This Newsletter

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few hours ago. If your email provider blocked it, don’t forget that the latest Plus Edition newsletter is ALWAYS available at: Your email provider cannot block that address so the newsletter is always available to you.

Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

(+) How to become a Paid Genealogy Speaker

(+) Internet Archive Wants to Store Everything, Including Books

Both the RootsTech 2015 and FGS 2015 Conferences will be Held on February 11–14

You are Invited to the EOGN Dinner after the RootsTech/FGS Conference in Salt Lake City

January 25 is Robert Burns Day So Let’s Eat Vegetarian Haggis

Is There Any Such Thing as a Half-Cousin?

Genealogy Roadshow, Season 2, Episode 2

Amazon Kindle Textbook Creator

You are Invited to the EOGN Dinner after the RootsTech/FGS Conference in Salt Lake City

Do you think you will be hungry after the RootsTech/FGS Conference in Salt Lake City? Would you like to have dinner with a large group of genealogists? If so, join us for dinner! You are invited to join other genealogists on Saturday evening after the RootsTech 2015 conference for dinner. Rumor has it there will also be a few door prizes.

This dinner will be held at 7:30 PM, immediately after the close of the RootsTech/FGS 2015 Conference on February 14. You are invited whether you subscribe to the newsletter or not. Bring your friends and family also.

A Message for Plus Edition Subscribers

The Plus Edition version of the newsletter is sent to every Plus Edition subscriber once a week. Usually it is on Sunday evenings although occasionally it will be on Monday. The process works well although not perfectly.

Based upon feedback from Plus Edition subscribers, I am guessing that about 95% to 98% of the email messages get delivered to the addressees. The other 2% to 5% get blocked by spam filters in the receiving email servers. Sadly, that is a very common for all individuals and companies that send a lot of email messages, especially if they are long messages. The longer the message, the more likely it will be blocked by spam filters.

The problem seems to be getting worse in the past few weeks. I am receiving more and more reports of non-delivery these days. Luckily, there is a simple solution.

This Newsletter is Nineteen Years Old!

I’m opening a bottle of champagne this week to celebrate. It is a great time of celebration. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever dream that 19 years would be so interesting, so much fun, and so rewarding.

Nineteen years has slipped by in almost the blink of an eye. It seems like only yesterday that I sent the first e-mail newsletter to about 100 people, mostly members of CompuServe’s Genealogy Forums. None of them knew in advance that the newsletter would arrive; I simply mailed it to people who I thought might be interested. In 1996 nobody objected to receiving unsolicited bulk mail; the phrase “spam mail” had not yet been invented. I shudder to think if I did the same thing in today’s Internet environment.

Here is a quote from that first newsletter published on January 15, 1996:

Happy Holidays!

I would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

Quick Note: I am Taking a Couple of Days Off

I plan to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with family and friends. Don’t look for any new articles in this newsletter for a couple of days.

Give the Gift of an EOGN Newsletter Subscription

Want to give someone a subscription to this newsletter as a Christmas or birthday gift? Well, I think it is a great idea! If you agree with me, the process for giving a newsletter subscription is simple.

To create the gift, click on this address: and send me a message with the recipient’s name and email address. Please tell me the date the subscription is supposed to start. For instance, do you want it to start immediately or on Christmas Day or on some other date? Also, please state if it is for a 3-month ($5.95) or a 12-month ($19.95) subscription.

On the Road Again

As I often write in this newsletter, I will be traveling for a few days. I will be making presentations on board a cruise ship in the eastern Caribbean as part of a genealogy cruise. (See for details about the cruise.)

By the time you read these words, I will already be on the road or perhaps at sea. I am traveling with an iPad and a laptop computer, a wireless cellular modem, and wi-fi networking as well so theoretically I should be able to post new newsletter articles while I am traveling. However, my experience with cruise ships is that Internet connections are both very slow and prohibitively expensive. Besides, I may have other activities planned besides staying inside staring at a computer screen. I already do enough of that as it is on other weeks! As a result, you may not see as any new articles posted here for the next week.

A note to Plus Edition subscribers:

Share These Articles!

Someone asked the question today so I’ll answer it here in public in case anyone else has the same question:

Unlike many other genealogy web sites, I invite you to copy the articles from the Standard Edition of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and to publish them elsewhere. You can publish them in your own web site, in newsgroups, in your society’s (printed or online) newsletter, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or most anyplace else, as long as it is for non-commercial purposes. I do ask that you attribute the source of the article(s) you publish.

You don’t have to ask permission. As stated in the Nike ad, “Just Do It.”

I do ask that you not republish the Plus Edition articles. Those are the ones marked with a (+) plus sign in the titles, such as:

On the Road Again

As I often write in this newsletter, I will be traveling for a few days. I will be making presentations at the Western Michigan Genealogical Society’s Annual Seminar this weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (See for the details of the conference.) I have attended a conference at the Western Michigan Genealogical Society before and enjoyed it. I suspect this year’s event will be the same.

I am already on the road. This article is being written in Baltimore’s BWI Airport where I am awaiting a connecting flight. I will return home very late Sunday evening.

How to Make Gmail Always Place this Newsletter in the In-box, not in the Spam Folder

I like Gmail but there is one issue with Gmail that really annoys me. Gmail’s spam filters look at every new incoming email message and then make a decision whether to place the message in the In-box, in the Spam folder, or to block it entirely. Often, those spam filters place the EOGN newsletters in the Spam Folder.

Luckily, you can easily change Gmail’s defaults and tell the mail service to always place any message containing this newsletter into the In-box, never in the Spam Folder. To do so:

On the Road Again, This Time to Scotland

As I often write in this newsletter, I will be traveling for a while. This time it is a bit different: I am going on a longer trip and I am combining genealogy with tourism.

I am leaving Thursday morning, August 21, and will be gone for ten days, returning home on August 31. My primary purpose of the trip is to attend the Who Do You Think You Are? Live expo in Glasgow, Scotland. However, I am leaving a week early to (1.) get used to the time zone change and (2.) to be a tourist traveling around Scotland. I will spend some time in the Highlands and on the Isle of Skye. I will also stop by Loch Ness to check on the status of Nessie.

Coming Up: Reviews of Genealogy Software

I am planning to write and publish reviews of all the more popular genealogy programs. That will include current genealogy programs for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android, and Apple iOS (used on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices) as well as cloud-based genealogy programs that are available on the World Wide Web. The reviews will be published roughly once a week or so, depending upon my travel schedule and the time available. If you are thinking of upgrading to a new program, you may be interested in these reviews.

The first review has been published today: RootsMagic, a very popular genealogy program for Windows. You can read that review at

A Comment About Comments

A newsletter reader posted multiple comments late last night, all of them containing more or less the same message. He then posted a last comment questioning why his previous comments didn’t “go through.” I decided to address “the problem” here in case others have the same question.

No comments posted to this newsletter at ever “go through” until they are approved by myself. All newly-posted comments go to a hidden area that only I can see. Once I read the comment, I can make it visible to everyone with one mouseclick or I can erase it permanently with a different mouseclick.

More than 50% of all the comments posted are spam messages, some days it is 75% or more. The comments range from promotions of male sexual enhancement products to advertisements for fake reproductions of Rolex watches to mail order sales of pharmaceutical drugs and all sorts of other junk. Others promote various religious or political agendas or contain personal attacks on politicians.

Hey, I’ve Been Interviewed!

Let me engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion. I have recently been interviewed by two other bloggers/writers and both interviews are now available online.

The first is an interview by Brittni Hayes published in The StoryCall Blog at We talked about “user contributed information [that] is chock-full of fairy tales” and also about the use of DNA in genealogy.

Adding Listings to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The Calendar of Genealogy Events is a feature of this newsletter’s web site at 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.

EOGN: The Swimsuit Edition

Hey, if Sports Illustrated and other magazines can produce “swimsuit editions,” why can’t a genealogy newsletter? Therefore, I am delighted to introduce the first (annual?) swimsuit edition of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter:

Update: EOGN Calendar of Genealogy Events

I created the Calendar of Genealogy Events at on May 26, 2013, then moved it to a more powerful web publishing platform on September 21 of the same year. I am pleased with the growth and input from newsletter readers. The Calendar continues to grow and is now becoming a significant resource.

The purpose of the calendar is to provide information about future genealogy conferences, seminars, conventions, cruises, trips, and even online “webinars.” All information is to be provided by you and other readers of this newsletter.

On the Road Again

As I often write in this newsletter, I will be traveling for the next few days. This time it is different: I am going on a personal trip, not genealogy-related.

I’ll be gone Monday through Thursday, June 30 through July 3, possibly through Friday, the Fourth of July. I will take one airline trip and then will drive a bit more than 1,000 miles before returning home.

RSS Newsfeeds for this Newsletter

Many readers of this newsletter use RSS newsreaders to quickly and easily find the newer articles. However, this newsletter’s web site was moved to a new and more reliable hosting service a couple of months ago and then was updated to a more modern software package with several new capabilities. (Click here for the details.) However, the address for the RSS newsfeed changed in the process. In fact, there are now TWO RSS newsfeeds for the Standard Edition newsletter: one for the articles and another for comments to those articles posted by readers.

The articles are now available at while the readers’ comments are available at You will want an RSS newsreader to easily read the information available at those addresses.


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