Posts By Dick Eastman

Ancestry, Inc. Announces Confidential Submission of Draft Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering

Genealogy website Ancestry.com Inc on Monday said it had confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on a proposed initial public offering (IPO) to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company did not disclose the number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering.

Last May, Ancestry.com said in a statement that the company was valued at about $2.6 billion. We can probably assume today’s price is higher. However, the draft registration statement is confidential so today’s expected price is still not known.

Here is the official announcement from Ancestry, Inc. (which seems to be very brief):

How to Make a PDF File Searchable

A newsletter reader asked the question: “How can i make a PDF file searchable?” I thought others might have the same question, so I will reply here in the newsletter so that everyone can benefit. Also, anyone with additional methods is invited to post comments at the end of this article.

A searchable PDF is a PDF file that lets you both search for keywords in the text and use copy/paste to extract text from the PDF. Unfortunately, many PDF files are not searchable. Instead, they are simple images of an original document.

In short, a PDF file usually can be made searchable ONLY when it is created. There are some exceptions, however. I will describe some exceptions at the end of this article.

Whatever Happened to “Jimmy” O’Neill?

16-year-old James “Jimmy” O’Neill, vanished as if into thin air on December 15, 1947. No family members have heard from him since. His family has been looking for him for years without success. If still alive, Jimmy would be 86 years old and would still have three surviving siblings: Nancy, Jack and Frank. A younger brother, Noel, died six months ago.

Genealogists often are good at finding missing relatives. Can a genealogist help?

Findmypast Announces Online Release of over Six Million Ontario Records in First Phase of new Partnership with the Ontario Genealogical Society

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Leading family history website Findmypast has just announced an exciting new partnership with the Ontario Genealogical Society. Announced today at the Society’s 2017 annual conference in Ottawa, the partnership will see Findmypast publish millions of OGS records online in a series of phased releases. The first phase will be launched later this year with the online publication of over six million fascinating Ontario records, including;

(+) My Method of Filing Digital Images and Documents

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

A newsletter reader asked a question that I receive frequently. Here is a (slightly edited) copy of her message:

“I’d love to know how you handle the thousands of .JPG images of genealogy document scans and how to attach sources to them. I tried copying my .JPGs into Word, adding a title and source as text boxes. It was easy enough, but Word degraded the .JPG image so much that writing from earlier documents was almost unreadable. I’m trying it now in PowerPoint files with much better luck. I maintain .JPG integrity, can add titles and sources, and have multiple pages. I can copy the .JPG into other formats or convert the file into a .PDF. I would still love to know what you use before I get too involved in this format.”

I did answer her in email, but I thought I would also share my answer here in case others might have the same questions:

Father’s Day Founder Was a Renegade, According to her Great-Granddaughter

Sonora Smart Dodd

The woman most cited as the founder of Father’s Day is Sonora Smart Dodd. Inspired by the earlier campaign to create Mother’s Day, and a desire to honor men like her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran and a widower who raised Sonora Smart Dodd and her brothers solo, Dodd organized the first Father’s Day in 1910 in her hometown of Spokane, Washington.

Father’s Day did not become a national holiday until 1972, thanks to the continued efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd. Dodd spent 62 years lobbying everyone from presidents to retailers for support. She even lived to see the national holiday created. She died at age 96 in 1978.

Dodd’s 55-year-old great-granddaughter, Betsy Roddy, recalled this year that her ancestor was a Renaissance woman, the Mother of Father’s Day was a painter, poet and businesswoman, running a funeral home with her husband while raising the couple’s only son, a future father named Jack.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following article was written by Findmypast:

There are over 730,000 records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Rhode Island Births & Baptisms 1600-1935

Rhode Island Births & Baptisms contains over 378,000 records compiled from a variety of sources including family, church and civil records. Each result will provide you with a transcript of key information transcribed from the original source material. The amount of detail will vary from record to record, but most transcripts will reveal your ancestor’s birth date, baptism year, place of birth or baptism and the names of both their parent’s.

