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  • 25 Aug 2021 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    The National Archives of Australia may have won funding to cover the backlog of at-risk records in need of digitisation but its greater ambitions to take a more commanding role in preserving and protecting documents across government will have to wait.

    In July, the Federal Government granted the National Archives of Australia the $67.7 million recommended by former Finance secretary David Tune to address immediate needs after a vocal campaign from the agency and its supporters.

    The government has now released its response to the Tune review, agreeing to or agreeing in principle to all 20 recommendations.

    But key proposals will be sent off to a committee or await the justification of a business case.

    You can read the full story in an article by Ian Bushnell that has been published in the The Riot Act web site at

  • 24 Aug 2021 6:19 PM | Anonymous

    Ancestry has introduced a new collection of more than 3.5 million searchable record. The Freedmen’s Bureau collection can provide details of your African American ancestors’ lives before 1870—giving you a more complete picture of your past. With this free collection, you can discover the names of your African American ancestors, read their personal letters, see where they settled after the Civil War, and much more.

    Established in 1865 to help the nearly four million newly freedmen and women manage their transition from enslavement to citizenship, the Freedmen’s Bureau assisted with land and property, relief programs, medical care, and educational support—among many other important endeavors.

    You can read more and also access the collection at:

  • 24 Aug 2021 6:10 PM | Anonymous

    The Tennessee State Library and Archives reopened in April at a new location in downtown Nashville. Check online at for all the details about where it is, the new parking arrangement and to take the virtual tours.

    For anyone with Tennessee roots, it’s a great resource.

  • 24 Aug 2021 5:10 PM | Anonymous

    This is unique: I don't often get to publish political announcements in this newsletter. However, if you have family members from Belarus, you might find information about your relatives in this group of records:

    Opponents of the Belarus government said they have pulled off an audacious hack that has compromised dozens of police and interior ministry databases as part of a broad effort to overthrow President Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

    From a report:The Belarusian Cyber Partisans, as the hackers call themselves, have in recent weeks released portions of a huge data trove they say includes some of the country's most secret police and government databases. The information contains lists of alleged police informants, personal information about top government officials and spies, video footage gathered from police drones and detention centers and secret recordings of phone calls from a government wiretapping system, according to interviews with the hackers and documents reviewed by Bloomberg News.

    Among the pilfered documents are personal details about Lukashenko's inner circle and intelligence officers. In addition, there are mortality statistics indicating that thousands more people in Belarus died from Covid-19 than the government has publicly acknowledged, the documents suggest. In an interview and on social media, the hackers said they also sabotaged more than 240 surveillance cameras in Belarus and are preparing to shut down government computers with malicious software named X-App.

  • 24 Aug 2021 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from the Genealogical Forum of Oregon:

    (Portland, Oregon, 08/24/2021)-- The Genealogical Forum of Oregonhas received a $1,400 federal American Rescue Plan Act grant for digitizing our holdings. The money will permit the purchase of a much-needed scanner that can be used by our trained volunteers. Records will then be made available to members at home via the GFO website. Prior to the pandemic, digitization was done on a modest basis, mainly to protect our periodicals. Patrons only had access to the digitized images onsite at our library.

    In the past year, due to the pandemic, a team of dedicated volunteers moved more than 150 annual classes online and has transferred more than 334,000 pages of records onto the GFO’s website. This grant will increase that effort.

    The GFO received the grant in a highly competitive process; less than a third of the total funding requested was approved. Grants were made possible thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, through the Library Services and Technology Act. The grants application process was administered by the State Library of Oregon.

    The federal funds were included in the American Rescue Plan Act to help libraries, museums, and related nonprofits promote digital inclusion and connectivity, address needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and support efforts to provide equitable service to communities.

    GFO Vice President Susie Chodorow, who secured the grant, says, “The majority of our members identify as 65 years and older. Many are living with disabilities, especially mobility concerns. It’s imperative that we continue to offer online services. This grant will help us work towards our goal of making our collections accessible online as quickly as possible for use by our members.”

    We greatly appreciate Congress’s support of the American Rescue Plan Act. It is directly benefiting the residents ofOregon.

    For more information about the federal library grants, please visit the Institute of Museum and Library Services at More information about AmericanRescue Plan Act grants awarded by the State Library of Oregon, is available at

  • 23 Aug 2021 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release written by the National Genealogical Society:

    FALLS CHURCH, VA, 23 AUGUST 2021— The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce the publication of two new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in thirty states and the tribal records of Oklahoma’s American Indians. The newest volumes are Research in Alabama by LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, and a new edition of Research in Maryland, by Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL, and Debra A. Hoffman, PLCGS. The books are available in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions.

