News Stories and Blog Posts for Genealogists, February 21, 2014

21 Feb 2014

This week’s stories are an eclectic mix dealing with microfilm, Bibles, parish registers, multiple parents on birth certificates, and a lighthearted look at genetic testing. I hope you find them as enjoyable and informative as I do.

An interesting story on NewsBreaks this week had Chris Cown from Proquest discussing microfilm. He believes that “there are three reasons microfilm has not gone the way of the floppy disk: archival value, ownership ability, and highly specialized microfilm-only information. Microfilm can last more than 500 years if it is stored under the correct temperature and humidity conditions, making it the best archival medium available . . . Digital data actually degrades due to bit rot, the deterioration of electronic programs or files after a period of no usage. ‘[T]he data begins to erode in little increments, but steadily it gets worse. So there’s a reliability, long term, in being able to have the content’ on microfilm . . .” Read more in Microfilm Still Matters in the Digital Age.

Kathy Clark of Lexington, Kentucky, was the beneficiary of the kind-hearteed Kerry Moulton, hundreds of miles away in Virginia. Moulton found a 200-year-old Bible the once belonged to Hendriks Albert Sprik. Born in the Netherlands in 1808, Sprik immigrated to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1874. In 1910 the Bible fell out of the family’s hands, and Clark recently found it at a flea market in Virginia Beach. She obtained the Bible. She was able to track down Clark as a descendant and return the Bible to an overjoyed Clark. Read the full story in Discovery of Lost 200-Year-Old Bible Reveals Family History.

Paul Milner made a much-anticipated announcement on his blog this week. His latest book is now available for purchase. Released by the Australian publisher Unlock the Past, Discover English Parish Registers is an excellent resource for both beginning as well as experienced genealogists. The book is available in both print and e-book form. Get the details about the book, and how to buy a copy, in Discover English Parish Registers — My New Book.


British Columbia Birth Certificates


Last week I almost included a story in the Huffington Post out of British Columbia. The province now allows multiple parents to be listed on birth certificates, not just two.  Three-month-old Della Wolf Kabro Wiley Richards is the daughter of a married lesbian couple and their male friend, all of whom are listed as legal parents on her birth record. This past week, Judy G. Russell, the Legal Genealogist, weighed in on the topic, relating it to a recent New Jersey case as well. We are definitely living in a brave new world of family relationships that is impacting genealogy. Read more in the Huffington Post article This Baby is the First in British Columbia to Have 3 Parents Listed on Her Birth Certificate, and Judy’s post A Multiplicity of Parents.

We close this week with a story from the TechKnow blog on Aljazeera America. Rachelle Oldmixon isn’t really a genealogist. But when TechKnow needed a contributer willing to try a 23andMe DNA test, she eagerly volunteered. The problems arose when the results came back questioning her Italian heritage. Read the amusing story in Searching for Hereditary Risk, but Finding a New Family History.