Friday, March 30, 2007

Genealogy Bloggers' Quilt

I am a visual person, so the "Genealogy Bloggers Quilt" is a visual rendition of my blogRoll. I have added those bloggers that I visit often and enjoy. They are all stars. If you run your mouse over one of the blocks you will see the title of the blog appear. I hope you enjoy using it as much as I did in making it.

Visit a few, I will be adding blogs on a regular basis. If your genealogy blog does not appear here, but you would like to be one of the squares, please email the footnoteMaven.

Monday, March 19, 2007

MIT "Opencourseware"

I would like to tell you about an online education experience that I have stumbled upon that is free and fantastic. It is the MIT "opencourseware" (OCW).

MIT OCW provides free, searchable, access to MIT's course materials for educators, students, and self-learners.

They offer courses of interest to genealogists and family historians - History, Writing, and so many more. Because MIT OCW is not a credit-bearing, or degree-granting, initiative, there is no registration process or enrollment required for users to view course materials. MIT OCW is available on the Web, free of charge, to any user. Some videos of the actual lectures are available.

Let's look at an example - the History Course "American History to 1865."

1. You are given the syllabus
2. Recommended readings. If any of the books are online you are given a link to that book. For example "The Little Lady Who Caused This Big War" Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin. If you click on Uncle Tom's Cabin you are taken to the Gutenberg Project where you can download the ebook for free.
3. Download and complete the assignments if you like.
4. Go to related resources - in this course you are given links to three sites containing civil war music.
5. You can download the entire course in a zip file.

The master course list can be found here.

I recently took a Nearby History course in which our instructor stressed building our bibliography - well these courses are filled with selected readings that we can all use to help us build that bibliography and understand the lives of our ancestors in their social, historical, and cultural context.

The following History and Writing Courses are available online:


21H.101 American History to 1865, Fall 2005
21H.102 The Emergence of Modern America 1865-Present, Spring 2003
21H.104J Riots, Strikes, and Conspiracies in American History, Fall 2004
21H.105 American Classics, Fall 2002
21H.105 American Classics, Spring 2006
21H.112 The American Revolution, Spring 2006
21H.116J The Civil War and Reconstruction, Fall 2005
21H.126 America in Depression and War, Spring 2003
21H.131 America in the Nuclear Age, Fall 2000
21H.150J Introduction to Asian American Studies: Literature, Culture, & Historical Experience, Fall 2002
21H.153J Race and Gender in Asian America, Spring 2006
21H.206 American Consumer Culture, Fall 2001
21H.223 War & American Society, Fall 2002
21H.224 Law and Society in US History, Spring 2003
21H.225J Gender and the Law in U.S. History, Spring 2004
21H.231J American Urban History I, Spring 2005
21H.232J American Urban History II, Fall 2004
21H.234J Downtown, Spring 2005
21H.301 The Ancient World: Greece, Fall 2004
21H.302 The Ancient World: Rome, Spring 2005
21H.306 The Emergence of Europe: 500-1300, Fall 2003
21H.311 The Renaissance, 1300-1600, Fall 2004
21H.326 The Making of Russia in the Worlds of Byzantium, Mongolia, and Europe, Spring 1998
21H.342 The Royal Family, Fall 2003
21H.346 France 1660-1815: Enlightenment, Revolution, Napoleon, Fall 2005
21H.402 The Making of a Roman Emperor, Fall 2005
21H.405J The Ancient City, Spring 2005
21H.411 History of Western Thought, 500-1300, Fall 2004
21H.416J Medieval Economic History in Comparative Perspective, Spring 2006
21H.418 From Print to Digital: Technologies of the Word, 1450-Present, Fall 2005
21H.421 Introduction to Environmental History, Spring 2004
21H.433 The Age of Reason: Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries, Spring 2005
21H.443 European Imperialism in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Spring 2006
21H.447 Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Fall 2004
21H.466 Imperial and Revolutionary Russia, 1800-1917, Fall 2002
21H.467J Soviet Politics and Society, 1917-1991, Spring 2003
21H.504 East Asia in the World, Spring 2003
21H.560 Smashing the Iron Rice Bowl: Chinese East Asia, Fall 2004
21H.580 From the Silk Road to the Great Game: China, Russia, and Central Eurasia, Fall 2003
21H.615 The Middle East in 20th Century, Spring 2003
21H.802 Modern Latin America, 1808-Present: Revolution, Dictatorship, Democracy, Spring 2005
21H.907 Trials in History, Fall 2000
21H.909 People and Other Animals, Fall 2005
21H.912 The World Since 1492, Fall 2004
21H.912 The World Since 1492, Spring 2003
21H.917J Visualizing Cultures, Spring 2003
21H.927J The Economic History of Work and Family, Spring 2005
21H.931 Seminar in Historical Methods, Spring 2004
21H.931 Seminar in Historical Methods, Spring 2002
21H.931 Seminar in Historical Methods, Spring 2003
21H.952J Readings in American History Since 1877, Fall 2003
21H.968J Nature, Environment, and Empire, Spring 2005
21H.991J Theories and Methods in the Study of History, Fall 2004
21H.991J Theories and Methods in the Study of History, Fall 2003

