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  • 19 May 2023 4:57 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist has added to its Headstone Collection copies of records from certain local authorities and the Church Commissioners that relate to the removal of graves and tombstones in burial grounds. These records are held by The National Archives.

    They detail former cemeteries from all over England and Wales and cover the years 1619 to 2003. A number contain a plan of the original place of burial while some will reveal the place of reinterment also.

    An example of transcription of a headstone removed in TheGenealogist’s RG 37 records

    Headstones are an extremely useful record for the family historian as they can give the researcher information that has not been recorded elsewhere. 

    They are mostly accurate in revealing dates and names and often other family members are on the same tombstone or are buried close by. 

    When a grave or headstone has been removed then a record of the inscription may have been recorded in this particular recordset.

    The Removal of Graves and Tombstones records on TheGenealogist are part of their Death & Burials – Headstone Collection and are searchable by: 

        • the deceased’s name

        • year of death

        • place of original burial

        • any keyword that may have been included

    Details from a search of TheGenealogist’s Death & Burials records

    The origin of these RG 37 official records of burial ground removals can be traced back to 1911 and a recommendation was made by the Attorney General that such records be made and deposited with the local registrar of births and deaths. The Registrar General suggested to the Home Secretary of the time that the records should be deposited with the miscellaneous records held by the General Register Office instead of at the local registrar. 

    If your ancestor was buried in one of the burial grounds to have been recorded in this release then, despite the headstone no longer standing, you will be able to discover details about your ancestor recorded on their tombstone at the time it had been originally erected.

    Read TheGenealogist’s article: A not so final resting place:

    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, and 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!

  • 19 May 2023 4:35 PM | Anonymous

    Your (very) distant ancestors probably did not originate where you thought they did.

    A new model for human evolution asserts that modern Homo sapiens stemmed from multiple genetically diverse populations across Africa rather than a single ancestral population. This conclusion was reached after researchers analyzed genetic data from present-day African populations, including 44 newly sequenced genomes from the Nama group of southern Africa. The research suggests that the earliest detectable split in early human populations occurred between 120,000 to 135,000 years ago, after long periods of genetic intermixing, and that subsequent migrations created a weakly structured genetic stem. Contrary to some previous models, this research implies that contributions from archaic hominins were unlikely to have significantly affected Homo sapiens’ evolution.

    You can read more in an article published in the University Of California - Davis web site at:

  • 19 May 2023 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    The Underground Railroad, which helped people escape slavery to freedom, necessarily operated in secrecy until the end of the Civil War. Now a grant from the National Park Service will support the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida in highlighting the history of this pivotal social movement.

    The $350,000 grant through the U.S. Department of the Interior will allow the program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to gather, preserve, transcribe and promote digital video and audio recordings for use in museums, K-12 classrooms and documentaries.

    The Network to Freedom Underground Railroad Oral History Project is a collaborative research project designed to shed light on one of the most important and least-understood social movements in American history.

    “Conductors and freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad struggled against the power of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the executive branch for generations and in doing so left an unrivaled record of democratic striving and intersectional coalition building uniting African American, white, and Hispanic antislavery activists against tyranny,” said PAUL ORTIZ, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. “This is an incredible opportunity for University of Florida undergraduates, graduate students, and staff to learn the legacies of the most important grassroots democratic institution in American history.”

    Under the guidance of the National Park Service and the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, UF staff and students in the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program will record the oral and family traditions of Underground Railroad descendants and representatives.

    The Underground Railroad oral histories will be jointly housed at the National Park Service and the University of Florida Digital Collections at George A. Smathers Libraries.

    You can read more in an article by Douglas Ray published in the University of Florida web site at:

  • 19 May 2023 9:53 AM | Anonymous

    In 1981, the Hearst Corporation donated its newsreel collection to the University of California. In cooperation with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Packard Humanities Institute is developing this website as part of a joint project to make the Hearst newsreel collection more easily accessible to the public.

    Like all historical records, newsreels reflect the attitudes and prejudices of the times in which they were produced. This website is intended to promote public interest in the past, and as a resource for historical and cultural research. Naturally, neither we nor the UCLA Film & Television Archive endorse all the views depicted in the images and commentary of these newsreels, some of which could be disturbing or offensive to some users.

    Begin browsing the newsreels shown in theatres from 1929 to 1967. If the story title is displayed in red, you can click on the title to play the video.

    See all viewing options

    Frequent Questions

  • 19 May 2023 7:19 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Scotland People of Nairnshire   

    Over 4,000 new transcriptions have been added to this existing collection. These records are from multiple sources, and often include details such as names, places and additional notes. If your ancestor was from Nairnshire, this collection could be the key you’re looking for.  

    Scotland Registers and Records 

    To complement the Nairnshire records, a further five publications have been added into Scotland Registers and Records. These PDFs cover 1290 to 1850, and include social histories, parish records and more. There are 84 titles in total to explore, including Land and People of Nairnshire by Bruce B. Bishop, offering key detail about Nairnshire residents.  

    Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902 

    If your ancestor served in the Anglo-Boer War, you may find them here. A further 19,117 records have been added to this collection, taking it to over 383,000. You might find details of your ancestor’s unit, medals awarded, or even casualties.  

    Notable names spotted in this collection include: 

    ·         A young Winston Churchill, taken prisoner at Blaauwkrantz Farm in Escourt in 1899 

    ·         Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, who was awarded a Queen’s South Africa clasp 


    Six brand new titles, updates to a further six, and a total of 89,176 new pages make up this week’s newspaper releases. 

    New titles: 

    ·         Bayswater Chronicle, 1860-1873, 1878, 1893, 1896, 1909-1939, 1944-1949 

    ·         Buteman, 1875, 1882, 1884, 1887-1889, 1892 

    ·         Citizen (Letchworth), 1906-1916 

    ·         Downham Market Gazette, 1879-1889, 1891-1895, 1897-1911, 1913-1916 

    ·         Loftus Advertiser, 1879-1895, 1897, 1899-1906, 1909-1916 

    ·         Morayshire Advertiser, 1858-1864 

    Updated titles: 

    ·         Eastern Post, 1922-1925, 1927-1938 

    ·         Haverhill Echo, 1941-1943 

    ·         Macclesfield Times, 1925 

    ·         New Milton Advertiser, 1990 

    ·         Sheerness Guardian and East Kent Advertiser, 1894-1896, 1899-1911, 1913-1932, 1934-1939 

    ·         Sheerness Times Guardian, 1940-1948, 1979 

  • 18 May 2023 9:08 PM | Anonymous

    You’ve probably heard somewhere that siblings share half of their genes with one another. That’s, like, Genetics 101, right? Actually, not quite. Thanks to the randomness of chromosome segregation and a process called recombination, siblings' genomes are not always 50 percent the same.

    This figure is actually an average, as Our World in Data researcher Saloni pointed out recently on Twitter. So, while you and your sibling probably share around 50 percent of your genes, the actual number is likely a little different. 

    Genetic inheritance

    To understand why that is, you first need to know a little bit about genetic inheritance. 

    As humans, our DNA is coiled into 23 pairs of chromosomes – 46 chromosomes in total. Twenty-two of these pairs are called autosomes, and the final pair are sex chromosomes (XX or XY). One chromosome in each pair is inherited from our mother and the other from our father.

    For this to happen, cells must first undergo a process called meiosis to produce gametes (egg or sperm cells). During meiosis, the number of chromosomes in the parent cell is reduced by half: a cell with 46 chromosomes produces four gametes, each containing just 23 chromosomes, one from each pair.

    When the egg and sperm (each with 23 chromosomes) then fuse during reproduction, an embryo with a complete set of 46 chromosomes is formed.

    But before the chromosome pairs get split apart, a sort of genetic reshuffling occurs. This is known as recombination. Autosomes line up in their pairs and exchange bits of genetic information, resulting in each egg and sperm cell having its own unique combination of genes.

    For more info, read an article by Maddy Chapman published in the web site at:

  • 18 May 2023 8:16 AM | Anonymous

    Attention UK residents: Who Do You Think You Are? is returning!

    The BBC has confirmed its popular genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? will finally be back on screens after more than a year away. The broadcaster's popular show regularly uncovers secrets from the past for the celebrities looking back on their family history. Now, the show will be returning and its just weeks away.

    Who Do You Think You Are will return to screens on BBC One on Thursday 1st June.

    Earlier this year, The Sun exclusively confirmed that Emily Atack would be delving into her background this summer.

    You can read more at:

  • 17 May 2023 5:36 PM | Anonymous

    Marietta House Museum and the Prince George’s County Historical Society present:  Beyond Old Bowie: A 20-Year Search for African and Prince George’s County, MD. Ancestors

    Please join us for a hybrid program on Saturday, June 10th from 1pm – 3pm, as family researchers Denise Barton and Karen Pearson, present a family journey with place-based research and online information, leading them to numerous other family members and names, such as Duckett, Spriggs, Clark, Queen, and more. The oral and documented history of the Barton-Johnson branch of the family includes property in “Old Bowie” and family burials in the Sacred Heart and Ascension Catholic churches.  Nathania Branch Miles, of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society of Prince George’s County, will share resources during this presentation.  

    Recommended for ages 12 & up (ages under 18 must be accompanied by an adult). Walk-ins welcome. Registration is recommended but not required, however, online participants must register. Direct link for registration: more information, please call 301-464-5291 or email

    Marietta House Museum is located at 5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale, MD. 20769, and is a property of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

  • 17 May 2023 5:23 PM | Anonymous

    From a press release iussued today by the (U.S.) National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):

    Dr. Colleen Shogan assumed the role of Archivist of the United States today and, immediately after taking the oath of office, began her work as the head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). 

    “It is an honor and a privilege to join the National Archives and Records Administration today as the 11th Archivist of the United States.” Shogan said. “Our mission is both straightforward and complex: strengthen our nation’s democracy through access to the public records we hold in trust. As a political scientist, I have a deeply held belief in the importance of that mission. As the Archivist, I will be a passionate advocate for NARA and the work we do.” 

    Shogan’s first briefing focused on veterans services. Reflecting her priority to address the backlog of veterans’ records, Shogan spoke with leaders from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). They discussed major initiatives that will continue to improve service delivery to veterans, including staffing and digitization efforts. Shogan said her first visit to a NARA facility outside of Washington, will take place later this month, when she will tour the NPRC in St. Louis and meet with staff as well as local congressional delegates. 

    On her first day as Archivist of the United States, Shogan also toured the research rooms and museum spaces of the National Archives Building. She will spend her next few days meeting with NARA leaders about their work, touring the National Archives at College Park, and receiving briefings about the functions NARA fulfills in execution of its mission.

    “The National Archives is extremely fortunate that Dr. Shogan has joined us to lead the agency,” said Deputy Archivist Debra Steidel Wall. “I look forward to her leadership and to working alongside her to further NARA’s essential work: making our records accessible equitably, promoting civic literacy, serving our country’s veterans, expanding digitization, and, through these functions, strengthening American democracy.” Wall served as the Acting Archivist of the United States from May 2022 until Shogan assumed office.

    Shogan is the 11th Archivist of the United States and the first woman to hold the position permanently. She was nominated by President Biden on August 3, 2022, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 10, 2023. She succeeds David S. Ferriero, who retired as Archivist in April 2022. Prior to her appointment, Shogan most recently served as senior vice president of the White House Historical Association. She previously worked for over a decade at the Library of Congress in senior roles as the Assistant Deputy Librarian for Collections and Services and the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service.

    Earlier in her career, Shogan worked as a policy staff member in the U.S. Senate and taught at Georgetown University and George Mason University. She earned a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a Ph.D. in American Politics from Yale University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Order of the Cross and Crown, and the United States Capitol Historical Society’s Council of Scholars.

  • 17 May 2023 12:27 PM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, it is a follow-up to my several previous articles about the various walkie-talkie apps that convert your cell phone into a walkie-talkie with world-wide coverage.

    Walkie-talkie apps bring all the excitement of walkie-talkie chat to your smartphone, allowing you to talk to your friends, send them messages, and leave voicemails. Of course, they don’t use real walkie-talkie frequencies — so you won’t get any interference — but they’re still the coolest, most retro way of talking with your friends. There are even apps that allow you to talk with users in your area and worldwide. Turn your Android or iOS device into a digital walkie-talkie with a selection of the best apps.

