Posts By Dick Eastman

(+) How to Preserve Water-Soaked Books and Papers in an Emergency

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

Hurricane season is upon us and we should learn from the experiences of past storms. The recent Harvey and Irma hurricanes and flooding taught all of us again that paper is a very fragile storage medium for old records. However, paper is also the most common storage method in use today. The news reports from the recent hurricanes told of numerous libraries, public records offices, and more that had water in their offices. In some cases, the water reached records that should be saved for centuries. Many families also lost family documents, old photos, and even examples of their children’s art work. Unfortunately, water-soaked paper documents will only last for a few days unless treated immediately.

For the best-known loss of records by water damage, ask the U.S. Census Bureau about water-soaked documents. Most U.S. genealogists have been told that the 1890 census records was “destroyed by fire” in 1921. In fact, the fire damaged only a small percentage of the records. Far more damage was caused by the firehoses of the fire department called in to battle the blaze. Most of the damage was caused by water being poured onto the fire, water that soon seeped into millions of otherwise undamaged records. The fire did not go above the basement but water poured into the upper floors drained into the basement, extinguishing the fire. Unfortunately, in the process of water draining through the upper floors, a high percentage of the otherwise undamaged documents became soaked with water.

imbue App for iOS devices and soon, Android: Make Every Family Item a Time Capsule

A new family memory app for Apple devices that should appeal to many genealogists is being developed in a Kickstarter campaign. It will be demonstrated in a technology demonstration next year at RootsTech. The app was launched Wednesday, September 20.

The name of this new app is imbue, apparently always spelled with a lower-case “i.” The word “imbue” means “Inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality. Saturate, suffuse, drench, steep.”

If you contribute financially to the development of this new app, you can be both a beta tester and also receive a subscription to the final, released product when it is ready.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 753,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Dublin Electoral Rolls

Containing more than 427,000 transcripts, this index pertains to records found on the Dublin City Library & Archive website. The rolls are broken up into four divisions: College Green, Dublin Harbour, St Stephens Green, and St Patricks. The original documents have been digitised by Dublin City Council, which aims to digitise the entirety of their electoral rolls, spanning from 1898 to 1916. Additional information, including images, can be found on the source’s website.

Will Postal Carriers Act as Census Enumerators for the 2020 US Census?

The U.S. Constitution requires a census of all residents every ten years. However, the effort for the 2020 Census is in turmoil. (See http://bit.ly/2uAbHl7 and http://bit.ly/2xiqlCb for two of my recent articles describing the chaos.) In the last two or three collections of census data, the time required to plan the census, hire the right people, and to train them required 3 or 4 years of advance planning. Unfortunately, there is only 2 years and a few months left until the next scheduled census. This creates a big question: how to plan, hire, and train the enumerators (people who take the census) in this short time?

Now the Census Bureau has a new suggestion: use Postal Service employees to perform the census.

A notice in the Federal Register asks for comments about the proposal, even though little information is given about the proposal.

AAGHSC Conference to be Held in Chicago on October 13 and 14

The following is an announcement from the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC):

Come and Celebrate the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago’s (AAGHSC) 35th Annual Family History Conference, Unique Issues Researching African American Genealogy, with keynote speaker and professional genealogist LaDonna Garner, M.A., R.V.T. Additional speakers include Karen Burnett, Stephanie Byrd, Janis Minor Forte, Paul D. Holmes, Evelyn Nabors, Saundra Shelley, and Cheryl Varner.

The Society will hold its conference on Friday, October 13, 2017 and Saturday, October 14, 2017 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 5200 S. University Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Registration is open to the public. Additional details may be on the Society’s website – www.aaghsc.org.

Maine Irish Fundraise to bring DNA Tests to Galway

Here is an interesting twist: Irish descendants in the U.S. are sending DNA kits to find out more about their roots in the Co. Galway Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking district).

The Maine Gaeltacht Project, linked with the Emigration and Diaspora Centre Project in Carna, Co. Galway, is funding DNA testing for Galway locals in an attempt to link members with their Irish families. The Maine Irish found that groups of Irish immigrants from the same townland or county would cluster together when they arrived in the US. That is true of Maine too. That means many of those with Irish roots living in the Portland, Maine, area can trace their family history back to the Connemara Gaeltacht.

You can read more in an article by Frances Mulraney in the IrishCentral web site at: https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/maine-irish-galway-dna-testing.

Only 0.3% of People Have One Ethnicity in their DNA, Showing Our World is a True Blend

When I started writing a blog that is mostly concerned with genealogy, I never expected to also be writing about Irish whiskey. However, strange things do happen. In this case, there is a genealogy lesson to be learned for all of us: Only 0.3% of people have one ethnicity in their DNA, showing our world is a true blend.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey:

Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey partners with MyHeritage DNA to unlock the ‘Beauty of Blend’

Only 0.3% of people have one ethnicity in their DNA, showing our world is a true blend

To celebrate the launch of ‘The Beauty of Blend’, Tullamore D.E.W., the original triple blend Irish whiskey has partnered with MyHeritage DNA, the leading destination for family history and DNA testing, to create a limited edition branded DNA kit which will allow people all over the world to uncover their own unique blend. Reviewing trends of DNA testing from around the world, Tullamore D.E.W. worked with MyHeritage DNA, to uncover that 99.7% of people have a blend of multiple ethnicities, meaning that only 0.3% of individuals sampled are of only one ethnic background.2 The partnership gives fans an opportunity to discover, and celebrate, their own unique blend of ethnicities. Limited edition branded MyHeritage DNA kits will be given away through a gifting program and the Tullamore D.E.W. social channels in the coming months.

How One Woman Brought the ‘Mother’s Curse’ to Thousands of Her French-Canadian Descendants

The first King’s Daughters—or filles du roi—arrived in New France in 1663, and 800 more would follow over the next decade. Given their numbers, they were not literally the king’s daughters of course.

They were poor and usually of common birth, but their passage and dowry were indeed paid by King Louis XIV for the purpose of empire building: These women were to marry male colonists and have many children, thus strengthening France’s hold on North America. French Canadians can usually trace their ancestry back to one or more of these women.

For more information about the filles du roi, see my earlier article at http://bit.ly/2wG6ecP.

Whenever a small group of people leave a large population (France) to found a new one (New France), they bring with them a particular set of mutations. Some of these mutations will by chance be more common in the new population and others less so. As a result, some rare genetic disorders disproportionately impact French-Canadians.

One of these is Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, which causes vision loss, usually in young men. Recently, geneticists using French Canadian genealogy have reexamined the effects of Leber’s and found a striking pattern of inheritance: It seems to show a long-theorized but never-seen-in-humans pattern called the “mother’s curse.”

RootsTech 2018 Now Open for Registration

RootsTech, the lagest genealogy conference held each year in North America, probably the largest in the world, is now accepting reservations for next February’s event. Here is the announcement:

SALT LAKE CITY (19 September 2017)–FamilySearch International has announced that registration to RootsTech 2018 is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family roots, heritage, and stories. The conference will be held February 28 to March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, go to RootsTech.org.

In 2017 the growing event attracted more than 26,000 attendees in-person from all 50 U.S. states and more than 35 countries. Family Discovery Day, a free 1-day event held on Saturday as part of the conference, is also open for registration.

rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®

Atavus, Inc. has just announced an improvement to the company’s product, rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®. This should interest many genealogists as rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote® now works with Evernote, a very popular product amongst genealogists.

The following announcement was written by Atavus, Inc.:

Atavus, Inc. announces that its multiplatform genealogy program, rootstrust, now supports interoperability with Evernote. In the latest version of rootstrust, users can optionally use Evernote as a primary or secondary repository for imported files and website links.

Evernote is a multiplatform app for taking, organizing and archiving notes where a ‘note’ can be virtually any file or website link. To take advantage of this interoperability between rootstrust and Evernote, you must first have an Evernote account. You can start with a free account and upgrade to a Plus account or to a Premium account, as you require more storage space. Windows and Mac OS users also need to download and install the free Evernote client program for their operating system. Since there is no Evernote client available for Linux, rootstrust will soon (next release) provide its Linux users with an Evernote-like extension to rootstrust.

New York City Department of Health Proposes Adoption of 125 Years for Birth Records 50 Years for Death Records Embargoes

Here is another attempt to lock up records for many year, records that legally are in the public domain. The following announcement was written by the New York City Department of Health:

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is proposing a schedule of when the Board of Health can make birth and death records available and transfer then to the NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS). The Municipal Archives is within DORIS. The proposal is to place embargo periods for birth records for 125 years from date of birth and 75 years from date of death. This is similar to the 2011 Model Vital Records Act which imposes a 125 year embargo on birth records, 75 years for death, and 100 years for marriage records. The proposal is also asking for input for a 50 year vs 75 year embargo for death for those involved with family history. In New York City marriage records are under the City Clerk’s Office, not the Department of Health, and therefore marriage records are not included in this New York City Department of Health proposal.

Records currently at DORIS (birth records up to 1909 and death records to 1949) are not affected by the proposed rule.

TheGenealogist adds over 1.1 Million Records to their Sussex Parish Record Collection

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added over 1.1 million individuals to its parish record collection covering the county of Sussex. Published In association with The Parish Record Transcription Society, this first tranche of records will be followed by more releases in the near future.

This new release covers individual records of:

  • 717,000 Baptisms
  • 213,000 Marriages
  • 208,000 Burials

The Parish Record Transcription Society (PRTSoc) have worked with TheGenealogist and S&N to publish their records online, making over 1.1 million individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable:

How Your Ancestors Could Have Been Convicts Transported to Australia

A new free-to-use website of convict records going back two centuries is launched in Liverpool, England. From an article by Bill Gleeson in The Echo:

“A new website will allow genealogists and family historians to discover the fate of ancestors convicted of crimes and transported overseas.

“The free-to-use website draws on over 4m court records and uncovers how punishment affected the lives of tens of thousands of people convicted of crimes at the Old Bailey between 1780 and 1925. The project to create the website was led by academics at The University of Liverpool.

“The records reveal a vast amount of information, such as the names, year and place of birth, previous offences, height, eye colour and whether the convict could read or write. The records also show details of the crimes, who pressed the charges, and, if they were transported, the name of the ship and the penal colony to which they were sent.

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. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

A Note from Dick Eastman

(+) Why Your CDs and DVDs Are Dying

Huge Changes in the Genealogy Businesses

Findmypast Appoints Tamsin Todd as CEO

Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan Stepping Down; Will Transition to Chairman

Ancestry Delays IPO

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, New York, Oregon, 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.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 650,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Herefordshire Baptisms

Herefordshire Baptisms contains over 229,000 transcripts of original parish baptism registers. The collection dates back to the early 1500s and covers more than 240 parishes across the county. Some of the records have been created by the Leintwardine History Society from original documents and the rest come from FamilySearch’s International Genealogical Index. Early records, especially from the 16th and 17th centuries, noted only a few facts about the event. Later records will include more biographical details. Most will reveal your ancestor’s name, birth year, residence, baptism date, baptism place and parent’s names.

Herefordshire Marriages

Update: On the Road Again – This Time to Florida

In case anyone is interested, the power is back on at my winter home in Florida following Hurricane Irma. Even better, the air conditioning is now working! (Hooray!)

The power was out for 6 days in my neighborhood. Cable television and Internet access started working as soon as the power was restored. We had no water for two days. My neighbors tell me the (wired) telephone service still doesn’t work but cellular phones have worked more or less perfectly during the entire time. (I don’t have a wired telephone so I don’t miss it.) I have been using my cellular phone’s data capabilities to access the Internet and to send and receive email during the time I have been here.

The damage to my house was minor. Everything was repaired within a couple of hours after spending about $20. Some of my neighbors were not so lucky.

One bit of advice: If you depend upon a cellular phone for use when wired phones are out of service, make sure you have a good method of charging the cell phone MULTIPLE TIMES, if needed. You can purchase any number of batteries that will recharge cell phones but my preferred method is to have a power cable that connects the cell phone to the power outlet in your automobile’s dashboard. You can charge a cell phone several times with an automobile battery without depleting the automobile battery.

On the Road Again – This Time to Florida

This is a notice that there may not be any new articles posted in this newsletter for a few days. In fact, the weekly Plus Edition email version of the newsletter may be delayed a few days as well.

I am traveling to my winter home in Florida to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. My Florida neighbors tell me the damage to my house is minor but probably should not be ignored and left exposed to the rain for very long. Therefore, I need to fix it now.

My neighbors also have told me there is no electricity in the neighborhood, no telephone service, no water, and no Internet connectivity. In some areas, the power may be off for weeks.

Luckily, the cell phones are working well. I don’t have wired telephone service anyway so I won’t miss that.

2017 Ukrainian Genealogy Conference — Unlock Your Heritage: Discover Your Ancestry

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the 2017 Ukrainian Genealogy Conference:

The 4th Annual Nashi Predky Fall Conference – Unlock Your Heritage: Discover Your Ancestry – will span two days, including a full-day dedicated to DNA & Eastern European Ancestry.

Join 70+ fellow genealogists from Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Poland on October 6-7, 2017 for an event which features internationally known experts in Eastern European genealogy, and a workshop on Using Cadastral Maps. In addition to the presentations, the event will have vendors and cultural displays, and an ethnic food buffet luncheon with extended networking time during the lunch break.

rootstrust Now Runs Natively on a Chromebook

I have written previously about rootstrust, a genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.  (You can see one of my earlier articles at http://bit.ly/2y19Bff.) Now the folks at Atavus have still another operating system: Chromebooks, the low-cost laptop and desktop computers.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Atavus:

Last year Atavus reported that rootstrust can run on a Chromebook via a virtual computer system that you must subscribe to for a monthly fee. Paperspace, MacInCloud and Frame are virtual systems that rootstrust is compatible with. Now Atavus is pleased to announce that rootstrust runs natively on GalliumOS, a free Linux variant developed specifically for the Chromebook. A Chromebook can be configured for dual booting which means that the user selects either ChromeOS or GalliumOS when the device is powered on.

Rootstrust executing on GalliumOS on an Acer Chromebook 14