Note: The information in this archived copy was accurate on the date of publication. Since then, Web sites have appeared and disappeared, companies have been merged and many other facts have changed. You may find references in this archived copy that are no longer accurate.
EOGN: Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
A Weekly Summary of Events and
Vol. 5 No. 30 – July 22, 2000
This newsletter was sponsored by Ancestry.com,
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Copyright © 2000 by Richard W. Eastman. All rights reserved.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
- Free Access to All Ancestry.com Databases
- Free Access to All Ancestry.com Databases
MyFamily.com, the sponsor of this newsletter, is offering a free trial period for its entire genealogy site. This includes all the databases that normally are available only to paid subscribers. Here is the announcement:
Clooz for Windows is a "genealogy utility" program that has been available for some time. Author Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens has updated it several times, and this week I had an opportunity to install and learn about the latest edition, version 1.21.
Clooz is a bit difficult to describe to anyone who has not seen the program. Yet is easy to understand once you have used it for just a few minutes. Clooz is not a regular genealogy program. That is, it doesn’t create pedigree charts or other fancy reports showing ancestors and descendants. It certainly is not a general-purpose reporting program, even though it does generate reports.
Clooz is a research tool to help you keep track of the scraps of information that you find in your efforts to uncover genealogy data. It is a database for systematically storing all of the clues to your ancestry that you've been collecting over the years. You might think of it as an electronic filing cabinet that assists you with search and retrieval of important facts you've found during the ancestor hunt. Did you already find a particular person in the census records? Clooz can tell you. What records have you already searched? What documents have you already found that mention a particular person? Again, Clooz can help. The value of Clooz becomes most apparent as you begin to gather data on hundreds or even thousands of people; the program easily stores information, sorts and filters the information as needed and then displays only the results that you seek.
Many genealogy programs really only store the CONCLUSIONS of your genealogy research. Clooz stores all the information found along the way.
The program’s developer, Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens, is well qualified to design a program like this. She is a Certified Genealogical Record Specialist who speaks frequently on several genealogy-related topics at various events. She is also the managing editor of Genealogical Computing, editor of Board for Certification of Genealogists’ newsletter OnBoard and the Millennium Edition of the BCG Certification Roster, and former editor of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly and both the 1997–98 and 1995–96 APG Directory of Professional Genealogists. In addition, she manages the Ancestor Detective Speakers Bureau. The Clooz Web site describes the development of Clooz:
Installation was simple. Clooz is a database program written in Microsoft Access. Early in the installation I was asked which version of Clooz I wanted to install. It seems that there are three slightly different versions contained on the one CD-ROM disk:
I was installing on a Windows 98 computer that already had Access 2000 installed, so I selected the third option. After I answered the question about which version I wanted, the remainder of the installation required about 30 seconds to complete. An electronic copy of the user’s manual was also copied to my hard drive.
When I started Clooz for the first time, I was surprised to see the Microsoft Office Assistant appear. This is the little "helpful robot" that is included with a number of Microsoft products. If you have used Microsoft Word or Excel or similar products, you have probably seen the little paper clip with eyes that pops up with helpful information. (Actually, the character can be any of a number of characters, but the paper clip character is the one that appears first when a new program is installed. It can later be changed to one that looks like Albert Einstein or a cat or any of a number of other representations.) I must admit that I didn’t use the Office Assistant very much. Whenever I had a question, I either used the built-in Help menus or looked at the online user’s manual.
Clooz is based upon "forms" that the user fills in with information, either by manual entry or by importing the information from other programs. Forms included with the program include all the U.S. Federal censuses 1790-1920 (1890 is the Special Veterans’ Schedule), Irish 1901 and 1911 censuses, 1841-1891 United Kingdom censuses, 1852-1901 Canadian censuses, city directories, photographs, miscellaneous documents, Irish valuations, correspondence, and people.
Your first step should be to enter people into Clooz. You can do this in one of two ways: either by typing them in one at a time, or by importing them from your genealogy software or another database. I entered a few individuals manually from the "Clooz People" selection screen. Entering people manually is tedious, of course. I already had all these people in a genealogy program (The Master Genealogist), so I created a list and then imported the entire list into Clooz. The user’s manual tells how to create lists of people in the following genealogy programs:
Once the list of people is exported from any of the above programs, it can easily be imported into Clooz.
There are six functions you can perform on this screen: sort the people by ID, alternate ID, surname, or given name; add a new person; search for a person; edit selected person; preview selected person's report; or close this form. I then decided to enter research notes about a few of these people. I had earlier gone through the 1790 United States census, so I decided to transcribe my handwritten research notes of that effort into Clooz. The "fill in the blanks" form asked for my Personal File number, which could be any numbering system that I invent for my own record keeping. The Publication roll was already filled in: M637, the catalog number for the 1790 census records on microfilm as published by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Other data items to be entered include the microfilm roll number, state, county, township, city, repository (location where the record was found) and Family History Library microfilm order number, if used. Once all of this preliminary information is added, the user clicks on an icon to add a new person to the form.
