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  • 14 Aug 2023 7:05 AM | Anonymous

    The innovative historical resource brings together several distinct historical records for the first time, to make a searchable biography of settlers in Ulster in the 17th century.

    The Ulster Settlers Database, which brings together several distinct 17th-century historical records for the first time, is now accessible to researchers on a new website. 

    A valuable biographical and historical digital resource, the database makes innovative use of historical data relating to the English and Scottish men and women who settled in Ulster in the period between 1609 and 1641 along with the Gaelic Irish inhabitants who they interacted with.

    The searchable database, which may be may be of interest to local history, genealogy and academic researchers, comprises a wide selection of sources ranging from military musters and plantation grants to judicial records and secondary literature.     

    You can read more in an article in the IrishCentral web site at:

  • 14 Aug 2023 6:19 AM | Anonymous

    Here is a list of all of this week's articles, all of them available here at                           

    (+) Elephind: A Digital Newspaper Collections Search Engine

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

    Chronicles of the Unexplained: UFO Sighting Reports in 1960s News Documented in MyHeritage

    17th-Century Records of Those Who Settled in Ulster Now Available Online

    RootsIreland Adds Church Records From Two South Mayo Parishes

    Library and Archives Canada Launches a new Archive of the Government of Canada Web

    The Family History Show, London on September 2nd, 2023

    Bryan Kohberger Update - Genealogist Hired by Defense Casts Doubt on the Reliability of Genetic Genealogy in Idaho Murders Investigation

    Website Set Up for Alderney Nazi Death Camp Review

    International Jewish Genealogy Organization Announces 2023 Awards; Winners Are From the US, Canada, Israel and Ukraine

    Historic Records and Maps for Oxfordshire Launched Online by TheGenealogist

    Tacoma Public Library Secures Funding for Large-Scale Digitalization Project

    Names of Thousands of Adopted Scots Children Disclosed on Genealogy Website

    Dig Into Your Derbyshire Roots With Thousands of New Parish Records With Findmypast

    Wikitree Celebrates 15th Birthday With Free Genealogy Conference and Party

    Minnesota Unseals Original Adoption Records Starting July 2024

    Second Public Release of NARA Records Concerning Obama-Era Presidential Records Received by NARA from President Biden

    Biden-Harris Administration Launches National Dashboard to Track Heat-Related Illness

    Google's Messages App Will Now Use RCS By Default and Encrypt Group Chats

  • 11 Aug 2023 4:56 PM | Anonymous

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

    Elephind is a great service that searches online digital newspaper collections. Best of all, it is available free of charge. is a search engine that operates much like Google, Bing, and other search engines. The one thing that is different with Elephind is that it searches only historical, digitized newspapers. It enables you to search for free across many newspaper sites simultaneously rather than having to visit each collection’s web site separately.

    At this time Elephind has indexed 200,311,212 items from 4,345 newspaper titles. These include such well known sites as Chronicling America (the U.S.’s Library of Congress) and Trove (National Library of Australia), as well as smaller collections like Door County Library in Wisconsin. Many of the smaller newspaper sites are not well known and may be difficult to find with the usual search engines, but they are searchable from A list of available newspaper collections that have been indexed so far is available at (it is a long, long list).

    Additional newspaper collections are added to Elephind’s indexes frequently.

    I found that Elephind operates in much the same manner as many other search engines. If you already know how to search for things in Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Yahoo, or elsewhere, you already know how to use Elephind. In fact, there are two search methods available on Elephind:

    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/13239856.

    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

  • 11 Aug 2023 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):

    WASHINGTON, August 11, 2023 – Today, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is making its second Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release of documents related to the transfer of Obama-era Presidential records from President Biden to NARA, beginning in November 2022. 

    NARA has received approximately 25 FOIA requests related to NARA’s receipt of these records. We are processing the requests on a rolling basis and posting any non-exempt, responsive records at Today’s release, of Category 2 documents, consists of 340 pages of press and communications discussions about the discovery and transfer of the records. 

    This statement is also posted online here: Press Statements in Response to Media Queries About Presidential Records.

  • 11 Aug 2023 9:10 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement issued by the State of Minnesota:

    Birth Records and Adoption

    Law change: Adoptee access to original birth records
    Beginning July 1, 2024, adopted people born in Minnesota who are 18 or older will be able to request their original birth records. Birth parents named on an original birth record may submit a contact preference form (see information below) to indicate their preference for contact by the adopted person.

    After an adoption, birth records are changed to show the new name of the adopted person and new parent information. When people born in Minnesota are adopted, courts collect a $40 fee from the adoptive parents and send it along with a Certificate of Adoption or a court order to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). MDH replaces the original birth record with the new one. The original record and all correspondence pertaining to it are sealed, making it confidential and only released according to Minnesota law. Changes to birth records for adopted persons not born in Minnesota are handled by the state where they were born.

    If an adopted person was born outside the United States, the adoptive parents file the adoption papers from the country of birth and the district court collects a $40 fee from the adoptive parents. The court sends the fee and a Certificate of Adoption to MDH so that the foreign birth record can be created. 

    Adoptive parents must order and pay a separate fee to receive a birth certificate – see the Birth Certificates page. They must complete the application with the adopted person’s current information, rather than information from before the adoption.

    Court administrators: Instructions for courts

    Accessing sealed birth records

    Access to original, sealed birth records is restricted to certain people under certain conditions. Adopted people may request their original birth records now, but a new law will be providing more access for adoptees soon. Beginning July 1, 2024, adopted people born in Minnesota who are 18 or older can request their original birth records. If the adopted person is deceased, their legal representative or person related to the adopted person will be able to request the records.

    Noncertified copies of original birth records may also be released to a:

    • birth parent named on the original birth record.
    • representative of a federally recognized American Indian tribe, for the sole purpose of determining the adopted person’s eligibility for tribal enrollment or membership.
    • person with a valid, certified copy of a court order that directs the release of an original birth record to them.

    These requesters must submit a Request for Original Birth Record of an Adopted Person (PDF) to obtain the record. Others looking for information about a sibling or parent who was adopted should visit the Minnesota Department of Human Services Adoption and kinship webpages or call 651-431-4682.

    Adopted people

    Currently, an adopted person, age 19 or older, may request a noncertified copy of their original birth record by submitting the Adopted Person’s Request for Original Birth Record Information (PDF) form and a $13 nonrefundable fee. The release of the original birth record to the adopted person may be restricted. Birth parents decide whether to release information from the original, sealed record. If the birth parent has restricted access or has not actively approved release of the original records, the requestor will receive a letter saying the record is not available.

    When an adopted person requests an original birth record and the birth parent(s) have submitted an affidavit of nondisclosure or no affidavit at all, MDH notifies the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS contacts the adoption agency, which will contact the adopted person about services and fees before searching and notifying the birth parent(s) of the request and providing an opportunity to submit an affidavit of disclosure or nondisclosure. The process may take up to six months. MDH will contact the adopted person when the process is complete.

    This process will change on July 1, 2024, when adopted people will be eligible to receive their original birth records regardless of the birth parents’ disclosure preferences.

    Birth parents

    Affidavits of disclosure or non-disclosure

    Currently and until June 30, 2024, access by adoptees to original birth records is governed by the preferences of the birth parent(s). Until then, a parent named on the birth record may submit an Affidavit of Disclosure or Non-disclosure (PDF) form to provide or restrict access to the record by adoptees. However, all affidavits on file at MDH will expire on June 30, 2024, under the new law, and an adopted person’s access to original birth records will no longer be determined by the disclosure preferences of the birth parent(s).

    Contact preference form - NEW!

    Birth parents may submit a Birth Parent Contact Preference form (PDF) for past and future adoptions to indicate whether they would like to be contacted by the adopted person. Only birth parents named on the original birth record of an adopted person can submit the form. MDH will attach the form to the original birth record and provide it when the record is requested, on or after July 1, 2024. Birth parents may submit a new form to change their preference at any time, and MDH will destroy the old form. Regardless of the contact preference expressed by birth parents, adopted people will still be able to receive a noncertified copy of their original birth records and to initiate contact with birth parents.

  • 11 Aug 2023 9:04 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by Library and Archives Canada:

    Introduction and program history

    Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is the nation’s designated national memory institution, with a legislated mandate to acquire, describe, preserve and provide long-term access to Canada’s documentary heritage.

    This includes the Canadian Web! Resources in formats for the Web are recognized internationally as an important facet of a nation’s modern digital heritage. These irreplaceable web resources are important evidence of Canadian history and culture in the 21st century, but they are volatile and prone to disappearing without warning.

    What can be done about this? How do we “rescue” resources generated in real time, which exist outside the normal production streams of archival records or traditional publications? How do we safeguard web resources that can therefore contain information found in no other medium, which may document national historic events or important aspects of culture as they are unfolding?

    Owing to their precarious nature, immediate and managed action is required to select, arrange, make available and ensure the digital preservation and data continuity of web resources that constitute Canadian digital documentary heritage. This action is referred to internationally as “web archiving,” which is a discipline based on digital preservation and curation that is practiced and advanced by, for example, the 50-plus members of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (of which LAC is a founding member).

    Acquiring web resources became a formal part of LAC’s mandate in 2004 under the Library and Archives of Canada Act, subsection 8(2). LAC’s means of realizing this part of its mandate is the Web and Social Media Preservation Program within the Digital Services Sector. The program curates data and researches collections of unique web resources documenting Canadian historical and cultural themes and events, in alignment with the requirements of modern digital scholars. It also makes these resources available to the public for posterity and to support future international research on Canada.

    The web resources acquired by the program are made available through the Government of Canada Web Archive (GCWA). While the program and the GCWA are well known in Canada, their scale may not be.

    How big is the GCWA? How much data does the GCWA contain?

    In 2022–23, the Web and Social Media Preservation Program at LAC reached an important milestone.

    As of February 2023, we are pleased that the GCWA exceeded 120+ terabytes of total data and surpassed over 3.1 billion assets or documents.

    This is about the same amount of data as 4,600 Blu-ray movie discs (1,150 in 4K, or 384 copies of your favourite movie trilogies in 4K). If the GCWA were printed out on paper, it would take up some 57.5 billion sheets; stacking this up, it would reach the same height as 12,263 CN Towers!

    Some program clients may be surprised to hear this, because since 2005, LAC has only provided public access to portions of its federal web archival collections. This means that fully 50 percent of the total collections have therefore never been available to the public until now.

    Screenshot of a Government of Canada Web Archive page.

    New functionalities and features of the relaunched Government of Canada Web Archive (GCWA)

    New collections

    We are delighted to announce that, with the relaunch of the GCWA in 2023, LAC will begin providing access to all non-federal collections curated since 2005. At the time of launch, the following collections will be available:

    • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Collection (curated in partnership with the Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg)
    • The LAC collection on COVID-19 and its impacts on Canada (20+ terabytes of data)
    • All federal government data collected since 2005 (55+ terabytes of data)
    • Additional curated collections (to be arranged and published in the upcoming fiscal year)

    The GCWA is one of the most comprehensive sources in existence for the following:

    • Canadian cultural and historical events as documented on the Web (2005–)
    • Official publications of the Government of Canada (GC) (2005–)
    • The federal and historical GC web presence ( domain, 2005–)
      • Historical GC financial and departmental plans and performance reports (2005–)
      • Historical GC policy frameworks (2005–)
      • Historical GC proactive disclosure (2005–)
      • Data and statistics from the federal web (2005–)
      • Material removed from the federal web under Common Look and Feel 2.0 (2005–08)
      • Material removed from the federal web under “CLF 3.0” (2008–13)
      • Material removed from the federal web under the Web Renewal Initiative (2013–)

    Overall, the GCWA is the definitive source for any historical study of the Government of Canada web domain over time.

    New portal design

    From 2005 to 2019, the GCWA arranged data according to, and only provided access to federal government web resources under, Crown copyright (at maximum, approximately 15 terabytes of data were available). With the launch of the new GCWA in 2023, we have expanded our search tools and filters to help users explore our non-federal data and thematic web collections.

    Clients will now be able to engage non-federal collections in a specialized portal and user interface. The relevant interface (government versus non-federal collections) will be presented automatically based on the collection being accessed.

    Full text search of the web archive, individual collections or collection themes

    Since 2011, LAC has not provided a full-text search capability or service to the public for navigating the GCWA. This situation was very problematic, and it limited client access to discovery and browsing. For the launch in 2023, a complex and powerful full-text search will be made available:

    • Clients will be able to search at multiple hierarchical levels, from the entire archive down to individual files.
    • An advanced search will also be available, including the ability to search by collection, keywords, exclusions, exact phrase, URL/domain, web resource type and date range.
    • An ability to quickly search by exact URL will also be available (useful for Reference Services and practitioners).
    • Further, clients will be able to discover and access the content of non-federal collections by sub-theme (for example: show all resources collected having to do with the “economic impact on Canada of COVID-19”).

    Specialized reference services

    The Web and Social Media Preservation Program continues to provide all clients with specialized reference services for the GCWA. If you have difficulty locating a known resource within the GCWA, we would be pleased to assist you with the following:

    • Locating obscure Government of Canada official publications or decommissioned websites
    • Locating obscure historical reports, policies, financial data or proactive disclosure
    • Locating genres of Government of Canada content where exact titles or dates are not known
    • History and development of the Government of Canada domain (
    • Use of the web archives as a historical source or as computational data
    • Copyright or privacy concerns
    • Questions on how to have your web resource digitally preserved at LAC

    Do you have ideas on what should be collected? Please let us know!

    Please forward all complex reference questions dealing with the web archive, nominations of Canadian web resources for acquisition, or requests for computational access to our web archival collections data team, at

  • 11 Aug 2023 8:48 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from TheGenealogist:

    Major New Online Release 

    Historic Records and Maps for Oxfordshire Launched Online

    Over 1,000 square miles of searchable property records have been released

    Today sees the launch of a superb new resource for family historians, providing a great way to discover what type of property our ancestors once occupied. TheGenealogist has just added records covering every head of household and property owner in Oxfordshire around the period 1910-1915 with their latest release. Known as the Lloyd George Domesday Survey, the site now has over 2 Million records searchable online from this collection, covering all boroughs of Greater London plus Middlesex, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and West Hertfordshire, along with the newly added Oxfordshire.

    High Street, Oxford TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

    The records were created when one of the most important government surveys took place in Britain as a result of David Lloyd George’s 1910 Finance Act. The Board of Inland Revenue Valuation Office Survey, or The Lloyd George Domesday Survey as the records have become known, is safely held by The National Archives at Kew. 

    Following many years of collaboration between The National Archives’ conservation and records team and TheGenealogist’s digitization staff at Kew, the project to publish these records, comprising of the IR 58 Field Books and accompanying IR 121 to IR 135 Ordnance Survey maps, has now reached a major landmark.

    This latest release of Oxfordshire records from The National Archives joins the millions of records in TheGenealogist’s powerful tool, Map Explorer™.

    • The Lloyd George Domesday Survey identifies individual properties on extremely detailed 1910-1915 maps, zoomable to the exact plot

    • The surveyors’ field books provide fascinating details about the house, often revealing the size and number of its rooms

    • Maps reveal the features of the neighbourhood in which an ancestor lived

    • Search using the Master Search or by clicking on the pins displayed on TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer

    • Historic maps are layered over modern street maps, allowing you to see how an area changed over time

    • The project will expand to cover the rest of England & Wales

    Dr Jessamy Carlson, Family & Local History Engagement Lead at The National Archives, said:

    The Valuation Office maps are a key resource for house and local history, and this project is an exciting development for future research. Oxfordshire is an excellent addition to this growing set of online resources, and the variety of residences it covers reveals some fascinating insights into communities before the First World War.”

    Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist, said:

    This release marks a major milestone in the Lloyd George Domesday Project, with now over 2 Million records available for family historians to search. These records enable genealogists and researchers to gain insights and reveal the intricacies of our ancestors' homes, gardens and property ownership.”

    Oxfordshire is the latest release of TheGenealogist’s Lloyd George Domesday Records

    Visit for more information.

    Read TheGenealogist’s article in which these records were used to find the property of Oxford resident William Morris: The Cyclist Champion who built a Car Empire

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, which puts 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!

  • 11 Aug 2023 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from Findmypast:

    The spotlight is on Derbyshire this week, with hundreds of thousands of new parish records from across the county. We've also updated newspapers from England, Wales, and Ireland.

    If you have ancestors from the Midlands county of Derbyshire, then this is the week for you. We’ve added 450,00 new parish records spanning almost 500 years to our collection. There’s never been a better time to grow those Derbyshire branches of your family tree...

    And that's not all - we've also added over 150,000 new pages to our newspaper collection, with updated titles from Liverpool to South Wales and beyond.

    Derbyshire Baptisms

    All three new additions this week come from Derbyshire which is home to the scenic Peak District, alongside bordering counties such as Cheshire, Staffordshire, and West Yorkshire.

    First up, we have 231,270 new baptism records from across the county of Derbyshire, which cover the years 1524 to 1991. Discovering your Derbyshire roots has never been easier - you'll be delving back into the 16th century in no time. 

    Repton Cross, Derbyshire, Photochrom Print Collection

    Repton Cross, Derbyshire, Photochrom Print Collection. 

    You can expect to see all of the crucial information usually contained in a baptism record, including the person's full name, baptism date, and parents' names. You'll also get details such as where the baptism took place and the denomination of the church. 

    Derbyshire Marriages

    We've also added 114,294 new records to our existing collection of Derbyshire Marriages. These also cover parishes from across the county, from 1510-2004, taking you back to the Tudor era. 

    Whether your ancestors hail from Derbyshire or even just spent time there, you can find some fantastic information about them from the marriage records in this collection. You can expect to learn both parties' full names and ages, the date of the marriage, and their fathers' names. 

