Thursday, 19 September 2019

RootsTech 2020 registration now open

From RootsTech (

SALT LAKE CITY (18 September 2019) - FamilySearch International has announced that registration for RootsTech 2020 Salt Lake City is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, share, and preserve their family roots, heritage, and stories. The 2020 conference will be held February 26–29, 2020, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit Discounts are available for early registrations.

In 2019, RootsTech attracted over 20,000 attendees from 38 different countries and all 50 states.

RootsTech 2020 will celebrate its 10thanniversary and the distinguished honor that it is the largest genealogy conference of its kind in the world. The conference will feature a full lineup of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers, over 300 informative sessions, including hands-on computer workshops taught by industry professionals; interactive activities and helpful exhibitors in the expo hall; and entertaining events—all designed to inspire and empower personal family discoveries.

Conference Details

The theme for RootsTech 2020 will be “The Story of YOU.” Many of the classes, keynote address, and venue décor will reflect this theme.

“At RootsTech, we believe that the stories we’re creating and preserving today are just as important as the stories of our ancestors,” said Jen Allen, event director. “Reflecting on and celebrating each of our personal journeys is an important part of family history that we are excited to explore at the 2020 conference.”

RootsTech 2020 will also introduce learning forums—new class sessions covering a variety of specialized topics including: records access and preservation, innovation and technology, and DNA. One of these forums will be offered on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

RootsTech 2020 will officially begin on Wednesday, February 26 with class sessions beginning at 8 AM MT. Wednesday’s general keynote session will begin on the main stage at 4:30 p.m. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, will be the featured keynote speaker.

General keynote sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will begin on the main stage at 11 AM MT and will lead directly into the lunch hour.


Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes at just $169 (a $130 discount on regularly priced passes). Single day RootsTech passes are also available for $99. Both one-day and full conference passes include access to the popular expo hall and keynote sessions. Early bird pricing ends October 11, 2019.

Family Discovery Day

Registration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, February 26, 2020, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This free 1-day event includes inspiring messages from Church leaders; engaging classes for families, youth, and young single adults; and evening entertainment to inspire and help families make family history connections. Family Discovery Day attendees will also hae access to all the interactive activities and exhibitors found in the RootsTech expo hall. Event details, including speakers and class sessions, will be made available soon at The event is free, but registration is required.

Register via at


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Inadequate computer speeds at Glasgow Registrar's Service

Many folk who use the Glasgow Registrar's Service ( for genealogical research, via the ScotlandsPeople service, know that for much of the last year the service's computer speeds have at times been absolutely appalling. On Tuesday of this week I visited the centre to carry out some research for a client, and once again fell victim to the problem - one name search took me ten minutes, and it became such a problem that I ended up swapping computers. As a consequence, I made a formal complaint, and have now received the following response:

Dear Mr Paton,

Front Line Stage One Complaint re: Glasgow Registrars/Scotland's people

I refer to your complaint regarding Computer Speed.

Your complaint has been considered and I can respond as follows:

I refer to your complaint regarding the computer speed within the Registrar’s Service at the Mitchell Library. 

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention and I have contacted our IT supplier to make them as aware of your complaint. There is a planned schedule for upgrading our IT estate and while they cannot give a definitive date for the Mitchell’s public PC this process has started and will hopefully resolve the issues you experienced. I understand your frustrations and please be assured I am lobbying for the Mitchell’s PC estate to be prioritised.

Glasgow Life welcomes customer feedback and all complaints are regarded as important for improving our services. If you are unhappy with this response and wish to escalate your complaint to an Investigation of our complaints procedure, a member of the Senior Management Team will investigate matters further. Please call 0141 287 8977 and quote the reference at the top of this letter or write to us at Business Support, Admin Hub One, 38 Albion Street, Glasgow, G1 1LH or e-mail Please raise your concerns to us within 20 working days of the date of this letter.

Yours sincerely.

