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  • 29 Feb 2024 8:13 AM | Anonymous

    Newspaper title header that reads: The Perquimans Weekly.

    Thanks to our partners, Perquimans County Library and Pettigrew Regional Library, as well as funding from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), a massive batch of The Perquimans Weekly adds 10+ years worth of issues to DigitalNC! This batch expands our current holdings to include the years: 1989 to 1992 and 2010 to 2020.

    Commemorating the migration of Quakers from Perquimans County to the Northwest Territories during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, individuals donned their best Quaker costumes and hopped on their horses or into their horse-drawn buggies and wagons to participate in the Friends to Freedom Wagon Train that traveled through Perquimans County from March 17th to 20th in 2011.

    The first two days of the event were set aside for riding the planned 25 mile trail. They started their journey at the Newbold-White House campsite, making stops in Beech Springs, Belvidere, Bagley Swamp, and Winfall. In Belvidere, around 400 people came out to celebrate the train with vendors, live entertainment, wagon rides, food, and promotion of the area’s historical homes and buildings.

    On the last leg of the journey, the Train took the Causeway and historic S bridge to parade through Hertford before finally coming back to the Newbold-White House. The final day of the event ended with breakfast, a church service, and a driving course competition at the Newbold-White House site.

    To view more issues of The Perquimans Weekly, please click here.

    To learn more about the Perquimans Public Library, visit their website here.

    To view more newspapers from across North Carolina, please click here.

  • 29 Feb 2024 7:52 AM | Anonymous

    In many ways, the overgrown cemetery on a South Carolina rice plantation where my paternal ancestors are buried is emblematic of Black history itself. On my first visit in 2013, I went in search of the Fields family graves. There I found many unmarked graves, some of them nothing more than sunken depressions, as far as the eye could see. A few had simple headstones. One marked grave had been broken wide open by a fallen tree limb, and had filled with water. I was horrified to see my ancestor’s skeletal remains floating at the top.

    After researching the history of peasant rice farmers in West Africa for over a decade, I had recently extended my research to enslaved laborers on Lowcountry South Carolina rice plantations. But I had not thought to research my own family’s history. Seeing that open grave made me feel as though I had turned my back on my ancestors. I pledged then to find out who was buried in that cemetery and tell their story.

    African Americans searching for their family histories often have only small irregular pieces of an enormous puzzle. Most of those pieces are missing because enslaved African Americans were not recorded by their first and last names before the 1870 census. Until recently, identifying enslaved and formerly enslaved people who lived before that time was virtually impossible. To complicate matters, professional historians typically analyze and interpret plantation owners’ records, which identify enslaved people as property and by first name only, and describe the violence that was done to them, how their labor was exploited and their bodies abused. These records deny our ancestors’ humanity.

    Because of these limitations, it had become accepted as fact among historians and genealogists that efforts to recover African American family histories reaching back to the time of slavery would hit a brick wall.

    Today, I’m excited to report, the brick wall, or at least a large part of it, has been dismantled. Projects to digitize enormous troves of once difficult to access records are giving African American families opportunities to recover more of our lost past and offering historians the potential to enrich and rewrite the history of slavery.

    You can read more in an article by Edda L. Fields-Black published on the New York Times web site at: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/29/opinion/black-family-history-genealogy.html.

  • 28 Feb 2024 12:49 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by Home Children Canada:

    • New collaboration between Canadian and UK organisations sees creation of first major collection of records pertaining to Home Children

    • Over 130,000 British children were sent to British Overseas Territories as part of forced migration scheme between 1860s and 1970s

    • Offered for free, the records will allow estimated 4m+ descendants of Home Children to trace their ancestors for the first time

    • Collection launched on Findmypast at Rootstech, in collaboration with The National Archives, British Library, Library and Archives Canada, and Home Children Canada

    A major new collection of Home Children records has launched today on family tree website, Findmypast, which will allow millions of descendants of British Home Children to trace their ancestors for free – many for the first time. 

    Created in collaboration with organisations across the UK and Canada, including The National Archives, The British Library, Library and Archives Canada, and Home Children Canada, the new collection features a vast and varied range of records which tell the stories of those who were part of the forced child migrant scheme in place from the 1860s up to the 1970s.

    The collection, launched at Rootstech, will be a growing repository with records added on an ongoing basis. It currently includes workhouse records, Juvenile Inspection Reports, Home Children Board of Guardian Records and emigration reports, while future updates are likely to see historical newspapers, migration records, workhouse and institutional records, periodicals and military records added.

    Over 130,000 children, now known as ‘British Home Children’, were sent across the Commonwealth, in particular to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Only 12% of these children were ‘true orphans’ - many came from charitable homes, workhouses, or destitute and struggling families. They were usually fostered into families when they reached their destinations to be used as unpaid domestic or farming labour. 

    However, abuse was widespread in a system which offered little protection to the children and few investigations into the care they received from their foster families. Many were relocated several times during their childhood, and often separated from their siblings.

    Historically, descendants of Home Children have struggled to trace their roots, with most records held in private archives and inaccessible to the public. This collection will provide an open-access, centralised set of resources for descendants to trace their forced migrant ancestors back to the UK and their birth families and add them directly to their family tree on Findmypast.

    Sarah Bush, Findmypast Managing Director, said:

    We’re extremely proud to launch this groundbreaking new collection, which will allow millions more people to uncover the stories of their forced migrant ancestors. It’s an incredibly poignant and complex part of our Commonwealth history, and these records will shed light on the lives and experiences of the British Home children, which have so often been overlooked or concealed. 

    At Findmypast, we believe that every story matters, and we hope to offer renewed hope of discovering ancestors and even new connections to families across the globe – easily and completely for free.”

    Roger Kershaw, Head of Strategic Operations and Volunteers at The National Archives, said: 

    Many of the children dispatched from the UK to Canada were from children’s homes and had their past erased before being used as cheap labour, with boys working on farms and girls as domestic servants. 

    Records from The National Archives reveal some of the government decisions leading to the emigration of children as young as one-year-old, including correspondence from the Home Office, Ministry of Health, Local Government Board and Colonial Office, with those bodies leading the policy, such as Dr Barnado’s.

    We are pleased to be able to contribute to this collection which will provide new avenues for research into the story of the British Home Children.”

    Lori Oschefski, an expert on British Home Children, President of the charity Home Children Canada, and a descendant of a Home Child herself, said: 

    This new database is significant because it fills crucial gaps in our understanding of Home Children's histories. These gaps hindered comprehensive research efforts, but now, with access to previously unavailable data, we can uncover deeper insights into the experiences and journeys of Home Children. 

    As the daughter of a Home Child, I cannot overstate the importance of this new collection for our community. While I conducted significant research for my mother before her passing, accessing records was challenging, and the information in this index was unavailable to me. This collection will revolutionize the search for information on British Home Children, offering understanding, closure, and peace of mind to millions of affected descendants whose personal histories were stripped away by migration programs.”

    Discover the collection for free on Findmypast: https://www.findmypast.co.uk/page/british-home-children

  • 28 Feb 2024 9:20 AM | Anonymous

    On April 2, 2011, Plano, Texas Police Department responded to a home invasion sexual assault that occurred sometime after 2 o’clock in the morning. The victim was awakened by an unknown male in her bed. She fought back during the sexual assault and in the course of doing so, her attacker’s blood was transferred to a pillowcase on the bed. The pillowcase was collected as evidence, as was a routine sexual assault nurse examination, both of which were forensically analyzed to develop a clear suspect DNA profile.

    In September and October of 2011, Coppell Police Department (Dallas County) and Corinth Police Department (Denton County) responded to similar home invasion sexual assaults where the victims also underwent SANE exams. The unknown male profile in both of those cases was a forensic match to the suspect profile in the Plano case. Plano, Coppell, and Corinth police departments worked tirelessly for years collecting DNA from persons of interest and following up on any and all viable tips associated with these cases. The suspect was even the subject of an FBI’s America’s Most Wanted episode.

    In 2018, Arlington Police Department (Tarrant County) sent sexual assault kits on unsolved cases for additional testing in hopes that advancements in DNA technology would result in new leads. This uncovered evidence from a 2003 home invasion sexual assault case that also matched to the same offender from all three 2011 cases.

    You can read more in an article published in the Texas Metro News web site at: http://tinyurl.com/5caxda4e.

  • 28 Feb 2024 8:23 AM | Anonymous

    The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

    The Sawtooth Slayer
    by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Self published. 2022. 342 pages.

    Nathan Goodwin will be at RootsTech at his booth in the Expo Hall. He enjoys meeting and greeting his readers, so drop by and say hello.

    The Sawtooth Slayer, a murder mystery set on the edge of the Sawtooth Range of the Rocky Mountains, in the small western city of Twin Falls, Idaho, is one more must-read story for the followers of Nathan Goodwin. A series of kidnappings and cruel murders have set the town on edge, and Detective Maria Gonzalez is tasked with solving the cases that have few leads and scant clues to a killer’s identity.

    Detective Gonzalez turns to Madison Scott-Barnhart, and Madison’s staff at her  investigative genetic genealogy company, Venator, for help in solving the case. Madison has moved her work to home, amidst the Covid crisis, where personal family complications parallel the difficulties of crime-solving with DNA analytics and genealogy searches. 

    The characters are well-developed and relatable, and the author does a good job weaving together the various threads of the story.  The genealogical aspect adds an intriguing layer to the mystery, and readers will find themselves drawn into the familiar world of genealogical problem-solving. 

    After all these years of enjoying Mr. Goodwin’s books, I do have a criticism. I wish his books were better-produced. I wish the chapter headings, line spacing, margins, and chapter spacings were better formatted. More like the traditional formatting of novels; his pages are pretty dense with type, and my eyes are asking for a little white space. Some illustrations might be interesting, too, just something to break up the crowded pages full of text. I know Mr. Goodwin’s sense of image is skilled; his book covers are perfectly drawn for his stories. 

    So on that slightly adverse note (although for an author, no critique is ever “slight”), Mr. Goodwin’s skillful storytelling and attention to detail make this a standout novel in the genre, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

    The Sawtooth Slayer is available from the author at: https://www.nathandylangoodwin.com/copy-of-the-chester-creek-murders, from Amazon, and most other online bookstores.

  • 28 Feb 2024 7:44 AM | Anonymous

    The unit will partner with smaller departments across the state to focus on solving old cases using genealogy databases and testing to follow leads. Can your Ancestry test help solve a crime? How does law enforcement use DNA databases? What kind of crimes are they focused on? 

    “Ten, 15-20 years ago, this was science fiction,” Torrez explained. “I mean there was no way for anyone to figure these things out.”

    Torrez explains how investigators used genealogy to ultimately identify and arrest Angel Gurule in 2020. Gurule was charged with attacking and raping a jogger near the bosque. He pled guilty to two counts of rape and was sentenced to 12 years.

    Genealogy testing also led to investigators finding and identifying Edward Duran in 2021, matching his DNA to a rape kit from 1997. Duran remains behind bars awaiting trial on seven counts of rape.

    You can read more in an article by Gabrielle Burkhart and Chris McKee published in the krqe web site at: http://tinyurl.com/4vdpc3mf.

  • 27 Feb 2024 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by the U.S. National Genealogical Society:

    FALLS CHURCH, VA, 27 FEBRUARY 2024—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) recently launched a monthly workshop series—AI Toolbox—for everyone interested in learning how artificial intelligence (AI) can facilitate their family history research. The virtual workshops teach practical AI skills that help all genealogists become more efficient and achieve better results. No prior experience with AI is needed.

    Students discover how to harness the power of AI to

    • manage those overflowing boxes of family photos;
    • transform research into captivating narratives;
    • create attention-grabbing images for genealogy projects, businesses, or organizations; and
    • extract, summarize, and analyze information from genealogical sources more efficiently.

    Each month, a "Toolmaster" demonstrates how to use the latest free and subscription-based AI tools on a different genealogical project. The first four workshops are now available for registration.

    The first workshop—Use AI for Your Family Photos—is on Thursday, 21 March 2024, at 2:00 p.m. (ET), live via Zoom. Attendees can watch the recording for one month following the live event.

    Additional scheduled workshops include: 

    Use AI to Draft Narratives from Timelines and Research Logs

    Thursday, 11 April 2024, at 2:00 p.m. (ET) 

    Use AI to Create Images for Genealogy Projects, Business, and Social Media

    Thursday, 16 May 2024, at 2:00 p.m. (ET)

    Use AI to Research Historical Documents and Letters

    Thursday, 20 June 2024, at 2:00 p.m. (ET)

    The AI "Toolmasters" are professional genealogists and educators who have considerable expertise in the use of AI for genealogy. Mark Thompson specializes in genetic genealogy and managing family archives and has held leadership roles in information technology. Nicole Dyer is an author and the creator of FamilyLocket.com and the Research Like a Pro podcast. Michelle Custer Bates specializes in criminal ancestors and probate heirship and is a committee member for both the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

  • 27 Feb 2024 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    The following is (part of) an announcement from the Homeland Security Department:

    AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule adjusts certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees charged by USCIS. This rule also provides additional fee exemptions for certain humanitarian categories and makes changes to certain other immigration benefit request requirements. USCIS conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the full cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services. DHS is adjusting the fee schedule to fully recover costs and maintain adequate service. This final rule also responds to public comments received on the USCIS proposed fee schedule published on January 4, 2023.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective April 1, 2024. Any benefit request postmarked on or after this date must be accompanied with the fees established by this final rule.

    Public Engagement date: DHS will hold a virtual public engagement session during which USCIS will discuss the changes made in this final rule. The session will be held at 2 p,m. Eastern on Feb. 22, 2024. Register for the engagement here: https://public.govdelivery.com/​accounts/​USDHSCIS/​subscriber/​new?​topic_​id=​USDHSCIS_​1081.

    USCIS will allot time during the session to answer questions submitted in advance. Please email questions to public.engagement@uscis.dhs.gov by 4 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, and use “Fee Rule Webinar” in the subject link. Please note that USCIS cannot answer case-specific inquiries during the session.

    ADDRESSES:

    Docket: To view comments on the proposed rule that preceded this rule, search for docket number USCIS 2021–0010 on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carol Cribbs, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 5900 Capital Gateway Dr., Camp Springs, MD 20746; telephone 240–721–3000 (this is not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A lot more supplementary information may be found in the Federal Register at: http://tinyurl.com/2wkk68v7.

  • 27 Feb 2024 8:59 AM | Anonymous

    About 54 years ago, a boy scout troop leader in Sauvie Island, Oregon stumbled upon a shallow grave. In the buried dirt seemed to be some forgotten clothing. In reality, it was the remains of a teenage girl.

    Her entire body, in skeletal form, was discovered underneath the grave, as well as pieces from a black curly wig, according to Oregon State Police. At the time, investigators said the body showed clear signs of foul play. 

    For decades, the identity of the young woman remained a mystery — until Thursday. 

    State authorities identified the woman as Sandra Young, a teenager from Portland who went missing between 1968 and 1969. Her identity was discovered through advanced DNA technology, which has helped solve stubborn cold cases in recent years. 

    The case's breakthrough came last year in January, when a person uploaded their DNA to the genealogy database, GEDMatch, and the tool immediately determined that the DNA donor was a distant family member of Young. According to Oregon State Police, Young's DNA was already in databases used by law enforcement to help identify missing persons.

    From there, a genetic genealogist working with local law enforcement helped track down other possible relatives and encouraged them to provide their DNA. That work eventually led to Young's sister and other family members who confirmed that Young went missing around the same time that a body was discovered in the far north end of Sauvie Island.

    You can read more in the full story written by Juliana Kim in the NPR web site at: http://tinyurl.com/muz92rd8.

  • 27 Feb 2024 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    Transport for London (TfL) has a rich history that spans more than 160 years and transcends the borders of London and the UK, with globally recognised iconography such as our red buses, black cabs, Tube maps and famous roundel. After three years of close collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, we are delighted to be bringing our archives, histories and stories online for a global audience with this new exhibition.

    United in our passion to preserve culture and art, we wanted to immerse users in our world of transport in a new, accessible way. With the digitisation of more than 2,000 documents and images from our Corporate Archive collections — including hundreds of historic maps — this online exhibition shares our history, current projects and cultural contributions, and details the stories and moments that led TfL to be who we are today.

    What can audiences look forward to? Never-seen-before content and stories. For example, did you know that in 1905, TfL owned over 17,000 horses? Or that TfL contributed to the World War II efforts by producing 710 Halifax Bombers in just three years? You can also investigate the innovative tunnelling and construction methods used to build the Victoria line.

    You can read more in an article by Emma Strain, the Customer Director for Transport for London, at: http://tinyurl.com/2yjxra96.

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