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Twitter, Sidewalk Labs, Google Hardware, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, October 27, 2019


TechCrunch: Twitter Q3 misses big on revenues of $824M and EPS of $0.05 on the back of adtech glitches. “Twitter… reported its earnings for the quarter that ended September 30, and the numbers delivered a big surprise, falling on both sales and earnings per share. Revenues came in at $824 million, and EPS at $0.05. That represents sales up 9% year-over-year but far below what analysts had been expecting: (non-GAAP, diluted) EPS of 20 cents per share and revenues of $874.03 million (or higher, $883 million, depending on which group of analysts you’re following).”

BNN Bloomberg: Google parent is closer to a deal on Toronto’s Sidewalk Labs. “Sidewalk Labs LLC, the urban innovation unit of Alphabet Inc. and Waterfront Toronto, the public corporation in charge of the development, are finding common ground on a majority of contentious issues, according to people familiar with the discussions. The parties have been meeting ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline set by Waterfront to reach agreement on topics such as data privacy, land values and geographical boundaries, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.”

CNET: Google is replacing Home devices bricked by firmware update. “Google has said it’ll replace any of its Home smart speakers that have stopped working after a firmware update, as reported earlier Thursday by 9to5Google. It comes after customers complained online about their Google Home devices being bricked following a recent automatic update, the report said.”


BoingBoing: Get 35 free audio books from Tor’s new horror imprint. “Renowned sci-fi and fantasy publisher Tor just launched a new book imprint called Nightfire, focusing on new horror fiction. And to celebrate, they’re giving away 35 free short horror stories as audiobooks. The list includes stories by Alyssa Wong, Chuck Wendig, China Miéville, Carmen Maria Machado, and more.”


Motherboard: How Facebook Bought a Police Force. “The Bay Area has long been a sandbox for technology giants who are no longer merely occupying communities, but building and reshaping them. In Menlo Park, an affluent, mostly white city of 35,000, Facebook at one point paid workers not to live in lower-income neighborhoods near the company’s headquarters. And now, there’s a police unit that is funded by Facebook to patrol the area surrounding its campus. The bill comes in at over $2 million annually—big money in a small city.”

BBC: How a social network could save democracy from deadlock. “Whether it is the daily Brexit face-offs, the endless scandals on Capitol Hill or the yellow vests of France, the space for meaningful compromise has dramatically shrunk. Instead, it’s a time of digging in, fighting your corner, staying the course. No surrender. It signals a deeper malaise – as electorates become more polarised, democracies become more paralysed. Yet what if it doesn’t need to be this way? What if new ways can be found to break deadlocks and bring electorates back together?”


The Register: Time to check who left their database open and leaked 7.5m customer records: Hi there, Adobe Creative Cloud!. “Adobe has pulled offline a public-facing poorly secured Elasticsearch database containing information on 7.5 million Creative Cloud customers. The cloud-based silo was uncovered by infosec detective Bob Diachenko, who reported it to Adobe last week.”

Route Fifty: Ohio Establishes ‘Cyber Reserve’ to Combat Ransomware. “At least three local governments in Ohio and the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport have all been hit with ransomware attacks in the last year alone. The next time hackers go after a local government in Ohio, however, the state will have a new weapon to deploy: the Ohio Cyber Reserve.”

Techdirt: Whirlpool Left Appliance Data, User Emails Exposed Online. “Another day, another shining example of why connecting everything from your Barbie dolls to tea kettles to the internet was a bad idea. This week it’s Whirlpool that’s under fire after a researcher discovered that the company had failed to secure a database containing 28 million records collected from the company’s ‘smart’ appliances. The database contained user email addresses, model names and numbers, unique appliance identifiers, and data collected from routine analysis of the appliances’ condition, including how often the appliance is used, when its off or on, and whether it had any issues.”


Mongabay: Holding social media companies accountable for facilitating illegal wildlife trade (commentary). “Facebook, and other social media firms, mainly rely on algorithms and artificial intelligence to moderate harmful content. But investigations by the Alliance to Counter Crime Online (ACCO) show time and again how these algorithms actually connect traffickers faster than moderators can remove them. They suggest friends and recommend groups, putting illicit actors in touch with one another, continually expanding networks of users engaging in similar illegal activities.”

Phys .org: Researchers make neural networks successfully detect DNA damage caused by UV radiation. “Researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with the University of Chemistry and Technology (Prague) conducted a series of experiments which proved that artificial neural networks can accurately identify DNA damage caused by UV radiation. In the future, this approach can be used in modern medical diagnostics. An article, dedicated to those studies, was published in the Biosensors and Bioelectronics journal.”

ZDNet: AI can now read the thoughts of paralysed patients as they imagine they are writing. “Handwriting is becoming a rare skill in the digital age. But researchers have now discovered a new application that could significantly improve the way tetraplegic people, who are often also unable to speak, communicate with the outside world.” Good morning, Internet…

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Colour Tithe Maps for Warwickshire added to TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has just released additional sets of Colour Tithe Maps to join the previously available greyscale maps in their National Tithe Records collection. This release for Warwickshire is of high-resolution colour digitised maps which will provide the family historian with highly detailed maps sourced from both The National Archives as well as the Warwick County Record Office.

Researchers searching for owners or occupiers of Warwickshire land surveyed in the 19th century for the Tithe Commutation Act 1836 now have a choice of plans linked to the fully searchable apportionment schedules. Subscribers to TheGenealogist’s Diamond membership can select to view The National Archives’ grayscale maps, The National Archives’ colour map, or the Warwickshire Record Office colour maps when using the Tithe & Landowner records for this county. The Warwickshire Record Office maps are, in many cases, less faded and more vibrant in their colours having had less wear and tear than the alternatives.

Colour Tithe Map of Wasperton, Warwickshire

The new data includes colour tithe maps showing plots of land covering the years from 1837 to 1855 with some much later plans where there was an altered apportionment recorded.

These tagged colour maps join the previously released apportionment record books, national greyscale maps and colour maps for Rutland, Huntingdonshire, Buckinghamshire, City of York, Middlesex, Northumberland, Surrey, Westmorland, and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire.
The National Tithe Records collection gives the family history researcher the ability to search by name and keyword (for example parish or county) to look for all levels of society from large estate owners to occupiers of tiny plots such as a cottage or a cowshed.

Read the article, Warwickshire Colour Tithe Records discovers the house that went to America, at:

About TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections.

TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

About The National Archives

The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for research and an independent research organisation in its own right. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and England and Wales they are the guardians of some of the UK’s most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible.

The National Archives brings together the skills and specialisms needed to conserve some of the oldest historic documents as well as leading digital archive practices to manage and preserve government information past, present and future.

NGS Live Streaming – #NGS2017GEN

Live stream NGS 2017 Family History Conference sessions.If you can’t make it to the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference, all is not lost. NGS is offering select sessions via live streaming or for three-month’s later viewing. You can purchase five sessions for Thursday, 11 May 2017 and five sessions for Friday, 12 May 2017.

  • Thursday: Viewers will be able to stream five lectures on DNA from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. These lectures will demonstrate how DNA has revolutionized genealogy problem solving, clarified contradictions in records, and found female ancestors without a known maiden name. They will also offer advice on the best practices for analyzing autosomal DNA. $95 member, $115 non-member.

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  • Friday: View five “BCG Skillbuilding” lectures by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. This set of lectures will teach how to probe documents beyond the obvious, find rich evidence in deeds, use an ancestors’ neighbors, prepare a Genealogical Proof Summary, and build a solid conclusion from disparate evidence. $95 member, $115 non-member.

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All ten sessions can be purchased for $150 member, $185 non-member, if purchased before midnight, 10 May 2017. After 14 May 2017, the price jumps to $175 member, $215 non-member.

Sessions can be viewed for three months following the conference. All packages include a full, electronic conference syllabus.

For more information, or to purchase sessions, visit

Understanding Your New Ethnicity Estimate

We’re always looking for new ways to help support our customers on their journeys of personal discovery. Often that means updating our products and services to take advantage of the most advanced science and technology. Last fall, we introduced the capability to provide more precise ethnicity estimates to our customers using an algorithm that analyzes Read More

The post Understanding Your New Ethnicity Estimate appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

Monday Genea-Pourri – Week Ending 20 October 2019

Here are the highlights of my family history and genealogy related activities over the past week:

1)  Moderated the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) DNA Interest Group Meeting  on Wednesday with 12 attendees.  I reported on the Ancestry Health announcement, the FamilyTreeDNA health announcement, the 23andMe updated ethnicity and family tree, the MyHeritagwe Live 2019 DNA videos, the RootsTech London livestreams and handouts, and my Newton/Brigham DNA matches.  The attendees reported on the status of their DNA test results and analyses.  

2)  Participated in Mondays With Myrt today.  The panel discussed the Zoom webinar and meetings features, RootsTech London, the Society of Genealogists, the Irish Genealogy site with free BMD records, removal of FamilySearch records, and the obituary hints.  

3)  Finished up my new presentation on “Researching in Historical Newspapers” which I will give at the 30 October CVGS general meeting.  I still need to do the syllabus.

3)  Watched one MyHeritage Live 2019 video –  The Worldwide DNA Web by Alon Diament Carmel. 

4)  Wrote and posted a biographical sketch of 6th great-grandmother #511 Sarah (Campbell) Rolfe (1746-1838) for my 52 Ancestors biographical sketch on Friday.  This completes my known 6th great-grandparents and closer ancestors.

6)  Ancestry added about 4,000 record hints for the Obituary Index and I started resolving them, adding content and sources to my RootsMagic tree.  I used the mining tool for a specific Ancestry record collection.
7) There were several sessions working in the RootsMagic software program to match with and update FamilySearch Family Tree profiles for Seaver families and my ancestral families, with occasional additions to the RootsMagic profiles. I have matched 33,163 of my RootsMagic persons with FSFT.

8)  Used Web Hints and Record Matches from Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch to add content and sources to my RootsMagic profiles.  I now have 55,167 persons in my RootsMagic file, and 111,073 source citations.   I TreeShared thrice this week updating 276 profiles, and I resolved 1105 Ancestry Hints.  I’ve fallen behind on the Ancestry Record Hints with 120,220 to be resolved, but I work on them weekly.

9)  Added several more ThruLines to DNA matches to my RootsMagic file.  Added Notes to about 5 AncestryDNA matches.   Downloaded  new MyHeritageDNA shared cM match list and got it into a spreadsheet, hoping to find common ancestors for my matches.  Tried to obtain the Auto cluster analysis but it failed for some reason.

10) Wrote 17 Genea-Musings blog posts last week, of which two were a press release.  The most popular post last week was 
New Collection on – Obituary Index, 1800s to Current  
with over 472 views.


The URL for this post is: 

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Chaplin on Climate Recording in Almanacs, 18 Oct.

Joyce Chaplin, Professor of Early American History at Harvard University, is compiling a large database of the notes people kept in their almanacs about the daily weather.

On the afternoon of Friday, 18 October, Chaplin will speak on “Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs” as part of the M.I.T. Seminar on Environmental and Agricultural History. In particular:

Her talk focuses on how people recorded weather in numbers (including degrees Fahrenheit) and in words, ranging from “dull” to “elegant!” These notations are significant as records of a period of climate change, the Little Ice Age, also as records of how people made sense of and coped with that climatic disruption.

This talk and discussion are scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 P.M. in Room 095 of Building E51 at the corner of Amherst and Wadsworth Street in Cambridge.

Chaplin is also scheduled to present her research in the Environmental History Seminar at the Massachusetts Historical Society on Tuesday, 3 December, starting at 5:15 P.M.

Here’s a sample of the sort of data Chaplin is working with. It’s a page from interleaved almanac kept by Andrew Bordman in 1743, now part of the Harvard libraries’ vast holdings.

This shows that November 1743 started out “Very pleasant,” but the 3rd brought “wind Fogy & Rain.” There were three straight days of rain at the middle of the month, and on 23 November “great Storm Snow over Shoes.” How will next month compare?

Genealogy News Bytes – 18 October 2019

Some of the genealogy news and education items across my monitor the last three days include:

2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

3)  Genealogy Education – Webinars (times are US Pacific):

 GeneaWebinars Calendar

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar – Wednesday, 23 October, 11 a.m.:  Privacy: How to Protect Your Information Online, by Judy G. Russell
*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar – Wednesday, 23 October, 3 a.m.:  Die MyHeritage Matching Technologien (German), by MyHeritage
*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Civil Law Records in Genealogical Research: Notarial Records, by Claire Bettag

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Italian Civil Registration (Stato Civile): Going Beyond the Basics, by Melanie D. Holtz

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Long Distance Italian Genealogy Research, by Shellee Morehead

4)  Genealogy Education – Podcasts:

*  Fisher’s Top Tips:  #120r – Immigration Records

*  Ancestral Findings:  How to Find Distant Relatives | AF-290

5)  Genealogy Videos (YouTube):

*  Amie Bowser Tennant:  Family Story Friday: When Her Baby Died
*  DNA Family Trees:  New Ancestry Product Released Today!
*  Family History Ron:  Family History Ron Q&A 14 Oct 2019

6)  Genealogy Bargains:

7)  DNA Stories

8)  Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes – 15 October 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 – Nellie Agnes Seaver Dies in Kansas in 1893 at Age 17

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 The Miami Republican [Paola, Kan.] newspaper dated 24 November 1893:

The transcription of the article is:

MRS. NELLIE SEAVER, wife of Arthur Seaver, died Tuesday, November 21, at 12 o’clock noon, t their home a mile and a quarter east of Hillsdale.  Her age was seventeen years.  She was the second daughter of W.P. Officer of Hillsdale, and was married to Mr. Seaver a few days less than a year.  About five months ago she was taken with hemorrhage of the lungs and two weeks ago was confined.  She was a member of the Presbyterian church and was a kind, affectionate wife and daughter, and her death brings extreme sorrow to her husband and parents.  The funeral services were held Wednesday at 11 o’clock, Rev. Boaz conducting.  The remains were buried in the cemetery at Hillsdale.

A second article was published in The Western Spirit [Paola, Kan] newspaper dated 24 November 1893:

The transcription of the article is:
Mrs. Nellie Agnes Seaver, wife of Arthur Seaver, died November 21st, 1893, aged 17 years, 1 month and 29 days.  Just one short year ago she put on her bridal robes and plighted her vows to him whom she loved.  Though she suffered much, her peace in God was unbroken.  Retaining consciousness to the last, she gave detailed directions concerning her burial.

“Funeral services were conducted at Hillsdale C.P. church by the pastor, Rev. E.C. Boaz, assisted by Rev. R.H. Sherar.

“In the great future day, when we brush off the dust
From the glass, and we see face to face,
When backward we look o’er the path of the just,
And our own weary foot-prints we trace,
Then we’ll know how it was the Great Father above
Upon each the best lot did bestow,
How he gave with each sorrow a touch of his love —
And we’ll know it was best it was so.
                                — Wagstaff C.P. Church News.”
The source citation for the first article is (indexed as “Akllie Seaver” for some reason):

“Mrs. Nellie Seaver,” The Miami [Paola, Kan.] Republican newspaper, obituary, Friday, 24 November 1893, page 3, column 2, Mrs. Nellie Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 17 October 2019).

The source citation for the second article is:

“Died,” The Western Spirit [Paola, Kan.]  newspaper, obituary, Friday, 24 November 1893, page 3, column 3, Nellie Agnes Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 17 October 2019).
Arthur Wilson Seaver (1871-1939), the son of George Washington and Sarah Belle (Welch) Seaver, married Nellie Agnes Officer (1876-1893) on 23 November 1892 in Hillsdale, Kansas.  After the death of Nellie, he married, secondly, Floy M. Mount (1873-1952) on 22 January 1895 in Marysville, Kansas.  They had one son, Richard Leonard Seaver (1898-1956).

Arthur Seaver is not a Seaver cousin to me.  This Seaver line descends from a German immigrant to Virginia before 1770.

What a family tragedy.  A young woman marries her beau, soon contracts hemorrhaging of the lungs, and five months later dies leaving grieving parents and husband.  The hopes and dreams of the couple are shattered, and only memories are left.  I am glad that Arthur married again, had a child, and moved to Washington state to escape this difficult event.
There are over 8,000 Seaver “stories” in my family tree – this was one of them.   Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes folks live a short life and die suddenly.  I am glad I can honor Nellie Agnes (Officer) Seaver today.


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

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Daughter Tami’s Junior High Graduation in 1991 — Post 587 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

I can’t help it, I can’t do a wordless post!  I found some more family photos hiding in my voluminous My Pictures file folder – I don’t think I’ve posted this one yet.

This photograph was taken in June 1991 at Hilltop Junior High School in Chula Vista.  Our daughter, Tami, holding the flowers, had just graduated from 9th grade at this school.

From the left are my mother, Betty (Carringer) Seaver (1919-2002, so she was 71+ in this photo), myself (at age 47+), Tami (at age 14+) and my wife Linda (at age 48+).

My mother loved to go to graduations of her grandchildren!  I look forward to doing that too – only three more years!


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

IGRS Revives its Student Membership Scheme

The following announcement was written by the Irish Genealogical Research Society:

The Irish Genealogical Research Society is pleased to announce that it has revived its Student Membership Scheme and admitted a young enthusiast under the category. Daniel Loftus, a teenager from Co. Cork, has been made a student member of the IGRS, with annual membership fees waived, for a period of three years.

The status was granted to offer encouragement for Daniel to develop experience and knowledge of genealogy. It was given in recognition of the commitment to the subject he has shown already in setting up a website, a blog and social media accounts to engage with people, sharing his enthusiasm for family history.

The Student Membership Scheme was first introduced over a decade ago and awarded at the discretion of the Society’s Council, though it has not been active in the past few years. This is the first time it has been granted to a secondary school student. Daniel responded ‘Wow, this is an honour!’ when informed that he was to receive this concession from the IGRS.

Daniel came to the attention of the IGRS through his participation in @ancestryhour on Twitter (Tuesdays, 7pm GMT). He began researching his family history in January 2017, following the death of his granduncle. His research was entirely online, but he also contacted family members for information. Having completed his Junior Certificate, he started a website and blog in June 2019. He posts helpful hints, reviews of software and interviews.

The Chairman of the IGRS said: ‘Being someone who has been interested in genealogy since I was a child, it is good to see that family history still resonates with young people. It was immediately clear to us that Daniel’s interest in the subject was genuine and something to which he was already dedicating a lot of time. It’s good to know that the IGRS can help to encourage and foster his interest.’