Monday, May 28, 2012

On Memorial Day

The above image comes from the Memorial Day page at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, explaining that Memorial Day is a day for remembering those who died in the service of their country.  [Read the full text of the poem.]
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action. [source]
[More on the history of Memorial Day]

Unnamed Remains the Bravest Soldier - by Walt Whitman (From 'Specimen Days')

OF scenes like these, I say, who writes—whoe’er can write the story? Of many a score—aye, thousands, north and south, of unwrit heroes, unknown heroisms, incredible, impromptu, first-class desperations—who tells? No history ever—no poem sings, no music sounds, those bravest men of all—those deeds. No formal general’s report, nor book in the library, nor column in the paper, embalms the bravest, north or south, east or west. Unnamed, unknown, remain, and still remain, the bravest soldiers. Our manliest—our boys—our hardy darlings; no picture gives them. Likely, the typic one of them (standing, no doubt, for hundreds, thousands,) crawls aside to some bush-clump, or ferny tuft, on receiving his death-shot—there sheltering a little while, soaking roots, grass and soil, with red blood—the battle advances, retreats, flits from the scene, sweeps by—and there, haply with pain and suffering (yet less, far less, than is supposed,) the last lethargy winds like a serpent round him—the eyes glaze in death—none recks—perhaps the burial-squads, in truce, a week afterwards, search not the secluded spot—and there, at last, the Bravest Soldier crumbles in mother earth, unburied and unknown.

The cartoon above is by John T. McCutcheon - published circa 1900

Monday, May 14, 2012

NBC Cancels the US adaptation of WDYTYA

NBC has chosen not to renew the television series: Who Do You Think You Are? after it's third season.

We want to thank NBC for their support of this terrific series, which over the last three years has inspired many viewers to follow their passion to learn more about who they are and where they come from," said Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of "We have a great partnership with the show's producers, Is or Isn't Entertainment and Shed Media, and we look forward to exploring other avenues of distribution.
It's important to note that Ancestry implies they as well as the show's producers are interested in finding another  "avenue of distribution," - that is, another network willing to air the show.  So this might not be the end of WDYTYA in America.  Of course, it definitely isn't the end of WDYTYA. The original British show, and the Australian adaptation both seem to be active, if not other adaptations as well.

Amanuensis Monday: Incorporation of Famous Laundry Company by Selig Feinstein

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

I began this project three years ago, back on February 16, 2009.  Since I began, many others have joined in on the meme. I am thrilled that this meme I started has inspired so many to transcribe their family history documents. Why do we transcribe? I provide my three reasons in the linked post. You may find others.

This week I transcribe a series of news briefs that appeared in an issue of the journal, Iron Age, in 1912. My second great grandfather is mentioned in one, which I have emphasized. I discuss where and how I found this journal article in the notes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Blog Update

In the list of top ten visited pages on my blog consistently over the past few years has been a handful of blog posts where I have listed and linked to indexes for obituaries from various St. Louis area newspapers.  The indexes, to the benefit of all researchers, keep growing so I have written several posts updating the information.

Instead of creating a new post, I have created what Blogger calls a 'page': St. Louis Area Obituaries

You will find a permanent link to this page at the top of my blog, along with links to several other pages I have created in the past.