Posts By Dick Eastman

(+) Why You Want to Archive All Your Email Messages – Part #1

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

This is Part #1 of a 2-part series.

iwantarchiveWe often take email for granted these days. For many people, it is a process of writing a quick note, reading a return note, clicking DELETE, and then moving on. However, is deleting a good idea? I can think of at least two reasons why we might want to archive all our email messages, both sent and received. One reason is genealogy-related, the other is not.

Did you inherit family heirlooms of love letters great-grandfather sent to great-grandmother during the war? Or perhaps other letters written for other purposes? While love letters are always great for sentimental reasons, other letters, even business correspondence, can offer great insights into the lives of our ancestors. Will your descendants have similar feelings about the correspondence that you write?

New Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

logo-findmypast-AU-500The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Over 8.9 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including;

New South Wales Passenger Lists

New South Wales Passenger Lists contains over 8.5 million records. This collection includes records of both assisted and unassisted passengers. The assisted passenger lists cover 1828 to 1896 and the unassisted passenger lists span the years 1826 to 1900. Assisted passengers refers to those who received monetary assistance from another party or agency/government for their passage.

Each result will provide a transcript and image of the original record. The information included on the transcript will vary depending on whether your ancestor was an assisted or unassisted passenger, although most will include your ancestors name, passage type, birth year, nationality, departure port, arrival port and the dates of their travels.

Scotland Non-Old Parish Registers Vital Records 1647-1875

What Was Your Ancestor’s Property Worth?

Genealogists often find references to money in old deeds and other documents. Even census records frequently recorded estimates of a person’s real estate. The natural question is, “I wonder what that would equal in today’s dollars?” There is a web site that can answer this question.

S. Morgan Friedman’s Inflation Calculator can convert a U.S. dollar amount for any year from 1800 through 2015 into the equivalent amount, adjusted for inflation, in any other year of that range. In other words, if you find that your ancestor purchased land for $400 in 1805, the Inflation Calculator will tell you that the money he spent is equivalent to a purchase of $6371.39 in 2015.

Fold3 Commemorates Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary with Free Access to WWII Records and Stories Honoring Living Survivors

The following announcement was written by Fold3, a division of

  • To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ancestry researched the lives of 12 Pearl Harbor survivors, including four USS Arizona veterans, to uncover details about their family history, military service, and genetic diversity.
  • Fold3, an Ancestry company, is offering free access to 113 million WWII records during the entire month of December in addition to AncestryDNA and Fold3 subscription discounts.


LEHI, Utah, Dec. 01, 2016 — December 7th will mark the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, and the nation will pause to remember that tragic day in 1941. Fold3 will honor those who served at Pearl Harbor during the attack by showcasing the family and military history of 12 Pearl Harbor veterans. Everyone has a unique story of what led to them, and the heroes at Pearl Harbor are no exception. Featured stories include:

New Royal Irish Constabulary Service Records Available to Search at Findmypast

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

  • logo-findmypast-AU-500Over 486,000 RIC service records released online
  • Thousands of new records added to existing collection of RIC histories & directories

Today, December 2nd 2016, over 530,000 Royal Irish Constabulary records have been published online at Findmypast. The release consists of one brand new collection, Royal Irish Constabulary Service Records 1816-1922, and new additions to their existing collection of Royal Irish Constabulary History & Directories.

Digitised from original records held by The National Archives, the new Royal Irish Constabulary Service Records 1816-1922 collection contains a wide variety of documents from the series HO 184.Each record includes both an image of the original document and a transcript of the information it recorded.

The collection will allow researchers from all over the world to uncover intimate details of their ancestor’s career with the RIC and consists of over 486,000 records pertaining to the running and administration of the force. This includes;

MacFamilyTree 8.1 – New CloudTree offers Collaboration and Sync

The following announcement was written by Synium Software, producers of the very popular MacFamilyTree genealogy program for Macintosh, iPhone, and iPad:

December 2, 2016 – Mainz, Germany – Synium is proud to announce a huge update for MacFamilyTree, their popular genealogy app to discover your family history. Version 8.1 answers the frequently asked question “How can I work on my family tree and do genealogical research with other family members?” – and does it in a unique way . MacFamilyTree 8.1 introduces CloudTree Sync&Share – powerful, one of its kind, and free for all users of MacFamilyTree 8.1.


