Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (August 30, 2014)

The following are recommended for inclusion on your reading list this weekend: 

1.  What do you know about the origins of the Labor Day holiday?  Given the hard times that have befallen labor unions in recent years and the often expressed distain for unions in some quarters, it might surprise you to learn more about the history of this particular holiday that has come to mark the end of the summer holiday season in the U.S.  Read more about the holiday here this Labor Day weekend.      

2.  If you are reading this, then you probably already have a subscription to, had at one time, or have been thinking about renewing a subscription or getting one for the first time.  You have probably also heard from numerous others sources about Ancestry's FREE access this Labor Day weekend up until 11:59 PM on September 1st.  So you should tell others about it while there are still a couple of days to do some genealogical exploring for FREE.  Go here and tell others who might be interested in giving it a try.  

3.  A very interesting new research source is now available on line -- the U.S. Marine Corps History Division has made its Casualty Card Database available here.  If know you had an ancestor or relative who served in the Marine Corps (or suspect one did) during World War II through the Vietnam War, you should check out this database.  If an ancestor or relative was killed, wounded, missing in action or deemed a prisoner of war, you might find a casualty card filled with vital information to add to your genealogy.  

4.  While Judy Russell may be our favorite and best known Legal Genealogist, there is a new publication just released by the National Genealogical Society (NGS) titled, "Genealogy and the Law: A Guide to Legal Sources for the Family Historian." The authors are Kay Haviland Freilich and William B, Freilich, Esq.  You can lear  more about the publication here.

5.  I have written before about the infamous hurricane of September 21, 1938 that devastated much of southern New England and affected the lives of many of our ancestors and relatives. But it turns out that the 1938 storm was probably not the worst storm to ravage southern New England.  That distinction apparently belongs to a hurricane 379 years ago that crossed eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts in 1635. It had sustained winds of 135 miles an hour and hit without benefit of anything even close to the warnings we have today or had in the 1930s. Read more about the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 here.     

6.  This month marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.  Much has been and will be written about that war in the genealogy blogosphere. Now the New York Times is soliciting stories of World War I from family historians. If you have a story to tell, go here to see how you can submit it to the NYT.     

7.  "Realtor" or "Genealogist" -- who qualifies to be called either?  James Tanner has a nice post that ruminates on this question.  You can read it at Genealogy's Star blog here.  

8.  Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog reviews the new features of the mobile app here.  

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Fotos (August 29, 2014) -- Elizabeth Ann [Fennell] Jeffs

Elizabeth Ann [Fennell] Jeffs

Elizabeth Ann [Fennell] Jeffs is my wife Molly's great grandmother.  Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert Fennell and his wife, Mary Jane Wood, was born in Bradford, Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada on December 12, 1866.  She married Herbert Beverly Jeffs on September 16, 1891 in Bradford.  

Together Elizabeth and her husband had three children -- all girls: the oldest, Eulalie Lillian Mary Jeffs (1893 - 1964) is Molly's maternal grandmother; Helen Elizabeth Jeffs born in 1894 was the middle daughter; and Kathleen Lorena Jeffs, the youngest, was born in 1897.  You can see a photograph of the three young Jeffs sisters here

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Scan of an original photograph in the family collection.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (August 27, 2014) -- Sarah Etta [Freeman] Carpenter With Two Of Her Grandchildren

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Scan of the original photograph of my great grandmother, Sarah Etta [Freeman] Carpenter, with her grandchildren, Shirley Carpenter (my mother), and David Otis Carpenter (my mother's brother) circa 1932.  Original photograph in the collection of the author.  

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Remembering "Dr. Fred" (August 25, 2014)

I have written  before about my maternal grandmother's older sister, Helen (Cooke) Roberts and her husband, Dr. Frederick A. Roberts, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. See the post here for example.

This past weekend while visiting my parents in New Hope, Pennsylvania, my mother found and gave to me a little newspaper clipping from the Pittsfield Eagle, addressed "To the Editor" and titled The Best Medicine. It was written by Rena Hudelston, who at the time of the letter was residing at 62 Riverview West in Pittsfield. The date of the publication is unknown, however, from the content of the letter it was after the death of "Dr. Fred" who died in 1935 at age 76.

"Dr. Fred" and his wife, Helen (who was herself a nurse), were big influences on my mother.  My mother later became an R.N. and served as a Director of Nursing at a hospital in New Jersey during her long nursing career across several states (RI, OH, CT, MA, NH and NJ).

The quality of the clipping shown above is not as good as it might be and so my best attempt at an accurate transcription is provided below.

