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November 2005
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January 2006

Enjoy New Year's Eve a Second Longer

from the National Institute of Standards and Technology:

You can toot your New Year's horn an extra second this year, say physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Along with the rest of the world's atomic timekeepers, NIST's time and frequency experts will insert a second (known as a leap second) into their time scale on Dec. 31 for the first time in seven years.

Read complete story.

Communicating, Organizing, and Sharing Family History

In the Fall 2005 issue of the online scholarly journal, The BYU Family Historian, Marlo E. Schuldt wrote a fascinating article entitled "Communicating, Organizing, and Sharing Family History: Problems, Solutions, and Philosophy."

Schuldt explains the difficulties of communication and our desire to preserve and share our family history for future generations. He provides insight on how to organize digital collections. He is also a developer of the add-on Photo Collector & ProMedia Manager Suite.

The BYU Family Historian is published annually. This issue's articles include:

  • Documenting Victims of the Holocaust: The Mokotowskis of Otwock, Poland
  • Communicating, Organizing, and Sharing Family History: Problems, Solution, and Philosophy
  • New Zealand Research: Maori
  • Identifying Ancestral Haunts: Family History, GIS, and Information Needs

View the journal by clicking here.

Godfrey Library to Drop HeritageQuest Online

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2005 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

As reported yesterday in various genealogy newsgroups and blogs, the Godfrey Memorial Library in Middletown, Connecticut is in the process of dropping HeritageQuest Online from its portfolio of offerings. The information floating around online is confusing and a few comments that I read contradicted other online comments. I was confused. Today I talked with Godfrey Library Director Richard E. Black and received the "inside story."

For several years, the Godfrey Memorial Library has offered in-home access to HeritageQuest Online's collection of the original images of U.S. census records, Revolutionary War Pension Applications, old family and local history books and more. These services are normally available only to libraries, not to individual subscribers. Only a few years ago, to access any of HeritageQuest Online's databases you had to visit a library that had purchased a subscription to those databases.

In the past couple of years, HeritageQuest Online's parent company, ProQuest, has also allowed some subscribing libraries to offer the same databases to their patrons in their homes. That is, if you hold a library card from a subscribing library and if that library has been authorized by ProQuest, you can stay at home, connect to your library's web site, enter your library card number (or some other verification information) and then be connected to the library's gateway that in turn connects to HeritageQuest Online.

By use of your local library's gateway, you can sit at home and view the same online wealth of genealogy information on your own computer. The only cost to you is the cost of the library card (which often is free) plus the cost of a computer and Internet connection.

I wrote about all this four weeks ago in a Plus Edition article entitled, Access HeritageQuest Online at Low Cost or No Cost. That article is available at (A Plus Edition user name and password is required to access that article.) The article is still accurate except for one thing: the information that I gave four weeks ago about the Godfrey Memorial Library is now obsolete because of this week's events.

The Godfrey Memorial Library has long been one of the subscribing libraries that offered in-home access to HeritageQuest Online. In fact, representatives from the Godfrey Library have been quite aggressive in advertising this service as one part of the Library's many services available for an annual membership for a modest $35.00 per year. As a result, many genealogists who live all over the country have become members of the Godfrey Memorial Library and paid the $35.00 fee even though they had no plans to ever go to Connecticut to use the library's services in person. They simply wanted to have in-home access to HeritageQuest Online.

ProQuest apparently decided that this "aggressive advertising" was a violation of the terms and conditions of the contract with the Godfrey Memorial Library. After some discussions between the two organizations, a decision was made to not renew the contract.

Effective now, all new members who join the Godfrey Memorial Library will not have access to HeritageQuest Online. All present library members will continue to enjoy such access until either (1.) the end of their present membership or (2.) December 31, 2006, whichever occurs first. This guarantees that all those who have already purchased library membership for the primary purpose of accessing HeritageQuest Online will indeed receive all the access that they have paid for. They simply will not be able to renew that access in the future.

In reality, this should be only a minor inconvenience for most of these subscribers. I believe that many will end up saving money because of this. In fact, free access to the same databases is available today to millions of Americans. As I wrote four weeks ago in my Access HeritageQuest Online at Low Cost or No Cost article, many state, university and local libraries already provide free access to their patrons. I used the example of how all Massachusetts residents already can obtain free in-home access but comments posted at the end of the article at show that many other states offer similar free access. You can read the comments there for details.

Godfrey Library Director Richard Black commented that the residents of more than forty U.S. states already have free access to HeritageQuest Online so that the offering by his library recently has become less attractive to its members. Many of those who joined the Godfrey Library only for the purpose of obtaining access to HeritageQuest Online have since discovered free avenues to the same information.

Mr. Black and the Board of Directors have now decided to invest the Godfrey Memorial Library's funds in other online services in lieu of the HeritageQuest Online databases. The Library has recently added more than 40 new sites to its menus. Some of these are free sites available elsewhere on the Internet. However, the recently added "not for free" sites include the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online (50,000 biographies) and the American National Biography Online (18,000 biographies). The last two databases are available only via the Godfrey Memorial Library's gateway or via the gateways of other subscribing libraries.

In the future, the Godfrey Memorial Library will be digitizing many of the printed publications already on the library's shelves and will also be scanning Bible records and other manuscripts that do not exist elsewhere.

The Library already offers Accessible Archives databases; Chadwyck-Healey's African American Database; Newsbank's Early American Newspapers, U.S. and World Newspapers, America's Obituaries; EBSCO's NewspaperARCHIVE Elite; ProQuest Newspapers; the OCLC WorldCat; Marquis Who's Who; and FindUSA. In short, the modest $35 annual fee to be a member of the Godfrey Memorial Library remains "a good buy."

Here are links to the resources mentioned in this article:

The Godfrey Memorial Library:

HeritageQuest Online:

ProQuest (the owners of HeritageQuest Online):

My earlier article: Access HeritageQuest Online at Low Cost or No Cost: (A Plus Edition user name and password is required to access that article.)

General Land Office Records Web Site Back Online

The Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States announced that its General Land Office (GLO) Records Web site is now back online at Title companies, historians, genealogists, and other interested people can now once again obtain millions of historic land title records from the thirty Public Land States (those States not included in the original 13 Colonies), East and West, dating back to the 1780s. These fascinating and valuable records include homesteads, patents, military warrants, and railroad grants. To date more than 4.2 million records have been scanned and imaged since the project began in 1989. This Web site provides a wealth of historical data and literally tells the story of the settlement of the West.

"The GLO Records Web site is one of the most popular Web sites at the Department of the Interior. The Web site offers customers the ability to easily research and query the GLO database by name, land description, and county, and view and print these historic documents from their homes or offices, saving them time and money," said BLM-Eastern States Director Mike Nedd.

As the BLM completes its first round of Web site reconnections of State-specific information sites, the following other BLM State Office Web sites are also once again available on the Internet: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. In addition, the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Information site is also now available. The Bureau originally disconnected these sites so that site security could be improved.

"We at BLM recognize the impact that this disconnection has had on our customers, and we thank them for their patience and understanding during this period. The last six months have posed challenges, but making sure that all constituents receive timely information about the agency's actions has been a priority for the entire agency," said Mike Nedd.

The BLM is now concentrating on reconnecting sites that provide interactive non-Indian Trust data and services. Unfortunately, sites of this kind are more complex and time consuming to reconnect. Additional announcements will be made as other sites are reconnected.

Legacy Tip: Fixing Potential Relationship Problems

Relationship problems can creep into your family file in a number of ways: data entry errors, entering duplicate records by mistake, importing GEDCOM files that already have problems, accidentally merging the wrong people, and so forth.  Relationship problems are apparent when you examine a family in Family View, open the Spouse List, Child List or Parent List for an Individual. Relationship problems can also result in looping errors when creating reports, or they become apparent when you run a Potential Problems Report, or you discover them when reading a chart or book report.

Inexperienced Legacy users often makes things worse trying to fix the problem by deleting records when they should unlink, or creating duplicate records when they should link to an existing record.

Here are 11 common relationship problems and how to fix them. Work from the Family View when carrying out these solutions. Click here for the complete article.

Genealogist's Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even my spouse.

The dining room table with clutter was spread
With pedigree charts and with letters which said...
"Too bad about the data for which you wrote;
Sank in a storm on an ill-fated boat."

Stacks of old copies of wills and such
Were proof that my work had become too much.
Our children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And I at my table was ready to drop
From work on my album with photos to crop.
Christmas was here, and such was my lot
That presents and goodies and toys I'd forgot.

Had I not been busy with grandparents' wills,
I'd not have forgotten to shop for such thrills,
While others bought gifts to bring Christmas cheers,
I'd spent time researching those birth dates and years.

While I was thus musing about my sad plight,
A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a great fright.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the drapes and yanked up the sash.

When what with my wondering eyes should appear,
But an overstuffed sleigh and eight small reindeer.
Up to the house top the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and 'ole Santa Claus, too.

And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of thirty-two hoofs.
As I drew in my head, and bumped it on the sash,
Down the cold chimney fell Santa--KER-RASH!

"Dear" Santa had come from the roof in a wreck,
And tracked soot on the carpet, (I could wring his short neck!)
Spotting my face, good 'ole Santa could see
I had no Christmas spirit you'd have to agree.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings, (I felt like a jerk).
Here was Santa, who'd brought us such gladness and joy:
When I'd been too busy for even one toy.

He spied my research on the table all spread
"A genealogist!" He cried!  (My face was all red!)
"Tonight I've met many like you," Santa grinned,
As he pulled from his sack a large book he had penned.

I gazed with amusement--the cover it read
Genealogy Lines for Which You Have Plead.
"I know what it's like as a genealogy bug."
He said as he gave me a great Santa hug.

"While the elves make the sleighful of toys I now carry,
I do some research in the North Pole Library!
A special treat I am thus able to bring,
To genealogy folk who can't find a thing."

"Now off you go to your bed for a rest,
I'll clean up the house from this genealogy mess."
As I climbed up the stairs full of gladness and glee,
I looked back at Santa who'd brought much to me.

While settling in bed, I heard Santa's clear whistle,
To his team, which then rose like the down of a thistle.
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
"Family history is Fun!  Merry Christmas!  Goodnight!"

--Author Unknown

Internet Genealogy

Internet Genealogy is a new magazine from the publishers of Family Chronicle and History Magazine. Download a preview issue.

The first issue will carry a cover date of April/May 2006 and will be on newsstands across North America at the end of February. A “preview issue”, tentatively set at 24-pages, will be carried in the January/February 2006 issue of Family Chronicle. This preview issue will feature sample pages from the first issue of Internet Genealogy to give the reader and advertiser a good taste of the new magazine.

Internet Genealogy will be published six times a year and be available by subscription, on newsstands and as an online magazine on the web. The cover price is tentatively set at $5.95 (US) and the subscription rate of the printed magazine at $28 (US). However, there will be an introductory subscription rate for a limited time of $20 (US).

To learn more, visit