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Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

A Weekly Summary of Events and
Topics of Interest to Online Genealogists

Vol. 7 No. 12 – March 25, 2002

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

To learn about Ancestry.com’s
state-of-the-art online genealogy databases
and other fine products,
visit the company’s three Internet properties,
MyFamily.com, Ancestry.com, and RootsWeb.com

Past issues of this Newsletter
are available at:
http://www.ancestry.com/library/view/columns/eastman/eastman.asp

This weekly newsletter is available in both HTML and ASCII text editions. Details are available at: http://www.RootsForum.com/newsletter


Copyright© 2002 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:

- British Isles Vital Records Index on CD-ROM – Second Edition
- 1881 Canadian Census on CD-ROM
- Your Guide to the Federal Census
- The Family History Library on Video
- BLM Land Patent Records Are Back Online
- Free Content for Your Genealogy Newsletter/Web Site
- And More Free Content for Your Genealogy Newsletter/Web Site
- MyFamily.com Expands Growth
- Mormon Database Experts To Help FBI Track Terrorists
- A Painless Introduction To LINUX
- Home Pages Highlighted


- British Isles Vital Records Index on CD-ROM – Second Edition

Late in 1998, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) released a set of five CD-ROM data disks, called the "British Isles Vital Records Index." The set also included a sixth disk containing the necessary software. These disks contain nearly five million names from parish registers, civil registrations and other record collections in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The records on the index span more than three centuries, from 1538 to 1888. The CD set sold for $15.00 (U.S. funds). In the three-plus years since the release, this set of valuable genealogy records has become a "best seller" for the Family History Department of the Mormon Church.

In the original announcement written in 1998, the Mormon Church’s Family History Department wrote, "This vital records index will be an ongoing project which will also be updated periodically." Now the Department has lived up to that promise: a few days ago they released a "second edition" of these records. The new 2nd edition of British Vital Records contains 13 million records, compared to the previous edition’s five million. The new release also includes the latest version of Resource File Viewer software, which has numerous improvements over the 1998 edition. I had a chance to use the new Second Edition this week and am pleased with it.

These British Isles Vital Records Index disks are created from millions of hours of volunteer labor. Since 1978, thousands of Latter-day Saints volunteers and others have spent millions of hours carefully reading and examining microfilmed records. The volunteers "extract" from these original records the most necessary and useful information, such as names, dates, places, and family relationships. The resulting data is then indexed, and the end result is a set of CD-ROM disks that improve ease of access and save time for family history devotees.

Records that appear in this index generally contain names of the individuals, parents’ names, the date and place where the birth, christening or marriage took place, the name of a person's spouse, and reference information which allows you to locate the original record on a microfilm.

Names in this index have been standardized. This means that variant name spellings are listed under a common name. For example, Smyth, Smithe, Smeith, would all be indexed under the name Smith. This allows you to search a name without knowing the exact spelling. However, you are still able to search under the exact spelling of an individual's name if you wish.

The records that comprise the index are extracted records, which means that someone copied selected pieces of information from the original record. However, not all of the genealogically important information was extracted. Therefore, you should use the reference information provided in this index to locate the original record on microfilm and evaluate the original record yourself.

Index Limitations

Be aware that this is not a complete index. Your ancestor may not appear in this CD-ROM set even though you know that he or she lived in a time and place covered by the index. The Vital Records Index will continue to be updated, adding millions of new names with each update.

The British Isles, by definition, comprises the countries of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. This index includes records from all these places, except the Channel Islands. It includes names taken from records that date from as early as 1530 and as late as 1906. Time spans vary greatly from parish to parish. For one parish, the period 1538-1598 may be extracted, while another parish may only include the names from 1850 to 1875. It never contains all the records, simply those that have been found and indexed. Some areas have been extracted more heavily than others.

Installation of the required Resource File Viewer version 4.0 software was easy; I was looking at records within a few minutes after unwrapping the package. I generally look for my own surname first when using any new genealogy resource – which is exactly what I did three and a half years ago when I wrote a review of the First Edition of these records on CD-ROM. This year I entered my own last name, clicked on "Birth/Christening" records, and was soon looking at a long list of individuals. In fact, it was too long a list: 904 people. Three and a half years ago the same exercise produced a list of only 251 records. Obviously the number of records available in the Second Edition has increased dramatically: in my limited test it jumped from 251 to 904 records of the surname I am seeking!

