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Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Standard Edition

A Weekly Summary of Events and Topics of Interest to Online Genealogists

Vol. 9 No. 14 – April 5, 2004

This newsletter relies solely upon "word of mouse" advertising. If you enjoy reading these articles, please tell others to go to

Some of the articles in this Plus Edition newsletter are restricted to your personal use.

Search previous issues of Standard Edition newsletters at:

Plus Edition subscribers may gain access to a reserved section of the Discussion Board. Details are available at

All opinions expressed in this document are those of Dick Eastman and his alone, unless otherwise attributed. None of his statements are to be interpreted as endorsements by his employer, by the other authors or by advertisers.

Copyright© 2004 by Richard W. Eastman. All rights reserved.


- Genealogists Meetup
- Family Tree Legends Version 3
- (+) What Is A Primary Source Record?
- Tartan Day
- A Scotsman Discovered America?
- Scottish Genealogy Resources on the Web
- Lower Download Pricing for The Master Genealogist
- World Place Advisor Version 1.2
- $1,000 Genealogical Grant
- Proposed Change to NARA Research Room Rules
- Northeast Document Conservation Center
- Civil War Battlefield and Cemetery to be Paved for a Wal-Mart and a Lowes?
- Dick Eastman to Speak in Boston
- Canada: The U.S.'s Northern and Southern Neighbor?
- I Am My Own Grandpa...
- Upcoming Events

Items marked with a Plus Sign (+) appear only in the Plus Edition newsletter.

Second Law of Genealogy: The keeper of vital records you need will just have been insulted by another genealogist.

- Genealogists Meetup

Meetup is a free online service that brings together like-minded strangers, letting them organize local gatherings. The service is based on software created by the Howard Dean presidential campaign that allowed anyone to find local people with similar interests online and then organize local meetings. The software proved to be enormously successful in that political campaign, with more than 200,000 supporters registered in a few months.

The Howard Dean campaign has since faded into oblivion, but the Meetup service remains alive and growing. In fact, it may turn out to be a valuable but unplanned legacy left behind by Dean's campaign committee. The Meetup service is now available for all sorts of purposes, including political, social, avocational, and other purposes. Since its launch in June, more than 6,900 people have met in person for poker games, and over 4,400 have gathered to discuss Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You can also find Meetups for Martha Stewart fans, vegetarians, knitting, ghost towns, yoga, poodle owners, and Japanese language. More than one million people have signed up for Meetups to pursue about 4,227 topics.

As of the date these words are being written, 435 people have registered their interest in genealogy on the Meetup service. In fact, the service's genealogy section claims to be the "granddaddy of all Meetups."

Meetups are organized online, with local meetings held at locations near those who share the interest. Meetups happen at local cafés, high school gymnasiums, libraries, and other places in 612 cities across 51 countries. Almost all Meetups are free of charge although you might have to pay for your own cup of coffee if the Meetup is held at a local café. The online service makes the in-person meeting painless, even printing (optional) nametags for each participant on his or her own printer. Pin the nametag to your shirt, enter the Meetup location, and look for others wearing similar nametags.

The concept seems to be a safe way to meet others in your area with similar interests. Meetings are always held in visible groups at public locations. A meeting of five or ten or twenty other genealogists at a local Starbucks seems like an excellent method of sharing tips, exchanging information, and "talking shop." Meetup will not schedule one-on-one meetings when there are only two people interested in a topic. Instead, it waits for the group to grow larger before scheduling meetings for all those interested within the area. You can find Meetups held near you or search through others in cities within driving distance.

I decided to check out the Genealogy Meetup and found the sign-up process was simple. I went to the Meetup Web site and scanned for other genealogists. I found several hundred such listings of genealogists in several countries, but no local meetings are scheduled to be held near me. I then registered for the service so that others could find me in the future.

Registration is easy and also quite private. I did have to enter my ZIP code or postal code. Meetup finds other genealogists near you by comparing the postal codes of those with similar interests. This simplifies the process of finding locals with the same interest. However, there is no place to enter a street address, telephone number, or other identifying information. The use of your own name is optional; you may enter your real name or a pseudonym. You are required to enter your real e-mail address so that notices can be sent to you. However, your e-mail address is not shown to others. Again, your privacy is maintained as much as you wish. The service provides a brief text notes area in which you can identify yourself, if you wish to. However, of the listings that I looked at, very few provided real names or other identifying information.

I first entered my e-mail address on the sign-up form. A verification e-mail was sent to me within seconds to verify that it was me signing up, not an imposter. A return to the Meetup Web site was required to finish the process. I entered a pseudonym that is to be visible to others and a couple of sentences about my genealogy interests. I noticed that there is an option to upload a small picture of yourself that others may see. I elected to skip that. Within a minute or so, I was a member of the Genealogy Meetup. My interests are visible to everyone, and my approximate location is also visible so that others may find me. In the screens that I saw, my exact ZIP Code was not displayed. Meetup simply lists me as being near a city that is about ten miles from my home.

Meetup provides a simple message board section for each scheduled Meetup. The "mini-board" allows users to post one or two sentences about the scheduled face-to-face meeting. I scanned a couple of political mini-boards and found them to be hilarious. Many off-topic messages were posted. However, most of the mini-boards for other topics that I looked at seemed to be on target and well written.

Admittedly, this service has not provided any benefit to me yet. None of the 435 other genealogists already registered on Meetup live near me. However, as this service becomes more popular, the benefits are easy to imagine. I would love to see ten thousand or one hundred thousand genealogists register on Meetup. Remember that it serves an international community; you can potentially find people near you, whether you live in Omaha or London or Hong Kong. You may not find them today; however, if you register now, others may find you in the future. A notice of an in-person Meetup will be sent to you by e-mail.

Meetup is a free service; there is no need to pay to use it. The Web site provides an optional MeetupPlus service that costs $29 a year. MeetupPlus members can add venues directly to the venue-voting ballot, suggest monthly agenda items for Meetups, and have a few other options not available to free members. I would suggest that you not sign up for the Plus service until you have fully explored the free offerings. You can also remove yourself from Meetup's database at any time, should you decide to no longer participate.

You might want to be aware that some meeting venues pay to be listed. If the Meetup service suggests that you and your newly-discovered genealogy friends meet at Joe's Diner, that might be because Joe's Diner paid for that suggestion. However, you are never required to meet at the suggested locations. The Meetup service allows you to ignore all suggestions and to pick any meeting location that is acceptable to the participants. Each participant can vote on the meeting's location.

The Meetup Web site also carries unobtrusive advertising on its pages. Obviously, this helps pay the bills so that all of us can use the free service.

You can find more information about Meetup at You can also register at that same address. For a quick shortcut that takes you directly to the genealogy section of Meetup, go to

Looking for genealogists near you to meet and discuss mutual interests? Meet me at Meetup!

For the first two or three Meetup genealogy face-to-face meetings, drop a note to with the dates and locations. I will give you a bit of extra publicity for your meeting in this newsletter.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Family Tree Legends Version 3

Family Tree Legends is a genealogy program that impresses me. It is super easy-to-use and yet is also very powerful. It will meet the needs of almost all genealogists who own Windows computers. I have always been surprised that this gem doesn't receive more publicity. The people I know who use Family Tree Legends all seem to love it.

I wrote about Family Tree Legends version 1.0 in the November 1, 2002, newsletter at and about version 2.0 in the October 27, 2003, newsletter at Version 3 is being released this week. The folks at Pearl Street Software kindly gave me a chance to use the program a few days before its official release. I am still as impressed as ever.

Before diving into the new features of version 3, I will mention some of the things that made the previous version "stand out" from other genealogy programs.

First of all, Family Tree Legends is aimed at all levels of genealogists. Beginners will find that Family Tree Legend’s user interface and liberal use of icons results in one of the easiest to use genealogy programs I have seen. In fact, version 3 has mostly new icons and a lot of new screens. You can see screen shots that demonstrate the program's ease if you go to and click on "Product Tour."

The software developers at Pearl Street Software obviously spent a lot of time studying how genealogists actually use a program. Family Tree Legends, also commonly called "FTL," seems to always be intuitive. While a full user’s manual is included in the program's Help files, I never had a need to look at it when using the program. Even with this ease of use, the program has a lot of power "under the hood" to meet the expectations of seasoned genealogists. It records full source citations, allows for contradictory data, and more.

FTL also has a tightly integrated online capability that constantly makes backups. To be sure, other programs will make backups, either manually or automatically. A couple of genealogy programs will even make backups online. However, I have never seen another genealogy program that does this as well as Family Tree Legends. I was reminded of that this week when I first obtained version 3. I have switched computers from the last time I used the program's previous version. I did not have a local copy of my Family Tree Legends database, not even a backup copy. As it turns out, that was not a problem. Once connected to the Internet, I launched Family Tree Legends version 3 and clicked on "Online Restore Family File." About a minute later my entire database was resident on my hard drive and fully functional within version 3. The backup copy had automatically been made some months ago and stored on Pearl Street Software's servers automatically. In fact, I had forgotten about it. When I needed that backup copy this week, it was restored with two mouse clicks.

The same would work if I switched computers, such as upgrading to a new system. There is no need to do a GEDCOM export or a separate backup at the end of the session. The program will do all that for you automatically. If you connect to the Internet via dial-up connections, Family Tree Legends will temporarily store the backup copies on your hard drive. Once connected online at a later time, the program will then transfer the backup copies to Pearl Street Software's servers. The backup copies are encrypted with a 128-bit encryption key before being saved. Backups are visible to you alone unless you specify otherwise.

Data transferred to Pearl Street Software’s servers may be displayed as Web pages, if desired. In other words, you can publish your data on the Web automatically. You don’t even need to upload a separate copy since the data was already transferred during that data entry process. Pearl Street Software’s servers can use your backup data to create Web pages for you. If you make a minor change to your database, such as adding one person or correcting a single date, your changes are reflected on your personal Web page within seconds.

Again, the publishing of data on the Web is optional. The user can specify to never publish the data. Should he or she decide to publish, the user also can specify several different levels of privatization: show data about living individuals or not, show names but not places or dates, etc.

Another feature of Family Tree Legends is WebFacts – data pieces that can be searched online. For instance, if you find a new record that specifies a town that you have never heard of, you can right-click on the town’s name, and a pop-up menu will appear. This menu allows the user to search for information on the Web about that place. The information obtained typically includes the geographical coordination, elevation, aerial photos, road maps, and more. It will also find surrounding locations, such as courthouses in adjacent towns or counties.

The best part of Family Tree Legends, however, may be its SmartMatching technology. The program compares data in its local database with that stored on, a major online genealogy database. Family Tree Legends seems to do a better job of finding people than most of the other online databases. It really shines when searching for common surnames. Other online databases search for names, and most of them will also try to identify the years. However, it is common to search online for John Smith in Arkansas in 1840 and then find men of the same name 40 or 50 years later in Oregon, Alaska, or Massachusetts. Sure, they might be the same person, but how do you pick out the right one from the hundreds of records displayed on the screen?

SmartMatching does not display hundreds of hits for one person. Instead, it shows one occurrence of the name and then has links to sources of the information. These links are sorted in a manner defined by supporting evidence in other records. Family Tree Legends "votes" on matching records. First, it finds matching bits of information in other records. For instance, it may find a name and birth date in your database and then look for matching records. Some of those records may have the same name and birth date as well as a death date that you do not know. It is assumed that these new records match. Then these newly-found records are compared against the entire database. Now, perhaps a person with the same name and the same death date is found in still more records that also show the names of parents. Again, this data is a match even though it contains still more data not found in your database. This is a form of intelligent linking. The search algorithms also handle conflicting data by two methods: (1.) by voting to see if there are additional records that corroborate the data, and (2.) by showing both to the user for his or her decision.

When I used SmartMatching for the first time, I was very impressed with its accuracy. When I clicked on an icon, Family Tree Legends automatically sent my data of about 3,000 people to the Web server and then advised me to check back in a few hours. When I did so, I found that the software had returned several hundred matches. In many cases, the newly delivered information included data about parents, spouses, and siblings. I scanned through the list and could not find one single entry that was NOT an ancestor of mine! In my case, it was 100% accurate. Every single person listed is, indeed, an ancestor of mine. I have never seen that degree of accuracy on any other online data matching service that I have ever used. Each listing gave details and, in some cases, might have contained new information that I did not have previously. The company owners assured me that this is a typical experience. They say that they have seen a handful of mismatches, but the mismatches are rare. This program’s online name-matching database is amazing.

Under the user’s control, newly discovered data in the Family Tree Legends/GenCircles Web server database may be automatically imported into the local Family Tree Legends database stored on the user’s hard drive. In the case of conflicting data, the user may choose to ignore the new data, replace the old data with the new data, or else add the new data as a secondary record that is subservient to the older data. That last option is a good method of recording "possibilities" that need further investigation.

Now for the best part: with a single click of the mouse, I found that I could either immediately merge all the data from’s displayed record into my local record of that individual, or else I could go through a step-by-step merge. The step-by-step merge takes the user through each piece of data, one at a time, and prompts the user whether or not to copy each fact to the local database. I certainly recommend you use the second option, reviewing each piece of information before adding it to your primary database. If you find a questionable piece of information, skip over that one and come back to it later after you have verified the data.

The merge process also contains several options for merging source citations. I would suggest that you select the option to copy all source citations from the database along with the words, "via GenCircles," to each of those citations. That makes it easy to later identify and verify those citations. (I never believe anyone else’s citations; I always want to verify them for myself.)

Version 3 has added several improvements in the SmartMatching user interface and functionality. The GenCircles database has also continued to expand; it now contains information about 85 million ancestors.

Version 3 has a number of new features. Anyone who has used an earlier version will quickly notice a change in "look and feel." New icons appear on the screen, and many screens have been re-written or rearranged. While the program was always easy to use, version 3 is even easier than previous implementations.

