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.

(+) The Easy Method of Converting Google Books to Kindle and Other Formats Free of Charge

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

A newsletter reader wrote and asked, “How can I download books from Google Books and convert them to text that I can read with my iPad?” I might add, “or in some other format?” to his original question.

The quick answer is, “That is super easy to do. In fact, there are several ways to do that.” Today I thought I’d describe the easy steps required.

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of June 28, 2017

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, (26 June 2017), This week 3 million New York City marriage licenses were published, plus nearly 3 million for Find a Grave records and millions of new browsable images and indexed records from Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, England, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Scotland, and the BillionGraves Index. Search these new free records and more at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below. Find and share this announcement easily online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.

Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at

RootsTech 2018 Call for Presentation Proposals – extended deadline through 3 July 2018

The following announcement was written by the RootsTech organizing committee:

Submission deadline has been extended through July 3, 2017.

The RootsTech planning committee is calling for dynamic presentations for the RootsTech 2018 conference that will be held February 28 – March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you have a desire to define, shape, and influence the family history industry with an innovative and interesting presentation idea, click on the link below to learn more and to submit proposals.

New Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 8.4 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Canada Census 1861

The Canada Census of 1861 was the last census to be taken in the Province of Canada and records the details of over 2.9 million people. The United Province of Canada was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. The province consisted of Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec), although the 1861 census also collected population details for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Unfortunately, the original paper records were destroyed in 1955 following the microfilming done by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Each record contains an image of these 1955 microfilms and a transcript of the information recorded. The amount of information listed may vary but most records will reveal where your ancestor was living, who they were living with, when & where they were born, their marital status and religion. Images will reveal a wide variety of additional details relating to the household and its members ranging from biographical details to information about the property and local area.

Canada Census 1871

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BYU-Idaho Genealogy Library to Relocate

On July 18 the Family History Center in the David O. McKay Library at Brigham Young University-Idaho will be shutting down. Everything in the present genealogy library will be moved to the Rexburg Family History Center.

The Family History Center has been in the McKay Library since the 1960s.

You can read more in an article by Adam Jacobs in the (Rexburg, Idaho) Standard Journal web site at:

2017 FGS Conference Early Bird Registration Ends July 1

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

Register now for “Building Bridges to the Past” in Pittsburgh, PA 6/28/2017 – Austin, TX.

Discounted early bird registration for the 2017 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will continue only until July 1st. Early bird pricing is $230 for the full four days or $99 for any single day. Friday’s exhibit hall lunch and $10 in Vendor Bucks are included with the full four-day conference registration. Details at

The conference will be held August 30 – September 2, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. This year’s local host is the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and the theme is “Building Bridges to the Past.” Platinum sponsors are Ancestry, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage. Bronze sponsors are Ancestry ProGenealogists and Internet Genealogy/Your Genealogy Today.

Church of Ireland Parish Record Collections More Discoverable With Online Links to RCB Library Hand-Lists

The following announcement was written by the Church of Ireland’s Library:

Archive of the Month July 2017

As efforts continue to make the records of the Church of Ireland more discoverable, the RCB Library has completed the latest phase of its work on the hand-lists of parish records in its custody. Thanks to painstaking revision work undertaken by the Library staff and with the support of the RCB IT Department, all hand-lists for the 1,110 parish record collections held in the Library (each with its own unique identity number and corresponding details) are now available online.

Whilst hardcopy finding aids or hand-lists itemising the contents of specific collections have been available at the Library for some time (where they are consulted by researchers visiting in person on a daily basis), for those outside Dublin or overseas it was not so easy to gain a detailed insight into each collection’s rich and varied content.

Ancestry’s new Video Featuring the Descendants of US Founding Fathers

As long as the Statue of Liberty still stands, so do the words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Ancestry has created an online video featuring the American melting pot and the descendants of all those millions of immigrants. Who are these people, where do they come from?

In John Trumbull’s iconic “Declaration of Independence” painting, it spotlights one of the most significant moments in our country’s history with the original signers. Ancestry has recreated the scene with 29 living descendants of these historic figures, and the moment is captured in 60- and 30-second television spots (produced by Droga5). What you will see is a surprising and powerful look at how different America is today than in that historic moment captured in 1776 – showcasing a diverse group of descendants: men and women, Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Filipino, Native American, Korean, among others. The campaign highlights how our individual and collective history is an important part of our country’s complex DNA and that we are all universally connected, sometimes in unexpected ways.

RootsMagic brings Ancestry Features to their Desktop Software

The producers of RootsMagic genealogy software previously have announced a plan to allow subscribers to connect their Ancestry accounts to the RootsMagic software. Since that time, Ancestry has developed a new technology to integrate Ancestry Hints® and Ancestry’s records and online trees with RootsMagic products.

Today, RootsMagic announced the product is now available. The free update to RootsMagic 7 is called TreeShare™ for Ancestry.

From within RootsMagic 7, as an existing Ancestry subscriber, you have access to your Ancestry Hints and the ability to share and synchronize data with your Ancestry online trees.

“Integrating with Ancestry’s trees and records has been one of our most requested features,” said Bruce Buzbee, president of RootsMagic. “It’s exciting to work together with Ancestry to make this happen. The feedback that we’ve received from those who have tested TreeShare has been phenomenal.”

You can read the full announcement on the RootsMagic web site at:

Comment by Dick Eastman:

2017 FGS Conference Early Bird Registration Ends July 1

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

Register now for “Building Bridges to the Past” in Pittsburgh, PA

6/28/2017 – Austin, TX.

Discounted early bird registration for the 2017 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will continue only until July 1st.

