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New research Shows the Vikings were Misunderstood – They Were Family Men and did not Rape and Pillage

Well, maybe they pillaged a bit.

I am not sure I believe this but researchers now say DNA evidence shows that women often accompanied Viking men on raiding trips and sometimes even children were in the longboats. The study has shed light on the importance of women in the colonization of the British Isles in the Middle Ages, suggesting that Viking men were family-orientated and not as blood-thirsty as previously thought. Researchers from the University of Oslo have revealed that ‘significant’ numbers of women accompanied Viking men when they sailed to places like the Scottish mainland in longboats.

Photo Editing Just Like Photoshop on a Chromebook

I have written often about the advantages of Chromebooks, the low-cost laptops that boot up quickly, never get viruses, and have price tags of $180 to $300 or so. Their security, ease of use, and portability is rapidly making them a popular choice for schools, businesses, and university students – all of whom are taking note of their advantages.

When Chromebooks first appeared, they were limited to using simple programs that ran in a web browser. However, time marches on and so do the programmers. Chromebooks today can do most, although not all, of the tasks that a Macintosh or Windows laptop can accomplish.

Cemeteries of the Future… Built like a Vending Machine?

Well, perhaps it LOOKS like a vending machine…

Cities are running out of space for all sorts of things, including cemeteries. Where can the urban dead rest in peace these days? Constellation Park is one of several concepts by DeathLab, a Columbia University-based research and design space focused on “re-conceiving how we live with death in the metropolis.” And you might not believe some of the other ideas this group of researchers and architects are quietly working on: a looming tower that that holds “pods” (i.e., graves) that light up and above which people can stroll, and a spaceship-like structure on Manhattan’s waterfront that’s like a park where waking can slip in and out.

(+) How to Find Anything on Your Hard Drive within Seconds

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

The old method of carrying files with you.

Modern hard drives are wonderful inventions. Capable of storing gigabytes, even terabytes, of information, today’s hard drives allow you store the equivalent of multiple four-drawer filing cabinets in only a few cubic inches, all for a cost undreamed of only a few years ago. In fact, today’s hard drives are much cheaper than filing cabinets. Even better, you can carry the equivalent of a large filing cabinet with you all the time by keeping the information in a flash drive, in a laptop computer, or in the cloud where it is easily accessed from your cell phone or tablet computer.

There is but one problem: how do you find information buried in the tens of thousands of documents you filed on these gargantuan hard drives over the years?

Luckily, there are several solutions that will allow you to find anything in your computer within seconds.

MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree are 50% off for the Holidays

Both MacFamilyTree for Macintosh and MobileFamilyTree for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch are being offered at 50% off until December 27th. MacFamilyTree is now available for US $24.99 instead of the normal price of US $49.99. MobileFamilyTree is being offered for US $7.99 instead of the normal price of US $14.99.

Findmypast Announces Start Your Family Tree Week 2014/15 & Inaugural Findmypast Tree Awards

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • The week is full of competitions, expert insights, useful print-outs and much more
  • Launch of inaugural Findmypast Tree Competition to award exciting prizes across multiple categories
  • Prizes include Findmypast subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, exclusive sessions with genealogists and much more
  • Findmypast Hints has been launched to help beginners get started with their family trees quickly and easily
  • Over 7.6 million new records released today, including over 90,000 Revolutionary War Pensions and many more records from across the world to be released to launch Start Your Family Tree Week on 26th December

London, UK. 19 December, 2014. Findmypast, the leading British family history site, has announced this year’s Start Your Family Tree Week will be held from 26th December 2014 to 1st January 2015.

The seven-day event will provide getting started guides, expert insights, useful print-outs and resources, and a wealth of family history prizes.

Over 15 Million New Records Released Today on Findmypast

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Every Friday, thousands of new records are released on our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to explore over the weekend. This week, we are pleased to announce the release of over 15.3 million UK and US records. This week’s new US records include Idaho births & christenings, Arizona death & burials and Utah Marriages. New UK additions include over 14 million England and Wales Death records, North Yorkshire Ryedale baptisms, a variety of fascinating Kent records and the 1871 Worldwide British Army Index.

US Records

Containing over 15,000 records Idaho births and christenings 1856-1965 can reveal vital biographical details on the first settlers of Idaho right up through the state’s 20th century residents. Idaho ordered counties to register births after 1911, but some counties and even individuals began recording this information much earlier.

Arizona deaths & burials 1910-1994 contains over 2,000 records. Arizona first began recording deaths in the state in 1909 and by the early 1920s compliance across the state had been achieved, although there are some significant gaps in the records after 1911.

Irish Genealogical Research Society adds more records to the Early Irish Marriage Index

The Irish Genealogical Research Society’s Early Irish Marriage Index has been updated again. With the addition of over 4,000 new entries, it now contains 62,065 records (from alternative sources for marriages) noting approximately 139,000 names of brides, grooms and their parents.

Sherwood Labs Drops Price of Branches for iPad to FREE

The following announcement was written by the folks at Sherwood Labs:

As a Thank You to the genealogy community, and in anticipation of the release of new products, Sherwood Electronics Labs is giving away their iPad app “Branches for iPad” for FREE. The app formally cost $4.99 but for a limited time the app can be download from the Apple App Store at no charge.

The description of the product is:

Give a Christmas Gift: Access to Half a Million eBooks

This article is not about genealogy although I do know that many genealogists are also avid readers. I assume their friends and relatives also may include people who love to read books. If you are late in buying a holiday gift for such a person, read on. You can give the gift of a half million books. Even better, there is no need to brave the crowds at a local shopping mall to purchase this gift.

Oyster is a leading streaming service for books. In fact, it operates like a lending library. An Oyster member can electronically “check out” a book and read it on an Apple iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch as well as on any Android device or a Nook HD or a Kindle Fire. The Oyster member can also read ebooks in a web browser on any Windows, Macintosh, Linux, or mobile computer. An Internet connection is required for reading books in a web browser. However, Apple mobile devices, Android devices, Nook HD, or Kindle Fire devices can download ebooks, save them, and the Oyster subscriber can read the books later at any location, such as when riding the commuter train or at the beach.

TheGenealogist Adds More than 22,000 New Records of Headstone Inscriptions

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist.co.uk:

TheGenealogist have added over 22,000 records to their Headstone project with another 23 cemeteries from across the twelve parishes of the Island of Jersey (Covering all of the island’s historic cemeteries).

Mont a L’Abbe Old cemetery, St Helier, Jersey.

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

Also released are a further 13 cemeteries from Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, The West Midlands and Wiltshire.

The records are linked to images of the stones and maps to locate the actual burial grounds, they are searchable by name, year of death and graveyard.

(+) Add a Flash Drive to your iPhone or iPad

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

This article is for anyone who uses an Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) device. You can now easily add a flash drive with up to 64 gigabytes of storage space to your iOS device. Even better, you can also plug the same flash drive into any Macintosh or Windows computer and copy files back and forth.

No cables, cloud, or Internet connection is required. As a result, your private files remain just that: private. In addition, the flashdrive’s software includes the ability to encrypt files for super-secure file transfers to and from the iPad or iPhone. You can lock the files with a password of your own choosing. The files can later be unlocked when used on the Windows or Macintosh computer as well as on the iPhone or iPad.

Give the Gift of an EOGN Newsletter Subscription

Want to give someone a subscription to this newsletter as a Christmas or birthday gift? Well, I think it is a great idea! If you agree with me, the process for giving a newsletter subscription is simple.

To create the gift, click on this address: http://blog.eogn.com/contact-dick-eastman and send me a message with the recipient’s name and email address. Please tell me the date the subscription is supposed to start. For instance, do you want it to start immediately or on Christmas Day or on some other date? Also, please state if it is for a 3-month ($5.95) or a 12-month ($19.95) subscription.

Who Do You Think You Are?: Season Six Debuts on TLC

TLC has announced that the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? will return for a new season on February 24th. The eight new episodes will include celebrities Julie Chen, Angie Harmon, Sean Hayes, and Bill Paxton. Here is the announcement from TLC:

NEW CELEBRITIES GET THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME ON NEW SEASON OF “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” ON TLC

All-new season set to premiere February 24

The two-time Emmy nominated series is back with eight new hour-long episodes and a brand new batch of celebrity contributors. Executive Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? continues to shed light on the mysterious, and often surprising, family histories of some of America’s famous faces. The season premieres Tuesday, February 24 at 10/9c.

Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research Offers New Interactive Option for Courses

The following announcement was written by the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research:

RALEIGH, North Carolina, 17 December 2014:

The Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research is evolving!

Student responses to our first course have reinforced our plans concerning the need for additional instructor interaction and feedback. Beginning in 2015 we will offer instructors and students this option.

Previously our courses came in a single format: four 90-minute lecture sessions with Q&A, extensive syllabus material, and at least one practical exercise.

Plus courses will consist of:

Talk to Your Family This Holiday Season

Many of us will be enjoying dinners and other festive occasions this week with our relatives. I would suggest this is a great time to compare notes with the relatives. Indeed, older members of the family may know a few tidbits of genealogy information that you have not yet found. However, there is another, more serious, reason for comparing notes with relatives: family health hazards.

Compiling a family tree can offer more benefits than discovering stories of war heroes or family dramas; science and preventive medicine are getting a look in, too. The skeleton in the cupboard could be a genetic predisposition towards disease that, once uncovered, might provide potentially life-saving indicators.

Ahnentafel Explained

Click on the above image to view a larger version

Ahnentafel is a word commonly used in genealogy although it probably confuses most newcomers. Ahnentafel is a German word that literally translates as “ancestor table”. It is a list of all known ancestors of an individual and includes the full name of each ancestor as well as dates and places of birth, marriage, and death whenever possible. It also has a strict numbering scheme.

Once the reader is accustomed to ahnentafels, it becomes very easy to read these lists, to move up and down from parent to child and back again, and to understand the relationships of the listed people. Ahnentafels are very good at presenting a lot of information in a compact format. However, the numbering system is the key to understanding ahnentafels.

To visualize the numbers, first consider this typical pedigree chart:

Ottawa to Fund $35.7-million in Quebec City Historical Projects

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced $35.7-million in funding for historical and archaeology projects in Quebec City, while opening the door to further federal funding for a tall-ships regatta that will stop in the city in 2017.

Mr. Harper said the federal government will help to restore the old city’s historic walls and two architectural landmarks. The money will go to refurbish the 400-year-old fortifications ($30-million over six years), the Dauphine Redoubt that is a part of the Artillery Park ($4.5-million over three years) and Maillou House that was built in 1737 ($1.2-million over three years).

Heritage Books to Sponsor the 11th Annual Genealogy Conference and Cruise

Genealogy Cruises seem to be popping up everywhere! The newest announcement comes from Heritage Books. The 11th Annual Genealogy Conference and Cruise is to be the successor to the earlier Wholly Genes Software cruises. Now under the leadership of professional genealogist Craig R. Scott, the Annual Genealogy Conference and Cruises have always been very popular. I suspect the 2015 edition will be the same.

The 11th Annual Genealogy Conference and Cruise will occur October 18–October 28, 2015. Quoting from the announcement:

Join us for an educational and fun-filled voyage from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Aruba then on to Cartagena, Colombia; Panama Canal and Colon, Panama; Limon, Costa Rica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and back to Ft. Lauderdale, while we learn about DNA from some of the foremost experts in those fields.

The same announcement also states:

GenScriber – a FREE Transcription Tool for Genealogy Research

One of the best tools for transcribing old handwritten documents is called GenScriber, a FREE program for Windows and Linux created by Les Hardy. A Macintosh version is also available although it operates as a Windows version packaged inside a wineskin wrapper. While not ideal, the “pseudo-Windows” version is still a reasonable solution for Macintosh users.

GenScriber is a transcription editor for census records, church records, birth, marriage, baptisms, burials, index records, and more. GenScriber is useful for transcribing both free-form text as well as columns of data, such as U.S. census records. It is designed to be used for easily transcribing digital images of old, handwritten documents.

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