Fast & reliable dial-up Internet access!

Do not reply to this message. To unsubscribe, send an email to: or go to:

This message was sent to: ##L@##H.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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

Vol. 7 No. 38 – September 23, 2002

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

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

Past issues of this Newsletter are available at:

Please feel free to forward copies of this newsletter to other genealogists.

Copyright© 2002 by Richard W. Eastman. All rights reserved.

This newsletter is available in both HTML and ASCII text versions. Most subscribes prefer the HTML version. You can switch to the other format at:

Do you want to change your address? Are you receiving duplicate issues or in the wrong format? Do you have another problem with the newsletter? Answers are available at:


- Create Your Own Web Domain
- Offers U.K. 1891 Census Images
- Online Genealogy Classes at
- October Is Family History Month
- Mic Barnette’s Column Needs Your Support
- Descendants of Saratoga Soldiers Sought
- The New World of DNA Genealogy
- Third Congres Mondial Acadien in Nova Scotia in 2004
- Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes
- Bush Is Related to Churchill and Lady Diana
- How Many Ancestors Do You Have?
- A Linux Version for Windows Users

- Create Your Own Web Domain

Genealogy is one of the most popular topics on the Web, according to Time Magazine and many others. There are literally millions of Web pages devoted to the topic. However, most of these pages are buried in personal home pages with Web addresses not related to the titles of the pages. Hundreds of thousands of genealogy pages are hosted by AOL, GeoCities, Angelfire, and other non-genealogy-related services. These services often have long URLs (addresses) that are almost impossible to memorize. Even worse, most of these providers insert their own obnoxious pop-up ads on your Web pages.

A better solution is to have your genealogy pages hosted by RootsWeb or some other genealogy-related provider. While the URLs may still be lengthy, you typically are dealing with a provider who knows and understands genealogy. That provider’s home page normally has menus and a search mechanism that allows visitors to quickly locate your pages. Most of the genealogy-oriented providers do insert advertising on your personal pages, but the ads typically are not as obnoxious as the ones seen on the non-genealogy providers.

However, are you aware that you can easily obtain your own domain name? For instance, if you want to have a Web site about the Eastman family tree, you could have or or any other domain name that has not yet been registered by someone else. Family societies can enjoy their own domain names, such as There is a big advantage in that URLs like these are easily memorized. Best of all, there will be no ads on these pages unless you place them there.

You will need to find a place to host your Web pages. You could host them on your own server, connected to the Internet via a high-speed line that you pay for. However, that is not cost-effective for individuals. Today you can find hundreds of Web hosting services that will gladly host your Web pages for a modest monthly fee. These companies are really "server farms" that let you rent some of their professionally maintained disk space. They provide all the hardware and hosting software, the connectivity to the Internet, backup services, on-site staff, and so on. Many of the top-ranked hosting services offer redundant high-speed servers and routers, multiple redundant T3 or faster connections to the Internet, on-site emergency electrical generators, 24/7 staffing, and other functions that could be difficult for the less technical individual.

Basic services also usually include a half dozen or so e-mail accounts, so you can have personalized e-mail addresses in the form of, such as or something similar. Having your own personalized e-mail address has several advantages. First of all, it is easily memorized. Most people can remember my e-mail address: It would be much harder to remember or some similar address. Next, you are no longer dependent upon your local Internet service provider for e-mail. You can later switch Internet providers while keeping the same e-mail address.

In fact, most of these hosting services provide everything you need for your Web site except the actual content of your pages. Best of all, the domain name can be one of your choosing. Your site looks and feels exactly the same as it would if you hosted it on your own private server with its own dedicated Web connections.

The expenses involved for all this might be quite a bit lower than you expect. You can find hundreds of Web hosting services, and the competition has become fierce. That's good for you, because they all offer basic packages that start at as little as $4.95 a month and range up to about $20 per month. For about $8.00 a month you typically receive about 20 megabytes of disk storage to house your pages and 1 gigabyte of data transfer to deliver the pages to viewers each month. That's a lot. You could transmit a 50-kilobyte home page 20,000 times a month before exceeding the 1-gigabyte limit. Most personal genealogy sites will generate far less traffic than that. If you do need more, most hosting services let you buy more disk space or data transfer allocation.

Setting up a site through a Web hosting service can be amazingly fast. I have created several, such as and Each one was up and running within a few hours. However, it does take a few days for information about the new address to propagate to address servers around the world, so you need to allow a few days before pointing others to your new Web pages.

There are many ways to find a hosting service. You can read magazine ads or look at or or or use your favorite search engine to search for "hosting services."

Next, you will have to register the domain name with a domain name registrar. Prices for domain name registration are in addition to the charges of the hosting service. Prices vary from $8.95 a year from GoDaddy at to $35.00 a year with a 2-year minimum at Network Solutions, In theory, you can use any domain name registrar with any hosting service. However, most hosting services have a "preferred domain registrar." The set-up procedures are generally easier when you use the preferred domain registrar. When checking prices on hosting services, you might want to check out preferred registrar’s prices before signing up for either company’s services.

Which hosting company should you select? First of all, the company does not need to be near you. Everything is done on the Web, so geography doesn't count. The hosting service can easily be in another state or on another continent. You can surf the Web to find just the right combination of price and features.

Things to look for include:

The number of sites hosted: Tiny providers might offer hosting as a sideline business. You probably want a provider with lots of customers -- a sign that its primary business is hosting Web sites.

The Web creation/management tools supported: Are you a Microsoft FrontPage fanatic? Whatever the tool of your choice, make sure your provider supports it.

Redundancy in Internet connections, servers, emergency power generators, and so forth: You want assurance that if any key part goes down, your bits can still get through.

You, too, can own your own domain name and host as many pages as you want in any format that you want. You can do so easily for only a few dollars per month.

Next week I will describe a method of obtaining your own unique domain name but having your pages hosted on one of the free hosting services, such as AOL, GeoCities, or Angelfire. In fact, the free service won’t even know that your domain name points to their service.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Offers U.K. 1891 Census Images, Inc., the sponsors of this newsletter, this week announced the Launch of the 1891 U.K. Census Online. This service is being offered by the company’s new subsidiary, Here is the complete announcement:

LONDON, Sep. 18 -- Inc., the leading network for connecting families, today announced the launch of the 1891 census online. Beginning today, the first images of original 1891 census returns are available online at, a new website designed specifically for people interested in researching their ancestry and family history in the United Kingdom.

In addition, today announced the launch of an immense project to make available online, indexed, digitized images of census returns for England and Wales from 1841 through 1891. has signed a license agreement with the Public Record Office (PRO) to publish these records online. The monumental task involves digitizing more than 7 million original census return images and indexing more than 130 million names.

" is the global leader in family history information. It is our mission to connect and strengthen families by helping people worldwide discover, preserve, and share their family histories," said President and CEO, Tom Stockham. "We want to make it possible for everyone to access information on their ancestors, and gain insight into the social and economic conditions that shaped their families. Publishing the census returns for England and Wales is a big step toward realizing our goal."

As a first step in this immense project, beginning 18 September 2002, 1891 census images and an index for the county of Oxfordshire will be available online at Visitors will be able to browse through images of the original census returns and search an every-name index, containing information on more than 20,000 individuals living in Oxfordshire in 1891. All of the 1891 Census returns for England and Wales will soon be available electronically to users in the UK and worldwide. will publish additional images weekly, bringing millions of images to the site throughout the coming months. Upon completion, the collection will be fully indexed, searchable by name, county, and parish with search results linking directly to images.

The census returns contain details of every person living in England and Wales at the time of each of the censuses. These records offer a wealth of information on individuals including occupation, place of birth, language spoken and whether they suffered from certain medical disabilities. The census returns for England and Wales were compiled using the same system of registration that was used for the registration of births, marriages and deaths. This means that there is a direct link between the two most important 19th-century sources for family historians.