    The record of Maria Rigley who married Albert Smith in 1912

    The record of Maria Rigley who married Albert Smith in 1912.

    Learning an age and a marriage date from these records may allow you to determine your ancestor’s birth date if you don’t already know it. This will prove very useful for building your family tree.

    Derbyshire Burials

    Lastly, we have added 108,015 new Derbyshire burial records, spanning from 1539 to 1997 and also covering a selection of parishes up and down the county. 

    Just like the records before them, these burials also provide key information about your ancestors such as name, date, and place of burial, as well as how old they were when they passed away. 

    If you're curious about the exact years and locations available as part of any of this week's new additions, be sure to consult our Derbyshire parish list for more information. 

    Over 150,000 new pages to explore

    Our newspaper collection saw extensive updates this week, with 155,862 brand-new pages added to eight titles.

    The two largest additions see over 18,000 pages added to the London Daily Chronicleand over 24,000 added to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner

    100 years ago today: London Daily Chronicle - Saturday 11 August 1923

    100 years ago today: London Daily Chronicle, 11 August 1923.

    First appearing as the weekly Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner in 1851, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner made the shift to become a daily newspaper in January 1871. As Huddersfield's first daily newspaper, it made waves in the media world of this West Yorkshire market town with journalists working through the weekend to make the big transition to daily news. 

    But that's not all - there are also more new pages from across the UK and Ireland. Here's a full rundown of all of this week's updated titles.

    Updated titles: 

    • Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 1780, 1794
    • Croydon Express, 1912
    • Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 1970, 1972, 1977-1979
    • Lichfield Post, 1991
    • Liverpool Echo, 1968
    • London Daily Chronicle, 1886, 1889, 1923, 1926, 1929
    • South Wales Echo, 1912
    • Wexford and Kilkenny Express, 1900

    Have you made an interesting family history discovery? Whatever you've uncovered, we'd love to hear about it. You can now get in touch and tell us directly, using this handy form.

  • 10 Aug 2023 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    Safety and privacy fears were raised after a mum found details of adoptions dating back more than 100 years on the Scotland's People site.

    The names of thousands of Scots who were adopted as children were available on a genealogy website, it has emerged. Safety and privacy fears were raised after a mum found details of adoptions dating back more than 100 years on Scotland's People.

    The site is operated by National Records of Scotland (NRS), an official arm of the Scottish Government. NRS removed the information 36 hours after the mother complained it could endanger her adopted child.

    It said it had launched an investigation and was taking the issue "extremely seriously". According to Scotland's Children and Young People's Commissioner, the information could have resulted in "a significant risk of harm".

    You can read more at: 

  • 10 Aug 2023 1:36 PM | Anonymous
    • Dr Leah Larkin argues that genetic genealogy is not perfect science
    • Investigators  used genetic genealogy to build their case against Kohberger, 28
    • His defense has focused on scrutinizing the process used by investigators to collect evidence and build the DNA profile matched to him

    The lawyers for Idaho murders suspect Bryan Kohberger have put forward testimony by a genealogist that casts doubt on the reliability of genetic genealogy, which investigators used to arrest him.

    Detectives relied on genetic genealogy to build their case against the 28-year-old, as they used the method to build a a DNA profile from the DNA left on a knife sheath at the scene - and then matched that profile to Kohberger's dad before his arrest.

    While prosecutors claim they matched DNA from the sheath directly to Kohbergerafter he was arrested, they first used genetic genealogy, and his defense has so far focused on scrutinizing the process used by investigators to collect evidence and build the DNA profile, arguing it could have been flawed or unconstitutional. 

    In their latest attempt to request the data and methods used by investigators to match the DNA evidence to Kohberger, the defense team filed an affidavit on Wednesday by Dr Leah Larkin, an expert on the subject from California.

    In her affidavit, Larkin argues DNA profiles built by at-home test companies such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA are not constructed the same way as those by specialized laboratories, and are not as reliable.

    'A poor quality kit might have too few matches or it just might have phantom matches that are not real measures of relationship,' the document reads.

    Larkin notes that sites such as AncestryDNA, 23ndme and MyHeritage prohibit forensic/investigative genetic genealogy in their databases, but there isn't really a way to enforce it.

    'In the absence of effective oversight, forensic genetic genealogists are on an 'honor system' to obey the Terms of Services and the Department of Justice Interim Policy on forensic genetic genealogy.'

    Larkin explains that the science used by these sites is not perfect, and 'any given centimorgan amount can represent more than one possible relationship.'

    You can read more in an article by Germania Rodriguez Poleo published in the web site at 

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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