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  • 30 Jun 2021 4:06 PM | Anonymous

    Census records are amongst the primary tools of genealogists. Even so, those of us who have been reading them for a while can tell you that the records are not as reliable as we would wish. I am still trying to find great-great-granddad in the 1850 census although he appears hale and hearty in the enumerations of 1840, 1860, 1870 and 1880. His absence in 1850 is still unexplained. Still, my quandary is minor compared to some others. For instance, the 1990 census is thought to have missed one native American in eight. Thousands of others – perhaps millions – have been missed in census records taken over the past two centuries.

    America’s first census was carried out in 1790, and it was groundbreaking in many ways. It was the first to be mandated in any country’s constitution. It also caused America’s first presidential veto when George Washington, on the advice of Thomas Jefferson, disagreed with legislation defining how this “apportionment” was to be carried out. Washington’s primary objection to the proposed amendment was that “there is no one proportion or divisor which, applied to the respective numbers of the States, will yield the number and allotment of representatives proposed by the Bill.” It is interesting to note that today’s fixed allocation of 435 seats also does not pass the test established by President Washington.

    An article from 2007 in The Economist compares the U.S. Census with similar efforts in other countries. It states that In 1634 Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony estimated the local population rather than counting it exactly.

    When a Census Bill was debated in Britain in 1753, Matthew Ridley, the member of Parliament (MP) for Newcastle, gave a speech saying that there was among the people “such a violent spirit of opposition to this Bill, that if it be passed into a law, there is a great reason to fear, they will in many places oppose the execution of it in riotous manner.”

    The same article also states, “Where government is oppressive, people want to keep out of censuses, lest information they provide is misused. Where government provides, people want to be in censuses, and to boost their numbers, in order to claim a larger share of the goodies.”

    The Nazis used population records to round up Jews into concentration camps. As a result, Germans are still reluctant to be counted.

    In 1936 Stalin told his officials that the following year’s census would find a total population of 170 million—a figure that did not account for his slaughter of millions in famines and purges. The enumerators (census takers) found only 162 million people and revealed other unwelcome facts, including that nearly half the population of his supposedly atheist country was religious. With this news Stalin denounced the count as a “wrecker’s census” and had the census takers either imprisoned or shot.

    A new count in 1939, apparently conducted by a new team of enumerators, gave Stalin his figure of 170 million.

    You can read more about census records in the article in The Economist at

  • 29 Jun 2021 1:01 PM | Anonymous

    Census enumerators (census takers) have a difficult job at best. Can you imagine The Three Stooges interviewing local residents?

    In a 1940 Three Stooges movie, Larry, Curly, and Moe obtained jobs as census enumerators and were to be paid four cents per name recorded. I watched the movie today, and now I understand some of census records I have looked at in the past! I think this is the same group that visited my great-great-grandfather's house.

    You can watch The Three Stooges at their best, or worst, in "No Census, No Feeling" at

    Here is a bit of trivia:

    The football sequences in “No Census, No Feeling” were filmed at USC in the autumn of 1940. Some of the crowd scenes apparently were filmed during a real game.

    Curly's Thanksgiving remark alludes to the 1939 law establishing Thanksgiving as a legal holiday to be celebrated on a Thursday, something that was still controversial when the movie was made a year later.

    At one point, Moe says, "Wait a minute, flathead! We just got a job. We're working for the census."

    Curly replied, "You mean Will Hays?" Will Hays was a reference to William Harrison Hays Sr. a United States politician, chairman of the Republican National Committee (1918–21), U.S. Postmaster General (1921–22), and, from 1922–1945, the first chairman of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA). He became the namesake of the 1930 Motion Picture Production Code, informally referred to as the Hays Code, which spelled out a set of industry moral guidelines for the self-censorship of content in Hollywood cinema.

  • 29 Jun 2021 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    FamilySearch announced its free Family History Library webinars for July 2021. Sessions include United States Compiled Military Service Records, How to Search US RecordsUsing FamilySearch Mobile Apps,  Adding Memories to Family Tree, the FamilySearch Catalog and Wiki,  Latter-day Saint Church Records, and What's New at FamilySearch. 

    More experienced Spanish language researchers will enjoy a special session Desafíos en la Investigación Genealógica; Un caso de estudio  [Challenges in Genealogical Research: A case study] to help overcome research hurdles and roadblocks. 

    No registration is required for these free online sessions. See the table of classes below for more details. To view a webinar on the date and time listed, click the 'Yes' to the right of the class title. The 'Yes' link will take you to the webinar.

    If you cannot attend a live event, most sessions are recorded and can be viewed later at your convenience at Family History Library classes and webinars

    All class times are in Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).

