Posts By Dick Eastman

MyHeritage DNA is Again Featured on Fox & Friends

Yesterday I wrote (at http://bit.ly/2surTWg) about a segment on the popular U.S. news program Fox & Friends that featured family history research by means of combined DNA and online research techniques. Now the same news program is continuing its reporting today. This morning’s Fox & Friends about an amazing mother-daughter reunion, made possible thanks to MyHeritage DNA.

In today’s segment, you can see one of the show’s viewers who was so inspired by the hosts’ discoveries after taking the MyHeritage DNA test (aired on March 22nd and also available here), that she decided to take the test herself and was able to find her biological mother, whom she’s been searching for her whole life.

You can learn more about the latest story and watch the emotional reunion at:
http://bit.ly/2tSpx1r.

You can also purchase a MyHeritage DNA kit at http://bit.ly/2rE1Ida.

MacFamilyTree Update Version 8.2 is Now Available

I received a short note from the producers of MacFamilyTree, one of the leading genealogy programs for Macintosh. I have written before many times about this powerful and visually impressive product. You can find my earlier articles by starting at: http://bit.ly/2txH4MT.

This morning’s note says (in part):

We have just released the next huge MacFamilyTree update. Version 8.2 comes free for all users of 8 and 8.1. MobileFamilyTree has been updated to version 8.2, too. Both apps are currently sold at 50% discount.

Our charts always have been the most beautiful ones… but we improved them even more.

Findmypast Announces Five Days of Free Access to British & Irish Records

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

London, UK, 22nd June 2017

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has just announced that their unrivalled collection of British and Irish records will be free to access for the next five days. Between 04:00 EDT 22nd June and 18:59 EDT, June 26th 2017, more than 1.1 billion records ranging from censuses and parish registers to military service records will be completely free to search and explore.

By providing free access to such a wide array of records, Findmypast aims to encourage genealogists to experience the very best of everything Findmypast has to offer. Researchers will also be provided with daily getting started guides, expert insights and useful how-to blogs over the course of the free access period, as well as a free downloadable eBook entitled “your must have guide to finding your British & Irish ancestors”.

A Kickstarter Campaign to Help Digitize Several Hundred Holocaust Diaries

The US Holocaust Memorial has started a campaign to transcribe more than 200 Holocaust diaries. Those persecuted during the Holocaust suffered greatly. This project will help the victims’ families and many others to find information that would otherwise be lost. If successful, the Kickstarter funds will be used to digitize the diaries and place them online where everyone will have access.

NOTE: Kickstarter is an excellent service that helps many companies, nonprofits, and even individuals find funding for all sorts of projects. I have contributed to Kickstarter several times and have always been pleased with the results. If you are unfamiliar with Kickstarter and its objectives, you might want to read the introductory article, Introduction To CrowdFunding, Kickstarter As A Successful Example, at http://bit.ly/2sF4diP. Then look at Kickstarter’s home page at: https://www.kickstarter.com/.

More than 200 diaries presently stored at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are waiting to be cataloged, translated, and published online. This is not a trivial task. Rather, it is a specialized, expensive, and time-consuming project.

According to the project’s home page at http://kck.st/2sMND0z:

MyHeritage Featured on Fox & Friends

Genealogy obtains publicity on national television.

The Fox News popular morning show, Fox & Friends, featured a story today about MyHeritage DNA. In the piece, Janice Dean, one of the show’s hosts, was presented with her DNA ethnicity results that she got from MyHeritage, augmented by genealogy research the company also did for her which allowed her to learn new information about her family history. The results provided an overwhelming emotional experience for her, which you can view at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn90X7X8HTg&feature=youtu.be or in the video player above.

You can also purchase a MyHeritage DNA kit at http://bit.ly/2rE1Ida.

Two Minnesota Societies to Merge

The Dakota County Genealogical Society (DCGS) will become part of the Dakota County Historical Society (DCHS) as of September 2017, with full integration of services and operations by January 2018.

Details may be found at: http://strib.mn/2smoJT2.

