Posts By Dick Eastman

(+) Should All Genealogy Data on the Web be Verified?

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

Caution: this article contains personal opinions.

I often hear people moaning and groaning about the quality of genealogy information to be found online. Some claim that much of the online genealogy data is worthless. These comments seem to insinuate that people shouldn’t place information online until they have verified it. I have heard a few exclaim, “We have got to stop those people!”

That is a lofty goal, although unattainable. People are people. New genealogists join in and post data much faster than we can educate them. The idea of requiring source citations for all data sounds wildly Utopian to me.

You know what? I don’t care.

Planned Outage for EOGN.COM on March 5

The hosting company that runs part of this newsletter’s web site has notified me of a planned outage. Network maintenance will be performed on Thursday, 5 March, 2015, between 10 pm Eastern time (9 pm Central, 8 pm Mountain, 7 pm Pacific (which is 2 am on March 6 UTC) and ending 5 hours later. The web site will not be down all that time but instead will most likely be offline for 10 to 60 minutes sometime during that timeframe.

This is part of a planned upgrade that will add fully redundant fault tolerant core topology and other enhancements to the hosting service.

 

Findmypast Announces Free Weekend 6-9 March 2015

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • Findmypast announces they will be giving free access to all their historical records this weekend
  • Over 2 billion records available to everyone to search for free
  • Local subscribers granted World access, and World subscribers granted 3 extra days to their subscription
  • Getting Started video and Finding Women in the Records webinar will be available to view this weekend

London, UK, 4 February 2015 Findmypast has announced that this weekend, they will be opening up their archives and giving unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world. That means that between midday on Friday, March 6th and midday on Monday, March 9th (GMT), absolutely everyone will have access to their comprehensive collections of historical records and innovative research tools, including:

A New Genealogy Website went Online Today: Genealogy Gophers

Are you looking for a genealogy book? More Than 40,000 digital genealogy books now fully searchable and downloadable for free at GenGophers.com. I had a chance to use the site for a while today and will say that I am impressed. I have been using Google Books, Archive.org, and numerous sources of digitized books for years. The new GenGophers web site searches genealogy books and only genealogy books, looking for the information you specify. Best of all, the site is available to all free of charge.

Here is the announcement from Dallan Quass, founder of GenGophers.com:

More Than 40,000 Digital Genealogy Books Now Fully Searchable and Downloadable for Free at GenGophers.com

A new website enables genealogists for the first time to have free, easy, and precise searching of family history books

SALT LAKE CITY – Researching family histories online is an activity that has begun to come of age. Thousands of family history books and magazines are available to be searched directly from multiple websites. But searching through these websites and combing through the jumble of information they return can be a frustrating, costly, and fruitless process. The newly launched family history website, GenGophers.com, solves these problems by providing precise and free access to the industry’s most effective online search tools and a growing library of more than 40,000 downloadable family and personal histories, local histories, and genealogy newsletters.

Ancestry Appoints Kendall Hulet Senior Vice President of Product Management

The following press release was written by Ancestry.com:

PROVO, Utah, March 3, 2015 — Ancestry, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced the appointment of company veteran Kendall Hulet to the position of Senior Vice President of Product Management. Hulet will assume responsibilities for the global product organization and its efforts to make family history more fun and accessible to millions around the world. Hulet is succeeding Eric Shoup, who recently departed Ancestry to pursue new business opportunities.

Library and Archives Canada survey – sondage à Bibliothèque et Archives Canada

The following was written by the folks at Library and Archives Canada:

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is conducting a usability study of our to gather information about how visitors use our website. This study includes a question about digital content available on the LAC website. Please note that the identity of respondents is strictly confidential.

The study can be accessed at: http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/lacbac01/lac/ until March 6th.

Free: Adobe Photoshop Express

Perhaps the best bargain for improving digital photographs is Adobe Photoshop Express. It works with built-in cameras on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, Android devices, Windows Phone, and Windows tablet, as well as with the Photoshop.com online photo service.

The full version of Adobe Photoshop can cost you hundreds of dollars, but the Photoshop Express app is free.

To be sure, Photoshop Express contains only a small subset of the features available in Photoshop or even in the cheaper Photoshop Elements. However, the capabilities of the free Photoshop Express are still very impressive. The app appears to be designed primarily for editing pictures snapped by a cell phone’s or tablet’s built-in camera. According to the Adobe web site, Photoshop Express includes the following:

Easy touch-ups

English Surnames and Their French Equivalents

If you have French-Canadian ancestry, as I do, and have tried to trace your family tree back into Quebec or Acadia, you may have encountered difficulties with name changes. When many of the French-speaking people moved to areas where English was the predominant language, they often adopted new surnames that were often based upon their French surnames.

Some were obvious, such as the surname Leblanc being changed to White. Both words mean the same thing. Other changes were a bit more difficult for the non-French-speaking descendant to decode, such as the French name Courtemanche being Anglicized to Shortsleeve. Courtemanche apparently is a nickname derived from the French words court (meaning short) + manche (meaning sleeve).

Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval for Government to take Anybody’s DNA

The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday let stand the conviction of a rapist in the Raynor v. State of Maryland case where prosecution rested on DNA swiped from the armrests of an interrogation-room chair. Glenn Raynor’s genetic material was collected and tested without his knowledge or consent after he agreed to an interview at a police station as part of a criminal investigation. The police didn’t have probable cause to arrest Raynor, and he refused to provide a DNA sample. After he left the station, police swabbed the armrest of the chair where he had been sitting to collect his skin cells without his knowledge. The police then extracted a DNA profile from the cells and used it to connect him to the crime.

