Wisconsin Folks – New Britannica and EBSCO Resources (and Historic Newspapers) Now Available for Badgerlink!

Wisconsin Folks – New Britannica and EBSCO Resources (and Historic Newspapers) Now Available for Badgerlink!


Vicki’s note – Historic newspaper searches on-line are not available yet, but coming soon through Beloit Public Library’s home-page “beloitlibrary.org“.  Access Newspapers Archives have not been available for a few months while the State of Wisconsin has been in contracts negotiations.

“Newspapers.com Library Edition World Collection and U.S. Newsstream should be ready in the coming weeks. We apologize for the delay.”

Here is an update on the other resources available:

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New Britannica and EBSCO Resources Now Available!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Drum roll, please: new resources are now available in BadgerLink! We appreciate your patience as we rolled out these new resources after completing the BadgerLink Request for Bid procurement process over the summer. Without further ado:

Britannica Digital Learning has added Britannica Library, a comprehensive reference and learning resource for children and adults. Similar to Britannica School but suitable for public library patrons, this edition offers 3 distinct interfaces and reading levels in one site. Britannica School will continue to be available through BadgerLink.

EBSCO will now provide 7 new, upgraded resources.

  • AutoMate: Authoritative and up-to-date service and repair information for thousands of domestic and international vehicles. This resource will be replacing Auto Repair Reference Center.
  • Children’s Core Collection: Reliable guides to help librarians with collection development and maintenance, curriculum support, readers’ advisory and general reference for preschool-6th grade. This resource will be replacing Book Collection Nonfiction: Elementary School Edition.
  • Middle & Junior High Core Collection: Reliable guides to help librarians with collection development and maintenance, curriculum support, readers’ advisory and general reference for grades 5-9. This resource will be replacing Book Collection Nonfiction: Middle School Edition.
  • Senior High Core Collection: Reliable guides to help librarians with collection development and maintenance, curriculum support, readers’ advisory and general reference for grades 9-12. This resource will be replacing Book Collection Nonfiction: High School Edition.
  • Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text: Database providing cover-to-cover indexing, abstracting and full-text for key library and information science periodicals. This resource will be replacing Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts.
  • MasterFILE Complete: Popular full-text magazines, reference books and other sources from the world’s leading publishers. This resource will be replacing MasterFILE Premier.
  • Teacher Reference Center: Research database for teachers providing indexing and abstracts for more than 220 peer-reviewed journals.

We will be removing access to Auto Repair Reference Center, Book Collection Nonfiction: Elementary, Middle & High School Editions; Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts; and MasterFILE Premier after October 5, 2018.

Newspapers.com Library Edition World Collection and U.S. Newsstream should be ready in the coming weeks. We apologize for the delay.

To be notified when the remaining new resources are available, sign up for email alerts. We welcome all feedback and questions, so please contact us!




USGenWeb Census Project – Fillable Forms

USGenWeb Census Project – Fillable Forms

September 13, 2018

Vicki’s note –

Take a look at this site. Your can download templates. You do need to “enable editing” and save with a different file name. http://www.us-census.org/templates/index.htm

You can also volunteer to transcribe.

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The USGenWeb Census Project

Census Project

USGenWeb Census Project

Spreadsheet Template-Files for
Transcribing Census Data



If you are transcribing a census that is not mentioned above, contact the Census State Assignment Coordinator for the state you are doing or the Census Project’s Template Coordinator to obtain the spreadsheet template-file you need. The Coordinator will need to know the spreadsheet software that you have, the census year, census schedule, the state and county so the proper template-file can be emailed to you.  If you have a MAC with an older operating system that cannot open PC Excel files, let the Template Coordinator know whether you have Excel, Clarisworks or Appleworks and which version number.

New Feature – FamilySearch.org “Compare-A-Face”

New Feature – FamilySearch.org “Compare-A-Face”

August 27, 2018

Vicki’s note – a fun new feature announced by FamilySearch.org – A way to do facial recognition with your ancestors!  Do you have your Grandfather’s nose?; your Great-Grandmother’s dimple? :

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Facial Recognition


(Here is a how-to this new feature on YouTube video, that Felvir Dieta Ordinaio posted on Facebook.com.)  

