Posts By Dick Eastman

Heredis for $10.99

Heredis is a popular genealogy program available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The producing company has just announced a 3-day sale. Each program is available for just $10.99, instead of the normal price of US $59.99 for the Macintosh version or $39.99 for Windows.

The Plan to Digitize the Vast Holdings of the National Archives

Writing in his blog, David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, describes a simple, but audacious initiative: to digitize the analog records of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and to make them available for online public access. He writes:

“We have over 12 billion pages of records, so yes, this is our moon shot.

“To achieve this goal, we know we need to think in radically new ways about our processes, and we have started by creating a new digitization strategy. From the time we published our 2008 digitization strategy through today, we have scanned over 230 million objects. This is a huge number, but we have a long road ahead. Our new strategy pushes us further.”

Travelling the World by Digitizing Cemeteries

This sounds like a great project that will benefit many other genealogists. Michael Kerr and his wife, Sabrina Rowe, decided to leave the comfort of their home, and bicycle across Europe, stopping to photograph entire cemeteries on the way. All the photos are being shared with the community for free on MyHeritage and on BillionGraves.com.

Michael and Sabrina have always wanted to travel, but they craved a deeper experience than just a short vacation that they were normally able to take once a year. In May 2011, they packed up and stored the contents of their Montreal apartment, and embarked on their journey. They planned to travel by bike to improve their fitness, and to enable them to see beautiful surroundings more easily.

An Automotive Family Reunion: Remember Your Father by Buying his old Car

Stock photo of a 1973 Corvette Convertible, not the one mentioned in the article. Click on the above picture to view a larger version.

Scott Bachman’s father passed away some time ago. When thinking of his father’s life and the times Scott spent with his father, some of his most cherished childhood memories were those of his late father’s beloved orange 1973 Corvette Stingray convertible. Scott was three years old when his father purchased the car. His father died while working on the car.

Years after the father’s death, Scott’s mother sold the car. Scott recently began searching for the car, and when he found it, he bought it.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.8 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, Spain and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.8 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, Spain and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,113,932 indexed records and images from the BillionGraves Index, collection; the 990,332 images from the Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600-2012, collection; and the 243,908 images from the Ghana Census, 1984, 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 world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

Here is a Chance to Own a Piece of Computer History: an Original Apple 1 Computer

Click on the above picture to view a larger version.

The upcoming History of Science auction at Bonhams New York could provide fine opportunities for investments in rare collectibles, including a 1976 Apple 1 motherboard. According to Bonhams, around 200 Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pre-assembled personal computers to hit the market. This particular model is believed to be part of a first batch of 50 and was sold for US$666.66 at the time. It is said to be in working order and, complete with vintage keyboard, Sanyo monitor and owner’s manual, is expected to attract bids between US$300,000 and $500,000.

German-American Day Assistance from the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV)

This happened two days ago but I learned of it today. Anyone with German ancestry will probably be interested in this web genealogy resource year-round.

October 6 is German-American Day, commemorating the first German settlers in what later became the USA on October 6, 1683. 300 years later, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan declared this date to become the German-American Day in the U.S. The Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV) has created a new section on the organization’s web site called German-American Genealogy.

Quoting from the web page:

Following the historical path and also in further development of the Declaration of Salt Lake City by the DAGV and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) in the US on March 22, 2013 we as German umbrella organisation present this site for intensify the contact not only between the our two but between all genealogical societies and researchers on genealogy in both of our countries dealing with people that are interested in that special topic.

We are supporting contacts to make researching more easy on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: for the one who wants to find his ancestors coming from Germany mostly by leaving the ports of Hamburg or Bremerhaven, for the other one who wants to find offspring of former immigrants to America in today. Both could lead to a vivid connection in present families.

FGS 2015 and RootsTech 2015 Together: How Will That Work?

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has held an annual conference for many years. RootsTech also has held annual conferences in the past few years. In a few months, the two organizations will do something unusual: they will each hold their own conferences in the same facility at the same time. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and RootsTech are teaming up to bring you that event in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 11–14 at the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC). Yes, two conferences, one location.

This radical change will provide two genealogy conferences happening at the same time under one roof while sharing some activities, sessions, and space. There will be only one exhibitors’ hall. How will all that work? Most of the answers are given at http://voice.fgs.org/2014/09/two-conferences-one-location-how-will.html.

Tennessee Partnership with Ancestry.com Allows Students to Search for Ancestors and for State History

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is launching a new partnership with the popular genealogy site, Ancestry.com. The two have collaborated for several years, digitizing many of Tennessee’s historical records. A new agreement provides access to the digitized records to every public school classroom in the state. Ancestry.com is offering access to the records free of charge.

Students will have free access to 14 billion records across the 30,000 databases on Ancestry Institution, such as U.S. Census records from 1790 to 1940, as well as military records and Newspapers.com, another Ancestry-owned website.

ICAPGen Family History Conference

The following was written by the organizers of the ICAPGen Family History Conference:

The annual family history conference co-sponsored by ICAPGen and the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University will be held on Saturday, November 1, 2014 in the Joseph F. Smith building on the BYU campus. Come celebrate 50 years of genealogical credentialing with some amazing classes on accreditation, professional research, methodology, technology and DNA research. The luncheon speaker will be David Rencher. Lunch is included in the low price of the conference. It will be a great day! Go to http://www.icapgen.org to see the conference schedule. Sign up for the conference online here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/icapgen-2014-conference-tickets-12947561505.

BillionGraves Introduces 5 New Features

BillionGraves now claims to have the world’s largest collection of GPS tagged headstones. Its competitor, Find-A-Grave, still has more headstones catalogued, but the majority of those do not have GPS locations. In a small cemetery, the GPS location of an individual headstone may not be important but in larger cemeteries it can be a critical piece of information for anyone seeking to visit the tombstone.

Saturday, October 18, is Home Movie Day

Do you have old home movies created by familiar members some years ago? If so, mark this date on your calendar: October 18, 2014.

Shot on 8 mm, Super 8, and 16 mm film, the movies often contain cherished family memories and invaluable social and historical images, but few people have the equipment to view them. Fewer still know how to maintain them for future generations.

If you do not see the video above on your screen, you can watch it at: http://vimeo.com/103197932.

According to the Center for Home Movies’ web site: Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held annually at many local venues worldwide. Home Movie Day events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors’ in turn. It’s a chance to discover why to care about these films and to learn how best to care for them. Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held annually at many local venues worldwide. Home Movie Day events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors’ in turn. It’s a chance to discover why to care about these films and to learn how best to care for them.”

MyHeritage is Now Available at Subscribing Libraries and Educational Institutions Worldwide

More genealogy information is now available to everyone online, if your local library subscribes to a newly-announced service from MyHeritage. You can access the MyHeritage Library Edition™ either at your local library or in the comfort of your own home by using remote access. The following announcement was written by the folks at MyHeritage:

MyHeritage partners with EBSCO Information Services to bring MyHeritage to libraries and educational institutions worldwide

Leading family history network launches an institutional version of its service and unveils exclusive partnership to provide any educational facility with instant access to centuries of history in billions of historical documents from all over the world.

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah & IPSWICH, Mass – October 7, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced a significant expansion into the institutional education market, with the launch of a dedicated, high-performance family history service for institutions and the signing of a strategic partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) to distribute it exclusively.

As the leading provider of online research content for libraries and other institutions, EBSCO’s partnership with MyHeritage reaffirms its commitment to providing first-class content to libraries at affordable prices.

23andMe Expands Into Canada

23andMe, is now offering health and ancestry information based on analysis of DNA to Canadians. Founded in 2006, the company provides home-based saliva-testing kits, which customers send in for genetic analysis.

23andMe will charge Canadian clients CDN$199 plus shipping for its personal genome service through 23andMe.ca, which the company says will help them to better understand their health and ancestry and “to possibly discover new relatives.”

