Posts By Dick Eastman

Using the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules

Almost all experienced genealogists have used the census records to find ancestors. However, how many of us have used the Census Mortality Schedules? In fact, I have to wonder how many of us even know what the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules are? And why would we find them to be valuable?

In 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, and 1900, the U.S. census enumerators were required to collect all the normal census information plus even more: information about all persons dying within the 12 months preceding the census taking. These lists are known as the “Mortality Schedules”.

Mortality data can prove very useful in your research. For instance, for several years I suspected that a man found in the Massachusetts census records was my great-great-grandfather. I hadn’t found proof, but the circumstantial evidence was almost overwhelming: he had the correct name, lived in the same area that my later, proven ancestors lived, had the correct number of children as mentioned in a family history book, and more. In fact, I really wanted to prove my descent from this Revolutionary War soldier who spent the winter at Valley Forge in the Continental Army under the command of George Washington. (Most Revolutionary soldiers served in the militia, not in the Continental Army.) I searched hard for the proof.

Meghan Markle is Descended from King Edward III, according to Researchers at NEHGS

Markle is a cousin of her future husband, Prince Harry, more than 240 times over. She is related to Prince Harry through lines shared with both HM The Queen and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. She is related to 8 American presidents, 3 first ladies, and a cast of other notable Americans, including actors James Dean and Roy Rogers.

World renowned genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts, Senior Research Scholar Emeritus at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has, together with collaborators, revealed that England’s future American Royal Bride is descended from royalty herself. She is a 24th generation descendant of King Edward III, a medieval monarch of England who died in 1377. This newly discovered lineage for Ms. Markle comes through an early immigrant to Boston, Massachusetts, the royally-descended Rev. William Skipper, who arrived in New England in 1639, an ancestor of the future royal’s father, Thomas Wayne Markle.

You can read all the details in the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s web site at: https://www.americanancestors.org/meghan-markle.

Philadelphia City Archives Relocating/Closing Through August 2018

The following notice was received from the IAJGS Records Acess mailing list:

Philadelphia City Archives are relocating effective December 15, 2017. However, they have to temporarily close to the public to facilitate their relocation. They will be closed through August 2018. During the closure period they will continue to fulfill requests for copies of deeds, but not for historical research and/or academic research purposes. They will reopen their new location to the public on September 1, 2018. The new address is 456 N. 5th Street in Philadelphia. Information on where to mail deed requests and how to contact their office is on the notice available at: http://www.phila.gov/records/pdfs/External%20Archive%20Notice.pdf

Sephardi Community Launches Genealogy Service

The organisation representing Britain’s Sephardi Jews this week launched a genealogy service to help descendants of Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition 500 years ago gain Spanish and Portuguese passports. The Spanish and Portuguese (S&P) Community launched its internet-based ancestry tracking service as Brits worried about the impact of Brexit look for ways to get EU-qualifying passports.

Details may be found in an article in the Times of Israel web site at: http://bit.ly/2zyJ3U4.

Microsoft Office is Now Available on Chromebooks

This article has nothing to do with genealogy. However, I have written often about Chromebooks, the inexpensive laptop computers. (See http://bit.ly/2zNe4HY for my past articles about Chromebooks.) This is a follow-up to the earlier articles.

Perhaps the most common question about Chromebooks is, “Can it run my favorite Windows (or Macintosh) programs, such as Microsoft Word?” The answer was “No.” However, that is changing.

Chromebooks are designed to be used with the cloud and run programs that are stored on servers in the cloud. There are thousands of such programs available. See https://play.google.com/store/apps?hl=en for a list of the available apps that run on Chromebooks. The genealogy apps may be found at: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=genealogy&c=apps&hl=en.

HOWEVER, Microsoft has now released versions of Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive) written especially for Chromebooks. The Chromebook versions have most of the functionality of the Windows and Macintosh versions, although a few features may be missing.

The Genealogy of Meghan Markle

The name of Meghan Markle is all over the newspapers this week. The American actress, model, and humanitarian became engaged to England’s Prince Harry. Of course, the newspapers are having a field day about the American who will soon marry a member of the British Royal Family.

Prince Harry’s ancestry is well documented with some branches going back more than 1,000 years. However, the genealogy of Meghan Markle is not as well known, at least not until this week. An article by Tom Sykes in The Daily Beast web site describes what is known of Markle’s genealogy, including ancestors who were slaves in the United States.

