Genealogy Blog

29 June 2009

Conference On Return Of Jewish Assets Starts In Prague

Nobel laureate and Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel last Friday expressed anger at the opening of an international conference in Prague at the failure to ensure restitution of assets seized from Holocaust victims.

"Why did it take so long? ... The easiest response would have been to give back after the war, the buildings, the money, the artworks that were confiscated," he said.

"The fact it was not done is scandalous," he added at the conference held more than ten years after 44 countries pledged in Washington to go ahead with assets restitution.

The principles adopted in Washington about restitution and compensation of Jewish assets seized between 1939 and 1945 are not legally binding and some countries, above all in eastern Europe, have not implemented them.

Source & Full Story

Americans Seek Their African Roots

First it was Oprah Winfrey's wistful reach for the continent, now other prominent African Americans are finding their roots.

In 2005 Oprah Winfrey underwent DNA testing in an effort to determine the genetic make-up of her body's cells. The popular American talk show host wanted to know where her ancestors, taken as slaves to the United States, had come from.

Since then thousands of other African Americans have followed suit, many of them household names in the US.

Comedian Chris Rock discovered that he was descended from the Udeme people of northern Cameroon. LeVar Burton, an actor who played the slave Kunta Kinte in the TV drama Roots, linked himself up genetically with the Hausa in Nigeria.

Source & Full Story

NASA Wants Your Ideas for Digitizing Rocket Scientist’s Notes

NASA is taking the rare step of reaching out to the public for help. The space agency is looking for the best way to analyze and electronically catalog a precious collection of notes that chronicle the early history of the human space flight program.

“We’re looking for creative ways to get it out to the public,” said project manager Jason Crusan. “We don’t always do the best with putting out large sets of data like this.”

The notes [pdf] are those of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, the fist director of NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and are typed with copious hand written notes in the margin. According to the official request for information [pdf], NASA needs ideas on what format to use, how to index the notes and how to create a useful database.

The unique nature and historical value of the data, literally discovered in boxes six months ago, is what motivated NASA to ask the public for ideas.

Source & Full Story

Anger After 20 Graves Vandalised In Blaenau Ffestiniog (North Wales) Cimetery

Families and community leaders have reacted angrily after up to 20 graves were vandalised at a cemetery.

Visitors to Bethesda chapel cemetery in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, said they were sickened by the sight of the damage on Saturday morning.

It is the third time some graves have been attacked, and an urgent meeting is being called between the local councils and police to prevent a recurrence.

"People here are heartbroken and there's a feeling of bitterness that someone could do this," town councillor Arthur Holland Williams said. "Graves have not only been smashed, but thrown over the wall, it's heart wrenching," he added.

Source & Full Story

Gale Launches Archival Slavery Reference Source

Gale (, a part of Cengage Learning (, introduced a new electronic resource offering an archive that chronicles slavery dating from the 16th century through the early 20th century. Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive, represents the first large-scale database to make available historical books, manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, court records, and other sources in one cross-searchable location.

The first of the four-part series, Debates Over Slavery and Abolition, explores the varying viewpoints and debates that surrounded the practice, experience, and eventual abolition of slavery in the U.S., as well as in Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It will be followed by part 2 in 2011. Once completed, the entire four-part digital archive will comprise 5 million pages of documents.

With documents from 7,242 books and pamphlets, 80 newspapers and periodicals, and more than 600,000 pages of manuscripts, teachers and researchers will have access to a comprehensive array of opposing views and perspectives in one database.


27 June 2009

Poland to Rebury German Civilians Found in WWII Mass Grave

Polish authorities will rebury the remains of more than 2,100 people, mostly German civilians, recently exhumed from a World War II mass grave found in northeastern Poland.

"Their remains will be transferred to Glinna, near Szczecin ... the reburial ceremony will take place August 14," said Andrzej Przewoznik, head of Poland's Council for the Preservation of the Memory of Struggles and Martyrdom, told the Polish PAP news agency.

The decision to transfer the remains to a German war cemetery in Poland was taken by German authorities, Przewoznik explained.

According to experts, the grave contained the remains of 2,120 people including at least 1,001 women, 381 men and 377 children. It was impossible to determine the age and gender of others found in the grave.

Source & Full Story

Wimbledon Fans Park In Graveyard

St Mary's Church in Wimbledon Village, south-west London had been charging £20 a day to park in its cemetery. The money goes to three charities.

The church said cars were allowed to park on the graves of people whose descendants cannot be traced but this year some were put in wrong places.

Parking in the graveyard has now been stopped as a result.

Speaking to BBC London 94.9FM, Melanie Allcock from Balham, who parked in the cemetery, said: "We were told: 'Go and reverse between these gravestones'.

"I thought: 'This is very odd'. But we did it and went to Wimbledon.

Source & Full Story

26 June 2009

Language Change Can Be Traced Using Gigantic Text Archives

Historical collections that include everything ever written in a dozen American and British newspapers since they started are now available electronically. Donald MacQueen from Uppsala University, Sweden, has carried out the first comprehensive study that makes use of this resource in order to track changes in language usage, a method that makes it possible to attain an entirely new degree of precision in dating.

The gigantic newspaper archives contain news and feature articles as well as editorials and commercial and classified advertisements. Together they comprise tens of billions of words. In his dissertation in English linguistics, Donald MacQueen has examined the word million in English, especially how language usage shifted from the previously nearly totally dominant “five millions of inhabitants” to today’s “five million inhabitants.” With the help of these electronic collections of texts that only recently became available, he has succeeded in pinning down when and where the modern expression began to take over.

Source & Full Story

25 June 2009

Decades-Old Letter Found In Boston's Museum of Fine Arts Wall

For decades, it was a secret encased in brick and plaster, undetected by the thousands who passed by each year.

Then on June 4, a laborer working on construction of the new American Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts knocked a hole in a wall and saw an envelope sticking out of the rubble.

At first, Rick Brendemuehl thought it might be a stash of money. But instead he found a typewritten note from 1926, a letter to the future from a long-ago laborer who helped build the wall Brendemuehl was tearing down.

Thomas F. Crowley, who signed the letter, died in 1979, according to initial research, but the story of who he was has become a fascination for Maureen Melton, historian and director of the museum’s libraries and archives, who has enlisted the help of history buffs, genealogists, and archivists - as well as the power of the Internet - to piece together his story.

Source & Full Story

The Kansas Historical Society Has Been Awarded Funding To Participate In The National Digital Newspaper Program

The Kansas Historical Society has been awarded funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program.

The Historical Society will receive $259,354 to digitize 100,000 pages of Kansas newspapers, dating from 1860 to 1922.

Kansas is one of seven new states being brought into the program in 2009, bringing the total number of participating states to 22.

The Kansas Historical Society was established by the state's newspaper editors in 1875. A virtually complete collection of all Kansas newspapers published from 1875 to the present is available on microfilm or in original form.

Source & Full Story

24 June 2009

ArchivePress: A New Project To Explore Practical Issues Around The Archiving Of Weblog Content

ArchivePress is a blog-archiving project being undertaken by the University of London Computer Centre and the British Library Digital Preservation department, funded by the JISC Information Environment Programme under its Rapid Innovation Grants Call.

The project will explore practical issues around the archiving of weblog content, focusing on blogs as records of institutional activity and corporate memory. As an alternative to the web crawling/harvesting approach of the Internet Archive and the UK Web Archive, ArchivePress will test the viability of using RSS feeds and blog APIs to harvest blog content (including comments, embedded content and metadata). The archived content will be stored and managed using instances of Wordpress, thereby maintaining the blogs’ native data structures, formats and relationships.


Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• Added an option to select the default starting side-list page (or use previous side-list page) in Tools > File options.
• The Scrapbook report now has an editable title.
• The NFS Match screen and Sync screen have been combined into a single tabbed screen.
• Renamed “Tools > Database options” to “Tools > File options”.


• Primary facts now works properly in reports, screens, etc.
• Fixed ‘List index out of bounds (-1)’ error when creating a Fact List.
• Fact type “exists” now works properly in search criteria.
• Name doesn’t disappear from edit screen list after the name is edited.
• Fixed “Allow close matches” in NameFind in RM Explorer.
• Fixed “Sounds like” search for name fields in RM Explorer.
• LDS template will now save ordinance statuses if no date or temple was entered.
• Deleting the birth or death for a person removes the year from the Explorer list.
• Citation memorize / paste now includes any images attached to the citation.
• :Age modifier works in sample sentence and customize sentence in edit screen now.
• Alternate name date is now exported to GEDCOM.
• Alternate name privacy setting is now exported to GEDCOM.
• Fixed a few issues with some source templates.
• RM remembers size of Edit Media window.
• When importing an older RM (v1-3) file, RM4 defaults new filename to same name (except with .rmgc extension).
• Fixed some issues when importing some older Family Origins files.
• Merging preserves the notes of the person being merged in.
• Fixed the random freezing in various New FamilySearch screens.
• Fixed error 400 problem when combining records in NFS.

GedView 1.2

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 1.2 has been released.

• No release notes.

Dynastree Home Edition 1.0.4

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Dynastree Home Edition 1.0.4 has been released.


• The help section has now completely been translated to Spanish and Portuguese.
• Some bugs have been fixed.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.14

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.14 has been released.


• New at main screen under File, Utilities, Fix Media Path. Similar to Fix Picture Path in 6.3.11 below.
• Box chart and Tree chart, it will use the Short Name (if that person has a Short Name added on the Names tab on Edit) when the regular name does not fit.
• Ancestor chart (print and display, not file) has new option to add one new event and pick a print color for that event.


• Fixed a problem on the Tree chart where sometimes it would overlap if the last child in a family had more spouses than children.
• Sometimes a Box chart would only show 7 boxes on the screen even if the screen was wide enough to show more.

Baby Names: Parker, Broderick Go Old-Fashioned

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick dug into their family roots for the names of their twin daughters.

The middle names of Tabitha Hodge Broderick and Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick are both family names on Parker's side, according to publicist Simon Halls.

The Associated Press consulted its panel of baby-name gurus to weigh in on the monikers for the girls, delivered by a surrogate mother Monday.

Jennifer Moss, author of "The One-in-a-Million Baby Name Book" and founder of "It's interesting that they used the traditionally male spelling of Marion, rather than the female spelling Marian. Either way, it's a very dated name from the early 20th century and has not come back into style for either gender. The name Loretta is from the same time period. They did, however, keep in line with the current trend of using family surnames within baby names, Elwell and Hodge both being branches of the Parker family tree."

Source & Full Story

New: Automatically Compare Your Family Tree With Another One

GeneaNet Club Privilege Members can now automatically compare their online family tree with the one of another GeneaNet user. You can access this new feature from the user Page Contact.

We hope that it will help you make a lot of new connections in your genealogy research!

Remember that the GeneaNet Cross-Database Search feature is available to any GeneaNet user.

Coming Soon: New GeneaNet Forums

We're working to improve the GeneaNet Forums.

They will be updated to another software (Simple Machines Forum, SMF) and a new skin will be unveiled soon.

Ten New Family Trees Have Been Added to

Ten new family trees have been added to the Web site The site now offers more than 40 family tree templates, blank ancestor charts and genealogy helpers designed to help hobbyists, schoolchildren and researchers trace and record their family history.

The new family tree templates include more three-, four- and five-generation family trees as well as a free-form unlabeled family tree, two trees with room for as many as eight siblings and a new version of the popular birth and adoptive family tree with room for even more family members. Most of the new trees are in full color, with attractive graphics such as trees, birds and even an acorn theme.

Source & Full Story

23 June 2009

Henry VIII Letter to Pope Pleading for Divorce Reproduced

It weighs in at 2.5 kilos, has 81 wax seals dangling from it and at €50,000 (£43,000) costs more than the average piece of ­Vatican merchandising.

But the perfect replica of the letter sent by British nobles to Pope Clement VII in 1530 demanding a divorce for Henry VIII was hailed by historians as crucial to understanding why England is a Protestant country when it was unveiled in Rome today.

"To understand England we need to have this document in mind," said the historian David Starkey, who was present at the launch in Rome.

After languishing lost in a drawer at the Vatican's secret archive until the 1920s, the letter has been painstakingly reproduced by an Italian firm, which plans to turn out 200 copies at a rate of three a month for libraries and collectors.

Source & Full Story

More Nixon Tapes Available to Public

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library has opened up access to 154 hours of White House tapes and other documents the U.S. government once classified.

In a statement, the library in Yorba Linda, Calif., said some of the materials made available to the public Tuesday include conversations about the Vietnam War, Nixon's second inauguration, the Supreme Court's landmark abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, and the first Watergate trial. The recordings from January and February 1973 consist of approximately 994 conversations, the library said.

The new Nixon tapes and documents will be available on the Internet and at the Richard Nixon libraries in California and Maryland.

Source & Full Story

Russia Returns History Documents to Austria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lawrow, who is visiting Austria right now, gave the archives taken by Russian troops during World War II back to the Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger on Tuesday.

This symbolic action marked the beginning of the archives return work from Russia to Austria. And it was also the first time the archives were given back to Austria.

The return of archives by Russia to Austria showed "a great mutual trust and respect between the two countries," said the Austrian Foreign Minister.

During the Second World War, Nazi seized the Austrian archival material, and which was then sent to Berlin, where finally obtained by Russian troops. The Process of archives restitution has been dealt between Russia and Austria with since 2007.

Source & Full Story

22 June 2009

U.S. National Archives Launches YouTube Channel

On Friday, June 19, the U.S. National Archives will formally launch a YouTube channel to showcase popular archived films, inform the public about upcoming events around the country, and bring National Archives exhibits to the people.

The launch will coincide with the National Archives 75th Anniversary. The URL is

Every week the National Archives will roll out a new film on one or more of its YouTube channel playlists. These include the following:

• From the Archives to the Moon: This video playlist features footage from the start of the space race through the landing of a man on the moon.
• Favorite Things: What’s at Your Presidential Libraries: Over a series of 14 videos, directors from 12 separate presidential libraries discuss their ‘favorite things’ from their respective Presidential Libraries including Air Force One and the famous rooftop staircase from the embassy evacuation in Vietnam.
• Tracing World War II: Released in chronological order, these War Department reels follow American progress through World War II from the bombing at Pearl Harbor to Armistice.
• Touring 1930s America: Combining well-crafted, first-hand accounts from the Great Depression and sweeping footage from the Department of Interior taken in the 1930s, this playlist guides viewers through Depression-era America.


1776 Black Document Discovered: A Story of Freedom for July 4th

The earliest known manuscript about an African-American in the new United States has been identified by a Yonkers dealer.

Dated July 4th, 1776, the handwritten document relates to the life of Cuff Dole, a black who was sold into slavery as a young child by his unscrupulous nurse. Confessing what she had done on her deathbed, Dole became free again, serving in the Revolutionary War.

The document places him inside George Washington's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Called the Barrack on Prospect Hill, the house was later owned by Henry Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and immortalized in a poem.

Dole is believed the first African-American to be mentioned in a document of the newly-independent United States.

Source & Full Story

TreeDraw 3.2.1

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

TreeDraw 3.2.1 has been released.


• Problems positioning windows on multi-monitor systems fixed.

Transcript 2.3.2 build 77

Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Freeware

Transcript 2.3.2 build 77 has been released.


• Added a much requested option to show the image and editor windows side by side. To switch use Ctrl+Shift+F12, or menu View, windows side by side.
• Added option to hide all toolbars (including menu). Toggle between show and hide by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F11, or hide from menu View. When hidden the toolbars can be shown again either by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F11 again or by pressing ESC.
• Added superscript and subscript buttons to the editor toolbar.
• BUGFIX: when changing languages and the timer was paused, the translation for paused was not updated.
• BUGFIX: saving/restoring of quicktexts only worked when projects were used.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 90618

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 90618 has been released.


• Maintenance release incorporating changes to reporter module; see revision history for The Complete Genealogy Reporter.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 90618

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 90618 has been released.


• Fixed: Logic errors in the Analysis routines which could result in failure to connect some individuals, particularly when the GEDCOM data includes one or more private individuals.

MyBlood 1.0 beta 2

Full Featured - Windows, Mac - Purchase

MyBlood 1.0 beta 2 has been released.


• Improvement: Better handling of date internal date manipulations
• Added: Application is resizeable. Most views rescale to fit the window.
• Added: 3D icon look for the application
• Improvement: Notes, Citations and Media Window of a Person or Family is now also resizeable in width

• Bug fix: Separator line is moved correctly when resizing the window.

Continue reading...

MacFamilyTree 5.5.7

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.5.7 has been released.


• Important stability fixes.
• Performance of the Statistics Chart vastly improved.
• Note palette improved.
• Localization fixes.

Kith and Kin Pro 3.0.3

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Kith and Kin Pro 3.0.3 has been released.


• Web pages export. Some thumbnail descriptions were truncated in the gallery page. Fixed.
• PDF file export. The font changed when text crossed page breaks. Fixed.
• V3 Database Conversion utility displayed a "Timestamp error" when converting databases with invalid data. Fixed.

Geophoto 2.4.1

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

Geophoto 2.4.1 has been released.


• Geophoto 2.4.1 restores compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4, which was inadvertenly broken in version 2.4.

Ahnenblatt 2.61

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Ahnenblatt 2.61 has been released.


• New function "delete group / descendant (complete)".
• Problems fixed with big ancestors list.
• Problems fixed with big ancestors tree (per page).
• Minor corrections.
• New languages Russian and Italian.

Most Cologne Archive Documents Intact Despite Collapse

Three months after the collapse of Cologne’s city archives, experts are amazed by how many of the precious documents have survived the devastating accident.

“It is sensational that everything is still somehow there,” archive head Bettina Schmidt-Czaia said.

The documents, which date back up to 1,000 years ago, are in varying states, but less than one-quarter have been torn apart, and workers hope to piece them back together using software that was developed to restore shredded documents from the East German secret police, the Stasi.

But restoration work could take up to 30 years or longer, she said.

Source & Full Story

Your GeneaNet Profile: New Notifications

Some notifications about your profile and your account are now displayed in the GeneaNet identification bar.


The number of messages you've received from other GeneaNet members is now displayed in the identification bar. Just click it to access your personal inbox.

Club Privilege Upcoming Renewal

All GeneaNet Club Privilege members are automatically sent an emailed reminder before their subscription term is about to end. Now, a notification is also displayed in the identification bar.

Incorrect Email Address

All emails from GeneaNet are sent to the current email address you have listed in your profile. If the email address is incorrect you will now be notified in the identification bar.

Incorrect Postal Address

The French Law applies to GeneaNet. When publishing your online family tree you must fill in your postal address in your GeneaNet profile. If not, you will now be notified in the identification bar.

21 June 2009

US National Archives Unveils Recovered Lincoln Letter

The National Archives on Thursday added to its collection a short letter written by President Abraham Lincoln to help an ousted U.S. Mint director who was the son-in-law of a Republican senator.

In the new letter, Lincoln asked his treasury secretary, Salmon Chase, to allow the fired head of the U.S. Mint in San Francisco, Robert Stevens, to review the charges that led to his removal. Lincoln had appointed Stevens as a favor to Oregon Sen. Edward Baker, the ousted director's father-in-law.

The letter is written on yellowed stationary simply marked Executive Mansion, Washington, with a dashed line where the date — Nov. 14, 1863 — was filled in by hand. This was five days before Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address.

The letter was donated to the National Archives by Lawrence Cutler, a private collector from Scottsdale, Ariz.

Source & Full Story

20 June 2009

Google Invests Another $2.6M in DNA Analysis Firm 23andMe

Google revealed in a regulatory filing that it has invested another $2.6 million in 23andMe, a developer of DNA analysis technologies co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Google also had previously invested $3.9 million in the company in May 2007, and purchased an additional $500,000 stake in the company from another investor in November of that year.

Founded in 2006 by Linda Avey and Wojcicki, 23andMe offers services designed to help people learn more about their personal ancestry, genealogy and inherited traits through DNA analysis technologies and Web-based interactive tools.

Source & Full Story

19 June 2009

British World War I Veteran Henry Allingham Becomes the World's Oldest Man

Great War veteran Henry Allingham became the world's oldest man today following the death of the previous holder of the title in Japan, Guinness World Records said. Mr Allingham, one of only two surviving First World War veterans in the UK and the last surviving founder member of the RAF, celebrated his 113th birthday on June 6.

Source & Full Story

World's Oldest Man Dies at 113 in Japan

The world's oldest man, Tomoji Tanabe, died at his home in southern Japan on Friday at the age of 113, according to a local official.

Tanabe, who suffered from a chronic heart problem, passed away with his relatives at his bedside, said an official at Miyakonojo City, where he lived.

"Mr Tanabe was a symbol of Miyakonojo... and cheered up many residents," making the town a byword for longevity, said Mayor Makoto Nagamine.

The world's oldest known person is 115-year-old Gertrude Baines who lives in Los Angeles.

Source & Full Story

DNA Key to Naming Soldiers Buried Where They Fell

Every year, construction workers or farmers churning up the soil of Western Europe unearth the bodies of a handful of Canadian troops killed in the two world wars. Even after their skeletal remains are found, though, the servicemen's identity often stays a mystery.

But now the National Defence Department is planning to keep a team of experts on retainer who can routinely use genetic testing and other advanced forensic tools to try to attach a name to the long-dead soldiers, airmen or sailors.

The department recently issued a contract for a "mortuary service provider" to handle both movement of the remains and the painstaking historical and scientific work involved in trying to identify them, with DNA analysis being the newest and final tool in the process.

The unusual contract calls for the services of forensic archeologists, forensic anthropologists and genealogical researchers.

Source & Full Story

Irish Ancestry Online: Every Census Since 1926 Now on Internet

The Central Statistics Office has published all the data it has collected from every census since 1926 online for public access, free of charge.

Each year’s census gives a statistical breakdown of the development of the country, from just after the formation of the Free State to the start of the 90s and pre-Celtic Tiger Ireland.

Aligned with all post-1991 records online, there are now 83 years of information one Website visit away at the Central Statistics Office at this URL.

For sociologists, genealogists or any member of the 70 million-strong Irish Diaspora around the world, this development could provide a huge amount of valuable information about the development of Ireland and its people.

Source & Full Story

Ancient Animal Textbook Rediscovered in Cologne Ruins

An ancient textbook detailing the animal kingdom has been rediscovered in the ruins of a German archives which collapsed into rubble three months ago, the chief archivist said Wednesday. In a heritage loss not seen since World War Two bombing, a pothole opened March 3 under the Cologne City Archives, containing one millenium of original historical records. About 85 per cent were sifted from the rubble.