Canadians will have access to 108 health-related reports that includes information on genetic risk factors for various health conditions, potential drug responses, genetic traits and inherited conditions.

It sounds to me as if 23andMe is offering not only genealogy-related testing but also is offering the medical testing that was stopped in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration. Obviously, there is no prohibition (so far) about offering the same service in other countries. The Canadians will benefit from having access to medical testing that is prohibited for Americans unless they get a doctor to order similar, but very expensive, tests for a patient.

Philadelphia Area Residents are Invited to attend Video Tapings of “Genealogy Roadshow”

The public can watch as preselected local residents have family mysteries revealed on camera with featured genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco. The results will become part of the “Genealogy Roadshow” television program on PBS.

These free events will take place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (lines form at 8 a.m.) at these locations: Saturday, Oct. 25 — The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St. and Sunday, Oct. 26 — The Franklin Institute, 271 N. 21st St.

Combating IRS Refund Fraud: The Next Profile in Courage?

The following was written by Fred Moss of the Records Preservation and Access Committee, a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies:

The continuing vulnerability for the IRS online filing system to refund fraud by identity theft has been much in the news in recent days.

It was the focus of the CBS 60 Minutes broadcast Sunday evening, the 21st of September which featured interviews ranging from the fourth IRS commissioner in the last two years, film clips from the Congressional testimonies of his predecessors, and “expert” testimony from a former identity thief.

http://www.cbs.com/shows/60_minutes/video/RzmZGQTr7RPHG2pfxMj4ufrsdTRnQXPd/biggest-irs-scam-around-identity-tax-refund-fraud/

The broadcast also anticipated the public release on Monday, the 22nd of September of a Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) Report responding to a request from key members of Congress entitled: “Identity Theft – Additional Actions Could Help IRS Combat the Large, Evolving Threat of Refund Fraud.”

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-633

What GAO Found

(+) Calendars Explained

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

What could be simpler than a calendar? The printed one from the local real estate office shows twelve months, each with 28 to 31 days. Simple, right?

Well, it hasn’t always been so simple. After all, I keep stumbling upon genealogy records that are logged with “double dates.” That is, a birth record might state “22 February 1732/3.” Which was it: 1732 or 1733? Well, it actually was both. Just to make things more complex, most of our ancestors didn’t know what day it was. You see, most people in the early 1700s and earlier were illiterate. They couldn’t read a book, much less a calendar. Most people did not know what day it was or even how old they were. Very few remembered their own birthdays.

Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750

Would you enjoy a comic book dedicated to history? Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 may be the answer.

Edited by Jason Rodriguez and created in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Concord Museum, Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 features tales about free thinkers, female business owners, Jewish settlers, and other little-known real-life characters.

Colonial Comics is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. Created in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Concord Museum, the illustrated stories will focus on tales normally not documented in most history books. The books will include stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life.

Attention French-Canadian Descendants: Did You Inherit Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy?

Not only do genealogists have the opportunity to learn about their ancestors, but they can also learn about various inherited diseases. Some of these medical conditions could be life-threatening while others are merely an inconvenience. By studying inherited diseases floating around in your family, you may save or prolong your own life or the lives of your loved ones. By identifying the risks early in a person’s life, medical treatment often can be much more effective than the limited choices available after the medical condition becomes obvious.

I find it interesting that one French-Canadian couple in the 1600s who are the ancestors of millions of living people have tentatively been identified as carriers of a common form of muscular dystrophy. It became more than “interesting,” however, when I recognized the names of this couple as my ninth great-grandparents. Suddenly it wasn’t just “interesting;” it was personal!

If you have French-Canadian ancestry, now is the time to check your pedigree charts.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 183 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, China, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Ukraine, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch adds more than 183 million indexed records and images to Belgium, China, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Ukraine, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 66,586,112 indexed records from the England and Wales, Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008, collection; the 6,142,790 images from the US, Missouri, Probate Records, 1750-1998, collection; and the 1,019,409 images from the US, Washington, County Records, 1803-2010, 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.

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