Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (April 12, 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.  Inevitably, genealogy is inescapably concerned with death almost as much as it is with life. Across history, events involving horrendous numbers of deaths impact families and thus genealogies (think wars, epidemics, calamities of weather, and disasters of human error or ignorance) . . . but what do we really know about the magnitude of the numbers of deaths due to these kinds of events, and how they compare to one another? At Wait But Why blog a reprise of an old post titled, "The Death Toll Comparison Breakdown" makes very interesting (albeit depressing) reading. I recommend it.
2.  From NEHGS's The  Weekly Genealogist . . .  You will find this article interesting if you know the story of the 257 cadets at VMI (Virginia Military Institute) who took up arms and marched to New Market, VA to shore up Confederate forces and turn the New Market battle for the South. If you have family from Virginia and other southern states who you think attended VMI and might have been among the 257, then you want to read this Washington Post article about the VMI grad who is tracing the lineage of the 247 cadets who survived New Market in order to identify living descendants. So far he has found 1,000 descendants!  

3.  Also from a tip in The Weekly Genealogist . . . a nice article on how young folks are being introduced to genealogy (and genealogy research sources) in schools through the "Storykeepers" project of children's author Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. 

4.  We should all be so lucky as to have the kind of documentary record of our parents' wedding that Donna Catterick has.  Donna shares her treasure trove at This I Leave blog.  It is just a nice read that illustrates how chock full of genealogical information these items can be. 

5.  UpFront At NGS provided us TWO very useful resources in the latest "Mini Bytes." One is a nice tip for deciphering old and new medical terms so we can understand the illnesses and causes of death we come across in our genealogy research.  AND the resource is international so you can explore the medical terms in languages other than just English. Check out the Medical Heritage Library.  The other is a very useful and interesting source for researching American regional words, phrases and pronunciations!  Sadly, when I visited I found it might require a subscription costing individuals $150/yr., but check out D.A.R.E., the Dictionary of American Regional English here and see if you would like to sign up.  

6.  Thursday was National Siblings Day and you have to love the photos of very young siblings together.  Two examples that just bring a smile to your face at Twigs and Trees blog and Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog.

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. More wonderful bits and bobs, John. I've been sitting at my desk in the late afternoon sun reading a few of the blogs I missed because of meetings and workshops today. And I always enjoy reading things about medical history. Thanks very much for sharing my Siblings photo also. One of my favourite photos of my big sister and baby brother.