This Newsletter

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

The notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few hours ago. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

MyHeritage Introduces New SuperSearch Alerts

Zoho Writer in the Cloud

A Genealogy Society’s Guide to Building Simple, Low-Cost Web Sites

ABBYY FineScanner – a Document Scanner for Android and iPhone/iP

Free UK Genealogy, Freereg, FreeBMD and Freecensus Might Not be Free Much Longer

Instantly Colorize Your Black-And-White Photos

Does This Photograph Belong to Your Family?

A Call to Action! Finding the Fallen on July 30

On the Road Again

By the time you read these words, I should be en route to the National Genealogical Society’s annual conference being held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This year’s conference theme is Exploring the Centuries: Footprints in Time. You can read more about the conference in my earlier article as well as in the conference web site. Attendees also will want to download and install the iPhone, iPad, and Android app. Details about the app may be found at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/mobile-app/.

As usual, I will be traveling with an iPad and a laptop computer along with other gadgets that should keep me in touch with the newsletter. Connectivity should not be a problem but available time is usually the biggest impediment. I suspect I will be busy from before daybreak until well into each evening so you probably will see fewer articles posted here than normal in the next few days. However, I do hope to post a few new articles in the midst of the travels.

No EOGN Dinner at the NGS 2016 Family History Conference Next Week in Fort Lauderdale

With reluctance, I have decided to not hold a dinner for EOGN readers after this year’s NGS conference in Fort Lauderdale, and I will probably hold very few such dinners in the future.

For years, I have sponsored dinners at the end of major genealogy conferences in the US. Every year, doing so has become harder and more expensive. Attempting to find banquet facilities in new and strange (to me) cities has become a challenge. In years past, I always looked for a place for about 25 genealogists to have dinner together. In recent years that number has grown to 75 to 125 attendees and sometimes even more. Finding a place available for a crowd of that size on a Saturday evening has proven difficult!

Another problem is price. Of course, inflation happens everywhere, but it seems to happen faster in banquet facilities than elsewhere. Years ago, such a dinner might cost $25 per person. Today, the price for a modest meal runs from $60 to $80 per person, and I have heard of even higher prices in a few places. To be blunt, I am embarrassed to ask people to pay that much for a meal.

A contributing factor is my age: I still try to be a high-energy person; but all the running around, planning, and various other activities at conferences is starting to wear me down. Perhaps it is time to pass the baton to someone else.

Sadly, with one exception, I have decided to not hold any more EOGN dinners after the genealogy conferences.

The one exception is RootsTech, held every winter in Salt Lake City.

On the Road Again, This Time to Birmingham, England

I managed to stay home for 7 weeks after my last trip, perhaps a new record for me. However, I am embarking on a number of trips in the next few weeks.

By the time you read this message, I should either be over the Atlantic or possibly already arrived at my destination of Birmingham, England. I’ll be attending the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! conference on 7 through 9 April. More than 10,000 visitors are expected at this year’s event. I wrote about the conference earlier at http://goo.gl/NR4c1e. As I wrote in that article, “The show will be packed with more than 120 exhibitors showing their products and services. Attendees also will have access to leading genealogical experts, informative workshops, archives and museums, major online resources, and the largest gathering anywhere of family history societies.” You can also read a lot more in the conference web site at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com.

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter Purchased by Google

The following announcement was written by the folks at Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – April 1, 2016 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today that the acquisition of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter (http://www.eogn.com) has closed, with Google acquiring eogn.com for an undisclosed 8-figure sum.

The acquisition will enable Google to supercharge the genealogy community by using the expanded publishing power of the company to reach more family history enthusiasts worldwide. Google will run Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter as a separate business entity.

Dick Eastman, who founded Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter‘s business and led the company through this acquisition, has stepped down as CEO although he will continue to work with Google to help ensure a smooth transition.

Pancho Goldstein O’Hara, who has overseen integration planning for the acquisition and previously served as President of Google’s Americas region, has become CEO of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. Mr. O’Hara said, “I am pleased with this new assignment and I also look forward to researching my own multi-ethnic heritage.”

A Report from the EOGN Dinner on Saturday Evening

Every year, at the end of RootsTech and occasionally at other major genealogy conferences, I host a dinner for EOGN readers and their guests. The agenda is simple: there isn’t one. It is simply a place for everyone to relax and socialize after the end of the conference. This year’s dinner was held at the Radisson in Salt Lake City, only a few steps from the site of the RootsTech conference.

I would like to say that a great time was had by all. However, for verification, you need to ask any of the attendees. Actually, I think they enjoyed it as I saw a lot of smiles all evening long.

iPadWinner

iPad winner Nancy Thaut and myself

On the Road Again

I managed to stay home 7 days after my last trip but am now on the road again for an 8-day trip. By the time you read these words, I should be in Maine for a personal trip for a family event. Then I will spend a day in Massachusetts with friends before getting on an airplane in Boston to fly to the RootsTech genealogy conference in Salt Lake City.

This year’s RootsTech conference is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever. It should be the largest genealogy conference in the world. You can read all about it at RootsTech.org. A number of sessions being held at RootsTech will be available as streaming video on the Internet so you can watch them live. See https://blog.eogn.com/2016/01/29/rootstech-streaming-schedule-announced for the schedule of the live sessions. I believe the same sessions will be recorded and will be available on RootsTech.org within a day or so after each session in case you are not able to view the live versions.

I plan to write about the events and the new products and services that I see at RootsTech. This conference historically has been the site of many new announcements of interest to genealogists.

Of course, the annual EOGN Dinner to be held after the conference closes is always the highlight of my week. You can read about it at https://blog.eogn.com/2016/01/28/you-are-invited-to-the-eogn-dinner-after-the-rootstech-conference-in-salt-lake-city. As I write these words, tickets are still available.

Last Call for the EOGN Dinner Following the RootsTech Conference

Just a reminder: if you would like to join a raucous bunch of genealogists for an informal dinner soon after the close of the RootsTech conference on Saturday evening, February 6, the time to obtain a ticket is NOW!

Reservations will close on Monday, February 1, at 12 midnight Mountain Time. I have to call the restaurant and give them an exact final headcount in the morning.

RADISSON HOTEL AT 215 WEST TEMPE, SALT LAKE CITY

Reminder: There will be doorprizes!

Details may be found at https://blog.eogn.com/2016/01/28/you-are-invited-to-the-eogn-dinner-after-the-rootstech-conference-in-salt-lake-city.

See you there?

Announcing a Raffle for Invitations to Attend the MyHeritage Party at RootsTech

MyHeritage_logoHere is a chance to meet some of the members of the MyHeritage team and their friends, partners, and geneabloggers. Enjoy appetizers, refreshments, fun games, and raffle prizes. (And let’s not forget about the special gift each guest will take home!) You could also be the lucky winner of one of many cash gift cards, Kindle Fire tablets, or one of the grand prizes — an iPad Mini 4 or $250 gift card!

I have been given five tickets to give to readers of this newsletter. These tickets are for invited guests to attend the exclusive MyHeritage RootsTech After-Party on Friday, February 5 at 8pm, at the Marriott City Creek Grand Ballroom.

This Newsletter is Twenty Years Old!

20yearsI’m opening a bottle of champagne this week. It’s time to get out a bottle of bubbly to celebrate. It is a great time of celebration. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever dream that 20 years would be so interesting, so much fun, and so rewarding. The very first edition of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter was sent 20 years ago, on January 15, 1996.

Twenty years has slipped by in almost the blink of an eye. It seems like only yesterday that I sent the first e-mail newsletter to about 100 people, mostly members of CompuServe’s Genealogy Forums. The last time I looked, this newsletter now has 75,000 readers tuning in everyday! If you would have told me that 20 years ago, I would have never believed you.

On the Road Again

Well, it is time to travel again. This will be about a 7,000-mile trip and I’ll be gone for ten days.

The trip will start with a road trip to Miami followed by a quick cross-country flight to Salt Lake City, followed by a red-eye flight back to Miami, then I’ll join Diana Smith, Gary Smith, and Donna Moughty on board the Celebrity Reflection cruise ship for a genealogy cruise to Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Coco Cay, Bahamas; and then a return to Miami.

Details on the genealogy cruise may be found at https://blog.eogn.com/2015/06/25/the-2016-genealogy-cruise-by-cruise-everything and at http://eogn.com/images/newsletter/2015/Western_Caribbean_Cruise_Jan_16-23-2016.pdf.

2015 Statistics for www.EOGN.com

I must admit that I am smiling a bit after looking at the “end-of-year” report for this newsletter. I thought I would share a few statistics. These are for the Standard Edition newsletter’s web site only; these numbers do not include the Plus Edition newsletter at http://www.eogn.com/wp.

The web site at http://www.eogn.com was viewed about 2,700,000 times in 2015.

In 2015, there were 1,068 new articles published, growing the total archive of this newsletter to 1,940 articles, far more than any printed genealogy magazine.

People in 221 countries read the articles here. Most visitors came from the United States. Canada and the United Kingdom were not far behind.

The busiest day of the year was March 30th with 17,785 views.

The article that generated the most readers’ comments in 2015 was Ancestry to Retire Family Tree Maker Software with 193 comments (so far).

I Am Taking Christmas Off

Just a quick note: There will not be any newsletters published December 24 or 25. I am flying back north and will spend the Christmas holiday with my closest family members. The following two days, December 26 and 27, are a weekend and there is never a newsletter published on weekends. (See https://blog.eogn.com/2015/05/08/this-newsletter-is-converting-to-five-days-a-week.)

That adds up to four consecutive days without a newsletter, which I think is a new record. However, I am looking forward to time spent with my family.

Merry Christmas!

On the Road Again

It is time to travel again. After all, I have been home for six weeks since my last trip and I am getting restless.

By the time you read these words, I should be en route to the 2015 New York State Family History Conference to be held later this week in Syracuse, New York. This event should be a success. It is already sold out but details may be found at http://www.nysfhc.org.

NYSFHC_Logo

One More Experiment with Creating PDF Copies This Newsletter’s Articles

I thought I was done with this topic but a suggestion by newsletter reader David Oseas made me go back and try again. At David’s suggestion, I have installed a “PDF & Print” link that is displayed at the end of each of this newsletter’s articles. (It does not show in the articles in the Plus Edition newsletter at http://www.eogn.com/wp. I am still working on that…)  {UPDATE: I think I have found a solution for the Plus Edition articles at http://www.eogn.com/wp as well. However, it only is implemented on the articles posted in the past few hours.}

Unlike the previous attempts, the new service will display a rather nice-looking PDF version of any article from the Standard Edition newsletter. Once displayed on your your screen, you can save the article to your hard drive, print it, or email it to yourself or to someone else, using the options displayed at the top of the screen:

Final Decision About a “Save as PDF” Feature for this Newsletter

Over the past week, I have been experimenting with adding PDF versions of all articles posted in this newsletter. (See http://goo.gl/JAxYZ6 for details.) I also asked for comments and suggestions from newsletter readers. Luckily, quite a few readers did offer their opinions and suggestions. After reading all of them, I have come to a decision: I will drop the idea of adding a PDF version of every article to the newsletter. Instead, I will continue to publish articles here in exactly the same manner that I have for years.

First, I want to thank everyone who offered advice. Those comments were the primary reason I made the decision. While not unanimous, the majority of suggestions received revolved around the following two ideas:

Update: The Problem is Over (Was: “I’ll Be Offline for a While”)

It looks like the problems are solved and I am back online after almost exactly twenty-four hours of no power, no (wired) Internet service, and no standard phone service. Crews from the town’s department of public works, the power company, the telephone company, and the cable company have been here off and on all day and it looks like things are almost back to normal.

I was lucky as there is essentially no damage to the house or yard. I may need to use a chainsaw and a rake for a few hours, however. Others in town were not so lucky as some houses had damage. At least nobody got hurt. All the damage can be repaired.

One More Update: New “Save as PDF” Feature Added to this Newsletter

If you have been following the comments in this newsletter’s web site for the past few days, you know that I am experimenting with a new feature of adding PDF versions of each article published. The first experiment (described at http://goo.gl/OiR6wP) was low effort on my part as it used an automated service from an online site. However, it created cluttered PDF files that were not very good looking. I wasn’t happy with the results.

The second effort (described at http://goo.gl/pxRfPD) produces much better-looking results that I like. Unfortunately, it is not automated. Instead, making the PDF files now requires quite a bit extra manual effort on my part on every single article that gets posted here. I am not certain I want to continue with this second process.

I will offer one more idea for discussion here.

Update: New “Save as PDF” Feature Added to this Newsletter

Two days ago I published an article at http://goo.gl/OiR6wP describing my latest plan to make PDF versions available of every article published in this newsletter. I described it as a sort of “beta test” to see how well it worked and to receive comments and suggestions from newsletter readers.

I would now describe the test as a partial success. However, I have now gone back and switched to a different method of creating each article’s PDF version. It is a manual process that adds to my workload but I believe the result is a better-looking PDF article.

New “Save as PDF” Feature Added to this Newsletter

I am experimenting a bit. I have added a new capability to save recent articles in the Standard Edition newsletter as a PDF file saved in your computer.

At the end of all new articles added in the last few days, you will see a line that says, “New! Save this article to a PDF file in your computer.” Click on that link and the entire article will be saved in the folder on your computer where downloads are normally saved. Of course, you can then move the PDF file to any folder you wish for long-term storage. You also can send any PDF file to someone else via email, if you want to share it.

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