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  • 11 May 2022 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by the U.S. Interior Department:

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A first-of-its-kind federal study of Native American boarding schools that for over a century sought to assimilate Indigenous children into white society has identified more than 400 such schools that were supported by the U.S. government and more than 50 associated burial sites, a figure that could grow exponentially as research continues.

    The report released Wednesday by the Interior Department expands the number of schools that were known to have operated for 150 years, starting in the early 19th century and coinciding with the removal of many tribes from their ancestral lands.

    The dark history of the boarding schools — where children who were taken from their families were prohibited from speaking their Native American languages and often abused — has been felt deeply across Indian Country and through generations.

    Many children never returned home. The investigation has so far turned up over 500 deaths at 19 schools, though the Interior Department said that number could climb to the thousands or even tens of thousands.

    “Many of those children were buried in unmarked or poorly maintained burial sites far from their Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, the Native Hawaiian Community, and families, often hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away,” the report said.

    A second volume of the report will cover the burial sites as well as the federal government’s financial investment in the schools and the impacts of the boarding schools on Indigenous communities, the Interior Department said.

    “The consequences of federal Indian boarding school policies — including the intergenerational trauma caused by the family separation and cultural eradication inflicted upon generations of children as young as 4 years old — are heartbreaking and undeniable,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.

    Haaland, who is Laguna, announced an initiative last June to investigate the troubled legacy of boarding schools and uncover the truth about the government’s role in them. The 408 schools her agency identified operated in 37 states or territories, many of them in Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico.

    The Interior Department acknowledged the number of schools identified could change as more data is gathered. The coronavirus pandemic and budget restrictions hindered some of the research over the last year, said Bryan Newland, the Interior Department's assistant secretary for Indian Affairs.

    The department has so far found at least 53 burial sites at or near the U.S. boarding schools, both marked and unmarked.

    The U.S. government directly ran some of the boarding schools. Catholic, Protestant and other churches operated others with federal funding, backed by U.S. laws and policies to “civilize” Native Americans.

    The Interior Department report was prompted by the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites in Canada that brought back painful memories for Indigenous communities.

    Haaland also announced Wednesday a yearlong tour for Interior Department officials that will allow former boarding school students from Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages and Native Hawaiian communities to share their stories as part of a permanent oral history collection.

    “It is my priority to not only give voice to the survivors and descendants of federal Indian boarding school policies, but also to address the lasting legacies of these policies so Indigenous Peoples can continue to grow and heal,” she said.

    Boarding school conditions varied across the U.S. and Canada. While some former students have reported positive experiences, children at the schools often were subjected to military-style discipline and had their long hair cut.

    Early curricula focused heavily on outdated vocational skills, including homemaking for girls.

    Tribal leaders have pressed the agency to ensure that any children’s remains that are found are properly cared for and delivered back to their tribes, if desired. The burial sites' locations will not be released publicly to prevent them from being disturbed, Newland said.

    Accounting for the whereabouts of children who died has been difficult because records weren’t always kept. Ground penetrating radar has been used in some places to search for remains.

    The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, which created an early inventory of the schools, has said Interior’s work will be an important step for the U.S. in reckoning with its role in the schools but noted that the agency’s authority is limited.

    Later this week, a U.S. House subcommittee will hear testimony on a bill to create a truth and healing commission modeled after one in Canada. Several church groups are backing the legislation.

  • 11 May 2022 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Don't look now, but Friday of this week is Friday, the 13th of the month. That is an especially bad day for people who suffer from a phobia famously called triskaidekaphobia, a fear of the number 13. Any Friday that falls on the 13th of the month is especially bad, causing the fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek words Paraskeví (meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís (meaning “thirteen”).

    In the Christian world the number 13 has long been associated with many bad events. Jesus had 12 disciples, which meant there were a total of 13 people in attendance the evening of the Last Supper, with Judas being received as the 13th guest.

    On Friday 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered Knights Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested. The Knights Templar were charged with numerous other offenses, such as financial corruption, fraud, secrecy, denying Christ, spitting on the crucifix, idol worship, blasphemy, and various obscenities. The soldiers arrested and imprisoned all the Knights Templar they could find. Most of those imprisoned were tortured until they died. Many in France were burned at the stake, including Grand Master Jacques de Molay. Only a few Knights Templar survived, mostly those who were in distant countries at the time, and they went into hiding.

    The German Luftwaffe bombed Buckingham Palace on Friday, the 13th of September, 1940.

    Hip hop star Tupac Shakur died on Friday, September 13, 1996, of gunshot wounds suffered in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting.

    The Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed off the coast of Italy, killing 30 people, on Friday, the 13th of January 2012.

    In 1907, Thomas W. Lawson published a novel called Friday, the Thirteenth, with the story of an unscrupulous broker taking advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th. The novel became a best seller of the time.

