Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday Serendipity (October 5, 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.     In case you have not heard, has acquired Find-A-Grave.  Here is the announcement on Ancestry .  Find-A-Grave was created in 1995 as a commercial entity and by June of this year had over 100 million grave records worldwide.  I wonder how much the deal cost.

2.  NEHGS flags an interesting article about a new kind of end-of-life decision to be made.  It never existed before this digital age in which we all live.  Does your Facebook password (and other passwords) belong in your will?  Read the article here.   

3.  We all wonder at some point or another what our ancestors actually looked like.  Many of us are fortunate enough to have photographs that answer the question for us -- but is the answer always complete?  For example, I have a photograph of my great great grandfather in his Union Army uniform that can be found here on The Prism.  I am very lucky to have this image since photographs were fairly rare until the early part of the last century and the tintype has been well preserved.  UpFront With NGS reminds us via a link to a piece by Kenneth R. Marks of The Ancestor Hunt blog (What Did Your Ancestor Look Like? 5 Ways To Find Physical Characteristics) that even if we do not have photographs of ancestors, there are still sources to inform us about what an ancestor looked like -- and I would add that these sources can fill in unanswered questions about actual looks that even old photographs cannot provide.  There is no way, for example, for me to tell from the Civil War photograph of Samuel Carpenter that he was 5ft. 8 3/4in. tall, with dark complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair.  Those details were obtained from a source that was much more common and accessible than a photograph from that era -- his enlistment and discharge papers.

4.  Here is a new reference site to add to your genealogy research toolbox -- Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms. When you need to understand what the cause of death means on the death certificate of an ancestor, or what a medical term in an old family diary or letter means, try pulsing Rudy's list.  For example, did you ever come across the term Kaokao if you have any ancestors connected with Hawaii?  How about the King's Evil in an ancestry going back into Jolly Old England?         

5.  Ever hear of "Slum tourism?"  We have always had the "haves" and the "have-nots" and probably always will unfortunately.  Many of us have had ancestors who fell in one category or the other . . . or overtime went back and forth between the two.  Apparently we have also had for a very long time a disturbing practice that is defined as "the recreational visiting of impoverished, urban communities" -- and the practice is now gaining popularity as a form of foreign leisure tourism!  Read about it here in an article by Sonia Tsuruoka on OUPblog by Oxford University Press.  

6.  OK, if we are being honest, we have probably all fantasized about ways to quit a job we just couldn't take anymore.  Here is a lighthearted look at one what one young lady decided to do about it.  [Is there a genealogy connection to this?  Well not exactly, just a mental health break for those who are interested.  BUT when I first opened the video on YouTube it was preceded by a very brief ad for . . .!]      
7.  Do you have Canadian ancestors that might be in Census records from 1825 - 1901?  You now have a site provided by the Library and Archives Canada to access all the Census data for those years in one place -- here.   
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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  1. Thanks for the shout out to my article!

    1. Hi Kenneth/Ken:

      My pleasure! It was a thoughtful and useful piece and I hope it got wide dissemination and lots of comments on your blog and elsewhere!

      Thank you for stopping by The Prism and leaving your comment!