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Plus Edition Newsletter Has Been Sent

To all Plus Edition subscribers:

A notice of the latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter was sent to you a few minutes ago. Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

(+) What is the Purpose of a Genealogy Program? is under Fire as new DNA Algorithm Drastically Changes the Ethnicity of Some Users

Follow-up: is under Fire as new DNA Algorithm Drastically Changes the Ethnicity of Some Users

See Long Hidden Historic Photos of the Gritty, Compelling Lives of Tough Maine Fishermen

Archival Grant Opportunity: Historical and Archival Records Care Grants in Pennsylvania

Churchyards become Lawns in Sweden as Tombstones are typically Removed after 25 Years

Multnomah County (Oregon) Estates, Wills and Guardianship Abstracts 1852-1901, 1904, 1908 are Available from the Genealogical Forum of Oregon

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of April 29, 2019

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

Donn Devine, R.I.P.

Prediction: The Dead Will Take Over Facebook in the Next 50 Years

Press Release: New Records Reveal Those Imprisoned for Debt in England

Press Release: SLIG Announces New Scholarship Opportunities

Press Release: The Genealogy Squad Facebook Group Announced

Leonardo’s Hair to be DNA Tested

American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society Present Lifetime Achievement Award to Dan Rather

A Genealogy Cartoon about Queen Victoria and Her Relatives

It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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To all non-subscribers:

If you would like to read this week’s Plus Edition newsletter, you can sign up for a subscription by looking at the menus to the right and clicking on “Subscribe to or Renew the Plus Edition Newsletter.” Once you subscribe, you will be given immediate access to the Plus Edition web site and will be able to read the latest Plus Edition newsletter, along with the two previous weekly Plus Edition editions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dick Eastman at

(+) Is Your CD-ROM Data Disappearing?

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

Genealogists are generally concerned with long-term data preservation. A lot of genealogists believe that the only method of preserving data is to print the information on paper. Yet, many of us have handled old pieces of paper that are decaying, crumbling, or fading to the point that the information is not readable. In fact, most paper manufactured in the past 75 years or so contains acids that will hasten the deterioration of the information you wish to preserve.

Even worse, the inks and laser printer toner we use today will fade in a few years, even if the paper survives. I already have papers in my filing cabinet I wrote or photocopied 25 or 30 years ago that have faded quite a bit. Some are already difficult to read because of faded ink or photocopy toner. Those papers probably will be unreadable in another 25 or 30 years.

As we have seen recently in several places around the world, paper is especially fragile. Paper documents are easily destroyed by fires, floods, earthquakes, mold, mildew, or building collapse. On several occasions, valuable paper documents have been lost forever due to simple burst water pipes.

In archivist circles, the preferred solution is to “digitize data so as to preserve it.” However, even digitizing requires some serious precautions and planning. In the past few years, the common choice for long-term digital data storage was CD-ROM or DVD-ROM disks. However, the technology has only appeared in the past three decades; so, we do not yet know if these devices will store data for a century or more. Some studies indicate that the information may not last that long. In fact, there is proof that some CD-ROM disks may not reliably last even one decade! Perhaps one out of every ten disks will become unreadable within ten years with a higher percentage suffering the same fate over 20 or 30 years.

Perhaps of even greater concern is the fact that CD-ROM and DVD disks are slowly disappearing. Many laptop computers and more than a few desktop computers of today do not contain CD-ROM disk drives. Even Netflix has switched from renting movies on CD-ROM disks that are mailed to the customers to online “streaming video.” Almost all music today is rented or purchased from online services, such as from iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify, or other subscription-based services.

Record stores, CD-ROM stores, and video rental stores have almost disappeared. When was the last time you rented a movie on a DVD disk?

Other companies are doing the same: online distribution is replacing CD-ROM distribution of data, audio, and video media.

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