Monthly Archives: September 2015

An interview with Blaine Bettinger, the Genetic Genealogist


Dick Eastman, the popular genealogy blogger, has posted his interview with Blaine Bettinger, nationally recognized DNA expert and NYG&B trustee, here. Blaine spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the recent New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse, which was co-sponsored by the NYG&B. He is an advisor to the NYG&B’s quarterly Genetic Genealogy column in the New York Researcher. Blaine’s blog, the Genetic Genealogist, is essential reading on the subject of how DNA can advance genealogical research.

Pamela Weisberger, in memoriam

PamelaWeisberger-Conference PhotoTBPamela Weisberger, one of the most dynamic voices in genealogy, died on September 25 after a brief illness. Pamela was president and research coordinator for Gesher Galicia, Inc. and program chair for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles. Pamela possessed a passionate belief in family history as a force for good in the world, as well as an exuberant personality and a generous spirit. The NYG&B first presented Pamela in October 2013 in a lecture at the NYPL on “Searching the All-Galicia Database & Gesher Galicia Map Room Online;” her recorded lecture is accessible to members on the NYG&B website. At the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in February 2015 the NYG&B sponsored Pamela’s delightful luncheon talk in which she recounted her search to identify two teenaged beauties from the Lower East Side who became muses to author Truman Capote and inspired his fictional heroine Holly Golightly. Pamela’s plans to return to New York this fall and share her latest research results at the NYG&B were cancelled due to her illness. All who knew Pamela Weisberger will continue to be inspired by their memories of her. The Gesher Galicia website, which Pamela was instrumental in creating, has posted a tribute page here.

NYG&B Members Only Webinar

cropped-highlight21.jpgTo help our members navigate the new NYG&B eLibrary (powered by the NYG&B and have produced a recorded orientation webinar exclusively for NYG&B members. The orientation goes over accessing the NYG&B eLibrary, the new locations for some materials, and all the new search features users will find at, and how to search the most popular collection, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.

To view the webinar, NYG&B members can go to our recorded lectures page ( and click to download “Navigating the New NYG&B eLibrary, Powered by Findmypast.” Even members experienced in using our collections will find viewing this useful, as it goes over the differences and changes in locating materials, and a few tips and tricks to maximize your search results.

Free World access to Findmypast this weekend

Free World access to Findmypast this weekend

Starts: noon BST on Friday, September 17

Ends: noon BST on Monday, September

Findmypast is offering unlimited, free access to billions of records from all over the world for three days only. U.S. and Canadian subscribers will have access to all of Findmypast’s global records and World subscribers will receive a three-day extension to their subscription. Need more than one weekend of World access? NYG&B members receive a 50% discount on the purchase of a Findmypast World subscription.

News You Can Use

FamilySearchNews You Can Use in Your New York Research

FamilySearch has updated its New York, Yates County, Swann Vital Records Collection, 1723-2009. This collection contains information of births, marriages and deaths of those with connections to Yates County and neighboring areas, taken primarily from family Bibles, newspaper announcements and obituaries, and church registers. This information was compiled by the Yates County History Center in Penn Yan, New York and is named for Frank L. Swann (1894-1987), who was the Yates County Historian from 1956 to 1980. Since the update, this collection now contains 97,772 records.

New Probate Collections on

Two new probate collections are available on The first is titled New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 and includes at least some records for 59 counties. The second is titled New York County, New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1658-1880 (NYSA), is browsable, but not indexed. Both collections include descriptions of the source material. Researchers are advised that these records may not be complete and additional research may be necessary.*2|1*35&