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  • 31 Jan 2022 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    The normal "rule of thumb" for preserving documents has long suggested the best method of preserving documents is to digitize them. However, recent experiences in South Africa show that digitization alone may not be sufficient.

    A project about five years ago was supposed to create a digital store of the South African Parliament’s archive. But quality-control samples suggest that nearly half the pages were not scanned properly, and there are troubling questions about how the project was managed, especially by Parliament itself.

    A botched digitisation project has probably condemned irreplaceable documents to extinction following a recent fire in Parliament that damaged or destroyed many paper documents. As a result of the fire plus the improper digitization, many of South Africa's most important legal documents are now lost forever.

    No other store of archival material in the country has a copy. Of particular importance are the annexures to the Hansard — the official record of Parliament’s deliberations going back to 1910. The records include unpublished government reports, annual reports, research, and manuscripts.

    You can read more about this sad news at

  • 28 Jan 2022 4:02 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.

    Disclaimer: This article makes several statements about the laws of the United States. Please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer and am not trained in legal affairs. However, I have discussed these issues with several attorneys who specialize in intellectual property issues and I have also done a lot of reading. This article reflects my opinions which have been shaped by what I have read and what I have been told.

    I will point out what I believe are obvious facts. However, nothing in this article should be treated as legal advice. If you have questions, you are advised to seek legal council from someone who is versed in intellectual property issues.

    I frequently receive email messages from genealogists complaining that someone else has "stolen" their data. Recently, I received a message from a newsletter reader asking how we can encrypt our data before uploading it to protect it from people who want to "steal" it. Today's correspondent wanted to find a method of "hiding" the data from unknown people so that he could control the data being sent to only people he approved of. Then he was hoping to find a method of preventing those people from forwarding "his" data to others.

    I have one question: why?

    Where did you obtain "your" information? I bet it came from census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records, right? In the United States and in many other countries (but not all), that information is public domain. It is not "your data," regardless of where you obtained it.

    The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/12334199.

    If you are not yet a Plus Edition subscriber, you can learn more about such subscriptions and even upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription immediately at

  • 28 Jan 2022 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society (NGS):

    Today NGS launched Foundations in Family History, a new online course designed for genealogy hobbyists and intermediate researchers. This course was developed to give each family historian a solid foundation in the research skills needed to find and evaluate records for their family and to build their family tree—generation by generation.

    The course consists of three parts with eighteen lessons which build on one another. Students will learn how to examine sources and develop a research plan. The course demonstrates how online resources and published family history sources can impact students’ research. Also featured are
    • a step-by-step process for using, locating, and evaluating genealogy records;
    • practical applications to apply lessons to personal family research;
    • case studies and citations that illustrate how to put lessons into action; and
    • complementary NGS Magazine articles and videos.
    Foundations in Family History is the ideal course for the DNA test taker who wants to create a family tree to connect with matches; the genealogy enthusiast who wants to take their family history knowledge to the next level; or the librarian or archivist who wants to learn more to assist their patrons. This course, along with a new certificate course for more advanced researchers coming later in 2022, replaces American Genealogical Studies.
    For more information and to enroll, visit NGS Foundations in Family History.
  • 28 Jan 2022 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    Award-winning stage and screen actor Matthew Modine will headline the all-online RootsTech Connect 2022 conference March 3-5.

    Modine, who starred in NetFlix’s “Stranger Things” and HBO’s widely acclaimed AIDS docudrama “And the Band Played On,” is the youngest of seven children, FamilySearch, the church’s genealogical arm, notes in a recent blog, and fell in love with film when his father managed a drive-in theater.

    He also has become an environmental activist and launched a pro-cycling organization called Bicycle for a Day.

    “Modine will talk about how he has chosen connection in his life,” the blog states. “Matthew says, ‘There are dozens of things each of us can do that have an immediate and positive impact [on others].’”

    Besides Modine, apostle Ulisses Soares and his wife, Rosana, will speak to the virtual attendees on the conference’s final day, dubbed Family Discovery Day, from their native Brazil.

    “Family history isn’t all about the distant past,” Elder Soares said in a news release. “You can look to your own recent experiences and stories or history as it unfolds right here in the present. You can establish your own traditions. It is a combination of the past and the present that makes you uniquely you.”

    Registration is now open here for this free global celebration of family history.

  • 28 Jan 2022 3:22 PM | Anonymous

    SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan. 27, 2022 -- 23andMe Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ME) (“23andMe”), a leading consumer genetics and research company, announced today that it will report financial results for the fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) third quarter after the market closes on Thursday, February 10, 2022. The Company will webcast a conference call at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the quarter’s financial results and report on business progress.

    The webcast can be accessed on the day of the event at A webcast replay will be available at the same address for a limited time within 24 hours after the event.

    In addition, 23andMe will use the Say Technologies platform to allow retail and institutional shareholders to submit and upvote questions to management. Starting today, shareholders can submit questions ahead of earnings by visiting The Q&A platform will remain open until 24 hours before the earnings call.

    About 23andMe
    23andMe, headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is a leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, the Company’s mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has pioneered direct access to genetic information as the only company with multiple FDA authorizations for genetic health risk reports. The Company has created the world’s largest crowdsourced platform for genetic research, with 80 percent of its customers electing to participate. The 23andMe research platform has generated more than 180 publications on the genetic underpinnings of a wide range of diseases, conditions, and traits. The platform also powers the 23andMe Therapeutics group, currently pursuing drug discovery programs rooted in human genetics across a spectrum of disease areas, including oncology, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to other therapeutic areas. More information is available at

    Forward-Looking Statements
    This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements regarding the future performance of 23andMe’s businesses in consumer genetics and therapeutics and the growth and potential of its proprietary research platform. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included or incorporated in this press release, including statements regarding 23andMe’s strategy, financial position, funding for continued operations, cash reserves, projected costs, plans, and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words "believes," "anticipates," "estimates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "may," "could," "should," "potential," "likely," "projects," "continue," "will," “schedule,” and "would" or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements are predictions based on 23andMe’s current expectations and projections about future events and various assumptions. 23andMe cannot guarantee that it will actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in its forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on 23andMe’s forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (many of which are beyond the control of 23andMe), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on June 21, 2021 and in 23andMe’s Current Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 10, 2021, as well as other filings made by 23andMe with the SEC from time to time. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except as required by law, 23andMe does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

  • 28 Jan 2022 11:56 AM | Anonymous

    According to Michal Frankl from the Department of Modern Social and Cultural History at the Academy’s Masaryk Institute and Archives:

    "Among the dozens of incidents marked in the map is the case of Arnošt Polák, who was arrested for failing to mark his Identification card with the letter J. For that he faced a fine of 5,000 crowns or five days in prison. I guess that was one of the very common incidents that happened in Prague in those days...

    “While we were working on the project we combed through the files of the Prague police and we came across approximately 17,000 such incidents.

    “This can include cases when people were arrested for some kind of special trespassing, or acting against anti-Jewish decrees, such as that they were outside without the Star of David attached to their clothes, that they entered a park, they were in a shop outside of the very limited hours for Jews, or for instance they wanted to travel on public transport in ways that were not allowed to them."

    You can read more at:

  • 28 Jan 2022 11:05 AM | Anonymous

    In an opinion issued on Wednesday, Jan. 26, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) helped clear the way for the Equal Rights Amendment, according to leading ERA advocates. In January of 2020, under Trump, the OLC issued an opinion arguing that Congress had no power to remove a seven-year timeline for ratification in the preamble of the ERA and that therefore three recent state ratifications were invalid. The OLC opinion issued by the Biden administration strongly affirms the power of Congress to remove the deadline. The opinion follows the overwhelming consensus among constitutional law scholars.

    According to a recent amicus brief authored by former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan and signed by Laurence Tribe, Dorothy Roberts, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Catharine MacKinnon and 11 other top constitutional scholars:

    “The language of Article V is mandatory: an amendment to the Constitution ‘shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states.’ Nor does the text of Article V envision a role for an executive branch officer to assert his discretion regarding the validity of the amendment. The text requires no additional action by Congress or by anyone else after ratification by the final State.”

