Saturday, April 2, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (April 2, 2016)

The recommended items of interest for this week are as follows . . . 

1.   Anyone with roots in Rhode Island absolutely MUST pay attention to a series started last week by Diane Boumenot at One Rhode Island Family blog! Diane's series is titled "Eight Weeks to Better Rhode Island Genealogy Research" and the title says it all.  Diane is walking us through the resources available to do genealogy research in and about Rhode Island and she is sharing her little secrets and tips along the way.  Read Week 1 here . . . and the most recent installment, Week 2, here 

2.  The Weekly Genealogist by NEHGS gave a tip this week about a new collection of biographical data on over 115,000 photographers, studios, and others involved in the making of photographs. This can be a valuable resource for sleuthing those old photographic portraits of unidentified people that you think might be ancestors or relatives. For example, as I was just discussing with my cousin Neysa earlier this week, if you happen to know some chronological data about an ancestor or relative, and you have a cabinet card portrait of a person you think could be that ancestor or relative, and the portrait has a photographers logo on it, you could gain valuable clues to bolster or eliminate the identity puzzle. If your subject only traveled to the location of the photographer's studio once in her life, but it was well before the photographer was in business, then the likelihood is that the portrait is not one of your ancestor or relative. To learn more about this new resource and get a link to the "Photographers' Identities Catalog" (PIC) at the New York Public Library, go here. PIC "is world-wide in scope and spans the entire history of photography."     

3.   Here is another very interesting post on the Wait But Why blog, a blog about which I often post recommendations.  This one is of interest because Tim Urban takes what he calls a "horizontal view" of history.  Of course that is what we genealogists almost always do when we focus on the history of our families; but when Tim takes the view to a more general treatment of history writ large, we get a different take on history and the people who have left large footprints in the historical narrative.  Tim's "horizontal history" can be a nice tool to see at a glance many famous people decade-by-decade and thus get a better idea of who was shaping the world while some of our ancestors were living.  Have a look!

4. Did you know there are "Twelve Golden Rules of Genealogy?" I didn't until I ran across the link to the rules at on Organize Your Family History blog by Janine Adams. As Janine says, the rules are a "great compilation of common-sense genealogy truths."  Have a look here at Janine's blog, or follow her link to the source at GotGenealogy . . . where there actually is now a 13th Rule stated.  What is the 13th rule? Go to the source and find out.  :-)  

5.  "I may be any minute!" is the punchline to a wonderful little story by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings blog. Randy answers the question (so often asked) regarding whether or not he is related to Tom Seaver the Hall of Fame baseball pitcher. Read the answer and find out the context of the punchline here. 

6.  I did not know there were other cemetery index sites out there in addition to the Big Boys -- and, but there are. James Tanner at Genealogy's Star blog has a useful post about the FREE and you can read about it and get links to the noted sites and others here

7.  And finally, while on the subject of cemetery databases, check out the post by Barbara Poole at Life From The Roots blog. Barbara provides a cautionary tale wherein she researched three databases for the same cemetery and found that not one of them was complete. Read Barbara's post here.      
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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you John for the mention. I got so tongue tied while writing that piece, that I had Bill West, another blogger who has ancestors in that cemetery, read it first, just to be sure it made sense. It was nice being included on a list with James Tanner's article about cemeteries.