Serving up a piece of history, seeing ancestry clearly, Iceberg ahead and the future of genealogy.
1. Serving up a piece of history.
The last known World War I veteran died on the 7th February, aged an amazing 110. She served as a Mess Steward at RAF bases in Norfolk. She was just 17 years old when she signed up. If not for people like her it would not have been possible to fight effectively. Would have been on the winning side at all?
2. More Warwickshire records added to Ancestry.
3. The future of genealogy for Ancestry.
Interesting article. Ancestry really look like they will be pushing technology to aid them. I'm torn. In many ways this is great news, making it easier to find relations which is, after all, what we all want. On the other hand its going to squeeze the last place that us small genealogy businesses have for creating new and exciting developments - exploiting new technologies. Good or bad, only time will tell.
4. 100th anniversary of the Titanic
I haven't seen anything about this yet but April 14th/15th marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking. It occurred to me that such a landmark would be well remembered, especially since it was popularised by Hollywood. I'm sure events are in place as we speak, I simply haven't seen anything in the news as yet.
It is a fascinating story. Several key factors led to the incident, making it much worse than it should have been. The Captain ignored reports of ice in the area, not only continuing at night but at almost full speed, once Titanic hit the iceberg he became paralysed by the fear of making decisions and not communicating to his crew effectively. Only one training event for evacuation had taken place so few knew what they were doing - experts believe that even had there been enough boats the lack of training would not have saved many more. The lifeboats themselves had inadequate provisions aboard, not to mention that many lifeboats were only partially filled. This was again due to poor leadership from the Captain who issued vague and confusing instructions. Finally, the closest ship (Californian) had turned off its wireless set for the night and did not respond to the distress call. Instead they had to wait for the Carpathia to help them. Californian was an estimated 10 miles away, Carpathia 58 miles.
However, not only was it about the 1517 people that died and the amazing 708 people that survived but the impact this event had on society at the time, both local and globally. When the story broke, it became a worldwide news sensation. People from every continent were amongst the dead. Southampton was hit particularly hard by the event as the majority of the crew came from there as well as some of the passengers.
Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable, it was a massive ship, the most advanced of the time. It was the new technology of its age. Its sinking showed that this technology could not only break but fall apart in spectacular fashion. It also highlighted the difference in the treatment of the classes, the lack of safety regulations (such as too few lifeboats - and all for a wider promenade!), and poor shipping regulations. The effects of this event are still with us today - it forced better safety regulations around the world, global shipping sharing iceberg information and better treatment of passengers regardless of class.
5. Researching criminals was never more fun.
The London Metropolitan Archives is holding a course today on searching for criminals and prison lives. If you have the time, why not check it out.