Links, 8.16.10

Thank goodness for the FGS Conference kicking off this week  in Knoxville, TN, proving that things do happen in August. Here in the Northeast, that’s hard to remember sometimes. (But permit me a shout-out to my relatives in places where kids are heading back to school this month. Congratulations, parents! Sorry, kids.)

Out of those PJs: This is good advice for genealogy enthusiasts as well as grumpy schoolchildren. A Michigan columnist presents a nicely balanced view of the good vs. bad in online research, ending with the inevitable (but worthy) caveat: “Get out of your pajamas and find those original documents!”

Adoption records: A decade ago, a dear friend died suddenly just two months after the birth of her first child. An adoptee, she had met her birth mother a few years before. When such meetings take place, they often do so without the benefit of vital records the rest of us take for granted.  In New Jersey, as in all but nine states, adoptees cannot have access to their own birth certificates to find out who they are.  Now, an open adoption records bill will go before our state Assembly in the fall. The story at the link does a good job of summarizing the pro and con positions, but what gripped me most was one adoptee’s quote: “I have friends who are really into genealogy and when they start talking about it, I shut down. I don’t want to be rude, but it’s upsetting.”

Korea researchers, take note: Via the Korea Times, Korean genealogy resources were in the spotlight at the World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden. Officials announced the launch of a digital genealogy database at the Paik Inje Memorial Library of Inje University.

More resource news: In case you haven’t heard, has unveiled the National Probate Calendar, summaries of probate cases in England and Wales between 1861 and 1941. Here is one researcher’s success story in using it.

Answers at last: In the Kansas City Star, Mary Sanchez reports on a woman’s quest to find out just what happened to a relative who was sent away to a home for epileptics in the 1940s. What she found was a great comfort to her family, who never knew much about where the relative was sent, and how she died. While we often worry about unearthing nasty skeletons, this is a good example of  how family research can also allay old fears.

Museum opening: Via the Mormon Times, the Alex Haley House Museum has just opened its doors in Henning, TN. The front porch of this lovely Craftsman-style house is where Haley first heard the family stories about Kunta Kinte, his African ancestor who became the focus of Haley’s groundbreaking work Roots. The house, which belonged to Haley’s maternal grandfather, has been restored to the way it would have appeared at the time Haley was born.

In the community: Dick Eastman has reprised (and somewhat revised) a classic explanation of Soundex and why it’s important … At GeneaBloggers, Thomas MacEntee draws our attention to the very first RootsTech conference, to be held in February 2011.

Enjoy the week, whether you’re at a genealogy conference, or just back in school.


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