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  • 11 Dec 2020 11:34 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    This week’s Findmypast Friday sees substantial updates to collections from the United States, Ireland and England, including;

    United States Obituary Notices

    This mammoth index has recently been updated with over 18.2 million new entries covering all 50 American states. Now containing over 50 million records, each result consists of a transcript that will reveal a combination of the deceased’s

      • Name
      • Birth year
      • Birth date
      • Death year
      • Death date
      • Obituary text
      • Place
      • Source link

    Additional information such as images and details about the original obituary can be found on the source’s website.

    Ireland Billion Graves Cemetery Index

    New additions from all 32 Irish counties have been added to the Ireland Billion Graves Cemetery Index. BillionGraves is the largest online resource for GPS-tagged headstone and burial records. Each transcript will reveal the birth date, death date and burial location of your ancestor. Images links to the Billion Graves website are also included.

    By partnering with BillionGraves, Findmypast aim to make all the cemetery records held on their site available to subscribers. Indexes covering EnglandScotlandWales, the USACanadaAustralia and New Zealand are also available and, all of which are updated regularly.

    Yorkshire Monumental Inscriptions

    Over 28,000 new records covering over 300 years of Yorkshire history are now available to search. The new additions date from 1663-2008 and cover the following West Riding parishes;

      • Greetland, Methodist Chapel
      • Mytholmroyd
      • Norland
      • Northowram
      • Ogden
      • Ovenden
      • Pecket Well
      • Queensbury
      • Ripponden
      • Rishworth
      • Scammonden
      • Shelf
      • Sowerby
      • Sowerby Bridge

    Monumental inscriptions can reveal when your relative died, where they are buried and the often detail-rich epitaph inscribed on their memorial.


    With five brand new papers and additional pages for a further nine, Findmypast’s newspaper collection continues to grow. Titles published online for the first time include:

    Branding itself as the voice of the cotton trade worker, the Cotton Factory Times provides fascinating insights into the lives of those who worked in Britain’s Cotton Mills. Sections including ‘Notes from the Factories’, ‘Thoughts on Home Life,’ and ‘Voices from the Spindle and the Loom’ paint a vivid picture of working conditions and daily life, from reports of accidents to reports of dismissals.

    Findmypast have also added thousands on new pages to the following titles; 

      • Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore) from 1889-1890
      • Leicester Evening Mail from 1946-1954, 1956-1959 and 1963
      • Kinematograph Weekly from 1945, 1950 and 1952
      • Widnes Examiner from 1883-1884, 1891, 1899, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1912-1914 and 1916
      • Runcorn Examiner from 1883-1884
      • Warrington Examiner from 1904
      • St. Helens Examiner from 1883, 1900
      • Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette from 1871, 1874-1892, 1894-1895, 1900-1902, 1904-1906, 1908-1909, 1912, 1914, 1916 and 1927-1929
      • Fulham Chronicle from 1888-1904, 1907-1912 and 1923-1933


  • 10 Dec 2020 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    The following article is a brief excerpt from the MyHeritage Blog. The blog article is much longer and also contains some nice example images of original records from this collection:

    We are delighted to announce the addition of two new collections of Norway Census records — the 1875 Norway Census and the 1870 Norway Census. Digitized in collaboration with National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket), the 2 million records in these collections include high-quality scans of the original documents.

    Search the new Norwegian Census Records 

    The collections hold particular interest as they cover a unique time in Norwegian history. The largest single wave of emigration from Norway occurred between 1879 and 1893. Spurred on by the promise of new opportunities, 250,000 Norwegians left Norway for other countries like the U.S. The 1875 census offers the opportunity to catch a snapshot about these Norwegian ancestors while they were still in Norway. For those in the U.S. and abroad with Norwegian heritage, this census collection may unlock important details about their Norwegian roots.

    Beyond their historical significance, the collections are important as they contain details that are not often found within a typical census collection. In addition to listing the person’s name, residence, position within the family, gender, marital status, and occupation, the census also includes information on languages spoken, birthplace of the residents, and their birth years. In specific cases, even medical conditions are listed.

    Also included are individuals who were temporary residents of the household or those registered to a household who may have been absent at the time of the census count. This means that a single individual may have been listed in more than one entry, if they were visiting another home at the time the census was taken.

    Here is more information about each of the collections.

    1875 Norway Census

    The 1.8 million records from this country-wide census collection includes the names, residence, position within the family, gender, marital status, occupation, birthplace, and birth year. The census was officially conducted on December 31, 1875 and was the first census in Norway to record information about a birthdate rather than age. Additionally, individuals were asked to report their permanent residence and any temporary residence where they may have lived at the time of the census.

    Search the 1875 Norway Census

    1870 Norway Census

    The 1870 census consists of records from 60 cities and towns in Norway, of which records from 50 cities and towns survive. Recognizing the need for updated information due to the rapid population growth in urban centers, the government requested this special census of cities and towns. The records contain names, gender, place of birth, year of birth, marital status, and place of residence. 

    Search the 1870 Norway Census

    The full article, including example images of Norwegian census records, may be found at:

  • 10 Dec 2020 9:33 AM | Anonymous

    Records about Confederate soldiers are certainly less prevalent than those for their Union counterparts. But many more Confederate records exist than are widely known – and many of those records are online.

    Unfortunately, they are spread across multiple web sites, some of which require a subscription, so they can be hard to find. It is also not widely known that some of the databases on subscription sites are available elsewhere for free.

    The new web site offers a chart showing the most significant Confederate records that are available online with direct links to the search engines for those databases.

    Note that these charts to not attempt to itemize county-specific Confederate records, veteran lists, specific Confederate cemeteries, or specific prisoner of war camps., in particular, offers free access to hundreds of such records online and through their Family History Centers.

    You can read a lot more information at

  • 9 Dec 2020 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

    WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 9 December 2020The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) has announced the results of its election for board members and nominations committee members. The APG membership elected six at-large board members for two-year terms, and one at-large board member for one year. Two nominations committee members were elected for one- year terms. Those elected:

    At-Large Board of Directors (two-year term):

    Alec Ferretti (US, New York)

    Alec Ferretti holds masters degrees in archival sciences and library sciences. He serves on the Board of Directors of Reclaim the Records, works with the Wells Fargo Family & Business History Center, and is the President of the NY Genealogy and Technology Group. He was the APG 2018 Young Professional Scholarship recipient, and has spoken at the 2019 APG Professional Management Conference, the 2020 SLIG Colloquium, and a number of others.

    Margaret Rose Fortier, CG® (US, Massachusetts)

    Margaret Rose Fortier is a Certified Genealogist® focusing on New England immigrants. She serves as membership director for the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, facilitator for the Certification Discussion Group, mentor for the upcoming GenProof Study Group, and a member of the BCG Webinar Committee. Margaret volunteers with the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Records project at NEHGS and with the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, MA. She holds a business degree from Boston College and an MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University.

    LaDonna Garner, M.A. (US, Missouri)

    LaDonna Garner, M.A., is a historical and genealogical consultant in Southeast Missouri. She earned a M.A. in Historic Preservation with a focus on forgotten communities and cemeteries. She enjoys speaking and teaching hands-on genealogy and she has held various positions promoting local and state genealogical societies. These positions include director, vice-president, editor, fundraiser, conference organizer, syllabus chair, mentor, and active volunteer, as well as a curator and researcher for historic properties.

    Dana Leeds (US, Texas)

    A genealogist since 1998, Dana started seriously pursuing genealogy education in 2014. She has attended many institutes and is a certificate holder of Boston University’s Genealogical Research Program. Dana is a current member of ProGen 46 and is pursuing certification through BCG. In 2018, Dana gave her first presentation to a local genealogy group. Soon after, she developed the Leeds Method of sorting DNA matches. This innovation quickly led to invitations to speak nationally. She has presented at APG’s PMC, RootsTech, i4GG’s International Genetic Genealogy Conference, and GRIP. Dana does DNA consulting and she conducts genealogy research, with a focus on DNA.

    Cynthia Maharrey (US, Florida)

    Cynthia Maharrey was born and raised in a small town in West Virginia. She specializes in late 18th through early 20th century research with emphases on the state of Kentucky and African American research. Cynthia has worked with individuals in a variety of capacities including creating Kentucky-specific historical content, serving as a coach in Trace’s Coaches’ Corner at RootsTech and appearing on the Travel Channel’s The Dead Files. Cynthia is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the African American Genealogy Group of Kentucky, the Florida State Genealogical Society, and two county historical societies.

    Chris Paton (Scotland)

    Originally from Northern Ireland, but resident in Scotland since 1997, Chris has worked as a professional genealogist since 2006. A holder of a Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies from the University of Strathclyde, Chris researches through his Scotland's Greatest Story service (, offering services and experience in both Scottish and Irish family history. Chris is the author of several bestselling genealogy books and he writes the daily Scottish GENES blog (

    Rose Lerer Cohen (Israel)

    Rose Lerer Cohen, Ph.D, is a current member of the APG board and active member of the Continuing Education Monitoring Committee and the International Committee. Rose is a professional genealogist and family researcher, writing, lecturing, and conducting workshops in Israel, North America, and South Africa. She has written and lectured on topics relating to genealogy research both in Israel and abroad and is involved in genealogy organizations, both locally and internationally.

    * Rose Lerer Cohen will fill the one-year vacancy on the board, term ending 31 December 2021.

    Nominations Committee (one-year term)

    Michelle Roos Goodrum (US, Arizona)

    Michelle Roos Goodrum is a certificate holder (OL 16) and an instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Program. Michelle completed the ProGen Study Group (ProGen 14) and regularly attends genealogical institutes and conferences. Michelle’s interest in genealogy began in junior high school. In 1994 she attended a local family history society meeting and became hooked. Areas of interest include land records, genetic genealogy, and research in the western United States.

    Kimberly Powell (US, Pennsylvania)

    Kimberly is a professional genealogist, author, and educator specializing in genealogical writing, pre-1850 family history, land records, DNA, and solving complex problems. She served seven years APG’s board, including two years as past president and several years as chair of APG’s Professional Development Committee. She served as the Genealogy Expert for for sixteen years and teaches at genealogy institutes as well as in the online genealogy courses offered through Boston University. Her research focus is families with roots in the southeastern US and southwestern PA.

    Statement from President David McDonald

    “We thank our retiring board members and welcome those elected. The next two years will provide us the opportunity to strengthen the field of professional genealogy as we puruse developing connections between the public and our vast network of genealogists. We will continue advocating for improved record access while partnering with organizations and entities that value the voices of genealogists. We will work together in making decisions that will lift the standards of genealogy and increase the relevance of our work.

    About the Association of Professional Genealogists

    The Association of Professional Genealogists (, established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists in various genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring, and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its 2 members represent all fifty U.S. states, Canada, and forty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

  • 9 Dec 2020 4:46 PM | Anonymous
    The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists: 

    “From the 18th to the 21st: The Records of Prohibition”

    by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 8:00 p.m. (EST)

    The 18th amendment took effect in January 1920 and ushered in more than a decade of Prohibition until repealed by the 21st Amendment in December 1933. In those few years, so many records were created for juice joints and bootleggers, revenuers and Untouchables—producing a gold mine for researchers.

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “From the 18th to the 21st: The Records of Prohibition” by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. This webinar airs Tuesday, December 15, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. eastern standard time.

    A genealogist with a law degree, Judy G. Russell is a lecturer, educator and writer who enjoys helping others understand a wide variety of genealogical issues, including the interplay between genealogy and the law. She has a bachelor's degree in political science and journalism from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark, and holds Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer credentials from the Board for Certification of Genealogists where she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, until her retirement, was an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School. Judy is a Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother's side and entirely in Germany on her father's side. Visit her website at

    When you register before December 15 on our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars website (, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Those with schedule conflicts may access the webinar at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

    President LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, says, “Every month the Board for Certification of Genealogists offers a new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians. These webinars are presented by certified associates and offer a quality genealogical educational experience.”

    Following the free period for this webinar, BCG receives a small commission if you view this or any BCG webinar by clicking our affiliate link:

    For access to all BCG webinars, see the BCG Library at Legacy Family Tree Webinars (

    To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2020, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at

    For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center  (

    Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, FUGA

    BCG News Release Coordinator

    The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

  • 9 Dec 2020 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a web site you probably should bookmark: You probably won't need to use it often but when you do have a need it can be a lifesaver. Best of all, it is a free service if you only want to convert a few files. However, if you want to convert dozens of files, there is a modest charge.

    CloudConvert converts almost any file from one format to almost any other format. It recognizes files in more than 200 different formats, and connects with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. I find it useful for converting PNG images into JPG format. It also can can turn a PDF file into a DOCX file, which you may open in Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, or Google Docs. It also can convert Macintosh Keynote presentation files into PowerPoint PPTX files. In fact, CloudConvert can convert about 200 different file formats into other file formats.

    I find that CloudConvert does an excellent job of converting PDF files into editable .DOC or .DOCX files as its translation seems to be very accurate.

    CloudConvert also allows you to extract audio from a video file. For example, I selected a .MOV file and converted it to .MP3 format. That gave me an audio-only .MP3 file. It also converts .MOV video files into .MP4 video files as well. Did you download a video from the web, only to find it doesn't display in your computer's video player? CloudConvert probably can fix the problem for you.

    CloudConvert is a cloud-based application. That is, the program runs from a web site. There is no software to install in your computer. It works equally well on Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Chromebooks, and even on mobile and portable devices running Android or Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch).

    For occasional use, CloudConvert doesn't charge. If you convert files smaller than 1 gigabyte, fewer than five files at a time, and use less than 25 minutes of file conversion time a day, CloudConvert's services are free of charge. For high volume users, CloudConvert does charge fees as described at I suspect most in-home users will never encounter a need for fees.

    CloudConvert is one of those useful web tools that you may not need immediately. But, the next time you say, "I can't open this file...," give it a try. CloudConvert may be able to convert that file you can't use into one you can.

    CloudConvert is available at

  • 8 Dec 2020 4:25 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement about Online Repository Assistant (often called "ORA") was written by John Cardinal, the author of the program:

    ORA v1.16 Released

    Now Supports Hundreds of Repositories

    Narragansett, Rhode Island, December 7, 2020 - Family History Hosting is pleased to announce the release of ORA version 1.16. ORA is the "Online Repository Assistant", a web browser extension combined with a Windows program to help you extract data from online repositories and capture the information in your preferred genealogy program. ORA has several features that will save time, reduce errors, and increase the consistency of yourdata entry.

    Originally released in June with support for four popular repositories, ORA now has custom support for thirteen repositories and with its new Generic Service it supports thousands of sites that publish genealogy data!

    Here's an example where ORA's Generic Service extracted data from a record on, a site that provides free access to 19th century UK censuses:

    Using ORA's Auto Type feature, users can automatically copy the items shown in ORA's Control Panel to fields in the genealogy program of their choice.

    Some of the many sites that are now supported by ORA via its Generic Service include vital record collections for many US states and several other countries, probate and will collections in several jurisdictions, BMD indexes for most of the counties in the UK, and hundreds of other sites. ORA can extract data from any site that publishes data in a tabular form as long as the site follows web standards and conventions, and most sites do.

    If you publish a One-Name Study or similar, you need ORA. It will dramatically reduce the time you spend gathering data.

    For more information about ORA, see its Introduction slideshow at The Introduction includes several videos that show ORA in action.

    ORA is sold as a subscription service, $24 USD per year. ORA is not affiliated with any of the repositories it supports. ORA does not do any searching for you; it evaluates pages you visit during your normal use of a repository and makes it faster and easier to extract the information you find. For Ancestry, Findmypast, and other fee-based repositories, you must have an account with that repository.

  • 8 Dec 2020 4:15 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    This week on FamilySearch explore nearly 3M parish and civil registrations for France, Nord 1524–1893 and Seine-Saint-Denis 1523–1932, plus millions of new Catholic Church records for Mexico, Durango 1604–1985, and Ecuador 1565–2011. Discover your ancestors in  more new records for the Dominican Republic, Germany, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, S. Africa and the United States (Georgia voter registrations 1856–1941 and Chicago Illinois 1888–1892, tax records for Boston, Massachusetts 1822–1918, and more records for Alabama, Arkansas, California, Mississippi, New Jersey, Utah and Washington).  

    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.

    The full list is very long, too long to fit in this space. You can read the entire list at

  • 7 Dec 2020 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    I received a rather pleasant surprise this past weekend: He's back!

    An old friend is announcing the formation of a new company that will provide a valuable service to genealogists.

