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  • 7 May 2021 8:19 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (which is often abbreviated as SLIG):

    Concerns for the health and safety of participants during this program continues to be at the forefront of our minds. During the Academy, our smaller size makes it necessary to share space in the hotel with other groups, increasing health and safety risks during a second pandemic year.

    Therefore, we are pleased to announce the following changes:

    • The SLIG Academy for Professionals 2022 will again take place virtually. Following the success of this year’s virtual program, courses will meet in a weekto-week format, beginning January 3oth with orientation and ending in April.

    Two additional courses will be added to the already available options for 2022. These will be:

    1. Writing and Documenting for Peer Review with Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA

    2. Teaching Genealogy Classes in your Community with Katherine R. Willson

    To view the newly updated line-up of all courses please visit the Academy webpage at

    The Accreditation Course, Becoming an Accredited Genealogist Professional: The Thy, the What, the How with Diana Elder, AG, and Lisa Stokes, AG will move to SLIG during the week of January 9-14, 2022. This transition will allow participation in unique course experiences and sample testing at the Family History Library.

    Registration will still open on August 14, 2021, at 2:00 pm MDT. Enrollment will be limited to a single course.

    Course lengths will vary to support the designed curriculum for each course.

    Additional information may be found on our website,, as it becomes available.

    We look forward to seeing you – safe and healthy – virtually at SLIG Academy 2022.

  • 7 May 2021 1:07 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    This week’s Findmypast Friday sees the publication of a new and improved collection of Australian Passenger Lists featuring 9 million new records.

    Findmypast’s latest new additions also include an exclusive collection of Middlesex Poor Law records, new parish baptisms, marriages and burials from the Devon Family History Society and a whole host of historical newspapers.

    Australia, Inward, Outward & Coastal Passenger Lists 1826-1972

    Did your ancestors travel to, from or around Australia? To help you uncover details of their voyage, Findmypast has merged their vast collection of Australian passenger lists into one simple search and added over 9 million new entries.

    This growing collection now contains over 26 million of records from multiple sources covering all corners of Australia, including;

      • Australian National Passenger Lists 1898-1972
      • New South Wales passenger lists (assisted & unassisted)
      • 1881 British census crew and passengers on ships arriving in New South Wales
      • Queensland customs house shipping passengers and crew 1852-1885
      • South Australia passenger lists 1847-1886
      • Passengers to South Australia on board Buffalo 1836
      • Tasmania Departures 1817-1863
      • Victoria inward passenger lists 1839-1923
      • Victoria outward passenger lists 1852-1915
      • Victoria coastal passenger lists 1852-1924

    Each record includes a transcript and many also include an image of the original record. Passenger lists vary widely in size, length, and level of detail, as there was no standardised format.

    Some record only a minimum of information about the passengers, while others are quite detailed. As well as revealing the dates and location of arrival and departure, many records will also reveal a variety of useful biographical details such as ages, occupations, nationalities, marital status, places of birth or residence

    Middlesex Poor Law Records

    Only searchable online at Findmypast, these fascinating records cover 10 Middlesex parishes between 1699 and 1846, including;

      • Chelsea, St Luke
      • Ealing, St Mary
      • Feltham, St Dunstan
      • Fulham, All Saints
      • Hammersmith, St Paul
      • New Brentford, St Laurence
      • Shepperton, St Nicholas
      • Staines, St Mary
      • Stanwell, St Mary
      • Uxbridge, St Margaret

    In the records, you'll find everything from settlement examinations to bastardy bonds, all packed with rich family details.

    Devon Parish Records

    Over 240,000 new parish baptisms, marriages and burials have been added to Findmypast’s unrivalled collection of Devon Parish records. Published in partnership with the Devon Family History Society, these new additions are now available to search online for the very first time, only on Findmypast. This includes;

    Check Findmypast’s Devon parish list for churches marked as 'New' for more detail and what is included.

    The partnership between Findmypast and the Devon FHS has already resulted in the online publication of over 1.5 million exclusive records from across the county and the two organisations will continue to work together to bring more vital records online for the first time.


    15 new brand new titles and pages from 25 existing publications are now available to search on FIndmypast. This week’s new releases include;

    While thousands of new pages have been added to;

  • 6 May 2021 11:57 AM | Anonymous

    If this legislation is passed and signed by the President, it will either drive many social media companies (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, SnapChat, Instagram, etc.) out of business or else will require a massive overhaul of their present business practices of spying on their users.