"De Animalibus," a manuscript by the great medieval friar and scientist Albertus Magnus, lists 477 animals and classifies them by their means of getting around: on four legs, swimming, flying or snakewise.

The book is one of two manuscripts the archives owns by Albertus Magnus (1200-1280), often considered the greatest German medieval scholar. The other was recovered earlier.

Source & Full Story

18 June 2009

Library and Archives Canada Reviews Purchases of Paper Materials in Digital Age

Library and Archives Canada has put a moratorium on buying paper documents and books for its collection.

Doug Rimmer, assistant deputy minister of programs and services at Library and Archives Canada, told CBC News this week the moratorium is temporary and only applies to items it buys. It will still acquire documents other ways, including gifts and donations, websites and government records.

Rimmer said the archives spends about $1 million a year buying publications, and is reviewing whether that will continue in the digital age.

The moratorium is a blow to antiques dealers and antiquarian booksellers. Aubrey Bell, co-owner of Gallery 18 in New London, P.E.I., said his shop has sold a number of antique books and other publications to the National Library over the years.

Source & Full Story

British Library Publishes Online Archive of 19th-Century Newspapers

Yesterday's news has become more than just wrapping for fish and chips - thanks to a new online headline archive dating back 200 years.

The service - accessed at - includes more than two million pages of newspapers from 49 national and regional titles dating from 1800.

Newspapers covered by the service include the Daily News, Manchester Times, Western Mail, Northern Echo, Glasgow Herald and Penny Illustrated.

Searches of the site are free and downloads of full-text articles are available by purchasing either a 24-hour or seven-day pass. Users can buy a 24-hour pass for 100 downloads at £6.99 or a seven-day pass for 200 downloads at £9.99. Access to The Graphic and The Penny Illustrated Paper is free.

Source & Full Story

17 June 2009

Graveside Promise to Scots Pilot

During a holiday to Northern France, Ayrshire man Robert Taylor came across the grave of an Edinburgh pilot who died during a wartime mission in February 1944. Catherine Lyst recounts his two-and-a-half-year quest to trace the young airman's relatives.

Flt Sgt Archibald Blyth Kirkwood's headstone read: "Treasured memories of Archie our beloved elder son and brother."

However, unlike other graves at the St Denise cemetery at Poix de Picardie, there was no photograph.

Concerned that 23-year-old Archie had been buried so far from his home, Robert Taylor later make a pledge to track down his relatives.

Robert spent the last two and a half years trying to trace Archie's relatives and within three days of enlisting the help of history detective David Webster, of Ross Genealogy, he was in contact with Alistair Dick, a nephew Archie never met.

Source & Full Story

Kate Winslet and Kate Middleton's Ancestries Revealed in Online 1911 Census

The complete population census of 1911 has been posted online, disclosing that Kate Winslet's ancestors were publicans and Kate Middleton's were members of the Abermarle Club where Oscar Wilde was accused of being a homosexual.

Among the records is the paternal great-grandfather of Kate Middleton, Richard Noel Middleton, who is listed as a solicitor at 13 Albemarle Street in Mayfair, the address – up until World War One when it moved – of the Albemarle Club where Oscar Wilde was accused of sodomy by the Marquess of Queensberry in 1895.

Titanic actress Kate Kate Winslet's paternal great-great-grandfather John is listed as a retired Licensed Victualler while her great grandfather Charles Winslet was listed as still running an inn at the same address as today's Lion Public House in Reading, Berkshire.

The census records also include full details of British Army personnel and their families stationed overseas.

Source & Full Story

Short Films Saved For Posterity

Nearly 600 short films made by people from across Wales as part of a BBC project have been saved for posterity.

The 588 films, known as digital stories, have been presented to the National Library of Wales' screen and sound archive in Aberystwyth.

They were made between 2001 and 2007 for a project called BBC Capture Wales.

The stories have been referred to as "scrapbooks" from the heart and were created using photo albums, computers, cameras and scanners.

They cover a range of subjects, including love, work, hopes, fears, the past and the future.

Source & Full Story

Family Tree Magazine: 101 Best Web Sites 2009

Family Tree Magazine has published their 101 Best Web Sites 2009.

10 Best Web Sites for Vital Records - These are the best searchable databases of vital records from health departments, historical societies and state archives.
10 Best Web Sites for Storing and Sharing - Sharing your family history just got easier with these Web sites that let you create a family tree, store pictures and more.
10 Best Big Web Sites - You're sure to find information about your family in these stellar genealogy Web sites.
10 Best Web Sites for Maps - Trace your family's paths, find your ancestors' homes and explore the old country.
10 Best Web Sites for Local Searches - You can thank your lucky stars if your ancestors resided in the areas these Web sites cover.
10 Best Web Sites for International Searches - Tracking down immigrant ancestors has never been easier.
10 Best Cutting-edge Web Sites - Stay informed about the latest technology for genealogists with these sites.
10 Best Web Sites for Military Research - Find ancestors who served their country in these databases and archives.
10 Best Virtual Library Web Sites - Powerful search tools let you explore great library collections in the comfort of your own home.
10 Best Web Sites to See Dead People - Use these sites to find obituaries, cemeteries and other traces of your departed ancestors.

Digital Newspaper Archive Hits 1M Pages Online

"Flying Machine that will Work: Ohio Boys have Solved a Big Mechanical Problem," reads a headline from the Palestine Daily Herald in Texas.

A banner from The San Francisco Call-Chronicle-Examiner screams: "Entire City of San Francisco in Danger of Being Annihilated."

These century-old headlines and millions of others are now available through your home computer.

The vintage accounts of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the Wright brothers' first "aeroplane" flight in 1903 are among the news stories preserved through the National Digital Newspaper Program.

The program Tuesday celebrated the first 1 million pages that have been posted on a free, government-funded Web site.

Source & Full Story

16 June 2009

Video: Arrival Of Immigrants - Ellis Island - 1906

Arrival Of Immigrants - Ellis Island - 1906

Depicts scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis Island. Appears to show, first, a group of immigrants lined up to board a vessel leaving the island, then another group arriving at the island and being directed off of the dock and into the Depot by a uniformed official.

Holocaust Survivor Donates Personal Items from Auschwitz to Yad Vashem

An Holocaust survivor from the US donated Monday personal items of victims of Auschwitz to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Institute in Jerusalem.

95-year-old Meyer Hack came especially from Massachusetts for the occasion.

Born in Ciechanow, Poland, Hack was deported in 1942 together with his mother, brother and two sisters, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. His mother and sisters were murdered on arrival and his brother was murdered later on.

Meyer was sent to forced labor hauling carts of personal effects and clothing between Birkenau and Auschwitz before their eventual transfer to Germany.

Source & Full Story

BBC1 Asks Again Who Do You Think You Are?

Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall, Big Brother presenter Davina McCall and Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles are to all feature in the new run of BBC1’s genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?

The show, produced by Wall to Wall, will return in the summer for another 6 x 60-minute run which will also see Peep Show comedian David Mitchell, wildlife presenter Kate Humble and The Office star Martin Freeman all research their ancestry.

McCall’s show, which opens the run, sees the presenter trace her past back through both French and English ancestors. Moyles examines his Irish roots, which takes him from the slums of Dublin to the First World War battle at Ypres.

Source & Full Story

15 June 2009

Slave Route Museum Opens in Matanzas, Cuba

Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yai, President of the Executive Council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), who is in Cuba for a working visit until next Friday, will participate in the inauguration ceremony.

During his stay in Matanzas, Joseph Yai, who is also the Permanent Representative before UNESCO of the Republic of Benin, will tour the historic center of the city and the Office of the Triumvirate.

The UNESCO high official will also visit Old Havana, the House of Africa and the Museum of Guanabacoa, in the Cuban capital.

Source & Full Story

Indiana Soldier to Auction Rare Piece of History

A rare leather-bound book that played an influential role in America's early history could bring a windfall for a soldier training for his second tour in Iraq.

Indiana National Guard Capt. Nathan Harlan was a high school junior when he paid $7 for a 1788 first edition of volume one of "The Federalist" — a two-volume book of essays calling for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

Harlan, a 35-year-old from Granger, Ind., said he always thought his find might be worth about $500, not the thousands it could fetch when it's sold online Tuesday by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas.

"I'm really hoping it goes for $100,000, but I'm not holding my breath," he said, chuckling.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet 'All Relatives' Improved

GeneaNet 'All Relatives' helps you sharing with family, relatives and friends. Many features have been improved.

Contacting Other Users

Anyone who has registered with Ancestry and the Ancestry Community can send or receive messages from other users as well as reply to messages if they are contacted.

When a GeneaNet user wants to add you to their address book, you will receive an email which contains a link that you need to click accept/refuse the request.


Your GeneaNet All Relatives home page provides a snapshot view of the latest news from your network of family and friends.

You can now select the categories to be displayed.

Sending Several Emails in a Batch

It can take a very long time to send the emails if you have many contacts.

You can now send an email to several persons at one time.

Topics Improved

The GeneaNet 'All Relatives Topics' feature helps you discuss and share on any topic with your contacts.

You can now easily choose to follow and to stop following any topic by clicking on "Topic Preferences". This will open a pop-up window where you just have to select your option.

Read Also:
- Your New Personal Inbox
- Stay In Touch With Family And Friends
- Discuss And Share With Your Contacts
- Manage Your Address Book

[ GeneaNet 'All Relatives' ]

14 June 2009

Spanish Civil War Bodies Exhumed

Seven bodies have been removed from Spanish Civil War graves in the first court-ordered exhumation.

The remains were transferred from two mass graves in the cemetery of Santa Marta village to a medical lab for official identification.

Archaeologists recovered the remains, belonging to men executed by supporters of Gen Francisco Franco in 1936.

This could be the first of thousands of official exhumations that have been the focus of a lengthy legal wrangle.

Source & Full Story

13 June 2009

The Bibliothèque Nationale de France to Add Records to WorldCat; OCLC and National Library of France Sign Agreement in Paris

OCLC and the Bibliothèque nationale de France signed an agreement today to work cooperatively to add records from the French national library to OCLC WorldCat, the world's largest online resource for finding information in libraries.

The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and OCLC signed the agreement in Paris today, setting in motion plans for OCLC to process an estimated 13.2 million bibliographic records from the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Once records are added to WorldCat, they will be more visible and accessible to Web users worldwide through, the destination for search and discovery of library materials on the Web.

"The Bibliothèque nationale de France is willing to increase the audience of its cultural heritage materials. We are convinced that the contribution of our entire bibliographic catalogue to WorldCat is likely to enhance the value of the library collections," said Bruno Racine, President of BnF. "The bibliographic data of the BnF catalogue, one of the richest catalogues in the world, will be of great benefit to OCLC users."

Source & Full Story

12 June 2009

Descendants of Joseon Dynasty Premier Donate Ancient Home

A woman’s lifelong desire to preserve the home of her nobleman ancestor has ended her long search for a beneficiary to her family’s legacy.

Jeon Eun-ki, 77, and her 58-year-old daughter Kim Eun-hee, an Oriental painter, donated their ancestor’s tile-roofed hanok, or traditional Korean home, and the surrounding 101,500-square-meter (25-acre) plot of land in Icheon, Gyeonggi, last month to Seoul National University.

Jeon and Kim are descendants of Kim Jwa-geun (1797-1869), who served as a premier three times in the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

The aging house, registered as a cultural asset of Gyeonggi Province, is in the middle of renovations, and Kim Jwa-geun’s tombstone was recently placed in the courtyard. A personal note by King Gojong (1852-1919), better known as Heungseon Daewongun, is carved on the tombstone.

Source & Full Story

11 June 2009

New Fromelles Cemetery Begins to Take Shape

Work has started on the new cemetery at Fromelles, in northern France, which will provide a final resting place for around 400 British and Australian soldiers.

The troops died during the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916, with the bodies buried in a number of pits by the German army in the hours after the battle.

A team of archaeologists are currently extracting the bodies and countless items of clothing and equipment and it is hoped that DNA techniques will enable as many of the soldiers as possible to be named and given an individual headstone.

Families who believe their relatives may have lost their lives at Fromelles are urged to check the lists of casualties at

Source & Full Story

Read Also in the GeneaNet Blog:
- WWI Graves of UK, Australian Soldiers Excavated
- The U.K. Ministry of Defence Names WWI Mass Grave Troops
- Aussie who Found WWI Mass Grave Banned
- Plans for First War Cemetery to be Built in Fifty Years Made Public
- Fromelles War Graves to be Excavated
- The Names of 191 Australian World War I Soldiers Buried in Fromelles, France, have been Released
- 20 Million Cards Concerning World War I Soldiers Discovered
- The Bodies Of Australian And British Soldiers Buried In A Mass Grave In Northern France During World War I Are To Be DNA Tested

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 90605

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 90605 has been released.


• Improved: Date formatter dropdowns have been extended to show all months instead of using a scroll bar.
• Fixed: Age calculator erroneously calculated 0d instead of the actual number of days when less than 30 days spanning two months.
• Includes changes to reporter module; see revision history for The Complete Genealogy Reporter.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 90605

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 90605 has been released.


• Improved Catalan language translation.

Relatives 2.1

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Relatives 2.1 has been released.


• New: Media Master, that helps to collect family tree data and all related files into a directory or a ZIP file for transferring them to another computer.
• Some bugs have been fixed.

Our Family Book 6.0.0

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Our Family Book 6.0.0 has been released.


• License for the Gedcom Service Programs.

MacFamilyTree 5.5.6

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.5.6 has been released.


• Bug fixes in the Family Assistant.
• Fixed a rare crash bug in the Edit Mode.
• Improvements in the Note Palette.
• Localization bugs fixed.

LongFamilyHistory 2.4.0

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

LongFamilyHistory 2.4.0 has been released.


• The program now can generate HTML pages with charts.

GedSpy 0.6q

GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Purchase

GedSpy 0.6q has been released.


• Added In-Law finder. This is still in its infancy so please excuse the format of the output.

GedPad 2009 build 90513

GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware

GedPad 2009 build 90513 has been released.


• New: Full Unicode character support.
• New: Ability to open another GEDCOM file from within GedPad.

GedView 1.0

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 1.0 has been released.


• Import GEDCOM files by download over GPRS, EDGE, 3G,or WiFi.
• Import GEDCOM files by uploading over WiFi (Bonjour supported).
• Portrait and Landscape mode support.
• Support all standard GEDCOM event types (but not facts such as Occupation etc.).
• Support for many custom events used by various genealogy applications.
• ASCII, ANSI, ANSEL, UTF-8, UTF-16 character set support.


Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

GEDitCOM II 1.0 has been released.

Main Features:

• Multi-window "browser" interface.
• Powerful index window.
• Powerful searching tools.
• Unlimited undo and redo.
• Link genealogy data to pictures, sounds, movies - and any file type!
• Share multimedia with iPhoto, iTunes, and iMovie.
• Ancestor and descendant family tree charts.
• Charts synchronized with text.
• Charts scalable for viewing or printing.
• 100% support for GEDCOM 5.5 files.
• Use html elements in notes.
• Export all or part of the file to a GEDCOM file.
• Drag records between files.
• The entire interface is customizable by using the "GEDitCOM Editor".
• Document research on any number of individuals in any number of families with multiple spouses, numerous "events", and all LDS ordinances.
• Attach sources to any data.
• Organize your records into albums (like in iPhoto).

Family Historian 4.0.2

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Family Historian 4.0.2 has been released.


• The number of listed most-recently-viewed GEDCOM files or projects (accessible by the GEDCOM tasks menu, on the File menu or on the Project Window) has been increased from 4 to 9.
• There is now an option to switch off Note information in 'Parent Boxes' in the Focus Window for those who don't want it (see the Focus Window tab in Preferences).
• The facility to make diagram boxes "avoid page boundaries" did not work correctly for all diagrams orientations in the Diagram Window - now fixed.
• The problem of upside-down text in the Property Box, that affected a small number of users, has been fixed
• The Source Pane no longer overlays the Property Box toolbar if positioned on the right side and docked.
• The problem with HTML code appearing in headings for children in websites has been fixed.
• HTML links in websites were not always being identified correctly - now fixed.
• Indentation in website pages was not always correct - now fixed.
• Various errors in the Help file have been corrected.
• Adding 'Marriage' as an item to a text scheme could cause the application to hang - now fixed.
• In specific circumstances, displaying the Multimedia Report could cause the application to hang - now fixed.
• Page sizing, when saving a diagram to a single page PDF file, has been made more accurate.
• The Sentence field now shows generated sentences for Family records (previously it only showed them for Individual records) in the Facts tab of the Property Box.
• If a GEDCOM file that was being imported into a new project contained serious errors, this could cause problems. Family Historian now handles these errors much more gracefully and without problems. All detected errors, and corrections, are stored in log files which the user can view using a new "Log Files" menu command on the Window menu.
• Recording each partner's age at the time of family events, did not work correctly for same sex relationships - now fixed.
• The Move Up and Move Down arrow buttons in the Linked Records list, in the Multimedia Window (middle panel of the pane on the left) now work correctly.
• The 'ItemIf' function was not being recognised - now fixed.
• Pictures did not display correctly in tutorial files - now fixed.
• In the past there was no way to prevent Family Historian automatically loading thumbnail images in the background when you open a new project or GEDCOM file. It is now possible to prevent it doing this so that it only loads thumbnail images when needed, by unticking a new option on the 'Advanced' dialog in the General tab of Preferences.

10 June 2009

Two Unpublished Poirot Short Stories Found in Agatha Christie's Holiday Home

There were more "leetle grey cells" than anyone dreamed of: two previously unpublished Hercule Poirot stories have emerged from a mass of family papers at Agatha Christie's favourite home.

The first story, The Mystery of the Dog's Ball, eventually became the 1937 novel Dumb Witness, in which an heiress dies from falling down the stairs after apparently tripping over her fox terrier's toy.

The title of the other new find, The Capture of Cerberus, has graced another story. The original was written to complete The Labours of Hercules, a collection of Poirot's 12 last cases. The first 11 were published in the Strand magazine between 1939-40, but the last only appeared in the book published in 1947 – a new story keeping only the title from the notebook version.

Source & Full Story

The British Library "Endangered Archives Blog"

The British Library has a new blog about endangered archives.

This blog will be used to share some of the interesting and amazing records copied under the Endangered Archives Programme. I also hope to discuss some aspects of how the programme works, and give insights into the challenges of cataloguing, preserving and making available such a vast array of records, manuscripts, audio, audio-video and image material - all in digital or microfilm format.

Spain’s National Library to Sign Google Books Deal

Spain’s National Library will sign an accord with Google so that the virtual volumes in the Hispanic Digital Library, or BDH, can be looked up on Google Books, though only a part of each book will be available to be seen, library director Milagros del Corral said Tuesday.

“Whoever wants to see the rest can do so for free on the library Web site,” Del Corral told reporters after appearing before the Culture Committee of the lower house of Parliament.

The library director said that the institution aspires to the same degree of legal autonomy that the Prado Museum has, though it is not currently one of the goals included in the 2009-2011 Strategy Plan.

Source & Full Story

9 June 2009

Russian Journal of Genetic Genealogy

The first issue of the Russian Journal of Genetic Genealogy is now published.

Articles are in Russian and it is believed that English translations will be provided in the future.


Archivists around the world celebrate International Archives Day on June 9 2009

The International Archives Day offers archivists throughout the world a tremendous opportunity to promote the cause of records and archives in their country. It can be used to persuade key decision-makers that effective record-keeping is an essential precondition for good governance, transparency and accountability; to emphasize the importance of preserving archives for the collective memory of nations and societies; and to encourage those members of the public who have never previously done so to consult archives for the first time.

More generally, it can be used as a means of raising the public profile of archives and archivists in the media. In countries where there is currently no national celebration of archives, it provides a powerful impetus to organize one for the first time. And in those countries which already have well-established celebrations at other times of year, International Archives Day offers another chance to reinforce key messages about the significance of archives.

Source & Information

8 June 2009

Epitaphiana: or, The Curiosities of Churchyard Literature, William Fairley, 1873

On Mr. Woodcock:

Here lies the body of Thomas Woodhen,
The most loving of husbands and amiable of men.

N.B. His name was Woodcock, but it wouldn't rhyme.
Erected by his loving widow.

From a tombstone in Ireland:

Here lies the body of John Mound
Lost at sea and never found.

On Sarah, wife of Rowland Thomas:

34 years i was a maid,
9 months 6 days a wedded wife,
two hours i was a mother,
and then i lost my life.

From New Jersey:

She was not smart, she was not fair,
But hearts with grief for her are swellin' ;
All empty stands her little chair :
She died of eatin' water-melon.

Epitaphiana: or, The Curiosities of Churchyard Literature, William Fairley, 1873, in Internet Archive

GeneaNet: Your New Personal Inbox

The new and free GeneaNet online Messages feature lets you communicate privately with other members.

Your personal inbox is a great way to connect with other members who have ancestors in common with you and share discoveries.

Send a message

Simply click on the "Send a Message" link in the member Contact Page or click on the "Inbox" link in the "All Relatives" menu bar.

Read and reply to messages

The first thing you want to do when you receive a message from another GeneaNet member is to read and reply to the message. Just click on the message in your Inbox to view the full message.

When viewing a message you can reply, archive or delete it. You can also mark your messages 'read' or 'unread'.

GeneaNet will empty messages from your Bin automatically after 15 days, or you can permanently delete messages yourself.

Disable your GeneaNet Inbox

If you don't wish to use your GeneaNet Inbox, just change your settings by clicking on "Change Preferences > Privacy Settings".

Then, simply set the "Enable my GeneaNet Inbox" to "No".

You can re-enable your GeneaNet Inbox at any time without losing messages.

[ Your GeneaNet Inbox ]

7 June 2009

GRAMPS 3.1.2

Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

GRAMPS 3.1.2 has been released.


• Contains mostly translation updates and small bug fixes. No new features.
• sv, de, fr, ca, sk, ru, pt_br, it, he, nl, cs, nb, nl, pl.
• Fixes a failure in 'Check & Repair Database'.
• Fixes to Gramplets.
• Fixes to CLI regressions.
• Fixes to use of Latin1 character set in Graphviz reports.
• Fixes to many reports.
• Fixes to the clipboard.
• Fixes to NarrativeWeb.
• Fixes to importing from older XML files.

5 June 2009

National Archives (UK): Census Maps From 1871 Now Online

Digital versions of the original Registration District maps from the 1871 census (Catalogue reference RG 18/1-110) are now available to browse and download at

The maps are based on the Ordnance Survey 'Old Series' but were hand annotated to show the Registration Districts of England and Wales as they existed then. This additional hand-drawn information makes the maps a vital resource to family and local historians, as well as offering a fascinating geo-political snapshot of how England and Wales were administered at the time of the 1871 census.

Cassini used scanned images of the originals that were then digitally stitched together to create a seamless mosaic of mapping. The maps are free to view online and you can search by postcode, place name, parish and district name. There is a charge to download the maps.


Unique Graves, Headstones and Tombstones

Some weird but funny graves, headstones and tombstones.

4 June 2009

Researchers Say Obama Has German Roots

Barack Obama in traditional German lederhosen? It may be hard to imagine, but researchers in the U.S. say they have located documents that prove the president has German roots dating to the 1700s.

According to parish records uncovered by experts, Obama's 6th great-grandfather Johann Conrad Woelflin was born Jan. 29, 1729, in Besigheim, a small town north of Stuttgart on the Enz river where it feeds into the Neckar.

He sailed aboard a ship called "Patience" in 1750 to America, changing his last name to "Wolfley" upon arrival and eventually settling in Middletown, Pennsylvania, according to head genealogist Anastasia Tyler, who oversaw the research.

In Middletown, he married Anna Catherine Schockey in 1756 and had at least six children, including Ludwig Lewis Wolfley — Obama's 5th great grandfather — who was born in 1766, Tyler said.

Source & Full Story

3 June 2009

Australia's Oldest Man, Last WWI Veteran Dies

Australia's oldest man and its last surviving veteran of World War I died on Wednesday at the age of 110.

Jack Ross, who joined the Australian Imperial Force in the last months of World War I 91 years ago, died in his sleep in a nursing home in the southern country town of Bendigo, the Golden Oaks Nursing Home said.

Ross, who was born in 1899, enlisted in the Australian military that fought with British forces in January 1918 and was trained in the use of radio before being assigned to the 1st Battalion in his native Victoria state.

But the Great War drew to an end in November of the same year and Ross was demobilised before being posted overseas.

Source & Full Story

National Archives to Preserve Records of U.S. Immigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it planned to transfer tens of thousands of registration files of immigrants to the National Archives, creating a permanent and comprehensive record of their journey to the United States.

The archival processing of about 135,000 files -- which contain personal, historical and genealogical information -- could be completed by next summer and available for public access, officials said in a statement.

No other type of case file contains the same level of comprehensive personal data of immigrants and their request for resident status and citizenship, officials said. This ensures that the records contained within the A-file will be retained forever at the National Archives.

Source & Full Story

SmartDraw 2009.56

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

SmartDraw 2009.56 has been released.


• No release notes available.

Second Site 3.0 build 7

Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase

Second Site 3.0 build 7 has been released.


• Added the Exhibits.Include Back-Links checkbox to control adding links from exhibit pages back to the person page associated with people linked to the exhibit.
• Added the Page.ExhibitHRef() script function which makes it possible to create a stable link to an external exhibit page.
• Added the Help > Check for a New Version command.
• Added Danish translation files courtesy of Second Site user Michael Erichsen.
• Changed the processing of the Filename property for the Custom Page User Item: it is now possible to create files with an extension that is different from the Second Site default by specifying the file extension in the Filename property. This is limited to certain recognized filetypes such as ".php".
• Fixed two bugs where the Family History Hosting > Publish command would sometimes fail when attempting to upload files in subfolders of the Output (-o) folder.
• Fixed a problem where latitude/longitude parameters were not created properly in Maps and Map Links for users in locales where a comma is used as the decimal point; this change replaces an earlier, partially-effective fix introduced in v2.2.6.
• Information for Theme and Format Authors: Updated all the Image Page Content Scripts to include back-links.


Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• No release notes available.

Map My Ancestors 1.8.5

Mapmaking - Windows - Purchase

Map My Ancestors 1.8.5 has been released.


• Added support for non standard use of RESI tag within the family data structure (for Legacy v7).

MacFamilyTree 5.5.4

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.5.4 has been released.


• New Pane in the person edit mode showing the oldest ancestors of a person.
• New Statistic: Years between marriage and the birth of children.
• Fixes for the coordinate lookup.
• Database migration from older versions fixed.
• Many fixes importing and exporting GEDCOM files.
• Search function can now search for additional names of a person.
• Additional names are now shown in the Web Export.
• Other fixes in the Web Export.
• Media handling improved.
• Other smaller fixes and improvements.

Kith and Kin Pro 3.0.2

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Kith and Kin Pro 3.0.2 has been released.


• Tab labels not showing under Vista 64-bit. Fixed.
• Change dates were not shown in "Tools | Records modified". Fixed.
• Problems displaying some windows on multiple-monitor systems fixed.

Genmod 1.7

Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

Genmod 1.7 has been released.


• Support for shared/general notes. One same note can be attached to individuals, families, sources, media and repositories, and to their facts and events. All editing functions are extended for this feature, as well as the record merge facility.
• An option is added for editing, to paste the last selected or entered link to another record type. This is extremely useful when a source link must be added to multiple facts and/or record types.
• On the edit pages, a link is added to display the next free ID's. This is handy if the user wants to give uploaded files the same name as their ID will be.
• Reordering children in a family, by birthdate, also considers christening/baptism dates
• An option is added on the edit pages to directly accept this particular change.
• The Sanity check also checks for child order in families and invalid note links.
• General search can also search in notes, media and repositories. This means that the search now actually covers all available data.
• Support is added for BURI Y and CREM Y.
• After editing persons facts, Genmod will return to the individuals tab it was on before edit.
• Genmod will check on existence of linked ID's entered during edit.
• The RSS-block, or rather what the RSS-feed will show, can be configured now.
• A block is added to show the Top-10 pageviews by bots.
• The delimiting characters to show a persons nickname -Jonathan (John) Doe- can be set in the configuration.
• The recent changes block also shows changes for sources and repositories.
• The statistics page is back in Genmod with new options (thanks Thomas Lerman)
• To support a consistent use of place names, Dutch counties, municipals and places are added.
• Although not all work has been done, many of the reports are improved and even some added. With thanks to Thomas Lerman for his contributions (on this and other features).
• The ThisPerson, ThisFamily, etc. menu options only show relevant reports
• All detail pages have the same layout, consisting of one tab for their facts and events, and other tabs for their links to other record types.
• Search results for general search are also shown in different tabs for each record type.
• The IsDead status, often depending on dates of other individuals, will also be recalculated if the data of one of those individuals is changed.
• The performance of the sourcelist page, with link privacy enabled, has dramatically improved.
• The same applies to the family list.
• The performance of the soundex search has dramatically improved also.
• All language settings and many of the configuration settings have moved from file to the database.
• Genmod now supports the HTTP status 304 IF MODIFIED SINCE, which reduces bot traffic.
• Genmod can be run from other ports than 80.
• Added the query execution time to the page performance statistics.
• Improved support for various database installations on various platforms
• About 100 bugs are fixed, and some undoubtedly introduced.


Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• The position of person indexes output directly could be wrong if the horizontal or vertical box distances exceeded considerably the measures of the Free Text Objects with column/row numbers lying on the outside. In such cases the person index could overlap the Free Text Objects. The bug has been corrected.
• At the output of sources in person boxes the headers were output in English even if another output language was selected. The bug has been corrected.
• The content of the data field Title can now be output in front of the names. The adjustment is performed in the Treeview Options dialog, Box Content tab, Output Personal Data list.
• With the new option Occupation date should be read from "1 OCCU/2 DATE" tags you can turn on and off the import of occupation dates. The adjustment is performed in the GEDCOM Options dialog, Import Options tab, Handling of Special Gedcom Tags and Data list.
• At the GEDCOM import of Swiss Civil Rights Municipalities using the method User-defined Attribute now the content of a perhaps present 2 PLAC tag will be added to the content of the 1 EVEN tag. No adjustment required.
• At the GEDCOM import of SOUR records now NOTE tags are read as Comments and added to the Sources data field.
• While loading and saving Gedcom options files and Treeview options files the used directories are saved now. These directories are used for the next function call.
• The automatic search für program updates is turned off at the first installation. The user will be asked in a nonrecurring message dialog, whether this feature should be activated. Furthermore the adjustment in the Program Options remains possible.
• The licensing was extended by a method with serial numbers for a retail box version.
• Some small improvements and corrections.

FamilyInsight 2009.5.16.2

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2009.5.16.2 has been released.


• Improved search results in Simple Update mode.
• Fixed a crash in FamilySearch Sync mode.
• Fixed a crash when canceling the "add a relative" operation.

Ancestral Quest 12.1 build 14

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Quest 12.1 build 14 has been released.


• Backups - AQ now restores PAF 5 backups and creates backup compatible with PAF 5.
• Narrative Reports and Web Pages - added the Biological sentence for use on a split relationship in a .aq file.
• Line of Descent Report - Add the Byte Order Mark for Unicode so some word processors that require it would find it.
• GEDCOM Import - The Import used to check Custom IDs to see if they "looked" like AFNs, and if they did, it moved the Custom ID to the AFN field. It now leaves this alone in the Custom ID field.
• Many, many features dealing with interfacing the system to enhance research and database checking. Only available to users who or in the pilot program for (nFS) until it is released to the general public.
• Several other enhancements while working on the nFS features that we didn't track. See the list of changes for AQ 12.1 after you download it to find some of these.
• Open Screen - The "Action" button on the Open/Save dialog used to specify the appropriate action in AQ 11, such as "Backup", "Copy", "Restore", etc. These had reverted to the default of "Open" or "Save". These now show the action text again.
• Save As Screen - When using the Save As dialog, if you selected a filename from the list, then altered it, Windows would return the selected name rather than the altered name. AQ now uses the Altered name.
• Several other fixes while working on the nFS features that we didn't track. See the list of changes for AQ 12.1 after you download it to find some of these.

Beijing Municipal Archives Opened over 20,000 Volumes of Archives to the Public

Beijing Municipal Archives recently opened 21,568 volumes of archives to the public. This is the fourth time the municipal archive department has opened its archives on a large scale to the general public after the previous three times in 1996, 1997 and 2001.

The archives currently available to the public span the period of 1906 to 1978, including some unconcealed archives ranging from the founding of the People’s Republic of China through to 1978. These archives mainly consist of files on the construction and development of Beijing in fields such as the economy, municipal administration, agriculture, education, science and technology, culture, hygiene, development of women and environmental protection.

Source & Full Story

National Library of Wales Joins Flickr Commons Initiative

The National Library of Wales today posted its first collection of photographs on the famous photo sharing website Flickr. By doing so the National Library is the first British library to join the Flickr Commons initiative.

The Library has uploaded over 100 photographs from the P B Abery collection, a rich collection of photographs taken between 1890 and 1940 in the border area of Wales and England, and especially the old county of Radnorshire in present day Powys. The photos include the weird and wonderful – including a dog smoking a pipe and turkeys blocking the road, the beautiful landscape of Radnorshire and the agricultural world in decline by the 1920s.

The National Library of Wales on Flickr Commons


2 June 2009

8th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards

Today in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island five esteemed individuals were honored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. for their contributions to the American Tapestry.

The 8th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, given annually to a select number of Port of New York and Ellis Island immigrants or their descendants, along with the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America Award were presented by Stephen A. Briganti, President and CEO of the Foundation, and Thomas L. Strickland, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, in an 11:00 a.m. ceremony hosted by actress Candice Bergen at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

The 2009 honorees are:

• Sports — Joe Namath
• Science/Medicine — Dr. Eric R. Kandel
• Entertainment — Jerry Seinfeld
• B.C. Forbes Peopling Of America Award — This Award honors immigrants who arrived after the Ellis era or through another port. Gloria and Emilio Estefan

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Poland Finds WWII Nazi Camp Personal Items

Conservation workers uncovered personal items of Holocaust victims at the World War II Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in southern Poland, authorities said.

The items -- including baby toys and bottles, jewels, cosmetics and medicines -- had labels in Hungarian and belonged to Hungarian Jews imprisoned at the Nazi German-run Auschwitz concentration camp, near the southern Polish city of Krakow, from May to July 1944, Poland's Web site said Tuesday.

The personal items were found during conservation work at the camp's Crematorium 3, a spokesman for the Auschwitz museum said. Some of the items will be put on display at the museum.

About 430,000 Hungarian Jews were taken to the infamous Auschwitz camp, where most of them died.

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DNA Test to Discover Tutankhamun's Parentage

Egyptian researchers are using DNA tests to discover the lineage of pharaoh king Tutankhamun, whose ancestry remains a mystery to Egyptologists, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said on Monday.

The young king, whose mummy was found in a gold and turquoise sarcophagus by English archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922, ruled Egypt between 1333 and 1324 BC.

His ancestry has been as much a source of speculation as his abrupt end.

The testing will mostly be done in the Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt, where pharaonic royalty was mummified, Hawass said.

The result will be announced in February.

Source & Full Story

Korea to Host Int’l Meeting of Archival Experts

Executive members of the world's largest organization of experts in national archives will meet in Seoul in 2010 to exchange best practices in preserving state records, the government announced Monday.

The executive board meeting of the International Council of Archives (ICA) will take place from May 31 to June 4 at a national records museum in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. The museum is operated by the National Archives of Korea (NAK).

"We will use the ICA meeting to disseminate Korea's expertise and techniques in preserving national records and promoting international cooperation among relevant experts and officials,'' Park Sang-duk, president of the NAK, said in a statement.

Source & Full Story

Last Titanic Survivor Dies At 97

The last survivor of the sinking of the Titanic has died aged 97.

Millvina Dean was nine weeks old when the liner sank after hitting an iceberg in the early hours of 15 April 1912, on its maiden voyage from Southampton.

The disaster resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people in the north Atlantic, largely due to a lack of lifeboats.

Miss Dean, who remembered nothing of the fateful journey, died on Sunday at the care home in Hampshire where she lived.

Her family had been travelling in third class to America, where they hoped to start a new life and open a tobacconist's shop in Kansas City.

Source & Full Story

Bottom of Filing Cabinet Yields Top-Drawer Discovery

Archivists at Brock University, Canada, dig into the mystery of how 13th-century document wound up in their offices in St. Catharines.

It's not exactly the Magna Carta, although it was penned around the same time, in similar Latin script, on English parchment.

It's a simple document, in the legalese of the day, by which a low-to-middling noble named Robert de Clopton granted land to his son, William, in the 13th century.

Apart from its age, its most intriguing aspect is how it resurfaced all these years later: in a filing cabinet at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., during an office reorganization last summer.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet: Publish And Share Your Digitized Records

GeneaNet allows you to share and publish your digitized records through collaborative genealogy feature.


Next to the download icon, a new one allows you to send a message to the record owner.

Clicking on the "Modify" icon will open a new pop-up window:


- Linked Family Trees: Showing all of the GeneaNet online family trees that have been linked to this record.

- Report As Inappropriate: Report the record as spam, fraud or privacy violation.

Transcription :

Everyone can contribute to a record transcription!

Just click on "Need Help?" to send an help request. All record transcription help requests are listed here.