Posts By Dick Eastman

The Innovator Summit was Held Today at RootsTech2016

rootstech-2016-logoRootsTech2016 kicked off today in cold and even frigid Salt Lake City. However, as cold as it was, the skies were bright and sunny. Sponsored by FamilySearch, this event usually is the largest genealogy gathering in the world and this year’s edition looks like it will be bigger than ever. This year the organizers report they are conservatively expecting 25,000 attendees in person. I am not sure why they stressed “conservatively” but I am sure they must be correct.

This year’s event includes attendees from all 50 states, many Canadian provinces, and I met people from England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. I am sure there must be others that I haven’t yet met.

In addition, many of the RootsTech sessions are being steamed live on the Internet and also will be rebroadcast later, primarily for audiences in other time zones. I don’t remember how many viewers are expected to watch via the Internet (the facts and figures were flying by faster than I could write them down) but I know the number was well in excess of 100,000 viewers around the world.

Is it big? I’d say so.

Book Review: Citing Genetic Sources for History Research, Evidence Style

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

CitingGeneticSourcesCiting Genetic Sources for History Research, Evidence Style
By Elizabeth Shown Mills
Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2015. 4 pages.

This is one of a series of the QuickSheet guides: laminated, sized at 8.5 x 11 inches, reference sheets that offer condensed sections of key information on specific genealogical topics. This particular QuickSheet sets forth citation templates for genetic sources.

The Evidence Style notation notes that the templates and examples follow the styles in Elizabeth Mills’ Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyperspace. This QuickSheet would be supplementary to the magnum opus.

Family Tree Maker to be Continued and With More Options Than Ever Before

The above headline should be published in a very large font. Ancestry, Inc., the publisher of Family Tree Maker genealogy software, today announced that the program will not be “retired” after all. Instead, Ancestry, Inc. has sold the program to another company that plans to maintain it and develop it further. In addition, Ancestry, Inc. also plans to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. This should be a delightful announcement for the many users of RootsMagic.

The following was written by Kendall Hulet of Ancestry, Inc.:

New Family Tree Maker Options

FamilyTreeMakerLogoSince our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Who is the Software MacKiev Company?

mackiev_main_logoAncestry.com’s announcement today that the company is selling the Family Tree Maker software business to Software MacKiev has created a few questions. For instance, who is Software MacKiev? A quick Google search produces several answers.

NOTE: The second part of today’s announcement states that RootsMagic will also be able to synchronize data with Ancestry.com’s online family trees by the end of the year. However, that apparently does not affect the sale of Family Tree Maker, both Windows and Macintosh versions, to Software MacKiev.

Software MacKiev has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Specifically, it has offices at 30 Union Wharf on Boston’s waterfront in the historic North End. However, Wikipedia notes that Software MacKiev has its main workshop in Kiev, Ukraine. The company is best known for developing software for Macintosh systems which apparently explains the letters “Mac” in the company name: Software MacKiev.

New African American Resource Portal Created by NEHGS

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

NEHGS_Black_History_MonthNew England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Creates a New Portal to Its Resources for Researching African American Ancestors at AmericanAncestors.org/AfricanAmerican

During Black History Month, NEHGS Offers Free Access to Databases Featuring African American Content to Guest Users on AmericanAncestors.org

February 1, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts—To commemorate Black History Month in February, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has assembled a wealth of information in a single portal on its data rich website, offering important resources to the researcher of African American ancestry. The portal, located at AmericanAncestors.org/AfricanAmerican, features a NEHGS webinar and study guide about African American genealogy, and hints concerning researching African American and other minorities in online databases, as well as beautifully illustrated articles on several important African American historical figures, culled from the vast manuscript collection at NEHGS.

Long Lost Family on TLC to be Sponsored by Ancestry.com

The following announcement was written by the folks at Ancestry.com:

REGRET, LOSS AND REDEMPTION ON TLC’S DOCU-SERIES LONG LOST FAMILY

The eight-episode docuseries premieres Sunday, March 6, 2016

Los Angeles, CA – LONG LOST FAMILY features the highly emotional and touching stories of people who have suffered a lifetime of separation and are yearning to be reunited with their birthparents and biological families or find children they had to place for adoption long ago. Either because of circumstance or fate, they’ve barely – if ever – met. The TLC series premieres Sunday, March 6 at 10/9c.

DNA, Genealogy And The Search For Who We Are

I might suggest that an article by Alva Noë in the NPR web site should be required reading for all genealogists. He writes:

  • You share no DNA with the vast majority of your ancestors.
  • You have more ancestors — hundreds a few generations back, thousands in just a millennium — than you have sections of DNA.
  • You have 64 great-great-great-great-grandparents — but if you are a man, you share your Y-chromosome with only one of them.
  • The amount of DNA you pass on to your descendants roughly halves with each generation. It is a matter of chance which of your descendants actually carry any of your DNA.
  • It can be demonstrated that 5,000 years ago everybody alive was either the common ancestor of everyone alive today, or the common ancestor of no one. At this point in history we all share exactly the same set of ancestors.

In other words, everyone alive today is related to everyone else alive today. We are all distant cousins of each other.

Alberta, Canada, Homestead Records, 1870-1930 now Online

Alberta, Canada, Homestead Records, 1870-1930 is a valuable land record collection that includes the names of approximately 200,000 people who applied for homesteads in Alberta under the Dominion Lands Act – an 1872 law aimed to encourage the settlement of the Canadian Prairies.

Compiled during a time where the population was expanding to Western Canada, this collection is a valuable resource for those hoping to learn more about their ancestors who settled in The Princess Province. The collection is available on Ancestry.com.

Here’s a bit more insight on the collection:

MyHeritage Mobile App adds Audio Recordings to your Family Tree

MyHeritageAudioAppOral interviews are one of the most important things in a complete family history research project. Our relatives are a treasure trove of precious family information, and we want to make sure that their stories are preserved forever. With MyHeritage’s new Audio Recordings, you can interview your relatives directly from their profile in your family tree, and store the interview for future generations in your MyHeritage family site.

Audio files are uploaded to the family tree profile of the person you’re interviewing, where they can easily be listened to at anytime.

The new Audio Recordings app is free and available now on the latest version of the MyHeritage mobile app on the App Store and Google Play. You can learn more in the MyHeritage Blog at http://blog.myheritage.com/2016/01/new-audio-recordings-for-interviewing-your-relatives while the app itself can be downloaded by starting at https://www.myheritage.com/mobile.

On the Road Again

I managed to stay home 7 days after my last trip but am now on the road again for an 8-day trip. By the time you read these words, I should be in Maine for a personal trip for a family event. Then I will spend a day in Massachusetts with friends before getting on an airplane in Boston to fly to the RootsTech genealogy conference in Salt Lake City.

This year’s RootsTech conference is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever. It should be the largest genealogy conference in the world. You can read all about it at RootsTech.org. A number of sessions being held at RootsTech will be available as streaming video on the Internet so you can watch them live. See http://blog.eogn.com/2016/01/29/rootstech-streaming-schedule-announced for the schedule of the live sessions. I believe the same sessions will be recorded and will be available on RootsTech.org within a day or so after each session in case you are not able to view the live versions.

I plan to write about the events and the new products and services that I see at RootsTech. This conference historically has been the site of many new announcements of interest to genealogists.

Of course, the annual EOGN Dinner to be held after the conference closes is always the highlight of my week. You can read about it at http://blog.eogn.com/2016/01/28/you-are-invited-to-the-eogn-dinner-after-the-rootstech-conference-in-salt-lake-city. As I write these words, tickets are still available.

Five Raffle Winners have been Selected and Will Attend the MyHeritage Party at RootsTech

This is a follow-up to the article I posted last week: Announcing a Raffle for Invitations to Attend the MyHeritage Party at RootsTech. Five winners have been selected and notifications have been sent to them to attend the MyHeritage Party with MyHeritage employees, partners, and geneabloggers. One or more of them could be the lucky winners of one of many cash gift cards, Kindle Fire tablets, or one of the grand prizes — an iPad Mini 4 or $250 gift card!

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.

Last Call for the EOGN Dinner Following the RootsTech Conference

Just a reminder: if you would like to join a raucous bunch of genealogists for an informal dinner soon after the close of the RootsTech conference on Saturday evening, February 6, the time to obtain a ticket is NOW!

Reservations will close on Monday, February 1, at 12 midnight Mountain Time. I have to call the restaurant and give them an exact final headcount in the morning.

RADISSON HOTEL AT 215 WEST TEMPE, SALT LAKE CITY

Reminder: There will be doorprizes!

Details may be found at http://blog.eogn.com/2016/01/28/you-are-invited-to-the-eogn-dinner-after-the-rootstech-conference-in-salt-lake-city.

