Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (July 23, 2016)

After a week off to visit to our 20-month old granddaughter and my parents, here are a few recommended items of interest from the last couple of weeks . . .

1.  Having engaged in a family Bible search myself, and discovered a 4th cousin along the way, I found this story about the quest to find a 220-year-old Bible interesting -- particularly what the searcher did with the Bible once it was found and given to him.     

2.  Week 6 of Diane Boumenot's excellent series "8 Weeks to Better Rhode Island Genealogy Research" is out!  Only two more installments to go, so I highly recommend that you read weeks 1 through 6 and begin following Diane's wonderfully written and researched blog One Rhode Island Family! I believe this series is so good that Diane should seriously consider publishing this as a compendium primer on Rhode Island genealogy research.  I would purchase one just to have the entire series quickly and permanently at my fingertips.  Read Week 6 about Family Genealogies here.   
3.  I have always taken a very liberal view of the use of photographs and snapshots I post on this blog. My view is that for very old (100 years and more) family portraits that I have in my collection, or snapshots of more recent vintage taken by unidentified photographers such as my parents or other family members where I have the negatives (and the only known copies of the developed pictures), I in no way own the copyright to the photos -- and either does anyone else with similar photos in their collection if they did not create the photo.  With this view, I believe that the descendants of people I have photos for are as entitled to see what their ancestor looked like as I am -- and so I post them on this public blog, but I always try to indicate where the photos came from (especially if I am not the creator.)  Recently I have come across several instances of very old portraits that have been posted on my blog surfacing on public family trees on Ancestry -- none of them came from my Ancestry trees since mine are all private, so they must have come from my blog.  I know at least one person emailed me to ask if they could use one of the photos and I agreed immediately -- BUT I did not ask for the simple courtesy of attribution for surfacing a long lost or previously unknown photograph.  [I now make explicit a request for credit when I get a request  -- NOT due to any copyright claims on my part, but rather for finding and making available the photo created by someone long gone.] In her post titled "No right to sharing,"  Judy Russell of The Legal Genealogist blog gives an excellent explanation of the difference between having a copyright and having the right to limit the use of a photograph for which one does not own a copyright, but which one has discovered or otherwise gone to pains and cost to make available to others.  It is a definite "must read" in my opinion and you can access it here.       

4.  If you have ever thought about exploring the qualifications for membership in a lineage society, you need to read this post at UpFront with NGS blog.  A list of such societies is proved via a link in the post. 

5.  Do you know what "mitten" (as in "never mitten a mechanic") meant in the late 1800s? Have you ever wondered why a relative in the late 1800s never married, or why an ancestor in the late 1800s never remarried? Well, help is on the way in the recently digitized 112-page book published by by J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company in 1890.  The book is titled, "DON'T MARRY; or Advice As To How, When and Who To Marry." You can access the book via a post at The Vault here.          

6.   Anyone who is a subscriber to will find this post by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings blog of interest. Randy summarizes for us the 2nd Quarter 2016 financial statement for LLC.   

7.   James Tanner of Genealogy's Star blog posted a nice piece about surnames in genealogy. He reminds us that surnames alone do not indicate relationship or descent. You can read his post here and watch a humorous, short (2 minute) video he has appended to the piece. James also has an interesting post this week that puts the issue of identity theft risk in genealogy in perspective.  I suggest you read it here.

8.  Belatedly I came across Bill West's intriguing post of July 12th titled "How 'The Clapboards' Got Its Name." Clapboards, or The Clapboards Trees, area of Dedham, Massachusetts has an interesting back story to the derivation of its name. You can read Bill's explanation here

9.  I mentioned recently that blogger Heather Kuhn Roelker is back at it after a research hiatus of a couple of years. Heather is back to posting her Friday Favorites (formerly Follow Friday) and I recommend that you check out her picks. To see the most recent example of Heather's recommended reads go here.

10.  When I come across a blog post titled, "What Did Louisa May Alcott's Father Think About Genealogy?," I know I have to check it out because there must be an interesting story behind the question. There is an interesting story and Barbara Poole of Life From the Roots blog tells and illustrates it here.  TEASE: The story involves Henry David Thoreau, the artist N.C. Wyeth, two famous New England cemeteries, and some dedicated research effort.

11.  It is with some hesitance that I use Saturday Serendipity to ask for input from readers, but here goes. 

Users of Family Tree Maker (FTM) will be aware that Software MacKiev bought FTM when Ancestry announced that they would discontinue the product.  Software MacKiev acquired the rights to all versions of FTM and said they would continue supporting and developing the software!  For FTM users of the last Ancestry versions of FTM, Software MacKiev promised a FREE upgrade to the Software MacKiev FTM.  On their website, Software MacKiev stated as long ago as March or April 2016 (and still today), "There will be a free update available at some point soon. Please sign up for our mailing list to be notified when it's available . . ." I signed up almost immediately. This past April 15th I received an email from Software MacKiev stating, "Family Tree Maker is BACK." It also stated, "1. Users of FTM 2014 and Mac 3: Hang in there! FREE updates are coming. We don’t have a fixed date yet, but are working hard to make sure that they are everything you would want them to be. We will send you an email to let you know as soon as they are available." On May 9th I got an email from Software MacKiev saying the free updater was not ready for release yet.  On May 12th I got an email from the President of Software MacKiev, Jack Minsky, stating in pertinent part, "I wanted to drop a quick note to all of those like you who are waiting patiently (or not) for the free updates . . .  So when will the updates be released? No one is sure, not even me. It’s when the popcorn stops popping and our twenty trusted outside beta testers stop finding things they are sure we should fix before releasing. If I had to guess I’d say that’s weeks, not months away." 

It is now July 23rd -- going on three months later -- and no further communication from Software MacKiev has been received. Am I missing something, or is the promised free updater just not going to happen in order to "encourage" purchase of the applicable upgrade? Any update on this situation from more informed FTM users would be greatly appreciated! 

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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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  1. John, I am really thrilled that you read the entire post, because it was quite long, and you liked it. And, you included it on your list this week. Like a lot of us, I try to make stories interesting, but sometimes I am the only one who thinks so. Fortunately Diane B. and you liked this one.
    I'm glad you got away and saw the family. Bet the youngest of the group got a lot of attention.

    1. Barbara: I like stories that are weaved to a conclusion instead of just giving the end result up front with just a little "back story." Posts that weave a story engage the reader as an active participant guessing and anticipating the conclusion. Your post did all that AND was illustrated to boot. Nicely done!

      Yes Nora got a lot of attention when we were up there, but we really look forward to our annual Adirondack vacation in a few days. Nora is walking and talking this year and loves the water so it will be even more fun this year than last. ;-)

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