Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 25th Is National DNA Day

National DNA Day, organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, is Tuesday, April 25, 2017.  The event commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953.  The website lists numerous events from Tuesday's Twitter Chat with  NASA Astronaut Kathleen Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space, to discussions at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Several organizations are offering deals on DNA-related products to celebrate the occasion. Here are a few of the bargains: 

1. Lisa Louise Cook is offering 27% off a Genetic Genealogy Bundle.  Additionally, Lisa's website is offering a coupon code DNADAY to save 15% on all single DNA guides, print or digital. 
2. Ancestry.com is offering 20% off AncestryDNA kits.
3. Family Tree DNA has several options on sale.
4. Two DNA workshops will be offered at the 2017 FGS National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 30-September 2. Both DNA workshops are sponsored by Ancestry ProGenealogists and require pre-registration in order to attend.  Check here for more details.
5. The MoSGA conference will offer two DNA-related from Eric Wells, the first will be a DNA introduction for beginners while the second will detail a case study that offers insights into how to use DNA results with your other genealogical research.  Join us on August 4-5 in Columbia!


Google Earth's New Release Offers Genealogists Updated Tools

Google Earth released an update that offers several great tools for genealogists.  The new search function has been updated with "knowledge cards" that provide encyclopedic details of locations. Users can orbit the world in 3D and utilize the new "Voyager" that incorporates BBC Earth and NASA.  There is a "wildcard" function that allows you to view random locations.  While some of these functions such as street view may not be available for small towns and villages, I was able to pinpoint the church where my 3x great-grandfather was baptized in a small town in Germany.  Happy hunting!


Halifax, Nova Scotia Releases Photographs of the Harbor as the Centennial of Halifax Explosion Nears

On December 6, 1917, a French cargo ship, the SS Mont-Blanc, fully loaded with wartime explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the Halifax harbor. A resulting fire on board the French ship ignited the cargo and caused an explosion that devastated the Richmond District of Halifax. It was the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Approximately 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and an estimated 9,000 others were injured.




As Halifax prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, the Municipal Archives is highlighting historical sources on how the communities of Halifax and Dartmouth responded to the tragedy, and how the city worked with the Halifax Relief Commission to rebuild. Visit 100years100stories.ca for information on commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

American Ancestors Opens Probate Databases April 18-25

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering free access to thirty-two probate databases for one week, April 18-25. The databases contain some of the earliest records in the New England colonies.

Anyone can sign in as a guest member to gain access on AmericanAncestors.org. There is a free webinar on how to use probate  records.

Monday, April 10, 2017

WWI at the National Archives

First, I would like to express my thanks for a reader Vicki Root/Carpenter-Runk/Patton Evans for pointing out that some of the links from the April 6th post were not working.  They are fixed now.

Second, I failed to mention the best source for U.S. records related to World War One are at the National Archives.  In commemorating the war, the National Archives has created a special portal for the WWI holdings. This page provides a breadth of information on current programs, photographs, genealogical records and a mobile app that allows the user to build your own collection of memorabilia.

Gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, firing 37 mm gun during an advance on German entrenched positions. Courtesy of the National Archives.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Today is 100th Anniversary of the U.S. Entry into World War I - Links Repaired

Today is the 100 anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.  I share some of the most profound coverage here.
The Washington Post has never before published photos here.
The Associated Press shares their coverage here.
Family Tree Magazine has a time line for other countries entry into the conflict here.
Watch the ceremony at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO on YouTube

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Fold3 Offering Free Access to Civil War Records Through April 15, 2017

Fold3 is opening its Civil War records collection through mid-April including the popular collections:  

  • Civil War “Widows’ Pensions” Files
  • Civil War Pensions Index
  • Soldier Service Records
  • Southern Claims Commission

Gen. Edwin V. Sumner and staff in Warrenton, Virginia, 
main eastern theater of the Civil War, Nov. 13, 1862
Photograph courtesy of Library of Congress, 
Prints & Photographs Division, [cwp 4a40037] 


I have found several of my Missouri ancestors' records on Fold3 and have added a memory page for some of my favorites.  Fold3 allows members to create a memorial page where records can be saved and a picture may be uploaded. For example, see my Great-Grandfather (x3) Carl C. Raiffeisen's page here.  He immigrated to mid-Missouri in 1849, married and lived in Morgan County for the rest of his life.  He served in the Benton County Home Guards during the Civil War.