Tag: DNA

Unknown Soldiers: DNA technology makes it possible for their remains to be identified.

Unknown Soldiers: DNA technology makes it possible for their remains to be identified.

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Albert-Joseph-Philias-Emery-237x3001.jpg

Unknown soldiers can be identified!

More than 83,000 US service members lost since the start of WWII are still missing, according to a representative of the Department of Defence. Several lie in forgotten graves on the battlefield and below memorials offering no clue to their identities.

New techniques in DNA technology may mean we have seen the last burial of an unknown soldier. In offices and laboratories across the country and archaeological sites scattered across continents, groups of investigators and scientists comb the remains of the past for lost defenders.

In the US, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and also the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), based in Arlington, Virginia keep case files on each missing sailor, soldier, Marine and airman.

Researchers at JPAC and DPMO establish possible sites of remains. A team of archaelogists visited North Korea in 2004 and located skeletal remains of thirty individuals tossed haphazardly into a mass grave close to Chosin Reservoir. They shipped the bones to JPAC in Honolulu, where the bones were used to find gender, age, ancestry, and distinguishing marks. The process can take anywhere from two weeks to one year, depending on the existing backlog. Frustratingly, the original sample may not be enough and in that case, they must restart from the beginning.

For the remains whose DNA is successfully processed, the researchers will try and match them with DNA samples taken from thousands of possible family members.

Two of my great uncles, Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery and Private Joseph Turmaine, were reported missing in action in WWI and I would be thrilled to have their remains recovered.


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British Ancestry: a mixture of genetic DNA from other populations.

British Ancestry: a mixture of genetic DNA from other populations.

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Genetic signatures have been found among Britons that strongly illustrate their historical roots from various locations of the UK, resulting in a highly detailed and descriptive map of genetic variations. The analysis shows clusters of genetic variation within the late 1800s, when the population was less migratory, and reflects historical waves of migration by a variety of groups of people into the island.

 

According to Peter Donnelly, the Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford, England, “The patterns we see are extraordinary. “The genetic effects we’re looking at are the result of, probably, thousands of years of history.”

DNA Map of UK migration.
Each symbol represents an individual at the center of their grandparents’ birthplaces. The tree (top right) DNA map of UK migration shows how the clusters are related. Photo credit: University of Oxford

Today, few Britons have ancestors from only one region of the United Kingdom. Therefore, it’s difficult to find patterns of genetic variation originating from a specific place.

However, the team found Britons that lived in rural areas and knew that their grandparents were all born within less than eighty kilometers. Since the DNA of these people was a blend of their grandparents’ DNA, it was expected that their genetic variations would be from within the geographic regions of their grandparents.

Participants were lumped into groups based specifically on their genetic DNA, and the geography of these groups matched significantly. Those from across central and southern Britain were in the most important cluster. Several groupings within this main group were much more isolated.

Those whose ancestry can be traced back to the archipelago, off the northeast coast of Scotland, fell into three distinct classes. This isolation most likely was a result of the islands creating difficulties in movement among various populations.

As well as the influence of geographic barriers, the overall picture resulted from migrations into and around the UK.

Genomes of people from continental Europe were analysed to gain insight into the scope of their ancestors’ contributions to Britons’ genetic ancestry. The flow of Anglo-Saxons from contemporary Germany into the UK after the departure of the Romans in 410 AD was indicated. Rather than displacing the resident population, they interbred.

Surprisingly, the Vikings, who occupied the UK during the four centuries from 700 AD to 1100 AD, had very little influence on the genetic makeup of Britons.

Britons or those with British heritage may conceivably use their DNA to trace the homelands of their ancestors.

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Sources:

Wikipedia.org; http://www.wikipedia.org.

Callaway, Ewan; UK Mapped out by genetic ancestry; http://www.nature.com/news/uk-mapped-out-by-genetic-ancestry-1.17136


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Prince William’s mitochondrial line is of Indian ancestry?

Prince William’s mitochondrial line is of Indian ancestry?

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My children’s ancestry branches backward into history, through Welsh Quakers immigrants in Pennsylvania, to Welsh royalty and then to British royalty, including Prince William. It was surprising to learn Prince William’s mitochondrial line is of Indian ancestry?

 

Prince William's mitochondrial line is of Indian ancestry?
Prince William’s mitochondrial line is of Indian ancestry?

The result of these connections is that my husband and children are distantly related (20th cousins 4 times removed from Princes William and Harry, the sons of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and the grandsons of the current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II.

It is interesting to note that, not only are the young royals connected through German, Spanish, French and numerous other lineages, but DNA tests conducted by BritainsDNA have proven Indian ancestry through their mother Princess Diana.

Although its is believed that Eliza Kewar, their fifth great grandmother was Armenian,  DNA shows a direct maternal Indian descent. Eliza was housekeeper to and in a relationship with Theodore Forbes. Forbes was from Scotland and worked for the East India Company in Surat, India.

The mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on through the women only, descended through Eliza and Theodore’s daughter Katherine and her female descendants to Frances Roche, who married Earl Spencer and had a daughter, Lady Diana Spencer – William and Harry’s mother.

photo credit: Steve Rhodes via photopin cc


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DNA, archaeology, anthropology and genealogy open eyes to the past.

DNA, archaeology, anthropology and genealogy open eyes to the past.

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It seems that every time I turn on my computer to view the internet, I find new articles and posts about discoveries made in DNA, archaeology, genealogy and even science, that shed new light on our search into the origins of our own family and heritage, and the origins of our ethnic groups.

Today I stumbled upon the article “Discovered 2.3 k-yr-old human skeleton throws light on our ancestry,” on the ANINews website.

According to this article, “DNA from the complete 1.5 metre tall skeleton is one of the ‘earliest diverged,’ oldest in genetic terms, found to-date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.”

The DNA evidence pointed to this man being from a branch that is the most closely related to ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ and now presumed to be extinct.

Reading about these new discoveries points out something very intriguing to me. In the past, the discoveries were made based on exploration, experimentation, and finding something new, affecting and changing the future.

Today, the discoveries one hears of most are those delving into the past, using all disciplines of social studies including genealogy, anthropology and archaeology; and the sciences including DNA and chemical analysis.

Today’s most well known and talked about discoveries are looking to the past and where we came from; individually, as a family, and as part of a broader ethnic group.

This suits me fine as this is my area of interest and fascination. I can’t help but feel excitement with each new discovery in my own genealogy, as well as reading and hearing about the discoveries made with a much broader, more global impact.

It all matters and sheds light on who we are and where we came from.


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I learn my husband may be descended from the first documented slave in America, John Punch…

I learn my husband may be descended from the first documented slave in America, John Punch…

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African slave in America, John Punch.
Barack Obama is descended from the first documented African slave in America, John Punch.
A while ago I learned from news headlines that President Barack Obama is descended via marriage from John Punch, the first documented African slave in America. He was an indentured servant declared a slave for life in punishment for attempting an escape in 1640.

Ancestry.com has been researching Barack Obama’s ancestry for several years and has declared that Barack Obama is the eleventh great grandson of the first documented African slave in American history, John Punch and eighth cousin to my husband, Mark.

If this is true, then by virtue of the connection of my husband Mark and Barck Obama through Ulrich Stehle (1720-1773), who was sixth great grandfather to Mark and seventh great grandfather to Barack Obama, Mark and Barack are eighth cousins.

In the words of Joseph Shumway, genealogist with Ancestry.com , “Two of the most historically significant African Americans in the history of our country are amazingly directly related.” What is wholly surprising is that the connection exists through his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and not his Kenyan father.

John Punch, an indentured servant in Colonial Virginia, was declared a slave for life in punishment for trying to escape in 1640.

Ancestry.com states further that they used DNA analysis to learn that Stanley Ann Dunham’s ancestors were white landowners in Colonial Virginia, who were actually descendants of one African man, John Punch.

President Obama is traditionally viewed as an African-American because of his father’s heritage in Kenya. However, while researching his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham’s lineage, Ancestry.com genealogists found her to have African heritage as well, which piqued the researchers’ interest and inspired further digging into Obama’s African-American roots. With the support of existing documents and DNA, it is believed that John Punch had children with a Caucasian woman, and her free status was subsequently passed on to their children. Her descendants continued to be free land owners in Virginia.

The findings were further reviewed and verified by Elizabeth Shown Mills, past president of the Board of Certification of Genealogists and a Southern research expert. She states, “In reviewing Ancestry.com ‘s conclusions, I weighed not only the actual findings but also Virginia’s laws and social attitudes when John Punch was living,” said Mills. She further states, “A careful consideration of the evidence convinces me that the Y-DNA evidence of African origin is indisputable, and the surviving paper trail points solely to John Punch as the logical candidate.

Source:

  1. Ancestry.com ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Ancestry.com Press Release.

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Erik IX, King of Sweden

Erik IX, King of Sweden

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Saint Erik IX, King of SwedenErik IX, King of Sweden, is 26th great grandfather of my children on their father’s side.

The odd thing about this ancestry is that it is not through my husband’s mother’s Swedish ancestry, but through his father’s Welsh, and Royal ancestors.

Saint Erik "the Saint, den Helige" Jedvardsson IX, King of SwedenKeeping in mind the quality of sources going back that far, I have sourced this line through the best, highly regarded sites available to researchers, such as Foundation for Medieval Genealogy and the Directory of Royal Genealogy of Hull University, among others.

Today, I read a USAToday story about scientists opening the coffin of Erik IX, King of Sweden, who was murdered near Uppsala, Sweden in 1160. The identity of the murderer of Erik is speculation, one possibility being Emund Olvbane, an assassin, and another being Magnus Henriksson, who some say succeeded Erik IX briefly. Erik was made a saint later in his life.

There is excitement surrounding the ability to study King Erik’s bones because there is so little known about him. They will be using DNA and x-rays to examine and investigate, hoping to learn details about his ancestry, health, diet and residence locations. There has been disagreement over his place of origin, some believing he was from Uppsala, and some believing he was from the west coast.

Uppsala CathedralEvidence of a sword strike has been noted and may have contributed to his death. Some believe he died from a blow to the head, while others  believe he was captured and later beheaded. Either of these theories is plausible because of the mark on the collar bone from a sword. Hopefully, these studies will provide answers.

Among artifacts to be studied is the gilded copper crown adorned with semi-precious stones, worn by Erik and being the oldest existing medieval royal crown in existence.

The crown of Erik IX, King of Sweden, will go on exhibit at the Uppsala Cathedral in June, along with several artifacts from other churches. Uppsala Cathedral is believed to have been built to house the remains of King Erik IX.


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Do you have Neanderthal DNA? You may well ask if you are hairy, have tough skin, nails and thick hair.

Do you have Neanderthal DNA? You may well ask if you are hairy, have tough skin, nails and thick hair.

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A while ago, I happened upon an extremely interesting news story on malaysiandigest.com, “Are You A Hairy Diabetic Smoker Who Suffers Stomach Cramps? Blame Your Neanderthal Ancestor“, in which they describe the links between remnants of Neanderthal DNA and several modern health problems.

Do you have Type 2 diabetes, lupus, Crohn’s disease and biliary cirrhosis? These are some of the illnesses and conditions linked to Neanderthal DNA.

The Neanderthal DNA has also been linked to inherited traits such as tough skin, nails, and thick hair.

People of sub-Saharan Africa who did not migrate out and breed with Neanderthals, have very little or no Neanderthal DNA.

As genealogists, we do understood that traditional genealogy research techniques and tools can only take us back as far as a couple of centuries with any certainty.

DNA testing, however, opens up a whole new wealth of information about our ancestries that can be valuable in genealogy, but especially in determining, predicting and managing certain health conditions and traits.

The malaysiandigest.com article explains the connections in greater detail.

photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc


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Study reveals common ancestry for all Native Americans.

Study reveals common ancestry for all Native Americans.

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The indigenous people of North and South America are collectively known as Native Americans. Despite the European invasion occurring several centuries ago, Native Americans are still subjugated and are yet to find a voice of their own.

One of the reasons for that is a lack of scientific evidence that manages to bring forth their cultural heritage and upbringing in front of the world. While previous anthropologic studies have focused on the timing and number of initial migrations, the subsequent spread of people within the two continents have garnered lesser attention.

As scientists could only describe the peopling of the Americas in broad strokes, plenty of mysteries regarding when and how they spread across still remains a mystery – and is critical to understand their historical lineage.

Two independent studies, one being published in the journal Science and the other in Cell, have sequenced 15 and 49 ancient human genomes, dating back around 10,000 years. Prior to these studies, only six genomes older than 6000 years from the Americas had been sequenced, leading to oversimplification of genetic models that were used to explain the peopling of the Americas.

The genomes of the current study spanned from Alaska in North America to Patagonia in South America. The teams worked with government agencies and indigenous people to identify the samples, extract powder from skeletal material, and extract the DNA necessary to create double-stranded DNA libraries.

The results from the genome sequencing have spawned some very interesting results. The study published in Science, called “Early Humans dispersals within the Americas”, provides evidence of rapid dispersal and early diversification as people moved south, as early as 13,000 years ago. The study sequenced an “Ancient Beringian,” a 9000-year-old remains from Alaska’s Seward peninsula to come to the conclusion that first migrants that entered the Americas from the Bearing strait split into two groups – “Southern Native Americans” and “Northern Native Americans” (also sometimes called Ancestral A and B lineages), who went on to populate the continents . . .

Read on . . .

Source: Study Reveals Common Ancestry for all Native Americans

Related Posts:


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DNA map of of Britain and Ireland reveals Viking genes | Daily Mail Online

DNA map of of Britain and Ireland reveals Viking genes | Daily Mail Online

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The Irish are much more genetically diverse than previously believed and have Viking and Norman ancestry – just like the English, according to new research.

A comprehensive DNA map of the people of the Emerald Isle has for the first time revealed lasting contributions from British, Scandinavian and French invasions.

Researchers have discovered 23 genetic ‘groups’ in Ireland and 27 groups in England, Scotland and Wales.

The findings are significant because they could be used in future studies to identify the genetics underlying various traits and diseases in specific regions.

An estimated 80 million people worldwide claim Irish descent – almost half of them Americans who regard it as their main ethnicity.

It has long been assumed this means the blood in their veins is Celtic – but geneticists now say the truth is much more complicated.

Read on . . .

Source: DNA map of of Britain and Ireland reveals Viking genes | Daily Mail Online


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Ancestry launches Ancestry Academy; educational video courses for family history researchers.

Ancestry launches Ancestry Academy; educational video courses for family history researchers.

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I just discovered this press release about Ancestry.com ‘s new ‘Ancestry Academy’ for family history researchers.

Even though I do have over twenty years experience researching my ancestors, I have every intention of checking this out.

I have never stopped learning new things in the world of genealogy blogging and research, and I’m sure a company like Ancestry.com has a lot to teach me – and anyone else who may be interested.

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PROVO, UT–(Marketwired – April 22, 2015)

AncestryAcademy tutorials.
AncestryAcademy

Ancestry.com, the world’s leading family history service, has launched Ancestry Academy, a new educational resource that offers high-quality video instruction from family history and genealogy experts. Covering a wide range of topics of interest in family history research, including Native American ancestry, online US census research, and DNA testing, this new educational content will help anyone, no matter their knowledge, better research and understand their family’s unique history.

“Whether you are just beginning your family history research or an expert genealogist, nearly anyone can learn something new from the terrific lineup of expert instructors featured on Ancestry Academy,” said Laura Prescott, Director of Ancestry Academy. “Our goal is to deliver the best online video instruction library of family history courses to as many people as possible to provide an educational and rewarding experience while researching their family history.”

Ancestry Academy courses are divided into smaller lessons enabling self-paced learning, and an easy to use navigation helps members identify topics within a course simply. There is also an opportunity to evaluate your proficiency on a subject through optional tests available after completion of a course.

“Ancestry Academy is a natural next step in our effort to provide the best in education and resources for people interested in researching their family history,” said Brian Hansen, Vice President of Emerging Businesses at Ancestry. “This new resource, combined with the Ancestry Learning Center and other educational content on Ancestry.com , will provide quality family history education to help every person discover, preserve and share their family history.”

While premium courses will help educate on some of the more popular how-to conversations in family history research, other courses on Ancestry products and websites will also be available free of charge for anyone with a registered account to Ancestry.com . Currently, there are 15 courses available on Ancestry Academy, with plans for new courses to be added each month on an ongoing basis. Unlimited access to all Ancestry Academy courses is available for $11.99 a month, $99.99 a year, or as part of the Ancestry World Explorer Plus subscription.

To learn more about Ancestry Academy, visit www.ancestryacademy.com.


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Irish Genetic Homeland Finder: Ancestry by DNA, place names, surnames.

Irish Genetic Homeland Finder: Ancestry by DNA, place names, surnames.

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The Irish Genetic Homeland Finder website is taking advantage of Ireland being the one country that preceded all others in using paternal surnames, by using the surnames as well as DNA and geographical place names in pinpointing direct male ancestry for approximately 1,000 years.

Irish Genetic Homeland Finder: Ancestry by DNA
Irish Genetic Homeland Finder traces Irish Ancestry using DNA, place names, and surnames.

This is an interactive site available to anyone who may be curious about their Irish surname, or those interested in more detailed research into Irish surnames that appear in their family tree.

Registration for this site is free and the first six queries are free, although there are fees applied on a pay as you go basis for additional queries.

All that is necessary is to input your surname(s) of interest to find locations where farmers with that surname cluster, in addition to place names and castles associated with the surname(s). Once the search button is pressed, it is possible to zoom within the interactive map to find known areas of concentrations of the names.

This works particularly well in Ireland because original farming families of a particular surname can still be found farming the lands of their ancestors. Those farmers also used their name in naming places they lived and castles they built, owned and passed on through their families.

If there is more than one Irish surname in one’s ancestry, it is possible to input all surnames and find locations where the highest concentration of each surname can be compared and finding likely places where both surnames coexisted.

Searches can be saved to avoid ever having to pay for the same search twice.

When examined in conjunction with an ancestral DNA test, it is possible to achieve a much more detailed and precise result. The DNA test can help to reveal surnames of ancestors and neighbors up to about 1,000 years ago.

