Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (July 5, 2014)

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

1.  Cemeteries always provide a wealth of genealogical data. For those with an interest in family history, cemeteries are a research destination and far from creepy places to visit.  Midge Frazel's series on visits to Rhode Island cemeteries at Granite in My Blood blog has been mentioned here previously.  Diane Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family blog has a recent post that covers her visits to cemeteries in Cumberland, Rhode Island -- including Cumberland Cemetery on Dexter Street where many of my Carpenter family members are buried. Of this cemetery Diane said, "The neighborhood and the other graves had a familiar feel, like I was related to most of the people there."  [If so, then Diane and I have a family relationship yet to be discovered.] And, continuing a cemeteries theme, Jana Last of Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog, reminds us that many cemeteries now have websites that provide search engines that can be a fertile source for genealogical information.
2.  Speaking of cemeteries and research data, NEHGS's Vita Brevis blog provides a useful reminder that before the coming of internet cemetery databases such as Find-A-Grave, compilations of cemetery inscriptions/transcriptions in libraries and genealogical collections were the research method of choice. Read the Vita Brevis post to learn how the extensive NEHGS inscription/transcription collection was started back in 1899 with the formation of a Committee on Epitaphs.    

3.  Here is an interesting article about dealing with what the article calls the "stuff"  held by and eventually left behind by elderly parents. As a genealogy enthusiast, I prefer a more formal and dignified designation of these materials as "artifact treasures," but the article raises an important question about dealing with a lifetime of accumulated treasures. You can read the piece here.  

4. I live west of Washington, DC tucked up against the Blue Ridge Mountains, but I work in DC and once lived on Capitol Hill while pursuing a degree at a university in the city. While living in the DC area since the summer of 1978, I have seen many changes to the environs of the nation's capital and so it was a special treat to be able to see the amazing 1975 black and white photos of DC taken from the top of the Washington Monument by Barbara Poole of Life From the Roots blog. Have a look 

5.  UpFront With NGS posted a piece on a truly ambitious project that will be of huge benefit to genealogists and family historians.  BillionGraves and The Federation of Genealogical Societies have partnered to image ALL the cemetery markers for those who served in the War of 1812! If you have images of such markers, you can be a part of this project.    

6.  Considering starting a blog to organize and share your family history? Nancy of My Ancestors and Me blog offers some tips for making the leap.  Read her tips here.

7.  Perhaps one of the most ephemeral of family history items is the occasion card (birthday, anniversary, get well, etc., etc.).  It is true that there are many examples of occasion cards that have been saved and preserved for decades and even a century or more, but I suspect that these examples are mere fractions of those that could have been saved. How many of us receive and hold such cards for a day or two or maybe weeks before disposing of them?  In case we need a reminder of how precious occasion cards can be if preserved for decades and more, Donna Catterick of This I Leave blog gives us a good example with a post of a Get Well card the children of her neighborhood gave to her mother when she was ill.  See the card and the story here.  
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. John,

    Thank you so much for mentioning my Englewood Cemetery post! I appreciate it!

  2. Thank you for including my post this week, John. I appreciate it.

  3. I left my comment this morning, John, then went on to look at some of the posts you recommended. Several are ones that I wouldn't normally have seen except because someone else suggested them. So I'm back to say thanks for directing your readers to them. I appreciate it.

  4. Ah, cemeteries! I have been working on a couple of cemetery projects here in western New York. I know firsthand the frustration in searching vital records here. Thanks for the interesting links :)

  5. John, thank you for enjoying my old photos and choosing to include my post with your other selections in your weekly Saturday Serendipity list.