On the Road: A visit with Dick Eastman

On the Road: A visit with Dick Eastman

Dick Eastman
Dick Eastman

This post was co-authored by MyHeritage US genealogy adviser, Schelly Talalay Dardashti and MyHeritage business development manager and genealogist, Mark Olsen.

One of the most recognized names in the genealogy world, Dick Eastman is synonymous with geneablogging and using technology to improve your family history experience.

At the recent National Genealogical Society conference in Cincinnati, the MyHeritage team saw a chance to spend some personal time with Dick – and tour his recreational vehicle (RV) – we jumped at the opportunity.

For the past year or so, Dick has left his Massachusetts home for several months at a time while he roams the country – geneahopping from one genealogy event to another, not only in the US, but globally. Since the end of 2011, he’s been home for no more than three days at a time, but is looking forward to being home again in a few weeks.

While attending NGS, Dick parked his RV and drove his towed Mini Cooper into town each morning.

Dick's Mini Cooper
Dick's Mini Cooper

Being in demand at so many conferences takes detailed planning by Dick. This now includes road travel, RV campground arrangements and – most importantly – arranging for Internet connections so he can log on and write the Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter (www.eogn.com).

A group of us got together at a Brazilian steakhouse. In addition to the MyHeritage team (Daniel Horowitz, Mark Olsen, and Schelly Talalay Dardashti), the group included Dick, Pamela Weisberger (Los Angeles), Elise Friedman and Alex Yi (FamilyTreeDNA.com), and our friend Chris Mueller (Albuqerque). Since Schelly’s birthday was a few days later, we shared a candle-topped dessert and sang Happy Birthday.

Brazilian steakhouse: Daniel Horowitz, Mark Olsen, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, Dick Eastman, Pamela Weisberger (Los Angeles), Elise Friedman, Alex Yi (FamilyTreeDNA.com), Chris Mueller (Albuqerque)

Genealogy conferences are always happy events as we enjoy relaxing with our friends after a busy day at our booth in the exhibit hall.

We needed an Internet connection at dinner, and Dick pulled out three hotspots from three providers. It is nice to travel with a techie!

After dinner, Daniel, Mark, Schelly and Chris followed Dick back to his home-on-wheels for an exclusive visit. It was an interesting experience seeing Dick’s working environment on the road.

His RV was parked at a campground about 20 miles away. It was late when we got there and other park visitors had campfires going under the tall trees, while others had pitched tents on grassy spots.

Dick's RV
Dick's RV

Dick was in the process of rewiring the RV so he could connect more easily. He has a satellite dish and other Wi-Fi devices to help!

From the comfort of his compact, practical RV – and in a beautiful area – Dick posts to his newsletter several times a day, three on average.

He tells us that he spends a lot of times at the RV kitchen table, as seen in the photo above, as well as many hours sitting in the open air outside the RV at the picnic tables that are always nearby in the RV parks he frequents.

He spends many hours each day reading all the latest news in the world of genealogy, as well as reviewing technology announcements that often impact modern family history technology. Such technology now includes DNA genetic genealogy, facial recognition – which adds to photo sharing and creating family history – and other aspects.

We thank Dick for the personal tour of his RV and glimpse into his life, and also for the 30+ years he has spent in family history. He has helped shaped the current scene, now increasingly focused on preserving family history. We all saw this clearly on April 2, as millions of people from around the world searched for their ancestors in the 1940 census on MyHeritage.com, WorldVitalRecords.com, as well as other sites.

Thank you for your efforts, Dick. We look forward to seeing you at another conference very soon.

Daniel Horowitz, Mark Olsen, and Schelly Talalay Dardashti
From Left: Schelly Talalay Dardashti, Mark Olsen, Daniel Horowitz and Dick Eastman

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  • julie verhage

    May 17, 2012

    unbeknownst to me i didn’t understand that the ’40 census was available to checkout for up to two weeks in april for everyone , my loss. i love my heritage but i’ve not used my site per/ IT is in some HMONG language i dont understand. yes it takes a long time to search for the person i’ve entititled in the search. i miss MISS using the site. anyway it can be changed? today i’ve tilled my garden which is attached to the house i occupy one hundred and 4+ year old house. the rumor is the parent of whom used to live here hid his stash because he did not trust banks ever, so my hope is to someday find more about this family. thats after i’ve… done some family searching.

  • Amy Coffin

    May 18, 2012

    How cool that you got a tour of Chateau Eastman!