Posts By Dick Eastman

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.

Where to Buy 8-Track Tapes

If you would like to purchase an 8-track tape for nostalgia purposes or perhaps to insert into the tape player of your restored 1965 Ford Mustang, the 8-Track Shack may be your preferred source. The company apparently has a huge inventory. Prices vary widely.

The 8-Track Shack catalog may be found at http://www.8-track-shack.com. The company also sells cassette tapes, records, compact disks, old video games, vintage radios and record players, and more.

Another source of vintage items is eBay at http://www.ebay.com.

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Civil War Records Project

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was an organization of honorably discharged Union veterans of the American Civil War, who organized to promote the principles of “Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.” Applicants for membership had to prove that they were honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue Cutter Service (predecessor to the U.S. Coast Guard), who had served between April 1861 and April 1865.

The great majority of GAR records were maintained by the officers of the local GAR chapters (Posts). Many records were kept in the homes of key officers such as the Post Adjutant (secretary) and the Post Quartermaster (treasurer). Other records were stored at the post headquarters or were kept by the Post Commander. Because of this, the records for a particular Post may not all be archived at the same location.

AncestryDNA Reconstructs Partial Genome of Person Living 200 Years Ago

This could be a monumental announcement for genealogists. Imagine if you could go back in time and see your ancestors. The following announcement was written by Ancestry DNA:

Genetic Networking Technology of DNA Circles(TM) Enables Advancements in Human Genome Reconstruction Methods

PROVO, Utah, Dec. 16, 2014 — AncestryDNA genetic scientists have pushed the boundaries of human genome reconstruction methods by using the DNA of many living people to reassemble an unprecedented proportion of the human genome attributed to a 19th Century American and his two successive spouses. This scientific feat is a step forward in the use of consumer genetics in family history, providing a glimpse into what a long ago ancestor may have looked like or which traits they may have passed down to descendants.

NGS Introduces Revolutionary War Course

The following announcement was written by the folks at the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 16 DECEMBER 2014: The National Genealogical Society announced today the release of its newest Continuing Genealogical Studies (CGS) course: Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestors. Developed by military records expert Craig Roberts Scott, CG, FUGA, the new course expands on NGS

In addition to his role as CEO and President of Heritage Books, Inc., Craig Scott has spent decades honing his military research expertise and teaching these skills within the genealogical community. He has coordinated military courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama. His books include Understanding Revolutionary War and Invalid Pension Ledgers 1818-1872 and Pension Payment Vouchers They Represent, and The “Lost” Pensions: Settled Accounts of the Act of 6 April 1838.

Genealogy Cruise by Cruise Everything is a Success

Another genealogy cruise finished yesterday. A group of genealogists on board the Celebrity Silhouette arrived in Fort Lauderdale, sun tanned and full of new genealogy ideas to try. I was fortunate enough to be one of the presenters on board the seven-day cruise, along with Gary and Diana Smith and Jana Sloan Broglin. We made 24 presentations, spread over three days at sea. We also had informal in-person discussion periods, one-on-one consultations, and group breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. There was a LOT of genealogy discussed on this cruise!

Announcing the 2016 Genealogy Cruise by Cruise Everything

Cruise Everything is not resting on the company’s laurels. While the 2014 genealogy cruise has just finished, the company has already announced a new genealogy cruise to be held 13 months from now.

The 7-night western Caribbean cruise will start January 16, 2016, in Miami, then make stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Coco Cay, Bahamas. The cruise on board the Celebrity Reflection will end in Miami on January 23, 2016.

You can click on the image to the right to view a larger version. Additional details will also become available as the date approaches at http://www.CruiseEverything.com.

Mocavo Announces “Twelve Days of Census” Festive Countdown

Every day until Christmas, Mocavo is unlocking a new decade of US census images. Once a decade is unlocked, all community members will be able to access the images through the Mocavo Census Viewer for free. The following decades have already been unlocked: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840.

On December 24th, all community members will enjoy completely unrestricted access to all Mocavo census images and the Mocavo Census Viewer for one special day.

Famberry now Offers One Terabyte of Space for your Family, for Free, Forever

The following announcement was written by the folks at Famberry:

One terabyte of space for your family, for free, forever.

London, England (December 16th, 2014) To celebrate the move to new server facilities, Famberry, the popular collaborative family tree builder, is giving all users who sign up, a massive one terabyte of space to store their photos and memories. That’s enough space to store over 300,000 photos, so all your family’s memories can be shared for generations to come. All for free.

As part of the project to move onto new, physically secure, high- grade servers, Famberry has been completely re-written to work even more seamlessly on mobile phones, tablet devices and desktop computers, with no additional software or plug-ins; your family can always stay connected, wherever they are.

MyHeritage Launches Instant Discoveries(tm)

MyHeritage added a new feature to the service today that looks like a major step forward in family history searches. I have used it briefly and am impressed. I’ll use it more after I get off this cruise ship where I am at the moment (yes, it is a tough life). I will then have more reliable and much faster Internet connectivity. However, even my brief test looked good. I did talk on the phone a few minutes ago with a senior member of the MyHeritage staff and received a rather complete briefing. That, along with my short “hands on” test, tells me this is going to attract a lot of new people to genealogy.

Disclaimer: MyHeritage is the sponsor of this newsletter. However, I believe I would write the same or similar words even if they were not sponsoring the newsletter.

Today’s announcement concerns Instant Discoveries™, an extension to MyHeritage’s existing Smart Matching™ and Record Matching technologies. In fact, Fox News carried a video introduction this morning that you can watch at: http://goo.gl/RA49gK.

Instant Discoveries™ Should interest all genealogists but is especially appealing to to those who are new to genealogy. It can provide a faster and easier method of getting started in a family tree search.

Instant Discoveries™ is now available for all new MyHeritage users. Existing users will have to wait a little bit longer before they can use the same technology to fill out the holes (branches?) in their family trees.

On the Road Again

As I often write in this newsletter, I will be traveling for a few days. I will be making presentations on board a cruise ship in the eastern Caribbean as part of a genealogy cruise. (See http://www.cecruisegroups.com/genealogy-cruise-2014.html for details about the cruise.)

By the time you read these words, I will already be on the road or perhaps at sea. I am traveling with an iPad and a laptop computer, a wireless cellular modem, and wi-fi networking as well so theoretically I should be able to post new newsletter articles while I am traveling. However, my experience with cruise ships is that Internet connections are both very slow and prohibitively expensive. Besides, I may have other activities planned besides staying inside staring at a computer screen. I already do enough of that as it is on other weeks! As a result, you may not see as any new articles posted here for the next week.

A note to Plus Edition subscribers:

(+) Kekule Numbering System

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

Genealogists often use terms that are not familiar to others. Most of these terms become familiar soon after we get involved in searching for our family trees. We soon speak of pedigree charts, enumerators, Henry numbers, fan charts, and more. However, one term we do not hear often pops up occasionally: Kekule Numbers.

The German mathematician Stephan Kekule of Stradonitz (1863-1933) was a genealogist as well as the son of famed mathematician and chemist Friedrich August Kekulé. He used a numbering system to show relationships in text format. In German-speaking counties, lists of names created with Stephan Kekule’s numbers are still referred to by his name: Kekule numbers. However, in English-speaking countries the same numbers in lists would be called “numbers.”

Indeed, ahnentafel numbers and the Kekule numbers for listing ancestors are the same. However, Stephan Kekule also created a similar system for listing descendants, a system I have rarely seen in English publications.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Genealogy Cruises, Online Webinars, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland

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.

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