Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Serendipity (January 7, 2017)

Here are a few recommended reads for over the weekend.

1.  Diane Boumenot's most recent post on One Rhode Island Family will certainly be of interest to anyone with roots in Rhode Island around the turn of the last century; but it is also a great reminder of living conditions for the working poor in most cities around that time.  Diane shows the story with photographs from the Library of Congress and, as always, her narrative is an engaging read.  Go here to see the post.  

2.  Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog posted on New Year's Day a very interesting post that has become an annual event for "numbers guys [and gals]." Randy does the service of compiling and updating the numbers data for 2016 on the tools used by genealogists. If you like numbers and want to get a good idea of how many genealogy enthusiasts  use which resources, you need to check out Randy's January 1st post titled "Genealogy Industry Benchmark Numbers . . . " here.  For example, if you look at the grave record numbers for FindAGrave vs. BillionGraves  you might just think it is time for BG to think about a new name.  Neither is close to a billion grave records, but FAG is leaving BG in the dust.😉

3.  If you or any family members were adopted in New Jersey, you need to read Judy Russell's post of January 4th. As Judy explains, as of this past Tuesday, January 3rd, children adopted in New Jersey post-1940 can now obtain by law their unaltered, original birth certificates! Some 300,000 children adopted in NJ between 1940 and 2015 are affected by this change in the law. Read more about this law here and learn who else can obtain a copy of the original birth certificates.   

4.  OK.  Before you follow the link for this read recommendation, get a piece of paper and write on it the baby name that you think is the "trendiest in American history!" To make it easier (possibly), a clue is that the name is found on the distaff side of naming conventions.  The Weekly Genealogist by NEHGS brought this article to our attention -- where you can see how your guess fares against the correct answer. No cheating! Good luck. [Oh, I almost forgot, for you Beatles fans there is a nice connection to learn about too!] 😉        

5.  If you use for your genealogy research -- as many of us do -- then you really must read a post this week by Amy Johnson Crow.  Those quivering leaves that signal Ancestry has found some possible clues for you are a bit more involved than they might seem at first. Read Amy's post here and find out what you probably did not know about those leaves!        

6.  Janine Adams of Organize Your Family History blog started a new feature on her blog this week. She will be interviewing "genealogy luminaries" in her series titled, "How They Do It." She kicks off the series this week with a well-known luminary -- none other than Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame. Read the inaugural interview here.   
7.  And finally, since marriages are such a big part of genealogy (for obvious reasons), a short piece attempting to answer the question about why in most western cultures the ring signifying a married person is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. Guesses anyone?  Read here to find out some of the most commonly accepted possible reasons. Ever heard of the vena amoris?  Read the article and you will learn what it is and where.  [N.B. Since there is no mention of it in the article, apparently the fact that the left side in heraldry is the "sinister" side has nothing to do with wearing a wedding ring on the left hand. 😀]   
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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  1. Always a good group of blogs to read and think about, John. #1 is always a top blog for me, for the process of research.
    The top name surprised me, I thought it would be Karen. Many many Karen's in my school classes. And Susan's. Cheers.

    1. The name "Linda" surprised me too. And I learned something about Linda Eastman McCartney that I never knew before. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!