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  • 16 May 2024 11:09 AM | Anonymous

    Here is an announcement written by the folks at American Ancestors® (also known as the New England Historic Genealogical Society):

    Watch Video: Filmmaker and PBS host of Finding Your Roots Henry Louis Gates, Jr., interviews Woods about “the power and promise of family history.” 


    May 16, 2024—Boston, Mass.—The Board of Trustees for American Ancestors, a national center for family history, heritage, and culture, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ryan J. Woods to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. Woods has held multiple positions at the nonprofit since joining the staff in 2007, including managerial roles for web technology and educational programs. Over his long tenure, he has helped grow and diversify American Ancestors’ services and offerings, further establishing its reputation as a national resource for family history research and public programming about genealogy and heritage.

    In his most recent position as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Woods oversaw the launch of major initiatives that have received national attention and praise, including 10 Million Names, a project to recover the names of the 10 million people of African descent who were enslaved in what is now the United States of America; the Boston Tea Party Descendants Program, an initiative celebrating the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, in cooperation with the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, to trace the full lineages of the Boston Tea Party participants; Historic Catholic Records Online, an initiative to make the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston historical sacramental records publicly accessible and searchable; and Mayflower 2020, a multifaceted project that included publicly searchable lineages of the Mayflower passengers and their descendants, alongside perspectives from descendants of the Native peoples they encountered.

    “Ryan is the right person to take American Ancestors further into the 21st century. He has an expansive, inclusive vision and the experience and ability to realize that vision,” commented American Ancestors Board Chair David M. Trebing. “My colleagues will agree with me that Ryan has proven himself time and again to be an inspiring leader with a deep dedication to family history.” 

    “I am honored to be the temporary steward of this extraordinary organization,” said Woods. “American Ancestors can help anyone learn more about their family history, and that knowledge builds a foundation for increased self-esteem, social awareness, and civic pride. Though our collaborative work with our many partners, colleagues, and friends in the cultural and historical space, we intend to bring the power and promise of family history to as many people as possible.”

    Woods succeeds D. Brenton Simons, who, after serving as CEO for eighteen years, remains on staff as President Emeritus and Chief Stewardship Officer. 

    In a recent interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., filmmaker and host of the PBS show Finding Your Roots, Woods talked about his vision for American Ancestors. Gates and Woods discussed how knowing one’s own family history can create positive change. Woods provided context for the organization’s many projects, including its national youth education program, designed to help educators reap the benefits of teaching genealogy in the classroom. Woods also revealed details about the upcoming Family Heritage Experience, a unique in-person, exhibit-based experience scheduled to open in late fall 2024 on Newbury Street in Boston.  

    Prior to joining American Ancestors, Woods held executive positions at cultural and historical institutions, including the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), at which he received the Archivist of the United States' Award for Outstanding Public Service. Woods also serves in leadership roles for several nonprofit historical and cultural organizations. He was recently appointed commissioner of the Special Commission for the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; he is on the advisory board for the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party and is a past President of the Boston University School of Education Alumni Association.

    About American Ancestors® 

    American Ancestors is a national center for family history, heritage, and culture based in Boston, Massachusetts, and one of the world’s top destinations for family history research, according to USA Today. American Ancestors is the global brand of New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), America’s oldest and largest genealogical society (founded in 1845). American Ancestors serves more than 450,000 members and online subscribers engaged in family history nationally and around the world through its website,, with more than one billion names in its databases. Located in Boston’s Back Bay, American Ancestors is home to a world-class research center and archive, an expert staff, and the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center. It maintains a publishing division that produces original genealogical research, scholarship, and educational materials, including the Register, the flagship journal of American genealogy since 1847, and American Ancestors, its award-winning magazine.