Early bird pricing is $230 for the full four days or $99 for any single day. Friday’s exhibit hall lunch and $10 in Vendor Bucks are included with the full four-day conference registration. Details at

Australians Provide Fake Names Amid Census Privacy Fears

In the 2016 census, many Australians provided fake names and withheld their date of birth. A sharp drop in the number of respondents allowing authorities to keep their data archived for 99 years was also noted.

The first batch of data from last year’s bungled census was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday with authorities insisting the information collected is useful. Privacy concerns plagued the half-billion-dollar exercise in the lead up to Census night on August 9 with several politicians, including independent senator Nick Xenophon, vowing to risk a $180-a-day fine by refusing to provide their names and addresses.

Museum wants Revolutionary War Boat Saved from Lake Bottom

More than two decades after it was discovered at the bottom of Lake Champlain (between Vermont and New York), a Revolutionary War gunboat may see the light of day under a museum plan to raise, preserve and put the vessel on display.

The Spitfire, a 54-foot boat that’s part of a fleet built by Benedict Arnold before he turned traitor, sank a day after the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island, helping delay a British advance down the lake. The Spitfire’s sinking made it possible for the 1777 American victory at the Battle of Saratoga, a key moment in the American Revolution because it led to French recognition of the fledgling United States of America.

We’re ALL Related to Royalty (If You Go Back Far Enough)

King Edward III

Everyone with European ancestry is descended from Kings and Queens. Dr Adam Rutherford, a leading geneticist, said this is not remarkable at all. If you research your European ancestry far enough, you undoubtedly will find a number of royal ancestors in your family tree.

Speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival, sponsored by the Daily Mail, he said that ‘literally’ everyone in Europe had a direct lineage to Charlemagne, while there was a ‘significant’ chance most people in Britain are a descendant of Edward III.

You can read the details in an article by Jim Norton in the DailyMail web site at:

NOTE: If you have ancestors from Asia, you might be aware of claims that millions of living Asian and a lot of Eastern Europeans as well are descended from Genghis Kahn. In the Muslim world, tens of millions of people are descended from Muhammad.

Mother and Daughter Reunited after 50 Years Apart Thanks to a Genealogy DNA Test

Another recent reunion story describes Cathy and daughter Karen, who were able to find each other after 50 years apart through a MyHeritage DNA match. Both couldn’t be happier with their amazing discovery and are hoping others wouldn’t have to wait as long.

As the daughter Karen said, “Everybody has a right to know where they came from.”

You can read more about their story and watch a video of their exciting reunion moment, also aired earlier today on Fox 8, in the MyHeritage blog post at:

You can also purchase your own MyHeritage DNA kit at

Painter Salvador Dali’s body to be Exhumed for Paternity Suit

Salvador Dalí

A judge in Madrid has ordered the exhumation of the body of Spanish artist Salvador Dalí to get DNA samples for a paternity suit. A Spanish woman, born in 1956, said her mother, a maid, had a clandestine affair with the painter in 1955. The judge said there were no biological remains or personal objects of the artist to be used in the test. He died in Spain in 1989 at the age of 85.

The Dalí Foundation, which manages the artist’s estate, says it will appeal.

NYG&B Announces the Retirement of Karen Mauer Jones and the Selection of Laura Murphy DeGrazia as Editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record

The following announcement was written by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society:

Today the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) announced the retirement of editor Karen Mauer Jones and the selection of Laura Murphy DeGrazia as editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (The Record).

Earlier this year the NYG&B announced that Karen Mauer Jones wished to retire as editor of The Record. Since 2011 she has brought her expertise and vision to one of America’s oldest—and most respected—scholarly genealogical journals. An editor, author, speaker, and professional genealogist, she has a long and distinguished career. The author of numerous books and articles, including those published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and The Record, she is widely respected in the genealogical field and has been a Board-certified genealogist since 2011 from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). A noted New York scholar, she was elected as a Fellow of the NYG&B in 2013 and served on the editorial team for the NYG&B’s award-winning New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. She is also a member of the NYG&B’s Family History Advisory Committee. A past board member and regional vice president for the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG), she also served as a board member and vice president of administration for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). Under her careful stewardship The Record has published hundreds of pages reflecting the diverse stories from families across the state of New York.

International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies Conference to be Held in Orlando on July 23–28

Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., host of the PBS hit series “Finding Your Roots,” will be the featured speaker on “Genetics and Genealogy in America” on Thursday evening at the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS) Conference, to be held at the Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, Florida. I will also be at the conference and expect a huge crowd will be there as well.

Sunday evening will feature “Alexander Hamilton, the Jews, and the American Revolution,” presented by Dr. Robert Watson, professor, historian, author, and media commentator.

Wednesday evening, there will be a special showing of the 2016 acclaimed documentary “Aida’s Secrets” (sponsored by MyHeritage). This documentary is a story about family secrets, lies, high drama and generations of contemporary history. The international story begins with World War II and concludes with an emotional 21st century family reunion. Izak was born inside the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in 1945 and sent for adoption in Israel. Utilizing the resources of Yad Vashem and MyHeritage, secret details of his birth mother, an unknown brother in Canada and his father’s true identity slowly emerge in this extremely personal investigative film.

Family Buys Hilarious Birthday Card for Grandpa, Finds Out it has an Old Family Photo

Family photos are where you find them!

A 12-year-old in Kansas recently found a hilarious card to give to her grandfather for his 74th birthday. The card had a very old-fashioned family photo on the front, with everyone looking very stern and serious. On top it said, “It’s your birthday!” Her mother also laughed when she saw the card. Then she stopped laughing when she looked closer.

A man in the photo looked a lot like her grandfather and of her great-grandmother. The family gave the card to the 74-year-old man celebrating his birthday. He got all excited as he realized the picture was of his father, his grandmother, and of a number of his other relatives! It was a photo he had never seen before.