Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community


FamNet eNewsletter May 2014

ISSN 2253-4040


Quote: In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, a bridge to our future. Alex Haley


Editorial 2

From the Developer 2

FamNet for Groups. 2

FamNet and Group Membership. 3

DNA Testing for Family History. 3

Colleen’s Corner 6

Evernote for Genealogy. 6

Long Lost Burial Chamber Uncovered. 7

Useful Websites. 9

From Colleen. 9

From Sue. 10

Group News. 11

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 11

News and Views. 12

Book Review.. 12

Community. 14

Ask an Expert 14

Help Offered. 14

Information Wanted etc. 14

Have Your Say – Letters to the Editor 15

In conclusion. 15

A Bit of Light Relief 15

Advertising with FamNet 15

To Unsubscribe. 15

Copyright (Waiver) 16



From Colleen Sherman-Williams

Welcome to the May Newsletter.  As you can see we have concentrated on Evernote this month. I have no doubt many of you are using this wonderful program already. As I write notes and lose them all the time, I find the scanning feature a wonderful innovation.

We will be sending out reminder notices when your yearly subscription is due as we need to generate more income to help improve the site and services.   I do hope all members will renew their subscriptions and help make this site the best site to visit for New Zealand research.  We need to grow our membership and look forward to your loyalty in doing so.  The membership fee is the same as the price of 4 to 5 cups of coffee.

This month Robert has focussed on the features that FamNet offers to groups, particularly local historical societies, family history groups, and any group with an interest in history. Do you belong to such a group? We’d love you to bring these facilities to the attention of your group’s committee.

Enjoy the newsletter and do contact me with any comments or suggest a subject you would like us to include in the next newsletter.

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From the Developer

From Robert Barnes

image004FamNet for Groups

Are you a member of a history-based group such as local history society, a genealogy or family history society, a clan society, or a similar group? You’ll be familiar with FamNet’s features for managing your family tree database, but did you know that FamNet also has many features especially designed for the groups themselves? Here are some of the benefits that FamNet can offer to groups that become “Group Members”: -

Ongoing Publicity through the FamNet Newsletter

Every month our “Group News” section will carry your contact details, meeting notices, and we’ll run advertisements for your special events. You can give us group news for publication in the newsletter, and if you send us a copy of your newsletter we’ll create a very brief summary of it and link to a full copy.  Have a look at this example from last month’s FamNet newsletter.

Membership Management and Communication

You may choose to augment your membership system with FamNet’s facilities. Your administrator can: -

a. Manage the group’s membership list through FamNet, either on line or by download/upload of spreadsheets.

b. Group members into sub-groups – committee, project teams, etc.  Members can belong to several sub-groups

c. Send messages and newsletters to group and subgroup members.

d. Create and manage the group’s event calendar.

 FamNet group membership lists could be downloaded and synchronized with the group’s local membership system.

Create and Manage Databases

You can create on line secure searchable databases such as lists of settlers, public notices, or anything else of interest. You can even create searchable image libraries.  Your administrator will control access: the tables may be available to all FamNet users or available only to your members, and may be free or require a subscription.  Even though such tables are hosted within FamNet’s database, they can be displayed on your own web page where they continue to be searchable, and subject to the access controls that you specified. 

Once created these databases are easily managed on line by the group administrator or other delegated group members.

Group Web Site

FamNet can either link to your existing web site, or it can offer facilities to create and host your site on FamNet’s server (“GDBServer”). Whether hosted on GDBServer or not, your web site will be recorded in FamNet’s “Useful Web Sites” tables, and linked from your Group News section in our newsletters.

Member Access to FamNet at a Highly Discounted Rate

Group members get individual access to FamNet as part of their membership of the group: FamNet simply bills the group, not them as individuals. This rate is highly discounted compared to individual subscriptions, but the members get all the benefits as if they had joined individually.

FamNet and Group Membership

We’re keen to encourage group membership, which we believe to be very much a win-win situation, and so we’d like to see many more group members within FamNet.  Obviously FamNet gets more members, but it seems that the group does also. It is no coincidence that the Whangarei Family History Computer Group, currently our only group member, has more than doubled its membership, bucking the trend which sees most genealogy and family history societies struggling to hold their numbers.  The more groups that join FamNet, the more valuable the Group News section will become.

