25 August 2006

Panned Planethood

The inhabitants of Earth learned this week that there is one less planet, not the nine they thought they knew about, revolving around the Sun as the earth does.

According to Time.com, this was posted March 24, 1930.

The inhabitants of Earth learned last week that there is another planet, beside the eight they knew about, revolving around the Sun as the earth does.
Clyde W. Tombaugh, 24, an assistant at the observatory, saw a strange blotch of light on a new plate. He hastily took the photograph to Vesto Melvin Slipher, director of the observatory. Dr. Slipher joyfully notified his younger brother, Earl Carl Slipher, and the rest of the staff, including Carl Otto Lampland. They were quite excited.

Astronomy may not be static but history is. Those scientists can be found today just as the census enumerator recorded them 10 days after the article appeared in Time.

22 August 2006

From Ordinary Beginnings to the Greatest Generation

Ira Hayes was a member of the Pima tribe from Arizona, son of a grocery store clerk. Franklin Sousley's father was a truck farmer in Kentucky. As a 4-year-old, Michael Strank came with his mother from what is now Slovakia to join his father in the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Harlon Block's father, the son of German immigrants, had a farm in Texas, just north of the Mexican border. Rene Gagnon's parents were French-Canadian cotton mill workers in New Hampshire who separated when Rene was young. John Bradley, who lived most all his life in the Wisconsin dairy lands, was the son of a railroad brakeman.

On February 23, 1945, Joe Rosenthal, Washington D.C.-born son of a Jewish clothing merchant from Russia, took their picture on Iwo Jima. Joe died last Sunday.

21 August 2006

Annie's Family

As Megan announced, Brian Andersson was the first to locate Annie Moore's family. Congratulations, Brian!

I've started posting records I've found for Annie's family on my research notes site. Brain has even more compelling evidence, so stay tuned to Megan's Roots World for further updates.

Brian, by the way, has access to some wonderful records at the NYC Department of Records. All of us who do research in NY are delighted to have a genealogist heading up the department. One of us! And quite an accomplished researcher, too.

Maybe soon Brian or Randy or another researcher will find Annie. Meanwhile, I'm still enjoying the hunt!

17 August 2006

Lessons in Research from the Wall Street Journal

Today's issue of the WSJ has an article entitled, "Going Online to Mine the Growing Wealth of Genealogy Data." The search by Lan Nguyen, the Journal's Cranky Consumer, for her husband's ancestors offers the opportunity to discuss some basic tenets of genealogical research.

1) People born in New York did not have to travel through Ellis Island to get there. The columnist reports looking for her husband's grandfather, James Jewel, born in New York in 1910, on EllisIsland.org. I would recommend Steve Morse's Ellis Island portal for better results, still it's not where I'd start my search for a native New Yorker.

2) Danish people are not well represented in Jewish genealogical databases. The author says she searched for her husband's grandmother on Jewishgen.org. A great site, but not necessarily the best for looking up the ancestry of a Danish woman who married into a Jewish family in 1934.

3) Women are not born with the last names of their future husbands. The writer evidently did not know that records for events that took place before a woman's marriage will be under the woman's maiden name. All her searches for the grandmother were for "Evelyn Jewel."

4) Researching your family tree takes longer than 5 hours and can even take weeks. The columnist allotted five hours to do the research on her husband's ancestry. After running into so many problems, she contacted the help desk at Ancestry.com for some pointers and was able to find her husband's grandfather in a matter of weeks.

I admit, my own genealogical research has not been much quicker, even allowing for the time I have evidently wasted reading up on the process.

11 August 2006

More Castles for Nic

Nicholas Cage bought a castle in Etzelwang bei Amberg because the ancestors of his mother, Joy Vogelsang, "are all from good old Bavaria." In fact, Nic's great-great-great-grandfather Louis Vogelgesang is the only one I can identify who came from Bavaria.

Maybe Nic'll just buy a château in Alsace in memory of his great-great-great-grandmother Josephine and scoop up a Schloß or two in Prussia in memory of his mother's Muentnich and Daum ancestors. He's got a number of manors in the British Isles coming to him, too, what with his mom's Lewis, Caldwell, Ramsey, and Lockhart ancestors.

And that's just on his mom's paternal side.

I don't know anything about the background of Nic's maternal grandmother. She is 91 and living in Los Angeles so I could just ask her. Though she goes by Louise, Ancestry.com says her name is Della Murray, which, now that I think of it, does not sound particularly Bavarian.

Hat tip to The Genealogue.