Many of us are disappointed in the limited life spans of today’s media. Paper and film fade with time. Floppy disks, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM disks, flash drives, and other media also all have limited lifespans. Even microfilm is expected to last only about 300 years and that is only when stored in rigidly controlled temperatures and humidity and then ONLY if it is never used! (Microfilm scratches and wears quickly when used.)
Now a new storage media has been created that should last long enough for most of our needs: a million years or more. Even better, reading data from the disk can be read by the human eye when using a powerful magnifying glass or a microscope. I suspect those items will still be available in a few million years. The information is recorded at 1/30,000th of the original size and is preserved for all time. Water, acid, age, scratches or fire will not deteriorate the information.
The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
NEHGS Salutes the Nation’s Anniversary with FREE Access to the Great Migration Databases on AmericanAncestors.org
Family Historians May Commemorate Independence Day by Searching FREE on AmericanAncestors.org for America’s Earliest Settlers, July 1 through July 8
June 29, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—In a salute to the anniversary of our nation’s independence, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting FREE access to all online searchable databases related to the Great Migration. A unique foundation of governance and religion was created by the 20,000 men, women, and children who crossed the Atlantic between 1620 and 1640, seeking opportunity and relief in New England, in the period known as the Great Migration. These are the Mayflower names, the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and the families that delight and provide rich insights for genealogists and family historians. Since 1988 NEHGS has undertaken the Great Migration Study Project, directed by Robert Charles Anderson and scheduled for completion in 2016. The results are open to the public to research FREE during the first week of July 2015 on its data-rich website AmericanAncestors.org.
A total of nine searchable databases comprise the Great Migration project on AmericanAncestors.org, consisting of thousands of records. Some content highlights include:
The Digital Public Library of America (DLPA) brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. DPLA provides public access to more than 10 million items – including the written word plus works of art and culture – from 1,600 institutions.
NOTE: You can read my earlier article about the Digital Public Library of America at http://blog.eogn.com/2015/02/27/the-digital-public-library-of-america.
Ireland Reaching Out, also called Ireland XO, is a non-profit organisation financed largely by the Irish government. The organization tracks down the descendants of those who left for America, Australia and other countries. Instead of waiting for people of Irish descent to trace their roots, Ireland XO volunteers worldwide are networking with people of Irish descent in their local areas, helping to build bridges between the present and the past by connecting people with the home parishes of their ancestors. Volunteers then invite the descendants to visit the homeland. Ireland Reaching Out hopes to build a database of the Irish diaspora containing 30 or 40 million names.
The Ireland Reaching Out web site states:
“Whether you have emigrated recently or have never been to Ireland, we welcome Irish people from all over the world and those who share an affinity for our rich and varied cultural heritage. We are a community with no geographical boundaries, connected first through bonds of people and place, and then developed through our shared celebration of culture and friendship, both online and offline.
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. proposed last week to Amy Reimann. He picked the perfect place: in a church where his 10th grandfather — Hamman Ehrenhart — and other ancestors attended.
Earnhardt is on a trip to Germany to learn more about his roots. (See my earlier article about Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s trip at http://goo.gl/QHKxh8.) Earnhardt and Reimann went to the city of Speyer, Germany, and saw the names of his ancestors written in books detailing their births and deaths and confirming they had been baptized at that particular church. Earnhardt said the church apparently is more than 1,000 years old in a town of 300. He knew it was the perfect spot to ask Reimann to marry him after a six-year courtship.
The wedding date likely will be sometime next summer.
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
California, Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington
Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past events.
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.
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Now that the northern hemisphere is in mid-summer, we need to think about hurricane preparedness. A large portion of the United States is vulnerable to damage caused by these huge storms. High winds, flooding, downed trees, and more are common. After most major hurricanes, the news media reports numerous cases of homes and the contents of homes that were damaged or destroyed as is shown in the picture to the right.
The hurricanes of recent years should teach all of us many lessons. One lesson concerns preparedness; waiting until a hurricane is bearing down on you is not the time to start planning! Of course, hurricanes are not the only disasters we face. Other parts of the nation face tornadoes, wildfires, flooding, and other threats. Some years ago I remember watching a television news story from California when a reporter interviewed a woman in front of her burning home during a wild fire that leveled the entire neighborhood. The woman was obviously crying and, when asked about her losses, she moaned that she had lost years of genealogy work in the flames.
Of course, anyone can suffer from a burst water pipe that ruins documents, photographs, fabrics, and many other precious items.
Do some of the entries in U.S. census records not make sense? I am not referring to the handwriting but rather the various entries in the different columns across the page. Why did they enter the information like that? What does it mean? Some columns are always filled in but others are sometimes blank. Why?
In the 1790 through 1870 collections of census information, the records were created by Assistant Marshals. A March 3, 1879 act replaced the U.S. Marshals with specially hired and trained census-takers (called “enumerators”) to conduct the 1880 and subsequent censuses.
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 240,000 fascinating Australian convict records, new additions to our collection of historic Irish newspapers, Irish Workhouse records from County Clare and Sligo as well as English parish records from the parish of Southfleet in North West Kent.
