Posts By Dick Eastman

Blaine Bettinger Launches DNA Central

Blaine Bettinger is a genealogy expert who specializes in the use of DNA to trace family trees. He is a prolific author and public speaker. Here is a photo I took of Blaine while speaking at the Unlock the Past conference in Seattle about two weeks ago:

Now, Blaine has launched DNA Central. It is a membership-based website that brings together in one place DNA news, tests, discounts and much more. According to the web site:

No, Find-A-Grave Wasn’t Exactly “Hacked”

There are dozens of messages floating around the Internet claiming that the FindAGrave.com web site (a product owned by Ancestry.com) has been hacked and that all the information from the FindAGrave.com site appears on another web site, https://peoplelegacy.com.

It appears that the site at https://peoplelegacy.com republished all the information in violation of copyright laws. In fact, the second web site claims THEY own all the copyrights on all the images contributed by genealogists to Find-A-Grave, which strikes me as a rather brazen claim.

Another claim on PeopleLegacy states “All data offered through PeopleLegacy.com is derived from public sources” which seems questionable.

Let’s set the record straight:

(+) Tracing the History of Your House

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

Perhaps you have spent a lot of effort studying your family’s history. However, have you ever considered studying the history of the family’s home – either the home in which you live or perhaps the ancestral home in which your parents or grandparents lived? To be sure, many families may have lived in the same house, sharing the joys and tragedies of family life throughout the years. Are you curious who they were and perhaps what their experiences were? Who built your house? When was it built, and by whom? What did it cost? Who were the previous owners and residents? What did the interior and exterior originally look like? Those questions can usually be answered by a bit of investigation. In fact, you can create a social genealogy: facts about the owners and residents of the house.

DNA leads to Arrest in Florida Woman’s 1999 Murder

On March 29, 1999, Deborah Dalzell’s body was found inside her home off Colony Meadows Lane in Sarasota, Florida. Her co-workers were concerned when she did not show up for work. When deputies arrived, they found her brutally beaten, sexually battered, and strangled. Who did it remained a mystery for nearly two decades. The main piece of evidence left behind was DNA from the suspect.

The mystery man was finally unmasked this week. Deputies announced the arrest of 39-year old Luke Fleming. At the time of the murder, he lived less than a mile away from Dalzell. Fleming was charged with murder and sexual battery with great bodily harm. He remains in the Sarasota County Jail on a $1.2-million bond.

“Thanks to DNA evidence coupled with ancestry and genealogy, we’ve finally connected the dots,” said Sheriff Tom Knight.

Register for RootsTech 2019 Today!

The RootsTech organizers have opened registration for RootsTech 2019. You can take advantage of exclusive early bird pricing, and purchase your full conference pass for only $189. Regularly priced at $299, that’s over $100 in savings!

Can’t attend the full conference? 1-day passes are only $99. Register today.

Details may be found at: https://www.rootstech.org.

RootsTech2018 highlights may be found in the video below:

Prediction: “Hundreds” of Crimes will soon be Solved using DNA Databases

Genealogist CeCe Moore is well known for her work in using DNA information to solve “cold cases” for police departments. She has now indicated this is just the beginning of such work. Suspects in hundreds of unsolved murders and rapes will be identified using public DNA databases in the near future, according to her statements at the recent MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference.

CeCe Moore is the head of a genealogy unit at Parabon Nanolabs. The company has already helped US police forces identify suspects in nine grisly crimes since last spring. It does so by using crime-scene DNA to locate relatives who have uploaded their own profiles to a consumer genealogy service. Once blood relatives are located, the identity of suspects can be inferred from family trees.

In addition, a volunteer group called the DNA Doe Project has been identifying human remains, and a forensics organization, Identifiers International, has said it is working on a dozen murders.

You can read more and watch a video in an article by Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for biomedicine, at: http://bit.ly/2OF7zKJ.

Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers

Several genealogy cruises take place every year. Cruising genealogists get to enjoy genealogy talks about doing research in different countries, software demonstrations, “how to” presentations describing effective genealogy techniques, good food, gorgeous scenery, and adventurous shore excursions. What could be better?

Occasionally we hear claims that interest in genealogy is declining. These claims are based on the fact that attendance at some genealogy conferences is less than that of a few years ago. Yet everywhere else we look, we see proof of the opposite. The RootsTech conference attracted more than 22,000 people this year. While it is held in the “genealogy Mecca” of Salt Lake City, that’s not bad for a mid-winter event! Who Do You Think You Are? Live! used to be held in England every year and often attracted close to 15,000 attendees. The accompanying Who Do You Think You Are? television series about genealogy, now in its tenth season, remains popular in several countries around the world. Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. continues to attract millions of viewers and is now in its fifth season on U.S. television.

