Genealogical Society of Sarasota, Inc.
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BCG's Free Day of Education Online 7 Oct

The Board for Certification of Genealogists will be broadcasting six one hour lectures held at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Friday, 7 October 2016 between 9AM and 5PM Mountain time.  
9:00 AM - "Enough is Enough. Or Is It?" Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL

10:15 AM - "FAN + GPS + DNA: The Problem-Solver's Great Trifecta." Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

11:30 AM - "Black Sheep Ancestors and Their Records." Ann Staley, CG, CGL

1:30 PM - "Bringing Life to Our Ancestors: Manuscript Collections." Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

2:45 PM - "Document Transcription & Analysis: A Workshop." David McDonald, CG – This will not be broadcast via FamilyTreeWebinars.

4:00 PM - "When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicting Evidence." Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL

For questions or more information contact

Register for the Online Broadcasts

Five of the six classes will be broadcast online by BCG's webinar partner, Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Register here.

MyHeritage Now Has DNA Matching

Taken from Dick Eastman's Blog 7 Sep 2016:
MyHeritage has just announced that DNA Matching is now live!
MyHeritage compares DNA data of individuals, which has been uploaded to the MyHeritage website, in order to find matches based on shared DNA. Your DNA matches are people who are highly likely to be relatives (close or distant) because there are significant similarities between their DNA and yours. MyHeritage DNA Matching can open up exciting new research directions, and allow you to find and connect with relatives you may not have known about.
The DNA matching has been available for a few months in a limited beta test but now is available to everyone. The DNA Matching is free and will remain free for those who have already uploaded their DNA test results to MyHeritage. Anyone who has taken a DNA test with other test providers, or has DNA test results from other family members, and has not uploaded them to MyHeritage yet, the company recommends they hurry and upload the DNA data now, in order to enjoy free DNA Matching on MyHeritage forever.
What I like best about the MyHeritage DNA service is that the test results are presented in a manner that is easier to read than that of some competitive services. Quoting from the MyHeritage Blog:
“MyHeritage displays the matches in a new page called DNA Matches, in the Discoveries tab. This page lists all the DNA Matches, sorted by the amount of shared DNA, so closest relatives will be listed first. The page lists the top 500 matches. Keep in mind that DNA Matches listed at the very bottom who share very little to almost no DNA with you could be the result of identity by state rather than identity by descent. This is a technical way of saying that these are false positives and the DNA they share with you is a result of coincidence. Starting with 3rd cousins and going further, you should take DNA Matches with a grain of salt and look for additional pieces of information as an indication on whether a family connection exists (such as shared surnames or similar geographical locations between their family tree and yours).
“For every match listed, the page displays basic information about the person who matched your DNA, the possible relationship(s) between you and that person as implied by the DNA characteristics, information about the DNA Match quality, and family tree details if your match has a family tree.”
You can read a lot more about MyHeritage DNA Matching in the MyHeritage blog post.

Free Access to Ireland's GRO Records!!

The General Register Office have put the vital records online, with free access for all.  Over 2.5 million historic records of births, marriages and deaths are now freely available online, ensuring that Ireland continues to lead the way in giving access to historical genealogical information.

With the introduction of state registration, birth and death information was required to be provided to the local registrar who was usually the doctor, within 21 days. Late registration resulted in the imposition of a fine. Hence, in order to avoid the payment of a fine, later birth and death dates were often provided to the registrar. The informant of such information was obliged to be a relative, a medical attendant or a person present at the event (the birth of the child or the death of an individual).  The priest at a wedding was also required to provide all marriage information to the state.

State records of birth provide the following information: the date and place of birth; name if any; sex; name, surname and dwelling-place of father; name, surname and maiden surname of mother; rank or profession of father; signature, qualification and residence of informant; when registered; signature of registrar and baptismal name if added at a later stage.

State records of marriage record the following: when married; names and surnames of the bride and groom; ages; condition; rank or profession; residence at the time of marriage; fathers names and surnames; rank or profession of fathers; name of officiating priest and the church where the marriage took place.

