Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saturday Serendipity (April 1, 2017)

NO FOOLING around today at Saturday Serendipity .  .  .  here area few recommendations for your April Fool's Day weekend reading.

1.  For those with Connecticut roots, NEHGS just announced this week that they are updating the Connecticut Marriages and Deaths, 1790 - 1833 database. The database now has images and can be searched by first name, last name, parents' and spouse's names, location, date, and record type. Learn more here.              

2.  The Weekly Genealogist newsletter of NEHGS brings to our attention this week a very interesting article published at This month marks the 100th anniversary of the entry of the United States into World War I. As author Stephen Fried's opening line states, "Just weeks after joining World War I in April 1917, the United States was in deep trouble -- financial trouble." The article is titled "WORLD WAR I: 100 YEARS LATER How the Liberty Bell Won the Great War." Read Mr. Fried's informative article here.      

3.  Those who follow Saturday Serendipity know that I use Family Tree Maker (FTM) and that I have followed the acquisition of  FTM from by Software MacKiev.  Yesterday, March 31st, marked the planned roll-out of MacKiev's new FamilySync to replace the former TreeSync .  .  . and as a result syncing between FTM and trees ceased on March 29th and will not resume until today. Family Sync will only be available in MacKiev's FTM 2017 edition, which was planned for release yesterday. Without FTM 2017 no previous FTM versions will sync with trees located on Ancestry. UpFront With NGS blog has a good explanatory post here and anyone with trees on and on FTM software residing on a home computer should definitely read that post. [NOTE:  I preordered a download of the new FTM 2017 for Mac on March 23rd and had my purchase confirmed with a reply email, "Your order is processing. You will receive additional information via a separate email."  The roll-out was to have taken place yesterday.  I have yet to receive any additional email or information from MacKiev.]        

4.  We genealogists are always on the lookout for possible sources to advance our family genealogies and so speaking of World War I and the blog UpFront With NGS, the blog brings to our attention this week the partial digitization of The Stars and Stripes newspaper. The current online collection of the newspaper includes "the complete seventy-one week run" of The Stars and Stripes during World War I. Read more about this collection and get links here.                  

5.  In another in a long line of "food for thought posts" by blogger James Tanner of Genealogy's Star blog, Mr. Tanner posted a piece on privacy -- what is and what is not "private."  The post is worth a read and you can do so here. [While Mr. Tanner makes some very good points about the amount and type of information that is available on living people, he also illustrates the varied sources that would be required to compile a profile of living people. It can be done by searching out and using openly available information after expending varying levels of effort, inconvenience, and expense, but I think it remains true that we in the genealogy community (who are, after all, trying to compile at least basic profiles on our ancestors and relatives -- dead and living) have a heightened and special responsibility (absent explicit permission) to avoid providing in a public forum or repository (such as public trees) a compiled profile that would otherwise require considerable effort, inconvenience, and expense to assemble.]  

6.  A post by Elizabeth Handler at From Maine to Kentucky blog reminded me of a website I learned about a few years ago and somehow always forget to check out periodically. The site is called DeadFred and it is a photo archive where folks upload old photos in the hope that they can be reconnected with descendants or relatives. Read here how the site provided a real genealogy gem for Elizabeth and get a link to the website.  

7.  Diane Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family blog posted another informative and useful piece this week. Her post of March 30th titled "A Sense of Place" provides tips on resources that help scratch the itch that many genealogists have to learn as much as possible about the places where ancestors and relatives actually lived. And as Diane notes, "If you want to solve a brick wall, one best practice is to learn as much as possible about the nearest locations you can find." For those with Rhode Island roots, Diane identifies the wonderful work and guides done by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission. Read Diane's post here and get the convenient and useful links she provides. [NOTE: I have used one of the RIHPHC guides myself and posted about how it solved a problem for me -- with a little help from my mother too. You can see that post here if interested.]
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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  1. Thanks for the mention. Since I had luck at DeadFred once, I really should check it regularly! I hope I have prompted many readers to take a quick look. I'm hoping to read about someone else's find soon.

  2. Great post, John. Diane Boumenot is so amazingly thorough on her blog that I wish I had a passel of RI ancestors!!
    Cheers - I always enjoy your posts, even if I don't comment.