Thousands of genealogy web sites also attest to the current level of interest. The number of genealogy programs available for mobile computing devices is increasing faster than ever before, and the latest growth is in cloud-based genealogy programs. Several of the software producers are reporting record sales. Finally, genealogy “theme cruises” attract more and more people every year.

I’d say that genealogy is alive and more popular than ever!

On the Road Again, This Time to London

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 few days. If you have been reading this newsletter for some time, you already know that I often travel to genealogy conferences. This time, I will attend The Family History Show in Esher (near London), England, this Saturday. I hope to write about the conference events that I see and attend.

For details about this conference, see https://thefamilyhistoryshow.com/london.

I will then take a few days off to be a tourist and will return home in about a week. I will then stay home for about four days before heading off on the next trip!

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of September 10, 2018

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch expands its free online archives this week with over 1 million indexed records from England and Wales from the National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957. New additions also include content from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and the United States, including information from the following states: Arkansas, Illinois Massachuseetts, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Border Crossings from Canada to the United States and World War I Americana Expeditionary Forces Deaths, 1917-1919. New records are also available from the Billion Graves Index.

Ancestry.com Changed how it Determines Ethnicity and People are Upset

There is an article by Marc Daalder in the Detroit Free Press that will interest genealogists. It starts:

“Ancestry.com, the website better known for helping users create family trees, find distant family members and capture suspected serial killers, made a lot of customers angry last week.

“Recently, Ancestry has entered the business of DNA testing, which allows users to send a vial of spit to the company and receive in return a detailed genetic portfolio, including risk for some diseases and estimates of their ethnic ancestry.

“Neither the medical nor the heritage information are guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate, but as the science improves, so does the quality of the results. At least, that’s what Ancestry insists.

“After Ancestry rolled out a new update to its ethnicity estimate system last week, users noticed dramatic changes in their ethnic profiles – some of which is inaccurate, customers say.”

Later in the article, Marc Daalder also states:

Wasabi: the New, Low Cost Cloud Storage Service

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy-related articles, you might want to skip this one. However, if you would like to learn of a cheap and very secure method of storing data in the cloud for backup purposes, this article may be of interest to you.

Wasabi is a brand-new cloud storage service. The company is so new that not all the planned “bells and whistles” are yet available. However, the present implementation hows a great deal of promise. In short, Wasabi appears to be perfect for Macintosh and Windows users looking for a simple way to use cloud storage at very low prices.

I signed up for Wasabi a few hours ago and, so far, it seems to work well. I am using Wasabi in the same manner as an external disk drive. Installation and operation was simple. If I do encounter problems with Wasabi in the future, I will publish a follow-up article at that time.

The most obvious advantage of Wasabi is the price: $.0049 per gigabyte/month which equals $4.99 per terabyte/month (all prices are in US dollars).

Announcing the SCOTTISH ViC (virtual conference) 2019

The following announcement was written by Genealogy Tours of Scotland:

Genealogy Tours of Scotland announces the second annual virtual conference on Scottish Genealogy Research.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26TH, 2019

The ViC (virtual conference) will launch on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at 8:30 am Eastern

The line-up of talks and speakers for the day:

The Lad o’ Pairts: Patterns of Scottish Migration to Canada, presented by history professor Kevin James

“Genealogy in the High Court of Justiciary” presented by archivist Margaret Fox

Using Sheriff Court Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist, Emma Maxwell

FGS Announces Leadership Changes

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies”

New President, Treasurer and Vice President of Membership

September 15, 2018 – Austin, TX.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is pleased to announce that Faye L. Stallings has been appointed by the Board of Directors to become President of the organization effective September 15, 2018. Faye has served as Treasurer of the organization since January 1, 2017. She brings to the organization more than 20 years of leadership and executive experience with a Fortune 100 company, as well as a passion for genealogy.

FGS would like to express immense gratitude to Teri E. Flack who has served as the interim President for the past few months and wish her much success in pursuing her personal interests.

A Report from Unlock the Past’s Genealogy Cruise to Alaska

I returned home early Saturday morning after a 7-day genealogy cruise to Alaska, sponsored by Unlock the Past. I have to say that it was a very successful cruise.

About 160 genealogists from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, New Zealand, and Australia (I hope I didn’t overlook anyone!) converged on Seattle, Washington, to board the Explorer of the Seas on Friday, September 7. It was the most international genealogy cruise I have ever attended.

