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  • 2 Jul 2021 5:17 PM | Anonymous

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

    When reading genealogy books or articles in magazines and online sites, you may have encountered some numbers that seemed cryptic.

    Remember the "good old days" when you first started searching for your family tree? You probably only had 50 or so identified ancestors in those days, and you could easily remember the name of each one. However, as time went by, you searched many records and found more ancestors. The number grew and grew. Eventually you encountered some difficulty in organizing the information you had available. This was especially true in families where names are often re-used time and again by newer generations.

    For instance, I have found 5 different men named Samuel Harmon in my Family tree and I am sure there probably were more. After a while, as the numbers increased, I found myself asking “WHICH Samuel Harmon?” Many other families have the same “problem.”

    There are myriad ways to organize genealogy data. The "best method" depends upon your own preferences and organizational skills. For many of us, a computer is a valuable organizational tool. Whether you use a high tech device or paper and pencil, eventually you will want to produce lists of ancestors or descendants. Ideally, those lists should be in a format that is easy to read and quickly understood. Sooner or later, you will look at assigning identity numbers to each individual.

    Most computer programs assign numbers to each individual within the program's database. Some of the programs display these numbers on the screen and in printed reports, while other programs keep the database numbers hidden. These numbers typically may be meaningful to the individual who maintains the database but are generally meaningless to everyone else. There seems to be little point in printing these internal numbers on reports to be given to others.

    When generating printed reports and lists, the information can be confusing. The more names on the list, the more difficult it is to remember "who is who." This can partially be solved by assigning meaningful numbers to each individual on the list.

    Several genealogy numbering systems have been invented for reports and lists. These numbers are temporary; that is, the numbers are used for this one report and then typically are discarded. The sole purpose of these numbers is to simplify the organization of data in the one report. If another report is needed at a future date, the numbers can easily be recalculated at that time.

    Most numbering systems also revolve around a single base individual. That is, numbers are calculated in relationship to that one person. The calculated numbers are then assigned to the ancestors or descendants of that person. The exceptions are in Henry Numbers and d'Aboville Numbers, to be discussed later in this article.

    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/10721815.

    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

  • 2 Jul 2021 12:36 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist has just added more than 327,300 individuals to their Irish Catholic Parish Record Collection, along with a suite of Thom’s Official Directories covering Great Britain and Ireland.

    These new Catholic Parish Registers have links to the original images. They cover the County of Carlow in the southeast region of Ireland.

    Before civil registration was introduced in two stages into Ireland, first in 1845 for non Roman Catholic marriages and then in 1864 for all births, marriages and deaths, the parish registers of the various denominations were the main records in which Irish ancestors' vital events would have been recorded. The Roman Catholic church was far the largest denomination in Ireland and so it is these records that the majority of Irish forebears will mostly appear within.

    Carlow Castle in County Carlow, Ireland

    Also released at this time are Thom's Official Directories covering the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from Victorian times up to the 20th century. These records are great for discovering more about the towns and areas, finding the names of people who held official municipal or government offices, or were professionals such as doctors, clergy, etc.

    You can use these books to find Irish businesses from manufacturers of Ales and Agricultural implements to makers of Woolens and Yarns. Thom’s directories allow you to find business advertisements as well as search for tradespeople from Auctioneers and Blacksmiths to Watchmakers and Wine & Spirit Dealers for all parts of Ireland.

    The directories released in this package include:

      • Thom's Official Directory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1859

      • Thom's Official Directory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1898

      • Thom's Official Directory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1913

      • These expand the Irish directories already in our collection

    This release of Irish records joins those of the Irish Wills, recently made available on TheGenealogist, and so expands the coverage of Irish records on this family history site renowned for its comprehensive search facilities.

    Read their article, Alexander Thom – Publisher and The Queen’s Printer for Ireland:

  • 2 Jul 2021 12:32 PM | Anonymous

    You know the article I published yesterday (at announcing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' signing of a new law that "law prohibits DNA analysis and disclosure of DNA analysis results without express consent including the collection or retention of DNA samples of another person without express consent for specific purposes?"

    Well, never mind.

    U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee granted an injunction against the law hours after DeSanitus signed it. In a 31-page opinion, the judge said the statute’s restrictions on content removal and its liability provisions likely violate the First Amendment and conflict with federal law.

    Details may be found at:

  • 2 Jul 2021 11:31 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS):

    Looking for a brick wall breakthrough? Wondering what records you should search for? The IAJGS invites the entire genealogical community familiar with researching Jewish ancestry to preview the draft DoJR Record Type Taxonomy for Jewish Genealogy and provide comments from Monday 5 July through Sunday 18 July at

    A comprehensive checklist of types of records that can provide information to discover your ancestors is an invaluable tool for successful research. “Such a tool has existed for the general genealogy community, but not for the Jewish genealogy community — until now,” observed Marlis Humphrey, chairman of the executive committee of the DoJR (a project of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) Documentation of Jewish Records Worldwide) and IAJGS past president.

    Long overdue, the Taxonomy helps beginners learn what sources exist, while experienced researchers can use it as a comprehensive checklist for defining their research needs and plans. DoJR created the new research tool as a by-product of its construction of JCat, an online, first-ever master catalog of all record collections holding Jewish genealogically relevant data.

    After the close of the public comment period, comments will be incorporated into the draft Taxonomy. The resultant baseline V1.0 DoJR Record Type Taxonomy for Jewish Genealogy will be published at the 41st IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy ( on 5 August 2021 and posted to

    About IAJGS and DoJR

    The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is an independent non-profit umbrella organization coordinating the activities and annual conference of 95 national and local Jewish Genealogical Societies (JGS) around the world. Contact your local JGS for more information:

    The Documentation of Jewish Records Worldwide (DoJR) project is creating the first ever online catalog of all surviving records of our Jewish ancestors wherever they led their lives worldwide. The catalog, JCat, will enable every individual curious about their family history to discover their Jewish ancestors and connect to living relatives. The catalog will be a global reference for all the records that document individuals, inform their life stories, and enable the building of family and community histories, preserving Jewish history and heritage. DoJR is a project of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. For more information contact

  • 2 Jul 2021 11:24 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Findmypast mark Canada Day and American Independence Day with new Revolutionary War records, Canadian life event indexes and more in this week’s Findmypast Friday update.

    Manitoba Vital Records

    Do you have roots in the Canadian province of Manitoba? Discover family milestones in brand new birth, marriage and death indexes. The new Manitoba records now available to search on Findmypast include;

    Essential for growing your family tree, birth, marriage and death records will reveal important dates and locations as well as the identities of parent’s, spouses and children.

    United States, Census of Revolutionary War Pensioners, 1840

    Explore the veterans and widows of the American Revolution by identifying them on the list of pensioners, taken as part of the United States Federal Census of 1840.

    In 1840, a census was undertaken of surviving revolutionary war veterans and widows as part of the sixth census of the United States. The material consist of transcripts and images that are listed geographically, starting with Maine and moving south. This special census may provide names of multiple family members, which is not included in the population schedule of the 1840 US census.

    United States, British Loyalists

    Not everyone in British America wanted independence. Trace those loyalists and their intriguing stories in this unique collection of publications.

    This record set consists of PDF images from 22 combined publications from across British America, covering everything from orderly books to subscription lists.

    United States, Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment, 1776

    This small but eye-opening record set lists enslaved people who answered Lord Dunmore’s call to arms during the American Revolution.

    Compiled from a number of sources, Findmypast have created a searchable index of all known individuals who joined Dunmore's unit. In it, you'll discover their names, aliases, ages and, in some cases, what became of them after the war.


    Three new papers have joined the Findmypast archives this week, including a publication designed for British emigrants moving to America. 12 existing titles have also been updated with additional pages. 

    Brand new to the site are:

    While new pages and date ranges have been added to:

  • 1 Jul 2021 9:44 PM | Anonymous
    If you use an e-reader of most any sort, you will want to read How to Read E-Books for Free Without Pirating Them published in the LifeHacker web site at: The article states:

    "Depending on where you live, your library may already have an extensive collection of e-books available. For example, the New York Public Library (NYPL) allows New York residents to sign up for a digital library card and check out available titles. You can sign up online, create a username (usually your email address or member number), and enter a password. You’ll then have access to their library of e-books through the app SimplyE. Other library systems across the country may have similar programs; visit your local library’s website for more information.

    "If a digital library card isn’t an option in your area, literary site Goodreads also published a short list of e-readers that are great for e-borrowing across the United States and Canada. Libby’s online readers’ app makes e-borrowing simple and links to your e-reader, Kindle, or Kindle app. The company OverDrive created Libby to link public libraries with readers for easy online borrowing; approximately 90% of libraries are reportedly connected to OverDrive and Libby, but you can search for participating libraries on their website to confirm this resource is available in your area."

    The article then goes on to describe several methods of borrowing books from various libraries, depending upon which software products the various libraries use.

    Again, the article may be found at:

  • 1 Jul 2021 10:41 AM | Anonymous

    The subject of printed books and electronic books (or e-books) has been featured in numerous past articles in this newsletter. Therefore, I was interested today to see an online Associated Press article and video about numerous universities that are purging many printed books from their shelves. In many cases, the libraries simply don't have the room for all the old books, and the idea of expanding libraries is subject to budget constraints. If they want to purchase new books, even printed publications, the libraries have to free up shelf space. Also, according to one 2009 study of libraries, between staffing, utility costs, and other expenses, it costs about $4 to keep a book on the shelf for a year.

    In one example at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, (yes, there really is an Indiana University of Pennsylvania, see for details), nearly half of the university's collection remained uncirculated for 20 years or more. Unused books obviously do no one any good.

    Of course, an increasing number of books exist in the cloud where publishing costs, shipping costs, and storage costs are only a fraction of the expense of printed books. In addition, most students and even many older library users prefer the convenience of Wikipedia,, Google Books, and other free sources of information along with paid services, such as Kindle.

    Genealogists are a part of this trend. The specialized genealogy libraries that many of us have used for years suffer from the same budget constraints as other libraries. They probably also have the problem of books that are not accessed for years at a time. Today, there are more genealogy books available through your home computer than at any single genealogy library. Just ask the folks at FamilySearch, an organization that has downsized their printed book collection in favor of making the same books and other publications available online whenever copyright laws allow.

    Libraries aren’t the only ones facing these decisions. Individuals face the same issues. For instance, my Kindle now contains more than 150 e-books, including numerous genealogy books, old county histories, and more. I carry all of them with me almost every time I travel. Try to do that with printed books! In addition, most of the e-books are easier to search than are the printed books. I can find any word or phrase in an e-book within seconds with the exception of some of the books printed electronically in PDF format. For those few books, I have to search the old-fashioned way, one page at a time, the same as in a printed book.

    I admit I love the feel and the smell of old and even new printed books. However, when purchasing a book, the funds available in my wallet usually dictate my choice. The cost of purchasing a printed book, shipping, buying yet another bookshelf (and finding a place for it in my home!), usually swings my decision in the opposite direction. Sometimes we don't have a choice; but, if a choice is available, I usually will select the ebook version of a book I want to read.

    Which do you prefer?

    NOTE: The idea for this article was triggered this morning when I purchased a new book from Amazon. I had to make a choice between paperback or Kindle. The Kindle version was much cheaper, requires no additional storage space, and was delivered (electronically) to my Kindle or iPad or Android tablet or Windows or Macintosh computer seconds later with no shipping charge. The choice was obvious to me.

  • 1 Jul 2021 9:50 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a message posted to the IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies) Public Records Access Monitoring Committee and is reposted here with permission:

    Governor on DeSantis  (R) signed HB 833 on June 29, 2021. The law becomes effective on October 1, 2021.

    The law prohibits DNA analysis and disclosure of DNA analysis results without express consent including the collection or retention of DNA samples of another person without express consent for specific purposes. 

    The new law may be read at:

    Or full url:

    To read the previous IAJGS Records Access Alert postings about DNA,  Florida privacy issues, and more go to: You must be registered to access the archives.  To register go to:  and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical  organization with whom you are affiliated   You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. 

    Jan Meisels Allen
    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 1 Jul 2021 2:48 AM | Anonymous

    BackUpYourGenealogyFilesToday is the first day of the month. That is still a good time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

    Your backups aren't worth much unless you make a quick test by restoring a small file or two after the backup is completed.

    Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often. (My computers automatically make off-site backups of all new files every few minutes.)

    Given the events of the past few months with genealogy websites laying off employees and cutting back on services, you now need backup copies of everything more than ever. What happens if the company that holds your online data either goes off line or simply deletes the service where your data is held? If you have copies of everything stored either in your own computer, what happens if you have a hard drive crash or other disaster? If you have one or more recent backup copies, such a loss would be inconvenient but not a disaster.

    Of course, you might want to back up more than your genealogy files. Family photographs, your checkbook register, all sorts of word processing documents, email messages, and much more need to be backed up regularly. Why not do that on the first day of each month? or even more often?

  • 30 Jun 2021 7:17 PM | Anonymous

    When Bob Eliot rushed to his parents’ apartment in Co-op City in the Bronx in the autumn of 2011, he was not expecting to discover a secret that would change how he and dozens of other people view their lives, their families, and their pasts. Eliot, a retired IBM engineer and sales executive in his mid-50s who lived on Long Island, was simply fulfilling the obligation of a son. His 86-year-old father had smashed his head, needed to go to the hospital, and had called to ask Eliot to stay with his mother.

    Adele Eliot had severe dementia, and Eliot was accustomed to sitting with her as she asked the same question over and over. On this day, she repeatedly said to him, “Bobby, how are your eyes?” He told her that he had the beginning of cataracts. “It makes sense. My grandmother had them,” he added, referring to his paternal grandmother.

    His mother stared at him and replied, “He’s not your father. You should be happy. That whole family is crazy.”

    Eliot was shocked. Was his mother saying his dad was not truly his father? Maybe this was the dementia talking, he thought. He asked her to explain. But she slipped into a fog and would say no more.

    The remainder of the story is lengthy, but fascinating. I suspect you will enjoy reading of the mystery and how it was solved. Yes, genealogy and NNA were involved.

    You can read A Bronx Tale: One Sperm Donor, 19 Siblings, and Six Decades of Secrets by David Corn, published in the Mother Jones web site at:

    My thanks to newsletter reader Yvonne Dolbec for telling me about this story.

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