20 August 2014

Disappearing smells and sounds -- can we bottle them?


I first came across a post 11 Smells That Are Slowly Disappearing which then indirectly got me to 11 Sounds That Your Kids Have Probably Never Heard.

I have to say that the #1 listed disappearing smell, Spirit Duplicators, rang a bell for me.  I used to have responsibility for producing many a purple “ditto” sheets for teachers, groups meeting and much more.  Ahhh ... another bit of my childhood which is a distant memory and definitely not an experience my children had.  #4 also caught my eye – freshly-opened Polaroid Film. My dad was big into cameras and that included a Polaroid camera.

I had to laugh at the #1 listed disappearing sound – Rotary Dial Telephone as just the other night I was explaining to my daughter (something mentioned in a movie we were watching reminded me of these phones) about how they worked.  So many times I would get part way through a phone number and then my finger slipped and I had to start all over again!  And, thinking back to photography -- #4 – Flash Cube was another classic sound heard in my household.


Though myself and my kids are now used to get a gazillion (or so it seems) tv channels which are always on, I do remember when each station would shut off and you just got the static until the station re-started in the morning.  I also remember when we only got about 4 channels and we had to turn the dial to shift our antenna since it had to be pointing in the correct direction for each channel to display properly.  I can say, as a person who has a digital tuner and still periodically catches channels over the air, I’ve given my kids a flash-back experience as I’ve had them adjust the antenna to get better reception .

Which of the listed items got your old-factory or auditory memories flowing?

Just think, our ancestors could have created similar lists as elements of their life disappeared.  What might a list of 11 Smells That Disappeared by 1900 look like? or Sounds That Your Grandparents Never Heard (that their parents did)?




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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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19 August 2014

How Americans Have Moved Between States Since 1900


Though many families remain in the same area for decades, if not centuries, there are other families that we know or research who are more mobile and whom we are constantly chasing from place to place.

The Upshot (New York Times) recently did a feature called Where We Came From, State by State.  This looks at each state, since 1900, every decade, and maps out where the people who lived in the state were born.

It provides a fascinating visual representation of how the population’s composition for each state has changed in the last 100+ years and in what ways.  I looked at North Carolina (where I live). People like me who migrated in from the Northeast have impacted the composition of its population.  As I expected, its neighbor South Carolina, has experienced similar in-migration. It is fascinating to identify those states where the majority of the population is actually native-born in the state, while other states have only a small percentage of people born in the state.

Scroll your mouse over any map for any population group for any decade and the details of what residents were born elsewhere are provided.

Were you surprised by what was depicted by your state?

Information like this helps us theorize where seemingly lost “ancestors” may have moved, if they were participating in a large migration from elsewhere.





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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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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 2014

FREE Access to Australian Records via MyHeritage, 15-22 Aug 2014



If you are researching Australian ancestors, whether you have started or not, this is a great time to take advantage of MyHeritage and FREE access to Australian Records for the week starting today (15 August 2014) and ending on 22 August 2014.

Do you have Australian ancestry? Would you like to learn more about the lives of your ancestors and uncover your family history?

In honor of Australian National Family History Month, we invite you to discover your Australian heritage with FREE access to many of our Australian record collections from August 15-22, 2014.

Historical records are a great way to learn more information about the lives of your ancestors and add details to your family tree. Discover your Australian roots by searching through birth, marriage and death certificates, electoral rolls, school records and more.

Want more tips to help in your family history research? Register now for our FREE webinar on Monday, August 18, 2014 on "Golden Genealogy Rules: Tips to uncover your family heritage." We’ll cover interviewing family relatives, building a family tree, record searching and more, in addition to the opportunity to ask questions of our presenter, Australian geneablogger and genealogist Shauna Hicks.

As always, please share any “neat” finds you make!



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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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Slave and Free States (US) Through History



The title of this post comes from a Wikipedia page by the same name, Slave and free states ...
In United States' history, a slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery was legal at a particular point of time, and a free state was one in which slavery was prohibited at that point of time. The issue of slavery was one of the causes of the American Civil War. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery throughout the United States, and the distinction ended.

Obviously, the status of a state was not stagnant.  As new territories and then states were created, their identification as a slave or free state initially took place.  In most cases, what was a slave territory became a slave state and the same held for free territories.

The most compelling feature of this webpage is the animated map showing the free/slaves status of U.S. states and territories, 1789-1861.  I did find it interesting to learn that between 1812 and 1850, there was a concerted effort in the Senate to maintain the balance of free and slave state votes.

If your ancestors were moving westward through time, this gives you some perspective on whether the state they moved to was considered a free or a slave state.  This might tell you something about your family – their choice of destination location (territory or state).




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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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14 August 2014

Please, Please, Please treat cemeteries and tombstones with respect!

A resource for Gravestone Preservation
Unfortunately, the news tells us the tale of a person wanting to do good and instead doing incredible harm.  This is a common tale.  We are all ignorant of much!  It’s important, especially when there is a chance of harm, to do our homework, and then proceed with care and respect.

Michael J Leclerc’s blog post Danger in the Graveyard talks about the original tragic story involving a Tennessee cemetery and then discusses all the techniques NOT to be used on tombstones to make them more legible!  Basically, anything beyond water (or under the guidance of an expert on Graveyard preservation) is a NO NO! 

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a useful Cemetery Preservation page with links to some helpful resources.  It starts out by saying “There are no state laws that describe the techniques for preservation of cemeteries and gravestones, but there are best practices and standards to meet to assure that you are preserving the site in a way that will not eventually lead to damage.”  This is true for many states. 

Another element of this story is that this individual did NOT have the permission of the church to which the cemetery belonged to with regards to taking photos.  The Legal Genealogist (Judy G Russell) has a great post Cemetery photos: permission required? where she discusses this topic in great depth.  Also, do read all the comments posted, there is a lot of neat dialog and information to be found.  I found that NC has many statutes that protect cemeteries as summarized on this North Carolina Office of State Archaeology page The North Caroline Cemetery Survey and Protective Legislation.  You might find similar statutes in your own state.

The perpetrators intent was to upload the images to Find a Grave.  Judy has another post Grave terms of use where she talks in detail about Find A Grave and BillionGraves, as two examples of crowdsourcing for tombstones and other death information.

We cannot know it all!  There is no question about that! A great benefit of the “web” is that we can educate ourselves before we take on any project. Sometimes that education is that what we want to accomplish is something we are NOT qualified to do or for which we don’t have the tools.  Rather than put a tombstone, building, landmark, etc., at risk – just STOP.  As we enjoy and cherish historical objects and sites, we want future generations to be able to share in the same experience.

It’s not like you would dive into doing electrical work without some training or under the supervision of an experienced professional.  Why would you think you know how to properly handle a historic tombstone?

Please do continue to have a passion for documenting tombstones for posterity.  We know that the elements and time will and have already taken a toll and that our efforts will help future generations see images and content from tombstones which may no longer exist.  And, let’s try to not to hasten the deterioration of these edifices honoring our ancestors in our enthusiasm.  Let’s do our homework on what is the proper and respectful care that the contents of cemeteries and graveyards deserve.





Editor’s Note: Upfront with NGS posts on related topics:




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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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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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13 August 2014

Even now records are at risk to be lost ... Fires, flooding, theft, etc., are NOT just something that happened to our ancestors!



Recent events remind us that fires and floods and theft are not just the purview of when our ancestors lived, they are events that happen every day.  Every time they happen, a bit of history can be lost or in these cases, a lot of history!

Late July 14/early July 15, burglars broke into the church through a window, and then broke into a locked office. There, across from Chaska’s City Square Park, they lugged out a 3-foot by 3-foot metal safe. The safe held about four ledgers recording births, weddings and deaths, as well as an index... All the pivotal moments in the life of a Moravian parishioner, from about 1920 all the way to a baptism recorded within the last two weeks, were in the books, Eder said. The earliest records of the Chaska church, founded in 1858, have been shipped to the church’s headquarters in Bethlehem, Penn., he said.

In 1885, the Hancock County Courthouse was two years old when an all-white jury upheld the wishes of David Dickson, a wealthy planter who had left much of his estate to his illegitimate daughter born of a slave mother... Investigators called the building a total loss. It housed the county commissioners’ office, Probate Court, Superior Court and the elections office... Foster said clerks of the Probate and Superior courts used walk-in vaults to store many important documents, like deeds and birth certificates. Doors to the vaults typically are closed at the end of the work day, he said... Joslyn said many court records were microfilmed in the 1950s. Although the microfilm can be tough to read at times, the film is stored at the state archives.

Though I often comment to my clients that “real life” can take precedence over our research into our ancestors as the long-deceased are just that and their records will continue to be available into the future. Events such as these serve as a reminder that my assertion might not be completely true.  Fortunately, even our modern court houses and churches do not hold ALL the records created during the lives of our ancestors.  We just have to be a bit more creative in what types of records we research.

That said, it behooves us to do what we can to “preserve” records important to future genealogists and family historians.


Please do what you can to help ensure that your local records remain safe.  Make sure they at least get transcribed by a person or society, or better yet, possibly provide financial support so they are microfilmed.

What have you or your society done recently to ensure that local records will remain available to future family historians?

Do you know of a situation where all was not lost in a fire, flood, theft, etc., due to steps having been taken to ensure that at least the content (if not the physical records themselves) of records was preserved?



Editor’s Note: Previous Upfront with NGS posts on related topics:


P.S. If you happen to know if the safe was recovered or if there is any knowledge on what survived (or didn't) the courthouse fire, please post a comment to let us know.





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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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11 August 2014

Who do you resemble? Are you a doppleganger for someone in your family or has the visual connection remained elusive?



Who do you resemble in your family tree?  Anyone, no one, sometimes one person and then seemingly at other times another person?

I have often been told that I look somewhat like my dad while my sisters look more like my mom. I never thought of my husband as resembling his father until a picture taken many years ago, in quasi-profile, of my husband, his father, and his paternal grandmother was taken. You couldn’t miss the resemblance, yet, when you talk with them, it just didn’t jump out at you.  At times in his life, my son has resembled my sister and my brother-in-law! Two different sides of his family tree.  As my nephew grows older, where he once strongly resembled his father, he more and more resembles my sister, his mother. My aunt as a young woman looked like my grandmother (her mother) when she was a young woman, though, when older, neither looked like the other?


Resemblance is the basis of our perception of race and ethnicity.  It is also a favourite topic of conversation at family gatherings – proclaimed where it is strikingly apparent, or perhaps whispered where it is lacking.  Families generally like it when their male biological offspring look like their fathers and females look like their mothers, perhaps with the odd feature thrown in to mark the other half’s creative stamp (“He’s the spitting image of you, but he’s got my eyes”).  Some may start life looking like one parent, then ‘morph’ into the other as they get older.  Certain facial features may perpetuate for generations, or, fascinatingly, even skip generations.  What family historian hasn’t felt a thrill when they unearth an old photograph of a long forgotten ancestor with a distinct family resemblance?  DNA never forgets.

Do look at all the examples.  What do you think of the seemingly unrelated doppelgangers at the end?

Are there strong "family" resemblances in your family?  Have who people resembled morphed through time in your family tree?





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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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