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(+) How to Send Blog Articles, Announcements, or a Newsletter by Bulk Email

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

The following article is for anyone who needs to send a large number of identical, or nearly identical, email messages. Perhaps you need to send 1,000 messages to attendees of your society’s annual conference. Perhaps you write a blog and would like to offer email subscriptions to your articles. In either case, using a 50-year-old technology called email can greatly increase the number of readers you have.

COMMENT: If you have a blog, I would suggest that you absolutely need to publish your articles both online and in email. Many people will visit a blog daily or at least several times a week in order to read the news offered. However, as time goes by, many blog readers will forget to check frequently or will become distracted by other priorities in their lives. Little by little, they will check the blog less and less often. Eventually, they “drift away,” even though they may still be interested in the articles offered in your blog. The simple solution is to send each person an email message every day or every few days containing all the new articles posted since the last such message.

The advantage of sending blog articles by email is that the recipient doesn’t need to remember to check the blog frequently. All new articles arrive automatically in the recipient’s in-box without any action required by the recipient.

What the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Means to Genealogy Bloggers and Others

A new European law goes into effect on May 25, 2018, that will require changes for almost everyone who publishes information online. In my opinion, this is a very good law. However, if you write a genealogy blog or collect email addresses for those who read your genealogy data online, you need to be aware of the changes that might be required of your web site.

Even though the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European law, it affects almost everyone who publishes information online. Just because you live in North America or in Asia doesn’t mean you can ignore this new law. The law covers privacy requirements, and we all live in a digital world where data privacy is of the utmost importance. If you have one or more readers in Europe, you need to comply with the new law. In fact, I would suggest everyone should follow the new guidelines simply as a matter of common sense, regardless of where your readers reside. Compliance should be easy.

The General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise referred to as GDPR, is new legislation that strives to put the control back in the hands of European Union citizens when it comes to their personal information. Since it will require changes to web sites worldwide, the result will be better privacy for all of us, regardless of where we live.

The Truth About St. Patrick

March 17 is celebrated by millions of Irish descendants every year. They all know the “facts” about Saint Patrick. Or do they?

St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, and he wasn’t born in Ireland. Patrick was probably born in what is now England, Scotland or Wales around A.D. 390. Most agree that St. Patrick’s parents were Roman citizens living in the British Isles. Therefore, Patrick himself was a Roman citizen even though he was born somewhere in what is now Great Britain. He was living in Scotland or Wales (scholars can’t agree which) when he was kidnapped at age 16 by Irish raiders and sold as a slave, reports Catholic Online. He spent years in Ireland herding sheep until he escaped. He eventually returned to Ireland where he spread Christianity.

St. Patrick did not bring Christianity to Ireland. Christianity was introduced into Ireland by a bishop known as Palladius before Patrick began preaching in Ireland. However, St. Patrick apparently had more success at converting the Irish to Christianity than did Palladius.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are a whole host of fascinating Irish additions available to search this St Pratrick’s weekend, including:

Irish Tontines Annuitants 1766-1789

Search for your Irish ancestor in over 153,000 annuity statements, accounts of deaths, death certificates, and marriage certificates relating to the subscribers and nominees of the Irish Tontine. Popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a tontine was an investment plan designed for the raising of capital. Named after the Neapolitan banker Lorenzo de Tonti, who allegedly invented the tontine in France in 1653, subscribers would pay an agreed sum into the fund and thereafter receive an annuity from it. Upon a member’s death, their shares would devolve to the other participants whose annuities would then rise in value. The scheme would be wound up when the last member died.

The records in this collection have been released in association with the National Archives and cover the English tontine of 1789; the Irish tontines of 1773, 1775, and 1777; and the life annuities of 1766 to 1779. The records consist of both transcripts and images of original documents and the amount of information listed will vary depending on the source. Images may include additional information such as annuity amounts, nominee or subscriber status, and class. Participants were divided into different classes by age. Those over the age of forty were placed into the first class, those aged between twenty and forty were placed into the second class, and the third class consisted of those below the age of twenty.

Ireland, American Fenian Brotherhood 1864-1897

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 web site at:

World’s Most Comprehensive Whaling History Database Released

The following announcement was written by the New Bedford Whaling Museum: – connects all things whaling for researchers, scholars, genealogists and enthusiasts

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The New Bedford Whaling Museum, in partnership with Mystic Seaport, has developed the world’s most comprehensive whaling history database and it is now available for all to use at Researchers, genealogists, students, teachers, and history buffs alike will find it to be the most robust and useful repository of whaling history documentation and scholarship.

The data presented combines many sources including logbooks, journals, ship registers, newspapers, business papers, and custom house records. Users will be able to find and trace whaling voyages and ships to specific logbooks, as well as the list of crewmembers aboard most of the voyages. The foundational fabric of Whaling History features three databases that have been stitched together – the American Offshore Whaling Voyage (AOWV) database, the American Offshore Whaling Log database, and an extensive whaling crew list database. All data is open to the public and is downloadable for any researcher to use with other tools and systems.

Reminder: Early Bird Discount Ends 20 March for 2018 Family History Conference

If you are planning to attend the National Genealogical Society’s (NGS) Family History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2-5 May 2018, you want to register NOW. After 20 March 2018, the price of registration for NGS members will increase from $215 to $250 for all four days. Non-members will pay $285, up from $250. Genealogists also will no longer be able to order a printed syllabus or flash drive version of the syllabus. To qualify for the early bird discount, your registration must be received online or postmarked by 20 March.

Details may be found at:

How Two of President John Tyler’s Grandsons are Still Alive, 174 Years Later

I suspect very few families can boast this sort of longevity. Two of President John Tyler’s grandchildren are still around, 175 years after he left office.

You can read the full story by Chip Reid and watch a video on the CBS News web site at:

Student Genealogy Grant Invites Applications

The following announcement was written by the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee:

The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee and the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree are pleased to announce the 2018 Student Grant and Jamboree Scholarship. Student genealogists between the ages of 18 and 23 are eligible to apply for the $500 cash award and full registration scholarship to the 2018 SCGS Jamboree to be held in Burbank, California June 1-2, 2018.

The Student Grant was established in 2010 by family and friends in memory of Suzanne Winsor Freeman, family historian and life-long volunteer, and an enthusiastic annual attendee at the SCGS Jamboree. The 2018 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society will provide conference registration to the SCGS Jamboree in June where the award will be presented. This is a unique opportunity for a young genealogist to attend a premiere regional conference and meet genealogists from throughout the nation.

27 Public Libraries and the Internet Archive Launch “Community Webs” for Local History Web Archiving

I have to believe this could become a huge resource for genealogists. According to an announcement in the Blog:

“With generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, as well as the Kahle/Austin Foundation and the Archive-It service, the Internet Archive and 27 public library partners representing 17 different states have launched a new program: Community Webs: Empowering Public Libraries to Create Community History Web Archives. The program will provide education, applied training, cohort network development, and web archiving services for a group of public librarians to develop expertise in web archiving for the purpose of local memory collecting. Additional partners in the program include OCLC’s WebJunction training and education service and the public libraries of Queens, Cleveland and San Francisco will serve as “lead libraries” in the cohort. The program will result in dozens of terabytes of public library administered local history web archives, a range of open educational resources in the form of online courses, videos, and guides, and a nationwide network of public librarians with expertise in local history web archiving and the advocacy tools to build and expand the network. A full listing of the participating public libraries is below and on the program website.”

This could result in huge online collections local history and information created by libraries nationwide. The list of participating libraries is impressive, ranging from big city libraries to one small town library near me. You can learn more at:

Owners Can Track the History of their Homes with Housestry

Housestry is building a digital yearbook of sorts for properties across the world. According to the web site:

“A home is more than the walls and materials of which it’s made. In its midst, meals are shared, boys and girls grow into young men and women and life chapters open and close. At housestry, we provide the venue where those experiences and memories live on.

“Share moments from your home’s journey by creating an account and adding your photos and personal stories. Bring the past to life and show other users the history hiding behind the walls. Did you pour blood, sweat and tears into a remodel? Have you unearthed items hidden by previous owners? What events meant the most to you happened there. All of these things form the housestry of a home.”

Tens of Thousands of Unseen Post-War Images of Manchester, England, Unveiled Online for First Time

A new historical photo mapping web app was launched in Manchester this week, giving the public the chance to explore how their streets looked in yesteryear. Pictures taken in the late 1940s to early 1950s were the equivalent of today’s Google Street View and are a fascinating insight into how Greater Manchester looked back then. They show surveyors from Ordnance Survey (OS) marking out Revision Points to map the city, but also capture faces of many unknown young children – who would be in their sixties or seventies today.

The pictures are offered for sale. You can view them online at no charge although the online versions have obvious watermarks embedded in them. The watermarks do not appear in the purchased hard copy versions.

You can read more in the Ordnance Survey web site at while the images are available at

Findmypast Offers 50% Discount on 1 Month ‘Ultimate’ Subscriptions in Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day 2018

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

  • Half price one month Plus and Pro subscriptions on offer until midnight 19th March

Leading family history website, Findmypast, is inviting family historians to explore their unrivalled collection of Irish records with a 50% discount on 1 month ‘ultimate’ subscription packages in celebration of St Patrick’s Day 2018. The discount will be available to anyone without an active subscription to Findmypast until midnight 19th March.

With more than twice the number of Irish records available on any other family history website, Findmypast is the number one resource for Irish family history.

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Adopts Birth & Death Embargo Dates and More

The following is a message posted to the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee’s mailing list today by Jan Meisels Allen:

On March 13 the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene officially adopted their proposed regulation on Access To Birth and Death Records With Original Access Years of 125 for Birth and 75 for Death. This was mentioned in the IAJGS Records Access Alert posted on March 8, 2018. The final regulation may be read at:

Joshua Taylor, President of the NY Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYGBS) reported to their members this morning about the meeting earlier today. The report may be read at:

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of March 12, 2018

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Find your ancestors with new historic records published on FamilySearch this week from AustriaBillionGravesBrazilEnglandFranceGermanyGuatemalaIdahoIllinoisMexicoSpain, and Texas. Search these new free records by clicking on the collection links below or search over 6 billion free records at  FamilySearch.

A Major Family History Conference in the UK: Secret Lives. The Hidden Voices of our Ancestors

This sounds like a great event! Secret Lives: Hidden Voices of our Ancestors will focus on the unusual and often untold stories of our ancestors’ lives. The following announcement was written by the four sponsoring organizations:

Four major genealogical organisations in the UK are coming together to host a major family history conference held from Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September 2018 at Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island Hotel Watling Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire LE10 3JA

Bookings for the Secret Lives genealogy conference hosted by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA), the Guild of One Name Studies, the Halsted Trust and the Society of Genealogists are going very well. In fact they are going so well that the early bird allocation of rooms from the venue are now all sold. But don’t worry we’ve secured some more accommodation and there are still places available at the hotel for full or day conference attendance.

Findmypast announces New & Improved Irish Civil Registration Indexes Available

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast. The article was sent Friday, March 9, although I did not receive it until today because of my travels:

The home of the world’s largest online collection of Irish family history records, Findmypast, today announces the publication of two new and improved Irish Civil Registration Indexes.

Both collections are completely free to search and explore, providing family historians around the world with even greater chances of learning more about the lives of their Irish ancestors.

The two indexes, the Ireland Civil Birth Registers Index and Ireland Civil Marriage Index, contain over 5.3 million transcripts of Irish civil births and marriages compiled from original entries in General Register Office registers. Today’s release marks the first phase of a collection that will continue to grow as additional records are added throughout 2018.

Family History Hosting Announces Archive Hosting Plans

Who will keep your online genealogy web site active and available to others after you are gone? Family History Hosting, LLC has a solution that will appeal to many. Here is the announcement:

Keep your project online after you are unable to maintain it.

Narragansett, Rhode Island – March 12, 2018 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce low-cost, long-term hosting plans that will keep your content online for an extended time. Using an Archive hosting plan, your genealogy project will stay online for 10 years from your last renewal payment.

Archive plans include a Yearly Fee and a one-time Setup Fee that is nine times the Yearly Fee. When you stop paying the Yearly Fee, the funds from the one-time fee extend your hosting subscription for an additional nine years.

Archive plans include only minimal features: the focus is on keeping your content available online and keeping the cost as low as possible.

A Cell Phone App Stops You from Accidentally Dating your Long-Lost Cousin

This app only works in Iceland. I was in the country last year and learned about it from several local residents.

With a population of only 320,000 people, Icelanders all know that everyone on the island is related to everyone else. In some cases, they might be closely related, such as second cousins. This presents a quandary when dating: is your date a candiate for marriage or perhaps could such a marriage lead to an incestuous relationship?

How to Trace your Irish Family History: a Step-By-Step Guide

Irish genealogy expert John Grenham has published an excellent beginners’ guide to Irish genealogy. If you are new to genealogy and are interested in tracing your Irish heritage, I suggest you first read his tutorial published in The Irish Times at: