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  • 2 Jan 2023 5:35 PM | Anonymous

    Scientists at Oxford University have made a major breakthrough in their study of a large collection of Greek and Roman writings. Many of the documents known as the "Oxyrhynchus Papyri" were found at an ancient rubbish dump in central Egypt. The writing on these documents is meaningless to the naked eye as the papyrus has decayed, has become worm-eaten, and has also been blackened by the passage of time. Using an infrared technique originally developed for use with satellite imaging, scientists are now able to view the original writing, which could lead to a 20 percent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Thus far, works by Sophocles, Lucian, Euripides, Hesiod, and others have been re-discovered. Additionally, scientists think they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.

    Hmmm. Do you suppose this same infrared technique could be used on some of the documents down at the local courthouse?

  • 2 Jan 2023 11:14 AM | Anonymous
    (+) It’s Almost 2023. Do You Know Where Your Family Photos Are?

    January 1, 2023 is Public Domain Day: Works from 1927 are open to all!

    Rules of Posting Genealogy Information Online

    2023 NGS Family History Conference

    ‘Finding Your Roots’ Host Henry Louis Gates Jr. Previews New Season

    Making Family Health History Work for You

    Scientists Develop Blood Test For Alzheimer's Disease

    Genetically Male And Female Cells Have Now Been Created From The Same Person

    Morven Park’s 246 Years Project Expands Access to Enslaved Family History

    Over 6,500 Kodavas Gather At One Venue To Break Guinness Record

    The Year in Genetics

    Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera” Is Now Available for Download

    Boxcryptor Shuts Down – Here is Your Cloud Encryption Alternative

    Twitter Rival Mastodon Rejects Funding to Preserve Nonprofit Status

    It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files
  • 2 Jan 2023 9:56 AM | Anonymous

    Kamilah V. Moore, the chairman of the California Reparations Task Force, is demanding the creation of a Bureau of African American Affairs to award up to $223,000 to every descendant of African slaves.

    The task force, formed by Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020 to study reparations proposals, met on December 14 and 15 for their final public meetings of 2022. The committee previously approved the first step of a proposal to compensate descendants of slaves for up to $223,000. A final proposal will be announced in early 2023.

    Moore has also clarified that it is not true every person in a Black family is entitled to the $223,000 to make up for past housing discrimination.

    She said $223,000 is the “maximum” amount those who qualify will receive, and it will only target the Californians who suffered housing discrimination in California between 1933 and in the web site at:

  • 1 Jan 2023 3:29 AM | Anonymous

  • 1 Jan 2023 3:27 AM | Anonymous

    Today is the first day of the month. Today is an excellent time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

    Your backups aren't worth much unless you make a quick test by restoring a small file or two after the backup is completed.

    Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often. (My computers automatically make off-site backups of all new files every few minutes.)

    Given the events of the past few months during the pandemic with genealogy websites laying off employees and cutting back on services, you now need backup copies of everything more than ever. What happens if the company that holds your online data either goes off line or simply deletes the service where your data is held? If you have copies of everything stored either in your own computer, what happens if you have a hard drive crash or other disaster? If you have one or more recent backup copies, such a loss would be inconvenient but not a disaster.

    Of course, you might want to back up more than your genealogy files. Family photographs, your checkbook register, all sorts of word processing documents, email messages, and much more need to be backed up regularly. Why not do that on the first day of each month? or even more often?

  • 30 Dec 2022 2:49 PM | Anonymous

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

    Do you plan to keep your family photographs forever? If so, where will you store them? 

    As printed photos:  a bad idea as photos printed with most of today’s technology solutions, including those printed at the local drug store, will fade within a very few years. The problem is best seen on color photographs where the reds will fade first, only to be followed by the other colors over time. Even black-and-white photos made by today’s techniques will fade. (Photographs printed years ago by chemical means in a photographer’s darkroom lasted much longer than today’s photographs printed at home on an inkjet printer or in a commercial film development lab using a more-or-less instant printing process.

    On floppy disks:  a bad idea as floppy disks have almost disappeared. Within a few years, floppy disk drives probably will only be found in museums where they may or may not still function. (Magnetic bits stored on floppy disks do not last forever.)

    On microfilm:  a bad idea as microfilm has never been a good method for storing photographs. In addition, archival-quality microfilm is no longer manufactured although you can still purchase lower-quality microfilms (at high prices) that have no promises about expected longevity. In addition, new microfilm readers are almost impossible to purchase today and spare parts for the older readers, needed to keep the machines operational, are becoming scarce.

    On CD-ROM or DVD disks or Blu-Ray disks:  a bad idea as these optical drives are also disappearing. Many laptop computers and quite a few desktop systems are now manufactured without such disk drives. Within a few years, these optical drives probably will only be found in museums where they may or may not still function.

    In flash drives: a bad idea as the life expectancy is limited. Flash drives can last up to ten years, but as mentioned on at, flash memory doesn’t usually degrade because of its age, but rather because of the number of write cycles, which means the more you delete and write new information, the more quickly the memory in the device will start to degrade. Since all these devices are similar in that they all use flash memory, they’ll all degrade in a similar fashion. 

    In an iPad or other digital tablet:  a bad idea as these things change rapidly and standards are still evolving. If you purchased one of iPad’s first models when they first appeared in 2010, would you still be able to use that device today? How about 25 years from now? Will your descendant be able to use it 100 years after your death?

    In a so-called “digital picture frame”:  a bad idea as these devices seem to appear and disappear every Christmas season. Will the digital picture frame you purchase still be useable in five years? Twenty-five years? Or longer? Sure, they look great hanging on the wall, displaying a new photograph every few seconds. However, most of them do not have a capability of searching for and displaying a specific photograph upon demand from hundreds or even thousands of photos stored in the device. Even worse, most of them do not have any capability to copy the pictures FROM the picture frame to a different device.

    In a cloud-based photo storage service:  a bad idea as these services have a history of appearing and disappearing at most any time. According to an article by John Herrman in the New York Times at

    In March 2000, Yahoo created Yahoo! Photos, a place to store your photos. It had limited storage space available as was typical of online storage services of that time.

    In 2005, Yahoo acquired Flickr, the popular photo site.

    In 2007, Yahoo announced it would discontinue Yahoo! Photos and that users should move their photos to Flickr.

    In 2018, Flickr, now owned by Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon, was sold to SmugMug, a smaller competitor. Flickr said that users could only store a maximum of 1,000 photos. Users could begin paying or take the rest elsewhere. SmugMug later switched to a plan that requires payment from ALL users with plans starting at $5.99 monthly (later upgraded to $13/month) or $47.88 a year (later upgraded to $110/year) if billed annually. Details may be found at There are similar stories from other online photo storage services.

    So where do you want to keep your photos?

    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/13039358.

    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

  • 30 Dec 2022 9:19 AM | Anonymous

    Now THIS is a family reunion!

    Kodava Clan portal, which had entered the India Book of Records for the largest family tree, attempted to break the earlier Guinness Book of World Records after hosting ‘Okkoota’ the largest-ever family reunion on Dec. 24. The event was attended by over 6,500 people/family members at ‘Coorg Ethnic’ in Bittangala, Kodagu district.

    This was the first-of-its-kind attempt across the world to beat the existing world record of 4,514 family members meeting in France documented in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012.

    Kodava Clan is the first ever, a one-of-its-kind interactive, crowd-sourced virtual museum that has created the largest online family tree of the Kodava community going back at least 18 generations, comprising 751 families. It is the first online museum cataloguing data, statistics, history, culture and festivals, heritage, and language of the Kodavas dating back from the 16th Century.

    Kodava Clan is also a social networking site for the Kodava community to find or establish their familial association with other Kodavas, irrespective of the generation he/she may be a part of, from any part of the world.

    You can read more at:

  • 30 Dec 2022 8:58 AM | Anonymous

    Amateur genealogy has become a national passion. But Black Americans researching their family histories often find dead ends at 1865, with the trauma of slavery, family separations, and missing documentation. Now, a local historic site is launching a project to help fill in the blanks.

    The 246 Years Project is an initiative of Morven Park (in Leesburg, Virginia) and Loudoun County Circuit Court Clerk Gary Clemens and his Historic Records Division team. Morven Park is building an online database organizing fragmentary information about Loudoun’s enslaved communities, allowing descendants to delve deeper into their family histories.

    “At 1865, you hit this brick wall. … You had to be your own researcher to find your family,” Morven Park Executive Director and CEO Stacey Metcalfe said. “We’re pulling it all together.”

    You can read more at:

    For more information about the 246 Years Project, go to

  • 29 Dec 2022 6:31 PM | Anonymous

    The National Genealogical Society 2023 Family History Conference gives genealogists and family historians of all levels the insights necessary to take their research and writing to new heights and make exciting new discoveries.

    Join us at the Greater Richmond Convention Center or Online at Home!

    Learn the latest from the best speakers in the genealogy community. Discover what genealogy companies are bringing to market. Gain insights from genealogy societies and organizations throughout the United States. Attend your choice of more than 110 lectures and special luncheons. Have fun at the SLAM! Idea Showcase reception and Expo Hall opening. Celebrate Virginia’s deep roots with a special Friday evening event sponsored by the Virginia Genealogical Society.

    Designed for family history researchers at all levels ─ beginner, intermediate, and advanced ─ the conference lectures feature:

    • records and repositories in Virginia and neighboring states
    • resources and techniques for researching African American, Indigenous Peoples, Jewish, and other ethnic groups
    • local and federal government records including military, tax, and land records
    • the use of DNA to help determine relationships
    • methods to analyze and evaluate evidence
    • and much more.

    Keep checking the NGS website for updates and new information as it becomes available.

  • 29 Dec 2022 6:16 PM | Anonymous

    23andMe has a Blog article that I recommend as required reading for every genealogist. It will expand your outlook beyond looking for ancestors (only) to helping yourself and your loved ones enjoying life more and, in some cases, possibly even saving lives.

    Here's the introduction:

    Family members share DNA and have other things in common, like where they live, what they eat, or how active they are. All these factors can play a role in determining health, which makes knowing your family health history so important. It’s important to acknowledge that depending on family circumstances, not everyone has access to their family health history, but there is a lot of value in understanding how it can benefit you. 

    So what do we mean when we refer to your family health history? This is an actual  record of current and past medical conditions for you, your biological family, and your healthcare provider to use to manage your health. 

    Why is a family health history important?

    This one is easy! 

    Health conditions can run in families. Knowing your family health history can help a doctor, clinician, or other healthcare professional understand your risk of developing certain conditions. 

    Family health history also helps them decide how often you need checkups and other preventative screenings. Some people, like 23andMe customers Mary and Tracy, have been inspired to make positive lifestyle changes after learning more about their family history.

    What type of medical information matters?

    During a genetic counseling session, gathering family health history is central. A genetic counselor might ask about relatives in four generations of your family. Starting with you, they might ask about your parents, grandparents, children, siblings, half-siblings, aunts, uncles, and first cousins. The names of any medical conditions and the general age of diagnosis are collected. 

    If you are gathering this information yourself and you or someone in the family does not know the official medical term or exact ages when conditions were diagnosed, use your best guess. Family health history is kinetic. You can and should expect to update it over time. 

    How do you talk to relatives about medical history?

    Medical history can be a sensitive topic. It might be more challenging for some people and some families to talk about family health history. Read these tips we’ve gathered for how you can approach family health questions in a way that is both careful and considerate.

    What about adoptees and donor-conceived individuals?

    If you’re adopted or donor-conceived, your family health history might be limited or take more time to collect. This is where other information, like that from 23andMe, can help fill in gaps for adoptees and others. Access to a more complete and accurate family health history is important to many people. In fact, it can be the main reason some, including adoptees and those who are donor-conceived, decide to start searching for DNA relatives. 

    What do you do with family health history once you have it?

    A  family health history gathers information about genetics, lifestyle, and environment in one place. Learning more about the medical history of your close relatives can give you insights into what conditions could be common in your family and can help you make healthier choices. Just remember to talk to a healthcare professional before making any changes. Learn more about genetic counseling and how genetic counselors at 23andMe are working at a broader level to help. 

    You can read the full article at:

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