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Genealogy This Week - 22 August 2009


Our weekly compilation of interesting new tools, resources and stories for genealogists:

Online Irish Records - For anyone researching their Irish roots, the Irish Family History Foundation is an invaluable resource. This website contains over 15 million Irish records organized by birth, marriage, death and census records. You can search for free but a fee applies to view a detailed record. [Link]

World Archives Project - Most people think that Ancestry.com is only a pay-per-view genealogy site. However, they also run a free website called the World Archives Project. Consisting mainly of records entered by volunteers, it is Ancestry.com's answer to FamilySearch.org the other big free genealogy database. [Link]

A Free Tool to Read Text in Images - Many old images contain text. An example would be scans of genealogical records. Assuming the text is not handwritten (which is beyond the capability of a computer), it should be possible to read the text using what is known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. We provide a link to a website that will do OCR conversion from a user-supplied image. It can handle text written in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish. [Link]

Collaborate on Picasa Web Albums - Picasa is an extremely popular free software tool for anyone wanting to create digital photo albums on the computer or on a website. Owned by Google, it is a very powerful and easy to use piece of software. However, one of the major shortcomings of the software has been that it did not allow various family members living in different locations to collaborate on building and sharing web photo albums online. This issue has now been overcome with the latest upgrade to Picasa. Read all about it on the official Google blog. [Link]

On Top of Marilyn Monroe for All Eternity - When Marilyn Monroe died, her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio owned the tomb directly above her in the crypt where she was buried in Los Angeles. He eventually ended up selling the tomb to someone else. When the person who bought the tomb died, he was buried face down in the tomb on top of Marilyn Monroe. Traditionally, being buried face down was seen as a sign of deep disrespect for the deceased. However, in this case, the deceased had something else in mind. Now his widow is selling the tomb space to raise money. Apparently, being buried next to Marilyn Monroe is very popular. Playboy's Hugh Hefner owns the tomb next to Marilyn Monroe. [Link]

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