Links, 9.26.11

Jumping right in …

Gravestone spiff-ups: Out of Bangor, Maine, an article in which the ever-treacherous gravestone-cleaning wars are revisited. In this case, water, a natural bristle brush and elbow grease are the recommended cleaning agents. Discuss.

Washingtonians: The National Society of Washington Descendants got together in Annapolis, Md., over the weekend. An interesting article ensued in which members reflected upon the nation’s first President, even though strictly speaking, nobody there was descended from him, as he had no children. But they are all descended from other Washingtons in George’s family, and most important, they all had a good time.

Census milestone: CNN does a nice job explaining why the release of the 1930 Mexico census is a bonanza for so many family historians.

Jamaican studies: A profile of the UK’s Patrick Vernon describes how his passion for uncovering his family’s Jamaica roots led to his founding the Every Generation website, which focuses on family history for the African and Caribbean communities in Britain. (While it seems to have interesting info, I haven’t linked to Every Generation because, frustratingly, it keeps kicking off Google warnings about the site harming my computer. Anyone know what’s up with that?)

Biz buzz: Findmypast.ie launches online forums devoted to Irish genealogy topics. Press release here. Also, in case you missed it, MyHeritage.com acquires the BackupMyTree service. Here’s their press release.

Willing it: Kenneth Thomas of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asks whether you’ve put your genealogy files in your will. If you haven’t, it’s something to consider.

Homeless suitcase: Now, that’s sad — Four months after spreading the word about an orphan suitcase full of vintage family memorabilia, Hartlepool (UK) resident Edward Powell hasn’t been able to locate any descendant to claim it. The suitcase has marriage and birth certificates, a diary and a Bible, among other items.

Immigrants’ chronicler: The Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Oscar Handlin, whose pioneering studies of immigration helped changed perceptions of its role in American history, has died aged 95. The New York Times obituary pays tribute and notes his innovative use of such resources as census data and immigrant newspapers in making the case that immigration is the “continuing, defining” event in U.S. history.

Here’s to the rest of the week — may it be full of interesting discoveries, or at least neater filing cabinets.

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