27 February 2014

THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE VOYAGES SITE REVISITED - SLAVE NARRATIVES

SLAVE VOYAGES ORG - Trans-Atlantic Voyages   link

I met someone recently who corrected me for calling someone "African American."  She said I should be using the term BLACK.  I suppose BLACK works if a person appears to be "Black" and you don't really know that their origins are from Africa.  I think the whole subject is controversial and confusing.  After all, some very Black looking people, with DNA analysis, prove to be mostly European and visa versa.

Anyway, I thought I'd revisit a link I've had posted a long time and explore further.  SEARCHING THE VOYAGES, you will find THE NAME OF A SHIP,  the name of the captain, the places where they picked up slaves (and no, it wasn't all from AFRICA,  and where the ship is LANDING which could be Bahia or Brazil.)

What you will not find is the names of the enslaved.

YOU CAN FIND THE NAMES OF THE ONCE ENSLAVED IN TWO DATABASES.

I've found the FREEDMAN BANK RECORDS and SLAVE NARRATIVES, two different database / sites, to be more informative about individuals.  I'm able to access both at my library without fees.

22 February 2014

ELDERS by RYAN MC ILVAIN - A NOVEL ABOUT LDS : ANCESTRY WORSHIP GENEALOGY BOOK REVIEW



Elders - a Novel




by Ryan McIlvain C 2013
Publisher Hogarth London- New York

ANCESTRY WORSHIP - GENEALOGY - BOOK REVIEW

I read this book wanting to know more about those young, white-shirted, LDS missionaries, mostly young men, you see all over - especially in libraries, where they e-mail home.  These days some young women are also going on missions to other countries but you won't find them in this book.  This book is about the conflict between two Elders (young missionaries in their early twenties) who have been teamed to go door to door, hoping to convert some people to the LDS Faith in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  One of them is a native Brazilian who has converted, the other an American from Salt Lake, Utah who has some doubts about his personal faith.

The native Brazilian character begins to imagine himself immigrating to the United States, going to BTU, graduating, marrying, maybe even staying in the US and bringing his family over.  Does he still want this religion if those things never happen for him?

The American character feels he has sacrificed life as is usually spent at his age - in school, having Friends, and having sex.

While I did learn a little bit about the organization of missionaries - predictable corporate, I found this book a strain to read.  I knew the author had resigned his own LDS membership, and I wonder how much of it was autobiographical.  The back of the book features some excellent reviews, but while I congratulate anyone who completes a book, this one left me with a dark feeling. 

The missionaries not only have competitiveness and inter-personal problems that become physical and combative, but the American is dowsed with Anti-American feeling.  The ending is a walk out.

EXCERPT:

page 237  (After a woman who wanted to be baptized into the faith despite her husband's disinterest is turned down for immediate baptism, and American character Elder McLeod questions this, because if it had been a man they would have gone ahead without his wife's cooperation.)

"My fellow missionaries, let me be as clear as I can.  Our inspired leaders have told us to focus on teaching and baptizing families, self-sustain celestial units.  This is an effort that matters, and matters everlastingly, and the Everlasting Enemy know this.  We will therefore have to work harder than ever to call on God to help us.  We will have to exert ourselves more than ever to be obedient and worthy of the Lord's helping hand.  The noise of the world, indeed, can be deafening.  We need shelter and protection from the world. W e need a place where we can hear ourselves think, a place to present the Gospel in the bright light of simple truth,  And where can we find this shelter?  Where do we find it?  In the rules and regulations of our inspired leaders."

____

How does this jive with what I assumed or know about LDS missionaries?  From my perspective these missions are is a rte of passage, one that gives youth a chance to see the world outside their home state, to see the world.  It isn't just about converting others, it is about experiencing the challenges of being in a minority in the world and butting up against other religions and cultures.  It is a test.  Teaching anything you know reinforces that learning.

I know that many LDS members marry young - soon after their missions.  Some of them have young women waiting for them at home, some (as happens in this book) loose their girlfriends while on a mission.  I have heard from an LDS member that if a man does not marry young he may never marry, unless he marries a woman who is not of that religion.  According to him, most women do eventually join the church.

It is also considered unusual for all of couple's children to stay in the religion.  The world pulls on people.

09 February 2014

19 MONTH OLD BABY DROWNED ON TITANIC IDENTIFIED WITH DNA OF SHOE

THE STAR - TINY SHOE ID'S TITANIC BABY  link to full article

"New DNA evidence and a toddler’s shoe kept in a drawer for decades have solved the mystery of the Unknown Child from the Titanic who lies buried in Halifax.
 
Sidney Leslie Goodwin, 19 months old, drowned when the “unsinkable” ocean liner sank off Newfoundland on April 14, 1912. With him were his mother, father and five older brothers and sisters, all third-class passengers bound for a new life in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
 
“It was the shoe that tipped it,” genetics researcher Ryan Parr, vice president of Mitomics Inc. in Thunder Bay, told the Star on Wednesday.
 
Clarence Northover, a Halifax police sergeant in 1912 kept the shoe after helping guard the bodies and clothes of the few recovered Titanic victims. The idea at the time, said Parr, was to burn the clothing to thwart souvenir hunters. But Northover didn't want to burn the tiny shoe, so he put them it in his drawer at the police station...."

06 February 2014

70 YEAR OLD TITANIC SURVIVOR HOAX SOLVED WITH DNA

SNET : DNA SOLVES ONE OF THE TITANICS OLDEST MYSTERIES\

"DNA has helped solved a nearly 70-year-old hoax -- one that has haunted a family and its ancestors in the debacle over the identity of a girl who was said to have died on the Titanic. ... 

In 1940, 28 years after the Titanic went down, a woman named Helen Kramer appeared on a radio show claiming that she was Loraine Allison. She had an intricate story of being saved by the ship's designer and builder Thomas Andrews, who was also thought to have died on board. Kramer said she was raised in England before going to boarding school in the US.

For more than 50 years, Kramer adamantly lobbied the wealthy Allison family trying to prove that she was kin. But, for the most part, the family was skeptical of Kramer's claims and held her at arm's length."

03 February 2014

YEAR OF THE HORSE - JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM

Over the last couple weeks my attention has been drawn by Asian (Should I say "Oriental?") celebrations.

I attended the Year of the Horse parade and celebration in China Town, Los Angeles, this year.  Of course, there are now lots of Vietnamese in the area, as well as a "Little Tokyo" nearby. Within the city and surrounding area there are also a number of Buddhist Temples, Hindu Temples, and other organizations, some Christian synthesis, that believe in reincarnation and that are also culturally are involved in worship of the family and the ancestors.

The Japanese American national Museum has an archive that you may want to use if your ancestry includes those who came from Japan, not just to California, but also Hawaii, as well as exhibits about the Japanese-American soldiers who fought in World War II, the way Asians have been depicted in Comic Books,


JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM  Immigration, Internment Camps, etc

HIRASAKI NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTER

JANM ONLINE COLLECTIONS INCLUDING BUDDHIST CHURCHES OF AMERICA

JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012
phone: 213.625.0414