Posts By Dick Eastman

New Genealogical Databases to Determine Family Cancer

The use of large family history databases to determine a person’s likelihood of developing cancer has been well received in a recent study – and further trials should be conducted to see if their use is possible in Britain and other countries, according to a new research paper co-authored by a Plymouth University academic.

Heather Skirton, Professor of Health Genetics, worked alongside Vigdis Stefansdottir from Landspitali – the National University Hospital of Iceland to carry out a study on 19 participants in focus groups in Iceland.

Episcopal Diocese of Utah Database of Indexed Parish Records is Now Online

The Episcopal Diocese of Utah made available a database of indexed parish records from it’s no longer functioning congregations in Utah. Besides being a project associated with the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board, it is also an informal kick-off to the Diocese’s sesquicentennial in 2017. It is hoped that besides documenting the Episcopal Church in Utah it may also be of use to genealogists with other than LDS Utah roots and those whose ancestors may have physically followed mining in the western United States.

The initial database covers the years 1870 to 1975 and records individuals in Arthur, Brigham City, Castle Gate, Corinne, Dugway, East Garfield (now known as Magna), Eureka, Frisco, Garfield, Helper, Kelton, Kenilworth, Layton, Logan, Myton, Provo, Roosevelt, Silver Reef, Standardville, Terra, and Vernal (some of which are now authentic ghost towns).

Book Review: Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Tracing Your Irish AncestorsTracing Your Irish Ancestors
by John Grenham. Genealogical Publishing Co. 2012. 579 pages.

My cousin does a lot of Irish research, she says the online records these days are terrific resources for finding family members.

But we both agree, a solid foundation rooted in the basic concepts of Irish research is a must before believing that the internet is going to give you all your answers in resolving your genealogical problems.

This is the fourth edition of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors. John Grenham seems exactly the right person to consult for authoritative information on the topic. He publishes his “Irish Roots” blog, has published numerous volumes on Irish research, and describes this edition as reflecting “the profound change in the connection between Irish research and the internet…the internet is at the heart of any Irish family history research project, and the entire edition has been rewritten to incorporate that change. Where online transcripts exist, these are listed alongside the descriptions of the original records, and research strategies are supplied for any major dedicated websites.”

You Will Soon Be Able to Run Windows Programs on a Chromebook

I have written a number of times about Chromebooks, the low-cost laptop computers that boot up quickly, are simple to use, never get viruses, and perform the computer tasks that many computer owners want. (Go to to find my earlier Chromebook articles.) These $150 to $300 laptop computers have become very popular. Now they may become even more popular than ever.

The developers of CrossOver, a utility that allows users to run Windows programs on Linux, have been working on an Android app that does the same thing, bringing Windows apps to the Android OS. Doing so allows Windows programs to run on Google’s new Android interface for Chromebooks. The official app hasn’t been released yet. However, the company has recently posted a video showing the Steam game client and Windows game Limbo running on an Acer Chromebook R11.

Over 2.2 Million New Records from across the UK Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast_logoThis week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of two brand new collections, over 1.8 million new historic British newspaper articles and updates to six existing sets.

Worcestershire Monumental Inscriptions

Explore centuries of monumental inscriptions from 178 different parishes. This brand new set contains 85,847 records, including one for UK prime minister Stanley Baldwin. The detail in each transcript can vary, especially as over the centuries many of these monuments have been damaged by weather, exposure and, in some cases, vandalism. Most will include a name, death year, any relevant places and a link to purchase the full inscription.

Aberdeenshire, Banffshire & Kincardineshire Monumental Inscriptions

Who Do You Think You Are? to return to BBC One

WhodoyouthinkyouarelogoThe genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are?, will return to BBC One screens this autumn for its thirteenth series. EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, star of film and stage Sir Ian McKellen, news presenter Sophie Raworth, The Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson, Star Wars and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis, presenter Liz Bonnin, actor and comedian Greg Davies, actress Sunetra Sarker and popstar Cheryl all discover their past in this year’s series.

You can read the details in the ATV Today web site at

(+) Calculating Birth Dates from Death Date Information

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

What day was that ancestor born? It seems like such a simple question, and yet finding the answer can be surprisingly complex, even when you have the numbers in front of you. Exact dates are often found in death certificates and frequently on tombstones. The problem is that these are often written as death dates followed by the person’s age at death.


Here is a common example:

George Eastman
Died June 12, 1899
Aged 83 years, 10 months, 26 days

How do you tell George Eastman’s date of birth? You obviously need to subtract 83 years and 10 months and 26 days from the date of death. Simple, right? Well, not as simple as it first appears.

Book Review: Jefferson County Georgia Inferior Court Minutes

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Jefferson County Georgia Inferior Court MinutesElbert County Georgia
Inferior Court Minutes
February 4, 1791-July 14, 1801

Jefferson County Georgia
Inferior Court Minutes
November 1807- January 1814

Jefferson County Georgia
Inferior Court Minutes
February 1814-July 1820

by Michael A. Ports. Published by the Genealogical Publishing Co. 2015.

In a previous newsletter, I described several publications compiled by Michael Ports. His transcriptionist labors continue.

These three volumes represent records of the Inferior Courts in these respective counties. The Inferior Courts were each comprised of five justices of the peace for the county. They were responsible for those civil cases not involving title to land.

A (Possibly) Better Notebook Program than Evernote is Available Free of Charge

Evernote has long been a useful tool for genealogists. Indeed, I have written several times about the use of Evernote in genealogy research. It is one of my favorite programs. I use Evernote more often than I use a genealogy program although I have to add that I use Evernote for all sorts of things, not just for genealogy purposes. (See for a list of my past articles about Evernote.)

Evernote disappointed many of its users a couple of weeks ago when the company announced a price hike and also a reduction in service for free users. (See my earlier article at for details.) Even though the price hike is modest, a number of Evernote users are now looking for alternative programs that perform the same tasks as Evernote but are either more powerful or else free of charge or both. One product from a little-known company appears to meet the needs of many Evernote users although perhaps it is not a 100% replacement. Then again, a price tag of FREE and the ability to use it on as many computing devices as you wish is very attractive.


Founding Mother Anne Hutchinson’s 425Th Birthday Celebration Begins in Boston on July 20

The following announcement was written by the Hutchinson Foundation:

Five Day, Three State Event-Series (July 20-24, 2016): The 2016 Founding Mothers Celebration

ANNE MARBURY HUTCHINSONJuly 13, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts—Puritan castaway and Founding Mother Anne Marbury Hutchinson turns 425 this summer. A five-day learning-event series, in three states along the “Hutchinson Trail,” will commemorate the occasion (July 20-25, 2016). Featuring nearly 20 events, the series is called the 2016 Founding Mothers Celebration™.

Why? Anne Hutchinson (b.1591-d.1643) is widely regarded as America’s prototypical feminist— an intelligent, forceful, and charismatic woman who challenged the male-dominated hierarchy of the early American culture and society, and its treatment of women. “In doing so, founding mother Anne Hutchinson had a formative hand in shaping the America we know today,” says Eve LaPlante, Hutchinson biographer and author of American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defied the Puritans.

Ground Radar Finds Hundreds of Graves at Staten Island’s Rossville A.M.E. Zion Church Cemetery

Specialists using ground-penetrating radar have detected hundreds of previously undiscovered gravesites in an African-American burial ground that dates to the 1830s. The New York Landmarks Conservancy announced the discovery at Staten Island’s Rossville A.M.E. Zion Church Cemetery, part of the historic Sandy Ground community that was among the nation’s first free-black settlements.

Before the radar survey, there were 97 known burial sites, many marked by headstones, on the 1.6-acre burial ground. Conservancy President Peg Breen said another 576 were discovered by radar at an average depth of about 10 feet, bringing the number of total gravesites to 673.

Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Circuit Court Records Preserved Through Grant

Pittsylvania_County.svgPittsylvania County Circuit Court recently received a Circuit Court Records Preservation (CCRP) Grant from the Library of Virginia in the amount of $13,398 for the preservation and restoration of public records contained within the Pittsylvania County Clerk’s Office.

CCRP consulting archivist Greg Crawford said, ““The value is preserving the history of this locality. There’s also a genealogy value to it. A lot of these records are highly valued by genealogists who are doing their family research, looking for their ancestors in deed books and will books, but also the value of the books themselves. These were books that were done in the 1700s and 1800s and they tell about what life was like and what was going on in [Pittsylvania County] at that time. They tell stories.”

FamilySearch Recruits 100,000 to Save the World’s Records

This should be a huge event with more than 100,000 participants expected. It will happen on Friday, July 15. The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Worldwide genealogy event unites volunteers in making historical records discoverable online

FamilySearch_LogoSALT LAKE CITY (July 15, 2016) — On July 15, FamilySearch International will launch the world’s largest indexing event with a goal of bringing more than 100,000 people from around the globe together online during a 72-hour period to save the world’s records by making them searchable to the public.

“FamilySearch believes everyone deserves to be remembered,” said Shipley Munson, FamilySearch International’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. “All should have the opportunity to find their ancestors, and we provide a simple way for people to make those family connections.” Launches a New Online Site for the Largest Collection of Combined War Memorial Records and Images Currently Available Anywhere

The following announcement was written by the folks who operate, the brand new website dedicated to Photographing, Transcribing and preserving war memorial records for the future, has just launched online providing a unique service that allows the researcher to find their ancestor using the largest collection of combined War Memorial records and images currently available anywhere.

This project is based on Mark Herber’s growing collection of war memorial photographs and personally checked transcriptions. It honours those men and women, who died or served our country in military conflict over the years and it already features over 20,000 detailed photographs of more than 1,200 memorials, commemorating over 270,000 people, with their names (and the memorial’s information about them) transcribed and indexed.

Pokemon Go Causes Problems in Cemeteries

Pokemon-GoPokemon Go is the hottest new thing to appear in computer games. You can read about it in a Wikipedia article at The new game is a huge success but, like all other huge successes, does have a few drawbacks. (See Pokémon Go: armed robbers use mobile game to lure players into trap at for one very dangerous example.)

Now Pokemon Go is causing problems in cemeteries, as described by Lisa Thorne in a posting to Facebook at:

Association of Professional Genealogists Names Annette Burke Lyttle Coordinator for 2017 Professional Management Conference

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

Lyttle Brings Broad Event-Planning Expertise to Premiere Professional Genealogy Event

Annette Burke LyttleWHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 11 July 2015—The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today announced the appointment of Annette Burke Lyttle as coordinator for the 2017 Professional Management Conference (PMC). Lyttle of The Villages, Florida, brings lengthy experience in logistics and event management to the conference.

As PMC Coordinator, Lyttle will be responsible for the planning and implementation of the annual conference, which offers topics relevant to genealogy professionals and those interested in the profession. Her career began in logistics management in the U.S. Army, after which she moved on to positions in corporate, higher education, small business, and volunteer work. She holds an M.A. in English language and literature and a B.A. in journalism. She is the owner of Heritage Detective, LLC, and currently serves on the committee for APG’s 2016 PMC, which will take place 22–24 September, 2016 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

FutureLearn Offers a Free Online Course – Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

A new online course from FutureLearn and the University of Strathclyde will start on 18 July 2016. Quoting from the Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree web site:

UofStrathclydeThis free online course will help you develop an understanding of basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate your family history. We will consider how to effectively find and analyse sources and explore the potential of DNA testing as applied to genealogy. We’ll help you add historical context to your family history and discuss how to record and communicate research findings in a clear fashion. The course is primarily designed for people at beginner to intermediate level.

Learn how to find and store information on your family tree

We’ll get you to define what you want to research, and consider the best ways to go about finding and storing information on your family tree. A key challenge of genealogy – finding the right person among a number of possible candidates, with ever-changing spellings of surnames – will be considered.

(+) Communicating in the Cemeteries

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

Communicating in the cemeteries??? No, I am not referring to communications with or amongst the “long-term residents” of a cemetery. Instead, I’m writing about communications for visitors to a cemetery. Namely, the genealogists who visit a cemetery looking for information about deceased relatives.

When searching for tombstones of ancestors and other relatives, I generally try to visit a cemetery with a friend or two. We mentally divide the cemetery into sections, and then each person searches through his or her section alone. The other friends are doing the same in a different section. I have done this many times and suspect that you have, too. Having two or more people involved increases the enjoyment of the search as well as the safety of everyone involved.

There are disadvantages, however. Upon discovering a particular tombstone, you may have to shout to the other person to make them aware of your discovery. In a large cemetery, the other person(s) may be some distance away, making shouting impractical.

Antivirus Software Is ‘Increasingly Useless’ and May Make Your Computer Less Safe

This is a follow-up to my article, Virus False Positives: How Can You Be Sure?, published yesterday at Today, CBC News published an article by Emily Chung that says that anti-virus software is essentially useless. In fact, that software may be making your computer more hackable than a computer with no anti-virus software installed at all!

This week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) issued a warning about popular antivirus software made by Symantec, some of it under the Norton brand, after security researchers with Google’s Project Zero found critical vulnerabilities. “These vulnerabilities are as bad as it gets. They don’t require any user interaction, they affect the default configuration, and the software runs at the highest privilege levels possible,” wrote Google researcher Tavis Ormandy in a blog post.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania Offers a Course in Researching Family in Pennsylvania

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Historical Society of PennsylvaniaTwo openings remain for new genealogy course:

Researching Family in Pennsylvania

Five-day genealogy course offered 1-5 August 2016

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) and the Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists are sponsoring a weeklong program, Researching Family in Pennsylvania, to be held at HSP in Philadelphia.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 11,592 other followers