The dissent on the Maryland Court of Appeals said a probable-cause warrant was needed and painted a grim picture of the future:

Genealogical Speakers Guild Newsletter Now Available to the Public

The following announcement was written by the Genealogical Speakers Guild:

The Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG) is pleased to announce that their quarterly newsletter, Speak!, is now available to the general public. The March 2015 issue can be downloaded from the GSG website (http://www.genealogicalspeakersguild.org). The newsletter has information about members of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and also provides tips and ideas for speakers and want-to-be speakers. Program planners will benefit from reading Speak! by identifying potential speakers for their programs and events.

Speak! is published quarterly the first week in March, June, September, and December and will be available as a PDF download on the Genealogical Speakers Guild website.

Polish American Marriage Database

The Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast has posted a Polish-American Marriage Database on their website at www.pgsctne.org.

The database contains the names of couples of Polish origin who were married in select locations in the Northeast United States. The information was taken from marriage records, newspaper marriage announcements, town reports, parish histories or information submitted by Society members. The time period generally covered by these lists is 1892-1940. It includes the States of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont. Connecticut and Jersey City, NJ will be added at a later date.

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:

(+) Create Your Own Private and Secure Cloud

The Digital Public Library of America

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 in Birmingham, England

Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers

Back Up Your Hard Drive to a 256-Gigabyte Flashdrive

FDA allows 23AndMe to use its Genetic Kits to Test for Bloom Syndrome

Famberry Launches “Famberry Search” and GEDCOM Upload

(+) Create Your Own Private and Secure Cloud

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

Cloud-based file backup services are very popular these days, including such services as Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, SpiderOak, Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Box, Cubby, iDrive, Microsoft OneDrive, and a number of others. All of these can serve as your “disk drive in the cloud,” offering file space at prices that are usually cheaper than purchasing external disk drive(s). Some of the services even offer a limited amount of storage space free of charge. In addition, these services are monitored and maintained in professionally-run data centers with frequent backups being made and (usually) with duplicate copies maintained at different sites as well.

The biggest drawback of using a cloud-based file storage service is that some computer users have phobias about entrusting their data—including personal data—to the servers of some company. Indeed, everyone needs to be concerned about privacy, even if you think you have nothing to hide. Privacy is even more important when it comes to cloud storage. You have to trust the service you use to keep your files safe and secure and away from prying eyes. Whether you use your cloud storage for music, tax returns, or backups, it’s still important to know that your files are safe from prying eyes. While all of the major file storage services use heavy-duty security techniques, some computer users still aren’t willing to trust anyone to store their files.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Genealogy Cruises, Nova Scotia, Ontario, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

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.

British Institute 2015 to Feature Instructors from the British Isles

The following was written by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History

The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 15th Annual British Institute. The Institute will be held September 21-25, 2015, at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, conveniently located in the center of historic downtown Salt Lake City and next door to the Family History Library (FHL).

This year’s Institute features four renowned genealogists from the British Isles — Else Churchill and Alec Tritton from England, Fiona Fitzsimons from Ireland, and Bruce Durie from Scotland. They will be joined by board-certified genealogist Melissa Johnson, who specializes in writing and publishing. The instructional format includes plenty of time to research in the nearby FHL.

The amazing course line-up includes:

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.

Plus Edition Weekly Newsletter Edition is Now Available

This week’s entire Plus Edition newsletter is available at: http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm while a PDF version of this week’s Plus Edition newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.pdf.

This week’s Plus Edition newsletter includes the following articles:

(+) Create Your Own Private and Secure Cloud

The Digital Public Library of America

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 in Birmingham, England

Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers

Back Up Your Hard Drive to a 256-Gigabyte Flashdrive

FDA allows 23AndMe to use its Genetic Kits to Test for Bloom Syndrome

Famberry Launches “Famberry Search” and GEDCOM Upload

Florida’s Underwater Cemetery

Someday you could sleep with the fishes. That’s not a line from The Godfather. In this case, it means you could spend eternity in an underwater cemetery.

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, 3.25 miles east of Key Biscayne, Florida, the Neptune Memorial Reef was created in 2007 by cremation-services provider the Neptune Society. The reef is designed to attract fish and to promote the growth of coral and marine organisms. The goal is to “create life… after life.”

Ancient Pedigree Chart to be Auctioned for Possibly £40,000 ($62,000 US)

Save your pedigree charts. They may be valuable some day! Well, at least one such chart has become valuable. Of course, it is 23 feet long, was written on calfskin in the 1500s, written in Latin, and describes the genealogy of the Kings of England. It is believed be one of only 13 left in the world, and the only one currently available on the open market.

The scroll charts royalty from the legends of Hely and Cassilbellan in the first century BC right up until the end of the Wars of the Roses in 1485, with specific mention of King Richard III.

You can read more at http://goo.gl/BeXXe3.

Illinois Legislature Considers a Bill to Allow Access to Landlocked Graves on Private Property

State Representative David R. Leitch has introduced a bill in the State of Illinois’ 99th General Assembly that provides that owners of private property on which a landlocked grave is located have a duty to allow ingress and egress to the grave by:

  1. family members and descendants of deceased persons buried there;
  2. any cemetery plot owner; and
  3. any person engaging in genealogy research who has given reasonable notice to the owner of record or to the occupant of the property or both.
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