    Obviously, the social media companies will spend millions of dollars on lobbyists and others to prevent the passage of this bill. I suspect the next few months will provide a lot of entertainment as these powerhouses battle each other. 

    The following is a message posted to the IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, Inc.,) Public Records Access Alert mailing list and is republished here with permission:

    Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Data and Algorithm Transparency Agreement Act (DATA) to increase transparency by requiring big technology platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter to receive express consent to use American’s personal information.

    The DATA Act would also provide Americans with legal recourse against these companies if they believe their right to privacy has been violated.

    Currently, tech companies capitalize on algorithms to manipulate users, pushing them toward content the algorithm believes they would like or be interested in. These companies are also gathering massive amounts of personal data – and users have little to no control over how their data is used.

    The bill is S.1477 but is not yet back from the Government Printing Office.  To follow the bill’s progress go to:

    A summary which appeared in the local news media listed below states:

    Requires any internet platform, with an active monthly user base of 30 million or more U.S. users, that uses algorithms to increase or decrease the availability of content on its platform to:

      • Obtain user consent to collect data of the user’s preferences, habits, etc.;
      • Allow users to revoke or withdraw prior consent to data collection, and to request any user data previously collected be deleted or removed;
      • Obtain user consent to sell, share, or convey user data to a third-party entity;
      • Allow users to revoke or withdraw prior consent to sell, share, or convey the user’s data to a third-party entity;
      • Provide a plain language notice to users of the above requirements (in addition to any terms of service notifications), which will appear each login, unless affirmatively waived by the user.
      • Private right of action: If a platform provider violates any of these conditions, any individual user may file a federal lawsuit, and is entitled to minimum monetary damages of $5,000 per violation, plus any actual damages and attorney’s fees.

    To read more see:

    Jan Meisels Allen
    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 6 May 2021 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a public message from the Records Not Revenue team:


    Dear Friends of Records Not Revenue:

    US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) wants to know what YOU think!

    USCIS published a call for your comments in the Federal Registerand the deadline to submit is May 19th 2021. WE NEED YOU to make your voice heard about the Genealogy Program, AND to urge USCIS to transfe r their historical records to the National Archives (NARA).

    This is a rare opportunity to voice concerns about the USCIS Genealogy Program, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program, or about public access to information and records generally.

    We’ve provided all the information you need to know, including comment starters, on our website at

    What does USCIS want to know? USCIS wants to identify barriers between their services and your satisfaction. They framed the call for comments with a series of questions relating to the barriers. Don’t worry – all the information you need is at our website:

    Please make sure to submit your comments by May 19th. We need YOUR voice to demonstrate that Americans value our immigration history and records, and demand those records are preserved and available for research.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

    As ever, thanks for your time and efforts.


    The Records Not Revenue team

  • 5 May 2021 8:04 PM | Anonymous

    If you have French-Canadian ancestry, you probably have one, two, or perhaps a dozen filles du roi in your family tree. Several of them even have proven lines of descent from Charlemagne and a number of other royal families from throughout Europe. Obviously, that makes you a descendant of Charlemagne and other royal families.

    Who were these young French women known as les filles du roi? They traveled from France to what was then called New France, now known as Québec, between 1663 and 1673 as part of a program designed to boost the population by encouraging male immigrants to settle, marry French women, and raise families.

    In the early days, Québec (then called New France) was settled almost entirely by men. The early population consisted mostly of fur trappers, other adventurers, priests, and soldiers. As the years went by, farmers joined the immigrants as well. A few women did pay their own passage, but few single women wanted to leave their familiar places to move and settle in the harsh climate and conditions of New France. The lack of suitable female companionship encouraged the men of Québec to seek wives amongst the native population. The natives were mostly non-Christian, a source of concern to the many Jesuit priests who also were in Québec at the time.

    As if the farmers and fur trappers didn’t have enough competition finding wives, King Louis XIV sent almost 1,200 soldiers of the Carignan-Salières regiment to Québec in 1665 to fight the Iroquois Indians, who were aggressive and killed many settlers. The soldiers were deployed at strategic points of the territory to defend the colony and its residents. The regiment was successful, and a peace treaty with the Iroquois was signed on July 10, 1667. The Regiment then returned to France but left behind 400 soldiers and officers, aged between 19 and 30, who all agreed to remain in the country as settlers. With an additional 400 young men added to the colony, the marriage problems worsened. Jean Talon, intendant of New France, carried out the colony’s first census. He recorded that the population was a bit more than 3,000, with 719 unmarried males and only 45 unmarried females living in the colony. This did not bode well for the future of the settlement.

