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Genealogy Cruises Compared By Dick Eastman
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The year 2007 has seen three major genealogy cruises departing from North American ports. I was fortunate enough to be a participant on all three and decided to write a bit about my experiences. If... More > you are thinking about joining a future genealogy cruise, my experiences may help identify the best future cruise for you as well as for your traveling companions.< Less
Comment: Genealogy Cruises Versus Conferences By Dick Eastman
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If interest in genealogy is declining, why is interest in genealogy cruises soaring? Or is it simply a symptom of a different problem: the possibility that traditional national genealogy conferences... More > are no longer attracting genealogists like they used to?< Less
How to Check Up on Your Genealogy Society's Financial Affairs By Dick Eastman
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How much do you know about the inner workings of your genealogy society? Such organizations would include the larger societies, such as National Genealogical Society, the New England Historic... More > Genealogical Society, and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. It also includes smaller societies, such as the African-Atlantic Genealogical Society, the Charlotte County (Florida) Genealogical Society, and the Dallas (Texas) Genealogical Society. Do you know how much money is collected each year by your society? Are the total fees collected increasing or decreasing each year? Do you know how much of that money is spent? Even more important, do you know HOW it is spent? How much of it is spent on members' services versus on the building or on salaries? In fact, just what is the salary of the executive director, CEO, or whatever the position is called? How about the salaries of the other senior executives of the society?< Less
Genealogy Vendors: Save A Lot of Money at Conferences By Dick Eastman
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I have learned that having a booth at a genealogy conference is expensive! Typically, the rental of the booth space is one of the lower expenses. I have paid as little as $35 for an 8-by-10 foot... More > booth at a regional conference held in a small city. The highest price I have paid was $250.< Less
Are Digital Genealogy Libraries Going to Replace Traditional Books? By Dick Eastman
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Is it time to stop the presses? It seems that every week I report in this newsletter about more and more genealogy books that are being converted to electronic format. Sure, old books have been... More > digitized for several years now. However, even new books are now appearing as electronic publications. Is this an indication of the end of book publishing as we know it? Will simple economics drive printed books out of existence?< Less
Why Are the Mormons Interested in Genealogy? By Dick Eastman
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I received an e-mail message from a newsletter subscriber that asked a common question: "I just read your article about the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I am interested to know... More > why the Mormons have such an interest in everyone's genealogy." In fact, I asked the same question when I first started researching my own family tree. I suspect that most non-Mormons did the same. I thought I would post my answer here in case others have the same question.< Less
How to Become an Accredited Genealogist By Dick Eastman
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You frequently see letters appended after the names of individuals, such as CG or AG. This means that the individual has received a genealogy accreditation of some level. I thought I would describe... More > the various certifications and tell why you might be interested in obtaining certification.< Less
Can You Trust Online Genealogy Data? By Dick Eastman
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“I found it online, so it must be true!” Of course not. If you have been involved in researching your family tree for more than a few months, you already know the truth about online... More > genealogy data. Or do you?< Less
What's In A Name? By Dick Eastman
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Onomastics or onomatology is the study of proper names of all kinds and the origins of names. The word is derived from the Greek word, "onoma," meaning name. Members of royal families... More > still use single names. A few celebrities, such as Madonna or Prince, also adopt single names to further their careers. The rest of us use two or more names to reduce confusion in identifying individuals. In most of the world, hereditary family names, or surnames, have become the norm. Many names originally were based on a person's physical characteristics, place of residence, occupation, or other distinguishing characteristics. As the centuries passed, the surnames have remained although those who carry the name today usually bear little resemblance to the ancestral namesake's original unique characteristics.< Less
Finding Unmarked Graves with High Tech Solutions By Dick Eastman
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One of the vexing problems with old cemeteries and historical sites is the difficulty of finding the locations of unmarked graves. In many cases, the desire is to locate the graves so that they may... More > be identified and left undisturbed by new construction. To be sure, the locations may have been marked at one time with wooden or even stone markers. However, the ravages of time, weather, animals, vandals, and acid rain over the years may have removed all traces of those markers. Locating unmarked graves is also vitally important in solving murder cases. Historically, the only method of finding unmarked graves has been to start digging – not a very practical solution. However, modern technology now allows cemetery associations, historical societies, family societies, genealogists, archaeologists, police departments, and others to identify the locations of buried bodies and other objects with no digging required.< Less