Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Serendipity (January 10, 2015)

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

1.  It's baaaack! RAOGK has returned and UpFront With NGS has a link to the details here. RAOGK, of course, stands for "Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness."  It is a volunteer organization with over 4,000 members around the world who have agreed to donate time FOR FREE to fulfill requests for assistance with genealogical research. [Their expenses such as copying costs, postage, parking, etc., do need to be covered.] If you want to join or make contact with a volunteer find out more at the links provided at the UpFront With NGS post.     

2.  If you are a New Englander, or if you have deep roots in New England, or if you have visited New England often, then you will know Yankee magazine ("New England's Magazine For 80 Years."). The January/February 2015 issue has an interesting and potentially useful article on the recent rediscovery and rescue of 2,000 glass-plate negatives of New England life from the 1890s through the 1930s.  The negatives were found in a box in the cellar of Yankee's offices in Dublin, NH, but they have now been donated to Historic New England (HNE), a preservation society based in Boston.  You can see some of the photos from the rescued negatives in the Yankee article at your local library if you do not subscribe. You can also see archival shots from HNE's Yankee Publishing Collection at In addition, there are many New England photos to be seen at  the website of Historic New England  

3.  I came across a post about linking particular blog posts as opposed to the home page of a blog. Most bloggers who have been at it for a while know how to link directly to discrete blog posts and why one should do it, but sometimes a link provided to a discussion of an individual post takes you not to the particular post in question, but to the blog home page -- and then you must begin the process of findng the post of interest. Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small blog addresses this issue and provides the reasoning and the solution.  Read Amy's post here -- which should take you directly to her post on specific posting.  ;-)  

4.  Two items of interest this week from The Vault.  You no doubt have seen the media coverage of the opening of the time capsule buried beneath a cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House in 1795. The capsule was placed there by Samuel Adams, the then governor of Massachusetts, with the help of Paul Revere. You can read about the opening of the time capsule and see nice photos of the contents here.      

5.  The second item from The Vault will be of interest to map and tree lovers in particular. The Vault post here provides a series of maps showing the state of American forests in 1884. You can see what the forests were like for your ancestors not only by the places they lived, but also by the kinds of trees with which they would have been familiar.                    

6.  We genealogists are universally fascinated with history -- and usually this means we look backward more than forward. [Although I have argued in posts at The Prism that we should also concern ourselves with creating in the present preservation of information and artifacts that will become historic to our descendants.] Here is a piece that looks forward in an interesting way. Wait But Why blog asks, "Who From Our Modern Era Will Be Universally Known in the Year 4015?  If this intrigues you as it did me, see the thoughtful analysis and predictions at the link provided. Do you agree with the author's assessments? Perhaps this can be a blog prompt for you to add your own predictions. If it is, please let us know the link to your blog post! 

[I have my addition to the list that relates to the biggest innovation in genealogy research of late -- and to the worlds of medicine, biology, forensics, anthropology, information storage and a host of other presently known and unknown science and technology branches. How about James Watson, Francis Crick, and -- one hopes by 4015 -- Rosalind Franklin for their work in the discovery of the structure of DNA!?]  

7.  Returning to historic New England and photographs capturing past images . . . If you remember the slogan, "Wednesday Is Prince Spaghetti Day!", then you need to see the photos at Life From The Roots blog by the Ambassador of Lowell, Barbara Poole.  Have a look here.   

8. Valerie Hughes at Genealogy With Valerie blog, posted thoughts on how to add additional information from a blog post to a Find-A-Grave memorial. Read about her efforts here.    

9.  And finally, CONGRATULATIONS to our favorite Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, on winning the crown as the niche category champ in the American Bar Association's Annual Blawg 100! BUT, not only did Judy get crowned niche champion, she garnered more overall votes than any other blog in the 100 except Top Class Actions blog. See the ABA formal notice of winners here and see Judy's post here.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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1 comment:

  1. John, once again I want to thank you for selecting my post today to be included in your Saturday Serendipity blog post. You had some interesting reads, but what I really want to know is how did you manage to receive your Yankee magazine before me? (It didn't even come today.)