See you there?

(+) What to Do About Damaged CD-ROM Disks

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

I received a somewhat frantic e-mail recently from a reader of this newsletter. She mentioned a specific genealogy CD-ROM disk, but her question could apply to any CD disk of any topic. She wrote (in part):

“Help! I have a CD-ROM disk of [name deleted here] and it cracked. I want to replace it, but can’t seem to find it anywhere. Any suggestions? Is there any other CD-ROM that has equivalent materials?”

Sadly, I was not able to offer much help. A cracked CD disk is useless, except maybe as a coaster for your coffee cup. Even a scratch the size of one human hair can render a CD-ROM disk useless; if it has visible physical damage, the problem is even worse. To make matters worse, the company that produced her disk is now out of business, so I doubt if she can find a low-cost replacement. I referred her to to eBay to see if she can find a used copy of the same CD for sale.

Essex Archives Online

The catalogue of the Essex (England) Record Office is now available online at http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk. It is the place to discover your Essex ancestors or the history of your home, village or town.

The new web site offers written descriptions of every item in the archive, but not the full text of the documents themselves. Some entries contain images of the item. If your search returns more entries than you require, try the advanced search.

Only registered users can purchase a subscription. You will need to register for an Essex Archives Online (EAO) account, if you do not have one.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Findmypast logoThis week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of a variety of new additions from the Ilse of Man, Ireland, the English county of Middlesex, Australia and New Zealand.

Over 2.8 million New Zealand birth, marriage and death index records are now available to search and over 838,000 new records have been added to our collection of civil and parish births, marriages and deaths from the Isle of Man. Substantial updates have also been made to the Greater London Burial Index, Queensland Funeral records and our collection of historic Irish newspapers.

Irish Newspapers

Over 970,000 articles have been added to our collection of historic Irish newspapers. The latest additions include one brand new title – The Dublin Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, the arrival of which adds over 3,700 fully searchable articles from 1871 to our gorwing list of Dublin newspapers.

RootsTech Streaming Schedule Announced

RootsTech is a huge genealogy conference to be held next week in Salt Lake City. If you cannot attend in person, you might be interested in watching some of the presentations that will be broadcast live on the the Internet, including the general keynote sessions on Thursday and Saturday.

All presentations will be available at http://www.rootstech.org. The times shown below are in Mountain Standard Time:

You are Invited to the EOGN Dinner after the RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City

Do you think you will be hungry after the RootsTech/FGS Conference in Salt Lake City? Would you like to have dinner with a large group of genealogists? If so, join us for dinner! You are invited to join other genealogists for dinner on Saturday evening after the close of the  RootsTech 2016 conference. Rumor has it there will also be a few door prizes.
This dinner will be held at 7:30 PM, immediately after the close of the RootsTech2016 Conference on February 6. You are invited whether you subscribe to the newsletter or not. Bring your friends and family also.

Announcing a Raffle for Invitations to Attend the MyHeritage Party at RootsTech

MyHeritage_logoHere is a chance to meet some of the members of the MyHeritage team and their friends, partners, and geneabloggers. Enjoy appetizers, refreshments, fun games, and raffle prizes. (And let’s not forget about the special gift each guest will take home!) You could also be the lucky winner of one of many cash gift cards, Kindle Fire tablets, or one of the grand prizes — an iPad Mini 4 or $250 gift card!

I have been given five tickets to give to readers of this newsletter. These tickets are for invited guests to attend the exclusive MyHeritage RootsTech After-Party on Friday, February 5 at 8pm, at the Marriott City Creek Grand Ballroom.

Newspaper Archive Inc. pays $100,000 for Deceptive Online Practices

NA_LogoStackedIn the June 24, 2014 newsletter, I published an article entitled Heritage Microfilm and NewspaperArchive.com Under State Review After Complaints. The article is still available at http://goo.gl/zU9Jvt. Newspaper Archive Inc. provides online access to digitized newspapers from across the country. The company’s customers are mostly genealogists, historians, and others interested in retrieving old newspaper articles. The article stated:

“Heritage Microfilm and NewspaperArchive.com, 855 Wright Brothers Blvd., Suite 2A, [Cedar Rapids, Iowa] are accused in dozens of complaints filed with the state and the Better Business Bureau of not allowing subscribers to cancel services, refusing to grant refunds and failing to answer calls or emails.”

It took a while but the case has now been settled.

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