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3,000 hours of Oral Irish History Available Online

An Ireland-based oral history organization, Irish Life and Lore, invites educators, students and those with an interest in Irish history and folklore to browse its rich archive of audio material and books.

Founded in 1990 by Tralee-based oral historians Maurice and Jane O’Keeffe for the purpose of preserving oral history across Ireland, Irish Life and Lore has compiled, cataloged and archived over 3,000 hours of audio material, arranged into Oral History Collections.

Each themed collection captures a version of the past, which represents the views and sentiments of Irish communities and explores aspects of historical experience that are rarely recorded. Many important topics are covered in the collections, including the Irish revolutionary period, the arts, sport, literature, emigration, local history, folklore, family history and much more.

The online oral history archive may be found at: https://www.irishlifeandlore.com. All individual recordings are available for purchase by download for €6.99 ($7.90 US) or on CD for €15 ($17 US).

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

A 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:

(+) Leave Your Existing Genealogy Program Behind and Look to the Future

How to Find Some of the More Obscure Collections of Genealogy Records

Is That Book Still Under Copyright?

TheGenealogist Announces Map Explorer

(+) Leave Your Existing Genealogy Program Behind and Look to the Future

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

Are you thinking about upgrading to a new computer, possibly including an upgrade to a new operating system? If so, this article is for you.

Over the years, a number of popular genealogy programs have been discontinued. Do you remember Personal Ancestral File, The Master Genealogist, CommSoft’s Roots 5, Carl York’s The Family Edge, Quinsept’s Family Roots, Ultimate Family Tree, or SierraHome’s Generations 8.0? Those and a number of other, lesser-known genealogy programs have all faded away over the years. May they all rest in peace.

The reasons for each program’s demise vary, but a few themes seem common. Obviously, a lack of customers is often a major factor. Developing software, distributing it, and supporting it with a customer service department is not cheap. Any program needs to sell a lot of copies in order to generate enough revenue to cover expenses and hopefully to generate a profit for the producer. Some programs never sold enough copies to achieve profitability.

TheGenealogist Announces Map Explorer

TheGenealogist has announced a major new service that will interest most everyone researching ancestors in England, Scotland, or Wales. The powerful new map tool helps trace ancestors properties through time.

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist’s latest innovation helps you find an ancestor’s property and watch the landscape change over time. The team have georeferenced their Lloyd George Maps for Greater London which are available at launch, with further exciting developments planned for the coming months.

  • TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer displays maps for different historical periods up to the modern day
  • Maps are fully searchable by county, parish, street and even postcode
  • Zoom down to show the individual properties as they were at the time
  • Use the transparency slider to reveal a modern street map underneath
  • Change the modern base map displayed to more clearly understand what the area looks like today
  • Georeferenced pins link to the records for each property
  • Display county or parish boundaries
  • Find out more and watch the video at TheGenealogist.co.uk/maps/

The powerful Map Explorer has been developed to view these georeferenced historic maps overlaid on top of modern background maps including those from Ordnance Survey and Bing Street maps, as well as a satellite view, letting you see where your ancestor’s house is today.

To complement the launch of the new Map Explorer, TheGenealogist has also released historic Ordnance Survey maps covering England, Scotland and Wales between the 1890’s and 1960’s. These have also been georeferenced, allowing you to see how the landscape changed over time.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Ontario, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Minnesota

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.

New Records Available To Search on Findmypast

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are more than 1.7 million new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

US Servicemen in North Devon, England 1943-1945

Explore lists of over 5,000 US servicemen who were stationed in North Devon during WW2. The records consist of original visitor books kept by the local servicemen’s club. The servicemen served at the Assault Training Centre in North Devon, which was set up in 1942. It was established during the Second World War as a centre to develop and practice amphibious assault exercises to prepare for the Normandy landing on D-Day. They practiced on the beaches at Woolacombe and Saunton Sands.

A service club was set up by the Red Cross in October 1943 at Bungalow Café, North Devon. It is now known as the Red Barn. The service club had a visitor’s book which recorded the servicemen’s name, date of signing, service number, location details, hometowns, and states. Not all servicemen who were based at the Training Centre signed in. A few have left a comment, although the layout of the pages did not encourage this. Some state pages are neat and tidy, with names arranged in an orderly fashion. Other pages have names written sideways, diagonally, across one another and on top of each other. Sadly, for those young men who did not return home, this may have been the last time they signed their names.

Scotland, Criminal Database 1801-1917

How to Find Some of the More Obscure Collections of Genealogy Records

Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and other search engines are great for finding online databases that are useful to genealogists. However, smaller collections and even obscure ones are not prominently listed in the big search engines. Yet there are a few online listings that can point the way to finding what you seek.

The Genealogy Roots Blog at https://genrootsblog.blogspot.com contains pointers to many online genealogy databases, records and resources. The focus is on vital records (birth, marriage and death records), obituaries, census records, naturalization records, military records and ship passenger lists. Although the blog is based in the USA, online European, Canadian, and other records sources are sometimes included. You may also occasionally see a fun post or genealogy news. Joe Beine does a great job of adding more and more links as time goes by.

Another huge resource is Cyndi’s List, available at: https://www.cyndislist.com. The site contains roughly 336,000 links to genealogy-related web pages in more than 200 categories. The various categories include many sources online records as well as pointers to newsletters, religious groups, historical information, geography, and much, much more.

Is That Book Still Under Copyright?

Genealogists use old books more often than most other people. Indeed, we also want to take excerpts from an old book and publish those excerpts as part of our own family’s genealogy. However, is that legal? Does the book still enjoy copyright protection?

Under U.S. laws, the answer is simple for books published prior to 1924: the book is now in the public domain (not copyrighted). For books, films, and other works published in 1924 or later, however, the question quickly becomes complicated.

Anything published in 1924 will remain under copyright until the year 2020, anything published in 1925 will remain under copyright until the year 2021, and so on.

Press Release: Bode Forensic Genealogy Service (FGS)

The following announcement was written by the Bode Forensic Genealogy Service:

Bode Technology’s Forensic Genealogy Service, an offering to law enforcement investigators and crime laboratories, combines advanced DNA testing and genealogy to develop ancestral relationships between samples and deliver leads.

The FGS program is a logical expansion of its service offerings to support the law enforcement community. By incorporating Bode’s accredited forensic laboratory, accredited clinical testing laboratories, and board certified and experienced genealogists, Bode has developed a high-quality, turn-key solution for our clients from sample submission through confirmation testing.

Downriver Genealogical Society Library and Newspaper Digitization Project Moves to a New Facility

The Downriver Genealogical Society Library and Newspaper Digitization Project has begun moving its artifacts and records to its new home in Flat Rock with a grand opening planned April 30. The society is moving from Taylor where it had stayed for 10 years, said Sherry Huntington, president of the society.

The genealogical society collects documents, newspapers, yearbooks, cemetery compilations and books regarding local history from 18 communities in Southeast Michigan, including the communities of Brownstown Township, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Huron Township, Rockwood, South Rockwood, Trenton and Woodhaven.

Details may be found in an article by Dean Cousino in the Monroe News web site at: http://bit.ly/2TMCUBU. The Downriver Genealogical Society’s web site may be found at: https://downrivergenealogy.org.

Loyola University to Create a Database of Loyalist Americans’ Claims

Loyalists, the women and men who chose to stay loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, have been the subject of a resurgence of scholarly interest over the past decade. Many of the Loyalists moved to Canada as the U.S. Revolutionary War came to a close and a few others moved to England.

Previously dismissed as the losers in the conflict, scholars have turned their attention to those who separated themselves from their friends and neighbors and gave up their land and possessions when they chose to leave the new United States at the end of the American Revolution. The story of that difficult decision recorded in the Loyalist Claims Commission is one that has been largely overlooked since the end of the war.

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Census Citizenship Question Case

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it is expanding the scope of the case against the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, agreeing to decide whether the move violated the Constitution.

The move comes after a federal judge in California ruled earlier this month that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose agency oversees the census, violated the Constitution’s Enumeration Clause.

(+) 1960 U.S. Census Myths and Facts

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

The U.S. Census is very much in the news these days, and for good reasons. The final specifications for the 2020 census are still being defined and are frequently in the news. It reminds me of the controversy about the 1960 U.S. Census.

For years I have heard stories about the 1960 U.S. Census. The stories vary a bit on each telling but usually say something like, “The 1960 U.S. Census was stored on a computer media for which there no longer was any equipment to read it. The census data has been lost because of the change in technology.”

I always doubted that story. I was just starting my career in computers in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and I remember well the tape drives of that era. I spent many hours repairing those half-inch and three-quarter inch tape drives that weighed 800 pounds each! I think I still could disassemble and reassemble a Honeywell 204B-9 half-inch tape drive while blindfolded. That device was a maze of electronics (without integrated circuits), disk brakes, a big vacuum pump, and numerous solenoids. Those are the tape drives shown in the background of the picture below, showing a Honeywell H-200 computer circa 1970.

Why We Drink Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day

Even if you’re the kind of person who scorns tasteless green beer, you might enjoy a Guinness for Saint Patrick’s Day. And why not? Unlike shamrock pins and wild partying sure to take place on March 17th, Guinness drinking really is a longstanding tradition in Ireland, as well as the Irish diaspora. But it’s a folk tradition that’s inextricably tied up with almost a century of commercial advertising, according to Brenda Murphy, a gender studies professor at the University of Malta.

I am sure that Brenda Murphy must have conducted extensive on-site research on this topic! You can read her findings in the Jstor.org web site at: https://daily.jstor.org/why-we-drink-guinness-on-st-patricks-day.

F+W Media, Citing Debt, Decline, And Mismanagement, Files For Bankruptcy Protection

F+W Media is a publisher of many popular magazines, books, digital products, videos and other content. Within the genealogy community, the company is best known as the producer of Family Tree Magazine, Family Tree University and the Family Tree website. Sadly, F+W Media filed for bankruptcy protection a few days ago.

Facing near-term liquidity issues with only about $2.5 million in cash available and $105.2 million in outstanding debt, F+W Media filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, citing in various documents a perfect storm of secular industry decline, poor investments, and even mismanagement.

NOTE: Family Tree Magazine published by F+W Media in the U.S. should not be confused with a magazine of the same name published in England by Warners Group Publications Plc. (See https://www.family-tree.co.uk/ for the “other” Family Tree Magazine.) The two magazines may share a name but nothing else. They are owned and published by totally different companies.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are more than 1.9 million new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Irish Newspaper Transcript Archive, ffolliott Collection 1756-1850

Search a comprehensive catalogue of more than 54,000 biographical notices from Irish newspapers compiled by the celebrated Irish genealogist Rosemary ffolliott. Each record includes a transcript and original image that enable you to discover if your Irish ancestors had details of their birth, marriage or death announcement printed in a newspaper.

Rosemary ffolliott was Ireland’s premier genealogist, at the age of 23 she had her first book The Pooles of Mayfield, a history of settler families in the Cork area published in 1958. From the 1950s to the 1970s she was a member of the panel of freelance researchers engaged by the Genealogical Office, becoming a prominent member of the Irish Genealogical Research Society whose journal The Irish Genealogist she edited for a time.

In addition, she revised a simple guide to Irish Genealogy which was originally written by Father Wallace Clare, the founder of the society. In 1966 she became a Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, the first woman to be recognised in this way.

Kerry Histories & Reference Guides

Relative Risk for Alzheimer Disease Based on Complete Family History

A recent medical study finds that if your family history shows Alzheimer disease (AD) amongst close relatives, your risk of developing the same disease are increased. A population resource including a genealogy of Utah pioneers from the 1800s linked to Utah death certificates was used to estimate relative risk for AD based on specific family history constellations, including from first- to third-degree relatives.

The study’s conclusion states, “This population-based estimation of RRs [relative risks] for AD based on family history ascertained from extended genealogy data indicates that inherited genetic factors have a broad influence, extending beyond immediate relatives. Providers should consider the full constellation of family history when counseling patients and families about their risk of AD.”

The study isn’t very reassuring to those of us with relatives who suffered from Alzheimer Disease!

MyHeritage Offers Free Access to Irish Records for St. Patrick’s Day

The following is an announcement from MyHeritage:

Until March 20, 2019, all MyHeritage users have FREE access to all our Irish record collections in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this year.

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Search our Irish records for free today to see if you have Irish roots.

Ancestry.com Adds Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969

Ancestry.com has added a new set of records that will be valuable for many genealogists. Here is the announcement:

This collection contains baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from more than 2,000 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations. The records range from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century. Select records may be found prior to the year 1926. The information contained in the records varies from congregation to congregation (and sometimes from minister to minister). In some ethnic congregations, you may run into records in German, Danish, or some other language.

MyHeritage Adds 6.8 Million Records with the New Norwegian Census Collections

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

6.8 million new records from nationwide censuses conducted in Norway more than a century ago provide a treasure trove of information for anyone with Norwegian heritage

Tel Aviv, Israel & Lehi, Utah — MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, announced today the publication of three census collections from Norway, from 1891, 1900, and 1910. MyHeritage has worked on digitizing these collections in partnership with the National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket).

The collections provide robust coverage for Norway’s entire population during a span of two decades and include valuable family history information. While some former Norway censuses were conducted only in select trading centers, these records are more comprehensive. The 6.8 million new records document names, households, dates of birth, marital status, relationships, and residential conditions, making them vital for anyone wishing to explore their Norwegian origins. Their publication marks the first time that Norwegian record collections of such high quality and granularity are available online.