Posts By Dick Eastman

MyHeritage Offers Free Access to Marriage Records for Valentine’s Day

Show me a genealogist who isn’t interested in marriage records. I bet you cannot find one!

Here is a special offer from MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) that probably will interest you:

Click on the above image to access the free records. The offer expires on 18 February 2020.

You probably will also want to check out the new MyHeritage In Color™ tool at as lots of people are posting incredible wedding photos of their ancestors, colorized for the first time.

Less Than One Month Remains Until U.S. Households Receive 2020 Census Invitations

Get ready to leave your information for your descendants who will also be genealogists! Between March 12 and March 20, invitations to participate in the 2020 Census will start arriving in households across the USA.

According to today’s announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau:

“The Census Bureau is ready for the nation to respond next month,” said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham. “Millions of Americans are applying for 2020 Census jobs, more than 270,000 local and national organizations are engaged, and in less than 30 days the majority of U.S. households will receive an invitation to respond to help ensure that every person in the U.S. is counted.”

“The 2020 Census is on mission, on schedule, and on budget to promote an accurate count,” Dillingham continued. “Response is important because statistics from the census are used in distributing where hundreds of billions in funding for school lunches, hospitals, roads and much more. The invitations will remind respondents to include everyone living in the household, whether they are related or not. This includes young children. Your response will impact communities for the next decade.”

18 Million New Marriages, Parish Records and Christian Leaders Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

We’ve added a shed-load of romantic family records and plenty more besides this week. Here’s what’s new.

United States Marriages

A massive of tranche of just under 18 million new records have joined this ever-growing collection of wedding records. The latest updates cover marriages in Texas between 1837 and 2010.

When complete, our US marriage collection will be the largest single collection of its kind online. It already includes over 200 million marriage records covering 450 years of US history and many of the entries are exclusive to Findmypast. Find your family’s love stories in these cherished documents today.

Global Christian Leaders Index

Recently Added and Updated Collections on

From the list of recent new and/or updated additions at

New and Updated

DNA Test Results are Life-Changing for a Connecticut Man

If you have your DNA tested, please make sure you are prepared for surprising changes, even confusion and huge emotional upheavals.

For instance, Enfield, Connecticut resident Ryan Simpson bought a DNA test kit when it was on sale. He later said, “I was not expecting to find anything other am I really Irish? Or am I really German? Or something like that.” Instead, he found out that the man he thought was his father was not even related to him. Simpson started asking his parents some questions.

The full story is available in an article by Caitlin Burchill in the NBC Connecticut web site at:

Question: who are your TRUE relatives? Are you mentally prepared to find out?

NEHGS Issues Statement Opposing Mass. Governor’s Budget Proposals

The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS):

February 13, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) released the contents of a letter dated today from Ryan J. Woods, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the organization, to Aaron Michlewitz, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

A complete transcript follows:

February 13, 2020

The Honorable Aaron Michlewitz, Chairman
House Committee on Ways and Means
State House – Room 243
Boston, MA 02133

Re: Opposition to Outside Sections 12; 13; 36- 46, inclusive; and 62 of House, No. 2, “An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2021 for the Maintenance of the Departments, Boards, Commissions, Institutions, and Certain Activities of the Commonwealth, for Interest, Sinking Fund and Serial Bond Requirements, and for Certain Permanent Improvements.”

Dear Chairman Michlewitz:

Oscar Win Leads Thousands of Icelanders to Genealogical Site

Nearly 3,000 Icelanders have visited Íslendingabó – a database containing genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland – to examine their kinship with composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mbl reports. Hildur became the first Icelander* to win an Oscar on Sunday, February 9, for her original score for the film Joker.

Heavy Traffic

In response to an inquiry from Mbl, deCODE genetics – a research company that manages the website Íslendingabó in collaboration with anti-virus software entrepreneur Friðrik Skúlason – replied that search queries relating to Hildur Guðnadóttir had caused a considerable increase in traffic on the site (traffic increased by roughly a quarter).