    Both guidebooks provide detailed information on a wealth of resources, including:

    • Archives, Libraries, and Societies
    • Atlases, Gazetteers, and Maps
    • Bible, Cemetery, and Census Records
    • Court and other Jurisdictional Records
    • Directories and Newspapers
    • Ethnic, Land, Probate, and Religious Records
    • Military, Naturalization, State, Tax, Vital Records, and more

    The guide books include the website address, physical address, and telephone number for each repository.

    In Research in Alabama, Garrett-Nelson also reviews archival documentation regarding the state’s enslaved people and its free people of color, including non-traditional repositories. The author covers information on pertinent digital collections and databases such as bills of sale, estate inventories, and letters as well as postbellum records.

    Alabama was one of the few states to grant property rights to married women prior to the Civil War. Historical records of testamentary documents, deeds, bills of sale, and more offer a possible pathway for tracing maternal ancestors. These topics and more are thoroughly addressed in Research in Alabama.

    Garrett-Nelson is an author, lecturer, and a trustee and president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). She is the registrar general of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage. Her articles have appeared in NGS Quarterly and the Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.

    Research in Maryland, New Edition, is an invaluable guide for family historians who seek to trace ancestors who lived in Maryland as well as lands that were once part of the “Maryland Colony,” including Delaware, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania as far north as Philadelphia, and parts of what are Virginia and West Virginia. Koford and Hoffman explain the system of land grants during the colonial period as well as after America’s independence. They also discuss Maryland’s court system and its numerous name and jurisdictional changes during and after the colonial period.

    Maryland’s state and local governments did not begin to keep records of births and deaths until the late nineteenth century. Research in Maryland reviews other sources including religious records for Anglican/Episcopalian, Baptist, Lutheran and Reformed, Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Quaker religions; and source material for several ethnic groups, including African American, German, Irish, Jewish, and Native American. The authors also describe the resources at Maryland State Archives (MSA) and its Archives of Maryland Online, which includes more than 471,000 historical documents.

    Koford is an author and lecturer and Course One coordinator at the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Records (IGHR). She serves on the Board of the ProGen Study Groups, is the executive director of the BCG, and is director of the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records.

    Hoffman specializes in Maryland and German research. An author and lecturer, she has presented at IGHR and coordinated the Maryland course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She is past co-director of Gen-Fed and recording secretary for the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society.

    Research in the States series is edited by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS, a former NGS president and editor of the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy. Research in Alabama and Research in Maryland are available for purchase in the NGS online store in both PDF and print versions.

  • 20 Aug 2021 2:53 PM | Anonymous

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

    Perhaps you have spent a lot of effort studying your family's history. However, have you ever considered studying the history of the family's home – either the home in which you live or perhaps the ancestral home in which your parents or grandparents lived? To be sure, many families may have lived in the same house, sharing the joys and tragedies of family life throughout the years. Are you curious who they were and perhaps what their experiences were? Who built your house? When was it built, and by whom? What did it cost? Who were the previous owners and residents? What did the interior and exterior originally look like? Those questions can usually be answered by a bit of investigation. In fact, you can create a social genealogy: facts about the owners and residents of the house.

    House research is quite similar to genealogy research, often looking at the same records: old maps, deeds, and books. Through research, you can discover who lived in your home and probably what they did for a living. In short, you become a house detective.

    The most important stage in tracing the history of your house will be preparing a research plan. Adopting a methodical approach will yield far better results and allow you to pursue key facts. The search is much like a genealogy research project: always start with yourself. Gather the paperwork from your purchase of the home. What are the names of the former owners? How long did they live there?

    Next, talk to local people. Your neighbors can be valuable sources of information if they lived in the neighborhood before your arrival. They may even have photographs of the house, possibly including photographs of previous owners. Real estate agents can be valuable sources of information; they almost always have photographs of properties they have listed in past years. However, you need to be sensitive that the real estate agent's job is to sell houses, not to answer questions from hobbyists. Keep your questions brief so as to minimize your intrusion into the real estate agent's work day.

    Next, you can move to official records. The local Registry of Deeds can provide the names of previous owners as well as descriptions or drawings of the property lines. Look in the lists of Grantors and Grantees. (Grantors are those who sold the property; grantees are the buyers.) You also may need to find out more about the local community. Village and town lines may have been redrawn as areas were developed. Has the street or house changed its name (or number)? Do street names reflect an important event or landowner?