"We welcome moves to put more of the UK's public records online to reach a wider audience worldwide," said Anne Kilminster, Head of Enterprises at the Public Record Office. "We wish every success with this project." Beyond the unveiling of the 1891 census online, debuts with millions of names extracted from sources such as immigration, parish, birth, marriage and death records from throughout the region, making it among the largest online record collections for the UK. Additional record collections available at include:

    • England and Wales Civil Registration Index -- A free database containing information on more than 30 million individuals. This database is the product of thousands of volunteers who are transcribing the indexes of the required registration of births, marriages, and deaths in England and Wales from 1837 through 1901.
    • United Kingdom and Ireland Parish and Probate Records – Over 15 million baptism, marriage, probate, and burial names from historical parish registers in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland from 1538 through 1837.
    • Pallot Marriage and Baptism Indexes -- An exclusive 4-million name collection identifies the Parish in which a marriage or baptism was celebrated, the names of the participants and the date of the event. An image of the original record is also available to view online.
    • Irish Immigrants: New York Port Arrivals Index -- An index of more than 600,000 individuals catalogues the immigration of the Irish during the Potato Famine of 1846-51 through passenger lists and other immigration documents.

Approximately half of the records are offered free to all site visitors. Unlimited access to the complete collection is available to subscribers for 69.95 euro as an annual subscription or 29.95 euro as a quarterly subscription.

To begin your journey to the past, type in

About, Inc., Inc. is among the largest online subscription businesses, with over 800,000 paid subscriptions and more that 7.5 million people using its Web resources every month. A next-generation media company, MyFamily is focused on connecting families with their histories and one another. The company provides both free and paid subscription services through its network of Internet properties, which include:, the number one source for tracing family history online;, the oldest and largest genealogy community online;, the foremost provider of private family websites; and, a leading online source for family history records from the United Kingdom. The company also publishes Ancestry magazine, Genealogical Computing magazine, Ancestry Family Tree software, over 50 book titles, and databases on CD-ROM.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Online Genealogy Classes at

In other news from, the company’s division offers excellent online genealogy courses. Each class includes four weeks of lessons and interaction with a genealogy expert plus a 30-day subscription to That access includes more than 1 billion names and online census images. The lessons include tips and advice on how to find ancestors online.

Some of the classes may already have started by the time you read these words. However, most will be starting within the next 2 or 3 weeks. The online courses include:

Sept 18, 2002 - Scottish Research. Learn how to research your Scottish ancestry with Janet Reakes, Australia's most accredited genealogist. Janet will teach genealogy basics and will also cover the following topics: Sassine records, Surname databases & Clan Societies, Scottish Civil Registration Districts, Gretna Green and Border Marriages and much more.

Oct 7, 2002 - English Family Trees. Learn how to research your English ancestry with Janet Reakes, Australia's most accredited genealogist. Janet will teach genealogy basics and will also cover the following topics: English parish records, unique surname spellings, church records, lost records and more.

Sept 20, 2002 - Beginning Genealogy Computer Class. Learn how to use your computer to expand your family history horizons. Learn about online etiquette, genealogy software, finding your ancestors on the Internet, advanced search techniques on, and more! Taught by Georgeann Malowney.

Sept 23, 2002 - How to use Ancestry Family Tree. Learn how to get the most out of your experience using Ancestry Family Tree. Learn how to add information to your family tree, how to find the best search results, how to add photos, how to publish your family tree online, and much more. Taught by Janet Reakes.

Sept 26, 2002 - Every Picture Tells a Story. Learn new techniques for sharing your family history data, preserving photographs and documents, and getting past your genealogy brick walls! Create family history booklets! This course is for people who have already taken Georgeann Malowney's Beginning Computer Genealogy Training Class or are comfortable with using their computers for genealogy research. Taught by Georgeann Malowney.

Oct 17, 2002 - German Genealogy Research Class. FINDING FERDINAND: This is a wonderful class on how to research your German ancestors. You will learn how to identify key words and phrases in German, to search, find and interpret the different types of German Records and so much more! Taught by Adele Marcum.

Sept 19, 2002 - World Census Records Class. This course will help you to research your ancestors through the census records all over the world. Come and discover what census records are available and for what years. You will find out about the different types of census records, mortality, veterans, slave schedules, Native American, census substitutes and so much more! Taught by Janet Reakes.

Each class costs $29.95. You can learn more at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- October Is Family History Month

Last year, Senator Orrin Hatch sponsored a bill that proclaimed October 2001 as Family History Month (see my article at for details). All of us owe a lot of thanks to Jo Russell, Jeannie Rogers, Rusty Perry, and many others who labored to make this happen. Since then, many genealogists have worked hard to have every October declared as Family History Month in many state legislatures.

An Internet mailing list relating to Family History Month has been established for those people interested in discussing the topic and sharing information on the topic. You can browse the messages on that mailing list at: You can also subscribe to the mailing list at the same address.

You can read a lot more about planning your own Family History Month activities in Juliana Smith's article, "Planning for Family History Month," at: and in George Morgan’s "Five Projects for Family History Month" at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Mic Barnette’s Column Needs Your Support

Mic Barnette is a genealogy expert, bookstore owner, and columnist in Houston, Texas. He has written a popular weekly genealogy column in the Houston Chronicle newspaper since May 1994. I suspect that almost everyone in the Houston area with even a slight interest in genealogy reads Mic’s column. Many people in other locations also read the column on the Web.

Now the Houston Chronicle has reduced the column to once a month and is publishing it in a new monthly "Plus 50" section that does not circulate outside the city proper. Genealogists are protesting at the reduction of this valuable resource. The Houston genealogical community is organizing. The Houston Genealogical Forum has launched a writing and calling campaign to the Chronicle to keep the column published on a weekly schedule. The campaign also requests that Mic Barnette’s column be placed in a section of the newspaper that goes outside the neighborhoods of downtown Houston, where it would be readable to anyone who purchases a Chronicle anywhere.

You can also help, even if you are not a Houston-area resident. The Houston Genealogical Forum has placed a notice on their website with names and addresses of people to contact. The site is located at: I would like to ask every reader of this newsletter to read that Web page. If you agree with the Houston Genealogical Forum’s proposal, please add your name, e-mail address, and comments to the form at the bottom of that Web page and then click on "submit." I did that earlier this week and would strongly encourage you to do the same.

By the way, you can also read Mic Barnette’s excellent genealogy columns online at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Descendants of Saratoga Soldiers Sought

The Victory at Saratoga Committee is seeking the names and addresses of living descendants of soldiers who fought at the Battles of Saratoga in September and October of 1777. These individuals will lead the citizens surrender march from the Saratoga monument to Fort Hardy Park on Saturday, October 19, in commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the battles of Saratoga.

On October 17, 1777, British General Burgoyne surrendered to the American General Gates in Schuylerville. Over 6,000 British and German soldiers marched out of the camps located through out the village to Fort Hardy, where they stacked their guns. The surrendering troops were then marched through the American Lines and past the 20,000 patriot soldiers amassed after the two Battles of Saratoga. This was the first time that a British Army had surrendered in over 200 years and was the first large-scale victory for the Americans in the Revolution. In addition, this "turning point" proved to the French that the Americans could fight. Within months, the French came to the Americans’ aid with badly needed supplies and weapons, troops, and the French Navy.

The program this fall at Fort Hardy Park will be a recreation of the famous "Surrender of General Burgoyne" painting by John Trumbull, which hangs in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capital. Members of the Schuylerville community will portray the depicted American and British officers. The living tableau harkens back to earlier surrender commemorations of 1877 and 1927. A patriotic fireworks display will conclude the 225th anniversary celebration.

Please send names, addresses, and phone numbers of descendants of these soldiers to: Pat Peck, 178 Wagman’s Ridge, Saratoga Springs NY 12866. Telephone: 518-584-4129. E-mail

For a list of activities during the next month, visit the 225th Anniversary of the Surrender of Burgoyne, look at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- The New World of DNA Genealogy

DNA continues to revolutionize genealogy research. MSNBC reporter Alan Boyle has written about his efforts to prove his relationship to a number of people in Ireland and Australia. All of them could document their descent from Boyle and O’Boyle families in the same small village in Ireland, so they assumed that they were related. In fact, DNA analysis proved otherwise.

