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FamilySearch and GenealogyBank Announce a Massive Online US Obituaries Project using Volunteers

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

In celebration of Family History Month, FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank (GenealogyBank.com) today announced an agreement to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. It will be the largest—and perhaps most significant—online US historic records access initiative yet. It will take tens of thousands of online volunteers to make GenealogyBank’s vast U.S. obituary collection more discoverable online. Find out more at FamilySearch.org/Campaign/Obituaries.

The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million US newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to present. The completed online index will be fairly comprehensive, including 85% of U.S. deaths from the last decade alone. The death collection will easily become one of the most popular online genealogy databases ever, detailing names, dates, relationships, locations of the deceased, and multi-generational family members.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 3.7 Million Indexed Records and Images to Brazil, Canada, Ghana, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the United States

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added more than 3.7 million indexed records and images to collections from Brazil, Canada, Ghana, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 469,781 images from the Italy, Caltanissetta, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1820–1935, collection; the 1,334,890 images from the US, Georgia, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1897–1942, collection; and the 343,005 images from the Portugal, Braga, Priest Application Files (Genere et Moribus), 1596–1911, 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 FamilySearch.org.

Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, Texas, Places Digital Archives Online

Congregation Beth Israel, located in Houston, has digitized many of the congregation’s early records, ledgers and books. These documents provide information about births, deaths, and marriages, as well as membership dues from 1869 to the 1920s.

The “Bris Book” is the handwritten bound volume chronicling the circumcisions performed by Rabbi Emmich, the first spiritual leader of Beth Israel, dating from the mid 19th century. In German, Hebrew and English this book, currently on display in a case in the history corridor of the current temple, and can also be viewed online in its entirety.

“Basic Principles” documents include more than 500 pages of letters, minutes, clippings and commentary, describing this significant chapter of Beth Israel’s history. The issue of whether to support Israel, from the early 1940’s, was a divisive and impassioned issue for the congregation.

HP Stream Laptops and Tablets will provide Windows on a Budget

I have written often about Chromebooks, the low-cost laptops that boot quickly, never get viruses, and provide the functionality that most computer users want. These lower-powered computers typically sell for $200 to $300. They need to be connected to the Internet to run most programs although there are a number of exceptions.

Chromebooks have been selling like hotcakes. Amazon publishes a list of the company’s 100 best-selling laptop computers at http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Computers-Accessories-Laptop/zgbs/pc/565108. As I write these words, Chromebooks are the third, sixth, twelfth, fourteenth, and fifteenth most popular laptops on the list. I stopped looking after #15.

HP obviously has been paying attention to sales numbers. I suspect HP’s sales of Windows laptops has been dropping due to competition from Chromebooks. (HP also makes Chromebooks but I suspect the profit margins on Chromebooks have been slim.) Now the company has announced its own line of low-cost laptop and tablet computers that run Windows 8.1, apparently designed to compete with Chromebooks.

The new tablet computers start at $100 and $150 respectively, and will run full Windows 8.1, not Android or iOS. The 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch notebooks are priced at $200 and $230.

Windows 10 Kills the Start Screen, Runs on a Wide Variety of Devices

This isn’t genealogy-related but I suspect a lot of people will be interested in the new announcement from Microsoft.

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

Microsoft has announced the company’s plans to replace Windows 8 with the next version of the operating system. It will be called Windows 10.

Wait a minute… 6… 7… 8… 10… Isn’t there something missing in those numbers?

An Interview with Paul Allen, Ancestry.com Co-Founder

Many people in the genealogy business know Paul Allen, one of the two entrepreneurs who purchased a small book publishing company, called Ancestry Publishing, in 1997. They converted it into what has since become a multi-million dollar online powerhouse called Ancestry.com. Not bad for a man who started his career by studying Russian as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University with plans to become a professor, like his father.

Justin Heifetz of the Gallup Business Journal recently interviewed Paul Allen and his article is now available online at Gallup’s web site. In the interview, Paul describes his path from starting as a student in Russian, making several side trips into other business ventures, and eventually becoming a successful entrepreneur.

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often.

Familypedia: the Biggest Genealogy Site You Probably Never Heard Of

Are you familiar with Familypedia, a web site with 166,770 online articles about deceased individuals plus another 276,546 genealogy-related pages?

Familypedia is a wiki, part of the commercial Wikia site. It is a place where YOU can create articles about your ancestors and easily link them to other articles about where and when they lived. The site is primarily text-based with biographical pages about deceased individuals. In some cases, you can find pictures of individuals as well as pedigree charts, maps, and other graphics. In most cases, each deceased person has a separate web page giving details about his or her life and also containing hyperlinks to other web pages that contain information about the person’s relatives. Entire families can be hyperlinked together.

The Church of Ireland Gazette editions for 1914 are now Fully Searchable Online

The following announcement was written by the Church of Ireland Press office:

Archive of the Month October 2014

The Church of Ireland Gazette editions for 1914 fully searchable online

Following on from the successful digitization of the 1913 editions of The Church of Ireland Gazette last year, and continuing its commitment to mark the Decade of Commemorations, the RCB Library is pleased to present all 52 editions of The Church of Ireland Gazette for 1914, in a fully searchable format online, as Archive of the Month for October 2014.

The Gazette which has always been editorially independent, provides the longest-running public commentary on the Church’s affairs, and as such is a recognised resource for understanding the complexities and nuances of Church of Ireland identity, both north and south, as well as the Church’s contribution to political and cultural life throughout the island. The RCB Library in Dublin holds the only complete run of paper – from the first issue in March 1856 up to the present date bound up in hard copy volumes for each year where they remain an invaluable resource. However, like collections available elsewhere (such as the National Library of Ireland) the hard copy is suffering wear and tear and is cumbersome to use and research from.

FindMyPast Adds 4 Million new Yorkshire Baptism, Marriage and Burial Records Dating Back to 1538

The following announcement was written by the folks at FindMyPast:

A poet, a cricketer, an abolitionist and death by poisoned pudding: 400 years of Yorkshire parish records revealed online

4 MILLION NEW YORKSHIRE BAPTISM, MARRIAGE AND BURIAL RECORDS DATING BACK TO 1538 PUBLISHED ONLINE

FINDMYPAST’S PROJECT WITH SIX YORKSHIRE ARCHIVES WILL CREATE THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REPOSITORY OF YORKSHIRE FAMILY HISTORY RECORDS IN THE WORLD

Leading UK family history website findmypast.com has today, 30 September 2014, published online for the first time almost 4 million parish records in partnership with the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium. The Yorkshire Collection comprises beautiful scanned images of the original handwritten registers held by six Yorkshire archives and spanning the years 1538 to 1989. Fully searchable transcripts of the originals enable anyone to go online and search for their Yorkshire ancestors by name.

Introducing a New Genealogy Site: FamilyTreeNow.com

A new genealogy site has appeared within the past few days at FamilyTreeNow.com. It is billed as being completely free for everything. The site is in beta and claims to have “billions of historical records, including census (1790-1940) records, birth records, death records, marriage & divorce records, living people records, and military records.”

I took a look at the site and was impressed. It doesn’t have everything that the well-established commercial web sites have, but the price tag of free will appeal to many.

Lawrence Students Map Appleton, Wisconsin, Insane Asylum Cemetery

Notice the spelling error in the above sign. Click on the image to view a larger example.

Lawrence University students mapped out a graveyard over the weekend. Students marked out a grid to help locate the 133 burial sites in the former Outagamie County Insane Asylum Cemetery in Grand Chute. The headstones were removed in the 1970s.

What interested me is the method used to identify graves. The students walked down the rows with a device to collect information about the earth’s magnetic field.

Echoes of the Past: the East of England Family History Show

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist and S&N Genealogy:

Following the success of last year’s inaugural East of England Family History Show “Echoes of the Past” the event is now bigger than ever and will be held at the Epic Centre, Lincolnshire Showground, Lincoln on Sunday 26th October 2014.

The event offers the opportunity for visitors to research their family history, find central records and learn more about the archives of the area. Exhibitors include family history societies, genealogists, heritage groups and local publishers. Workshops and talks will be held throughout the day including Military Research, Researching Online, Lincolnshire Family History and The Garton Archive.

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: http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm. 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:

(+) Convert 35mm Slides to Digital

(+) Don’t Print This Article!

The Easy Way to Store Backups on Multiple Online Services with CloudHQ

This Season’s First Episode of “Finding Your Roots”

Second Episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS

Book Review: Scots-Irish Genealogy Research

Photographs of Citizens of London in 1877

Civil War Soldiers’ Graves Online Database

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was the largest fraternal organization for Union veterans. It was a very active organization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Only Union veterans were permitted to join the GAR. As the members aged and then died, the organization eventually disappeared. However, it was replaced by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, with membership restricted to descendants of Union Civil War veterans. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War inherited most of the records of the national GAR organization, as well as many of the records of local chapters (called “encampments”).

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) now has created its Grave Registration Project to document the final resting places of BOTH Union and Confederate Civil War veterans. The fully-searchable database is available online and is free for everyone.

A Little-Known Government Genealogy Service

A little-known program of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides genealogy information that may be difficult or impossible to obtain elsewhere. The records include naturalization files, visa applications, and citizenship tests, and may reveal family secrets and mysteries. In addition to relatives, historians or researchers can also request files.

Under the USCIS Genealogy Program, which started in 2008, requests are usually completed within 90 days. The government will run a search of the name, as long as the person is deceased. If there are records available, the government charges additional fees for the files. The fee for a record copy from microfilm identified as (M) is $20 per request. The fee for a copy of a hard copy file identified as (HC) is $35 per request. More information about the fees associated with each file series may be found at http://www.uscis.gov/history-and-genealogy/genealogy/historical-records-series-available-genealogy-program.

Second Episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

The next episode of “Finding Your Roots” will be broadcast on most PBS stations on Tuesday, October 28th. The program will trace three guests’ roots into the heart of slavery, revealing that there is no singular narrative and challenging preconceptions of an era that profoundly shaped our nation’s sense of itself. Hip-hop artist Nas discovers a web of his slave ancestors and their intimate relationship with their slave master; award-winning actress Angela Bassett meets ancestors whose slave family tragedy is rivaled only by a triumphant emancipation story; and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett goes back in time more than 200 years to meet a formidable line-up of free people of color — all of them of trailblazers.

Finding Your Roots II, Pt. 6, “We Come from People,” will be broadcast on Tuesday, October 28th. Check your local listings for the time and channel nearest you. The program’s web site may be found at http://video.pbs.org/program/finding-your-roots.

Petition Launched for Early Release of England & Wales Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

A campaign has been launched to enable greater public access to historical English and Welsh birth, marriage and death records, and your help is needed.

Alona Tester has published an article in the (Australian) Genealogy & History News that says, in part:

“Guy Etchells, the man who is behind the push to get the 1911 Census released early, for which we are all eternally grateful, has now started an online petition asking for the UK’s civil registration records … to be made open for public inspection, online and at local record offices. Sounds awesome doesn’t it?

“Currently the main way that English and Welsh BDM records can be accessed is by certificates posted out by the General Register Office (GRO) – a process that costs £9.25 per certificate, and obviously takes time in the mail, anything from a few days to weeks.

“According to Mr Etchells this whole process could be alleviated if historic registers were made available, as other historic records are, through the National Archives – as instant downloads. “

(+) Don’t Print This Article!

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

Consider the environment. Do you really need to print out this article?

I occasionally receive e-mail messages from newsletter readers asking various questions about how to print the newsletter. I also frequently hear comments at genealogy conferences and elsewhere from family historians stating, “I printed it out to save it and…” or similar words.

I have one question: Why?

Google Takeout Can Retrieve Your Data

Google Takeout (also called Google Takeaway in some languages) is a little known service that allows users of Google products, such as YouTube, Google Drive files, Google Calendar appointments, Google Contacts, and Gmail, to export their data as a downloadable ZIP file. It is a great method of keeping backup copies of your online data. Google Takeout makes it easy for you to make copies of your information that is stored in many of Google’s many services. In fact, the service is so simple to use that there is little documentation needed or available. Best of all, the Google Takeout service is available free of charge.

The full list of Google data services available (so far) with Google Takeout include:

YouTube, Bookmarks, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive, Voice, Profile, Hangouts, Google+, Circles, Google+, Stream, +1s, Google+, Pages, Blogger, Orkut, Messenger, YouTube, Google Photos, Google Play, Books, Location, and History.

Google does not delete your data after exporting.

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