Posts By Dick Eastman

On the Road Again

Actually, this trip is both by road and by sea.

By the time you read these words, I should be either en route to or on board the Celebrity Silhouette, along with a group of other genealogists, participating in the 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean for a week of great fun and learning while on board. The cruise is sponsored by Gary and Diana Smith. You can learn more about this year’s cruise at: http://www.cecruisegroups.com/genealogy-cruise-2017.html.

(+) Conference Handouts: Do You Ever Later Refer to Them?

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

If you have ever been to a major genealogy conference, I’m sure you’ve received more than your fair share of syllabi, handouts, and other paper. Some of this paper comes from the organizing body while the remainder comes from presenters and vendors. In addition, you probably will also have whatever notes you took during the conference. Here’s the question of the day: Do you ever refer to any of that information later?

Iowa is Issuing new Birth Certificates

The Iowa Department of Public Health says parents whose children were born between May 1993 and October 2009 should exchange their child’s birth certificate for a new one. Children born between those dates were issued a wallet-sized certificate. The cards do not have enough information to be used as identification. The wallet-sized certificates, in some cases, lack information that federal or state agencies need for you to prove your identity

More than 630,000 birth certificates in Iowa need to be exchanged.

Details may be found on the KCCI website at: https://goo.gl/eQL2WW.

Genealogy in the Days of George Washington

Yvonne Seale has published a bizarre and fanciful piece of genealogical scholarship and what it tells us about identity in late 19th-century America. In the four-hundred-page tome The Pedigree and History of the Washington Family Derived from Odin, the Founder of Scandinavia. B.C. 70, Involving a Period of Eighteen Centuries, and Including Fifty-Five Generations, Down to General George Washington, First President of the United States (1879), Welles created a family tree for Washington of truly mythical proportions, and one which shows just how useful nineteenth-century Americans found the Middle Ages to be when it came to shaping their understandings of their country’s origins.

I’m glad that we have better resources for today’s genealogical studies!

You can read Yvonne Seale’s article at: https://goo.gl/lZB2cC.

My thanks to newsletter reader Kristy L Ostergard for telling me about the article.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

findmypast_logoOver 455,000 new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Northamptonshire Baptisms

Northamptonshire Baptisms contains over 14,000 transcripts of original baptism records and covers 34 parishes across the East Midlands county. These records have been transcribed by the Northamptonshire Family History Society from parish registers found at the Northamptonshire Record Office and cover the years 1559 through to 1901

The level of detail found each transcript may vary although most will include a combination of your ancestor’s baptism date, baptism place, the names of both parent’s, document reference, page and entry number.

Northamptonshire, Northampton General Hospital Admissions 1774-1846

TheGenealogist releases Police Letter Books and Northumberland Colour Tithe Maps

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

thegenealogist_003TheGenealogist has just launched a new collection of Police Letter Books for Hampshire. This is an intriguing mixture of promotions, retirements, movements, and other observations about Police officers in this county from 1891 to 1911. In amongst its pages you will be able to trace the career of your Hampshire police ancestors as they rise or fall.

These records reveal names and collar numbers of officers promoted, reduced in rank or dismissed from the force for committing various acts of misconduct. The misdemeanors often seem to involve alcohol, ranging from accepting a glass of beer to being drunk on duty. For those more competent officers who were commended for their actions in the pages of these documents, you can read the actions that had been seen as deserving of inclusion in the Letter Books.

In addition, TheGenealogist has released the Colour Tithe Maps for Northumberland. These maps join the previously released greyscale maps for the majority of the country that are already published on TheGenealogist.

An Easy Way to Add More Disk Space to Your Computer

low-disk-spaceIs your computer’s hard drive getting full? No matter how much hard drive space came with your computer, chances are you have already used a good chunk of that space. Sometimes I think that all disk drives exist simply for the purpose of filling them up. Of course, you can always buy a new computer with a bigger internal disk drive, but my wallet rebels at that that idea. For many people, there is an easier and cheaper solution: add an external plug-in disk drive.

Adding an external hard drive adds huge amounts of disk space, as much as you might want. It also adds portability and safety, and it provides an easy way to backup your valuable data. It is surprisingly affordable and easy to do. I recently added a 960 gigabyte external hard drive (that’s almost a terabyte!) to my laptop computer and thought I would describe the process. It was simple. The entire “installation” process required about three minutes to complete. No screwdrivers or other tools were required. The technical knowledge required? Just about zero.

Clallam County Genealogical Society Research Center in Port Angeles, Washington, Closed Temporarily because of Weather Damage

Melting snow and rain led to a leak at the Clallam County Genealogical Society Research Center at 402 E. Lauridsen Blvd. in Port Angeles that damaged the facility’s ceiling, carpet and a conference table. The center is temporarily closed for repairs.

Fortunately, the damage did not spread to any local historical documents or artifacts. The leak happened in the center of the conference room. All of the books in the shelving and archives in file cabinets were up off the floor and did not get wet.

How Accurate are DNA Kits used for Testing Ancestry?

dnaMillions of people are purchasing and using home DNA kits to determine their ancestry. The television program Inside Edition enlisted the help of two sets of identical triplets and one set of identical quadruplets to investigate the accuracy of the at-home tests. The ancestry of each group should be absolutely identical since they all came from the same egg.

Test kits from 23andMe, FamilyTree DNA, and AncestryDNA were used.

The results are surprising.

