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  • 24 Sep 2020 2:23 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    Nonprofit FamilySearch published its 8 billionth free searchable name from its worldwide historic record collections online. The milestone is even more astounding when you think that each name is someone’s ancestor—8 billion family connections just waiting to be discovered. Explore the free databases at FamilySearch.org.

    It’s an incredible feat when you realize that just 1 billion seconds ago, it was 1988, or 1 billion minutes ago the Roman Empire was thriving and Christianity was just beginning to spread.

    “To digitally preserve and make so many names freely searchable online is impressive, but it’s the personal family connections that matter most,” said David Rencher, FamilySearch’s chief genealogical officer. “With each new record, there’s the possibility to find a missing link in the family tree. And that is soul-satisfying.” FamilySearch adds over 1 million new records each day.

    “Every human being who comes to this earth is the product of generations of parents. We have a natural yearning to connect with our ancestors. This desire dwells in our hearts, regardless of age,” said Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the sponsoring organization of FamilySearch. “When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves.”

    Rencher says finding even one extra hint from a record can make a difference. This is evidenced by the comments that pour in from FamilySearch’s millions of users.

    “I have found my Nana’s marriage certificate.” Maureen

    “I found that my great-great-grandfather was in the civil war. They took his land…I am very proud of him.” S. Briggs

    “Resources are really helping me find people or make corrections and unite families.” M. Thurgood

    “I am finding endless Ukrainian immigrant families who pioneered settlements of the Prairies of Canada.” Larry

    “This milestone is just the tip of the iceberg. FamilySearch won’t quit until we’ve accounted for everyone possible from the world’s available records,” said Rencher. “With over 8 billion searchable names and growing, the odds of growing the branches of your family tree each time you visit keep getting better all the time.”

    Growth is in the roots of FamilySearch. It began 125 years ago (See FamilySearch Celebrates 125th Anniversary) as the Genealogical Society of Utah, with a mere 300 hundred books of family records on its shelves. Now FamilySearch has 3.2 billion digital images, 490,000 digital books, and a Family Tree with over a billion more user-contributed records available online. And it adds over 1 million new records every day.

    Seven billion names from almost every country have been added in just the last 10 years. And efforts have been amplified to increase access to even more of the world’s genealogically relevant records. FamilySearch largely credits this remarkable accomplishment to its dedicated online volunteers, innovative technologies, and growing partnerships with other organizations.

    It’s never been easier to search for your family lines and connect your own story with your ancestors. What new records will you find? Discover your roots today for free at FamilySearch.


  • 24 Sep 2020 2:21 PM | Anonymous
    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist has released 71 new Air Force Lists with over 2 million names, as well as 385 extra War Memorials listing over 31,000 names.


    PADDY FINUCANE

    Air Force Lists

    The launch of this major resource gives access to 71 new Air Force Lists from 1919 to 1945 with over 2 million searchable names.

    Air Force Lists are useful for family history researchers to see when an officer joined the RAF. They can also tell you what the airman’s rank was in different years and, by looking at the letters written after his name in the list, they can tell you what medals your ancestor had been awarded. These join a large run of similar Army and Navy Lists and other military records on TheGenealogist.

    Use these records to:

    • Find ancestors who became officers in the Royal Air Force
    • Discover their ranks, service numbers and medals awarded
    • See which branch they served in and their dates of posting

    War Memorials

    With 3,400 new photos in this release, these new records include a number of schools and colleges including the Sevenoaks School where WW1 former pupils who served are recorded as well as casualties and medals awarded to them. Other schools and colleges included in this release are: The University College School, Hampstead; Merthyr Tydfil County School; Lord Weymouth Grammar School in Warminster, Wiltshire; Leeds, St Anne’s RC School; and West Leeds High School.

    War Memorials for workplaces and sporting organisations can help flesh out an ancestor’s life in revealing their occupation or recreational pursuits. Examples include the Gloucester Rugby Club; Gloucestershire County Hall staff for WW1 WW2; the Travellers Club in Pall Mall; Leeds Council employees WW1; Leeds, Kirkstall Brewery; Leeds Stock Exchange members and clerks; London; Army & Navy Stores WW1 – memorials for two of their department stores; and London, Union Discount Co.

