Note: The information in this archived copy was accurate on the date of publication. Since then, Web sites have appeared and disappeared, companies have been merged and many other facts have changed. You may find references in this archived copy that are no longer accurate.
EOGN: Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
A Weekly Summary of Events and
Vol. 5 No. 42– October 14, 2000
This newsletter was sponsored by Ancestry.com,
To learn about Ancestry.com’s
Past issues of this Newsletter
Copyright© 2000 by Richard W. Eastman. All rights reserved.
If you do contact any of the companies or societies mentioned in this newsletter, please tell them that you read about their services in this newsletter.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Do you have "islands" in your genealogy database? That is, a person or groups of persons that are not connected by blood or marriage to other people in the same database? If so, does your present genealogy program allow you to quickly find the individuals who are marooned on these "islands?"
Perhaps someone has sent you GEDCOM files. Or you have downloaded lots of GEDCOM files from the Internet. How do you quickly and easily find the individuals of interest in those files? Loading each and every GEDCOM file individually into your favorite genealogy program may be time-consuming. And then how do you quickly find "all the males named Smith who were born in England between 1800 and 1900?" The powerful genealogy programs can do this easily, but the simpler ones do not.
This week I used a new Windows program written by Luc Comeau that will do all this and a lot more. GENViewer for Windows is in beta test right now and is being offered as a free program during the beta. Best of all, GENViewer not only reads GEDCOM files, but it also will read files directly from Personal Ancestral File versions 3 and 4.
Installation was a snap. I first used GENViewer to open a GEDCOM file of more than 3,000 individuals. I was amazed at the speed; I opened the file, and pedigree charts, descendant charts and more were available instantly. The program’s user’s manual says that it can import about 10,000 to 30,000 individuals a second from a GEDCOM file. PAF database files are even faster. Apparently my 3,000-person file was read in about one-third of a second. This program reads data very quickly!
I used GENViewer for a while and found that it is great for finding "islands" and for selecting all individuals that meet certain criteria. It also can perform the following functions:
I found the program easy to use. However, a full user’s manual is included in the download. The user’s manual is in HTML format; you read it with Netscape or Internet Explorer or whatever Web browser you prefer.
GENViewer is an "add on" utility application to existing genealogy applications. Since this is a "viewer," it is "read only." In contrast to genealogy creation programs, it doesn't have any editing abilities and cannot write any data to your GEDCOM or PAF files.
GENViewer runs on Windows 95, 98, NT, and 2000 as well as on Windows Me. It requires little disk space. When reading a GEDCOM file it does require an additional 10% disk space. For instance, when reading a 10-megabyte GEDCOM file it will also need an additional one megabyte for temporary files. GENViewer will read GEDCOM, PAF 3 and PAF 4 files up to 2 gigabytes in size. This translates to about 10 million individuals in a GEDCOM file.
GENViewer for Windows beta version is available as a free program. There is no hint in the online user’s manual whether or not the final version will remain free. You can obtain a free copy of GENViewer for Windows beta software at: http://www.mudcreek.ca
- Freedmen's Bureau Records Preservation Act of 2000
On September 12, Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald introduced the following bill in the U.S. House of Representatives:
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Government Reform. If you would like to see this bill pass, I would strongly suggest that you write your Representative. I wrote to mine today, asking him to support HR 5157.
You can find the name of your Representative and even send him or her an e-mail by going to: http://www.house.gov/writerep
- NARA Publishes New Reproduction Fee Schedule
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration released proposed new fees some time ago that soon became controversial. Some of the fees seemed rather high. Now the agency has finalized the new fees by publishing its "final rule," NARA Reproduction Fee Schedule, in the October 13, 2000, Federal Register at page 60862. The revised fees go into effect on November 13.
The new fees are not cheap:
But the real zinger is the cost of a copy of complete pension file that is more than 75 years old (NATF Form 85): $37.00!
