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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!

Bill Paxton featured on the U.S. Version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” Sunday on TLC

The following announcement was written by the folks at Who Do You Think You Are?

This week on Who Do You Think You Are? Bill Paxton researches his paternal lineage, uncovering the life of an ancestor who was a war hero in an historic battle; and struggling with the morality of actions his four times great grandfather took. The episode airs this Sunday, April 19 at 10/9c on TLC.

Key details from Bill’s episode include:

(+) How Long Does a Flash Drive Last?

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

Flash drives have generally replaced Blu-Ray disks, DVD-ROM disks, CD-ROM disks, floppy disks, magnetic tape, and even old-fashioned punch cards as the preferred method of storing backup copies of computer data. Indeed, these tiny devices are capable of storing as much as 256 gigabytes of data for reasonable prices, and even higher capacities are available, although perhaps at somewhat unreasonable prices. (“Reasonable prices” are defined as prices that are lower than purchasing equivalent storage capacity on CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and Blu-Ray disks.) If history repeats itself again, even today’s unreasonably-priced flash drives will be cheaper within a very few years.

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

The following review of two books was written by Bobbi King:

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

A Page of History
Passport Applications 1851-1914; Passport Applications Volume II 1915-1925
by Phil Goldfarb
Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC

These two volumes of A Page of History are not exactly genealogy books, but rather, books of general historical interest. Of course, if your ancestor happens to be one of the famous people included in the books, then your interest is very personal. And someone writing a biography of any of the persons in the book could find additional material.

The first pages detail a short history of passport applications, a brief summary of passports in the United States and passport application forms, and types of passport applications.

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

This article is being written in a hotel room in Birmingham, England. I am here to attend the Who Do You Think You Are? Live exhibition starting tomorrow at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. (See for details.) An interesting story in this morning’s local newspaper intrigues me.

“Dirty Dick” of Birmingham. Click on the image to view a larger version.

First, a fearsome bunch of boozers were all banned from pubs in Birmingham at the turn of the last century. The list of these drinkers now forms part of the UK Midlands Collection on, which covers a 400-year period and contains more than 21 million records detailing the good, the bad, and the famous who have shaped the history of the city. The records of those banned from the local pubs are available for all to see at

The description of the online database states:

On the Year of its 150th birthday, the Montana Historical Society gets an Anonymous Surprise

The Montana Historical Society received an envelope last Wednesday that had no return address, an illegible postmark and was 63 cents short on postage. Inside was a stark piece of copy paper with the handwritten message: “I think you may have an interest in the attached.”

Sandwiched between the handwritten note and two other pieces of paper was the original act that created the Montana Historical Society on Feb. 2, 1865, handwritten and signed by territorial Gov. Sidney Edgerton.

FamilySearch Free Historic Book Collection Online Hits 200,000th Milestone

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Imagine a free virtual online library of rare historic books from all over the world to help you discover rich, unknown details about the lives of your ancestors. What if the historic book collections held by significant public libraries and venerable societies were the sources of these contributed books? You’d have a dynamic, priceless online repository of some of the greatest hidden historic treasures predominantly unknown to man. International, and a growing host of partnering libraries and organizations and volunteers, have announced today that they’ve reached the milestone of publishing 200,000 historic volumes online for free at The growing online collection, which began in 2007, is invaluable to genealogists and family historians in finding their ancestors.

FamilySearch has mobile digitization pods at partnering libraries and organizations across the United States including Fort Wayne (Indiana), Syracuse (New York), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Independence (Missouri), Houston (Texas), at the University of Florida, and in Salt Lake City (Utah). Digitization is also being done at strategic FamilySearch Centers in Pocatello (Idaho), Mesa (Arizona), Oakland, Orange and Sacramento (California), and in Utah at the West Valley and Ogden Centers. . Most of the digitized publications consists of compiled family histories and local and county histories. The collection also includes telephone and postal directories and other resources.

The American Civil War Began 154 Years Ago Today

The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”

Canada’s Parliament Buildings were Built on top of a Dump Full of Wine, Beer, and Champagne Bottles

Recent archeological digs outside the main buildings of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa have turned up tens of thousands of artifacts from the early 19th century. The site previously was called Barrack Hill and was a staging ground for the British Royal Engineers to undertake the construction of the nearby Rideau Canal. The local town was called ByTown although the name was later changed to Ottawa.

“When you think of early Bytown, it’s often portrayed as a swamp, as a back country area, but it’s interesting to see the officers still enjoyed a gentlemanly life that was expected of them,” said Kopp, who has worked on other archeological digs on Canadian military sites.

There was lots of evidence of drinking — wine bottles, beer bottles, champagne bottles, tumblers and glasses.

Latest Version of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring America Ferrera is now Available on iTunes

If you missed last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring America Ferrera, you can now retrieve it 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?”

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:

On the Road Again

(+) Why We All Need to Ignore Our Old Ideas about Filing Systems

(+) How to Obtain Information from the 1950 and Later Census Records

(+) Endangered Species: CD and DVD Disks

Book Review: MindMaps for Genealogy

Genealogy Data Entry Techniques

Did You Find the Correct Ancestor? Many People Did Not as Shown by Numerous Published Articles about Hillary Clinton’s Family Tree

Why You Need a Temporary Credit Card Number

(+) Endangered Species: CD and DVD Disks

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

CD-ROM disks and the newer DVD-ROM plastic disks have been the standard of data storage for years. However, that is rapidly changing. The disks may last a long time, but it appears that CD and DVD disk READERS are about to disappear.

A well-prepared genealogist will handle the change easily. However, anyone who ignores the change in technology will be left with a stack of plastic disks that are about as useful as the old computer punch cards.

On the Road Again

Just a quick note for your information: I am going on a trip starting Monday morning, April 13, and will not return until the following Monday, April 20. I will attend the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference next week in Birmingham, England. Because of my travels back and forth over the Atlantic plus the fact I will be a bit busy during the conference, I probably will not be posting as many articles as usual in the next week.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Ireland, Ontario, Quebec, California, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin

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.

International Conference on Jewish Genealogy Early Registration Discount Extended

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the 2015 IAJGS 35th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy:

Happy Passover from the 2015 IAJGS 35th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. For the ease of those who are vacationing over the holiday, we have decided to extend the Early Registration Discount fee through Wednesday May 6, 2015. Visit to register now! And since we promised a drawing for prizes those registered by April 15th your chances of winning are now double! Be patient if we are slower in answering e-mails, Israel is on vacation until April 12. Ortra our Conference Organizer, like most non-essential businesses in Israel, is closed for all but emergencies. I and most of our volunteers will be answering questions as rapidly as we can.

Our Preliminary Program now is now listed in the Program & Schedule section of the website in the “Program” tab at You’ll see why we are boasting that this will be “A Conference Like No Other”. The schedule will become interactive after Passover.

Genealogy Data Entry Techniques

In the course of a week, I get to see a lot of genealogy data. Some of what I see is abysmal. Many otherwise highly-skilled genealogists do not seem to know that their keyboards have a SHIFT key! Instead, they simply press their CAPS LOCK key and then ignore upper and lower case after that.

Of course, the use of UPPER CASE text has a long history in the computer business. The mainframes of the 1960s and 70s only used upper case text. Data typically was entered on 80-column punch cards. The IBM 026 keypunch machine, the most popular keypunch machine ever built, indeed did not have a shift key and was incapable of entering lower case text.

By the late 1970s, all of this had changed, and data was being entered from computer terminals in normal upper and lower case. However, not everyone got the word. It seems that a number of people do not realize that the keyboards of the twenty-first century have improved since those “stone age” computers of 40 or 50 years ago!

Kim and Khloe Kardashian Visit their Ancestors’ Homeland

I wrote about the Kardashian family’s genealogy earlier at This family certainly is not my favorite group of personalities but I find the story of their ancestors’ hardships and persecution fascinating, regardless of the antics of present-day family members. Kim and Khloe Kardashian also seem interested as they visited their ancestors’ homeland of Armenia this week.

National Genealogy Conference in Canada has been CANCELED

A National Genealogy Conference had been scheduled to be held in Halifax on July 17 through 19. A very brief announcement at now says the event has been canceled. The reason for the cancelation was not given although I suspect a low number of pre-registrations may have had something to do with it.


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