Genealogy news roundup: Living DNA announces global family tree plans

By Rosemary Collins, 26 October 2017 - 2:03pm

Plus: Fife poorhouse records available on Ancestry; FamilySearch starts South Australian immigrant collection; Irish GRO confirms new record releases after IGRS raises concerns

Participants in One Family One World can submit DNA test results from any country. Credit: Living DNA

DNA testing company Living DNA has announced a five-year project to create "a single worldwide family tree".

The One Family One World project will use proprietary technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify distinctive and shared patterns in people’s DNA.

Participants can join in by taking a Living DNA test, or uploading the results of another DNA test for free.

David Nicholson, founder and managing director of Living DNA, said the project would “bring to life how everyone is unique yet we are also part of one global family”.


Fife poorhouse records available on Ancestry

Records of those admitted to the poorhouse in Kirkcaldy, Fife between 1888 and 1912 have been added to Ancestry.

The new collection includes indexes and images of 2,690 records from the Abden Home Poor Law Institution, originally named the Kirkcaldy Combination Poorhouse.

After the Poor Law Scotland Act of 1845, Scottish parishes were able to establish locally-run institutions to care for the poor, house them and give out relief.

By viewing the records, you can find out details such as your ancestor’s age, the date they were admitted to the poorhouse, their state of health at the time, their trade, their religion, the name and address of any relatives and the date they were discharged or died.


FamilySearch starts South Australian immigrant collection

Over 200,000 records of those who emigrated to South Australia are available in a new collection on free family history website FamilySearch.

The new collection of immigrants ship papers, dating from 1849 to 1940, contains records of the names and ages of 201,371 immigrants, many of whom were British or Irish, and the ships they sailed on.

There are also 6,127 digital images of the papers. These allow researchers to view more details about the immigrants, including their profession and county of origin.

Transcriptions of some of the records are also available as part of a project on The Ships List.


Irish GRO confirms new record releases after IGRS raises concerns

The General Register Office (GRO) of Ireland has confirmed that it is still working on earlier historic record releases after the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) expressed concern about delays.

In 2016, the Irish Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht (DCHG) published images of historic civil registers on its free website, IrishGenealogy.

The initial tranche included births back to 1864, marriages back to 1882 and deaths back to 1891. At the beginning of this year, the GRO promised to supply marriages as far back as 1845 and deaths back to 1864, along with records for 1916 and 1917, by mid-2017.

However, in a blog post on 13 October IGRS pointed out that the project had “gone very quiet” and asked when the “crucial” records would be available.

In response, a DCHG spokesperson told Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine that the GRO was still “working on” a tranche of earlier death records, as well as an additional year of birth, marriage and death records, which would be added to IrishGenealogy shortly, along with the earlier marriage records.

They added that the department hoped to release further information on the update “within the next few weeks”.


Appeal for descendants of participants in English dialect project

A new version of one of the biggest English dialect research projects will begin with the descendants of the original participants thanks to grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The University of Leeds has been awarded £65,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is in line for a full grant of £798,000.

It will use the money to conduct a four-year project restarting the Study of English Dialects, which recorded the language and lifestyles of hundreds of people between 1946 and 1978, and display the documents and artefacts collected in the original study in five partner museums.

Descendants of those involved in the original survey should email


Findmypast adds Irish genealogical abstracts

The work of four prominent Irish genealogists is now available to view on Findmypast.

The family history website added genealogical abstracts produced by Gertrude Thrift, Sir William Betham and 19th century genealogists Dr Francis Crossle and Philip Crossle, containing nearly 1.3 million records altogether.

The records, which are searchable by the names of individuals, include images of notebooks containing family trees and pedigree charts, as well as copies of wills, bill books, parish registers, commission books, and freeman lists.

Some of Gertrude Thrift’s records date back to the 16th century, and they help fill in the gaps in Irish family history created by the destruction of the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922.


University of Strathclyde launches online DNA course

The Genealogical Studies team at the University of Strathclyde has announced a new eight week online course, ‘Understanding Autosomal DNA Testing for Genealogy: A Beginners Guide’.

The course will begin on 15 January 2018 and cost £167.

The university said that the aim of the course was “to assist genealogists and family historians to identify scenarios where autosomal testing might be applied and teach the skills needed to interpret DNA test results for genealogy”.

The university offers a range of other online family history courses aimed at beginner to intermediate students, including ‘Genetic Genealogy: An Introduction’, ‘Family History Research: An Introduction’ and ‘Using Technology in Your Family History Research’.


Humans of New York founder to be keynote speaker at RootsTech 2018

Brandon Stanton, founder of the popular Humans of New York project, will be the keynote speaker at the next RootsTech family history conference on 1 March 2018.

In 2010, Stanton lost his job as a bonds trader and decided to buy a camera and create a photographic census of 10,000 everyday people on the streets of New York.

The photographs, accompanied by short quotes offering an insight into the subjects’ lives, were published online. They have now gained more than 20 million followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and launching a spinoff Facebook TV series and three books. Stanton has taken his photography project to more than 20 different countries.

RootsTech 2018, organised by FamilySearch, will run from 28 February to 3 March 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

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Genealogy news roundup: Society of Genealogists launches associate membership
previous news Article
Over a million Portsmouth records go online
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