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Travel Back in Time with Genealogy Records Newly Online

Travel Back in Time with Genealogy Records Newly Online

This week’s roundup features rare, unique, and just plain fun new collections available online or coming soon. Go back in time to 1923 with new public domain additions, explore San Francisco as it was in 1940 online and in Google Earth, keep an eye out for rare Caribbean newspapers, a free database of Washington State newspapers, and a new collection from the Digital Library of Georgia. Get ready to time-travel and find your ancestors!

A Peek Into 1923

For the first time in 20 years, new works are entering the public domain in the United States and those works were all published in 1923.  From the Internet Archive’s recent announcement, “Settle in with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, a Butterfinger, or a refreshing Popsicle (all invented in 1923!)” and explore the films, popular music, and entertainment from 1923. This update also includes 20,000 texts like newspapers, books, and poetry. You can browse fashion magazines, sheet music, and so much more. Get a glimpse into life in 1923, and your ancestor might just be hiding in plain sight!

San Francisco: David Rumsey Maps

Recently recovered after decades of dusty storage, and immense 42- by 38-foot wooden replica of the city of San Francisco as it was in 1940 has been cleaned and photographed by a dedicated team of individuals as part of the SFMOMA and San Francisco Public Library project called Public Knowledge: Take Part. The model is comprised of 158 pieces at a scale of 1 inch to 100 feet.

From David Rumsey’s website announcement: “The model pieces were expertly photographed by Beth LaBerge. David Rumsey created the large Composite image [right] of the 158 pieces, as well as the image and metadata database of all the images, which he hosts. Rumsey also georeferenced the large Composite image and placed it in Google Earth.”

[Image right courtesy of www.DavidRumsey.com]

Caribbean Newspapers

The University of Florida has received a grant to digitize Caribbean newspapers. From the announcement (scroll to second article on the link page): “The grant award will support a continuing partnership between the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida and the University of Puerto Rico (UPR)-Rio Piedras Campus Libraries to digitize each institution’s unique, hidden holdings of Caribbean newspapers on master microfilm. The team, partners of the Digital Library of the Caribbean, will digitize and make freely available 800,000 pages of pre-1923 Caribbean newspapers.”

Washington State Newspapers

From the Washington Secretary of State: Browse and search historical publications with new Washington Digital Newspapers website. “The site features new titles in the State Library’s digital newspaper collection, with full-text article search of more than 400,000 pages from the State Library’s collection of historic Washington newspapers. Visitors can interact with the site with the help of text correction features to improve search results on dark or damaged pages, by attaching subject tags to articles, and saving their search history for larger research projects.”

Visit https://washingtondigitalnewspapers.org/ to start browsing now!

Digital Library of Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia has recently announced a new collection for Atlanta’s Interdenominational Theological Center and Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman Colleges. “As part of the CLIR-funded, ‘Our Story’ project, Atlanta University Center, Spelman College, and the DLG are happy to announce additional content documenting the largest consortium of African American private institutions of higher education.” In this collection, you’ll find scholarly journals, yearbooks, photographs, course catalogs, and more. 

Additional “Our Story” updates are available through the DLG blog.

More genealogy time-travel

Time travel technology may not be available yet, but Lisa’s Premium eLearning Video is the next best thing! You’ll discover ways to find content that can immerse you in the past to explore the cultural and historical events, places, and people that affected your ancestors’ lives. You’ll explore interactive timelines, advances in video, and geographic tools that can dramatically impact your understanding of your family history. Plus a downloadable handout is included. Available now to all Premium eLearning Members! (Not a member? Sign up today!)

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

Big Genealogy Records Updates for England & the U.S.

Big Genealogy Records Updates for England & the U.S.

Big updates to UK records king Findmypast are new this week. Discover your ancestors in updated collections for Kent and Norfolk, along with an update to a fascinating collection for Devon, England. Also new and updated this week are US records including marriage licenses for New Jersey, Boston Pilot newspaper ads, Ohio County naturalization records, and historic Georgia newspapers. 

Featured: Updates at Findmypast

Genealogy giant subscription website Findmypast has kicked off the new year with big updates to their collections for Kent and Norfolk. Findmypast is our favorite records website for finding your ancestors in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Click here to learn more about why they should be at the top of your list for your UK research.

Updates to Kent

Kent Baptisms: “Over 23,000 new records covering Anglican and Wesleyan baptisms in Dover, Gravesend, Higham, Nettlestead and Maidstone have been added to our collection of Kent parish baptisms. The new additions span the years 1736-1917.”

Kent Marriages: Explore more than “22,000 new records covering 9 Anglican parishes in Aylesford, Boxley, Higham and Nettlestead…Parish marriage registers will provide you with birth years, father’s names, occupations, and residences for both the bride and groom as well as the date and location of their marriage.”

Kent Burials: “Over 203,000 additional records covering the former Grange Road Cemetery in Gillingham, now a public open space, Fort Pitt Military Cemetery and the cemetery in Robin Hood Lane, Chatham have been added to the collection.”

Updates to Norfolk

Norfolk Baptisms: Check out the 76,000 additional records that have been added, spanning 1777 to 1990. This update covers the parishes of North Creake, Ringland, Southwood, Thornham and Worstead.

Norfolk Banns: Banns of marriage are the public announcement in a Christian parish church of a forthcoming marriage. In this update are 33,000 new Norfolk Banns covering the parishes of Rockland All Saints & St Andrew, Roughton, Snetterton and Yaxham. 

Norfolk Marriages: “Over 27,000 new records covering the parishes of North Creake, Rockland All Saints & St Andrew, Snetterton, Somerleyton, Southwood, Wacton, Wells next the Sea, Westacre and Worstead. The new additions span the years 1777 to 1984 and will reveal a combination of names, dates and locations related to both the bride and groom.”

Norfolk Burials: “Search over 15,000 recent additions to our collection of Norfolk Burials covering the parishes of North Creake, Rockland All Saints & St Andrew, Southwood, Wells next the Sea and Worstead. The transcripts and images will list a combination of your ancestors’ burial dates, ages and residences at time of death, and their birth years.”

Devon Social & Institutional Records

From Findmypast: “Over 76,000 new records have been added to our collection of Devon Social & Institutional Records. Search this extraordinarily rich set of records to find paupers and vagrants, apprentices, peddlers and tradesmen. Find out if they got married, were vaccinated against smallpox or got Christmas presents while their father was fighting WW1. Explore more than two centuries of social history to find rare details of the lives of ordinary people.”

New U.S. Records & Collections

New Jersey: MyHeritage has recently added a new collection: New Jersey Marriage License Index, 1915-2016. With over 11 million records, “this collection is an index to marriage licenses filed at the New Jersey State Clerk Offices from 1915 to 2016. The index contains the given names and surnames of both the bride and the groom, the year of the license application, and the state file number. The images in this collection have been obtained through the outstanding work and efforts of Reclaim the Records.”

Boston, Massachusettes: Did any of your Irish ancestors emigrate to the United States? Search this unique collection of Boston Pilot Newspaper Information Wanted Ads from Findmypast. These ads were placed in the Boston Pilot newspaper by family members and others looking for lost friends and relatives from 1831 to 1920. From the description: “These records provide an insight into Irish immigration and reflect the tumultuous times that led to the Irish diaspora such as the Great Irish Famine and the United States Civil War.”

Ohio County: Free records website FamilySearch has added new records to their Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977 collection. “Index and images of naturalization records from county courthouses in Ohio. The record content and available years vary by county, though most content falls between 1818 and 1954.”

Georgia: Lastly, we love this new collection from the Digital Library of Georgia. They have digitized approximately 53,930 pages of Georgia newspaper titles published prior to 1861 from microfilm held by the Georgia Newspaper Project (http://www.libs.uga.edu/gnp/). The project creates full-text searchable versions of the newspapers and presents them online for free in its Georgia Historic Newspapers database at http://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu. 

Try Findmypast FREE for 14 Days

We know there are a lot of records websites out there, and each with their own subscription costs. So why not make a game plan of what you want to research and set aside dedicated time during a 14-day free trial? Findmypast offers incredible collections and resources for those seeking their ancestors in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. You can take our word for it or try it out for yourself with a free trial that you can cancel any time. Click here to get started.

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 225

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 225

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 225

Get ready for a fun and inspiring start to your new genealogy year. I’m not going to lecture you about how to get organized and all that – you get enough of that New Year banter other places. Today I’m going to bring you a talented lady who’s a sharp genealogist and just happens to be one of the hosts of the television series Genealogy Road show., Kenyatta Berry.

Download the Show Notes PDF in the Genealogy Gems Podcast app

 

GEM: A Conversation with Kenyatta D. Berry (Genealogy Roadshow)

I had the pleasure of working with Kenyatta Berry last summer when we filmed a webinar together at the FGS national conference. She was beaming from ear to ear about the book she was working on, and I encouraged her get in touch with me when it was done so we could talk about it here on the show.

Well, the book turned out to be a beauty: it’s called The Family Tree Toolkit. It’s a great overview for those new to genealogy, and  a quick reference manual for more experienced genealogists with all of its charts and resource lists.

Kenyatta asked me to moderate her Dallas book tour event. In December of 2018 we met up at the Dallas main library in downtown Dallas for An Evening with Kenyatta. This was a wonderful opportunity to not only spend the evening with her and a room full of dedicated genealogists, but also to record it all and bring it you!

In today’s episode, Kenyatta Berry shares how she caught the genealogy bug, busting brick walls, her thoughts on DNA, and of course some of the most memorable experiences on the Genealogy Roadshow.

Kenyatta Berry’s book The Family Tree Toolkit is available here.
If you enjoyed this episode and want to get a copy of Kenyatta’s book, we appreciate when you use our link (above). This financially supports us at no extra cost to you, helping us to bring this free podcast to you each month. Thank you!

GEM: A Family History Discovery in Home Movies

I made an amazing discovery this week thanks to my guest Dr. David Haas from episode 223. As you’ll recall David shared his family’s history of making home movies, and the hours of old film footage dating all the way back to the 1920s that he had restored and digitized. His story inspired me to start digging through my closets and I found the canisters of 8mm film that I had converted to VHS back in the 1990s.  The problem with that first conversion is that 1) VHS is completely obsolete. And 2) the film which dated back to the 1960s was converted in its deteriorated state. It was washed out and grainy making it hard to see everything.

So, in December I sent those original films off to the same company that David used – Video Conversion Experts in Chandler, AZ. Right after the new year the fully restored and digitized files arrived on my doorstep along with the original films. The results are jaw-dropping. The film is gorgeous color just like David’s were, clear as the first day they were taken back in the ‘60s, and now finally in a digital format that I can use for all kinds of projects and sharing.

But here’s the kicker, in reviewing them I made a startling discovery.
About 20 minutes into the film my great grandfather came on the screen. This is the only known film of him in existence, and I was floored that I hadn’t spotted him before. But the VHS was so washed out it wasn’t obvious. Now I see him smiling and standing with his son (my grandfather) and his son (my uncle). Three generations of Burkett men, the oldest having been born in 1880 – and all there on film for me to see.

old home movies and genealogy - grandpa

Left to right: My uncle, my great grandfather, and my grandfather c. 1962
View the restored video on my Instagram here

I love finding genealogical documents but I would take moving images of my ancestors any day of the week over a document. It just goes to prove that you can never say never, that at any given moment something can surface that you never thought possible.

Thank you to Video Conversion Experts!
They did a phenomenal job, but that’s not surprising because they are one of the top labs in the country. They restore video for the movie and TV industry too. They offer varying levels of restoration. It’s not cheap, but if you need professional restoration it’s an investment you won’t regret. I certainly don’t. We don’t have a promo code with Video Conversion Experts but be sure and tell them you heard about them here on the podcast and sign up for their sale emails.

In fact, we received this comment on the episode from Jodi. She writes:
The episode about home movies and David Haas was wonderful. I had also found some old film footage when my parents moved back in 2011. I debated about getting them transferred to digital because of the price. But my father was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I am SO glad that I spent the money to get the project done. He was able to see the old films of his family and explain to me who some of the people were. What a gift! Thank you for encouraging people to do this and sharing all of your knowledge with us so graciously.

Click here to view her old family videos on YouTube. 

I took a look at Jodi’s videos, and they’re wonderful. She did a tremendous job with the documentation in the video descriptions. Absolutely brilliant the way she included the linked time stamps to the various videos that she had posted to YouTube. She really took to heart our follow up conversation in episode 224 about how to share the videos once you digitize them.

Larsen Digital Saves Money and Handles a Variety of Media
Yesterday I received a batch of VHS tapes that Larsen Digital converted for me. I’ve known Kristen Larsen for several years. They offer an excellent affordable option that is safe, reliable and great quality. They also really stand out because they can pretty much convert anything you have. I sent them VHS, Mini DVs and even a reel of audio tape and some cassettes of family interviews. They handled all of it affordably and Kristin and her team communicate with you along the way, so you can rest easy that all your precious memories is in good hands.

I have about a zillion family history projects I want to do now that I have these audio interviews in an mp3 digital format. My first plan is to create some Animoto videos where I can drag and drop the audio in with the scanned photos that they describe.

You can contact Larsen Digital at www.larsendigital.com 
Use the promo code GENGEM so you can get 15% off your order.

larsen digital old home movies

 

Genealogy Gems on InstagramView My Video Find on Instagram
Head to Instagram.com/genealogygems (image right) to see the restored video of my great grandfather. Instagram is my favorite social media platform and one that I post to personally nearly every day. You can download the app to your phone for free from your app store and then just search for Lisa Louise Cooke in the app and tap follow. I post genealogy tips and ideas, behind the scenes and stuff about me and my family. It’s a lot of fun!

 

 

More with Kenyatta Berry

We’re going to have a lot of fun this year! In the next Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode (#167). Premium members will hear the Q&A we did with Kenyatta after the interview was over.

If you’re not a member yet, you can fix that today here.  

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer
Bill Cooke, Audio Editor
Lacey Cooke, Service Manager

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Genealogy Gems earns from qualifying purchases you make when clicking from the links we provide. It doesn’t cost you anything extra but it helps support our free blog and podcast. Thank you!

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