Thursday, October 10, 2013

Genealogy vs Family History


Genealogy tip for today: Is it history or is it genealogy?

Is it a pedigree or is it history? That’s a question that is often batted back and forth in the genealogical community. It’s both in a way, but there are some distinctive differences. History, I would say, are what people do. Genealogy is who people are. They overlap maybe 90% - maybe more, maybe less. But they aren’t exactly one and the same.

You can have genealogy (who was who) and not have history (who did what). …Well, I say that. You can see the progression through time from one generation to the next. But if all you have are names, dates and places, you don’t have much history, but you do have genealogy. With genealogy, you fill out the pedigree chart, tracing the lines to who were the parents of so-and-so and seeing how far back you can go. You can also have a family history, but not a genealogy…well for the most part anyway.

If you have a family history – it is usually picking ancestors and telling what they did. You “flesh out” each person-what kind of occupation he did, where she went to school, if he was in the military, or if she was famous. If you tell the story of great-great-grampa Jones, as soon as you pass it on to someone else the relationship changes. For your child, it will be great-great-great‑grampa Jones. If you give it to a cousin, it may be his great great-uncle. So it is important that you include the genealogy – the pedigree. Show how people are connected. (You can see how these overlap.) Then you can pick out people to talk about and everyone will know who it is with a glance to a chart.

Now doing just pedigree charts are fascinating. Don’t get me wrong. And that can be time-consuming right there. That’s what I did for a long time. Sometimes that’s all folks want to do, or have time to do. This is rewarding and takes a lot of work and research.

After you have done this for a few years, you can easily see it can become unwieldy. So you have to figure out a way to put it all together, from the beginning: Notebooks, Files, Software… I have also found there are all kinds of creative ways you display it.
Family Tree
If you want a visual, folks have done quite inventive ways to do this. You can paint a very large tree on your wall and hang photos of your relatives. You can even come up with a creative and decorative way to show you family tree as art, like you see here. Some have had actual decorative trees printed and framed.
Genealogy as art

Others will put together a basic genealogy then/or zero in on different individuals and find out everything they can about that ancestor. Often these are more apt to be published and distributed to others. Maybe! Stories are always more appealing than names and dates of dead people you never knew.

So there is some difference. The way you choose to go will partly depend on what goals you have. Either one can and will take a lot of time. You may spend years on your hobby. Or not! That’s up to you. But in the end, either are satisfying, whether you do your genealogy or write your family history. It’s up to you.


COMING - TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our Library's Foundation board sponsors every year a Conversation With event, bringing in a well known author. This year's author is Debbie Macomber. It will be held at the Roger's Little Theater on Friday, October 11th. You can go online to or contact the library for your $39 tickets.

 Tickets include meeting the author, 1 signed copy of Starry Night (not yet released), appetizers and drinks. Come join us, meet the author and help support our library as well.  


If any of these posts are helpful drop us a line in the comments section below. We just want to know if the information we provide to you is helpful in anyway.




19     Germanicus, the best loved of Roman princes, dies of poisoning. On his deathbed he accuses Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.
732   At Tours, France, Charles Martel kills Abd el-Rahman and halts the Muslim invasion of Europe.
1733 France declares war on Austria over the question of Polish succession.
1789 In Versailles France, Joseph Guillotin says the most humane way of carrying out a death sentence is decapitation by a single blow of a blade.
1794 Russian General Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov crushes the rebel Polish army at Maciejowice, Poland.
1845 The U.S. Naval Academy is founded at Annapolis, Md.
1863 The first telegraph line to Denver is completed.
1877 Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer is buried at West Point in New York.
1911 Revolution in China begins with a bomb explosion and the discovery of revolutionary headquarters in Hankow. The revolutionary movement spread rapidly through west and southern China, forcing the abdication of the last Ch'ing emperor, six-year-old Henry Pu-Yi. By October 26, the Chinese Republic will be proclaimed, and on December 4, Premier Yuan Shih-K'ai will sign a truce with rebel general Li Yuan-hung.
1911 The Panama Canal opens.
1933 At Rio de Janeiro, nations of the Western Hemisphere sign a non-aggression and conciliation treaty. President Roosevelt adopts a "good neighbor" policy toward Latin America and announces a policy of nonintervention in Latin American affairs at the December 7th International American Conference at Montevideo, Uruguay.
1941 Soviet troops halt the German advance on Moscow.
1953 The Mutual Defense Treaty between the US and South Korea signed.
1966 U.S. Forces launch Operation Robin, in Hoa Province south of Saigon in South Vietnam, to provide road security between villages.
1970 The Quebec Provincial Minister of Labour, Pierre Laporte, is kidnapped by terrorists.
1971 The London Bridge, built in 1831 and dismantled in 1967, reopens in Lake Havusu City, Arizona, after being sold to Robert P. McCulloch and moved to the United States.
1973 Spiro Agnew resigns the vice presidency amid accusations of income tax evasion. President Richard Nixon names Gerald Ford as the new vice president. Agnew is later convicted and sentenced to three years probation and fined $10,000.
1985 An Egyptian plane carrying hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship is intercepted by US Navy F-14s and forced to land at a NATO base in Sicily.
2008 Orakzai bombing, Afghanistan: members of the Taliban drive an explosive-laden truck into a meeting of 600 people discussing ways to rid their area of the Taliban; the bomb kills 110. 


