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  • 25 Jan 2021 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    I have briefly used this new feature from MyHeritage and am impressed. I plan to spend several hours this week adding this to the individuals in my personal genealogy database.

    As stated in the announcement of the new product:

    "The Photo Storyteller™ is available on the free MyHeritage mobile app and enables you to easily record yourself or interview your family members, describing the real story behind any of your family photos. You'll enjoy gaining deeper insight into your photos and sharing the recordings with your family members (turning any photo into a voice-enriched video) so you can reminisce about times gone by. By recording your loved ones, those photo stories will turn into memories that your family will hold precious in the future.

    "To record a story behind a photo, open the MyHeritage mobile app. Tap the Photos icon on the main screen, tap on any photo, and then tap the microphone icon to record the photo’s story.""

    You can read more about the Photo Storyteller™ in the MyHeritage Blog post at, which includes the interesting background behind its release.

    The MyHeritage Photo Storyteller™ app may be found at

    Have fun with the Photo Storyteller™!

  • 22 Jan 2021 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    Joe Beine runs a terrific website that will interest most genealogists. Called Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records, the web site contains a directory of links to websites with online death indexes throughout the USA, listed by state and county. In addition, there are separate indexes for Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, and St. Louis Death Records.

    Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices and registers, obituaries, wills and probate records, and cemetery burials. You can also find information on the site about searching the Social Security Death Index online.

    The web site doesn't always find everything I want but it consistently finds more information about deaths in the USA than any other single web site. I often start first at Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records.

    Also, if you use the web site, keep in mind that it does not contain death information on the site. Instead, it points to other web sites that probably contain the information you seek. It works sort of like Google, DuckDuckGo, and other search engines: you the death info you seek (usually the geographic area) and Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records will tell you the most likely web site that will contain the details.

    Joe Beine has just announced a major upgrade to the site:

    Online Death Indexes for the USA Website Updated

    More than 100 new links have recently been added to the Online Death Indexes for the USA website, which is a directory of links to websites with online death indexes, listed by state and county. Included are indexes for death records, death certificates, death notices and registers, obituaries, wills and probate records, and cemetery burials.

    You can find a list of the newest additions and updates here:

    The death indexes website is here:

    By the way, the new "list of the newest additions and updates" is a very long list!

  • 22 Jan 2021 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    This week at Findmypast, there are hundreds of thousands of new records from New York and Australia. Here are all the details on what's new and how to make the most of them.

    New York Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms

    Over 45,000 baptism records have been added to this important collection and you won’t find them anywhere else online. All of the new additions are from 1920 and cover over 200 churches. Check the parish list for full details of the places included. 

    Consisting of both images and transcripts of original sacramental registers, these records will reveal a combination of your ancestor’s birth date, baptism date, baptism location, parents’ names, parish and language.

    New York Roman Catholic Parish Marriages

    Unlock the details behind your Catholic ancestors’ New York nuptials with over 36,000 additional records. These transcripts and images include the couple’s names, ages, occupations, residences, birth years, the names of their parent’s as well as the date and location of their marriage.

    As well as New York Catholic records, Findmypast's Catholic Heritage Archive brings you exclusives from BaltimoreCincinnatiChicagoPhiladelphia and Toledo. Not to mention unique English and Scottish archdioceses’ collections.

    Victoria Births

    Was your relative born in Victoria, Australia between 1918 and 1920? Findmypast have added over 100,000 records to help you find out.

    Essential for the Victoria branches of your family tree, each record can reveal your ancestor's name, birth year and place and their parents' details.


    This week also sees Findmypast publish four brand new papers and updated nine existing titles with additional pages. Online for the first time are;

    While coverage has been expanded for the following titles;

      • Weekly Dispatch (London) from 1801-1804, 1806-1807, 1814, 1817-1819, 1851, 1869, 1871-1901, 1903-1922, 1925-1933, 1935-1939 and 1941-1961
      • Manchester Evening News from 1923
      • London Daily News from 1921 and 1939
      • Brighouse & Rastrick Gazette from 1883-1888 and 1890-1895
      • Irvine Express from 1884
      • Warrington Examiner from 1883, 1890, 1892-1893 and 1895
      • Herald of Wales from 1890
      • Lancaster Standard and County Advertiser from 1901-1902 

    Findmypast’s exclusive Catholic Heritage Archive has recently unlocked new details in President Joe Biden's family tree.

    If you have a similar success story to share, Findmypast would love to hear from you. Get in touch by emailing

  • 21 Jan 2021 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Calico Pie:

    Calico Pie today announced the release of version 7 of Family Historian, the award-winning desktop genealogy program.  The new version includes word processing features, source templates, and tools to support a wholly new way of entering data, based around sources.  Although announced today, version 7 has been available for purchase since before Christmas.

