Saturday, October 22, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (October 22, 2016)

Today Molly and I will be attending a reunion of her O'Kane fist cousins, but here are a few recommended reads for this weekend . . .

1.  At a time when this tumultuous election has now become focused on the possible abandonment of one of our democracy's longest and most precious traditions, The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS brought us a nice, feel-good story about a family tradition that started in 1965 and is still going strong through 17 girls in the Parker family. It involves 51 years of school Picture Days and a very special item. Read the story here and wonder like I did why they did not include the photo of the 17th girl. :-)        

2.  And speaking of NEHGS . . . for those of you with New England roots who are not yet members of NEHGS, you have a golden opportunity to try out nearly all of the early New England resources and databases available on the NEHGS website. From October 18 - 25, a FREE "Guest Membership" is available that will allow you to access and explore  almost 300,000 records and other resources.  Better hurry since there are only three days left (including today).  Read more and gain access here.  
3.  If you use Family Tree Maker (FTM) for your genealogy data and sync it with a site such as, then you might want to check out the Family Tree Maker User blog by Russ Worthington -- if you are not already aware of it. Russ has recently (Oct. 14 and 16) posted two "Back to Basics" audio-visual presentations about his "best practices" for using FTM. One is about file maintenance and the other is about checks to run before syncing FTM with Ancestry, etc. Watch and listen to the file maintenance presentation here and the syncing presentation here. [NOTE: You will want to set aside some time for these presentations.  The first is 10 minutes long and the other is 21 minutes long.]       

4.  Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings blog had a post this past Thursday that serves as yet another reminder to all of us to be very careful in relying on and adding data compiled by others to our family trees. Randy and his faithful reader's fact checked the results Randy got from's "We're Related Mobile App" that indicated he was the 8th Cousin 2X Removed of William Jefferson Clinton (who is likely to become the nation's "First Dude" in January). The app was most definitely wrong! Read Randy's fact check post here and get a link to his original post on the "We're Related" app results.       

5.  Not to pile on poor, but Judy Russell, of the The Legal Genealogist blog, also checked out the "We're Related" app and begs to differ about the app's notification that she is a 9th cousin of Barack Obama, 8th cousin one removed of Johnny Depp, 7th cousin once removed of William Jefferson Clinton, and an 8th cousin of different levels to Demi Lovato and of Kurt Cobain. Read Judy's debunking post here.   

6.  If you use, or are thinking of using, 23and Me for your DNA genealogy data, then you might want to read Judy Russell's post this week about 23and Me.  You can access the post here. Be sure to read the comments too. 

7.  James Tanner at Genealogy's Star blog has an informative post this week about copyright law and the need for reform. Read his post here

8.  And finally, UpFront With NGS blog had a post this week titled "Many Reasons to Write a Family History." Read the post and get some useful links here.     

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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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Friday, October 21, 2016

It was recently pointed out to me that the link in my post of September 23, 2016 did not take the reader directly to my original post about "genealogy factoids." Since I had several kind comments about the original post, I decided to do something I do not think I have ever done in my four plus years of blogging . . . republish a previous blog post.

Below is a reprise of my original February 17, 2015 post titled, "Genealogy Factoids -- What Are They And Are They Worth Saving?" I hope this serves as a convenient correction to the faulty link in my recent post and that new readers who would not have seen the original post will find the piece of some interest and possibly of some use.


Recently, Nancy at My Ancestors & Me blog posted a nice personal remembrance piece about her father's favorite entertainer -- the singer, pianist, actor, and comedian Jimmy Durante.

Heather Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy blog has written several times over the years about her participation in Girl Scouts and memories of her experiences. Examples of Heather's Girl Scout memories are here and here, but more are found at her "Girl Scout" tag in her blog's Lables list.  Barbara Poole of Life From The Roots blog has also shared her Girl Scout memories and photos as can be seen here

Jana Last of Jana's Genealogy and Family History blog answered six simple questions here about her childhood memories as a participant in Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun series a year ago. The questions were adapted from Judy Russell's keynote address at RootsTech 2014 and included questions like, "What was your favorite book as a child?" and "What was the first funeral you attended?"

