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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
Topics of Interest to Online Genealogists

Vol. 5 No. 42– October 14, 2000

This newsletter was sponsored by,
a leader in providing print and electronic
research information to genealogists.

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Copyright© 2000 by Richard W. Eastman. All rights reserved.

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- GENViewer
- Freedmen's Bureau Records Preservation Act of 2000
- NARA Publishes New Reproduction Fee Schedule
- Updated
- Coal Mining History Resource Centre
- Help Wanted in Boston
- More Than 75 Children?
- New Home Pages

- GENViewer

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:

  • GENViewer gives an almost instant list of individuals contained within a GEDCOM file or PAF (Personal Ancestral File) database. You can quickly see "who’s here." This feature is great for examining new GEDCOM files of questionable origin and accuracy downloaded from the Internet. I also used it to look at some GEDCOM files stored on my hard drive for a long time where I had forgotten why I had kept them.
  • GENViewer will find information errors in your database; for example, a mother giving birth at age 4. GENViewer allows you to visually highlight these individuals in seconds.
  • GENViewer allows you to highlight individuals that are still missing information. For example, you can highlight all ancestors that are missing a birth date.
  • You can highlight all the individuals in a file who are related to a particular person. I used this to find those individuals who were direct relatives of mine.
  • LDS members will appreciate GENViewer’s capability to highlight individuals that are missing LDS ordinates as well as who is temple-ready. Remember that GENViewer can also do this while directly reading PAF 3 or PAF 4 files.

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:

- 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:

Freedmen's Bureau Records Preservation Act of 2000 (Introduced in the House)

HR 5157 IH


2d Session

H. R. 5157

To amend title 44, United States Code, to ensure preservation of the records of the Freedmen's Bureau.


September 12, 2000

Ms. MILLENDER-MCDONALD (for herself and Mr. WATTS of Oklahoma) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform


To amend title 44, United States Code, to ensure preservation of the records of the Freedmen's Bureau.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Freedmen's Bureau Records Preservation Act of 2000'.


The Congress finds the following:

(1) From 1619 to 1800 more than 660,000 African men, women, and children were torn from their homelands in west Africa and herded onto ships for transport to North America as slaves.

(2) Between 10 and 15 percent of these Africans died during the journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

(3) The institution of slavery robbed Africans of their natural rights and divided this Nation over the meaning of freedom, the principle upon which this Nation was founded.

(4) Paraphrasing President Abraham Lincoln, the Government could not endure permanently half slave and half free.

(5) The United States waged the Civil War to free the Nation's slaves, preserve the Nation, and embrace all people as citizens regardless of race in a system of inclusive freedom for all.

(6) On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that individuals held as slaves within the rebellious States `are, and henceforward shall be free'.

(7) On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army to General Ulysses S. Grant, thereby ending the Civil War.

(8) In 1865, the Congress established in the War Department the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly referred to as the `Freedmen's Bureau', to supervise and manage all matters relating to refugees and freedmen, and to supervise abandoned and confiscated property.

(9) The records of the Freedmen's Bureau are a vital source of information for historians and genealogists.

(10) These records contain a wide range of data about the African-American experience during slavery and freedom, including in marriage records, labor contracts, Government rations and back pay records, and indentured contracts for minors.

(11) These records are maintained in Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Delaware, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

(12) All of these records are originals and, because they are deteriorating, require immediate attention.

(13) These records are an important link for African-Americans to their slave and African ancestors.

(14) Preserving the records of the Freedmen's Bureau is a high priority for millions of Americans interested in Civil War and post-Civil War era history.


(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 29 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Sec. 2910. Preservation of Freedmen's Bureau Records

`The Archivist shall preserve the records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly referred to as the `Freedmen's Bureau', by using--

`(1) available technology for restoration of the documents comprising these records so that they can be maintained for future generations; and

`(2) innovative imaging and indexing technologies to make these records easily accessible to the public, including historians, genealogists, novice genealogy enthusiasts, and students.'.

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 29 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

`2910. Preservation of freedmen's bureau records.'.

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:

- 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:

  • A copy of Passenger Arrival lists (NATF Form 81): $17.25
  • Federal Census requests (NATF Form 82): $17.50
  • Military service files more than 75 years old (NATF Form 86)

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:

- Updated

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) has unveiled a "new look" at its 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:

- 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:

  • Books on Mining History
  • Mining Texts
  • Mining Prints
  • A Database of Mining Deaths in Great Britain
  • Mining Disasters in Great Britain
  • A Glossary of Mining Terms
  • Catalogue of Abandoned Mines – 1928
  • Miners Lamps
  • Poetry Corner
  • Children in the Mines - Transcripts of the Royal Commission Reports on the working conditions of children and young persons in the coalfields of Great Britain, 1842

This great online resource may be found at:

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:

- 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

Massachusetts Society of Genealogists- dedicated to helping all those researching the state of Massachusetts with chapters in Middlesex, Worcester, Hampden, and Bristol Counties.

Essex County (Massachusetts) USGenWeb with access to county resources, 23 on -line town pages, and an on -line research guide to Essex County:

Garvey Surname Study - The site has maps showing the distribution of the names Garvey, McGarvey and Garvan in Ireland in the mid-1800s as listed in the Griffith Valuation. The site also has a transcription of all Garveys and McGarveys in the 1850 US census:

Home of The Knibbs/Nibb/Nibs/Nibbs One Name Study:

The Boys From The Old Swan – a Website that tells the family history of the Brown brothers of North Wales, who left their family pub to fight in the Great War.

Galway, Ireland ancestors, focusing on the surnames Keane and Canny:

Palmer and Grosze Family Genealogy as well as other connecting lines with nearly 15,000 persons:

Welsh Genealogy Photography Requests, a photography service based in Llanharan that will cover the Glamorgan area. This site offers to take digital photographs of ancestral houses, villages and the churches that the family once attended. Costs are based upon the time required and traveling expenses incurred:

A comprehensive Australian gateway site for tracing your family history. This links site focuses on quality Australian sites and lists over 760 genealogy links with descriptions:

Web site of the South Fredericksburgh Heritage Committee, Lennox and Addington County, Ontario. Included are voters’ lists, the 1851 Census, cemetery records, UEL lists, etc., as well as birth, baptism and marriage records. Also included is a list of township publications available for sale:

UK Genealogy News is a monthly online newsletter covering all aspects of genealogy in the UK. The main page has links to the current and past editions:

Dwight and Phebe Harding Family Reunion – a gigantic family reunion in 2001 for the descendents of Dwight Harding and Phebe Holbrook, early settlers of Willard Utah:

Van Dyke Genealogy DYKBEWONER II – a site to help everyone with a Van Dyke heritage with info, photos and stories:

Family Page of Angelique Sekeris-Streur in the Netherlands (this Web site is oin Dutch):

Willever-Woolever Family Roots of New Jersey and Pennsylvania:

To submit your home page to this newsletter, enter the necessary information at: 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:

If you would like to submit news, information or press releases for possible inclusion in future newsletters, send them to The author does reserve the right to accept or reject any articles submitted.

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is being written and sent via e-mail at no charge. I expect to write one new issue on a more or less weekly basis. However, life sometimes interferes, and the need to earn a living may create an occasional delay.

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Many of the articles published in these newsletters contain quotes or references from others, especially from other Web sites, software users manuals, press releases and other public announcements. Any words in this newsletter attributed to another person or organization remain the copyrighted materials of the original author(s).

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The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2000 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author.

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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: