29 February 2008

A link to more on this literary charade


A comment on the fabricated holocaust story from a Belgium nationalist descendant

A colleague of mine, Barbara Mathews from Massachusetts granted me permission to post the following comment. She had posted this on a online discussion list and I thought it was an excellent follow-up to the revelations in this morning's Boston Globe story. Barbara is a descendant of a Belgium nationalist family. Thank you for this insiteful posting and for sharing it.

"This story really hit home for me. My father's uncle Charles Pons [Dad's name was Charles Pons Mathews] was killed as a nationalist by the Nazis in Belgium, as was Misha's father. My father's cousin Marcel survived a concentration camp. Both met their fates because of nationalism. But the rest of the family survived. Aunt Julia and little Albert were never arrested.This makes my family's experience completely different from that of Jewish families. All members of Jewish families died. All of them. That's what makes it genocide and not war.I am not happy that Misha takes the experience of a nationalist family and abuses the holocaust experience of the Jews to give herself credibility or sympathy or whatever. It makes me angry. And I'm saying that as a person whose Belgium family had an experience in World War II similar to that of Misha's family. That's no way to bear witness to the holocaust. Misha's actions are an abuse.Had to get that off my chest. Please don't think that all Belgium nationalist families would react the way Misha did. She shames us."

Fellow genealogist uncovers the truth about a holocaust story

Early this morning I received an email from a friend, Sharon Sergeant, who lives in Massachusetts. I met Sharon eight years ago at an NGS conference in Providence, Rhode Island, through her cousin, my friend Eileen Polakoff, who lives in Manhattan. Both are fellow professional genealogists. Sharon always seems to be working on interesting projects. She sent a link to today's Boston Globe. This articles tells about Sharon uncovering the evidence that shows an author's published memoir of the holocaust and the aftermath was not exactly true.


18 February 2008

The Confucious Family Tree Numbers Two Milllion!

United Press International is reporting that Confucious has a rather large family tree. As of the end of 2007 there were two million people registered. The report says that the tree will be published in 2009. Some questions sprang to mind -- how extensive was the proof that each new registrant had to provide and did it include supporting documentation? That leads to one more question, are the sources cited?

80,000 of the descendants are in South Korea according to another report and others are in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Switzerland, and the United States.

I am thinking about doing all the data entry for them into The Master Genealogist. Talk about carpal tunnel . . .

11 February 2008

Politics and genes

It seems as if politics is everywhere these days. Now, comes a CNN report "Are Your Politics Rooted in Your Genes?" Basically, some political scientists are rethinking that your politcal party affiliation strongly reflects how you were raised. Though there isn't a gene that produces a Democrat, Independent, or Republican, the genes you possess determine how you think. They may even control whether you vote or not. Of course, there is controversy over the issue. For the full story and lots of reader comments check here.

My thanks to fellow Minnesota genealogist, Sue Crowley for sending me the link.

09 February 2008

State censuses on Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com now has Missouri state censuses online. While not as numerous as some other state's censuses, these are still helpful. Among the other state censuses on Ancestry are Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Kansas. For the story about Missouri check here.

County Idiosyncracies

One of the first things I learned many years ago as a fledgling genealogist was to watch for changing county boundaries and names. In fact, my copy of Dollarhide and Thorndale's Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920 (Out of print but widely available in libraries) is showing wear from being consulted repeatedly.

Even today we have some geographical obstacles in genealogical research. Names of countries around the world have changed -- your old childhood globe is definitely out of date. County seats for some counties have been located in various cities and towns over the years. Some counties have had two county seats/courthouses at the same time. Until 1963, Lawrence County, Arkansas had two county seats, Powhatan and Walnut Ridge. Lee County, Iowa has two county seats, Fort Madison and Keokuk.

The Minneapolis StarTribune recently carried a story about towns that even today are in two counties and are working on being attached to only one county. It's not just confusing to genealogists, but adds work for the county and city officials.

Learning the history of the people and the government of U.S. counties is vital to our searches.

