Posts By Dick Eastman

Fate of Seattle U.S. National Archives Facility Still in Limbo

The Seattle facility of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) remains closed because of the pandemic, but is still likely to be sold; state officials are working to keep the priceless materials held in the federal facility from leaving Washington.

It’s been six months since the news services reported that the federal government, without any public input, intended to sell the Seattle facility of the National Archives and move its contents – millions of priceless maps, documents, photos and other records of Pacific Northwest history – out of state.

COVID-19 Pandemic Has Heightened Interest in Underlying Health Risks, Ancestry® Family Health Survey Shows

From an announcement written by

“Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today released results of a survey recently commissioned to understand how consumers view their health — and in particular, their genetic health risks — during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the newly released Family Health Survey, by Ancestry, in an era when concerns about health are rising in general, almost half (47%) of all Americans and nearly 60 percent of parents said the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their specific interest in understanding their possible genetic health risks.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear to many people the importance of taking proactive actions to protect their health and their family’s health,’ said Dr. Ron Park, MD, EVP of Health and DNA, Ancestry. ‘The survey shows that this applies to not only concerns specific to COVID-19 but also other health issues, such as genetic risks.'”

You can read the full announcement at:

How to Apply for Australian Citizenship

With all the political upheavals in the world, along with various economic sanctions amongst countries, many people are finding the idea of obtaining citizenship in a different country can be enticing. Australia is certainly one of the more appealing countries, especially for anyone who speaks English either as their native tongue or else is already fluent in English as a second language.

Australia is one of the safest countries in the world. It is also a hub of information technology. People from all over the world are now moving to Australia as it provides exciting benefits to its citizens and to the people who have immigrated recently.

Citizenship by Descent

The easiest method of obtaining Australian citizenship will happen to those who have at least one Australian parent. It will not apply to anyone with Australian grandparents. Although this will appeal to a small number of people, the process is simple. A person born outside Australia to an Australian citizen parent can acquire Australian citizenship in the following ways:


This article is “off topic.” That is, it has nothing to do with the normal topics of this newsletter: genealogy, family history, DNA, and related articles. However, I believe it will interest many people, genealogists included, who use more than one computer.

Do you use two or more computers? Perhaps you have a desktop system and a laptop computer. Perhaps you use one computer at the office and a different one at home. Then again, perhaps you have two homes; a summer cottage or perhaps one home in the sunbelt and another “up north.” Do you keep separate computers in each location?

Perhaps you and a relative who is also working on the family tree want to keep genealogy information and old family photographs updated all the time in both of your computers in your homes. Whatever your situation, the question this article hopes to answer is, “How do you automatically keep some of the information up-to-date on both (or all) of the computers?”

The question can be answered with one word: Syncthing.

How to Organize 30 Years of Family Videos in an AI Archive

Do you have boxes and boxes of old family movie films or videotapes? If so, how do you organize them? Do you or your relatives want to watch hundreds of hours of old videos?

An article by Dale Markowitz, an Applied AI Engineer, recently published in the Google Blog, offers suggestions.

NOTE: “AI” is an abbreviation for “Artificial Intelligence.” Don’t let that scare you. The techniques described in the article are rather simple for anyone to use, regardless of the “artificial” buzzword.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 13 July 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Find a key part of your genealogical puzzle in nearly one million new Find A Grave indexed records on FamilySearch. Explore Ecuador Church Records 15652011, and Uruguay Passenger Lists 18881980, just waiting to be discovered, along with thousands more from Austria. Brazil, Chile, England, Germany Mexico, Peru, S. Africa and Spain. The United States collections were expanded for Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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

(United Kingdom) Census Order and Regulations for England and Wales

The following announcement was first posted to the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee’s mailing list:

The legislation to hold the census in England and Wales on 21 March 2021 is now official. It became law at the may Privy Council on 20 May 2020.  The order may be read at:

The Census Regulations came into force on 23 June 2020 in England and 26 June in Wales. The Regulations include many of the operational details of the census, as well as exact copies of the paper questionnaires and descriptions of the online questionnaires. They are available to view online:

The Quinte Branch of Ontario Ancestors Announces an Update of the Society’s Online Finding Aid

The following announcement was written by the Quinte Branch of Ontario Ancestors:

To celebrate our 40th anniversary as a branch of Ontario Ancestors, the Quinte Branch online Finding Aid is getting an update. The number of records will increase to over 1,516,000 thanks to the efforts of our volunteer indexers. That’s an increase or over 166,000 records.

In addition to the indexing of new genealogies received in our library, we have also concentrated on including a number of major historical works and genealogical transcripts. These latter items add a broad range of new records to the database covering the whole Quinte Region including Hastings, Prince Edward and part of Northumberland counties.

Genealogical Archive of 52,000 Irish-Jewish Records, From Over 200 Years, Presented to Dublin City

Quoting an article in the IrishCentral web site:

Jewish births, marriages, burials, school records and census information in Ireland dating back to 1664 released to the public.

Jewish wedding at the Waterford Courthouse, early September 1901

Ukrainian History and Education Center to Launch FREE Online Genealogy Series

The following announcement was written by the Ukrainian History and Education Center:

Ukrainian History and Education Center to Launch FREE Online Genealogy Series July 15; Programming to Continue throughout 2020

Genealogists with roots in and around Ukraine can continue their research during the pandemic with the launch of NashiPredky@Home, a FREE online genealogy and history series of events by the Ukrainian History and Education Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to connect generations by telling the stories of Ukraine and Ukrainian Americans through its museum and archives.