I don’t have much Irish ancestry, but I’m sure this site could be hugely valuable to those whose Irish ancestry is more significant.

photo credit: George L Smyth via photopin cc


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DNA solves mystery of the identity of Jack the Ripper.

DNA solves mystery of the identity of Jack the Ripper.

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It is gratifying that in today’s day and age, science and technology are such that DNA solves mysteries and breaks down walls in more than just genealogy. It holds the promise of possibly identifying the culprits in unsolved crimes throughout history – as long as DNA can be found on artifacts left on the scene. In this case, DNA solves the mystery of the true identity of Jack the Ripper.

DNA solves the mystery of the identity of Jack the Ripper.
DNA solves the mystery of the identity of Jack the Ripper.

In a previous post, “Be prepared for the skeletons in the closet you find,” I discussed the discoveries I have made in our genealogies and those of others I’ve done. Although some were fascinating and positive, others were decidedly negative and I had to be careful how I relayed the information to the recipient of the research.

An example of the positive side of discoveries made and mysteries solved through DNA is the discovery of the burial site of Richard III. I can just imagine how the distant ancestor they approached for testing must have felt. I’d have been glad to be able to know for sure whether or not I was his ancestor.

Then there’s the recent announcement of the analysis of DNA found on a shawl left at the scene of the murder of Catherine Eddowes. DNA has proved that Jack the Ripper was a long held suspect, Aaron Kosminski, a recent Polish immigrant and hair stylist.

I can just imagine how the distant ancestor of his sister felt when she was approached to be tested and have it confirmed that her distant uncle was indeed Jack the Ripper.

The DNA results identifying Jack the Ripper are supported by the fact that the Ripper’s last victim, Frances Coles, was attacked just prior to Kosminski being placed in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, where he remained until his death at 53 in 1919.

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The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

photo credit: Bradford Timeline via photopin cc


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Genealogy News Bites to July 1, 2014.

Genealogy News Bites to July 1, 2014.

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The following are the genealogy news bites and headlines up to and including June 30, 2014.

genealogy news bites
Genealogy News Bites to July 1, 2014.

KQED (blog)

You Can Transform Your Genetic Ancestry Data into Health Info, But Your

For just $5, Promethease can turn ancestry/family DNA data from companies like 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, and/or ancestry.com into DNA health data. The link here has step-by-step instructions about how to get your raw data from each of these companies …

FamilySearch Blog

Free Webinar US Research Series: United States Land Records—July 10, 2014

The Family History Library will present a free webinar for all who are interested in learning how to use United States Land Records to help them expand their family history research efforts…

Prologue: Pieces of History

Now On Display: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

On July 2, 1964, with Martin Luther King, Jr., directly behind him, President Lyndon Johnson scrawled his signature on a document years in the making—the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark legislation…

Olive Tree Genealogy

Great News! J. L. McFarland (Case #21) Dog Tag – Family Found

Two days ago I posted about the dog tag of J. L. McFarland. I am really pleased to say that with the help of one of my amazing readers G. Johns, we have found this soldier’s nephew…

Faulty Content List for Home District Land Claims 1803 & 1804 – Corrections Part 3

Canadiana.Org has digitized 21 films of the Heir & Devisee Commission Papers (Heir & Devisee Commission papers 1797-1854, found in their Heritage Collection), and that’s a good thing for genealogists.

Update on Ancestry Websites After the DDOS Attacks

Here is the latest update from Ancestry.com about the outages caused by the DDOS Attack last week. Contrary to what Conspiracy Theorists were posting on various Social Media sites, Rootsweb has *not* been taken down, and it is now functional.  I’m waiting to see if some of the more vocal conspiracy theorists will admit on those same forums that they were wrong…

Is NewspaperArchive DOT com in Trouble?

As reported in The Gazette in the article Cedar Rapids company under state review after complaints, Heritage Microfilm and NewspaperArchive.com are being investigated by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office…

Ancestry.com Blog

Murder Mysteries, Dickensian Conditions, Laughter and Tears

This Summer sees the ever popular BBC show Who Do You Think You Are return to our screens with a stellar lineup of British and Irish celebrities. Launched in 2004, the show will hit its 100th episode during the upcoming series.

 

The National Archives blog

Two bullets that changed the course of history

On this day exactly 100 years ago, Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, and his wife Sophia, Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Franz Ferdinand was the nephew of the…

Yahoo Finance UK

Ancestry.com Boasts Largest Online Collection of Puerto Rico Historical

Ancestry.com today announced the availability of nearly 5 million Puerto Rico birth, marriage and death records. Spanning 165 years (1836-2001), this comprehensive collection of vital records was originally

GenealogyInsider

Genealogy Insider – Findmypast Acquires Genealogy Website Mocavo

Findmypast Acquires Genealogy Website Mocavo Posted by Diane Another week, another acquisition for British genealogy company Findmypast: The company just announced that it has purchased Mocavo.com, a genealogy …

photo credit: pierre pouliquin via photopin cc


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Genealogy News Bites to June 3, 2014

Genealogy News Bites to June 3, 2014

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genealogy news bites and headlines
Genealogy News Bites and Headlines

The following are the genealogy news bites and headlines to June 3, 2014.

FamilySearch Blog

RootsTech 2015 Now Accepting Presentation Proposals

The RootsTech Content Committee is now accepting dynamic presentations for RootsTech 2015 that inform and educate both those seeking to begin and those continuing to discover their family story through technology

15-Year-Old Organizes Unique Genealogy Event for Eagle Scout Project

Fifteen-year-old Hunter Boyer has chosen a unique Eagle Scout project to benefit the past, present and future on May 31, 2014 at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Boyer’s goal is to recruit enough volunteers to take photos of over 50,000 graves using the smartphone app BillionGraves

Family History Research Keeps Getting Easier!

FamilySearch will soon release a feature called “hinting.” With this powerful tool, the site will automatically search for records that match people in your family tree. When you go to an ancestor’s page we will show you what we have found just for that person amongst our vast collections of records

Great Web Tools for Searching Historic Newspapers

Countless millions of historic newspapers all over the world are now revealing their secrets as they are being digitally published online. And that means they are much more accessible to family historians—if they know where and how to find them

One Rhode Island Family

Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques – A Book Review

I recently read a book about genealogical research that I highly recommend: Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques by George C. Morgan and Drew Smith (New York: McGraw Hill Education, 2014). I guess it’s no secret

The National Archivees

Politics, Egyptology and revolution

In May 1919, the British government decided to send a Special Mission headed by Lord Milner, Secretary of State for the Colonies, to investigate the causes of the 1919 Egyptian

Ancestry.com Blog

Don’t Miss Out: Enter For A Chance To Win Our Branch Out Contest!

t’s June which means another cycle of our Branch Out Contest! Enter for a chance to win some great prizes! The Grand Prize winner, upon confirmation of eligibility, will receive the following prize package

New Wisconsin State Research Guide

Happy belated 166th birthday, Wisconsin! You don’t look a day over 160. But you do have a rich and storied past. Home to a vibrant fur trade in the 1600s and 1700s, you drew the French, the British, and Native American tribes seeking an escape from the Iroquois Wars of the 17th century

Honoring the Dead: What Military Headstones Can Tell Us

Memorial Day is now observed in the United States on the last Monday in May. However, today (May 30) is the “traditional” holiday. In 1868, Maj. General John Logan declared that May 30 should be set aside as a day to decorate the graves of those who had died in the Civil War

6 Steps for Success in Working with Your AncestryDNA Matches

I’ve been working with my AncestryDNA results for a couple of years now with great success.  Here are six steps you can use to find success with your AncestryDNA matches as well

The Surprising Facts Oprah Winfrey Learned About Her DNA

Like many African Americans whose genealogy is difficult to trace beyond slavery, Oprah knew little about her ancestry. She was born in Mississippi and on a previous African American Lives program, had learned that an

Fold3 Blog

150th Anniversary (1864–2014) This Month in the Civil War: Battle of Cherbourg

June 19, 1864, saw the most famous Confederate raider, the CSS Alabama, sent to the bottom of the ocean after a battle with the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Cherbourg, France. After two years of disrupting U.S. shipping all over the world—and sinking a Union warship in 1863

Fashion Times

‘Maleficent’ Star Elle Fanning, Sister Dakota are Kate Middleton’s Cousins … – Fashion Times

Elle Fanning (Photo : Reuters) Genealogy experts found out that “Maleficent” star Elle Fanning and sister Dakota are direct descendants of England’s King Edward III and are related to British princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

How Genealogy Became Almost as Popular as Porn

Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the U.S. after gardening, according to ABC News, and the second most visited category of websites, after pornography. It’s a billion-dollar industry that has spawned profitable

Free Genealogy Advisory Service in the National Library of Ireland …

The joint consortium of Eneclann and Ancestor Network are delighted to announce that they have been selected by the National Library of Ireland to enhance its provision of Summer genealogy services, following a

The Root

Are Slave Narratives Useful to My Family Tree Research?

