2. Since today is Valentine's Day, there should be at least one recommended read relating to this day of celebration. The recommendation comes from a favorite history blog, The Vault on Slate. In 1928 British publisher Thomas Richardson distributed a work titled Fashionable Gentleman's Valentine Writer for those who were perhaps too challenged or too time restricted to pen their own amorous thoughts. A companion work for the ladies was also published by Richardson. Letter-writer aids apparently proliferated in both the U.S. and the U.K. in the 18th and 19th centuries to help with various kinds of writing, but The Vault specifically provides us with some Valentine selections here. Have a look at the two samples -- one "From A Tradesman To His Valentine" (with an "Answer of Compliance" and an "Answer of Rejection" helpfully provided), and the other "From A Labouror To His Lass" (again withe an "Answer of Compliance" and an "Answer of Rejection" provided). There is also a link where one can read the entire Valentine Writer published by Richardson's online at the Internet Archive.
3. In a post today at Genealogy's Star blog, James Tanner notes the winner of the #RootsTech "Innovator Showdown." In the piece he quotes from the press release announcing the winner and provides the following excerpt regarding FamilySearch . . .
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 130 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This provides a nice segue to an article in the current NGS Magazine that is well worth reading. It is titled "Using FamilySearch to Solve Genealogical Problems: 15 Tips" by James Ison, AG, CG. Mr. Ison's intro states, "As the largest holder of worldwide records with 2.4 million rolls of microfilm, in recent years FamilySearch has taken gigantic strides to bring these records online. Concurrently, volunteers across the world are indexing records for quicker access, and more than 280 camera and scanner teams around the globe are capturing records digitally. This article shares 15 tips for solving your research problems and enhancing your research experience." If you are not an NGS member and do not receive their magazine, you can probably access the January-March 2015 issue at your local library.
4. One of the data points we often come across in our genealogy research is "cause of death." It is a valuable data point for many reasons and with respect to genetically linked disease is of much more than merely historic genealogical interest. It can provide clues to health concerns for us and our descendants. Some more environmentally caused infectious diseases have played important and devastating roles in many family genealogies. Thankfully, modern medicine has conquered or substantially managed many of these diseases that previously killed, maimed, or seriously handicapped sufferers. [Timely note here about the possible resurgence of measles.] One disease that killed millions over centuries -- until the advent of the miracle drug streptomycin, which was developed in 1943 -- was TB "Tuberculosis," known in earlier times variously as "consumption," the "wasting disease," "pulmonalis," etc. My paternal grandmother suffered from TB and was found in the 1940 U.S. Census living in a TB sanatorium at Wallum Lake in Rhode Island rather than at home. It is with this background and interest that I recommend a post by Diane Gould Hall at Michigan Family Trails blog. You can read "The Forgotten Plague - Killed Millions Of People For Centuries" here.
5. This week UpFront With NGS blog posted a piece titled, "20 FREE and (Relatively) New Genealogy and Family History Resources, Part 1." You can read the list of resources and obtain links here.
6. And finally, capturing bits of genealogical factoids that otherwise might get lost by being considered too trivial, is a subject that gets too little attention or discussion IMHO. Those of us with living memories of ancestors and their likes, dislikes and quirks should consider recording those factoids in some way before they are really lost for lack of some "official record." Case in point was an enjoyable post this week by Nancy at My Ancestors and Me blog. It seems Nancy's father was a big fan of Jimmy Durante and Nancy captures this genealogical factoid in a wonderful remembrance piece complete with a video of Durante on the Perry Como show (for those who never knew of, or have forgotten about, the talented and funny Jimmy Durante). Have a read here and be sure to watch the video. I promise you will not be able to stop smiling.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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