Sunday, March 1, 2015

523. Any British Romans In Your Tree?

     Genealogy can really warp your mind sometimes. Case in Point: One of my other interests is archaeology, underwater primarily but the land version, too. I always notice and read developments in those fields and I noticed the below story right away.
     But the warping took effect soon thereafter, and I thought to myself, "Wonder if she is in someone's tree?" and "Is she in Find-A-Grave?" Not many folks I know are 1,800 years back yet, but FamilySearch is probably working on it! Anyway, it's a great find and story regardless.

                A 1,800-year-old tombstone was discovered at a Roman cemetery in England this week. Because of its inscription, archaeologists know who was buried in the grave: a 27-year-old woman named Bodica.
"It's incredibly rare," Neil Holbrook, of Cotswold Archaeology, told Live Science.
                For the last two months, Holbrook's team has been excavating a Roman cemetery just outside the ancient city walls of Cirencester, a town in Gloucestershire, to make way for the construction of a new office park. They documented about 55 graves — some of which contained wooden coffins and copper bracelets — but only one was covered up with a toppled-over stone slab The excavators waited until yesterday (Feb. 25) to lift up the stone, discovering it was indeed a tombstone.
                The grave marker is among just nine other Roman tombstones found in Cirencester and about 300 found in the rest of Britain.
                The grave dates to the second century, at a time when Cirencester was the second-largest city in Britain after London. The stone has very finely carved decorative details, Holbrook said, suggesting that Bodica had money or was married to someone with money. Inside the pediment, there's a sculpture of the Roman god Oceanus, perhaps to mark the "watery journey" between life and death, Holbrook said.
The Latin text reads "D.M. BODICACIA CONIUNX VIXIT ANNO S XXVII," or, roughly, "To the spirits of the dead, Bodica, loyal wife, lived 27 years."
                But the inscription has some archaeologists scratching their heads. "The lettering and the writing is very poorly done — perhaps by someone who was illiterate," Holbrook said.
Some letters seem to be missing, and the spelling of "Bodica" — a Celtic name that means "victory" — as "Bodicacia" is somewhat puzzling. It might be a misspelling. Maybe Bodica selected this skillfully made tombstone before her death, but when it came time to actually inscribe it, the stone fell into the hands of someone who wasn't entirely equipped to do so. Or perhaps part of the Latin word "acacia," meaning "ax," was intentionally tacked onto her name to deter vandals, Holbrook said.
                "We've only had it out of the ground 24 hours, but already it's created a massive amount of interest and debate," Holbrook said. The archaeologists, who are wrapping up their excavation this week, found a skeleton associated with the grave. Eventually, an analysis of the woman's bones should reveal more details about the woman's life.
By Editor Megan Gannon on Live Science

Thursday, February 26, 2015

522. GSMC Presents Live Webinar March 4

Genealogical Society of Marion County
 Presents a Live Webinar
Wednesday, March 4, from 2:00-3:30 pm.
Free to the public.
GSMC Library, 9370 E. Washington St., Indianapolis 
(Within Memorial Park Cemetery)
Researching with Karen!

Feeling stuck? Have a difficult genealogy research problem? It may be time for a professional to assist. Join educator, author, and researcher, Karen Clifford, as she answers your questions and demonstrates how she solves genealogy cases. Seeing how someone else approaches a genealogy mystery can give you new ideas to apply for your own hunt.

Presenter : Karen Clifford
Karen Clifford develops and teaches multiple online genealogy courses at colleges in California and Utah. She is an Accredited Genealogist® Professional and a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. She has been President/CEO of Genealogy Research Associates, Incorporated since 1997. Her years of professional research work lead to authoring college textbooks and do-it-yourself guidebooks covering both traditional and electronic genealogy research including several books: Becoming an Accredited Genealogist, The Complete Beginners Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program (updated 2011), and Digging Deeper: Using Essential Pre-1850 Records (2011).

521. Need Your Input: Why People Love Archives

                As you are no doubt aware, Americans currently (probably always!) are besieged with public officials who can’t think beyond their noses. One effect of this is the constant government attacks on the budgets of libraries and archives. As genealogists, we are major players in the lists of patrons of those two groups. We also are major players in the voting rolls, which are what pols respect. Below is an appeal where we as “the public” can have a strong effect. Ready, set, go:
                Alison Harper Stankrauff of the Society of Indiana Archivists passed along a message from Society of American Archivists President Kathleen Roe, who is asking for heartfelt testimonials about why archives matter. Can you help? Respond to Kathleen directly at:  

Call to Action #5: Why People Love Archives

                We recently heard from many of you about why you’re an archivist and what you love about archives. We truly do have strong, energetic supporters of all kinds—from journalists to genealogists, students to stakeholders, there are people who can and do say wonderful things about the value of archives. So ask your supporters why they love archives.
                This month, we encourage you to seek input, comments, or testimonials on why archives matter to others.  We can use comments like these when we are promoting our programs to our managers, resource allocators, legislators, and even the public.
                Here are some ideas for how to gather that information:
Ask the supporters who visit your repository to write why they love archives using this simple form—or create your own. Leave out copies of the form at your repository. Responses can be detailed or short and sweet—all these comments will help us build an even stronger case for why archives matter.  Be sure to ask for permission to use their names and quotes!
                Reach out to those you know who have benefited from doing research in your repository, your colleagues, or even your boss and ask them to provide you with a statement indicating why they love archives. You can reach out with a simple email, or host a fun event to celebrate archives—such as an “I Love Archives” party in connection with Valentine’s Day. (Okay, it may be a little schmaltzy, but remember—it’s all for the love of archives!)  
                Again, be sure to ask for permission to use their names and quotes—and get a picture if you can! Share the responses you receive, or what you’ve done to reach out!
                Post your comments on SAA’s Facebook post.
(Or use #PeopleLoveArchives on Twitter, or email responses to