Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (March 22, 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.  When we try to capture an image of what our ancestors everyday life might have really been like, it would help to have some idea about how mundane chores and cooking were really performed -- and to understand what kind of tools were used. There is now a website that will help us do that and Nancy at My Ancestors and Me blog has brought it to our attention.  You can go directly to the site here.     
2.  Children used in advertising are not always cute and adorable.  This post at Wait But Why blog -- appropriately and intriguingly titled "Creepy Kids in Creepy Vintage Ads" -- shows us examples of how  children were used to sell some odd products to our parents, grandparents, and maybe great grandparents. Some might shock you!   

3.  The Vault has a wonderful piece about some of the 175,000 photographs of farmers taken around the country during the Depression years as part of the FSA (Farm Security Administration) project to document conditions on America's farms.  Portraits of thousands of people were taken -- some identified and others not.  Read about efforts to identify people in these photographs and some of the stories of people who were successfully identified years later.  Efforts to identify people in the photographs are ongoing . . .  so if you had family members or ancestors who farmed from 1935 - 1945, you might find some photographs of family members in the FSA collection now housed with the Library of Congress.

4.   So did you ever wonder how the age of an ancestor's house would be determined if there were no documents to prove the age? Do you know what "dendrochronology" is? Learn the answers in an Upfront With NGS post and the links provided in it.

5.  You have been looking for a way to combine your genealogy hobby/obsession with your dream of being a songwriter, right?  Well, Bill West at West in New England blog is going to help you out by providing the perfect opportunity for you to show your stuff -- the "Just Make Up Some Lyrics Challenge."  See the rules at the immediately preceding link.  You have until Tax Day (April 15th) to submit your winning effort.     

6.  When I lived in New Hampshire in the late 50s through the mid-60s, we learned in elementary school about the state flower, the state bird, the state tree, and the state motto (of course) -- but I do not recall learning anything about the New Hampshire "state dog."  Heather Rojo's post, The New Hampshire State Dog, explains why. I found it an interesting read and it actually got me thinking about dogs, pets and their role in family histories.  It led to yesterday's post here at The Prism. Read Heather's post at Nutfield Genealogy blog and find out when NH designated a state dog and what kind of dog it is. Do any of your home states have designated state dogs; if so, which state and what dog?  [HINT: Apparently 11 of the 50 states have designated official state dogs.]   

7.  And finally . . . I have already asked, and Diane Boumenot's about to be even more famous "hubby" is NOT -- repeat, NOT -- taking orders for the piece of woodcraft art he made for Diane. It is also called a "book photography stand." Diane posted all about it (complete with photos) here at One Rhode Island Family blog. WARNING!  Reading Diane's post is sure to give you a bout of envy, so proceed with caution.      

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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