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Dec 22, 2009

This week's news includes:
  1. has released enhanced digital images of the U.S. federal censuses.
  2. The Library of Michigan crisis continues with a smaller budget, effectively coming out of the collection development budget, and an anticipated 20% budget cut in 2010-2011.
  3. The national Archives (TNA) of the UK has unveiled a new look and new address for its online educational services at There are more materials there, plus podcasts and booking access to videoconferences and virtual classes.
  4. The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has uploaded the Ulster Street Directories (1819-1900) at
  5. The Irish Family History Foundation has released parish and statutory records transcriptions for County Londonderry at
  6. Ancestral Atlas has released a collection of Irish Townland Maps at
Be sure to back up your genealogy data and insure that a copy is located outside your home!

This week's listener email includes:

  1. Eiya asks about good books covering African-American genealogical research. The Guys suggest Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree by Tony Burroughs and A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors by Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Ann Croom.
  2. Lois suggests a podcast about the Orphan Train and the Catholic version of this at the "Catholic Under the Hood" site at Look for episode #209.
  3. Lee reminds listeners that they can order copies of original Social Security Applications, Form SS-5, from the Social Security Administration at You can also use the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) at RootsWeb ( and generate a letter. (Listen to the podcast for details.)
  4. Michael asks about the employer number on his great-great-grandfather's SS-5 -- W.P.A. O.P. 65-44-1163 -- and where he might learn what WPA projects on which his ancestor worked. He also asks about the U.S. Employment Service (USES) and what information might be on the registration card.
  5. Blaise has switched to GRAMPS, an open source genealogy program at Blaise is using a portable version of it. (See
  6. Richard asks for suggestions for tracing two brothers who may have been adopted in California between 1920 and 1930.
  7. Gus shares information about "UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and research associate Dean Goodman who have won the Governor's Historic Preservation Award for high-tech mapping efforts at the Marquez Family Cemetery in Santa Monica Canyon" in California.
  8. Barb shares information for Angie (episode #188) about locating and obtaining copies of Civil War pension files. She recounts a very convoluted research scenario involving three husbands, bigamy, and more.
Drew discusses Google Wave, a new facility in beta test mode.