Monday, November 24, 2008

Addendum to "Best of the Genea-Blogs"

I always sign off my "Best of the Genea-blogs" posts with the statement "Did I miss a great post? Tell me!" I don't get many responses.

Today, Susan Kitchens emailed me with a link to her post from last Monday, 17 November, titled Towers of Gold: History of the man indistinguishable from the state of California from her blog Family Oral History using Digital Tools.

She's right - it is a blog post not to be missed, especially if you are a California resident interested in the history of the state. Susan's introduction in her post says:

"It’s a personal family historian’s Best of All Possible Worlds scenario — follow a hankering to learn more family history for the sake of the kids, and go to the state historical society, discover not just one but dozens of boxes of archived materials about Great-Great Grandpa, and spend the next 8 years researching and writing a book about how that Great Great Grandpa, Isaias W. Hellman, helped make California. Frances Dinkelspiel’s book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California was released last week. "

Please go read all of Susan's post (you have to click the More button to do this) for an extensive book review of the book, and Susan's tie into the man the book was written about. There are good historical, social and economic lessons in this book, and in Susan's post, for our modern times.

How did I miss Susan's post in my daily and weekly review of over 350 genealogy blogs? I use Bloglines which is very useful in bringing many blog posts to my desktop every day (about 100 to 150 posts every day). However, Bloglines brings only content from a blog post that is on the "front page" of the blog - in this case, everything above the More indicator in Susan's post. Other blogs permit only a snippet (maybe 50 to 100 words) to be captured by Bloglines (limited by the blogger's control settings). I know that I don't read everything in every blog post due to these limitations. I rely on the content in the first few lines to stimulate my further interest (which requires me to click on the blog post link). It wasn't Susan's fault, but mine.

I will add Susan's post to my Best of... list from yesterday because it deserves to be there. One of the benefits of doing the Best of... series is that I can fairly quickly find a great blog post months and even years later.

Thank you, Susan, for speaking up about your article - it certainly was worthy of being on my list and I'm sorry that I missed it the first time around. I've added the book to my Christmas wish list too!


Sheri Fenley said...

Thank you for this. Remember Sister-in-law's family? Well get this - Isiaias Hellman has a daughter Clara. Clara marries Emanuel HELLER brother to SIL's 2nd great grandfather!

Susan K said...

no way. Sheri, that's too cool.

Frances Dinkelspiel, the author, is Isaias's g-g grandaughter (via the Marco line) and has a website at

Do check it out.