30 July 2014

Retronaut -- the Photographic Time-Machine



Long time readers know that as much as I love maps, I also love photos.

I just learned about another photo site, Retronaut (FREE to join though you will need to register). It is self described by:

Retronaut is a photographic time machine.

It is a digital collection of tens of thousands of pictures from across the past, all with one thing in common - each one has the power to warp your sense of time.

Our team mines archives online and offline, unearthing pictures that seem not to belong to the time when they were created, that dissolve away the years like tarnish on a ring, that take our collective map of the past and tear tiny holes in it - holes through which we glimpse the real past lying underneath our map.

These are pictures that show not so much the past as they show “now” – but another version of now.

In the course of learning more about this site, I came across this article 'Retronauting': why we can't stop sharing old photographs.  The article talks about our interest in old photographs and mentions another site HistoryInPix (link is to Pinterest page).  A Google search on History + Pictures + Collections brought up a massive collection of such.  So, as you research your ancestors, you might check to see if there are any image collections particular to the place and/or time of their lives.

For me, the interest in pictures (and maps) is that as a visual person, I love to “see” what the world was like as seen and experienced by my ancestors.

What is your favorite historic photo collection?


Editor’s Note:  Old photograph collections are not a new topic for Upfront with NGS.  Catch previous posts on the topic:
+ you can also “search” on Upfront with NGS + Photos or Photographs or Images and some “mini bytes” will show up





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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29 July 2014

Oh Canada ... family history research just keeps getting easier!



Researching Canadian records is getting easier and easier.

Every time I get an update about what is new on the Héritage website, I salivate.

The Héritage project is a 10-year initiative to digitize and make accessible online some of Canada’s most popular archival collections encompassing roughly 60 million pages of primary-source documents. Chronicling the country and its people from the 1600s to the mid-1900s, this collection represents a vast and unique resource for Canadian historians, students, and genealogists.

Here are a few of the “newest” items added to this collection (courtesy of the Library and Archives Canada Blog):

1946 Army Central Registry
Adolphe-Philippe Caron fonds
Department of Agriculture: Docket and letterbook registry system, general correspondence
Department of Agriculture, Dominion Chemist: Letterbooks, 1889–1933
Department of Indian Affairs: General accounts, 1846–1979
Department of Indian Affairs: Trust fund journals, 1875–1938
Department of Labour, Economics and Research Branch: Strikes and lockout files
Department of Militia and Defence: Registers and lists of officers
Department of Public Works, Board of Works records: Registers and indexes
Department of Transport: Civil aircraft registration, inspection and operation files, 1920–1986
Deputy Postmaster General: Letterbooks related to personnel
Letterbooks of the Office of the Deputy Minister of Justice
Meteorological Service, 1874–1933
Montreal Amateur Athletic Association fonds
Office of the Indian Reserve Commissioner for the Province of British Columbia
Operational records of the Penitentiary Branch, 1834–1962
Parish registers: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec
Records and correspondence sent from the Postmaster General
Registers to letters received by the Postmaster General’s office
Registry files related to the Railway Branch
Soldiers Settlement Board: The Platt Books
Walter Livingstone-Learmonth diaries
War Cabinet Committee, 1938–1945
War diaries
World War I: Veterans claim cards

What a diverse wealth of information available at your fingertips and while still in your jammies as you sip your coffee (or tea).

Do recognize that these are digitized microfilm reels.  These records are NOT indexed and they are made available to you in a browsable format – no different than sitting down at a “virtual” microfilm reader.

You can search the entire collection or you can browse features collections: Genealogy, Aboriginal History, Government Documents, Military History, and Landmark Papers.

It makes me wish I was currently researching a Canadian family.  Hmmm. I might have to revisit my husband’s ancestry.






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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28 July 2014

Historic Properties ... fewer and fewer as time goes by ...

NC Listing from Preservation Directory.com Historic Real Estate Listing Page

We often talk about preservation and access to documents, images, media files, buildings, land, etc.  Each has historical relevance.  As we also often discuss, it’s not possible to keep it all.  Documents and image files can take up lots of space, land usage might change from being a battlefield to those “needed” condos, buildings might deteriorate or need to pave way for a new hotel, etc.

We can only “keep” so much.  This came to mind yet again when reading my local newspaper on Sunday.  Within three pages, there were two articles about the possible sale and/or destruction of two pre-1850 inns.  The first article is State’s Oldest Surviving Inn Up For Sale (depending on outlet, piece titled Historic Western North Carolina hotel up for sale)

The inn has welcomed guests since 1833, the same year Yancey County was formed and a year before the town was established. The three-story clapboard colonial has 26 rooms and a large dining facility that could be a stand-alone restaurant.

Beginning in 1838, the inn mostly served travelers conducting business in the county seat. Later years brought a restaurant that locals remember fondly for its Southern cooking and family-style Sunday dinners.

Talk about history.  Imagine what those walls have heard.   Imagine how the accommodations and locales have changed through time.  These buildings are a part of a rich history.  Unfortunately, time has not been kind to either of them.  How do you assess what to keep and what to destroy?  Know that it is not enough to be listed on the
National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

This designation is not a guarantee that a historic building will be preserved; it’s just a designation that a historic place is worthy of preservation.

This got me curious as to how many historic properties are at risk or are on the market.  The short answer is A LOT.

I stumbled across Preservation Directory.com and its historic real estate listing page. Preservation North Carolina also has a similar listing page for NC So many places, big and small, and what were religious, industrial, residential, and other types of structures, are all listed on the market.  The reality is that for many of these structures, if they are not sold, the might be torn down so that the land can be sold.

This is our reality.  It just makes the historic properties that we can continue to enjoy, all the sweeter.  Though we can grind our teeth over properties already lost or which will be lost imminently, I suggest that we celebrate every historic property still standing.  It takes a lot to keep any property viable, never mind a historic one.  When traveling, do visit historic properties.  Every historic property is a legacy left by our ancestors and reflects something about their lives.  Priceless.




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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25 July 2014

Upfront Mini Bytes – Adoption, Chicago, Tribal Maps, Odd French Linguistics, Surname Distribution, Tips for Reading Old Handwriting, Historic Photos, and Digitized Australian Newspapers

Editor’s Note: After a brief moratorium, Upfront Mini Bytes are back!

Welcome to our newest edition of our periodic feature Upfront Mini Bytes.  In Upfront Mini Bytes we provide eight tasty bits of genealogy news that will help give you a deeper byte into your family history research. Each item is short and sweet.  We encourage you to check out the links to articles, blog posts, resources, and anything genealogical!

We hope you found the past editions helpful.  Use your favorite search engine with “Upfront with NGS” “Mini Bytes” or use this Google search link.

Do you have questions, suggestions for future posts, or comments?  Please post a comment or send an e-mail to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


The Adoption History Project has a neat online archive.  Many in our family history community are adopted or are researching adoptions involving ancestors.  It has subsections labeled: Timeline, People & Organizations, Adoption Studies/Science, Topics in Adoption History, Further Reading, and Document Archives.  There is a lot of helpful material here, especially when you are seeking historical context.
 
Have roots or connections to Chicago?  Checkout This Clever Map Compares Chicago Before and After the Great Fire. You can overlay two maps: “One, culled from Google Maps’ API, shows Chicago of (roughly) today. The other is a color map of the city drawn in 1868, three years before the Great Fire.”

2010 Census - Tribal Tract Reference Maps are available from the US Census Bureau. These give you a very detailed perspective on tribal census tracts and tribal block groups as delineated to support 2010 Census data dissemination. The maps also show the boundaries and names of American Indian reservations, off-reservation trust lands (ORTLs), Alaska Native areas, Hawaiian home lands, states, counties, county subdivisions, places, and much more.  A great resource to match against historic maps and visualize how reservations have changed through time.

If you are doing French genealogy, be aware of some Linguistic Oddities. “Beyond the study of name-mangling in parish and civil registrations is the issue of odd terminology ... Reading civil and parish registrations is repetitious work and just as we begin to doze off, invariably, an odd term will snap us awake, even make us laugh. But these terms can be baffling as well, so today we give a mini-lexicon.”

Appreciating where surnames might be found can often help us advance our genealogy research.  One tool that might help you is PublicProfiler WorldnamesAt this site, you enter your surname (or the one that interests you) and run a search to determine the world-wide distribution of the name.  Do know that you need to enter an email address and indicate gender to get started.  The coverage is North American, Europe, the UK, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina. The map shown is for Barna which fits my ancestor’s migration from Galicia (Poland near the borders with the Ukraine and Slovakia (previously Kingdom of Hungary).

Though not “new” definitely important to our research: Tips for reading old handwriting, Tips for Reading Old Records: Handwriting, Spelling, and Boundaries, and Deciphering Old Handwriting.  If you want to test yourself on Early American Handwriting, play this “game” to decode the messages of handwritten documents.  How did you do?

A fun visual bit of history, 14 Amateur Photos Taken With the Very First Consumer Camera. “Introduced in 1888, the Kodak No. 1 was the first camera marketed to average consumers. And thanks to a new set of images from the National Media Museum, we can now see what kinds of photos these early amateurs shot.”

Trove is a wonderful collection of digitized Australian newspapers.  It includes National, Regional, and State newspapers.  As of earlier this week there were 13,683,606 pages consisting of 131,943,198 articles available to search, covering from 1803 to 2007. Learn more about the Australian Newspaper Digitsation Program.




