Tomorrow are the services for President George H. W. Bush, a descendant of Francis Cooke, John Howland, and the 3 Tilleys who were passengers on the Mayflower. He exemplified many of the qualities we would like to think our pilgrim ancestors all had and that we inherited at least a little bit of. I learned recently in the genealogy course I'm taking that those ancestors' DNA should be immeasurable or gone by now (400 years and a dozen generations later.) However, we can all strive to be "points of light" for the world around us. RIP, Cousin George.
Actually, ocotillos are not cacti and I publish a photo like this every year, but just in case you were wondering what people here have to rake and kids to run through in the autumn, this is it.
Maybe 99% of you are Russian bots (I doubt it) but my thanks to all of you who visit this web site and click around in search of ancestors or information (and hopefully some ads.) This site has been online for nearly six-and-a-half years and in that time readership has grown steadily from a handful per week to a few hundred, to many hundreds, and as of last week, 1,678 "unique viewers" in a 7-day period. I hope you find what you are looking for here. A happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
I am reposting this link from the NEHGS' weekly newsletter for subscribers. It's about someone using facial recognition software with the goal of identifying 100% of the soldiers (some day) in old Civil War photos. I don't know how feasible that is if you do not have another photo of the soldier in which he is positively identified, but I applaud the goal. Check out the story at: https://slate.com/technology/2018/11/civil-war-photo-sleuth-facial-recognition.html
Today is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. If you are reading this, thank a teacher - if you are reading this in English, thank a veteran. The picture below is cropped from a photo of my late mother's elderly cousin pointing at family names on the plaque erected by their Massachusetts town. The inscription reads "Somerset remembers these sons and daughters who served their country and humanity in the World War." (Back when there was only one "world war.") There are no ranks or branches of service noted, and the names are in alphabetical order. There are 150 names - in a town with about 3,000 residents in 1917. That means 5% of the total population served. In the Phoenix metro area, it would take 250,000 men and women to equal that.
One name is my grandfather Lynch. Three of the other Lynches are ALL of his brothers. The fifth Lynch is their cousin, who would lose 2 of his 3 sons in WWII. (The VFW post in town is named in their honor.) To the left of the Lynches are the Donahues, Mom's cousin's father and uncle. The female Donahue may also be a relative. Our thanks to all of you. Reader: ask yourself if you are doing enough for today's service men, women, and veterans.
The latest electronic newsletter says that access to all databases is free through November 13th. This is your chance to check out the NEHGS site (americanancestors.org) and see what it can offer. It's an excellent opportunity to check out some of the names on your family tree in the Mayflower Families Fifth Generation database and look for a pilgrim at no cost.
Photography led to the invention of mugshots, and particularly interesting are mugshots that simultaneously captured the accused's image from front and side angles. The Yuma (Arizona) Territorial Prison State Historic Park has some on display if you visit in person, and in looking for something suitably Halloweenish for this website I stumbled across this online exhibit from my birthplace, Fall River, MA. The Fall River Historical Society's Mug Shot Online Exhibit has 28 of these images, all dated 1912. Fall River's employment was mainly at the spinning mills and there was a significant immigrant population of Irish and French Canadians. Most of these people, based on surnames, were probably immigrants or children of immigrants and that proved to be the case for the few I checked on the NEHGS website. Of interest to genealogists is the biographical information, about height, weight, date of birth, and occupation. Based on occupation they were not at the top of the socioeconomic ladder and "larceny" is the most common crime noted here, but note the one person charged with adultery. Moral of the story: don't forget to look for your ancestor in police and prison records. Things that are not illegal now may have been then (home brewing, for example, of which one of my Irish immigrant ancestors was convicted) and your person might have her or his picture on display.
Did you know that there is such a thing as a National Genealogy Hall of Fame? There is, and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) is looking for someone whose work merits their inclusion. Do not nominate yourself, as you have to have been dead for five years to qualify, but there are quite a few other awards to consider. Librarians, high school students, scholars, volunteers, and authors of articles, books, and newsletters are eligible to enter. NGS membership is required for some but not for all categories. Prizes include money, publication, free online classes, and travel to an NGS conference. Click here for information and entry forms. The deadline is December 15 but these are annual, so if you are not ready to nominate yourself or someone else, put it on your to-do list for 2019.
Normally AmazonSmile pays on the order of 0.75% of your qualified purchase to the charity of your choice. (Mine is the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, which you will see as "GSMD" on this site because the whole name is too long to type. This is the official name of what people call "The Mayflower Society.") AmazonSmile is paying 5% through Nov. 2. If you have not enrolled a charity yet, it does add up, so try https://www.smile.amazon.com and get started. (Note: amazon is not in any way a sponsor of this website. I just like free money.)
The All-Surname Index (tab at bottom left of home page) is complete and we'll see how it works. If you are wondering whether anyone in your family has any Mayflower connection at all, and you have no idea where to look, you can now search for that surname in the regular index and find a probable straight-line descendant OR check the All-Surname Index to see if they married one. This should be especially helpful with females who married into a totally non-Mayflower family and went West or in some cases, left the country. For example, if I put modern-day or living people's pictures on here (which I do not do, as a rule), and you wondered if anyone named Lynch was on the Mayflower, that surname is not in the regular index because I have not found any 100-year-old photos of a Lynch Mayflower descendant. So, you might look for that surname in the All-Surname index. There you would find the name Lynch, with "ALD BRE BRO COO DOT ROG SOU WAR," and then my name (listed as my maiden name). My dad married a Lynch, and that is our list of pilgrims. (ALD includes MUL.) Look for me in any of those sections and you'd see where the Lynch surname fit into Mayflower history. Let me know how well this works for you!
The author is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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