Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Serendipity -- April 13, 2013

Saturdays often allow a more leisurely approach to life than work days. I can more easily post links to some blog posts or other materials I have discovered during the week, or even to those discovered during a Saturday morning coffee and extended surfing of the blogosphere/internet.

Here are a few serendipitous discoveries from this week that I commend for inclusion on your reading list.

1.  While I have had my father (90 years old) and his 92-year-old cousin tested via a Y-DNA test over the past two years, I confess that I have not taken the necessary time to truly delve into the DNA testing aspect of genealogy (as yet).  BUT, a recent article on the most distant common ancestor for Y-DNA testing really grabbed my attention and imagination.  It appears that the serendipitous discovery of a unique DNA sample in the database of Family Tree DNA has led to a very significant extension back in the common ancestor lineage for the Y chromosome -- a 70% older line than previously thought.  This means, as one of the researchers put it, ". . . the last common Y chromosome ancestor may have lived long before the first anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa about 195,000 years ago."  The research on this unique sample may have pushed the most recent common ancestor lineage tree back to as far as 338,000 years ago!  Read about it here at The Genetic Genealogist.  
2.   One of my favorite genealogy blogs, Judy G. Russell's The Legal Genealogist, has an importnat "notice" article about the recent new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), that is a real boon to genealogists and those interested in generational family health issues.  A new rule will make health records available 50 years after the death of the person involved.  HHS refused to shorten the open access period, but they also declined any suggestion that it should be extended to 100 years.  Read the details at Judy's post here.

3.   Why rent microfilm records when doing genealogy research -- and where do you find the ones you need?  Diane MacLean Boumenot at One Rhode Island Family provides some answers for you here

4.   JSTOR (Journal Storage), previously open only to academics and researchers associated with a participating college, university or other institution, is now available in a limited version FREE to individuals!  Read some details and get some links at Upfront With NGS.

5.   The Weekly Genealogist links to an article here that answers the question, "What do you do when the cost of grave sites is too high due to loss of property to development?"

6.   Would YOU walk 820 miles to follow the footsteps of your Loyalist ancestor from North Carolina to Canada?  William Timothy Walker (a blogger with the perfect name for his project!) would contemplate such a trek -- and he has done it!  Read about it here.  To "begin at the beginning" [December 9, 2012] as they say, scroll all the way down when you reach the site and then read upward.

7.   At Nutfield Genealogy, Heather Rojo has a delightful piece on the language spoken in NiHam- SHA.  Having lived there for many years in my youth, and retaining the faintest vestiges of the accent and pronunciation in only a very few words, Heather's post had me smiling, nodding my head and laughing so much I had to go out and "pahhk the cah" to regain my composure.  Have a read heeah -- it's wicked good. 
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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  1. Thanks for pointing out some good items that genealogists would find interesting, John! It was also a coincidental lesson on how small the world really (even in terms of past, present and future). I navigated over to the interesting blog of William Timothy Walker to read more about his fascinating pilgrimage from NC to Canada in his ancestor's footsteps. I myself am transplanted here in the North from Southern roots. Imagine my complete surprise in finding out that Mr. Walker had actually been in my Northern neighborhood during his trek back in February and visited with people I know!

    1. Hi Dawn! Yes, it truly is a small world -- and made smaller by the new technology and the genealogy blogosphere. ;-) I am glad you enjoyed the suggested readings and appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      If you recall Mr. Walker's photo of Bear's Den on the AT, I live within minutes of Bear's Den and have spent numerous days and nights there while backpacking, hiking and camping when I was a Scoutmaster. The view off the rocks at Bear's Den out over the Shenandoah Valley is spectacular and we used it numerous times as the backdrop for Scouting award ceremonies over the years. As a long-time backpacker I really enjoyed Mr. Walker's blog both for the genealogical aspects and as a wonderful trek.