Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (January 4, 2014)

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.  If you have not seen "Portrait of Lotte," then you realy, really, really want to go here and view this 2 minute 45 second video of a girl named Lotte from birth to age 12. [Skip the dog breath ad.] I am so envious of this fantastic genealogical treasure.  What wouldn't we all give to have such time-lapsed documentation of the growth and maturation of our ancestors and descendants?     
2.  The Weekly Genealogist brings us a link to a paean to heirlooms, family stories, and family memorabilia in the Bangor Daily News. It will not surprise any of us to learn that a 2012 Allianz Life Insurance survey "discovered" that elderly Americans and baby boomers consider preserving family history and stories as the most important legacy they can leave behind! 

3.  Rebecca Onion at The Vault never disappoints! You really need to check out this time elapsed illustration of what humans knew of the world from 2348 BC through 1828 AD. The map images are taken from the 1830 Historical Atlas of Edward Quin, an Englishman, and then are very cleverly sewn together into a time lapse presentation as viewed through a dissipating cosmic cloud. Way cool! 

4.  Ever hear of Canadian-born singer/entertainer Eva Tanguay (1878 - 1947), the self described "girl who made vaudeville famous?" Neither had I. At least I had not heard of her until I saw this post at the history blog Holyoke, Mass on January 2nd. It seems Miss Tanguay returned to Holyoke for a performance on January 2, 1914 and it was stated that, "Theatergoers are still disputing as to whether the original 'nut' comedian is really shrewd and clever, or actually crazy." This post-performance assessment and the photo of Miss Tanguay on the blog intrigued me. It appears she was very big in vaudeville and grew up in Holyoke after moving there from Quebec when she was almost six years old. By 1910 she was earning $3,500/week! Read the Holyoke post and then discover more about Eva Tanguay, a vaudeville star your grandparents or great grandparents surely knew about and might have  even seen on stage, by also looking at the Wikipedia article on Miss Tanguay.              

5.  The different ways families have of celebrating holidays and developing traditions have always fascinated me.  As an example, for years I have had a habit of asking a round robin question at holiday banquet tables or other social gatherings, "What foods are traditionally on your family's table for Thanksgiving (or any other major holiday)?"  The answers are always interesting, informative and fun as everyone lights up while sharing and describing their memories of family feasts. So naturally I found "Christmas Pie" at Donna Catterick's This I Leave blog a different but very interesting addition to a  Christmas menu.  Have a look at the photograph of the family about to dig into the pie and see if you don't agree that the Duncan family had some creative cooking as part of their holiday tradition.    

6.  This week Mini Bytes at UpFront With NGS provides links to two resource sites worth knowing about.  The first, 250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives , lists open access online libraries and archives where digital formats are viewable and usable by the general public.  The second is the Repositories of Primary Sources site compiled by Terry Abraham where one can discover a worldwide collection of over 5,000 websites describing holdings of rare books, historical photographs, manuscripts, and other primary sources of interest and use to researchers. Any links that are new or revised at the site within the last thirty days are marked as {New}, which is a very useful feature.  [A note of caution is that a quick check of the 19 Rhode Island website links found two links that were not working or not current.]          

7.  Harold Henderson at Midwestern Microhistory blog recommends the post "Proof of the Pudding" by Tony Proctor at Parallax View blog about the concept of "proof" and the difference in proof/evidence in pure science v. genealogy. Harold offers some of his own views on the subject and the recommended post. In particular Harold makes a nice point for genealogy about the difference between "information" and the use of information formed into "evidence."    

8.  And finally, score one for our favorite genealogist lawyer, Judy Russell at The Legal Genealogist blog  -- or maybe we should say at the champion "blawg." Congratulations to Judy in her well-deserved victory as the No. 1, Top Dog, Summa Cum Laude law blog in the "Niche" category of the American Bar Journal's 2013 Blawg 100 contest.  Blog on Judy!!     
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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