New and Exclusive Donegal Workhouse Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Leading Family History website, Findmypast, has today added over 400,000 Donegal records to their growing collection of Irish Workhouse records.

Digitized and published online for the first time in partnership with the Donegal County Council, Donegal Workhouses Registers and Minute Books consists of both transcripts and images of original admission and discharge registers as well as board of guardians’ minute books spanning the years 1840 to 1922.

The collection covers the unions of Ballyshannon, Donegal, Dunfanaghy, Glentis, Inishowen, Letterkenny, Milford, Stranorlar. As well as registers and minute books, users can also expect to find accounts, death registers, letters, relief registers, supplier contracts, and more.

David Mishkin, R.I.P.

It is with sadness that I learned of David Mishkin’s passing yesterday. David was well-known within the genealogy community as the owner of “Just Black and White” in South Portland, Maine.

Until his retirement in 2005, David specialized in restoring old photographs. He worked primarily with old family photographs. He worked exclusively with black and white film, processing, printing and restoring older photographs using traditional darkroom techniques, not digital photo editing.

He often gave lectures to genealogical groups and historical societies across the country. I was fortunate enough to hear David speak several times and I learned a lot from him as a result. I am sure many others benefited from his charming and witty presentations as well.

Beware of the Websites Selling Fake DNA Kits

An “epidemic” of counterfeit products being sold online is duping millions, according to the Better Business Bureau.

One woman thought she was buying a real AncestryDNA kit online, a gift for her parents and her 100-year-old grandmother in Puerto Rico. She found the DNA-testing kits on a website called After she paid $200 on her debit card, her relatives actually received authentic-looking kits. They followed instructions, filling vials with saliva and mailing them. But when she called the company to check on results, Ancestry told her the vial numbers were already used to test someone else’s DNA. Has Been Shut Down

KinCrawler was a web crawler/search engine that worked in a similar method as Google but with one major difference: KinCrawler was constantly crawling the web looking for any pages that pertain solely to genealogy. (I described KinCrawler’s operation earlier this year at: Sadly, the web site has now been taken offline.

Anthony Marshall, the owner and creator of wrote:

U.S. Supreme Court Blocks 2020 Census Citizenship Query

From an Associated Press news story:

“In two politically charged rulings, the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow Thursday to efforts to combat the drawing of electoral districts for partisan gain and put a hold on the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.”

You can read the full story at:

For more information about the arguments that led up to today’s Supreme Court decision, see my earlier articles about this issue by starting at:

My thanks to the several newsletter readers who wrote to tell me about today’s court decision.

FamilySearch to Offer Free Family History Classes and Webinars for July 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

The FamilySearch Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, has announced its free classes and webinars for July 2019. Classes will include useful insights for beginners, how to successfully use the FamilySearch Family Tree, and German and Danish Research. Attend in person or online. No registration is required.

If you cannot attend a live event, most sessions are recorded and can be viewed later online at your convenience at Family History Library classes and webinars. Online classes are noted on the schedule as webinars.

All class times are in mountain time (MT).

RSS Newsfeeds Explained

NOTE: This is an article I published five years ago. The subject recently arose again and I realized that many newsletter readers are unaware of the simple way to read this newsletter, other blogs, and many other web sites that publish new articles more-or-less daily. In addition, the RSS technology and business offerings have matured a bit in the past five years so there is now more information available than there was when this article was first written. I decided to make some additions to the original article and then republish it for the benefit of those who are not familiar with the advantages of RSS:

You may have noticed that this newsletter and several other genealogy Web sites are available via RSS news feeds. So are thousands of other Web news sites covering a wide variety of topics. This article will hopefully explain what RSS feeds are and what they can offer you. RSS is an abbreviation for “rich site summary” or “really simple syndication.” Most people don’t need to remember this definition any more than they would spell out “ATM.”

As to the word “feed,” this simply describes the way information gets to people: web servers “feed” information to those who ask for it.

Announcing the Coalition for Genetic Data Protection reports, “Genetic testing companies are forming a new coalition on best practices for handling DNA information and to promote the industry in Washington as lawmakers put more scrutiny on their privacy practices.” The new organization’s plan is to create reasonable voluntary guidelines for DNA privacy before lawmakers create their own less palatable laws that benefit no one.

As of January, more than 26 million consumers have added their DNA to the four leading commercial ancestry and health databases, believed to be Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage, and Family Tree DNA, according to MIT Technology Review. However, the recent use by law enforcement use of the databases that is contrary to the stated purposes of these genealogy databases has created a lot of controversy.

Technology Certainly has Changed in Our Lifetimes!

In the 1940s, the world’s first general-purpose digital computer, the ENIAC, was tasked with calculations for creating the hydrogen bomb. Awe-inspiring stuff in its day…but at 27 tons, the ENIAC needed its own room, preferably its own building, to fulfill its mission.

The Legal Power of Genealogy in Colonial America

By the time he was 18, George Washington was a competent genealogist — and he had to be. In Washington’s Virginia, family was a crucial determinant of social and economic status, and freedom.

How did Washington understand his family, and what can that tell us about the world in which he lived and played such a significant role? Thanks to a document long ignored by biographers and historians alike, we now know how fully he grasped the basic truth that genealogy is power.

Enrollments are Now Open on the MA History of Family at the University of Limerick, Ireland

The following is an announcement from the University of Limerick. Please note that enrollment is open to genealogists worldwide:


Calling those with an interest in Irish history, family history and genealogy!

  • Develop your family history skills with the MA History of Family
  • Study online at the University of Limerick, Ireland’s University of the Year, 2019
  • Enroll now to commence study in September 2019

Enrollments are now open on the MA History of Family at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

This is a unique course that offers students all over the world the chance to learn about the history of family. The MA History of Family (Online) is offered by the University of Limerick, Ireland’s University of the Year 2019.

The course will appeal to anyone with an interest in Irish history, family history or genealogy who would like to take their research a stage further and study towards a Master’s degree.

Students study the family within its broader context of social, cultural and economic history. A key attraction of the course is the wide range of topics covered. These include families and migration, families and communities and Irish cultural history, as well as academic writing and advanced research skills. Students also write a dissertation based on their own research.

The course is delivered both on-campus and online. Online students interact with colleagues in Ireland via audio-conference and through the University of Limerick’s virtual learning environment.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 24 June 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added new, free, historical records this week from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Liberia, Luxembourg, Peru, Scotland, and the United States, including Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Colorado, Minnesota, California, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

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.

New Resource for Genealogists at the Tennessee State Library & Archives

A new tool for researchers is now available on the Tennessee State Library & Archives website. The all-in-one Genealogy Index Search brings together over 1 million names appearing in Tennessee’s most important historical records. Inspired by the way and other online services search multiple record groups from a single screen, staff at the Library & Archives worked with the Secretary of State’s Information Technology Division over a two-year period to create this new resource for genealogists and historians.

The Genealogy Index Search includes sections on Death Records, Military Records and general Tennessee research. A listing of the individual databases and the number of entries in each is found below. The individual indexes were compiled by staff at the Library and Archives over many years. According to Ron Lee, the Assistant Director of Public Services, the work began in the late 1990s. “We had one of the first web sites in Tennessee government, and for several years the Library and Archives web site was among the top three most visited of all state government websites.”

You can read a lot more in an article by Chuck Sherrill, State Librarian and Archivist, in the Tennessee State Library & Archives Blog at:

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. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

(+) Ahnentafel and Kekule Numbering Systems

Medical Practices Your Ancestors May Have Experienced

MyHeritage Live 2019’s Schedule

MyHeritage DNA Kits Now on Sale in Costco in the UK and in Iceland

Newly Recovered Ground Zero Photos Show Why You Should Back Up your CD-Recordable Disks Now: Photo CDs Don’t Last Forever

Decades of History Could Be ‘Erased from Australia’s Memory’ as Tape Machines Disappear

Australian Joint Copying Project

(+) Ahnentafel and Kekule Numbering Systems

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

Genealogists often use terms that are not familiar to others. Most of these terms become familiar soon after we get involved in searching for our family trees. We soon speak of pedigree charts, enumerators, Henry numbers, fan charts, and more. However, one term we do not hear often pops up occasionally: Kekule Numbers.

Stephan Kekulé

The German mathematician Stephan Kekulé of Stradonitz (1863-1933) was a genealogist as well as the son of famed mathematician and chemist Friedrich August Kekulé. He used a numbering system to show relationships in text format. In German-speaking counties, lists of names created with Stephan Kekulé’s numbers are still referred to by his name: Kekule numbers. However, in English-speaking countries the same numbers in lists would simply be called “numbers.”

Indeed, ahnentafel numbers and the Kekule numbers for listing ancestors are the same. However, Stephan Kekulé also created a similar system for listing descendants, a system I have rarely seen in English publications.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Online Webinars, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont

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.

Ancestry® Unveils Over 225 New Communities for Members Who Have Ties to France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand

The following announcement was written by Ancestry®:

At Ancestry®, we leverage the latest cutting-edge DNA science and technology to deliver detailed historical insights that empower you to uncover more about your family’s origins.

Today, we released over 225 new AncestryDNA® communities to help our members who have ties to France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, empowering them to unlock even more discoveries about their family history. Utilizing our DNA network of over 15 million people, our vast collection of public family trees, and our patented Genetic Communities™ technology, AncestryDNA is able to identify groups of people with shared DNA and determine where their ancestors likely lived over the past 75-300 years.

French American and Canadian Communities

New Liverpool Parish Records and more available to search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 6.4 million new records and newspaper articles available to search and explore this Findmypast Friday including over 264,000 new and exclusive parish records that have been digitised and made available online for the first time in association with the Lancashire Archives.

Lancashire Baptisms

Over 31,000 additional records are now available to search amongst out collection of Lancashire Baptisms. The new additions cover the parishes of:

    • Edge Hill, St Nathaniel -1869 to 1918
    • Liverpool, St John – 1785 to 1898
    • Liverpool, St Silas, Pembroke Place – 1841 to 1918
    • Liverpool, St Stephen the Martyr – 1851 to 1918
    • Newburgh, Christ Church – 1860 to 1917
    • Seaforth, St Thomas – 1839 to 1918
    • Stoneycroft, St Paul – 1916 to 1918
    • Toxteth Park, St Bede – 1882 to 1918

These records include both transcripts and images of the original documents. Each result will reveal when and where your ancestor’s baptism took place, the names of their parent’s and father’s occupation.

Lancashire Marriages & Banns

Decades of History Could Be ‘Erased from Australia’s Memory’ as Tape Machines Disappear

The National Archives of Australia has a problem. You may also have the same problem, although hopefully in a smaller scale.

According to an article by James Elton in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation web site at, Australia’s memory institutions are racing to digitise their magnetic tape collections before the year 2025, when archivists around the world expect it will become almost impossible to find working tape playback machines.

PHOTO: Old recording equipment at the Australian National Archives. (ABC News)

The tapes include audio recordings, video, and reels of digitised information. Approximately 130,000 hours of audio and video held on magnetic tape by Australia’s National Archives alone and undoubtedly there are many more hours of tapes presently stored at other government agencies, various libraries, and educational institutions as well. If not converted to modern digital storage methods, these tapes will become unusable simply because suitable playback equipment will no longer be available within a few years.

Here are the issues facing the National Archives of Australia:

MyHeritage Live 2019’s Schedule

If you are thinking about attending MyHeritage’s genealogy event to be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, September 6 – 8, 2019, you might want to know that the schedule of presentations has just been posted in the MyHeritage Blog at: