One More Article About “How to go Paperless”

I have written several times about the advantages of going to a paperless lifestyle. While such a move is good for most everyone, it should be especially appealing to anyone who collects lots of photocopies and even some original records. (I’m looking at YOU, genealogists!)

You can find my past paperless articles by starting at: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aeogn.com+paperless&atb=v132-2_j&ia=web.

Now a new article by Ganda Suthivarakom and Erica Ogg in the Wirecutter web site (a service of the New York Times) supplies more information about the paperless lifestyle, including some items I never covered in my earlier articles. Items covered include:

Researchers Use DNA to Identify 72 Men Buried at a Convict Work Camp Site

95 African Americans whose remains were discovered in 2018 at a Fort Bend Independent School District (Texas) construction site. As the community has debated the future of the site and how to honor the dead, little has been known about those buried there except that they were likely part of the state’s brutal convict-leasing system.

That changed this month, when Fort Bend ISD released a 500-page report providing more information about the discovery and tentatively identifying 72 of the persons believed to be buried at the previously unmarked cemetery.

DNA analysis is now starting to reveal the names of the bodies.

Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

A notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few minutes ago. A link to the latest Plus Edition newsletter was sent to all Plus Edition subscribers in an email message.

The following articles are listed in this week’s Plus Edition email:

(+) Your Next Scanner will be Free or Very Low Cost
The Best (?) Portable Document Scanner
Another Method of Finding Cemetery Locations
How to Store Print Photographs So They Last for Generations
Who Was Colonel Griffith J. Griffith?
Judge Orders U.S. Government to Complete the 2020 Census
Wanted: A New Home for Photo of a Civil War Soldier
Ontario Land Registry Offices are Moving io All Online Access to Land Records
Connecticut State Library Announces Historic Newspaper Titles to be Digitized
The Digital Library of Georgia to Add More Historic Newspapers
Introducing RootsTech Connect: A Free Online Conference Experience
FHF – Really Useful Family History Show

(+) Your Next Scanner will be Free or Very Low Cost

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

Scanners are some of the best computer accessories a genealogist can buy. Not only can a scanner digitize old family photographs, it is also an excellent tool for making digital copies of old documents or even of today’s handwritten notes made during a trip to the library or courthouse.

Once digitized, these images can be used in word processing documents, genealogy programs, or even printed and hung on the wall in a picture frame.

I also scan almost all other paper documents in my life: insurance policies, auto registrations, eyeglass prescriptions, the users manual for the dishwasher, receipts I wish to save for income tax purposes, notes, invoices, whiteboard discussions, business cards, certificates, and much more. I then save those digitized documents in a private account “in the cloud” where they are safe and easily accessed at any time and from anywhere by using a desktop, laptop, or handheld computing device.

Judge Orders U.S. Government to Complete the 2020 Census

The Trump administration must, for now, stop winding down in-person counting efforts for the 2020 census, a federal judge in California ordered Saturday, while a legal fight over the shortened schedule for the national head count continues.

The temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California comes after challengers led by the National Urban League filed an emergency request as part of a federal lawsuit — both of which cite NPR’s reporting. The order is expected to remain in effect until a court hearing is held on Sept. 17 for the plaintiffs’ request for a court order that would require counting to continue through the end of October.

You can read more in an article by Hansi Lo Wang in the NPR website at: https://n.pr/3362D9U.

Ontario Land Registry Offices are Moving io All Online Access to Land Records

All 54 Land Registry Offices (LRO) in Ontario are closing their in-person counter services to the public effective Tuesday, October 13th, right after the (Canadian) Thanksgiving long weekend. The last day you can visit a Land Registry Office in person is October 9th.

Normally, you might think the closure of the offices would be bad news. However, in this case, there is a silver lining: Traveling to one of the offices and looking up records on microfilm is being replaced by online images of the same microfilms. You can now search for and find the same records and even print them out, all without leaving home.

Yes, all those historical records that were stored on microfilm, are already available online.

Connecticut State Library Announces Historic Newspaper Titles to be Digitized

From an announcement by the Connecticut State Library:

The Connecticut State Library is pleased to announce that with a fourth grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the following newspaper titles have been selected to be digitized for the Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project (CDNP), and made freely available online. These newspapers include:

  • The Litchfield County Post 1826-1829
  • The Litchfield Enquirer 1829-1881 (a continuation of the Litchfield County Post)
  • La Sentinella 1931-1948 (this completes the entire run of this title started in the last grant round)
  • The Waterbury Democrat 1931-1946 (this expands coverage of previous Waterbury Democrat papers digitized)

Raechel Guest, Director of the Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury noted that “This is a period of great interest to researchers, and not just because of the national issues of the Great Depression, the repeal of Prohibition, and World War II. Waterbury made national news in the late 1930s and early 1940s when Mayor and Lt. Gov. T. Frank Hayes and his cronies were exposed for a complex scheme of bribes, kick-backs, and voter fraud. The period also includes the celebration of Connecticut’s Tercentennial, when Waterbury created a “Settler’s Village” at Chase Park featuring the city’s diverse immigrant traditions.”

