Saturday, October 24, 2015

Serendipity Day --- 24 October 2015

There has been lots of wuzz-wuzzing (my father’s words!!) about whether or not the Family History Library in Salt Lake City will keep the “real” books on their shelves after each one is digitized. Should they or shouldn’t they? James Tanner, who is eminently qualified to address this topic, in a post in his GenealogyStar blog on 1 October 2015, explained a new concept (at least to me):The Digital Divide.

This particular problem, called the Digital Divide, is the divide between genealogists who use the Internet and those who do not. Tanner, in his post, thought it would be a good thing to have all the FHL books free and available online. But after his post, he received some thoughtful comments. “Not all of the potential genealogists have access to the Internet or their access was so slow as to make the (book downloading process) impractical.”

Tanner gives several scenarios and summarizes:  “So, we have, hypothetically speaking, a class of people who have no Internet access. In addition… we have a class of people who have no physical access to the FHL or any of the branch libraries around the world. Guess what? It absolutely makes no difference to them as to whether or not the books are in paper or in digital format.”

He finishes his post by pointing out any and all of the problems connected with this peculiar condition termed the Digital Divide (and they can be many) have nothing to do with digitizing books at the FHL. “In law, raising the issue of the Digital Divide as a reason why there is something wrong with the Library’s digitization of paper books and then removing them from the shelves, would be called a “red herring,” that is, irrelevant to the issues.”

I urge you to click to and ready this entire post for yourself. While you’re there, sign up (via email) to receive all James Tanner’s thoughtful posts.


Do you long for some genealogical library research? Would you love to go to Salt Lake but that’s just not on the horizon for you right now? Would you settle for second best? How about the Heritage Quest Research Library in beautiful downtown Sumner? (1007 Main, phone 253-863-1806, website If you live near enough, you might wish to join and support the library ($30) but it’s only $5 for a non-member to use the library for a day. They have hundreds of books, hundreds of microforms, tables to work on and helpers there all day. Check their website for days and hours. Lots of neat eateries and shops also are on Main Street.


Is there a Canadian veteran in your family tree? I have, and am happily willing to give away, some Canadian veteran genealogy materials……….. items that I cannot now find online. One is a small booklet in the Remembrance Series, Canadians in Belgium (written in both English and French). I also have three leaflets, “The Faces of Peace: Veterans of the Canadian Forces,” and “D-Day and the Battle of Normandy,” and “The Italian Campaign,” all in the Canada Remembers series. If you would like these materials, the first one to email a request gets them… Would appreciate postage.

Genetic genealogy is the next tool in the tool kit of the prepared genealogists. You have your history written into yourselves. Only now are we starting to be able to read or decode that mystery in all of us.”  Bennett Greenspan, Founder & CEO, FamilyTree DNA, 2014
“This is still a baby science and there is still so much more to learn.” Cecily Kelly, 2015
Right now, today, the science of genetic genealogy is mushrooming. There is no one website, no one book and no one blog that will bring up up-to-speed on understanding this vast and tangled subject. But if you consider yourself a genealogist of tomorrow, you will begin a campaign of self-education. I have just purchased (on Amazon for pennies) these two books which I promise myself to study:

What about YOU? Share with me your plans to start your self-education in this area.


Do you already subscribe to TIME magazine? Do you know about The Vault? The TIME magazine Vault is a digital archive of all the stories, photos, and ads, from the beginning of the magazine in 1923 to the present. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to read the news that your grandparents read? Even if they didn’t read TIME magazine, to read the issue after December 7, 1941, is to read the same news that they read that day. A subscription to TIME magazine costs $40 and digital access to The Vault is included. Think of the research opportunities.


Thomas Jefferson’s Ten Rules
1.      Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
2.      Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3.      Never spend your money before you have earned it.
4.      Never buy what you don’t want because it is cheap.
5.      Pride costs more than hunger, thirst and cold.
6.      We seldom repent of having eaten too little.
7.      Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8.      How much pain the evils have cost us that never happened.
9.      Take things always by the smooth handle.
10.  When angry, count ten before you speak, if very angry, count a hundred.

I bought this postcard at the Historic Michie Tavern, a great eating place at the base of the mountain whereupon sits Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home.

Do you think these are good rules for today?

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