Saturday, September 19, 2020

VGS News & Events: September 20 through September 26, 2020

Learn more about the seminar here...

For the foreseeable future, The Villages Genealogical Society will continue to conduct virtual monthly general meetings using our GoToWebinar facilities and they will be recorded. Many SIG's have access to Zoom Video Communications for their meetings.  The most accurate list of up coming meetings can be found on our website under "Coming Events."

Zoom access information will not be posted on our website for security reasons. Contact the SIG coordinator directly for Zoom meeting access information..

Coming Events:
Monday, September 21
Italian Genealogy SIG Meeting
1:00 pm
Online Zoom Meeting
Mary Frances Gerace, Coordinator
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 
Tuesday, September 22
Midwest SIG Meeting
2:00 pm
Zoom Online Meeting
Annette Burke Lyttle, Dona Black & Laurie Sarauer, coordinators
Topic: “How I Spent My Covid Vacation: Genealogy Discoveries from the Past Few Months”
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 

Gen News and Announcements:

Finding Children In-Between Census Years:

familytree.com
"Maybe one of the hardest items to research, mostly you may not even know about a specific individual ever existed. Infant and child mortality was high in the years of 1700s to 1940s. Visit any older cemetery and you find many infants and children did not survive past childhood."

History of the Armenian Diaspora:

FamilySearch
"The term “Armenian diaspora” refers to the spread of Armenian people to different countries.  Many of the largest communities of Armenians outside Armenia have populations ranging well into the hundreds of thousands."

Why Your Latest Results Could Include More Scotland In Your Ethnicity Estimates:

AncestryDNA
"Our 2020 ethnicity update is the first time we are dividing results in the UK and Ireland into four populations instead of two. Over the years, the names of our ethnicity regions for the UK and Ireland have changed, but we’ve always had only two regions to compare customers’ DNA against, roughly an Ireland/Celtic/Gaelic group and an Anglo-Saxon/Britain/England group. Now we have four: England & Northwestern Europe, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales."

9 Mayflower Descendants as Famous as Their Pilgrim Ancestors:

FamilySearch
"The Mayflower set sail for America in 1620 with 102 passengers. Though only 53 passengers lived to see the following spring, an estimated 35 million people worldwide are descendants of this small but hardy group."

A Deeper Look at Ancestry.com:

Genealogy's Star
"Ancestry.com began as a family history product sold on CDs in 1997 and has expanded online to include 3 million paying subscribers and 18+ million people DNA tested. The website claims the world's largest collection of family history records with over 27 billion records online."

23andMe Announced Insights From Lupus Research:

23andMe
"23andMe collaborated with researchers from Pfizer to learn more about how to treat Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. The research was powered by almost 6,000 consented researcher participants. No new genetic associations were found, but 23andMe did uncover deeper insights into non-genetic factors and symptoms associated with the disease."

Technology:

Can Zoom Hosts Really See All Your Private Messages?

How-to Geek
"Viral social media posts are alleging that Zoom’s private messages aren’t really private—if you’re chatting privately during a Zoom meeting, the host can see your entire conversation. Is that true? Well, not exactly."

Education:

Finding Records in Ukraine for Jewish Genealogy Research: 

"In this VLOG I talk about how I found records in Ukraine for my Jewish Genealogy Research. To start finding records I needed as much as information about my immigrant ancestors, especially pertaining to any dates from when they were still in Ukraine."
Listen now... 10.41 minutes

Webinars:

A MyHeritage Webinar:

Legacy Family Tree
"This space is reserved for an exciting and interesting MyHeritage webinar. Here you will learn about the latest features, records, and characteristics developed by the MyHeritage team to help you find who you are, and amaze you with great discoveries."
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: MyHeritage Webinars

Introduction to VPNs:

Legacy Family Tree
"Participants will learn the basics of Virtual Private Networks as well how to install and use a VPN. We’ll discuss which VPN is right for you and your research as well as offer tips and tricks for getting the most out of VPNs."
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Thomas MacEntee

Saturday, September 12, 2020

VGS News & Events: September 13 through September 19, 2020

For the foreseeable future, The Villages Genealogical Society will continue to conduct virtual monthly general meetings using our GoToWebinar facilities and they will be recorded. Special Interest Groups may use our GoToWebinar facilities if they are available. All SIG's also have access to Zoom Video Communications for their meetings.  The most accurate list of up coming meetings can be found on our website under "Coming Events."

Zoom access information will not be posted on our website for security reasons. Contact the SIG coordinator directly for Zoom meeting access information. Contact information can be found on their SIG web page.

Coming Events:
Monday, September 14
Italian Genealogy SIG Meeting
1:00 pm
Online Zoom Meeting
Mary Frances Gerace, Coordinator
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 

Monday, September 14
Monday Evening Webinar: “Reconstructing Communities Using Sanborn Maps, Census Records, and City Directories.”
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Live Online Webinar

Our guest speaker will be: Ari Wilkins
Please register for the webinar at:


Tuesday, September 15
Family Tree Maker Users SIG Meeting
1:00 pm
Online Webinar
John DeAngelo, Co-Coordinator
Topic: "Genealogical Proof for the Everyday Genealogist" Guest Speaker Annette Burke-Lyttle
Please register for the webinar at:

VGS General Monthly Meeting 
10:00 am to 11:15 am
Virtual Meeting
Guest Speaker: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG
Topic: “Preserving Family History, Experiences, and Stories from the Pandemic”
Please register for this VGS General Meeting at:

Wednesday, September 16
VGS General Monthly Bonus Meeting 
11:30 am to 12:45 pm
Virtual Bonus Meeting
Guest Speaker: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG
Topic: “Lord Preserve Us! Church Records for Family History Research”
Please register for this VGS General Meeting at:

Thursday, September 17
New England Genealogy SIG Meeting
12:00 pm to 1:50 pm
Christine Courtwright, coordinator
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 

Friday, September 18
Scandinavian Genealogy SIG Meeting
10:00 am
Zoom Meeting
Ken Bowgren, Per Andersson and Kris Petersen-Gauthier Co-coordinators
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 


Gen News and Announcements:

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 31 August 2020

FamilySearch
"FamilySearch added 400K German Catholic Church Records 1704–1957, and 500K Oregon Passenger and Crew Lists 1888–1956. Collections were expanded for Brazil, Canada, England, Peru, S. Africa, Wales and the United States (military service records for Union soldiers and more for Arizona, California. Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin)."

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 7 September 2020

FamilySearch
"This week FamilySearch added over 1M new Catholic Church records from Morelos, Mexico (1598–1994), and more for Brazil. Canada, Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Micronesia, Peru, Puerto Rico, S. Africa and Spain. Over 500K records were added to United States collections for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, N. Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington (state)."

Ancestry® Delivers More Precise Ethnicity Estimates Powered by the World’s Largest Consumer DNA Network

AncestryBlog
"Powered by the world’s largest consumer DNA network, millions of family trees linked to AncestryDNA test results, and by increasing our reference panel, Ancestry is releasing our most precise DNA update yet."

10 Things You Should Never Do With an Old Photo + What to Do Instead:

Family History Daily
"For genealogists, the older a family photo, the better. Who doesn’t love scouring old photographs for clues to an ancestor’s lifestyle? Or maybe you just enjoy looking for similarities in the facial features of you and your great-great grandmother. Whatever the reason, you want to be sure you keep your collection in the best possible condition for future generations to enjoy."

How to Use Google Photos for Beginners:

Lisa Louise Cooke
"Have you thought about using Google Photos but just weren’t sure how it worked or where to start? This video webinar will answer your questions and give you the confidence to use it effectively. In this introductory tour to Google Photos we will answer the questions:"

Technology:

How to Stop Apps from Tracking Your Precise Location on iPhone:

How-to Geek
"When a ride-sharing app asks you for your location, it’s for a good reason. But some apps needlessly request your location for doing menial tasks. Here’s how you can stop those apps from tracking your precise location on your iPhone."

Education:

How to Hire a Professional Genealogist:

"If you want to hire a professional genealogist then you will first want to identify your research question, being as coherent and specific in your goal for the genealogy research."
Listen now... 8.38 minutes

Webinars:

Reconstructing the Murphy Family Using DNA & Documentary Evidence:

Legacy Family Tree
"DNA can often be used along with documentary evidence to break through brick walls and resolve questions of relationship. Learn how an early nineteenth-century English immigrant's family is reconstructed through a combination of documentary evidence and DNA test results."
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Melissa Johnson, CG

Finding Genealogical Data in the Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files:

Legacy Family Tree
"Chinese genealogical research is challenging. Even the names are confusing—a person could have two or three distinctly different names during his lifetime, and possibly an Americanized version. This webinar will give a brief history of the act, tell where the files are located, and how to access them."
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Trish Hackett Nicola, CG

Your DNA Questions Answered Live With Diahan:

Legacy Family Tree
"Got a DNA Question? Diahan Southard will be on hand to answer your questions - LIVE!
Submit questions in advance to geoff@legacyfamilytree.com."
Friday, September 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Diahan Southard

Saturday, September 5, 2020

VGS News & Events: September 6 through September 12, 2020

For the foreseeable future, The Villages Genealogical Society will continue to conduct virtual monthly general meetings using our GoToWebinar facilities and they will be recorded. Special Interest Groups may use our GoToWebinar facilities if they are available. All SIG's also have access to Zoom Video Communications for their meetings.  The most accurate list of up coming meetings can be found on our website under "Coming Events."

