Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just Released - Volume 1 of the Welles Genealogy

This is the 2013 second edition of the 1990 genealogy of Gov. Thomas Welles of Connecticut and his Wife Alice Tomes. It is the first of three volumes, the second and third coming up in the next few months. The majority of my work time over the last dozen years has been this project. Whew!

It is available in both paperback and hardcover formats. Just go to our online store to see your buying options:

Click here to visit the Welles Family Association Store. 

Here is what we say about it on the Welles Family Association's webpage:

Gov. Thomas Welles came to New England in 1635, settling in Hartford in 1636 and moving to Wethersfield in 1646. He remains the only man to have held all four top executive positions in Connecticut government. An entailed property case involving their sale of land as they left Old England connects both Gov. Thomas Welles and his wife Alice (Tomes) Welles unequivocally to their origins and families in England.

Volume 1 covers the Welles and Tomes ancestries in England and the first four generations to live in New England. The first edition was completed in 1990 by Connecticut Valley genealogy specialist Donna Holt Siemiatkoski. The second edition corrects and expands the information in the first edition. The genealogy includes all descendants in both the male and female lines.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Response to "What Is Forensic Genealogy?"

Photograph courtesy of Colleen Fitzpatrick

Prior Use of the Term Forensic Genealogy

On Wednesday, my inbox included a blog posting from Michael Hait about forensic genealogy in which Michael Hait interviewed Leslie Lawson, President of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy[1] What struck me was that the council’s approach negated the prior use of the term “forensic genealogy.” We have discussed this term in the Forensic Genealogy group on LinkedIn (disclosure: I manage the group). When the narrow definition of the term was used there, many genealogists stepped forward to defend the prior and broader use of the term.[2] In other words, the council's definition doesn't hold water with many in the field.

As background, please understand that genealogists have been aiding in probate work and missing heir work for decades. During that period of time it was called probate or missing heir work. The first use of the term “forensic genealogy” was in a book title for a work by Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.[3] Colleen was an explorer in previously uncharted territory. She used extreme analytic skills in discovering information in photographs, DNA, and databases. Colleen was not narrowly discussing probate work when she coined the term Forensic Genealogy. When my friend Sharon Sergeant broke a few fraud cases involving the publishing industry, she was being a forensic genealogist. She analyzed photographs and documents in different languages to discover the truth.[4]

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Three adjectives to be used with the word genealogist.

I do think that the field of genealogy has shown a desire to draw distinctions within genealogy as to how each individual is practicing it. My offering to this discussion is to define three adjectives used with the term genealogist. They are not mutually exclusive adjectives.

A scholarly genealogist is one to endeavors to be careful in his or her research and writing, following genealogical standards and participating in continuing educational opportunities.

An avocational genealogist is one who follows it as a hobby. An avocational genealogist is unpaid. An avocational genealogist could well be a scholarly genealogist in his or her genealogy work. Newcomers to genealogy have many avenues open to them for learning and expanding their skills sets, from meetings of local societies to online training and educational resources (both free and paid) to college-level formal education.

Monday, November 14, 2011

In genealogy, all roads are good.

I’ve been noodling around the internet, searching on blog postings that discuss professionalism and genealogy. I’ve found some interesting postings that are worth considering in our discussion of professionalism and genealogy. I hope you get a chance to read and consider them as we go forward in our discussion.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What does the word “professional” mean in genealogy?

Jacobus, in writing his “Preface” to the first issue under the title The American Genealogist, noted that the the editorial staff of the journal consisted of both amateur and professional genealogists.[1] In so doing, he drew a line between those who do genealogy for gain and those who do not. He also set them into one group of equal colleagues.

If any term can be seen to create furor on a genealogy email list, it would be the word “professional.”[5] Mail-list readers bring to the discussion their own understandings. Underwriting much of the discussion is the concern: is it elitist? Does it exclude genealogists who simply don’t work for others?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Whoever started the idea that a genealogist could be demanding?

Donald Lines Jacobus is widely recognized as the father of modern genealogy. As such, he was the first person inducted into the Genealogy Hall of Fame by the National Genealogical Society:

Donald Lines Jacobus, FASG (1887–1970), of New Haven, Connecticut, was the first person elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame. He was nominated for this honor by the American Society of Genealogists, the Genealogical Society of Utah, and the DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society. During his lifetime, Jacobus was widely regarded as the dean of American genealogists, and he is recognized as the founder of the modern school of genealogy in the United States. He was the editor and publisher of The American Genealogist for forty-three years, and he may have been the most prolific genealogical writer of any generation. His writings include the classic, Genealogy as Pastime and Profession. On his death, he was described by his colleague Milton Rubincam, as "the man who more than any other single individual elevated genealogy to the high degree of scholarship it now occupies." [1]

The first eight issues of the journal Jacobus began were devoted to the genealogy of the earliest families in New Haven, Connecticut. As this topic ended, Jacobus renamed the journal The American Genealogist. The first paragraph of his “Preface” to that edition gave his goals:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Genealogies Aren't Found -- They're Made"

For centuries in the West the genetic/biological description of family has been highly correlated with Western religious and political views of family. Each person has one sperm-supplying parent, and one egg-supplying parent, i.e., two parents of opposite sexes: exactly the type of couple able to marry in mainstream Judeo-Christian churches; and exactly the type of couple defined legally at the U.S. federal level by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

But is this the only definition of “kinship”? A recent author notes: