Fast & reliable dial-up Internet access!

This newsletter is available in both ASCII text and HTML versions. To change your preference, go to the address shown at the very end of this newsletter.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Standard Edition

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

Vol. 8 No. 27 – July 7, 2003

This newsletter relies solely upon "word of mouse" advertising. If you enjoy reading these articles, please tell others to go to

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

Search previous issues of Standard Edition newsletters at:

Plus Edition subscribers may gain access to a reserved section of the Discussion Board. Details are available at

Listen to Dick Eastman’s broadcast on

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


- Were You Victimized by This Genealogy Scam Artist?
- Free Book: English Ancestors of George Washington
- Family Forest World Record Edition
- Update: A Portable Genealogy Program?
- Florida Library Dismemberment is Defeated!
- The High Cost of Cemetery Plots in Tokyo
- (+) A Micropayment System for Online Web Content
- PAF Review
- Carl Mobley, Genealogy Hero
- A Pardon for Butch Cassidy?
- Another Use for DNA
- Hormel Objects to the Term "Spam"
- The Most Common Birthday
- Upcoming Events

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

Heredity: People believe in it until their children act like fools.

- Were You Victimized by This Genealogy Scam Artist?

I have written a number of times about GenSeekers. This site is owned and operated by Mr. Elias Abodeely of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mr. Abodeely is a 21-year-old who has operated a number of Web sites, using various business names, including,,,,,,, and probably many others. Most of these are Web sites that remain online for a few weeks while the owner collects money from would-be customers. The sites then get shut down as the complaints mount, but new ones appear with similar wording.

Elias Abodeely has advertised his Web sites with thousands of spam e-mails. These messages claim to offer access to millions of online genealogy records for about $60.00 a year. (The price varies a bit from one ad to another.) Once signed up for this "service," the hapless victim is given access to a few pages of menus that point to other Web sites, all of which are free of charge for everyone. The links on Abodeely's sites point to, RootsWeb, and lots of other sites that you can access right now at no charge.

Your sixty dollars buys access to a list of links, nothing else. And those links are not nearly as complete as those on Cyndi's List, a free site.

Elias Abodeely has accepted credit cards and checks by various means. For a while, he used a PayPal account. However, clicking on the link in an old spam mail from GenSeekers now displays a PayPal page that says, "This recipient is currently unable to receive money." PayPal apparently shut down that account.

In the spam mail ads, GenSeekers and the other names being used all offer a five-day, money-back guarantee. GenSeekers' online check acceptance form at says, "The 5 Day Trial is 100 % Free for the First 5 Days Cancel Before End of Trial and Nothing will ever be billed." (That is an exact quote with the original grammar errors left intact.) A customer service e-mail address to be used for cancellations is supplied when you subscribe. However, e-mails sent to that address bounce back as "addressee unknown" Or "mailbox full." Once charged, there is no method for the victim to cancel or obtain a refund.

To read my past articles about this scam, look at:,, and at

The Better Business Bureau's report is particularly strong. The BBB is usually rather conservative in its reports, but this time says, "It has come to the bureau's attention that consumers are unable to unsubscribe through web site and email correspondences are not returned by company. Credit card users who have been unable to obtain a refund from the company may wish to contact their credit card company."

You can find many more references on Google. You can also find quite a few messages about this on the Discussion Board for this newsletter.

When I started writing this article, the Web page at was in operation. However, before I finished the article a few days later, that Web page seemed to have disappeared. An attempt to go to that page now generates the common error message, "The page you are looking for is currently unavailable." In the meantime, you can see Google's cached copy. Copies of other now-defunct Web sites operated by Elias Abodeely are also available at:

Some months ago, the spam mail messages listed a telephone number, but later e-mail ads do not. That number was disconnected and later re-assigned to someone else (who reportedly is really angry at all the phone calls they have received from unhappy people looking for!).

When looking at the domain registrations for Abodeely's Web sites, I found several addresses and telephone numbers used. The registration for lists a Technical Contact of Elias Abodeely at 9843 Cambridge Drive, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 and a different telephone number. I called the number but was connected to an answering machine that gave no clue as to the current owner's name.

I searched several online telephone directories for a current address and telephone number. Most of the searches came up empty, except for AnyWho at That online service does show a listing for a Mr. Elias A Abodeely at still a different address in Cedar Rapids and with a different phone number. There is no way to tell if this is the same person or not. A search on turned up references to two men of the same name in Cedar Rapids. One is listed as being 92 years old, obviously not the same person.

By the way, you can see a five-year-old partially obscured picture of then 16-year-old Elias Abodeely. Look at the Cedar Rapids GazetteOnline at:

Have you been a victim of one of these scams? You may be able to get your money back. Even better, you may be able to help stop this operation now before others become victims.

If you have been victimized by GenSeekers or any of the other names being used in this operation, please do several things:

  1. If you paid by credit card, contact your credit card company now! Your credit card is insured against online fraud. The phone number to call probably is on the back of the credit card. Ask for a refund. Credit card companies are very experienced at these scams and are quick to refund a victim's money if they receive such a request promptly. The credit card companies then go after the business owners for reimbursement. (Sadly, many people paid by checks, at the suggestion of Mr. Abodeely's various spam mails. Personal checks should never be used for online purchases as they do not have fraud protection. Credit cards are fully insured against online fraud, but personal checks carry no protection at all. If you paid by credit card, you can get your money back! If you paid by check or money order, you probably are out of luck.)

  2. File a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). You can easily do this at

  3. File a consumer complaint form with the Federal Trade Commission. Selling on the Internet constitutes interstate commerce, so the FTC has jurisdiction. You can do this easily at$.startup?Z_SUBMIT_FLAG=Y.

  4. Download and fill out an Iowa Attorney General Consumer Complaint Form. You can obtain this form at You can also send e-mail complaints to However, I suspect that a written complaint form sent via regular mail will be more effective.

  5. Contact the Cedar Rapids Police Department. The department's Web page at and the department's Financial Crimes division page at lists Lieutenant Ken Washburn as the contact person for any financial crimes. You can reach him at (319) 286-5413 or at

The time to act is now. If victims do not take speedy action to shut down this operation, how many more people will be victimized?

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Free Book: English Ancestors of George Washington

Tom Kemp of the Godfrey Memorial Library sent a message this week with a great offer. Here is Tom's message:

Hi Dick,

I thought that you’d want to know that in honor of the 4th of July our library is distributing copies of the book: Facsimiles of the Memorial Stones of the last English Ancestors of George Washington in the Parish Church of Brington, Northamptonshire, England, permanently placed in the State House of Massachusetts. Boston: William White printer to the state, 1862.

If you can, please tell your readers that if they’d like a free print or digital copy of this book that they should send their name/address to the library at the address below. Please ask them to specify if they want the print or the digital edition.


Thomas Jay Kemp
Godfrey Memorial Library
134 Newfield Street
Middletown, CT 06457-2534
Web site:

OK, Tom, thanks. I did let the readers know. Actually, you let them know.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Family Forest World Record Edition

This week I had a chance to use Millisecond Publishing's Family Forest World Record Edition, a CD-ROM disk for Windows that provides a wealth of genealogy data. Quoting from the introductory information on the CD-ROM disk, "The Family Forest digitally maps and connects recorded knowledge about the family ties that lead to the ancestors of most, if not all, of the people on Earth, and makes the results available almost instantly. In addition to many of the people in the Family Forest World Record Edition being connected to countless of thousands of their unique ancestors (ancestors are only parents of parents, etc., and not aunts, uncles, or cousins) over the span of twenty centuries, many are connected to thirty thousand or more cousins."

In short, this disk has family information about millions of individuals. Most of the families listed have a notable person someplace in the family tree. However, in order to document the ancestors and descendants of these famous people, details about many every-day people were also recorded in the database.

The disk shows the relationships among these people, many of which had not previously been identified. It shows President Kennedy's family connection to Marilyn Monroe and Henry Ford's relationship to Thomas Edison as well as to thousands of others. Best of all, you may find one of your distant relatives listed on this disk, famous or not. If so, you can use the same CD-ROM disk to identify still more relatives, sometimes spanning many generations.

The producers of this disk have reportedly spent more than 40,000 hours researching and developing the Family Forest product. More than 330 printed resources from throughout the United States were accessed in the process. Family Forest is now a fully-sourced, lineage-linked, digital database with instant access to ancestral connections of millions of people, spanning over twenty centuries and multiple continents.

Again, quoting from the CD:

What does it mean to be a cousin (no matter how distant) of someone? Basically it means that somewhere back in time, maybe many centuries ago, there were two people who were ancestors of both you and your cousin. It also means that each and every ancestor of those two people, all the way back to wherever the beginning was, was also an ancestor of you and your cousin.

I inserted the Family Forest World Record Edition disk into my computer's CD-ROM drive and went through the simple software installation instructions. The search engine on this disk is Progeny Software's Family Explorer, a good choice in my opinion. When I started the program for the first time, the software took some time to search for data. I suspect it was building an index file. I later exited the program and started it again a number of times. Only the first launch of the program was slow; later launches all happened quickly.

As I usually do when trying out a new genealogy database, I did a search for my own surname. I was surprised at how many entries I found; there were pages of them. I didn't recognize any of the names as being in my own family tree, so I clicked on the best-known person in the list: George Eastman, the chemist in Rochester, New York, who became successful after founding the Eastman Kodak Company. The first screen that appeared was a family listing of George and his immediate family members. That was mostly blank space as George never married and never had children. He also was an only child. However, the screen did list the names of his parents.

Next, I clicked on VIEWS and then on ANCESTORS. I was soon looking at a pedigree chart of all of George Eastman's ancestors known to the compilers of this CD-ROM disk. I have a casual knowledge of this man's direct male ancestry and was pleased to see that the Family Forest World Record Edition CD agreed with the published book on the family name. The CD even included two more generations in England that were not identified in the 1901 book. I also noted that the CD displayed a lot of information about maternal lines that was not published in the best-known book about the Eastman family. It seems that George Eastman of Kodak fame was also a descendant of Governor William Bradford of the Mayflower Colony through his mother's ancestry. I could view the charts on the screen or print them on paper, even as huge wall charts if I tape the various pages together.

OK, now the fun part. I selected a Kinship Report and waited for a while as the software found all of George's identified relatives through 99 generations. Eventually the Family Forest World Record Edition produced a list of George's relatives. When I say, "a list," I mean a HUGE list. The output was an Adobe Acrobat file of 30 or more names per page. In this case, the report was 426 printed pages!

Looking through the list, I can see that George Eastman was related to President George W. Bush (8th cousin 4 times removed through their common ancestor Samuel Morse), President Grover Cleveland (8th cousin through their mutual ancestor John Stanley), President Calvin Coolidge (8th cousin once removed through their common ancestor Samuel Morse, the same man who is an ancestor of presidents George Bush and George W. Bush), Lee DeForest, inventor of the vacuum tube and numerous other electronic advancements (6th cousin once removed through their common ancestor Deacon Edward Stebbins), Ralph Waldo Emerson (4th cousin twice removed through their common ancestor Thomas Cadwell) and many more. Actually, I stopped looking on this alphabetical list at the end of the Es on page 114. There were still another 312 pages to go, but I suspect this list gives you an idea of what it is all about.

I looked at the relatives of a few other people and found all sorts of interesting connections. For instance, did you know that Lizzie Borden (the young lady accused of axing her parents with "40 whacks") was the 4th cousin, 3 times removed of Norma Jean Baker? If you do not recognize that last name, you probably do remember her stage name: Marilyn Monroe.

Millisecond Publishing's advertising claims that data on this disk shows the relationship of Brooke Shields to Lady Godiva, Elvis Presley to King Lear, Drew Barrymore to Marie Antoinette, and many more.

I then searched the Family Forest World Record Edition for some of my own ancestors' names. To my surprise, I found several. On conducting a Kinship Report on each, I found distant relationships to one U.S. President, a Supreme Court justice, and painter Andrew Wyeth. These men obviously are not ancestors of mine; they simply exist somewhere in the outer branches of the family tree. I spent about an hour finding these connections and then stopped to write this article. I am sure I can find many more when I devote more time to this CD-ROM. This is a fascinating disk!

Through the use of the Family Explorer software, the user can generate all sorts of reports from this database. Reports may be either viewed on-screen or printed on paper. The reports include Kinship Reports (as I described earlier), pedigree charts, descendant charts, fan charts, and even "bow tie charts."

Each record on this CD contains at least one source citation for the publication where the information was obtained. For instance, the record for Lizzie Borden cites a well-respected genealogy source: Gary Boyd Roberts' Notable Kin, Volume Two, page 95. A complete bibliography is included on the disk. Of course, Millisecond Publishing does not make any claims for data accuracy. Like most genealogy publications, the publishers simply present the information they found and give a citation for each record that points to where it was found. The reader is left to accept the information or not. As with any data you come upon, before republishing in your own works, you should verify each piece of information.

In short, I was delighted with this disk. I could spend hours and hours searching through its contents. This disk will provide information about the ancestry and extended relationships of millions of living Americans, once they can trace their own family trees back far enough to connect with people on this CD-ROM disk.

I do question the claim of "… that lead to the ancestors of most, if not all, of the people on Earth." For instance, I did a search for Genghis Kahn, who is believed to be the ancestor of millions of people. I didn't find him listed. Most of the people in the CD-ROM database, although not all, seem to be Americans. However, their ancestry back into Europe is frequently given as well. In addition, many notables from the British Isles and from Europe are also included.

Family Forest World Record Edition is a huge compilation of genealogy data, created by Bruce and Kristine Harrison, the owners of Millisecond Publishing. This work is monumental. I do not know of any other product that provides in-depth information about the family connections of as many individuals as this one. Even better, this CD is very easy to use. Bruce and Kristine have a winner on their hands.

This disk requires Windows 95 or any later version of Windows, as well as a Pentium class processor and at least 10 megabytes of free disk space. The Family Forest World Record Edition has a list price of $129 (U.S. funds) plus shipping. However, Millisecond Publishing's Web site presently lists a special price of $89. That price includes a 30-day money back guarantee.

Millisecond Publishing sells a number of other lower-priced products that are loosely similar to this one, although with less data in each. The Family Forest World Record Edition is their top-of-the-line or flagship product. To learn more about any of Millisecond Publishing's products, or to order online via a safe and secure shopping cart system, look at:


What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Update: A Portable Genealogy Program?

