Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Standard Edition

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

Vol. 8 No. 42 – October 20, 2003

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

Plus Edition subscribers may gain access to a reserved section of the Discussion Board. Details are available at http://www.eogn.com/plus/messageboard.

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


- NEHGS Names Dick Eastman to Head Technology Department
- HEREDIS for Macintosh OS X: A "Hands-on" Review
- (+) Start Your Own Business Selling Fake Coats of Arms
- FamilyHistoryOnline.net
- Tutorials about Family Photo CD-ROMs and Digital Photography
- New York Archivists Round Table Family History Fair
- ICAPGen Annual Meeting and Professionals' Conference in Utah
- Your Family Tree with Free Genealogical Research Directory
- The Good Old Days

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

Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples.

- NEHGS Names Dick Eastman to Head Technology Department

This has been an exciting week for me. First I will re-publish an announcement from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and then will follow with some comments of my own. Here is the announcement:

NEHGS Names Dick Eastman to Head Technology Department

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that Richard Eastman will be joining its senior management team as Assistant Executive Director for Technology on November 3, 2003. In his new role, Mr. Eastman, a recognized genealogy technology expert, will oversee the Society's website, NewEnglandAncestors.org, and CD-ROM production, as well as all aspects of digital technology at NEHGS.

Mr. Eastman is well-known in the genealogical community as the creator and author of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, which began in 1996. He has been a member of NEHGS since 1991 and is a former member of the NEHGS Council. He has extensive genealogical speaking experience and has spoken at a number of genealogical conferences. Mr. Eastman also served as Forum Manager of the CompuServe Genealogy Forum from 1988 until 2003 and was a member of the Board of Directors of GENTECH.

Mr. Eastman's background also includes extensive experience in the computer hardware and technical support industries. He has held important management positions at Honeywell and several other computer firms in the New England area.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society welcomes the addition of Mr. Eastman to the NEHGS staff and looks forward to his contributions to the Society.


To say that I am excited by this new assignment would be an understatement. I am absolutely delighted. I cannot envision a better career than working to further technology within the genealogy community. Best of all, this is with the nation's oldest, largest, and one of the most respected genealogy societies. It is also the society that provided me with so much help when I first started on my genealogy searches many years ago. I am hoping that I can "pay back" some of the assistance that NEHGS has provided to me over the years.

Best of all, the New England Historic Genealogical Society has agreed to allow me to continue publishing this newsletter as an outside interest. Indeed, there will be little to no change in this newsletter.

This weekly e-newsletter started almost eight years ago as a hobby of mine and has expanded into something that has far exceeded my original expectations. It remains as a hobby, however. It has never been my primary occupation. For the past eight years, I have simultaneously held full-time employment in the computer industry while writing this newsletter during evenings and weekends. That will not change; the newsletter will continue as a "sideline business" while I work forty hours or more every week for my new employer. The one difference that excites me is that my new full-time job is in the genealogy business.

I still expect to write about the things that cross my desk: new products, new services, news, and current events. I also expect to add commentary about the things I believe are important, commentary that is mine alone and does not reflect the views of my new employer or of anyone else, unless otherwise stated. In short, this newsletter will not change.

My thanks to Executive Director Ralph Crandall and to everyone else at the New England Historic Genealogical Society for this wonderful opportunity.

The NEHGS Web site is available at http://www.newenglandancestors.org.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- HEREDIS for Macintosh OS X: A "Hands-on" Review

In last week's newsletter I published an announcement from BSD Concept, the French company that produces the popular HEREDIS genealogy software for both Windows and Macintosh. The announcement described a brand-new release of HEREDIS that is for the Macintosh's latest OS X operating system. I wanted to see this new program since I had earlier been impressed by the Windows version (see my review in the December 17, 2001 edition of this newsletter at: http://www.eogn.com/archives/news0151.htm.) This week I obtained a copy of the new Macintosh version of the software and quickly installed it on my iMac to see for myself what has been added.

