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Dec 22, 2019

On 14 November 2019, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a sudden and unprecedented 492% increase in fees required to access historical records held by the USCIS Genealogy Program. Many of these records should already be publicly accessible under the law. The USCIS is essentially holding them hostage, demanding individuals pay exorbitant and unjustifiable fees to access documents of our immigrant ancestors. YOU HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 30, 2019, TO SUBMIT COMMENTS TO HELP STOP THIS FEE INCREASE. We strongly urge you to visit and protest this action!

News You Can Use and Share

  • Verogen, Inc., has purchased GEDmatch. Drew explains the new opt in/out requirement to accept the terms of service in order to continue to use the site.
  • MyHeritage added 18.6 million new historical records in October 2019. In the first half of November, they added another 18.8 million records. In the second half of November, they added another 8.8 million new records. Drew announces those record collections.
  • The Ohio Genealogical Society has issued a call for lecture proposals for its 2021 Conference to be held in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Nathan Dylan Goodwin has a new book coming out in January 2020 titled The Sterling Affair.
  • Findmypast has released Yorkshire Memorial Inscriptions; Scotland, Renfrewshire Death & Burial Index; Scotland, Stirlingshire & Perthshire Burials; Northumberland Baptisms, Marriages, and Burial collections; Northumberland and Durham Memorial Inscriptions; and Texas County Tax Rolls (1846-1910).
  • FamilySearch celebrates its 125th anniversary.
  • FamilySearch adds the ability to document all family relationships, including same-sex marriages and adoptions.
  • Drew discusses many new and expanded collections from FamilySearch.

Cyndi Says

Cyndi Ingle recommends that listeners try something new.

Our Listeners Talk to Us

  • Lili wrote a great follow-up to our previous discussion of research logs. The Guys talk about more options and setting up a calendar/to-do list to recheck online sites.
  • Linda wrote to compliment us on what she is learning at the new Genealogy Guys Learn subscription site.
  • Linda also wrote to discuss RM7 not running under the new macOS Catalina operating system. Drew discusses downloading and installing CrossOver software from CodeWeavers.
  • Dianne encourages people to regularly recheck FamilySearch and other online sites frequently for the addition and update of records.
  • Eugene shares a story about a man whose 1870 diary details his departure from Michigan to California and each day until his wife and children joined him.
  • Janet responded concerning a recent listener email about foreign service. She shared a link concerning foreign service list resources at the Hathi Trust Digital Library website at
  • Jeryl of the Genealogical Society of Sarasota [Florida] wrote to discuss their work to record and map all the cemeteries in the county. They are looking for cemetery mapping software in which to record their work. We ask our listeners to share any information they have to help the GSS in its endeavor.

The Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix have issued a new call for nominations for the Unsung Heroes Awards. Submissions will be accepted until midnight EST on February 1, 2020. Awards will be announced at RootsTech 2020 in Salt Lake City. Full details and links to nomination forms can be found on our blog at You can even nominate yourself!

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