Posts By Dick Eastman

U.S. Marine Corps Offers Historical Database

Family members of Marines who were wounded, killed, deemed a prisoner of war or missing during past wars can now access their loved ones’ casualty card using the Marine Corps History Division’s new online database. Each casualty card lists the military member’s unit, service number, type of casualty and date of death. Currently, there are digitized casualty cards for World War II, Interwar period 1946-50, and for war dogs, trained military dogs that served in combat. Korean War cards are scheduled to be complete and released this summer and Vietnam in the fall. To access the online database, visit the U.S. Marine Corps History Division Casualty Card Databases webpage, or to request a copy of the original card, send an email to history.division@usmc.mil or a request in writing to:

Webinar: Women Who Lost Citizenship through Marriage: Naturalization and Repatriation Records, 1922-1956

The Expatriation Act of 1907 mandated that all women acquired their husband’s nationality upon marriage. As a result, between 1907 and 1922, countless women lost their U.S. citizenship through marriage to non-citizens. This month’s “Records Found” webinar examines citizenship records documenting these women’s resumption of U.S. citizenship, first through naturalization under the Married Women’s Act of 1922 and then through an expedited repatriation program inaugurated in 1936.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services division of the Department of Homeland Security will hold an online “webinar” on July 24 at 1:00 PM Eastern time. Details may be found at http://goo.gl/TqcZwP.

I Added Four Terabytes to My Personal Cloud

Click on the above image to view a larger version

In the past 18 years that I have been writing this newsletter, I think I have written the following statement at least a dozen times: “The price of disk storage keeps dropping.” Today I am writing that statement one more time. This weekend, I purchased a four-terabyte NAS hard drive and added it to my in-home network. I now have even more space for my backups and those of my family members. Best of all, the price was so low as to be undreamed of only a few years ago. You can do the same.

I elected to purchase a network-attached storage (NAS) drive, not the normal USB drive.

Reminder: the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? Returns This Week

The new season of Who Do You Think You Are? is launching on July 23rd with an outstanding cast on TLC. The series, which delves into the ancestral history of public figures and celebrities, will feature contributors including Valerie Bertinelli, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lauren Graham, Kelsey Grammer, Rachel McAdams and her sister Kayleen McAdams, and Cynthia Nixon.

The fifth season premieres on July 23 at 9 p.m. EST/PST. Check your local listings for the channel near you.

Ooma is now Available at the Lowest Price Ever

I fired the local telephone company years ago. I replaced the old-fashioned telephone service with a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone that connects to the Internet router in my home. There are no telephone lines connected to my house. The VoIP system works well, providing crystal-clear voice calls and also works perfectly with security alarms, FAX machines, and more.

Over the years, I have experimented with a number of different VoIP services. Back in the “old days” when VoIP was new, making phone calls meant leaving your computer powered up and online 24 hours a day and wearing headphones when you wanted to talk on the phone. Thankfully, those days are over. Almost all of today’s VoIP providers use normal telephones, such as those you purchase at the local computer store or department store.

I experimented with different providers but eventually settled on Ooma. I am republishing below a Plus Edition article I published about Ooma in January of this year.

If You Leave Out the Legally Inedible Parts, Haggis is Edible

Do you have Scottish ancestry? If so, you may have heard of haggis, considered the national dish of Scotland. It is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. Haggis apparently was a food staple in Scotland for centuries.

If you have an interest in the food of your ancestors, you might want to read Nick O’Malley’s description of his recent encounter with haggis. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t real haggis as it didn’t have sheep’s lung in it. Sheep’s lung cannot be sold as “food” in the U.S.) You can read about Nick’s recent experience in the MassLive web site at http://www.masslive.com/dining/2014/07/i_ate_it_so_you_dont_have_to_h.html. The article also tells where Americans can purchase “pseudo-haggis” in a can.

UN Opens Secret Archive on WWII Massacres, Murders, Torture to Public

CBS News reports that the U.N. War Crimes Commission archive that has largely been locked away for the past 70 years under restricted access at the United Nations will be made freely available to visitors to the research room of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Many of those named in the archive were never held accountable for the atrocities they committed.

