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  • 7 Jul 2022 9:56 AM | Anonymous

    This is an update to my previous article at

    The Ford Heritage Vault – an official Blue Oval online resource full of photos, design sketches, and various other cool pieces of history, and immediately attracted quite a bit of attention from eager fans. In fact, the response to this new site was so overwhelming that many had difficult accessing it as the Ford Heritage Vault has garnered a large amount of traffic, to the point where it’s been down quite a bit over that same time span, as Ford archivist Ted Ryan explained to the Detroit Free Press.

    “We created demand for people across middle America to go see the cars they grew up with,” Ryan said. “Unfortunately for us, everybody went at the same time and it took the site down. I warned everybody this would be popular. No one believed me. I got a note from (Ford CEO) Jim Farley that said, ‘Ted, thanks for breaking the internet.’ He gets it. People love their cars.”

    Ryan knew that the response to the Ford Heritage Vault would be massive, even going so far as to warn the site’s host – a software company called Minisis – to be prepared for a tremendous amount of traffic. Regardless, within three hours of the site’s launch, that company’s servers were overwhelmed, causing it to crash. In just two weeks, a grand total of 64,000 users have generated 750,000 searches at the site, which launched in conjunction with Ford’s 119th anniversary.

  • 7 Jul 2022 9:39 AM | Anonymous

    The archive contains the then-200,000-strong Jewish community’s filings as they attempted to get visas and flee Austria before World War II began.

    Israeli genealogy platform MyHeritage on Sunday unveiled its database of digitized records of Vienna’s Jews between the years 1938-1939 – when the robust Jewish community of the Austrian capital attempted to flee Nazi rule and persecution.

    The collection, created in partnership with the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) in Jerusalem, details the then-200,000-strong Jewish community’s filings to the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (the Jewish community organization in Vienna) immigration department, which was assisting Jews in the capital in their attempts to escape. 

    Vienna’s Jewish community organization would offer questionnaires to the city’s Jewish residents that would gauge their ability to emigrate and obtain a visa. Questions included information such as the name of the applicant, address, date of birth, professional skills, monthly income and other pertinent questions.

    A vast collection on Austria’s Jewish community

    Often supplemented by notes, official correspondence, handwritten letters and other unique documents, these “emigration sheets” form one of the most informative collections on Austria’s Jewish community before the once-vibrant community fled or were killed during the Holocaust. 

    You can read more at:

  • 7 Jul 2022 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    Far out in the remote Pacific Ocean, the 2,000 islands of Micronesia were only peopled about 3,500 years ago, archaeological evidence shows. Now scientists find it didn't happen quite as had been assumed.

    Micronesia is a country that consists of roughly 2,000 small islands spread over a vast region in the Pacific. Micronesia should not to be confused with the neighboring nations of Polynesia or Melanesia, which also consist of small islands in the Pacific. Now, a new study casts light on the origin of early Micronesians and it is more complicated than had been assumed.

    It had been thought that Micronesians shared origins with southwest Pacific peoples, and that Micronesians likely stemmed from a single origin. Now, analysis of ancient and modern Micronesian DNA has detected five separate waves of migration to Micronesia in antiquity: three streams from eastern Asia, one from Polynesia, and one of people related to mainland Papua New Guineans, Yue-Chen Liu and David Reich of Harvard Medical School reported with colleagues last week in Science.

    You can read the full story in an article by Ruth Schuster posted in the Haaretz web site at:

  • 6 Jul 2022 2:25 PM | Anonymous

    I recently decided to purchase a new tablet computer. I already owned a couple of older tablets made by different manufacturers but they have recently become slow and the screens are not as sharp as current models. Also, the batteries in these aging Android systems don't seem to hold a charge as long as they used to. Also, I am no longer receiving any Android updates on these aging systems. I started looking online for a current model.

    Most tablet computers are one of two models: Apple iPads (all made by Apple and are significantly overpriced) or Android tablets (made by a variety of manufacturers and sold at a wide range of prices). Since I already own (aging) Android tablets and an (almost new) Android cell phone, I first went looking for Android devices.

    After spending an evening looking at all sorts of devices, both Android and even including Apple iPads, I made my choice: a Chromebook! That's right: I eventually purchased a combination tablet and laptop that doesn't run one of the two most popular tablet operating systems. It isn't Android and it isn't Apple's iOS on iPads. Instead, it runs ChromeOS.

    Now that I have used the new Asus CM3 Chromebook combination tablet/laptop for several days, I must report that I am delighted with this new, low-cost, multi-purpose system.

    There are several reasons why I decided to switch from Android to ChromeOS. It wasn’t until I saw an ad for the Asus CM3 Chromebook that the idea of purchasing a Chromebook instead of an Android tablet crossed my mind.

    Although I plan on using the Asus CM3 Chromebook mainly as a tablet, the detachable keyboard is still a nice thing to have especially when entering passwords or working on Google Docs. Likewise, the built-in stand makes it easy to prop up the device when streaming shows online or watching YouTube videos.

    I find the laptop is much easier to use than a tablet when sitting on the living room couch. Yet, when traveling on an airliner or the auto train, the tablet configuration seems to work better. With the Asus CM3, I can detach the keyboard to switch from laptop to tablet mode in 2 or 3 seconds. In other words, it is the best of both worlds.

    Also, there is the price: at $299.99 (U.S.) from Amazon, the Asus CM3 Chromebook is much cheaper than an Apple iPad and also is about mid-range amongst the prices of Android tablets that usually have fewer capabilities. In addition, I also own a "normal" Chromebook laptop and am very familiar with the operation of the ChromeOS. I already know there are thousands of FREE Chromebook apps just waiting to be installed on a Chromebook.

    Other advantages of Chromebooks that I was already familiar with include:

    Chromebooks are lightweight laptops designed for people who spend most of their time online.

    Chromebooks never get viruses and are resistant to most other forms of malware.

    Simplicity: Chromebooks are much easier to use than Windows or Macintosh systems and are often recommended for use by non-computer-literate individuals. Chromebooks are very popular for use in school systems as a result as well as for use by senior citizens who are not familiar with Windows or Macintosh usage.

    Chromebooks make system software updates in the background that happen invisibly to the user. The user is never frustrated by an on-screen message that says "Please wait... installing system updates" or similar words.

    Speed: Chromebooks can power up and be ready to use in around eight seconds.

    Weight: The Asus CM3 Chromebook weighs 1.1 pounds. It should be easy to carry when traveling. 

    Price: The majority of Chromebooks cost significantly less than your average Windows or Macintosh laptop.

    Battery: Expect to get six hours (or more) from the battery on an average Chromebook. The Asus CM3 specs claim 12 hours of battery life in normal usage.

    Hard drive: The "hard drive" in most Chromebooks (including the Asus CM3) isn't really a hard drive at all. It is a solid state drive. The result is blinding speed and very low power consumption. For instance, my $299 Chromebook performs most computing tasks faster than my $1499 Macbook Pro (with a few exceptions).

    Audio quality: The Asus web site claims "The dual high-quality 5-magnet stereo speakers on ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 generate high-fidelity audio." Well, I wouldn't exactly call it "high-fidelity audio" but the speakers do face upward from above the display screen, not downward facing where it would get muffled by a desk or the user's lap in the manner of many other laptops. All-in-all, I would rate the audio quality of the Asus CM3 as "better than I expected" but I still would not call it "high-fidelity audio."

    Stylus: There is a built-in stylus, something not found on many Chromebooks. I find the stylus works better than my finger when using the touch-screen. However, I did find it a bit "tricky" to extract the stylus from its internal storage space.

    Built-in Flexible stand design: The innovative flex-angle stand on the ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 is designed to meet a wide range of user needs for entertainment, study and work, and the device enables both vertical and horizontal orientations. Portrait mode provides the perfect vertical setup for chatting, web-browsing, reading and entertainment, and landscape mode is ideal for watching videos or reading ebooks hands-free. (I don't plan on using my Amazon Kindle ever again. The Asus CM3 works better with a larger and brighter screen than my Kindle.)

    Fabric covering: with most of my older tablet and laptops, I have usually purchased carrying cases or "leather envelopes" to protect them from bumps and bruises when traveling. The Asus CM3 has a fabric covering that appears to be glued onto the device. As a result, I feel it is already protected from bumps and bruises. I don't plan to obtain any additional carrying cases or "envelopes" to protect it.

    Other Operating Systems: modern-day Chromebooks also can run Linux and Android applications.


