Posts By Dick Eastman

(+) How to Remotely Control a Distant Computer

…or perhaps a computer that is not so distant

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

Remote control software for desktop and laptop computers has been available for years. All systems administrators of large data centers are familiar with these programs, as are many “work from home” individuals who need to control computers at the office on nights and weekends. However, the same technology is available to everyone; you do not need to be a systems professional in order to access the computer on your desk at the office or the one at home when you are traveling. Best of all, many of these remote control products are available free of charge.

Remote control software has a very simple goal: add a second monitor, keyboard and mouse to a computer. The difference is that these secondary items are located some distance away, perhaps miles or even thousands of miles away. I was recently in Singapore and was able to access my computer in the US in essentially the same way that I do when I am at home. Everything that is displayed on my computer’s monitor at home was displayed on my iPad in Singapore. Everything that I normally would type on the home computer’s keyboard worked well when I typed on the (optional) iPad keyboard in Singapore. The mouse also worked as normal, although I used my finger as a substitute mouse on the iPad’s touch-sensitive screen. Still, it produced the same results as using the mouse when at home.

I had full access to my new and saved email messages, to all the files on my home computer’s hard drive, and more. The only thing missing was that I could not insert a CD into the slot in the home computer.

How FindAGrave Could – and Should – Be Made Better

Amy Johnson Crow has posted an article in her blog that illustrates one of the problems with FindAGrave and offers suggestions for how it could be better. If you have an interest in FindAGrave, you might want to read Amy’s article, How FindAGrave Could – and Should – Be Made Better, at:

Comment: FindAGrave’s biggest competitor,, certainly is not perfect. It has some problems of its own but does not share the problems that Amy wrote about. For one thing, starts with a picture of the tombstone. No picture? No entry on

Perhaps FindAGrave should adopt a similar policy.

Are You Missing Most of the Available Genealogy Information?

I received a message a while ago from a newsletter reader that disturbed me a bit. He wrote, “I have been doing genealogy research for 10-15 years but only through the Internet.” He then went on to describe some of the frustrations he has encountered trying to find information. In short, he was disappointed at how little information he has found online.

I read the entire message, but my eyes kept jumping back to the words in his first sentence: “… but only through the Internet.”

Doesn’t he realize that perhaps 90% of the information of interest to genealogists is not yet available on the Internet?

Stephenville Empire and Stephenville Tribune (Texas) Newspapers to be Digitized and Placed Online

Not here yet but coming soon! An article in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune of Stephenville, Texas, states:

“Digging into local news archives soon will be easier thanks to a joint effort by Tarleton State University’s Dick Smith Library and the Stephenville Public Library to digitize the community’s old newspapers.

“The Ladd & Katherine Hancher Library Foundation donated a $10,450 grant this month that will help with funding to digitize and archive local newspapers published between 1882 and 1922.”

Today, the newspapers are only available in person by visiting Tarleton State University’s Dick Smith Library and the Stephenville Public Library. That obviously isn’t very convenient for anyone living hundreds or thousands of miles away. By digitizing the back issues of the local newspapers, researchers, students and everyday citizens worldwide will have quick, easy access to a wealth of historical data, including genealogical records such as marriage, birth and death notices, as well as advertisements, property transactions and editorials.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Over 8.3 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including:

Canada Census 1901

Findmypast_logoThe 1901 Canada Census is now available to search on Findmypast. Containing over 5.1 million records, the census was taken on 31st March 1901 when just under 9,000 enumerators and 35 commissioners were dispatched to record every household in the country. It was the first census to add questions on religion, birthplace, citizenship and period of immigration and covers 206 districts and 3,204 sub-districts.

For each result, you will be provided with a transcript that covers key details from the 1901 census and a link to the digital image of the original census form. The images, microfilmed in 1955, are held at the Library and Archives Canada website. Each record will reveal the name, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, relationship to head of household, race or tribe, immigration year and naturalization year of each household member. Images will often provide you with additional information, such as occupation and religion.

Easter Rising & Ireland Under Martial Law 1916-1921

Findmypast Publish Second Instalment of Easter Rising & Ireland Under Martial Law Collection

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • Over 48,000 additional records released in association with The National Archives
  • Records document the struggles of life under martial law in Ireland and record the details of both soldiers and civilians
  • New courts martial records, intelligence reports, prisoner rolls, individual cases and search & raid reports released in second instalment of landmark collection

Findmypast_logoLeading family history website, Findmypast, has today announced the online publication of over 48,000 records in the second instalment of their ‘Easter Rising & Ireland Under Martial Law, 1916-1921’ collection.

