Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday Serendipity, and most of my other blog posting other than posts already auto-loaded for publication, will be on hiatus for a few weeks after this weekend while I attend to a necessary medical matter.  I currently plan to return on a regular basis sometime in April.  In the meantime, here are a few recommendations for inclusion on your reading list this weekend. 

1.  Heather Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy blog had a wonderful post this past Monday about preserving your blog in book form. Anyone who blogs and has not yet put their efforts into book form has to make this a must read.  You can read Heather's post here.      

2.  And staying with the theme of preserving digital material in "hard" copy form, The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS provided a link to a piece titled "Why You Should Be Printing Your Digital Photos."  If you are not familiar with the terms "data rot" and "software rot," then you really need to read this article too and you can do so here.    

3.   I recently posted about what I termed "genealogy factoids" and their importance in adding color to family histories. I posited that well preserved oral history full of factoids are important sources for genealogy and should be preserved. Zachary Garceau, at Vita Brevis by, also discusses the importance to genealogy of preserving oral history (which I would argue is bound to be chock full of those lovely little tidbits I call genealogy factoids).  You can read "Speak, memory": Part One here. [NOTE: Mr. Garceau also provides a link to a sample questionnaire for preparing to conduct an oral history interview.]     

4.  The most recent issue of Rhode Island Roots: Journal of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society (Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 44 - 54) has a fascinating article titled, "VITAL RECORDS AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE JOURNAL OF AMOS T. GORHAM, BRISTOL, R.I." The article, by Christine Lamar, summarizes Mr. Gorham's journal entries that record not just the vital record notations for Bristol, R.I. from 1823 - 1844, it contains the author's personal observations and comments that might otherwise be "genealogy factoids" (or is it gossip??) lost in time. A handful of examples from the journal entries should suffice to whet the appetite for reading more of the article (which can be accessed via a good genealogy library if one is not a RIGS member and eventually at when the Rhode Island Roots database is updated from Vol. 1-34).

          Feby 12th, 1833 . . . this young man shouted high praise of his GOD [in church]. This young man was Samuel Allen son of George and Priscilla Allen who liveth not far hence on the East. 

          Feby 26 1833  Today we have another case of Children's Coming to Town without a Father, this way of increasing getting to be quite Fashionable in our Town but we are sorry to say that some of this number have professed better things, these doings. We would not call names but M--P, M--T, S--M, H--B.

          July 25th 1833  We omitted to mention that Mr Nathl Coggeshall & Miss Harriet Bradford agreed hereafter to sleep in one bed.

          August 18th 1833  About 5 months ago Benj Tilly jr married his wife, and today his child died 9 months and 2 days.

          August 18th 1833.  This evening William Church and Rebecca Norris (son and daughter of Thomas and Benj) went to bed together, we expect for the first time, in one bed, but don't know as the weather was growing colder, they thought it would be warmer, than to have two beds, may peace and prosperity attend them.

5.  The "Ambassador of Lowell, MA" and author of Life From The Roots blog, Barbara Poole, has a truly engaging, interesting, and informative story to tell involving a relative (not an ancestor) -- her grandfather's sister.  Take a few minutes to read "Why I Wrote This Post . . . You Just Won't Believe One Of The Reasons!" here.   

6.  Snowed in and looking for something to do this weekend while avoiding shoveling and staying warm with a nice hot chocolate? How about doing some FREE research among billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world? As Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog posted this week, FindMyPast has announced a FREE weekend March 6-9, 2015.  What better way to battle cabin fever?  Read more at Randy's post here

7.  The Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, has an informative post about copyright and photograph negatives. You should take the time to read Judy's post here.  As a teaser to lead you to review Judy's full analysis, she says the following to sum up the making of copies other than for personal use from negatives one has bought, "Where it gets dicey is when it comes to making more copies, particularly for distribution or republication. Who owns the rights to reprint from negatives can be a major issue,11 as can the question of when copyright expires for such items."

8.  Part 4 of UpFront With NGS's series on FREE and relatively free genealogy and family history resources is out.  Read the list of resources and get the links to the sites here.

9.  As I have often said to my sons when talking about big numbers like "billions," coining a new word to define ever larger numbers makes it easy to lose track of what the number really means.  For example, if Bill Gates is worth $53 billion, that means he has (or can theoretically put his hands on) 53,000 piles of $1 million! The first "trillionaire" will be able to get his/her hands on 1,000 piles of $1 billion or -- to make it a little easier to comprehend just how much money that is -- he or she will be able to have 1 million piles of $1 million!! 

Since we genealogists are concerned first and foremost with people, how about thinking on big numbers in terms of the number of people on the planet today -- 7.3 billion and counting. What does this actually mean, and how can we conceptualize it to try to grasp it? Well a favorite blog stop-over of mine, Wait But Why, has done the conceptualizing in a way that only Tim Urban can.  I suggest you check it out here.   

10.  And finally, UpFront With NGS provides a post to discuss the issue of elitism and the genealogy community.  The post launches from "An Open Letter to the Genealogy Community" by Janet Hovorka of The Chart Click blog. If you have not heard of this thread or read the Open Letter, I suggest you go to the UpFront post here and follow the links to the Letter and comments. 

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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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  1. John, best wishes for a speedy recovery. We look forward to your return! And your new granddaughter is the cutest ever!

  2. I hope your medical matter is small, simple, and doesn't involve much pain -- just time to heal or get better. Take good care.

  3. Thanks for mentioning my blog post about the blog books. I hope you are back on your feet soon, and blogging whenever you are able! Best wishes

  4. John, I'm very sorry to hear this, but am quite sure you will be good as new soon. Of course, we will miss you, but your health is more important. Thank you for including my post in your Filiopietism Prism post for today. Take care, and hugs to Nora.

  5. John, wishing you a quick and as painless as possible recovery.