Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday Serendipity (October 26, 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.  Today is the 139th anniversary of the birth of Abby Greene Aldrich in Providence, Rhode Island.  Abby became the first wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the mother of all his children (one daughter and the "Five Brothers").  She was the second of the four daughters of Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich and his wife, Abby Pearce Chapman, and she was the fourth of their eleven children.  Abby led a fascinating life and was what author Bernice Kert calls, "a woman of significance."  Abby was the mother of two Governors, a Vice President of the United States, one of the most powerful bankers in the world in addition to children who exerted enormous influence in the fields of art, education and the environment.  She herself was a moving force behind the preservation and restoration of Colonial Willamsburg and a founder of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  To find out more about this woman of significance, I highly recommend the biography Abby Aldrich Rockefeller: The Woman in the Family (New York, New York: Random House 1993) by Bernice Kert.

2.   As we all know, not all stories that are uncovered by genealogy research are heartwarming and uplifting, but they are nonetheless part of one's family history.  Here is a story of how a granddaughter discovered the real story behind the grandfather who abandoned his wife and two young sons.  The grandmother never remarried and never spoke an ill word about her husband, saying they had "a community of spirit." Well, perhaps it is a good thing Grandma never knew . . .       

3.  No less an authority than the National Library of Ireland offers expert tips on how to preserve family  documents here -- complete with photos  

4.   So what is "Pedigree Collapse?"  No, it is not a condition to look up in your Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy to find out if you are suffering from it or not and how to treat it.  Diane Boumenot at One Rhode Island Family explains it all.  

5.  Here is a VERY interesting item -- the most popular names given to girls state-by-state for the last 52 years as based on data from the Social Security Administration!  This is for baby girls born between 1960 and 2012.    

6.  I found this one at UpFront with NGS fascinating . . . using ground penetrating radar to locate unmarked graves (complete with photos) here.

7.  Jana Last at Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog  shares the DNA confirmation of her Mayan ancestry and it appears that although the percentage of such ancestry is small, it is the most reliable of her ancestry results.  Jana provides a map, pie chart, and a photo of the lovely lady who gave the gift of Native American ancestry.

8.  A Family Archivist Survival Kit?  Yup, there is such a thing and Janine Adams at Organize Your Family History provides an explanation and a link.  [I have NO connection whatsoever to the kit provider.]  

9.  And then there is the nice example of mining a death certificate for nuggets of information and leads by Nancy at My Ancestors and Me
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Photograph of Abby Greene Aldrich from the author's copy of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller: The Woman in the Family (New York, New York: Random House 1993) by Bernice Kert.
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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  1. John,

    Thank you so very much for including my DNA results blog post in your list today! I really do appreciate it!

  2. Hi, John. Thank you so much for the book recommendation. What woman doesn't want to read about another, very successful woman such as Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. I've already reserved it at the library. Thanks, too, for the other great links. And for mentioning my post. I appreciate this post.