Posts By Dick Eastman

Findmypast Adds New UK, Irish and Australian Records

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Over 174,000 new UK, Irish and Australian records as well as 1.6 million Irish newspaper articles have been added to our collection of UK records as part of this week’s Findmypast Friday. This week’s new additions include fascinating UK Trade union records and medical records from the 1832 Manchester Cholera epidemic, new Irish National Roll of Honour records, Australian cemetery transcripts and a selection of Immigration records from the state of Queensland.

UK Records

Forces War Records WW1 Medical Records Collection Tops 100,000 Names

The following announcement was written by the folks at Forces War Records about newly-added online records to the organization’s web site at http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk:

Forces War Records has now transcribed a grand 100,000 records from the Military Hospitals Admissions and Discharge Registers WW1 collection. Read on to find out more about a doctor’s life on the Western Front.

Famberry Launches “Famberry Search” and GEDCOM Upload

Famberry has been mentioned in this newsletter a number of times in the recent past (see http://goo.gl/T7QtoH). Now the company has announced a significant new update:

London, England (February 27th, 2015) Famberry (www.famberry.com), the private collaborative family tree builder, is pleased to announce the release of “Famberry Search”, an interactive search facility that uses key indicators from your family tree to give you the most relevant search results and an opportunity to connect with related family. The more you add to your family tree the better the Famberry Search results.

Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers

Several genealogy cruises take place every year. Cruising genealogists get to enjoy courses, software demonstrations, “how to” presentations describing the latest genealogy techniques, good food, gorgeous scenery, and adventurous shore excursions. What could be better?

Occasionally we hear claims that interest in genealogy is declining. These claims are based on the fact that attendance at some genealogy conferences is less than that of a few years ago. Yet everywhere else we look, we see proof of the opposite. The combined RootsTech and Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences attracted about 22,500 people this year. While it is held in the “genealogy Mecca” of Salt Lake City, that’s not bad for a mid-winter event! Who Do You Think You Are? Live! held in England every year typically attracts close to 15,000 attendees. The accompanying Who Do You Think You Are? television series about genealogy is popular in several countries around the world. Genealogy Roadshow and Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. are U.S. television shows that also attract millions of viewers.

Thousands of genealogy web sites also attest to the current level of interest. The number of genealogy programs available for mobile computing devices is increasing faster than ever before, and the latest growth is in cloud-based genealogy programs. Several of the software producers are reporting record sales. Finally, genealogy “theme cruises” attract more and more people every year.

I’d say that genealogy is alive and more popular than ever!

The Search for the Grave of Baseball Hall of Inductee Pete Hill

Pete Hill’s baseball legacy can be summed up among the 75 words inscribed on his Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown. Listed among his career accomplishments, Hill is characterized as a left-handed line drive hitter with exceptional bat control who hit to all fields and who roamed centerfield with a combination of speed, range and a rifle arm.

During his career with the Philadelphia Giants, Leland Giants, Chicago American Giants, Detroit Stars, Milwaukee Bears and Baltimore Black Sox in the old Negro Leagues, Hill became known as one of baseball’s most consistent hitters. While playing with Detroit in 1919, Hill clubbed 28 home runs – one shy of the number Babe Ruth had hit while playing in more games.

Extreme Genes Family History Radio’s Roots Tech Wrap-up: Where is Family History Going Now?

Fisher is the primary person behind Extreme Genes Family History Radio. His popular podcast has thousands of listeners all over the world. The latest episode features interviews with myself and with Mark Donnelly.

I talked about recent experiences at the combined RootsTech and FGS conferences with about 22,500 attendees.

Mark recently broke through a genealogy “brick wall” about a man who changed his name in the 1890s and his descendants had no clue as to his true name. Mark used DNA to find the man’s true name. That sounds impossible but listen to the Extreme Genes podcast to learn how Mark did just that.

Announcing: Irish Probate Genealogy Partners

A new genealogy corporation in Ireland has been launched. It is the product of a partnership between Eneclann, Ireland’s largest historical and genealogical research company, and Heirs Ireland, an internationally recognized probate genealogy firm. Irish Probate Genealogy Partners’ business goal is to provide comprehensive services to the legal profession.