My iMac is several years old and certainly is not the latest, high-speed system to come from Apple headquarters. I felt that this older, slower system would be an excellent platform to test the performance of the new HEREDIS for OS X. It is a 400-megahertz G3 iMac that has been upgraded to 512 megabytes of RAM memory and a 60 gigabyte hard drive. The OS X Jaguar operating system also was installed. I noted that the HEREDIS Web site says that the program is "functioning" as of Mac OS 9.1. However, I used OS X for this review.

Note: For anyone who is not familiar with Apple's new OS X (pronounced "oh ess ten") operating system, I will point out that it is an all-new release. OS X shares almost no code with earlier Macintosh operating systems. In fact, OS X really is UNIX, but with a Mac interface. OS X is built on a foundation of BSD UNIX. Any experienced UNIX user can open a terminal window on OS X and feel right at home. However, the user interface is similar to the previous Apple operating systems; so, Mac users can also switch from an earlier release to OS X easily. In fact, Windows users will even find this operating system easy to use although they may require a bit of time to become acclimated. After all, Apple was producing operating systems that used a window-style environment long before Microsoft.

UNIX has always had the reputation of being a "system written by engineers, for use by engineers." In other words, UNIX has always been cryptic and difficult to use. While major improvements in usability have been made in recent years, most UNIX implementations still assume that the user has a significant amount of technical experience. However, the folks at Apple have shown the rest of the world how to create user interfaces. Indeed, Apple has revolutionized UNIX. The new OS X is easy to use, even for computer novices. Macintosh OS X also is more powerful but easier to use than any version of Windows. To verify this, ask any eight-year-old who uses both at the local grammar school.

Installation of HEREDIS for OS X was simple and fast. Anyone who has ever installed any Macintosh programs in the past will be able to install HEREDIS. I was up and running within a couple of minutes after starting the installation.

When starting HEREDIS for the first time, an attractive menu appears, offering several choices: start a new file, open an existing HEREDIS file, search the hard drive for existing HEREDIS files, or search the hard disk for existing GEDCOM files. I elected to begin by using the included sample file. Afterwards, I entered some data into a new, empty file and later imported a 3,000+ person GEDCOM file. The GEDCOM import worked well and only required a few minutes to complete.

Once I had selected the file to use, I found myself looking at the record of one person with her parents listed above, her first of two spouses listed in the lower left corner, and the children of that marriage listed in the lower right. The lower center displayed a list of spouses; clicking on a different spouse instantly changed the display to that spouse's information and the children of that union. In addition, a picture of the lady was displayed beside her vital information.

This first screen looked somewhat similar to several other genealogy programs I have used. In fact, there is only a finite number of ways to display this sort of information. What did strike me as different from other programs is the excellent use of pastel colors. HEREDIS for OS X takes advantage of OS X's "aqua interface" and displays information that is visually more attractive than almost any other genealogy program I have ever used. (Why can't the Windows genealogy programs look this good?)

Of course, good looks aren't everything. The real test is, "Can it do the job?" I spent a couple of hours testing the various functions in an effort to find out if the product has the necessary capabilities.

HEREDIS is an event-driven database; that is, everything revolves around the events in the lives of the persons listed in the database. Navigation around the database is simple and intuitive; clicking on any related individual on a screen instantly switches to a display of that person's data. For instance, when you are looking at one person, clicking on a spouse's name or a parent's name instantly switches "focus" to that individual and displays data similar to that just shown for the previous person. The program also makes extensive use of "drag and drop." For example, to add a child already in the database to a displayed individual’s family, you can click on a child's name and drag it over to the primary person's zone, and then release the button.

The top of the default screen shows three tabs: Immediate Family, Personal Data (which I was already viewing) and Union Data. The center of the screen has more than just vital information and a picture; it also has additional tabs (not to be confused with the top-of-screen tabs) that allow the user to select different pieces of information. The default tab is "event" and can contain information about birth, christening, bar mitzvah, marriage, census, immigration, death, burial, probate, military service, and more. In fact, if the preloaded event categories do not fit all your needs, you can create new categories as necessary. Each event has database fields for date, place, and subdivision place, and also contains room for lengthy notes.

I was a bit disappointed to note that the program does not have built-in capabilities to store contradictory data. For instance, I have three different dates and four different locations for the date and place of birth of my great-great-grandfather. I have found conflicting records and do not yet know which record is correct, if any. With HEREDIS, the event of "birth" can only contain one date and one location. To be sure, I can create new events. I could create "Birth1" and "Birth2" or some similar labels. Information stored in the newly-created event types will be stored in the database and will be retrieved every time that person's data is displayed. However, the newly-added dates and locations will not print on all the normal reports, nor will they be treated equally in the on-screen displays.

One item that I like is the automatic calculation of the day of the week for any date entered; enter a date, and a second or two later the day of the week automatically appears. I now can tell which ancestors were born on a Wednesday.

The second tab is "Sources." HEREDIS has an excellent method of storing source citations, as good as any other genealogy program I have seen. Each event in the database may have multiple source citations. The sources database has fields for recording the type of record (birth, census, probate, Web site, etc.), repository, author, a call number or reference number of the user's choosing, date, volume, page, URL or e-mail address, surety level, and comments. Best of all, graphics or other media can be inserted into any source citation. Not only can you refer to a census entry, but you can even include a scanned image of the original entry itself. Likewise, an audio recording or a home movie of an event can be attached to a marriage record. This is source citations at its best!

The third tab is "Witnesses" and allows for the entry of names of those who witnessed an event. HEREDIS stores a separate list of witnesses for each event. You can easily select the names from those stored in the database. It appears that you can have a very long list of witnesses to any event, if you wish.

The fourth and final tab is "Media." This is one point at which HEREDIS really shines. The program is fully capable of storing all sorts of multimedia. For each person as well as for each event in the database, HEREDIS will accept scanned images, maps, audio, full motion movies, slide shows and more. If the information can be digitized, HEREDIS will store it and display it as needed.

Next, I moved back to the tabs at the top of the screen and selected Union data. HEREDIS is "politically correct" to use the word union in place of marriage. Unlike some more primitive genealogy programs, HEREDIS does not force the user to assume that a marriage always existed in the event of a birth.

In the event of more than one union, a list of partners (spouses) is always available. Clicking on a spouse displays all the relevant facts about that person's relationship to the person of focus. Information available includes wedding date and place, engagement date and place, and whatever other data you wish to include. When entering dates, HEREDIS automatically calculates the age of the two principals as of that date. I found this to be an excellent method of catching obviously erroneous data, such as the claim of a marriage of a 9-year-old that was caused by a typo error in the extracted date of marriage. Best of all, pictures can also be displayed within the same area. This is the place for wedding pictures although there is no constraint. You can store whatever pictures you wish in this section. Multimedia items can be attached to the union dates and locations.

As one might expect in a powerful modern genealogy program, HEREDIS has a wide variety of reports, including the capability to publish on paper, on the Internet, and on CD-ROM disks. The paper-based reports include most of the standard ones found in competitive products, such as pedigree charts, descendant charts, family group sheets, lists of individuals, lists of marriages, and even lists of events, sorted in chronological order. Most of the various reports have multiple options, allowing the user to change the format as well as to select which individuals will appear in the reports. However, I did not find any Register-format reports, a curious omission.

The "publish to Internet" capability creates very attractive web pages, which then can be uploaded to a personal Web site. HEREDIS does not actually transfer the pages to your Web site. Instead, you use HEREDIS to create the pages and to store them on the hard drive. You then use FTP or some other file transfer program to copy the stored pages to your Web site. You can also modify the Web pages before uploading them, if you like. The Web pages can be edited by almost any Web page editor.

Publishing to CD-ROM is a very similar process; the files are created and stored on the hard drive. The user then "burns" the CD-ROM disk by use of some other program already installed, not by use of HEREDIS.

HEREDIS has several features that are different from other genealogy programs I have used. Probably the most striking feature is the 3D Family Tree. This gives an excellent view of the individuals in the family tree. You can almost "fly" through 3-dimensional relationship charts. All the different generations, collateral relatives, and marriages are shown in a very easy-to-understand display. Each person is shown as a small "cube" in this 3D chart. Lines connect each cube with those of the parents and the children. If available in your database, pictures of the individuals are displayed on their "cubes." Siblings are also shown, initially "stacked under" each displayed person. However, the user can move around in three dimensions, changing the display in a manner similar to a video game. The 3D Family Tree even can be published on the Internet or on CD-ROM disks. The Web and CD versions are created in Macromedia Shockwave format.

Another unique feature is the availability of worksheets. A wide variety of information is available on the program's worksheets. For instance, you can select an individual and instantly see all individuals in the database whose paths have crossed with the individual of interest; that is, every record where the person of interest appears, either as a principal of the event or as a witness to someone else's event. The lower part of the worksheet screen then displays all the essential details involved.

So how did HEREDIS perform on my older 400-MHz iMac? I was pleased. Many of the screens appeared more or less instantly. In the worst cases, I had to wait about one second between screens. I would recommend this program to any Mac user who is using any Macintosh that is capable of running Mac OS 9.1 through OS X.

My description of HEREDIS only "scratches the surface" of all the features available. A full review that covers every feature and option would fill several newsletters. HEREDIS offers a great tutorial on how to use the program. I would suggest that anyone contemplating the purchase of HEREDIS should first download both the tutorial and the demo program from the HEREDIS Web site. The tutorial displays the program's major features and gives a lot of instruction in its use. The tutorial and the demo program work well together.

I spent a couple of hours using HEREDIS and was very impressed with it. This new OS X program is a state-of-the-art product that does an excellent job of combining a great user interface, a powerful and reliable genealogy database, and the multimedia files for which the Macintosh is famous.

If you use a Macintosh and if you are thinking about switching to a more powerful and user-friendly genealogy program, I strongly urge you to consider HEREDIS. It is a powerhouse. Reviewing the demo and the tutorial should help you decide if this program fits your needs.

HEREDIS OS X has a retail price of $59.00 (U.S. funds). However, BSD Concept is offering it for an introductory price of only $39.00 until November 30, 2003. At that price, I suspect they will sell a lot of copies. It is worth much more.

To download both the demo and the tutorial, go to http://www.myheredis.com. You can also safely purchase the complete program at the same Web site. As mentioned earlier, this program is produced in France. If you would prefer the French-language version, go to http://www.heredis.com.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- (+) Start Your Own Business Selling Fake Coats of Arms

The following is a "preview" of a Plus Edition-only article:

I have written several times about the companies that sell so-called "Family Coats of Arms." You see this stuff peddled in shopping malls, on the Web, and occasionally in advertisements delivered by the postal service. There is but one problem: there is no such thing as a "family coat of arms" in most countries.

I often receive e-mails asking if I have heard of a particular company that is selling this junk. In fact, most of the time I have to say "No" as there are so many of them. In fact, I think there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of such dealers. Most of the retailers receive their goods from a wholesaler in the business. The wholesaler provides the family crests, coats of arms, and other such paraphernalia that claim to be owned by families. This week I thought I would describe the process of how the many retailers obtain their goods.

The preceding is a "preview" of a Plus Edition-only article. The full article is available only to Plus Edition subscribers. Click on Plus Edition for more information.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- FamilyHistoryOnline.net

The U.K. Federation of Family History Societies has collected numerous databases and placed them online at www.FamilyHistoryOnline.net. This "pay-per-view" site contains data contributed by county societies around England and Wales. This week I had a chance to use FamilyHistoryOnline.net and was quite impressed by what I saw.

FamilyHistoryOnline.net presently contains 15.7 million records, including indexes (and sometimes more) of baptisms, marriages, burials, monumental inscriptions, and census returns. Unlike some other online databases, all of the data has been transcribed by experienced genealogists, ensuring a rather high level of accuracy. Most of the data entry was conducted under auspices of county genealogy societies, normally the experts in the records being transcribed.

The amount of information varies widely from county to county. However, as an example of what you might find, here is the listing for Yorkshire:

You can find a complete listing for all counties at http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/database/index.shtml .

The abbreviation "NBI" indicates a project that is part of the National Burial Index. An asterisk indicates that the exact years vary from one parish to the next. The word "ongoing" indicates that the project isn't yet finished, but the work done-to-date is available online.

I decided to try this database to see what was available. I first had to obtain a user ID and password. That turned out to be a rather painless process. I then was able to search the databases without payment of any sort of fee. The database would return the name(s) but with no significant details. In order to view the remainder of the information, a payment is necessary.

Searches may include any combination of the following criteria:

I first did a search for my own surname in Wiltshire. This search was just on the surname, leaving all other fields blank. The database then told me that it contained 32 records that met my search criteria. Here is a list of the first five:









Charge & details




Sarum Marriage Licence Bonds









National Burial Index (Wiltshire FHS)









Sarum Marriage Licence Bonds









Sarum Marriage Licence Bonds









National Burial Index (Wiltshire FHS)






The first five all happened to be females; but, looking further down the list, I saw numerous males listed as well. The price shown after each record is the fee you must pay to view the record. The fees that I noticed in this database varied from £0.05 to £3.60 (approximately 8 cents to $6.00 in U.S. funds). There may be even higher fees; however, £3.60 was the highest that I saw. Most of the fees were less than £0.20 per record.

It isn't yet practical to make a £0.05 charge anywhere on the Internet. Therefore, you must purchase "credits" in advance. You purchase these "credits" in blocks of £5.00, £10.00, £20.00, or £50.00 at a time. The payment is made with a credit card on a safe and secure Web server. The whole process required about two minutes to complete.

Armed with £5.00 in credits, I returned to the search results and clicked on the first person shown in the above list. The next screen displayed all the following details:

Administration WILTSHIRE
Source MLB
Date 1724 May 26
Groom Moses JOYCE
aged 25
occupation linenweaver
residing at Downton, WILTSHIRE
status bachelor
notes –
Bride Abigail EASTMAN
aged 19
residing at Downton, WILTSHIRE
status spinster
notes –
Bondsmen LOADER John, cordwainer,
to be married at Downton/St Thomas Salisbury
Amount paid £0.07

The source of MLB indicates that the original record was found in the Marriage License Bonds for Sarum (the old name for Salisbury).

The record that I found was easily copied-and-pasted into the word processor I use to write this newsletter. It can also be copied into most other Windows or Macintosh programs. The information could have been printed on my printer, had I wished to do so. As that record cost £0.07, I now had £4.93 remaining to be used in other searches.

The fee that I paid was for the index only. However, a genealogist will always want to obtain a copy of the original record as it usually contains more information than what can be found in the index. If I wish to obtain a copy of any original record, that will be an off-line task. While this site does not include original records, it does point the user in the right direction. In the case of the above record, I clicked on "Sarum Marriage Licence Bonds" to display information on where to obtain a copy:

Wiltshire Family History Society provide an enquiry service - their address is: 10 Castle Lane, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1HJ, or email society@wiltshirefhs.co.uk or via website www.wiltshirefhs.co.uk.

A CD-ROM of the marriage licence bonds and allegations in fully searchable form is available from the Society.

The Wiltshire FHS has also produced many parish register indexes and other publications. These can also be purchased online via FamilyHistoryBooks or by mail order from the Society.

All in all, FamilyHistoryOnline.net is a great resource for anyone searching for ancestry in England. The site already has more than 15 million records, all transcribed by experienced genealogists. We can assume a low error rate although no transcription is ever perfect.

Best of all, the money spent on these searches is sent back to the societies that contribute the data. Only a small percentage is kept by the Federation of Family History Societies to pay for the Web servers, networks, and other associated overhead expenses. The bulk of the money is used to fund further transcription efforts.

If you are researching English ancestry, you should check www.FamilyHistoryOnline.net right now. The search for records is free. You only have to pay for the details you want. It costs nothing to see if there any possible "hits" in the database.

The Federation of Family History Societies' Web site may be found at: http://www.FamilyHistoryOnline.net.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Tutorials about Family Photo CD-ROMs and Digital Photography

Ken Watson wrote this week about two interesting projects of his:

I made up my first genealogy CDROM in 2001 and it went over great with the relatives. It was primarily a CDROM of old family photos but also contained my current family tree info and several documents. I've posted a webpage about this project as well as the one I'm currently working on (another family photo CD). Have a look at: http://www.rideau-info.com/genealogy/digital - click on the links for My 2001 CDROM project and My Digital Genealogy Project.

Some might be interested in a little website I did up about using a digital camera for the preservation/distribution of old family photos. It's located at: http://www.rideau-info.com/genealogy/digital.

When I first got my digital camera, I was surprised at the quality of the images. I've been a photo hobbyist for 30 years now and digital has been a great experience. It also provided a fantastic vehicle for the preservation and distribution of old family photos. But there are a number of things you should be aware of to make sure that that the digital photos (or scans) you do today survive the test of time. So I created a little section on my website about some of the issues.

Have a browse and I hope you enjoy it.

I did browse, and I certainly did enjoy it! You may, too. Great job, Ken!

You can contact Ken Watson via this newsletter's Discussion Board.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- New York Archivists Round Table Family History Fair

The following was written by a "reporter on the scene," John Konvalinka:

On Sunday, October 12 the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York kicked off its annual New York Archives Week – several days of events for Archivists and those interested in records and their preservation. The first event was the ever-popular Family History Fair, held from 12-5 PM at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street in New York City. As a result of the hard work of Steven Siegel and his Family History Fair committee, almost 600 people attended this admission free event, which is made possible in part by the sponsorship of several foundations and organizations as well as by support from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, the Jewish Genealogical Society and the German Genealogical Society.

The highlights of the Fair were a number of lectures and workshops by well known speakers covering locality and ethnic genealogical research, the holdings of several major repositories in the New York area and "how to" sessions on a number of genealogical topics. "Hands on" demonstrations of software products were made available by the Metro New York Genealogy & Computers Group. There were also the abilities to do live look ups at the Ellis Island table and to do live searches of the Immigration and Naturalization Files at the National Archives and Records Administration table.

Forty other genealogical societies and exhibitors were on hand to show their wares and discuss their programs and products. These folks, plus many others, generously donated door prizes, which were raffled off in a lively, you-have-to-be-present-to-win session at the end of the day.

This year, for the second year in a row, the NYC Metro Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists presented its "Ancestors Road Show" – the opportunity for attendees at the Fair to receive a free one-on-one session with a professional genealogist to deal with a specific problem on which they needed assistance. Under the energetic leadership of Nancy Coleman, about 30 members of APG and other organizations provided consultations to over 100 attendees – on a wide range of topics including ethnic genealogy, how to research records for ancestors and missing heirs, and specific problems of researching in various countries.

Thank you, John, for allowing your report to be published here. To everyone who missed this year's Family History Fair: be sure to mark your calendars for next October. As the time gets nearer, check the website www.nycarchivists.org/fhf.html for additional information.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- ICAPGen Annual Meeting and Professionals' Conference in Utah

This week, Karen Clifford wrote:

It isn't often that we get a full course conference aimed at advanced researchers, and for such a low price. If you plan to be in the Utah, Provo, BYU area in mid-November, this is a great conference. But space is limited and the tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold the day of the event. The full schedule and registration form is also downloadable in PDF format on the www.icapgen.org Web site.

This just is the deal of the year! I'm very interested in George Ryskamp's class on using the law library, as well as information on the new Immigration Center at BYU, using the Government collection in that area and so much more. You are welcome to use this in any publication you are involved with as well.

Let's share the good news!

Karen Clifford

Karen has good reason to be enthusiastic. This looks like a high-powered event. It is aimed at intermediate and advanced genealogists.

The ICAPGen Annual Meeting and Professionals' Conference will be held November 14 and 15 in Provo, Utah. Full details may be found at http://www.icapgen.org/Programs/new.htm.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Your Family Tree with Free Genealogical Research Directory

The following is an announcement from Future Publishing:

Future Publishing's Your Family Tree magazine is to offer a special database of contacts on its covermounted CD-ROM with issue 5 (December coverdate), on sale 29 October.

Included on the disc is the Genealogical Research Directory 2000-2002, which includes 225,000 contacts for family history researchers who are looking up particular surnames and subjects in their quest to find fill in the gaps in their family tree.

Originally published as books for 2000, 2001 and 2002, the GRD has been compiled into a searchable database, which was sold for £45. Now it's available with Your Family Tree magazine, complete with a 4-page article instructing readers on how to make the most of it.

"Your Family Tree is a new magazine which is proving very popular. This is the first time any UK family history magazine has been able to provide its readers with such a substantial amount of data to use in their research," said publisher Dave Taylor.

This high-value covermounted content follows news that Your Family Tree has moved from a bi-monthly to a monthly schedule.

Timed to coincide with this year's Remembrance Day commemorations, issue 5 of Your Family Tree includes a cover feature that will help readers trace ancestors who have served in the army, navy, RAF or Royal Marines. Other features cover the 1881 Census online, the life and work of postal employees, tracing your roots back to the Middle Ages and researching German ancestors.

Issue 5 of Your Family Tree goes on sale 29 October 2003 at £4.99, and is available in main branches of WH Smith.


About Future Publishing
Future Publishing is part of The Future Network Plc, which was founded in the UK in 1985. Today, The Future Network publishes over 90 specialist consumer magazines worldwide, is the world’s leading publisher of video games magazines and is the fifth largest magazine publisher in the UK. Future employs around 1,000 people in offices in the UK, US, Italy and France. Over 80 international editions of Future’s magazines are also published in 28 other countries across the world. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol FNET).

For more information please contact:
Leah Moore, Communications, on 01225 822 517

[Return to Table of Contents]

- The Good Old Days

Ah yes, life was certainly better in "the good old days. Or was it? Let's look back 100 years.

The year is 1903, one hundred years ago. Teddy Roosevelt was in the White House and…

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

The average wage in the U.S. was $0.22/hour, for an annual income of about $500/year. The 40-hour work week had not yet been invented.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000/year, a dentist $2,500/year, a veterinarian between $1,500-$4,000/year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000/year.

18% of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

Only 14% of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minute telephone call from Denver to New York City cost $11 (and that was back when the average wage was $0.22 per hour, meaning that you had to work 50 hours to pay for that telephone call).

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S. and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa and Tennessee all had larger populations than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

More than 95% of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

90% of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost4 cents per pound. Eggs were 14 cents per dozen. Coffee cost 15 cents per pound.

Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:

    1. Pneumonia & influenza
    2. Tuberculosis
    3. Diarrhea
    4. Heart disease
    5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska had not yet been admitted to the Union.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

One in ten US adults couldn't read or write. Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Coca Cola contained cocaine. Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at local drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Just think what it will be like in another 100 years.

[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 http://www.eogn.com.


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 Board at http://www.eogn.com/discussionboard.

You can also search past newsletters at: http://www.eogn.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.eogn.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.


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: 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 this newsletter's Discussion Board at http://www.eogn.com/discussionboard. 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 http://www.eogn.com/plus.

To receive a free e-mail notification whenever a new Standard Edition of the newsletter becomes available, go to http://www.eogn.com/newsletter/subscribe.

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

[Return to Table of Contents]