Posts By Dick Eastman

University of Georgia Partners with Google Books for Digital Access including City Directories

Here is an extract from the University of Georgia web site at: https://news.uga.edu/uga-partners-with-google-books-for-digital-access/:

“Through a new partnership with Google, about 120,000 of the Libraries’ 4.5 million volumes will be digitized, allowing further access to literary, historic, scientific and reference books and journals through UGA’s library catalog as well as one of the largest digital book collections in the world.

Help Wanted: Join the 2020 U.S. Census Team

If you are an experienced genealogist, you probably are well qualified to be an enumerator (census taker) or for any of number of other jobs working at the U.S. Census Bureau. The following is from a help wanted ad produced by the Census Bureau:

Over the Next Several Months, AncestryDNA Customers May Receive Updated Ethnicity Estimates and That’s a Good Thing

The team of scientists at AncestryDNA have increased the company’s reference panel to more than double its previous size with DNA samples from more places around the world, resulting in the latest update to AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates. In short, with more detailed data to work with today, the company can now provide more accurate locations of your ancestors. This means there may be some changes to the results you received earlier.

The expanded AncestryDNA reference panel helps deliver even more precise regions in West Africa, northwestern Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and Southeast Asia.

Quoting from the announcement in the AncestryDNA Blog:

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

On the Road Again, This Time to London

(+) How to Preserve Newspaper Clippings

So Why Lock Up the Birth Records?

Calendars Explained

Irish Man Hilariously Pranks His Family at His Own Funeral

Follow-Up: How the Irish Man Hilariously Pranked His Family at His Own Funeral

Researching Slave Trader Ancestors

Have Polish Ancestry? You may be Able to Obtain Polish (and European Union) Citizenship

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 week or ten days. I will be in London, England attending the RootsTech London genealogy conference on October 24 through 26. See https://www.rootstech.org/london for details about the conference. I will then add a few days “personal time” both before and after the conference so that I can be a tourist in the country and travel around a bit.

I have been to England many times and every time I leave I always have ideas on what I want to do on my “next visit.” In the next ten days, I plan to follow up on some of those ideas.

RootsTech Exhibits Hall

I also hope to write about the conference events that I see at RootsTech London and I also suspect I will also post a number of photographs of the conference in this newsletter while I am there.

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

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Online Webinars, United Kingdom, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Rhode Island

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.

(+) How to Preserve Newspaper Clippings

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

Many family members collect newspaper clippings of marriages, death notices, birth announcements, school graduation announcements, and similar items. If kept under proper conditions, these newspapers clippings may last for generations. The key phrase in that statement is “if kept under proper conditions.”

In fact, there are several things you will want to do to preserve the information:

So Why Lock Up the Birth Records?

It seems that every week we hear of one more situations in which some politician or bureaucrat is trying to restrict access to public domain vital records. Everybody is trying to lock out everyone, including genealogists. Our right to access to public domain birth, marriage, and death information is being threatened constantly under the guise of “preventing identity theft.”

Balderdash!

(That’s as strong a word as I will use in this family-oriented publication.)

I am sure that the politicians love the limelight back home when they can brag that they have taken action to “prevent identity theft.” Heck, nobody is in favor of identity theft, right? Therefore, just proclaiming to have taken some token action under the smoke screen of “preventing identity theft” is sure to win a few more votes in the next election.

“Facts? What facts? Don’t bother me with facts, I’ve got a re-election campaign to win.”

Past Predictions about the Future of Electricity

On March 29, 1879, a widely circulated newspaper called the American Register published a scathing editorial stating that “it is doubtful if electricity will ever be [widely] used.” That statement apparently was based on the fact that electricity was too expensive to generate in 1879.

Several months later, the Select Committee on Lighting and Electricity in the British House of Commons held hearings on electricity, with experts stating that there was not “the slightest chance” that the world would run on electric power generation. In 1879, electricity was still considered an expensive fantasy.

Thomas Edison contradicted those statements a few months later, on New Years Eve. Edison publicly unveiled his incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park. At the time he allegedly stated “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”

It strikes me that none of those opposing predictions was accurate.

Have Polish Ancestry? You may be Able to Obtain Polish (and European Union) Citizenship

Thanks to Poland’s liberal citizenship laws, thousands of people of Polish descent born in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Israel, South Africa and many other countries hold dual nationality and an EU passport. There are many advantages of having Polish citizenship now that Poland is a part of the European Union. With Polish citizenship, doors to living, studying and working in Europe are open.

A past article in the Australian Times states:

New English Parish Registers & Scottish Wills Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Here’s what’s new this Findmypast Friday:

Scotland, Will and Testament Index 1481-1807

Did your ancestors die in Scotland? Explore this index of more than 164,000 records from the commissariat courts of Scotland between 1481 and 1807. Each record includes a transcript of the original will and testament that will reveal the date of the will and where it was made.

When an individual wishes to settle their affairs prior to death, a will is drawn up. The will sets out the instructions for the disposal of their possessions. A testament is the legal document that is drawn up after a person has died. This enables the court to confirm an executor, the executor is then responsible for the winding-up of the deceased’s estate. The testament includes an inventory of the deceased’s property, this can be a brief summary valuation of the goods involved or a list of individual items and their valuations.