Get your kin talking, pull out a digital voice recorder, and before you know it, you will have begun a collection of oral histories that will provide a gold mine of genealogy information for you and for future generations. It’s too bad we can’t debrief

Olive Tree Genealogy

Irish Lands Stolen By Oliver Cromwell

Do you have Irish ancestors? If the answer is “yes” then you will want to visit Irish Lands stolen by Oliver Cromwell Quoting from the website (Trinity College Dublin) Taken in the years 1656-1658, the Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever

Reading 16th Century English Records

Call me a geeky nerd but I love the challenge of old handwriting. This image on the left is the baptism record of my 11th great-grandmother Martha Barrett.  It took me awhile to find her on the page but by scrutinizing the handwriting of all entries I was eventually able to recognize her first name and the surname

Genealogy Musings

8th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise

In March 2011 we ran our first history and genealogy cruise. After our third cruise in 2013 it was evident there was interest in more cruises and greater variety of destinations, cost, duration and cruise focus. In mid-2013 we

Library and Archives Canada

Release of an updated version of the Immigrants from China database

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, during which we acknowledge the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. Asian Heritage Month also provides an opportunity for Canadians across the country to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage to the growth and prosperity of Canada

A Tragic Voyage: 100 Years after the Sinking of the Empress of Ireland

On May 28, 1914, under the command of Captain Henry George Kendall, the Empress of Ireland set sail under clear skies from Québec City with 1,477 passengers and crew on board heading to Liverpool, England. The ship picked up mail at Rimouski and then continued on to the pilot station, Pointe-au-Père, where the pilot disembarked saying, “I don’t think you’ll run into much fog,” as he climbed down the rope ladder

Underwater Canada: A Researcher’s Brief Guide to Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks, both as historical events and artifacts, have sparked the imagination and an interest in the maritime heritage of Canada. The discovery of the War of 1812 wrecks Hamilton and Scourge, found in Lake Ontario in the 1970s, and the discovery of the Titanic in the 1980s, served to heighten public awareness of underwater archaeology and history

The National Archives Blog

Tales from the Special Operations Executive: Operation Remorse

It was ‘the biggest currency black market in history’,  a secret operation under the auspices of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Britain’s Second World War clandestine warfare organisation. This was

The Ancestry Insider

Ancestry.com Adds Linking Tool to FamilySearch Collection

Amy Johnson Crow, Ancestry.com spokesperson recently wrote about a new feature on Ancestry.com: the ability to link a record from an image-only collection to someone in your tree. They fly a bit under the radar, but both

Genealogy Insider

Your Comments Needed on New Standards for …

A committee of genetic genealogists and scientists have drafted ethical and usage standards for genetic genealogy research, and they’re asking for your feedback by June 15, 2014. You can download the Genetic Genealogy

Wales Online

Cardiff student is cycling across Europe tracing his ancestry in a bid to … – WalesOnline

A Cardiff student will be spending his summer cycling across Europe tracing his ancestry in a bid to raise funds for charity Unicef UK. Jacob Dirnhuber, 20, will be setting off from Vienna – where his great-grandfather was born – and riding more than 1

Discover Magazine Blog

Ancient Cave Skeleton Sheds Light on Early American Ancestry – Discover Magazine (blog)

Genetic studies have pointed to a Siberian ancestry for modern Native Americans. Most researchers believe the first Americans (Paleoamericans) migrated from northwest Asia via Beringia, the now-submerged land bridge between present-day Siberia and

Gizmag

Researchers develop DNA GPS tool to accurately trace geographical ancestry – Gizmag

The new tool models this process by looking at more than 100,000 DNA signatures, known as ancestry-informative markers (AIMs) that are typical to specific geographical regions. The GPS tool uses autosomal chromosomes for analysis rather than

Silicone Slopes

Ancestry scans DNA of 400000 people in geneology search

AncestyDNA, Ancestry.com’s DNA database, provides users with a personalized genetic ethnicity estimate. Developed by a team of genetic and data scientists and released in May 2012, the test opens up a growing network for users of genetic cousins and

photo credit: mattappleby via photopin cc


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Genealogy News Bites – May 5, 2014

Genealogy News Bites – May 5, 2014

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genealogy news bites picsIn an effort to help ease the load of searching for genealogy news and genealogy events, I prepare a ‘Genealogy News Bites’ post to gather together what I feel are the most important or informative genealogy news headlines from the previous week (or thereabouts). Following are the most recent and relevant genealogy news headlines.

 

Olive Tree Genealogy

Victorian Reform School & Prison Records Online – A Contest!

John Wormald age 11 Reform School 1892 Ancestry.co.uk, Ancestry.ca and Ancestry.com have recently published some fascinating reformatory school and prison records from West Yorkshire

Irish Census Records 1821-1911 online

1821 Census Colebrooke (Aghalurcher, Fermanagh) Irish Census Records from 1821 to 1911 (with gaps 1861 to 1901) are now available online.  The earlier records are scattered and many have not survived but The National Archives of Ireland

Prosapia Genetics – Worth the Money?

