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RootsTech 2018 Now Open for Registration

RootsTech, the lagest genealogy conference held each year in North America, probably the largest in the world, is now accepting reservations for next February’s event. Here is the announcement:

SALT LAKE CITY (19 September 2017)–FamilySearch International has announced that registration to RootsTech 2018 is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family roots, heritage, and stories. The conference will be held February 28 to March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, go to

In 2017 the growing event attracted more than 26,000 attendees in-person from all 50 U.S. states and more than 35 countries. Family Discovery Day, a free 1-day event held on Saturday as part of the conference, is also open for registration.

rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®

Atavus, Inc. has just announced an improvement to the company’s product, rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®. This should interest many genealogists as rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote® now works with Evernote, a very popular product amongst genealogists.

The following announcement was written by Atavus, Inc.:

Atavus, Inc. announces that its multiplatform genealogy program, rootstrust, now supports interoperability with Evernote. In the latest version of rootstrust, users can optionally use Evernote as a primary or secondary repository for imported files and website links.

Evernote is a multiplatform app for taking, organizing and archiving notes where a ‘note’ can be virtually any file or website link. To take advantage of this interoperability between rootstrust and Evernote, you must first have an Evernote account. You can start with a free account and upgrade to a Plus account or to a Premium account, as you require more storage space. Windows and Mac OS users also need to download and install the free Evernote client program for their operating system. Since there is no Evernote client available for Linux, rootstrust will soon (next release) provide its Linux users with an Evernote-like extension to rootstrust.

New York City Department of Health Proposes Adoption of 125 Years for Birth Records 50 Years for Death Records Embargoes

Here is another attempt to lock up records for many year, records that legally are in the public domain. The following announcement was written by the New York City Department of Health:

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is proposing a schedule of when the Board of Health can make birth and death records available and transfer then to the NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS). The Municipal Archives is within DORIS. The proposal is to place embargo periods for birth records for 125 years from date of birth and 75 years from date of death. This is similar to the 2011 Model Vital Records Act which imposes a 125 year embargo on birth records, 75 years for death, and 100 years for marriage records. The proposal is also asking for input for a 50 year vs 75 year embargo for death for those involved with family history. In New York City marriage records are under the City Clerk’s Office, not the Department of Health, and therefore marriage records are not included in this New York City Department of Health proposal.

Records currently at DORIS (birth records up to 1909 and death records to 1949) are not affected by the proposed rule.

TheGenealogist adds over 1.1 Million Records to their Sussex Parish Record Collection

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added over 1.1 million individuals to its parish record collection covering the county of Sussex. Published In association with The Parish Record Transcription Society, this first tranche of records will be followed by more releases in the near future.

This new release covers individual records of:

  • 717,000 Baptisms
  • 213,000 Marriages
  • 208,000 Burials

The Parish Record Transcription Society (PRTSoc) have worked with TheGenealogist and S&N to publish their records online, making over 1.1 million individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable:

How Your Ancestors Could Have Been Convicts Transported to Australia

A new free-to-use website of convict records going back two centuries is launched in Liverpool, England. From an article by Bill Gleeson in The Echo:

“A new website will allow genealogists and family historians to discover the fate of ancestors convicted of crimes and transported overseas.

“The free-to-use website draws on over 4m court records and uncovers how punishment affected the lives of tens of thousands of people convicted of crimes at the Old Bailey between 1780 and 1925. The project to create the website was led by academics at The University of Liverpool.

“The records reveal a vast amount of information, such as the names, year and place of birth, previous offences, height, eye colour and whether the convict could read or write. The records also show details of the crimes, who pressed the charges, and, if they were transported, the name of the ship and the penal colony to which they were sent.

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:

A Note from Dick Eastman

(+) Why Your CDs and DVDs Are Dying

Huge Changes in the Genealogy Businesses

Findmypast Appoints Tamsin Todd as CEO

Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan Stepping Down; Will Transition to Chairman

Ancestry Delays IPO

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Online Webinars, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Texas

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.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 650,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Herefordshire Baptisms

Herefordshire Baptisms contains over 229,000 transcripts of original parish baptism registers. The collection dates back to the early 1500s and covers more than 240 parishes across the county. Some of the records have been created by the Leintwardine History Society from original documents and the rest come from FamilySearch’s International Genealogical Index. Early records, especially from the 16th and 17th centuries, noted only a few facts about the event. Later records will include more biographical details. Most will reveal your ancestor’s name, birth year, residence, baptism date, baptism place and parent’s names.

Herefordshire Marriages

Update: On the Road Again – This Time to Florida

In case anyone is interested, the power is back on at my winter home in Florida following Hurricane Irma. Even better, the air conditioning is now working! (Hooray!)

The power was out for 6 days in my neighborhood. Cable television and Internet access started working as soon as the power was restored. We had no water for two days. My neighbors tell me the (wired) telephone service still doesn’t work but cellular phones have worked more or less perfectly during the entire time. (I don’t have a wired telephone so I don’t miss it.) I have been using my cellular phone’s data capabilities to access the Internet and to send and receive email during the time I have been here.

The damage to my house was minor. Everything was repaired within a couple of hours after spending about $20. Some of my neighbors were not so lucky.

One bit of advice: If you depend upon a cellular phone for use when wired phones are out of service, make sure you have a good method of charging the cell phone MULTIPLE TIMES, if needed. You can purchase any number of batteries that will recharge cell phones but my preferred method is to have a power cable that connects the cell phone to the power outlet in your automobile’s dashboard. You can charge a cell phone several times with an automobile battery without depleting the automobile battery.

On the Road Again – This Time to Florida

This is a notice that there may not be any new articles posted in this newsletter for a few days. In fact, the weekly Plus Edition email version of the newsletter may be delayed a few days as well.

I am traveling to my winter home in Florida to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. My Florida neighbors tell me the damage to my house is minor but probably should not be ignored and left exposed to the rain for very long. Therefore, I need to fix it now.

My neighbors also have told me there is no electricity in the neighborhood, no telephone service, no water, and no Internet connectivity. In some areas, the power may be off for weeks.

Luckily, the cell phones are working well. I don’t have wired telephone service anyway so I won’t miss that.

2017 Ukrainian Genealogy Conference — Unlock Your Heritage: Discover Your Ancestry

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the 2017 Ukrainian Genealogy Conference:

The 4th Annual Nashi Predky Fall Conference – Unlock Your Heritage: Discover Your Ancestry – will span two days, including a full-day dedicated to DNA & Eastern European Ancestry.

Join 70+ fellow genealogists from Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Poland on October 6-7, 2017 for an event which features internationally known experts in Eastern European genealogy, and a workshop on Using Cadastral Maps. In addition to the presentations, the event will have vendors and cultural displays, and an ethnic food buffet luncheon with extended networking time during the lunch break.

rootstrust Now Runs Natively on a Chromebook

I have written previously about rootstrust, a genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.  (You can see one of my earlier articles at Now the folks at Atavus have still another operating system: Chromebooks, the low-cost laptop and desktop computers.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Atavus:

Last year Atavus reported that rootstrust can run on a Chromebook via a virtual computer system that you must subscribe to for a monthly fee. Paperspace, MacInCloud and Frame are virtual systems that rootstrust is compatible with. Now Atavus is pleased to announce that rootstrust runs natively on GalliumOS, a free Linux variant developed specifically for the Chromebook. A Chromebook can be configured for dual booting which means that the user selects either ChromeOS or GalliumOS when the device is powered on.

Rootstrust executing on GalliumOS on an Acer Chromebook 14

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of September 12, 2017

This week, millions of new records are available from the Netherlands and Denmark. Many more are available from BillionGravesEnglandFrench PolynesiaLuxembourgNicaraguaParaguay, and Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, the United States, and Venezuela! Search these new free records at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Ancestry Delays IPO

This sounds like a ping-pong game. Ancestry first went public in 2009 on the NASDAQ Exchange with the ticker ACOM in a $100 million IPO. The company later went private through a $1.6 billion private equity acquisition in 2012 and was valued at $2.6 billion in an investment round last year. In June of this year, Ancestry said it had filed paperwork to go public once again.

Now Tim Sullivan has announced he is stepping down from the Ancestry CEO position and will instead become Chairman of the Board. (See the announcement published yesterday in this newsletter at In a related move, Sullivan also said that the recently-announced IPO will now be delayed.

The assumption can be made that the Board of Directors decided to wait until a new CEO is named and then will let him or her drive the IPO effort.

Call for Speakers: The Ontario Genealogical Society’s 2018 Webinar Series

The following announcement was written by the Ontario Genealogical Society:

The Ontario Genealogical Society is currently accepting proposals for our monthly 2018 Webinar Series.

