Elmire Conklin and Jennie Sweetman Presented with Special Awards for their Five Decades of Genealogical Research

On Thursday, September 24, in a brief ceremony held at the Warwick (New York) Town Hall, Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Historian Dr. Richard Hull presented special awards to Elmire Conklin and Jennie Sweetman.

“I’m honored to introduce to you two long-time Warwick residents,” Hull said, “who through more than five decades of genealogical research have quite literally done more than anyone today and through the deep past to identify and exhaustively research many dozens of Warwick families, many of whom were distinguished citizens of our community and some of them with roots going back many generations.”

“Genealogy Roadshow” to Videotape in Rhode Island This Week and You Can Attend

genealogy_roadshow_logoThe Providence (Rhode Island) Public Library will host a crew from the popular “Genealogy Roadshow” on Sunday, October 4. The show stars genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco and features participants with unique claims and storylines.

The show will feature Providence residents who have (or believe they have) interesting, significant family stories. Chosen stories have been researched by a team of local experts, and will be linked to the history of the community.

(+) Will Your Next Primary Computer be a Tablet?

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

IPad1stGenOne of the trends amongst today’s computer users is the move from traditional desktop and laptop computers to tablet computers and also to the so-called smartphones. While the desktop and laptop computers remain much more powerful than the smaller devices, the tablets and smartphones are all “good enough” for most tasks, and their mobility is proving to be much more useful than using a big computer on the desk or even a laptop in a briefcase.

Gartner, Inc. now says that tablet computers outsell combined desktop and laptop computers by a six-to-one ratio. (The report is available at http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2645115.)

Most of the time, many of us use our computers primarily for accessing the Internet, for word processing, and for email. Those three things are all that many of us need day-to-day. For more advanced uses, both Microsoft Office and the Apple productivity programs are available for tablets. For me and for many others, those tasks are all I need perhaps 99% of time.

An Ontario Parish Has Its History Stolen

Three thefts from churches in Hawkesbury, Ontario have occurred this summer. The most recent theft occurred at the St-Joachim Catholic Church. Thieves stole a safe from the church. It contained a small amount of cash but, more important to genealogists, it also contained the church’s parish registers. It’s all the files of the parish, including christening and marriage records. In some cases the missing papers traced the same families for 130 years as generations lived, married and died there.

Rachelle St-Denis-Lachaine, a longtime resident of Chute-à-Blondeau and volunteer at St-Joachim Catholic Church, said, “These are the parish registers. It’s all the files of the parish, and there are also registers with marriages. These are our memories in these books. There are copies in the archdiocese in Ottawa, but it’s all the baptisms since the 1880s. The baptisms, the marriages, the funerals, so it’s basically the entire history of Chute-à-Blondeau that was in there.”

Ancestry.ca Receives a Makeover

The Canadian website of Ancestry.ca has a new “look and feel” today. An announcement from the company states the changes will help “Canadians discover and tell their family story.”

With new storytelling features and a streamlined design, the new Ancestry site will help Canadians move beyond names and dates, enhancing the stories of their ancestors’ lives. A few new features include:

DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees

Richard Hill has written an article that may be helpful for adoptees or the children of adoptees looking for their biological ancestors. DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees describes the most common tests that will help adoptees. It also warns, “Whatever you do, don’t waste your money on old technology “sibling” or “kinship” tests. Those tests only check a handful of markers and are nearly always inconclusive.”

DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees may be found at http://www.dna-testing-adviser.com/support-files/seven-guidelines-for-adoptees.pdf.

Backblaze to Sell Cloud Storage for a Quarter the Price of Amazon S3 and Its Other Competitors

IntroducingBackblazeB2I have written many times about the need for backup services, including an article about Backblaze that I published last week at http://goo.gl/OMHR0Z. I have also written many times about the constantly decreasing costs of online file storage services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, Amazon S3, SugarSync, Microsoft OneDrive, SpiderOak, Box, and a number of others. Now I can combine several articles into one: Backblaze has always been known as a method of backing up data files from your computer. Now the company is expanding into file storage (of any kinds of files) and claims to have the lowest prices of any of its competitors. The other file storage services charge 2¢ or more per gigabyte per month. However, Backblaze is pricing its service at just half a cent per gigabyte per month with the first 10 gigabytes free.

The Digitizing of the 1891 Census of Norway is Finished

According to an announcement by The National Archives of Norway:

“The Norwegian 1891 Census consists of one sheet per person and one sheet per house/residence. These sheets have all been scanned and published in ordered series for the 559 cities and municipalities (herred) that existed in Norway at the time of the census.

“Apart from name and occupation, most of the information in the census sheets is in printed letters. You need to access the information from the house lists. In these lists you will find reference to the person lists.

Update: Keep Notes with Google Keep

Google Keep is a very useful syncing notepad that connects to Google Drive. You can enter a note on any one of your computers or tablets or cell phones and then later access the notes on your other system. It also supports photo notes, voice notes, and checklists. I wrote about Google Keep in the August 28, 2015 newsletter at http://goo.gl/KCybtB. In that article, I wrote, “It is available for Chrome browsers on Windows and Macintosh, for Android devices, and for Chromebooks.” It was not available Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices. However, that has now changed. Google has now announced a new version of Google Keep for Apple iOS devices.

A Remake of the Popular “Roots” Television Program to Air in 2016

Haley_roots“Roots” was a 1977 television miniseries in the USA based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. It received 37 Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. The program’s Nielsen ratings for the finale still holds a record as the third highest rated episode for any type of television series, and the second most watched overall series finale in U.S. television history. Now a remake of the mini-series is planned for broadcast in 2016.

