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Library Closures: Perhaps there is a Solution?

WARNING: This article contains personal opinions.

I published an article at http://bit.ly/2P7tDj9 about the recent closure of the David Library of the American Revolution in Pennsylvania. The closure of any library is always sad news, of course. However, I also see a solution and perhaps even a ray of sunshine in such announcements.

Most libraries close simply because of financial difficulties. It costs a lot of money for buildings, heat, air conditioning, electricity, and employees’ salaries. Oh yes, there is also a major expense for books and other materials that are the primary purpose of a library.

Smaller libraries typically serve a limited number of patrons: only those who live somewhere near the library and can use the library’s facilities without spending a lot of time and money in travel, hotel rooms, restaurants, and more in order to use the facility. When it comes to attracting visitors to a library, geography is perhaps the biggest impediment of all.

In contrast, let’s consider online libraries.

Another Library Closes Its Doors

Libraries are having a difficult time these days. The latest closure involves the David Library of the American Revolution. Here is the announcement on the Library’s home page at http://dlar.org:

“The David Library of the American Revolution has signed a partnership agreement with the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia that will create an unparalleled single site for the comprehensive study of early U. S. history. The David Center for the American Revolution will be established at the American Philosophical Society on South Fifth Street in Philadelphia.

“The David Library of the American Revolution closed operations in Washington Crossing at the end of 2019 in preparation for the move to the American Philosophical Society in early 2020.”

Vivid-Pix Launches “Your City – Your Story” 11 City Tour

The following announcement was written by Vivid-Pix:


Crosses U.S. to Showcase Patented AI Photo & Document Restoration Software and Education Programs for Family Historians, Genealogists, & Hobbyists

Vivid-Pix RESTORE Before & After Photo

Savannah, GA, February 18, 2020 – Vivid-Pix www.vivid-pix.com launched a 11 city “Your City – Your Story” U.S. tour to showcase its patented Vivid-Pix RESTORE AI photo and document restoration software that automatically restores treasured memories with just one-click. The Vivid-Pix journey includes the largest family history event in the world, RootsTech, held Feb. 26-29 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 18 February 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Search 8 million new free, historical records at FamilySearch this week from Canada, the Philippines, and Switzerland. More from England, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Chile, Nova Scotia, Peru, Spain, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Venezuela, Wales, American Samoa, and the United States (AL, AZ, CA, CO, DE, HI, ID, IL, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, WV). Newly indexed records comprise cemetery abstracts, disease records, immigration, naturalizations, and numerous vital and church records.

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch.org to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

Book Scanning Service Provided FREE of Charge by FamilySearch at RootsTech

Are you going to the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City? If so, do you also have a family history or local history book that you would like to have digitized?

The FamilySearch Book Scanning booth (#1635) will scan your family history or local history scanned for free!

You can have your books digitized, processed into full-text searchable files, and then published online in the digital library! For items you have authored or have permission to scan, please bring this signed permission form when you bring your items.

See you at RootsTech!

South Milwaukee Wants to Digitize Its Newspapers to Preserve the City’s History. But It Needs $15,000 to Do It

Hopefully, some genealogical or historical societies n the area can launch a fund drive or a GoFundMe campaign to help preserve old newspapers by digitizing them. According to an article by Erik S. Hamley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The South Milwaukee Library has three drawers of microfilm but none if it can be read because the reader and printer are broken. An effort is underway to digitize the microfilm which includes newspapers from 1892 to 2006 along with some census information. (Photo: Submitted)

“An effort is underway to save the first draft of South Milwaukee’s history.

“More than 100 rolls of 35mm microfilm containing South Milwaukee newspapers from 1892 to 2006 are currently not readable.

Declutter Your Inbox. Subscribe to Email Newsletters Straight Into Inoreader

This article is off-topic. That is, it is not about genealogy, family history,DNA, or any related topic. However, I suspect many readers of this newsletter will find it interesting. It describes a better way of subscribing to all sorts of email newsletters by posting them to an RSS newsreader instead of cluttering up your email in-box.

Comment: I have been using RSS newsreaders for years to cut down on my workload and I would hate to read dozens of web sites without a newsreader. For details, read my earlier article, Is It Time to Try a Newsreader? at https://blog.eogn.com/2018/03/29/is-it-time-to-try-a-newsreader/.

Here is a quote from the Inoreader web site:

“Inoreader now allows you to subscribe to Email Newsletters just as regular RSS feeds. By creating a new Newsletter feed, you have the opportunity to create a unique email address where you can direct emails and read them just as regular articles.

Geneanet Launches a New Service: Geneanet DNA

Another DNA testing service has launched online. According to Geneanet’s home page:

“With Geneanet DNA, let’s build the first European DNA database together

“Millions of you have already taken a genealogical DNA test. And more and more of you are asking to be able to upload their DNA data to Geneanet for finding new relatives.

The Best Photo Editors for Chromebooks

I have described the advantages of low-cost Chromebook laptop and Chromebox desktop computers in past newsletters many times. For a list of those articles, see http://bit.ly/37L4KQN.

If you own a Chromebook, you probably will be interested in this article. If you do not own a Chromebook, you might want to skip this article.

In the June 18, 2019 newsletter at http://bit.ly/2SWleQN, I recommended Polarr Photo Editor as the best FREE photo editing program for Chromebooks. (A “Pro version” is also available for a modest price.) I was pleased to see other writers agree with me.

You are Invited to Join Me and Other Newsletter readers for Dinner after the RootsTech Conference

To sign up for the dinner, go to: http://bit.ly/39PypKf

Here are the details:

Are you planning on attending the RootsTech conference this year? Would you like to join a large group of genealogists for dinner on Saturday evening? If so, you are invited!

RootsTech 2020 promises to be the biggest genealogy conference in the world! It will be held on February 26 through 29 in Salt Lake City. I have written several times about RootsTech 2020 (see https://blog.eogn.com/2020/02/11/will-i-see-you-at-rootstech-2020/ for my latest article).  Of course, a lot more information is also available at https://www.rootstech.org/salt-lake.

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend this year’s RootsTech conference and I expect that will include many readers of this newsletter. If you are planning to attend the conference, would you like to join me and a bunch of other newsletter readers for dinner on Saturday evening after the conference ends? That will be on February 29 at the Radisson Hotel, 215 W S Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101. The location literally is just a few steps from the Salt Palace conference center. And yes, if you have attended one of my previous dinners after RootsTech, this year’s dinner is in the same hotel as the last few years and probably in the same room as always. (I am waiting for confirmation of the exact room.)

You are invited!

You can make a reservation now! You are invited to join us if:

  • You subscribe to the Plus Edition newsletter or…

  • You subscribe to the Standard Edition newsletter or…

  • If you occasionally read the newsletter online or…

  • If you have heard of the newsletter or…

  • If you promise to read the newsletter in the future or…

  • If you are a genealogist who has no other place else to go Saturday night after the end of the conference.

(+) Never Save Original Photos in JPG Format!

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

Genealogists and millions of others have saved hundreds of millions of digital photographs on their hard drives as well as on CD-ROM disks. Perhaps the most popular file format for digital photographs is JPG (or JPEG), a commonly used method of compression for photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically creates very little perceivable loss in image quality.

JPEG is the most common image format used by digital cameras and other photographic image capture devices, such as scanners. It is also the most common format for storing and transmitting photographic images on the World Wide Web.

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, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, 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.

MyHeritage in Color™ Goes Viral: Over a Million Photos Already Colorized

MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) has obviously had great success with the newly-launched service that offers computer-generated color enhancement of old black-and-white photographs. See https://blog.eogn.com/2020/02/12/myheritage-in-color-breakthrough-feature-to-colorize-family-photos/ for the original announcement.

Photographs courtesy of David Allen Lambert

In the first 5 days since the service was launched, more than a million photos have been colorized — and the numbers keep growing. You can read more about the service and also see a number of colorized photos and testimonials published on various social media sites in an article in the MyHeritage Blog at https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/02/myheritage-in-color-goes-viral-over-a-million-photos-already-colorized/.

MyHeritage Offers Free Access to Marriage Records for Valentine’s Day

Show me a genealogist who isn’t interested in marriage records. I bet you cannot find one!

Here is a special offer from MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) that probably will interest you:

Click on the above image to access the free records. The offer expires on 18 February 2020.

You probably will also want to check out the new MyHeritage In Color™ tool at https://www.myheritage.com/incolor as lots of people are posting incredible wedding photos of their ancestors, colorized for the first time.

Less Than One Month Remains Until U.S. Households Receive 2020 Census Invitations

Get ready to leave your information for your descendants who will also be genealogists! Between March 12 and March 20, invitations to participate in the 2020 Census will start arriving in households across the USA.

According to today’s announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau:

“The Census Bureau is ready for the nation to respond next month,” said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham. “Millions of Americans are applying for 2020 Census jobs, more than 270,000 local and national organizations are engaged, and in less than 30 days the majority of U.S. households will receive an invitation to respond to help ensure that every person in the U.S. is counted.”

“The 2020 Census is on mission, on schedule, and on budget to promote an accurate count,” Dillingham continued. “Response is important because statistics from the census are used in distributing where hundreds of billions in funding for school lunches, hospitals, roads and much more. The invitations will remind respondents to include everyone living in the household, whether they are related or not. This includes young children. Your response will impact communities for the next decade.”

18 Million New Marriages, Parish Records and Christian Leaders Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

We’ve added a shed-load of romantic family records and plenty more besides this week. Here’s what’s new.

United States Marriages

A massive of tranche of just under 18 million new records have joined this ever-growing collection of wedding records. The latest updates cover marriages in Texas between 1837 and 2010.

When complete, our US marriage collection will be the largest single collection of its kind online. It already includes over 200 million marriage records covering 450 years of US history and many of the entries are exclusive to Findmypast. Find your family’s love stories in these cherished documents today.

Global Christian Leaders Index

Recently Added and Updated Collections on Ancestry.com

From the Ancestry.com list of recent new and/or updated additions at https://www.ancestry.com/cs/recent-collections

New and Updated

DNA Test Results are Life-Changing for a Connecticut Man

If you have your DNA tested, please make sure you are prepared for surprising changes, even confusion and huge emotional upheavals.

For instance, Enfield, Connecticut resident Ryan Simpson bought a DNA test kit when it was on sale. He later said, “I was not expecting to find anything other am I really Irish? Or am I really German? Or something like that.” Instead, he found out that the man he thought was his father was not even related to him. Simpson started asking his parents some questions.

The full story is available in an article by Caitlin Burchill in the NBC Connecticut web site at: http://bit.ly/2OTN8f8.

Question: who are your TRUE relatives? Are you mentally prepared to find out?

NEHGS Issues Statement Opposing Mass. Governor’s Budget Proposals

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

February 13, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) released the contents of a letter dated today from Ryan J. Woods, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the organization, to Aaron Michlewitz, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

A complete transcript follows:

February 13, 2020

The Honorable Aaron Michlewitz, Chairman
House Committee on Ways and Means
State House – Room 243
Boston, MA 02133

Re: Opposition to Outside Sections 12; 13; 36- 46, inclusive; and 62 of House, No. 2, “An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2021 for the Maintenance of the Departments, Boards, Commissions, Institutions, and Certain Activities of the Commonwealth, for Interest, Sinking Fund and Serial Bond Requirements, and for Certain Permanent Improvements.”

Dear Chairman Michlewitz:

Oscar Win Leads Thousands of Icelanders to Genealogical Site

Nearly 3,000 Icelanders have visited Íslendingabók.is – a database containing genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland – to examine their kinship with composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mbl reports. Hildur became the first Icelander* to win an Oscar on Sunday, February 9, for her original score for the film Joker.

Heavy Traffic

In response to an inquiry from Mbl, deCODE genetics – a research company that manages the website Íslendingabók.is in collaboration with anti-virus software entrepreneur Friðrik Skúlason – replied that search queries relating to Hildur Guðnadóttir had caused a considerable increase in traffic on the site (traffic increased by roughly a quarter).