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  • 23 Nov 2022 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, it is a follow-up to my several previius articles about the Zello walkie-talkie app that converts your cell phone into a walkie-talkie with world-wide coverage.

    The following is an excerpt from an article by Mark Jansen and Paula Beaton published in the DigitalTrends web site (it is the longest and most complete article listing walkie-talkie apps I have ever seen.)

    In almost all cases, each such program can only communicate with other people using the same program.

    If watching the kids in Stranger Things communicate via walkie-talkie left you wishing it was still the ’80s, we’ve got some good news. Walkie-talkie apps bring all the excitement of walkie-talkie chat to your smartphone, allowing you to talk to your friends, send them messages, and leave voicemails. Of course, they don’t use real walkie-talkie frequencies — so you won’t get any interference — but they’re still the coolest, most retro way of talking with your friends. There are even apps that allow you to talk with users in your area and worldwide. Turn your Android or iOS device into a digital walkie-talkie with our hand-picked selection of the best apps.

    You can read the complete article at;

  • 23 Nov 2022 6:24 PM | Anonymous

    From the MyHeritage Blog:

    In just one week since its release, AI Time Machine™ has garnered a huge following and exploded on social media. People all over the world are having a blast as they transform themselves into different figures throughout history, and the feature continues to gain traction. AI Time Machine™ is rapidly becoming a massive TikTok trend, with users sharing out-of-this-world results and gaining significant exposure. Check out this video from influencer Chelsey Brown that has 241,000 views so far, and one from the_real_lin_shady that has 1.2 million views!

    We’re constantly fine tuning the feature and enhancing it with more options and amazing outputs. We’ve just added 17 new themes, making the time-travel options even greater than before!

    For more details about AI Time Machine™, read the launch announcement on our blog, and our earlier post about its growing popularity.

    Here’s a list of the fun new themes to try:

    You can read a lot more and view a number of example images in the lengthy article in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 23 Nov 2022 10:55 AM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by the (U.S.) National Archives and Records Administration:

    Washington, DC

    Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall approved 31 proposals totaling $1,904,539 in National Archives awards for projects in 25 states and the District of Columbia, pending appropriations of a final budget for FY 2023. The National Archives grants program is carried out with the advice and recommendations of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). A complete list is available online.

    Publishing Historical Records – $522,740 for four projects that document major historical figures and important eras and social movements in the history of the nation: John Adams and Family Papers, Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Edition, Correspondence of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore, and the Documentary History of the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution & Adoption of the Bill of Rights. 

    A $120,000 NHPRC-Mellon Planning Grant for Collaborative Digital Editions in African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American History and Ethnic Studies will go to Fisk University in Nashville to support a two-year planning grant to develop a collaborative digital edition, Remaking the World of Arturo Schomburg, in collaboration with the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Schomburg (1874–1938), a historian, writer, and activist of Puerto Rican and German descent, became one of the most important collectors of Afro-Latin American cultural heritage in the United States. 

    A Major Collaborative Archives grant of $330,253 will support the University of Central Florida’s People, Religion, Information Networks, and Travel (PRINT) project to create a curated digital repository of 2,700 letters written by Anabaptists, Quakers, and Pietist refugees to the American colonies (1630–1730) from five repositories in the United States and Europe. 

    The NHPRC will award $325,152 to four planning grants and three implementation grants for Archives Collaboratives. Planning Grants will be awarded to collaboratives at the New York Folklore Society, Civil Rights collections in Alabama, the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, and a partnership among Basque history collections in Nevada and California. 

    Implementation Grants will be awarded to Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious, a consortia of the Internet Archive’s Community Web Programs, and the Ka Ipu Makani Cultural Heritage Center in Hawaii to create a Molokaʻi Community Repository, including digitizing 12,000 records from collaborating repositories and community collections, on the small rural island of Molokaʻi.

    An additional $606,394 in 18 State Board grants will go to state historical records advisory boards to carry out programs that assist smaller archives, provide workshops and educational tools, and provide statewide archival services. 

    The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives supports projects that promote access to America's historical records to encourage understanding of our democracy, history, and culture. The 15-member Commission includes representatives from all three branches of the federal government as well as the leading archival and historical professional associations. Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall  is the Chairman, and Christopher Eck is the Executive Director. Since it was established in 1934 along with the National Archives, the NHPRC has awarded 5,000 grants for preserving, publishing, and providing access to the nation’s historical documents. 

  • 22 Nov 2022 9:10 PM | Anonymous

    Life in the “good old days” wasn’t always so good. For instance, one has to wonder about dental care as practiced by our ancestors. Ready-made toothbrushes and toothpaste were not available until the mid-1800s. Prior to that, everyone had to make their own. 

    Throughout the Middle Ages, most people simply rubbed salt on their teeth. 

    Some people made up their own dentifrice and rubbed the resulting powder on their teeth with a small stick, called a "toothstick," with a rag over one end. This was the forerunner of the toothbrush. 

    By the 1700s medical knowledge improved to the point that doctors began to understand the importance of proper dental care. Toothpaste, properly called dentifrice, was made at home. Here is one such recipe:

    …burned hartshorn, powdered oyster shell and white tartar. Also a mouthwash of sal ammoniac and water. Another uses cream of tartar, gum myrrh and oil of cloves. And if all this good dental care fails, you may get a set of artificial ones made from the tusks of the hippopotamus, or sea horse, or from the teeth of some domestick [sic.] animals. Teeth made of ivory or bone soon become discoloured and begin to decay and render the breath offensive.

    The above recipe doesn't result in a paste similar to what we squeeze out of tubes today. It apparently creates a dry powder, which is then rubbed onto the rag on the end of a dental stick. Those whose teeth rotted in spite of this care might consider false teeth made from hippo or walrus (“sea horse”) tusks or the bone of some farm animal. This was the best option available to our ancestors – at least, those who had the access and money to obtain it. The reality is that very few could afford such "luxuries." Most of our ancestors simply had their decaying teeth pulled (which I am sure was unpleasant before the invention of novocain) and simply went without false teeth. 

    I didn't know what hartshorn is, so I looked it up on the web. Several sites mention that it is ammonium bicarbonate or "bakers' ammonia." Before the invention of baking soda and baking powder, hartshorn was used as a leavening agent when making cookies or bread. However, it leaves behind a strong smell of ammonia. Whew!

    Here is another recipe for tooth powder, published in 1740:

    Use a good tooth powder once a week or once every two weeks for unclean teeth. But the mouth should be rinsed daily after eating with fresh water and scoured with the finger. The tooth powder should not be composed of all rough or all sharp things such as tobacco ashes, powdered coral, pumice stone or brick but should also contain smoothe things such as prepared oyster shell, chalk made from mussels, with a lot of seasoning and flavoring.

    Once a week or once every two weeks? Compare that to today's recommendation of brushing your teeth after every meal! And this was before the days of mouthwash, as well.

    The first toothbrush would not appear until the more solid toothpaste or tooth soap became available in the 1860s. By the 1880s many druggists were making their own toothpastes, packaged in small tin cans.

    In the Middle Ages, barbers pulled teeth as well as cutting hair. The red and white stripes of a barber pole symbolize the blood that normally was lost during tooth extraction by the barber. Those who claimed to be more skilled at dentistry than their competitors were called "barber-surgeons." These jacks-of-all-trades would not only extract teeth and perform minor surgery, but they also cut hair, applied leeches to let blood, and performed embalming.

    Dentists did not appear as a separate profession until after 1700. Pierre Fauchard was a French surgeon who became known as the Father of Scientific Dentistry. He wrote a book that was to become the standard reference: "Surgeon Dentist." He recognized the intimate relationship between oral conditions and general health. He advocated the use of lead to fill cavities. Apparently, he did not know about lead poisoning and we can only assume that he poisoned many of his patients. Fauchard died in 1768.

    Paul Revere, known for his "midnight ride" in 1775, was by trade a metalworker. While he is best known for creating bowls and other items of silver, he was well-known in Boston for constructing dentures from ivory and gold. George Washington had dentures made of metal and carved ivory or metal and carved cow teeth. Despite modern stories, George Washington never had any teeth made of wood. 

    Until the mid-1800s, dentures continued to be individually constructed by skilled artisans. Gold, silver, and ivory were common components, causing them to be very expensive and available only to the very wealthy. The poor simply had their teeth extracted and then went without dentures. One can only imagine the difficulty they had with biting and eating once they became middle aged. 

    Monsieur Geoffroy, president of the Royal Society of Medicine in Paris, wrote in the 1700s, "I declare the success (of my false teeth) is superior to my hopes, I further attest that the teeth of sea horse which I wore for only one year had so much disgusted me by the bad smell that they gave to my breath and the disagreeable smell they communicated to my food ... that I had taken them out to eat!"

    In 1844, Dr. Horace Wells, a Connecticut dentist, observed an exhibition of people reacting to inhalation of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). He was the first to use nitrous oxide inhalation during dental therapy and founded the concept of inhalation analgesia and anesthesia. The medical community later adopted inhalation anesthesia as a method of managing pain during surgery.

    In 1851 a process to harden the juices of certain tropical plants into vulcanized rubber was discovered. The ability to mold this new material against a model of the patient's mouth and attach artificial porcelain teeth allowed the manufacture of less expensive dentures. This improved technology for creating false teeth benefited millions who could now afford artificial teeth for the first time. 

    Trying to imagine the lives of our ancestors is always difficult. Typically, we tend to romanticize their lives in a time when life was simpler and moved at a slower pace. Romantic or not, their lives probably were far more difficult than our own. The lack of understanding of simple sanitation rules and the inability to deal with medical issues made many lives uncomfortable, even painful. By the age of twenty, most people had rotten teeth with some teeth already extracted. By the age of fifty, many had lost most or even all of their teeth. One can only imagine how this affected their diets as they were unable to chew their food. 

    Your ancestor who crossed the ocean, cleared the land for a new homestead, or perhaps fought in wars, may have done so while suffering from tooth pain that we can hardly imagine today. 

    Perhaps the "good old days" were not as good as we sometimes imagine.

  • 22 Nov 2022 3:41 PM | Anonymous

    This is just a quick note to mention that this is your chance to purchase a DNA kit at the lowest price MyHeritage has ever offered: $36! That is a 60% reduction from the normal price.

    Note: I am proud to say that this newsletter is sponsored by MyHeritage. 

    Your origins are encoded in your DNA, and the test from MyHeritage will enable you (or anyone else for whom you purchase the test) to pinpoint where in the world your ancestors came from. Your DNA results will include an ethnicity breakdown and identify the specific groups you descend from among 2,114 geographic regions.

    You’ll also enjoy free shipping on 2 or more DNA kits.

    You can learn a lot more about this sale by clicking on the image above or by clicking here

    The Black Friday DNA sale ends on November 25 so don't delay.

  • 21 Nov 2022 9:53 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a list of all of this week's articles, all of them available here at

    (+) The True Expense of Genealogy Research

    MyHeritage Releases AI Time Machine™ to Enable Anyone to Transform Themselves Into Historical Figures Using Everyday Photos

    Examples of the New MyHeritage AI Time Machine™

    Online Access to New Zealand's Archives' Records Removed After Potential Privacy Breach

    Difficulty Accessing New Zealand Archive Documents Angers Historians

    Ireland's 1926 Census Is Being Digitized

    10 Million Michigan Records Now Available To Family Tree Researchers Online at

    National Museum of African American History and Culture Debuts Freedmen’s Bureau Search Portal

    Mississippi State University Libraries Takes Mississippi Republican Party Papers Online for First Time

    National Archives at Riverside Collaborates With California Universities to Digitize Chinese Heritage Records

    NAASR Digitizes Collection of Armenian Yearbooks

    Researchers to Examine and Digitise 15th-Century English Genealogical Roll

    Study Identifies Genetic Links to Dyslexia

    Ancestry CEO’s Advice: Don’t Be ‘Reactionary’ in the Downturn, Those Who Prepare Will Emerge Stronger

    The National Genealogical Society Welcomes Margaret R. Fortier and Mary Kircher Roddy as its New NGSQ Editors

    Bending Spoons To Acquire Evernote

    Migrate From Evernote to Zoho Notebook?

    $90 Million Facebook Privacy Settlement Approved By Judge

    Discover Your Ancestor's British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service During the Inter-War Period of the 20th Century With Findmypast

    Findmypast Newspaper Updates

    Designing with LibreOffice

    Should You Abandon Twitter and Move to Mastodon?

    The Best Twitter Alternatives

    How to Create a Web Archive With Archivebox

  • 21 Nov 2022 10:09 AM | Anonymous

    I have written numerous times about the FREE office automation software LibreOffice. It competes with the expensive Microsoft Office and yet performs most of the same functions. (Did I mention that LibreOffice is available FREE of charge?) LibreOffice is my favorite word processor. Indeed, most of the articles in this newsletter, including this one, are written in LibreOffice.  (Did I mention that LibreOffice is available FREE of charge?)

    Here is a major announcement about LibreOffice that should interest many people:

    Bruce Byfield and Jean Hollis Weber announce the second edition of Designing with LibreOffice. The book is available as an .ODT or .PDF file under the Creative Commons Attribution/Sharealike License version 4.0 or later from

    The first edition was published in 2016, and was downloaded over thirty-five thousand times. Michael Meeks, one of the co-founders of LibreOffice, described the first edition as “an outstanding contribution to help people bring the full power of LibreOffice into their document.” Similarly, free software author and journalist Carla Schroder wrote, “Designing With LibreOffice teaches everything you need to know about document production…. suitable for beginners to wizened old pros, who will probably discover things about LibreOffice that they didn’t know.”

    The second edition updates the original, removing outdated information and adding updated screenshots and new information about topics such as Harfbuzz font shaping codes, export to EPUB formats for ereaders, the Zotero extension for bibliographies, and Angry Reviewer, a Grammarly-like extension for editing diction. In the future, the writers plan to release other editions as necessary to keep Designing with LibreOffice current.

    For more information or interviews, contact Bruce Byfield at

  • 21 Nov 2022 9:57 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Ramces Red published in the maketecheasier web site

    (Note: This article describes a program that runs only on Linux computers.):

    Archive your favorite websites today!

    Archivebox is an easy-to-use Linux archival program that allows you to create an accurate snapshot of any website. This can be helpful for archivists and users that want to preserve information online. Not only that, Archivebox is also incredibly simple and easy to use. For example, you can run the program both as a command line tool and as a web app that you can access anywhere.

    Why Should You Archive Websites?

    Over the years, the World Wide Web enabled individuals across the globe to easily share and communicate information with each other. One issue with the Web, however, is that websites do not hold up over time.

    Install Archivebox Linux 02 Old Geocities Website Image source:

    Most websites only stay active for around two to five years. After that, they either go offline completely or are replaced by a different website altogether. For example, there are little to no websites from the 1990s that are still online today.

    Install Archivebox Linux 03 Old Website Sample Image source:

    Alternatively, you can also use the WayBack machine to archive websites – no installation required.

  • 21 Nov 2022 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Phil Pennington published in the Morning Report on Radio New Zealand:

    Mounting difficulties getting hold of critical historical documents at the national Archive are sparking government infighting and threats of legal action.

    A high court Justice has noted cases are being severely impeded.

    To make matters  worse, the $9 million IT system used to search the country's history files has had to be shut down over a security breach of restricted documents. 

    The Internal Affairs Minister says she's heard from the public about their frustrations since February. 

    Jan Tinetti says in a statement she is monitoring it closely but this is an operational matter for Archives to sort out with the system supplier - and they are working extremely hard. 

    The Chief Archivist Anahera Morehu acknowledged the outages, and says her staff discovered the "potential" security breach a week ago and immediately closed the search system. 

    Morehu says they are aware of the frustration among historians and others.

  • 18 Nov 2022 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    The 1926 Republic of Ireland Census, set to go online in April 2026, will provide a unique snapshot of Ireland's population, age, occupation, religion, housing and the Irish language.

    The National Archives of Ireland project has announced that as part of a €5 million project the Republic of Ireland's 1926 Census results will be available online, free of charge, from April 2026.

    Personal information entered on individual census forms can be published 100 years after a census is taken. Since the personal information contained in the 1901 and 1911 census returns was published a decade ago, public interest in genealogy has mushroomed, and this continues with a growing interest in the detail contained in the 1926 census.

    These returns contain the personal details of each individual alive at the time in Ireland. The 1926 census collected 21 data sets such as name, age, sex, marital status, religion, housing conditions and ability to speak Irish. It is planned to digitize and publish all data sets. This information will undoubtedly provide a fascinating snapshot of life in Ireland in 1926 and will be of great use to both the Irish public and diaspora worldwide.

    The 1926 census collected 21 data sets. These include:

    1) Name and surname

    2) Relationship to head of household.

    3) Age (in years and months).

    4) Sex.

    5) Marriage or orphanhood.

    6) Birthplace (including name of parish).

    7) Irish language.

    8) Religion.

    9) Occupation and employment: personal occupation.

    10) Occupation and employment: employment/name of employer.

    11) Information regarding present marriage required from married women: number of completed years and months of present marriage, and number of children born alive to present marriage.

    12) Information regarding present and previous marriages required from married men, widowers and widows: the number of living sons, daughters, step-sons and step-daughters under 16 years of age, whether residing as members of this household or elsewhere.

    13) The total area in statute acres of all agricultural holdings (if any) situated in the Irish Free State of which persons usually resident in this household are the rated occupiers.

    For more details on the 1926 Census visit:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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