Friday, March 19, 2010

Smithsonian Commemorates 100 Years on the National Mall

Those interested in modern DNA studies and deep ancestry, may be interested to know of a new and permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian, noted in The Washington Post, "Smithsonian's Natural History Museum opens its Hall of Human Origins." The 15,000-square-foot exhibit opened this week, to commemorate 100 years on the National Mall. Its a story replete with drama, the article says, and "even a little tenderness." 

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Antiques and Historical Perspectives

At our last family reunion, my youngest son had the privilege of escorting his uncles through a local antique mall. His only regret was that he did not have his digital tape recorder. He said his uncles did could not go five feet in any direction without picking up some object, recalling its use and some amusing story. Although "appointed" to the task, he came home delighted and with a new appreciation for his uncles, what they knew, and the time in which they grew up.  In his article, "Antiques and Historical Perspectives," Alan Smith shares his experience and new perspectives gained in cataloguing the large antique collection in his father's estate. In large part, it is this personal relationship with the past that makes genealogy so engaging.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Diamonds in the Rough -- Findings at Local Area Museums

Researchers may want to look beyond the courthouse to the local museum in their quest for family information. An article on, "Clarinda museum tells area's story," illustrates the type of information -- buried treasure, really -- that can be found in local area museums. Clarinda, Iowa, for example, known as the birthplace of big band leader, Glen Miller and the 4-H was also home to a World War II prison camp. The camp held 3,000 prisoners, mostly German soldiers, as well as some Japanese and a few Italian soldiers.These POWs worked within the community and many returned after the war to visit with local families. The museum holds many artifacts, including photographs of the POWs and some of their art work left behind. Additionally, Clarinda wa a stop on the Orphan Train route, with nearly 10,000 children brought to Iowa homes.

For more information and research ideas, see Museums as a family history resource, and Researching Ancestors Through Museum Collections

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