Looking at 904 records was a bit overwhelming; so I backed up and narrowed the search down to only display those records for Wiltshire, the county where my ancestors reportedly originated. Again, a lengthy list appeared: 230 individuals (versus 56 individuals listed in the First Edition). I then backed up again and specified to search only those Eastman records for Downton, Wiltshire, a rather small village. To my surprise, 123 matches were displayed. I could have specified a first name and/or date range or even the names of the parents. However, I elected to simply scroll through the list of names. I quickly found the one I was looking for:

EASTMAN, Roger Christening
Gender: Male
Christening Date: 4 Apr 1610
Recorded in: Downton, Wiltshire, England
Father: Nicholas EASTMAN
Source: FHL Film 1279375
Dates: 1601 – 1904

This record is rather typical of those found in the British Isles Vital Records Index: the name of the individual, the type of event (this was for a christening), date, location, names of the parents (only the father is listed in this case) and a reference to where the original record may be found. In this case, Family History Library microfilm #1279375 has an image of the original record. To obtain all the details found on the original record, I can rent that microfilm for about three dollars at any local Family History Center. There are thousands of such centers around the world, including one that is about a 20-minute drive from where I live. Most urban areas in North America have one or more Family History Centers that are open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation.

In short, these CD-ROM disks are exactly what the name claims: an index. Like an index in the back of a book, it allows you to locate information quickly and easily. However, also like the book, you will always want to turn to the information cited in order to read all the details and to ensure that this is really the information that you want. The British Isles Vital Records Index itself is not the source of the information and should not be listed as a source. Instead, it is a pointer to the true source as recorded on microfilm.

While looking at the record I mentioned earlier, I clicked on the father’s name: Nicholas Eastman. My computer then showed me a list of all the men of that name available on the CD-ROM disks. I was able to find many of Roger Eastman’s siblings, as there were a number of christenings in the same village for babies with that surname, all showing the father’s name as Roger Eastman. Again, all referred to the same reel of microfilm, so I assume I can rent that one reel and find records on the entire family.

The above is only one small example of a search on the new British Isles Vital Records Index CD-ROM disks. There are 13 million more examples to be found, including marriage records as well as birth and christening records.

There are no death records listed, however, as the Mormon religion does not consider death to be as significant as some others would believe. The LDS religion apparently teaches that death is not the end of life. Rather, it is a transition from one state to another, a transition from life on earth to life in heaven. Members of the LDS Church therefore do not place as much significance on death dates as others would and often do not record those dates in their databases. The Vital Records Indexes focus solely on births, christenings, and marriage dates.

I found it impossible to simply copy-and-paste records using the normal Windows commands. However, I found that records from the Vital Records Indexes can be saved as a GEDCOM (GEnealogical Data COMmunication) file. Creating a GEDCOM file allows you to electronically copy records from the index to your own personal genealogy system, assuming that your program can read GEDCOM files (All the more popular modern genealogy programs have this capability.).

To create a GEDCOM file, all I had to do was display a record and then SAVE it, using commands on the toolbar. I could save up to 100 records at any time. When ready, I simply selected CREATE GEDCOM FILE from the toolbar again and followed the menus. The end result was a new file that I can import into most any modern genealogy program. That can save a lot of keystrokes!

The British Isles Vital Records Index software operates on Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, NT, or 2000. It will not operate on Windows 3.1. It probably will operate on Linux or on a Macintosh with a Windows emulator although that is not guaranteed and certainly is not supported by the CD-ROM’s producers. You will also need a modest amount of disk space and at least 8 megabytes of memory with 16 megabytes strongly recommended (probably more on Windows XP, NT, or 2000). You will also need a VGA monitor with a video card capable of producing 256 colors or more.

The British Isles Vital Records Index on CD-ROM – Second Edition is so new that it is not yet for sale on the FamilySearch Web site. However, I suspect it will appear there soon. The LDS Church has distribution centers in Utah, England, and many other locations around the world. Once the set becomes available, you can order it online and have it shipped from the distribution center nearest you. To order your own copy, keep an eye open at: http://www.familysearch.org/


- 1881 Canadian Census on CD-ROM

The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just announced that the 1881 Canadian Census records are now available. This set of 3 data CD-ROM disks contains 4.3 million records. A fourth disk included with the set contains the needed Windows software. The 1881 Canadian Census set of CD-ROM disks costs $11.00.

