Saturday, May 13, 2017

Kickin' it with Gordon L. Remington and Hot Chip

The first Hawaii themed genealogy article I read (four years after it was published) was Gordon L. Remington's "Lost Boys and Imprudent Young Men: Using U.S. Consular Despatches from Hawaii to Track Nineteenth-Century Prodigals," from the March 1996 National Genealogical Society Quarterly. With typical Remington creativity and innovation, Record Group 59 (American Consular Despatches) accompanied by Record Group 84 (Foreign Service Posts of the Dept. of State), was used to establish the timeline of those illusive male ancestors who go off the grid to seek whatever it is that makes ancestors leave their homeland.  What is so cool about using these two record groups in unison is that you can see the original correspondence and the reply --- allowing the entire conversation to be viewed. How often do you see correspondence from one side and wonder what prompted that reply? These are comely records, and Record Groups 59 and 84 show the back and forth. Remington's study provides examples which you can dissect to create a similar research plan that is transferrable to other record groups and research situations:  other military records or civil records from other years could be "Tetris"ed into this methodology.

The article also highlights motives for leaving and motives for seeking. This study led me to the book, The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii by Beth Bailey and David Farber. Although set in WWII, it made me deeply analyze why non-Natives first arrived at Hawaii: the allure, the race relations and then the final product of a multicultural society planted in the middle of an ocean and featuring parallel histories (American and Native). These histories, motives, and truths are on display in Record Groups 59 and 84, and can be seen in other record groups and methodologies if we are open to them.

Hot Chip's DJ Kicks is a good time. There is profanity, so you may want to ear-muff it through some of that, if you think it will bring on the vapors. I will *literally* stop everything I am doing to hear a New Order song, so I was quite pleased to find one of them on there, along with Etta James & Sugar Pie DeSanto's "In the Basement."

For a more General rated listen, check out Ben Bernie on Internet Archive. My personal fav. is "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf [tra-la-la-la-la]."

Gordon L. Remington, "Lost Boys and Imprudent Young Men: Using U.S. Consular Despatches from Hawaii to Track Nineteenth-Century Prodigals," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 84 (March 1996): 28-38.

Beth Bailey and David Farber, The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii (Baltimore & London: John Hopkins University Press, 1992.

Hot Chip DJ Kicks

Ben Bernie discography from 78rmp

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kickin' it with Cameron Allen and Philip Glass

I was saddened to hear that Cameron Allen passed away earlier this year. The case studies he wrote are pure brilliance, written in a voice that entices the reader to learn more, locate more and evaluate more. My personal favorite is one that he wrote on the Bassano family in The Genealogist in 2009. It begins with a "three-pronged proem," and with lightning speed addresses the genealogical issues that have haunted this lineage for generations, by resolving them one by one with excellent research, analysis and logical composition -- one of many such studies he gifted the genealogical community.

It is a beautiful Spring read to accompany with Philip Glass.

Cameron Allen, "The Bassano Family," The Genealogist 23 (2009): 105-128, 237-255. Back issues can be ordered from the American Society of Genealogists.

Philip Glass, Glassworks.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kickin' it with Nathaniel Lane Taylor and The Velvet Underground

"The more you make these pictures, the better you shall do them. That is the kind of studying you can do, and from the study of your fellows you shall learn more than from the study of all the text-books that ever will be written.
But to do this you must learn to sit very quiet, and be very watchful, and so train your eyes and ears that every sound and every sight shall be significant to you and shall supply all the deficiency made by the absence of text-books."
                    ---Frank Norris, "Novelists of the Future," The Responsibilities of the Novelist and other literary essays (London: Grant Richards, 1903), 207.

Even if it is not representative of our own lineage, we study the work of others. The esoteric. The works of those that intimidate. We do this because it pushes us as genealogists when there are no text-books on such expertise.

Nathaniel Lane Taylor's publications are the poetic, luscious, deep-rooted works that appeal to the senses in order to study and understand dynasties and kinships in ancient times. Recommended reading available at his website:
"Kinship in the Courts: Testimony of Kinship in Lawsuits of Angevin England."
"Inheritance of Power in the House of Guifred the Hairy: Contemporary Perspectives on the Formation of a Dynasty."
His thesis, The Will and Society in Medieval Catalonia and Languedoc, 800-1200.
There are several excellent book reviews also and when it comes to those, I trust Taylor's authority and insights.

The Velvet Underground surprisingly matches the abundant writing style of Taylor. Of any of The Velvet Underground pieces, I would pair it with the self titled album, mainly because "The Murder Mystery" is my favorite work of theirs (tied with "Who Loves the Sun.")

If you would like more subtle music in the background, I suggest the Hot Pipes podcast. Yes, the Hot Pipes podcast. Try it, you might like it.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Kickin' it with Thomas W. Jones and Franz Ferdinand

I didn't learn how to read until I was eight years old. When I was in Kindergarten I was diagnosed with a learning disorder, but the treatment was expensive; my daddy was a gandy dancer and my mom was about to have her fourth child at the age of 23 and I was the oldest --- they had to prioritize. I coped by memorizing the order of the words on the page. I memorized the order of everything ranging from streets in my neighborhood to musical notes to conversations:  Memorizing sequences was my compensating strategy. When Mrs. Anderson discovered my ruse in third grade (it was a report on Andrew Jackson that took me down), and taught me how to read aloud and inside, the first book I both read and comprehended was Anne of Green Gables. Now that book was a good time! I have been compulsively reading from that moment on. Memorization worked to eek me through high school (barely) and college, but a semester before I graduated from college, my husband and I were able to finally have me retested for a learning disorder.  With the proper diagnosis of Expressive Language Disorder, and the necessary allowances (quiet room alone for testing), I was able to raise my GPA from below a 2 to 3.6. I have known for years that I process things differently than others, my brain is on hyper drive, creating lists, timelines, references and maps of what I have in front of me. There are only a few items and resources that slow it down to be in the moment, and when I was first studying genealogy (and to this day), the audio lectures and articles of Tom Jones are some of those rare moments.

In the October 2016 issue of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, his article "Two James Greenfields from New England to New York" separates the interwoven timeline and identities of men of the same name, while also establishing a seed of truth in an undocumented online source, demonstrating how important it is for us to trace things back to their original sources (that provenance hunt). This article reminded me why I love genealogy so damned much.

Add some Franz Ferdinand to the mix along with some deep breaths and you will see that everything, everything, is gonna be alright.

The Record, NYG&B to get the most recent issue of The Record. Thomas W. Jones, "Two James Greenfields from New England and New York," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 147 (October 2016): 245-263.

Franz Ferdinand self titled album, Franz Ferdinand.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Kickin' it with Jean Stephenson and Wham!

I have a confession: I am a closet feminist. A few of you have known my secret for a while due to the socks I wear or my past Broad City references here on the blog. I am more of a first generation feminist than a second or third because my feminist leanings focus on education rights and the elimination of double standards. 

I grew up and was raised by factory workers. Men and women worked side by side and they all pulled their weight. It had nothing to do with a certain gender being unable to do something because all performed. I was never told that I would be treated differently just because of my gender and in all honesty, it never crossed my mind until I moved east.

I don't want to earn my place because of a statistical need for a person of my ethnicity or gender. I want to earn my place based on proven ability. It is a point of pride for me -- kind of like how I want to be a breadwinner and am fiercely independent. I want to blow up my balloon of success by working hard, not have the air let out simply because of the way I look. I have never used my body, family or circumstances to not adhere to a deadline because I want to keep that clock going.

As a society and community, we need to support each other. This is not about women rising up against men. In fact, I think women supporting women is something that needs to be more prevalent in society in general. When one woman is undercutting another woman based simply on difference of opinions or something simple like they way they look, we lose focus what we really need to do: support each other and raise the bar.

Jean Stephenson, one of the baddest genealogists you have probably never heard of, wrote a special publication for the National Genealogical Society in 1939-40 titled Heraldry. If you look at the history of heraldry in America and abroad, it was a male dominated field and still is. This was in 1939, people! Jean's knowledge is seen in black and white in this publication and is a must in your genealogical library along with any of her other publications. Study her career and see, clearly, how many glass ceilings she Super-Womaned through.

I was raised on Wham! and was saddened by George Michael's death, so I recommend this gem of a jam.