The sun is out and the weather is cool so I intend to get some fresh air and complete yard work before the next deluge descends.
Think shelter in place lessens your genealogical connections? Think again! This is an awesome article that reminds us we need to sometimes not only think out of the box to discover our heritage, we often don’t need to look far at all!
The Washington Post’s article – Amid the pandemic, a family learns their neighbors are their long-lost relatives will make you smile, remind you that your family stories are often close but not always 100% accurate and the coincidences that occur while sleuthing can just boggle the mind. My immediate family has gotten used to my striking up conversations with strangers and discovering our families often had a shared past but this story takes it to a new level. Enjoy!
It’s been an interesting day in the Samuelson household which is the reason my blog is late. I don’t know about you but since we’ve been sheltering-in-place, we’ve had way too many broken devices. The odd thing is that most were under warranty and when those were being “serviced,” it resulted in another breakage. First it was the hot tub, then it was the refrigerator, and now it’s a yard that is a total disaster.
Before the world came to a stop, hubby and I had discussed having a well put in so that our garden could be watered more frequently in the dry season then our city permits. I had contacted a company who said they would be out the following week which turned out to be 6 weeks later. Now this wasn’t the fault of the company; in our area there are various environmental permits that must be acquired and the company couldn’t comply with the laws because none of the other organizations were opened. Finally, the permits were obtained and the well was supposed to be drilled yesterday.
My husband told the two service men to be careful because he thought there was buried cables where they planned to dig. I then showed them a photo from the last time we had the underground cable locators out showing exactly where the buried lines were. Did these two guys listen? Since you already know the answer, I’ll just continue…
Hubby was on a work related Zoom meeting and I was researching on FindMyPast when the internet connection was lost. We went outside and there were these two young men looking sullenly down at the broken cables. They had also cut the sprinkler line.
Thank goodness we were able to have the line restored this morning but then there was the matter of who was paying for the charge. The owner of the well company said he would take care of it but the connection wasn’t a simple one and now someone else is going to have to come out to bury cable and get it under our driveway. And dig up the whole front of our yard to bury the new line.
In the meantime, while the well company was trying to fix the broken sprinkler line, a torrential downpour occurred. They left in a hurry with the job undone. Hubby, who had been trying to help them, came in drenched and cold. I ordered him to the shower and that’s when we realized they had the water turned off. So, out we go in the downpour to turn the water back on. Then we noticed that something was amiss – we just didn’t have the pressure we had previously had. After the storm subsided we went back outside and discovered the company had left the sprinkler on and it had been coming out full force for two hours. This resulted in flooding on that side of the house. Yeah, it’s been a day! But we do have internet!!!
So, being homebound with no access to the outside world I decided I would catch up on my reading. I am happy to report I’ve read my back issues of Smithsonian, National Geo, AAA and various journals. My favorite, though, was the winter issue of American Ancestors. The entire magazine is devoted to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower. Even if you aren’t a Mayflower descendant, this is a must read.
My favorite articles were “We are still here,” a Wampanoag perspective, “Keeping Tradition Alive, A Portrayal of Wampanoag Life,” “New Discoveries in Mayflower Genealogy Uncovering Connections through DNA,” “Finding Unexpected Mayflower Kinships,” and “Ideas for Future Mayflower Research.”
The last three articles provide hints for anyone who is trying to locate records from the time period, even if you don’t have a Mayflower connection. Checking manorial records, registers, and recusancy (a record of nonconformists who refused to attend Church of England services) are excellent sources to use to hunt down your elusive ancestors. I had used the recusancy records years ago when researching some of my Quaker ancestors but had forgotten about that tool. I plan to check it out again as I search for one of my Hollingshead family members who had left merry ole England for New Jersey by way of Barbados.
The first two articles, from a Native American perspective, were clearly the best of the bunch. I learned so much and what sticks in my mind most is the original reason for wampum belts. If you thought, as I had, they were currency, well, you just have to read the article. I was blown away by truth. (Hint: read page 27!) I was aware of Native American’s culture that honors the elderly and ancestors but I had no idea the artistry in the remembrances that was involved. The deep symbolism in a wampum belt will remain with me forever.
Run out of your regular go-to’s for genealogy research? You are in luck because some free offerings are now available to get you out of your rut:
British History Online is a digital collection of Great Britain, Ireland and more that will be free through July. Currently I’m using it to research the Caribbean (West Indies) but colonial U.S. information is also available. I discovered one of my distant family members was interested in the East Indies in the 1500’s – who knew?! Check out this blog before you get started.
Legacy Family Tree Webinars is offering a free webinar from their extensive library each day in April. If you aren’t a member, now is a wonderful time to take a look at what they have to offer.
With libraries closed throughout the world, why not go to your local or state genealogy association’s home page and see if they are still offering meetings from the comfort of your own home. My local group has switched to using Go To Meetings for their weekly tech meetings. Yours may be using Zoom or Microsoft Office Teams. They’re easy to use and if you’re new here’s a few hints. For Zoom, you can click on the upper right of the screen and change the view of attendees from a bar across the top to a grid that will take up the entire screen (like the old Brady Bunch). Wondering why some people have a black square and no picture? They clicked the video button the bottom of their screen to disable their computer’s camera. The host (the person who sent the invitation link or password info) has the ability to let everyone speak or to mute and then unmute attendees. You can mute yourself on the same bottom bar if you like. Want to ask a question but not interrupt? Just click the message on the bottom bar and a side bar will appear. Type whatever you like and click enter. Your message will appear and the host will hopefully get around to answering it. When you’re done, just click the red “Leave Meeting” button and you’ve disconnected from the site.
Although this is not directly related to genealogy, it will most definitely help you if you don’t already have Microsoft Office. Check out this link for details, restricts do apply.