Saturday, August 8, 2020

VGS News & Events: August 9 through August 15, 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:
Thursday, August 6
Eastern European Genealogy SIG Meeting
1:00 pm to 2:50 pm
Online Webinar
Carol Myers & Marie Musialek, coordinators
Please register to attend at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Friday, August 14
Genetic Genealogy SIG Meeting
10:00 am
Online Zoom Meeting
Sherry Bean and Diann LaRosa, coordinators
Topic: "Lucidcharts"
Contact the coordinator for login information

Gen News and Announcements:

News Flash: Ancestry.com Sold to Blackstone in a $4.7 Billion Deal

Bloomburg
"Ancestry.com first went public in 2009, raising $100 million. It was taken private in 2012 in a $1.6 billion buyout led by private equity firm Permira, and on at least two occasions since has considered going public again, though it never got the valuation it was seeking."

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 3 August 2020

FamilySearch
"FamilySearch added 6.5 million records this week for France, Nord Parish and Civil Registrations, 1524-1893, the 1851 Canada Census, New York Passenger Lists 1897-1902, and New Jersey Naturalization records 1905-1944. Collections were also expanded for Brazil, England, Germany, Peru, S. Africa, Venezuela, and the US (Obituaries, civil, and church records for CA, HI, IL, MS, NC, NJ, PA, TX, UT, VA, and WA)."

Ancestry® Launches AncestryHealth®, Powered by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)

Ancestry.com
"Now with Next Generation Sequencing(NGS), NGS looks at thousands more places in your DNA at once, compared to other genetic testing technologies that only look for a small number of them."

My Thoughts on the Changes at Ancestry:

Kitty Cooper
"The changes to my messages on Ancestry are more of a problem for me than the upcoming changes to small matches."

Why a Data Breach at a Genealogy Site Has Privacy Experts Worried:

NY Times
"Nearly two-thirds of GEDmatch’s users opt out of helping law enforcement. For a brief window this month, that didn’t matter."

Technology:

How to Make Text Bigger or Smaller in Google Chrome:

How-to Geek
"If you’re having trouble comfortably reading text that is either too small or too big on a website in Google Chrome, there’s a quick way to change text size without diving into Settings. Here’s how."
Continue reading...

Education:

How to Organize Your Digital Genealogy 

Ancestral Findings
"Your digital genealogy needs to be organized just as much as your physical genealogical documents and photos do." 
Listen now... 4.30 minutes

Webinars:

Working with Different Family Tree Views on MyHeritage:

Legacy Family Tree
"The bigger your family tree grows, the more unwieldy it can be. MyHeritage offers several different family tree views to help you navigate your tree effectively. In this webinar, you'll the advantages of each and how to use them."
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Daniel Horowitz
Learn more or Register for this event...

Dissecting a Civil War Pension Packet-Union and Confederate:

Legacy Family Tree
"Have you identified a Union or Confederate Civil War soldier in your ancestry? Lucky you. These records are the most accessible of all military records. We will discuss the history of these records, who was included and excluded, and the changes in the law. Civil War Pension records contain a wealth of information. We will compare two pension packets, Confederate and Union--and how to acquire, use them and the stories they tell."
Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Jill Morelli, CG
Learn more or Register for this event...


Saturday, August 1, 2020

VGS News & Events: August 2 through August 8, 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 3
Italian Genealogy Special Interest Group Meeting
1:00 pm
Zoom Online Webinar
Mary Frances Gerace, Coordinator
Contact the Coordinator for more information...
Monday, August 3
RootsMagic Special Interest Group Meeting
2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Zoom Online Webinar
Val Harris & George Zitterell Co-Ordinators
"Using Sources" Ken Macomber
Contact the Coordinator for more information...
Tuesday, August 4
Adoption & Mystery Kin SIG Meeting
9:30 am to 11:20 am
VGS Online Webinar
Anne Berg & Marcella Zorn, Co-cordinators
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Speaker: Annette Burke-Lyttle, Vice-President of the VGS
Thursday, August 6
Eastern European Genealogy SIG Meeting
1:00 pm to 2:50 pm
VGS Online Webinar
Carol Myers & Marie Musialek, coordinators
Please register to attend at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Gen News and Announcements:

