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  • 13 Jan 2023 7:59 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Head back to school this

    Findmypast Friday 

    ·         More school records for Yorkshire added 

    ·         Records for five burial sites in Middlesex 

    ·         Two newspaper titles updated with even more pages 

    National School Admission Registers

    This collection has been bolstered by a further 7,859 records, all from 10 schools Halifax in Yorkshire. You should find details such as full name, age and the years your ancestor attended school. Some may even have parents’ names and their home address. 

    Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 

    A further 1,731 records have been added to this existing collection, covering five different burial sites, one of which is a prison. Typically, you’ll get an ancestor’s full name, death year, place, and even sometimes the full inscription. Be sure to check the document link to learn more information about the burial site. 

    Newspapers 

    Step back in time into the era of old school Hollywood glamour and beyond this week. 

    Updated titles: 

    ·         Picturegoer, 1915-1918, 1923-1925, 1950 

    ·         Birmingham Mail, 1998 

  • 12 Jan 2023 7:15 PM | Anonymous

    Over and over, genealogists have been told that the copyright has expired for all works published in the United States before 1928. In other words, if the work was published in the U.S. before January 1, 1928, anyone is free to republish excerpts or even the entire book without obtaining permission. That statement remains correct today. However, many genealogists are not aware that the overwhelming majority of all books published prior to 1964 are also free of copyright. That's "the overwhelming majority of all books" but not all of them.

    Between 1928 and 1964, a renewal registration was required to prevent the expiration of copyright.  If a work was first published before January 1, 1964, the owner had to file a renewal with the Copyright Office during the 28th year after publication. No renewal meant a loss of copyright. In other words, for all books published prior to 1964, the copyrights expired before January 1, 1992 IF THE COPYRIGHT WAS NOT RENEWED. However, a 1961 report from the U.S. Copyright Office estimates that 85% of the books never had the copyrights renewed. Therefore, those books are now public domain. 

    Major corporations generally had employees who monitored copyrights and made sure they were renewed. For instance, if you have a Disney comic book published during the 1940s, it probably is still under copyright because the Disney Corporation protected the company's copyrights and made sure the copyrights were renewed on time. However, the overwhelming majority of genealogy books that were self-published by individual genealogists probably did not have the copyrights renewed. The key word in that sentence is PROBABLY.

    The laws changed for books published after January 1, 1964 and we can assume that all of those books are still under copyright today unless they were explicitly released to the public domain, according to U.S. copyright laws. The laws vary widely in other countries, however.

    Determining whether a work's copyright registration has been renewed is a challenge but is not impossible. Renewals received by the Copyright Office after 1977 are searchable in an online database, but renewals received between 1950 and 1977 were announced and distributed only in a semi-annual print publication. The Copyright Office does not have a machine-searchable source for this renewal information, and the only public access is through the card catalog in the Copyright Office's D.C. offices.

    In order to make these renewal records more accessible, Stanford University has created a Copyright Renewal Database. The database covers only renewals, not original registrations, and is limited to books (Class A registrations) published in the U.S. As a result, the Copyright Renewal Database is a big help but is not the definitive answer to all copyright questions concerning books published prior to 1964.

    If you plan on using a work that was published after 1927, but before 1964, you should research the records of the Copyright Office to determine if a renewal was filed. You can research in person at the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C., or pay the Copyright Office to do a search for you $200.00 per hour with a 2-hour minimum (see http://www.copyright.gov/forms/search_estimate.html); or pay someone to perform the search for you. 

    You can read more about these copyright issues at:

    and probably at a few dozen other web sites as well.

  • 12 Jan 2023 6:56 PM | Anonymous

    If you are of European descent, you are probably a descendant of Charlemagne. Once you are able to prove your line of descent from him, you will then find thousands of links to other royalty in your list of relatives.

    Charlemagne had twenty children over the course of his life with eight of his ten known wives or concubines. Genealogists have shown that fourteen presidents of the United States, including George Washington, Ulysses Grant, Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt, and the Bushes are all descendants of the King of France who lived from 2 April 742 AD to 28 January 814 AD.

