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(+) Get a Facelift: Why You Want Your Own Domain Name

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

Domain_namesDo you have a blog or a personal web pages? If so, you want to make it easy for others to find on the World Wide Web. Which do you think works better?


Insert the name of your blog or personal web pages in place of “smithfamily” in the above examples.

For instance, the “real address” of this newsletter used to be, but I found that nobody could remember that. I changed it to and found that most people could remember the four-letter domain name of eogn, which stands for “Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.” The number of readers of this newsletter jumped dramatically within a few weeks after I changed the domain name.

Having your own domain name looks a lot more professional than does “piggybacking” onto someone else’s domain name.

Blog Your Family Tree

Wikipedia’s definition of a blog states, “A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). ”

Blog-iconIndeed, a blog is an easy-to-use web site where you can quickly post thoughts, interact with people, and more. Blogs can be personal, written by one person, or they can be produced by the marketing departments of multi-billion dollar corporations. A blog is simply an easy-to-use process that allows anyone, including you, to “get the word out.” A blog is a great method of publishing whatever you wish to tell the world.

This newsletter is a blog although I don’t use that term very much, preferring to call it a newsletter. I use this newsletter’s web site at to publish the articles that I write and to publish articles from a few other writers whose work I admire. If I had been restricted to publishing the old fashioned way, on paper, this newsletter would not exist; costs of printing and mailing are much too high. However, publishing on the Internet and by e-mail costs very little and sometimes is even free. Wins its Petition of the NYC Municipal Archives Using Freedom of Information Law

In the September 9, 2015 newsletter, I wrote about the petition of Brooke Schreier Ganz and in trying to obtain what should have been public domain records from the New York City Department of Records and Information Services (DoRIS). Now there is good news: the petition was granted!

Reclaim The Records has won its first legal case, winning access to over 600,000 never-before-public genealogical records!

Details may be found at and in Avotaynu Online at

Multiple Redundant Backup is the Best Way to Safeguard Your Photo Collection

I have written numerous times about families who lost their photo collections due to a disaster. That includes physical photographs as well as digital images. Yet when I read about the recent loss suffered by Oakland, California photographer Jennifer Little, I gasped.

Jennifer had 21 hard drives — containing some 70,000 photos spanning more than 10 years — stolen from her apartment. Gone. She had no other backups. Her multiple hard drives WERE her backups. Unfortunately, they all were kept at the same location and all disappeared at the same time. She had no off-site backups.

The First Digital Archive on Moon

I have written before about the need for off-site storage but I never meant this far off-site! Astrobotic Technology Inc. and Lunar Missions Ltd, the company behind the global, inclusive, not-for-profit crowd-funded Lunar Mission One, have signed a deal to send the first digital storage payload to the Moon. The payload will support Lunar Mission One’s ‘Footsteps on the Moon’ campaign, launched yesterday, which invites millions of people to include their footsteps – in addition to images, video and music – in a digital archive of human life that will be placed on the moon during Astrobotic’s first lunar mission.

The announcement at gives very few details but the words “invites millions of people to include their footsteps” sure sounds like they will accept genealogy information.

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often.

Online Genealogy Programs for Invited Family Members

A newsletter reader asked a question today: “I am wondering if there is an online genealogy program [where the data] can be seen, added to and shared only by family members so that we can all see each other’s descendants.”

I assume my correspondent wants a service that is visible ONLY to invited family members, not to everyone in the world. Indeed, there are many such programs. Actually, they are web sites where such data can be entered and shared, but only visible to people who have been given access to the site.

While I did answer her in email, I thought I would copy my answer to a public article in this newsletter in case anyone else has the same question. Here are a few of the web sites and service I can think of at the moment:

(+) Follow-Up: Hands On with QromaScan: A New, Smarter Way to Scan Photos

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

In last week’s Plus Edition newsletter, I described (at my experiences with the brand-new QromaScan device that converts an iPhone into a scanner. I pointed out a couple of deficiencies with the new product. Now the producing company has fixed one of the major drawbacks with the new release of QromaScan software.

In a letter to all QromaScan customers,  Tony Knight wrote:

Elmire Conklin and Jennie Sweetman Presented with Special Awards for their Five Decades of Genealogical Research

On Thursday, September 24, in a brief ceremony held at the Warwick (New York) Town Hall, Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Historian Dr. Richard Hull presented special awards to Elmire Conklin and Jennie Sweetman.

“I’m honored to introduce to you two long-time Warwick residents,” Hull said, “who through more than five decades of genealogical research have quite literally done more than anyone today and through the deep past to identify and exhaustively research many dozens of Warwick families, many of whom were distinguished citizens of our community and some of them with roots going back many generations.”

“Genealogy Roadshow” to Videotape in Rhode Island This Week and You Can Attend

genealogy_roadshow_logoThe Providence (Rhode Island) Public Library will host a crew from the popular “Genealogy Roadshow” on Sunday, October 4. The show stars genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco and features participants with unique claims and storylines.

The show will feature Providence residents who have (or believe they have) interesting, significant family stories. Chosen stories have been researched by a team of local experts, and will be linked to the history of the community.

(+) Will Your Next Primary Computer be a Tablet?

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

IPad1stGenOne of the trends amongst today’s computer users is the move from traditional desktop and laptop computers to tablet computers and also to the so-called smartphones. While the desktop and laptop computers remain much more powerful than the smaller devices, the tablets and smartphones are all “good enough” for most tasks, and their mobility is proving to be much more useful than using a big computer on the desk or even a laptop in a briefcase.

