Friday, February 11, 2011

Polish Jewish Records, Family History Art Project, and More

Orkney Islands
Sometimes I wander far afield online. Here are links to some recent articles about family history related topics, some of them from sites one would not normally expect genealogists to be perusing:

Philip Trauring has a blog called Blood and Frogs, in reference to two of the Biblical plagues. He recently wrote an excellent explanation of how to use the JRI-Poland indices and how to order records based on your search results.
Finding and Getting Copies of Jewish Records in Poland

A 17-year-old student in Wales used some fortuitously discovered old family letters as the basis for her A-level art project. (I still don't really understand the British school system, but you can read a detailed explanation of A levels here.)  She traveled about 600 miles to do some of the family history research for her project. And hearkening back to getting kids interested in genealogy, a topic I have discussed before, part of what sparked her interest was her father telling her the story of the letters' discovery.
Family History Turns into A Level Art Work

You think your family tree is complicated? Meet Andrew Solomon. I thought this was a wonderful story, and it illustrates some interesting points about how families are defined. Unfortunately, the online version of the article does not seem to include the family tree graphic that was in the print edition, which is the version I saw first. That graphic was a story in itself.
Meet My Real Modern Family

Do you have any female "computers" in your family tee? What's that you say? Computers don't have gender? They used to, when it was a job title. They did top secret work for the U.S. government.
Rediscovering World War II's Female "Computers"

Routine genetic tests performed by doctors can shed unexpected, and problematic, light on a child's family history.
Gene Test Results Can Put Clinicians on the Spot


  1. I just have a question - how are genealogies of "modern" style families charted? I'm thinking about adoptions, surrogates, domestic partnerships, and so forth. Does one track the biological family or the adoptive (or other) family? Or do you track both? I'm sure that relational database programs like Family Tree Maker can handle such challenges, but from a genealogist's standpoint, what is the...well, if not "right thing to do", then perhaps the "best practice" for charting?

  2. I know people who research only the adoptive family, others who research the biological one (when it is known), and yet others who do both. Many people begin researching their biological families later in life as health questions arise. It's very much a personal choice, and I would hesitate to call it either the "right thing" or a "best practice." That said, what I personally have seen most often is that people research their adoptive families when they are younger, and their biological families after their adoptive parents have passed away. I have no experience with people researching surrogate or IVF relationships. I treat domestic partnerships the same as marriages.

  3. Janice, thank you for the link to my article on Polish records.

  4. You're welcome, Philip! It is an excellent article, clearly explained, and I am happy to point people to it.


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