Posts By Dick Eastman

MyHeritage Introduces Fan View for Family Trees

I saw this demonstrated today at the RootsTech conference and must say I was impressed. First of all, I love fan charts. They can display an excellent image of a person’s ancestry in an easy-to-understand format. Lots of genealogy programs can create excellent PRINTED fan charts and display them as printed reports or as visually pleasing images on a computer screen. With most genealogy programs, you can have your computer create a fan chart and then you and your relatives can view the output.

The demo by MyHeritage that I saw today is different: it creates INTERACTIVE fan charts. Ok, that is a fancy term but what does it mean? In short, when displaying information on screen as a fan chart, it is not only a static display but you can also click on any individual within the chart to add or modify the information as you wish. The changes to the person’s data then are saved to the main database of your ancestors.

If you wish, you can even make the fan chart as your main “starting point” when entering new data. Click on a person and enter whatever new data you have. You can also change the chart’s colors, size, formatting, and may other options until you crate the display you prefer.

Explore British & Irish roots through your Findmypast Family Tree

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

·         Findmypast Tree-To-Tree hints present unique opportunities for family history discoveries in the UK and Ireland 

·         Anyone with a Findmypast family tree now benefits from existing research submitted by thousands of British and Irish family historians 

·         Vital information on millions of common ancestors now available online

RootsTech, Salt Lake City, Utah,  February 27th 2020

Findmypast’s Tree-to-Tree hints are transforming the research of family historians across North America by connecting them to a wealth of family information on both sides of the Atlantic. 

First launched in September 2019, Findmypast’s Tree hints now present North American researchers with a unique opportunity to benefit from the research of family historians in the UK and Ireland by connecting them to a goldmine of information that was, until now, completely inaccessible.

Many people, often unknown to each other, share common ancestors within a few generations. By joining forces and connecting this knowledge, Findmypast is able offer their users millions of new opportunities for discovery that will continue to grow as new trees are created or uploaded to the site. 

Findmypast trees collectively contain the details of millions of individuals spanning hundreds of years. This valuable information can now be presented to users in the form of tree hints. As researchers add new ancestors to their tree, Findmypast automatically compares the relevant names, dates and locations to all those stored on existing trees before suggesting potential matches.

Sangerville, Maine: the Town of Two Knights

Subtitle: What do the inventor of the machine gun, a King of England, an America/Canadian/Bahamian multi-millionaire, a Nazi financier, and “Lucky” Luciano have in common with a tiny town in central Maine?

Introduction: This article is a radical departure from my usual writings. It concerns two men, both from the same small town, both of whom left as young men, both of whom became very wealthy, and both of whom were knighted by a King or Queen of England. There is very little information about genealogy here although there is a lot of history in this article.

I hope you enjoy these stories.

Dick Eastman

Knighthood cannot be granted to American citizens. Under the British system, citizens of countries that do not have the King or Queen as England’s head of state may have honors conferred upon them, in which case the awards are “honorary.” In the case of knighthoods, the holders are entitled to place initials behind their names but may not use the word “Sir” in front of their names. The only way for an American to become an officially recognized knight of the British Empire and to use the title of “Sir” is to renounce his American citizenship and to become a naturalized citizen of a country that considers the Queen as their head of state (I say “his” and “Sir” because the vast majority of knights are male; it’s been rare that a woman has received the title). Such countries would include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and perhaps more.

Several Americans have done just that and have become knights. Strangely, one tiny town in central Maine has produced no less than two such knights. Even stranger, each of these knights has been surrounded by mystery and intrigue. One of them was even murdered while in bed, reportedly because he was involved in international intrigue in the midst of World War II. His murderer was never identified or apprehended.

How did the tiny town of Sangerville, Maine, produce two such mysterious sons who both left town to seek successfully their fortunes, both to later be knighted by the King or Queen of England? What caused them both to become embroiled in controversy? Perhaps it was the water. More likely, it was the chafing constraints of life in a small town in northern New England. Both men left to better themselves.

The stories of each of these men sound like mystery novels.

Findmypast’s Archive is the Fastest Growing on the Market

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

  Findmypast’s collections have grown by over 1.5 billion names in the last year

·         Totalling over 13 billion records, Findmypast is now home to the fastest growing archive on the market

·         More records added over the past 12 months than all major competitors combined 

·         Millions of new and exclusive records bought online for the very first time

RootsTech, Salt Lake City, Utah,  February 26th 2020

Findmypast continues to publish millions of new records from Britain, Ireland, North America and beyond each and every month, providing users across the globe with new opportunities for discovery. 

The world leaders in British & Irish family history are now adding an average of 4.3 million searchable names a day, making them the second largest publisher on the family history market and the fastest growing archive online. 

2019 has seen Findmypast’s collections expand significantly, with over 1.5 billion names added to the site over the past 12 months alone.