Gartner, Inc. now says that tablet computers outsell combined desktop and laptop computers by a six-to-one ratio. (The report is available at

Most of the time, many of us use our computers primarily for accessing the Internet, for word processing, and for email. Those three things are all that many of us need day-to-day. For more advanced uses, both Microsoft Office and the Apple productivity programs are available for tablets. For me and for many others, those tasks are all I need perhaps 99% of time.

An Ontario Parish Has Its History Stolen

Three thefts from churches in Hawkesbury, Ontario have occurred this summer. The most recent theft occurred at the St-Joachim Catholic Church. Thieves stole a safe from the church. It contained a small amount of cash but, more important to genealogists, it also contained the church’s parish registers. It’s all the files of the parish, including christening and marriage records. In some cases the missing papers traced the same families for 130 years as generations lived, married and died there.

Rachelle St-Denis-Lachaine, a longtime resident of Chute-à-Blondeau and volunteer at St-Joachim Catholic Church, said, “These are the parish registers. It’s all the files of the parish, and there are also registers with marriages. These are our memories in these books. There are copies in the archdiocese in Ottawa, but it’s all the baptisms since the 1880s. The baptisms, the marriages, the funerals, so it’s basically the entire history of Chute-à-Blondeau that was in there.” Receives a Makeover

The Canadian website of has a new “look and feel” today. An announcement from the company states the changes will help “Canadians discover and tell their family story.”

With new storytelling features and a streamlined design, the new Ancestry site will help Canadians move beyond names and dates, enhancing the stories of their ancestors’ lives. A few new features include:

DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees

Richard Hill has written an article that may be helpful for adoptees or the children of adoptees looking for their biological ancestors. DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees describes the most common tests that will help adoptees. It also warns, “Whatever you do, don’t waste your money on old technology “sibling” or “kinship” tests. Those tests only check a handful of markers and are nearly always inconclusive.”

DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees may be found at

Backblaze to Sell Cloud Storage for a Quarter the Price of Amazon S3 and Its Other Competitors

IntroducingBackblazeB2I have written many times about the need for backup services, including an article about Backblaze that I published last week at I have also written many times about the constantly decreasing costs of online file storage services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, Amazon S3, SugarSync, Microsoft OneDrive, SpiderOak, Box, and a number of others. Now I can combine several articles into one: Backblaze has always been known as a method of backing up data files from your computer. Now the company is expanding into file storage (of any kinds of files) and claims to have the lowest prices of any of its competitors. The other file storage services charge 2¢ or more per gigabyte per month. However, Backblaze is pricing its service at just half a cent per gigabyte per month with the first 10 gigabytes free.

The Digitizing of the 1891 Census of Norway is Finished

According to an announcement by The National Archives of Norway:

“The Norwegian 1891 Census consists of one sheet per person and one sheet per house/residence. These sheets have all been scanned and published in ordered series for the 559 cities and municipalities (herred) that existed in Norway at the time of the census.

“Apart from name and occupation, most of the information in the census sheets is in printed letters. You need to access the information from the house lists. In these lists you will find reference to the person lists.

Update: Keep Notes with Google Keep

Google Keep is a very useful syncing notepad that connects to Google Drive. You can enter a note on any one of your computers or tablets or cell phones and then later access the notes on your other system. It also supports photo notes, voice notes, and checklists. I wrote about Google Keep in the August 28, 2015 newsletter at In that article, I wrote, “It is available for Chrome browsers on Windows and Macintosh, for Android devices, and for Chromebooks.” It was not available Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices. However, that has now changed. Google has now announced a new version of Google Keep for Apple iOS devices.

A Remake of the Popular “Roots” Television Program to Air in 2016

Haley_roots“Roots” was a 1977 television miniseries in the USA based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. It received 37 Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. The program’s Nielsen ratings for the finale still holds a record as the third highest rated episode for any type of television series, and the second most watched overall series finale in U.S. television history. Now a remake of the mini-series is planned for broadcast in 2016.

According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography:

The tale follows the life of Kunta Kinte, a proud African who was kidnapped from his village in West Africa. After surviving the middle passage (the brutal shipment of Africans to be sold in the Americas), he was made a slave on a plantation in the United States. Haley visited archives, libraries, and research repositories on three continents to make the book as authentic (real) as possible. He even reenacted Kunta’s experience during the middle passage by spending a night in the hold of a ship (the storage room below deck) stripped to his underwear.

You can read more about Haley at

Electric Cars… of the 1890s and Early 1900s

What goes around comes around. Are you dreaming of purchasing a Tesla or some other all-electric automobile? Your great-great-grandfather might approve of your following in his footsteps.

Here are a few examples of early electric automobiles that may have been purchased by our ancestors:


1902 Studebaker electric automobile

If You are Going to Make a Time Capsule, Make Sure it is Waterproof

The John F. Kennedy Peace Capsule was built by a crew at Defoe Shipbuilding Co. and buried by the Bay County (Michigan) Labor Council in 1965 as part of Bay City’s Centennial Celebration. Crews unearthed the capsule Wednesday and it was opened Thursday at the Bay County Fairgrounds. There was but one problem: it was half full of water. Some of the papers inside were destroyed although a few apparently remained above the waterline and are still readable.

You can read the details in an article by Pati LaLonde in the web site at


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