Latest News Articles

Everyone can read the (free) Standard Edition articles. However,  the Plus Edition articles are accessible only to (paid) Plus Edition subscribers. 

Read the (+) Plus Edition articles (a Plus Edition username and password is required).

Please limit your comments about the information in the article. If you would like to start a new message, perhaps about a different topic, you are invited to use the Discussion Forum for that purpose.

Do you have comments, questions, corrections or additional information to any of these articles? Before posting your words, you must first sign up for a (FREE) Standard Edition subscription or a (paid) Plus Edition subscription at:

If you do not see a Plus Sign that is labeled "Add comment," you will need to upgrade to either a (FREE) Standard Edition or a (paid) Plus Edition subscription at:

Click here to upgrade.

Click here to find the Latest Plus Edition articles(A Plus Edition user name and password is required to view these Plus Edition articles.)

Complete Newsletters (including all Plus Edition and Free Edition articles published within a week) may be found if you click here. (A Plus Edition user name and password is required to view these complete newsletters.)

Do you have an RSS newsreader? You may prefer to use this newsletter's RSS feed at: and then you will need to copy-and-paste that address into your favorite RSS newsreader.

Latest Standard Edition Articles

  • 3 Mar 2021 4:29 PM | Anonymous

    The city of Shelby has been awarded a $2,967 grant through the Ohio History Fund to digitize and transcribe approximately 5,800 pages of city council minutes, incorporation records and ordinances dating from 1863 through 1934.

    The project sponsored by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission will involve partners Marvin Memorial Library and the Richland County - Shelby Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. Once scanned, the images will be uploaded to the library’s section of the Ohio Memory Project. Genealogy chapter volunteers will transcribe any handwritten minutes. The entire project will be searchable and freely available to the public.

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

    My thanks to newsletter reader Resa Hennings for telling me about this article.

  • 3 Mar 2021 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was posted to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ Public Records Access Monitoring Committee’s mailing list and is republished here with permission:

    A hearing has been scheduled for the bill, LD 601 An Act Regarding Indices of Vital Records, regarding indices to certificates and records of marriage, intentions to marry, domestic partnerships and death including fetal death from 1892 to the present to be open to the public without restrictions. Indices to certificates and records of birth are to be open at the municipal and state levels after 75 years from the date of birth.

    The hearing is on Wednesday March 17, 2021 at 10:00 AM. On the current agenda it is the third bill to be heard. IAJGS is supporting the bill while inquiring why birth indices are not being treated the same as the other indices, that is open without any embargo period.

    The bill may be read at:

    To read the previous postings about the Maine bill and vital records go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at: 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

  • 2 Mar 2021 7:32 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    This week on FamilySearch search 2M New York Land Records 1630–1975Virginia County Marriages 1771–1943Utah Tooele County (misc.) Records 1771–1956, and US Bureau of Land Management Tract Books 1800–c. 1955, along with expanded US collections for ArizonaCalifornia and Illinois. Explore additional records in New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1865–1957England Cambridgeshire Bishop's Transcripts 1865–1083, and Uruguay Catholic Church Records 1726–2000, plus more for BrazilCanadaEnglandFinlandFranceJamaicaPeruPuerto Rico, and S. Africa.  

    The full list of newly-added records is very long, too long to fit here. However, you may find the full list at:

  • 2 Mar 2021 7:09 PM | Anonymous

    RootsTech Connect 2021 may be over but I expect there will be a number of articles over the next few weeks that are follow-up to events that happened during the virtual conference. Here's the latest announcement from FamilySearch:

    RootsTech and Kawai pianos announced the winners of “Connect,” the RootsTech Connect 2021 Global Song Contest. Winners were announced on the final day of the virtual conference, 27 February 2021. Fifteen hundred songwriters from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences throughout the world submitted original music compositions in all genres and in their native languages. Winners were chosen from the top 12 finalists by a panel of industry experts and celebrity judges, including Drew Brown and Brian Willett, members of the band OneRepublic. RootsTech attendees chose the People’s Choice award recipient. Listen to the 12 finalists.

    The grand prize went to British artist Daisy Chute for her song “Music Is There.” Chute was rewarded with a Kawai MP11SE stage piano and Kawai headphones. Chute’s song is a tribute to music as a universal language that brings people together, helps them hear, and lifts them. Music “brings people together, and it consoles you when you are down and lifts you even higher when you are feeling really good,” she said. The music was written during the first pandemic lockdown in the United Kingdom, where Chute is based.

    The winners of the Professional, Youth, Amateur, and People’s Choice categories will receive other Kawai piano models.

    The People’s Choice award went to Nathália Freitas for her song “Conectar.” “Music is something special in my family. It is something that really connects us,” she said. She wrote the song with her family’s unity in mind. She says the music is very special to her and pays tribute to her family’s ties.