Saab Center Grant Will Help Shine Light on Portuguese-American Experience

The following announcement was written by the University of Lowell (Massachusetts):

Students, faculty and researchers interested in the rich cultural and historical tapestry of Portuguese-Americans in the Merrimack Valley and beyond will soon have access to a digital archive chronicling generations of immigrants, thanks to a $300,000 grant received by the university’s Saab Center for Portuguese Studies.

The grant, from the William M. Wood Foundation, is spread over three years.

The archive will be known as the Greater Boston Portuguese-American Digital Archive (PADA).

PADA will open a window to the history of a “significant and underrepresented” immigrant group, according to Frank Sousa, director of UML’s Saab Center for Portuguese Studies and supervisor of PADA.

Another Method of Finding Cemetery Locations

I have written before about the U.S. government’s Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database at http://geonames.usgs.gov/index.html that provides exact latitudes and longitudes for thousands of cemeteries and other named places within the United States. To find a cemetery, all you do is search the GNIS database, find the latitude and longitude for the cemetery you seek, enter those coordinates into a GPS, and follow the instructions shown on the GPS to drive directly to the cemetery.

NOTE: Nowadays, you do not even need a dedicated GPS device. Most Android phones and all iPhones have available apps that will provide GPS capabilities within your cell phone. Some of them will even display the latest traffic reports along your planned route while you are driving. Many of these GPS-emulation apps are available free of charge while a few cost a modest amount of money, always less than the cost of purchasing a dedicated GPS device.

There is but one problem with the government’s GNIS database: it doesn’t include all the cemeteries! For years, it did not list the small, rural cemetery where several of my relatives are buried, where I already own a burial plot, and where I intend to spend eternity. However, I checked again when writing this article and found that the Morse’s Corner Cemetery is now listed in the GNIS database. So much for the idea of my being buried at an unlisted address!

Despite my recent success, the GNIS database still does not list ALL cemeteries. Luckily, I found another source of possible information.

15 Million New Travel & Migration Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

United States, Passenger and Crew Lists

Over 15 million new records have been added to this colossal collection. Covering California, New York and Texas.

The new additions consist of five individual collections from the National Archives and Records Administration that are now available to search within Findmypast’s United States, Passenger and Crew Lists. This includes;

    • Alien Arrivals at Eagle Pass, Texas, 1905-1953
    • Texas, Alien Arrivals by Airplane, 1944-1952
    • California, San Diego Passenger Lists, 1904-1952
    • California, San Diego Airplane Arrivals, 1929-1954
    • New York City, Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942

This entire collection now stands at 118 million records and is essential for uncovering details of your ancestor’s voyage to the United States. To see exactly what’s available and the timeframes covered, check the list of sources.

Passenger lists are just one of many records that detail your family’s journey overseas. Each record includes both an image of the handwritten original document as well as a transcript capturing the essential details. This includes the passengers name, gender, birth year, birth place, nationality, ethnicity, literacy, arrival year, arrival location, ship name and more.

TheGenealogist Doubles the Number of Tithe Maps on Map Explorer™

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist Doubles the number of Tithe Maps on Map Explorer™

See Ancestors’ land or property recorded on georeferenced Tithe Maps

TheGenealogist‘s Map Explorer™ which can help researchers find an ancestor’s land and view how the landscape changed over time has been augmented by the addition of georeferenced Tithe Maps for Cheshire, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Staffordshire and Yorkshire West Riding.

  • Total number of maps in this release is 3,655
  • Total number of Tithe maps in Map Explorer™ is now 6,972
  • Map Explorer™ has over four million viewable records indicated by Map Pins
  • TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™ displays maps for historical periods up to the modern day.

Corfe Castle mapped over the years

New Online Resources Help Australian Indigenous People Trace Ancestors

From an article by Rachael Knowles in the National Indigenous Times (NIT) web site:
“In honour of Family History Month, the Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) announced the launch of Finding Your Ancestors.
“A series of introductory videos and virtual seminars, Finding Your Ancestors was created in collaboration with members of the NSW Aboriginal community and historians, Paul Irish and Michael Bennett. The resources aim to assist Aboriginal people in New South Wales with tracing their bloodlines to learn about their family and ancestors.
“The resources were developed to address the concern that whilst there is a wealth of online information for non-Indigenous people to track their family history, there is little support and guidance for Aboriginal people.”

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 31 August 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added 400K German Catholic Church Records 1704–1957, and 500K Oregon Passenger and Crew Lists 1888–1956. Collections were expanded for Brazil, Canada, England, Peru, S. AfricaWales and the United States (military service records for Union soldiers and more for Arizona, California. Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin).

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

Introducing the Archival Researchers Association

The following announcement was written by the Archival Researchers Association:

We would like to introduce the Archival Researchers Association (ARA), a 501c3 not for profit organization created to advocate for researchers who require access to historical records stored at national and state archives. A group of professional researchers developed the ARA concept and have registered the organization with the State of Missouri and the IRS. A board of directors was established, with an elected five member executive board to oversee operations.

With federal research rooms closed since March 13, 2020 due to the COVID-19 virus, professional researchers nationwide are experiencing significant financial hardship and important projects relying on the work of researchers are at a standstill. While we fully support the implementation of CDC guidelines for a safe research room environment, we want to remind Congress and archives executives that maintaining prior levels of research services and access to archival records is essential for the financial recovery of small research businesses nationwide.

What we are doing

The Best (?) Portable Document Scanner

Genealogists tend to collect a lot of paper, including photocopies of all sorts as well as hand-written notes, print-outs of email messages, and much more. Of course, this creates problems: how to organize and maintain that pile of paper?

I recommend going paperless. That is, digitizing and then securely saving the digital images of that paper. Using today’s computer tools, organizing images of paper documents is much easier than organizing the original papers. Saving everything as digital images offers more security, saves space, is better for the environment, and reduces costs when compared to storing paper.

 

I went paperless several years ago and hope to never go back to filing cabinets, 3-ring binders, and constantly-lost documents. For a list of my past articles about going paperless, start at: https://bit.ly/2Gnn6Q4.

FHF Really Useful Family History Show

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the Really Useful Family History Show:

FHF Really Useful Family History Show – Bookings Now Open

The Family History Federation’s FHF Really Useful Family History Show will take place online on Saturday 14th November from 10am.

This major virtual show was attracting much interest from prospective exhibitors and attendees even before the final arrangements were announced.

The Show will feature all family history societies and organisations which operate online shopping via the Parish Chest website (www.parishchest.com) and also will provide each one with opportunity for a “live exhibition booth” at the Show where visitors can call in with questions or simply for a chat.

The Humorous Obituary of Holly McCray Blair

Let’s start a collection of humorous obituaries. here is an excerpt from a recent obituary for Holly McCray Blair:

“She is survived by four spoiled cats ,two stinky dogs, three bad birds, a turtle and an utterly useless frog named Fred as well as three children and a husband of little to no importance.”

There’s more at: https://www.woodriverchapel.com/book-of-memories/4304349/Blair-Holly/index.php.

My thanks to the anonymous newsletter reader who told me about this obituary.

Introducing RootsTech Connect: A Free Online Conference Experience

In short, this will be a modified version of the popular RootsTech conferences of the past few years. Now called RootsTech Connect, the ONLINE conference will be  held on  25-27 February 2021.
Quoting the announcement:
For the first time ever, the world’s largest family celebration event will be entirely virtual and completely free. Get ready to celebrate shared connections with people from around the world. Connect with friends, your family, your past, and your heritage and homelands—all from the comfort of your home and in your browser.
To register and read more about it go to:  https://www.rootstech.org/?lang=eng.

Who Was Colonel Griffith J. Griffith?

OK, here is your history trivia question of the day: who was Colonel Griffith Jenkins Griffith?

I can tell you that this man with identical first and last names was once an impoverished 14-year-old Welsh immigrant who made good in his adopted country. He was born in Bettws, Glamorganshire, Wales. When he arrived in New York City, he had no money, no family, and no education. Years later, as a multi-millionaire when a dollar was still worth a dollar, he donated 3,015 acres of prime real estate to the City of Los Angeles. He also spent several years in jail and probably was one of the wealthiest inmates of the time, if not THE wealthiest. His prison sentence was for attempted murder of his wife. Colonel Griffith J. Griffith believed that she was in league with the Pope to poison him and steal his money.

Oh yes, there is no record of his ever being promoted to the rank of colonel, even though he always used the title.

Griffith Park, the location of the famous Hollywood Sign

“Colonel” Griffith J. Griffith’s name is almost unknown today although the land he donated to Los Angeles still bears his name: Griffith Park. He previously had established an ostrich farm on the property when ostrich feathers were popular in ladies’ hats. Griffith Park now contains the world-famous Hollywood sign. He also donated money for the park’s Greek Theater and for the Griffith Observatory. Why would such a wealthy benefactor be ignored by history?

Wanted: A New Home for Photo of a Civil War Soldier

A California resident is trying to find a new home for a historical photo with Southern Indiana connections. Dan Fahey, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., is the owner of an antique photograph of William P. Davis, a Southern Indiana resident who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. After conducting some research, Fahey discovered that the soldier was born in New Albany in 1834, and he served as an officer in the 23rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment.