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Announcing: DearMYRTLE’s new blog "Myrt’s Musings"


Yup! I’ve taken the plunge and designed a new blog called Myrt’s Musings. It will include all the news, hangouts announcements and opinionated moderating my DearREADERS have come to expect.

So head on over to

Frankly, I’ve had a ball experimenting with Wordpress. After consulting with 3 experts, we realize its impossible to import my old DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog posts over without a ton of broken links. It had something to do with a custom domain redirect. Yikes!

Yes, I love Blogger, but I’m loving Wordpress, too. 

That sounds like a line from a country western song.

P.S. Genea-friend and fellow GeneaBloggerTRIBE member Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings said it’s ok if Ol’ Myrt here uses the word “musings.” I’m guessing he doesn’t have a copyright on the use of that word.

P. P. S. – I’ve got a whole new color scheme. Wonder if that means I’ll need to make a new quilt backdrop for our upcoming hangouts? Hmmmm.

Happy family tree climbing!

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it’s simple. If you value the work Ol’ Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you’ll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and
tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

AWS Announces General Availability of Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive — the Lowest Cost Storage in the Cloud

If you want the security of backing up your important data files to a safe and secure off-site web storage service in the cloud, you might be interested in the new press release from Amazon Web Services (AWS):

SEATTLE–Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive, a new storage class that provides secure, durable object storage for long-term retention of data that is rarely accessed. At just $0.00099 per GB-month (less than one-tenth of one cent, or $1 per TB-month), S3 Glacier Deep Archive offers the lowest cost storage in the cloud, at prices significantly lower than storing and maintaining data in on-premises magnetic tape libraries or archiving data off-site. To get started with S3 Glacier Deep Archive visit:

Organizations in many market segments (e.g., financial services, healthcare, and government, etc.) are required to retain data for long periods of time to meet regulatory compliance requirements. In addition, there are organizations, such as media and entertainment companies, that want to keep a backup copy of core intellectual property. These datasets are often very large, consisting of multiple petabytes, and yet typically only a small percentage of this data is ever accessed—once or twice a year at most. To retain data long-term, many organizations turn to on-premises magnetic tape libraries or offsite tape archival services. However, maintaining this tape infrastructure is difficult and time-consuming; tapes degrade if not properly stored and require multiple copies, frequent validation, and periodic refreshes to maintain data durability.

Additionally, it is difficult or impossible to do machine learning and other types of analysis directly on data stored on tape. Now, with S3 Glacier Deep Archive, customers with large datasets they want to retain for long periods will be able to eliminate both the cost and management of tape infrastructure, while ensuring that their data is preserved for future use and analysis, such as in oil and gas seismic exploration and developing autonomous vehicles. Customers can still use S3 Glacier when they want retrieval options in minutes for archive data, while S3 Glacier Deep Archive is ideal for customers who want the lowest cost for archive data that is rarely accessed. In the event that recovery becomes necessary, the objects can be recovered in as little as 12 hours with S3 Glacier Deep Archive versus days or weeks with off-site tape.

“We have customers who have exabytes of storage locked away on tape, who are stuck managing tape infrastructure for the rare event of data retrieval. It’s hard to do and that data is not close to the rest of their data if they want to do analytics and machine learning on it,” said Mai-Lan Tomsen Bukovec, Vice President, Amazon S3, AWS. “S3 Glacier Deep Archive costs just a dollar per terabyte per month and opens up rarely accessed storage for analysis whenever the business needs it, without having to deal with the infrastructure or logistics of tape access.”

With six different storage class options, Amazon S3 provides the broadest array of cost-optimization options available in the cloud today. All objects stored in S3 Glacier Deep Archive are replicated and stored across at least three geographically-dispersed Availability Zones, designed for 99.999999999% (eleven nines) durability, and can be restored within 12 hours or less. S3 Glacier Deep Archive also offers a bulk retrieval option that lets customers retrieve petabytes of data within 48 hours. Customers can upload data to S3 Glacier Deep Archive over the internet or using AWS Direct Connect and the AWS Management Console, AWS Storage Gateway, AWS DataSync, AWS Command Line Interface, or the AWS Software Development Kit. S3 Glacier Deep Archive is integrated with Tape Gateway, a cloud-based virtual tape library feature of AWS Storage Gateway, so customers using it to manage on-premises tape-based backups can choose to archive their new virtual tapes in either S3 Glacier or S3 Glacier Deep Archive. S3 Glacier Deep Archive is available in all AWS commercial and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions.

Deluxe is the world’s leading video creation to distribution company offering global, end-to-end services and technology. Through unmatched scale, technology and capabilities, Deluxe enables the global market for video content. “As the demand for higher quality and increased amounts of content continues to rapidly grow, we will now have the ability to eliminate the limitations of a hybrid on-prem tape model by using S3 Glacier Deep Archive to reduce access time and rapidly shift the availability and workability of content sources exclusively on the cloud,” said Andy Shenkler, Chief Product Officer, Deluxe. “AWS’s S3 Glacier Deep Archive addresses the challenges that have previously existed around the economics and timelines associated with accessing and utilizing large media assets throughout every step of the content creation and distribution process.”

Vodacom is a leading communications company providing a wide range of services, including mobile and fixed voice, messaging, data, financial, Enterprise IT, and converged services to over 73 million customers across the African continent. “We are a data driven organization and use current and historical information to provide personalized customer offers, improve user retention, and ensure a higher quality of network service through analysis,” said Willie Stegmann, Group Chief Information Officer, at Vodacom. “We identified archive and backup storage as key candidates to migrate offsite in an attempt to reduce the time we spend managing storage infrastructure. S3 Glacier Deep Archive provides us with near limitless secure and durable capacity at a cost so low that we no longer need to consider deleting critical data. The use of S3 Glacier Deep Archive also means that we can easily meet recovery time objectives of 12 to 48 hours for the identified backup and archive storage sets.”

The Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust) is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to providing both a preservation repository for digital content and collaboratively developed services related to that content. APTrust helps address one of the great challenges facing research libraries and their parent institutions—preventing the permanent loss of scholarship and cultural records. “We accept all types of digital content from member institutions—print, audio, video, encrypted, and other types of files,” said Chip German, Program Director, APTrust. “Our members deposit with us all sorts of data they consider valuable, including data that’s required by funders to be preserved and made accessible for a set period. The copies we store are usually secondary ones in case a disaster damages the primary copy, but that level of assurance comes at a cost that researchers and their institutions often haven’t fully anticipated. Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive gives APTrust members a much more affordable option to preserve their data for as long as they desire, and to do so confidently and conveniently.”

Commvault, an AWS Partner Network member, is a recognized global enterprise software leader in the management of data for cloud and on-premises environments. “Our customers need to be able to move, manage, and use data in a way that promotes business agility and contains costs,” said Karen Falcone, Vice President, Worldwide Cloud and Service Providers, at Commvault. “With Commvault’s support for AWS, customers get single, comprehensive data management platform with full data protection, backup, recovery, management, and eDiscovery capabilities—all tightly integrated with AWS services. And now, S3 Glacier Deep Archive will allow us to provide the lowest cost storage available in the cloud and have it accessible, if necessary, in the future. For our customers in regulated industries, that can mean petabytes of data going back years. Customers can use S3 Glacier Deep Archive today as an Early Release feature.”

Veritas is an AWS Partner Network Advanced Storage competency partner and the proven industry leader in data protection and software defined storage solutions for over two decades. “Our customers need to be able to harness the power of their information with solutions designed to serve the world’s most complex and largest heterogeneous environments while accelerating digital transformation, reducing risk, and delivering cost savings,” said Cameron Bahar, SVP & CTO, at Veritas. “With Veritas solutions supporting AWS, we continue to extend our support for cloud usage models and provide our customers simple and agile solutions to solve complex data management issues for backup/recovery, archiving, primary storage, and disaster recovery use cases. With Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive, Veritas will be able to help customers increase their savings even more significantly. Veritas customers can use S3 Glacier Deep Archive Standard tier with the latest NetBackup version as of today.”

About Amazon Web Services

For 13 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 165 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 61 Availability Zones (AZs) within 20 geographic regions, spanning the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Sweden, and the UK. Millions of customers including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

Announcing: DearMYRTLE’s new blog "Myrt’s Musings"


Yup! I’ve taken the plunge and designed a new blog called Myrt’s Musings. It will include all the news, hangouts announcements and opinionated moderating my DearREADERS have come to expect.

So head on over to

Frankly, I’ve had a ball experimenting with Wordpress. After consulting with 3 experts, we realize its impossible to import my old DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog posts over without a ton of broken links. It had something to do with a custom domain redirect. Yikes!

Yes, I love Blogger, but I’m loving Wordpress, too. 

That sounds like a line from a country western song.

P.S. Genea-friend and fellow GeneaBloggerTRIBE member Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings said it’s ok if Ol’ Myrt here uses the word “musings.” I’m guessing he doesn’t have a copyright on the use of that word.

P. P. S. – I’ve got a whole new color scheme. Wonder if that means I’ll need to make a new quilt backdrop for our upcoming hangouts? Hmmmm.

Happy family tree climbing!

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it’s simple. If you value the work Ol’ Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you’ll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and
tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

Freshwater Supply, Upper Mississippi River, Transgender Health Care, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 25, 2019


Google Blog: A new app to map and monitor the world’s freshwater supply. “Today, on World Water Day, we’re proud to showcase a new platform enabling all countries to freely measure and monitor when and where water is changing: UN’s Water-Related Ecosystems, or Released last week in Nairobi at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), the app provides statistics for every country’s annual surface water (like lakes and rivers). It also shows changes from 1984 through 2018 through interactive maps, graphs and full-data downloads.”

University of Wisconsin La Crosse: River record . “For decades, Upper Mississippi River scientists have conducted stimulating research only to see it placed in a room at a laboratory in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Now with help from librarians at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library that work is going viral. UWL Murphy Library staff are still scanning
materials brought to the library in a truckload last August. So far they’ve scanned, cataloged and put online more than 26,000 pages of material and over 400 photographs.”

LGBTQ Nation: This group is developing a badly needed database of trans-friendly medical providers. “For many transgender people, finding supportive medical care can be difficult, requiring one to travel for hours, rely on often-outdated information or even turn to less-than-legal means to get aid. The DC Area Transmasculine Society (DCATS) is trying to change things for the better, putting together an online database where trans people can recommend care providers in their local area.”


Stornoway Gazette: First Insta-friendly map is created for the Outer Hebrides. “The limited-edition map of Uist in the Outer Hebrides embodies the ‘hands-on’ character of an old school map with its traditional layout and trusted grid reference points – but with a modern-day twist. A special new Insta-friendly symbol has been created and added to the map to sit alongside the traditional ‘place of worship’ and ‘museum’ symbols from map reading days gone-by.”

BetaNews: Google Street View takes you to Devon Island, which isn’t on Mars. “Ever hear of Devon Island? Yeah, neither have I. Apparently, it is an island in Canada that is referred to as ‘Mars on Earth’ by some, including Google. Why? Because of its similar terrain/environment to the ‘red planet.’ You see, the search giant seems very excited about bringing its popular Google Street view to this location. Truth be told, at first, I thought Google actually had miraculously brought Street View to the actual planet of Mars (silly me), but upon further investigation, my excitement was quickly extinguished when I discovered it was just a place here on Earth. But OK, I guess it’s still kind of cool.”


Gizmodo: This Clever Hack Will Change the Way You Find Music on Spotify. “My favorite thing about Spotify has always been music discovery. So when the company started building personalized playlists like Discovery Weekly and Release radar, I was hooked. The only problem was listening to all the new music takes forever. But an independent project from a couple of Spotify developers offers an amazing hack for exploring millions and millions of songs. They call it Discover Quickly.”

CNET: First all-female spacewalk: How to watch NASA make history. “It’s been 35 years since cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space when she stepped outside the Salyut 7 space station. On Friday, NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch are scheduled to take a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. If all goes as planned, they will become the first all-female spacewalk team in history.”


KQED: How to Teach Students Historical Inquiry Through Media Literacy And Critical Thinking. “Many students are not good at evaluating the credibility of what they see and read online according to a now-famous Stanford study that was released just after the 2016 election. And while it’s true that 82 percent of middle schoolers couldn’t tell the difference between a native advertisement and a news article, neither could 59 percent of adults in a study conducted by the advertising industry. Sam Wineburg, the Stanford professor who led the middle school study, is worried that everyone is ‘profoundly confused’ right now and that schools aren’t doing enough to teach students the skills they need to be effective citizens and digital consumers.”

KnowTechie: Warner Music signs an algorithm to a multi-album deal. “We’re slowly getting used to AI taking our notes, making our calls, and retouching our photos. Now, according to Warner Music, we’ll have to get used to it creating our music too. The music label has added an AI to its roster, in what the label calls the first algorithm to sign a record deal.”


New York Times: He Spent 36 Years Behind Bars. A Fingerprint Database Cleared Him in Hours.. “All it took was for technicians in a crime lab to run the fingerprints collected at the scene of a rape through a national database. Within hours, the experts had established a match with a serial rapist. But that was last week — almost four decades after the attack on Dec. 9, 1982, when a woman was raped and stabbed in her home in a well-to-do neighborhood in Baton Rouge, La. A different man, Archie Williams, went to prison for the crime, even though it was known at the trial that the fingerprints were not his.” Good afternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Genealogy News Bytes – 22 March 2019

Some of the genealogy news items across my desktop the last four days include:

1)  News Articles:

Press Release: Bode Forensic Genealogy Service (FGS)

2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

*  Friday Finds 22 March 2019

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar – Tuesday, 26 March, 11 a.m. PDT:  Following Your Family’s Immigration Trail on MyHeritage, by Mike Mansfield

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar – Wednesday, 27 March, 11 a.m. PDT:  No Purchase Necessary: Free Genealogy Tools for Your iPad/iPhone, by Devin Ashby

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  The Five-story Fall: Correlating Indirect and Direct Evidence to Extend the Pedigree, by Debra S. Mieszala

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Rescuing Orphaned Items: How to Save and Share Ebay, Etsy and Flea Market Finds, by Thomas MacEntee

4)  Genealogy Education – Podcasts:

*  Fisher’s Top Tips Podcast:  #55:  DNA Tests Results

*  Genealogy Guys Podcast:  #359
*  The Photo Detective Podcast:  Episode 33: Spring Cleaning Your Photos

5)  Genealogy Education – Video:

*  DearMYRTLE YouTube:  WACKY Wednesday – YOU are the client
*  The In-Depth Genealogist:  FYR and Relative Race Season 5 Ep2

*  BYU Family History Library YouTube:  Discovering the FamilySearch Family Tree App – James Tanner
*  Valerie and Myrt’s Excellent Genealogy Adventures YouTube:  WiFi in Europe
*  Valerie and Myrt’s Excellent Genealogy Adventures YouTube:  Secret Compartments & Other Travel TIps
*  American Ancestors YouTube:  Using and Evaluating Published Genealogies

8)  Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes – 18 March 2019?


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the “Comments” link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Seavers in the News — App Purcell Seaver Dies in 1961 in Gate City, Virginia

It’s time for another edition of “Seavers in the News” – a weekly feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, useful, mysterious, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week’s entry is from the Kingsport [Tenn.] Times-News newspaper dated 12 March 1961:

The transcription of the article is:

“App Purcell Seaver

“GATE CITY, Va. — App Purcell Seaver, 92, died at 1 p.m. Saturday at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Rhea Rose, after a lingering illness.

“He was operator of Seaver’s Harness Shop in Gate City before his retirement.  He was a member of the Gate City Methodist Church.  A son, Carter William Seaver, died in December, 1960.

“Survivors include two sons, Robert E. and Jamie L. Seaver, both of Gate City; five daughters, Mrs. Rhea Rose, Mrs. B.H. Quillen, Mrs. Grace Maness, Mrs. T.M. Elliott and Mrs. L.B. Ferbranche, all of Gate City;  20 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

“The body will be removed to the home of Mrs. Rhea Rose at 10 a.m. Sunday from Scott County Funeral Home.”

The source citation for the article is:

“App Purcell Seaver” Kingsport [Tenn.] Times-News newspaper, obituary, Sunday, 12 March 1961, page 4, column 1, App Purcell Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 21 March 2019).

No age, birth date or birth place was provided for App Purcell Seaver.  A death date of 11 March 1961 can be inferred from the obituary (Saturday, presumably the day before the obituary appeared in the newspaper).  The real prize here are the names of the eight children, but only two of the daughters has a first name listed (unless “Rhea” is a husband’s name!).

I had App Purcell Seaver (1869-1961) in my RootsMagic family tree.  He was the youngest child of Jeremiah Seaver (1805-1869) and Elvina Counts (1829-1900) of Hawkins County, Tennessee.  App married Lillie Hutchens (1873-????) in about 1892 in Tennessee.  My database showed 8 children born to this couple:

*  Ethel R. Seaver (1894-????)
*  Carrie Ella Seaver (1897-1994), married Belt H. Quillen.
*  Grace V. Seaver (1897-????) (married Maness)
*  Garnet J. Seaver (1899-????)
*  Robert Eldridge Seaver (1901-1969), married Elizabeth Amelia Herron (1905-1988) before 1923.
*  William Carter Seaver (1905-1960), married Ova Marie Roberts (1924-2012) before 1959.
*  Jamie L. Seaver (1909-1981)
*  Mildred Elizabeth Seaver (1912-2000), married Lawrence B. Ferbrache (1908-2003) in 1933.

I did not have spouse names for Ethel, Grace, Garnet, or Jamie.   On Find A Grave, I found most of these children buried in Holston View Cemetery in Weber City, Virginia.  Ethel R. is Ethel Rhea Seaver Rose, wife of Frank R. Rose; Grace’s husband is Richard S. Maness; Garnet’s spouse is Paris  M. Elliott. 

I am not related to this group of Seaver persons.  The earliest Seaver in this group is Casper Seaver (1720-1752) who was born in Germany.


Disclosure:  I have a paid subscription to and have used it extensively to find articles about my ancestral and one-name families.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the “Comments” link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook,  or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Statistical Palaeoafricans

According to a new preprint by Durvasula and Sankararaman (D+S):

Using this method, we find that ~7.97±0.6% of the genetic ancestry from the West African Yoruba population traces its origin to an unidentified, archaic population

This ~8% matches well the ~9% of “West Africa A” in Yoruba of the model of Skoglund et al. Figure 3D. If “West Africa A” corresponds to the Archaic Ghost of D+S, then the Mende have the most of it at ~13%.

I have long maintained that the higher genetic diversity of extant Sub-Saharan Africans is the result of admixture between “Afrasians” (a population that spawned Eurasians and much of the ancestry of Sub-Saharans and which had “low” (Eurasian-level) of genetic diversity) and multiple layers of “Palaeoafricans”. It would seem that one such layer has now been discovered.

Where did the Afrasians live? Recent developments pushed back the presence of modern humans in both North Africa and the Middle East, making both regions highly competitive as the cradle of the Afrasians. The odds for Sub-Saharan Africa have greatly diminished also by the discovery of late non-sapiens H. naledi in South Africa (which was naively postulated as a cradle based on the presence there today of genetically diverse San Bushmen, but who are not descendants of even Late Pleistocene South Africans), as well as of the archaic component in the genomes of West Africans. These discoveries pile up on top of known archaic skulls of late provenance in both Central and West Africa.

Remember though, that the archaic admixture in West Africans is “less archaic” (more closely related to H. sapiens) than the Neandertal/Denisovan ancestry which contributed to extant Eurasians. All Africans (modern or archaic) are a branch within the phylogeny of Eurasians, with Australoids (and now apparently East Asians too) having the deepest known strain of human ancestry inherited from the elusive Denisovans.

“He would raise a thousand Men at his own expence”?

At last night’s presentation on the John and Abigail Adams and George Washington, I related an anecdote that circulated at the First Continental Congress. It raised a question, so I decided to take a closer look at the record.

On 31 Aug 1774, John Adams dined with South Carolina delegate Thomas Lynch, Sr. (1727-1776, shown here) and wrote this into his diary:

He told us that Coll. Washington made the most eloquent Speech at the Virginia Convention that ever was made. Says he, “I will raise 1000 Men, subsist them at my own Expence, and march my self at their Head for the Relief of Boston.”

Silas Deane of Connecticut heard the same story about George Washington, writing home to his wife in the middle of September:

It is said that in the house of Burgesses in Virginia, on hearing of the Boston Port Bill, he offered to raise and arm and lead one thousand men himself at his own expense, for the defence of the country, were there need of it. His fortune is said to be equal to such an undertaking.

Adams recalled his conversation with Lynch in the autobiography he wrote in the early 1800s:

Mr. Lynch a Delegate from South Carolina, who, in conversation on the Unhappy State of Boston and its inhabitants, after some Observations had been made on the Eloquence of Mr. Patrick Henry and Mr. Richard Henry Lee, which had been very loudly celebrated by the Virginians, said that the most eloquent Speech that had ever been made in Virginia or any where else, upon American Affairs had been made by Colonel Washington.

This was the first time I had ever heard the Name of Washington, as a Patriot in our present Controversy, I asked who is Colonel Washington and what was his Speech?

Colonel Washington he said was the officer who had been famous in the late french War and in the Battle in which [Gen. Edward] Braddock fell. His Speech was that if the Bostonians should be involved in Hostilities with the British Army he would march to their relief at the head of a Thousand Men at his own expence. This Sentence Mr. Lynch said, had more Oratory in it, in his Judgment, than all that he had ever heard or read.

And in an 11 Nov 1807 letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Adams included the story among the influential “anecdotes” that preceded Washington:

Mr Lynch of South Carolina told me before We met in Congress in 1774 that “Colonel Washington had made the most eloquentt speech that ever had been Spoken upon the Controversy with England, viz That if the English Should Attack the People of Boston, he would raise a thousand Men at his own expence and march at their head to New England to their Aid.”

It’s a pity that there’s no basis to Lynch’s story. Sources from Virginia, where people were after all most likely to have heard Washington speak, say nothing about it.

Lynch and Adams spoke at the end of August. The Virginia delegation to the Congress started to arrive on 3 September, with Washington coming the next day. Yet the story continued to spread among the New England delegates, as shown by Deane repeating it in the middle of September. Even decades later, when Adams repeated the story, he didn’t write about now knowing it was untrue.

Evidently people were so impressed by Washington’s reported promise to march a thousand men to Boston that no one actually asked him about it.

FamilySearch: A Global Experience at #NGS2017GEN

The Ancestry Insider is a member of the NGS 2017 conference social media press.The 2017 National Genealogical Society conference wrapped up last Saturday, and after a couple of articles, so will I. Diane Loosely of FamilySearch spoke at the FamilySearch luncheon. Her title was “FamilySearch: A Global Experience.” She described three definitions of global for which FamilySearch is global.

One definitions of global refers to world-wide global reach. Diane showed us a FamilySearch booklet, My Family: Stories that Bring Us Together. It is available in 66 languages. FamilySearch has 5,000 family history centers located in 33 countries. They offer support to patrons in 13 languages.

FamilySearch operates cameras in countries across the globe. They have 5.6 billion names published online from many countries. They publish an additional 2 million names a day.

Diane showed a video, “Preserving and Accessing the Records of the World,” documenting record destruction in the Philippines resulting from super-Typhoon Yolanda. One town’s records, indeed all the town offices, were completely destroyed. All that was left was the cement floor of the building. Because FamilySearch had photographed their records, FamilySearch was able to restore all the records to them.

