[APG Public List] celebrity connections to royalty orfamous historical people

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Fri Jun 25 15:48:15 MDT 2010

Permission to also quote this definition so it can be discussed as part of a 
topic concerning the nature of genealogy that will take place on a public 
list  next week (with attribution, definitely)?

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: eshown at comcast.net
  To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
  Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 3:24 PM
  Subject: Re: [APG Public List] celebrity connections to royalty orfamous 
historical people

  Joan wrote:

  >I have been asked to speak briefly with a radio host on Monday morning 
and would like to provide a broader opinion than my own on the following 
topic specifically at what point in going back do these connections lose any 
real meaning for us or our clients:

  >>"we want to know how anyone finds connections that old [e.g. to nobility 
or to royalty -their example is Count Vlad]- we're so often hearing that 
some celebrity is related to another or something like that. We'd want to 
talk about the field of genealogy and how these connections are found. When 
does family connection lose meaning in your opinion? Just because they 
shared a relative 400 years ago, does that matter to people you've worked 
with? In your experience can we all find someone famous in our family tree 
if we look far enough back/ are we all related in some way if you go far 
enough back?"

   >Any brief thoughts on this topic?


  The success of US and People magazines attest that the public is enamored 
with celebrities. No radio host should be surprised, then, that the public 
thinks it's cool to be told they are related to nobility, royalty, or people 
of infamy. But, as we know, there is a vast difference between the public 
stereotype and the actual practice of genealogy.

  What the media does not 'get' is that genealogy is not about finding 
celebrities. It is history in microcosm. Each of us has our own way of 
describing what genealogy means to us. Mine would be this:

  Genealogy is about understanding ourselves and the influences that have 
made us who we are. It's about understanding the men and women whose genes 
we carry and whose customs we cherish or purposefully reject. It's about 
understanding the world we live in, and how the actions of past men and 
women shaped the issues we deal with today. It's about understanding how the 
problems of those past societies shaped our forebears and how the individual 
choices they made affected their families and ultimately us.

  The Board for Certification of Genealogists' website also has an 
'explanation' of genealogy to which you might refer the radio host. It's at 
the home page: www.bcgcertification.org.


  Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG

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