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  • 3 Nov 2022 11:45 AM | Anonymous

    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 major item I am considering right now and I think maybe others are having similar thoughts.

    If you have any experience with modern Satellite Internet connections (primarily with Starlink), I would love to hear about your experiences.

    Satellite internet has never been anyone’s first choice regarding internet connectivity. Traditionally, these services have offered a small amount of bandwidth and a large amount of latency. Some years ago when I was living and traveling in a recreational vehicle, (often called an RV) I investigated satellite internet connections. I soon gave up on it because of all the reports I read about slow connections, high latency (read more about latency at, no signals at all in many RV campgrounds, and high expenses. It seems to appeal mostly to extremely rural clients. It’s no wonder that satellite internet has not really been on the average person’s radar.

    I soon rejected the idea.

    In addition, while internet connectivity in my new home is fast when it works, the local hard-wired service in my area is plagued with frequent outages.

    However, a new satellite provider is now available in many areas and reportedly may solve some of these issues. The new provider is Starlink (, a company invented by and owned by, Elon Musk.

    I am again considering satellite internet here at home. The recent internet outage during and after Hurricane Ian simply added to my wondering about the feasibility of satellite internet service.

    Unlike traditional satellite connections, Starlink uses satellites only about 340 miles above the Earth, and rather than a single satellite, it uses a constellation of thousands that can all speak to each other. This means (in theory) that you can have bandwidth and latency similar to a terrestrial broadband connection, and it comes with comparable installation and subscription costs too.

    The key phrase in that previous paragraph is "in theory." After spending hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars in hardware, a satellite dish on the roof, and the labor of installation, will Starlink really deliver on its theoretical advantages?

    Depending on my budget, it could make sense to purchase Starlink (or similar) satellite hardware could be installed as a backup solution or, should a service like Starlink prove good enough, I could skip all those earthly concerns entirely and use the technology as my primary internet connection.

    High-speed, low-latency broadband Starlink internet is now available in many areas (see to see it it is available in your area). The quoted price is $110 U.S./month with a one-time hardware cost of $599. Starlink offers unlimited high-speed data through an array of small satellites that deliver up to 150 Megabits per second (Mbps) of internet speed. The company plans to double this rate in the coming months.

    People on the road in RVs or on board boats and yachts can now get access to the Starlink RV service for $135 per month plus $599 for the hardware.

    Note: While described as "high-speed data," 150 Megabits per second is slower than what I presently have with a local wired Internet provider, when it is working.

    You can read more about Starlink's service in an article by Kinza Yasar at:

    So, here are my questions:

    1. Is Starlink reliable?
    2. Is Starlink worth the money?
    3. Are you happy with Starlink as a provider of internet service?
    4. If you had to do it all over agin, would you still sign up with Starlink?
    5. If you do not presently use Starlink, are you considering using it in the near future?

    Please post your comments at the end of this article.

    Update: Here are a few additional words I added a few hours after posting the above article: I really do not care much about television coverage. I rarely turn the TV on. However, I do tend to spend several hours online on the internet most every day.

    Update #2: November 8, 2022: See my latest thoughts in an article at 

  • 3 Nov 2022 10:47 AM | Anonymous

    Note: This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, thousands of genealogists are also frequent users of Amazon Drive for photo storage and for making backup copies of all sorts of files so I am posting this brief article to inform them of a recent announcement:

    The following is an excerpt of an announcement from Amazon:

    Beginning December 31, 2023, files stored on Amazon Drive will no longer be available to customers. As part of retiring Amazon Drive, after January 31, 2023, Amazon will no longer support uploading files on the Amazon Drive website. You will still have the ability to review and download your files until December 31, 2023.

    Here are the steps you need to take:
    • Use Amazon Photos to access your photos and videos moving forward. Your Amazon Drive photo and video files are available to you through Amazon Photos. To access your photos and videos, please sign in to the Amazon Photos website or download the Amazon Photos app for iOS or Android.

    • Do not delete your photo and video files from your Amazon Drive account if you would like to access them through Amazon Photos. While Amazon Drive and Amazon Photos are separate services, they access the same photo and video files, so any photo or video deleted on Amazon Drive will no longer be available through Amazon Photos and will be permanently removed from Amazon after 30 days.

    • Review and download your non-photo and non-video files from the Amazon Drive website by December 31, 2023. We recommend using the Amazon Drive website to review and download your non-photo and non-video files from Amazon Drive. If you are having trouble downloading your files on the web app due to size limitations, we recommend using the Amazon Photos Desktop app to download and save your files. More instructions for using the Amazon Photos desktop app can be found on our FAQ page.
    Step-by-step instructions for using Amazon Photos, deleting and downloading your files, managing your paid subscription, and resources for additional help can be found on our FAQ page.

    Thank you for being an Amazon customer.

    The Amazon Drive team
  • 3 Nov 2022 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    The F.B.I. has announced that a badly mutilated body found nearly 50 years ago in the dunes of Provincetown, Massachusetts, was that of Ms. Terry, who was 37 and originally from Tennessee. The F.B.I also identified a (still living) son of the deceased who never met his mother.

    Ruth Marie Terry of Tennessee disappeared in the early 1970s. Photo courtesy of the FBI.

    The authorities also are seeking information about a man, now deceased, named Guy Rockwell Muldavin, whom Ms. Terry was believed to have married shortly before she was murdered.

    You can read all about this interesting story in an article by Michael Levenson published in the New York Times at

  • 2 Nov 2022 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    Here are some "stories" that seem popular today, especially amongst our U.S. politicians:

    1. today’s wave of immigration is unprecedented in scale.
    2.  today’s immigrants are more likely to become part of a permanent underclass — and to end up in jail. 
    3.  today’s immigrants make no effort to become American, and don’t integrate with the larger culture.

    All of the above are false statements, according to Leah Boustan, professor of economics and director of the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University. A native of Lexington, Mass., Boustan is an alumna of both Princeton and Harvard universities, and her work centers around large-scale issues, such as immigration, the Great Migration of southern Blacks to northern American cities, the economic effects of natural disasters and more.

    With Stanford University Economics Professor Ran Abramitzky, Boustan co-authored the recent book Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success. The researchers applied big data to the question of immigrant success and integration, aided by a research partnership with and a deep-dive into thousands upon thousands of records.

    In a recent lecture at Binghamton (New York) University, Boustan set the facts straight and backed them up with statistics. One by one, Boustan exploded today's popular myths surrounding immigration, showing that today’s trends are well within the norms of American experience.

    In other words, today's immigrants are about the same as your immigrant ancestors.

    You can read more about this interesting lecture in an article by Jennifer Micale published in the Binghamton (New York) University web site at: or yøu can even watch a video of her presentation in Zoom at

    A book review of Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success by Ran Abramitzky and Leah Boustan may be found at:

  • 1 Nov 2022 11:15 PM | Anonymous

    Whether it’s seeing what your ancestors may have worn in a bygone age or having a picnic on the lawn, there’s plenty to see and do at a marvelous museum in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.  The Shambellie House Museum of Costume is set in a Victorian house in beautiful wooded grounds. 

    Designed by renowned Scottish architect David Bryce, the house presents a fascinating look at fashion and social etiquette from the 1850s to the 1950s. The museum features room settings with accessories, furniture, and paintings that complete a graceful Victorian and Edwardian environment of well-to-do living. As you wander through the house, you will see parasols, party dresses, linens, lavender bags, samplers, and shoes. The museum provides an interesting view of fashion and society through the ages.

    You can learn more at Shambellie House Museum of Costume web site at:

  • 1 Nov 2022 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Andrea Honaker and published in the Mercer University web site:

    "Nine hundred and eighty slave transactions — and counting.

    "For years, Bibb County deed books from the 1800s sat unopened, collecting dust inside the courthouse. But since 2018, a team of researchers has been studying and cataloging their contents, which include the sale and lease of enslaved people alongside transactions of land, horses and other property.

    "Now, those records have been digitized and a searchable database is in the works, which will allow the untold stories of these African Americans to be shared and the public to learn more about the history of their ancestors as well as Macon. 

    “'We have to be transparent, and this project is the epitome of transparency, whether we like it or not. We’re giving accurate primary source records of this county,' said Bibb County Superior Court Clerk Erica L. Woodford, who holds a juris doctor degree. 'We’re proud of the project and know it’s going to be of benefit to the community and the world.'

    "Woodford, who earned bachelor’s degrees in African American studies and political science at Mercer in 1997, discovered slave records within the deed books while conducting inventory after taking office in January 2013. She shared her findings with Dr. Chester Fontenot Jr., director of Mercer’s Africana studies program and Baptist Professor of English. By 2018, the Clerk’s Office, Department of Africana Studies and Mercer University Libraries had launched an ambitious project to digitize Bibb County historical documents related to slavery.

    "The team focused on property deeds from 1823, the year in which Bibb County was incorporated, to 1865, the year slavery was abolished. Led by Research Services Librarians Adam Griggs and Stephanie Miranda Harkins, Mercer library staff were instrumental in establishing the methodology of the research, Dr. Fontenot said."

    You can read more at:

  • 1 Nov 2022 9:02 AM | Anonymous

    Today is the first day of the month. Today is an excellent time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

    Your backups aren't worth much unless you make a quick test by restoring a small file or two after the backup is completed.

    Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often. (My computers automatically make off-site backups of all new files every few minutes.)

    Given the events of the past few months during the pandemic with genealogy websites laying off employees and cutting back on services, you now need backup copies of everything more than ever. What happens if the company that holds your online data either goes off line or simply deletes the service where your data is held? If you have copies of everything stored either in your own computer, what happens if you have a hard drive crash or other disaster? If you have one or more recent backup copies, such a loss would be inconvenient but not a disaster.

    Of course, you might want to back up more than your genealogy files. Family photographs, your checkbook register, all sorts of word processing documents, email messages, and much more need to be backed up regularly. Why not do that on the first day of each month? or even more often?

  • 31 Oct 2022 3:38 PM | Anonymous

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

    (+) How to Safely Send a Secret E-mail Message on the Spur of the Moment

    Beware of "Your Family's Coat of Arms" Scams!

    New and Improved Family Statistics on MyHeritage

    Not Everything Online is Free

    AGRA Announces Major Rebrand

    Make Obituary Searches Easier with Obit Magnet

    Introducing Democracy’s Library

    New Collection of Military Notices from the London Gazette

    Museum of Northwest Colorado Project Preserves Local Newspapers for Public Access

    The Times Newspaper Historic Collection Launches on TheGenealogist

    U.S. National Archives Tops 200 Million Digitized Pages in Online Catalog

    Here's Why You're Afraid Of The Dark (Blame Your Ancestors)

    Do Slave Schedules Accurately Report Owners?

    New from Nathan Dylan Goodwin: The Sawtooth Slayer

    Ancestry CEO Deb Liu Honors Family Ties And Redefines What Leadership Is Today

    Findmypast Expands Their Global Offering This Week

    Findmypast Expands Their Global Offering This Week (Part 2)

    23andMe Receives FDA Clearance to Provide Drug Information for Common Cholesterol Medication

    Meghan Markle Reveals She Is ’43 Percent Nigerian’ After Genealogy Test

    10 New Google Docs Features Worth Trying Out

    Google Is Giving Workspace Individual Subscribers a Big Storage Bump

    Passkeys Are Finally Here

    Free App Helps You Keep in Touch, Even With Limited Cell Service

    National Archives denies Trump referral to DOJ was connected to Democrats

  • 31 Oct 2022 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    An interesting interview of Ancestry CEO Deb Liu may be found at:

    In the interview, Deb Liu discusses the difficulties and adventures of being one of the few Asian American corporate CEOs.

  • 31 Oct 2022 10:38 AM | Anonymous

    The Museum of Northwest Colorado is working toward digitizing an archive of newspapers from 1945 to 1982 in an effort to better preserve that period of local history and make the records more available for research. 

    The museum is home to more than a century’s worth of original newspapers, containing local records of happenings and history that are often requested by different kinds of researchers. 

    A proposed project — earmarked in Craig’s 2023 budget for $24,000 — will digitize Craig Empire-Courier newspapers from 1945 to 1982 on to the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection, which is a free website provided by Colorado State Library. 

    The Historic Newspaper Collection already contains images of local publications from 1891 to 1945, which are optimized on the website by optical-character recognition, which makes the printed words searchable on a computer. 

    “It’s a game-changer to a golden era of research — we have access to newspapers during a piece of history and a part of the region where people moved around a lot,” said Paul Knowles, assistant director for the museum. “It helps connect dates in other stories that have been written and explains exactly how events went down and what dates they occurred.”

    Currently, to research newspapers published after 1945, museum staff have to pull the original copies from large binders in the museum’s basement. 

    You can read more in an article by Amber Delay  published in the web site at:

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