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(+) Genealogy Record Keeping in the Post-PC World

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

I believe the post-PC world is upon us. That is, personal computers as we know them are slowly disappearing and will become museum pieces within the next ten years.

The term ” personal computers” includes Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, and Chromebox computers, including desktop and laptop systems. It does not include tablet computers or Apple or Android “smartphones.”

The term “post-PC” refers to the computing world after sales of desktop and laptop computers have slowed to a trickle.

True to the predictions of industry pundits, both consumers and businesses are now replacing desktop and laptop computers with “smart” cell phones, tablet computers, and likely other lightweight computing devices that haven’t even been invented yet. In many cases, the ever-growing, high-speed wireless networks and cloud computing are allowing tiny, lightweight devices to replace traditional desktop systems. Having a powerful computer of your own is no longer essential; the power can exist either in your own computer or someplace in the cloud.

FamilySearch Announces New Records from the United Kingdom

The following is an announcement written by FamilySearch:

We are excited to announce that more record collections from the United Kingdom have newly become available and have been added to the FamilySearch library! We hope that these records will help you feel more in touch with a section of history, and we especially hope that they will open doors for you as you continue to research your family roots. Some of these collections include the following:

More than 500 Family Members in China gather for a Family Photo

Now this was a successful family reunion!

More than 500 members of the Ren family gathered together for a reunion and a group photo several months in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang to celebrate the completion of the family tree. The gathering was in celebration of the publication of updated family tree records that documents 2,000 LIVING relatives.

That’s a lot of cousins!

New Cumberland Parish Records and DC Thomson Staff War Photos available to search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Here’s what’s new this Findmypast Friday 

Scotland, Forfarshire (Angus), Dundee, D C Thomson Staff War Album 1939-1945

Search through this unique collection of vivid portrait images of men and women employed with DC Thomson in Dundee, who volunteered to serve during the Second World War. DC Thomson, the long established Dundee based publishing company, is the parent company of Findmypast. DC Thomson is best known for publishing The Evening Telegraph, The Dundee Courier, The Dandy and the longest running British children’s comic, the Beano.

Most of the staff depicted were employed at the Meadowside headquarters, which is still in operation today. The photo album contains each employee’s date of enlistment, name, notable details, and most have an accompanying photograph, many in uniform. A number of those listed were sadly captured, went missing or were killed.

Cumberland Baptisms

Centuries-Old Mystery Notebook Dating Back to the 16th Century, Returned to New Forest Church in Hampshire, England

A hand-written notebook has been returned to its place of origin. If you have ancestors in Minstead or Lyndhurst, Hampshire, you probably will be interested in the book’s contents.

The book has the year 1532 on the vellum cover, but contains references to births, deaths and marriages in Minstead and Lyndhurst throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, along with other notes.

Association of Professional Genealogists Awards Members for Contributions to the Organization and Profession; Announces Golden Chapter Award

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, and WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 19 September 2019 − The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) honored several members for their achievements and service to the profession at its 2019 Professional Management Conference (PMC) in Salt Lake City, Utah. APG President Billie Stone Fogarty presented the awards at today’s opening session of the PMC.

The Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy was presented to Paula Stuart Warren, CG.® The award recognizes exemplary professionalism and continuing encouragement to other professional genealogists. A past officer of APG, Paula is an educator, lecturer, author, and institute course coordinator. She is a past recipient of the APG Grahame T. Smallwood Award of Merit and, in 2011, was named a Fellow by the Utah Genealogical Association. She has served on the boards of the Minnesota Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and, in 2017, received the FGS Loretto D. Szucs Service Award. She is the author of Your Guide to the Family History Library and Minnesota Genealogical Reference Guide and of numerous articles on various research facilities and types of records.

Association of Professional Genealogists Announces Staff Changes

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

Names Seema-Jayne Berquist Kenney as Coordinator for 2021 Professional Management Conference

APG Thanks Annette Burke Lyttle for her Service to the Field’s Premier Professional Genealogy Conference

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 19 September 2019—The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today announced the appointment of Seema-Jayne Kenney as coordinator for the 2021 Professional Management Conference (PMC). Kenney, of Upton Massachusetts, joins Judy Nimer Muhn, in rotating coordination of this premier event for professional genealogists. Kenney is a researcher and speaker, who has served on the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium planning committee and is certified through the Birren Center as an Autobiography Consultant and through Legacy Stories as a Legacy Planner.

Czech Republic National Museum is Searching for Early Czech Sound Recordings in the US

Do you have Czech ancestors or other relatives or even friends or neighbors who speak Czech? Next, does their descendants have very old recordings of Czech (or often called “Bohemian”) recorded music? The older the recordings, the better. If so, Filip Šír from the National Museum in Prague would like to speak with them. Šír has been searching for the lost recordings and the stories of the people behind them.

Few people in the Czech Republic know that a significant chapter in the history of early Czech sound recordings was written by Czech immigrants in the United States.

Filip Šír said:

“Between the years 1900 and 1929, there wasn’t any Czech record label company. In 1929 and 1930, Esta and Ultraphone were established as Czechoslovakian record label companies. However, this is almost 30 years after the first recordings in the United States.

Genealogist-on-Demand: Virtual Consultation Service announced by Legacy Tree Genealogists

Legacy Tree Genealogists is a well known and highly respected genealogy research company. Now the company has announced expansion into a slightly different service for genealogists. The following announcement was written by Legacy Tree Genealogists:

[SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, September 19, 2019] – Legacy Tree Genealogists, the world’s leading genealogy research firm, announced today the launch of a new service—45-minute, virtual one-on-one consultations with a professional genealogist. At only 100 USD, these consultations provide users with a cost-effective resource to have their research questions answered in real-time by a professional genealogist, from the comfort of their own home.

Users have the option to schedule either a DNA Consultation with a genetic genealogist who can explain their DNA test results, or a Genealogy Consultation with access to one of their worldwide researchers with expertise in regions around the globe, including England, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia.

Utah Adds More Privacy to Family Information Submitted to Online Genealogy and DNA Web Sites

Utah is now a safe haven for digital privacy and a model for the rest of the country to emulate. In March, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law a first of its kind privacy bill, HB 57, which prevents law enforcement officials from obtaining user data from third-party providers such as genealogy sites, Google, or Facebook just by asking.

The new law says anyone who sends personal electronic information through a remote computing service — like the “cloud” — has a reasonable expectation of privacy. In order to access that data, the government must obtain a warrant.

DNAtix Launches Free Anonymous Genetic Vault

The following is a press release written by Digital DNAtix Ltd.:

Digital DNAtix Ltd., the Israeli cyber genetics startup, has announced the first free anonymous genetic vault service. DNAtix developed the Cyber Genetics Smart Platform for Digital Genetics. Lack of privacy is currently a barrier for so many people who want to have their DNA tested but are afraid to give their genetic data away. As of today anyone can anonymously upload their raw file from 23&Me and Ancestry.com onto the DNAtix platform.

Tel Aviv, Israel, September 17, 2019Digital DNAtix Ltd., the Israeli cyber genetics startup, has announced the first free anonymous genetic vault service.

Lack of privacy is currently a barrier for so many people who want to have their DNA tested but are afraid to give their genetic data away. As of today anyone can anonymously upload their raw file from 23&Me and Ancestry.com onto the DNAtix platform and receive the following benefits:

Register for RootsTech/Salt Lake City 2020

The largest genealogy conference in the world will happen almost before we know it: February 26–29, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Registration is now open. Here is an announcement received from Jen Allen, Event Director for the RootsTech/Salt Lake City event:

Brace yourself: registration for RootsTech 2020 is open! This really is one of my favorite days of the year because it means that we’re only a few months away from everyone’s favorite four-day family history party! And seriously, this is going to be the one family history event you don’t want to miss.

I hope you’ll join us February 26–29, 2020, at the Salt Palace. Here’s a few more updates:

Ontario Genealogical Society Presents Peter Wilson with the Society’s Award of Merit

Peter Wilson (left) was presented the Award of Merit by the Ontario Genealogical Society’s President Steve Fulton

Peter Wilson, the Richmond Hill, Ontario, Public Library’s Local History Librarian, was recently award the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Award of Merit for his work in leading the Library’s efforts in the organization, preservation, and digitization of genealogical and local history material.

According to the announcement, “Peter has worked tirelessly to preserve the area’s local history and to ensure that materials are made available and accessible through digitization. In addition to providing access to a diverse local history collection housed in the Richmond Hill Public Library’s Mary-Lou Griffin Local History Room, Peter and the Library also support the Ontario Genealogical Society’s York Branch by showcasing the branch’s collection of material through the RHPL online catalogue, and by offering training opportunities for the use of genealogy tools like Family Tree Maker software and Ancestry Library Edition. Congratulations Peter!”

My thanks to newsletter reader Terry Mulcahy for telling me about this award.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 16 September 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added over 1 million new, free, historical records this week from 1917-1918 WWI Draft Registration Cards. Other countries include Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Germany, Italy, Peru, South Africa, Spain, and the United States.

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

Gramps 5.1.1 Released

Gramps is an abbreviation for Genealogical Research and Analysis Management Programming System. It is a free and open source software (FOSS) project – a genealogy program that is both intuitive for hobbyists and feature-complete for professional genealogists. It also is available in multiple languages. Gramps is a community project,  not the product of a commercial corporation. Instead, Gramps is created, developed, and governed by volunteer genealogists.

Gramps gives you the ability to record the many details of an individual’s life as well as the complex relationships between various people, places and events. All of your research is kept organized, searchable and as precise as you need it to be. Gramps is a free competitor to Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, Legacy Family Tree, Family Historian, Reunion, Heredis, MacFamily Tree, and almost all other genealogy programs of today.

Hong Kong’s Packed “Vertical Graveyards” on Hillsides

With space at a premium in the densely packed city, Hong Kong cemeteries are built into the surrounding mountains in an almost vertical fashion. Many of these terraced burial sites were built in the 1980s as a last-ditch effort to create more space in a city that is running out of places to bury the dead.

In fact, the government highly encourages cremation for these reasons, with 90% of the deceased in Hong Kong taking that path in 2013. Still, as Chinese customs call for loved ones to be buried close to their native land, people are desperate to ensure their family members have a proper resting place.

Board for Certification of Genealogists Elects 2019-2020 Officers

The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists :

At its semi-annual meeting held 7 September 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) elected officers for the coming year. Elected were:

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL

    • President LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL
    • Vice-President Angela Packer McGhie, CG
    • Secretary Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL
    • Treasurer Scott Wilds, CG
    • Executive Committee Member at Large Laurel T. Baty, CG
    • Executive Committee Member at Large Sara Anne Scribner, CG

Brazil Records First-Ever Blockchain Birth Certificate

Brazil Records First-Ever Blockchain Birth Certificate

Blockchains are normally associated with cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoins, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and many others. However, blockchains and cryptocurrencies are really two separate topics. The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, adopted blockchain technology for recording transactions simply because of the reliability of blockchains. A blockchain is a distributed ledger that appears to be hacker-proof.

Once a record is recorded in a blockchain, it can never be altered or deleted. Most blockchains have multiple copies available online and each copy serves as a backup copy to all the other copies, making it (probably) impossible for hackers to delete all of them simultaneously. Most blockchains are also visible to everyone over the internet although there are a few exceptions.

Blockchains are now being used to record all sorts of important transactions and events, including financial transactions, real estate sales, and legal transactions. They have also moved into other important functions, such as tracking the purity of drugs during manufacture, tracking the origins of all sorts of food items, and creating digital identities of human beings. Even Walmart has been working with IBM on a food safety blockchain solution and requires all suppliers of leafy green vegetables destined for Sam’s and Walmart to immediately upload their data to the blockchain during each step of the delivery process. Some people believe that blockchains will soon be used to identify which voters are eligible to vote in public elections, thereby reducing or possibly eliminating election fraud.

Follow-Up to Another “Interesting” Obituary about Joseph Heller, Jr.

Last week I published an article at https://blog.eogn.com/2019/09/12/another-interesting-obituary/ about Joe Heller’s obituary. It seems that his funeral and burial ceremony have now taken place and, as you might expect, both were a bit “unusual.”

According to the New York Times at https://tinyurl.com/eogn190916:

On Friday morning, Mr. Heller’s body, in a coffin draped with an American flag, was placed on the 1941 Mack fire truck he helped restore and taken to Centerbrook Cemetery to be buried next to his wife, Irene, who died in 2015, and whom he embarrassed daily “with his mouth and choice of clothing,” according to the obituary.

Family members followed the fire truck in Mr. Heller’s immaculately restored 1932 Plymouth roadster with, as per his request, a set of plastic testicles dangling from the rear bumper.

There’s more information available at: https://tinyurl.com/eogn190916.

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. You will notice that this week’s email looks radically different from the previous Plus Edition email messages you have received. It is even different from last week’s (experimental) email message. I hope you will like the changes but, if not, please let me know.

The following articles are listed in this week’s Plus Edition email:

(+) Digitize Your Life

The Missing Piece, the MyHeritage Original Documentary that had its World Premiere this Past Weekend at the MyHeritage Live in Amsterdam is now Available to Watch Online

Road to RootsTech 2020/Salt Lake City Video Series is Now Available

Kadeena Cox Announced as a Keynote Speaker at RootsTech/London

Genetic Testing Scam Preys on Seniors’ Cancer Fears and May Be Costing Taxpayers Millions

How to Create and Customize Google Maps

Libraries and Archivists are Scanning and Uploading Books that are Secretly in the Public Domain

The Growing Interest in African American Ancestry

Another “Interesting” Obituary