[APG Public List] celebrity connections to royalty or famous historical people

Meredith Hoffman / GenerationsWeb mhoffman at generationsweb.com
Fri Jun 25 15:57:11 MDT 2010

I'd add to Elizabeth's good list that, for me, genealogy is a way for  
us to be witnesses to the lives of our ancestors, to acknowledge that  
they existed and mattered. It's even more important when those  
ancestors are _not_ famous or royalty or nobility, simply ordinary  
people whose lives have as much "right" to be remembered as the  
_famous_ ones.


Meredith Hoffman / GenerationsWeb
Plymouth, MA
APG profile: http://tinyurl.com/genweb-apg
Success! Stories webzine: http://jewishgen.org/jewishgen/testimonials
GenWeb blog: http://consultant.generationsweb.com

On 2010Jun25, at 3:24 PM, <eshown at comcast.net> <eshown at comcast.net>  

> 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?
> Joan,
> 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
> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
> Tennessee

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