07 February 2008

Upcoming Appearances

I am frequently on the road speaking at genealogy events. I will periodically post the dates and the links so you can find more details. My columns for Ancestry.com carry the invitation to introduce yourselves to me at these events. Please do that and let me know if you are a reader of my blog.

If your historical, genealogical or other type of group is interest in my lecture services, just e-mail me at PaulaStuartWarren@gmail.com.

February 23 So. St. Paul MN, Minnesota Genealogical Society: How to Research American Indian Ancestors. Details

April 12, St. Louis, MO: St. Louis Genealogical Society, Annual Family History Fair Details

April 18-19, Cincinnati, OH: Ohio Genealogical Society Annual Conference Details

May 14-17, Kansas City, MO: National Genealogical Society Conference in the States Details

May 30-31, Chicago, IL: Newberry Library Seminar. Details available soon.

September 3-6, Phildadelphia, PA: Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference Details. More details coming throughout February.

September 13, Tampa, FL: Florida Genealogical Society Seminar. Details to appear soon.

September 19-20, St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Genealogical Society Annual Seminar. Details to appear soon.

October 25-November 1: The Atlantic Ocean; Genealogy Seminar at Sea upon a glorious cruise ship. Details

November 8: San Mateo, CA: Genealogy Seminar. Details to appear soon

01 February 2008

Late next fall join me on a CRUISE

Well, me and a lot of other people. And a whole cadre of excellent genealogy lecturers. The Genealogy Seminar at Sea takes place from October 25 - November 1, 2008. The ship is the beautiful and new Liberty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International. To see more about the ship and its amenities look here. This website has wonderful pictures, tells you about cruising, what to wear, ports of call, and once you see all this, I am willing to bet you will be eager to join us. Make your reservation and deposit now to ensure you have a spot.

During the three days at sea, you will have a wide choice of educational (and entertaining) lectures to choose from. The extensive list of the lectures complete with a description is here. The speakers include (in alpha order!) John Philip Colletta, Stephen J. Danko, Michael J. Leclerc, Paul Milner, George G. Morgan, Donna M. Moughty, Laura G. Prescott, and Paula Stuart-Warren. (I think I may have heard of that last speaker ) This is a fantastic group of speakers who do know each other and we might just tell a few tales about each other.

I used to think that I would be bored on a cruise -- oh, has that been proven wrong! And a genealogy cruise is the way to go.It give you a special comraderie and is even a chance for the non-genealogist friend or relative to see that we genealogists can be fun. The people you bring along with you will not be bored at all.

By the end of the week, you will have new friends, be relaxed, have eaten well, toured some beautiful places, maybe climbed a rock wall, swam, had a massage, played miniature golf, plunked a few coins in a slot machine, lounged in the whirlpool, visited the ship's library, watched a movie, and of course, enhanced your genealogical education in a fun setting. Bring along a friend, spouse, significant other, or your fellow genealogical society members for a memorable week. The more the merrier and you might find another genealogist who shares an ancestral link or who knows about that town where Great Grandma Annie was born and raised.

To be a part of the genealogical portion of this cruise, you need to reserve your spot with Cindy at Fly Away Travel (800) 837-0295. For more cruise details visit http://www.genealogycruises.com/

U.S. National Archives to Restore Research Hours

I love to post something positive that will benefit genealogists. I opened my e-mail today and found just such a thing. Effective April 14, 2008, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration locations in Washington, DC and College Park, MD will again have extended research hours.

In 2006 the evening and Saturday hours were cut back so that evening and Saturday hours occured just once a month. The new set of hours make it possible for visiting researchers to get in some long days of work on consecutive days. As before, ordering original manuscripts must be done only during Monday-Friday daytime hours with the last request time being 2:30 on Monday and Tuesday, and 3:30 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. No original records can be ordered on Saturday. Microfilms and many finding aids are available during all open hours. The new hours will be:
  • Monday and Tuesday 9:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Thursday, and Frday: 9:00 a.m - 9:00 p.m
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m
Le'ts make sure we let the Archives know how much we appreciate this by using these extended hours. You can read the entire Press Release here.