1731 Henry Cavendish, English physicist who measured the density and mass of the Earth.
1813 Giuseppe Verdi, composer (Rigoletto, Aida).
1900 Helen Hayes, American actress.


Alberto Giacometti, sculptor and painter.
1920 Thelonius Monk, jazz pianist and composer.
1924 James Clavell, novelist (Shogun, Noble House).
1930 Harold Pinter, British playwright (The Homecoming, Betrayal).
1940 Winston Spencer-Churchill, British politician; grandson of famed Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
1946 John Prine, singer, songwriter; influential for his poem-like lyrics ("The Great Compromise," "Blue Umbrella").
1946 Ben Vereen, actor (Roots miniseries).
1949 Wang Wanxing, Chinese rights advocate; prisoner for 13 years in detention centers and psychiatric institutions (Ankang), he is the only person thus far to be released from these institutions and allowed to live in a Western country.
1954 David Lee Roth, singer, songwriter, actor, author; lead vocalist for hard rock band Van Halen; member of Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame (2007).
1958 Tanya Tucker, singer whose first hit, "Delta Dawn," came when she was just 13.
1963 Daniel Pearl, journalist; captured and beheaded by Al Queda in Pakistan; Daniel Pearl Foundation to promote tolerance and understanding internationally founded in his memory.
1969 Brett Favre, pro football player; only pro quarterback to throw for over 70,000 yards, completing 6,000 passes, including over 500 for touchdowns.
1974 Dale Earnhardt Jr., stock car racing driver and team owner; won Most Popular Driver Award in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 10 times (2003–2012).


with Anu Garg



noun: A bald-headed person.

Literally peeled garlic, from pill (to peel) + garlic. Earliest documented use: 1529.

"With his cherubic face, big blue eyes, pilgarlic pate, steel-rimmed glasses, and shuffling gait, Horace Greeley looked more like a character out of a Dickens novel than a presidential hopeful."
Paul F. Boller Jr.; Presidential Campaigns; Oxford University Press; 2004.

A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life. -R.K. Narayan, writer (1906-2001)

Today’s Recipe

Treats, No Tricks!

Don’t think of yourself as a baker? Here’s some alternate suggestions. A couple of them you may have to buy already made. This list comes from a mother who consulted her daughter on what she most liked.

1.  Giant-sized candy bars. I know what you’re thinking, but keep in mind I said most of the treats weren’t chocolate – not all of them.   Did you really expect anything else from a chocoholic like my daughter?  We have some deceptively wealthy neighbors who enjoy handing out really big candy bars every Halloween.   Not fun-sized.  Not the typical regular-sized ones either.  I’m talking about the GIANT ones that are just a little bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

2. Juice boxes. According to Nina, she loves it when she gets a juice box – especially if she’s been out trick-or-treating for awhile.  She quaffs them on the spot – and why not?  It quenches the mighty thirst she builds up as she’s out gathering up her Halloween booty, thereby allowing her to stay out longer, which in turn results in even more candy!  Hey, trick-or-treating is hard work, folks.

3. Fruit roll-ups. This is another juicy treat that Nina likes to eat on the spot because “they’re refreshing” and it helps give her added energy.

4. Fun Dips. This is also known as Lick-a-Stix.  The genius who created the Fun Dip – fruit-flavored powdered sugar and a candy stick used for dipping – smartly realized that most kids love to play with their food.  The Fun Dip provides one of those rare instances where kids can actually do that without getting yelled at by Mom and Dad.  Oh yeah, and as Nina noted, “Lick-a-Stix taste goooooood.”  (She told me to make sure I spelled “good” with the extra vowels.)

5. Marshmallows. Nina says she loves getting mini marshmallows because we almost never buy them.  She’s right.  We’re not campers, so we never make smores.  The only time we have mini marshmallows is during Thanksgiving when we put them in the fruit salad and use them as a topping for the candied yams.

6. Money. Just for the record, I asked Nina how much money she would have to get in order to push “money” to the top of this list.  Without the slightest bit of hesitation she gave me her answer: $2.50.  It’s almost as if she had previously pondered this question.  Maybe she did.

7. Candy apples. Nina likes these because they’re fun to eat.  For the record, she didn’t feel the same way about caramel apples.  Really?  When I was a kid, I preferred the latter.  (I know, since this isn’t my list I should just shut my trap.)

8. Popcorn balls. “Who doesn’t like like popcorn balls, Dad?”  You’re right, Sweetheart; I certainly know I love them.  So that makes two of us.  For the record, Nina also noted that: 1) popcorn is always more fun to eat when it is in a ball; and, 2) she awards bonus points for kettle corn.

9. Goodie bags. Usually, these are small plastic bags adorned with Halloween decorations filled with a few pieces of candy and/or other small gifts, and then tied-off with decorative orange and black ribbon.  Nina loves these because “it’s like a present and so you never know what you are going to get.”  Think of it as a way for the kids to practice for Christmas.

10. Erasers. I know this may be hard to believe for some of you, but kids love erasers – especially if they are shaped like an animal or some other character.  I think that’s because they they’re always using them on their homework.  I know Nina can’t get enough erasers, so when she does happen to find one in her Halloween bag she acts as if I just gave her permission to have a second helping of dessert.   Alright; maybe that’s going a bit too far, but I think you know what I mean.





Now You Know!