State death records contain: the date and place of death; name and surname; sex; condition; age at last birthday; rank; profession or occupation; signature, qualification and residence of informant; when registered and signature of the registrar.  While the cause of death is also provided on death certificates the holders of copyright of these records prohibit us from disclosing this information.

In the early decades of state registration it would appear that many events were not registered with the state.  The number of absent records cannot be quantified (although one frequently notices baptismal entries in church registers with no corresponding state birth and vice versa).  Ages provided on the older state records should be treated as ‘approximate’.

BIRTHS: 1864 to 1915
MARRIAGES: 1882 to 1940 
DEATHS: 1891 to 1965

You can now access these records for free by going to Irish Genealogy.

FindMyPast Free Access to Irish Records!

Findmypast has just released over 3 million historic Irish records dating back to pre-famine Ireland, which until now, could only be accessed by visiting the National Archive’s reading rooms in Dublin. All these collections will remain free to search forever on Findmypast! To celebrate this landmark, Findmypast is also granting four days of free access to their entire collection of more than 111 million Irish records, the largest available anywhere online.
The free access with be effective from 15th September until 18th September 11:59PM BST (UK time).

NOTE: You may be required to create a free account at Findmypast in order to access free records.

Reclaim The Records Won!!

Taken from their August 5th news blast:
WE WON! The New York City marriage index 1930-1995 will be free and open data!
Reclaim The Records has done it again. We are proud to announce that our Freedom of Information lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York, fighting for the right to a first-ever public copy of the New York City marriage index, has been successful!
The New York City Clerk's Office announced their intention to settle with us on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, less than twenty-four hours before they were due to face us in court on Wednesday, July 6. A draft version of the stipulation and settlement papers were agreed to yesterday, Thursday, August 4, with two small items awaiting final sign-off, and we expect the final papers to be signed in the next week. The City has already started duplicating the microfilms for us, and our attorney has given us the all clear to finally tell people the good news.
This data set, which covers sixty-five years, contains the index to about three million New York City marriage records. The vast majority of the content in this records set has never been available to the public before, anywhere, in any format. Not online, not on paper, not on microfilm, nada, nowhere.  And now they're going to go on the Internet, for free, forever!

Reclaim Has Posted New Jersey Indexes!!

The following indexes were obtained from New Jersey by Reclaim the Records and posted on InternetArchive!
Birth index 1901-1903 - 100,000 birth records
Marriages (Grooms Index) 1901-1903 - 44,000 marriage records
Marriages (Brides Index) 1901-1914 - 205,000 marriage records
Death index 1901-1903 - 96,000 death records
Click here to view the indexes!

Digitized NYC Marriages on FamilySearch!

FamilySearch has begun digitizing NYC marriage certificates!!  11 rolls of microfilm for marriage certificates covering part of 1916 and part of 1917 for Manhattan are now able to be viewed:

1950 Census Enumeration Maps

The National Archives has digitized 1950 Census Enumeration Maps.  They are free and you can download them here.

Free Scotland Family History Books

The National Library of Scotland has digitized 383 books on family histories and made them available on their website for free to be downloaded.  Use this link to view the gallery.

Free UK Websites

Taken from Records Access Alerts Digest Vol 41, Issue 11

London’s Pulse: Medical Officer of Health Reports 1848-1972  

5500 Medical Officer of Health reports from the Greater London area, including present day London and boroughs.


History to Herstory 

Lives of women in Yorkshire from the 1100’s to the present day.


Statistical Accounts of Scotland  1791-1845

Detailed parish reports on agriculture, trades, education and more.


Proceedings of the Old Bailey  1674-1913 

Search names and historical information from almost 200,000 criminal trials.


Free UK Genealogy 

Online, searchable, free genealogical databases created through the efforts of thousands of volunteers


A Vision of Britain Through Time 

Look at British history between 1801 and 2001 through topographic, boundary, and land use maps,


Crime and Punishment in Wales 1730-1830


British Convict Transportation Transfers 1787-1867

Records may contain the convict's name, the place of trial, the duration of the sentence, the name of the transportation ship and date of departure, and the place of arrival in Australia


Commonwealth War Graves Commission   

Commemorating the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars-- who died in some 154 countries across the world.

Reclaim Has Posted the NYC Marriages!!

Reclaim the Records has followed through on their promise and posted the NYC Marriage indexes on InternetArchive!!  Here's the link.  All years have been posted!  Happy hunting!!

York’s Archbishops’ Registers Revealed

This article was taken from Dick Eastman's March 3, 2016 blog.
The York’s Archbishops’ Registers from 1225 to 1650 are now available online. The available records include 21,647 high quality images of 45 Archbishops’ Registers. Held at the Borthwick Institute, these documents record the formal acts of the Archbishop of York. They are the earliest systematic records of the archbishops’ office, and document the government of the Church, the management and staffing of parishes and the Church’s oversight and regulation of the moral and spiritual conduct of the mass of the population across Yorkshire, Northern England and beyond.

The period covered by the Project spans the struggles over Magna Carta; the Anglo Scottish wars; the loss of nearly a quarter of the population to the Black Death in 1349; the Wars of the Roses; the societal earthquake of the Reformation and the first English Civil War in the seventeenth century.

The registers are key sources for the study of medieval and early modern religious and political history, for art and buildings history, for studies of the historic environment, and for legal and economic history, to name but a few of the areas covered. As a result of the project, the content of the registers is now open to a much wider audience, including genealogists and local historians.

You can learn more here while the records themselves are available free of charge by starting here.

Century Old Baseball Cards Found

A man cleaning out his recently-deceased great-grandfather’s house made an amazing find. A neglected paper bag in the run-down house contained seven identical Ty Cobb cards from the printing period of 1909 to 1911. Before the recent find, there were only about 15 known to still exist. The seven cards are estimated to have a total value of $1 million or more.  The full article can be read here.

NYC List of Registered Voters in 1880

Digitized, online and free!  Great census substitute!  Download here.

National Library of Australia's Trove 7

The National Library of Australia has announced that it will be publishing a new release of its popular TROVE database next Thursday, 25 February. Trove is an essential tool for any family historian with Australian connections. It's probably best known for its database of digitised copies of historical Australian newspapers, most of them published between 1803 and 1954, but it also holds all kinds of goodies including journal articles, reports, theses, books (full, or individual chapters), maps, diaries, letters, photos, music and written/video/oral interviews. This content comes from a number of libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations. And it's free. The update will include faster, more responsive searching and improved viewing on mobile devices. In addition the newspaper zone will see a simplified interface, customisable view displays and new browse features. Samples from the NSW Government Gazette (1832 to 2001) collection will also give a taste of what is to come from this one million page digitisation project. The database will be shut down for three days to prepare for the upgrade, from 5pm AEDT on Monday 22 February until the relaunch on Thursday 25 February.  The site is located here.

Alberta Homestead Records

Homestead records from the province of Alberta, Canada, are online, free to download, at  There are a total of 686 reels of microfilm and approximately 500 have been uploaded to date.  While these are not indexed, an index is located at the Alberta Genealogical Society's website.  The search results will provide you with a film number and a file number.  The film number can then be downloaded for free from  Once downloaded, the file number can be used to locate the specific image on the roll.


British Red Cross Personnel Records-FREE

The British Red Cross has been digitizing the index cards held at their London headquarters for the almost 100,000 volunteers during World War 1 –1914-1918. Currently the personnel records for surnames starting with A through V are available. Their website is constantly being updated.  Free images are displayed with search results.

October 3
GSS Board Meeting
Agenda to be distributed prior to meeting.

October 8
Genealogical (Non) Musical Chairs
Join us for our Genealogical (Non) Musical Chairs event.  Tables include:   England Poland Virginia New England African American/Caribbean Military Records Quick Computer Questions Using Images With Your Genealogy

October 12
Computer SIG

October 13
New England SIG

October 19
German SIG

October 20
Lee County Genealogical Society Membership Meeting
Tour of the Library Genealogy Databases JOIN US when Fort Myers Librarian and LCGS member Bryan Mulcahy will demonstrate how to use the many online databases that family researchers may use in the library and at home to further their ...

October 25
United Kingdom SIG