    It is rare indeed that the genealogy of a person of European descent, when traceable, doesn’t hit nobility somewhere. And once it hits one European noble, whether you like it or not, nearly the whole tribe joins your family. Those folks got around.

    The reason is simple. First, make a guess how many ancestors you have. It may be a larger number than you thought. Obviously, you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on in a geometric progression. Moving backwards, each generation introduces double the number of ancestors of the previous generation.

    What is not so obvious is the size of the numbers when you go back twenty or thirty or forty generations:

    20 generations: more than one million ancestors

    30 generations: more than one billion ancestors

    40 generations: more than one trillion ancestors!

    Of course, those numbers assume there are no duplicates in your entire family tree. One problem: there are always duplicates. Next, one trillion is a much larger number than the total number of people who have ever lived.

    Whatever the real number of your ancestors, you are descended from a huge number of people. Within these billions of ancestors, you will always find royalty, assuming you are able to trace back that far. It would be impossible to have a billion ancestors without some royalty appearing someplace in your family tree. 

    Professional genealogists tell us that Charlemagne appears in almost every European descendant's family tree. Your challenge is to go out and document your line of descent.


  • 12 Jan 2023 6:46 PM | Anonymous
    WARNING: This article contains personal opinions. The intended primary audience for this article is the members and officers of genealogy societies.

    There are two contradictory "facts" floating around among genealogy societies, points that I hear discussed at almost all the genealogy conferences and meetings that I attend:

    Fact #1: Genealogy is more popular today than ever before. It is the second or third or fourth most popular topic on the Web, depending upon whose sources you care to cite. 

    Fact #2: Attendance at all genealogy venues is down. The average attendance at genealogy conferences is declining. (Note that I wrote "average." There are some notable exceptions.) Membership in genealogy societies is also declining. Finally, the number of visitors to most major genealogy libraries reportedly is declining.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else see a contradiction in these two "facts?" If interest in genealogy is growing, why aren't we seeing more and more people at conferences, libraries, and society meetings?

    I would like to offer some possible solutions to this quandary. 

    In the past few years, I have attended dozens genealogy conferences in four different countries. I have also worked in genealogy society booths at two different non-genealogy events, one with a few thousand attendees and another with more than one million attendees. 

    Over the past 40 years I have attended more than 150 regional, national, and international genealogy conferences and have visited several dozen genealogy societies. I have seen some ideas that worked well, some that did not work so well, and a few that totally fizzled. I am not sure if I am an expert in the topic of shrinking attendance, but a few observations stand out in my mind.

    First of all, genealogy societies need to grow in order to succeed. To be sure, some societies have existed for years with a more or less stable number of members, or even with declining membership numbers. However, the societies that seem to succeed in producing new services and publications are those that are growing. Constant growth means new people joining with new ideas and invigorated interest levels. Newcomers soon gain experience and then become the "movers and shakers" within the genealogy community. Those who have been around for a number of years, conversing with the same people time after time, tend to settle in and enjoy the social aspects of the local society, but they do not strike out with new ideas and new energy levels. The genealogy societies with declining memberships rarely produce new and innovative products and services.

    Next, when we (the long-term the members of genealogy societies) go to genealogy conventions to advertise our services and products, we are "preaching to the choir." Who goes to genealogy conventions? The long-time genealogists who already know about our products and services! Yes, the attendees at genealogy conferences typically are those who have been researching their family trees for some time. They probably already know about your society and made a determination some time ago whether or not to join. The bigger the conference and the more people attracted, the truer this seems to be. 

    For instance, I have attended 32 of the last 34 annual national conferences of the U.S. National Genealogical Society. I have also attended a number of other national, international, and larger regional conferences. You know who I saw at recent conferences? Mostly the same people that I saw the previous year and the years before. Some of those faces look very familiar; in many cases I think I have been seeing the same faces for 34 years! These are the people who already know about the services of your society. Exhibiting at national and local genealogical conferences may be a desirable thing, but it does not attract many new members!

    What we need is new blood. We need those mysterious people who are buying the software and surfing the web's genealogy pages and newsgroups. These people are in "stealth” mode; we know they are lurking out there someplace, but we have difficulty locating them. We need to attract these people to both local and national genealogy conferences. If they could become "hooked" at the conferences, I bet a significant number of them would join local and ethnic genealogy societies. Yes, they could energize societies as we watch membership begin to increase.

    So, how do we find and interest these people? We (the old-time members of the societies) have to go to the potential newcomers. We cannot wait for them to come to us. We cannot go to genealogy conferences that keep attracting the same crowd and expect our membership numbers to grow as a result. We have to seek out the potential newcomers wherever they are. And I assure you that is not at genealogy conferences.

    Some years ago I spent several days working in a genealogy society's booth at the Eastern States Exposition, an event locally referred to as "The Big E." This Exposition is similar to a state fair, except that it covers all six New England states. It was an eye-opening experience. More than one million people attended this 17-day event, and an estimated 750,000 of those people walked by the genealogy booth where I worked. To be sure, not all of the attendees stopped to talk, but thousands did. Yes, thousands. I think we (the society) talked with more people at this one 17-day event than we do the rest of the year at all the genealogy events combined.

    Talking with the general public is a fascinating experience. To be sure, the conversations mostly were at an introductory level since most of these people had no idea who their great-grandparents were. We had a high-speed Internet connection in the booth and spent many hours looking at Social Security Death Index records, as well as a variety of Web sites in addition to our own. We handed out blank pedigree charts by the thousands, along with some advertising materials.

    Not all of these people went home and started looking up their family trees that evening or the next day; but, a significant number did. I also believe that we planted many "genealogy seeds" that may not sprout for months or perhaps years. What we did do well is that we got many of these people to start thinking about their family heritage, people who would not have started that thought process if we only exhibited at genealogy events. I believe that some number of these people will join a genealogy society in the coming weeks, months, and years. Admittedly, I do not have an accurate yardstick to measure the success of our efforts at this non-genealogy event. All I have is intuition and some one-on-one feedback from individuals. Yet every staff member and volunteer who worked in the genealogy boot at this event has expressed satisfaction with our efforts and believes that we "did good."

    Other venues that would seem suitable for a genealogy society's booth would include:

    • Any event that celebrates history, such as "Old Time Days"
    • Any ethnic heritage events, such as St. Patrick's Day celebrations or Highland Games
    • State, county and local agricultural fairs
    • Civil War re-enactments
    • Revolutionary War re-enactments
    • Antique auto shows
    • Steam engine and old gasoline engine meets

    I am sure that you can add to the above list. You can probably find other potential events within the next year in your vicinity.

    In short, I would urge you and every other genealogy society member to creatively find new places in which to advertise your society's products and services. While it is good to advertise to genealogists, it is even more important to generate publicity among those who never heard of your organization. In short, you need to advertise to the general public. The only way to do this is to go out and find the general public at the places where the public gathers. It works best if the people you talk to have at least a casual interest in history and/or heritage, such as the people who attend the types of events I listed above.

    I am reminded of a very old joke that has been told millions of times. Many years ago, a shoe manufacturer felt they had saturated the U.S., Canadian, and European markets. They already sold millions of pairs of shoes every year but wanted to increase those sales even further. Seeking new markets, they sent a salesman to darkest Africa where there were no shoe manufacturers.

    The salesman wired back to the home office, "The people here do not wear shoes. There is no opportunity to sell shoes. I am returning home rather than wasting my time any further."

    Undaunted, the home office sent another salesman known to have a unique way of looking at sales situations. A few days later he wired back, "The people here do not wear shoes. The potential market is unlimited! Please send all the shoes you can spare, I am going to stay and make a fortune!"