While many of the crimes detailed in the archive are horrible to even imagine, the contents can be valuable to historians and to genealogists alike. The names of victims are often mentioned, along with the details of their incarceration and deaths. In many cases, families may be able to learn what happened to their missing relatives.

You can read more in an article in the CBS News web site at http://goo.gl/GCRrqi.

You Are Invited to the Biggest Family Reunion Ever

A.J. Jacobs

There are 7 billion – yes, billion – people on our planet and A.J. Jacobs says we are all related, albeit distantly. Jacobs plans to throw the world’s biggest family reunion next summer in New York.

It all began after Jacobs received an email from a fan in Israel, who informed Jacobs that he was a distant cousin of his wife, and was related to notables like Karl Marx and 80,000 more. The revelation sparked Jacob’s fascination with genealogy, and prompted him to start playing the connections game. So far, he has mapped out his family tree to include up to 77 million distant relatives.

Teresa Wenzel to Receive Top Award from MoSGA

The Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) announced Teresa Wenzel, member of the Vandalia Area Historical Society, will be a recipient of the MoSGA Director’s Award to be presented at the state’s annual conference in Columbia on August 1-2, 2014. The MoSGA Director’s Award is given to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the field of genealogy and family history over an extended period of time.

You can read the details in an article in the Vandalia Leader web site at http://www.vandalialeader.com/?p=14390.

MyGreatBigFamily.com: An Alternative to MyFamily.com

Ancestry.com recently announced that it will soon close the popular MyFamily.com web service. (See http://wp.me/p5Z3-lk for the details.) The outcry from MyFamily.com users has been loud. However, all is not lost. Several other web sites offer similar services to those previously offered by Ancestry.com’s subsidiary at MyFamily.com. Anyone who has been using MyFamily.com will want to check out the alternatives available.

This week I took a look at MyGreatBigFamily.com and must say that I am impressed.

MyGreatBigFamily.com supplies family web sites that are preconfigured with most everything you need to connect online with your relatives around the world and to preserve your family history. The web site proclaims, “We’ve made it so easy for you to customize & manage a professional looking website. All you do is add the content. No need to understand web publishing tools or be a web wizard.” After using the site for a while, I believe that is an accurate claim. In fact, I was so impressed with this service that I am now a MyGreatBigFamily.com customer. Details are given near the end of this article.

Victoria Craig’s Interview of Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com

Victoria Craig of Fox Business News has published an interview of Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. It gives an insight to the man that you won’t read in his official bio on the company’s web site.

Did you know that Tim’s first job was working for the Washington Redskins? No, he wasn’t the starting quarterback. Instead, the 14-year-old landed a job handing out towels to the team’s players at the summer training camp. He seems to have done well since then, however.

You can read Victoria Craig’s interview and watch a video at http://goo.gl/698kBp.

FamilySearch Introduces Two New Mobile Apps

FamilySearch has released two new mobile apps that will make it easy to take your ancestors with you. With FamilySearch Tree and FamilySearch Memories you can add memories and sources of your relatives on the go. Everything you add will sync with FamilySearch.org, so information will be accessible from any device and will be preserved for future generations. Both apps are free.

FamilySearch Tree

Join the New England Historic Genealogical Society, MyHeritage, and Myself for a Family History Day in Amherst, Massachusetts on August 2nd

I am delighted to announce that two of my favorite organizations, the New England Historic Genealogical Society and MyHeritage, are cooperating to produce an intensive one-day genealogy workshop on August 2nd. The goal is to introduce attendees to the best practices in genealogy. Attendees from all over New England and the Middle Atlantic states are expected to attend this conference held on the University of Massachusetts campus in scenic Amherst, Massachusetts.

I will also be at the workshop and hope to meet newsletter readers.

If you would like to attend this workshop, I suggest you register NOW. The Early Bird (Discounted) Registration ends this Friday, July 18. The discount is significant: 50%! The price increases from $40 to $80 after Friday. Details are in the conference brochure available below.

EOGN: The Swimsuit Edition

Hey, if Sports Illustrated and other magazines can produce “swimsuit editions,” why can’t a genealogy newsletter? Therefore, I am delighted to introduce the first (annual?) swimsuit edition of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter:

Update: EOGN Calendar of Genealogy Events

I created the Calendar of Genealogy Events at www.eogn.com/calendar on May 26, 2013, then moved it to a more powerful web publishing platform on September 21 of the same year. I am pleased with the growth and input from newsletter readers. The Calendar continues to grow and is now becoming a significant resource.

The purpose of the calendar is to provide information about future genealogy conferences, seminars, conventions, cruises, trips, and even online “webinars.” All information is to be provided by you and other readers of this newsletter.

(+) Two Easy Methods of Creating PDF Documents from Evernote

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

I have written several times recently about going paperless. One of my primary tools for simplifying my life is Evernote. It is the perfect tool to save notes, to save audio or video, to save articles from the web, and to create and store documents of all sorts. In fact, it is even possible to create blog posts directly from Evernote notes by using the Postach.io blog platform. Notes saved in Evernote are easily printed if you are really determined to create more paper. Evernote will also save notes as HTML or XML files. However, one format is strangely missing: Evernote will not create PDF files by itself.

Actually, creating PDF files from Evernote is rather simple although you won’t find that capability in Evernote’s menus.

Toledo Library Honored for Genealogy and Historical Work

The Local History & Genealogy Department of the Toledo-Lucas County Library was awarded the 2014 John Sessions Memorial Award by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association earlier this month in Las Vegas.

The library received the honor for its work promoting the history of the labor movement, and particularly its Rogowski-Kaptur Labor History Room in the Main Library.

You can read more about the John Sessions Memorial Award at http://www.ala.org/rusa/awards/sessions.

Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2015 – Call for Speakers

The following was written by the folks at the Ontario Genealogical Society:

The Ontario Genealogical Society will host the Society’s annual conference on 29-31 May 2015 at Georgian College Campus, Barrie, ON, Canada. The conference theme — Tracks through Time – originates from the 130th Anniversary of the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada. Many family historians have their roots in the immigrant laborers who built this railway across our vast country. Other ancestors were tempted by the transportation routes and migration opportunities allowed by its completion. Still others worked for the railway company itself over the years to follow. As researchers, we track our family history through time in many ways, always attempting to ensure we are tracking the right people from the right line. The variations on Tracks through Time are endless.

The subject of presentations should preferably fall within one of the following categories:

Citing Sources

One thing that genealogists need to do is to always cite their sources. I well remember my early days of family tree searches. I would record new information into three-ring notebooks. (This was long before the invention of the personal computer.) I would write down names, dates, places, and perhaps a bit more information that I was lucky enough to find.

Unfortunately, in those early days I did not write down where I obtained the information. Nobody told me that I needed to do this, and I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out for myself. I simply assumed that everything I found was accurate. After all, it was printed in a book, wasn’t it?

As time passed, I frequently found new information that contradicted what I found earlier. When I discovered these discrepancies, I needed to determine which piece of information was more accurate. The question that arose time and again was, “Where did I find that information?” Sadly, I often did not know.

(+) Donald Duck’s Family Tree

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

This week I would like to present the family tree of one of our best known and most-loved movie stars. The ancestry of this famous 80-year-old movie actor has been ignored for far too long. Now is the time to document the extended family of a great movie star, the subject of film, television, and numerous comic books, the anthropomorphic duck with yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet: Donald Fauntleroy Duck.

Actually, this isn’t as much of a joke as one might imagine. It seems that the Disney Corporation has kept meticulous details about all the Donald Duck cartoons and comic books since Donald’s first appearance in 1934 in “The Wise Little Hen.” For the following eighty years, the Disney Corporation has been remarkably consistent in referring to Donald’s relatives as well as many other facts.

For instance, you may have seen many cartoons of Donald Duck driving his automobile; but did you ever notice the license plate number? It is always “313.” That’s right, Donald’s license plate number has always been the same since his automobile first appeared in 1938.

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