Unlock the Past CEO Alan Phillips extended the cruise with a day of pre-cruise seminars conducted at the Seattle Public Library. Covered topics included DNA testing as well as Irish and general genealogy research. These ten seminars were also offered to non-cruising genealogists in the Seattle area and online. They were also livestreamed and recorded; I will write about this offering in a separate article, but you can see the day’s program at https://www.utpinseattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/UTP-in-Seattle-brochure-v2.pdf.

Unlock the Past CEO Alan Phillips addresses the genealogists on board the genealogy cruise. This photo only shows some of the attendees. I couldn’t squeeze in everyone with My camera lens.

Once underway, we made our way to Juneau, Skagway, and the Tracy Arm Fjord, all in Alaska. On the return trip back to Seattle, we stopped for a day in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Cyndi Ingle Honored with the Prestigious Prince Michael of Kent Award

The Society of Genealogist’s former patron was Prince Michael of Kent, after whom the Society has named a prestigious award (created in 2000). The award is granted periodically to a person or organization which has made an outstanding contribution to genealogy. The latest recipient of this honor is Cyndi Ingle, well known for he Cyndi’s List web site, one of THE go-to-places for genealogy.

Amelia Bennett (on the left) presents the Prince Michael of Kent Award to Cyndi Ingle (right).

The presentation of the award on 12 September 2018 was made on board the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship by Amelia Bennett, a trustee of the Society of Genealogists, in front of a large group of genealogists on a cruise to Alaska.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, 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.

Reclaim The Records Wins Again and Freely Publishes the New York State Birth Index, 1881-1942

Goodbye microfiche sheets, hello Internet!

Reclaim The Records has announced that the organization has won and published the first free online copy of the New York State birth index, for the years 1881-1942!

Reclaim The Records made a Freedom of Information request to the New York State Department of Health a year ago, in September 2017, and it has finally been fulfilled. The data for 1881-1934 is online right now at the Internet Archive and the remaining data for 1935-1942 will be online by the end of this week. With more than 700 gigabytes of high-resolution images, it is taking a while to upload all the images.

This statewide birth index was previously only available to researchers who were sitting in a small number of upstate New York public libraries, as well as the Manhattan branch of the National Archives (NARA). And even then, it was only available in an old-fashioned and difficult format, scratched-up and faded microfiche sheets. And you had to hand in your driver’s license to be held hostage by the librarian just so you could see a single sheet at a time.

New Records Available To Search – Findmypast Friday September 14th

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 53 million new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

England & Wales Electoral Registers 1920-1932

Over 53 million indexed England and Wales Electoral Registers covering the 1920s and early 1930s are now available to search. Improved access to these important documents will enable you to bridge the vital gap left by the destruction of the 1931 census of England & Wales. Combined with the 1911 Census and 1939 Register, today’s release means that Findmypast is now able provide you with unrivalled record coverage for early 20th century Britain, helping you to trace ancestors across a period of history that has traditionally been problematic for many researchers.

The new collection, England & Wales Electoral Registers 1920-1932, has been created by reprocessing the original documents in order to improve image quality. Findmypast has also developed a new process for picking out individual names, allowing this vast bank of records to be searched with greater accuracy than ever before, in a similar way to other indexed collections currently available on the Findmypast. Searches now also cover all of England and Wales and matching records from the registers will feed into hints for anyone with a Findmypast Family tree.

Update: The Family History Show – London Saturday 22nd September

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the The Family History Show:

Headline sponsor: TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by the organizers of The Family History Show:

The UK’s Biggest Family History Show of 2018 is almost upon us. After last year’s hugely successful event we are back and twice the size! With even more free talks, societies and exhibitors. Come along to discover ways to delve deeper into your family tree and add more detail to your research. Dick Eastman will be giving the keynote speech on ‘The Future of Genealogy’ and there is a full programme of free talks to help you on your way back to the past. With free car parking and a free minibus from the train station, you won’t want to miss this!

Saturday 22nd September 2018 10am to 4.30pm
Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher

You will find plenty to explore on the day:

MyHeritage now Supports 23andMe version 5 and Living DNA Uploads

Here is another industry first from MyHeritage. If you are using MyHeritage’s FREE DNA matching service or are thinking of using the FREE service soon by using DNA results obtained from another testing company, you will be interested in this news. According to an announcement from MyHeritage:

“We now support the upload of 23andMe v5 and Living DNA data files, in addition to supporting data uploads from all major DNA testing services, including Ancestry, 23andMe (prior to V5) and Family Tree DNA (Family Finder).