Posts By Dick Eastman

MacFamilyTree 8.1 – New CloudTree offers Collaboration and Sync

The following announcement was written by Synium Software, producers of the very popular MacFamilyTree genealogy program for Macintosh, iPhone, and iPad:

December 2, 2016 – Mainz, Germany – Synium is proud to announce a huge update for MacFamilyTree, their popular genealogy app to discover your family history. Version 8.1 answers the frequently asked question “How can I work on my family tree and do genealogical research with other family members?” – and does it in a unique way . MacFamilyTree 8.1 introduces CloudTree Sync&Share – powerful, one of its kind, and free for all users of MacFamilyTree 8.1.

macfamilytree_screenshot

CloudTree Sync&Share creates a revolution in digital genealogy. No other service provides such speedy synchronization across any number of devices – directly from within the app, at no additional cost, and in line with the highest data protection standards. The iPhone and iPad version of MacFamilyTree, called MobileFamilyTree, has been updated to, offering the same set of features.

Seth Meyers’ Family History

Seth Meyers, host of NBC’s “Late Night” television program, recently interviewed his parents and brother on his television program. The conversation turned to the Meyers family history. It seems that Seth may have taken a few liberties with the facts concerning his ancestry.

You can watch a video of the family history discussion at in the video below or at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xUTY8DWt_I.

Maine’s Alien Registry of 1940 is Available Online

There is a lot of political discussion these days about registering aliens who live in the United States. Indeed, one well-known example is the registration and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War 2 as a precedent. However, that was not the first and certainly not the only such registration.

In 1940, the State of Maine’s Governor Lewis O. Barrows issued a proclamation stating that alien residents of Maine were required to register at their local town office. Over the next month, more than 30,000 people registered with their town. Overseen by the Adjutant General, the registrations were then collected by his office at which point the statistical data was extracted to create data sheets. These data sheets can now be viewed online, thanks to the Maine State Library. These documents provide a new resource for genealogists, as well as historians of immigration in Maine.

Los Angeles to Bury 1,430 Unclaimed Deceased Bodies

This is sad news although I suspect it is the right thing to do: Los Angeles County plans to bury 1,430 individuals in a mass grave.

The remains of those set to be buried at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery in Boyle Heights have all gone unclaimed. The county generally holds the cremated remains for about two years before burial.

Most of those being buried were homeless or were poor with no known family to grieve for them.

MyHeritage Adds United States WWI Draft Registrations, 1917-1918

MyHeritage, the sponsor of this newsletter, has announced the recent addition of United States World War I Draft Registrations, 1917-1918, with over 24 million records. Information recorded varied slightly by registration date but usually included name, current residence address, date of birth, place of birth, age, marital status, race, occupation, employer, citizenship status, and other information about his next of kin.

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The “first registration” on June 5, 1917, included all men from 21 to 31 years of age. The “second registration” date was June 5, 1918, with a supplemental registration on August 24, 1918, covering those who had recently turned 21. The final registration was on September 12, 1918, for all men ages 18-45, who had not previously registered.

Facebook Users want to Continue Posting from Beyond the Grave

facebook-after-deathI realize that Facebook is an addiction but this is a bit extreme. Many Facebook users apparently don’t want to stop after death! Who knew they had wi-fi up there?

OK, let’s get serious: What happens to a person’s Facebook page after they die? A recent survey by UK solicitors Jackson Canter found that around half of people would like their Facebook homepage to continue updating posthumously in some way.

In fairness, after questioning 2,000 people on the matter, some of the updating was relatively straightforward, with 55% simply wanting replies to expressions of sympathy after their deaths. However, almost as many wanted a friend of family member to post once or twice a year on their behalf with 10 percent suggesting this be done as often as once a week to “keep their memory alive”.

You can read the full story at https://goo.gl/Z6qd0F.

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often.

The Security of Your Mother’s Maiden Name

Warning: This article contains personal opinions.

dunceI was driving down the road recently, listening to a local news station on the car radio. The newscaster was interviewing a so-called security “expert” about proposed legislation supposedly designed to prevent identity theft and credit card abuse. This “expert” claimed that we needed legislation to prevent access to birth records by “unauthorized” individuals. Sound familiar? Yes, we have heard and seen this song-and-dance act before. This guy wants to lock genealogists out of the records that we have used for the past century or so.

The so-called “expert” claimed that the Internet makes it too easy for someone to find your mother’s maiden name, and that, of course, is the foundation of all security systems, right?

Let me press the button for that obnoxious sounding buzzer. BZZZZZ! Wrong answer!

No, Not a Professional Gynecologist!

On a recent episode of the television quiz show, Wheel of Fortune, a partially filled-out phrase looked good but the contestant blurted out the wrong answer: Professional Gynecologist.

professionalgenealogist

The correct answer was: Professional Genealogist.

You can see a video at https://goo.gl/PFzYxs.

 

Millions of New Parish Records added to the TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

  • Released in partnership with the Hampshire Genealogical Society there are over 2.1 million new fully searchable records of individuals released online for the first time
  • With these records those searching for ancestors from Hampshire can discover almost 1.8 million people recorded within the baptisms from this area in the south of England as far back as 1538 up to 1751
  • Family researchers can also discover the details of over 212,000 individuals from marriages between 1538 and 1753 and nearly 143,800 people listed in the burials of Hampshire from 1838 to 1865

TheGenealogist-logoHampshire Genealogical Society worked with TheGenealogist to publish their records online, making 2,135,878 individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable. Dolina Clarke, Chairman of Hampshire Genealogical Society said:

NGS Family History Writing Contest Nominations Are Now Being Accepted

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

This post continues a periodic series where we, at NGS, highlight the various competitions (15 December deadline) and awards (31 January) where nominations are sought in order to recognize excellence. The winners will be announced at the annual NGS Family History Conference, 10-13 May 2017.

Sixth up is the Family History Writing Contest.

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Deadline for Submissions—15 December Annually

To encourage members to write a family history that covers at least three generations and not more than four.

Library of Congress, Digital Public Library of America To Form New Collaboration

This undoubtedly will affect many genealogists as more and more records are added to the Digital Public Library’s database of digital content records. Making such records available online results in much easier access for all than the present methods. The following announcement was written by the Library of Congress:

library_of_congress_logoThe Library of Congress today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Digital Public Library of America to become a “content hub partner” and will ultimately share a significant portion of its rich digital resources with DPLA’s database of digital content records.

The first batch of records will include 5,000 items from three major Library of Congress maps collections—the Revolutionary War (loc.gov/collections/american-revolutionary-war-maps/about-this-collection/), Civil War (loc.gov/collections/civil-war-maps/about-this-collection/) and panoramic maps collections (loc.gov/collections/panoramic-maps/about-this-collection/).

The Myths About Chromebooks

Yes, I have written often about Chromebooks but my latest article has generated a lot of comments. Permit me at least one more article to answer some frequently-asked-questions…

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There are lots of myths concerning the $150-to-$300 Chromebooks. You will hear people say (or write online) “Chromebooks are just a browser” or “Chromebooks don’t work offline” or “Chromebooks don’t perform many tasks” or “Chromebooks aren’t secure” or similar nonsense. Lenovo has a video that dispels those myths.

Mississippi State University Libraries Digitize Civil War Diaries and Letters

Mississippi State University Libraries has made available in its digital collections the Civil War era, first-hand accounts of the Orville Babcock Diaries and Letters of Pvt. Arthur McKinstry.

Orville Babcock

Orville Babcock

The Babcock and McKinstry materials are a part of the overall Ulysses S. Grant Collection, which is housed at the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library on the first floor of Mitchell Memorial Library at MSU’s Starkville campus. MSU is one of only five universities in the nation that have the distinction of hosting a presidential library.

Orville Babcock was a Union Army officer and engineer, who eventually became General Grant’s aide-de-camp late in the Civil War. His diaries begin in 1863, notably including his perspective on the siege of Vicksburg, and continue into 1869. Also included are Babcock’s wartime experiences in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee before finally being summoned to Virginia. Additionally, they contain information regarding his post-war experiences in Washington, D.C., where Babcock served as personal secretary to Grant during his presidency, including his famous mission to Santo Domingo in 1869. This collection also includes supplementary materials of speeches, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.

Freedmen Bureau Celebration to be Broadcast Live on the Internet

freedmen-bureau-celebration-broadcastThe FamilySearch Blog has announced, “A broadcast to celebrate the completion of the Freedmen’s Bureau project will be held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday, December 6, at 9:00 a.m. eastern standard time. The broadcast will be streamed live at DiscoverFreedmen.org. Elder D. Todd Christofferson will present Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum, a memento symbolizing the efforts of more than 25,000 volunteers who indexed nearly 1.8 million records that are now searchable online at FamilySearch.org.”

You can read the full announcement at https://goo.gl/f8Dhzw.

Book Review: The Spyglass File

The following book review was written by Dina Carson and Bobbi King:

thespyglassfileThe Spyglass File
by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Self-published. 2016. 282 pages.

The following review was co-authored by Dina Carson and Bobbi King.
(Dina Carson is a tombstone photographer, editor, author, compiler of Boulder county records, Boulder [Colorado] Genealogical Society editor, and owner of Iron Gate Publishing. She has compiled and published numerous articles and books about Boulder County history and residents, and published her own series of books on writing personal family histories and self-publishing.)

The November holidays are behind us, the election is finally over, Black Friday lingers, and CyberMonday lasts only one day, so there are still a few days before the busy Christmas season is upon us to grab some me-time and enjoy a new Morton Farrier novel.

The Spyglass File brings back Morton Farrier, forensic genealogist, and he’s in more danger than ever before.

Records of (Some) Irish Soldiers Now Available Online

nam-logoIn 1922, following the creation of the Irish Free State, the five regiments of the British Army recruited in southern Ireland – the Royal Irish Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, the Leinster Regiment, the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers – were disbanded. The enlistment books of the five disbanded Irish regiments are now available online, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For the first time, the records of nearly 12,000 soldiers can be searched online – by unit, place of birth, place of attestation, and year of attestation. As a result, statistical analysis becomes very easy. Researchers can see the original scans of each soldier’s entry, giving them access to a recruit’s age and trade on enlistment and the names of his next of kin (including date of marriage, where relevant, and the birth date of any children).

Providence (Rhode Island) Public Library opens a large Genealogical Collection to the Public

The Providence Public Library has opened a large compilation of Rhode Island genealogical material to researchers. The library acquired the James N. Arnold Collection in November 2015 and archivists have finished processing it. James N. Arnold published an eight-volume set of southern Rhode Island’s history and the first comprehensive set of vital records for the state. When he died, the collection of research, publications, personal papers, and personal library was given to the Knight Memorial Library in Providence.

pCloud: Better than Dropbox?

Dropbox is a very popular service amongst genealogists. I have often mentioned Dropbox in my previous articles. (See https://goo.gl/sTtLwu for a list of my previous articles that mention Dropbox.) However, Dropbox certainly is not perfect.

My biggest complaint with Dropbox is that it has a rather weak method of encryption for storing your data on Dropbox’s servers. (See https://goo.gl/G7cxNF for an explanation of Dropbox’s encryption weaknesses.) Dropbox employees can read your personal data. If Dropbox receives a court order demanding they supply copies of your personal data to some government agency, the company must do so. Also, in theory, if a hacker ever gains access to Dropbox’s servers, that person  possibly could also read your data. The odds of a hacker gaining access are slim but not impossible.

Next, Dropbox only provides 2 gigabytes of storage space free of charge, significantly less than that of most of its competitors.

One new service is “just like Dropbox, except (1.) it is faster than Dropbox, (2.) it can encrypt every bit of data before storing on the company’s servers, making the service much more secure and (3.) it offers 10 gigabytes of free storage space with the option to obtain 20 gigabytes at no charge if a user makes some bonus steps.

Manufacturer Refurbished Asus Chromebook Flip C100PA

c100pI have written often about Chromebooks. They are excellent low-cost laptop computers that do most of the tasks that most computer users want, although they cannot match the power of the laptops that cost five or ten times as much. You can see my past articles about Chromebooks by starting at: https://goo.gl/9yDkl2.

Now StackSocial has the Asus Flip C100PA Chromebook on sale for $199.99. That price includes shipping. I have an Asus Flip C100PA and love it. The 2-pound laptop with 9-hours battery life has become my primary traveling laptop. However, I had to pay more than today’s price of $199.99 when I purchased it more than a year ago.