Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (June 7, 2014)

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

1.  Those of us who are interested in (or absorbed by) genealogy are perhaps more conscious than others about the precious time each of us has on this planet. We genealogists study the time our ancestors and relatives spent and the things they did before shuffling off this mortal coil.  With this in mind, you really MUST take a look at  "Your Life In Weeks" at Wait But Why blog.  In a very real sense, we genealogists are involved in the process of asking of our ancestors, "What did you do with your allotted weeks?"  And in so doing we might ask of ourselves, as the Wait But Why author suggests, "Are we making the most of our weeks?"  Have a read and maybe this article can serve as a writing prompt for you to post your thoughts on your blog.

2.   UpFront With NGS has a fascinating infographic on the history of languages in the United States.  Since we are largely a nation of immigrants that brought a number of languages with us to add to the native languages already here, you will find this infographic interesting and perhaps useful to your research.

3.   What could a penny buy back in  1949?  Well, penny candy was still a reality and bought more than a single piece of sweets.  Apparently it also bought the postage stamp necessary to send a not so subtle velvet-gloved guilt trip to a 3 1/2 year old who missed Sunday School.  I not only never got one of these, but I never knew they even existed -- until Donna Catterick of This I Leave blog shared it with us this past week.  Have a look at this obvious commercialized tool for Sunday School teachers to encourage attendance.  Does anyone else recall ever receiving one of these or have an example of another such "reminder?"

4.  If you have not heard or read about it yet, Ancestry announced that they will no longer be doing mtDNA or Y-DNA tests.  They have stated that they will focud on autosomal DNA testing.  If you have used Ancestry to do any DNA testing for family members, you should read Heather Rojo's post at Nutfield Genealogy blog here and consider your options for making sure you do not lose your DNA samples.

5.  At the risk of engaging in shameless self-promotion, if you have any family connection to Phillips Academy -- Andover, Massachusetts you might want to check out the companion posts at Barbara Poole's Life From The Roots blog and the post this past Thursday here at The Prism.  You can see some "then and now" photographs of the Phillips Andover campus from 1912-13 and 2014.

6.  Diane MacLean Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family blog posted a very  persuasive review of a new book titled, Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques.  Diane makes the case for why this is a different kind of genealogy research text and why it would be a good addition to one's genealogy library.

7.   Elizabeth Handler of From Maine to Kentucky blog posted a very useful summary of  genealogy and history related podcasts back on May 9th.  I am still catching up on my blog reading from a nearly month long hiatus in May and so I am late in recognizing and recommending this post.  If you have not seen it already, I recommend you go here and have a look.

8.  And finally, thanks to a tip from NEHGS,  here is an interesting item that caught my attention for two reason: (1) it was about Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) who I find to be an interesting real life character; and (2) it made me think about how we might be able to paint pictures of some of our ancestors where we also do not have actual photographic or other images to show what they looked like physically.  The writer of this article raises the possibility of "word pictures" based on descriptions left by those who knew or encountered him.  Well before I reached the last lines of the article ["I have yet to see a realistic portrait of Johnny Appleseed that came close to combining these eyewitness accounts.  Artists, take note."] I found myself thinking, "Why not assemble these word pictures and take them to a forensic artist to get what could be the closest accurate image of Johnny -- or some of our own ancestors using a similar process?"   
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. Thanks for the mention of my post about podcasts.

    1. You are very welcome Elizabeth! It is a good resource post. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.