From “Confessions of a (Sometimes) Too Hasty Genealogist” to ancient red wine, this week’s blog posts and news stories are an interesting assortment for you.
We start out with a recent article by Jim Beidler in the Lebanon Daily News. Last week he reminded us of the pitfalls of moving too quickly. He discovered he was related to his girlfriend’s late husband, but further examination put a twist in the story:right name, right location, wrong timeline. He reminds us to check all of the available resources to prevent errors. Read the story in his “Roots and Branches” column Arbogast Immigrant Connection Confirmed, But Lineage Corrected.
Politics is a messy business. Factions in all areas of the political spectrum often push through their agenda hastily to prevent opposition. Unfortunately, moving in haste means that they don’t spend the necessary time to properly analyze the legislation for pitfalls. Such an incident in the Virginia General Assembly recently closed records more than a century old. In attempting to protect gun owners, sloppy language has had a devastating effect on records access in the commonwealth. Read more from Judy G. Russell in The Law of Unintended Consequences.
In our youth we learned all about the muskets used in the Revolutionary War. One of the things we were taught was how inefficient they were. Michael Barbieri had often heard the term “musket-shot” and wondered exactly how far that might be. Researching in contemporary sources, he discovered a surprising answer. Read more about it in How Far is “Musket-Shot?” Farther Than You Think.
MassMoments (from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities) this week had an interesting post about the 1918 flu epidemic. 95 years ago this past Tuesday, on August 27, 1918, two sailors at Boston’s Commonwealth Pier were not feeling well and went to sickbay. These were the first Americans stricken with the flu that would end up infection more than 25 million Americans alone, killing 675,000 of them. It was more devastating than World War I. Read more in Flu Epidemic Begins in Boston.
Finally this week comes a story about grapes from the Guardian. Archaeologists at the University of Catania in Sicily have embarked on a unique endeavor to make the general public more aware of the work they do. They have planted a vineyard using techniques from the ancient Romans. They will follow this up by making wine from the grapes, just as the Romans did. Read more about their fascinating work in Italian Archaeologists Have Grape Expectations of Their Ancient Wine.