Call for Presentations for the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2017

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

OGSConf2017The annual Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2017 will be held in Ottawa on June 16-18, 2017 at Algonquin College. The theme of the conference is Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation. As 2017 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada, Ottawa Branch OGS will host the annual OGS conference and give the Conference a national flair, bringing together genealogists and family historians from all over Canada. We are looking for speakers and talks of interest to genealogists from all provinces.

(+) Does It Still Make Sense to Buy Genealogy CDs?

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

nocdSeveral articles have appeared online in the past few years describing the slowly dying music CD business. In short, sales of CD disks are being replaced by directly downloading music online to iPods, computers, and other music playback devices. Remember the record and CD stores that used to be available at your local mall? Where have they all gone?

You can find dozens of articles about the declining sales of music CDs if you start at Those articles got me thinking: if sales of music CDs are plummeting, can data CDs be far behind?

A Windows 10 Laptop for $150

I have often written, “the price of hardware keeps dropping,” and that has never been more true than today. Lenovo, a well-respected manufacturer of laptop and other computers, has just announced a Windows laptop with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $199. Of course, retailers are always able to discount retail prices, and BestBuy has done just that. The Lenovo IdeaPad 100S is available from BestBuy for only $149.99. The BestBuy web site lists that laptop as “on sale” but does not list a sale ending date.

Lenovo IdeaPad 100S

This is not a Chromebook or some stripped-down tablet computer. It is not a refurbished computer. Instead, it is a full-sized Windows 10 laptop, capable of running any Windows genealogy program available today and probably most other Windows program as well. It is available today from BestBuy.

Deceased Online Adds Records for North East Lincolnshire

The following announcement was written by Deceased Online:

Grimsby’s Scartho Road cemetery, Scartho Road crematorium, and Cleethorpes cemetery are the three sites managed by North East Lincolnshire Council with their records now on

There are nearly 400,000 records and over 170,000 named burials and cremations for the area, which date back to 1877 and feature records that represent the history and economy of the region. The records available comprise digital scans of original burial and cremation registers, grave details for each burial and cemetery maps indicating the section for each burial.


Cleethorpes Cemetery Register Page

Possible Method to Validate “Family Legends” and Other Questionable Claims

Most families have “legends,” claims of ancestry that have been handed down from generation to generation. Examples include claims of an ancestor who was a Cherokee princess, three brothers who immigrated together then later split up to go to three different locations, and claims that the family name was changed at Ellis Island.

NOTE: Almost all these claims turn out to be bogus.

Dave Jack of Timaru, New Zealand, is devising a framework for assessing claims of family links, including how DNA samples could be used to verify them. adds Freemasonry Membership Registers for England and Ireland has added two new collections to hep find the the Freemasons in your family. The announcement came from but the same records seem to be available on These records include a lot more than English and Irish records. They also include some entries for lodges located in Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Some of the records in this collection include: Brecon and Carmarthen (Wales), Montreal, Halifax and Portland (Canada),  Christiana, Port Elizabeth, Barkley West, Cape Town and Machadodorp (South Africa), Invercargill (New Zealand), also South Australia.

The new Freemasonry Membership Registers for England and Ireland typically include name, profession, initiation date and other personal information.

The collections are individually titled as follows:

New Records Available To Search at Findmypast

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of two fascinating UK collections, updates to our collection of historic British newspapers and the ability to browse Findmypast’s largest single collection.

Almost 10,000 volumes of England & Wales electoral registers are now available to browse, making it is now easier than ever before to uncover the history of your home and local area. Records available to search this weekend include social & institutional records covering daily life in 18th and 19th century Devon, a list of British WW1 volunteers from Argentina and millions of brand new British newspapers articles.

England & Wales, electoral registers 1832-1932 Browse

National Genealogical Society Announces Program for the 2016 Family History Conference

The following announcement was written by the U.S. National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 20 NOVEMBER 2015—The National Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the release of its 2016 Family History Conference program. The program, which includes more than 170 lectures, is now available online at and as a sixteen-page registration brochure, which can be downloaded at

Nationally known speakers and subject matter experts will address a broad array of topics, including records for Florida and its neighboring states; migration into and out of the region; military records; state and federal records. Other topics will discuss genealogical research on African Americans and women; methodology; analysis and problem solving; and the use of technology, including genetics, mobile devices, and apps useful in genealogical research.

The Origins of the Melungeons

Melungeon_family“Melungeon” is a term applied to many people of the Southeastern United States, mainly in the Cumberland Gap area of central Appalachia: East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and East Kentucky. The most common adjective used to describe the Melungeons is “mysterious;” no one seems to know where the Melungeons originated. The Melungeons often did not fit into any of the racial categories that define an individual or group within American society; their neighbors considered them neither white, black, nor Indian.

The Melungeons appear to be of mixed ancestry, and contradictory claims about the origins of these people have existed for centuries. Most modern-day descendants of Melungeon families are generally Caucasian in appearance, often, although not always, with dark hair and eyes, and a swarthy or olive complexion. Descriptions of Melungeons vary widely from observer to observer, from “Middle Eastern” to “Native American” to “light-skinned African American.”

Hotel Reservations Open for the FGS 2016 Conference in Springfield, Illinois

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

November 19, 2015 – Austin, TX – Two Springfield, Illinois hotels are now taking reservations for The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2016 Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” which will be held August 31 – September 3, 2016 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.


The Wyndham Springfield City Centre (formerly the Hilton Springfield) and The President Abraham Lincoln Springfield (a DoubleTree hotel by Hilton) will offer reduced rates to attendees of the FGS 2016 Conference. Each hotel is conveniently located near the Prairie Capital Convention Center and each hotel will offer a courtesy bus from the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport and Amtrak station.

