Sunday, February 29, 2004

Pedigrees of Famous Folks

Notable Americans, by Gary Boyd Roberts:

From a post to the APG-L today: "The ancestors of Senator John Kerry are ready now and on my site available (except the translation of the pedigree into English).
   A Jewish Czech in John Kerry's Court by Jennifer Anne Perez:

Ronald Reagan's ancestry:
In June 1984, Reagan visited Ballyporeen, Ireland, to see documents that proved his great-grandfather, Michael Regan, had been born in a small hamlet in County Tipperary.

Forbes has an article about Presidential burial spots:

Kimberly Powell has Presidential Genealogies:

Other famous folks

1930 Census Images of the Rich and Famous

More years - 250 census enumerations for well-known Americans:

CyndisList Famous People:

Celebrity Trees:

Famous Scotss:

Wills of the Famous:

Wills of Famous People:

GenealogySpot Famous People:

Dead People Server:

Clatsop County Oregon Genealogical Society is publishing a book of the descendants of the Corp of Discovery, commonly known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition:

Corp Members
Captain Meriwether Lewis (collateral)
Captain William Clark (Direct & Collateral)
Sgt. Patrick Gass (Direct & Collateral)
Sgt. Nathaniel Pryor (Direct, Collateral)
Sgt. Charles Floyd (Collateral)
Sgt. John Ordway (Collateral)
Pvt. Reuben Field (Collateral)
Pvt. Joseph Field (Collateral)
Pvt. John Shields (Collateral)
Pvt. John Colter (Direct)
Pvt. William E. Bratton (Direct) (Collateral)
Pvt. William Werner
Pvt. George Shannon (Direct & Collateral)
Pvt. Peter M. Weiser (Collateral)
Pvt. Alexander Willard (Direct)
Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse (Collateral)
George Drouillard (Collateral)
Toussaint Charbonneau (Collateral)
Sacagawea (Collateral)

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. - Steven Wright

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Open Letter to Dr. Laura concerning her Condemnation of Homosexual People

I've seen this in various places on the Internet, and heard something VERY close on a past episode of the West Wing. Googling gets me no closer to the actual author. There is a James Kauffman on staff at the University of Virginia, according to a search of their website: . I emailed this James Kauffman to see whether or not he is the author, and heard back from him that he is the author, and that this is authentic.

The questions are excellent, no matter who wrote them.

On her radio show recently, Dr. Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter from Professor James Kauffman of the University of Virginia to Dr. Laura which was posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Law and how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16). Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus
University of Virginia

A culture is not an abstract thing. It is a living, evolving process. The aim is to push beyond standard-setting and asserting human rights to make those standards a living reality for people everywhere. - Mary Robinson (1944- )

A Story from Clare

A story from my friend Clare:

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what was perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

To all of my CRACK POT FRIENDS, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers.

All of us have a story, featuring ourselves as the main character, and we're inside it at every moment, hovering between the story-so-far and in-the-next-episode, with the outcome always in doubt. - Tamim Ansary

Friday, February 27, 2004

Gay Marriage

New! Freedom to Marry - Rites & Rights:
   How the legal concepts of marriage have changed and developed over the last six decades, including the text of court rulings; emphasis on Washington State

Wikipedia "GayMap":

BBC on Religion & Ethics, Same Sex Marriage:

Religious Support for Equal Marriage Rights:

Debate between Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry and Lou Sheldon, President of the Traditional Values Coalition, on 20 April 2005 at Stanford Law School: http://vide 20_ACS_GayMarriage.rm (approx. 1 hour and 30 mins)

Non-hysterical statement of the "Top 10 Social Scientific Arguments Against Same Sex Marriage":

A nice dissection of their arguments at the Straight Dope message board:
   Quite a few discussions of this issue at Straight Dope. Thanks to some members of the LinuxChix for these links.

Wonderful articles by Evan Wolfson -
Marriage Equality and Some Lessons for the Scary Work of Winning:
short but good: Why should I be for 'gay marriage'?:

Also relevant:

Massachusetts one step closer to gay marriage ban:

Marriage is a Worker's Issue:

50-state rundown on gay marriage laws:

Same-Sex Marriage: A Selective Bibliography of the Legal Literature:

Religion and the Founding Fathers:

One nation under the supreme being of your choice:

The Economist editorial - The case for gay marriage: It rests on equality, liberty and even society:

Jon Carroll - Love the one you're with: Marriage is now two separate institutions, a religious bond sanctified by religious ceremonies and lived according to religious dictates, and a legal bond. The legal bond has implications for everything from medical insurance to property ownership to inheritance issues.

The Russian Effort to Abolish Marriage (July 1926):

What the Bible Says About Homosexuality:

Book by Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love. Interview at KUOW radio:

Related - Freedom to Marry in Spain:

Marriage, the Bible, and Mr. Bush:

Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one. - Malcolm Forbes

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

German Maps

The up-to-date version of this post will be maintained at

Planning your German trip:

Clickable map of Castle Hotels:

Historical Karten / Maps:

FEEFHS Map Room:

Historical Maps:
   Change the end of the URL from 1000.html to 1190, 1378, 1547, 1648, 1789, or 1815 for maps of those years.

Prussian Boundries:

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection:

German-Polish Place Names (62423 locations):

David Rumsey Map Collection:

I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents. - Churchill

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

World War Two Aerial Pictures Go Online

The up-to-date copy of this post will be maintained here:

According to an article in Eastman's latest newsletter,
Online RAF Photos of the U.K.:

(The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2006 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at: offers an opportunity for genealogists, historians and others the ability to track down an ancestor's now demolished neighbourhood or learn how their area has changed and developed.

The imagery derived from RAF photographic sheets that were previously subject to censorship - with many military sites removed or clouds painted over secret installations - can be seen in their entirety thanks to the efforts made into uncovering the MOD sites and replacing the censored material. This extensive research, undertaken by's partner, The GeoInformation Group, means the records now provide a breadth of detail not accessible via traditional offline resources.

Spokesperson, Christine Bool, says: "The growing interest in local history and genealogy has given us added impetus to make this fascinating historic photography available to a wider audience, and provide an insight into wartime and postwar Britain. For example it is possible to see military bases in certain city parks, docks full of steam powered shipping and northern factories belching out smoke from brick chimneys. The comparison with modern Britain is startling."

Users can search by town, village, postcode or map grid reference. Imagery can be previewed for free, with more detailed photos available to purchase.

You can see the aerial photos at

Do you have comments, questions or corrections to this article? If so, please post your words at

According to this Guardian article,
Unique aerial photographs of the some of the key events of the Second World War are to be made available for the first time over the internet.

The entire archive of more than five million aerial reconnaissance photographs, shot by the RAF over Western Europe during the conflict, is going online.

They include American troops landing on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, the seizure of the Pegasus bridge by British paratroops, the aftermath of the first 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne, and the German battleship Bismarck as the Royal Navy hunted her down.

There is also a photograph showing thick clouds of smoke pouring from Auschwitz concentration camp during the final months of the war." The site, called The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives, can be found here:

Related material: German Aerial Reconnaissance Maps 1940-1944 (US Captured) at "NARA II" (that's NARA "2"), Address: National Archives and Records Administration, Third Floor, 8601 Adelphia Rd, College Park, MD 20740. Email:

Captured Still Photographs (reconnaisance)
Address: NARA II at College Park: Special Media, 8601 Adelphia Road, College Park MD 20740-6001
Phone: 301.837.3530. For additional information, fill out contact form at, and provide the names of shtetl, town or village with the country name.