Stateline Travelers Part 10 – Visiting the Beloit Wisconsin Pioneers at Oakwood Cemetery Tour; Cemetery Clues

Visiting the Beloit Wisconsin Pioneers

at Oakwood Cemetery Tour, Cemetery Clues

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

August 21, 2018

(Photographs by Vicki Ruthe Hahn):

There are many clues on the tombstones in a cemetery.  Join us on a tour as I point them out.

Oakwood Cemetery entrance

“The original City Cemetery was located in what is now known as Horace White Park. It was relocated to the present Oakwood Location in 1840. Oakwood is located at 1221 Clary Street and sits on 28 acres.

The chapel at Oakwood was erected in 1913 near the Clary street entrance.  The chapel was used for committal services for many years and finally as the Cemetery office until the mid-1970’s, when operations were moved to the Eastlawn Facility.”

Oakwood Cemetery Chapel

We met at the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel.

In early days, if a person died in the winter, their body was slid down from the outside of the Chapel to a cellar to wait for the ground to thaw for burial.

Oakwood Cemetery Bob Pokorney

Robert Pokorney II, Cemetery Coordinator, did a very comprehensive tour at Oakwood for the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library on May 25, 2018!  (In the background – Cemetery Volunteer Janet Wagner holds her dog Bette Davis – another volunteer! )

John Kalkirtz also told us a lot about Beloit Pioneers and Oakwood Cemetery history.

Oakwood Cemetery John KalkirtzOakwood Cemetery walking


A fitting headstone – tribute to Rebecca the Deer,  another animal friend of the Cemetery, who visited there often:

Oakwood Cemetery Rebecca Deer


Find Oakwood Cemetery and Eastlawn Cemetery records about individuals, plots, and maps on-line at the City of Beloit website.  Click here for links to them.

More than one individual in a family may be represented/entombed within a mausoleum.  Look for their names and dates on the outside decor, on a plaque by the door (inside or outside), or in the Cemetery Records.


Veterans from a specific war may be buried together in one designated area, or as an individual with their family.  Pictured is the Civil War Monument with associated headstones.

Oakwood Cemetery Civil War


Oakwood Cemetery Annie McLenegan

I also enjoyed Janet Wagner’s view of Oakwood, and her thank-you gift of a card and a CD of photographs she took during our tour.  Janet is slowly scanning and transcribing a scrapbook by Annie McLenegan who documented the history of the Oakwood Cemetery.  Some important facts are only known from her recordings.  This will eventually be put on-line as well.  Click here for a link to the (partial) posting.  Here are some quotes:

Oakwood Cemetery Anne McLenegan book

Oakwood Cemetery Annie McLenegan book 3

Oakwood Cemetery Anne McLenegan book 2

Oakwood Cemetery Crane

Pictured is another early Beloit settler  headstone – Eleazar Crane, died June 14, 1839.  Notice the broken headstone to the right (and in photo below).  Oakwood staff and volunteers work on repairing and resetting those stones. The raised concrete “fence with tree stump decor, to the right, was higher in previous years.  The ground keeps rising.


Oakwood Cemetery in ground headstones Some headstones are embedded into the ground (to the left)  and cannot be lifted without ruining them.  The ground can disintegrate the stone.  Sometimes they can be rested on boards to get them off the ground.

Click here for  a link to the complete BILL BOLGRIEN’S OAKWOOD CEMETERY HISTORY TOUR,  and see some quotes from it below:

Oakwood Cemetery tour Bill Bolgrien 1

Oakwood Cemetery tour Bill Bolgrien 2

(Hint – following the clues of his age and date of death “dod”, Charles Johnson probably served as a Major in the War of 1812; he would have been age 26 in that war.)

