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  • 22 Oct 2020 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist are launching the complete set of all Anglican records for Wales held by the consortium of Welsh archives on 23rd October. This release contains 8 million Parish Records, listing over 14.5 million individuals, with images of the original registers.

    Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist said:

    We are very excited to be releasing parish records for all 13 historic Welsh counties.” He went on to say:

    We’re thankful for the input of Welsh records experts from the archives, to make sure that we have accurate parish and place names. This will make it much easier for researchers to find records that they may have experienced difficulties with trying to find elsewhere.

    TheGenealogist’s keyword search makes it surprisingly easy to find the record you’re after and SmartSearch allows you to find families in the registers.

    These records compliment our nonconformist records for Wales which include Methodists, Quakers and more, giving researchers the ultimate resource for finding their Welsh ancestors’ vital events.”

    This release includes all historic Welsh counties:-

    Anglesey, Brecknockshire, Caernarfonshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Merionethshire, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire and Radnorshire.

    Kim Collis, West Glamorgan County Archivist, says on behalf of all the Welsh archives contributing their parish records:

    We are delighted that TheGenealogist is releasing these records to a wider audience. Being able to access them from the comfort of your own home, especially during the current situation, is of great benefit.

    For this release, we’ve painstakingly gone through the metadata, improving all the place names in this record set, recording chapels of ease, parent parishes of modern parishes, and variant spellings in the English and Welsh languages. This will mean that searches for your ancestor in the parish records, which previously might have turned up no results, will have a much greater chance of finding them for you.

    If you’ve previously struggled to find your ancestors’ Welsh Parish Records, I’d really encourage you to search these records.”

    To find out more about Welsh Parish Records and this release, visit

    This release has been made possible by the participation of the following archives:-

    Anglesey Archives, Carmarthenshire Archive Service, Ceredigion Archives, Conwy Archive Services, Denbighshire Archives, Flintshire Record Office, Glamorgan Archives, Gwent Archives, Gwynedd Archives Service, Pembrokeshire Archives and Local Studies, Powys Archives and West Glamorgan Archive Service.

    Ruth Jones will be searching for her Welsh roots in
    Who Do You Think You Are? airing on Monday 26th October on BBC One in the U.K. TheGenealogist has found her ancestors in this new collection. Read about it here (WARNING: Contains spoilers)

  • 21 Oct 2020 3:05 PM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This is a slightly updated version of an article I published several years ago. A newsletter reader sent a message to me recently expressing dissatisfaction with records that once were available online but recently have disappeared. I am offering this republished article as an explanation about why we should not be surprised when that happens. I believe that every genealogist should understand why this happens so this article bears repeating every year or two. Please feel free to republish this article in newsletters, message boards, or forward it in email messages as you see fit.

    I will also offer a suggestion as to making sure you keep your own copies of online records that are valuable to you.

    A newsletter reader sent an email message to me recently expressing dissatisfaction that a set of images of vital records has been removed from one of the very popular genealogy sites. Indeed, removal of any online records of genealogical value is sad, but not unusual. Changes such as these are quite common on FamilySearch, MyHeritage,, Fold3, FindMyPast, and many other genealogy sites that provide digital images of old records online. Removal of datasets has occurred dozens of times in the past, and I suspect such things will continue to happen in the future. I thought I would write a brief explanation.

    In almost all cases, information of genealogical value obtained from government agencies, religious groups, museums, genealogy societies, and other organizations is provided under contractual agreements. The contracts specify what information is to provided, how it is to be made available, and what price the web site has to pay to the provider for the records. All contracts also have a defined expiration date, typically 2 years or 3 years or perhaps 5 years after the contract is signed.

    When a contract nears expiration, the two parties usually attempt to renegotiate the contract. Sometimes renewal is automatic, but more often it is not. Maybe the information provider (the government agency, religious group, museum, genealogy society, and other organization) decides they want more money, or maybe they decide they no longer want to supply the data to the online genealogy service. For instance, in the time the information has been available online, the information provider may have learned just how valuable the information really is. The information provider may decide to ask for more money or may even refuse to provide the information any more since the provider may have a NEW plan to create their own web site and offer the same information online on their own, new website for a fee.

    Sure, that stinks for those of us who would like to have the information everywhere; but, it makes sense to most everyone else. I am sure the budget officer at most any state or local government archive thinks it makes sense.