Last week's article about a person looking for a "portable genealogy program" has generated a lot of messages on this newsletter's Discussion Board. In short, a person is looking for a program that he can install on portable media of some sort (or can use an Internet Web site) so that he can carry the program and data with him and use it on any modern Windows computer. The hindrance is that most modern genealogy programs write to the computer's Windows registry upon installation. Therefore, they must have a full installation on each computer before it can be used. This gentleman will be nomadic for a while and is looking for a solution that he can use on any available computer, such as one in a public library, without a need to run an installation routine on that computer.

The Discussion Board suggestions have included the use of Web sites' databases, buying a laptop, using a handheld computer, and more. If you have suggestions or if you would like to read the discussions so far, look at the Discussion Board.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Florida Library Dismemberment is Defeated!

"The buzz has died and the dust nearly settled in the great flap over Gov. Jeb Bush's ill-fated plans to streamline the Florida State Library," according to Jim Ash, staff writer for the Palm Beach Post. The Governor's plan to dismantle the state library system has now, in turn, been dismantled.

You may recall that I wrote several articles earlier this year about this political boondoggle. Those articles are still available at:,,, and In those articles, I reported on the governor's plan to dismantle the state library system, transferring many of the materials to a privately-owned institution in violation of state law with the remainder going to a state university that did not have nearly enough room to house the materials. When challenged by the public, Bush administration officials kept changing the plan.

Thousands of genealogists, led by Florida State Genealogy Society president Pam Cooper, along with many other concerned citizens and organizations, launched a major opposition effort. Now the Palm Beach Post and many other Florida newspapers report that Governor Bush has dropped the plan from the state budget. Click here to read the full article.

Retired state librarian Barratt Wilkins is quoted as saying, "We owe it to the newspapers, the librarians and the genealogists for raising public awareness. It was the key to diminishing the possibility of dismantling the division."

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- The High Cost of Cemetery Plots in Tokyo

It costs a lot to live in Japan. In fact, it costs a lot to die there, too. Theresa Dewhurst sent along a link to a newspaper article that describes the sale of cemetery plots in Tokyo's Aoyama Cemetery: up to $86,800 for a 40-square foot lot.

Click here to read the entire article.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- (+) A Micropayment System for Online Web Content

This is a "preview" from a Plus Edition-only article that is available only to subscribers to the Plus Edition of this newsletter. To learn how to subscribe to the Plus Edition, go to

Selling genealogy information online is a difficult thing to accomplish for small societies or private individuals. Sadly, a lot of valuable genealogy information has been compiled but is not readily available online or in books because of the financial considerations.

Even an effort conducted by volunteer labor requires some amount of funding in order to publish the results. The transcription efforts conducted by local genealogy societies eventually have to find a few dollars in order to publish the results in book form or on the Web. Printing costs and Web hosting costs must be paid although many societies hope to later recover those costs by the sales of books.

Selling the information in printed books sometimes results in enough sales to cover the initial costs. However, that is not always true. Also, sales are limited by the lack of publicity as well as by pure economics: Who wants to pay $10.00 or $20.00 for a book that might have only one reference to an ancestor? Wouldn't it be better to provide the information online and then to charge by the "hit?" Perhaps charge twenty-five cents for each piece of information of value? That way, tens of thousands of genealogists would be willing to pay for the smaller amount of information at lower cost. Collectively, these tens of thousands of twenty-five cent charges could generate much more revenue for a local society than what can be expected from book sales.

Publishing on the Web should solve the problems. Database technology is readily available to allow searching and displaying small amounts of information stored within large databases. However, to date, we have seen only partial solutions. To be sure, search engines make it easy for anyone to find obscure information and publications within seconds. However, paying for information on the Web is more difficult.

End of "preview."

To read the rest of this article, you must be a subscriber to the Plus Edition. If you subscribe today, you will receive this article. To learn how to subscribe to the Plus Edition, go to

[Return to Table of Contents]

- PAF Review

Personal Ancestral File remains as one of the most popular genealogy programs in the world. For a long time, it was considered to be THE most popular, although another product has made the same claim in recent years. Personal Ancestral File is available in two versions: as a free Windows program and as a $10.00 program for the Macintosh. Both versions are available from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church, or the Mormons).

Personal Ancestral File, or PAF, has always been famous for its elegant simplicity. Anyone can use PAF, even computer novices. In fact, thousands of genealogists received their introduction to computers by first using PAF to record their genealogy information. This simplicity also has meant that PAF lacked a lot of features in the earlier years, although the latest iteration has become closer to being full-featured. Even so, lots of people still find the program to lag behind the capabilities of its commercial competitors.

