Links, 11.01.10

The past week overflowed with news stories about cemeteries and ghosts, many of them cheesy, to be honest. Halloween will do that to a topic. But there were some keepers, so before the candy runs out, steal a piece and enjoy these items:

DNA research turns up a startling heritage for a woman who is descended both from a judge and a victim in the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692.

• A Connecticut blogger shares the tale of a relative tried as a witch in Fairfield, Conn., in 1692. I find these stories sad but fascinating glimpses into the lives and beliefs of colonial Americans.

• An old local ghost story turns out to be tinged with truth.  A curious genealogist poked into a Massachusetts story about a young girl’s ghost haunting the railroad tracks where she was killed — and discovered a real person with a real death certificate.

Now, in normal genealogy news:

Following a trail: Research about a slave’s legal struggle to gain her freedom provides new insights for descendants of both the slave and her owner.  I like this one because it leads to the town where I was born: Chillicothe, Ohio. (My parents lived there briefly, and we left when I was six months old, so I don’t really qualify as a Buckeye — but still!)

Aussie ancestor hunting: Out of Melbourne, an update on the genealogy boom Down Under. In many ways the story is familiar, but it contains interesting examples of how life has become easier for Australian family researchers. “[Database access] has put us on an equal footing with the rest of the world,” says one expert. “We can sit in front of our computers and have the same access to the 1911 England and Wales census as a person in the UK. The tyranny of distance no longer applies.”

One big happy network: Marian at Roots and Rambles shares a great rundown on Twitter vs. Facebook, and what’s to be gained for genealogy enthusiasts in the new global conversation.

Weaving a history: Gena at Gena’s Genealogy asks, Was Your Ancestor A Weaver? If the answer is yes, there are some interesting sources you might check out.

Here’s to the start of a new month — I wish you lots of progress and discovery in November!

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