This week’s roundup of stories starts with a Medieval cat story, takes us to the Civil War, a discussion of taphophiles, and award-winning county clerk, and the different languages spoken in the United States. I hope you find them as interesting and informative as I do.
We all know that the Internet was created just so everyone can share cat pictures and videos, and an entire industry could popup around Grumpy Cat. Back in July 2011 a researcher at the University of Sarajevo was working with a fifteenth-century manuscript. As he moved through the volume, he came upon something quite surprising. A cat had clearly walked through ink and then stepped onto the pages, leaving its pawprints behind. He snapped an image, which has recently started making the online rounds. Read more of the story in Curious Cat Walks Over Medieval Manuscript.
USA Today recently ran an interesting piece on families connecting themselves back to the Civil War. Gloria Ramsaur has conducted guided tours of the McGavock Confederate Cemetery in Franklin, Tennessee. Many of those who fell at the Battle of Franklin are buried there, but she had no idea that her great-great uncle was killed at the battle. 97-year-old Maurice Johnson remembers as a young boy the many times he walked down to the general store. His mission was to collection the pension that was still being paid out for his grandfather’s service during the war; service which included the Battle of Franklin. Read more in Families Uncover Civil War Drama, 150 Years Later.
New York Newsday ran a terrific piece this week about “taphophiles.” These are individuals who love and appreciate cemeteries for their beauty, and promote them as destinations. This is especially important as older cemeteries, even the large ones, are filling up. They must find new ways to bring in revenue, and taphophiles are helping them. Read more in History, Landscaping, Architecture: Tales Told in NYC’s Cemeteries.
The McKinney Courier-Gazette reported this week on a remarkable achievement for the clerk’s office in Collin County, Texas. In an age where we are used to clerks making access difficult for researchers, the clerk and her staff were presented with the 2014 Best Practices Award from the national Association of County Recorders, Elections Officials and Clerks. They received the award for a project which provides online research tools for those search for their family in Collin County. Read more in Collin County Clerk Office’s ‘Genealogy Corner’ Gets National Recognition.
Slate published some interesting maps awhile back that show the languages spoken in each of the states. With the exception of seven states, the most popular language in every state was Spanish. In Hawaii, it is Tagalog; in Alaska, Yupik; In North Dakota, German; and in Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, it is French. It gets much more interesting when one discounts both English and Spanish. Check out these maps and more in What Language Does Your State Speak?