Posts By Dick Eastman

Relative History, a Windows 8 Genealogy App, is Now Available

Software developer Philip Colmer has released a beta version of Relative History, a Windows 8 genealogy app. The beta version allows users to test some of the editing functionality that is being added to the app. The release supports the adding, editing and deleting of media, source and repository records as well as source and repository citations.

Quoting from the description in the Windows Store:

Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island

Barry Moreno, a librarian at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and author of the book Children of Ellis Island, is quoted in an article about unaccompanied children who immigrated to America. The Immigration Act of 1907 declared that unaccompanied children under 16 were not permitted to enter in the normal fashion. But it didn’t send them packing, either. Instead, the act set up a system in which unaccompanied children — many of whom were orphans — were kept in detention awaiting a special inquiry with immigration inspectors to determine their fate. At these hearings, local missionaries, synagogues, immigrant aid societies and private citizens would often step in and offer to take guardianship of the child, says Moreno.

One of these children may have gown up to become your ancestor. You can read the interesting story, written by Tasneem Raja, in the Moyer & Company web site at http://goo.gl/rhGBRx.

Create a Family Tree Chart in Excel

Microsoft has created a free template to create a five-generation family tree chart. It has space for each family member’s name and title. There’s very few “bells and whistles” in this template. There is no automatic importing of data or anything else. Simply download the template and manually enter the data. You can then print a very nice-looking five generation chart.

It is free and is available at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/family-tree-chart-TC001021967.aspx.

Looking for Descendants of a World War I Glasgow Kilt Maker

Economic historian Dr Helen Paul, of the University of Southampton, found a hand-written message when she was removing the packing stitches from a kilt that has been passed down in her family for decades. The message reads: “I hope your kilt will fit you well, & in it you will look a swell. If married never mind. If single drop a line. Wish you bags of luck, & a speedy return back to Blighty.” Underneath was the name of Helen Govan, of 49 Ardgowan Street in Glasgow.

Dr. Paul reports, “This garment has been in our family for a number of decades, and until recently, we were completely unaware there was such an intriguing secret hidden in its folds. It was a real surprise when the note fell out.

“My father tried to trace any relatives of the note’s author a few years ago, but his efforts failed and I’m hoping to pick up where he left off.”

Introducing Gaenovium, the Genealogy Technology Conference

I find the following announcement to be very interesting. Gaenovium is a new genealogy technology conference being launched by two well-known genealogy technologists: Bob Coret and Tamura Jones. It also has two major sponsors: MyHeritage Ltd. and RootsMagic, Inc. With those people and organizations behind it, Gaenovium 2014 could be a great success.

The following was written by the Gaenovium 2014 organizers:

Introducing Gaenovium, the Genealogy Technology Conference

new genealogy-technology conference is different in every important way.

Quick Summary

New conference is not big & overwhelming, but small & intimate. Independent organisation. Not national, but international. Not in the USA, but in Europe. Not for genealogy technology users, but the technology creators. Conference fee includes all-attendee dinner.

Background

Genealogy without technology has become unthinkable. Nowadays, every genealogy conference has presentations that use or mention technology used by genealogists, but until now, even the most technology-oriented genealogy conferences were squarely aimed at the users of that technology.

Gaenovium

FamilySearch Adds more than 1.7 Million Indexed Records and Images to Canada, Croatia, Peru, Poland, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added more than 1.7 million indexed records and images to collections from Canada, Croatia, Peru, Poland, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,160,179 indexed records from the UnitedStates, Hawaii, Honolulu Passenger Lists, 1900–1953, collection; the 50,858 indexed records from the Peru, Cusco, Civil Registration, 1889–1997, collection; and the 99,950 indexed records from United States, Panama Canal Zone, Employment Records and Sailing lists, 1905–1937, 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.