Where Am I From? New FamilySearch Discovery Activity Is a Fun Way to Explore Heritage

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch released its new Where Am I From? interactive online activity this week. The experience is a fun way to explore your ancestral origins. Users can see emigration and immigration movements of their ancestors on a map, discover their countries of origin, and learn the heritage and traditions of their ancestors’ homelands. To start having fun, users will need a free FamilySearch account.

The Where Am I From? experience is the newest addition to a series of FamilySearch discovery activities. Dan Call, the FamilySearch experience manager for the feature, said, “Users can learn fun facts from their family homelands, like the types of food they eat, popular recipes, and family and social dynamics, including common greetings, gestures, and other cultural attributes.”

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 24 Feb. 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Browse nearly 1M new free, historical records on FamilySearch this week from Spain, France, England, Finland, and Sierra Leone. Additional new records are searchable from Austria, American Samoa, Colombia, Peru, Jamaica, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Canada, and the United States (AK, CA, HI, IN, IA, LA, MI, MN, MT, NC, PA, SC, UT, VA). Indexed records include AMA Disceased Physicians, Obituaries, civil, and church holdings.

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.

Your Next Computer Might Not Contain a Computer

NOTE: This article is off-topic. That is, the article is not about genealogy, family history, DNA, or any of the “normal” topics of this newsletter. However, I find the new announcement to be very interesting so I decided to share it here.

I have been predicting this for years. See http://bit.ly/32o9pal for my most recent article about Is the Smartphone Becoming the PC Replacement? Now you can order such a device with shipment expected to start on March 1. Yes, that’s about a week from now!

The NexDock 2 is a “laptop” device that contains a backlit keyboard, and a beautiful high-definition 13.3 inch display, but no central processor, no memory, no cooling fan (it’s silent!), no disk storage, and no operating system. It costs $259 and, when connected to an appropriate smartphone, reportedly will perform all or almost all the tasks that the average computer owner performs today.

However, the NexDock 2 only supports a limited number of smartphones today: several Samsung phones, Huawei phones, and LG phones. The producer plans to add more smartphones in the near future and even is using it with a tiny Raspberry Pi computer. These smartphones or Raspberry Pi provide all the computing power for the NexDock 2. The central processor, memory, and more of the functions in the attached smartphone or Raspberry Pi are used.

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

A notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few minutes ago. The latest Plus Edition newsletter is available at: https://eognplus.com/news/thisweek.htm.

The following articles are listed in this week’s Plus Edition email:

On the Road Again, This Time to RootsTech in Salt Lake City

(+) Epidemics

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

Book Scanning Service Provided FREE of Charge by FamilySearch at RootsTech

Combining Genetics With Genealogy to Identify the Dead in Unmarked Graves

MyHeritage is Holding a Winter DNA Sale!

Watchdog Warns About 2020 Census IT and Cybersecurity Challenges

(+) Epidemics

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

The rampant spread of disease was common in the days before penicillin and other “wonder drugs” of the twentieth century. Our ancestors lived in fear of epidemics, and many of them died as the result of simple diseases that could be cured today with an injection or a prescription.

If you ever wondered why a large number of your ancestors disappeared during a certain period in history, you may want to investigate the possibility of an epidemic. Many cases of people disappearing from records can be traced to dying during an epidemic or moving away from the affected area.

Some of the epidemic statistics are staggering. For instance, the influenza epidemic of 1918 and 1919 killed more people than did World War I. Any major outbreak of disease was accelerated by a total absence of sanitary procedures and lack of knowledge. In Europe during the Middle Ages, the homes of the citizens often had roofs and walls made of straw, floors of dirt, and dwellings where animals were kept inside. The city streets, if that’s what you could call them, often were barely wide enough for a single cart to pass, and they were perpetually covered with mud, garbage, and excrement. For lack of heated water, people rarely bathed, and fleas were commonplace. It is a wonder that anyone survived under these conditions!

Combining Genetics With Genealogy to Identify the Dead in Unmarked Graves

From an article written by the University of Montreal and published in the phys.org web site:

“In Quebec, gravestones did not come into common use until the second half of the 19th century, so historical cemeteries contain many unmarked graves. Inspired by colleagues at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University, a team of researchers in genetics, archaeology and demography from three Quebec universities (Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières) conducted a study in which they combined genealogical information from BALSAC (a Quebec database that is the only one of its kind in the world) with genetic information from more than 960 modern Quebecers in order to access the genetic profile of Quebec’s historical population. The results, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, suggest the capabilities that this method may offer in the near future.”

Also:

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

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.

Johni Cerny, R.I.P.

Fascinated by family trees since childhood, she became, Henry Louis Gates Jr. said, “the proverbial dean of American genealogical research.”
Johni Cerny, the chief genealogist for the PBS series “Finding Your Roots,” who helped some 200 famous people — among them Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi — trace their ancestry, died on Wednesday in Lehi, Utah, near Salt Lake City. She was 76.
“Johni Cerny was the proverbial dean of American genealogical research,” Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard professor who is a host and executive producer of “Finding Your Roots,” said in a statement. In an email message on Thursday, he described her work as “transforming raw data into narratives and metaphors about diversity and our common humanity.”
You can read her full obituary in the New York Times at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/22/arts/television/johni-cerny-dead.html.
My thanks to newsletter reader W David Samuelsen for telling me about this sad story.

MyHeritage is Holding a Winter DNA Sale!

MyHeritage DNA kits are now available for the Lowest Price Ever in the US – just $39! Similar discounts are also available for the Lowest Price Of The Year in the UK, CA and AU:

UK: £49
CA: $68 CAD
AU: AU$79

Similar savings are also available in many other countries.

MyHeritage is also be offering FREE shipping on 2+ kits.

At the same time, the company is also be having a sale on the MyHeritage Health kits which will be sold for the following prices:

US: $99
UK: £89
CA: $133 CAD
AU: AU$159

Click on the image to the right for all the details!

This sale will end on March 2nd.

Note: MyHeritage is the sponsor of this newsletter.

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

This is a quick reminder: If you would like to join me and a number of other genealogists for dinner immediately following the RootsTech conference, reservations are required. You need to sign up no later than midnight, local Salt Lake City time, on Tuesday, February 25 as I have to tell the hotel the next morning how many meals to prepare. The hotel staff will then order the appropriate amount of food.

Details may be found in my earlier article at: https://blog.eogn.com/2020/02/18/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.

See you there!

On the Road Again, This Time to RootsTech in Salt Lake City

This is a quick notice to let you know there may not be as many articles as normal posted in this newsletter in the next week or so. If you have been reading this newsletter for some time, you already know that I often travel to genealogy conferences.

I will be in Salt Lake City, Utah for the next week. I will be attending the annual RootsTech conference. For details about this conference, see my earlier article at https://blog.eogn.com/2020/02/11/will-i-see-you-at-rootstech-2020/ as well as the RootsTech web pages at https://www.rootstech.org/salt-lake. Of course, I will be attending the Saturday-evening-after-the-conference dinner. See https://blog.eogn.com/2020/02/18/you-are-invited-to-join-me-and-other-newsletter-readers-for-dinner-after-the-rootstech-conference/ for details on that dinner. I hope to see you at the dinner!

I hope to write about the conference events that I see and attend. I suspect I will also post a number of photographs of the conference in this newsletter while I am there. Who knows? I may even get to attend a few presentations!

I should be back home by March 2.

Stay tuned!

Watchdog Warns About 2020 Census IT and Cybersecurity Challenges

It’s less than a month until the federal government will start asking households across the country to complete the 2020 census questionnaire. But the Census Bureau is behind addressing IT and cybersecurity issues that could put the decennial survey at risk, according to a government watchdog report.

For the first time, the 2020 census will primarily rely on online responses rather than paper surveys. But the new technology supporting the effort brings new potential security risks.

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

Mississippi State University Libraries to Digitize Records of Enslaved Mississippians for the First Time

“Mississippi State University Libraries is helping create the state’s first institutionally supported digital database intended to give greater access to legal records identifying victims of slavery.

“The Lantern Project is one of only a few in the South and is funded by a $340,424 grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Committee, a branch of the National Archives. In addition to MSU Libraries, the University of Mississippi Libraries, Delta State University, the Historic Natchez Foundation, Columbus-Lowndes County Public Library and the Montgomery County (Alabama) Archives also are participating.

Explore FamilySearch’s Historical Images Tool to Unlock Data in Digital Records

The following is an excerpt from an article by Sharon Howell published at https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/explore-historical-images/:

“FamilySearch, FamilySearch partners, and volunteers worldwide have worked to make over 3 billion records easily findable online with a very simple name search. But did you know that these indexed records represent only 20 percent of the historical records FamilySearch has available online?

“If you haven’t found your ancestors by using the main search form on FamilySearch.org, it may be that their information is locked inside a waiting-to-be-indexed digital image. In 2018 alone, FamilySearch added over 432 million new record images to its online collections. But it can take years to catalog and index these images so they can be readily searched.

Findmypast Friday – Surrey Parish Registers Join the Largest Collection Online

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Surrey Baptisms

The best place to start with the new Surrey Collection is the baptism records. Over 660,000 of them from across the county have been added. Each entry includes a transcript, with the most important information for your family tree, and a digitised copy of the original document, held by Surrey County Council.

Wondering if your relatives’ local church is included? Check the updated parish lists for more information.

Surrey Marriages

Once you’ve started to pinpoint your family’s baptism records in Surrey, it’s time to find more milestones – their marriage records. Over 390,000 new Surrey marriage records have been released.

Marriage registers are essential for growing your family tree. Just one record can reveal multiple generations of family members. As well as the betrothed couple’s names, ages and occupations, you can expect to find their fathers’ names and occupations, and the names of any witnesses.

Surrey Burials