This Newsletter is Sponsored by MyHeritage


(+) The True Expense of Genealogy Research

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

moneyThe world has changed for genealogists in the past two or three decades. Anyone with a computer can now obtain more genealogy information online that what any public library in a town or a small city can provide. The online information is available quickly and conveniently, is usually faster to search, and (in many cases) is available for less money. In fact, it is often cheaper to pay for two or three online genealogy databases than it is to travel to a repository to search.

Perhaps the phrase “less money” requires some clarification.

Future Plans for Family Tree Maker

There has been a lot of news lately from Family Tree Maker, a popular genealogy program formerly produced by (See for my recent articles about the program.) At the RootsTech2016 conference last week, I had a chance to talk for a while with two representatives from Software MacKiev, the new owners of Family Tree Maker. I didn’t record or write verbatim what was said, but here is a summary of the information they told me:


The software developers at Software MacKiev are already very familiar with Family Tree Maker. In fact, they wrote the Macintosh version under contract to In order to make the Macintosh version compatible with and similar to the Windows version, they also had to learn a lot about the Windows version of the program.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, February 12, 2016

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

find-my-past-logoThis week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of an assortment of valuable new collections from the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Ireland, Non-Conformist Births & Baptisms

Over 2,000 records have been added to our collection of Irish Non-Conformist Births & Baptisms. The collection is comprised of several different registers of births and baptisms from Ireland’s non-conformist churches between 1701 and 1913. Each entry includes both a transcript and an image of the original document.

Ireland, Non-Conformist Marriages

Get an Acer Chromebook 11 CB3 for $90

Acer_Chromebook_11_CB3UPDATE: This apparently was a very popular offer. It apparently sold out within a few hours. There are none left.


I have written a number of times about Chromebook laptops. (See for my past Chromebook articles.) I love mine and use it often. Chromebooks are not for everyone but they have become very popular, amongst the hottest-selling laptops on Amazon and from other retailers. As of the time I write these words, a Chromebook is the third most popular laptop sold by Amazon. (See for the sales figures.)

Writing in the CheapSkate Blog, Rick Broida now describes the Acer Chromebook 11 CB3 for $90, plus $5 for shipping. In my opinion, that is a GREAT deal, especially as the normal retail price of this Chromebook  at is $199.

LibreOffice and Other Desktop Office Suite Programs Offer Better Choices than does Microsoft Office

NOTE: The following article has nothing to do with genealogy. However, I feel that every computer owner should know about these free and low-cost choices available.

Microsoft Office once had an unquestioned stranglehold on the world of productivity suites and programs. However, recent software products now compete with Microsoft Office, and I like one of them even better than Office. Best of all is the price tag: FREE.

LibreOffice_logoLibreOffice is a desktop office suite for Windows, Macintosh, and most versions of Linux that combines a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program, drawing program, math program, and a database program. It competes with Microsoft Office in most every way except one: price. LibreOffice is available FREE of charge. There is no “pro version” or upgrade to any other available versions. There is only one version, and all features are available free of charge in that version. Indeed, “Libre” is the Spanish word for free.

2016 Student Genealogy Grant Applications Invited for the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant

The following announcement was written by Denise May Levenick and Paul Woodbury:

February 10, 2016 – The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee and the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree are pleased to announce the 2016 Student Grant and Jamboree Scholarship. Student genealogists between the ages of 18 and 23 are eligible to apply for the $500 cash award and full registration scholarship for the 2016 SCGS Jamboree to be held in Burbank, California June 3-5, 2016.

The Student Grant was established in 2010 by family and friends in memory of Suzanne Winsor Freeman, family historian and life-long volunteer, and an enthusiastic annual attendee at the SCGS Jamboree. The 2016 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society will provide a full conference registration to the SCGS Jamboree in June where the award will be presented. This is a unique opportunity for a young genealogist to attend a premiere regional conference and meet genealogists from throughout the nation.

Findmypast Announces Strategic Investment in Twile

Twile won Third Place in the Judges Choice Award ($6,000 cash, $10,000 in-kind)at last week’s RootsTech conference. I have written before about Twile, a program that converts family trees into visual timelines. See for my earlier article.

Findmypast apparently also was very impressed with Twile, as shown in this announcement:

London: February 11, 2016 – Leading family history site, Findmypast, has announced a strategic investment in Twile, creators of the visual family history timeline and winner of two innovation awards at the recent RootsTech 2016, the world’s largest family history event.

The investment in Twile reflects Findmypast’s drive to put innovation at the centre of its development programme. It follows on the announcement of a raft of global partnerships with leading technology providers, such as RootsMagic and Puzzilla, which are designed to offer customers an easy and engaging family history experience.

Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, said:

Ancestry to Launch Irish Catholic Registers Online

The following announcement was written by

  • Ireland Catholic Parish Registers to launch in March
  • 10 million records will help create the largest collection of Irish registers available online
  • Collection covers the period 1740 – 1900
  • Baptism, Marriage and Burial records available

ancestry-com-logoMore than 10 million Catholic Parish records from Ireland are to be published online by Ancestry, the world’s largest family history resource. The collection means that Ancestry will have over 44 million Irish records and will provide the largest collection of Irish Catholic parish records available online.

The collection is made up of Baptism, Marriage and Burial records from over 1,000 Catholic parishes across the whole of the island of Ireland – both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Baptism and Marriage records make up the majority of the collection and Burial records can be found primarily for parishes in the northern regions.

Hands On with Family Tree Builder version 8

Last week, MyHeritage announced the release of an updated version of Family Tree Builder for Windows. (A Macintosh version will be available within a few weeks.) I have now spent several hours with the new Windows version and thought I would describe my experiences with it. Earlier versions of Family Tree Builder for Windows and Macintosh from MyHeritage have always been surprisingly powerful and full featured genealogy programs that are available free of charge. I expected the same would be true of the new version 8.


Family Tree Builder is not an entry-level program that is restricted in any manner. There is no upgrade to a paid version; everything is available in the free version. Family Tree Builder is free forever and is used by millions of people worldwide. The program helps you research your family history, build your family tree, and add photos, historical records, and more.

Chris Noth to trace his Irish Roots on “Who Do You Think You Are?”

ChrisNothSex and the City Star Chris Noth headed to County Cavan last week to trace his Irish roots. Noth discovered that his great-grandfather was from Cavan, and left home for Canada around 1840. Grandpa’s surname was Maguire, and he was originally from Knockbride. Noth visited the Cavan Library to do some research.

Noth’s trip will appear later this year on the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are?

Check your Google Security, Receive an Additional 2 Gigabytes of Storage Space on Google Drive for FREE

Google-logoIf you use Google Docs, Gmail, and/or Google Search (and who doesn’t?), Google wants you to check your security settings on the service. If you do, you will receive an additional 2 gigabytes of storage space on Google Drive free of charge.

You can check your Google security settings at

Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto Seeks a new Home for its Books

Writing in the Canadian Jewish News, Bill Gladstone describes a set of books looking for a new home. The Toronto-based Jewish library collection is up in the air as the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto (JGST) seeks a new home for its specialized collection of roughly 500 books and 45 periodicals.

The non-circulating collection has been housed since 1989 in the sixth-floor Canadiana room of the North York Central Library on Yonge Street, a branch of the Toronto Public Library system, where it has been accessible to patrons on an in-house, reference basis only. Although the Canadiana room has for decades been dedicated to genealogical research, the library recently announced it is “repurposing” the room, with renovation slated to begin in April or May.

You can read the full story in Bill Gladstone’s article at

The Highlight of RootsTech: MyHeritage Party

One of the highlights for many RootsTech attendees was the MyHeritage Party held Friday night at the the Marriott City Creek Grand Ballroom. It featured music, karaoke, appetizers, refreshments, fun games, and raffle prizes. (And let’s not forget about the special gift each guest took home!)

This was the best party I have attended at a genealogy conference!


The attendees included the MyHeritage team, their friends, partners, and most of the geneabloggers. It also included five readers of this newsletter thanks to the raffle I ran at You can view a slide show of the events at: Click on the triangle icon to view the slide show.

Check it out!

P.S. There is a rumor that MyHeritage has reserved the same ballroom for their party next year after RootsTech2017. Stay tuned!

Plus Edition Newsletter is Now Available

The latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter is now available at Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

Day #1 of RootsTech2016

RootsTech2016 Days #2 and #3

A Report from the EOGN Dinner on Saturday Evening

TapGenes Wins First Place of 2016 Innovator Showdown

MyHeritage Mobile App adds Audio Recordings to your Family Tree

Introducing Family Tree Builder 8.0

Family Tree Maker to be Continued and With More Options Than Ever Before

RootsTech2016 Days #2 and #3

Note: My pictures from RootsTech2016 are available at:

RootsTech2016 continued on Friday and Saturday about as expected: very busy. Day #3 also was “Family Discovery Day” in which several thousand teenagers and pre-teens joined the crowds of attendees. In all, more than 26,000 people attended one or more days at RootsTech2016. Attendees included people from all 50 states. I am not sure how many foreign countries were represented although I know it was more than 25. That number even included attendees from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Friday’s keynote session’s first featured speakers were Josh and Naomi Davis, two very successful bloggers who write often on their “Love Taza” blog at about family life with small children. The blog has millions of readers from around the world. Josh and Naomi encouraged everyone to write about their personal experiences and to share them with family members and especially with future generations. The format isn’t important; a blog or a diary or journal or any other method that can be preserved for years will help future generations understand your life and will thereby help them deal with the issues and challenges they face.

A Report from the EOGN Dinner on Saturday Evening

Every year, at the end of RootsTech and occasionally at other major genealogy conferences, I host a dinner for EOGN readers and their guests. The agenda is simple: there isn’t one. It is simply a place for everyone to relax and socialize after the end of the conference. This year’s dinner was held at the Radisson in Salt Lake City, only a few steps from the site of the RootsTech conference.

I would like to say that a great time was had by all. However, for verification, you need to ask any of the attendees. Actually, I think they enjoyed it as I saw a lot of smiles all evening long.


iPad winner Nancy Thaut and myself

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Genealogy Cruises, United Kingdom, Ontario, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, 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.

TapGenes Wins First Place of 2016 Innovator Showdown

The following announcement was written by the folks at RootsTech:

tapgenes rootstechSALT LAKE CITY, UT—Today at RootsTech, the world’s largest Family History technology conference, TapGenes, won the Innovator Showdown and walked away with $45,000 in cash and prizes. The Chicago, Illinois-based, firm helps families identify and benefit from key health traits that exist between generations.

In front of a crowd of close to 10,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $100,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry. TapGenes was awarded $20,000 in cash and $25,000 in-kind prizes.

Findmypast Announces a Raft of New Partnerships as Part of its U.S. Growth Strategy

As mentioned in my earlier article at, Findmypast has always been known primarily as a company that supplies genealogy information from the British Isles. However, the company announced some time ago that would expand into North American records. My earlier article contained one announcement from the company of a major expansion of U.S. records being offered at At today’s RootsTech2016 conference in Salt Lake City, the company made another announcement that shows Findmypast’s serious efforts to become a major genealogy information provider in the U.S.

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Leading family history site, Findmypast announced today at RootsTech a range of new global partnerships with leading technology providers. This will further strengthen its reach in the U. S. as well as U.K. markets.

The raft of new partnerships include deals with RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, FamilySearch, Family-Historian, Puzzilla, Billion Graves and RootsCity. Findmypast will make its vast record collection of more than 8 billion records available to customers via these partners. The rollout of these partnerships will begin in 2016, with exact dates to be detailed later.

Introducing Family Tree Builder 8.0

Family Tree Builder is one of the more popular genealogy programs in the world. I am always surprised when those in the U.S. are not aware of it as it seems to be very popular in most other countries. (Disclaimer, Family Tree Builder is produced by MyHeritage, the same company that sponsors this newsletter.)  I am also giving a presentation at RootsTech in a few minutes about Family Tree Builder. The program is available FREE of charge for both Windows and Macintosh.

Today, MyHeritage announced a major update to the Windows version of the program is available today while an update to the Macintosh version will be available in a few weeks. Here is an excerpt from today’s announcement:

We’re excited to announce the release of a new version of our popular free software, Family Tree Builder (FTB). New version 8.0 has all of the features that you know and love, with a totally rewritten internal infrastructure that adds support for very large family trees (up to 500,000 individuals), and delivers faster performance.



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