The Japanese WWII Internment – 75 years ago today

Camp Harmony, under construction in 1942, at the Puyallup Washington State Fairgrounds. 7,390 people of Japanese decent were interned here. Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library.

As I’ve written a number of times on this blog, our family had friends of Japanese ancestry who lived here in the Tacoma/Puyallup/Orting area of Western Washington. They were interned in “camps” during the Second World War. The presidential order for that round-up of American citizens took place exactly 75 years ago today. One of those camps – although a temporary collection point – was Camp Harmony, right here at the (Puyallup) Washington State Fairgrounds. See the photo. We attended many concerts in that grandstand behind the temporary housing – the Beach Boys, John Denver, and Ricky Nelson, just to name a few.

This was a shameful period in American history. Our small town of Orting was hit hard by it – the uncalled-for racism and the unrooting of our citizens is still felt today – all these years later. Our community has healed, but it took a very long time.

The following is from the February 19, 2017 Los Angeles Times. It includes comments made by the Press at that time. Oh, my…:
Seventy-five years ago today, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, declaring parts of the United States to be military zones from which particular groups of people could be “excluded” for security reasons. The order set the stage for the relocation and internment, beginning the following month, of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens living on the West Coast.

To our lasting shame, here’s what The Times editorial page had to say about the matter at the time:
“This is war. And in wartime, the preservation of the nation becomes the first duty. Everything must be subordinated to that. Every necessary precaution must be taken to insure reasonable safety from spies and saboteurs so that our armed forces can function adequately and our industrial machinery may continue to work free from peril.”

And this:
“The time has come to realize that the rigors of war demand proper detention of Japanese and their immediate removal from the most acute danger spots. It is not a pleasant task. But it must be done and done now. There is no safe alternative.”

And this, a year or so later, when some people were calling for the release of those who had been interned:

“As a race, the Japanese have made for themselves a record for conscienceless treachery unsurpassed in history. Whatever small theoretical advantages there might be in releasing those under restraint in this country would be enormously outweighed by the risks involved.”

Read the full article.

New Historic Records Databases Posted at FamilySearch the Week of Feb 13 2017

The following is from FamilySearch:

Another 15 million indexed historic records have been added to FamilySearch’s vast collections. Included are a wide variety of records from 13 countries (including Argentina, Australia, Denmark, England, and the Netherlands) containing passenger lists, obituaries, school records, marriage records and more. And check out the 7 million Oklahoma school, Illinois church, Louisiana World War I Service, Michigan obituary, and North Carolina county marriage records. Search these free records and more at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Argentina, La Pampa, Catholic Church Records, 1882-1976 – 61,602 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Argentina, Mendoza, Catholic Church Records, 1665-1975 – 273,551 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Australia, Victoria, Outward Passenger Lists, 1852-1924 – 1,598,094 – 116,274 – New indexed records and images collection
Australia, New South Wales, Deceased Estate Files, 1880-1923 – 211,390 – 0 – New indexed records collection
British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries – 1,795,894 – 237,537 – New indexed records and images collection
Chile Civil Registration, 1885-1903 – 182,479 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015 – 54,266 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Croatia, Delnice Deanery Catholic Church Books, 1725-1926 – 47,665 – 3,485 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Czech Republic, School Registers, 1799-1953 – 0 – 2,011,878 – Added images to an existing collection
Denmark, Copenhagen City, Civil Marriages, 1739-1964, Index 1877-1964 – 33,214 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Honduras, Civil Registration, 1841-1968 – 71,620 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Hungary, Jewish Vital Records Index, 1800-1945 – 746 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Hungary Civil Registration, 1895-1980 – 41,377 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records – 728,435 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1986 – 68,551 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Sweden, Västernorrland Church Records, 1501-1940; index 1650-1860 – 0 – 1,313 – Added images to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES
California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994 – 3,422 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California, County Marriages, 1850-1952 – 27,451 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
District of Columbia Court and Emancipation Records, 1820-1863 – 0 – 12,462 – New browsable image collection.
Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925 – 194,888 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Louisiana World War I Service Records, 1917-1920 – 74,174 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006 – 449,089 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942 – 557,105 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York State Census, 1865 – 0 – 392 – Added images to an existing collection
North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 – 770,164 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio Tax Records, 1800-1850 – 487,520 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Oklahoma, School Records, 1895-1936 – 7,397,703 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925 – 19,345 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.

TLC Reveals the New Celebrities for the Seventh Season of Who Do You Think You Are?

The following is from Danielle Matlin at discovery.com:

New season premieres Sunday, March 5 at 10/9c

TLC’s Emmy Award-winning series, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returns this spring with a new group of celebrities ready to delve into their lineage and get answers to the questions they’ve wondered about their entire lives. Eight new one-hour episodes bring more unexpected turns and surprising discoveries of great historical significance. Executive Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, the new season premieres on Sunday, March 5th at 10/9c.

Check out the video about the upcoming seventh season by clicking or on the illustration.

This season’s celebrity contributors include:

  • Jessica Biel makes surprising discoveries that change what she thought knew about her heritage.
  • Julie Bowen uncovers the story of two relatives whose moral codes are from opposite ends of the spectrum.
  • Courteney Cox traces her maternal line back seven centuries to the Medieval times to discover royalty in her lineage and an unbelievable tale of family drama.
  • Jennifer Grey uncovers new information about the grandfather she thought she knew, learning how he survived adversity to become a beacon of his community.
  • Smokey Robinson searches for answers behind the mystery of why his grandfather disappeared from his children’s lives and finds a man tangled in a swirl of controversy.
  • John Stamos digs into the mystery of how his grandfather became an orphan, and learns of tensions between families that led to a horrible crime.
  • Liv Tyler learns that her family is tied into the complicated racial narrative of America.
  • Noah Wyle unravels the mystery of his maternal line, uncovering an ancestor who survived one of America’s bloodiest battles.

Ancestry, the leading family history company, is teaming up again with TLC as a sponsor of the upcoming season. As part of the show sponsorship, Ancestry provides exhaustive family history research on each of the featured celebrities to help make discoveries possible and build out the story of each episode.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? is produced for TLC by Shed Media (part of the alternative department at Warner Bros. Television) and Is or Isn’t Entertainment. The series is based on an original format created by Wall to Wall Media and Alex Graham. More information can be found at TLC.com/WDYTYA. ‘Like’ Who Do You Think You Are? on Facebook.com/WDYTYA and follow @WDYTYA on Twitter.

ABOUT TLC
Offering remarkable real-life stories without judgment, TLC shares everyday heart, humor, hope, and human connection with programming genres that include fascinating families, heartwarming transformations, and life’s milestone moments. TLC ended 2016 strong ranked as the #6 Female ad-supported Cable network in prime with W25-54; a top 10 network for the 10th year in a row.

TLC is a global brand available in more than 91 million homes in the US and 325 million households in 220 countries and territories. Viewers can enjoy their favorite shows anytime, anywhere through TLCgo – the network’s TVE offering featuring live and on demand access to complete seasons. A destination online, TLC.com offers in-depth fan sites and exclusive original video content. Fans can also interact with TLC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest. TLC is part of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers in 220 countries and territories to satisfy curiosity and engage superfans with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, sports and kids programming brands.

The New Consistency Checker for Online Family Trees at MyHeritage

NOTE: If you wish to order the bundle of the Full Subscription to MyHeritage & a DNA test for $199, Click on this link. The links below, as well as the link within the illustration just go to MyHeritage, and DO NOT include the special offer. I say this, because I’ve found that one of my readers was very confused, attempting to order the special offer directly from the MyHeritage blog, which these links go to. The offer is good through February 21, 2017.

I got a full demonstration of the new MyHeritage Family Tree Consistency Checker at RootsTech. This feature will make what could be a difficult project very simple. The following is from the MyHeritage Blog. To read more details, with examples, click on the illustration.

We’re excited to introduce the new Consistency Checker for online family trees at MyHeritage. This new tool scans your family tree and identifies mistakes and inconsistencies in your data so that you could make the necessary changes in your tree, improving its overall quality and accuracy.

