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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
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
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
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
Carry an Irish Passport for Worldwide Respect By Dick Eastman
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Hundreds of thousands of Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, and probably many others can legally obtain Irish passports because of their ancestry. Why would you want... More > to do that? Ask any of the 138 Irish passport holders who were safely evacuated from war-torn Lebanon a few days ago. They were able to get out safely when Americans and others could not, thanks to their passports and the prominent placement of the Irish Tricolours on the front of the two buses carrying them across the Syrian border. One’s Irishness, and in particular the carrying of an Irish passport, has helped many Irish citizens avoid potentially life-endangering situations. The Irish are known worldwide for being politically neutral. Irish humanitarian workers have often reported that they are able to win the confidence of needy groups in distressed situations.< Less
Genealogy Numbering Systems By Dick Eastman
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There are myriad ways to organize genealogy data. The “best method” depends upon your own preferences and organizational skills. For many of us, a computer is a valuable organizational... More > tool. Whether you use a high tech device or paper and pencil, eventually you will want to produce lists of ancestors or descendants. Ideally, those lists should be in a format that is easy to read and quickly understood. Sooner or later, you will look at assigning identity numbers to each individual.< 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
Dutch Tulip Mania of 1636-1637 By Dick Eastman
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We often think of speculation in stock market, real estate, oil futures, or dot-com companies to be modern ventures for risk-taking entrepreneurs. Not so. Our ancestors were known to take perhaps... More > even greater risks in a largely unregulated business atmosphere. Perhaps the most famous was the Dutch Tulip Mania of 1636-1637. However, it was not confined to the Dutch; many of our ancestors in other countries also joined in the frenzy. Many of them lost fortunes, large and small.< Less
Are You Eligible for Dual Citizenship? By Dick Eastman
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Are you eligible for citizenship in the country where your ancestors were born? You might not have to give up your American citizenship. Many Americans may be surprised to learn that they are... More > eligible for dual citizenship.< Less