why isn't it online?”

    Let's move into the twenty-first century.

  • 10 Jun 2021 8:05 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement is extracted from the IAJGS mailing list and is republished here with permission:

    Following an emotional and personal debate over whether privacy rights of birth parents should override the rights of adoptees seeking information about their past Connecticut is now the 10th state to guarantee original birth certificate access.  Governor Ned Lamont’s signature on the legislation—HB 6105—this week makes approximately 40,000 adoptees in Connecticut access to their original birth certificates.

    Prior to this legislation, the state first sealed birth records in 1944 and then unsealed adoptions going forth in 1983. So for those adopted between 1944 and 1983 they could not access their original birth records.

    To read the new law, Public Act No 21-21 go to:

    To read more see:


    Jan Meisels Allen

    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 10 Jun 2021 7:49 AM | Anonymous

    Police officers are trying to find the rightful owner or family of a stash of World War II-era photos and letters discovered in Stockton this week.

    On Tuesday, officers found more than 150 photographs and letters, a Stockton Police Department spokesperson said. “These are photos but, there also precious moments captured in time,” said Officer Rosie Calderon, a Stockton Police Department Community Service Officer.

    The items were found by a Community Service Officer after a call for service on St. Andrews Drive on Tuesday.

    “What we know is that a male subject abandoned a bag — probably didn’t see any value in it,” Calderon said. The find included a three-page love letter addressed to Mary Ellen Driscoll.

    Officers say it appeared the woman also used the names of Williams, Metcalf, Bohannon, Henderson, and Andrews.

    Police are now looking for the family of the woman, whose photos were posted to the police department’s Facebook page.

    Here is hoping that a genealogist can assist. You can read the full story in an article by Ryan Hill published in the local television station's web site at:

  • 9 Jun 2021 9:54 PM | Anonymous

    Following is a News Release from FamilySearch:

    New patron film scanning station in the FamilySearch Family History LibraryThe FamilySearch Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, announced it will begin a phased reopening starting 6 July 2021. The popular destination service has been closed since March 13, 2020, due to precautions pertaining to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The library serves beginner and professional family history patrons from all over the world and is a popular tourist attraction for the state of Utah. Initially, hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with plans to extend to additional days and hours soon.

    “While billions of our records are available online, we realize that many researchers—including professional genealogists whose livelihoods depend on reliable records—are anxious to access records in-person within the library. We know the extended closing has created difficulties, and we are excited to welcome our guests back into a safe environment for continued research and discoveries,” said David Rencher, director of the Family History Library and FamilySearch’s Chief Genealogical Officer.

    Rencher says as one of the most popular attractions in the state, it has been tough to be closed for so long, but necessary to ensure the health and safety of staff and guests. When the library reopens, patrons will be asked to respect any prevailing safety precautions at that time. In addition, sanitizing stations are placed throughout the library, and continuous cleaning procedures will also be in place.

    New patron workstations at the FamilySearch Family History Library.The library has taken advantage of the prolonged closure to make needed renovations to the facility that will be very exciting to patrons when the doors reopen. “Guests will return to an environment that will significantly improve discovery and research experiences,” said Rencher. Crews have been busy preparing to welcome guests back by remodeling, adding new features like state-of-the-art patron workstations with multiple monitors and adjustable height desks to accommodate sitting or standing preferences, enhanced workflow throughout, and nearly 40,000 books from new acquisition and long-term storage.

    The library has added or upgraded the following new, free patron services. They are accessible through the new Family History Library web page.

    Guests can sign up for free, online, one-on-one virtual consultations with a research specialist (available in languages).

    Library look-up services. If you can’t come to the library, a staff member can retrieve a book from its shelves and help you find what you’re seeking.

    In FamilySearch Communities online, guests can get assistance from volunteers worldwide, including locating or interpreting ancestor records, asking questions, or sharing their expertise with others.

    Check out the growing menu of popular free online classes and webinars. New selections are offered and recorded weekly and made available on-demand.

    In the library, take advantage of improved services to digitize your family photos and artifacts or convert family audio and video tapes to digital media.

    FamilySearch family history centers and libraries will open based on the direction of their local ecclesiastical leaders and government guidelines. If you plan to visit a FamilySearch center soon, please call ahead to ensure it is open and its hours of operation.


  • 8 Jun 2021 8:22 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    Uncover important facts about your ancestors this week on FamilySearch in more than a half million Netherlands Vital Records Indexes 1600–2000, and nearly 2M more Catholic Church records from Argentina beginning 1576, plus Bolivia 1566–1996, Chile 1710–1928, Costa Rica 1595–1992, the Dominican Republic 1590–1955, Puerto Rico 1645–1969, Spain 1307–1985, and Venezuela 1577-1995

    Peruse the Liberia Census 2008, and expanded collections for the US (Louisiana Voter Registrations 1867–1905, US Bureau of Land Management Tract Books 1800–c. 1955, and Iowa Military Records ca.1862–ca. 1978).

