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Archive for September, 2009

Memphis, 1878

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

I just finished reading one of those books that can open the eyes to a bit of history that is not so well known. The title of the book, The American Plague, refers to the disease yellow fever. Like many diseases that no longer torment us, we don’t realize the justifiable horror that our ancestors […]

Sharpen Your Genealogy with Ockham’s Razor

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

William of Ockham was a Franciscan friar who lived at the turn of the 14th century. A celibate who lived that long ago is not the most likely of topics for a genealogy article. He is my subject for today not because of who he begat but because of what he wrote. Perhaps his most […]

Genealogy Without Documentation Is…

Friday, September 18th, 2009

You may have run across a phrase something along the lines of “Genealogy without documentation is mythology.” It is a nice catchphrase and it certainly is out to make an important point but I must admit that I don’t care for it all that much. Myth First, I think our catchphrase is rather disparaging to […]

Don’t Believe It!

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

The more research I do the more interested I become in what it is even possible to know. It is not an insignificant question. Genealogists, especially beginners, often oscillate back and forth between believing they know the absolute truth to being totally unsure, depending on whatever information has just turned up. Proving anything that is […]

Humans as Storytellers

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Human beings tell stories. We can’t help it. That is how we order our world—in narratives. We tell stories about ourselves, our family and our friends. Some stories lose their interest after days, months or years while others become favorites we tell our whole lives. It is those that become the stories children hear over […]