The once classified records, digitised from original documents held by The National Archives in Kew, record the struggles of life under martial law in Ireland. Consisting of more than 119,000 images, the new additions include a variety of different documents ranging from records of courts martial (both civilian and military) and intelligence reports, to case files and nominal rolls of prisoners.

(+) Genealogy Books on CD

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

books-on-cdI have been reading an interesting book. In fact, it is a book about my family. The original book was published in 1901, so it has long been out of copyright. I have seen it offered for sale as a reprinted book for $150 to $250. In fact, I purchased a printed copy of the book about 25 years ago, and it now sits in a box in my basement. I ran out of bookshelf space, and I don’t open this book all that often. Therefore, it was banned to the basement years ago and, admittedly, I haven’t opened it since.

The new book that I purchased this week is exactly the same book. It has exactly the same words, exactly the same images, everything. Well, not quite everything: there are two major differences.

500 Years of English Slang in an Online Dictionary

dictionary-of-slangFind a word or phrase in an old document that you do not understand? If it is slang, you probably can find the meaning in the free, online Green’s Dictionary of Slang. For instance, did you know that a mickser is an Irishman who has emigrated to the UK?

Green’s Dictionary of Slang contains nearly 100,000 words supported by over 400,000 citations that go all the way back to the middle ages.

Green’s Dictionary of Slang is the largest historical dictionary of English slang available anywhere, either online or in print.

Use Amazon Family Vault to Share Your UNLIMITED Photo Storage With up to Five People

This isn’t genealogy-related but I suspect it will be popular with genealogists and a few million other people as well: save and share an UNLIMITED number of photographs. Anyone in the United States with an Amazon Prime subscription can now upload an unlimited number of pictures to Amazon Prime Photos at NO EXTRA CHARGE.


I guess it isn’t really free because the service requires a (paid) Amazon Prime account. However, anyone who is a Prime member can store unlimited photos at no extra charge. As a Prime member, you also receive FREE Two-Day shipping (or better) on most Amazon orders, and exclusive access to movies, music and Kindle books, again at no extra charge.

DNA Testing Links 300-Year-Old Remains of a Baby to a Colonial Maryland Governor

Much is known about the 6-month-old who died in Maryland 300 years ago and was buried in a small lead-covered coffin. Yet there is no record of the child’s death — or birth. No one knew for certain who the infant was. No one knew if the baby was a boy or girl.

Now, almost 26 years after the coffin was unearthed in St. Mary’s County, experts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have learned that the baby was a boy — and the offspring of an important colonial governor of Maryland, Philip Calvert. The discovery came about through new genetic testing done at Harvard Medical School at the request of the Smithsonian.

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 hours ago. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

No Longer on the Road
(+) How to Find City Directories For Sale Online
Twile Now Integrates with FamilySearch
FamilySearch Adds 141 Million Family History Record Hints
New Collections: Week of September 26, 2016
New Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday
Genealogy Research Without Borders: Legacy Tree Genealogists Launches Site in Portuguese
Kerry Scott Named Editor of APG eNews
It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files
Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

This Newsletter is a Day Late

(+) Authors: Sell Your Books on Amazon

Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island

Heredis for Windows and for Macintosh is on sale at 50% off until Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lexington, Kentucky’s, Early Marriage Indexes of African Americans are now Available Online

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Ireland, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah

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.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast_logoOver 2 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including:

Ontario Birth Index 1860-1920

The Ontario Birth Index is comprised of a massive 1.7 million civil registration records. Civil registration in Canada is the responsibility of the individual provinces and territories and did not become a standard practice until the late 1800s.

Each record contains both a transcript and an image of the original document. Each transcript will reveal your ancestor’s date of birth, place of birth parent’s names and registration details. These records provide a valuable link to the previous generation and images may include additional information such as parents’ occupations, where the parents were married, the name of the attending physician, address of residence, where specifically the child was born, and any additional remarks.

New Brunswick Birth and Baptism Index 1769-1899

Lexington, Kentucky’s, Early Marriage Indexes of African Americans are now Available Online

The following announcement was written by the University of Kentucky:

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Over the summer of 2016, the Special Collections Research Center at University of Kentucky Libraries and the Fayette County Clerk’s Office developed a pilot project that will provide online access to the Colored Marriage Indexes dated 1866-1882 and 1958-1968. The purpose of the project is to provide researchers with greater online access to early primary documents pertaining to African Americans in Kentucky.

