Links, 8.30.10

Did I mention that school doesn’t start in my New Jersey district until Sept. 13? Due to the unusual combo of a late Labor Day and an early Rosh Hashanah, we are living our very own remake of Endless Summer. I never thought I would grow to hate the sight of my own beach towel, but … really. I am ready for leaves to turn and apples to bake and all that other fall stuff. Please.

Success story: Good news for the Cook County (Ill.) Genealogy Online site, which was named a Best Website by Family Tree magazine. Containing a free index of more than 8 million genealogy records, the site went live in 2008.  More good news: County officials say that the cost of creating the site was repaid in just four months of online sales.

Funky?: The headline was eyecatching: Are you in a Genealogy Funk? Although upon reading the essay (“Maybe the record you seek is not online”),  it sounded more like being stuck in genealogy low gear to me. The article does offer useful advice: If you’re in a funk, it’s probably time to set down the mouse and pick up a road map instead.

No more new names: The New York Times talks about the disappearance of that U.S. genealogy staple: the immigrant who changed his or her name to sound more “American.” Experts agree the practice has been steadily dwindling in the last few decades. The U.S., they say, is simply more multicultural today than it was in the past.

Well, maybe SOME new names: Of course, there’s always a twist to these trend stories. A blog on this name-morphing topic mentions the writer’s father, a Korean immigrant who did change his name — to make it seem more exotic.

Never too early … To start making holiday wish lists. My kids have already tackled the topic of what to be for Halloween, so let’s just  keep working ahead. Anyway, did anyone else see the Eastman newsletter report on that nifty little FlipPal scanner? Sounds like a genealogy gift to me.

Off topic, but off my chest: Look, stop asking about whether I saw Snooki and the gang down the shore this summer. And thank you, Philly Inquirer, for explaining why I did not, and likely won’t. Trust me, my endless summer was lovely without them.

Enjoy the last days of August, and hello September!


Amanuensis Monday: Mrs. Roche Notes 88th Birthday

I’m offering this for Amanuensis Monday, and selfishly including it in my NewsClips file too. It was the most fantastic find from my unexpected bonanza of Troy, N.Y. newspaper clippings.

My great-great-aunt Maggie Haigney Roche and her sibs certainly had their share of publicity over various birthdays, but nothing topped the ink Maggie got in 1958, when a features reporter for the Troy (N.Y.) Times-Record sat down for a talk with her as she turned 88. The result? A personality profile that not only yields the date of Maggie’s parents’ marriage, but also gives an irreplaceable sense of Maggie’s lively personality. I so want to find out who Maggie’s PR rep was.

(Amanuensis Monday is the ongoing initiative by John Newmark at TransylvanianDutch in which participants transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.)

For Maggie’s moment in the spotlight, read on:

Mrs. Roche Notes 88th Birthday