Posts By Dick Eastman

How Your Ancestors’ Environment Determines the Shape of Your Nose

It may seem strange, but a recently-published study in the PLOS Genetics journal claims that whether your nose is long and narrow or short and wide, you may have your ancestors’ climate to thank.

Researchers from Ireland, Belgium and the U.S. used 3D facial imaging to collect nose measurements on nearly 500 participants of South Asian, East Asian, West African and Northern European descent. The researchers analyzed specific measures including nose height, nostril width, distance between nostrils, protrusion and total surface area of the nose and nostrils. Then, they compared these measurements with local temperatures and humidity in various geographical regions. The findings revealed that nostril width was strongly linked with climate. Wider nostrils were found in more hot and humid areas, and narrower noses were more common in cold and dry areas.

You can read more in the PLOS Genetics journal at http://bit.ly/2mNF2os as well as in dozens of media sites by starting at http://bit.ly/2mO6tOX.

Personally, I’m blaming my nose on Uncle Albert. I seem to have inherited his nose.

Software MacKiev introduces FamilySync™ for Family Tree Maker Software

If you use Family Tree Maker software, you need to be aware of the following announcement written by Ancestry.com and Software MacKiev:

Last year, we announced the purchase of Family Tree Maker desktop software by Software MacKiev and because we wanted to make the transition to a new owner as smooth as possible, we committed at least a year of customer and product support. The goal has always been to maintain the capability to share your family tree data between files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees. We’ve been hard at work co-developing a new Ancestry gateway with Software MacKiev to use in their Family Tree Maker 2017, which will be available soon. We believe Software MacKiev continues to deliver the best value to users of Family Tree Maker with their focus and expertise in software solutions.

What you should know:

D. Joshua Taylor Named as One of the “Movers & Shakers 2017 – Educators” by Library Journal

D. Joshua Taylor, President and CEO of New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, one of the hosts on PBS Television’s Genealogy Roadshow, former president (for four years) of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and all-around “good guy” has received another honor. Library Journal has named Josh as one of the movers and shakers in the industry.

According to the magazine article, “Working with different libraries on the show and in other pursuits, Taylor has helped to highlight the many ways librarians are go-to resources for all genealogists, as guides to online services and by leveraging their own on-site collections.”

You can read the full article at: http://bit.ly/2n7zxE0.

London FamilySearch Centre Microfilm Collection is Transferring to the Society of Genealogists

The following announcement was written by the Society of Genealogists:

The London FamilySearch Centre microfilm collection, which is currently temporarily located at The National Archives, is transferring to the Society of Genealogists in Clerkenwell. The move reflects a partnership between the Society of Genealogists and FamilySearch to ensure that the microfilm collection continues to be available to family historians. The London FamilySearch Centre will continue to provide its research support services at the National Archives.

The collection of about 57,000 microfilms complement the SoG’s remarkable library of genealogical sources and both bring together, in one place, an unparalleled resource for family history researchers in the UK. Having been carefully curated over many years, the FamilySearch Films include many thousands of copies of original church and local records from the United Kingdom and Ireland; probate records for England and Wales before and after 1858 and selected items for Caribbean research.

The JGSGB Will be Moving to a New Home in London

The following announcement was written by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB):

The JGSGB will be moving to a new home.

JGSGB has reached agreement with the Society of Genealogists for its library to be have a new home in SoG’s premises at Charterhouse Buildings, London EC1M 7BA. The JGSGB Library will remain a separate entity and will have its own space in the building. The Library will continue to be staffed by volunteers from the JGSGB and will continue to open to JGSGB members and visitors.

The Library will normally be open on the first Friday and third Sunday of each month from Friday 5th May 2017. Details can be found on the Society’s website at www.jgsgb.org.uk.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Over 372,900 records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Ireland, Directories 1636 – 1799 Browse

Browse over 20,000 records taken from 85 volumes of Irish directories and almanacs published during the 17th and 18th centuries to lean about the lives of your Irish ancestors.

The details found in each volume depend on the nature of the publication. You can discover the beliefs and practices prevalent in 17th and 18th century Ireland along with advice and predictions for a particular year. In the registers and directories, you will usually find lists of officials, commissions, government leaders, land owners, and religious leaders. A full list of all the publications available can be found at the bottom of the search page.

Ireland, Legal Administration

Who Was Saint Patrick?

Every March 17, millions of people pause to reflect on their Irish heritage. Conceived as a Saint’s Day in the Catholic Church, Saint Patrick’s Day is now a time of celebration for millions. However, many of us have little knowledge of the man whose name we celebrate.

First of all, Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was a Roman, although born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton in Scotland, in the year 387. His original name is recorded as Maewyn Succat. His father, Calphurnius, belonged to a Roman family of high rank and held the office of decurio in Gaul or Britain. At the age of sixteen years old, Patrick was carried off into captivity by Irish marauders and was sold as a slave to a chieftain named Milchu in Dalriada, a territory of the present county of Antrim in Ireland. He was soon sold to another chieftain in the area. The future saint spent six years tending his master’s flocks near the modern town of Ballymena. During this time he learned to speak fluent Celtic.

Actress Jennifer Grey to Appear on Who Do You Think You Are? Sunday on TLC

Jennifer Grey on Who Do You Think You Are?

On this Sunday’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? at 10/9c on TLC on US television, actress Jennifer Grey uncovers the truth about the emigrant grandfather she thought she knew, learning how he survived adversity to become a beacon of his community. Jennifer also uncovers the devastating tragedy that stopped her great-grandmother from ever making it to America.

Catch a sneak peek of the episode at: http://bit.ly/2mVgcoR.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Show at the NEC in Birmingham, England Next Month

One of the largest genealogy events in the world will be held in a few weeks in Birmingham, England. I believe it is the largest genealogy conference in the UK and is the second-largest in the world. (RootsTech in Salt Lake City appears to be the largest.) This show typically attracts about 13,000 family historians and others with an interest in history and in researching their family trees.

You can see my report from last year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event at http://bit.ly/2nFrBXm.

Who Do You Think You are? Live! will be returning to Birmingham’s NEC from Thursday April 6 to Saturday April 8, 2017, and budding genealogists as well as experienced family historians are invited to attend. They will have the chance to discuss their family history research with a range of genealogy experts and industry leaders.

The event will also see more than 130 of the top exhibitors and local family history societies descend on the NEC from all over the world to share their expertise and provide access to their billions of genealogy records.

To Celebrate St Patrick’s Day, the IGRS Launches the First Tranche of Stories from its 80th Anniversary Archive

The following announcement was written by the Irish Genealogical Research Society:

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, the IGRS is launching the first tranche of stories from its 80th Anniversary Archive.

Last year was the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Society in 1936. To mark this important milestone the Society launched a story writing project to collect and preserve stories about people’s favourite Irish born ancestors.

In launching these stories, IGRS Chairman, Steven Smyrl, said: “Throughout the year, the Society heard tales from all over the world describing the colourful lives of Irish men and women lived out during the past 300 years. In this first batch of stories to be published, readers will hear of a British soldier gassed in the Great War; an Irish Republican who served in both the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War; a Dublin middle class Protestant widow who brought a case in the Court of Common Pleas against a suitor’s broken marriage proposal; and of a working class Catholic girl from Belfast who became entangled in the events of the Russian revolution of 1917.”

Twile Adds New Features for St. Patrick’s Day

The following announcement was written by the folks at Twile:

Doncaster: 14th March 2017

Family history timeline Twile have today released two brand new features to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Twile’s infographic, designed to help family historians share their research and engage younger generations, can now be created in the national colours of Ireland. The personalised family infographic is free and available to everyone – whether currently using Twile or not – at https://twile.com/numbers/irish. Visitors can simply import their FamilySearch tree or upload a GEDCOM file to automatically generate their infographic.

Designed for sharing online and with family, Twile’s infographic includes statistics such as the average number of children per family, the most common surnames, the ratio of men to women and the average age of marriage.

FREE Access to All Irish Resources on AmericanAncestors.org from March 15-22

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

Unique Databases, Boston Catholic Records, “How-to” Irish Research Guides, a Webinar, and More Resources Available with Free Guest Registration

AmericanAncestors.org/Irish

March 14, 2017—Boston, Massachusetts—Honor your Irish heritage this St. Patrick’s Day by researching your Irish ancestry on AmericanAncestors.org, the award-winning website of New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). Learn the essential concepts and techniques for Irish research, and find out which manuscripts, collections, and sources are used by genealogists at American Ancestors to crack the toughest research cases.

Irish resources will be free and open from Wednesday, March 15, through midnight (EDST) on Wednesday, March 22. Access requires a free, brief sign-up on AmericanAncestors.org.

Ancestry.com Owners Reportedly Weigh 2017 IPO of Genealogy Website

An article in the Bloomberg Markets web site reports that the owners of privately-held Ancestry.com are weighing an initial public offering of the company this year. The company’s owners, which include Permira and Silver Lake, have held talks with banks and are taking formal pitches from potential advisers who want to have a role in the offering, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

No final decision has been made and the owners may opt to keep the business for now, the people said.