    London, United Kingdom, January 21, 2021 -- "Version 7 supports a wholly new way of entering data that is designed to match the way genealogists actually work” explained Simon Orde, CEO of Calico Pie.  "Typically a genealogist will find a source of some kind – a document, a gravestone, a newspaper article … whatever – and the data comes from that.  Our new tools reflect this reality.  We call it 'source-driven data entry'.  In version 7, any source type can have one or more tools called 'data entry assistants' that facilitate the process of entering data straight from that source type.  The goal is to make the whole process significantly easier and quicker, while giving better, and more consistent results. We already supply a number of data entry assistants, but more are on the way.  Any technically-sophisticated user can write them and share them with everyone else."

    "At the same time we've added support for source templates. There is an Essentials collection, which we designed with the help of the Genealogy Programme of the University of Strathclyde, and an Advanced collection which is modelled on the work of Elizabeth Shown Mills."

    It is not just about sources though. "This is a big upgrade and there's a lot there.  For example, we've added support for word processing features in notes and other long text fields.  This is by some margin the thing we've had the most requests for.  The word processing features are extensive – everything you probably expect and more.  For example you can add web links, and even record links, to any note.  Our users asked that we support tables.  So we did that.  And our users were right.  Tables turn out to be a very useful feature for genealogy.  We use them extensively now – in the new source transcription tools, and also in the new research notes … in anything where the data is naturally tabular, which a lot of data is.  We had to completely rebuild the report engine to support all the new features, but that turned out to be a great opportunity.  We've improved the design of the Report Window, added new reports, and even added new tools for creating reports.  Users can now create custom reports that can show any information, and which are indistinguishable from built-in reports."

    The new version also supports language packs for multi-language output.  Current language packs in the free plugin store include French, German, Swedish, Dutch/Flemish, Norwegian, Portuguese and English.  Simon Orde expects that more will be added over time.  "Every copy of Family Historian includes all the tools you need to create language packs, and we encourage creators to upload their packs to the plugin store so that everyone else can benefit”, he explained.  "Once they're in the plugin store, anyone can download and install them.”

    For more information about the new features in version 7, please see

    About Family Historian

    Family Historian is a powerful, desktop genealogy program for Windows.  In 2020, TopTenReviews gave Family Historian their highest overall rating in their review of the best family tree software of 2020, and gave it 10 out of 10 for ease of use.  It has won a Top Rated Genealogy Software award from GenSoftReviews in every year from 2011 to 2020.

  • 21 Jan 2021 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    In his first day in office, U.S. President Joe Biden signed many Executive Orders. One will be of special interest to all genealogists:

    Count non-citizens in U.S. Census again

    This reverses President Trump's order in July 2020 to not count undocumented Americans, which would affect federal allocation of money and federal representation.

    Trump's earlier Executive Order was an "approach that violates the Constitution and the Census Act and is inconsistent with our nation's history and our commitment to representative democracy."

    The Biden team's outline of the executive order said Biden "will ensure that the Census Bureau has time to complete an accurate population count for each state" and that "he will then present to Congress an apportionment that is fair and accurate so federal resources are efficiently and fairly distributed for the next decade."

  • 21 Jan 2021 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    The first International Greek Ancestry Conference, offered virtually on Youtube from January 29 to 31, promises to shed new light on the process of tracing your Greek roots through genealogical research.

    With topics ranging from the Greek War of Independence, The Greek diaspora, and new advances in genealogical DNA testing, the virtual conference covers the topic of Greek ancestry from all dimensions.

    Additionally, an impressive group of Greeks who re-created not just their own family trees, but, amazingly, the family trees of their entire ancestral village as well, featuring nearly 50,000 people, will guide amateur researchers on their own journey of discovering their family history.

    You can read more at:

  • 21 Jan 2021 9:41 AM | Anonymous

    The Georgia Archives is hosting an African American Genealogy Day next month. The free virtual event will be held on Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon and will feature members of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Metro Atlanta Chapter.

    The schedule of events may be found at:

  • 20 Jan 2021 7:31 PM | Anonymous

    Would you like to electronically search through 164,634 genealogy books? You can do that on the Internet Archives' online service at: Not only can you search these books, but you can do so electronically. A search for a name might require a few seconds, not hours or days in the manner of a manual search through printed books in a library.

    The Internet Archive (also known as The Internet WayBack Machine Archive) is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. This online library now has a collection that fills more than 15 petabytes.

    NOTE: 15 petabytes is equal to 15 million gigabytes. Yes, that’s a lot of information!

    The Internet Archive’s collection is growing daily. Best of all, the use of the Internet Archive is always FREE. There is only one class of available service: FREE. There is no upgraded, or "pro” version. The Internet Archive is funded solely by voluntary donations, so everything is free.