Back in 2007, Bill West of West In New England blog posted about his doomed love affair with Fluffernutters and his ongoing love of Hot Chocolate, which can be enjoyed here.

Recently I have been posting about my family's 1998 backpacking trek on the Northville to Lake Placid Trail in the Adirondacks using entries from my trail book and photos taken along the way. The series began here and can be followed under the topic "Northville-Placid Trail."

What do these various posts share in common? They all recount little bits of information that were important in the lives of the bloggers themselves and/or their immediate family members, but they are not the kind of facts that are likely to be found in some public document or record in the future -- the kind of document records generally accorded the status of "primary sources." These blog posts are contemporary written oral history of events actually experienced by the writers and are about matters that will easily be lost in the course of just a couple or three generations if not recorded and preserved. These bits of information are what I would call "genealogy factoids," but do they -- or should they within a genealogy context -- meet the dictionary definition of "factoid" ("a brief or trivial item of news or information") or the definition generated on a whiteboard school exercise depicted below?

I would argue that the well-documented, contemporary written oral history that is often the subject of posts on genealogy blogs (especially those blogs more focused on a particular family history than on academic and technical aspects of the genealogy discipline) should be accorded more attention and effort at preservation.  I have written that those of us with living memories of ancestors and their likes, dislikes, and quirks should consider recording those "factoids" in some way before they are really lost for lack of some "official record."  Blogs accomplish this goal, but are probably only temporary themselves in that the vast majority exist only as stored electrons easily lost or abandoned.  Realizing this is why many bloggers increasingly now take the time to preserve their blogs in book form -- to increase the odds that the information contained in the blogs will be more easily preserved, passed down, and perhaps continued by descendants. 

In my opinion, genealogy factoids are important and serve to create color for our descendants and the genealogists of the future so that a genealogy becomes something more about the people than a black and white word portrait of dry, document-supported facts of birth dates, death dates, marriage, occupation, education, military service, etc. It is well written contemporary oral history full of factoids that will fill in the the portrait of an ancestor and give him or her the depth, color, and nuance that really makes each of us different, and which influences those around us -- especially our family members.

My 6th great grandfather, Col. Thomas Carpenter of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, fought in the Revolutionary War and is the basis for my membership in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). I know of no existing portrait of what Thomas looked like. His appearance is apparently lost in time. But there is this genealogy factoid about Thomas found buried in the famous Carpenter Memorial by Amos B. Carpenter that provides some insight and color to who Thomas must have been. He must have been a man who (at least in his later years) loved food because his granddaughter told Amos Carpenter that her grandfather Thomas, "was a large, portly man." So much so that she was able to make a whole suit of clothes for one of her children out of one of her grandfather's vests!   

By paying attention to the careful and accurate recording of genealogy factoids we do the service of fleshing out the image of family members with facts that otherwise will be gone forever. How else will my descendants know that I loved backpacking in the woods and completed a trek of over 100 miles through the Adirondacks way back in 1998? How else will descendants or relatives know that Nancy's father loved an entertainer named Jimmy Durante? Or that Heather and Barbara were Girl Scouts and that the experience stayed with them all their lives? Or that Jana loved horse books and cherished ones her father gave her well into her adulthood -- and maybe passed them on to descendants who would otherwise wonder where they came from and why the old books were saved? Or, after learning what a Fluffernutter even was, that Bill West had so many Fluffernutters as a child he could not bear looking at one in adulthood?

Blog on . . . and remember that accurately written and preserved genealogy factoids are special kinds of facts that belong in any genealogy that is to be something more than a list of dates and events supported by primary documents!

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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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Monday, October 17, 2016

"A Poem on Little Russell's Passing" (October 17, 2016)

Florence Leonette ("Nettie") Flagg 

Nettie Cooke [nee Flagg] -- b. May 13, 1870 - d. July 20, 1904

Next month is the "Eighth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge" conceived and hosted by Bill West of West in New England blog. Under the Challenge rules, a poem submitted for inclusion in the Challenge can "be a poem you or one of your ancestors have written." This post is my submission for the Eighth Annual Challenge and it publishes a poem written by my great grandmother, Florence Leonette Flagg (pictured above as a young teen and as an adult). "Nettie," as she was always called, is the mother of my maternal grandmother, Ruth Eaton [Cooke] Carpenter. I posted previously about Nettie where I included another one of her poems, which can be viewed here.

Nettie had a short life that in many ways was tragic and I believe she turned to poetry to try to express her pain, her hope, and her discovery of respite and beauty when and where she could find it. She wrote numerous poems that are mostly sad, but they must have been cathartic for her given her experiences. I am very lucky and privileged to have several originals of her poetic writings and a few others that were transcribed by her eldest child (my grand aunt, Helen R. [Cooke] Roberts) from now lost originals. The poem in this post was written about 1894 when Nettie was twenty-four years old and as the images of the poem below show, this is one of the original poems in her handwriting that I now have in my collection.

To understand where Nettie's poem originates, it is necessary to provide some brief context and background about Nettie.

Nettie was born in 1870 to George W. Flagg and his wife, Mary J. ("Jennie") Eaton.  When Nettie was just two and half years old, her mother died at age 26. And then Nettie's father died at age 35 of "phthisis" (an archaic name for tuberculosis) when Nettie was barely nine years old.

By the time of the 1880 federal census, Nettie Flagg was living as a "boarder" in the home of Susannah Stanley (age 69) and her daughter Frances Stanley (age 30) in Attleborough, Massachusetts. She apparently lived with the Stanleys until she married Walter W. Cooke in August 1891 in North Attleborough. She and Walter had known one another since they were children and they were both 21 years old when they married.

Leonette ("Nettie") Flagg and Walter W. Wilson

Soon after Nettie and Walter married they had their first child, my grandmother's oldest sister, Helen Raeder Cooke born February 21, 1892. Helen was followed by five additional children -- two boys and three girls. Russell was born in 1893. Lois Vinal Cooke was born in 1894. My grandmother, Ruth Eaton Cooke, was born in 1897. Dorothy was born in 1899 and Russell Church Cooke was born in 1902. 

By the time my grandmother was ten years old, her mother and father had lost three children. Russell died about a month shy of his first birthday. Dorothy, who was a special favorite of my grandmother's, died just a month after her sixth birthday of typhoid complicated by a severe ear infection. Russell Church Cooke died just over two months after his second birthday of meningitis. I never heard my grandmother ever mention the fact that she had two brothers and she never told me she had a younger sister named Dorothy. My mother did tell me well into my middle age that her mother always said she would never name a son of hers Russell because both her brothers were named Russell and they died very young. [When my grandmother did have a son, she named him David and I got my middle name after him.]   

My grandmother, Ruth Eaton Cooke (left) and her younger sister Dorothy Cooke (right)

The original handwritten poem below was written in 1894 just after the death of Nettie's first son, Russell Cooke. The poem is now 122 years old. It was preserved by my grand aunt, Helen [Cooke] Roberts, in the envelope shown here. It is inscribed by Helen to explain when the poem was written and why.

Here is Nettie's untitled poem that I have begun calling "A Poem on Little Russell's Passing." It is transcribed immediately after the images of the original handwritten poem. To my knowledge the poem has never been published before or shared outside the family . . . and few in the family have ever seen it before.

A Poem on Little Russell's Passing*
                           By Florence Leonette "Nettie" Cooke (1894)

                                               I sometimes grow weary of waiting
                                               And long for the time to come,
                                              When I shall see my baby,
                                              In that beautiful far off home.

                                              Sometimes when I feel discouraged
                                              And my life seems full of care,
                                              I wonder how long I shall have 
                                             to wait
                                             Before we meet over there.

                                             I wonder if he is happy, 
                                             My dear little baby boy.
                                             If he thinks of Father & Mother
                                             And wants us to share his joy.

                                             At the gate of the beautiful city
                                             In that bright and Heavenly home
                                             Will he be watching and waiting
                                             And longing for us to come?

                                             He was beautiful when he left us,
                                             But will he grow more fair?
                                             Will he grow in Heavenly beauty
                                             And will we know him there?

                                             I wonder sometimes why my baby
                                             Was taken away so soon
                                             Was it because I was straying away
                                             Into the darkness and gloom?

                                             Was the Shepherd trying to call
                                              me back
                                             And I heeded not his cry
                                             Until he took my little lamb
                                             To the home beyond the sky.

                                             Was it in love that He took him
                                              To draw me back to the fold
                                              Because I had grown so careless
                                              And my heart seemed bitter and 

                                              Ah yes, the lesson was hard to learn
                                              And my heart seemed crushed
                                              with pain
                                              And the time seemed longer than
                                              I could wait
                                              Ere I should see him again.

                                              But one time, ere I closed my eyes
                                              in sleep
                                              I looked out into the night.
                                              And gazing up into the darkened sky
                                              I saw a misty light.

                                              And in the midst of that one bright
                                              A little star twinkled and shone.
                                              And it seemed to me like a guiding
                                              To lead to that Heavenly home.

                                               And in fancy I saw that little
                                               Was held by my baby's hand
                                               To safely guide me through the darksome
                                               To that home in the spirit land.

                                               And in it I read God's lesson to me
                                               That my work is not yet done
                                               So I'll gladly wait
                                               Till someday, sometime
                                               My God and my child will welcome me home.

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All photos are scanned from the originals, which are in the collection of the author.

*Nettie did not provide a title for her poem, so I have taken the liberty of providing one 122 years after she wrote these poignant words. I hope she would approve. 

There are actually two handwritten copies of Nettie's poem following little Russell's untimely death, but one is inexplicably missing the last lines of the next to last stanza as well as all of the final stanza. I have chosen to follow the verse structure and punctuation of the version with the missing lines, but I provide images of the complete poem. For this reason, the transcription does not follow exactly the structure of the complete poem depicted above. 

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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (October 15, 2016)

Here are a few recommended reads for this weekend . . .

1.  The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS  posted a piece with important news for anyone with ancestors and relatives from New York. The organization known as Reclaim The Records won the first public access to the marriage records for marriages between 1930 and 1995 in New York City. This opens up more than 3 million records. Read the details here.       

2.  Sticking with NYC genealogy tools, UpFront With NGS brought to our attention this week that the New York Public Library is digitizing its collection of New York City Directories -- which could be quite useful to those looking for ancestors or relatives that are known to have lived in NYC or are thought to have lived there. The directories will cover the years 1786 through 1922/23. There are also links provided for other locales that have directories available. Read the details and get the links here
3.  Love maps? So does Diane L. Richard at UpFront With NGS.  Yesterday's blog post about digitized maps can be seen here and you can get links to previous UpFront posts about maps. Yesterday's post informs us of the current Library of Congress exhibition on maps called "Mapping a Growing Nation From Independence to Statehood." There is also an online exhibition related to the new exhibit AND the current edition of LOC Magazine is devoted to maps!  Both can be accessed online for free!  Read the post and get the links here.   

4.  I have always been fascinated by the Shakers and their religious beliefs and building/furniture style. Barbara Poole -- and her camera -- have been busy this week documenting the Shakers of Canterbury, NH, but she also has documented the "Venice of America" (otherwise known as her town of Lowell, Massachusetts).  Have a read and especially a look here, here, and here.  

5.  Veteran's Day is approaching fast and so this means another opportunity to participate in Heather Rojo's wonderful Honor Roll Project. The project invites folks to find, photograph and transcribe the various war memorials all over the U.S. and to link to your posts so that they can be compiled into a giant searchable database of veterans. Read more and get links here. This is the 6th year of the project! 

6.  Judy Russell has a post worth reading at The Legal Genealogist. She takes on the question of continuing education for genealogists and why one should recertify periodically. Read the post here.     

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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rhode Island Historical Cemetery, Cumberland 3 (October 12, 2016) -- Part VI

In this sixth and final post of the Cumberland 3 Cemetery series, I am presenting the last of the documents found in the Cemetery file that was kept by my maternal grandfather, Everett S. Carpenter, and subsequently passed down to me.

Among the last seven miscellaneous documents found in the Cumberland Cemetery file are: five customer copies of "personal service checks" drawn on the Pawtucket Institution For Savings in the years 1955 and 1956; a business card of John P. Cannon, Right of Way Agent with the Rhode Island Division of Roads and Bridges; and a 4 in. x 6 in. piece of notepaper with penciled notes about a "Mrs. Alexander Dale," "Martha A. Kendrick," and a "C. Babbitt, Jr." I present these items below in the hope that they might be of some assistance to others who are interested in piecing together more of the history of Cumberland Cemetery 3, or who might find the information and names of some use in tracking down ancestors or relatives.

The above business card appeared loose in the manilla envelope containing the Cumberland Cemetery 3 files. It was not attached to or seemingly associated with any other document in the files and there is no mention of, or explanation about, the card in the notes of the cemetery corporation.

A "Right of Way Agent" is an official who performs various duties with respect to real estate, but the main purpose and duty of such an official may be the securing of property rights for another. This can include private third parties or government agencies. The Right of Way Agent will often have to identify land owners who might be affected by a planned project; obtain accurate appraisals of subject land; establish a face-to-face meeting with landowners to establish a relationship and discuss a planned project; perhaps negotiate a sale of subject property; and --in the event of damages resulting from the implementation of a project -- work to settle damage disputes.

It is unknown if there were any state-involved projects that would have required discussion, negotiation, or perhaps sale of any of the property owned by the Cumberland Cemetery, Inc., but it is possible that a project related to improvement to Dexter Street brought Right of Way Agent John Cannon calling on my grandfather or other representatives of Cumberland Cemetery, Inc.  The answer might lie in the historical records of the Division of Roads and Bridges.

The next miscellaneous items in the Cumberland Cemetery file are the five personal service checks shown above.

The first check is made out to Amos Egerton in the amount of $17.00 on March 15, 1955. This is apparently for Mr. Egerton's periodic care and maintenance of certain funded gravesites in Cumberland Cemetery. This check is in exactly the same amount ($17.00) as itemized in his invoice/receipt dated December 22, 1954, which is depicted in Part V of this series.

The other four checks are all written in series (Nos. 53857 - 53860) on the same date -- January 31, 1956. The last in the series is written to the Secretary of State of Rhode Island for $2.00 and is most likely the annual corporate registration fee. Another of the checks is again written to Amos Egerton in the same amount as before -- $17.00. A fourth check is made out to "George Savage" for $18.00. What this payment was for and who Mr. Savage was is unknown at this time. The final check dated January 31, 1956 (No. 53859) is made out to my grandfather, Everett S. Carpenter, in the amount of $25.00. Unlike all the other checks (which are signed by my grandfather as Treasurer for Cumberland Cemetery), this check has a notation under the signature line that might indicate what the payment was for, but unfortunately it is illegible.

Finally, there is the note shown immediately above. It contains three names and a reference to the northeast corner of the Carpenter lot in the cemetery.  The names might be persons who purchased or wanted to purchase lots in the cemetery, but the note and names could just as well have some other purpose.  The actual purpose of the note is probably now lost in time. The three names are . . . 

               Mrs. Alexander Dale
               1662 Lonsdale Ave.
               Lonsdale, RI

               Martha A. Kendrick (Stone)

               C. Babbitt, Jr.
               Crowell St.

None of the surnames mentioned in the note shown above are listed in the records of plot purchasers or Cemetery officers (see previous posts in this series -- especially Part III). The reference under Martha A. Kendrick (Stone) to the northeast corner of the Carpenter lot probably relates to an interest in purchasing a lot located there, but here is no record in the Cemetery files I have of a Kendrick or Stone lot being purchased. Perhaps additional research in the future by me or someone else can help identify who Mrs. Alexander Dale, Martha Kendrick, and C. Babbitt, Jr. were.

So what do all these lost and newly discovered documents about Cumberland Cemetery 3 indicate?

To begin with, the documents include what are probably two previously unknown early plats of the property that is now Cumberland Cemetery 3.  Notations on the plats together with minutes by the Cemetery trustees provide new supporting evidence for the belief that the property was a burial ground before the time of the 1870 incorporation of Cumberland Cemetery, Inc.

It is also very clear in a review of these documents that the cemetery was overseen by generations of volunteers who were left to solicit and cajole owners of lots and their relatives and descendants to either care for and maintain the lots in the cemetery, or contribute voluntarily money and/or labor to keep the cemetery from falling into disrepair.  Since none of the lots were endowed with funds for future care and maintenance (save for the Howe and Dana lots funded with bequests -- see Part IV), the trustees had very limited funds to invest and use for general cemetery care and maintenance or for perpetual care of the individual, unfunded lots. 

The sale of the cemetery lots without any requirement for care and maintenance financing for future gravesite and cemetery upkeep, proved eventually to be a fatal flaw for the viability of the cemetery. The trustees/officers were reduced to issuing pleas for funds and/or volunteer labor, but apparently the calls were largely ignored or wholly inadequate to the needs of the cemetery as it aged from the 19th century into the 20th century. Relatives and descendants gradually moved away or lost the family memory of those interred in Cumberland Cemetery 3 . . . and the cemetery fell into disrepair through neglect and the aging and death of the original trustees and their interested descendants. 

Te sad story of Cumberland Cemetery 3 is quite likely a story that was repeated throughout Rhode Island in the case of private cemeteries. While many of these cemeteries have been identified and marked as historic sites, it is only through the efforts of dedicated, selfless volunteers such as Ken Postle and his many assistants with River Road and Blackstone River Valley Cemeteries that continued discovery and restoration of these sites is underway today. 

It is sincerely hoped that the discovery and publication of the documents related to Cumberland Cemetery 3 in the six parts of this series will be of some assistance to Ken and his wonderful volunteers AND to folks who might be looking for ancestors or relatives with connections to Cumberland and its immediate environs. I would be thrilled if this series and the documents presented led anyone to the discovery of the final resting place of a lost family member or members!

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All photographic images in this series are by the author. All document images are from originals in the file inherited from the author's maternal grandfather, Everett S. Carpenter, and are now in the author's personal collection. 
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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (October 8, 2016)

Here are a few recommended reads for this weekend . . .

1.  The Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, always provides good and timely advice on copyright issues and her post of October 7th is no exception. Read Judy's post here where she explains the difference between posting a link to someone else's written product vs. copying and posting the written content itself.       

2.  I found two items posted this week on UpFront With NGS blog to be very interesting. One is about "Home Movie Day." It seems October 15th is Home Movie Day and I admit I had never heard of it before. It is an international event and provides an opportunity for the viewing and sharing of home movies. I do not have many home videos from when my sons were young, but I do have several that we view from time to time and really enjoy. I have an aunt and an uncle, however, who were really into making home movies on 8mm film back in the 1950s -- the kind where you were almost blinded by the bright lights during the filming. The Home Movie Day event sounds like a perfect time and place for folks to resurrect these aging pieces of family history and learn about ways to protect, restore, and share the movies. 
3.  The other item of interest at UpFront With NGS blog involves an app. Now I am what would probably be best described as a "low app use" kind of guy. I have something like 24 apps on my iPhone and almost all of them came preloaded on the phone. I use perhaps three or four of the 24 apps with any regularity. The rest of the apps merely decorate my phone. And now UpFront informs me about an app called "Clio." The app provides the ability to learn about the history of a place as you stand or walk around the place today. Read more about Clio here and get links to a video and download if interested.   

4.  For those of us who spend countless hours researching and assembling our genealogies, the issue of how to protect and preserve all our efforts is always with us and of utmost importance. Just contemplate for a moment losing all your current genealogical data and documents and once the cold shivers subside, you will realize you really need to always stay up to date and informed about ways to protect and preserve your efforts . . . and be reminded of the importance of doing so. This week James Tanner of Genealogy's Star blog does the service of posting "10 Important Ways to Preserve Your Valuable Genealogical Documents and Records." Read the post and see his list here.    

5.  Barbara Poole of Life From the Roots blog posted a very interesting piece about the Concord, Massachusetts sculptor, Daniel Chester French. As always, Barbara illustrates her post with beautiful photos and this week the photos show the sculptor's estate and studio ("Chesterwood") in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Read and view Barbara's post here -- especially if you have ever been to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC!    

6.  From time to time I link to posts at the Wait But Why blog and the often profane (but thought provoking) writing of Tim Urban. This is one of those times and involves perhaps the seminal decision we almost all have to make at one time or another -- and it is a decision that is a foundational event for genealogy -- the question of whether to marry or not.  Read Tim Urban's illustrated rumination on the marriage question here . . . and yes it is profane in many ways.     

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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (October 1, 2016)

Saturday Serendipity returns this week with the following recommended items of interest . . .

1.  All good things must come to an end . . . and so it is with the excellent Rhode Island genealogy research series by Diane Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family blog. The eighth and last installment in Diane's "8 Weeks to Better Rhode Island Genealogy Research" was posted yesterday and it deals with "Everything Else" not covered in Parts 1 through 7. See part 8 here and get direct links to the other parts in the series if you have not seen them previously.     

2.   James Tanner of Genealogy's Star blog posted a thoughtful and useful post about the genealogical value of Wikipedia research and the definitions of "primary" and "secondary" sources. You can read his piece here.
3.  Judy Russell of The Legal Genealogist blog devoted an entire post this past week to a recommendation to read a post by her friend and colleague, Debbie Parker Wayne, titled "Respect and Rights." If Judy devotes an entire post to a reading recommendation, one must pay attention . . . and so I took Judy's advice and read Debbie's post. I concur with Judy's recommendation. Read the post at Deb's Delvings in Genealogy blog here. It addresses respect for the beliefs of others and how that might place limits on the results of genealogy research. 

4.  Somewhat apropos of the subject raised by Judy and Debbie's posts, The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS linked to a very interesting story about a woman from Pennsylvania who disappeared in 1986 and a married woman with one daughter in Texas who committed suicide in 2010. Investigation by a former Social Security investigator and a forensic genealogist determined that the two women were one and the same person. Read the full story here

5.  And how about THIS one . . . The Weekly Genealogist also linked to a story out of Australia where DNA linked an unidentified man found dead in 1948 on an Australian beach to Thomas Jefferson and Native Americans. Read the fascinating full story here . . . and learn the nice surprise ending! [Note:  This story involves the same forensic genealogist as the story immediately above -- Colleen Fitzpatrick!] 

6.  Did you know that October is both Family History Month and American Archives Month? UpFront With NGS blog posted about both events and provided information about participatory contests you can enter as part of the celebrations.  Follow the links provided above for details.    

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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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