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Calendars and Clocks

A Different Map of Time

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Tomorrow is the beginning of the new year in the Jewish Calendar. Though I don’t claim to be an expert in the workings of that calendar, I know that even that first sentence is problematic. What do I mean by “tomorrow”? Typically it might mean the 24 hour period following the next midnight. That doesn’t […]

Genealogy Day

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Sure, we already have Family History Month in October but as my kids have pointed out to me lately, to be cool now, your activity needs to have a specific day with a funny connection to what it is supposed to celebrate. For example, earlier this month, grammarians celebrated grammar day on March 4. They […]

Hinting at the Facts

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting. —Henry David Thoreau Reading old genealogical works can be an almost mystical experience. Not mystical with a capital “M” as in a […]

Oh My! Oh Maya!

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Once again the world has failed to end on schedule. Now I guess I’d better write a blog post. I love calendars, I’m not equally fond of the end of the world. I love using calendar peculiarities to solve genealogical problems, I don’t like the thought of my data being engulfed by a sea of […]

Culture Time!

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

How we mark time can be a very cultural thing. Today we think of June as the month for weddings. In the Irish parish registers that I have been reading of late, the weddings just pile up one on top of the other, but not in June, in February. Then nothing for weeks. Lent had […]

The First Sunday After… What?

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Last week I finished blogging about the Civil War but Easter occurred last week and I gave a talk about calendars. Here are a few thoughts that lead to why Easter matters so much to our calendar and why you may not really know when an ancestor was born. We live with three basic celestial […]

Happy (Old) New Year

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

I assume that everyone doing British or British Colonial research is getting ready for New Year’s Eve. It’s time to uncork another of those pre1752 bottles you have hidden away, put on your homemade tri-cornered party hat and get together with fellow genealogists. Ok, maybe not, but the fact that New Year’s Day is coming […]

Space-Time for Family Historians

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

I just gave my talk “Space-Time for Family Historians- Time warps and curved space aren’t just for physicists” for the first time at my local genealogy society meeting (Lake County Illinois Genealogical Society). I had a lot of fun with it and I have to admit that by the time people had finished complimenting me […]