The Fascinating Family History of the American Set to Revolutionize the Royals may be found at: http://thebea.st/2j0SjtD.

Law Enforcement Won’t Use Your Ancestry.com or 23andme DNA Kits for Investigations

A lot of negative, and often misleading, publicity concerning home DNA testing has been floating around the news services this week. Many of the news reports are completely wrong. The WCPO web site has a news story and video that clears the clearly refutes the misleading stories. You can read the truth and watch the video at: http://bit.ly/2kb6JLv.

Family Tree DNA Will Never Sell Your Genetic Data

A lot of negative, and often misleading, publicity concerning home DNA testing has been floating around the news services this week. In an effort to clear the air, Family Tree DNA has issued the following statement:

HOUSTON, Nov. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), a division of Gene-by-Gene Ltd, the first to market with a consumer oriented genealogical DNA testing kit and the only genealogical DNA testing company with its own state-of-the-art genetics laboratory, is telling consumers they will never sell their genetic data in a consumer awareness campaign entitled “Can the Other Guys Say That?”

“We feel the only person that should have your DNA is you,” says Bennett Greenspan, President and Founder of Family Tree DNA. “We don’t believe it should be sold, traded, or bartered.”

One of the Last Holocaust Reunions with a 102-Year-Old Survivor

There won’t be many stories like this one in the future. A Holocaust survivor who fled Poland at the beginning of World War II and thought his entire family had perished learned that a younger brother had also survived, and his brother’s son, 66-year-old Alexandre, was flying in from a remote part of Russia to see him.

The emotional meeting was made possible by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial’s comprehensive online database of Holocaust victims, a powerful genealogy tool that has reunited hundreds of long-lost relatives.

WikiTree Offers New One-to-One GEDmatch DNA Test Comparison Links

The following announcement was written by the folks at WikiTree.com:

WikiTree is excited to announce the following. It’s something founder Chris Whitten has been wanting every time he sees a distant cousin’s DNA test connected to one of his ancestor’s profiles (which is becoming more and more common — 3.3 million of their profiles have them).

You will now see “[compare]” links next to GEDmatch kit IDs on profiles and DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid pages such as Roberts-7085/899.

To access their own Ancestor Confirmation Aid page, members can click here and then select the “DNA Confirmation” button.

If you select or enter two GEDmatch IDs you can go directly to a one-to-one comparison on GEDmatch with one click. (This also works for Ysearch and Mitosearch IDs. This capability isn’t new, but WikiTree integrated the user interface for it.)

The 1939 Register is now in new Findmypast Monthly Packages

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • The 1939 Register is now in new UK monthly packages for the first time
  • Three new packages have been created for UK customers
  • Packages are tailored to give customers the right records at the right time as they research their family history

Today Findmypast, the UK’s leading family history site, introduces three new UK subscription packages.

All three options, Starter, Plus and Pro, aim to simplify Findmypast’s offerings for the UK market and have been specifically tailored to family historians. Whether they are looking for a simple way to begin exploring their family history, to take existing research further or to uncover detailed facts about the lives of their ancestors, customers will be provided with access to the records they truly need at each stage of their research.

Where to Download Thousands of Free eBooks

It would be a stretch to say this article relates to genealogy; however, I have found that many genealogists are also avid readers with a broad range of literary interests. With this in mind, I thought I would share some ideas for those times when you want to enjoy reading a good book on a different subject.

Did you know you can obtain thousands of free ebooks to read online, download to your computer, or transfer to your Kindle, iPad, or other ebook reader?

Many of the available ebooks are electronic versions of classic literature. In other words, they are old books and are out of copyright. However, mixed in with these are quite a few more modern books where copyright permission has been obtained.

Most of these books can be read on a Kindle, iPad, or Nook, as well as on the screen of any Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, or Linux computer. This is a great way to obtain a lot of reading material.

Check out these web sites:

Preserve the Pensions Announces New Images Available at Fold3.Com

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

Austin, Texas – The (FGS) is pleased to announce new pension images available at our hosting partner, Fold3. As we detailed in August of this year, conservation had resumed and digitization would shortly follow on War of 1812 Pension files covering surnames M(Moore)-Q. This new release of images is the first installment on the promise made by FGS, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and Ancestry to complete the project we started and to which you all have so generously contributed. Additional images will follow as the Ancestry digitization team continues to refine their process and achieve full capacity in accord with NARA protocols.

The 1910 Lloyd George Domesday Records with Annotated Maps is Now Available on TheGenealogist.co.uk

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist is releasing the first part of an exciting new record set; The Lloyd George Domesday Survey – a major new release that will find where an ancestor lived in 1910. This unique combination of maps and residential data, held by The National Archives, can precisely locate your ancestor’s house on large scale (5 feet to the mile) hand annotated maps of London that plots the exact property.

Geo Bone a Coroner’s Officer lived at 12 Kennett Road in 1910.
The area has now been redeveloped and the road name reused further north in a new realigned thoroughfare.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast and distributed last Friday. I was gone over the long holiday weekend here in the U.S. so I only saw it this morning:

There are over 2.7 million new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

England Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms

Over 94,000 records covering parishes throughout the Catholic Diocese of Westminster have been added to our collection of English Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms. Each record will include both a transcript and an image of the original document. The amount of information in each transcript may vary depending on the age of the original record, its legibility, and the amount of detail recorded by the parish priest at the time of the event. Images may provide additional information about your ancestor such as the names of their godparents, the minister who performed the baptism, and the parent’s residence. Some registers will even include notes about the individual’s marriage.

England Roman Catholic Parish Marriages

Findmypast Announces Plans to Publish Cincinnati & Chicago Sacramental Registers Online for the First Time

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast’s exclusive Catholic Heritage Archive continues to grow

  • New partnership with the Archdioceses of Cincinnati will over 3 million original Sacramental Registers digitized, fully indexed and published online for the very first time
  • A further 1.9 million records covering the Archdiocese of Chicago will also be released in partnership with FamilySearch international.

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has today announced plans to publish over 4.9 Sacramental Registers in partnership with the Archdioceses of Cincinnati and FamilySearch International.

Digitization will soon be underway and over 800,000 fully indexed images of original Cincinnati Catholic baptism, marriage and burial registers containing over 3 million names and spanning the years 1800 to 1953 will be made available online for the first time, only at Findmypast, in 2018.

(+) Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense for Genealogy

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

Note: This is an update to an article I published several years ago. The technology of cloud computing has grown rapidly and changed significantly since the article was first published. I decided to update the article to make it more relevant to today’s cloud computing environment.

One of the current buzzwords in the online world is “cloud computing.” You can probably find dozens of definitions of this new technology, but I think the simplest is that cloud computing refers to a computer application running on a distant computer or, more often, in a cluster of computers. Those multiple computers, or servers, often are installed in different data centers around the world, and yet they work in harmony as if they were one very big and very powerful computer.

In fact, if your present computer is showing its age and is slowing down a bit, switching to cloud computing applications is an excellent method of obtaining several more years of productive use from your aging hardware.

Can You Find a Relative of Charles Manson?

Cult leader Charles Manson doesn’t appear to have any relatives on file with prison officials, meaning his body is likely to be left in state custody following his death on Sunday night. This sounds like a challenge for genealogists: find his nearest living relative.

Admittedly, not many would want to admit being related to the 83-year-old murderer serving nine life sentences at California’s Corcoran State Prison.

Charles Milles Manson was born with the name Charles Milles Maddox on November 12, 1934. According to Wikipedia, his mother was an unmarried 16-year-old with various names. She is listed as Kathleen Manson-Bower-Cavender, née Maddox (1918–1973). Manson was born in the General Hospital, in Cincinnati, Ohio. His birth name was first listed as “no name Maddox”. Within weeks, he was called Charles Milles Maddox.

Even After Death, Social Media Still Connects Loved Ones

The Voice of America web site has an interesting article about the online memorials left by recently-deceased computer users. The article states:

“Social media is turning into a vast graveyard for profiles of owners who have passed away, leaving them unattended or as standing memorials. And some experts are urging social networks to do more to help users prepare for their digital deaths.

“There are millions of them – pages that remain on social media sites, and in some cases, automatically update after their owners’ death.

World’s First Online Gallery of Pilgrim Descendants Created by New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)

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

American Ancestors Invites Mayflower Passenger Descendants to Commemorate their Pilgrim Heritage with Name and Photo

Interactive Website Reveals Authoritative Accounts of the Lives of Pilgrims and Mayflower Crew Drawn from Years of NEHGS Research

November 19, 2017—Boston, Massachusetts—The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has launched a new interactive website that presents the most authoritative biographies to date of the Pilgrims who set sail for a new world 397 years ago—available for free for the first time. The site invites their living descendants to engage with the past by becoming a part of modern Mayflower history.