    You can
  • 28 Jan 2022 10:48 AM | Anonymous

    This is a press release issued by FamilySearch:

    Making personal family discoveries while volunteering online

    Consumers love a sneak peek at the fun products and features planned for the upcoming year. Consumers in the expanding family history market are no different, and FamilySearch loves giving them something to enable more personal family connections. In 2022, FamilySearch will introduce a marriage of artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing that is sure to deliver millions of inspiring family discoveries for years to come.

    FamilySearch Crowdsourcing

    Hundreds of thousands of online volunteers have produced nearly 2 billion searchable online records since 2007 using FamilySearch crowdsourcing technology. The result of these efforts are highly searchable name indexes that enable anyone to instantly find information about an ancestor at

    The challenge of late has been how to create these searchable name indexes as fast as FamilySearch is digitizing the world’s historical family history records. Part of the answer is engaging more online volunteers. To do this, FamilySearch is offering new mobile technology and personalizing the experience so more volunteers can contribute in ways that are personally relevant to them.

    “What if online volunteers could conveniently participate using their mobile phones? What if the records they help make more discoverable online were relevant to their personal family tree? What if meaningful contributions only took a few minutes to complete? What if the experience was in the volunteer’s native language? Those are some of the unique benefits of upcoming upgrades to the online volunteer experience. We are blurring the lines between volunteering and making personal family history discoveries,” said Ian James, a FamilySearch product manager.

    This is the vision for the new online volunteer experience and integrated mobile app FamilySearch will unveil at RootsTech Connect 2022. FamilySearch believes these new experiences, expanding volunteer involvement globally, along with more technological capabilities under development, will exponentially increase access to the world’s historical records and enable millions more personal family discoveries.

    Online volunteers have already made invaluable collections like the 1790 to 1940 US Censuses freely searchable online. Imagine what they will do with projects like the 1950 US Census and many more historical records collections from patrons’ homelands using FamilySearch’s new online volunteer experiences!

    FamilySearch Artificial Intelligence

    FamilySearch works with archives all over the world to help digitally preserve and expand online access to their genealogical records. In 2022, FamilySearch will be unveiling some exciting developments utilizing artificial intelligence and records access technology to make impressive additions to the number of searchable ancestor names found in those genealogical records at

    These emerging technologies will enable FamilySearch to make information hidden in its billions of digital images of historical records more discoverable—in a fraction of the time currently required.

    “We’ve been implementing our new records access technologies in Spanish-speaking countries for the past year. We are very pleased with the results. We’ve been able to produce in one year what would have otherwise taken us a hundred years to do with previous technology. We are excited to unveil it at RootsTech 2022 along with our expansion plans,” said John Alexander, a FamilySearch product manager for the emerging technology.

    Alexander said the new technology, coupled with the new online volunteer experiences and integration with a patron’s FamilySearch Family Tree, will dramatically increase personal discoveries and access to the world’s records.

    FamilySearch Asian Pedigree Feature

    A continual focus of FamilySearch is to help meet the needs of its growing base of international customers. In 2022 FamilySearch will deliver a new family tree visualization and documentation tool for its patrons with Asian ancestry. The Asian pedigree or “First Ancestor View” in the FamilySearch Family Tree will better reflect the record-keeping traditions and processes of Asian cultures that view their ancestors in a “top-down tree” perspective.

    “Asia is an exciting segment for us,” said Mitch Wasden, a FamilySearch outreach manager. “We want to give people around the world the tools they need to help them to collaboratively create the ‘Family Tree of Humankind.’ This feature will give people with Asian ancestry a tree-building experience equal to those in other areas of the world.”

