17 August 2017

Mail Order Kit Houses – Not just Sears sold these!


Mail Order Kit Houses – Not just Sears sold these!

This post starts in MS.  The Preservation in Mississippi blog has once again introduced me to something I didn’t know about – Aladdin Homes!

The post, The Aladdin Company’s Order Ledger talks about this company that “had a mail order catalog that offered plans and all the lumber you would need to build a house, pre-cut.”

I am familiar with the Sears catalog homes -- “Sears reported that more than 70,000 of these homes were sold in North America between 1908 and 1940.” I didn’t realize that there were several other companies that also produced/sold “Kit House(s).”  Sears does maintain an Archive.

Want to learn more about the Aladdin Company and its kit houses?  Check out this digital archive (Clarke Historical Library). Via the catalog section, you can get a sense of what homes were available for purchase in 1911 and 1932-1934.

Begun in 1906 by two brothers, Otto and William Sovereign, the family-owned firm continued to manufacture houses until 1981. Over the firm's long history it sold over 75,000 homes to both individual and corporate customers.

Maybe your family purchased theirs from Montgomery Ward (Wardway Homes)? Additional resources can be found at kithouse.org.





Did any of your family live in a “kit” house?

What other resource materials survive for these homes you ordered from a catalog?

Did any form of pre-fabricated and/or kit-type houses exist before the dawn of the 20th century?








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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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16 August 2017

Telephone Booths … Going, Going, Almost Gone!


Telephone Booths … Going, Going, Almost Gone!

Let me say up front that I “think” we always had a phone in our house, even when we lived in several rentals (starting when I was about 3).  I could be wrong.

That said, phone booths were so ever-present until recently.

·        In high school, they were by the cafeteria.
·        In town, you could always find one near a gas station, inside a diner, around hotels and related, malls, and elsewhere.
·        In Europe, I remember visiting places that were just phone booths and you signed up for a time slot to make your cross-Atlantic phone call back home.
·        In airports, train and bus stations, they seemed to be everywhere!

I cannot tell you when I last saw a working phone booth.  Every airport I’ve been in this year has banks where phonebooths used to be and now they sit as silent reminders of what was.

Basically, I remember that when traveling, you always made sure you had some change just in case you needed to make a call.  I have a vivid memory of being pregnant, tired, hungry, and frustrated (not necessarily in that order) in Jackson Hole, WY, and trying to remotely convey all of that to my husband as I inserted a continuous stream of quarters into a payphone!  Effective though not necessarily satisfying.

I also remember the frustration when the phone book was missing or missing so many pages that the number you needed was amongst the missing.  Thanks goodness for the operators!

The day I switched to a cellphone is also a vivid memory.  It was about 16 years ago and I was driving with my kids and the car broke down.  The nearest phone booth was easily over a mile away.  We were in a neighborhood and I decided to visit the nearby houses and ask to use their phone to call AAA.  I had to go to several houses before someone would let me in (actually brought a cordless phone to me outside) so that I could call AAA.  It made me realize how vulnerable I was.  Yet, I remember being on highways, in the middle of nowhere, with a flat tire, and before you knew it, someone would stop, help you change the tire and you’d be on your way again (though, I did make sure I knew how to change my tires!).

I was reminded of all this when I read Those Disappearing Telephone Booths (Preservation in Mississippi blog).

A Wikipedia article about telephone booths tells us that some countries no longer have “any” telephone booths in operation anywhere!

A few months ago, CBS posted Last call for the phone booth? Which talks about the rise and now fall of an institution that some people alive have never used (including my own 20 something children)!  The article talks about The Payphone Project which has an associated Facebook Page. Want to see what payphones are still in your community, check here.

Of course, there was also a time before payphones … and, I’m not that old!

Time does march on, and institutions very familiar to us aren’t familiar at all to our children.  Well, the same goes for our ancestors.  There are businesses and services that they used that are completely unknown to us. 




What are your favorite memories of telephone booths?

When was the last time you used one?

Are any still standing in your 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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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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15 August 2017

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the National Genealogical Society's 2018 Family History Conference


Hotel Reservations Now Open for the National Genealogical Society's 2018 Family History Conference

Arlington, VA, 15 AUGUST 2017— Effective 15 August 2017, you may reserve accommodations for the National Genealogical Society’s fortieth annual Family History Conference, Paths to Your Past, which will be held 2−5 May 2018 at the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The conference program will focus on ancestors’ migration paths with an emphasis on the states that border the Great Lakes, strategic waterways that aided Americans moving west and immigrants coming from overseas through Canada to settle and develop the Midwest throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some lectures will enhance your proficiency as a researcher and your methodological and analytical skills. Other presentations will broaden your understanding about your ancestors’ ethnicity, occupation, religion, military experience, economic status, and associations. In addition, the program will feature tracks that highlight DNA and technology.

NGS offers attendees two discounted hotels, convenient to the convention center.  The Amway Grand Plaza is the primary conference hotel and is connected to DeVos Place by an enclosed walkway. Conference attendees may also stay at the nearby Courtyard Marriott, which is connected to DeVos Place by an enclosed walkway through several city blocks. Hotels will begin accepting reservations for the conference on 15 August 2017.

