Monday, August 25, 2014

Irish Genealogy website closes access to records

The Irish government closed part of its genealogy website last month, after the country's data protection commissioner warned that potentially sensitive personal details were available to all.
Irish Genealogy, a website created by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, offered people born or married in Ireland the ability to search for civil records such as birth certificates as part of their research into their heritage. But those records contain data such as dates of birth and mothers' maiden names, information which is frequently used as security questions for accounts such as online banking. That information is not legally defined as "sensitive" under Irish data protection law, but the commission stepped in to prevent the data anyway.
Billy Hawkes, the Irish data protection commissioner, said his office had been consulted on the site, but that it had not been made clear that the information available would be contemporary as well as historical.
The information contained on the website has always been publicly available, but before online access to civil records was turned on, it had required payment of a fee to get a copy of an individual record. But online, free searches offered the potential of malicious actors bulk downloading data in an effort to match up information with records from other sources.
The site, which only launched the search on Thursday 3 July, now notes that "Civil Records Search [is] temporarily unavailable … Further update will be provided."
In March 2013, when the Irish Genealogy site launched, it focused on historical records, offering users the ability to search the 1901 and 1911 censuses.

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Teapot Genealogy

Kaye Vernon & Billie Jacobsen, of Teapot Genealogy, have been indexing original New South Wales Archives records for over a decade, and have now created a searchable database covering all their work. You can now perform a name search across their entire database. Their resources include:
Individual indexes for each resource are available in CD format and are held at Manly Library. Kaye & Billie provide a range of research services, so it is worthwhile checking out their website

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

More on FamilySearch's Indexing Day

A follow-up on the FamilySearch International Indexing Day –
A new record was set with 66,511 volunteers participating. While there was a minimum requirement for participation - a single batch of indexing or arbitration work - it is appears that many volunteers continued working throughout the day as they produced the second-highest combined (indexed or arbitrated) total of submitted records at just over 5.7 million, which is a monumental crowd-sourcing effort. So now is the time to check FamilySearch again with nearly 6 million records recently indexed.

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