Sunday, July 27, 2014

Family Trees on the Internet

Do they belong in your family tree?

This NPR story, broadcast in February 2014, highlights a significant problem with using the internet to do genealogy: family trees that are all wrong. Granted badly researched trees and falsified family trees have always existed. The convenience of the web now makes it much easier to find them and connect to them on, and similar sites.

So beware of family trees you find online and use them as clues to guide your research. Always ask yourself if the appearance of a particular person in an online tree makes sense geographically, chronologically, and historically.

With thanks to who posted a link to this story on their Facebook page.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crafting Your Heritage: Knitting in Shetland

Knitting: A Work in Progress

While it is quite satisfying to locate a set of 6x great-grandparents and fill in two more boxes on a pedigree chart, it can be equally satisfying to do something that our ancestors did everyday. For some people this is gardening, attending the same church, or cooking family recipes. For me one of these activities is knitting.

Both of my grandmothers knit, but my maternal grandmother, Karin Nordstrom Hood, is the one who taught me. She was taught the continental method by her mother, Linka Larsen Nordstrom, and that is the method I learned. This small connection to my Norwegian heritage pleases me more than it probably should.

This story from NPR profiles the tradition of knitting in Shetland. Even if you had no idea there was an island named Shetland let alone that they knit there, you would probably recognize a Fair Isle pattern. 

I'm not sure I would be a good descendant from Shetlanders. I don't like color knitting and lace frustrates me. I much prefer the texture of cables.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Stories of 21st Century Immigrants

The July 4th episode of NPR's Alt.Latino features a discussion with Achy Obejas, co-editor of Immigrant Voices. 21st Century Stories and readings from several of the stories. I like that Obejas points out that the immigrant experience actually begins in the home county, something we tend to forget about in America. She makes a further point that immigranting in the 21st century is much different than in previous times: much more is known about America now, it is easier to keep in touch with the home country, and it is easier to return.

The stories evoke the experiences of immigrants from a range of countries including Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Iran. Maybe listening to these modern stories will inspire you to learn about one of your immigrant ancestors, how their immigration story began, and how they adjusted (or not) to America.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

D-Day Reports from the BBC

BBC Radio 4

Last month,.in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, BBC Radio 4 rebroadcast the news bulletins from 6, 7, and 8 June 1944. These bulletins which chronicle the progress of the Normandy Invasion feature Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Patrick Stewart, and Toby Jones. Each segment is accompanied by image of the original transcripts.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

Today would have been my grandparents 70th Wedding Anniversary. William Hood and Karin Nordstrom were married in East Cleveland on 20 May 1944. Isn't her dress fabulous!
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