This Newsletter is Sponsored by MyHeritage

MyHeritage is offering a Winter DNA Sale! The DNA kit sale price is only $59 US, £69 in the UK, and €69 in the countries that use Euros.

This sale price will expire on January 23.

Find My Past Fridays-New Records: Jersey, Lancashire, Connecticut and New Jersey

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Jersey Baptisms 1540-1915

Does your family have roots in the Bailiwick of Jersey? Explore thousands of Church of England baptism registers from the island of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the English Channel, to uncover dates, locations and the names of both parents.

Jersey Marriages 1542-1940

Search transcripts of Church of England marriages and add new branches to your growing family tree. Marriage registers can reveal the date and location of your ancestor’s marriage as well the names of their parents and in-laws.

Jersey Burials 1541-1940

(UK) National Archives Announces the Opening of Prisoner of War Archives

The following announcement was forwarded by the IAJGS Public Records Access Email Alert:

The (UK) National Archives announced they are opening their prisoner of war (WW II) archives. These documents were transferred to the National Archives in December 2014. There are approximately 190,000 records of persons captured in German-occupied territory during World War II, primarily Allied service men (including Canadians, South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders, British and Allied civilians and some nurses. There are also cards for American, Norwegian, Chinese, Arab and Cypriot origins.

The new collection (WO 416) also includes several thousand records of deceased allied airmen whose bodies were found near their downed aircrafts. While these airmen were never prisoners of war, these records act as records of death.

NIH wants 1 Million Americans to Contribute to a New Pool of Genetics Data

Starting this spring, Americans across the country will be invited to contribute to a massive new pool of genomic information being assembled by the government, a project that represents the most ambitious effort yet to capitalize on the promising new frontier of gene-based medicine.

Three years after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) first announced its Precision Medicine Initiative — subsequently redubbed “All of Us” — the agency’s director, Francis Collins, says the large-scale project is ready to expand beyond its initial testing stages. In early spring, on a date yet to be announced, NIH is planning a nationwide launch to start enrolling what it hopes will eventually be as many as 1 million participants.

ArkivDigital Will be Free this Weekend

The very popular Swedish genealogy web site, ArkivDigital, will offer free access to everyone this weekend, Saturday and Sunday,January 20 and 21. New users and users with Base subscription get access to everything in the site’s database, All-in-one, during the whole weekend.

According to the announcement from ArkivDigital:

Free access to ArkivDigital All-in-one this weekend!

Genome of Man Who Died in 1827 Has Been Reverse-Engineered Without Any Remains

Hans Jonatan was born in the Caribbean in 1784, migrated to Iceland in 1802, and died in 1827 – and scientists have just managed to reconstruct part of his genome from 182 of his descendants, even though Hans’ remains have long since been lost.

This remarkable feat of reverse genetic engineering – the first time someone’s genotype has been reconstructed using only descendants rather than their physical remains – reveals that Hans’ mother was originally from somewhere in the Benin, Nigeria, and Cameroon region.

The study demonstrates that with enough genealogical and genotype data available, reconstructing a historical genome sequence like this is possible.

What can Your Ancestry Tell You about Neurological Diseases?

The Silicon Republic web site has published an interesting interview with Gianpiero Cavalleri of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and deputy director of the Science Foundation Ireland-funded FutureNeuro research centre.

Gianpiero Cavalleri

Cavalleri is researching family trees in order to leverage that knowledge of population structure to help identify new disease genes and genetic changes that might be causing disease from those that are neutral. As part of that effort, he helped to create the first fine-scale genetic map of Ireland, revealing the first evidence of 10 distinct genetic clusters on the island.

The article states:

Update: the Journal of Genealogy and Family History

The Journal of Genealogy and Family History was first announced nearly a year ago. (See my earlier article about the announcement at: Now the first edition has been published and work has begun on the second edition. The following announcement was written by the foks who produce the Journal of Genealogy and Family History:

Peer-reviewed journals are a rare thing in the world of genealogical publishing, though the USA has long been fortunate in having such journals specialising in local matters. The Journal of Genealogy and Family History was launched around Easter last year as a peer-reviewed, scholarly publication with a world-wide remit. It exists purely online. It is free to read and free to publish in. Offers of good quality papers are always welcomed and can be submitted through

The Journal has closed Volume 1 after its successful first nine months and is now editing papers for Volume 2.

Another Humorous (?) Tombstone

I don’t know if this tombstone is really funny or perhaps it is sad. It was posted to Facebook by Israel Pickholtz. Luckily, he also included a translation:

The above tombstone is translated as: “I have reared and raised my children and they have sinned against me.” It is a quote from the second verse of Isaiah.

Yes, his displeasure with his children is etched in stone.

Elkhart County (Indiana) Historical Society Receives a $37,000 Grant to Digitize Parts of Its Collection

The Elkhart County Historical Society’s wide-ranging archives will be digitized, thanks to a $37,000 grant from the Indiana Historical Society.

The museum’s archive includes hundreds or thousands of documents, including church and business records and county birth, death and marriage records. While the $37,000 grant will be a big help. it still is not enough to digitize everything. The Elkhart County Historical Society has hired an archivist to determine which parts of the collection will be digitally preserved first.

Details may be found in an article by Jordan Fouts in The Elkhart Truth at

The Phillips Library is being Moved from Salem, Massachusetts to Another Town, Taking Away some of Salem’s Most Valuable History and Genealogy Resources

From an article by Malcolm Gay in the Boston Globe web site:

“Salem is best known for the witch trials, but it was also a vitally important seaport in the Colonial economy and the hometown of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who took early inspiration for “The Scarlet Letter” and “The House of the Seven Gables” there.

“Now, angry residents say, a plan by the Peabody Essex Museum threatens to cut the city’s link to its proud history.

“The museum is preparing to move permanently a vast collection of the city’s historical records to a facility in another town and turn portions of the buildings that housed the museum’s Phillips Library into office space for the fast- growing museum.”

You can read the entire story at:

Looking for Help in the Heredis Booth at RootsTech

Heredis is a very popular genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh, iPad, iPhone, and Android. At least, it is popular in Europe and in many other places although I don’t hear as much about it in North America. The folks who produce Heredis are working to change that. They plan to have an exhibit booth at RootsTech 2018 in Salt Lake City to demonstrate Heredis to everyone there. However, they are looking for some help in that booth. Are you interested?

Comment from Dick Eastman: I have used Heredis a lot and am very impressed with the propgram. It certainly is competitive with the other leading genealogy programs of today and I can see why it is so popular in many different countries. To see my past articles about Heredis, start at

The following announcement was written by the folks who produce Heredis:

This Newsletter is Twenty-Two Years Old!

Wow! Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday that I decided to start writing a genealogy newsletter for a few of my friends and acquaintances. Well, it wasn’t yesterday… it was 22 years ago today!

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever dream that 22 years would be so interesting, so much fun, and so rewarding. The very first edition of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter was sent on January 15, 1996.

Twenty-two years has slipped by in almost the blink of an eye. It seems like only yesterday that I sent the first e-mail newsletter to about 100 people, mostly members of CompuServe’s Genealogy Forums. The last time I looked, this newsletter now has tens of thousands of readers tuning in every day! If you would have told me that 22 years ago, I would have never believed you.

New Freedom of Information Lawsuit filed by Reclaim the Records for New York Marriage Records

From an email message sent by Reclaim the Records:

Happy New Year from Reclaim The Records! We’re kicking off 2018 in style, by launching a new freedom of information lawsuit, our fourth one to date, against a government agency that is refusing to provide genealogical records to the public, in violation of state law.

We’re going after the 1996-2016 section of the New York City marriage license database, which is several million records. These aren’t actual marriage licenses or certificates, which have privacy protections, but it’s the text-searchable database index to all of them and to the basic data within. Under New York State law, basic marriage “log” or index data is supposed to be open to the public.

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, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee

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 the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 1.7 million new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

South Carolina, Will Transcripts 1782-1866

Search this index of more than 181,000 will transcripts from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History website. These records will allow you to discover the date of the will, the location of the will, a description of the document and the names of the individuals mentioned in it.

South Carolina, Plats for State Land Grants 1784-1868

Do You Have Family Connections to Plymouth, Devon, England? If So, You Might be Able to Inherit an Unclaimed Estate

There are more than 40 estates that people in Plymouth could claim before they are permanently handed over to the Crown, latest figures reveal.

A list of thousands of unclaimed estates are available online – and you could make a claim to one of them if you’ve got the right surname. The details are on a Government spreadsheet that can be accessed by anyone. In Plymouth they include ‘widows’, ‘spinsters’, ‘bachelors’ and ‘unknown’. The list of surnames of unclaimed estates include people who were born or died in the city of Plymouth, or had some other family link to the area.

If someone dies without leaving a valid or effective will (intestate) the following are entitled to the estate in the order shown below:

TheGenealogist adds Warwickshire Parish Records with Images

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

Baddesley Clinton church. Photo: © 2015 Nick Thorne

TheGenealogist has added over 366,000 individuals to their Parish Records for Warwickshire to increase the coverage of this county in the heart of England.

Released in association with Warwickshire County Record Office this brings high quality transcripts as well as images to family historians researching for ancestors in this area.

(+) How to Improve Your Productivity with Two or More Monitors

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

I have been using two monitors on my desktop computers for years. I love the convenience of displaying my email program, a web browser, iTunes, and RSS newsreader displayed on the monitor to the left side of my desk while my word processor and my favorite genealogy programs are running in separate windows on the monitor to the right. Doing so is a time saver, and I believe it improves productivity significantly.

My desk with a 27-inch iMac and a 28-inch Dell monitor

Pay no attention to the small screen to the right. That is an Amazon Echo Show, also called “Alexa,” that has nothing to do with this article. Maybe I will write about that in the future!

I especially like to display two different genealogy programs simultaneously, one on each monitor. That makes it easy to compare two different databases and even to copy-and-paste information from one program to another.

Not only can I display different programs on different monitors, I can also move any window from one monitor to the other. You know how you can click-and-drag a window from one area on your single screen to another? I can do the same with two monitors: click-and-drag any window from an area on one monitor to an area on another monitor.

Major Updates and Improvements to MyHeritage DNA Matching

MyHeritage has made major updates and improvements to the company’s DNA Matching service.

Anyone who took a MyHeritage DNA test, and anyone who uploaded DNA data from another service, will now receive even more accurate DNA Matches; more plentiful matches (about 10 times more); fewer false positives; more specific and more accurate relationship estimates; and indications on lower confidence DNA Matches to help focus research efforts.

The company also also added an initial release of the long-requested chromosome browser.

More information can be found in the MyHeritage Blog post at: