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  • 16 Apr 2021 8:12 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

    This is an update to Plus Edition article published several years ago. The information in that article was accurate when published, but the available technology and services have changed since then. Prices have also decreased by 50% or more since the original article was published. This new article should bring the reader up to date.

    I am a fan of virtual private networks, or VPNs. By definition, according to, a VPN is "a network that uses the internet to transfer information using secure methods." A longer and more detailed explanation can be found on Wikipedia at

    Why should you or I want to use a VPN? There are several reasons.

    First, any time you connect to the Internet using normal connections, it is theoretically possible that someone else can tap into your Internet connection if it isn't encrypted. Indeed, using an open wi-fi network really simplifies the process of eavesdropping and makes it easy for a hacker to capture all the data you send and receive. If you are not using encryption, anyone using proper "sniffer" software while connected to the same wi-fi network you are using can see what you are sending and receiving on a wi-fi network or any other shared network in an airport, a coffee shop, a hotel, or even your office,. If in a hotel, the guest in Room 503 can see everything you send and receive on an unencrypted connection, even on wired (non-wi-fi) networks.

    The required software to tap into someone else's unencrypted connection is available several places free of charge, and at least one product is very easy to use. Who knows who is monitoring your connection, your user IDs, and your passwords? However, if your connection is encrypted, potential hackers are locked out and can see nothing.

    One way to create secure connections is to connect to web sites using Secure Sockets Layer protocol, called "SSL." You will always see this when connecting to your online bank account, when entering private information into PayPal, and on many other web sites that handle sensitive private information.

    Look at the address bar in your web browser. If the address begins with "https" instead of the normal "http," you know you are using an encrypted connection. The letter "s" on the end of the letters http indicates you are using a secure, or encrypted, SSL connection. All banks and other financial institutions use SSL connections to securely transfer millions of dollars every day. I am sure that, when you connect to your bank, an SSL connection is required. You can look at the address bar in your browser to see this for yourself.

    An even better method of creating secure connections is to use a VPN. A VPN, or "Virtual Private Network," creates a secure, encrypted "tunnel" from your computer to a "gateway" on some remote server in a data center on the Internet. A VPN connection has several advantages over SSL connections, some of which I will explain in a moment.

    The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/10320592

    If you are not yet a Plus Edition subscriber, you can learn more about such subscriptions and even upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription immediately at

  • 16 Apr 2021 12:55 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

    TheGenealogist has released the records of 143,956 individuals to increase its Lloyd George Domesday Survey record set coverage. This unique online resource of nearly one million individuals records, can help researchers discover where an ancestor lived in the period 1910-1915. The new records this month are for properties situated in Balham, Battersea, Fulham, Hammersmith, Putney & Roehampton, Streatham, Tooting Graveney and Wandsworth.

    Area outlined in red is covered in this latest release

    This fascinating combination of maps and residential data from The National Archives is being digitised by TheGenealogist and enables researchers to precisely pinpoint an ancestor’s house on the large scale and exceptionally detailed hand annotated maps from the period. Fully searchable and linked to the versatile Map Explorer™, Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist can see how an area has changed over time by switching between various georeferenced modern and historical map layers.

    A property recorded in the Lloyd George Domesday Survey Field Book and map on 21 July 1913

    Family historians often have problems finding where ancestors lived because road names can change over time. Researching the article discovered a shopkeeper living on the corner of Defoe Road and Tooting High Street. Daniel Defoe was a one time famous resident of Wandsworth. Using the Map Explorer now helps to identify that Defoe road has become Garrett Lane in modern times. The southernmost part of Garratt Lane is unusual in that two parallel streets exchanged names in the past. The original Garratt Lane was a narrower street while Garratt Terrace, on the other hand, was the main connection to Tooting Broadway. The south-east end of its length became Defoe Road before it reached the High Street, though many people were in the habit of mistakenly calling it Garratt Lane. For this reason it was agreed to exchange the names. Searching for where an ancestor lived using modern maps can be frustrating when they fail to pinpoint where the old properties had once stood.

    • This new release identifies individual properties on extremely detailed 1910-1915 maps

    • See images of original Field Books often with a detailed description of the property

    • Locate an address found in a census or street directory down to a specific house on the map

    • Fully searchable by name, parish and street

    • The georeferenced OS maps are a layer over a modern street map underlay

    • Changing the base map displayed allows researchers to understand what the area looks like today

    Complementing the maps on TheGenealogist are the accompanying Field Books that will also provide researchers with detailed information relative to the valuation of each property, including the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description and extent.

    This mammoth project is ongoing with over 94,500 Field Books, each having hundreds of pages to conserve and digitise with associated large scale IR121 annotated OS maps.

    See TheGenealogist’s feature article on using these records in “Finding the Wandsworth homes attacked in the WW1 ‘Lusitania’ Riots”:

    To find out more about these records, you can also visit TheGenealogist’s informative record collection page at:

    Click this link to watch our video on these new records:

  • 16 Apr 2021 11:27 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by

    LEHI, Utah and SAN FRANCISCO -- Apr. 15, 2021-- Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced the appointment of Gene Alston as an independent member of its Board of Directors, effective immediately.

    Alston is currently the Vice President of Commerce Business and Operations at Facebook, where he is responsible for all strategy and teams for commerce products across Facebook’s family of apps, revenue and client satisfaction globally.

    “We are excited to welcome Gene to our board of directors. He brings a wealth of industry experience to the role with a focus on high growth, disruptive consumer internet companies,” said Mark Thompson, Ancestry board chair. “Gene’s counsel and expertise will bring energy to our board and strengthen Ancestry’s commitment to bringing diverse perspectives to the table.”

    Alston has more than 20 years of business leadership experience and prior to his current role, he led global marketing partnerships at Facebook. Before Facebook, Alston was at Pinterest, Groupon, and PayPal where he led teams and was responsible for business development, partnerships, acquisitions, and international expansion.

    Deb Liu, chief executive officer at Ancestry added, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Gene first at PayPal and again at Facebook. Gene is a thought leader and innovator, and he will bring his breadth of experience in consumer technology to Ancestry as we continue to accelerate growth and empower journeys of personal discovery for millions more people around the world.”

    Alston holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington and a J.D. and MBA from University of California Los Angeles. Before returning to graduate school, Alston served as a Naval Officer stationed on the USS Worden.

    About Ancestry

    Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of more than 27 billion records and over 18 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain a new level of understanding about their lives. For over 30 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.

  • 16 Apr 2021 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Findmypast Friday

    Brand new rolls of honour, parish records and more

    Discover remarkable Anzac stories and Kent family milestones this Findmypast Friday. Here's what's new this week.

    Australia, Military Commemorative Rolls & Rolls of Honour

    Ahead of Anzac Day, we’ve compiled a major new resource for exploring the lives of Australia's military heroes.


    A striking photo included in the records of Captain Alfred John Shout. Gallipoli’s most decorated soldier, Shout was awarded a Victoria Cross and Military Cross.

    By combining a variety of Australian commemorative and honour rolls into one simple search, this rich collection makes it easier to discover the details of your ancestors’ service and death across all of the major conflicts of Australian history.

    Kent parish records

    Unlock family milestones with over 37,000 additional records from six Kent parishes. These records are essential for growing the Kent branches of your family tree.

    The parishes covered in this latest tranche of new baptism, marriage and burial records are:

    • Halling, St John the Baptist
    • Hoo St Werburgh
    • Horton Kirby, St Mary
    • Luddesdown, Leywood School
    • Luddesdown, SS Peter & Paul
    • Milton-next-Gravesend, Christchurch

    Review the parish list to see exact timeframes covered and the other churches featured in this growing resource.


    We’ve added nine new papers and updated a raft of other publications, 35 to be precise. Brand new this week are:

    While we've been even busier than usual, expanding the coverage in these 35 newspapers:

  • 15 Apr 2021 9:38 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an announcement from the North of Ireland Family History Society:

    The North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) is inviting people around the world to take part in their 2021 writing competition that has a theme of “Family Memories”. There is a chance to win one of three cash prizes and you may get your story published. The closing date is Friday 28th May 2021 so there is plenty of time to gather your story together.

    Adding memories can bring a family tree to life and helps to preserve stories for future generations. You can use your own personal memories or those of a relative. Stories can be pieced together from interviews, old family photos, letters and other documents or heirlooms.

    The winner will receive £100, with runners-up receiving £60 and £40. The results will be announced in September 2021. Many previous entries have been published in the Society’s journal, North Irish Roots. The competition is open to members of the Society worldwide - membership for overseas residents is £18 for 2021 and currently allows attendance at about 10 online meetings a month across our branch network, alongside other benefits such as a look-up service.

    More information and the competition rules can be found on the NIFHS website:

  • 15 Apr 2021 8:46 PM | Anonymous

    Here is an announcement from MyHeritage that I am certain will interest many readers of this newsletter. MyHeritage earlier announced total FREE access to the company's 1,144,541,613 individual records from all over the world. Some of the collections contain indexes which help you find out where the birth record is located, while others contain the actual image of the record.

    (See my earlier article about this at

    Today, MyHeritage announced the company is offering free access to all birth records on MyHeritage for a whole week, from April 18–24, 2021!

    Further details, including detailed instructions of how to obtain full access to all these records, absolutely free, may be found in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 15 Apr 2021 8:11 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a press release issued by the White House:

    WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Robert Santos for Director of the Census Bureau at the Department of Commerce. If confirmed, Santos would be the first person of color to serve as the Senate confirmed Director of the Census Bureau.

    Robert Santos is Vice President & Chief Methodologist at the Urban Institute, Washington, DC. He is an expert in survey sampling, survey design and more generally in social science/policy research, with over 40 years of experience. His career includes: Director of Survey Operations, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan; VP Statistics and Methodology, NORC University of Chicago; and Senior Study Director at ISR Temple University. Santos is the 116th President of the American Statistical Association (ASA), serving in 2021. He is an elected ASA Fellow and a recipient of the ASA Founder’s Award, the association’s highest recognition for distinguished service and leadership. He is past President of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. Santos has served on numerous National Academies’ panels, the Census Advisory Committee for Professional Organizations (2001-2006), and the CDC National Center for Health Statistics’ Board of Scientific Counselors (2017-2020). He is a long time member of Feeding America’s Technical Advisory Group (2004-2021).

    Santos was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, where he attended Little Flower School and graduated from Holy Cross High School. He received a BA in Mathematics from Trinity University in San Antonio and a MA in Statistics from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Adella, of 47 years. He is a proud father of two adult children, Emilio and Clarisa, and a doting grandfather to two granddaughters, Renee and Layla. Santos enjoys Texas coastal fishing, ranching and hunting in the hill country and photographing live music as a member of the SXSW Photocrew.

  • 14 Apr 2021 11:49 AM | Anonymous

    The Iowa House has unanimously voted to let adults who were adopted get a copy of their original birth certificate that likely shows the names of their biological parents. However, the proposed law has not yet been approved by the State Senate and by the governor.

    Details may be found in an article by Marti Anderson in the Radio Iowa web site at:

  • 14 Apr 2021 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    Reclaim the Records wins another lawsuit! The following is extracted from an Associated Press article:

    "Missouri is on the hook for nearly $138,000 in legal fees and expenses after an appeals court upheld a ruling that the state “knowingly and purposefully” violated the open records law.

    "The Missouri Court of Appeals agreed with a judge’s finding that the state ran afoul of the Sunshine Law when the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services sought to charge a genealogy research group nearly $1.5 million for state birth and death records dating to 1910, KCUR-FM reported.

    "The dispute stems from open records request in early 2016 by Reclaim the Records, a California-based nonprofit whose mission is to make public records available online for genealogical and historical researchers. Reclaim the Records and its founder, Brooke Schreier Ganz, sued, claiming that even a revised $5,174 fee for the records was excessive."

    You can read the full story at:

  • 14 Apr 2021 10:45 AM | Anonymous

    Researching the history of one's house is a very popular project in the United Kingdom, probably because of the number of old and historic houses there. Here is an announcement written by Family Tree Magazine, based in the UK:

      • The House History Show is set to take place online on 15 May, 10am-4.30pm

      • Special online event to feature lectures and webinars from leading team of House Historians

      • Experts include Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan and Melanie Backe-Hansen, consultants for BBC show A House Through Time

      • The full-day show is followed by an online house history lecture series through May and June

      • Find out more at:

    'When was my house built?' is a question many of us wonder. The House History Show, brought to you by Family Tree and a team of leading house historians, will help researchers of all levels m​​​​aster the skills needed to turn back time and reveal the history of a house, inside and out.

    Highlights of the full day programme include:

      • Keynote: A House Through Time – with BBC series A House Through Time
        consultants Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan and Melanie Backe-Hansen

      • Terraced House Tales: New 19th Century Housing and its Occupants with Karen Averby

      • Stepping Sideways: How to Step Round Brick Walls with Gill Blanchard

      • Keynote: Sources for House History with Dr Nick Barratt

      • London: Building Storeys with Ellen Leslie

      • Don’t Judge a House by its Plaque with Cathy Soughton

    Helen Tovey, Editor of Family Tree said: “We’re so excited to be working with the #HouseHistoryHour team to bring you the House History Show. Their collective wealth of experience is stunning, and the presentations will shed light on so many aspects of the history of homes and buildings, and the people who once occupied them. The House History Show is sure to fascinate anyone interested in family history, local history – as well as, of course, house history!”

    The one-day event will be followed by a series of four lectures exploring the subject of house history further. Topics for the online lectures include Who’s Been Living in My House?, A Virtual View: Online Sources and The Interwar House: From Tenant to Home Owner.

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