CloudTree Sync&Share creates a revolution in digital genealogy. No other service provides such speedy synchronization across any number of devices – directly from within the app, at no additional cost, and in line with the highest data protection standards. The iPhone and iPad version of MacFamilyTree, called MobileFamilyTree, has been updated to, offering the same set of features.

Seth Meyers’ Family History

Seth Meyers, host of NBC’s “Late Night” television program, recently interviewed his parents and brother on his television program. The conversation turned to the Meyers family history. It seems that Seth may have taken a few liberties with the facts concerning his ancestry.

You can watch a video of the family history discussion at in the video below or at:

Maine’s Alien Registry of 1940 is Available Online

There is a lot of political discussion these days about registering aliens who live in the United States. Indeed, one well-known example is the registration and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War 2 as a precedent. However, that was not the first and certainly not the only such registration.

In 1940, the State of Maine’s Governor Lewis O. Barrows issued a proclamation stating that alien residents of Maine were required to register at their local town office. Over the next month, more than 30,000 people registered with their town. Overseen by the Adjutant General, the registrations were then collected by his office at which point the statistical data was extracted to create data sheets. These data sheets can now be viewed online, thanks to the Maine State Library. These documents provide a new resource for genealogists, as well as historians of immigration in Maine.

Los Angeles to Bury 1,430 Unclaimed Deceased Bodies

This is sad news although I suspect it is the right thing to do: Los Angeles County plans to bury 1,430 individuals in a mass grave.

The remains of those set to be buried at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery in Boyle Heights have all gone unclaimed. The county generally holds the cremated remains for about two years before burial.

Most of those being buried were homeless or were poor with no known family to grieve for them.

MyHeritage Adds United States WWI Draft Registrations, 1917-1918

MyHeritage, the sponsor of this newsletter, has announced the recent addition of United States World War I Draft Registrations, 1917-1918, with over 24 million records. Information recorded varied slightly by registration date but usually included name, current residence address, date of birth, place of birth, age, marital status, race, occupation, employer, citizenship status, and other information about his next of kin.


The “first registration” on June 5, 1917, included all men from 21 to 31 years of age. The “second registration” date was June 5, 1918, with a supplemental registration on August 24, 1918, covering those who had recently turned 21. The final registration was on September 12, 1918, for all men ages 18-45, who had not previously registered.

Facebook Users want to Continue Posting from Beyond the Grave

facebook-after-deathI realize that Facebook is an addiction but this is a bit extreme. Many Facebook users apparently don’t want to stop after death! Who knew they had wi-fi up there?

OK, let’s get serious: What happens to a person’s Facebook page after they die? A recent survey by UK solicitors Jackson Canter found that around half of people would like their Facebook homepage to continue updating posthumously in some way.

In fairness, after questioning 2,000 people on the matter, some of the updating was relatively straightforward, with 55% simply wanting replies to expressions of sympathy after their deaths. However, almost as many wanted a friend of family member to post once or twice a year on their behalf with 10 percent suggesting this be done as often as once a week to “keep their memory alive”.

You can read the full story at

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often.

The Security of Your Mother’s Maiden Name

Warning: This article contains personal opinions.

dunceI was driving down the road recently, listening to a local news station on the car radio. The newscaster was interviewing a so-called security “expert” about proposed legislation supposedly designed to prevent identity theft and credit card abuse. This “expert” claimed that we needed legislation to prevent access to birth records by “unauthorized” individuals. Sound familiar? Yes, we have heard and seen this song-and-dance act before. This guy wants to lock genealogists out of the records that we have used for the past century or so.

The so-called “expert” claimed that the Internet makes it too easy for someone to find your mother’s maiden name, and that, of course, is the foundation of all security systems, right?

Let me press the button for that obnoxious sounding buzzer. BZZZZZ! Wrong answer!

No, Not a Professional Gynecologist!

On a recent episode of the television quiz show, Wheel of Fortune, a partially filled-out phrase looked good but the contestant blurted out the wrong answer: Professional Gynecologist.


The correct answer was: Professional Genealogist.

You can see a video at


Millions of New Parish Records added to the TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

  • Released in partnership with the Hampshire Genealogical Society there are over 2.1 million new fully searchable records of individuals released online for the first time
  • With these records those searching for ancestors from Hampshire can discover almost 1.8 million people recorded within the baptisms from this area in the south of England as far back as 1538 up to 1751
  • Family researchers can also discover the details of over 212,000 individuals from marriages between 1538 and 1753 and nearly 143,800 people listed in the burials of Hampshire from 1838 to 1865

TheGenealogist-logoHampshire Genealogical Society worked with TheGenealogist to publish their records online, making 2,135,878 individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable. Dolina Clarke, Chairman of Hampshire Genealogical Society said:

NGS Family History Writing Contest Nominations Are Now Being Accepted

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

This post continues a periodic series where we, at NGS, highlight the various competitions (15 December deadline) and awards (31 January) where nominations are sought in order to recognize excellence. The winners will be announced at the annual NGS Family History Conference, 10-13 May 2017.

Sixth up is the Family History Writing Contest.


Deadline for Submissions—15 December Annually

To encourage members to write a family history that covers at least three generations and not more than four.

Library of Congress, Digital Public Library of America To Form New Collaboration

This undoubtedly will affect many genealogists as more and more records are added to the Digital Public Library’s database of digital content records. Making such records available online results in much easier access for all than the present methods. The following announcement was written by the Library of Congress:

library_of_congress_logoThe Library of Congress today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Digital Public Library of America to become a “content hub partner” and will ultimately share a significant portion of its rich digital resources with DPLA’s database of digital content records.

The first batch of records will include 5,000 items from three major Library of Congress maps collections—the Revolutionary War (, Civil War ( and panoramic maps collections (

The Myths About Chromebooks

Yes, I have written often about Chromebooks but my latest article has generated a lot of comments. Permit me at least one more article to answer some frequently-asked-questions…


There are lots of myths concerning the $150-to-$300 Chromebooks. You will hear people say (or write online) “Chromebooks are just a browser” or “Chromebooks don’t work offline” or “Chromebooks don’t perform many tasks” or “Chromebooks aren’t secure” or similar nonsense. Lenovo has a video that dispels those myths.

Mississippi State University Libraries Digitize Civil War Diaries and Letters

Mississippi State University Libraries has made available in its digital collections the Civil War era, first-hand accounts of the Orville Babcock Diaries and Letters of Pvt. Arthur McKinstry.

Orville Babcock

Orville Babcock

The Babcock and McKinstry materials are a part of the overall Ulysses S. Grant Collection, which is housed at the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library on the first floor of Mitchell Memorial Library at MSU’s Starkville campus. MSU is one of only five universities in the nation that have the distinction of hosting a presidential library.

Orville Babcock was a Union Army officer and engineer, who eventually became General Grant’s aide-de-camp late in the Civil War. His diaries begin in 1863, notably including his perspective on the siege of Vicksburg, and continue into 1869. Also included are Babcock’s wartime experiences in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee before finally being summoned to Virginia. Additionally, they contain information regarding his post-war experiences in Washington, D.C., where Babcock served as personal secretary to Grant during his presidency, including his famous mission to Santo Domingo in 1869. This collection also includes supplementary materials of speeches, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.

Freedmen Bureau Celebration to be Broadcast Live on the Internet

freedmen-bureau-celebration-broadcastThe FamilySearch Blog has announced, “A broadcast to celebrate the completion of the Freedmen’s Bureau project will be held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday, December 6, at 9:00 a.m. eastern standard time. The broadcast will be streamed live at Elder D. Todd Christofferson will present Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum, a memento symbolizing the efforts of more than 25,000 volunteers who indexed nearly 1.8 million records that are now searchable online at”

You can read the full announcement at