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(+) Turn Vacations into Genealogy Fact-Finding Trips

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

This is an update to an article I published two years ago. Since I am in a hotel room in Scotland right now, it seems like a good time to add several new ideas to the original article.

“If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.”

Where will you go on your next vacation trip? A trip to New England? Washington, D.C.? How about to the beach? Or how about a European vacation? How about taking a trip to the town where your grandparents grew up or a visit to the country of your ancestors? Wouldn’t you like to actually walk the same streets as your great-great grandfather or see the home where your grandmother was born? This is something you probably want to put on your bucket list.

A trip back to the home town or to “the old country” can be an immensely satisfying experience. Those who prepare for the trip usually report they have great memories and photographs of the experience.

Mocavo’s Back to School Special: Free Access to Universal Search Weekend

The following announcement was written by the folks at

What better way to top off Mocavo’s Back to School Week than with an Open Access to Universal Search weekend? Usually you need to be a Mocavo Gold member to search all of our databases at once, but for this weekend only, you can search more than420,000 databases to your heart’s content. Kick start your research today and see who you will discover.

Start Searching Now

FamilySearch Adds More Than 1.5 Million Indexed Records and Images to Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Italy, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added more than 1.5 million indexed records and images to collections from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 524,584 images from the Italy, Torino, Ivrea, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866–1937, collection; the 217,208 images from the New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1848–1991, collection; and the 148,311 images from Spain, Province of Tarragona, Municipal Records, 1430–1943, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at

Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the worldís historic genealogical records online at

FindMyPast Launches ‘Hall Of Heroes’ to Celebrate the Heroes in Everyone’s Family

The following announcement was written by the folks at FindMyPast:

  • launches ‘Hall of Heroes’ campaign to share individual stories about heroic figures from everyone’s own family history
  • Call for people to submit stories of their own family heroes to be included alongside famous historical figures
  • New record sets launched to help people discover the heroes in their family

What’s Your Tartan?

If you have Scottish ancestry, do you know the tartan worn by your clan?

Well, first of all, there are no official rules. According to the Court of the Lord Lyon King of Arms:

“There are no strict rules on who has the right to wear a particular tartan… Wearing a particular clan tartan indicates that the wearer bears an allegiance to the chief of that clan… There is no official register of tartan. Records of designs are maintained by the Scottish Tartans Authority, Fraser House, 25 Commissioner Street, Crieff, Perthshire, PH7 3A Y. The Lord Lyon has no jurisdiction over tartan…”

Official or not, many customs have been developed over the centuries about the wearing of various tartans.

Are DVDs and CDs Disintegrating?

There have been a number of articles in this newsletter and elsewhere in genealogy publications about long-term storage of magnetic and optical media. Many of us are concerned about the life expectancy of CD-ROM and the newer DVD-ROM disks. Tina Sieber writes in the MakeUseOF web site, “While estimations predict a life time of up to 200 years for optical discs, we can never be sure when they are really going to break. However, by being aware of what determines the life span of optical discs and what causes them to break, you can make choices and significantly increase the survival time of your stored data.”

Tina describes music on CD and movies on DVD disks, but her comments apply equally to computer data stored on DVD-ROM disks.

You can read her article at

On the Road Again, This Time to Scotland

As I often write in this newsletter, I will be traveling for a while. This time it is a bit different: I am going on a longer trip and I am combining genealogy with tourism.

I am leaving Thursday morning, August 21, and will be gone for ten days, returning home on August 31. My primary purpose of the trip is to attend the Who Do You Think You Are? Live expo in Glasgow, Scotland. However, I am leaving a week early to (1.) get used to the time zone change and (2.) to be a tourist traveling around Scotland. I will spend some time in the Highlands and on the Isle of Skye. I will also stop by Loch Ness to check on the status of Nessie.

Kelsey Grammer’s Episode on the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are?

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featured Kelsey Grammer as the guest celebrity looking for his family tree. A five-time Emmy Award winner, Kelsey Grammer is the first actor in television history to receive multiple Emmy nominations for performing the same role on three series. Grammer is known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. This week, he became a typical American who wants to know more about his ancestry.

Jennifer Utley, an family historian, worked with Grammer in this episode. Grammer tells Jennifer that he was raised by his grandmother, Evangeline, after his parents divorced. His starting point in exploring family history was trying to learn more about why Evangeline’s parents didn’t raise her. In California, Grammer learns that his grandmother’s parents were from Northern California, and as the digging continues, Grammer finds out he has ancestors who lived in Oregon. Other experts in San Francisco and in Oregon contributed their expertise on camera as well.

Mapping Migration in the United States

The New York Times has published an interesting series of maps of the United States showing where the residents of each state were born. It shows the percentage of natives of each state, along with the other states where people were born and also the percentage of residents who were born outside the U.S. Within a state, larger shapes mean a group makes up a larger share of the population. The map shows data from 1900, 1950, and 2012.

Those born in Louisiana must really enjoy living there as 79% of the Louisiana residents of 2012 were also born there. Only 36% of the Floridians are native born, which should surprise no one.

Sponsor a Celebrity Walker in the Preserve the Pension Fun Walk at FGS2014

Here is a great project with a worthy goal. It will take place during the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Which celebrity will you sponsor?

The Preserve the Pensions Fun Walk will take place on Saturday morning, August 30th, at 6:30am. Four genealogy celebrities will be competing for your sponsorship to see which of them can raise the most funds for the Preserve The Pensions campaign. One of those in the walk has lovingly referred to that as “oh dark thirty.”

