Posts By Dick Eastman

Mark Your Calendar: the Apocalypse Will Occur on December 28, 2019

You can party from now until December 28th. Run up credit card bills, spend your money in Las Vegas, get drunk, and have fun with other things. Why not? The world is going to end anyway late this year so you don’t have to worry about paying those bills.

This time it is for real, at least according to David Montaigne, a guy who has written multiple books about the end times, and bills himself as a “historian and “prophecy scholar.”

You might want to be aware that Montaigne’s record of predictions hasn’t been very good. Montaigne has previously claimed that the anti-Christ was going to return to Earth in June of 2016. But Montaigne is still here and is still making predictions about the end of the world. He insists this time it is for real.

Montaigne makes the following claims on his website:

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

From the MyHeritage Blog:

Do you know the love stories of your ancestors? How did your great-grandparents meet and get to know each other? In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re providing free access to love-related records in our massive historical records collection during February 10-17. No Data subscription is required so you may search all U.S. states, European and worldwide collections for your ancestors’ marriage records!

Search free marriage records on SuperSearch™

Judge Declines to Block Citizenship Question from the 2020 Census on Privacy Grounds

This has been an ongoing issue that will affect future genealogists. In short, the Census Bureau proposed adding a question asking for each U.S. resident’s citizenship status in the 2020 census forms. A privacy and civil liberties nonprofit group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, responded by launching a lawsuit against the government claiming that the US Census Bureau was required to first complete a privacy impact assessment. The Electronic Privacy Information Center then asked for an immediate injunction be issued to prevent the Census Bureau from going forward with the citizenship question until the issue had been decided in the courts..

On Friday, US District Judge Dabney Friedrich declined to issue a preliminary injunction. The Electronic Privacy Information Center said in a statement it “intends to press forward with” its lawsuit.

A citizenship question has been asked of census respondents before, but not since 1950.

Tracing the Founding Fathers of Tristan da Cunha

Would you like to create a pedigree chart for this extended family?

Tristan da Cunha is a remote group of volcanic islands in the middle of nowhere. It is in the south Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1,511 miles (2,432 km) off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa. That is roughly half way between South Africa and Brazil The main island has 278 permanent inhabitants who all carry British Overseas Territories citizenship.

See Wikipedia at for more information about Tristan da Cunha.

The island, which boasts rich and detailed historical and genealogical records, has a population of just 300, believed to have descended from 15 ancestors – seven men and eight women who arrived on the island between 1816 and 1908. The current population of 278 individuals reportedly are all descended from only seven females and eight males.

Over 55 Million Mexican Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

A staggering 56 million additional records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

New Collections from Mexico

Findmypast is going global. In the first of many new international releases, over 55 million transcripts of Mexican baptisms, marriages and burials spanning 390 years of Mexican history between 1560 and 1950 are now available to search. These new records were brought to Findmypast through the International Genealogical Index and will be joined by a wide range of new collections covering Central America and the Caribbean in the coming months.

Our new Mexican baptisms list birth year, baptism date, location and parent’s names. Marriages will reveal marriage dates, locations as well as the residence and parent’s names for both the bride and groom. Burials list year of death, place of death, place of burial, date of burial and relative’s name.

Lancashire Wills & Probate 1457-1858

Upcoming United States Colored Troops Transcribe-a-thon

The following announcement was written by The African American Civil War Soldiers Transcription Project:

For the United States Colored Troops (USCT) serving during the Civil War emancipation and military service were entwined. The USCT made up over 10 percent of the Union Army at a time when only one percent of the Northern population was African American. Facing the inherent racism festering in the psyche of the nation, the enlisted troops were met with segregated units and discriminatory practices. Despite the circumstances, these men fought on participating in every major campaign and battle during the last two years of the war earning twenty-five Medals of Honor in the process.

Second World War Casualty Lists Released by TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist is adding to its Military Records collection with the release of more than 1 million entries for people recorded in the [UK] Second World War Casualty Lists. Sourced from collection WO 417 held at The National Archives, these documents contain records from the war years of 1939 to 1945 and list casualties sustained by the British Army during the Second World War. There are volumes for Officers and Nurses, with separate volumes for Other Ranks. The Casualty Lists were compiled from daily lists that had been prepared by the War Office Casualty Section and cover the various expeditionary forces deployed in different locations across Europe, Africa and Asia as well as for personnel at home.

