Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (March 1, 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 this week .  .  .  

1.  We all know about "family trees," but what about a Revolutionary War Tree? The Vault has an interesting post about a history chart on the Revolutionary War that was done in the manner of a tree to show the causes, milestones and battles of the war along with the names of the leaders involved. See the chart here and learn where it was found and the little background that is known about it.  
2.  If you are a SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) member, know someone who is, or have access to a library that subscribes to The SAR Magazine, I recommend reading the short cover piece in the most recent edition (Winter 2013-14, Vol. 108, No. 3).  SAR owns a signet ring that was gifted by will from former President General Messmore Kendall in 1959.  The ring has the Washington coat of arms on it and it said to have been owned and used by George Washington.  But was it really?  Read this interesting article if you can get access to it and see photographs of the ring and the wooden box in which it is contained.    

3.  And in what is becoming a favorite new stop on the internet for me, Wait But Why has a piece that could be seen as a sort of companion piece to the recommendation of last week titled Your Family: Past, Present, and Future. No matter where you align yourself on the Evolution/Creationist axis, you will probably find this article interesting, thought provoking, polemic, and maybe even a bit humorous. I know I did.      

4.  I always find the posts of Diane MacLean Boumenot at One Rhode Island Family to be careful, methodical, and illustrative examples of genealogical exploration.  I look forward to her posts and I have mentioned them often in my Saturday Serendipity posts. I find her blog and writing to be fine examples of a middle ground between academic genealogy journals and colloquial family documentary blogs (such as Filiopietism Prism). If asked, I would definitely suggest to anyone interested in beginning a genealogy-related blog that he or she stop by One Rhode Island Family to see how a blog can blend presentation of a personal family history with disciplined thought, research and writing without turning into a dry, technical, academic journal article. And as an example, I would direct that person and anyone reading this entry to Diane's most recent post about her Murdock family background here.   

5.  Barbara Poole reposted a piece from going on four years ago that I found interesting -- incentivized crowd sourcing to help solve some brick walls she has encountered. See Barbara's Top Ten stumpers here and see her offer to anyone who can help her.  

6.  Occasionally someone comments that genealogy can have voyeuristic aspects to it as one delves into the personal information about ancestors and relatives that perhaps they never intended to become known to the greater family let alone the public.  The Weekly Genealogist by NEHGS linked this week to a thought-provoking article about the dilemma presented by the sudden death of a mother who left behind a trunk full of diaries.  You can see To Read or Not to Read here.  

7.  In case you missed the short NPR piece about using the web to create a genealogy, here is a link to the NPR web page where you can listen or read a transcript. 

8.  And finally, for the writers in all of us who sit surrounded by a dictionary, thesaurus, writer's grammar and punctuation guide, and a computer monitor window open to a lexicon app, UpFront With NGS serves up a mini-byte this week to link to a web site that provides a visual relationship of chosen words to assist in finding just that right word with just that correct connotation.  The site is Lexipedia  -- have a visit and play around with it.   

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


  1. Thanks for the mention, John. I always love the things you point to on Saturdays - there are usually surprises in there!

  2. Diane B is one of my absolutely must-read's, too. Great extras on this Saturday's post, as well, John. You're one of those must-read ones, as well. :) Happy March 1st.

  3. Thanks, John! Liked the Lexipedia and put it on my browser for future use. Already reading Diane's work and love it. The NPR article was interesting and led me down a rabbit hole about bit coins, but I came back to read and share the post To Read or Not To Read. I keep journals myself and wonder what will become of them. And, oh my, that Wait But Why post was awesomely funny!! I definitely had to share that one on Facebook! Thanks for your shares!

  4. I was surprised that my little post made your list this week, so I thank you very much. So far, nobody has solved anything, but I'll keep hoping. I'm joining the others in agreeing that Diane is a wonderful writer, her research is so thorough.