Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (October 18, 2014)

The following are a few recommendations for inclusion on your reading list this weekend, but first a needed correction to item #3 of last week's Saturday Serendipity.

Last week I recommended reading James Tanner's post on Genealogy's Star blog for news about enhancements to  In that recommendation I stated that BillionGraves was a subscription service and was available at a price.  This was inaccurate and I regret my inadvertent error. As Mr. Gunn of BillionGraves pointed out in a comment to Saturday Serendipity last week, "BillionGraves website is 100% free to use, search, edit, and contribute." Their new BillionGrave Plus is an optional add-on for those who seek information beyond basic grave site information and, as BillionGraves states, their Plus Program offers "5 amazing features found ONLY on BillionGraves for 1 low price!!" You can, and should, read the original announcement of the BillionGraves enhancements at BillionGraves' posting here

1.  The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) has announced that it will do away with the entrance fee to use the awesome DAR Library at DAR headquarters in Washington, DC. This is great news for those who are not DAR or SAR members (whose membership waived the entrance fee). Now members of the public can gain access to the wealth of genealogy and history data in the DAR library. Read more and get links at the UpFront With NGS post here -- especially if you plan a trip to DC for research purposes any time soon. And if you do plan a trip to the DAR Library, you must have a look and a read at Diane MacLean Boumenot's DAR Library post on One Rhode Island Family blog here

2.  Are you a Jack Kerouac fan -- or perhaps related to him or his wife in some way? If so and you plan to be On The Road in the vicinity of Lowell, Massachusetts, you should check out Barbara Poole's photo tour at Life From The Roots blog on Kerouac's connection to Lowell (including the gravesite for Jack and his wife Stella) here.   

3.  Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog has an informative and useful post about how one can order free photoduplication services for materials contained in the Family History Library of Family Search. There are some limitations on requests and they can take a while to process, but this is a useful service to know about.  Read Randy's explanation with his usual visuals, here.

4.  The Vault posted a map that depicts the status of civil rights laws in the United States in 1949 -- fifteen years before the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. The map is a graphic representation of how divided the country was on the treatment of its citizens in various aspects of life -- and by implication it demonstrates what a monumental shift was accomplished by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See the map and read more about the history of civil rights among our states here and here. 

5.  Religion is a very influential matter in human history and in genealogy. It affected all our ancestors in one way or another and its effects are affecting us and our world every day. We all have to come to grips with our personal views on religion and religious belief and try to understand the views of others.  To that end, Wait But Why writer Tim Urban has posted some of his thoughts and views on the subject in his piece How Religion Got in the Way. The piece is profane and some of the word choice could offend, but I think it is thought provoking in any event. You can read the first installment of this series of posts about religion, spirituality and science here if the subject interests you. It is the usual unusual take expected at Wait But Why complete with the trademark stick figure illustrations.    

6.  If you love old photographs like I do, you will want to have a look at the ones posted by Elizabeth Handler at From Maine to Kentucky blog.  Her grandfather ventured west to Wyoming in 1917 when he was 17 years old. Elizabeth is sharing his photos and the captions on the back.  Have a look here and here.     

7.  UpFront With NGS also had an interesting and useful post about resources for researching and preserving the history of a house, what Diane Richard coins as the "Genealogy of a House." Check it out here

8.  The Name Game? Nancy at My Ancestors and Me blog has a thoughtful piece on the various ways a relationship to the same person can be described. Read her musings here.  AND, for those of us who have some German ancestors, Nancy has discovered and passed on the link to The German-American Genealogist, a fairly new blog.  The blog offers tips for doing German genealogy research and more. Read Nancy's post and get a link to the blog she discovered here.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. Thanks for sharing the links to the photos of my grandfather "out west." I have gone back and linked all three posts so readers can see each set.

  2. Thank you John, for mentioning my post about Jack Kerouac. I fear you will be learning much more about Lowell in the future, since it seems to be my thing right now. I'm learning about the city as I travel the streets, trolleys and canal.