The Consistency Checker employs 36 different checks on the family tree data, ranging from the obvious (e.g., a person was born before their parent, or when the parent was too young to be a parent) to the subtle and hard to find (e.g., a person was tagged in a photo and the photo is dated before the person’s birth; or two full siblings were born 5 months apart, which is impossible). Some of the issues it finds are factual mistakes (e.g. wrong birth date entered), some are bad practices (e.g. birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922, or prefix entered as part of the first name instead of in the prefix field), some are warnings about possible data entry errors (e.g. a woman’s married surname was apparently entered as her maiden surname, or a place was entered that looks suspiciously like a date) and some are inconsistencies you may want to fix, such as references to the same place name with two different spellings. Any issue you feel is fine and should intentionally not be addressed can easily be marked to be ignored and will not be reported again.

A similar Consistency Checker tool has long been available in our Family Tree Builder software and has been very much appreciated by the many users who have taken advantage of it. We are now providing it for the 37.1 million family trees managed by our users on the MyHeritage website. Genealogists who care about the accuracy of their information, as all genealogists should be, will be delighted with the opportunity to catch mistakes in their data and fix them. Take the challenge and run the Consistency Checker on your tree! Will your tree come out clean, with flying colors, or is it in need of serious cleanup? Most of the issues are easy to fix and we are sure that you will enjoy the process.

Read the full blog post.

OldNews USA Wins Top Honors at RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown

The Innovator Showdown at RootsTech was an exciting time this year. All ten of the finalists had impresive concepts and products, but all ten could not win. Five finalists were selected for the showdown on Friday – and OldNews USA walked away with $95,000 in cash and in-kind services. Following is the RootsTech news release:

Old news, it seems, is actually “new” news. Very innovative news in fact. Today at RootsTech, the world’s largest family history technology conference, OldNews USA took top honors in the 2017 Innovator Showdown, walking away with $95,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. OldNews is an android app designed to help users quickly discover their family in historical US newspapers. The app uses the Library of Congress “Chronicling America” collection of more than 11 million newspaper pages from 1789 to 1922 to deliver its results.

In front of a crowd of close to 14,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $199,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry. An experienced amateur genealogist, Bill Nelson of Auburn, Massachusetts, designed the program as a solution to tedious, difficult online newspaper searches. The OldNews USA app was designed to simplify and streamline the search process.

Using keywords, users can look for newspaper accounts of a person or topic with the option to look at articles of historical events. In a person search, you type names and dates into your mobile device and choose a location on Google Maps which produces a list of newspapers in the targeted geographic area for a time period. It brings up images of the actual newspapers with the name or event you are seeking highlighted so you can quickly locate it on the page. Images can be enlarged for easier access to detail.

(See video demo of OldNews USA)

Nelson is a software developer by trade. “I was new to android and needed something to practice on. I had felt the pain points of newspaper research and thought ‘this would be a good project,’” he said. Initially he developed the app for his own use, then realizing it could help other researchers, he expanded it into a mobile app.

OldNews is compatible with Android devices, but Nelson is working to create an app for IOS devices and computers. With his winnings, he can now get business and technological assistance to accelerate development. While OldNews USA is designed to search US newspapers, he hopes to adapted the app for other countries.

The 5 finalists were whittled down from more than 40 applicants from the US and Europe. Each took three minutes to convince the panel of five judges and live audience that their product was deserving of a chunk of the $190,000 in cash and prizes.

The major sponsors of the Innovator Showdown this year included Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kickstarter Seed Fund, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, and others.

After each presentation, there was a four-minute question and answer period between each contestant and the judges. The judges then selected the top three winners, and the viewing audience selected the People’s Choice Award winner.

With $190,000 in cash and in-kind prizes and services from sponsors at stake—an increase of nearly $100,000 from the original projection—the pressure, tension, and energy of the event was tremendous.

2017 RootsTech Showdown Winners

First Place Judges’ Choice ($90,000 cash, AWS credits, and an investment from Kickstart Seed Fund), Bill Nelson of OldNews USA.
Second Place Judges’ Choice ($44,000 cash and AWS credits), The Qroma tag mobile app for embedding stories into pictures, tagging them by voice commands, and making the data accessible on various platforms.
Third Place Judges’ Choice Award ($26,000 cash and AWS credits), Louis Kessler, Double Match Triangulator, an app to help sort DNA matches into groups of relatives.
People’s Choice ($25,000 cash and AWS credits), Kindex, an app designed to help users create searchable, shareable archives of family letters and other documents using tags to help users easily locate information.
Emberall was the other finalist. It provides a method to capture and store pictures and videos creating an accessible archive.

The judges for the final round included Alan Doan, CEO of Missouri Star Quilt Company, John Richards, Founder and CEO of Startup Ignition, Kenyatta Berry, host of The Genealogy Road Show, Thomas MacEntee, founder of High-Definition Genealogy, and Dalton J. Wright, partner in Kickstart Seed Fund.

The Innovator Showdown, now in its third year, was designed to foster innovation in the family history industry.

MyHeritage Launches “Photo Discoveries”

NOTE: If you wish to order the bundle of the Full Subscription to MyHeritage & a DNA test for $199, Click on this link. The links below, as well as the link within the illustration just go to MyHeritage, and DO NOT include the special offer. I say this, because I’ve found that one of my readers was very confused, attempting to order the special offer directly from the MyHeritage blog, which these links go to. The offer is good through February 21, 2017.

The following news release is from MyHeritage:

Exclusive feature delights users with photographs of their ancestors and relatives, added to their family tree in one click

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, February 10, 2017MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the launch of Photo Discoveries, an innovative feature which transforms family trees by automatically adding matching historical photos. A Photo Discovery provides users with a set of photographs of ancestors and relatives they may have never seen before, originating in family trees contributed by others. Users can add the photographs to the matching profiles in their family tree, in a single click.

Layered on top of MyHeritage’s highly accurate Smart Matching™ technology, which locates matching profiles in other family trees, and Instant Discoveries™, which enable users to add entire branches to their family tree in just a few clicks, Photo Discoveries identifies the profiles that have no photographs in the user’s family tree and provides photographs of these individuals from matching profiles on other family trees.

Users can add up to ten photographs per Photo Discovery, reject specific ones they do not wish to receive, and apply Photo Discoveries as many times as they would like. The photographs are then copied over to the associated profiles, preserving all useful metadata such as people tags, dates and place names.

“At MyHeritage we’re constantly brainstorming innovative new ways to make our industry-leading matching technologies even better,” said MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “Receiving a never-seen-before photograph of an ancestor is a delightful emotional experience, and one that we would like our users to enjoy as often as possible. Photo Discoveries deliver this and fulfill the promise of collaborative genealogy in a slick and gratifying one-click experience.”

Viewing Photo Discoveries in thumbnail form is free. Applying Photo Discoveries to one’s family tree requires a PremiumPlus or Complete subscription on MyHeritage.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading global destination for family history and DNA. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage has transformed family history into an activity that is accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and groundbreaking search and matching technologies. Through MyHeritage DNA, the company offers technologically advanced, affordable DNA tests that reveal users’ ethnic origins and previously unknown relatives. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to find new family members, discover ethnic origins, and to share family stories, past and present, and to treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages.

Music – It Runs in the Family – An Evening at RootsTech

Thursday evening we will enthrolled and entertained by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with an evening at the Assembly Hall in which they sang the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein. I was actually moved to tears a few times.

What really made it special was that between songs, Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III told stories about his famous family, the trials and trevails, as well as the triumphs. Andy is the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein II who collaborated with Richard Rodgers to bring us many of those timeless show tunes that were so much a part of many of our lives.

Special guest soloist Dallyn Vail Bayles sang in about half the songs. He did such a great job with Oklahoma! that I want to jump to my feet and yell as he wrapped it up. But I didn’t. I stayed dignified, and applauded loudly – yelling from my seat…

Following is a list of the songs they sang, with the Broadway show in italics:
It’s a Grand Night for Singing – State Fair
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin” – Oklahoma
Oklahoma! – Oklahoma!
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Carousel
If I Loved You – Carousel
Some Enchanted Evening – South Pacific
Hello, Young Lovers – The King and I
The Sound of Music – The Sound of Music
My Favorite Things – The Sound of Music
Climb Ev’ry Mountain – The Sound of Music

Catholic Records for Ireland, Britain & the USA Being Posted at FindMyPast

At Rootstech yesterday, Patty and I were able to visit with our old friend, Brian Donovan, who is the Licensing Manager at Findmypast. He brought us up to speed on what will be the most comprehensive online collection of Roman Catholic records for Ireland, Britain and the USA. Up to 100 million records. These records are being posted at FindMyPast.