A Glimpse Into the Life of a Slave Sold to Save Georgetown University

The New York Times has published an interesting article by Rachel L. Swarns about the life of a slave who was sold by the Jesuit college, now known as Georgetown University. He was then shipped to Louisiana and would survive slavery and the Civil War. He would live to see freedom and the dawning of the 20th century. One thing is unusual about this man: pictures of him still exist today.

The photos had been stored in the archives of the Ellender Memorial Library at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., not far from where Mr. Campbell was enslaved.

Clifton Theriot, the library’s archivist and interim director, made the connection late last year after stumbling across an article in a genealogical quarterly about the Jesuit slaves who had been shipped to Louisiana. He was startled to see Mr. Campbell’s name listed among them.

Findmypast Grant Five Days of Free Access to All Irish Records in Celebration of St Patrick’s Day 2017

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

  • Findmypast makes entire collection of more than 116 million Irish records free for five days
  • All 116 records free from the 13th to the 17th March 2017Leading family history website,

Findmypast, has just announced that they will be making their entire collection of Irish records free for five days to help budding genealogists uncover their Irish heritage ahead of St Patrick’s Day 2017.From today, Monday 13th March, until 11.59pm (GMT) Friday 17th March, all 116 million records within Findmypast’s Irish collection will be completely free to search and explore, providing family historians from around the globe with the opportunity to learn more about the lives of their Irish ancestors.

This includes free access to;

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

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Book Reviews: David Dobson’s Books

Winter Genealogy Cruise is a Success

Announcing the Unlock the Past Holy Land Tour and Genealogy Conference

What to do with Your Genealogy Collection When You Downsize or Die

Selecting an Online File Backup Service

Winter Genealogy Cruise is a Success

Diana and Gary Smith annually organize one of the more interesting genealogy cruises of the year. While a bit smaller than some of the other genealogy cruises, it is noted as being one of the friendliest. The camaraderie amongst the “cruisers” needs to be seen to be appreciated. Luckily, I was one of the genealogists on board and had a chance to talk with most everyone while at sea. This year’s cruise ended last week and the genealogists on board all seemed to be wearing smiles when they departed the Celebrity Silhouette.

Photo courtesy of Harry Benson.
Click on the above image to view a much larger version.

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

How many ancestors do you have?

It is a simple question and would appear to have a simple answer: Any of us can count the number of our ancestors by performing a very obvious mathematical progression: two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so forth. In the past twenty generations, you have a mathematical chance of having more than one million ancestors. Thirty generations produces more than a billion ancestors, and forty generations results in more than one trillion.

The numbers are correct from a mathematical viewpoint but deliberately ignore one obvious fact: there have never been that many humans on the face of the earth since the dawn of evolution! The reality is that it is impossible to have one trillion unique ancestors, regardless of the mathematics involved.

PaperPort Professional 14

If you are drowning in paper, having a difficult time managing all the documents you have amassed in your genealogy research, you might want to look at PaperPort Professional 14. It is useful for genealogy work as well as for dozens of other uses as well. I have written in the past about document management with Evernote and with OneNote. However, Nuance PaperPort Professional 14 could be described as the “industrial strength replacement” for either Evernote or OneNote. Even better, the price of PaperPort Professional 14 recently dropped from $200 to $59.99. Amazon has an even lower price: $44.99.

PaperPort provides a single way to scan paper, create PDF files, and access, view, edit, and convert your files on your PC. (It is only available for Microsoft Windows; there is no Macintosh version.)

PaperPort has long had the distinction of being a leading product for document management. It allows the user to sort, file, and organize even tens of thousands of documents and to retrieve any of them within seconds. The latest version 14 has now added some capabilities to smoothly work with the cloud, allowing the user to quickly retrieve or even to share document with users of Windows personal computers, netbooks, tablets, and smart phones.

A Card Index on Jewish Holocaust Victims is now Online

The International Tracing Service (ITS) has published two further resources in its online archive. They include the card index of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany and material on death marches from concentration camps.

What is left of the card index of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland) comprises 32,264 registration cards, primarily those of Jewish school pupils, emigrants and deceased persons. Now interested persons all over the world have access to these cards. The ITS has moreover placed an additional 15,000 documents pertaining to the death marches online, thus supplementing the first group of documents on that subject published on its internet portal last year. “We chose two sets of documents that, while they are small, are of especial interest to the public. They conclude the successful test phase of the online archive,” ITS director Floriane Hohenberg explained. “More extensive holdings will follow, with which we aim to make documents on deportations, the Holocaust and forced labor available to people all over the world.”

You can read more in the International Tracing Service web site at: https://www.its-arolsen.org/en/press/press/press-detail/news/detail/News/card-index-on-jewish-victims-now-online/ while the online archive is available at: https://digitalcollections.its-arolsen.org/01020401.