Tag: family tree

Relatives of adopted adults are now able to trace family tree.

Press release: Relatives of adopted adults now able to trace family tree.

Children, grandchildren and other relatives of adopted adults can now trace back through their ancestors’ lives – helping them to unearth their family history, discover more about their medical background and reach out to long-lost relatives under new rules introduced today.

Previously, only the person adopted and their birth relatives were able to use specialized adoption agencies to help shed light on their family history and make contact with their biological family members.

The new rules will extend this right to all relatives of adopted adults, from children and grandchildren to partners and adoptive relatives, allowing greater openness in adoption while ensuring adopted people have the right to a private, family life.

For example, those who have lost a parent to cancer or a heart problem will be able to discover whether their grandparents or other birth relatives suffered from the same condition, giving them the chance to seek advice and support.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson, who has 2 adopted brothers, said:

It’s right that descendants and other relatives of adopted adults are able to access important information, such as medical records or genetic health conditions, which could impact upon how they live their life today.

They should also be able to find out about important events from their past, as well as make contact with family members if they wish.

This positive change will help thousands of people discover their place in history, while keeping important safeguards in place to protect the right to a private family life for those who were adopted.

Julia Feast OBE, from the British Association for Fostering and Adoption (BAAF) said:

The British Association for Adoption and Fostering is delighted that the government’s consultation about extending intermediary services to descendants of adopted people has now been published.

We are very pleased that the government has extended the rights of descendants and other relatives to access an intermediary service whilst ensuring that the adopted person’s rights are not overlooked and will be at the centre of the decision making.

Today’s announcement (25 September 2014) is just the latest milestone in the government’s plan to overhaul support for adopted families.

We have announced plans to introduce a £19.3 million fund to help adopted children settle into their new families by accessing crucial support services as and when they need it, and have extended entitlements so that adopted children have access to priority school admissions, the pupil premium, and eligibility for free early education for 2-year-olds.

In addition, we have also published the Adoption Passport which sets out in one place all the rights and entitlements of adoptive parents, alongside new online maps which allow potential adopters to find out more information about services in their area. We have also set up First4Adoption, the government funded information service for people interested in adopting a child.

Notes to Editor

The government has today published new rules to make provision for intermediary services to facilitate contact between ‘persons with a prescribed relationship’ and the birth relatives of a person adopted before 30 December 2005.

The regulations will define ‘persons with a prescribed relationship’ as anyone related to an adopted person by blood (including half-blood), marriage or civil partnership or by virtue of the adoption. This will include all relatives of the adopted person, including but not limited to the children and grandchildren of adopted persons.

The regulations will ensure that that the consent of the adopted person is obtained before contact or information sharing is facilitated between persons with a prescribed relationship and birth relatives, other than:

where a person with a prescribed relationship seeks non-identifying medical information from birth relatives of the adopted person and this can be shared by the intermediary agency without sharing identifying information
where a person with a prescribed relationship wishes to make contact with a birth relative and the adopted person cannot be found, despite all reasonable steps having been taken
where the adopted person has died or lacks capacity

The ‘Intermediary services for relatives of adopted people’ consultation is now available.

The new rules will come into force by November 2014.
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Genealogy News Bites – April 10, 2014

Genealogy News Bites

Genealogy News Bites

Following are the genealogy news bites and headlines up to April 10, 2014.

The Week

Adolf Hitler’s wife Eva Braun ‘had Jewish ancestry’

Scientists who extracted genetic material from Eva Braun’s hair found she had Jewish ancestry

Gloucester Citizen

Old fashioned baby names dying out: The full list from Ancestry.co.uk

Research carried out by Ancestry.co.uk studied birth records for 1905 and produced a ‘top 100′. They then compared the names to those on the 2012 baby name list from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most recent data available. The extinct

Olive Tree Genealogy

Evidence of St. Louis French Colonial Log Home Found

Evidence of a French colonial home in St. Louis was found beneath layers of concrete and bricks during digging by the Department of Transportation.  It is the first trace

One Man in England Saves 5000 WW1 Photos from Being Destroyed

Screen Dump from BBC News Sussex website This is a fascinating story about an ordinary man in England who took it on himself to save and preserve WW1 photos, cards, letters and other objects from the dump

DAR Accepting DNA as Evidence of Descent From Revolutionary War Ancestor

Good news for those seeking to prove an ancestor for admittance to DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). Keeping up with the times, DAR now accepts DNA as evidence

Corpses of WW1 Soldiers Found as Glaciers Melt in Italy

A recent story online Melting glaciers in northern Italy reveal corpses of WW1 soldiers explains how dead soldiers from WW1 battles are being found and reburied by local villagers

Library and Archives Canada

Sir John A. Macdonald: Rare and intriguing treasures from the vaults of Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada holds Canada’s most comprehensive collection of material related to the life, times and continuing appeal of Sir John A. Macdonald (1815–1891)

The Vindicator

Program on DNA Testing as a Tool for Genealogy

While her educational research focused on Cajun identity and language, her role in customer support at Family Tree DNA has led to a passion for educating the public on how to make their own connections through genetic genealogy. Her program, Getting

Huffington Post

Utah Prisoners Do Mormon Research From JailGenealogy

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) William J. Hopkins already knew a bit about genealogy work when he arrived at the Utah State Prison in 1994, an interest that was sparked in his teens by an aunt who is a family historian. Hopkins, 40, now spends two to three hours

Owen Sound Sun Times

War medals return, family thrilled

Grey Roots purchased an Owen Sound man’s First World War war medals on eBay and now Sgt. Nelson Ross “Scotty” Crowe’s great-great-niece has come forward with pictures and details about the soldier’s life

Magic Valley Times-News

Hidden History: Farm Labor Camps in WWII

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed in 1942 an order placing all people of Japanese ancestry within the U.S. into 11 relocation centers throughout the West

Brisbane Times

DNA to pick out suspect, warts and all

Australian police and researchers are developing a ground-breaking test that will help them identify suspects based on the DNA evidence they leave behind

The Guardian

Spain offers Sephardic Jews fast track to naturalisation

Cabinet approves bill allowing dual nationality for Jews whose ancestors fled the Spanish inquisition Spain has announced new measures to speed up the naturalisation of Jews of Sephardic descent whose ancestors fled the Iberian peninsula five centuries ago when they were told to convert to Catholicism or go into exile

Havana street produces 12 sets of twins

High number of twins in Cuban capital district baffles scientists, as locals blame everything from genetics to a sacred tree Some say it could be something in the water. Others point to a tree with mystical significance

Tracing your family tree? The 10 best apps to help you find your relatives

Laura Berry, lead genealogist for BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are?, offers an expert’s guide to aid your online searches A decade ago there was no point even considering researching your roots

The Scotsman

Pensioner meets brother and sister after 70 years

A Scottish pensioner has been reunited with his long-lost brother and sister for the first time in 70 years

Payvand Iran News

Eight Iranian-Americans among recipients of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Eight Iranian-Americans are among the recipients of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor which will be awarded on May 10th, 2014. The medals are presented annually to American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life

The Vancouver Sun

John Mackie: Vancouver’s vaudeville mystery solved

Lucy Tremblay died in 1983. So imagine her daughter-in-law’s surprise when she opened up Monday’s Vancouver Sun to see Lucy in a vaudeville photo from the 1910s or ’20s

I’ve learned of more positive benefits from teens’ family history knowledge.

Four Generations in one photoI logged onto my Facebook this morning to see a link posted by Cyndi’s List to the Washington Post article by Michael Alison Chandler, “Study: Teen’s knowledge of family history a sign of social-emotional health.”

…and I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve written in the past about my belief that teaching our kids about their heritage and family history enhances their learning experience in school and makes them more active in their studies, obtaining better results.

It also can act as a way to instill basic tools for success in low income families and individuals, minorities, and the disengaged.

Between Mark’s and my ancestries, we have had a broad and rich heritage to draw from to engage our kids. It was evident throughout their school years as their family history knowledge (and questions) provided real interest in the work they were doing and I do believe it improved their performance and marks.

Although Mark will sometimes roll his eyes when I discuss my latest find in our genealogy, when we watch any of the history shows we like on the educational and public television channels, he can’t help asking questions when the subjects or characters are familiar from our family histories.

It has also affected me in the sense that history has become more real and emotional to me. Before my genealogy research, I had no interest at all in war, soldiers, and military history. I’m sure I rolled my eyes a few times, until I started researching our ancestors who perished in (or survived) war – and we had ancestors who were active in every major war throughout history.

This personal connection has instilled a sense of pride in me and I am actually the one to suggest watching historical war programs, before Mark even has a chance.

Now, this is a major turn-about for me and a much more personal example of how learning about our genealogy broadens our horizons.

I found this image on Pinterest and although I tried to trace it back, I was unable to find the originator to give credit. If you own this image, please contact me and I will gladly place a photo credit here for you.

Icelandic Ancestry: the Icelandic genealogy database is now available online.

Iceland entry.Previously, I wrote about the Incest Prevention App called ‘Sifjaspellsspillir’ or ‘Incest Spoiler’. It was created by University of Iceland students for a contest by the Íslendingabók database and its purpose is to alert two people of a possible familial connection when they tap their phones.

Today, in a related story, the “Icelandic Roots: Genealogy, Heritage, & Travel” website is announcing its release of the Icelandic genealogy database through their site.

The database is available with a monthly or yearly subscription. Access is also available to organizations and researchers by contacting them.

While continuing to add names and other great features, the database also links you to events, dates, occupations, cemetery records and burials, photos and more.

They will assist with your genealogy research by helping you find your family tree, connecting you with family members, and  providing ancestry charts and reports. All this is possible through their popular “Cousins Across the Ocean” project or you can complete their online request form for more information.

If you’re interested in finding out more, there are tips for using the database, and they also explain its history. If you have Icelandic research to do, this site and database are well worth checking out.

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Debate about numbers, percentages and odds in genealogy fascinates.

inbreedingThere will always be debate about numbers, percentages and odds in genealogy.

I am so lucky that we have such a wide range of ancestries and national origins in my husband’s and my family trees. Those who have read my posts before are already well aware that our ancestries branch off from four (or five) distinct groups, and marriage between these groups is rare.

The groups containing our ancestries are:

MY ANCESTRY

  • Acadians

French Huguenots escaping religious persecution in France in the mid to late 17th century relocated to the Atlantic coast of Canada and the United States, giving birth to the Acadian and Cajun cultures.

  • French Canadians

You would think, since the origins of French Canadians are essentially the same as the Acadians, there would be more intermarriage between the two, but I have found very few connections between the two groups in our family tree – at least so far. Most French Canadians descended from French explorers and pioneers involved in the fur trade and colonizing what is now part of Ontario and Quebec, although Acadians did find their way up the St. Lawrence River after the great expulsion (grand dérangement) of the French settlers by the British colonists.

MARK’S ANCESTRY

  • Scandinavian

Although the majority of the ancestry of my husband on his mother’s side is Swedish, the other Scandinavian nations and cultures are represented as well.

  • Welsh Quaker

Mark’s ancestry on his father’s side originates from Welsh immigrants who were also escaping religious persecution for their puritan beliefs at the hands of the Welsh and British nobility and clergy.

  • British Royalty and Nobility

The interesting point to make here is that Mark’s connections to British royalty and nobility occur through his Welsh Quaker ancestry.

I decided to touch on this subject after reading the November 29th post on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter entitled, “Man Traces Ancestry to 1st English King – So What?.”

Mathematically, Dick Eastman’s calculations of the numbers of ancestors and/or descendants in a family based upon an average number and length of generations, as well as an average number of children in families appear to make sense. However, there are so many variables affecting the numbers, that it is almost impossible to make accurate estimations, much less calculations.

These variables include:

  1. Individuals who remained single and bore no children.
  2. Individuals who died young and were never married, much less had children.
  3. Mass deaths due to war, disease and poverty wiping out most or all of a generation or two.
  4. Variations in sizes of families as influenced by tradition or custom, health and fertility, relationships, economics, etc.

One major point made by Dick is his belief that everyone can eventually trace their ancestries back to royalty, but by my experience, this appears to be flawed.

As illustrated in the diverse groups outlined above in our ancestries, we originate from several unique national, ethnic, and socio-economic groups. Examining our family tree makes it apparent that intermarriage between these groups was almost impossible due to geography, economics, politics and custom. Most people, no matter where they were from or how wealthy and socially prominent they were, usually married within their own group.

The interesting point illustrated by our ancestry is that although my husband’s and my ancestries are quite separate and rarely intermarried, the fact that he and I married and had our two children now combines our ancestries for all future generations. Therefore, it’s easy to assume that intermarriage occurred (and will occur) much more as the world became smaller through technology, multi-culturalism, etc., which are more modern phenomena of the last hundred years or so.

In previous posts, I touched on this subject as it relates to our ancestry and evolving cultural methods of managing relationships and marriages to ensure as little inbreeding as possible. These posts are “The Science of Husbandry on a Human Scale” and “Ingenius incest prevention app created by University of Iceland students.

I must thank Dick Eastman as his is one of the few blogs I do read that routinely challenge my thinking and assumptions. I like that.

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The largest family tree ever may help with research into genetic traits.

Family TreeI was amazed to read on the “nature” blog that a genome hacker has discovered what is believed to be the largest family tree of 13 million linked individuals.

This family tree was constructed with data from online genealogy sites, and the researchers plan to analyse genetic traits and how they pass from generation to generation. These traits include longevity and facial features.

This work will be presented by Yaniv Erlich, a computational biologist at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. The data has been stripped of identifying information to protect privacy and has been made available to other researchers.

Nancy Cox, a human geneticist at the University of Chicago states, “We’ve really only begun to scratch the surface of what these kinds of pedigrees can tell us.”

The ability to measure the change in frequency of traits over generations may help to understand to what extent traits are dictated by genetics.

There is concern by some about using self-reported genealogical data, as pedigrees stretching to royalty and beyond a certain date are not believed to be valid. There is also the problem of quality of sources and simple errors in the entering of data.

Although it is unclear just how useful and accurate these huge pedigrees will be, some enthusiasm and eagerness is being expressed by scientists and they are working to create a specific experiment that could produce useful results.