EOGN web site is back up


This has been a tough week! I have traveled more than 12,000 miles and the eogn.com web site has been up and down like a yo-yo during much of that time. It seems to fail immediately after I board an airplane for a long flight. Actually, there wasn't much I could do even if I had been on the ground.

On Thursday and into Friday, several routers in the data center where the eogn.com home page is hosted failed. The hosting provider reports that there was a firmware bug in the routers and their techs had to go back to the router manufacturer to get the probem resolved. That required hours.

The site came back up Friday but a different problem occurred some hours later. The TypePad hosting site started receiving a DDOS attack. (The free Standard Edition site at http://blog.eogn.com is hosted at TypePad.) The blog.eogn.com pages went went up and down repeatedly for more than 36 hours. The other pages on eogn.com remained in operation but most site visitors had no way of learning that.

The problem appears to be resolved at this moment but I know that DDOS attacks don't disappear immediately. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few lingering problems for several more hours. (You can read more about DDOS attacks at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ddos.)

I apologize for the problems. However, the problems were beyond my control. I depend upon the hosting services to handle these problems and must admit their techs are better qualified to handle these problems than I am anyway.

I am typing these words on an iPad Mini with a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard while waiting at the Denver airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Orlando. I should be back home about midnight tonight, after being on the road for almost two weeks.

Want a Cheap Laptop? Add a Keyboard to an iPad or Android Tablet Computer


Many people own and love their tablet computers. I have an Pad Mini and it has become my primary traveling computer. I hear similar statements from owners of various Android tablets as well. As useful as these tiny powerhouses may be, they are still seriously hampered by the lack of a keyboard. The solution? Add a keyboard!

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That suggestion is obvious. Adding an external high quality keyboard converts a tablet computer into a reasonably-priced laptop computer. Perhaps it should be called a netbook.

The pictures in this article show my iPad Mini in action with a Logitech keyboard. You can click on any image to view a larger picture.

NOTE: Beware! You can find a number of poorly built external keyboards for tablets. Some of them have rubbery, "chicklet" style keys. Avoid them! A junky keyboard is as bad as, or worse than, no keyboard at all.

Why bother adding a keyboard? Because it makes typing much easier and therefore opens up a huge range of uses for this super-compact computer. I have known some people who previously used TWO computers when traveling: a tablet for convenience and a regular laptop for more serious use, such as for writing newsletter articles. Today you can combine the two and carry one lightweight device for both purposes.

A few years ago I wouldn't recommend a tablet for heavy duty writing or for image editing or other applications that required significant processor power or storage space. However, the technology of tablet computers has improved radically in the past two or three years. Prices have dropped, the tablets' processors are much more powerful than they were just a few years ago, the display screens are as good as, or better than, laptop computers of only a few years ago.

Today's storage space is essentially unlimited by using the various cloud-based storage services. Today, you can choose from Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, and a plethora of other online services will provide more storage space than you will ever need. With most of the cloud-based file storage services, a few gigabytes of storage space is available free of charge while even larger amounts are available for modest fees, usually much cheaper than purchasing your own disk drive.

If you have seen the display screen of the Retina display screen on an Apple iPad, you already know that the display is sharper and easier to read than that of the typical laptop computer.

Today's software for tablets still is not as powerful as that available on desktop and laptop computers but does have most of the capabilities that 99% of us want. Indeed, email apps, web browsers, Facebook, Twitter, and hundreds of games work as well on tablets as they do on higher-powered computers. The processing power in most of today's tablet computers is usually sufficient for the majority of computing tasks that consumers run although not enough for intensive engineering computers or for sophisticated graphics editing. However, NASA sent men to the moon in 1969 by calculating the route and using computers that provided far less computing power than today's low-cost tablet computers!

While you can purchase inexpensive keyboards from many sources, my experience with cheap keyboards has been disappointing. You probably don't want to use a cheap keyboard on your desktop computer and I suspect you don't want one on your tablet either. I use a Logitech keyboard and am happy with it. I have also talked with tablet owners who use Zagg keyboards and they all report satisfaction with those. You may find still another brand that also is a pleasure to use. However, I would avoid the cheapest keyboards as they don't have the "feel" of a higher-quality device.

The pictures in this article show my Logitech keyboard in operation. The keyboard is about the same size as the iPad Mini. In other words, it is too small for true touch typing. The larger iPad and most of the Android tablets with larger screens will support nearly full-sized keyboards. The larger Logitech and Zagg keyboards made for larger tablets will please even touch typists. Since I am not a touch typist, I don't have many concerns about typing on a smaller than normal keyboard.

I didn't want to carry additional gadgets with me. Having the iPad is enough, I don't want to carry keyboards, speakers, chargers, and other add-on devices. I like the fact the Logitech keyboard attaches to the iPad by magnets so it never gets separated. Even though there are two pieces, the keyboard and iPad remain firmly attached to one another and function as one piece. Even better, both slip into the InCase carrying case that I use. It makes for one compact thing to carry. When removed from the carrying case, the iPad slips into a depressed slot in the keyboard, holding the iPad's screen at the optimum angle for viewing in different lighting conditions.

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I used a telephone and a MacBook Air in the above photograph to provide a reference showing the compact size of the iPad Mini and keyboard that is between the other two devices. I guess my next photograph is a "selfie." That's my hand holding the case with the iPad Mini and the Logitech keyboard inside. I left my hand in the picture to show how compact the entire package is.

2014-04-18 at 20.32.28

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As you can see by the above photograph, there are no wires attaching the keyboard to the iPad Mini.The connection is wireless, using Bluetooth technology. In fact, the keyboard and the iPad Mini can be ten or twenty feet apart and everything will still work. Admittedly, I don't know why anyone would want to do that.

The keyboard and the carrying case are available from any number of vendors. I purchased the Logitech keyboard from Amazon. I see the price on Amazon today is $59.99. That price is a bit cheaper than I what I paid last year. The case made by InCase costs $23.95 at Amazon although I suspect you can find many other cases that will work at least as well as the one I use.

If you use a full sized iPad or a larger Android tablet, you will want to use a larger keyboard and a larger carrying case. Whatever you choose, I suspect you will be happy with the ease and convenience of using a nearly full powered computer that slips into an overcoat or a lady's purse.

Thanks to the high-quality Bluetooth keyboard, the iPad has become my favorite computer for writing while traveling.


FamilySearch Seeks Feedback from Volunteer Indexers


The FamilySearch method of creating indexes of old records has been described many times in this newsletter and many other genealogy publications. FamilySearch is now planning to introduce a new process to maintain indexing quality. In this new model, a single volunteer will index and submit a batch, and a second volunteer will review the completed work. The person reviewing the batch will have the ability to add corrections to the values entered by the first indexer, and both values can be included in the searchable index on FamilySearch.org.

If the person reviewing the batch makes a small number of changes, the program considers that both volunteers mostly agree, and the batch is finished. If the person reviewing the batch suggests a large number of corrections, the program may route the batch to another volunteer for additional review.

In this new model, it is anticipated that all volunteers will split their time between indexing and reviewing.

What are your thoughts about this new process? You can read more in an article by Katie Gale in the FamilySearch Blog at https://familysearch.org/blog/en/attention-indexers-feedback-needed.



Woman Claims She's the Virgin Mary's Cousin 65 Times Removed


I won't offer any opinion about the accuracy of this article but I certainly would like to see the source citations.

A Pennsylvania woman claims she is the 64th great-granddaughter of Saint Joseph Ben Matthat Arimathaea, who was the paternal uncle to the Virgin Mary. Ashlie Hardway of WTAE Television reports that Mary Beth Webb, of Murrysville, Pennsylvania, said she began searching her ancestry in 2010 after years of "communicating" with her deceased mother, father and brother. While doing the research on ancestry.com over a two-year period, Webb discovered the connection to Saint Joseph.

