Posts By Dick Eastman

Genealogy Sleuthing: How to Date Old Family Photos – Part II

Last week, I published a brief article about Genealogy Sleuthing: How to Date Old Family Photos that simply pointed to an article in the Legacy Tree Genealogists’ blog, entitled Genealogy Sleuthing: How to Date Old Family Photos – Part I. If you read the article and enjoyed it, I am sure that you ill also want to know that Part II of the article has now been published at

If you missed Part I, you can start there at

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

(+) A GPS Device That is Accurate to Within One Centimeter

Millions of Books Are Secretly in the Public Domain

Leaking Dome at National Records of Scotland Causes Massive Damage to Precious Historical Documents

Genealogy Sleuthing: How to Date Old Family Photos

How the Great Fertility Decline Affected the Lives of Women

Florida Holocaust Museum working to Digitize Entire Museum Collection of over 20,000 Items

Help Wanted at the U.S. Census

(+) A GPS Device That is Accurate to Within One Centimeter

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

My earlier article Don’t Use QR Codes on Tombstones! at about defacing tombstones by attaching new objects with adhesives has generated a lot of comments about one thing I didn’t expect: the use of GPS (Global Positioning System satellite navigation system) in a cell phone to determine the location of a tombstone. Some of the comments questioned the accuracy of cell phone devices; so, I decided to write a separate article to address those questions. I will divide this into three different points in time: what the cell phone accuracy was a few years ago, what it is today, and it what it might become in the near future.

At, Wikipedia states:

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania

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 on Findmypast

Findmypast sends an announcement every week listing the new records added to the online service in the past seven days. Here is this week’s update as received from Findmypast:

Scotland, Published Family Histories

Is your family from Scotland? Discover more about your Scottish families’ name and history from this collection of publications. There are over 400 publications in this collection of Scottish family histories.

The publications mostly date from the 19th and early 20th centuries, they include memoirs, genealogies, and clan histories. There are also publications that have been produced by emigrant families.

Scotland, Glasgow & Lanarkshire Death & Burial Index

Recently Added and Updated Collections on

From the list of recent additions at

Leaking Dome at National Records of Scotland Causes Massive Damage to Precious Historical Documents

National Records of Scotland (NRS) on Princes Street

Here is another case where digitizing copies of important documents and storing the digital images in multiple “off site” locations is always a good idea. Some of Scotland’s precious and irreplaceable historical records have been damaged after torrents of rain leaked in through a dome which has needed repair work for a number of years.

The damage to a host of documents, including marriage and death certificates dating from 1800, occurred last Tuesday night at the National Records of Scotland (NRS), following hours of torrential rain and thunder storms swept large parts of Scotland.

Former employees said the dome, at the back of the building, had been leaking for many years but that despite it being reported on many occasions by a large number of staff it was not given priority for repair.


New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 5 August 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added new, free, historical records this week from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, South Africa and the United States, including Kansas, Alabama and the Freedman’s Bureau Hospital.

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

How the Great Fertility Decline Affected the Lives of Women

A group of settlers in the colony of Jamestown, Virginia, 1609. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

Of all the changes to sweep the west over the past 400 years, perhaps none have had a greater impact on women’s lives than the fall in family sizes. Sarah Knott tells the story of the great fertility decline, from the large broods of 17th-century America to the one-children families of postwar London.

Sarah Knott, an associate professor of history at Indiana University, has written an article that examines the changes. She writes:

“How I shall get along when I have got half a dozen or 10 children, I can’t devise,” fretted the New Jersey colonist Esther Edwards Burr after her child’s birth in 1756. Narcissa Whitman, a pioneer in Oregon a century later, might have recognised these concerns. She knew first-hand the consequences of mothering a large brood. “My dear parents,” she wrote in a rare but affectionate missive back to New York in 1845, “I have now a family of 11 children. This makes me feel as if I could not write a letter.”

Historic Catholic Records Online Project Expansion Announced by American Ancestors and the Archdiocese of Boston

The following announcement was written by England Historic Genealogical Society:

20 Additional Years of Records—from 1901 through 1920—and more than 60 Additional Greater Boston Catholic Parishes Are To Be Added to the Historic Digital Genealogy Project at

August 7, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts—American Ancestors and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) today announced an expansion of its ongoing program to digitize important sacramental records in the history of Boston’s Catholic Church. This expansion of a project collaboration announced in early 2017 will effectively double the original 11 million names of parishioners to be included when the project is completed to encompass a total of approximately 21 million names—a treasure in research terms for historians, genealogists, scholars, and the public at large. Images are available to browse now. Name-searchable records will be available in an expanded database from American Ancestors on their award-winning website

These historic records document several sacraments of the Catholic Church in Boston and surrounding towns including baptism, confirmation, holy communion, marriage, and the anointing of the sick. They are valued for research because they contain detailed information about the Catholic parishioners of greater Boston, their relationships with each other, the church, and often the community.

Florida Holocaust Museum working to Digitize Entire Museum Collection of over 20,000 Items

The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg has over 20,000 items, including objects, artifacts, photos and documents in its collection. The Museum is working hard at digitizing all the items and making them available online.

“It’s one of our really critical purposes, is to take the documents and the artifacts and the objects we’ve been lucky to be given by survivors or family of survivors or liberators and to not only to make sure that they’re preserved for the future but look for ways to share them,” said Elizabeth Gelman, executive director of the museum. “So what we’re doing is we are digitizing the museum’s complete collection. So at a certain point, we’ll be able to have it so that everyone will be able to find a way into our collection and be able to do research.”

Off-Topic: What is Wi-Fi Calling and Why Would I Want It?

NOTE: The following article is off-topic. That is, it has nothing to do with family history, DNA, or any other genealogy-related topic. If you are looking for genealogy articles, you might want to skip this one.

Instead, this article is about two of my favorite topics: saving money and state-of-the-art communications, especially communicating with cell phones. If you are interested in either saving money or in cell phones, you may find this article to be of some interest.

This is an update to the information given in my earlier article, What is Wi-Fi Calling and Why Would I Want It? A lot has changed since I published the original article three years ago. In fact, today I am a bigger fan of wi-fi calling than ever before. It works well and I save more than $100 in monthly wired and cellular telephone charges as well.

Many people think that a cell phone can only be used on a cellular network. Not true!

In the earlier article, I described Google Fi’s cellular service and how it could make cell phone calls over several different cell phone networks as well as over wi-fi networks, even switching connections in the middle of a call, if necessary. I stated “Phones for Google Project Fi are all expensive (check the latest prices as they vary often), but they are all high-end phones with the latest technology. I am using a Nexus 6P phone with Google Project Fi and love it.”

Millions of Books Are Secretly in the Public Domain

Genealogists are usually told that books published prior to 1924 are in the public domain and can be freely copied. Indeed, that is true. However, we also have been told to be cautious about copying large amounts of data published in books published in 1924 or later because those books might be under copyright. However, there are millions of exceptions.

Indeed, many books published between 1924 and 1964 MAY have fallen out of copyright. The problem is that determining the copyright status of a 1924 or later book has always been almost impossible. However, thanks to the New York Public Library, we can now determine copyright status easily.

According to an article by Matthew Gault in the Motherboard web site:

SLIG Scholarship Winners Announced

The following announcement was written by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG):

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is pleased to announce that five attendees have been awarded scholarships for upcoming courses in the Fall of 2019 and January 2020.

Laura G. Prescott Scholarship Winners

Eileen Ó Dúill and Julie Parillo were selected as the first recipients of the Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship. Tuition to their course of choice at the 2020 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) or the 2020 SLIG Academy, plus hotel accommodations, will be paid out of scholarship funds generously donated by the genealogical community. Though designed to be awarded to one candidate annually, the scholarship is being doubled to celebrate its inaugural year.

The scholarship honors Laura G. Prescott, a genealogy professional who enriched the field with her talents as a teacher, writer, researcher, mentor, society leader and volunteer, and as director of Ancestry Academy—Ancestry’s collection of instructional webinars presented by leading genealogical educators. Laura was also especially known for her bright smile, positive attitude, and encouraging nature.

New Records Available on FamilySearch from July 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in July of 2019 with over 7 million new indexed family history records from all over the world. New historical records were added from Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, England, France, Italy, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Venezuela, and the United States, which includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and WisconsinUnited States Deceased Physician Files are included as well.

Find your ancestors using these free archives online, including birth, marriage, death, and church records. Millions of new genealogy records are added each month to make your search easier.

The B&F Compendium of Jewish Genealogy won the 2019 IAJGS Outstanding Project Award

B&F: Jewish Genealogy and More ( and its component the B&F Compendium of Jewish Genealogy ( won the 2019 IAJGS Outstanding Project award at the recent conference in Cleveland. The compendium has over 25,000 online resources for Jewish genealogy, organized by geographic region (over 200 countries and territories, 80 provinces, and for Poland, over 1400 towns).

We all need to offer congratulations to the author of all this online reference material, Philip Trauring!

Joseph M. (Joe) Lalley Jr., R.I.P.

Joe Lalley Jr

Joseph (Joe) M. Lalley Jr of Asheville, North Carolina passed away Friday night, August 2, 2019 at the age of 93. He had a long and productive life as a teacher and headmaster, as documented in his obituary at, he was better known in the genealogy community for the website he created at many years ago that charts the genealogy links between County Galway, Ireland and Wilmington, Delaware.

While Joe Lalley’s obituary may be found at, perhaps an even better memorial to his dedication and accomplishments may be found at his web site at:

My thanks to newsletter reader Mike Carroll for telling me the sad news.

Genealogy Sleuthing: How to Date Old Family Photos

From part one of a two part series of sharing tips on how to date and identify old family photos, published on the Legacy Tree Genealogists’ blog:

“Many family historians have a collection of unidentified old family photos they’re not sure what to do with–but can’t bear to throw out. In this article, we’ll share tips for helping you accurately date old family photos.

Maine Genealogical Society Annual Conference

The Maine Genealogical Society, in partnership with the Maine Historical Society, will present a two-day DNA themed research weekend in Portland, Maine on September 13 and 14.

Friday will be “Workshop Day” that includes:

  • Patricia Hobbs-Working with GEDMatch (hands on, charged laptop needed)
  • Karen Stanbary-Introduction to Chromosome Mapping & DNA Painter (presentation)

The full conference will meet on Saturday and the sessions will include:

Napa, California Mortuary Records are Now Online

A new database of funeral records from the Treadway & Wigger Funeral Home in Napa, California, just went online. This is an excellent resource for genealogists as the records are from the early 1900s to the early 2000s. Each online record includes photo(s) of index cards, but much more valuable are the photos of the complete funeral records. Those include a long list of details about a person’s funeral, including a breakdown of each expense billed. Older records contain less information. As the years passed, more information was recorded.

Here is a thumbnail-size image of one typical funeral record:

Click on the above image to view a larger image.