Dawn Vallance
Principal Librarian
The Mitchell Library

I should add that the staff at the Mitchell, and in the Registrar's Service, have all been exceptionally professional, and have tried to assist in every way possible. The problem is not ScotlandsPeople, and it is certainly not the staff, it is the IT set-up that Glasgow City Council is employing for the purpose of providing the service. If you too have been suffering from the issues, the Council's complaints procedure is accessible via

In the meantime, if your research is not Glasgow specific (i.e. you do not need the archive or other resources at the Mitchell), be advised that several other centres across the country also offer the ScotlandsPeople service (Edinburgh, Hawick, Alloa, Kilmarnock, Inverness) - details of these are available at and


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

University of Glasgow conserves and digitises Gaelic manuscripts

The University of Glasgow has an interesting article on the conservation and digitisation of 260 Gaelic song manuscripts from the 18th century, as held within its library.  

For more on the story visit


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

French records site Filae launches English language platform

From French platform Filae (

PRESS RELEASE launches English language site and facilitates access to 1.5 billion names from French records

Filae’s French collection opens the door for non-French-speaking people to discover their family stories online; 40 million people in the world (excluding France) claim French descent.

Paris, France –September, 18, 2019 –, the world’s largest online resource for accessing French official records, today announced the launch of its first foreign language international sister-site:

With more than 40 million people in the world claiming French heritage, the launch of an English language version ofFilae.comgives all of them an unprecedented and exclusive access to more than 150 million images of French Census and Vital records (birth, marriage, death) which have been indexed by

As Elvis Presley, Alec Baldwin, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Kurt Cobain, Warren Buffett, Hillary Clinton and many other celebrities, 4% of the US population, 17% of Argentinians and 14%of Canadians have French roots!

"The launch of is just the beginning of a more global strategy whose aim is to facilitate access to the largest resource of French records and to help people with French descent tracing back theirancestry whatever their language is and wherever they live! We are thrilled to share information we digitized and indexed with family history fans all over the world." said Toussaint Roze, CEO and founder of

Starting as early as 1500,Filae’s French historical collection features records such as Parish registers, Civil records, Census and vital records, Passenger lists, Military records (Napoleonic wars, WWI, WWII), Indexes provided by French societies, Directories and many other historical records (French revolution, etc) also provides its users with easy-to-use tools to build their own trees or import their gedcom files, upload photos and documents and share them with other members.

  • Launched in December 2016, is the first and largest resource for French digitized and indexed records online.
  • The service was created by Toussaint Roze, a French serial-entrepreneur dedicated to genealogy who previously created successful online services like, and gedlink.
  • hosts and indexes more than 150 million digitisations of French original records for the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries.
(With thanks to Emmanuel Condamine)


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

ScotlandsPeople adds more dissenter Presbyterian baptism records

From ScotlandsPeople (

More than 3,000 baptism records covering the period 1752-1855 have recently been added to ScotlandsPeople. These new additions cover Presbyterian congregations in Ayrshire, Fife, Dundee Renfrewshire, Aberdeenshire and Midlothian and may be helpful for anyone searching for a person who was born before the introduction of statutory registration in 1855.

The baptismal entries occur within the records of Presbyterian churches which were outside the Church of Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries but had united with the Church of Scotland by 1929. The Church of Scotland compiled what are known as Old Parish Registers (OPRs) of baptisms, marriages and burials prior to 1855 but OPRs do not always record baptisms carried out by other churches, which kept their registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. NRS has been indexing these ‘Other Church Registers’ and adding them to the ScotlandsPeople site since 2016. More baptism entries from other congregations are in preparation.

If you are unable to find an ancestor within the OPRs, consult the ‘Roman Catholic Church records’ and within ‘other churches’ for pre-1855 events, especially for the period 1843-54, when a third of the Church of Scotland members left to set up the Free Church.

Search the church baptism registers or read more about them in our church registers guide.

List of volumes released in August 2019

Beith – Head St Relief (CH3/1054/10) 1802-1820
Dundee – Tay Square United Secession (CH3/94/15) 1831-1848
Dunfermline – Gillespie Relief (CH3/1689/5/1) 1752-1782
East Calder Associate (CH3/349/2) 1777-1802
Greenock – Trinity Associate, Nicholson Street United Presbyterian (CH3/659/9) 1836-1850
Irvine Relief, Irvine United Presbyterian (CH3/409/1) 1778-1831
Kintore Free (CH3/195/3) 1843-1855

Fiurther information is available at


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

FamilyTreeDNA releases new dashboard look

From FamilyTreeDNA (

Dear FamilyTreeDNA Member,

Today, we released a new version of the dashboard! Along with a new look, the dashboard includes new capabilities to make navigating the platform easier.

These enhancements include but are not limited to:

The ability to rearrange the order in which the tests are displayed on the dashboard
The ability to create up to five bookmark-like quick links at the top of the page
Tracking information for shipping and test processing is now displayed on the dashboard

A tutorial on the dashboard is available to guide you through most of the new features when you sign in to your kit. Additional information about the update is also included in our Learning Center (see

We hope you enjoy the improvements!


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Scottish ViC 2020 announced for Jan 25th 2020

From Genealogy Tours of Scotland:

Genealogy Tours of Scotland announces the third annual virtual conference on Scottish Genealogy Research. This is the only virtual conference dedicated to Scottish research topics.


The ViC (virtual conference) will launch on Saturday, January 25th, 2020 at 8:30am Eastern

The line-up of talks and speakers for the day:
  • Glasgow’s Role in the Slave Trade on Plantations in the West Indies presented by Stephen Mullen
  • Using Wills and Testaments for Scottish Genealogy Research presented by archivist Margaret Fox
  • Using Prison Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist Emma Maxwell
  • Using Asylum Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist Emma Maxwell
  • Using the Records Generated Upon Death for Genealogy Research, presented by archivist Irene O’Brien
  • Researching Your Scottish Ancestors in British Newspapers presented by Aoife O’Connor
  • Canada: Land and Opportunity presented by genealogy educator Christine Woodcock
Registration fee is just $99.99 (CAD) and allows unlimited access to the talks, handouts and marketplace until midnight (eastern) on February 1st, 2020.

*** Virtual "Seats" are limited!*** For more information or to register:

For questions:

All presentations are pre-recorded and released on a timed basis throughout the day, just like an in person conference. The live Q&A will only happen on January 25th when the presenters will be available following their presentation to answer any questions.

(With thanks to Christine Woodcock)


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

FindmyPast adds Irish Boundary Commission Reports

The latest additions to FindmyPast (

Irish Boundary Commission Records 1924-1925
The Irish Boundary Commission was set up to determine the boundary between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. Findmypast has digitised this collection of more than 47,000 records from The National Archives which include the Commission’s minutes, papers, correspondence and report of the Irish Boundary Commission, and records of oral and written evidence submitted to it.

Berkshire Marriages Index
Over 63,000 additional records have been added to 16 parishes across the county. The new additions consist of transcripts provided by the Berkshire Family History Society that may reveal your relative’s age, marital status, residence, occupation, father’s name and spouse’s details. Some records may also include the names of witnesses and additional notes.

Derbyshire Deaths and Burials
Over 23,000 Derbyshire Family History Society transcripts have been added for 12 cemeteries around the county. As well as revealing the final resting place of your ancestor, these records may also reveal their age at death, birth year, death year, burial date and if they died paupers. Some records may also list next of kin, allowing you to add new names to your growing family tree.

British In Ceylon Parish Records
From 1815 until 1948, Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, was a British colony. The 4,500 records in this collection span that period and have been collected and transcribed by the Kabristan Archives. They include the names of those who were serving in Ceylon and were married, died, or had children there. Over a thousand names of those who served in Ceylon during the First World War are also included.

International records update - Russia
Does your family tree have Russian roots? Search for your Russian ancestors in more than 325,000 baptisms, marriages and burials. These three indexes will provide you with essential names, dates and locations for expanding your Russian family tree.

British & Irish newspaper update
This week we have added 110,926 new pages to our collection. This includes two newspapers that cover the historic county of Dumfriesshire. Both weekly publications, the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser was published in Langholm and the newspaper continues to this day, and the Galloway News and Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser was published in Dalbeattie. Rounding off our trio of new Scottish titles this week is the Montrose Standard, another weekly title that was published in Angus. Founded in 1837, we have an extensive run of editions for this particular publication, numbering nearly 50,000 pages and so far spanning the years 1844 to 1957, representing over a century’s worth of local news coverage.

For further details, and links, visit


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs course starts 4 November 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

TheGenealogist expands its Education collection

TheGenealogist ( has expanded its Education records collection:

New School and University Registers on TheGenealogist

As children go back to school, TheGenealogist has just released a diverse batch of school and university records to join its ever growing education collection.

Researchers can use this new data to find ancestors who attended or taught at a variety of Educational establishments between the 1830s and 1930s. Also listed are the names of those who held high office in the institutions, such as the patrons, deans, visitors, professors, masters in the case of universities and the principles and governors in the case of schools.

Use these records to add colour to a family story and glean important information from the biographical details to use in further research.

The list of records included in this release are:

St. Lawrence College Ramsgate Register, 1879 to 1911
Upper Canada College Address List 1829-1929
The Report Of The President Of Queen's College Belfast 1896-1897
The Glenalmond Register 1847-1929
Clifton College Register 1862-1912
Edinburgh Institution 1832-1932
King Williams College Register 1833-1904
The Bradfield College Register 1850-1923
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1915
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1916
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1917
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1918
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1919
Isle of Man, King William's College Register 1833-1927
Ireland, The Campbell College Register 1894-1938
Eton College, Easter 1862
Keble College Register, 1870-1925
Rathmines School Roll, 1858-1899
Charterhouse Register 1911-1920 Vol. III
Cheltenham College Register 1841-1927
Alumni Carthusiani, 1614-1872

This expands our extensive education records collection.

Read our article:

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs course starts 4 November 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

PRONI to release new digitised records online

Just back from Belfast, where I attended the latest stakeholder meeting at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland ( - and with some very exciting news!

For some time PRONI has been discussing making available through its online catalogue various digitised record sets. This already happens at the archive's search room in Belfast, where, for example, you can access various digitised church records collections (see

The plan now is to try to make several collections available for users to access from home in time for Explore Your Archive Week, towards the end of November. The collections being made available will include:

ED/1 National Education Commisioners Grant Aid Application ( 1832-1889)
From the PRONI catalogue:
In September 1831, the Commissioners of National Education were established to administer a fund of 30,000 per annum placed at the disposal of the Lord Lieutenant for the education of the poor in Ireland. They were empowered to make grants to local schools on condition that part of the required sum was raised locally and in addition they supervised the work of the schools, supplied textbooks and trained teachers. This class of records which bears the PRONI reference number ED/1, consists of 33 volumes of applications made to the Commissioners for grants for building schools, payment of teachers, provision of textbooks, equipment etc. The applications were made on printed questionnaire forms (occasionally accompanied by correspondence), which were filed and bound together in date order and arranged county by county. They cover the period 1832-1889. ED/1/1 to ED1/28, are available on microfilm and bear the reference number MIC/548, Reels 1 to 52. The National Archives in Dublin hold a few unbound applications from Counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh and Meath, as well as a volume of Rejected Applications from Ulster schools for the period 1868-72.

Tithe Applotment Books (Northern Ireland)
The books from the Republic are already available online at This collection from PRONI will not be presented in the same way, in that they will not be keyword searchable, but instead must be browsed by the relevant townland or parish (much more preferable, in that when browsing you can pick up on things that a keyword search may miss). They will be presented as large scale PDF documents, via a 'View digital object' button on the catalogue entries. PRONI will be adding to its site a how-to user guide to explain how to work through the collections. 

(NB: It is hoped these will be ready in time for the main launch, but they admit they are working to a tight deadline - nevertheless, if not ready by November, they are imminent)

Photo collections - various collections will be made available, including some gems such as circus photos, historic images from the Steeple estate in Antrim, and material from the Northern Ireland Photographic Association (formed 1967).

Hansard Papers - from the Northern Irish Assembly

Other news:

340 documents have been added to the Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN) covering the years 1991-1992. Plans are in place to add further records for 1993-94 over the next year.

State papers form 1995 have now been added to the site's catalogue. (535 fully open, 172 partially redacted, with 45 still closed to access).

I'll blog about forthcoming events on a separate thread.

But hey - the tithe records are coming online soon!

(With thanks to all at PRONI)


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs course starts 4 November 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.