Surname Saturday: Aggar

When I started this blog, it was my intention to cover my lines and my wife's lines each about equally.  So, rather than strictly sticking to my lines for the next several Surname Saturday posts, I've decided to alternate between the two sets, but still follow each alphabetically.  That means that for this week's new Surname Saturday post, we'll take a look at a line that connects as far back as 11 generations ago.

Surname Saturday update: Allen

After I wrote about my Allen connections last week, I decided to do a quick lookup on FamilySearch Pilot to see what I could find for Elva Allen.  I should have done this some time ago as one of the first records that was returned was a page from the 1870 U.S. census covering Sugar Creek Township, Montgomery County, Indiana.

What was her name?

Okay, so I'm going through the steps as a volunteer indexer for FamilySearch.  I've heard of some rather interesting names in my own research, but the name that I spotted today has got to be my favorite so far.  Here's a partial extract of the relevant page from the 1930 U.S. census; take a look at the name that is highlighted:

Am I reading this right?  Does that really say this woman's name was Easter Ham?  It may be a misspelling of  Esther, but it made for a chuckle as I went through the page and transcribed exactly what I saw today.

Surname Saturday: Allen

So today I'm going to start an overview of each of the surnames that I'm researching, looking at each surname one at a time.  I'll start with the names in my own lines first, going in alphabetical order.  That means that today we'll look at how the Allen surname connects into my research.

Cursive - a lost art?

Earlier this week, we watched a very well-known silent movie from 1936.  Specifically, we watched the Charlie Chaplin film, Modern Times.  At one point in the film, the warden of the local jail wrote a recommendation letter for Chaplin's character to help him find work after his release from jail.  The letter is shown on the screen a couple times, and as someone who was schooled in the 1970s and 80s, I was able to read the cursive writing in the letter quite easily.  But we had to read it aloud to my son who had resisted learning cursive in school.

Today there's a discussion on the radio program To The Best Of Our Knowledge about fonts, and as I type this, the segment I'm listening to is discussing cursive writing.  The conversation in the show noted that cursive is not taught in elementary schools as much as keyboarding (I'll still consider it an intro to typing, even if they don't teach the home row, which is another loss that I've noticed, but not quite as severely).  That got me thinking that any of these young students who are not learning cursive will have an exceptionally hard time when they start into genealogy research.  When you go back far enough in researching from original documents, and this could just be one generation of research, you'll find cursive letters. 

How long will it be before cursive basics becomes one of the most popular class topics at genealogy conferences?  Time will tell.