Monday, October 27, 2014

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair Oct 28 (Tomorrow), 29, 30, 2014 at 9 am CDT

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair 

(at your home via internet--live)

October 28, 29 & 30, 2014

Please join the National Archives for the 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair on October 28, 29, & 30, starting daily at 10 a.m. eastern time. This will be a live broadcast via the Internet so you can ask our genealogy experts questions at the end of their talks. The entire event is free and open to all, so there is no registration.
Watch the daily live video streams US National Archives YouTube Channel
Captioning on Streamtext Streamtext mini logo


Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will provide opening remarks. Other speakers include experts from National Archives’ facilities nationwide, the historian from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, and representatives from Ancestry and FamilySearch.

Schedule and Session Material

Lectures will feature tips and techniques for using Federal records at the National Archives for genealogy research. Lectures are designed for experienced genealogists and novices.
See the three-day Lecture Schedule and Handouts

Session Video Streams/Captioning

Watch the daily video streams and captioning at the following links:
Day 1: Tuesday, October 28
Watch live video stream on YouTube US National Archives YouTube Channel
Captioning on Streamtext Streamtext mini logo
Day 2: Wednesday, October 29
Watch live video stream on YouTube US National Archives YouTube Channel
Captioning on Streamtext Streamtext mini logo
Day 3: video stream: Thursday, October 30
Watch live video stream on YouTube US National Archives YouTube Channel
Captioning on Streamtext Streamtext mini logo

How to Chat and View Sessions/Captions

Please note that recorded sessions will become available by the end of November.
Chatting:  Ask questions and follow the conversation on Twitter using #genfair2014. Follow the National Archives at @USNatArchives.
US National Archives YouTube Channel Viewing:  Watch the live sessions on YouTube.
Streamtext logoCaptioning:  View the spoken word as a realtime stream of text during the live sessions on Streamtext.
Please note captioning will be available. If you require another type of accommodation (such as a sign language interpreter), to access streaming for this event, please contact the Know Your Records staff via email at KYR@n by October 21. We ask that you contact us as soon as possible so we are able to make every effort to make this presentation accessible to you.

Background:  The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. For information on National Archives holdings see
Regarding links outside of the National Archives Website ( We have provided a link to this site because it has information that may interest you. This link is not an endorsement by the National Archives of the opinions, products, or services presented on this site, or any sites linked to it. The National Archives is not responsible for the legality or accuracy of information on this site, the policies, or for any costs incurred while using this site.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Elephind: A Digital Newspaper Collections Search Engine

Click on the above image to view a larger version.
Elephind is a great service that searches online digital newspaper collections. Best of all, it is available free of charge. is a search engine that operates much like Google, Bing, and other search engines. The one thing that is different with Elephind is that it searches only historical, digitized newspapers. It enables you to search for free across many newspaper sites simultaneously rather than having to visit each collection’s web site separately.
At this time Elephind has indexed 2,677 newspaper titles containing more than two and a half million editions, ranging from March 1803 up to August 2013. The Elephind search engine has indexed 141,628,238 items from 2,677 newspaper titles. These include such well known sites as Chronicling America (the U.S.’s Library of Congress) and Trove (National Library of Australia), as well as smaller collections like Door County Library in Wisconsin. Many of the smaller newspaper sites are not well known and may be difficult to find with the usual search engines, but they are searchable from A list of available newspaper collections that have been indexed so far is available at
Additional newspaper collections are added to Elephind’s indexes frequently.
I found that Elephind operates in much the same manner as many other search engines. If you already know how to search for things in Google, Bing, Yahoo, or elsewhere, you already know how to use Elephind. In fact, there are two search methods available on Elephind:

1. When you first visit the site at, you are greeted with a very simple search screen containing one data entry box. You can search for words or phases in much the same way as you do on Google although not all of Google’s sophisticated Boolean search terms are available on Elephind. You can find tips for using the search box at
2. When visiting this same site at, you will also see a highlighted link for “Advanced Search.” When you click on that, a more sophisticated search form appears, allowing you to narrow the search to any combination of specific newspaper titles, country, or a range of dates.
I did a search for my own last name between the years 1811 and 1890 in the United States. It returned far too many “hits” for me to search through; so, I started narrowing the search by specifying first names and cities or towns of interest. I was soon looking at information of interest.
I was impressed with the clarity of the newspaper pages I was able to view; but, of course, that is under the control of the individual newspaper collection. Elephind does not host the images on its own web site. Instead, it merely links to newspapers found on a wide variety of servers in a number of different countries from around the world. is a great tool for family historians, genealogists, and researchers to search historic, digitized newspaper archives from around the globe. Will Elephind locate newspaper articles about your ancestors? There is no way to tell in advance. You need to try it for a while to see. It is a free resource, so why not try it to see for yourself?
Elephind may be found at
Elephind is continuing to add more newspapers, so if at first you can’t find what you’re looking for, check back later. You also might want to add your name to the Elephind mailing list at to receive an email message whenever a new collection is added.

German Digital Church Book Portal is Now Online

Newsletter reader Ernie Thode wrote to say that an announcement of a new online site was made at the German national genealogy conference in Kassel on September 13. The beta test of the German digital church book portal is now available.
Of about 140,000 individual church books in Germany, the records of about 35,000 (25%) have been digitized thus far. Most of the German Protestant regional church bodies are participating, others and Catholic archives and civil registrations may be joining in later. There will be a fee.
I used Google Translate to display much of the introductory text in English. This may be an imperfect translation:

From the parish register portal to Archion: start of the beta test
The beta test of the church book portal is launched on the German Genealogentag in Kassel on 13 September. More information about the Beta test follow.
The Church Literature Portal GmbH will operate their web portal under the name “Archion”. In “Archion” will find the words archive and online again. A reduction of the project on two essential concepts. But the word “arché”, ancient Greek for beginning and origin is included. We find that fits perfectly with the concept of genealogy, more about the question “Where did I come from?”, Ie the origin out.
The vision of the Church Literature Portal GmbH is to open up next to the church records and other sources for genealogical research. The term “church book portal” is clearly designed for church books. If z. B. State Archives or municipal archives participate and want to represent civil registers online, the name is too restrictive. One should also keep open to make other archival materials online. “Archion” as a neologism is simply free in its possibilities, it is limited not only by her name.
The entire web site is in German. You can access the site at and at
Payment information is available (in German) at

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

  From AncestryInsider Blog dated Sept 9, 2014 at

Family Tree Magazine’s 101 Best Genealogy Websites for 2014

The Ancestry Insider is one of Family Tree Magazine's 101 Best Websites for 2014.A friend tells me that the Ancestry Insider is honored this year on the Family Tree Magazine list of the 101 Best Genealogy Websites for 2014! I visited their website and, sure enough, there I was! There are many, many websites better than mine, so it is a pleasure to be named. The Ancestry Insider was one of the five websites mentioned in the “Best Genealogy News” category, alongside Dick Eastman, Dear Myrtle, Lisa Louise Cooke, and the RootsWeb massive set of mailing list, where you can here the news about pretty much any subject, locale, or surname.
David A. Fryxell put the list together again this year.
Click the category below to see the best websites from that category:
This is especially meaningful because the editors at Family Tree Magazine provided encouragement to me in this newsletter’s earliest stages, when I was painfully aware of my ragged writing. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them. Thank you, Family Tree Magazine!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Master Genealogist to be Discontinued

 This article can be viewed directly from Eastman Genealogical Newsletter July 29, 2014 at


 The Master Genealogist to be Discontinued

Sad news! The following announcement was made today by Bob Velke, the owner of Wholly Genes, Inc.:
I am sad to report that the decision has been made to discontinue The Master Genealogist (“TMG”).
While thousands of TMG users appreciate the program’s many powerful features that are unmatched in other software, the market for those advanced features has proved to be insufficient to support the infrastructure that is necessary to support it and continue development. A variety of my own health issues have also contributed to this decision as I have fewer opportunities to focus on the things that would be necessary to develop and market the program.
There is every reason to believe that TMG will continue to work for existing users for the foreseeable future but official support will end at the end of 2014, although we may release some more bug fixes (but no new features) before that. In the interest of those who may want to communicate their data to family members or upgrade to the latest release, we will continue to sell the full product and updates through September with the understanding that product development has been discontinued.
After the end of the year, I expect to maintain the support forum which would be available for user-to-user support. Other online support forums, including the TMG-L mailing list, are also available to users.
For 25 years, TMG has repeatedly pushed the boundaries of genealogical software and promoted the highest principles of scholarship in record-keeping and reporting. It has encouraged users to expect more from their family tree software, especially in the area of source citations, and the industry has responded by setting new and higher standards in its suite of “standard features.” To lesser degrees, programs have begun to emulate some of TMG’s other innovative features, including its powerful filtering/searching functions, flags, customizable screen layouts, shared events (i.e., witnesses), and narrative output options.
As genealogical data has become more sophisticated, researchers have been increasingly confronted with the many limitations of GEDCOM in transferring that data. For more than two decades, our GenBridge technology has demonstrated that much more complete and accurate transfers can be achieved through direct imports. Other family tree programs have implemented the GenBridge technology or developed similar direct-import strategies, resulting in the preservation of precious data for countless researchers.
I am proud of the leadership role that TMG has played in the evolution of genealogical software and I encourage TMG users to continue to press developers to raise their standards and implement features that allow researchers to do the same.
In the interest of preserving users’ data, I have released a document that details TMG’s internal file structure and I will make GenBridge available for free to developers who wish to produce a direct import from TMG insofar as their programs support the same features.
It goes without saying that this has been a painful decision and is a significant milestone for me. TMG has been a major part of my life for more than 25 years and it is not easy to let it go. I recognize too and regret the degree to which it may leave researchers uneasy about the future of their data and the prospects for their research tools. I am taking a necessary step back from the genealogical community but with the hope that my contribution to it has left researchers better equipped to accomplish their research goals.
Bob Velke
Wholly Genes, Inc.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

South Dakota Receives More Than $294K to Digitize Historic Newspapers

South Dakota Receives More Than $294K to Digitize Historic Newspapers

South Dakota has been granted more than $294,000 in federal funds to digitize 100,000 pages of historic state newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. The funds will help preserve and promote South Dakota’s rich history.

Brief details may be found in the Washington Times at

Reprinted from Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter July 23, 2014 at

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Phishing, Scams, Viruses and Trojan Horses – How to Protect Your Computer

 Please see FamilySearch Blog at to view this article

Phishing, Scams, Viruses and Trojan Horses – How to Protect Your Computer

Computer Virus
Trojan Horse

Also, 5 rules to help prevent the above problems.

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