    The global Push-to-Talk market size was valued at $31.56 billion US dollars in 2022, and is projected to reach $62.57 billion US dollars by 2032, according to a press release at

    On a recent trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. I noticed a number of families using cell phones as walkie-talkies to keep all family members in touch as they toured the huge park. Initially, walkie-talkie apps were used by first responders and other public service groups, including industry, transportation, and public safety. However, nowadays they are becoming more and more popular amongst families, boy scouts, girl scouts, and amongst "pick up" groups of friends. I used PTT cellular apps a while ago to provide communications amongst the occupants of 3 automobiles traveling together on a trip of a couple of hundred miles. On a different trip, a group of us stayed in touch via PTT apps while dividing up a large cemetery and the group went searching for the tombstone of one individual in the cemetery. (We found it!)

    The expansion of technology and the rising popularity of push-to-talk via cellular solutions are some of the major driving forces behind the expansion of the global push-to-talk market. Push to Talk (or PTT) systems and services have improved capabilities as a result of these developments. By providing real-time & secure communication, boosting the penetration of wireless PTT devices, and interactive media sharing capabilities that are driving the PTT industry, the growing use of cloud-based PTT solutions is assisting in closing communication gaps.

    Global Push to Talk Market Definition

    Push-to-talk (PTT) is a two-way communication service that operates like a "walkie-talkie" in the world of telecommunications. Unlike mobile phone conversations, which are full-duplex and allow for two-way communication, PTT only allows for half-duplex communication, which means that information may only be delivered in one direction at a time. It is a one-to-many or one-to-one mobile communication system that does not need the dialling, ringing, and responding processes that are necessary for a typical phone call.

    While CB, Family Radio Services (a two-way, short-distance voice and data communications service for facilitating family and group activities), and other short-range walkie-talkies have been popular for many years, the newer push-to-talk over cellular services offer a number of advantages that are not available on other communications services.

    The first advantage is price. Family Radio Service walkie-talkies cost $20 (US dollars) and up for each, while push-to-talk (PTT) over cellular is essentially free. The idea is that most people already own a smartphone and the addition of a (free) push-to-talk application results in "no additional cost" to already available hardware purchases. (Some push-to-talk applications also offer additional "enhanced services" for a price of $2 to perhaps $5. The enhanced services appeal mostly to business users and first responders. Most families ignore these extra services and simply go with the free services.)

    Another huge advantage is the range of communications. CB and Family Radio Service walkie talkies can communicate perhaps a quarter mile to maybe 2 or 3 miles under ideal conditions. In contrast, Push-to-talk (PTT) over Cellular communicates easily worldwide. All that is needed is a connection to the Internet, something that is available in most locations these days (although not everywhere).

    A few years ago, I used a push-to-talk (PTT) over cellular app installed on my cell phone while walking down a street in Singapore and talking with a family member in Massachusetts... all at no charge. No, not even a cellular roaming charge.

    The demand for PTT solutions in North America is also being driven by the increasing adoption of mobile devices and the growing trend of remote working. Europe is the second-largest market for PTT solutions, driven by the transportation and logistics sector, which accounts for a significant portion of PTT usage in the region. The demand for PTT solutions in Europe is also being driven by the increasing need for real-time communication in industries such as construction and healthcare.

    Impact of the Russia-Ukraine War on the global Push to Talk Market:

    The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has the potential to impact the PTT market, particularly in Europe. The war has led to increased tensions between Russia and its Western neighbors, and there is a growing concern among European countries about their dependence on Russian technology, including PTT solutions. Some European countries have already taken steps to reduce their reliance on Russian technology, with the European Union recently announcing plans to invest in the development of European-made PTT solutions. This could lead to increased competition in the PTT market, particularly in Europe, as European providers seek to develop solutions that can compete with Russian-made PTT technology. In addition, the war has also led to an increase in demand for PTT solutions among the military and other security agencies involved in the conflict. This could lead to increased investment in PTT solutions for military and security applications, particularly in Ukraine and other countries in the region.

    Of course, my interest is primarily amongst families. Push-to-talk (PTT) over cellular is useful for many family applications, whether touring Disney, traveling in multiple automobiles, surveying cemeteries, or simply aiming a television antenna on the roof of a house. You might not use a PTT app very often but, when you have a need for it, you will find it to be very, very useful.

    By far, the most popular push-to-talk (PTT) over cellular app is Zello, available for Apple cell phones, Android cell phones, and a number iof other computers. Although less popular, other Push-to-talk (PTT) over Cellular apps include: HeyTell, Two Way, Voxer Walkie Talkie Messenger, and others. Check your cell phone's app store for a list of push-to-talk (PTT) available applications. 

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