Topics of Interest

We invite proposals on a wide range of topics, in particular:

  • DNA
  • Technology and Tools
  • Research and Methodology
  • Organization and Storage of Research, Documents and Heirlooms
  • Research in the Country of Origin (i.e. England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France etc.)
  • Comparison of Genealogical Websites
  • Immigration
  • Writing and Publishing Family Research

(+) Why Your CDs and DVDs Are Dying

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

Do you think your family photographs, home videos, and digital images of your genealogy documents are safe because you stored them on CD or DVD disks? Think again.

Here are pictures of two CDs that were stored by one of my family members. Both disks are less than two years old:

Notice the “flaking” in the metallic foil along the lower edge of the above disk. This music disk is now unplayable.

The second image is a bit more subtle, so I drew red arrows to point to the problems. Notice the two “holes” in the metallic foil of the disk. This particular disk still works today until the laser encounters one of the holes. Then it aborts. The remaining data or music is lost.

Do your disks have these problems? If they do not yet have the problems, will they develop similar problems in the near future? Many CD and DVD disks are going to suffer similar fates.

Huge Changes in the Genealogy Businesses

In a strange coincidence, two of the larger providers of genealogy information have announced new CEOs this morning:

Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan is stepping down to become Chairman of the Board and is being replaced temporarily by the company’s CFO/COO Howard Hochhauser. The Ancestry Board of Directors is conducting an external search for CEO candidates.

FindmyPast has been operating for some time with an interim CEO but has now announced the appointment of Tamsin Todd to guide the company into the future. Former interim CEO, Jay Verkler, has been appointed Chairman of the Board.

What does this mean to the genealogy business and to individual genealogists? I have no idea. My crystal ball was sent out for polishing some time ago. However, I suspect there will be very few changes in the immediate future, to be followed by some major shifts in business plans and operations in 2018 and beyond. I would not be surprised to read about future acquisitions, mergers, and cooperative partnerships amongst the 4 or 5 largest players in this industry.

This should be fun to watch!

Findmypast Appoints Tamsin Todd as CEO

The following announcement was written by FindMyPast:

Findmypast strengthens its management team with two key appointments – Tamsin Todd, an experienced digital and ecommerce leader, takes over as CEO and Jay Verkler, former interim CEO, has been appointed Chairman of the Board

London, September 12th 2017

Findmypast has named Tamsin Todd as new CEO. Tamsin has worked in the travel, retail and technology sectors, and brings a track record of leading successful growth businesses. She spent the early part of her career at Amazon and then Microsoft, where she led the introduction of ecommerce and search products into UK and Europe. This was followed by stints as Head of Ecommerce at Betfair, and Managing Director of TUI-owned Crystal Ski Holidays. She joins Findmypast from Addison Lee, where she was Chief Customer Officer of Europe’s largest car service company. Tamsin lives in London with her family, and is Digital Trustee of the Imperial War Museums.

Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan Stepping Down; Will Transition to Chairman

Major news within the genealogy business community! The following announcement was released this morning by Ancestry:

Company CFO/COO Howard Hochhauser Named Interim CEO

LEHI, Utah, Sept. 12, 2017 — Ancestry today announced that, after twelve years of leading the company, Chief Executive Officer, Tim Sullivan is stepping down and will transition to Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, effective October 1. In his time as CEO, Sullivan has built the company into the recognized world leader in family history, overseen its transformation into the world’s largest consumer genomics provider, and grown revenues to what is expected to be in excess of $1 billion for the full year 2017. Howard Hochhauser, the company’s Chief Financial Officer since 2009 and Chief Operating Officer since 2012, will assume the role of interim CEO as the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

Go Ahead Tours, Ancestry Collaborate to Launch New Tour Portfolio

I mentioned this briefly in an article last week at Now Go Ahead Tours has released an announcement that contains many more details:

This unique portfolio of tours will offer experiences that will take travelers on a journey into their personal histories

September 11, 2017 (CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS) – Go Ahead Tours and Ancestry today announced a new portfolio of tours that will take travelers on a journey into their personal histories. These exciting trips combine Ancestry’s proprietary DNA technology and access to expert Genealogists with Go Ahead’s high-quality international travel experiences. The new portfolio of heritage trips will launch this fall with itineraries in 2018 to Ireland, Italy, and Germany. New tours featuring additional destinations will be announced in early 2018 with first departures in 2019.

“We are thrilled to team up with Ancestry to introduce this special way for travelers to experience a destination in a new light,” said David Henry, VP of Marketing at Go Ahead. “So many of our customers travel to connect with their heritage, and this was our inspiration to collaborate with the team at Ancestry. These trips will help our customers explore their family story with even greater insight and visit the places where their ancestors once walked.”