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  • 30 Jun 2022 5:48 PM | Anonymous

    The National Holocaust Centre & Museum has created a new website which tells the story of four refugees from Nazi Europe, using some of the objects they owned.

    Ordinary Objects, Extraordinary Journeys, set up jointly with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and with sponsorship from the Arts Council, was launched on Tuesday to coincide with Refugee Week.

    Marc Cave, chief executive of the NHCM, which has been at the forefront of digital education about the Holocaust, said, “It is the human stories that we venerate”.

    The centre gradually became a museum as survivors began to entrust it with their artefacts and it was “now produce to house a collection of uniquely personal meaning”.

    When the centre agreed to do a collections-based project with the HMDT, “we wanted to ensure it was in the service of telling the stories of some lesser known survivors of the Holocaust,” he said.

    “Some of the objects seem mundane. Some seem beautiful. But all are priceless in what they tell us about the annihilation of normal Jewish family life right across Europe. There is a common misperception that the Holocaust just took place in Germany - and maybe Poland.

    “This exhibition tells four stories spanning Greece, France, Austria, Germany, Poland, England and Scotland.”

    You can read more at:

  • 30 Jun 2022 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the national median age of Americans has increased by 3.4 years to 38.8, with the largest single-year gain of 0.3 years coming in 2021, the year after the coronavirus pandemic hit. The birthrate nationwide has been declining, and decreased immigration levels have accelerated the decline.

    You can read more in an article by Tara Bahrampour published in the Washington Post at:

  • 29 Jun 2022 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    This week I decided to take a trip down memory lane. I re-read the first 50 issues of this newsletter, all published in 1996. The genealogy world indeed has changed. Here are a few of the more memorable newsletter items from nine years ago, along with a few comments:

    Only the more advanced computer users in 1996 had state-of-the-art software: Microsoft's latest operating system, called Windows 95. However, because I was now writing a "techie" newsletter, I purchased a very high-speed system (a 90-Mhz Pentium I) with a huge amount of memory (32 megabytes) so that I could use the latest professional operating system from Microsoft: Windows NT 3.51. During the year, Microsoft also released Internet Explorer version 3.0. Most of the 30 million users of the World Wide Web used Netscape, however. A few used the older Mosaic web browser.

    The annual GENTECH conference was held on Plano, Texas, with several hundred attendees.

    The National Genealogical Society held its annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society announced a new online presence on a section of CompuServe. This apparently was the first major genealogy society to serve members online. Things have certainly changed since then!

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society held its annual summer conference in Farmington, Connecticut. The luncheon speaker was Dick Eastman, speaking on "The Future of On-Line Computer Communications for Genealogists."

    Family Tree Maker version 3.0 by Broderbund added the capability to read genealogy data CD-ROMs produced by a company that Broderbund had recently acquired: Banner Blue.

    A previously unheard-of company called Progeny Software introduced their first genealogy product: PAF*Mate.

    Bill Harten, GEDCOM coordinator for the LDS Church's Family History Department, announced that GEDCOM 6.0 was under development. (Twenty-six years later, GEDCOM 6.0 is still "under development." According to, GEDCOM 5.5.5 is the latest version, released on 2 Oct 2019.)

    CompuServe shocked the computer industry when they announced a new offering of UNLIMITED online time for only $19.95 a month. All online services had previously charged by the hour. (It seems ironic that CompuServe was later acquired by its rival, AOL, and later both organizations simply faded away. So much for trying to be the industry's low-cost leader.)

    An online genealogist in Scotland was rescued from possible death by a group of other genealogists in the U.S., including this writer, when using a genealogy chat room. Reverend Ken Walker, a Scottish history expert who lived alone, had a seizure while online and was unable to disconnect his computer from the dial-up computer's phone line in order to call for medical help. The online genealogists in the same chat room deduced his location and placed a trans-Atlantic telephone call to the police in Walker's hometown. An ambulance arrived within minutes. The doctors who later examined Walker at a local hospital stated that he probably would not have survived without immediate medical attention.

    I wrote a review of the "books" written by Halberts of Bath, Ohio. These contained no genealogy information, only listings from telephone directories. (The company later went out of business.)

    "Relations" was a new genealogy program for Apple's handheld Newton devices.

    Geni, a Psion 3 genealogy program, was released.

    CommSoft, the company that produced Roots IV for MS-DOS and also Visual Roots, announced their latest genealogy program: Family Gathering for Windows. A few months later a Macintosh version was announced. Late in the year, the same company announced the release of Roots V for Windows.

    Other genealogy software reviewed in the 1996 newsletters included KinWin 1.1, GENTREE (in French), Family Tree Maker version 3.0, Tree-O, Family Matters, Kith and Kin, Brothers Keeper for Windows, Personal Ancestral File for the Macintosh version 2.3.1, Family Tree International, FamilyBase, PAF*Mate, Ahnenforscher (in German), Genius for Windows, FamilyTree for OS/2 (do you remember OS/2?), Cumberland Family Tree for Windows, The Master Genealogist's new Windows version, Family Origins version 5, Family Matters, Family History Composer for the Macintosh, and Corel's "Family Tree Master." How many of those programs are still available?

    Yes, 1996 was a newsworthy year. I must say that I have also enjoyed the succeeding 26 years.

  • 29 Jun 2022 9:46 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from the MyHeritage Blog:

    We’re excited to share that we’ve just completed an additional update to the data for our ultimate genetic genealogy tool, Theory of Family Relativity™.

    Theory of Family Relativity™ can save you countless hours of work figuring out how you might be related to your DNA Matches. It pulls together billions of data points from across the 86 million family trees and 18.2 billion historical records on MyHeritage to bring you plausible theories about your relationship paths to your DNA Matches.

    These calculations are run on a periodic basis. Since our last update, many new DNA kits, family tree profiles, and historical records have been added to MyHeritage. This means that the number of theories, the number of DNA Matches that include a theory, and the number of kits that have a theory have all increased significantly.

    If your DNA results came in relatively recently, or if you’ve been waiting to receive a theory, there’s a good chance you might receive one as a result of this update.

    The new update by the numbers

    As a result of this new update:

    25,636,711 Theories of Family Relativity™ were added

    328,439 kits that didn’t have any theories previously now have at least one

    233,297 additional users will have at least one theory following this update

    Note that in this update, we only added new theories and did not update any theories that existed previously.

    Viewing and analyzing your Theories of Family Relativity™

    To view your Theories of Family Relativity™, visit your DNA Match page. The relationship calculated by the theory will appear directly on the match card of a DNA Match that has a theory. New theories will be labeled with a “NEW” banner for 30 days after this update.

    There is a lot more info available at:

  • 28 Jun 2022 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    Health problems of world leaders have influenced many events. In one man's case, a medical problem probably changed the history of the world and affected the lives of millions of people.

    Charles V had the titles of Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile, Naples, and Sicily, and ruler of the Burgundian territories. In Spain he ruled officially as Carlos I, though he is often referred to as Carlos V. He commanded an empire that stretched across much of Europe and included Spanish America. Conquistadores Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, and others conquered the Aztec and Inca empires and claimed vast new lands in the name of Charles V.

    Unlike many kings of his time, Charles V was an educated man and spoke several languages. It was said that he spoke "Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to his horse". He was also an expert military strategist.

    Doctors diagnosed Charles with gout in early adulthood. However, modern-day medical experts have often wondered if the diagnosis was correct. The causes of gout were mostly unknown in the sixteenth century.

    In 1552, Charles V planned to lead his armies in battle in an attempt to recapture the French city of Metz. However, the pain of a gout attack left him barely able to walk and unable to ride a horse to lead his armies into battle. In 1556, Charles abdicated his various titles, giving his personal empire to his son, Philip II of Spain, and the Holy Empire to his brother, Ferdinand. Charles retired to a monastery and spent the next two years in severe pain. He died in 1558, probably of malaria. What had been his empire fell apart soon after. Twenty-six years later, his remains were transferred to the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, outside Madrid.

    Historians have attributed most of Charles V's problems to the pain he suffered, ever increasing as he grew older and older. Had he not been in pain, Charles' superior army probably would have defeated the French and added still more land to his empire. "His physical suffering influenced decisions that affected the future of many countries," said Dr. Pedro Luis Fernandez, a pathologist at the University of Barcelona.

    Sometime between his death and the later transfer of his body to the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the fingertip of Charles' little finger was separated from the rest of his body. The reason for the separation and its location for many years after is unknown. However, at some point the fingertip was returned to the monastery, where it has since been kept in a red velvet box.

    Dr. Fernandez and other medical researchers were given the opportunity to perform laboratory tests on a mummified piece of Charles V's little finger. The analysis revealed deposits of needle-shaped crystals of uric acid that had eroded tissue and bone – a sure sign of gout. Such crystals are caused by a buildup of uric acid and result in pain and swelling of the joints, often the big toe.

    Gout has long been associated with rich diets and alcohol. According to historians, Charles V was famous for his big appetite, especially for meat, and he drank large amounts of beer and wine. Charles probably never knew how much his diet contributed to the pain.

  • 28 Jun 2022 4:44 PM | Anonymous

    The Organization of American States (OAS) and Foundation El Libro Total today signed an agreement to disseminate more than 80,000 books digitized by the institution's platform, free of charge, throughout the Americas and the world.

