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  • 22 Sep 2020 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    Just in time for the anniversary of the Battle of the Brandywine, Chester County Archives and Records Services has released a new interactive tool that helps you discover who lived on your property in September 1777.

    The 1777 Chester County Property Atlas is an interactive map that allows researchers to easily see who owned properties in 1777, and if those owners or occupants reported any losses caused by British troops during the Philadelphia Campaign of the Revolutionary War.

    The culmination of years of research by Chester County Archives staff, the project’s original intent was to assist with interpretation and preservation of events surrounding the Battle of Brandywine.

    You can read a lot more about this new online service on an article at:

    I did find it interesting that the article does not provide a URL for the new 1777 Chester County Property Atlas. However, a quick search online found it at:

    That article also states, “Chester County Archives and Records Services invites researchers to share their land ownership and ancestral stories on its Facebook page at”

  • 21 Sep 2020 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a message from the IAJGS Records Access Alert mailing list:

    Both the Republic of Ireland’s Central Statistics Office and the National Records of Scotland announced their respective 2021 censuses will be postponed until 2022 due the current COVID-19 pandemic.

    To read the Irish Central Statistics Office press release go to:

    To read the Scotland Census Office notice go to:

    This will be the first time that the decennial census in Scotland has been disrupted since the Second World War, with no census taken in 1941 (although a National Identity Register for Scotland involved a census process in 1939).

    I have not heard whether the censuses planned for England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be  postponed. In July, the IAJGS Records Access Alert posted about the legislation to hold the census for England and Wales on 21 March 2021, and therefore, it appears at this time those censuses will be postponed. If there is an announcement which changes the previous England and Wales time period for the census, it will be posted on the IAJGS Records Access Alert.

    To see the previous postings on the Ireland, Scotland and UK censuses  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

  • 21 Sep 2020 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    The Maryland Archives has been working on major projects to digitize and make available to the public the death records for free online. Owen Lourie, Historian at the Maryland State Archives and Project Director of Finding the Maryland 400 Project, has reported that the death certificates through 1910 are now available online. These are created from the cleaner original microfilm.

    The 1848-1898 death certificates were already online and now the 1898-1910 are too. Original Marriage Licenses 1777-1851 have also been made available.

    This should help if you are doing Maryland research to download original records to help on applications or your own family research.

    To search the online 1898 through 1910 records, start at:


  • 21 Sep 2020 2:52 PM | Anonymous

    his is an update to an article I published 3 weeks ago:

    As mentioned in the first article, the website that is accessible only to Plus Edition subscribers of this newsletter has died (again). While still online, several functions of that web site have stopped working. Sadly, that has happened a bit too often. The payment and access software has always been problematic, creating numerous headaches for me to keep it running. I finally said to myself, “It is time to stop patching the immediate problems and to find a more long-term solution. I also need a technical support team that is available 24-hour s a day to help me keep things running.”

    I have since been through a rather tedious process of identifying the components of a new (replacement) web site and finding people with the expertise and experience to help me create a new and reliable replacement.

    I am happy to report that I believe that initial process has been completed and now the “real work” is just beginning.

    Now the real work begins: building the web site, instituting a payment processor, creating a members-only section, copying articles from the old site to the new one, copying the subscribers’ database over to the new site, purchasing and installing a SSL security certificate, and dozens of related tasks that will arise during the conversion.

    I won’t publish an expected completion date because I suspect there are some necessary tasks I haven’t even thought of yet. In short, “it will be released when it is ready and not a day before.” However, I would hope the new website will be online sometime in the next 2 or 3 weeks, probably with a few minor details not yet functioning. However, that is a hope, not a promise.

    In the meantime, I will continue sending weekly email messages to all Plus Edition subscribers. In each of those email messages you will find a link that will immediately take you to the latest Plus Edition newsletter.

    Thank you for your patience.

    – Dick Eastman

  • 21 Sep 2020 2:49 PM | Anonymous

    Genetic markers for the Clan MacDougall have been discovered by genealogy researchers at the University of Strathclyde.


    The clan line they have discovered descends from Dougall, King of the Isle of Man and founder of the ancient Scottish Kingdom of the Isles and Lorn. Dougall (c1140-c1207) was the eldest son of Somerled, the ancient warrior sea-king and progenitor of the MacDonald, MacAllister, and MacDougall clans.

    If you have ancestry from one of these clans and if you think you have Scottish ancestry, you might want to know that you also have Scandinavian (Norse) ancestry and it probably will show if you take a DNA test.

    It seems that Dougall, the King of the Isle of Man and founder of the ancient Scottish Kingdom of the Isles and Lorn was the eldest son of Somerled, the ancient warrior sea-king and progenitor of the MacDonald, MacAllister, and MacDougall clans.

    Somerled was a Norseman paternally, having a genetic signature that is more common in Scandinavia than in Scotland.

    You can read all this and a lot more in an article written by researchers at the University of Strathclyde and published in the web site at:

  • 17 Sep 2020 3:05 PM | Anonymous
    The following announcement was written by Discover Your Ancestors:

    The Family History Show, Online, run by Discover Your Ancestors, returns on Saturday 26th September 2020 in place of the London Family History Show for this year. Building on the huge success of the first online Family History Show in June, where over a thousand attendees enjoyed a great day, the next one is on track to be even better!

    Online access means that we are all able to safely enjoy many of the usual features of the physical show from wherever we are in the world, as well as making it possible for those that have disabilities to easily attend.

    The Family History Show, Online will, mirroring the format of the very successful live shows, feature an online lecture theatre, the popular ‘Ask the expert’ area – where you can put questions forward to their specialists – as well as over 100 stalls where you can ask for advice as well as buy genealogical products.

    Q&A Expert Sessio

    Attendees are invited to submit questions via the website and a selection will be put forward to the panel in a multiuser Zoom session that is streamed on a linked video channel for the show.

    Visit stalls and chat

    To make this online experience as useful to family historians as attending the physical show would have been, you can “visit” a stall in the virtual exhibition hall. With over 100 present there will be a wide variety of societies and companies.

    Built into the website is the ability to talk to some of the stallholders by text, audio or video from the comfort of your own home. With this facility, you can ask them for advice regarding their family history society or discuss their organisation and also purchase from their online stall various downloadable and physical products to help you with your research.


    In the virtual lecture theatre there will be the chance to watch new talks from the same expert lecturers who would have been at the physical event and are on the ‘Ask the Expert’ panel. These presentations will cover a wide variety of family history topics from DNA to how to find family information in military records. All of these videos are subtitled.

    Feedback from the last Family History Show, Online:

    “The Exhibitor Hall, with the video chat and Question Feed, and details and links to their products, etc. Your show is a very close, and in some ways better, reproduction of the live event, and I’m looking forward to attending next year’s event.” Scott Barker

    “I know the actual shows are great, but for us not able to get there, these online days are ideal. I put aside time to listen and it felt like a ‘day away’ from the usual routine. Well done and thank you.” Ruth Owen

    “I understand there must have been a lot of planning for the event under such tricky circumstances and it was absolutely superb in the end. Thank you very much for a really good day, your experts were helpful and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing their advice and information.” Sue Farley

    Thank you so much for a great show. Learnt a lot and the experts were very interesting to listen to. Special thanks to Amelia Bennett. Looking forward to September. Keep safe” Irene Baldock

    Tickets to attend the next online Family History Show on 26th September 2020 are available now for just £6.00 each (£8.00 on the day). All ticket holders will also receive a digital Goody Bag worth over £10 on the day.

    To find out more about The Family History Show, Online and buy your ticket visit

  • 17 Sep 2020 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was posted to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ Public Records Access Monitoring Committee’s mailing list:

    Due to the many wild fires in Oregon, which has so far burned over one million acres, many families have lost all their vital records.

    As a result, the Oregon Center for Health Statistics has issued temporary rules to waive fees for certified copies of records for these families, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-35. The State Vital Records office will provide up to three certified certificates of birth, death, marriage, divorce, domestic partnership or dissolution of domestic partnership free of charge if the record is requested in connection with the wildfire response. The temporary rules are in effect September 14, 2020 through March 1, 2021.

    The temporary administrative order may be read at:

    For more information please read the website posting at:

    Ordering information may be read at:

    I have not found similar notifications on either the Washington State Department of Health Services website:

    I also have not found a similar posting on the California Department of Public Health website:

    Both California and Washington State are also suffering under severe fires and I have no idea whether they adopt a similar rule following the Oregon emergency rule.

    Jan Meisels Allen
    Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

  • 17 Sep 2020 2:59 PM | Anonymous

    Here is an update to the ongoing saga of the multiple problems of conducting the 2020 U.S. census:

    Senators unveiled bipartisan legislation on Tuesday to give the Census Bureau more time to finish the 2020 census ― an eleventh-hour effort to prevent a potentially severe undercount of the U.S. population, particularly in Native, minority and rural communities.

    The census count, which is conducted every 10 years, was delayed for months because of COVID-19. Now the Trump administration is insisting on ending the count early, on Sept. 30, to meet end-of-year deadlines. The crunched schedule all but ensures that hard-to-reach areas, which are typically poor and minority communities, will be even harder to reach, if they are reached at all. The effects of an even lower count in these regions would be devastating: The areas would lose a lot of federal money and have weaker representation in Congress.

    The Senate bill would extend the Census Bureau’s legal deadlines for reporting data by four months, into the spring and summer of 2021. It would also require the agency to continue its door-to-door field operations through Oct. 31, the original deadline set by the agency before it unexpectedly moved it up by a month.

    You can read more, including the full wording of the bill, in an article by Jennifer Bendery in the Huffington Post website at:

  • 17 Sep 2020 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    FamilySearch has announced it has added tens of thousands of Mayflower Society member applications and documented descendant family trees of the Mayflower passengers to its website.

    This new initiative is the work of FamilySearch International, (New England Historic Genealogical Society) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD).

    Note: Please notice the words “member applications and documented descendant family trees.” The member applications are claims made by applicants and are not proven to be accurate. Many of the claims were rejected because of accuracy issues. However, the documented descendant family trees” are exactly that: documented. These records have been verified by the the General Society of Mayflower Descendants and should be very accurate. (However, the information still needs to be verified in order to meet recommended practices of always verifying your information.)

    You can search the Mayflower descendants’ family trees at FamilySearch at

    Also note that the FamilySearch link also points to the following informational files:

    • Virtually Explore the Mayflower – A critical delay, stormy seas, and landing off-course—such were the twists and turns that defined the Mayflower’s voyage.
    • Famous Mayflower Descendants – Check out the Mayflower descendants who are as famous as their pilgrim ancestors!
    • Mayflower Passenger List – Discover the names and motivations of passengers who sailed on the Mayflower.

    Comment by Dick Eastman: Yes, the last item above is a list of all the documented Mayflower passengers, despite the claims of many families that THEIR ancestor also was on the Mayflower. If all the families’ claims were accurate, the Mayflower must have been bigger than our latest cruise ships in order to hold the thousands of (claimed) passengers!

  • 30 Jul 2020 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    If you have a "smartphone" or a tablet computer with a camera, you already have a book and document scanner that is more than "good enough" for many purposes. All you need to do is to add some free software. The result is a device that can "scan" documents at the library or archives, can digitally save business cards, save receipts for income tax time, digitize all sorts of documents, and is useful for any other time you need to scan and save a copy for later without any fuss. In essence, your smartphone or tablet becomes a scanner that you can have with you all the time.

    CamScanner  is an app that may best be defined as a document management solution for mobile devices, starting from capturing information precisely to storing, sharing, annotating and managing documents for different purposes.  It not only creates images of the item you scan, but it also lets you enhance the scan result and auto-crop scanned photos. Unlike taking a simple picture of a document, CamScanner will eliminate the unwanted "border" around a picture or document that typically shows in any image taken with a camera. You end up with just the desired document or picture, nothing more.

    CamScanner also makes the contents easily-accessed and organized and allows efficient collaboration. The digital images are easily saved to "the cloud," where you can keep them private or optionally share them with others. You can add passwords so that documents are available only to selected individuals, And you can send the documents and pictures to others via email or FAX or by printing them.

    CamScanner lets you save document scans in PDF or JPG formats. You can edit and manage documents anywhere an Internet connection is available, using a handheld device or a Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer. Notes can be added to a document, and OCR scanning is also available free of charge. Documents saved in the CamScanner cloud can be quickly searched, even if thousands of items are stored there.

    With CamScanner, any documents you see in the real world can be digitized and saved right away with your mobile phone. Just take a photo, and CamScanner takes care of the rest. Here are the main features of CamScanner as described on its website:

        • Scan any kind of document in seconds, texts or graphics.
        • Scan multi-page documents
        • Batch scan documents
        • Auto-crop scanned photos
        • Smart-enhance the scan results
        • Several Enhance Modes available
        • Save scan results to system album
        • Create PDF files for scans
        • Add customizable watermarks to selected documents
        • Customize PDF page size: 10 page size options (Letter, A4, B5 and etc.)

    CamScanner offers up to 200 megabytes of FREE  space in the cloud to save documents. Anything saved there can be viewed, edited, and managed on any of your devices. With more than 100,000,000 users around the world, CamScanner is a proven and reliable product. Not bad for a FREE app!

    While the Basic CamScanner app is available free of charge, a Premium Account costs $4.99 (US) per month, or $49.99 (US) per year if paid in advance. The Premium Account adds the following capabilities:

        • 10 gigabytes of space in the cloud instead of the 200 megabytes offered in Basic Accounts
        • The capability to edit the OCR results and notes, exporting as a .txt file
        • A collage capability to merge multi-page documents together
        • Batch download PDF files in the web app
        • Send document links to others with password protection to keep your documents restricted to only those with whom you wish to share. You can even set an expiration date for the document link, meaning that those you select will have access only for a number of days that you select.

    Both the Basic Account and the Premium Account are available for Android, Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), and Windows Mobile. Because of the size of the screens, documents and images can be edited most easily on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers by using the CamScanner web app.

    If you are interested in CamScanner, I'd suggest downloading the free Basic app first and using it for a while. For millions of users, the free version meets all their needs, and there is no need to upgrade to a Premium Account. However, if you later decide you wish to upgrade, you may do so at any time from within the CamScanner app.

    CamScanner is one of my favorite apps, and it might be for you, too. You can learn more at

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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