The following are recommended for inclusion on your reading list this weekend:
1. Diane MacLean Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family blog had an excellent post this past Wednesday about the value of close reading of genealogy journals. She illustrates with examples from the journal of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society (RIGS), Rhode Island Roots. You can -- and should -- read Diane's post here.
2. This week The Weekly Genealogist newsletter of NEHGS announced the availability of the 1865 Massachusetts State Census, which includes the actual town-by-town census schedules. The announcement states, "The 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts state censuses complement the United States federal censuses, allowing researchers to trace a family every five years between 1850 and 1870. The state census can also occasionally provide additional information not present in the federal census, such as town or county of birth. For the 1865 census, an individual's town of birth was recorded for most residents of 96 individual towns. This database will be free to guest users for one month following its release."
3. Curious about what the last Plantagenet king of England ate and what kind of lifestyle he had? New research on the bones and tooth chemistry of Richard III uncovers some interesting details here.
4. UpFront With NGS had a nostalgic and interesting post this week with links to articles on disappearing smells and disappearing sounds -- think the smell of the long-gone mimeograph paper and the sound of the rotary dial phone for example. Have a look at the post and the links here.
5. NGS also had another interesting and useful post this week on the movement patterns of Americans between various states since 1900. There is a visual representation of how the population composition for each state has changed over the last 100+ years. Have a look here.
6. I have posted on The Prism about John Barry's awesome book on The Great Influenza of 1918, but he also wrote an equally amazingly book titled Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America. If you have not read these books I highly recommend both since they affected the lives of millions of people in the U.S. and quite possibly could offer some explanations for questions you have come across in your genealogies. If you have read or decide to read The Great Mississippi Flood, then by all means check out these photos showing the effects of the 1927 flood as posted here on Flickr.
7. We are hearing a lot in the news in recent days about the Cordon Sanitaire being imposed in areas of West Africa to try to control the spread of the scary Ebola virus. This tactic has been used in the past. In Honolulu's Chinatown there was an outbreak of the bubonic plaque in 1899-1900 and a Cordon Sanitaire was imposed there with disastrous results. Read about it and see period photographs here at The Vault.
9. James Tanner of Genealogy's Star blog has an interesting post about how to deal with the changing names and boundaries of geographic/jurisdictional locales in one's genealogy research and about why citing to the original location of documents and records can be important. . You can read his post here.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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