Quick Links, 11.29.11

Just one more day for Canadians to tell a team of Carleton University researchers why the heck they do genealogy.

Planning to have a very Kindle holiday? There’s a surprise fringe benefit for family historians. Check out Denise Barret Olson’s explanation of the Kindle’s Personal Document Service.

I love a good matrilineal success story.

Those wacky interns! You never know what they’ll get up to next. In Brooklyn, they’ve put together a fun, nostalgic exhibit that opens tomorrow: Brooklyn Then and Now.

Been kind of wondering this myself, lately: When does being plugged in become problematic?

When I saw the headline “Fantasy Genealogy,” I thought it was something like fantasy football. How cool is that? But it’s actually about how silly that ancestry-back-to-Adam stuff can be.


Links, 10.17.11

The links took a week off, presumably to go leaf-peeping in Vermont, where we hear (via our sister, who was just there) that they are having a beautiful season and are as hospitable as ever, despite a challenging time from Hurricane Irene. (Check out Foliage Vermont for updates, if you’re the leaf-watching type.)

Bad, bad, bad: This destruction of historic grave markers at a Greenwich (UK) cemetery looks so mindless and heartless that it just had to be the work of vandals, right? Amazingly, however, it was part of a park revitalization effort. Oddly enough, nobody is rushing forward to claim they know just why it happened. h/t Dick Eastman.

Women warriors: An intriguing story to think about in these weeks leading up to Veterans’ Day: Danville (Ill.) columnist Joan Griffis draws our attention to a NARA Prologue publication about women soldiers of the Civil War. If, like me, you hadn’t heard of this three-part article before, it’s worth a look.

List-savvy: See, this is why I still like old-fashioned email lists. A very nice person on the NY-IRISH list forwarded this Google Books link to an 1850 report to the New York State Senate, which records expenses and payments related to canal work in West Troy (now Watervliet), N.Y. Included are many lists of laborers, many with Irish surnames. Just the sort of fascinating find I love on Google Books. If you have an ancestor who might have been in that area and time frame, check it out.

Embroidered facts: Oh, my. I knew computer-smart sewing machines were capable of greatness, but even so: T-shirts embroidered with fan charts? That is something. As Dick Eastman reports, these Embroidery Charts are an outgrowth of the Charting Companion program from Progeny Genealogy. (Edited to add: See also Tamura Jones, who wrote an interesting post about this and Progeny software in general a few weeks ago. h/t to Patricia in comments.)

On with the week!


Links, 10.3.11

As I type, the chill of fall is in the air, finally. How’s that for an well-worn opening sentence? Next thing you know, I’ll be starting off with “It was a dark and stormy night.” Sheesh. Better just start listing links.

Information please: A gaggle of new databases went up at FamilySearch.org. Here is one rundown, from Leland Meitzler.

Um, easy?!?: Sharon Tate Moody takes a sharp look at a well-meant genealogy-for-beginners pep talk and makes the excellent point that while genealogy is certainly fun, it is not always easy.

Workshopping it: For those of us having genealogy fun here in New Jersey, Jersey Journal columnist Daniel Klein has our back with a look at the fall season of genealogy workshops in the Garden State.

Delaware finds: Meanwhile, a little further south down the road, Delaware residents (Delawarians?) can access Delaware naturalizations from 1796 through 1850 on Ancestry.com by using a portal through their state library and their state library cards. Sweet.

Online gold: Everyone searches online, but not everyone has James Tanner’s laser focus. Read his case study of how a well-chosen variety of online sources can make effective headway in documenting an ancestor. Also this week, Mr. Tanner reassured us Mac users that You Can Do Genealogy On a Mac.

And they all lived happily ever after. There, you’ve had your official timeworn ending sentence, too. Have a nice week.


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.


Links, 8.22.11

Looks like our most recent big news is the transformation of Footnote.com into … Fold3? What sort of name is that? It sounds like something to do with origami. Or poker. Anyway, it doesn’t sound like genealogy, is my point. Marketing is so weird sometimes.

On to the links:

Footnote notes: So Ancestry.com starts tweaking Footnote, which it acquired last year — giving it a new name, and putting its emphasis exclusively on military records. More from Michael Hait and Dick Eastman (interesting comments here, too). Megan Smolyenak considers the Footnote changes in tandem with developments with Google News Archive with a twinge of trepidation.

Disappearing acts: This article on tracking down “runaway” husbands (and wives) offers encouragement for those tracking down people who made themselves vanish, whether it was to get married in the first place against their parents’ wishes, or to leave a marriage they no longer wanted.

Revolutionary: Reporter Cheryl Wills writes about the “ancestral revolution” born of  the current genealogy boom.

Channeling: The Deseret News reports on the expansion and refurbishing of FamilySearch’s YouTube channel.

Case study: Nice book review out of Bowling Green, Ky.: Librarian Nancy Richey takes a look at The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation and explains why it’s a great example of exciting progress in African-American family history research.

Here’s wishing you all a productive week.


Links, 8.15.11

Not that I’m having a terrible August, but I must say it drags on a bit. I keep asking whether it’s Sunday when it is, in fact, the previous Saturday, or even the previous Thursday. I am reasonably sure, however, that today is Monday, and therefore a good time to post links.

Eyecatching: I hadn’t seen the Western History & Genealogy blog of the Denver Public Library, but it strikes me as a nicely thought-out and well-presented example of a library highlighting its resources. For example, this Manuscript Monday meme, which features examples from the library’s manuscript collections.

Reunited: Megan Smolenyak has started rescuing orphaned heirlooms again. Yay!

Submerged: Severe drought reveals the remains of a long-forgotten cemetery in Texas where freed slaves were buried in the Civil War era (see also Dick Eastman).

Unsettling: Well, OK, here’s a hazard to family revelations that hadn’t occurred to me: British actress Emilia Fox, two weeks away from her due date, discovers via the UK Who Do You Think You Are that her great-grandma died in childbirth, delivering a stillborn baby. Not the sort of thing I would have wanted to dwell upon at that stage in pregnancy.

Debatable: Uh-oh, Dick Eastman wades into the tombstone touch-up controversy with How to Read Unreadable Tombstones. Go ahead and read it. Then go have a fight with somebody about it.

Useful: Newspaper columnist James Beidler reviews what sounds like a wonderful resource: a Surname Atlas of Germany.

That’s it for now. Enjoy the week!


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