Posts By Dick Eastman

Dropbox Has Problems with the new macOS Sierra for Macintosh But there is a Fix Available

Dropbox is a great tool for genealogists and most everyone else. It has been mentioned in this newsletter dozens of times. (See for a list of my past articles about Dropbox.) However, if you are a Macintosh user and you just upgraded to the new macOS Sierra version of the operating system, “strange things” may happen. Luckily, there is a fix.

On the Road Again: Ireland and England

By the time you read these words, I should be in the air over the Atlantic.

I am first going to Ennis, County Clare, Ireland to offer a talk at the Clare Roots Society’s third International family history conference on the 23rd to 24th September 2016.. This year’s event has a theme of “Diaspora of the Wild Atlantic Way.” Details may be found at

After spending a few days as a tourist in Ireland, I will jump over to England and will offer a talk at the 40th Anniversary Conference of the Devon Family History Society, University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, England, on the following weekend, October 1st. Details on that event may be found at

Announcing the CAFG Forensic Genealogy Institute 2017

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy:

council-for-the-advancement-of-forensic-genealogyThe Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is proud to announce two first-time tracks–unique to CAFG–being offered at the 6th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute to be held March 7-9, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.

The first track, Applying Genetic Genealogy to a Forensic Specialty, will be led by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, and offers a unique focus on genetic genealogy for forensic genealogists. This three-day workshop is based on Genetic Genealogy in Practice, with additional material customized for forensic genealogists. Genetic genealogy is a complex topic requiring practice and study to master. Each student will be required to purchase and have in-hand a print copy of the textbook that will be used in the course: Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, Genetic Genealogy in Practice (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogy Society, 2016); available online at

50% of the Cemeteries in Israel Have Now Been Digitized by MyHeritage

I’d love to see this happen in other countries, especially in the U.S. The MyHeritage Blog reports:

“We’re happy to announce that we’ve completed 50% of our goal to digitize every cemetery in Israel — aiming to make it the first country in the world to have all of its gravestones preserved online and searchable, and we’re making all of this data available on MyHeritage for free.


“In 2014, we launched a global initiative with BillionGraves to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries. The MyHeritage team even went out and digitized an entire cemetery, taking more than 50,000 photos in a single day.”

Obviously, the MyHeritage employees did not stop after a single day. The Blog continues:

(+) Are You Eligible for Dual Citizenship?

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

usa and british passportAre you eligible for citizenship in the country where your ancestors were born? You might not have to give up your American citizenship. Many Americans may be surprised to learn that they are eligible for dual citizenship.

The US government used to claim that you couldn’t hold dual citizenship except in certain cases involving dual citizenship from birth or childhood. However, the US Supreme Court struck down most of the laws forbidding dual citizenship in 1967. The court’s decision in the case of Afroyim v. Rusk, as well as a second case in 1980, Vance v. Terrazas, eventually made its way explicitly into the statute books in 1986.

New SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees

The following announcement was written by the folks who manage the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy:

SLIG_LogoThe Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association, is pleased to announce that applications for a new SLIG  Scholarship will be accepted beginning September 15, 2016.

The Kings Mountain Herald (Kings Mountain, North Carolina) Newspaper has been Digitized and Placed Online

kingsmountainheraldIf your ancestors lived in the Kings Mountain, North Carolina area, you undoubtedly will want to check out the latest addition to DigitalNC. Issues of the paper from December 1937-December 1954 have now been added to DigitalNC.

You can read more about this latest addition in an article in the Digital North Carolina Blog at

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast_logoOver 4.7 million new records have been added this week including;


Ireland Valuation Office Books

Ireland Valuation Office Books contains just under 2 million records. The collection houses several types of manuscript records from the Valuation Office in Ireland including field books, house books, quarto books, rent books, survey books, and tenure books. All of these books helped to inform the publication of Griffith’s Valuation; a comprehensive assessment of the rental value of Irish lands and property from the mid-1820s to the mid-1850s.

Each record includes both a transcript and an image of the original document. The amount and type of information will vary depending on the date and nature of the document. Images offer additional information, particularly about the land being assessed. Some book types, such as tenure books, include notations about the property as well as notes on the cost of rent and any additional observations. House books also often include descriptions of a property and its various components, such as notations of office, barn and piggery. Quarto books include observations about the tenement.

