Posts By Dick Eastman

ISFHWE Announces the 2014 Winners of the “Excellence in Writing” Competition

The following announcement was written by the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE):

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Excellence-in-Writing Competition. The winners are:

Category 1 – Columns

1st Place – Shelley K. Bishop “The Legacy of Mary Comfort Eberhard”
2nd Place – Nancy Ann Calhoun “People can ‘flesh out’ genealogy at library”
3rd Place – Maureen K. Wlodarczyk “Precious Paper in the Digital World”
Honorable Mention – Shannon Combs-Bennett “Getting You Pointed in the Right Direction”
Honorable Mention – Michelle Roos Goodrum “Using Social Media to Enrich Stories of the Family Home”
Honorable Mention – Carolyn Schotts “Fading Family Roots”

Category 2 – Articles

(+) Archival Quality Ink and Paper

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

I often hear genealogists make states similar to this: “I don’t trust digital media for long-term storage so I am going to use paper and ink to make sure my data lasts for a long, long time.”

Indeed, there is a lot of truth to that sentiment. I can point out a few problems, such as storing audio or video recordings, but the idea of storing information on paper certainly has a lot of appeal to genealogists, historians, and others who are concerned with long-term preservation. Paper documents are simple, easy to produce, and last a long time. Or do they?

Price of Online Storage Drops Even More: Dropbox Slashes Its Dropbox Pro Price by 90%!

I was pleasantly surprised today to receive an email message from Dropbox announcing a major price DECREASE. I am a Dropbox Pro subscriber and have been paying $9.99 per month to store up to 100 gigabytes of data. Now, for that same price, any Dropbox Pro subscriber can store one terabyte. That’s ten times the storage at no increase in price. I am surprised.

Franklin Parish, Louisiana, Library Opens New Center for Genealogy

The Franklin Parish Library welcomed patrons to the library’s new Genealogy/Local History Room on Thursday, Aug. 21, when ribbon cutting ceremonies and an open house event were held. The library recently acquired what is known as the Landis building on Prairie Street. The site for the new center is located adjacent to the library’s main building and was purchased from Betty M. McLemore, whose grandfather H.B. Landis ran a mercantile store from the site and served as mayor of the Town of Winnsboro.

You can read more in an article by Marcy Thompson in The Franklin Sun at http://goo.gl/jW2SHV.

Update: Create Your Own Who Do You Think You Are? Story with FindMyPast

A bit more than two weeks ago, I wrote about a new service entitled, Create Your Own Who Do You Think You Are? Story with FindMyPast.co.uk.” Note the letters “.co.uk” on the end of the address. Near the end of the article, I wrote, “The historical information added by FindMyPast seems to feature mostly U.K. events. That isn’t surprising as the service is being offered on FindMyPast’s U.K. web site at FindMyPast.co.uk. If this new beta test becomes successful, I might guess it will later be offered in versions for the U.S. as well as for other countries.”

It looks like my guess was correct. The service is now available with U.S. historical events included in the timelines. For an example of a family story using U.S. history and timelines, look at Josh Taylor’s family story at http://goo.gl/jUze3o.

2015 FGS Conference Registration is Open

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

Connect.Explore.Refresh — A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists

August 27, 2014 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) opened registration today for their 2015 conference scheduled for February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This highly anticipated genealogy event puts the FGS and RootsTech conferences under one roof at the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC).

Is Genetic Genealogy the Next Facebook of Science?

Last Saturday morning at the first International Conference for Genetic Genealogy in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Genographic Project Director and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells delivered the Keynote to an audience of 300 genetic genealogists. He spoke about the popularity of the field and how fast consumer genetics has grown since the launch of The Genographic Project in 2005.

Could genetic genealogy become popular outside of the genealogy and medical communities? Perhaps. You can read a short article by Miguel Vilar about Saturday’s presentations in the National Geographic web site at http://goo.gl/qrCHWP.

FindMyPast.co.uk Adds Leek’s Workhouse Archive

The history of Leek Workhouse and who was born there has been digitally archived and is available to members of the public. Spanning 1538 to 1900, the parish records mark the start of a project to create the Staffordshire Collection on Findmypast – a source which on completion is set to comprise around six million fully searchable transcripts and scanned images of handwritten parish records.

You can read more in an article in the Leek Post and Times at http://goo.gl/412P8Y.

Dick Eastman Discusses How Tech Has Changed The Family History Industry

DE-Ancestry-InterviewI recently had the pleasure of talking with Jessica Murray of Ancestry.com. She and I discussed a number of genealogy-related topics, including the availability of apps on your mobile and tablet devices, saving many hours by verifying research, the quality of software, and how blogging technology has revolutionized genealogy.

You can view a video of our conversation in the Ancestry.com Blog at http://goo.gl/IphbV6.

Genealogists Gathering This Week in San Antonio

Thousands of genealogists from across the country will be in San Antonio this week for the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2014 convention, “Gone to Texas.” The conference gets underway Wednesday and continues through Saturday at the Convention Center.

Local hosts are the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society and the Texas State Genealogical Society.

For San Antonians, there is a special registration fee of $49 for one-day attendance on Saturday.

New Australian Passenger Lists Available on Findmypast

Findmypast has added Australian records: inbound passenger lists to Victoria, 1839-1923 (2,125,578 records) and outbound from Victoria 1852-1915 (1,753,919 records).

These inbound and outbound passenger lists will usually contain names, estimated birth years, nationalities, native places, month and year of arrival, ship name, destination port and departure port, so they contain a lot of information that can be instrumental in filling in blanks that you may have in your research.

You can read the details in the Findmypast Blog at http://goo.gl/eORKxR.

Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives Announces Changes to Membership and Associateship Criteria

The following announcement was written by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA):

AGRA, the body representing professional genealogists in England and Wales, has recently announced radical changes to both its Membership and Associateship criteria.

All applicants wishing to join the association will now have to attend an interview and in most cases will also be asked to undergo practical tests. The new rules also attach greater importance to formal qualifications and ongoing learning.

Saving Your Family History Securely in the Cloud

Many of us have pictures or information that we want to keep on our home computers or devices, but in case of fire or other disasters, we want to be able to keep them safe. Pre-Cloud users kept copies of pictures and information on CDs or DVDs and hard drives in bank vaults or other safe storage. They also gave copies to others and sent discs or memory sticks to interested parties. When we put our data into cloud storage, though, we keep the original information at our home, and store the data in a format that can be used by others in facilities in different places in the world. Now, everyone can have access to this data, with permission, in a much easier way.

Minnie Driver Season Finale on the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? Wednesday on TLC

This week will be the season finale for the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? In this episode, Minnie Driver sets out to learn more about her secretive father and traces the highs and lows of his career in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Through military documents, she comes to understand why her father was the way he was, and how his combat experience impacted the rest of his life. Then, since Minnie never met her paternal grandparents, she follows the trail in England until she comes face-to-face with the very first relative she’s ever met on her father’s side, and finds a kindred spirit in a family member she never knew about.

Mass Graves of more than Two Dozen 19th Century Illinois Settlers are being Relocated so a Proper Home Can Be Built Atop Them

A team of about a dozen archaeologists and anthropologists will relocate the remains of 27 people found buried beneath a spacious yard behind a house in the Brook Forest subdivision of Oak Brook, Illinois.

You can read more in the Chicago Tribune web site at http://goo.gl/5xwVBM.

RPAC at FGS San Antonio

The following was written by the members of the Records Preservation and Access Committee:

With thanks to Jan Alpert, RPAC Chair

The Times They Are A-Changing, T219, 1:15 p.m.

The Records Preservation and Access Committee presents “The Times They Are A-Changing” on Thursday afternoon beginning at 1:15 p.m. Panelists Jan Alpert, RPAC Chair, Fred Moss, Counsel for FGS, and Jan Meisels Allen, Chair, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee will present an update on the several important state, federal, and international record access issues including the following:

‘Genealogy Roadshow’ in St. Louis This Weekend

PBS Television’s “Genealogy Roadshow” will be shooting episodes for its 2015 season in St. Louis this weekend. People who were selected after submitting their genealogy profiles and questions online will be filmed getting the “reveal” of their family history, as uncovered by the show’s researchers.

Everyone is invited to meet with local genealogy groups and watch the filming. You can read more in an article in the PBS.org web site at www.pbs.org/program/genealogy-roadshow/.

(+) Turn Vacations into Genealogy Fact-Finding Trips

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

This is an update to an article I published two years ago. Since I am in a hotel room in Scotland right now, it seems like a good time to add several new ideas to the original article.

“If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.”

Where will you go on your next vacation trip? A trip to New England? Washington, D.C.? How about to the beach? Or how about a European vacation? How about taking a trip to the town where your grandparents grew up or a visit to the country of your ancestors? Wouldn’t you like to actually walk the same streets as your great-great grandfather or see the home where your grandmother was born? This is something you probably want to put on your bucket list.

A trip back to the home town or to “the old country” can be an immensely satisfying experience. Those who prepare for the trip usually report they have great memories and photographs of the experience.

Mocavo’s Back to School Special: Free Access to Universal Search Weekend

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

What better way to top off Mocavo’s Back to School Week than with an Open Access to Universal Search weekend? Usually you need to be a Mocavo Gold member to search all of our databases at once, but for this weekend only, you can search more than420,000 databases to your heart’s content. Kick start your research today and see who you will discover.

Start Searching Now

FamilySearch Adds More Than 1.5 Million Indexed Records and Images to Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Italy, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added more than 1.5 million indexed records and images to collections from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 524,584 images from the Italy, Torino, Ivrea, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866–1937, collection; the 217,208 images from the New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1848–1991, collection; and the 148,311 images from Spain, Province of Tarragona, Municipal Records, 1430–1943, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the worldís historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

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