Links, 3.21.12

Tracings: Well, if Wanda Sykes’ story is anything to go by, it’s going to be an addictive journey with Finding Your Roots, the new PBS exploration from Henry Louis Gates Jr. that debuts this Sunday. Research for the show traced Sykes’ roots clear back to 17th-century Virginia, “an extraordinary case,” according to historian Ira Berlin. The New York Times has more fascinating details.

Choices: If you sense a major shift in your computer universe, and maybe even your genealogy software, here’s a useful overview of the more popular choices. But what I really liked were the tips on auditioning new genealogy software before you take the leap.

Echoes: Here’s a tidbit of interest for Titanic (and insurance?) buffs: Letters From a Lost Liner, an overview of a National Archives collection of documents pertaining to the claims filed against the White Star Line after the disaster. One story they tell concerns some long-forgotten minor players in the great drama — the mail clerks assigned to the liner’s Sea Post Office, who died safeguarding more than 3,000 sacks of mail aboard the doomed ship.


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