Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another Legal Column Posted!

Another legal column has been posted on Craig Manson's blog. You can read it here. This time, the column has the answer to the quiz column that was posted a few days ago.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Genealogy Blogs Added

As of yesterday, I have added several more genealogy blogs to the list. The blogs added are:
  • Anna Dalhaimer Bartkowski's Value Meals on the Volga
  • Brenda Joyce Jerome's Western Kentucky Genealogy
  • FGS Conference Blog
  • Terry Snyder's Desktop Genealogist
  • Your Genealogy Search

You can find these blogs and more on the lower left hand of this page. Any suggestions for other history and genealogy blogs are welcome.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I just want to say, "Congrats!" to Jasia. She has been blogging on her Creative Gene blog for two years now and she has posted over 500 articles. That is quite impressive. So, Congratulations Jasia!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not Sure if DNA testing would help me ...

Before I begin with my question, I just want to say that I have not exhausted all of the records available to find an answer to my question. At the moment, I haven't been able to do very much research on this mysterious ancestor. Of course, of the little information I have found so far, the information about the year born and possible parents are conflicting.

Of course, I am wondering how feasible is DNA testing would be in determining the parents of my ancestor. My ancestor and his possible parents have been dead for several decades, but some of my ancestor's descendants are still alive. I do not know if there any male descendants of the possible father that are still alive. Would a y-DNA test be feasible to determine a possible paternal ancestor going back two or more generations?

Please forgive me if my question is unclear.

Some Other Articles ...

I just did a little surfing amongst the genealogy blogs, and I noticed some more interesting genealogy blogs. The articles that caught my interest are:

These articles were posted either today or yesterday, and they are just a few of the genealogy articles out there. I just picked a few that I thought might be of interest to others.

Genealogy News

I've noticed in the past couple of days that there have been some major announcements on genealogy news, and so, I decided to provide links to articles on topics.

To read about the announcement on Civil War Widow's Pensions, check out these articles:

To read about the announcement on the opening of Pre-1946 military records, check out these articles:

I have not included any links on the announcement of's and the New England Historic Genealogical Society primarily because many other bloggers have already commented on this announcement. Either way, this has been a busy week so far for genealogy news, and as you can see, I haven't been able to keep up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another legal column posted

Another legal column has been posted on Craig Manson's blog. You can read it here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Genealogy and History Thoughts - Column Five

Why is history important? To me, history is an important subject to study. I realize that is an understatement since I am majoring in history. On the other hand, though, I can't help but notice articles that mention the lack of knowledge of U. S. history by the peers of my generation, and I am disturbed by these reports.

And why should I care? I care not just because I might go into an occupation that deals with history but also because I am worried about whether the truth will be preserved. I'm worried about the preservation of the truth not just because people are forgetting their past, but also I notice that there are people who twist the facts to make it fit their political views. Politically, I am a conservative, but I'll admit, this occurs on both sides of the political spectrum. (Sorry. I didn't want to bring politics into this blog. I have another blog where I post my political beliefs, so I try to keep politics and genealogy as separate as much as I can.) I realize there are parts of U. S. history that are not pleasant, but those parts still have to be told. I want to the truth to be told, so that future generations won't make the same mistakes that have been made in the past. And I want the truth to be told because textbooks don't always include both sides of the story. Many times, historical events are portrayed in history textbooks in a simplified matter when in reality, the events were more complicated than portrayed. In case anyone is wondering, I mainly notice this in regards to with the more recent past. (Holocaust denial would fall into this category, even though most teachers teach that the Holocaust did occur. I still worry because someone in the future might be able to get away with teaching denial as fact in the future, and if the lack knowledge of history continues to occur in future generations, that might happen.) Among the twists that I have noticed:
  • Apollo 11's landing on the moon. There are people who argue that this did not happen. (I'm serious. I had a high school teacher who believed this.)
  • The Great Depression and FDR's New Deal. There are people who believe that the New Deal pulled us out of the Great Depression, when it was World War Two that actually finally pulled the U. S. out of it. (I've actually had a teacher and a high school student tell me it was FDR's policies, while I have read articles - and spoke to my grandparents - that stated that it was World War Two that pulled the economy out of the depression.)
  • And some of the events of the last twenty or thirty years of U. S. history have been distorted in books according to the author's political bias.

When I speak of distortions of history, I am not talking about information that comes to light through the declassification of documents. I do not consider reanalyzing a historical event in the light of newly released documents a distortion of history. What I consider a distortion of history is when the the facts are incorrectly portrayed or when the facts presented are so slanted that only one side of history is presented. (This is where the political bias usually shines through.) There is almost always more than one perception of a historical event. Teaching history as just a bunch of facts or terms ignores the reality of history's complexity. (When it comes to the Holocaust, though, the evidence and facts do not support a holocaust denier's perspective. I am only talking about historical events where the general events are agreed upon by both sides.) Unfortunately, when it comes to how history is taught in public schools, the idea that there are other perceptions or interpretations of the same facts does not get mentioned. (Again, I notice this with the more recent history.) Historical controversies rarely get mentioned, and I think this is one of the reasons why history is viewed as dry and boring. Most people don't know that there are controversies unless they read about an event on their own. Or take a college history course that goes into depth on a certain era or topic. (The assassination of JFK, of course, is an exception.)

Of course, why should I worry about the bias of a teacher or author of a history book? I worry because at times the bias is taught as fact instead of the facts and people do not always spend the time to make sure that the facts are correct. I'm also worried because I notice many inaccuracies on the internet. I'm afraid that people will read these distortions and accept them as fact. I think there are times when people forget that not everything is true on the internet. ( I include Wikipedia in this category because anyone can post or edit an entry if they do not like what is posted.) When it comes to biases or distortions in history, there are people that want to make everyone feel guilty for what has happened in the past. There events that we should be ashamed of and acknowledge, but I don't believe that we should carry around a baggage of guilt for what has happened. We cannot change what has happened; all we can do is to insure that people are treated fairly and that the same mistakes are not repeated. History is to be studied to ensure that mistakes made in the past are not repeated.

So what do you think? I realize that I've touched upon a controversial topic and that not everyone will agree with me. Again, I apologize for letting my political bias seep into this column. As always, you can leave a comment.