Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter recently posted an article, “Decades of History Could Be Erased from Australia’s Memory as Tape Machines Disappear.” Although this problem pertains to the National Archives of Australia, others probably will have the same problem.

In other words, the tape machines for playing back audio or video data will be no longer available “within a few years.” Eastman’s advice, at http://tinyurl.com/yy9yocy9: “If you still have important information and even old family photographs stored on magnetic tape, floppy disks, or other soon-to-become-obsolete storage devices, you need to develop a plan NOW to copy it to modern media.”

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation website telling of Australia’s race to digitize their magnetic tape collections can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y45ejbe6.

New York adoption law

“New York will, upon enactment of S3419/A5494, become the 10th state to restore a right all adoptees had decades ago … to obtain their own original birth certificates.” As of this writing, the bill still needs to be signed by Governor Cuomo and will become effective January 15, 2020.

The posting by the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition, “We Did It,” can be read at http://tinyurl.com/y55k5ohd. Be sure to read the many readers’ comments —several expressing thanks.

Scammer duping seniors

The Washington Times has posted an article that warns seniors to be aware that fake DNA kits are being given to seniors offering genetic testing as part of Medicare “but in reality they’re trying to steal personal information.” Details of this activity are described at http://tinyurl.com/yxtqoyjm.

“The government says that scam recruited hundreds of victims, and resulted in more than $1 million in bogus genetic testing.”

Seniors beware!

Cursive writing

It’s been said that only 23 states out of 50 require teaching cursive writing to students. “Generations are seriously losing the ability to read historic documents or even sign their name.”

An article at http://tinyurl.com/yyscx42q stresses the importance of knowing how to read cursive in order to “research and learn about their own personal history and families.” (Scroll down through many interesting articles in order to reach this article.)

“Get your son or daughter or grandchild to learn how to write in cursive!”

Washington family’s genealogy

Karen Wulf’s article at Smithsonian.com (June 18, 2019) describes a “long-ignored document by George Washington” written in the 1740s and 1750s that “lays bare the legal power of geneaology.”

Despite her misspelling of the word genealogy, the article can “help us to see how Washington viewed the importance of his family connections.” The article about this document, which is at the Library of Congress, can be read at http://tinyurl.com/y3vekhjh.

Judy G. Russell (“the Legal Genealogist”) has written her observations on this report at https://tinyurl.com/y35v8334. (Readers’ comments decry the misspelling.)

Fall conference

It is not too early to begin thinking about attending the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s 2019 Fall Conference to be held October 25-26 at the Chicago Marriott in Naperville. Visit http://tinyurl.com/yyfwjn69 for details.

Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing JBGriffis@aol.com.