20 January 2017

12 Million Declassified CIA Pages Now Online


12 Million Declassified CIA Pages Now Online

On Facebook, The Society of American Archivists (SAA) shared this link, The CIA’s Secret History Is Now Online (BuzzFeed News)

But today the CIA posted the Castro record on its website along with more than 12 million pages of the agency’s other declassified documents that have eluded the public, journalists, and historians for nearly two decades. 

Just to corroborate, given all the press about Fake News, I checked out the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Press Release page and found CIA Posts More Than 12 Million Pages of CREST Records Online.

You can search the archive (CREST) here and also learn about its history.
Odds are that you won’t find a family member listed and you could learn more historical context for a place or event relevant to your family history.

I found it funny, that Oldham (Lancashire, England) was noted in a London Daily Telegraph, 14 July 1980 news items “Oldham, Lancs … Soviet news agency Tass yesterday; as sites of secret schools for agent’s training to, dis…? rupt the Moscow’ Olympics” … I wonder what my gran thought when she read this back in the day.




What particular document caught your eye?

Did you find an ancestor or family member mentioned?







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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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18 January 2017

International Tracing Service (ITS) Has Published ENTIRE Inventory Online!!


International Tracing Service (ITS) Has Published ENTIRE Inventory Online!!

Via IAJGS Public Records Access Alert from the International Tracing Service (ITS) …

The International Tracing Service (ITS) has published its complete inventory on the internet. The inventory offers an overview of the ITS’s archival holdings, which comprise some 30 million documents on National Socialist persecution and forced labour as well as the fates of the survivors. The archive’s original documents have been inscribed in the UNESCO documentary heritage register “Memory of the World” since 2013.

“With the aid of the general inventory, archive users can gain a good impression of the structure and contents of our holdings,” explains archive director Dr. Christian Groh. “This will greatly facilitate research into specific subjects and preparation for a visit to the archive.” The inventory offers basic information on the individual sub-collections. This includes, for example, the title, size and access number as well as a brief description of the contents. The searchable structure of the general inventory is shown as a navigable tree. It is also possible to carry out searches on the basis of keywords. The general inventory is available in German and English.

The indexing of the extensive holdings, however, has not yet reached completion. For reasons of transparency, the ITS has deliberately decided to include parts of the holdings that have undergone only preliminary or superficial indexing to date in its general online inventory. One by one, the existing information on the sub-collections will be supplemented with detailed descriptions of the contents to permit more in-depth access to the documents. The general inventory on our website reflects the current status of the indexing process, as the data is retrieved directly from the digital ITS archive.

Link to the general inventory:

This database will greatly improve access to this massive collection of interest to Jewish and non-Jewish researchers alike.



What did you find in the ITS inventory that might help with your own research?







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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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17 January 2017

NEW Chrome Extension Takes You to Wayback Machine for 404 Page Codes!!!


NEW Chrome Extension Takes You to Wayback Machine for 404 Page Codes!!!

Since many other blogs cover “tech” topics we at Upfront with NGS rarely delve into those topics.

That said, I am a lover of Chrome, a lover of Wayback Machine, and a hater of 404 status coded pages (basically, the page is not found).

Historically (meaning just two days ago), I would have received a 404 error, copied the URL, gone to Wayback Machine, pasted in the URL (and crossed fingers), and waited to see if the no longer available website had been archived.  In a large percentage of cases, it has! Phew!

Now, Wayback Machine has created a Chrome browser extension which does all of the above automatically for you!

Read more about the Chrome browser extension, Wayback Machine Chrome extension now available. It does handle more than 404 errors.  It detects the following error codes -- 404, 408, 410, 451, 500, 502, 503, 504, 509, 520, 521, 523, 524, 525, and 526.

You can access the extension here.



What non-genealogical specific tech tool do you find really makes your life (real and genealogical) easier?







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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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16 January 2017

The National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans in Development


The National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans in Development

You can help!  The National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans is in the initial stages of development and is seeking information on burials or burial ground locations of enslaved Americans to be included in a future database.  If you have information about such, please submit here.

The project started as The Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans (formerly based at Fordham University) and is now the National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans - a work of the Periwinkle Initiative.

The Periwinkle Initiative is a public humanities and education initiative dedicated to preserving cultural heritage associated with enslaved Americans.  The Initiative’s core project is the National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans – which will be the first and only national repository to document individual burials and burial grounds of enslaved Americans.

The Periwinkle Initiative derives its name from the periwinkle flower that certain scholars believe was the most common wildflower brought to gravesites of enslaved Americans.

You can read about the project and its status via Memory & Landmarks – Report of the Burial Database Project of Enslaved Americans.


What slave burials or cemeteries did you submit to the project?

What online or published compilations of slave burials are you aware of?







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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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13 January 2017

Going, Going, Gone -- Historic Properties Are Disappearing!


Going, Going, Gone -- Historic Properties Are Disappearing!

As does paper, photographs, people, and much more – most structures, deteriorate with time.  It’s just the nature of things.  We often talk about records access and preservation and the same for physical structures is also important – Historic preservation maps can be invaluable to genealogists.

Whereas we haven’t yet figured out how to extend our own lives beyond a certain point, it’s obvious that historic buildings and structures can remain extant for hundreds if not more years.  That said, it does take some TLC (tender loving care) to ensure their continued existence.

When buildings don’t receive some TLC, they fall into disrepair, become unsafe, and most often are then demolished.  Another piece of history lost to us.

I was reminded of this when I read a 24 November 2015 report of a Franklin County (NC) Architectural Survey Update.  Essentially, an initial architectural survey of resources was done c. 1974-5 and then 40 years later, this one.  What struck me the most is that of the previously identified 233 “resources”, 114 do not survive!  Essentially half of the original list.  Additionally, that being listed on the National Register (of Historic Places) does not guarantee survival – fortunately, only 1 was demolished, while two properties included on the list of those properties being considered for inclusion on the National Register were lost.  Though, this survey did lead me to an impressive collection of Architectural Survey Reports for the state of North Carolina.

Beyond physically maintaining historically important architecture, producing a book about a communities historic architecture, such as the recently published “The Historic Architecture of Johnston County, North Carolina,” benefit keeping the stories of buildings alive.

When digging around, I discovered that the Library of Congress maintains a digital collection, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey … “Administered since 1933 through cooperative agreements with the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, and the private sector, ongoing programs of the National Park Service have recorded America's built environment in multiformat surveys comprising more than 556,900 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 38,600 historic structures and sites dating from Pre-Columbian times to the twentieth century.”

Just as important as records preservation and access is the preservation of historic buildings. After all, those ancestors documented on paper did live, shop, work, worship, etc, in what would now be considered historic buildings (assuming they are still standing).




What is your community doing to maintain historic properties?

Has your community undergone an architectural survey recently and identified at risk buildings?

Does your state mandate historical architectural surveys?

What historic building near you has fallen into such disrepair that it was recently demolished?

Has a book about historic architecture for your community been published?






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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12 January 2017

Alabama Media Group Gifts State Archives Millions of Previously Unseen Historical Photos


Alabama Media Group Gifts State Archives Millions of Previously Unseen Historical Photos

What great news for those researching Alabama family …

Alabama Media Group is donating its massive collection of historical photographic negatives chronicling the people, places and events of the 20th century to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, where the images will be preserved, catalogued, digitized and made available online to the public.

Containing more than 3 million images from The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and Mobile's Press-Register, the collection is the largest gift of historical content received by the state archives in its 115-year history.

Most of these photo negatives have never been printed or published.

Read the pull press release here.

Here is the landing page on the Alabama Department of Archives & History website, home to the collection and where, as images are digitized, they can be accessed, though probably not until the latter part of 2017.

Check out a short and yet powerful video about the new collection.



What other massive historical image archives are you aware of?






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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11 January 2017

GenSoftReviews Announces 2016 Users Choice Awards


GenSoftReviews Announces 2016 Users Choice Awards

Many of us use genealogy software to organize and document our lineage.  Sometimes it’s useful to have guidance as we decide what program might best suit our individual needs.

For the 8th year, GenSoftReviews has released a list of Users Choice Awards.
Dick Eastman (Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter) provides the announcement of the winners, GenSoftReviews Announces its Users Choice Awards for 2016.

You can see a full list of the winners here. You can click on any listed software to read an overview and see its rankings.  Remember, that the premise of these awards is user reviews. 

Don’t agree with a review, you can help future genealogy software purchasers by filling out your own review sharing the issues you may have experienced! Your favorite software wasn’t an award winner?!?!  Again, fill out a review.

Everybody’s needs for software are different, and everyone’s perspective on what makes for a quality product and/or experience are all different – here’s a chance to provide your input on what works for you.  It just may help another genealogist get the software that best matches what they need.









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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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10 January 2017

In the mid-1800s, Slaves Were Insured – Were Your Ancestors?


In the mid-1800s, Slaves Were Insured – Were Your Ancestors?
Though we cannot rewrite history nor go back and abolish the slave trade that existed, documentation about slaves before emancipation can prove a gold mine for descendants as they research their enslaved ancestors.

We’ve frequently talked about the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau as a traditionally much-underutilized resource that exists for the immediate post-Civil War time period with frequent mentions of “owners” and “slaves.” We’ve also in the past talked about the concept of slaves being insured and/or used as collateral -- Slaves were used as collateral with banks and were sometimes insured; invaluable records when extant (Dec 2013).

I was reminded of the latter when reading Insurance Policies on Slaves: New York life’s Complicated Past (The New York Times).

Just a reminder to check out these types of records.  Do recognize that many insurance companies came and went (often decades if not a century ago) and so not all records do survive.  For example, I’ve found a paucity of records for NC insurance companies of the time, though newspaper advertisements make it clear that the companies were offering policies on slaves.  The Upfront with NGS article from 2013 lists all the registries and related that I have identified and the list appears to be unchanged.









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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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