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  • Easter Hat Traditions

    Apr 7

    Our female ancestors always wore hats, styles that changed over the decades. Since about the 1970s and 1980s it has been much less a fashion statement for women to wear hats. One very traditional hat our female ancestors loved wearing was their finest 'Easter hat or bonnet', usually a nice new one worn to the Easter Sunday church services. W...

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  • California is Working on Reparations

    Apr 6

    California has been working on a way to provide reparations for African Americans. This effort began in 2020, when Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation giving special consideration to Black Americans. The legislation, which was authored by former Assemblymember Shirley Weber, called for the creation of a task force that would study an...

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  • A Barber’s Pole

    Apr 5

    It was a fact that back in the 1500s and earlier the large majority of people living across Europe could not read or write. So a business or shop had a problem with how to make a sign so the public knew what goods, products and services they offered. So many shopkeepers hung a metal emblem that was a symbol of their business or skill. For examp...

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  • 1950 Census – How It was Done in 1950

    Apr 3

    The official date for the Federal census in 1950 was April 1st. But no way could all households be contacted in one single day. Instead, it took a full month. There were about 140,000 census enumerators (census takers) employed during April 1950 to go across the nation during April of 1950. They went to households, knocked on doors and spoke to...

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  • Survey: Half of Americans Can’t Name All Four Grandparents

    Apr 3

    A new survey from Ancestry, the leader in family history, found more than half (53%) of Americans can’t name all four grandparents - demonstrating a knowledge gap in key information about more recent family history. Released every 10 years, census records are one of the most valuable ways people can learn about their family’s past, as they...

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  • April Fools’ Day – April 1st

    Apr 1

    This one day of the year has become the day you 'trust NO ONE' They will try to play a trick on you. Going back to Roman times, at the end of March. During a holiday called Hilaria, people participated in all kinds of games, processions, and masquerades. One of the most popular activities was for commoners to dress up as nobility to 'prank' peo...

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  • Cost of Items in 1950

    Mar 31

    With the 1950 Federal Census becoming available soon, it would be interesting to see the average cost of household items that your ancestors / relatives paid 72 years ago. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline was 27 cents. An average new car would cost $1,300 and $1,500. One night at a hotel was about $5.90. To purchase a loaf of bread was ...

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  • Sayings Referring to Clothing

    Mar 29

    Many of your ancestors used words or phrases related to their clothing. It is interesting to recall these terms and what they meant. It would be good to include a few in your family history. There is the phrase 'fancy pants'. This started as an advertisement from Maine in the 1840s that referred to “fancy” pants made from cashmere. This fab...

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  • Fruit Salad Jewelry

    Mar 27

    For years women wore matched sets of earrings, brooch or bracelet, and necklace. Then there was the trend of being bold, bright and colorful in the jewelry. Some of this bold style of using colorful fruit started in the 1890s. Then in the 1930s the style became very popular because Carmen Miranda the famous singer, dancer wore elaborate fruit h...

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  • Use of Middle Names

    Mar 25

    When did the use of giving a baby a 'middle name' begin? It may have started in ancient Rome (yet not universally across the Roman Empire) when males were given three names., There was the family name, a personal first name and then a nickname, one of which had been passed from father to son. This three-name practice was not used for women. The...

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  • Basic Keyboard Shortcuts

    Mar 23

    We all use a computer keyboard, especially for our family history research, but knowing some keyboard shortcuts can make the work easier. One of the most useful and easy shortcuts is for copying and pasting text in your document. Highlight what you want to copy by placing your cursor at the beginning of what is to be copied and then at the end,...

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  • Morton Salt Logo

    Mar 21

    Everyone recognizes the little girl with her umbrella in one hand and an upturned container of salt. This special logo of the Morton Salt Company has been around for more than 100 years. The Morton Salt Company started in Chicago in the 1800s and was originally called Richmond & Company. In 1889, a man named Joy Morton acquired a major inte...

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  • US Census Available 72 years

    Mar 19

    Due to Federal law, the Federal US Census has the “72-year' rile. It states that personal information on those listed in a census can not be publicly viewed by the public after the census was taken for 72 years. The reason: is to protect the privacy of the individuals on that census and their families. However, information to a certain individua...

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  • Murano Glass

    Mar 17

    This is a very special type of glass with wonderful designs that origins from Murano / Venice, Italy. It has remained for centuries a true art form, handmade (not machines). Some traditional styles that are most recognizable are goldstone, which looks like bits of gold floating in stone, and millefiori, which means “a thousand flowers” in Ital...

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  • Everyone’s Favorite – Chocolate

    Mar 17

    Doesn't matter if it is white, milk or dark chocolate, everyone loved chocolate. Beginning with the cacao bean (the source of chocolate). It was first a drink form with various sweetness levels. It would be decades before the chocolate of today would emerge. It began with the Native Americans, the Aztecs of Central America. They created a bitte...

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