Sunday, June 27, 2004

Finding Living Persons

The updated version of this post is maintained at:

Estranged or Lost Relatives and Friends

First, search telephone records - The Ultimate White Pages: Be sure to play around with the search parameters. The more slots you fill out, the fewer matches you will get. Sometimes a surname and state are all you will want to enter.

Search Polk City Directories for 1000+ cities:
Canadian City Directories:

If you have an address, current or not, you may be able to use online property records:

Do you know the approximate birthday? Try Steve Morse's Obtaining Birthdays in One Step:

Sometimes a Google Search will turn up the person's name: Other search engines are useful, also. Search on the name email address, or even address/phone number!

Of course, if you have a phone number or address, you will want to do a Reverse Search: Present occupants may know where your person has moved. Google will do a simple reverse search also - just type the phone number or street address into the Google search box.

More resources - Telephone Directories and Locators:

Note: SuperPages, InfoSpace, Dogpile, Yahoo & Switchboard = Acxion, WhitePages = W3 Data, Inc., WhoWhere = Lycos. - Finding People - Lost Family and Friends:

Lots of interesting categories and links at the Virtual Gumshoe:


$$$ MelissaDATA's PeopleFinder:

$$$ USSearch:

Tracing Living People (UK):

France, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, USA, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, UK, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East, Australia and the Pacific.

French Telephone Directories: or

Message Boards - Lost Family & Friends:
WWII Lost & Found:

Finding People & Places:

Books: Locating Lost Family Members and Friends by Kathleen Hinckley, CGRS:
P.O. Box 740637, Arvada CO 80006-0637. (303) 422-9371, FAX (303) 456-8825.

Find Anyone Fast: Easy-to-Use Guide to Finding Anyone Anywhere! Including How
to Use the Internet
by Richard S. Johnson & Debra Johnson Knox, Spartanburg SC. MIE Publishing: 1-800-937-2133 or

How to Locate Anyone Who Is or Has Been in the Military By Col. Richard S. Johnson
Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc.: 512-719-3595, FAX 512-719-3594, P O Box 33244, Austin, Texas 78764.

Assets Unknown by David W. Folsom, PO Box 6128, Sheridan WY 82801.

The Ultimate Search Book: Worldwide Adoption and Vital Records by Lori Carangelo:

Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them. - John Updike

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Austrian Newspapers, Slovakia's Cemetery Database Online

Link from our friends at - Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary 1910:

Free online collection of old newspapers from Austria

According to János Bogárdi's RadixBlog:

"The Austrian National Library is hard at work. They are putting old newspapers to the web: ANNO (AustriaN Newspapers Online). In February 2004 the number of available pages reached 1 million. One interesting title for Hungarian research is the Pester Lloyd. This was a German language newspaper published in Budapest. I haven't read into it deeply, maybe there are obits published in the paper." ANNO:

In other news for European researchers, RadixBlog also mentioned Slovakia's online cemetery database, with 1000 cemeteries recorded, and nearly 100,000 records! (English interface available - click on the US flag):

Without genealogy, the study of history is lifeless. - John Fiske

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Steve Morse's One Step

More than just Ellis Island in one step, visit Steve
Try out Census & Soundex, other Ship lists and Ship Pictures, New York Naturalizations and Incarcerations, Maps, and Zip Codes.

Every ship arrival to Ellis Island 1892-1924, and links back to the manifest pages. This was a project completed after two years of work with a team of over 50 volunteers. Every one of the 3700 rolls of Ellis Island microfilms from 1892 to 1924 has been indexed. For each arrival they found, they recorded the roll, volume, frame, date, ship-name, and ports. So for the first time, there exists a searchable list of every ship arrival, linked to the manifest. 84,000 ship arrivals are included:

Another VERY useful search is his One-Step SSDI search (5 databases):

Some interesting search options are available at MelissaDATA:

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Favorite Movies

I love the movies!

Maybe if I start a list here, I'll begin to recall more of my favorites through the years. Just finished reading 400 Videos You've Got to Rent!: Great Movies You Probably Missed by Ardis Sillick and Michael McCormick. I started adding a LOT of them to my Netflix queue, and have been disappointed at the large number of films Netflix doesn't carry. I suppose they aren't on DVD yet.

For a complete change of pace, try Love Me Tonight, a Depression-era fantasy of a musical and vital Paris and the French countryside. The chateau is magnificent, and so is Maurice Chevalier. I finally understand his enduring popularity! Jeanette MacDonald is the sad princess who falls for the charm, singing, and needle of Chevalier's "just a tailor". Thoroughly fun. Great "special effects," too! 79.

My goodness, I'm a sucker for Neil Jordan's films, I guess! (The ones set in the British Isles, at least. The End of the Affair (1999) touched my heart again, as Michael Collins did. Julianne Moore, Ralph Fiennes, and Stephen Rea - an abundance of riches. This is an old-fashioned film in many ways, and war-time London becomes as much of a character as the excellently-done private detective Mr. Harkis, played by Ian Hart. 89. I think I'll have to read the Graham Greene book now.

I liked The Butterfly Effect much more than I expected to. Ashton Kutcher can actually act! Not an important film, and you don't want to think about the plot any more than you have to, but very enjoyable. See the "director's cut" if you can. 77.

Michael Collins makes my heart HURT. The tragedy of his life, the tragedy of Ireland and her greedy and cruel lover England -- watching this film brings it all to life, from the Easter Uprising, Bloody Sunday, and the assassination of Collins, the father of the IRA. I don't think its possible to assign a number to this one. My McBees are Scotch-Irish, from Dublin the family stories say. Perhaps one of these days I'll learn the truth.

Interesting film that the TMC rated ****, The Edge of the City. John Cassavetes is the tortured hero, who must redeem himself from the results of his cowardice. Sidney Poitier lights up the screen as the man who befriends Axel, and pays the ultimate price. The bully, played powerfully by Jack Warden, loses in the end. 74.

Two copper night! First up, The Thin Blue Line. How often does a film-maker change the course of history? By showing all the possible versions of a cold-blooded shooting of a Dallas policeman, justice was finally done, after an innocent man spent many years in prison. 83. Next, Serpico, Sidney Lumet's telling of the true story of one honest cop who couldn't rest until he cleaned up the corruption in the New York Police Department. Al Pacino is absolutely luminous. Frank Serpico and Al Pacino both deserved a better film. 73. Google doesn't pop it to the top, but Frank Serpico does have a website these days, at:

Triple feature of fun last night -- two silly old films, and one newer one. First up was Midnight, released in 1939, starring Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche and an older John Barrymore. Delightful. 70. Next, The Man Who Came to Dinner, which was completely mad-cap. Monty Woolley was the man, rude as rude can be! Bette Davis was his efficient and understanding secretary, and Ann Sheridan has a peach of a role as the self-involved beautiful starlet. Jimmy Durante has a totally antic bit right at the end. I'll have to say, Billie Burke was so annoying, I almost didn't watch the film, but thankfully, she disappears after the first 15 minutes. 70. Finally, one I can't believe I didn't see until now: Get Shorty. Chili Palmer could have been written for John Travolta. The rest of the cast is wonderful, too. Completely delightful. This film says, along with Chili, "Look at me." 94. Also saw, last week, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Le Pacte des loups. A bit uneven, but very good. Set in 1765 France, and based on real events. If you get the DVD, do watch the deleted scenes -- it will add a lot to your understanding and enjoyment of the film. 73.

Life as a House on DVD. I do love Kevin Kline! He was just great, and Hayden Christensen a likeable character, by the end. The women were good, too -- Kristen Scott Thomas was a bit warmer than usual, and Jena Malone and Mary Steenburgen as mother and daughter, on a voyage of sexual discovery - very good. The extra stuff on the DVD were good, too (didn't watch the movie again with commentary, though). 92. Also, Pi, another Aronofsky film. Disturbing, powerful. I watched all the extras, all the commentary. 92.

Amazing. Last Tango in Paris -- I can't get it out of my mind. I see why Brando would never use that method of acting again. You can easily believe that his experiences killed him. I can't rate this one with NUMBERS.

Tonight was a double feature! Finally watched The Last Temptation of Christ; was finally up for another Scorcese. I'm still mulling this one over. I think I'll give it an 88 out of 100. Next up was Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which was a WINNER. Loved the soundtrack, loved Hedwig, the plot, the acting, the STYLE. 93! IMdb recommends Priscilla, Queen of the Desert if you liked Hedwig, and it's true -- I loved that too. I would give Priscilla an 83.

Watched George Steven's Talk of the Town with Cary Grant a bit out of his usual suave role, and liked it. 72.

The Player - Tim Robbins, directed by Robert Altman. Engrossing, funny, wierd, satisfying. 91.

Just came across a list from the New York Times of The 1000 Best Movies Ever Made: Once I finish trying to get a few hundred more movies into my Netflix list, I can tackle this list. Each film title is linked to a short summary. Anyone know of other interesting lists of great movies?

Watched part of AFI's 100 Years, 100 Songs -- what a great show!
Here is their 100 Years, 100 Movies:

Lots of lists at

Ebert's top 100:

This is a funny list from Right Wing News - Bloggers Select The 15 Greatest Movies Of All-Time: I can only imagine the "left wing" top 15!

The List of Bests has Entertainment Weekly's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time: List of Bests comments, "The final 100 choices deliberately corrected the American Film Institute's most glaring omissions - Preston Sturges, Buster Keaton, and Ernst Lubitsch, and added some of the best foreign films - from Fellini, Truffaut, and Kurosawa."

By the way, just read an interesting review: Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore, by Christopher Hitchens: With "friends" like Michael Moore, Kerry hardly needs enemies! Here is an answer to Hitchen's review: Michael Moore responds to the wacko attackos on

Now that I've seen Fairenheit 9/11, I will say that *EVERYONE* should see this movie! Not that I agree with Michael Moore on every point, but he raises issues that we MUST talk about. I don't see how anyone could vote for George Bush after seeing this film. He is not on our side, and we average Americans are not his "base."

The morning after: listening to my local public radio station, KUOW, and their talk-radio hour about Fahrenheit 9/11. One reviewer called Michael Moore a skillfull "scurrilous pamphleteer" -- and I suppose I have to agree with that. I still like the film, but it IS a conspiracy theory, in part, and the conspiracy doesn't hold together. If our government is run for the enrichment of the Saudis and the corporations, why did the Saudis NOT want the war on Iraq? They do not want ANY of the possible outcomes of this war. The corporations, sure -- but what's new? The "military-industrial complex" has been in the driver's seat since at least the 50's, when Eisenhower decried their power. Those who voted for Bush knew that they were voting for a tool of the corporations, and were satisfied with that.

The latter part of the film, where questions is raised about the Patriot Act, and WHO is fighting this war -- that is the real power of F 9/11. The cheap shots, which I heard many in the audience laughing about, lessened the film, I think. The rich and powerful wanted this war, but they do not fight it. The poor sign up because they see no other alternative. How terribly sad, and how badly our country is being run.

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Digital Rights Management

Microsoft Research DRM talk

by Cory Doctorow

This talk was originally given to Microsoft's Research Group and other interested parties from within the company at their Redmond offices on June 17, 2004. Canonical version of this talk:

Extremely thought-provoking article. I wonder how Microsoft will respond? Thanks to Daishi for posting the URL in IRC.

The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones.
- Nathaniel Howe

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Easy List Unsubscribing

The up-to-date version of this post will be maintained at:

If you have changed your email address permanently, and no longer have access to the account, to to the Rootsweb HelpDesk and have them do a global unsub for all your lists:

More on changing your contact information at Rootsweb:

I did not write this article, previously published in RootsWeb Review: 16 June 2004, Vol. 7, No. 24.

RootsWeb Mailing Lists -- Gone Fishing?