Version 3 also has added an optional instant messaging client. When I first heard that, I said, "Huh? Why would they want that?" As it turns out, the instant message capability works very well. It also is an instant file transfer that takes a bit of explanation. The need for an instant messaging capability started when the software developers wrestled with the problems of sending files in e-mail. They wanted users to be able to exchange data and messages. Yet, the increasing problem of spam filters means that e-mail delivery is no longer guaranteed. Two years ago you could send an e-mail to anyone, and there would be a 99.9% probability that it would be delivered. However, the introduction of spam filters, automatic deletion of attached files, and other nasties results in a much lower delivery rate. Some published articles recently claim that less than 80% of legitimate e-mail messages ever reach their destinations. Since Family Tree Legends depends heavily upon file transfers, e-mail would be a poor choice for exchanging messages and data between users.

Instant messaging looked like the better answer, especially when you realize that some I.M. clients allow you to send a short message or file to someone who is not online at the same time you are. The data is stored in a server someplace and then delivered when the recipient connects to the Internet. The Family Tree Legends developers first looked for a general-purpose instant messaging client that would meet their needs. They could not find one; so, they wrote their own.

The internal instant messaging client, called GENGRAMS, within FTL allows users to exchange messages, data and even pictures. The pictures can be automatically attached to specific records within the program’s multimedia scrapbook. Unlike some instant messaging clients, this one works well with firewalls. It also will only exchange certain types of binary files. It will not exchange executable files or any other file type that might contain viruses or spam. As a result, the users can be confident that Family Tree Legends will protect both their data and their Windows systems.

As a result of the instant messaging capability with its ability to exchange data about people or even pictures, along with the SmartMatching capability that I described earlier, Family Tree Legends is one of the best genealogy programs available today for cooperative genealogy research efforts. If you and a distant cousin, or even a family association, are working on the same lines, use of FTL on each end will simplify the issues of sharing specific pieces of data without overlaying everything in your database. All data in your own database remains under your control at all times, and yet you can easily exchange data with other FTL users.

With GenGrams you will soon be able to send charts or reports to another FTL user. The result that will appear in the recipient's program is exactly the same as what the originator sent. No PDF or RTF files are involved. These charts and reports can be printed on either end. Sending a chart or report is very simple; simply enter the other person's user ID, and click on SEND. Computer novices will have no problem sending very sophisticated charts or exchanging data. This feature is not available in the version released today but will be available within weeks. The new capability will automatically be downloaded and installed into the software of anyone who purchased version 3. All they need to do is go online and use the program

In addition, Family Tree Legends version 3 will directly import data from Family Tree Maker with no GEDCOM or GenBridge imports required. This import routine was written by Pearl Street Software. Unlike GEDCOM, this import routine will even import items from the Family Tree Manager scrapbook, including images, and store them in the appropriate places within Family Tree Legends' scrapbook. With competitive programs, importing data is usually simple, but moving multimedia items from one program to another can require hours of painstaking detail work. Of course, version 3 will still import GEDCOM files created by other programs. If you are using a different genealogy program, you will find it easy to import all your data into Family Tree Legends.

Version 3 also has added 35 or 40 new reports, including an hourglass chart, a bowtie chart, and a report publisher that allows for links to data and images on GenCircles. While you might have your genealogy data stored on a different Web server, you can automatically link to data and images on GenCircles without having to enter all the URLs (addresses). Most of the reports will look the same on the Web server as what you see on the screen when using FTL. The program now will also print lots of blank forms that you can send to others to be filled out. Most reports will print in PDF format, if desired, as well as in RTF and HTML. That makes it easy to send both blank forms and filled-in reports via e-mail.

Version 3 also has an all-new help system, called "Quick Help." It is much faster than Microsoft's standard Help file format that is used by most Windows programs. The program is even "self updating." That is, when online, the program checks to see if there are any new enhancements or bug fixes available. If so, the updates are downloaded and installed automatically. This is for the minor "dot releases" only.

Finally, the real "sleeper" in Family Tree Legends version 3 may be the new Learn button. Pearl Street Software has entered into an agreement with Family Tree Magazine to add numerous "how to" articles directly within the program. Want to know what a "third cousin twice removed" is? Click on Learn, and then follow the menus to an article that explains it all, including a relationship chart. About 30 articles are available today, and more are to be delivered in the future. This feature alone makes Family Tree Legends a strong offering for genealogy newcomers.

As much as I have written above, I still have hardly described all the features of Family Tree Legends version 3. For more information, look at and then click on "Product Tour." For the long list of features, look at

All in all, I am very impressed with Family Tree Legends. Version 3 is a significant upgrade to an already first-class program. It is powerful and easy to use. Family Tree Legends is a strong competitor against the established products that have been available for some years. It is also price-competitive. If you are looking for your first Windows genealogy program, or if you are not happy with the one you are using, I would strongly suggest that you try Family Tree Legends. The program has a full 30-day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee; so, what do you have to lose?

Family Tree Legends version 3 requires Windows 95, 98, 98 SE, ME, 2000, or XP operating system. It also requires a 166 MHz or faster processor, 20 megabytes of disk space, and 32 megabytes of RAM memory. In short, it will run on most Windows computers built in the past few years. Internet access is needed only for the optional backup, SmartMatching, and Web publishing features.

Family Tree Legends has a list price of $49.95 (U.S. funds). However, Pearl Street Software currently is selling it at an introductory price of $29.95. You can safely order it online via Pearl Street Software’s secure online order system. You can also order it via mail, using a credit card, check, or money order.

Best of all, registered users of Family Tree Legends version 1 or 2 may upgrade to version 3 at no charge.

For more information about Family Tree Legends or to safely order it online, go to:

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- (+) What Is A Primary Source Record?

The following is preview of a Plus Edition-only article. It is copyright 2004 by Richard W. Eastman.

In past issues of this newsletter I have encouraged readers to always verify all genealogy information by looking at original sources. "Original sources" consist of information recorded at the time of the original event by a person who had personal knowledge of that event. Town clerk's records, census records, ministers' records, tax rolls, immigration records, and military records are all examples of original sources.

A "secondary source" is information recorded in later years by someone further removed from the event. A genealogy book printed in the twentieth century listing names and dates from 200 or 300 years earlier would be an example of a secondary source. All sources are susceptible to errors. It is possible to have errors even in primary sources. However, secondary sources almost always have a higher error rate.

Note: In last week's newsletter, I even described a "tertiary source." That phrase is my own invention and not one that I recommend others adopt. It was used only to illustrate a particular example in last week's newsletter.

The above descriptions of primary and secondary sources seem to be clear enough until you think about transcribed records. Original records may exist in a form that is difficult to read or perhaps impossible to photograph. In many cases, someone later transcribed the original records and published the results electronically or on paper. However, is the resulting transcription considered to be a primary source or a secondary source?

The preceding is a "preview" of a Plus Edition-only article. The full article is available only to Plus Edition subscribers. Click on Plus Edition for more information.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Tartan Day

April 6th marks Tartan Day, when Scots all over the world celebrate their ancestry. Each year the US Senate passes a resolution to mark April 6 as a celebration of the contribution generations of Scots-Americans have made to the character and prosperity of the United States. Canada has celebrated Tartan Day on April 6th since 1987. Australia and New Zealand have also had a Tartan day for several years but celebrate it on July 1.

