Here are a few recommended items of interest for this week . . .
1. Since tomorrow is Mothers' Day, I have to highly recommend a listen to Nate DiMeo's Memory Palace podcast about the origins of Mother's Day and the sad story of the founder, Anna Jarvis. The podcast was first published on May 5, 2009, but you can listen to it here. [It is only about 4 minutes long.]
2. The fourth installment of Diane Boumenot's series "8 Weeks to Better Rhode Island Genealogy Research" is out. This newest post is about the use of maps and deeds in your genealogy research and -- as usual -- Diane provides lots of information and links. As I have stated before, if you have any roots in Rhode Island (or suspect you do) then you need to be reading Diane's series and keeping bookmarks to each of her posts. Read Diane's newest post here.
3. If many of you are like me, you have all but ignored DNA/Genetic data in your family history research. Becoming more familiar with the nature and use of genetic genealogy is one of my top "to do" items that seems to always get shoved to the back burner and forgotten. I am not sure of the exact reason why, but suspect that the disparate resources for the myriad aspects of genetics and the role of DNA in genealogy has hampered my enthusiasm for undertaking the study of the subject. Perhaps that is about to change since NGS has just announced the coming of a handbook called "Genetic Genealogy in Practice" by Blaine T. Betting and Debbie Parker Wayne.
4. James Tanner of Genealogy's Star blog has two interesting and informative pieces on the quality of digital images being posted as part of the growing genealogy cloud. Mr. Tanner provides some very revealing illustrations of how images after the true original are constantly being degraded one one way or another. Have a look and a read here and then see his most recent post on the subject here.
5. And speaking genetics and genealogy, Judy Russell of The Legal Genealogist blog posted an interesting piece about the DNA testing of four different individuals done by the same company. In a cautionary tale that is beautifully illustrated, Judy demonstrates why it is not possible to pinpoint precise ethnic origins based on DNA samples. There is a twist to the story Judy tells, but you will have to read her post to find out what it is. You can read it here.
6. Bill West at West in New England blog posted about the recent announcement by FindMyPast that they are releasing "over 10 million new marriage records in the second installment of their United States Marriages collection." Find out more about this release here.
7. Have you ever heard of "friendship albums?" In the early part of the 19th Century they were quite popular -- especially among young women at female academies. Bookmakers at the time produced letter-bound books with blank, but decorative, pages for friends (usually other young women, but often times men too), to write messages, tributes, and sentimental offerings of friendship. The books were also later called "autograph albums" and the writings these books contained often included poems, drawings, or even locks of hair. Obviously, for those interested in genealogy these message books from the past are a possible source of research data. On that note you might be interested in learning more about these books and seeing some examples at The Vault. AND, if these friendship albums catch your fancy and strike you as a research source you might like to explore, wander over to Pam Beverage's blog, Heirlooms Reunited. I have written about Pam's blog in the past and it could be a useful source for research (and perhaps even purchase of a previously unknown family artifact) -- you never know! Check out the "Autograph Albums" link at Pam's site and it will take you to a vast collection of friendship/autograph albums complete with photos. You can then follow a link to see Pam's individual posting for an album with photos of the pages in the book AND Pam's extremely useful listing of the names of all the people who created entries in the book. For example, see here Pam's posting about an 1880s/1890s album belonging to a woman named Maud/Maude who was a student at Carthage College in Illinois. Good hunting . . . and may you find an ancestor's or relative's writings or complete album!
8. And finally, on a lighter note for New Englanders from Massachusetts . . . have you seen, or know anyone who has seen, a "pukwudgie?" I have not. I only learned about pukwudgies recently through a post by Peter Muise at his blog, New England Folklore. You can learn about pukwudgies here.
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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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