Posts By Dick Eastman

Steve Morse Adds Even More Functionality to His One-Step Site

Steve Morse is well-known within the genealogy community for creating all sorts of software tools that (in most cases) extract information from the Web and display it in understandable terms. His easy-to-use routines have become sort of a Swiss Army Knife for genealogists and others. To see some of the earlier articles about Steve’s great collection of tools, look at the list at

Here is the latest announcement from Steve concerning still another addition to his toolbox:

Ohio Genealogical Society Issues Call for Papers for 2019 Annual Conference

The following announcement was written by the Ohio Genealogical Society:

December 1, 2017—Bellville, Ohio: The Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) announces a request for lecture proposals for its 2019 conference, “Building A Heritage,” to be held May 1-4, 2019, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio.

Topics being considered include: Ohio history, its records, and repositories; ethnic (African American, German, Irish, Polish, etc.); religious groups; migration into, within, and out of Ohio; origins of early Ohio settlers, and the Old Northwest Territory. Other topics of interest that will be considered include: land and military records; technology; DNA; mobile devices and apps; social media; and methodology, analysis, and problem solving in genealogical research.

FGS 2018 Registration Is Open

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

3 May 2018 – Austin, Texas – Registration is open for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana 22-25 August 2018. Early Bird pricing is available through 1 July 2018. To register, go to and follow the link to Registration.

The conference will be at the Grand Wayne Center in downtown Fort Wayne, directly across the street from the Allen County Public Library and its famed Genealogy Center with hundreds of thousands of genealogy resources. It is a unique opportunity for attendees to quickly put into action what they learn at the conference.

The FGS 2018 conference features more than 100 sessions and workshops on topics ranging form DNA and technology to records and methodology. There are sessions geared for every experience level of family historians.

Researchers Building Database of African American Civil War Soldiers, Detailing Their Lives Both Before and After the War

A team of researchers has launched a project that is working to put online records of the United States Colored Troops—regiments of African American soldiers that included large numbers of men who had been slaves at the start of the Civil War.

In 1862, the Union Army officially created the United States Colored Troops (USCT)—regiments of African American soldiers that included large numbers of men who had been slaves at the start of the Civil War. However, details of these estimated 200,000 men who fought in the conflict are not easily accessible. While the army kept records of their backgrounds and where they fought as well as their fates and fortunes, they are housed, in paper format, in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

The African American Civil War Museum in Washington now plans to produce an electronic archive chronicling the lives of these soldiers, both before and after the war, shedding new light on life in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

NIH Seeks One Million Volunteers for Medical DNA Database

This article isn’t about genealogy but it does concern DNA, a tool used by many genealogists. I suspect many genealogists will be interested in this:

“The National Institutes of Health has begun recruiting volunteers for a $1.46 billion medical database that will eventually comprise data on more than one million people, an effort to discern the genetic underpinnings of a range of diseases and even of healthy aging.

“The endeavor by the nation’s leading government medical-research entity is aimed at deciphering the workings of poorly understood maladies ranging from cancers to migraines to dementia. The database will be open to medical researchers and will initially consist of data on volunteers age 18 and up, regardless of health status. Children will be eligible beginning in 2019 if their parents or guardians consent.

TheGenealogist releases over a million Parish Records

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added to its Parish Records collections with a second batch of Warwickshire registers in an ongoing project with the Warwickshire County Record Office. These newly transcribed records are linked to high quality images of the original parish register pages.

Over 1,270,000 individuals added to the Parish Records for Warwickshire

High quality transcripts with original images of the registers

Additional information such as Witnesses, Father’s Name and Profession have been transcribed where given

Released in association with Warwickshire County Record Office

This brings our total for Warwickshire Parish Records to over two million

Fully searchable parish records with images enable researchers to find ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials

National Genealogical Society Presents Awards Honoring Excellence in Newsletter Editorship and Service to NGS

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

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, 2 MAY 2018— The National Genealogical Society (NGS) honored excellence in newsletter editorship for genealogical and historical societies and family associations, as well as service to NGS with the presentation of several awards at the Opening Session of the NGS 2018 Family History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on 2 May 2018. The Opening Session was a keynote presentation, entitled “Coming Along the Towpath: The Erie Canal and the Peopling of the Great Lakes States” by John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA, after which NGS President Ben Spratling, JD, presented the following awards.

The President’s Citation

Kenneth H. Thomas Jr. was awarded the President’s Citation. This award is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the Society.

PHMC and Historical Records Advisory Board Announce New Grant Opportunity for Archival Records

The following announcement was written by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission:

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) and the Pennsylvania State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) are now accepting applications for the new Historical & Archival Records Care (HARC) grant program. The application deadline is August 1, 2018.

Funding is available to historical records repositories, such as: historical societies; libraries; universities; local governments; and school districts for collections care, including surveying; inventorying; preserving; arranging; and describing historical records significant to Pennsylvania, as well as for records reformatting and equipment. Additionally, a portion of funding may be requested to support outreach and accessibility initiatives.

Applicants may apply for up to $15,000 with a 50/50 cash or in kind match. Smaller grants in amounts up to $5,000 are available with no match required. Funding is provided by PHMC.

NEHGS Honors David McCullough with Lifetime Achievement Award

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

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Presents Its Lifetime Achievement Award to “An American Legend”: Author, Historian David McCullough

New England Historic Genealogical Society Unites Two Pulitzer Prize-Winners in a Tribute to David McCullough

NEHGS Genealogy Reveals McCullough is Related to a Grand Family of Literary Figures, Including Some Subjects of His Award-Winning Narratives

April 28, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts—On Friday, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) brought together two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors in a sparkling tribute to one of them: author and historian David McCullough. During an evening entitled “Honoring an American Legend,” NEHGS President and CEO Brenton Simons presented McCullough with the organization’s coveted NEHGS Lifetime Achievement Award “for his unparalleled contributions to the historical narrative of our nation.” Simons later introduced the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff who moderated a lively and engaging conversation with the honoree. The event was held before an overflow crowd of supporters of NEHGS at its annual Family History Benefit Dinner.

On the Road Again, This Time to the NGS Conference in Grand Rapids, MI

This is a quick notice to let you know there may not be as many articles as normal posted in this newsletter in the next few days. I will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan from now through the end of the week. I am attending the annual conference of the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society. See for details about the conference.

I hope to write about the conference events that I see and attend. I suspect I will also post a number of photographs of the conference in this newsletter while I am there. Who knows? I may even get to attend a few presentations!

I should be back home next week.

Stay tuned!

Ancestor Network Appointed by National Library of Ireland to Provide Genealogy Advisory Service

The following announcement was written by Ancestor Network Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Tuesday, 1 May 2018 – Following a competitive public tender process, Ancestor Network Ltd has been awarded the contract to support and assist the genealogy advisory service with the National Library of Ireland in 2018.

This is the 7th consecutive year that the National Library of Ireland has selected Ancestor Network to provide this unique genealogy service.

A Genealogist’s Guide to Grand Rapids, Michigan Released

The following announcement was written by Jennifer Alford, Publisher of The In-Depth Genealogist

The fifth in a series of guides to popular research destinations

The In-Depth Genealogist is pleased to present their newest book in the research series by writer, Katherine R. Willson entitled “A Genealogist’s Guide to Grand Rapids, Michigan”. The book is a great resource for genealogists who plan on researching in this geographic area. This guide offers information for genealogists regarding the top libraries, archives, and museums in Grand Rapids, as well as the surrounding areas. These repositories offer abundant treasures for the researcher of all levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Also highlighted in this guide are a wealth of non-genealogical options for urban adventurers, art aficionados, beer connoisseurs, nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and the universal tourist. One could easily spend a week in this area and only sample a small portion of what this part of Michigan has to offer: stunning scenery, fantastic food, and unique attractions.

US Senate Bill Introduced to Prohibit Question on Citizenship in 2020 US Census

The following is a message from Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

A bill has been introduced in the United States Senate which would prohibit the recently added question on citizenship to be placed on the 2020 US Census.  The bill, S 2580, authored by Senator Menendez (D-NJ) has 15 co-sponsors-all Democrats.  The title of the bill  is “Every Person Counts Act”. The bill specifically proposes in Section 141(a) of title 13 of the United States Code, by inserting,” as necessary, except that the Secretary may not include any question or otherwise elicit any information regarding United States citizenship or immigration status”.

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.

Announcing the Virtual Genealogical Society

So many other things are virtual in today’s world, why not a genealogy society? The following announcement was written by the organizers of the Virtual Genealogical Society:

The Virtual Genealogical Society is a global organization serving family history enthusiasts of all levels, geared towards those:

  • whose circumstances make it difficult to attend local genealogical society meetings
  • who prefer online presentations, special interest groups (SIGs), conferences, and socializing
  • with an interest in connecting, networking, and mentoring with global genealogists

A Hidden Black Cemetery in Virginia is Rediscovered

Decades of overgrowth – branches, leaves, prickly brambles – cover the ground. However, if you look closely, you can see a break in the heavy brush. At least 17 gravestones dot the earth.

The cemetery appeared to have been abandoned for more than 50 years, and it wasn’t clear who was buried there, where or how many. Most of the plots were believed to be vacant, and there weren’t any headstones, lawyers wrote in court documents. The lawyers ran a legal notice in Inside Business; no one came forward. Historical societies didn’t have a record of the cemetery.

But in addition to the 17 gravestones, The Virginian-Pilot found more than 40 obituaries saying people were buried in the Edgewood Cemetery from the mid-1930s to the 1960s.

U.S. Law will soon Release Previously Copyrighted Works of 1923 to the Public Domain

Genealogists often use and sometimes republish information from old documents as well as old films and photographs. We have always been told that anything published in 1922 or earlier is now in the public domain but those items published in 1923 or later might still be protected by copyright. That is about to change. On January 1, 2019, most items published in 1923 will become public domain. Anything published in 1924 will remain under copyright until the year 2020, anything published in 1925 will remain under copyright until the year 2021, and so on.

In 1998, the Sonny Bono Act changed the dates to specify that published works from 1923 to 1977 will remain under copyright for a period of 95 years. The works then become public domain on January 1st of the 96th year.

Off Topic: Perhaps the Most Secure “Burner Phone” of All?

I wrote a rather technical article about how to create a highly secure and private version of a cell phone. However, the article has nothing to do with genealogy or with history so I decided to not publish it here. If you think you might have an interest in the topic, look in the other blog that I write: the Privacy Blog at

(+) What Happens to your Online Accounts when You Die?

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

Genealogists are well aware of the disposition of wills, diaries, letters, and other personal items when a person dies. Indeed, the legal processes make sure that a person’s personal affairs are wrapped up properly. If a will exists, those same legal processes have always made sure the wishes of the deceased are considered and implemented as closely as possible. However, today’s new technologies add new challenges that are not yet covered by probate law and also not well documented for the family members of the deceased nor for the corporations that have possession of the deceased person’s digital assets

Today, many people tend not to keep things on paper; instead, their most intimate thoughts are likely to be online – in emails, social media posts, and personal blogs. I count myself as one of those “online people,” and I suspect you may do the same. What happens to your Facebook pages, blog,
online bank accounts, online stock brokerage accounts, or personal email correspondence after you pass away? How about your photos on Google Photos, Flickr, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Photobucket, or other photo sharing web sites?

Perhaps the most important questions are: “What happens to all these online accounts if you die abruptly or unexpectedly become incapacitated? Will your information remain available to your heirs? Will your heirs be able to find this information, and will they know what to do with it?”

Another question concerns the opposite problem: deleting or updating your publicly visible information after your demise. You might not want to leave a Facebook page online forever that says, “Having a great time here in Cancun. I wish I could stay here forever!”

MyHeritage adds a Pedigree View for Family Trees

Based on customer requests, MyHeritage has added a new feature to its online genealogy service. The following is an extract from the MyHeritage Blog:

You asked for it, and we developed it for you! This week, we released a Pedigree View mode for family trees, created in response to popular demand from our users. Many users considered the Pedigree View as their most wanted feature on MyHeritage, so we are delighted to fill this need.

A Pedigree View includes a root person and his/her ancestors. It does not show siblings, spouses, or anyone else who is not a direct ancestor. In this view you can navigate to anyone else in your tree and view their pedigree as well.