DF3M83 The image from the Nazi Propaganda! depicts captured English soldiers in Libya, published on 4 August 1942. Place unknown. Photo: Berliner Verlag/Archiv

WW2 Casualty Records will give family history researchers details of ancestors’ names and regiment as well as ranks and service numbers for those recorded. The World War 2 casualty lists contained more detail than their WW1 counterparts and often list the date of the casualty (as well as the list date), plus other information such as the unit a soldier had been serving in at the time.

How to Remotely Watch RootsTech 2019 Salt Lake City

The following announcement was written by the RootsTech organizers:

If you are unable to attend RootsTech 2019 in Salt Lake City, you have two remote viewing options. Some of the show’s sessions will be streamed live for free at (see the broadcast schedule below)! If you want more, you can purchase a Virtual Pass to view additional sessions from the conference. RootsTech 2019 in Salt Lake City runs February 27 to March 3, 2019. Go to to view the entire schedule of events.

The RootsTech daily general sessions will be broadcast live and for free. They include keynote addresses by Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, Patricia Heaton, popular actress from Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle, Saroo Brierley, whose incredible family reunification story which inspired the movie, Lion, and Jake Shimabukuro, world renowned ukulele master.

In addition to the select free classes broadcasted, RootsTech is offering a Virtual Pass, which provides access to 18 online recorded sessions from the conference. You can watch playbacks from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone device whenever and however you’d like—for just $129. Go to Virtual Pass for more information.

Indian Man to Sue Parents for Giving Birth to Him

A 27-year-old Indian man plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent. Mumbai businessman Raphael Samuel told the BBC that it’s wrong to bring children into the world because they then have to put up with lifelong suffering.

Obviously, his parents should have asked his permission first.

If you want to read more about this bit of stupidity, look at the article by Geeta Pandey in the BBC News web site at:

New Records on FamilySearch from January 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch's record updates from 2019 come from all around the world.

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in January 2019 with over 25 million new indexed family history records and over 170,000 digital images from around the world. New historical records were added from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which includes Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Records were also added from United States Cemetary Abstracts, Native American eastern Cherokee Indian Reservation Rolls, United States Obituaries, and United States Veterans Administration Master Index. New digital images were added from BillionGraves.

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.

California Genealogical Society & Library Speakers’ Bureau

A new entry in the California Genealogical Society & Library’s web site states:

“Rumor has it that CGS used to have a Speakers’ Bureau. Well, that tradition has been revived by members of the Development & Member Services and Events committees. This recently reconstituted committee brings together several functions of the society including development, membership (data entry), volunteers and outreach. As part of our Outreach responsibilities we felt it would be helpful to have a database of speakers and topics. We created a spreadsheet that lists seventy-five different topics that are offered by fifty-two different speakers. Most speakers are members of the society who give these talks at no charge. A few are professionals and typically ask for a modest honorarium.”

If your local society is looking for a speaker or if you are a speaker looking to make presentations, read the full article at:

Are You Recording Fairy Tales in Your Genealogy Records?

WARNING: This is a “soapbox article” in which I rant and rave a little.

A newsletter reader wrote to me recently expressing unhappiness with all the erroneous information found in online family trees. The bogus information is usually found in family tree information submitted by other users of whatever online family tree service is being used at the moment.

My belief is that this newsletter reader wasn’t spending much time looking at online images of census, birth, marriage, and death records or at other online documents of value to genealogists: old newspapers, military pension files, and such things.

I decided to share my response publicly in this newsletter so that others could either benefit from or reject my ideas and suggestions.

Ohio Open Records Bill Signed Into Law Becomes Effective April 7

The following announcement was written by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

Former [Ohio] Governor John Kasich signed HB 139 into law on January 7, that lifts public access restrictions on records for permanent retention 75 years after their creation. It also permits a birth parent to have their name redacted from an original birth certificate. Certain types of records are excepted from the 75-year rule. Some records are subject to court rulings statewide, such as adoption records, probation and parole proceedings, confidential law enforcement investigatory records, DNA records stored in the DNA database, and court lunacy records. The current ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court says that it is up to each county judge as to whether or not the records are open in the respective county.

