Dick Eastman: Author of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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Family History episode 4: Interview with online genealogy pioneer Dick Eastman & Tracking Down Death Records

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For some 30+ years, Dick Eastman has been honing his vision of the future to improve our picture of the past. A high school writing assignment started him asking questions about family, and tuned his ear to the stories of Eastman, Dow, Deabay and Theriault elders at family reunions. Along with this growing curiosity about his roots, an early interest in ham radio awakened his penchant for all things electronic, and he was ready for computers almost before they were ready for him. This odd combination of interests came together, and by the early 1970’s, Dick was already using a mainframe computer to enter his family data on punch cards. It was only natural for him to play with PCs and Macintosh computers when the information age invaded households across the continent. He immediately saw new and better and faster ways of researching his family. This was too good to keep to himself, so it’s no surprise that the internet became his playground, where he would exhort others to bring their ancestors into this digitized world. In the mid-1980s, Dick actually went knocking on the door of a rising online star called CompuServe to propose a genealogy forum: a move by which he built a community of family historians over the next 14 years. At the same time, he preached the benefits of technology to an even wider audience of genealogists, including national and international genealogical organizations, and of course, GENTECH, an organization that helped him to spread his message. For the last 12-plus years, Dick has pursued his mission through an online periodical he writes every day, simply called "Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter." He loves to share technology "finds" that can help both new and seasoned genealogists, as well as dethroning the scams and shams that can lead the unwary astray. Interests Genealogy, ham radio, flying, recumbent bicycling. Website: http://www.eogn.com