This Newsletter is Sponsored by MyHeritage


Family History on Your Wrist: Introducing Ancestry’s Apple Watch App

Writing in the Ancestry Blog, Aaron Orr has announced a new app from Ancestry: the Apple Watch App.

I haven’t seen the app yet, although my Apple Watch IS on order. However, after reading Aaron Orr’s article, it appears that it is not a full-blown, general-purpose genealogy application. That shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, just how much can you do on a tiny watch face?

Reunion 11 for Macintosh and ReunionTouch for Apple iOS Devices Now Available

A major update for Reunion is now available. Leister Productions has released Reunion version 11 for Macintosh and also ReunionTouch for iPad/iPhone. Reunion 11 includes the following changes:

  • Syncing with mobile devices has been completely revamped in Reunion 11. No more need to manually sync changes. Working via Dropbox, everything synchs immediately.
  • New Islands Sidebar lets you locate “islands” in your family file. Islands are groups of people linked to each other, but not linked to people in other islands.
  • Visual clue for family notes, pictures and events appears in the marriage fields in the family view.
  • Relationships are now identified “on-the-fly.” As you add, delete, link, or unlink people in your family file, their relationship to the current source person appears instantly. No need to re-calculate relationships for the same source person.
  • Thumbnails window for browsing images linked to people, families, and sources. Makes it easy to see all pictures in one place.
  • Book creator automatically generate a PDF book, complete with page-number indexes of people and places. Includes source documentation, a multimedia browser, surnames, table of contents, multiple column content with text wrapping around images, custom headers and footers, cover pages, graphics, and more.

And much more. The full list of changes may be found at

Guinness confirms Confucius Family Tree as World’s Largest

The genealogical line of the ancient Chinese sage Confucius has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest family tree in history, containing the names of more than 2 million descendants, according to the latest edition of the Confucius genealogy book published in 2009.

According to those who have looked at the book (in Chinese), the Confucius Genealogy appears to contain many source citations and supporting documentation.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 4 Million Indexed Records and Images for Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Italy, South Africa, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added to its collections more than 4 million indexed records and images for Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Italy, South Africa, and the United States. Notable collection updates include 700,220 indexed records from the US, Alabama, County Marriages, 1809–1950 collection; 461,167 indexed records from the US, Montana, Cascade County Records, 1880–2009 collection; and 380,334 indexed records from the Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902–1980 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

Local BMD Summary Page Enhancements Announced

The following announcement was written by the folks at the UKBMD & Local BMD Project:

Just under 15 years ago the first of a growing series of websites was opened – the Cheshire BMD. Over time other areas of the country joined what has become known as the “Local BMD Project” and began placing their local register office birth, marriage and death indexes online. Links to all of these local BMD websites can be found under the UKBMD website on its Local BMD page.

New Features:

HistoryLines Announces Official Launch

I mentioned HistoryLines last January when the site was in beta test. See for the earlier article. Now HistoryLines is out of beta and fully open for business. The following announcement was written by the folks at HistoryLines:

Oswego, IL, USA – April 20, 2015

HistoryLines, a leading provider of historical solutions for genealogists and educators, today announced the official launch of, a new website for users interested in genealogy and family history. The site allows anyone to better understand the lives of their forebears by describing the historical events and cultural influences that surrounded their lives. Users see their relatives in historical context with a personalized timeline and map, and can read a detailed, editable life sketch based on when and where their ancestor lived in history.

A Steam Convoy from World War I

Sometimes we forget that not all early motor vehicles were powered by gasoline. Here is a glimpse at what life must have been like for some of our ancestors in the British military:

You also can display the video full screen by clicking on the second icon from the right on the bottom. If your web browser does not show the video, click on this link: WW1 Steam Convoy – ‘Gigantic’ bounces around the roundabout!

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few hours ago. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

(+) How Long Does a Flash Drive Last?

Instant Discoveries™ are now available for all MyHeritage Users

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #1

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #2

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #3

Mark Your Calendar: the next Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show will be held in Birmingham, England, on April 7 through 9, 2016

Book Review: A Page of History – Passport Applications 1851-1914

Birmingham Pubs’ Blacklist from the 1900s now Online on Will Your Behavior Also Become Public in the Future? 

Findmypast Adds Derbyshire Records and Persi Images

Instant Discoveries™ are now available for all MyHeritage Users

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

This is a nifty piece of software. I had a chance to use Instant Discoveries™ and to help others use it at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event last week in Birmingham, England. Instant Discoveries™ have been available in a limited test version for several months. Starting today, MyHeritage has opened it up for all customers to use.

By signing up at MyHeritage and entering some basic information about immediate family members, new users discovered ancestors, relatives and never-seen-before photos in just a few seconds.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is sponsored by MyHeritage so I might be accused of bias in reporting this. I agree! I am undoubtedly biased. However, I’d suggest you try Instant Discoveries™ yourself to see if it works for you.

Instant Discoveries™ can be useful for any genealogist but I am certain it will especially appeal to newcomers to family history. If you have been researching your family tree for some time you probably have found much (but probably not all) of the information that Instant Discoveries™ will find. However, I watched last week as a number of people who are new to family history searches used Instant Discoveries™ to find previously-unknown family tree members within a minute or two. This is a product that can provide a “head start” on researching your family tree.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia

Some of the above changes may have been deletions of previous 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.

Latest Version of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Bill Paxton is now Available on iTunes

If you missed last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Bill Paxton (as I did), you can now retrieve the episode from iTunes for $2.99. Previous episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? are also available. A Season Pass to all of this year’s episodes costs $14.99.

To view the episodes, launch the iTunes Software on your Windows, Macintosh, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch device and search for “Who Do You Think You Are?”

I will be watching the latest episode later this evening as I was riding on an airplane when it was broadcast yesterday on TLC.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #3

The third and final day of the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event finished a few hours ago in Birmingham, England. It must have been a great show because I know I am bushed!

The crowd at the Guild of One-Name Studies stand

This final day was similar to the first two days (see my earlier reports here and here for details). The biggest single difference is that the crowd was even bigger today than either of the two previous days. No surprises there as more people can attend on a Saturday than can be there on a weekday.

Mark Your Calendar: the next Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show will be held in Birmingham, England, on April 7 through 9, 2016

After a successful Who Do You Think You Are? Live! this week, the conference organizers have announced that the next several Who Do You Think You Are? Live! shows will be held in the same location as this year’s event: in the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England. The next one will be held April 7 through 9, 2016.

Big Data of Genealogy Databases Provides New Tools to Analyze Royal Lifestyles between 800 and 1800

An article in the London School of Economics and Political Science describes hew methods being used to provide insights into the lives the European nobility, and may provide important clues about why Western Europe led the Industrial Revolution. One huge database from FamilySearch is giving economic historians like Dr Neil Cummins of the London School of Economics’ History Department access to genealogical ‘big data’ for the first time.

Describing the significance of the newly digitised information, he says: “Individual demographic data before 1538 in England is extremely rare – that’s the time of Henry VIII, Cromwell and the English reformation. Before that we only had scraps.”

Updated Clooz Software Now Interfaces with Legacy Family Tree

The following announcement was written by the folks at Ancestral Systems LLC, producers of Clooz:

Exciting Improvement for the Clooz Data Interface with Legacy

Ancestral Systems LLC is releasing another in our continuing series of updates to improve the data exchange capabilities of Clooz. In addition to the existing transfer of images and links into Legacy, now non-picture media files (PDF, document, sound, video) and URLs attached to Clooz documents can be exported. People in Clooz being exported to Legacy can be inserted directly into the existing Legacy family structure. These files will display in the Media Gallery screens of Legacy, for the individual or event, as well as source details.

JewishGen Education will offer a new Online Forum – The Jewish in Jewish Genealogy May 1 – May 29

The following information was written by the folks at JewishGen Education:

Genealogy is more than statistics and facts. This class will give you a chance to understand the Jewish immigration experience and we’ll discover tricks and tips to successfully search for Jewish ancestry.

With each passing generation, the torch passes to children whose lifestyle is further from the immigrant experience. Now we have to dig deep in order to bring up images and voices from the past, to understand and recreate their lives.

The Genealogist Launches Millions of Online Records and Maps

At the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference in Birmingham, England, this week, the folks at announced the immediate availability of several new record sets online. Here is a brief introduction to each new record set along with pointers to where you can read more about each one:

New Tithe Maps for more English counties

A major addition to the National Tithe Records has just been launched. Joining the previously released maps for Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire, are the counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Lancashire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire & Yorkshire.

Tithe maps allow you to identify the land on which your ancestors lived and worked in the 19th century. The tithe apportionments list the names of both the owner and the occupier as well as detail the amount of land, how it was used, and tithe rent due. These unique records are key to geographically placing where your ancestors lived and worked in these times.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #2

The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event continued for a second day today at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England. In fact, it was very much like the first day of the event with one major exception. In fact, I have to take back one statement I wrote yesterday and re-state it a bit differently.

Yesterday, in my report of Day #1, I wrote, “The total attendance undoubtedly was lower than the past few years when the event was held in London …” However, the attendance today (Friday) was much higher than that of Thursday. Attendance today may or may not have reached the levels seen in previous years in London but, whatever the number, the hall was crowded most of the time. Several of the commercial vendors reported late this afternoon they were quite happy with sales made to this larger crowd.

Here is a small sample of today’s larger crowds filling the rather wide aisles in the exhibits hall.

Findmypast Adds Derbyshire Records and Persi Images

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

This Findmypast Friday marks the release of baptism, marriage and burial index records from the English county of Derbyshire and substantial updates to the The PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).

Derbyshire Baptism Index 1538-1910

Derbyshire Baptism Index 1538-1910 contains over 692,000 records taken from Church of England Parish registers. Derbyshire is in the East Midlands of England. The southern extremity of the Pennine range of hills stretches into the north of the county. The county also contains part of the National Forest with Greater Manchester to the northwest, West Yorkshire to the north, South Yorkshire to the northeast, Nottinghamshire to the east and Leicestershire to the southeast. Staffordshire is to the west and southwest and Cheshire is also to the west.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #1

The newly-relocated Who Do You Think You Are? Live! conference opened at 9:30 this morning in the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), in Birmingham, England. I think every one of the several thousand people who attended would agree that the first day’s events were successful.

The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! annual events have always been held in London in the past although a “special edition” was held in Glasgow, Scotland last year as a second event of 2014. (You can read my reports from last year’s Glasgow event by starting at

This year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Event was moved to a very modern convention center in Birmingham, England. The 2015 event is being held this week in an industrial area well outside the city but very close to the airport and a train station and also easily accessible by motorways. In short, it is an excellent location for attendees who must travel some distance to attend. While I traveled a considerable distance from Orlando, Florida, to Birmingham, I was not even close to having traveled the furthest to attend. I met a number of attendees at today’s event who were from Australia, California, Texas, Germany, and a number of other places.

The National Exhibition Centre, or NEC., is an ideal place for a conference with several thousand attendees. I believe there are 20 exhibition halls inside the cavernous NEC facility. Yes, twenty! All the several thousand genealogists and the vendors combined did not fill one hall. There was room for 19 more conferences of similar or even larger size to be held simultaneously!


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