The following is from their news release:

Findmypast is releasing over 3 million exclusive records including sacramental registers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1757 to 1916 as well as for the British Archdioceses of Westminster and Birmingham from 1657 onwards. This builds on last year’s publication of more than 10 million Irish Catholic parish registers.

Check the collection out by clicking here.

More about The Catholic Heritage Archive
The Catholic Church holds some of the oldest and best preserved genealogical records ever created. However, as many of these documents memorialise important religious sacraments such as baptism, marriage and burial, their privacy has long been protected and access to original copies has traditionally been hard to come by.

In collaboration with various Archdioceses of the Catholic Church, Findmypast is helping to bring these records online in one unified collection for the first time ever. Exclusively available on Findmypast, images of original documents will be completely free to view in many cases. Fully searchable transcripts will also be included, providing family historians from the around the world with easy access to these once closely guarded records.

The next phase of the Catholic Heritage Archive will include records from the archdioceses of New York and Baltimore as well as additional records from Philadelphia. There are over 30 million records in just these three dioceses. The digitization of the whole archive is a monumental undertaking and, when complete, will contain hundreds of millions of records for the USA alone.

Brian said; “The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world. Despite the popular perception that it had few adherents in Britain, or was not that important in American settlement, it has always been a significant component (up to 25%) of the population. The Catholic Heritage Archive will uncover the history of millions of Irish, Italian, German, Polish and many other nationalities as they made a new home in the USA.”

MyHeritage Appoints Prominent DNA Expert Dr. Yaniv Erlich as Chief Science Officer

The following news release was received from Daniel Horowitz at MyHeritage.com:

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah , February 9, 2017MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the appointment of Dr. Yaniv Erlich as its Chief Science Officer. Dr. Erlich, a DNA scientist of world renown, will lead scientific development and strategy for MyHeritage DNA, the company’s newly established DNA service for family history and ethnicity, and ensure that its products are built on a solid scientific foundation.

Dr. Erlich, nicknamed the Genome Hacker by Nature journal, brings to MyHeritage unparalleled experience in the field of genomics as Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computational Biology at Columbia University and as a Core Member at the New York Genome Center. He is also the former principal investigator and a Whitehead Fellow at MIT’s Whitehead Institute, founder of DNA.LAND and the principal investigator of the Erlich DNA lab.

Dr. Erlich completed his Ph.D. at the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2010, and has won numerous awards as a cutting-edge scientist, including the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award (2013), the Harold M. Weintraub Award (2010) and the IEEE/ACM-CS High Performance Computing Award (2008). Dr. Erlich has a B.Sc. degree cum laude in Neuroscience from Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Erlich’s research interests are diverse and cover many facets of computational human genetics, including population studies, DNA privacy, DNA storage and genetic research in crowd-sourced family trees.

“We’re delighted to welcome Yaniv to our management team. Yaniv’s expertise in computational genetics and its synergy with family history will provide the solid scientific foundation that is fundamental for setting apart our fast-growing DNA service from the others” said MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “We are committed to providing our users with the most accurate DNA results, and helping them understand more about themselves. Yaniv will lead a dedicated team of world-class scientists to help us achieve this.”

“I’m excited to join the talented team at MyHeritage and put my scientific experience to use by the millions of users on the MyHeritage platform,” said Dr. Erlich. “I’ve collaborated with MyHeritage since 2012 and have known them to be forward thinkers about building tools and platforms that enable massive scale scientific studies. I look forward to opening new horizons in consumer genetics in my new role, and further empowering our users with useful and creative tools that harness the latest scientific discoveries”.

MyHeritage DNA was launched in November 2016, offering simple DNA home-testing kits for determining users’ ethnic origins and discovering new relatives. The service is offered in more than 190 countries worldwide, in 42 languages.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading global destination for family history and DNA. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage has transformed family history into an activity that is accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and groundbreaking search and matching technologies. Through MyHeritage DNA, the company offers technologically advanced, affordable DNA tests that reveal users’ ethnic origins and previously unknown relatives. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to find new family members, discover ethnic origins, and to share family stories, past and present, and to treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages.

Looking for Groceries in Downtown Salt Lake City?

Over the years I’ve heard dozens of folks ask the question, Where can I buy groceries in Salt Lake? I’ve had folks ask me personally – and I’ve heard them ask at the front desk of the Plaza Hotel – where I always stay.

