Check Social Networking Sites for Relatives
Never underestimate social networking websites. I just found some long lost cousins on MySpace, simply by searching for the surname I was looking for! I now have information about three generations of family members I never knew about!
Identify Those Photographs
When packing up belongings in my parentsâ€™ house recently in anticipation of possible evacuation, I discovered boxes and boxes of pictures and â€œstuff.â€ My parents didnâ€™t even know what was in many of the boxes. I managed to get permission to take a box home and start sorting. There are many, many wonderful pictures without any type of identification! One had â€œEs and I fishing along the Platte Riverâ€ written on it. It took a lot for me to figure out that it isnâ€™t â€œtheâ€ Platte River, but the Northern Platte in Wyoming.
While complaining about other people not labeling photographs, I realized that I have tons of pictures in just the same condition. So, this is a friendly reminder to help future genealogists–IDENTIFY people in pictures.
Ethnicity vs. Nationality
Don’t confuse ethnicity with nationality. Virtually all nations, even the seemingly most homogeneous, are made up of more than one ethnicity. Ethnicity implies a certain cultural heritage. That may or may not change with movement to a different country.
Case in point, the Scots-Irish. Ethnic Scots, for various reasons, were induced to move to Ireland. The English government evicted the ethnic Irish to lease the land to the incoming Scots. After going on about 200 years in Ireland, groups of these ethnic Scots immigrated to the New World to escape economic and religious discrimination by the English authorities in Ireland. In the United States, we usually call them the Scots (or Scotch)-Irish. The ones left in the Old World are known as the Ulster Irish. While in Ireland, these ethnic Scots had few dealings with the ethnic Irish. They had different religions, different customs, and a huge difference of opinion about who should be occupying that land. In close to 200 years, the ethnic Scots became Irish in nationality, but not in ethnicity.
During World War I, inductees into the Army were interviewed on their racial, national, lingual, religious, and family backgrounds. The interviewers were instructed that if an inductee said his parents were from Ireland and his religion was Catholic, to list the inductee’s national background as “Irish.” If the inductee’s parents were from Ireland and his family was Protestant, the inductee was “Scottish.” (And if you were a Jew, no matter what country your parents came from, your national background was “Jewish.”)
So, just because your Glasgow ancestors came from Ireland, that doesn’t necessarily mean they were “Irish.”
Jacqueline Buzbee Davis
“Busby” being a town on the outskirts of Glasgow but an English last name.
If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!
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