Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (May 28, 2016)

Here are just a few recommended items of interest for your reading pleasure this long holiday weekend.  

1.    Memorial Day is just two days away. Now would be a good time for you to visit Heather Rojo's "Honor Roll Project" website at if you have never done so before.  Heather developed the absolutely wonderful idea of engaging the genealogy blogging community in finding, photographing, and transcribing the information contained on all the various military honor roll memorials and monuments around the U.S. and a few other countries. The heart of the project, from a genealogy point of view, is the transcription leg of the three-legged 
FIND/ PHOTOGRAPH/TRANSCRIBE stool comprising the project. It is through a careful and accurate transcription of the names on these honor rolls that a database can be created to allow the search for ancestors and relatives that have served in the armed forces of the United States and select other countries. Heather has created a home for the collection of all this data and it is the "Honor Roll Project" website at the link above. Contributions to the project can be made at any time, but Heather targets the Memorial Day and Veterans Day holidays as particularly good times to add to the project database. I strongly suggest that you click on the "Geographic Areas" drop-down menu on the project homepage and then go to the state or country where you live. See if a monument or memorial you know of has been covered and transcribed -- if not, why not consider a contribution for Memorial Day or for Veterans Day this coming November (or anytime in between)? You will be glad you did!

2.   The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS mentioned what I found to be a fascinating article in The Atlantic about a surprising form of printed advertising that we think of as ASCII computer art -- except it was found in newspaper adverts in the late 1800s! Have a look here.  Perhaps you will find a clue about an ancestor or relative who was in business and used this form of advertising.
3.   As the use of DNA analysis in genealogy continues to develop and mature, we are reading more and more stories of the surprises that can await a trip down the deoxyribonucleic acid spiral stairway. One such story was just posted today by The Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell. As always with Judy, the post is worth the read, but this one is particularly interesting and uplifting.  Have a read!

4.  Barbara Poole of Life From The Roots blog posted a sad notice yesterday about the dissolution of a family reunion that had a history of over 100 years of meetings.  Read Barbara's post here -- especially if you or anyone you know has connections to the Thomas and Mary Lowrey family!    

5.   UpFront With NGS blog posted a very interesting piece about the 1936 -1964 publication of  guides to assist African-American travelers in finding safe places to sleep, eat, and get their cars serviced while traveling in the era of Jim Crow. The publications were known as "The Negro Motorist Green Book" and they were published by Victor Green.  Read more about these guides and get links to further reading and a look at digitized versions of the guides here.  

6.  And speaking of UpFront With NGS, Diane Richard of that blog is also a fan of James Tanner's writing at Genealogy's Star blog.  This past Tuesday, Diane posted links to Mr. Tanner's series on real property research as part of documenting the lives of ancestors and relatives.  See Diane's post and get direct links to each of the posts in the Tanner series here.

7.  I love reading stories about someone who finds an old photograph and sets about trying to reunite the photo with existing family members. The genealogy blogging community is often a resource for solving these kinds of puzzles. Yesterday, Laura Mattingly of The Old Trunk In The Attic blog posted a photograph of three boys and one girl that she has but is unidentified.  Laura thinks the family might have lived in the Harvard or Eldorado, Nebraska area in the early 1900s.  Have a look here and see if you can help Laura with the detective work!
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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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  1. I appreciate your mentioning my post because other clubs/societies and the like that are in similar situations (including my local genealogy club) can see what this organization did in regards to spreading the news and their disbursement of money to genealogy organizations. I'm so glad I spotted this article when I flipped quickly through the magazine.

  2. Thank you for including my post John! I appreciate help spreading the word to find family who would be interested in these old photos. I have quite a few.

  3. Thanks for mentioning the Honor Roll Project!