Editor’s Note: Thanks to everyone that responded to the Upfront Mini Bytes survey.  Based on your feedback, this feature will continue with the same format and frequency.


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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24 July 2014

Changing Funeral Customs

Google Image Search "Funeral Customs"

Funeral rituals and customs are such an important part of our culture, though, as with every other ritual or element of our culture, they have changed through time.


Add the once somewhat common all-night wake to the casualties of an age of harried lifestyles and far-flung families.

Years ago, the practice of friends and families gathering for an all-night visitation was observed in various traditions, with the boisterous “Irish wake” perhaps the most well-known.

But the observance has become rare in this area except for American Indians, where it still is commonly practiced, according to funeral directors and clergy.

Have you noticed the same change in how wakes are handled in your family or community ?

Are there other funeral rituals which have waned?  Definitely.  As stated in Funeral customs undergoing rapid change, the number of cremations is steadily on the rise.

Funeral customs in the United States are undergoing rapid change. In the 1980s, the percent of bodies cremated first reached double digits, according to the Cremation Association of North America. The group estimates that cremation will account for the disposition of nearly 60 percent of all bodies in 2025.

And, what about the use of tech ?!?!  Whether it’s sending a condolence note to be posted on the designated funeral homes page or as stated in Mourning becomes electric: Tech changes the way we grieve ... 

In this new era, the bereaved readily share their sorrow via Facebook comments. They light virtual candles on memorial websites, upload video tributes to YouTube and express sadness through online funeral home guest books. Mourners affix adhesive-backed "QR code" chips to the tombstones of their beloved, so visitors can pull up photos and videos with a scan of a smartphone.

Those in need of consolation can replay the streaming video of a funeral service to hear a cleric's comforting words.... 

You can learn more about trends in funeral services from the National Funeral Directors Association or when in Houston TX, visit the National Museum of Funeral History.

Have you noticed changes in funeral customs & rituals in your family or community ?







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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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23 July 2014

SC "Digitization in a Box" program is a boon to family historians -- What is your state doing to help local communities digitally preserve invaluable content?


We all love digitization projects.  Often, a hurdle to such projects for a community (government, library, archives, etc) is a lack of money and/or know how to make such a project happen.

Well, SC is one state doing something about that !  As reported in SC libraries get help putting historic materials online

The South Carolina State Library is offering Digitization in a Box to the state's libraries to put their historic photos and documents online.

"Almost every public library in South Carolina has their own local history collection, their own South Carolina room, or someone who as donated photographs or other historical information about their community," said Digital Project Supervisor Amanda Stone. "A lot of times these small public libraries don't have the expertise to do anything with them."

Stone oversees the program, which provides the library with the equipment, software, and expertise to scan the documents and put them online so they are easy to find. Libraries get the service for two months, with an option for a third month.

This is a really great resource for SC libraries.  Read more about “Digitization in a Box.”

Are you aware of similar projects run by other states?

I see where Indiana has a grant program for libraries and cultural institutions to digitize and preserve Indiana history.

Additionally, state libraries can apply for and benefit from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) which dispenses funds that can be used for digitization efforts such as the Evansville, Wisconsin Digitization Project.  Here is a page about such grants as issued in NC for digitization (as well as other needs). There is a list on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Page, Funding for Library Digitization Projects which talks about Federal, Private and TX-based foundation funding options.

Basically, most local libraries, archives, cultural institutions, etc, do not have the expertise nor funds to digitize their invaluable contents.  Any program that can provide funding or technical support to local initiatives benefits us all.






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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22 July 2014

WDYTYA is not just a US or UK Phenomenon ....


Tomorrow is a night that many have been waiting for, the start of the 5th season of Who Do You Think You Are?

I’ve always known about the UK version of the show, upon which the US version is based, and it got me curious to know if there are other versions.

The answer is YES.  The Wikipedia page for the UK version, has a list of international versions.  Who knows, maybe one of your ancestral lines has been a subject presented on one of these other verions.

Country
Local Name
Network
Air Dates
January 2008
11 October 2007 – 31 January 2008
Qui êtes-vous?
8 November 2013
9 January 2013
Ved du hvem du er?
15 September 2010 – 17 March 2012
Kuka oikein olet?
9 January 2012
31 March 2008 –
15 September 2008 – present
Mi Ata Hoshev She'ata
4 February 2010
Verborgen verleden
29 September 2010 – 2 March 2013
Hvem tror du at du er
January 2011
Sekrety rodzinne
November 2006 – March 2007
Quem É que Tu Pensas Que És?
15 January 2013
Моя родословная
1 July 2009 – 12 February 2011
Who Do You Think You Are?
31 May 2009
Spring 2009
NBC (2010-2012)
TLC (2013-present)
5 March 2010 – present


Have you watched any of the non-US or UK versions?  What did you think?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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