Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The National Museum of the American Coverlet

You never know where your genealogy research will take you. Most of us Scotties of humble origin can safely say "we have weavers in our ancestry". Mine are not too far back either :) There are very few places in the USA that specialize in the history and art of weaving but this is one of them
It has a very narrow, but fascinating, focus ... the coverlet... and if the photographs are any indication it should be an amazing place to visit. Thanks go to Laszlo and Melinda Zongor for creating this museum located in Bedford, Pennsylvania.

The coverlets date from the 1700's, 1800' onwards. Wouldn't it be fun to visit and find out if there are any Scotties in there?

So if you are researching your weaving heritage in Scotland where could you go either on-line or in person?
There's the Verdant Works in Dundee and
The World Heritage Village at New Lanark
Weavers Cottage at Kilbarchan
to name but a few.

Being a weaver was a hard life and one that should be given more respect (IMHO).
Linen weaving was a major industry in rural Scotland from the 1750's.
If you have children doing genealogy/family history research (or not) here's a fun puzzle

The International Wool Textile Organisation has an interesting potted history of wool and weaving at its web site

I guess I would get a finger wag from some others for not mentioning tartan. I learned something new today ..... or it got lost in the fog that is known as my memory ........ Bannockburn, just a robust walk from where I grew up, was known as the Capital of Tartan Weaving !!!!!! (I definitely live under a rock)

Clackmannanshire was the heart of the textile industry during the 19th century. Water from the Ochils was used to power the looms. If you visit the Mill Trail Visitor Centre in Alva you'll find out about the story of the woolen, tartan and tweed industries. Nice to see the powerloom shed being used instead of abandoned.

A nice site to visit for a potted history of weaving in Scotland is

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October is National Family History Month

On this side of "the puddle" October is national Family History Month.

What a great time to be starting your research or adding to what you already have. Maybe you need to organize family papers. Or how about all those photographs lying around in boxes.

Daughter #3 needed a large three ring binder to put all her information together. Her old binder was too small for everything. She spent a few hours over the weekend organizing what she had and adding new items from her drawers. Our next task is to type up some stories to go with the photographs.

Daughter #2 is doing a class assignment on Genograms for her Family Relations degree. I know most of the causes of death and some of the quirky inter family relations on my side of the family but realized that the same is not true for my husband's side. Phone calls will have to be made to my wonderful m-in-law :)

Daughter #1 is actually being paid to do some genealogy research and organizing. She is enjoying this relatively new venture and learning much from it.

I will be spending part of this month learning how to make a power point presentation for a class I am teaching next month on Timelines. I'm also going to write a long overdue letter to one of my cousins thanking her for family information she sent me a few weeks ago.

My m-in-law gave us some of hubbies childhood info. We should probably sort that out and put it with the rest of his papers and books. She also joined Facebook and has been adding a considerable # of photographs with stories so that other family members can access them.

So give some thought to what you might do this month. Doesn't have to be anything fancy or hugely time consuming. Just organizing your own personal papers in one spot would be a huge start. If you put them in a large envelope and there is ever a huge crisis, you can just pick it up and walk out the door.