Here is a link to a very interesting, albeit long, blogpost on BillionGraves explaining the difference between the it and Findagrave. Pictures and maps accompany the text so you can see what they mean and how it applies to your work if you are a genealogical researcher. Personally, I have felt that findagrave.com has gone downhill since being bought by ancestry.com, as I have found more misidentifications online than I had in the past and more postings of alleged graves with no stones or anything. People glom onto those memorials and add all kinds of things to them when, in fact, their ancestor ain't buried there. The down side to BillionGraves is that it only has a fraction of the number of memorials but they apparently have an app and are recruiting volunteers, so if you are a researcher, check it out. This is a multi-part post.
My pilgrim ancestors did not celebrate Easter, but I do. I hope all of you out there have a very blessed and holy Easter.
I found these links on the Plymouth 400 web site this evening - a site that is worth your checking out.
One is to a sample letter you can download and tweak, then send to the committee that approves new postage stamps. Certainly the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's arrival is stamp-worthy. The Postal Service issued a special stamp at an earlier Mayflower anniversary and 400 years certainly calls for a stamp or even a set of stamps. Consider downloading their model letter and firing off your own missive to Washington, D. C. Be a policy influencer! Then you can brag to your friends next year about how you helped make the Mayflower quadricentennial stamp set a reality. The Postal Service issues lots of commemorative stamps and likes ideas for compelling, colorful imagery with a U.S. theme so if you don't like the ideas suggested in the letter (and I do not) feel free to swap them out for your own.
The other is to their postal artwork contest. Thinking "positive," new stamps are issued with a cachet - a fancy envelope with a complimentary design, usually postmarked at a place related to the topic. An example would be an envelope with a fancy Plymouth Rock on it (I am obviously not artistically visionary enough to win this contest), bearing one or all of the commemorative stamps you have lobbied for, and postmarked at the Plymouth or Provincetown, MA postal service on the exact date of the 400th anniversary. That would go straight into many a philatelist's collection. They need your artistic contributions, though. And teachers, assigning this as a project is a clever way to combine history and art for a curriculum double-whammy. Yes, ordinary people and ordinary artists do design the Postal Service's stamps and I believe they do pay, so when you're done with your cachet design, try for the stamp.
Congratulations to Richard Warren, who still leads the list of pilgrims whose descendants had their picture taken. He just passed the 300 mark with the addition of 6 Bisbees from Buckfield, ME. They are also descendants of Dr. Samuel Fuller, the Billington family, Francis Eaton, Degory Priest, and Isaac Allerton. If you descend from anyone in Oxford County, Maine, their write-ups are worth a look for the lineages and the cautionary tale they tell. I will leave you to find that in the Allerton section.
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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