Links, 5.23.11

Good morning, and happy to be here, as I always am. I am glad that this weekend was marked by a non-event, despite all those billboards. I wasn’t raised on Rapture theology, mind. We Catholics tend to like the passage about never really knowing the day or hour, and being ready anyway, especially if you’re a virgin and in charge of the lighting.

I was doing a fair share of smirking about all the non-eventfulness, until I read this piece and decided to stop. What’s the point of smirking, anyway? The world is still turning, and we still have work to do.

Onward, links.

Road trip: I don’t normally think “genealogy” and “Vanity Fair” in the same sentence, but everything’s bound to come up sooner or later. Like VF reporter David Kamp’s account of his family history travels to South Carolina with rapper 50 cent.

Technicalities: Kimberly Powell writes a nice introduction to the FamilySearch.org Tech Tips blog, along with a number of other potentially useful sites for anyone interested in ramping up their knowledge of exciting new devices and social media.

Ramped-up Gramps: Also, this is as good a place as any to mention that Gramps has come out with Portable 3.2.6.

Times-ly: And … The New York Times jumps in with a piece on Finding Family History Online, featuring a quote from über-Geneablogger Thomas McEntee. The article is kind of a mish-mosh — oops, I meant to say “round-up” — throwing together various 21st-century enhancements to the genealogy experience, like FarmVille, Facebook, Twitter and WikiTree, and giving them all about equal time. Not a bad piece to root about in. I especially liked the bit about Timeless Footsteps, with which you could embed scannable, biographical information on ancestral tombstones.

Casting: Are you, or is someone you know, a former WWII crewmember on a B-24 or a B-17? Dick Eastman reports that the Collings Foundation wants to line up interviews for a television show they’re putting together called The Last Liberator.

Retracing: I’m truly impressed by this story by the Detroit News’ Francis X. Donnelly about a Polish genealogy group’s 20-year effort to recreate a manifest of names and burial locations in an aging Detroit cemetery. Early burials were especially challenging — records had been lost, so the group used death certificates, library research and monument sales records to fill the gap. A heartening story for anyone who has an undocumented cemetery to cope with.

Scandal re-examined: Another wonderful genealogy sleuthing story by Betty Malesky — she unravels the tale of her great-great grandmother’s scandalous 1865 divorce and finds that all is not quite as the official court papers would make it seem.

O’Really?: The Irish Times explains  how research on both sides of the pond clarified the history of President Obama’s Irish ancestry.

O’Earworms: OK, have you heard the Friday Song? That’s a Wikipedia link there, not the actual song. I would never link to that song. (You’re welcome.) I will, however, link to the lyrics that apparently have taken over the Irish airwaves during President Obama’s visit.

(Excerpt: “He’s as Irish as bacon/And cabbage and stew/He’s Hawaiian he’s Kenyan/American too.” Click through if you dare.)

Bonus points to anybody who recognized the engraving right away. Yes indeed, it’s one of Albrecht Dürer’s Foolish Virgins. Ten points, and have a great week!


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