Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Serendipity (January 24, 2015)

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

1.  If you have New England roots in Western Massachusetts, you should check out the Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 at American  Eleven new sketches of families that were enumerated in the 1790 census for Berkshire and Hampshire Counties have been added.  Those added are the families of: Benjamin Brooks; Noah Brown; Gideon Martin: Simeon Martin; Jonathan Needham; Catharine Needham; Joseph Payne; William Snow (in Wilbraham); William Snow (in Springfield); Ichabod Stockwell; and Tahan Taylor.    

2.  As we genealogists (professional and amateur) know, the digital/computer revolution has brought huge changes to the field of genealogy. The next stage in information evolution is certainly the rise and development of AI or Artificial Intelligence. I cannot imagine how this next evolutionary step will affect genealogy, but it is sure to do so in some way. With that in mind, I recommend a read at Wait But Why blog about artificial intelligence. Part 1 "The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence" is available here.    

3.  It is the kind of news that brings shudders to those who pursue genealogy -- the loss of extremely valuable and many times irreplaceable records and information from fire, flood, or other natural disaster. But what can really perplex and frighten a genealogist are the actions that knowingly and  intentionally lead to the demise of genealogy sources and resources -- actions such as those contained in a bill introduced in the Indiana legislature. A new bill in the House would cut a huge 24% of the funding to the Indiana State Library AND eliminate every penny of funding for the Genealogy Department of the Library.  Read about this potential tragedy here at The Legal Genealogist blog.        

4.  James Tanner at Genealogy's Star blog posted an interesting and useful piece (several links are provided) about parcel maps. You can read his post here.         

5.  Soldiers and Inmates enter the world of genealogy! 
In two stories of interest in The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS you can read about programs to promote an interest in genealogy. The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) has launched "Operation Ancestor Search" to teach injured and ill service members at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas the fundamentals of researching their family history. Inmates in county jails throughout Utah, Arizona and Idaho -- nearly 2,300 of them -- are volunteering to form indexing teams to help organize genealogical records around the world. You can read about this program here 

6.  Do you have any ancestors or relatives that attended the Northern Illinois State Teachers College in DeKalb, Illinois and graduated in 1933 -- or do you think an ancestor or relative might have done so? If so, you should check out this post at This I Leave blog.  Donna Catterick has posted the 1933 Commencement program showing her mother's graduation, but there are also four pages of the names of other graduates for you to check out. You never know who you might find listed there that could add to your genealogy.       

7.  It is always useful to find a quick and handy list of new or updated databases that might be of use to your genealogy research.  Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog provides just such a list for database happenings on  You can see Randy's quick list here.       

8.  Upfront With NGS blog had an interesting and thought provoking piece this week about the discovery and preservation of previously undeveloped film containing images lost in time. The post has several useful links, as usual for this blog. As genealogists we know the value of preserving images so they are available for future generations and genealogy blogs surely provide a service in that endeavor.  Read more about undeveloped film archives and preservation here.     

9.  And finally, here is a very informative and useful post from The Ancestor Hunt blog by Kenneth R. Marks. The post provides a list (with links) to 160+ FREE online U.S. newspaper collections from 25 states. The states on the list are: ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, PA, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MS, MT, NE, NC, OH, OR, SD, TX and WI.          

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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for pointing out the "Operation Ancestors Search" at Fort Hood. I live in the next town and our little genealogy group, composed mainly of retired service members and military spouses didn't know about it. Annick