    Rolls of Service

    Included in this week’s release are also a number of Rolls of Service for the Boer War, WW1 and WW2, as well as some for civilian casualties in the Second World War such as Salcombe in Devon and Portsmouth.

    This release brings the total number of War Memorials on TheGenealogist to over 597,000.

    Use these records to:

    • Find ancestors who fought for their country in various conflicts
    • Discover workplaces or organisations that some ancestors were associated with

    This release expands TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection and when used with connected resources, such as the RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs), Aircraft Identification book from 1939, Military Death records, War Memorials and others on TheGenealogist, it can be possible to really build an ancestors story.

    To see an example of this, read TheGenealogist’s article: Paddy Finucane the Spitfire Ace

    https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/air-force-lists-and-records-find-paddy-finucane-the-spitfire-ace-1308/.

    These records and many more are available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk.


  • 24 Sep 2020 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana is searching for its next executive director and is asking for the community’s input. In an online survey, people can submit what traits and characteristics they think are important for the next director to have.

    You can take the survey at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ehb19tt7kf2r0mol/a023ehkffg32mc/greeting. The deadline to complete the survey is September 24, 2020. (Update: the date has now been extended.)

    Last month, the library’s executive director at the time, Greta Southard, resigned. A few days later, the library Board of Trustees appointed Denise Davis to serve as interim director. She was already serving as ACPL’s Director of Strategic Initiatives.

    The library hasn’t said when a new permanent executive director could be named.


  • 24 Sep 2020 2:16 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a project that could use your genealogical expertise! The following is an excerpt from an article by Hallie Golden and published in The Guardian:

    On a recent Saturday, as fires raged across much of the US west coast, Nancy Collins, 42, received a Facebook message from a friend: “Do you angels feel like helping find people again?”

    Collins, a genetic genealogist in the San Francisco Bay area, didn’t hesitate: “Of course.”


    Two years ago, the pair, along with several others with expertise in genealogy and digital sleuthing, came together to help locate some of the many people who had gone missing following the catastrophic wildfires in Paradise, California. Collins and her fellow genealogical experts are known as “search angels” and, along with the support of several administrators, they have ultimately helped to connect nearly 250 people with their family and friends.

    In the months that followed, there were times when it seemed they would need to join forces once again, such as after fires in Australia, but the group has largely remained on hiatus.

    Until now, that is.

    With a new series of devastating fires that have burned millions of acres and killed more than 30 people in Oregon, California and Washington, including a firefighter, the search angels had been resurrected to help reunite families and friends and bring closure to those desperately in need of it.

    You can read the full story at https://bit.ly/2RYpnnb.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage has just refreshed the data for the Theory of Family Relativity™.

    This update has added millions of new and improved theories that explain how you and your DNA Matches might be related, and can enlighten you about family relationships that may have been complete mysteries until now.


    If you are not familiar with MyHeritage’s Theory of Family Relativity™, the best description I have found is that it “leverages all the data available on MyHeritage, such as family trees and historical records, to provide you with plausible theories as to how you may be related to a given DNA Match.” The results are exactly what they are claimed to be: THEORIES, not proven facts. In short, the MyHeritage computers have compared millions of DNA records against your DNA sample and said, “These are possibilities, you might want to check these to verify whether or not they are your relatives.” These possibilities then need to be reviewed by you to determine if the theory is really a fact or not.

    MyHeritage’s databases have grown considerably since the last update, to include millions more family trees and 2 billion additional historical records. This can open up new avenues for discovery and increase the likelihood of finding a theory as to how you and your DNA Matches are related.

    Theory of Family Relativity™ latest update by the numbers:

    The total number of theories has increased from 14,260,864 to 20,330,031 — a 42.6% increase.

    The number of DNA Matches that include a theory increased by 42.5% from 9,964,321 to 14,201,731.

    You can read all the details in the MyHeritage Blog article at https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/05/update-to-theory-of-family-relativity-2/.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    This update has added millions of new and improved theories that explain how you and your DNA Matches might be related, and can enlighten you about family relationships that may have been complete mysteries until now.

    Since the last update, the number of theories on MyHeritage has grown by 64%, from 20,330,031 to 33,373,070! The number of MyHeritage users who now have at least one Theory of Family Relativity™ for their DNA Matches has increased by 28%.

    Here is the announcement written by MyHeritage:

    We’re happy to announce that we’ve just refreshed the data for the Theory of Family Relativity™ for the third time since releasing this game-changing feature in February 2019. This revolutionary technology may offer astounding new information on your family connections.

    The Theory of Family Relativity™ helps you make the most of your DNA Matches by incorporating genealogical information from all our collections of 12.5 billion historical records and 4 billion family tree profiles, to offer theories on how you and your DNA Matches might be related.

    Users who have taken a MyHeritage DNA test or who have uploaded a DNA kit from another service since the last update may now receive answers and new insights about their relationships to their DNA Matches. This update will also provide users who have previously taken a MyHeritage DNA test or uploaded their DNA data with new theories to further their research, thanks to MyHeritage’s ever-growing database of family trees and historical records.

    If you haven’t taken the MyHeritage DNA test yet, consider ordering your kit today.

    More about the Theory of Family Relativity™

    Learn more about the revolutionary technology that saves you dozens of hours of research crafting multiple theories about how you and your DNA Matches might be related in this webinar:

    For other resources about the Theory of Family Relativity™ and our DNA tools, please visit the MyHeritage Knowledge Base.

    Theory of Family Relativity™ update by the numbers

    The total number of theories has increased from 20,330,031 to 33,373,070— a 64% increase.

    The number of DNA Matches that include a theory increased by 59% from 14,201,731 to 22,618,962.

    Sometimes we arrive at a theory through multiple paths, indicating a strong theory and providing additional supporting evidence. After the previous update, there were a total of 161,762,761 paths. This update increased the number of paths by 61% to 261,960,015.

    The number of MyHeritage users who now have at least one Theory of Family Relativity™ for their DNA Matches has increased by 28%.

    How to see your new theories

    If we have found new theories for you in this update, you’ll see a banner about the Theory of Family Relativity™ at the top of your DNA Matches page. Click “View theories” to see all the theories we’ve found, both old and new.

    This banner, indicating that you have new theories, will be available for a few weeks, after which you can access your theories by going to your DNA Matches page.

    Whenever a DNA Match has a theory, this will be indicated in the DNA Match card. You can also filter your DNA Matches to see only those with a Theory of Family Relativity™ by clicking on the Filters icon. In the first group of filters, select “Has Theory of Family Relativity™.”

    You will also see a “NEW” badge next to new theories that were just added. This indication will appear for 30 days.

    Theory of Family Relativity™ is a premium feature that requires a site subscription on MyHeritage (Premium, PremiumPlus, or Complete). Users without a MyHeritage plan will still see all the theories that we found for them, but when they click on the theory to view the full details, some of the information will be hidden. Users who upload their raw DNA data from another testing service to MyHeritage can pay a one-time fee of $29 per kit to unlock all advanced DNA features offered by MyHeritage, including Theory of Family Relativity™. Learn more about our subscription plans.

    Conclusion

    The Theory of Family Relativity™ can be a game-changer for people searching for new family members and genealogists trying to break through brick walls. It can help users instantly solve mysteries that may have been baffling them for months or years.

    We hope you enjoy the new update and can’t wait to hear about your new discoveries.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:33 PM | Anonymous

    If you live in or near Chelmsford, Essex and have experience as an archivist, you might want to apply for a position at the Essex Records Office. Quoting from the posting:

    “Educated to degree level with a diploma/MA in Archive Administration, the appointee will be an integral part of Essex Record Office’s team of Archivists, and will be encouraged to develop their skills in a supportive professional environment in a state-of-the-art, modern archive building opened at the Millennium. This role is suitable for newly qualified archivists.”