Australian Convict Records
The Allen County Public Library Foundation has approved up to $240,000 for a capital improvement project to the downtown library’s genealogy center. As part of the project, two under-used areas will be converted into active, customer-centric areas. The eastern half of the library’s Microtext Reading room will become a discovery center, and the orientation area near the entrance of the genealogy center will be converted into an oral history area.
The following announcement was written by the Society of Genealogists:
Friday 26th June, 2015:
The Society of Genealogists, in conjunction with Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd has been running its popular Intermediate distance learning programme since September 2010. The Advanced Certificate builds on this. It brings a two-year programme of assessed education online starting on 1 October 2015, consisting of taught modules and special stand-alone tutorial sessions. Pharos and the Society are working with the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) to enable students to reach the standards necessary for membership application should they wish to work as professional genealogists in the future.
Taught modules are:
The two-time Emmy nominated series Who Do You Think You Are? returns this summer to share more stories of the real life family history of celebrities. The new season premieres Sunday, July 26 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central time.
The contributors featured in the upcoming season include:
- Tom Bergeron, who is aware of his French Canadian roots on his paternal side, but wants to know what brought his ancestors to North America. He goes as far back as his 10x great grandmother to find the answer.
- Bryan Cranston, who comes to discover an unfortunate pattern amongst the men in his family.
- Ginnifer Goodwin, who sets out to learn about her mysterious paternal great grandparents, whom her father, regretfully, does not know much about either.
- Alfre Woodard, who strives to find out more about the paternal side of her family, and explores how her surname came to be.
State Senators Pearson and Picard introduced a bill into the Rhode Island General Assembly yesterday to restrict access to the state’s vital records for 100 years after the event. However, there appears to be an exception for “members of legally incorporated genealogical societies in the conduct of their official duties as defined in regulations shall have any access to, or be permitted to, examine the original or any copy of the birth certificate or birth record, of any person in the custody of any registrar of vital records or of the state department of health.”
If I may engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion, I will be one of the presenters on the second annual Genealogy Cruise to the sunny Caribbean aboard Celebrity’s Reflection, the newest ship in the fleet. I’d love to see you on board as well. If you are thinking of taking a cruise, or if you would like to do something “different” from the usual genealogy seminars and conferences, a cruise in the Caribbean with hosts Gary and Diana Smith, presenters Donna Moughty and myself, and accompanied by bunch of other genealogists might be exactly what you want.
In the ship’s private meeting rooms, there will be three days of Genealogy activities on this seven-day cruise. The featured speakers will be Dick Eastman, Donna Moughty, and Gary and Diana Smith, with each of these guest genealogists presenting on their specialties. Combined, these speakers have more than 150 years experience with both writing and teaching in the genealogy field.
The “Finding Your Roots” television program hosted on PBS by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has been postponed after a controversy involving guest Ben Affleck.
In April, a leaked Sony Pictures email published on WikiLeaks revealed the “Gone Girl” actor had asked the show’s host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. not to mention the fact that his distant relative owned slaves. Gate apparently agreed. After a lot of publicity about the leaked email, Sony boss Michael Lynton issued a statement that the series’ producers chose to focus on other parts of Affleck’s family history, but the actor later admitted he urged producers to exclude the story because he was “embarrassed” by the revelation.
The 84th Texas Legislature has increased the appropriation of the State Library and Archives Commission by $7.6M for the 2016-2017 biennium. The new funding includes resources to launch the Texas Digital Archive to preserve and make available electronic archives of state government as well as $6M to offer Texans greater access to online information via the popular TexShare and TexQuest programs. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission also gained funds in the new state budget to address salary needs and to implement a new automated accounting and payroll system.
Historical Court Records and Passenger Lists from Victoria, Australia, to be Published Online for the First Time
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast.com.au:
Leading family history website Findmypast has secured the rights to publish original petty session records and passenger lists from Victoria. In partnership with Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) and FamilySearch, the original images of these extensive collections will be scanned and transcribed for the first time.
Sydney, Australia, 25 June 2015, Never before microfilmed or indexed, the collection of Victoria’s Coastal Passenger Lists 1852-1924 will be brought online to Findmypast.com.au later this year. Comprising both original images and transcripts of an estimated 118,000 records, these passenger lists provide a vivid snapshot of immigrants and travellers alike arriving in Victoria’s coastal ports.
Deceased Online has added a third of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries’ records to its website, http://www.deceasedonline.com. Nunhead Cemetery, managed by the London Borough of Southwark, is one of the largest and most historic cemeteries in South London and around 1 million records for all 275,000 burials from 1840 to 2011 are immediately available.
Here is the announcement from Deceased Online:
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
- Findmypast, a global leader in family history, announces the availability of a library edition within the United States
- Provides access for libraries, archives, and other organizations to billions of records from England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States
- Free, no obligation, 90-day trial available
Salt Lake City – June 25, 2015 – Findmypast, a global leader in family history, announced today the official release of their product for libraries and organizations in the United States. The Findmypast Library Edition gives library access to billions of records from Findmypast’s wide array of collections from the United States, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, and other areas of the world. Collection highlights include: