Saturday, November 21, 2015

Saturday Serendipity (November 21, 2015)

After another brief hiatus for a trip to the Adirondacks, Saturday Serendipity returns this week with a few recommended reads for this last weekend before the Thanksgiving rush.

1.  This week The Weekly Genealogist by NEHGS offered a link to a NYT article titled "America, the Not So Promised Land" about some realities and myths concerning migration to the United States. You can read the article here.

2. UpFront With NGS blog posted this morning the program for the 2016 Family History Conference to be held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL from May 4 - 7. You can read more about the Conference and get links to the program here.

3. I have often wondered about the enumerators identified on the early U.S. Census reports we have all used at one time or another. How were they chosen? What did their commissions and work actually involve? How much were they paid? And so on and so forth. Well, this week Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings blog provided the transcription of an article from the May 24, 1900 San Diego Weekly Union that provides some interesting information and answers. You can read Randy's transcription here.

4. One of the unwritten "rules" about public on-line genealogy trees is the avoidance of showing living family members without their permission. I think this is an excellent rule and I try to follow it with respect to both my family trees and posts on this blog. But the always thoughtful James Tanner raises an interesting alternate view in his post at Genealogy's Star blog, "Live People and Online Family Trees -- What is the Reality Here?" Read his thought provoking piece here.

5.  Our favorite legal genealogist, Judy Russell, came across an old New York statute that surprised even her.  It dealt with divorce and the right to remarry in New York up until 1967. Previous to 1967 a divorce could only be granted on the basis of adultery by a spouse. But it was the repercussion of being found guilty of adultery that so surprised Judy.  Read why here at The Legal Genealogist blog. 

6.  And finally, I have to recommend "Old New England Pie Crust: Tough Recipes for Tough People" by Peter Muise at his New England Folklore blog. Peter's Thanksgiving menu reads almost exactly like the one I grew up with and still must have for it to feel like a real Thanksgiving. The holy trinity of Thanksgiving pies was, is, and always will be apple, mince meat, and pumpkin/squash. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing (not the highfalutin "dressing"), cranberry sauce, butternut squash, and small onions rounded out our holiday fare. Peter gives us a nice tutorial on early pie crust recipes and challenges in New England.  Read Peter's amusing and informative post here.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturday Serendipity (November 7, 2015)

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

1.  Here is an interesting read about an archeology dig in Lexington, Massachusetts that recently unearthed some British regular and colonial musket balls. The dig is on what was the farm of Tabitha Nelson. Nelson's farm was in the line of the British retreat from Concord on what became the first day of the American Revolution.  

2.  NEHGS has a few items of note in The Weekly Genealogist newsletter this week: (1) The name index to the 1910 US Census has been added to NEHGS research database library; (2) A call has gone out to try to locate descendants of pre-famine Irish immigrants to Rhode Island (1825 - 1845) whose ancestors might have helped build Fort Adams (contact Jessica Neuwirth, exhibit developer at Providence Children's Museum, with any information by December 31, 2015 at or 401-273-5437, ext. 103.); and (3) An interesting database you can read about here that was compiled by NPR of American veterans secretly exposed to mustard gas in military experiments done during WWII (the database has more than 3,900 individuals in it).

4.  Vita Brevis, from NEHGS and American Ancestors, has an interesting piece by Zachary Garceau about the fluid nature of borders and how it can affect genealogical research.  Read the article here. There is also a piece by Alicia Crane Williams about the problem of citing internet sources that is well worth checking out (including the comments). You can find the posting here.

5.  Heard of the new site called DNA.Land?  According to a post at UpFront With NGS, the site is not connected to any DNA testing service and has the potential to develop into a useful and needed tool to aid in analyzing your DNA results. You can read more and get links here.

6.  And finally, from The Vault comes a gem of early 20th Century misogyny.  Have a look here at a compendium titled "Bachelor Bigotries." This little collection can be read like a daily horoscope (horrorscope?) to learn about all the evils of marriage and women so you can see the item for today -- November 7th -- as well as the entire month of November. Oh . . . and you should know that this little gem was compiled BY A WOMAN (Laura Brace Bates).

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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Heather's Honor Roll Project -- Veterans Day 2015

Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy started an Honor Roll Project in 2010. The goal of the project is to post photos of various war memorials and honor rolls along with the transcriptions of the names on the memorials/honor rolls in order to make the names available for search engines. In this way, people can search for family members, ancestors and friends. This is a VERY worthwhile project and I want to participate in even a small way to support Heather (my blogging mentor and, incidentally, a distant cousin).

To participate in Heather's project this coming Veterans Day, I offer a photograph and transcriptions of names from a memorial in Leesburg, the county seat of Loudoun County, Virginia.  Leesburg is located about 35 miles northwest of Washington, DC.  In the center of historic downtown Leesburg sits the county courthouse "campus." This is where the county has erected memorials to those from Loudoun County who served in various wars -- many of whom gave their lives in service to their country. In past years, photos and name transcriptions of the memorials for World War I, World War II, and the Korean War have been posted here at The Prism as contributions to Heather's project.

The courthouse "campus" in downtown Leesburg, Virginia

The lower courthouse "campus" looking up at the memorial monoliths in the right side of the photograph.

For Heather's Honor Roll Project and Veterans Day 2015, the Loudoun County, Virginia memorial to those who served in the Vietnam War is presented below.

Twelve residents of Loudoun County, Virginia made the ultimate sacrifice during the war in Vietnam. The names of the fallen are . . .

               Welby H. Grayson, III
               Richard B. Grigsby
               Jack Harris, Jr.
               David F. Helms
               Leonard W. Kidd
               Francis E. Manuel
               Weyland F. McCauley, Jr.
               Ralph W. Melbourne
               Richard S. Pohl
               Gregory M. Howard
               David A. Russell
               Charles E. Peters
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Veterans Day 2015 image from , the website of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs -- National Cemetery Administration. 

Photos of the memorial and the County Courthouse campus in Leesburg, Virginia by the author.

Name transcriptions by the author.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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