    Africa and Middle East Family Tree Experience

    FamilySearch teams have been spending time in Africa and the Middle East getting to understand these cultures and their needs. For example, individual families in these regions may not be accustomed to documenting, visualizing, and sharing their family relations in the context of a “tree.” FamilySearch is delivering a new experience in 2022 tailored to patrons from Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East to artistically preserve and illustrate their family history in a variety of beautiful printable keepsakes. It will be offered through a mobile and web app that requires very little bandwidth or phone storage memory. Learn more, follow, and share the Family Tree initiative at and (Middle East and North Africa).

    Discover your ancestors for free today at

    Register for RootsTech Connect 2022 (March 3–5) for free and be the first to learn more about these new FamilySearch features.

  • 28 Jan 2022 10:41 AM | Anonymous

    The Akron Police Department now has more than $2 million to continue with its Akron Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

    The department said it received a renewal grant for more than $2 million for its ASAKI program. The money was approved by Akron City Council and with the support of Mayor Dan Horrigan.

    The money will allow investigators to continue to identify dangerous, unknown sexual assault offenders, the department said in a news release. The unit uses advanced DNA testing and research to identify cold case sexual assault suspects. Investigators use genetic genealogy testing and a DNA profile in sexual assault kits, and compare results to genealogy databases to find the owner of the DNA profile or close family relatives.

    The remainder of this story may be found at:

  • 28 Jan 2022 10:35 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release written by DNA Labs:

    Forensic Genetic Genealogy cases can now be processed by an ISO 17025:2017 and FBI QAS accredited forensic laboratory with over 18 years of experience from start to finish. SNP testing that is used for FGG was previously developed for family ancestry testing and required significantly more input DNA than what is needed for traditional forensic DNA analysis. In many cases, crime scene evidence results in limited amounts of DNA, and many cases previously did not yield enough DNA to conduct the SNP testing utilized for FGG.

    "This is new technology that we prioritized bringing online at our laboratory because we were seeing so many cases not eligible for analysis with the existing technology.” said Rachel Oefelein, Director of Research and Innovation for DNA Labs International. “We have already experienced the solving power of Kintelligence in casework, and we are thrilled to continue to assist law enforcement in 2022 with new leads on cold cases!"

    DNA Labs International was the first laboratory in the country to bring this technology online and is transforming how SNP testing is utilized for forensic genetic genealogy using the Kintelligence system. It was designed with forensic samples in mind to be human-specific and use 10,230 SNP markers specifically selected for FGG purposes. The ForenSeq™ Kintelligence SNP profile is uploaded to GEDmatch PRO for searching, and subsequent genealogy research. GEDmatch PRO is a dedicated portal designed to support police and forensic teams with investigative comparisons to GEDmatch data. This means faster and higher quality results with smaller inputs of DNA!

    In October of 2021, DNA Labs International completed the internal validations of three Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) platforms; ForenSeq™ mtDNA Whole Genome, ForenSeq™ Signature Prep Primer Set B, and ForenSeq™ Kintelligence. All three platforms are produced by Verogen utilizing the MiSeq FGx system.
    “When we launched the ForenSeq™ Kintelligence workflow, our aim was to expand access to FGG to all operational forensic laboratories.” said Brett Williams, Chief Executive Officer for Verogen Inc. “DLI's validation of ForenSeq™ Kintelligence and GEDmatch PRO will enhance the ability of investigators and forensic scientists to solve unsolvable cases without compromising on medical genetic privacy. We are proud to support our partners, like DLI, in their mission.

    About DNA Labs International:
    Since 2004, DNA Labs International has been providing clients with exceptional quality service based on open communications, equal attention to the importance of every case, and accurate and reliable results every time. They provide the latest technology available to solve cases, such as Forensic Genetic Genealogy, SpentShellTM ,for fired cartridge casings, the M-VAC®, a wet vacuum DNA collection tool, and STRmix®, a software program that can solve previously inconclusive DNA results. DNA Labs International is accredited by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), the country’s longest established provider of ISO 17025 accreditation to Forensic Sciences testing laboratories in the U.S.

    To learn more about DNA Labs International’s capabilities, visit Stay up to date on the latest in forensics by following DNA Labs International on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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