          The best medicine        

          To the Editor of THE EAGLE: --

                  I wish to answer Dr. Franklin
               Paddock's column in Wednesday's
               Eagle, in which he lists the usual
               contents of the doctor's "black bag"
               back in the days when physicians
               made house calls.
                  There are two very important in-
               gredients he forgot that were
               brought along by our family doctor.
               They were a deep-seated love and
               trust that would confound the med-
               ics who do not make house calls.
                  Our family physician was the late
               Dr. Fred Roberts. When we ap-
               proached the house and saw the car
               parked out front with license No. 19,
               we never got excited. I think that is
               why I always remembered that a
               calm and cheerful outlook was a ne-
               cessity in a sickroom. The strange
               part is that we never seemed to
               have any illnesses we didn't feel
               confident he could cure. To me, the
               trust you have in your doctor is
               three-quarters of the cure.
                  He delivered me at birth and two
               of my four children before his de-
               mise. I will always hold a deep re-
               spect and love for this gentle and
               dedicated doctor. He was like a
               member of the family.
                                      RENA HUDELSTON
               62 Riverview West

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Scan from an original newspaper clipping in the collection of the author.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (August 23, 2014)

The following are recommended for inclusion on your reading list this weekend: 

1.  Diane MacLean Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family blog had an excellent post this past Wednesday about the value of close reading of genealogy journals. She illustrates with examples from the journal of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society (RIGS), Rhode Island Roots. You can -- and should -- read Diane's post here.  

2.  This week The Weekly Genealogist newsletter of NEHGS announced the availability of the 1865 Massachusetts State Census, which includes the actual town-by-town census schedules.  The announcement states, "The 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts state censuses complement the United States federal censuses, allowing researchers to trace a family every five years between 1850 and 1870. The state census can also occasionally provide additional information not present in the federal census, such as town or county of birth. For the 1865 census, an individual's town of birth was recorded for most residents of 96 individual towns. This database will be free to guest users for one month following its release."

3.  Curious about what the last Plantagenet king of England ate and what kind of lifestyle he had? New research on the bones and tooth chemistry of Richard III uncovers some interesting details here.   

4.  UpFront With NGS had a nostalgic and interesting post this week with links to articles on disappearing smells and disappearing sounds -- think the smell of the long-gone mimeograph paper and the sound of the rotary dial phone for example.  Have a look at the post and the links here.

5.  NGS also had another interesting and useful post this week on the movement patterns of Americans between various states since 1900.  There is a visual representation of how the population composition for each state has changed over the last 100+ years.  Have a look here.  

6.  I have posted on The Prism about John Barry's awesome book on The Great Influenza of 1918, but he also wrote an equally amazingly book titled Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America.  If you have not read these books I highly recommend both since they affected the lives of millions of people in the U.S. and quite possibly could offer some explanations for questions you have come across in your genealogies. If you have read or decide to read The Great Mississippi Flood, then by all means check out these photos showing the effects of the 1927 flood as posted here on Flickr.     

7.  We are hearing a lot in the news in recent days about the Cordon Sanitaire being imposed in areas of West Africa to try to control the spread of the scary Ebola virus. This tactic has been used in the past.  In Honolulu's Chinatown there was an outbreak of the bubonic plaque in 1899-1900 and a Cordon Sanitaire was imposed there with disastrous results.  Read about it and see period photographs here at The Vault.   

8.  Find-A-Grave is an extremely useful genealogy research tool that many of us use to enhance or support our other research.  If you have ever used Find-A-Grave, or plan to do so, then you really need to read this past Wednesday's post about the Find-A-Grave "terms of use" at The Legal Genealogist blog!  As always, Judy Russell, walks us step-by-step through the legalese and explains in practical terms what we can and cannot use from Find-A-Grave . . . and how.  Read Judy's post here.

9.  James Tanner of Genealogy's Star blog has an interesting post about how to deal with the changing names and boundaries of geographic/jurisdictional locales in one's genealogy research and about why citing to the original location of documents and records can be important. .  You can read his post here

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Fotos (August 22, 2014) -- Invitation To The 1907 Cumberland High School Commencement Reception

As shown in the post of July 9, 2014 here at The Prism, and as discussed in the post here on July 21, 2014, both my maternal grandfather, Everett S. Carpenter, and his older sister, Ruth A. Carpenter, graduated from Cumberland High School on the same day -- Thursday, June 27, 1907.  Shown here in today's post is a scan from an original invitation to the graduation Commencement Reception the evening after the graduation exercises just over 107 years ago. The Commencement Reception was held at 8:00 PM on Friday, June 28, 1907 at Lonsdale Hall in Lonsdale, Rhode Island.

According to a National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination Form submitted in or around 1984, Lonsdale Hall was built in 1869 by the Lonsdale Company to serve as a community meeting place and commercial center.  It housed the local library, club rooms, and a meeting hall on the upper floors with small shops occupying the first floor. In 1888 the commercial occupants were a drug store, barber shop, dry goods store, and bakery. The building was a 3 1/2 story brick structure with bracketed cornice and windows set under segmental arches between brick pillars. 

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Scan of the original invitation in the personal collection of the author.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Almost Heaven (August 21, 2014) -- The Adirondacks Might Not be Heaven On Earth . . . But You Can See It From There!

No internet, no cell phone, no TV, no Blackberry. 

Lakes, mountains, and the call of the loons.

 Warm days, cool nights and 

countless stars.


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All photos by the author -- August 2014.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (August 20, 2014) -- Pop Eye's Lunch, Woonsocket, Rhode Island (March 1933)

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Scan of original newspaper clipping from a scrapbook in the family collection.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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