• Media
  • Sep30

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    A quicky bloggy post to point you in the direction of Ancestry’s new It’s About Time podcast.

    It's About Time PodcastI somehow missed the announcement of it earlier in the month, but stumbled upon it yesterday and have already listened to 4 of the 5 published episodes. (Thanks, daily commute!)

    The podcast is comprised of 15 minute-or-so vignettes of personal histories, beautifully produced, well written, and wonderfully read by Sir Tony Robinson. I recommend it highly!

    I believe my favorite so far is Episode 5: A story of identity, where Sir Tony talks about his own background and ancestral expectations prior to taking his own AncestryDNA test.

    I do have a complaint, though: there are not enough of them – the “season”ended with episode 5.

    You can read more about the podcast over on the Ancestry Blog.

  • Jul22

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    If you aren’t following the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland on Flickr, you should be.Linenhall Library, Belfast

    Aside from a seemingly never ending flow of cool historical photos, they also post interesting things like architectural plans from Crumlin Road Prison/Belfast Gaol, melds of old photos with current ones, and even the occasional weird clown. (Pretty sure we’re related.)

    But, some real gems that genealogists might find even more exciting are a collection of full color 17th century barony maps.

    I’ve selected one randomly beautiful one to display here (“Tyrconnelle, etc.”), but there are quite a few to page through.

    PRONI 17th Century Barony Maps Tyrconnelle, etc.

  • Mar11

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    I’ve just finished watching the documentary One Million Dubliners, which at it’s simplest is a study of Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery, the “home” to 1.5 million people of all sorts, including people like Michael Collins and Daniel O’Connell.

    One Million Dubliners PosterWhile I am sure some may find the delivery of the film to be slow, I found the the pace of the film and the multifaceted approach to telling the story were very well done, incorporating both historical and everyday figures, the creation and restoration of the cemetery itself, and perhaps most importantly the inclusion of the more mundane aspects of running a cemetery and the thoughts of those involved.

    While this latter information may fare only slightly higher on many peoples’ lists than watching paint dry, the people interviewed in these daily roles of the cemetery each show a different angle of the goings-on and in sum provide an almost surprisingly philosophical treatise on the process of death and the power surrounding one’s final resting place.

    However, the thread that holds this film together, without question, are the stories and perspectives of the cemetery’s historian Shane MacThomáis. His love of the historical subject matter and of Glasnevin itself is apparent. His wonderful interactions leading cemetery tours for both young people and adults truly draw us in with humor and pathos.

    As you are reading this review on my genealogy blog, it is highly likely at least part of many a day’s thoughts are taken up by the interaction of history, family, lost stories, loss itself, and the task of trying to find meaning in their conjunction. If so, I highly suggest your taking the time to find and watch this film.

    A word of warning: I began watching without any prior knowledge of the film beyond a recent mention online. When soon after I found it available on Hoopla Digital (streaming offered free via my local library), I thought that I had to give it a shot.

    As I got to the end of the film, I truly was more than a bit M. Night Shyamalan-ed. I do not want to say more.

    I would suggest if you know no more than I did, Do Not research the cemetery and names I mention here – just watch. You can always go online later and learn more.

  • Mar10

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    Yesterday during lunch I was perusing the New York City Municipal Deaths index (as one does) and happened upon a pair of records that appear to be relevant to a particularly elusive branch of my wife’s Irish Duffy family. Of course, as is usual for this branch these records are not only conflict with each other, they also conflict in a few other ways. So, that will be the subject of a future post as I try to hammer out the dents in my timeline.

    To help me clear things up, I immediately ordered the death certificate. But, as any genealogist knows, one can not easily sit still after ordering a record. Especially when afflicted with a bad case of conflictionitis. Luckily, the death index noted the person of record was buried at Calvary cemetery in Queens. It also included a burial date, which is needed to inquire about the plot at Calvary’s office.

    So, a quick lunch time field trip to the cemetery was in order. While at Calvary, I always like to wander a bit and investigate any interesting grave markers. I also always seem to find an unrelated Tierney grave when I visit. (I assume unrelated, as my Tierneys are somewhat mysterious in their own right.)

    Calvary Cemetery with Manhattan Background
    Today was no different. I photographed a grave of Jeremiah and Mary Tierney and added them to Findagrave in an effort to pay it forward for other Tierney folk. I also happened upon a very interesting, but heavily damaged statue at a grave marked only SCOTILLO. I am not sure, but it appears to have been a man in uniform, perhaps World War I era?

    It is a shame to see the many broken monuments at Calvary. This one is especially eye-catching in its ruinous state as Mr. Scotillo takes a well-deserved breather behind his stone.

    <br />
Scotillo Grave Statue BottomScotillo Grave Statue Reclining Torso

    The only name I saw on the stone next to it was the surname SCOTILLO.

    I wonder if it is for a Private Paul Scotillo who appears in a list of New Yorkers who died in WWI?

    Here’s a related Draft Card: familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6JZ-GVK
    …and likely that same Paul Scotillo in the 1910 census: familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M57M-5NT
    …and his 1896 NYC birth record in the index: familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WSJ-HG8

  • Feb10

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    The real surprise in John McCain’s family tree: His grandfather was his own father!

    John McCain's Tree
    I suppose the Finding Your Roots team may have done this for clarity when using photos along with the need to pan across the screen, but it made my brain vibrate as it did. Click on the image for a larger view.