Perhaps the real reason the modern liberal so disdains the 2nd amendment, and so loves the 1st, is that the 2nd protects our right to take action in defense of liberty, while the 1st protects our right to talk about it. - Phil Nelson, quoting Steve Tell

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

HP to Create Digital Archive of All Time Magazines

Cool historical document to become available soon

Headline HP to Create Digital Archive of All Time Magazines (Yahoo News):

Thanks to Natalie Cottrill on the APG list for posting this link. I wonder if TIME will censor their articles, as they did this one? Thanks to nqn from for this fascinating link.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Antoine de St. Exupery

Saturday, February 14, 2004


Illinois Vital Records:

Free! Complete 1790 U.S. Federal Census, 1810-1860 U.S. Federal Census for Illinois, 1818 Illinois Territorial Census, 1820, 1835, & 1840 Illinois State Census:

Illinois Trails:

Illinois Press Association:

Free Marriage Record Links:

Illinois Genealogical Research: (very reasonable prices for IL b/m/d certificates)

Chicago Tribune Archives:

Cook County Clerk:

Catholic Cemeteries

State Archives Online Databases:

Illinois State Archives - Public Domain Land Tract Sales:

History Resource:

Archives and Libraries:

Joliet, Illinois Prison Convict Register:

Center for Great Lakes Culture:

Illinois in the Civil War:

County Boundaries 1790-Present:

Land Records 1813-1861 (gif animation):

Genealogical and Historical Societies:


AncestorSpy - Illinois Statewide Records:

Archives and Manuscript Resources:

Genealogy, Historical Societies and Related Links, Kane County, Illinois and Surrounding Areas:

GeneaLinks - Illinois Genealogy:

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
- Groucho Marx, 1890-1977

Legal Craziness

Mickey$oft vs

I, Cringely:

The Stella Awards:
   True stories of lawsuits gone wild. There is a Discussion Forum, too.

Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (M-Law):

Groklaw - news about Open Source legal issues:

Funniest comment on the present SCO fiasco: The Nazgul, A Derivative Work of the Intellectual Property of Edgar Allan Poe, by Alanyst

The nicest thing about this basic three-step technique -- first, assume quoted opinions define facts, then pick the right people to quote, and lastly wave your hands to make any uncomfortable realities disappear -- is that it applies to everything from alien abduction to Windows security. - Paul Murphy

Friday, February 13, 2004


MISSING LINKS and SOMEBODY'S LINKS are free from Petunia Press:

If you have a rare surname, or are missing those precious photos or Bible records of your family, be sure to search Missing Links and Somebody's Links, and the Message board, too! MB:

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Posting One (and only one) GEDCOM file at Rootsweb WC, AWT, and Ancestry OFT

Posting One (and only one) GEDCOM file at Rootsweb WorldConnect, Ancestry World Tree, and Ancestry Online Family Tree

(I am not the author of this article.)

Unlike at WorldConnect, uploading your file on Ancestry Online Family Tree (OFT) or Ancestry World Tree (AWT) does not replace or update an existing file. Uploading a file there creates an additional file. Not realizing this and thinking they are replacing outdated files, many eager-to-share genealogists have posted multiple copies of their trees.

A major reason why there are so many duplicates of the same trees is due to assuming that your "new" (updated) file overrides the "old" (original) file at Ancestry. It does not. You might be surprised to discover that your "trees" have created a forest of duplications.

Unsure whether you might have duplicate files on WorldConnect, Ancestry World Tree (AWT) and/or Online Family Tree (OFT)? Do a search for a unique name that can be found in your database from the main WorldConnect page. Search results should display any duplicate files or duplicate names within a single file.

Although family tree files submitted through both Ancestry and RootsWeb sides are searched and browsed (viewed) as one huge database, the submission, updating and removal processes work differently from the two sides. To add to the confusion there are three names involved: WorldConnect (at RootsWeb), and at there's Online Family Tree (OFT) and Ancestry World Tree (AWT).

If you do not remember whether you submitted the original file through Ancestry or RootsWeb, the user code will tell you. A user code that starts with a colon ":" indicates that the file was submitted through Ancestry's Online Family Tree (OFT). User codes that start with a colon PLUS the letter a ":a" were submitted via Ancestry World Tree (AWT). WorldConnect user codes are submitter-selected and comprised of letters, numbers, hyphens, and underscores.

To have an Ancestry World Tree (AWT) file removed -- where your user code starts with ":a" (that's a colon and the letter "a") or where the
user code starts with a colon plus FIVE or FEWER numbers, contact Ancestry Customer Support:

To remove an Online Family Tree (OFT) where the user code starts with a COLON and SIX or SEVEN numbers, go to: and click on the FAMILY TREES tab. If you do not see a chart headed SELECT AN ONLINE FAMILY TREE, you will need to click the LOGIN TO VIEW EXISTING FAMILY TREES link. All trees in your account will be displayed here -- including any private MyFamily Trees over which you hold owner or editor rights. Be careful not to delete the latter in error.

Icons to the far right of each listed tree here indicate the current status of that tree. If you do not see graphical icons (such as world globe or trashcan), click the ADVANCED OPTIONS link just above the chart outline. You must click on the WORLD GLOBE WITH RED X icon to remove the file from Ancestry World Tree/WorldConnect.

If you also wish to delete the tree entirely from Online Family Tree click the TRASH CAN icon AFTER you have also clicked on the WORLD GLOBE WITH RED X icon. Caution: You can not recover a file after doing this.

If you cannot find the family tree you wish to remove that was originally submitted through the Ancestry side following the above procedure, you may have additional usernames (accounts). To obtain all account information for your current e-mail addresses, log out, click on LOGIN, and then click on the FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD link. An e-mail will be sent to you with all account information.

You must login under each account to check for additional trees at Ancestry. Questions about possible accounts under obsolete e-mail addresses? You need to contact Ancestry Customer Support for assistance.

You cannot remove/override a family tree submitted through Ancestry by uploading a revised file using RootsWeb's WorldConnect's Set-up page to do so.

If it has been some time since you uploaded your GEDCOM to RootsWeb's WorldConnect and you have added new and corrected information to your genealogy file and you wish to update your WorldConnect file to reflect this new information, here's what to do.

Create a new GEDCOM which includes your updated information. You want to be sure that the new file you are about to upload to WorldConnect replaces the old file and doesn't merely create a new file leaving the outdated information in place beside the new file.

Start on the main WorldConnect page: and click on the link that says: "Also, go here to update or correct your existing Family Tree."

Type in your original user code and password -- the ones you used when you first created your WorldConnect family tree. If you have forgotten
either your user code or password you can retrieve them both from Password Central: Mark the bottom box under OTHER to retrieve this information.

Next select either the standard or advanced set-up page to update your existing WorldConnect GEDCOM. When updating your GEDCOM, remember you must indicate on the set-up page the path or location of the new GEDCOM on your computer in the appropriate box on the set-up page so that WorldConnect can find the new file you wish to upload.

You can do that through the use of the BROWSE button or by typing in the path to the new file in this box. When you have selected all of the items applicable to your new file on the set-up page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on UPLOAD/UPDATE option and wait for your new file to be uploaded and to replace the existing file -- automatically.

But, remember that, in order for the file to REPLACE the existing file, at WorldConnect, you must have used your original user code and password that you selected when creating the file you now wish to replace. When you are looking at the set-up page you should be seeing the information relating to your (original) file and not a new set-up page that says you are about to create a new file --- you do not want to create a new file -- you want to replace the existing one.

This is a good time to check the forest of family trees you might have planted on AWT, OFT and/or WorldConnect and do some appropriate pruning.
Previously published in RootsWeb Review: Vol. 7, No. 6, 11 February 2004.

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. - Oscar Wilde

The Male Privilege Checklist

A list derived from a 1990 essay by Wellesley College professor Peggy McIntosh called White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Since men usually do not realize the privilege they possess in this society simply by being men, this list may be eye-opening. You can read it here. Thanks for posting it, helix. :-)

Interesting article about unseen privilege - Climbing the White Escalator:

He who wants to do good knocks at the gate;
He who loves, finds the gate open.
- Rabindranath Tagore, "Stray Birds"

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Google Advanced Search for Genealogy

Click on "Advanced Search" and fill in the parameters the best you can.

For instance, if the person you are searching is Jane Doe and you know she lives in IL and her husband's name is John. Fill in:

With all these words: John
With this exact phrase: Jane Doe
With at least one of these words: Il Illinois
Without these words:

Put the full name of a state and the abbreviation(s) just in case. If you get too many responses, you could enter for the above search in the "without these words" parameter: CHICAGO. This should eliminate quite a few hits since Chicago is the largest city in IL.