Family History Research for Ancestors from India by Smita Biswas -” भारतीय मूल के लोगों के लिए परिवार के इतिहासका रिकॉर्डिंग”

I am delighted to introduce guest author Smita Biswas. She is a Team Leader at the West Auckland (New Zealand) Research Centre where she specializes in Indian genealogy. She is an expert in family history research in India as well as an accomplished lecturer and author.

NOTE: Some of the images in this article were reduced in size in order to fit in this newsletter’s format. To view a full-sized image, click on the small image within the article.

Here is Smita’s article:

Photo donated by Sheth Family, Lalbhai Bhogilal Lallubhai Sheth family photo, 1932, Shahibag, Ahmedabad, India

The culture of India has been shaped not only by its long history, unique geography and diverse demography but also by its ancient heritages. Regarded by some historians as the oldest living civilization of Earth, the Indian tradition dates back to 8,000 BC and has a continuous recorded history for over 2,500 years. But due to the influence of Western culture and migration of Indians to foreign shores, the rich culture, values, and family history of India are disappearing.

There is a lack of awareness in the migrant Indian community in New Zealand about the importance of documenting their family history. Most Indian family history has been traditionally maintained only within families and has been often passed down from generation to generation, with children hearing the stories from their “elders” from early childhood.

Mylestone’s Heirloom App is Shutting Down

In the February 21, 2017 edition of this newsletter at http://bit.ly/2rAmsCm, I described Mylestone’s Heirloom app as “a new startup that is experimenting with turning our digital footprints into narratives that help us recall highlights from our lives, as well as those of our family members and other loved ones. Mylestone’s mission is to ensure life’s most precious memories are accessible upon command. Utilizing memory artifacts, and a combination of artificial intelligence and external data, the company generates narratives that are available via virtual assistants, such as Alexa.”

Sadly, the service is now shutting down.

The service’s web site at https://mylestone.com/heirloom states:

Ancestry, Inc. Announces Confidential Submission of Draft Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering

Genealogy website Ancestry.com Inc on Monday said it had confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on a proposed initial public offering (IPO) to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company did not disclose the number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering.

Last May, Ancestry.com said in a statement that the company was valued at about $2.6 billion. We can probably assume today’s price is higher. However, the draft registration statement is confidential so today’s expected price is still not known.

Here is the official announcement from Ancestry, Inc. (which seems to be very brief):

How to Make a PDF File Searchable

A newsletter reader asked the question: “How can i make a PDF file searchable?” I thought others might have the same question, so I will reply here in the newsletter so that everyone can benefit. Also, anyone with additional methods is invited to post comments at the end of this article.

A searchable PDF is a PDF file that lets you both search for keywords in the text and use copy/paste to extract text from the PDF. Unfortunately, many PDF files are not searchable. Instead, they are simple images of an original document.

In short, a PDF file usually can be made searchable ONLY when it is created. There are some exceptions, however. I will describe some exceptions at the end of this article.

Whatever Happened to “Jimmy” O’Neill?

16-year-old James “Jimmy” O’Neill, vanished as if into thin air on December 15, 1947. No family members have heard from him since. His family has been looking for him for years without success. If still alive, Jimmy would be 86 years old and would still have three surviving siblings: Nancy, Jack and Frank. A younger brother, Noel, died six months ago.

Genealogists often are good at finding missing relatives. Can a genealogist help?

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The 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:

(+) My Method of Filing Digital Images and Documents

My Comments about Black Sheep Ancestors

Reclaim The Records Wins Another Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Request: New York State Department of Health Concedes the New York State Death Index is to become Available to the Public under Open Records Laws

Transform Any Document into a Searchable PDF with Adobe’s new FREE Scan App

How Many of You Are There?

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Ireland, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, and New York

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.

Findmypast Announces Online Release of over Six Million Ontario Records in First Phase of new Partnership with the Ontario Genealogical Society

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Leading family history website Findmypast has just announced an exciting new partnership with the Ontario Genealogical Society. Announced today at the Society’s 2017 annual conference in Ottawa, the partnership will see Findmypast publish millions of OGS records online in a series of phased releases. The first phase will be launched later this year with the online publication of over six million fascinating Ontario records, including;

(+) My Method of Filing Digital Images and Documents

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

A newsletter reader asked a question that I receive frequently. Here is a (slightly edited) copy of her message:

“I’d love to know how you handle the thousands of .JPG images of genealogy document scans and how to attach sources to them. I tried copying my .JPGs into Word, adding a title and source as text boxes. It was easy enough, but Word degraded the .JPG image so much that writing from earlier documents was almost unreadable. I’m trying it now in PowerPoint files with much better luck. I maintain .JPG integrity, can add titles and sources, and have multiple pages. I can copy the .JPG into other formats or convert the file into a .PDF. I would still love to know what you use before I get too involved in this format.”

I did answer her in email, but I thought I would also share my answer here in case others might have the same questions:

Father’s Day Founder Was a Renegade, According to her Great-Granddaughter

Sonora Smart Dodd

The woman most cited as the founder of Father’s Day is Sonora Smart Dodd. Inspired by the earlier campaign to create Mother’s Day, and a desire to honor men like her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran and a widower who raised Sonora Smart Dodd and her brothers solo, Dodd organized the first Father’s Day in 1910 in her hometown of Spokane, Washington.

Father’s Day did not become a national holiday until 1972, thanks to the continued efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd. Dodd spent 62 years lobbying everyone from presidents to retailers for support. She even lived to see the national holiday created. She died at age 96 in 1978.

Dodd’s 55-year-old great-granddaughter, Betsy Roddy, recalled this year that her ancestor was a Renaissance woman, the Mother of Father’s Day was a painter, poet and businesswoman, running a funeral home with her husband while raising the couple’s only son, a future father named Jack.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following article was written by Findmypast:

There are over 730,000 records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Rhode Island Births & Baptisms 1600-1935

Rhode Island Births & Baptisms contains over 378,000 records compiled from a variety of sources including family, church and civil records. Each result will provide you with a transcript of key information transcribed from the original source material. The amount of detail will vary from record to record, but most transcripts will reveal your ancestor’s birth date, baptism year, place of birth or baptism and the names of both their parent’s.

Rhode Island Deaths & Burials 1628-1930

TheGenealogist Releases York Colour Tithe Maps and Yorkshire Directories

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

Military review at York racecourse 1866 from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

TheGenealogist is very pleased to announce the release of the City of York and Ainsty Colour Tithe Maps, plus another significant batch of Yorkshire directories released in time for the Yorkshire Family History Show at York Racecourse.

To coincide with the return of one of the largest family history events in England, at the Knavesmire Exhibition Centre at the York Racecourse on the 24th of June and which is sponsored by TheGenealogist, today sees the release of a set of new records for York.

Québec City has been Bringing the Era of Our Ancestors to Life for over 20 years at the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France

The following announcement was written by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) and Canadian Heritage:

QUÉBEC CITY, June 15, 2017 –  – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, attended the launch of the 2017 programming and took the opportunity to announce their financial support for the Corporation des fêtes historiques de Québec for the 21st edition of the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France. This annual rendezvous with history will be held in the historic district of Old Québec, from August 9 to 13.

Canada Economic Development has invested $750,000 dollars over three years (2015, 2016 and 2017), in the form of a non-repayable contribution, through the Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP). The funding was used in part to help promote the Fêtes on the Canadian, American and European markets to enhance the area’s tourism outreach and to attract numerous visitors from near and far. The support was also used to develop new tourism experiences with the addition of facilitation spaces and activities related to history, heritage and the St. Lawrence River.

Unclaimed Persons Celebrates Ninth Anniversary and Launches New Website

The following announcement was written by Unclaimed Persons:

Every life is worth remembering, and this month Unclaimed Persons (UP) celebrates its ninth anniversary helping to unite the remains of deceased individuals with their next of kin.

Alone in death and tucked away on dark shelves or cold gurneys in morgues across the country, thousands of deceased individuals whose names are known to coroners, medical examiners, and a handful of friends have no known family members to claim their remains. Homelessness, mental illness, long-term estrangement, deaths of all apparent next of kin, and other circumstances have severed familial connections. Ever-increasing caseloads and shrinking budgets make it nearly impossible for many medical examiners, coroners, and investigators to find these individuals’ relatives without help.