Links, 1.24.11

Lots of informative and often spirited opinions around last week, an excellent cure for anyone needing to jump-start their family research, or anyone just struggling with the midwinter blahs. Here goes:

To swab or not to swab: Trey at Daddy, Papa and Me ponders The Meaning(lessness) of Genetic Genealogy. An engaging and clear-eyed post about what a DNA study can tell you, and more to the point, what it can’t.

Beyond names: Good advice from Kimberly Powell: Search Sources, Not Just Surnames — and a good rundown of examples, too.

Legalities: Sara Berthiaume at’s genealogy page offers a useful glossary of legal terms you might encounter in your research.

Classy? Not much: Do read Craig’s post Grandma For Sale at GeneaBlogie if you have not already done so. It’s the tale of what happened when a publisher took a shine to a photo on a personal blog.

Identifying: In One Person or Two?, Pennsylvania newspaper columnist James Beidler discusses why you should never make assumptions when you encounter the same name twice.

The 101 approach: A couple of nice step-by-step articles (with case studies) by David Todd at Suite 101: one on evaluating conflicting birth dates, another on evaluating family traditions to solve genealogy questions.

Slow down: I’m indebted to my friend Marian McDonald for highlighting this very interesting article at Slate: The Slow-Photography Movement. It’s not reflexively Luddite in its approach (which I’d hate), but it raises good questions about why we feel the need to photograph everything instantaneously — and incessantly. It might be true that the beauty and emotion of great photography is at risk in the SLR age.

In the cafeteria of winter weather this week, I see our local choices are snow, more snow and wintry mix with a side of icicles. On the positive side, this is excellent weather for organizing files, isn’t it? Hope your week is productive, whatever’s going on outside.


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