From the Blogs, December 21

21 Dec 2012

Following are some history and genealogy blog posts that I found interesting and informative. I would like to share them with you.

Instagram pulled a major faux-pas this week in trying to take incredible liberties with the images posted on their website. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Instagram is a photo-sharing website that was recently purchased by Facebook. Users have been in an uproar ever since. And the company is already trying to backpedal.  The Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, discusses the possible ramifications in Instagram’s Terms of Use Debacle. It will certainly be very interesting to see how this ends up panning out.



The crossover between history and genealogy is great, and issues that impact historians can also impact genealogists. The American Historical Association blog reported recently on a study conducted by Ithaka S&R (part of a non-profit that also runs JSTOR. The study, dealing with how digital resources have affected the research practices, issued a report  “provides a deep analysis of the current research practices of historians, and current models for research services emerging on campuses in the United States.” It is an interesting read. You can read more in Ithaka S+R Reports Changing Research Practices Among Historians.

Those researching ancestors from Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands will find Michael John Neil’s recent RootsDig post very interesting. As usual, while searching for one thing, he came upon something completely unrelated, but very interesting. In a nineteenth-century work on British family names, he discovered a list of Frisian first and family names.

Dick Eastman often is among the first to report on items of interest to genealogists. This week he reported on a potential problem with records access. He read through the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding (NISS). NISS outlines how the federal government will attempt to protect the private information of Americans. Unfortunately, there is tremendous opportunity for agencies and governmental organizations to misinterpret and misinterpret the guidelines, creating major access problems for genealogists. You can read more in U.S. Government’s National Strategy for Information Sharing: a Threat to Genealogists?

Michael Hait wrote an important piece this week that every genealogist should read. He discussed about The Most Important Thing You Can Ever Prove. As researchers, there are many things we must prove, but the most important is this:  the identity of the subject of each record. While this may sound easy, in reality it is much more complicated. Find out more by reading this informative and interesting article. And while you’re at it, you can download his free e-book, United States Federal Census Pathfinder, to help you with your American census research.