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- FamilySearch has added 23.9 million indexed records and images to the free FamilySearch.org, with new browsable image collections from Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, England, Italy, Mexico and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 19.2 million document images from the new collection United Kingdom, WWI Service Records 1914-1920; 2 million index records from the collection US WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; and almost the 931,000 index records from the collection US New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925-1942. Search or browse these databases from the chart here.
- In case you missed it (and were wondering), Irish genealogy research company Eneclann has researched Tom Cruises roots. The actor’s real last name is Mapother, but Cruise actually is a family name. His great-grandfather, born in 1876 to Mary Pauline Russell Cruise and her second husband Thomas OMara, took the surname of his half-siblings and thus became Thomas Cruise Mapother I. Read more and download a copy of the family tree here.
- The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has formed a partnership with Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV), an umbrella organization of genealogical and heraldic associations in Germany. So far no specific projects have been announced, but the two groups will develop technical solutions to preserve and present records and to increase the mutual contact between both societies and their members.
- Houston-based genomics and genetics testing company Gene By Gene announced that a DNA sample submitted via National Geographics Genographic Project to its subsidiary Family Tree DNA suggests that the last common ancestor of all modern Y chromosomes lived as long ago as 338,000 years70 percent older than previously thought.
A DNA study project administrator noticed the unique sample, which came from an African American man living in South Carolina, in FamilyTreeDNAs database. Read the full announcement on the Genetic Genealogist blog.