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  • 17 Jan 2023 9:02 AM | Anonymous

    The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will embark this fall on a new round of sound recovery to restore some of the world’s earliest recordings. Made possible with public-private funding through an initial grant from the Save America’s Treasures program and matching support by Linda and Mike Curb and Seal Storage Technology, the work will focus on hundreds of records created by Alexander Graham Bell and his colleagues at Volta Laboratory in Washington, D.C., and at Bell’s property in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, between 1881 and 1892. Additional support was provided by SEDDI Inc. and the Alexander and Mabel Bell Legacy Foundation.

    The Volta Laboratory innovations in sound recording and playback proved foundational to the emerging music, broadcast and entertainment industries, and to the documentation of worldwide cultures and endangered languages through ethnographic fieldwork.

    “Over the three-year duration of this remarkable project, ‘Hearing History: Recovering Sound from Alexander Graham Bell’s Experimental Records,’ we will preserve and make accessible for the first time about 300 recordings that have been in the museum’s collections for over a century, unheard by anyone.” said Anthea M. Hartig, the museum’s Elizabeth MacMillan Director. “We are grateful to this public-private partnership in funding this dynamic and innovative work.”

    You can read more in an article published in the National Museum of American History's web site at:

  • 16 Jan 2023 8:54 PM | Anonymous
    (+) Convert Your Old Computer into an In-Home Server

    This Newsletter is 27 Years Old!

    Expanding the Reach of Genealogy Societies and Conferences

    MyHeritage Publishes Exclusive Huge Collection of Israel Immigration Records

    FamilySearch 2022 Genealogy Highlights

    Registration is Now Open for the NGS 2023 Family History Conference

    You Are Probably Descended from Charlemagne and Other Royalty

    Ancient Bones, Teeth Found in Shipwreck Burial Ground Help Explain Genetic Ancestry of Scandinavians

    Biden Signs Law to Help Preserve Japanese American WWII Incarceration Camps

    Risk of Autism Associated With When and Where Forebears Lived

    USU COVID-19 Oral History Digital Collection Now Live

    Julia Roberts Stunned to Learn She’s Not a ‘Roberts’ After DNA Test

    Free BCG-Sponsored Webinar, January 17, 2023

    Augusta Jewish Museum Historic Plaque Markers Dedication

    The Majority of Books Published Before 1964 Are Free of Copyrights

    TheGenealogist adds 1831 Irish Tithe Defaulters and more Irish Parish Registers

    Findmypast adds School Records

    Celebrate Public Domain Day 2023 with Us: The Best Things in Life Are Free

    Uncovering the Men Behind the 135-Year-Old Message in a Bottle

    Your Chromebook Can Run Microsoft Office

  • 16 Jan 2023 7:41 AM | Anonymous

    Wow! Another year has come and gone! Where did the time go?

    It seems like only yesterday that I decided to start writing a genealogy newsletter for a few of my friends and acquaintances. Well, it wasn’t yesterday… it was exactly 27 years ago!

    Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that 27 years would be so interesting, so much fun, and so rewarding. 

    Twenty-seven years has slipped by in almost the blink of an eye. It seems like only yesterday that I sent the first e-mail newsletter to about 100 people, mostly members of CompuServe’s Genealogy Forums. (Do you remember CompuServe?) The last time I looked, this newsletter now has tens of thousands of readers tuning in every day! If you would have told me that 27 years ago, I would have never believed you.

    This little newsletter started as a way for me to help friends to learn about new developments in genealogy, to learn about conferences and seminars, and to learn about new technologies that were useful to genealogists. I especially focused on what was then the newly-invented thing called the World Wide Web. In 1996 many people had never heard of the World Wide Web, and most people didn’t understand it.

    None of the first recipients knew in advance that the newsletter would arrive; I simply e-mailed it to people who I thought might be interested. In 1996 nobody objected to receiving unsolicited bulk mail; the phrase “spam mail” had not yet been invented. I shudder to think if I did the same thing in today’s internet environment.

    The word “blog” also had not yet been invented in 1996, so I simply called it an “electronic newsletter.” Some things never change; I still refer to it as an “electronic newsletter” although obviously it is a blog.

    Here is a quote from that first newsletter published on January 15, 1996:

    “Well, it’s started. This newsletter is something that I have been considering for a long time, but I finally decided to “take the plunge.” I’ve subscribed to several other electronic newsletters for some time now and have found them to be valuable. On many occasions I have said to myself, “Someone ought to do a weekly newsletter for genealogy news.” One day the light bulb went on, and I decided that perhaps I was that someone.