    Many long-time genealogists will recognize the name Bob Velke. Bob probably is best known in the genealogy community as the founder and CEO of The Master Genealogist (TMG), genealogy software for Microsoft Windows first released in 1993. Bob founded the company Wholly Genes Software to sell and support the program.

    Those who were able to learn more about Bob also soon realized he was an expert researcher and a person who demanded true source citations to all facts that he added to his own genealogy database. He strongly encouraged the users of The Master Genealogist to do the same with their record keeping. Indeed, The Master Genealogist was the experts' preferred tool for proper record keeping. Nothing before or since has the source citation capabilities of The Master Genealogist.

    Time marches on and Wholly Genes Software eventually went out of business and faded away. However, here is a new press release I received from Bob this past weekend:

    Introducing Gopher Records, LLC: a new way to retrieve records from the  National Archives.

    For a limited time, you can get a Civil War pension  file for just $25 and a service file for just $10. This introductory offer represents a 50% discount from our regular prices which are already the lowest in the industry.

    When ordering directly from NARA, a digital copy of a full pension file  is $80 for the first 100 pages and $0.70 per page thereafter. For a  300-page file, that's $220.00 - but our price is just $25 with this  amazing offer.

    NARA is closed for COVID-19 but we are taking advanced orders now. When  NARA opens, orders will be processed in the order that they are  received. Best of all, you won’t be asked to pay until your documents  are ready to be delivered to you.

    This 50% discount offer expires on 31 Dec 2020.

    Please visit us at

  • 7 Dec 2020 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release from the Blackstone Group, Inc.:

    NEW YORK-- Blackstone (NYSE: BX) today announced that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have completed their previously announced acquisition of Ancestry® from Silver Lake, GIC, Spectrum Equity, Permira, and other equity holders for a total enterprise value of $4.7 billion. Current Ancestry investor GIC will continue to retain a significant minority stake in the company.

    Ancestry is the global leader in digital family history services, operating in more than 30 countries. The company has over 3.6 million subscribers, with annual revenue of over $1 billion. The company harnesses the information found in family trees and historical records to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry also operates a market-leading consumer genomics business, which informs consumers about their heritage and key health characteristics.

    David Kestnbaum, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, and Sachin Bavishi, a Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “We are very excited about Ancestry’s future, as the company continues to demonstrate strong growth as the industry leader. We look forward to partnering with Ancestry in the years ahead to help the company further expand its product offerings and drive ongoing technology innovation so that an even greater number of families can discover more about their histories and themselves.”

    Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as lead financial advisor to Ancestry. Barclays also served as a financial advisor to Ancestry. BofA Securities, Credit Suisse, and JPMorgan served as financial advisors to Blackstone. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Ancestry and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to Blackstone. Dechert LLP is serving as legal advisor to GIC.

    CEO Transition

    Margo Georgiadis, Ancestry President & CEO, has announced that she has informed the board that she plans to depart the company at the end of 2020. The company expects to announce a new CEO in early 2021 who will drive the next phase of the company’s ongoing growth. Ms. Georgiadis will remain available for a period of time after her departure to assist in a smooth transition.

    “I’m so proud of the collective accomplishments of the Ancestry team and am confident in the company’s continued success,” said Georgiadis. “In partnership with Blackstone and Ancestry’s deep bench of management talent, the company is well positioned for continued growth, delivering on its mission to empower journeys of personal discovery for millions of people around the world.”

    Eric Wilmes, Head of Private Equity, Americas at GIC, and Stephen Evans, a Managing Director at Silver Lake, said, “Margo has made a tremendous impact on this organization, and we are grateful for her many contributions. She has created a best-in-class leadership team and led a process of rebuilding and strengthening our products and our business. On behalf of the entire board, we wish Margo the very best in her next chapter.”

    About Blackstone

    Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $584 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

    About Ancestry®

    Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of 27 billion records and over 18 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain actionable insights about their health and wellness. For over 30 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.

    About GIC

    GIC is a leading global investment firm established in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. A disciplined long-term value investor, GIC is uniquely positioned for investments across a wide range of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, private equity, real estate and infrastructure. In private equity, GIC invests through funds as well as directly in companies, partnering with its fund managers and management teams to help world class businesses achieve their objectives. Headquartered in Singapore, GIC employs over 1,700 people across 10 offices in key financial cities worldwide. For further information on GIC, visit

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