Archive for August, 2009
FRIDAY, AUGUST 28: FIRST RADIO COMMERCIAL
Profile America — Friday, August 28th. “This program is brought to you by” those words, or ones close to them, were heard for the first time on this date 87 years ago, as the first commercial was broadcast on the new medium of radio. Station WEAF in New York City carried that first ad — not for soap or automobiles — but for a group of apartment buildings in Queens. The cost was $100 for 10 minutes of programming. At the time, there were just 30 stations in the whole country, and only 60,000 households had receivers. Now, there are 4,800 AM radio stations and 6,300 broadcasting in FM, and more than $19 billion is spent on radio advertising each year. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase’s Calendar of Events 2009, p. 422
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 796
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2009, t. 946
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look under the “Newsroom” button).
|SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau|
Background: Mark’s Grandfather’s (Rex Logsdon) watch
Foreground: Gold thimble and amber cameo I inherited from Great Aunt Libby
On my vacation last week, my step-mother-in law took us on a quick tour of the cemetery near their home in Highlands, NC.
Highlands is a town in Macon County, North Carolina. Highlands is at latitude 35.052N, longitude -83.196W. It is in the Eastern Standard time zone, and almost due north of Atlanta, just two hours from Hartsfield.
Elevation there is 3,832 feet, and my father-in-law’s house is very near the Eastern Continental Divide. The area is also considered a rain forest, very rare on this side of the Misssissippi. This all makes Memorial Cemetery an incredibly lovely site.
To get to the cemetery: From Highlands, turn on Hwy. 64 towards Cashiers. Go approximately one mile to Memorial Drive on left. Cemetery is just down that road.
At this web site a transcribed Cemetery Survey starts above the road continues down the hill: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/region/southeast/ncmacon/cemetery/highlands.html
Volunteers to Bring Historic Sweden Church Records Online
400 million names included in largest indexing effort to-date
FALKÖPING, Sweden—FamilySearch and Svensk Arkivinformation (SVAR), a division of the National Archives of Sweden, announced today the launch of the largest online indexing initiative undertaken to-date. The two groups unveiled plans to engage Swedish volunteers throughout the world to help create a highly searchable, free online index to the historic parish registers of Sweden—200 years of recorded Swedish history as documented in the Sweden church records—comprising over 400 million names.
In 1608 the Archbishop of Sweden asked the clergy to begin making records of births, christenings, marriages, and burials of all the residents of Sweden. By 1686, they were conducting regular examinations of the population of each parish. The church records (often called “parish registers” or “church books”) span over two centuries and chronicle the vital life events of an estimated 418 million people who moved in and out of parishes in Sweden.
“The church records are a key source for genealogists seeking Swedish ancestors because nearly everyone who lived in Sweden was recorded in a church record,” said David Rencher, FamilySearch chief genealogical officer. “The challenge now is to make those records, which are written in Swedish, available to researchers worldwide,” concluded Rencher.
“We are very pleased with the excellent cooperation we have enjoyed for many years between FamilySearch and the National Archives to microfilm and scan the Swedish church records. Now we are going to create an index that will revolutionize the genealogy research in Sweden. The simplicity of finding and reading about one’s ancestors on the Web in the millions of scanned records will attract many beginners of all ages,” said Anders Nordström, director of SVAR. “To the academic researcher, this is an entirely new means. It makes it possible to do research within disciplines on a micro level, an extent that was never possible before now,” added Nordström.
The way Swedes passed on a family name throughout the centuries is another reason why the indexing initiative is so important to family historians. “Imagine being in a Swedish community 200 years ago and 10 out of 100 people have the same first and last name as you. That’s how small the naming pool was in Scandinavia,” said Jeff Svare, FamilySearch Scandinavian collection management specialist.
If you were Anders Andersson, your father could have been Anders. Your brother could have also been named Anders, as well as your uncle. To help distinguish which Anders Andersson you were referring to at the time, locals added the name of the farm (residence) of an individual to keep them straight. “Otherwise, when you’re trying to search for Anders Andersson today, your ancestor falls into the proverbial fog of same-named people and you don’t know who they are without the additional context,” added Svare. The FamilySearch index will include the residence or farm name from the individual’s vital record. This information has been extracted to assist patrons in identifying their Swedish ancestor.
The goal is to engage the Swedish community in creating a highly searchable, free online index to the Sweden church records. When complete, the index will be the single largest point of access to information contained in the historic parish registers of Sweden. The free index will link to images of the original records hosted by the National Archives of Sweden (SVAR). In addition to the free public index that will be made available, SVAR might charge a nominal fee for public patrons who want to view or print the images.
FamilySearch is the global leader of online indexing. It launched its online indexing program in 2008, and tens of thousands of volunteers recently helped reach another major milestone by indexing their 250 millionth name. FamilySearch currently has 65 online indexing projects underway.
For this project, FamilySearch will create digital images of the Sweden church records provided by SVAR. Volunteers worldwide will then use FamilySearch’s Web-based indexing tool to view the digital images and extract only the desired information from the image. That data will then be processed and published online in searchable indexes linked to the digital images.
Volunteers need only Internet access and the ability to read Swedish to contribute to this historic effort. A unique quality control process ensures a highly accurate, finished index. Each document is transcribed by two different indexers, wherever they are in the world. Any discrepancies in their two extractions are then forwarded to a third volunteer—an arbitrator—who makes any needed corrections between the two interpretations.
The project will start with records from Örebro, Uppsala, and Södermanland counties. Indexing will begin with the earliest year available for each parish and continue through 1860. A typical downloaded “batch” (group of records) will take a volunteer about 30 to 40 minutes to complete. The indexing utility has built-in tutorials and helps. Anyone interested in volunteering for the Sweden Church Records project can do so at indexing.familysearch.org.
Researchers Discover Star of Popular Movie Franchise Is Related to an Accused 16th-Century English Witch
PROVO, UT–(Marketwire – July 30, 2009) – Actress Emma Watson, who plays an exceptionally talented witch and the best friend of Harry Potter in the blockbuster Harry Potter series, has a real-life connection to her role as Hermione. According to the family history research experts at Ancestry.com, English records show Watson’s distant relative was Joan Playle of Essex County, England, a 16th-century English woman convicted of witchcraft in 1592.
While the details around Playle’s conviction remain a mystery, records indicate she was unmarried, which could have led to the accusation of being a witch. During the Elizabethan era, women who were poor, old, widowed, single or otherwise unprotected were those most often at risk for such accusations. Based on the Ancestry.com research, it appears Playle was not executed for her alleged crimes, but she was excommunicated from the Church of England and was one of only 270 known individuals accused of and tried for witchcraft in all of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
“Researching your family’s past can have just as many twists and turns as a movie blockbuster, and this was exciting research to delve into for our team,” said Anastasia Tyler, a genealogist at Ancestry.com. “It’s not every day we’re able to trace the branches of a family tree back to 16th-century witch trials. Combine that with a celebrity connection to Emma Watson and the fact that she plays a witch in Harry Potter… you couldn’t script it any better.”
Research also revealed Playle was convicted in the parish of Great Waltham in Essex County, a town approximately 50 miles northeast of London and about 100 miles from Oxfordshire, where Watson grew up.
Magical Cast-Mate Family Trees
The family history experts at Ancestry.com conjured up even more magic in Harry Potter cast-mates’ family trees:
-- Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) -- Although Radcliffe isn't related to
princes or wizards, his family does hail from Ireland, which is magic
enough in its own right. He descends from bakers and plumbers and grocers,
respectable occupations the Dursleys would likely be proud to have in their
family. -- Rupert Grint (Ronald Weasley) -- Grint's family was employed in a
truly "Muggle" brand of "defense against the dark arts," with two of his
2nd great-grandfathers and one of his 3rd great-grandfathers working in the
Royal Small Arms Factory in London as a "barrel turner," "sight filer" and
"gun smith" respectively. -- Helena Bonham Carter (Belatrix Lestrange) -- Bonham Carter is the
cast's true "half-blooded prince," as she descends from a long line of
nobility. Her great-grandfather Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford
and Asquith, served as Liberal Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from
1908 through 1916, and her 3rd great-grandfather Sir John Carter III
received the honor of knighthood from His Majesty King George III. --
JK Rowling -- Interestingly, the author's own family tree lacks the c
harms and enchantments of her books. Her 2nd great-grandfather Henry John
Holland worked for several years as a "car man." And in 1841, her 4th great-
grandfather John Robson was a "tea dealer."
To find out what magic your family tree might hold, visit www.ancestry.com.
Ancestry.com is the world’s largest online resource for family history and has digitized and put online over 4 billion records over the past twelve years. Ancestry users have created over ten million family trees containing over one billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries, and more than 8 million unique visitors spent more than 5 million hours on an Ancestry Web site in May 2009 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide). For more information on Ancestry.com and its other family history resources, visit http://corporate.ancestry.com.
MYHERITAGE.COM ADDS MAPS TO ITS FAMILY HISTORY SUITE
New version 4.0 of MyHeritage.com’s Family Tree Builder visualizes family history in colorful maps, and offers Family Chat™ in a new family toolbar
London, England & Tel Aviv, Israel – August 13, 2009 – MyHeritage.com, a leading family and genealogy Website, today announced the release of Family Tree Builder 4.0. With more than 5 million downloads so far, Family Tree Builder is the world’s most popular free genealogy software, allowing seasoned pros and beginners alike to build family trees, research their family history, add photos and videos, and obtain unique Smart Matches™ with other family trees worldwide. The key improvements of the new version include a map module, a family toolbar with Family Chat™ and extensive support for albums to organize a family’s photos, videos and documents.
“In recent years we’ve seen a growing number of people who want to learn more about their ancestors and where they came from”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage.com. “With the new map module, people can get an appealing visual representation of their family’s life journeys. They can also map the addresses of family members, quickly find all events and photos associated with a particular place and even standardize place names using smart suggestions. This provides a fascinating new perspective for millions of people interested in their family history.”
The new family toolbar provides direct access to family sites on MyHeritage.com, adds powerful genealogy search and features Family Chat – a text, audio and video chat system built specifically for family use. Members also receive useful birthday reminders on the family toolbar without leaving the Web page they are on.
The Family Tree Builder software – free to download at http://www.myheritage.com/family-tree-builder – is already well respected by family history enthusiasts for its ease of use and excellent handling of photos and other digital media. The addition of albums for organizing photos, videos and documents makes it an even more useful tool. Family Tree Builder 4.0 also adds slideshows for showcasing family photos in appealing ways; and a new screen saver that displays family photos based on tagging and face recognition technology.
MyHeritage.com is a leading online destination for families, where people can find relatives, research family history, and stay connected with family members across the globe. In addition, MyHeritage.com offers automatic photo tagging technology that makes it easier to label, organize and search for digital photos, giving families another fun way to stay in touch.
MyHeritage.com was founded by a team of people who combine a passion for family history with the development of innovative technology. It is now one of the world’s leading online networks for families, and the second largest family history website. MyHeritage.com is available in 34 languages, is home to more than 33 million family members and hosts profiles of 360 million people.
For more information contact:
Genealogy and Translation Manager