    The growth of population in the competing English colonies to the south, including married couples, also created concern among some French officials about their ability to maintain their claim in the New World.

    In the custom of the day, the oldest daughter of a family in France received as large a dowry as possible from her parents to improve her chances of marriage. Dowries often included furniture, household articles, silver, land, or other inherited goods. Younger daughters of the same family typically received smaller dowries. Daughters of impoverished families often received no dowry at all, which reduced their chances of finding a suitable mate. These younger daughters were prime candidates for an opportunity in the New World.

    The Intendant of New France, Jean Talon, proposed that King Louis XIV sponsor passage of at least 500 women to New France. The king agreed, and eventually nearly twice the number were recruited. They were predominantly between the ages of 12 and 25, and many had to supply a letter of reference from their parish priest before they would be chosen for emigration to New France. Research by the historical demographer Yves Landry determines that there were in total about 770 to 850 filles du roi who settled in New France between 1663 and 1673.

    About 80% of the filles du roi were from the Paris, Normandy and Western regions of France. Others came from rural areas and a few were from other countries. According to the records of Marie de l’ Incarnation, who knew many of these women personally, there were among them one Moor (a black woman of African descent), one Portuguese, one German, and one Dutch woman.

    The Arrival of the French Girls at Quebec, 1667. Image is courtesy of Wikimedia.

    All were women of fine moral character, as verified by the recommendation from a priest that each woman needed to obtain before being accepted for emigration.

    The King of France paid for transportation to New France of any eligible young woman. He also offered a dowry for each, to be awarded upon her marriage to a young Frenchman. Each woman’s dowry typically consisted of 1 chest, 1 taffeta kerchief, 1 ribbon for shoes, 100 needles, 1 comb, 1 spool of white thread, 1 pair of stockings, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of scissors, 2 knives, about 1,000 pins, 1 bonnet, 4 laces, and 2 silver livres (French coins). Many also received chickens, pigs, and other livestock. Because the King of France paid the dowries instead of the parents, these women were referred to as the “Daughters of the King,” or “Filles du roi.”

    These hardy immigrant women married, often within days after their arrival in New France. The ships carrying the filles du roi would travel up the St. Lawrence River, stopping first at Québec, then at Trois-Rivières, and lastly at Montréal. Most of the filles du roi married and raised families. In fact, many of them raised large families in the tradition of the day. Many of their sons and daughters went on to also have large families, and so on and so forth for generations. As a result, millions of living people are descended from this group of pioneer women. Descendants of the filles du roi today may be found throughout Canada, the United States, and many other countries.

    An alphabetical listing of all the known Filles du Roi and their husbands is available at

    The same web site provides a lot more information about the Filles du Roi and then provides an extensive list of references to other reputable sources of information at

    There are many other Web sites devoted to the Filles du roi. Use your favorite search engine to find them or click here for a search on Google.

    Not all of the filles du roi came from impoverished families. Several appear to have been the younger daughters of rather wealthy families, including some with royal ancestry. Perhaps the best-documented royal ancestry of a filles du roi is that of Catherine de Baillon, tracing her ancestry back to Charlemagne (and before) along with connections to many other royal families throughout Europe.

    A rather good description of Catherine de Baillon's ancestry back to Charlemagne may be found at: and another at

  • 5 May 2021 12:28 PM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This isn't really a genealogy article. However, genealogists are usually very familiar with the reasons for writing a will. Whether the information in this article applies to you or to a loved one, I will suggest that all genealogists and everyone else should be aware of this information.

    Do you own Bitcoins or other cyber-currencies? Do your living parents or other family members own such digital assets? Yes, even your adult children may have digital currencies and probably have not considered inheritance issues in the case of their unexpected demise. If you or any relative who owns crypto-currencies should die unexpectedly, who gets the inheritance? Do the future heirs know how to claim and retrieve the cyber currency?

    Most cyber-currency experts agree that the safest method of storing digital currencies is in a hardware wallet, such as the very popular Trezor and Ledger devices. Use of these high security pieces of hardware almost guarantees that no one can hack in and steal the valuable assets that are stored within the hardware wallet. After all, these digital wallets are usually powered off and disconnected from any computer when being used to store assets. How can a hacker steal from something that is disconnected and powered off?

    Trezor Model T, a very popular hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies

    NOTE: The only exposure of hardware wallets is for the few seconds the wallet is being used to add or to remove assets from the device: plug it into your computer's USB port, add or remove funds, and then immediately unplug the hardware wallet.

    As secure as the hardware wallets may be, they create a problem for potential heirs. Not only hackers but also heirs are locked out if they do not know how to access the funds. The decentralized and unregulated nature of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies means that without the keys to access a hardware wallet, nobody has any method of accessing any funds. Unlike a bank or a stockbroker, obtaining a court order, along with a copy of the death certificate, is useless with a hardware crypto wallet. Nobody, and I do mean NOBODY, knows how to access the funds if the deceased did not share that information or leave instructions behind. There is no backup copy at any corporation's offices.

    Ledger Nano S - Another very popular cryptocurrency hardware wallet

    Some people store their crypto currencies online in less-secure online wallets and in online exchanges that will convert your dollars, Euros, pounds, or other government-issued currency into Bitcoins, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Monero, Dash, Ripple, and other forms of digital assets. If the funds are stored in such a service, the company that stores the assets probably (and let's repeat that word: PROBABLY) will release the funds to a legally-recognized heir as long as they have received the court order, a copy of the death certificate, and legal proof of identification of the heir(s). That would appear to be a solution.

    In fact, the solution isn't very good at all. First of all, hackers have stolen funds in the past from online exchanges whether the owner of the funds is deceased or not. Most security experts will tell you that no one should ever use online crypto currency exchanges to store significant amounts of funds.

    If you have $10 or $20 stored in an online wallet, you obviously don't want to spend $100 or so for a secure hardware wallet! However, if you have significant funds to be stored, a hardware wallet is considered to be a "must have." Next, the exchanges in different countries obviously operate under different laws. Will the exchange located in the Ukraine honor court orders of a U.S. court if the some of the heirs live in Hong Kong?

    Another problem is that there are hundred of online cryptocurrency exchange services in many different countries. The larger and better-known services include Coinbase, Coinsquare, bitFlyer, Kraken, Gemini,, Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, and many more. That's an abbreviated list; there are many more such services in the U.S. and overseas. The deceased may or may not have used a crypto-currency exchange service in his or her home country. It is completely legal and not unusual for a U.S. resident to use the services of a crypto-currency exchange in England, Singapore, or Belarus. Overseas cryptocurrency exchanges often offer better prices and may have stronger privacy laws than do the U.S., Canadian, or other exchanges.

    The future heir(s) will need to know which service(s) the deceased person used.

    So how does any person make sure that his or her heirs can obtain the assets to which they are legally entitled? Obviously, the person with the knowledge has to share that knowledge with a trusted family member, a friend, or perhaps an attorney. Perhaps the best way is to never verbally tell anyone else but to leave written instructions along with a message of "to be opened only in case of my death or total disability."

    One good place to keep the instructions for accessing your digital assets is to keep the instructions in the same place as your will. However, most legal experts will suggest you not put those instructions in the text of your last will and testament. The reason is that, in most jurisdictions, after your death, your will processed in probate court and the text of the will becomes a public document. Anyone then has a legal right to obtain a copy of the will from the court and read its contents. (There may be exceptions in some jurisdictions.) If you place instructions in how to access your funds in the text of a will, those instructions will become public once the will is probated. Besides, there is no legal requirement to place access instructions in the text of a will.

    Perhaps the better solution is to document the information required to access your digital wealth, seal the instructions in an envelope, and store the envelope in a safe place alongside the last will and testament. Perhaps in your lawyer's office is a good place. Since the instructions are not a part of the will itself, most courts will not consider the external document(s) to be public information.

    As always, ask your attorney for advice concerning the rules and regulations in your area.

    NOTE: Of course, the person needs to inform future heirs that (1.) there is a will and (2). to provide information about the lawyer's name and office address.

    Providing for passage of digital assets to legal heirs is actually a simple process but only if the owner of the assets takes steps NOW to provide a smooth transition. If such steps are not taken and if the heir(s) of those assets cannot access the digital currencies, those coins will become abandoned.

    For more information about safely and securely storing your cryptocurrency and to make that information available to your heirs at the appropriate time, read: Cryptoasset Inheritance Planning: A Simple Guide for Owners by Pamela Morgan. It is available from Amazon as a FREE Kindle book (the Kindle hardware device is not included) or as a paperback, currently selling for $29.04. The same book may also be available in other bookstores. Look for ISBN 1947910116.

  • 4 May 2021 5:46 PM | Anonymous

    The following was written by FamilySearch:

    Explore over 1 million new United States, Enlisted and Officer Muster Rolls and Rosters, 1916-1939. And 2.6M more Catholic Church Records this week on FamilySearch from Venezuela 1577–1995Guatemala 1581–1977Bolivia 1566–1996, and Mexico (Coahuila 1627–1978, Distrito Federal 1514–1970, Guerrero 1576–1979, Jalisco 1590–1979, México 1567–1970, Nayarit 1596–1967, Oaxaca 1559–1988, Puebla 1545–1977, San Luis Potosí 1586–1977, Tamaulipas 1703–1964, and Zacatecas 1605–1980). 

    Look for new leads for your ancestral research questions in additional US Military Records, Bureau of Land Management Tract Books 1800– ca. 1955, and expanded US collections for Illinois, IowaLouisiana, and Wisconsin

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

    (The full list is very long, too long to list here. However, you can find the full list at:


    About FamilySearch

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • 4 May 2021 4:57 PM | Anonymous

    A new electronic system to modernise the way marriages are registered.

    Major changes to the way marriages in England and Wales are registered are being introduced to help modernise the system.

    From today (May 4), a single electronic marriage register will be created to make the system simpler and more efficient.

    It will also correct a historic anomaly to allow for the names of both parents of the couple to be included in the marriage entry and on marriage certificates for the first time, instead of only their fathers’ names.

    These regulations to amend the Marriage Act mark the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837.

    Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:

    When Hazel and I got married in 2017, my dad and Hazel’s mum shared the day with us, but sadly my mum and Hazel’s dad could not be with us, both having passed away beforehand. Whilst Hazel’s dad could still be part of the day by being listed on our marriage certificate, one was missing - my mum.

    These changes bring the registration process into the 21st century and means no parent will be missing on their child’s wedding day.

    Marriages are currently registered by the couple signing a register book, which is held at each register office, in churches and chapels, and at religious premises registered for marriage.

    Creating a single electronic marriage register will save time and money and is a more secure system, eliminating the need for data to be extracted from hard copies.

    You can read more in the GOV.UK web site at

  • 4 May 2021 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    A newsletter reader posted a comment today in the Discussion Forum stating he couldn't find past articles in this web site. I thought I'd post an answer here just in case anyone else has the same problem:

    1. Go to (almost) any page on this web site and click on the SEARCH BOX:

    2. Enter "Book Review" (or any other word or phrase that you seek) and press ENTER.

    3. A second or two later, a link to every book review will appear.

    Click on any one of them to read the full text of that article.

    Try it!

    Again, you can search for any word or combination of words that you see. The SEARCH command is one of the most powerful features of this web site! I use it more-or-less daily.

    - Dick Eastman

  • 3 May 2021 5:06 PM | Anonymous

    Happy Star Wars Day!

    Perhaps I should say, "May the Fourth Be With You."

    Star Wars Day is a (very) informal commemorative day observed annually on May 4th to celebrate George Lucas's Star Wars media franchise. Observance of the day has spread quickly through media and grassroots celebrations since the franchise began in 1977.

    The date of May 4th originated from the pun "May the Fourth be with you", a variant of the popular Star Wars catchphrase "May the Force be with you". Even though the holiday was not created or declared by Lucasfilm, many Star Wars fans across the world have chosen to celebrate the holiday. It has since been embraced by Lucasfilm and parent company Disney as an annual celebration of Star Wars.

    The first recorded reference was the phrase being first used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took the job as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. An online news article from the Danish public broadcaster says her political party, the Conservatives, placed a congratulatory advertisement in The London Evening News, saying "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."

    Of course, that reference to May 4, 1979 has nothing to do with Star Wars. However, why let that stand in the way of a good promotion?

    Perhaps a better reference is that on May 4th, 2015, astronauts in the International Space Station watched the Star Wars movie.

    Whatever the reason, I would like to wish you and Yoda a Happy Star Wars Day!

    By the way, the next day, May 5th is Cinco de Mayo in Mexico but is also known as "Revenge of the Fifth" day in a galaxy not so far away.

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