   Thanks to Michelle who posted this idea to the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness list at

UK-only searches
AltaVista United Kingdom:

Google UK:

There are many sites dedicated to local areas and villages. Type in the name of the town or village, and if known add the county to reduce multiple matches. Using UK-only search engines will cut out the villages and towns in the US named after the UK originals. Thanks to Bill Lewis in the Ancestry Daily News for these links.

Beta Google Gen Search engine:

The complete opposite of focussed Google searching is Memepool, a very quirky blog of bizarre links around the web. Less amusing:

Speaking of blogs, check out GenealogyBlog, by Leland Meitzler and Joe Edmond, along with William Dollarhide, Donna Potter Phillips, and Janet Elaine Smith. 1000 entries so far!:

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence. - Abigail Adams, 1744-1818


The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. - Harry Falk

Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. - Ann Landers

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. - Ben Williams

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. - Josh Billings

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. - Andy Rooney

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made. - M. Acklam

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate. - Sigmund Freud

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. - Jody Falk

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance and to turn around three times before lying down. - Robert Benchley

Dogs need to sniff the ground; it's how they keep abreast of current events. The ground is a giant dog newspaper, containing all kinds of late-breaking dog news items, which, if they are especially urgent, are often continued in the next yard. - Dave Barry

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog. - Franklin P. Jones

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons. - James Thurber

If your dog is fat you aren't getting enough exercise. - Unknown

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money. - Joe Weinstein

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul -- chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! - Anne Tyler

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. - Robert A. Heinlein

Speak softly and own a big, mean Doberman. - Dave Miliman

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain

You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!' - Dave Barry

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. - Phil Pastoret

My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am. - Unknown

   Thanks to Sharon on for posting these quotes.

The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens into that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was a conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach. - Carl Jung

Monday, February 09, 2004

World Telephone Listings

The current version of this post will be kept updated at:

World Telephone Directory:

International Calling Codes:


German Telephone database:

Online Phonebook:

Using the Telephone in German:

Irish Phone Books Online:,

BT Directory Inquiries Online:
   Scroll to the bottom, choose Find a Person, or Find a Business

Swedish White Pages:

Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - J. Northcote Parkinson

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Naming customs in Germany and France

A wonderful explanation of the difference between the American custom of naming people (First name, Middle name, Last name or Surname) and the German and French (especially applicable to the Alsace) Vornamem/prénoms, 'call name' (Rufname/prénom usuel), 'family name' (Familienname/nom de famille) and sometimes in the Alsace, the 'farm name' (Hofname). Really excellent! Francis Busser, where are you?

Also see 18th Century PA German Naming Customs:

German First Names and Surnames:

Behind the names: - Masculine and Feminine names, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Eastern European, Arabic, Indian, Irish, Mythology, Biblical, African Names, and More ...

Anglicized French Surnames:

Also - Kip Sperry's Naming Patterns: Tips for Finding Your Ancestors:
and Why You Can't Find Your Ancestors:

Laughter is the closest distance between two people. - Victor Borge

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Coleco ADAM Memories

Obsolete Computer Museum:

Thanks to MaggieL (of Linuxchix) for finding this link!

Whatever you can do, or dream you can--begin it. Boldness has a genius, power, and magic in it - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832

Thursday, February 05, 2004

The Future

"Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.

"Is such progress avoidable? If not to be avoided, can events be guided so that we may survive? These questions are investigated. Some possible answers (and some further dangers) are presented." This is the abstract of a paper by Vernor Vinge on the Singularity -- fascinating reading. Thanks to Val from Linuxchix for the link.

In light of Vinge's argument, here is an FAQ about The Meaning of Life:

Another discussion of The Meaning of Life (excellent):

Taking this discussion to the future of computers, software, and the Internet - Tim O'Reilly, The Open Source Paradigm Shift: Interesting, and not *too* full of jargon. Some knowledge of the history of computers, the 'Net and Linux/GNU/Open Source is assumed.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle