Posts By Dick Eastman

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.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 3. 2 million new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Connecticut Baptisms, 1600s-1800s

Connecticut Baptisms contains over 41,000 records covering the towns of Coventry, East Hampton, Mansfield, New Haven, Norfolk, Norwich, Simsbury, Windsor, and Woodstock. Each record includes a transcripts that will reveal your ancestor’s birth year, baptism place, baptism date and parent’s names.

Connecticut Church Records, 1600s-1800s

The RootsTech 2018 Innovation Showcase Needs Your Nominations

The following was received in a message from the RootsTech organizers:

Help us identify the latest and greatest innovations impacting the genealogy industry as a whole by nominating your favorite products or technology! Then, watch the all-new Innovation Showcase on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, to see winners from around the world demonstrate their products on stage.

Why You Perhaps Should Not Retire at Age 65

Consider the changes in retirement between you and your grandparents. When the national retirement age of 65 was established for the Social Security Act in 1935 (82 years ago!), the average American lifespan was 61.7 years. The age of 65 was chosen at that time because it was beyond the average life expectancy for Americans. While there certainly were exceptions, most Americans of 1935 aged 65 or more were in poor physical condition and were unable to earn a living. In fact, the average 65-year-old American of those days was… DEAD!

Again, I am talking about averages. We all know of exceptions, but financial planning by the actuaries at the Social Security Administration is based on averages.

NOTE: Actuaries are the individuals who determine the rate of accidents, sickness, death and other events, according to probabilities that are based on statistical records. Actuaries then use trend information to predict future averages.

Today, we still think of retirement age as 65, but the average lifespan of Americans is now 78.74 years — 17 years more than it was when Social Security started. The impact is enormous.

Predictions for the Year 2000 from The Ladies Home Journal of December 1900

The Ladies Home Journal from December, 1900, contained an article by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr.: What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years. Mr. Watkins wrote: “These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible. Yet, they have come from the most learned and conservative minds in America. To the wisest and most careful men in our greatest institutions of science and learning I have gone, asking each in his turn to forecast for me what, in his opinion, will have been wrought in his own field of investigation before the dawn of 2001 – a century from now. These opinions I have carefully transcribed.”

Well, I am about seventeen years late in analyzing Mr. Watkins’ predictions. However, I think they are still interesting and many of them were surprisingly accurate.

Prediction #1: There will probably be from 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 people in America and its possessions by the lapse of another century. Nicaragua will ask for admission to our Union after the completion of the great canal. Mexico will be next. Europe, seeking more territory to the south of us, will cause many of the South and Central American republics to be voted into the Union by their own people.”

PBS’ Finding Your Roots Returns October 3

Reminder: the new season of PBS’ hit show, Finding Your Roots, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., premieres on Tuesday, October 3 at 8/7c.

As in past years, the new season will include well known comedians, journalists, and A-list celebrities as guests on each episode. The guests in the first episode of the season include Larry David and Bernie Sanders. These two guests are linked by one hilarious impersonation. The show will trace their roots from 1940s Brooklyn back to Jewish communities in Europe.

Heredis Genealogy Software for Windows or Macintosh is Now Available for $10.99 for a Limited Time

The following announcement was written by the folks who produce Heredis genealogy software:

For 5 days, a mega deal is available for genealogists until Sunday, October 1st, 2017 only inclusive: $10.99 for Heredis software:

– For Mac: https://shop.heredis.com/heredis-for-mac/706-heredis-2017-for-mac.html

– For PC: https://shop.heredis.com/heredis-for-windows/707-heredis-2017-for-windows.html

– For all users of a previous version of Heredis for Windows (upgrade): https://shop.heredis.com/heredis-for-windows/708-heredis-2017-for-windows-upgrade.html

Reasons to choose Heredis:

‘South Park’ to Make Fun of Genealogy DNA Web Sites

The animated television series South Park is taking a shot at white people who feel they are oppressed by an overly politically correct society.

In a preview for Wednesday’s episode “Holiday Special,” Randy watches a commercial for a web site that claims to help Caucasians identity their genealogy, DNA and Me, which leads them to feel oppressed once they discover a small percentage of minority ancestry.

The announcer on the DNA and Me commercial goes on to say, “Order now and find out if your friends should be more sympathetic towards you.”