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 27 July 2020

FamilySearch
"FamilySearch added new free indexed collections of immigrant arrivals for San Francisco, California 1903-1918, and additional voter registrations for Boston, Masssachusetts 1857-1920. Examine more records added for Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Norway, Peru, Spain, S. Africa, and Venezuela. Find your family in 2 million more United States newspaper obituaries and additional records for CA, HI, ID, IL, IA, LA, MS, NE, NC, OH, PA, TX, UT, VA, WA, and WI."

Ancestry.com Faces $250M Class Action Lawsuit Over Auto-Renewals

Top Class Actions
 "The Ancestry.com class action lawsuit, which was removed to federal court this week, seeks more than $250 million in restitution for consumers." 

Hacking in the Genetic Genealogy World!

Kitty Cooper
"There are so many security breaches and problems for us genetic genealogists to worry about these days! Why would anyone want your DNA data? I can understand wanting your credit card information, although these days those companies are quick to spot fraud. But why hack a DNA site?"

6 Steps to Organize, Back Up and Store Your Old Family Records, Photos and Heirlooms:

Family History Daily
"Do you have piles of records, old photos and family heirlooms that are cluttering up your space? Here are the 6 simple steps you need to get them backed up, organized and safely stored."

Will Computers Ever Change Genealogical Methodology?

Genealogy's Star
"It is always amazing to me how much of what is written accurately reflects exactly what is taught today as genealogical methodology. You would think that ever-advancing computers and software programs would have had more of an impact on genealogy than it apparently has."

Chronicling America Updates - July, 2020

The Ancestor Hunt
"Chronicling America, the newspaper collection available for online research of United States historic newspapers, regularly updates their collection. Here are the updated titles for June and July, 2020. Some are new titles and some are added to an existing title's pages in the database. There are 48 in total from 16 different states, plus the District of Columbia." 

Technology:

How to Use Your AirPods and AirPods Pro: The Complete Guide:

How-to Geek
"Just bought yourself or received a new pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro? Welcome to the truly wireless earphones life. Setting up AirPods is quite straightforward, but here’s how to customize and get the most of your AirPods or AirPods Pro."
Editor's Note:  I love mine...
Continue reading...

Education:

Your Foot Shape and Your Genealogy:

Ancestral Findings
"Have you ever heard of foot shape genealogy? It is a concept out of the 19th century that still has some adherents today. It is based on the belief that the shape of your foot can tell you one of five ancient ethnic groups to which your ancestors belonged."
Listen now... 7.31 minutes

Webinars:

Tracing Australian and New Zealand World War One Ancestors:

Legacy Family Tree
"The ANZACs were young men from Australia and New Zealand who answered the call in World War One. Using a variety of records, it is generally possible to trace their service and find out the answer to “What did you do in the war?”"
Tuesday, August 4 2020 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Helen V. Smith
Learn more or Register for this event...

Using DNA to Solve Adoption and Unknown Parentage Mysteries:

Legacy Family Tree
"There are some mysteries traditional research can never solve.  DNA testing, however, has revolutionized the options available to adoptees and those with unknown parentage or other unknown ancestors. This webinar will explain how to use DNA results to solve these previously unsolvable mysteries.  Michelle will illustrate the entire process from choosing the correct tests and testing companies through to making contact with newly identified relatives"
Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Michelle Leonard

Preparing a Portfolio: Applying to Become a Certified Genealogist®

Legacy Family Tree
"In this webinar, trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists will share various pathways to certification. They will discuss the process of becoming a board-certified genealogist, explain each element of an application portfolio, and answer questions from the participants."
Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Angela Packer McGhie, CG
Learn more or Register for this event...