Diane said that FamilySearch is gathering the genealogies of villages in Africa that, today, are preserved only by “Rememberers.” Aging village elders have memorized the genealogies of the village. Many are old and their knowledge is perishing with them. In the case of 95-year old Opanin Kwame Nketia, FamilySearch interviewed him and documented 12 generations and 1,000 people. A couple of days later when they returned to thank him, they discovered he had passed way.

Diane said that 50 years ago FamilySearch canvassed Mexico, filming their records. It is thought that today 15 to 20% of those records have perished.

Another sense of the word global is the idea of operating on a whole set of things. To find and search all of FamilySearch’s records, you have to know a few ways of accessing the records. Diane showed a Kentucky probate collection containing 12,000 names and nearly a million images. Obviously, FamilySearch had not completely indexed the collection. To access all the records, you have to be prepared to browse through the images like you would microfilm. She also pointed out that some records are accessed only through the catalog.

Another sense of the word global is embracing the whole of something. “We feel a responsibility to help everyone discover their family history,” she said. She shared the quote from the Emory university study stating that the more children know about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives and the higher their self-esteem. FamilySearch recently remodeled the first floor of the Salt Lake Family History Library to appeal to a younger generation.

Diane shared the well-known quote of Alex Haley:

In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage—to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.

She then challenged us to choose a person we would like to introduce to family history. Prepare beforehand. Then go and give them a meaningful experience with family history.



Note: I was interested in where one might find Alex Haley’s original quote, as very few people cite the source. Barbara Renick in her book Genealogy 101: How to Trace Your Family’s History and Heritage (Thomas Nelson Inc., 2003) is the only source I could find who cited a source: “What Roots Means to Me,” Reader’s Digest (May 1977), 73-74.

The slow death of Out of Africa

The significance of the discovery of modern humans in Arabia >85kya is that it provides a second spot (other than Israel) were modern humans existed outside Africa long before the alleged 60kya blitz out of the continent. We now have modern humans outside Africa in roughly two locations (Israel and Arabia), and three time slices (~175-85kya) in Misliya, Shkul/Qafzeh, and Al Wusta-1. It is no longer tenable to claim that these modern humans “died out” to make way for the alleged 60kya OoA event.

An important implication of pre-60kya Eurasians not dying out is that in all likelihood mtDNA haplogroup L3 and Y-chromosome haplogroup E originated in Eurasia, not Africa, and represent major Eurasian admixture into Africa.

Out of Africa theory is not dead (yet), but it resembles Rocky Balboa taking punch after punch round after round over the last 10 years or so. Will it make a cinematic last round comeback and prove itself, or will it be dealt a knockout punch in the near future? 

Nature Ecology and Evolution (2018) doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0518-2

Homo sapiens in Arabia by 85,000 years ago

Understanding the timing and character of the expansion of Homo sapiens out of Africa is critical for inferring the colonization and admixture processes that underpin global population history. It has been argued that dispersal out of Africa had an early phase, particularly ~130–90 thousand years ago (ka), that reached only the East Mediterranean Levant, and a later phase, ~60–50 ka, that extended across the diverse environments of Eurasia to Sahul. However, recent findings from East Asia and Sahul challenge this model. Here we show that H. sapiens was in the Arabian Peninsula before 85 ka. We describe the Al Wusta-1 (AW-1) intermediate phalanx from the site of Al Wusta in the Nefud desert, Saudi Arabia. AW-1 is the oldest directly dated fossil of our species outside Africa and the Levant. The palaeoenvironmental context of Al Wusta demonstrates that H. sapiens using Middle Palaeolithic stone tools dispersed into Arabia during a phase of increased precipitation driven by orbital forcing, in association with a primarily African fauna. A Bayesian model incorporating independent chronometric age estimates indicates a chronology for Al Wusta of ~95–86 ka, which we correlate with a humid episode in the later part of Marine Isotope Stage 5 known from various regional records. Al Wusta shows that early dispersals were more spatially and temporally extensive than previously thought. Early H. sapiens dispersals out of Africa were not limited to winter rainfall-fed Levantine Mediterranean woodlands immediately adjacent to Africa, but extended deep into the semi-arid grasslands of Arabia, facilitated by periods of enhanced monsoonal rainfall.