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Note: The information in this archived copy was accurate on the date of publication. Since then, Web sites have appeared and disappeared, companies have been merged and many other facts have changed. You may find references in this archived copy that are no longer accurate.


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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. 10 – March 10, 2003

This newsletter relies solely upon "word of mouse" advertising. If you enjoy reading these articles, please tell others to go to http://www.RootsForum.com.

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 Discussion 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:

- Genealogy Scam Exposed
- Geneweaver Version 1.1
- TMG Version 5.05 Released
- More on GED-IT
- Burke's Peerage & Gentry's A to Z Guide
- September FGS Conference in Orlando
- (+) Palmer List of Merchant Vessels
- (+) Tracing the History of Your House
- Use of DNA to Find Family Roots
- More on ANCESTRYbyDNA
- Searching for Descendants of Baltimore Shipyard Founders
- How to Search Past Newsletters
- New Genealogy Chat Room
- Home Pages Highlighted

Items marked with a Plus Sign (+) appear only in the Plus Edition newsletter.


- Genealogy Scam Exposed

Last week I reported rumors floating around on various message boards about a new genealogy scam. I asked if any victims would contact me so that I could verify the facts. Sadly, I can now report that I have confirmation, and the rumors are correct. In fact, there is even more to this story than the rumors suggest. The victims who contacted me are understandably embarrassed about having their names published, so I'll simply quote "anonymous sources.

Here is an extract from one e-mail that I received:

"Like a green fool, I bit at the offer of a free 5 day look at their service. I never, as a rule, give financial information over the 'net unless it's a credit card (the cards are covered in case of fraud). I actually gave them my bank info! When I realized I'd been taken in, I contacted my bank, which told me, in essence, 'tough luck.' I could stop payment on a specific check, but most companies charge to a different check number, and I could close the account. I've decided to wait and see what happens."

The Web site in question is GenSeekers.com. I have written before about this Web site. You can read my past articles about GenSeekers at http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0237.htm and at http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0129.htm.

The site proclaims, "GenSeekers is dedicated to providing you with the most complete easiest to use genealogical search library and reference books." It also says, "Our Library features a simple point and click interface allowing you to easily find the genealogical data you are looking for in under one minute."

What the site does not tell you is that the "library" it offers is simply the Internet. GenSeekers invites you to pay $59.99. Once this is paid, the site gives you access to a simple search engine that points to free genealogy sites on the Internet. In fact, there are plenty of free Web sites that do the same, and many of them are better at it than GenSeekers’ $59.99 "service."

I also find it interesting that the same site advertises, "Save 75% off our regular pricing with our Low introductory rate of only $59.99 for a One Year Unrestricted Membership!" If I have done the math correctly, this means that a regular "Unrestricted Membership" without the discount would cost $ 239.96 a year!

Oddly, GenSeekers has its own domain name and yet uses a free Yahoo e-mail address as the customer service address. The GenSeekers.com Web site lists the customer service e-mail address as: genealogyaccess@yahoo.com. The hapless purchaser of the GenSeekers "service" might be tempted to contact customer service at that address to seek cancellation of the membership and refund of the money charged. The anonymous correspondent said that he did just that, only to have the e-mail bounce back as non-deliverable.

I decided to check for myself, so I sent an e-mail to genealogyaccess@yahoo.com and then received the following back within a few seconds:

This message could not be delivered to the following recipients:
<genealogyaccess@yahoo.com>:
64.157.4.84 failed
Remote host said: 554 delivery error: dd Sorry, your message to genealogyaccess@yahoo.com cannot be delivered. This account is over quota. - mta623.mail.yahoo.com

In other words, the mailbox is full, and nobody has emptied it for a while. Yahoo e-mail accounts can store up to four megabytes of messages, equivalent to several hundred or possibly more than a thousand e-mails. Apparently GenSeekers.com has not checked the customer service e-mail for some time.