  • 16 May 2024 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    Have you ever wondered, "Who was the original owner of my house? When was my house built? What is the history of my house?" An online article provides help. contains an article that describes how to find historic information that can be shared or searched. The site is looking for stories about all houses, whether historic or not. Quoting the web site:

    "Here are eight things about your house you may want to know:

        • History of major construction and work on the property.

        • Details of previous sales.

        • Names associated with the address.

        • Environmental information about the property.

        • Deaths that occurred on the property.

        • Fires or gas leaks that have been reported on the property.

        • Meth activity.

        • Historic photos of the home and neighborhood."

    Every old house has a story to tell. What gives a home such great value is its history, and what I mean by history is not necessarily the age of the building but the stories that come with it. The reason most people like historic buildings isn’t just because of its architecture, which can be replicated. It’s the knowing that another preceded you, and lifetimes occurred within that home’s walls.

    The article also states:

    “Before you scour the public record and historic documents for information about your house, be sure that you are ready to deal with the issues that may arise from knowing more. If you discover major issues with a property you own – whether it's soil contamination that makes it dangerous to live there or a murder that occurred in the house – you may have to disclose the information to would-be buyers when you try to sell the property.

    “Still, the more you know, the better equipped you are to restore a historical property, make the structure safe for your family or simply stay away if it's a home you haven't purchased yet.”

    You can learn more at:

  • 16 May 2024 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    Mills Kelly, Senior Scholar and Former Director, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM); Professor, History, has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities for: “Off the Wall: Digital Preservation of (U.S.) Civil War Graffiti Houses.”

    Kelly will use the funding to support the building and publishing of a digital archive focused on soldiers’ graffiti found in Civil War-era structures located in the greater Northern Virginia region operated by six local project partners.

    The digital archive will provide scholars, students, and the public access to not only the graffiti, but also to a reasonably large collection of ancillary archival material associated with the graffiti. 

    Taken together, the resources in this digital collection will provide users – both the general public and scholars – with a digital resource that offers unique and often unexpected insights into the lived experience of war in America from 1861-1865. 

    Kelly has received $350,000 for this project. Funding will begin in June 2024 and will end in late May 2026.

  • 15 May 2024 5:15 PM | Anonymous

    Their names and stories deserve to be known. That is the foundation of the 246 Years Project started by Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia seven years ago. 

    On Monday, the organizers debuted the fruits of that work—an online database that sheds light on the lives of enslaved people whose records of existence were largely limited to property legers from the beginning of African slavery in America in 1619 to emancipation through the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.  

    The announcement was made from the stately, columned portico of the Davis mansion at Morven Park, a building that dates back to the early 1800s when the estate operated with slave labor as a Virginia plantation. At least 81 enslaved people worked on the property, according to records that helped launch the database. 

    “It's that part of our history here. That is really the reason, and it was the inspiration for establishing the 246 Years Project,” Morven Park Executive Director and CEO Stacey Metcalfe said. “The 246 Years Project is dedicated to documenting and honoring the millions of enslaved men, women, and children whose names and life stories deserve to be known.”

    The project started with Morven Park’s records but expanded to include work conducted by the historical records staff at in the Loudoun County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. And organizers are working for a far broader reach.

    “We're hoping that the 246 Years Project will bring to light thousands of untold stories of strength, resilience, and persistence. It's intended to create an opportunity for truth-telling, memorialization, and reconciliation,” Metcalfe said. 

    Through the support of donors, she noted, the information will be available free of charge. 

    You can read more in an article by Norman K. Styer published in the web site at:

  • 15 May 2024 11:31 AM | Anonymous

    This announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists:

    FREE Board for Certification of Genealogists -Sponsored Webinar

    Editing Your Own Writing – Part 1” 

    by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGG, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

    Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 8:00 p.m. (EDT) 

    Genealogists write. Their written narratives include stories of ancestral families, biographies of individual ancestors, and explanations supporting genealogical proofs. For their writing to succeed, genealogists—like all effective writers—repeatedly self-edit everything they write. The process results in polished products that the genealogist’s readers will understand, enjoy, and cherish.

    Emphasizing genealogical narrative, these two webinars will address the self-editing process. Part 1 will focus on “big-picture” editing, including stages of self-editing; focus; keeping the writer out of the narrative; editing the writing’s overall structure, organization, and flow; and improving major and minor subdivisions of written genealogical narratives, including paragraphing. Part 2 will focus on “nitty-gritty” editing, including capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, word choice, and reducing word count.

    Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGG, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, is an award-winning genealogical researcher, writer, editor, and educator. He co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 2003 through 2018, and he is the author of the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Proof and Mastering Genealogical Documentation. He has been certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists since 1994. A professor emeritus at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., Tom teaches genealogical research methods at week-long genealogy institutes. He also speaks at national, regional, and local seminars in the United States and internationally, and he writes frequently on genealogical evidence, proof, and problem solving. 

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “Editing Your Own Writing – Part 1” by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGG. This webinar airs Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.  

    When you register before May 21 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 Webinarswebsite.

    “Education is one of the most significant ways of achieving BCG’s mission for promoting public confidence in genealogy through uniform standards of competence,” said President Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG. “We appreciate this opportunity to provide these webinars that focus on the standards that help family historians of all levels practice good genealogy.”

    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 2024, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at  For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (

  • 15 May 2024 11:11 AM | Anonymous

    Here is an article that is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. But it is a bargain that probably will probably appeal to many readers of this newsletter:

    I am a big fan of Chromebooks and Chromebox systems, the low powered and (usually) super cheap laptop and desktop computers that perform most all the functions of high-powered Windows and Macintosh computers. They often appear in the online ads for less than $100 (USA funds). I have several: one on the end table beside the couch in my living room (great for use while watching TV) plus one in each bedroom, one in my in-home “office," and even one in my automobile (I don’t use it while driving!). 

    Chromebooks surf the web, run word processors (although perhaps in equivalent programs, such as Google Documents, not Microsoft Word), spreadsheets, presentation programs (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint), play games, read and write email messages, perform all functions on Facebook, and perform much more. In other words, Chromebooks are super easy-to-use products that never get viruses, and run probably 98% of the applications that most people perform on their high-powered computers. 

    Now a Dell Chromebook 3180 which had prices starting at $219 when it was released in 2017, is down to a very affordable $31 from Walmart. That’s $188 in savings, but there’s a catch — this isn’t a brand new device. If you’re fine with that, and you just need a basic machine for simple tasks, then proceed with your purchase immediately if you don’t want to miss out on this bargain.

    This is a great offer for your second computer (a laptop that is great when traveling), or for a child or grandchild, for an adult who is not a very experienced computer user, or most anyone else looking for a low-cost machine that will perform 98% pf the tasks that most people normally perform on computers. The only major thing missing is that it will not run some of the very high-power-demanding computer games nor will it run high-powered engineering CAD/CAM or similar programs (most of the people using those programs already know they will not work properly on Chromebooks or Chromebox systems). Again, it never gets viruses.

    At this price (under $31) you will not obtain a super high-powered state-of-the-art computing system. However, I doubt if you will find anything that is cheaper. To repeat myself, it "will perform 98% pf the tasks that most people normally perform on computers."

    I don't know how long this sale will last but it is available right now at:

    NOTE: I am not compensated in any way by anyone for publicizing this article. I am simply a satisfied Chromebook user who wishes to "spread the word."

    NOTE #2: I am not planning to buy one of these myself. While this price is extremely attractive, I already have too many Chromebooks! All purchased at much higher prices.

  • 15 May 2024 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    University of Kentucky Libraries is proud to recognize exemplary faculty member Ruth Bryan as the recipient of the 2024 Paul A. Willis Outstanding Faculty Award.

    Named for long-time UK Libraries director Paul A. Willis, the Willis Award is given annually to a UK Libraries faculty member who stands out among their colleagues through outstanding achievements in their primary assignment and exemplary leadership, creativity and spirit of service. Faculty members are nominated by their colleagues and selected by the UK Libraries National Advisory Board.

    “An immensely talented archivist, Ruth has played an essential role during her tenure at UK Libraries,” said Doug Way, dean of UK Libraries. “Ruth has not only helped to preserve the University’s history, but has ensured that it will remain accessible for generations to come. I am so pleased that her efforts and impact are being recognized with this honor.” 

    A certified archivist, Bryan serves as university archivist at the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), where she has worked since 2011. She leads donor relations, archival appraisal, collection management and public services and outreach for University of Kentucky records and related collections.

    As the state-authorized Records Officer for UK, Bryan manages the retention and destruction of all university records. She also serves on the leadership teams for the SCRC and the Libraries’ Research & Discovery Division.

    You can read more in an article by Robby Hardesty published in the web site at:

  • 15 May 2024 8:41 AM | Anonymous

    You can find an interesting article dealing with the pros and cons of digitized artifacts, written by John R. Legg, published on the web site, at:

  • 15 May 2024 8:35 AM | Anonymous

    This spring, the Digital Library of Georgia released several new grant-funded newspaper titles to the Georgia Historic Newspapers website. Included below is a list of the newly available titles.

    Titles digitized in partnership with the Burke County Archives

    Title funded by the City of Covington in partnership with the Newton County Library System

    Titles funded by the Douglas County Genealogical Society

    Titles made available as part of the Georgia Newspaper Project Born Digital Project

    Titles funded by the Georgia Public Library Service

    Title funded by the Lucy Hilton Maddox Memorial Library

    Title funded by the Monroe County Historical Society

    Title funded by the National Digital Newspaper Program with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

    Title funded by the University of Georgia Libraries

  • 15 May 2024 8:23 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release from Fyouture:

    Disclaimer: I have not used this product and have no idea as to it performance or value. I simply received a copy of the press release and decide to pass it on in case anyone is interested.

    ATLANTA, GA, UNITED STATES, May 14, 2024 / -- In a bold move that merges the charm of past communications with the innovations of the future, Fyouture announced today their initiative to seek partnerships with top companies in the genealogy industry. This strategic alliance aims to rejuvenate product offerings in the sector and appeal to an expanding market of users eager to connect their past with the future.

    Fyouture is a unique mobile application that allows users to send messages to their future descendants, offering a unique way to bridge generations with the touch of a button. Whether it’s advice, family secrets, or daily life stories, these time-capsuled messages can be scheduled to reach their recipients years, or even decades, into the future. Fyouture specializes in developing innovative mobile applications aimed at enhancing communication and connectivity across various user demographics. Fyouture brings a futuristic twist to traditional messaging, allowing users to send communications across time to their future kin.

    "With the genealogy industry experiencing a plateau in customer growth, Fyouture presents an exciting opportunity for these companies to diversify their portfolios and introduce a novel product that enhances their customer experience," said Quin Christian, Founder of Fyouture.

    Fyouture is currently open to discussions with established genealogy companies, aiming to forge partnerships that will maximize the reach and impact of this innovative technology. The ultimate goal is to negotiate a sale of the app, enhancing the product offering of prospective partners. This initiative represents a significant opportunity for genealogy companies to reverse the trend of a declining customer base and rejuvenate their business by integrating cutting-edge technology that captures the growing interest in personal and family legacies. For partnership inquiries and more information about Fyouture, please contact Corporate Communications.

    About Fyouture
    Fyouture is a U.S.-based mobile app startup focused on reimagining the way memories and messages are stored, shared, sent, and received, both now and in the future. Through offering a wide range of features on its iOS and Android app, the company aims to reinvent the way people deliver and receive messages for viewing in the future.

    Corporate Communications
    +1 206-219-2996
    Visit us on social media:

    You can learn more at:

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