Their weekly on line newsletter announced that the NEHGS consultation fee will go from $70/hr to $85 (+21%) for members and from $90/hr to $105 (+27%) for nonmembers. Ouch. Those who book the appointment before January 1st will have the 2017 rate honored, though. If you were thinking of asking for something like that for Christmas (or purchasing it for someone else), do it quickly!
Just passing along the message I found in my spam folder today.... The GSMD is asking those in a holiday giving mood (not just on GivingTuesday) to remember the Silver Books project. Their goal is $15,000. It takes a lot of work to get those written, researched, printed, and distributed but they are the source everyone must use to prove their 1st-5th generations, and in some cases, their 6th-8th. Here is the link to show your support: www.themayflowersociety.org/givingtuesday
Today's newsletter had a big ad, essentially, for a new website the NEHGS has set up for people who might be amenable to either joining (in order to use their databases to prove Mayflower descent) or hiring them to do some or all of the work involved. The site is Mayflower.americanancestors.org.
I tried it using both Firefox and Safari and found it very quirky. The images jumped all over, making it impossible to click on some of them. The big map where viewers are invited to "pin" their picture, name, and pilgrim requires a LOT of clicking. I didn't see a feature to list everyone in a particular state, whereas there WAS a feature to click on to see a list of descendants from a particular pilgrim. I guess the purpose is to make people feel good about themselves or feel connected, but it's not a great way IMO to reach out to someone for help with joining. I checked my own state, which had 4 people listed, only 3 of whom belong and the 4th must belong in another state. (If the person has a pink flower next to his/her name, he/she has proven descent to the GSMD's satisfaction and become a member.) Sometimes people think that a particular distant relative has joined and this would be one way to look for him/her except that you'd have to know which pilgrim they pinned to the map and then search by pilgrim, or know state of residence and start clicking on the markers one at a time. Data is all self-reported, too, so there are bound to be some misidentifications. (And how will they fit thousands (even dozens) of people onto a 3" long map of the US?)
On the plus side, NEHGS points out the databases that anyone can use for free, something not everyone is aware of. Overall, I would give it a halfhearted "somewhat interesting, but I hope you didn't spend a lot of my membership money on this." See what you think.
First of all, a thank-you to the Tempe chapter of the Arizona Family History Society, which invited me to speak there yesterday evening and gamely sat through an hour and a quarter of Intro to Pilgrims 101 and How to Fill Out a Mayflower Application 102. I appreciate the invitation very much. A special thanks to the person who brought the Mac adapter (I had left mine with the cat by mistake) so my laptop could talk with their projector.
The other item is another one of my complaints about weebly. (I know, I shouldn't complain because it's free, but they do want to keep their customers and advertisers.) Either they randomly changed the default fonts from one day to the next (for no apparent reason and without warning) but the latest entry came out in a different fault, and all "bold," with no ability to turn off the boldness. I tried making a new box elsewhere on the page but the same thing happened. I even tried typing her writeup inside the box containing another person's writeup, then cut-and-pasting it into her box. Doing that made only the title and words in italics bold, but it was still a different font. Sometimes weebly's weirdnesses turn out to be a software error, so weebly, if you are reading this, please fix Catharine Townsend in the Howland-Tilley 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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