Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (December 31, 2016)

It struck me that this will be my last post and last Saturday Serendipity for the year 2016. I also realized that it was exactly four years ago today that Filiopietism Prism ("The Prism"for short) was born! [See the first post here.] These four years have flown by and, with the vicissitudes of modern living, the rate of posts have ebbed and flowed over that time (admittedly ebbed more than flowed recently). And yet I still look forward to working on this blog and appreciate all who spend a portion of their precious time in reading and perhaps commenting on pieces published here.  THANK YOU all!

Without further ado, here are a few recommended reads for today -- or for next year if you wait until tomorrow!  ;-)

1.  Not exactly a read for everyone, but if you -- like me -- have been a user of Family Tree Maker® software to grow and preserve your family tree(s) -- and to sync them with your tree(s) in the cloud with -- then you will want to be aware of the announcement today about FTM from Software MacKiev. Finally, the free update for users of FTM 2014 and Mac 3 is here and available for download! The free update was first promised as long ago as March 2016 . It was stated on March 4th, "Users of FTM 2014 and Mac 3: Hang in there! FREE updates are coming. They will be available in about a week or so through the built-in update feature. We will send you an email to let you know as soon as they are available." If you have not seen the announcement and you use FTM, you should go to the Software MacKiev FTM website and get the needed information to upgrade for free. I now know what at least a part of my day tomorrow will be spent on -- updating my version of FTM. A sincere thank you to MacKiev and I hope and trust the updates will be everything promised and as easy to install as described.

2.  For you map lovers out there. . . have you heard that the Library of Congress is making available some 5,000 items from its map collection? The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS brought this to our attention recently and you can read more about this development here.  

3.  This week The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS also brought the news to us that the George Eastman Museum has launched an online platform that will allow searching through over a quarter million photographic objects in its collection. Learn more about this new resource here. [I already located an amazing portrait of Amelia Earhart (my 6th cousin 2x removed) done in 1931 by Edward Steichen.]

4.  Rebecca Onion at The Vault blog (on has posted at the end of each year since 2013 the top digital history projects she has come across during the year. Her picks for 2016 can be viewed here.      

5.  In a previous Saturday Serendipity item, I suggested a read at Wait But Why blog by Tim Urban
titled "It's Going to Be Okay." Now Tim has posted a follow up to that post about the 2016 presidential election with the appropriate title, ""It's Going to Be Okay -- Follow Up." If you read the original post, you might be interested in Tim's follow up, which can be seen as a sort of mea culpa in some ways. I happen to like Tim Urban's writing and his take on things almost always causes me to pause and think.  I like that! You can access Tim's follow up post here. [The usual cautionary note -- Tim occasionally uses what some may consider inappropriate, unnecessary, profanity.]    

6.  Most people who spend a lot of time diving deep into their ancestry will eventually come across a marriage between cousins of some degree. James Tanner had an interesting post yesterday titled, "Can you marry your cousin? What is or was the law?" You can read the post here.  
7.  And finally for those who have roots in New England, Elizabeth Handler of From Maine to Kentucky blog recently posted a notice and reminder that the next biennial conference of the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) will take place at the end of April in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Read some of the particulars and get a link to the 20-page conference brochure here.  [This might be the year I get to attend this conference for the first time!]
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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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  1. Thanks for the shout-out (and NERGC isn't just for those with New England roots, but for any genealogist who can make it to Springfield, MA at the end of April). Would love to see you there!

    Happy Blogiversary!

    1. Happy to do so Elizabeth and I do hope we can finally meet at NERGC in Springfield.