    There is a lot more information about the position to be found at https://jobs.localgov.co.uk/job/148299/archivist-essex-record-office/.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    An article by Carrie Gibson in The Guardian website describes the voyage of the Mayflower and also the first few years of the Pilgrim settlement in Plimoth in what is now Massachusetts. One problem: the story describes many things that were not mentioned in history books when I was in school.


    A 1752 PAINTING BY BERNARD GRIBBLE OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS BOARDING THE MAYFLOWER IN 1620 FOR THEIR VOYAGE TO AMERICA. PHOTOGRAPH: PRINT COLLECTOR/GETTY IMAGES

    The article describes the Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy, the inaugural exhibition of the Box in Plymouth, Devon, England, being held in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s Atlantic crossing.

    Here is a quote from the article:

    “‘This wasn’t a huge historic voyage in 1620. If anything, it was an act of madness because they were going at the wrong time of year into an incredibly dangerous Atlantic,’ said the exhibition’s curator, Jo Loosemore.

    “The omission in the port book is one of many gaps surrounding the voyage of the Mayflower that the exhibition tries to fill. The general story is well known: the Mayflower took its 102 men, women, and children – the majority of whom were Puritan religious dissenters known as Separatists, but also called Pilgrims – from Plymouth to what they hoped would be the Hudson river. They endured a treacherous 66-day voyage and were blown off course, landing on the tip of what is now Massachusetts, before crossing the bay to set up a colony on land belonging to the Wampanoag, whose name means ‘people of the first light’ and who had inhabited the area for some 12,000 years.

    “They had an estimated population of at least 15,000 in the early 1600s, and lived in villages on the Massachusetts coast and inland. Their help enabled the English to survive, and also became the basis for the much-mythologised first Thanksgiving feast, still celebrated in the US as a national holiday, though not without controversy. The reality, as this exhibition shows, was far more complicated – and violent.”

    You can read the full article at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/20/pilgrim-fathers-harsh-truths-amid-the-mayflower-myths-of-nationhood.


  • 23 Sep 2020 2:27 PM | Anonymous

    Were your parents REALLY your parents?

    According to any article by Michael Cook in the BioEdge.com web site (that specializes in bioethics news):

    “A new field of litigation has evolved in the United State: denouncing fertility fraud. In the latest episode, a nation-wide firm, Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway, announced that it was pursuing two fertility doctors who allegedly used their own sperm a generation ago to get women pregnant and without informing them.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, according to Adam Wolf, the lawyer handling the cases. He claims that hundreds of fertility fraud cases will emerge across the US as people begin to investigate their genealogy using home DNA testing kids.”

    You can read the rest of the article at: https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/national-wave-of-fertility-fraud/13561.


  • 22 Sep 2020 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    If you have Scandinavian ancestry, you probably will be interested in an article by Jim Vejvoda and published in the IGN.COM web site. Here is an excerpt:

    It turns out most Vikings weren’t as fair-haired and blue-eyed as legend and pop culture have led people to believe. According to a new study on the DNA of over 400 Viking remains, most Vikings had dark hair and dark eyes. (Sorry, Chris Hemsworth and Travis Fimmel.)

    Nature’s study sequencing the genomes of 442 Viking remains from Viking-inhabited areas like northern Europe, Italy, and Greenland — human remains dated between 2400 B.C. to 1600 A.D. and which were buried with a variety of Viking artifacts — reveals far more genetic diversity than previously thought about the people who came from the land of the ice and snow. The Vikings, after all, were a scattered group whose sea-faring for trade, exploration, and conquest saw them settle far and wide during the Viking Age that lasted from roughly 700 A.D. to 1100 A.D.

    Not only did many of the studied Vikings turn out to not be blond or blue-eyed, their genetic admixture shows they weren’t a distinct ethnic group but rather a mix of various other groups, “with ancestry from hunter-gatherers, farmers, and populations from the Eurasian steppe.”

    You can read the full article at: https://www.ign.com/articles/viking-ancient-dna-study-what-did-vikings-look-like.


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