If any of this is of interest to you and the groups to which you belong, please contact me to discuss it further. 

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DNA Testing for Family History

© Gail Riddell 2014

3.  What test should I take, to give me the outcome I am seeking?

This is the 3rd in a series of 12 articles by Gail Riddell (a popular and renowned DNA presenter in New Zealand) on the subject of DNA testing for genealogy purposes.  For further information, please contact her directly at

In the second article for this newsletter, I finished by requesting that you focus on what it is that you wish to learn from such testing and the three decisions you must make before you start on your journey into molecular genealogy.

With acknowledgement to for this image

In this third article, I shall assume you have worked out what it is you wish to know and will tell you about the tests on offer.  But let me begin by stating that every single one of us and every cell we possess is made up of millions of base pairs of nucleotides and have been separated into areas we label as chromosomal and mitochondrial.  We have pairs because our parents each gave us a copy of theirs and as human beings, we all have two parents.  We have 46 chromosomes and these are numbered 1 to 22 plus the 2 gender chromosomes X and Y except the male has only one Y and one X and the female has two Xs.  Each human being also has mitochondria which is surrounding the chromosomes held within the nucleus of the cells.  In the following stylized diagram on the outer layer, you can just see little oval type “pods”.  These little pods (and they are indeed minuscule) hold the energy of each and every cell.  In the centre of that cell, as shown by the stylized X, are the 44 chromosomes plus the gender chromosomes.

Because every one of these play a vital role in your inherited characteristics, the molecular genealogists have worked out a method of being able to track through those chromosomes each of us has inherited.  This ‘tracking’ is based on changes that occur in specific locations between generations and today’s representatives of the same genealogical family.  And after locating those differences and comparing same, we can then calculate your molecular genealogy and who is in your family lineages.   When combined with your own research, the tool is invaluable.

There are three main tests and they are:-

1.      Testing the Y chromosome – men only, and

2.      Testing the autosomes – men and women – considering your 22 pairs of chromosomes and including your X chromosome but NOT the Y Chromosome, and

3.      Testing your mitochondria – men and women.

1.      The Y Chromosome Test



This test is only available for a biological male.  If you wish to learn of your direct paternal line (sometimes called a ‘surname’ test), then you begin by using male bearing your surname.   This test considers the direct paternal line, meaning father, father, father, father, father and so on back through time.  If you are that male, then you are ideal.  But if you are a female and have no brothers and nor is your father still living, then you will need to seek out a 1st paternal male cousin bearing your surname.  If that male cousin is no longer living, did he have a male child?  If so, he (that child) will carry that Y chromosome.  In other words, sometimes you need to go to another part of your direct paternal male family and locate someone who is willing.  It is important to understand that it must be male to male to male to male, meaning no interspersion of a female anywhere in the line to be considered.  If there is a female breaking up that direct line, then you will not achieve the results of a specific paternal line by your testing.  Remember, the Y chromosome ONLY considers the direct paternal line, whether you know that line or not…


But what happens if you are adopted and you have absolutely no idea as to who your father was?  That is fine if you are a male.  This is because you (the male) will carry the Y chromosome of your father no matter who he was.   But if you are female, and there is no male in existence who represents the family connection you are seeking, then the only option is to take the following test.

2.  Autosomal Test: 


Screen shot 2012-01-07 at 10

This test is available for anyone.  It will give you EVERYBODY in your multiple lineages all of whom have contributed to your genetic inheritance.  BUT it has its limitations because of the sizes of those autosomes (chromosomes 1-22 plus X) that you have inherited.  This means that although you received 50% from your father and 50% from your mother, they did not arrive in your gene (cell) in a nice tidy chunk.  They are randomly scattered throughout all 44 of your chromosomes.  This may mean you inherited almost nothing of say, Chromo 19 but you may have inherited the entire caboodle from say, chromosome 2.  In turn, your parents received a random set of chunks from their parents.  Over more than three generations the size of the chunks can become so small that they cannot be reliably measured.  In reality, this can mean that your sibling may match more cousins in a database than you (or visa versa).  It also can mean that you do not match known fourth cousins but you find you match, say, a 6th cousin.  This is purely because of the random nature of inheritance.  Therefore, if you seriously want autosomal matches, then you need to consider getting siblings to also test.  If they are full siblings, you get a far greater representative sample of that which your parents have passed to you.


3.  Mitochondrial Test:


Screen shot 2012-01-07 at 10

This test is available for everyone.  But because the male cannot pass it through to his children, it becomes a genealogical test of only the direct maternal line, meaning mother, mother, mother, mother, mother and so on back through time.  So in this sense, because a female’s surname keeps changing, it is not really classified as a genealogical test UNLESS you have a specific query such as “did these two people have the same mother…?” for example etc.  If such is your requirement, then this test is invaluable.  But of course, both these persons need to test with the same testing firm and to the same level.

In the 4th article I’ll deal with the things that DNA testing will NOT tell you and the risks involved.  This will be in a coming newsletter.


Colleen’s Corner

Evernote for Genealogy

A few months ago I discovered Evernote. What a phenomenal way to organise information!  I am always writing notes on things to do (now I scan and save them into an Evernote file), visiting repositories (scan and save into Evernote), visiting relatives (photograph and save in Evernote).   When you open Evernote, there are all your notes, photos, scans, just sitting in their correct files.  No longer a pile of scrap paper that I keep losing, or find years later. 

There are dozens of instructive videos on YouTube to help you. This is a brilliant introduction.  I really encourage you to take a look. 

Evernote is popular for Genealogy, and forms the foundation of many genealogist’s research organization system.

This is about Evernote for Colleen Greene’s personal and professional information management (PIM) workflow.  Colleen Green”s article on Evernote is a great example of what can be achieved.

Evernote for Genealogy There’s been a lot of chatter online among genealogists about Evernote over the past year, particularly since Evernote workshops have now started showing up at genealogy conferences.

If you are not already familiar with Evernote, I suggest you first read her introductory post on How she uses Evernote.

The foundation for her Evernote workflow for genealogy consists of the three basic building blocks of Evernote:

Note: A single item stored in Evernote.

Notebook: A container for Notes (a Note can be stored in only one Notebook).

Tags: Descriptive topic words assigned to Tags (a Note can have an unlimited number of Tags assigned to it).

Notebooks and Tags can be organized at a more fine-tuned level  A Notebook can be stored inside another Notebook by what are called Stacks, with the parent Notebook being the Stack. And Tags can be nested inside of a parent Tag. These three building blocks makes her genealogy organization system a breeze!

Long Lost Burial Chamber Uncovered

St Mary's (Hinckley, Leicestershire) Churchyard

Workmen tackling a leak in the churchyard of St Mary’s uncovered a long lost burial chamber containing human remains.

Malcolm Lockett, of Hinckley Archaeological Society, inspected the entrance to the chamber, and believes it is most likely to be Victorian judging by the bricks used in its construction.

He said: “To be buried in a chamber you’re likely to be more than your average Joe Bloggs. It is probably a family tomb. It’s close to the church chancel, so it was not like they were being bunged up in the corner.

“The main block of brick work is probably Victorian. The burials may be somewhere in the church records.”

Two Severn Trent workers were tackling the burst pipe beneath a footpath in the Hinckley graveyard one Thursday morning when they stumbled upon a small brick-lined room under the ground full of water - and when they pumped the hidden chamber dry, they found it contained bones and skulls from multiple bodies.

Mark Kirk, of the Severn Trent digging team, made the discovery. He said: “When we struck it the bricks fell away and we saw water in there, it was full to the top.

“We dropped our pump in and when I looked in there I saw a skull looking back at me.”

The church now plans to reseal the chamber, and is to take the advice of the Diocese of Leicester over whether Leicestershire Police need to be informed of the find.

Reverend John Whittaker told the Times: “We know there’s lots of people buried in our churchyard but we weren’t aware of this amazing brick lined burial chamber.

“The general procedure if you disturb any remains is we try to disturb them as little as we can and make good the area around whatever we uncover.

“Although these remains are well over 100 years old, we will treat them in a dignified way.”



Useful Websites

If you know of websites that you think may be helpful to others please email The Editor

To find FamNet’s Useful Websites page: either

· Click the [Community] tab on FamNet’s home page. Click the button [Useful Web Sites]. Or

· Click the [General Resource Databases] tab on FamNet’s home page. Locate “Useful Web Sites” in the list of “Other Tables” and click this link.

From Colleen

Auckland City Libraries Genealogy links - Includes how to start guide to genealogy.

Cyclopedia of New Zealand- digitised versions on the NZ E-text Centre website.

o                  Volume 1. Wellington Provincial District. Published 1897

o                  Volume 2. Auckland Povincial District. Published 1902

o                  Volume 3. Canterbury Provincial District. Published 1903

o                  Volume 4. Otago and Southland Provincial Districts. Published 1905

o                  Volume 5. Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Provincial Districts. Published 1906

o                  Volume 6. Taranaki, Hawke's Bay and Wellington Provincial Districts. Published 1908

Denise and Peters our Stuff - lots of useful primary sources digitised and searchable

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Digitising family history and whakapapa - guide provided by Digital NZ for those wanting to scan, digitise, or digitally copy old family pictures, records and documents.

Dunedin Genealogy - website of the Dunedin Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists - family history, family tree, and genealogy records and resources from around the world, provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

FreePagesPast - free genealogy resources for Australia and New Zealand, including the very useful Return of Freeholders of New Zealand, 1882

GENEoNZ - Links to major New Zealand genealogical resources.

Genealogical Computing Group (GCG) homepage - This group fosters the use of computers as a tool for genealogical research. Contact details for local groups.

Genes Reunited  - combines genealogy with internet social-networking. Members become ‘cyber detectives', building their family tree by posting it on the site and investigating which ancestors they share with other members. One new name is added to the site every single second.

Helen's Page of New Zealand history - Contains a wide variety of primary source material relating mainly to mid to lower North Island (including Wellington). Includes electoral rolls and directories, shipping / passenger lists, church records, BDM and cemetery records, school lists, military records and a wide variety of other goodies.

British and Irish immigration to New Zealand - statistical analysis of immigration and settler patterns, 1840-1915 - downloadable from this site.

New Zealand family history @ Christchurch City Libraries - European New Zealand family history resources held by the libraries or that can be accessed through them. The main focus is Christchurch and Canterbury information from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Records - For ordering military records of those who enlisted in New Zealand forces. These often include useful genealogical information.

New Zealand Genealogy Links - Extensive links, focusing on marriage records, birth, shipping lists, and military records. It also has a good section of regional resources.

New Zealand Genealogy Online - Links to New Zealand genealogical resources.

New Zealand Genealogy Records from a collection of digitised sources for genealogists, including some that can be accessed for free

New Zealand GenWeb - The New ZealandGenWeb Project hosts the New ZealandGenWeb regional projects and is one of the participating sites of the WorldGenWeb Project. The 'Resources' page covers everything from directories and civil registers, to libraries, archives and historical societies.

New Zealand Society of Genealogists homepage - Starting point for researching family history. Includes key resources such as research guides and information on courses. The 'Resources' section also contains good descriptions of the many different types of resources available to the genealogist.

New Zealand Yesteryears - Provides information of interest to genealogists, with an emphasis on Southland. Includes shipping information, images, archives, a timeline of NZ history, recommended NZ links, and a glossary of Maori names.

Otago Nominal Index - An index to names in documents held by the Hocken Collections. The index holds nearly 250,000 records from electoral rolls, street directories, and Police gazettes for Otago & Southland.

Papers Past - National Library of New Zealand's digitised collection of newspapers.

Pearl's Pad - Includes genealogical and general interest historical records, particularly for the area from Coromandel to the Bay of Islands (including Auckland), but also some New Zealand-wide resources, newspaper and other indexes, shipping lists, school rolls, 19th century native land tenure and NZ Army records and much more.

Shadows of Time - Contains a range of useful indexes including lists of mayors, university graduates and early settlers.

The 1901 Census for England & Wales - This website contains census images and transcriptions from the 1901 Census of England and Wales. It allows visitors to search the census in a variety of ways, though payment is required to access the full records.

Tracing your family tree - a handy guide

Wellington City Council Archives - most of the holdings of Wellington City Archives can be browsed on line. Holdings include local authority records for Wellington city dating back to 1842, and the archives of other Wellington organisations ranging from Wellington Harbour Board to Tawa Community Theatre. There is also a module which allows searching of the content of Wellington rate books from 1863-65.

From Sue

British Pathé

British Pathé is one of the oldest media companies in the world. Their roots lie in 1890s Paris where their founder, Charles Pathé, pioneered the development of the moving image.

They were established in London in 1902, and by 1910 were producing their famous bi-weekly newsreel the Pathé Gazette. After the First World War they started producing various Cinemagazines as well. By 1930 they were producing the Gazette, the Pathetone Weekly, the Pathé Pictorial and Eve's Film Review, covering entertainment, culture and womens' issues.

By the time Pathé finally stopped producing the cinema newsreel in 1970 they had accumulated 3500 hours of filmed history amounting to over 90,000 individual items. Over the last 30 years this material has been used extensively around the world in television programmes, home videos, advertisements, corporate productions and, most recently, in web publishing.

August 2014 marks 100 years since the start of World War One. To honour this landmark occasion, British Pathé have launched this definitive collection of WW1 films.

Scotlands Family

Scotlands Family, the Scottish genealogy portal designed to help you explore your Scottish family tree.  Our aim is to point you to free on-line data and information in diverse Scotland family history records, wherever you live in the world. Scotlands Family is the one-stop shop for all do-it-yourself Scottish family historians: 

Today there is growing internet access available to many original Scottish genealogy records of births, baptisms, marriage, deaths and burials without requiring pay-to-view. There is also a significant amount of 19th century Census data being published. Monumental inscriptions on gravestones are also appearing online, and a variety of local directories and lists, such as trade directories, militia lists, and Parish tax records in Scotland.

Catholic Heritage

Relates to the Scottish Catholic Archives Catholic Heritage website for the Networking Archives and Libraries in the Catholic Church (NALCC) project. This network is forging partnerships between diocesan archives, Bishops’ Conferences’, seminaries, and religious orders in order to provide a single access point to an online collection of archives databases of value to students and researchers across the world.

At present, Catholic Heritage enables users to search thousands of individual catalogue entries from 6 different Catholic institutions, representing 4 different European countries. However, the network reflects an ambition to bring together and provide access to collections which reflect the rich history of the Catholic Church in a British context and serves to celebrate Catholicism’s contribution to British history as a whole. Therefore, an important future role of the network project team will be to encourage the participation of other Catholic organizations and to ultimately to bring these rich resources together in digital form and make them accessible to the academic and religious community at large.

Canadian Gazettes

The Canada Gazette has been published as the official publication of the Government of Canada since 1841 and all issues since the beginning are available to view online. Please note that the Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of the Canada Gazette, Part , Part and Part published on line has been official only since April 1, 2003.

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Group News

Whangarei Family History Computer Group

image001 Contacts: 

 Gloria: (022) 635 4161

 Wayne: (09) 437 2881

 Pat: (09) 437 0692



Thursday evening venue is 6 Augusta Place, Whau Valley. Call Wayne, Gloria or me or;

email me at, if you need directions. **NB new Thursday venue

Saturday meetings are held in the SeniorNet rooms in James Street.

The rooms are upstairs in the Arcade leading to Orr’s Pharmacy and Tiffany’s Café, Start time 9.30 til finished before 1.30pm.


No group news was submitted this month.  

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News and Views

We invite contributions from FamNet members for this section: please contact The Editor if you have any material. 

News from ScotlandsPeople Imminent release of Scottish Soldiers' Wills

Look out for the exciting release of the Scottish Soldiers' Wills on ScotlandsPeople later this month - the latest records from the National Records of Scotland to become available online.

The Soldiers' Wills include almost 5,000 from the Second World War, and starting in June there will be a display in General Register House, Edinburgh, to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, in which many Scottish soldiers took part and made the ultimate sacrifice.

BBC Scotland publishes an online database containing the details of 21,740 Scots who died in WWII

If you have a Scottish ancestor who died in World War Two, then you'll be interested in this online database that contains details for 21,740 of the 57,000 Scots who died during the conflict. From this database (which has been created by BBC Scotland), it's possible to find out where the person came from; their age, their regiment and where they were laid to rest.

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Book Review

Index of FREE Genealogy eBooks

The availability of FREE eBooks and eJournals on the internet seems to be growing by the day. These pages list (with links to open the books) about 4,000 free Books and Journals on the topic of Irish, Irish-American, Irish-Australian and Irish-Canadian Genealogy which can all be read online -  most of them can also be downloaded to a reading device such as Kindle, iPad, Tablet, etc. (check the host site for available formats).

Many of these books are 'out of print', rare or otherwise unavailable in paper format. Some of the family histories were printed for 'Private Circulation' in fewer than 100 - 200 copies but are now available to anyone online. The illustrations are taken from the books listed supplemented with photographs by 'PJC'.

Peter Clarkes objective is to build the biggest index of freely available eBooks (or 'e-Books' if you prefer) on Irish History, Biography and Genealogy! The eBooks are listed in a wide range of categories. His surname project is called The Earliest in Ireland - One-Name studies (before 1800). 

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Ask an Expert

Question: I am frequently in email contact with Tony Gott who administers the amazing Bayanne database which attempts to give a complete online record of the Shetland diaspora. 

Tony enquired last night if there is a New Zealand equivalent of for New Zealand and I told him that I was not aware of any but that I would enquire.

My local Society Secretary advises that individual census info is not available on line for privacy reasons but, as NZBDM is freely available (subject to 50 and 100 year restrictions) why not the census info with a 100 year embargo as in the UK

Is there any attempt being made to get this info on line and, if so, can I assist? If not, may I suggest that, in an election year, and with a new Minister with about three week's experience in the Statistics portfolio, this may be the ideal time for some action.

I welcome an expert opinion


Bill Shand

Answer: Censes in New Zealand have not been retained.  Statistical information was extracted and recorded and then the forms were destroyed. There are some 1950's censes which were fiched before they were destroyed. But these will not be available until after 100 years from collection. Recent censes have offered the preservation of forms once permission is given. For each individual return. Again no access for 100 years. 

Jan Gow

Help Offered

Do you own reference books at home and would be happy to do lookups for members? Or are you willing to visit cemeteries, archives, etc. for others? Simply click here and add a record into the “Information Offered” table: we’ll put a note in the next newsletter, and at any time FamNet users can look up this table and make contact with you.

Like “Useful Web Sites”, we believe that a combination newsletter/table approach is needed. The newsletter can give you an instant “aha” and if it happens to coincide with your need it’s perfect, but you also need the table so that you can look up the list later long after you’ve forgotten which newsletter mentioned the subject that you needed help with.

Information Wanted etc.

Remember that you can post photos for identification, and information wanted requests:-

Click here to post a photo

Click here to request help with some information

We’ll post the photos and information requests in the next newsletter, and they’ll remain on display for at least a year.

There were no new photos at the time of sending the newsletter.

Have Your Say – Letters to the Editor

Just click here and then click the [Letters to the editor] button, then follow the on-screen instructions.

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In conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief


Advertising with FamNet

As of January 2014 if your organisation is not a group subscriber then there will be a charge for advertising events and services, which must be paid for before publication. Charges start at $NZ20 for a basic flier, and increase for more elaborate presentations. FamNet is a charitable organisation and like everyone else we need funds to help keep FamNet going. Fees are very minimal. If your organisation paid a yearly subscription you can have all the advertising you want all year round in the Group News section. Your group could be anywhere in the world, not just in New Zealand. The editor will continue to exercise her discretion for free events.

To Unsubscribe

If you don’t want to receive any more FamNet Newsletters, to unsubscribe click here and then click [About you], or just let us know and we’ll take you off the list.

Copyright (Waiver)

Feel free to redistribute this newsletter. If you publish a newsletter yourself you may include material from this newsletter in yours provided that you acknowledge its source and include the FamNet URL,

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