Saturday, January 16, 2021

VGS News and Events: 17 January through January 23, 2021

 Coming Events 

Monday, January 18
Best Practices SIG Meeting
1:00 pm – Online Zoom Meeting
Annette Burke-Lyttle and Pat Adams, Co-coordinators

Wednesday, January 20
VGS General Monthly Meeting
10:00 am - 12:45 pm – Virtual Meeting
Speaker: Lois Abromitis Mackin, PhD
Session 1 Topic:  Vital Records
Session 2 Topic:  Finding Overseas Ancestors: An Irish Case Study

Wednesday, January 20
New England Genealogy SIG Meeting
1:00 pm – Online Zoom Meeting
Christine Courtwright, Coordinator

 News & Announcements 

The Villages Genealogical Society's Annual Seminar
is just around the corner!


                                    Click HERE for more details and to register.

Ancestry Deepens Focus on Family History; Will Discontinue AncestryHealth
For more than 30 years, Ancestry has provided a platform for people to discover, preserve and share the most important information about themselves and their families. As we enter 2021, more people around the world are embracing Family History to bring their families closer together and build more meaningful connections. With the start of the new year ... continue reading

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Today's most compelling personalities discover the surprising stories buried within their own families. Meet 20 fascinating new guests who are game changers in their fields, with family histories that illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience. The new season premiers Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). Featured guests include Nina Totenberg, Glenn Close, Tony Shalhoub, Mandy Patinkin, and John Lithgow.


How to Sort and Filter Data in Excel
How-To Geek
Sorting and filtering data offers a way to cut through the noise and find (and sort) just the data you want to see. Microsoft Excel has no shortage of options to filter down huge datasets into just what’s needed. Continue reading ... 

How to scan documents in Notes and third-party apps on the iPhone and iPad
The Notes app hides a powerful document-scanning option, but you can find even better ones if need be. Relatively few people buy stand-alone scanners these days unless they work with printed documents, photos, or photographic negatives, and most financial, medical, and legal documents show up in digital form–but not all. That's particularly true ... continue reading


Minimal viable genetic maps
In our first blog post on what is a centiMorgan?, we talked about genetic maps. Many of the planned tools at HAPI-DNA (and all of the current ones) use genetic maps to calculate lengths of segments or to simulate segments. One of the most ... continue reading Historical Record Collections
As of January 16, 2021, FamilySearch has updated 139 record collections of their 2,945 historical record collections. The updated records include marriages, births, christenings, deaths, church & parish records, and naturalization records from around the world.

 Webinars & Online Events 

Legacy Family Tree Webinars
Another 50 Websites Every Genealogist Should Know
Speaker: Gina Philibert-Ortega
Wednesday, Jan. 20 – 2:00pm (EST)
Free event but registration is required.
The Internet is one of the best things to happen to genealogy and holds great discoveries for our family history. Previously, Gena explored 50 websites and then she presented 50 more so why not take a look at yet another 50! Learn more and register for this event

National Archives Foundation Online Event
Wednesday, Jan. 27 – 12:00pm (EST)
Free event but registration is required.
The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict & Citizenship with Deborah Willis
Professor Deborah Willis discusses The Black Civil War Soldier and offers a kaleidoscopic, yet intimate, portrait of the African American experience from the beginning of the Civil War to 1900. Willis pinpoints the importance ... continue reading

Saturday, January 9, 2021

VGS News & Events: January 10, 2021 through January 16, 2021

Scheduled Upcoming Events:
Monday, January 11
Italian Special Interest Group Meeting  (Italian SIG)
1:00 pm
No meeting information
Mary Frances Gerace, coordinator

Tuesday, January 12
Preserving Family History SIG Meeting  (Preserving Family History)
2:30 pm to 4:20 pm
Nancy Schultz and Sharol Lewin, Coordinators
Topic: "Engaging Family Interest in Genealogy"
After years of receiving family history ‘gifts’, Sharol Lewin’s family can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! Join us on Zoom on January 12 to learn how you can build excitement and create lasting heirlooms for your family.

Wednesday, January 13
Irish Genealogy SIG Meeting  (Irish SIG)
10:00 am to 11:50 am
Tom Voyles, coordinator
No meeting information...

Wednesday, January 13
New to Genealogy SIG Meeting  (New to Genealogy SIG)
2:30 pm to 4:20 pm
Carol LaSalle, Coordinator
For Members with less than 2 years of genealogy experience.
No meeting information...

Thursday, January 14
German Genealogy SIG Meeting  (German SIG)
9:30 am
Dianne Fedderson & Steven Buhrow, coordinators
Zoom meeting.

Friday, January 15
Scandinavian Genealogy SIG Meeting  (Scandinavian SIG)
10:00 am to 11:50 am
Ken Bowgren, Per Andersson and Kris Petersen-Gauthier Co-coordinators
No meeting information...

General News & Announcements:

Amy is our seminar guest speaker... Learn more about the seminar here... 

