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  • 11 Jul 2024 8:35 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Anne Helen Petersen:

    "I understand why newsletters took off and RSS didn't. Most people are never going to download a dedicated app for reading news and take the time to set it up—but everyone has email. That doesn't change the fact that I, personally, prefer an RSS reader to keep up with news and another to manage my email.

    "The problem for people like me is that a lot of the best content out there is only available as a newsletter. Luckily, there's a compromise, of sorts. Most newsletter services provide an RSS feed—but if not, you can usually just make your own.

    "Find existing RSS feeds for newsletters

    "Most of the major newsletter services—Substack, Buttondown, Ghost, and BeeHiiv—offer some kind of RSS feed. And in the case of both Buttondown and BeeHiiv, the feed is generally easy to find—just look for the "RSS" option in the header. Click that to open the feed, which you can copy to your RSS reader of choice.

    Can't find the RSS feed? Make one instead"

    You can find more, including information on how to create an RSS newsfeed, at

    Note by Dick Eastman: The RSS newsfeed for this newsletter is available at:

  • 11 Jul 2024 8:25 AM | Anonymous

    The Irish Registry of Deeds Index Project has been updated and the main Index now holds 595,067 index records from 61,422 memorials of deeds. They are freely searchable.

    Every one of these memorials has been indexed by a volunteer, releasing fascinating genealogical information unlikely to be available elsewhere, and likely to remain hidden away, undigitised, in Dublin's Registry of Deeds for many years yet. This Index Project, set up in 2007 by Nick Reddan FIGRS, has moved on a pace since 2016 when FamilySearch uploaded its library of microfilmed images created many years ago. 

    These images are free to view at the FamilySearch site, allowing volunteers to index memorials from their own device in their own home, rather than having to visit the Dublin repository.

    You can read more at: 

  • 11 Jul 2024 8:18 AM | Anonymous

    The Silk Roads have linked diverse communities across Asia, Europe and Africa for millennia. They not only unified people through trade, they also helped spread ideas, inventions, knowledge and artistic traditions — bringing distant parts of the world a little closer together. We’re fortunate that many of the treasures from this cultural exchange have been preserved for all to see.

    Today, UNESCO Almaty Regional Office invites everyone to join us on a virtual journey across Central Asia through cultural treasures of the Silk Roads on Google Arts & Culture. We’re excited to share this in the form of a new “Pocket Gallery” experience helping anyone to immersively explore the treasures brought together from the region’s national museums.

    Learn about the nomadic mythologies told through a diversity of pottery and figurines of animals and people. These artifacts show the sheer variety of civilizations that came in contact with each other through this historic trade network.

    From clay sculptures, to bronze statues, azure-blue glazes and handwoven carpets, discover highlights from across Central Asia from Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — or explore the full collection of high-resolution 3D objects.

    Item 1 of 6

    A reconstruction of a costume on a model with a red pointed hat, gold and red patterned jacket and matching boots, and red pants. Carrying a sword and dagger in sheaths on each side.

    The "Golden Warrior" is a masterpiece of the jewelry art of the Scythian-Saka "animal" style. " There are more than four thousand gold plates on his attire, which were made using various metal processing techniques - casting, forging, stamping, chasing, engraving, granulating, embossing and carving.

    You can read more about this and other topics in an article at:

  • 10 Jul 2024 8:10 PM | Anonymous

    “Oral Genealogy in Asia-Pacific: The Essence of Personal Identity and Tribal Connections” 

    by David Ouimette, CG, CGL

    Tuesday, July 16, 2024, 8:00 p.m. (EDT) 

    Oral genealogies celebrate ancestral connections in indigenous cultures across Asia-Pacific. As one paramount chief in Samoa declared, “The most important thing for children to understand is their family connections. The knowledge of history is their treasure—not gold and silver, but genealogy.” Learn about the significance and richness of oral genealogies and current efforts to preserve them in Asia and the Pacific. 

    David Ouimette, CG, CGL, manages Content Strategy for Asia and the Pacific at FamilySearch, prioritizing records of genealogical value for digital preservation and online publication. His team prioritizes camera placement and targets records for preservation in national, regional, and local archives. David has researched in several hundred archives in over seventy countries spanning all continents. Previously, David was product manager at, responsible for family trees, United States records, DNA testing, and the search experience. David regularly lectures at national genealogical conferences and institutes. He serves as a Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has served as Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association and on the board of the National Genealogical Society. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from Brigham Young University, has contributed articles to many magazines and journals, and authored Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide. David and his wife, Deanna, live in Highland, Utah, are the parents of eight children, and have seven grandchildren.

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “Oral Genealogy in Asia-Pacific: The Essence of Personal Identity and Tribal Connections” by David Ouimette, CG, CGL. This webinar airs Tuesday, July 16, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.  

    When you register before July 16 with our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars ( you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Anyone with schedule conflicts may access the webinar at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Legacy Family Tree Webinarswebsite.

    “Education is one of the most significant ways of achieving BCG’s mission for promoting public confidence in genealogy through uniform standards of competence,” said President Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG. “We appreciate this opportunity to provide these webinars that focus on the standards that help family historians of all levels practice good genealogy.”

    Following the free period for this webinar, BCG receives a small commission if you view this or any BCG webinar by clicking our affiliate link:

    To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2024, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at  For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (

  • 10 Jul 2024 8:39 AM | Anonymous

    Ah, the “good old days.” Here are some things that today’s younger generation may never know about:

    Moore's Law and our ever-increasing quest for simpler, smaller, faster and better widgets and thingamabobs will always ensure that some of the technology we grew up with will not be passed down the line to the next generation of geeks.

    That is, of course, unless we tell them all about the good old days of modems and typewriters, slide rules and encyclopedias ...

    • Audio-Visual Entertainment
    • Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.
    • Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds.
    • Playing music on an audio tape using a personal stereo. See what happens when you give a Walkman to today's teenager.
    • The number of TV channels being a single digit. I remember it being a massive event when I received a fourth channel on my television.
    • Standard-definition, CRT TVs filling up half your living room.
    • Rotary dial televisions with no remote control. You know, the ones where the kids were the remote control.
    • High-speed dubbing.
    • 8-track cartridges.
    • Vinyl records. Even today's DJs are going laptop or CD.
    • Betamax tapes.
    • MiniDisc.
    • Laserdisc: the LP of DVD.
    • Scanning the radio dial and hearing static between stations. (Digital tuners + HD radio b0rk this concept.)
    • Shortwave radio.
    • 3-D movies meaning red-and-green glasses.
    • Watching TV when the networks say you should. Tivo and VCRs are slowing killing this one.
    • That there was a time before 'reality TV.'
    • Computers and Videogaming
    • Wires. OK, so they're not gone yet, but it won't be long
    • The scream of a modem connecting.
    • The buzz of a dot-matrix printer
    • 5- and 3-inch floppies, Zip Discs and countless other forms of data storage.
    • Using jumpers to set IRQs.
    • MS-DOS.
    • Terminals accessing the mainframe.
    • Screens being just green (or orange) on black.
    • Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.
    • Daisy chaining your SCSI devices and making sure they've all got a different ID.
    • Counting in kilobytes.
    • Wondering if you can afford to buy a RAM upgrade.
    • Blowing the dust out of a NES cartridge in the hopes that it'll load this time.
    • Turning a PlayStation on its end to try and get a game to load.
    • Joysticks.
    • Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.
    • Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.
    • Recording a song in a studio.
    • The Internet
    • NCSA Mosaic.
    • Finding out information from an encyclopedia.
    • Using a road atlas to get from A to B.
    • Doing bank business only when the bank is open.
    • Shopping only during the day, Monday to Saturday.
    • Phone books and Yellow Pages.
    • Newspapers and magazines made from dead trees.
    • Actually being able to get a domain name consisting of real words.
    • Filling out an order form by hand, putting it in an envelope and posting it.
    • Not knowing exactly what all of your friends are doing and thinking at every moment.
    • Carrying on a correspondence with real letters, especially the handwritten kind.
    • Archie searches.
    • Gopher searches.
    • Concatenating and UUDecoding binaries from Usenet.
    • Privacy.
    • The fact that words generally don't have num8er5 in them.
    • Waiting several minutes (or even hours!) to download something.
    • The time before botnets/security vulnerabilities due to always-on and always-connected PCs
    • The time before PC networks.
    • When Spam was just a meat product — or even a Monty Python sketch.
    • Typewriters.
    • Putting film in your camera: 35mm may have some life still, but what about disks?
    • Sending that film away to be processed.
    • Having physical prints of photographs come back to you.
    • CB radios.
    • Getting lost. With GPS coming to more and more phones, your location is only a click away.
    • Rotary-dial telephones (many young people today have no idea how to use a rotary-dial telephone).
    • Answering machines.
    • Using a stick to point at information on a wallchart
    • Pay phones.
    • Phones with actual bells in them.
    • Fax machines.
    • Vacuum cleaners with bags in them.
    • Taking turns picking a radio station, or selecting a tape, for everyone to listen to during a long drive.
    • Remembering someone's phone number.
    • Not knowing who was calling you on the phone.
    • Actually going down to a Blockbuster store to rent a movie.
    • Toys actually being suitable for the under-3s.
    • LEGO just being square blocks of various sizes, with the odd wheel, window or door.
    • Waiting for the television-network premiere to watch a movie after its run at the theater.
    • Relying on the 5-minute sport segment on the nightly news for baseball highlights.
    • Neat handwriting.
    • The days before the nanny state.
    • Starbuck being a man.
    • Han shoots first.
    • "Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father." But they've already seen episode III, so it's no big surprise.
    • Kentucky Fried Chicken, as opposed to KFC.
    • Trig tables and log tables.
    • "Don't know what a slide rule is for ..."
    • Finding books in a card catalog at the library.
    • Hershey bars in silver wrappers.
    • Having to manually unlock a car door.
    • Writing a check.
    • Looking out the window during a long drive.
    • Roller skates, as opposed to blades.
    • Cash.
    • Libraries as a place to get books rather than a place to use the internet.
    • Spending your entire allowance at the arcade in the mall.
    • A physical dictionary — either for spelling or definitions.
    • When a 'geek' and a 'nerd' were one and the same.
  • 10 Jul 2024 7:44 AM | Anonymous

    Microsoft began testing an update to the venerable Notepad program in March that included spellcheck and autocorrection to the modest but steadily expanding collection of features of the Windows software. As reported by The Verge, the update adding these capabilities to Notepad is now available to all Windows 11 users via the Microsoft Store.

    Underlining words in red when they are misspelled, the spellcheck function lets users left-click the words to view a list of suggestions or right-click them to see suggestions under a separate "spelling" menu item. Changes can be undone manually or by running the Undo command; autocorrection fixes minor and apparent misspellings (typing "misspellign" instead of "misspelling," for example).

    Notepad's settings let one disable either feature from within. If you wish to see spelling suggestions for.txt files but not or.lic files, the spellchecker may also be turned on and off for a few different particular file extensions. The Verge also notes that default spellchecking is off for log files or "other file types associated with coding." When I opened a batch file in Notepad to make changes, for instance, neither function worked.

    Microsoft releases new apps incrementally, hence you might or might not be seeing the new features yet. Notepad version 11.2405.13 operating on a fully upgraded Windows 11 23H2 PC shows the spellcheck and autocorrection tools right now, but your mileage might differ.

    Starting with dark mode support and other style options, Notepad has undergone significant changes over the Windows 11 era. Eventually it also included a tabbed interface allowing automatically reopening of files upon program relaunching. For Notepad, these kinds of enhancements rank as "major" as, for years, it had only received somewhat tiny under-the-hood upgrades (when it was being updated at all).

    As Microsoft gets ready to quit delivering WordPad with Windows 11, the Notepad enhancements show promise. Originally Windows' preinstalled basic word processor, WordPad has had few (if any) notable upgrades since Windows 7's 2009 release. Although WordPad is still available in Windows 11 22H and 23H2, it is not included in present iterations of the forthcoming Windows 11 24H2 release. Users searching for basic word processing after WordPad disappears will have to resort to the more-capable Notepad, the free-to-use online edition of Microsoft Word, or another free option such as LibreOffice (which is my favorite word processor app. Most of the articles in this web site are written with LibreOffice).

  • 9 Jul 2024 6:04 PM | Anonymous

    Here is an article that is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, if you expect to go tromping through the woods looking for abandoned cemeteries, old homesteads, and similar locations of interest to genealogists, this could provide life-saving information. Really!

    Nancy Battick is a Dover-Foxcroft, Maine native who has researched genealogy for over 30 years. She is past president of the Maine Genealogical Society, author of several genealogical articles and co-transcribed the Vital Records of Dover-Foxcroft.  Nancy holds an MA in History from the University of Maine and lives in the town of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine with her husband, Jack, another avid genealogist.

    Nancy has dusted off her annual "Be Safe in the Woods" article and has updated it significantly. Her latest article is written for genealogists, primarily for those wandering around old cemeteries, homesteads, and in other places of interest to anyone who is researching in Maine or somewhat similar rural locations.

    I was born and raised about 12 miles from Nancy's location in Dover-Foxcroft and spent much of my childhood roaming around in nearby wooded locations. I think I know every long-abandoned cemetery in the area along with lots of abandoned homesteads and other locations of interest to genealogists. My specialty is finding abandoned silver mines in and around the towns of Corinna, Dexter, and Dover-Foxcroft. I could write a similar article but I rather like Nancy's version better than my own. 

    You can read Nancy Battick's "Be Safe in the Woods" article

    This article is recommended reading for anyone who expects to go walking in either the Maine woods or in any similar locations. And yes, I got lost a number of times when I was growing up but always found my way out of the woods by using similar techniques to what Nancy Battick recommends.

  • 9 Jul 2024 5:42 PM | Anonymous

    Something characteristic of the present period has arisen with the advent of wealthy corporations such as Amazon, Google, and Walmart that are willing to invest in and test out drone deliveries. Drones are being launched from the sky with food and other miscellaneous items on board. Still, incidents remain uncommon.

    But what are the legal ramifications, and may they grow as these incidents become more frequent? A man was recently arrested in Florida for allegedly shooting down a Walmart drone. The issue of legal consequences has remained unclear despite the widespread use of consumer drones for more than a decade. We received a partial response from the FAA after a drone shooting in Arkansas in 2016. The FAA directed anyone with an interest to 18 U.S.C. 32 back then. Titled "Aircraft Sabotage," the statute criminalizes the willful destruction of "any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States or any civil aircraft used, operated or employed in interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce."

    "Makes it a Federal offense to commit an act of violence against any person on the aircraft, not simply crew members, if the act is likely to endanger the safety of the aircraft." This line of reasoning seems to be aimed squarely at manned airplanes. However, in light of the drone shooting in Arkansas, the FAA has stated that these safeguards can be expanded to encompass UAVs as well. It would appear that the phrase is actually comprehensive enough to encompass drones. As a result, the consequences could be just as severe. Following an event in Minnesota in 2020, the topic was brought back to light. Criminal damage and discharge of a weapon within city limits were the felony accusations levied against the perpetrator in that instance. In most cases involving property damage rather than bodily harm, whether including a drone or not, those would also most likely be the charges. Regardless of these instances, it is still impossible to say with certainty whether or not prosecutors will also bring a federal charge such as 18 U.S.C. 32.

    The majority of instances have been handled by state laws rather than the federal government, as pointed out by the legal blog Above the Law. In most instances where 18 U.S.C. 32 has been invoked, additional charges like as murder may be brought out in connection with human crew members or passengers. Although it might not be prosecuted in the same way, it is arguable that dropping a big piece of technology from the sky in a densely populated region brings its own risk of physical injury. However, the future of federal regulation such as 18 U.S.C. 32 in relation to UAV shootings may become clearer as the use of drone delivery services grows in the United States. Adding that to the mix carries additional penalties, such as fines and a maximum sentence of twenty years in jail, which could worsen the already dire situation. However, regardless of whether it is invoked or not, the repercussions can be severe.

  • 9 Jul 2024 10:22 AM | Anonymous

    Registration Open!

    Join the NYG&B and other genealogy experts for New York’s largest statewide family history conference:

    • September 20–21, 2024 (Livestreamed from Syracuse, NY)
    • September 20–November 1, 2024 (On-Demand Access)

    This year's theme is Connect at the Crossroads and will feature livestreamed presentations in Syracuse, New York, as well as on-demand sessions to watch at your own pace. Can’t join us in person? No problem! All in-person events will be livestreamed and subsequently made available on demand.

    From the essentials needed for navigating New York research to using maps, newspapers, letters, and journals on your historical journey to understanding immigration and migration patterns, the conference offers a rich array of sessions to help participants hone their skills.

    The livestreamed portion of the conference will be held on Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21, 2024, at the Erie Canal Museum in downtown Syracuse (318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, NY 13202). All the conference programming and sessions will be available to registrants for on-demand viewing through November 1, 2024.

    What to Expect

    • More than 20 of the top voices and experts in the genealogy field to lead sessions and answer your questions, including Michelle Tucker ChubenkoSkip DuettAnnette Burke LyttleJeanette SheligaJane E. Wilcox, and more.
    • A total of 34 sessions and events (13 in person/livestreamed and 21 on demand) all for less than $10 a session.
    • A rich array of programming—whether it’s mastering the basics or refining research to break through brick walls—on a variety of crucial resources like New York records and repositories; methodology; migration and settlement; immigration and immigrant communities; New Yorkers of color and others whose stories have been historically underrepresented; and much more.
    • Learning opportunities with the wider genealogy and family history community.

    Medley of Syracuse and Erie Canal photos, illustrations and stamps


    • Virtual Member Attendance (early registration by June 14, 2024): $189
    • Virtual Member Attendance (after June 14, 2024): $209
    • Virtual General Attendance: $245
    • In-person Member Attendance (Syracuse)*: $229
    • In-person General Attendance (Syracuse)*: $265

    *All in-person programming will also be livestreamed and subsequently made available on-demand through November 1, 2024. Lunch is not included at the in-person conference.

    What is the New York State Family History Conference? 

    Researchers, genealogists, and all those interested in family history gather for the New York State Family History Conference, the largest statewide family history event held in New York. Over the years we’ve travelled to places like Tarrytown, Albany, and Buffalo, all while hosting hundreds of other researchers online. Last year's conference featured in-person and virtual programming as well as on-demand viewing of all 35 sessions.

    What do I learn at the conference? 

    Experts on New York, genealogy, family history, and various subject material teach the sessions. Many of these sessions cover advanced topics like DNA research and searching migratory records, but others can help you build your genealogy skills and get you ready to tackle some difficult situations in your research.

    Who organizes the New York State Family History Conference?

    The conference is organized and run by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B), a nonprofit organization based in New York City serving all parts of the State and region.

    Our members are mostly from New York state but are also found around the country and world. This conference is the State’s largest event for family history and a place for all researchers to connect with others who share their interests, no matter how much experience you may have.

    NYG&B members receive discounts to events like the New York State Family History Conference. Learn more about NYG&B membership.

    What is the accessibility like at the Erie Canal Museum for in-person attendees?

    The in-person presentations will take place in the Weighlock Gallery at the Erie Canal Museum, which is accessible by elevator.

    Where should I stay in the Syracuse area if I’m coming to the conference in person?

    The NYG&B does not have a hotel room block and any hotel reservations are the responsibility of registrants. We have compiled a list of local hotels in the Syracuse area for consideration.

    Best Western Syracuse Downtown Hotel and Suites    
    416 S Clinton St, Syracuse, NY, 13202  
    (0.36 mi from Erie Canal Museum)

    Collegian Hotel & Suites    
    1060 E Genesee St, Syracuse, NY, 13210  
    (0.73 mi from Erie Canal Museum)  

    Crowne Plaza Syracuse   
    701 E Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY, 13210  
    (0.43 mi from Erie Canal Museum)

    Hampton Inn & Suites Syracuse North Airport Area    
    1305 Buckley Rd, Syracuse, NY 13212  
    (4.2 mi from Erie Canal Museum)  

    Marriott Syracuse Downtown    
    100 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY, 13202  
    (0.44 mi from Erie Canal Museum)  

    Parkview Hotel    
    713 E Genesee St, Syracuse, NY 13210  
    (0.44 mi. from Erie Canal Museum)  

    Is lunch included at the conference for in-person attendees?

    No, lunch is not included. In-person attendees are welcome to have lunch on their own off site or can bring a lunch to eat at the venue during the scheduled lunch break. There is no refrigeration on-site to store lunches.

    What is New York Stories?

    New York Stories pre-recorded, livestreamed video clips from the genealogy and family history community sharing memorable and notable stories. This special feature will be broadcast during the conference lunch breaks on September 20 and 21 and be available for on-demand viewing through November 1, 2024.

    I have a New York Stories to share! How can I participate?

    Many people have memorable stories; we want to hear yours! The theme of this year’s conference is "Connect at the Crossroads," and we are looking for submissions that tell stories from across New York State.

    If you are willing to have your story filmed and publicly shared, please submit a brief summary (250 words maximum) of your story by July 31, 2024, to with the subject line “NY Stories Submission.” Narrated stories should be between 4 and 8 minutes long. If your submission is selected, the NYG&B will contact you to arrange a recording session. 

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