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  • 10 Apr 2024 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    Perhaps you found a reference that says your ancestor lived in Holladay, Tennessee. Now you ask, "Where the heck is that?" Even more interesting, the record might say that the ancestor was buried there in the Brinkley Cemetery. Now you really want to know where that cemetery is located! Luckily, in this modern age, this is easy to do, using your home computer or even a laptop, tablet, or cell phone and an Internet connection.

    Back in the B.I. age (Before Internet), you would purchase a map of Tennessee and then look for the town. However, many small locations are not shown on modern maps. It is also possible that the place may have existed only in past years and has since disappeared. A current map may not show the place you are interested in. Most importantly, finding a small cemetery on a modern map is often impossible. 

    Today you can sit at home, type on the keyboard, and in a few minutes find that Brinkley Cemetery is located at latitude 35 degrees, 49 minutes, 17 seconds North and 88 degrees, 12 minutes, 2 seconds West (plus or minus 300 feet). You can also look at a map of the area, displayed on your computer screen or printed on your own printer. The map shows that the cemetery in question is located on a small road, not far from U.S. Highway 40, about four miles south of Holladay, Tennessee. If that isn't enough, you can even look at a satellite view of the area. Your computer screen can display a satellite photo that even shows individual houses and other small buildings, although you probably will not be able to see individual tombstones.

    Then, just for more convenience, you can grab your GPS, jump in the car, and drive to the cemetery as your GPS calls out the turns.

    Complicated? Not really. It took me about two or three minutes to find that information online and another minute or two to tell the GPS device where I wished to go.

    Online genealogists have tools available today that were only dreamed of a few short years ago. The primary tool for U.S. locations is the government’s Geographic Names Information System. The GNIS database can quickly tell the precise location of any named place in the United States, many foreign countries, and in Antarctica. I don't have ancestors in Antarctica, so I'll focus on U.S. locations in the rest of this article.

    The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN). It contains information about more than2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States. The GNIS identifies the federally recognized name of each feature described in the database and provides references to each feature's state and county, as well as it exact latitude and longitude. It lists villages, towns, cities, rivers, mountains, airports, beaches, and much, much more. The database includes almost all obsolete names, including those of many villages that disappeared years ago. Best of all, you can find a location and then click on an icon to display a map of that area on your computer screen. 

    Here is perhaps the best news of all for genealogists: the GNIS also lists many cemeteries, although not all of them. For instance, I know that my great-grandparents are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, a small cemetery in Bangor, Maine. The GNIS describes Pine Grove Cemetery as being in Penobscot County at 44 degrees, 47 minutes, and 54 seconds North, and 68 degrees, 49 minutes, 38 seconds West. If I know the name of the cemetery but not the town, the GNIS database will find all cemeteries of that name in the state. The database will also list all the cemeteries in a given county, if you wish.

    All is not perfect, however. While nearly every village, city, and airport is listed in the U.S. government's database, not every cemetery is listed. For instance, it does not list the small, rural cemetery where my father, mother, son, and several of my aunts, uncles, and cousins are buried. In fact, I also plan to spend eternity in this same unlisted cemetery. 

    In looking around the database, I noted that a number of other cemeteries also are not listed. However those that are listed include even the tiniest of cemeteries containing only two or three tombstones located on someone's farm. For instance, I found a database listing for a cemetery that I found by accident years ago. It is a handful of tombstones now covered with brush, located deep in the woods, two or three miles from any modern-day road. In short, you won't know if the cemetery you seek is listed or not until you search the database.

    The Geographic Names Information System is available online at: http://geonames.usgs.gov. You can find the cemeteries I mentioned earlier and thousands more at that web site. 

    Now that you know the geographic coordinates of the cemetery in question, driving to that location involves a few more small challenges. You can also use any of several online sites that will give you driving directions from any starting point you wish directly to the cemetery location. With the use of a high-tech device, you can easily obtain real-time instructions on how to drive directly to the cemetery. In many cases, a robotic voice will even tell you when to turn left or right along the route.

    Several online sites will give you driving directions. My favorite is called Waze at https://www.waze.com and also available through the Android Play Store and from Apple’s iOS app store. Other people may prefer Google Maps at http://maps.google.com

    One feature found in Google Maps can be very useful, too. If you know the longitude and latitude, you can go to Google Maps and enter that information. You may enter it either in decimal format (44.798404, -68.827259) or as degrees/minutes/seconds (+44° 47' 54.25", -68° 49' 38.13"). Note that latitude north of the equator is entered as a positive number while locations located south of the equator must be preceded by a minus sign. The same is true of longitude: anything east of the Zero Meridian must be entered as a positive number while anything west of zero degrees (such as North and South America) must be preceded with a minus sign. 

    Once Google Maps displays a map with the cemetery in the exact middle, all of Google Maps’ functions are available to you. You can get driving instructions from anyplace in North America to drive directly to the site. You can print the instructions and take them with you to guide you to the cemetery of interest. You can also view satellite photos of the area. 

    If you do not know the cemetery where your ancestor is buried, you can use GNIS and the mapping services to find all the cemeteries in the area and to show the route for a planned visit of all the potential cemeteries. 

    Armed with information from the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) and any of several online map services, you should be able to locate many of the cemeteries where your ancestors are buried.

    In Part #2 of this article, I will describe the use of modern high-tech devices to replace the paper maps. As a matter of fact, your laptop computer or other high tech devices can talk to you, giving you turn-by-turn directions, as you travel the route.

  • 9 Apr 2024 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    As of September of 2022, all microfilms owned by FamilySearch have been digitized and digitally preserved. The Granite Mountain Records Vault has preserved a master physical copy of each film. Every film available in the Library is a duplicate of those stored at the Vault.

    In anticipation of the Salt Lake Temple open house, a few of the floors in the Library will be going through some changes. To prepare for the remodel, part of the film collection will be permanently relocated to another site. All films being relocated can be viewed digitally on FamilySearch.org while visiting the FamilySearch Library.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    You can read more at: https://www.familysearch.org/en/library/microfilm-microfiche-and-CDs

  • 9 Apr 2024 2:18 PM | Anonymous

    We all know that technology changes swiftly. However, a short article this week surprised me. It appears that US government agencies are being pushed to stop recording meetings, talking books, and other archival documents on audiotape. The answer is simple: they (the US government agencies) can no longer purchase recording tapes!

    Quantegy, one of the last analog tape suppliers in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and shut down its lone U.S. operation. Quantegy was the principal tape provider to federal agencies, but that supply line is now in peril. Agencies must either upgrade, which is a costly and risky process of transitioning to digital storage media, or look elsewhere for high-quality analog tapes.

    In January 2005, having previously filed for bankruptcy protection, Quantegy closed its manufacturing facility. In April, 2005, Quantegy resumed operations under new ownership. In January 2007, Quantegy’s new owners announced that it will cease production of magnetic tape in April 2007

    The National Archives and Records Administration has already switched from Quantegy tape to WAV files preserved on digital medium such as CDs. "Audiotapes are not becoming old-fashioned," said Les Waffen, an audiovisual archivist in NARA's special media branch. "They're just not going to be available anymore."

    NARA officials have begun archiving audio recordings, such as the CIA's radio monitoring of POWs and MIAs during the Vietnam War and oral arguments before the Supreme Court, in digital and WAV files. NARA officials now are unabl;e to purchase new tapes..

    Gene DeAnna, the acting chief of the Library of Congress' recorded sound section, appears delighted with the development. "The largest use of audiotapes has been to reformat fragile sound recordings to tape," DeAnna stated in a statement. "We are not using audiotapes to reformat anymore, and it's a good thing."

    Library officials have since purchased nine digital audio workstations for producing WAV files for less than $10,000 each. 

    DeAnna emphasized that digital offers more resolution than cassette. The library continues to use and acquire audiotapes when sources can be located, but they are then stored in deteriorating boxes. According to DeAnna, Quantegy used to provide archival containers, but library authorities now have to search elsewhere.

    Are you still recording on audio tapes? If so, I might suggest it is time to look for more modern technologies. Perhaps it is also time to transfer your existing tapes to more modern methods. 

  • 9 Apr 2024 9:24 AM | Anonymous

    Don’t be guilty of this! From the Miss Manners newspaper column:

    Dear Miss Manners: Lately at social events, I often find myself trapped by people who want to share, in excruciating detail, their genetic test results.

    Each person finds their own results deeply compelling, marveling at length over being 3% this and 15% that, with stunning reveals like, “I thought we were Welsh, but it turns out we’re Scottish!” Meanwhile, the next person is on deck, barely half-listening, eagerly getting ready to launch into their own genetic saga.

    Monologuing about the minutiae of one’s DNA is self-absorption at, quite literally, the cellular level. Is there a polite way to shut this down?

    You can read Miss Manners' reply at: http://bit.ly/4aPqdZN.


  • 9 Apr 2024 8:12 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Tim Reinboth published in the undark.org web site:

    Various commercial products known as “griefbots” create a simulation of a lost loved one. Built on artificial intelligence that makes use of large language models, or LLMs, the bots imitate the particular way the deceased person talked by using their emails, text messages, voice recordings, and more. The technology is supposed to help the bereaved deal with grief by letting them chat with the bot as if they were talking to the person. But we’re missing evidence that this technology actually helps the bereaved cope with loss.

    Humans have used technology to deal with feelings of loss for more than a century. Post-mortem photographs, for example, gave 19th century Victorians a likeness of their dead to remember them by, when they couldn’t afford a painted portrait. Recent studies have provided evidence that having a drawing or picture as a keepsake helps some survivors to grieve. Yet researchers are still learning how people grieve and what kinds of things help the bereaved to deal with loss.

    An approach to grief that focuses on continuing bonds with the deceased loved one suggests that finding closure is about more than letting the person go. Research and clinical practice show that renewing the bond with someone they’ve lost can help mourners deal with their passing. That means griefbots might help the bereaved by letting them transform their relationship to their deceased loved one. But a strong continuing bond only helps the bereaved when they can make sense of their loss. And the imitation loved ones could make it harder for people to do that and accept that their loved one is gone.

    You can read more at: https://undark.org/2024/04/04/opinion-griefbots-lack-evidence/.

  • 9 Apr 2024 7:45 AM | Anonymous

    Here is an article that is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, I found it interesting:

    By becoming the official custodian of an entire nation's history for the first time, the Internet Archive is expanding its already outsize role in preserving the digital world for posterity. From a report:

    The Internet Archive is now home to the Aruba Collection, which hosts digitized versions of Aruba's National Library, National Archives, and other institutions including an archaeology museum and the University of Aruba. The collection comprises 101,376 items so far -- roughly one for each person who lives on the Island -- including 40,000 documents, 60,000 images, and seven 3D objects.

    The Internet Archive is mostly known for trying to back up online resources like websites that don't have a government body advocating for their posterity. Being tapped to back up an entire nation's history takes the nonprofit into new territory, and it is a striking endorsement of its mission to bring as much information online as possible. "What makes Aruba unique is they have cooperation from all the leading cultural heritage players in the country," says Chris Freeland, the Internet Archive's director of library services. "It's just an awesome statement." The project is funded wholly by the Internet Archive, in line with its policy of generally letting anyone upload content.
  • 9 Apr 2024 7:33 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by the (U.S.) National Archives and Records Administration:

    Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan announced Dr. Janet Tran's appointment as the new Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, effective June 2, 2024. In this role, Dr. Tran will oversee the planning, directing, and administration of all programs and activities at the Library, the largest and most-visited in the presidential library system.

    refer to caption

    Enlarge

    Photo courtesy of Dr. Janet Tran

    In making the announcement, Shogan noted, “Presidential libraries serve as vital repositories of our nation's history, and accessible entry points for understanding our democracy and the decisions that shape our nation. With her in-depth knowledge of the Reagan administration and her focus on education and engagement, Dr. Tran is an exciting addition to the team. Under her stewardship, the Reagan Presidential Library will continue to inspire and educate, ensuring that the lessons of the past inform our journey forward.”

