Posts By Dick Eastman

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.

New Budget Proposal Might Save the Genealogy Department at Indiana State Library

Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently submitted a budget proposal that would have slashed funding for many state agencies, including a 24 percent reduction in funding for the Indiana State Library. (See my earlier article at If enacted, the budget would have forced the downtown Indianapolis library to eliminate many services, including its genealogy department that houses more than 100,000 items documenting Hoosier history. However, the latest version of the budget offered by majority House Republicans this week restores most of the library funding that Pence had aimed to cut.

Illinois Civil War Soldier Photos Online

Eppenutus McIntire as an older man, a Civil War veteran

You can find dozens of web sites that contain pictures of Civil War soldiers. One of the biggest collections of Illinois soldiers is available on the web site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

The “Boys in Blue” is a repository for photographs of more than 8,000 Illinois soldiers who served in the Civil War. All of these images have been scanned and are in the process of being cataloged and added to the web site.

Photographs of soldiers from the 4th, 10th, and 11th Illinois Cavalry and the 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 17th, 26th, 33rd, 37th, 53rd, 56th, 64th, 77th, 86th, 101st, 108th, 114th, 117th, 120th, 122nd, and 130th Illinois Infantry Regiments have been added. More pictures are being added as fast as they can be digitized and uploaded.

A Fifth-Grade Family Tree Project

This helps to prove that everyone is related to everyone else. When‘s Curator Randy Schoenberg’s son, Joey, came home with such family genealogy project homework assignment, Randy saw it as a great opportunity to make some new family connections. In an article for Jewish Journal, Randy shares how he endeavored to connect the families of his son’s entire fifth grade class into a single family tree on Geni.

In the article, Randy tells how he managed to find family connections. These are “connections” but not necessarily bloodline relationships. That is, not all of the students share a single ancestor as far back as Randy could trace. However, he found family connections amongst all the students through marriages, in-laws, and other family relationships.

All 53 students in Joey’s class are connected to each other in one tree.

(+) How to Save Articles in This Newsletter and in Almost All Other Web Sites

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

I occasionally get asked about saving articles or even complete weekly newsletter editions published on the web site. In fact, there are several methods of saving articles. I suspect others may have the same questions, so I thought I would describe several methods here in an article.

First, I hope you are not printing the articles on paper and saving them! (shudder.) That seems such a waste in today’s emphasis on “going green” and not wasting paper, ink, or toner. Besides, what do you do after you print 100 such articles? Or 1,000? Or even more? How do you ever find anything in that huge stack of paper?

Book Review: The Ultimate Search Book. Worldwide Adoption, Genealogy, and Other Search Secrets.

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Ultimate Search Book.
Worldwide Adoption, Genealogy, and Other Search Secrets.
By Lori Carangelo. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2011. 294 pages.

Lori Corangelo has been an adoption activist and involved with adoption research for many years. She founded Americans for Open Records (AmFOR), an organization for adoption-affected citizens. Their website at offers further explanations and resources involving adoption research.

The unique feature of Ultimate Search Book is its focus on adoption research. Typical first steps are described for genealogical research, but following chapters focus on the obstacles and techniques for performing adoptive research.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 1.1 Million Indexed Records and Images to Brazil, Japan, Russia, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch adds more than 1.1 million indexed records and images to Brazil, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 744,919 indexed records from the US, New York, Naturalization Index (Soundex), 1792–1906 collection; the 144,735 indexed records from the US, Illinois, Soldier burial places, 1774–1974 collection; and the 85,387 indexed records from the Russia, Lutheran Church Book Duplicates, 1833–1885 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

Ontario Genealogical Society Offers Online Live Streaming of Meetings and Presentations

The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS)and a few of their branches offer live streaming of their monthly meetings/presentations. This large and very active society is doing something that more societies might want to emulate in order to serve distant members who cannot attend in person. Even the annual Ontario Genealogical Society Conference later this year will feature streaming video sessions by various speakers.

You can read more about the conference at

Here are some other videos and slideshows already available online:

New Data Storage Method Could Preserve Digital Information for Millions of Years

I have written several times about the pros and cons of storing digital data versus using paper or other forms of storage media. Newsletter readers have been active posting opinions and suggestions in the Comments Section at the end of those articles. A new storage method developed by at ETH Zurich should satisfy the needs of all of us.

Taking inspiration from the way fossilized bones can preserve genetic material for hundreds of thousands of years, researchers have developed a “synthetic fossil” by writing digital information on DNA and then encapsulating it in a protective layer of glass. Researchers believe the data will then be readable for millions of years, assuming compatible hardware is still available in the future.

International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences to be held in Scotland

The 32nd International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from Wednesday 10 August until Saturday 13 August 2016.

This appears to be the most prestigious congress in the field, organised under the auspices of the Academie Internationale de Genealogie and the Academie Internationale d’Héraldique. It is a biennial event, dedicated to topics of heraldic and genealogical interest, and bringing together scholars and other interested persons from around the world.

Microsoft Reduces Prices and Offers a Trade-in Program for the Surface Pro 3

I own one of the original Microsoft Surface RT tablet computers, purchased in 2012. It was a disaster. It has a great display screen but a rather poor keyboard. Worst of all, it doesn’t run the normal version of Windows. Instead, it runs a variant called Windows RT that looks like Windows 8 but will not run normal Windows 8 programs. A few programs created by Microsoft were converted to Windows RT and were included with the tablet computer. However, most other software vendors ignored Windows RT. There were no genealogy programs available for Windows RT.