This is an interesting article about DNA analysis becoming an important new tool in a genealogist’s "toolbox." DNA often can prove and/or disprove relationships. You can read the article online at:

My thanks to Gay Spencer for letting me know about this interesting article.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Third Congres Mondial Acadien in Nova Scotia in 2004

When the French arrived on the shores of present-day Nova Scotia in 1604 with hopes of establishing a permanent colony, they could not imagine that their heroic deeds would be celebrated with such grandeur four centuries later.

This international gathering of Acadians in Nova Scotia in 2004 marks the third celebration of its kind. New Brunswick and Louisiana each hosted a similar event in 1994 and 1999 respectively. These world-class meetings reunited and linked Acadians internationally, regardless of distance, time, or present-day location, a feat which will be repeated in 2004.

In 1755, a decision by British governors to remove an entire ethnic population -- the French-speaking Acadians -- from the colony of Nova Scotia had consequences that resonated for generations. It is believed about 11,000 Acadians were deported from what are now the Maritimes between 1755 and 1758. It's estimated another 3,000 hid in the forests of Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Others sailed south to Louisiana where, over the centuries, they lost their language and much of their culture in the huge U.S. melting pot. Today there are about 245,000 francophones, most of them Acadians, in New Brunswick, with another 34,000 Acadians in Nova Scotia and 5,500 in Prince Edward Island.

Most of the family names of the Acadian settlers are known from historical documents. Many of these names continue in today¹s Maritime Acadian communities, dramatically illustrating a people's survival. Acadian names also survive in areas such as Louisiana, New England, France, and Quebec.

The following link contains a list of families who are currently preparing a reunion for Congrès Mondial Acadien 2004: Note that the Web page is in PDF format and requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.

For more information about Congrès Mondial Acadien 2004, visit:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes

This week I had a chance to look at a book released earlier this year, entitled "Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes - Southeastern Indians Prior to Removal." The book gives a lot of information about tracing Native American genealogy in the American Southeast, especially those with links to the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. Collectively, those tribes are referred to as the "Five Civilized Tribes."

Many people have heard family stories about Cherokee ancestry or perhaps ancestors who belonged to other nearby tribes. However, converting family traditions into documented facts can be difficult for the genealogist with little experience in American Indian research. This book tells where to find the records and also offers a lot of advice to the newcomer.

The Cherokee nation had long called western Georgia home. The Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes lived nearby. In 1828 gold was discovered in the northern Georgia mountains and the land the Indians claimed suddenly became valuable.

In 1830 the Congress of the United States passed the "Indian Removal Act." Although many Americans were against the act, most notably Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett, it passed anyway. President Jackson quickly signed the bill into law. The Cherokees attempted to fight removal legally by challenging the removal laws in the Supreme Court and by establishing an independent Cherokee Nation. After eight years of legal wrangling, the United States government finally ordered the removal of the Indians to Oklahoma in 1838.

The U.S. Army sent a large force under the command of General Winfield Scott to march the tribal members to the "Indian Territory" of Oklahoma. Men, women, and children were taken from their land, herded into makeshift forts with minimal facilities and food, then forced to march a thousand miles. About 4,000 Cherokee died as a result of the removal. The route they traversed and the journey itself became known as "The Trail of Tears" or, as a direct translation from Cherokee, "The Trail Where They Cried" ("Nunna daul Tsuny").

The book "Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes - Southeastern Indians Prior to Removal" focuses on the toughest period to research -- the century or so prior to the removal of the Southeastern nations to Indian Territory, the point at which records were regularly maintained. It provides the cultural, genealogical, and historical information and outlines a method of research that can carry you from the colonial period to the great tribal rolls of the mid-to-late nineteenth century, using the unique records kept by American, English, French, and Spanish governments.

Author Rachal Mills Lennon traces nineteen branches of her family tree through five North American Indian tribes. She has been a Certified Genealogical Records Specialist since 1985 and is the author, editor, and compiler of five books, including Some Southern Balls and Florida's Unfortunates, as well as Southeastern ethnic case studies in the major genealogical periodicals.

"Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes" is a "must read" book for anyone searching for Native American ancestry in the southeastern United States. The book sells for $24.95 plus shipping and taxes, if any. It is available through any bookstore if you specify ISBN#: 0806316888. You can also safely order it online through Genealogical Publishing Company’s secure Web site at:

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Bush Is Related to Churchill and Lady Diana

A recent press release from that announced their license to publish British census records from 1841 to 1901 on the Internet also publicized the fact that Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, and George W. Bush are all distantly related. Their common ancestor was Henry Spencer (1420–1478) of Badby, Northhamptonshire.

George W. Bush and his father, the former president, have long been known to have royal ancestry. Gary Boyd Roberts, a genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston and one of the foremost authorities on the royal ancestry of American presidents, notes that Bush is descended from British royalty going as far back as 12th century King Henry I, the son of William the Conqueror.

You can read a short story about this at CNN’s Web site at:, another at the Globe and Mail site at and still another at the Daily Telegraph site: In-depth details are available at: and at

[Return to Table of Contents]

- How Many Ancestors Do You Have?

Do you know how many ancestors you have? Of course not. Let’s simplify the question: How many ancestors do you have in the past four hundred years? Many people do not know the answer to that question. Care to guess? (The answer is given below but please don’t peek just yet.)

The number of ancestors is simple to calculate as it is a simple mathematical progression: every person has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on. The number doubles with each generation. As you go back in years, the numbers soon become very large.

Family Forest, the producers of a CD-ROM lineage-linked database that digitally connects people with each other, can be considered experts in this topic. They have an excellent chart that illustrates the numbers quite well. Take a look at:

Answer to the earlier question: If we assume that there is a new generation every twenty-five years, someone born 400 years before you would be 16 generations removed from you. According to the Family Forest chart, you would have 65,535 unique ancestors born in the previous 16 generations, assuming no overlap (that is, none of your ancestors were cousins to other ancestors).

However, all families can find a few cousins somewhere in the limbs of the family tree, resulting in the same ancestor(s) showing up in multiple places in the pedigree charts. Ask anyone who has done French-Canadian genealogy or has researched any families that lived for generations in one small village almost anyplace on earth.

If you go back to the time of Charlemagne, roughly 40 to 50 generations ago, you discover that you theoretically have more than one trillion ancestors! Of course, that’s far more than the total number of people who ever lived on the face of the earth. Obviously, you and everyone else have cousin marriages in your ancestry, resulting in ancestors showing up in multiple places in your family tree.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- A Linux Version for Windows Users

I have written about Linux a number of times in past newsletters. Linux is an operating system for PC hardware that is similar to UNIX although it shares no code with the UNIX operating system. Many versions of Linux run on standard PC hardware, and there are specialized versions that operate on Macintosh hardware or on other computers. Even IBM provides their own version of Linux on some of their mainframes.

Linux is much more robust and more reliable than Microsoft Windows. Most Linux users report that their computers never lock up and never need to be rebooted, even after installing new applications. Linux is growing in popularity, and some devotees of the new operating system claim that it will eventually become more popular than Microsoft’s operating systems. (I’m not sure I agree with that claim, however.)

The "downside" is that Linux can only run applications that are written for Linux; Windows applications normally do not work on this new operating system. (See my article at for information about a couple of major exceptions: Win4Lin and VMWARE are Windows emulators that do allow most Windows programs to operate under Linux, even genealogy applications.)

Another big drawback is that the user interface in Linux varies from one version, or "distribution," to the next. Each Linux vendor has their own distribution, and there are many differences from one distribution to the next. Until recently, all of these distributions had user interfaces that were quite different from that of Microsoft’s products. As a result, the newcomer to Linux had to expend a lot of effort and time to learn the new system.

Most of the Linux user interfaces are graphics-oriented, and they use a mouse and "windows" in a manner that is loosely similar to Macintosh and to Microsoft Windows although they vary greatly in the details. Newcomers to Linux often find the operating system to be very confusing as they become immersed in a lot of new terminology and menus that are very different from the Windows systems they are accustomed to using. The newcomer to Linux usually has to struggle with program names such as licq and gimp. In addition, making a Linux system talk on a network to Windows systems requires the use of Samba, and installing new software requires the understanding of tar, gzip and rpm files. No wonder Windows users are confused!