According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography:

The tale follows the life of Kunta Kinte, a proud African who was kidnapped from his village in West Africa. After surviving the middle passage (the brutal shipment of Africans to be sold in the Americas), he was made a slave on a plantation in the United States. Haley visited archives, libraries, and research repositories on three continents to make the book as authentic (real) as possible. He even reenacted Kunta’s experience during the middle passage by spending a night in the hold of a ship (the storage room below deck) stripped to his underwear.

You can read more about Haley at http://www.notablebiographies.com/Gi-He/Haley-Alex.html#ixzz3mwZa7hzy.

Electric Cars… of the 1890s and Early 1900s

What goes around comes around. Are you dreaming of purchasing a Tesla or some other all-electric automobile? Your great-great-grandfather might approve of your following in his footsteps.

Here are a few examples of early electric automobiles that may have been purchased by our ancestors:


1902 Studebaker electric automobile

If You are Going to Make a Time Capsule, Make Sure it is Waterproof

The John F. Kennedy Peace Capsule was built by a crew at Defoe Shipbuilding Co. and buried by the Bay County (Michigan) Labor Council in 1965 as part of Bay City’s Centennial Celebration. Crews unearthed the capsule Wednesday and it was opened Thursday at the Bay County Fairgrounds. There was but one problem: it was half full of water. Some of the papers inside were destroyed although a few apparently remained above the waterline and are still readable.

You can read the details in an article by Pati LaLonde in the Mlive.com web site at http://goo.gl/COS0b7.

Ancestry.com announces Find-A-Grave Community Day

On Saturday 17th October, Ancestry is hosting our global ‘Find A Grave Community Day’. Essentially, this is an annual day taking place across the world whereby Ancestry.com encourages people to visit their local cemeteries to take photos and videos of headstones, explore the grounds and share stories – to preserve the history of all our ancestors buried in cemeteries across the world. (Find A Grave is a division of Ancestry.com.)

You can find out more about this annual community day at http://www.ancestry.com/cs/find-a-grave-community-day.

Forever.com Promises to Preserve Photos, Files 100 Years Beyond Your Death

Are you concerned about preserving your genealogy database and digitized family photographs for future generations? One company says it has the solution, using technology that will last much longer than paper, magnetic tapes, flash drives, or CD-ROM disks.

Forever_box_webGlen Meakem has launched Forever.com, which Meakem says is the world’s first permanent online media storage and sharing service.

Forever claims to offer you one home for all your stories and special moments. The web site makes it easy to store, organize, share and print your family photos for generations. The web site also offers a “Forever Guarantee.”

Your Guaranteed Storage is backed up in multiple places across multiple regions, ensuring you will never lose any of your photos. Over time, Forever.com will even migrate your files to newer formats as old formats become obsolete.

Update: Pamela Weisberger, R.I.P.

This is an update to the sad news about Pamela Weisberger published earlier at http://blog.eogn.com/2015/09/25/pamela-weisberger-r-i-p:

For more information on the celebration of life and how you can leave a message of remembrance, please visit www.geshergalicia.org.

An Interview with Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist

Blaine Bettinger has a Ph.D. in biochemistry with a concentration in genetics and is extremely interested in the recent developments in genetic genealogy. He has been using traditional genealogical research to learn more about his ancestry for almost 20 years. In 2003 he used an autosomal DNA test from one of the first companies offering this type of testing. Since then he has been writing and lecturing extensively about how to apply DNA to your genealogy research.

I had a chance to talk with Blaine at the recent New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse, New York. Blaine talked about his involvement in DNA and he gave great advice for newcomers on how to get started.

Pamela Weisberger, R.I.P.

pamela_weisbergerAcquaintances of Pamela Weisberger will be saddened to hear that she passed away this morning after a very brief illness.

Pam was a professional genealogist with a long list of accomplishments. She was the president of Gesher Galicia Inc. as well as 1st Vice-President & Program Chair of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles, and was on the the Advisory Board of the Global Family Reunion.

She leaves her husband Ken, and her three children.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast logoThis week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 100,000 pages of Directories & Almanac records covering 300 years of history in the UK, Ireland, Australasia and the British Colonies as well as six brand new Irish Newspaper titles and over 724,000 new articles.

Britain, Directories & Almanacs

Britain, Directories & Almanacs allows you to explore 112 volumes of fascinating documents spanning three centuries. They include a wide variety of records ranging from trade directories and county guides to almanacs and general directories. Almanacs and directories are an excellent resource for anyone researching their family history and can provide unique insights into how your ancestors lived.

Genealogy Jamboree 2016 Conference Call for Presentations has been Extended

The following announcement was written by the Southern California Genealogical Society:

The Southern California Genealogical Society announces its EXTENSION of the Call for Presentations for the 47th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, to be held Friday through Sunday, June 3 – 5, 2016 with a pre-conference day on Thursday, June 2, 2016, to include a full day of DNA presentations and in-depth workshops, at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, Burbank, California. This call also includes the 2016 Jamboree Extension Series webinar program. Presentations will only be accepted through the online portal until October 7, 2015.

2016_Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree_Banner

The Massachusetts State Archives is Running out of Room

The Massachusetts State Archives’ modern building, erected in 1986 with the expectation that it would exhaust its space within 25 years, is bursting at the seams. Officials say the two-story facility at Boston’s Columbia Point has simply run out of room to store the state’s most valuable and timeless records. Even worse, Massachusetts has received failing grades from government watchdogs who complain that public records requests are often must met with lengthy waits and exorbitant costs for the material.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,139 other followers