Saturday, December 19, 2015

Kickin' it with Psychic Roots and The Dandy Warhols

When I was in high school and didn't feel like going out, I would say I was grounded. I used that time to discover new things like Dorothy Parker, Arthur Rimbaud and the House of Valois. During these falsified groundings, I studied genealogy and drew elaborate pedigree charts -- attempting to solve the world's problems this way. I would become immersed in lineages for days and weeks and check out numerous books from the library (and interlibrary loaning the esoteric ones) to try to understand the people, places and time periods. Genealogy has always been one of those things in my life that makes sense and no matter where I am, I can revisit it like home. My senior year was when I began mentally stockpiling resources and it was also the first time I read Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy. It would take about ten more years for me to understand Jung's Synchronicity and the collective unconscious, but what really pulled me in was the introduction chapter titled 'The Trunk.'

I loved the idea of a kid snooping around in a basement (I did that), finding a trunk (I did that too), and being intrigued by what might be inside (raised on The Goonies, every trunk had something awesome in it -- "Chester Copperpot!!!"); it was the same reason I began doing genealogy. When I was eight, my parents divorced and among my dad's possessions was a blue trunk that contained what was left of his father's life. Chasing the clues left by my grandpa Ned was what fueled my interest in genealogy. The alignment of ages and stories kept me reading this book and for years after, when something that reminded me of the book organically arose, I knew this book had impacted me more than I had given it credit for. The ideas discussed in this book were planted in my psyche during a time when my mind was open to them and it helped me become a more open genealogist in the future.

The chapter 'Synchronicity: You Make me Feel so Jung' is a favorite, specifically pages 80-81.

I was listening to a lot of The Dandy Warhols when I first read Psychic Roots. Their album Come Down came out at that time but my personal favorite album, which did not come out until I went to college and re-read this book, was Bohemian Like You.

Henry Z ("Hank") Jones, Jr. Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy

The Dandy Warhols Greatest Hits (Explicit Lyrics, so you may want to ear muff certain parts)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Kickin' it with Genealogical Proof Standard and Cibo Matto

In 2005, Christine Rose published Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case and it was the first contact I had with the GPS. It is a slim book but packs quite a bit of information within. Two chapters in particular, "Building a Solid and Convincing Case," and "Weighing the Records," helped me immensely to wrap my mind around some of the concepts of the GPS that I did not understand early on in my genealogical education. Since 2005, there have been other editions of this book, and since they were so helpful in the past, I have them also in my library: the 3rd edition (purple) and the 4th edition (green). It is interesting to see what revisions are in the new editions, what changes have been made and what updates there are -- because genealogy is a growing organism.

The first time I read the entire book from cover to cover, it took under an hour. Cibo Matto's Viva la Woman, is just around the same amount of time. Plus it is super chill.

Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th edition

Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 3rd edition

Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 1st edition

Cibo Matto, Viva la Woman

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kickin' it with Evidence Explained and Nine Inch Nails

I love electronic music almost as much as I love genealogy. When I was working toward certification, I had created flashcards for the first two chapters of Evidence Explained so that I could have those theories and definitions down. They are timeless and should be studied to have a solid genealogical education. Even now as I write this blog post, I flipped through the first two chapters and I had many "whoa" moments because lately, I have been bypassing the first two chapters to get to the citation portions for reports and writing. When you read it, ponder it, digest it and then read it again, you have many moments where it totally makes sense and that in itself, is a really satisfying feeling.

Couple reading these two chapters with the Nine Inch Nails 2011 Creative Commons upload "Ghosts" and you will have a super chill session to learn. Trent Reznor is the reason I even got through those teen years and now his sound is ushering me through the genealogical mindset portion of my life. Also, things get real in Ghosts IV.

Evidence Explained, 3rd Ed. Available in Kindle and Hardcover.

Nine Inch Nails "Ghosts I-IV."

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kickin' it with the Elements of Genealogical Analysis and Shoshin

What if there was more than one way to analyze evidence? What if you applied beginner’s mind to research theories? Preconceptions of doing something a certain way are let go and openness to how one presents a way of approaching research? If you are willing to do this, Anderson's Elements of Genealogical Analysis is for you. How exciting that we get to see inside the mindset of one of the foremost genealogical thinkers of our time?

The hot or cold reception of this book by the genealogical community when this book was released made me uneasy. David L. Greene’s review of this publication and Mastering Genealogical Proof provided the back-story and a new view. Personally, I like both books because they widened how I approach research, analysis and correlation.

When we decide that there is only one correct way and one set of standard(s), we box ourselves in and will not see the other opportunities and variations to approach genealogical subjects. I like how Jones approaches genealogy; I like how Anderson approaches genealogy; I like how Mills approaches genealogy; I like how Rose approaches genealogy. All bring a different perspective and voice and those different perspectives make up the kaleidoscope of American Genealogical Research and Theory that is a growing organism still being shaped.  

So clear your mind of what you have been told is the way to do genealogy and apply Shoshin, read Elements of Genealogical Analysis and consider how it can be applied to the landscape of your genealogical mindset., I suggest Grazeland or Flying Fortress

TAG 87.1 Greene review

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kickin' it with Eugene A. Stratton and The Raymond Scott Quintette

My personal favorite for honing genealogical methodology is Eugene Stratton’s Applied Genealogy.  He has a chapter devoted to whole-family genealogy, another on analyzing evidence, indirect evidence, academia and genealogy and, for people like myself, he has a section in the appendix devoted to Medieval England Land Tenure.  I. love. this. book. It is a fun read and gets you fired up about research and analysis.

Pair that with the The Raymond Scott Quintette’s Microphone Music and you have yourself weekend plans. J This album inspires creativity and imagination, specifically “The Girl With The Light Blue Hair”  and “Powerhouse” to name a few from the album.
Applied Genealogy by Eugene A. Stratton

Microphone Music by The Raymond Scott Quintette

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Kickin' it with Mastering Genealogical Proof and The Strokes

As a child of the 80s, I grew up on MTV (those early Van Halen videos with David Lee Roth are the best!!), She-Ra, Jem and the Holograms, and so, so much Nintendo. I credit the amount of Super Mario Bros. I played as the reason I am able to memorize and duplicate how I located a piece of evidence or tested a hypothesis while doing genealogical research.  The same part of my brain that I use for that, is what I would use to remember the route to eventually beat Bowser. I like Mastering Genealogical Proof (MGP) because when you pull back to review how Thomas W. Jones teaches us to understand and evaluate genealogical proof, it is a bit like Nintendo from the 80s where skill, memorization, theories, hypotheses and cyclical thinking is applied to eventually problem solve and form a conclusion.

It is a challenge. I did not read or study Mastering Genealogical Proof once: I read it multiple times, listened to it multiple times, and participated in a MGP study group and mentored a study group. I have a physical copy of the book where it is flagged, highlighted, and penciled in. I also have a Kindle version so that I can set it to read to me to have it in the background when I am in mood to have subliminal learning so that it becomes second nature.

And then The Stokes' album dropped the same time that MGP did! Comedown Machine, was released in 2013 (personally, I will listen to anything by Julian Casablancas) and this album is one of the best by The Strokes, just like MGP is one of the best albums of Jones.
Mastering Genealogical Proof, book format
Mastering Genealogical Proof, Kindle
The Strokes, Comedown Machine

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Kickin' it with John Insley Coddington and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini

Robert Charles Anderson does great interviews and tributes. Recently, he did one on long time editor of The American Genealogist, David L. Greene, but one of my favorite interviews of all time is his 1981 interview of John Insley Coddington that was published by the Association for the Promotion of Scholarship in Genealogy that same year. Coddington resided in Washington, D.C. for years and a few years ago, I took the time to see where he lived. It is a thin brick row house, nestled in a long line of other town houses of differing colors on Church street, not easily located if you try to find it off the circle in Dupont. It is a quiet street and I imagine it was perfect for writing, thinking and researching.

The interview is lovely and you see into the life of a formidable genealogist. His life and the pieces inspired in this publication go great with Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini."

The 1934 version is available at Internet Archive: RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini and the publication, "A Tribute to John Insley Coddington," is available at The Genealogist back issues.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Kickin' it with the Genealogy Standards and Daft Punk

When the revised Genealogy Standards came out in January 2014, I had to recalculate the standards that I had memorized two years before. The standards are all still there and in a format and flow that makes logical sense. I was listening to a lot of Daft Punk and Who Made Who (the pop-trio, not the AC/DC album) at the time and now when I listen to certain songs from Random Access Memories, I equate it with Standards for Researching or the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Genealogy Standards and Daft Punk: Random Access Memories.

Music snob alert: If you can, bypass the song "Touch." It is terribly awkward and the reason why I have Andrew Lloyd Webber stuff blocked. But on a cool-guy tip, "Giorgio by Moroder" will make you think of the Scarface soundtrack. :)