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

    Note: The full list of newly-added records is very long, too long to be published here. However, you can find the full list at:

    About FamilySearch

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • 7 Jun 2021 3:24 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Graham and Emma Maxwell:

    [Glasgow, Scotland 7 June 2021] Learn how to trace your Scottish family history. The 11th Scottish Indexes Conference will be held on 11 July 2021. This ‘timezone friendly’ event is free to watch on Zoom and Facebook.

    The 16 hour conference (7am to 11 pm BST) hosted by genealogists Graham and Emma Maxwell will include:

    • ‘Merchant and Trades House Records’ by Dr. Irene O’Brien
    • ‘Tracing Scottish Women’ by Kirsty Wilkinson
    • ‘Tracing Scottish Ancestors Before 1855’ by Alison Spring
    • ‘Overcoming Brickwalls: Case Studies’ by Emma Maxwell

    A full list of presentations can be found on

    The Q&A sessions are always a highlight of a Scottish Indexes Conference. These are an opportunity for the attendees to ask questions and receive help from our panel of experts.

    Cinda Baxter, professional genealogist says, “A huge and hearty thanks again to Emma and Graham for providing the virtual conference. What a labor of love (and terrific gift) during these crazy times.”

    Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of says, “By hosting a 16-hour marathon event we’re able to engage with people the world over.”

    Registration is free on Zoom and Facebook. Follow the directions on

    About is run by husband and wife team Graham and Emma Maxwell, both experienced Scottish genealogists. As well as helping clients with their family history, Graham and Emma also index historical Scottish records and make them available for free on their website.

  • 7 Jun 2021 10:27 AM | Anonymous

    When Michigan State Police began submitting DNA from unidentified remains for genealogy testing, the agency was elated by how quickly the process achieved results.

    “We knew she was a white female, but we didn’t know who she was,” Lt. Scott Ernstes with Michigan State Police said about the remains found on October 12, 1988, in Van Buren County’s Covert Township.

    “Within six weeks, we had her identified. She was from Oklahoma. And with the other 2010 case out of Wayland, same thing. White male, (and) we had it identified very quickly,” Ernstes said.

    But that wasn’t the case when it came to three other sets of unidentified remains found over three decades in Covert Township.

    “It was quite shocking that (the genealogy testing) was taking so long,” recalled Ernstes.

    “That’s where conversations with DNA Doe (Project) came in. They said, ‘this is why. The populations you’re looking for are underrepresented in the system,'” he said.

    You can read the full article by Susan Samples in the WOODTV.COM web site at:

  • 7 Jun 2021 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro:

    UNC Greensboro University Libraries, along with faculty partners across the state, has received an $150,000 digital extension grant from The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) to expand its Digital Library on American Slavery (DLAS) to three more campuses in North Carolina: North Carolina Central University, UNC Pembroke, and East Carolina University.

    As part of the 2021 ACLS Digital Extension Grant program, the grant will allow the University Libraries team, led by Richard Cox and Dr. Claire E. Heckel, to expand the digital infrastructure of the DLAS through local, community-engaged digital humanities research and engage new audiences. Principal investigators Dr. Charles Denton Johnson, NCCU; Dr. Jarvis L. Hargrove, ECU; and Dr. Jaime Amanda Martinez, UNCP will lead a distinct research project that builds on their own scholarship and existing programs of study at their respective institutions and on existing relationships with local communities.

    “It’s always been important to me that the Digital Library on American Slavery be a resource that is demonstrably beneficial and openly available to both researchers beyond UNCG and the broader community,” said Cox. “This grant, led by Dr. Johnson, Dr. Martinez, and Dr. Hargrove, will allow DLAS itself to grow as well as provide funding for their important work at their institutions and in their local North Carolina communities.”

    DLAS is an expanding resource compiling various independent online collections focused on race and slavery in the American South, made searchable through a single, simple interface. It houses one of the largest databases of slave names on the internet, and has been used by historians, genealogists, and other scholars and researchers across the world, including Colson Whitehead, author of the Pulitzer-winning novel “The Underground Railroad.”

    To learn more and to view the digital library, visit

  • 7 Jun 2021 10:04 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Zachary Crockett published in The Hustle web site:

    "Earlier this year, Ryan Klein had a near-death experience.

    "While cleaning out a gutter at his California home, the 32-year-old IT professional took a misstep and tumbled 10 feet off a ladder into a fortuitously placed wintergreen shrub.

    "Sprawled out on the ground, gazing up at the cerulean sky, a terrifying thought crossed his mind."

    “I realized that my wife didn’t have access to my cryptocurrency,” he told The Hustle. “If I’d died that day, that money would’ve just disappeared.”

    OK, now think about your situation. Do you have everything you own documented so that your heirs can find them. Do you own any cryptocurrencies?

    If so, you will want to read the lengthy remainder of Zachary Crockett's article at

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