More than 20 million people in the United States today can claim Scots ancestry. St. Andrews Societies, Clan associations, Caledonian clubs, and Burns Suppers continue to celebrate the Scottish heritage of these Americans.

April 6 is also the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, signed in 1320. This document served as a Scottish Declaration of Independence. Four hundred fifty-six years later, a similar document was signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The July 4, 1776, document appears to be modeled somewhat upon the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath. Almost half of the signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, while nine of the Governors of the original thirteen states had Scottish ancestry.

President Woodrow Wilson, the son of a Scots Presbyterian minister, said: "Every line in America's history is a line colored by Scottish blood." Other Scottish immigrants included Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell.

You can read more about Tartan Day in America at

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- A Scotsman Discovered America?

Every schoolchild learns that Christopher Columbus discovered America. In fact, a quick study shows that the Italian who sailed for the Spanish did reach some islands in the Americas and possibly what is now South America. However, he never set foot in North America.

There is mounting evidence that a number of Europeans reached North America prior to the year 1492. Vikings probably reached what is now New England and eastern Canada nearly 500 years before Columbus' voyage. Other rumors have circulated about British, Irish, Dutch, Spanish, and even Phoenician explorers before the year 1492. Such visits were possible; many groups had the technology to cross the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, it is possible that Christopher Columbus' only claim to fame is that he was the first to document his travels and have those documents preserved for future generations.

Many believe that a Scotsman was the first European to discover North America in the year 1398. Sir Henry Sinclair was a 14th century Scottish nobleman, Baron of Roslin near Edinburgh, Lord Chief Justice of Scotland, and Admiral of the Seas. The King of Norway also confirmed him as Earl of Orkney, endowing him with 200 strategically positioned islands over which he was to all intents and purposes an independent king.

Sir Henry Sinclair was known to be a traveler and adventurer. He also was known as "Henry the Holy'" because he had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Some say he even fought in a Crusade, like his ancestors before him. In 1398 Sir Henry, sometimes described as Prince Henry because of his royal connection, reportedly sailed to Nova Scotia in a fleet of 12 ships.

After spending the winter in the new lands, Sir Henry set sail for home; however, a storm drove him south to Massachusetts. The evidence for Sir Henry's presence can be seen in the figure of a medieval knight carved into the rock near the summit of Prospect Hill in current day Westford, Massachusetts. It appears to be a grave marker in the style of the Templars, which was hand-chiseled onto a rock slab.

A rubbing of the image was made in 1954 and sent to T. C. Lethbridge, a British writer, archeologist, and curator of the University of Archeology and Ethnology at Cambridge, England. The research done by Mr. Lethbridge established that the knight’s armor dated from the 1360’s to no later than the mid-to-late 1400’s. The coat of arms was determined to be that of the Gunn clan, which was allied to the Sinclairs. Ancient records in Scotland claim that Sir Henry's lieutenant and supposed cousin, Sir James Gunn, died while in the second summer of their voyage. The assumption is that the figure of a knight in armor bearing the Gunn coat of arms is that of Sir James Gunn.

Sir Henry Sinclair may even have reached as far south as Rhode Island, where some evidence suggests that he built Newport Tower. This circular stone tower is of the same design as the round churches of the Knights Templar, of which Sir Henry was a member. The tower in Newport has eight arches, the same as the round churches of the Knights Templar. These churches are rare; the only one remaining in Scotland was built in Orkney, the home of Henry Sinclair.

Sir Henry sailed back to Scotland. He was killed by the English in a battle in Orkney either in 1400 or 1401. His grandson William, first Sinclair Earl of Caithness, immortalized the voyage in stone at Rosslyn Chapel, near Edinburgh. The symbols can still be seen today.

You can read more about Sir Henry Sinclair and his adventures at, and at

You can also read a contradictory report that claims Sir Henry never went to Nova Scotia. You can find that at

Remember that Sir Henry Sinclair was a member of the Knights Templar. Adding to the intrigue, this order reportedly had possession of the Holy Grail, supposedly captured in or near Jerusalem in 1127 A.D. A German book in the 1990s speculates that Sir Henry gained possession of the Holy Grail and took it to Nova Scotia and buried it there for safekeeping. This may be pure fiction, but it makes for interesting reading. The book is Die Ewigkeits-Maschine, or (in English) The Holy Grail: Chalice or Manna Machine? by Dr. Johannes Fiebag and Peter Fiebag. You can find more at

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Scottish Genealogy Resources on the Web

In keeping with Tartan Day, it seems appropriate to mention Web sites that can help you research your Scottish ancestry. Here are a few of the better known sites:

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Lower Download Pricing for The Master Genealogist

The following is an announcement from Wholly Genes Software:

COLUMBIA, Maryland - Wholly Genes Software has announced a new base price of just $34.00 for its top-rated family history project manager, The Master Genealogist ("TMG"). Researchers who download the product from the company Web site and forego the shipment of the CD and printed Users Guide can now get TMG v5 Gold Edition at a new low price of just $59.00. The Silver Edition, which lacks some of the more advanced publishing tools, is now just $34.00.

These new low prices are in response to the increasing number of users who prefer to save money by downloading their software from the Web. "Although users have always had the option to download TMG v5, some users prefer to rely on the electronic manual and avoid the costs associated with a physical shipment," said Bob Velke, President of Wholly Genes. "The issue is especially important to overseas researchers who are subject to import taxes and the rising costs of international shipping," said Velke.

In an age where printed software manuals are rare, The Master Genealogist Gold Edition is renowned for its 400-page Users Guide, which has proved popular among users for its extra large print. The product will still be available with the printed manual and CD-ROM for its regular price of $79.95 plus shipping. The CD-ROM version of TMG Silver Edition is also still available for $39.95 plus shipping. Both products are available from the company Web store, as well as from a variety of genealogy book and supply stores.

For more information or a demo, please visit or write to

About Wholly Genes Software

Founded in 1991, Wholly Genes, Inc., of Columbia, Maryland, publishes professional caliber software tools for family historians. Its flagship product, The Master Genealogist ("TMG"), was first released in 1993 and quickly earned the praise of professional researchers and hobbyists alike. Through constant development of leading-edge features, TMG has earned its longstanding reputation as "the one that does it all." In addition to other family history products and services, Wholly Genes is the developer of the GenBridge import technology, which is built into a variety of third-party products to directly import family history data.

The Master Genealogist and GenBridge are trademarks of Wholly Genes, Inc.

Comment: It is nice to see this price reduction announcement. The Master Genealogist is now getting close in pricing to most of its lesser-powered competitors. The costs of printing manuals, manufacturing CD disks, and all the associated packaging costs are major expenses for any software company. Wholly Genes Software has elected to give the buyers an option: forego the higher-cost packaged product, and save money in the process.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- World Place Advisor Version 1.2

The following is an announcement from Progeny Software:

Instantly Locate Your Ancestor's Hometown on a Map using World Place Advisor Version 1.2!

Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, April 2, 2004 - Progeny Software has just released Version 1.2 of the World Place Advisor program complete with built-in links to

World Place Advisor's geo-coded gazetteer of over 3.3-million place names is now quick-linked to current maps available at With just a click of the mouse you can see where your ancestors lived.

"We are very excited about this enhanced version of World Place Advisor," explained Bob Thomas, President of Progeny Software Inc. "Being able to quickly see on a map where one's ancestors lived will make family research much more meaningful for many people."

Using World Place Advisor, you can:

The Universal Edition of World Place Advisor is designed to read the following family history files directly, no GEDCOM exports required:

Ancestry Family Tree
Ancestral Quest
Family Historian
Family Tree Maker
Heritage Family Tree Deluxe
Legacy Family Tree
Personal Ancestral File
The Master Genealogist
GEDCOM 5.5 files.

World Place Advisor Version 1.2 Universal Edition is priced at $34.95 US, and is available from Progeny Software web site:

Along with the built-in map links, World Place Advisor Version 1.2 includes a number of other enhancements to the program, including:

Progeny Software is offering an Upgrade to Version 1.2, for only $4US, to those who have already purchased a copy of World Place Advisor.

The Upgrade is available to all customers who have purchased the following Progeny products:

The World Place Advisor version 1.2 $4US Upgrade is available from Progeny Software web site:

Due to the very large gazetteer contained in the program, all versions of World Place Advisor are available on CD-ROM only.

World Place Advisor complements Progeny Software's growing product line of quality genealogy software and research products. Progeny's products, which include World Place Advisor, Genelines, Charting Companion, GEDmark and a variety of genealogy research databases and software tools, can be found at

NOTE from Dick Eastman: You can read my review of the earlier version of World Place Advisor at:

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- $1,000 Genealogical Grant

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's "Honoring Our Ancestors" Web site is offering a $1,000 genealogical grant. Quoting the information on the Web site:

Genealogical societies, local and specialized libraries, and avid genealogists are always short of the funds they need to buy appropriate books and CDs, acquire the necessary computers and peripherals, get collected information into print, and pursue other projects. I'd like to take a tiny step toward addressing this problem.

If you represent an organization which serves the genealogical community at large -- or if you serve a smaller community (perhaps you produce a family newsletter, host a website, organize reunions or some such thing) -- and find yourself shy of necessary funds, please consider filling out the form below to apply for a small grant. I will review all submissions and periodically select one for a donation. My goal is one per month. Submissions will remain active candidates for six months from the date of receipt. Hint: I find myself drawn to innovative ideas that can serve as a model to others! Why not give it a go?

This grant is part of a monthly program (Honoring Our Ancestors Grant Program) that Megan has been doing for several years. She is about to make the 50th grant and so decided to make it for $1,000, a bit more than usual.

This is a great idea and can greatly benefit your local society or library. Take a minute to read all the details at The application process is the same as ever - takes about 5 minutes. Everything you need to know is on the website (including summaries of all the past awardees).

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- Proposed Change to NARA Research Room Rules

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration published a proposed revision to its research room rules in the Federal Register on March 31, 2004, on page 16863. This proposal entirely rewrites a portion of NARA's regulations to incorporate several changes and also to clarify it in plain language. In a previously published proposed rule, subparts on access to unclassified records, donated historical materials, and national security information are being moved to 36 CFR part 1256. In this current proposed rule, information about the loan of archival materials for exhibits is being moved to 36 CFR part 1284. This proposed rule will affect the public.

Comments must be received on or before June 1, 2004.

Click here to read the online text of the proposed rule.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- Northeast Document Conservation Center

Do you have an old family Bible or some other paper documents that need to be preserved? The Northeast Document Conservation Center is a non-profit organization that does such work. They also are well known for their disaster assistance. I haven't used their services, but I do know that, after a flood damaged numerous old books a few years ago, the Northeast Document Conservation Center was able to help quickly to reduce the damage.

The Center also has a number of small publications available free of charge about Drying Wet Books and Records, Emergency Salvage of Photographs, Protecting Books and Paper Against Mold, and other related topics. Several of these documents are available online. For more information, look on the Web at:

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- Civil War Battlefield and Cemetery to be Paved for a Wal-Mart and a Lowes?

The following is from a site entitled, "Save the site of the Battle of Fayetteville and the Battlefield Cemetery:"

To: City of Fayetteville, WV

Paramount Development Corp. has approached the City of Fayetteville, WV and asked that they re-zone a 60-acre farm on the edge of town for commercial use. Paramount Development intends to build 2 large buildings that Wal-Mart and Lowes will occupy as well as several smaller out parcels. The 60-acre tract of land however is what is known as the Fleshman/Clark farm; it was the site of the Sept 10, 1862 Battle of Fayetteville. The site also contains a battlefield cemetery, which contains the graves of at least 24 American soldiers.

This property is in imminent danger of being developed, which would mean this hallowed ground would be lost forever. We are asking that the City of Fayetteville deny the request by Paramount Development Corp. to rezone the property and help to preserve Americas ever shrinking battlefield land, as well as, preserve and protect the hallowed ground. We owe it to ourselves and to our ancestors to protect this land that they fought and died for, this honored field where the dead from the battle rest in their graves.


The Undersigned

The above petition can be signed at:

My thanks to David Samuelsen for letting me know about this effort.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- Dick Eastman to Speak in Boston

If I may be permitted a bit of self-promotion, I would like to mention that I will be speaking on Wednesday, April 7, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society at 101 Newbury Street in Boston. This will be one of the society's "Nutshell Lectures." I will be speaking on "Internet Genealogy." The talk will be aimed at computer and/or genealogy novices. It will be an introduction to the many genealogy resources available online.

The talk begins at 10:00 AM. It is free of charge and is open to NEHGS members and non-members alike. If 10:00 AM on a Wednesday is not a convenient time, you might prefer to hear a repeat of the same talk on Saturday, April 10, also at 10:00 AM.

By the way, if you have not attended any of the Nutshell Lectures, you are missing out on some of the best genealogy lessons available in the Boston area. The topics and speakers vary widely. Most of the topics are aimed at beginner to intermediate level genealogists.

After my talks, the Nutshell Lectures for the following week will be on "Founders and Patriots: Researching Notable Early Americans," presented by Gary Boyd Roberts. The first presentation will be at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, April 14. It will be repeated at the same time on Saturday, April 17.

You can learn more about the New England Historic Genealogical Society's "Nutshell Lectures" at

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- Canada: The U.S.'s Northern and Southern Neighbor?

Many genealogists are familiar with the changing borders in ancestral homelands. Towns often shifted from one country to another even though the residents did not move physically. Now a new 21st century proposal may result in a border change for Canada, a change that gives the country territory in the Caribbean.

Peter Goldring, a member of Canada's Parliament, has proposed that the Turks and Caicos Islands, a string of about 40 islands southeast of the Bahamas, become Canada's 11th province. The Turks and Caicos currently comprise a British territory. Goldring plans to set up a parliamentary committee to promote the idea and hopes to get Canadian and Turks business leaders on board.

The Turks and Caicos Islands' total population is about 19,000 inhabitants. All of them could fit comfortably into the Air Canada Center in Toronto, home to the National Hockey League's Maple Leafs, assuming they could obtain tickets! If the proposal succeeds, the Turks and Caicos Islands residents would obtain access to a range of social services, such as public health care, and would benefit from Canadian investment and development.

Peter Goldring also stated, "When I visited the islands in January, I found there were an awful lot of Canadians on the beaches, but not many Canadian products on the shelves."

You can

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- I Am My Own Grandpa...

For a bit of a genealogy mind bender, consider the lyrics to the song I Am My Own Grandpa, written by Dwight B. Latham and Moe Jaffe:

Many many years ago when I was twenty three,

I got married to a widow who was pretty as could be.

This widow had a grown-up daughter

Who had hair of red.

My father fell in love with her,

And soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law

And changed my very life.

My daughter was my mother,

For she was my father's wife.

To complicate the matters worse,

Although it brought me joy,

I soon became the father

Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became

A brother-in-law to dad.

And so became my uncle,

Though it made me very sad.

For if he was my uncle,

Then that also made him brother

To the widow's grown-up daughter

Who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son,

Who kept them on the run.

And he became my grandson,

For he was my daughter's son.

My wife is now my mother's mother

And it makes me blue.

Because, although she is my wife,

She's my grandmother, too.

If my wife is my grandmother,

Then I am her grandchild.

And every time I think of it,

It simply drives me wild.

For now I have become

The strangest case you ever saw.

As the husband of my grandmother,

I am my own grandpa!

This song has been recorded by many artists, including Shel Silverstein, Lonzo & Oscar, Homer & Jethro, Ray Stevens, and Dave Grisman. It reportedly was inspired by an anecdote that Mark Twain related in a book, proving how a person could become his own grandfather.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Board at:

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- Upcoming Events

The Upcoming Events section of this newsletter is published once per month, usually in the first newsletter of each month. Each event will be listed very briefly: date(s), location and brief details, followed by either an e-mail address or a Web page that you can use to find more information. Since detailed information is available via e-mail or the Web, I will not list the details in this newsletter. If you do contact any of these organizations, please tell them where you heard about the event.

If you would like to see your event listed in future newsletters, send an e-mail to: You must include either a Web page that gives details or an e-mail address for the organization or for someone within the organization who is willing to supply the meeting details upon request. Please limit your listings to events where you expect 100 or more people to attend.

Here are the listings, arranged by date. An asterisk indicates a new listing that has been added since the last time this list was published:

*April 8 - 10 - Salt Lake City, Utah: The Utah Genealogical Association invites you to its annual conference. Speakers will include: J. Mark Lowe: People, Places and River Rocks; David Rencher: Bumps Along the Digital Highway; and Thomas J. Kemp: Roots on the Web - Tips for Getting the Facts Online. The Genealogy Boot Camp will give you the thorough training you need to tackle your genealogy. This special series will give you the skills you need to work with basic sources: online resources, print sources, biographical sources, census records, military records, newspaper, passenger and immigration records, school records, and much more. Sponsored by Godfrey Memorial Library. Details may be found at:

*April 16 and 17 – Pasadena, California: The Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library presents the 35th Annual Genealogical Jamboree and Resource Expo. This year's title will be "Genealogy in the New Millennium." The presenters include: Bill Dollarhide, Arlene Eakle, Leland Meitzler, and many others. A large vendors' hall will exhibit the latest genealogy products and services. More than 1,000 attendees are expected at this major event. You can find more information at

April 16-19 - Salt Lake City, Utah: The United Polish Genealogical Societies announce their biennial conference, "Continuing the Challenge." Hosted by the Polish Genealogical Society of California (PGSCA) and the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA), this Conference offers an outstanding opportunity to use the world¹s largest collection of genealogical material and have access to expert Polish/Eastern European researchers. The world-renowned Family History Library has records that include ship passenger lists, naturalization and census records, vital records for many U.S. cities, church records, books, maps and microfilm, and much more. For further information please visit the websites:, or

April 17 – Lake Mary, Florida (15 miles north of Orlando): The Central Florida Genealogical Society will present a genealogy conference featuring George Schweitzer, PhD, ScD, Distinguished Professor, University of Tennessee. He will present three lectures: Military Genealogical Research, River To Trails To Road To Canals To Trains, and Researching in Burned Out Counties.

April 17 – Richmond, Virginia: The Virginia Genealogical Society will hold its Spring Conference with a theme of "Methodology: The Foundation of Good Genealogy." There will be three lecture sessions on handwriting and transcription, abstracting, and documentation. These lectures will be followed by hands-on sessions covering the same topics. For details, contact .

April 17 - Portage, Michigan: The Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society and the Portage District Library will present a genealogical conference featuring guest speaker Amy Johnson Crow, CG. Her topics include: " Between the County and Federal Levels: Using State Government Records," "Evaluating Evidence and Its Sources," "Ten Years is a Long Time: Finding & Using Census Substitutes," "What Do You Mean There's No Record?!" and "Finding Vital Records Substitutes." Details are available from

April 17 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society's Spring Seminar will feature John Phillip Colletta, speaking on "Libraries, Archives and Public Record Offices: Understanding Resource Repositories," "Passenger Arrival Records," "How to Prepare for a Successful Research in European Records" and "Turning Biographical Facts into Real Life Events: How to Build Historical Context."

*April 17 – Plano, Texas: The Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries will host an all-day workshop at the Gladys Harrington Library in Plano, Texas, from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The workshop is titled, "Hoppin' the Pond," and the topics will include German, British, Czechoslovakian, French, Norwegian, Barbados, and Canadian research. For more information go to

April 22-24 - Wilmington, OH (between Columbus and Cincinnati): The Ohio Genealogical Society presents its Annual Conference. The Conference will feature Thomas W. Jones and 28 other speakers presenting 58 sessions. The theme of the conference is "Settlers and Builders of Ohio, Discovering Family History Resources and Strategies." Additional details are available from

April 24 – Santa Rosa, CA: Elizabeth Shown Mills will hold an all-day seminar in Sonoma County, California, sponsored by the Sonoma County Genealogical Society. Details are available at:

April 24 - Topeka, Kansas -- The Topeka Genealogical Society hosts its 32nd annual genealogy conference with Lloyd deWitt Bockstruck as featured speaker. For more information see Conference at the TGS website:

April 24 – Boston, Massachusetts: The New England Historic Genealogical Society will sponsor a one-day workshop on "Genealogy and Genetics" at the NEHGS Research Library. Never has the subject of genetics been more important to your genealogical research! Among the featured speakers will be John Chandler, PhD; New England Ancestors genetics editor Anita A. Lustenberger, CG; Thomas H. Roderick, PhD; and Thomas H. Shawker, MD. Topics will include an introduction to tracking your genes and DNA testing, the design of DNA studies, mtDNA and Y chromosomal analyses, and how to compile a family health history.

April 24 - Baltimore County, Maryland: The Maryland Genealogical Society will present the Spring Luncheon, featuring Nancy Bramucci discussing "Maryland Medical Care in the Nineteenth-Century, A Guide for Genealogists." Nancy is the former head of Special Collections at the Maryland State Archives. For details, please visit

*April 24 – Chicago, Illinois: The Friends of Genealogy 6th Annual April Workshop will be entitled, "Your Family History: Doing It Right ­ Doing It Better." Featured speakers will be Tony Burroughs and Tony Hoskins. Details may be found at

*April 24 - Burlington, Vermont: The Genealogical Society of Vermont is hosting their semi-annual meeting. This meeting will feature three lectures: David Bryan: "Ethan Allen's Second Wife Fanny: Genealogical Research and Speculation;" Tyler Resch: "Anthony Haswell and Freedom of Speech;" and David Kendall Martin: "Researcher Beware! Five Instances Illustrating the Caution Needed When Using Early 18th Century New England Records." For more information and signing up to attend, please see details at:

May 1-2 – London, England: The Society of Genealogists will hold their annual Family History Fair at the Royal Horticultural Hall on Greycoat Street, Westminster, London. This is the largest genealogy event in England with thousands of attendees and many exhibitors from all over the U.K., Ireland, and many overseas countries as well. Details may be found at:

May 1 - South Bend, Indiana: The South Bend Area Genealogical Society will co-host a full day workshop, "Researching Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors," presented by Dr. Brian Trainor and Mr. Fintan Mullan of the Ulster Historical Foundation of Belfast, Northern Ireland. The workshop is free, and a box lunch can be provided for a nominal fee. Details are available from

May 1 - Cameron, Texas: a Saturday Lock-In at the Milam County Clerk's Office will be hosted by the Milam County Genealogical Society. All proceeds to benefit records preservation at the Milam County Clerk's Office. Details are available at:

May 2­8 - New York City: The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society will once again welcome members who may need some guidance wading through the amazing selection of resources available in New York City. Participants will be given a private consultation with a local genealogist and orientations to prepare them for research in the G&B Library, New York Public Library, National Archives Northeast Region, Municipal Archives of the City of New York, and other repositories determined by registrant needs. Program includes four full days of guided trips to the various repositories. There will also be a number of informational lectures and a wide variety of social opportunities, highlighted by a banquet in our lovely auditorium. More information is available at:

May 8 - Boston, Massachusetts: The New England Historic Genealogical Society will sponsor a one-day Irish Genealogical Seminar. This one-day seminar will focus on Irish research methods and resources (many of which may be found at the New England Historic Genealogical Society). Speakers will include Irish experts Eileen and Sean O’Duill from Dublin; the Society’s library director and nationally-known Irish research scholar Marie E. Daly; and George Handran, JD, CG. This seminar is cosponsored by TIARA, the Irish Ancestral Research Association.

May 8 - Santa Clara, California: the Silicon Valley PAF Users Group and the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society will co-sponsor a genealogy seminar offering more than 40 classes covering beginning to advanced research methodology and computer skills for tracing and preserving your family history. Volunteer presenters from throughout northern California will join Keynote Speaker, Beth Maltbie Uyehara, author of The Zen of Genealogy, and Chuck Knuthson, a popular Sacramento area teacher and long-time researcher. For further information and registration details, go to

May 8 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society's monthly meeting will feature Christy Venham, Library Associate, who will discuss resources for Virginia, West Virginia, and Southwestern Pennsylvania families in the West Virginia and Regional History Collection of the West Virginia University Library.

*May 8 – Mayfield Village, Ohio: NEOCAG, the NorthEast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy Society will be present a special program featuring Elizabeth Kelly Kerstens, the creator of Clooz® and the co-creator of Geneweaver®. For additional information, look at:

*May 14 - St. Peters, Missouri: Michael John Neill will present an all-day computer workshop on Family Tree Maker at St. Charles Community College in St. Peters, Missouri. This event is co-sponsored by the St. Charles County, Missouri Genealogical Society and St. Charles Community College. For more information visit

*May 15 - St. Peters, Missouri: Michael John Neill will present an all-day computer workshop on Online Genealogy Methods at St. Charles Community College in St. Peters, Missouri. This event is co-sponsored by the St. Charles County, Missouri Genealogical Society and St. Charles Community College. For more information visit

May 18 - Sacramento, California: A FREE "German Family History SLAM" will be presented by the Sacramento German Genealogy Society as a prelude to the opening of the National Genealogical Society Conference, which begins the following day. All persons interested in their German ancestry, including NGS attendees, are invited. This free event will include a speaker from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, freebies, handouts, advice, and refreshments. The main feature will be a presentation on "Eleven Commandments for Conducting German Family History Research." For information, go to

May 19-22 – Sacramento, California: The U.S. National Genealogical Society's annual conference will be co-sponsored by the Genealogical & Historical Council of Sacramento Valley. This national event attracts genealogists from all over the U.S. Details may be found at:

May 20-22 - Dearborn, Michigan: The Henry Ford Community College is sponsoring three days of hands-on genealogy computing workshop. Topics include: Census Research Online, Genealogy Potpourri, and Family Tree Maker. Presenter will be Michael John Neill, columnist for the Ancestry Daily News and Part I Studies Coordinator at the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America. More details are available at:

*May 20-22 - Dearborn, Michigan: The Henry Ford Community College is sponsoring three days of hands-on genealogy computer workshops presented by Michael John Neill. Topics include Family Tree Maker, Census Research Online and Genealogy Potpourri. For more information visit:

May 27-30 – Toronto, Ontario: The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will host the Society's annual seminar with a theme of "The 3 R's of Family History: Resources, Research, Results." The seminar will feature different streams of interest: Methodology; Technology; Toronto, Ontario, and Canadian research: and a miscellaneous stream which could include topics related to such things as Society Management, genetics/DNA, and others. Speakers include Helen F.M. Leary and Dick Eastman.

June 13-20 - Boston, Massachusetts: "Come Home to New England #1" - This weeklong program will fully acquaint you with the New England Historic Genealogical Society's world-class genealogical research facility and expert staff. Throughout the week you will receive guided research assistance, personal consultations, informative lectures, and much more!

June 18-19 ­ Braintree, MA: A reunion of the descendents of Lt. Alexander MARSH (1628-1698) of Braintree, MA. For further details contact Ken Marsh at

June 18 - 20 - Sandwich, MA: The Wing Family of America is hosting their annual reunion. You do not have to be a member of the WFA to attend the reunion. Many activities planned, and the first volume of the new Wing Genealogy will hopefully be available. For more information see the WFA's Web site at

June 26 - Boston, Massachusetts: "Electronic and Online Genealogical Resources." This special one-day seminar sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society will acquaint you with technological tools that will greatly aid your genealogical research. Dick Eastman, NEHGS Assistant Executive Director for Technology, will discuss and demonstrate modern devices that will assist the genealogist in locating records, finding old (and even abandoned) cemeteries, plotting grave locations, locating ancestral homesteads and more. NEHGS resources, including new CD-ROMs and the website, will be surveyed in detail by Michael J. Leclerc, director of electronic publications at NEHGS and a frequent contributor to New England Ancestors magazine. Researching U.S. and Canadian military records online will be presented by David Lambert, NEHGS Library microtext & technology manager.

July 7 to 11 - South Portland, Maine: the 6th National Reunion of Jordans will feature a theme of "Getting to know you." Some 250 members of The Reverend Robert and Sarah (Winter) Jordan, AKA The Family Jordan, will travel from many parts of America to Maine, the state where their roots in this country were originally planted. Their goal is to explore, discuss, and expand knowledge of family lineage which has been traced to early England. A busy agenda is planned for the 4-day gathering that will include educational forums, DNA tracking, regional meetings, board meetings, elections, and establishment of a Board of Trustees for their newly formed Scholarship Foundation. Mr. Thomas Roderick of the Jackson Laboratory at Bar Harbor, ME, will be the featured speaker on the DNA study on the Jordan name.

*(corrected) July 10 - Whitewater, Wisconsin: The German Interest Group-Wisconsin is sponsoring a German genealogy workshop, "Insights in Your German Past." Roger Minert will speak on four German research topics. For more information see the GIG web page at:

July 11-17 - Washington, D.C.: The National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) offers on-site and in-depth examination of the common and less-known federal records. This intensive week-long study opportunity is for experienced genealogists and for archivists, historians and librarians interested in using federal records for genealogical research. It is not an introductory course in genealogy. Details may be found at:

August 1-5 - Richmond, Virginia: The Virginia Genealogical Society will host the 7th Virginia Institute of Genealogical Research. The 4-day retreat and intensive immersion will offer two tracks: 1) Introduction to Virginia Research, and 2) Virginia and Their Land. For details, contact VGS at

*August 20-21 - Denver Colorado: The Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies presents: "Connections...With Your Families, With Your Friends", a two-day seminar featuring Thomas Jones, Ph.D., CG, Gladys Friedman Paulin, CGRS, and Pamela Boyer Porter, CGRS, CGL, with noted regional speakers supplementing the lecture schedule. Two tracks of lectures, regional exhibitors, local societies, all will be present to provide an outstanding genealogical experience for area researchers. Details may be found at

*Sept. 8 – Plano, Texas: The Genealogy Friends of Plano will host an all-day seminar at Gladys Harrington Library in Plano, Texas. The speaker will be John Humphrey. The topics will be "Reconstructing Families on the Colonial Frontier," "Researching Pennsylvania Ancestors," and "Researching German Ancestors: The Agony and The Ecstasy." For more information, go to

*Sept. 17 & 18 – Lebanon, Ohio: The Descendants of William Lee will meet in Lebanon, Ohio. The program includes touring the Genealogy and Historical Society. For information, contact or

Sept. 18-24 - Miami, Florida: Legacy Family Tree is sponsoring a genealogy cruise this fall. Sail away on a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival's stately Triumph. In addition to cruising through the Caribbean, you will have the opportunity to visit the ports of Cozumel, where you can tour the Mayan Ruins, Grand Cayman's seven mile beach, or Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where you can climb the famous Dunn Falls. While sailing, you will learn professional genealogical techniques and how to apply them by using the many powerful features of Legacy Family Tree and other programs. Details may be obtained from

Sept. 25 – Oxford, England: The Oxfordshire Family History Society's Open Day 2004 will feature a demonstration and workshop on the scanning of old photographs, an assortment of visiting societies, dealers in second hand books and postcards, sales of microfiche readers and the like, the society's library and search services, a beginners' helpdesk, computing demonstrations giving advice on such topics as which genealogical software package to choose, and the use of the internet in family history, and more. Details are still developing; keep a watch on

October 2 - Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Western Michigan Genealogical Society (WMGS) is celebrating its 50th anniversary from October 2003 - October 2004. This celebration will culminate in a one-day Conference – "Got Ancestors?!" along with a banquet. Speakers include Dick Eastman, Joan Griffin, and Shirley De Boer. Dick Eastman will also speak at the Saturday evening banquet. Details are available at:

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The PR Budget for this newsletter is $0.00. I rely upon "word of mouse" advertising in which you recommend this newsletter to your friends. This newsletter is a private project of mine, and I have a zero budget for a publicity campaign to get more readers.

In each issue, I try to offer you useful, interesting and sometimes amusing information to help you with your genealogy efforts. Can you take a minute to help me out in return? If you think this newsletter is a worthwhile read, please tell your friends. Better yet, suggest they can read the Standard Edition or subscribe to the Plus Edition at


Are you interested in the articles in this newsletter? Would you like to learn more or ask questions or make comments about these articles? Join this newsletter’s online Discussion Board at

You can also search past newsletters at:

If you would like to submit news, information or press releases for possible inclusion in future newsletters, send them to The author does reserve the right to accept or reject any articles submitted.

COPYRIGHTS and Other Legal Things:

The contents of this newsletter are copyright by Richard W. Eastman with the following exception:

Many of the articles published in these newsletters contain quotes or references from others, especially from other Web sites, software user’s manuals, press releases and other public announcements. Any words in this newsletter attributed to another person or organization remain the copyrighted materials of the original author(s).

This document is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in this document represents the views of Richard W. Eastman with one exception: words written by other authors and republished herein are the views solely of those authors. All information provided in this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. The reader assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document.

You are hereby granted rights, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute articles from this newsletter to other parties provided:

    1. You do so strictly for non-commercial purposes
    2. Articles marked with a Plus Sign (+) are not to be redistributed. Those articles are solely for the use of Plus Edition subscribers.
    3. You may not republish any articles containing words attributed to another person or organization until you obtain permission from that person or organization. While you do have permission to republish words written by Richard W. Eastman, you do not have automatic authority to republish words written by others, even if their words appear in this newsletter.

Also, please include the following statement with any articles you re-distribute:

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2004 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

Anyone complying with the above does not need to ask permission in advance.

Permission to use the words in this document for commercial purposes usually is granted. However, commercial use requires advance authorization.

Thank you for your cooperation.


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If you all of a sudden stop receiving your copy of the newsletter (and this happens more than you might think), don't just assume I skipped an issue or there's something wrong with the newsletter's distribution. I rarely skip an issue without noting that in advance. If you stop receiving the newsletter, chances are that it's not a problem with your subscription; it's a problem with your mail server or your spam filter. That is the number one cause of newsletter subscription problems.


Dick Eastman is employed by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, serving as Assistant Executive Director for Technology. He is a frequent presenter at major genealogy conferences. He has published articles in Genealogical Computing and Family Chronicle magazines and for a number of Web sites. He was an advisor to PBS' Ancestry series and appeared as a guest in one of the episodes. He is a past Director of GENTECH and of the New England Computer Genealogists. Dick is the author of YOUR ROOTS: Total Genealogy Planning On Your Computer published by Ziff-Davis Press. He can be reached at: Due to the volume of e-mail received, he is unable to answer every e-mail message received.

If you have questions or comments about the article in this newsletter, go to this newsletter's Discussion Board at Post your message there. You will receive then assistance from Dick Eastman or from a number of other people.


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