Update: Library of Virginia Reading Room Closures… the Rooms Are Open Once Again

This is an update to an article I published last year on 1 November 2016, still available at: http://bit.ly/2wRWxwK. There have been major changes since that article was published.

The Library of Virginia’s web site now states that the Reading Rooms are now open again to researchers Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Details are available at: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/about/visit.asp.

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of September 25, 2017

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Summary

Good news to those with South Africa roots–over 1 million free images of historic records were published this weekMany more were published from AustraliaAustriaEnglandFind A GraveFranceIrelandItalyParaguay, and Peru! Search these new free records at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Floridians: Share Your Digital Photos of Hurricane Irma

NOTE: This has nothing to do with today’s genealogy. However, Florida residents are invited to help preserve the history of the state and to record events that perhaps will benefit future historians and possibly even future genealogists.

The Florida State Archives is asking residents to preserve hurricane history by donating your digital images of preparation, damage, volunteers, shelters, recovery and other effects of Hurricane Irma. The donated photographs will join past photos of Camille, Andrew, and Charley as one of many hurricanes that have shaped Florida’s history. Some of the photographs donated to the State Archives will appear on Florida Memory.

Details may be found in the Florida Memory web site at: http://bit.ly/2wLmnCs.

Super-Accurate GPS Chips Coming to Smartphones in 2018, Will Improve Cemetery Locations Accuracy

New GPS (Global Positioning System) chips will be used in future cell phones that will be accurate within 30 centimeters (11.8 inches), rather than five meters (16 feet) which is typical of today’s cell phones. At least, that’s the claim chip maker Broadcom is making. While this may not seem at first to be significant for genealogists, it should greatly improve the accuracy of locations recorded with a cell phone and its camera.

The big benefit for genealogists will be in the accuracy of locations recorded in BillionGraves.com and FindAGrave.com.

Millions of tombstones are already recorded today with accuracy of plus or minus 16 feet or sometimes even worse accuracy than that. Sixteen feet sounds like reasonable accuracy in many cemeteries, but it still is not good enough for quick location of tombstones in many family plots and certainly not close enough for pinpoint accuracy in a columbarium, a room or building with niches where funeral urns are stored.

Update to IGRS Early Irish Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes

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

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added a further 5,000 records to the Society’s Early Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes. This brings the total number of names to almost 260,000.

This latest update means the Society’s exclusive collection of lesser used and obscure sources for Irish births, marriages and deaths now comprises a total of 24,500 births (noting 47,800 names), 83,600 marriages (186,800 names) and 16,800 deaths (24,500 names). The total number of names is 259,500.

This particular update draws from a range of material: surviving 19th century census records; marriage licence indexes; pre-1922 abstracts from exchequer and chancery court records; memorial inscriptions; biographical notices from newspapers; a large number of long forgotten published works on particular families and places; and memorials from Ireland’s Registry of Deeds.

(+) How to Preserve Water-Soaked Books and Papers in an Emergency

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

Hurricane season is upon us and we should learn from the experiences of past storms. The recent Harvey and Irma hurricanes and flooding taught all of us again that paper is a very fragile storage medium for old records. However, paper is also the most common storage method in use today. The news reports from the recent hurricanes told of numerous libraries, public records offices, and more that had water in their offices. In some cases, the water reached records that should be saved for centuries. Many families also lost family documents, old photos, and even examples of their children’s art work. Unfortunately, water-soaked paper documents will only last for a few days unless treated immediately.

For the best-known loss of records by water damage, ask the U.S. Census Bureau about water-soaked documents. Most U.S. genealogists have been told that the 1890 census records was “destroyed by fire” in 1921. In fact, the fire damaged only a small percentage of the records. Far more damage was caused by the firehoses of the fire department called in to battle the blaze. Most of the damage was caused by water being poured onto the fire, water that soon seeped into millions of otherwise undamaged records. The fire did not go above the basement but water poured into the upper floors drained into the basement, extinguishing the fire. Unfortunately, in the process of water draining through the upper floors, a high percentage of the otherwise undamaged documents became soaked with water.

imbue App for iOS devices and soon, Android: Make Every Family Item a Time Capsule

A new family memory app for Apple devices that should appeal to many genealogists is being developed in a Kickstarter campaign. It will be demonstrated in a technology demonstration next year at RootsTech. The app was launched Wednesday, September 20.

The name of this new app is imbue, apparently always spelled with a lower-case “i.” The word “imbue” means “Inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality. Saturate, suffuse, drench, steep.”

If you contribute financially to the development of this new app, you can be both a beta tester and also receive a subscription to the final, released product when it is ready.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 753,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Dublin Electoral Rolls

Containing more than 427,000 transcripts, this index pertains to records found on the Dublin City Library & Archive website. The rolls are broken up into four divisions: College Green, Dublin Harbour, St Stephens Green, and St Patricks. The original documents have been digitised by Dublin City Council, which aims to digitise the entirety of their electoral rolls, spanning from 1898 to 1916. Additional information, including images, can be found on the source’s website.

Will Postal Carriers Act as Census Enumerators for the 2020 US Census?

The U.S. Constitution requires a census of all residents every ten years. However, the effort for the 2020 Census is in turmoil. (See http://bit.ly/2uAbHl7 and http://bit.ly/2xiqlCb for two of my recent articles describing the chaos.) In the last two or three collections of census data, the time required to plan the census, hire the right people, and to train them required 3 or 4 years of advance planning. Unfortunately, there is only 2 years and a few months left until the next scheduled census. This creates a big question: how to plan, hire, and train the enumerators (people who take the census) in this short time?

Now the Census Bureau has a new suggestion: use Postal Service employees to perform the census.

A notice in the Federal Register asks for comments about the proposal, even though little information is given about the proposal.

AAGHSC Conference to be Held in Chicago on October 13 and 14

The following is an announcement from the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC):

Come and Celebrate the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago’s (AAGHSC) 35th Annual Family History Conference, Unique Issues Researching African American Genealogy, with keynote speaker and professional genealogist LaDonna Garner, M.A., R.V.T. Additional speakers include Karen Burnett, Stephanie Byrd, Janis Minor Forte, Paul D. Holmes, Evelyn Nabors, Saundra Shelley, and Cheryl Varner.

The Society will hold its conference on Friday, October 13, 2017 and Saturday, October 14, 2017 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 5200 S. University Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Registration is open to the public. Additional details may be on the Society’s website – www.aaghsc.org.

Maine Irish Fundraise to bring DNA Tests to Galway

Here is an interesting twist: Irish descendants in the U.S. are sending DNA kits to find out more about their roots in the Co. Galway Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking district).

The Maine Gaeltacht Project, linked with the Emigration and Diaspora Centre Project in Carna, Co. Galway, is funding DNA testing for Galway locals in an attempt to link members with their Irish families. The Maine Irish found that groups of Irish immigrants from the same townland or county would cluster together when they arrived in the US. That is true of Maine too. That means many of those with Irish roots living in the Portland, Maine, area can trace their family history back to the Connemara Gaeltacht.

You can read more in an article by Frances Mulraney in the IrishCentral web site at: https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/maine-irish-galway-dna-testing.

Only 0.3% of People Have One Ethnicity in their DNA, Showing Our World is a True Blend

When I started writing a blog that is mostly concerned with genealogy, I never expected to also be writing about Irish whiskey. However, strange things do happen. In this case, there is a genealogy lesson to be learned for all of us: Only 0.3% of people have one ethnicity in their DNA, showing our world is a true blend.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey:

Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey partners with MyHeritage DNA to unlock the ‘Beauty of Blend’

Only 0.3% of people have one ethnicity in their DNA, showing our world is a true blend

To celebrate the launch of ‘The Beauty of Blend’, Tullamore D.E.W., the original triple blend Irish whiskey has partnered with MyHeritage DNA, the leading destination for family history and DNA testing, to create a limited edition branded DNA kit which will allow people all over the world to uncover their own unique blend. Reviewing trends of DNA testing from around the world, Tullamore D.E.W. worked with MyHeritage DNA, to uncover that 99.7% of people have a blend of multiple ethnicities, meaning that only 0.3% of individuals sampled are of only one ethnic background.2 The partnership gives fans an opportunity to discover, and celebrate, their own unique blend of ethnicities. Limited edition branded MyHeritage DNA kits will be given away through a gifting program and the Tullamore D.E.W. social channels in the coming months.