GenScriber – a FREE Transcription Tool for Genealogy Research

One of the best tools for transcribing old handwritten documents is called GenScriber, a FREE program for Windows and Linux created by Les Hardy. A Macintosh version is also available although it operates as a Windows version packaged inside a wineskin wrapper. While not ideal, the “pseudo-Windows” version is still a reasonable solution for Macintosh users.

GenScriber is a transcription editor for census records, church records, birth, marriage, baptisms, burials, index records, and more. GenScriber is useful for transcribing both free-form text as well as columns of data, such as U.S. census records. It is designed to be used for easily transcribing digital images of old, handwritten documents.

Where to Buy 8-Track Tapes

If you would like to purchase an 8-track tape for nostalgia purposes or perhaps to insert into the tape player of your restored 1965 Ford Mustang, the 8-Track Shack may be your preferred source. The company apparently has a huge inventory. Prices vary widely.

The 8-Track Shack catalog may be found at http://www.8-track-shack.com. The company also sells cassette tapes, records, compact disks, old video games, vintage radios and record players, and more.

Another source of vintage items is eBay at http://www.ebay.com.

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Civil War Records Project

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was an organization of honorably discharged Union veterans of the American Civil War, who organized to promote the principles of “Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.” Applicants for membership had to prove that they were honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue Cutter Service (predecessor to the U.S. Coast Guard), who had served between April 1861 and April 1865.

The great majority of GAR records were maintained by the officers of the local GAR chapters (Posts). Many records were kept in the homes of key officers such as the Post Adjutant (secretary) and the Post Quartermaster (treasurer). Other records were stored at the post headquarters or were kept by the Post Commander. Because of this, the records for a particular Post may not all be archived at the same location.

AncestryDNA Reconstructs Partial Genome of Person Living 200 Years Ago

This could be a monumental announcement for genealogists. Imagine if you could go back in time and see your ancestors. The following announcement was written by Ancestry DNA:

Genetic Networking Technology of DNA Circles(TM) Enables Advancements in Human Genome Reconstruction Methods

PROVO, Utah, Dec. 16, 2014 — AncestryDNA genetic scientists have pushed the boundaries of human genome reconstruction methods by using the DNA of many living people to reassemble an unprecedented proportion of the human genome attributed to a 19th Century American and his two successive spouses. This scientific feat is a step forward in the use of consumer genetics in family history, providing a glimpse into what a long ago ancestor may have looked like or which traits they may have passed down to descendants.

NGS Introduces Revolutionary War Course

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

ARLINGTON, VA, 16 DECEMBER 2014: The National Genealogical Society announced today the release of its newest Continuing Genealogical Studies (CGS) course: Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestors. Developed by military records expert Craig Roberts Scott, CG, FUGA, the new course expands on NGS

In addition to his role as CEO and President of Heritage Books, Inc., Craig Scott has spent decades honing his military research expertise and teaching these skills within the genealogical community. He has coordinated military courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama. His books include Understanding Revolutionary War and Invalid Pension Ledgers 1818-1872 and Pension Payment Vouchers They Represent, and The “Lost” Pensions: Settled Accounts of the Act of 6 April 1838.

Genealogy Cruise by Cruise Everything is a Success

Another genealogy cruise finished yesterday. A group of genealogists on board the Celebrity Silhouette arrived in Fort Lauderdale, sun tanned and full of new genealogy ideas to try. I was fortunate enough to be one of the presenters on board the seven-day cruise, along with Gary and Diana Smith and Jana Sloan Broglin. We made 24 presentations, spread over three days at sea. We also had informal in-person discussion periods, one-on-one consultations, and group breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. There was a LOT of genealogy discussed on this cruise!

Announcing the 2016 Genealogy Cruise by Cruise Everything

Cruise Everything is not resting on the company’s laurels. While the 2014 genealogy cruise has just finished, the company has already announced a new genealogy cruise to be held 13 months from now.

The 7-night western Caribbean cruise will start January 16, 2016, in Miami, then make stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Coco Cay, Bahamas. The cruise on board the Celebrity Reflection will end in Miami on January 23, 2016.

You can click on the image to the right to view a larger version. Additional details will also become available as the date approaches at http://www.CruiseEverything.com.

Mocavo Announces “Twelve Days of Census” Festive Countdown

Every day until Christmas, Mocavo is unlocking a new decade of US census images. Once a decade is unlocked, all community members will be able to access the images through the Mocavo Census Viewer for free. The following decades have already been unlocked: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840.

On December 24th, all community members will enjoy completely unrestricted access to all Mocavo census images and the Mocavo Census Viewer for one special day.

Famberry now Offers One Terabyte of Space for your Family, for Free, Forever

The following announcement was written by the folks at Famberry:

One terabyte of space for your family, for free, forever.

London, England (December 16th, 2014) To celebrate the move to new server facilities, Famberry, the popular collaborative family tree builder, is giving all users who sign up, a massive one terabyte of space to store their photos and memories. That’s enough space to store over 300,000 photos, so all your family’s memories can be shared for generations to come. All for free.

As part of the project to move onto new, physically secure, high- grade servers, Famberry has been completely re-written to work even more seamlessly on mobile phones, tablet devices and desktop computers, with no additional software or plug-ins; your family can always stay connected, wherever they are.

MyHeritage Launches Instant Discoveries(tm)

MyHeritage added a new feature to the service today that looks like a major step forward in family history searches. I have used it briefly and am impressed. I’ll use it more after I get off this cruise ship where I am at the moment (yes, it is a tough life). I will then have more reliable and much faster Internet connectivity. However, even my brief test looked good. I did talk on the phone a few minutes ago with a senior member of the MyHeritage staff and received a rather complete briefing. That, along with my short “hands on” test, tells me this is going to attract a lot of new people to genealogy.

Disclaimer: MyHeritage is the sponsor of this newsletter. However, I believe I would write the same or similar words even if they were not sponsoring the newsletter.

Today’s announcement concerns Instant Discoveries™, an extension to MyHeritage’s existing Smart Matching™ and Record Matching technologies. In fact, Fox News carried a video introduction this morning that you can watch at: http://goo.gl/RA49gK.

Instant Discoveries™ Should interest all genealogists but is especially appealing to to those who are new to genealogy. It can provide a faster and easier method of getting started in a family tree search.

Instant Discoveries™ is now available for all new MyHeritage users. Existing users will have to wait a little bit longer before they can use the same technology to fill out the holes (branches?) in their family trees.

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: http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm. 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:

On the Road Again

(+) Kekule Numbering System

(+) Obtain an ISBN Number for Your Genealogy Book

Book Review: Alex Haley’s Roots An Author’s Odyssey

A Preservation Problem

MyHeritage’s Efforts at Digitizing Cemeteries

Richard III’s DNA shows an Infidelity Surprise

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 http://www.cecruisegroups.com/genealogy-cruise-2014.html 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:

(+) Kekule Numbering System

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

Genealogists often use terms that are not familiar to others. Most of these terms become familiar soon after we get involved in searching for our family trees. We soon speak of pedigree charts, enumerators, Henry numbers, fan charts, and more. However, one term we do not hear often pops up occasionally: Kekule Numbers.

The German mathematician Stephan Kekule of Stradonitz (1863-1933) was a genealogist as well as the son of famed mathematician and chemist Friedrich August Kekulé. He used a numbering system to show relationships in text format. In German-speaking counties, lists of names created with Stephan Kekule’s numbers are still referred to by his name: Kekule numbers. However, in English-speaking countries the same numbers in lists would be called “numbers.”

Indeed, ahnentafel numbers and the Kekule numbers for listing ancestors are the same. However, Stephan Kekule also created a similar system for listing descendants, a system I have rarely seen in English publications.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

Genealogy Cruises, Online Webinars, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

Air Raid on Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, killing more than 2,300 Americans. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. A total of twelve ships sank or were beached in the attack and nine additional vessels were damaged. More than 160 aircraft were destroyed and more than 150 others damaged.

A hurried dispatch from the ranking United States naval officer in Pearl Harbor, Commander in Chief Pacific, to all major navy commands and fleet units provided the first official word of the attack at the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base. It said simply: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL.

World War II Enlistment Records Online

One great resource available from the U.S. National Archives is the World War II Enlistment Records. These records have been transcribed and made available on the National Archives web site. These records are especially valuable as many of the personnel papers of these soldiers and sailors were later destroyed in a fire.

The National Archives scanned War Department microfilmed punch cards on enlistments to support the reconstruction of the military personnel records at its National Personnel Records Center. That strikes me as a sad commentary about technology: the data was originally stored on punch cards which, once upon a time, could be read by machines. I haven’t seen a punch card reader in operation for many years, however. The cards were eventually microfilmed for long-term preservation.

Nine million records were later transcribed manually by humans who sat and read the microfilms and transcribed the information onto keyboards. Due to the condition of the microfilms, approximately 1.5 million records could not be scanned. Scanning problems when the microfilms were created also contributed to the errors. Despite these challenges, information about a majority of sixteen million World War II servicemen and women is available via the web site.

Homestead Final Certificate Land Entry Case Files of Nebraska are now Online

If your ancestors received homestead land, the Homestead Records may provide a wealth of information. Some case files include records of military service, evidence of naturalization, and much more. The files from Nebraska are now online. The following announcement was written by the folks at the Homestead National Monument:

Homestead National Monument of America is excited to announce that the Homestead Final Certificate Land Entry Case Files of Nebraska are online and available at Ancestry.com.

More than 3.4 Million British Trade Union Registers and More Released Online Today

The folks at Findmypast today announced the release of over 3.4 million British Trade Union Membership registers as part of this week’s Findmypast Friday. The company also released other UK, US, Australian and Irish records.

Newly-added resources include:

Man Finds Wedding Ring Near Site of a 1959 Plane Crash, Tracks Down Daughter

Fifty-five years ago, Joyce Wharton lost her parents in a small plane crash. For more than a decade, the family lived under a shroud of mystery. The family agonized for nearly 15 years without answers until plane wreckage was discovered in a dense wooded area in Washington.

With closure and peace finally in hand, Wharton, who now lives in New Jersey, said she never imagined there could be more to come. Then, on Sunday, she got an unexpected phone call and received a wondrous gift from a stranger that brought back memories more than a half-century in the past. “He said, ‘Joyce, I have your mother’s ring, and I’ve been looking for you all these years and I want you to have this,'” Wharton said.

Ancestral Systems LLC Releases a Major New Clooz 3 Update

The following announcement was written by the folks at Ancestral Systems LLC:

Clooz users have invested a substantial amount of time building their Clooz database and linking it to the people and sources in their linked family tree program. Therefore, Clooz users previously were faced with a difficult situation when a family tree program change is needed, as may happen to our users who have relied on The Master Genealogist, which is being discontinued.

To support this challenge for our users, a new Synchronization Transfer Tool has been added to assist users migrating from one family tree program to another. Users can now transfer the links from one external file to another different file (e.g., a TMG user who linked to their data from Clooz can shift the links to apply to a Legacy or RootsMagic file containing the same identification numbers as the TMG file).

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