Saturday, May 14, 2011

Heartwarming Reunion Made Possible by Kids' Research

This article in the Chicago Sun-Times tells the story of Edith Westerfeld and Gerda Katz, who became friends as little girls as they were fleeing Germany to escape the Nazis (they were 12 and 10, respectively). Then, they never saw each other again. Until now, 70 years later. Edith's daughter came to speak about her mother's experience, to a class of eight-graders at Madison Junior High School in Naperville, IL. From the article:

After Chapman visited the school and talked to them earlier this year, they knew they  wanted to help find Katz.
“Different people looked her up in different search engines,” said Mishal Sherwani, 14. “We found a little community newspaper item about her and her husband’s anniversary.”[...]
Finding Katz didn’t prove all that difficult for the social network-savvy teens.
“I love how the kids didn’t believe they couldn’t find her,” said Susan Rice, communications director for District 203. “They just didn’t think that was possible.”
It is wonderful to see kids so excited about research. I hope to see many more stories of kids taking an interest in genealogical research. They have grown up with technology, and if they become interested in genealogy early, then they will be able to use this technology to find their roots (and find lost friends and relatives) in ways that we probably can't imagine yet.      

Read the full story by Susan Frick Carlman of the Chicago Sun-Times here.                       

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What was "Of Interest to Women" 100 Years Ago

It's become obvious to me that I would love to specialize in finding records for female ancestors. And if I ever get to conduct that research out of an actual office, these are the kind of newspaper articles that will be framed on my walls.

I have been using Google News Archive to do some client research, and in that search I found that the Pittsburgh Press (along with many other papers I'm sure) ran a regular column called "Of Interest to  Women." Out of curiosity, I decided to see what exactly that meant 100 years ago. Here's what I found.