The new Canadian CD-ROM set was just announced this week. As I was finishing this week’s newsletter, the postal carrier delivered a set of the CD-ROMs to me. I expect to write a review of these new disks in next week’s newsletter. In the meantime, you can read more about these new CD-ROM disks or order them online at: http://www.ldscatalog.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=5195423&prmenbr=1402&CGRY_NUM=1440461&RowStart=436661&LocCode=FH.


- Your Guide to the Federal Census

This week I had a chance to read a new book written by Kathleen W. Hinckley: Your Guide to the Federal Census. This 288-page paperback is an excellent resource for both new and experienced genealogists. Hinckley divides the subject into small bites, each of which is easily digestible. While the subject can be dry and tedious for some, author Hinckley does a nice job of making every chapter light and easy to read. She does this while still describing the needed details, however. The book is also well illustrated with sample census records and other relevant documents. It also has numerous "side notes" that offer supplemental information and references.

Deciphering census data is not always easy. Your Guide to the Federal Census acts as a personal "research assistant". It examines the nuts and bolts of census records and the types of information available. It also reveals where to view the censuses online and off, and how to find most ancestors quickly. Your Guide to the Federal Census also covers the 1930 U.S. Census, which is to be released on April 1, 2002.

Here is a list of the chapters of this new book:

  1. Census Content
  2. History of the U.S. Federal Census
  3. Population Schedules
  4. Non-Population Schedules
  5. Census Media: Handwritten to Electronic
  6. Where to Find Census Records
  7. Census Finding Aids and Indexes
  8. Get Organized
  9. Research Strategies
  10. Research Special Populations
  11. Census Anomalies
  12. Other Census Records

These twelve chapters are followed by:

  • Appendix A: National Archives and Its Regional Facilities
  • Appendix B: Census Maps and Questions
  • Appendix C: Abbreviations
  • Appendix D: The Census on the Internet
  • Appendix E: Bibliography
  • Index

I rather enjoyed reading the "Census Anomalies" chapter that lists unusual items recorded by the census enumerators. One that especially caught my eye was the one forwarded to the author by Dawne Slater-Putt, C.G., M.L.S. of Wake Forest, North Carolina:

From the household listing for the Daniel Nestle household, 1860 census, Allen County, Indiana, Wayne Township, page 785; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 243:

Charles Nestle, age 14. [Also Known As] Tom Thumb. Of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Weighs 23 pounds, 29 inches high and speaks German, French and English; born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

This diminutive 14-year-old apparently is the same Tom Thumb who later became famous after his partnership with P.T. Barnum. He must have intrigued the enumerator (census taker) so much that he recorded extra information on the census form, much more than what was required. This is but one of a number of interesting listings in the "Census Anomalies" chapter.

Kathleen W. Hinckley is well qualified to write this book. She is a Certified Genealogical Records Specialist, Executive Director of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and trustee for the Board of Certification of Genealogists. She is also a regular columnist for Genealogy.com and author of Locating Lost Family Members & Friends from Betterway Books.

Your Guide to the Federal Census is published by Betterway Books and sells for a list price $21.99. It may be ordered from most bookstores if you specify ISBN 1-55870-588-0. To read more about this book, or to safely order it online via Betterway Books’ secure Web server, go to: http://www.familytreemagazine.com/store/display.asp?id=70525


- The Family History Library on Video

The Studio has released still another video in their series of genealogy instructional videotapes. The Video Guide to the Salt Lake City Family History Library features Jim and Paula Stuart Warren. This couple has been visiting the Library for many years and wrote a book about the Library that I reviewed in the December 5, 2001 edition of this newsletter. My review of their book is available at: http://www.ancestry.com/library/view/columns/eastman/4966.asp

Jim and Paula live in Minnesota. However, they have visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City many, many times. They have an excellent "visitors’ view" of the Family History Library and other sites of interest in the area. As a result, they are experienced and able to give advice to other visitors, often mentioning things that local Salt Lake City residents might not think about.

Jim and Paula start the videotape by giving an orientation to the Family History Library. They describe the areas where the records are stored as well as the computer workstations, microfilm viewers, bulletin board areas, and the facilities for physically handicapped visitors. They even give directions to the location of the ATM machine on the first floor for those who need money for all those extra photocopies they had not planned on making that day. They also describe the recent renovations made at the Library, useful information for a returning visitor who has not been there for a while.

The videotape continues for more than an hour, describing the facility and demonstrating how to find the records you seek. They describe the use of the available microfilms, books, and computer workstations. They even show how to use the Library’s high-tech photocopiers that use prepaid cards. Unlike a few years ago, Library patrons no longer need to carry a bucket of coins into the Library!

Jim and Paula interject a lot of humor into their instruction and suggestions. One humorous story that Jim relates is his description of a gentleman at a nearby microfilm viewer shortly after lunch. Apparently the fellow had a full lunch and perhaps not enough sleep the night before. Jim eventually noticed that the gentleman apparently had fallen asleep; his forehead was pressed against the top of the viewer so that he hadn’t slumped over. His finger was still on the switch of the electric reel motor in such a manner that the microfilm was still slowly scrolling by his closed eyes. As Jim suggested, I would hate to think that the one existent record of his long-lost great-great-grandfather scrolled by while the man’s eyes were closed! Jim’s advice? Have frequent breaks and a light lunch!

Near the end of this 75-minute videotape, Jim and Paula tell about other facilities in the area with which genealogists will want to become familiar. They describe the Family Search Center located in the Joseph Smith Building. They also describe the nearby hotels, restaurants and shopping centers. They even give information about Salt Lake City’s light rail system that makes it easy to visit other areas of the city or to stay in a hotel in the suburbs, commuting in daily. All of this is valuable information to the visiting genealogist.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City averages 2,400 visitors each day, many of whom have spent a significant amount of money to travel long distances. If you are one of the people planning such a visit, I’d suggest that you prepare well in advance in order to maximize your time in the Library. The Video Guide to the Salt Lake City Family History Library with Jim and Paula Stuart Warren can be a big help in your planning efforts.

The Video Guide to the Salt Lake City Family History Library is available directly from The Studio and sells for $15.95 plus postage. For more information or to order this video via a safe and secure online Web server, go to: http://www.123genealogy.com/dbstore/shopping/product_details.php?id=49

For more information about the many activities of Jim and Paula Stuart Warren, including their books, audio tapes, and lecture schedule, look at: http://www.warrenresearch.com


- BLM Land Patent Records Are Back Online

 

Three months ago I wrote an article in this newsletter with the title of "Bureau of Land Management Computers Knocked Offline By Judge." In that article I described orders issued by U.S. District Judge Royce to Secretary of Interior Gale Norton. Judge Royce ordered Secretary Norton to "immediately" disconnect from the Internet every single computer, server, and system that has access to individual Indian trust data. The following day, many of the government’s Web servers, including several containing genealogically valuable information, were disconnected from the Internet. You can read the article I wrote at: http://www.ancestry.com/library/view/columns/eastman/5102.asp

The databases are being purged of sensitive data and are now re-appearing online. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land Patent site is now back in business with a new look but same address: http://www.glorecords.blm.gov

My thanks to Jo Russell for telling me about the reappearance of this valuable Web site.


- Free Content for Your Genealogy Newsletter/Web Site

Do you write a newsletter or maintain a Web site for your genealogy society or family society? Finding suitable content can be quite a challenge. Trust me, I know about that problem!

There is a new source of assistance for you, a sort of mini-"Associated Press" just for genealogy. These news stories move "over the wire" via e-mail directly to you. Best of all, you may use the articles in your genealogy newsletter or Web site at no charge. All of this is thanks to the editors of Family Tree Magazine.

Quoting from the Family Tree News Service’s Web page:

The Family Tree News Service is a wire service just like the Associated Press or Reuters, except that its articles are genealogy-related and you can use it for free in your family history publication or Web site. Each week, the editors of Family Tree Magazine will e-mail you the latest news, top resources, exclusive book excerpts and expert tips for family historians, and you can pick and choose what you'd like to use!

This sounds like a great service. You can find out more at: http://www.familytreemagazine.com/ftns-subscribe.asp


- And More Free Content for Your Genealogy Newsletter/Web Site

After writing the previous article, I thought I would remind you that you may also place information from my newsletter into your non-profit genealogy newsletter or Web site. The following words apply to every issue of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter:

You are hereby granted rights, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute articles from this newsletter to other parties provided:

    1. You do so strictly for non-commercial purposes
    2. Your re-distribution is limited to one or two articles per newsletter; do not re-distribute the newsletter in its entirety
    3. You may not republish any articles containing words attributed to another person or organization until you obtain permission from that person or organization. While you do have permission to republish words written by Richard W. Eastman, you do not have automatic authority to republish words written by others, even if their words appear in this newsletter.

Also, please include the following statement with any articles you re-distribute:

      The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2002 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author.

Thank you for your cooperation.


- MyFamily.com Expands Growth

MyFamily.com owns and operates a number of genealogy-related Web sites, including Ancestry.com and RootsWeb.com. The company also sponsors this newsletter. Unlike many other "dot-com" companies these days, MyFamily.com seems to be enjoying a great deal of growth. Here is a recent announcement from MyFamily.com:

PROVO, Utah, March 21 -- MyFamily.com, the leading company connecting families with their histories and one another, announced today that its fee-based services offered through Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com have surpassed 600,000 paid subscriptions. This achievement comes just 100 days after reaching the half-million mark in December 2001. With this milestone MyFamily.com continues to be one of the most successful, fastest growing paid subscription services on the Web.

Recent market trends reveal a sudden rise in online subscription models. Many companies have entered the market with varying degrees of success. As one of the largest online subscription businesses, MyFamily.com has emerged as an early leader in the market. MyFamily.com's rapidly growing paid subscription base continues to demonstrate that consumers will pay for highly valued, proprietary content that saves them time, saves them money, and gives them peace of mind.

"It's exciting to be at the forefront of the rapidly growing industry of online subscription services. We have emerged as a leader very early in a space that is going to experience explosive growth over the next decade," says Tom Stockham, CEO and President of MyFamily.com, Inc. "We will continue to focus on providing our users with the best and most valuable resources for connecting families. With unmatched service and content, we believe our subscription numbers will continue to grow at this accelerating rate."

Family history research, the second largest hobby in the United States, attracts over 5 million unique visitors to the MyFamily.com network of websites each month. Both free and premium subscription content is available with nearly half of the content offered free to all site visitors. Online data subscriptions are the core business of the company, accounting for over 80% of its total revenue.

About MyFamily.com, Inc.

MyFamily.com, Inc. is the leading company connecting families with their histories, origins and one another. As a next generation media company, MyFamily.com is among the largest online subscription businesses with over 600,000 paid subscriptions. The company offers both free and premium paid subscription services to its network of Internet properties, which include: Ancestry.com, the number one source for tracing family history online; RootsWeb.com, the oldest and largest online genealogy community; and MyFamily.com, the foremost provider of private family web sites. The Company also publishes Ancestry Magazine, Genealogical Computing Magazine, over 50 book titles, and databases on CD-ROM.


- Mormon Database Experts To Help FBI Track Terrorists

The FBI is consulting LDS Church computer experts who manage the huge genealogy databases to help rebuild the bureau's outdated information system. Officials say repeated failures by the FBI system have hindered some of the bureau's most important investigations in recent years, including the probe into the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"The FBI's troubled information management systems are likely to have a continuing negative impact on its ability to properly investigate crimes," says Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine. "The FBI has both a paper and an electronic management system in place, neither of which is reliable."

The FBI has begun addressing its problems in managing and analyzing the mass of information it gathers in investigations. As part of that effort, Mormon officials are providing advice for developing name-recognition programs that would assist authorities in finding and tracking suspects.

There are more details available in a very interesting story about this in the March 22, 2002 edition of the Salt Lake Tribune, available at: http://www.sltrib.com/03222002/nation_w/721638.htm

My thanks to Chad Milliner for letting me know about the article.


- A Painless Introduction To LINUX

I have written a couple of times about LINUX, the free operating system that is starting to take some business away from Microsoft Windows, especially in the server market. LINUX also makes for a very good desktop operating system although its "market share" is still a tiny fraction of that of Windows. I now have a LINUX system on my desktop alongside my Windows systems. I find that I am using LINUX more and more every day, simultaneously using Windows less and less.

Linux has many excellent free programs, including Web browsers, e-mail, games, word processors, spreadsheets and much, much more. The only thing I find missing in LINUX is a good genealogy program that is the equal of the leading Windows genealogy programs of today. I solved that with Win4Lin, a Windows emulator; I can now run Windows programs on my Linux system whenever I wish. See my article at http://www.ancestry.com/library/view/columns/eastman/4871.asp for a description of Win4Lin.

LINUX is not only free, but it is also a lot more stable than the Microsoft products. I have never had my LINUX system lock up, something that cannot be said for Microsoft Windows. LINUX also runs faster than Windows on the same hardware, assuming everything else is the same.

If you are thinking about trying LINUX but don’t have a spare PC you can dedicate for the purpose, you could divide your hard disk into two partitions and then "dual boot" the PC. That is, when your PC is turned on and booted, a menu appears, asking which operating system you want to run: Windows or LINUX. However, installing a dual boot of two operating systems involves some technical knowledge and also a significant commitment that you really want to perform surgery on your computer’s hard drive. That’s difficult to justify if you simply want to take LINUX on a "trial run" for a bit. Luckily, there is a simpler method.

DemoLINUX is a LINUX release from France. As its name suggests, DemoLINUX is designed to be a demonstration of LINUX. It is a great way to try out LINUX for a while without making any changes to your hard drive’s configuration.

DemoLINUX is a complete LINUX implementation that is booted directly from a CD-ROM disk. The concept is simple; you boot from the CD and then try out hundreds of applications installed on the CD, ranging from simple games to the full-featured Star Office 5.2 suite. You can still access your PC’s hard drive to look at data files or whatever else you wish, but no LINUX-specific files are ever written to your hard drive. When finished, you simply log off LINUX, remove the CD-ROM disk, and then boot Windows in the normal manner. If you decide that LINUX isn’t for you, you can return to normal Windows operation with your unaltered PC at any time. The only drawback is that running any operating system from a CD-ROM results in slower operation than running the same thing from a hard drive.

Quoting from the DemoLINUX Web site: "The site is dedicated to the production of CD-ROMs (the DemoLINUX CDs) that allow to run Linux without installation, disk partitioning and other hassles that usually prevent people from giving Linux a try. [...] We wanted to make it possible to everybody to look at what Linux can offer, and to make it possible for software publishers wanting to show their Linux-based software to distribute a no hassle hands-off demo CD. But this kind of CD makes also a wonderful Linux-to-go solution you might carry your favorite desktop configuration in your pocket, sit in front of a non-Linux box, boot from the CD and be in front of your preferred environment in minutes." (Keep in mind that those words were apparently written by someone who is not a native English speaker so we might excuse the minor grammar errors.)

Like the other versions of LINUX, DemoLINUX is free. You can download it online. However, you will need access to a CD-ROM writer to create the DemoLINUX CD-ROM boot disk. You also will probably want to use a cable modem or DSL connection to download the 650 megabytes of files required. If you do not have access to these items, you may tap a friend with the capability to download the files and to burn them onto a CD-ROM disk. If not, you can probably obtain a copy of DemoLINUX for a few dollars from a local LINUX users group near you. DemoLINUX also requires at least 32 megabytes of RAM memory for simple graphics interfaces, 64 megabytes for advanced graphics interfaces, or 128 megabytes if you wish to use StarOffice (a free competitor to Microsoft Office).

I tried booting the DemoLINUX CD on five different PCs. It worked well on all of them except for recognizing some network cards. DemoLINUX only found the network cards on two of my computers and then still would not function properly on one of those. I was only able to connect to my local area network on one of the five PCs that I tried. If you do not have a network card in your PC then obviously this would not be an issue for you. DemoLINUX also could not find the sound card on one PC. Everything else seemed to work properly on all five systems. I was able to run all of the non-network dependent programs on all five computers. Even with these drawbacks, DemoLINUX is a great way to take LINUX for a "test drive" without altering your PC’s hard drive. If you decide you like LINUX and want to stay with it, you probably will throw away your DemoLINUX CD-ROM disk and then obtain one of the more common LINUX distributions. If you already are a dyed-in-the-wool LINUX aficionado, you can carry a DemoLINUX CD-ROM disk with you when traveling and use it to boot from someone else’s Windows PC. That way you can access your e-mail and run other LINUX programs while on the road.

