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Press Release – Free DNA Test For Leiden Pilgrim Descendants

The following announcement was written by Tamura Jones:

LEIDEN – 19 April 2019
On Thursday 25 April (DNA Day), genealogy expert Tamura Jones will organise a large-scale DNA Test of Pilgrim descendants in Leiden, the Netherlands. Such investigation has not been done before, not even in America. The goal is to try and discover something interesting about the group and their ancestors.

Mayflower Pilgrims

The Mayflower departed from Plymouth, but the Pilgrims came from Leiden, a city they called home for more than a decade. When they left for the New World, they took Dutch ideas such as religious tolerance and civil marriage with them. Thanksgiving even has roots in Leiden’s 3 October Celebrations, the annual commemoration of the Relief of Leiden in 1574.

Nowadays, Leiden does not only celebrate 3 October, but has an annual Thanksgiving Service as well. This Thanksgiving Service is held in the late-Gothic Pieterskerk (Peter’s Church), where the Pilgrim’s pastor, John Robinson, was buried. Two Mayflower descendants speak during this service, an American descendant and a Dutch descendant.

Searching for Descendants in Leiden

Notre-Dame de Paris in Pictures

I am sure everyone has heard this week’s sad news from Paris. Those of us with Parisian ancestors will be interested in the historic paintings and photographs that are now available on the Library of Congress’ web site at: http://bit.ly/2UMMMvK.

Notre-Dame de Paris - circa 1865

Notre-Dame de Paris – circa 1865

At that site, you can see what many of our ancestors saw over the years.

Ancestry Adds More U.S. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Records, Swedish American Church Records, and Michigan Birth, Marriage, and Divorce Records

Recent additions to Ancestry.com’s online records of interest to genealogists include:

U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969 at https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/elcabmd/ – Search baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from more than 2,000 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations, from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century.

Turn Your Friends and Family into Playing Cards

UPDATE: After publishing this article, Tim Crowley of OurCards extended an offer to all readers of the EOGN.com genealogy newsletter: “I hope it’s not too late to mention it, but your readers can use coupon code “EOGN20” to get 20% off their first deck (good until June 17). “

Thank you Tim!


I briefly wrote about this new company’s product a couple of weeks ago after meeting with the company’s owners at the New England Regional Genealogy Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. (See http://bit.ly/2Dr50Ix for my earlier article.)

I wrote, “Make a game from your family tree! These are custom made playing cards, similar to any other deck of 52 playing cards, only with images and brief biographies of family members. When you order these cards, you also get to choose whose picture appears on which card. For instance, your grandmother could be the Queen of Hearts.”

This is a great method of teaching family members about the family tree even if they are not serious genealogists. It even seems to appeal to children, whether they are playing Go Fish or some other card game.

Reclaim the Records Launches its Biggest Genealogy-Related Lawsuit Ever

Reclaim The Records seeks the first-ever public access to 1.6 million death certificates for New Yorkers who died between 1949-1968 and asks court to overturn recently-enacted restrictions on access.

You can read the full announcement at: http://bit.ly/2GtMCiO.

Ancestry Reportedly is Preparing for a Second IPO as DNA-Test Industry Booms

Ancestry.com LLC is readying an initial public offering (IPO), according to people familiar with the matter, preparing to take advantage of growing consumer interest in DNA tests and investors’ appetite for new health and technology stocks.

It would not be Ancestry’s first time in the stock market. The company, which also hosts online repositories of family trees and historical documents, first went public in 2009, trading under the ticker ACOM after raising $100 million.

It was taken private again in 2012 in a $1.6 billion buyout led by private equity firm Permira Advisers.

Genealogy’s Often-Misspelled Words

You might want to save this article someplace. I have no idea why, but many of the words used in researching your family tree are difficult to spell. I constantly see spelling errors in messages posted on various genealogy web sites. When someone misspells a word, it feels like they are shouting, “I don’t know what I’m doing!”

Here are a few words to memorize:

Genealogy – No, it is not spelled “geneology” nor is it spelled in the manner I often see: “geneaology.” That last word looks to me as if someone thought, “Just throw all the letters in there and hope that something sticks.” For some reason, many newspaper reporters and their editors do not know how to spell this word. Don’t they have spell checkers?

Scammers May Be Using DNA Testing to Defraud Medicare and Steal Identities

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy, history, or any of the other “normal” topics of this newsletter. However, it involves DNA which is of interest to many genealogists so I am mentioning it here.

If anyone offers to test your DNA free of charge or even offers to pay you $20 for DNA swabs and supplying your health insurance information, don’t do it!

Details may be found in an article by Kristen V Brown in the Bloomberg web site at: https://bloom.bg/2GmCY1D.

Press Release: IGRS adds 13,300 New Records to its Early Irish BMD Indexes

The following was written by the Irish Genealogical Research Society:

The Society has added a further tranche of records to its Early Irish Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes. This update adds a further 8,325 births and 5,000 marriages, all drawn from lessor known or underused sources. The total number of names noted among the births is now 70,000 and for marriages 213,000. Overall, between the three databases, there is now a total of 320,000 names.

Included among the newly added marriages are 1,000 events drawn from the Registry of Deeds, which brings the total number of marriages in the index drawn from there to 10,000. While lots of these are formal pre-marriage settlements for wealthy people, there are examples of others for quite ordinary folk, including one dowry amounting to as little as £30. This was for the union of Thomas Shee, a farmer, and his bride Ellis Lanigan, a farmer’s daughter. Both bride and groom were from Co Kilkenny and they married in 1772.

New Hampshire Launches an Online Database for More Than 16,000 Historical Records

New Hampshire State officials launched an online database Tuesday that gives users access to more than 16,000 historical documents. It’s called the Enhanced Mapping and Management Information tool — or EMMIT for short. Envisioned about 20 years ago, the system provides instant access to records.

After logging in to the new web site, hundreds of dots populate an on-screen aerial map, and with a click each one could lead to photos, property records and more.

Elizabeth Muzzey, director of the Division of Historical Resources, says, she hopes the system will prove invaluable for environmental researchers, engineering firms and history buffs alike..

However, access is expensive: $60-a-month or $400 for a yearly subscription.

You can read more in the New Hampshire NPR web site at: http://bit.ly/2vcn7NL.

American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society Open Boston’s Mayflower 400th Anniversary Commemorations with Tributes to Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation

The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

April 17, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts—American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)—the oldest and largest genealogical society in America—today held the first of a series of events in the U.S. commemorating the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower with a festive ceremony at their headquarters on Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts.

An imposing replica of the Mayflower, the ship that carried the Pilgrims to the new world in 1620, was christened the Boston Mayflower and placed in the organization’s front courtyard to commemorate the significance of the event in the nation’s history. Unveiled adjacent to it was an artistic tribute to the people and culture of the Wampanoag Nation, the Native Americans who met the Pilgrims after their arrival in Plymouth harbor.

Press Release: Online Pre-Registration for the NGS Conference and All Ticketed Events Closes 19 April 2019

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 16 APRIL 2019— Only a few days are left to pre-register online for the NGS Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, 8‒11 May 2019. Pre-conference registration ends 19 April. On-site registration and check-in will be available beginning at 12:00 noon, 7 May, in the St. Charles Convention Center. For conference information and to register, go to https://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/register/.

Registration for all social meal events and pre-conference tours also closes on 19 April. Ticket purchases will not be available on-site at the conference for social meal events, workshops, or tours. Only a few spots remain for the St. Louis Research Trip and the Civil War Museum Tour. Seats are still available for meal events including the Friends of the Missouri State Archives lunch, the GSG-ISFHWE co-sponsored lunch, and the NGS lunch. There are also seats available in the pre-conference African American Seminar and the Librarians’ Day event.

Press Release: New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 15 April 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added new, free, indexed historical records this week from France, Italy, Luxembourg, South Africa, Venezuela, and the United States: Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, Freedmen’s Bureau Ration Records, and Native American records from Washington.

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.

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:

(+) Finding Unmarked Graves with Ground Penetrating Radar

Book Review: Grow Your Own Family Tree

Book Review: In Their Words, A Genealogist’s Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin, and Russian Documents

Facebook Launches New Tool to Help Users Memorialize Loved Ones

Researchers Want to Link Your Genes to Your Income but Should They?

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Ontario, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin

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.

(+) Finding Unmarked Graves with Ground Penetrating Radar

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

One of the vexing problems with old cemeteries and historical sites is the difficulty of finding the locations of unmarked graves. In many cases, the desire is to locate the graves so that they may be identified and left undisturbed by new construction. To be sure, the locations may have been marked at one time with wooden or even stone markers. However, the ravages of time, weather, animals, vandals, and acid rain over the years may have removed all traces of those markers. Locating unmarked graves is also vitally important in solving murder cases.

Historically, the only method of finding unmarked graves has been to start digging – not a very practical solution. However, modern technology now allows cemetery associations, historical societies, family societies, genealogists, archaeologists, police departments, and others to identify the locations of buried bodies and other objects with no digging required.

Book Review: Grow Your Own Family Tree

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Grow Your Own Family Tree
by Pauline Golds. Published by Emerald Publishing. 2018. 163 pages.

This is the second edition of Ms. Golds’ book. In her first edition, she focused on research in the British Isles, but in this follow-up edition, she expands her instruction to the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe.

So contrary to most of the books I receive to review, this one is not U.S.-centric. Its emphasis is on British research.

I would call this a beginner’s guidebook. It’s not long, so the reader won’t become overwhelmed with the task ahead, but Ms. Golds offers words of encouragement that help the apprentice genealogist get going along with hope and expectation that carried us all through our own dark days and nights.

Researchers Want to Link Your Genes to Your Income but Should They?

The UK Biobank is the single largest public genetic repository in the world, with samples of the genetic blueprints of half a million Brits standing by for scientific study. But when David Hill, a statistical geneticist at the University of Edinburgh, went poring through that data, he wasn’t looking for a cure for cancer or deeper insights into the biology of aging. Nothing like that. He was trying to figure out why some people make more money than others.

Hill and like-minded colleagues are working on a science they call sociogenomics. There are many useful uses for the information. For instance, a “genetic income score” could allow economists and epidemiologists to more precisely investigate fundamental questions about inequality.

However, there is a dark side to the information found:

How to Download Entire Websites for Offline Use

Information on the World Wide Web may not remain online forever. However, it is easy to download and save information when you do see it. The information then remains available to you in case you ever want to go back and read it again in the future.

With today’s low prices for internal and external large capacity disk drives plus excellent software that can search through many gigabytes of saved data to find the specific thing(s) you are looking for, it often makes sense to save huge amounts of data in the hopes that you can find specific items of interest in the future.

In fact, you can download and save entire web sites.

Press Release: TheGenealogist Enhances the Map Explorer

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

Powerful new map tool helps trace ancestors’ Headstones and War Memorials

TheGenealogist’s latest innovation, launched at the end of last month to help you find an ancestor’s property and watch the landscape change over time, has now had its first powerful new features added. This is only the beginning, with several other enhancements coming soon.

Joining the georeferenced Lloyd George Data Layer are Headstones and War Memorials.

Map Explorer locates various War Memorials in an area

(Click on the above image to view a larger version.)

  • TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer displays maps for historical periods up to the modern day.
  • Cemeteries have now been added to the maps – enabling researchers to locate burial grounds and view Headstone images, transcripts and cemetery views.
  • War Memorial site locations are shown, with links to see photographs, transcripts and setting.