Monday, September 16, 2013

Vital Records

Genealogy tip for today: non-genealogy records




More Common Sources


When it comes right down to it, there is virtually no record that is created intentionally for genealogical purposes. This is especially true of government records. Only recently, with the advent of the Internet and websites such as, have there been “genealogical records” as such.  But genealogy means people and people make records, government records. The ones that are the most commonly used but also the most important to genealogy are:

Birth certificates

Marriage certificates

Death certificates

Divorce decrees


Vital records, per se` only go back so far, roughly, 100 years. However there are other records that can be substituted for them: Church records have long had baptismal/christening records and marriage records. Courthouses host wills and divorce records. All go back centuries in being recorded. In early American history, even congress handled divorce cases. So even before the 1900’s, there are still ways of finding out the “Big 3” dates (birth, marriage and death), and divorce whenever they occurred.

These are the most important, bare-bones, must-have documents of information in putting together your family tree. Everything else is “lagniappe” or the cherry on top the sundae. It is from this springboard that we jump hoping to add meat to the bone, fleshing out our ancestors to be more than just 3 dates and places on a chart.

However, these are the starting points in pinning down who you ancestor was and the basic information that tells his “start and end” dates, so to speak. Everything else is the dash in between!

1620 The Pilgrims sail from England on the Mayflower.
1668 King John Casimer V of Poland abdicates the throne.
1747 The French capture Bergen-op-Zoom, consolidating their occupation of Austrian Flanders in the Netherlands.
1789 Jean-Paul Marat sets up a new newspaper in France, L'Ami du Peuple.
1810 A revolution for independence breaks out in Mexico.
1864 Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest leads 4,500 men out of Verona, Miss. to harass Union outposts in northern Alabama and Tennessee.
1889 Robert Younger, in Minnesota's Stillwater Penitentiary for life, dies of tuberculosis. Brothers Cole and Bob remain in the prison.
1893 Some 50,000 "Sooners" claim land in the Cherokee Strip during the first day of the Oklahoma land rush.
1908 General Motors files papers of incorporation.
1920 Thirty people are killed in a terrorist bombing in New York's Wall Street financial district.
1934 Anti-Nazi Lutherans stage protest in Munich.
1940 Congress passes the Selective Service Act, which calls for the first peacetime draft in U.S. history.
1942 The Japanese base at Kiska in the Aleutian Islands is raided by American bombers.
1945 Japan surrenders Hong Kong to Britain.

Hong Kong
1950 The U.S. 8th Army breaks out of the Pusan Perimeter in South Korea and begins heading north to meet MacArthur's troops heading south from Inchon.
1972 South Vietnamese troops recapture Quang Tri province in South Vietnam from the North Vietnamese Army.
1974 Limited amnesty is offered to Vietnam-era draft resisters who would now swear allegiance to the United States and perform two years of public service.
1975 Administrators for Rhodes Scholarships announce the decision to begin offering fellowships to women.
1978 An earthquake estimated to be as strong as 7.9 on the Richter scale kills 25,000 people in Iran.
Manuel Noriega
1991 The trial of Manuel Noriega, deposed dictator of Panama, begins in the United States.
1994 Britain's government lifts the 1988 broadcasting ban against member of Ireland's Sinn Fein and Irish paramilitary groups.
2007 Military contractors in the employ of Blackwater Worldwide allegedly kill 17 Iraqis in Baghdad's Nisour Square, further straining relations between the US and the people of Iraq.

1838 James J. Hill, railroad builder.
J. C. Penney
1875 James Cash Penney, founder and owner of the J.C. Penny Company department stores.
1885 Karen Horney, psychoanalyst who exposed the male bias in the Freudian analysis of women.
1891 Karl Doenitz, German Admiral who succeeded Hitler in governing Germany.
1893 Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, biochemist who isolated vitamin C.
1925 Charlie Byrd, jazz guitarist.
1925 B.B. King, blues guitarist.
1926 John Knowles, writer; won first-ever William Faulkner Foundation Award (A Separate Peace, 1961).
1927 Peter Falk, actor, best known for his role as detective Columbo in the TV series of the same name.
1943 James Alan McPherson, author; first African American to win Pulitzer Prize for fiction (Elbow Room, 1978).
1948 Rosemary Casals, pro tennis player whose efforts to gain greater equality for women in the sport led to many changes.
1950 Henry Louis Gates Jr., critic and scholar.
1952 Mickey Rourke, actor, screenwriter, professional boxer; won Golden Globe (The Wrestler, 2009).
B. B. King
1954 Earl Klugh, jazz guitarist.
1956 David Copperfield, magician.





noun: The small fleshy projection at the front of the external ear, slightly extending over the opening of the ear.


From Greek tragos (goat; hairy part of the ear), from the supposed resemblance of the tuft of hair at the opening of the ear to a goat's beard. The word is sometimes also applied to this hair growing in the ear. Earliest documented use: 1684.


"Rich Lee, a 34-year-old American, had magnets implanted in the tragus ... that act as speakers when combined with a coil necklace."
I've Got You Under My Skin; Independent (South Africa); Aug 7, 2013.

"Vince leaned over to his left, caught a streetlight glint off Sarah's ringed tragus-piercing."
Michael Keys; Black Paper Dream; AuthorHouse; 2013.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. -Harper Lee, writer (b. 1926)



Today’s Recipe

Beef Brisket



4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles striped from the stem and chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (4 pound) beef brisket, first-cut
Coarsely ground black pepper
4 large carrots, cut in 3-inch chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in 3-inch chunks
4 large red onions, halved
2 cups dry red wine
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

On a cutting board, mash the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt together with the flat-side of a knife into a paste. Add the rosemary and continue to mash until incorporated. Put the garlic-rosemary paste in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil; stir to combine.

Season both sides of the brisket with a fair amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place a large roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high flame and coat with the remaining olive oil. Put the brisket in the roasting pan and sear to form a nice brown crust on both sides. Lay the vegetables all around the brisket and pour the rosemary paste over the whole thing. Add the wine and tomatoes; toss in the parsley and bay leaves. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 3 to 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the roasting pan and onto a platter, cover to keep warm. Pour out some of the excess fat, and put the roasting pan with the pan juices on the stove over medium-high heat. Boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced by 1/2. (If you want a thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of wine or water and blend into the gravy).

Slice the brisket across the grain (the muscle lines) at a slight diagonal



Now You Know!