    As in genealogy work, census records will provide valuable information. In many cases, you can identify the residents of a house in 1940 or before in the U.S. census records. In older records, house numbers are not common, and the enumerators (census takers) did not always record street names. You may want to study the enumeration districts; even where street names are absent, each enumerator provided geographic descriptions of the districts covered.

    City Directories are perhaps even better than census records, when available. Unlike the federal censuses, city directories were typically published annually or biannually. They always list the street, as well as the house number if house numbering had been created.

    The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/10944452.

    If you are not yet a Plus Edition subscriber, you can learn more about such subscriptions and even upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription immediately at  

  • 20 Aug 2021 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an extract from an article by Jennie Oemig published in the WickedLocal web site at

    Richard Trask has been a familiar and welcoming face in the Danvers Archival Center for decades. And soon, the entity will bear his name.

    Trask, who refers to the archival center as “my baby,” became Danvers’ first town archivist back in 1972 when Town Meeting funded the position within the Peabody Institute Library department.

    His responsibility is to collect, preserve, conserve and care for the historic materials, as well as act as a resource person for town history matters.

    Town archivist Richard Trask inside the Danvers Archival Center at the Peabody Institute Library.

    Trask said he is incredibly humbled by the acknowledgment of his many, many years of commitment to preserving some of the town’s most important historical documents.

    “I feel very honored,” he said. “In the back of my mind, I had always thought, maybe when I’m dead, they might [name the center after me].”

    You can read the full article at:

  • 20 Aug 2021 10:09 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Search new burial, army and knighthood records this Findmypast Friday

    Where will your past take you this week? A London cemetery? Back to World War 2? Or maybe there's a knight in the family you've yet to discover. Read on to find out What's new this Findmypast Friday.

    British Army, Royal Engineers Other Ranks: Casualty Cards

    These detail-rich records cover casualties during and after World War 2. Consisting of both transcripts and images of original documents, these records will enable you to uncover information on their injuries, next of kin and more.

    Harold North's card shows his father's name and address, his army number and when and where he was listed as a casualty. View the full record.

    Findmypast is home to a host of useful collections for tracing the stories of Royal Engineers. Delve into tracer cardsjournals and more to uncover and commemorate their exploits.

    Greater London Burial Index

    Is your ancestor buried in London? This vast collection has grown again with thousands of new additions from Southwark and Chiswick.

    Following today’s update, the Greater Burial Index now includes new records from:

      • Chiswick, 1856-1866
      • Southwark, St George the Martyr Workhouse, 1835-1874
      • Southwark, St Olave, 1848-1866

    This ever-growing resource now contains over 2 million records. See Findmypast’s parish list to see which cemeteries timeframes are covered.

    Britain, Knights of the Realm & Commonwealth Index

    Findmypast have updated this collection of notable knights and dames with the latest entries from the Queen’s Honours lists.

    This index spans several centuries, with entries dating back to pre-1500 and continuing on to present day. Each result will provides transcript that includes birth years, biographies, award types and death years (if applicable) and more.


    With 13 new titles and updates to 26 more, Findmypast’s newspaper collection continues to grow. This week’s new arrivals include:

    While additional pages have been added to:

  • 19 Aug 2021 8:59 AM | Anonymous
    The following announcement was written by the organizers of the FHF Really Useful Family History Show 2021:

    Friday 12th November : 6pm-10pm and Saturday 13th November : 10am-6pm

    The Family History Federation’s Really Useful Family History Show is back and, responding to requests from previous shows, it is changing! 

    On Friday evening there is a new session where there will be free access to the stalls of family history societies and other exhibitors. Opportunity to ask local groups for local advice.

    On Saturday for ticket holders the range of workshops is being increased; there are over twenty talks and presentations by leading experts; and Ask the Experts will enable show visitors to directly pre-book their session with their chosen expert. These opportunities are all included in the show ticket price. 

    The full price tickets are just £10 and can be booked at the show website: Plus, there are offers available through some member societies of the Federation for their own members. 

    Final details are being announced via the show website:

    In early September all Speakers and their Topics

    In early October full Range of Workshops 

    Essential booking of workshops will open nearer the show—no extra charge

    Near to the show date access to Ask the Experts 

    New format—you will book a slot with your chosen expert—no extra charge

    Visit family history society and other stalls on Friday evening

    for opportunity to ask local experts for local advice

    Only ticket holders can book workshops or slots for Ask the Experts. 

    For further information please see the above website.

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