    Then, of course, we have the hockey mask-wearing killer named Jason in the movie Friday the 13th, released in 1980.

    How many Friday the 13ths have you survived? A calculator embedded in an article by Philip Bump in The Washington Post gives the answer. You can check it out at:

    In spite of these misfortunes, there is no truth to the idea that Friday the 13th is unlucky. Still, I am not taking any chances. You won’t see me this Friday as I am taking the day off and staying in bed.

  • 11 May 2022 9:29 AM | Anonymous

    Here is an interesting recent twist to use of public DNA databases by New York law enforcement agencies: such a policy will put some people under greater scrutiny by law enforcement simply because they are related to a person who has been convicted of a crime.

    Dave Pollock, a staff attorney for the DNA Unit at the Legal Aid Society of New York, which represented the plaintiffs, said familial searches unfairly target people of color.

    You can read more at:

  • 11 May 2022 9:12 AM | Anonymous

    Over the last few decades an increasing amount of our lives has been moved online. With the advent of social media and cloud storage, things that were once analog or physical have become digital. In most ways, this is terrific: we can share and communicate effortlessly, creation has become simpler and more powerful, and we can represent ourselves with a few mouse clicks or taps of our finger. The days of mailing out paper resumes on fancy paper are long gone, for example—nowadays we spend our time building awesome LinkedIn profiles and portfolio web sites.

    But as more and more of our lives winds up online, the question of what will happen to it all when we move on from the earthly realm begins to loom. This goes beyond asking your buddy to delete your porn stash when you die unexpectedly—your digital legacy includes just about every aspect of your life these days, from the photos you have on your phone that you never get around to naming and organizing to the social media followings you worked hard to build (and possibly monetize). Some of us put so much effort into our Facebook pages they remain powerful monuments to our lives, complete with photos, correspondence, and major events, and you might want your kids or grandkids to have access to the record of your life, the same way you have an ancestor’s photo albums or journals. There’s also the question of the stuff you paid for—from music files to digital movies to cryptocurrency. Who controls those when you’re gone?

    One thing is for sure: We’re all going to die someday, and that means we’re going to leave behind a mountain of digital files and online accounts. Spending a little bit of time planning what happens to all of that will spare your loved ones (and your lawyers) a lot of trouble

    You can read more in an article by Jeff Somers and published in the web site at:

  • 11 May 2022 8:48 AM | Anonymous

    Given how it’s often discussed and described, particularly in the more brazen and annoying ads for puzzle-based app games, you’d be forgiven for assuming that intelligence is something well understood and easily measured, like your weight or height.

    The truth is far more complicated, confusing, and even controversial. For one, while the dictionary definitions are fairly straightforward, describing intelligence as, for example, ‘the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills’, the scientific consensus on what intelligence actually is, regarding how it should be defined and assessed, is still disputed.

    You can read more in an article by Dean Burnett and published in the BBC Science Focus magazine at:

  • 11 May 2022 8:32 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Allen County Public Library:

    Genealogy Center: monthly virtual programming

      •  Fort Wayne, IN
      • Visit Website
      • Presented By: Allen County Public Library
      • Dates:
        May 10, 2022
        May 12, 2022
        May 17, 2022
        May 19, 2022
        May 24, 2022
        May 26, 2022
        May 31, 2022
      • Location: VIRTUAL EVENT
      • Time: 2:30pm Tuesdays; 6:30pm Thursdays
      • Price: FREE
      • Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes


    Learn from the staff at the Genealogy Center with their virtual education programs in November and learn tips to help you further connect with your family history.

    Mark your calendars and sign up for these Virtual programs -

    • May 10 at 2:30 PM
      Researching at the Mississippi Archives with Ally Mellon
      May 12 at 6:30 PM
      Ask the Experts: Death, Dying, and Genealogy with Allison Singleton, Curt Witcher, and Elizabeth Hodges
      May 17 at 2:30 PM
      I Came, I Saw, I Captured: Photography Skills for Beginners with Louis N. Hodges Jr.
      May 19 at 6:30 PM
      What Happens After Death: Finding and Using Probate Records with David Singleton
      May 24 at 2:30 PM
      Preservation Primer, Part One: The Basics of Preserving our Physical Artifacts with Curt Witcher
      May 26 at 6:30 PM
      Preservation Primer, Part Two: The Basics of Writing our Stories to Preserve our Families' Histories with Curt Witcher
      May 31 at 2:30 PM
      Preserving Your Family's History Through Scanning with Kay Spears

    Using the Genealogical Proof Standard and DNA as Power Tools

    Register for the virtual sessions in advance by following the links above or navigate to the event listings at

    Want to explore previously recorded sessions? Check out the Genealogy Center’s YouTube playlist, where they will upload previously recorded sessions.


    Due to ongoing precautions during the COVID-19 Pandemic, events may be subject to changes, attendance restrictions, or cancellations. Please check with the event host and or venue for any events you are planning to attend. 

  • 10 May 2022 5:24 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG):


    “Five Wives & A Feather Bed: Using Indirect and Negative Evidence

    to Resolve Conflicting Claims”

    by Mark A. Wentling, MLS, CG

    Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 8:00 p.m. (EDT) 

    Genealogical scholars make conflicting claims about the number of wives, and the number and mothers of the children, of Joseph Brownell, a Mayflower descendant of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Did Joseph have one, two or five wives? Did he have one, three, or eight children? To which wife, or wives, were they born? Reasonably exhaustive research and standards-based evaluation of indirect and negative evidence found in Quaker meeting records, and vital, land and probate records prove that Joseph Brownell had five wives and eight children. Correlation of this evidence with the timespan of each marriage enables his children to be assigned to their correct mothers.
    Mark A. Wentling, MLS, CG, is a full-time genealogist in the Boston-Providence area.  He is an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven, where he teaches genealogy principles and methods. His forensic specialties include heir searching and military repatriation. He also specializes in New York and New England family history, including Mayflower and Revolutionary War lineages, and lighthouse keepers. His research has been published in The Register.  He is a past facilitator in the Genealogy Principles course at Boston University and is currently a ProGen Study Group mentor. He previously served as Vice President of APG’s New England Chapter, and as the first Vice President of APG’s Forensic Genealogy Special Interest Group.
    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “Five Wives & A Feather Bed: Using Indirect and Negative Evidence to Resolve Conflicting Claims” by Mark A. Wentling, MLS, CG. This webinar airs Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

    When you register before May 17 with our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars ( you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Anyone with schedule conflicts may access the webinar at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

    “Every month the Board for Certification of Genealogists offers a new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to promote excellence in research and working to standards in an ethical manner.” said President LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASG. “These webinars are presented by certified associates and offer a quality genealogical educational experience.”

    Following the free period for this webinar, BCG receives a small commission if you view this or any BCG webinar by clicking our affiliate link: (

    To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2022, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at  For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (
  • 10 May 2022 9:04 AM | Anonymous

    A Civil War soldier from Maine finally has a gravestone in his home state more than 150 years after his death.

    Thanks to the efforts of two brothers in Buckfield, the Veterans Administration issued a gravestone for their great-great-great grandfather Atwood Young.

    Last weekend, Philip and Jamison McAlister held a ceremony at the cemetery plot on their family farm.

    “Makes you feel proud. We got something done that should have been done 158 years ago,” Philip McAlister said.

    The brothers say it should have been done in 1864, when Young, who lived near Bingham for most of his life, was killed on a beach at the Battle of Fort Wagner in South Carolina.

    You can read more in an article and watch a video available on the WMTW web site about this man who had lied about his age to enlist at 50 years old at

  • 9 May 2022 4:23 PM | Anonymous

    The Brazos Valley African American Museum in Bryan, Texas and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have partnered to establish a family history and genealogical research center inside the museum.

    The Pruitt-Sadberry Genealogy Family History Search will be unveiled to the public on May 10, 2022, and will be available for use by appointment only.

    Appointments are available in one-hour time slots on most Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and include one-on-one assistance from family history and genealogy-trained volunteers.

    In a joint statement, the Brazos Valley African American Museum board said, “We are very excited to offer this free service to the community. This is a resource that can benefit adults of all ages.” No previous experience with family history research is required to use this service, but the more information a patron brings to their first appointment, the more successful their experience will be. The volunteers who will be assisting at the center are trained in genealogical research.

    Patrons will be able to schedule an appointment at or by visiting the museum beginning May 10.

  • 9 May 2022 9:17 AM | Anonymous

    I often highlight articles in other publications that I believe will be of interest to genealogists. Here is another example of that:

    "You may have a flatbed scanner at home or perhaps one of those 'all in one' printer/scanner/copier machines, but did you know your smartphone’s camera can also double as a flatbed scanner?

    "It’s not only fast and convenient to scan something when away from your computer, but the quality is surprisingly good, thanks to much better camera sensors and smarter software.

    "Your iPhone or Android device is also ideal for digitizing old photos (in photo frames, albums or hanging on the wall), documents (menus, contracts, vaccination proof), notes, business cards, whiteboards and receipts (ideal for expense tracking or reimbursement) – and then storing those images for when you need them or sending them to someone else, if desired, via email or text."

    I have used my smartphone many times to take images at local archives, of microfilm, and even of taking images of old family photographs when visiting a distant relative's home.#@#_WA_-_CURSOR_-_POINT_#@#

    Today's "interesting article was written by Marc Saltzman and is published in the Yahoo/Finance web site at:

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