Links, 7.11.11

The news flow seems slow this week. Oh well, that’s high summer for you. I did do some interesting digging in Ellis Island records last week regarding my mysterious great-aunt Kunigunde, who remains somewhat mysterious, thanks to the clerks’ um, interesting handwriting. While I’m comparing loops and swirls, here are the links.

Fore-bears: Not human genealogy, but still, an interesting DNA revelation! Scientists have figured out that the modern polar bear is descended not from Alaskan brown bears, as previous thought, but from a now-extinct species of Irish brown bear.

Forensic genealogy? Here’s how a family researcher came up with a lead in a 50-year-old murder case. Now that’s genealogical detective work.

Success stories: There is now an Irish America Hall of Fame, based in County Wexford. Michael Flatley of “Riverdance” fame opened the hall of fame at an emigrant heritage center, which is adjacent to a replica of a famine-era ship, the Dunbrody. Besides Flatley himself, other inductees include Bill Clinton, author Mary Higgins Clark and DNA research pioneer James Watson. (h/t Pat Connors, NY-Irish listserv.)

Guidance: The useful Genealogy at a Glance series has two interesting new titles: African-American Genealogy Research, by Michael Hait, and Ellis Island Research, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. Check out the publisher summaries for more. These guides are presented in a compact, laminated-page format especially suited to research road trips.  (Via BET.com.)

Census trip-ups:  Tampa Bay columnist Sharon Tate Moody has a cautionary and entertaining column on census data pitfalls.

Hang-ups: In his newsletter, Dick Eastman has a flair for eyecatching headlines, and I certainly bit at Will Telephones Disappear by 2018? Interesting item on whether the country is ready to go cell-phone only. Don’t skip the comments, wherein are some very pertinent observations about the drawbacks of cell phones in areas the communications moguls have deemed unworthy of wiring for high-speed, reliable connections.

Stay cool (where applicable), and have a great week.


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