Posts By Dick Eastman

Ships’ Logs of the Honourable East India Company Service are Being Placed Online

In the early 19th century a voyage from England to India and the Far East took over a year to complete. These ships carried hundreds of crew and passengers and the logs list their names, rank, destinations, children are recorded. Many hundreds of the logs survive and are stored in the British Library in original bound volumes. Most of them have never been copied or transcribed. One free web site is now trying to change that. For the first time, a few of the ships’ logs have been made available online.

honourable-east-india-companyThe Records cover the government of India amounting to over 10 miles of shelves, plus 70,000 volumes of official publications and 105,000 manuscripts and maps. Day to day events are recorded such as cleaning, loading the ship, weather, floggings, recording of passing ships, sickness, disputes, and death.

Only a tiny percentage of the logs have been transferred to date. Ships’ logs available online so far include the following ships’ names and voyages:

Findmypast Friday – Millions of new 1939 Records Available to Search

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

logo-findmypast-AU-500Over 2 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including:

1939 Register

The 1939 register now contains over 5 million more records than it did at launch. In the year since the Register was launched, Findmypast has matched millions of ‘closed records’ to multiple data sources to correctly confirm the date and location of death for individuals recorded. This process has resulted in more than three million records being opened in the past 12 months, while an additional two million records have been opened in the past week to mark the first anniversary of the register’s launch.

The 1939 Register now contains more than 32.8 million open records. Each record includes the names of inhabitants at each address, their date of birth, marital status and occupation. A wealth of contextual information, including period photographs never before seen online, infographics, region-specific newspaper articles and historical and contemporary maps, are personally tailored to each record, offering a rich and unique user experience unrivalled by any other family history research tool to date.

New South Wales, Government Railways and Tramways Roll Of Honour, 1914-1919

(+) What They Never Told You About Immigration

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

Hundreds of articles about immigration to the United States have been published over the years in various magazines, books, and online sites. Indeed, a few dozen articles about immigration have been published in this newsletter alone. To my knowledge, the numbers and facts mentioned in all of those articles have been quite accurate. I would suggest, however, the more interesting facts and statistics are the ones that were never mentioned in most articles.


Much has been written about the 47 million Europeans and Asians who entered the various ports of entry from 1820 through 1960. For all that, how many of those articles ever mention the fact that more than one-third of those immigrants RETURNED to their homelands?

An After-Dark Cemetery Party

I admit to spending a lot of time in cemeteries but never at an event like this one. On the night of October 15, 2016, Atlas Obscura and Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery invited fifteen hundred New Yorkers to explore the 19th-century garden cemetery’s expansive grounds. The guests made their own pathways by the light of the moon through the evening in order to discover hidden surprises, unusual entertainment and incredible access to rare historic spaces.

Save $39 on a Year of Dropbox Pro with One Terabyte of Storage, Plus a Free $25 Gift Card

dropbox_logoDropbox is a very popular cloud-based file storage service. I know that many genealogists use it. However, the company only offers 2 gigabytes of free file space, one of the lowest free offers in the file storage business. If you like Dropbox but would like more space, PC manufacturer Dell is offering a big sale on annual Dropbox Pro subscriptions that include one terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) of storage. Dropbox Pro is normally $99 a year but this discount drops the price to $59.99.

In addition to the $39 discount, you’ll get a bonus $25 Dell promo gift card (shows up in the cart). If you’ve been thinking about upgrading, this is an attractive opportunity.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Tickets are Now On Sale

The 11th Who Do You Think You Are? Live show will be held 6 – 8 April 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham, England. This is the largest family history show in the UK and one of the largest in the world.

An early bird rate is currently available until Tuesday 22nd November 2016, allowing you to obtain 2 tickets for the price of £20 if you use the code ANC20 when purchasing. The code is courtesy of Also, if you travel to WDYTYA? Live on Virgin Trains, you can deduct 25% from the cost of the train ticket.

To buy show tickets visit: Details about discounted train tickets may be found at

To learn more about the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show, watch the YouTube video from last year’s show below and then go to

New and Exclusive U.K. Women’s and Civilians’ Records on Forces War Records

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

New Forces War Records collections will be uploaded by end November

Women Drivers records will be free to view until from 27th November until 1st December!

It’s not all about the men – during wartime many women played a huge part, on land and sea. Some served, whilst others carried out a range of duties to help their country. They were munition workers, air raid wardens, nurses, social workers, farm workers, politicians, drivers and other home front uniformed services.


From November 27th these collections will be on the website:

90 Years of Canton, Ohio, Newspapers Now Online

starkcountyThe Stark County (Ohio) District Library just added over 90 years of historical local out-of-print publications to its website.

Previously only available on microfilm, the digital archives include over 180,000 pages of publications dating back to 1840 and can be searched from anywhere via computer browser. All newspapers are available free of charge.

Publications include:

Talk to Your Family This Holiday Season

1943-03-06-saturday-evening-post-norman-rockwell-articleMany of us will be enjoying dinners and other festive occasions this month and next with our relatives. I would suggest this is a great time to compare notes with the relatives. Indeed, older members of the family may know a few tidbits of genealogy information that you have not yet found. However, there is another, more serious, reason for comparing notes with relatives: family health hazards.

Compiling a family tree can offer more benefits than discovering stories of war heroes or family dramas; science and preventive medicine are getting a look in, too. The skeleton in the cupboard could be a genetic predisposition towards disease that, once uncovered, might provide potentially life-saving indicators.

