If you have a certain number of genea-friends on social media, you may have already seen this, but we want to inform you about something that is currently going on in the genealogy world.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the INS) has proposed an outrageous fee increase, raising the fees for a $65 search and the follow-up $65 record retrieval to $240 and $385 — a 492% increase.
What files does the USCIS have?
- Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files), September 27, 1906 to March 31, 1956
- Alien Registration Forms (Form AR-2), August 1940 to March 1944
- Visa Files, July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
- Registry Files, March 1929 to March 31, 1944
- A-Files, April 1, 1944 to May 1, 1951
These are records that cannot be found anywhere else. NARA should have already received some of these files, which would make them easier for genealogists to access, but they have not been passed along as they should have been. And no genealogy organization has access to them or even to the indexes.
The USCIS has provided an opportunity for us to comment on the proposed rule that dramatically impacts the USCIS Genealogy Records Program.
You can read more about the rule proposal at https://www.recordsnotrevenue.com/ as well as see samples of some documents you may get from USCIS.
We encourage all of our members and friends to then follow through and comment on how you feel about this fee increase at https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCIS-2019-0010-0001. They have already received over 11,000 comments and you can leave a comment until the end of December.
Announcing a screening of the award-winning film, Children of the Inquisition, followed by a discussion with the film’s director, Joseph Lovett. The film follows people in their journey of self-discovery through genealogy research and the stories of their ancestors who survived the Inquisition. Children of the Inquisition won the Grand Prize for the “Hearts, Minds, Souls Award: Celebrating Films that Reflect the Jewish Experience” from the Flicker’s Rhode Island International Film Festival.
The event will take place at the Gould Auditorium, Marriott Library, at the University of Utah from 5:30 – 8:00pm on October 2nd. It is being sponsored by Friends of the Marriott Library, the Marriott Library Special Collections, and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Free refreshments will be provided.
More about the film and the trailer can be found at: https://childrenoftheinquisition.com/.
There is a parking lot west of the library for $2 per hour, or several TRAX or UTA bus stops on campus. The library provides directions and more information.
UJGS is sad to report we’ve just learned about the death of Robert Neu on 16 March 2019.
Robert was the founder of our society in 2002, serving as president from that time until he left for an LDS mission in 2007. Upon his return in 2008, he remained an active member until about 2012. He continued to attend sporadically until his last meeting in 2015. He moved to Minnesota soon after.
Robert contributed regularly to Atsmi Uvsari, our newsletter (2003-2010), including as the editor for about a year. His book reviews can be found in many of the old issues, along with other stories.
In 2005 (Issue 10, page 7), Robert gave the following still-relevant advice to our members:
“Don’t give up. Get to know ALL the records from the area you are researching. Help others as you gain knowledge.”
Robert was buried at Fair View Cemetery in Middletown, New Jersey, where he has other family members. He was 78 years old. His obituary can be read online.
UJGS sends its condolences to his many family members and friends.
While our members can access the site whenever they visit the Family History Library, MyHeritage is offering an early Valentine’s Day gift.
Free access to all marriage records on their site. This includes US, European, and all international collections they have.
So if you have some marriages in your family still to find, take a look and see what they have from the convenience of your home.
This offer runs from February 10 – 17 at myheritage.com.
FindMyPast is offering free access to 2.7 billion records this weekend. Included in the offer is birth, marriage, and death records, census, military, immigration, directories, the 1939 Register, and more.
Most of these collections are British but also include ship lists going to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America and more; the Catholic Heritage Archive of North American, British, and Irish records. It appears that FindMyPast is offering access to almost all of their collections (except for newspapers, PERSI, and UK Electoral Registers).
The offer ends at midnight on September 10th (BST?), so don’t miss out on the opportunity to search these records from the comfort of your own home. FindMyPast is available for free access at the Family History Library, but some collections are not always available in the library versions.
I know what I’ll be doing for some of this weekend. What will you be doing?
The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering free access this week to all of its online databases, more than 1.4 billion names.
Visit AmericanAncestors.org to search their records. Searching is free but you will need to create a guest account to see the images.
These records are only free from July 10 to July 17, so don’t miss out. They have more than just New England records. You can browse their database list to see what they have.
In honor of the July 4th holiday, MyHeritage is providing free access to its US Newspaper records, no data subscription required, from July 3rd to July 8th.
We know that telling the stories of our ancestors is an important part of genealogy research. While vital records provide birth, marriage, and death information, newspapers often provide the narrative of our ancestors’ lives in between those events.
Visit the MyHeritage blog for more about this offer and the origins of one of our national symbols, the bald eagle. Or head straight over to the Newspaper Collection.
If you’ve previously uploaded your family tree to MyHeritage, log in and can look under “Discoveries”, then “Matches by Source”, look only at “Record Matches”, and look at your newspaper smart matches to see what MyHeritage has already found for your family. You may not be able to click through from there, but you’ll know who they found and you can search for it on your own.
Congratulations to our new UJGS officers. Our election was held yesterday at our regular meeting.
All of our officers have been re-elected to another two-year term. Returning are Todd Knowles as President, Paula Paradise as Secretary, and Banai Feldstein as Treasurer and Webmaster.
Also joining our Board is Josh Perlman, serving as the Chair of the Activities Committee.
We will soon begin planning for our society activities next year. We are currently looking at setting up a special January meeting on a Sunday for a speaker who will be coming to town. We’ll let you know as the plans move forward.
MyHeritage is available at the Family History Library, making it accessible to our Utah JGS members fairly easily, but it’s always more convenient to search from home, at any hour, with all your genealogy data handy.
For one week, August 14 – 20, MyHeritage will be making all of its major census collections available for free. This includes the US, UK and Ireland, Canada, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. They are offering this in celebration of their recent milestone of surpassing eight billion historical records on SuperSearch.
So if you’ve been wanting to search the Nordic censuses or you’ve had trouble finding some of your relatives in the other censuses, now is a great time to try another search engine to find them.
If you’ve previously uploaded your family tree to MyHeritage, you should look through your record matches as well. They may have already found some listings for you.
You can visit their blog post about this offer to find links directly to each of the census collections by country.
A new resource has been made available from Hal Bookbinder. A series of short articles on Practicing Safe Computing have appeared monthly in “Venturing Into Our Past”, the newsletter of the JGS of Conejo Valley and Ventura County.
To date, 17 articles have been published. They have been consolidated into a single PDF file and it is freely available. Hal is planning to add new articles over the coming months.
Each article is only one page long and talks about general tips for using your computer and the Internet safely, from backing up your data to avoiding scams and viruses.
This is a useful resource. Be sure to download the PDF and read the articles. Thank you, Hal for sharing these with us.