Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The DAILY genealogy technology newsletter for genealogy consumers, packed with straight talk - hold the sugar coating - whether the vendors like it or not! Visit my online book store at http://www.RootsBooks.com. _qoptions={ qacct:"p-0dYBonWm84r16" }; var _sf_startpt=(new Date()).getTime() var woo_settings = {idle_timeout:'300000', domain:'eogn.com'}; (function(){ var wsc = document.createElement('script'); wsc.src = document.location.protocol+'//static.woopra.com/js/woopra.js'; wsc.type = 'text/javascript'; wsc.async = true; var ssc = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; ssc.parentNode.insertBefore(wsc, ssc); })(); TypePad
Updated: 1 year 52 weeks ago

What I Use Now for Backups

Mon, 2013-06-03 13:57
I write frequently about the need to make frequent backups of any computer information. After all, you don't want to lose what you worked so hard to create, do you? I guess I haven't written about it in a while as a newsletter reader sent a note today asking, "How about an update on what you use for backup now??" This is my reply: Well, I never backup to only ONE place! Having only one backup is almost as dangerous as having none. I always make at least three backups of my desktop system and store them in at least... Dick Eastman

Update: The Calendar of Genealogy Events

Mon, 2013-06-03 11:04
On May 26, I announced a new feature on this newsletter's web site: The Calendar of Genealogy Events at http://www.eogn.com/calendar. The purpose of the calendar is to provide information about future genealogy conferences, seminars, conventions, cruises, trips, and even online "webinars." All information is to be provided by you and other readers of this newsletter. In the first week of operation, I see that genealogy events have been listed in: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado (several events), Connecticut (multiple events), District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois (multiple events), Indiana (multiple events), Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky (multiple events), Massachusetts (multiple events), Nevada (multiple... Dick Eastman

For Sale: a Used Morgue Refrigerator

Mon, 2013-06-03 10:56
The state of New York has an unusual item for sale: a morgue refrigerator. The fridge looks like it is a prop on the set of “CSI.” The ad lists the huge silver appliance, equipped with four doors for body storage, as having “signs of cosmetic wear” but being “fully operational.” It is 8 feet tall, 6 feet wide, and has four drawers for its contents. It previously held corpses for the Office of Mental Health at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center, New York City. Somehow, this has to have a genealogy or family connection but I am not sure how.... Dick Eastman

The Tragic Murder of Stonecutter Elia Corti

Sun, 2013-06-02 10:14
Several newsletter readers asked about the picture of a tombstone that I used a few days ago in another newsletter article. It is a picture of me standing beside the elaborate tombstone of Elia Corti in the Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont. Pam Cerutti, editor of this newsletter, was the photographer. I am reproducing the photo again here, and you can click on it to view a larger image. I didn't know anything about Elia Corti before I saw his tombstone. I immediately became interested in this man. I wondered why a man who was obviously a laborer had such... Dick Eastman

(+) A GPS Device That is Accurate to Within One Centimeter

Sat, 2013-06-01 18:42
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. My recent article at http://goo.gl/lbTj5 about defacing tombstones by attaching new objects with adhesives has generated a lot of comments about one thing I didn't expect: the use of GPS (Global Positioning System satellite navigation system) in a cell phone to determine the location of a tombstone. Some of the comments questioned the accuracy of cell phone devices; so, I decided to write a separate article to address those questions. I will divide this into three different points in time: what the cell phone accuracy was... Dick Eastman

1939 New York in Color Looks Like it was Filmed Yesterday

Sat, 2013-06-01 18:41
The Romano Archives uploaded a video to YouTube of archived footage from 1939, remastered entirely in color. 1939 was the year of the New York World's fair and also was the year that Lou Gehrig retired from baseball. A lot of images exist of New York City in 1939 in black-and-white, but this may be the only one available online that is in color. The quality is remarkable — it looks like it was just shot yesterday, but the cars and clothing styles prove otherwise. You can watch the video at http://youtu.be/WgqRN40TXrE or click on the video payer below. When... Dick Eastman

Genealogy Programs for Android

Sat, 2013-06-01 13:55
One of the more exciting products in the world of handheld computers, cell phones, and "smartphones" is the Android operating system, a mobile operating system initially developed by Android Inc., a firm purchased by Google in 2005. Android is based upon a modified version of the Linux kernel. However, the operating system is so highly modified now that the Linux programmers probably wouldn't recognize it. Android is optimized for use on battery-powered handheld devices. The popularity of the Android operating system has mushroomed in the past few years as many new Android-based cell phones, tablet computers, and handheld computers have... Dick Eastman

Is This the Smallest Wi-Fi Router?

Fri, 2013-05-31 11:34
I don't know if this is the world's smallest wi-fi router or not, but it certainly must be ONE of the smallest. I obtained a Kanex (pronounced "connects") mySpot Pocket-Size Access Point today because I wanted to solve a specific problem. I wanted a wi-fi router that is as tiny as possible because I only want to use it when traveling. It must fit easily into my suitcase or backpack. Most wi-fi routers are much too large, but this one should be perfect. In my initial testing, it also seems to work quite well. Here's the problem I am trying... Dick Eastman

Windows 8.1 Unveiled: Will It Change Your Mind About Windows 8?

Fri, 2013-05-31 04:10
Good news for anyone using Windows 8: Microsoft is bringing back the Start Button and is also making a lot of other changes, "based on user comments." In fact, the new Windows 8.1 contains a very long list of changes. While Windows 8.1 will be a free upgrade, it will not be available until late this year. You can learn more from an article by Ed Bott, available at http://goo.gl/HUy6d. Dick Eastman

(+) Turn Vacations into Genealogy Fact-Finding Trips

Thu, 2013-05-30 18:47
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium." Where will you go on your next vacation trip? A trip to New England? Washington, D.C.? How about to the beach? Or how about a European vacation? How about taking a trip to the town where your grandparents grew up or a visit to the country of your ancestors? Wouldn't you like to actually walk the same streets as your great-great grandfather or see the home where your grandmother was born? This is something you probably want to put... Dick Eastman

Should Technology Deface Tombstones? A Better Idea

Thu, 2013-05-30 15:15
I had an experience today that got me thinking about today's tombstone technology and what it might be like in the future. A company that shall remain unnamed asked that I write about the company's product: long-lasting display plates containing QR codes. (You can read about QR codes used on tombstones by a different company in my earlier article at http://goo.gl/wrR9m.) The company's products can be attached by adhesive, either to a tombstone (which I am strongly against) or to an urn, marker, or other nearby object that can be inserted into the ground near the tombstone. (I can live... Dick Eastman

FamilySearch Adds More Than 5.7 Million Images to New Massachusetts Land Records Collection

Thu, 2013-05-30 15:13
The following announcement was written by FamilySearch: May 30, 2013 FamilySearch has added more than 7.3 million images this week from Austria, Brazil, China, Honduras, Luxembourg, Peru, Portugal, Switzerland, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 5,766,135 images from the new U.S., Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620–1986, collection, the 337,367 images from the new Honduras, Civil Registration, 1841–1968, collection, and the 191,701 images from the new U.S., Hawaii, Honolulu Passenger Lists, 1900–1953, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org. Searchable... Dick Eastman

Dowsing: Does It Really Work?

Thu, 2013-05-30 07:13
I have written several times about the "science" or the hocus-pocus or whatever-you-want-to-call-it of dowsing. (You can find my earlier articles if you start at http://goo.gl/EfTnn.) I am primarily interested in the possibility of dowsing for unmarked graves, but any dowsing conversation soon leads to a wider discussion of finding water. Some people claim dowsing works reliably while others dismiss it as fakery. I have seen dowsing find water, so I know that it works for other people. However, in the few times I have tried, it never worked for me. Burr Morse is a man I respect, and he... Dick Eastman

MacFamilyTree 7 and MobileFamilyTree 7 Released

Wed, 2013-05-29 21:03
Synium Software has released new updates to its two popular genealogy programs: MacFamilyTree 7 for Macintosh and MobileFamilyTree 7 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Major new features of both programs include a new iCloud sync, new Virtual Globe, a new Virtual Tree, a new Edit Mode, improved source management, a new user interface (which I rather like), and the ability to add "associated persons" to an individual's record. An "associated person" might be a godparent, a witness to birth or death, or any other person who played a significant role in a person's life. MacFamilyTree 7 As stated on... Dick Eastman

NGS Announces 2014 Family History Conference to be Held in Richmond, Virginia

Wed, 2013-05-29 16:45
The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society: ARLINGTON, VA, 29 MAY 2013: The National Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the 2014 Family History Conference will be held 7–10 May 2014 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and Marriott Hotel located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Conference highlights and contact information for conference hotels can be found in the Announcement Brochure, which can be downloaded at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/galleries/new-gallery/2014_Announcement_Brochure.pdf. The conference theme, Virginia: The First Frontier, will explore the records and history that draw so many back to their roots in the Old Dominion. Lecture topics will also include... Dick Eastman

A Special Offer Until June 4 for MyHeritage.com

Tue, 2013-05-28 19:50
Here I am at the MyHeritage booth at a recent genealogy conference. From time to time I find genealogy services or products that are especially interesting or available at low prices. Sometimes I can negotiate a special deal for readers of the EOGN newsletter. Today I can announce one of those special offers. It is for a service that I love and use often: MyHeritage.com. Best of all, MyHeritage is now offering a discount to EOGN newsletter readers. Disclaimer: MyHeritage is the sponsor of this newsletter and I guess this article is somewhat of an "infomercial" for their service. However,... Dick Eastman

QR Codes Create Internet-Connected Tombstones

Tue, 2013-05-28 11:04
QR Codes have many uses. They are often used on business cards and also in printed advertisements. Mercedes-Benz attaches them to automobiles so that rescue crews can use their smartphones or tablets to instantly retrieve information on how to make a speedy and safe recovery when using the "jaws of life" to extricate victims from an auto accident. (See http://www.gizmag.com/mercedes-benz-qr-codes/27675/.) Now genealogists have recently been finding QR Codes on tombstones. A QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. You can see a... Dick Eastman

Book Review: Nana, Tell Us Your Story

Tue, 2013-05-28 10:07
The following book review was written by Bobbi King: "Nana, Tell Us Your Story" By Marie Arndt Skinner, Ric Skinner, with Marilee (Skinner) Hollister. 2013. 134 pages. This is an homage to Marie Arndt Skinner from her two children, Ric and Marilee, the co-authors. This book is perfectly titled, as these faithfully are the "Memoirs and Musings of a Victorian Artisan in the 21st Century" as the subtitle informs us. The three of them have put together a remarkable narrative of Mrs. Skinner’s 95 years so far on this earth. The entire text is in her voice, just as if... Dick Eastman

Free Guide to New York Ancestors

Tue, 2013-05-28 09:40
Do you have New York ancestors? If you do, you’ll want to check out the free guide to New York ancestors available at FamilySearch.org. In this guide, you will find a series of research articles packed with helpful ideas for tracing ancestors in New York City, its five boroughs, 57 counties, and hundreds of towns throughout the state. New York Online Genealogy Records will help you quickly discover what is available online. You can learn a lot more about this new guide in an article by Nathan W. Murphy published in the FamilySearch Blog at https://familysearch.org/blog/en/free-guide-york-ancestors/. Dick Eastman

22nd National Congress of Genealogy in 2013 in Marseille, France

Tue, 2013-05-28 09:09
The National Congress of Genealogical Sciences is held every two years. Most of the attendees are genealogy enthusiasts, professionals, or those interested in heraldry. 2013 will be the year of the XXII National Congress of Genealogy. The National Congress will be held later this week in Marseille. (Click on the image to the right to see a larger view of the poster.) The National Congress of Genealogical Sciences will take place on May 31, 1 and 2 June 2013 at the Palais des Congrès de Marseille, Parc Chanot. The theme of this year's event is "BACK TO BASICS." The "guest... Dick Eastman

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