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Latest Standard Edition Articles

  • 17 Aug 2023 7:45 AM | Anonymous

    A collection of photographs taken during World War Two in England have been opened to the public for the first time.

    The aerial images were taken by the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) Photographic Reconnaissance units while stationed at bases across England in 1943 and 1944.

    The 3,600 photographs offer a birds-eye view of the country as it changed during the war.

    This includes bomb damage to towns and cities as well as Old Trafford football stadium in Greater Manchester.

    Damage to the main stand of the football ground can be seen in the photo, after it was hit in a bombing raid in March 1941.

    The home of Manchester United was not used again for football until 1949.

    They also captured ancient monuments surrounded by anti-tank defences in West Sussex, such as Cissbury Ring Iron Age hillfort in Worthing where ditches and concrete cubes can be seen laid out to impede an enemy advance.

    There is also a low-level photograph showing part of a US Army camp in Wiltshire which shows firing ranges in the foreground while troops play a game of baseball in a recreation field in the top left of the image.

    The collection has been made available to the public for the first time in an online, searchable map on the Historic England Archive.

    You can read a lot more and see several of the photographs at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-66511918.

  • 16 Aug 2023 7:39 AM | Anonymous

    In 2004, a baby – just days old – was dropped off inside a bathroom at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island.

    She was found by a hospital technician named Claudia. On Tuesday, August 15, 2023, Claudia, the baby – now 19 years old – and that baby’s adoptive family gathered just outside that same bathroom.

    It wasn’t long before adoptive parents – Angela and Dennis – had a baby girl to join their growing family.  And the parents knew the backstory of how Victoria was found but didn’t tell her until after she had turned 18. But this story takes another incredible turn.

    Frank and Victoria recently decided to find out more about their backstory, so they turned to DNA testing.

    As it turns out, Frank is not Victoria’s adopted brother, but they are actually 100%, blood siblings. 

    You can read the full story by Chris Welch published in the fox5ny.com web site at: https://www.fox5ny.com/news/siblings-reunite-19-years-after-being-abandoned.

  • 16 Aug 2023 7:27 AM | Anonymous

    This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, it contains information that I believe every computer user should become familiar with:

    Do you remember instant messengers from the late '90s? Back then, techies would reverse engineer protocols of popular messengers to create multi-platform solutions with extended features. That's how I created CenterICQ, a Linux-based IM client tailored to my needs.

    Over 20 years later, messengers have changed drastically, but I'm still not happy with what we have on the market. Here's why.

    You can read the full article written by Konstantin Klyagin in an article in the Forbes.com web site at: https://tinyurl.com/4y93fzx5 

  • 16 Aug 2023 7:07 AM | Anonymous

    Patty Taylor has written an article that will interest most genealogists:  Using Google Books. It starts off with the following:

    "Google. It’s a noun when we refer to the Google Search engine. It is also a verb when seeking information, but are we limiting our use of how we use Google for genealogy? You might be missing out on valuable resources, most of which are available to us free of charge. And who doesn’t like free? Google Books should be explored when seeking out family history information; it’s basically a public research library right in your own home.

    "Utilizing Google Books is very easy. If you already have a Google email account, then you are ahead of the game. If not, it’s easy to sign up for a free Google account. This account will give you access to a Suite of useful applications such as documents, sheets, photos, a meeting room, chat feature and so much more that can be used for your family history projects. One of the best parts is that you can share documents and sheets to review with other family members for real-time collaboration."

    You can find the full article in the beaumontenterprise.com web site at: https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/entertainment/article/use-google-books-genealogy-18290704.php

  • 16 Aug 2023 6:57 AM | Anonymous

    Brown County is in the beginning stages of putting together a new local history and genealogy research center inside its central library in downtown Green Bay.

    Part of the effort is absorbing all it can from one of its most trusted resources, so the information is available for generations to come.

    Brown County's local history and genealogy department has been inside the downtown library for nearly 50 years and Mary Jane Herber has been there the entire time.

    “You just don't know who is going to come and show up and ask questions,” said Herber.

    Herber has been answering those questions and adding to what has become quite a collection since 1974.

    “To be perfectly honest, I put another bookcase in a year and a half or two years ago, we can't put anymore bookcases in here without taking out tables,” said Herber.

    Luckily for Herber and other local historians, the county will be modernizing what it has and making it more accessible, in a bigger space on the building’s first floor. It's something Herber says she has actually been working on for years.

    “Some people think all I do is think about stuff from 150 years ago or 100 years ago, but what I have to do is think about what's being produced today that we need to make sure we have a copy of for you 50 years from now,” said Herber.

    “We'll be crafting a sensible, smart workplan to be able to put into place these research elements in a space that is really going to meet the needs of our community,” said Sarah Sugden, the library director for Brown County.

    Sugden says more than $161,000 is already set aside to bring in outside help to sort through all the information and make it more accessible for both serious historians and casual ones.

    You can read more in an article by Ben Krumholz in the fox11online web site at https://tinyurl.com/yc6p7ns7.


  • 15 Aug 2023 8:02 AM | Anonymous

    This is just a quick note to let you know that I will be traveling for the next week. No, this is not a genealogy-related trip. This one is personal. I'll be visiting relatives, attending a reunion, and walking around the small town where I was born and grew up.

    I will be traveling witha Macintosh laptop and an Android tablet computer so I should be able to connect online whenever I want. However, traveling always creates some new challenges, such as bulky or non-existant wi-fi connections. Therefore, please do not be surprised if I am absent occasionally.

    I should be back home and back to normal on August 23.

  • 15 Aug 2023 7:36 AM | Anonymous

    Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem announced Sunday that it has started using state-of-the-art AI technology including a new image detection capability to help comb through the world’s largest archive documentation of the Holocaust.

    This innovation comes at a time when Holocaust distortion and trivialization are on the rise around the globe.

    Over the seven decades since its establishment, Yad Vashem has accumulated 224 million pages of documentation, more than half a million photographs and nearly 135,000 video, audio and written testimonies from the Holocaust.

    “A human being could not go over all the material which houses a treasure-trove of material for the world in terms of Holocaust education,” said Esther Fuxbrumer, head of the software development department at Yad Vashem.

    She said that to facilitate access to the vast information in its archives, Yad Vashem embarked on an innovative tech project two years ago dubbed “AI in the service of Holocaust remembrance” that has been implemented over the last couple of months.

    It includes an image-processing ability to sift through hundreds of thousands of photos in a matter of minutes and a separate Natural Language Processing (NLP) model, specially tuned to Hebrew, which can identify names, dates and places from the millions of sheets of testimony and connect them.

    You can read more in an article by Etgar Lefkovits in the J-Wire web site at: https://www.jwire.com.au/yad-vashem-using-ai-to-restore-memory-of-holocaust/.

  • 14 Aug 2023 7:53 PM | Anonymous

    Kasey Buckles is more of an economist than a family genealogist. Most of her past work explores the economics of the family, demography, and child health.

    But she decided to try the genealogy website FamilySearch because she was working with Brigham Young University economist Joseph Price on a study of intergenerational mobility. Buckles knew how difficult it can be to track and link the historical records of one person over time, especially women who change names when they marry.

    She decided to look up her great-grandmother, and was surprised to see that some of her U.S. census records were already attached to her profile on FamilySearch. In 1910, the 2-year-old was listed as Mary L. Gaddie. A decade later, she went by her middle name of Lettie. And by 1940, she was a married woman: M. Lettie Caswell.

    Buckles knew traditional research methods that attempt to trace a person by following the same name over time would have failed to make the connections.

    “I had my aha moment when I looked at my great-grandmother and saw all the work that other people had already done,” Buckles said. “And then I did get into it, because it is a little addicting.”

    The Notre Dame professor in the Department of Economics was able to use the research to revisit family memories with her grandmother before she died in 2019. “We had this really great afternoon,” Buckles said, “where I was able to tell her things about her past that she had forgotten or had never known.”

    Other people, likely relatives Buckles doesn’t know, had used their knowledge of family history to connect her great-grandmother’s changing names. Working with Price, she realized that this goldmine of crowdsourced family knowledge could be used to build a powerful tool for all kinds of long-term research.

    With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation, Buckles and Price created the Census Tree, a digitized database that uses genealogy research and machine learning to improve census linking from 1850 to 1940. The Census Tree website went live in late July 202

    The same month, Buckles and Price presented the findings of their study of intergenerational mobility, the first working paper to use the data, at two sessions of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Summer Institute. Notre Dame doctoral student Haley Wilbert is also a co-author on the paper, along with Zach Ward of Baylor University.

    Buckles said creating the Census Tree required a huge team, including dozens of undergraduate students from both Notre Dame and the BYU Record Linking Lab, multiple economics doctoral students from Notre Dame, and Cornell doctoral student Adrian Haws.

    “This effort will link people across the censuses in a way that allows you to see them through the course of their life, and to see how their experiences—their early life, world events, public policies—have shaped them in a way we haven’t been able to do before,” Buckles said. “Our innovation is our connection to people doing their own genealogy research. I think this is an exciting symbiotic relationship between the public and academic researchers.”

    You can read more in an article in the University of Notre Dame web site at: https://www.nd.edu/stories/the-census-tree/.

  • 14 Aug 2023 7:13 AM | Anonymous

    From the MyHeritage Blog:

    Introducing PhotoDater™, an Exclusive, Free New Feature to Estimate When Old Photos Were Taken

    If you are like most genealogists, you probably have cherished old family photos whose details, such as when they were taken, remain a mystery. Perhaps you flipped them over hoping to find more details, only to discover that your ancestors who treasured these photos didn’t leave any information behind. Until now, missing details about your photos could have remained a mystery forever, but here at MyHeritage, we set out to find a solution. Today we’re excited to announce the release of PhotoDater™, a groundbreaking, free new feature that estimates the year a photo was taken, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

    PhotoDater™ is one-of-a-kind: MyHeritage is the only genealogy service that offers date estimation for historical photos. Using powerful technology developed by our AI team, PhotoDater™ gives its best guess when a photo was taken. This can help you unlock further clues about who appears in the photo and the event at which it was taken, to solve mysteries in your genealogy research. PhotoDater™ is completely free!

    Check out the cool video in the MyHeritage Blog to see what PhotoDater™ can do!

    I know what you may be thinking: why would I rely on guesswork? For undated photos with no other leads, PhotoDater™ can help you unlock further clues about who appears in the photo and the event at which it was taken, to solve mysteries in your genealogy research.

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