family records

21 Dec 2015

Letters Santa Missed Long Ago

From The New York Times today, a story about
some letters Santa missed long ago.
Some genealogy research helped solve the mystery of two letters Santa missed long ago, left in a fireplace a Hell’s Kitchen apartment in Manhattan and recently rediscovered. When Peter Mattaliano, an acting coach, renovated his apartment, his brother worked on the fireplace and discovered

…a delicate piece of paper with faint children’s scrawl bearing a request to Santa from a century earlier. …A century ago they lived in what is now Mr. Mattaliano’s home. He has honored Mary and Alfred McGann every December for the past 15 years, ever since he learned of their existence when he renovated his fireplace. It had been sealed with brick for more than 60 years.
“I’m sharing their space,” he said, adding that he adopted the spirits of these children, frozen in pre-Christmas longing. Their spirits remain in the apartment, he believes, forever young, in something of a Hell’s Kitchen […]

7 Dec 2015

From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa

Letters From the Pacific, From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa

This day doesn’t get much play anymore, possibly because the Pearl Harbor Survivors are all in their 90s.

My husband and I considered it a privilege in 2011 to commemorate the 70th anniversary from Ford Island in Pearl Harbor and attend the USS Utah interment ceremony.

This year, to commemorate the day, the New York Times has published a great article by Diantha Parker entitled, “Letters From the Pacific, From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa” about the Mossman collection of letters. It is well worth the time of any genealogist with WWII family.

In 2001, a box of old World War II letters surfaced from a neglected box in storage. What laid inside were the complete letters documenting the life of

Harold Moss, a soldier in the American Army during WWII. His journey starts in the States during basic training and leads him throughout the Pacific, all the way to Okinawa. Harold was fortunate to make it back […]

29 Nov 2015

Preserving Family Recipes

Preserving Family Recipes is a step-by-step guide for the family food genealogist.
This a delightful find is newly released and written by Valerie J. Frey, an “author, archivist, history lover & culinary adventurer.” Having just been through Thanksgiving in the U.S., what better motivator could there be to gather and organize your family’s recipes and link them to your family history research?

Want to know more? Frey describes Preserving Family Recipes:
Heirloom dishes and family food traditions are rich sources of nostalgia and provide vivid ways to learn about our families’ past, yet they can be problematic. Many family recipes and food traditions are never documented in written or photographic form, existing only as unwritten know-how and lore that vanishes when a cook dies. Even when recipes are written down, they often fail to give the tricks and tips that would allow another cook to accurately replicate the dish. Unfortunately, recipes are also […]