Today’s announcement states:

Irish Probate Genealogy Partners have over 60 years combined experience legal, title and probate research, which includes:

Genealogy Roadshow Casting Call

http://genealogyroadshow.org/casting-page/A couple of newsletter readers have asked, “How can I have my genealogy brickwall researched by the folks at Genealogy Roadshow on PBS?” Now you may have an answer.

The producers of Genealogy Roadshow are looking for people to be on Season 3 of the show and applications are being accepted. Obviously, not everyone can be accepted. I am guessing the producers will select candidates who have the most interesting challenges. In any case, you won’t know unless you apply!

NERGC Early Bird Registration Expires Saturday 28 February 2015

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference:

NERGC 2015 Navigating the Past: Sailing into the Future

Nearly 1,000 genealogists from around New England and beyond are making plans to attend the largest biennial genealogical conference in the northeast.

Save $30 with early bird registration.

Join the New England Genealogical Consortium, Inc in their 13th biennial conference which is being held April 15-18, 2015 at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, Rhode Island.

StoryPress Partners with Findmypast to Bring Family History to Life Through the Power of Storytelling

The following press release was written by the folks at StoryPress:

AUSTIN, TX, February 24, 2015 — StoryPress Inc today announced a partnership with UK-based Findmypast, to make their market-leading storytelling platform available to Findmypast’s global audience of family historians. StoryPress makes it incredibly simple for anybody to create rich and powerful stories either for themselves, or to share with the world.

Under the terms of the partnership, StoryPress and Findmypast have been working together to create Story Guides specifically aimed at helping users bring their family history to life using audio, images and video.

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

One of the largest family history events held every year is the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show, often abbreviated as WDYTYAL. It is normally held in London but the 2015 event is moving to Birmingham and will be held from April 16 to 18. I plan to be there and expect more than ten thousand other genealogists will be there as well.

Inspired by the very popular Who Do You Think You Are? TV series, the show will offer expert advice to help you uncover more information about your ancestors. While the focus obviously is on UK ancestry, genealogy records and advice can be found for many other countries as well. For instance, the Families In British India Society (FIBIS) always has a large and active exhibit. In the past, I have also seen exhibits from genealogy organizations devoted to German, Polish, Italian, and other ethnic origins.

A Free Book in Google Books Lists Details of all Voters in New York City for 1919

I love Google Books! There are great finds there for genealogists and for many other interests as well. Newsletter reader Barbara Ulus sent information about her latest find, one that will interest any genealogist with ancestors living in New York City in 1919. Barbara writes:

“I’ve come across a free book on Google, which you may or may not know of, that lists the name, address and political party of all voters in the boroughs of NYC for 1919. Seems to list many more people than I found searching on the census. I guess people didn’t trust giving info to the census takers but most men wanted to vote as soon as they were able to.”

Online Course, RootsMOOC: Intro to Genealogy and Family Research is Now Open for Enrollment

This sounds like a great offering. RootsMOOC is open to the first 5,000 learners and  enrollment is well on its way. “MOOC” is an abbreviation for “massive open online course.” The following is a description from the RootsMOOC web site:

RootsMOOC is a free, open, online course and a friendly introduction to family history research in the U.S. using commonly available sources. The staff at the State Library of North Carolina’s Government and Heritage Library will help you learn about the most useful sources, tools, and techniques for getting your research off the ground. By the time you’re finished with this course, you’ll have a good start on your own genealogy research and you will know how and where to keep digging.

Participants in this course will have the opportunity to complete an ancestor chart, conduct interviews with family members, and share their own research progress with fellow participants. You’ll be challenged to go beyond the sources that are available online, identify local genealogy societies and libraries in your area, and connect with experts who can help you wherever your search takes you.

Ancestry.ca Adds Canadian Quaker Yearly Meeting Minutes, 1836-1988, VI

The Canadian division of Ancestry has launched a fascinating new collection of Quaker records, the Canadian Quaker Yearly Meeting Minutes, 1836-1988, VI collection, a database containing records from Quaker meetings in Canada.

The Quakers, a longstanding religious society of friends that believed in a strong, personal experience with God, would hold yearly meetings with the top members of the society. This database is made up of more than 184,000 records from several Quaker meetings that took place in Canada. The records come from the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives in Newmarket, Ontario.

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

In a significant boost for 23andMe, the Food and Drug Administration has allowed the direct-to-consumer genetics Silicon Valley startup to use its kit to test for a serious genetic disorder known as Bloom Syndrome.

In November 2013, the FDA ordered 23andMe to stop marketing and selling its kits as a way to test for genetic health information. This marks the first time the FDA has allowed for a home “carrier screening” genetic test. Since the 2013 ban, 23andMe customers could only use the service as a way to find out more about their genealogy.

In a statement on the 23andMe Blog, CEO Anne Wojcicki writes:

Blue Crab for Macintosh Downloads Entire Web Sites

An interesting Macintosh application will allow anyone to download part or all of a web site and then browse the site offline. This is a great application for making backups of a web site you own. I just made a backup of the eogn.com web site, then did the same for the Encyclopedia of Genealogy at http://www.eogen.com. Blue Crab also can be used to take a web site with you on your laptop to peruse when traveling without a wi-fi connection, such as on an airliner or a train. It is also useful for creating a snapshot of a website for historical archiving as well as for checking a website quickly for broken links, or to generate a site map.

If a genealogy society’s web site looks interesting to you, the entire site can be downloaded with Blue Crab and you can then browse the site at your leisure later. This is especially handy for use on slow Internet connections. You can download an entire site at slow speeds in the middle of the night when you don’t care about speeds, then later peruse the site as fast as your computer’s hard drive can supply everything. Of course, it also works with non-genealogy web sites.

Back Up Your Hard Drive to a 256-Gigabyte Flashdrive

Flashdrives (also called thumbdrives or data sticks or USB drives or a variety of other names) are amongst the handiest devices available for a computer owner. Now the capacity of thumbdrives is increasing and the prices are decreasing. Where have we heard that before in the computer industry?

A flashdrive is a small piece of equipment used to store and transfer information for computers using a USB connection. You can use a flash drive to store music, photos or other documents. Flashdrives are also frequently used to transfer files from one computer to another (sometimes called “sneakernet”) and also to make backup copies of information storied on a desktop or laptop computer.

Early flashdrives would store less than a gigabyte of data but things change quickly in the computer business. Storage capacities have grown rapidly over the years. Today, you can even purchase flashdrives with one terabyte (1,000 gigabytes or 1,000,000 megabytes) of storage space although at astronomical prices. See http://goo.gl/bxxDn2 for one high-priced example.

If a computer user can settle for less storage space, prices become enticing.

NGS Launches NGS Monthly, a Digital Publication

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) today launched NGS Monthly, a new digital publication that, each month, will feature a selection of original articles on genealogical methodology, research techniques, sources, and the latest news from NGS. Published mid-month starting after the February launch, NGS Monthly was created to replace the Society’s older newsletter, What’s Happening, with a new content and design strategy.

(+) What Format Should You Use to Store Your Files?

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

One question that pops up frequently is, “What format should I use to save my files?” The question is often asked about digital pictures. Should they be saved as JPG or PDF or GIF or PNG or TIFF or some other format? Similar questions often arise about word processing files although there seem to be fewer options available. I thought I would offer a few suggestions and also tell what works for me.

Digital Pictures

Today’s technology allows for a selection of image file formats, including JPG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PSD, RAW, PNG, EPS, PDF, and others in a seemingly endless alphabet soup of abbreviations and acronyms.

DAR Provides Contributed Supporting Documentation Online for Genealogy Researchers

The following announcement was written by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution:

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is pleased to announce a new added feature to its Genealogical Research System (GRS). This newSupporting Documents feature allows users to purchase documents that were submitted with previously verified DAR membership and supplemental applications. These documents may include family bible records, deeds, wills and other various materials used to prove lineage to a patriot of the American Revolution.

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