National Archives Foundation:  American Experience – Archives on the Rocks
Our country has a checkered past when it comes to alcohol and the government. Early on, beer and whiskey were the beverages of choice in times when safe drinking water was scarce. But one can look at our founding and the Whiskey Rebellion to learn how citizens and elected officials had opposing opinions on how involved the government should be with personal libations. Some religious organizations have long opposed drinking, and temperance organizations that aggressively campaigned to end or limit alcohol consumption were active in the U.S. as early as 1808. The temperance movement had its greatest breakthrough when Prohibition passed in 1919. The constitutional amendment, known as the Volstead Act, was in force until 1933, when it was finally repealed. What happened in the intervening years ... Continue reading . . .

How to Uninstall or Disable Extensions in Google Chrome
How-to Geek

Extensions can add a wide range of new features and functionality to Google Chrome, but sometimes you need to remove or disable one or more of them. Here’s how to do it.    Continue reading . . .

Tax Records: Substitutes for the 1890 Census
Ancestral Findings
The 1890 US federal census is not available for genealogists to use, thanks to it being destroyed in a fire in the 1930s. This does not mean that all family history information from that era is lost. There are a lot of different genealogical sources you can use to bridge the genealogical gap. Tax records are one of them.    Read More

10 Must-Do Genealogy Projects for January
Ancestral Findings
The long, cold month of January is here, and with it, an excellent opportunity to do some new and interesting genealogy projects that are just perfect for this time of year.
Read more . . .

MyHeritage Mobile App: All New Features From 2020
Legacy Family Tree

"The MyHeritage Mobile App makes building your family tree easier and more portable than ever. Learn about the new features MyHeritage added to the app that enhance your genealogy research on the go."
Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 2:00pm Eastern
Presenter: Daniel Horowitz

Saturday, January 2, 2021

VGS News & Events: January 3, 2021 through January 9, 2021

Good bye 2020
Scheduled Coming Events:
Monday, January 4, 2021
Jewish Genealogy SIG Meeting 
10:00 am to 11:50 am
Herb Siegel, Coordinator, Phil Goldsmith, Programs
No information
Monday, January 4, 2021
RootsMagic Special Interest Group Meeting
2:30 pm to 4:20 pm
George Zitterell, Coordinator
No information

Monday, January 4, 2021
“The Missing Man: Solving a Mystery with Genealogy Research” 
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Live Online Webinar

Our guest speaker will be: Sharon Hoyt, CG

Please register for the webinar at:

Wednesday, January 6, 2021
French Canadian Genealogy SIG Meeting 
9:00 am to 10:50 am
Jean Colman, Coordinator
No information

Thursday, January 7, 2021
Eastern European Genealogy SIG Meeting  
1:00 pm to 2:50 pm
Online Zoom Meeting
Carol Myers & Marie Musialek, coordinators
SIG members will receive an e-mail.
Others please contact the coordinator, through the SIG web page, for the link to this meeting

Friday, January 8
Genetic Genealogy SIG Meeting
10:00 am to 11:50 am
Zoom Meeting
Sherry Bean and Diann LaRosa, coordinators
Topic:  “The X chromosome."

Saturday, January 9, 2021
African American SIG Monthly Meeting
2:30 pm to 4:20 pm
Carol LaSalle, Coordinator
No information

Gen News and Announcements:

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 21 December 2020

"Search over 4M newly added Catholic Church records on FamilySearch this week from Mexico (Hidalgo 1546–1971, Zacatecas 1605–1980, and Campeche 1638–1944), and Germany (W├╝rttemberg 1520-1975), plus 4M more records in the Find-A-Grave Index, and expanded collections for Brazil, DR Congo, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Guatemala, Peru, S. Africa, and the United States (CA, HI, MS, NJ, TX, UT, and WA)." 

Ancestry® President & CEO Margo Georgiadis to Step Down at End of 2020

"Ancestry’s President & CEO Margo Georgiadis has announced that she has informed the company’s board of directors that she plans to depart the company at the end of 2020. Ms. Georgiadis will remain available for a period of time after her departure to assist in a smooth transition." 

Research Renewal: A New Series

Amy Johnson Crow
"In this time of change, it’s good to pause and get grounded and refocused. That’s even true in our genealogy. I’ve started a new series on the Generations Cafe podcast called “Research Renewal,” where I am revisiting some of my previous episodes. These are episodes that will help you get back to basics and encourage you to do more with your research." 

Amy is our seminar guest speaker... Learn more about the seminar here... 

Goodbye Yahoo Groups:

Kitty Cooper
"December 15, was the last day of Yahoo groups. Those mailing lists were places where we could ask questions and be answered by others who had already solved similar problems. We also got news about things of interest to the particular group we were following." 


How to Easily Batch Rename Files on Windows 10:

How-to Geek
"Need a quick but powerful way to rename large groups of files in Windows 10? Using Microsoft’s free PowerToys, all that power is only a right-click away thanks to the PowerRename module. Here’s how to use it." 