An Attempt to Save South Carolina’s Historical Documents is Destroying Them

This should be a lesson to all genealogists, archivists, historians, and to anyone with old documents or pictures they would like to preserve: Don’t laminate them!

Back in the 1950s, many people thought that laminating something was a method of preserving it. Even some archivists recommended laminating old documents. As the years went by, these people learned the folly of their recommendations. Laminating something actually hastens its deterioration.

For 20 years, beginning in the 1950s, the state of South Carolina laminated documents to protect them from aging. However, a chemical reaction caused the documents to deteriorate faster than they would have had they been left unlaminated. The natural acids from the paper mix with the degrading laminate to create a noxious vinegar. Each passing year will further degrade the document until it’s gone.

Death Master File (also known as the Social Security Death Index) — How Did The Congress Get So Far Off Track?

Writing in the RPAC Blog, Fred Moss points out an excellent example of Congress taking a valuable tool and totally messing it up. As a result of legislative ineptitude, a tool previously used to REDUCE identity theft has now been mis-labeled as a frequent CAUSE of identity theft. Genealogists, historians, and average citizens all suffer as a result.

You might want to read Fred’s article in the RPAC Blog at http://www.fgs.org/rpac/2017/02/21/dmf-how-did-the-congress-get-so-far-off-track.

I suggest printing Fred’s article out and mailing it to your elected representatives. (I have read that most legislators don’t read email from constituents as most legislators receive too many email messages to manage. Old-fashioned paper and “snail mail” reportedly works better.)

The Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch and MyHeritage

You may have asked, “Which is the best online genealogy service for me to use?” Or perhaps you want to know the best two or three services. Sunny Morton gave a presentation about these four online powerhouses at the recent RootsTech2017 conference that may answer your questions.

comparing-ancestry-findmypast-familysearch-and-myheritage

The one-hour four-minute presentation was videotaped and is now available as a video on the RootsTech.org web site. I suspect this video will answer most of your questions. Topics covered include cost, record types, geographic coverage, genetic testing, DNA matching, search flexibility, languages supported, mobile-friendly, automated matching, and a lot more. Sunny provides the most information about these four sites that I have ever seen in any other one document or video.

As Sunny states, “No site has it all.”

DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees

Richard Hill is the author of two books on DNA testing. He has now written a shorter introduction that looks like a great introduction to the topic for any adoptee. DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees may be found on the MyHeritage Blog at: https://goo.gl/C5MZPV.

Mylestone lets you Access Your Personal Memories through Alexa

amazon_echoDo you own an Amazon Echo, the electronic personal assistant often referred to as “Alexa?” I do and I love it. I am finding new uses for it almost daily. However, I never knew of a genealogy use for Alexa until now. Our photographs and social media updates can now turned into memories that we – or our children – could later access just by asking a virtual assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa. Mylestone transforms your memories into stories to be heard on virtual assistants.

Mylestone is 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.

Families Torn Apart by Slavery Sought Lost Loved Ones in Newly Archived Ads

The ads are gut-wrenching, such as, “Where is John Person?”

“Ten years have gone by since his mother, Hannah Cole, last saw him. The pain of his disappearance, the mystery of his whereabouts, and the aching question of whether he is alive or dead have driven her to take out an advertisement in the Christian Recorder, seeking an answer.

hannahcolead

“This is the only child I have,” it reads, “and I desire to find him much.”

University of Delaware is Digitizing Thousands of Delaware Newspapers

The Delaware project began in 2015 with a mission to digitize 100,000 pages of newspaper previously only available on microfilm. An effort launched in the 1980s preserved many of the newspapers on reels of microfilm that can now be converted to digital form.

Delaware has approximately 30,000 pages available to researchers online with 70,000 more to be added by the end of 2017, Olney-Zide said. All newspapers included are in the public domain and were printed between 1690 and 1922, which means they are no longer copyrighted.

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:

(+) How Lithuanian Descendants Can Obtain Dual Citizenship and a Lithuanian Passport

(+) The Differences Between Simple File Storage Services and True Backup Services

MyHeritage’s Party at RootsTech

The EOGN Dinner after RootsTech

RootsTech 2017 Session Videos NOW Available

Book Review: Frozen in Time

Shoebox Turns Your Phone into a Scanner

MyHeritage’s Party at RootsTech

One of the major events at the recent RootsTech was the party on Friday evening hosted by MyHeritage. It was loud. It was raucous. There was music. There was Karaoke. There were games. And more.

my-heritage-party

I cannot begin to describe the party but you can see lots of pictures in the MyHeritage blog post at: https://goo.gl/HqLPqm

One of the major events at the recent RootsTech was the party on Friday evening hosted by MyHeritage. It was loud. It was raucous. There was music. There was Karaoke. There were games. And more.

The EOGN Dinner after RootsTech

img_20170211_210029

My personal highlight of RootsTech every year comes a couple of hours after the conference ends. I normally host a dinner for readers of this newsletter and their guests. This year was no exception. About 50 of us descended on the Radisson hotel’s banquet facilities and had an informal evening of conversation, food, and camaraderie. Some attendees also won door prizes, including books, subscriptions, genealogy software, a discount on a future genealogy cruise, and an iPod Touch.

I thought I would share a few photos taken at the dinner:

RootsTech 2017 Session Videos NOW Available

thursday-rootstech-2017-teaser

Videos of select RootsTech sessions are now available for you to enjoy at home, free of charge.

They are organized by day. Start at https://www.rootstech.org and then click on the day that interests you.