Yesterday I decided to check out a website that has the genealogy community buzzing. The Examiner called it a “Groundbreaking GPS tool [that] finds your ancestors, genealogy, family tree and history”  Basically it is being touted as

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Panel to discuss genealogy issues in La Verne – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

The panel sponsored by the Southern California Society of Professional Genealogists will provide members and guests with a special opportunity to meet in a roundtable setting

Beliefnet

Matthew 1:1-17; The Genealogy of Jesus (Cross-Reference Comparison)

Some believe that Matthew’s genealogy focuses primarily on the family tree of Jesus’ adopted father, Joseph, while Luke’s highlights the lineage of his mother, Mary. Another theory

Genealogy Canada

RCMP obituary card index and notices, 1876-2007

Here is an instance which demonstrates the co-operative partnership that exists between Ancestry and Family Search these days with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) obituaries card and notices between 1876 and 2007

OGS announces officers for 2014-2016

The slate of new officers for 2014-2016 was announced today at the OGS Conference. The president is Alan Campbell. Alan is from the Lambton Branch of the OGS.The vice president i…

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Evernote Was Made For Genealogy | Eastman’s Online Genealogy …

Cyndi of Cyndi’s List has started a new section entitled, Evernote Was Made For Genealogy. She writes, “I will admit it. I’m an Evernote junkie. I love this tool and all it has to offer

Ancestry.com Blog

Don’t Let Mold Destroy Your Family History

Mold is a four-letter word. It can destroy your documents and it can make you sick. What do you do when you discover that great-grandpa’s Civil War letters or the family Bible has mold on it? Here are some tips


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Genealogy News Bites – April 19, 2014

Genealogy News Bites – April 19, 2014

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overwhelmed with news

In an effort to help ease the ‘news’ and ‘research’ load, I prepare a ‘Genealogy News Bites’ post to gather together what I feel are the most important or informative headlines from the previous week (or thereabouts).

Following are the recent stories and headlines of interest to the genealogy community since April 10, 2014.

 

FREE OFFERS…

Basics of Genealogy Reference : A Librarian’s Guide

Basics of Genealogy Reference : A Librarian’s Guide free download

“Basics of Genealogy Reference: A Librarian’s Guide” by Jack Simpson Overview – This book offers novice and experienced reference librarians an introduction on proven genealogy techniques and

Fold3.com

Free Access to Civil War Records on Fold3

To remember the commencement of the Civil War in April 1861, FOLD 3 invites you to explore all records in its Civil War Collection for free April 14–30. Explore Civil War documents featuring everything from military records to personal accounts and historic writings. Soldier records include service records, pension index cards, “Widows’ Pension” files, Navy survivors certificates

 

GENERAL NEWS…

Library and Archives (LAC) Canada

New Genealogy & History Records on Heritage Website

This is an announcement from Library and Archives Canada: The following is a list of digitized microfilms that have been recently added to the Héritage website. Please note that although the titles have been translated, the records are still in the language of origin.

Access to Information and Privacy requests can now be made online

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is launching a form that will enable Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests and payments to be made online. Processing of credit card payments will be made through the Government of Canada’s secure Receiver General Buy Button (RGBB). The request form is located on the LAC website under Transparency

Newly Digitized Microfilms on the Héritage Portal – Recent Additions

The following is a list of digitized microfilms that have been recently added to the Héritage website. Please note that although the titles have been translated, the records are still in the language of origin

Genealogy Canada Blog

Parish registers: Manitoba

Heritage Canada has put more digital records online, and one of the records that you may find helpful are the parish records for Manitoba.Government registration of vital statistics (baptism, marriage and death) for Manitoba did not begin until the late 1800s

Parish registers have been put online

Irene Schofield just sent a notice that the registers of St. Ann Roman Catholic Church, Guyborough, Nova Scotia has just been transcribed and have been put on http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~saintann/Records/home.html

Ancestry.ca

Genealogy Canada: Ancestry.ca releases Lower Canada and …

Ancestry.ca releases Lower Canada and Canada East Census Records. Ancestry.ca has announced the release of more than 120,000 Canadian Census records from Lower Canada (now Quebec)

Ancestry.com

Probate in the United Kingdom: An Overview

After finding your ancestors in civil registration, census records, and parish registers, there are many different record types that are widely available for the UK. When I’m doing research, I usually look for probate records, and specifically wills, of my ancestors

Pennsylvania Death Certificates Now Available

Pennsylvania research just got easier, thanks to the release of Pennsylvania, Death Certificates 1906-1924. This collection contains mo