Zoom access information will not be posted on our website for security reasons. Contact the SIG coordinator directly for Zoom meeting access information. Contact information can be found on their SIG web page.

Coming Events:
Monday, September 7
Italian Genealogy SIG Meeting
1:00 pm
Online Zoom Meeting
Mary Frances Gerace, Coordinator
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 

Monday, September 7
RootsMagic Special Interest Group Meeting
2:30 pm
Online Zoom Meeting
Val Harris & George Zitterell Co-Coordinators
Leading the discussion:  Ken Macomber "Using Narrative Reports in RootsMagic  7"
To attend, contact Val Harris (vharriskokomo66@yahoo.com) and request the Zoom Meeting log-on instructions.

Tuesday, September 8
Preserving Family History SIG Meeting
Online Webinar
Nancy Schultz and Sharol Lewin, Coordinators
Topic: "Get Organized to Write Your Family Story" Guest Speaker: Annette Burke Lyttle

Wednesday, September 9
New to Genealogy SIG Meeting
2:30 pm
Online Zoom Meeting
Carol LaSalle, Coordinator
For Members with less than 2 years of genealogy experience.
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting.  

Thursday, September 10
German Genealogy SIG Meeting  (German SIG)
9:30 am
Zoom Meeting
Dianne Fedderson & Steven Buhrow, coordinators
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 

Friday, September 11
Genetic Genealogy SIG Meeting
10:00 am
Zoom Meeting
Sherry Bean and Diann LaRosa, coordinators
Topic: "DNA Painter"
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 

Saturday, September 12
African American SIG Monthly Meeting
Online Zoom Meeting
Carol LaSalle, Coordinator
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 

Gen News and Announcements:

Finding Your Ancestors in United States Church Records:

FamilySearch
"If you’re hitting a brick wall with your United States ancestors, consider looking for them in church or synagogue records. Many people affiliated with a religious institution, even if they didn’t attend regularly. Churches often recorded the names of members and those who were married or eulogized by the clergy or who participated in church rites."

FamilySearch Announces RootsTech Connect 2021: A Free Global Virtual Event

FamilySearch
"FamilySearch is thrilled to announce that the RootsTech 2021 conference previously planned for February 3–6, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah, will now be held on February 25–27, 2021, as a free, virtual event online. RootsTech Connect 2021 will enable attendees to participate from around the world and will feature inspiring keynote speakers, dozens of classes in multiple languages, and a virtual marketplace. Reserve your place today at RootsTech.org."

Our Commitment to Preserving the Memory of the Holocaust:

Ancestry
"As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, fewer than 400,000 Holocaust survivors are still alive, and by 2030, there could be fewer than 100,000. We are at a critical time, where the impact and memory of the Holocaust is in danger of being lost."

Ancestry and the Longest Segment:

Kitty Cooper
"Ancestry now shows the longest segment on a DNA match’s profile page which could be very useful to help decide which matches to pursue and which ones to ignore."

When is a Brick Wall not a Brick Wall?

Genealogy's Star
 "In this post, I am going to try to identify the type of situations that cannot be classified as "brick walls" for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, there is no consistent and universally accepted definition for what is and what is not a brick wall."

How to Store Print Photographs So They Last for Generations:

Wirecutter
"In the age of boundless digital photograph storage, it can feel a bit old fashioned to worry about maintaining a print photograph collection. But experts we spoke with from the Smithsonian Institution Archives and National Geographic agree: A print photograph can serve as a crucial backup to your digital collection and act as a way to interact with history, both for this generation and for those to come."

Technology:

What’s New in Chrome 85, Available Now:

How-to Geek
"Chrome 85 arrived on the stable channel Aug. 25, 2020. The latest version of Chrome promises to speed up page loads on your computer and take advantage of more RAM on Android phones."

Education:

Quick Genealogy Tip: Genealogical Proof Standard

"In this quick genealogy tip I discuss the Genealogical Proof Standard, a system to measure the plausibility of a genealogical conclusion. Another way to see it is the standard to judge proof of a genealogical conclusion."
Listen now... 6.16 minutes

Webinars:

New Historical Records Available on MyHeritage:

Legacy Family Tree
"MyHeritage is constantly adding new historical records to SuperSearch™. Learn about the latest additions to the collection and the value they can add to your family history research."
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Dana Drutman

Cyndi's List in Practice:

Legacy Family Tree
"Sometimes overwhelming to beginners and sometimes underused by veterans, Cyndi's List is a research tool that is robust with resources helpful in everyone's research. Using specific examples for beginners, as well as more advanced researchers, we will explore the site and point out how to make the most of the categories and the links found within."
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Cyndi Ingle

Saturday, August 29, 2020

VGS News & Events: August 30 through September 5, 2020

Practice Social-Distancing

Due to Covid-19, no Rec Center meetings until further notice. Some SIG's are having virtual meetings. Be on the lookout for emails announcing the meetings and how to connect to them.  That list is very fluid. Check the "Coming Events" section of the website as event news becomes available:

Coming Events:
Monday, August 31
Italian Genealogy SIG Meeting
1:00 pm
Online Zoom Meeting
Mary Frances Gerace, Coordinator
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting. 

Tuesday, September 1
Adoption & Mystery Kin SIG Meeting
9:30 am to 11:20 am
Zoom Meeting
Anne Berg & Marcella Zorn, Co-coordinators
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting.  

Thursday, September 3
Eastern European Genealogy SIG Meeting
1:00 pm
Google Meet Online Meeting
Carol Myers & Marie Musialek, coordinators
Contact the coordinator, through their SIG web page, for the link to this meeting.
  
Gen News and Announcements:

VGS SIG's with Zoom Accounts:

Jewish SIG, Roots Magic SIG, German SIG, New England SIG, Preserving Family History SIG, Scandinavian SIG, and Adoption & Mystery Kin SIG.
Members who are on their mailing lists, will receive meeting log-in information. For security reasons, log-in information will not be published on our website or in our blog. For log-in information, contact the SIG coordinator via e-mail. Their e-mail addresses can be found on the SIG website page.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 24 August 2020

FamilySearch
"Make more family discoveries this week at FamilySearch by searching new records from France, Haute-Vienne Census,1836, Paraguay Catholic Church Records, 1754–2015, and California, San Francisco Chinese Passenger Lists 1882–1947.  Find more records from Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, Norway, Nova Scotia, Peru, S. Africa, Zambia, and the United States: (Alabama, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.)"
Search now...

Chart—Family Relationships Explained:

FamilySearch
"Ever found yourself asking “So what exactly is a second cousin?” or debating with your family and friends about what it means to be a “first cousin once removed”? Use our cousin chart to settle the debate once and for all!"
Continue reading...

Why You Should Take a Genealogical DNA Test – Even If You Don’t Think You Need One:

LegacyTree Genealogists
"Legacy Tree has handled hundreds of genealogical DNA-related cases, running a wide gamut in terms of objectives. While we do not sell DNA tests, we complete DNA analysis and genealogical research and can work with a client’s test results from any major DNA testing company."
Continue reading...

5,275 Free Online City Directories from the Mid West States:

The Ancestor Hunt
"City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research."

379 Million Court Records... Free!

judyrecords
"A new free very basic website that offers 379 million court records."


Technology:

8 Ways to Make Your Mac Boot Faster:

How-to Geek
"Your Mac probably takes longer to go from the login screen to a usable state than it does for macOS to cold boot, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some ways you can get your Mac ready to use in record time."
Continue reading...

Education:

6 Tips to Make Your Genealogy Research Easier:

Ancestral Findings
"Whether you are a beginning genealogist or a seasoned pro, you can always use some tips on how to make your genealogy research easier and more productive for you. Today we’ll examine six top tips that may help you achieve the genealogical results you’ve been seeking. should cite your sources in your genealogy work."
Listen now... 4.29 minutes

Webinars:

Using Chromosome Browsers, Segment Data and Triangulation:

Legacy Family Tree
"This presentation will delve into the world of DNA segment data and explain not only what it is but how to make best use of it to aid your family history research. Michelle will demonstrate how to use chromosome browsers and provide a guide to the different tools available at the major testing companies."
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Michelle Leonard
Learn more or Register for this event...


Saturday, August 22, 2020

VGS News & Events: August 23 through August 29, 2020

Practice Social-Distancing


Due to Covid-19, no Rec Center meetings until further notice. Some SIG's are having virtual meetings. Be on the lookout for emails announcing the meetings and how to connect to them.  That list is very fluid. Check the "Coming Events" section of the website as event news becomes available:

Coming Events:
Wednesday, August 26
“Clan Cunningham: Skeletons in the Family Closet”  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Online General Meeting

Our guest speaker will be: Pat Adams, VGS President

Description: There were no photos, no stories, no documents except for a baptismal record for her mother. Using that as a starting point, Pat was able to build the family line back to Scotland to her great-great-great grandfather, James Cunningham. Using some direct evidence and a lot of indirect evidence from a variety of records, Pat then assembled James’s family, established when he married and died, and followed his son David’s life till his death in 1900. This case study of the Cunningham family will show how thorough research and correlation of evidence can break through brick walls and bring our family skeletons to life. 

Please register for the general meeting at:


Gen News and Announcements:

Past President Pat Rand Receives the Hartzog Award

National Park Service
"Palo Alto Battlefield NHP is pleased to announce that park volunteer Pat Rand was awarded the Regional Hartzog Enduring Service Award for 2020
The Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service recognizes the exemplary contributions of these very important people. Former NPS director George Hartzog, Jr. and his wife Helen created a fund to support awards that honor the efforts of volunteers who go beyond the normal call of duty."

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 17 August 2020

FamilySearch
"This week FamilySearch added 500K more records to collections for Brazil, Canada, England, Fiji, Mexico, Micronesia, Peru, Puerto Rico, S. Africa, Sweden, and Zambia. Two new US collections invite discoveries in Arizona, Cochise Voting Records 1882–1932, and Arizona, Mohave Voting Records, 1876–1920, plus 500K more Indiana Marriages 1811–1932. Other US collections added records for AZ, CA, HI, ID, IN, IA, MS, NC, PA, TX, UT, VA and WA."

How to Search United States Passport Records:

FamilySearch
"Have you ever wondered if your ancestors traveled? If they did, they may have applied for a passport. A passport was not mandatory in the United States for travel outside the country until 1941, except for in short periods during the Civil War and World War I. However, if your ancestor did apply for a passport, the information on the US passport record could be substantial."

Attended My First Virtual Conference: Success!

Kitty Cooper
"I learned much more than usual from my first completely online conference, the 2020 IAJGS conference on Jewish Genealogy. Perhaps because there were fewer distractions: no seat-mates for example"
Editor's Note: The 2021 VGS Annual Seminar will be a virtual conference.
 with Amy Johnson Crow as our guest speaker.

What are "new" records on genealogy websites?

Genealogy's Star
"The large online genealogy database/family tree websites regularly advertise that they have new records for their users to search. What does this really mean? Let me give a few examples."

Pennsylvania Online Historical Newspapers Summary

The Ancestor Hunt
"Pennsylvania is one of the states that has several central state-wide online repositories for searching historical newspapers. Several states use the Library of Congress Chronicling America site as their main online site for searching old newspapers. Pennsylvania does have many online newspapers available on that site. Pennsylvania currently also has its online availability from different websites and they house hundreds of newspapers. Many are free and many require a subscription. Below is a list of where the titles are stored and the link so that you can access them."

Free Online Pennsylvania City Directories:

The Ancestor Hunt
"Links to these free collections are presented initially with statewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Generally, the publishing company is included in the reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:"

Technology:

Does Private or Incognito Mode Make Web Browsing Anonymous?

How-to Geek
"Private is a relative term. This is abundantly clear when it comes to “private browsing”—the setting in a web browser that supposedly allows you to hide your history from others who use the same computer."
Continue reading...

Education:

Top Five Reasons to Cite Your Sources in Your Genealogy:

Ancestral Findings
"Are you citing your sources in your genealogy research? If you are not, you should be. Citing sources may seem like a chore, but there are some very important reasons to make sure you always do it. Here are the five top reasons why you should cite your sources in your genealogy work."
Listen now... 4.27 minutes

Webinars:

How to Use MyHeritage DNA Results to Enhance Your Family Tree:

Legacy Family Tree
"This webinar will demonstrate how MyHeritage's DNA test can help confirm the accuracy of and solve mysteries in your family tree. Michelle will provide her top tips on using MyHeritage's DNA platform and tools and offer practical guidance on the best steps to take to succeed on your DNA journey."
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Michelle Leonard
Learn more or Register for this event...

Slack for Genealogy Projects:

Legacy Family Tree
"Whether you’re a professional genealogist trying to manage multiple clients and projects or just trying to juggle your own personal research, you may need to move beyond your current management tools. Slack is a FREE online collaboration hub (web-based and app) that is used by major corporations as well as non-profit organizations and individuals to manage and improve workflow."
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Thomas MacEntee
Learn more or Register for this event...