Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (May 24, 2014)

The month of May has turned into the first significant hiatus from blogging sine Filiopietism Prism was born in December 2012.  The combination of trips and paperwork to assist my parents with selection and application to a continuing care community in Pennsylvania, and travel to the Adirondacks to examine and submit an offer on a lakeside property (along with a little necessity called "a job"), have consumed almost this entire month and, sadly, left no time to blog.  Today marks a return to The Prism and some more regular posting I hope. 

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

1.  Readers of The Prism know of my long-time interest in the 1918 influenza epidemic [ and].  The Weekly Genealogist by NEHGS published about the "The Great Influenza Epidemic" recently and subsequently published reader accounts of how the epidemic affected families.  These posts make for fascinating reading for those interested in this world-wide catastrophe and for those who want to learn about a significant event that might be buried and undiscovered in their own genealogies.  You can see these posts here and here
2.  The families of veterans of the Revolutionary War had to prove their relationship to a veteran when applying for government pensions.  Many of them sent their proof in creative and beautiful ways.  You can see some examples of their relationship proofs at this article from The Vault.       

3.  A little-known and very sad chapter in U.S. history was the stripping of U.S. citizenship from thousands of American women who fell in love with and married men who were non-citizens.  This was all done pursuant to laws in the early part of the last century.  Since this was applied to thousands of women, many of us might have female ancestors or relatives who were mistreated in this way. Read about this injustice and the belated resolution of "regret" by the U.S. Senate here.  

4.  As mentioned here at The Prism and many other places, 2014 is the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War I.  Much attention is being devoted in the genealogy world to this signal event in many family histories.  To aid in your exploration of ancestor and relative memories and writings about this horrific war, you might find this piece on the slang names for German munitions of interest and of help in deciphering accounts of the war. For example, find out what Flying Pigs, Hissing Jennies, Jack Johnsons, Rum Jars, Sneeze Gas and Turtles were.     

5.  Do you have new arrivals to your family on the way in 2014?  If so, you might want to see what folks were naming their babies in 2013 -- either to emulate and join the crowd or to avoid overly popular names.  Go here to see the top male and female names for 2013 according to the Social Security Administration. 

6.  One of the most devastating storms to hit the northeast United States was the September 21, 1938 hurricane.  My father was 16 years old and living in Woonsocket, Rhode Island the day it arrived almost without warning.  He remembers well running around the neighborhood with a hastily donned leather football helmet looking for his missing younger brother -- who was discovered playing in a friends cellar completely oblivious to the storm raging outside.  A cache of essays about experiences during the storm has now been discovered in Fairhaven, CT.  You can read about them here.

7.  And finally, this "must-read" post by Heather Rojo on Nutfield Genealogy raises good points about the nature of genealogy blogs and blogging as well as the importance of speaking up when one believes an error has been made.  Like many things in life it is not what you say, but how you say it -- so berating comments, sarcasm, insults and the like are not acceptable, but well-intentioned inquiries and suggested corrections should always be welcomed.  As Heather points out, "The give and take of ideas and information is part of the whole blogger format."       
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

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

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back John. My father has a funny story about being a 9 year old in 1938 when the hurricane arrived. They let the kids out of school and instead of going home, of course he and some friends ran down to the bay to watch the rushing waters which would eventually start flooding downtown Providence. I don't know how his mother ever got him home but I think she was mad!