As a result, this popular program has attracted many hobbyists with programming abilities. The earlier MS-DOS versions of PAF soon had many add-on utility programs written by those who wanted to add features to the program. Later Windows versions attracted additional utilities, although perhaps not as many, given the features added to the core program. In fact, even the LDS Church sells an add-on utility to increase the number of reports available: Personal Ancestral File Companion sells for $13.50. The Macintosh versions, however, seem to attract very few add-on utilities.

Finding and evaluating all the various additional products was a complex task. A decade ago a non-profit group called PAF Review organized for the purpose of doing just that. It was aimed at helping users of the then-current PAF version 2.0 to find and understand the many add-on utilities that had been written.

The PAF program has improved over the years, and the add-on utilities have changed. Some disappeared, new ones appeared, and some of the long-time favorites were updated. PAF Review still works to review the utilities available for all versions.

PAF Review now offers the following:

  • a website with information about PAF and related add-on utilities
  • links to training opportunities that relate to PAF
  • lists of and links to PAF User groups
  • a discussion forum for PAF users
  • a conversion service to help those who are stuck in version 2 but wish to move to version 5

All of these services are free, and the Web site has no advertising. Anyone using Personal Ancestral File should look at PAF Review at

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Carl Mobley, Genealogy Hero

This week's nomination for recognition as a genealogy hero comes from Charles Wall:

Hi Richard, I wish to nominate Carl Mobley for your consideration. He has become a close personal friend and helper in my search and we also found out our families are related.

Carl is a dedicated researcher and worker for improving the information that is available. He has worked 7-10 hours a day (and still doing it) since 1994 when the web started to grow to make all the information possible on his family and the allied lines in Baker County, Florida. I know it is hard to believe he works that much, but I assure you that he does. His web site is the largest of any kind I have ever seen: 491 pages on Baker County, which includes just about everything one could think of: articles, books, pictures, census and cemetery records. He also has his own site for the Mobley family. To get data from that you must fill out an application so that he can be sure you are not a researcher.

His family tree must be over 100,000 family members now, and he also has his own email site and has about 300 subscribers to it also...This also requires a questionnaire be completed there, so he knows only those interested in the family are admitted. See his sites as listed below.

I feel as you review his awards page, his Baker county web site, and his own family page, you will agree he is very dedicated to his work...

Thanks for giving Carl your consideration.

Charlie Wall

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- A Pardon for Butch Cassidy?

Bountiful, Utah, resident Doug Lowe has been circulating a petition for signatures. The petition is addressed to Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and asks the governor to pardon Robert LeRoy Parker, also known as Butch Cassidy, for his crimes.

Indeed, Parker, a.k.a. Butch Cassidy, seems to have lived a most interesting life. Born in 1866 to an English immigrant Mormon family in Beaver, Utah, Parker left home at an early age and worked as a migrant cowboy. He seemed to have somewhat disreputable friends, and he soon drifted into a life of crime. He did a short stint as a butcher in Rock Springs, Wyoming, a job that earned him the nickname of "Butch." Legend has it that the butcher shop sold meat from stolen cattle.

Parker/Cassidy was arrested for theft and served time in a Wyoming jail from 1894 to 1896. He applied for a pardon and was granted a hearing with Governor William Richards. "My time is three–fourths done," Cassidy said, "and a few more months won't make much difference. I've got some property in Colorado that needs looking after, and I'd like to get a pardon."

"If it's your intention to go straight after you get out, perhaps it could be arranged," replied the Governor. "You're still young, and smart enough to make a success in almost any line. Will you give me your word that you will quit rustling?"

"Can't do that, governor," replied Cassidy, "because if I gave you my word I'd only have to break it. I'm in too deep now to quit the game. But I'll promise you one thing; if you give me a pardon, I'll not commit any more crimes in Wyoming."

Governor William Richards was impressed with Cassidy's frankness and believed that he would keep his word. The pardon was signed, and Cassidy walked out of the Wyoming penitentiary a free man on January 19, 1896. Upon release, Cassidy rode to a hideout called Hole-in-the-Wall. This hideout was located in Wyoming and was considered more of a fortress than just a difficult place to find. He soon assembled a gang that called themselves the "Wild Bunch." This gang consisted of several well-known Western outlaws including Harry Longabaugh, known as the Sundance Kid; Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry; Ben Kilpatrick, the Tall Texan; Harry Tracy; Elzy Lay (who was Butch's best friend), and several others. Operating around the turn of the century, Cassidy and his partners put together the longest sequence of successful bank and train robberies in the history of the American West.

Many books and Web sites have details of their crimes. The 1969 movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford certainly spread Butch Cassidy's fame even further.

When the railroads hired the Pinkerton Agency to chase down Cassidy, he and Harry Longabaugh, along with Etta Place (who was likely a Browns Park girl named Ann Bassett), went to South America and purchased a ranch in Argentina. After a few short years of trying to make it as honest ranchers, the pair again turned to easier methods of obtaining money. After robbing banks in several South American countries, the pair was finally trapped by troops in Bolivia.

On November 6, 1908, two Americans reportedly were killed in a shoot-out with Bolivian troops in San Vicente. There was no identification on the bodies, and the Bolivian troops had never heard of Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid. The bodies were buried at the small San Vicente cemetery.

Rumors flew for many years, claiming that the two gringos killed in San Vicente were not the two famous outlaws. Some claimed that another pair of outlaws were killed by the troops and that Cassidy and Longabaugh (the Sundance Kid) purposefully let the news spread that they had been killed. Old stories claim that the pair returned to the West and lived out their lives under alias names and identities.

In 1969, when 20th Century Fox released its box office smash "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," reporters came to Cassidy's childhood home, looking for his family. They found Mrs. Lula Parker Betenson, 86, Butch's youngest sister. Among other things, she told reporters that Cassidy had not died in South America in 1909, as was widely believed, but had come back to visit her some 16 years later, in 1925. Lula said that Butch instead died in Spokane, Washington, in 1937, and spent his last years as a trapper and prospector.

In 1991, a scientific team excavated the graves in San Vicente, Bolivia, to take DNA tests. The results were inconclusive.

This is a great story that fits well into American folklore. However, the effort to issue a Utah pardon for Robert LeRoy Parker, a.k.a. Butch Cassidy, will probably fail. The effort seems to be a bit bizarre because of two items not mentioned in the petition:

  1. The governor of Utah doesn't issue pardons. That function has been outsourced to the Utah Board of Pardons.

  2. Robert LeRoy Parker was born in Beaver, Utah, but was never actually convicted of any crime in the state. Technically, there is nothing that any Utah authority could pardon him for.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Another Use for DNA

DNA analysis is very popular in criminal investigations and is slowly becoming a tool for genealogists as well. This week the BBC reported a new twist in criminal investigations that may have fallout in genealogy.

Fifteen years ago a prostitute was murdered in Cardiff, Wales. One of the biggest murder hunts ever mounted by a British police force followed. Two years later, three men were arrested for the crime, tried, convicted, and incarcerated. Another two years went by before their convictions were overturned by the Court of Appeals.

Police continued to work on the case. A new examination of the murder scene found a DNA sample under layers of paint on a skirting board. An analysis was made but did not match anyone's DNA records maintained in a police database. However, the DNA partially matched that of a teenager who was known to the police - but who had not yet been born at the time of the murder. The teenager, it turned out, was a close relative of the murderer.

Relatives of the teenager were interviewed, and DNA samples were obtained from several possible suspects. The DNA from Jeffrey Gafoor was a perfect match. The 38-year-old security guard soon confessed to the crime.

The full story is available at:

This case raises a number of interesting issues. Is it possible to find anyone, a criminal or not, by DNA testing of a relative? What are the privacy issues involved? Can any government legally identify the activities of its citizens by the use of DNA samples from relatives? Even relatives who were not yet born at the time in question?

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Hormel Objects to the Term "Spam"

The word "spam" has been a famous trade name for years but more recently has become a common word for unwanted e-mail messages. Both may cause heartburn, but Hormel Foods Corp. is not amused. Now Hormel is asserting its trademark rights, filing complaints against Spam Arrest LLC, a Seattle technology company that provides spam-blocking software. Hormel, which introduced Spam in 1937, challenged Spam Arrest's applications to trademark its company name.

In a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Hormel argued that it has engendered "substantial goodwill and good reputation" in connection with its trademarked lunch meat and related products that would be damaged by Spam Arrest's use of the term. The company added that Spam Arrest's name so closely resembles that of its lunch meat that the public might become confused, or might think that Hormel endorses Spam Arrest's products.

If this filing is upheld, a lot of companies will have to scramble to change the names of their e-mail filtering products.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- The Most Common Birthday

Dan Hamilton sent along a bit of trivia this week: What day on the calendar has the most birthdays?

One would expect birthdays to be evenly distributed among the 365 days on a calendar. Not so, says online site This site has a database of the birthdays of more than 135 million Americas, so they probably know the answer. They claim that more people were born on October 5 than on any other day of the year.

The same Web site also mentions that the date is approximately 9 months after New Year's Eve.

What Do You Think? Comments and discussion are available on this newsletter's Discussion Boards.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- 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.

If you would like to see your event listed in future newsletters, send an e-mail to: 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.

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:

July 10-12 – Indianapolis, IN: Midwestern Roots 2003: Family History and Genealogy Conference held by the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Genealogical Society. Conference speakers include Tony Burroughs, Amy Johnson Crow, John Philip Colletta, Cyndi Howells, Michael John Neill, Loretto Szucs, Curt Witcher, and others.

July 11-12 – Boston, MA: If you have New England ancestors, a trip to Boston in July for the New England Historic Genealogical Society's summer conference could be the perfect research getaway. The NEHGS conference, "New England Research in the Early 21st Century," will feature eighteen prominent speakers, instructing participants in methods of publishing a genealogy, researching on the Internet, using primary documents in your research, and the latest tools and insights into doing specific state research.

*July 11-12 - Indianapolis, IN: the Midwestern Roots 2003 Family History and Genealogy Conference is co-sponsored by the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Genealogical Society. The conference will include speakers Tony Burroughs, Michael John Neill, Cyndi Howells, Paul Milner, John Philip Colletta and others. Conference information, registration forms and exhibitor information can be found at

*July 12 - London KY: The KY Genealogical Society (KGS) is holding a regional meeting to see all the members and prospective members who don't get a chance often to travel to Frankfort for the regular meetings.

July 12 - Whitewater, WI: "Pathways to the German Homeland" is the subject of the German Interest Group-Wisconsin workshop.

July 18-20 - 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.

July 20-25 - 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.

July 24-26 - San Rafael, CA: The Pennington Research Association's 2003 Annual Reunion/Meeting will feature speaker will be Cyndi Howells, speaking on genealogy research on the Internet.

July 29-August 1 - Provo, Utah: The 35th annual BYU Genealogy and Family History Conference will include eight information tracks: European and Nordic Research, Family History Center Operations, Genealogical Computing, Writing and Publishing, Research Methodology, United Kingdom and Ireland Research, United States and Canada Localities, and U.S. and Canada Records. Keynote presenters will include: Spencer J. Condie, Curt B. Witcher, Don R. Anderson and Susan Easton Black.

*Aug. 8-9 - Guilford County, NC - Clapp & Related Families' Annual Research Weekend. Welcome All! Events include Box Dinner, Genealogy Exchange, tours of the restored home of Daniel P. and Cledora Clapp Foust, tours of Clapp’s Mill, Alamance Battleground, Pyles Defeat, and Lindley Mill tours and more.

*Aug. 8-9 - Carleton Place, Ontario: The 26th annual Gathering of the Dobie Clan of North America. A business meeting and genealogy forum will be held on Friday. The outdoor program, consisting of games and competitions, etc. will be held on Saturday. More information is available from

Aug. 8-10 - South Tipperary, Ireland: Fennessy Family History Meeting 2003. Details may be found at:

*Aug. 15-17 – Lockport, NY: The Wertman Family Association Reunion is for descendants of George Philip Wertman who settled in 1749 in Lynn Township, present-day Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. A number of members of this family moved to the "great north woods or what is today called the Rapids, Lockport, New York. There will be a family researcher's meeting and a family outing. For information, contact:

Aug. 16 – Victoria, British Columbia: 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.’

Aug. 16 – New Zealand, Salt Lake City, London and Edinburgh: The "Hooked on Genealogy Tours" has been taking annual tours to Salt Lake City and the UK since 1992. This year's tour leaves Auckland, New Zealand on Sat 16 August flying to LA and thence to Salt Lake City, then London and Edinburgh.

Aug. 29-31 - Colchester, Essex, U.K.: A Family History Conference - "A Little of What You Fancy" will be held by the Essex Society for Family History and the Federation of Family History Societies.

Aug. 30 - Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland: The Fife Family History Fair with a theme of "Back to the Future" will feature a day packed with lectures, workshops, exhibition and stalls.

*Sept. 2-6 – Orlando, FL: FGS/FSGS 2003 Conference "Countdown to Discovery: A World of Hidden Treasurers" will be hosted by the Florida State Genealogical Society. This conference will offer over 200 outstanding presentations and an exhibit area (150 booths) for browsing and shopping. For details and registration form, visit the FGS web site at http://www.fgs.htm

Sept. 18-21 - Williamsburg, VA: The Nicolas Martiau Descendant Association (NMDA) will assemble for the 4th Martiau Tribute weekend. Nicolas Martiau (1591-1657), "Father of Yorktown," was a Captain of Militia, Yorke Shire Justice, Burgess, Military Engineer and Planter. He is the earliest Colonial Ancestor of George Washington and Thomas Nelson. The present Queen of England and Robert E. Lee are also descendants.

*Sept. 25-27 – Buffalo, NY: A two-day Conference for New York Researchers: Find Your Family in New York will be presented jointly by The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society and the Western New York Genealogical Society. This conference will concentrate on the complexities of researching in New York State and on those unique factors which influenced its settlement. Full information, including online registration, is available at:

*Sept. 26-28 – Ottawa, Ontario: The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa announces its Ninth Annual Conference. This year's theme, "The Basics, and Beyond", features twenty-one presentations in three concurrent streams. Fawn Stratford-Devai, noted author and lecturer on Ontario genealogical and historical topics, will present several lectures focusing on immigrant records. Chad Gaffield, Professor of History, University of Ottawa, will give the annual Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture on "Who are we? The Changing Questions of Identity in Canadian Census Enumerations". For full information, visit

Sept. 27 - Naperville, IL: The Fox Valley Genealogical Society's Annual Conference will feature James W. and Paula Stuart Warren.

Sept. 27 - San Mateo, CA: The San Mateo County Genealogical Society is sponsoring a Workshop for Writers and Would Be Writers, led by Steven Friedman, author and teacher.

Oct. 1-11 - 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.

Oct. 3-5 - Rosemont, IL: The Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) will celebrate its 25th Anniversary at the society's Annual Conference.

Oct. 4 - 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.

*Oct. 12 – New York City: The annual Family History Fair will be sponsored by the Archivists Round Table. Admission is free. Details are available at:

*Oct. 17-18 - Little Rock, AR: The Arkansas Genealogical Society Fall Seminar will feature guest speaker Cyndi Howells. For more information see:

Oct. 17-19 - Foster City, CA: The San Francisco Bay Region of the California State Genealogical Alliance will host a "California Conference." The main conference will be held on Saturday with tracks in California records, record preservation and research methodology. On Friday and Sunday there will be guided field trips and indoor workshops on photo preservation, cemetery research (includes and afternoon field trip), organizing a research project and hands on preservation techniques. NARA will be opened on Sunday for Conference attendees.

Oct. 18 - Worthing, W. Sussex U.K.: The "Computers in Family History Conference" will be sponsored by the Sussex Family History Group and Society of Genealogists (SoG).

*Oct. 18 - Surrey, British Columbia: The 7th Annual Free Tri Stake Family History Seminar will present 38 different classes in all areas of research, such as Nonconformist Records for English Family History, Your Ancestors and the Poor Law,, PAF - Illustrating Family History, PAF - Sources and Notes, Right Forest/Wrong Tree, Peccadillos of Patronymics to mention a few. For more information, contact

*Oct. 18 – Stockton, CA: The Stockton California Family History Center announces a Family History Faire. This is a FREE to the public show. Get help on starting your family history. Stop and visit our many information booths. See Grandma's Attic, computer related genealogy, journals, newspapers, old pictures, poetry, quilts, scrapbooking, software, spinning, and tatting. Listen to ancestral stories. Explore the royal genealogies database. Bring the whole family for the fun. For more information, contact:

Oct. 25 - Abbotsford, British Columbia: Join the Abbotsford Genealogical Society for ROOTS AROUND THE WORLD 2003 Family History Seminar. This biennial event offers twenty lectures, five bonus demonstrations, and market place. Lecture topics include: Canadian Railway Research, Records in the Province of Quebec, The British Way of Death, Chinese-Canadian Genealogical Resources, Australian, German, and Dutch Research, Photo Restoration and Archive Essentials.

*Oct. 25 - Alamance County, NC: Murray & Related Families' Annual Research Saturday. Welcome All! This is for the descendants of James Murray, born Sept. 8th, 1803, died Sept. 24th, 1873, in the 71st year of his age:

*Nov. 1 - Jacksonville, FL: The Southern Genealogist's Exchange Society will hold a genealogy workshop with two speakers. Linda Ellwood will lead a workshop on researching in Florida 1763 - 1821, with emphases on East Florida Papers, Florida Archives, Florida Land Office. Linda Rosenblatt will conduct a workshop on military research on the southeast coast, and will include a Civil War portrayal of the widow Ann Dugger.

*Nov. 1 - San Mateo, CA: The San Mateo County Genealogical Society will hold their Fall Seminar. Hank Jones, author of "Psychic Roots", "More Psychic Roots" and five books on early Palatine emigrants to the United States will be the speaker. Attendance is limited, so please register now. Information is available at

Nov. 6-9 - 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.

*22-24 Jan, 2004 - St. Louis, MO: NGS GENTECH, a conference for genealogists using technology. This is a major, national event. Further information on the conference can be found at:

Jan. 24, 2004 - Largo, FL – The Pinellas Genealogy Society Annual Seminar will feature special speaker John Colletta. Dr. Colletta's topic will be "Passenger Arrival Records, Beginning and Advanced" and "Assembling a Quality Family History".

April 24, 2004 - Rohnert Park, CA: Elzabeth Shown Mills will hold all-day seminar in Sonoma County, California, sponsored by the Sonoma County Genealogical Society. Details are available at:

May 27-30, 2004 – Toronto, Ontario: The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will host the Society's annual seminar with a theme of "The 3 R's of Family History: Resources, Research, Results." The seminar will feature different streams of interest: Methodology, Technology, Toronto, Ontario, and Canadian research, and a miscellaneous stream which could include topics related to such things as Society Management, genetics/DNA, and others.

[Return to Table of Contents]

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


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 and click on "Discussion Board."

You can also search past newsletters at the same address:

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

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

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.


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.


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: 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 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.


To obtain a subscription to Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter – Plus Edition, go to

To receive a free e-mail notification whenever a new Standard Edition of the newsletter becomes available, go to

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

If you have any questions about your subscription, send a message to

[Return to Table of Contents]