Rhode Island Deaths & Burials 1628-1930

TheGenealogist Releases York Colour Tithe Maps and Yorkshire Directories

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

Military review at York racecourse 1866 from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

TheGenealogist is very pleased to announce the release of the City of York and Ainsty Colour Tithe Maps, plus another significant batch of Yorkshire directories released in time for the Yorkshire Family History Show at York Racecourse.

To coincide with the return of one of the largest family history events in England, at the Knavesmire Exhibition Centre at the York Racecourse on the 24th of June and which is sponsored by TheGenealogist, today sees the release of a set of new records for York.

Québec City has been Bringing the Era of Our Ancestors to Life for over 20 years at the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France

The following announcement was written by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) and Canadian Heritage:

QUÉBEC CITY, June 15, 2017 –  – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, attended the launch of the 2017 programming and took the opportunity to announce their financial support for the Corporation des fêtes historiques de Québec for the 21st edition of the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France. This annual rendezvous with history will be held in the historic district of Old Québec, from August 9 to 13.

Canada Economic Development has invested $750,000 dollars over three years (2015, 2016 and 2017), in the form of a non-repayable contribution, through the Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP). The funding was used in part to help promote the Fêtes on the Canadian, American and European markets to enhance the area’s tourism outreach and to attract numerous visitors from near and far. The support was also used to develop new tourism experiences with the addition of facilitation spaces and activities related to history, heritage and the St. Lawrence River.

Unclaimed Persons Celebrates Ninth Anniversary and Launches New Website

The following announcement was written by Unclaimed Persons:

Every life is worth remembering, and this month Unclaimed Persons (UP) celebrates its ninth anniversary helping to unite the remains of deceased individuals with their next of kin.

Alone in death and tucked away on dark shelves or cold gurneys in morgues across the country, thousands of deceased individuals whose names are known to coroners, medical examiners, and a handful of friends have no known family members to claim their remains. Homelessness, mental illness, long-term estrangement, deaths of all apparent next of kin, and other circumstances have severed familial connections. Ever-increasing caseloads and shrinking budgets make it nearly impossible for many medical examiners, coroners, and investigators to find these individuals’ relatives without help.

Transform Any Document into a Searchable PDF with Adobe’s new FREE Scan App

Want a searchable digital copy of the document you just photocopied at the archives? If so, Adobe’s new app, aptly named Adobe Scan, is one you’re definitely going to want to try.

There are many scanning apps available these days. On typeset copies, most of the apps simply create a PDF “picture” of the file. Most of these PDF files are not searchable. That is, you cannot use your computer to search for specific words or phrases in the text of the scanned document. Now Adobe Scan changes all that. The FREE Adobe Scan app turns your device into a powerful portable scanner that recognizes text automatically (OCR). Turn anything — receipts, notes, documents, pictures, business cards, whiteboards — into an Adobe PDF with content you can reuse.

WW1 Hospital Records Collection on Forces War Records has now Reached 1 Million

The following announcement was written by the folks at Forces War Records in the UK:

Exclusive to Forces War Records – the specialist military genealogy website

These records have been painstakingly transcribed, directly from the original Military Hospital records in the National Archives, so you won’t find these anywhere else online. The original documents were handwritten, often barely readable, but the Forces War Records UK based transcription team of 70+ experts worked for 2 years to decipher it and get the data online, making it easy for this collection to be searched, simply by name.

My Comments about Black Sheep Ancestors

I have always been interested in the less than perfect people in my family tree. These folks often may be found in various court records that have been preserved. At the RootsTech2017 conference, I was asked about such ancestors and my comments were videotaped by the RootsTech crew. You can view the video on Twitter at https://t.co/KdFInLZkqh.

Julie Cahill Tarr Named Editor of APG eNews

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 13 June 2017 – The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG?) has named Julie Cahill Tarr as the new editor of APG eNews. Tarr, a professional genealogist, brings years of experience in writing, editing, and graphic design to the organization’s monthly electronic newsletter.

Tarr serves as the managing editor and designer for FORUM, the quarterly magazine for the Federation of Genealogical Societies. She has held editorial positions for the journals of the Dallas (Texas) and the Illinois State Genealogical Societies and for her chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a coursewriter for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, having written the Breaking Down Brick Walls course.

“Thank you to the APG Executive Committee for choosing me as editor of APG eNews,” said Julie Cahill Tarr.” APG has a unique offering in its publications aimed at the professional. I look forward to further developing this important resource to serve the needs of APG’s membership.”

How Many of You Are There?

The following is for U.S. residents only:

There are 325,060,629 people in the U.S.

How many have your name?

To find out, go to http://HowManyOfMe.com and enter your own name.

Reclaim The Records Wins Another Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Request: New York State Department of Health Concedes the New York State Death Index is to become Available to the Public under Open Records Laws

I often write about bad news in which legislators and bureaucrats keep blocking genealogists from accessing records that legally qualify as public domain. Therefore, it is great to report another victory from Reclaim The Records!

An announcement from Reclaim The Records states:

“After seventeen months of work, we have now forced the New York State Department of Health to concede that this data is, and should be, available to the public under open records laws. We secured the first ever public copies of this important state death index, which the Department of Health has digitized for us, scanned from the original vault copies. They are high-resolution greyscale images, with the entire set comprising about 3/4 of a terabyte of data on a portable hard drive. (That’s a lot of dead people.)

How a Utah Woman Met Her Birth Mother After 43 Years

There is a heartwarming story concerning DNA in the Goo0d4Utah web site today. How a Utah Woman Met Her Birth Mother After 43 Years describes how an adoptee reunited with her birth mother 43 years after being put up for adoption. The discovery of the birth mother was all due to their DNA, a test by MyHeritage, and a little bit of fate.

The story is available at: http://bit.ly/2tdYr4u.

You can also test your DNA with MyHeritage by going to http://bit.ly/2sfSsii.

If your DNA has already been tested by a different company, you can upload the results at no charge to MyHeritage and obtain even more information by going to http://bit.ly/2suo84e. The MyHeritage upload will also generate an Ethnicity Estimate that is unique only to MyHeritage.

(+) One Laptop, Two Computer Screens

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

I must admit I have become accustomed to having two computer screens attached to my one computer at home. I have long used two 27-inch monitors connected to my one desktop computer. However, there is a problem when traveling: the tiny, single 11-inch screen on my laptop computer seems very constraining after using two side-by-side 27-inch monitors at home!

With both monitors on my desk at home, side by side, I can operate them as separate monitors or even create the illusion of one giant screen. I can open a website on one screen and a word processor on the other, then copy and paste from one screen to another. I can even open a spreadsheet and stretch it across the full width of both screens if I want. Why can’t I do that when in a hotel room? After watching a friend of mine do exactly that, I was hooked. I started looking at portable external monitors.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Over 10.1 million new records and newspaper articles are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Canada Census 1881

The Canada Census of 1881 records the details of over 4.2 million Canadians. In 1881, Canada consisted of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. The census began on 4 April 1881 and covered 192 districts broken up into 2,139 sub-districts. Census districts and sub-districts were composed of cities, towns, townships, Indian reserves, and less-defined areas. Areas that were less defined posed a particular challenge to enumerators and resulted in individuals being missed. This was particularly the case for Aboriginal people living in districts 187 (New Westminster, British Columbia) and 192 (Northwest Territories).

Family ChartMasters Announces a New Genealogy Chart Created for Showing Off DNA Test Results

The following announcement was written by Family ChartMasters:

CEDAR HILLS, Utah – June 9, 2017 – A beautiful new way to display the results of a genetic family history test has been created for the millions of people who are getting to know their ancestors through DNA testing. Family ChartMasters, the genealogy chart printing leader for over 15 years, has designed a new DNA ethnicity chart to help family history enthusiasts show off their genetic heritage.

“We hope that this new chart will help people who have become curious about their genealogy through DNA testing become even more excited about searching out their ancestors,” says owner Janet Hovorka. “At Family ChartMasters we believe that family history can save the world. The more people know about their background, the more they are inspired with civility, gratitude and compassion for other people because they find out we are all more alike than different. We want to help people make that easy to remember every day.”