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A Crowd-Sourcing Effort to Index the Casualty Lists of World War I Austria-Hungary 1914-1919

YOU can help other genealogists find information about their ancestors and other relatives and perhaps even find your own while you are at it. The following was written by Frank Raschka and Felix Gundacker of the www.GenTeam.eu:

Who will participate?

A century ago, our forefathers lived through the horrors of World War I. Many sons, brothers and fathers were drafted into the military. Millions were wounded, captured or died. These cases were published in the casualty lists of Austria-Hungary, which are also available online.

Unfortunately, there is no index to these lists; a full-text search yields unsatisfactory results due to the poor print quality.

Therefore, we have decided to create such an index which cannot made by a person alone.

France Allows Holocaust Museums to Digitize WWII Archives

ABC News is reporting the French government has signed an accord to allow Holocaust museums in Paris and in Washington, D.C., to digitize the vast French World War II archives — so that the museums can more easily display information on the Vichy regime to the public.

Speaking at the Paris ceremony Thursday, France’s Veterans Minister Jean Marc-Todeschini said the “rise of populism in parts of the world” means that educating the younger generation about this period is paramount.

Details may be found at https://goo.gl/tnHZkk.

Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For First Time In Decades

Genealogists are aware that the life expectancy has been increasing for years in most developed countries. Therefore, it is a bit of a shock to learn that the life expectancy of citizens in the United States has actually decreased recently. To be sure, it is a small decrease. However, ANY decrease is a cause for concern.

The news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65. On average, the overall life expectancy, for someone born in 2015, fell from 78.9 years to 78.8 years. The life expectancy for the average American man fell two-tenths of a year — from 76.5 to 76.3. For women, it dropped one-tenth — from 81.3 to 81.2 years.

Beware of the Transparency Market Research Report Now Available: “Genealogy Products and Services Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 – 2024”

It is difficult to measure the size of the genealogy marketplace. Obviously, genealogists spend millions of dollars every year, but nobody seems to know how many millions. Now Transparency Market Research (TMR) has issued a report claiming to measure the marketplace. However, a quick glance at the company’s announcement of the report raises more questions than it answers.

TMR states that the report, titled Genealogy Products and Services Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 – 2024, offers a comprehensive overview of the genealogy market. It focuses on the growth of the global genealogy products and services market across various geographical and application segments and the factors influencing it. The description goes on and on describing the “genealogy products and services market.” However, the description of the report seems to focus mostly on DNA testing and then gives some passing remarks about traditional (non-DNA) genealogy research, such as looking at original records on paper, microfilm, or computer screens.

The announcement of the report states:

Update to Google Duo Video Chat App

I wrote about the Google video chat app called Duo in the August 17, 2016 newsletter at https://goo.gl/PJm3ET. Duo is a two-way video chat application for both Android and iPhone/iPad devices. I consider it to be a great competitor to FaceTime which is limited to only iPhone/iPad devices. I have been using Duo on my Android smartphone to chat with iPhone users. I have been generally pleased with it but have noticed that the video is not as good as that of FaceTime, which I used when I had an iPhone.

Now Google has announced a new version, called Google Duo 5.0. The new version reportedly includes some “major video quality improvements” among its additions. Also, the new version fixes a bug that was causing sound to not play for some users.

New Historic Records On FamilySearch: Week of December 5, 2016

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Summary

New searchable, indexed records were just published for 8 different countries around the world. If you’re looking for historic records in Canada, England, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sweden, Scotland or the United States perhaps one of these collection has the ancestor you are looking for. Search these free records and more at FamilySearch.org by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Claims Obtaining Indexes of Birth and Death Records will Cost $1.5 Million

show-me_stateThe “Show Me State” apparently doesn’t want to show anything.

Reclaim the Records asked the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for copies all the state’s birth and death records from 1910 through 2015. The group sought the information under Missouri’s Sunshine Law. An attorney for the department replied that the the birth list would take the agency 23,376 hours to compile and the death list 11,688 hours. At $42.50 an hour, the tab came to an eye-popping $1.5 million.

After some discussion, the attorney reduced the estimate to $1.46 million.

Reclaim the Records then hired their own attorney, Bernie Rhodes, a media-law specialist at the Kansas City law firm Lathrop & Gage. Rhodes asked the Department of Health and Senior Services for more information about the database that stored the birth and death records. Based on the information, he suggested some ideas and even provided the toll-free number for the help desk for software provider the department uses to retrieve records from its database.

After considering Rhodes’ suggestions, the department quoted a new estimate. The attorney for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service conceded that, in fact, the effort would not require thousands of hours of staff time. The records, the department said, would now cost $5,174, or a 99.7 percent decrease from the original price quote.

Then the story gets even more complicated.

Blockchain Based Crypto-will Fulfills Last Wishes

This probably will be a game changer in the legal profession. I suspect it will also be a problem for future genealogists who want a copy of an ancestor’s will.

blockchain_apparatus_logoBlockchain Apparatus is a start-up company in Denver that is working on several legal areas, including property and trusts. Its mission is to provide new developments in the legal services industry. The company has found a new application of blockchain technology (see Note #1 below) that works with data available with the federal government database (especially from the US Social Security Administration). This new product makes self-executing digital wills possible.

In the near future, Blockchain Apparatus expects to have a software/network combination which is the executor of a deceased person’s last will and testament. The process will be automated, will run on thousands of computers simultaneously (thereby guaranteeing reliability), and will be visible to everyone (thereby ensuring there will never be a difference of opinion as to the will’s existence).

For the first time in history, it will be possible to hand out the entire process of will administration to a software program running outside of human control. This process will be executed by the code running this software.

Simple Note Taking Apps

gift_ideasSimple is often best. At least, I think so when it comes to making notes. Note taking programs are amongst my most frequently-used apps on my desktop, laptop, and tablet computers as well as on my cell phone. I typically use them several times a day. Best of all, when I create a note on any of my devices, it automatically gets copied to all the other devices. As a result, I always have my notes with me all the time. (I never leave home without the cell phone.)

I use two such apps frequently:

  • When I am sitting in the audience at a genealogy conference, taking notes while listening to an expert talk about a topic I am interested in.
  • When I discover something new about an ancestor in an old record of some sort, in a book, or even in someone else’s claims in a web site. I want to record the information now so that I can verify it later before entering the information into my favorite genealogy program. The note taking apps serve as “temporary storage.”
  • Measuring the windows at home for new curtains.
  • Creating a shopping list during the week before visiting the grocery store.
  • Remembering which inkjet cartridge my printer requires for my next visit to an office supply store.
  • Airline reservations.
  • And a lot more…

Recommended Reading: Using and Compiling Indexes by Judy Webster

I don’t believe this is a new web site but it is new to me. Judy Webster, a keen family historian, has compiled and published many indexes. She has also been employed by Queensland, Australia, State Archives to help with guidelines and data entry/checking for their indexing projects. Judy has created a web site to share practical tips based on her own experience. If you are interested in using indexes, and especially if you are involved in creating indexes, you need to read Judy’s advice.

Topics on the web site include:

  • How to avoid the traps involved in using indexes.
  • How to compile a good index (advice for individuals, genealogical groups, family history societies, historical societies and local studies librarians who want to index various types of material).
  • How to publish and promote your index.

You can find Judy Webster’s genealogy tips and indexes at: http://www.judywebster.com.au/methods.html.

A New Product: GedSite creates Professional-Quality Web Sites from GEDCOM Files

I suspect this announcement will cause a lot of interest. John Cardinal, well-known for developing Second Site software for use with The Master Genealogist (TMG), has now released a brand-new product called GedSite and is selling it at a modest price. I predict GedSite will be a winner; very popular within the genealogy community.

GedSite builds on the technology developed for Second Site but adds a lot of new features. First, it accepts GEDCOM files for data input. (All modern genealogy programs can create GEDCOM files.) Next, GedSite can create gorgeous web sites to upload to the Internet or to share with relatives privately via flash drives, CD disks, or other removable media or via cloud-based file storage.

The following announcement was written by John Cardinal, CEO of Family History Hosting, LLC:

New tool for genealogists is fast and flexible, and sites can be published on the web or shared privately

gedsite_logoNorth Andover, MA – December 4, 2016 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce GedSite, a must-have tool for any genealogist creating web sites from GEDCOM files. GedSite provides many of the features of Second Site, a web site builder also published by Family History Hosting for genealogy projects managed by The Master Genealogist (TMG).

“For more than a decade, genealogists have been asking me to publish a program to produce high-quality web sites from GEDCOM data,” said John Cardinal, CEO and Founder of Family History Hosting. “I’ve learned directly from our customers that they want the features and ease-of-use of Second Site, my popular web site builder for TMG, but for GEDCOM files. I am glad to offer GedSite in response to those requests.”

GedSite’s fast and flexible importer handles standard GEDCOM records as well as application-specific GEDCOM extensions for popular genealogy applications. GedSite includes the unique ability to interpret sentence templates from Family Historian, Legacy, and RootsMagic GEDCOM files, and provides its own sentence templates for GEDCOM files from source applications that do not support them.

A Genealogist’s Guide To Boston, Massachusetts Released

The following announcement was written by the folks at the In-Depth Genealogist:

gamble-guide_bostonma-coverThe fourth in a series of guides to popular research destinations

The In-Depth Genealogist is pleased to present their newest book in the research series by writer, Jacqueline Gamble entitled “A Genealogist’s Guide to Boston, Massachusetts”. The book is a great resource for genealogists who plan on researching in this geographic area. Approximately 12 million people from all over the world visit Boston every year to take in its beautiful harbor, amazing history, museums, sporting events, and more. With its mixture of old buildings (some dating back to the 1600s), new skyscrapers, and everything in between, Boston truly is a meeting of past, present and future.

This guide will provide you with what you will need to know when planning a genealogy trip to Boston. Within the book is information on repositories, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries, attractions, accommodations, and more in and around Boston.

One Year of Unlimited Amazon Cloud Drive Storage for $48 (Down from $60) Today

Today seems to be the day for “flash sales” on cloud-based file storage services. (See my other article at http://wp.me/p5Z3-4cY). Amazon announced this morning it is offering UNLIMITED storage space in Amazon Drive for one year for $48, a big reduction from the normal price of $60. However, this is a one-day sale: today only (Monday, December 5). I suspect it is for U.S. customers only although I do not see anything in the announcement about that.

amazon-cloud-drive-offer

According to the Amazon announcement, “When you upload a file or photo to Amazon Drive, you’re saving a backup copy in Amazon’s secure servers. There’s no limit to how many files you can upload, and we’ll never change or reduce the resolution of your images.”

Amazon is Offering up $50 Gift Cards when You Subscribe to a Year of Dropbox Pro for $99, Today Only

UPDATE on December 6: Amazon listed this yesterday as the “Deal of the Day” and said it was a one-day sale. However, I see this morning that Amazon is still offering it at https://goo.gl/GL0jOo. I have no idea how long the sale will last.

As I mentioned in an article last week, “Dropbox is a very popular service amongst genealogists.” This morning, Amazon announced a “flash sale” on Dropbox Pro that is only good for today (Monday, December 5): Pay $99 for a one year subscription to Dropbox Pro, including one terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) of online file storage, and receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

dropbox-offer

That is a great deal, especially as I expect the gift card will come in handy this holiday season. However, the offer is good only for new customers or for existing Dropbox customers who are using the free (2 gigabytes) service. The offer is not applicable for existing Dropbox Pro or Business accounts, such as my account. Otherwise, I would have signed up for this offer in a heartbeat.

Expansion of Washington State Library’s Online Newspaper Collection

Nearly 50,000 newly digitized pages from historic newspapers based in Centralia, Eatonville, Tacoma and Spokane are being added to the Washington State Library’s online newspaper collection this year.

eatonvilledispatch

The latest titles are the Centralia Daily Hub (1914-16), The Eatonville Dispatch (1916-61) and Den Danske Kronike (1916-17), a Danish-English publication based in Spokane. The Centralia and Eatonville papers were added this month. Den Danske Kronike was added last summer, along with the Tacoma Evening Telegraph (1886-87).

Update: Why You Want a Do-It-Yourself Home Security System

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy-related articles, you will want to skip this one.

About two and a half years ago, I published a non-genealogy article (at https://goo.gl/GBxRTo) about the easy way to install your own home security system, also known as a burglar alarm. According to the “hit counter” on that page, the article has been one of the more popular ones I have published. All the information in the article is still true today with one major exception: the company has just announced any new customer can get $200 off SimpliSafe’s Defender Package during this holiday season.

With entry, motion, and glassbreak sensors, the SimpliSafe system is a rather complete protection system for any home. Best of all, anyone can install it; there is no requirement to string wires around the house connecting together all the various door and windows sensors. Everything is wireless and can be installed in just a few minutes.

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few minutes ago. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

(+) Why You Want to Archive All Your Email Messages – Part #1
Book Review: The Spyglass File
MyHeritage Adds United States WWI Draft Registrations, 1917-1918
Facebook Users want to Continue Posting from Beyond the Grave
The Security of Your Mother’s Maiden Name
MacFamilyTree 8.1 – New CloudTree offers Collaboration and Sync
Library of Congress, Digital Public Library of America To Form New Collaboration
Fold3 Commemorates Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary with Free Access to WWII Records and Stories Honoring Living Survivors
Freedmen Bureau Celebration to be Broadcast Live on the Internet
Maine’s Alien Registry of 1940 is Available Online
Millions of New Parish Records added to the TheGenealogist
Mississippi State University Libraries Digitize Civil War Diaries and Letters
New Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday
New Royal Irish Constabulary Service Records Available to Search at Findmypast
Providence (Rhode Island) Public Library opens a large Genealogical Collection to the Public
Records of (Some) Irish Soldiers Now Available Online
NGS Family History Writing Contest Nominations Are Now Being Accepted
Los Angeles to Bury 1,430 Unclaimed Deceased Bodies
What Was Your Ancestor’s Property Worth?
pCloud: Better than Dropbox?
The Myths About Chromebooks
Manufacturer Refurbished Asus Chromebook Flip C100PA
Seth Meyers’ Family History
No, Not a Professional Gynecologist!
It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files
Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

(+) Why You Want to Archive All Your Email Messages – Part #1

Book Review: The Spyglass File

MyHeritage Adds United States WWI Draft Registrations, 1917-1918

Facebook Users want to Continue Posting from Beyond the Grave

The Security of Your Mother’s Maiden Name

MacFamilyTree 8.1 – New CloudTree offers Collaboration and Sync

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Ontario, Quebec, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginiai

Colorado, Connecticut, Missouri, and Ohio

Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past events.

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.

(+) Why You Want to Archive All Your Email Messages – Part #1

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

This is Part #1 of a 2-part series.

iwantarchiveWe often take email for granted these days. For many people, it is a process of writing a quick note, reading a return note, clicking DELETE, and then moving on. However, is deleting a good idea? I can think of at least two reasons why we might want to archive all our email messages, both sent and received. One reason is genealogy-related, the other is not.

Did you inherit family heirlooms of love letters great-grandfather sent to great-grandmother during the war? Or perhaps other letters written for other purposes? While love letters are always great for sentimental reasons, other letters, even business correspondence, can offer great insights into the lives of our ancestors. Will your descendants have similar feelings about the correspondence that you write?

New Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

logo-findmypast-AU-500The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Over 8.9 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including;

New South Wales Passenger Lists

New South Wales Passenger Lists contains over 8.5 million records. This collection includes records of both assisted and unassisted passengers. The assisted passenger lists cover 1828 to 1896 and the unassisted passenger lists span the years 1826 to 1900. Assisted passengers refers to those who received monetary assistance from another party or agency/government for their passage.

Each result will provide a transcript and image of the original record. The information included on the transcript will vary depending on whether your ancestor was an assisted or unassisted passenger, although most will include your ancestors name, passage type, birth year, nationality, departure port, arrival port and the dates of their travels.

Scotland Non-Old Parish Registers Vital Records 1647-1875