Some of my favorite reads this week include: Family history writing tips from Paula Williams Madison, astonishing colorized photos by Marina Amaral interviewed on the FindMyPast blog, Genealogy Jen’s post about building ancestor immigration stories with legos, and Dustin Hoffman’s tearful discovery of family heritage. See the full list below!
Family History on TV
Recap of my favorite episode of Finding Your Roots (and this season’s finale) – I was shocked that he didn’t know his grandparents’ names, let alone their tragic stories:
Dustin Hoffman warned himself not to get emotional as he learned about his family history on the most recently aired episode of the PBS genealogy series “Finding Your Roots.” Still, the 78-year-old Oscar-winning actor cried openly when he found out about his paternal ancestors and their fates.
Recap of Relative Race – my suggestion is to skip the first half and watch the part when they meet their relatives!
In case you missed it, Relative Race is a new show that premiered last Sunday, February 28th at 6pm MT on BYUtv. With 9 more episodes to go, the good news is that there is time to catch up by watching the first episode on BYUtv.org.
Coming soon on April 3:
Fans of the two-time Emmy nominated series WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? will be excited to learn that TLC has announced the list of contributors who will be featured on this season’s episodes. Returning this spring, the list includes some of today’s most beloved and iconic celebrities.
Creating and Sharing Family History
Tips for writing difficult family histories from Laura’s interview with author Paula Williams Madison
During RootsTech, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Paula Williams Madison, author of Finding Samuel Lowe: Harlem, Jamaica, China. Of course, there’s a lot more to Paula than authoring a bestselling memoir and a documentary by the same name. She’s the former top NBC executive for diversity.
Infographic showing how to write #AncestorClips
Our grandpa is a writer and a genealogist. He has created this template to help people write short, meaningful, powerful stories about their ancestors. Try it out and don’t forget to use the hashtag #ancestorclips when you share on social media or anywhere. I think we’ll try it out in our next post!!
Ideas for sharing short, bite sized stories online, with a video as an example
Steve Rockwood inspired me in his RootsTech 2016 Thursday keynote address with the one minute family story. I spend a lot of time researching my ancestors, documenting their lives, preserving their photos, and making sure it is archived for future generations. I also encourage and teach many individuals, including my children, how to do these things too.
These astonishing colorized images make you feel like you’re in the moment. I was especially captivated by the photo of a liberated inmate of Wöbbelin concentration camp:
Have you seen a “colorized” old photo? They’re amazing!If you’ve ever wondered how it’s done and what goes into the amazing process, we have the answers (and quite a few photos to feast your eyes on). I recently interviewed expert photo colorizer, Marina Amaral. As you will see, Marina has worked wi…
Recreating ancestor immigration stories with legos:
My grandpa gave me a couple of his family history research binders last summer. I was able to use them to identify the ship his father and grandparents sailed to America from Switzerland for my cousin, Heidi. After sending a printable image of the SS Circassia to Heidi, I decided to print a copy for…
Fascinating LDS tract that gives historical context the lives of your ancestors who joined the LDS church in England:
This is a typical Latter-day Saint missionary tract from England, circa 1853. See more: http://bit.ly/1QLrzY1 pic.twitter.com/xAGDMMZBuA
Man finds “miraculous cache” of his great grandfather’s old baseball cards – too bad they didn’t get to talk about them with great grandpa before he passed!
A Man Exploring His Great-Grandfather’s House Discovers a Crumpled Paper Bag Containing Seven Near-Mint Baseball Cards Dating Between 1909-1911
You never know what your ancestors can do for you. A man cleaning out his recently-deceased great-grandfather’s house made an amazing find. A neglected paper bag in the run-down house contained seven identical Ty Cobb cards from the printing period of 1909 to 1911. Before the recent find, there were only about 15 known to…
Insights into why some don’t want to talk about their stories until later in life:
It was at the age of seven, when asked at school to write down her name and place of birth, that Angela Orosz was first made aware she had been born in Auschwitz. “I really had a hard time with that word,” she said. “I was begging my mother, ‘can we change it?’
My ancestors who served in the civil war didn’t leave letters behind, but this one gives rare insights into what it must have been like:
Pvt. Robert N. Jabo, of the 8th New Hampshire infantry, was dying of tuberculosis in Washington’s Harewood Hospital and needed to write to his family. The Civil War had been over for months. Most soldiers had gone home. And Jabo’s wife and six children were no doubt wondering where he was.
Beautiful ideas for creating unique items with heirlooms and photos from family:
My mother was losing her battle with ovarian cancer when Mark asked me to marry him. Because she likely wouldn’t make it to our wedding, my thoughtful husband-to-be went out of his way to include her in every secret and elaborate strategy he had for his proposal.
History books to add to my “to read” shelf:
As I read my way through the year I find, by the end, that I’ve usually read at least several books, both fiction and nonfiction, that I think represent women’s history in one form or another. Below are some of the books from this year. Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel .
True tells about bonding with her granddaughter through family heirlooms:
Genealogy. African American Research. Genealogy. Notes to Myself. Tea Cups.
Vera tells how sometimes the label on the photo is wrong:
Photo identification can be tricky, even when you have testimony from a family member as to the identity of the subject. I have posted a picture and labeled it as Isabella McCabe Anderson (1818-1912) (My maternal grandfather’s grandmother). That is how my mother identified the woman in the picture.
Family reunions and shared traits bring fond memories:
Tell Me a Story Challenge : Choose a person. Then do any or all of the following: Make a list of the top ten stories about this person, a word or phrase will do. Choose one story and tell a compelling, short version that will interest your family members in one minute or less.
Granddaughter finds a photo of her great grandmother who died when her grandpa was 13:
Part of the beauty of the Internet is that wonderful things bubble to the surface from time to time. For instance, take this moment from a couple years ago that resurfaced today on photo sharing site Imgur. In 2013, it had been seven decades since Thomas Cain had seen either of his parents.
Research Tips and Ideas
Laurie researches fascinating photos of firemen at the Lafayette school in her family photo collection
Among my Great Aunt Winifred’s photos were a few striking images of firefighters trying to save a burning building. The images were hauntingly beautiful. For over a year I have been trying to determine what building, when the photos were captured, and why did she take them?
How the Genealogical Proof Standard is like a GPS when you have no direct evidence:
This is the first of a three-part series exploring how to use the Genealogical Proof Standard in your family history research. Life is good for the family historian with dozens of records containing direct evidence.
Tip for searching with wildcards on FamilySearch.org:
BOSTON – Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, genealogical research website Ancestry.com is making 10 million Catholic parish records from Ireland — some dating to 1655 — available online for free to help people trace their Irish heritage.
Cyndi’s List, incredible resource listing genealogy websites, celebrates 20 years
Cyndi’s List is one of those staples of genealogy research, the place to go to find information and web links for any subject you are researching. This month, it celebrates 20 years since being founded in 1996 by Cyndi Ingle. The site and the Internet have grown tremendously since then.