The Microsoft Surface RT tablet computer turned out to be the Edsel of my computer collection: I dabbled with it for a few days and then buried it in the back of the closet.

I must admit, however, that Microsoft apparently has learned from its earlier Edsel, uh… Surface RT tablet. Microsoft brought out newer models every few months and each one had significant improvements over the previous version. The latest Surface Pro 3 actually is a very nice and useable system.

Connecticut Towns Clerk Portal – Land Records Now Available Online

Newsletter reader Harvey C Hilton sent an email message that says, in part:

Land records for 70 of the 169 cities and towns in Connecticut are available online. An index is available for FREE if you sign on as a GUEST. Searching is by party name, book/page, date, kind of transaction using any one or combination of these search criteria. This search returns filing date, instrument date, kind of transaction, parties in the transaction (Grantor, Grantee), description, book/page, number of images. see:

New Special “Long Lost Family” to Premiere Sunday, March 1 on TLC Television

The following announcement was written by TLC:

(Los Angeles, Ca.) – Hoping to find their biological families, two adoptees team up with hosts Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner to embark on an emotional journey in the new one-hour special LONG LOST FAMILY. For hosts Chris and Lisa, the painstaking search for answers is familiar territory. Both of them were adopted as young children, later searching for – and ultimately reuniting with – their biological families. Premiering Sunday, March 1 at 10/9c on TLC, viewers will watch adoptees go through the ups and downs of trying to track down loved ones they’re so anxious to meet.

National Genealogical Society Appoints Edward Grandi as the New Executive Director

The following announcement was written by the folks at the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA – 19 February 2015. The Board of Directors of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced the appointment of Edward Grandi as the Society’s Executive Director. Grandi joins NGS to help further their mission to promote genealogical excellence by helping enthusiasts improve their skills. His work will focus on the NGS growing portfolio of specialized family history learning resources, many of which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

NGS offers a full spectrum of educational opportunities, including its conference, in-depth publications, digital media and cloud-based, online courses from leading experts. Researchers can select from tailored educational programs to learn how to work smarter at every level and search for the right records, which helps them discover more about their ancestors.

Midwest Family History Expo Call for Papers

The following announcement was written by the folks who produce the Midwest Family History Expo:

Now accepting proposals for presenting at our 4th annual Midwest Family History Expo to be held at the Holiday Inn in Kearney, Nebraska September 18-19, 2015.

Submission emphasis should focus on principles, strategies, and sources used in family history and genealogical research.

Desired topics include:

Tuesday’s “Genealogy Roadshow” on PBS

Did you miss Tuesday’s episode of “Genealogy Roadshow” from Philadelphia? You can watch it now online now at

Book Review: Abstracts of the Debt Books of the Provincial Land Office of Maryland

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Abstracts of the Debt Books of the Provincial Land Office of Maryland.
By V.L. Skinner, Jr. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co. 2014. 365 pages.

Frederick County, Volume I. Calvert Papers, 1750.
Liber 22: 1753,1754,1755.

The Provincial Land Office of Maryland was responsible for the dispensing of land under its authority from 1634 to 1777. The Rent Rolls and the Debt Books were the means by which the Lord Proprietor kept track of the rents due him.

The Debt Book lists the names of persons who own land with the names and rents of each tract owned, all listed in one place under his or her name.

Our Present History Could Be Lost to Future Generations

One of the fathers of the Internet claims this century could be lost to future historians. I am not sure I agree with Vint Cerf, now a vice president at Google, but I do believe his comments are worth reading and considering.

Data presently stored on outdated technology such as VHS tapes, vinyl records, cassette tapes and floppy disks has already been lost, according Cerf. That is just the beginning, he told a conference last week hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The lack of an electronic storage mechanism that can withstand centuries of time threatens to erode documents and digitally-stored memories through a process he has often referred to as “bit rot.”

You can read more in an article in MarketWatch at

I agree with Vint Cerf that this is a significant problem and the need to preserve data deserves attention. However, the article ignores that fact that corporations, governments, and even non-profits are already preserving their data to make sure it lasts for centuries.

New York City Board of Health Limits Access to Death Records 1949-to Present

The following was written by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

The Board of Health for the City of New York adopted changes to the New York City Health Code articles 205 and 207 in late 2014. A public hearing was held on November 14, 2014 and no comments were received. The proposal was presented to the Board of Health on October 7, 2014 in response to a comment from one of the board’s members. Unfortunately, the genealogical community was not aware of the hearing or notice. At its December 9, 2014 meeting the Board of Health adopted the new articles which may be read at:

Basically it expands access to confidential medical reports for deaths that occurred prior to January 1, 2010 and clarifies who may obtain a death certificate…genealogists are not included. It adds siblings, grandparents and grandchildren to the list of people who may access confidential medical reports of death.

My Pictures from the RootsTech and FGS Conferences

RootsTech2015 and FGS conferencesI just uploaded a photo album of many of my photographs from the RootsTech 2015 and FGS combined conferences held in Salt Lake City last week. To get an idea of what it was like at the conferences, look at:


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