Posts By Dick Eastman

Join the Guild of One-Name Studies at the WDYTYA Live show Birmingham

The following announcement was written by the Guild of One-Name Studies:

Join the Guild of One-Name Studies at the Who Do You Think You Are? – Live Birmingham show (16th to 18th April 2015), thereby saving £1 on the normal rate for April joiners and receive a special “show time only” goody bag. A special show offer of £22 will cover full membership to the Guild of One-Name Studies for a period of 19 months up to 1 November 2016. The current rate for anyone taking out an extended Guild membership in April 2015 is £23. New Guild members joining at the show will receive a goody bag comprising a “Special Guild 8Gb USB drive” (priced £9.00 at the show) which has the Guilds Members handbook, The Art of One-Name Studies “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” book (hard copy usually £7.00), the 2014 Guild Register and all 132 back issues of the Guild Journal of One-Name Studies pre-loaded, a Guild Lanyard and a Guild pen, along with their normal Guild joining pack.

Guild of One-Name Studies Announces Election of Paul Howes as Chairman

The following announcement was written by the Guild of One-Name Studies:

Paul Howes has been elected as the new Chairman of the Guild of One-Name Studies at the Guild’s annual Conference and AGM held at the Forest Pines Resort, Broughton, Lincolnshire on Saturday 28th March 2015. Paul will be the 14th Chairman of the Guild in its 36 year history.

The Chairman of the Guild of One-Name Studies is ultimately responsible to the Guild membership for the proper and efficient running of the Guild, a worldwide organization with 2,630+ members. In his role as Chairman Paul aims to be a good ambassador of the Guild. His duties will include the overall coordination of the Guild’s administration; attending Guild events and those of other Family History/Genealogical Societies on behalf of the Guild. Paul is available to all Guild members to respond to queries and to give guidance and advice about the Guild as needed.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live Next Week in Birmingham, England

This article is primarily for newsletter readers who live in the UK or for anyone else who can be in Birmingham next week.

If you are interested in family history and if you can be in Birmingham next week, you will want to visit the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference being held in the Birmingham NEC from April 16 to 18. Now in it’s nineth year, the show’s visitors will again have access to leading genealogical experts, informative workshops, more than 120 specialist exhibitors, archives and museums, major online resources and the largest gathering of family history societies. One thing that is different this year is the location: the show has moved from London to Birmingham.

One thing that is unique to all the Who Do You Think You Are? Live events is the number of television personalities that appear in person. After all, the conference is closely affiliated with the popular television programme so several of the personalities who have appeared in the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? television programme may be seen at the show. Actress Tamzin Outhwaite, comedian Alistair McGowan and presenter Reggie Yates will all be in attendance at next week’s show in Birmingham.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.3 Million Indexed Records and Images for the Czech Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, Ukraine, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added to its collections more than 2.3 million indexed records and images for the Czech Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, Ukraine, and the United States. Notable collection updates include 771,097 images from the New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843–1998 collection; 417,808 indexed records and 417,808 images from the US, BillionGraves Index collection; and 411,325 indexed records from the Mexico, San Luis Potosí, Civil Registration, 1859–2000collection. 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

Why You Need a Temporary Credit Card Number

This may not be a genealogy issue but it certainly is important for security and peace of mind.

One of the things I detest about many web sites is that when you sign up for a subscription and pay with a credit card, the site automatically renews your subscription when it expires. Some web sites will automatically renew without even the courtesy of notifying you in advance. They keep on billing, and you cannot easily shut down the offending vendor.

Of course, you could cancel the credit card itself, but that usually isn’t convenient.

Another risk, although rare, is that someone might obtain your credit card number surreptitiously and make illegal charges against it. While all online charges are insured by the credit card companies so that you will never lose any money, going through the process of filing a claim and getting your money back can be inconvenient, at best. I think it is better to stop such an illegal transaction BEFORE it occurs.

Luckily, these problems are easily prevented if you take appropriate steps in advance.

