27    Dec 20110 comments

Genealogy News: North America, 27 December 2011

For the last-of-2011 edition of the North American Genealogy News, here are some interesting items.

Included are the US Securities Exchange Commission’s definition of a family member (who would have thought the SEC was interested in family history?), the 2011 list of the 100 most popular boys’ and girls’ names, a Canadian “living” village, changes to the Social Security Death Index and more.

Defining the family

For those who think that governments are not interested in genealogy, note that the US Securities Exchange Commission has now defined family members, in connection with a new rule requiring hedge funds to register with the SEC if they manage other people’s money.

Read the definition here:

Family members. Family members include all lineal descendants (including by adoption, stepchildren, foster children, and, in some cases, by legal guardianship) of a common ancestor (who is no more than 10 generations removed from the youngest generation of family members), and such lineal descendants’ spouses or spousal equivalents.

Read the post by Lorine McGinnis at Olive Tree Genealogy for more, which links to a Forbes magazine article.

Naming the baby

What to name your baby? The BabyCenter.com has just released the 2011 list of the most popular baby names. http://www.babycenter.com/top-baby-names-2011

The site also has the lists for years past and other interesting links.

Traditional sources of information

While we frequently mention preservation, an interesting story in a Spokane, Washington newspaper is titled “In digital age, women retell family history via traditional sources.”

It details the value of ancestor-written journals, newspaper articles, letters and more, as it also comments on the modern equivalents – email, Twitter, Facebook - of traditional forms

So here we are in 2011, and people are writing diary-style entries everywhere in cyberspace. On Facebook (800 million users), on Twitter (100 million users) and in emails (294 billion emails sent per day).

Bodes well for family members 50 years hence who hope to weave together a family history, based on diary-style entries, right?

Probably wrong.

No one can say for certain how long Facebook posts and tweets will stay in cyberspace. And who can still locate that 2002 email describing the enchanting family vacation?

North of the border

I'm a big fan of "living history" museums, organized as villages of a certain historical period, complete with authentically costumed residents, working at traditional crafts.

One of my favorite destinations as a  young adult was Williamsburg, Virginia. Visitors can visit various shops demonstrating historical crafts, such as printing and baking, eat foods of the time, and even sleep in historical accommodations, but the entire atmosphere transports visitors back a few centuries.

From Genealogy Canada, I learned about a similar village - Gaspesian British Heritage Village - in Quebec. In January, they are planning a course called "Cooking the Traditional Way," as guest cooks will demonstrate how to prepare "real" food. The dates are January 14, 21 and 28, at a cost of only $5 Canadian for each session, including equipment and ingredients. If you are in the area, this sounds interesting. Click the Genealogy Canada link to learn more. Do you have family in the area? Then click on GoGaspe Genealogy for a list of family sites and area links.

Another 10 updated websites and blogs for Canadian research are detailed here, covering French Canadian families,  Acadian and Maritime obituaries, the Irish and French Canadian families in the Ottawa Valley, migration of German and English families to Canada, the Canadian Pacific Railway, Toronto local history and genealogy, and more

Social Security Death Index changes

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is a useful source for researchers. Unfortunately, several changes will reduce the usefulness of this database. Future entries will be limited and some historical records will be removed. For an excellent post on all the changes, click here for Kimberly Powell's post on Genealogy.about.com.
Looking for German immigrants to New York?

Are you searching for ancestors who immigrated to the New York City area from Germany? A new research guide may help. Read about it here. Richard Haberstroh wrote The German Churches of Metropolitan New York: A Research Guide to help researchers connect their immigrant ancestors to their cities of origin.

Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends!

Search for your ancestors:

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