Scotland Monumental Inscriptions

Irish Birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates Are Now Available Online for Free

A wealth of historical registers of marriages, births, and deaths are available to view for free on the website Irish Genealogy and covers births from 1864 to 1918, deaths from 1878 to 1968, and marriages from 1864 to 1943.

The new additions include deaths in 1967 and 1968, births in 1917 and 1918, and marriages from 1864 to 1869 and 1942 to 1943, meaning that those looking to delve into their family’s history online can now go deeper than ever before.

Details may be found in the IrishCentral web site at: https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/genealogy/irish-geneaology-resource-free.

Ancestry’s DNA Health Screening Will Require a Doctor’s Order from PWNHealth, an Independent Network of Board-Certified Physicians and Genetic Counselors

Ancestry said Tuesday that its new consumer health tests (described in an earlier article in this newsletter at https://tinyurl.com/eogn191017) will require authorization by a physician.

As mentioned in the original announcement: “Ancestry has partnered with PWNHealth, an independent network of board-certified physicians and genetic counselors, to offer these services, which are included in both AncestryHealth Core and AncestryHealth Plus.”

Ancestry Chief Executive Officer Margo Georgiadis says the company wanted to focus on providing ways for its tests to integrate easily into the care patients receive from their regular doctors.

Calendars Explained

What could be simpler than a calendar? The printed one from the local real estate office shows twelve months, each with 28 to 31 days. Simple, right?

Well, it hasn’t always been so simple. After all, I keep stumbling upon genealogy records that are logged with “double dates.” That is, a birth record might state “22 February 1732/3.” Which was it: 1732 or 1733? Well, it actually was both. Just to make things more complex, back in those days, most of our ancestors didn’t know what day it was. You see, most people in the early 1700s and earlier were illiterate. They couldn’t read a book, much less a calendar. Most people did not know what day it was or even how old they were. Very few remembered their own birthdays.

Throughout history, learned men kept track of the days, months, and years in a variety of ways. The ancient Egyptians began numbering their years when the star Sirius rose at the same place as the Sun. The Egyptian calendar was the first solar calendar and contained 365 days. These were divided into twelve 30-day months and five days of religious festival.

Follow-Up: How the Irish Man Hilariously Pranked His Family at His Own Funeral

This is a do-it-yourself article. You could do this yourself when the day comes. Well, you do have to have assistance from someone else at the funeral…

If you haven’t already read it, first read my earlier article, Irish Man Hilariously Pranks His Family at His Own Funeral, at https://blog.eogn.com/2019/10/14/irish-man-hilariously-pranks-his-family-at-his-own-funeral/. Now Andrea, the daughter of the dearly departed Irishman, has revealed how her late father came up with the idea more than a year earlier.

(When the video starts playing, click on the speaker icon near the lower right corner to enable the sound.)

The Best RSS Readers and News Aggregation Apps

I have written before about the many advantages of using RSS Newsreaders to quickly and easily find articles of interest published on dozens, even hundreds, of web sites that interest you, including the EOGN.com web site. You can find my earlier articles about RSS Newsreaders by starting at: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aeogn.com+newsreader&t=brave&ia=web.

Brendan Hesse has posted an article that I think everyone should read: The Best RSS Readers and News Aggregation Apps. (I found this article by using my favorite RSS Newsreader, of course.) As Brendan writes, “Without further ado, here are the best RSS readers/news aggregators, plus a few alternatives for good measure.”

I also noted that he claims that Feedly is the best RSS Newsreader available today. I cannot say that I have tested as many newsreaders as Brendan Hesse has, but I will say that I have been using Feedly for several years and am pleased with it.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 14 October 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

This week, FamilySearch.org added over 1 million new, free, historical records from France Marriages (1546-1924), and another million records from Uruguay Passenger Lists (1888-1980.) Other countries include England, Sweden, Uruguay and the United States, including Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York and Ohio. 

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

AncestryHealth Announces Genotype and Next Generation Genetic Sequencing Services

The following announcement was written by Ancestry:

LEHI, Utah & SAN FRANCISCO – (Oct. 15, 2019) – For more than 30 years, Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, has built innovative services that empower millions of people to make more meaningful discoveries about themselves and their families. First with family history, then through DNA and today, with the introduction of AncestryHealth®. AncestryHealth is a long-term commitment to making a difference in preventive health through personalized and actionable insights.

Through a highly supportive and guided experience, AncestryHealth services deliver actionable insights that can empower people to take proactive steps — in collaboration with their healthcare provider — to address potential health risks identified in their genes and family health history. In a recent AncestryDNA® customer survey, 83 percent of respondents said they are looking for new ways to improve their health and 89 percent said it is critical for their children to learn about improving their health.

Researching Slave Trader Ancestors

The web site of the University of Irvine, California (UCI) has an article about Stella Cardoza, an alumnus of the University, who successfully traced her ancestry back to 17th-century Spain and was able to identify her eighth great-grandfather, Juan Enríquez de Aponte. She did so by a combination of old-fashioned genealogy research and a lucky find on the Slave Voyages website which houses databases documenting almost four centuries of the slave trade from Africa to the Americas and within the New World.