GenSeekers has been in operation under a variety of names. In fact, the company listing in the Better Business Bureau's records is as follows:

Family Discovery
PO Box 10364
Cedar Rapids, IA 52410

GenSeekers.com lists the same address at one place on the GenSeekers.com Web site and the following address and telephone number on another page:

Family Genseekers
314 66th Ave SW #15
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
319-431-1997

The Better Business Bureau Web site says, "Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to unanswered complaints. The company has resolved some complaints presented by the Bureau; however, the Bureau did not receive a response to other complaints." You can read even more about this Web site's "business" on the Better Business Bureau of Des Moines Web site at: http://www.desmoines.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=17002492

I also find it interesting that GenSeekers.com makes their search engine freely available to everyone on the Web at no charge. I am not sure why GenSeekers gives free public access to everyone while simultaneously collecting fees from others for its use. You can access GenSeekers.com's open search page at: http://216.219.196.74/search/search.cgi. At that address, you can conduct the same searches that others use after paying $59.99. You can judge for yourself if this search engine is worth $59.99 a year or not.

There are a number of lessons to be learned from this. The first lesson is the most obvious one: be cautious, and check into a company's reputation before purchasing anything. If the product or service is genealogy-related, you can obtain information about the company on this newsletter's Web site at http://www.RootsForum.com. Use the RootsForum.com Search Box as described in another article in this week's edition. Also, ask questions on the Discussion Board at the same Web site.

Next, check the search engines for information about the company. Google, Yahoo, AltaVista, and all the other search engines can provide a lot of information about GenSeekers.com and other companies in the genealogy business.

Finally, always pay for all purchases with a credit card. When you do so, credit card companies provide you with protection against fraud. If the products or services you purchased turn out to be fraudulent, the credit card companies will refund the entire amount paid. You can read American Express' fraud protection policy at http://www10.americanexpress.com/sif/cda/page/0,1641,5963,00.asp, VISA's fraud protection policy at http://www.usa.visa.com/personal/secure_with_visa/zero_liability.html and MasterCard's fraud protection policy at http://www.mastercard.com/general/zero_liability.html.

As our anonymous correspondent learned, your local bank will not provide fraud protection, whether you use a check or debit card or provide direct bank account information. Keep in mind that debit cards may look like credit cards, but they are really "electronic checks." Do not use a debit card when fraud is a possibility. Indisputably, credit cards are always safer than checks, money orders, or cash for online and off-line purchases alike.

My thanks to the subscribers who were kind enough to share their experiences with Genseekers.

If you have questions or comments, please post them on this newsletter's Discussion Board under the continuing topic at: http://rootsforum.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?s=b04bc5e894e042678844f36f025ff132;act=ST;f=7;t=3

[Return to Table of Contents]


- Geneweaver Version 1.1

This week I had an opportunity to use a Windows program that could save your life or the life of a loved one. To be sure, most users of Geneweaver will not experience such dramatic results, but the possibility is there. For most of us, Geneweaver is a software tool for recording and plotting one’s family health history. When shown to medical professionals, the Geneweaver data you enter can help identify high-risk medical conditions and also help identify appropriate treatment programs.

Geneweaver by Genes & Things, Inc. is not a genealogy program like many of the other programs reviewed in these newsletters although it shares many characteristics with genealogy programs. Geneweaver is useful for plotting inherited medical conditions. I am told that almost every family has inherited medical conditions. This program can help predict medical problems before they arise. And, yes, in the most extreme case, Geneweaver could even save lives.

Quoting from Geneweaver’s Web site:

Ten Reasons Why Geneweaver® is For You

  1. The American Medical Association recommends every family should maintain a family health history.

  2. Provides health care workers with the background information they need to give you and your family appropriate preventive health care, diagnosis and medical treatment.

  3. Invaluable during stressful emergencies when important information is easily forgotten, when sick patients are too ill to remember, and when family members are too overwhelmed or stressed to give accurate data.

  4. Allows the user to take a proactive role in health care:

  • Follow good preventive health care
  • Watch for early warning signs of illness with regular monitoring tests
  • Make informed life choices
  • Help future generations take full advantage of new medical discoveries

  1. Educates the user about the family health history concept. Genetic factors are known to underlie all aspects of health and disease.

  2. Guides the user with information about how and where to find health and medical information.

  3. Easy to understand and use.

  4. Far superior to the tedious use of rulers, templates, pencils and papers, which have formerly been employed to create a family health history and a health genogram.

  5. Created by professional genealogists for use by genealogists, health care professionals, and anyone who is concerned about family health issues or who is unsure of how to go about creating a family health history and health genogram.

  6. Allows genealogists to contribute to the good of the family by providing another way of using vast databases, research skills, and commitment to preserving family information.

Installation of Geneweaver version 1.1 was rather simple. It installed in the same manner as most Windows programs. I was asked for a serial number as well as registration information, including name, mailing address, and e-mail address. I then launched the program. The program immediately asked how I wanted to create my medical database and offered four options:

  • New Family
  • Open Existing Family
  • Import GEDCOM File
  • Exit

I already had a GEDCOM file of my ancestors and other relatives, so I chose that method. You can create a GEDCOM file with almost any modern genealogy programs. If you already have a genealogy database, using a GEDCOM file to transfer your data to Geneweaver can save a lot of typing! For more information about the use of GEDCOM files, see my "GEDCOM Explained" article at http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0219.htm. After importing my GEDCOM file, I manually entered data about a couple of individuals and found that data entry was straightforward and intuitive. The use of a GEDCOM file certainly is not a requirement.

While importing a GEDCOM file can reduce the manual data entry efforts, I found that I still had to enter a lot of information. Geneweaver tracks all sorts of medical information, so gathering that data for a number of relatives is a significant effort. However, given the possible benefits, gathering and entering data is a very worthwhile project. You can benefit from the analysis of the data, as can many of your closer relatives. Geneweaver also offers a "Health Wizard" that prompts the user for information. The result is that Geneweaver can lead the user through the data entry process in a logical manner, which, in turn, reduces some of the tedium associated with data entry.

Data entry is loosely similar to many genealogy programs although perhaps more detailed. As you might expect, there are numerous fields that do not exist in many genealogy programs. The data entry fields include cause of death, circumstances of death, travel to foreign countries, military service, hair color, eye color, blood type, smoking history (including whether the person lived with a smoker), surgeries, accidents, disabilities, allergies and a very long list of medical conditions. Geneweaver also has a field for physical activity, such as sedentary, active, and "work out." Like any good genealogy program, Geneweaver version 1.1 allows the user to enter source citations; statements about where specific information was found.

One interesting field is "Race/Ethnicity." At first, the available options seemed normal although they do overlap. For instance, the possible options include Caucasian as well as others for "British/Welsh/Irish," "French-Canadian," and "Northern European." I would have expected all of those to be Caucasian. However, a bit of digging in the user’s manual shows why those groups are tracked separately. It seems that Northern Europeans have a higher level of cystic fibrosis than other Caucasian groups, so it is worthwhile to denote that heritage separately. Similarly, French-Canadians have a higher level of hemochromatosis than other groups. Similarly, other ethnic groups have tendencies to other medical conditions, so it makes sense that you would want to trace these genetic factors in your medical family tree.

I entered all sorts of data for myself and then moved on to do the same for my parents and siblings. Data entry was very easy although somewhat tedious as I went through many screens of data fields for each person. Genes & Things, Inc. recommends entering all known data for four generations of the family. If you can find most of the pertinent information about yourself, your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, along with as many of their siblings as possible, you have an excellent chance of determining inherited medical conditions.

Do not be discouraged, however, if you do not have all that information available. Very few people can fill out all the medical information about their great-grandparents and great-great-aunts and great-great-uncles! Fill in whatever you can. You will be able to produce meaningful reports from the data of a few individuals. Then, as you discover more information about family members, you can always add more details. Over a period of time, you can improve the quality of your database and the data derived.

Of course, the true test of a program like this rests in the reports. What can it tell you about your likelihood of inheriting a medical condition? Or perhaps someone else in your family is encountering such problems? Geneweaver creates two reports that shed light on these questions: Medical Pedigrees and Genograms.

A medical pedigree is a four-generation pedigree chart showing death dates, ages, and primary and secondary causes of death. In fact, it looks almost the same as a pedigree chart produced by most genealogy programs. The one major difference is that Geneweaver’s medical pedigree charts list causes of death. You can see an example of Geneweaver’s Medical Pedigree report at: http://www.Geneweaveronline.com/pedigree.htm

Geneweaver’s other report type, the genogram, is quite different from a genealogy report and will require some explanation. It is a symbolic map showing patterns of family relationships, ages, diseases, and traits. Quoting from Geneweaver’s Help file:

A medical genogram uses symbols and lines representing people and relationships to display family health information graphically and facilitate recognition of disease patterns recurring across several generations. It is a "road map" that allows you to see your family in a bigger picture, both historically and currently. It is a practical and efficient way to track gene-related illnesses.

The genogram concept was developed in the 1970s by Dr. Murray Bowen, a family therapist, as a tool to help unravel relationships between family members. Clinical psychologists and others working with family dynamics have used genograms since then. The medical community recently began to use genograms to present and analyze family health and genetic relationships, and they have found them to be a reliable and efficient method.

Most medical professionals and many others are quite familiar with genograms. I well remember the late Adrienne Haney describe her use of genograms and medical pedigree charts. Adrienne worked in a county jail, doing psychiatric work with hardened criminals. All of her "patients" had extensive criminal pasts, many having a history of violent behavior and most of them having drug or alcohol dependencies. She described how she used both genealogy and genetics to help these men identify their problems as a first step towards finding resolution. Adrienne would have each man create a genogram for drug or alcohol addiction, another genogram for violent behavior and still other genogram charts for other factors that seemed relevant to the client’s case. These genograms would illustrate to each man that his behavior was a combination of self-motivated activities, his upbringing, and his inherited traits. Adrienne frequently was the first person to ever show these men the sources of their many problems. She described to me the "great awakening" that most of her clients went through.

Most of us will have less dramatic uses for genograms. However, the reports can be just as valuable for you as for those with more serious problems. They can be used to track tendencies towards cancer or cystic fibrosis as well as towards various "social problems."

An example of Geneweaver’s Genogram Report can be found at: http://www.Geneweaveronline.com/genogram.htm. One warning: If you are as unfamiliar with genograms as I am, such a chart will not be meaningful to you. However, I am assured that medical professionals know how to read these. You, too, can learn to read them within a few minutes by reading the tutorial in the Geneweaver user’s manual.

Geneweaver will also print a blank four-page health questionnaire suitable for recording information about relatives, living or deceased. Once filled in, the information on this questionnaire can be entered into Geneweaver. The program will also print a bibliography of family health history and genetics publications and a checklist of health information resources.

Geneweaver does not offer any interpretation of the medical factors recorded in your database. It will not tell you directly if you have a tendency towards any particular medical condition. However, if you spend some time reading about genetics and inherited medical tendencies, you will be able to interpret some of the results yourself. The biggest benefit is when you hand a Geneweaver printed report to your doctor or other health professional. He or she can quickly analyze the wealth of information provided. The next time you have a physical, take along several genogram reports of your ancestors and all their siblings.

I had used version 1.0 of this program previously, so I was curious to see what is new in the latest release. I found that version 1.1 adds:

  • An additional (and important) report called the Individual Health History. This report allows users to print all of the information input on an individual, a useful tool for sharing with health care providers.

  • Age at death is calculated during a GEDCOM import and is calculated automatically when a birth and death date are entered for an individual.

  • Sources can now be added to each item documented for an individual. In version 1.0, sources were imported with the GEDCOM import, but they were not viewable. These sources are now viewable and editable.

  • Users are now prompted to archive their databases when exiting the program.

  • Program works under Windows XP.

Modern medical technology is teaching us that many medical conditions are inherited. Finding and recording your family’s medical heritage can help identify medical risks. Tracking this information can help you understand present and future medical issues. Handing a Geneweaver printed report to a medical professional can also provide more medical diagnostic information that could require several interviews with an unprepared patient. Geneweaver is a very useful tool for recording medical and genetic information. It seems to have no competitors; Geneweaver is the only program of this sort that I have encountered.

Geneweaver version 1.1 requires a PC running Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, or XP. It also requires 25 megabytes of hard drive space, a double-speed or faster CD-ROM drive, and at least 16 megabytes of RAM memory on Windows 98. Later versions of Windows will require more memory. These system requirements are very modest. Geneweaver 1.1 should run well on almost any Windows computer purchased in the past 4 or 5 years.

Geneweaver is a winner. It is easy to use and can provide critical information when needed. In fact, I would suggest that you start recording your genetic medical data now, before it is needed. In a stressful situation, such as when a family member has had an attack of some sort, you will want to have this information at your fingertips.

Geneweaver version 1.1 sells for $49.95 and includes a CD-ROM disk and 121-page printed user’s manual. The first chapter of the printed manual is an excellent introduction to genetics and inherited medical conditions. For more information, or to safely order Geneweaver version 1.1 via a secure online order system, go to http://www.geneweaveronline.com

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

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- TMG Version 5.05 Released

The Master Genealogist (or TMG) is the "heavy duty:" genealogy program for use on Microsoft Windows. This powerhouse has hundreds of features, many of which are not found in other programs. Last year the producers, Wholly Genes Software, released version 5.0 but did so with the report output limited to charts (ancestor, descendant, hourglass, and fan charts). The text reports were not available in version 5.0, but the company promised that the remaining reports would become available once they were tested and certified by beta testers. The promise stated that new reports could be downloaded online at no additional charge.

Wholly Genes Software has lived up to that promise by introducing several incremental releases in the months since the origin "dot zero" release. Each release has included additional reports, as well as new features plus fixes for any newly-discovered problems with the program. This week Wholly Genes Software released The Master Genealogist version 5.05 with the following additional reports and new features:

Family Group Sheets

    • Optionally supports pictures
    • Many other options for configuring fonts, memos, sources, etc.

List of People report

    • Optional output to Excel, dBase, and other spreadsheet and database formats
    • Secondary Output options allow you to use the selected group of people to:
      • Create a new project
      • Lock timelines globally
      • Unlock timelines globally
      • Change flags globally

Individual Detail report

    • Optionally supports pictures.
    • Output flag values
    • Output timelines
    • Many other options for configuring fonts, tags, dates, places, etc.

Distribution of People report

    • Produces a frequency distribution of a specified characteristic. For instance, get a list of states and the number of people named SMITH who were born there.
    • 200+ fields from which to choose.

Output to PDF (Acrobat) format, an easy way to share your data by e-mail

    • Now available for all supported report types.

Performance Recommendations

    • This new option under File > Maintenance gives advice about how to improve the program speed.

Image Thumbnails

    • This option (Preferences > Current Project Options > Advanced) takes a little more disk space but improves performance of the Exhibit Log.
    • Allows backups to include a small version of each image without embedding the full image file.

Filter progress window

    • Shows the result of each filter clause as it is being calculated.
    • Shows the combined effect of multiple filter clauses.

Other miscellaneous new/improved features:

    • Even better imports from Legacy and Generations.
    • The Bookmark Manager is no longer limited to 25 bookmarks.
    • Improved localization (for users of TMG in other languages).
    • A variety of new options for Preferences, filters, history tags, and the custom toolbar.
    • Updated help file.

With this release, The Master Genealogist version 5.05 now supports 20 report formats, and there are more yet to come.

Registered users of The Master Genealogist can obtain the update at no charge. Simply connect to the Internet and then run TMG. Once the program is operating, click on the Help menu and choose "Check for an update."

To read my review of The Master Genealogist version 5.0, look at: http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0221.htm

For more information about The Master Genealogist, look at: http://www.whollygenes.com

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

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- More on GED-IT

Last week I wrote about GED-IT, a Web-based program that allows you to quickly and easily examine GEDCOM files. Author Julian Pedley has posted a follow-up message on this newsletter's Discussion Board, giving quite a bit of supplemental information to last week's article. To read Julian's message, go to: http://rootsforum.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?s=76300fbae23ba6f30156270bfbe4515e;act=ST;f=1;t=286

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- September FGS Conference in Orlando

The Federation of Genealogical Societies holds an annual conference that is one of the largest in North America. This year's conference will be held at Seaworld in Orlando, Florida, on September 3 through 6.

Co-hosted by the Florida State Genealogical Society, this year's conference has the theme of "Countdown to Discovery: A World of Hidden Treasures." More than 175 lectures will be presented during the four-day conference in seven simultaneous tracks:

  1. Charting a Course to the Old World (British Isles & Europe)
  2. Exploration in the New World (United States & Canada)
  3. Riches in the First Colony (Focus on Florida)
  4. Diverse Voyagers (Ethnic & Religious Research)
  5. Tools for Successful Navigation (Skills & Strategies)
  6. A Wealth of Hidden Treasures (Records Research)
  7. Just Over the Horizon (Technology & the Internet)

I will probably write more about this great conference some time this summer. However, you might want to mark your calendars now. In addition, you can read the complete program and register on-line at http://www.fgs.org/2003conf/FGS-2003.htm

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

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- Burke's Peerage & Gentry's A to Z Guide

Burke's Peerage is the well-known British company that provides genealogy information about U.K. and Irish titled families as well as prominent but untitled individuals and families. Now Burke's Peerage has introduced a new online reference that provides a lot of information about genealogy, heraldry, history, events, places and more.

I took a look at the new A to Z Guide this week and found it to be a cross between a genealogy dictionary and an encyclopedia. It has definitions and pointers to even more information. For instance, clicking on the word "clans" took me to a page that gives links to many Scottish clan pages, plus links to Tartan Day and history of the Scottish clan system. Clicking on "Auld Lang Syne" provides the complete words of all verses of the poem written by Robert Burns. Clicking on "Presidents (US)" took me to a number of pages of information about U.S. Presidents, including brief biographies of each.

Based in England, Burke's Peerage focuses on the British Isles; so, you can expect the site aims to help people find information, definitions, and links on a host of terms related to British history, society, and tradition. Also, the company's Web site is a combination of free and for-pay information. Some of the links point to pages that are available only after you subscribe for a fee. However, I also found many pages that are free and open to everyone.

To access Burke's Peerage & Gentry's A to Z Guide, go to

http://www.burkes-peerage.net/sites/common/sitepages/reindex.asp

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

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- (+) Palmer List of Merchant Vessels

This is a Plus Edition-only article and is available only to subscribers to the Plus Edition of this newsletter. To learn how to subscribe to the Plus Edition, go to http://www.RootsForum.com/plus

[Return to Table of Contents]


- (+) Tracing the History of Your House

This is a Plus Edition-only article and is available only to subscribers to the Plus Edition of this newsletter. To learn how to subscribe to the Plus Edition, go to http://www.RootsForum.com/plus

[Return to Table of Contents]


- Use of DNA to Find Family Roots

Wall Street Journal reporter Ken Wells had a hazy idea of his Wells ancestry but had never been able to prove it. On and off for 22 years, he searched conventional genealogical records and, more recently, the Web, all in vain. However, with the help of a new Wells Family DNA Project, Ken Wells was able to narrow his search and then found a book that provided the information he was seeking. Later examination of primary sources verified the information in the book. Without the focus provided by the DNA project, he might never have known where to look for the information that proved his ancestry.

You can read about Ken Wells' experiences in the article he wrote at http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/030306/72/38luc.html

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

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- More on ANCESTRYbyDNA

The September 30, 2002 edition of this newsletter had an article written by Ann Turner that described ANCESTRYbyDNA, a DNA analysis service provided by DNAPrint Genomics. The company's service seems to be growing in popularity.

CBS Television has twice aired a segment about DNAPrint's racial profiling kit on "Eye on America with Dan Rather." The research and development company now is flooded with orders. "We got a wild surge of orders as a result," said DNAPrint's chief executive, Tony Frudakis. "We just hope that this is a sign of more (good) things to come."

DNAPrint Genomics claims that their service is the first recreational genetic testing of its kind. The ANCESTRYbyDNA product analyzes saliva to determine within a few percentage points to what extent a person is of European, American Indian, African, Asian, or Pacific Islander heritage.

ANCESTRYbyDNA is being marketed to genealogy enthusiasts exploring ambiguous parts of their family trees. It also has potential use by forensics experts. The kit and testing service costs $158, down from a recent price of $320. It is available at http://ancestrybydna.com.

To read Ann Turner's article describing ANCESTRYbyDNA, go to http://www.rootsforum.com/archives/news0239.htm

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

[Return to Table of Contents]


- Searching for Descendants of Baltimore Shipyard Founders

The new waterfront Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in Baltimore is jointly named for the Maryland-born abolitionist and for the founder of the first black-owned shipyard in the nation. The nearby Living Classrooms Foundation is directing the park's development, and the site will become an extension of its campus.

The nonprofit group bought the Fells Point waterfront warehouse for a dollar from the city several years ago, with the promise to restore it. The idea is to create a versatile complex that honors the role of African-Americans in the country's maritime saga. Plans call for classrooms, exhibits, and a working shipyard next to the warehouse. The site is 100 yards from where Isaac Myers and 14 other African-American partners founded the Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Company in 1866. In earlier years Frederick Douglass worked at a shipyard in Fells Point as a caulker, a skilled tradesman who sealed gaps in a vessel's hull to make it airtight.

The African-American Historical and Genealogy Society is trying to locate descendants of the other partners who founded the shipyard after the Civil War.

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

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- How to Search Past Newsletters

If you are looking for information from a past edition of this newsletter, you might want to know that you can read past issues of the Standard Edition online. All the Standard Edition newsletters for the past seven years are available on the newsletter's Web site at http://www.RootsForum.com and can be searched by each word.

To find a past newsletter, go to http://www.RootsForum.com and scroll about two-thirds of the way down the page. You will notice a "search box" labeled "Search This Site and the Newsletter Archives." Enter the word(s) or phrase that you wish to find in the box, and then select whether you want to search for any newsletter that has at least one of the words that you entered, any newsletter that has all of the words that you entered, or any newsletter that has the exact phrase that you entered. Then click on SEARCH. Within two or three seconds you will see a list of all the newsletters that match the search criteria you specified. Click on any entry on that list, and you will be able to read the entire newsletter that contains those words.

For instance, to find past articles about Personal Ancestral File version 3.0, enter the words "Personal Ancestral File version 3.0" in the search box (without the quote marks), select "Find Exact Phrase" and then click on SEARCH. You will quickly find a number or articles about that topic going back to 1998. You might also try a second search, looking for "PAF 3.0."

You can save any newsletter to your hard drive or mail it to yourself or to someone else by using your Web browser's commands. Many people are not aware that you can mail Web pages. To do so in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, or Opera Web browsers, click on FILE and then on SEND. If you are missing a newsletter in your files, the online search will quickly locate the newsletter for you.

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

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- New Genealogy Chat Room

The Chat Room software on RootsForum.com was replaced recently with a new package that is much more powerful and offers numerous options that were not available previously. Several of us have used the new chat room software recently, and it has worked quite well. The people who joined me there seemed delighted with the bells and whistles – literally! Yes, it makes sounds. Now I want to invite you to join the fun and gather online with other good folks who enjoy family history.

With that, you’re invited to use the chat room any time, schedule your own "meeting" with others, or join a scheduled chat session. The chat room is open 24 hours a day, so you can drop in whenever you like. However, if you want to start with a ready-made assembly of sociable genealogists, you’re welcome to join a group of us, including myself, on Tuesday evenings at 10:00 PM Eastern time, 7:00 PM Pacific. For those outside of North America, that is 03.00 UTC on Wednesdays.

The Tuesday chat sessions are very informal with no set agenda. We discuss whatever topics the attendees wish to discuss. Sometimes these are genealogy-related conversations but often are not. We chit-chat about the weather, the news of the day, or any other topics that pop to mind. In short, this is a gathering of online friends who share an interest: genealogy. Like friends anywhere, we talk about our favorite topic and other subjects as well. All of us would like to invite you to join in.

If you would like to use the chat room for other online purposes, please feel free to do so. Post a message on the Discussion Board at http://www.RootsForum.com and announce the topic, the date, and the time that you will be there. Make sure you give the time zone so that others can calculate the planned time in their local time zones. You can then host online chats about your own favorite topics.

To access the new chat room at any time, go to http://www.RootsForum.com and click on CHAT ROOM. See you Tuesday evening!

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

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- Home Pages Highlighted

The "Home Pages Highlighted" section consists of new genealogy-related home pages that you, the readers of this newsletter, nominate for publication in this newsletter. While anyone may nominate any genealogy-related home page, the process seems to work best when the webmaster for a home page nominates his or her own work. You are invited to enter your nomination online at http://www.rootsforum.com.

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

Farris Family Research, including Faris, Farris, Pharis: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~debisphotos/Debi%20Faris/Faris/faris1st.html

Sanders Family Website with a focus on South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and England: http://www.sandersweb.net

AncientFaces – More than 20,000 photos, stories, and recipes submitted by visitors as well as a marketplace with vintage items and genealogy books. Everyone is invited to share their family history - for free. http://www.ancientfaces.com

Nation and Dickson families - 460,000 names from 1851 UK census and a study of the Nation surname in UK and abroad: http://www.noscamzone.com

Carolyne's Native American Genealogy Helper - Native American genealogy how-to articles, tribal-specific NARA microfilm numbers, tribal census data and links, as well as tribal history. The author is of Cherokee ancestry and is a genealogist specializing in Native American research: http://www.angelfire.com/tx/carolynegenealogy/

American-Canadian Genealogical Society – This is one of the leading and most active of the French-Canadian genealogical societies: http://www.acgs.org

McKinstry ancestors in Pennsylvania: http://mysite.verizon.net/res1fwfa

Pitt County, North Carolina discussion group. Pitt County has the unique distinction of being the "root" to so many families that now populate the United States. The discussion group's goal is the genealogy research and any other aspect thereof in eastern and coastal North Carolina; the joy of finding ancestors and long-lost cousins; freely sharing with our members & other interested parties: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/genpcncfir

Mullins Family Genealogy – also includes Rea, Smart, Tafner, Phillips, Wade, Darnell and Wilks: http://www.geocities.com/kenmullins.geo/

The Shipman Family –families in migration from Germany to North Carolina in the early 1700s and then to Texas today. http://www.ip-services.com/shipman

Our Cromer Family also includes numerous other surnames: http://www.ccromerkeepsakes.com/our_cromer_family

The English Creek family web site: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/creek_family/

To submit your genealogy page to this newsletter, enter the necessary information at: http://www.rootsforum.com, click on "add your genealogy Web page to this list." Due to the volume of new Web pages submitted, I am not able to list all of them in the newsletter.

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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 "Discussion 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 and Other Legal Things:

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).

This document is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in this document represents the views of Richard W. Eastman with one exception: words written by other authors and republished herein are the views solely of those authors. All information provided in this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. The reader assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document.

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.

Anyone complying with the above does not need to ask permission in advance.

Permission to use the words in this document for commercial purposes usually is granted. However, commercial use requires advance authorization.

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 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 "Discussion 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 Standard Edition of the newsletter becomes available, go to http://www.rootsforum.com/mailman/listinfo/newsletter-standard_rootsforum.com.

This newsletter is available in both ASCII text and HTML versions. To change your subscription to the ASCII version, send an e-mail to ascii@roots.d2g.com. To change your subscription to the HTML version, send an e-mail to html@roots.d2g.com.

If you have any questions about your subscription, send a message to support@rootsforum.com.

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