Kentucky Genealogical Society Announces a Series of Web Seminars: “Discovering Your Bluegrass Roots in Kentucky”

The Kentucky Genealogical Society typically offers a full day seminar each August in Frankfort, Kentucky. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the society is instead offering a series of eight online webinars throughout the month of August, 2020. The theme of the series is, “Discovering Your Bluegrass Roots in Kentucky.”

The series includes speakers who can help researchers with Kentucky ancestors, including: Tracing Your Kentucky Roots with Peggy Lauritzen, Researching at the County and Local Level in Kentucky with Dave Schroeder, Using Maps in Genealogy with Katherine Wilson, 10 Things for a Genealogist to Do Before Leaving an Archive or Library in Kentucky with Melissa Barker, LGBTQ Genealogy with Stewart Traiman, Discovering African Americans in Kentucky records prior to 1870 with Cynthia Maharrey, and Strategies to Analyze Endogamous DNA with Alec Ferretti.

Berks County (Pennsylvania) Genealogical Society Library to Reopen

According to an announcement on the Berks County (Pennsylvania) Genealogical Society’s website at

BCGS WILL REOPEN JULY 15th, by appointment only.

New Library Hours: Wed – Fri: 2:30 – 6pm; Sat and Sun: noon – 4pm.

A mask will be required to enter the GoggleWorks. Please call the library during open hours to make an appointment at 484-509-4806. Or email to:

To permit social distancing only 5 researchers will be permitted in library at one time. Library staff will be wiping down surfaces after your visit.

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 latest Plus Edition newsletter is available at:

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

(+) How to Care for Aging, Fragile Paper, CDs, Magnetic Tapes, and Their Data Content

Free Access to All Birth Records on MyHeritage

Historical Record Collections Added to MyHeritage in June 2020

Canada Has Completely Changed The Rules On Who Can Automatically Become A Citizen

Pandemic Prompts Growth in Family Tree Digging

(UK) National Archives Announces Reopening of Reading Rooms on July 21st

The History of Digital Photography

Delia Bourne, R.I.P.

(+) How to Care for Aging, Fragile Paper, CDs, Magnetic Tapes, and Their Data Content

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

CD-ROM disks, along with their higher-capacity cousins DVD and Blu-ray disks, are fragile methods of storing information. In short, these plastic disks are not suitable for long-term storage. Many corporations and non-profits are racing to get their data off the discs as quickly and safely as possible and into a more reliable digital storage environment. If you have genealogy information or any other information stored on these disks, you need to do the same.

For many years, the thought amongst genealogists has been to print the information on paper for long-term preservation. Yet, many of us have handled old pieces of paper that are decaying, crumbling, or fading to the point that the information is not readable. In fact, most paper manufactured in the past 75+ years contains acids that will hasten the deterioration of the information you wish to preserve. Add in the many problems of paper destruction caused by mold, mildew, moisture, insect damage, floods, fires, burst water pipes, and other factors, and you soon come to the realization that storage on paper is almost as risky as storing on magnetic media.

Canada Has Completely Changed The Rules On Who Can Automatically Become A Citizen

Some people are born citizens, some become citizens, and some have citizenship thrust upon them. For that last group, a Canadian citizenship change is making new rules about who can automatically gain legal Canadian citizenship status. Now, the interpretation of who a parent is has shifted completely and it’s a game changer for same-sex couples and more.

On July 9, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced a change in the Citizenship Act. Under the act, the interpretation of who is a parent is different than it used to be.

Delia Bourne, R.I.P.

The genealogy community lost a good friend and research assistant last week: Delia Cothrun Bourne died on July 9, 2020 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Delia moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana with her then-new husband in 1977 where she became a reference librarian for the Allen County Public Library. In 1983, she became a genealogist for the second-largest genealogical collection in the country at the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) where she remained until her death.

Pandemic Prompts Growth in Family Tree Digging

I am normally in favor of anything that encourages people to research their family tree. However, I am not so sure we need to wait for a worldwide pandemic before starting such research! In any case, an article by Steve Meacham published in the (Australian) Sydney Morning Herald details the major growth in genealogy research in the past 3 months:

Since words like “pandemic” and “coronavirus” became part of everyday parlance, Australians have sought solace in researching their family histories in increasing numbers.

Tapping into this desire to know more, the National Library of Australia announced a new series of Family History for Dummies online tutorials as the international and local shutdowns took effect.

Battle of Britain RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs) released on TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by

To mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain (10 July 1940 – 31 October 1940) TheGenealogist is releasing over 2 million new RAF records. These records not only cover this important fight for Britain’s survival, but also encompass all of the Second World War period for a number of squadrons. This release brings the total ORBs records to 3.7 million and are part of TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection.

The ORBs are fully searchable by name, aircraft, location and many other fields, making it easy for researchers to find their aviation ancestors. These ORBs are the latest release to join TheGenealogist’s large military records collection which is always being expanded.

Hawker Hurricane I R4118 of No 605 Squadron, Image: Arpingstone / Public domain

New Records and App Features Available This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Major app-date: record searching is now live

Findmypast is pleased to announce a major new update to the Findmypast app: you can now search for records from the Findmypast app. You can also filter and sort the results and with a paid subscription, view transcripts and images to print or download.

To use this feature, download the app (or update date it if you already have it) and you’ll see a search magnifying glass at the bottom of your screen. You can find out more about the free Findmypast mobile app and all its great features here.

Yorkshire Monumental Inscriptions

Free Access to All Birth Records on MyHeritage

MyHeritage is providing free access to all birth records, from July 10–16, 2020! This vast treasure trove includes 104 collections from all over the world, comprising a total of 1,099,379,647 records. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to search for their ancestors’ birth records.

Free Access to All Birth Records on MyHeritage

Click here to search the collections until July 16.