    Dr. Tran joins the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, where she served as director of the Center for Civics, Education, and Opportunity. Under her leadership, the Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) launched on the 35th anniversary of the release of the A Nation at Risk report, which called for widespread public school reform. RISE brings cross-sector and bipartisan leaders together annually to examine and elevate the national conversation around education in America. Dr. Tran also established the Reagan Institute offices in Washington, DC, organizing an innovative experiential leadership program for university students known today as the Academy for Civic Education & Democracy in partnership with George Washington University. 

    Dr. Tran has extensive experience cultivating the next generation of citizen leaders. She began her professional career as an educator at John C. Fremont High School and Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in South Los Angeles. Today, she serves on the Board of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, the iCivics CivXNow Advisory Council, and the Advisory Board of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

    Dr. Tran earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from The University of California, Los Angeles, a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction at California State University, Northridge, and a doctorate in education learning technologies from Pepperdine University.

    "Dr. Janet Tran's long experience with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute gives her great insight into its role in collaborating with the National Archives. We welcome her into this important position as Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum and look forward to a great partnership in advancing the missions of both organizations," Frederick Ryan, Chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, said in a statement.

    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is one of 15 libraries in the Presidential Library system operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, representing Herbert Hoover through Donald J. Trump. Presidential Libraries and Museums are repositories for each administration's papers and records and preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.

  • 8 Apr 2024 5:03 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the folks at the Board for Certification of Genealogists:

    Free BCG-Sponsored Webinar

    “French Emigrants: They Were Not All Huguenots, or Nobles, or from Alsace-Lorraine” 

    by Anne Morddel, CG

    Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 p.m. (EDT)

    One of the great difficulties for people researching their French immigrant ancestors’ roots is that so little is known outside of France about when and why the French left their country. This dearth of knowledge has led many family historians of the 19th century to presume Huguenot, noble émigré or Alsace-Lorraine ancestry for any ancestor with a French name. The supposition became a family legend that then became a research frustration as more recent family historians attempt to prove what was never more than a misguided supposition.

    This webinar looks at the many waves of French migration, as well as the three mentioned in the title, from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The historical reasons for when, why and to where they emigrated will provide the key points to bear in mind when conducting research. The bibliography, in English and French, contains not only books and articles concerning French emigration but a list of websites to aid the researcher. 

    Anne Morddel, CG, MLIS, worked in libraries and archives in her native California, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Africa. She is now based in France, where she has written The French Genealogy Blog for more than a dozen years, producing nearly one thousand posts about the many aspects of French genealogical research. Some of these posts have been published in book form, most notably, French Genealogy From Afar. She also has spent many years researching American merchant seamen in Europe. Her recently published American Merchant Seamen of the Early Nineteenth Century: A Researcher’s Guide explains how to use libraries, archives and online databases around the world to document the lives of seamen who lived in the early 1800s. She is currently writing a book about the more than 1500 American mariners who were prisoners of war in Napoleonic France. 

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “French Emigrants: They Were Not All Huguenots, or Nobles, or from Alsace-Lorraine” by Anne Morddel, CG. This webinar airs Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.   

    When you register before April 16 with our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars (http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=9019) 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 Webinarswebsite.

    “Education is one of the most significant ways of achieving BCG’s mission for promoting public confidence in genealogy through uniform standards of competence,” said President Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG. “We appreciate this opportunity to provide these webinars that focus on the standards that help family historians of all levels practice good genealogy.”

    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: http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=2619.

    One of the great difficulties for people researching their French immigrant ancestors’ roots is that so little is known outside of France about when and why the French left their country. This dearth of knowledge has led many family historians of the 19th century to presume Huguenot, noble émigré or Alsace-Lorraine ancestry for any ancestor with a French name. The supposition became a family legend that then became a research frustration as more recent family historians attempt to prove what was never more than a misguided supposition.

    This webinar looks at the many waves of French migration, as well as the three mentioned in the title, from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The historical reasons for when, why and to where they emigrated will provide the key points to bear in mind when conducting research. The bibliography, in English and French, contains not only books and articles concerning French emigration but a list of websites to aid the researcher.

    Anne Morddel, CG, MLIS, worked in libraries and archives in her native California, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Africa. She is now based in France, where she has written The French Genealogy Blog for more than a dozen years, producing nearly one thousand posts about the many aspects of French genealogical research. Some of these posts have been published in book form, most notably, French Genealogy From Afar. She also has spent many years researching American merchant seamen in Europe. Her recently published American Merchant Seamen of the Early Nineteenth Century: A Researcher’s Guide explains how to use libraries, archives and online databases around the world to document the lives of seamen who lived in the early 1800s. She is currently writing a book about the more than 1500 American mariners who were prisoners of war in Napoleonic France.

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “French Emigrants: They Were Not All Huguenots, or Nobles, or from Alsace-Lorraine” by Anne Morddel, CG. This webinar airs Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.   

    When you register before April 16 with our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars (http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=9019) 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 Webinarswebsite.

    “Education is one of the most significant ways of achieving BCG’s mission for promoting public confidence in genealogy through uniform standards of competence,” said President Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG. “We appreciate this opportunity to provide these webinars that focus on the standards that help family historians of all levels practice good genealogy.”

    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: http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=2619.

    To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2024, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at https://bcgcertification.org/bcg-2024-free-webinars.  For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (https://bcgcertification.org/learning).

  • 8 Apr 2024 4:56 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a list of all of this week's articles, all of them available here at https://eogn.com: 

    How to Receive Daily Email Messages Listing All Newly-Added Articles to This Newsletter (Again)

    Please Read: An Update to the Email Messages Describing Newly-Added Articles on This Web Site

    (+) A Digital Asset Plan for Genealogists

    Book Review: African American News in the Baltimore Sun, 1870–1927

    California State Archives Releases Video Resources on African American Genealogical Records

    University of South Carolina Archivists Digitizing Century-Old Photos of Black Columbians Found Under Crawl Space

    AI in Genealogy

    Turn Your Genealogy Hobby Into a Side Business

    A New Chapter for Irish Historians’ ‘Saddest Book’

    Digital Project Opens Possibility to Research Hungarian Noble Families

    Türkiye's National Library on Go to Digitalization, Ease Accessibility

    Volunteers Uncover Fate of Thousands of Lost Alaskans Sent to Oregon Mental Hospital a Century Ago

    Polish War Graves in Germany Documented

    Augusta Genealogical Society April Virtual Program

    New and Exclusive Coventry Records Now Online

    Migrants Now Allowed to Identify as 'X' Gender When Applying for US Citizenship

    Help Wanted: Indiana State Police Accepting Applications for New Forensic Genealogist Position

    Ford Times Magazines Become Public via Ford Heritage Vault

    Dog DNA Tests Are on the Rise—but Are They Reliable?
  • 8 Apr 2024 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    You may have noticed the article, "How to Receive Daily Email Messages Listing All Newly-Added Articles to This Newsletter (Again)," published a few days ago at: https://eogn.com/page-18080/13338441. If you haven't read it yet, I strongly suggest you go read it now. Everything else in this new article is in reaction to that earlier article at: https://eogn.com/page-18080/13338441.

    The previous article describes a method of receiving the full text of all the new articles posted to this web site sent to you in email messages. (There are other options besides full text but I suggest you start with full text at first and then change things as you wish after obtaining a bit of experience with the new method.) The new method has been working well for several days now. There is one negative, however: these weekly lists of new articles are now redundant.

    For several years, I have sent out WEEKLY email messages listing the titles of all new articles published in the previous week. The new DAILY messages sent with the full text of all new articles duplicates that effort.

    I hate duplication of efforts.

    As a result, I have decided to stop sending the WEEKLY email messages as all the same information and much more are contained in the new DAILY email messages. I suspect you already receive lots of email, I further suspect you don’t want DUPLICATE information!

    I will send this article in this week's email and I will repeat it in next week's email as a reminder and then I will stop sending the WEEKLY email messages.

    If you want to continue receiving email updates to newly-published articles, you need to sign up for the DAILY messages as described at: https://eogn.com/page-18080/13338441.


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