This Newsletter is Sponsored by MyHeritage


New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 960,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Scotland, Fife Death Index, 1549-1877

Search over 265,000 deaths recorded in Fife’s old parish records including deaths and burials from St Andrews and Edinburgh Testaments (from 1549 to 1823), sheriff court wills (1824-1854), Fife newspapers (1822-1854), kirk session account books for mortcloths, lair registers and more. Each result will provide a transcript. The amount of information listed in each transcript will vary depending on the nature of the original document but most will reveal a combination of your ancestor’s name, age, death date, and occupation.

Canada Obituary Notices

Sunshine State Digital Network Welcomes Florida Memory

From the Sunshine State Digital Network at

Florida’s Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN) is pleased to announce that more than 62,000 new records from Florida Memory are now discoverable through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Florida Memory is a digital outreach program of the State Library and Archives of Florida, administered by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services. With this new content, SSDN has now contributed more than 148,000 records to DPLA. This expands the network of people, communities, and stories that we represent and can share with you, our community.

X-ray Beam Illuminates Long-Forgotten Faces on Damaged Daguerreotypes

Anyone who wishes to restore or repair old photographs has a new tool available for use. As long as it is a Daguerreotype, experts at the Canadian Light Source, a high-energy X-ray facility in Saskatchewan, have discovered how to restore important details from daguerreotypes that have been written off as beyond recovery.

On the left is the image as it appears to the eye. On the right is the X-ray scan that reveals where mercury was deposited on the metal plate when the daguerreotype was originally produced.

Saving History from the recent Aberdeen Museum of History Fire, One Photo at a Time

I wrote recently about a fire that damaged many of the documents and artifacts at the Aberdeen Museum of History and the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society research library. (See my earlier articles at and at for more information about the damage.) Some of the items were completely destroyed but volunteers at  the Washington State Archives are trying to salvage as much as they can from the fire.

An article by Louis Krauss in The Daily World web site describes the restoration project:

“On Tuesday last week, Washington State Archivist Steve Excell, about five other state archivists and a team of workers from ServPro, a company that specializes in restoration after disasters, spent hours recovering and boxing up the historical documents and photos from the basement of the Armory. The basement was flooded during the fire, and a lot of the documents received water damage but were not burned.

June is Immigrant Heritage Month

From the U.S.House (of Representatives) Resolution 606:

Introduced May 29, 2014

Sponsored by: Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California (for herself, Mr. Cárdenas, Mr. Gutiérrez, Ms. Lee of California, Ms. Jackson Lee, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Costa, Mr. Grijalva, Mrs. Napolitano, Ms. Waters, Mr. Honda, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Ms. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Mr. Lowenthal, Ms. Titus, Mr. Polis, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Swalwell of California, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Mr. Heck of Washington, Mr. Hinojosa, and Mr. Veasey) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Recognizing the month of June as Immigrant Heritage Month in honor of the accomplishments and role of immigrants in shaping the history and culture of the United States.

Whereas the entrepreneurial drive and spirit of our country is built on our diversity of origins;

Whereas it is what drew the first people to the U.S. and what continues to drive American business;

Whereas American success is a result of our many distinct experiences, not in spite of it;

Whereas America has always been a nation of immigrants, and throughout the nation’s history, immigrants from around the globe have kept our workforce vibrant, our businesses on the cutting edge, and helped to build the greatest economic engine in the world;

Scan and Digitize Your Books for $1 Each

I have been scanning genealogy books for several reasons. Finding information in digitized books is much easier and faster than manually searching through thousands of printed pages. However, the biggest reason is for a word that still gives me shivers. It is a word dreaded by almost every soon-to-be retiree:


A few years ago, I became a “snowbird.” That is, I go south every winter and north every summer, following many of the birds. I now spend my winters in Florida where the weather is much more pleasant than where I have lived most of my life in the “snowbelt.” However, I still spend summers “up north.”

Having two homes has several obvious advantages but also more than a few disadvantages. First of all, it seems like every time I want to use something, such as a book full of genealogy information, it is always in “the other place.” That is a serious disadvantage for any genealogist!

Next, I downsized. My new home in the south is considerably smaller than where I spend my summers.

So here are the quandaries:

MyHeritage Offers Free DNA Tests to Help Reunite Separated Migrant Children with their Parents

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

We have just announced that, following the recent separation of immigrant parents and children in the United States, MyHeritage is expanding its pro bono initiative, DNA Quest — which helps reunite adoptees with their biological families through DNA testing — to help those parents who were detained at the US border reunite with their children. We are pledging 5,000 additional free DNA tests for separated parents and children who are interested in this opportunity.

For the DNA kits to reach the affected people, MyHeritage has begun contacting relevant government agencies and NGOs that are able to provide assistance with distribution of the DNA kits — to parents in detainment facilities and to their children placed in temporary custody. MyHeritage is also calling the public to assist — anyone who can help with the distribution of the DNA kits and is in touch with the separated families is requested to contact The DNA results will be processed by MyHeritage and not shared with any third parties.

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of June 18, 2018

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added 2.5 million searchable names to its England historical record collections, 1.5 million in Germany, 5.4 million in the Netherlands, and over 1 million in South Africa. Almost 1.5 million new browsable images can be found for Mexico. Additional indexed records and images were also added for Albania, Chili, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Italy, Peru, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and in the United States in Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, and Utah.

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

TheGenealogist releases the new Change of Names Database as well as the Colour Tithe Maps for the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has just released a great new resource for family historians wanting to find ancestors who had officially changed their forename or surname in Britain. The Change of Names Database covers information gathered from a number of sources including Private Acts of Parliament; Royal Licences published in the London and Dublin Gazettes; notices of changes of name published in The Times after 1861 with a few notices from other newspapers; registers of the Lord Lyon [King of Arms] where Scottish changes of name were commonly recorded; records in the office of the Ulster King at Arms and also some private information.

Use this database to:

  • Discover ancestors that recorded a change of name
  • Find what name had been adopted and the name discarded

Lord Byron who changed his surname to Noel and is found in the Change of Name Database on TheGenealogist


Historic Aerials

Historic Aerials claims to be “Home of the most comprehensive database of historical aerial photos of the United States.” Indeed, it is a huge resource.

According to information on the Historic Aerials web site:

“Take a ride in our time machine!
“Nationwide Environmental Title Research has spent the past 20+ years collecting the worlds largest database of historical aerial images and topographical maps of the United States. Our sources include USGS imagery, several private collections, and we are continually acquiring more. All the imagery we collect is painstakingly orthorectified to provide the data in a searchable and precise geo-locatable format. Our web application allows you to quickly and easily search for any parcel of U.S. land and instantly view that same area in any other year where we could obtain an aerial photo.”

While the basic service is free, the pictures displayed to free users have a rather obnoxious watermark pasted on top of each image. That makes the free images almost useless. Obviously, the web site owners want each user to sign up for a paid account in order to obtain more useful images.

SmallPDF Converts PDF Files to JPG and Other Formats

Genealogists seem to use a lot of different documents in their computers and sometimes need to convert from one format to another. For instance, one newsletter reader recently mentioned a need to convert an e-book in PDF format to JPG files. With the right software, this is easy to do.

Any number of programs are available that will convert files from one format to another. In this case, the newsletter reader wanted to convert an entire book that was in PDF format to individual JPG files, one file for each page in the book. I suggested using SmallPDF, a FREE online service.

Since SmallPDF is a cloud-based service, there is no need to install software in your computer. Simply open a web browser and go to to use it. Like most other cloud-based applications, the service works equally well on Macintosh, Windows, Chromebook, and Linux computers. Since the conversion happens in the cloud, the service works well even on low-powered computers, such as very cheap Chromebooks or on older Windows computers.

(US) National Archives Publishes FOIA Advisory Committee Report

The following is a message sent by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

US Archivist David S. Ferriero announced the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee completed its final report and recommendations. The report may be read at The committee took 2-years to complete its work. While there were government officials, FOIA government officers, lawyers, history professors, and consumer advocates there were no genealogists on the committee.

Some of the issues the recommendations are directed at include: promoting the proactive disclosure of records, improving agencies’ ability to identify responsive digital records, and reinforcing that FOIA is everyone’s responsibility, not just the responsibility of full-time FOIA professionals.

How to Prepare your Google Account for When You Pass Away

I have written before about Who Will Handle your Facebook Page After You Are Gone? (see and What to do with Your Genealogy Collection When You Downsize or Die  (see Now Jerry Hildenbrand has written a similar article about all your information on Google: GMail, Google Photos, Google Drive, Google Pay, and more.

Hildenbrand tells how to use Google’s Inactive Account Manager. It allows you to be very specific about what is done with your digital information after your account has been inactive for a set length of time.

Google Podcasts

Google now has its own podcast app called Google Podcasts. OK, there’s not much originality in that name but, then again, it is obvious what the app does and who produced it. If you have an Android phone, you can head over to the Play Store and obtain it right now. Google Podcasts is available free of charge.

Google Podcasts allows you to LISTEN to whatever the podcast creator(s) produces. It works on all sorts of podcasts. I assume it works not only on Android phones but also on tablet computers and other devices that use the Android operating system, although I didn’t test that. However, I downloaded it and installed it on my Android phone this morning and immediately subscribed to a half-dozen genealogy-related podcasts. That app worked well on all of them. If you don’t know what genealogy podcasts are available, Google Podcasts will help you find them. Once you install the app, open it, click on the magnifying glass icon (that means “search”), and enter: genealogy

When Americans Started Bathing

When thinking about the lives of our ancestors, we sometimes overlook some of the major facts of their lives. For instance, take bathing.

Most Americans in the first part of the nineteenth century didn’t bathe. There was little indoor plumbing, and besides, everyone “knew” that submerging yourself in water was a recipe for weakness and ill health. Therefore, most people did not bathe for weeks or even months at a time, if ever. Some people could go from cradle to grave without ever immersing themselves in water.

Illustration of Thompson’s bathtub of 1842, published in the Chronicle-Telegram, November 18, 1935.

Should Government Offices Store Paper Documents? or Digital Images?

I received an email message from a newsletter reader asking about a recent experience she had with a county records clerk. I answered her in email but decided to also publish my reply here in this newsletter because I suspect her experience is going to become more common with every passing year.

I deleted the name of the city, county, and state because I believe this is a nationwide and even international issue. It could have happened anywhere. Let’s focus on the issues, not on the location:

“Hi, Mr. Eastman

“I wanted to share this with you. I am researching genealogy for a friend of mine. He told me that his parents were married in {city and state deleted} and wanted proof of that. He did not have any more information than that.

“Today, I contacted the County Clerk to verify that they were married there. The clerk found the record. I asked how much would it cost to get a certified copy. She said that ‘I will mail the original to you.’ I said, ‘The original?’ She replied, ‘Yes, we do not keep original documents anymore. We scan them into the computer system and mail them to the nearest family member.’

Polarr Photo Editor is Available Free and (Optionally) Requires No Installation in Your Computer

I know that many genealogists frequently use photo editors to improve or restore old family photographs and for a myriad of other uses. If you would like to do the same, you might already be aware that the two leading photo editing products are Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) which is only available as a subscription service for $20.99 US per month, and Photoshop Elements, which retails for $99.99 or is also available as a subscription service for $9.99 per month.

NOTE: Adobe, the producer of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, often bundles other products along with the company’s mainstream products and prices vary frequently as various bundles go on sale. Always check the Abode web site at for the latest offers.)

While Photoshop CC and Photoshop Elements are both great products, they tend to appeal primarily to professional photographers and to other business users who can justify such expense. The prices often discourage casual users who only want to edit a few pictures on their home computers. As a result, a number of lower-cost alternatives to the Photoshop programs have become popular, including:

Rare Film Uncovered Showing San Francisco Right After The 1906 Earthquake

A long-lost roll film turned up in a California flea market in 2017. It shows before and after views of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Thanks to PBS, you can view the video below or in YouTube at

General Register Building of the National Archives of Scotland

“Every birth, death, and marriage is recorded in these color-coded leather-bound books.”

While you might never get there in person, it would be nice to see what the place looks like. The Atlas Obscura web site has pictures and a description of the building that will be of interest to any genealogist researching Scottish ancestry.

The article states:

“These millions and millions of pages contain MacDonalds, Stewarts, Campbells and Murrays, along with almost as many variant spellings. They may just look like names in a book, but each is a memento of a life begun, ended, or joined to another on Caledonian soil.”

You can view the pictures and description at


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:

(+) When is it Time to Hire a Professional Genealogist?

A New DNA Case Results in the Arrest of a Person for Two Murders in 1987

Father and Daughter Reunited on The Today Show thanks to MyHeritage DNA

Reclaim The Records wins a Third Lawsuit; NYC Marriage Index for 1996-2017 is now Online

Are You Missing Most of the Available Genealogy Information?

Always Keep Backups of Your Online Genealogy Information

At 72 Years of Age, Two Women Learn They Were Switched at Birth

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 2.06