The U.S. Census Bureau Will Test a Citizenship Question Ahead of the 2020 Census

Sadly, politics has again reared its ugly head again in the simple act of counting the population of the United States, as required by Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution: “The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”

Sadly, the simple words of “in such Manner as they shall by Law direct” has been debated by various political groups as to what data is to be collected. I have written before about the latest simple issue: should a U.S. resident be asked about his or her citizenship? You can see my past articles about this issue by starting at:

The simple question about asking about citizenship in the 2020 US Census has resulted in at least six lawsuits.

Attention French-Canadian Descendants: You Are Undoubtedly Related to Almost All Other French-Canadians

If you are new to French-Canadian genealogy, you may be surprised by the number of famous relatives you have. My own ancestry is 50% French-Canadian (thanks, Mom!) but I researched my father’s Yankee ancestry first. Sometime later I started on my mother’s side of the family and was soon amazed by the number of interconnected families. I also found French-Canadian family trees to be rather easy to research when visiting a major library dedicated to French-Canadian genealogy.

I have often jested, “I never met a French-Canadian that I am not related to.” That’s a bit of a joke, but it also seems to be true!

Almost all French-Canadian descendants can find family relations to Madonna, Justin Bieber, Justin Trudeau, Hillary Clinton, Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie, Camilla Parker-Bowles, and about half the players and coaches in the National Hockey League!

District of Columbia Council Enacts 2011 Model Vital Records Act

The following announcement was written by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

This is one we missed when it was being debated by the District of Columbia Council in 2017. They enacted the 2011 Model Vital Records Act which became effective October 30, 2018. The new law number is: D.C. ACT 22-434, L22-0164

The signed copy is available at: It was published in the DC Register on September 14, 2018 (Vol 65 and Page 13690 ) and transmitted to Congress on September 17, 2018

To access the history see:

Of concern to genealogists is Section 124 (starting on page 27) Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information from vital records or vital reports.

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the FGS 2019 Conference in Washington D.C.

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS):

2/5/2019 – Austin, TX.

FGS is pleased to announce that hotel reservations are now open for the 2019 Conference to be held in Washington, D.C.

The historic Omni Shoreham hotel is now taking reservations for the 2019 FGS Family History Conference, “Come Home to Our Washington, D.C.” The conference will be held August 21 – 24. For the first time the conference will feature four full days of sessions for all genealogists, plus the customary society management topics throughout the week. The Omni Shoreham will serve as the conference area as well.

FGS 2019 Conference rates are available Wednesday, August 14 to Friday, August 30 (subject to availability of non-conference days). The hotel is conveniently located less than one block from the Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan red line Metro stop.

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of February 4, 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—FamilySearch added millions of new, free, historical records this week from France and England. Additional records were added from Australia, Russia, New York, Wales, and the BillionGraves Index. 

Search these free 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.

The KIC Self-Serve Book Scanning Stations

I’d love to have one of these book scanners in my spare bedroom that serves as an office for my genealogy research! At a price of $5,000 to $25,000 (US dollars) each, I’m afraid these professional grade scanners are far too costly for me or for most other genealogists. However, that price is not out reach for many public libraries, some local genealogy society libraries, and perhaps even the office supply store in your neighborhood that already offers scanning and photocopying services. If you are interested in getting your hands on one of these professional book scanners, you might drop a hint or two at your local library or society!

In fact, I wouldn’t limit the potential audience to genealogy societies. You may have historical societies, museums, or other organizations in the area that would be interested in these high-speed book scanners. Perhaps they could even start a partnership with another local organization to purchase one. Another possibility is that you might encourage your local genealogy society to make a donation to a nearby library as “seed money” for a campaign to collect funds from local businesses, organizations, and individuals to purchase such a scanner.

At these prices, the scanner needs to be used frequently to justify the purchase price. A group purchase by several organizations and individuals probably is the most cost-effective method of obtaining access to one of these scanning powerhouses.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, and South Carolina

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.