    Every contract renegotiation is different, but it is not unusual to agree to disagree. The contract ends, and the web site provider legally MUST remove the information from their web site. The same thing frequently happens to all the other online sites that provide old records online.

    Moral of this story: If you find a record online that is valuable to you, SAVE IT NOW! Save it to your hard drive and make a backup copy someplace else as well. If there is no option to save, make a screenshot and save it on your hard drive or some other place where it will last for many years. Just because you can see the record online today does not mean that it will be available tomorrow.

  • 21 Oct 2020 1:02 PM | Anonymous

    From an article published in the City of Boston's website:

    "In the archives of the City of Boston’s Historic Burying Grounds Initiative, 11 fully intact gravestones lie ready to be placed in the correct burying ground. We’re looking for historians, researchers, and genealogists who may have records that indicate where the person was originally interred. If you have information that could help, please contact

    "The gravestones and fragments were removed from the site over several decades during the 20th century. Some gravestones had fallen over and others had previously broken and the fragments were lying on the ground. They were removed in order to save the gravestones from further deterioration or theft, in the hopes they could be repaired at a later date and put back in the site. Some of the gravestones were not well labeled, or the labels had deteriorated.

    "Some gravestones were returned to us a few years ago from storage at the Bostonian Society. They had been found during street repair work downtown and were given to the Bostonian Society for safekeeping. An article from the Boston Daily Globe from September 14, 1907 describes how many gravestones were "unearthed during the past 75 years  in various places in the business section of the City." These gravestones were used "to make covers for cesspools, wells, and chimneys."

    You can read the full article, including names of the deceased and pictures of the tombstones at:

    My thanks to newsletter reader David Dearborn for telling me about this story.

  • 20 Oct 2020 6:33 PM | Anonymous

    Over the years, I have heard or read many comments from genealogists about who owns information posted to the World Wide Web. In fact, many people are reluctant to post their family trees online because "someone might steal the information." A short article published in the web site uses non-lawyer English to explain several of the issues concerning legal "ownership" of information posted online.

    If you have concerns about ownership of online information, you might want to read Who Actually Owns Your Content When You Post It to the Web by David Nield at The article is a few years old but still seems to be 100% accurate.

    I will offer one thought to keep in mind: names of people, along with dates and places of birth, marriage, death, military service, and similar facts of interest to genealogists are just that: facts. As stated in the article by David Nield, "You can’t copyright facts, or ideas, or systems..." While you might be in possession of certain facts about your ancestors, that doesn't mean that you OWN the information. No one person "owns" facts within the U.S., according to copyright law.

  • 20 Oct 2020 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from a very long list created by FamilySearch:

    "FamilySearch adds 100K Costa Rica Civil Registrations (1823–1975), a new collection of German Catholic and Lutheran Church Records (1537–1981), and expands available records for ArgentinaBrazil, Canada, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Guatemala, NorwayPeru, SpainS. Africa and the United States  (See Indiana Marriages, 1811–2007, Wisconsin Naturalization Records, 1807-1992US City and Business Directories, ca.1749-1990Washington Voting Records, 1876–1940 Kansas Birth, Baptism and Death Records, 1811–1940, plus more for CA, HI, IA, MS, OK, SCTX, and VA)."

    The (very) long list of newly-added records is too long to fit into a message here but the full list may be found at:

  • 19 Oct 2020 9:36 PM | Anonymous

    An article written by Eric Blaisdell and published the the Barre-Montpelier (Vermont) Times-Argus tells of the latest development in a lawsuit being heard now. The article states:

    "A gynecologist accused of using his own sperm to get a woman pregnant in the 1970s has tried unsuccessfully to get the woman's husband tossed off of the lawsuit the doctor faces.It also appears a DNA test reported he is related to the woman's child because the lawsuit is still pending after the test was completed.

    "Cheryl and Peter Rousseau, now of Florida, filed the lawsuit in December 2018 in U.S. District Court in Burlington. The lawsuit states the couple decided to partake in artificial insemination in 1977 because they wanted to have a child after Peter Rousseau had a vasectomy.

    "The lawsuit said Dr. John Boyd Coates III was a practicing gynecologist working out of Central Vermont Hospital, the former name of Central Vermont Medical Center."

    You can read the full story at: 2T94sOX.

  • 19 Oct 2020 10:49 AM | Anonymous

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

    NOTE #1: This is part #2 of a 2-part article.

    Part #1 of this article introduced the concept of Boolean search terms for use on Google. That article is still available to Plus Edition subscribers at*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/9284454. You might want to read that article again now to refresh it in your mind before proceeding with new topics. This week I will describe several advanced topics.

    Quotation Marks

    Last week's article described the use of the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT (minus sign), and the concept of placing terms inside parenthesis. These search terms work well for single words, but you may find you need to include multiple words or phrases. For instance, you might be searching for an ancestor with an unusual name but perhaps not as unusual as you first thought. Perhaps there were two or more men of the same name who lived in different places at different times. For instance, as mentioned in last week’s article, I frequently search for the name of Washington Harvey Eastman. I have found two men of the same name. If one of them has many online references and the other has only a few, finding the person with fewer references can be problematic.

    Let's make a hypothetical assumption: two men of the same name are listed in Google's indexes. We will assume that one man lived in Maine and is rarely mentioned on Google while the other lived in North Carolina and has dozens, perhaps hundreds, of references on the search engine. Of course, I am interested in the rarely-mentioned man, the one in Maine. I might be tempted to specify the following search:

    The remainder of this article is for Plus Edition members only. If you would like to read it, you must have a Plus Edition subscription.

    If you have a Plus Edition subscription, click on "(+) Plus Edition" in the above menus.

    If you do not have. Plus Edition membership, you will not be able to see the words "(+) Plus Edition" in the menus. However, you can become a Plus Edition member by clicking on "Subscribe" and then on either the 3-month or 12-month option.

  • 19 Oct 2020 9:25 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Steven Kantner, Digital Asset Coordinator in the Texas State Library Archives Commission:

    "Too much time on your hands during the pandemic? Digitize your old home videos before it’s too late!

    "Staying at home during this period of COVID-19 has allowed many of us to appreciate movie watching at home. Now may be a great time to consider digitizing your old home video movies that have been collecting dust in the closet. Unfortunately, we are facing the obsolescence of videotape and VCRs (Video Cassette Recorders). Those of you who may have bought Betamax in the 1980s are already familiar with the difficulties of an out-of-date format. But the more common VHS format, and the dozen or so camcorder formats that came and went since the 1990s are to the point where they will become unplayable due to either the tape degradation or the loss of working playback equipment and parts to repair them.

    "There are several approaches to digitizing your videos. One is to send them out to a service and let the professionals do all the work. This service is provided by companies ranging from small internet startups to well-known large corporations. If you are among the many who could never program the VCR’s clock, then this might be your best option. But, if you like to tinker and happen to have an old VCR to dust off, or know family or friends who do, you might be able to do this yourself. Here are three different options to try depending on what type of media and equipment you have available."

    You can read the full article at:

  • 16 Oct 2020 7:15 PM | Anonymous

    Randy Majors is well known in the genealogy community for his many utility programs that add a lot more functionality to Google Maps and other products for use in genealogy research. Now he has written more about the mapping options he has created.

    Randy writes:

    "Now, when you share a link to any live map tool on, the recipient will be taken to exactly the same view you were seeing when you shared it. The link you share will remember:

    • the map tool you were using (County Lines on Google Maps, ZIP Codes on Google Maps, Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps, Section Township Range on Google Maps, etc.)
    • the zoom level of the map
    • the center point of the map
    • the location of the blue map marker (determined by the spot you had last clicked on the map)
    • the other layers you had made visible using the checkboxes in the lower left of the map (e.g. "Show US city limits")
    • whether you had labels turned on in the lower left (e.g. "Show county labels")"

    "So, how do you share the link to the live map?"

    Ypu can read all this and a lot more at

  • 16 Oct 2020 2:03 PM | Anonymous

    From the MyHeritage Blog:

    We’re excited to announce that you can now turn your family photos to beautiful wall art and decorate your home with your family history! Plus, you're entitled to receive our exclusive discount of up to 50% off when ordering multiple prints and to enjoy free shipping worldwide.

    Millions of MyHeritage users have brought their historical photos to life using MyHeritage In Color™ and Photo Enhancer. With MyHeritage, nostalgic family photos have never looked so good. Now you can turn your favorite family photos to wall art. This is the perfect way to cherish your family memories, and create wonderful gifts for your loved ones.

    You can order your wall art directly from the My Photos section of your MyHeritage account and it will be produced by our partner, Mixtiles, the leading global service for wall art, and delivered to you for free. You can stick and restick the wall art on any surface to create beautiful photo displays — no hammer or nails needed. Learn more about turning your family photos to wall art on our blog at

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