"Summertime and the livin' is easy" is how the familiar song from "Porgy and Bess" goes. For RootsWeb users in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is nearly here and that often brings with it vacations (holidays), long weekend fishing trips, beach house visits or trips to the cabin in the mountains. All of which means time away from genealogical research, time away from your computer and your e-mail. What should you do when you are going to be away temporarily from your RootsWeb mailing lists?

Depending upon the length of time you will be away, the capacity of your mailbox, and the activity level of the lists to which you subscribe; you may choose either to remain subscribed to the lists and catch up on your mail when you return or unsubscribe (especially from the busiest high-volume lists) and re-subscribe when you get home. RootsWeb list software does not have a temporary "NO-MAIL" setting. However, unsubscribing and re-subscribing is easy and will accomplish the purpose.

If you choose to unsubscribe from all, or just some, RootsWeb mailing lists during your vacation, first check Password Central to verify to which lists you are subscribed.

Once you obtain a list of your subscribed lists, address a new e-mail message to the list "request" addresses for the lists from which you
wish to unsub. The "request" address is used to send your command or instructions that can either unsubscribe or subscribe you from a list.

The format for addressing a message to the request address is: -- if you are subscribed in mail mode (receiving every individual message list members send to the list) or -- if you are subscribed in digest mode (receiving list messages lumped together in digest format).

Replace the generic word LISTNAME above with the actual name of the list. For instance, if you wish to unsubscribe from the SMITH surname list and you are subscribed in mail mode, send your request to: or to unsubscribe from the digests.

Be sure to put the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject and message body of your e-mail and don't include any other text. If you wish to unsubscribe from more than one list at the same time, you can show multiple "request" addresses in the SEND TO box of your e-mail with the addresses separated by a comma just as you would if you were sending an e-mail to several individuals at one time.

Keep a record of the mailing list names for the lists from which you have unsubbed so that you can easily address a new e-mail to the same list request addresses when you return with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject and message body to get back on the lists you temporarily left. Note: Never send a REPLY e-mail to subscribe to, or unsubscribe from, a list -- always send a NEW e-mail.

Upon your return from summer fun, you can browse the archives of your mailing lists to catch up on the messages you missed. Start here:
Type in the name of the list you wish to browse and then select the month and year to view an outline of the messages you wish to read. Next, click to view any or all individual messages.

So, if the fish are biting this summer or the seashore looks inviting, leave the laptop at home and don't worry about the "the big one" getting away because you are not home to view responses to your genealogical research queries. You can catch up with mailing list messages when you return.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Syndication & Wikis: Online Future

This post needs some updating, but for now, I'll simply allude to a new way of both storing and sharing your bookmarks, and even rating websites. The formost "social bookmarking" site is, where you can "keep your favorite websites, music, books, and more in a place where you can always find them, share your favorites with family, friends, and colleagues, and discover new and interesting things by browsing popular & related items." If you are a blogger, you will want to use technorati, because once you set up an account, you can "tag" each of your posts, which will help many more people find your blogs. I need to start tagging the posts in my new genealogy blog. Finally, I just installed a new plugin to Firefox for Stumble Upon. Whenever I see a site I really like, I click on the "thumbs up" icon, while bad or spammy/wormy sites get the "thumbs down." These ratings are shared with those who share my interests, and I have access to other's ratings in the same way. Thanks to my MySpace buddy Jeffery for Stumble Upon.

Great news! Rootsweb has starting syndicating list archives. Check it out! Pick a list, any list, and add to your aggregator or browser. I don't know about IE, but Opera and Konqueror browsers make it super easy to subscribe to RSS feeds these days. Firefox is a bit more difficult -- you click the little square orange syndication icon in the lower right of the window, and create a RSS bookmark. When you choose that bookmark, each post shows to the right of the bookmarks. I've moved to Opera as my main browser these days. Simply click the RSS button in the top toolbar to subscribe and read. Fantastico!

Sharing information & collaboration using Wiki:

Our wonderful Alsachat wiki:
This wiki is a collaboration of people all over the world, who meet weekly in IRC: irc:// or (Java webchat)

Comparing Blogging Software:

Richard Eastman is hosting the Encyclopedia of Genealogy: -- add or improve an article!

I've recently been exploring syndication of my blog. I took the time to set up a "blogroll" at, and read more than just genealogy blogs. There is an amazing variety out there. I've subscribed to a feed of James Joyce's Ulysses, a page a day. And The Shifted Librarian, where I'm sure I'll find all kinds of cool stuff. It isn't all people blethering on about their fun weekend activities! Check out an aggregator/ news syndication reader. This is a great way to get your information without wading through SPAM.

Meet Joe Blog:,9171,1101040621-650732,00.html

Some articles cited in Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter:

Using RSS to Deliver Newsletters:

Vote for RSS to Replace Email Publishing:

RSS Feeds Are the Better Email Newsletters:

Publishers Must Find New Delivery Methods:

R.I.P. E-mail Newsletters:

Interesting use of RSS for genealogy news:

Interesting look at a business view of the new Internet; great links - Online Reputation Monitoring Beginners Guide:

Nothing in the world makes people so afraid as the influence of independent-minded people. - Albert Einstein

Monday, June 14, 2004

Join Your Local Society

Visit the Family History Society Hall. Developed by and the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies), it claims to be the "most comprehensive directory of genealogical and historical societies on the Web." Search for a local society by society name, keyword, city, state/province, or zip code. One may also search the calendar of events for seminars and workshops sponsored by your favorite societies, by sponsor, date, or location:

What genealogy software should you use? Windows programs compared at Genealogy Software Review: and Genealogical Software Report Card:

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

Genealogy Blogs

The up-to-date copy of this post is being maintained at

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter:

Genealogy News (XML RSS newsreader needed):

GenealogyBlog by Heritage Creations:

Hugh W:

Short Family:

Louis Kessler on the development of a new genealogy program:


Enriching Lives with Ancestral Ties:


RadixLog (Hungarian family history:

Marc Nozell's Mini-Blog:

Read blogs on the web at BlogLines:

It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.

Sunday, June 13, 2004


Vital Statistics:
Births over 100 years, Marriages over 80 years, Deaths over 70 years.

Manitoba Vital Stats. Dept. for current:

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. - Mark Twain

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Calculate Birthdate from Age at Death

Formula 8870
Example: DIED April 8, 1885 AGE 73 years, 7 months, 12 days

Put the death date as: 1885 - 04 (APR) - 08
So, begin with 18850408 (from 1885 04 08)
subtract 730712 (AGE of 73y 7m 12d - 73 07 12)
Result: 18119696
From the result, subtract formula: 8870
Final answer: 1810826, or a birthdate of 1810 Aug 26

- 730712
  -   8870
1810826 --> 26 Aug 1810 birthdate

This works 99% of the time; for a full explanation of the "Formula 8870" see the March 1976 issue of The Genealogical Helper, pg 80, 81.

Thanks to Brenda L. Hummer for posting this information on the RAOGK-L.

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it. - Franklin P. Jones

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Let's Fix The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998

Why? The DMCA allows publishers to override the fair use doctrines that are laid out in the U.S. Constitution. An excellent Web site that sums up the problems:

A possible solution - H.R. 107, the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003, introduced by Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va and John Doolittle R-CA. It is designed to give us back our Constitutional rights, and ensure fair-use rights for consumers of digital products such as CDs and DVDs. Boucher's bill amends the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Read more:,1759,1594064,00.asp.

The text of the bill is available as a PDF or on Thomas. More information is available on Rick Boucher's site.

More on the general issue of copyright

Copyright Table:

Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy:

They're Not Worthy: Why extend the copyright on works that no longer have commercial value?:

New Rules for Using Public Domain Materials, By Attorney Lloyd J. Jassin:

10 Big Myths about Copyright explained:

Electronic Freedom Foundation:

Nolo.Com, Law for All:

Crash Course in Copyright:

Conference on Fair Use:

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right. - Hannah Whitall Smith, American evangelist, writer, reformer, founder of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1874