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When Your Family History Meets Technology

Throughout history, populations have been on the move. The Pilgrims moved to America to escape religious intolerance. And throughout time, humans have relocated to find refuge and/or opportunity. But did you know that those journeys can be reflected in your DNA? Ancestry scientists can now detect groups of people based on DNA connections (matches) that Read More

The post When Your Family History Meets Technology appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

“A bayonet wrested from one of the pursuers”

Yesterday I quoted a deposition by a sergeant of the 29th Regiment about his run-in with John Ruddock, justice of the peace and captain of militia in Boston’s North End, 250 years ago this month.

Justice Ruddock was used to getting his way in that neighborhood. He was a big man—probably 300 pounds or more. In September 1766 he told Sheriff Stephen Greenleaf that he was “Unable to Walk far [and] must be Carried in his Chaise.” At that time, Ruddock was rattling off excuses why he couldn’t come help the sheriff and Customs officers search the storehouse of Daniel Malcom for smuggled goods. Because Ruddock was no fan of royal officials.

When the Crown government stationed troops in Boston in 1768, Ruddock was among their most active opponents. He was one of the magistrates who prosecuted Capt. John Willson for allegedly encouraging enslaved Bostonians to revolt. He arrested soldiers for disturbing the peace in both January and February 1769.

Sgt. John Norfolk of the 14th Regiment complained about another such confrontation:

That on or about the 22d. February 1769, in the evening, he heard a great noise in the street; and found it was occasioned by some Soldiers and Inhabitants who were at high words amongst whom was one Ruddock, who said he was a Justice of the peace, and expressed the words, Go fetch my broad sword and Fusee and Damn the Scoundrels, let us drive the Bloody backs to their Quarters, Send for my Company of Men, for I think we are men enough for them.

He the deponent did what was in his power to prevent their Quarreling and in striving to part the Soldiers and Inhabitants Received great abuses from a son of the said Ruddocks who took him by the hair and pulled him into a passage leading into the yard of Said Ruddocks house, shutting the Door upon him, and by repeated blows laid him on the ground quite insensible after he came to himself thay opened the door and kick’d him out of the passage, at the same time they took the opportunity of taking him his side, his Bayonet which he wore (being then a Corporol), and which is now in the possession of said Ruddock who hath refused to return it tho’ properly demanded, both by himself and a Serjeant sent By his Captain for that purpose.

According to Norfolk, Justice Ruddock wasn’t slowed at all by his weight that night. And his son—either John, Jr., or Abiel—yanked him into the family home.

Of course, the justice had his own view of the situation. He thought he was keeping the peace in the face of rowdy military men. Here’s how the Whigs reported the same event for newspapers in other colonies:

As some sailors were passing near Mr. Justice Ruddock’s house, the other night, with a woman in company, they were met by a number of soldiers, one of whom, as usual with those people, claimed the woman for his wife; this soon bro’t on a battle in which the sailors were much bruised, and a young man of the town, who was only a spectator, received a considerable wound on his head; a great cry of murder, brought out the justice, and his son, into the street; when the former who is a gentleman of spirit, immediately laid his hands upon two of the assailants, and called out to one who pretended to be an officer, and all other persons present, requiring them in his Majesty’s name to assist him as a magistrate, in securing those rioters;

instead of this, he was presently surrounded with thirty or forty soldiers, who had their bayonets in their hands, notwithstanding the unseasonable time of night; some of whom endeavoured to loose his hold of the persons he had seized, but not being able to do it, they then made at him with their fists and bayonets; when he received such blows as obliged him to seek his safety by flight;

they struck down a young woman at his door holding out a candle, and followed him and son into the entry-way of his house with their bayonets, uttering the most profane & abusive language, and swearing they would be the death of them both;

upon the first assault given to the magistrate, one of the persons present posted away to the Town-House, and acquainted the commanding officer of the picquet guard, of what was taking place; but it seems the officer did not apprehend himself at liberty to order a party out to secure, or disperse those riotous drunken soldiers.

Due enquiry is making for the discovery of those daring offenders, in order to their being presented to the grand jury, a bayonet wrested from one of the pursuers in the entry, may lead to a knowledge of the owner, and be a means of procuring proof.

The bayonet that the Ruddocks came away with is the link between these two accounts.

On 27 March, the Whigs reported a grand jury had brought charges “against a number of soldiers, for assaulting with drawn cutlasses and bayonets; smiting and wounded [sic], John Ruddock, Esq; one of his Majesty’s justices of the peace, when suppressing a riot at the north part of the town, late at night, in which they were actors.”

As of 21 April the royal judges still hadn’t begun that trial, the Whigs reported, “nor has any thing been done upon it, as we can yet learn.” Norfolk said nothing about being tried, so probably the whole matter dropped, leaving everyone angry.

New Records on FamilySearch from May 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in May of 2019 with almost 14 million new indexed family history records from all over the world. Over 387,000 new digital images were added as well. New historical records were added from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, England, France, Italy, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, the Ukraine,  and the United States, which includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah,and Washington. United States records also include Confederate Officers Card Indexes, Native American Eastern Cherokee Indian Reservation Rolls, and Obituaries from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. FamilySearch also added digital images from Alaska, BillionGraves,and Spain.

Find your ancestors using these free archives online, including birth, marriage, death, and church records. Millions of new genealogy records are added each month to make your search easier.

Country Collection Indexed Records Digital Images Comments
Argentina Argentina, Corrientes, Civil Registration, 1880-1930 37,753 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Argentina Argentina, Corrientes, Catholic Church Records, 1734-1977 72 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Australia Australia, South Australia, School Admission Registers, 1873-1985 1,717 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Australia Australia, South Australia, Will and Probate Records 3,229 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Brazil Brazil, São Paulo, Civil Registration, 1925-1995 207,754 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Brazil Brazil, São Paulo, Civil Registration, 1925-1995 1,848,685 0 New indexed records collection
Canada Canadian Headstones 1,882,916 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Canada Canada, Nova Scotia, Records of Aliens pre-examined at Halifax, 1923-1933 16,175 0 New indexed records collection
Cape Verde Cape Verde, Catholic Church Records, 1787-1957 9,631 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
England England, Hampshire Parish Registers, 1538-1980 40 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
England England, Northamptonshire, Non-conformist Records, 1840-1894 3,020 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
France France, Vienne, Census, 1836 3,362 0 New indexed records collection
Italy Italy, Trento, Diocesi di Trento, Catholic Church Records, 1548-1937 33,197 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Nicaragua Nicaragua Civil Registration, 1809-2013 59,266 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Other BillionGraves Index 338,467 338,467 Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Peru Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1935-1999 5,618 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996 123,377 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Poland Poland, Radom Roman Catholic Church Books, 1587-1966 13,835 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Scotland Scotland Census, 1901 4,437,987 0 New indexed records collection
South Africa South Africa, Pietermaritzburg Estate Files 1846-1950 1,547 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Spain Spain, Soldier Personal Service Files, 1835-1940 0 48,650 Added images to an existing collection
Ukraine Ukraine, Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates, 1734-1930 438,196 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United Kingdom Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935 309,802 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Alabama, Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880 5,248 0 New indexed records collection
United States Alabama, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 1,058 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Alaska, Pioneer Home discharge index, 1913-1958 3,973 0 New indexed records collection
United States Alaska, Vital Records, 1816-1959 0 92 Added images to an existing collection
United States Arizona, Mesa LDS Family History Center, Obituary Index, 1959-2014 852,446 0 New indexed records collection
United States California, Pioneer Migration Index, Compiled 1906-1935 241 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Delaware, World War I Servicemen Records, 1917-1919 5 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920 10 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Kansas, Gove County Enumeration Books and List of Residents, 1909-1950 1,703 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Mississippi, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 528 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Missouri, Confederate Pension Applications and Soldiers Home Applications, 1911-1938 368 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Montana, Rosebud County Records, 1878-2011 108 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866-2010 10 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States New Jersey, Jersey City, Holy Name Cemetery, Card Index of Interment, 1849-1984 42,736 0 New indexed records collection
United States New York State Census, 1905 30,556 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Ohio Tax Records, 1800-1850 1,670,429 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Ohio, Columbus, Union Cemetery, Burial Records, ca. 1878-1980 54,081 0 New indexed records collection
United States Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977 145 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Ohio, World War I Statement of Service Cards, 1914-1919 1,420 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Ohio, World War I, Enrollment Cards, 1914-1918 230,784 0 New indexed records collection
United States Oklahoma, School Records, 1895-1936 165,566 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Oregon, Yamhill County Records, 1857-1963 82 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Board of Health Birth Return Records, 1908-1911 9,198 0 New indexed records collection
United States Texas, Cooke County, Deeds, 1895-1924 1,738 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Texas, El Paso Alien Arrivals, 1909-1924 6,722 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Texas, Gonzales County, Birth Records, 1878-1945 74,466 0 New indexed records collection
United States Texas, Gonzales County, School Records, 1910-1970 447,043 0 New indexed records collection
United States Texas, Swisher County Records, 1879-2012 70 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States United States Confederate Officers Card Index, 1861-1865 104,563 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States United States, Florida, Index to Alien Arrivals by Airplane at Miami, 1930-1942 183 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States United States, Native American, Eastern Cherokee Indian Reservation Rolls, 1848-1970 9 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012 374,380 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Utah, Salt Lake County, Enrolled Militia, 1895 8,901 0 New indexed records collection
United States Utah, World War I Army Servicemen Records Abstracts, 1914-1918 18,884 0 New indexed records collection
United States Utah, World War II Index to Army Veterans of Utah, 1939-1945 42,317 0 New indexed records collection
United States Washington, Pierce County Marriage Returns, 1891-1938 378 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Washington, World War I Veteran’s Compensation Fund Application Records, 1921-1925 258 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sexual orientation from facial images

This is hardly surprising, as there is an obvious evolutionary advantage for people being able to “read faces” not only for sexuality but also for various cognitive, moral, and personality traits (see, e.g., heroes and villains, wizards and simpletons are often portrayed stereotypically in art).

Deep neural networks are more accurate than humans at detecting sexual orientation from facial images

Description: We show that faces contain much more information about sexual orientation than can be perceived and interpreted by the human brain. We used deep neural networks to extract features from 35,326 facial images. These features were entered into a logistic regression aimed at classifying sexual orientation. Given a single facial image, a classifier could correctly distinguish between gay and heterosexual men in 81% of cases, and in 74% of cases for women. Human judges achieved much lower accuracy: 61% for men and 54% for women. The accuracy of the algorithm increased to 91% and 83%, respectively, given five facial images per person. Facial features employed by the classifier included both fixed (e.g., nose shape) and transient facial features (e.g., grooming style). Consistent with the prenatal hormone theory of sexual orientation, gay men and women tended to have gender-atypical facial morphology, expression, and grooming styles. Prediction models aimed at gender alone allowed for detecting gay males with 57% accuracy and gay females with 58% accuracy. Those findings advance our understanding of the origins of sexual orientation and the limits of human perception. Additionally, given that companies and governments are increasingly using computer vision algorithms to detect people’s intimate traits, our findings expose a threat to the privacy and safety of gay men and women.

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