Amazon Prime at a 20% Discount

I have written a number of times about the advantages of Amazon Prime. (Click here to see a list of my past articles that mentioned Amazon Prime.) If you are interested in joining Amazon’s wildly popular Prime service, you might want to know that Amazon is discounting the offering by 20% ($99 to $79) this Friday only, November 18, in conjunction with the exclusive premier of The Grand Tour.

amazon_primePrime usually costs $99 dollars per year, but on Friday starting at 12:00 a.m. Eastern US Time and ending at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, it will cost $79 for the year for new members.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the best Prime perks:

National Endowment for the Humanities Announces Guidelines for 2017 National Digital Newspaper Program Grants

neh_logoIf your genealogy society, library, or archive would like to digitize some of its newspaper holdings and make them available online, financial help may be available. The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) is accepting applications for financial grants to digitize historically-significant public domain newspapers published in U.S. states and territories.

This program is jointly sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC). Each award supports a 2-year project to digitally convert 100,000 newspaper pages from that state’s collections for contribution to the Chronicling America website, maintained by the LC. For a list of current participants, see

Google’s new PhotoScan will Scan Your Photos and Automatically Remove Imperfections, No Scanner Needed

PhotoScan is a new smartphone app used to “take a picture of your pictures.” That is, it will snap photos of all those old pictures you have stored in photo albums or in Fotomat envelopes. It will then create enhanced digital scans, with automatic edge detection, perspective correction, and smart rotation. Even better, it also automatically recognizes the four corners of the frame and displays circular overlays on each corner of the scanned image. You then point your phone camera at each circle, create a robust scan of the image, and PhotoScan gets to work from there.


Digital Maine Brings State Library Content to the Cloud

The Maine State Library is working hard to preserve historical state documents. The library is relying on volunteers, scanning technology and a cloud-based repository platform.

One current important initiative is an effort to digitize the microfilm of historical state newspapers. This initiative is supported by a $275,000 grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH). The grant covers “the digitization of 100,000 pages of historic Maine newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program.”

New Historic Records On FamilySearch: Week of November 7, 2016

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:


Over 4 million birth, death, census, civil, church, and other indexed records were published and made available at FamilySearch this week. Find new historical records from South Africa, Peru, Netherlands, Russia, Philippines, and across the United States including Illinois, Iowa, Utah, Alabama, Oregon, South Dakota and Tennessee. See the interactive table below for these and more free searchable historic records added this week at

Who Do You Think You Are? Series 13 to start on BBC1 on November 24

bbc-who-do-you-think-you-areThe UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? will start on the BBC1 network at 8pm GMT on Thursday November 24, 2016. It will last for 10 episodes and will feature:

Actor Danny Dyer will open the series. He has worked in television, film and theatre but is best known as Eastenders’ Mick Carter. The West Ham United FC fan was born in Canning Town, east London.

Presenter Amanda Holden – best known for her appearances as a Britain’s Got Talent judge – will also be delving into her family history. Holden was born in Portsmouth in 1971.

MyHeritage Adds New Online Collections from Canada, Denmark, England, Wales, United States, and from Billion Graves

myheritage_logo-425x106Online site MyHeritage has added a number of new collections available through SuperSearch, including:

1871 and 1881 Canada Census

The 1871 census of Canada was begun on April 2, 1871, and enumerated nearly 3.5 million people. Information recorded in the census includes name, gender, age at last birthday, birth country or province, origin, marital status, and religion.

The 1881 census was begun on 4 March 1881. Information recorded in the census includes name, gender, age at last birthday, birth country or province, marital status, and religion. Additional questions recorded information regarding occupation, education, and infirmities. Forms were printed with both English and French column headings; answers were recorded in the locally-spoken language. The census images are from Library and Archives Canada.

Denmark Census Records

Family Tree DNA Sale

logo_ftdnaDNA tests can help you find family, break through brick walls and trace your lineage through time. Family Tree DNA is a leading DNA testing company and is now offering a significant sale on many of its products:

Family Finder autosomal test will find Family Finder Matches and Ethnic Percentages: $59

Family Finder plus Y-chromosome for 37 markers (for males only): $188

Family Finder plus Y-chromosome for 67 markers (for males only): $278

Family Finder plus a Full Mitochondrial Sequence – for both males and females, an mtDNA test that traces your maternal line: $228

Closing Death Records — The Logical Flaw

From an article by Fred Moss in the Records Preservation and Access Committee Blog:

“One of the misperceptions with which we have repeatedly had to wrestle in recent years has been that ALL Personally Identifiable Information (PII) by default must be safeguarded. For many legislators in recent years, it is almost a reflexive belief that the best or only way to fight identify thieves is to close the records that thieves might have used. At this level of thinking, rarely do current decision-makers distinguish between the active PII of the living from records of deceased individuals. It is this flawed logic that was given as the rationale for the provisions of Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 limiting access to and the content of the SSA’s Death Master File.

“May I suggest that death changes many things!”

(+) What is a Genogram and Why Should I Create One?

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

Almost all genealogists are familiar with pedigree charts. These are basic charts for recording parents, grandparents, and earlier generations for an individual. Pedigree charts are used to show bloodlines and are limited to displaying only ancestors. Pedigree charts do not display siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles or other extended relatives. Here is an example of a pedigree chart:


Click on the above image to view a larger example.

Pedigree charts have long been a standard tool used by genealogists and others. They are easy to understand and clearly display a lot of information in a small amount of space. However, pedigree charts are limited in what they can display, normally showing only the name of each individual and the places and dates of birth, marriage, and death. They do not show relationships of siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, or other extended relatives. They also do not display the dynamics of a family over multiple generations.

English GRO Trial of PDF Certificates

The General Register Office in London is conducting a trial of PDF versions of birth, death, and marriage certificates for 6 pounds instead of 9+ pounds as in the past. Records are not immediately viewable. Instead, after payment the records are sent to the purchaser via email as a PDF file. The trial period is for a limited period and set amount of certificates, but those familiar with the past methods of ordering certificates online say that it is a really good deal.

You can see more info at and details are available at