    The agreement establishes a framework of collaboration between the two institutions, through which the OAS will use its platforms to disseminate material from the digital library of The Total Book Foundation and leaves open the possibility of other cooperation agreements in the interest of spreading the culture of the region. The Culture and Tourism Section of the Department of Economic Development of the OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral Development will oversee the initiative.

    OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro expressed his enthusiasm for this initiative that will help promote Hispanic American culture around the world. "For us at the OAS, the cultural and creative sectors occupy an important place in the economies of our member states, because they constitute livelihoods and contribute to innovation, investment, digital modernization, and cultural and heritage tourism," added Secretary General Almagro.

    The President of the Fundación El Libro Total, Alejandro Navas, highlighted that the agreement "brings us together with the OAS and the people of the Americas" so that millions of people can access free reading through the digital platform of his institution.

    Meanwhile, the Permanent Observer of Spain, Carmen Montón, who participated as a witness of honor to the agreement, said: "This agreement contributes to improve equity in access to culture, in this case to books in Spanish, and to promote reading in our language".

    The Fundación El Libro Total is a non-profit organization supported by the company Sistemas y Computadores S.A., whose main objective is the recovery, conservation, dissemination, and enhancement of the universal cultural heritage. For this purpose, it created the digital library of America El Libro Total, whose domain is

  • 28 Jun 2022 9:50 AM | Anonymous

    East Riding Archives - responsible for safeguarding and making available the documentary heritage of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England - have just selected an automated digital archiving solution called Preservica, and launched a new site, offering access to a new public digital archive.

    The Archives service oversees a vast collection of records dating from 1185 right up to the present day. With over 400,000 historic items, most of the archive is based on paper, parchment, and other traditional methods of manuscript recording, but over the past 25 years or so, the way that society records information has changed dramatically.

    Archivist Sam Bartle says with more and more of today's information being stored digitally they need a new approach to keeping the data safe.

    You can read the details in an article by Matthew Pells published in the web site at:

  • 27 Jun 2022 8:52 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the organizers of the Family History Expo 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand:

    Tickets offered to exhibitors, speakers, volunteers, sponsors and raffle donors.

    Family History Expo 2022 opening event
    Friday 12 August 5pm-8.30pm
    Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mount Albert Road, Auckland

    Family History Expo opening reception for speakers, exhibitors, and the general public

    Bookings: $22 a ticket to cover catering, numbers limited, bookings essential

    Book now

    Entry only by pre-paid booking. No door sales. No refunds (unless event is cancelled).
    If you are unable to come, tickets can be transferred to someone else.

    Opening Night Programme

      • 5pm: Refreshments and canapes, mix and mingle
      • 6pm: Suffer the Little Children with Judy Russell, aka “The Legal Genealogist”
        They were victims. They were heroes. They were lost. And they were found. Some lived and became our ancestors. Some died. Some are remembered vividly. And some are known to no-one alive today. They are the littlest members of our family. They are the children. And from the mundane to the amazing, they all have stories we ― as our families’ genealogists ― must tell.
      • 7pm: Family History Friday’s LIVE!
        with Jason Reeve (Ancestry AU & NZ - platinum sponsor), Debra Carter (Ancestry ProGenealogists) and Talking Family History's Michelle Patient and Fiona Brooker
      • 8pm: Q&A session and interactive discussion
      • 8.30pm: Close

    Saturday and Sunday, 13 and 14 August FREE
    Programme to come


  • 27 Jun 2022 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    I have written often about the many advantages of Chromebooks. (That includes Chromeboxes as well.) Now there is news from Google: Windows has supported these for decades, so it’s awesome to see Google’s operating system have some much-needed feature parity for users who receive zip files or other formats from their co-workers, peers, or even family members. Now, with the release of ChromeOS 101, this is finally coming to the masses!

    Formats supported include:

    • 7z
    • bz2
    • crx
    • gz
    • iso
    • rar
    • tar
    • tbz
    • tbz2
    • tgz

    This update will be rolling out to all ChromeOS operating systems in the next few days.

  • 27 Jun 2022 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    Walking past the countless photos of Holocaust survivors and victims at Warsaw’s POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in 2016, New York-native Daniel Patt was haunted by the possibility that he was passing the faces of his own relatives without even knowing it.

    Jews from Hungary arriving at Auschwitz in May of 1944, part of 'The Auschwitz Album' series of photographs. Most of these Jews were murdered later that day.

    For Patt, a 40-year-old software engineer now working for Google, that sort of conundrum presented the potential for a creative solution. And so he set to work creating and developing From Numbers to Names (N2N), an artificial intelligence-driven facial recognition platform that can scan through photos from prewar Europe and the Holocaust, linking them to people living today.

    You can read the full story in an article by by Yaakov Schwartz published in the Times of Israel web site at:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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