Posts By Dick Eastman

Findmypast Community Edition Now Available to U.S. Libraries

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • Findmypast, a global leader in family history, announces the availability of a library edition within the United States
  • Provides access for libraries, archives, and other organizations to billions of records from England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States
  • Free, no obligation, 90-day trial available

Salt Lake City – June 25, 2015Findmypast, a global leader in family history, announced today the official release of their product for libraries and organizations in the United States. The Findmypast Library Edition gives library access to billions of records from Findmypast’s wide array of collections from the United States, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, and other areas of the world. Collection highlights include:

(+) My Method of Filing Digital Images and Documents

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

NOTE: This is an update to an article I published last year. Questions about how to file digital pictures and documents arose recently in the comments section of this newsletter’s Plus Edition subscribers’ web site at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=36125&cpage=1#comment-24884. When I looked at the earlier article, I found that it is now out of date. Some of the information has since changed. I updated the earlier article and decided to re-publish it again today.

Here is a copy of a message I received (slightly edited):

I’m a newcomer to genealogy and I’d like to know your suggested file naming convention for downloaded census images that pertain to more than one person. I’d like to settle on a format before my tree gets too big. I save the FamilySearch or Ancestry web page as a PDF for each person listed in the census record and a single image of the census. That way I have a “transcribed” reference for each person as well as the image. For example:

JOHNSON Daniel Joseph Family 1940 US Federal Census.jpg
JOHNSON Daniel Joseph (1940 US Federal Census).pdf
JOHNSON Ethel Blanche (1940 US Federal Census).pdf
JOHNSON Joseph Delone (1940 US Federal Census).pdf

Your thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.

I did answer the reader in email but thought I would also share my answer here in case others might have the same questions.

U.S. National Archives Finds Same Malware That Stole Government Personnel Data

In the wake of the discovery of malware on the network of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the National Archives and Records Administration discovered three desktop computers that had been infected with the same remote access malware. The malware was detected by the National Archives’ own intrusion detection system after receiving signature data from the Department of Homeland Security, according to a report by NextGov.

Comment: I must say I am not surprised that the malware was found at NARA. In fact, I might have been more surprised if it was NOT found.

I wrote earlier about that malware on the Privacy Blog at http://goo.gl/bnMHBr and at http://goo.gl/Pz9U6z.

African-American Cultural and Genealogical Society of Illinois to Open New Home

The African American Cultural and Genealogical Society of Illinois Inc. will hold a grand reopening this weekend of the African American Cultural and Genealogical Society of Illinois Museum, now at 235 W. Eldorado St., Decatur, Illinois. A program is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday in Central United Methodist Church, with a ribbon-cutting at noon and tours of the facility from noon to 3 p.m.

What Your Town Looked Like on Penny Postcards

Years ago, postcards cost 1¢ to mail within the U.S. Postage was temporarily raised to 2¢ from 1917 to 1919 to cover the cost of World War I and the increase was rescinded after the War. In 1952, the required postage was raised to two cents and has slowly escalated ever since. Today, mailing a postcard cost 34¢. (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_United_States_postage_rates)

Over the years, many postcards were printed with view of a town or other area, then sold in stores within that town or area. Many of these postcards have been preserved and often provide an interesting glimpse of what life was like in “the good old days.” Possibly your ancestors saw these same views in person.

Heredis 2015 is Now Available for Windows and Macintosh

Almost two weeks ago, I published an article at http://goo.gl/ACmkRF entitled Heredis 2015 to be Available Later this Month. Today, the prediction came true. Heredis 2015, a powerful genealogy program for Windows and for Macintosh, was released today.

Heredis 2015 is a major upgrade. The program now includes a search module for online archives. With the 2015 release, everything needed for online genealogy research is now included in Heredis. The producers of Heredis say there now is no need for additional software to be installed or paid for to have all the tools necessary for your genealogy.

In addition, Heredis 2015 adds:

Who Do You Think You Are? (U.K. Version) Guest Celebrities Announced

The popular genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? returns to BBC One this summer for a 12th series, with ten new celebs announced to take part.

The celebrities in the new series will include:

(+) The Paperless Genealogist

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

Too many genealogists are addicted to paper. In this day and age, that’s sad. I have no statistics about the amount of paper, ink, and toner consumed by genealogists every year, but I am sure we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars purchasing printers, paper, and supplies. That’s a huge waste of money, in my opinion. I wonder how many filing cabinets and bookshelves are sold to genealogists. I will suggest there is a better way to store personal copies of genealogy records and related information.

The “paperless office” was an early prediction made in the June 30, 1975, issue of BusinessWeek. The article quoted George E. Pake, then head of Xerox Corp.’s Palo Alto (California) Research Center:

Buy a Refurbished Chromebook for $119.99

This has to be the best bargain of the week: an Acer 11.6″ Chromebook Laptop for only $119.99, including shipping, while supplies last. I am guessing these won’t last long.

I have written a number of times about Chromebook laptop computers. (See my previous articles by starting at https://goo.gl/nrFf28 and especially my Why Use a Chromebook? article at http://goo.gl/lvU1Yv.)

Chromebooks are excellent low-cost laptop computers that are very easy to use. They boot up quickly, never gets viruses, and seem to be very reliable. I have owned a Chromebook for several years and use it often. A number of my friends also use Chromebooks, either for themselves or for their children. I also know a 90-year-old lady who uses a Chromebook frequently. All seem pleased with them. However, if you are looking for a laptop that is as powerful as your present Windows or Macintosh system, a Chromebook probably is not for you except possibly as a traveling system.

(+) Our Ancestors’ Dental Care

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

One has to wonder about dental care as practiced by our ancestors. Ready-made toothbrushes and toothpaste were not available until the mid- or even late-1800s. Prior to that, everyone had to make their own.

Throughout the Middle Ages, most people simply rubbed salt on their teeth.

Some people made up their own dentifrice and rubbed the resulting powder on their teeth with a small stick, called a “toothstick,” with a rag over one end. This was the forerunner of the toothbrush.

By the 1700s medical knowledge improved to the point that doctors began to understand the importance of proper dental care. Toothpaste, properly called dentifrice, was made at home. Here is one such recipe:

Historic Freedmen’s Bureau Records Released

This is a major announcement of new information posted online by a cooperative effort of five organizations. The following announcement was written by FamilySearch International, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro­-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum:

Event launches volunteer indexing effort of 4 million freed slave records

SALT LAKE CITY — FamilySearch International, the largest non-profit genealogy organization in the world, announced the digital release of 4 million Freedmen’s Bureau historical records and the launch of a nationwide volunteer indexing effort.

FamilySearch is working in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum to make these records available and accessible by taking the raw records, extracting the information and indexing them to make them easily searchable online. Once indexed, finding an ancestor may be as easy as going to FamilySearch.org, entering a name and, with the touch of a button, discovering your family member.

How Homesteading Was Done in the 1800s

Did any of your ancestors take advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862? Did they settle on sparsely-populated land in one of the western states? If so, what were their lives like?

Kathy Belt has written an article that describes life for the homesteaders and asks the reader to think about what it would be like if any of us could be transported in time back to a homestead. She writes:

“If you truly want to live in the 1800s, be expected to have 18-20 children, all born at home, and have half of them die before the age of five because of dysentery, typhoid, scarlet fever or measles. Be prepared to get up with the sun and read by the light of your drafty fireplace. (Yes, the Franklin stove was invented in the late 1700s, but it weighed so much, most folks who went west didn’t take it with them. Of course, if you stayed in one of the “big” cities, you would have access to whale oil or kerosene for your lights.)

New Records Available to Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

This Findmypast Friday marks the release of thousands of fascinating new Prisoner of War records containing the details of thousands of American’s captured during the War of 1812 in partnership with The National Archives. This week’s Findmypast Friday also marks the release of birth, marriage, burial and congregation records from a Scottish garrison church in Gibraltar, new Greater London Burial Index records and substantial updates to our collection of historic British newspapers.

Prisoners of War 1715-1945 Phase 2 – Napoleonic Wars

GEDitCOM II for Macintosh and for Mobile Devices

GEDitCOM II is an easy-to-use genealogy application for Macintosh OS X. It will store, display, and edit genealogy files. It will import any GEDCOM file created with a different genealogy program and then allow the user to edit the file and add more information, source citations, add multimedia (pictures, movies, audio files, maps), and more. The program will also create numerous charts and reports, including: Ancestor and descendant family tree charts, many types of text reports, charts with portraits in them, and a number of charts suitable for printing. It also will “read” your information about your data out loud, a nice feature for anyone with vision issues.

As if that is not enough, GEDitCOM II will also print complete genealogy book by using LaTeX, a publishing application that is popular amongst Macintosh users and will even create a complete web site as a collection of HTML files, suitable for uploading to a web hosting service of your choice. It will also email reports to any email address.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

The Statistical Atlas of the United States was published by the Census Bureau and was full of statistical data from the census records (although no names of citizens were included). It also mapped things you can’t see directly, including crop yields, the prevalence of disease, the provenance of people. It was a huge resource with many applications, used by thousands of people in government, industry, education, research, and also by private citizens. The Statistical Atlas of the United States, historically produced by the Census Bureau, was last published for 2000. A 2010 version of the Statistical Atlas of the United States was considered but then abandoned because of budget cuts.

What one large government bureaucracy could not produce in a cost-effective manner was instead done by one person: Nathan Yau.

Allen Weinstein, Former Archivist of the U.S., R.I.P.

Allen Weinstein, the ninth Archivist of the United States, died June 18 at a nursing home in Gaithersburg, Md. He was 77.

Dr. Weinstein served from 2005 until 2008 as chief of the National Archives and Records Administration. As archivist, he ended secret agreements with the CIA and the Air Force by which thousands of declassified documents had been removed from public view. “We’re in the access business,” Dr. Weinstein said, “not the classification business.” Dr. Weinstein resigned in 2008 as he struggled with Parkinson’s disease.

Weinstein had previously established himself as an academic, with professorships at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., Georgetown University and Boston University. Outside academia, he held leadership roles at nonprofit institutions — most notably the Center for Democracy in Washington, which he founded in the mid-1980s and led as president until 2003.

Gage County Museum in Beatrice, Nebraska, Closed Due to Flood

The Gage County Museum in Beatrice, including its genealogy research collections, will be closed during Homestead Days due to damaged sustained during flooding in May. The horse-drawn Beatrice streetcar rides scheduled on Saturday and Sunday have been canceled.

The museum will remain closed until repair work is done and the entire collection has been reinstalled. The date of reopening has yet to be determined. Staff will still be working to answer questions and do genealogical research by telephone or email. If you would like to visit the Gage County Museum, keep an eye on its web site at http://www.gagecountymuseum.info for further updates.

Planning a Roots Trip?

The summer vacation time is upon us, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. Millions of people are planning vacations. If you are a genealogist, what better trip could you take than one that allows you to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors?

Writing in the MyHeritage Blog, Schelly Talalay Dardashti says, “Whether you stay at home or plan an international trip, the basics are the same: Decide where you are going and what information you would like to find. Contact local historic or genealogical societies in the area for more information, and see below for even more suggestions.”

You can read all of Schelly’s suggestions at http://blog.myheritage.com/2015/06/family-planning-a-roots-trip.

How to Safely and Securely Store Your Private Data Online with SpiderOak

File storage services in the cloud are very popular these days — and for good reasons. Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SpiderOak, iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon S3, Box, and numerous others offer free or very low cost file storage space that can be used for any of a number of reasons. Cloud storage serves as an added layer of data protection for your precious and irreplaceable files. Backups are kept in a secure location that is physically removed from the originals, and these cloud-based services provide such a location.

You can store backup copies of your important personal files to provide insurance against hard drive crashes, viruses, ransomware (see my earlier article at http://privacyblog.com/2015/06/15/tox-free-ransomware-is-now-available-for-everyone/), and other computer problems. With many of these services, you can also share files, such as old family photographs, with family and friends.

Another reason to use any of these cloud-based file storage services is to share files amongst your own computing devices. Saving your pictures and documents in the cloud provides an easy way of copying those files and photos to your own tablet computer or cell phone.

Of course, the biggest concern of most users who are not familiar with cloud storage is, “Is it safe?”

A Genealogist Traces Rachel Dolezal’s Ancestry and Finds No Black Relatives

Rachel Dolezal has recently stirred up a controversy concerning he ancestry. She resigned Monday as head of her local NAACP chapter after reports surfaced that she was born white yet has claimed she is black. If you are not familiar with this recent news story that has been on all the news networks, start at https://goo.gl/QykhVS to find a few hundred reports about her recent controversy. Now a professional genealogist says that Dolezal’s claim is bogus.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,653 other followers