28 July 2009

DATING PHOTOS

Ever go into an old attic and find some photographs stored away? Here is some termonology that may help you identify them ...

DAGUERROTYPES - pioneer

AMBROTYPES - glass negatives - sharply etched appearance

TINTYPES - civil war

CARTE DE VISITES (CALLING CARDS) 1860-s' 1870's

25 July 2009

DVD RECOMMENDED HILLBILLY HISTORY CHANNEL BILLY RAY CYRUS





Watched HILLBILLY "the Real story" on the History Channel DVD, produced by Moore Huntley Productions, this weekend. Anyone interested in American History of the Appalachian region (the founding of the Wautauga Colony for instance), anyone with "Scotch-Irish" ancestry, anyone interested in moonshine making or marijuana growing, is going to find this one interesting.

Aimed at giving credit where it's due and erasing stereotypes where applicable, this one is definitely worth the time watching !

22 July 2009

21 July 2009

HISTORIC CHICAGO AFRICAN AMERICAN BONEYARD SCANDAL

This BLACK AMERICA WEB article is about the African American Graveyard in Chicago where bodies were being dug up so the same grave spot could be resold. A worker there, though afraid to loose his job, was the whistleblower. (And we want to congradulate him on his courage.)

"Officials estimate that at least 300 of 100,000 graves were tampered with at the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Ill., which is the burial place several famous Americans including civil rights-era lynching victim Emmett Till. Four former workers are charged with dumping exhumed bodies in a deserted field the size of four square blocks in order to resell grave plots. Till's grave was not disturbed."

"Thousands of bones may be mixed together. Investigators say it may be impossible to sift through them to match them to specific people and return complete remains to a single grave."

- Rupa Shenoy, Associated Press

17 July 2009

Did You Know ? THERE ARE ABOUT 12000 Native American ancestors

At the University of California, Berkely, in locked drawers under a swimming pool on the campus. Archeologists discovered the bones on digs and tribes in the region have united to get the bones back and give them a decent, respectful, burial. These tribes of Native Americans believe that the soul of the person cannot get a good rest until they are buried....

13 July 2009

POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN by DAN GORDON

POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN by DAN GORDON
Messages of Love from the Other side
C 2008 Dan Gordon
Freepress / Simon and Schuster

This short but eloquent book is about family who've died and the uncanny experiences that lead the author, Dan Gordon, to believe, that yes, they have let others know they are in heaven. From the appearance of a jackrabbit who uncharacteristically remained Buddha-like as a sign, or the way his son Zaki smelled sweet - and a grandparent thought of him in terms of dimming light - before a killing car accident just months out of film school, Dan Gordon presents those ah-ha moments.

Here is what The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles had to say : "Gordon hails from 13 generations of Chasidic rabbis, and while his immediate family has long shed strict, Chasidic Jewish tradition, the stories in his book illustrate, in secular terms but with the skill of a master Chasidic raconteur, the presence of God in everyday life. "The recirculation of the soul, kind of the belief in reincarnation, isn't foreign to Judaism at all or our literature," Gordon said. Orit Arfa writing.

Zaki had asthma. Page 85 "I had become aware of a sickly sweet odor that emanated from Zaki's scalp just before the onset of an asthma attack. I told his doctor this and it in fact never failed. From then on, the minute I smelled that smell on his hair, we started his medication as a prophylactic. Thus, when Debi said that he smelled like my deceased father, I immediately took a whiff. Maybe his asthma is about to come back, I thought, as if only asthma could do him harm. But the sickly sweet smell wasn't there.

"I don't smell anything," I said.

"Well I do!" Debi said defiantly. "I don't know how you can say you don't smell anything. He smells just like Uncle Abe!"

Debi seemed to be getting genuinely angry about the whole thing. I tried logic. "Debi, I said, "that's silly. I don't even remember what my father smelled like."

"We'll I do," she said, eyes flashing now in defense of the memory of my father's particular smell. "And he," she said, pointing at Zaki, "Smells just like him." ...

08 July 2009

GERMAN ANCESTRY? Could it be from the HESSIAN SOLDIERS WHO CAME TO THE US TO FIGHT ON THE SIDE OF BRITAIN ?

From David McCullough's JOHN ADAMS.
Published 2001
Copyright the author,
pages 139-140


"The ships flying the Union Jack that arrived off New York at the end of June 1776 - the fleet from Halifax that one eyewitness described as looking like "all London afloat" - had been only the start of an overwhelming show of British might come to settle the fate of the new United States of America.

By July 3rd, 9,000 troops led by General William Howe had landed on Staten Island, where hundreds of Tories were on hand to welcome them. Howe himself had gone ashore on July 2, the very day that Congress had voted for Independence, and in the days following, up the Narrows between Staten island and Long Island, came ever more British sails, including an armada of 130 warships and transports from England under command of the General's brother, Admiral Richard Lord Howe. By mid-August 32,000 fully equipped, highly trained, thoroughly professional British and German (Hessian) soldiers - more that the entire population of Philadelphia were ashore on Staten Island, supported by ten ships-of-the-line and twenty frigates, making in all the largest, most costly British overseas deployment ever until that time.

By contrast , the American army faltered in defense of New York, digging in on Manhattan and Long Island, was optimistically thought to number 20,000 troops. These nearly all poorly equipped amateurs led by Washington, who in his year as commander-in-chief had yet to fight a battle.......

06 July 2009

SOLDIER - FASHION IN OLD PHOTOGRAPHYS

One way to help date old photographs is to look at the clothing the subjects are wearing, and if it is especially stylish, you may be able to find out when such styles were in fashion by reading Fashion History books. Of course, then, as today, many people wear clothing that might not be considered the latest fashion, but which is their best clothing, in order to take a photo. How to know if your photo is of a 19th century fashionista, or a poor person in 20 year old hand-me-downs?

First, especially if the photo is a wedding photo, you can be more certain that the person is wearing their best clothing, or clothing purchased or sewn for the day. This is true for the wedding party too. Any photo that appears to have been worn for a religious ceremony may be assumed to be the person's newest or best.

Secondly, examine any jewelry worn. Does it appear to be expensive? Metal and jeweled costume jewelry was not easy to come by until the Industrial age. What about hair ornaments or combs.

Third, look at hair... is it done in an elaborate style that might have required a hairdresser or maid to assist? Does the person appear to be well groomed? Is their hairstyle home-made ? (The bowl haircut on children)

Fourth, is the person wearing a uniform? If so does the uniform identify the country or side or a battle they may have been on? Are they posed in an official way?



04 July 2009

Did You Know THOMAS JEFFERSON and JOHN ADAMS BOTH DIED ON JULY 4th 1826 ?!?

Reading Pulitzer Prize winning David McCullough's JOHN ADAMS, a tome over 600 pages hardback published by Simon and Shuster, copyright the author in 2001. And it turns out that Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who had a life long friendship that went through many phases and who had a correspondence in their old age, died on the very same day, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Britain! YES!

These kinds of things make me think that so much is fate.

It's a great book and I highly recommend it to you!