For more information, or to download DemoLINUX at no charge, look at: http://www.demolinux.org


- Home Pages Highlighted

The "Home Pages Highlighted" section consists of new genealogy-related home pages that you, the readers of this newsletter, nominate for publication in this newsletter. While anyone may nominate any genealogy-related home page, the process seems to work best when the webmaster for a home page nominates his or her own work. Nominations are now done online at http://www.rootsforum.com. I will review the nominations and then will list the better ones in this newsletter. If you have recently created a new genealogy-related Web page of some sort, I would strongly suggest that you enter it at http://www.rootsforum.com. You may later see your home page listed in this newsletter, which is read by 40,000 or so avid genealogists.

The following is a list of some of the genealogy-related World Wide Web home pages that have recently been listed by newsletter readers at http://www.rootsforum.com:

Sea Island History project - Sea Island, British Columbia, Canada is in the City of Richmond, B.C. (it is the current site for the Vancouver International Airport - YVR). This group is preparing a non-profit history book for publication in 2004 and would like current and former residents and workers to sign the guestbook at: http://seaisland1.homestead.com/index.html

Speaking Leaves: Where Family Trees Find Voice is an online collection of literary and visual artwork by and about ancestors. We are accepting submissions of poetry, short stories, family histories, anecdotes, letters, essays, and visual artwork. We welcome submissions by children and young adults: http://www.speakingleaves.org

The genealogy of the Kloosterman family from Zeeland, the Netherlands from 1550-2000 and emigrants to America: http://members.rott.chello.nl/c.kloosterman/index.html

The Mirvis Research Group consisting of about 100 Jewish researchers worldwide. Objective: To find links among our 50 Mirvis family trees, all originating in central Lithuania. Many links have already been found. Persons researching Mervis/Mirvis/Mirwis/Mirviss/Mirwitch/etc. are invited to write and to join MRG to further their family research: http://www.esra.org.il/mirvis/

The New England and Canadian ancestors of Fred Warren and Mary L.Bilodeau. This site contains about 35.000 names, including Valley, Ferland, Ratte, Ruel, Lacasse, Guilmette, Patoinne, Barr, Mullen, Cornwall, Titus, McDormand, Jellison, Pierce, Ricker, Davis, Gage, and Downs. Also a connection to the Descendents of Nicholas Jellison and Barabara Green. http://www.warrenclan.org

Ireland Genealogy Projects (IGP ) offers free genealogy information for the thirty two counties of Ireland. IGP has county websites for adoption by an interested County Coordinators: http://irelandgenealogyprojects.rootsweb.com

Information regarding the City of Cleveland (owned) Cemeteries, where to write for cemetery records, research hours, cemetery gate hours, biographical sketches, how to obtain a photograph of a headstone and where to write for Cuyahoga County documents: http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohclecem

To submit your genealogy page to this newsletter, enter the necessary information at: http://www.rootsforum.com. 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.


If you would like to submit news, information or press releases for possible inclusion in future newsletters, send them to richard@eastman.net. 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.


COPYRIGHTS: The contents of this newsletter are copyright by Richard W. Eastman with the following exception:

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).

You are hereby granted rights, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute articles from this newsletter to other parties provided:

    1. You do so strictly for non-commercial purposes
    2. Your re-distribution is limited to one or two articles per newsletter; do not re-distribute the newsletter in its entirety
    3. You may not republish any articles containing words attributed to another person or organization until you obtain permission from that person or organization. While you do have permission to republish words written by Richard W. Eastman, you do not have automatic authority to republish words written by others, even if their words appear in this newsletter.

Also, please include the following statement with any articles you re-distribute:

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2002 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author.

Thank you for your cooperation.


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: richard@eastman.net. Due to the volume of e-mail received, he is unable to answer every e-mail message received.


Subscription information: This newsletter is sent to you free of charge.  The easiest method to subscribe or unsubscribe is via the Web. Go to: http://www.rootsforum.com