Writing and Humanistic Studies

21W.730-1 Expository Writing: Exploring Social and Ethical Issues through Film and Print, Fall 2002
21W.730-1 Expository Writing: Social and Ethical Issues in Print, Photography and Film, Fall 2005
21W.730-1 Imagining the Future, Spring 2004
21W.730-2 Expository Writing - Food for Thought: Writing and Reading about Food and Culture, Fall 2005
21W.730-2 The Creative Spark, Fall 2004
21W.730-3 Consumer Culture, Fall 2002
21W.730-3 Expository Writing: Autobiography - Theory and Practice, Spring 2001
21W.730-3 Writing and the Environment, Spring 2005
21W.730-4 Expository Writing: Analyzing Mass Media, Spring 2001
21W.731-1 Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace, Fall 2005
21W.731-1 Writing and Experience: Exploring Self in Society, Spring 2004
21W.731-4 Writing and Experience, Spring 2002
21W.732-2 Intro to Tech Communication, Fall 2002
21W.734J Writing About Literature, Fall 2006
21W.735 Writing and Reading the Essay, Fall 2005
21W.735 Writing and Reading the Essay, Fall 2004
21W.739J Darwin and Design, Fall 2003
21W.739J Darwin and Design, Fall 2002
21W.742J Writing About Race, Spring 2003
21W.745 Advanced Essay Workshop, Spring 2005
21W.746 Humanistic Perspectives on Medicine: From Ancient Greece to Modern America, Spring 2005
21W.747 Rhetoric, Spring 2005
21W.747-1 Rhetoric, Spring 2006
21W.747-2 Rhetoric: Rhetoric of Science, Spring 2006
21W.747-3 Classical Rhetoric and Modern Politics, Spring 2006
21W.749 Documentary Photography and Photo Journalism: Still Images of A World In Motion, Spring 2002
21W.756 Writing and Reading Poems, Fall 2006
21W.765J Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice, Spring 2006
21W.765J Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice, Spring 2004
21W.765J Theory and Practice of Non-linear and Interactive Narrative, Spring 2003
21W.772 Digital Poetry, Fall 2005
21W.775 Writing about Nature and Environmental Issues, Spring 2006
21W.777 The Science Essay, Spring 2004
21W.780 Communicating in Technical Organizations, Spring 2006
21W.780 Communicating in Technical Organizations, Spring 2005
21W.780 Communicating in Technical Organizations, Fall 2001
21W.783 Science and Engineering Writing for Phase II, Fall 2002
21W.784 Becoming Digital: Writing About Media Change, Fall 2005
21W.785 Communicating in Cyberspace, Fall 2003

Bet you can't try just one!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

It's Saint Patrick's Day today, a traditional celebration of Ireland's patron saint. Marked worldwide, the event is particularly popular in cities on America's East Coast. A parade was first held in Boston in 1737 and New York's celebrations first began in 1766.


Friday, March 16, 2007

New UK Genealogy Series Online

BBC Radio 4 has launched a new genealogy show called Tracing Your Roots. The show started on March 12 and will run every Monday for six weeks from 4.30pm to 5pm. It will be available as a download for seven days after each episode via the “Listen Again” link at BBC Radio 4.

I listened to the first show while I was scanning photos and quite enjoyed it. But, I am one of those people who think everything sounds better with a British accent.

The show is hosted by Sally Magnusson, who authored Dreaming of Iceland, which explored her own roots and cultural heritage. The
March 12 show includes genealogist and historian Nick Barratt. Nick is a contributor to Your Family Tree Magazine, my favorite UK genealogy publication.

The show will cover tracing a family tree from scratch as well as finding
out what our ancestor’s daily lives were like.

Each episode will cover a particular UK archive (12 March - Parish Records) and case studies (12 March - The Alarming Case of Murder by Clotted Cream and Family Memories, and a musical dynasty) that provide examples linking family and social history.

The Alarming Case of Murder by Clotted Cream

A family tale of 'death by clotted cream' led Jane Clements on a detective hunt back to early 19th century Somerset. Parish records in Taunton revealed how a woman called Elizabeth Reed was murdered by her husband using clotted cream laced with arsenic. A newspaper article from the time provided all the gruesome details of the event and the subsequent court case. Jane was told by a great aunt, now deceased, that she’s related to the murderer – but how can she find out for sure? Nick Barratt advises.

Parish Records - a goldmine for genealogists

Reporter Lesley Hilton visits St John The Baptist Church in Broughton,
Lancashire with local historian Andy Gritt to find out what Parish Records
can reveal about our ancestors and the historical context in which they
started keeping these records.

Family memories, and a musical dynasty

Sally discovers the potential goldmine of family information held in the
long memories of your oldest relatives. Jazz musician Al Kirtley's
recording of an interview with his 90-year-old mum sent him on a trail
back through time which revealed that music runs in the Kirtley family.
Along the way, Al turned up the manuscript for a Music Hall song which
was performed, reputedly “with great success”, by an ancestor in the
late 19th century. Listen again to hear Al's fine rendition of this
rumbustious song.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Only Woman-Built Boat on Long Island

It is Women’s History Month and the perfect time to honor one of my
most elusive female ancestors, my great grandmother, Lois Green. I
have never been certain that was her name, as my grandfather
spelled his name Greene, and he listed her on his social security
application as Lula Morangue.

She evaded the census and her family for most of her life, or so the
story goes. I have one small scrap of her colorful life, the following
piece of a newspaper article and the photo of her boat building
achievement. I’m sure when I finish searching for her I will find her
line goes directly back to Noah.

Let me introduce you to Mrs. Green’s ark.

April 11, 1936
Society Page
Newspaper Unknown

Built By A Woman, Home Made Cruiser Was Launched Today
At Freeport

Boat Started Last July in Gladiola Bed, Is Complete

A streamlined double cabin cruiser, built in Mrs. Lois Green’s back
yard at South Bay avenue and Cedar street, Freeport, largely by
Mrs. Green, for her son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. E.M.
Green, was slid into Freeport Bay at Lake’s shipyard this morning.

Early on July 1 of last year, Mrs. Green started building the boat.
In those early preparations she was assisted by her son and a friend.

Only Woman Builder

Yachtsmen, ship builders, cameramen and writers visited the back
yard to see the boat a woman was building, the only woman-built
boat on Long Island according to their knowledge. They agree the
cruiser is a remarkable piece of craftsmanship.

Besides the labors of an experienced boat builder, who assisted
Mrs. Green last summer, the boat has been mainly built by
Mrs. Green, her son, and a friend, Ben Armstrong.

She is proud of her achievement, but explains she became a bit
bored with the trying details completed in her home during the
winter, such as polishing, painting and assembling a thousand
knick knacks that went into the cruiser.

But it was a lovely job and lots of fun, built out of doors
practically in a gladiola’s bed,” she says.

Mahogany Planking

Constructed of mahogany, the ____ foot cruiser is an impressive
sight in white hull and pea-green topside. Four bunks in the cabin
will be covered with beige and green checked upholstery.

In telling of the kitchen which has both an alcohol and coal
cookstove, and a monel fitted sink, Mrs. Green went into raptures.

“I’d like to have a little, new house, like this boat – so dainty and
compact,” she said. The colors of beige and green are carried out in the

Although the name of “LoElla” a contraction of Mrs. Green’s first
name Lois and the name of her daughter-in-law, Ella has been
suggested for the boat Mrs. Green... (the rest of the newspaper article
is unable to be read).

While we don’t have the rest of the newspaper article to tell us what
my great grandmother thought about that name, the photograph
shows that the cruiser was registered as “Dream, Freeport, N.Y.” Lois
is the woman wearing the very 1930's turban.

So, Lois Green, this story is a tribute to you and your amazing
accomplishment. I am proud to have you as an ancestor and to
acknowledge your place in our family history.

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