Since past experience has shown that conference hotels tend to fill quickly, early reservations are recommended if you intend to register and attend the conference. The hotels are offering the NGS rate three days before and three days after the conference so participants can do research or go sight-seeing in the area. Please check the hotels’ websites for cancellation rules and additional amenities. Full details and links for NGS discounted, online reservations can be found on the NGS conference website. Attendees must request the NGS Family History Conference rate if making phone reservations.

As the second largest city in the state, Grand Rapids has a thriving economy with a small-town feel, friendly people, and safe walkable streets. DeVos Place is adjacent to the Grand River. Come early or stay after the conference to enjoy a walk along the river in the morning, visit nearby museums in the afternoon, and dine at a wide variety of restaurants, cafés, and breweries nearby in the evening. To learn about area research facilities for family history, refer to the conference Announcement Brochure on the NGS conference website.

The four-day NGS 2018 Family History Conference promises to be a great opportunity for family historians to advance their research, hone their skills, and network with fellow genealogists. Be sure to reserve your hotel accommodations as soon as possible.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.






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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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14 August 2017

Though 95% Said Heritage Is White British, The Average Villager is Just 42% British


Though 95% Said Heritage Is White British, The Average Villager is Just 42% British


Angie Bush (our NGS DNA expert), shares her thoughts “DNA testing brings a village even closer together. Several residents of Bledington, Gloucestershire, recently took the AncestryDNA test and discovered many exciting things about their ancestry and how connected they really are. As one villager said: 'This whole experience has been wonderful, a real opportunity. It's really brought the community spirit back to Bledington.'”

So, think you know what your ancestry is!?!?  DNA testing might just tell you something different.



What has surprised you the most about your DNA test results?






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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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10 August 2017

NMAAHC Ustream Channel


NMAAHC Ustream Channel

From our friends at the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) …

Now you can access some of our outstanding public programs in the comfort of your own homes or anywhere, thanks to USTREAM, a subsidiary of IBM, a Founding Donor of the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Our USTREAM channel features many public programs, such as Janet Langhart Cohen's Anne & Emmett play performed in the Oprah Winfrey Theater. This one-act play depicts an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, both victims of racial intolerance and hatred.

You can also watch The Clement A. Price Lecture Series: The Summer of Black Power: The Uprising in Newark Reconsidered, recorded with special guest speaker New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

In the mood for jazz? Featured in our summer newsletter, the April performance of jazz innovator Randy Weston is also available to stream at our channel.

See these programs and many more on the NMAAHC USTREAM channel now!

We hope you enjoy this incredible resource.

Sincerely,
The NMAAHC Membership Team

Also available online on this channel is Healing the Sick, Burying the Dead: African American Religious Practices and much more.

Much of the content is live performances and discussions that have been taped and are now available.




Which program on the NMAAHC Ustream Channel was most valuable to you?


What other Ustream Channels might be of interest to genealogists and family historians?










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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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09 August 2017

Commonly Used Word Translation Lists – still invaluable even in our increasingly digitized world!


Commonly Used Word Translation Lists – still invaluable even in our increasingly digitized world!

Though I now have ready access to Google Translate and other online translation tools, I still find word lists helpful.

A major part of that is that:
(1) word lists include genealogy-specific terms
(2) sometimes the language used in older documents is considered archaic and not always part of online translators or dictionaries

These are always examples of genealogists helping genealogists.

I was reminded of this when I re-reviewed the commonly used words translated lists created back in 2015 by Relatively Curious about Genealogy.  The languages included are Czech, Danish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Afrikaans, Finnish, Hungarian, Latin, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Swedish.

And, FamilySearch still has the word lists it created years ago.  These are still invaluable and the wiki page Word List is the easiest way to access these.  Back in the day I used the Finnish, Swedish, German and Polish versions exhaustively as I researched Finnish and Ruthenian ancestors.


Do a google search on “genealogy” and “word list” and many others will come up such as the Norwegian Genealogy Dictionary, Old Flemish Words, and numerous other helpful websites.



What is your favorite genealogical word list?









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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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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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08 August 2017

Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives – some great resources for those researching immigrant ancestors



Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives – some great resources for those researching immigrant ancestors

As usual, something stumbled across led to further exploration.

In this case, there is an article on line, “How Immigrants Are Inspected at Ellis Island circa 1903”, from an article published in 1905.  It gives a fascinating insight into the inspection process that our ancestors, who immigrated during the peak years, endured.

Being the curious person that I am, I then checked out the website where the article is found, the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives; the efforts of one person -- Paul K. Gjenvick.

Launched on January 1, 2000, the GG Archives offers access to more than 10,000 documents and photographs, including passenger lists, original immigrant passage contracts, steamship brochures, immigration related documents and much more.

There is also an associated Facebook (FB) page. A great way to keep up on what’s new on the website.

If like me, you are researching immigrant ancestors, it is worth a check. Even if you don’t find your ancestors included, resources like the Ellis Island Immigration Experience (an extension of the article first mentioned) and A Guide to Immigration Resources at the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives (created for youth and interesting to adults as well!) are very helpful.  Did I mention that the website is FREE?



What was your favorite find on the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives website?









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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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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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