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Latest Standard Edition Articles

  • 12 Jul 2022 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    As a longtime public servant in Thurston County, Heather Hirotaka is used to preserving history, not making it. But that’s what Hirotaka did earlier this month, when Secretary of State Steve Hobbs appointed her as the next Washington state archivist, the first woman to ever hold the position.

    In that role, Hirotaka will oversee the Washington State Archives, which collects and preserves the state’s historical records and makes them available to the public. The archives have branches in Bellevue, Bellingham, Ellensburg, Olympia and Cheney, which is the first state archives branch in the country dedicated to the preservation of electronic records.

    Hirotaka said she is honored to be the first woman in the role, and that it’s incredible to think that it’s taken this long to have a female state archivist.

    “I think that as a female, sometimes there are opportunities to see things a little bit differently, and to see things from maybe a different perspective,” Hirotaka said.

    You can read more in an article written by Nick Gibson and published in The Spokesman-Review web site at:

  • 11 Jul 2022 7:09 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG):

    “Ancestors' Religions in the U.S.”

    by Carol Whitton, CG  

    Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 8:00 p.m. (EDT)

    Religious records are essential in genealogy research. Do you know all ancestors’ religions? Review the Protestant Reformation and religions in the U.S. Find your ancestor.

    Carol Whitton, CG specializes in German genealogical research. Currently she’s projects director at the St. Louis Genealogical Society.  She has attended the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), Visual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR), and the German course at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG).

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “Ancestors' Religions in the U.S.” by Carol Whitton, CG. This webinar airs Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

    When you register before July 19 with our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars ( you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Anyone with schedule conflicts may access the webinar at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

    “Every month the Board for Certification of Genealogists offers a new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to promote excellence in research and working to standards in an ethical manner.” said President LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASG. “These webinars are presented by certified associates and offer a quality genealogical educational experience.”

    Following the free period for this webinar, BCG receives a small commission if you view this or any BCG webinar by clicking our affiliate link: (

    To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2022, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at

    For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (

  • 11 Jul 2022 2:38 PM | Anonymous

    Organizers of the 27th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival coming to Look Memorial Park in Northampton on Saturday, July 16, are hoping for a bonnie day.

    But the event — and the fun — will take place rain or shine.

    The Scottish festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with music continuing in the Celtic Pub until 9:30 p.m.

    New this year will be whiskey tasting.

    As the second largest Scottish Festival in New England and the only one in Massachusetts, the event offers a wealth of world-class Celtic music, piping and drumming competitions, Highland and Irish demonstrations, Scottish heavy athletics, Scottish gifts and foods, more than 30 Scottish clans and genealogy.

    Featured on the Main Stage will be Albannach, Enter the Haggis, Sarah the Fiddler and Charlie Zahm.

    The family-friendly event includes children’s games and a water spray park.

    You can read more in an article by Cori Urban published in the MassLive web site at:

  • 11 Jul 2022 2:23 PM | Anonymous

    As you may recall, NBC cancelled Who Do You Think You Are? in 2012, after three seasons on the air. The show was picked up by TLC and aired on the cable channel for seven seasons. It’s now back on the peacock network but, for how long? Will Who Do You Think You Are? be cancelled or renewed for season 12? Stay tuned.

    A documentary series from executive producers Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, the Who Do You Think You Are? TV show returns to the network after 10 years. Each week, a different celebrity guest goes on a poignant search to trace their family tree with the help of genealogists, historians, and experts. Together, they unlock past mysteries and unbelievable real-life stories across the world and through time. Cutting-edge research tools and billions of digitized records provide remarkable insights into the star’s background and illustrate the cultural mosaic that connects us all together. This season features Allison Janney, Zachary Levi, Nick Offerman, Billy Porter, Zachary Quinto, and Bradley Whitford.

  • 11 Jul 2022 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The tools and technology used to map our world are improving all the time, and we take it for granted that we can see any part of the globe in great detail through our phone or laptop screen.

    You may be used to checking out addresses and locations via Google Street View, but did you know that you can use it to go back in time? Obviously you’re limited by the dates that Google actually has Street View imagery for, but this now goes back decades in some areas. What’s more, you can now access historical photos on both the web and Google Maps mobile apps.

    To find them on Google Maps on the web, drag the peg man from the bottom right corner of the map interface to any location on the map (the roads that have Street View pictures will be highlighted in blue as you drag). When you drop the peg man, you’ll be shown the latest street-level imagery for that location.

    You can

  • 11 Jul 2022 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the American Society of Genealogists (ASG):

    The fourth and final $2500 grant for 2022 has been awarded to Holly MacCammon of Philmont, New York, for her project to index New York surrogate court guardianship records 1802 to 1866 abstracted and serialized in The Columbia newspaper between 1985 and 1992 as a first step to establishing intellectual and physical arrangement of disorganized records haphazardly arranged in several microfilm collections – 1890-1899 digitized and indexed on, 1881-1889, not digitized, 1802-1880 digitized by not indexed on

    Ms. MacCammon is Sole Proprietor of HollyGenealogy, LLC, specializing in New England and New York State research. Previously she has worked as Senior Project Manager for World Monuments Fund, New York, NY, and as a New York City Regional Archivist, Documentary Heritage Program, for the New York State Archives and Records Administration, Albany, NY. She has a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.

    The Society will make its decision on grant opportunities for 2023 at the annual meeting in October, with announcements to be distributed shortly thereafter. If you may be interested in an ASG Continuing Genealogical Research Project grant for 2023, e-mail

  • 8 Jul 2022 4:28 PM | Anonymous

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

    Genealogists and millions of others have saved hundreds of millions of digital photographs on their hard drives as well as on CD-ROM disks. Perhaps the most popular file format for digital photographs is JPG (or JPEG), a commonly used method of compression for photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10 to 1 compression with little perceivable loss in image quality.

    JPEG is the most common image format used by digital cameras and other photographic image capture devices, such as scanners. It is also the most common format for storing and transmitting photographic images on the World Wide Web.

    NOTE #1: The abbreviation "JPEG" stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the name of the committee that created the standard. The group was organized in 1986 and issued a standard in 1992, which was approved in 1994 as ISO 10918-1. The JPEG standard specifies both the codec, which defines how an image is compressed into a stream of bytes and decompressed back into an image, and the file format used to contain that stream.

    NOTE #2: Several compression methods have been developed for graphics images, including JPEG, GIF, and PNG. However, JPG remains the most popular for storage of photographs. I will focus only on JPG. Most of the statements in this article apply equally to all the other compressed formats.

    Note #3: Lossless JPEG was developed in 1993, using a completely different technique from the lossy JPEG standard. Even though both are called JPEG (or JPG), the two are completely different standards. Lossless JPEG has some popularity in medical imaging and is used in DNG and some high-end digital cameras to compress raw images, but otherwise has never been widely adopted. You will rarely encounter lossless JPG images on the World Wide Web or in consumer-grade digital cameras or scanners. You can read more about lossless JPEG at For the remainder of this article, I will focus on normal JPEG compression.

    JPG has become very popular in the past years and for very good reasons. Storing images in JPG format consumes much less disk space than many other file formats. That was very important some years ago. However, as disk prices have plunged, the requirements for squeezing as much out of each kilobyte as possible have decreased.

    As good as JPG is, we do need to keep in mind that it also has significant drawbacks.

    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/12842733.

    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

  • 8 Jul 2022 10:25 AM | Anonymous

    If you have information you want to pass on after your death, a dead man's switch could be what you need.

    The concept behind a dead man's switch is fairly simple. It's a trigger or a switch designed to activate when its human creator becomes incapacitated, usually designed to be triggered in the event of it's creator's death. While originally used for switches in machines, the term has become more popular in computer software.

    A dead man's switch serves as a failsafe, ensuring the release of information in case the person dies. One common use might be an email message sent to one's relatives after the creator's death stating, "Here's where to find the insurance papers, my last will-and-testament, my list of passwords for all the online services I gave been using, here's where to access my crypto currencies, and other documents you may need."

    Originally, dead man's switches were primarily used on machines, including railroad locomotives, outboard motors, and even snowmobiles. If the user became incapacitated, they would simply bring the machine into a safe state by reducing the throttle or applying the brakes. However, today most dead man's switches apparently are created for computer use.

    One of the most notorious deaths in the past few years was that of John McAfee, the man behind McAfee antivirus software. During his lifetime, John made a lot of atrocious claims. He claimed to have a dead man's switch, stating that he had files on corruption in several governments. He stated that he would release more than 31 terabytes of incriminating information if he were arrested. He even stated that the information would be released the moment he disappeared.

    The result? After John McAfee died, only one image was posted on his Instagram channel. Lots of people have since searched for the "31 terabytes of incriminating information" but apparently no one has yet found it.

    Generally, a dead man's switch can be set up and used by anyone with a little technical knowledge.

    The software requires you to encrypt data and create a set of triggers that automatically activate if there's no timely human intervention. For instance, if you fail to log into your email account or some other piece of software for a specific number of days, it may trigger a series of events. For instance, it might send the email I mentioned earlier about "Here's where to find the insurance papers" and similar information.