Who Do You Think You Are? with Cynthia Nixon

The new season of Who Do You Think You Are? started this evening with an episode featuring actress Cynthia Nixon, best known for her portrayal of Miranda Hobbes in the HBO series, Sex and the City (1998–2004), the film, Sex and the City (2008), and its sequel, Sex and the City 2 (2010). She is an Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winner.

Cynthia had asked the show’s producers to trace her father’s ancestry. Cynthia’s parents were divorced when she was young. Cynthia was raised primarily by her mother with her father having visiting rights on weekends. In the program, Cynthia mentioned that her father rarely talked about his family. Cynthia was curious about them. Indeed, the professional genealogists who performed the research for the television program found one very interesting ancestor: Cynthia’s great-great-great-grandmother murdered her husband with an ax and served hard time for the crime. Apparently, he had been a very abusive husband. A newspaper account hinted that his cruelty was far beyond what was common in those days, so horrible that the newspaper would not print the details.

Book Review: The Jewish Presence in Early British Records 1650-1850

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Jewish Presence in Early British Records 1650-1850. By David Dobson. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore . 2014. 123 pages.

You may recognize Mr. Dobson’s name. He has published numerous books of lists of names culled from historic records for the benefit of our genealogical research.

His introduction to this book is better than mine:

There had been a Jewish presence in England since the days of William the Conqueror however in 1290 King Edward I of England banished them from his possessions. From that date until 1655 when Oliver Cromwell encouraged them to return there were officially no Jews in England. In Scotland there had been no similar legislation banning Jews though few, if any, settled there in the medieval period. During the seventeenth century the activities of the Spanish Inquisition encouraged Sephardic Jews to emigrate, some went north to the Netherlands while others moved to Brazil.

Digital Collections of Historic Newspaper Available on Veridian

Veridian is a company that provides newspaper digitization services to libraries and other cultural heritage institutions. Services offered include: scanning services, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) services, software for online discovery and delivery of digitized newspapers, hosting services for online digital collections of any size, and long-term digital preservation solutions. The company’s web site includes links to many of the newspaper collections that have been digitized for the libraries and other organizations. As a result, the web page is an excellent “starting point” to find many of the collections.

Digitized newspaper collections that may be found by starting at http://www.veridiansoftware.com include:

Ancestry.com LLC Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results

The following press release was issued by Ancestry.com:

Q2 Non-GAAP Revenues $156.1 Million, Up 13% Year-Over-Year

PROVO, Utah, July 23, 2014 — Ancestry.com LLC, the world’s largest online family history resource, reported financial results today for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014.
“Despite softer performance in the second quarter, our core subscriber base retention remains solid and the business is healthy,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. “We’re continuing to make strategic investments in content, product and technology as well as new product initiatives like our rapidly growing AncestryDNA business, all of which are designed to drive long-term growth, further strengthen our market leadership, and leverage the benefits of our attractive business model.”

Second Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights

Tennessee State Public Library Adds more than 1,500 Digitized and Searchable Family Bibles Online

Before the 20th century, Tennessee and many other states did not keep comprehensive records of births, marriages, and deaths. Families recorded their own vital records in family Bibles that were passed down through generations. The Tennessee State Library and Archives holds hundreds of family Bible records in several formats and within many collections. The Bible records recently placed online were taken from photocopies in TSLA’s vertical files; additional records will be added as they are donated or discovered in manuscripts collections. The bulk of the records in this collection date between the late 18th and early 20th century. Many prominent Tennessee families are represented here; some records even include the names of families’ slaves.

South Dakota Receives More Than $294K to Digitize Historic Newspapers

South Dakota has been granted more than $294,000 in federal funds to digitize 100,000 pages of historic state newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. The funds will help preserve and promote South Dakota’s rich history.

Brief details may be found in the Washington Times at http://goo.gl/UDyiCj.

USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer

This has to be one of the best tools I have seen for finding old maps. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently launched a GIS-based website that allows viewers access to more than 178,000 USGS maps, dating back to 1884. The maps can be searched by location by starting with current maps. If you like old maps as much as I do, you will want to check this out.

Click on the image to view a larger map of Los Angeles

Adding Listings to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The Calendar of Genealogy Events is a feature of this newsletter’s web site at http://calendar.eogn.com that lists all sorts of genealogy conferences, cruises, webcasts, and similar events of interest to genealogists. It has sections for every U.S. state, every Canadian province, and for a number of other countries.

I received an email message today from someone who was a bit dismayed that an event he cares about was not listed in the Calendar of Genealogy Events. Apparently, he did not realize that all information in the Calendar of Genealogy Events is contributed by users. Thinking perhaps that others were also not aware of how it works, I decided to write this short note.

How They Made Books in 1947

Back before ebooks, printing was a time-comsuming laborious process. Once the author finished the writing tasks, teams of people working together were required to produce just one book. An Encyclopaedia Britannica Films documentary created in 1947 is available on YouTube that shows the process.

Personal Data Removed from Irish Genealogy Site over Security Fears

The Irish government closed part of its genealogy website on Friday, after the country’s data protection commissioner warned that potentially sensitive personal details were available to all.

Irish Genealogy, a website at http://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en created by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, offered people born or married in Ireland the ability to search for civil records such as birth certificates as part of their research into their heritage.

Actress Cynthia Nixon to be Featured This Week on TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Cynthia Nixon, perhaps best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes on HBO’s Sex and the City, will be the celebrity guest on this week’s episode on the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? In her episode, the New York City-born actress traces her father’s family to Missouri. Through her research, she discovers a tale of murder but also of social reform.

In the story, Nixon makes stops in Jefferson City, Columbia, Leasburg and St. Louis.

Cynthia Nixon’s episode will be aired on July 23 at 9 p.m. EST/PST. Check your local listings for the time and channel number on your cable or satellite television service.

 

(+) How to Virtually Drive the Roads Your Ancestors Traveled

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

Google is a wonderful online tool with many uses, including genealogy. Most genealogists already know that using the online search giant allows us to find records that would be difficult to locate otherwise. However, are you also aware that Google offers other services that allow you to find the location(s) of your ancestor’s land and even to virtually travel to that place, all without leaving home?

One of my close friends did just that recently. She was able to locate a deed selling land to Silvanus Clark of Haddam, Connecticut, in 1787. The location of the land was described in the deed, but a description alone is not as satisfying as seeing the land yourself. Of course, travel to Connecticut is difficult for anyone who lives many miles away. A variation of the old phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” allows the genealogist to see pictures, maps, and more, thanks to Google. Nothing beats an in-person visit, but Google allows for the next best thing.

I’ll retrace my friend’s steps as she followed her ancestor’s steps online.

Virus False Positives: How Can You Be Sure?

Almost every time I write an article about some web site or perhaps about a Windows program that can be downloaded and installed on your computer, I will receive at least one email message or other report from someone saying something like, “I downloaded it but my anti-virus program says it has a virus.”

My response usually is, “Well, maybe…”

In many cases, the claim of a virus is a so-called “false positive.” That is, the anti-virus program reported a virus that isn’t really there. In fact, there is no virus at all, but the anti-virus program thinks there is. All anti-virus programs will occasionally report “false positives.”

How do you determine the truth? Actually, there are several ways.

Johnny Appleseed Exhibit to Hit the Road

If you picture Johnny Appleseed as a loner wearing a tin pot for a hat and flinging apple seeds across the countryside, experts say you’re wrong. A traveling exhibit funded by an anonymous donation to the Johnny Appleseed Museum at Urbana University will help clear misconceptions about the folk hero and the real man behind the legend.

John Chapman, known as Johnny Appleseed to generations of Americans, was a pioneer nurseryman in the late 18th and early 19th centuries credited with introducing apple trees to portions of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia. While it’s probably true that he lived outdoors and wore ragged clothes, at least sometimes, researchers doubt he wore a pot on his head or just gave his seedlings and nurseries away.

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