    One significant drawback of the Asus CM3 (for some people): apparently, in order to make this device as small and lightweight as possible, Asus settled on a 10.1-inch (25.7 centimeter) screen. While it is sharp and bright, that is still a smaller screen than most other laptops. If you have good vision, that shouldn't be a problem for you. However, if you suffer from any vision problems, you might prefer to select a laptop with a larger screen.

    Another drawback: This device has only one USB port, a USB-C connector. It is in use when charging the battery. That makes it impossible to use the USB-C port for any other purpose when charging. For instance, you cannot use a flash drive while charging. Luckily, charging doesn't take long and the device runs for about 12 hours from a single charge. I found this to be a non-issue but you might have a different opinion.

    Other factor:

    I don't consider this to be either an advantages or disadvantage. Instead, it is simply a "fact of life."

    While modern Chromebooks no longer are required to be used online all the time, the fact remains that to use its full potential you will want a frequent online connection. If you have wi-fi in your home, you should be all set. If you do not have easy access to wi-fi, you might be disappointed with a Chromebook.


    This article was written on my new Asus CM3 Chromebook.

    I purchased my Asus CM3 Chromebook from Amazon. I ordered it about 10 AM and the Amazon van delivered the new laptop/tablet to my front door about 9 PM the same day. (Delivery times may be longer for you, depending upon your location.) If you would like to purchase the same device, you may do so by going to and searching for: B094K28536.

    Amazon Prime members receive free shipping.

    I suspect the $299.99 price is good only for shipping to U.S. addresses.

    You should be able to purchase the Asus CM3 from other computer retailers. The price might be a bit higher or lower than $299.99 but should still be close to that price.

    Final comments:

    I am not compensated in anyway for writing this article. I purchased it with my own funds and plan to use it more or less daily for a number of years.

    I listed the order information on Amazon as "by going to and searching for: B094K28536." You will notice that is not an affiliate link. I don't need a commission if you decide to purchase one. Instead, you might consider dropping me a note and telling me how you like your new Asus CM3 Chromebook.

    That's all the "commission" I want.

  • 6 Jul 2022 11:51 AM | Anonymous

    Are you known for some dish that you prepare frequently? Do others rave to praise your cooking? If so, you might have the recipe engraved on your (future) tombstone.

    In cemeteries from Alaska to Israel, families have memorialized their loved ones with the deceased’s most cherished recipes carved in stone. These dishes — mostly desserts — give relatives a way to remember the sweet times and, they hope, bring some joy to visitors who discover them among the more traditional monuments.

    Recent advancements in gravestone technology, like lasers that can carve directly into the stone, have made it easier to leave a more personalized memorial, Mr. Keister said. Some include QR codes that lead to memorial websites.

    “You only have one chance to make a last impression,” said Douglas Keister, a photographer and author who has written several books about cemeteries, including “Stories in the Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography.” (For his own memorial, Mr. Keister plans a bench with the inscription “Keisters go here.”)

    Recipes on gravestones are a relatively new phenomenon in the long history of cemetery iconography, he said. But they’ve found an ardent following online.

    On her TikTok channel, @ghostlyarchive, Rosie Grant shares headstone recipes, drawing hundreds of thousands of views from a devoted audience fascinated by the intersection of cemeteries and cooking. “Cemeteries are an open-air museum,” said Ms. Grant, 32, who lives in Washington D.C.

    Recent advancements in gravestone technology, like lasers that can carve directly into the stone, have made it easier to leave a more personalized memorial, Mr. Keister said. Some include QR codes that lead to memorial websites. You can read more in an article published in the web site at:

  • 6 Jul 2022 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    The South Dakota Genealogical Society has named Kay Hendricks of De Smet as the 2022 Genealogist of the Year.

    Hendricks has been active in the Kingsbury County Genealogical Society (KCGS) for 35 years. She was one of the founding members and was nominated for the honor by the local society. The first slate of officers included Kay Hendricks as the Vice President. Over the years, she has served as the president and secretary too

    Pat Tvinereim, president of the Kingsbury society, said Hendricks was selected for this honor because of her enthusiasm and passion for genealogy.

    “Whenever we had a query, we contacted Kay first,” Tvinereim said. “She became our ‘go-to’ person for information. Kay and her husband were life-long residents. She knew the history of the county and had many contacts. Even though it might not concern her family, she knew who to call. She had visited with enough people about family connections and knew those who had Irish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Australian, or German ancestors.”

    You can read more in an article in the Huron Plainsman at

  • 6 Jul 2022 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    It is with sadness that I report the death of George Ryskamp. George was best known for being a leading genealogist for Spanish and Hispanic genealogy. His passing occurred on the first day of his retirement.

    In 1984, he finished and self-published his promised book, Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage, at the time the definitive tome about genealogy in Spain. He later wrote Finding Your Hispanic Roots and most recently, Mastering Spanish Handwriting and Documents 1520–1820.

    While trained as an attorney and founder of his own law firm, in 1993, George left behind his law career and California, and moved his family to Utah to take a position at BYU teaching Family History. His areas of specialty were Southern Europe and the law. During his twenty-eight-year tenure, George worked tirelessly to build BYU's Family History program. He served ten years as its Program Director. As Director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy, he spearheaded the Immigrant Ancestors Project website, which to date has had close to two million visits from users in ten different countries.

    George's obituary contains a much more detailed description of his multiple careers and mentions many of the highlights of his life. That obituary may be found at:

  • 5 Jul 2022 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    Dame Daphne du Maurier, the English novelist who died in 1989, was fascinated by her French heritage.

    The author of Rebecca and Jamaica Inn had been brought up on tales of an aristocratic ancestor who came to London during the French Revolution, fleeing the guillotine and the militant sans-culottes.

    But when she began looking into her family history, she discovered it was all rather more complicated. Far from being nobles, her French ancestors were in fact bourgeois artisans whose trade was glassmaking.

    And the 1790 émigré was not a runaway from the revolutionary mob, but from a debtors' prison.

    You can read about her adventures in researching her ancestry, including disproving some of the "family stories: that had been handed down in her family over the centuries, by starting in the BBC web site at:

  • 5 Jul 2022 9:28 AM | Anonymous

    One of America's most historic sites is in danger of being destroyed. Jamestown has just been named one of America’s most endangered historic places by the US National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the last century the river has risen by a foot and a half. Now, the site floods five or six times a year, putting large areas underwater.

    The region is at a “critical juncture” where inaction would mean it will “disappear from the cultural landscape”, the US National Trust for Historic Preservation said.

    King James I granted the Virginia Company a royal charter for colonial pursuit in 1606. Three ships – the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery headed west via the Canary Islands and the Caribbean before reaching the Chesapeake Bay.

    Of the first 104 settlers, only 38 survived the first winter. The scarcity of food was such in the early years that people ate box turtles, horses, dogs, snakes, and then each other.

    There were also skirmishes with the Powhatan Indians, with peace only achieved after their most famous daughter, Pocahontas, joined the British settlers and eventually ended up in England.

    Around 1610, fortunes changed with the arrival of tobacco seeds, which were then planted and cultivated. In 1619, the first slaves arrived.

    However, the greatest threat today to Jamestown has been Mother Nature: Situated on a tidewater island between the James River and a swamp, the site is vulnerable to heavy rain and rising groundwater levels brought about by climate change. “You’ve got resources there underwater, that are staying underwater,” said Katherine Malone-France of the National Trust.

    Archaeologists and their colleagues attempt to manage the water around their excavations with drainage systems constructed in the 1950s, sump pumps, sand bags, and tarps because water can damage or destroy artifacts such as pieces of armor, projectile points, and human remains, and wash away layers of sediments.

    Plans to reinforce the 100-year-old concrete-block seawall holding back the James River with giant granite stones will soon get underway, added Michael Lavin of Jamestown Rediscovery. A modern drainage system, a special flood berm, and raised roads are also needed to preserve the site, he said.

    You can read more about the history of Jamestown on many different web sites. You might first start at:

  • 5 Jul 2022 8:27 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Shiryn Ghermezian published in the web site:

    An Israeli online genealogy platform has partnered with the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) in Jerusalem to publish for the first time online a collection of emigration applications from Jews in Vienna, Austria, seeking to flee Nazi persecution before World War II.

    The MyHeritage collection, which is searchable for free, contains 228,250 digitalized records filed by Vienna Jews from 1938 to 1939, immediately leading up to the war, as well as scanned images of the original documents.

    Vienna at the time was home to approximately 200,000 Jews. Following the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in March 1938, Jews living in Austria were forced to register with the emigration department of the Vienna Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, the city’s Jewish communal organization in Vienna, to leave the country.

    You can read more at:

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