Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (May 31, 2014)

Here are a few recommendations for inclusion on your reading list this week:  

1.  Barbara Poole of Life From The Roots blog has been posting a very interesting and useful series -- photo tours of libraries in Massachusetts.  Not only are the photographs a pleasure to look at -- capturing the varying architecture of the library buildings inside and out -- but Barbara provides a very useful list of all the Massachusetts libraries she has visited that have genealogy departments.  This is a "must keep" list for anyone with family roots in Massachusetts and New England!
2.  Congratulations to Jana Last of Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog on the two-year anniversary of providing weekly Friday lists of her "Fab Finds" -- articles and posts of interest to the genealogy blogosphere.  You should make Jana's blog a routine stop on Fridays.  Yesterday was Jana's 100th Fab Finds post.  Fabulous Jana . . .  Blog On!!      

3.   Diane MacLean Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family blog always posts interesting, useful and well-written items on her blog.  In the useful category was her post of May 18th about the Rhode Island Census of 1782.  Then there are Diane's posts that are step-by-step tours to the solution or exploration of a genealogy puzzle she is working on.  These posts are always an instructive pleasure to read and they are invariably accompanied by photo illustrations.  Such is the post of May 28th titled "Finding New Sources for Asa Aldrich."  Have a read and see what I mean.     

4.  I am often transfixed by photographs that capture a moment in time in the lives of people and also manage to illustrate something of the times in which they were taken.  A blogging friend from north of the border, Celia Lewis of Twigs and Trees blog, posted a photograph of her father holding up Celia's one-year-old older sister when he was home on leave during WW II.  The photo captures a smiling moment and a Canadian neighborhood in January 1943.  Look at the photo here.      

5.  Do you have Jewish roots in your family?  Here is a resource mentioned in Upfront With NGS this week -- an alleged site for the origin of almost all Ashkenazic Jewish names.  You can visit the site and begin researching Ashkenazic Jewish names in your family names here , but be aware that the article has been criticized by some in the Jewish community.  Be sure to read the post comment at Upfront by Emily Garber who provides web links so you can further investigate the controversy. 

6.  I was gratified to see that Upfront Mini Bytes this week recommended bookmarking one of my very favorite history/genealogy sites and one I often mention here -- The Vault on Slate.  An interesting resource posted by The Vault this week is an item about "redlining" -- the refusal of a loan or insurance to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk.  Read this post to learn about maps created by the Home Owner's Loan Corporation -- a New Deal governmental agency -- and maps by other organizations to understand how they categorized neighborhoods on so-called "security" maps to show the best and the hazardous areas.  These maps could be a tool to unlock some buried data and perhaps implications about the experience of one's ancestors if one has an address of former residences during the Depression and post-Depression era.  

7.  Are Getty Images now free for non-commercial bloggers to use?  Before you rush to start downloading, here are two posts you should read.  UpFront's recent Getty Images post here and the recommended post by the always current and informative Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist.     
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. Thanks for mentioning my Fab Finds anniversary John!

  2. Thank you John! I'm especially pleased you enjoyed this series, and I'm hoping to do more. It's nice having you back as well as your Saturday Serendipity.

  3. Regarding item #5. Readers my be interested in my blog post about that article. It cites some rejoinders to the original Jewish surnames article.

    1. Hi Emily. Thank you for commenting and providing the link to your blog post on this subject. I will check it out myself as my brother-in-law has Jewish roots and has just recently gotten the genealogy bug. ;-) I have been passing on info and links to him.