Traces the author’s three-year investigation into what constitutes family, describing how, after receiving an e-mail from a stranger who claimed to be a distant cousin, he embarked on an effort to build the biggest family tree in history.
People involve their ancestors in every aspect of culture. Individuals and societies worldwide and throughout history have incorporated ancestors into rituals public and private, religious and secular. Societies often organize their aristocracies, tribes, and other kinship groups around ancestral constructions which are defined through laws and customs governing marriage, naming, guardianship, inheritance, and other social practices. Medical professionals consider ancestral information important to a patient's diagnosis and to the study of disease; many psychiatrists consider one's relationship to ancestors important in understanding the mental and emotional disposition of subjects. Ancestry and perceptions of ancestry frequently function as a determinant of personal, ethnic, racial, and national identity. For all its larger philosophical, medical, psychological, and religious implications, one fascinating aspect of ancestry is how passionately many people hold to 'their own' ancestry, and to their own perceptions of the same. In Ancestors, David Hertzel offers an introductory foray into the nature of relationships people today have with their ancestors, and explores the significance of ancestry and ancestral belief in our modern world. Guided by two questions--"who are your ancestors?" and "what is your relationship to your ancestors?"--Hertzel interviewed thirty-five elders and people of prominence within particular social or intellectual communities. Interviewees were accomplished in an area related to ancestry, its nature or its meaning, and included genealogists, geneticists, tribal chiefs and elders, researchers in some aspect of family or ancestry, family elders, and experienced practitioners or supervisors of particular ancestral rituals. Interviewees were selected from a variety of cultural backgrounds for purposes of contrast, comparison, and breadth--but they are not spokespeople and were not asked to 'represent' particular belief systems, doctrines, or Peoples. Rather, the interviewees describe their own personal experiences and beliefs involving ancestors. From these interviews, Hertzel identifies common themes to ancestral practices and beliefs, such as the way we sanctify our ancestors, how we create a living narrative of our ancestry, and how experiences like suffering and love are shared across generations and appear to transcend death. Excerpts from interviews serve as examples throughout his narrative exploration of the concept of ancestry; a selection of full interviews are embedded throughout the text and offer glimpses into the diversity of ways that people think about who they are and where they come from.
Here is everything you need to promote your library as a center for genealogical study by leveraging your collection to help patrons conduct research on ancestors, document family stories, and archive family heirlooms. Discusses the reference environment and offers tips for strategic planning for local studies. Includes hints of how to assess, organize, discard, or donate family heirlooms. Offers suggestions for caring for family history archives, including physical enclosures, digital copies, and the importance of data backups. Features templates for partnership agreements with other organizations
Tera W. Hunter offers the first comprehensive history of African American marriage in the nineteenth century and into the Jim Crow era. She reveals the practical ways couples adopted, adapted, or rejected White Christian ideas of marriage, creatively setting their own standards for conjugal relationships under conditions of uncertainty and cruelty.-- Provided by publisher.
"How biology, psychology, and history shape us as individuals We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? In The Invisible History of the Human Race Christine Kenneally draws on cutting-edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell us where we come from and where we may be going. While some books explore our genetic inheritance and popular television shows celebrate ancestry, this is the first book to explore how everything from DNA to emotions to names and the stories that form our lives are all part of our human legacy. Kenneally shows how trust is inherited in Africa, silence is passed down in Tasmania, and how the history of nations is written in our DNA. From fateful, ancient encounters to modern mass migrations and medical diagnoses, Kenneally explains how the forces that shaped the history of the world ultimately shape each human who inhabits it"--Provided by publisher.