Oakwood Cemetery tour Bill Bolgrien 3

Oakwood Cemetery tour Bill Bolgrien 4

Oakwood Cemetery Titanic


Oakwood Cemetery Titanic Wirtz

One of the famous burials is that of Titanic drowning victim Albert Wirz, who had been on his way to visit his Beloit Aunt and Uncle.


Oakwood Cemetery - Beloit Booth Family

And what is the Booth family doing in Beloit?  Are they related to the pioneer Booths that helped settle the Troy, WI (about 40 miles away)  family that I am studying? This just indicates the many connections found among the scarce early settlers of the stateline communities from Milwaukee, Troy, Madison, Janesville, and Beloit Wisconsin AND Chicago, Meacham Grove, Rockford, Rockton, Roscoe, Macktown, and Galena Illinois.

By the way, Before taking a photograph, please use a soft brush to whisk away grass, dirt, moss, and lichen that get/grow on a headstone.

Here are links on how to safely clean headstones and effectively  photograph   them.  It helps to use photo editing to make the letters and numbers more readable.  Read the “Headstone Inscription Discovery” Posting to see an example.  Search on “headstones” for many other Postings about these topics.  Also look on the BLOG tab above for “Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps” for many helpful links on these, and more topics.


Oakwood Cemetery Chapin

Hint – if you are very lucky, the headstone can even tell you where the person was born pob (Hartford, Connecticut), and where he died pod.

Our 4th Wednesday Book Discussion at Beloit Public Library on August 22 at 7 p.m. is on a book about early Beloit settlers,  “Pioneer Beloit” by Arthur l Luebke.


There are many styles of headstones and symbols of affiliation that can help you with clues to your ancestor’s life.  Click here for a link to some of those meanings.


Our tour guide, John Kalkirtz, wrote a poem that:

“puts into the words the spiritual, emotional and physical presence at Oakwood …It is an inspiration to me, and I hope for others.”

“Sacred Space”

by John Casey Kalkirtz

I walk the land.

Others lay beneath my feet.

Quietness fills my spirit.

I am one with the world.

This sacred space allows me to reflect, walk, sit and cry without interruptions.

All is at peace.

The others who once walk the land are now here at the cemetery in silence.

I feel their presence.

They give off the energy of their spirit to me and others who have the courage to really listen.

Time stands still.

Past, present, and future are one.

I lay my hand on the memorial marker which is the parting reminder of their presence.

The sun light dances on the ground.

Birds sing in the trees.

Nature is alive with the songs of the present moment.

Those who walked this land are with me.

They are my friends and I am theirs.

Each of us gives a happy nod to each other which is felt in the caress of the wind.

Molecules of their past breaths fill my body as I breathe in the air.

Pictures of their past lives fill my mind.

Countless faces roll past my eyes.

All of these souls are with me.

Love fills my soul.

Invisible hands gently caress me.

I am in total peace.

No fear touches my heart.

I am in a place of respite.

I am home with others.



More Success by Searching Individual Record Collections Instead of a General Search

More Success by Searching Individual Record Collections Instead of a General Search

August 21, 2018

Vicki’s note – an article from Family History Daily:

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This May Be the Most Important Genealogy Research Trick You’ll Ever Learn

by Melanie Mayo

The first thing most family history researchers do when they encounter a genealogy website is to begin searching for their ancestors in the general (main) search form provided by the site – which is often located on the homepage or in another easily accessible area. All large genealogy research sites center around these main search forms which are designed, generally, to look for records in all searchable collections at one time.

General search forms that dig through millions, or even billions, of records are certainly handy. If you have never used a site before – or have not searched for a specific ancestor – these forms can be a great way to gather the low hanging family history fruit, so to speak. They provide a fast way to turn up easy-to-find records with little effort. But, despite this obvious convenience, they may often be stifling your efforts.

No matter how convenient search technology is, it does have its limitations. Seasoned researchers know that even the best search algorithms will not turn up every possible and reasonable result. Even when advanced and focused search techniques are used, a search form that is asked to sift through seemingly limitless records can easily exclude or bury results.

Read the rest of the article here.

11th Annual North Star Genealogy Conference – Minnesota, October 5-6, 2018


11th Annual North Star Genealogy Conference – Minnesota, October 5-6, 2018

Vicki’s note – if you are going up Minnesota way, you may want to plan to attend this conference:

Click here for more information.




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Family history and genealogy enthusiasts from across the Upper Midwest will converge 5-6 October for the 11th Annual North Star Genealogy Conference at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth, Minnesota.

The conference theme, “Looking Back, Sharing Forward,” focuses on the rewards of researching family history and passing it forward to future generations. Sponsored by the Minnesota Genealogical Society, the conference features presentations by two of America’s leading genealogy educators, Thomas W. Jones and Karen Mauer Jones, plus 25 how-to classes on topics such as DNA, finding immigrant origins, internet research, and breaking down brick walls.

The conference, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth, Minnesota, is open to the general public. A limited enrollment pre-conference advanced topics genealogy workshop will be taught by Thomas W. Jones on October 4. Complete conference information is available at www.mngs.org. Registration is open.


About the Minnesota Genealogical Society: With 800 members, The Minnesota Genealogical Society is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that helps Minnesotans and people with Minnesota connections discover their family history. It operates a genealogy library at the Minnesota Genealogy Center, 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Mendota Heights, Minnesota 55120. Website: https://mngs.org.

Season Five -“Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” PBS, Jan. 8, 2019

Season Five -“Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” PBS, Jan. 8, 2019

Genealogy Television Shows:


magnifying glass

GEN club fifties photogragh

August 13, 2018 Vicki’s note –
I always learn so much about how-to-do genealogy from watching this show, and the others listed below.  Really interesting stories and history.  I have met some of the genealogists that do some of these shows. 
Remember that all of the shows make it look way easier than it is for us regular folks who don’t have an army of employees off-camera who search for months to find the results presented as a complete project in the short one hour shows.  It takes a long time for one of us to search for all of the genealogy puzzle pieces that are actually in our particular family puzzle box, and then figure out how to put the pieces together in the right order to make a clear finished picture!
Read the 7-31-2018 full article from “The Futon Critic” here, and the 7-31-2018 article from FamilyTreeMagazine.com about other Genealogy Television Shows here.
A complete list of Genealogy Television shows is on the BLOG tab “Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps”.
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“… [via press release from PBS]SEASON FIVE OF “FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.”  – … The new ten-episode season will premiere on Tuesdays, beginning January 8, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.

At the center of it all, guiding every discovery, is host and executive producer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. “I find it inspiring that our fellow Americans are so determined to explore their own ancestral heritage,” said Gates, “precisely at a time when immigration has become such a deeply controversial and sensitive matter. Our series demonstrates each week, in vivid detail and with moving storytelling, that a continuing source of strength for our country is the fact that we are a nation of immigrants. That we can serve as both guide and inspiration to the splendidly exciting pleasure of finding one’s roots is an immense honor. I believe that the more each of us understands about where we came from, about what our ancestors experienced, and how those experiences have shaped us, whether we knew about them or not, the more richly we can live our lives.”

In a very personal episode, the new season also explores Gates’ own DNA story and takes a look at how science and history can inspire the next generation. Concerned about the lack of diversity in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Gates worked with Penn State professor Nina Jablonski and a committed group of historians, artists, biologists, geneticists, anthropologists, genealogists and educators to develop the “Finding Your Roots Genetics & Genealogy Curriculum,” an educational model that invited students to consider who they are genetically, geologically/socio-culturally and intentionally. Once designed, the team piloted the curriculum in a two-week camp environment at two different locations in the U.S., where students developed hypotheses and research protocols. The project video won Facilitator’s Choice and Viewer’s Choice awards at the 2018 STEM For All Video Showcase, receiving tens of thousands of unique visitors from 154 countries.

Assembling the extensive family trees and family narratives alongside Dr. Gates are DNA expert CeCe Moore (Founder, The DNA Detective) and expert genealogist Johni Cerny….

Season Five includes the following episodes:

· “The Stories Encoded In Our DNA” with Andy Samberg and George R.R. Martin

· “Mystery Men” with Michael K. Williams and Felicity Huffman

· “Truth Tellers” with Christiane Amanpour, Ann Curry and Lisa Ling

· “Dreaming of a New Land (Between Worlds)” with Sheryl Sandberg, Kal Penn and Marisa Tomei

· “Freedom Tales” with S. Epatha Merkerson and Michael Strahan

· “Into The Wild” with Laura Linney, Michael Moore and Chloe Sevigny

· “Roots in Politics” with Tulsi Gabbard, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan

· “The Eye of the Beholder” with Marina Abramovic, Alejandro Innaritu and Kehinde Wiley

· “No Laughing Matter” with Tig Notaro, Seth Meyers and Sarah Silverman

· “All in the Family” with Joe Madison, Dr. Gates’ personal DNA story and “The Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings” STEM Camp

In conjunction with the broadcast, co-producer WETA, the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, will work with stations across the country to encourage viewers to explore and share their family histories via social media using the hashtag #FindingYourRoots on Facebook and Twitter, via Facebook.com/FindingYourRootsPBS and @HenryLouisGates, and on the series companion site, pbs.org/FindingYourRoots.”

Free July 2018 Access to AmericanAncestors.org

Free July 2018 Access to AmericanAncestors.org


Vicki’s note – take advantage of this company’s free access to their database until July 17!  (thanks Ron for keeping me notified of the free genealogy fun things.)




Free Access to ALL Databases on AmericanAncestors.org

Have some fun out of the sun this summer!

American Ancestors is granting FREE access to all online databases—highlights include our early New England collections (including the world’s largest Mayflower database) and Boston’s Catholic records from 1789 to 1900 —from now through Tuesday, July 17th.

You can use your free guest membership to search more than 1.4 billion names on AmericanAncestors.org this week. Family history is every bit as fun as a vacation on the beach—pass the word!

In the Genealogy Zone of Serenity

In the Genealogy Zone of Serenity

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS – Stateline Genealogy Sorter


See the source image

I spent a great day indoors on the beautifully sunny day this last Saturday July 7, 2018.  What could tempt me to do such a thing on a perfect 80 degree summer gardening day?

(By the way, as I have told you before – Genealogy is the most popular hobby, and gardening is the most popular in the summer.)

The annual (MCGS) McHenry County Genealogical Society Conference was held at the McHenry County Community College, Illinois.  Always professional regional and national genealogy speakers, and great accommodations at a fairly low price. The  MCGS group has it organized well, and improves every year.  This is my third ? year attending.

I learned a lot from all four sessions – one with each speaker.

2018 Jul 7 - MCGS Conference McHenry IL - Vicki Hahn, Judy Russell

Vicki Hahn with the “Legal Genealogist” Judy Russell – who spoke on “NARA Mythbusters: Your  family IS in the Archives”.  I learned how to navigate the complex and thorough government website.  So many records of your family’s interactions with many government agencies!


2018 Jul 7 - MCGS Conference McHenry IL - Vicki Hahn, Lisa Alzo

Vicki Hahn with Family Tree University instructor, author, and Slavic Genealogy expert Lisa Alzo “ImmersionGenealogy.com“, who spoke on “Crossing the Pond: successful Strategies for Researching Eastern European Ancestors”.

The closest that my family gets (as far as I know now) is a slight DNA for “Finland/Russia”, but what a lot of great techniques I learned.  And so many links to Slavic websites that Lisa shared.  Be looking for them soon on the BLOG tab ” Genealogy Links and  Electronic Resources”.

Lisa describes –

“What is Immersion Genealogy?

Immersion Genealogy is the process of discovering where and how our ancestors lived, worked, and worshiped, and experiencing first-hand those customs and traditions they passed down through the generations.”

Some hints from Lisa Alzo:

After searching the United State online records, then search the other country’s on-line databases.  Open them in  Google Chrome using that country’s Google, not the United States one – “.com”  If the website doesn’t not have an in “English” button, GC will ask, “Do you want to translate this page?”

When the records are in a foreign language – learn the key foreign words from that country’s FamilySearch.org WIKI.  Learn the words that are on the column headings, or circle the key words if in a paragraph form – birth, marriage, death, burial, father, mother, village, etc..  Look for your ancestor’s original name.

Look for your cousins/ancestor/village on Facebook (Groups), or location photographs on Flickr.com or Ebay.com. (Click on these two links to see some historic Beloit Wisconsin pictures.)


David Rencher, Chief Genealogist Officer for FamilySearch.org spoke on “Applied Methodology for Irish Genealogical Research”.  He gave some further insights on how to search for those elusive same-named Irish folks.  Narrow it down to their original name and village. Also look into connections to the rich families in the area – servants were only named in household inventories and did not have their own records early on.  David likened it to searching for African-American slaves before the Civil War.


Curt Witcher, Allen County Library’s Senior Manager for Special Collections, spoke on “German Migration into the American Midwest”  focusing on mostly Indiana.  He showed how to use any secondary source for additional information/clues on the history of your ancestors.  David gave several examples of this, including the use of Wikipedia (which I use all the time.)  He even found pertinent references to German immigrant settlement patterns in a Walworth County (Wisconsin) County History book!

I asked Curt to announce our upcoming visit from Astrid Adler to the Beloit Public Library on October 23, 2018.  It was too perfect of a segue-way on the same topic.  He said, “Come to the program and hear from a real German expert on migration to the United States.”  About 25 people took our Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library 2018 Programs handout with information about the 6:30 p.m. program, “Our Ancestors Were German”.  As Astrid is coming from Germany, it really is great to have a wider interest from the area.

David and Curt both said that migration follows language and not religion.  You may find your ancestor in church records not their own.


I will be adding the two books on McHenry Illinois, (that I obtained), to the Beloit Public Library Local History Genealogy Collection.:

“McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society 10th Anniversary 1981 – 1991 Index – Quarterlies, Newsletters.”, 1993.

“1870 McHenry County Illinois Federal Census”, transcribed by Dee-Ann Stambazze, 1992

I also gathered several brochures to share – on several topics/ regional genealogy groups.  We may want to look into going to Newberry Library in Chicago   Lots of resources, like at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society Library in Madison.


One of the things that I learned from volunteers at the Chicago LDS Family Center was that FamilySearch.org  intends to have all of their microfilm collection digitized and on-line in 2022.  Some of the bigger Family Centers (like Chicago) have their regional microfilm on-site meanwhile, even though FamilySearch has stopped sending patron’s requested microfilms to any Family Center.  I guess Salt Lake wants to have the microfilm there to digitize 🙂

Lunch was spent speaking with others at the table about genealogy (and quilting!); and sharing information with venders at the booths.  I got three speakers from the venders who are going to present genealogy programs for us in Beloit in 2019.

Marty Acks – from (CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois will do a program to be determined – maybe on USGENWEB.org.

Kathy Meade from ArkivDigital.com, a subscription service will do a program on how to find your Swedish roots on-line.

And Rebecca Quinn from CreativeMemories.com – “Your photos and stories + our best quality albums = memories to be shared and enjoyed.”  She will present a workshop on either scrap-booking, or how to do the Lifewriting techniques  of “Snapshots of the Spirit; Capturing Your Current Family’s Stories with Bullet Journaling”.  Rebecca will bring her products for purchase, or supply your own.

I also touched bases with people from two genealogy groups that are having me give programs this year (more on that in another Posting,)

So overall, I’m a happy genealogy camper after submerging in the Genealogy Zone of Serenity.

Maybe I will see you there next year?




Fold3 Free July 1 – 15 for Fourth of July

Fold3 Free July 1 – 15 for Fourth of July

July 3, 2018

Note from Vicki – alerting you to this opportunity offered by Fold3.  Happy 4th of July!

Click on this link:



Fold3 free

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