TURKEY DAY DATE CHANGED MANY TIMES
November 18, 2012
Growing up in Plano, my relatives always celebrated Thanksgiving Day with a big turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce and many vegetables, pies and cakes. That tradition continues in my family long after my parents passed away. Well, they do not want all the traditional food. My kids only want the big turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin and pecan pie saying they can eat the vegetables the rest of the year.
It is an old custom. Thanksgiving began in 1623 when Governor William Bradford proclaimed the Pilgrims give thanks for their harvested crops. The date of the feast has changed many times over the years.
On November 1, 1777, Congress proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving be held annually on the third Thursday of November. However, George Washington changed that when he declared Thanksgiving be on 19 February 1795. Nevertheless, Abe Lincoln changed that when he declared Thanksgiving be on the last Thursday of November.
The date changed for the last time when President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared on December 26, 1941, by federal legislation, that Thanksgiving be the fourth Thursday in November. Seems he felt that moving it to any earlier date it would give the country an economic boost. That continues to be law.
My family often refers to Thanksgiving as Turkey Day. I don’t doubt it’s because they can’t wait to eat turkey and all the specified trimmings. Have Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
EENY, MEENY, MINY, MOE: Which one have you chosen to be it? Let’s use this old counting song to pick whether we choose to use the old or new beta version of the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC). The old catalog is updated every half-hour. The new catalog is partially updated every day and fully updated on the weekend. Both have the same records, but the new catalog still has some that are incomplete. Because the new one is still in beta, its functions are not as complete as the old catalog. It seems different results appear in the two catalogs when the keyword and title searches are used. I suggest to solve any problems that you continue searching in whichever one you choose to use but take a look at the other catalog to verify you have all the information at hand.
GENEALOGY RESEARCH TOOL: Several readers have sent in a website they have found helpful when researching that help refresh their memory as to what is available online. If you look at the site http://vrzc.search-help.net/index.php?origURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.genealogy.research you can search the cell for genealogy sites to explore. I have visited it a couple of times and it was useful.
FREE GUIDE TO TENNESSEE ANCESTORS: Those researchers with Tennessee ancestors may want to get the free guide available at https://familysearch.org/blog/en/free-guide-tennessee-ancestors/. In it, you will find helpful hints for searching all 95 Tennessee counties, the lost state of Franklin, tips on navigating through burned courthouses, searching American Indian tribes, African Americans and the Melungeon. It also has many tips for using the Tennessee State Library Archives in Nashville. I found the guide to properly pronouncing the names of their counties, Sevier County for instance, most helpful. I clicked on the icon and found it is pronounced as though it were spelled “severe.”
GOOGLE PUTS ITALIAN HISTORY ONLINE: Google is digitizing world history and culture in their attempt to make the internet a mirror to the world. Their deal with the Italian government allows 30,000 crackling newsreels and documentaries from the last century to go online on YouTube at www.youtube.com/cinecittaluce.
DES MOINES COUNTY, IOWA ANCESTOR SEARCH ONLINE: The Burlington Public Library has many microfilms and acquisitions to help with your research. It appears most of it is not online. Read more on this at www.burlington.lib.ia.us/genealogy/DesMoinesCounty.htm.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.