    Zuriel Rubio, was the winner of the Professional Division with “Connect,” a reminder that “together we can conquer every day.” After losing a son to brain cancer, Rubio found solace among the people of his ministerial congregation who pulled together to lift and comfort one another. His music recognizes that social support is essential. “Now we are going through this [the COVID-19 pandemic] as humanity. There is no better way than together [for us to] get through this,” he said.

    The winner of the Youth Division was Daniella Vega, who submitted “Live Our Long Ago.” “We are all under quarantine now. I was feeling sadness,” she commented. As a teenager in her second year of high school, Vega was upset that she was missing out on so much. “I wanted to make the most of these years—my teenage years—because when I am older and look back on these years, I want to be happy about it,” she said. She wrote the song as a salute to memories from long ago.

    Matt Kirby took top honors in the Amateur Division with “Winding Road” a reminder that we are not alone on the winding roads of our lives. “We all go through the years—the same seasons in life—but one thing that really doesn’t change is that there will always be someone there for us and we can always be there for somebody,” Kirby said.

    The other finalists were the following:

    Anna Snow “1961”  

    Cruz Wilson “Getting By”  

    Sabrina Barreto “I Hope you Know What You Meant to Me”  

    Amos Watene “It Feels Like Home”  

    Neal Stucki “Belong”  

    Terry Banks “Family Tree” 

    Kristina HelenSomehow” 

    About Kawai 

    Kawai is a three-generation family-operated global company that began as Kawai Musical Instrument Research Laboratory in 1927 in Hamamatsu, Japan. Kawai has earned a reputation for outstanding quality, workmanship, and innovation in the crafting of world-class instruments. Kawai acoustic and digital pianos are a top choice of pianists, teachers, churches, students, and professional musicians around the globe. The skillful blending of traditional piano craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology has made Kawai one of the most award-winning companies in the entire music products industry—having received over 50 major international awards for excellence.  

    RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

  • 2 Mar 2021 8:55 AM | Anonymous

    A federal judge on Monday granted LLC’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the company uses and profits from photographs and other personal details in its U.S. school yearbooks database without permission.

    U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler ruled the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege standing to pursue their proposed class action, and in any case the company is immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act.

    To read the full story on Westlaw Today, click here:

    Past articles about this lawsuit may be found in past articles in this newsletter.

  • 1 Mar 2021 11:51 AM | Anonymous

    February 27 marked the close of RootsTech Connect 2021. This was the first year this conference with hundreds of thousands of attendees was held as a virtual conference. Overall, the conference was deemed a success even though there was no way to meaningfully compare it to the in-person conferences of previous years. However, more than a half-million people registered around the world, making this the biggest genealogy event ever.

    No matter how you measure it, I'd say the virtual conference was a success as it appears that the conference met most of the objectives (or maybe ALL of the objectives) of Family Search, the conference organizers.

    Rather than my writing about this conference, I'd like to offer a "virtual" report and let others write about it. Following is a list of just a few of the many online articles written about this year's virtual conference. If these articles do not tell you everything you want to know about last week's events, go to your favorite search engine and search for "RootsTech Connect 2021" to find hundreds more articles about it.

    One thing about a virtual technical conference with more than a half-million people attendees: those attendees know how to document what happened with technology... ON-LINE!

    RootsTech Connect 2021 (written before the conference was held but provides a good overall introduction to the plans):

    Welcome to the Family (written as RootsTech Connect 2021 was drawing to a close):

    RootsTech Connect 2021 sessions:

    Hundreds of thousands attend all-virtual RootsTech Connect 2021:

    Dozens of YouTube videos about RootsTech Connect 2021 and I suspect more videos will, still be added in the next few days:

    3 RootsTech keynotes explain why knowing your family history matters.

    ‘How Does Your Name Sound’ and other new innovations to see at RootsTech Connect at

    Vivid-Pix Brings Family History Home at RootsTech Connect 2021 with Free Education & Research:

    And finally, 3-day RootsTech Connect was simply the ‘ribbon cutting’ for what’s to come (a peek at plans for future RootsTech plans):

    Most of the sessions from the virtual, global family event will be available to watch on-demand throughout 2021. Keep an eye on

  • 1 Mar 2021 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG):

    Paul Edward Sluby Sr. (1934–2019)
    (Photograph used with the permission of Patricia Carter Sluby, PhD)

    Applications for scholarships for African Americans to participate in national genealogical institutes are due 15 March 2021, the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) announced today. This scholarship, established in 2020, is named after the first board-certified African American genealogist, Paul Edward Sluby Sr. 
    Scholarships will be awarded to up to three students who are African American, to cover up to $1,700 of the tuition, travel, and lodging expense of attending one of five premier national institutes. BCG will also waive its final application fee of $300 for scholarship recipients who submit portfolios of work to be considered for certification within three years of the announcement of an award.
    The application form and supporting material is posted on BCG’s website at Applicants are required to submit an essay and a sample of their genealogical research. It is anticipated that scholarship recipients will be awarded in May 2021, so that recipients can take part in institutes scheduled for 2022. Those wishing to apply should fill out the required application form and submit with supporting materials to
    The five institutes eligible for scholarships for tuition, travel, and lodging expenses (where applicable) are:

      • Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), held annually at the National Archives and other locations in Washington, DC, and College Park, Maryland. The 2022 session is scheduled for July 2022.
      • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, provides two separate week-long sessions in June and July.
      • Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR), held in Athens, Georgia, in July, under the auspices of the Georgia Genealogical Society.
      • Midwest African American Genealogical Institute (MAAGI), based at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, currently offered for three days in early July.
      • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City held in January each year.

    Where a scholarship is announced after the close of registration for a particular institute, BCG will work with the institute to make available seats for scholarship recipients in the specific course of his or her choice. Applicants should exhibit intermediate or higher skills that have prepared them for an in-depth learning experience. There is no age limit or income requirement.

  • 1 Mar 2021 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    Last week I wrote about a fascinating new bit of technology called Deep Nostalgia™, a groundbreaking new photo feature on MyHeritage that allows you to animate the faces of your loved ones in still photos. This new addition to MyHeritage's suite of photo tools produces a realistic depiction of how a person from an old photo could have moved and looked if they were captured on video.

    That article is still available at and it points to a couple of links on that offer all the details. One part of the announcement was an offer to upload your DNA data (even if it was the results of tests performed by a different company.) In return, you will be given "free access to all DNA features on MyHeritage — forever!"

    This was planned to be a limited time offer. However, yesterday the folks at MyHeritage extended the "limited time offer" even more:

    "Due to the enthusiastic response to our week-long offer to waive the unlock fee on the advanced DNA features for uploaded DNA, we have decided to extend the offer another week!

    "Now those of you who haven’t yet uploaded your DNA data to MyHeritage and enjoyed free access to all DNA features — including the brand-new Genetic Groups — will have another chance!"

    The announcement also states:

    "However, we are waiving that fee for an additional week, from March 1–7, 2021. Users who upload their DNA data this week will receive free access to all DNA features on MyHeritage — forever!"

    Yes, you now have another chance to upload your DNA data (even if created by one other DNA testing service) and "receive free access to all DNA features on MyHeritage — forever!"

    The latest announcement, along with the details, may be found at:

    Remember, this offer will only last through March 7, 2021.

  • 1 Mar 2021 3:54 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?

  • 26 Feb 2021 4:58 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from the Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix:

    The Genealogy Guys Podcast, co-hosted by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software, are pleased to announce the recipient of an Unsung Heroes Grant at the RootsTech Connect 2021 conference being held online.

    The Unsung Heroes Grant program is designed to provide a scanner and software to facilitate genealogical societies, historical societies, and museums making images available to the genealogy community. The grant includes a high-quality scanner, software to save and back up images, and two copies of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. The package is valued at $500.

    The recipient selected for an Unsung Heroes Grant for February 2021 is:

    Ontario Ancestors (the Ontario Genealogical Society of Ontario, Canada)

    The Ontario Genealogical Society was founded in 1961 and has been operating under the name Ontario Ancestors since 2018.

    Ontario Ancestors has access to unique microfilm collections, including content published as early as 1750 and as late as the 2000s. The materials include newspapers, wills, and local church records, among others. These record collections are relatively small and are currently held by local genealogy branches or by public libraries, none of which can afford the cost to commercially digitize their materials. Ontario Ancestors performs this service for free.

    The project originated with their Societies Tech Team building their own Provincial Heritage Cloud system and purchasing a microfilm scanner. The system is loaned out to society branches and to libraries across the Province of Ontario to do the work, and the only cost to the Society is that the Society retains a copy and assists with making the digital material available online. Since 2019, over 300,000 images have been digitized.

    Because these records have been previously housed in small, local collections, without exposure to the mainstream genealogical community, placing these records online will have a huge impact. The goal of the Society is “Free the Data.” The Society is careful to ensure compliance with all privacy and copyright laws.

    In addition to the scanning equipment and software, the recipient society will receive a beautiful custom-made commemorative mug from Vivid-Pix with their choice of one of their own images, and an announcement on a future episode of The Genealogy Guys Podcast. Recognition will be published at the Vivid-Pix Unsung Heroes Blog at as well.

    The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix salute these selfless volunteers whose efforts make invaluable genealogical and historical information available to researchers around the globe. “We Sing Your Praises!”

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software