Original Will Registers 1858-1920

Introducing the New Beta Site for The Family History Guide

The Family History Guide is a huge website aimed for beginners and advanced genealogy researchers alike. It is not a simple ebook published in PDF or some other format. Instead, it is a full interactive guide that contains some of its information on the Family History Guide’s own web site and adds hundreds of links to other web sites that also contain useful information. I described The Family History Guide in an earlier article at

Now The Family History Guide has a new site that is still under construction. You can view the beta site at:


TheGenealogist adds Parish Records for Nuneaton & North Warwickshire to its Online Collection

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist adds to its growing collection of Parish Records with the release of those for Nuneaton & North Warwickshire.

  • Released in partnership with the Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society there are over 454,000 new fully searchable records of individuals
  • Allowing the researcher to discover more than 300,000 people recorded within the baptisms from this area in the heart of England
  • Family historians can also discover the details of over 90,000 individuals from marriages and nearly 60,0000 people listed in the burials of Nuneaton & North Warwickshire

Nuneaton & North Warwickshire FHS worked with TheGenealogist to publish their records online for the first time, making 454,525 individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable.

You Can Help Challenge History and Correct the History Books in a New Television Series

Sirens Media and Leftfield Entertainment is looking to genealogists or amateur or professional historians to be assist in the casting of a new television series. That could be you

Sirens Media and Leftfield Entertainment is one of the largest TV programming powerhouses in the world. The company has created a number of programs for virtually every television network, including the History Channel, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic, to name a few. You can learn more about some of the company’s productions at

I received the following message from Jodi Friedman, the Casting Director of Sirens Media and Leftfield Entertainment:

Findmypast Announces Over 3 Million historic Irish Records are now Free Forever to Search Online

This announcement strikes me as being significant. Any time I see the word FREE I am interested but, in this case, I also see the word FOREVER. The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • Findmypast_logoFour fascinating NAI collections spanning 220 years of Irish history (1701-1922) free to search forever
  • Released online for the first time, the records will allow researchers to trace their roots back to Pre-Famine Ireland and learn about the lives of their Irish ancestors

Dublin, Ireland, September 15th 2016 – Leading Family History website Findmypast, has today announced the online publication of more than 3 million historic Irish records released in association with the National Archives of Ireland and Family Search International. The release consists of a wide range of documents including original wills, lists of Catholics who swore loyalty to the crown or converted to Protestantism, land valuation records and merchant navy crew lists. The records date back to pre-famine Ireland and will be completely free to search forever.

Spanning over 220 years of Irish history from 1701 to 1922, the release is comprised of four highly valuable National Archives of Ireland collections including:

Registration for RootsTech2017 is now Open

This morning, the organizers of RootsTech opened the online registration for next February’s conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, to be held February 8–11. If you are interested in genealogy, and especially if you are interested in the use of technology to help in your genealogy research efforts, you will want to attend this event. The digital age has transformed the way people look at family history and RootsTech focuses on the use of the new ideas.


In just a few short years, RootsTech has become the biggest conference in the genealogy world. Next February’s event promises to be the same and probably will be bigger than ever.

Bring your walking shoes! You will need them for this huge event. (Handicap access is also provided.)

You can register for RootsTech2017 now at

(+) Update: My Move to the Cloud

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

A few months ago I published an article entitled, “I am Moving to the Cloud.” Since that time, I have continued my move to a cloud-based personal service for genealogy and other applications, and now I am almost completely cloud-based.

In the original article, I described several cloud-based services, explained actions I had already taken, and described what I planned to do. Since I published that article, I have followed most of the items in my plan. However, a couple of vendors have changed their services slightly, and some new services have been introduced. One of the new services was so appealing that it caused me to change my original plans. I also experimented a bit as I moved through my planned changes. The result was even more changes in my plans as I gained experience.

The original article is no longer accurate because of these changes. I decided to re-write that original article and to include the changes in the new version that I am publishing today. This is the extensively revised article.

I’ve decided to move. Well, not my personal possessions, my clothes, my tools, or even my computers. I am moving my data and my applications. I am moving to the cloud.

First, here is a quick definition of a cloud as the word is used in computer technology.

GRAMPS Can Now be used as a Cloud-Based Genealogy Program

GRAMPS (an abbreviation for “Genealogy Research and Analysis Management Programming System”) was originally developed as a Linux genealogy program and later was ported to Macintosh, Windows, BSD UNIX and Solaris. (You can find my previous articles about GRAMPS by starting at

GRAMPS is now available as a cloud-based program. In theory, you should be able to use the cloud-based version of GRAMPS with any Android, Apple iOS (specifically iPad), Chromebook, Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer. Since it runs from the cloud, no software installation is required. Best of all, GRAMPS is available FREE of charge.

I find GRAMPS to be a very powerful genealogy program. Perhaps the most attractive feature is its price tag: FREE.

GRAMPS is a community project, created, developed and governed by genealogists. Dozens of programmers have contributed to its success. Now the folks at rollApp have ported GRAMPS to an online version, accessible to everyone in the cloud. One unique feature is that the online version of GRAMPS will save your data files in your choice of Dropbox, Google Drive,, OneDrive, or Yandex.Disk.

Unknown No Longer – a Project at the Virginia Historical Society to Identify Virginians of African Descent

unknown-no-longerIn Virginia, where slavery began in the American colonies in 1619, the Virginia Historical Society has discovered the identities of 3,200 slaves from unpublished private documents, providing new information for today’s descendants in a first-of-its-kind online database. Unknown No Longer is a database that is the latest step by the Society to increase access to its varied collections relating to Virginians of African descent. Since its founding in 1831, the VHS has collected unpublished manuscripts, a collection that now numbers more than 8 million processed items.

The Virginia Historical Society received a $100,000 grant to pore over some of its 8 million unpublished manuscripts — letters, diaries, ledgers, books and farm documents from Virginians dating to the 1600s — and began discovering the long-lost identities of the slaves.

Quoting from the Unknown No Longer Web site:

FamilySearch Collections Update: Week of September 12

The following was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Searchable records are becoming more and more available across the globe. The most recent published collections are great evidence of that. From the large indexed 1911 census in Denmark to browsable images from Korea, see the interactive table below for these and more historic records added this week at Join our online indexing volunteers anytime and help make more of these exciting collections discoverable to more people. Find out how at

An Acer Chromebook for $109.99


UPDATE: The sale has ended.

I have written often about Chromebooks. (See for a list of my past articles about Chromebooks.) I recently used my Chromebook daily on a trip to New Zealand and to Singapore to write articles for this newsletter, send and receive email messages, surf the Web, and I might admit to playing a few computer games as well. I find I am using my Chromebook more and more these days and my “big” laptop less and less. While the Chromebook isn’t as powerful as my more expensive laptop, I prefer its convenience. It boots up in seconds, never gets viruses, and everything is fully backed up in the cloud within seconds after I create or save something new.

Chromebook prices are getting insane. Now Groupon is selling a refurbished Acer Chromebook 15.6” Laptop for only $109.99 at

Why You Might Want a Personal Genealogy Blog on WordPress

blogYou probably can find dozens of reasons for creating a blog. In addition, you can probably find dozens of companies that will host a blog for you. Given the choices and the reasons available, trying to decide on the best blog hosting service for you can be an overwhelming decision. How do you find the best one for your use? I will suggest there is no easy answer, but I will suggest that WordPress should be one of the services you evaluate.

NOTE: I will quickly admit that I am biased. The words you are reading right now are hosted on a WordPress blog. I have used several different blogging services over the years to host this newsletter. I switched to WordPress several years ago and am very happy with the company’s services. I have no plans to switch to anything else.

Why would you want a blog?

There are a number of reasons why a genealogist might want to crate a blog. Here are a few ideas I can think of:

Evernote’s Future Is in the Cloud

evernote_googlecloudI have written frequently about Evernote, a note-taking app on steroids that is very useful for genealogists and most everyone else. (See for my past articles about Evernote.) I have also written frequently about use of “the cloud” for genealogy and other purposes. (See for my past articles about the cloud. I especially recommend a Plus Edition article, (+) I am Moving to the Cloud, that has an introduction at with the full article available at

Now Evernote has come to the same conclusion that I came to some time ago: it makes sense to move to the cloud.