For more information, please go to: http://www.nara.gov/nara/newfees.html
- FamilySearch.org Updated
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) has unveiled a "new look" at its FamilySearch.org website. The updated site has had a complete makeover that should improve ease of use.
As part of the new website, the Church has also announced that new databases are about to go online, including the Vital Records Indexes for North America, the United Kingdom, and for Western Europe. They also have announced the release of a new Resource File Viewer 3.0 to read the CD-ROM version of these databases. This viewer allows users to view immigration records in addition to vital records and census records. An advanced word search is available for census records and for the journal accounts of immigration records.
Look at: http://www.FamilySearch.org
- Coal Mining History Resource Centre
Do you have an ancestor who worked in the coalmines of Great Britain? If so, you want to look at Ian Winstanley's Coal Mining History Resource Centre. This Web site includes comprehensive sources for mining deaths - some 65,000 names of people who died or suffered injury in the mines of Great Britain from 1850 to 1909. It also presents a great deal of material about the lives of the men and boys who worked in the mines.
Subjects on this Web site include:
This great online resource may be found at: http://www.cmhrc.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
My thanks to Brian B Comley for letting me know about the Coal Mining History Resource Centre.
- Help Wanted in Boston
The New England Historic Genealogical Society has hung out a "Help Wanted" sign. They are recruiting a Manager of Membership, a Development Assistant, and a part-time Sales Assistant. All three positions are at NEHGS headquarters in Boston. If you have an interest in any of these positions, look at: http://www.newenglandancestors.org/whatsnewsection/whatsnew_genealogy_detail.asp?key=902
- More Than 75 Children?
In last week’s newsletter I wrote about Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, a rock singer who fathered about 75 children. Quite a few people wrote e-mails and messages on CompuServe’s Genealogy Techniques Forum with follow-up questions or comments. While 75 seems like a large number, it certainly is not a record. History books are full of examples of men who fathered hundreds of children.
One example that I found interesting was that of French painter Paul Gaugin. While in Tahiti last week, I toured the Gaugin Museum and learned quite a bit about his life. Paul Gaugin was born in 1848 to a liberal middle-class family. In his early years he became a successful Parisian stockbroker and dabbled at painting. In 1883 he abandoned his financial career to devote himself to his painting. Soon after, he also abandoned his wife and five children. Gaugin lived for a while in Brittany, and then moved to Tahiti, where he had artistic success painting Tahitian models and landscapes. Financial success still eluded him, however, as he lived on a small stipend from a Parisian art dealer.
During his life on Tahiti, Gaugin lived a life mixed with art, alcohol and women. The life style of the native Tahitians was liberal by European standards, and Gaugin soon found himself well supplied with available women. In fact, a museum tour guide told me that the Polynesian men realized that their families needed "new blood" and would actually send their wives to Gaugin -- essentially, to expand the local gene pool. Nobody knows how many children the artist had, but the number apparently is greater than 75.
Gaugin later moved to Atuana, a small island in the Marquesas where he died on May 9, 1903, having spent a total of ten years in French Polynesia. He was only 54 years old when he died.
- Home Pages Highlighted
The following is a list of some of the genealogy-related World Wide Web home pages that have been listed recently on http://www.rootscomputing.com:
To submit your home page to this newsletter, enter the necessary information at: http://www.rootscomputing.com/register.htm. Due to the volume of new Web pages submitted, I am not able to list all of them in the newsletter.
Are you interested in the articles in this newsletter? Would you like to learn more or ask questions or make comments about these articles? Join this newsletter’s online discussion group on CompuServe’s Genealogy Techniques Forum. The CompuServe forums are free and are available to anyone using Netscape, Internet Explorer or CompuServe’s own software Go to: http://www.rootsforum.com
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About the author: Dick Eastman is the forum manager of the three Genealogy Forums on CompuServe. He also is the author of "YOUR ROOTS: Total Genealogy Planning On Your Computer" published by Ziff-Davis Press. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org