    You can create your own dead man's switch if you have just a little technical expertise. Otherwise, there are now ready-made tools that you can use, such as Dead Man's Switch at

    Although basic, Google's Inactive Account Manager (at is easy to set up. It works as a dead man's switch too although it does not have all the capabilities of the Dead Man's Switch web site or of most home made "switches."

    The Dead Man's Switch web site at lets you write a series of emails and decide who to send them to. The emails are encrypted and stored on the company's servers. After every few days, you'll receive an email asking you to confirm if you're fine.

    As long as you keep clicking on the link, it won't trigger. These notifications are sent via email, Telegram, or through your browser. You can easily define the interval and set the time for activation.

    If you fail to respond to the notification, the service will automatically send the emails to your recipients. At the moment, the FREE service lets you create two emails for two different recipients. They also have a paid option that lets you create more emails for different recipients.

    How much technical expertise must you have to create a dead-man's switch? If you use the web site at, the answer is "almost none." You don't need to have John McAfee's technical skills. If you know how to answer questions, you can use the online web site (FREE for up to two different email recipients, fees charged for more email messages).

    Now, go create your own "dead man's switches" and here's hoping they don't get triggered for many more years.

  • 8 Jul 2022 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    From pension records to honour rolls, here's everything that's new on Findmypast this week. 

    The focus is on military records this Findmypast Friday. Here’s  a rundown of our latest releases.

    British Army, Recommendations for Military Honours and Awards 1935-1990

    A brand new collection, these honour recommendations comprise over 79,000 records and cover 55 years from the Second World War onwards. The majority of these records are, of course, for the British Army and dominions armies personnel. However, dotted around you'll also find some Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and Royal Air Force records, as well as decorations exchanged between British and Allied armies. Each transcription will give you a name, as well as rank, regiment, and corps where available. You will also find the context of the recommendation

    Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards

    Findmypast has added another 52,000 new records to this collection, bringing the total up to an immense 6.3 million. These new additions are for the Long Service Good Conduct Medal, India General Service Medal Pegu (Army) 1852-1853, and India General Service Medal Pegu (Navy) 1852-1853.

    British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service and Pension Records, 1704-1919

    Findmypast has also released nearly 20,000 new additions to this collection. All of these new records feature men who joined the Royal Navy in 1810. The information for each record will vary, but you may find details such as the year the pension was granted, military discharge year, length of service, and more. Where available, it's also worth checking the original image in this collection, as it may contain extra comments written about your ancestor.

    British Army Lists & Commission Registers 1661-1826

    The largest addition of the week is the new British Army Lists & Commission Registers collection, with over 118,000 records. They span from 1661 until 1826. They will usually give you a full name, a regiment and rank, and an event date - which tends to be the date that the officer was commissioned. 


    Findmypast have three new newspapers from Bromley, one from London, and updates to 16 existing titles this week. Here's a full rundown.

    New titles: 

      • Black & White, 1891-1899, 1902, 1905
      • Bromley and West Kent Telegraph, 1868-1872, 1886-1896, 1898-1913
      • Bromley Chronicle, 1891-1892, 1894-1896, 1898-1921
      • Bromley Journal and West Kent Herald, 1869-1885, 1887-1902, 1905-1912
      • Spiritualist, 1869-1882

    Updated titles: 

      • Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, 1976
      • Aldershot News, 1981
      • Barbados Agricultural Reporter, 1887-1888, 1895-1910
      • Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury, 1996
      • Derbyshire Times, 1921
      • Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal, 1989
      • Harrow Observer, 1996
      • Hounslow & Chiswick Informer, 1988
      • Kensington News and West London Times, 1936
      • Nantwich Chronicle, 1977
      • Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 1928
      • North Star (Darlington), 1920
      • Nottingham Recorder, 1989
      • Oldham Advertiser, 1989
      • Pontypridd Observer, 1989
      • Salford Advertiser, 1992
  • 7 Jul 2022 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    Want to send information to someone else that should not be shown to any third party, such as to hackers? (Credit card numbers pop to mind.) If so, you want to read the article The Best Free Ways to Send Encrypted Email and Secure Messages written by Nick Lewis and published in the HowToGeek web site at:

    Comment by Dick Eastman: This is an excellent article, very detailed and it lists all the information showing popular encryption methods in use today. The one downside to this article is the amount of information it provides: too much information (in my opinion). It may be confusing to many non-technical people who are not already using encryption.

    As a solution, here is my own abbreviated list of super easy-to-use services:

    ProtonMail (Email)

    Signal (Chat)

    VeraCrypt (Files) - useful for some people

    Details on these applications may be found in Nick Lewis' article at:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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