New Home Sought for the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society’s Collection

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society needs a new home in or near Lincoln, Nebraska for its 8,000-piece collection. The collection’s been housed at the Union College library for the past 30 years. But the college has decided to turn the collection space into a student tutoring center. Michael George is the genealogical society president, and he told the Lincoln Journal Star the society has until mid-March to find a new place or the collection will go into storage. The collection includes items such as a 1924 Tobias telephone directory and an index to the marriage records of Lancaster County from 1866 to 1893.

The society’s web page may be found at with its “Contact Us” page at

Discover Romance in your Family Tree with a 40% Discount on Findmypast Subscriptions

Love is obviously in the air. If not in the air, at least it is online. The following announcement was written by Findmpast:

·        Leading UK family history website Findmypast announce 40% discount on 12 month subscription options in Valentine’s Day offer

·         Available to all new and returning customers until midnight (GMT) February 23rd

·        Build your family tree online and discover ancestors in billions of historical records and newspapers

It’s never been easier to trace centuries of love and romance in your family tree. Discover your ancestor’s marriage records and so much more with a 40% discount on all 12-month subscriptions to Findmypast.

This limited time offer is available to all new and returning customers from now until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 23rd February 2020. Click HERE and enter the promo code FMPLOVE40 to claim your discount on any of the following 12 month subscription options:

MyHeritage In Color™: Breakthrough Feature to Colorize Family Photos

Introducing MyHeritage In Color™ (Photo: Business Wire)

Introducing MyHeritage In Color™ (Photo: Business Wire)

Computer-generated color enhancement of old black-and-white photographs is a technology that has been available for some time at rather high prices. Now the same technology has been made at to the public at reasonable prices. That’s reasonable as in FREE.

Yes, that’s right. MyHeritage is offering to create COLOR COPIES of your black-and-white photographs at no charge. Best of all, the change to color is done automatically by computer software. I do not know of any other online genealogy service that has a similar offer.

I have tried the colorization process briefly this morning and am impressed. It allows you to do more than look at old photos — it lets you experience them, creating a deeper connection with your family history than you ever thought possible. I plan to use this process on ALL my old digitized black-and-white photographs.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 10 February 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch: has added millions of free historical church and civil records to its collections from Denmark, France, and Pennsylvania USA. Millions more are now easily searched from Africa, American Samoa, the United Kingdom, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Gibraltar, Brazil, the Dominican Republic,  Nova Scotia, and the United States.

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.

UK’s 2021 Census Could Be the Last

According to an article by Danny Shaw published in the BBC News web site:

The 2021 census could be the last one ever to be carried out, the UK’s national statistician has revealed.

Prof Sir Ian Diamond said he was examining cheaper alternatives to the 10-yearly compulsory questionnaire delivered to every UK household.

The census, which has been conducted for almost 200 years, provides valuable population information to help councils and the government plan services.

But Sir Ian said he was “hopeful” data from other sources could replace it.

Will I See You at RootsTech 2020?

RootsTech is a genealogy conference and a vendors’ event and somewhat of a circus for family history researchers. I consider that to be a great thing!

Have you ever seen 20,000+ genealogists and others interested in learning more about family history under one roof, all at the same time? I have, and I must say that I love the hustle and the bustle that RootsTech entails! If I could only attend one genealogy conference per year, it would be RootsTech!

The annual RootsTech/Salt Lake City will be held in a couple of weeks at the Salt Palace, a very large convention center in downtown Salt Lake City that is well equipped to handle the crowds. The dates are February 26 through 29, 2020. How clever of the organizers to include the EXTRA DAY available in this leap year!

NOTE: Yes, there WILL be a special dinner for this newsletter’s readers and their guests on Saturday evening. I’ll write about that in a separate article.

2020 will be the 10th anniversary of the conference.

