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Latest Standard Edition Articles

  • 30 Dec 2020 10:01 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. National Museum of Women in the Arts is asking the public to share recipes that document unique family histories.

    "Family recipes, whether invented on the fly or handed down through generations, often become treasured heirlooms, offering a window into the private lives, flavors and histories of one’s ancestors. Now, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is giving the public a chance to share their relatives’ beloved recipes with a broader audience.

    "The Washington, D.C. institution—the only major museum dedicated exclusively to women artists—is currently accepting submissions for an online exhibition, “Reclamation: Recipes, Remedies, and Ritual,” slated to open on January 18. Participants are encouraged to share their family recipes, as well as pictures of the dish, anecdotes and reflections on its significance, through an online form.

    "The program is part of the museum’s “Women, Arts, and Social Change” initiative, which seeks to highlight “the power of women and the arts as catalysts for change.” Per a statement, community recipe submissions will feature in the museum’s first-ever exclusively online, interactive exhibition alongside creations by nine artists.

    “[Recipes] will be layered with the artists’ work, creating a dynamic portal for exploring the interconnectedness of food and the communal nature of nourishing and curing the body,” the statement notes. “In this way, both artists and viewers will use those materials to honor women’s roles in the practices and traditions surrounding food.”"

    You can read more in an article by Nora McGreevy in the Smithsonian Magazine website at:

  • 30 Dec 2020 1:55 PM | Anonymous

    From an article by I. C. Murrell published in the Port Arthur News web site:

    "Some Sabine Pass (Texas) School students and their instructor are determined to restore headstones of those buried in nearby cemeteries that date back to the 19th century.

    "Noah Escareno, Allan Cantu, and Cody Schaller were in Scott Hagedorn’s graphic design class last spring when the coronavirus pandemic interrupted their plans to create these monuments. Through the use of historical data and 21st-century technology, the first headstone will soon be restored.

    “'It’s a long time coming, since we’ve been working on it for most of last year,' Schaller said. 'It’s going to be nice finally getting to finish it, especially since COVID hit to stop it. We worked on it for a long time last year.'

    “It took a lot of time and effort, a lot of different days going into the cemetery when it was really cold outside, a lot of field trips and walking with the iPads and phones and taking videos of everything, all the tombstones that were destroyed and where they were at. We had to build a layout of the entire cemetery so we would know where the old tombstones were and the bodies were buried. So, it was a whole lot of work.”

    The full article is much longer and goes on to describe the use of 3D printing, robotics, a laser-etching machine, and more in the article at:

  • 30 Dec 2020 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from an announcement written by the Texas State Genealogical Society:

    The Texas State Genealogical Society announces a Call for Presentations for their 2021 TxSGS Family History Conference “Connecting Generations.” This event, slated for October 1-2, will be held virtually. Selected presentations will be included in a TxSGS Live! two-day event with live Q&A; other presentations will be recorded for an On-Demand program available for replay for 90 days after TxSGS Live! The deadline for proposals is February 28, 2021.

    The full Call for Presentations may be found at:

  • 30 Dec 2020 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from an announcement written by FamilySearch:

    Investigate on FamilySearch this week 4M new parish and civil registrations for Eure France (1526-1902), plus additional Catholic Church records from Bolivia (1566–1996), the Dominican Republic (1590–1955), Peru (Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, 1665–2018), Puerto Rico (1645–1969), Mexico (Yucatán 1543–1977), Venezuela (1577–1995) and more for US collections (AR, CA, GA, IL, IN, MS, and WA).

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.)

    The full announcement is too long to post here. However, you can read the full text at
  • 29 Dec 2020 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    In the 3 Nov 2020 of this newsletter, I published Can You Find the Name and Family of a Nameless Hiker the Internet Can’t Identify? That article is still available at

    The "unknown hiker" has now been identified.

    Mostly Harmless, a man whose emaciated body was found in a tent by day hikers in Florida. Harmless had hiked from New York to Florida and there was food and money in his tent, but no identification. The police were unable to identify him and many people on the internet took up the challenge and tried to find out who he was, all to no avail.