You can decide for yourself after reading the article and watching the video at http://goo.gl/rXQbdr.


2015 FGS National Conference Call for Presentations


The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:


Submissions will be accepted between May 1, 2014 and May 31, 2014

April 17, 2014 – Austin, TX. - The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces a Call for Presentations for the FGS 2015 Conference, “Connect. Explore. Refresh.” to be held February 11-14, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 2015 Conference will be held at the same time as the RootsTech 2015 Conference. Submissions will be accepted online between May 1, 2014 and May 31, 2014.

This innovative blending of the established tradition of FGS’s stellar conferences, focused on genealogical society management, records, and methodology, with RootsTech’s famed conferences, centered on family history, technology, and storytelling, will provide speakers the opportunity to participate in an exciting, once in a lifetime event. A separate Call for Presentations will be announced soon for the RootsTech 2015 Conference.

The conference theme “Connect. Explore. Refresh.” defines the elements FGS conference attendees will see and experience in 2015. The FGS program committee seeks original, relevant, and engaging lecture proposals that will impact, inspire, and motivate genealogists of all experience levels and skill-sets to form connections with other family historians, the larger genealogical community, and within their own personal research.

Categories for submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Back to Basics
  • Tried and True Methods
  • Answering Difficult Questions with Leading Questions
  • The 21st Century Genealogical Society for Today and Tomorrow
  • Genealogical Society Leaders and Visionaries
  • Modern Access to Vintage Resources
  • A Retro Look at Organization and Planning
  • The Most Useful Hidden Records in Plain Sight
  • Connecting to the Past with Military Commemorations – i.e., War of 1812, Civil War
  • 20th Century Migration – i.e., Dust Bowl, WW2 movements, etc.
  • Wagon Trains, Railroads, and Modern Transportation
  • Ethnic Groups in the West – i.e., African Americans, Native Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and Greek
  • Missionaries and Settlers
  • Compiling Singular Records into Lively Stories

The FGS 2015 Conference schedule will commence with a Focus on Societies Day on Wednesday, February, 11, 2015, followed by the three-day annual conference event. The FGS Program Committee seeks proposals for the Focus on Societies Day and the annual conference. Submissions for sponsored talks from societies, businesses, and organizations within the family history community are greatly encouraged.


Speaker submissions and deadlines for the FGS 2015 Conference will be very different from previous years, as FGS now utilizes an online submission system. Interested speakers must submit all lecture proposals using the online forms. The Call for Presentations opens May 1, 2014 and will close on May 31, 2014.

Camera-ready handout materials are due for all lecture presentations on October 1, 2014.

Questions concerning the Call for Presentations should be sent to program2015@fgs.org.


Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of lectures presented. Speakers receive compensation according to the FGS Conference Speaker Policy at http://www.fgs.org/cpage.php?pt=44.

Sponsored speakers’ costs are compensated by the sponsoring organization. Sponsored speakers will abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements. Sponsored speakers will receive complimentary FGS conference registration and electronic syllabus materials.

For more information, to download a PDF copy of the Call for Presentations, or to submit lecture proposals, please visit https://www.fgsconference.org/proposals/.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).

This Web Site May Be Running Slowly


TechnicaldifficultiesSome newsletter readers may find the www.EOGN.com web site is running slowly today. The hosting company is having networking problems in their Provo, Utah, data center, one of several data centers the company operates. The problem appears to be impacting some newsletter readers, although not all of them.

I know the problem is impacting me as I sit in this hotel room in London, England. I am receiving frequent time-out error messages when attempting to display pages on eogn.com. Even worse, I am checking out of the hotel shortly to board a plane to Seattle, Washington. I will be incommunicado for nine hours or so while my web site is having difficulties. Grrrr!

