Here’s some reading material for your coffee break: A post today on the Scientific American blog called Im a Johnson from Wisconsin, and It is Pretty Cool.
Neuroscientist-turned-journalist and genealogy buff Madeleine Johnson wrote about how she used a circular family tree chart of her own creation as a starting point to her roots research, and is searching for the story of a great-grandmother who died in an institution.
Genealogy, distant and recent, gives meaning to personal and shared historical experience, she writes.
Also check out another post and article she mentions: Going Dutch: Im one of the Van Dusens of New Amsterdam. So what? in which Matthew Van Dusen says his illustrious ancestrydescribed in a New York Times article about New Amsterdams early settlersdoesnt increase his own personal importance.
I have to agree with him there, but I do think it’s neat to be related to someone you might read about in a history book (I’m not, that I know of). Of course, it’s also gratifying to discover and honor the stories of “ordinary” folks in your tree. What do you think?