October 28th, 2014

Uncover Your Family History

genealogyDid you know that if you go back 10 generations in your family tree, you have 1,024 direct-line ancestors? Ten generations may sound like a lot, but if you were born in 1950, ten generations may only bring you back to 1700 – a little over 300 years ago! Direct-line ancestors only include parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, so each of those 1,024 people directly contributed to your existence.

For some, researching their family tree helps them connect with the past and make sense of where they fit in the scheme of history. For others, genealogy is a deeply emotional experience as it helps them understand where they came from, who they are, and why they do the things they do. Others find genealogy to be an invigorating game of detective, piecing together clues from documents and family lore to figure out who, what, where, and when, sometimes even why!

Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned researcher, the 3rd Annual Cecil County Genealogy Symposium at the Elkton Central Library on Saturday, November 8th is not to be missed. We are joined by keynote speaker James Beidler who is known on the national level for his expertise in German and Pennsylvania research.

9:00-9:30     Poster Sessions* and Registration
9:35-10:35     “Time and Place”: Using Genealogy’s “Cross Hairs” (James Beidler)
10:35-10:50     Break
10:50-11:40     Finding and Using Public Domain Books (Leah Youse)
11:45-12:00     Break
12:00-1:00     Letterpress to Digital: Historical Newspapers in Print, Microfilm, and Online (James Beidler)

*Discover the resources you have access to in our region at our poster session, a gathering of local historical and genealogical societies, including:

Upper Shore Genealogical Society of Maryland
Maryland State Archives
Maryland Department at the Enoch Pratt Free Library
Historical Society of Cecil County
Daughters of the American Revolution, Head of Elk Chapter
Delaware Genealogical Society
Family History Library

Be sure to reserve your spot at this popular event!

Sponsored by the Upper Shore Genealogical Society of Maryland

Photo courtesy the Library of Congress

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October 20th, 2014

How Do You Halloween?

800px-Orange_peepsDo you start planning out Halloween costumes months in advance, or are you rushing to the store at the last minute hoping there’s still something left on the shelf?  If time is not on your side, take a deep breath and read on.

Let’s start with costumes.  Are you the envy of the neighborhood because you can make your own costume? Or do you prefer the more retail approach? This time of year, costumes are everywhere and the choices can be overwhelming.  But did you ever notice that some of the most creative costumes are those that are so simple you wish you would have thought of them? Several years ago, a friend and I attached a small rope through a belt loop of our jeans, pinned some laundry to it, and were… a clothesline!  Last year, teachers at a nearby school taped Smarties candies to their pants and went as “Smarty Pants.”  Whether you go all out or keep it simple, costumes are a great way to take on a new personality!

Are you planning a costume party this season?  Halloween parties can be a scream with the right attention to detail.  Spooktacular decorations, creative lighting, perfect music, paired with festive food and drinks will be sure to please your guests.  Come visit your local branch of the Cecil County Public Library and borrow some music to set the mood.  Try out “Golden Records:  Spooky Halloween Hits” or “Halloween Sound Effects” to lure your guests into the Halloween spirit!   If you’re looking for some great ideas to set your celebration apart from the rest, try browsing some of our favorite seasonal books, including “Spooky and Bright:  101 Halloween Ideas (Country Living)” or “Best of Halloween Tricks & Treats” to help inspire you this Halloween!

You can also find great Halloween music and movies on Hoopla – as well as holiday inspired digital magazines from Zinio.

Oftentimes, the biggest fans of Halloween are children.  Besides admiring each other’s costumes, children love to play games, make crafts, and eat fun treats.  One of our favorite games is Boo Bowling.  Simply cover bowling pins or water bottles with white cloth and decorate them to look like ghosts, and bowl with a small pumpkin!  You can also try Pin-the-Wart-on-the-Witch and the Monster Freeze Dance.   A super-easy craft is to glue cotton swabs or pieces of dried pasta on black construction paper in the shapes of skeletons.  There are some very simple crowd-pleasing recipes for your party, too.  Start with pretzel sticks and small marshmallows.  Attach a marshmallow to each end of the pretzel stick, then dip the whole thing in some melted white chocolate.  Let cool and your guests can snack on skeleton bones!  Making a candy corn layer cake is as easy as 1-2-3!  Bake 3 round cakes in the colors of orange, yellow, and white.  Stack them together with your favorite frosting and you’ve got it!  Take a look through “Wormy Apple Croissants and Other Halloween Recipes” at your local branch to get more idea starters for some creative children’s party ideas.

Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for fabulous Halloween crafts!

No matter what, Cecil County Public Library has what you need to make it a night to remember!  Happy Haunting!

How do you Halloween?

photo source: “They’re Back!” by Jackie

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