    The joke is an old one but perhaps it does point out that new viewpoints and new approaches are needed. I would suggest that it is time to throw away some of the ideas we have held for years.

    How does your genealogy society "sell" its services and products? Are you seeking new members/customers in markets that are already saturated? Or are you seeking opportunities in places where genealogy is unknown? Where are you most likely to find new members?

    Has your genealogy or local history society had any success publicizing its efforts and attracting new members via nontraditional methods? If so, would you mind sharing your success stories so that others could benefit from your ideas? 

  • 11 Jan 2023 6:14 PM | Anonymous

    A digital collection of Utah State University administrators, faculty, staff and student oral histories pertaining to the COVID-19 Pandemic is now available to the public through USU’s Institutional Repository.

    The last time USU faced a pandemic was more than a hundred years ago, in fall 1918. Evidence, especially firsthand accounts, of that period in USU’s history is limited in the archives. The University's Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives sought to ensure that generations of future historians would be able to understand the institutional effects of COVID-19 on USU by collecting oral histories of USU administrators, faculty, staff and students as they experienced the effects of a global pandemic.

    Graduate Fellow Tameron Williams began working on the collection in January 2022 under the direction of Archival Librarian Todd Welch. Williams conducted 104 oral history interviews, including an interview with USU President Noelle Cockett.

    “People had a lot to say about the pandemic, from the inspirational to the introspective,” Williams said. “Still, in all those stories it is clear that everyone was just doing the most they could with what they had.”

    After the oral histories were recorded and transcribed, they were added to USU Special Collections University Archives.

    “For future researchers who listen to these 5, 10, 20 years from now, I think there will be much to be said about how people responded in difficult circumstances and especially how lasting the lessons we learned from the pandemic were,” Williams said.

    University Archivist Kelly Rovegno agreed with Williams.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic had far-reaching consequences across every aspect of life, including at Utah State University,” Rovegno said. “This project will assist future students, faculty, staff and scholars to learn and understand about the procedures and policies USU developed and implemented to maintain operations during the pandemic of 2020-2021.”

    Funding for this collection was made possible by USU central administration and the recordings and transcripts are availabe digitally at https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/covid/.

  • 11 Jan 2023 8:33 AM | Anonymous

    “Document Analysis: Digging into Details” 

    by Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA

    Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 8:00 p.m. (EST) 

    Analyzing documents for reliability, context, and information can help solve challenging research problems. Genealogists mine documents for information and clues to other records. They evaluate the details in the records looking for evidence to answer research questions. This session will demonstrate how to analyze documents and provide a list of questions to use in your own analysis.

    Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA, has a passion for teaching genealogy. She is the Education Director of the National Genealogical Society and a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Angela enjoys coordinating courses for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, as well as teaching at other genealogy conferences and institutes. Angela served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program for six years and is now on the board of directors. She also serves as a trustee for the BCG Education Fund. 

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “Document Analysis: Digging into Details” by Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA. This webinar airs Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. EST.  

    When you register before January 17 with our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars(http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=8098) you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Anyone with schedule conflicts may access the webinar at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

    “We appreciate the opportunity to present these high-quality educational webinars,” said President Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG. “At BCG, our purpose is to promote public confidence in genealogy by supporting uniform standards of competence. These webinars help to achieve that by providing educational opportunities to family historians of all levels of 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: http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=2619.

    To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2023, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at https://bcgcertification.org/bcg-2023-free-webinars/.  For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (https://bcgcertification.org/learning).

  • 11 Jan 2023 8:19 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Kimmy Yam published in the NBC News web site:

    “The stories of so many who unjustly lost their freedom, lost property, and were forcibly uprooted from their homes should be a constant reminder of our duty to uphold the rights of every American,” said co-author Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

    A new law signed by President Joe Biden on Wednesday will help memorialize the history of the U.S. government's incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. 

    The legislation, spearheaded by Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, would reauthorize funds that help preserve the sites in which tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were detained, including Manzanar in California and Rohwer in Arkansas. 

    “The internment of Japanese American citizens remains one of the darkest and most shameful periods in our history,” Schatz said in a statement about the law. “The stories of so many who unjustly lost their freedom, lost property, and were forcibly uprooted from their homes should be a constant reminder of our duty to uphold the rights of every American.” 

    The Norman Y. Mineta Japanese American Confinement Education Act was introduced in the House in March 2021 and passed without objection this year before gaining Senate approval. Mineta, a former secretary of transportation who died last May, was the first Asian American to become a Cabinet secretary and had spent two years in an incarceration camp.

    The act will not only renew funding for the 2006 Japanese American Confinement Sites Program, but also designate $10 million for grants to understand the “use and abuse of power,” and promote awareness around this dark period in American history. 

    You can read more at: https://tinyurl.com/8mm9vfkf

  • 10 Jan 2023 5:57 PM | Anonymous
    FALLS CHURCH, VA, 10 JANUARY 2023—Registration is now open for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2023 Family History Conference, 31 May-3 June, in Richmond, Virginia, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
     
    Individuals may register either for the In-Person Conference or an Online at Home program. The in-person conference features three days of concentrated learning for everyone interested in family history from beginners to professional genealogists. The two-day Online at Home program consists of five, live streamed lectures per day on Friday and Saturday, 2–3 June. Everyone who registers for the in-person conference will receive complimentary access to Online at Home.
     
    The conference program, Virginia: Deep Roots of a Nation, offers an extensive choice of lectures on such topics as
    • records and repositories in Virginia and neighboring states;
    • resources and techniques for researching African American, Jewish, Indigenous People, and other ethnic groups;
    • local and federal government records including military, tax, and land records;
    • the use of DNA to help determine relationships; and
    • methods to analyze and evaluate evidence featuring the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Skillbuilding Track.
     
    Descriptions of sessions, speakers, events, exhibitor and sponsor information, and more on the conference website now. Detailed information with the full conference schedule will be available as a PDF later in January.
     
    Guest speakers include Christy S. Coleman, the executive director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and Meryl Frank, genealogist and author, who was appointed to the US Holocaust Memorial Council in 2022. Check the conference news page to learn about speakers, exhibitors, tours, social events, nearby research facilities, and things to do in Richmond.
     
    COVID-19 Policy
    NGS is committed to protecting the health and safety of attendees, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, and staff and has updated its COVID-19 policies for 2023.
     
    Conference Hotels
    Information about booking reservations at conference hotels will be sent in the registration confirmation email.
     
    Early-Bird Discount
    The early-bird, discounted registration fee for the in-person conference ends 31 March.
     
  • 10 Jan 2023 5:42 PM | Anonymous

    When:  January 22, 2023, at 2 pm
    Where: 525 Telfair St.  Augusta, GA 30901

    The Community is invited to Join the Rev. Pierre Robert Chapter of the Colonial Dames 17th Century and the Board and Volunteers of the new Augusta Jewish Museum on, Sunday, January 22, 2023, at 2 pm for the historical marker dedications of the 1860 Court of Ordinary of Richmond County and the 1869 Congregation Children of Israel, which is the oldest standing synagogue in Georgia.  In 2015, these buildings were to be demolished but were saved by the Community and Historic Augusta efforts. 

    The Honorable Garnett Johnson, Mayor of Augusta, Mr. Erick Montgomery, Executive Director, Historic Augusta, Inc., and Mrs. Amelia Pelton, State President Colonial Dames 17th Century, will attend this historic event. Mr. Jack Weinstein, President of the Augusta Jewish Museum Board, will accept these historical markers.

    As a preview to the upcoming exhibit displays of AJM, at the January 22 event, there will be a special showing of “The AJM Stories: Remembering Our Place in History.” These video and audio compilations, initially recorded by a partnership with Jessye Norman School of the Arts, are funded by a grant from Georgia Humanities with production by respected Augusta videographer Mark Albertin and noted historian LeeAnn Caldwell. A light reception will follow the marker dedication and tours of both historic buildings.

    Established on July 15, 1915, the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century is a non-profit organization with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. To uphold and continue the values and ideals of their ancestors, the work of Colonial Dames 17th Century is dedicated to the preservation of historic sites and records, promotion of heraldry and coats of arms, and support of charitable projects and education.

    The Augusta Jewish Museum and its programming chronicle the life, history, and contributions of the Jewish community in the Augusta GA/Aiken SC areas. The museum also educates about Jewish life and traditions, Remembering the Holocaust and Israel–the land and its people. Visit augustajewishmuseum.org for more information.

  • 9 Jan 2023 10:38 AM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage just published a huge new collection covering immigration to Israel from 1919 onwards, with 1.7 million records! And the best news is that we’ve made it completely FREE! This collection is the Israeli equivalent of the famous “Ellis Island” immigration database for the United States. This is probably the biggest news in Israeli genealogy in the last decade! For a period of more than a year, MyHeritage painstakingly indexed thousands of public domain images made available by the Israel State Archives that include all surviving records of all those who immigrated to Israel by ships and by planes from all over the world starting in 1919. MyHeritage is the first organization to create a searchable index for this valuable collection and associate it with the scanned images. The collection is available for all to search and view for FREE, without even having to sign up, making the information more accessible than ever before for anyone researching their Jewish roots in Israel. Almost every genealogist in Israel is expected to find direct ancestors and other relatives in this valuable collection and to know for the first time the precise circumstances of their arrival to Israel.

    The records in this collection include the name of the immigrant and the names of relatives who immigrated with them, country of origin, the name of the ship they arrived on, the date of arrival, names of parents, names of relatives who are expecting them in Israel, and their destination city in Israel.

    Following the end of World War I, the British occupied Palestine from 1919 until Israel declared its statehood in 1948. During that period, there were four waves of immigration, or aliyot in Hebrew. There were many reasons why people made aliyah: some were fleeing antisemitism, some leaving for political or religious reasons, many searching for new hope and a new life following the World Wars.

    Historians have defined several waves of aliyah between 1882 and the beginning of World War II. This collection starts with the Third Aliyah period. The first two waves took place from 1882 to 1918 under Ottoman rule, and are not covered in this collection. 

    The Third Aliyah took place between 1919 and 1923 and was primarily composed of Eastern European Jewish immigrants called halutzim, or pioneers, who left Europe after World War I to create a new future for themselves. 

    The immigrants who arrived during the Fourth Aliyah, from 1924 to 1929, were mostly Jewish people who arrived as a result of the rise in antisemitism throughout Europe and the Middle East. Most came from Eastern European countries like Poland, the Soviet Union, Romania and Lithuania but there were also Jews from Yemen and Iraq.

    The Fifth Aliyah, from 1929 through 1939, saw the influx of 250,000 immigrants, the largest wave yet. Most were fleeing Poland, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Greece in response to growing antisemitism and the rise of Nazism. There were also Jewish immigrants from Turkey, Iran, and Yemen.

    From 1933 to 1948, the British enforced immigration quotas, limiting the number of Jews who could move to Palestine. Many Jews found ways to enter Palestine illegally. The collection does not include lists of illegal immigrants, but there are several lists of children who arrived as part of the youth immigration during this time period.

    The collection was created from scanned books stored by the Israel State Archives with lists of immigrants (most of them in Hebrew), arranged in chronological order according to the arrival dates of the ships or planes to Palestine or the State of Israel. These registers were previously used by the Jewish Agency’s Relatives Search section. The records also include the arrival of tourists to Israel, or the return of Israeli residents from a trip abroad. Pedestrian arrivals are also listed, i.e. those who came in through border crossings in the north or south.

    You can read a lot more in the MyHeritage Blog at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2023/01/myheritage-publishes-exclusive-huge-collection-of-israel-immigration-records/.

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