The HostGator technical support folks report, "Our Networks Operation team uncovered a bug in firmware utilized in our vendor’s hardware that caused the network issues, which impacted some of our customers." If you have an interest, you can read the company's periodic updates at http://forums.hostgator.com/network-outage-provo-t316804.html?p=517996#post517996.

I switched to HostGator several years ago after having huge problems with one of the larger and better-known hosting services and have been happy with the better level of service until today. Oh well...

I do apologize for the inconvenience. I suspect the problem will be resolved within a few hours. In the meantime, there's not much I can do while riding over the polar cap at 40,000 feet.

UPDATE: The problem now appears to be resolved. After a nine-hour-flight, I am now in a hotel in Tacoma, Washington. Everything appears to be running normlly. If you see anything unusual, please let me know.

92-Year-Old Man Writes His Own 3-Word Obituary


StigSeveral articles have been posted here about humorous obituaries, many of them written by the deceased in advance of the "final event." Now Stig Kernell, a Swedish resident, gave his funeral home instructions before he died on April 6, and the funeral home followed through, publishing the 3-word obituary in two newspapers on Saturday.

Stig Kernell's obituary, published in newspaper Dagens Nyheter, states "I Am Dead."

Well, that DOES sum it up.

Radio Sweden reports that Lars-Åke Kernell, Stig’s son, told the Expressen, “He felt that not much else needed to be said, just 'I am dead.'” The nonagenarian died on April 6 and just didn’t want to make a big deal of his own passing.

Archivist of the United States Announces Campaign to "Make Access Happen"


David_FerrieroDavid Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, has written in his own blog about a goal to provide U.S. citizens with easier and faster access to materials held at the National Archives and Records Administration. He writes:

"The first of our new strategic goals is to 'Make Access Happen.' Increasingly, access means digital, online access. Our first goal has one objective, to make our records available to the public in digital form to ensure that anyone can explore, discover and learn from our records."

You can read his full article at http://blogs.archives.gov/aotus/?p=5417.


FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.1 Million Images to Collections from Italy


The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added more than 2.1 million images to collections from Italy. Notable collection updates include the 89,778 images from the new Italy, Lucca, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1807–1814, collection; the 445,302 images from the new Italy, Genova, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1796–1812, 1838–1859, 1866–1899, collection; and the 1,637,317 images from the Italy, Napoli, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809–1865, collection. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the worldís historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Indexed Records

Digital Images


Italy, Genova, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1796–1812, 1838–1859, 1866–1899



New browsable image collection.

Italy, Lucca, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1807–1814



New browsable image collection.

Italy, Napoli, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809–1865



Added images to an existing collection.


Update: 2014 Genealogy Cruise Early Booking Special


Cruise-2I wrote earlier (at http://goo.gl/MttkJE and at http://goo.gl/qhG8Oe) about a 7-day genealogy cruise on board the Celebrity Silhouette in the Eastern Caribbean that starts on December 7, 2014. I will be one of the speakers on that cruise. Now the cruise organizers have extended an Early Booking Special for those who sign up before April 30, 2014.

Book on or before April 30 and receive one of the following:

  • Free Classic Beverage Package for 2 people (includes gratuities):
  • Beer, up to $5/serving
  • Spirits, Cocktails & Wine; up to $8/serving
  • All Soda, Premium Coffee, Teas, Juices, Bottled Water

NOTE: Upgrade to Premium Beverage Package available for nominal charge

  • Onboard Credit - $200 per stateroom

Some restrictions apply and will be explained at time of booking.

Leaving from Fort Lauderdale, the ports of call include: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Basseterre, St. Kitts; St. Maarten; plus three days at sea (with genealogy presentations all thee days), returning to Fort Lauderdale on December 14. That strikes me as a good balance between genealogy and sightseeing.

For details, look at http://www.cecruisegroups.com/genealogy-cruise-2014.html. To book now, contact Herb at CruiseEverything at 800-959-7447.