If the person to be added is already in the Clooz database, clicking on the Search icon brings up a menu that allows the user to select the needed person. Then clicking on the "Add this person" icon identifies this person as appearing in the 1790 census. If the person to be added is not already in the Clooz database, you can add them at any time by clicking on the "Add New person" icon.
Adding data is rather straightforward. The user does not have to re-enter the "header information" of Personal File number, microfilm roll number, state, county, township, city, repository, etc. for each individual. This is automatically inserted on each individual until the user manually changes it.
One Clooz form to note is Photographs. You can use Clooz to organize all your family photographs so that you will never again have to spend an hour searching for a photograph of great uncle Ebenezer. It can be right at your fingertips, if you have entered the data into Clooz, numbered the photograph, then filed it in numeric sequence. Clooz doesn’t store large digitized photographs but will store "thumbnails," tiny images that are typically one inch square. This is great for use when trying to quickly find a photograph; you can quickly search through the thumbnails. What’s more, you can even print a photo record with thumbnail pictures for each ancestor recorded in Clooz.
Of course, the real value of any program is the ability to extract the information as needed. Clooz offers two ways to do this: either by searching for a particular piece of information or by generating reports. I found the search capabilities to be quick and easy to learn. Searches are also very flexible, as you can search by several different criteria (such as name, type of record, etc.)
The reports available include:
Clooz is a very useful program for any genealogist. It organizes scraps of information in a manner that allows you to quickly and easily find data months or even years later. You can even record erroneous data or books that you searched which did not result in useful information. Recording those "negative hits" will often save time in the future when you can say, "I’ve already checked that and found that it was of no use." Clooz is especially useful if your present genealogy program is a bit weak at organizing scraps of data from your genealogy research.
Clooz version 1.21 sells for $39.95, plus $4 shipping. You can order it online athttp://www.ancestordetective.com/clooz.htm or from any of several dealers (Some dealers may sell it at a discount.). A 30-day money-back guarantee comes with the program if you purchase it directly from Ancestor Detective. The Clooz User's Manual is available online in Adobe PDF format. Before purchasing the program, you can first download the complete user’s manual at ftp://ancestordetective.com/pub/manual.exe and read it from end to end to see if the program meets your needs.
Registered users of version 1.2 of Clooz may download a patch that provides the upgrade to version 1.21 at:http://www.ancestordetective.com/patch.htm. Registered users of earlier versions can purchase an upgrade for $5.00.
- Retrospect Publishing’s Pennsylvania CD-ROM Disks
This week I had a chance to use one of the new CD-ROM disks for Windows produced by Retrospect Publishing of Alexandria, Virginia. This small company is producing CD-ROM disks containing electronic reprints of hard-to-find books, directories and other genealogy resources. The company produces a number of CD-ROM disks, one county per disk. The CD-ROM that I tried is called, "Butler County (Pennsylvania), the early 20th Century and Before." Quoting from the company’s Web site:
The Butler County, Pennsylvania CD-ROM contains electronic images of the pages from three printed books:
The CD-ROM contains the images of the original pages along with a proprietary Windows search engine developed by Retrospect Publishing. Installation was simple: double-click on SETUP.EXE and follow the instructions. The total installation time was less than one minute. The installed software is called "Retrospector" and works only with the Retrospect Publishing CD-ROM disks. It seems easy to use.
The left side of the screen displays three tabs: Contents, Search and Bookmarks. The Contents tab lists all the books on the CD-ROM, along with a list of the major sections or chapters of each book. You can jump directly to any section of any book by clicking on its name in the Contents tab. The Search tab allows you to search for individual words in the books. You may search for up to three words simultaneously.
The Bookmark tab allows you to save your place in a book so you can easily return to it later. It also provides a place for any notes you may want to make and will allow you to attach a label to a spot in a book or to a note.
The software combines the best of both worlds: actual images of the original books are displayed on the screen, and yet, unlike many other CD-ROM disks of scanned images, the user also can search on every word in the books. I quickly did a search for my own last name. The Retrospector software identified 11 "hits." I found that I could click on any of the "hits" and almost immediately view the appropriate page containing that name. While the word itself was not highlighted, a green bar in the margin did show the approximate location of the word that I had searched for. This green bar is very helpful for quickly finding the desired text.
I also found that adding my own notes to a page was easy. On any page, I could right-click and select Bookmark. I was then prompted for a label and for the text of the notes. After I entered the appropriate data, a yellow highlight appeared in the margin. Even better, the new Bookmark and labels are now shown in the list of bookmarks on the left side of the screen. It is easy to return time and again to bookmarked locations and text notes.
Printing a page is just as easy. Each page is documented as to its origin by additional text on the bottom of the page, such as, "Copyright 1999 Retrospect Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Pennsylvania Retrospect Series: Butler County – The Early 20th Century and Before; County History." If the page contains a bookmark, the label and text of that bookmark are also printed.
The Butler County, Pennsylvania CD-ROM will be of interest to anyone with roots in that county. Keep in mind that the data on this CD-ROM comes from history books, not from long lists of births, marriages and deaths. Many prominent citizens will be mentioned, along with some of the not-so-prominent. I especially found the history of the Civil War units from Butler County to be quite interesting as the information included complete lists of all the soldiers from Butler County.
All of Retrospect Publishing’s Pennsylvania CD-ROM disks require an IBM PC or compatible with 486 or higher CPU, 16 megabytes of RAM memory, 4 megabytes of hard drive space, Windows 95 or 98, a CD-ROM drive and a VGA display capable of displaying at least 256 colors. I was disappointed to find that the software does not work on Windows NT or Windows 2000.
The Butler County, Pennsylvania CD-ROM sells for $39.95 plus tax and shipping. The same company also sells similar CD-ROM disks for Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette and Westmoreland counties. Still other counties will be covered in future releases. For more information, look at:http://www.retrospectpublishing.com
- Archives of Maryland Online
The State of Maryland has an ambitious plan to make more than one million historical documents available online. According to the Web site athttp://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/html/index.html, these are documents that "form the constitutional, legal, legislative, judicial, and administrative basis of Maryland's government." Some of these documents will be of interest to genealogists. Original documents have been scanned and are available as TIFF images.
One example is Volume 3, "Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1636-1667," which is indexed by both name and topic. You can see this at:http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000003/html/index.html
Some transcriptions of marriage records are available at:http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/stagser/s1500/s1527/html/ssi1527.html. Helpful information, such as finding aids and descriptions of microfilmed records, can be found at: http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/refserv/html/comarria.html.
The Archives of Maryland Web site appears to be just getting started; a small number of records are available online today, but that number is certain to grow.
- Changes at FamilySearch.org
The FamilySearch.org Web site that is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) has a number of recent changes, including the following:
Even if you have used the FamilySearch.org Web site extensively in the past, you may wish to return and check out the new features. Look at:http://www.familysearch.org
- Mormon Immigration Index Available on CD-ROM
If you have Mormon ancestry, you may be interested in a new CD-ROM available from the church. The following is from the announcement:
The Mormon Immigration Index costs $5.00 (U.S. funds) and can be purchased online. Look at:http://www.familysearch.org/whats_new.asp
- Ellis Island Buildings Restoration Grant
The Office of the First Lady released the following announcement this week:
- 10 Big Myths About Copyright
In recent weeks I have received a number of e-mail messages concerning copyrights. Many of the messages are along the lines of, "I gave my genealogy information to another person and now he has published it online. Can he legally do that without my permission?"
I am no lawyer and certainly am not a position to offer legal advice. However, I did find a great Web site that gives detailed information about copyrights, especially as to how copyright laws work in an online world. The information presented refers primarily to United States laws. The site is not genealogy-specific, but the information there does apply to genealogy data as well as all sorts of other information.
To learn more about copyright laws in the digital age, read Brad Templeton’s "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained" at:http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
- Home Pages Highlighted
The following is a list of some of the genealogy-related World Wide Web home pages that have been listed recently onhttp://www.rootscomputing.com:
Breeden and Loveday surnames of Sevier County, Tennessee:http://www.geocities.com/vienna/choir/5484
CHADDOCK family ancestors and descendants of the USA and UK:http://www.gather.com/chaddock/
Craycroft, Craycraft, Bresnahan and/or Bresnan ancestors:http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~craycroftfamily
Reunion of all Hatch descendants in North America, to take place in 2001:http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Gorge/5687
Photos of the Lars ANDERSEN & Marie Cecilie LARSEN family of Bro Skov & Bogense, Denmark:http://sites.netscape.net/alethafields
123 Genealogy - The Genealogy Training Site. Genealogical speakers, live conference recordings and interviews. Over 6,000 recordings from these conferences N.G.S., Jewish Conf., F.G.S., GENTECH, U.G.A., expert interviews on needed topics, a wide choice of online media training that makes learning from the experts easy:http://123genealogy.com/
Descendants of Robert Purdon and wife Jane Ferguson who emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland to Lanark County, Ontario, Canada in 1821:http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~purdon/
Home page of the Silicon Valley PAF Users Group, and site for ordering the Family History Documentation Guidelines:http://www.svpafug.org
A site designed to help researchers of 100,000 British Home Children sent to Canada 1870-1940 Site has names of +1,000 children:http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~britishhomechildren
Descendants of Francois Dupuis of St.Laurent-Sur-Gorre, Limousin, France and Laprairie, Quebec, Canada:http://ourworld.cs.com/raymdupuis
The Has Bean Webpage-- descendants of Henry Beane (Bean) of Virginia:http://www.geocities.com/lechar_renee
History of a midwestern branch of the Gehling family as told in the biographies and descendants of six of its firstborn sons:http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Bluffs/8479
Banyan Tree - Genealogy of the Hawaiian Family NAHAOLELUA and descendants - Hawaiian genealogy page, links to Hawaii-related research sites, family tree, reference book list, etc.:http://www.members.home.net/svdeleo/index.html
To submit your home page to this newsletter, enter the necessary information at:http://www.rootscomputing.com/register.htm. Due to the volume of new Web pages submitted, I am not able to list all of them in the newsletter.
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