What Were Your Ancestors Doing in the 1880s?

Ancestral Findings
"The 1880s were a decade of change and innovation. A lot of exciting and interesting things were happening around the world. Your ancestors probably knew about most of them and may even have had the chance to enjoy some of them. Here is what was happening in this beguiling and inventive decade." 
Listen now...  4.49 minutes


Where else to look? When matches don’t reply...

Legacy Family Tree
"Having trouble with a match that isn't replying, or hasn't got a publicly-available tree? Where else can you find their family tree and thus make the most of your DNA results? This talk shows you hints and tips to help get around the problem of absent or inadequate or private family trees associated with your DNA matches"
Tuesday, January 5 2021, 8:00pm Eastern
Presenter: Michelle Patient

Genealogy Unplugged: When Offline Records Are the Best

Legacy Family Tree
"This class presents case studies to show the strategies to best use offline records to give a more effective balance to genealogy research. Offline records may include newspapers, books, property, church, government, and other records."
Wednesday, January 6, 2021, 2:00pm Eastern
Presenter: James M. Baker, PhD, CG

Saturday, December 26, 2020

VGS News & Events: December 27, 2020 through January 2 2021

Learn more about the seminar here... 

Coming Events:

No Meetings This Week:

Gen News and Announcements:
Since June 7, 2013 and 998 posts later, this will be my final post. For those who subscribed to receive their news by email, thank you for your following and I hope you gained some good material from it. I want to thank all those that provide educational material to the genealogy community. Without them, this blog would not have been a reality. 
Karen Feeney, the new VGS Webmaster, will continue some form of this blog and probably will supply some improvements as she becomes acclimated to our society.  I wish her well.


10 Quick Ways to Speed Up a Slow Mac

How-to Geek
"Macs can perform slowly, too. If your Mac seems to be running slower than it should, the variety of tips here should help you identify and fix the problem. As with a Windows PC, there are many reasons a Mac might be slow."


What Your German Surname Says About Your Ancestors

Ancestral Findings
"German surnames have histories going back to the Middle Ages, and each one tells a story about the original medieval person who bore it. Knowing the history of these names can tell you things about your ancient ancestors the written records cannot. "
Listen now...  8.30 minutes


Ten Databases You Need to Know About:

Legacy Family Tree
"Researchers depend on the internet but often look at only a few sites. These 10 databases are not frequently visited but should be!"
Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 2:00pm Eastern
Presenter: Shannon Combs-Bennett

Saturday, December 19, 2020

VGS News & Events: December 20 through December 26 2020

Season's Greeting

The Officers and Directors of The Villages Genealogical Society would like to wish you, your families and friends a very Happy  Hanukkah, a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy & Healthy New Year. 


Learn more about the seminar here...

Coming Events:

Tuesday, December 22
Midwest SIG Meeting Canceled

Gen News and Announcements:

DNA Tidbit #4: Filter Matches by Country at MyHeritage

"How many of you have ancestors who lived in other countries, either now or at one time? I see all those hands popping up! Me too. At MyHeritage, you can filter your DNA matches by country."

DNA Tidbit #5: What’s Your Goal?

"You probably see this all the time on social media:
“I just got my DNA results. Now what?”
No further information is given. The answer is, “What is your goal?”"

1950 United States Census—Release Date and Research Help

"The date 1 April 2022 can’t come fast enough! Why? Because that is the date of the release of the 1950 United States census. 
When and How Will the 1950 Census Be Released?"

8 Things an Expert Would Definitely Do to Your Family Tree:

Family History Daily
"Experts have experience with a wide array of family trees and their critical eye can catch issues you may never see. They know what the best evidence is and the quickest methods to locate it. And, best of all, they can help you break through barriers you have struggled with for months or years."

New Discoveries Shed Light on Out of Africa Theory, and Beyond:

"For many years, the accepted out-of-Africa Y DNA tree branches and calibration, meaning when that exit occurred, have focused on the exit of a single African lineage, CT-M168 which then, after leaving Africa, was believed to have split into three distinct branches: "


7 Ways To Free Up Hard Disk Space On Windows

How-to Geek
"Hard drives are getting larger and larger, but somehow they always seem to fill up. This is even more true if you’re using a solid-state drive (SSD), which offers much less hard drive space than traditional mechanical hard drives."


Do You Have Irish Genealogy? Use This Handy Surname Guide to Trace Your Heritage

Ancestral Findings
"There are tens of millions of Americans with Irish heritage, and many of them still bear those original Irish surnames with pride. But, where did these surnames originate? More importantly, why does it matter? "
Listen now...  8.01 minutes


The New Ethnicity Estimates:

Legacy Family Tree
"The new Ethnicity Estimate introduce a whole new level of detail to MyHeritage's DNA tests. Learn more about this new presentation and what they can teach you about where you come from."
Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 2:00pm Eastern
Presenter: MyHeritage Webinars