    I have written often about the Internet Archive. It has always collected genealogy, family history, and local history books. However, searching through the huge collection used to require imaginative search terms to find specific references.

    For instance, searching all of the Internet Archive for references to my last name of Eastman used to find a few genealogy books buried in a listing of hundreds of book related to photography. In addition, a search for family names often also produced listings of book authors who shared that name, even if the book had nothing to do with genealogy. A search for a family name that is also a common English word, such as Black or Street was almost hopeless. Luckily, a change made some time ago has now reduced the search problems.

    The Internet Archive now has a dedicated section just for genealogy, family history, and local history books at You might want to go to that address first and then conduct a search there.

    When writing this article, I went to, found the box labeled "Search this Collection" and performed a search for: Eastman. That search found 10, 140 books. Unlike searches I have performed in the past, all the books were either (1.) books about Eastman genealogy or (2.) genealogy or local history books that had the name Eastman someplace within the book. In fact, quite a few of the books were local histories for towns where Eastman families had settled. One book was a history book written by Ralph M. Eastman although the book did not appear to contain any genealogy information. I also tried searching for geographic locations, such as “Penobscot County,” and had equally good success.

    A few of the books listed in my searches were about U.S. Civil War histories. Those books had little or no genealogy information but contained great information about the soldiers and sailors who served during that war.

    Many of the books were originally published in the 1800s; all of the ones I found were published prior to 1923.

    The front covers of each book were displayed, and clicking on the image of any book cover immediately showed the contents of the book. Once I clicked on a book's image, full source citations also were displayed for that book, including:

    • Author(s) name(s)
    • Publication date
    • Publisher's name
    • Internet Archive call number
    • Number of pages within the book
    • The name of the person or organization who contributed the book
    • and even the name of the OCR software used to convert the book to text

    The searches seem to work best for surnames of families that have been in North America for a century or longer. It does not work well for recent immigrants with eastern European or Oriental or Hispanic names. After all, these books are out of copyright; therefore, almost all were published prior to 1923. Don't look for more recent immigrant families in this collection. Almost all the books listed are in English although a very small number may be in other languages.

    The addition of a dedicated genealogy section on the Internet Archive is an incremental improvement but a very welcome one indeed. It greatly simplifies the searches for genealogy, family history, and local history books in this fabulous online resource.

    I suggest you might want to go to and search for any surnames of interest. You never know what you might find. You probably want to bookmark that address. Did I mention that the service is FREE?

  • 20 Jan 2021 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    FamilySearch added 8M new USUtah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church Census records, 1914–1960, 2M Pennsylvania Historical Society Deaths, Burials 1856–1971, and Marriages 1512–1989, plus 3M AustraliaVictoriaPetty Sessions Registers 1858–1985Germany, Mainz, Catholic Church Records 1540–1952 and France, Nord Parish and Civil Registrations 1524–1893. Other country collections expanded for BoliviaFinlandPeruS. Africa and the US (CA, GA, MS, NJ, and PA). 

    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 remainder of this announcement is long; too long to fit into this space. You can read the complete announcement in its entirety at:

  • 20 Jan 2021 7:06 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

    FALLS CHURCH, VA, 20 JANUARY 2021—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced the formation of the Delegate Council Steering Committee, an advisory group to help create the representative body for societies and organizations in the “new NGS.”

    “"The Delegate Council will be a forum where genealogical organizations can collaborate, communicate, and counsel among member organizations and the new NGS,” said Dawn Carey Henry, chair of the steering committee. “This is something all organizations need, especially now during these unprecedented times."

    The steering committee will help establish the council’s procedures to provide regular engagement with and among member organizations and an avenue for feedback to the NGS Board. The steering committee is planning a kickoff workshop for delegates to be held 17 May 2021.

    The steering committee represents genealogical societies, libraries, and other organizations located throughout the United States. They are:

      • Chair: Dawn Carey Henry, Michigan
      • Vice-Chair: W. Samuel Williams, Virginia
      • Taneya Y. Koonce, MSLS, Tennessee
      • Elissa Scalise Powell, CG®, CGLSM, Pennsylvania
      • Susan K. Howard, New Mexico
      • Laurie Hermance-Moore, MLS, AG®, Ohio
      • Lois Abromitis Mackin, PhD, Minnesota
      • Ari Wilkins, Texas
      • Cheri Hudson Passey, NGS vice president, Society & Organization Management (liaison to the board of directors.)

    “The steering committee’s goal,” said Dawn Carey Henry, “is to build the framework for the Delegate Council to ensure effective governance and operations. It established the name for the body, keeping the word ‘delegate’ in the title to honor the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ history of member representatives serving as delegates.“

    In the coming months, the committee will further define the roles and responsibilities of a delegate. It will also identify ways for member organizations to collaborate and communicate with each other and NGS.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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