Saturday, July 25, 2020

VGS News & Events: July 26 through August 1, 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:
No meetings planned for this week that I have been made aware of. Be on the lookout for any meeting announcements sent directly to SIG members.

Gen News and Announcements:

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 13 July 2020

FamilySearch
"Find a key part of your genealogical puzzle in nearly one million new Find A Grave indexed records on FamilySearch. Explore Ecuador Church Records 1565–2011, and Uruguay Passenger Lists 1888–1980, just waiting to be discovered, along with thousands more from Austria. Brazil, Chile, England, Germany Mexico, Peru, S. Africa and Spain. The United States collections were expanded for Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Virginia."
Search now...

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 20 July 2020

FamilySearch
"Find amazing discoveries in 3.7 million new indexed United States Newspaper Obituaries and trace immigrant ancestors in new, searchable New Orleans, Louisiana, passenger list records. Find additional records for Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, Fiji, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, S. Africa, and Wales. Search added records for CA, CT, HI, IL, MS, NJ, NY, NC, PA, and VA."
Search now...

Ancestry security team confident Family Tree Maker vulnerability has not impacted Ancestry’s systems:

Ancestry Blog
"While we no longer have formal affiliation with the company, Family Tree Maker is used by some Ancestry customers to sync family trees between Family Tree Maker software and Ancestry. Based on our investigation, we do not believe that any Ancestry systems or data have been compromised."
Continue reading...

FAMILY TREE MAKER - Data Security Article

MacKiev.com
"We are aware of an article that has been published about the potential for a data breach. We had already identified the vulnerability ourselves and took care of it some time ago, so please rest assured that your data is safe. We are working on a more detailed response that we hope to have posted soon, so please check back here later for more information."
Editor's note: No additional information from MacKiev.com

Genealogy Software Maker Exposes Data on 60,000 Users

info security
"A US tech company that manages popular family tree software has exposed tens of thousands of its users’ personal information online via a misconfigured cloud server, according to researchers.
A team from WizCase led by Avishai Efrat discovered the unsecured Elasticsearch server leaking 25GB of data linked to users of the Family Tree Maker software.

Technology:

Browser Choice Finally Comes to the iPhone with iOS 14:

How-to Geek
"You might think the biggest announcement of WWDC 2020 is Apple ditching Intel processors in favor of first-party silicon, but you’d be wrong. No, the big news is that iOS and iPadOS 14 will finally let you choose your default browser and email apps."
Continue reading...

Education:

Meningioma and DNA Heredity:

Ancestral Findings
"My wife was diagnosed with a meningioma tumor. If you’re interested, here are some of my findings from my brief study on meningioma tumors and DNA heredity testing..."
Listen now...   8.37 minutes

Webinars:

Fabulous Photo Discoveries™ at MyHeritage:

Legacy Family Tree
"Lisa Louise Cooke will show you how to discover photographs of ancestors who currently don’t have photos in your tree using MyHeritage’s exciting Photo Discoveries™ technology. You’ll learn how to add your own photos, and then find and easily add the newly generated photo discoveries to your family tree."
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Lisa Louise Cooke
Learn more or Register for this event...

Researching a Loyalist Soldier:

Legacy Family Tree
"Approximately one-third of the people living in the Colonies at the time of the Revolution were loyal to the King. During the War some fought in Loyalist units. By the end of the war, most were forced to leave, either north to Canada or back across the ocean. Many filed claims with the British government for failing to protect them from the rebels. Learn about the records of their service and records of their times after the War."
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Craig R. Scott, MA, CG, FUGA
Learn more or Register for this event...


Saturday, July 18, 2020

VGS News & Events: July 19 through July 25, 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.

All remaining regular Monthly Meetings for 2020 will be virtual meetings.

Coming Events:
Tuesday, July 21
Family Tree Maker Users SIG Webinar 
1:00 pm
Live Online Webinar
John DeAngelo, Co-Coordinator
Presentation: "Media and the Media Workspace in Family Tree Maker"

Wednesday, July 22
July VGS Virtual General Monthly Meeting
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Online Webinar
Topic: "Lets Talk Genealogy"  -  3 Presentations by VGS members...
Obituaries 2.0 – Telling the Rest of the Story, Nancy Flanigan Schultz
Understanding DNA Results, Dan Spear
20th Century Immigration Case Study: Grandpa, What Were You Thinking?, Pat Adams
Please register for VGS General Meeting - Panel Presentations at:

Gen News and Announcements:

Ancestry.com for Free? 7 Ways to Research With No Subscription

Family Tree
"Is there a way to use Ancestry.com for free, without buying a subscription? There is. If you have two weeks to devote to genealogy research, sign up for a free 14-day trial. (But don’t forget to go in and cancel your subscription, otherwise your card will show an automatic charge.)
But even before that, use these seven different techniques to glean as much as you can for free—not only from Ancestry.com but also its sister site, Fold3.com..."
Continue reading...

10 Easy Tips for Using Ancestry.com

Family Tree
"When you first delve into Ancestry.com, the world’s largest subscription collection of genealogy databases, it can be a bit mind-boggling. After all, Ancestry.com encompasses some 31,000 collections with more than 20 billion historical records."
Continue reading...

Ancestry to Remove DNA Matches Soon – Preservation Strategies with Detailed Instructions:

DNAeXplained
"Ancestry has announced that they are going to remove smaller matches from their customer’s DNA match list around the first of August. I was not on this conference call myself. However, it’s a small community and others have reported consistent information.
Continue reading...

The 2020 FGS Family History Conference is Going Virtual:

FGS
"You won’t want to miss the final FGS Conference virtual-style! We have a variety of learning sessions to meet every genealogist’s needs. We have so many topics—including DNA, Ethnicity & Nationality, Methodology & Skill-building and so much more! And of course, we have your favorite speakers that you love learning from!"
Learn more...

The Unexpected Detail in Divorce Records Might Surprise You:

Family History Daily

"As much as we would all like to think our ancestors lived in marital bliss, as you build your family tree, you will likely find the need to dig for a divorce record or two. Many are surprised to find that divorces were relatively common in certain locations around the world – including the United States – and began being recorded earlier than expected."
Continue reading...

Improvements to 23andMe’s G6PD Deficiency Report:

23andMe
"This week, 23andMe updated its G6PD Deficiency Genetic Health Risk Report.* The update includes testing for an additional variant linked to G6PD  deficiency, a condition that can lead to episodes of anemia."
Continue reading...

NHGRI Researchers Generate Complete Human X Chromosome Sequence:

NHGRI
"Researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have produced the first end-to-end DNA sequence of a human chromosome. The results, published in the journal Nature, show that generating a precise, base-by-base sequence of a human chromosome is now possible, and will enable researchers to produce a complete sequence of the human genome."
Continue reading...

Technology:

How iOS 14 Is About to Transform Your iPhone’s Home Screen:

How-to Geek
"The iPhone Home screen hasn’t changed since Steve Jobs first showed it off in 2007. Come fall 2020, iOS 14 will drastically shake things up with a few features that will be familiar to anyone who used an Android device in the last few years."
Continue reading...

Education:

3 Overlooked Clues in Genealogical Documents:

Ancestral Findings
"You want to take your research farther, but seem to be stuck at a brick wall on the line you're working on. It's a frustrating fact of genealogy that nearly any genealogist will encounter at some point, and probably more than once. When you get to the point where you don't know where else to look for clues, you may be tempted to give up on that line, but don't do it just yet."
Listen now...   4.01 minutes

Webinars:

Elusive Immigrant: The Search for Dora Lühr

Legacy Family Tree
"See the Genealogical Proof Standard applied to research on both sides of the Atlantic to prove the identity of an immigrant not found where she is supposed to be and whose name is anything but certain."
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Warren Bittner, CG
Learn more or Register for this event...

50 More Websites Every Genealogist Should Know:

Legacy Family Tree
"We are so lucky to live at a time when we have a wealth of information at our fingertips. Previously Gena explored 50 websites you should know so now it’s time for 50 more! And these aren’t just the same old, same old websites. Let’s take our research around the world and explore more websites that are vital for the family historian."
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Gena Philibert-Ortega

Saturday, July 11, 2020

VGS News & Events: July 12 through July 18, 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.

All remaining regular Monthly Meetings for 2020 will be virtual meetings.

Coming Events:
Monday, July 13
“Anatomy of a Case Study: Steps Used to Write for Yourself or for Publication”  
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Live Online Webinar
Our guest speaker will be: Melinda Daffin Henningfield, CG
Please register for the webinar at:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/511879143025381388

Thursday, July 16
German Genealogy SIG Meeting
9:30 am
Live Online Webinar
Dianne Fedderson & Steven Buhrow, coordinators
Topic: Bavaria

Gen News and Announcements:

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 29 June 2020

Family Search
"Discover your ancestors at FamilySearch this week in over 2.5M new indexed New York Land Records; along with new obituary and church census records from Utah, and Native American records from Oklahoma. Explore expanded world collections from Bolivia, Brazil, Canada,  England, France, Peru, S. Africa,  and  Venezuela among others. Search new vital records for California, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio,Pennsylvania and Louisiana as noted below."
Search now...

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 6 July 2020

Family Search
"FamilySearch added 2M more indexed obituaries this week to United States collections, along with 300K Brazilian civil registrations and 200K English church records. New records added for Canada, Chile, Finland, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, S. Africa, and Sweden.  United States additions included: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia."
Search now...

Online Volunteer Opportunity: Help Improve Place-Names:

Family Search
"After a recent update, the improve place-names tool now lets you select specific countries you would like to work on, allowing you to focus on countries you are most familiar with. You can also change place information when it is slightly incorrect to get an updated list of possible standards."
Continue reading...

New Tool is Changing the Way We See Old Photos: Here’s How to Use It

Family History Daily
"MyHeritage has created two new photo enhancing tools to help you get to know your ancestors in a whole new way. MyHeritage in Color, coupled with the site’s new Photo Enhancer technology, can transform your old family photos into sharp and vibrant images that reveal previously-hidden details."
Continue reading...

“Earliest Known Ancestors” at Family Tree DNA in 3 Easy Steps

DNAeXplained
"Why should you take the time to complete the information about your earliest known ancestor, your EKA, at Family Tree DNA?
The answer is simple – because it helps you with your genealogy and it helps others too."
Continue reading...

Tool To Find Common Ancestors At GEDmatch

Kitty Cooper
"GEDmatch has just released a tool for its Tier 1 (paid) members that will search for the common ancestor you have with your DNA matches on that site."
Continue reading...

Technology:

How to Make Google Auto-Delete Your Web and Location History:

How-to Geek
"Google collects and remembers information about your activity, including your web, search, and location history. Google now auto-deletes history for new users after 18 months, but it will remember history forever if you previously enabled this feature with the default options."
Continue reading...

Education:

5 Things Every Genealogists Should Know How to Do:

Ancestral Findings
"There are certain skills every genealogist should know. Here are five of the most important ones…"
Listen now...   4.57 minutes

Webinars:

Connecting the Dots – Introduction to Auto Clusters at MyHeritageDNA

Legacy Family Tree
"Genetic network analysis is a powerful approach for interpreting DNA match lists, and MyHeritageDNA has an autocluster tool built into their interface to enable this analysis. Learn how to interpret the results of an autocluster, what a cluster means, types of cluster alliances, and next steps for your cluster analysis."
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: MyHeritage Webinars
Learn more or Register for this event...

On the Record Trail of My LDS Immigrant Ancestor:

Legacy Family Tree
"Explore unique and fascinating historical records about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons or LDS) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Using research on her own ancestor, Sunny Morton will share examples of–and tips for finding–congregational membership records; group immigration resources; missionary diaries; ward minutes, and local histories of areas settled by LDS pioneers."
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Sunny Morton
Learn more or Register for this event...