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Showing posts from March, 2020

It's census time!

It's 2020, and you know what that means... the 24th U.S. Federal Census is underway. As an amateur genealogist, I was pretty excited to get my notice in the mail today. The correspondence directed me to the 2020 census  website  and gave me a code to input that is specific to my address; then it was time to fill out the questions. Having looked at countless old U.S. census records, I was really curious about the questions they would ask and how they would compare to those asked many decades ago. The form gave several reasons for cooperating with the census by filling it out and submitting it, such as emergency preparedness and knowing how many representatives are needed (which is based on population), one additional reason my history geek self would like to have seen was, “So that future genealogists and your descendants can have a record about you and what you were doing in 2020." I wonder if our ancestors ever thought, while the census takers sat in their parlors filling o

A trip through Paris in the late 1890s

Arguably, the Golden Age of Paris, France was a period called “La Belle Epoch" (“The Beautiful Era"), which lasted roughly from the 1880s to the outbreak of the First World War. Just last week I got a book full of photos of Paris in the 1890s -- the height of La Belle Epoch -- that I couldn't resist: Paris in Photographs, 1890s by Alex Toledano. It's available on  Amazon . It's found a home on my coffee table, along with a couple of other French-themed decorative books.  And if you'd like to take a color video trip through Paris in the late 1890s, here's a real treat: It's amazing how color photos and videos of a (to us) black and white or sepia world make the past so much more real... like you could step into the frame. Yes, fashions and technology might have been different, but people themselves haven't changed a bit.