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An Easy Way to Add More Disk Space to Your Computer

low-disk-spaceIs your computer’s hard drive getting full? No matter how much hard drive space came with your computer, chances are you have already used a good chunk of that space. Sometimes I think that all disk drives exist simply for the purpose of filling them up. Of course, you can always buy a new computer with a bigger internal disk drive, but my wallet rebels at that that idea. For many people, there is an easier and cheaper solution: add an external plug-in disk drive.

Adding an external hard drive adds huge amounts of disk space, as much as you might want. It also adds portability and safety, and it provides an easy way to backup your valuable data. It is surprisingly affordable and easy to do. I recently added a 960 gigabyte external hard drive (that’s almost a terabyte!) to my laptop computer and thought I would describe the process. It was simple. The entire “installation” process required about three minutes to complete. No screwdrivers or other tools were required. The technical knowledge required? Just about zero.

Clallam County Genealogical Society Research Center in Port Angeles, Washington, Closed Temporarily because of Weather Damage

Melting snow and rain led to a leak at the Clallam County Genealogical Society Research Center at 402 E. Lauridsen Blvd. in Port Angeles that damaged the facility’s ceiling, carpet and a conference table. The center is temporarily closed for repairs.

Fortunately, the damage did not spread to any local historical documents or artifacts. The leak happened in the center of the conference room. All of the books in the shelving and archives in file cabinets were up off the floor and did not get wet.

How Accurate are DNA Kits used for Testing Ancestry?

dnaMillions of people are purchasing and using home DNA kits to determine their ancestry. The television program Inside Edition enlisted the help of two sets of identical triplets and one set of identical quadruplets to investigate the accuracy of the at-home tests. The ancestry of each group should be absolutely identical since they all came from the same egg.

Test kits from 23andMe, FamilyTree DNA, and AncestryDNA were used.

The results are surprising.

An Attempt to Save South Carolina’s Historical Documents is Destroying Them

This should be a lesson to all genealogists, archivists, historians, and to anyone with old documents or pictures they would like to preserve: Don’t laminate them!

Back in the 1950s, many people thought that laminating something was a method of preserving it. Even some archivists recommended laminating old documents. As the years went by, these people learned the folly of their recommendations. Laminating something actually hastens its deterioration.

For 20 years, beginning in the 1950s, the state of South Carolina laminated documents to protect them from aging. However, a chemical reaction caused the documents to deteriorate faster than they would have had they been left unlaminated. The natural acids from the paper mix with the degrading laminate to create a noxious vinegar. Each passing year will further degrade the document until it’s gone.

Death Master File (also known as the Social Security Death Index) — How Did The Congress Get So Far Off Track?

Writing in the RPAC Blog, Fred Moss points out an excellent example of Congress taking a valuable tool and totally messing it up. As a result of legislative ineptitude, a tool previously used to REDUCE identity theft has now been mis-labeled as a frequent CAUSE of identity theft. Genealogists, historians, and average citizens all suffer as a result.

You might want to read Fred’s article in the RPAC Blog at http://www.fgs.org/rpac/2017/02/21/dmf-how-did-the-congress-get-so-far-off-track.

I suggest printing Fred’s article out and mailing it to your elected representatives. (I have read that most legislators don’t read email from constituents as most legislators receive too many email messages to manage. Old-fashioned paper and “snail mail” reportedly works better.)

The Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch and MyHeritage

You may have asked, “Which is the best online genealogy service for me to use?” Or perhaps you want to know the best two or three services. Sunny Morton gave a presentation about these four online powerhouses at the recent RootsTech2017 conference that may answer your questions.

comparing-ancestry-findmypast-familysearch-and-myheritage

The one-hour four-minute presentation was videotaped and is now available as a video on the RootsTech.org web site. I suspect this video will answer most of your questions. Topics covered include cost, record types, geographic coverage, genetic testing, DNA matching, search flexibility, languages supported, mobile-friendly, automated matching, and a lot more. Sunny provides the most information about these four sites that I have ever seen in any other one document or video.

As Sunny states, “No site has it all.”

DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees

Richard Hill is the author of two books on DNA testing. He has now written a shorter introduction that looks like a great introduction to the topic for any adoptee. DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees may be found on the MyHeritage Blog at: https://goo.gl/C5MZPV.

Mylestone lets you Access Your Personal Memories through Alexa

amazon_echoDo you own an Amazon Echo, the electronic personal assistant often referred to as “Alexa?” I do and I love it. I am finding new uses for it almost daily. However, I never knew of a genealogy use for Alexa until now. Our photographs and social media updates can now turned into memories that we – or our children – could later access just by asking a virtual assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa. Mylestone transforms your memories into stories to be heard on virtual assistants.

Mylestone is a new startup that is experimenting with turning our digital footprints into narratives that help us recall highlights from our lives, as well as those of our family members and other loved ones. Mylestone’s mission is to ensure life’s most precious memories are accessible upon command. Utilizing memory artifacts, and a combination of artificial intelligence and external data, the company generates narratives that are available via virtual assistants, such as Alexa.

Families Torn Apart by Slavery Sought Lost Loved Ones in Newly Archived Ads

The ads are gut-wrenching, such as, “Where is John Person?”

“Ten years have gone by since his mother, Hannah Cole, last saw him. The pain of his disappearance, the mystery of his whereabouts, and the aching question of whether he is alive or dead have driven her to take out an advertisement in the Christian Recorder, seeking an answer.

