I've returned from the south and my all too short visit with the descendants (my daughter and grandson). I had missed my computer time and was eager to catch up. I stopped over at Greta's Blog and read with great sadness and then anger the discussion that was going on regarding whether Genealogy was a "Trivial Pursuit".
A Mr. Ball, author of a book which I will not mention here as I will not add to his income, made the statement that " Most people who do family research are white, and most of them look for ancestors with the goal to unearth the whitest, most moneyed forebears they can."
Here's what I can tell you about what that statement did to me. It lit me up like a firecracker. I'm talking Roman Candle, Blockbuster, the big boomers that we hear on the 4th of July and I don't mean in a good way.
Uncle, if we were sitting on a front porch in a couple of rocking chairs, I can tell you that we'd both be about ready for take off. We'd be rocking so fast in agitation and our voices would be getting pretty loud, thinking about the audacity of that man. I'm sure we'd have a couple of descriptions about him and his character and a few other things that "het up" folks have a say about.
Here's what I have to say. He doesn't get it. It's not in his blood or his soul. And I guess I should read his book before I condemn him for his statement but it's pretty obvious. He doesn't get it. If he did he'd never have made a statement like that.
Yes, there are all kinds of Genealogists. Professional, semi-professional, certified, not certified, taking classes to be certified and then there's the family genealogist. The person who gathers the names and dates and puts them in a chart. And then there is the family historian. The one who saves everything, looks for everyone, wants the story behind the story, who looks at the maps because they really care to know the area, to learn about the ancestors, reads up on history to know what affected the ancestors, who can't remember what they had for breakfast yesterday but can tell you the circumstances surrounding the crop failure of 1698, the Flu pandemic of 1918 and what happened at Thanksgiving dinner 20 years ago when Aunt Mabel told the story about the traveling salesman and great Aunt Gert and Uncle Fred.
So maybe he has a point. But Uncle I think you and I both know that we are the HIstorians. And because of folks like us, our ancestors never really die, they are just the next story to be discovered and told and remembered.
Until the next,
Your Devoted Niece