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Boston’s Old State House Time Capsule Made a Few Accurate Predictions — And Some Very Wrong Ones

A letter to posterity written more than 100 years ago and found in a time capsule hidden inside Boston’s Old State House golden lion statue made a few accurate predictions — and some very wrong ones. An archivist for the Bostonian Society, Elizabeth Roscio, opened one of the letters on Tuesday that was found in the 113-year-old time capsule, from George A. Litchfield, the business manager of the Boston Traveler. Litchfield’s 1901 letter describes an era of what he considered advanced technology, and some visions of the future that included adventures in flight, exploration, and communication.

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.

(+) How to Remotely Control a Distant Computer

…or perhaps a computer that is not so distant

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

Remote control software for desktop and laptop computers has been available for years. All systems administrators of large data centers are familiar with these programs, as are many “work from home” individuals who need to control computers at the office on nights and weekends. However, the same technology is available to everyone; you do not need to be a systems professional in order to access the computer on your desk at the office or the one at home when you are traveling. Best of all, many of these remote control products are available free of charge.

Remote control software has a very simple goal: add a second monitor, keyboard and mouse to a computer. The difference is that these secondary items are located some distance away, perhaps miles or even thousands of miles away. The secondary monitor, keyboard and mouse are connected to a standard Windows, Macintosh or Linux system or, in some cases, are part of an Android or iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) handheld device. That system provides the necessary functionality to connect the video/keyboard/mouse simultaneously to the local and the distant computers.

Happy Halloween!

FamilySearch Adds More Than 3.4 Million Indexed Records and Images to the Bahamas, Cape Verde, Peru, and the United States

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch adds more than 3.4 million indexed records and images to the Bahamas, Cape Verde, Peru, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 2,623,218 indexed records from the US, New York, State Census, 1865 collection; the 178,692 images from the US, Illinois Probate Records, 1819–1988 collection; and the 163,023 images from the US, Ohio, Trumbull County Records, 1795–2010 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.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org 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 FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the worldís historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

FindMyPast Announces Major Partnership with The Wall Street Journal

The following announcement was written by FindMyPast:

London, UK. 31 October, 2014. Findmypast, the leading British family history company, has announced a major partnership with The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ+ membership programme. .

Under this new partnership, members of WSJ+ can claim a complimentary three month subscription to findmypast.com as part of their WSJ+ benefits.

Adoption Factbook, Polish Roots, and Welsh Names Among New Books from Genealogical.com

The following announcement was written by the folks at Genealogical Publishing Company:

Genealogical.com is the leading publisher of genealogy books in the U.S. Our award-winning titles include hundreds of how-to books and manuals, and more than a thousand collections of source records. Our newest titles cover Adoption and Donor Conception, Polish roots, and Welsh naming practices.

Polish Roots. 2nd Edition, by Rosemary Chorzempa
Since the publication of the original Polish Roots in 1993, the Internet has made the task of locating Polish ancestors much easier, as more information and images are made available online. There has also been a marked rise in interest in genealogy in Poland, resulting in a great increase in the number of Polish genealogical societies and the amount of helpful information disseminated. The second edition of Polish Roots addresses these developments, with a new Introduction, brand-new chapters, several new maps and charts, and more.
http://www.genealogical.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&item_number=981.

Kindle Unlimited: Obtain Unlimited Access to over 700,000 eBooks for only $9.99 a Month

One of the best bargains I know is almost unknown. Amazon offers Kindle Unlimited, a service that allows you to read as much as you want, choosing from over 700,000 titles and even from thousands of audiobooks.

Not all Kindle books are available on Kindle Unlimited but I suspect most people will find plenty to keep them busy for a long, long time. You don’t need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle Unlimited. With the free Kindle reading apps for the iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, Windows, and Macintosh OS X, you can read ebook or listen to an audio book on any device with the free Kindle app installed. Of course, you can always read or listen to the books on your Kindle.

For many people, $9.99 a month is probably cheaper than purchasing the gas required to visit your local library several times a month to check out “free” books.

Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry through DNA Testing

Richard Hill has released version 2 of his Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry through DNA Testing. The ebook is available as a Kindle book. It sells for the modest price of 99 cents (U.S.)

The Guide is a brief overview designed to help people (1) see the benefits of genetic genealogy and (2) take the right tests for their needs. By offering this to the huge Amazon audience, Richard hopes to get many more genealogists to take the leading tests. As these databases grow, we will all get more and better matches.

As described on Amazon:

Huge New King County, Washington, Database Unveiled

The following announcement was written by the Seattle Genealogical Society:

The Seattle Genealogical Society is proud to announce the availability of a huge database, the SGS King County Court Cases Index, 1881-1980, or KC3I for short. This index contains over 1.7 million records. Of these, divorces and other end-of marriage cases comprise over 700,000 of the entries, and probate and similar cases account for nearly 300,000 more.

The KC3I was created over a ten year period by a small but resolute group of SGS volunteers from over 100 boxes of index cards from the Chicago Title Company. It is an index of ALL King County court cases that could potentially affect property rights, and therefore the title to property from before 1881 through 1980. In addition to divorce and probate cases, the KC3I also includes all King County court cases involving name changes, community property agreements and guardianships, among others. Nearly 80,000 hours of volunteer time went into the creation of the KC3I.

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Proposes to Expand Requests for Tombstone Markers on Behalf of Deceased Veterans

On October 1, 2014, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published, in the Federal Register, a proposed rule to amend the existing definition of eligible applicants by expanding the types of individuals who may request headstones or markers on behalf of decedents. The amendment addresses concerns that the existing applicant definition is too restrictive and results in identified Veteran gravesites going unmarked.

Mesoloft will Scatter Your Ashes from the Edge of Space

Some people choose to honor the memory of a lost loved one by doing something creative with their ashes. What’s more creative than taking their remains to the very top of the Earth’s atmosphere and releasing them? That’s what Mesoloft is offering to those who want to say goodbye in a way that no one will ever forget.

Mesoloft makes it possible to honor the dream and memory of your departed loved one by lifting the cremated remains of a beloved family member into the magnificent beauty of near space, almost twenty miles above our planet. Once released, the ashes will soar and drift in the upper reaches of the earth’s atmosphere for weeks and months circulating the globe. Over time the ashes will return as dust to earth, settling on mountain tops, desert dunes, oceans, lakes, and rivers. Some will pass through clouds, returning to the surface of the planet in the form of raindrops or snowflakes as water vapor condenses on the particles of ash.

Today in History: The War of the Worlds Broadcast, October 30, 1938

Seventy-six years ago today, on October 30, 1938, the CBS radio network broadcast a radio play of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. the broadcast caused widespread panic, with citizens taking to the streets and scores of injuries resulting. Many listeners apparently thought it was a factual news broadcast.

In fact, the story wasn’t new. The War of the World was first published as a serialized novel n Pearson’s Magazine in the UK and Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. in 1897 and told the story of an alien invasion of England. The Mercury Theatre’s on air production changed the location to New Jersey and employed a series of news bulletins to heighten the realism of the story.

Research at DAR Library Now Free to the Public

The following announcement was written by the folks at the DAR Library:

The DAR Library, one of the country’s premier genealogical research facilities, is now FREE to all researchers. In October, the entrance fee for use of the Washington, D.C. family history library was eliminated as part of ongoing efforts to make the extensive DAR genealogical resources more accessible to the public.

“We are so pleased to be able to now offer the DAR Library resources free of charge,” says Eric Grundset, Director of the DAR Library. “We invite and encourage anyone who may have been deterred in the past by the usage fee to come visit and explore our vast holdings. You never know what you may be able to discover about your family at the DAR Library.”

Federation of Genealogical Societies and Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Announce FGS 2017 National Conference

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society:

FGS 2017 To Be Held Aug 30—Sep 2 in Pittsburgh, PA with Local Co-host Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society

October 28, 2014 – Austin, TX. and Pittsburgh, PA. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and local co-host Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (WPGS) announce the FGS 2017 National Conference will be held August 30—September 2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“We couldn’t be happier to be visiting Pittsburgh for the 2017 FGS Conference,” says FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “The city’s unique history and rich genealogical resources promise to deliver a memorable and enjoyable experience to the FGS Community.”

Get the 2014-15 Texas Almanac eBook — FREE!

The Texas State Historical Association is making a valuable reference book available free of charge to everyone. It is a useful guide for anyone researching Texas ancestry as well as for many other purposes as well. It has long been considered “the go-to guide for all things Texas.”

The Texas Almanac is a 752-page guide to everything you ever wanted to know about the Lone Star State. It is packed with hundreds of articles, color photographs, maps, and data tables, making it the premier reference guide for everything Texan. This digital version is optimized for your iPad, Kindle, or eReader device.

GENP and TMG Support

The following announcement was written by Cocolsoft Computer Solutions,:

October 28, 2014.

Melbourne, Australia. The genealogy program GENP continues to support the import of data from The Master Genealogist TMG.

On the 24th July 2014 Wholly Genes Software announced that they would be discontinuing The Master Genealogist (TMG). Last month sales of the product ceased. Support of the product will finish in December. The most recent release of TMG is version 9.04 released on the 24th September.

“GENP continues to support the import of data from The Master Genealogist in its most recent version 9.04″ said founder Peter Evans.

GENP is an event linked genealogy program. It has sources, citations, witnesses and flags. Unlike TMG it is Unicode enabled and languages can be mixed. One of our demonstration databases is in Japanese.

ISFHWE “Excellence in Writing” Contest is Now Open

The following announcement was written by the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors:

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) is reminding writers IN ALL MEDIA (magazines, newspapers, journals, websites, blogs) that the 2015 Excellence-in-Writing Competition is now open for entries through 15 June 2015.

The competition is open to both MEMBERS and NON-MEMBERS of ISFHWE; both published and non-published authors may enter (see category list below). Members of ISFHWE receive a discount on the entry fee (after logging in to the ISFHWE members’ corner; new members allow up to ten days to receive login information). The categories are:

Boxifier adds More Folders to Dropbox

Dropbox is a great app to use, but it has one drawback that irritates some people. Dropbox is great, but it only syncs what you put in your Dropbox folder.

I never felt that is a problem but apparently some people do. I simply moved all my files from the Documents folder to Dropbox. My Documents folder remains empty and all my files in the Dropbox folder get copied to the cloud within minutes after being saved. Whenever I create new files, I save them in the appropriate subfolder under the Dropbox folder. However, if you do not like that solution, Boxifier may provide the functionality you want.

Wells Fargo Unit Banks on Family History

Want to have professional genealogists prepare a complete family history profile for you, showing your ancestry back at least four generations? The report will include a dossier of pictures and historical documents, from naturalization papers to passenger lists. The reports are available at no extra charge.

Well, there is one hitch: the private bankers at Abbot Downing, Wells Fargo’s advisory for clients, will do this only for customers who have $50 million in assets or more.

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