Sunday, December 30, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Most Popular 2012 Posts

(c) 2011 Gena Philibert-Ortega

With  one more day left  before 2013, I thought I would recap the 5 most popular Church Record Sunday posts for 2012. 

In no particular order they are:

Newspapers (Sept 30) 

Catholic Resources (March 18) 

I want to thank my readers for checking out Church Record Sunday each week. Have a great 2013!

Friday, December 21, 2012

I Survived 2012! (And all the other times the world was supposed to end)

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine
--REM, It's the end of the world as we know it. Written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Michael Mills, and Michael Stipe

From LOC. Found at
Well today is the day.

The "end of the world day" according to the ancient Mayans who no longer exist. Well, really they didn't actually say today was the day. It's just the end of their calendar cycle and none of them are around to update it.

See here's the thing about the Mayans...they are an ancient Mesoamerican civilization. Emphasis on the word ancient. While there are descendants of the Mayans alive today, many of them were wiped out after  the Spanish arrived. History tells us that the Spaniards came for a visit and they overstayed their welcome. And things get ugly when that happens.

But this isn't the only time the earth was supposed to end. I remember at some point in the early 1980s that California was supposed to have a ginormous earthquake and fall into the ocean. I remember this because it was around the time of our yearly visit to my maternal grandmother in Arizona. We were supposed to come back to...well nothing. Funny thing though, the earthquake didn't happen and I still had to go to school and wash the dishes and continue with my normal existence.

There's numerous other examples of predictions that the world  was going to end. There's always been those predictions.

And yet, here we are.

So what does this have to do with genealogy?

Some have assumed that the Mayans knew more than us based on something they read by someone who probably didn't cite his sources and knew little about his subject. He wasn't an "expert" on Maya culture and people believed him anyway. Words, in some cases, have power when they are taken at face value.

Genealogy or any historical research for that matter is like that. There's two important things to remember:

1. Don't believe everything you read. Read, analyze and evaluate.


2. Get another opinion. Don't assume anything.

After all, it's not the end of the world and you have important family heirlooms,  photos, and information to pass onto the next generation and the five or so after that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Win My Book! Recipe Contest

Official Submission Page

The holidays aren't complete without that special family recipe. Archives wants to celebrate your family's favorite holiday recipes. Between now and 12:00pm (PST) on December 21, 2012, enter the Archives Family Recipes Contest for a chance to win great prizes:
  • 1st Prize: $300
  • 2nd Prize: $200
  • 3rd Prize: $100
First, second, and third prize winners will also receive an autographed copy of From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes by Gena Philibert-Ortega (Family Tree Books, 2012).

Entering is easy. Click here for the official submission page and enter your family's recipe and the story about why the recipe is so special. Was this what Grandma always saved her pennies for so she could get all of the ingredients? Is it one of those wacky recipes that nobody actually eats, but makes people disappointed if it isn't on the table?

Entries will be judged on uniqueness, creativity, and the family story behind the recipe. Full contest rules can be found here: Official Rules Page.

These special foods are not only tasty, but they bring back wonderful memories of holidays past and the people who made them before us. They are a part of our families' histories.

Winners will be announced Friday, December 21, 2012.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Library of Congress Online Exhibits

Below  is from a  Church Record Sunday post I did back in 2009. The Library of Congress has several online exhibits available. You can see the list here. In 2009 I spotlighted the exhibit on Jewish Life in America. Other religious related exhibits include The Russian Church and Native Alaskan Cultures, Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, and Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture.

From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America  is an online exhibit from the  Library of Congress. The home page for this exhibit states,

The exhibition features more than two hundred treasures of American Judaica from the collections of the Library of Congress, augmented by a selection of important loans from other cooperating cultural institutions.

Aside from the history and documents, there is an interactive timeline that begins with Columbus in 1492 and concludes with the year 2004. A bibliography provides examples of further reading materials on the history of Judaism in America. Documents featured in the exhibit can be individually clicked on and read. This is a fascinating historical portrait that sheds light on the life and persecutions of American Jews.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Hudson (Ohio) Library and Historical Society

Have ancestors in the Hudson, Ohio area? Check out the manuscript collections of the Hudson Library and Historical Society. Within the collection they have the records of various churches as well as some online finding aids.

Some of the churches in this collection include: Christ Church,  Episcopal; First Congregational Church; and the Rev. William Hanford Papers.