    Thu, Jul 1, 10:00 AM MDT United States Compiled Military Service Records (Intermediate) Yes
    Mon, Jul 5, 10:00 AM MDT Using the FamilySearch Catalog (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Jul 6, 10:00 AM MDT Adding Memories to the FamilySearch Family Tree (Beginner) Yes
    Thu, Jul 8, 1:00 PM MDT Desafíos en la Investigación Genealógica; Un caso de estudio  [Challenges in Genealogical Research; A case study] (Intermediate) Yes
    Tue, Jul 13, 10:00 AM MDT Using the FamilySearch Mobile Apps (Beginner) Yes
    Thu, Jul 15, 10:00 AM MDT Introduction to Latter-day Saint Church Records (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Jul 20, 10:00 AM MDT Using the FamilySearch Wiki (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Jul 27, 10:00 AM MDT What's New at FamilySearch (Beginner) Yes
    Thu, Jul 29, 10:00 AM MDT The Research Process: Analyzing and Evaluating U.S. Records (Beginner) Yes

    Want more? Peruse over 1,000 free, on-demand sessions from RootsTech Connect 2021.

    Visit Classes and Online Webinars for more information.

    About FamilySearch

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • 29 Jun 2021 7:25 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    FamilySearch this week added 2 million Netherland birth, marriage, death records to help you find your Dutch ancestors. Browse more records added from England, Middlesex Parish Registers 1539–1988, the Liberia Census 2008, and 3M more Catholic Church Records from Chile 1710–1928, El Salvador 1655–1977Guatemala 1881–1977, and Peru 1603–1992, plus expanded collections for the United States (AZ, LA, MI, NC, UT, and WI).

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

    (The full list of newly-added records is long, too long to fit here. However, you can access the full list at:

    About FamilySearch

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • 28 Jun 2021 4:52 PM | Anonymous

    In recent weeks I have received a number of e-mail messages concerning copyrights. Many of the messages are along the lines of, "I gave my genealogy information to another person and now he has published it online. Can he legally do that without my permission?"

    I am no lawyer and certainly am not a position to offer legal advice. However, I did find a great Web site that gives detailed information about copyrights, especially as to how copyright laws work in an online world. The information presented refers primarily to United States laws. The site is not genealogy-specific, but the information there does apply to genealogy data as well as all sorts of other information.

    To learn more about copyright laws in the digital age, read Brad Templeton’s "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained" at:

  • 28 Jun 2021 8:02 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Society of Genealogists and the Halsted Trust:

    A convivial and virtual genealogy weekend hosted by the Society of Genealogists and the Halsted Trust.

    Known for fun, fascinating and innovative genealogy conferences in the past, notably the 2018 Secret Lives Conference, the Halsted Trust and Society of Genealogists bring family historians together in an online environment in September 2021

    The weekend will include talks by established genealogists and speakers new to the British genealogical community. In addition to breakout rooms for discussions and chat the event will conclude each day with a social zoom hangout where we can share a glass or two of wine or any beverage of choice (sadly BYO in this case).

    Our speakers this year will focus on tracing women ancestors and wanderers – so often a challenge in our pedigrees and stories. Concentrating on sources and guidance for research we also have examples of studies that researched the lives of formidable women. We will look at how DNA cracked a seemingly impenetrable and confusing case. We will follow a search for itinerant ancestors across the US, China, India and Europe and the sources used to uncover their tangled lives. On the other side of the Pond we can discover the steps of a 17th century migrant from England as part of a transatlantic genealogical collaboration. Finally, we will establish how religious changes in the 16th century cause genealogical challenges for researchers lucky enough to take their family history that far.

    You can read all the details, including a detailed list of all the sessions planned in this virtual genealogy conference on 4-5 September 2021, at:

  • 25 Jun 2021 5:50 PM | Anonymous

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

    I have written often about the advantages of storing some of your backups off-site in "the cloud." Computer experts will tell you that everyone needs to make backups, and at least one copy of each backup needs to be stored "off site" where it is safe from local disasters such as house fires, burst water pipes, and similar in-home disasters. Storing some of your backups on BackBlaze, Carbonite, Dropbox, Amazon S3, SugarSync, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or other backup services is a great idea. However, most of these services provide only a limited amount of free storage space in their cloud (typically 2 to 5 gigabytes) and then charge you if you need more space. If you have a lot of data to back up, the charges can add up quickly. There is a cheaper method of accomplishing the same thing: you create your own off-site backup servers. Luckily, this is easy to do and, with a few pointers, is rather inexpensive. This article will supply those pointers.

    Another advantage of this type of backup is that it lets you access your backed up files from anywhere you have an Internet connection. If you need a file from home, you can connect to the Internet from the office, from a hotel room, or from most any public library and retrieve whatever you need from your own server. You can even retrieve files by using an iPhone or an Android smartphone. Likewise, you can also save newly-created files from your laptop to your server in the cloud so that those files are available in the future from anyplace you can access the Internet. If you own multiple computers, you can back up all of them.

    Actually, there are several methods of creating your own server(s) in the cloud. Today, I will focus on one method that is simple to accomplish at low expense by anyone with modest technical skills. If you already have an old computer sitting in a closet and gathering dust, the price for creating your own cloud-based server with nearly infinite storage space can be surprisingly low although probably not quite free.

    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/10700297.

    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

  • 25 Jun 2021 11:12 AM | Anonymous

    Police in Tampa say a cold-case arrest was possible because the suspect had entered his DNA into a genealogy database, ultimately allowing detectives to match it to a sexual assault from 14 years ago.

    According to police, it was back in January of 2007 when an unknown man initially offered to help the drunk woman get home to her University of Tampa dorm after Gasparilla. But the woman says that's where the stranger raped her in the shower, then fled when her roommate returned home.

    DNA evidence collected at the time did not turn up any matches, and the case sat unsolved for years. In 2020, the case was revisited to see if genetic genealogy testing could turn up any matches. Detectives found a possible match after a search of the DNA databases on GEDmatch and FamilyTree, two services often used by people looking to research their ancestry. The lab identified Jared T. Vaughn as the suspect.

    You can learn more about how the culprit was identified in a YouTube video at

  • 25 Jun 2021 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    This week’s Findmypast Friday features new court records that are essential for anyone exploring their Irish heritage. This includes over 2.3 million bill books and court registers that are now available to search for the very first time, only at Findmypast.

    These latest new additions join the largest collection of Irish family history records available online. Read on to find learn more about what's new this week.

    Ireland, Court of Chancery Bill Books 1627-1884

    Uncover family disputes and more in this vast collection of court records spanning over 250 years of Irish legal history.

    Containing over 1.2 million new records from the National Archives of Ireland, each transcript will reveal the date and locations of proceedings as well as the names of those involved. Images will provide further information on your ancestors and their dealings with the court.

    The Court of Chancery was an equity court of Ireland, presided over by the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. It existed until abolition as part of the 1877 reform of the court system and was based in Dublin.

    The Lord Chancellor was originally considered to be "keeper of the king's conscience", charged with giving relief in any case where common law courts were unable to provide remedy, though over time it developed into a legal system of its own called 'Equity', that stood parallel to common law.

    Ireland, Court of Exchequer Bill Books 1627-1884

    Did your ancestor have their day in one of Ireland’s busiest courts? Delve into over a million new transcripts and images to find out.

    The Court of Exchequer was one of the senior courts of law in Ireland (one of the four royal courts of justice), and served as a mirror of the equivalent court in England, dealing with matters of equity.

    As one of Ireland's most senior courts, it mainly dealt with cases concerning equity. As such, you'll find the records full of land holders, business owners, merchants, professionals and farmers with large estates.

    Ireland, Petty Sessions Court Registers

    Over 62,000 new court records from Donegal County Archives have been added to this important Irish collection.

    Digitised and published online for the first time, these new additions cover the courts of Ballyshannon and Newtowncunningham between 1828 and 1855. Often nicknamed 'the forgotten county', Donegal is underrepresented when it comes to genealogical sources, so this latest release could be key for taking your family tree research further.

    The Petty Sessions handled the bulk of lesser legal cases, both criminal and civil. The entire collection now contains over 22 million records, making them an essential resource for those with Irish roots.

    Each record includes both a transcript and image of the original document. The information contained varies considerably but most transcripts will provide your ancestors name, address, court dates and whether they were a witness, complainant and defendant. Images often provide a great deal of additional information including details of the offence, verdict and sentencing.

    Proceedings were usually covered by the local press so searching Findmypast’s unrivalled collection of Irish newspapers may help you uncover the full story.

    Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Census & Population Lists 1792-1821

    Discover Scottish ancestors, their birth years and addresses in these early local census documents from Annan and Balmaclellan.

    On Findmypast, you'll also find early Scottish census fragments from AyrshireEdinburghMidlothian and beyond.


    This week’s newspaper update includes three new titles as well as updates to six others. Brand new this week are:

    While additional pages have been added to:

  • 24 Jun 2021 8:54 PM | Anonymous

    With the summer in full swing, now is a great time to learn about the paths your ancestors traveled. MyHeritage is offering free access to all immigration and travel records from June 24–28, 2021. By learning about their journeys, you’ll get to know your ancestors in a more meaningful way. 

    Humans have migrated throughout history, but until the last century or two, traveling was dangerous and costly, only undertaken out of absolute necessity — to escape war, famine, or other unrest, or to earn a living. In the 19th century, as new technology made traveling faster and safer, the upper classes began to travel for leisure, and people who would otherwise have spent their whole lives in the same village where their grandparents were born were starting to leave to pursue better fortunes. Many of us are descended from these brave adventurers.

    Where did your ancestors come from? Where did they go?

    Now is a great opportunity to find out.

    The Immigration & Travel category on MyHeritage encompasses 57 collections with 181,280,020 historical records from all over the world. They include passenger arrival records, naturalization records, border crossings, emigration records, passports, and convict transportation records.

    These records are often pivotal for genealogists because discovering details on exactly where your ancestors were from can help you understand where to look for additional records on their childhoods and their families in the old country. In the documents in this collection, you might find details on the journey, such as the name of the ship they sailed on and the city where they sailed from, in addition to personal details — such as names and occupations of the travelers themselves and of their family members.

    Normally, most of these records are free to search, but can only be fully accessed by MyHeritage users with a Data or Complete plan. From today until June 28, anyone will be able to access them completely free of charge.

    Ready for your own adventure to discover the journeys of your ancestors? Click here to start searching Immigration & Travel records on MyHeritage!

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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