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“This is the only child I have,” it reads, “and I desire to find him much.”

University of Delaware is Digitizing Thousands of Delaware Newspapers

The Delaware project began in 2015 with a mission to digitize 100,000 pages of newspaper previously only available on microfilm. An effort launched in the 1980s preserved many of the newspapers on reels of microfilm that can now be converted to digital form.

Delaware has approximately 30,000 pages available to researchers online with 70,000 more to be added by the end of 2017, Olney-Zide said. All newspapers included are in the public domain and were printed between 1690 and 1922, which means they are no longer copyrighted.

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The 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:

(+) How Lithuanian Descendants Can Obtain Dual Citizenship and a Lithuanian Passport

(+) The Differences Between Simple File Storage Services and True Backup Services

MyHeritage’s Party at RootsTech

The EOGN Dinner after RootsTech

RootsTech 2017 Session Videos NOW Available

Book Review: Frozen in Time

Shoebox Turns Your Phone into a Scanner

MyHeritage’s Party at RootsTech

One of the major events at the recent RootsTech was the party on Friday evening hosted by MyHeritage. It was loud. It was raucous. There was music. There was Karaoke. There were games. And more.

my-heritage-party

I cannot begin to describe the party but you can see lots of pictures in the MyHeritage blog post at: https://goo.gl/HqLPqm

One of the major events at the recent RootsTech was the party on Friday evening hosted by MyHeritage. It was loud. It was raucous. There was music. There was Karaoke. There were games. And more.

The EOGN Dinner after RootsTech

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My personal highlight of RootsTech every year comes a couple of hours after the conference ends. I normally host a dinner for readers of this newsletter and their guests. This year was no exception. About 50 of us descended on the Radisson hotel’s banquet facilities and had an informal evening of conversation, food, and camaraderie. Some attendees also won door prizes, including books, subscriptions, genealogy software, a discount on a future genealogy cruise, and an iPod Touch.

I thought I would share a few photos taken at the dinner:

RootsTech 2017 Session Videos NOW Available

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Videos of select RootsTech sessions are now available for you to enjoy at home, free of charge.

They are organized by day. Start at https://www.rootstech.org and then click on the day that interests you.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Alberta, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin

Colorado, Connecticut, Missouri, and Ohio

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.

Coffers, Cauldrons, Comfrey, and Coifs: Lives of our 17th Century Ancestors – A Half-day Course on 25 February

Why do you need a bum roll? What colour were carrots in the 17th century? What did the Cavaliers use for deodorant? Can you think of 47 uses for urine?

Supplying the answers to the above (well maybe not all 47 uses), this presentation is a light-hearted but informative, insight into the domestic life of our 17th century ancestors and what they ate and drank. The emphasis is on providing the context against which to set the documentary evidence for this period.

Oh yes, the presentation by Janet Few, is being made at the Society of Genealogists’ building in London, England. Sounds like fun!

You can read more at: https://goo.gl/aRaapl.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, February 17, 2017

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

findmypast_logoOver 6.3 million records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including;

Norfolk Bishop’s Transcripts Baptisms 1685-1941

Norfolk Bishop’s transcripts contain over 647,000 records. Each entry includes an image of the original document and a transcript of the vital details. The amount of information found in the transcript will depend on the age and condition of the original document although most will include your ancestor’s name, baptism year, baptism place and the names of their parent’s. Images may reveal additional information such as your ancestor’s birth date, father’s occupation and the name of the officiating minister.

Norfolk Bishop’s Transcripts Marriages 1685-1941

Family Tree DNA Now Accepts Family Finder Data Transfers from 23andMe© V4 and AncestryDNA™ V2 Files

In an email message to all of the company’s Project Administrators, Family Tree DNA announced that it is now accepting data transfers of autosomal information from the following:

23andMe© V3
23andMe© V4
AncestryDNA™ V1
AncestryDNA™ V2

After transferring your results, for free, you will receive a list of your autosomal matches from Family Tree DNA’s database and have access to the company’s Family Finder – Matrix. The Matrix feature allows you to select and compare the autosomal DNA relationship between up to ten of your matches at one time.

The Man who Dresses Up as his Ancestors

Many of us honor our ancestors in many different ways. Peruvian artist and photographer Christian Fuchs is obsessed with his illustrious ancestors and spends months painstakingly recreating portraits of them, posing for them himself whether the ancestors were men or women.

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The walls of his elegant apartment overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Lima’s bohemian Barranco district are covered with paintings of his aristocratic European and Latin American ancestors. But if you look closer, you soon realize that many of the portraits are, in fact, photographs of the 37-year-old himself, dressed up as his relatives. The results are amazing.

State Historical Society of Iowa to Digitally Preserve more than 12 Million Pages of Newspapers, Some as Old as the 1830s

The following announcement was written by the Advantage Companies, a Cedar Rapids business with a division dedicated to the preservation and digital access of historical newspapers:

DES MOINES – The process to save the first draft of Iowa history just got a lot smoother.

The State Historical Society of Iowa today unveiled a sweeping new plan to preserve more than 12 million pages of newspapers in its collection, giving Iowans greater access to more than 300 titles dating to the state’s pioneer days in the 1830s.

Under the authority of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the State Historical Society has signed a 5-year contract to loan the newspapers to the Advantage Companies, a Cedar Rapids business with a division dedicated to the preservation and digital access of historical newspapers. Advantage will take on the ambitious new project at no cost to the state, and ownership of the physical newspapers will remain with the State Historical Society.