Blog Posts for Genealogists, March 8, 2013

08 Mar 2013

Following are some recent posts from genealogy blogs that I found interesting and informative, and I would like to share them with you.

Randy Seaver at Geneamusings often has interesting and thought-provoking reviews and discussion. This week he posted a very interesting conversation about “original records.” In Westminster, Massachusetts, Town Records — What is Original?, he examines some online records of “original town records” to answer the question: are they, in fact, original records, or are they derivative sources?

Another perpetual conversation among genealogists is “When have I looked at enough records?” The importance of this question is at the bottom of a post by Michael John Neill on RootDig this week. In Why We Look at Everything, Michael gives a perfect example of why it is important to broaden your scope to include as many records as possible. He discovered a will in which the testator gives directions for the erection of a grave marker (giving the name and location of the cemetery), providing the full names of her and her husband, their dates of birth, his date of death, her father’s name, and the fact that her parents are buried in the same cemetery, and establishing a trust for care of the graves.

Kimberly Powell, among other things, writes the genealogy blog at Recently she wrote about an interesting source that isn’t examined widely enough. What do food pioneer Clarence Birdseye, educator Robert Russell, and socialite Mary Phelps Jacob all have in common? Each held parents registered at the U.S. Patent Office; Birdseye for a frozen food process that pioneered an industry, Russell for co-creating the Soundex system, and Jacob for the brassiere. It wasn’t just famous inventors who owned patents. Many common folk, such as farmers and merchants, registered patents for their ideas. Read more in Using Patents to Enrich Your Family History.

Roberta Estes writes DNA Explained — Genetic Genealogy. This week she posted about the future of personal genetics. Her frank discussion talks not of the genealogical possibilities, but of the family health opportunities. It shall not be long before it will be possible to examine our entire genomes. This will lay open much information about potential health issues. Unfortunately, some people are too afraid to find out, and this lack of information could actually kill them. Read more in Personal Genetics — Coming Out of the Closet — Ostriches, Eagles, and Fear.



Finally, the Legal Genealogist had a very important guest post this week. As genealogists, we have all benefited from books. Whether they were how-to books, compiled genealogies, record abstractions, or others, books have provided the answers to many of our problems. They are often the gateway to finding original records. But these resources are being placed in jeopardy, and my not be available in the future. Read more from Craig Scott, owner of publisher Heritage Books, in Keeping the Lights On.