DNA’s new ‘Miracle’: How Adoptees are using Online Registries to Find Their Blood Relatives

The Washington Post has published an interesting article by Tara Bahrampour about adoptees using DNA to find their birth relatives, sometimes even their birth parents. The article states:

Most people who register with DNA databases are looking for information about their ethnic origins or exploring distant branches of the family tree. But the rapidly expanding databases have also had an unintended consequence: They are helping people find biological parents whose identities had long been mysteries.

Heredis for Windows and for Macintosh is on sale at 50% off until Sunday, October 23, 2016

Heredis is a very popular genealogy program that is available for Windows, Macintosh, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. See for a list of my past articles about Heredis.) Now the producers of Heredis are offering a 50% off sale until October 23. The following is the announcement:

For 10 days, a mega deal is available for genealogists until Sunday, October 23, 2016 only inclusive: 50% OFF for Heredis software (PC and Mac) on

10 reasons to choose Heredis:

Unlimited program: you can enter as many persons, photos, copies of documents that you want!

Tens of features easy to adopt: from data entry, one of the Heredis strong points to tasteful family tree charts, Heredis advances your genealogy.

Unique functions as enter all members of one family on a single entry screen with the Family Group Data tab: the primary person, the parents, marriages, children, and even the partners of their children are represented!

TheGenealogist Releases U.S. Records

TheGenealogist is well-known as an online provider of records from the U.K. Now the company is expanding into releasing U.S. records as well. The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist are launching over 220 million US records

We are expanding our international records with the release of:

  • 90 million Social Security Death records 1935-2014
  • 1940 Census Images containing 132 million records with searchable transcripts linked to the Enumeration Maps
  • Irish immigration records for 604,596 persons arriving in New York 1846-1851

Many people hit a brick wall where an ancestor seems to disappear from all the records in the U.K. It could be that they have gone abroad for a period or emigrated for good. If your elusive ancestor went to the United States of America, TheGenealogist’s expanded international records can help.

(+) Authors: Sell Your Books on Amazon

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

amazon-booksDid you write a book detailing your family’s history? Perhaps you wrote about the history of your town or perhaps a Civil War battle or almost any other topic. Another possibility is that your local genealogy society has extracted records from old documents and now wishes to publish them. Perhaps you self-published your book, had it printed, and now you have hundreds of copies stored in the basement. Indeed, one of the most difficult parts of self-publishing books is the marketing: how to advertise and sell the books. You may not know there is a powerful ally that would like to help: Amazon.

Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island

The New York Public Library is the latest organization to publish an article about the myth of “the family name was changed at Ellis Island” and then describes exactly one exception. Almost every genealogy writer in the US, including myself, has written about the myth before. It is nice to see someone with the authority and credentials of the New York Public Library write about it. Perhaps this fairy tale will now be put to rest.

The article by Philip Sutton says many things, including:

“There is a myth that persists in the field of genealogy, or more accurately, in family lore, that family names were changed there. They were not. Numerous blogs, essays, and books have proven this. Yet the myth persists; a story in a recent issue of The New Yorker suggests that it happened. This post will explore how and why names were not changed.”

Google’s Project Fi Introduces Family Plans and Discounts on Nexus 6P and 5X

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. Instead, it is about one of my other interests: saving money while simultaneously obtaining better products and/or services.

I have written several times about Google’s Project Fi cell phone service. Click here, here, here, and here to see my past articles. I have been using Project Fi for about a year and love it. It is a service that uses rather expensive cell phones and then provides high-quality but extremely low-cost cell phone service. The end result is that my total cell phone expenses have been cut dramatically over a one-year period.

Specifically, I previously paid AT&T about $1,260 a year for cell phone service with a cell phone included in that price. I had a two-year contractual minimum. If I canceled early, I would be charged major cancellation fees. Instead, I waited and purchased my new Project Fi service the same week as my old contract expired.

With Project Fi, I paid $600 for a new cell phone plus $30 a month ($360 for the first year of service), a total of $960. That obviously is a $300 savings. However, in the next year I will not need to purchase a new phone, so the second year’s expense should be only $360 for the monthly service, an annual savings of $900 per year from my old cell phone service.