• Resources
  • Oct13

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      While listening to the Genealogy Gems Podcast a few weeks ago, Lisa Louise Cooke talked about waiting for her young grandson to call her Grandma and asked if anyone had any unusual terms of endearment they’d like to share.

    I sent along a story of how my son came up with an unusual name for my mother-in-law and Lisa asked if I could record it for her via Skype or a phone call. Pretty neat!

    I offered to record it and sent along an mp3 of the story (and was sure to include a sample of my son’s made-up name.) The nicest surprise was that Lisa also gave me a free year’s subscription to her premium podcast for using my story.

    So thanks very much to her! I will be checking out those Google Earth for Genealogy videos as soon as I get a chance, as I’m working on various mapping projects and can always use some more tricks in my magic bag.

    You can hear the story somewhere in the middle of Episode 119 Thousands of Memories – Childhood, Grandparents & Beyond.

    If you’d like to hear my son’s grandma naming story directly, you can also play it here:

    How Hemmie Got Her Name

  • Sep6

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    In my previous post Comforts Committee of the Navy League I spoke briefly of my grandmother May’s involvement in knitting sweaters and such for submariners in World War I.

    Recently I’ve found there are some terrific images and resources online relating to the Comforts Committee and just wanted to share a few favorites here.

    First, to whet your appetite, I suggest this  short series of articles written by David Vergun for the Navy League’s SeaPower magazine written in celebration of their centennial anniversary. (I’ve linked to a Google search as they link to the articles on an older version of the web site. I have been unable to locate them on the newest version of their site.)

    Mr Verdun includes the following poem and description from the time:

    During World War I, Navy Leaguers enthusiastically answered the call to duty by either signing up in the armed forces or volunteering for duty on the homefront. Leaguers in cities and towns across the country recruited shipworkers for the war effort. Others assisted armed forces recruiters. Thousands of women worked with the Navy League’s Comforts Committee to make hand-woven garments for U.S. forces and their allies. The Navy League became so well known for its work that the Hempstead Inquirer of Long Island, N.Y., published a poem of tribute:

    The Navy League

    Baa, baa, black sheep,
    Have you any wool?
    Yes, sir; yes, sir!
    Three bags full!

    When you want a sweater
    What do you do?
    Go to the Navy League
    And they’ll give you two!

    When you want a helmet
    And no one else has any
    Just ask the Navy League
    And they’ll say “How many?”

    If the boys are freezing
    And need 60 mufflers more,
    Go ask the Navy League
    And they’ll give you sixty-four!

    When the cry goes up for help–
    “Have you any wool?”
    “Sure!” says the Navy League
    “Three bags full!”

    –Mary Youngs

    Comforts Committee of Navy League - Ladies Knitting

    At left is a photograph of some ladies volunteering their time to the cause. There are many wonderful images on the Library of Congress site that are both historical and more personal – I suggest you make it a regular destination when working on your own family history research.

  • May18

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    Marriage Index Record, Duffy - Bernemann, Iowa 1914

    A quick and simple blog post to remind everyone to double check their documents, whether new or old. Recently I found an index record at Familysearch that was a perfect fit for my wife’s great-grandparents marriage in Iowa (giving leeway for some obvious surname misspellings, of course.)

    So, we ordered a copy of the original and it came very quickly.

    Marriage Certificate Detail, Duffy - Bernemann, Iowa 1914

    However, as I scanned the certificate and became annoyed that their exact dates of birth were missing, I soothed myself with the knowledge that we now had the names of Michael A. Duffy’s parents: Anthony Duffy and Annie O’Hara, as I had read on the index.

    Or did we? It turned out the county recording office mistakenly typed in the bride’s surname as the groom’s mother’s surname! That would have spun someone’s wheels for awhile in the next generation or two.

    An honest mistake – the county nicely apologized and told us to just send back the certificate for a replacement.

  • Nov30

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    While I’m not searching for any family in the UK (yet, perhaps) I enjoy history and learning about new tools for other locations as well.

    The London Gazette

    The London Gazette at National Archives UK

    Today I listened to the UK National Archives Podcast on the London Gazette – a must listen to anyone who anyone who might use that resource. Some excellent tips on finding your way through it online.

  • Oct28

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    Another very good podcast from the BBC that I highly recommend – the historical context should be of much interest to genealogists as well.

    My only complaint is that older podcasts aren’t available; I’d love to hear more!

    BBC Making History Podcast Logo

    Making History

    Making History explores ordinary people’s links with the past. The programme is presented by Vanessa Collingridge and is broadcast on Tuesday at 3pm for 26 weeks a year in two series.