This Newsletter is Sponsored by MyHeritage


ENI Software Inc. Announces the Release of ENIndexer 1.0

The following announcement was written by the folks at ENI Software :

Brunswick, Maine, April 1, 2015 – ENI Software Inc. is pleased to announce the release of our flagship product, ENIndexer (pronounced as “Any Indexer”) for the use of genealogists and historians to create Every Name Indexes for local history and genealogy related books. The software is now available for download from our web site,

Using ENIndexer, authors of history texts can easily create professional looking Every Name Indexes for their works at a fraction of the cost of current professional indexing software or hiring a professional indexer to do the work for them. It is an affordable option for individuals and small societies looking to bolster sales of their next publication by including an Every Name Index in their publications. ENIndexer runs on Windows and Mac platforms.

America’s “National Library” is Woefully Out of Date According to the Government Accountability Office

The federal government’s watchdog agency released a critical report Tuesday on the Library of Congress’s long-standing failures to manage the complex computer systems that are vital to its mission. The result of a year-long investigation by the Government Accountability Office, the report reveals a work environment lacking central oversight and faults Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

Ancestry’s Employee Number One, Retires: Ode to Lou Szucs

One of the greats of the genealogy world is retiring. Lou Szucs say she is going to use her free time to work on her own genealogy, something that has been difficult to do as she was busy being a vice-president of Ancestry. She joined the company in 1982 as employee number one and has helped convert the company from a tiny publisher of genealogy books into the online powerhouse it is today.

I was going to write a tribute to Lou for this newsletter. Then I read the tribute written by Kristie Wells in the Ancestry Blog. I cannot write anything better than that.

I strongly recommend you read Ancestry’s Employee Number One, Retires: Ode to Lou Szucs at

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.

Downsizing and Going Paperless

Warning: This article contains personal opinions.

I have written a number of times about the advantages of a paperless lifestyle. Genealogists seem especially attached to paper. We often save photocopies of old records, old books, and much, much more. I once bought a four-drawer filing cabinet to store all my paper. A few years later, I purchased a SECOND four-drawer filing cabinet. I purchased probably more than one hundred dollars’ worth of file folders over the years. I photocopied and photocopied and stored all the paper in neatly-arranged folders.

Sadly, I almost never opened the drawers to retrieve anything. When I did attempt to find something, I often couldn’t locate what I wanted because the document was filed in some obscure method. For instance, the marriage record I might be seeking often was filed under the husband’s surname, not under the wife’s maiden name.

Asheville, North Carolina, Unearths 1897 Time Capsule

Asheville city workers Tuesday morning recovered a time capsule from Vance Monument that has been concealed there since 1897 when the monument was constructed and dedicated. It was wedged beneath a Masonic cornerstone block at the base of the obelisk. During the removal, which took more than an hour, bystanders could see a stack of papers and what appeared to be a Bible.

Introducing $149 Chromebook Laptop Computers

I have often written “the price of hardware keeps dropping” and that has never been more true than today. This morning, Microsoft announced a new 1.37 pound Surface 3 tablet with Windows 8.1 selling for $499. (See my earlier article at for details.) A few hours later Google announced that two companies will soon sell Chromebook laptop computers for $149 each. That is a very attractive price for a full-sized laptop computer that can run tens of thousands of programs!

Today’s announcement of $149 Chromebooks is only going to make these systems more popular. I wouldn’t be surprised if lots of youngsters found Chromebooks under the Christmas tree later this year. Quite a few adults may do the same.

Developed by Google but manufactured by a number of different companies, a Chromebook is a laptop computer for yourself, a child, a grandchild, or for an adult with limited or no computer experience. These low-cost systems also have become very popular in schools and in corporations where dozens, even hundreds, of computers need to be made available in identical configurations. As of last July, Google boasted it had sold more than a million Chromebook units to schools the previous quarter alone. System maintenance costs on Chromebooks are almost zero, much cheaper than the cost of maintaining a large number of Windows computers.

Microsoft Announces Surface 3 Tablet Computer with a Full Version of Windows 8.1 for $499

Microsoft today announced a new 1.37 pound Surface 3 tablet with Windows 8.1, available in May for a starting price of $499. It will run a full version of Windows 8.1 and should be capable of running any Windows genealogy program available today. With the 1.37 pound Surface 3 tablet, you should be able to carry your favorite Windows genealogy program and your entire database with you. Best of all, the battery will last for an entire day of constant use. I suspect this new tablet computer will drastically cut into the sales of iPads and Android tablets. However, the Surface 3 tablet won’t be available until some time in May.

Today is World Backup Day

What would you do if you lost everything?

A backup is a second copy of all your important files — for example, your family photos, home videos, documents and emails. Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer), you keep another copy of everything somewhere safe. In that manner, if your primary copy becomes unavailable for some reason (hardware failure, fire, bust water pipe, or accidental erasure), you always can retrieve one of your backup copies and continue.

March 31st is World Backup Day. I am not sure who made the declaration to make it a “special day” but I like the idea of having one day a year to make people aware of the need for backups. You can learn more about World Backup Day at

Noreen Patricia Guether, R.I.P

Sad news: long-time genealogist and subscriber to this newsletter Noreen Patricia Guether passed away on Saturday in Long Branch, NJ after a brave battle with lung cancer that spread to her spine and brain. Her obituary may be found at

Man Killed by Falling Headstone

You need to be careful in cemeteries. They are dangerous places.

A man decorating a gravesite for Easter died Monday morning when a headstone fell on him in Pennsylvania. Police say Stephen Woytack, 74, of Scranton was the man killed at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Throop. Throop police say Woytack was kneeling beside his mother-in-law’s headstone as his wife was on the other side, tying a cross on with string. The stone fell on Woytack, killing him.

Using Basic Genealogy Tools and Methods to Show that Your Family Name Was NOT Changed at Ellis Island

There is a common misconception, call it an old wives tale or an urban legend, that family names were often changed at Ellis Island. Such myths gain a great deal of credibility when newspapers such as the New York Times, the country’s “paper of record”, perpetuates these myths by repeating them, in this case in obituaries.

Kenneth A. Bravo, JD did a bit of research and found about half a dozen Times obituaries with similar erroneous Ellis Island stories. After doing the research on each, he was able to show the original name for each of them.

Latest Version of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Sean Hayes is now Available on iTunes

Click on the above image to view a larger version

If you missed last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Sean Hayes (as I did), you can now retrieve it from iTunes for $2.99. I watched it this morning on an Apple TV. 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?

NOTE: iTunes videos and music apparently can be copied to Android devices as well although the process is rather complicated. I haven’t tried that myself but an article at seems to describe the process.

The Alcohol Consumption of Our Ancestors

According to a chart created in 1790 by Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and foremost physician, citizens in the newly-formed United States drank a lot of distilled spirits. An article by Megan Gambino in the Smithsonian web site claims that, by 1830, each person, on average, was swilling more than seven gallons of alcohol per year.

“The tradition in a lot of communities was to have a drink for breakfast. You had a drink mid-morning. You might have whiskey with lunch. You had a beer with dinner, and you ended with a nightcap,” says Bruce Bustard, a curator at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. “There was a fair amount of alcohol consumption by children too.” In fact, drinking was seen as a health benefit, useful to prevent fevers and to ease digestion.

You can read the full article in the Smithsonian at

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:

(+) Are You a Family Historian or a Name Collector?

(+) Waymarking for Genealogists and Historians

The History of April Fools’ Day

Branches for iPad adds Several New Features

Announcing LibreOffice Online

Daughters of the Republic of Texas sue the Texas General Land Office

(+) Are You a Family Historian or a Name Collector?

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

I have a question. None of my living relatives knows the answer to this question. I have not found the answer to this question in any public records, nor have I been able to find the answer in cemeteries. I have read a few magazine articles and Internet pages about the topic, but none of them have directly answered the question.

The question is… “Why do we study genealogy?”

What makes anyone so curious about his or her family tree? What drives us to dedicate time, effort, and sometimes expenses to go find dead people?

What is it inside of us that makes us spend hours and hours cranking reels of microfilm, then we go home and report to our family members what a great day we had?

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

United Kingdom, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee

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.

Super Cheap Storage Space in the Cloud for Your Files

Prices keep dropping in technology and especially for services on the Internet. Everyone needs to make backups of their critical files and many people, myself included, make those backups to web-based services such as DropBox, SugarSync, iCloud, Google Drive, and numerous others. Some of those services even give away a modest amount of storage space free of charge. For instance, DropBox allows users up to 2 gigabytes of free space. Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive service both are free for the first 15 gigabytes of storage space. Other services may offer more or less storage free of charge.

If the free storage space is large enough to meet your needs, I’d suggest you take advantage of the offers. However, many of us need more space than what is available free of charge. In many cases, we need a lot more space to store family photographs, genealogy databases, email messages, last year’s tax returns, and much, much more. One terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) on Dropbox costs $100/year, on Google Drive it’s $120/year, and iCloud charges $240/year.

For some period of time, Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier have been the low-priced leaders in the off-site file storage services. Now the same company has even dropped its prices further.

The History of April Fools’ Day

One of my favorite holidays will occur this week: April Fools’ Day. Perhaps it is not an official holiday but I will suggest it should be. It is a day for the playing of harmless pranks upon one’s friends and neighbors. How did this custom get started? Did our ancestors play similar jokes on their friends? Like many things that started centuries ago, the origins of April Fools’ Day are shrouded in mystery.

Some historians will suggest that April Fools’ Day’s origins may be related to religion. It possibly is derived from the Roman festival of Hilaria, a day of rejoicing, or the Holi festival of India, a springtime celebration of love, frolic, and colors. However, proof seems to be lacking.

Rare 1928 Photos of England in Color

Or should that be spelled “Colour?”

In the late 1920s and early 1930s National Geographic sent photographer Clifton R. Adams to England to record its farms, towns and cities, and its people at work and play. Adams happened to record it all in color using the Autochrome process, something that was radically new at the time. Prior to 1928, many people had only seen black-and-white photographs.

Click on the above image to view a larger version.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,152 other followers