One new version of Linux solves many of those issues. Lycoris is designed for Windows users who wish to try Linux or to migrate to the operating system without spending hours learning new terminology. Lycoris is a Linux distribution that is billed as "a familiar, powerful and open alternative to Windows." Lycoris has a user desktop that looks very much like Windows, and the amount of Linux-specific terminology is reduced to a minimum. It also integrates quickly and easily with Microsoft networks. I installed Lycoris on an older PC of mine this week and found that it indeed is a Linux version that even a Windows user could learn to love.

Lycoris replaces the normal Linux user interfaces with a desktop called Lycoris Desktop/LX. It emulates Windows as closely as possible. To take a look at Lycoris Desktop/LX, go to and click on the various icons. Those images will look familiar to most Windows users.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easily Lycoris’ networking integrates with Windows networks. I have wrestled in the past with Samba, Linux’s module that communicates with Windows networks. It has always required an hour or two of head-scratching to make a new Samba installation talk to my Windows PCs on the network installed in my home. This time, I installed Lycoris and found that Samba was also installed and operational without my intervention. As soon as I booted Lycoris for the first time, my Windows computers could access files and printers on the Lycoris system and vice-versa.

Lycoris includes many applications for all the more common computer tasks, including word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, Web browser, instant messaging, photo editing and more. Best of all, the menus to launch these applications are written in English, not in geek-talk. To launch the built-in word processor, simply click on "Word Processor" in the menus. Installing new software is also easily accomplished. Click on the icon in the lower left corner, select "System Management," and then select "Install new software." A series of menus will then lead the user through the software installation process without requiring knowledge of tar, gzip or rpm files.

I found Lycoris to be an excellent implementation for the person who wants to try Linux. It also is valuable for companies who wish to run Linux applications without retraining all their employees on a new operating system. Anyone who is experienced with Windows 98 can start using Lycoris almost immediately. However, I suspect that experienced Linux enthusiasts will dislike Lycoris for the same reason that it appeals to others: Lycoris looks and feels like Microsoft Windows.

Keep in mind that computers that run Linux do not need to be as powerful as computers used to operate the later versions of Windows, assuming all other factors are equal. If you have recently upgraded to a faster machine and now have an older PC that is no longer being used, you might want to install Lycoris on that older system.

Lycoris is available in two versions; a complete installation with full support from the company, CD-ROM disks, and a printed installation manual may be purchased for $29.95 at or from Fry’s Electronics stores. In addition, a free version (without support, manual, or disks) may be downloaded from The free version does not have the capability to download new programs from the company’s Web site, however. If you download the online version, you can later purchase a software license with full support for only $19.95. Once registered, a user can download new programs from

Be aware that you need to download three files that total more than a gigabyte. I don’t think you will want to attempt that on a dial-up modem. However, anyone with a cable modem or DSL modem and a CD-ROM burner will find that easy to do.

I downloaded the free version first and was impressed with it. I then purchased a license from Lycoris to gain support and to be able to download new free programs from

For more information about Lycoris, look at: For information about the free and open Linux operating system, look at the brief New York Times article at, then go to

[Return to Table of Contents]

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.

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 user’s 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 a frequent presenter at major genealogy conferences. He has published articles in Genealogical Computing and Family Chronicle magazines and for a number of Web sites. He was an advisor to PBS' Ancestry series and appeared as a guest in one of the episodes. He serves on the Advisory Board of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and is a past Director of GENTECH and of the New England Computer Genealogists. Dick is the author of YOUR ROOTS: Total Genealogy Planning On Your Computer published by Ziff-Davis Press. He also manages three Genealogy Forums on CompuServe. He can be reached at: 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. Please feel free to copy this subscription information and pass it on to anyone else who you think might be interested in obtaining a free subscription.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to:

[Return to Table of Contents]