There didn’t used to be a satisfactory answer for those folks without a car. I’ve personally taken many people shopping! Full-range grocery stores were typically a couple miles away from the downtown hotels. Smiths is still there – it’s a great store – but it hasn’t gotten any closer…

That all changed a couple years ago when the City Creek Mall was built. There’s now a Harmon’s store within walking distance of the Temple Square area. The high-end full-blown grocery is located at the corner of 100 South and State Street (135 East 100 South, Salt Lake City). Now – if you’re staying at the Plaza, the Radisson, or the Marriot (all within a block of Temple Square), just walk over to the Temple Square UTA Trax platform. Take the FREE Trax ride East, then turning South to the City Center Trax platform. Get off, go 1 block East to State Street and you’re at Harmon’s. Better yet, you can do most of that without going out in the weather. When you get off the Trax at the Downtown platform, you can go into the City Creek Mall, make your way to the food court, and take the Tunnel (next to McDonald’s) under State Street, coming up at Harmon’s.

And don’t miss the deli upstairs at Harmons! There’s also a Post OIffice up there. Amazing!

Bottom line – you may have to walk (carrying your groceries) for about a couple blocks (most of that within City Creek) in total if you happen to be staying at the Plaza. Ask the cashiers to double-bag your stuff. Take a look at the Yelp reviews…

Illinois State Genealogical Society 2017 Annual Fall Conference – Call for proposals

The following is from the Illinois State Genealogical Society:

January 24, 2017 – Springfield, IL. – Lecture proposals are now being accepted for the Illinois State Genealogical Society 2017 Annual Fall Conference to be held October 27 & 28, 2017 at iWireless Center in Moline, IL.

This year’s conference theme is “Build Your Family Tree: DNA, Research, and Writing.” The ISGS Conference draws attendees of all experience levels, from the beginner to the professional and the hobbyist. Submissions utilizing our theme to promote the expansion of our knowledge and skills are encouraged as well as topics on Illinois, Midwest resources, and the Northwest Territory.

The deadline for submission of proposals is February 27, 2017. Notifications will be sent via email to all speakers who submitted proposals no later than March 10, 2017.

Please visit the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s website for more information. Contact the Conference Committee at isgsconference@ilgensoc.org with any questions.

The RootsTech 2017 Free Online Broadcast Schedule

Patty and I are heading to Salt Lake City Monday to participate in the annual RootsTech conference. For those of you who can’t make it, RootsTech is free live streaming 17 of the sessions. The following information is from RootsTech:

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (January 26, 2017)–Mark your calendars! RootsTech, the massive family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 8-11, 2017, announced its free live online streaming schedule for 17 of its popular sessions including Jonathan and Drew Scott of HGTV’s Property Brothers, Star Trek’s Levar Burton, The Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, and the Genetic Genealogist, CeCe Moore, Liz Wiseman, and Steve Rockwood.. The live broadcasts online give those unable to attend in-person worldwide a sampling of the show’s marquee content. Interested viewers will be able to watch the select broadcasts live at RootsTech.org.

“RootsTech 2017 offers over 200 sessions for those fortunate to attend in-person,” said Chad Schumacher, RootsTech marketing manager. “However, the select sessions we will live stream for free will expand the show’s reach significantly, giving many, many more the opportunity to participate remotely online in this world class conference.” In 2016, over 150,000 viewers watched the conference sessions streamed live online. Even more are expected in 2017.

The streamed sessions will include the popular general sessions and a sampling of technology and family history presentations appealing to varied interests.

RootsTech Streaming Schedule

Watch at RootsTech.org. No registration is required to view the live streams. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST). The stream will automatically refresh at the beginning of each session (otherwise use the Refresh button on your browser).

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Innovator Summit General Session
Steve Rockwood (CEO, FamilySearch)
Liz Wiseman (Author, Multipliers)

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Industry Trends and Outlook
Craig Bott and Guest Panel

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Innovation – Best Practices and Applications
Cydni Tetro

Thursday, February 9, 2017

8:30a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Steve Rockwood
Jonathan and Drew Scott (HGTV’s Property Brothers)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Getting Started in Genealogy
Kelli Bergheimer

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
DNA: The Glue that Holds Families Together
Diahan Southard

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
DNA Matching on MyHeritage
Dana Drutman

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look and What’s Available
Lara Diamond

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Family History is Anything but Boring
Crystal Farish and Rhonna Farrer

Friday, February 10, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Levar Burton (Star Trek, RootsTech, Reading Rainbow)
Special Guest Panel

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Mother’s, Daughters, Wives: Tracing Female Lines
Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist)

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Censational Census Strategies
Mary Kircher Roddy

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage
Sunny Morton

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Cross the Atlantic with Religious Records
Jen Baldwin

Saturday, February 11, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Cece Moore (The Genetic Genealogist)
Buddy Valastro (The Cake Boss)

11:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Journaling Principles that Work
Steve Reed

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Don’t Just Be a Searcher, Be a Researcher
Crista Cowan

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Creating Google Alerts for your Genealogy
Katherine R. Wilson

Over 600 Graves Damaged in the Last 2 Years at Columbus, Ohio’s Green Lawn Cemetery

The following excerpt is from an article first posted in the Columbus Dispatch:

Yellow caution tape flapped in the wind, crisscrossing the entrance of a mausoleum erected nearly 100 years ago.

It’s the latest sign of vandalism at Green Lawn Cemetery, where more than 600 grave sites have been damaged in the past two years at a cost of more than $1 million.

The latest incident occurred on Jan. 9 when a man entered through a broken fence and damaged a mausoleum and eight grave sites before grabbing a fistful of American flags from the graves of veterans and lighting them afire. He tossed the burning flags into a brush pile — an act caught by a security camera — before leaving the cemetery.

“Fences are a lot like locks. They keep honest people out,” said Randy Rogers, a trustee on the cemetery’s volunteer board.

The cemetery has grave sites of five governors and five Medal of Honor recipients, including Civil War veteran Ovid Smith, whose marker was damaged by vandals on Aug. 14.

Read the full article.

9,686 Nazi SS Commanders & Auschwitz Guards Names & Photos Posted Online

The Polish Institute of National Remembrance (INR) has posted the names of nearly 10,000 Nazi SS commanders and guards who helped in the extermination of more than a million Jews at Auschwitz. It’s been claimed that many of the guards were Poles – and the INR set about disproving this theory.

Upon seeing the notice of the website, I immediately checked to see if any Meitzlers or Damms were listed, and was relieved to find none. Many of my German cousins fought in both the first and second World Wars.

The following teaser is from an article posted January 31, 2017 at the DailyMail.com website.

Faces of Nazi guards who helped oversee the death of more than a million Jews at Auschwitz revealed as Poland publishes details of 10,000 of Adolf’s men

Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance has published details of 9,686 guards who worked at Auschwitz

Nearly all of them are German and the INR is seeking to dispel claims that Auschwitz was staffed by Poles

Auschwitz-Birkenau held Polish prisoners from 1940 but 1.1 million Jews died there between 1942 and 1945

The names of almost 10,000 Nazi SS commanders and guards who helped in the extermination of more than a million Jews at Auschwitz have been posted online for the first time. The huge searchable database, which includes hundreds of photographs, has been uploaded by Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (INR) in an attempt to dispel false claims that many of the guards were Polish. The list of 9,686 names are predominantly German and their pre-war occupations are listed as farmers, butchers, teachers, cobblers and all manner of jobs.

Read the full article.

Go directly to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance’ Auschwitz Guard database & website.

ArkivDigital to Post Millions of Swedish Aerial Photographs

I just got a note from my friend, Kathy Meade. She alerted me to the fact that ArkivDigital is about to most a HUGE collection of Swedish aerial photographs at their website. The following excerpt is from the ArkivDigital blog:

ArkivDigital has acquired several million aerial photos from Svenska Aero-Bilder AB. These will now be digitized and added to ArkivDigital’s online archive. These images will complement the church books, estate inventories, military documents, court books and other archival records that currently exist in ArkivDigital.

“Our goal is to continually add new material and create new services for our customers to help them in their research. These images will complement other records in our archives such as the images of the church records.

Through this acquisition, we will have millions of aerial photographs of farms, cottages, villas, petrol stations and much more from the 1950’s to the present day from all over Sweden,” said the company’s CEO, Mikael Karlsson.

Read the full blog article.