LXLE: A full-featured Operating System for an Aging PC

If you have an aging Windows computer that just can’t keep up with today’s Windows programs, you have three choices:

  1. Live with the problem
  2. Spend lots of money to purchase a new PC
  3. Replace your old Windows operating system with a new one, designed to run on older, lower-powered computers.

If you select option #3, you probably will soon be looking at a number of solutions based on Linux or Chromebook operating systems. One version of the Linux operating system you should consider is LXLE. It is an easy-to-use operating system, designed for computer novices as well as experienced Windows users who don’t want to spend money for a more powerful system.

LXLE_screenshot_2 Files a Trademark Case Against DNA Diagnostics Center for the Marketing of “AncestryByDNA”

DNA expert CeCe Moore has written about a trademark infringement law suit involving DNA testing that has been filed in the Ohio Southern District Court in Cincinnati. The article may be found in CeCe’s Your Genetic Genealogist blog at

Help Wanted: Brand Manager at Eneclann in Dublin

Want to live in or near Dublin, Ireland? Are you an experienced team manager? Do you have experience in customer service, especially in the heritage/education sector? Do you have at least 2 years’ experience in content or website management? If so, you will be interested in the help wanted ad at

Amazon’s $49.99 7-inch Fire Tablet Computer to be Available for $34.99

A few weeks ago, I wrote a Plus Edition article about my experiences with Amazon’s new $49.99 7-inch Fire Tablet Computer that runs a modified version of the Android operating system. That article is still available at A Plus Edition user name and password is needed to read the article.

Now that same tablet will soon be available at an even lower price: $34.99.

Amazon will be offering a number of “Black Friday” specials, including one on the Fire Tablet. However, Amazon’s version of “Black Friday” will not be continuous. Sale prices will appear and disappear at various times for several days. Details may be found in an article by Sarah Mitroff in the C|Net web site at

New FamilySearch Collections Update: November 9, 2015

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Nearly half a million more free records were added to the Billions Graves Index this week. Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939Minnesota Duluth and Wisconsin Superior Crew Lists 1922-1958Poland Evangelical Church Books 1700-2005, and the US Freedmen’s Bureau Hospital and Marriage Records also have significant additions. For these and more, follow the links below.

(+) Hands On with the new iPad Pro

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

If Donald Trump were here, he probably would say, “It’s hu-u-u-uge.”

iPadPro-1Apple started shipping the new iPad Pro last week. I ordered one in the morning of the first day and specified that I wanted to pick it up at a local Apple Store. About 20 minutes later, I received a text message saying that the iPad Pro was ready for pickup. I was in the store a few minutes later and walked out with a very large iPad Pro under my arm.

This article gives my first impressions of using it, including running a couple of genealogy apps on the new tablet’s 12.9-inch Retina display (I’ll round that number up a fraction and call it a 13-inch display). This display screen is 2 inches larger than that of the MacBook Air laptop computer I have been using for several years. Not only is the display large, it is also very high resolution at 2732 by 2048 pixels. Apple uses the term “Retina display” as a marketing concept for their high-resolution LCD displays, the idea being that a display has “Retina” quality if the human eye can’t distinguish between individual pixels anymore at a typical viewing distance. This Retina display produces super-sharp images, almost as good as a painting hanging on the wall. The difference is that this “painting” provides full-motion video.

Progeny Genealogy Adds RTF Output Format Option to Reports

I have written several times in the past about the beautiful charts produced by Progeny Software’s products. (See for my past articles.) Now the company has added Rich Text Format (RTF) to the available options for output. Now you can now save Ancestor, Descendant, Hourglass and Bowtie charts in RTF format, to view in a word processing document. The Progeny Genealogy web site (at states:

The benefits of RTF are:

Pulitzer Prize Winning Biographer, Historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, to keynote RootsTech 2016

The following announcement was written by the folks at RootsTech:

(SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—November 4, 2015)—RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced Doris Kearns Goodwin has joined its lineup of keynote speakers. Goodwin, a world-renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning author, will speak at the RootsTech general session on Saturday, February 6, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Goodwin will share her insights into the personal and family lives of past presidential leaders and the influence their ancestors had on their personalities, behavior, decisions, and careers. She will also share anecdotes about her own family and experiences which have shaped and influenced her life

Goodwin has been hailed by New York magazine as “America’s historian-in-chief” for her in-depth scrutiny into the lives, actions, and family influences of America’s presidents, and the history of the country. She provided extensive subject matter expertise for PBS and the History Channel’s documentaries on the Kennedy family, LBJ, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham and Mary Lincoln, and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball and The History of The Civil War. She also worked with Steven Spielberg on the movie Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Thomasville (Georgia) Genealogical Library to Relocate to Thomas University

Thomas University’s Main Campus will soon be the home of the Thomasville Genealogical, History and Fine Arts Library. Formerly located on Broad Street in downtown Thomasville, the library will be relocated to the Eugenia P. Smitha Building on TU’s Main Campus at the intersection of Pinetree Boulevard and Millpond Road.

Harvard’s Digital Portrait of Colonial Life

Harvard University has launched a new website called the Colonial North American Project. It includes 150,000 images of diaries, journals, notebooks, and other rare documents from the 17th and 18th centuries. Many more documents are planned to be added in the coming months.


Part of the University’s endeavor to digitize all its collections and make them available free of charge, the Colonial North American Project contains material scattered throughput 12 repositories — from Houghton Library to the Harvard University Archives to Loeb Music Library. When complete, the project will make available to the world digitized images of all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th and 18th century North America. These documents reveal a great deal about topics such as social life, education, trade, finance, politics, revolution, war, women, Native American life, slavery, science, medicine, and religion.


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