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Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Standard Edition

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

Vol. 8 No. 1 – January 6, 2003

Some of the articles in this Plus Edition newsletter are restricted to your personal use.

Search previous issues of Standard Edition newsletters at: http://www.RootsForum.com

Plus Edition subscribers may gain access to a reserved section of the message board. Details are available at http://www.rootsforum.com/plus/messageboard.htm.

Listen to Dick Eastman's broadcast on FamilyHistoryRadio.com.

Copyright© 2003 by Richard W. Eastman. All rights reserved.


IN THIS ISSUE:

- Crystal Ball
- CE My Family for Pocket PC Computers
- Ancestral Quest 2002
- Looking for Titanic Hero's Descendants
- John Altenburger Honored For Cemetery Research
- Bureau of the Census Seeks Ethnic Experts
- JewishGen Merges with the Museum of Jewish Heritage
- (+) More on Genealogy Numbering Systems
- (+) Les Filles du Roi Online
- Spam Filters (Again)
- Upcoming Events

Items listed above with a plus sign (+) appear only in the Plus Edition of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.


- Crystal Ball

A new year is traditionally time to look back on the previous year and look forward to what lies ahead. In keeping with this custom, I've shined up my crystal ball for a look in both directions.

Last year I wrote some prognostications for the year 2002. Here are a few of last year's forecasts, each followed by a brief assessment that I penned this week:

Last year's prediction: "I believe the current recession will continue to cause problems among businesses in the genealogy market. I suspect that at least one more major player in the genealogy marketplace will either get out of the genealogy business entirely or else be bought out by a financially stronger company. "

Comment: How true! The largest such story probably occurred when Sierra Home abandoned the genealogy software marketplace. Some months later, Sierra Home's Generations program was purchased by Genealogy.com.

Last year's prediction: "There are strong rumors that one of the major American genealogy societies will soon be acquired by another. I suspect this will happen early in 2002."

Comment: True: GENTECH was acquired by the National Genealogical Society. The merger was announced in January, 2002 and then was finalized in mid-year.

Last year's prediction: "I expect that in 2002 at least one more major player will release a genealogy program that stores its database online. The data entered into that program will then be shared or not, depending upon the user's preferences."

Comment: A double hit here: Read my recent reviews of Family Tree Legends software and this week's article on Ancestral Quest 2002.

Last year's prediction: "Genealogists' use of genetics and DNA information will continue to expand. In 2002, I suspect that at least one of today's major genealogy programs will add the capability to track inherited genetic disorders and then will generate genograms illustrating that data."

Comment: A partial hit here. The use of genetics and DNA in genealogy research certainly has expanded in the past year. I have written a number of times this year about new DNA services and about a number of family societies that have recently launched DNA studies. However, none of the major genealogy programs have added "the capability to track inherited genetic disorders and then will generate genograms illustrating that data." To be sure, GeneWeaver does exactly what I predicted, but it is a specialized program written for that purpose, not "one of today's major genealogy programs." It also was not introduced in 2002.

Last year's prediction: "The final prediction for 2002 is simple: hardware prices will continue to drop."

Comment: This one is obvious. Even Wal-Mart is now selling PCs on its Web site for $298.86 plus monitor. Many such low-cost computers today have more power and storage capacity than the $2,000 computer of three years ago.

This year's crystal ball is a bit murky. The technology world has seen more than twelve months of evaporating budgets, layoffs, and a technology-driven economy that has been shattered. I do not see a quick recovery from this, and the effects will be felt within genealogy products as well as throughout the rest of the technology-driven world. In short, fewer development dollars are available today than at any time in the past few years. With fewer development dollars available, the pace of new products and services will be slowed.

Nonetheless, I suspect that a few interesting things will appear within the next twelve months. Here are a few of my predictions for the year 2003:

Many genealogists will carry their family tree databases in handheld computers by the end of 2003, simplifying research trips.

More and more genealogy information will be released on DVD disks. This is a matter of simple economics: a manufacturer can squeeze nearly ten times the data onto a DVD disk when compared to a standard CD-ROM disk. Manufacturing costs will be reduced. Most PCs and Macintosh systems sold in the past year or more have DVD drives built in, so a large customer base is now in place. However, the cost of gathering all this data will remain high, so you can expect DVD databases to cost more than CD databases for a long time.

Good news/bad news: I expect that at least one of today's better-known genealogy programs will disappear from the marketplace in 2003, but also at least one more new genealogy program will appear. The new program will probably be from a company not previously known in the genealogy world.

Most genealogy programs introduced in 2003 will optionally store data on Web-based servers. Future genealogy programs will not be designed just for individuals working alone at home. Instead, most genealogy applications will be designed for groups of people working together on research projects. Centralized databases with strict access controls will be the norm in future genealogy programs.

Open-source software has steadily moved from the preserve of elite aficionados to a true contender in the corporate world. Linux is starting to dominate the server market. Although this is not an issue for genealogy applications, I bet that Linux will drive UNIX into the ground. I also expect Linux desktop systems will start to encroach on Microsoft's Windows operating system in the coming twelve months. That competition would be good for the users and the computer industry as a whole. By the end of 2003, however, Linux will still account for less than 5 percent of the installed desktop systems. The lack of good Linux applications will remain as a major hindrance to the growth of the operating system.

I doubt if we will see any major genealogy programs for Linux in the year 2003. The reason is simple economics: the cost of developing a program is about the same for Linux as it is for Windows or for Macintosh. Yet the potential marketplace for Windows application is many times larger. Why would any company invest thousands of dollars developing applications for a limited usage operating system with limited potential sales when the same investment in a Windows application will produce many more sales and much more profit? Major Linux genealogy applications probably will not appear until 2004, at the earliest. Even so, we may see some smaller, less-powerful Linux genealogy applications before then.

I also expect that attendance at major genealogy conferences in the United States will continue to decline in 2003. For many years these conferences have served as the focal point of learning. Genealogists who labored in isolation would travel to conferences to learn techniques in lectures by experts. These lessons were not easily available elsewhere. However, the online world has grown to supplement formal in-person lectures and may completely replace them someday. You can now find all sorts of information on the Web in both formal and informal formats. When you add in the ever-increasing expense of conference registration fees, airfares, hotel rooms, and restaurant meals, it is obvious that low-cost competition from the Web will continue to impact the larger genealogy conferences.

Conversely, I expect to see the introduction of several more genealogy e-learning Web sites in 2003. All in all, I see e-learning as a major improvement over in-person lectures. Web-based e-learning courses will attract and benefit many more people than in-person conferences could ever serve. Best of all, the e-learning Web sites have greatly reduced expenses and manpower requirements when compared to in-person lessons.

I also have one final prediction: It will be an interesting year for genealogists!

Do you have any predictions or comments about mine? Post a message in this newsletter's Discussion Board at http://www.RootsForum.com.

[Return to Table of Contents]


- CE My Family for Pocket PC Computers

Bob Wittmann, the man behind "on eMan Software," has released a brand new genealogy program for Pocket PC computers. "CE My Family" is described as a "Read and Write Genealogy Solution for the Pocket PC." I took CE My Family for a test drive this week.

By way of background, I should mention that a Pocket PC is one of a number of small handheld computers with color screens that use a stylus to provide input. This type of computer is commonly referred to as a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Not all PDAs are Pocket PCs, however. CE My Family only operates on Pocket PC systems -- not on the Palm operating system used by some handheld personal digital assistants. Pocket PC devices are sold by a number of leading names in the computer industry, including Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Toshiba.

Pocket PCs use the Windows CE operating system from Microsoft, which obviously inspired the name of CE My Family. Bob Wittmann insists that the letters "CE" in the name of the program are pronounced separately, as "C <space> E My Family," not as "See My Family. I don't know, Bob; it sure looks like "See My Family" to me!

I have a Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC that I love and carry with me nearly everywhere. I jumped at the chance to try out the new genealogy program written for these small devices.

CE My Family consists of two matching programs: one for the desktop computer running Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, or XP, and another for the Pocket PC. The expectation is that you will keep your data on your desktop system in a modern Windows genealogy program. When you want to copy your data to the handheld computer, you create a GEDCOM file with your desktop software. (For details about GEDCOM files, look at my "GEDCOM Explained" article at http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0219.htm#GEDCOM%20Explained). You use the CE My Family desktop software to copy the GEDCOM information to the handheld and then use the Pocket PC Software to display and manipulate the data.

The installation of CE My Family was simple. I first downloaded the trial version of the program from the CE My Family Web site. There was one minor "gotcha" in the process; the file downloaded with the name CEFMDist, without any extension. I had to manually rename it to CEFMDist.exe. Once that was done, I double-clicked on the newly-downloaded file and followed the instructions that appeared on the screen. Less than a minute later, the installation was complete on my desktop computer. When I launched CE My Family for the first time, the program prompted me to insert my Pocket PC into its cradle. I did this then followed some more instructions that appeared on the screen. In another minute the appropriate software was installed on the Pocket PC. This completed the installation on both the desktop and the handheld computers.

The next step was to get my data into the handheld. I used the desktop CE My Family program to convert a 3,000+ person GEDCOM file to the format needed and then transfer the data to the handheld. The description of this process is more complex than the execution of the actual task itself. The whole process was simple although a file of 3,000 people requires several minutes to transfer. There is no "moving icon" or any other indication that the transfer is proceeding. For a while I wondered if the transfer process was hanging. However, I waited patiently and eventually was rewarded with a message of "File Transferred Successfully!"

At this point I was able to move around the handheld database manually. It didn't seem obvious to me how to search for individuals; however, I spent a few minutes reading the online user's manual and found the answer. By the way, there is a rather good user's manual built into the handheld program. I have not seen many user's manuals on a handheld computer, but CE My Family does this and does it well.

Rather than my trying to describe the operation of the program, I would suggest you look at the online "video tour" that has screen shots. This online tour is a good one. Go to http://www.cemyfamily.com and click on "Video Tour/Screen Shots." You will also find a full user's manual at the same Web site so that you can read about the program's operation in detail before purchasing it.

Several things differentiate CE My Family from its primary competitor, The Pocket Genealogist. First of all, CE My Family allows for entering data on the handheld and later transferring it back to the desktop database. The Pocket Genealogist only recently added that capability to a beta test version of its software. (See my reviews of The Pocket Genealogist at http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0051.htm, http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0122.htm and http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0247.htm#PublicBetaThePocketGenealogist). Next, CE My Family lets you display and enter notes and sources in its database, something I have not seen in any other handheld genealogy program.

On the negative side, I must say that navigating around the database in CE My Family was less intuitive than the same functionality in The Pocket Genealogist. The Pocket Genealogist also has numerous options not found in CE My Family, such as using color to quickly identify relationships. Both programs hold large databases (CE My Family is limited to a maximum of 20,000 Individuals within each data file although you can have multiple files), both operate quickly, and both live up to their advertised claims.

So, which program is best? I don't know. I like them both! Luckily, both programs allow you to download trial versions and to use them for a while; so, you can try them both and make up your own mind as to which one you prefer. The trial version of CE My Family has all the functionality of the regular program, but you can only use it ten times. The eleventh time you start the program, it will require that you enter the registration key that you receive when you pay for the program.

The regular price of CE My Family is $20.00 (U.S. funds), but On eMan Software is offering an introductory price of $15.00 to the first 1,000 people who register the program. (This offer expires January 31, 2003.)

For more information about CE My Family, to read the user's manual, to take the virtual tour, to download the trial version, or to register for the regular version, go to http://www.cemyfamily.com.

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter message board at http://www.RootsForum.com and click on "Message Board."

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- Ancestral Quest 2002

Ancestral Quest by Incline Software is a commercial Windows genealogy program that has been available for some time. Incline Software released a new version just over a month ago, called Ancestral Quest 2002. This week I had a chance to use the new version and can report that Ancestral Quest 2002 has a number of new features, including at least one feature I have not seen in any other genealogy program for online collaboration.

Ancestral Quest (AQ) shares a "common heritage" with Personal Ancestral File (PAF), produced by the Mormon Church. At one time, the two programs shared a lot of code and were nearly identical. Since that time, however, each has had several new updates created by different teams of programmers. As a result, the two programs evolved in different directions and are now quite different from each other. Nonetheless, the experienced PAF user can still jump into Ancestral Quest with almost no training or "reorientation." Anyone else should need only a few minutes to become familiar with the program.

Ancestral Quest databases remain fully compatible with Personal Ancestral File databases, versions 3 through 5. This is different from other programs that will read PAF databases but then store the data in their own format. With those programs, reading PAF data is a one-time event: you cannot easily move your updated information back to PAF again. By contrast, Ancestral Quest's internal database format is identical to PAF, so both programs can read all the information in your database at any time. You may find that you prefer one program for data entry but the other program for specific reports. That is not a problem with Ancestral Quest and PAF; you can switch back and forth between the two programs, always accessing the one database.

Users of Ancestry Family Tree (AFT) also can benefit from this new version of Ancestral Quest, as it works directly with Ancestry's .aft files. Here again, users of Ancestry Family Tree do not have to convert their data to use Ancestral Quest 2002 and can switch between the two programs at any time.

Opening Ancestral Quest 2002 for the first time, you see an empty pedigree chart waiting for you to "fill in the blanks." Data entry is simple and intuitive at all times. The user is prompted for all the normal genealogy data elements, such as name, date and place of birth, date and place of death, and so on. However, the program features optional fields that all serious genealogists will use..

The list of features of the program's sources database is extensive. You can attach a source to an entire event, or just to a date or a place. You can view all sources for an individual or event on a special summary screen. You can also categorize sources by type. For more information about all the tracking of sources in Ancestral Quest 2002, look at http://www.ancquest.com/aq_sources.htm.

Ancestral Quest 2002 also contains a multimedia scrapbook feature that I found easy to use. You can attach photos, scanned documents, audio (voice and/or music) clips, and video clips. From this list, you can assemble an interactive scrapbook for the individual and choreograph a slide show, including background audio that might be either narration or other sound, such as the individual's favorite song.

The program also has a very long list of printed reports. In fact, the list is much too long to give here. Instead, I will refer you to Incline Software's Web site at http://www.ancquest.com/aqreprts.htm for information about all the reports. Those pages also show examples of all the more popular reports so that you can see them for yourself. Notice that many of the printed reports optionally include pictures.

Ancestral Quest will also create web pages so that you can share your data with relatives around the world. You do not need to be an HTML expert or Web guru to translate your genealogy information to a Web format; Ancestral Quest will do the job for you. You simply upload the result to your personal home pages.

The person who later views your Web pages can go to a desired page based on your ancestors, on descendants of an ancestor, or on any group of individuals and families you choose to share. You can create Web pages using a lot of different options, including whether to make a GEDCOM file available for download, and whether or not to include your scrapbook. You can view a sample site created automatically with Ancestral Quest 2002 at http://www.ancquest.com/sample/index.htm.

The program also simplifies Internet searches for information about your ancestors. You can highlight any name in your database and then, with a click of the mouse, search a long list of Internet search engines for this name. You can even add search engines you find to the list.

Most of what I have described so far was available in past releases of the program. The new Ancestral Quest 2002 adds the following new features:

The Research Manager is very useful for planning productive research trips to libraries, courthouses, or other repositories where you may find information. You can print out reports before your visit. Let's say that you are working on your great-grandfather's information one evening, and you tell the Research Manager that you want to check the deeds of Penobscot County for any information about this individual the next time you visit the Penobscot County courthouse. Maybe you make a similar entry in the Research Manager database a few weeks later about another individual who lived in the same county. Then, at some future date, you plan a trip to the Penobscot County courthouse. You can first print a list of all the tasks you have assigned yourself for that courthouse visit.

The reports can be filtered and sorted in a number of ways. You can print multiple locations, such as all the places along your research route. Locations can use "wild cards". For example, if you are going to Arizona for a research trip, just enter "Arizona", and any item located within the state will print. However, if you want to limit your search to just Maricopa county, then type in "Maricopa, Arizona". If you want to look only at Tempe and Mesa, then use the list to type in "Tempe, Maricopa, Arizona" and "Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona".

A new collaboration feature allows multiple family researchers to work on the same files across the Internet in real time. To work with a "Collaboration File", you place a family file on a central server on the Internet, provided by Incline Software. You allow others to access that file. This means that you and your associates anywhere in the world can work together on a single, master file. For example, you would place a family database on this server. Then you would alert appropriate members of your family that this file is available, and give them rights to edit or simply view the data. You and the others then take turns updating this master file. When your cousin updates some information that she has found, you will be able to see that information the next time you check that file out and view it. When you update the family file with information that you have found, your cousin will have access to that information the next time she works with the file. This can eliminate the need to send GEDCOM files back and forth and to merge the two sets of information.

The collaboration feature is not a true multi-user database. Any one user may work with the file at a given moment. Once he or she completes the planned updates, the file is released so that others may do the same thing. The advantage of storing the data on a centralized file server is ease of access for all involved. All the people involved in adding to this collaboration do need to use Ancestral Quest 2002. If some fellow collaborators only want to view the data rather than participate in updating the data, they can use the free Ancestral Quest 2002 demo program as a viewer. I'll describe the demo program in a bit.

The collaboration feature inherently provides an off-site backup. Even users not needing to coordinate research efforts can use this feature to store an off-site copy of their data on the collaboration server.

Initially, the collaboration service is available without charge. Incline Software may decide, with appropriate notice, to charge for this service in the future. Current information will be available when you sign up for this service.

Other new features added to Ancestral Quest 2002 include the following:

  • Fan Charts. full, half or quarter circles, with several options including documented charts -- prints up to 13 generations and up to 36" x 36" output
  • Global Search and Replace of notes, names, dates, and places
  • Spell Checking
  • Unlimited notes
  • Research Log report
  • Documented Pedigree Charts
  • Printing source images on reports
  • Enhanced Search Center provides better ways to locate individuals and marriages from anywhere in the software
  • Name List view -- work from a list of individuals sorted by name, RIN, date or place
  • Merge sources and repositories
  • Show pictures next to the name on web pages
  • Include siblings on Ancestry charts and ancestral book reports
  • Quick entry of names and places
  • Print most reports to file -- lets you include the chart in a larger work or send a copy via e-mail to an associate
  • Page of Testimony. This feature was introduced in a special Jewish edition of AQ 3.0, and is now made available in the main version. This feature allows those with any information on Holocaust victims to record information about those victims and to submit a testimonial page to authorities in Jerusalem.
  • Customize the Individual Edit screen
  • Bookmark Individuals
  • Print a line of descent from a common ancestor
  • Add documents to scrapbook collections
  • Export scrapbook collections to a GEDCOM file -- the easiest way to share your entire family history with others.
  • Create a master source for a GEDCOM import
  • Sorted Place list
  • Not a Problem – flag records to exclude from the Possible Problem list
  • Print lists of sources
  • Print all citations of a source
  • Print a list of scrapbook items, sorted to taste
  • Print odd/even pages
  • LDS Enhancements
  • PAF 5.x support -- directly view PAF 5 data in Ancestral Quest 2002 and take advantage of AQ's additional reporting, web generation, and GEDCOM export options with your PAF 5 data file
  • TempleReady updates – update LDS ordinance information in your family file directly from data generated by TempleReady

Whew!

Ancestral Quest 2002 has a suggested retail price of $39.95, but is available for a limited time for $29.95 to new users, and for the upgrade price of $19.95 for current users of AQ. It can be purchased online from a secure Web server at http://www.ancquest.com, or by calling Incline Software at 1-800-825-8864 (or 1-801-280-4434).

Best of all, Incline Software is offering a free demo version that also serves as a "file viewer." You can download the entire program at no charge from Incline Software's Web site. Until the software is registered, it runs in "demo mode" and allows you to enter up to 120 individuals. Some advanced features are also disabled in demo mode. However, you can always use the unregistered version of AQ 2002 to view larger databases created by other users. Keep in mind that you can read Personal Ancestral File databases and also view AQ collaboration databases with the free, unregistered version. You can even print reports about thousands of people, should you care to do so. Only the data entry is limited to 120 individuals.

To later activate the full functionality of AQ 2002, you go into the Help menu, select ABOUT, and then click on the Registration button. This takes you to Incline Software's secure Web site, where you pay with a credit card. A Registration Key is then sent to you by email, and you will be up and running with the full version as quickly as you can enter your Key. You do not need to wait for the mailman to bring the software to you.

I spent some time with Ancestral Quest 2002 and found it to be easy to use and intuitive at all times. I manually entered data about a half-dozen individuals, then imported a GEDCOM file of about 3,000 individuals for the remainder of my testing. The charts all worked well. I especially liked the pedigree charts with pictures, similar to the ones seen at http://www.ancquest.com/images/pedchrt.gif.

Despite its ease of use, Ancestral Quest 2002 has the features that demanding genealogists expect in their software. Its reporting capabilities are excellent, and the collaboration feature will be of interest to many people involved in group research projects. Ancestral Quest 2002 is an excellent program for beginners and experienced users alike.

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter message board at http://www.RootsForum.com and click on "Message Board."

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- Looking for Titanic Hero's Descendants

Radio Wales is trying to find the descendants of Welsh Titanic hero Harold Lowe, who is buried near Colwyn Bay. Lowe, who was born in Eglwys Rhos near Conwy, was the only officer who returned to look for survivors after the liner sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, after it hit an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

In the Oscar-winning film he was played by Welshman Ioan Gruffudd, who rescues Kate Winslet's character from the water; but, in reality, Lowe rescued 5 people from the water that night and an additional 13 from a capsizing lifeboat. The appeal was started by Radio Wales genealogy researcher Cat Whiteaway, who began looking into Lowe's family tree for a series of BBC Wales open days about genealogy. The first program kicks off in Caernarfon on Saturday, January 11.

If you think you could help in this search, click here to read the full details on the icWales Web site.

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter message board at http://www.RootsForum.com and click on "Message Board."

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- John Altenburger Honored For Cemetery Research

Cemeteries are full of old ghosts. Finding those "ghosts" - and the stories they have to tell - can be a genealogist's dream. It can also lead to awards, as John Altenburger found out recently. In November Altenburger was given the Willie Parker Peace History Book Award by the North Carolina Society of Historians for research he did while putting together a book about five cemeteries in Carolina Trace.

"I've been into genealogy for a long time," Altenburger said. "And a real pain is going to a cemetery and looking and not knowing if anything is there or not." For that reason, Altenburger set out to make an index - what he called a "genealogist's tool" - of who's buried in five cemeteries within the boundaries of Carolina Trace.

Click here to read about Altenburger's book and the honors he received. The story is from the Sanford (North Carolina) Herald Web site.

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter message board at http://www.RootsForum.com and click on "Message Board."

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- Bureau of the Census Seeks Ethnic Experts

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census is seeking nominations to serve on various census advisories. The requests appeared in the December 19, 2002 issue of the Federal Register. The Bureau is looking for:

  • Three individuals to sit on the Census Advisory Committee on the African American Population
  • Three individuals to sit on the Census Advisory Committee on the American Indian and Alaska Native Populations
  • Three individuals to sit on the Census Advisory Committee on the Asian Populations
  • Four individuals to sit on the Census Advisory Committee on the Hispanic Population
  • One individual to sit on the Census Advisory Committee on the native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Populations.

Nominations must be submitted by January 21, 2003. Members are appointed to the nine-member committees for a period of three years, and are charged with providing advice and recommendations on Census 2010 planning, the American Community Survey, and related decennial programs. Members of the committee serve without compensation, but are reimbursed for committee-related travel and lodging expenses.

Full descriptions of the nominations being solicited are contained in the Federal Register notice, including contact information for further information. Look at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a021219c.html

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter message board at http://www.RootsForum.com and click on "Message Board."

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- JewishGen Merges with the Museum of Jewish Heritage

The following is a joint announcement from JewishGen and the Museum of Jewish Heritage:

(New York, NY) - Effective January 1, 2003, JewishGen, a world renowned Jewish Genealogy website, will become a division of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City. The Boards of the Museum and JewishGen approved the plan in December.

An Internet pioneer, JewishGen was founded in 1987 by Susan E. King and has grown from a bulletin board with only 150 users to a major grass roots effort, bringing together hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide in a virtual community centered on discovering Jewish ancestral roots and history. On JewishGen, researchers share genealogical information, techniques, and case studies. With a growing database of more than seven million records, including some material from previous centuries, the website is a forum for the exchange of information about Jewish life and family history and has enabled thousands of families to connect and re-connect in a way never before possible.

"For many Jews, knowledge of their family history perished in the Holocaust; JewishGen fills in the missing pieces of the puzzle," said Dr. David G. Marwell, Museum Director. "Our Museum allows visitors to identify with the themes of 20th century Jewish history and has helped our public to identify with Holocaust survivors and opened new doors of understanding. With JewishGen, we will be able to take our message worldwide."

"Genealogy research is much more than just searching for names, dates, and places," said Susan King, founder of JewishGen. "It is vitally important that researchers also understand the details of Jewish heritage and history; the Museum provides context for the lives being researched. That's what makes this relationship so exciting. Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will also allow us to professionalize what has been an all-volunteer effort."

Ms. King, who will report to Dr. Marwell, will be the Managing Director of JewishGen and will remain in Houston, where JewishGen is based.

Among JewishGen's features are the Family Tree of the Jewish People, containing data on more than two million people; the Yizkor Book Project, an ongoing effort to translate memorial books which contain previously inaccessible information on the fate of Jewish communities and their inhabitants affected by the Holocaust; and the Holocaust Global Registry, a central database of and for Holocaust survivors and their families. The Holocaust Global Registry is already responsible for re-connecting several families after more than 60 years of separation.

The Museum is located on the waterfront of Lower Manhattan in Battery Park City. The Museum's core exhibition is organized around three themes: Jewish Life a Century Ago, The War Against the Jews, and Jewish Renewal. With more than 2,000 photographs, 800 artifacts, and 24 original documentary films on display, the Museum uses personal stories and artifacts to present 20th century Jewish history and the Holocaust in a context of universal truths that speak to people of all ages and backgrounds. The Museum is in the middle of an 82,000-square-foot construction project that will contain a theater, classrooms, and special exhibition space, among other facilities. The East Wing, set to open in fall 2003, will enhance the Museum's mission of remembrance and education.

[End of Announcement]

I will add also add a comment or two. This looks like a great move for both organizations. Each has strengths that the other needs. This could be a very successful marriage.

It is also nice to hear that Michael Tobias and Warren Blatt, both longtime JewishGen volunteers, will now become full-time employees of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter message board at http://www.RootsForum.com and click on "Message Board."

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- (+) More on Genealogy Numbering Systems

This article is restricted to subscribers to the Plus Edition of this newsletter. For information about subscribing to the Plus Edition, go to http://www.RootsForum.com/plus.

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- (+) Les Filles du Roi Online

This article is restricted to subscribers to the Plus Edition of this newsletter. For information about subscribing to the Plus Edition, go to http://www.RootsForum.com/plus.

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- Spam Filters (Again)

The biggest headache in my life these days is spam filters. I am totally against unsolicited commercial e-mail, commonly referred to as "spam mail." However, many of the "cures" that have been invented to filter out unwanted commercial e-mails have turned out to be worse than the original problem. A lot of wanted e-mail messages, including legitimate newsletters sent by e-mail, are being deleted. Worst of all, many of the spam filters do not even notify the intended recipient that a message he or she wanted to receive has been deleted. Something is very wrong with the way e-mail providers are attacking the spam problem.

Spam filters can delete this and other newsletters. However, they also can delete regular messages from your friends, relatives, and business associates. I installed a spam filter in my e-mail program a few weeks ago but removed it when I discovered that it was deleting some messages from newsletter readers who wrote to me about various topics! I only discovered this when looking for something else in my e-mail program's Trash Folder.

Although the spam filter problem plagues all types of legitimate email, I believe that this newsletter is particularly susceptible. It is quite long and contains numerous examples of the kinds of things that anti-spam programs, in their infinite wisdom, have deemed to be "spam-like," even though not one of these things is used for such purposes in this newsletter. As a result, many subscribers to this newsletter never receive their copy as spam filters in their e-mail provider's mail server deletes it and never notifies anyone. I also read e-mail newsletters written by a number of other authors, and almost all of them are complaining about the same issue.

There is one thing YOU can do. Tell your ISP or your corporate mail administrator that this newsletter and the other newsletters that you subscribe to are valuable to you. Tell them it isn't right that the anti-spam measures they've adopted are blocking newsletters and other legitimate e-mail that you want to receive.

Next, if all of a sudden you stop receiving your copy of this newsletter (and that happens more than you might think), don't assume I skipped an issue or there's something wrong with the newsletter's distribution. I rarely skip an issue without noting that in advance. The few times that I have skipped an edition, I have always sent out a brief note stating that I was taking a week off. Chances are, if you stop receiving the newsletter without warning, it's not a problem with your subscription; it's a problem with your ISP's mail server or else with a spam filter in your computer.

Spam filters are the number one cause of subscription problems with this newsletter. I spend an hour or more every day answering e-mails about this topic.

In an attempt to find a way around all the spam filters, I switched bulk mail servers a few weeks ago. Several companies, including Charter.net, simply delete all e-mails sent by the former bulk mail server, regardless of topic or return address. The change reduced the problem significantly but did not eliminate it. In fact, some people who previously had been receiving the newsletters from the old mail server stopped receiving them when sent from the new mail server. The reason? Their ISPs' mail servers automatically reject e-mails sent from the new mail server but not e-mails from the old one. Or vice-versa.

This week I am trying still another delivery method. I am sending this week's newsletter from my own brand-new mail server, using a domain name that has never sent e-mail before. Hopefully, no ISPs have this mail server in their "blacklists" yet. Unfortunately, there is no method of effectively testing this in advance; all I can do is to send a few thousand e-mail newsletters with fingers crossed, then wait for questions about non-delivery to arrive in the following days.

This newsletter is not alone with this problem. Here are a few recent articles that discuss the issue:

Spam Is '1,000 Times More Horrible Than You Imagine' – InternetWeek: http://www.internetwk.com/story/INW20021219S0003

Fred Langa, Real-Life Spam Solutions – InformationWeek: http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20021115S0018

Fred Langa, Silent Censorship – InformationWeek: http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20020328S0008

Fred Langa, Has Spam Won? – InformationWeek: http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20010706S0006

Paul Graham's Filter's Vs. Blacklists: http://www.paulgraham.com/falsepositives.html

Scot Finnie's Let's Fight Spam: http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/37.htm#fightspam

Ancestry Daily News' Missing Newsletters?: http://www.ancestry.com/library/view/news/articles/6147.asp

Mike's List: http://www.mikeslist.com/44.htm

There are promises of better anti-spam tools in the future. However, in the meantime we are "throwing the baby out with the bathwater." Tell your e-mail provider.

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter message board at http://www.RootsForum.com and click on "Message Board."

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- Upcoming Events

The Upcoming Events section of this newsletter is published once per month, usually in the first newsletter of each month. Each event will be listed very briefly: date(s), location and brief details, followed by either an e-mail address or a Web page that you can use to find more information. Since detailed information is available via e-mail or the Web, I will not list the details in this newsletter. If you do contact any of these organizations, please tell them where you heard about the event.

Here are the listings, arranged by date. An asterisk indicates a new listing that has been added since the last time this list was published:

*January 11, 2003 - Kentucky Genealogical Society meeting: Lisa Thompson, KDLA Genealogical Consultant, will talk on "The 1930 Census – What a Goldmine." aalfaro99@fewpb.net

Jan. 18, 2003 - Ft. Myers, FL: The Lee County Genealogical Society will sponsor an Ancestor Tracking Seminar with featured speaker Ann Mohr Osisek, popular genealogy lecturer. CRWGEN@earthlink.net

Feb. 1, 2003 - San Luis Obispo, CA: The SLO County Genealogical Society's annual seminar: Family History In The New Millennium: Research Techniques and Digitization. Guest speakers Henry Z. "Hank" Jones and Richard Wilson. http://www.slonet.org/~slogen/seminar3.html

*Feb. 1, 2003 - Melbourne, Florida: The Genealogical Society of South Brevard will present a day long seminar by Sharon Debartolo Carmack on February 1, 2003. http://www.rootsweb.com/~flgssb

*Feb. 1, 2003 – Dallas, Texas: The Dallas Genealogical Society will host the fourth lecture of its 2002/3 Lecture Series, "Developing Genealogical Skills." The speaker will be John T. Humphrey, who will speak on "Reconstructing Families on the Colonial Frontier", "Researching Eighteenth-Century Germans", "Researching Pennsylvania Ancestors", and "Documentation: It's Essential." http://www.dallasgenealogy.org

Feb. 21 & 22, 2002 – Mesa, AZ: The Czech/Slovak Genealogical Society and CSGI (International) will host a winter symposium on research in Czech / Slovak and related topics in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. http://www.cgsi.org/conf/az-conf03.htm

Feb. 22, 2003 - St. Charles, IL: The DuPage County (IL) Genealogy Society will host its Twenty-eighth Annual Conference offering a three track program with 12 sessions. http://www.dcgs.org

Mar. 1, 2003 - Lake Havasu City, AZ: The Lake Havasu Genealogical Society, Inc will hold its Annual Seminar with featured speaker Jean White. http://www.rootsweb.com/~azlhgs/

Mar. 1, 2003 – Atlanta, GA: Sherry Irvine, CGRS, will present four lectures for the Georgia Genealogical Society. http://www.gagensociety.org/calendar_ggs.htm

Mar. 2 & 3, 2003 – Phoenix, AZ: The Annual Arizona Convocation sponsored by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. http://www.lib.az.us/convocations/index.html

Mar. 22, 2003 - Rohnert Park, CA: Sharon DeBartolo Carmack will be all-day speaker for the Sonoma County Genealogical Society's meeting. http://www.rootsweb.com/~cascgs/carmack.htm

Mar. 22, 2003 – AZ: The AzGAB Annual Workshop. Location and time to be determined. http://www.azgab.org

*Mar. 23-30, 2003: The Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries, Inc. of Plano, Texas plan a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for March. http://www.geocities.com/GenFriendsGHL

Apr. 5, 2003 – Phoenix, AZ: The Annual Book Festival sponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council and the Arizona State Library. Time and details will be forthcoming. http://www.azhumanities.org

Apr. 5, 2002 – Carmichael, CA: The Annual Spring Seminar of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society with featured speaker Robert Minert. boisseree3@aol.com

*April 5, 2003- Dallas, Texas: The Dallas Genealogical Society will host the fifth lecture of its 2002/3 Lecture Series, "Developing Genealogical Skills." The speaker will be Barbara Vines Little, who will speak on "Untold Treasures: Manuscript Records and Rare Books on Film", "Chancery Records: The Secrets They Hold; The Families They Reveal", "When You Can't Do It Yourself", and "Taxes: Milk Them For All They're Worth." http://www.dallasgenealogy.org

April 23 - 27, 2003 – Melbourne, Australia: The 10th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry will be accompanied by an extensive trade exhibition, local and international speakers, an extensive social program, and so much more. bev@conferenceconsultants.com.au

May 3, 2003 – Prescott, AZ: The Northern Arizona Genealogical Society is hosting Jana Broglin as their annual seminar speaker. http://www.rootsweb.com/~aznags

May 3 & 4, London, England: Family History Fair, Royal Horticultural Hall, Greycoat Street SW1. A comprehensive range of exhibitors and lecture programmes. Tickets £6 per day (or £4 in advance with ssae). http://www.sog.org.uk/events/

May 12 – 26, 2003 - Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland: "Visit Appalachia's Ancestral Homelands—Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland" – The East Tennessee Historical Society 2003 tour. http://www.east-tennessee-history.org

June 27-29, 2003 - Philadelphia, PA: The National Underground Railroad Family Reunion Festival. Descendants of "conductors," "station masters," abolitionists, fugitives, historians, educators and all those associated with the Underground Railroad and the public are encouraged to attend. c.davis1@juno.com

Jul. 18-20, 2003 - Shippensburg, PA: "Mother Cumberland - A Harvest of Memories: Reunion 2003" is for anyone with an ancestor of any surname who lived in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania during the 1700s. dcuillard@aol.com

July 20-25, 2003 - Washington, DC: The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and host member Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington invite you to attend the premiere conference for Jewish genealogists. This conference will attract more than a thousand attendees. http://www.jewishgen.org/dc2003

Aug. 16, 2003 – Victoria, BC: The Norman Morison Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary. The Hudson's Bay Co. ship, 'Norman Morison's' last trip to Victoria arrived in 1853. A celebration is planned for descendants of passengers on any of the 3 trips of the 'Norman Morison.' http://www.joansjoy.ca/Reunions

October 1-11, 2003 - Boston to Quebec; Join the California Genealogical Society for a spectacular New England/Canada Fall Foliage cruise with great genealogical lectures presented by George F. Sanborn Jr. FASG FSAC and David Allen Lambert. The 10-day cruise sails round trip from Boston and will make stops in Maine, Nova Scotia, Quebec and New Brunswick. library@calgensoc.org

*October 4, 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxfordshire Family History Society Open Day 2003 will include a demonstration and workshop on the scanning of old photographs, an assortment of visiting societies, dealers in second hand books and postcards, sales of microfiche readers and the like, a beginners' helpdesk, computing demonstrations giving advice on such things as which genealogical software package to choose, and the use of the internet in family history. http://www.ofhs.org.uk

*Nov. 6-9, 2003 - North Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA: 7th New England Regional Genealogical Conference. The theme is "New England: America's Melting Pot." Speakers include: Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, John Philip Colletta, Maureen A. Taylor, Dick Eastman, and Pamela Clark Cerutti. http://www.rootsweb.com/~manergc

If you would like to see your event listed in future newsletters, send an e-mail to: meetings@rootsforum.com. You must include either a Web page that gives details or an e-mail address for the organization or for someone within the organization who is willing to supply the meeting details upon request. Please limit your listings to events where you expect 100 or more people to attend.

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The PR Budget for this newsletter is $0.00. I rely upon "word of mouse" advertising in which you recommend this newsletter to your friends. This newsletter is a private project of mine, and I have a zero budget for a publicity campaign to get more readers.

In each issue, I try to offer you useful, interesting and sometimes amusing information to help you with your genealogy efforts. Can you take a minute to help me out in return? If you think this newsletter is a worthwhile read, please tell your friends. Better yet, suggest they can read the Standard Edition or subscribe to the Plus Edition at http://www.RootsForum.com.

Thanks.


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. Go to http://www.RootsForum.com and click on "Message Board."

You can also search past newsletters at the same address: 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.

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. Articles marked with a Plus Sign (+) are not to be redistributed. Those articles are solely for the use of Plus Edition subscribers.
    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 2003 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.RootsForum.com.

Thank you for your cooperation.

ABOUT SPAM FILTERS:

Be aware that the biggest problem faced when sending e-mail newsletters is spam filters in e-mail servers. Although the problem plagues many, many newsletters and other types of perfectly legitimate email, this newsletter seems to be particularly susceptible. It is quite long, and contains numerous examples of the kinds of things that spam blacklists, in their infinite wisdom, have deemed to be "spam like." Therefore, numerous email servers will delete this newsletter under the assumption that it is spam.

If you all of a sudden stop receiving your copy of the newsletter (and this happens more than you might think), don't just assume I skipped an issue or there's something wrong with the newsletter's distribution. I rarely skip an issue without noting that in advance. If you stop receiving the newsletter, chances are that it's not a problem with your subscription; it's a problem with your mail server or your spam filter. That is the number one cause of newsletter subscription problems.

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

If you have questions or comments about the article in this newsletter, go to http://www.RootsForum.com and then click on "Message Board." Post your message there. You will receive then assistance from Dick Eastman or from a number of other people.

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION:

To obtain a subscription to Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter – Plus Edition, go to http://www.RootsForum.com/plus

To receive a free e-mail notification whenever a new free Plus Edition of the newsletter becomes available, go to http://www.RootsForum.com/newsletter and enter your name and e-mail address into the form in the upper left corner.

To cancel your paid subscription to Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter – Plus Edition, go to http://www.PayPal.com, log in to your PayPal account and go to the "History" subtab of the "My Account" tab.  Choose "Subscriptions" from the pull-down "Show" menu and press the "Submit" button. Choose this subscription, and click on its "Status." You will be taken to a Transaction Details page from which you may cancel your subscription. Canceling your subscription will immediately stop all future scheduled payments for this subscription.

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