I’ve blogged many times before about the Field of Honor project in the Netherlands who memorializes service personnel that were killed in the line of duty during World War 2. They had originally planned a 75 year memorial event for early May that had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
On Memorial Day, they held a small event for 30 people that was attended by the King and had a flyover. They reached their goal of obtaining 7500 photos of the interred; thank you to all that helped with the research!
You can learn more about the organization and the ceremony here and here.
They have set a new goal of 8000 photos for the larger event that was postponed until next spring (hopefully). Please continue to send photos by checking their website.
Wednesday I attended the virtual National Genealogical Society Conference and it was as informative as always! It was a long day, however, beginning at 11 AM Eastern time and ending at 7 PM. A few 15 minute breaks were included throughout.
The best part is that each speaker’s topic was so different yet all packed full with useful information. Some of the knowledge was new – I loved Elizabeth Shown Mill’s “crowd sourcing” analysis which is slightly different from her FAN Club. Both Mills and Tom Jones reminded us of the importance of analysis. I absolutely loved how Jones used online unsourced tree data as a stepping stone to find the facts. Judy Russell’s talk was poignant and reminded me of how fortunate my immigrant grandmother was in not having to be a child worker. I had no idea that a child of one month old could become indentured! Blaine Bettinger was awesome as always with his DNA explanations. I absolutely loved that he used closed captioning for those who might need it. Some folks were critical of it because it overlapped the bottom of the shown slides but IMHO, the presentation was readable anyway. That was such a thoughtful gesture to end the day I was deeply touched by his attempt at inclusion.
There were also wonderful presentations by FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com and FamilyTreeDNA. Lots of changes coming – some good, some not so good if you loved a feature that will be disappearing (Ancestry is dumping the shoebox in the trash and the folders you may have set up in messaging while FamilyTreeDNA has eliminated offering one of its test kits). Change is what it is – we’ll adapt and move on. Some of the moaning and groaning in the chat box made me laugh – get a grip, folks, it’s not the end of your genealogy practice.
The “lunch” speaker was an actor who took the character of a unknown (to many) suffragette from Utah. It was a moving presentation and a great remind of the short time period all women have been allowed the right to vote in this country.
Kudos to the the NGS staff who was able to put on this virtual conference on such short notice. Most of the remainder of the what was to have been an on site conference in Salt Lake City will be available for view beginning July 1. I’m not sure if you can still purchase viewing or not as I bought a package in early May when it had just become available. So glad, I did! Although it’s definitely not the same feel as person-to-person, it was a wonderful and well done alternative during these difficult times. I highly recommend checking the availability out at the site – NGS – the syllabus provided is worth the price.
Food items in short supply for the last few months seem to be returning to my local grocery store. For a time, there was no flour, eggs and milk which definitely impacted home made bread and dessert making. I don’t bake much anymore but I definitely pulled out my old family recipe book to cook up some comfort food while we were home.
In 2001, as my oldest was about to leave home for college, I compiled a book of our favorite family recipes. It’s definitely time for a re-do as I’ve acquired many additional ones to add to the old time favorites. The binding on the old book is also giving out and some of the pages are stained.
Since I’ve read every book and magazine in my house and on my Kindle, reorganized every closet and drawer, I’m ready to tackle the recipe book as my upcoming summer genealogical project.
You see, I add historical info as background to the cooking instructions. For example, I tell the story of how Corn Meal Mush came into my grandmother’s go-to recipes when money was tight. She got the recipe as a young bride from a southern neighbor. All you need is corn meal and butter – simple and delicious.
I will definitely be adding a section entitled “Pandemic” and it will contain the improvised methods I had to use when I ran out of staples and couldn’t get to the grocery store. I don’t want to forget the past weeks – I want to document survival for a future family member. Whether we’ve turned a corner on covid-19 or not, I can’t say. What I can say is hope will get us through and I’m really hoping I’ll have this revised recipe collection done so I can give it out as Christmas presents!
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend! Tomorrow is the big day and if you are short of time or your favorite store is short on everything then here’s two ideas that might help:
1. Genealogical.com has a 3 month special offering all of their 750 books for purchase to be viewed online. It’s a nice idea while libraries were closed and it allows you to see if it is a book you’d like to purchase in the future. I know many in person sites will be opening soon but if you’re like me – have read everything you have at home AND are not wild about the idea of going out yet, this might be the ideal gift.
I’ve been using it for the past 2 weeks and I have found some interesting info as I’ve been researching Barbados which is not a well represented topic in my local libraries. Have I found anything earth shattering? Not yet but I’ve obtained some clues to go forward with.
There are some glitches with the site so I want to share that info to avoid frustration. First, the log in is quirky. I’ve tried Chrome, Firefox and good ole Internet Explorer thinking that might be the issue but it isn’t. It never can recognize my password unless I sign in through my Google account. I’m telling you this because I’ve been locked out and when you’re paying for something for a limited time that’s frustrating.
I know I’m not alone as someone else had commented that once you’re in, you often get sent to a page to purchase books. Here’s how to get around that – Click Home and Click on Book Bonanza at the top. You’ll be in the right area to read at that point.
Next issue is it always takes you back to page 1 of the books listed. What would have been nice would have been a long page listing all the book titles/authors (I don’t care what the cover looks like!) with a link directly to the book. After a few days of use I decided I would approach this as I do when I’m just surfing a shelf in a brick and mortar library – I looked at all the offerings on the site page by page and wrote down the titles of interest. Now, when I’m back on page 1 (you get logged off if you step away for a bit so when you log back on you automatically return to page 1) I just type the title I’m interested in the search button.
Here’s another hint – the list of books I created I checked WorldCat and Ancestry and 18 were there so I will be using those sites for those books. That way, I don’t have to feel pressure to get through all the other ones that I can’t access anywhere else.
You can’t download the books – just read them – so remember where you left off. It’s not like Kindle so you have to make a number of clicks to go back where you were. The other issue is that the page numbers don’t appear so using the Index is difficult. For example, in Barbados Records in Marriages 1643-1800 Vol. 1, I checked out the index for my Alexanders and derivations of Hollingshead and I find a few I didn’t know existed. There’s no page number or book section listed so the only way to find them is to scan every page in the book (which is a list of marriage records, duh, so it’s all names) arranged in chronological order by parish to find them. That is time intensive and yes, I have 3 months, but there are other books I also want to check out. I used a back door to get more info on the possible relatives listed – looked them up on genealogy sites online to get a better understanding of relationships, years they were in that country (my peeps were gone by 1720 so if the others were there in 1800 I don’t need to check further), and where they originated from in England.
Going back from a page to another part of the book is also a pain. You can use the back arrow but if, for example, you’re looking at H’s in the index, you’ve clicked numerous times to get through the A’s-G’s so it’s a lengthy process to return. It also loads pages slowly, maybe that’s just on my end, but it makes me crazy so now I just click the top arrow to go back to good ole page 1 of all the offerings, retype in the name of the book and then use the index to go where I want.
So now you’re thinking – why in the world, Lori, would you recommend this as a Mother’s Day gift?! Well, there’s not a lot out there to purchase and your dear mom isn’t gonna get the ‘rona using this. Just show her this blog and she can hit the ground running. I’m not making any money off this – just trying to be helpful.
2. Next option is to sign up for a National Genealogical Society conference package. This is what my family got me for my birthday and I’m really excited. I’ve attended past in-person conferences and loved them! I was unable to go out to Salt Lake this year due to my other job’s schedule so this gift is really making me happy. On May 20th, the “live” online offerings are available from 11 AM to 7 PM. In July, based on the package purchased, you can view up to 85 other lectures that would have been available if the conference was held in person and those are available through May 2021! That’s more genealogical courses then you could have ever attended in person so I think this is an awesome opportunity. Sure – you don’t get the camaraderie of being around other genealogists, the immediate answer to your question or the excitement of travel but in these times, I’m good with what is being offered.
Oops! I was doing website maintenance this AM and discovered the following never got published!
I have no idea how that happened as it was originally supposed to be posted in March. I guess with all the stuff going down at that time I failed to hit the “publish” button. So sorry – here it is…
It’s Census Time and here’s my take on the 2020 U.S. Census.
I’m not impressed. I got the mailer the second week in March when we were all busy trying to make plans for the unknown. I put it in my to do pile for Spring Break. One of my adult children, who lives 4 minutes from me in the same town never got the form. My other adult child, who recently moved back to our home and has mail forwarded from the last address, never got it either. Hmm, not good if you’re trying to locate everyone. Definitely not good when everyone is housebound but the census takers aren’t out and about because it doesn’t officially open until April 1, 2020.
Next problem was I tried to complete the form online. I was halfway done when the doorbell rang and the roofer came to try to find why my kitchen window was leaking (because the window installer insists the window isn’t the problem). When I came back it had timed out and I had to start all over. Seriously, they couldn’t have put a Save button on that. (Happily, it wasn’t my roof – found a pin hole in the soffit and all it took was caulk!)
The first question I had confusion over was number 5 – …”If there is someone living here who pays the rent or owns this residence, start with listing him or her as Person 1” Well, duh, it’s jointly owned and technically, it’s a trust so our adult kids also own it but should I add them as one doesn’t live with us? I don’t know. I opted to just include my husband and me. I figure a future genealogist will see the property tax record and figure it out. Maybe I’m just overthinking this because I am a genealogist. It does bring out an important point about how our ancestors interpreted questions in the past. We have no idea how they were thinking.
Then I got stuck on “What is the person’s race?” So, I have to add my “origin.” I am a proud Mutt and if I hadn’t filled it out online the space provided would not have worked for me. I am Croatian, French-German, Irish, English, Scottish and Scandinavian. Technically, my origin is Africa but I have no idea how far they wanted me to go back. Should I have put Neandertal, too? It is in my DNA. And then, to complete my adult kid who’s living with us temporarily – had to add my Mutt hubby. Yeah, this is really dumb. All I kept thinking about was the Ancestry.com commercial with the guy in the lederhosen trading it in for a kilt. A family member and co-workers thought it was a dumb question, too, so they put down Mixed American. I kind of like that. Future genealogists will be so confused with this response.
Although this doesn’t apply to me, under “American Indian” (Seriously, you’d think they would have put Native American as they did with Alaskan Native.) Mayan and Aztec are a choice. What about Incan? Clearly not every choice is provided but why did they select the ones they listed? Inquiring minds want to know.
I completed it in the morning and in the afternoon, received a second mailing that said I hadn’t completed the first one. What a waste of money! It’s wasn’t due until April 1st anyway so why send a second mailer to me when my adult kids never got the first one?! Typical waste of money.
Found a wonderful site this week that I think you’ll enjoy. Check out The Evolution of the American Census. This interactive site allows you to compare census questions over the years. The presentation is simply awesome! You’ll be able to view information your ancestors were asked to provide along with what the US’s interests were over time. Quite interesting to see the direction the nation took over time.
I just wish this was available in a poster for a ready reference sheet.
My only other wish was that we could all view the 1950 US Federal census now while we were still home. Alas, that’s two years off in the future.