“I Un-Friend You and I Un-Marry You”

A New York County Supreme Court judge ruled that 26-year-old nurse Ellanora Baidoo can serve divorce papers to her soon-to-be ex-husband, Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, via Facebook. The ruling is one of the first of its kind, and it comes at a time when even standard e-mail is still not “statutorily authorized” as a primary means of service, the judge wrote.

The Burger-King Wedding

I’d like to introduce you to the future Mr. and Mrs. Burger-King. It seems that Joel Burger and Ashley King of Illinois are getting married, finally uniting the two warring families of the fast food kingdom and bringing peace to our land. No, this isn’t a joke. A Burger-King wedding is happening. This should be an interesting entry in some genealogy databases! Details may be found at

I thought it was a nice touch that the engagement photos were taken at a local Burger King fast food restaurant.

Did You Find the Correct Ancestor? Many People Did Not as Shown by Numerous Published Articles about Hillary Clinton’s Family Tree

Megan Smolenyak has published an article that I would suggest should be required reading for all genealogists. She discovered that most of the published reports of Hillary Clinton’s ancestry have (at least) 25% of their information wrong. It seems that two women with the same name were born in the same area within a short time of each other. Guess which one most writers claim was Hillary’s grandmother? Yes, the wrong one.

You can read Megan’s article at

Ok, so what’s in your family tree? Is your information 100% correct?

NGS Releases Mobile Conference App for 2015 Family History Conference

The following announcement was written by the folks at the National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 6 APRIL 2015—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the release of the Mobile Conference App for the NGS 2015 Family History Conference, which will be held 13‒16 May 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri. To download the free NGS Conference App, go to Mobile App.

The NGS Conference App is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and web-enabled devices. Search your app store for NGS Family History Conferences.

Latest Version of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Tony Goldywn is now Available on iTunes

If you missed last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Tony Goldywn, you can now retrieve it from iTunes for $2.99. Previous episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? are also available. A Season Pass to all of this year’s episodes costs $14.99.

To view the episodes, launch the iTunes Software on your Windows, Macintosh, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch device and search for “Who Do You Think You Are?”

NOTE: iTunes videos and music apparently can be copied to Android devices as well although the process is rather complicated. I haven’t tried that myself but an article at seems to describe the process.

(+) Communicating in the Cemeteries

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

Communicating in the cemeteries??? No, I am not referring to communications with or amongst the “long-term residents” of a cemetery. Instead, I’m writing about communications for visitors to a cemetery. Namely, the genealogists who visit a cemetery looking for information about deceased relatives.

I generally try to visit a cemetery with a friend or two. We mentally divide the cemetery into sections, and then each person searches through his or her section alone. The other friends are doing the same in a different section. I have done this many times and suspect that you have, too. Having two or more people involved increases the enjoyment of the search as well as the safety of everyone involved.

There are disadvantages, however. Upon discovering a particular tombstone, you may have to shout to the other person to make them aware of your discovery. In a large cemetery, the other person(s) may be some distance away, making shouting impractical.

The Best History Apps

Kate Wiles has posted an article on the HistoryToday web site that probably will interest many genealogists and historians. It is “Our pick of the finest history-related apps for your smartphone or tablet.”

Apps described include Digital Libraries, Tools and Learning, and Interactive. She also provides links to other articles about history apps for smartphones and tablets.

See for Kate Wiles’ list.

Carignan Soldiers or Soldat Carignan

In 1665 King Louis XIV ordered the Carignan-Salieres Regiment to Canada to help save the Royal Colony from destruction at the hands of the Iroquois Indians. Between June and September 1665, some twenty-four companies of 1200 soldiers and their officers of the Carignan-Salières Regiment arrived in Quebec under the leadership of Lt. General Alexander de Prouville, Sieur de Tracy.

The Carignan-Salieres Regiment was the first regular military unit to serve in Canada. Almost immediately upon arrival, they launched an attack upon the Indians in the dead of winter, and the regiment was almost destroyed. Nevertheless, within months the Regiment stabilized the situation, ensuring the survival of the French colony.

The Regiment established a series of forts along the Richelieu River and conducted another successful campaign into the land of the Mohawk Indians, leading to a long period of peace. The colony prospered as a result. However, King Louis XIV’s plan also included the permanent settlement of many of the soldiers and officers in Canada. Following their service, many of the soldiers stayed on in Canada.

I Have a Complaint Concerning Many Genealogists

Warning: This article contains personal opinions.

This is an almost exact duplicate of an article I posted several years ago. The topic has come up again lately so I decided to publish it again for the benefit of those who did not read or do not remember the original article. I have changed a few words to make sure it covers recent comments.

I have a complaint that may upset some people, including some who read this newsletter. I will probably lose readers because of this article, but I don’t care. Like many of my readers, I feel so strongly about this issue that I just have to speak out – hold the sugar coating.

Some people are so shortsighted that they manage to ignore certain facts that are blatantly obvious to others.

In short, every time I post an article or someone’s press release about some new genealogy data becoming available on a fee-based web site, a great hue and cry arises from the nay-sayers. The comments they post on this newsletter’s web site and elsewhere vary in wording but have a common theme: “The information is public and should remain free to all of us and not be the private property of some company.”

I am amazed at the folks who actually believe this bit of misinformation.

UK Ordnance Survey Adds Four New Products to its Open Data Portfolio

This is a great resource for anyone wanting to know where their UK ancestors lived or worked. If you have found an address in an old record, the UK Ordnance Survey Open Data Portfolio probably can show you the location on a FREE map. Here is the announcement from the Ordnance Survey:

Free to use location, roads, rivers and map products from OS.

OS continues its investment in digital innovation as a means of stimulating the economy with today’s release of four new exciting open data products. The products made available by OS offer users increased detail and accuracy and the opportunity for analytics. They are fully customisable and can work together or be imported and integrated with the users own software and database.

OS Open Map – Local provides a customisable backdrop for users to map, visualise and fully understand their data. This new product provides the most detailed level of buildings in OS’s open data suite and is designed to be used with other open data products.

Update: A $129 Chromebook

Since I published the article of A $129 Chromebook at yesterday, several newsletter readers have written to ask if their favorite application(s) will run on a Chromebook. I am always willing to look those up for you but there is a faster and probably easier way to do it yourself: go to the Chrome Web Store at and enter the name of your desired application into the box labeled “Search the store” and then press Enter.

New Jersey to Allow Access to Birth Records for People Adopted in the State

Beginning in 2017, an adult adopted child whose adoption took place in New Jersey can request to obtain a non-certified copy of their original birth record. They will not be able to use the original birth record as proof of identification or for any other legal purposes.

(+) Does Your Genealogy Society Have a Blog?

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

Individuals, non-profits, and companies publish blogs for a variety of reasons. Some blogs are launched for marketing purposes; others are posted just for fun. However, I will suggest that all genealogy societies should have a blog. In fact, a genealogy society’s blog is generally much more effective than a static web page or printed and mailed newsletters.

Here are a few reasons for starting a society blog:

Microsoft Releases a Document Scanner App for iPhones and Android

Scanner apps have been available for some time for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android. These apps allow users to take photos of a document and turn it into a editable file, including OCR conversion to text, such as a .DOC file that works in most any word processor. These apps are great for genealogists who often need copies of old documents or pages from a book.

Microsoft released Office Lens for the Windows Phone a while ago, an app that takes images with a cell phone camera and converts them into editable .DOC files. However, few people could use Office Lens because Windows Phone commands only about 3% of the smartphone market. All that is changing now. This week, Microsoft released Office Lens for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The app is available today free of charge.

Findmypast Adds UK National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914; United States Army Enlistments, 1798-1914; Australian Records; and More

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

This Findmypast Friday marks the release of nearly 2 million records in the second phase of the National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914 project. This week’s additions also include over 1.3 million US army enlistment records, Australian burial records and British Military records from the First World War.

UK National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914


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