Some of the special events at this year’s RootsTech conference include:

Trump FY21 Budget Proposes Elimination and Cuts to Federal History-Related Agencies & Programs

Quoting from a news release from the National Coalition for History:

“On February 10, the White House released its detailed budget request to Congress for fiscal year (FY) 2021. As has become the norm since taking office, the president’s budget proposes devastating cuts to federal humanities and history funding. These include elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, history and preservation programs at the National Park Service and federal K-12 history/civics and international education programs.”

You can read the details at:

Why Mapping Your Family History Will Help You At Work

According to an article by Remy Blumenfeld and published in Forbes: Your family’s story, including things you may not have been told, have a big effect on what you see as being ‘normal’ in your behavior and relationships. He then goes on to describe the value of family mapping.

NOTE: Family Mapping is not a standard tool of genealogists. Instead, family mapping describes the use of genograms, a frequently-used tool of psychologists and others. Wikipedia describes the use of genograms as:

American Ancestors / New England Historic Genealogical Society Is the Recipient of a Collection of Roosevelt Family Papers

The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, also known as American Ancestors:

February 10, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—Deeper glimpses into the fascinating lives of the extended family of Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), the 26th president of the United States, have been added to the collection of American Ancestors | NEHGS through a generous donation of Roosevelt family papers from the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA). The TRA, chartered by Congress in 1920, is a historical and public service organization dedicated to perpetuating the memory and ideals of Theodore Roosevelt.

Photograph, William Emlen Roosevelt (1825-1898), Mss 1288, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, New England Historic Genealogical Society

How I Create Multiple Backup Copies of Critical Information Stored in my Computers

I recently republished an article that I post here every month: It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files. A newsletter reader wrote and asked a simple question: “How do I make backups?”

I answered the question in email but thought I would copy that reply into a new article here in the newsletter in case other readers have the same question.

I cannot write a precise answer that will work for everyone as computer owners use a wide variety of hardware and software. Also, each computer owner’s needs may vary from what other people need. Do you need to back up EVERYTHING or only a few files that are important to you?

I decided to answer a few generic questions about how often to make backups, how many copies, and so forth. Then I will describe what I currently use. Admittedly, I constantly experiment with new things so what I am using today might not be what I will be using next month. Still, this article should give you some ideas about how you should constantly back up the important files that you do not wish to lose. I will suggest you do not need to do exactly what I do. Instead, this article will hopefully give you some ideas for creating a plan that works best for you.

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:

(+) Lifestyles in the Seventeenth Century

A Court Tried To Force To Open Up Its DNA Database To Police. The Company Said No.

Ancestry Announces Lay-Offs and a Change in Corporate Focus on the Family History Business

Layoffs at Genetic Testing Companies Reflect the Changing Market

This DNA Testing Firm Said it wanted to Bring Closure to Families of Murder Victims. Then It Blocked a Rival from Using Its Database to Solve Crimes.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson Weighs Legal Action Over Seattle National Archives Closure

Family History Hosting Announces GEDCOM Assessment v1.03

(+) Lifestyles in the Seventeenth Century

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

We all have read history books about the brave and noble heroes who helped shape today’s world. Hearty explorers, brave immigrants, exemplary church-goers and the like did indeed create today’s modern world. Yet these same history books rarely describe the everyday world of those heroes and heroines. Sometimes their lives were not all fame and glory. In fact, their lives were often repulsive by today’s standards. I thought I would focus for a bit on everyday life in the 1600s in Europe, in England, and in the newly-created colonies in North America.

In fact, knowledge was a scarce commodity in the seventeenth century. It is difficult for us to comprehend just how ignorant people were. Most Europeans knew nothing about geography and didn’t know or care what happened on the other side of the horizon. The majority of people never traveled more than five miles from their place of birth although there were a few more adventurous soles in those days.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Online Webinars, Ontario, California, Colorado, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, Utah, and Washington

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.