Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Serendipity (July 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.  It was just a month ago that the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that Myriad Genetics could not patent genes that occur naturally in the human body.  This was extremely good news since the company had claimed patent rights on two human genes -- BRCA1 and BRCA2 -- that cause a seriously increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer for those women who carry the gene.  More practically, the patent issued to Myriad gave it what amounted to a monopoly on testing women for the genes -- and they charged exorbitant prices of up to $4,000 for women to discover if they had the genes.  Judy Russell posted a concise explanation of the ruling and its implications for women at The Legal Genealogist on June 14th.  Now you really need to read the next move by Myriad as summarized by Judy here just two days ago! 

2.  The most recent issue of The Mayflower Quarterly (June 2013, Vol. 79 No. 2) has an interesting article by Karin Goldstein, Curator of Collections and Library, Plimoth Plantation, about the history and importance of of grist mills at Plymouth. 

3.  Geneabloggers maven Thomas MacEntee has a thoughtful essay on international aspects of genealogy here on UpFront With NGS.  [ I admit that I did not recognized him with the sombrero, cigar, glasses and pencil-thin mustache! ]  As a chaser after reading the guest blogger post by Thomas, check out this interview about the boom in genealogy pursuits in the Czech Republic as flagged in The Weekly Genealogist on July 10th.  Isn't it somehow very apropos that maternity leave led to founding a genealogy business and then hiring women on maternity leave to help the business grow?

4.   Methodical research and the documentation of the thought process involved is a beauty to behold.  I recommend you have a look at the beauty contained in the methodical assault on a brick wall presented by Diane Boumenot here in "A Theory on Hannah Andrews" at One Rhode Island Family.     

5.  The post at UpFront With NGS  this week with links discussing the myth that family names were changed upon arrival at Ellis Island was quite informative and I recommend checking it out.  It also got me thinking about the fascination I have with the derivation and meaning of surnames.  This led me to peruse for the first time in a while an oldie but goodie that I recommend everyone with an interest in genealogy spend time with at some point:  J.N. Hook, Ph.D., FAMILY NAMES -- How Our Surnames Came to America (Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, NY, 1982).

6.  And finally, on the subject of sifting through the plethora of genealogy-related materials . . . Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers now has a Blog Roll with over 3,000 genealogy and family history blogs on it!  If we add to these sources the many genealogy magazines, quarterlies, journals, newsletters, books, radio and television shows, webcasts, and myriad other resources, there is a veritable ocean of  genealogy-related material out there.  It is impossible to sift through all these materials to find interesting and informative items on one's own.  I have several places that I visit habitually to see what interesting material and recommendations have been gathered in one place for my easy review and consideration.  I'd like to give a shout out to these sites and the folks who take the time to pass on their finds! 

          Jana Last's "Fab Finds" on Fridays at Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog

          Diane L. Richard's "Upfront Mini Bytes" bi-weekly at UpFront With NGS

          Thomas MacEntee daily at Geneabloggers with his Blogging Prompt links, Blogging Events
          links, New Genealogy Blogs links, Items of Note links, etc., etc., etc.

          Heather Kuhn Roelker's "Follow Friday - Favorites" on Fridays at Leaves For Trees

          Randy Seaver's "Best of the Genea-Blogs" on Sundays at Genea-Musings

          Julie Cahill Tarr's "Friday Finds" on Fridays at GenBlog

          Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers and Valerie Beaudrault, Editors of The Weekly Genealogist
          newsletter from NEHGS, on Wednesdays --  especially for their "Stories of Interest"
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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  1. I always enjoy reading your post, John. Thoughtful and fascinating as well. And I always find something/someone totally new to me. Cheers.

  2. Thanks for the kind mention John. Genealogy is always a work in progress. Thanks for mentioning UpFront with NGS; I hadn't subscribed to that yet.

  3. My pleasure Diane! And you can look forward to another mention next Saturday for the indexed map you just posted for Providence in 1881. I already put it in the next Saturday Serendipity draft! ;-)

    As always Celia, thank you for your kind words and the time you take to read and comment -- it is much appreciated! As a Canadian genealogist, do you have any inside info on the release of the 1921 Canada Census? My mother-in-law will be in it and I'd like to show it to her, but more intriguingly, I am hoping I might find more information about Jeanette Jeffs, the adopted sister of my mother-in-law's father that she knew nothing about until I found it and revealed it to her a couple of years ago. I blogged about it recently.

  4. John,

    Sorry I'm a bit late, but I wanted to say thank you so much for mentioning my weekly Fab Finds posts!