Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday Serendipity (September 28, 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 recommendations for inclusion on your reading list.

1.  There are those who think about important, complicated social issues.  There are those who talk about such issues.  And then there are those who recognize that some issues are too meaningful to just think about or talk about. They seem to have or find a voice that tells them repeatedly, "Acta non verba."  Diane at One Rhode Island Family is telling us about the voice her parents heard in 1963 and the answer her mother gave for both of them.  

2.  A tip from NEHGS's at The Weekly Genealogist led to this interesting read about writing complete with five steps to writing one' own story.  The Readers' Writers: The greatest untold story.  

3.  You really have to take some time to visit this site and see the lovely map drawings by a young schoolgirl named Frances Henshaw in 1809.  She apparently did maps for 19 of the then 24 states.  New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Ohio are shown at the link. 

4.  JoAllison Henn of the new blog, Climbing My Family Tree, has a post on learning the lesson of the need for very cautious consideration and use of the "Hints" generated by  In particular, JoAllison discusses hints showing up in your family tree that involve data on public member trees.  See, "Going Backwards" where JoAllison recounts her experience with public member trees on  It is not a story of prohibition, but one of caution and remembering that the public member tree data is best treated just as labeled -- as "hints" and not unquestioned reliable sources!     

5.  My father has often told stories of his experience of the devastating 1938 hurricane that hit Rhode Island and elsewhere when he was 16 years old. Known variously as the Great New England Hurricane, the Yankee Clipper, the Long Island Express or just the Great Hurricane of 1938, it was the first major hurricane to hit New England since 1869.  The storm gained Category 5 status before it made landfall as a Category 3 at Long Island on September 21, 1938.  In Rhode Island the storm  roared up Narraganset Bay wreaking death and destruction as it progressed.  Somewhere between 682 and 800 people died and over 57,000 homes were destroyed or damaged.  Since this month is the 75th anniversary of this killer storm, The Weekly Genealogist of the NEHGS tips us off to two articles about the hurricane -- a Providence Journal article and a blog post by meteorologist David Epstein here. Also, the Wikipedia article here is a good companion read.

6.   Nancy at My Ancestors and Me posted an amazing video from the BBC that actually does have something to do with "family history."  I guarantee that you will be glad you spent 4 min 49 sec. watching it!  The boy that is featured actually has two siblings that you can also read about here after you have seen the short video about this astounding boy and his writings.  Enjoy!   
7.  The Garden Gnome Rescue League??  In case you missed it earlier this week, you might enjoy this true story about the disappearance and return of a special Gartenzwerg in New Jersey. 
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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  1. Wow! Thank you for the referral! You made my day!

  2. Thanks for the mention, John!! By the way, my dad has a story about the Hurricane of 38, where they let the kids out of school as the storm picked up - he was 9 - and instead of going home, he and his friends ran down to the Bay to watch the waves. I think he was in big trouble when he got home!

  3. Thank you for mentioning my post, John. The boy is really just too fascinating. I haven't looked at his relatives yet, but I will.