Judy Russell of The Legal Genealogist, D. Joshua Taylor and Kenyatta Berry on behalf of Genealogy Roadshow and Ed Donakey of Family Search will be looking for sponsors. (I’ll let you guess which one of them remarked about “oh dark thirty.”) The organizers of the walk suggest that those of you who intended to walk will get out and enjoy all that San Antonio has to offer and you are also asked to commit to sponsoring one of the celebrity walkers as well.

Will Add Family Health Info to Autosomal DNA Genetic Genealogy Service?

An article in the BioArray News, written by Justin Petrone, speculates that may expand its genetic genealogy services to include family health-related information. A company spokesperson confirmed that the firm is in the “early stages of exploring family health history as a part of our company’s offering,” but declined to further elaborate.

You can read Justin Petrone’s article at (You will have to create a user name and password before you can read the article.)

Delaware Becomes First State to Give Heirs Broad Digital Assets Access

What happens to your email, Facebook, Twitter, blog, and other accounts when you die? Delaware has now passed a law that ensures families’ rights to access the digital assets of loved ones during incapacitation or after death. House Bill (HB) 345, “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act,” gives heirs and executors the same authority to take legal control of a digital account or device, just as they would take control of a physical asset or document.

While some states, including Idaho and Nevada, have some existing provisions pertaining to limited digital assets for heirs, they are not as broad as the new Delaware law. For now, the state’s version of UFADAA only applies to residents of Delaware.

Kelsey Grammer to be Guest Celebrity on This Week’s U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are?

Kelsey Grammer will take a trip into the past to explore his grandmother’s family. In this week’s Who Do You Think You Are? Grammer uncovers the story of a woman haunted by demons, and finds a connection to family who risked everything in one of the greatest migrations in American history.

The episode will be broadcast tomorrow night, August 20 at 9/8c. Check your local television listings for the channel and time in your location. The episode will be available soon after on iTunes and later still on other Internet television sites.

In addition to this season’s new premieres, TLC has also acquired episodes from previous seasons of the series, marking their first debut on cable. Tomorrow night will feature encores of Reba McEntire’s episode at 8/9c, and Vanessa Williams’ episode at 10/9c.

Next week Minnie Driver’s episode will air as the season finale on August 27. Next week’s encore episodes will include Tim McGraw and Rita Wilson. to Transfer the MyCanvas Service to a New Home

This past June, announced that the company was retiring the MyCanvas website and service in September 2014. Details may be found in my earlier article at Now the company has made arrangements to transfer the MyCanvas content to another company. The following was written by Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product at

We’ve heard from many people who love MyCanvas and hate the idea of it going away. Well, we have some good news for you: It’s not going away after all! We were successful in finding a new home for the service at Alexander’s.

Founded 35 years ago, Alexander’s is a Utah-based printing production company that has been the long-term printer of MyCanvas products including its genealogy books, calendars, and other printed products. This makes the transition of MyCanvas to Alexander’s a natural fit.

More Hertfordshire Council Records added to Deceased Online

The following announcement was written by Deceased Online:

Welwyn Hatfield is latest Hertfordshire council to place records on Deceased Online All burial records for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WelHat) in Hertfordshire have been digitized and added to the specialist family history website

Click on the above image to view a larger version

The Council covers the areas of Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield in the centre of Hertfordshire within the East of England Region to the north of London. Welwyn Garden City is England’s 2nd garden city, founded in 1920 by Sir Ebenezer Howard. Hatfield by contrast has a long history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! – Glasgow Announces List of Exhibitors

A list of exhibitors expected at next week’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! expo in Glasgow, Scotland, has been posted on the organization’s web site. As you might expect, there will be a lot of Scottish exhibitors. However, I also see a number of nationally and internationally known vendors there as well:, Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), Deceased Online, FamilySearch, FamilyTreeDNA, Federation of Family History Societies, Guild of One-Name-Studies, National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and the Society of Genealogists.

You can view the entire list at

Jane Wilcox to Interview Robert Charles Anderson on Internet Radio

Here is a notice from “The Forget-Me-Not Hour:”

Robert Charles Anderson will join host Jane E. Wilcox on “The Forget-Me-Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told” radio show on Wednesday, 20 August at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. Bob will talk about his latest book — hot off the press — entitled Elements of Genealogical Analysis. He will discuss this genealogical research methodology approach that he has used for more than 30 years in his work on the Great Migration Study Project. He’ll tell us what we can find in the book and how it can help us in our genealogy research.

Listen live or on-demand after the show airs at

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few hours ago. If your email provider blocked it, don’t forget that the latest Plus Edition newsletter is ALWAYS available at: Your email provider cannot block that address so the newsletter is always available to you.

Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

On the Road Again, This Time to Scotland

(+) Genealogy Myths: Real, Fool’s Gold, or Both?

(+) QR Codes Create Internet-Connected Tombstones – A Good or Bad Idea?

(+) Why Are We Limited to Soundex?

Genealogy Software Review: Legacy Family Tree

(+) A Comparison Chart of Genealogy Software for Windows

Book Review: My Ancestor Settled in the British West Indies

Use Crowdsourcing to Identify the People in Photographs

Volunteers to Scan 40,000 Historic Titles at Onondaga County Public Library for Free Online Access

(+) Genealogy Myths: Real, Fool’s Gold, or Both?

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Family stories are a wonderful thing. They often give you insights into the lives of your ancestors. However, beware! Not all family stories are true. Many such stories are fictional. Yet, even the stories that are either entirely or part fiction may contain clues to facts. Good genealogical practice requires that we admit the fiction. But the next step the genealogist takes separates art from science. Before we discard these stories altogether, we need to mine them for nuggets of truth. Let’s look at a few of the more common “family legends” to see which ones you can mine for real gold.

Myth #1: Our name was changed at Ellis Island.

Fact: No evidence whatsoever exists to suggest this ever occurred. In fact, Ellis Island had rigid documentation requirements.


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