    He has now been identified as Vance Rodriguez, a technology worker originally from Louisiana but in recent years based in Brooklyn, New York. He was identified by several of his (former) personal friends from years ago who had read the story online. A previous DNA test on the body conducted by an outside lab showed that Harmless had Cajun ancestry. All of his (previous) friends confirmed that Rodriguez not only exactly fir the description of thee body but that he had mostly Louisiana Cajun ancestry.

    His cause of death is still unknown, even after the autopsy.

    You can read the latest update in an article by Jason Nark published in the web site at:

  • 29 Dec 2020 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    Start out the new year by virtually attending FamilySearch Family History Library Free Online Webinars.  The January 2021 line-up includes sessions on Denmark JurisdictionsArkivDigital Basics (Swedish records), How to use the Swedish National Archive Website (Riksarkivet), Nordic Paleography (Handwriting), How to find people in the Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening (Norwegian Genealogical Society) and beginner sessions on United States Military Records, using the FamilySearch Catalog, and the Research Process. Two sessions for Spanish speakers are Guiando tu educación: Usando el centro de aprendizaje de FamilySearch (Using the FamilySearch Learning Center) and Diferentes Apellidos, Diferentes Ancestros (Different Surnames, Different Ancestors).

    No registration is required for these online webinars. See the table of classes below for more details.

    If you cannot attend a live event, most sessions are recorded and can be viewed later at your convenience at Family History Library classes and webinars

    All class times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST).

    Mon, Jan 4, 10:00 AM MST Using the FamilySearch Catalog (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Jan 5, 10:00 AM MST Submitting Names for Temple Work (Beginner) Yes
    Sun, Nov 7, 10:00 AM MST The Research Process: An Introduction (Beginner) Yes
    Sat, Jan 9, 9:00 AM MST How to Use the Swedish National Archive Website, Riksarkivet (Beginner) Yes
    Sat, Jan 9, 10:15 AM MST How to Find People in the Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening (The Norwegian Genealogical Society) (Intermediate) Yes
    Sat, Jan 9, 12:30 PM MST Figuring out Denmark Jurisdictions (Beginner) Yes
    Sat, Jan 9, 1:45 PM MST ArkivDigital Basics (Beginner) Yes
    Sat, Jan 9, 3:00 PM MST Nordic Paleography – Understanding Common Abbreviations and Symbols (Intermediate) Yes
    Tue, Jan 12, 11:00 AM MST Guiando tu educación: Usando el centro de aprendizaje de FamilySearch (Beginner) Yes
    Thu, Jan 21, 10:00 AM MST Introduction to United States Military Records (Beginner) Yes
    Tue, Jan 26, 11:00 AM MST Diferentes Apellidos, Diferentes Ancestros (Beginner) Yes

    Visit Classes and Online Webinars for more information.

    About FamilySearch

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • 28 Dec 2020 10:36 AM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) has released a major new "release of Genetic Groups, a long-awaited enhancement of ethnicity results on MyHeritage DNA. With this very exciting addition, the resolution of MyHeritage’s ethnicity breakdown increases dramatically to 2,114 geographic regions, providing more depth and resolution than any other DNA test available today, and complementing the current 42 top-level ethnicities. This is a huge milestone for MyHeritage and a great step for millions of people fascinated by family history and curious to learn more about their origins."

    The bottom line is that MyHeritage's Genetic Groups can display your family's genetic history in visual images that are much more detailed than anything else I have seen previously.

    To be blunt, I cannot describe the new enhancements properly in words. Instead, I will point you to the announcement in the MyHeritage Blog. It not only describes the differences properly, it also includes numerous images of the Genetic Groups in use.

    A lot more information about MyHeritage's Genetic Groups may be found in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 28 Dec 2020 10:30 AM | Anonymous

    Search over 4 million newly added Catholic Church records on FamilySearch this week from Mexico (Hidalgo 1546–1971, Zacatecas 1605–1980, and Campeche 1638–1944), and Germany (Württemberg 1520-1975), plus 4 million more records in the Find-A-Grave Index, and expanded collections for Brazil, DR Congo, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Guatemala, Peru, S. Africa, and the United States (CA, HI, MS, NJ, TX, UT, and WA).

    To search these new records and image, go to Also, to search ALL the available records (more than 8 billion free names and record images), go to

  • 25 Dec 2020 9:19 PM | Anonymous

    Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day, thus being the second day of Christmastide. Though it originated as a holiday to give gifts to the poor, today Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday. It originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire. Boxing Day is on 26 December, although the attached bank holiday or public holiday may take place either on that day or one or two days later (if necessary to ensure it falls on a weekday).

    A full description of the history of Boxing Day and its modern celebration may be found on Wikipedia at

  • 23 Dec 2020 3:56 PM | Anonymous

    Who are the Melungeons? The answer is not simple. In fact, nobody seems to know exactly.

    Wikipedia states, "Melungeons (/məˈlʌndʒən/ mə-LUN-jən) is a term for numerous 'tri-racial isolate' groups of people of the Southeastern United States. Historically, the Melungeons were associated with settlements in the Cumberland Gap area of central Appalachia, which includes portions of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and eastern Kentucky. Tri-racial describes populations thought to be of mixed European, African and Native American ancestry. Although there is no consensus on how many such groups exist, estimates range as high as 200."

    A typical Melungeon in Appalachia

    Different claims about Melungeon origins have been made but none seem to be proven. According to an article by Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman preserved in

    "The original definition of Melungeon referred exclusively to one tri-racial group; the descendants of Collins and Gibson and other related families of Newman's Ridge, and the Vardy Valley in Hancock County, Tennessee. Alternate DNA research supports additional ancestries: Semitic , Turkish and Moorish. Some theories speculate that the Melungeons were descended from Spanish or Portuguese explorers, shipwrecked sailors, or even from the "Lost Colonists" of Roanoke Island in Virginia. In the past, self-described Melungeons have referred to themselves as "Indians" or "Portuguese." Most of the white neighbors considered the Melungeons as a mixture of black and Indian, or white, black and Indian."

    Whatever the origins, the Melungeons are a rather large group and many people in Appalachia claim to have Melungeon ancestry. However, when these people start to research their family trees, they usually find roadblocks after going back 100 years or a bit more.

    The same article claims:

    "Melungeons were mainly isolated in the Appalachian mountains of Northeastern Tennessee. The Melungeons found themselves caught in the middle; they were neither white nor black; but they were free. Nevertheless, they suffered discrimination, in varying levels, because of the color of their skin. The hills of Tennessee provided a place for them to live freely without the adverse criticism of the colonies and the plantation owners. It seems as though they could upgrade their status through their appearance and being a good citizen. Many fought in the Civil War on the Union side, a few on the Confederate side and some became slave owners."

    A Melungeon family in the early 20th century

    Even DNA analysis does not prove the origins of the Melungeons. Many DNA tests have been administered and the list of ancestral origins of those tested includes most all of Europe, the Middle East, and many widely dispersed locations in Africa.

    You can learn more about Melungeons in the same article mentioned earlier: Melungeon Genealogy by Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman published at The article also lists many common Melungeon surnames: The obviously Irish name Collins, the English name Gibson, and other names of unknown origins: Powell, LeBon, Bowling, Bunch, Goins, Goodman, Heard, Minor and Mullins.

    You can also find many more articles about Melungeons by searching for the word on your favorite search engine.

    One of my favorite topics is the accents of Melungeons and many others in Appalachia. Is the unique Appalachian dialect the preserved language of Elizabethan England? Left over from Scots-Irish immigrants? Or something else altogether? The accents are not limited to Melungeons. Instead, the speech patters have been found throughout Appalachia.

    Make sure your computer's loudspeakers are working, and then go to The Legendary Language of the Appalachian “Holler” at

    You can also watch many videos about Melungeons on YouTube by starting at:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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