Friday, February 23, 2018

Prayer Flags in Thamel

Photo by Patrick Jones. Prayer Flags in Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal. 22 Feb 2018.

Sunrise over Boudhanath

Photo by Patrick Jones. Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal. 23 Feb 2018.
I am currently in Nepal for a conference. Above is a photo I took after sunrise at Boudhanath Stupa, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the outskirts of Kathmandu. I did a clockwise walk around the stupa, taking in the scene with hundreds of others.

Photo by Patrick Jones. Bell at Boudhanath. 23 Feb 2018.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Singapore on CNY Long Weekend

Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural in Chinatown, Singapore. 19 Feb 2018.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Chinatown, Singapore. 19 Feb 2018.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Street art on alley in Chinatown.
I'm now in Singapore, and took advantage of the holiday as part of the Chinese New Year long weekend here, to see some cool exhibits at the Art Science Museum and the National Galley of Singapore. I also managed to walk about 9 miles today checking out Chinatown and some of the familiar sights that I have seen on previous trips to Singapore.

Friday, February 16, 2018


Source: British Museum Digital Collection. Porch, Hale House. 1867.

For the past week we've been moving into a new place within a mile of our previous one. Our last move in this area was almost 6 years ago, but this time we are in a new house. My Mom will also be joining us in the house. While this is going to be an adjustment for everyone, we are really excited about the new place.

We hired professionals to move beds & the big stuff, but everything else we moved ourselves. I walked/climbed 48 miles in five days, so I'm feeling pretty exhausted from the move.

Blogging has been really slow this month and will continue into next month as I head out to Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific for three trips. Two of the three are work-related, and will have a mix of photos and updates from the road.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Loss of Available Records

Back in February 2016, I wrote about a marriage record between Francisco Calles and Jesus Campuzano, a daughter of my 3rd-great-grandfather Vicente Antonio Campuzano. The image of the marriage record was from the Mexican Catholic Church records from Hermosillo, Sonora, as digitized by FamilySearch. I am very lucky that I took a screen shot of that record at the time, because it is no longer available online.
Source: FamilySearch. Photo taken 5 February 2018.
According to FamilySearch, to view the image one either needs to sign into FamilySearch as a member of the LDS Church or view the page while at a family history center. Neither of these options are very useful to me, and likely to other family historians. It also appears that FamilySearch has pulled down the ability to view the record on Ancestry, as seen in the screen shot below:
Source: Ancestry. Image 557 of Mexico, Select Church Records.
I submitted a question to FamilySearch asking about the loss of these records. Here's the response that I received: "We understand your frustration.  You may not realize that FamilySearch does not own the records. We negotiate with the Record Custodians to try to provide as much access as possible to the records.  But they determine to whom, when and where the record images can be made available.  Often those terms change when a new contract is required. 
  We have attached a statement that explains this more fully.    We apologize for the inconvenience." The statement referenced in the response doesn't help. It appears FamilySearch had a contract for digitizing the Mexican Catholic Church records, allowing them to be published on the FamilySearch website and also viewable and indexed by third-parties such as Ancestry, but the contact has either expired or the ability to display the records online has been terminated. This is very unfortunate for researchers and historians. 

I hope someone raises this at Rootstech, which is coming up at the end of February and first week of March. Other Mexican civil records are still viewable on Ancestry, so it is curious as to why the Catholic Church records are no longer viewable online.

Friday, February 2, 2018

A Christmas Marriage

Source: Ancestry. Sumner County, Tennessee Marriage Record.
New digital records often come available in family history research, so it is useful to periodically check to see what might be out there. Here is another example of a new find on my Mom's Whitley/Matthews side of the tree. Back in August 2012, I wrote about my 2nd-great-grandmother Elizabeth Hayden Matthews. I thought she had married my 2nd-great-grandfather Thomas Whitley around 1885 or 1886, based on the birth dates of their children, but I had not found a marriage record. A new-to-me record recently appeared when searching on Ancestry, showing a marriage on 24 December 1885 in Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee. This was a surprise, as I expected to find them married in or around Barren County, Kentucky.

Sumner County, Tennessee is located on the Tennessee-Kentucky border, directly south of Barren County. Looking at the dates, Elizabeth (Lizzie in the marriage record) would have just turned 16, while Thomas was 24. It certainly looks like Elizabeth and Thomas eloped to Tennessee over Christmas in 1885. They eventually had twelve children, including my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Lois Whitley.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

New Month, New Places

Photo by Patrick Jones. Lincoln Street Tunnel, Columbia, SC. 30 Dec 2017.

The turn of the calendar to the month of February marks a big month of change for us. We're moving into a new house less than a mile from the current one we've been renting for five and a half years. My Mom will also be moving into the house, so not only are we going through the accumulation of things that have moved over the years, but she is too. So begins the great purge of 2018 and the start of an exciting new chapter as home owners once again in Virginia. There's quite a lot to sort through and get ready for the movers.

In addition to the big move, I also have an upcoming trip in Asia to one of my favorite cities, and a new location that has long been on my wish list. There's more to come on this later in February.

Fingers crossed that our winter weather cooperates.