Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Serendipity (December 14, 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.  Rebecca Onion, the author of Slate's history blog The Vault, has an interesting article on personal identification tags back in the late 1800s.  They were a kind of civilian dog tag.  You can see a photograph of one and learn about the mystery behind it here.   

2.  So where can you see on-line a digital copy of an 1803 letter written by Thomas Jefferson, a list of soldiers who died from the 1918 flu pandemic,  and 1862 telegram from Abraham Lincoln asking a state governor for 50,000 troops to fight in the Civil War, and much more?  In the Rhode Island State Archives on line of course.  Read more about this resource here.  

3.  Have you heard about the Awkward Family Photos blog that was mentioned recently on NPR?  It is just what it sounds like and co-founders Mike Bender and Doug Chernack now have a 204-page book out celebrating these funny, but often embarrassing, bits of family history.  You can read about the blog and the book here,  and visit the blog itself here to see many examples of awkward family photos. 

4.  Jana Last has begun a new feature on her blog, "Favorite Family Recipes."  The inaugural recipe is Peanut Butter Fingers. Just looking at Jana's photos will send you running around the kitchen and to the grocery store to assemble all the ingredients. Those of us with peanut butter addictions will find this one hard to resist.  But take heart -- as Bill Cosby said of chocolate cake -- this dessert also has all the necessary food groups:  peanut butter, chocolate, eggs, milk, rolled oats, and other life enhancing ingredients!     

5.  For those with Nordic roots, you should really consult Randy Seaver's famous Genea-Musings blog if you have not done so already.  Randy has two postings about finding and using Norwegian church records here and here.   

6.  For those (like me) who love maps and can get lost in perusing them, you should check out Barbara Poole's  post and pictorial tour of the Journeys and Discoveries: The Stories Maps Tell  exhibit at the Masonic Museum and Library in Lexington, Massachusetts.  There is another reason to look at Barbara's post -- her mention of the etiquette of taking pictures at exhibits and asking permission to use photographs on one's blog.  I have had the experience of taking a photo only to find after the fact what I considered to be an obscurely placed sign prohibiting such acts. Barbara explains how she handled it and the accommodating result.  I have similarly approached locations with an explanation of how I would like to use on my blog a few photos I asked to take.  I have always been granted some level of permission and been thanked for asking rather than just surreptitiously snapping away.  Barbara's post illustrates the proper way to handle an unintentional photograph faux pas and recounts the positive and appreciative dispensation that resulted.     

7.  And speaking of maps . . . Diane Richard at the NGS blog UpFront With NGS  provides a link to another historic map collection at the University of Georgia.  The collection has over 1,000 maps spanning 500 years.  The bi-weekly "Mini Bytes" feature at UpFront is a wonderful resource for tips and suggestions about genealogy/history-related sources available on line and elsewhere.  As another example, check out this week's Mini Bytes link to an article at Irish Central about the top 100 most common Irish surnames with an explanation of where the names come from. 

8. If you have not yet had an opportunity to visit the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., then have alook at Diane Boumenot's post and photographic tour of her first visit to this wonderful genealogy
library in our nation's capital. A Visit to the Daughters of the American Revolution Library

9. Family Tree Magazine has just published its 75 best genealogy websites for 2013 state-by-state 
so you can focus your search for ancestors and relatives geographically.
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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1 comment:

  1. First, John, I think you are very lucky to have free time on a Saturday, 11 days before Christmas. Knowing you, I'm sure all your gifts are already bought, lucky guy.

    I want to thank you for selecting my post, it made me all the more glad I did the right thing, and it's extra nice when somebody notices. Again, thank you.