New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 7 October 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch: added over 1 million newfree, historical records this week from England Parish Registers (1538-1997.) An additional million records were contributed from Missouri County Marriage, Naturalization, and Court Records. Further records added this week come from Peru, Sweden, Ukraine, and the USA. States include CT, IN, KS, KY, ME, MS, NJ, OR, TN, TX and UT.

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.

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.

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

(+) Why Search Engines Cannot Find All your Online Genealogy Information

(+) Follow-Up: Genealogy Record Keeping in the Post-PC World

Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Some North Americans Claim a False Indigenous Identity

The Proposed GEDCOM 5.5.5 Standard is a Better GEDCOM

Doctor Sues Fertility Clinic After Discovering He Has At Least 17 Unknown Children From Sperm He Donated Decades Ago

The Messy Consequences of DNA and the Golden State Killer Case

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Washington

Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past events.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

Great Chicago Fire of 1871

One dark night, when people were in bed,
Mrs. O’ Leary lit a lantern in her shed,
The cow kicked it over, winked its eye, and said,
There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.

Exactly 148 years ago, a great fire roared through the city of Chicago. No one knows for sure whether a lantern-kicking cow of the O’Leary’s was really responsible for starting the Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871. In fact, some believe the fire was started by a comet from outer space.

(+) Why Search Engines Cannot Find All your Online Genealogy Information

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

Genealogy web sites contain information about millions of deceased individuals. Yet sometimes you cannot find anything about the person you seek. Even with unusual names, you might not be able to find anything about a particular man or woman. Indeed, perhaps the information isn’t yet published online; but, another common scenario is that the information IS online but the search engines haven’t found that information and haven’t indexed it. How is that possible? Perhaps a bit of knowledge of how search engines work will explain the “missing information” and help you create an alternative plan to find what you want.

New Records Available to Search this Week on Findmypast

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Available to search this Findmypast Friday – new & exclusive US records and Scottish mental health registers & admissions

 Here is what’s new this Findmypast Friday:

Pennsylvania Cemetery & Burial 1700-1950

Were your ancestors laid to rest in Pennsylvania? Search over 276,000 new and exclusive burial records to find out. Published online for the first time in partnership with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, each transcript will reveal the date and location of your ancestor’s burial while images may reveal additional details.

 The collection currently includes cemetery records from Abington, Goshenhoppen, Mckeesport, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and more. The records span three centuries and cover more than 100 parishes across the state. Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Mennonite, Friends (Quakers), and Presbyterian cemeteries are all represented.

New Jersey Vital Records

Doctor Sues Fertility Clinic After Discovering He Has At Least 17 Unknown Children From Sperm He Donated Decades Ago

Were you and your spouse or significant other both born in the Portland, Oregon area about 30 years ago? If so, you both might want to have your DNA tested to see if perhaps you are closer relatives than you previously thought you were.

An Oregon doctor is suing a fertility clinic after discovering that sperm he donated wasn’t used the way he wanted. Dr. Bryce Cleary discovered that he has at least 17 unknown children after donating sperm three decades ago.

The Proposed GEDCOM 5.5.5 Standard is a Better GEDCOM

I frequently mention the acronym “GEDCOM” in this newsletter. In short, GEDCOM (GEnealogy Data COMmunications) is the language by which different genealogy software programs exchange data between dissimilar programs without having to manually re-enter all the data on a keyboard.

For background information, see my earlier “GEDCOM Explained” article at For a more technical explanation, go to the GEDCOM 5.5.5 web site at:

GEDCOM has been available since the mid 1980s but the GEDCOM specifications have not been able to handle all data transfer requirements. The last widely accepted update to the GEDCOM specifications was released in 1999.

Later GEDCOM alternatives have been announced but have largely been ignored by the genealogy software developers. The genealogy program you use today probably adheres to the 20-year-old GEDCOM version 5.5.1 specifications. A lot has changed in genealogy data storage requirements in the past 20 years! We certainly need an update that everyone can agree upon.

Proposed Solution:

The RootsTech 2020 Early Bird Offer is Ending Soon

If you are thinking of attending RootsTech/Salt Lake City, you will want to be aware of this reminder from FamilySearch:

Your ancestors wouldn’t want you to let
a good deal go to waste

The October 11 deadline for RootsTech 2020 at the early bird price is coming up and tickets are going fast. Register by October 11 to purchase your full conference pass for only $169 (that’s a savings of $130 on a regularly priced pass). One-day passes are also available for only $99.

Top 3 Reasons to Join Us in February

(+) Follow-Up: Genealogy Record Keeping in the Post-PC World

About two weeks ago, I published a Plus Edition article entitled, (+) Genealogy Record Keeping in the Post-PC World. In that article, I wrote, “I believe the post-PC world is upon us. That is, personal computers as we know them are slowly disappearing and will become museum pieces within the next ten years.” I also wrote:

True to the predictions of industry pundits, both consumers and businesses are now replacing desktop and laptop computers with “smart” cell phones, tablet computers, and likely other lightweight computing devices that haven’t even been invented yet. In many cases, the ever-growing, high-speed wireless networks and cloud computing are allowing tiny, lightweight devices to replace traditional desktop systems. Having a powerful computer of your own is no longer essential; the power can exist either in your own computer or someplace in the cloud.

Some North Americans Claim a False Indigenous Identity

Darryl R J Leroux

Darryl R. J. Leroux is an Associate Professor, Department of Social Justice and Community Studies, at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He obviously is also an expert genealogist and historian. He recently published an article concerning the claims of indigenous ancestry in eastern Canada in the 1600s as made by thousands of today’s genealogists. He points out that many of these claims simply are not true and he backs up his claims with solid research.

The article is a brief summary of Leroux’s book, Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity. Leroux described his 12 years of research, including reading thousands of messages on various online genealogy forums. One of his most surprising findings was how numerous French women were transformed into Indigenous women on different forums in both French and English. This practice is called aspirational descent. It involves changing an ancestor’s identity to fit one’s current desire to shift away from a white identity. He points out that “one simply repeats false family stories passed down over the generations, ignoring the voices of Indigenous peoples along the way.”

Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter and Gene By Gene Join Forces to Shape the Future of Investigative Genetic Genealogy

The following announcement was written by Gene By Gene, the parent company of FamilyTreeDNA:

Barbara Rae-Venter, PhD

HOUSTON, Sept. 27, 2019 — Genetic genealogist Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter, recognized for her groundbreaking work in the Golden State Killer case, named one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2019, and Nature’s 10 people who mattered in science in 2018, has been named Director of Gene By Gene’s newly formed Investigative Genetic Genealogy Unit.

Gene By Gene, known in the direct-to-consumer business as FamilyTreeDNA, was the first company to market direct-to-consumer DNA testing, and first to provide familial matching through a person’s DNA signature. “Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter pioneered law enforcement’s most revolutionary crime-solving tool since the fingerprint,” says president and founder, Bennett Greenspan. “We are excited to have a genealogist of Dr. Rae-Venter’s caliber working with us to set industry-leading standards for investigative genetic genealogy.”

The Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Sexual Assault Kit Task Force Pilot Program to Perform Genealogical Database Searches to Identify Rapists

Cuyahoga County will use a new federal grant to hire a private lab to conduct genealogical searches in hopes of identifying up to 10 “John Doe” rape suspects. Since 2013, the prosecutor’s office has secured 146 “John Doe” indictments based on DNA profiles found in rape kits that did not result in a hit or match identifying a suspect.

The genealogical pilot project will be paid for with a federal grant, which is one of two that total $3 million. The grants were awarded to the prosecutor’s office, which leads the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force, by the U.S. Department of Justice. The grants also will allow the task force to complete more than 1,200 sexual assault investigations that remain open, including paying for training, victim advocacy, research and travel expenses.

You can read more in an article by Rachel Dissell in The Plain Dealer web site at:

Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey is Coming Soon to ITV

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are two British Academy of Film and Television Arts award winning TV presenters who are taking part in a new programme called Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey. The show will focus on using DNA to aid in researching the family tree of each TV presenter. They will be are joined by genealogists and historians as they follow their maternal and paternal bloodlines into the past.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly

Of the two, one will discover that their great-grandfather was a celebrated war hero while the other will find out that their cousin is a former US female wrestling promoter. The stories of Ant and Dec’s ancestors will be peppered with the duo’s trademark warm sense of humour, as the documentary treats viewers to a rare and personal glimpse into their remarkable friendship and close bond.

The Messy Consequences of DNA and the Golden State Killer Case

From an article by Sarah Zhang in the highly-respected The Atlantic web site:

“Tools meant to reunite families are now being used essentially to get families to put their members in jail.”

While few of us anticipated the intersection of genealogical DNA databases and police cases, many of us were intrigued when the combined efforts of law enforcement and a genealogist resulted in the identification of the suspected Golden State Killer last year. Now that precedent has opened the field to other cases, questions arise surrounding the ethical and legal aspects of these unforeseen applications.

Here are a few other quotes from the same article:

“Police officers were uploading crime-scene DNA to genealogical databases without any formal oversight, and prominent genealogists disagreed bitterly on how far they should be let in. The debate became so toxic that genealogy groups on Facebook banned any discussion of law enforcement. Decades-old accusations—unrelated to genealogy—were dragged up to discredit vocal members. People were blocked. Friendships ended. At a genealogy conference in June, the different sides ignored each other from opposite ends of the bar.”

Launch of Genealogy Education Subscription Site: Genealogy Guys Learn

The following announcement was written by the Genealogy Guys: George G. Morgan and Drew Smith

ODESSA, Florida, Oct. 1, 2019 – Aha! Seminars, Inc., the producers of The Genealogy Guys Podcast, the Genealogy Connection podcast, and The Genealogy Guys Blog is pleased to announce the launch of Genealogy Guys Learn (, a subscription-based educational website designed to provide genealogy courses and videos for researchers of all skill levels.

At its launch, Genealogy Guys Learn consists of 5 text/image-based courses on such topics as basic research, intermediate research, the Social Security Death Index, wills and probate records, and military records. Genealogy Guys Learn also contains a dozen recorded presentations by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, including All About the U.S. Federal Census, Principles of Effective Evidence Analysis, Finding Archived Newspapers, and Organizing Your Research Process.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 30 September 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch: added over 4 million new, free, historical records this week from German Bavarian Catholic Church Records, Ireland Marriage Bonds and Wills, and Gironde, France Civil Registrations.  Additional records of this week were from England and Illinois (USA).

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.

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.

“Can I Have a Copy of Your Fudge Recipe?” “Over my Dead Body!”

Dr. Wade Andrews felt that his long, rich life could only be summed up by his wife’s fudge recipe. In fact, he wanted to make sure the recipe was saved for posterity so he had the recipe engraved on his tombstone in the the Logan (Utah) City Cemetery.

Yes, it really is “etched in stone.”

You can click on the above image to view a larger (and easier to read) version.

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.

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

(+) Internet Archive Wants to Store Everything, Including Books

U.S. Justice Department Sets Rules for Using Genealogy Sites to Solve Crimes

MyHeritage LIVE 2019 Lectures Are Now Online

MyHeritage DNA Uncover Rugby Legends Origins

How to Digitize and Archive Your Entire Family Photo Collection

Talk to Friends and Relatives After They Die

Thousands of Free Historic Photographs Online

A New Leaf”, A new Television Series by Ancestry® to debut on NBC this Fall

Announcing Genea – Your Personal Genealogy Notebook For Apple’s iOS and iPadOS Devices