Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (November 22, 2014)

The following are a few recommendations for inclusion on your reading list this weekend.

1.  If you have any New England whalers in your genealogy, you might like to see the collection of watercolor paintings done by seaman James Moore Ritchie during a whaling voyage circa 1842-1845. The Vault presents some of the watercolors here, but if you are in Providence for NERGC next April, you might be able to see the originals in an exhibition at the Providence Public Library.   

2.  Have you seen this remarkable story in the news this past week? Surprisingly, there are perhaps 35 children of Civil War Veterans still alive today, but they are among us. Thanks to a link in the NEHGS Weekly Genealogist newsletter, you can read here about the sons and daughters who are the last people with actual memories of direct contact with men who served during the Civil War. And one of the highlighted children has a particularly amazing (and documented) event that he can tell about his Civil War veteran father. Go to the link to read about the amazing true story -- and DO watch the video interview with two of the children.    

3.  "Family History Bingo??" Upfront With NGS blog provided a link to a wonderful blog post at blog titled "Creative Ways To Get Your Kids Excited About Family History Month -- Part One."  You can read the Ancestry post here and see here the family history bingo game that Diane Richard of NGS created after reading the Ancestry post.        

4.  Also courtesy of Upfront With NGS, if you liked the 170-year-old whaling watercolors in recommendation #1 above, how about 800-year-old doodles in books from the medieval period? Have a look here. Do you have any old doodles among your family artifacts? [Watch The Prism over the next several days when I will post a doodle from my family artifact collection that dates back to the early 1800s.]

5.  Now here is a different kind of "Turkey Shoot!" Call it the family friendly, pacifist, no-firearms-allowed Turkey Shoot -- a wonderful idea brought to us by Denise Levenick of The Family Curator blog. Read the rules here and maybe get ready to play next week.       

6.  For those who have used AncestryDNA, the post by Judy Russell on November 20th explains "the good, the bad and the ugly" about the rollout of the recent changes in matching systems. You AncestryDNA users can and should read Judy's post "Changes at AncestryDNA" here.  

7.  What should one do with information found in unsourced family trees? Anyone who has done modern genealogy research with the plethora of published family trees now on the web has come across the conundrum of what to do with information from undocumented, unsourced trees. Harold Henderson has a brief post well worth reading about how to approach such trees and the information they contain. One should not simply scoff at such trees nor accept them on blind faith . . . well read here Harold's brief, well-reasoned (and illustrated) take on how such trees should be handled.

8.  Does your family have any connections to North Andover, Massachusetts? If so, you should really take a few minutes to visit Barbara Poole's blog Life From The Roots. This week Barbara posted about the North Andover Historical Society (with her usual excellent photographic illustrations). But for those of you who know or suspect you have family connections to North Andover, Barbara provides the service of listing for you the surnames of the first European settlers to the area and the 146 surnames of all the area families up to the present day!  Have a look here.

9.  And finally, in a mix of the serious and the whimsical, Nancy at My Ancestors and Me blog, muses on the need to be prepared for retirement, the changing nature of jobs and job titles, and what our ancestors would think of today's employment opportunities. Read Nancy's brief post "Work, Lice, My Ancestors, and Me" here.       

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. Thanks for mentioning my post, John. I enjoyed seeing the book doodles and then several of the other posts from that blog -- which I'm now following. Take care.

  2. Thank you John. Can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate this mention. I'll be writing you personally to explain.

  3. Thanks for mentioning the whaling stories. I have several ancestors who were captains of whaling ships.