This Newsletter is Sponsored by MyHeritage

MyHeritage

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 http://bit.ly/2MBDQ4B) and What to do with Your Genealogy Collection When You Downsize or Die (see http://bit.ly/2t8NW4W). 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 http://www.adobe.com 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 https://youtu.be/Fm1XSX8Un5Q.

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 http://bit.ly/2M3fRdz.

 

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

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

A Washington state trucker who authorities say was linked by DNA evidence to the 1987 deaths of a young Canadian couple has been charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder. William Earl Talbott II, 55, of SeaTac was charged Friday in Snohomish County (Washington) Superior Court. Talbott is charged in the killings of 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg and 20-year-old Jay Cook.

Authorities say they used information from public genealogy websites to pinpoint Talbott as a suspect then arrested him after getting a DNA sample from a cup that fell from his truck. Police say the genealogist used information uploaded by distant cousins to narrow their search to Talbott.

You can read more about the case in an article by Caleb Hutton in the Herald.Net at http://bit.ly/2JL1Wfo.

My thanks to the several newsletter readers who told me about this latest arrest.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

United Kingdom, Ontario, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, and Oklahoma

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.

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

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

Genealogy research is a fascinating endeavor. After all, your family tree is a puzzle that needs to be solved. In fact, you are literally finding out where you came from. I strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in ancestry do their own research. Indeed, it is fun and challenging.

As author of this newsletter, I sometimes field questions from genealogy newcomers — questions like how they can hire someone to research their family tree for a fee. I typically respond with still another question and a comment: “Would you pay someone to play a round of golf for you? While that might complete the objective, you will miss out on the entire experience.”

Despite my rather cavalier remark, I will suggest that professional genealogists can be your best friends and assistants after you have started your own genealogy research. Yes, you should do the basics yourself. You should start with yourself and then find information about your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents, and so on, as far back as you can possibly go on your own. Researching your own family tree is fun and can be inexpensive. However, when you do hit a “stone wall” and cannot go back any further, it may be time to call in the professionals.

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

Sarah, from California (now living in the Netherlands) was placed in adoptive care as young child by her mother. To try and find her biological family, she took a MyHeritage DNA test that her husband purchased for her. She was shocked when she got a match to her biological father, Arland, who didn’t even know she existed.

Sarah and Arland then spoke on the phone numerous times, but today was the first time in 41 years they met in the Today Show with Megyn Kelly television program. He also met two of his grandchildren that he previously did not know existed.

You can watch the reunion in the video player above or in the YouTube web site at https://youtu.be/nkUt3XupQdU.

 

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 2.06

The following announcement was written by Family History Hosting, LLC:

Includes several enhancements, including image size optimization option

Narragansett, RI – June 15, 2018 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce GedSite version 2.06, the most recent release of this must-have tool for any genealogist creating web sites from GEDCOM files. This release includes a new image size optimization feature and changes related to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect on 25 May 2018. It also includes several other minor enhancements and changes.

“This version continues GedSite’s tradition of frequent updates,” said John Cardinal, CEO and Founder of Family History Hosting, “the web is always moving, and GedSite moves with it.”

Soliciting and acting on customer feedback is an integral part of the GedSite development process. This release delivers several features requested by users, including new options in charts, new features in the GEDCOM load process, and other changes.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 1.4 million new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers’ Medical Records

Over 691,000 records have been added to our National Archives’ collection of medical records from the First World War. These records may allow you to discover when and where your ancestor was wounded, where they were treated how long they were held at the medical facility for treatment. Images may provide a variety of additional details such as their service history and a description of the wound.

The medical records were collected by the Medical Research Committee and then given over to the British Museum during the First World War, 1914 to 1918. The records were used for statistical research. In 1931, Thomas John Mitchell and G M Smith published History of the Great War, based on official documents. Medical services: Casualties and medical statistics of the Great War from the data gathered from these medical records.

United States Deceased Physician File (Ama), 1864-1968 Image Browse

Update: A Fire at the Aberdeen (Washington) Museum of History Destroys Much of the Museum’s Collection and a Genealogy Society’s Library

This is an update to the article I published yesterday at: http://bit.ly/2JKz3Mq:

I received an email message this morning from a newsletter reader whose name I will not divulge for privacy reasons. She wrote:

“I live in Aberdeen, WA. Just so you know, they have already started to recover items from the basement. They have been able to find pictures and documents, floating in water. Many of the pictures are already showing signs of mold. “

Gale Introduces New Digital Archive on Amateur Newspapers From the 19th Century

The following is a press release from Gale, a Cengage company:

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., June 12, 2018 — Gale, a Cengage company, is introducing a new digital archive that’s considered the social media of the 19th century and gives students and researchers a unique inside look at how teens and young adults of the period expressed themselves and their opinions to the world. Amateur Newspapers from the American Antiquarian Society is the largest and most extensive digital archive in the U.S., providing authentic newspaper writings published by the younger generation of the 19th century. The archive gives an unprecedented look at how youth viewed themselves, their hometowns, the country and the world around them during the era, drawing researchers into the world of America’s first youth subcultures. Read Gale’s blog about the new archive.

A Fire at the Aberdeen (Washington) Museum of History Destroys Much of the Museum’s Collection and a Genealogy Society’s Library

Here is a story that every genealogist, archivist, historian, and museum manager never wants to read: On Saturday, a fire destroyed the Aberdeen Museum of History in Kurt Cobain’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, which included items from his early life.

NOTE: The late Kurt Cobain was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Born in Aberdeen, Washington, Cobain formed the band Nirvana with Krist Novoselic and Aaron Burckhard in 1987.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported. It took 77 firefighters 10.5 hours to suppress the fire. The fire started from within the building, a cause most typically related to heating or electrical malfunctions. At around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, firefighters from multiple agencies responded to the fire in the Armory Building. It spread through most of the building, and collapsed a majority of the roof. It caused serious damage to the museum and other organizations located inside like the Coastal Community Action Program, the Senior Center, and the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society research library.

DNA: Heredity or Hoax?

Don’t believe everything you read. In fact, don’t believe everything you pay for either.

In Canada, there are major benefits to being able to prove Aboriginal People ancestry.

NOTE: Aboriginal People is one term for what we used to call native North American Indians or Eskimos although those terms have recently been replaced with Native Canadians or Aboriginal Canadians. See http://bit.ly/2JPniVe for a list of some of the benefits of Aboriginal Canadian ancestry.

It seems that one Toronto-based laboratory that tests people’s DNA to determine their ancestry has been caught providing “proof” of such ancestry, even when the DNA doesn’t prove it. The scam was caught when one Canadian became suspicious and submitted a DNA sample from his girlfriend’s dog for analysis.

The results from DNA testing company Viaguard Accu-Metrics “proved” that Snoopy the Chihuahua has 20 per cent Native American ancestry: 12 per cent Abenaki and eight per cent Mohawk.

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

One more victory for Reclaim The Records!

Brooke Schreier Ganz of Reclaim The Records fought the New York City Clerk’s Office and won 1.5 million genealogy records, and also won reimbursement of her attorneys’ fees! The records are now online, freely searchable and/or downloadable.

Details may be found at: https://mailchi.mp/reclaimtherecords/bfvk8vew84-1792469 and
https://www.reclaimtherecords.org/records-request/11/ and https://www.nycmarriageindex.com/.

Always Keep Backups of Your Online Genealogy Information

A newsletter reader wrote and asked a question:

“I have an account with Ancestry.com and I was using the Family Tree Maker for my back up just in case there comes a time when I can no longer pay for Ancestry and since they stopped using Family Tree Maker. I was wondering if there was anything else I can use as a back up, I would hate to lose all the information I have if I couldn’t pay for it for some reason.”

I replied to the question in email but thought I would also post my answer here in the newsletter in case others have the same question:

First, Family Tree Maker did not go away. The program was acquired by Software MacKiev and has been improved significantly in the past year or so. The Software MacKiev version of Family Tree Maker still exchanges data with Ancestry.com and still can function as a viable method of keeping a copy of your genealogy data in your own Macintosh or Windows computer, the same as it did before the acquisition by Software MacKiev.

HOWEVER, if it was me, I would do even more.