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  • 6 Jul 2022 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    The South Dakota Genealogical Society has named Kay Hendricks of De Smet as the 2022 Genealogist of the Year.

    Hendricks has been active in the Kingsbury County Genealogical Society (KCGS) for 35 years. She was one of the founding members and was nominated for the honor by the local society. The first slate of officers included Kay Hendricks as the Vice President. Over the years, she has served as the president and secretary too

    Pat Tvinereim, president of the Kingsbury society, said Hendricks was selected for this honor because of her enthusiasm and passion for genealogy.

    “Whenever we had a query, we contacted Kay first,” Tvinereim said. “She became our ‘go-to’ person for information. Kay and her husband were life-long residents. She knew the history of the county and had many contacts. Even though it might not concern her family, she knew who to call. She had visited with enough people about family connections and knew those who had Irish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Australian, or German ancestors.”

    You can read more in an article in the Huron Plainsman at

  • 6 Jul 2022 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    It is with sadness that I report the death of George Ryskamp. George was best known for being a leading genealogist for Spanish and Hispanic genealogy. His passing occurred on the first day of his retirement.

    In 1984, he finished and self-published his promised book, Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage, at the time the definitive tome about genealogy in Spain. He later wrote Finding Your Hispanic Roots and most recently, Mastering Spanish Handwriting and Documents 1520–1820.

    While trained as an attorney and founder of his own law firm, in 1993, George left behind his law career and California, and moved his family to Utah to take a position at BYU teaching Family History. His areas of specialty were Southern Europe and the law. During his twenty-eight-year tenure, George worked tirelessly to build BYU's Family History program. He served ten years as its Program Director. As Director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy, he spearheaded the Immigrant Ancestors Project website, which to date has had close to two million visits from users in ten different countries.

    George's obituary contains a much more detailed description of his multiple careers and mentions many of the highlights of his life. That obituary may be found at:

  • 5 Jul 2022 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    Dame Daphne du Maurier, the English novelist who died in 1989, was fascinated by her French heritage.

    The author of Rebecca and Jamaica Inn had been brought up on tales of an aristocratic ancestor who came to London during the French Revolution, fleeing the guillotine and the militant sans-culottes.

    But when she began looking into her family history, she discovered it was all rather more complicated. Far from being nobles, her French ancestors were in fact bourgeois artisans whose trade was glassmaking.

    And the 1790 émigré was not a runaway from the revolutionary mob, but from a debtors' prison.

    You can read about her adventures in researching her ancestry, including disproving some of the "family stories: that had been handed down in her family over the centuries, by starting in the BBC web site at:

  • 5 Jul 2022 9:28 AM | Anonymous

    One of America's most historic sites is in danger of being destroyed. Jamestown has just been named one of America’s most endangered historic places by the US National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the last century the river has risen by a foot and a half. Now, the site floods five or six times a year, putting large areas underwater.

    The region is at a “critical juncture” where inaction would mean it will “disappear from the cultural landscape”, the US National Trust for Historic Preservation said.

    King James I granted the Virginia Company a royal charter for colonial pursuit in 1606. Three ships – the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery headed west via the Canary Islands and the Caribbean before reaching the Chesapeake Bay.

    Of the first 104 settlers, only 38 survived the first winter. The scarcity of food was such in the early years that people ate box turtles, horses, dogs, snakes, and then each other.

    There were also skirmishes with the Powhatan Indians, with peace only achieved after their most famous daughter, Pocahontas, joined the British settlers and eventually ended up in England.

    Around 1610, fortunes changed with the arrival of tobacco seeds, which were then planted and cultivated. In 1619, the first slaves arrived.

    However, the greatest threat today to Jamestown has been Mother Nature: Situated on a tidewater island between the James River and a swamp, the site is vulnerable to heavy rain and rising groundwater levels brought about by climate change. “You’ve got resources there underwater, that are staying underwater,” said Katherine Malone-France of the National Trust.

    Archaeologists and their colleagues attempt to manage the water around their excavations with drainage systems constructed in the 1950s, sump pumps, sand bags, and tarps because water can damage or destroy artifacts such as pieces of armor, projectile points, and human remains, and wash away layers of sediments.

    Plans to reinforce the 100-year-old concrete-block seawall holding back the James River with giant granite stones will soon get underway, added Michael Lavin of Jamestown Rediscovery. A modern drainage system, a special flood berm, and raised roads are also needed to preserve the site, he said.

    You can read more about the history of Jamestown on many different web sites. You might first start at:

  • 5 Jul 2022 8:27 AM | Anonymous

    From an article by Shiryn Ghermezian published in the web site:

    An Israeli online genealogy platform has partnered with the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) in Jerusalem to publish for the first time online a collection of emigration applications from Jews in Vienna, Austria, seeking to flee Nazi persecution before World War II.

    The MyHeritage collection, which is searchable for free, contains 228,250 digitalized records filed by Vienna Jews from 1938 to 1939, immediately leading up to the war, as well as scanned images of the original documents.

    Vienna at the time was home to approximately 200,000 Jews. Following the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in March 1938, Jews living in Austria were forced to register with the emigration department of the Vienna Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, the city’s Jewish communal organization in Vienna, to leave the country.

    You can read more at:

  • 4 Jul 2022 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    Microsoft's Office Productivity software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is both high-priced and bloated. Now it is also becoming obsolete, being replaced by free or low-priced software that accomplishes the same things. Most notable among the newer products is Google Docs.

    Google Docs is getting the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents while offline, essentially paving the way for you to fully ditch any reliance on Microsoft's productivity software.

    Google’s latest blog entry has confirmed Google Workspace, the suite that includes Google Docs, Drive, Sheets and more, now has the ability to edit Office files without being connected to the internet.

    While Microsoft Office files have been compatible with Google Workspace without having to convert any filetypes, the option to work on your files offline is not to be sniffed at. That's because productivity shouldn't be reliant on an internet connection, regardless of what kind of file you’re actually using at the time.

    You can read more at and at:

  • 4 Jul 2022 11:20 AM | Anonymous

    On June 16, Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archive delved into the world of Whitinsville, a small town in central Massachusetts with one of the oldest Armenian communities in the state. This presentation was cosponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research and the Armenian Cultural Center.

    The Jundanian family: Krikor, Verkin, Catherine, Joe Jundanian in the dark clothes, and his brother Harry in white (Tom had yet to be born; circa 1917-1919,

    Armenians of Whitinsville (, a digital archive that documents the history of Armenians in this town, was represented by Greg Jundanian and Lisa Misakian, two of the handful of co-founders of the project.

    “The Jundanian family, originally from Parchanj, a town located in the Kharpert province of the Armenia plateau, immigrated to the United States before 1915 settled and in Whitinsville in the 1920s. Misakian’s family has roots in Whitinsville since the 1880s, when her grandfather first arrived from Parchanj.

    Arto Vaun, the Executive Director of Project SAVE, explained how Whitinsville is a part of the Armenian diasporan experience while Jundanian and Misakian shared their recent documentation work.

    The archive developed out of conversations between Jundanian and Jeff Kalousdian in spring 2021. They proposed it to the Whitinsville community through the local Surp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Church’s electronic newsletter, which introduced Misakian to the project.

    Jundanian explained the mission of the archive, declaring “It is a digital archive that pays respects to those before us. It is about the past but also about putting together something for future generations.”

    You can learn more in an article by Brandon Balayan and published in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator web site at:

  • 4 Jul 2022 10:55 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the North Carolina State Archives:

    The Digital Access Branch of the State Archives of North Carolina is pleased to announce the newest collection in the North Carolina Digital Collections, the Revolutionary War Era.

    The American War of Independence was the war between Great Britain and the colonists who lived in the American colonies. The fighting lasted from 1775 to 1783 and involved parties from numerous countries. The Revolutionary War typically conjures up images of an assorted group of victimized yet determined white American colonist men fighting against a dictatorial British government. Frustrated with an ever-increasing set of irrational laws and regulations, the American colonists bravely fought back against an obviously tyrannical king. This image of a wearied but determined group of people coming together for a greater good is impressive for history books, but it is merely one perspective of the period.

    The Revolutionary War era in North Carolina actually started in 1763 and didn’t end until around 1790 when it joined the union. Feelings of discontent towards the colonial administration started with the War of the Regulation or Regulator Movement. The residents of Anson, Orange, and Granville Counties accused the colonial government of unfair taxation and corruption. The men who called themselves the Regulators protested frequently about the high taxes imposed on them and the heavy-handed methods used to obtain them. Edmund Fanning, in particular, the clerk of the Superior Court of Orange County, was blamed for excessive registration fees and for acquiring numerous tracts of land. Fanning and other royal colonial officials would repeatedly deal with the Regulators’ petitions and protests.

    Eventually, the protests turned to riots with physical violence and the colonial government responded with force. The Regulators and Governor William Tryon’s militia fought in the Battle of Alamance on May 16, 1771. The Regulators lost the battle, and the royal colonial government passed the Johnston’s Riot Act. This bill allowed for colonial officials to use military force to stop any perceived acts of rebellion and deem any person labeled a rioter as an outlaw if they didn’t appear in court once summoned. It was written by Samuel Johnston, who is considered a Revolutionary War leader. For more information on the Regulator Movement, check out this blog post.

    Clearly, the feelings of discontent towards the royal colonial government started long before the Revolutionary War started. The complaint of excessive taxes was seen in other colonies within British America as well. Between 1763 and 1775, the British Parliament passed an array of laws regulating taxes and trade. The taxes were meant to generate revenue after the British government incurred tremendous debt from fighting in the Seven Years’ War in Europe and the French and Indian War in America simultaneously. Parliament believed it was natural for the American colonists to pay taxes to cover the bills associated with the war. This was logical to them since it was meant to protect them from the French and hostile American Indian nations. Many American colonists disagreed and believed the war was really meant to strengthen the British empire.

    You can read a lot more at:
  • 4 Jul 2022 10:25 AM | Anonymous

    The Wiscasset, Waterville, & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna, Maine is home to a historic two-foot narrow-gauge steam train built in the late 19th century. The train was originally constructed with the goal of connecting Wiscasset to Quebec. That goal never came to fruition but it did serve Sheepscot Valley for roughly 40 years, running from Alna to Albion.

    “Back in 1910 the railroad was a lifeline for the people of Sheepscot Valley," said WW&F Railway Museum President Dave Buckowski.

    The railroad fell out of service in 1933. Today, the WW&F Railway Museum has rebuilt the steam train, preserving a piece of Maine history. “We’d like to bring people back to that time — where it’s much simpler, said Buckowski. "We can help them relax and let them see what life was like back then."

    You can read more in an article by Norah Hogan and published in the WMTW web site at:

    The Wiscasset, Waterville, & Farmington Railway Museum's web site may be found at:

  • 1 Jul 2022 2:16 PM | Anonymous

    Ah, the good old days. Life was simpler and... The year is 1909.

    Here are some statistics for the year 1909:

    • The average life expectancy was 47 years.

    • Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

    • Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

    • There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads in the USA.

    • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

    • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

    • The average wage in 1909 was 22 cents per hour.

    • The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

    • A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist earned $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

    • More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.

    • Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as “substandard.”

    • Sugar cost four cents a pound.

    • Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

    • Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

    • Most women only washed their hair once a month and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

    • Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering the country for any reason.

    • Five leading causes of death were:

    • 1. Pneumonia and influenza  

    • 2. Tuberculosis  

    • 3. Diarrhea  

    • 4. Heart disease  

    • 5. Stroke

    • The American flag had 45 stars.

    • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!

    • Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

    • There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

    • Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.

    • Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

    • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”

    • Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

    • There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.

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