Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Genealogy

It's genealogy week! Tonight we will enjoy a guest lecture by Dr. Stephen Payne, who has joined our blog for the week. If you have any questions about your research, you may ask him or the rest of us on the blog. For your research assignment, trace back your family history five generations. For your pod cast, narrate this history, as well as the resources you used and problems you may have encountered. You may want to consider an enhanced pod cast, where you can hyperlink your discussion to appropriate web sites. If you want to do that, come talk to me about it and your pod cast will need to be completed early in the week. We will have Dr. Bob Wilson with us next week, and we may only get to enjoy the geneaology reports via pod cast. Please turn in your pod casts no later than Monday. For this assignment, timeliness is crucial.

8 Comments:

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Joey said...

I found Dr. Stephen Payne’s presentation concerning genealogy very informative and engaging in a way that expands the traditional view of the discipline from a hobby relegated to “little old ladies” to a historical science that utilizes many of the same research methodologies that traditional historians use when researching their topic. Throughout my academic career, almost every historian that I have encountered has commented on genealogy with some distain for the practice, as if genealogists were rooting around archives in search on a never-ending quest for some factoid that is not relevant to the larger study of the past. But I concur with Dr. Payne’s viewpoint that genealogy is more than a hobby and rather, the research provided by genealogists has the ability to be of a tremendous assistance to traditional researchers. Next week, we will discuss the concept of local history with campus historian Dr. Bob Wilson. Dr. Wilson’s research must encompass some type of genealogy since, often times, the lives and families of the local inhabitants is key to understanding the history of a local region. Having spent some time studying my own family’s past, I can understand why Dr. Payne is so excited in researching his families past. Genealogy is important because, as we mentioned at the beginning of this semester, it provides us with a historical context and allows us to understand the world we came from in a more complete fashion. By combing into the pasts of our ancestors, we see the trends of society emerge throughout the fabric of time. Woven into our family history are many historical happenings. For example, through my research I have traced the difficulties of farm owners in the south after the Civil War, a historical concept common to national American history. I appreciate Dr. Payne’s attempt to show us how structured and disciplined this field of research can be since I have to often been exposed to genealogy as a “Martha Stewart phenomenon” where people go out and root around archives with no distinct purpose other than to figure out who their great-grandfather was or where their family lived after the depression. Dr. Payne’s presentation provided validity to genealogy in such a way that I think more traditional historians should attempt to utilize such avenues of research in order to provide a clearer and more representative narrative of the past.

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

I was struck by Steve's remarks on his family while in England. What insights his research could offer someone researching the Reformation! Someone could investiage differences in the way the Reformation played out in various locations. People have done this, but not from the perspective of genealogy. I agree with Joey that there are many insights to be gained from genealogy, especially when one approaches it with an overall research question in mind.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Ansley said...

I've learned something new here (after reading these two posts) because I haven't been researching my genealogy with an overall question in mind beforehand. I HAVE discovered that there are more ethnicities in my ancestral past than I was aware of. I never knew that Dutch or Irish people were my predecessors. I was aware of some French ancestry but, until researching, wasn't aware of the extent of French ancestry. It has been fascinating to look at all sides of my ancestral heritage. I mainly knew of my grandmothers' lineages, but now I've been delving into my paternal grandfather's mother's. I have been able to research that side of the family back to before 1200. If records are accurate, it's quite incredible to imagine such an extended background. When reading about those living in England, I imagine what it must've been like to be a citizen under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, etc. Luckily, I contacted a relative of mine who lives in Nebraska--Dr. John Floyd. He is probably more responsible than any other individual for the extensive research that I've discovered. Often, I'd run into a dead end while researching some family members. I contacted my relative to ask him to keep me posted about any new genealogical findings. He said he'd be glad to. I really believe the session with Dr. Payne inspired me to look into genealogy. I started to do it years ago in a library but was pretty well scared away from it because the research assistant talked of how difficult, tedious, and meticulous the work is. However, Dr. Payne showed us many websites that can be of such primary use that it's hard NOT to begin an in-depth study of one's genealogical past.

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

There is an article today in the New York Times online about genealogical research using DNA, one of Dr. Payne's topics. The author discussed his surprise at finding out that 50 percent of his DNA comes from Sub-Saharan Africa (he has always considered himself white), but even more than that, he was surprised to discover that a substantial percentage of his DNA is Asian. He never knew he had Asian heritage. This really is a very exciting field. Glad Ansley discovered some new things about her own past.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

Another article appears in today's New York Times. Researchers have traced a prolific gene tree to the Manchu conquerors of China, who founded the Qing dynasty. Previously, researchers traced another prolific Y line to Genghis Khan. Thought you might be interested.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Donnie said...

This was a fun assignment for me, because I really didn't know much about my family. I will start my findings with myself and then work my way backwards to my great great grandfather. I was born August 21, 1982 as Donald Keith Clanton Junior. I have one brother born March 25, 1984 named Chad Michael Clanton. My father is Donald Keith Clanton Senior, born August 6, 1959. My mother's maiden name was Wanda Faye Smith, born December 22, 1961. Moving past my father to my grandfather was a bit of a chore, since my dad never knew his dad. I called my father and asked him what his dad's name was and he was unsure. So we found my Uncle Emmitt Roger Clanton's obituary, which listed their father as James Ozell Clanton. However, we knew that was incorrect because my Uncle James "Jimmy" Clanton was named after my Grandfather's brother. With the obituary as a dead end, we found my father's birth cerificate, which listed his father's name as Ozell H. Clanton, Jr. My next step was to put Ozell H. Clanton into an internet search engine. I went to geneology.com and typed in his name. It resulted in two findings in the Social Security Death Index. The first was Ozell Henry Clanton Junior, born January 27, 1932 in Georgia. He died in July of 1969. Place of death was unknown. His social security number was also listed as 255-42-7225. He married Jenny Christine Tucker, who was my grandmother. The next finding was Ozell Henry Clanton Senior, which would be my great grandfather. He was born October 15, 1904 and died in November of 1970 in Hollywood, Florida. Soon after finding this information, my parents called my because they had found a copy of my grandfather's obituary. His death was listed as resulting from a severe facial wound. Alledgedly he had hung out with friends the night before and came in late. He was discovered dead in his bed as a result of a loss of too much blood. Source of the facial wound was unknown. Once I got to this point, I reached a bit of a dead end, so I got on the horn and started contacting family members Iwho didn't even know. I got the numbers from my parents. I spoke with my second cousin Susie White and she had some information. Through her, I found out that my Great Granddad's father was Ebb L. Clanton, born 1868. My aunt attained the information from the 1910 Milton County Census, which is where my great great grandfather lived then. According to the census Ebb Clanton was a farmer and he was 42 years old in 1910. He was married to Editha E. Clanton, who was 37 in 1910 and her occupation was listed as a laborer. They birthed several children, including five daughters and three sons. Their daughters were named Etta, Julia, Argin, Lillie, and Estell. Their sons were named Harris, Eff, and Ozell. Eff had a son named Henry Clanton. On ancestry.com, the site said that in 1991, the Clanton lifespan was 76 years as opposed to 74 for the general public. However, in my direct line no one has lived that long. Ozell, Sr. died at 66 years old. Ozell, Jr. died at 37 years old. My grandmother Jenny Christine Tucker died at 62 years old and two of my dad's three siblings have passed in thier early forties from disease.
Also interesting, my cousin Susie told me that a distant aunt of mine had done extensive reasearch on our family name and had traced our lineage all the way back to Ike Clanton from the famous shoot out with the Earp brothers. Every year they go see a reenactment of the duel.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

Did anyone find the answers to Dr. Payne's questions?

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Kathleen said...

I was unable to find any of the answers to Dr. Payne's questions. My project was to research my Mother's paternal line beginning with her Father: Elisha Gale Simons b. 1902 and d. 1965. I traced her family five generations for the class assignment and eleven for my Mother. Th e alst relative I could find any record of as Richard Gale, Sr. who was born in the late-1500's in Middlesex, Massachusetts yet had a son who was born in Devonshire, England in 1618. Our most interesting relative is Elisha Gale (born 1743 and died 1827). He reportedly fought in both the French and Indian War and the Revolution. I found good documentation about the Revolution but I am still searching for the French and Indian War. I aminly used Ancestry.com and Familysearch.com. I suppose we are related to a Morman since the whole family is on that site. I found some dicrepancies in my research and my Mother's Aunt's much earlier research of Elisha Gale. I was also able to find the children's names including one named Savin that my Mother thought to have been Sawin. I researched to find that Savin is a British name so we are going to stick with him. Also I think it is a nicer name. I enjoyed doing the research even though it was frustrating at times.

 

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