Utah’s governor recently signed a law that prevents law enforcement officials from obtaining user data from such DNA testing companies as Ancestry.com and 23AndMe without a search warrant. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/y6souswh.

Illinois’ governor recently signed a similar law requiring a person’s written consent before such DNA data can be shared. This legislation goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Details of this law can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yy5bn278.

It is suggested that other states adopt similar requirements.

“We must ensure that Americans everywhere continue to enjoy the rights and freedoms that our Founders intended when they wrote, ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.’”

Early Illinois photos

The McLean County Museum of History has digitized almost 37,000 historic photos from central Illinois and they now can be viewed at the Illinois Digital Archive’s website at www.idaillinois.org. Read a recent article about this valuable collection and how it’s been preserved at https://tinyurl.com/yxpd3d4b. One can browse the Pantagraph Negative Collection at https://tinyurl.com/y68rdrz2.

It is hoped that people will “print them at home, use them in family photos, (and) use them in school papers.”


The FamilySearch Research Wiki enables experts to share their genealogical expertise with others by creating articles for anyone to access. “So far in 2019 … nearly 7.600 new articles” have been published — making the total number of articles now at 90,000. To read about this new milestone as well as access links to a few examples that are available, visit https://tinyurl.com/y2zwob3b. Researchers will be pleased to learn of the wide variety of research subjects that are available for locations around the world!

Genealogy grants to stop

Megan Smolenyak has granted 214 Seton Shields Genealogy Grants (named to honor her mother) since May 2001. According to her recent Honoring Our Ancestors Newsletter, she has decided “to wind down next year” and discontinue granting them.There still is time for any individual or group that has been thinking of filling out her application to get it done between now and next June. Details can be found at http://tinyurl.com/y3vhg5sy. She has posted all her awards so that prospective applicants can get an idea of the projects she has helped.

Visit www.honoringourancestors.com and follow the links to grant applications.

She is to be thanked for all she has done for the genealogical community!

Missing archival treasures

Smolenyak’s recent newsletter also mentioned that the U.S. has an Archive Detective and adds “It’s sad that this job has to exist”— all because so many of America’s treasured artifacts have been stolen — from Truman’s gift of a diamond-encrusted dagger to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s official portrait. Read the interesting account of this constant search by the Archival Recovery Program at http://tinyurl.com/yx93vpxy.

Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing JBGriffis@aol.com.

Recommended for you