[APG Public List] Who Are We, Really?

Carolyn Earle Billingsley cebillingsley at earthlink.net
Sun Oct 4 20:40:57 MDT 2009

I'm coming into this conversation late as I was in the Black Hills of SD 
for 8 days with little or no internet connectivity .

However, I do wish to point out that I did write an entire book, based 
on anthropological kinship theory and its application to genealogy. And 
it wasn't about natives in Bora Bora! It provides a theoretical base for 
genealogical research--on any level. I don't know whether y'all are not 
aware of this work or simply don't find it helpful. As I point out in my 
book, genealogy is a sister to, and incorporates much of, both history 
and anthropology, among other disciplines. [_Communities of Kinship,_ 
University of Georgia Press, 2004]

As to your second point below, that's why national conferences have 
lectures and tracks on so many levels. First we have to educate the 
beginners and early intermediates--and THEN hope they'll more up to the 
more difficult track.

But we also have to remember that there are many "hobbyist genealogists" 
who simply want to do their research for fun and despite our constant 
harping on the "right" way to do it and the GPS, they're simply not 
interested. They're happy with what they're doing. All they want is a 
class in doing Irish Research, for example, and none of that dad-gummed 
theory stuff! That doesn't make me any happier than it makes y'all, but 
it's the truth.

Regards, Carolyn
Carolyn Earle Billingsley, Ph.D.
APG member, Lone Star Chapter

Barbara Mathews wrote:
> I sometimes think that it's not the History Departments we should be trying
> to engage at the college level, but the Anthropology Departments as domestic
> (i.e., home-based) anthropologists. We could all go for Ph.D.'s in kinship
> determination if only we were doing it in Bora Bora.
> But, look (and here is where I will really be a lightening rod), where are
> we as a "profession" if the Genealogical Proof Standard isn't even widely
> accepted or even known? That underlying common stringent methodology for
> evaluation and thesis-testing is missing from the repertoire of many
> conference attendees. That is why our national conferences look and feel so
> different.
> Yours, Barbara Mathews

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