NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy except that Steve Morse is famous for his “One Step Genealogy” web pages at https://stevemorse.org/. Steve is now branching out into other topics, helping to simplify the use of complex information.
Steve Morse created his “One Step Genealogy” web pages that have since become standard reference pages for millions of genealogists. He also created the “Viewing ObamaCare Health Plans in One Step” several years ago. Steve hasn’t been standing idly by as more complex information is becoming important to every American.
The so-called tax reform bill looks like it is about to be passed by Congress and signed by the president. Indeed, it is complex and has many, many changes. Some taxes will be lowered while others will be raised. Steve apparently decided to help simplify the information.
The new online “Applying 2016-2018 Tax Brackets in One Step” uses the tax brackets for various years to compute the federal tax for any income up to one million dollars. The years covered are 2016, 2017, and 2018. There are two 2018 calculations — one is based on the tax brackets under the old tax plan and the other is based on the tax brackets under the new tax plan.
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
Thanks to the work of the 1939 Register team, we’ve been able to successfully match and open over 60,000 more records that were previously closed, and they’re all available to explore right now. If you have tried unsuccessfully to find a family member in the Register who died after 1991, it may be worth trying another search.
Find out what your ancestors were doing on the eve of WW2 by searching the 1939 Register, available to search online only on Findmypast. Discover exactly what they did for a living, maps of where they lived and even who their neighbours were. Or click on the address tab to search for your own address, or an address you know, to see who was living there in September 1939. Then you can put it all in context. Read newspaper articles and see photographs from the era.
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Have you seen the ads for these things? The ACEPC W5 Windows 10 Mini Desktop Computer is a Windows 10 computer on what looks like an oversized flash memory stick. It literally is smaller than a pack of cigarettes. In fact, it is about the size of two packs of chewing gum. It sells for $99.99 US. OK, let’s round that up a penny and call it $100.
Is this thing really a useful or even useable PC? Can it really run all the normal Windows 10 programs? Can it run a genealogy program? Is it a practical device to use when I am traveling? Can it work from a hotel room, using the hotel’s television set as a monitor? I decided to find out and to share my findings in this newsletter. I ordered one from Amazon. Two days later, I had a new PC in my hand.
Yes, that is my hand in the above picture. I am holding the ACEPC W5 Windows 10 Mini Desktop Computer Stick. The picture was taken a minute or two after I unboxed the computer. This is called a “Pocket PC,” but that name is a bit misleading. I could put 2 or 3 of these computers into a normal-sized pocket!
This isn’t a pedigree chart drawn to strict genealogical standards, but it is amusing. With the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie being released this week, this is is a “must have” for any genealogist who is also a Star Wars fan.
You can see the Star Wars Family Tree at http://images.amazon.com/images/G/01/video/stills/star-wars/sw3-famtree.l.jpg
NOTE: I originally published this article in this newsletter in 1998. Yet it is still a problem today. It surfaced again in an email message I received today from a newsletter reader. I receive similar messages most every week from concerned genealogists who don’t like to see online “fairy tales” in user-contributed information that is published in genealogy web sites. I expect to re-publish this article every year or two until the problem is solved. (I don’t expect it to be solved during my lifetime, however.)
While I am ranting and raving about genealogy home pages, I’ll describe another “problem.” This problem has existed for hundreds of years on paper. In more recent years the problem has spread to the International Genealogical Index, the Ancestral File and, more recently, to many CD-ROM disks containing collections of family trees submitted by some company’s customers. However, the recent proliferation of personal web pages has magnified the issue still further.
I can go to almost any Internet search engine today and within a very few minutes find hundreds of “genealogy fairy tales” online. I can find claims of births in Massachusetts or Virginia in the 1500s or in Utah in the 1700s. Time and time again, I see claims that a girl gave birth at the age of three or perhaps at the age of seventy-three. Twelve-year-old fathers also are common in online genealogy home pages. Doesn’t anyone ever check this stuff?
The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:
Good news if your ancestry is from Colombia and Peru! More than one million historic records and one million images from each country were added on FamilySearch this week. Many more records from Brazil, Delaware, Denmark, England, France, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, Ukraine and the United States were also published. Search these new free records at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.
Garrison Keillor was scheduled to be part of the season finale of PBS’s Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. But in light of allegations of inappropriate behavior towards a co-worker at Prairie Home Companion, Keillor’s segment is being removed.
The “Funny Business” episode, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, was to spotlight Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Keillor. Now the segment with the legendary broadcaster will be replaced by a repeat featuring Maya Rudolph.
A statement released by Minnesota Public Radio says it learned of the allegations in October and has retained an outside law firm to investigate them. That investigation is ongoing.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, along with Gov. Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Speaker Beth Harwell, and Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill, officially broke ground on the new home of the Tennessee State Library and Archives on Monday.
Drawing of the new Tennessee Library and Archives Building
Has anyone tried this? I just downloaded and installed it last night on my Android cell phone and am learning how to use it. I’d love to hear from a more experienced user.
If the advertisements are correct, TextGrabber may be a new revolution in OCR (Optical Character Recognition). I can see this having lots of uses in genealogy as well as for dozens of other purposes as well. Quoting from the ads:
“Translate recognized text into 100+ languages in a snap.”
“Today we proudly present our completely new TextGrabber Android. You’ll be amazed. Like its iOS sibling released in June, the Android version can now recognize texts on the fly thanks to our cool new technology, Real-Time Recognition!
The following article was written by Jean Maguire, describing a recent presentation by Kathi McKnight at the Colorado Genealogical Society. This article is republished here with Jean’s permission:
Colorado Genealogical Society welcomes
Kathi McKnight, Hand Writing Expert
October 21, 2017
By Jean Maguire
My interest in hand writing analysis began when I was accused of stealing narcotic drugs while a nurse at Swedish Hospital. Drugs were missing from the pharmacy and the drug cart and signed out with my name. Since my name was all over charts and medication records, it was easy to copy my signature. Quietly, a wonderful person in human resources began checking my handwriting and other nurses on my floor. My handwriting did not match and the drug addict was apprehended and sent to rehab.
Handwriting analysis has been used since Aristotle. Eighty percent of companies in Europe and many Fortune 500 companies use it. Kathi McKnight is a Master Certified Graphologist; author of three books; and has analyzed thousands of documents since 1991. She is the go to person for TV shows; Dr. Oz; Washington Post; Sports Illustrated and many more.
Kathi let us know each of us has different handwriting, even though we were all taught in the same method. Handwriting analysis does not predict the future; does not tell age; does not tell sex, or reveal left or right handwriting. Even people with disabilities have different handwriting because handwriting comes from the brain and not from the hands.
The following announcement was written by the Athens-Clarke County Library:
Athens-Clarke County Library announces Image Magazine digitization project funded by Digital Library of Georgia grant
ATHENS, Ga. – Image Magazine, one of the area’s first African American lifestyle magazines, has been has been digitized thanks to a $5,000 grant awarded to The Athens-Clarke County by the Digital Library of Georgia.
Image Magazine was published by Dr. Robert Harrison from 1977 through 1980, and it covered the social life of the local African American community. Harrison donated every issue of the magazine to the Athens-Clarke County Library’s Heritage Room earlier this year as part of the library’s Common Heritage project.
The library hosted digital scanning days and educational programs designed to help African American residents preserve their family histories as part of the Common Heritage program, which was funded by a National Endowment for Humanities grant. Harrison presented a lecture during the series about the historic Hiram House and was inspired to donate the magazines to support the project’s objectives.
A Geographic Information System (GIS Software) is designed to store, retrieve, manage, display, and analyze all types of geographic and spatial data. It stores data on geographical features and their characteristics. Surveyors and cartographers use GIS technology extensively. The same technology cn be used to document cemeteries. Waxahachie, Texas is one of the latest cities to use GIS technology to document history at the Waxahachie City Cemetery.
The mapping project will record biographical information of each person buried as well as the location of each grave. This information will then be put into an interactive map that residents can view through the city’s website. The result will be a map that will have a look similar to a Google map. It will be an aerial view that will show the terrain of the cemetery. The map will show the different sections and allow people to zoom in and out.
MyHeritage DNA Announces a Last Minute Holiday Sale: Only $49 US each if you Purchase 2 or More DNA Testing Kits
MyHeritage has announced a special DNA LAST MINUTE holiday sale! Starting today, December 12th, through December 18th, DNA kits will be available for only $49 US (€45/£39) each when you buy 2 or more kits. The price for one kit hasn’t changed and it’s still $59 (€49/£45).
The MyHeritage DNA kits make for a truly special and unique holiday gift for the entire family. As stated in the announcement:
Why choose MyHeritage DNA?
- MyHeritage DNA covers 42 ethnic regions with percentages — more than any other major DNA vendor
- The fastest processing time — only 3-4 weeks
- International database improving your chances of finding relatives around the world
- Fully integrated with family tree tools and historical records to expand your family research
By the way, I ordered three kits myself this morning.
Click here to obtain more information or to order the kits.
Did you see the Today Show segment on home DNA testing kits comparing the tests from 3 separate brands? Jeff Rossen revealed DNA results from the three leading brands, for sisters who are identical triplets. Check it out in the video below:
The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
- Vast new collection has been specially curated by Findmypast’s in-house experts
- The new British and Irish Roots collection allows researchers to search a wide variety of records spanning more than 400 years of migration between the British Isles and North America, all in one place
- All 95 million records within this unique resource are now available to search and will be free of charge for a limited period
Leading family history website, Findmypast, has announced the creation of a brand new resource that has been specifically designed to help U.S. researchers trace their family’s British and Irish heritage.
The British and Irish Roots Collection is a unique database consisting of more than 98 million assorted records that have been hand-picked from existing collections by Findmypast’s in-house experts.
The Virginia Newspaper Project has announced digitized copies of Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal, a daily published by John Hampden Pleasants and Josiah Abbot from 1831-1832, are now available on Virginia Chronicle web site.
Thanks to a partnership with the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, which generously shared its collection with the Library of Virginia, the digitized issues on Virginia Chronicle represent a nearly complete run of Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal. This title is one among many in the Whig family of newspapers published in Richmond during the nineteenth century.
Details may be found in the announcement at: http://bit.ly/2A8Zu9J.
The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:
California, Connecticut, Missouri. and New York
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.
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
You probably have enjoyed collecting bits and pieces of information about your ancestors and their lives. Is it possible that one of your future descendants will want to do the same for you and for your present relatives? If so, should you help your future genealogist-descendant by making sure the information about your life and the lives of your relatives will be available in the future?
For years, genealogists, historians, and others have preserved information on paper. Sometimes it is in the form of books while a less formal method is to collect paper documents and keep them in a file. Paper has served us well for centuries and probably will not disappear anytime soon. However, paper isn’t as useful or expected to last as long as it once was. Perhaps we should seek alternative solutions.
From e-journals and e-books to emails, blogs and more, electronic content is proliferating fast, and organizations worldwide are racing to preserve information for the next generations before technological obsolescence, or even data loss, creep in.
An article by Stephen Johnson in the BigThink web site states:
“The theory of evolution holds that all living things have common ancestors. But just how far back do humans need to go to find a common ancestor of their own: a person to whom all living people are related?
“The answer, for people of European descent at least, is surprisingly recent: 600 years. The common ancestor for every single person alive on the planet today, no matter where, lived approximately 3,600 years ago. That means Confucius, Nefertiti, Socrates, and any figure from ancient history that had children, is in some way your ancestor.”