Exactly one hundred years ago on April 22, a time capsule was buried in the basement of the First English Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A. During a ceremony this April 22, a crowd that included the governor oversaw the opening of the “Century Chest.”
The entire ceremony was captured on video. Skip ahead to the good part, where they start opening the packages in the enormous box, at about 1 hour and 10 minutes into the video. You’ll see a prize-winning plate from the state fair, an old desk telephone with its bright green cord still wrapped around it, an Edison phonograph machine, artwork, photos, newspaper articles, clothing, a pen used by U.S. President McKinley to sign the Free Homes Bill and more!
My question for you: what would YOU put in a 100-year time capsule? Leave your comments.
Opening pages of rare 1905 Sanborn Map of San Francisco, showing city just before 1906 earthquake. Find the entire map book at the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
Genealogists rely on historical maps to help us navigate the geography of our ancestors’ lives. One of the most important resources available online is the David Rumsey Map Collection. Well, Rumsey recently announced on his website that he will be making more than 38,000 of his historical maps–everything he’s currently got online–available at the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).
I blogged recently about the DPLA, which aims to create an enormous, free digital library we can all access online. It will be great to have the Rumsey map collection searchable on the DPLA so we can search these maps while we look for any other sources on any particular location our ancestors lived. “Maps tell stories that complement texts, images, and other resources found in the growing DPLA library,” says Rumsey. “And the open content policies of my online library fit perfectly with DPLA’s mission to make cultural resources freely available to all.” He applauds what the DPLA is trying to accomplish and even encourages other collectors to donate content.
Rumsey has spent years collecting thousands of old maps and putting them online. Now he’s working to share them even more widely. His entire collection of about 150,000 maps will eventually be housed at Stanford University. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the thousands of images we can search on his site or at the DPLA.
The Danish Broadcasting Corporation is filming its own version of “Who Do You Think You Are?”–which we’ve learned via two U.S. newspapers!
According to the Bureau County Republican and the NewsTribune (Illinois Valley), popular Danish actress Suzanne Bjerrehuus was in the area filming stories of her great-great-grandparents, who emigrated from Denmark to the American Midwest in 1869. (They apparently left behind one of their six children, from whom Bjerrehuus descends.)
As part of her whirlwind family history tour, Bjerrehuus reportedly visited the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Iowa. If you have Danish roots, you should probably check out their website. They have a Family History & Genealogy Center, which specializes in helping people find links to their Danish immigrant past. They provide research and translation services and they’ve helped people connect with long-lost relatives in both Denmark and the United States.
FamilySearch.org keeps adding records at a phenomenal pace, thanks in large part to the efforts of thousands of volunteer indexers around the world. In fact, they recently celebrated the billionth record indexed since they started community indexing in September 2006.
Here’s a list of online collections with records recently added or improved. Do you notice that this new list is “browsable only?” That means you can scroll through them online, but there’s not a searchable index yet. FamilySearch staff and volunteers are imaging record sets even faster than indexers can get them indexed!
Want to help? Join over 133,000 active indexers who index projects of their choice, from U.S. naturalizations to Brazilian church records. Join the effort here.
One of the most popular family history websites in the world, MyHeritage, has released Family Tree Builder 7.0, an updated version of its free family tree software.
Family Tree Builder allows users to construct their family trees and decorate them with photos, historical records and more. This new version uses the company’s “Record Matching” technology, which according to Chief Genealogist and Translation Manager Daniel Horowitz, “automatically researches every individual in the user’s family tree and looks for matching historical records with high accuracy.”
A cool new feature is cross-platform synchronicity. According to a company press release, “The new version now syncs your entire family history in both directions between your computer and your family site on MyHeritage, as well as smart phones and tablets, and opens new channels for discovering relatives and billions of historical records with our advanced matching technologies. This means you can now access your family tree securely not just from your computer but also from your online family site, smart phone or tablet device, and even grow the tree and add more information and photos to it, any time and anywhere. All additions and changes will sync back to your Family Tree Builder software on your computer.”
Click here to learn more and download it for free.