    “I hope to collect various bits of information that cross my desk and appear on my screen every week. Some of these items may be considered ‘news items’ concerning events and happenings of interest to computer-owning genealogists. Some other items will be mini press releases about new genealogy software or other products and services that have just become available. I may write a few articles about things that are not genealogy-related but still seem to be of interest to me and probably to the readers. This may include articles about online systems, operating systems or other things that affect many of us.

    “You will also find editorials and my personal opinions weaving in and out of this newsletter. Hopefully I will be able to clearly identify the information that is a personal opinion.

    “The expected audience of this newsletter includes anyone in the genealogy business, any genealogy society officers and anyone with an interest in applying computers to help in the research of one’s ancestors

    “I chose to distribute in electronic format for two reasons: (1.) it’s easy, and (2.) it’s cheap. In years past I have been an editor of other newsletters that were printed on paper and mailed in the normal manner. The ‘overhead’ associated with that effort was excessive; I spent more time dealing with printers, maintaining addresses of subscribers, handling finances, stuffing envelopes and running to the post office than I did in the actual writing. Today’s technology allows for a much faster distribution, and it is done at almost no expense to either the producer or the subscribers. I want to spend my time writing, not running a ‘newsletter business.’

    “Since the expected readers all own computers and almost all of them use modems regularly, electronic distribution seems to be the most cost-effective route to use. It also is much lower cost than any other distribution mechanism that I know of.”

    The original plan has been followed rather closely in the 27 years since I wrote those words. The newsletter still consists of “events and happenings of interest to computer-owning genealogists,” “mini press releases about new genealogy software or other products and services,” and “a few articles about things that are not genealogy-related but still seem to be of interest to me.” I have also frequently featured “editorials and my personal opinions.”

    One thing that has changed is that the newsletter was converted from a weekly publication to a daily effort about 22 years ago. I now send both daily and weekly summations of all the articles by e-mail.

    I am delighted with the change to a daily format. There is a lot more flexibility when publishing daily and, of course, I can get the news out faster.

    Another thing that has changed is the delivery method. In 1996, this newsletter was delivered to readers only by email. The reason was simple: most computer owners in those days didn’t use the World Wide Web. In fact, most of them didn’t even know what the World Wide Web was.

    Tim Berners-Lee proposed a new service of hypertext inter-connected pages on different computers in 1991, when Web servers were unknown. By January 1993 there were fifty Web servers across the world. A web browser was available at that time, but only for the NeXT operating system, a version of UNIX. Web browsers for Windows and Macintosh systems were not available until June 1993. Even then, the World Wide Web did not become popular with the general public until the dot-com boom of 1999 to 2001.

    Prior to the dot-com boom of 1999 to 2001, email was the best method of sending information to others.

    One feature that I like about the current daily web-based publication is that each article has an attached discussion board where readers can offer comments, corrections, and supplemental information. The result is a much more interactive newsletter that benefits from readers’ expertise. The newsletter originally was a one-way publication: I pushed the data out. Today’s version is a two-way publication with immediate feedback from readers.

    The 2023 newsletter does differ from one statement I wrote 27 years ago:

    “Today’s technology allows for a much faster distribution, and it is done at almost no expense to either the producer or the subscribers.”

    If I were to re-write that sentence today, I wouldn’t use the phrase, “at almost no expense.” I would write, “…at lower expense than publishing on paper.”

    Since I wrote the original words 27 years ago, I have received an education in the financial implications of sending bulk e-mails and maintaining web sites, complete with controls of who can access which documents. I now know that it costs thousands of dollars a year to send thousands of e-mail messages every week. There are technical problems as well. Someday I may write an article about “how to get your account canceled when you repeatedly crash your Internet Service Provider’s mail server.”

    The truth is I did crash mail servers a number of times in the early days of this newsletter. And, yes, I got my account canceled one day by an irate internet service provider. I was abruptly left with no e-mail service at all. The internet service provider discovered that their mail server crashed every week when I e-mailed this newsletter, so they canceled my account with no warning. I now use a (paid) professional bulk email service to send those messages. I also hope that internet service provider has since improved the company’s email server(s)!

    In the third issue of this newsletter, I answered questions that a number of people had asked. I wrote:

    “I hope to issue this [newsletter] every week. … I reserve the right to change my mind at any time without notice. Also, the first three issues have all been much longer than I originally envisioned. I expect that the average size of the newsletter within a few weeks will be about one half what the first three issues have been. Do not be surprised when you see it shrink in size.”

    Well, I was wrong. The first three issues averaged about 19,000 bytes of text. The newsletter never did shrink. Instead, the average size of the newsletters continued to grow. The weekly e-mail Plus Edition newsletters of the past few years have averaged more than 500,000 bytes each, more than twenty-five times the average size of the first three issues. In fact, each weekly newsletter today is bigger than the first ten weekly issues combined!

    So much for my prognostication!

    In fact, you receive more genealogy-related articles in this newsletter than in any printed magazine. Subscriptions for the Plus Edition of this newsletter also remain less expensive than subscriptions to any of the leading printed genealogy magazines. Also, there aren’t as many printed genealogy magazines today as there were 27 years ago.

    In 27 years I have missed only twelve weekly editions for vacations, genealogy cruises, 2 broken arms, multiple hospital stays, one airplane accident (yes, I was the pilot), and family emergencies.

    I broke both arms one day by slipping on an icy walkway and still missed only one newsletter as a result! I found typing on a keyboard to be difficult with two arms in casts. (There were a number of other things that proved to be difficult to accomplish with two arms in casts!) The following week I wrote an article about speech input devices as I dictated that week’s newsletter into a microphone connected to my PC.

    Several months later, I suffered bruises and wrenched my neck severely when I had an engine failure in my tiny, single-seat, open cockpit airplane. The plane and I landed in a treetop and then fell to the ground about eighty feet below, bouncing off tree limbs as the wreckage of airplane and pilot fell to the ground together. I landed upside down with the wreckage of the airplane on top of me. (Landing upside down in an open cockpit airplane is not the recommended landing procedure!) Yet I missed only one issue as a result of that mishap even though the following issue was written while wearing a neck brace and swallowing pain pills that made me higher than that airplane ever flew.

    Nine years ago, an emergency appendectomy caused me to miss one weekly mailing of the newsletter. I have rarely taken time off for vacations.

    Over the years I hopefully have become more cautious: I stopped flying tiny airplanes, and I have now moved to Florida in order to avoid the ice. I also have published more than 75,000 newsletter articles. Someday I really do have to learn how to touch type.

    Because of this newsletter, in the past 27 years I have traveled all over the U.S. as well as to Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, and Ireland, and have made multiple trips each to Canada, England, Scotland, Mexico, China, and to several Caribbean islands.

    Because of this newsletter, I have met many enthusiastic genealogists. Because of this newsletter, I have had the opportunity to use great software, to view many excellent web sites, and to use lots of new gadgets. Because of this newsletter, I have discovered a number of ancestors. I am indeed fortunate and have truly been blessed.

    I’ve always tried to make this newsletter REAL and from the heart. I don’t pull any punches. I write about whatever is on my mind. And if that offends some people, then so be it. I don’t expect everyone to agree with all of my opinions. There is plenty of room in this world for disagreements and differing viewpoints amongst friends. There are too many watered-down, politically correct newsletters and blogs out there already. I plan to continue to write whatever is on my mind. If you disagree with me, please feel free to say so.

    To each person reading today’s edition, I want to say one thing: From the bottom of my heart, thank you for tuning in each day and reading what I have to say.

    Also, one other sentence I wrote 27 years ago still stands: suggestions about this newsletter are always welcome.

  • 13 Jan 2023 4:07 PM | Anonymous

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

    If you upgraded your home computer to a more modern system, you may still have the old system lying unused in a closet or some other place. There are many uses for old computers, such as giving it to a family member, installing Linux on it to experiment with a new and more secure operating system, or any other number of worthwhile projects. I would suggest you consider converting the old computer into a server. 

    There are several good reasons for having a server in your home:

    1.     A server is a good place to store backup copies of your important files. In case of a hard drive crash or an accidental erasure in your primary computer, you can quickly and easily restore the needed file(s) from your file server.
    2.    Placing your data in one place makes it easy to share files amongst your own desktop, laptop, and tablet computers, as well as with your cell phone and even with the devices of other family members. You can use the server as a "media server" to let all computer devices within the home access the music, videos, and other files that you have stored on the server and make them available to all computer devices within the home.
    3.    Making backup copies of files stored on a server is generally much easier than making backup copies of files stored on multiple individual computers, such as your desktop and laptop computers and the computers of other family members. For example, if you use a backup service such as Backblaze, you can first copy all your important files to the in-home server, then use Backblaze to copy all those files from the server to off-site storage space in the cloud. This makes it easy to ensure that all devices in the home get backed up while no device runs slower while the backup is in progress.
    4.    A server can easily also share printers, CD-ROM drives, and other computer devices amongst family members' computers. If your new laptop does not include a CD-ROM drive, you can use the one installed in the server in the same manner as if it was installed within the laptop. The same is true with a printer: connect a printer to the server computer, and then make it accessible to all family members.
    5.     It is easy to set permissions on who/what can read/write to the server. For instance, you might want to keep adult content available only to the adults in the house. You also might want to give family members “read-only” access to some files so they will not accidentally erase or overwrite the ones you wish to save.
    6.     With the addition of more software, it is possible to use the server as a web server on the Internet. The web server would allow you to make any information you wish available to others on the World Wide Web. You can even make your genealogy information, your bowling league's newsletter, or your son's Cub Scout den's newsletter available to everyone else online.
    7.     You can use the old computer that is now a server to share videos, music, recorded television broadcasts, and more amongst all television sets and network-connected stereo systems in the house.
    8.     You can lock the server in a closet or in some other location to prevent theft. (You need to allow for ventilation, however.)
    9.     It is educational. You can learn a lot about computers and servers when you set up your own system.

    You can place the server on your in-home network. (You probably have an in-home network even though many users of broadband do not know they already have a network installed.) You can do this with almost any Macintosh, Windows, or Linux computer built within the past few years, even a laptop system.

    The hard drive in your old computer probably has less storage capacity than that of your newer system. However, that should not be a limiting factor. The old hard drive certainly is big enough to use for a while as you experiment with the server software. Depending upon how much data you wish to store on the server, the present hard drive may have enough storage space to last for years. You might only wish to store your important documents or perhaps family photographs in the new server. However, if you do need more space, it is relatively cheap these days to purchase and plug in an external USB hard drive whenever you need it, adding more space than you probably will ever need.

    I recently converted an old MacBook Air laptop into a server, and it is almost as easy to do the same thing with a Windows computer. The battery on my old laptop no longer would hold a charge more than a few minutes, so I thought it was useless. Not so! I simply plugged it into a power outlet, and now I leave it running all the time as a server. One advantage of a laptop is that they usually are optimized to use as little power as possible. Leaving a laptop powered on all the time and connected to an electrical outlet will have very little impact on the monthly electric bill!

    The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/13056539.

    If you are not yet a Plus Edition subscriber, you can learn more about such subscriptions and even upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription immediately at

  • 13 Jan 2023 11:05 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist has today released 371,400 Kildare Catholic Parish Registers covering 323,923 records of baptisms, 46,914 marriages and 563 burials to make it easier for its Diamond subscribers to discover their Irish ancestors from this eastern part of Ireland.

    Also released at this time are more than 29,000 individuals recorded as Irish Tithe Defaulters. These records from 1831 can be a useful stand-in for the 1831 Irish census which was almost completely destroyed in 1922. 

    The Irish Anti Tithe Agitation The Affray at Carrickshock, 1831

    Tithes were levied on all occupiers of agricultural land, no matter what their religion was and the Roman Catholic population of Ireland particularly resented paying these tithes to the Church of Ireland (the Established Church) on top of often supporting their own priests. Refusal to pay the tithes came to a head in the years 1831 to 1832, beginning what is known as the ‘Tithe War’ in Ireland.

    To alleviate the Church of Ireland’s shortfall The Clergy Relief Fund was established in 1832 by the Recovery of Tithes (Ireland) Act 1832. This provided the affected clergy compensation in return for providing the government with the names of the defaulters.

    Many of the non-payers named were ordinary folk such as labourers, farmers and widows who would most likely have been Roman Catholics and so not part of the congregation at their local Church of Ireland parish church, but surprisingly there are also Magistrates, Peers of the Realm and even Knights.

    These new releases, now available to all Gold and Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist will be a welcome resource for those family historians wanting to research their Irish ancestry.

    Read TheGenealogist’s featured article: Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay – The Tithe Defaulters at 

    About TheGenealogist

    TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 

    TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

    TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

  • 13 Jan 2023 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    Where your ancestors lived can cause Autism? That seems ridiculous but a recent study by University of Utah Health scientists found a connection:

    University of Utah Health scientists, using a unique combination of geographic and population data, recently concluded that when and where parents and grandparents of Utah children were born and raised could contribute to an increased risk of autism among their offspring.

    The scientists think this new approach could be used to explore time and space aspects of any disease where family pedigree information is available.

    The study, published in the International Journal of Health Geographics, is among the first to assess the influence of time and space (when and where) across generations on the increased risk of autism.

    In time, the researchers say, this finding could lead to the identification of environmental factors, such as exposure to pollutants, that could have disruptive effects on genetic information passed between generations.

    “Looking back at families and where and when they lived helped us detect clusters of individuals who seem to have a higher subsequent risk of autism among their descendants,” says James VanDerslice, an environmental epidemiologist in the Division of Public Health at U of U Health and senior author of the study.

    “Knowing that the parents and grandparents of these children with autism shared space and time brings us closer to understanding the environmental factors that might have influenced this health outcome.”

    You can read more in an article published in the web site at:

  • 13 Jan 2023 9:02 AM | Anonymous

    Julia Roberts has discovered a family secret: Her world famous last name isn’t exactly accurate.

    The “Pretty Woman” actress, 55, was shocked to learn on a recent episode of Ancestry’s “Finding Your Roots” that her great-great-grandmother Rhoda Suttle Roberts had an affair with a married man after her husband, Willis Roberts, passed away. 

    “Digging into Georgia’s County archives, we discovered that sometime in the 1850s, Rhoda married a man named Willis Roberts,” Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. explained.

    “Julia carries Willis’ last name, but Willis passed away in 1864, over a decade before Rhoda gave birth to Julia’s great-grandfather, John, leading to an inescapable conclusion.”

    Through DNA archives and genealogical work, Gates discovered Willis “could not possibly” be the “Notting Hill” actress’ great-great-grandfather.

    “He was dead,” the historian revealed.

    You can read more in an article by Emily Selleck published in the web site at:

  • 13 Jan 2023 8:31 AM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, it is about another interest of mine: Chromebooks. I also believe that many readers of this newsletter share my interest.

    From an article by Joshua Goldman published in the web site:

    Whether you got a new Chromebook for the holidays or you're looking to do more with the one you have in the coming new year, you should know that there are still quite a few misconceptions about what Chromebook computers can do. One of the most prevalent is that Chromebooks can't run Microsoft Office. While it's true that Windows or Mac software can't be directly installed on a Chromebook -- including the desktop versions of Microsoft Office apps -- that's not the only option when it comes to using Microsoft's suite of productivity software. 

    I'm not talking about the Android versions, either. Although Chromebooks can run millions of Android apps from the Google Play store, the Android versions of Microsoft Office, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive are no longer supported on Chromebooks. However, when the Android apps stopped being supported on Chromebooks, another option (and in my opinion, a better one) took their place.

    Progressive web apps are like mobile app versions of a website but with more features, such as offline use, the option to pin them to the taskbar, support for push notifications and updates and access to hardware features. You can find Microsoft Office 365 PWAs like Outlook and OneDrive, and they work great on Chromebooks. Here's where to find them and install them so you can still use Office on a Chromebook.

    You can read the full article at:
  • 13 Jan 2023 8:14 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Ony Anukem published in the web site:

    Join Creative Commons, Internet Archive, and many other leaders from the open world to celebrate Public Domain Day 2023. As of January 2023, a treasure trove of new cultural works has become as free as the moon and the stars — at least in the USA and many other countries. And what better way to get us feeling inspired than recalling those timeless lyrics of the 1927 hit musical composition: “The Best Things In Life Are Free“. We agree! That’s why we made it our theme. 

    This year ushered in a wealth of creative works published in 1927 into the Public Domain, which now contribute to our cultural heritage. Iconic authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf, silent film classics like the controversial The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson and Fritz Lang’s dystopian Metropolis, and snappy musical compositions like “You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream”.

    You can welcome new public domain works and celebrate with us in three ways:

    You can read the full article at:

  • 13 Jan 2023 7:59 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Head back to school this

    Findmypast Friday 

    ·         More school records for Yorkshire added 

    ·         Records for five burial sites in Middlesex 

    ·         Two newspaper titles updated with even more pages 

    National School Admission Registers

    This collection has been bolstered by a further 7,859 records, all from 10 schools Halifax in Yorkshire. You should find details such as full name, age and the years your ancestor attended school. Some may even have parents’ names and their home address. 

    Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 

    A further 1,731 records have been added to this existing collection, covering five different burial sites, one of which is a prison. Typically, you’ll get an ancestor’s full name, death year, place, and even sometimes the full inscription. Be sure to check the document link to learn more information about the burial site. 


    Step back in time into the era of old school Hollywood glamour and beyond this week. 

    Updated titles: 

    ·         Picturegoer, 1915-1918, 1923-1925, 1950 

    ·         Birmingham Mail, 1998 

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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