Saturday, December 19, 2015

Saturday Serendipity (December 19, 2015)

Saturday Serendipity returns this week with a few recommended reads for this last weekend before Christmas.

1.  The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS mentioned an article in the Chicago Tribune this week "Why cousins matter: Tapping these familial bonds fosters insight, fellowship" by Richard Asa.  You can read the article here, BUT be aware that apparently you have to at least register (for FREE) your email address and zip code in order to read the entire article. :(

2.  The Vault recently had a piece about an early 20th Century mapping project to depict the distribution of men of talent based on the 1901 edition of Who's Who in America. The highlighted 1904 article from Century magazine, titled "The Brain of the Nation," can be read about here and you can see the graphical depictions of state-by-state and major city comparisons.  [SPOILER ALERT: There was very good news for New England and Boston.]

3.   Another article at The Vault has particular resonance today as fear ramps up over the threat of international terrorism and some pandering politicians begin to look for targets on which to focus the mounting fear.  Read, "An Eloquent Baptist Protest Against Internment Camps During WWII" here.

4.  In an interesting "two-fer" about 19th Century women who asserted their rights and protected their interests by refusing to go along with land sales their husbands wanted to accomplish, I recommend two recent posts:  "Saying No" by Judy Russell at The Legal Genealogist; and "Working A trade . . . " by Diane L. Richard at UpFront With NGS.

5.  I recently invested almost four days of my time to recovering my photo files after having "upgraded" the operating system on my iMac to El Capitan from Yosemite -- and in the process lost iPhotos in favor of the new Photos -- (it's  a long story). Because of this awful experience that now requires me to go back and reorganize some 29,000 photos and document images, I found James Tanner's recent post "Crashing Computers, Dead Hard Drives and other Disasters" at Genealogy's Star blog to be of particular interest. 

6.  And finally, I admit to being behind the curve on the developing news and awareness that Family Tree Maker software will no longer be sold as of the end of this month and that support to current owners and users of the software will end on January 1, 2017. I believe this is another HUGE mistake by and my disappointment in this decision runs as deeply as my anger does. I recommend reading Heather Rojo's series of posts on this subject at Nutfield Genealogy blog if you are an FTM owner/user.  You can see her latest post here and get links to the earlier posts in the series to begin at the beginning. You can also gets links to posts by others on this FTM news, which Heather has helpfully provided.

On this subject, my greatest concern with the announced demise of FTM is that I love the sync feature. Syncing allows me to easily transfer my on-line research and data from Ancestry so it is captured and stored on my local hard drive. It is one of the methods I use for backing up and preserving all my research efforts. I am VERY concerned that Ancestry's next bad news will be that the syncing feature will disappear as part of the ending of FTM support come the end of 2016! I do not want to return to the days where my on-line research had to be manually saved and transferred to my FTM database and trees. As others have said, we have a year to come up with alternatives.  I just hope there will be real alternatives that will allow syncing Ancestry research to another user-owned,  local application. I am not very sanguine about the likelihood this will happen in the next year AND be reliable once in place if it happens.

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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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